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Call No.: Mss: 5 1797-1832 S163
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Salem Iron Factory Company
Title: Salem Iron Factory Company records
Quantity: 2 linear feet (6 volumes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: Records of the Salem Iron Factory Company, 1797-1832, consisting of waste-books, account books, a cash book, memorandum book, and correspondence, used by the company between 1797 and 1799. The bulk of the second waste-book pertains to the administration of Nathan Read's estate and business activities in Belfast, Maine, between 1824 and 1832.
The Salem Iron Factory Company, manufacturer of anchors and other iron products, began as a voluntary joint stock company as early as May, 1796, in Danvers, Massachusetts. The company was granted a charter in 1800 and incorporated in 1804. Of the twenty proprietors, nineteen were from Salem, Massachusetts--Ebenezer Beckford, William Gray, Jr., Joseph Sprague, Benjamin Hodges, William Stearns, Edward Augustus Holyoke, Joshua Ward, Jacob Ashton, Abel Lawrence, Jerathmel Pierce, Aaron Wait, Nathan Pierce, John Appleton, Joseph Peabody, Ichabod Nichols, George Dodge, John Osgood, Benjamin Carpenter, and Samuel Putnam--while Nathan Read was from Danvers. The mill site on Waters River and the land upon which the mill yard, wharves, and other company buildings were situated were purchased from Nathan Read. In 1843 the company was sold and the name changed to Danvers Iron Works.Nathan Read, inventor, congressman and jurist, was born in Warren, Massachusetts, on July 2, 1759. Read graduated from Harvard College in 1781, and served as a tutor there from 1783 to 1787. In 1795, he relocated to Danvers, Massachusetts, and shortly thereafter was involved with the founding of the Salem Iron Factory Company. During the 1780s, Read designed and later patented inventions related to steam navigation. Later in 1798, he patented a nail cutting and heading machine. He remained engaged in the manufacture of iron products until he removed to Belfast, Maine, in 1807. Read served as a Massachusetts state representative to Congress from 1800 to 1803. He served as judge for the court of common pleas of Essex County, Massachusetts, in 1803, and judge of the county court of Hancock County, Maine, in 1807. He helped establish Belfast Academy, a preparatory school, and served as trustee for forty years. Nathan Read died in Belfast, Maine, on January 20, 1849.
The records of the Salem Iron Factory Company, 1797-1832, consist of waste-books, account books, a cash book, memorandum book, and correspondence, used by the company between 1797 and 1799. The records document the variety of iron products the company manufactured from anchors and shovels to nails, bolts, and hoops; purchases made of bar iron and other supplies; and wages paid for labor, including piece work. The bulk of the second waste-book pertains to the administration of Nathan Read's estate and business activities in Belfast, Maine, between 1824 and 1832.