Holley Manufacturing Company Records
Scope and Content
The Holley Manufacturing Company records provide detailed information about this important pocket cutlery firm. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence with customers, hardware dealers, other manufacturing companies, sales agents, the Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, and credit and collecting agencies. The records also include substantial information about employees, sales, and production, and finances.
- undated, 1847-1933
The collection is open and available for research.
Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.
The Holley Manufacturing Company of Lakeville (Salisbury), Connecticut, produced pocket cutlery and related products, from 1844 until 1946. Founded in 1844 by Alexander Hamilton Holley and George Merwin as Holley and Merwin, the Company claimed to be the oldest manufacturer of pocket cutlery in the United States. The company name was later changed to Holley & Company. In 1854, it was incorporated as the Holley Manufacturing Company, with Alexander H. Holley as president, George B. Burrall, treasurer, and William B. Rudd, secretary. William Rudd's son, Malcolm D. Rudd, succeeded him as treasurer and general manager, serving in that position until 1942. Its customers were retailers and small jobbers, mostly in New England, Pennsylvania, and upper New York State. Total annual sales of the company probably did not exceed $50,000 from 1844 to 1925, or $10,000 from 1925 to 1933. Holley Manufacturing Company's sales and production declined after 1933 and the firm was dissolved in 1946.
75 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The Holley Manufacturing Company of Lakeville (Salisbury), Connecticut, produced pocket cutlery and related products, from 1844 until 1946. Holley Manufacturing Company's sales and production declined after 1933 and the firm was dissolved in 1946.
Series I: Correspondence (undated, 1854-1933) consists of incoming correspondence (1854-1933), letters from the agents (1887-1933), select correspondence from R.G. Dun Company, hardware dealers, the Manufacturers Association of Connecticut, and the firm of Kemble and Mills; and outgoing correspondence (1847-1933).
Series II: Administrative Records (undated, 1852-1920) contains contracts, legal and semi-legal documents, insurance policies, patents, personnel policies, reports, tax records, blueprints, and notebooks.
Series III: General Accounts (undated, 1847-1928) consists of daybooks, journals, ledgers, accounting statements, and other general account records.
Series IV: Labor Records (undated, 1854-1920) consists of records related to payroll and employee's accounts.
Series V: Production Records (undated, 1853-1927) consists of inventory books, cost estimates, records of raw material used, and material samples.
Series VI: Sales Records (undated, 1850-1938) consists of catalog and price lists (1850-1934), salesmen's reports and trip books (1853-1869), customer credit ratings (1856-1858), customer lists (1904-1920), Boyd's City Dispatch Credit reports (1911-1932), R.G. Dun and Company reports (1869-1876), sales summaries (1901-1914), photographs of Holley pocket knives, and price lists and catalogs from other cutlery and silver manufacturing companies.
Series VII: Griggs & Chapin Company (undated, 1882-1887) contains business records of Griggs & Chapin Company, a general store evidently used by the Holley Company to pay employees in kind.
The collection was donated by Yale University Libraries in 1979.
Existence and Location of Copies
Portions of this collection have been digitized and digital reproductions of materials in this collection may also be found in the Archives & Special Collections digital repository
- Administrative records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Catalogs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Collection agencies Subject Source: Fast
- Connecticut (state) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Cutlery Subject Source: Fast
- Cutlery trade Subject Source: Fast
- Financial records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Hardware stores Subject Source: Fast
- Industrial relations Subject Source: Fast
- Insurance policies Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Inventories Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Labor union meetings Subject Source: Fast
- Labor unions Subject Source: Fast
- Lakeville (inhabited place) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Manufactures Subject Source: Fast
- Sales records Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Silver-plated flatware Subject Source: Fast
- Torrington (inhabited place) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
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- United States (nation) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Holley Manufacturing Company Records
- Archives & Special Collections staff
- 1991 December
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository
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