Records of the Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated, documenting overall operations of the company, the creation of advertising materials, and development of the coffee trade.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into thirteen series.
Series 1, Hills Family Papers, 1856-1942; undated, consists primarily of personal and business related materials of Austin H. Hills Sr., Austin Herbert Hills Jr. and Herbert Gray Hills. Austin Herbert Hills Sr. was the father of Austin Herbert Hills Jr. and Reuben Wilmarth Hills founders of Hills Bros. Coffee Company Incorporated. Herbert Gray Hills is the son of Austin Herbert Hills Jr. In addition, there are home movies created in 1933 by members of the Hills family. The series is divided into three subseries.
Subseries 1.1, Austin Herbert Hills, Sr. Papers, 1856-1875; undated, consists primarily of materials related to his business affairs. Born in Rockland, Maine and a ship builder by trade, Austin Sr. opened a butter, eggs and cheese business in 1863. These materials are a miscellaneous assortment of correspondence and accounting ledgers relating to the partnership of Hills, Rice & Company. In addition, there is an article from the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine about Harriet Heal Hills (Mrs. Austin H. Hills). Mrs. Hills joined the Oakland chapter in 1904 and remained a very active member most of her life. Her father was John Heal who served as corporal in the continental army. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 1.2, Austin Herbert Hills, Jr. Papers, 1875-1923, contain correspondence which relate to both business and personal matters. The correspondence is arranged in the order that Mr. Hills maintained which is in alphabetical order by the last name of the recipient or sender and then in chronological order. In addition, there is an accounting ledger for Austin Hill's diary business prior to the creation of the Hills Bros. Coffee Company.
Subseries 1.3, Herbert Gray Hills Correspondence, 1923-1942, contain handwritten notes, letters, telegrams and other related materials. Subjects discussed include annual stockholders meetings, golf tournaments, quantities of merchandise shipped to various locations, programs for division managers' meetings, a copy of the proposed demands by office workers' union and I. L. A. 38-44 on San Francisco business and industrial establishments, and advertising. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date as they were maintained by Mr. Hills.
Series 2, Background Materials, 1896-1988; undated, contain a substantial amount of information relating to the Hills family and the history of the coffee company. Most of these materials are unpublished chronologies, historical sketches, newspaper clippings, presentations written by T. Carroll Wilson, and magazine articles. There is also a genealogy of the Hills family which dates from 1602-1950. One of the more interesting histories is the informal memoirs of Frank Veirs, Jr., who began as a plant employee and later became a factory superintendent. Veirs maintained detailed notes on the company's activities dating from 1896 to 1946. These notes are personal in nature but add to the historical events of the company. Reminiscences of daily routines, the management styles of the Hills brothers and company loyalty among employees are major themes throughout his writings. In 1948, NW Ayer advertising agency created the Hills of San Francisco which commemorates the twenty fifth anniversary of NW Ayer & Sons service to Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated. Limited copies of this publication were distributed to Hills Bros. top executives. The 1967 publication of a Background Story of Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated was designed by Walter Landor and Associates and based on a slide presentation created by T. Carroll Wilson. The original script and slides are included among these materials. In addition, there are local newspaper clippings on the history of the family and the company dating from 1922 to 1931. In 1988, Hill Bros. Company, Incorporated hired history associates to create a catalogue of artifacts and archival materials in its holdings. With the assistance of T. Carroll Wilson key items were chosen and described in the catalogue. There are a number of folders divided by the sections of the catalogue and include original samples followed by a color photocopy of the catalogue and two black and white copies. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 3, Coffee Reference Files, 1921-1980; undated, are materials relating to the cultivation, packaging, distribution, advertising, marketing and consumption of this beverage primarily in the United States. The materials provide an in-depth analysis of the history of the coffee trade and Hills Bros. Coffee Company's unique position in its developments. The series is divided into two subseries. Subseries one is material created by Hills Bros. primarily for the company but also includes information directed at the coffee trade and consumers. Subseries two is materials created by the coffee industry and other publishers primarily for the trade with a few materials directed toward consumers.
Subseries 3.1, Hills Bros. Coffee Company Literature, 1921-1976; undated, consist of publications created by the company for promotional and educational use. Such materials provide a significant amount of information on both the history of the coffee industry, and the history of Hills Bros. Coffee Company. Important publications include a copy of "Behind the Cup" (1928) which outlines the history of Hills Bros. from the establishment of the Arabian Coffee and Spice Mills to the building of the home office and plant on Harrison Street in 1926. This publication was also used as a companion piece to the film of the same title and was created by the NW Ayer advertising agency. Hills Bros. Coffee Company publications relating to the coffee trade include a 1922 booklet entitled Cultivation and Preparation of Coffee and Tea which was distributed widely to teachers and schools. The Art of Entertaining, another NW Ayer Advertising Agency creation, was designed to educate the consumer about coffee with tips on entertaining and coffee recipes. In addition, there are a series of inspirational books written by Coleman Cox for Hills Bros. which was distributed to its employees. A number of presentations written by T. Carroll Wilson for professional meetings and publications are also included among these materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 3.2, Coffee Industry Literature, 1924-1980; undated, consists of publications including articles, annuals, proceedings from conventions, pamphlets and books. Topics of discussion include major growers, coffee roasting and packaging, the history of coffee as a consumer product, marketing, distribution and recipes. These materials assist in placing Hills Bros. and its major developments in the field in historical perspective. The majority of the publications was created by the Pan American Coffee Bureau and includes materials from the Coffee Industries of America, National Coffee Association, Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia, American Coffee Bureau, Associated Coffee Industries of America and the Bureau of Coffee Information. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Series 4, Advertising Materials, circa 1890s-1987; undated, comprise the largest series in the collection. These materials consist of scrapbooks, advertising cards, postcards, letterhead stationery, labels, proof sheets, advertising forms, advertising portfolios, printed advertisements, schedules for newspaper advertising, storyboards for television commercials and packaging. Researchers will be able to trace the evolution of Hills Bros. advertising campaigns using a variety of formats promoted through newspaper, magazine, radio and television. In addition, there are materials that document the decision making process. Records show the amount of money Hills Bros. allocated annually for advertising and budget proposals. This information supports evidence of the percentage of advertising costs versus the total overall operating budget. Correspondence between Hills Bros. and NW Ayer Advertising Agency provide insight into the client and advertising agency relationship. The series is organized into eleven subseries.
Subseries 4.1, Scrapbooks, 1906-1978; undated, consist of seven volumes containing materials created by the company to document their products and packaging. Six of the scrapbooks are conventionally sewn and are relatively small compared to the scrapbooks referred to by the company as its historical albums in series two. These volumes contain primarily circulars, labels, postcards, advertising cards and printed advertisements. A number of the materials relate to the teas and spices that were sold by the company as well as its coffee. In addition, there is a scrapbook of mostly newspaper clippings documenting the introduction of Hills Bros. High Yield coffee in 1978. All of these scrapbooks are in fairly good condition and the contents remained securely attached to the pages. Given the sound condition of the volumes, the only preservation measure that was taken was to box the volumes. The boxes provide physical protection during storage and assist in safe retrieval and transport. The outside of the scrapbooks are identified as labels but contain other types of material. The scrapbooks are arranged by the number assigned to it by the company and then in chronological order.
Subseries 4.2, Historical Albums, 1911-1967, were created by the company and provide an overview and rich source of the company's visual materials arranged in chronological order by year. The earlier volumes were created by one of the Hills brothers and later carried out by various members of the staff. The albums contain a variety of materials such as paperboard boxes, pamphlets, metal cans, newspaper clippings, photographs, printed advertisements, street car advertisements and labels. These albums presented a number of preservation concerns. Many of the materials in the albums are partially loose or detached from the scrapbook pages because the rubber cement has lost its adhesive properties. Some of the oversized items are folded to fit the scrapbooks and show signs of deterioration. The size of these mammoth volumes made it extremely difficult to handle and transport them. Structurally the volumes could not support the contents. Based on the assumption that these volumes were valuable research tools, the recommendation was to disband the scrapbooks. Still maintaining the original order of the volumes the pages were numbered and only fifty pages were housed per box. Loose materials were sleeved and also kept in order. Most of the materials in these scrapbooks can be found in other parts of the collection.
Subseries 4.3, Ephemera, 1890s-1987, contain some of the earliest forms of advertising and materials also found in the scrapbooks and historical volumes. The material consists of advertising cards, advertising forms, artwork, business cards, envelopes, handbills, record cards, letterhead stationery, postcards, labels, and point of purchase displays. Some of the materials are for products sold by the company before they became exclusively involved in the coffee market. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by type.
Subseries 4.4, Portfolios, 1919-1985, undated consist of packets of material created by Hills Bros. and generally directed toward retailer grocers. Salesmen would utilize these portfolios as a means of introducing advertising campaigns and convincing grocers of how well supported the products were. The portfolios often included printed advertisements; directions for window and store displays; price lists of products by the case; suggested stocking requirements and/or guidelines; schedules for newspaper, radio or television coverage; advertising forms; story boards; illustrations of colorful outdoor advertisements; coupons and premiums and literature explaining the theme of each campaign. Researchers will find these materials useful in understanding product advertising from the point of view of the retail grocer. The materials document Hills Bros. suggestions for selling their products, display methods and customer satisfaction techniques. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.5, Proof sheets, 1922-1968, consist mostly of materials created by NW Ayer & Son Advertising Agency. Generally these proof sheets are black and white copies of what appeared in magazines or journals. At the bottom of each page pertinent information such as publication title, location and date is often included. The changing messages of advertising and shifts in target audiences can be seen through the use of storylines, particularly in the earlier proof sheets. Researchers should also consult the NW Ayer Collection finding aid located in the Archives Center reference room for copies of proof sheets not included among these materials. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 4.6, Advertising Forms, 1922-1971; undated, consist of in-store wall posters or window displays to attract the attention of the customer and to assist in selling the products. Graphically interesting and colorful, noted artists such as Norman Rockwell created some of these advertising forms. All of the advertising forms are numbered and some are dated. There is also a scrapbook containing advertising forms. In addition, there are electrotypes, mats and multi-graph plates also included among the materials. Series five contains photographs of some of the advertising forms with information about intended use in the store. Materials are arranged first by size and then in order by the number assigned to each advertising form. Photographs of some of the advertising forms can be found in the reference room located in the Archives Center.
Subseries 4.7, Newspaper and Magazine Advertising, 1926-1971; undated, consists primarily of schedules for newspaper advertisements. The schedules date from 1928-1933 and were prepared by NW Ayer & Sons Advertising Agency for the Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland and San Francisco divisions. These materials provide useful information including the name of the publication and the amount of money that was spent for a particular time period. There are estimates for advertising in both newspapers and magazines which were also prepared by NW Ayer & Sons. The estimates document the company's management of printed advertisements noting where they appeared, the date, length of publication and cost. Hills Bros. correspondence to salesmen and grocers discuss advertising campaigns and suggest ways to sell more coffee. In addition, there are recapitulation of newspaper advertising costs and circulation for the Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland and San Francisco divisions. Other materials include a report, typescripts of newspaper advertisements, dealer materials for coffee guide newspaper advertisement, press releases for newspaper advertisements, mailers to dealers about newspaper advertisements, samples of newspaper advertisements for the Chicago market and newspaper advertising circulation for the Midwest market. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.8, Sampling Campaigns, 1928-1941 consist primarily of materials related to the sampling campaign conducted in the fall of 1941. The plan for the campaign was developed by the Reuben H. Donnelley Corporation and consisted of mailings and home-to-home coffee distribution. The sampling territories were divided into three geographical locations. Section one, the Michigan campaign, comprised of Detroit and its suburbs including Wayne county and the cities of Jackson, Ann arbor, Ypsilanti, Pontiac, Port Huron, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland. Section two, the Ohio and Indiana campaign, included Cleveland and its suburbs, Toledo and suburbs (including Adrian and Monroe, Michigan), Indianapolis and suburbs and Fort Wayne. Section three, North Dakota, Minnesota and upper Michigan peninsula campaign, included the towns around Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota from Houghton and Calumet, down to Escanaba and over to Sault Ste. Marie in the upper Michigan peninsula. The procedures for conducting the campaign; information relating to sampling territories; shipping schedules for coffee samples from the warehouse in Edgewater, New Jersey; notes relating to sampling figures; instructions for carriers; 1etters and booklets to grocers; radio announcements; coffee grams; pages from telephone directories for Grand Rapids, Michigan, Peoria, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an article from the Detroit News Booster dated September 1941 about the campaign are included among the materials. In addition, there is a small amount of material related to sampling campaigns conducted from 1928-1934. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.9, General Files, 1923-1978; undated consist of information used primarily by the company as reference materials. There is information on coffee advertising; the history of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) advertising; correspondence; jig saw puzzle advertisements; printed advertisements; memorandum relating to original vacuum pack; excerpts of letters written by the advertising department in 1948; scrapbook of competitor's instant coffee advertisements in San Francisco; outline of merchandising, sales promotion activity in 1930-1952 with correlation bar chart and cross reference to advertising report, ground and instant coffee television advertising history; advertising plan for ground and instant coffee; budget proposal; information on outdoor advertising; scripts for radio commercials; advertising plans for instant coffee; dealers information on radio and television advertising and materials relating to electrotypes and mats. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.10, NW Ayer Advertising Agency Materials, 1943, 1958 consist primarily of the scrapbooks that were created by the agency in 1958 for Shirley Temple's Storybook. This program was a series of sixteen hour-long children's programs on National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Hills Bros. Coffee sponsored the programs which included Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin, Nightingale, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Dick Whittington and his Cat, Land of Green Ginger, Sleeping Beauty, Rip Van Winkle, Little Lame Prince, Magic Fishbone, Wild Swans, Hiawatha, Rapunzel, Ali Baba, Emperor's New Clothes and Mother Goose. The scrapbooks were assembled in the order that the programs aired and included clippings for the public and the trade. In addition, there is a menu for an event for Hills Bros. and NW Ayer employees in 1943.
Subseries 4.11, Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising Agency Materials, 1963-1968; undated, consists of material created for print, radio and television advertisements. There is a list of printed advertisements and examples of the ones that were created from 1963-1967. There are also scripts that were created for radio commercials dating from 1967-1968. Some of the printed advertisements are from the same campaigns as the radio commercials. The bulk of the material is storyboards created for television commercials and advertising instant coffee from 1965-1967. These materials are arranged in alphabetical order by title. In addition, there are also competitive consumer promotion and publicity reports prepared by the agency for Hills Bros. These materials informed Hills Bros. about the advertising activities of major competitors. The reports date from 1967-1968 and include information about Butter-Nut, Chase & Sanborn, Folgers, Maxim, Maxwell, MJB, Nescafe, Tasters Choice and Yubon. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the company.
Series 5, Photographs, 1882-1973; undated, document advertising, company activities, office buildings, plants, packaging, grocery store displays, window and wall displays, employees and the coffee trade. Company photographer, Ken P. Allen, is credited with many of the company related images and some relating to the coffee trade. Most of the photographs are labeled and have negatives. Documentation for some of the photographs can also be found in other portions of the collection. The series is divided into twelve subseries.
Subseries 5.1, Employees, 1882-1961; undated, document the activities of people working for the company. Company employees consist of factory workers, salesmen, and executives. Company executives include Austin Hills, Reuben Hills, Edward E. Hills, Herbert Gray Hills, Leslie W. Hills and T. Carroll Wilson. A number of the employee photographs were created for company publications. Some of the company activities include female employees in the preparedness parade, the company basketball team, a groundbreaking ceremony, salesmen conventions, managers' meetings and coffee testing or cupping. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.2, Division Offices, 1924-1931; undated, include images of Hills Bros. offices across the country including Butte, Chicago, Denver, El Paso, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane, and Wichita. These photographs document both the work stations of the region and Hills Bros. personnel in their work environment. The interior and exterior of the division offices are also shown. There is one image of an unidentified office. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the city in which the offices are located.
Subseries 5.3, Facilities and Vehicles, 1927-1973; undated, primarily document the work environment and social spaces for many of the plant and factory workers. There are a number of images of female employees engaged in work. Some of the photographs show machinery used for transporting bags of green coffee into the warehouse, controlled roasting, vacuum packing, and granulation control. The architectural design, construction and outside views of the Edgewater Plant, 1939-1940, are also included among these materials. The location of this plant was critical for shipping green coffee up the Hudson River from the New York Harbor to the plant. In addition, there are images of trucks used by the company. Images of the cafeteria dating from 1927 and exhibits for employees dating from 1938-1968 are also found among these materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.4, Advertising, 1925-1959; undated includes images of the various logos, designs, displays and illustrations used by Hills Bros. throughout the years. There are a number of images of the Arab trademark photographed in various settings. Many of the images have negatives and include advertising forms, point of purchase displays, outdoor displays, food show exhibits, newspaper advertisements, a 1940 medal award for newspaper campaign advertising and selling, service cards and displays installed by advertising service men. Most of the materials are dated and are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 5.5, Sales, circa 1921-1939; undated, consist of photographic materials maintained by Hills Bros. for use in sales presentations. Included among these materials is an incomplete set of plates from a jobber portfolio for the Midwest area dating from 1921-1922. There are also a number of negatives of sales maps dating from 1931-1939 and telephones. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.6, Packaging, 1884-1969; undated includes both prints and negatives of containers used by Hills Bros. to prepare and store coffee products. There are images of boxes, cans, glass jars, coffee guides and coffee pots. An evolution of packaging design as it relates to historical events is evident throughout the images. Of note are prints of the Hills Bros. coffee cans in the paintings by artist Fred Machetanz dating from 1969. The materials are arranged in chronological by date.
Subseries 5.7, Grocery Store Displays, circa, 1901-1935, contain the largest amount of materials in this series. Hills Bros. photographer, Ken Allen visited a number of retail grocers around the country to document Hills Bros. coffee displays. Some of these photographs were used in broadsides created by Hill Bros. entitled "Interesting Grocery Stores" and "Before and After." The broadsides were created from 1928-1933 with the retail grocer as the target market. Approximately 30,000 broadsides were mailed to customers. The photographs are identified by the name of the store and location. Most of the prints also have negatives and correspondence granting Hills Bros. permission to publish the photographs. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the grocery store.
Subseries 5.8, Store Tests, 1938, consists of photographs, negatives, reports and drawings from merchandising tests conducted in grocery stores in California, Arizona, Oregon, Missouri and Minnesota. "Before" photographs document shelf displays while the "after" photographs document the new floor displays. Reports on the corresponding sales figures used to promote Hills Bros. merchandising service in retail grocery stores are also include among the materials. The materials were maintained in the order that they were created by the company.
Subseries 5.9, Window and Wall Displays, 1928, 1930, 1934, contain a large number of photographs documenting the installations of window and wall displays. The displays were created by the advertising department in San Francisco and given to advertising service representatives as patterns for the installations. Advertising service representatives operated throughout the entire marketing area from the Pacific Coast to Chicago. It was custom to visit every grocery store at least once a year. Representatives offered to install a window display or wall display free of cost to the store. The materials are arranged by number and include some duplicates.
Subseries 5.10, Publicity, 1933-1936; undated, include photographs and correspondence that were maintained by Hills Bros. for publicity purposes. A large portion of the photographs consist of Hollywood movie stills with scenes using Hills Bros. coffee primarily from the 1930s. There is a substantial amount of material on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Incorporated polar expedition (1933) for the production of the movie "Eskimo." Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Freuchen, a Scandinavian surveyor, the movie chronicles his experiences charting the North Arctic Zone for use in maps put out by the Danish government. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Incorporated crew was sent above the Arctic Circle to film the production using natives. A supply of Hills Bros. coffee was included among the food provisions to last the crew for a year. Photographs of the expedition and movie stills were later used by Hills Bros. for advertising in grocery stores. In addition, there is also a newspaper article from the Citizen News dated January 1934 that discusses the adventures of the cast and crew of Eskimo. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.11, Miscellaneous, 1898-1949; undated, is a random mix of images including the return of troops from the Spanish American War on Market Street; Boeing Air Transportation, Incorporated; Frank Goss from the Columbia Broadcasting System; Fresno Bee National Recovery Administration; Infants' Choir; Kinner Airplane and Motor Corporation, Ltd.; gold miners with hot coffee by the camp fire; and Fred N. Palmiter. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.12, Coffee and Tea Industry, 1900s-1947; undated, consist of prints and negatives relating primarily to the cultivation, growth and processing of green coffee. A number of these images document women laborers from Guatemala and El Salvador examining, hand picking and sorting coffee beans. The photographs were created to illustrate the production process in the 1930s. A photograph of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Brown on a coffee buying trip in the 1900s is also included among the materials. There are photographs of coffee mills and Hills Bros. Company's participation in food shows. In addition, there are some images relating to the tea trade including the loading of tea in Asia. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 6, Sales and Marketing Records, 1906-1989; undated, primarily consist of the materials that were created by the company to communicate with the sales force. Bulletins and correspondence make up the bulk of these materials. There are also materials that were used by salesmen on a daily basis while conducting business in the field. Some of the activities of the sales department including meetings and conventions are also documented. In addition, market research, reports and studies inform the sales department about the coffee industry and consumer consumption. The materials are divided into eight subseries.
Subseries 6.1, Bulletins for Salesmen, 1912-1969 were created and distributed by the company to keep the sales force informed about sales activities. Some of the earlier bulletins contain quotes by Reuben Hills. As the primary means of communication from management to the sales force, this body of materials is rather extensive and documents over a period of time issues, concerns, advertising, sales approach of the company and changes in price structure. Eventually the bulletin system phased out due to extensive use of telephone and computer communication. The San Francisco division has some of the earliest bulletins. The materials are arranged first in alphabetical order by division or city and then in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.2, Division Bulletins and General Letters, 1925-1927 include the correspondence that was distributed to the different divisional regions including Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland and Salt Lake City. These materials were created for the salesmen and provide information on progress reports, goals of the company and sales techniques. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by division and then in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.3, Correspondence, 1919-1989, include general letters to sales representatives, memos, and management letters. The materials primarily document sales activities but also include the perspective of the entire company. Letters discuss trading in the green coffee market, special promotions, divisional sales performance, dealer coffee inventories, policy changes, etc. In 1962, the name of the management letters was changed from Monday to weekly; however, the company maintained the same format. The letters are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.4, Conventions and Meetings, 1915-1971, consists primarily of programs and menus from sales conventions dating from 1915-1943. These materials provide valuable information about the activities at the sales conventions and include the location and agenda for each meeting. There are some song books that were used at the conventions. (See series five for photographs of the sales conventions). There is also information from the divisional managers' meetings which include new sales and marketing strategies and date from 1935-1956. In addition there are materials from a NED sales meeting, a District sales meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1966 and a sales meeting and marketing presentation in Buffalo, New York in 1971. The materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 6.5, Salesmen Materials, 1906-1973; undated provide valuable information about the tools that informed the sales force. It includes materials given to salesmen upon employment and information needed to conduct daily business transactions in the field. Some of the earliest materials are a salesman's notebook dating from 1906 and a sales department territory book for the western region dating from 1907-1908. There are reference and instruction books dating from 1912-1949. Instruction books were created to provide tips and instructions on how to improve sales performance. Materials relating to salaries date from 1925-1937 and contain information on most of the sales representatives charted over this time period and presented in yearly earnings. There is a substantial number of price lists, pocket sized cards containing prices of various products, carried by each sales representative and dating from 1925-1969. An order form book, order forms and delivery forms also carried by the sales representatives are included among the materials. In addition there are monthly sales standing dating from 1931-1935, instructions on the pickup and disposition of unsalable coffee, a 1973 sales presentation and the territorial arrangement of the city of Chicago in 1930. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.6, Reports and Studies, 1941-1978 primarily inform the company about the sales of the various coffee products primarily by division, territory or state. There is a study that compares the sales of ground and instant coffee by division. An exploratory study concerning consumer attitudes toward freeze dried coffee conducted in August and September in 1968 is also included among the materials. In addition, two studies from the 1970s relating to sales force capacity and high yield coffee can also be found among the materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.7, Marketing Research, 1956-1978; undated consist of reports, research studies and surveys created by Hills Bros. and outside companies relating to various aspects of the coffee trade and consumer market. The materials include information on criteria for label design, packaging, types of coffee consumed, brand images, how advertising affects consumption and marketing plans. In addition there is a study investigating the economic and financial aspects of the United States coffee industry created in 1978 and an undated copy of the Brazilian coffee performance marketing plan. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.8, Pricing Information, 1949-1965 include correspondence, press releases and company memos relating primarily to coffee importation and pricing. There is some correspondence between Hills Bros. and the Office of Price Stabilization relating to regulations from the federal government concerning the exchange rate of green coffee and coffee prices to the consumers. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 7, Employee Records, 1934-1966, contain useful information relating to the employees and what it means to work for the company. Service and retirement materials include an executive employee service record created in 1934. It is a list of employees in upper management including the name, date of employment, and length of service. There is information on retirement plans for employees in 1953. A list of the retirement dates, birth dates, and employment dates for employees who were participants in the retirement plan from 1953-1959 is also included among the materials. A photograph of a silver plate commemorating the fiftieth anniversary in 1967 of Eugene F. Hoelter with the company is included among these materials. Employee guides from the 1960s provide information on the company's perception of its position in the coffee industry, short histories of the company, the organization of the company, and employee benefits. There is also general information and instructions for plant employees at the Edgewater, New Jersey plant which is undated. In addition, there is Herbert Grey Hills's company identification card and exhibitor's employee's pass. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 8, Accounting and Financial Records, 1903-1960; undated include some of the earliest materials from the company that were not destroyed in the 1906 fire and documents the sale of other products such as tea. There is a distributor's notebook dating from 1903-1904 with a 1925 letter enclosed inside. Record books dating from 1904 provide information relating to coffee stock distribution. They also contain information relating to tea distribution by the company and pricing. Coffee acquisition ledgers dating from 1906-1917 are grouped according to the kind of coffee bean which refers to the general region or seaport from which the beans originate including Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. There is one exception which is listed by stock number and contains mixed kind categories. The ledgers provide stock numbers, mark, quantity, location of coffee bean purchases, date of purchases, costs and grades. Entries are not consistently in chronological order by month. There are also a number ledgers maintained by the company that record information relating to retail grocers and how much they purchased from the company including product types, prices and quantities ordered. Analysis of expense account records date from 1917-1921. A tea acquisition ledger dating from 1920-1923 is divided into groups including natural leaf, Oarjeeling, Hilvilla Black, Ceylon, Java, Oolong, Gunpowder and sample (green and black). Information about stock numbers, mark, quantities, invoice weight, house weight, C.F.I. date, and where the tea was purchased can be obtained through these records. In addition there are financial statements dating from 1959-1960 and an undated coffee stock book. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 9, Office Files, 1915-1970; undated consist of materials relating directly to the business of the company and some materials that were kept on file probably as reference information. The series is divided into two subseries. Subseries one is general materials and includes court documents, correspondence, manuals, maps and some images. Subseries two is T. Carroll Wilson's correspondence dating from 1941-1970.
Subseries 9.1, General, 1915-1969; undated includes information relating to the company's participation in the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. At the exposition Hills Bros. installed and operated the first automatic machine created to vacuumed-pack coffee. Other materials from the expo include rules and regulations governing the delivery, location, installation, maintenance and transportation of exhibits and merchandise. The Museum's Division of Cultural History has some of the artifacts relating to the exposition.
Legal records including court documents for the Federal Trade Commission versus Hills Bros. Company case in 1925 and the United States Department of Justice, Anti-Trust Investigation, 1948 are included among the materials. There are correspondence granting Hills Bros. exclusive rights to use "Hot Coffee" for radio and advertising purposes. There is also information relating to the company's cooperation with the National Recovery Administration, President's reemployment agreement. In addition there is correspondence collected by the company relating to rumors, religion and race dating from 1958-1964 and correspondence about the jig-saw puzzle campaign.
Packaging materials dating from 1931-1969 primarily document the history and uses of various types of containers used by Hills Bros. for its products and labels. A paper written by Ralph Vilas discussing the historical evidence of vacuum packaging from 1931-1934, correspondence and photographs of packaging for the "Blue Brand", an article discussing the selling and merchandising of carton coffee, memos and newspaper clippings relating to vacuum packing, a paper discussing the tinplate used in can making, requirements for packaging and information relating to the coffee can using an Ansel Adams' photograph are all included among these materials.
In the 1930s Hills Bros. created the Arab Chronicle and Broadsides which were primarily distributed to retail grocers. The broadsides were the size of newspapers and folded to about one-sixth of a page for mailing. They consisted of photographs, advertisements, information relating to new advertising campaigns, advice to increase sales and news of events around the world. In addition to completed copies of the broadsides there are also drafts of the articles for each issue.
Hills Bros. opened a coffee house in 1958 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The Hills Bros. Coffee House operated as a restaurant for several years and provided a sandwich type menu with its coffee products. It was also used as a facility for taste-testing by the marketing research department.
In the 1960s Hills Bros. owned and operated three vans known as Hillsmobiles. The Hillsmobiles were used to promotion sales in various communities. The vans would ride through the neighborhoods distributing free samples of coffee. Included among the materials are letters and memos, manuals for the promotion and operation of the hillsmobiles as well as photographs, images and negatives of the vehicles.
Random materials include a Gertz Bros. Company catalogue dating from 1925, information about Chase and Sanborn coffee, maps illustrating where to go in New England, a marketing map of the United States used as a practical aid for economic sales and advertising and information about St. Augustine's oldest store museum. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 9.2, T. Carroll Wilson Correspondence, 1941-1970 relate primarily to his association with the National Coffee Association. The materials date from April 7, 1941 to December 8, 1970. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 10, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Materials, 1933-1986; undated, provide background information and a photographic almost daily account of the construction. Leslie Hills suggested placing a camera mount on the parapet of the building on Harrison Street at the beginning of the construction. From this position Ken P. Allen documented the progress until its completion in 1936. Allen also created motion film of the construction from the same position. The State Bridge Authority produced a movie in 1940 using the Hills Bros. materials. The series is divided into two subseries. Subseries one is the textual records that provide background information on the construction of the bridge. Subseries two is the photographic materials documenting to the construction.
Subseries 10.1, Background Information, 1933-1986; undated, include correspondence between Hills Bros., the State Department of Public Works and the California Commission for the Golden Gate International Exposition in reference to Hills Bros. providing the state with the original negatives of its films. The two organizations used these materials to develop a motion picture for the Golden Gate International Exposition. A list of the scenes for reels two and three and a script of the movie are also included. There are black and white photographs of the construction of the bridge and a photograph of Charles Henry Purcell, chief engineer, taken by Ken Allen. In addition there is a newspaper article from the San Francisco Chronicle dating from 1986. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 10.2, Photographic Materials, 1933-1936; undated, consists of 8 x10 and 4 x 5 black and white negatives of the construction of the Bay Bridge. Most of the negatives are dated. The materials are arranged first by size and then by date in the order that they were created.
Series 11, Golden Gate International Exposition Materials, 1915-1940; undated, primarily document the construction and management of the Arabian Theater. The Arabian Theater was located inside the Food Pavilion on Treasure Island. A color and sound version of the film "Behind the Cup: The Story of Hills Bros." was created and shown in the theater. Materials include correspondence, blueprints, photographs, newspaper articles, forms, insurance documents, passes and visitors comments. Other materials relating to the Golden Gate International Exposition can also be found in volume seven of the historical albums in series four subseries two. The series is divided into nine subseries. The materials were maintained in the order created by the company.
Subseries 11.1, Coffee Theater, circa 1939, include correspondence between Hills Bros. and NW Ayer about the creation of the murals in the theater. There is also information concerning script creation, production, promotion and the success of the Behind the Cup film. In addition there is information relating to the theater staff, visitor comments and the general management of the theater. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.2, Exposition Attendance, 1915-1940, contains comparisons of the 1915 and 1939 attendance figures, statistics on paid and non-paid admission, operating period, average gate receipt, total paid and non-paid admissions. Daily attendance records document numbers for the fair, theater, monthly totals and the weather. In addition, hourly attendance includes time, entrance, and cumulative totals. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.3, Correspondence, 1937-1940; undated, includes both incoming and outgoing communications between Hills Bros. and the Golden Gate International Exposition Company. These letters discuss permits, contracts and agreements, payment, approval for construction, regulations, applications of exhibit colors, shipment procedures, etc. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.4, Construction, 1937-1940; undated, contains information on the building of the food and beverage facility. There is correspondence and invoices relating to payments; removals; services including telephone, water, gas, electricity; estimates, and furniture. Fire insurance documents contain information on the types of coverage and public and regular liabilities. In addition there is information relating to exhibitors questionnaire and endorsements, cost of exhibit space, permission to dismantle forms, application for exhibit space and an application for a construction permit. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.5, Blueprints, 1937-1939, were created by the architect Harry A. Thompsen Jr. These blueprints include the foundation plan, the main floor plan, the lobby, the auditorium, front and side elevations, details of the upper chenau, and the mezzanine. There are also plans of Vacationland, the health and education building and the science building. A small amount of material exists on the sandwich slide, prices of coffee, average revenue and expenses, coffee equipment, coffee making instructions, the production of sales, the menu and an inventory of cups and saucers and the heating and ventilation system. A description of Threlkeld's restaurant and a history of the Threlkeld's Commissary Company are also included. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.6, Behind the Cup, 1937-1940; undated, contains correspondence between Hills Bros. company executives and the Consulate General of El Salvador relating to filming in El Salvador and Guatemala for the "Behind the Cup" movie. There are also newspaper clippings from San Salvador, a translation of the script and a photograph of T. Carroll Wilson and Ken P. Allen. Other materials include correspondence between Ken Allen and T. Carroll Wilson, releases for photographs, camera reports, narration arrangements and contracts. A copy of the "Behind the Cup" booklet which was produced by the NW Ayer Advertising Agency is also included. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.7, Newspaper Cooperation, 1939, contain clippings about "Behind the Cup" in Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.8, Solicitations and Replies, 1938-1940, contain letters to Hills Bros. with replies attached. In addition there is information on the type of equipment or services available for use by Hills Bros. at the expo, business cards, postcards and promotional materials. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.9, Miscellaneous, 1938-1940, contains a scrapbook including descriptions, images, a listing of business and industry participants, brochures, general summaries, construction of buildings, government involvement in the expo, personnel article and rules and regulations governing the transportation of exhibits. There is also information on the sandwich slide, model freight cars, Treasure Island employees and articles from the San Francisco Chronicle. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Series 12, World War II Materials, 1942-1949; undated, primarily document the United State government's coffee rationing and wartime packaging requirements. The United States War Production Board issued regulations designed to control the use of metals during this time period which greatly affected the coffee industry. These materials reflect the impact of rationing and regulations not only on the coffee industry but Hills Bros. in particular. The company's response to these measures is documented among these materials. The series is divided into six subseries.
Subseries 12.1, Production and Quotas, 1942-1946, is a compilation of correspondence, memos and conservation orders from the War Production Board maintained in the files of Herbert Grey Hills and T. Carroll Wilson. These materials relate to production quotas of coffee for roasters; restrictions on manufacture, sale and delivery of glass containers; price differential in relation to ceiling prices; small buyers and consumers accounts; new accounts and the exchange of brands and sizes. A copy of the National Coffee Association Bulletin: War Production Board, Conservation orders M135 and a copy of the red can brand quota plan dating from 1944-1946 is also included among these materials. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 12.2, Rationing, 1939-1946, consists primarily of correspondence, orders, instructions and forms from the War Production Board concerning quotas for coffee distribution and production, allowable inventory and operating inventory, ration stamps or certificates and army and navy re-orders. Post-rationing sales control and how it would affect or apply to consumers and the armed forces is also discussed. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 12.3, Containers and Closures, 1942-1949; undated, is government orders relating to quotas on size and standards for glass jars and closures, shipping containers, cans and glass jar labels. Hills Bros. specifications based on these orders is also included. There are photographs of glass jar products, discussions on original art work for labels and considerations for packing and shipping. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 12.4, Appeals, 1948, are a group of materials compiled as a presentation to the United States Department of Commerce by the Packaging and Container Committee of the National Coffee Association. This presentation was submitted on April 22, 1948. It is the National Coffee Association's attempt to use cans again.
Subseries 12.5, Advertising Campaigns, 1942; undated include correspondence relating to the "Gone with the Tin" advertising campaign. Along with the correspondence are announcements for the campaign, newspaper clippings and positive feedback from the public attesting to Hills Bros. participation in winning the war while still providing customers with the best possible products. There is also information relating to the "Waste is a Fighting Word Today" advertising campaign. Favorable responses and announcements for the advertisements are included among the materials. In addition there are some miscellaneous forms. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 13, Machinists Strike Scrapbooks, 1945-1946, consist of three scrapbooks of press clippings covering the machinist's strike that occurred in San Francisco over more pay and less hours. Hills Bros. Coffee plant which was identified as one of the big "fringe shops" was impacted by the strike due to a few maintenance machinists' participation. Hills Bros. warned grocers and their customers not to expect large supplies of coffee due to the strike. The scrapbooks are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1934-1984; undated, consists of film, vifro, and sound recordings including television and radio commercials, television and radio programs, promotional materials and Hills Bros. company activities. Hills Bros. had a photography and filming unit that began producing motion picture documentation of Hills Bros. activities in the early 1930s. This effort resulted in a detailed documentation of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Bridging the Bay, 1938-39) and a promotional film that was shown at the Golden Gate International Exposition Fair (Behind the Cup, 1939). In addition, Hills Bros. became involved with radio programming and advertising in 1934 and television advertising in the early 1950s. The collection includes a substantial number of television commercials dating from 1951-1984 as well as television programs that were sponsored in part by Hills Bros. including Shirley Temples Storybook (1958) and Meet Me at Disneyland (1962). The series is divided into six subseries.
Subseries 13.1, Moving Images, 1951-1984 consists of television commercials, television programs, film and video documentation of corporate activities. The subseries is further organized into five subsubseries.
Subsubseries 13.1.1, Television Commercials, 1951-1984, consist of a representative sample of Hills Bros. television commercials beginning with their first efforts in the early 1950s. The commercials were created by a succession of adverting agencies beginning with N.W Ayer and including Doyle, Dane, Bernbach; Foote, Cone, and Belding; and Wells Rich Greene/West. Products advertised include Hills Brothers regular roast, instant, drip roast, high yield, and flavored "European Style" coffees.
Subsubseries 13.1.2, Television Programs, 1951-1967, consist of television programs that were sponsored, in part, by Hills Bros. coffee or that were related to Hills Bros. Hills Bros. major television sponsorship effort resulted in several series including Shirley Temple's Storybook (1958), Meet Me at Disneyland (1962), Bat Masterson (1959-60), and Lead off Man (1964). Hills Bros. also provided consultation services for the program Science in Action (1951) as well as major funding for NET Festival White House Red Carpet (1967).
Subsubseries 13.1.3, Promotional Materials, 1939-1977, include material created by the company to promote their products and activities. This series includes two films of particular interest. Behind the Cup: The Story of Hills Bros. Coffee (1939), created for the Golden Gate International Exposition Fair, was produced in 35mm Cinecolor for theatrical screening. Also of note are two short films probably produced for screening at a meeting of Hills Bros. employees. In the first Gene Barry, star of Bat Masterson and Hills Bros.' spokesman describes the next season's plans for Bat Masterson and presents a portion of a proposed episode. In the second film Walt Disney talks about his company's plans for the next year including additions to Disneyland and planned episodes of Walt Disney Presents.
Subsubseries 13.1.4, Hills Bros. Activities, 1930-1962, consists of primarily 16mm "home movie" documentation of activities as diverse as the 1941 Detroit Sampling Campaign, coffee production in El Salvador, and activities in the Hills Bros. processing plant.
Subsubseries 13.1.5, Miscellaneous Film and Video, 1938-1966, includes films about coffee, travelogues, and a substantial amount of film documenting the construction of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.
Subseries 13.2, Sound recordings, 1934-1964; undated, include materials from Hills Bros. and other coffee manufacturers. There are the radio series Tune of the Day which includes Hills Bros. commercials, Hills Bros. radio commercials, Shirley Temple "Dreams Are Made for Children" produced by Columbia Pictures Corporation, Maxwell House Coffee programs and a coffee jingle from the Pan American Coffee Bureau.
Subsubseries 13.2.1, Radio commercials, undated, consists of the radio versions of commercials for various advertising campaigns.
Subsubseries 13.2.2, Radio Programs and Other Broadcasts, circa 1934-1964; undated, includes the Tune of the Day series, Ruth Ashton's Women's News Desk and two baseball broadcasts.
The collection is arranged in thirteen series.
Series 1, Hills Family Papers, 1856-1942; undated
Subseries 1.1: Austin Herbert Hills, Sr. Papers, 1856-1875; undated
Subseries 1.2,: Austin Herbert Hills, Jr. Papers, 1875-1923
Subseries 1.3: Herbert Gray Hills Correspondence, 1923-1942
Series 2: Background Materials, 1896-1988; undated
Series 3: Coffee Reference Files, 1921-1980; undated
Subseries 3.1,: Hills Bros. Coffee Company Literature, 1921-1976; undated
Subseries 3.2: Coffee Industry Literature, 1924-1980; undated
Series 4: Advertising Materials, circa 1890s-1987; undated
Subsubseries 13.2.2, Radio Programs and Other Broadcasts
Biographical / Historical:
These records were donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History by Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated.
Collection is open for research.
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.
This series consists of the business and personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert and the Downtown Gallery. For the most part, this series is general business correspondence concerning routine activities of the Downtown Gallery, including the American Folk Art Gallery and the Daylight Gallery, both operated by the Downtown Gallery on the same premises. Included are correspondence with clients, employees, other galleries, and colleagues concerning sales, loans, purchases, appraisals, and so forth; arrangements for shipping, framing, photography, reproduction permissions, and insurance; and gallery housekeeping and improvements, ordering of supplies, and other administrative concerns.
Also included is personal correspondence of Edith Gregor Halpert. There are letters and greeting cards from nieces, nephews, and other relatives; correspondence with longtime friends, including some who were art collectors, museum curators, or museum directors; and correspondence concerning upkeep and improvement of her Newtown, Connecticut, country home and entertaining there.
See Appendix A for a list of selected correspondents from Series 1
Letters (with enclosures) are arranged chronologically, with those of the same date alphabetized by name of correspondent; undated material is arranged alphabetically, followed by unidentified correspondents and letters bearing illegible signatures.
Box numbers provided in the Container Listing are approximate.
Appendix A: List of Selected Correspondents in Series 1:
Names and titles indicated in this list are those that appear on the letters. Where appropriate, terms have been standardized and cross-referencing provided. Because filing is not always consistent, researchers are advised to check both the name of an individual and the institution that he or she represented.
Abate Associates, Inc., 1956
Abbot and Land, 1965
Abbot, B. Vincent, 1944
Abbot, Bernice, 1957
Abbot, John E., 1945, 1948
Abbot Laboratories, 1950, 1952
ABC Employment Agency, 1951
Richard Abel and Co., Inc., 1968
Abendroth, Robert W., 1966-1967
Abercrombie and Fitch Co., 1962
Abilene Museum of Fine Arts, undated, 1949, 1954
Abingdon Square Painters, 1965
Abraham and Straus, 1930, 1960, 1965-1966, 1968
Abraham, Mae C., 1965
Abrahamsen, Mrs. David, 1962
Abramowitz, M., 1958
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1958-1960, 1965-1966, 1968-1969
[incomplete; without signature], undated, 1953, 1961, 1967, 1968
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
The Downtown Gallery records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws. Prior to publishing information regarding sales transactions, researchers are responsible for obtaining written permission from both artist and purchaser involved. If it cannot be established after a reasonable search whether an artist or purchaser is living, it can be assumed that the information may be published sixty years after the date of sale.
Downtown Gallery records, 1824-1974, bulk 1926-1969. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing, microfilming and digitization of the microfilm of this collection was provided by the Henry Luce Foundation. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
The papers document the life and work of William R. Hutton, a civil engineer during the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Materials include diaries, notebooks, correspondence, letterpress copy book, printed materials, publications, specifications, photographs, drawings, and maps that document the construction of several architectural and engineering projects during this period. Most notable are the records containing information related to the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Hudson River Tunnel, the Washington Aqueduct, the Kanawha River Canal, and the Washington/Harlem River Bridge. There are also several records about railroads in the state of Maryland, the District of Columbia and elsewhere, including the Western Maryland Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Colorado Midlands Railway, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, the Northern Adirondack Railroad, and the Pittsfield and Williamstown Railroad. The records can be used to track the progression of these projects, and engineering innovation during the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Scope and Contents:
These papers document William R. Hutton's professional career as a civil engineer and his personal affairs. Although the personal materials in the collection provide insight into a man and a family that have been largely forgotten by biographers, it is the professional materials that are perhaps the most interesting to researchers. They provide a compelling narrative of the push to the West that occurred in 19th century America and the internal improvements movement typified by the American System plan proposed by Henry Clay. Perhaps best remembered for the high tariffs that accompanied it, the American System plan was also concerned with the advancement of internal improvements, such as canals, that would unite the East and West in communication, travel, and trade. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal can be seen as one of the products of this movement (1) and was in fact initially heralded as the first great work of national improvement (2).
The papers in this collection that are related to the construction and maintenance of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal are an invaluable documentation of efforts during this turbulent time to unite the eastern and western United States. They provide details of the canal from its initial construction to its decline with the incline at Georgetown project. The canal also serves as an example, or perhaps a warning against, federal involvement in state improvement efforts as it was the first project to be directly funded and staffed by the federal government (3). The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by then President John Quincy Adams whose toast, "to the canal: perseverance," (4) became an ironic omen, as construction of the canal took over twenty-two years to be completed. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal materials can be used as a case study for the problems encountered during canal building (5). These problems are best typified in the collection by the papers relating to the Georgetown incline. This project was headed by Hutton and was plagued with construction problems, boating accidents, and obsolescence from the moment of its completion. Despite these issues, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal remains a structure of historical significance in America. As the third and last effort to construct an all-water route to the West (6), the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is an important artifact of 19th century attitudes and efforts towards commerce, trade, travel, and communication between the eastern and western United States. Other significant canals and water structures represented in the collection are the Kanawha Canal, the Washington Aqueduct, and a large collection of materials relating to the Kingston Water Supply (New York).
One of the most significant internal improvements made during this time was the railroad. The legal conflicts that arose between the canal companies and railroads is also represented in the materials relating to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. These materials specifically deal with the legal conflict's between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The development and construction of the railroads is also represented in the materials documenting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, the Northern Adirondack Railroad, the Western Maryland Railroad, the Mexican National Railroad, the Colorado Midlands Railroad, and the Columbia Railroad.
The collection also demonstrates the spirit of innovation and invention that was prevalent in the engineering field in the nineteenth century. Joseph Gies writes, "...one of the distinctive characteristics of the great nineteenth century engineering adventurers was their readiness to gamble on the translation of theory into practice" (7). In this quote, he is speaking of the civil engineer Dewitt Clinton Haskins and a project that truly encapsulates engineering invention in the nineteenth century, the Hudson River Tunnel. Responding to the increase in the population of the City of New York in the late nineteenth century from sixty thousand to three and a half million, the Hudson River Tunnel was originally devised as a way to alleviate traffic and to transport train passengers directly across the Hudson River (8). Beginning with records dating from 1881 to 1901, the Hutton papers can be used to document not only the advances in engineering during this time but also the costs of progress. Haskins' initial efforts to build the tunnel using submerged air pressurized caissons were marked by failure and in some cases fatalities. Workers on the tunnel often suffered from what came to be known as "caisson disease" or "the bends," caused by the immense forces of compression and decompression experienced while working in the tunnels (9). This problem was so prevalent that as construction progressed the rate of worker deaths caused by "the bends" rose to twenty-five percent (10). Materials in the collection document worker complaints and deaths resulting from this disease as well as providing a technical record of the construction of the tunnel. The highlight of the materials relating to the Hudson River Tunnel is an album that contains photographs of workers in the tunnel and a detailed daily report of the construction progress on the tunnel that was maintained by Hutton's assistant, Walton Aims. The first hand account in these reports provides insight not only into the construction of the tunnel, but also the problems encountered.
Another project featured in the Hutton collection that was devised in response to the population explosion in the City of New York in the nineteenth century is the Harlem River Bridge, or as it is now known, the Washington Bridge. Known as one of the longest steel arch bridges of its time, the Harlem River Bridge also represents that spirit of invention and innovation that was prevalent in the civil engineering field during the nineteenth century. The collection provides an invaluable resource for those wishing to track the construction of the bridge from early concept drawings and proposals to finalized plans. Also present are photographs of the construction and workers. Societal response to the bridge in the form of newspaper and magazine clippings help to create the narrative of the Washington Bridge, and these are supplemented by correspondence from the builders, suppliers, and planners.
This collection also includes diaries, 1866-1901; letterpress copybooks, 1858-1901; correspondence on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Hudson River Tunnel, Washington Bridge over the Harlem River, and Maryland and Colorado railroads, 1861-1901, and on Hutton's financial and real estate affairs, 1835-1921; construction photographs of the Harlem River, Cairo, Poughkeepsie, Niagara bridges and the Hudson River Tunnel, Washington Aqueduct, and Capitol Dome (in the form of albumen, cyanotype, salted paper print); data and drawings; rolled land profile drawings; canal notes, 1828-1892; Hudson River Tunnel construction reports, 1889-1891; publications, drawings, and maps of railroad routes; pamphlets and reprints on hydraulic works and water supply; road, railway, bridge, and hydraulic construction specifications, 1870-1900; drawings (linen, oil cloth, and heavy drawing paper), and blueprints; account books, 1891-1899; and plans, drawings, field notebooks, and publications on American and European construction projects, especially in Maryland, New York, and France; personal correspondence detailing his role as executor for the estates of Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Annie Theller, and the Countess H. De Moltke-Hvitfeldt and his relationships with his children, siblings, cousins, and colleagues, 1850-1942.
Materials are handwritten, typed, and printed.
Special note should be made that any materials dated after the year 1901 were added to the collection by another creator who is unidentified. It can be speculated that professional materials added after this date were contributed by his brother and colleague Nathanial Hutton or his son Frank Hutton. Personal materials contributed after this date may have been added by his wife, daughters, or other members of his extended family.
Series 1, Letterpress Copybooks, 1858-1901, consists of twenty seven letterpress copybooks containing correspondence between Hutton and other engineers, architects, and building suppliers. The letterpress copybooks in this series have been arranged chronologically. The books involve a process by which ink is transferred through direct contact with the original using moisture and pressure in a copy press. The majority of the correspondence is business- related. Some letterpress copybooks are devoted to specific projects such as the Washington/Harlem River Bridge, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The letterpress copybooks provide a record of correspondence written by Hutton, which makes it distinctive from the other correspondence in the collection. Most of the other correspondence has Hutton as recipient.
The letterpress copybooks also document Hutton's various residences throughout his life and provide a glimpse into the civil engineering profession at the time by demonstrating how engineers shared ideas and comments about projects. This can be supplemented with the printed materials in the collection as many of the authors also appear in the correspondence. Other topics covered in the letterpress copybooks include business reports (specifically the report of the president and directors of the Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad), records of people and companies involved in projects, pasted in engineering sketches, engineering specifications and notes, travel expenses and estimates, construction histories and progress, legal issues with family estates, tax information, Colorado Railroad, payment certificate schedules, St. Paul Railroad, personal correspondence, title guarantees, Hudson River Tunnel, financial matters, real estate matters, insurance information, sketches and drawings, supply lists, cost estimates, the Memorial Bridge, Coffin Valve Company, engineering expenses, engineering calculations, payroll notes for Kingston Water Supply, proposals, account information, Hutton Park, reservoirs, contract drafts, French Society of Civil Engineers, inspection results (specifically Piedmont Bridge), land descriptions, damage reports, Morse Bridge, Illinois Central Railroad, North Sea Canal, moveable dams, iron works, site histories, Potomac Lock and Dock Company, Kanawha River canal (lock quantities, specifications, payroll information), Pennsylvania Canal, and bills for services.
Series 2, Professional Correspondence, 1861-1901, consists of correspondence that relates to Hutton's architectural and engineering projects. This series is further subdivided into two subseries: Project Correspondence and General Correspondence. Subseries 1, Project Correspondence, 1876-1899, correspondence is divided by project and arranged alphabetically. Subseries 2, General Correspondence, 1861-1901, is arranged chronologically. Both series contain handwritten and typed letters. Some letters are on letterpress copybook pages and are most likely copies. Some materials are in French and Spanish. Special note should be made that this series does not contain all of the professional correspondence in the collection. Some correspondence has been separated according to project and placed in Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965, in order to make it easier for researchers to access materials related to those subjects.
Subseries 1, professional correspondence topics include comparisons between construction projects (specifically comparisons of the Kanawha River Canal to other canals), supply lists, location recommendations, sketches, construction plans and modifications, bills for supplies and works, leaks in the gates, cost estimates, Brooklyn Water Supply, use of lake storage (Ramapo Water Supply), water supply to states and counties, damages to water supply pipes, estimates of water quantities, responses to construction reports, legal issues related to projects, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and payment for services.
Subseries 2, general correspondence topics include employment opportunities, committee meetings and elections, land surveys, sketches, engineering plans and ideas, work on projects, dismissal from projects, notes on supplies, Washington Aqueduct, construction progress, land purchases, Civil War, Jones Falls, cost of water pumps, steam drills, lots divisions and prices, repairs, report of the engineering bureau, tidewater connection at Annapolis, bridge construction, construction costs, statement of vessels that entered and cleared Baltimore, technical questions from colleagues, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, supply costs, letters of introduction, requests for reference, changes to plans and designs, survey reports, St. Andrew's lot, Canal Coal Company, publication process, American Society of Civil Engineers and its members, responses to project inquiries, Graving Dock gross revenue, job offers, specifications, trade figures, contracts, water levels, appointment dates and times, moveable dams, proposals for membership, salaries, Piedmont Coal Lands, maps, land profiles, Washington Bridge, board payments, Nicaragua Canal, Grant Coal Company, statistics, engineering notes, Hartford Bridge, water pressures, coal deposits, Colorado Coal, pipe lines, reservoirs, boat costs for canals, floods, bridges, letters of resignation, engines, Ruxton Viaduct, Colorado and Midland Railroad, Morse Bridge, share values, railroad locations, membership invitations, call for submissions, structural tests, record of accounts for room and board, appointments, water rights (Putnam County), publications, blueprints, visitation programs, cotton compresses, street trenches, pressures in dams, level tests, Portland Transportation bureau, trade information, concrete steel, Chicago drainage canal, ship canals, Augusta Cotton and Compress Company, Sooysmith case, Consolidated Gas Company, masonry, book binding, Columbia Railway Company, jetties, land grades, Chesapeake and Delaware canal, water wheels, pneumatic lock, tunnel arches, rifton power, Hutton's health, elevators, Brooklyn Bridge Terminals, girder weights, legal issues and their results, rating table for the Potomac, land profiles, transmission lines, transformers, water turbines, and water power on the Potomac River.
Correspondents for this series include the following: Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, Captain T.W. Symons, William Bryan, Ernest Flagg, John Hurd, Jake Wolfe, J.C. Saunders, J.H. Dolph, Charles J. Allen, G.H. Mendell, Virgil S. Bogue, B.A. Mounnerlyn, Edward Burr, H.G. Prout, R. William, H. Dodge, C.R. Suter, M. Mink, W.R. King, John Lyons, Alex Brown and Sons, John G. Butler, D. Condon, Bernard Carter, R.P. McCormick, D.R. Magruder, Andrew Banks, Isaac Solomon, C.J. Mayer, C.W. Kern, John Herring, James S. Mackie, D.R. Magunde, D. Rittaguide, R.S. Stevens, J.L. Raudolph (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), J.M. Lane, W.D. Stuart, W.G.P. Palmer (Committee Church of the Ascension), C. Crozet, General W. Hughes, V.R. Maus, J.M. Hood (Western Maryland Railroad Company), Ernest Pontzen, M. Haus, William F. Craighill, Harry Hutton, John W. Pearce, Reverend James A. Harrald, William Watson, A.L. Rives, Thomas Monro, A.F. Croswan (Commander United States Navy), H.R. Garden, William McAlpine, James Forrest, Wm. Bloomsfield, Daniel Ammen, Linel Wells, A. and Otto Sibeth, Alfred Noble, Clemens Hershel, Sidney Warner, E.H. de Rheville, Theodore Cooper, William Findlay Shunk, Lewis S. Wolfe, Rufus Mead, Theodore F. Taylor, John Bogart, J. Whaler, B. Williamson, Colonel F.V. Greene, Robert H. Sayre (Lehigh Valley Railroad Company), Charles W. Pussey, Louis Q. Rissel, V.C. Bogue, H.C. Eckenberger, Melville E.G. Leston, Edwin Parson, Rudolph Hering, R.S. Hale, F.M. Turner, Thosl Martindale, Justus C. Strawbridge, William M. Ayresm, R.L. Austin, A.M. Miller, P. Livingston Dunn, T.J. Cleaver, C.S. Dutton, H.A. Carson, William Bainbridge Jaudon, H.A. Presset, Thomas H. McCann, Russel Sturgis, H.G. Prout, Alexis H. French, John K. Cowen, F.W. Williams, J. Waldorf, B.H. Byrant, B.H. Jones, M.H. Rogers, J.W. Ogden, General W. Cashing, William Longhudge, A.J. Cameron, T.L. Patterson, J.J. Hagerman, H. Wigglesworth, Charles B. Rowland, E. Bantz, W.G. Lathrop, Clarence King, George Rowland, George A. Tibbals (Continental Iron Works), George N. Vanderbilt, Eugene C. Lewis, F.P. Burt, Colonel John C. Clarke, Lieutenant Thomas Turtle, W.S.M. Scott, E. Bates Dorsey, Bernard Carter, George M. Shriver (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), Russel Sturgis, Macmillan Publishing, James Abernethy, B. Baker, J.G.W. Fynje, A. Mallet, Jean Hersuy, L.F. Vernon Horcourt, Robert Lilley, A.J. Johnson, F.M. Colby, Henry D. Loney, A.S. Cameron, James A. Harrald, William Watson, John B. Lervis, A.L. Rives, Edwin F. Bidell, Frank H. Stockett, E. McMahon, C.F. Elgin, Enrique Budge, G. Clayton Gardiner, Dwight Porter, William A. Chapman, T.E. Sickels, Theodore Cooper, C.J. Warner, Institution of Civil Engineers, Robert Gordon, United States Coast of Geodetic Survey Office, C.P. Pattun, J.N. Putnam, Sidney B. Warner, H.D. Fisher, Union Pacific Railway Company, Lewis S. Wolle, George E. Waring Junior, The American Exhibition, G.F. Swain, American Society of Civil Engineers, N.H. Whitten, U.S. Engineer Office, Government Works Committee, J.J. Hagerman, D. Jackson, Sterling Iron and Railway Company, E.P. Alexander, E. Williamson, Central Railway Company of New Jersey, William A. Underwood, F. Collingwood, James Dun (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company), Henry F. Kilburn, Louis A. Bissell, Virgil G. Boque, H.C. Eckenberger, Melville Egleston, Charles Parson, George Swain, Continental Iron Works, Rudolph Hering, J.B. Gordon, Mayor's Office (Baltimore), Harry Robinson, Pennsylvania Railway Company, W.H. Gahagan, L. Luiggi, B.H. Bryant, T.J. Cleaver (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company), H.A. Carson, H.A. Presset (Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey), John K. Cowen, Vernon H. Brown, J. Waldorf, B.H. Bryant, L.F. Root, P.W. White, Metropolitan Railroad Company, Charles F. Mayer (Consolidated Coal Company, Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company), J.M. Lane (Western Maryland Railroad), Dr. R.S. Stewart (Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad), Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad (John Lyons, John G. Butler, D. Candon, R.P. McCormick, Andrew Banks), Thomas F. Rowland, J.A. Bensel, Walton Aims, S.D. Coykendall, H.C. Rogers, John F. Ward, T.B. Jewell, H.A. Pressey, C.S. Armstrong, J. Nennett, V.G. Bague.
Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942, contains correspondence with immediate and extended family, specifically the heirs to the Benjamin H. Hutton and Joseph Hutton estates and Adele Gorman. Correspondence is primarily arranged chronologically, but some files have been divided based on subject or author (the Deer Park and Adele Gorman files), or by form (the Telegrams, and Cablegrams file). Special note is made of the posthumous correspondence file, which includes correspondence both relating to Hutton's death and correspondence that was written by family members after the years of his death. The series contains both hand written and typed letters. Some correspondence is in French. The correspondence demonstrates his relationship with his children specifically Elizabeth (Bessie) Hutton, and illuminates his role in his family. This series also provides details about nineteenth century upper class society and activities. Special note should be made that this folder does not contain all of the personal correspondence contained in the collection. Some correspondence has been separated according to recipient, or subject in order to make researching these recipients or subjects easier.
Series 3 correspondence topics include: estate payments, distribution of assets, funds transfers, estate lines, conflicts with tenants, sketches, lot maintenance, real estate sales, deeds, real estate sales negotiations, congratulations wishes on new babies, family illnesses, family affairs and travels, traveling directions, personal investments, invitations for social occasions, family debts, professional interests, professional and personal appointments, family issues, requests for money, sketches, advice to children (specifically Frank Hutton), life insurance, books, letters of introduction, legal issues, funeral expenses, charity donations, advertisements, minutes from professional organizations, army enlistment, deaths of friends and family, recipes, estimates of personal expenses, renovations, stock certificates (Great Northern Railway Company, New York), food, social activities, the weather, marriages, real estate and construction plans, and loan agreements.
Correspondents include the following: Frank Hutton, Thomas B. Brookes, J.L. Marcauley, C.M. Matthews, Edward J. Hancy, John M. Wilson, H.A. Carson, William H. Wiley (of John Wiley and Sons Scientific Publishers, New York), Georgina Hutton, Pierre and Jane Casson, George McNaughlin, Henrietta Hutton, Aaron Pennington Whitehead, J.B. Wheeler, B. Williamson, Robert De Forest, Elizabeth (Bessie) Hutton, Grace Beukard, J.C. Saunders, Mary Hutton, William J. Pennington, C.S. Hurd, Henry C. Cooper, Henry J. Segers, S.F. Miller, Annie Theller, Alfred Noble, Maria Burton, Joseph Hobson, E. Lennon, F. Hulberg, Charles Gordon Hutton, Edward C. Ebert, A. William Lewin, E.R. Dunn, William P. Craighill, Theodore Cooper, P.I. Chapelle, Anita McAlpine, Clarence King, Victoria Raymond, and Adele Gorman.
Series 4, Personal Materials, 1835-1946, contains documentation about Hutton's personal finances, role as executor of the Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Annie Theller, and Countess H. De Moltke-Hvitfeldt estates, Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary Hutton (daughter), Frank Hutton, John Caulfield (son-in-law), and B.F. and C.H. Hutton. The series has been divided into four subseries: Financial Records, 1876-1901, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, Other Huttons, 1876-1936, and Personal Material, 1878-1946. Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, contains correspondence relating to specific family estates and family members. This correspondence was separated from Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942, to make it easier for researchers to access all records relating to the family estates. This series includes hand written, typed, and printed materials. Some materials are in French. All material dated after 1901 has been added to the collection by other creators such as Hutton's wife and children.
Subseries 1, Financial Records, 1876-1901, includes account books, account records, correspondence related to bank accounts, bank statements, financial notes, bills and proofs of payment, rent receipts, tax bills (New York, Flatbush, Montgomery County), checks, money exchanges, receipts for tax payments, real estate receipts, stock and bond certificates, loan agreements, executor accounts, rebate calculation sheet, and tax and insurance payments.
Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, includes property maps and information (rent, mortgage costs, deeds), correspondence, notes on estate distribution, estate assets, value of estate and estate payments, account records, loan agreements, receipts, proof of payments, checks, financial records, legal documents, insurance documents, tax bills, auction receipts, and wills relating to the estates of Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Countess H. de Moltke-Hivtfeldt, Annie Theller, and William R. Hutton. Also included are correspondence, property maps and information, and deeds and mortgages on Hutton properties.
Subseries 2, the estate and real estate records correspondence topics include: Virginia state building codes, construction costs, construction notices, purchasing offers for property, real estate prices, receipts of payments, property lines, real estate purchases and sales, real estate sales negotiations, deeds insurance estimates and costs, loan costs, property estimates, renovation costs, mortgages, property damages and repairs, property tax payments, insurance rates and payments, rent payments, telephone installation, building permits, rental agreements, reports on property condition, contracts of sale, conflicts with tenants, changes of address, deeds, distribution of estate monies, details about the Countess' illness, estate arrangements, changes of address, problems arising out of estate distribution, payment of debts, will details, selling of mortgage shares, accounts, estate settlement, money cables and transfers, dealings with lawyers, rent on Hutton Park property, legal and accounting fees, power of attorney transfer, investments, property security, land appraisals, lists of assets, legacy taxes, mortgages transfers, property management, Flatbush property, property rent and values, and physicians bills.
Correspondents include the following: A.C. Weeks, Walter I. Green, John D. Probsh, A.G. Darwin, Thomas H. McCann, Allan Farguhar, Thomas Dawson, Potter and Crandall Real Estate and Insurance Brokers, George C. Tilyou, H.D. Olephant, F. Winston, Richard E. Calbraith, Frank P. Martin, Henry DeForest, Henry C. Cooper, Metropolitan Telephone and Telegraph Company, John Ecker, C.K. Avevill, Georgina Hutton, Edward J. Hancy, Robert Graham, W.M. Bennett, Willis E. Merriman, Nathan L. Miller, Harry Hutton, Marquise de Portes (Adele Gorman), Annie Theller, Samuel L. Theller, Mrs. R. Locke, Frank Z. Adams, John Palmer (Secretary of State, New York), J.T. Cammeyer, Frank P. Martin, Florence Theller, Francis H. Seger, Henry C. Cooper, D.W.G. Cammeyer, Campbell W. Adams, Jane Casson, Elizabeth Hutton, Rene de Portes, H.G. Atkins, Grace Beukard, Aaron Pennington Muikhead, J.E. Delapalme, T.H. Powers, Egerton L. Winthrop Junior, George B. Glover, William Jay and Robert W. Candler, B. Williamson, J.E. Knaff, Cornelius C. Vermeule, S.V. Hayden, Charles G. Landon[?], H.A. Hurlbert, F.A. Black, John L. Calwalder, the Health Department of New York, A.G. Darwin, William Laue, Frederick Frelinghuysen, Charles S. Brown, Henrietta Hutton, Edward Gelon.
Subseries 3, Other Huttons, 1874-1936, includes professional drawings and proposals, checks, insurance information, correspondence, tax information, medical information, tax bills, relating to Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary Hutton (daughter), Henry and Harry Hutton, Frank Hutton (son), John Caulfield (son-in-law), B.F. Hutton, and C.H. Hutton.
Subseries 4, Personal Materials, 1878-1946, contains handwritten property notes, school notes, sermons, travel documents, menus, Christmas cards, jewelry box, postal guide, typed religious materials and flyers.
Series 5, Diaries, 1866-1901, contains twenty nine diary books that document both Hutton's personal and professional life. These diaries provide not only a record of Hutton's life, but were also used by Hutton himself as a reference tool. When working on projects he would refer to notes and observations he made in his diary (as evidenced by notes made in his diaries). The first pages of the diaries often list his height, weight and clothing sizes as they varied from year to year. A researcher could probably use the cashbooks (see Series 7) and the diaries in conjunction as both detail the purchases made by Hutton. Many of the diaries also include a short record of accounts in the back. The diaries are arranged chronologically.
Topics found in the diaries include short form accounts of daily activities and appointments, records of the weather, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, construction progress on projects, steam pumps, sketches and calculations, extension of Washington railroads, cost of food, work supplies, travel costs, costs of goods and food, work deadlines, home renovations, visits to family, cash accounts, accounts of household duties, produce on Woodlands property, records of deaths, debts owed, account of clearing Woodlands property, church visits, Hancock and Tonoloway Aqueduct, canals, Drum Point Railroad, Montgomery C. Meigs, Washington Aqueduct, Annapolis Water Works, telegram costs, wages for Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, William Craighill, Morris Canal, Annapolis Railroad and Canal, professional duties (inspections), Kanawha River Canal, travel schedules, professional expenses, cash received from Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, John's Dam, cathedral construction (St. Patricks?), Piedmont Bridge, Cumberland, account of farm property belonging to Major Campbell Bruns, Cunard Pier, Marquise de Portes, rent costs, Baltimore Canal, Kingston Water Supply, Croton Orange Estate, Pierre Casson, Hudson River Tunnel, Washington/Harlem River Bridge, entertainment costs, Greenwood cemetery, train schedule, notes on illness, real estate sales, Hutton Park, Benjamin H. Hutton estate and heirs, estimates, accounts of correspondence received and sent, Central Railroad, rent on Orange properties, addresses, contracts and building supplies for projects, personal finances, Joseph Hutton property on Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, amounts paid and received, medical appointments, Ramapo Water Company, drawing progress of maps and diagrams, Harbor Board (New York), property repairs, inspection and test reports, reservoirs, lists of birthdays, Boston Tunnel, family financial issues, tax payments, and prayers.
Series 6, Notebooks, 1860-1900, document the engineering and architectural projects worked on by Hutton. The series has been divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899; Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886; and Subseries 3, Notes, 1863-1900. Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899, contains sixteen field notebooks used by Hutton. Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886, contains seven notebooks. Subseries three, Notes, 1863-1900, contains four documents.
Some notebooks correspond to specific projects such as the Kanawha River Canal (lockgate and Phoenix Waterline), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Buffalo Reservoir, Potomac Lock and Dock Company, Northern Adirondack Railroad account, Washington Aqueduct, Little Rock Bridge, Wilson-Adam Dock, Croten Brick Works, Hutton Park, Centennial Iron Works, Cumberland Canal, Williamsport Aqueduct, Catoctin Aqueduct, Alexandria Canal, Miller's Saw Mill, Seneca Dam, Union Tunnel, Cumberland Waterworks, Victoria Bridge, Welland Canal, North Sea Canal, Ramapo Water Company, Annapolis Water Company, Antietam Aqueduct, Interoceanic Canal, San Quentin Canal, Suez Canal, Amsterdam Canal, Harlem Bulkhead, Morris Canal, Blue Lake Canal, and Nicaragua Canal.
These notebooks should be used in conjunction with the other materials in the collection related to professional projects, as they often provide more detailed accounts of the construction and land surveys. Some of the notebooks contain entries from several different sources. The notebooks were probably shared among the engineers working on these projects. The notebooks also contain looseleaf ephemera such as hand written calculations, newspaper clippings, and blueprints. Languages found in this series are English and French.
Notebook topics include construction projects, supply needs, costs for labor, sketches (Woodland Mills, landscapes, dams, railway cars, Noland Tunnel), costs of crops, survey measurements, cost of livestock, aqueducts, inspections, canal bridges, seed prices, dams, measurements, coffer dam, canal maintenance, worker salaries, calculations, towpath sketches and measurements, shipping rates, worker accidents, water and coal used, geometrical sketches (Washington Aqueduct), locks, damage reports, interactions with other engineers (William Reading), coal shipments on the canal, travel expenses, land survey notes, drafts for correspondence, William Craighill, Victoria docks, lists of personal supplies used, construction time estimates, surveying expenses, telegram costs, sand pump, canal from Sherling to Tuxedo Bay, analysis of several artificial lakes and reservoirs, distances of reservoirs to main pipes, calculations for the Austin Wheel, engine construction, bridges, gauging water depth, results and observations of tests and performance, problems with construction, to-do lists, cost of land surrounding towpaths, Fawcett's Lock, Tarman's Lock, comparison of costs in transporting coal by water and by rail, inspection notes, iron work, drainages, leaks, cost of supplies, watergates, harbor ferries, railroad station distances, flood protection, Panama Canal via the Nicaraguan route, cost of jetties, water levels, pressure of steam, boilers, steam and water cycle, water depth, cement, Great Falls, Virginia, waterflow, soundings, time of floats, flow of currents, rain fall measurements, tunnel measurements, cost of trenching San Francisco water supply, record of livestock, cost of food, rates of sawing woods and mills, preliminary railroad line measurements, profile of final line, and railroad line profiles.
Series 7, Cash Books, 1856-1899, contains seven cashbooks which list prices for personal items purchased by Hutton. Topics include groceries, church dues, clothes, hygiene products, cigars, some short journal entries about his work (Williamstown), concerts, dinners, family addresses, cakes, meals, cars, stamps, office supplies (pencils and papers), valentines, glasses, gloves, fabric, medicine, needles, diapers, tobacco, shoes (adult and childrens), travel expenses, telegrams, candles, newspapers, liquor, coal oil, jewelry, allowances given to family members, bank deposits, monies paid and received, taxes, subscriptions, tailoring costs, deposits and payments into estate trusts, and notes about payments to Benjamin H. Hutton heirs. The cashbooks also contain some personal loose leaf ephemera such as prayers, sketches, and engineering notes collected by Hutton.
Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965, contains documents about engineering and architectural projects throughout Hutton's career, including information about the professional organizations and the legal issues in which he was involved. This series has been divided into eight subseries based on project, document form, and document subject. Some materials are in French and Italian.
Series 8, Professional Projects, also includes correspondence related to specific projects, primarily the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the Hudson River Tunnel, the Washington/Harlem River Bridge, and the Georgetown Incline.
Topics include construction and repair to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, engineering and use of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, worker contracts, supply and labor purchases, design plans and proposals, construction and repair costs, supply notes and costs of supplies, water pressure and power, shipping materials and routes (specifically the shipping of coal), inspections and their findings, condition of canal dam and locks, water supply, drainage, sketches, board proceedings, business meetings, deeds, cost comparisons to other shipping methods, hiring processes, wages, cost estimates, Hutton's consulting fees, measurements and calculations, funding issues, worker conflicts, negotiations with municipal governments, payment schedules, bills for services, air pressure in Hudson River Tunnel, permission for construction, specifications, mortality rate among workers on the Hudson River Tunnel, construction reports, outlet incline, proposals for construction, letters of introduction, railroad versus water for trade, controversy with Tiersey, construction contracts, construction schedules, construction issues, construction progress, construction damage, basis for estimates, supply requests, internal politics, changes to construction plans, contract and price adjustments, issues with suppliers, construction delays, work permits, bills, worker issues, engineering notes, construction excavations, expenses, construction instructions, Union Bridge Company, lighting installations, construction processes, hiring practices, electrical conductors, water proofing, hydraulics, cement, concrete, payment of contributors, processes of approval for construction, meeting dates of the Harlem River Bridge Commission, and contract restrictions.
Correspondents include the following: W.W.M. Kaig, Henry Dodge, E. Mulvany, John Shay, James Clarke, H.D. Whitcomb, Horace Benton, J. Rellan, J.R. Maus, W.E. Merrill, A.P. Gorman, J.H. Staats, Vernon H. Brown, Charles H. Fisher (New York Central and Hudson River Railway Company), B. Baker, John Fowler, Benjamin and John Dos Passos, Charles B. Colby, Charles B. Brush, S. Pearson, Stanford White, Horace E. Golding, R.H. Smith, Daniel Lord, A. Fteley, Herbert Hinds, J.R. Bartlett, D.M. Hirsch, M.H. Bartholomew, Thomas O. Driscoll, W.E. Porter, Thomas F. Rowland, George Edward Harding, R.H. Dames, William Watson, James B. Eads, J.D. Bright, H. Aston, Charles Suley, A.M. Maynard, W.R. Henton, G. Geddes, H.P. Gilbut, Malcolm W. Niver (Secretary of the Harlem River Bridge Commission), J.D. Patterson, George Devin (Assistant Engineer Washington/ Harlem River Bridge), J.B. Wheeler, John Bogart, Charles Burns, J. McClellon, Rob Bassee, B. Williamson, Theodore Cooper, Lewis Cass Ledyard, R.M. Hunt, John Cooper, Henry Wilson, A.A. Caille, Myles Tierney, W. Pentzen, L.B. Cantfield, George Q. Grumstaid Junior, M.J. Funton, George Pierce, W.O. Fayerweather, Noah S. Belthen, Herbert Steward, W.M. Habirsham.
Subseries 1, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1965, consists of plans, blueprints, land profiles, drawings, boat rates, contract forms, order forms, descriptions of the canal, design information, engineering data, sketches, cost estimates, land titles, microfilm, business papers, supply bills, patent bills, news clippings, reports, specifications, stockholder's reports, receipts, water leases, printed materials, and correspondence.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project was started in 1828 and completed twenty two years later in 1850. The canal's main objective was to connect Georgetown to the coal banks above Cumberland, Maryland, providing a short and cheap trade route between the eastern and western United States. It was also hoped that the canal would provide greater communication and travel between these two regions. Plagued by natural disasters, and construction setbacks, the canal was never completed in time to be useful and became obsolete shortly after its completion. Canal trade was eventually put out of business by the increase of railroads. Although it was an important development in engineering at its inception, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is no longer in use and has become what locals affectionately refer to as "the old ditch." The canal was designated a National Historical Park in 1971 and consists of 184.5 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Subseries 2, Hudson River Tunnel, 1887-1901, consists of agreements for construction, certificates, contracts, and cost estimates, construction reports, engineering notebooks, engineering notes, sketches, land profiles, maps, progress profiles, plans, proposals, printed material, statements of expenses, and correspondence.
The Hudson River Tunnel project was started in 1874, and the final tubes were opened in 1910 after several construction setbacks. The tunnel connects Weehawken, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City. Today the Hudson River Tunnel, known as the North River Tunnels is used by Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and New Jersey Transit rail lines.
Subseries 3, Harlem River Bridge, 1878-1982, consists of blueprints, printed materials, photographs, engineer's estimates, schedules, costs, reports, proposals, contracts, specifications, and correspondence.
The Harlem River Bridge project was started in 1885 and was completed in 1889. It spans the Harlem River in New York City, New York and connects the Washington Heights section of Manhattan with the Bronx. It was later named and is still known as the Washington Bridge and has been adapted over time to carry highway traffic. These adaptations have allowed the bridge to remain in use today.
Subseries 4, Other Projects, 1858-1832, consists of drawings, maps, blueprints, plans, proposals, cost estimates, bills, correspondence, sketches, land profiles, dimensions, engineering notes, account records, photostats, supply lists, calculations, legal documents, surveys, inspection reports, financial data, and measurements on architectural and engineering projects. Highlights of this subseries include: Western Maryland Railroad, Washington Aqueduct, Panama Canal, Ramapo Water Company, Piedmont Bridge, Northern Adirondack Railroad, Columbia Railroad, Morris Canal, Pittsfield and Williamstown Railroad, Suez Canal, St. Gothard Canal, Tansa Dam, Colorado Midland Railroad Company, Memorial Bridge, Mersey Tunnel, Little Rock Bridge, Kingston Water Supply, Kanawha River Canal, Florida Ship Canal, East Jersey Water Company, Consolidated Coal Company, Dismal Swamp Canal, Boston and Baltimore Tunnels, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Annapolis Water Company, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad Company, and the Baltimore Beltline.
Subseries 5, Unidentified Project Files, 1872-1900, consists of bills of sale, engineering forms and regulations, cement test results and methods, census bulletin, contracts, cost estimates, correspondence, notes on publications, engineering data and notes, drawings, surveys, sketches, payrolls, photographs, and reports.
Subseries 6, Specifications, 1870-1900, consists of documents related to some of Hutton's projects, including specifications for bridges, reservoirs, canals, viaducts, docks, buildings, water works, and tunnels. Some specifications are more general, and some are blank proposal/specification forms. There are also proposals for estimates and a "call" or advertisement to contractors to bid on certain projects. Many of the specifications deal with projects in New York State, but projects in Pennsylvania, the City of Baltimore, and Europe are represented. The materials are arranged alphabetically by project name. There is one folder of documentation for the Potomac River Bridge (Arlington Memorial Bridge) in Washington, D.C. The Arlington Memorial Bridge was part of the 1901 McMillan Commission's plan for restoring Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's original plan for the capital. Two decades passed before construction was initiated by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White. The documentation for the Memorial Bridge consists of calculations and monetary figures for materials such as granite.
Subseries 7, Legal Documents, 1886, contains documents related to a patent infringement suit for moveable dams involving Alfred Pasqueau vs. the United States. This file contains both a printed version of the case and a handwritten statement from Hutton.
Subseries 8, Professional Organizations, 1870-1902, contains documents related to professional organizations where Hutton held membership. Specific organizations represented are American Institute of Architects, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France, Librarie Polytechnique, American Agency of "Engineering" in London, Imperial Institute, League of Associated Engineers, Railroad Corporation, American Institute of Mining Engineers, and the Century Association. Material in the subseries includes correspondence, candidates for membership, membership payments, membership lists, meeting minutes, schedule of terms, professional practices, charges, articles of association, invitations for membership, and election notes. Some materials are in French.
Series 9, Printed Materials, 1850-1913, contains a variety of printed materials relating to engineering and architectural projects written by Hutton and fellow engineers. This series can be used to examine not only professional developments of the period and responses to those developments, but also to track how ideas were transferred between engineers across countries and continents. This series should be used in conjunction with the professional correspondence found in this collection, as many of the authors also appear there. Some materials are in French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
Subseries 1, Printed Materials by Hutton, 1852-1900, includes printed papers on the Missouri flood wave, the Ravine du Sud, the Potomac waterfront, the Colorado midlands, and the application of water supply machinery.
Subseries 2, Printed Materials by Others, 1826-1913, includes printed materials on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canals, Tehuantec Ship Railway, Interoceanic canals and railways, jetties, Nicaragua Canal, uses of cements, mortars, concretes, steam power, harbors, Niagara Falls, Kanawha River canal, Mississippi River, Hudson River Bridge, sewage disposal, Washington Aqueduct, specifications, construction progress reports, hydraulic experiments, water supply, drainage, road surfacing, sea walls, water-cooling apparatus, pollution reports, bridges, pipes, channels, reservoirs, irrigation, water power, and sewers.
Subseries 2 contains an issue of The North American Review in which Hutton has specifically highlighted an article entitled, "The Inter-Oceanic Canal." Please see the container list for names of authors.
Subseries 3, Printed Materials with No Author, 1852-1903, includes printed materials on harbor reports, Annapolis Water Company, Ramapo Water Company, water departments and boards, maps, engineer's reports, sea walls, preservation of structures, annual reports, Coal and Iron Railway Company, sewers, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, contract specifications, proposals, social club life, Croton Water Supply, law suits, water supplies, moveable dams, reservoirs, East River Bridge, Eastern Canal, water filtration, Kingston New Water Supply, water pipes, locks, docks, contracts, construction reports, Croton Water Supply, and surveys. Also included are issues of journals such as Le Correspondant, Circular of the Office of Chief Engineers, The Club, VIII Congres International de Navigation, Journal of the Association of Engineering Studies, and Journal of the Franklin Institute.
Subseries 4, Newspaper, Journals and Magazine Clippings, 1873-1900, contains clippings from a variety of newspapers such as Scientific American, andRailroad Gazette. Subjects included are the Union Tunnel opening in Baltimore, Drum Point Railroad, railroad company conflicts, Washington/Harlem River Bridge, Metropolitan Railroad, Western Maryland Railroad, crop prospects, lumber trade, North Avenue Bridge, Nicaraguan Canal, harbors, river improvements, reactions to engineering projects, Belt tunnel, city transit, Washington, D.C. flood in 1880, tunnel shields, Springfield Bridge, railroad patents, Panama Canal, jetties, Hudson Tunnel, steel boilers, composition and use of cement, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Subseries 5, Oversized Printed Materials, 1889-1892, contains large printed materials related to the Washington Aqueduct, General Post Office Building, subway arches, cornices, Warwick's Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, Renaissance paintings, botanical drawings, school buildings, church architecture, the Hospital for the Insane of the Army and Navy and the District of Columbia, the Panama Canal, Morningside Park, and the Mississippi Jetties. Also includes engravings of Hutton, T.N. Talfound, and F. Jeffrey and photographs of Montgomery C. Meigs, and Hutton. Some materials are in German and French.
1. Ward, George Washington, "The Early Development of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Project," Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science Series XVII, no. 9-11 (1899): 8.
2. Ibid., 88.
3. Ibid., 55.
4. Ibid., 90.
5. Sanderlin, Walter S., "The Great National Project: A History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal," Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science Series LXIV, no. 1 (1946): 21.
6. Ibid., 282.
7. Gies, Joseph, Adventure Underground (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company Inc., 1962): 134.
8. Ibid., 131-132.
9. Ibid., 135-136.
10. Ibid., 145.
The collection is arranged into ten series.
Series 1, Letterpress Copybooks, 1858-1901
Series 2, Professional Correspondence, 1861-1901
Subseries 1, Project Correspondence, 1876-1899
Subseries 2, General Correspondence, 1861-1901
Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942
Series 4, Personal Materials, 1835-1946
Subseries 1, Financial Records, 1876-1901
Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921
Subseries 3, Other Huttons, 1874-1936
Subseries 4, Personal Materials, 1878-1946
Series 5, Diaries, 1866-1901
Series 6, Notebooks, 1860-1900
Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899
Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886
Subseries 3, Notes, 1863-1900
Series 7, Cashbooks, 1856-1899
Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965
Subseries 1, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1965
Subseries 2, Hudson River Tunnel, 1887-1901
Subseries 3, Harlem River Bridge, 1878-1892
Subseries 4, Other Projects, 1858-1932
Subseries 5, Identified Project Files, 1872-1900
Subseries 6, Specifications, 1870-1900
Subseries 7, Legal Documents, 1886
Subseries 8, Professional Organizations, 1870-1902
Series 9, Printed Materials, 1826-1913
Subseries 1, Printed Materials by Hutton, 1852-1900
Subseries 2, Printed Materials by Others, 1826-1913
Subseries 3, Newspaper, Journals, and Magazine Clippings, 1855-1901
Not much is known about the history of William Rich Hutton outside of his role in architectural and engineering projects of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In many cases, he is spoken of only in reference to his projects, and the short biographies that have been written read more like a resume than a life story. Because of this lack of information, this note will focus on Hutton's professional accomplishments, but will attempt to make some comments on his personal life.
William Rich Hutton was born on March 21, 1826 in Washington, D.C., the eldest son of James Hutton (died 1843) and his wife, the former Salome Rich (1). He was educated at the Western Academy (Washington, D.C.) from 1837-1840 under George J. Abbot and then at Benjamin Hallowell's School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he received special training in mathematics, drawing, and surveying (2). Hutton began his professional career in California when he, along with his younger brother James, accompanied their uncle William Rich to work for the United States Army. His uncle was a paymaster for the army and Hutton became his clerk. They traveled around the new state paying the various platoons stationed there, but Hutton also occupied his time by drawing the landscapes and structures he saw in the settlements of Los Angeles, San Francisco, La Paz, Mazatlan, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Pedro, San Diego, and Cape San Lucas (3). These drawings are now held by the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Hutton held the position of clerk until the spring of 1849, and in July of that year he began working with Lieutenant Edward O.C. Ord and completed the first survey of Los Angeles and its surrounding pueblo lands and islands. Hutton continued surveying in California from 1850-1851. He was hired by William G. Dana to survey the Nipomo Ranch in San Luis Obispo County and also surveyed the ranches Santa Manuela and Huer-Huero, both owned by Francis Z. Branch. After his employment with Dana, he became the county surveyor for San Luis Obispo County, where he prepared the first survey and map of the region. He also continued to survey ranches for Captain John Wilson during this time. In August 1851, he resigned from his position as county surveyor and moved to Monterey where he worked as an assistant to Captain (later General) Henry W. Hallack, superintendent of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine in Santa Clara County (4). He remained in this position until March, 1853 when he returned to Washington, D.C. by way of Mexico (5).
Hutton began his career as a civil engineer in Washington, D.C. He was first assigned to the position of assistant engineer on a survey of the projected Metropolitan Railroad in 1853, which was chartered to connect Washington, D.C. with the mainline of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1855 he began his professional relationship with Montgomery C. Meigs when he was appointed to the position of assistant engineer on the Washington Aqueduct. He also served as division engineer on this project until construction was shut down in 1861 because of the outbreak of the Civil War. Fortunately for Hutton, the construction on the Aqueduct was resumed in 1862, and when Congress transferred the supervision of the aqueduct project from the War Department to the Department of the Interior, Hutton was made chief engineer. By the end of the Civil War, Hutton's reputation as a civil engineer was established (6).
During this decade Hutton also served as the chief engineer for the Annapolis Water Works (1866) and as chief engineer for one of his most famous projects, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (1869-1871). Although some historians minimize Hutton as just one of many engineers to work on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, he did make one major contribution to its construction: the Georgetown Canal Incline. Perhaps the final effort of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal company to compete with the emerging and fast expanding railroad, the Georgetown Incline was designed to allow canal boats to travel through the canal with low water levels and to alleviate canal congestion. Unfortunately, by the time the incline was completed use of the canal had decreased so significantly that it was no longer needed to help control traffic (7). Despite this, Hutton continued to work as a consulting engineer for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company until 1881, when he was let go because of the dwindling fortunes of the company (7).
In the 1870s and 1880s Hutton was busy with several engineering projects. During 1871-1873, he was the chief engineer in the completion of the Western Maryland Railroad to Hagerstown and Williamsport (9). He also practiced as an architect with his brother, the prominent Baltimore architect Nathanial Henry Hutton, during the years 1873-1880. He relocated to New York in 1880, serving as chief engineer for the Washington Bridge in 1888 and 1889 and the Hudson River Tunnel from 1889 to 1891. In 1886, he became the consulting engineer for the New Croton Aqueduct and served in the same position for the Colorado Midland Railway between the years of 1886-1889 (10).
As his personal and professional correspondence shows, Hutton continued to work on various engineering and architectural projects until his death on December 11, 1901. In addition to these projects, he also invented the innovative system of locks and moveable dams used in the Kanawha River Canal. He was awarded the Diplome d'Honneur for this featat the Paris Exposition in 1878 (11). His correspondence also demonstrates how Hutton was respected within his professional community. These letters refer to the accuracy of his work, his willingness to help other colleagues and supply them with reference materials and information, and, in addition to all this, his politeness. It seems that these qualities defined not only his personality but also his ideology. In one of the cashbooks in the collection, dated 1899, a hand written note contains a religious parable of "The Straw." The phrase in this parable that speaks most to Hutton's work ethic, and to the spirit of inventors everywhere, is this: "Even so however lowly may be the act, however little opportunities we may have of assisting others, we may still do something. Let us beg to fulfil our duty in this regards by making ourselves useful to others by some little act of thoughtful charity..." (12). Hutton, in his dedication to civil engineering, seems to have lived up to this virtue, and in his work he changed the landscape of Washington, D.C. and New York.
The Fairy Godfather: Hutton's Personal History
His professional records reveal a man who was fiercely dedicated to his work. His obituary references his professional life more than his personal life (13). Despite his reputation in the professional engineering community, his personal records demonstrate that Hutton was also dedicated to his family and children. In 1855, he married Montgomery County native Mary Augusta Clopper (died 1915). Together they lived on her family's estate known as the Woodlands, and had five children: Frank C. Hutton, Mary Hutton, Elizabeth Hutton (later Caulfield), Rosa Hutton, and Annie Salome Hutton (14). It is at this estate that Hutton died and was buried. The personal letters to his wife found in the Woodlands Collection held at the Montgomery County Historical Society show a man in love and willing to take time from his work to write to his wife. His letters to his children show a similar interest and compassion. In the many letters found in this collection from his daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) one can see a father who is interested in not only his daughter's activities abroad, but also in her opinion. This interest also extends to his son Frank Hutton, as their correspondence shows Hutton offering his son advice on his own engineering projects.
Hutton also served as executor to many of his extended family's estates. Many letters show the conflicts that Hutton had to mediate and the dependence of his cousins on him for advice and money. Although his family was wealthy (his cousin was Benjamin H. Hutton whose daughters married into the court of Napoleon III), they were volatile, and his records seem to indicate that he served as a mediator for many of their disputes. In addition to this, as his nickname of Fairy Godfather suggests, Hutton was always willing to lend his family either financial or moral support when needed. Unfortunately, little other documentation concerning Hutton's personal life exists outside of this collection and the one held at the Montgomery County Historical Society.
1. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942).
2. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): ix.
3. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942). and Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): x-xi.
4. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942).
5. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): xvii.
6. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): xvii-xviii.
7. Skramstad, Harold, "The Georgetown Canal Incline," Technology and Culture, Vol. 10, no. 4 (Oct. 1969): 555.
8. Business Correspondence, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 22 February 1881, William R. Hutton Papers, 1830-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 27, folder number 29.
9. "William Rich Hutton," The Club: A Journal of Club Life for Men and Women,(July 1894):37
12. Cashbook, 1899, William R. Hutton Papers, 1830-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 23, folder number 5.
13. The Woodlands Collection, Montgomery County Historical Society.
Materials in the Archives Center
The Montgomery C. Meigs Papers, 1870-1890, (AC0987). Contains materials relating to the construction of the Washington Aqueduct including a book of drawings illustrating reservoirs, tunnels, culverts, and other structural elements, a Government Senate Document relating to construction progress, scrapbooks created by Meigs that include newspaper clippings about the Washington Aqueduct project, water supply, engineering projects, building construction, architecture and other subjects. Collection is currently unprocessed, but is available for research.
Materials in Other Organizations:
The William Rich Hutton Papers, 1840-1961, are located at the Huntington Library in California (see http://catalog.huntington.org).
The collection contains 95 drawings, 13 letters, and 39 facsimile copies of letters and manuscripts. The illustrative material includes both watercolor and pencil drawings of California (including Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco, the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, and the California missions), Baja California, Mexico, and Peru. There are also five pieces in the collection related to the author María Amparo Ruiz de Burton. In 1942, the Huntington Library published Glances at California 1847--853: Diaries and Letters of William Rich Hutton, Surveyor and California 1847--852: Drawings by William Rich Hutton.
The Hutton family papers are located at the Montgomery County Historical Society, Sween Library (see http://www.montgomeryhistory.org/sites/default/files/Family_Files.pdf).
The collection contains account books from the Woodlands estate, recipe books, livestock records, records of Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary and Rose Hutton (daughters), newspaper clippings (including his obituary), correspondence, record books, deeds, bills and receipts, engineering papers, religious momentos (funeral service cards), and insurance papers.
The collection was donated by Mr. and Mrs. James J. Madine, a relative of Hutton's and last owners of the Woodlands estate; the Department of Forests and Parks, Maryland; Louis Fischer; and Mr. and Mrs. Mayo S. Stuntz, 1965-1966, 1974.
The collection is open for research. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
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.