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Harris, Carl C.

Carl C. Harris Papers

1898-1960
14 boxes 19 linear feet
Call no.: MS 667
Image of A slencil
A slencil

An inventor, entrepreneur, and corporate executive, Carl C. Harris was the third of four generations of his family to help manage the Rodney Hunt Company, a major manufacturer of waterwheels, turbines, and textile machinery based in Orange, Mass. While still in high school in 1898, Harris already displayed a sharp business and technical eye, establishing the first telephone company in Orange, and he began his career after graduation from Worcester Polytechnical Institute, working as a draftsman for GE and then as a superintendent at Rodney Hunt. After a brief stint at the Simplex Time Recorder Company in Gardner, Harris returned to Rodney Hunt for good in 1912. After acquiring a controlling interest in 1917, he remained with the company in several capacities through the Depression and Second World War, serving as general manager, vice president, and treasurer, and from 1938-1947, as president. Throughout his career, Harris remained active in developing or improving a variety of new products and processes, registering a total of 99 patents, and he regularly used his offices at Rodney Hunt to launch other, smaller enterprises, including the Slencil Company,which manufactured mechanical pencils; Riveto, which produced toys and a paper fastening device; and Speed-Mo, a manufacturer of a moistening pad system. Harris retired in 1956 and died four years later in Orange at the age of 79.

The Harris Papers are centered closely on the entrepreneurial activity of Carl C. Harris, and include a particularly thick set of business records for the Slencil Company (ca.1935-1960) and the Riveto Company (1930s-1940s), and the slender record book of the Home Telephone Company. In addition to these, the collection includes many dozen slencils, including prototypes, speciality models, presentation sets, store displays, and marketing designs; examples of Riveto toys, Simplex inventions, flotation devices, and other oddities invented by Harris, along with the associated patents.

Subjects

  • Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Orange (Mass.)--History
  • Toys

Contributors

  • Harris, Carl C.
  • Riveto Company
  • Rodney Hunt Company
  • Slencil Company
  • Speed-Mo Company

Types of material

  • Realia
Joseph D. Norton and Son

Joseph D. Norton and Son Account Book

1851-1881
1 vol. 0.25 linear feet
Call no.: MS 103 bd

Father and son wood turners, manufacturers of ladders, and general wood workers from the Loudville section of Westhampton, Massachusetts. Includes names of customers and businesses (bulk of the accounts are with local lumber and furniture dealers S.M. Smith Co., E.H. Lyman, Medad Pomeroy, and Charles Loud & Co.), items sold (such as bureaus, tables, and lumber), furniture that they repaired, and supply items which they acquired (such as varnish, stain, glass, tacks). Also contains documentation of employee payment, flour, tow, sugar, and coffee purchases, and employee lost work days.

Subjects

  • Charles Loud and Co
  • E. H. Lyman (Firm)
  • Furniture industry and trade--Massachusetts--Northampton--History--19th century
  • Furniture industry and trade--Massachusetts--Westhampton--History--19th century
  • Furniture--Repairing--Massachusetts--Loudville--History--19th century
  • Ladders
  • Loudville (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Lumber trade--Massachusetts--Northampton--History--19th century
  • Lumber trade--Massachusetts--Westhampton--History--19th century
  • Medad Pomeroy (Firm)
  • S.M. Smith Co.
  • Wages--Furniture workers--Massachusetts--Loudville--History--19th century
  • Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--Loudville--History--19th century
  • Woodworkers--Massachusetts--Loudville--Economic conditions--19th century

Contributors

  • Norton, Joseph D.
  • Norton, Leonard

Types of material

  • Account books
Kerslake, Fred

Fred and Mary Kerslake Scrapbooks

ca.1890-1923
4 vols. 1 linear feet
Call no.: PH 079
Image of Lil Kerslake and his pigs
Lil Kerslake and his pigs

Fred “Lil” Kerslake was proprietor of one of the premier performing animal acts of the turn of the twentieth century, featuring a porcine troupe that did “everything but talk.” From about 1891 through the 1930s, Kerslake’s Pigs rolled barrels and jumped ropes, climbed ladders, played see saw, and drew carriages to the delight of audiences across the United States and Europe. With his wife Mary and, after 1913, his son Fred by his side, Kerslake’s Pigs toured with Carl Hagenbeck, Walter L. Main, and Ringling Brothers. Fred and Mary retired to Gill, Mass., in 1930 where they ran a dog kennel. Fred Kerslake died at home in Sept. 1949, with Mary following in 1954.

Assembled by Fred and Mary Kerslakes, the four scrapbooks in this remarkable collection are packed with photographs and ephemera documenting their far flung travels between the 1890s and 1920s, along with promotional and candid shots of their beloved pigs, donkeys, and horses. Interspersed in the volumes are photographs of clowns and other circus performers, brochures, fliers, and posters advertising Kerslake’s Pigs and the circuses that employed them.

Gift of Chris Emery, July 2017

Subjects

  • Animal shows
  • Circus performers--Massachusetts
  • Circuses
  • Pigs

Contributors

  • Hagenbeck-Wallace Circus
  • Kerslake's Minstrels
  • Kerslake's Pig Circus
  • Kerslake, Mary Anne
  • Ringling Brothers
  • Walter L. Main Circus

Types of material

  • Photographs
  • Printed ephemera
  • Scrapbooks