Published: July 3, 2007
A 150-year-old Bible that is believed to have once belonged to Charles Goodyear, the Naugatuck inventor famous for developing vulcanized rubber, was stolen from the Naugatuck Historical Society over the weekend of June 16‱7.
The Bible, which had been on display at the historical society, is about 6 inches high and is covered with a removable leather wrapper that was clearly custom-made for it, according to Marcha Cave, who reported the theft to the Naugatuck police, who are investigating the case as a larceny.
The Bible was from William Goodyear’s mother and was dated March 30, 1853. It had been in an unlocked case in the main viewing area and was last seen on June 13. It was not known who may have taken the Bible, as several tours had been inside the building.
Goodyear descendants Victor and Nicholas Dewey of Kansas donated the 1853 Bible to the society in back in April of this year. They had discovered it in 2003 among their mother’s belongings being earmarked for auction.
Charles Goodyear’s wife, Clarissa Beecher, the daughter of Daniel Beecher, had owned the Bible, and the historical society believes that Charles Goodyear gave the Bible to his son, William Henry Goodyear, when Clarissa Beecher died.
Inside the cover of the Bible, an inscription reads, “William H. Goodyear. To him is intrusted (sic) this treasure. The Bible of his mother who died 30th March 1853.”
Although not covered in the police report, Cave said there were other items that turned up missing, including an Ansonia Clock Co. clock, circa 1890s, missing its pendulum and in a case made by Mr Stiller of Naugatuck. The clock measures 12‱4 inches tall, 8 inches wide by 4 inches deep and has a 3‴-inch-diameter dial. Also missing is a glass and wooden salesman sample case measuring 10 by 14 by 2½ inches; inside were six to ten bejeweled lipstick cases.
Anyone having any information about these items is asked to contact the Naugatuck Police Department at 203-729-5222.
Editor’s Note: The Bible was recovered by Waterbury, Conn., police in November 2007. See related story at antiquesandthearts.com/Antiques/TradeTalk/2007-11-13__14-13-23.html
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