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Mss:63 1896-2008 H777

Hood Rubber Company (Watertown, Mass.) Hood Rubber Company Records, 1896-2008 (inclusive), 1896-1929 (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:63 1896-2008 H777
Repository: Baker Library Special Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Title: Hood Rubber Company records
Date(s): 1896-2008
Date(s): 1896-1929
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The collection contains records of the Hood Rubber Company of Watertown, Massachusetts. The company was founded in 1896 and was sold to B. F. Goodrich in 1929. The records include correspondence, financial records, annual reports, and company publications and advertisements.


Gift of Elizabeth Hood Pigford, 2008.

Processing Information:

Processed: December 2010, June 2011
By: Katie Trexler and Kaitlin Connolly

Conditions Governing Access:

Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Hood Rubber Company Records. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Related Materials

Baker Library's holdings include several additional collections that contain Hood Rubber Company materials: Hood Rubber Company photograph album, circa 1924, Mss:63 1924 H777 (HOLLIS : 009145568); Manufacturers' Research Association records, 1922-1932 (inclusive), Mss:883 1922-1932 (HOLLIS : 000602927); and the Harry R. Tosdal papers, 1921-1945, HBS Archives Arch GA 87.18, (HOLLIS : 011481424)

Historical Note:

The Hood Rubber Company was founded in 1896 by brothers Frederic Clark Hood and Arthur Needham Hood. The company opened its doors in November 1896 in a 70,000 square-foot plant in Watertown, Massachusetts. Frederic Clark Hood was elected vice president and treasurer of Hood Rubber Company in 1896 and became general manager in 1913. Arthur Needham Hood was elected assistant treasurer in 1896 and vice president in 1912. In 1923 Frederic Clark Hood became president of Hood Rubber and continued to manage the company until its sale to the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1929.
The main product of the company was footwear, principally sneakers. It also manufactured rubber boots and leather shoes and boots in smaller quantities. Several models of the Hood rubber boots were used by French, British, and American armed forces during World War I. Pneumatic tires and rubber tubes were also produced in large quantities. In 1919 the company began making battery jars for automobiles, and in 1923 added a line of carpet lining and rubber floor tiling, with limited success.
The Hood Rubber Company was known for its promotion of employee benefits, becoming the second company in the United States to establish a dental clinic with a full-time dentist on site. A first aid station was established in 1898, two years after the company was founded, and by 1918 there was a company hospital with a staff of seven doctors and thirteen nurses. As president, Frederic Clark Hood was known for his strong opposition to the labor union movement at the plant.
The Hood Rubber Company grew steadily each year, at one point producing over 90,000 pairs of shoes a day and employing over 9,000 workers. The factory in Watertown, Massachusetts, was expanded to encompass more than sixty buildings with a combined floor space of over forty-five acres. In August 1929, Hood Rubber Company was purchased by B. F. Goodrich Company of Akron, Ohio. B. F. Goodrich Co. relocated its own footwear division to Watertown. The plant operated until its closure in 1969. The Hood Rubber Company name continued to be used until the late 1950s.

Scope and Content Note:

This collection is composed primarily of records of the Hood Rubber Company from its founding in 1896 to its sale to the B. F. Goodrich Company in 1929. It also includes research materials collected by Elizabeth Hood Pigford, granddaughter of Frederic Clark Hood, for her book Front & Center: Frederic Clark Hood & The Hood Rubber Co.(2008). Her research materials include general histories of Watertown, Massachusetts, and the Hood Rubber Company, information on the merger with B. F. Goodrich, and records relating to Hood Rubber Company legal affairs.
The first box contains two company manuals labeled "organization books." These volumes document the Hood Rubber Company's corporate structure, and includes information about responsibilities, policies and procedures. Organization Book #1, which covers years 1920 to 1929, is arranged by the following company offices: Corporate, Auditing, Treasurer, Executive, Manager (Tires), and Comptroller; each office further consists of its respective departments and are arranged as such. Organization Book #4 covers years 1921 to 1929 and consists of records on the company's systems, arranged numerically from 0 to 97, that detail the general routines and procedures of the company's various departments.
The remaining Hood Rubber Company records include correspondence, annual reports, Internal Revenue Service records, financial records, advertisements and booklets, records relating to the merger with B. F. Goodrich, legal and patent research records, and photographs. The financial records include stock transactions, trust indentures and sinking funds, balance sheets, financial statements, and correspondence. Hood Rubber Company publications such as product advertisements and employee information booklets are also included.
This collection also contains a copy of Frederic Clark Hood's Personal Recollections, and Alfred A. Glidden's "A Brief History of the Hood Rubber Company, a Massachusetts Corporation," written in 1938.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Factory management
Industrial management
Industrial relations
Inner tubes
Rubber footwear
Rubber goods
Rubber industry and trade–Massachusetts-Watertown
Rubber industry and trade–Equipment and supplies
Rubber industry workers-Massachusetts-Watertown
Rubber machinery
Watertown (Mass.)
Hood, Frederic C. (Frederic Clark), 1865-1942
Hood Rubber Company (Watertown, Mass.)
Hood Rubber Company (Watertown, Mass.)
B.F. Goodrich Company
Hood, Frederic C. (Frederic Clark), 1865-1942