This 1860 entry for Brown & Sharpe
in the Rhode Island Products Of Industry Census, clearly shows the flexibility
that in many ways was responsible for the success that Joseph R. Brown
and Lucian Sharpe were to enjoy over the years. Whatever improvement were
needed in any area of mechanics, whatever item was in demand at any particular
point in time, this pairing of brilliant minds were prepared to provide.
At this time there is a strong demand for sewing machines, a product that
Providence Tool Co. and others were also heavily involved in. Although
expensive for the average working family, once purchased this new device
would quickly pay for itself, allowing families to make their own
clothing and perhaps earn supplemental income as well.
Within a year, with the onset
of the civil war, Brown and Sharpe like other machinery makers in Providence,
would turn their focus to making machinery capable of producing weapons
for the Union army.