Reading Stove Works recordsCreation: 1891-1904
The Reading Stove Works manufactured stoves, furnaces, and heaters. The collection includes Board of Directors minutes and sales and financial statements document the history of the company.
- Creation: 1891-1904
- Reading Stove Works (Organization)
0.5 Linear Foot
The Reading Stove Works manufactured stoves, furnaces, and heaters. It was founded in 1866 by Jesse Orr (1839-1892), John R. Painter (1823-1883), Peter W. Nagle (1829-1904), William Grander (1821-1881), Henry C. Posey (1822-1887), Elijah Bull (1834-1900), William H. Schick (1835-1902), Jasper Sheeler (1835-1876), and Charles Egolf (1816-1890) as Orr, Painter & Company with a capital of $400,000. They located their foundry on Canal street between Chestnut and Spruce. The company employed fourteen moulders and ran a relatively successful business with approximately 500 employees. The company formally incorporated in 1886 under the name of Reading Stove Works, Orr, Painter & Co.
With an enlarged plant, the company began to produce for a world market, as well as having branch offices in Philadelphia, New York, Boston, Buffalo, and Chicago. Sales amounted to $550,000 per year. For several years, the company supplied the Postal Department of the United States with the postal boxes for the street collection. After the First World War, the company went into a period of decline. It closed its doors for the last time in 1935.
Scope and Contents
The collection includes Board of Directors minutes and sales and financial statements documenting the history of the Reading Stove Works. The records trace the company's relationship with the New York City based Stove Manufacturers Association. There is considerable information on production, marketing, sales, and labor relations. Negotiations with the Iron Molders Union are documented in detail. The impact that technological change, depression, and prosperity had on the firm and the region are well described.
No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.
Language of Materials
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- Reading Stove Works records
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- 2021: Ashley Williams