Paper: Billheads, Handbills, Trade Cards, etc. Feed

North Bros. Mfg. Co. Manufacturers Of Hardware Specialities, Yankee Tools, Ice Cream Freezers, Etc. 1914

Letterhead: NORTH BROS. MFG. CO., MANUFACTURERS OF HARDWARE SPECIALITIES, "YANKEE" TOOLS, ICE CREAM FREEZERS, ETC. , Office & Works, N. E. Cor. American st. & Lehigh Ave., Philadelphia, PA. December 1st, 1914.

An unusual full width graphic letterhead. With this modern letterhead, North Bros. was intent on showing that they had moved on from 19th C influences. Even so, they retained a vignette of a factory with tall chimneys billowing smoke. Sold to Myers Hdwe, Col, Lexington, Va. R. Carter & Co. of New York, as the wholesaler, arranged for replacement steel balls for a Yankee #41 Drill, supplied free of charge


Nicholson File Company. Billhead, Price List

Letterhead: NICHOLSON FILE COMPANY. OPERATING FOUR DISTINCT PLANTS. Providence, R.I., U.S.A., March 9, 1896. Letterhead to Messrs. Henry H. Myers & Sons, Lexington, Va. Graphics of all four plants in all their smoking glory


Price Lists: Nicholson Swiss Pattern Files, also Tools and Specialities. Nicholson File Company, Providence, R.I., U.S.A. Nicholson Files, Increment Cut... Nicholson File Company, Providence, R.I., U.S.A.
both, 1889. 
Files and rasps get a bad rap. People think of them as poor seconds for shaping stuff. They're seen as 'cheaters' for when you can't get a joint right, or make a mistake that needs to be corrected. Files and rasps are anything but. Essential tools that should be in every mechanicks tool chest, they are the intermediate step in shaping wood, plastic or metal. Don't leave home without them.

Download NicholsonFiles1889Cat




The New London Vise Works. Billhead 1897

Billhead: THE NEW LONDON VISE WORKS, MANUFACTURERS OF SOLD BOX VISES AND HEAVY HARDWARE. Joseph Hyde, Sons & Co., Proprietors. New Londgon, Conn. June 15, 1897

Sold to H. H. Myers. Lexington, VA. Very interesting graphic of a so-called blacksmith leg vise which has a provision for a foot actuated tightening mechanism.


Chas. Morrill Manufacturers Of Liquid Soap Dispensers, Nail Pullers, Box Openers, Seal Presses, Bench Stops, Saw Sets, Punches. Trade Catalog and Billhead

Billhead: CHAS. MORRILL, MANUFACTURER OF LIQUID SOAP DISPENSERS, NAIL PULLERS, BOX OPENERS, SEAL PRESSES, BENCH STOPS, SAW SETS, PUNCHES. 100 Lafayette St. New York. Oct. 8, 1913. How's that for variety in manufacturing? Perhaps best known for his saw sets, Mr. Morrill obviously believed in diversification of his product line. Sold to Myers Hardware, Lexington, Va.


Trade Catalog: Morrill Product line,c1912 including saw sets and soap dispensers.

Download MorillCat1917


Sand Paper: Matthewman & Lewis 1868 Handbill

Handbill: SAND PAPER. MATTHEWMAN & LEWIS, 225 STATE STREET, NEW HAVEN, AGENTS FOR THE NEW ENGLAND IMPROVED FLINT PAPER. OCTOBER 15TH, 1868. Fascinating handbill that was sent along with a product sample. Sold by the ream. "Give it a trial, and we doubt not you will order again." What better prose could you ask for when marketing a product?


James Kellogg, Plane Maker Price List and Correspondence

James Kellogg, Plane Maker: Price List and Correspondence. Courtesy of Roger K. Smith, are two pieces of history from James Kellogg, the famous plane maker. The first is a stampless letter from Mr. Kellogg to Mr. H. Foster, agent for Mr. J. Daniel, concerning discount terms on an order of planes. The second is a photocopy of an early and unique Kellogg price list. While Roger does not remember from where he originally received the price list copy, if memory serves me right, I believe this is a photocopy of a Kellogg price list that was sold at a Spicer Auction in Rhode Island.

These two unique pieces of ephemera are offered in PDF format for easier reading

Download RSmithJKellogLtrCat1 (1)



Jessop Steel, New York City: Salesman Correspondence

Correspondence: Commercial, Traveling Salesman; Jessop Steel, M. Thornburn Correspondence 1848

MR. M. THORNBURN TO MR. Hy JESSOP OF NEW YORK CITY. Stampless letter, Providence, July 7, 1848. Composed in blue ink on pale blue paper. Before the advent of the postage stamp, the stampless letter was the only form available for sending correspondence through the mail service.

Henry Jessop was the son of William Jessop, founder of the Jessop Steel firm of Lancashire, England. In the 1830's William Jessop and Sons opened their own steel and iron foundry business. Thomas and Henry Jessop took responsibility for the commercial side of the enterprise while Montague and Sydney accepted responsibility for the foundry and production side. Jessop Steel did not open it's United States factory until the 1860's. Prior to this, traveling salesmen such as Mr. Thornburn represented the business' interests. Henry Jessop died in 1849.

This piece of correspondence between Henry Jessop and M. Thornburn is a wealth of detail, both explicit and implied. The competition for dominance in the iron and steel industry is evident. Mr. Thornburn has some success but at other times he is faced with the problems of inadequate goods or local competition. Unfriendly buyers leave him annoyed and frustrated. The Mexian-American War ended in February of 1848. Mr. Thornburn was attempting to expand his customer base at a time when funds where in short supply.

The original document and a full transcription of the text.

Download JessopthornburnMAN

Download ThorburnjesssopManTrans


W. A. Ives Mfg. Co. Mephisto Auger Bits

Envelope: IVES MFG CO., MEPHISTO AUGER BITS. Jan. 7, 1913. "It looks as if it would bore, doesn't it?". I'm not sure what this small envelope was meant for. My best guess is contained some product information. It's a bit too small for use as a mailing envelope, but an envelope it is. Any guesses?