Frederic and Arthur Hood opened the Hood Rubber Company factory in November, 1896 in East Watertown. During the company’s early years, Hood hired hundreds of immigrant Armenians who were fleeing genocide, so, over time the factory was largely responsible for the development of East Watertown into an Armenian neighborhood.
The facility spanned across 88 acres – including a fully automated factory, research lab, fire department and the Abraham Lincoln House, where immigrant employees could take English and Americanization lessons. In 1918, the company was the second in the United States to create a Dental Clinic with a full-time dentist on staff and in addition to this, they built a company hospital comprised of seven doctors and thirteen nurses.
Part of Hood’s success could be attributed to their low turnover rate and strong employee relationships. Hood established these relationships through promoting employee benefits. By 1920, the company employed ten thousand men and women.