Jamaica Plain MA Factory

Shop Employees


(L)Petterson, Otto Carlson, Olof Olson

(R/Top)Roberts, Barker, Chism, Whelpley, Smith, Bartlett, Lou West, Hurd, Marston, Fowler

Sturtevant outgrew the small downtown shop and built their first factory in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston in 1878. Over the next 25 years hundreds of workers and many 1&2 story buildings were constructed. A wide variety of allied products were added; heating, ventilating and drying apparatus, collecting and conveying systems, steam turbines, engines, electric motors and generating sets, fuel economizers and air washers.

Ulitimately, they left for the same reason they arrived, continued business growth necessitating a modern facility but also hastened by a destructive fire in 1901. In 1903 they moved a few miles south to Hyde Park but didn't totally abandon JP.

The tail end of WW1 brought a very unusual and long forgotton reuse of the factory. Upon the US entry into the war, the government offered large contracts to manufacturers to build spare aircraft parts for the war effort. Over 1000 employees were hired and several additional building erected to build biplane parts(wings, struts, etc.). At one point a circus tent was set-up to handle the machinery overflow. All this ended abruptly with the Armistice.

Final Look/Razing

In the early 80s, the rerouting of the MBTA Orange Line next to the plant led to an extensive tear-down leaving only a stub remaining to this day. The 555 Amory St. property is now within the Jamaica Plain Commerce Center, managed by WCI Realty.

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