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Mss:7 1770-1880 B181

Baldwin Family Business Papers, 1694-1887 (inclusive); 1787-1865 (bulk): A Finding Aid

Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University


Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Mss:7 1770-1880 B181
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Baldwin family business papers
Date(s): 1694-1887
Quantity: 34 linear feet (134 volumes, 62 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The Baldwin family business papers contains papers relating to engineering projects supervised by Baldwin family members including Loammi Baldwin and his five sons.

Conditions Governing Access:

Collection is open for research. Materials stored onsite. Please contact specialcollectionsref@hbs.edu for more information. Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Baldwin Family Business Papers. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

Loammi Baldwin was a Revolutionary War soldier, civil engineer, politician, and horticulturalist born in Woburn, Massachusetts in 1744. His sons Cyrus (1773-1854), Benjamin Franklin (1777-1821), Loammi Jr. (1780-1838), James Fowle (1782-1862) and George Rumford (1798-1888) were also civil engineers. He served during the war in Boston, New York City, and at the Battle of Trenton. After the war he served as the sherif of Middlesex County and tended to his farm eventually developing the apple that bears his name, Baldwin apple. All of Baldwin's sons were born in Woburn with only Loammi, Jr. graduating from Harvard in 1800. Loammi, Sr. and his sons were the chief surveyors and engineers of the Middlesex Canal. The Middlesex Canal, built between 1795-1803, is considered one of the first canals in the United States. The canal created many economic benefits by linking farms in the interior of Massachusetts the port of Boston.
Loammi, Jr. and his brothers worked together on numerous engineering projects throughout their careers. George Rumford and James Fowle focused their engineering work on public works projects including waterworks and railroads, specifically the Quebec and Boston water works and the Boston & Albany Railroad. Maybe the best example of engineering work supervised by Loammi, Jr. and his brothers James Fowle and George Rumford were the dry docks at the Charlestown and Norfolk Navy yards in the 1830s.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

The Baldwin family business papers contain correspondence, reports, notes, surveys, bills, drawings, and personal family papers. The material primarily relates to Loammi Baldwin's work as an engineer supervising projects including canals, waterworks, railroads, navy yards and dry docks. Much of this material includes field work, surveys, drawings, and designs of the Middlesex Canal project, which linked the Merrimack River with the port of Boston. Canal projects also include the Cape Cod Canal and Merrimack Canal, among others. Another large portion of the collection is devoted to the design and construction of the dry docks at the Charlestown and Norfolk Navy yards. There is a breadth of correspondence relating to the projects along with contracts for building supplies, bills for labor, and proposals for work.
Also included in the Baldwin family business papers are records relating to the town of Baldwin, Maine, which was originally called Flintstown. The town was renamed and incorporated in 1802 to honor Revolutionary War Col. Loammi Baldwin. The Baldwin family personal papers include correspondence, bills, diaries, and family estate inventories.

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