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Guide to the Records of Peter A. Frasse & Co.
(1818-1977)
  MS 2189

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
Phone: (212) 873-3400


@ 2011 New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Luke Meagher

This finding aid was produced using the Archivists' Toolkit on November 02, 2011
Description is in English.

Scope and Content Note

As described in "One Century in Business" and "The Story of Peter A. Frasse & Co., Inc.," Peter A. Frasse and Co. began as a mechanical shop and tool import business owned and operated by Henri Frederic Frasse, a Swiss immigrant to New York City. Frasse's shop was located at 95 Fair Street, later renamed Fulton Street. During the first decades of the nineteenth century Frasse's business prospered and his reputation grew due in large part to the assistance he was known to have provided Robert Fulton in perfecting the steamboat and other inventions.

Upon Henri Frasse's death in 1849 the business was taken over by his son Peter A. Frasse and the company's name changed accordingly. The name of the business was changed again in 1868 to "Peter A. Frasse & Co." when John M. Montgomery joined Frasse as a business partner.

Peter A. Frasse & Co. incorporated in 1891 following the death of Peter Frasse and adapted to new technologies over the latter part of the nineteenth century, capitalizing on the production of bicycles and, into the twentieth century, the lucrative automobile industry. The Frasse company grew considerably during the first half of the twentieth century by attending to the defense industry demands of the time.

Peter A. Frasse & Co., Inc. continued doing business into the postwar period, shifting its focus to the considerable new civilian demand, increasing the size and number of its factories and facilities, modernizing production via automation, and introducing new products such as aluminum and stainless steel.

The records of Peter A. Frasse & Co., Inc. document the activities of the business from 1816 to 1978, with the bulk of the records falling between 1878 and 1977. The records include minutes of the Board of Directors and Stockholders meetings; administrative and personal correspondence; financial records and audit reports. The New York City-based company manufactured and distributed tools, machinery, steel, aluminum, and stainless steel, and was engaged in bicycle, automobile and defense manufacturing.

Arrangement

The collection is organized into the following three series:

  1. Series I. Financial Records, 1818-1928
  2. Series II. Minutes, 1891-1977
  3. Series III. Corporate History, ca. 1916-1966

The materials are arranged chronologically within each series.