Rockford Small Business Collection, 1906-1961
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Brief Description:

The records in this collection partially document the operations of eleven small businesses in Rockford, Illinois during the period 1906 to 1961:  John Anderson Coal Company (1944-1950); Joseph Behr and Sons (1954-1958); David Goldman (1920-1958); Industrial Gages, Incorporated (1955-1960); Kettlewell Milk Company (1929-1930); Midway Amusement Company (1927-1938); Rockford Dairy, Incorporated (1929-1930); Royal Mantel and Furniture (1913-1938); The Tagit Company (1916-1961); Union Furniture Company (1906-1952); Winnebago Radio and Cabinet (1928-1932).

Although many of the daily records of these businesses have been lost, the records in this collection provide excellent information on the origin, operation, and dissolution of these eleven firms including articles of incorporation and dissolution, stock registers and capitalization reports, minutes of special board and stockholders meetings, legal documents, and information on product lines.  Thus the researcher can construct a basic historical sketch for each of these businesses which could be filled in from other sources.  Most of the records fall in the period between 1920 and 1950 and offer insight on the vicissitudes of commerce and manufacturing in Rockford during the Great Depression and World War II.

Held at:
Northern Illinois University
Founders Memorial Library
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115
Phone: 815-753-1779
Email: rhcua [at]
Record Series Number: RHC/RC/057
Volume: 3.25 Linear Feet
Acquired: 03/30/1979.
Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.
Subject Index
Anderson Coal Company
Behr, Joseph
Carmichael Family
Coal trade
Erlander, John
Furniture industry and trade
Goldman, David
Industrial Gages, Incorporated
Joseph Behr and Sons
Kettlewell Milk Company
Midway Amusement Company
Midway Theater
Peterson, P. A.
Rockford (Ill.)
Rockford Dairy Company
Rockford Period Furniture
Royal Mantel & Furniture
Scrap metals.
Skandia Coal and Lumber
Tagit Company
Union Furniture Company
Washing machines
Winnebago Radio Cabinet Company
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.
Acquisition Notes: Hugh D. Hammerslag  Hugh D. Hammerslag donated the Rockford Small Business Collection to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on March 30, 1979.
Related Materials: Researchers using these materials may wish to consult other manuscript collections held by the Regional History Center pertaining to Rockford business and industry:  Rockford Mitten and Hosiery (RC 38); Rockford Chair and Furniture (RC 42); Smith Oil and Refining (RC 48); and National Chair Company (RC 59).