Frank Webb

Celebrate F.W. Webb's 150th Anniversary with these Fun Facts

  1. The F.W. Webb Company traces its roots to 1866, the year after the Civil War ended, when most Americans used outhouses and chamber pots for their daily business.
  2. F.W. Webb began as Stults & Company -- the second plumbing supply house in Boston at the start of the fledgling plumbing industry, when rudimentary plumbing was reserved for society’s elite.
  3. In 1890, the U.S. Census reported 122 plumbing supply manufacturers in the U.S., providing products whose total value equaled $11.9 million. In 1900, Boston was the country’s 5th largest city with more than half-a-million people; life expectancy was 47 years.
  4. You won't find the location of the original headquarters of F.W. Webb on a current map of Boston; Elm Street doesn't exist anymore but appears to have been somewhere between Government Center and the TD Garden arena, in the vicinity of Haymarket and Faneuil Hall.
  5. Two streets in Belmont, Mass. are named for the founder of the F.W. Webb Company – Stults Road and Van Ness Road – after John Van Ness Stults who owned a 21-acre property there. In Boston, there's also a Van Ness St. that runs past Fenway Park and intersects Yawkey Way.
  6. In its early days, as the McShane Manufacturing Co., F.W. Webb made and sold cast iron and brass plumbing products. In the Baltimore headquarters, the McShane foundry produced acoustically remarkable church bells. The McShane Bell Company is still in operation in Baltimore today, although no longer owned by the McShane family.
  7. Frank W. Webb, a big, kind-hearted "southern gentleman" from Baltimore, Maryland, has been affiliated with the F.W. Webb Company since 1888. He was the 2nd leader of the company when it was McShane Manufacturing; followed by owner and founder of the F.W. Webb Manufacturing Co.; and today as the namesake and inspiration for the F.W. Webb Company.
  1. Frank W. Webb, whose middle name remains a mystery, lived on Beacon Street in Boston in a house he had built in 1901. Naturally, it featured a bathroom with all the modern innovations of the time! His home was down the street from Fenway Park, which opened a month after he died on March 3, 1912.
  2. You may think the plumbing industry isn't particularly glamorous but at its start it was a high-brow industry catering to the rich – those early adopters who wanted the latest conveniences and could afford them!
  3. Plumbing helped civilize the world or at least cleaned and helped it smell better. Before indoor plumbing, many city dwellers emptied their chamber pots out of the windows of their apartments to the street or sidewalk below. Maybe that’s why hats were so in vogue in that time period!
  4. Resilient and adaptable: These two works best describe F.W. Webb. The company sprang from the ashes of the Civil War, survived many market challenges, such as the financial downturn of 1893 and the Great Depression, and endured two World Wars. The legacy of the F.W. Webb Company is a remarkable success story when juxtaposed with the tremendous societal changes and technological advances of the past 150 years – including the automobile, telephone and electricity, followed by air travel, the Internet and mobile communications.
  5. Owned by the Pope Family since 1933, the F.W. Webb Company is the largest distributor of its kind in the Northeast, with more than 80 locations in nine states. The company has a long, proud heritage of offering outstanding products, services, solutions and support to professionals in the construction, renovation, maintenance, and repair industries. F.W. Webb is among the most respected, successful, privately-owned companies in the Northeast

For more F.W. Webb history and historical photos, please visit our Company History page.