Sohmer & Co. Records, Series II: Financial Records, 1887-1962
Sohmer & Company
Ledgers (account books)
New York (N.Y.)
Primarily journals and ledgers. Because they are the most basic and inclusive accounting records of original entry, the journals covering 1915-1959, with the exceptions of 1931-1936 and 1951-1955, appear, first in chronological order. Typical journal entries for a month are petty cash, cash, piano expense, and insurance expense. The new piano inventory entry includes estimated and actual costs of piano models. By 1918 monetary values for the above entries are made under five categories: private ledger, retail ledger, wholesale ledger, notes receivable, and interest. General ledgers, the principal accounting record of final entry include the years 1901 to 1913, and 1960 to 1962. Early general ledger entries include advertising, bills receivable and payable, dealers' sale accounts, interest, insurance, loan purchase, postage and stable accounts, ferriage and fare, fuel, and pianos bought.
Until Hugo Sohmer's death in 1913, the general ledger was used strictly for business accounting. Around 1915 the company adopted a hybridized private ledger as the principal accounting record of final entry. This "private ledger" continued to include family business with the company until 1939. However, the name of the accounting tool remained "private ledger" until 1960 when it became simply "ledger." Typical ledger entries for 1960-1962 at the end of each month for a year fall under four basic categories: Assets, Liabilities, Costs, and Expenses, and Income. The private ledgers, including bound ledger sheets for 1895-1911, are arranged chronologically by volumes between 1901-1945, except 1945-1946. The only purely private ledger covers the years 1901 to 1914; it includes predominantly family member accounts with the company. Salaries for management and accounts in which quarterly issued checks are paid out (perhaps returns on investments) are typical. George Reichmann, retail department head, and Charles Fahr, financial and business manager of the firm, are names on account. Several censuses of manufacturers, dated between 1909 and 1914, were in the private ledger of 1901 to 1914; they have been transferred to series III, the inventory and appraisal records.