Abel Stowell Jr. was born in Worcester, Massachusetts on March 14, 1789 and died in Charlestown, Massachusetts on Sept. 6, 1860. He was the son of Abel Stowell Senior who was an ingenious individual. Senior is listed in Paul Foley’s book, Willard’s Patent Time Pieces” as a clockmaker, watchmaker, screwmaker and inventor. Over his lifetime, he applied for and was granted several patents for various types of machinery. Many of these patents involved cutting the head of a screw. It is thought that he trained his sons in many of his fields of expertise.
Abel Stowell Jr. is also listed in Foley’s book. He is listed as working in the following Massachusetts towns. They include Worcester, Groton, Medford, Boston and Charlestown. Abel Stowell Jr. worked as a clockmaker, watchmaker, screwmaker and jeweler. Stowell is listed as being in partnership with his brother-in-law James Ridgeway in 1812-16. The two were working in Groton as clockmakers under the firm name, Ridgeway & Stowell. It is interesting to note that Stowell was living in Medford by 1814 and he was married there. He also operated a screw and nail making factory in this town. Sometime around 1819, it is thought that Abel dropped the use of “junior” from his name. This was shortly after his father’s death. In 1822-23, Stowell is then listed in the Boston Directories as a clockmaker. His shop is located on Cambridge street. At the same time he was also maintaining business interests in Medford and Charlestown. In 1824 Abel and his brother John J. Stowell formed a business together in Charlestown. In November of 1835, Abel advertised that he was located at No. 78, Main Street. Here he sold “Watches, Jewelry,… Eight day Timepieces,…” Shortly after, He took his son Abel Jr. III into partnership and in November of 1838, he advertised as Abel Stowell & Son. This partnership was dissolved in 1846 and Abel Jr. started to advertise as “successors to A. Stowell & Son.” It should be noted that Abel Stowell had two sons, Abel Jr. III and Alexander who also followed him in the trade.