by Barry Weaver
Feb 14, 2014

Parents: Etinne (father) & Adelle Benjamin (RI death records); wife's first name: Solphide (witness on deed) 
1854  birth of Amedee J. Benjamin (based on date of death); in Canada of French ancestry (RI death records)

1875  Pawtucket/Central Falls Dir. ; Benjamin, Anedee [sic] - carpenter, h. Broad, corner of Fales, C.F.
1876 (ditto) Benjamin, Anedee [sic] - carpenter, h 14 Foundry, C.F.
1877 (ditto) Benjamin, Emede [sic] - carpenter, h.14 Foundry, C.F.

1880  Pawt/CF Dir. ; Benjamin, Amede G.[sic] carpenter, house 271 Broad
1881  Benjamin, Amadee [sic]- house carpenter, h. 271 Broad

1882  Pawt/CF Dir.; Benjamin, Amedee G.[sic] foreman, h 271 Broad 
*Note: Amedee J. Benjamin applies for new clamp design patent in Dec, 1882.
1883  (ditto) ; Benjamin, Amedee G.[sic], foreman, h. 271 Broad

PATENT: 1883, March 6; date of issue - patent for new clamp design by Amedee J. Benjamin, but used on clamps stamped & sold by Wm. J. Hood

1884  Wm. J. Hood sells to Amedee J. Benjamin, 3 lots of land in Lincoln - village of Valley Falls, on north side of Tremont St. In the deed, both grantor and grantee are said to be "of Lincoln". These three lots are from a Plat owned by Wm. J. Hood and Daniel W. Jenks.
1885  Pawt/CF Dir.; Benjamin, Amedee G.[sic], foreman, h. 27 Cowden, CF

1886/87  Pawt/CF Dir.; Benjamin, Amedee G.[sic], house carpenter, 27 Cowden, Central Falls
*Note:  Benjamin appears to have left Hood as his occupation has changed from foreman back to house carpenter.

1888   Pawt/CF Dir.; (Benjamin & Chatel), contractors & builders, shop & yard, rear 350 Pine, office 11 Lincon Ave., C.F. (partnership between Amedee Benjamin & Henri Chatel) (see ad below)
1888  Wm. Hood sells another parcel of land to Amedee; this also is on north side of Tremont St.

1892/93/94  Benjamin, Amedee J., lumber dealer, 123 Tremont, Central Falls, h 83 Tremont  (see ad below)

1896    Amedee J. Benjamin dies on March 9, 1896, age 42 years; of delerium & tremors in Pawtucket. (RI death records) Bk.96 /Pg.623 


     At the time Amedee J. Benjamin appeared in the 1875 Pawt/CF dir. as a carpenter in Central Falls, he would have been about 21 yrs. of age and 29 yrs. younger than William J. Hood. In 1882 his occupation changes from house carpenter to foreman, without mention however to whom he is employed. We feel there is strong evidence suggesting that Amedee J. Benjamin was William J. Hood's foreman from about 1882 though 1885, and that he played a major role in Hood's entry into making wood screws and clamps. The evidence is as follows.

First:  In 1882, the first year that Amedee J.Benjamin is listed as foreman in the directories, he is living at 271 Broad, very close to Wm. Hood at 280 and 282 Broad. In December of this same year he applies for a new clamp design patent.

Second:  Two years later on Mar 6, 1883, Amedee J. Benjamin is issued the new design patent for wood clamps. No known clamp of his design, or any other,  carries a Benjamin mark. All known clamps of this design are marked W. J. Hood or Wm J. Hood and carry the date of Benjamin's patent.  This appears to be the first generation of clamps made by Wm. J. Hood. 

Third:   Also in 1884, (same year as the clamp patent) William Hood sells to Amedee Benjamin 3 lots of land. Hood sells more land to Benjamin on two later occasions.

   We believe that Amedee J. Benjamin left house building in 1881/82 and began working as a foreman to Wm. J. Hood, who at that time was listed as doing wood turning. We further believe that Amedee showed great initiative by designing a clamp patent and presenting it to Hood as a potentially profitable item to produce and market.  It is possible that Hood may have never begun making clamps had it not been for Amedee J. Benjamin.
   What arrangement the younger Benjamin had with the older Hood regarding the patent and it's use we do not know. Benjamin was never made a partner, but may have sold the rights to his patent to Hood, or recieved some other form of compensation. Although only speculation, it's also possible that when Benjamin left to become a house carpenter in 1885/86, that the patent went with him, and that Hood then began making his clamps with jaws cut from parallel stock, although the patent was due to expire in 1897 and some characteristics unique to the patent continued.
    From the time he leaves Hood in 1885/86 up until his early death at age 42 in 1896, Amedee J. Benjamin was a house-carpenter, building contractor, lumber dealer. He also was able to provide plans, drawing and fancy woodwork. Both his business and home were located on the same side of Tremont Street, and presumably were built on the lots he purchased from Wm. J. Hood. 

 CF =Central Falls  VF = Valley Falls