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W.E. Lamson and Son Co. Records

Identifier: mss-426

Scope and Content

The bulk of the W.E. Lamson and Son Co. collection consists of invoices of goods bought and sold by the company. Of the 23 cartons in the collection, 22 contain invoices, covering the period from February 1877 to October 1943. Although this run is virtually unbroken, there are a few gaps: the period from February to December 1936 is missing, as are the weeks between March and May of 1940. In the first carton of invoices--carton 2--the Invoices are pasted into large books. The invoices in the rest of the cartons are arranged chronologically and alphabetically in folders.

The remaining carton of papers--carton 1--contains a variety of material, from the years 1873-1926. Some of it, such as receipts and inventory Lists, deals with the business, but some of this material deals with other concerns. There are two folders of material on the Brownell bankruptcy which are included in this collection because Guy P. Lamson was one of the trustees in this affair. There are also a few pieces of material on Wheeler, Lamson and Co., but nothing that identifies the nature of the business, or provides any information about the relationship between this company and W.E. Lamson and Son. Also included in this carton is a sampling of cancelled checks and bank statements on the account of W.E. Lamson and Son Co. There are also folders containing similar material on the accounts of Geneive, Robert, and Leslie Lamson. Geneive was Whitcomb's youngest daughter, who taught at Vassar College for many years and wrote historical articles about Randolph. Robert and Leslie are sons of Guy, making them grandsons of Whitcomb.

The collection also contains 27 bound volumes which record the business transactions of W.E. Lamson and Son from 1873-1930. These volumes are divided into five series: cashbooks, daybooks, journals, ledgers, and inventory books. The volumes are arranged chronologically within each series. They are located at the end of the collection, following the cartons.


  • 1873-1943



Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights:

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.


Whitcomb E. Lamson, youngest son of Thomas and Esther (Mann) Lamson, was born in West Randolph on January 24, 1844. After completing a course in the town schools, he was first employed in the general merchandise store of H.C. Badger and Co., where he remained three years. He next entered the employ of Hobart Smith, dealer in dry goods, shoes, and boots, where he remained four years, leaving to accept a position with his former employer, who had moved to Kansas. One year and six months later Lamson returned to his home in Randolph, but stayed only a few months, going to Boston, where he was employed in the wholesale dry goods store of Sargent Brothers and Co. On October 7, 1870, a fire destroyed the Sargent Brothers' store and all of its contents, so Lamson returned once again to Randolph, and bought the furniture business formerly owned by F.B. Salisbury and Co. Lamson carried on the furniture business, and added on many other lines of goods: carpets, crockery, curtains, paints, wallpaper, mirrors, trunks, bags, fishing tackle, and other sporting goods. Lamson also began a side business as an undertaker and ambulance service.

On November 25, 1875, Lamson married H. Amelia Philbrick of Mount Vernon, Maine. They had four children: Guy P., born June 20, 1877, who went into business with his father, hence the "and Son"; Grace G., born September 18, 1879; Abby G., born December 31, 1883; and Geneive A.W., born April 29, 1887.


31.85 Linear Feet (23 cartons, 27 bound volumes)

Language of Materials



The bulk of the W.E. Lamson and Son Co. collection consists of invoices of goods bought and sold by the company.

Physical Location

Library Research Annex; contact for access.

Related Materials

The Genieve Lamson Papers, also in UVM Special Collections, document another member of the Lamson family.

Separated Materials note

A 6 x 8 photograph of a lathe was removed form the W. E. Lamson and Son Co. Papers, and has been added to the Wilbur photo file.

General note

There are additional Inventory Lists in Carton 1 of the collection:

  1. 1-19: 1887-1895
  2. 1-20: Feb. 1903
  3. 1-21: Feb. 1905
  4. 1-22: no date
Guide to the W.E. Lamson and Son Co., Dry Goods, Furniture Records, 1873-1943
Processor: Mary Gelinas.
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)