Collection documents the business activities of the Sandford Card Company and include the papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford, founder of the company, and her immediate family.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the business activities of the Sandford Card Company primarily in the early part of the century. It includes product designs and samples; advertising and marketing materials, as well as, correspondence and financial papers. In addition, there are the papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford, founder of the company, and her immediate family. These materials consist primarily of diaries, photographs, correspondence, family histories and genealogies. The collection is arranged into four series. Series one documents the business activities of the Sandford Card Company. Series two contains the personal papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford, her husband Frank Sherman Sandford and their children. Series three is the personal papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford's parents and siblings. Series four is the personal papers of extended family members mostly by marriage.
The collection is arranged into four series.
Series 1: Sandford Card Company Records, 1880-1967; undated
Series 4: Other Family Papers, 1840s-2004; undated
Subseries 4.1: Durkee Family, 1864-2004; undated
Subseries 4.2: Gilman Family, 1840s-1902
Subseries 4.3: Gilman Family, 1916-2004; undated
Subseries 4.4: McDowell Family, 1920; undated
Subseries 4.5: Pease Family, 1953-1984; undated
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Elizabeth Kennedy Sandford founded the Sandford Card Company in Dansville, New York in 1907. The Sandford Card Company was intended to provide consumers a means to send messages to family and friends. Such products contained more thought out verses and images than the typical postcards that were available during this time period. Initially, Mary Elizabeth created four verses with images and had five thousand of each printed by the F. A. Owen Publishing Company. The four samples were sent to two hundred bookstores and drugstores. Sales were later made with distributors and agents in various cities throughout the country. In addition, the company also sold cards to fraternal organizations using their symbols or mottos in the design. Eventually, fraternal organizations became a big part of the company's customer base expanding to more than fifty groups. The company grew as a mail order business. All card shipments were made directly from Dansville, New York to forty-eight states and countries including Canada, Alaska, Cuba, Japan, Guam, Philippines, Hawaii, Panama, and Netherlands, West Indies, England and Scotland. Although the Sandford Card Company started as a greeting card business it eventually offered place cards, calling cards, calendars, program folders, napkins, banquet supplies, gifts and souvenirs to its product line. All printing work was contracted out to lithographic businesses in New York, Boston and Cincinnati. With the death of Mary Elizabeth Sandford and her husband Frank Sherman Sandford the company continued to be operated under the guidance of their daughter Ruth Louise Sandford. In 1948, Ruth Sandford hired John G. Holden as business manager. In 1965, the company moved from Dansville to Baldwinsville, New York under the management of the third generation of the founding family. It continued to operate as a family business until it was sold to John G. Holden. The company was later purchased by Rodney Pease the grandson of Mary Elizabeth Sandford's sister Lillian Frances Pease. Pease eventually changed the name and direction of the company.
Materials in the Archives Center
Lillian Pease Card Company Records (AC1251)
Donated to the Archives Center in 2011 by R. Thompson Gilman, Executor for the estate of Elizabeth G. Essley.
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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.