News and Notes

November 20, 2012

The Hagley Museum & Library’s Hendrick Manufacturing Company Records

Hendrick Manufacturing Company Business Records, 1861-1980 (Accession 2409).
This collection, assembled by the last family president of the Hendrick Manufacturing Company, documents both the history of the company and E. E. Hendrick’s career as a businessman and inventor. Orders for oil, stockholder notes, plant blueprints, insurance appraisals, letter books and issues of the employee magazine are included as well as Hendrick’s patents for lubricating oil, refrigeration, metal perforation and sheet metal fabrication. The collection also includes minutes of the Hendrick Manufacturing Company as a limited partnership (1885-1901) and of the Hendrick Light and Power Co. Of particular note is a 1913 report on work practices at the company’s factory by efficiency engineers Miller, Franklin & Company. Publications from this collection are housed in the Imprints Department; photographs from this collection are housed in the Pictorial Collections Department.

Letterpress copybook of E.E. Hendrick, 1899-1903 (Accession 2528).
The letterbook contains tissue copies of E. E. Hendrick’s outgoing correspondence from 1899 to 1903. Although nominally dealing with his actions as president of the Hendrick Manufacturing Company, most of the letters concern personal business, such as purchases of household goods and cigars. Most importantly, they reveal Hendicks’ interest in early automobiles, with correspondence with dealers and suppliers. Hendrick tried both electric and steam automobiles, and many of the letters are in the nature of complaints over such things as inadequate horsepower, poor riding quaility or the wrong size of tires. Hendrick also shipped his cars to California by railroad when he made his annual trips to look after his business affairs there. The letters reveal the enthusiasms and frustrations of an early motorist, who, although wealthy and mechanically gifted, was not a millionaire sportsman or race driver.

Hagley Museum & Library
298 Buck Road
Wilmington, DE 19711
302.658.2400
www.hagley.org

Plate dedicated to Fettiplace Bellers from Petiver, James, Opera, Historiam naturalem spectantia; or, Gazophylacium. London: 1764. Image courtesy of the Wagner Free Institute of Science.