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

    R.I.H.S. home page

 Wanskuck Company Records

 Rhode Island textile and foundry company

 Records, 1863-1978 (bulk 1901-1959)

 Size: 3 lin. ft.

 Catalog number: MSS 775

 Processed by: Harold Kemble, 1983 and Rick Stattler, April 1995

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            The Wanskuck Company was founded as a woolen mill in 1862 by Stephen T. Olney, Jesse Metcalf and Henry J. Steere. It was located on Branch Avenue in North Providence. In 1913, the company bought out two other mills, a tactic which was then repeated many times. The Roger Williams Finishing Company was acquired in 1921. Wanskuck merged with the Oakland Worsted Company in 1952, retaining the Wanskuck name. In reaction to the collapse of the Rhode Island woolen industry, the company attempted to diversify in 1955 with the purchase of the New England Butt Company, a Providence foundry which produced a wide variety of industrial machinery. New England Butt had been the site of pioneering industrial engineering work by Frank Gilbreth. By 1957, Wanskuck was out of the textile business completely, but continued to buy out other firms, and was a successful conglomerate for many years. It was reorganized as Mossberg Industries, Inc. circa 1982; after 1983, the Providence directories do not list Wanskuck, Mossberg or New England Butt, and the corporate headquarters were vacant.

Return to top

Scope and content:

            Records of the Wanskuck Company, the New England Butt Company, the Oakland Worsted Company and the Roger Williams Finishing Company are included; the bulk are minutes, financial and tax records.

Return to top


            Gift of the Mossberg Company in 1983, care of Edward O. Bartlett, secretary/treasurer. The three volumes of Wanskuck Company minutes, 1861-1949, were placed at the library on deposit from Malcolm G. Chace Jr. in 1972.

Return to top

Processing note:

            The collection was first inventoried and foldered by Harold Kemble upon receipt in 1983; in 1995, it was slightly reorganized and a finding aid written.

Return to top


Box 1.

Wanskuck Company

1. Stockholders' minutes, 1863-1917

2.                                                          1917-1939

3.                                                          1940-1949

4.                                                          1950-1952

5. Taxes, 1914-1954 (includes some Oakland Worsted Company)

6.                     1937-1955

            (See also box 3 for Wanskuck tax records).

7. Financial reports, 1924-1935

8. Stock share book, 1864-1949

9. Stock transfer ledger, 1880-1912

10.                                                        1922-1949

11. Corporate history (1977), stock certificates, pictures.

12. Miscellaneous, 1910-1951 (secretary's papers?)

13. Richard A. Bowen files, 1936-1955 (minutes, mergers, etc.)

            (See also oversized loose ledger volume, 1953-1959)

Oakland Worsted Company

14. Stockholders minutes, 1939-1952

15. Directors minutes, 3/31/1950-5/20/1952

16. Secretary's papers, 1922-1951

Box 2:

Roger Williams Finishing Company

17. Minute book, 1901-1921

18. Minutes, 1914

19. Stock share book, 1901

New England Butt Company

20. Directors minutes, 1947-1950

21. Printed material (catalog, articles), 1899-1978

22. Shareholder minutes, 1947-1950

23. Corporate history (1931), stock certificates, etc.

24. Stock transfer books (2), 1903-1947

            (See also oversized loose general ledgers)

Box 3 (Oversized):

Wanskuck Company, tax records, 1922-1938.

            Includes partial payroll lists.

Loose Volumes:

1. Wanskuck Company, General Ledger, 1953-1959

2. New England Butt Company, General Ledger, 1922-1950

3. New England Butt Company, General Ledger, 1919-1945

Return to top


Foundries - Rhode Island - Providence

Gilbreth, Frank

New England Butt Company

Oakland Worsted Company

Roger Williams Finishing Company

Wool Trade and Industry - Rhode Island - North Providence

End of finding aid - return to top