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Conor, V.

V. Conor Account Book
1887-1891
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 620 bd

Little is known about V. Conor, other than he traveled on unspecified business up and down the Connecticut River Valley during the last quarter of the nineteenth century.

From the sketchy details surrounding this book of personal accounts, it appears that the author, identified tentatively by a name written on the front fly leaf, was based in Hartford, Conn., and traveled throughout western New England, often to Greenfield and Millers Falls, Mass. Dated between August 1887 and May 1891, the accounts are surprisingly detailed, recording the record keeper’s fondness for doughnuts, seasonal fruits, and the Opera House and Allyn Hall, and they record the range of foods and incidentals, daily trips, subscription to the Hartford Journal, piano rental, and visits to the Knights of Pythias and Red Men (presumably the Independent Order of Red Men or similar organization).

Subjects
  • Finance, Personal--Connecticut
  • Hartford (Conn.)--Economic conditions--19th century
Contributors
  • Conor, V
Types of material
  • Account books

Cushing, David F., 1814-1899

David F. Cushing Records
1851-1862
2 vols. (0.2 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 248 bd

Born in Newfane, Vermont in 1814, David F. Cushing journeyed to West Medway, Massachusetts, at the age of sixteen to learn the tailor’s trade. There he met and married Polly Adams (b. 1821), who gave birth to their son, Winfield, in 1843, the first of at least nine children. Shortly after starting his family, Cushing returned home to Vermont, establishing a general store in the village of Cambridgeport, situated on the border of Grafton and Rockingham. He enjoyed considerable success in his work, rising from being listed as a “retail dealer” in the early years to a merchant; by 1860, Cushing owned real estate valued at $4,000 and personal property worth $7,000. A deacon of the Congregational church, his frequent appointment as a postmaster hints at a degree of political connection within the community to accompany his financial and personal success. He remained active in his store for 56 years until his death in 1899.

Cushing’s daybook (1860) includes lists of stock, how he acquired his goods, and the method and form of payment (cash or exchange of goods and services). The receipt book, comprised of printed forms, records freight hauling activities, with records of the freight (usually hay or oxen), weight, and date.

Subjects
  • Barter--Vermnont--Cambridgeport--19th century
  • Cambridgeport (Vt.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Freight and freightage--Rates--Vermont--19th century
  • General stores--Vermont--Cambridgeport
Contributors
  • Cushing, David F., 1814-1899
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Daybooks

George H. Gilbert & Company

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.

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

Granville Brothers Aircraft Company Inc.

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.

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

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Total Community Development Committee

Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce Total Community Development Committee Records
1968-1970
1 box (0.5 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 154

Formed by the Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce in 1968, the Total Community Development Committee was assigned the task of assessing the city’s needs and resources in an effort to guide the community in making and remaking its physical shape. Drawn from local business leaders, academics, and city planners, the Committee addressed issues relating to the city’s public assets including the state of the Hampshire County Courthouse, City Hall, schools, and housing, as well as economic and industrial development, recreation and youth, and urban renewal.

The collection consists of minutes and memos of the Total Development Committee, notes kept by Committee member Harvey J. Finison, and supporting material, including a copy of the 1963 master plan for the city and a series of maps. The Committee’s work contributed to a new comprehensive plan for the city by the firm Metcalf and Eddy (1972) and a survey of needs for proposed Hampshire County courthouse prepared by Reinhardt and Associates (1969).

Subjects
  • City planning--Massachusetts--Northampton
  • Northampton (Mass.)--Economic conditions--20th century
  • Urban renewal--Massachusetts--Northampton
Contributors
  • Finison, Harvey J., 1916-1987
  • Greater Northampton Chamber of Commerce. Total Community Development Committee
Types of material
  • Comprehensive plans (reports)
  • Maps

Green, Josiah

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.

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

Halpern, Carl

Carl Halpern Papers
1920-1986
2 boxes (1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 783
Image of Carl Halpern and family
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.

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

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

Higgins, Lyman

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.

Subjects
  • 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
Contributors
  • Higgins, Lyman
Types of material
  • Account books

Horace Pierce and Son

Horace Pierce & Son Ledger
1828-1857
1 vol. (0.1 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 234

Starting out as a blacksmith in Royalston, Mass., in 1828, Horace Pierce established a successful pail manufacturory. Taking his son Milo as a partner, he employed a work force of eight by 1870, selling over $6,000 of pail annually with capital of nearly $3,500. Horace Pierce died in Royalston in 1883 at the age of 78.

This ledger includes records of work performed as a blacksmith (shoeing horses, fixing irons, mending sleighs, shovels, or chains, sharpening tools), records of manufacturing pails, forms of payment received (cash, labor, agricultural produce, wood, shoes, coal, and old iron), lists of customers, accounts of employees (monthly wages, charges for boarding, and days lost to work), and accounts of supplies purchased.

Subjects
  • Blacksmiths--Massachusetts--Royalston
  • Pails--Massachusetts--Royalston
  • Royalston (Mass.)--History
Contributors
  • Pierce, Horace, 1805-1883
  • Pierce, Milo, b. 1829
Types of material
  • Ledgers
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