Beacon St. Photos


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Virginia Aiken and Babcock Electrics, circa 1912
Virginia Elsie Aiken is pictured in front of the Hotel Beaconsfield, 1731 Beacon St., (destroyed by fire in 1966) driving one of the demonstration cars for Babcock Electric, a firm that first employed her as a teenager. Born in 1895, she moved from Chicago to Brookline, around the age of 16, and attended the Runkle School.

She lived with her father's sister Viola and Viola's husband, Day Baker, first at 145 Winthrop Road then at 33 Dwight St. Her uncle was the New England representative for the General Vehicle Co. (Buffalo, NY) and head of the Electric Vehicle Club of Boston. Remarkably, while still at the Runkle School, Virginia assumed the position of New England representative of the Buffalo-based Babcock Electric Carriage Company, responsible for sales throughout the six-state region. Aiken operated out of the Brandon Garage at 643 Washington Street, where she maintained an office, employed a stenographer and a bookkeeper, and kept several models of Babcock Electrics to demonstrate to prospective buyers.

Extensive details are avalable at Muddy River Musings.