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Central New York Trade Catalogs and Business Ephemera

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Special Collections Research Center
Title: Central New York Trade Catalogs and Business Ephemera
Inclusive Dates: 1816-1962
Bulk Dates: 1865-1900
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Abstract: Collection of catalogs, trade cards, merchants' scrip, letterhead, photographs, and other ephemera from businesses in and around Syracuse, New York. Towns represented include Elbridge. Syracuse, Marcellus, Litchfield, Morristown, Scipio, and others. Also includes records and ledgers from some businesses, including L. C. Smith Typewriter (forerunner of Smith-Corona).
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Central New York has been the home of many companies that went on to become known nationwide, among them Smith Bros. Cough Drops, L.C. Smith Typewriter Company (which later became Smith Corona), Oneida Silverware, Clark Music Company and the Franklin Automobile.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Central New York Trade Catalogs and Business Ephemera consists of correspondence, photographs, printed material and miscellany related to businesses and industries in and around Central New York.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Material is divided alphabetically by type. Larger sections, such as trade catalogs and correspondence, are further ordered alphabetically by company name.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

See also the Central New York Local History Collection and Central New York Cultural Ephemera. There are also separate collections for a number of businesses and companies, such as Oneida Silverware (Oneida Community Collection), Endicott-Johnson (Charles F. Johnson and related collections), and Clark Music Company (Melville Clark); please refer to the SCRC Subject Index under "Business and Industry" or under "New York State" for a full listing.

For full descriptions of the merchants' scrip, see New York State scrip and private issues by Gordon L. Harris (S.l. : G.L. Harris, c2001), call no. New York HG627 .N4 2001 (refer to the Classic Catalog to locate).

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Subject Headings


Akin, John W.
Chace, A. Frank B.
Evans, Mary Elizabeth.
Osborne family.

Corporate Bodies

J.R. Clancy.
American Seating Company.
Baker Dash Works.
Birdsall Engine company.
Candy Kitchen.
Elmwood Stud.
National Banker's Express Company.
Perry Seed Store.
Protectall Safes.
Syracuse Cart Company.

Associated Titles

Boyd's Syracuse Guide.


Business enterprises -- New York (State) -- History.
Commercial catalogs.
License system -- New York (State)
Liquor laws -- New York (State)
Retail trade -- Law and legislation -- New York (State)


Cayuga County (N.Y.) -- Commerce.
Elbridge (N.Y.) -- Commerce.
Syracuse (N.Y.) -- Commerce.
Utica (N.Y.) -- Commerce.

Genres and Forms

Fliers (printed matter)
Printed ephemera.
Receipts (financial records)
Trade cards.
Trade catalogs.


Commercial businesses.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Central New York Trade Catalogs and Business Ephemera,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Scrip gift of Gordon L. Harris, July 2003. Other material purchased with funds from the Library Associates.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 11 Jun 2007
Revision history: 3 Jun 2008 - change to regular coll; additions (MRC); 24 Jul 2007 - additions (MRC); 1 Nov 2007 - additions (MRC); 3 Dec 2008 - additions (MRC); 12 Feb 2009 - additions (MRC); 8 Jan 2010 - additions (MRC); 12 Jul 2010 - additions (MRC); 21 Dec 2010 - adds (MRC); 7 Jan 2011 - adds (MRC); 6 Oct 2011 - additions, updated description (MRC); 25 Jun 2012 - additions, more detailed processing, updated subject headings (MRC); 16 Oct 2012 - additions, minor reorg. (MRC); 3 Jan 2017 - L.C. Smith material removed. (SM)

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Receipts, inquiries, etc. on corporate or business letterhead. Material is in alphabetical order by company name; if company name is a person (for example, "L. C. SMith") it is filed under the surname.
Box 1 Birdsall Engine Co. 1918
Box 1 Cayuga Chief Manufacturing Company 1867-1874
Box 1 Navarino auto garage - journal, correspondence, invoices, receipts
Box 1 L. C. Smith Typewriter Company 1890-1904
material has been removed and is now part of the L.C. Smith & Bros. Typewriter Co. Collection
Box 1 Businesses, A-H
Box 1 Businesses, I-Z
Box 1 Businesses, unidentified
Box 1 Miscellaneous - includes accordion-folded souvenir series of tiny photographs of Dryden, New York; photograph of Vernon Downs; more
Printed material
Box 1 Cazenovia-area checks 1830-1859
Map-Case 102 Genuine Buckeye Mower and Reaper advertising broadside
Box 1 Miscellaneous - fliers, brochures, savings stamps, checks, etc.
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous (oversize)
Map-Case 102 Cartoon-style map of Syracuse 1977 - shows all major businesses and attractions, by Francesca Profili
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous - map of Syracuse with street directory; maps of lots in Lyncourt Lawns, Lyncourt Knolls, Eastwood; more.
Box 1 Merchant's scrip - non-legal-tender currency issued by local merchants
Stocks and bonds
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous, oversize
Trade cards - small printed cards intended as advertising
Oversize 2 Albums (2 volumes)
Box 2 Miscellaneous (3 folders)
Trade catalogs
Box 2 Companies, A-M (2 folders)
Box 3 Companies, N-Z
Oversize 1 A-Z, oversize
Box 3 Elbridge account book 1869-1871 - groceries, dry goods, tobacco, liquor
Box 3 Liquor and wine license applications, Cayuga County 1933-1934
Box 3 "Yellow Kid" advertisement, copper block for printing - wood-backed copper plate for printing the advertisement; ad is for an unnamed farm implement company, "THRESHERS, SHELLERS, FEED CUTTERS, PLOWS, &c" (not foldered)
Box 3 Unidentified account book 1920s[?]
Box 3 Miscellaneous - Boyd's Syracuse Guide and Street Directory; insurance forms, recipe books, calendars, etc.
Oversize 1 Miscellaneous (oversize)

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