Electricians, of Providence, R.I.
Size: 1.75 linear feet
Catalog number: MSS 1069
Processed by: Rick Stattler, March 2001
©Rhode Island Historical Society
The J & H Electric Company was a fixture in Providence's Jewelry District for almost a hundred years. They specialized in the repair and maintenance of electrical motors, were the largest dealer of General Electric motors in southern New England, and also installed and maintained wiring in many of the state's industrial sites.
The company was founded as a partnership in 1906 by Clarence E. Harmon (1874-1961) and George Flagg Jenks (1873-1941). Their original workshop was at 97 Chestnut Street. Jenks seems to have left the partnership by 1909, but Harmon kept the J & H name. Warren M. Hodges joined as Harmon's partner soon afterward. In 1913, the company moved into new quarters at 155 Clifford Street, and became incorporated. The original shares were divided evenly between Harmon, Hodges, and Laurence E. Whitehead.
In 1922, Whitehead sold his shares. Other stockholders had since bought into the company, but Harmon and Hodges became majority stockholders. They also served as president and vice president, respectively. In that year, J & H bought out a major product line from the defunct D & W Fuse Company, and entered into the production of magnetic chucks and demagnetizers for the machine tool trade. The company continued to expand, and a new factory was constructed in 1929 at 200 Richmond Street, which served as the company's main location through 2001.
Harmon served as president of the company through 1953, and was succeeded by Warren H. Crabb. Allan Taylor became the company's third and final president in 1980; his wife Judith M. (Crabb) Taylor also served as an officer. The company was weakened by the flight of the Rhode Island industrial giants that had always been its primary clientele. The Jewelry District, which had always been an industrial center, was almost completely overtaken by office space and service businesses by the start of the twenty-first century. J & H Electric, one of the last industrial sites to remain, liquidated in 2001.
Browne, William B. Genealogy of the Jenks Family in America, 466. Concord, N.H.: Rumford Press, 1952.
Company history and stock ledger in the records
Providence directories, 1907-1999
Rhode Island Cemetery Database
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Scope and content:
The bulk of these records are account books dating from 1907 to 1968, including ledgers, journals, and trial balance books. Items which give particular insight into the daily work of the company are the 1907-1911 order book, the 1924-1925 customer log, and six petty cash books from 1920-1963. The 1963-1965 voucher and cash registers give a good cross-section of the company's suppliers.
Researchers interested in company employees should see the records of the J & H Electric Company Employees Association dating from 1948 to 1974, which was supported by voluntary dues, sponsored parties, and sent out floral arrangements upon the death of former workers. The time books dated 1967 to 1985 give daily hours for each worker, and the petty cash books often list expenses paid to workers back to 1920.
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These records were donated in 2001 by Allan Taylor, president of the company.
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Many of the early volumes in this collection were damaged by water and mold. In some cases, the covers and bindings have been removed to prevent further mold damage.
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Oversized volume 1. Cash journal, 1963-1965
Box 1, folder 1. Closing entries, 1960-1966
Box 1, folder 2. Commission payments, 1929-1942
Box 1, folder 3. Commission payments, 1942-1965
Box 1, folder 4. Company history, circa 1930s
Box 1, folder 5. Customer log, 1924-1925
Box 1, folder 6. Employees' Association - Checkbook, 1963-1974
Box 1, folder 7. Employees' Association - Coke and cigarette machines, 1948-1952
Box 1, folder 8. Employees' Association - Constitution
Box 1, folder 9. Employees' Association - Minutes, correspondence, reports, 1948-1950
Box 1, folder 10. Employees' Association - Paid bills, 1948-1954
Box 1, folder 11. Employees' Association - Treasurer's book, 1950-1952, with dues
Box 1, folder 12. Employees' Association - Treasurer's book, 1952-1960
Box 1, folder 13. Ledger, 1907-1911
Box 1, folder 14. Ledger, 1916-1917 - Index and copies of mold-damaged pages
Box 1, folder 15. Ledger, 1916-1917
Box 1, folder 16. Ledger, 1918 - Index and pages 1-460
Box 1, folder 17. Ledger, 1918 - Pages 677-1004 (pages 461-676 were blank)
Box 1, folder 18. Liberty Loan accounts, undated
Box 1, folder 19. Order book, 1907-1911
Box 1, folder 20. Petty cash, 1920-1922
Box 1, folder 21. Petty cash, 1923-1924
Box 1, folder 22. Petty cash, 1924-1926
Box 1, folder 23. Petty cash, 1928-1930
Box 1, folder 24. Petty cash, 1952-1956
Box 1, folder 25. Petty cash, 1956-1963
Box 2, folder 1. Receiving journal, 1913-1914
Box 2, folder 2. Receiving journal, 1916-1917
Box 2, folder 3. Stock ledger, 1913-1934
Box 2, folder 4. Time book, 1967-1968
Box 2, folder 5. Time book, 1968-1970
Box 2, folder 6. Time book, 1979-1982
Box 2, folder 7. Time book, 1982-1985
Oversized volume 2. Trial balance, 1960-1967
Oversized volume 3. Trial balance, 1967-1968
Oversized volume 4. Voucher register, 1964
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Company unions - Rhode Island - Providence
Electricians - Rhode Island - Providence
Harmon, Clarence E. (1874-1961)
Providence, R.I. - Commerce
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