Pliny Jewell (1797 – 1869)

Jewell Monument

Pliny Jewell was born in Winchester, New Hampshire in 1797. In New Hampshire, Jewell had been an active member of the Whig party and a member of the legislature. While Winchester was a charming community that respected Jewell, Pliny longed to own a business in a bustling community. After traveling about in search of a community that would fit his needs, he moved his family to Hartford, Connecticut in 1845.

He started his new life by running a tan-yard, and in 1848 he opened a shop on Trumbull Street for making leather belts – he was the third person in the country to take on such a business. Jewell’s greatest contribution to the manufacturing world was introducing leather belting as a mechanism for conveying power in place of costly and cumbersome gearing systems.

Over the next nearly 25 years, Jewell witnessed the extensive expansion of his company. Four of his five sons joined the business resulting in it being renamed P. Jewell & Sons. The company was recognized worldwide as a manufacturer of excellent products, and the company expanded first to Detroit, Michigan then to Rome, Georgia. Having grown the business to the largest of its kind in the country, Pliney Jewell died in 1869 at the age of 72.

Famous Americans.  Marshall Jewell. Accessed at on August 26, 2010.
Osborn, Colonel N. G., Ed. Men of Mark in Connecticut: Ideals of American Life Told in Biographies and Autobiographies of Eminent Living Americans, Volume IV. The Clark, Lockwood & Brainard Companies, Hartford, CT., 1908. Accessed at on August 26, 2010.