Draper & Maynard Chairman and PSU Celebrate Shared Heritage

October, 2007
draper and maynard

Draper & Maynard Company Chairman Takashi Hatano

For many at PSU, the Draper & Maynard Building on Main Street is simply another campus building. But in 1911, long before the building was home to the Karl Drerup Art Gallery, the art department, and the Department of Health and Human Performance (HHP), it was home to Draper & Maynard (D&M) Manufacturing, a premier sporting goods manufacturer and a pioneer in creating the baseball glove.

The building’s past and present converged on June 4 when President Sara Jayne Steen, Provost Julie Bernier, and HHP faculty and staff welcomed Takashi Hatano, chairman of the Tokyo-based Draper & Maynard Co., Ltd., and his two sons. The Hatanos traveled from Tokyo to PSU to pay tribute to the Plymouth area’s role in their family business.

In the early 20th century, D&M’s sporting goods business was thriving—so much so that in 1902, Japanese businessman (and Takashi Hatano’s great-uncle) Uhea Suzuki purchased the rights to sell sporting goods in Japan under the D&M brand. While the 1910s and 1920s were prosperous for D&M in the States, thanks largely to endorsements by Babe Ruth and the Boston Red Sox, the Plymouth-based business fell on hard times in the 1930s and, following the deaths of its founding partners, closed its doors in 1937. Shortly afterward, a Cincinnati firm purchased the rights to sell under the D&M name.

In Japan, however, D&M continued to prosper, and just before the company celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2002, Chairman Hatano came to the U.S. in search of D&M’s history. It was a search that began in Cincinnati and ultimately led to Plymouth, NH.

While the June 4 visit was Chairman Hatano’s third to the Plymouth area, it provided him the opportunity to meet President Steen and to introduce his sons Hiroshi, D&M’s president, and Kiyoshi, vice president, to their company’s Plymouth roots.

The Hatano family particularly enjoyed the display of old D&M photographs, ads, documents, and sporting goods, including golf clubs, tennis rackets, sports uniforms, and baseball gloves. It is an impressive collection of memorabilia that Provost Bernier, HHP faculty member Louise McCormack, and others have collected over the years and that continues to grow. Much of the collection has stayed in the family as Martha Maynard Jacques—John Maynard’s great-granddaughter—has contributed a large number of the memorabilia.

Although thousands of miles separate Draper & Maynard Co., Ltd. from its Plymouth roots, “We have a connection through our shared heritage,” President Steen noted at the reception, which was also attended by J.F. Maynard’s great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. Added the president, “We are a family in a fundamental sense.”

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