Edward F. Caldwell Lighting Company records

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Collection Data

Edward F. Caldwell & Co. of New York City, founded in 1894, designed and manufactured lighting fixtures and ornamental bronze and ironworks. In 1957 the company re-emerged after tax liquidation as the E.T. Caldwell Lighting Company. The president was Edward T. Caldwell. Collection consists mainly of sketches, with correspondence, financial documents, design records, invoice books, ledgers and photographs from the Caldwell firm and additional business records of the Plastic Illuminating Company. Personal correspondence, 1958-1959, contains letters to Edward T. Caldwell from his friends and acquaintances. Business correspondence, 1956-1959, is with customers after the re-organization of the company. Financial documents, 1938-1957, include logs of transactions, bank statements and income tax returns. Draughtman's sketches of lighting fixtures are done in pen and ink. Group schedule of designs, 1930-1949, are sketches of multiple lighting fixtures required for specific jobs. Design records, 1900-1941, contain information and sketches of lighting fixtures. Invoice books, 1943-1946, include descriptions of materials shipped with prices and information about customers. Also, records of material received, 1955-1956; ledgers, 1953-1956; shipment records, 1951-1954; employees' salary records, 1953-1956; index to customers; and records, 1947-1957, of the Plastic Illuminating Company (probably a subsidiary of the Caldwell Company) including order books, receipts and disbursements, and checkbooks. Leo Spier's letters, in German, to his mother, who was E.T. Caldwell's housekeeper, are restricted.
Edw. F. Caldwell & Co. (Creator)
Caldwell, Edward F. 1851-1914 (Designer)
Spier, Leo (Contributor)
Plastic Illuminating Company of New York (Contributor)
Dates / Origin
Date Created: 1900 - 1959
Library locations
Manuscripts and Archives Division
Shelf locator: MssCol 902
Lamps -- Design and construction
Lighting, Architectural and decorative
Design drawings
Biographical/historical: Edward F. Caldwell & Co., founded in New York City in 1894, designed and manufactured lighting fixtures, ornamental bronzes and ironworks. The company was a major supplier of decorative crafts items for architectural commissions for the first four decades of the twentieth century. The company was liquidated by the Internal Revenue Service in 1956 but it reorganized and reemerged as E. T. Caldwell Lighting.
Content: The collection consists of the business records of Edward F. Caldwell & Co of New York City and its successor, Edward T. Caldwell Lighting. The records contain letters, draughtsman's sketches, and group schedule of designs, design records, invoice books, ledgers and records of the firm's subsidiary, the Plastic Illuminating Company. The draughtsman's sketches represent the bulk of the collection. The sketches are arranged by the number assigned to the individual sketch. There is no subject index. These pens and an ink sketch were drawn on onion skin and include detailed front views of the light fixtures, order numbers and "type numbers" (drawn to scale). The group schedule of designs, 1930-1949, is sketches of multiple lighting fixtures required for a job (not drawn to scale). The designs are arranged alphabetically by customer and include the customer's name and address, date of order, order number and "type number". The design records, 1900-1941 (23 volumes) contain small sketches of lighting fixtures, scales, and titles of the fixtures, draughtsman's names, customers' names, order numbers and "type numbers". Invoice books, 1943-1946, arranged chronologically, include descriptions of the materials sent, prices, customers' names and addresses. The remainder of the material is one volume of records of material received, 1955-1956, that contains the firms' names and numbers, item numbers, prices, quantities and dates received; ledgers, 1953-1956, (3 volumes) containing accounts payable and receivable, alphabetically arranged; shipment record, 1951-1954 (1 volume); employees' salary records, 1953-1956, and an index to customers. The Plastic Illuminating Company Records consist of order books, 1954-1956; receipts and disbursements, 1947-1956; and checkbooks, 1952-1957.
Physical Description
Extent: 46 linear feet (52 boxes, 47 v.)
Type of Resource
Still image
NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b14421948
MSS Unit ID: 902
Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): ace57580-1132-0137-84aa-21e1eba6c1d5
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