Because of his notable contributions to the progress of the age, the late Frederick E. Anthony, of Providence, was known the country over as a mechanical genius. This appellation was properly used in connection with his name, although the products of his trained mind and cunning hand bore the imprint of the corporation, the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, to whose success and prestige he gave the major portion of his life and the results of the gifts with which he was endowed. As for himself, he rejoiced in the rise and progress of the company to which he was wholly devoted, and in the anonymity in which his own fame was to him of secondary consideration.
The name of Anthony has long been associated with forward movements in Providence and Rhode Island. The family is a representative one of the State, which has given of its members to local and State governments and worthy occupations.
Andrew J. Anthony, father of Frederick E. Anthony, was born in Mendon, Worcester County, Massachusetts, May 3, 1833, son of David Richmond and Catherine (Barker) Anthony. He received his education in the schools of East Providence, Rhode Island, and Seekonk, Massachusetts, following which he was successfully engaged as a contracting mason and builder. He later had charge of the building operations of the Providence Gas Company.
His public career began in 1874 when he took his seat in the East Providence Town Council, where he remained a member for sixteen. years, one of the strong, reliable, aggressive local legislators. In 1889 he was elected to the State Senate, in which he served for ten consecutive years, showing marked ability in the proceedings of the highest political body of the Commonwealth. Returning to his home, he again was chosen a member of the Town Council and was a helpful and respected member for four more years. He was treasurer of the original commission of the Watchemoket Fire District. His religious affiliation was with the First Universalist Church, of East Providence, of which society he was president, serving also in the office of deacon.
Andrew J. Anthony married, June 6, 1854, Harriet Newell Martin, and they were the parents of six children:
- Frederick E., of whom further.
- Senator Henry F.
- Newton J.
- Eva M., married R. B. Goff.
- Hattie M., married E. L. Mitchell.
Frederick E. Anthony, son of Andrew J. and Harriet Newell (Martin) Anthony, was born in East Providence, October 8, 1864, died on his birthday, October 8, 1922, at the age of fifty-eight years. He was educated in the public schools of his native township and in his youth gave evidence of the mechanical ingenuity that was to be so prominently developed in the making of his career. At the age of seventeen he entered the service of the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company of Providence, one of the most widely known concerns of the country producing machines for the performance of high class and intricate work. His first employment was as apprentice, and having completed his term, he was attached to the shop staff as a finished mechanic. He remained with the company until 1890, when he accepted a position with the Eastman Kodak Company. Subsequently he worked for the Bugbee & Niles Company, of North Attleboro, Massachusetts. During this time he gave evidence of the extraordinary mechanical ability that made him an extremely valued employee of the companies he served. In October, 1898, he returned to accept an invitation to rejoin the force of the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company, with which he was identified for the rest of his life.
Mr. Anthony represented the highest type of a trained mechanic, whose work has made so much for progress along mechanical lines in this country. Based on his advice and the fruits of his rich experience, the details of the automatic screw machine were worked out and applied. It was he who was a major factor in devising ways and means for the attainment of results. There is hardly a large manufacturing plant in the country making use of this type of machine that is not employing the plans that he worked out.
Mr. Anthony’s loyalty to the interests of the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company manifested itself in continually seeking to advance the solution of problems of its customers with many of whom he came into contact. As a companion and shopmate, his untiring energy, his courtesy and never-failing cheerfulness made him a friend of all in the works. A Republican in political alliance, he was not active in political affairs. His religious preference was Episcopal, although he was not given to regularity of church attendance. He belonged to neither club nor fraternity. He traveled considerably in the interest of the company he served. His chief delight was his home and the companionship of her who was to him its center and circumference.
Frederick E. Anthony married Ida P. Ramsden, daughter of John Ramsden, who was a veteran of the Civil War. Their only child is Clyde K. Anthony, an employee of the Brown & Sharpe Manufacturing Company. He married Elizabeth Breslin, and they have a son, Robert Anthony.
Carroll, Charles. Rhode Island: Three Centuries of Democracy, vol 3 of 4. New York: Lewis historical Pub. Co., 1932.