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W.F. and John Barnes Company Records (Rockford), 1878-1963

Collection Overview

Title: W.F. and John Barnes Company Records (Rockford), 1878-1963

ID: RHC/RC/123

Extent: 3.5 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 02/05/1981

Languages: English [eng]

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The W. F. and John Barnes Company records collection represents a small portion of the documents usually generated by a large industrial firm.  Nevertheless, as the only surviving records of this important machine tool corporation, the collection is vitally important to the preservation of the industry’s history.

Records in the collection date from 1878 to 1963 with the bulk of the materials between 1940 and 1962.  The first series contains company histories, legal agreements and leases, minutes annual reports, and reports to stockholders detailing organizational changes such as the formation and dissolution of subsidiary industries.  Since there are no minutes pre-dating 1931, only the company histories reveal the industry’s beginnings.

Voting trust agreements, correspondence, interdepartmental memoranda, special reports on facets of industrial developments, and financial records comprise the second record series (1878, 1932-1960).  Of special note are two shipping registers (1919-1940) recording the names of the companies purchasing equipment, their location and the number or type of machine being shipped.  The books are valuable tools for studying the effect of economic conditions on company production and sales statistics.

The final series of the collection consists of printed materials such as catalogs, articles, news releases, and operation plans, architectural drawings, and photographs.  A large portion of the photographs portray exterior and interior portions of the factory and chronologically depict additions and alterations made during the 1940’s.  Another set of photographs show the construction of the Rockford Ordnance Plant in 1941-1942.  The architectural drawings not only detail company facilities, but also machine building specifications.

Researchers should note that there is an extensive company history available in Box 1, Folder 1.  The Regional History Center also holds a number of other industrial collections: Rockford Mitten and Hosiery Company, Rockford Chair and Furniture Company, Smith Oil and Refining Company, National Chair Company, Starline, Incorporated, and Westclox, Incorporated (RC 38, 42, 48, 59, 114, 116).  Researchers also might consult the local history reference collection for information on northern Illinois industries

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions: There are no restrictions on access to the collection.

Use Restrictions: Property rights in the collection belong to the Regional History Center; literary rights are dedicated to the public.

Acquisition Source: Kimball L. Finkenstaedt

Acquisition Method: Kimball L. Finkenstaedt, Rockford, Illinois, donated the W.    F. and John Barnes Company records to the Northern Illinois Regional History Center on February 5, 1981.

Related Materials: The Regional History Center also holds a number of other industrial collections: Rockford Mitten and Hosiery Company, Rockford Chair and Furniture Company, Smith Oil and Refining Company, National Chair Company, Starline, Incorporated, and Westclox, Incorporated (RC 38, 42, 48, 59, 114, 116).  Researchers also might consult the local history reference collection for information on northern Illinois industries.


Box and Folder Listing

Box 1
Folder 1-4: Historical Information
Folder 5: Ten Years of Automation at the Rockford Ordnance Plant, 1955
Folder 6: Government Contract, 1948
Folder 7: Intercompany Agreements with Metal Cutting Tools, Incorporated, 1954-1961
Folder 8: Working Papers for Main Plant Lease with John S. Barnes Corporation, 1954-1962
Folder 9: Leases and Working Papers with John S. Barnes Corporation, 1953-1961
Folder 10: John S. Barnes Corporation Information, no date
Folder 11: B. J. Svenson Materials, 1950-1960
Folder 12: Agreement with John S. Barnes Company Odin Corporation and E. J. Svenson, 1941
Folder 13: Agreement contract and correspondence, B. F. Barnes Company, 1907-1920
Folder 14: B. F. Barnes Company Articles of Incorporation and Dissolution Agreement, 1899, 1920
Folder 15: B. F. Barnes Company Minutes and By-Laws, 1912-1916
Folder 16-19: W. F. and John Barnes Company, Minutes, 1931-1961
Folder 20: Annual Reports, 1949-1954, 1958, 1960
Folder 21: Reports to Stockholders, 1946-1949
Folder 22: Irving Pratt Stock Purchase, 1940, 1947
Folder 23-24: Voting Trust Agreements, 1957-1959
Folder 25: Correspondence, 1933-1962
Folder 26: Interdepartmental Memoranda, 1949, 1953-1958
Folder 27: Finkergstaedt correspondence and notes, 1924-1963, 1975
Folder 28: Special Report on. Canning Machinery, 1954
Folder 29: Report on the Manufacture of a Rare Earth Oxide for Precision Lens Polishing Purposes, 1949
Folder 30: Report for Insurance Coverage, 1953
Folder 31: Special Report on Sales Products and Development Projects, 1953
Folder 32: Defense Plant Corporation Status Reports, 1943
Folder 33: Report to Olin Industries, 1954
Box 2
Folder 1: Report to American Smelting and Refining Company, 1954
Folder 2: Financial Journal, 1878
Folder 3: Balance Sheets, 1960
Folder 4: Balance Sheets, Odin Corporation, 1949-1959
Folder 5: Food and Container Assets, 1960
Folder 6: Sales Department Recommendations, 1932
Folder 7: Summary of Sales Activity, 1939
Folder 8: Proposed Program for Collaborative Work with Union Carbide, 1958
Folder 9: Proposal for a Food Preservation Pilot Plant, 1955
Folder 10: Aseptic Canning Survey, 1957
Folder 11: Barnes Can Study, no date
Folder 12: Summary of the Development of Product Lines in Fields Other than that of Machine Tools, 1950's
Folder 13: Suggested Plan of Operation, 1957
Folder 14: Company Policies, 1957
Folder 15: Operator's Handbook, no date
Folder 16: Instruction Books, Magnetic Loader, no date
Folder 17: Introduction Pamphlet, no date
Folder 18: Finkenstaedt Speech, "Mass Production Technique as Applied to Ammunition Production", 1945
Folder 19: News Releases, 1963
Folder 20: Advertisement Reproductions, 1892-1893
Folder 21: Article Reprints, 1946-1962
Folder 22: Representative Ads, 1940
Folder 23: Product Descriptions, no date
Folder 24-35: Catalogs, 1927-1963, no date
Folder 36: Informative Booklet, Process Equipment Division, no date
Box 3
Folder 1-3: Printed Materials on Products, 1957, no date
Folder 4: Teamwork, Magazine, 1954-1955
Folder 5: Drawings (2) Plant and Parking Facility, no date
Folder 6: Entertainment Programs, 1954-1962
Folder 7-8: Newspaper Clippings, 1930-1963
Folder 9-11: Photographs: Exteriors and Interiors of Factory Additions (93, 3 negatives), 1909, 1940-1942, 1962-1963
Folder 12: Photographs: Factory Interiors (17), no date
Folder 13: Photographs: Identified Machines (19), 1872-1960
Folder 14: Photographs: Unidentified Product Shots (41, 2 negatives), no date
Folder 15: Photographs: Unidentified (4), no date
Folder 16: Photographs: Ordnance Plant (9), 1941-1942
Folder 17: Photographs: Other Companies (3), 1967
Volume 1: "A Plan for Producing Production Machine Tools in Cooperation with the National Defense Commission" by William W. Barton (1 volume), 1940
Volume  2-3: Record of Shipments (2 volumes), 1919-1940
Volume 4: Financial Charts (1 volume), 1936-1940
Volume 5: Development and Description of the Manufacture of Artillery Ammunition by Automatic Process (1 volume), 1945
Oversize Drawer 16
Folder 7-8: Drawings, architectural drawings, photographs, and product pictures, letters (55), 1919-1958