The Joseph Downs Collection of Manuscripts and Printed Ephemera
OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Creator: C. Dodge Furniture Company.
Dates: 1841-1965, bulk 1900-1960.
Acc. No.: 67x128, 67x129, 67x130
Quantity: 14 boxes, 7 volumes
Location: 15 L 1-2 and oversize boxes along back wall
In 1846, Cyrus Dodge married Julia Elizabeth Coes; they had three sons who survived to adulthood: Cyrus Melville, John Marshall, and Charles Coes. Charles Coes began to take control of the furniture firm in the 1870s. Charles Coes never married and in 1922, he convinced his nephew, Charles Ernest, to join the firm. In 1926, Charles Ernest assumed responsibility for its operations. C. Dodge Furniture Co. remained in existence under his leadership until the mid-1960s.
SCOPE AND CONTENT
The collection consists of 283 photographs and 84 drawings of furniture manufactured by Dodge; 22 account books, memoranda books, and other financial records of the firm's activities; 8 boxes of templates and full size patterns for making and repairing furniture; 21 photographs of the Dodge workshop and workmen (ca. 1900-1949); and miscellaneous advertisements produced for the firm. The items document the range of furniture produced by the company as well as the activities associated with making and selling its furniture.
The collection is arranged in the following series: photographs, drawings and patterns, printed material, account books, and furniture templates.
Burklins Books. Templates transferred
Dodge, Cyrus, 1814-1887.
Dodge, Charles C. (Charles Coes), d. 1926.
Dodge, Charles E. (Charles Ernest).
Furniture - Photographs.
Furniture - Drawings.
Furniture - Prices.
Furniture industry and
Colonial revival (Art)
Furniture design - Drawings.
Furniture - Styles.
Wages - Furniture workers.
Shipment of goods.
Mills and mill-work -
Cabinetmakers - Photographs.
Dwellings - Maintenance and repair.
Business records -
Patterns (design elements).
Dodge Furniture Co.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
Location: 15 L 1-2 and oversize boxes along back wall
Most are stamped "Return to C. Dodge Furniture Co.,
All photograph accession numbers begin with 67x128.
.1-17 Beds (2 folders)
.24-28 Cheval mirrors
.29-31 Looking glasses
.32-47 Sideboards (2 folders) (see also .124-.128)
.48-54 Tilt top tea tables, tea tables
.55-78 Dining tables, both round and rectangular
.79-84 Gate leg tables, Queen Anne drop leaf table
.85-91 Dressing tables with looking glasses
.92-96 Dressing tables (no mirror attached)
.97-101 Card tables
.102-107 Work tables
.108-.123 Sewing machine table, nest of tables, miscellaneous tables, stands
.124-128 Sideboards (see also .32-.47)
.129-154, .159 Desks and secretaries (2 folders)
.155-158 High chests
.160-181 (and others) Chests of drawers (2 folders)
.190-194 Chamber chair, Corner chairs
.195-198 Rocking chairs
.199-215 Matching arm and side chairs, arm chairs (2 folders)
.216-257 Side chairs (3 folders)
.258-267 Miscellaneous forms
.268-283 Groups of furniture
.284-289 Photographs of the workshop and workmen
Have negatives for the following prints. The negative sleeve gives the folder title.
67x128.217c side chair and drop leaf table
67x128.273 table and side chair
67x128.279a-b rocking chairs, arm chair with footstool, side table
67x128.280a-b dining room table, chairs, sideboard
67x128.281 Forbes bureau and fluted leg work table
67x128.281 Forbes bedstead
67x128x283? (see note on negative envelope) Windsor chair, Forbes chiffonier, shaving mirror
68x128.283? ladder back chair and taper leg dressing table (CAUTION: BROKEN)
no number a house
67x128.290-.296 Photographs of the workshop and workmen
67x129.20 Drawing of desk and bookcase
67x129.88 Newspaper article about the company, from the Gloucester Daily Times, Nov. 7, 1956
Box 4: Drawings and patterns; account books
The accession numbers for all drawings and patterns begin with 67x129. All drawings are in pencil unless otherwise noted.
.1 Arm chair--front view
.2 Queen Anne style side chair--front and side views
.3 Matching arm and side chairs (pen and ink)--front view
.4 Oak arm chair with dimensions; loose cushions; carving on the arm
.5 Mahogany side chair with rush seat
.6 Oak side chair with cane back--front and side views
.7 Mahogany swivel chair with leather back and seat (pen and ink)
.8 Upholstered chair designed by R & J Adam, and English furniture maker from 1765 to 1796, for the home of the Earl of Morley, sketched by J.R. Roberts
.9 Two upholstered chairs, 1765 also by R & J Adam ...
.10 Empire style sideboard
.11 Butterfly table
.12 Table featuring a section drawing of a leg and instructions for making it (pen and ink)
.13 Table for Mrs. Frank E. Drew; cross section of the top and side rails along with a depiction of the turnings in its legs
.14 Mahogany serving table
.15 Queen Anne Style table
.16 Marble top table from Mrs. N.A. Falk with dimensions and cross sectional view. Dated Dec. 22, 1956
.17 Mahogany drop front desk with some directions for making its drawers
.18 Desk "Sketch no. 8"
.19 Desk showing front and side elevations with dimensions
.20 Secretary with glass tops (oversize
.21 Wardrobe with mirror, includes dimensions
.22 Wardrobe in S. Carr’s house, featuring sliding doors, includes dimensions
.23 Desk (paper torn)
.24 Same as .20 with front and side elevations and dimensions
.25 Break front cupboard
.27 Mahogany china closet
.28 China closet
.30 Cupboard with glass doors and two drawers at the bottom
.31 China closet
.32 China closet featuring front and end views
.33 Wall cabinet with front and end views (pen and ink)
.34 Six drawer chest
.35 Desk with glass top
.36 Dressing table
.37 Four drawer bureau, front and side elevations
.38 Dressing table with mirror and accompanying rush seat stool for Mrs. C.E. Coming
.39 Three drawer chest with oval mirror
.40 Mahogany chest with square mirror
.41 Chest and dressing table both with bevel mirrors
.42 Birch high boy
.43 Chest with mirror
.44 Mahogany book case, front and side elevations (watercolor)
.45 Shelving unit for Mr. Eaton H. Berkin
.46 Box with handle on top for Henry Meyer
.47 Furnishing dining room featuring table, side boards, and two chairs
Three envelopes with pencil notes about furniture
Designs for furniture: These items were found in a folder labeled "Plans. Will make again."
Most have the names of customers and dates. Some are sketched on the verso of upholstery
fabric, price lists, and wood prices. All accession numbers begin with 67x129.
.49 Salem table
.50 Desk with front and side views and dimensions
.51 Serving table
.52 Dressing table
.53 Cupboard, front and side views
.55 Low boy
.56 Chest of drawers
.57 Four drawer chest with oval brass pulls
.58 Shaving mirror
.59 Empire style side board
.60 Card table
.62 Dining table with extra leaves
.63 Leaf support
.65 Several views of a table and its legs
.66 Bed with a full size depiction of its leg and rails on reverse
.68 Pattern for the edge of a flat top table
.69 Dining room table and chairs
.70 Bed side table
.73 Long table
.75 Table with two leaves and three sets of tripod legs
.76 Desk, several views
.78 Dressing table with mirror
.80 Letter with a sketch of a Hepplewhite sideboard
.81 Wood chest
.82 Rough sketch of a bureau?
.84 Whitewood cabinet with sketch of its drawer
.85 Article about Dodge from Yankee magazine, Nov. 1955
.86-.87a-b 3 brochures issued by C. Dodge Furniture Co., 1938. Features depictions of furniture made by Dodge
on Dodge from the Gloucester Daily Times,
Account books: All accession numbers begin with 67x130.
.1 Dodge, Cyrus. Daybook, Journal, and Ledger, 1841-1846
Opens with mentions of tools and materials purchased by Dodge at the inception of his furniture making business. Records debits and credits accrued by Dodge for making a variety of furniture types, repairing furniture, wharfage fees, for ash and maple plank, pine boards, door bolts, locks, escutcheons, planes, tools, etc. Individuals received credit for making "half French chairs" and sawing.
.2 Dodge, Cyrus. Daybook, 1860-1862
Records information on groceries, raw materials, cash paid out, pieces of cloth, silver plate, and copper purchased. One section is labeled "Memoranda" and lists orders, notes due, the contents of an attic, furniture and who it was sent to, and a list of supplies purchased. Recipes for polish are also included. A measured drawing for a chair is on the end paper.
.5 Dodge, Charles C. Account book, 1881-1886
Records wood and hardware purchased, freight accounts for furniture, repairs made to furniture, accounts for millwork, rent paid, costs of advertisements placed in newspapers, credits given to agents, business expenses, and a variety of transactions with Boston merchants. Some household accounts are also included. Loose accounts kept from 1878-1889 are laid in. There is a name index in the front of the volume.
.6 Dodge, Charles C. Account book, 1905-1908
Noted are furniture finishing, making and repairing furniture, hardware, freight charges, wood purchased, etc. Household accounts document groceries and repair to a house. A blacksmith, Isaac R. Richardson, is mentioned. Five percent discounts given to customers are noted. There is a name index in the front of the volume.
There are three sets of note cards in this box. The first set has two parts: names with addresses, and what appear to be inventory cards. The second set records purchases of supplies, such as coal, turpentine, canvas, lumber, and hardware. The third set is divided by type of furniture (bureaus, chairs, tables, etc.). The cards record the costs of making each piece and for how much the piece was priced. Sometimes the buyer is noted. The cards in the second and third sets match with records in the day books for the period.
Account and memorandum books on shelf (not in a box):
.7 Dodge, Charles C. Account book, 1907-1916
Consists of furniture accounts, including repairing, painting, making, and upholstering. Entries list customers and specifics about the pieces of furniture ordered. Several indicated that photographs were sent and returned. There is a name index in the front of the volume.
.8 C. Dodge Furniture Co. Account book, 1916-1920
Continuation of .7. Also includes a name index.
.9 C. Dodge Furniture Co. Account book, 1921-1925
Continuation of .8. Materials for making furniture pieces, including fabric, labor, and shipping costs are noted in each entry.
.10 Dodge, Charles C. Account book, 1919-1927
Accounts for supplies and shipping, including goods bought from O.D. Baker Co., supplies for the upholstery department, supplies for the shop, expressage paid in cash, and sewing bills of Mrs. John Scott.
.11 C. Dodge Furniture Co. Ledger, 1924-1927
Arranged alphabetically by client with a name index preceding each letter of the alphabet. Lists customer name, furniture made, and costs of labor and fabrics.
.12 C. Dodge Furniture Co. Daybook, 1926-1947
Records amounts received and disbursed. Payroll expenses are included. No detail or itemized list of the reason for the amounts is given.
.13 C. Dodge Furniture Co. Daybook, 1948-1960
Continuation of .12
.14-.24 Dodge, Charles E. Memoranda books, 1949-1957
Notes regarding furniture orders and shipments. Addresses, vital data, and information about vehicles are also included.
Roessel, Elizabeth Harding. "'The
Way We've Always Made It' : The C. Dodge Furniture Company and the
Cabinetmaking Industry of Manchester, Ma." (thesis),
Photographs of Dodge made furniture are also found in the Decorative Arts Photograph Collection, Winterthur Library.