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Bristol graphite mine, Bristol, Grafton Co., New Hampshire, USA

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Graphite was discovered here in 1821 by Charles Dunbar, the brother-in-law of Henry David Thoreau's father (John Thoreau). Dunbar formed a partnership with Cyrus Stow of Concord, NH. They mined the deposit and used the graphite in the manufacture of pencils. In 1823 John Thoreau joined the company, but soon afterwards Dunbar and Stow dropped out of the business,and Thoreau & Company was established. After the Bristol deposit was depleted, the company obtained graphite from Sturbridge, Massachusetts and Canada. (Petroski, 1989)

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References

Moore, Jacob Bailey and Farmer, J., editors (1823): "Discovery of a Mine of Graphite in Bristol, N. H." in Collections, Historical and Miscellaneous, vol. 2 (Concord: J. B. Moore), vol. II, p. 30.

Carter, James Gordon (1831): A Geography of New-Hampshire (Portsmouth, NH: Nathaniel March)

Watson, Richard (1904) : History of the Town of Bristol, Grafton County, New Hampshire, p. 446.

Petroski, Henry (1989): The Pencil: a History of Design and Circumstance (NY: Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.)

 
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