B.S. Pray and Company was an import-export firm in Boston, Massachusetts, which engaged in trade with South Africa, South and Central America, and Europe. The collection contains thousands of letters from manufacturers of all kinds in the United States concerning the export of their products.
These letters show the completion of the shift of clerical work from handwritten letters to the use of typewriters, dictaphones, and telephones by the 1910s. Though dictated by and invariably sent to men, the typed initials of secretaries in the lower left hand corners of the letters indicate the presence of women clerical workers in factory offices throughout the United States.
Letterbooks in the collection also contain some correspondence with the wives of employees and business relations, concerning matters of currency conveyance, inquiries about medical problems help with travel arrangements, and a letter of introduction. There are also several letters discussing Brazilian mining prospects with Mrs. J. B. Humphrey and other women who were friends or relatives of Nelson Humphrey, a B.S. Pray and Company representative in Brazil.