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COLLECTION Identifier: Mss:456 1854-1869 R311

Records of paper collar manufacturers

The Records of Paper Collar Manufacturers is an artificial collection of materials which provide a snapshot into the world of paper collar manufacturing. Several of the items pertain to attempts by the Union Paper Collar Company to monopolize trade and the efforts of the Paper Collar Manufacturers Association to prevent this.

Dates

  • 1854-1869 and undated

Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information.

Extent

.75 linear feet (1 box, 1 volume, 1 oversize folder)

The Records of Paper Collar Manufacturers is an artificial collection of materials which provide a snapshot into the world of paper collar manufacturing. Several of the items pertain to attempts by the Union Paper Collar Company to monopolize trade and the efforts of the Paper Collar Manufacturers Association to prevent it. Included in the collection are affidavits for Letters Patent in the improvement in shirt collars and ladies collars and cuffs which were filed by members of the Union Paper Collar Company in order to have a lock on the market, a hand written “Constitution” of the Paper Collar Manufacturing Association and letters from various paper collar companies seeking admission, and handbills and circulars from a variety of paper manufacturer companies, such as the Paper Collar Manufacturers Association, the Bay State Paper Collar Company, and American Molded Collar Company. Many of the handbills and circulars were created as a public relations offensive to reassure customers and associates that the Union Paper Collar Company’s patent claims were indefensible in the court of law. Also included in the collection are bills of sales from various paper manufacturers for purchases of paper collars, cuffs, and boxes, lists of prices for paper goods, and a U.S. Patent for Charles D. Elliot for the design of a paper collar. Several sample collars and cuffs are in the collection as well.

Biographical / Historical

The 1850s and 1860s saw experimentation with collars and cuffs made of paper (and sometimes muslin). Because collars and cuffs were both the most visible part of the shirt likely to get dirty, detachable paper collars and cuffs were worn until soiled and then discarded. The design was quite simple: a detachable paper collar was a collar separate from the collarless shirt, fastened to it by studs. The paper collar was attached to the shirt at the back, then the shirt was put on, after which the front stud was pushed through the collar to fasten it.

In the 1860s there was a race to monopolize paper collar manufacturing. William E. Lockwood, who was known as “the paper collar king of America”, led the effort to create the “Union Paper Collar Company,” a group of nineteen manufacturers who consolidated their patents and then assigned them back to the individual members. The logic was that Union Collar would collectively monolpolize the market, using its clout to prosecute or intimidate anyone selling collars outside of its authority. The pinnacle of this effort was a lawsuit filed by the Union Paper Collar Company against Van Dusen. The Union Paper Collar Company claimed an exclusive right as to the sort of paper out of which the collars were made and the device by which the collar was turned over. The claim was founded on a grant to them of a patent, reissued to Andrew Evans; the claim of similar right as to the device by which the collar was turned over, was founded on the grant to them of a patent reissued to Solomon Gray. The case was argued in 1874 and the court found that that the patentee was not the original and first inventor of the patented improvement described in either of the claims of his patent.

Arrangement

Materials are arranged chronologically.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased, 2016.

Processing Information

Processed: September 2017 By: Mary Samouelian
Link to catalog
Title
Records of Paper Collar Manufacturers, 1854-1869 and undated: A Finding Aid
Author
Baker Library
Description rules
dacs
EAD ID
bak00324

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.

Contact:
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