Whips of Westfield: The Rise and Decline of an American Industry traces the whip industry in Westfield, Massachusetts from its founding in the early 1800’s through its growth years to its eventual decline in the mid 1930’s.
Beginning in the early 1800’s, the industry grew with Westfield becoming the hub for all Whip making in the United States. Not only did Westfield produce more whips than anybody else in the country, they produced more whips than everyone else combined, eventually producing in excess of 90% of all the whips in the world by the end of the 1800’s.
Whips of Westfield traces its whip makers, patents, and whip companies from 1800 through the early 1930’s. Also, Westfield’s interaction with the other whip manufacturers across the United States, its control over the US Whip industry and associated activities which culminated with the consolidation of virtually all of the major U.S. companies into a handful of companies located in Westfield by the early 1900’s.
Bruce W. Cortis is a Westfield native, attended local schools and remains a resident of Hampden County. In addition to his historical research, he has done extensive genealogical research on his own family and several other families in Western Massachusetts.