Benjamin Huntsman wanted to make better watch springs. He went to great lengths to do it, supposedly burying his failed experiments so no one else would find them.
Most of the historical washers or collars were made of multiple parts of very thin metal stock. Each layer was punched out of a sheet of rolled metal (brass, bronze, nickel, silver, copper, sometimes even gold).
Jared and his father Reuben were both staunch members of the Ashfield Temperance society. This, likely, put them in direct opposition to Jasper Bement, one of the wealthiest men in Ashfield and owner of the tavern. My main candidate and first cousin to Jared.
The canonical story is that William & Samuel Butcher were brothers apprenticed to their father in Sheffield, when he died in 1806 they were apprenticed to another cutler. After they were freed they set up their own business and hired Robert Wade, a New York businessman, to handle their trade with America.