The Alden Speare’s Sons Company – manufacturers of oils, starches, and laundry supplies – was founded in 1851. While the firm was headquartered in Boston, it maintained factories in East Cambridge, Walpole, and Fall River. The East Cambridge plant, the largest of the three, was dedicated specifically to the production and processing of oils. By the early twentieth century, the company employed between 400 and 500 operatives and had a capital of $375,000 (Stone, 1930).