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Records of Philadelphia and Trenton area manufacturers

Creation: 1790-1878
Accession: 1003


This collection reflects material from a small amount of manufacturers operating in the Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey, largely in the early-to-mid 19th century. The records primarily include correspondence, bills, receipts, and accounts. There are also various legal papers and testimonies concerning suits involving land and water rights in Burlington County, New Jersey, with descriptions of miscellaneous dams, saw, grist, woolen, and fulling mills.


  • Creation: 1790-1878



0.4 Linear Feet

Historical Note

This collection represents a small number of manufacturers operating in the Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey region, mostly in the early-to-mid 19th century. Those reflected in the records were largely manufacturers of lead, iron, and textiles or operated grist, saw, woolen, or fulling mills.


The material in this collection is arranged alphabetically by document type or subject.

Scope and Content

The papers and records in this collection reflect a small amount of manufacturers operating in the Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey regions, mostly in the early-to-mid nineteenth century. The records are far from complete and only offer a fragmented depiction of the early economic development of the region.

Records of the Blockley Cotton Factory, established by merchant Manuel Eyre around 1819 in Blockley Township, now part of West Philadelphia, comprise a miscellaneous collection of papers relating to the erection and operation of the factory. Included is correspondence of William Almond, who leased the factory, documents concerning water power for its operation, a broadside for the sheriff's sale in 1842, and various agreements, bills and receipts.

Material from the Kensington Lead Works, established by Franklin Eyre in 1832, include inventories, accounts of expenditures and of sales of white lead by Franklin Eyre and correspondence from agent Thomas Janvier to Manuel Eyre in Philadelphia.

The records of the Somerville Manufacturing Company, incorporated in New Jersey in 1837 to engage in any a number of branches of textile and metal manufacture, consist of two legal documents from the suit of William Van Hook against the company, which resulted in its liquidation. The first is a deposition filed in the original trial before the Court of Chancery (1844) and the second is the final decree from the court of Errors and Appeals (1847).

A small amount of shipbuilding papers includes receipts, bills of sale, specifications, drawings, and a print of the yacht MOHAWK, from a drawing by the illustrator Charles R. Parsons. There is also correspondence, bills, and receipts concerning the iron industry in Pennsylvania during the nineteenth century.

Lastly, there are two separate testimonies originating from court cases in Burlington County, New Jersey. The first involves Anthony S. Earl, who owned extensive landholdings near Pemberton, New Jersey, and consists of notes of testimony involving the Pemberton grist and sawmills and containing descriptive accounts of them. The second record contains testimony in a case of Samuel and Jonathan L. Shreve over land and water rights at Birmingham and contains many references to dams, grist mills, sawmills, woolen mills and fulling mills in the vicinity. The Shreves operated a calico printing works at Birmingham, New Jersey.

Access Restrictions

No restrictions on access; this collection is open for research.

Related Material

Collection of Philadelphia merchants records (MSS 0095), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials


Additional Description

Processing Notes

The records that make up this collection were purchased by Hagley Museum and Library in 1968 from a rare book and manuscript dealer in Allentown, Pennsylvania. The original lot included papers from Philadelphia merchants Dutilh & Wachsmuth, George Louis de Stockar, Manuel Eyre, and Andrew Clow & Co., and other miscellaneous merchants, all of which were transferred to MSS 0095 in January 2020. The remaining materials were found to be similar in content but not in context, and it was decided to maintain them separately as MSS 1003.

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Philadelphia and Trenton area merchants and manufacturers miscellany
Clayton J. Ruminski
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