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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:442 1741-1928

Pepperell Manufacturing Company records

Scope and Contents

An extensive run of the textile firm's records (1850-1932), including minutes, general accounts, production records, and correspondence; letters of William Dwight, Edward W. Codman, George Dexter, Philip Y. De Normandie, William Amory, and Walter H. Bradley, treasurers; and William P. Haines, Henry S. Howe, Robert McArthur, and E. L. Morrill, agents. Includes subsidiary collections for Saco Water Power Co. (1741-1911; copies of deeds only before 1839; letters of W. S. Dennett, agent); Laconia Co. (1844-1911; general records and letters of Otis Holmes and August Haines, agents); Massachusetts Cotton Mills (1839-1926; stockholders' records and accounts); and the ship Pequot (records for 1852-1864). Includes records of Bliss, Fabyan & Co. as selling agent for some firms.

The collection contains records of women both as workers and as investors. A particularly interesting feature of this collection is an 1893 volume of "Wages and Duties," which contains very precise descriptions of the duties and wages of factory workers in the Pepperell and Laconia Mills, often with gender identification. For instance, the job description of Fly Frame Girls in the Main Carding Room states that they run 10 frames, or an average of 170 spindles each, 8 X 4. They set up their roving, oil top rolls and spindle, and doff, and average 77 hanks per week on 1.92 hank roving @ 8 cents per hank. Price reduced Jan. 29, 1894, to 7 1/4 cents per hank.


  • 1741-1932
  • Majority of material found within 1839-1928


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored offsite; access requires advance notice. Contact for more information.


200 linear feet (1220 volumes, 59 boxes, 54 cartons)

Biographical / Historical

Cotton manufacturing company organized in 1850 in Biddeford, Maine. Consolidated with Laconia Co. (organized in 1844) in 1899, with the Massachusetts Cotton Mills (organized in 1839) in 1926, and with Saco Water Power Co. in 1916.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift of Pepperell Manufacturing Co., 1933, 1934, 1937, 1966.

Baker Library
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University Repository

Baker Library Special Collections holds unique resources that focus on the evolution of business and industry, as well as the records of the Harvard Business School, documenting the institution's development over the last century. These rich and varied collections support research in a diverse range of fields such as business, economic, social and cultural history as well as the history of science and technology.

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