J.M. Van Dusen Ledgers, 1865-1910
Call no.: MS 188 bd
Tinsmith and plumber from Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Mentions items he repaired and cleaned (stoves, furnaces, pots, pans, tinware, glassware, and crockery), goods sold (lamps, wash basins, kitchen utensils, shovels, fuel, and furnaces), occasional mention of payment with goods, lists of suppliers, and lists of customers, many of whom were prominent people in the community.
J.M. Van Dusen established his tinsmith and plumbing
business in 1845. He provided plumbing for steam, hot water,
and furnace heating and sold stoves, tinware, glassware, and
crockery. Van Dusen repaired such items as well. Among the
goods sold were lamps, wash basins, various kitchen utensils,
a porcelain tub, chamber pails, a solar burner, shovels,
crockery, a fly killer, and oil, wood, and coal for stoves,
furnaces, and lamps. Stoves and furnaces were repaired and
cleaned as were smaller items such as pots and pans. While
records of payment are generally not included in these books,
an occasional mention of payment with rags, farm produce, or
draft is entered. Beginning in the 1890s, olds stoves, tin,
asbestos, etc. were received.
Van Dusen was supplied by several companies from the area
and across the country. C.S. Merrick of Brooklyn provided
much of the plumbers’ and tinsmiths’ supplies. Other chief
suppliers included Richardson and Boynton, Robbins, Ganwell
& Co., Berkshire Mill Supply Co., and Scranton Stove
Works. Significant payments were also made to C.C. Henry,
Loring Lane, and J.F. Schorer.
Several prominent people in the community were customers
of Van Dusen. Among them were legal reformers Henry Dwight
Sedgewick and Rev. David Dudley Field, Jr.; banker C.H.
Willis; County Commissioner J.B. Hull; C.E. Callender of
Hunter Paper Co.; W.B. Clarke; S.P. Lincoln; S.W. Sedgewick,
and Charles Hoffman. New Yorkers who owned homes in
Stockbridge include C.F. Southmayd and C.E. Butler. The name
of William Burghardt appears twice in 1866. Women of the
Massachusetts Indian Association of Stockbridge include Fanny
Brewer, Mrs. William Nettleton, Mrs. W.B. Clarke, Mrs.
Comstock, Mrs. Averill, Mrs. H.D. Sedgewick, Mrs. Lawrence,
Mrs. Byington, Mrs. Hoffman, Mary Lincoln, and Mrs. Alexander
In the mid-1920s, Edward C. Van Dusen became the manger of
his father’s estate. It is not known if the business operated
long after J.M. Van Dusen’s death.
The collection includes five cash books: volume 1,
1865-1866; volume 2, 1889; volume 3, 1894; volume 4, 1896-1897;
volume 5, 1894-1910, and a ledger book of suppliers.
The collection is open for research.
Cite as: J.M. Van Dusen Ledgers (MS 188). Special Collections and University Archives, W.E.B. Du Bois Library, University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Acquired from Charles Apfelbaum, 1987
Processed by Kimberley Foster.
- Business enterprises--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History--19th century
- Heating--Equipment and supplies--History
- House furnishings--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--History
- Plumbers--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Economic conditions--19th century
- Plumbing--Equipment and supplies--History
- Stockbridge (Mass.)--Economic conditions--19th century
- Tinsmiths--Massachusetts--Stockbridge--Economic conditions--19th century
- J.M. Van Dusen Plumbing and Heating Co.
- Van Dusen, J. M.
Types of material
- Account books