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By Roger Chartier


David Duff & Sons Coal Company

New Bedford

1887 Duff Coal and Transportation Ad - Ne Bedford, Ma - www.WhalingCity.netNotes from Roger Chartier:
Mark Duff - www.WhalingCity.netDavid Duff & Son started in the whale oil business and later expanded into coal and oil transportation.
The advertisement on the left is from the New Bedford Directory in 1887.

In 1936, Mark M. Duff pictured above, purchased the mansion currently known as the Rotch-Jones-Duff House at 396 County Street. The family kept a home there until 1981.
At one time, the main office was in the New Bedford 5 Cent Savings Bank Building.

In 1887, the Acushnet Coal Company was a competitor and located in New Bedford at Hillman Street near North Water Street. Hart and Akin at 58 South Water Street also were coal distributors.

At one point in time, there were about 10 coal distributors in the city and many closed their business, and the numbers dwindled until Duff had the biggest share of the coal business.

(Also See 1937 Duff Coal Co Employee Clambake and Thomas Geary Water Front Pass Duff Coal Co 1918
Below see an ad from the 1892 New Bedford Directory Back Cover.David Duff 7 Son Coal Company Ad 1892 -
In 1928 to 1931 one the coal customers of David Duff & Son, were the owners of the last Whaling Ship that survives today, The Charles W. Morgan, for use aboard the ship. As late as 1962 The David Duff & Son had a coal yard and dilapidated building on Fish Island, New Bedford.

Below information from M.L. Baron:
This 1896 calendar (pictured below) is from The David Duff & Son Coal Co of New Bedford was quite elaborate for it's time.
The Duffs allegedly had a monopoly with the city's primary fuel supply..COAL. They were a wealthy and politically powerful family.
The main office was adjacent to the New Bedford-Fairhaven Bridge.
The proverbial "Saudi Arabia" of SouthCoast in the late 1800's and early 1900's.
Then some" rags to riches" guy (a former baggage handler for the local railroad) from Fairhaven, co-founded Standard Oil and helped put the kabosh to the Duff Empire, or at least knocked them down a few pegs.
Photo and immediately above notes from the MLBaron Historic Collection.

(click the picture for a larger image)

Duff Coal Company  - New Bedford 1896 Calendar Cover -