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Guide to the Scovill Manufacturing Company Invoice Books
1875-1877, 1879-1881
 MS 549

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on June 17, 2022
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Scovill Manufacturing Company
Title: Scovill Manufacturing Company invoice books
Dates [inclusive]: 1875-1877, 1879-1881
Abstract: The collection holds six volumes of invoices representing bills paid by Scovill Manufacturing Company. These bills appear to relate specifically to Scovill's New York City store, which was a significant source of photographic supplies (plates, cases, chemicals, etc.). There are over 12,000 invoices in the volumes, covering the period 1875-1877 and 1879-1881.
Quantity: 8.5 Linear feet in 6 volumes
Location: Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit
Language: The documents in the collection are in English.
Call Phrase: MS 549

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Biographical / Historical

The Scovill Manufacturing Company was founded in 1802 and incorporated in 1850. Based principally in Waterbury, Connecticut, the company also had locations in New Haven and in New York City. The company began as a button manufacturer, most notably working with brass. With the emergence of photography in the 1840s, the company expanded into the production of daguerreotype plates and later into cameras. By the time of the records in this collection, the company had established a store in New York City at 419-421 Broome Street for the sale of photographic supplies, which this collection likely relates to. The company still exists, though no longer based in the Northeast nor in the photography business. It is now known as Morito Scovill and has returned to its roots in the business of manufacturing buttons and other forms of fasteners.

(The above note is based on various on-line sources.)

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Scope and Contents

The collection holds 6 volumes of invoices paid by Scovill Manufacturing Company. Though the invoices are not explicit, it seems most likely that these invoices relate to Scovill's store in New York City where photographic supplies such as those invoiced were sold. The invoices are from manufacturers of photograph supplies (paper, glass plates, cards, etc.), picture frames, cases, hardware items (such as thimbles), druggists/chemists, and other suppliers. The suppliers are predominantly from New York City. Among the many companies represented are A.M. Collins, Son, & Co.; E & H.T. Anthony & Co.; Lewis Pattberg & Bros.; Brown & Brothers; and Phenix Plate Co. There are about 12,600 invoices in the volumes. There are a small number of Scovill-generated invoices in the 1879 and 1880 volumes, which show the company's letterhead and imagery; these seem to be directed to Scovill's New York store for payment of expenses incurred by the Waterbury operation on New York's behalf.


The volumes and their contents are in chronological order.

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Access Points

Document Type

  • Invoices.

Subject Topics

  • Photography -- Equipment and supplies -- Purchasing -- New York (State) -- New York.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Materials in this collection may be stored offsite. For more information on making arrangements to consult them, please visit

Use Restrictions

Taking images of documents from the library collections for reference purposes by using hand-held cameras and in accordance with the library's photography guidelines is encouraged. As an alternative, patrons may request up to 20 images per day from staff. Application to use images from this collection for publication should be made in writing to: Department of Rights and Reproductions, The New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024-5194, Phone: (212) 873-3400 ext. 282.

Copyrights and other proprietary rights may subsist in individuals and entities other than the New-York Historical Society, in which case the patron is responsible for securing permission from those parties. For fuller information about rights and reproductions from N-YHS visit:

Preferred Citation

The collection should be cited as: Scovill Manufacturing Company invoice books, MS 549, New-York Historical Society.

Related Materials

A large collection of Scovill Manufacturing records are held at Harvard Business School's Baker Library. A small collection of company records is at the University of Connecticut.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The source has not been determined.

Processing Information

Inventoried by archivist Larry Weimer in June 2022

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Offsite-Box: TBD1 Volume : 1875 Invoices paid (1,839 invoices)
Offsite-Box: TBD2 Volume : 1876 Invoices paid (1,001 invoices)
Offsite-Box: TBD3 Volume : 1877 Invoices paid (1,966 invoices)

Scope and Contents

There is also an index in the collection that indicates that it relates to the bills paid for 1877, but the entries do not obviously tie to the invoice book for 1877.

Offsite-Box: TBD4 Volume : 1879 Invoices paid (2,432 invoices)
Offsite-Box: TBD5 Volume : 1880 Invoices paid (2,484 invoices)
Offsite-Box: TBD6 Volume : 1881 Invoices paid (2,892 invoices)

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