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S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company/Brooks Typewriter Company Records

Donor:
Fitzgerald, Thomas E.  Search this
Author:
Brooks, Byron A.  Search this
S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Co.  Search this
Peyton, Joseph I.  Search this
Williams Typewriter Company  Search this
Brooks Typewriter Company  Search this
Names:
Union Typewriter Company  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Business records
Correspondence
Credit records
Balance sheets
Legal documents
Date:
1890-1897
Summary:
This collection documents a patent dispute between the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company and the Williams Typewriter Company.
Scope and Contents:
This collection concerns a patent dispute between the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company and the Williams Typewriter Company. The dispute centered on the manufacture and sale by the White company of typewriters on behalf of the Brooks Typewriter Company. These were a typewriting machine developed and patented by Byron A. Brooks in 1891. The Williams company produced a very similar machine which Brooks claimed was infringing on his patents. The records in this collection document Brooks' and the White company's efforts to prove Brooks' claims.

The bulk of the collection consists of correspondence received or sent by the S. S. White Company. Most of these letters are from either Byron A. Brooks or Joseph I. Peyton, a Washington, D.C., patent attorney. A group of summary notes and memoranda about the correspondence (filed separately) provides insight into the nature and progress of the case. The collection includes a number of legal agreements between the various parties, as well as a copy of the 1890 Incorporation Certificate of the Union Writing Machine Company and the original Incorporation Certificate of the Brooks Typewriter Company. Also of interest are a number of credit reports prepared by R. G. Dun & Company of New York in 1893 1896; these report on the background and assets of the Union Writing Machine Company and the Elliott & Hatch Book Typewriter Company. Also included in the collection are balance sheets for production of the Brooks Typewriter, 1894 1896.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into
Biographical / Historical:
The S. S. White Company was a dental supply house founded in Philadelphia in 1844 by dentist Samuel Stockton White. Initially, White manufactured porcelain teeth only for his own use. He eventually gave up his dental practice in favor of full time production of dental instruments, supplies, and teeth. His porcelain teeth won awards at both the 1851 Crystal Palace Exposition in London and the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia. In 1881 the firm was incorporated as the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company. Soon afterwards, extensive manufacturing facilities were acquired on Staten Island, New York. The firm's main offices were located in Philadelphia and two additional factory buildings were located in that city's Frankford section. In addition to producing dental supplies, such as teeth, amalgams for fillings, and precision instruments, the firm manufactured dental machinery such as vulcanizers and sterilizers. It also interested itself in and produced other types of machinery, such as typewriters. In 1970 the company was merged into the Penn Walt Company.
Related Materials:
Mr. Fitzgerald deposited photostatic copies of some of the records in this collection in the Dietz collection at the Milwaukee Public Museum. The bulk of surviving records from the S. S. White Dental Manufacturing Company are located at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, where they form accession #1320 in the Manuscripts and Archives Department.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Thomas E. Fitzgerald, December 19, 1989.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Patents -- 1890-1900  Search this
Typewriters -- 1890-1900  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 19th century
Credit records -- 1890-1900
Balance sheets -- 1890-1900
Legal documents -- 1890-1900
Citation:
S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company/Brooks Typewriter Company Records, 1890-1897, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0365
See more items in:
S.S. White Dental Manufacturing Company/Brooks Typewriter Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0365

Sidewall

Medium:
Machine-printed, mica, liquid
Type:
Wallcoverings
Sidewall
Place:
USA
Date:
1890–1900
Credit Line:
Gift of Robina Clark
Accession Number:
1939-33-27
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Wallcoverings Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1939-33-27

Merry-Go-Round Model

Artist:
Unidentified (American)  Search this
Medium:
metal, muslin hide, on pine base
Dimensions:
18 x 18 1/2 in. (45.7 x 47 cm)
Type:
Decorative Arts
Folk Art
Date:
ca. 1890-1900
Topic:
Animal\horse  Search this
Study\sculpture model  Search this
Animal\cattle  Search this
Architecture\commercial\recreation  Search this
Credit Line:
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of Mrs. Edith Gregor Halpert
Object number:
1966.91
See more items in:
Smithsonian American Art Museum Collection
Department:
Decorative Arts
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:saam_1966.91

Elmer Gates Papers

Creator:
Gates, Elmer, 1859-1923  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Writings
Photographs
Patents
Personal papers
Correspondence
Articles
Diaries
Date:
1894-1988
bulk 1894-1910
Summary:
Papers document the life of Elmer Gates (1859-1923), an independent American inventor and psychologist. Gates developed ideas related to experimental psychology and inventions in fields such as metallurgy, electricity, microscopy, X-rays, and pedagogy. Papers include correspondence, photographs, patents, articles and clippings, writings, and estate documents.
Scope and Contents:
The Elmer Gates Papers contain documents about Gates's scientific pursuits and his personal life. Included are six series: Personal Papers (1879, 1922, 1981-1988), Correspondence (1894-1924, 1970s), Photographs (1890s-1910), Patents (1896-1928), Articles and Clippings (1894-1910, 1923, undated), and Writings, 1893-1916, 1971, undated. The majority of papers date from Elmer Gates's most active period, 1894-1910. The papers are arranged into six series.
Arrangement:
This collection is divided into six series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1879, 1922, 1981-1988

Series 2, Correspondence, 1894-1924, 1970s

Series 3, Photographs, 1890s-1910

Series 4, Patents, 1896-1928

Subseries 1, United States Patents (issued), 1896-1928

Subseries 2, United States Patent Applications, 1896

Subseries 3, British Patent, 1901

Series 5, Articles and Clippings, 1894-1910, 1923, undated

Series 6, Writings, 1893-1916, 1971, undated

Subseries 1, Articles by Elmer Gates, 1895-1906, undated

Subseries 2, Notes, 1911

Subseries 3, Diary, 1911

Subseries 4, The Concept of Omnicosm (notes), 1893

Subseries 5, "Originality and Invention Applied to Livelihood and Business," 1981

Subseries 6, Periodicals, 1896, 1903

Subseries 7, Books, 1905-1916, 1971, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Elmer Gates (1859-1923) was an experimental psychologist and inventor active at the turn of the twentieth century. Having worked independently from a personal laboratory, Gates remains a largely obscure figure in the history of science. In his day, however, Gates was known for his original ideas linked to experimental psychology, as well as his numerous and eclectic inventions for which he received more than forty patents. A sampling of Gates's inventions and innovations include a foam fire-extinguisher, an improved electric iron, methods for magnetic separation, and educational toys. In the field of psychology, Gates promoted a concept that he termed psychurgy, or the "art of more efficiently using the mind."1

Elmer Gates was born near Dayton, Ohio, in 1859, to Jacob and Phebe Gates. At an early age, Elmer displayed a marked curiosity for the sciences. While in school, he was also taught by private tutors and his parents (his father was a teacher). By the late 1870s, Elmer had begun to develop ideas about experimental psychology. He believed that scientific experiments should be applied to the processes of the mind. The purpose of "psychurgy" would be to use the mind more effectively and efficiently. By training the mind through intense introspection and concentration and by attempting to observe corresponding physiological phenomena in the brain, Gates sought to demonstrate that the mind is in effect the body, and vice-versa. The ultimate aim—philosophical and moral—was to harness the mind's potential in order to advance new ideas and to improve emotional well-being and personal character.

1 Gates, Elmer. "Can Will Power Be Trained?" Success (March 1900): 93.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Mary P. Gardner and C. Lee Humphries in 2008.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Psychology  Search this
Psychologists  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Writings
Photographs -- 1900-1910
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Patents
Personal papers -- 20th century
Personal papers -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 19th-20th century
Articles
Diaries -- 20th century
Citation:
Elmer Gates Papers, 1894-1988 (bulk 1894-1910), Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1123
See more items in:
Elmer Gates Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1123
Additional Online Media:

Charles Richardson Pratt Papers

Collector:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Pratt, Charles Richardson, 1860-1935  Search this
Names:
Sprague, Frank J.  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (13 boxes, 8 oversize folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Diaries
Drawings
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Notebooks
Letterpress books
Patents
Place:
Montclair (N.J.)
Date:
1860-1935
bulk 1910-1924
Summary:
The papers document the professional career of mechanical engineer, Charles Richardson Pratt. The papers include correspondence, patents, patent application materials, agreements, photographs, publications, and blueprints for many of Pratt's inventions, especially his work on elevators.
Scope and Contents:
These papers contain personal materials of Charles R. Pratt; letterpress copybooks; engineering notebooks; diaries; material relating to the development of the heavy-duty, high-rise electric elevator; material concerning elevator cable equalizers and safety devices, Morton-Jacobsen and other lathe chucks, lathe drives and the Pratt Driver, the hydraulic transmission of power in trucks, and ship steering gear; and studies reports, drawings, photographs, catalogs, and trade literature concerning mechanical engineering.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1: Personal Materials, 1875-1935

Series 2: Diaries, 1894, 1928-1931

Series 3: Correspondence, 1872-1920

Series 4: Notebooks, 1880, 1889, 1900

Series 5: Inventions, 1860-1927

Series 6: Photographs, 1890-1902

Series 7: Publications, 1895-1929

Series 8: Drawings, 1878-1929
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Richardson Pratt (1860-1935), was born in Massachusetts to John C. and Mary Anne Richardson. He graduated from the Hopkins School of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1879. Pratt worked at Whittier Machine Company of Boston (1882-1890) where he designed and built the first electric elevator in 1888. The elevator was installed in the Tremont House, Boston. Pratt also worked as an agent and later as a consulting engineer for the Otis Elevator Company, the inventors of the hydraulic elevator.

Pratt was best known for his development of the first electrically powered elevator. In 1892, inventor Frank Sprague (1857-1934) founded the Sprague Electric Elevator Company, and with Charles R. Pratt developed the Sprague-Pratt Electric Elevator. They demonstrated that electrically powered elevators were capable of competing with hydraulic elevators. Pratt held several engineering positions and worked for the Marine Engine Company of Newark, New Jersey (1902-1905) developing elevator systems; consulting engineer to the Universal Speed Control Company of New York City (1906-1919); consultant to the American Engineering Company of Philadelphia (1912); mechanical superintendent at the Crocker Wheel Company of Ampere, New Jersey (1919); engineer for the E. Horton and Sons Company of Connecticut (1920-1923); the General Tractors Corporation (1924-1927); and was associated with the Watson Elevator Company of New York City (1928-1930). Pratt patented many of his ideas, earning over thirty-five patents related mostly to elevators,

Pratt was a member of the Masons, the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the MIT Club of New Jersey, and the Motor Club of London. He married Mary Byron Ladd and they had two children, Gertrude Ladd Pratt and Donald Richardson Pratt.
Provenance:
This collection was purchased from Charles R. Pratt's daughter, Gertrude Pratt Vance, in 1973.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Mechanical engineering and engineers  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Elevators  Search this
Machine-tools  Search this
Patents -- 1890-1900  Search this
Power transmission  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Drawings
Trade catalogs
Photographs -- 19th century
Notebooks
Letterpress books
Patents -- 1870-1880
Citation:
Charles Richardson Pratt Papers, 1860-1935, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0958
See more items in:
Charles Richardson Pratt Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0958
Additional Online Media:

Albert Graeser Paperweight

Maker:
Graeser, Albert A.  Search this
Physical Description:
glass, transparent (overall material)
enamel painted (joint piece production method/technique)
Measurements:
overall: 2 1/4 in x 3 5/8 in; 5.715 cm x 9.2075 cm
Object Name:
paperweight
Place made:
United States: Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh
Date made:
1890-1900
Credit Line:
Aaron and Lillie Straus
ID Number:
CE.60.133
Catalog number:
60.133
Accession number:
211475
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Ceramics and Glass
Domestic Furnishings
Art
Paperweights
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_587393
Additional Online Media:

James Forgie Papers

Creator:
Forgie, James  Search this
Names:
Pennsylvania Railroad.  Search this
Extent:
38.8 Cubic feet (85 boxes; 33 map-folders; 18 volumes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Patents
Clippings
Business records
Correspondence
Contracts
Reports
Blueprints
Drawings
Legal documents
Place:
Hudson River
New York (N.Y.) -- Transportation
Date:
1890 - 1949
bulk 1900-1935
Scope and Contents:
The papers contain correspondence, reports, drawings, blueprints, cost estimates, contracts, specifications, regulations, legal documents, photographs, profiles, diagrams, clippings, and publications concerning projects which Forgie worked on, especially the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, the Midtown Hudson Tunnels in New York City. Also included are publications and patents on subaqueous tunneling, subway stations, and bridges, and material on the Forgie submarine.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: Professional Papers, 1892-1945

Series 2: Projects, 1914-1957

Series 3: Publications, 1856-1952

Series 4: Drawings, 1888-1951
Biographical / Historical:
James Forgie (1868-1958) was born in Longside, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Forgie graduated from Gordon's Technical College, Aberdeen, Scotland (1881-1885) and apprenticed in the office of civil engineer George Gordon Jenkins from 1885-1889. Forgie came to the United States in 1902 to work as a chief assistant engineer to the Pennsylvania Railroad on tunnels in New York City. He joined the private engineering practice with partners Charles M. Jacobs and J.Vipond Davies of Jacobs and Davies, Inc. from 1909-1923. Forgie was awarded the Tedlford Gold Medal from the Institute of Civil Engineering (British) in 1915 in recognition of his paper "The Laxaxalpam Aqueduct Tunnels in Mexico." He authored numerous articles about tunneling and consulted as a an expert witness and arbitrator in many legal cases involving tunneling. Forgie was a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, Institute of Civil Engineers of Canada, and New York Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Forgie married Martha Maitland Thom (1868-1936) in 1895. They had four children: Martha (b. 1900), Wilhelmina (b. 1902), James (b. 1904), and Christina (b. 1906). Forgie later married Anne McDougall (b. 1872) in 1937.
Related Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
The Foundation Company Records (AC0974)

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Tunnels (AC0060)

Herbert S. Grassman Papers (AC0955)

Penn Station, New York Photographs (AC1048)

Lawrence Talma Smith Papers (AC0988)

Silas H. Woodward Papers (AC1038)

Alfred Maevis Collection (AC0954)

William R. Hutton Papers (AC0987)

Montgomery C. Meigs Papers (AC0984)

Henry Grattan Tyrrell and Mary Maude Knox Tyrrell Papers (AC0948)

Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Records Collection (AC0969)

Chicago Surface Lines Drawings (AC0212)

Grand Central Terminal Collection (AC1071)

Modjeski and Masters Company Records (AC0976)

Thomas Norrell Railroad Photographs Collection (AC1174)
Separated Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry holds a model of a Ram for driving tunnel shields (1933). It was used in driving the Union Tunnel for the Pennsylvania Railroad, 1933-1934 by James Forgie. See accession #MC.329243.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Mrs. James Forgie.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Tunnels  Search this
Subways -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Bridges -- 1890-1940  Search this
Civil engineering -- 1890-1940 -- U.S.  Search this
Civil engineers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Patents
Clippings -- 1890-1960
Business records
Correspondence
Contracts -- 1890-1940
Reports
Blueprints -- 20th century
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Drawings
Legal documents
Citation:
Archives Center, James Forgie Papers, 1890-1949, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0986
See more items in:
James Forgie Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0986
Additional Online Media:

Barden Family Papers

Creator:
Barden, Henry, 1806-1871  Search this
Barden, William Wallace, 1843-1932  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (8 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Business records
Correspondence
Family papers
Photographs
Date:
1842-1934
Summary:
Business correspondence of homeopathic physicians Henry Barden and his son, William Wallace Barden, of Penn Yan, New York and Barden Family correspondence.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection consists of business correspondence of homeopathic physicians Henry Barden and his son, William Wallace Barden, of Penn Yan, New York. The collection also contains personal corespondence to and from extended family members in New York State and the Midwest, specifically Michigan. The business correspondence contains orders for products, requests for medical advice, and testimonials from satisfied customers. Many of the order envelopes are annotated by Barden. Materials are both handwritten and typescript.
Arrangement:
A rough arrangement was imposed by Sarah Markham prior to auction by R.M. Smythe Company, Inc., circa 2000. The collection is divided into two series. The contents of Series 1: Family Correspondence are arranged alphabetically by surname of the individual to whom the correspondence was addressed. Series 2: Business Correspndence is arranged chronologically. The original arrangement was retained. The letters were removed from their associated envelopes and flattened, but remain together.

Series 1: Family Correspondence, 1842-1934

Series 2: Business Correspondence, 1856-1892
Biographical/Historical note:
Henry Barden (1806-1871) graduated from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York City, in 1833, and began practice in Benton, New York, locating finally in Penn Yan about 1840. Henry Barden married Caroline Purdy and they had two children, Helen J. (nee Barden) Van Wyck (1840-1915) and William Wallace Barden.

William Wallace Barden (1843-1932) was born in Penn Yan, New York. He graduated from Philadelphia University Homeopathic Medical College and Schools of Pharmacy, Dentistry and Chemistry in 1869.
Provenance:
Collection purchased at auction from R.M. Smythe Company, New York, New York.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Patent medicines  Search this
Homeopathy  Search this
Alternative medicine  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Family papers
Business records -- 19th century
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Citation:
Barden Family Papers, 1820s-1930s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0824
See more items in:
Barden Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0824

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Office Equipment

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969  Search this
Names:
IBM (International Business Machines)  Search this
Xerox Corporation  Search this
Extent:
3.21 Cubic feet (consisting of 7 boxes, 3 oversize folders.)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertising
Advertisements
Catalogues
Advertising fliers
Advertising mail
Sales letters
Print advertising
Invoices
Ephemera
Commercial catalogs
Printed materials
Printed ephemera
Publications
Sales catalogs
Photographs
Business records
Advertising cards
Sales records
Mail order catalogs
Business letters
Printed material
Reports
Commercial correspondence
Correspondence
Trade cards
Business ephemera
Catalogs
Business cards
Trade literature
Letterheads
Trade catalogs
Receipts
Periodicals
Manufacturers' catalogs
Illustrations
Date:
1833-1975
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Office Equipment forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes devices and systems such as typewriters, calculation machines, mimeographs and copiers, punches and canceling machines, coin counters, telephonics, addressing and indexing systems, recording and message transmission, stamping, perforating, records storage and files, and also some consumable products like fasteners, ledgers, erasures. A few product samples are present.

Some product information contains suggestions and information on good business business practices or increasing efficiency and accuracy in the office or workplace environment.

A small amount of material related to furnishings, such as desks, bookcases, lockers, and trade show displays is present.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three subseries.

Business Records and Marketing Materials

Genre

Subject
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Provenance:
Office Equipment is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Mail-order business  Search this
Mail-order business -- Catalogs  Search this
Punched card systems -- Machinery  Search this
Filing cabinets  Search this
Furniture  Search this
Information display systems  Search this
Typewriters -- 1890-1900  Search this
Office equipment and supplies  Search this
Office equipment and supplies industry  Search this
Office equipment and supplies industry -- United States  Search this
Printing machinery and supplies  Search this
Patents  Search this
Display of merchandise  Search this
Sound recording machines  Search this
Retail trade  Search this
Bookkeeping  Search this
Calculators  Search this
Accounting -- Data processing  Search this
Sales accounting -- 19th century  Search this
Pneumatics  Search this
Telephone answering and recording equipment industry  Search this
Account books  Search this
Consumer goods -- Catalogs  Search this
Business  Search this
Typewriters -- 1880-1910  Search this
Magnetic recorders and recording  Search this
Typewriters  Search this
Merchandise displays  Search this
advertising -- Business ephemera  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertising
Advertisements
Catalogues
Advertising fliers
Advertising mail
Sales letters
Print advertising
Invoices
Ephemera
Commercial catalogs
Printed materials
Printed ephemera
Publications -- Business
Sales catalogs
Photographs
Business records
Advertising cards
Sales records
Mail order catalogs
Business letters
Printed material
Reports
Publications
Commercial correspondence
Correspondence
Trade cards
Business ephemera
Catalogs
Business cards
Trade literature
Letterheads
Trade catalogs
Receipts
Periodicals
Manufacturers' catalogs
Illustrations
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Office Equipment, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Office
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Office Equipment
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-office
Additional Online Media:

Lockwood-Greene Records

Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Lockwood Greene Engineers, Incorporated  Search this
Lockwood-Greene Company  Search this
Whitman, David  Search this
Greene, Stephen  Search this
Lockwood, Amos  Search this
Former owner:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
270 Cubic feet (233 boxes, 850 oversize folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Linen tracings
Paper flimsies
Business records
Design drawings
Blueprints
Patents
Specifications
Reports
Photograph albums
Photographs
Trade literature
Date:
1784-2004
bulk 1915-1930
Summary:
The engineering firm that became Lockwood Greene was founded by David Whitman, a mill engineer, in 1832. Amos D. Lockwood, a consultant, succeeded Whitman and entered a partnership with Stephen Greene in 1882. The firm specialized in industrial engineering and construction; they designed and built a wide variety of structures and work environments worldwide over the next century. Lockwood Greene was acquired by CH2M HILL in December, 2003. Before its acquisition by CH2MHILL it was reportedly the oldest industrial engineering, construction, and professional services firm in the United States.
Scope and Contents:
The Lockwood Greene records are a comprehensive range of documents related to the appraisal, building, construction, design, evaluation, and engineering of facilities for a variety of clients. The material covers the entire period of industrialization of the United States, and, provides a thorough record of the textile industry, both in New England and the South. Some of the textile mills are documented with unusual completeness, showing water and steam power layouts, factory village plans, and landscaping schedules. A broad range of other building typologies is also covered, including projects with public or retail functions, such as early automobile showrooms, hospitals, apartments and private dwellings, churches, and schools.

In-depth study of the company's earliest history is hampered by a scarcity of records, many of which were lost in the great fire that destroyed Boston's city center in 1872. Nevertheless, graphic and textual evidence does exist within the collection that illuminates these early projects, in addition to the fabric of surviving buildings. The Lockwood Greene records document several commissions that the firm would return to again and again over the course of many decades as clients requested plant additions, upgrades to mechanical and operating systems, and other substantive changes. Researchers are encouraged to examine the blueprints, elevations, and plans for these later additions in order to find illustrations of the firm's earlier interventions at the site. In addition to drawings, other visual evidence for nineteenth-century projects can be found in the company's extensive photo files, which often document structures for which drawings do not exist.

The Lockwood Greene records contain an abundance of graphic and textual evidence for structures designed after 1910 until the 1930s. After this period, visual documentation becomes much more limited. This is partially due to the evolution of drafting tools and information management technologies within the architecture and engineering profession. Lockwood Greene was an early adopter of technological innovations in rendering and data capture, beginning with the introduction of aperture cards and microfilm and extending to the adoption of computer-aided design (CAD) programs. These more modern formats were not part of the acquisition, and, at the time of writing, still reside with the company.

The Lockwood-Greene collection will be of interest to historians of architecture and engineering, as well as those that study the history of business and labor relations. It provides extensive textual and documentary evidence on the evolution and growth of American engineering and the increasing professionalization of the discipline through specialization during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Rich holdings of architectural drawings, photographs, and specifications provide unparalleled resources that trace the evolution of industrial buildings and their typologies; experimentation with building materials and systems, particularly with regards to fireproofing; and the history of textile manufacture in the United States. In addition, there is also rich visual and documentary evidence of the changing relationships between corporations and their employees through photographs, plans, and designs for company towns and mill villages, as well as through corporate records that illustrate the work culture of Lockwood Greene itself. The Lockwood-Greene collection will be of special interest to historic preservationists as the awareness of the significance of industrial and vernacular buildings continues to grow, and detailed design drawings and other visual material will be of especial value for restoration, rehabilitation, and adaptive-reuse projects.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into six series.

Series 1, Project Drawings, Renderings, and Plans, 1784-1969, undated

Series 2, Photographs and Slides, 1881-2001, undated

Subseries 2.1: Photo Albums, 1906-1934

Subseries 2.2: Photographic Files, 1881-1956

Subseries 2.3: Spartanburg Office Photographic File, 1948-1974

Subseries 2.4: Spartanburg Office Photographic File, 1919-1999

Subseries 2.5: Project Negatives and Transparencies, 1956-1970

Subseries 2.6: Project Slides and Transparencies, 1985-2001

Subseries 2.7: Project Slides and Transparencies, Culls, 1974-2001

Subseries 2.8: Project Slides and Transparencies, Corporate Photography, 1976-1998

Subseries 2.9: Photograph Album Covers, 1920, undated

Series 3: Job Files, 1872-1957, undated

Subseries 3.1, Specifications, 1913-1942, undated

Subseries 3.2: List of Drawings, 1872-1951, undated

Subseries 3.3: Project Files, 1919-1969, undated

Subseries 3.4: Reports, 1913-1969

Subseries 3.5: Job Cost Records, 1913-1957, undated

Series 4, Corporate Records and History, 1881-2004, undated

Subseries 4.1: Meeting Minutes, 1913-1995

Subseries 4.2: Corporate Files, 1891-2004, undated

Subseries 4.3: Historical Research and Reference Files and Photographs, 1881-1983, undated

Subseries 4.4: Corporate Publications, 1917-2001, undated

Series 5, Non-Lockwood Greene Publications, 1910-1984, undated

Series 6, Audio-Visual, 1964
Biographical / Historical:
Lockwood Greene, one of the nation's oldest engineering firms, traces it roots to 1832, when Rhode Island native David Whitman began a machinery repair service. Riding the wave of the early industrial revolution in textile manufacturing, Whitman added mill design services to his repertoire, which formed the backbone of a flourishing consulting business for the rest of the century. Whitman was one of the first itinerant mill engineers or "doctors" that traveled throughout New England advising various industrialists on the placement, design, and construction of their factories and the layout of the complicated system of machinery and shafting that they contained. His largest commission was the design of the Bates Manufacturing Company complex in Lewiston, Maine, which was incorporated in 1850 and soon became one of the largest textile producers in New England.

Upon Whitman's death in 1858, his unfinished work was assumed by Amos D. Lockwood, a prominent mill agent and astute businessman who had built a name for himself in Connecticut and Rhode Island. The successful completion of the projects at Lewiston brought enough additional demand for Lockwood's services to prompt him to relocate to Boston, where he formally opened an independent consulting office with partner John W. Danielson in 1871. For the next ten years, A.D. Lockwood & Company was involved in a least eight major mill design projects, half of which were for new construction. One of these projects, the design and construction of the Piedmont Manufacturing Company in Greenville (now Piedmont), South Carolina was especially significant and is considered to be a prototype for the Southern textile industry.

In 1882, Lockwood established a new business, Lockwood, Greene and Company, with Stephen Greene, a professionally-trained civil engineer who had joined the firm in 1879. As the firm grew, it expanded its scope as consultants supplying all of the necessary architectural and engineering services a prospective owner needed to initiate, equip, and run a complete plant. Acting as the owners' representative, the company supervised construction and installation but did not directly act as builders or contractors. Lockwood

Greene's objective expertise was legendary and made it a leader in this emergent field. As Samuel B. Lincoln explains in his history of the company:

"The new firm's knowledge and experience in the textile industry enabled it to analyze samples of cloth and, from such samples, to provide everything necessary for a completed plant to make such goods in any desired quantity. It did not at any time act as selling agents for machinery or equipment, neither did it accept commissions or rebates from suppliers: by this policy it maintained a position as impartial and independent engineer." (pages 105-107)

Greene became president of the company upon Lockwood's death in 1884. Under his leadership, the company expanded into additional industries and designed an array of other industrial building types that would prefigure the diversity of later work. In 1893, the company revolutionized American industry by designing and constructing the first factory whose operating power was provided entirely over electric wires from a remote power plant, rather than relying upon a water source or a stockpiled fuel supply. The Columbia Mills project created a great deal of publicity for the firm and was a signal to other manufacturers that there were viable alternatives to the use of steam power.

As changing economic conditions led Lockwood Greene to move away from its traditional reliance upon the textile manufacturing industry, it was very successful at soliciting projects for a wide variety of structures, from newspaper plants and automotive factories to convention halls and schools. After 1900, Lockwood Greene expanded its operations and opened branch offices in other cities, including Chicago, New York, Philadelphia, Cleveland, Detroit, Atlanta, and Charlotte. In 1915, Edwin F. Greene, president and son of Stephen Greene, reorganized the firm as Lockwood, Greene & Company, Incorporated This new entity served as the parent company and controlled three subsidiaries: one to own and operate cotton mills that Greene had acquired; one to manage other companies' textile mills; and one to provide engineering services.

Lockwood Greene expanded its operations tremendously as the textile industry boomed under wartime demand and in the years following. The severe textile depression from 1923 to 1928 caused the collapse of this structure, however, as Lockwood Greene continued to suffer deep losses in the textile mills that it owned. The parent company was dissolved in 1928 and the engineering subsidiary, which had remained profitable, was salvaged as Lockwood Greene Engineers, Incorporated.

After a rocky start with the onset of the Depression, the company began to prosper during the Second World War and its growth continued steadily throughout the next several decades. In the late 1960s, as a result of declining business, the company's headquarters was transferred from Boston to Spartanburg, South Carolina. In 1981, Phillipp Holtzman USA, a subsidiary of Phillipp Holtzman AG of Frankfurt, Germany, acquired a majority interest in Lockwood Greene. In 2003, CH2M Hill, a global provider of engineering, construction, and operations services based in Denver, Colorado, acquired the company.

From its beginnings under David Whitman, Lockwood Greene has become one of the most diversified engineering firms in the United States. The firm is best known as a designer of industrial and institutional buildings, but the company has become a leader in many additional areas in recent years. Lockwood Greene dominates the market in the design and production of the germ- and dust-free "clean room" facilities required by the pharmaceutical industry and micro-electronics manufacturers. The company has also developed expertise in designing integrated security and networking systems for industrial plants, international port facilities, and military installations worldwide.

Banham, Raynor. A Concrete Atlantis: U.S. Industrial Building and European Modern Architecture, 1900-1925. Cambridge: MIT Press, 1986.

Biggs, Lindy. The Rational Factory: Architecture, Technology, and Work in America's Age of Mass Production. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

Bradley, Betsy Hunter. The Works: The Industrial Architecture of the United States. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Greene, Benjamin Allen. Stephen Greene: Memories of His Life, with Addresses, Resolutions and Other Tributes of Affection. Chicago, R. R. Donnelley & Sons Company, 1903.

Heiser, William J. Lockwood Greene, 1958-1968, Another Period in the History of an Engineering Business. Lockwood Greene Engineers, Incorporated, 1970.

Lincoln, Samuel B. Lockwood Greene: The History of an Engineering Business, 1832-1958. Brattleboro, Vermont: The Stephen Greene Press, 1960.

Lockwood Greene Engineers, Incorporated The Lockwood Greene Story: One-Hundred-Fifty Years of Engineering Progress. Spartanburg, South Carolina: Lockwood Greene Engineers, Incorporated; undated.
Related Materials:
"[Trade catalogs from Lockwood, Greene & Co.]", Trade Literature at the American History Museum Books, Smithsonian Institution Libraries
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Lockwood Greene, Spartanburg, South Carolina, 1997 (original drawings). An addendum to the collection was donated by CH2M HILL in 2007.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing film portion of collection requires special appointment, please inquire. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Architects  Search this
Architecture, Commercial  Search this
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Building materials  Search this
Buildings  Search this
Construction industry  Search this
Company towns  Search this
Textile mills  Search this
Mills  Search this
Manufacturing industries  Search this
Industrial engineering  Search this
Industrial buildings -- Design and construction  Search this
Industrial buildings  Search this
Engineering  Search this
Factories -- Power supply  Search this
Factories -- Design and construction  Search this
Factories  Search this
Cotton textile industry  Search this
Commercial buildings  Search this
Electric power production  Search this
Genre/Form:
Linen tracings
Paper flimsies
Business records
Design drawings
Blueprints
Patents
Specifications
Reports
Photograph albums
Photographs -- 21st century
Photographs -- 20th century
Trade literature
Photographs -- 1890-1900
Citation:
Lockwood Greene Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1113
See more items in:
Lockwood-Greene Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1113
Additional Online Media:

Worthington Water Meter

Maker:
Worthington, Henry R.  Search this
Physical Description:
brass (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 17 in x 14 1/2 in x 20 in; 43.18 cm x 36.83 cm x 50.8 cm
Object Name:
water meter
meter, water
Place made:
United States: New York, Brooklyn
Date made:
ca 1890-1900
Subject:
Water  Search this
Credit Line:
A.A. Hirsch
ID Number:
PH.329741
Accession number:
245003
Catalog number:
329741
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Physical Sciences
Measuring & Mapping
Water Meters
Natural Resources
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1411257

Pratt, Read and Company, Pratt, Read and Company, Inc., and Pratt-Read Corporation

Collection Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Collection Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1863 - 1988
Scope and Contents:
The records in this series three document the company from 1863-1990, during which time it was known as Pratt, Read & Company (from 1863-1936), Pratt, Read & Company, Inc. (from 1936 1970), and then as Pratt Read Corporation (from 1970 to the present day). These records, which form the bulk of the collection, are arranged into fifteeen series: Executive Records, Stock Records, Financial Records, Publicity and Advertising Scrapbooks, Advertising Records, Sales Records, Personnel Records, Real Estate Records, Machinery Records, Manufacturing and Design Records, Engineering Department Records, Photoprints, Photonegatives, Historical and Background Information, and Publications.

The EXECUTIVE RECORDS, 1863 1988, include the corporate minute books for the period 1863-1980. Unfortunately, the minute book for the period from November 1863 to August 1902 is missing from the collection. Other records include copies of the company's bylaws and articles of association, board papers from 1936 1985, annual and quarterly reports from 1936-1985, and several miscellaneous items. The STOCK RECORDS include three stock certificates; a stock transfer book, 1938-1956; a stock analysis done by Salomon Brothers in 1986; and notices to stockholders, 1956-1986.

FINANCIAL RECORDS, 1864 1985, include annual financial statements from 1864-1923 and 1971-1985; two journals, 1933-1942; and general ledgers, 1926-1964. The audit report of accounts, 1913-1941, provides financial data for both Pratt, Read and Comstock, Cheney. A two year financial planning program for the company covers the period 1978-1980. Also of interest is a May 1982 report on the possible acquisition of Sohmer & Company; Pratt Read acquired the Long Island based piano manufacturer later that year.

The collection contains many ADVERTISING RECORDS. These materials document the company's efforts to keep its name and products prominently before its customers in the piano industry. The majority of these advertisements appeared in trade journals such as the Music Trade Review, Music Trades, the Piano Technician's Journal, and the Piano Trade Magazine. In addition to clipped out copies of Pratt, Read's advertisements, the PUBLICITY AND ADVERTISING SCRAPBOOKS, 1902-1988, contain news clippings about competing firms, developments in piano technology, articles about prominent individuals in the trade, and the activities of various organizations and associations, such as the Piano Tuners' Guild. Other clippings provide details on Pratt, Read's latest technological innovations and the company's efforts to promote the use of pianos in school music programs. The majority of these scrapbooks date from 1934-1935 and 1953-1988; they are arranged chronologically from the back of the book forward. Another scrapbook, dating from 1902-1985, contains miscellaneous news clippings and advertisements. Also included in this subseries are two publicity scrapbooks, 1952-1974, which contain news releases put out by Pratt, Read.

ADVERTISING RECORDS, 1958-1977, consist of the actual materials which were created during the development of the company's advertisements. Again, these advertisements were developed primarily for piano trade magazines. These records include artwork, mechanicals, proofsheets, photoprints, photonegatives, transparencies, and preliminary sketches. They represent about 95 percent of Pratt, Read's advertising campaigns between 1958 and 1977 and include advertisements that were never used. Pratt, Read contracted with a number of different advertising agencies during this period, including C. A. Smith & Co. (Westport, Conn.), Shailer/Davidoff, Inc. (Fairfield, Conn.), Dexter Associates (Madison, Conn.), and McNamara Associates, Inc. (Detroit, Mich.). However, the bulk of the records in this subseries was generated by the firm of Marc Dorian, Inc. (Mamaroneck, N.Y.), between 1970 and 1977. Cleverly utilizing animated piano keys, hammers, and other piano action elements, Marc Dorian created several series of advertisements. While most emphasized Pratt, Read's long history and tradition of quality, others adopted a slightly risqué theme or were built around quotations from Shakespeare. Some of these advertisements were translated and used in German piano trade journals. The materials in this subseries have been arranged by advertisement, in chronological order by date of their first recorded use.

Information concerning the sale and marketing of Pratt, Read's piano keyboards and actions can be found in the SALES RECORDS, 1860 1979. These include an 1860 agreement with the firm of Julius Pratt & Company for the joint sale of ivory combs; price lists for ivory combs, 1864-1865 and 1920; labels for boxes of ivory combs; and blank sales receipts from the company's London office, undated The monthly sales figures, 1914 1931, show total sales income by month and by year, while the monthly sales statistics, 1917-1936, detail sales according to type and value of goods sold (e.g., sharps, ivory, hammers, etc.). The record of sharp sales is a day by day accounting which lists customer name and type of sharps ordered. The scrap orders journal is a daily record of orders for small ivory items, such as collar buttons, billiard cue tips, and beads, as well as scrap ivory. Information on sales for the period 1952-1969 can be found in two charts, one showing the total number of complete keyboards shipped and the other showing average key and action prices.

PERSONNEL RECORDS, 1890 1983, primarily date from the mid 1940s to the late 1970s. Notable exceptions, however, include a photocopy of the West Factory time book from 1890 1900, a company payroll from February 1894, and three piece rate books from the period 1926-1939. The piece rate books, arranged by factory department, show employee name and amount earned per piece completed. Many of the records in this subseries set forth personnel practices and policy, through instructions, memoranda, and employee handbooks. Details of Pratt, Read's organization and structure can be found in various organization manuals, charts, and evaluation program records. The company's dealings with the local chapter of the United Furniture Workers of America union are represented by correspondence, 1945-1946; agreements, 1947-1982; a union publicity scrapbook, 1948 1952; and three scrapbooks of news clippings about strikes in 1947 and 1974. This subseries also includes a complete run of Harmony Magazine, the employee newsmagazine, from 1953-1981.

The REAL ESTATE RECORDS, 1867-1978, consist of maps, plans, architects' drawings, and specifications detailing the various buildings at Pratt, Read's two factory sites. The Deep River site is depicted on two maps taken from the 1867 edition of the Beers & Company Atlas of New York and Vicinity. Site specific insurance maps provide detailed information about factory layout, building construction, and manufacturing processes for the period pre 1880 and 1915-1937. Most of the plans for the Deep River site date from the period after the great fire of 1881. They include the main keyboard factory, the player action factory, bleach houses, an ivory storage vault, various storehouses, and other utilitarian buildings. The Ivoryton site is represented by plans for the expansion of the keyboard factory in the post World War II period. Also of interest are plans and architects' drawings for apartment buildings and houses for company employees, a housing plat of Deep River, and a real estate record book that shows receipts from tenants in company owned housing for the period 1932-1945.

While some of the MACHINERY RECORDS, 1903-1954, relate to the engines and boilers used to keep the factory running, most deal with the machines used to turn out finished ivory keys, piano keyboards, and piano actions. These take the form of a series of oversize blueprint drawings on each machine. The drawings are arranged according to their original order of placement in several different folios of drawings. Thus, drawings for the same machine are sometimes found in different folders within this subseries usually indicating later modifications to the machine. These drawings were selected by a historian knowledgeable about machinery and manufacturing processes during the initial visit to the Pratt, Read site. They were chosen for their emphasis on the specialized processes involved in working with ivory and the production of pianos. Drawings for more general purpose machines were not selected for this collection. The drawings of specialized machines, dating from 1903 1934, are located in ten oversized folders in two map case drawers.

MANUFACTURING AND DESIGN RECORDS, 1892-1968, document the raw materials used in the manufacturing process, the output of goods produced, and the design and specification of keyboards and action components. The oldest item in this subseries is a private inventory book written by George L. Cheney shortly after he became president of the firm in 1892. It records on hand stocks of ivory, combs, piano keys, ebony and other woods, and real estate property. The register of lumber received, 1936-1947 a continuation of the record begun by Comstock, Cheney & Company in 1926 is an accounting of the various types of wood ordered for use in this industry.

Ivory usage is documented in a number of records. Two ivory purchase journals, 1936-1955, record the weight and prices of ivory tusks purchased, by lot number. The tusk ivory receiving reports, 1946-1955 (also arranged by lot number) record the number assigned to each tusk, its quality grade, characteristics, and any defects. The tusk ivory inventory record book, 1950-1953, provides the invoice number and weight of each lot of tusks. Handwritten notes of ivory work done by Grace Schmelke describe one employee's daily piece rate work in the years 1955-1958. The ivory bleaching record is a spiral bound notebook which records the movement of individual tusks into and out of the bleach houses. Other records show the percent of wastage per lot of ivory and the number of keys produced. The file titled "Production Procedures for Ivory and Lumber" contains a number of descriptive narratives concerning the qualities of ivory and wood used in pianos, the procedures involved in bleaching ivory and in processing ivory keyboards, and a step by step description of the ivory shop routine. Also of interest are copies of the formulas used in dyeing piano sharps.

Piano production and design records include correspondence and news clippings from 1942-1946 that provide information on the curtailment of piano production during World War II by both Pratt, Read and the piano industry in general. Under regulations imposed by the War Production Board and the Office of Price Administration, raw materials essential to the war effort were not available for piano production and piano prices escalated to levels that discouraged sales. Despite these restrictions, Pratt, Read attempted to maintain a research and development program, examining the possibilities of producing other parts of the piano, such as backs, boards, ribs, and cases. This effort is documented in the correspondence files of Peter Comstock, 1943 1945, which also contain information about the whole piano industry's attempts to cope with wartime restrictions. Peter Calamari's files document a postwar cooperative effort with the Aeolian American Piano Company to produce a player piano. They include correspondence, drawings, specifications, and photoprints.

Action specification books were kept by type of piano regular, upright, and grand. The books, dating from 1927 1968, are arranged alphabetically by customer name. Information is provided on the style, size, specifications, and price of keys, sharps, actions, and other components sold to each company. Oversize blueprint drawings of piano actions dating from 1924 to 1957 are also found in this subseries. Other drawings include artists' views for several pianos designed by Benjamin J. Beck, 1944; designs for a folding keyboard, 1946; and designs for the K 4 piano assembly, 1947.

ENGINEERING DEPARTMENT RECORDS, 1964, consist of customer files, interoffice correspondence, vendor files, and miscellaneous files. They are a complete one year sample, chosen at random, of the Engineering Department records from a period of Pratt, Read's high postwar productivity. The customer files are arranged alphabetically by name of company or individual to whom Pratt, Read supplied actions, keyboards, or components. Several major piano and organ companies are included, such as Aeolian American, Janssen, Kimball, Lowrey, and Sohmer & Company. The files consist of specifications, drawings, memos, and schedules for production. The interoffice correspondence is that sent or received by A. W. Nordquist, Chief of the Manufacturing Engineering Section. This correspondence deals with personnel questions, changes in specifications, customers' orders, and other routine matters. The vendor files are correspondence, catalogues, price quotations, and other information sent to A. W. Nordquist from various supply houses. Nordquist's miscellaneous files cover a variety of topics, including inventories of shipments made to the company's Central, S. C., plant; plans for plastic spray on key coverings; personnel notices; the safety program; plastic key production schedules; and other engineering issues. Also of interest is a file of drawings supplied to British Piano Actions, Ltd.

The PHOTOPRINTS, ca. 1880 1989, document Pratt, Read's factory sites, its connection with the African ivory trade, its employees, and its manufacturing procedures. While the majority of these photoprints are the originals assembled for Pratt Read's Ivory Museum, several are reproductions made from original photographs and negatives made available to the Archives Center by citizens of Ivoryton. A few of the photoprints were taken in 1988 1989, during the acquisition of the collection.

The photoprints are arranged by topic into fifteen groups: the Deep River factory site; the Ivoryton factory site; factory tours; bleach houses; Africa/ivory; ivory working; keyboard and action production; New Key Cap Program; piano actions; employee housing; company activities and events; employees; Charles Frederick Stein (technical consultant); exhibits; and miscellaneous. They are arranged chronologically within each group. Each photoprint has been assigned an individual number based upon the collection number, the series, and the order of the photoprint within that series (i.e., 320/3/1, etc.). A complete caption for most of the photoprints is provided in this finding aid. If a negative for a photoprint is on file with the Smithsonian's Office of Printing and Photographic Services, that negative number is provided along with the caption.

Photoprints of both the Deep River and Ivoryton factory sites show external and aerial views of the various factory buildings between 1881 and 1989. They document the changing size and shape of the Ivoryton factory especially well, as old buildings were torn down and new ones took their place. Photoprints of factory tours and "Open Houses" provide interior views of the factory buildings and show workers explaining various stages of the manufacturing process. Bleach house photoprints show the extent and number of bleach houses used by the company and show how the ivory was arranged for bleaching in the sun. Pratt, Read's connection with the African ivory trade is shown in several photoprints from 1904 1911 of and by Ernst D. Moore, an ivory buyer for Arnold, Cheney & Company, which supplied Pratt, Read with most of its ivory.

Manufacturing processes are shown in several groups of photoprints. Ivory activities include people posing with tusks, wagons, and trucks full of tusks; the ivory vault in the Ivoryton factory; the cutting and "junking" of tusks; the bleaching and matching of key "heads" and "tails"; and the laying of keys on piano keyboards. Similiar photoprints of keyboard and action production show workers in all stages of production, from cutting wood to polishing the finished product. Although six of these photoprints date from 1896, most date from 1947-1955. A series of photoprints shows the plastic keys introduced in the New Key Cap Program of 1965, while several photo albums document the company's innovative piano action designs.

Two of the many houses the company built for its employees in Deep River are shown in several photoprints taken during the archivist's 1989 site visit. Company activities and events include annual banquets and Christmas parties for workers' children, picnics, and award ceremonies for longtime employees. A large number of photoprints show employees, most of whom are unidentified. There are also photoprints of Charles Frederick Stein, Pratt, Read's noted technical consultant. The group of exhibits photoprints includes a copy of the company's sign from the 1876 Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia, and views of exhibits at various post World War II functions in Connecticut. Finally, the miscellaneous group includes copies of two cartoons by Clarence D. Batchelor that satirize changes in American society, using a piano metaphor. The PHOTONEGATIVES are of piano action models constructed for patent purposes, 1944-1945.

HISTORICAL & BACKGROUND MATERIAL, 1881-1989, consists primarily of news clippings and miscellaneous information about the history of Pratt, Read, the African ivory trade, the piano trade, Pratt Read's involvement in music education, and the Ivoryton area. Especially interesting are an unpublished "History of the Pratt Read Corporation" written by Curtiss S. Johnson, A History of Pratt, Read & Company of Deep River published by the Deep River Historical Society, and news clippings about the company from 1881-1882 and 1935-1986. The ivory trade is documented in news clippings from 1921-1989 and in two personal accounts of life in Zanzibar, one by Harriet Cheney Downing from 1942 and the other by Carlotta Welles from 1980. News clippings about the piano trade, the adoption of plastic for keys, and other developments are also found in this subseries. A reprinted 1899 Souvenir of Essex, Connecticut contains valuable information about the factory buildings, stores, the employees' bicycle club, and the company's central role in the community. Other news clippings cover the Ivoryton Inn, the Ivoryton Theatre, and the Ivory Museum established by the company in 1977.

PUBLICATIONS, 1930-1981, primarily comprise company catalogues dealing with plastics, felt making, organ supplies, and a publicity booklet from Ichabod T. Williams & Sons, importers of foreign and domestic woods. Also included are pamphlets about Pratt, Read's facilities and its relationship to the Vocaline Company of America.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0320, Series 3
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0320-ref68

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