Aretas Blood

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Aretas Blood
Aretas Blood circa 1874
Born(1816-10-08)October 8, 1816
DiedNovember 24, 1897(1897-11-24) (aged 81)
Resting placeValley Cemetery
Manchester, New Hampshire
Political partyRepublican
SpouseLavinia Kendall Blood
ChildrenNora Blood
Elenora Blood
Parent(s)Nathaniel Blood
Roxellana (Proctor) Blood
4-4-0 steam locomotive CC No 407 by Aretas Blood from 1874

Aretas Blood (October 8, 1816 – November 24, 1897) was an American businessman from Vermont. He played an important role in the manufacture of early American railroad steam locomotives.


Blood was born in Weathersfield, Vermont, the son of Nathaniel Blood and Roxellana (Proctor) Blood.[1] As a child he moved with his parents to Windsor, Vermont, where he attended the common schools. At the age of 17, as railroads began to be built in the United States, he was apprenticed as a blacksmith. After a few years learning the trade, he moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, where he was hired by the Locks and Canals Machine Shop. 1849 brought a new title to Blood at a different foundry, when he took the position of "job hand" at the Essex Machine Shop.[2]

At the Essex Machine Shop Blood manufactured locomotive parts and he built up enough of a cash reserve that he was able to purchase a share of the Manchester Locomotive Works when it opened in 1853. Blood took over the shop superintendent position at Manchester in 1857 when the original superintendent, O. W. Bayley, left the company.[1]

It was Blood's opinion that the locomotives that Manchester produced were too light for the future needs of the railroads. When he took over in 1857, he quickly instigated more substantial locomotive construction at the shop. Through succeeding years, Blood acquired greater principal in the company until he was the majority owner.

Under Blood's tenure, Manchester purchased the locomotive manufacturing business of Amoskeag Locomotive Works in 1859, and the fire engine manufacturing business from the same company in 1876.[3] Blood died in 1897 in Manchester, New Hampshire,[4] but Manchester Locomotive Works continued in his absence, building as many as 1,800 locomotives by 1901.

Family life[edit]

Blood married Lavinia Kendall on September 4, 1845. They had two daughters, Nora Blood and Elenora Blood.[2] His wife Lavina founded the Manchester Women's Aid and Relief Society in 1875. Blood and his wife are both interred at Valley Cemetery in Manchester, New Hampshire, in one of the cemetery's 13 private mausoleums.

Blood's daughter Elenora married Amoskeag Manufacturing Company president Frank Pierce Carpenter.[5] Upon her death in 1910, Carpenter donated funds for an elaborate new building for the city's public library.[6]


  1. ^ a b The Granite Monthly (1887). The Granite Monthly, Volume 1, Issue 1 - Volume 10, Issue 11. The Granite Monthly. p. 83.
  2. ^ a b Heritage Books (1898). Men of Progress: Biographical Sketches and Portraits of Leaders in Business and Professional Life in and of the State of New Hampshire. Heritage Books. p. 10. ISBN 9780788422232.
  3. ^ The Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. of Manchester, New Hampshire: A History. Manchester, NH: Amoskeag Manufacturing Co. 1915. pp. 77–78. Retrieved April 19, 2014.
  4. ^ Boston and Maine Railroad (1892). Vols. for 1917-1925 Have Title. Boston and Maine Railroad. p. 12.
  5. ^ Stearns, Ezra S. and Whitcher, William Frederick (1908). Genealogical and Family History of the State of New Hampshire: A Record of the Achievements of Her People in the Making of a Commonwealth and the Founding of a Nation, Volume 2. Lewis Publishing Company. p. 587.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  6. ^ City Library: The Gift Of Learning[permanent dead link]

Further reading[edit]

  • White John H. Jr. (1968). A history of the American locomotive; its development: 1830-1880. Dover Publications, New York, NY. ISBN 0-486-23818-0.

External links[edit]