Monadnock Moments No. 52: Marlow's Ink and Extract Manufacturers

Farley’s Ink and Extract Factory in Marlow

One of the most unusual and least remembered industries in the town of Marlow was the ink and extract manufactory operated by the Farley family.  Bethuel Farley, born in Marlow in 1794, and his son Lucius and grandson Frank ran the business for more than fifty years.

Bethuel was manufacturing his ink by 1851 when it won an award at the New Hampshire State Agricultural Society Fair.  Labels on surviving Farley’s Ink bottles read: “Farley’s Extra Fine Black Ink.  This is a new chemical preparation, by one of the most celebrated chemists in the United States, and possesses the invaluable property of keeping free from mould or decomposition, corrodes metalic pens less than any other and is not injured by freezing.”
The Farley firm also produced extracts and flavorings, including peppermint, vanilla, witch hazel, castor oil, and even sewing machine oil.  Lucius Farley continued the business after the death of his father, and Lucius’ son Frank also joined the company.  A Farley billhead from this period listed a Boston address as well as the Marlow address, indicating that the Farley’s had opened a distribution store in Boston.  They also sold by mail and from peddler’s carts.  The Farley’s continued to produce ink until at least 1895 and Frank continued the extract business until about 1910.
The Farley’s purchased their ink bottles from the glassworks in neighboring Stoddard.  If not for these highly collectible small amber bottles embossed with the words “Farley’s Ink,” this Marlow business operated by three generations of Farley’s for more than half a century would now be all but forgotten.