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Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company Records

Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company Records

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Open Finding Aid

NAUMKEAG STEAM COTTON COMPANY RECORDS, 1835-1854

Sponsor:

The processing of this collection was funded by gifts from the Pingree heirs.





Collection Summary

Repository:The Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum 132 Essex Street Salem, MA 01970 Phone: 978-745-9500 Fax: 978-531-1516
Creator:Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company
Title:Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company Records
Dates:1835/1854
Quantity:0.75 linear feet (2 boxes, 1 flat file)
Abstract:The Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company records contain financial records and correspondence.
Collection Number:MSS 919

Series List


SERIES I. Financial Records
SERIES II. Correspondence
SERIES III. Other

Scope and Content Note

The Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company records contain financial records and correspondence. This collection contains three series.


Series I. Financial Records contains accounts, bills, receipts, and estimates for work.


Series II. Correspondence contains correspondence, most of which is addressed to the president, David Pingree. The correspondence discusses everyday matters of running the mill, sales, orders, finances, broken equipment, stockholders, and meetings.


Series III. Other contains a copy of the corporation's by-laws from 1845 and a list of statistics of Lowell manufactures in 1847.


Historical Sketch

The Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company was incorporated in 1839. Retired ship master, Nathaniel Griffin, raised a majority of the half million dollars to build the mill along the water front in Salem, Massachusetts at Stage Point, on the South River, directly opposite Derby Wharf. Griffin then served as the first clerk and treasurer of the company until 1847. David Pingree (1795-1863) was the first president of the company (Frayler 5-6). By 1845, production was in full swing. The name "Naumkeag" came from the local Naumkeag Native American tribe, while "steam" referred to the unique processing process used by the company (Jarvis 28), originally powered by a 400-horsepower steam engine.


The primary, and later the exclusive, product of the company was cotton sheeting (Frayler 4-7). The Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company operated the Pequot Mills, which manufactured high quality Pequot bed sheets (Jarvis 7). By the beginning of the twentieth century, the company continued steadily forward, with over twenty buildings. In 1909, the Danvers Bleachery became part of the company (Frayler 7). On June 25, 1914, the Great Salem Fire, which spread through the city of Salem, destroyed all but a few of the Company's buildings. It was decided to rebuild the company immediately, and by February 1916, the Company was up and running (Jarvis 29).


Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company closed its Salem location in 1953, and moved south for economic reasons. In February 1955, the company acquired Indian Head Mills, Inc., and assumed the corporate name Indian Head Mills, Inc. and began operating out of its facilities in Alabama and South Carolina (Frayler 4).


Index Terms

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.

Pingree, David, 1795-1863
Smith, Edmund
F. Skinner and Company (Mass.)
Indian Head Mills
Pequot Mills
Corporation reports
Cotton textile industry
Industries--History
Textile factories
Salem (Mass.)
Salem (Mass.)--Business

Restrictions

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research use.


Administrative Information

Copyright

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.

Preferred Citation

Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company Records, MSS 919, Phillips Library, Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.

Provenance

This material was donated by Pingree family heirs.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Hilary Streifer, January 2016.


Related Material


Frayler, John. "Mericani." Pickled Fish and Salted Provisions: Historical Musings from Salem Maritime NHS. VI, no. 6 (October 2004): 2-7.


Jarvis, Clive. The Story of Pequot. The Berkley Press of Boston: Boston, 1929.


David Pingree Papers, 1810-1939. MSS 901


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