University of Massachusetts Amherst
Special Collections and University Archives
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Parker, Alfred A.

Alfred A. Parker Daybooks, 1877-1889
4 vols. (0.25 linear feet)
Call no.: MS 235

Stove and tinware dealer from Orange, Massachusetts, who also did business in the nearby towns of New Salem and Erving.

Alfred A. Parker’s account books include customers (local residents and Orange businesses such as the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co.), charges for labor (especially soldering), the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, roofing material, and information about shipping costs.

Biographical Note

Alfred A. Parker was born in 1822 in Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, the son of a millwright and businessman. After completing his education in Fitzwilliam, the family journeyed west where Parker worked as a clerk and operated several businesses before returning permanently to New England. In St. Louis in the 1850s, he established a dry-goods business that netted him a competency, but at the outbreak of the Civil War, he sent his family back to Massachusetts and joined the Missouri state militia, serving under the command of General Frank Blair. After the Civil War, he settled in Orange, Massachusetts, and ran a mercantile business with his brother-in-law, George Whipple, for three years. Sometime between 1869 and 1871, he sold his interest in the business and established a stove and tinware shop in the center of Orange. Parker, a staunch Republican and Congregationalist, had four children–two sons who died in their twenties in the 1880s, and two daughters who survived him. His wife, the former Frances Whipple of Athol, died in 1891.

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The four daybooks document the stove and tinware business in Orange and surrounding towns–New Salem, Erving–in the 1870s and 1880s. Parker’s customers, aside from local residents, included several Orange businesses, such as the Gold Medal Sewing Machine Co., the Orange Manufacturing Co., and the Rodney Hunt Machine Co. Parker also charged for labor, especially soldering, but it is not clear if he employed any workers in his business or did the work himself. Other types of information available in the daybooks include the cost of stoves, pipe, kettles of various sorts, and roofing material, as well as information about shipping costs.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Alfred A. Parker Daybooks (MS 235). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst

History of the Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Ken Fones-Wolf, 1989.

Additional Information

Encoding funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


  • Freight and freightage--Rates--Massachusetts--History--19th century
  • Gold Medal Sewing Machine Company
  • Kettles--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • New Salem (Mass.)--History
  • Orange (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Orange Manufacturing Company (Orange, Mass.)
  • Pipe--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Rodney Hunt Machine Company
  • Roofing--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Solder and soldering--Costs--History--19th century
  • Stove industry and trade--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Stoves--Prices--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Tinsmithing--Massachusetts--Orange--History--19th century
  • Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Orange--Economic conditions--19th century
  • Parker, Alfred A., b. 1822
Types of material
  • Account books
  • Daybooks

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