Thursday, August 4, 2011

Draper and Maynard Sports Equipment

In 1881 Jason F. Draper and John Maynard established a glove factory in Plymouth, New Hampshire.  In 1882 they began producing baseball gloves and supplied major league teams.  By the 1920s 90% of the major league teams were using equipment from Draper-Maynard.  The company was bought and sold many times over the years, and it is now the D&M Co. of Tokyo, Japan, which was not aware of its connection with Draper-Maynard “until they did research for their centennial celebration in 2001.”  [see the NH Historical Society webpage]   There is also a new company named Draper-Maynard producing vintage reproduction baseball jackets and gloves, and it uses the original “Lucky Dog” trademark of Jason Draper’s bird dog, Nick.
At the height of the Great Depression my uncle Robert Wilkinson was just a kid, and the oldest boy in the family.  His uncle invited him up to visit Plymouth, New Hampshire.  This uncle was George Herbert Adams, but he was known by the strange nickname of Cupe Adams, and he was more of a first cousin once removed.  Cupe was married to Inez Perkins, daughter of Elizabeth Bill, my great grandmother’s sister.   Cupe was a graduate of Dartmouth College, and the treasurer at Draper-Maynard Company.

So Robert and my grandmother were picked up by a chauffeur from their home in Beverly, Massachusetts and driven to the Adams summer home on Squam Lake, where they were treated like royalty.  The height of the weekend was a tour of the Draper-Maynard factory where the sports equipment was made in nearby Plymouth.  Uncle Robert, who is not longer alive, was only about ten years old, and thought he had died and gone to heaven.  There were not many  toys in the house where he grew up with my Dad, and the whole neighborhood shared bats, gloves and balls for baseball, football and other sports.   Uncle Cupe took a basket and filled it with bats, balls of all types, gloves, hats, helmets and other goodies for the overawed little cousin.  When Robert returned to Dearborn Avenue in Beverly he was the neighborhood hero, especially to his two little brothers!

1913 Draper & Maynard
Spring and Summer Catalog

Uncle Robert never forgot his benevolent Adams relatives, and they were kind to the whole family over the years.  Inez (Perkins) Adams was a house mother for a girl’s dorm at Plymouth State Normal School, which is now known as Plymouth State University, and she was a favorite cousin.  Everyone remembered her as a particularly nice person.  When my grandmother was a newlywed English bride to my Yankee grandfather, cousin Inez helped her to learn all about her new relatives.   The original Draper-Maynard factory building was bought in 1992 by Plymouth State University and is now the art department. 


Generation 1.  Caleb Rand Bill, born 30 May 1833 in Nictaux, Nova Scotia, son of Reverend Ingraham Ebenezer Bill and Isabella Lyons, died on 30 December 1902 in Salem, Massachusetts; married on 7 June 1858 in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia to Annie Margaret Bollman, daughter of Bremner Frederick Bollman and Sarah Elizabeth Lennox, born on 11 September 1835 in Lunenburg, died in 1923 in Salem, Massachusetts. Nine children including my Great Grandmother, Isabella Lyons Bill, born January 1863 in Machias, Maine.

Generation 2.  Elizabeth T. Bill, sister to Isabella (above), born September 1866 in Houlton, Maine; married on 26 December 1892 in Salem, Massachusetts to Charles Foster Perkins as his first wife.  Two children.
Generation 3.  Inez Margaret B. Perkins, born 26 April 1893 in Salem, died August 1966 in Houston, Texas; married in 1915 to George Herbert Adams, Jr., born 12 April 1890 in Plymouth, New Hampshire, son of George Herbert Adams and Sarah Katherine Smith, died 4 November 1943.  One son.

Generation 4. George Herbert Adams, III, born 28 July 1916, died on 7 January 1990, married with at least one son also named George Herbert Adams. 
I wonder if the nickname “Cupe” was passed along to all the other George Herbert Adams?  Draper- Maynard website for reproduction vintage sports equipment   “The Draper-Maynard Co., Manufacturers of Sporting Goods”    from the sports library archives at

To cite/link to this blog post: Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Draper and Maynard Sports Equipment", Nutfield Genealogy, posted August 8, 2011, ( accessed [access date]). 


  1. What a great connection! We often talk about town or county histories, but seldom about company businesses. I just found a good one too. Will be linking this post in my FF blog on "Company Histories and Genealogy!"

  2. Really informative content...Thanks

  3. Well, I contacted Heather about Cupe. I am the 3rd Cupe in the Adams family. The name has passed down to me, and I attend to pass it to my son if The Good Lord grants me one. How the name came to be was that when my great grand father was a little kid growing up in Plymouth, NH, he would take love messages from the students from the university from the girl dorms to the boy dorms. The students started calling him Cupid, then they shortened it to Cupe. My grandfather was not called Cupe, but he passed it down to my dad. One other story, when the 1st Cupe worked at D&M sporting goods, they made the gloves for the greatest baseball player of all time, Babe Ruth. He developed a friendship with him. On the day my grandfather was born, Babe Ruth came over to their home, and he played with and held my grandfather. My grandfather married a gorgeous women from Mississippi named Margie Carraway.

    1. Hello Cupe! I'm so glad we connected. People are still reading this blog post after more than two years.

  4. Hi, I am located in Plymouth, NH and collect D&M items for historical reasons. After reading this I looked through some items and found George Adams listed on some early 1930's Draper Maynard letterheads. It has his title as Treasurer. I also have photos of when Babe Ruth visited in November 1916. In the letter above this one, it would have been January 1916 that Babe Ruth visited the baby. I wonder if Cupe is in any of the photos I have? Some of them show several guys with the Babe at Ed & Evelyn Maynards home on Squam Lake. Great story.
    Thank you for sharing.

    1. How can my cousin Cupe Adams get in touch with you? He'd love to exchange photos or documents. My email is

    2. Mr. Manzi as Heather as stated, I would love to get in touch with you somehow about possibly buying some of your historical items that you have collected about my great grand father. I have never seen a picture of him, but we all Adams males look alike. I can definitely spot him out if he is in those pictures with Babe at the Maynard's home. I would love some of those letter heads too. You can contact Heather or me. My email address is If you can scan some of those pictures and send them to me, I bet that I can tell if Cupe is in those pictures. Thank you so much for posting on this blog.

      Best regards,

      Cupe Adams

  5. Cupe & Heather,
    I have forwrded pics to your email. I hope you enjoy them.
    Thank you,

    1. Thanks, you have an amazing collection of items and photos! I'm sure Cupe will love this