Processing and rehousing of this collection were funded by a grant from Essex Institute corporate member Daniel Low & Co.
The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Balch & Smith (Salem, Mass.)
Balch & Smith Records
1 linear foot (2 boxes, 1 volume)
The Balch & Smith Records document the business transactions and transitions of a Salem, Massachusetts, clock and watch business.
SERIES I. Benjamin Balch Records SERIES II. Balch & Smith Records SERIES III. Jesse Smith Records
Scope and Content Note
The Balch & Smith Records document the business transactions and transitions of a Salem, Massachusetts, clock and watch business. The account books record Benjamin Balch's sole enterprise, his partnership with Jesse Smith, and Smith's business after the partnership ended. The collection is arranged in three series: Benjamin Balch Records, Balch & Smith Records, and Jesse Smith Records.
Comprised mainly of repair accounts, the entries record the name of the watchmaker along with the owner and type of repair. Of special note are the daily profit and sales records; notations about Smith's apprenticeship and the location of Smith's shop; and the accounts of new watches purchased and sold.
Benjamin Balch (1774-1860), a Salem and Boston clock and watchmaker, was the son of William and Rebecca (Bailey) Balch. Born in Bradford, Massachusetts, Balch served his apprenticeship in Newbury with his uncle, Daniel Balch. He moved to Salem in 1796, where he established a prosperous business on Essex Street. During the course of his career, Balch had partnerships with Jesse Smith (Balch & Smith) and his son, James (B. Balch & Son).
Jesse Smith (1789-1866), a native of Ipswich, was the son of Aaron and Lucy (Baker) Smith. Smith began his apprenticeship with Benjamin Balch on December 5, 1803. Ten years later they formed a partnership under the name Balch & Smith. In 1832, the association dissolved and Jesse moved his business farther down the street to 262 Essex Street. His son, Jesse Rogers Smith, assisted him in his shop.
This collection is indexed under the following headings in Philcat. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.
Balch, Benjamin, 1774-1860
Smith, Jesse Rogers, 1835-
Smith, Jesse, 1789-1866
Clock and watch making
Restrictions on Access
This collection is open for research use.
Requests for permission to publish material from the collection must be submitted in writing to the Manuscript Librarian in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum.
This collection is an integration and reorganization of 14 volumes. The account books of Benjamin Balch and Balch & Smith were a gift of Daniel I. Smith. Jesse Smith's account books are from an unknown source.
Collection processed by Prudence K. Backman, January 1987. Updated by Anne E. (Holmer) Deschaine, July 2011, June 2014.
This collection is an integration and reorganization of 14 volumes. The account books of Benjamin Balch and Balch & Smith were a gift of Daniel I. Smith. Jesse Smith’s account books are from an unknown source.