Lilly Library Manuscript Collections


The Hoffman mss., 1864-1949, consist of correspondence and records of the Hoffman Bros. Company (formerly J.R. Hoffman & co.), Fort Wayne, Indiana, manufacturers of the Hoffman patent band saw mill and of black walnut lumber and chairstuff. The company was established in 1867 and incorporated in 1904.

Included in the collection are business letters, 1864- 1949, an account book, 1868-1869, containing journal and ledger entries, a recapitulating of data on the firm copied from an earlier book, 1866-1867, orders for lumber listed by firms, time records of employees, and a record of lumber shipped; a letterpress copybook, February 2, 1885-January 29, 1886, containing copies of letters and purchase agreements with information on the manufacture of band mills, prices, advantages over circular saws, adaptability to various woods, experience of the company with band mills since 1873, and directions for operation; an order book, 1885-1887, containing orders for band saw mills; pictures of the interior of the mill 1869, and of the Hoffman band saw mills as advertised in the Northwestern lumberman, May 9 and November 28, 1885; page proof of a circular regarding the company, presumably printed in 1919; printed circulars and articles about the company; drawings of machinery, and notes for a paper "Saving the Kerf: the Introduction of the Band Saw Mill" by Rodney C. Loehr read at the Forest products history foundation session at the Mississippi Valley Historical Association meeting on April 16, 1949, at Madison, Wisconsin, and published in Agricultural history, XXIII, p. 168-172, July 1949.

The drawings are in an oversize folder.

Collection size: 285 items

For more information about this collection and any related materials contact the Public Services Department, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN 47405. Call (812) 855-2452 or send an email using our Ask a Question form.