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Guide to the William Sharman Papers
 MS 3068

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

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Joseph Ditta

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on April 05, 2019
English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Scope and Contents

This small, sometimes disparate collection includes material from William Sharman's military service, such as his National Guard and World War I U.S. Army discharge papers (folder 1), ephemera (folder 2), publications (folders 3 and 4), and brief, broken runs of four periodicals, including the Wadsworth Gas Attack and the Rio Grande Rattler (folder 5). Three panoramic photographs document Sharman's time at McAllen, Texas, in 1916, during the Border War (oversize folder), and another large-format photograph taken in 1919 shows 10,000 officers and enlisted men of the 27th New York Division posed to form the division's "living insignia" (oversize folder).

Material from the World War II era includes letters to Sharman from the Office of Price Administration thanking him for his rationing efforts, and three gasoline ration cards (folder 10 and oversize). USO ephemera includes membership cards and "A Spiritual Almanac for Service Men" (folder 11).

Sharman's long banking career is represented by scattered correspondence, photographs, clippings, and ephemera (folders 13–18 and oversize). Of note are the items from the Empire Trust Company's branch office at La Guardia Airport, touted as the world's first airport bank, which Sharman managed between 1941 and 1949. See, for instance, the guest register (folder 15), and the photographs of Sharman and the bank (folder 16). One photograph shows Mayor Fiorello La Guardia and banker David Rockefeller (1915–2017) at the opening.

The collection includes various pieces of unrelated ephemera. Of note are the "Program of Events, New York Municipal Airport Dedication" of 15 October 1939, and the contemporary promotional booklet, "New York Municipal Airport, North Beach" (both in folder 19). Also present are Sharman's licenses to carry a pistol in New York City (folder 21), and a 1943 postcard advertising the "Mailomat," an automated postage printing machine designed for installation in lobbies and transportation terminals (folder 23). Refer to the container list, below, for more complete descriptions.


The collection is divided into four series:

Series I. Border War & World War I, 1916-1920 (8 folders + 4 oversize photographs)

Series II. World War II, 1942-1946 (3 folders + 1 oversize document)

Series III. Banking, 1929-1957 (6 folders + 3 oversize photographs)

Series IV. Ephemera & Photographs, 1930-1965 (6 folders)