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George H. Gilbert Co. Records, 1842-1931

26 boxes, 126 vols. (36 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 096

In 1841, George H. Gilbert and Charles A. Stevens formed a partnership to manufacture broadcloth and cloaking in Ware, Massachusetts. Ten years later, the partnership dissolved and each partner carried a part of the business into separate establishments. The newly formed George H. Gilbert Company continued making high-grade woolen flannels, for which it developed a national reputation, until 1930.

Records, consisting of correspondence, financial records and cash books, construction contracts, sales lists, production records, and sample books, document the operation of Gilbert and Stevens and later the Gilbert Company for almost a century. The labor accounts (1851-1930), document the phases of the varying ethnic composition of the workforce — Irish, French-Canadian, and eventually Polish — well as the family orientation of the mills.

  • Textile industry--Massachusetts
  • Ware (Mass.)--History
  • George H. Gilbert and Co
Types of material
  • Account books

Granville Brothers Aircraft Company Collection, 1978-1980

2 items
Call no.: MS 911

Between 1929 and 1934, the Granville Brothers Aircraft Company manufactured their distinctive Gee Bee aircraft at the airport in Springfield, Mass., using a hangar converted from a former dance hall as their plant. Originally from New Hampshire, the five brothers drew upon their self-taught mechanical ingenuity in the years after the First World War to transform an automobile and aircraft repair business into aircraft design and production. The brothers flew their first craft in Boston in May 1929, a biplane they advertised as “the fastest and most maneuverable licensed airplane for its horsepower in the United States,” moving operations to Springfield later that year. Although only about two dozen Gee Bees were ever manufactured, the planes gained a wide reputation for their innovative aerodynamic designs, raw power, and extraordinary success on the air racing circuit. Gee Bees claimed speed records and numerous prizes, including the coveted Thompson Trophy in 1931 and 1932 won by pilots Lowell Bayles and Jimmy Doolitte, but the death of the eldest brother in a flying accident and the impact of the Great Depression caused the company to shutter in 1934.

Aviation historian Tom Nallen conducted a series of interviews with former employees of the Granville Airplane Co. beginning in the late 1970s, recording memories of the company and its workers, the Gee Bee planes, and their performance during the golden age of air racing.

  • Airplanes--Design and construction
  • Gee-Bee (Racing plane)
  • Granville, Robert
  • Nallen, Thomas E.
  • Roberts, Paul
Types of material
  • Audiocassettes
  • Oral histories
  • Sound recordings

Josiah Green and Co. Records, 1829-1905

2 boxes (2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 683

Josiah Green and Co. were pioneering manufacturers of mass produced pegged boots, one of the earliest and largest firms of its kind in Central Massachusetts. Founded by Josiah Green in the town of Leicester in 1812, the firm relocated to Spencer in 1816 or 1817 and erected its first factory there in 1834. In 1850, J. Green and Co. was the largest of six major shoe- and boot-manufacturers in town, though it lost market share thereafter. Green ran the company until control passed to his sons in 1867.

The records of Josiah Green and Co. document the growth and peak years of operation of one of the most important high-volume manufacturers of boots in central Massachusetts. Although the account books and ledgers extend back into the 1820s, the bulk of the correspondence dates from 1889-1894, when Josiah’s sons controlled the firm and while it was losing ground to its competitors. Although sporadic and incomplete, the correspondence offers a glimpse into the manner in which Green’s business was conducted during a period when the firm sold to a wide network of wholesalers and jobbers in the northeast and Midwest. Most of the correspondence concerns placement or fulfillment of orders and issues over prices and payment. The collection contains four press copybooks containing outgoing letters for the years 1889-1892 and 1904-1905.

  • Shoe industry--Massachusetts--Spencer
  • Spencer (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Green, Josiah
  • J. Green and Co
Types of material
  • Account books

Carl Halpern Papers, 1920-1986

2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 783
Carl Halpern Papers image
Carl Halpern and family

Born in 1902, Carl Halpern grew up in the Bronx where he attended elementary school. Upon leaving school, he took several jobs, including shoe salesman and accounting clerk, before he was hired as an errand boy in 1917 at the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Halpern stayed with the company for more than 40 years, retiring as an Executive Vice President.

The collection consists chiefly of materials relating to Halpern’s tenure at Electro-Chemical Engraving Company, including company reports and inter-company memos, advertisements for products, and other materials related to the business. Of singular importance is Halpern’s memoir, which intertwines his personal history with that of the company during the nearly five decades he was associated with the business.

  • Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
  • Electro-Chemical Engraving Company
  • Genealogy
  • Halpern, Carl
  • Halpern, Joel Martin
Types of material
  • Memoirs

Carl C. Harris Papers, 1898-1960

12 boxes (18 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 667
Carl C. Harris Papers image
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.

  • Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions
  • Orange (Mass.)--History
  • Toys
  • Harris, Carl C.
  • Riveto Company
  • Rodney Hunt Company
  • Slencil Company
  • Speed-Mo Company
Types of material
  • Realia

Lyman Higgins Account Book, 1851-1886

1 vol. (0.15 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 118

A resident of South Worthington, Massachusetts, Lyman Higgins appears in the Federal Census and in town histories as also pursuing a variety of other callings: mechanic, farmer, blacksmith, sawmill proprietor, and manufacturer. Higgins eventually devoted his work life to basket making, supplying textile mills and paper companies as far away as New York City with large batches of assorted baskets tailored to their needs.

Higgins’ account book includes records of jobs performed, payment (in goods and services as well as in cash), employees and their wages, and the local companies to which he sold his custom-made basket products.

  • Basket industry--Massachusetts--South Worthington--History--19th century
  • Basket making--Massachusetts--South Worthington--History--19th century
  • Harris Woollen Mill
  • Lawrence Duck Co.
  • Paper industry--Equipment and supplies--History--19th century
  • Sawmills--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • South Worthington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Stark Mills
  • Sugar River Paper Co.
  • Textile industry--Equipment and supplies--History--19th century
  • Wages--Basket industry--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--South Worthington--History--19th century
  • Higgins, Lyman
Types of material
  • Account books

Howe Family Papers, 1730-1955

7 boxes (4.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 019

Personal, business, and legal papers of the Howe family of Enfield and Dana, Massachusetts, including correspondence between family members, genealogies, account books and printed materials. Account books record transactions of various family members whose occupations included general storekeeper, minister, printer, postmaster, telephone exchange and gas-station owner, and document the transactions of community businesses and individuals, some of whom were women involved in the beginnings of the local palm leaf hat and mat industry.

  • Bookkeeping--History--Sources
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Biography
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Enfield (Mass.)--History
  • Enfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Howe family--Genealogy
  • Moneylenders--Massachusetts--Enfield--History
  • Quabbin Reservoir Region (Mass.)--History
  • Swift River Valley (Mass.)--History
  • Swift River Valley (Mass.)--Social life and customs
  • Howe, Donald W. (Donald Wiliam), 1982-1977
  • Howe, Edwin H., 1859-1943
  • Howe, Henry Clay Milton, b. 1823
  • Howe, John M.
  • Howe, John, 1783-1845
  • Howe, Theodocia Johnson, 1824-1898
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Business records
  • Deeds
  • Genealogies
  • Scrapbooks
  • Wills

W. W. Hunt Account Book, 1886-1888.

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 621 bd

The proprietor of a general store and postmaster in Wendell Depot, Mass., W. W. Hunt carried on a thriving business for a small Franklin County town during the 1880s and 1890s. Selling a range of dry goods, foodstuffs, and other goods, Hunt catered to residents in Wendell and neighboring communities up and down the Miller River.

An extensive ledger, marked No. 5, the W.W. Hunt account book contains records of sales of a surprising range of dry goods and foodstuffs, snaths and scythes, stamps and envelopes, and other goods useful to a rural community. Although most of Hunt’s customers were individuals seemingly purchasing for personal consumption, he also sold goods to the Farley and Goddard Wood Paper Companies, the Ladies Aid Society, and the town of Wendell, with some accounts marked “Town Farm.”

  • Merchants--Massachusetts--Wendell Depot
  • Wendell Depot (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Hunt, W. W.
Types of material
  • Account books

Samuel A. Locke Account Book, 1821-1829

1 vol. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 168

Businessman from West Cambridge, Massachusetts with additional dealings in Charlestown, Quincy, Waltham, and Tyngsboro.

The volume includes lists of personal and business purchases, services provided for his family, and business services such as whitewashing, carting coal, sawing wood, carrying letters, collecting debts, relaying a brick fireplace, and “work loading Sloop Rapid,” and barter and cash transactions. References made to Locke’s involvement with Universalism and members of the Tufts family of Cambridge and Middlesex County.

  • Arlington (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Barter--Massachusetts--History
  • Building materials industry--Massachusetts--Arlington
  • Building trades--Massachusetts--Arlington
  • Charlestown (Boston, Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Quincy (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Tufts family
  • Tyngsboro (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Universalism
  • Universalist churches--United States--History--19th century
  • Waltham (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Locke, Samuel A
Types of material
  • Account books

Mark H. McCormack Papers, ca. 1920-2008 (Bulk: 1957-2003)

ca. 2,500 boxes (3,800 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 700
Mark H. McCormack Papers image
Mark H. McCormack in front of leaderboard, ca. early 1960s

Once hailed by Sports Illustrated as “the most powerful man in sport,” Mark Hume McCormack directly engineered the growth of money and media in modern professional sport. After graduating from the College of William and Mary with a B.A. in French and receiving a law degree from Yale, McCormack joined the Cleveland-based law firm of Arter, Hadden, Wykoff, and Van Duzer in 1957. An accomplished golfer in college, McCormack remained close to the game, qualifying for both the British and U.S. amateur championships and the U.S. Open in the 1950s.  While working as a lawyer and entrepreneur, he leapt to prominence by striking a deal with a legendary handshake to represent Arnold Palmer in 1960. With that auspicious start, McCormack soon added golfers Gary Play and Jack Nicklaus to his roster of clients, followed by a long succession of notable international sports figures and celebrities from Formula-1 driver Jackie Stewart, Olympic skier Jean-Claude Killy, tennis stars Billy Jean King and Pete Sampras to Margaret Thatcher, Pope John Paul II and models Kate Moss and Gisele Bundchen.  McCormack quickly added corporations and sporting events such as Wimbledon, the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews, and Rolex as clients in sponsorship, licensing, event management, and media deals. These clients became the basis of IMG Worldwide, Inc., forming one of the largest management, media, and marketing companies in the world. The author of a dozen books on management and sport, McCormack became a famous figure himself as a business man, negotiator, and deal-maker before passing away in 2003.

With a growing collection of approximately 2,500 boxes of records that represent the personal life of Mark H. McCormack and the intertwined corporate records of IMG, the McCormack Papers provide an inside look at the last 50 years of the business of professional sport. The collection contains correspondence, memos, drafts, reports, contracts, research files, marketing materials, and memorabilia. The collection is arriving in stages and is currently being processed. Some materials are restricted.

  • Corporate sponsorship
  • Golf
  • Olympics
  • Palmer, Arnold, 1929-
  • Professional athletes
  • Special events -- Management
  • Sports -- Marketing
  • Television and sports
  • Tennis
  • Wimbledon Championships (Wimbledon, London, England)
  • All England Club
  • Borg, Björn, 1956-
  • IMG Worldwide, Inc.
  • Killy, Jean Claude
  • Laver, Rod
  • Nicklaus, Jack
  • Palmer, Arnold, 1929-
  • Player, Gary
  • Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St. Andrews
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