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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:641 1869-1965

James Means papers

Scope and Contents

Letter books (1891-1904), scrapbook of advertising forthe $3 shoe (1883-1887), minutes of James Means Company (1900-1904), manuscripts, and letters. Includes scrapbook of James H. Means, James Means's father, and materials collected by his son, James Howard Means, for the publication of his book "James Means and the Problem of Manflight during the Period 1882-1920." There is one letter from the Wright brothers (1903) and two from Orville Wright (1921, 1942).


  • 1869-1965
  • Majority of material found within 1883-1920


Conditions Governing Access

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


3 linear feet (10 volumes and 2 boxes)

Biographical / Historical

James Means was a Dorchester, Massachusetts born shoe manufacturer and aviation pioneer. He entered into the shoe manufacturing industry in Brockton, Mass. in 1878 and formed a partnership with his younger brother Charles J. Means in 1883 as James Means and Company located in Boston. The company popularized the $3 shoe. James retired from manufacturing in 1893 but retained ownership of James Means trademark. He formed the James Means Company in Kittery, Maine to sell trademarks from 1900 to 1904. He wrote on problems of man flying and edited the Aeronautical Annual.

Physical Location



Means, James, 1853-1920. James Means Papers, 1869-1965 (inclusive), 1883-1920 (bulk)
Baker Library Special Collections Staff
September 2017
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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