Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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CUMMINGS, John, tanner, born in Woburn, Massachusetts, 26 February 1785; died there, 8 June 1867. He early established himself in the tanning business, devoting his winter months to that occupation, while his summers were spent in farming. His hides were obtained from farmers through his own exertions in traveling on horseback to collect them, and bark was brought in from the adjacent country. About 1830 he began the manufacture of high grades of leather as a specialty, and gained reputation for the quality of his goods, supplying manufacturers throughout New England. Subsequently, when enameled leather came into use, he became one of the largest tanners in the state. He continued in business until late in life, when his eldest son succeeded him. Mr. Cummings probably taught more young men the business of tanning, aiding them to establish themselves, than any other leather manufacturer in Massachusetts.
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