Adt, Howard Ellsworth


Howard Ellsworth Adt. identified with various corporations that figure prominently as assets in the business development of New Haven, has thus contributed in large measure to the progress and upbuilding of the city. He is a forceful and resourceful business man, ready to meet any emergency and at all times directing circumstances and shaping conditions to the benefit of not only his individual or company interests but to the welfare of the community. He is perhaps best known as the secretary, treasurer and general manager of the Geometric Tool Company. Massachusetts claims him as a native son, his birth having occurred in Haydenville, June 18, 1862, his parents being Ferdinand F. and Catherine (Karmann) Adt. The father was born in Germany and came to America with his father when late in his teens, crossing the Atlantic in 1844, at which time he became a resident of Torrington, Connecticut. His education was completed on this side the water and he became a papier-maché manufacturer, establishing an American plant at Torrington and later at Haydenville, where he afterward took up the business of manufacturing gold pens, becoming the pioneer in that field in the United States. He afterward removed to New York city and established business on Maiden Lane, where he began the manufacture of gold pens on a much larger scale. He originated the diamond point and placed upon the market a product of great value, and success attended the undertaking from the beginning. During the last twenty years of his life Mr. Adt lived retired and passed away in New Haven in 1913 at the age of eighty-five years. He possessed inventive ingenuity, was a thoroughgoing business man, and with a spirit of unfaltering determination he accomplished whatever he undertook. The papier-maché plant which he founded was the first established on this side of the water, although his ancestors for several generations had been active in the same line of business in Bavaria. His wife, who bore the maiden name of Catherine Karmann. was born in New Haven and was a daughter of Sebastian and Elizabeth (Winter) Karmann, who were of German and of French descent, the Winters being among the old French families established on American soil. Mrs. Adt passed away in Torrington, Connecticut, at the age of seventy-six years. By her marriage she had become the mother of three children, of whom two are living, while one son, Frank C., has passed away. The others are Evie W. and Howard E., the former a resident of Torrington.

Howard E. Adt was educated in the public schools of Torrington. It was said that his mother wished him to be a clergyman, while his father wanted him to be a musician and his own wish was to become a physician. At the age of fourteen he took up the study of medicine with the idea of specializing in surgery and at seventeen years of age he took the examinations for entering upon a medical course. However, his purpose was diverted through the influence of his uncle, John Adt, who persuaded him to enter the business field, and at the age of eighteen years Howard E. Adt was designing special wire working machinery. His ready adaptability soon made him proficient in that field and he continued as designer and superintendent of construction for fourteen years, after which he was made manager of the business. Five years later, or in 1899, he organized the Geometric Drill Company, now the Geometric Tool Company, of which he is the secretary, treasurer and general manager and, in fact, is the only active stockholder or director. He continues the directing head of this business, which is now a very important one. ranking with the leading productive industries of the city. This does not cover the scope of his interests and activities, however, for he is also the secretary and one of the directors of the New Haven Dairy Company. He is a director of the New England Machinery Company; a director of the Yale National Bank; a director of the New Haven Morris Plan Bank, and a member of the New Haven Jury Com-mission, all of which indicates something of the nature and breadth of his interests. Alert and energetic, he accomplishes what he undertakes, never stopping short of successful com-pletion, and the methods which he has pursued should serve as a stimulus to others.

Mr. Adt was married in Springfield, Massachusetts, to Miss Henrietta Billings, a native of Putnam, that state, tracing her ancestry back in a direct line to the Mayflower. Mr. and Mrs. Adt have become the parents of two children: Frank, who has passed away; and Ruth Marion.

In politics Mr. Adt has taken an active and helpful part as a supporter of the republican party. He is deeply interested in civic questions and heartily supports and promotes all plans which tend to advance the welfare of city, state and nation. He belongs to the industrial committee of New Haven, has been a member of the city council and of the Second Company of the Governor's Foot Guard. He belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, to the New Haven Young Men's Christian Association and to the Cavalry Baptist church. He also has membership with the New Haven Country Club and the Quinnipiac Club and when leisure permits he turns to the wilds for recreation, his friends bearing testimony to the fact that there are few ''better huntsmen, better fishermen or better story tellers." He recognizes the fact that if the even balance which nature demands is maintained one must play well and work well, or, in either words, that the upbuilding of one's business powers depends also upon one's ability to take needed rest and recreation with its consequent relaxation. One of the secrets of his success is his power to concentrate. The matter in hand receives his entire attention. This has ever been one of his distinguishing characteristics and one of the basic elements in his success.

Modern History of New Haven
Eastern New Haven County


Volume II

New York Chicago
The S. J. Clarke Publishing Company 

pgs 77 - 78

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pages / text are copyrighted by
Elaine Kidd O'Leary & 
Anne Taylor-Czaplewski
May 2002