Greater Westfield Chamber of Commerce

Westfield State hosts “Whips of Westfield: The Rise and Decline of an American Industry”

CONTACT: Troy Watkins,, 413.572.5523

“Westfield Wednesdays” lecture series commemorates the City’s 350th anniversary

Westfield – Westfield State University will host a Westfield 350th Anniversary speaker event titled “Whips of Westfield: The Rise and Decline of an American Industry,” on Wednesday, May 1, in Scanlon Banquet Hall at 6:30 p.m.

The presentation will be delivered by Westfield native Bruce W. Cortis, who has been engaged in historical and genealogical research for over two decades and co-authored Russell Massachusetts, Establishment of a New England town and early Historical Notes with his father, Ralph E. Cortis. He is a past president of the Western Massachusetts Genealogical Society.

His presentation will highlight his research on the whip industry through the early 19th century to the mid-20th century in Western Massachusetts. It will include discussions of early whip makers and companies, labor issues within the industry, patents, inventions, and the general growth of the industry throughout the 19th century prior to its consolidation in the 1890s and early 1900s. His recently published novel Whips of Westfield, the Rise and Decline of an American Industry, will be available for purchase at the event.

The event is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit    

Founded in 1839 by Horace Mann, Westfield State University is an education leader committed to providing every generation of students with a learning experience built on its founding principle as the first public co-educational college in America to offer an education without barrier to race, gender or economic status. This spirit of innovative thinking and social responsibility is forged in a curriculum of liberal arts and professional studies that creates a vital community of engaged learners who become confident, capable individuals prepared for leadership and service to society.

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