1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

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 Robert W. Neff Papers

 Textile industry, Boston, Mass.

 Correspondence, 1895-1916

 Size: .25 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 970

 Processed by: Rick Stattler, January 1995

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            Robert W. Neff was apparently a Rhode Island-based textile agent who removed to Boston in 1895. He seems to have found employment in a textile firm there through at least 1916.

            He maintained a close business relationship with Charles N. Robertson (ca.1860-a.1916), a native of South Hadley Falls, Massachusetts. Robertson managed the large Lonsdale Bleachery in Lincoln, Rhode Island.

            There are no records of either of these men in the Lonsdale Company records, and research is needed in Massachusetts archives to further document these men. Robertson is listed in Lincoln town directories through 1915, and his Lincoln marriage certificate is on file for 1895.

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Scope and content:

            This collection consists solely of a correspondence file between Neff and Robertson, totalling about 200 letters. It includes incoming letters from Robertson for 1895 to 1916, and copies of letters from Neff to Robertson from 1906 to 1914. There are also a few letters from third parties enclosed by Robertson in his letters to Neff.

            This correspondence gives a rich, detailed account of many aspects of the textile industry at the turn of the century. It is an excellent complement to the voluminous but dry Lonsdale Company records already at the Library. It includes technical discussions of bleaching processes, recommendations on personnel issues, professional associations, and several touching professions of friendship.

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            This collection was purchased from a dealer in 1995.

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Processing note:

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Folder 1. 1895, 1897-1899

              2. 1901-1903 (no 1900)

              3. 1904

              4. 1905-1906

              5. 1907

              6. 1908

              7. 1908 (employment applications, Lonsdale Bleachery)

              8. 1909

              9. 1910

             10. 1911

             12. 1913-1914 (no 1912)

             13. 1915-1916

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Bleaching industry - Rhode Island - Lincoln

Lonsdale Bleachery

Robertson, Charles N. (ca.1860-after 1916)

Textile industry - Rhode Island - Lincoln

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