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H.K.H. Silk Company Records

Identifier: 1999-0066

Scope and Content

The collection contains a few letters and pieces of ephemera, as noted. However, the bulk of the material in the collection consists of the personal correspondence, both incoming and outgoing, of Clarence Asahel Hammond-Knowlton from the years 1921 to 1924. C. A. Hammond-Knowlton appears to have been chief executive officer for the company at this time (despite the title of treasurer), and it is possible that his father, C. C. Knowlton, was suffering from illness or was unable to carry out all of his responsibilities as president of the company. Correspondence covers a wide range of topics. Some letters address business dealings, and other matters are purely personal. The H.K.H. Silk Company had mills in Putnam, Watertown, New London, and Woodbury, CT, and Haverstraw, NY. The company offices were in Watertown, CT, but C. A. Hammond-Knowlton lived with his wife, Isabel, and his daughter, Mildred, in Mansfield Center, CT, on Knowlton Hill near Gurleyville Road.

Interesting correspondences include those between C. A. Hammond-Knowlton and his father, C. C. Knowlton, those with the Silk Association of America, those with the Connecticut Chamber of Commerce, materials relating to the pollution of a stream in Putnam, Connecticut, by an H.K.H. mill, and personal correspondences from C. A. Hammond-Knowlton relating to his hobby as an early enthusiast of radio.


  • 1892-1924


The collection is open and available for research.

Restrictions on Use

Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.


Hammond, Knowlton and Company were silk manufacturers prior to 1892. Key figures in the development of the company were Charles Clark Knowlton and his cousin, George Asahel Hammond. G.A. Hammond served as a member of the Connecticut commission at the 1892 World Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where the company silks were the official silks of the Exposition. The company was awarded a bronze medallion from the Exposition. The collection includes two letters, one from 1894 and the other from 1897, to C.C. Knowlton from G.A. Hammond. In the 1897 letter Hammond refutes questions that have arisen as to his character.

C. C. Knowlton adopted his cousin Clarence Asahel Hammond-Knowlton. C. A. Hammond-Knowlton was also involved with the silk company, and received a patent in 1912 for a “Method of Producing a Filled Bobbin.” By 1921, C. A. Hammond-Knowlton was the treasurer of the H.K.H. Silk Company, the new name for the company having been adopted after some acquisitions around 1918. It appears that the company changed its name to the Heminway Silk Corporation in 1925 to reflect the major brand name of the silk articles being produced by the company.


4 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Hammond, Knowlton and Company was a silk manufacturer in operation prior to 1892. The company consolidated with other companies in 1918 to form the H.K.H. Silk Company. This company had mills in Putnam, Watertown, New London, and Woodbury, CT, as well as Haverstraw, NY. The company headquarters was in Watertown, CT. In early 1925, it appears that the company changed its name to the Heminway Silk Corporation. As a matter of local interest, it is worth noting that company treasurer Clarence Asahel Hammond-Knowlton resided in Mansfield Center, CT, on Knowlton Hill near Gurleyville Rd.


Collection consists of a single series. Organization is chronological and then alphabetical. Within folders, original arrangements have been retained, with correspondents usually grouped together (chronology within folders is somewhat imprecise).

Custodial History

Records from the 1920s were stored on the property of Isabel Atwood of Storrs, CT, and in July 1999.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by Evelyn Guymon of Tucson, Arizona in 1999.

Related Material

Archives & Special Collections has a substantial collection of materials pertaining to Connecticut businesses. For detailed information on these collections please contact the curator or ask at the Reading Room desk.


Information in this finding aid compiled by Laura Katz Smith through correspondence with Evelyn Guymon of Tucson, Arizona, and from materials in the collection.
H.K.H. Silk Company Records
Archives & Special Collections staff
1999 July
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository

University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US