1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

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 Phenix Iron Foundry Records

 Providence foundry

 Records, 1851-1902

 Size: .5 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 619

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, June 1995

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Phenix Iron Foundry of Providence, R.I. was established in 1830, and was located on Elm Street. Among their prominent early stockholders was machinist Arnold Peters of Smithfield, R.I., a former employee of Samuel Slater & Sons, who first became involved in 1839. Charles R. Earle became president and treasurer in 1886.


Biographical History of the Manufacturers and Businessmen of Rhode Island, 1901. p. 181

Biographical Cyclopedia of Rhode Island, p. 348

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Scope and content:

            The "Phenix Iron Foundry Records" are not very extensive, and contain a broad variety of materials, most of which do not relate directly to the firm. The only actual records of the firm are an inventory book, 1851-1865, an advertising testimonial from 1893, and a 1902 receipt. Also included are a series of letters received by Arnold Peters, 1869-1881, which seem to relate to the foundry. There are several items from Charles R. Earle, including letter copy books, letters received, patents and contracts, but these seem to relate to his involvement in another concern, the Specialty Machine Company. There is a folder of miscellaneous material, none of which relates in any obvious way to any of the aforementioned.

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            This collection was donated by Harvard's Baker Library in 1936, presumably culled while processing a larger related collection.

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Processing note:

            This collection was first organized in 1995, and placed in an archival box and folders. At that point, several plans, blueprints, photographs of machinery and other ephemera were removed to the Graphics Collection. The collection had previously been unfolded, and other items were possibly removed at that time.

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1. Phenix Iron Foundry - Inventory, 1851-1865

Annual inventory of stock tools, stock, unfinished work, fixtures, and patterns. With recapitulation.

2. Phenix Iron Foundry - Advertising testimonial, 1893

                                                            Receipt, 1902

3. Arnold Peters - Letters received, 1869-1881

4. Charles R. Earle - Letter press book, ca.1889-1901.

5. Charles R. Earle     - Letter press book, ca. 1891

                                                  Only 7 pages filled.

6. Charles R. Earle - Letters received, 1887, 1902

                                                  Also, stock certificates, etc.

7. Charles R. Earle - Patents, 1890-1894 (6 items)

8. Specialty Machine Company - Agreements, etc., 1889-1894

9. Specialty Machine Company - Contract with W.H. Payson and related material, 1892-1894

10. Miscellaneous - Two small unidentified note books

                                                Providence Water Works rate schedule, 1902

                                                Bill for Ageing Machine, n.d.

                                                By-laws of National Color Printing Company

                                                A&W Sprague Company trustees report, 1880

                                                R.I. Manufacturing Company, incorporation, 1885

                                                Unidentified financial statement, 1902

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Earle, Charles R.

Foundries - Rhode Island - Providence

Iron Industry - Rhode Island - Providence


Peters, Arnold

Specialty Machine Company

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