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Curtis Paper Company records
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Curtis Paper Company records

Accession 0394

Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library


PO Box 3630
Wilmington, Delaware, 19807
302-658-2400
research@hagley.org

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit 2014-02-04T09:50-0500

Finding aid prepared using best local practices and Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Cite items for this collection in the following format:
[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Curtis Paper Company records (Accession 0394), Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE 19807

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Descriptive Summary

Title: Curtis Paper Company records
Dates: 1823-1942
Accession Number: 0394
Creator: Curtis Paper Company
Extent: 5 linear feet
Language of Material: English
Repository: Hagley Museum and Library: Manuscripts and Archives Department
Abstract: The Curtis Paper Company was a small producer specializing in high-quality paper located in Newark, Delaware. Their records consist primarily of account books, with some organization papers, deeds, and correspondence.
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Historical Note

The Curtis Paper Company was a small producer specializing in high-quality paper located in Newark, Delaware. The Milford Paper Mill had been established on White Clay Creek near Newark by Thomas Meeteer in 1789 and remained in the Meeteer family until 1838, after which it passed to other parties, who allowed it to fall into disrepair. In 1848 the brothers S. Minot and George B. Curtis of Newton Lower Falls, Mass., purchased the property, rebuilt the mill, and began the manufacture of high-quality paper under the style of Curtis & Brother. The mills were renamed the Nonantum Mills, using the Indian name of Newton, Mass. A third brother, Frederick Augustus Curtis, came to Newark in 1850 to assume the interest of his brother, George. During the Civil War, the firm had extensive contracts for supplying paper to the government. After 1868 the business shifted to the manufacture of envelope stock, card, and fine colored paper, which was marketed in New York and Philadelphia. For many years it made all the paper for Harper & Bros., the New York publishers.

The senior partner, F. A. Curtis, died in 1884, and S. M. Curtis retired in 1887. The firm was reconstituted by Alfred A. and F. William Curtis, sons of F. A. Curtis, and Walter C. Curtis, the son of S. M. Curtis, who retired in 1893. The old mill was demolished in 1887 and a more modern plant erected. F. W. Curtis died in 1911, and the firm was incorporated as Curtis & Brother, Incorporated, with A. A. Curtis as president.

The family sold the business to Herbert W. Mason in 1926. It went into receivership in 1931 and was reorganized as the Curtis Paper Company in 1932. The company continued as a manufacturer of fine papers, particularly for the book trade. The company was merged into the James River Corporation as a division on January 1, 1977.

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Scope and Content

The account books include incomplete series for journals (1858-1866, 1923-1930); ledgers (1848-1934); cashbooks (1823-1932); bill books (1914-1929); and an invoice book (1902-1904). There are also customer orders for 1934 and 1936; cost sheets (1926); freight records (1922-1932); roll size books (1902-1915); machine record book (1928-1934); records of orders (c. 1940); and booklets of sample paper. There are also time books (1888-1896, 1925-1928).

Correspondence files include a volume of letters regarding orders and freight rates (1917-1919); a sample of inbound letters (1868); letters pertaining to a Federal Reserve loan (1932-1935); and the general correspondence for the year 1929, arranged alphabetically.

The remaining records include incorporation and partnership papers; agreements, including those for water rights dating back to 1823; and statements of accounts (1861-1866).

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Series Descriptions and Inventory

I. Administrative records
Box
1 By-laws of Curtis & Brother, 1926
Box
1 Dissolution of copartnership, 1895
Box
1 Deeds and related papers, 1848-1895; 14 items
Box
1 Agreements re Mill Dam, 1823, 1830; 2 items
Box
1 Miscellaneous agreements, 1869, 1936; 3 items
Box
1 Judgment bonds, 1853, 1855, 1867, 1879, 1886-1887; 24 items
Box
1 Insurance policies, 1848, 1853; 2 items
Box
1 Statements of accounts with various suppliers and sellers, 1861-1866; 41 items
Box
1 Correspondence, receipts, papers re St. Thomas Church, memos of accounts, maps, drawings of plant and real estate, 1849-1942, undated; 50 items
Box
1 Paper samples, undated; 26 items
II. Account books
Volume
2-4 Journals, 1858 January - 1866 December, 1923 June 1 - 1930 December; 3 volumes
Volume
5 Daybook, 1927 February 1 - 1929 February 13
Volume
6 Journal, 1938 August - 1942 March
Volume
7 Ledger, 1848-1865 [Fly leaf: "C.B. & J.W. Curtis Milford Paper Mill Ledger New Ark De. 1848";"Curtis & Brother Nonantum Mills Newark Del 1850".]
Volume
8 Accounts ledger, 1867-1907
Volume
9 Loose leaf ledger, 1904-1925
Volume
10 Ledger - paper produced/sold, 1921 September - 1924 June [Front fly leaf: "C.M. Smith Wil Del - May 1921"]
Volume
11-12 Ledgers - paper sold, 1924 July - 1934 February; 2 volumes
Volume
13-16 Cash books and petty cash a/c, 1923 June - 1932 October; 4 volumes
Volume
17-18 Bill book indices, circa 1914 April - 1929 March; 2 volumes
Volume
19 Invoices #2, 1902 October - 1904 March
Volume
20 Customer order #2932 and #4244, 1934 January 3, 1936 December 30
Volume
21 Completed cost sheets, 1926 August - November
Volume
22 Freight book, 1922 June 8 - 1928 October 24
Volume
23 Freight record - inbound and outbound shipments, 1926 June - 1932 July
Volume
24 Time record books, 1888-1896; 7 volumes
Volume
25 Employee time book, 1925 January 24 - 1928 July 21
Volume
26 Paper roll sizes and types ordered by various companies, circa 1902-1915 [Includes miscellaneous newspaper clippings and diary entries.] ; 1 volume
Volume
27 Machine record, 1928 January - 1934 June
Volume
28 Record of orders of various companies for paper, 1940s
Volume
29 Record of materials and supplies used in paper production, 1925-1926
Volume
30 Booklets of samples of paper, undated; 4 items
Volume
31 New Testament, 1923 [Fly leaf: "Emma A. Pearl, E. Randolph, Vermont, H.C. Hayzen, Randolph Vt."]
III. Correspondence
Box
32 Incoming correspondence, 1868 July - December; 184 items
Box
32 Federal Reserve Loan, 1932-1935; 30 items
Volume
33 Correspondence from Curtis Paper Co. re orders, freight rates, 1917 September - 1919 May; 1 volume
Box
34 A, 1929 May - October [Includes letters from and to American Paper & Pulp Associatino; appeal for cooperation of mills in reporting; and references problems with waste utilization and stream improvement.] ; 48 items
Box
34 Aldine Trust Co. - re loans, payment, financing, 1929 April - October; 22 items
Box
34 B, 1929 March - October; 242 items
Box
34 Beecher, Peck and Lewis, 1929 April - October; 34 items
Box
34 Blake-Butler Paper Co, 1929 April - October; 38 items
Box
34 C, 1929 April - October; 190 items
Box
35 Cheney Bigelow Wire Works - re machinery and wire products used by paper mill, 1929 May - October; 52 items
Box
35 D, 1929 April - October [Includes correspondence with DuPont re matching in colors of dyes in paper.] ; 144 items
Box
35 E, 1929 April - September; 35 items
Box
35 F, 1929 April - October; 23 items
Box
35 G, 1929 May - October; 39 items
Box
35 General Dyestuff Corp, 1929 April - October; 59 items
Box
35 General Electric - re orders for and difficulty with electrical products for machinery, 1929 May - October; 20 items
Box
35 H, 1929 April - October; 91 items
Box
35 Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection, 1929 April - August; 5 items
Box
35 A. Hartung and Co., 1929 April - September; 10 items
Box
35 Insurance, 1929 April - September; 20 items
Box
36 Samuel E. Inger Co., 1929 April - September; 5 items
Box
36 J, 1929 April - October; 37 items
Box
36 K, 1929 April - October; 89 items
Box
36 L, 1929 May - October; 45 items
Box
36 Henry Lindenmeyr and Sons, 1929 April - October; 358 items