R. Murphy Company, Inc., as it is now known, was established in 1850 in Boston, MA, by John Murphy, listed in the 1851 Boston City Directory as cutler, at 17 Harvard Place. In 1854 his brother, Robert, joined him to form J & R Murphy, which made dental and surgical instruments. In 1862 the brothers moved to Mansfield, MA, where they bought at mortgage sale a two-story building for $6,300. The sale also included a little shop, a two-family house, and all current water privileges on the Rumford River.With this purchase they were able to expand their line, adding a great variety of fine cutlery, including oyster knives, shoe knives, paperhangers' knives, cigar knives, pruning shears, buttonhole cutters, tobacco shears, pinking irons, butter tryers, cheese tryers, can openers, cork screws, cigar box openers, and skates. They imported their steel from England and employed skilled craftsmen from there as well as from Germany, Europe's two leaders in producing quality cutlery, to work with the local craftsmen in their shop.