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Call No.: Mss:5341925-1969 B856
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Briggs Motor Sales records
Quantity: 4 linear feet (8 volumes, 5 boxes, 1 carton)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Records of an automobile agency in Plymouth, Mass., operated by George R. Briggs, selling Dodge, Nash, Packard, Ajax, and Austin automobiles at various times.
During the 1920s, George Briggs, Sr., owned a car dealership located at 10 Water Street in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Upon his death in 1926, his son, George Briggs, Jr., inherited the business and continued it under the name of Briggs Auto Sales. In addition to selling both new and used cars, both men maintained an automobile repair service as well as two service stations. On August 31, 1932, George Briggs, Jr., Russell Davis and Sherman L. Whipple, Jr. incorporated this endeavor under the name Briggs Motor Sales, Inc. The corporation's original purpose was to manage, purchase, sell or deal in automobiles, boats, airplanes and motors. During the years of active business, Briggs Auto Sales and Briggs Motors Sale, Inc. traded in Dodge, Plymouth, Nash, Austin, Ajax and Packard automobiles. In the mid-1930s, the corporation leased a Gulf gasoline station on Main Street in Hyannis, Massachusetts. This arrangement ended in 1939. Briggs Motor Sales, Inc. dissolved in 1941. However, George Briggs Jr., continued to sell used cars from time to time until his death in the 1976.
The collection is arranged in the following series:
- Series I. Personal records, 1939-1969
- Series II. Administrative and legal records, 1931-1937
- Series III. Subject files, 1923-1941
- Series IV. Financial records, 1925-1948
The records of Briggs Motor Sales, Inc. date from 1923-1969 [bulk dates are 1926-1932] and includes documents from both George Briggs, Sr. and George Briggs, Jr., car dealerships in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The records document sales, advertising, distribution and customer concerns for Dodge, Plymouth, Nash, Packard, Ajax and Austin automobiles in Plymouth County and Cape Cod during the boom years of the 1920s, the economic depression of the 1930s and the beginning of rubber rationing in the early 1940s. Included are administrative, legal and financial documents as well as correspondence between Briggs Motor Sales and customers, regional car distributors and the home office for all automobiles carried in the showroom. Of interest are the circulars received from car manufactures detailing new models, unique selling points, repair and service updates, personal changes and economic news. Records include ledgers, accounts receivable, check register, journals, trial balance, worksheets, bills, minutes, stock certificates, inventories, notes, agreements, notices, mortgages, accident reports, advertisements, news clippings, income tax returns, letters sent and received, circulars and invoices. Topics in correspondence include automobile rentals, repairs, sales, automobile financing and credit payment plans, debt collection, vendor accounts and customer concerns.