20th-Century Collections Guide: Business and Industry
Personal papers, family papers, and institutional records document various businesses and industries in Philadelphia and the surrounding region during the 20th century. Some of the industries represented include insurance, real estate, banking and finance, manufacturing, coal mining, transportation, printing and publishing, and retail.
Please note that this is in not a comprehensive guide to HSP's manuscript collections relating to 20th-century business history. It is meant to serve as a starting point to help users locate collections that may be of interest to them.
HSP staff is regularly adding finding aids to the website. Users should click on a collection's title to see whether a full online finding aid is available.
Clearing House Association of Philadelphia
Clearing House Association of Philadelphia records, 1858-1958 (Collection 1908) 16 boxes 24 volumes
(12 linear ft.)
The Clearing House Association of Philadelphia was organized in 1858 to provide a common place where representatives of the associated banks could exchange checks and settle balances. The records include: correspondence, 1858-1958, primarily with the member Philadelphia banks; financial reports, 1885-1909, on gold certificates, U.S. legal tender certificates, collateral securities, and gold coin held by the Clearing House for member banks; semi-annual statements, 1858-1939, of expenditures and expenses; journals, 1887-1957; cashbooks, 1858-1940; ledger, 1890-1895; account books, 1949-1958; records on other clearing houses in the United States, 1914, 1929-1957, including correspondence, reports, and miscellaneous items; Keystone National Bank liquidation records, including journals, 1890-1891, correspondence and miscellaneous financial records, 1891-1930; Union Bank and Trust Company liquidation records, 1929-1934; examiner's report on the Kensington Security Bank and Trust Company, 1931; claims of members against other banks, 1931; and settlement sheets, 1930-1931. There are also a few records on bank mergers in Philadelphia; the clearing of ration checks, 1943-1946; miscellaneous scrapbooks; National Currency Association of Philadelphia minutes, 1908-1914; and other records.
Greenfield, Albert M., 1887-1967
Albert M. Greenfield papers, 1921-1966 (Collection 1959) 1,069 boxes, 85 volumes, 22 flat files (436.4 linear ft.)
Albert M. Greenfield was a real estate broker, banker, and philanthropist of Philadelphia. He had many business interests among which were: Albert M. Greenfield & Co. (real estate), Bankers Securities Corporation, City Stores Co. (a chain of department stores), Bankers Bond & Mortgage Co., the Philadelphia Transportation Co., and its predecessor, the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company. Politically, Greenfield provided financial and other support to candidates for public office, including Edwin S. Vare of Philadelphia, Republican candidate for the United States Senate, 1926, and Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic candidate for the presidency, 1960 and 1964; he was a delegate to the Republican National Convention, 1928; a delegate-at-large to the Democratic National Conventions, 1948-1964; and a presidential elector, 1960. The large array of organizations in which Greenfield held prominent positions includes: Sesqui-Centennial Exposition of 1926; the Pennsylvania Constitutional Commemoration Commission, 1938; Pennsylvania Commission of Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Declaration of Independence; World Affairs Council; Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce; Pennsylvania Water Resources Committee, 1951; Philadelphia National Shrines Park Commission, 1946-1956; and Fairmount Park Commission. He contributed to many institutions and organizations, including cultural and educational institutions such as Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia Museum of Art, LaSalle College, and Lincoln University. In addition he founded the Albert M. Greenfield Foundation, a philanthropic institution created during his later years. Greenfield also supported a variety of Jewish institutions and organizations such as Federation of Jewish Charities, National Conference of Christians and Jews, Development Fund for American Judaism, American Jewish Tercentenary, 1954-1955, and Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.
These papers constitute the selected office files of Albert M. Greenfield. Incoming and outgoing correspondence make up the bulk of the collection, but there is also a great quantity of other material, including appointment books, photographs, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, periodicals, and reports. The papers for 1921-1966 cover several categories: personal, business, political, civic, philanthropic, Jewish affairs, and miscellaneous.The personal papers include mainly family, social, and private correspondence. They are interspersed throughout and constitute a small but important part of the collection. The collection contains, in addition, papers of Greenfield's two confidential secretaries, Donald Jenks, 1951-1954, and John O'Shea, 1954-1964, including correspondence, drafts of speeches, appointment books, and miscellaneous materials; and a few personal papers, 1922-1930, of Greenfield's first wife Edna Kraus Greenfield, including personal and social correspondence, financial records, and record book of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish Hospital-Emergency Fund, Philadelphia, 1922.
Philadelphia Stock Exchange
Philadelphia Stock Exchange papers, 1746-2005 (Collection 3070) 25 boxes 180 volumes (39 linear ft.)
The materials present in the Philadelphia Stock Exchange collection document exchange activities and history from 1746-2005. Items in the collection relate to sales and business transactions, conferences and symposiums, administrative functions, innovative technologies, people, events and publications. The collection is diverse with a variety of formats but the true strength of the papers lies with sales and business records.
Greenfield, Albert M., 1887-1967
Albert M. Greenfield papers, 1921-1966 (Collection 1959) 1,069 boxes, 85 volumes, 22 flat files (436.4 linear ft.) See listing under "Banking and Finance" above.
Mutual Assurance Company for Insuring Houses from Loss by Fire
Mutual Assurance Company (Green Tree). Records, 1784-1995 (Collection 2189) (455 linear ft.)
The Mutual Assurance Company for Insuring Houses from Loss by Fire was organized in Philadelphia in 1784, in order to make fire insurance available to those citizens who wished to have trees in front of their houses. A green tree was selected as a symbol to appear on the company's policies and fire marks. The company archives of the Mutual Assurance Company, familiarly known as the Green Tree, are arranged in five major sections: A. Histories of the company, research notes, and Eighteenth and Nineteenth century general papers; B. Minutes of meetings and related records; C. Cancelled surveys and cancelled policies; D. General papers, including correspondence; E. Financial records and receipts. The collection also includes fifty eight volumes of Treasurer's Accounts, Cash Books, Street Registers, etc. In addition there are 151 volumes of manuscript and typescript records, which include original and typescript copies of the Minutes of Meetings of the Board of Trustees, copies of the company's annual reports to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department, ledgers, and cash books, and other financial records.
Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire
Philadelphia Contributionship for the Insurance of Houses from Loss by Fire records, 1839-1965 (Collection V41) 33 boxes (36 linear ft.)
The Philadelphia Contributionship, the oldest fire insurance company in the United States, was founded in 1752 and received a charter in 1768. From the beginning, the company inspected houses to be insured, reported faults in construction, and recommended changes to help protect against the risk of fire. Initially the company was purely mutual, whereby each member's deposit money was carried in a separate account, which was credited with interest earned and charged with its share of the losses. In 1763 this practice was changed so that all interest was earned on, and losses paid out of, a common account and each member's liability was limited to the amount of his deposit money. In 1810 the system of seven-year renewable policies was replaced with perpetual policies that require no renewal. The collection consists of insurance survey records on properties in Philadelphia and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, organized by location and including written reports, notes, diagrams of buildings (occasionally including blueprints), photographic prints, and negatives. Properties surveyed include houses, schools, churches, businesses, and non-profit institutions. Survey notes include policy numbers, names of owners, and information regarding a building's location, dimensions, construction, heating, lighting, waste disposal, and overall condition, as well as recommendations for safety improvements and whether or not to insure. There are also newspaper clippings, claims for losses by fire, and correspondence related to policies and claims.
Coxe family mining papers, 1774-1968 (Collection 3005) 1036 boxes 381 volumes (496 linear ft.)
The Coxe Family Mining Papers document the history of what once was the largest independent anthracite coal producer in the United States. Between 1865 and 1905 the Coxe family established and operated numerous companies for the purpose of developing the coal property purchased by the family patriarch, Tench Coxe, between 1790-1824. By the 1890s members of the Coxe family controlled multiple companies, collieries and mining towns in the Eastern-Middle Anthracite Field of Pennsylvania. The various Coxe-owned mining operations competed in an industry which was largely dominated by the major railroad lines of the region. Through the keen business management and ingenious engineering skill of Eckley B. Coxe, the Coxe family remained independent of the railroads for forty years. This distinction was brought to an end in 1905, when the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company purchased the capital stock of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc.
Although the Coxe family surrendered the direct control of their mining operations, they did retain ownership of all their coal property. During the years 1905-1968, the Estate of Tench Coxe acted as land agents for their vast coal properties. In return for the coal-leases granted predominantly to Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc., the Estate of Tench Coxe received large monthly royalty payments, which were then distributed to the various Coxe Heirs. In 1950, the Estate of Tench Coxe cancelled its lease with Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. Although this had the effect of placing Coxe Brothers out of business, the Estate continued to lease its property to various other operating agents. In 1962, the Coxe family began to liquidate its property, due in large part to the depressed condition of the anthracite industry. Six years later the remaining portions of the Coxe Estate were sold, ending nearly 200 years of active involvement in the coal business.
The Coxe Family Mining Papers document the Coxe family and its ownership of coal lands in northeastern Pennsylvania, as well as the various mining enterprises that were formed by the Coxes. The papers date from 1774 to 1968, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1905-1968. The collection includes land records, financial papers, mining and engineering files, corporate administrative materials, labor and employee papers, family records, bound volumes and photographs. Materials are divided into three record groups: the Estate of Tench Coxe, Coxe Mining Company Operations, and Coxe Family Files. Nearly all the materials are in English, with a few items in German.
Jacobs, Sophia Yarnall
Sophia Yarnall Jacobs papers, 1861-1990 (Collection 3007) 2 boxes 5 volumes (1.33 linear ft.)
Sophia Yarnall Jacobs was a civic worker and author. She attended Bryn Mawr College from 1919-1921, marrying Reginald Robert Jacobs in 1921. They divorced in 1937, and she served as secretary of the United Nations Council (later the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia) and was president of the National Council of Women from 1960-1963. The Sophia Yarnall Jacob papers contain photocopies of correspondence, photocopies of newspaper clippings, research notes, manuscript drafts, printed materials, letter books, and photographs. All the files relate either to the Coxe family or to the various Coxe mining enterprises. The papers are divided into two series, Coxe family research materials and bound volumes, and date from 1861-1990.
Autocar Company records, 1899 -1954 (Collection 1907) 1 box 11 volumes (2 linear ft.)
The Autocar Company was located in Ardmore. Founded in 1899 by Louis S. Clarke and his brother John S. Clarke, the Autocar Company became a pioneer of the automotive industry, producing passenger cars and commercial motor vehicles. After 1910 the company produced commercial motor vehicles exclusively. The company became a division of White Motor Company in 1954. The records include: minutes, 1899-1953, 1953-1954; annual reports, 1929-1952; ledgers, 1909-1952, contain year-end figures; list of officers and directors, 1899-1925; and miscellaneous items. Much of the material, 1942-1945, is on Autocar Company war production of heavy duty military vehicles.
Baile, Ron, Mr.
Howard F. Baile collection of Hog Island Shipyard memorabilia, 1918-1928 (Collection 3578) 1 box (0.3 linear ft.)
In 1917, American International Shipbuilding was contracted by the U.S. government to manufacture ships and build a shipyard at Hog Island, Philadelphia, in an effort to support American soldiers fighting overseas during World War I. President Woodrow Wilson’s wife, Edith, christened the yard’s first completed ship, the freight steamer Quistconck, in August 1918. The shipyard ceased operations in 1921. Howard F. Baile of Gloucester City, N.J., worked as an inspector at Hog Island Shipyard. His collection of related items includes photographs of the yard and ships, including those of the launch of the Quistconck; programs and invitations; a copy of General Specifications: Hog Island Shipyard, Plant, and Property, July 1920; and issues of Hog Island News from 1918 and 1921. Additionally, there are two navy surplus auction catalogues, 1924 and 1928; a liquidation catalogue for the facilities of Wm. Cramp and Sons, undated; and a printed hearing before the U.S. Senate of the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation, 1919; various issues of Hog Island News, 1918-1921; two issues of Emergency Fleet News, July and August 1918; and a small group of receipts, invoices, purchase orders, and form letters. There is also a pin of the U.S.-E.F.C. 606 Shipping Board.
Clapp family papers, 1942-1989 (Collection 2172) 23 boxes 46 volumes (33 linear ft.)
Forty six volumes of diaries and scrapbooks, 1942-1989, which document both visually and textually the daily lives of a Philadelphia, Pa. suburban couple. The scrapbooks include photographs, Christmas and birthday cards, ephemera from social events, and material relating to their children's education and interests. These "memory books" go several steps beyond the typical scrapbook, however. They often include items that are more readily classified as artifacts -- apple stems, dixie cup spoons, and probably most memorably, a wishbone from a turkey. Mary Ann Clapp obviously spent a great deal of time compiling these albums and most items are captioned or refer the viewer to the diaries, take up the latter part of each volume.
Fels, Joseph, 1854-1914 and Mary Fels
Joseph and Mary Fels papers, 1840-1966 (Collection 1953) 11 boxes 5 volumes (5.4 linear ft.)
Joseph Fels, Philadelphia-London soap manufacturer, was a leader in the Single Tax movement. After his death in 1914, the Single Tax was carried on by the Joseph Fels Fund Commission. Correspondence discussing economic and political reform in the United States, Europe, South American, and China, includes letters of Antonio Albenden, Earl Barnes, Gilbert Keith Chesterton, James Ludwig Hardie, Peter Kropotkin, William Hesketh Lever, Meyer Lissner, Wilhelm Ludwig Schrameier, and Samuel Fels, his brother and partner in Fels and Company, manufacturers of Fels-Naptha Soap. Copies of letters, 1899, 1906-1909, on the Fairhope Single Tax Colony in Alabama. Correspondence, 1906-1914, with Israel Zangwill, and others, on the establishment of Jewish Agricultural Settlements by the Jewish Territorial Organization (I.T.O.). Miscellaneous speeches and articles by and about Joseph Fels. There is also correspondence, 1915-1918, of Daniel Kiefer, the Chairman of the Joseph Fels Fund Commission.
Papers, 1907-1952, of Fels's wife, Mary Fels, include: discussions of women's politics, Zionism, business, financial, and personal matters. Correspondents include: Rifka Aaronsohn, Newton Diehl Baker, Anna Barnes, Walter Coates, "Gypsy Bill" Cortez, and Frank Smith. Letters, reviews, and clippings about her writings including a typescript with notes of The Life of Joseph Fels. Scrapbooks with clippings about Joseph Fels, on his death, including In Memorium. Guest book, 1906-1908, of Fels's home in Bickley, Kent. Correspondence, 1953-1956, and notes, clippings, and printed material of Arthur Power Dudden, relating to his research for Joseph Fels and the single tax movement, 1971. In Memorium in Danish and Swedish with English translations.
Fels, Samuel Simeon, 1860-1950
Samuel Simeon Fels papers, 1889-1973 (Collection 1776) 44 boxes (23 linear ft.)
Seven series of papers including: correspondence, publications, Fels and Company, financial records, legal papers, biography, and miscellaneous. Samuel Simeon Fels, youngest son of Lazarus and Susanna Fels, was born in Yanceyville, N.C., on February 16, 1860. His family moved north to settle in Philadelphia, where in 1876 Samuel joined the soap manufacturing business established that year by his older brother. The firm, Fels & Co., was incorporated in 1914, and Samuel became its first president, holding the office until his death in 1950. (The company was sold to Purex Corporation in 1964.) While remaining active in the affairs of Fels & Co., he also became one of Philadelphia's most prominent philanthropists. He took an active interest in, and gave generous support to civic, scientific, cultural, and educational causes. In 1936 Fels established the Samuel S. Fels Fund to continue financial support in these areas.
The correspondence series, 1889-1957, is comprised primarily of Fels's personal letters and business correspondence. The letters reflect Fels's philanthropic services as well as his interests in civic affairs and government reform. Financial concerns as well as Fels's interest in the medical field, in scientific research, and in music and musicians are also documented in this series. There is also a section in this series for the Samuel S. Fels Fund.There is Fels & Co. Executive Committee and Board of Directors correspondence, 1952-1965; Board of Directors minutes, 1914-1965; and annual reports 1951-1964. The publication series contains notes, drafts, correspondence, and comments concerning Fels's book This Changing World (Boston, 1933), his pamphlet, "A Layman's Program for Peace" (reprint from the New York Times Magazine, 1943), and some miscellaneous writings, mostly about education, and war, and plans for peace. Financial records, 1904-1954, consist of Fels's personal tax returns and related papers; his personal and business bank books; bills and receipts; miscellaneous stock and insurance certificates; and estate papers. A small group of legal papers, 1916-1952, contain miscellaneous deeds, agreements, and estate papers. The biography series, 1950-1973, includes groups of letters on the death of Fels, as well as correspondence and some working papers concerning publication of a Fels biography written by Dale Phalen in 1969. The miscellaneous series contains clippings, photographs, blueprints, printed material, records, and scrapbooks concerning various projects and interests of Fels.
Fletcher Works (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Fletcher Works records, 1845-1955 (Collection 2064) 6 boxes (2 linear ft.)
Otto W. Schaum and his son Fletcher Schaum were directors and managers of the Fletcher Works, a Philadelphia manufacturer of machinery for the textile industry. The firm began in 1850 as Schaum & Uhlinger and became the Fletcher Works ca. 1920 because of a change of stock ownership in this closed corporation. The Schaums retained their interests in the firm. The firm was sold in 1955. The records include Otto Schaum's foundry notebooks, 1890-1929, detailing the daily operations of the shop; annual financial statements of the firm, 1923-1955; records of cost estimates for orders and sales, 1920's-1946; and inventories of looms, 1952, and baten shop, 1953-1954. Of particular interest are the fairly extensive records of the firm's relations with its work force. Beginning with a 1945 job classification survey by the National Metal Trades Association, Fletcher Schaum's files reveal the company's efforts to adjust to unionization. Included are several time studies, 1946-1947, and a copy of the union contract with the International Moulders & Foundry Workers, Local #1, in 1948. There are additional wage surveys, 1951-1955, and information on employee retirement. Also included are papers containing correspondence with several Philadelphia banks on recapitalization in the 1920's and debt problems in 1930's and 1940's. Two personal account books of Otto Schaum, 1930-1947, a small group of Schaum family photographs and memorabilia complete the collection.
Horstmann-Lippincott family, 1724-1963 (Collection 1899) 32 boxes 79 volumes (18.5 linear ft.)
Primarily the personal papers of several related Philadelphia families, including correspondence, financial records, estate records, diaries, photographs, and much miscellanea. The earliest papers, 1814-1858, are by members of the Shaw, Craige, and Lippincott families, and include: correspondence; miscellaneous receipts; Sarah Lippincott's receipt book, 1826-1858; and the diary, 1839-1840 of Josephine Craige who in 1845 married J.B. Lippincott, the founder of the publishing house. The Sigmund H. Horstmann papers include a few personal letters, 1869-1870; and miscellaneous business records, 1851-1864, of Horstmann Brothers and Company, importers and manufacturers of military uniforms, insignias, and flags. His wife, Elizabeth West Horstmann, is represented by account books of household expenses, 1864; servant's wages, 1856-1896; travel expenses in Europe, 1869-1870; and two miscellaneous volumes. Also included are the European diaries, 1869-1870, 1873, of her daughters Sarah and Elizabeth Horstmann.
The bulk of the collection is made up of the personal papers, 1860-1927, of Walter Lippincott, son of J.B. Lippincott and husband of Elizabeth Horstman. It contains: incoming correspondence; accounts; bills and receipts; contracts; real estate records; tax records; household accounts; inventories; instructions to servants; photo albums; Lippincott's diary, 1892-1919, with brief notations on routine activities; transcript of Lippincott's interview with Admiral George Dewey on the problems of the German fleet at the battle of Manila Bay; school records and reports; and other miscellanea. Elizabeth Horstmann is represented by incoming letters, account book, 1884-1919, scrapbooks, school papers, and miscellanea. The papers, 1906-1950, of Bertha Horstman Lippincott Coles, the only child of Walter and Elizabeth Lippincott, include a few letters, some regarding her published writings; financial records on the large estate inherited from her parents and other properties; a diary, 1906-1907; papers on her work with the U.S. Service Club; and the manuscript of her book, Wound Stripes, (1921.)"
Perot family papers, 1705-1956 (Collection 1886) 9 boxes 151 volumes (26 linear ft.)
Francis Perot began a Philadelphia brewing and malting business in 1818. About 1825 he absorbed the brewery which had been founded in 1687 by Anthony Morris, Jr., and which was then owned by Perot's father-in-law, Thomas Morris, 2d. The Perot Malting Company gave up brewing in 1850, eventually closed its manufactories in Philadelphia and Oswego, N.Y. (acquired in 1882), and used only their malting plant in Buffalo, N.Y., which had been built in 1907. The company was acknowledged as the oldest American business firm until it was sold in 1963. The smattering of records here, consisting of 88 volumes and 200 loose papers, are all that survive housecleaning. They include ledgers and cashbooks, 1818-1953; salesbooks, 1873-1879, 1885-1953; minutes, receipt books, barley and malt accounts, rents and interests, contracts for the Buffalo plant construction.Perot family papers include: Francis Perot account books, 1823-1843, 1863-1885; William S. Perot, lawyer and estate executor for Sansom Perot, account books, 1836-1846; Elizabeth Marshall estate papers, 1862-1883; Mary Ann Marshall estate papers, 1881-1913; Elliston Joseph Perot diaries of academic, social, and church related activities, 1877-1901; and transcriptions of responses from the beyond to questions of T. Morris Perot, ca. 1890. Among the T. Morris Perot, Jr., papers, 1893-1945, is correspondence with Sarah Tyson Hallowell and her niece Harriet Hallowell, both living in Moretsur-Loing outside of Paris, on financial affairs and family news. In addition, the letters of Sarah Hallowell give glimpses of the coming of World War I, the Hallowells' hospital war work (financially supported by Perot), and post-war France. Harriet, who died in 1943, gives some commentary on the events of World War II, but the restrictions which the war placed on communications with France limit this information. There are also correspondence and annual reports of the Santo Domingo Silver Mining Company, with mines in Chihuahua, Mexico, of which Perot was a major stockholder, and correspondence on the Association of Centenary Firms.
Wanamaker, John, 1838-1922
John Wanamaker collection, 1827-1987 (Collection 2188) 327 boxes 196 volumes (366 linear ft.)
John Wanamaker (1838-1922) was a merchant and entrepreneur. Active in religious, political, and philanthropic areas, he founded several Presbyterian churches and Sunday Schools and served as Postmaster General under President Benjamin Harrison, 1889-93. As merchant he opened Oak Hall in Philadelphia, PA, with partner Nathan Brown in 1861, founded John Wanamaker and Co. in 1869. In 1876, they opened ""A New Kind of Store"" known as the Grand Depot at 13th and Market Streets. This store later became the flagship store, with branches in Manhattan (NY), Westchester/Yonkers (NY), Moorestown (NJ), Wilmington (DE), Harrisburg (PA), Jenkintown (PA), King of Prussia (PA), Wynnewood (PA), Oxford Valley Mall-Langhorne (PA), Springfield (PA), Reading (PA), Deptford (NJ), Montgomery Mall-North Wales (PA), Lehigh Valley-Whitehall (PA), and Northeast Philadelphia. John Wanamaker was at the fore front in many areas in retailing including merchandising, employee relations and advertising. His sons Thomas B. Wanamaker and L. Rodman Wanamaker were active in the business, Thomas running John Wanamaker and Co. in Philadelphia and Rodman taking over the New York store operations in 1906. The collection is organized in five series: I. Personal records, (1850-1986); II. Store records, (1861-1987); III. Miscellaneous Publications, (1827-1917); IV. Prints and Photographs, (1861-1980, Bulk 1900-1936); V. Addendum.
Yost, Frederick M.
Frederick M. Yost collection on John Wanamaker's department store publicity, 1861-1985 (Collection 3440) 45 boxes 13 volumes (63 linear ft.) This collection chronicles several decades of displays and promotions at John Wanamaker's department store, much of it under the supervision of Frederick M. Yost. Yost began working at Wanamaker's in 1948. From 1952 to 1965 he was in charge of sales promotions, and in 1965 became the Corporate Vice President. Yost's background included theater and lighting design. The collection includes papers and scrapbooks documenting public relations, advertising, special events, and store design and display. Also included are internal office memos, photographs of displays and their construction, architectural drawings, news clippings, and many materials pertaining to the elaborate Christmas displays and light shows that were a tradition at Wanamaker's.
Atlantis, National Daily Greek Newspaper
Atlantis, National Daily Greek Newspaper records, 1894- 1973 (Collection MSS043) 99 boxes 109 volumes (44.5 linear ft.)
The first successful Greek language newspaper published in America, Atlantis was founded in 1894 by Solon J. and Demetrius J. Vlasto. The paper was headed by a member of the Vlasto family until it closed in 1973. Published in New York City, it had a national circulation and influence. Atlantis supported the royalist faction in Greek politics until the mid-1960s. Other recurring editorial themes include naturalization, war relief, Greek-American business interests, and Greek religious unity. The records include legal files, correspondence, scrapbooks, subscription records, tax returns, financial ledgers and labor files that span the newspaper's entire history. Legal files include translations from Panhellinios, National Herald and other rival newspapers, as well as documentation of Atlantis' compliance with the 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act. Editorial files before 1963 are missing. Labor relations files and financial records are especially extensive.
Curtis Publishing Company
Curtis Publishing Company records, circa 1891-1968 (Collection 3115) 16 boxes 4 volumes (14.4 linear ft.)
Cyrus H. Curtis, a pioneer of modern magazine publishing in the United States, established the Curtis Publishing Company in 1891 in Philadelphia. Prior to this, Cyrus Curtis started his career by publishing a local weekly in Portland, Oregon, until a fire destroyed the plant. He later moved to Boston, Massachusetts, where he started to publish The People’s Ledger magazine. He continued to publish the magazine after he moved to Philadelphia in 1876. The Curtis Publishing Company became one of the most influential publishing companies in the United States during the early 20th century, having published Ladies Home Journal, The Saturday Evening Post, Holiday, The American Home, Jack & Jill, and Country Gentleman.
The collection contains financial documents that include annual reports, reports to the Board of Directors, information on annual meetings, ledgers, bills, deeds, contracts, Old Age and Social Security Records, payroll accounts, etc. In Boxes 3 to 6 there is information on standards for advertisements, writing and advertising case histories; miscellaneous publications on business advertising; and some materials on history of the business press. Apart from this the collection contains slides, brochures, pamphlets, magazines, and newspapers that provide information on publishing industry and the Philadelphia business community. The collection also has two volumes of preferred and common stock certificates (which are mostly empty), bound copies of The Ladies Home Journal from 1913- 1917, and 1915 summaries of Saturday Evening Post and The Ladies Home Journal. In the latter half of the collection there is information on domestic subsidiaries of Curtis Publishing Company like National Analysts Inc., The American Home, Royal Electrotype Company, and also other publishing and printing companies in Philadelphia and other parts of the country. There are closing papers and settlement papers that highlight the sale of subsidiary companies of the Curtis Company. A brief history of Cyrus Curtis and Saturday Evening Post can be found in Box 16. Additionally Boxes 14 to 16 contain images of the Curtis Company, its employees, and various internal departments. There are also some early photographs showing the construction of the Curtis Building at Sixth and Walnut streets.
Fiorani Radio Productions
Fiorani Radio Productions records, 1931-1975 (Collection MSS049) 25 boxes 1 volume (9.4 linear ft.)
Angelo Fiorani was born in Tarquinia, Italy, and came to America ca. 1905. Rose Florey Fiorani was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1902. Beginning in 1933, the Fioranis worked as "time brokers" for radio programming targeting Italian Americans and broadcast Italian programs on Scranton-area radio stations, eventually owning and operating their own station, WPTS. The collection documents the Fioranis' forty-two years in broadcasting. It contains personal and business correspondence, advertisements and advertising account files, program schedules and scripts, financial records, uncatalogued photographs, fan mail, and souvenir programs of special events. The collection includes unprocessed additions. In English and Italian.
Fiorani Radio Productions and Fiorani-Florey Family
Fiorani Radio Productions records additions and Fiorani-Florey family papers, 1904-1998 (Collection MSS163) 42 boxes (19 linear ft.)
Angelo Fiorani was born in Tarquinia, Italy, and came to America circa 1905. Rose Florey Fiorani was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1902. Beginning in 1933, the Fioranis worked as "time brokers" for radio programming targeting Italian Americans and broadcast Italian programs on Scranton-area radio stations, eventually owning and operating their own station, WPTS. The collection documents the Fioranis' forty-two years in broadcasting. It contains personal and business correspondence, advertisements and advertising account files, program schedules and scripts, financial records, uncatalogued photographs, fan mail, and souvenir programs of special events. In English and Italian. Unprocessed additions include phonograph recordings of radio programs, court dramatizations, advertisements, and other segments used in the Fiorani radio broadcasts in the Scranton, Pa. area. Many of the recordings concern Italians or Italian-Americans.
Irish Edition (newspaper)
Irish Edition records, 1916-1991 (Collection 3049) 47 boxes (30 linear ft.)
The Irish Edition newspaper, founded in Philadelphia in 1981, is a regional monthly Irish-American newspaper with a focus on metropolitan Philadelphia, including south New Jersey and the Wilmington area of Delaware. While primarily concentrated on local concerns, the paper’s circulation is of a national scale and covers current events, politics, business, and the culture of Irish and Irish Americans both at home and abroad. The founders of the paper, Anthony R. Byrne and Jane M. Duffin, have served respectively as publisher and editor from the beginning of the paper to the current day. The paper is presently located in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania. The collection is divided into eight series, and the materials themselves consist of correspondence; article drafts and submissions; advertisements and ad copy; press releases and newsletters; publications and mailings from various information and newswire services; a smattering of financial materials; newspaper clippings and articles; and photographs and a few slides.
J.B. Lippincott Company
J.B. Lippincott Company records, 1851-1958 (Collection 3104) 94 boxes 98 volumes (140 linear ft.)
J. B. Lippincott & Co. was an American publishing house founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1836 by Joshua B. Lippincott. Joshua Lippincott's company began by selling Bibles and other religious works then successfully expanded into trade books, which became the largest portion of the business. In 1849, Lippincott acquired Grigg, Elliot & Co., a major book distribution company. The acquisition helped make the company one of the largest publishers in the United States. In the 1950s the company began producing a successful line of medical and nursing books and journals. The company was sold to Harper & Row in 1978 but Joshua Lippincott's great-grandson Joseph Wharton Lippincott, Jr. remained on the Board of Directors until 1987. In 1990, the company was acquired by Wolters Kluwer, who merged it with Raven Publishers and then with Williams & Wilkins to form Lippincott Williams & Wilkins in 1998.
The collection consists of business records documenting over 100 years of the company's history. The largest portion of the collection is a series of letterbooks containing outgoing correspondence related to all aspects of the publishing operation, from soliciting advertising magazines to negotiating author contracts. Several dozen letterbooks contain incoming correspondence from Lippincott's London Agency. Much of the rest of the collection consists of a variety of financial records, including general ledgers, receipt books, cash disbursement books, and payroll records. Publication costs and sales are documented through stock cards, royalty payment records, and order and inventory volumes. The collection includes several manuscripts for publications, and some original artwork and illustrations. There are also boxes of books published by Lippincott, including the Annals of Surgery." The collection is divided into eight series, and the materials themselves consist of correspondence; article drafts and submissions; advertisements and ad copy; press releases and newsletters; publications and mailings from various information and newswire services; a smattering of financial materials; newspaper clippings and articles; and photographs and a few slides.
People's Voice (New York, N.Y. : 1942-1948)
People's Voice research and editorial files, 1865-1963 (Collection 3086) 1 box (0.2 linear ft.)
People's Voice was a leftist African American newspaper in New York, N.Y., founded by Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. It was published from 1942 to 1948. The collection includes correspondence, press releases, booklets, clippings, flyers, programs, printed materials, and photographs.
Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company
Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company records, 1891-1954 (Collection 1816) 7 boxes 368 volumes (64 linear ft.)
This Philadelphia publishing firm was known first as The German Daily Gazette Publishing Company, 1891-1918, and then as The Philadelphia Gazette Publishing Company, 1918-1954. The firm published the principle German language newspapers of Philadelphia: Philadelphia Gazette-Demokrat; Philadelphia Sonntags-Gazette; Philadelphia Tageblatt, 1933-1944; and the Philadelphia Sonntagsblatt; also, it did a large scale printing business, including the printing for publishers of other Philadelphia area newspapers.
Financial records make up the main body of the collection, and may be divided into general accounts, advertising accounts, branch accounts, carrier's accounts, subscriber's accounts, special accounts, and miscellaneous accounts. Included are journals; ledgers: general ledgers, advertiser's ledgers, branch ledgers, carrier's ledgers, commission ledgers, subscriber's ledgers, miscellaneous ledgers; cashbooks: general cashbooks, advertiser's cashbooks, carrier's cashbooks, subscriber's cashbooks; subscriber's receipt books; indexes to the record books; special accounts: advertising contract records, payroll records, trial balances, voucher registers; and miscellaneous financial accounts. The collection also contains minutes, 1891, concerning the organization of the company; miscellaneous non-financial records; correspondence, financial records, and miscellany, 1923-1954, of the publishing company, and also, of the Mayer family, proprietors of the company. Members of the Mayer family represented include Gustav Mayer, Theodore Mayer, and Louis Mayer.
J. G. Brill Company
J.G. Brill Company. Records, 1877-1930 (Collection 1556) 648 boxes, 7 volumes (137 linear ft.)
The J.G. Brill Company and its various incarnations dominated the world of trolley and undercarriage manufacturing for most of its seventy-year history. Based in Philadelphia, Brill was founded in 1868 by a German immigrant and held in family hands well into the 1930s. At its height, The J.G. Brill Company owned plants in six states as well as in Canada and France. The collection consists of approximately 16,000 photographs, 6,000 glass-plate negatives, 10,000 acetate negatives, and thirteen order books, and documents the wide array of products manufactured by Brill. The photographs include interior and exterior views of railroad cars, trolleys, buses, ambulances, and trucks, as well as images of undercarriages, small parts, and seats. The collection also documents the factory grounds at 62nd and Woodland, particularly for World War I. Order books provide information on the quantity and types of items purchased, the companies purchasing them, and their dates of order and delivery.
Cox, Harold E.
Harold E. Cox Transportation collection, 1803-1967 (Collection 3158) 160 boxes, 624 volumes, 38 rolled items (199.5 linear ft.)
Prior to the 1870s, Philadelphia's public transportation system consisted of dozens of independently owned and operated horse drawn streetcar lines. In the 1880s and 1890s steps were taken toward electrification and unification, a goal finally achieved in 1902 with the founding of Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company (PRT). PRT constructed subway and elevated train lines, and managed public transportation until 1940, when the Philadelphia Transportation Company (PTC) was established, absorbing PRT and all of its functions. The Dr. Harold E. Cox transportation collection is composed primarily of records from PTC and PRT, as well as PRT's subsidiary and predecessor rail lines. This collection dates from 1803 to 1967, with the bulk of materials ranging from 1858 to 1960. It consists of financial records, legal records, correspondence, administrative records, ephemera, scrapbooks, newspaper clippings, atlases, and route maps and diagrams. The collection documents the growth and development of public transportation in Philadelphia, with a focus on the business activities and legal affairs of the PTC and PRT.
Darrach, Charles Gobrecht, b.1846
Charles G. Darrach papers, 1906 -1919 (Collection 0160) 3 boxes (0.8 linear ft.)
Correspondence and miscellaneous writings of Charles G. Darrach, Philadelphia civil and consulting engineer: Topography of the Earth, 1906, contains maps and essays on the formation of the universe; Obligation, a Compilation, 1919, a metaphysical treatise on evolution; Folly of Philadelphia, 1918, criticism of politics, transit problems, concentration of business; The World War, 1917, correspondence on conscription in the United States Army; Port of Philadelphia, Public Utilities, 1913; National transportation and a discussion of the report on Atlantic Intracoastal Canals, 1917; Water Supply, Philadelphia, 1914-1917, a history of the water system, plans of dams and pumping plants.
Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company
Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company photograph albums, 1905-1908 (Collection V42) 6 volumes (2.5 linear ft.)
Albums contain photographs of Market Street from the 300 block to the 1200 block, highlighting storefronts and excavation, showing workmen, pipes, and cables. Includes views of subway tunnels, subway stations, trains, and construction diagrams for subway stations and equipment. Also includes scenes of New York City and Brooklyn.
Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company
Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company photoprints, 1903-1910 (Collection V40) 2 boxes 17 volumes (10 linear ft.)
Street views in and around Philadelphia documenting the construction of the Philadelphia Rapid Transit Company's mass transit system. The construction of the Schuylkill River Bridge is highlighted, including views of its piers. Emphasis is placed on the Market Street line, especially of excavations. Retaining walls are shown with views of cracks and their destruction. Trench views are included. Substations are shown, especially at Willow Grove, Glenside, and the station at Market-Chestnut Street.
Vauclain, Samuel M. (Samuel Matthews), 1856-1940
Samuel Matthews Vauclain papers related to the Delaware River Bridge Joint Commission, 1915- 1930
(Collection 1900B) 7 boxes (5 linear ft.)
Papers of Samuel Matthews Vauclain as a member of the Delaware River Bridge Joint Commission on the planning, construction, and operation of the bridge, now named the Benjamin Franklin Bridge. They include: correspondence, much of which is with Ralph Modjeski, chief engineer; minutes of the Joint Commission Executive Committee; financial reports; blueprints and maps; photographs; scrapbooks. There are also 6 blueprints of the Remington Arms Company plant built by The Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1915 under Vauclain's direction.
Fifth Street Merchants Association (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Fifth Street Merchants Association (Philadelphia, Pa.) records, 1975-1987 (Collection MSS118) 2 boxes (2.2 linear ft.)
The Fifth Street Merchants Association was formed in 1975 to represent the interests of merchants within the so-called ``Golden Block," the Fifth Street corridor bordered by Lehigh Avenue on the north and Allegheny Avenue on the south in North Philadelphia. Membership consisted primarily of Spanish-speaking persons, mainly Puerto Ricans, who were numerically the largest group in the neighborhood. The organization engaged in a variety of activities, namely the sponsorship of workshops and advertising promotions to foster business in the area. The Fifth Street Merchants Association also worked to provide a link between merchants and the surrounding residential community and frequently acted as a liason between the city government and the district, lobbying for municipal services such as better police protection and street repairs. This collection is made up of a small amount of meeting minutes, correspondence, and financial statements and receipts. While the collection contains minutes from a 1987 meeting, the primary focus is on the earlier period. Also included are a number of neighborhood maps that detail proposed Fifth Street parking improvements.
Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia
Spanish Merchants Association of Philadelphia records, 1970-1988 (Collection MSS114) 68 boxes (171 linear ft.)
The Spanish Merchants Association was founded in 1970 by Puerto Rican businessmen in Philadelphia to distribute Minority Business Development Agency funds in the Latino community. Initially created to foster the growth of local Latino businesses, the association increasingly focused on housing, food, and other entitlement programs in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The organization was dissolved in 1989. The collection includes financial and other administrative records, and records from affiliated and associated organizations. In English and Spanish. Unprocessed additions consist of two boxes.