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L. & R. Organic Products Co., Inc. records

Creation: 1927-1944
Accession: 2369


The L. & R. Organic Products Co., Inc. records consist of invoices for imports as well as business and personal correspondence.


  • Creation: 1927-1944



5 Linear Feet

Historical Note

L. & R. Organic Products Co., Inc., was a small, independent firm of manufacturing chemists, founded by the brothers Harry L. Lobsenz (1884-1969) and Jack Lobsenz (1899-1968) and located at 106 Reade Street in New York City. Its secured dyes from European, Japanese, and domestic manufacturers, mixed them in a small plant to customer specifications, and retailed them in the U.S., Latin America, and other foreign countries. It was part of a network of Jewish-owned niche producers located in the Greater New York area that was bound together by kinship and social ties.

Harry L. Lobsenz was born on November 23, 1884. He established his first aniline dye business in 1916 as the Organic Products Company. It was incorporated in New York as the L. & R. Organic Products Company, Inc. in 1919 when Lobsenz opened a New York sales office. Lobsenz sold the business to other family members in 1964, and it was reorganized as the L. & R. Dyestuffs Corporation. He died on January 21, 1969.


Arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content

The L. & R. Organic Products Co., Inc. records consist of invoices for imports as well as business and personal correspondence.

The invoice files document the company’s imports and the marine insurance and customs declarations associated with them. They span the depth of the Depression and also reflect the disruptions caused by the beginning of World War II in Europe. They show that L. & R. Organic Products relied on a few large chemical producers in Germany, the Netherlands and Switzerland, including I.G. Farben, and that the shipments were consigned through chemical trading houses, especially Kabbur & Company, Limited, of Manchester. The company also imported dyestuffs from Japan. The shipping papers are often on illustrated or decorative letterheads and reflect the use of most of the large transatlantic and transpacific steamship lines serving the port of New York.

The surviving correspondence gives a wider view of the firm’s activities. By 1944, the import business had become a casualty of war, but Lobsenz continued to obtain dyestuffs from domestic producers. These files document the importance of the Latin American export market and the linkages with other small dyestuffs firms in the New York area. They also show that the company was probably taking advantage of Britain’s absorption in the war effort by arranging exports to Egypt and India. Some of the files contain dyed yarn and cloth samples.

The personal correspondence of Harry L. Lobsenz deals primarily with the maintenance of rental properties and a summer home he owned. There are a few items dealing with family expenses and religious life. There is a smaller file of personal correspondence from Office & Export Manager Robert U. Copland.

Language of Materials


Additional Description


Donation of Thomas Whitridge, 2006

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

L. & R. Organic Products Co., Inc. records
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
Script of description:

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA