Rumford Baking Powder/Rumford Chemical Works - East Providence, RI
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member NorStar
N 41° 50.418 W 071° 21.263
19T E 304522 N 4634725
Quick Description: Rumford Baking Powder, originally called "yeast powder," was made at this location by the Rumford Chemical Works from 1854 to about 1966.
Location: Rhode Island, United States
Date Posted: 8/3/2012 4:48:24 PM
Waymark Code: WMF0RN
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member kbarhow
Views: 3

Long Description:
In the East Providence, RI, village of Rumford is a building complex that once was the Rumford Chemical Works which made, among other products, Rumford Baking Powder.

The complex is located at the corner of Greenwood Ave. and Newman Ave, a block from the intersection of RI Route 152 and RI Route 114. The building at the corner had a sign saying "Rumford Center 20" [the address number]. The complex has over ten buildings - each having its own distinctive characteristics. The tallest building is at the corner, which now has residential 'lofts.' There is a wooden building toward the back that is now a performance venue. A few commercial operations, including the Seven Stars Bakery, are in low storied buildings along Greenwood Avenue and on the first floor of the corner building. The whole complex has been converted to other functions and you can park and walk around anywhere. If you walk in the Seven Stars Bakery, which faces Greenwood Avenue, there is a blown up photograph of a scene about Rumford Baking Powder. There is also a plaque installed by the American Chemical Society about the site.

Eben Horsford is credited with reformulating baking powder that was more stable and less expensive than products then available. At the time, it was made from cream of tarter, which was a byproduct of wine, primarily imported from France. After receiving a patent, known as on April 26, 1856, Harvard chemist, Eben Horsford and his partner George Wilson established the Rumford Chemical Works. Rumford Baking Powder, as well as other products were produced here. The factory continued to manufacture baking powder here until 1966. Rumford Baking Powder is currently made in Terre Haute, IN, by Clabber Girl Corporation - I have a can right here with me.

The factory was a major part of East Providence. This area is known as the village of Rumford, which includes its own post office (across Newman Ave from the factory), and a library. Hundreds of people were employed here.

An interesting set of connections -
Rumford Baking Powder is named after Count Rumford, who was known for his work in understanding heat and radiation properties and developed the Rumford fireplace. Eben Horsford was a Rumford Professor at Harvard University - a chair that was endowed by Count Rumford. The count, himself, was formely Banjamin Thompson, who was born in Woburn in the 1700s and went to Rumford, New Hampshire - today's Concord, NH and took on that name when he became a count.

Additional Source:

Wikipedia (Baking Powder):
(visit link)
Product manufactured here: Rumford Baking Powder and other (less known) products

20 Newman Avenue
East Providence, RI United States of America

Web Page: [Web Link]

Visit Instructions:
A unique picture of the location would be appreciated. Try to include yourself or your group in the frame if you are not shy. Give your impressions of the location in your log. You can also log a visit by including a photograph of one of the products made by the factory "in situ". You'll have to look it up. Log type should be "write note" in this case. Include a comment as to where you found the product and some other details you noted. Be sure to make it clear that product was made by the factory in question. Your posted image should clearly indicate this. When you post a visit of this type, please send a note to kbarhow to indicate you have completed one of these.
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