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Joseph R. Foster and Sons records

835.f

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Philadelphia University. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Philadelphia University: Paul J. Gutman Library, Special Collections
Title:
Joseph R. Foster and Sons records
Date [inclusive]:
1930-1946
Call Number:
835.f
Extent:
0.75 Linear feet (4 volumes)
Language:
English
Abstract:
Joseph R. Foster and Sons was a Philadelphia dyeing and finishing yarn company, specializing in worsted and wool yarns. The Joseph R. Foster and Sons records houses four ledger books detailing 16 years of the company’s business records between 1930 and 1946.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], Joseph R. Foster and Sons records, 1930-1946, Philadelphia University: Paul J. Gutman Library Special Collections.
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Joseph R. Foster (1841-1908) and his brother, Thomas Firth founded the Firth and Foster Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Foster founded the Joseph R. Foster and Sons Company, another Philadelphia yarn dyeing and finishing company located on Second and Clearfield Streets. Joseph R. Foster and Sons were dyers and finishers of wool and worsted yarns for knit goods, dress goods, men’s wear, and cloakings. They were also re-dyers and worked with Merino yarns, webbing, and raw wool. Foster died suddenly from pneumonia at the age of 67 and was survived by his wife, two sons, and three daughters.

Bibliography

Harvard University. American Trade Index: Descriptive and Classified Directory of the Members of the National Association of Manufacturers. N.P.: n.p., 1917.

Harvard University. The Blue Book: Textile Directory of the United States and Canada. N.p.: Davidson Publishing Company, 1901. p 420.

New York Public Library. Fibre & Fabric: A Record of American Textile Industries in the Cotton and Woolen Trade. Vol. 47. N.p.: n.p., 1908. p 86-87.

Scope and Contents

The Joseph R. Foster and Sons records houses the company’s business records and dates from 1930 to 1946. This collection consists of 4 ledgers detailing 16 years of financial affairs. This collection is arranged chronologically in one series.

This collection contains a general ledger, which provides an overview of the company’s orders from 1930 to 1945. Another ledger details the company’s expenses with a record of cash receipts from 1931-1946. The remaining two ledgers contain a list of the company’s cash disbursements between 1932 and 1937.

This collection provides an overview of the financial recordkeeping of a small Philadelphia business in the early 20th century. This collection contains well-maintained records, so researchers primarily interested in Joseph R. Foster and Sons’ financial affairs as opposed to a more comprehensive portrait of the company would find this collection to be a valuable resource.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Philadelphia University: Paul J. Gutman Library, Special Collections,  2014 September 1

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Chase Markee

Sponsor

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

Gift of Mrs. Philip L. Mossburg, Jr., circa 1983. Donated to the Pastore Library’s Textile Industry Historical Collection.

Processing Information note

The processing of this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources’ “Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives” Project.

This collection was minimally processed in 2013-2014, as part of an experimental project conducted under the auspices of the Philadelphia Area Consortium of Special Collections Libraries to help eliminate processing backlog in Philadelphia repositories. A minimally processed collection is one processed at a less intensive rate than traditionally thought necessary to make a collection ready for use by researchers. When citing sources from this collection, researchers are advised to defer to folder titles provided in the finding aid rather than those provided on the physical folder.

Employing processing strategies outlined in Mark Greene's and Dennis Meissner's 2005 article "More Product, Less Process: Revamping Traditional Processing Approaches to Deal With Late 20th-Century Collections," the project team tested the limits of minimal processing on collections of all types and ages in 16 Philadelphia area repositories. A primary goal of the project, the team processed at an average rate of 4 hours per linear foot of records, a fraction of the time ordinarily reserved for the arrangement and description of collections. Among other time saving strategies, the project team did not extensively review the content of the collections or complete any preservation work.

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Business records
  • Ledgers
  • Warehouse records
Geographic Name(s)
  • Philadelphia (Pa.)
Subject(s)
  • Dyes
  • Worsted
  • Yarn

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Collection Inventory

Volume

J.R. Foster, General Ledger, No.2: Leger book, 1930-1945.

1

Cash Disbursements, No.6, Jos. R. Foster and Sons: Ledger book, 1932 March-1934 May.

2

Cash Receipts, No. 4, Jos. R. Foster and Sons: Ledger book, 1931 December-1946 November.

3

Cash Disbursements, No. 7, Jos. R. Foster and Sons: Ledger book, 1934 May-1937 June.

4