|Allen-Lane Company Collection
|Mss 761 1853-1941
Cartons 23-26, 29, 31, 33, 35-6; box 1; volumes A-6 to A-13, N-22, NA-5
The Allen-Lane Company Collection contains the records of a Boston, Massachusetts, firm of wholesale wool commission merchants from 1853 to 1941. The collection contains payroll records of individual textile mills controlled by the firm, including Georges River Mills at Warren, Maine; Devonshire Mills, Goff's Falls, New Hampshire; Monadnock Blanket Mills, Marlboro, New Hampshire; Rockfall Woolen Company, Middletown, Connecticut; and the Walker Mills in Wilton, Maine.
Records also include stock and dividend records as well as Lane Family materials including correspondence, Benjamin C. Lane's 1917 will establishing a trust for his wife, Florence, and information on church and civic matters, including the West Roxbury Citizens' Association in the 1920s and 1930s.
The Allen-Lane Company sent yarn out to dry goods stores across northern New England, to be knitted into socks and mittens. The collection includes several folders of "Knitting Statements," letters to accompany or announce finished goods, or to request more yarn. In a letter addressed to "Messrs. Allen, Lane, Co.," T. Tufts & Co. wrote on December 5, 1873, during a very serious economic downturn:
We are sorry to hear that we need not expect any more yarn this winter. Money is scarce in this country and our knitters want and need work, and it would be charitable to say the least to furnish them work. We allow our knitters the same price per doz. that you pay us, and make but a small profit on our goods, we don't see how some poor widows will get through this long cold winter without work.
If you will give us half or two thirds of the amount of yarn we have been having we will place it among the most needy, and if you are intending to make up a lot of mitts for the trade of next fall would it not be better to keep knitters at work this winter and if the mitts accumulate too fast shorten us next summer or fall. It takes time to bring things around. We hope you will conclude to furnish us with yarn through this winter will supply the best knitters and try and do the work satisfactorily.
Wage and time accounting
Payrolls: Georges Mills (1880-1930): carton 31; Devonshire Mills (1887-1927): carton 29; Walker Mills (1894-1913): carton 33
Time books with names, no wages (1929-1930): NAF 1-7 (Box 1)
Company reports and registers; office records
Knitting (1873 and earlier, 1873-1877): cartons 23 and 25
Family and financial records
Memo books of Mrs. Benjamin (1889-1894): volume N-22
Estate of Eliza H. Martin (1876-1878): volume NA-5
Insurance policies, deeds (1878): carton 24
Shares of Stock and dividends in Devonshire Mills and Georges
River Mills (1887-1934): volumes A-6 to A13; stockholders (1931-): carton 26
Personal Papers of Jonathan A. and Benjamin C. Lane (1884-1939): cartons 25, 35 and 36