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Ponakin Mill Ledger

1910-1916
1 vol. (0.1 linear foot)
Call no.: MS 1073 bd

A textile manufacturer, Ponakin (or Ponikin) Mill was established on the north branch of the Nashua River, half a mile from North Lancaster, in 1861, near the site of an earlier cotton mill. By the end of the Civil War, it boasted 40 employees who produced 500,000 yards of brown sheeting, but by the time it was incorporated in 1888, specializing in the production of cotton yarn, manufacturing in Lancaster was already on the decline. The company survived at least into the 1920s.

This survival from a central Massachusetts textile manufacturer contains miscellaneous business records copied into a letterpress (or wet press) copy book, in which a combination of moisture and pressure was used to transfer ink from the original onto a sheet of tissue paper. This records cover a wide terrain, including inventories of stock on hand, accounts payable, insurance and IRS tax information, payroll data (without names), shipping lists and lists of customers, and a few copies of business letters.

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Background on Ponakin Mills

A textile manufacturer, Ponakin (or Ponikin) Mill was established on the north branch of the Nashua River, half a mile from North Lancaster, in 1861, near the site of an earlier cotton mill. By the end of the Civil War, it boasted 40 employees who produced 500,000 yards of brown sheeting, but by the time it was incorporated in 1888, specializing in the production of cotton yarn, manufacturing in Lancaster was already on the decline. In 1901, the Massachusetts Bureau of Statistics of Labor reported that the mill had set up new spinning machines and had "been running night and day for two years, employing 35 hands" and the company was still listed in the Official American Textile Directory as late as 1922. The date of its closure is uncertain.

Scope of collection

This survival from a central Massachusetts textile manufacturer contains miscellaneous business records copied into a letterpress (or wet press) copy book, in which a combination of moisture and pressure was used to transfer ink from the original onto a sheet of tissue paper. This records cover a wide terrain, including inventories of stock on hand, accounts payable, insurance and IRS tax information, payroll data (without names), shipping lists and lists of customers, and a few copies of business letters.

Administrative information

Access

The collection is open for research.

Provenance

Apparently acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by I. Eliot Wentworth, April 2019.

Language:

English

Copyright and Use (More information )

Cite as: Ponakin Mill Ledger (MS 1073 bd). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms

Subjects

  • Lancaster (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Textile manufacturers--Massachusetts--Lancaster

Genres and formats

  • Letterpress copybooks

Link to similar SCUA collections