Fitchburg Railroad Company Account Book, 1884-1887.
1 vol. (0.15 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 181 bd
Incorporated in 1842 and running from Boston to Fitchburg, the Fitchburg Railroad Company built a railroad line across northern Massachusetts leading to and through the Hoosac Tunnel, and later into Vermont and New York. The railroad was leased to Boston and Maine in 1900, and the two companies merged in 1919.
- Railroad companies--United States--History--19th century
- Fitchburg Railroad Company
Great Barrington and Alford Turnpike Corporation Records, 1833-1846.
In June 1811, the Great Barrington and Alford Turnpike Corporation was incorporated with the aim of constructing a road at the northern end of the Fifteenth Massachusetts Turnpike, stretching from Great Barrington, Mass., through Alford and North Egremont before crossing the state line and ending in Hudson, New York. Under the direction of Josiah Milland and Jacob and John Van Deusen (who lived near the road), the corporation was apparently not exceptionally profitable. A leg of the turnpike through Great Barrington was made free in 1831, and in 1846, having failed in their petition to receive compensation for loss of privileges, the corporation transferred the road into public management.
Although only a slender 21 pages in length, this record book is nearly the only documentation of the finances for a small, but typical turnpike company in antebellum Massachusetts. The book includes somewhat sparse records of receipts from the toll booths and expenditures for maintenance, extending from 1833 until the corporation was dissolved in 1846. At the end of the book are wo pages of personal expenses associated with a trip to Ohio.
- Great Barrington (Mass.)--History
- Toll roads--Massachusetts
- Milland, Josiah
- Van Deusen, Jacob H.
- Van Deusen, John
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
Digital (+)Finding aid
Carl Halpern Papers, 1920-1986.
2 boxes (1 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 783
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
- Halpern, Carl
- Halpern, Joel Martin
Types of material
Hatfield Barite Mine Records, 1840-1843.
1 box (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 225
In November 1840, the prominent New York merchant firm, Josiah Macy and Son, requested Samuel Wells of Northampton to act as their agent in acquiring a lease to a tract of land in nearby Hatfield for the purpose of mining for barite. Wells involved Amherst College geology professor Edward Hitchcock in the survey for the appropriate mining site, and then during the next two years negotiated for the leases and the start up of the mining. With Hitchcock’s assistance, Wells located the mineral vein in Hatfield, about two miles west of the town village. His diagrams of the vein in his correspondence show that it crossed three property lines; those of Thomas Frary, John D. Morton, and the estate of Charles Smith.
- Hatfield (Mass.)--History
- Mines and mining--Massachusetts
Carl and Edith Entratter Henry Papers, ca.1935-2001.
ca.20 boxes (30 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 749
Born into an affluent Reform Jewish family in Cincinnati in 1913, Carl Henry Levy studied philosophy under Alfred North Whitehead at Harvard during the height of the Great Depression. A brilliant student during his time at Harvard, a member of Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude in the class of 1934, Henry emerged as a radical voice against social inequality and the rise of fascism, and for a brief time, he was a member of the Communist Party. Two days before the attack in Pearl Harbor in December 1941, Henry met Edith Entratter, the daughter of Polish immigrants from the Lower East Side of New York, and barely three weeks later, married her. Shortly thereafter, however, he dropped his last name and enlisted in the military, earning a coveted spot in officer’s candidate school. Although he excelled in school, Henry was singled out for his radical politics and not allowed to graduate, assigned instead to the 89th Infantry Division, where he saw action during the Battle of the Bulge and liberation of the Ohrdruf concentration camp, and was awarded a Bronze Star. After the war, the Henrys started Lucky Strike Shoes in Maysville, Ky., an enormously successful manufacturer of women’s footwear, and both he and Edith worked as executives until their retirement in 1960. Thereafter, the Henrys enjoyed European travel and Carl took part in international monetary policy conferences and wrote under the name “Cass Sander.” He served as a Board member of AIPAC, the American Institute for Economic Research, the Foundation for the Study of Cycles, among other organizations. His last 17 years of life were enlivened by a deepening engagement with and study of traditional Judaism and he continued to express a passion for and to inform others about world affairs and politics through a weekly column he started to write at age 85 for the Algemeiner Journal. Edith Henry died in Sept. 1984, with Carl following in August 2001.
The centerpiece of the Henry collection is an extraordinary series of letters written during the Second World War while Carl was serving in Europe with the 89th Infantry. Long, observant, and exceptionally well written, the letters offer a unique perspective on the life of a soldier rejected for a commission due to his political beliefs, with a surprisingly detailed record of his experiences overseas.
Types of material
- Letters (Correspondence)
Samuel Henry Accounts Books, 1813-1881.
2 boxes (0.75 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 013
Justice of the peace, merchant, landowner, and entrepreneur from Prescott and Shutesbury, Massachusetts. Nine volumes contain descriptions of his duties as justice of the peace, a book of deeds and mortgages from local real estate transactions, account books of sales in his general store and from his palm leaf hat business, and notes of accounts with individuals.
- General stores--Massachusetts--Shutesbury
- Panama hat industry--Massachusetts
- Prescott (Mass.)--History
- Shutesbury (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Shutesbury (Mass.)--History
Types of material
David W. Hill Diaries, 1864-1885.
2 boxes (0.5 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 496
A native of Swanzey, N.H., David W. Hill became a brass finisher in the years following his military service during the Civil War, working as a machinist for several concerns in Cambridgeport, Mass., New York City, NY, Newport, R.I., and Haydenville, Mass., through the mid-1880s.
The 13 pocket diaries in the Hill collection contain regular entries describing the weather, Hill’s work as a brass finisher, his travels, the state of his health, and miscellaneous mundane observations on his daily life.
- Brass industry and trade--Massachusetts
- Cambridge (Mass.)
- Haydenville (Mass.)
Types of material
Nathan Holden Daybook, 1852-1887.
1 vol. (0.25 linear feet).
Call no.: MS 349 bd
Farmer from New Salem, Massachusetts, whose secondary occupation was that of a shoe repairman. Daybook documents a component of small-scale, handwork shoe production in a local economy prior to the arrival of centralized, mechanized manufacturing; lists Holden’s shoemending skills and the method and form in which he was paid by customers, including cash, customers’ labor, and services or wares such as butchering pigs or cows, chopping or gathering wood, traveling by buggy to a different town, using a neighbor’s oxen, and a variety of food and tools.
- Barter--Massachusetts--New Salem--History--19th century
- Farmers--Massachusetts--New Salem--Economic conditions--19th century
- New Salem (Mass.)--History
- Shoemakers--Massachusetts--New Salem--Economic conditions--19th century
- Shoes--Repairing--Massachusetts--New Salem--History--19th century
- Wages-in-kind--Massachusetts--New Salem--History--19th century
Types of material
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.
- Enfield (Mass.)--Biography
- Enfield (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Enfield (Mass.)--History
- Enfield (Mass.)--Social life and customs
- Howe family--Genealogy
- 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