Sadly, many of the company records from the beginning of the modern machine thread industry have been lost in recent years. Some of these missing documents have turned up in flea markets, Craigslist, Ebay, and elsewhere. We, at the museum, have been using a portion of your cash donations to fund the re-purchase of these lost items, as they re-appear.
Pictured above is the Wiley & Russell Cash Ledger, #7. In January 2015, we discovered it for sale at a book store, in Ohio. The ledger documents the cash flow of the company from November, 1889 through September 1891. Even numbered pages recorded the incoming money and odd pages the outgoing.
Many of the most important companies, at the end of the 1800s, are mentioned as being either customers or vendors. Has anyone ever heard of Studebaker or Montgomery Ward? You are also able to track the company’s weekly payroll, and observe the important engineers’ and executives’ use of petty cash.
All of it is now viewable, online! This handwritten book was not machine readable, so all we could do is provide an easy way to browse the pages and ask you what you see! Use the comment section, below, to mention the companies you recognize and the page number you found them on.
We also welcome comments about our presentations usability. We hope it is both PC and mobile friendly. Popular touch gestures should work, fine. We’d like to present more such books, in the future, and your participation will help guide how we proceed.