New London Vise Works

New London, CT -

Link to an 1897 Receipt on - This receipt notes that the proprietors are Joseph Hyde, Sons & Co.

See Image 1 Below where we find an advertisement from the 3/20/1838 edition of the Hartford Courant for Hyde & Sons Vices.

Based on the 1880 census, Joseph Hyde (age 54) is listed as a blacksmith, as is his son Joseph Jr. (age 31).  However, Joseph Jr.'s brothers Joshua (age 29), Samuel (age 23) and George (age 14) are all listed as "Vice Makers."  In the 1870 census Joseph, Joseph Jr. and Joshua are all listed as "Vice Makers."

Just when we think we've gotten somewhere, the records throw a curve.  The 1884 City Directory for New London lists the following (typed below exactly as seen)

  • Joseph Hyde, vise maker, h Chappell
  • Joseph Hyde Jr., vise maker, rear of Woodbridge
  • Joseph Hyde Sr., vise maker, rear of Woodbridge
  • Joshua Hyde, vise maker, bds Chappell
  • Joshua Hyde, blacksmith, h Fort Neck
  • Joshua Hyde, vise maker, bds r Woodbridge
  • Samuel Hyde, vise maker, bds r Woodbridge
  • Samuel Hyde, galvanizer, bds 158 Bank
  • Samuel Hyde Jr., blacksmith, h Fort Neck
  • William H. Hyde, vise maker, bds Chappell

It would appear to us that we possibly have 3 distinct families/operations making vises in New London, all named Hyde, and mostly having the same names!  The family records do seem to support this theory since we find numerous records but they all seem like they are different families/households.

In the 1892 New London City Directory the New London Vise Works is listed as makers of Ship Clamps.

In the 1905 New London City Directory, the following information can be found:

  • Robert Chamberlain is listed as an Engineer at Joseph Hyde & Sons;
  • Joseph Jr., Samuel and Joshua Hyde are listed as Proprietors of "N. L. Vise Works";
  • New London Vise Works (J. Hyde & Sons) are listed as manufacturers of:
    • Jack Screws
    • Machinists & Machinery
    • Vises

We find references to this company, albeit scarce, up to 1922.  They appeared to specialize in Post Leg Vises.

Joseph Hyde's obituary confirms that, along with his father and brothers, he founded the company.  Mr. Hyde passed away 5/25/1932 at the age of 81.  He was an English immigrant.

We are looking into the question as to whether the vise patents of John Lee and Isaac C. Tate, or perhaps Sidney Hubbell were manufactured by this company.

Here is a price list from the December, 1890 edition of Iron Age.  The Iron Age advertisement mentions Hyde's Patent Vise on multiple occassions.


Image Description: 

1838 advertisement for vises (vices)

Image 2 Description: 

1898 Advertisement in the New London City Directory, indicating they were also in the Bicycle business.

Image 2: