TABLE OF CONTENTS
Series Descriptions and Container List
|Creator:||Keuffel & Esser Co.|
|Title:||Keuffel & Esser Company Papers|
|Abstract:||The collection consists mostly of materials pertaining to the Hoboken, NJ based company Keuffel & Esser, manufacturers of drafting and surveying equipment.|
|Quantity:||10 linear feet (5 manuscript boxes and approx. 50 rolls)|
|Collection Number:||MG 1639|
Wilhelm Johann Diedrich Keuffel and Herman Esser were partners in the firm of Keuffel & Esser which was founded in July 1867 at 79 Nassau St. Manhattan. They were two German immigrants,who were importers and jobbers of drawing materials and mathematical and surveying instruments. Keuffel (1838-1908), born in Walbeck, Germany and was employed in the hardware business in Germany and Birmingham, England, prior to his immigration to Hoboken, NJ, in 1866. The next year he joined with Herman Esser (1845-1908) who was originally from Wuppertal-Elbertfeld. In 1875, the firm was incorporated as Keuffel & Esser Company (also known as K & E) and moved from Manhattan to Third and Grand Street in Hoboken, New Jersey. Wilhelm J. D. Keuffel died in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1908. Herman Esser retired from Keuffel & Esser Co. in 1902. He was back in Bad Godesberg am Rheim, Germany in April of 1902 and died there in April 1908. The company continued to prosper under new leadership.
In the coming decades, Keuffel & Esser began to expand, opening showrooms, offices and new factories in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, St. Louis, San Francisco, Detroit, and Montreal. They first manufactured surveying instruments in 1885 and introduced an innovative new line of surveying equipment in the 1890s. The company's first product was hard rubber curves and triangles. Later products included drafting paper, surveying instruments, and drafting aids such as slide rules. Keuffel & Esser held patents for a wide range of slide rule features, including improved cursor indicators, functions and scales, and the adjustable body mechanism. The company was so successful that in 1965 it went public on NASDAQ. However, in the coming years, rapid changes in technology including the development of calculators, CAD systems and laser surveying systems, had a detrimental effect on Keuffel & Esser, which shrank drastically after 1972. In 1982 Keuffel & Esser filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and eventually was bought out by several companies including Azon Corporation. Currently, Azon Corporation owns the Keuffel & Esser name and trademarks.
The collection contains records of the Keuffel & Esser Company including correspondence, reports, minutes, ledgers, equipment drawings, architectural drawings and plans, corporate records, proposals and lease agreements and contracts pertaining to both their domestic and international business.
**Special note:** This collection in only partially processed. There are hundreds of architectural and equipment drawings that have not been processed or incorporated into this finding aid. They are stored in both 5th floor storage and at the offsite facility. Patron access of these drawings is currently very limited. These drawings will be incorporated into the rest of the collection at a later time.
|The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, forms, and occupations documented in this collection.|
|Grogan, Edward T.|
|Keuffel, Wilhelm J. D.|
|Nye, Thomas R.|
|Schermerhorn, H. F.|
|Volpe, George S.|
|Wood, Sam Jr.|
|Keuffel & Esser Co.|
|Surveying instrument industry.|
See also: Four Keuffel & Esser Catalogs, 6th floor books, Call numbers 681.2 K42-K516 (6th floor stacks)
This collection should be cited as: Manuscript Group 1639, Keuffel & Esser Co. Papers, The New Jersey Historical Society.
Donated by Susan I. Sherwood, 2004.
Series 1: Corporate Records
Scope and Content:
This series contaings items pertaining to the corporate activities of Keuffel & Esser from many of their offices including those in Seattle, Washington, Puerto Rico, Canada, including meeting minutes, stock certificate books, insurance records and lease agreements.
|1||1||Company correspondence, mostly pertaining to the property on the West Ohio Street lot in Chicago||1911-1945|
|1||2||Minutes of meeting of the board of directors of Keufel & Esser companies in USA||1960-1969|
|1||3||Minutes of meeting of the board of directors of Keufel & Esser companies in USA||1970-1989|
|1||4||Corporate records of H.Dell Foster Co., subsidiary of Keufel & Esser||1970-1979|
|1||5||Corporate records Limited of Keufel & Esser in Ontario, Canada||1960-1964|
|1||6||Corporate records Limited of Keufel & Esser in Ontario, Canada||1965-1969|
|1||7||Corporate records Limited of Keufel & Esser in Ontario, Canada||1970-1979|
|1||8||Corporate records Limited of Keufel & Esser in Ontario, Canada||1980-1989|
|1||9||Corporate records of Keufel & Esser Company of Washington Inc. (Seattle, Washington)||1955-1961|
|2||1||Laser Systems & Electronic, Inc. of Tullahoma, TN minutes of directors meetings--Affiliate of Keuffel & Esser||1974-1979|
|2||2||Incorporation records of Keuffel & Esser in Puerto Rico||1968-1985|
|2||3||Incorporation records of Keuffel & Esser in NJ and Delaware||1968-1985|
|2||4||Keuffel & Esser of Wisconsin stock certificate books (2)||ca. 1950s|
|2||6||Clerk's handwritten notes||1985-1886|
|3||2||Keuffel & Esser real estate in Hoboken||n.d.|
|3||3||Correspondence regarding insurance||1970s|
|3||4||Rokuoh Keuffel & Esser (Japanese Joint Venture)||1980s|
|3||5||Lease agreements (mostly pertaining to Belgium)||1970s-1980s|
|3||6||Keuffel & Esser Chicago branch documents|
|3||7||Equipment lease agreements||1967-1975|
|3||8||Equipment lease agreements||1976|
|3||9||Equipment lease agreements||1977-1984|
Series 2: Product/Work/Plan/Architecural Records
Scope and Content:
This series contains materials pertaining to the products produced by or related to Keuffel & Esser including information about products offered, architectural building plans, equipment information and manuals.
|4||2||Paperwork NIP Height Gauge--T Machine||1970s|
|4||3||Taconic Plot Plans||1970s|
|4||4||Hazardous Product Listing and Product Safety Information||1950s-1970s|
|4||5||Production record book||1962-1982|
|4||6||Production record book||1983-2002|
|5||1||Installation and Maintenance instructions||1983-2002|
|5||3||Product catalog Leroy Products group||1983-2002|
|5||4||Operators Instruction Manual--Blade Coater||1983-2002|
|5||5||Building Guidelines (Belgium)||1973-1975|
|5||6||Building Plans (mostly Belgium)||n.d.|
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