1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Brockton
BROCKTON, a city of Plymouth county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., about 20 m. S. of Boston, and containing an area of 21 sq. m. of rolling surface. Pop. (1870) 8007; (1880)13,608; (1890) 27,294; (1900) 40,063, of whom 9484 were foreign-born, including 2667 Irish, 2199 English Canadians and 1973 Swedes; (1910, census) 56,878. It is served by the New York, New Haven & Hartford railway. Brockton has a public library, with 54,000 volumes, in 1908. By popular vote, beginning in 1886 (except in 1898), the liquor traffic was prohibited annually. The death-rate, 13.18 in 1907, is very low for a manufacturing city of its size. Brockton is the industrial centre of a large population surrounding it (East and West Bridgewater, North Easton, Avon, Randolph, Holbrook and Whitman), and is an important manufacturing place. Both in 1900 and in 1905 it ranked first among the cities of the United States in the manufacture of boots and shoes. The city’s total factory product in 1900 was valued at $24,855,362, and in 1905 at $37,790,982, an increase during the five years of 52%. The boot and shoe product in 1905 was valued at $30,073,014 (9.4% of the value of the total boot and shoe product of the United States), the boot and shoe cut stock at $1,344,977, and the boot and shoe findings at $2,435,137—the three combined representing 89.6% of the city’s total manufactured product. In 1908 there were 35 shoe factories, including the W. L. Douglas, the Ralston, the Walkover, the Eaton, the Keith and the Packard establishments, and, in 1905, 14,000,000 (in 1907 about 17,000,000) pairs of shoes were produced in the city. Among the other products are lasts, blacking, paper and wooden packing boxes, nails and spikes, and shoe fittings and tools. The assessed valuation of the city rose from $6,876,427 in 1881 to $37,408,332 in 1907. Brockton was a part of Bridgewater until 1821, when it was incorporated as the township of North Bridgewater. Its present name was adopted in 1874, and it was chartered as a city in 1881. Brockton was the first city in Massachusetts to abolish all grade crossings (1896) within its limits.