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Re: [APD] Glass myths

> Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2005 07:30:52 -0700
> From: Jerry Baker <jerry at bakerweb_biz>
> Subject: Re: [APD] Glass myths
> To: aquatic plants digest <aquatic-plants at actwin_com>
> My grandmother always called the couches "Davenports." I have no idea
> where that came from. All I know is that it's a city in Iowa. How it came
> to be a synonym for sofa, or couch, I have no clue.
> -- 
> Jerry Baker
I hope I can be forgiven for extending this now old off-topic thread, but 
I've been away and civic pride compels an answer.  The use of "davenport" to 
mean a couch or sofa has nothing to do with Davenport, IA.  It is an eponym 
of Albert H. Davenport (1845-1906) of Malden, MA, who had a large and very 
successful furniture factory here in Cambridge, MA.

If I walk to the nearest corner from our condominium, I can (for now at 
least) just make out the faint lettering on one of his old buildings.  The 
business was established in Boston in 1880, and moved to East Cambridge in 
1883.  After Mr. Davenport's death in 1906, the company continued to prosper 
and in 1916 merged with the Irving & Casson Company, remaining in operation 
in this location until the early 1970's.

There's a picture of the way it looks at:
You'll need to scroll about three-fourths of the way down the page to find
the picture. Unfortunately, the text accompanying it is quite out-of-date. 
I'm embarassed for my alma mater, M.I.T., whose site this is.

The building in the picture and several of Davenport's other buildings are 
all being transformed into a large condominium complex, occupying a full 
city block.  If I understand the plans, the facade of this building is being 
preserved, but will be obscured by new construction in front of it.  Perhaps 
it will form the living room wall of one of the trendy new loft units in 
what will be called "One First Street."

John T. Fitch

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