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William N. Brockway Company Collection

An inventory of the collection at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: William N. Brockway Company
Title: William N. Brockway Company Collection
Inclusive Dates: 1905-1912
Quantity: 1 folder (SC)
Abstract: Correspondence and receipts from William N. Brockway, manufacturer of carriages in Homer, New York; all but one are to Otis Greenleaf, evidently a carriage dealer, in Otisville, New York.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

William N. Brockway (1829-1889) was the owner of a successful carriage-manufacturing business in Homer and Cortland, New York.

Brockway's father was a cabinet-maker and Brockway ran the business for a number of years until embarking on the manufacture of carriages in 1875. According to a highly complimentary obituary published in The Hub (alternate title: The Automotive Manufacturer), Volume XXXI (1890), page 607: "He was emphatically a self-made man, and some idea of [his] sterling business characteristics...may be formed from the fact that his first year's business was just one hundred platform spring wagons, and that at the time of his death the annual output of the firm amounts to between four and five thousand vehicles." After his death Brockway Carriage Works continued under family ownership, eventually shifting to gasoline and electric vehicles as Brockway Motor Truck in 1912. During World War II the company produced trucks for the U.S. Army (the C-666) and in 1955 it added diesel vehicles to its line. In 1959 the company was purchased by Mack Truck of Allentown, Pennsylvania, but continued to operate as an independent subsidiary, its vehicles identifiable by the "Brockway huskie." In 1962 it landed a contract to supply heavy trucks for the U.S. Navy and Air Force, and throughout the 1960s and early 1970s the company continued to introduce innovations including the Huskiedrive (1967). Labor issues eventually put an end to the company in 1977, after more than a hundred years.

[Sources: The Hub (alternate title: The Automotive Manufacturer), Volume XXXI (1890), pp. 607-608; "Brockway Truck History, Part 1,", ; and "Brockway Class 8 Trucks," Diesel Power Magazine, ]

Oscar Shaw Greenleaf (b. 1876) owned and operated the Greenleaf Hotel in Otisville, New York. He was a member of Hoffman Lodge No. 412, F. and A. M., of Middletown, New York and Midland Chapter No. 240, R. A. M. He also evidently sold carriages, whether to his guests or to the public in general cannot be determined.

[Source: The History of Orange County, New York, Russel headley (ed.), Van Deusen and Elms, 1908, p. 850-1.]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The William N. Brockway Company Collection consists of biographical material and business records.

The small amount of Biographical material was located and printed by Special Collections Research Center staff.

Business records (letters and receipts) originate from the company's office in Homer, New York, to Oscar Greenleaf in Otisville, New York. Brockway was a manufacturer and wholesaler of carriages, while Greenleaf evidently was a local seller to individuals. (

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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

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections relating to early Central New York businesses. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a full listing.

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Subject Headings


Brockway, William N., 1829-1889.

Corporate Bodies

Brockway carriage works.
Brockway trucks.


Automobile industry and trade -- History.
Business enterprises -- Cortland (N.Y.)
Carriage and wagon making -- United States.


Cortland (N.Y.) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Receipts (financial records)

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

William N. Brockway Company Collection,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Original material purchased, 2013. Small amount of biographical material added by Special Collections Research Center staff, 2018.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 15 Jun 2018
Revision history:

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Biographical material
SC 824 Printout of Brockway's obituary from The Hub (alternate title: The Automotive Manufacturer), Volume XXXI (1890), pp. 607-608 1890
Business records
SC 824 Correspondence and receipts 1905-1912

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