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Ask Us with Cat Pragoff: Where in the world (or NH) is Pike?

August 15. 2012 12:29AM

I have acquired a large hand-crank bench grinder (No. 9 Peerless Senior) made by Pike Manufacturing Co., Pike, N.H. I cannot find the city of Pike anywhere. Has the city changed names or what? If you have any information on the city or company, I am interested. One of my hobbies is restoring these old grinders made by various manufacturers from all over the U.S. (from Ernie by email)

Dear Ernie: You may be having trouble finding Pike, N.H., because it's a village located within the town limits of Haverhill, along with Woodsville and North Haverhill. The village at the town center is called Haverhill Corner. Originally known as Lower Cohos, Haverhill was settled in the 1760s by former residents of Haverhill, Mass., and incorporated in 1763 by Colonial Gov. Benning Wentworth. By 1773, Haverhill - 35 miles north of Plymouth - had become the county seat of Grafton County.

In 1823 Isaac Pike settled in the eastern area of Haverhill and began selling scythe-sharpening stones that he quarried from nearby natural deposits. When Isaac died in 1860, his son Alonzo was running Pike Manufacturing, already a prosperous and well-established business, while second son Edwin, the head salesman, has been credited with building the company into the world's largest manufacturer of natural grit whetstones. At that time, the company sold more than 1,100 different sharpening products, suitable for every grinding purpose.

After Alonzo died in 1889, Edwin became the company's general manager and continued to grow the building by buying several stone companies from New York to Ohio and building a new mill on Oliverian Brook in Pike. In 1902, Pike Manufacturing combined its smaller mills and moved to Littleton. Edwin's son continued the family tradition by expanding the company several times. But in 1932, when a contract for abrasives with Norton Co. expired, Norton bought 100 percent of Pike Manufacturing, rolling out a new subsidiary known as Norton Pike Co.; sales were handled by a sister subsidiary, Behr-Manning Corp.

In 1990, Norton was acquired by Saint-Gobain, a French manufacturer of engineered materials that has maintained the production facilities in Littleton.

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I like having a clean kitchen and bathroom but find that all the antibacterial products are very expensive. Do you have any suggestions for keeping a germ-free home without spending a lot of money? (from Gina, Dover)

Dear Gina: Here's a quick tip that should help your budget. In a spray bottle, mix 1 quart cool water with 1 teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach. This is perfect for cleaning and disinfecting hard surfaces in your kitchen or bath. Just be sure to test this mixture in an inconspicuous place on any colored surfaces. You should make only small batches to use right away because bleach loses its antibacterial properties as it evaporates.

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When we were kids, our mother made what she called hummingbird cake with cream cheese frosting for special occasions. We haven't been able to find a recipe anywhere. Can you help? (from Jessie and Dale, Hooksett)

Dear Jessie and Dale: Choo-Choo the Recipe Genie hunted high and low to find this classic for you. Enjoy! HUMMINGBIRD CAKE 3 cups all-purpose flour 2 cups white sugar 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. ground cinnamon 1 tsp. baking soda 1-1/4 cup vegetable oil 3 eggs, beaten 1 8-ounce can pineapple, crushed, with juice 1-1/2 tsp. vanilla extract 3/4 cup chopped pecans 1/4 cup chopped black walnuts 2/3 cup mashed banana

-- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

-- Grease and flour three 9-inch round cake pans (a Bundt pan can be used, if preferred)

-- Combine the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and baking soda in a large bowl.

-- Add the oil and eggs, stirring by hand until mixture is moistened.

-- Add the vanilla, pineapple, nuts and banana, stirring well.

-- Spoon batter into the prepared pans.

-- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool for 10 minutes, then turn onto racks to finish cooling before frosting.


1 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened 1 cup powdered sugar 1/8 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla extract 1-1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

-- Using a small bowl, beat whipping cream until you form very stiff peaks. Set aside.

-- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla.

-- Beat until smooth, then fold in whipped cream.

-- Chill slightly before using to frost cooled cake.

Send questions of general interest to Ask Us, attention Cat Pragoff, New Hampshire Union Leader, P.O. Box 9555, Manchester 03108-9555, or by email at Ask Us is not able send personal replies.


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