Smith Letter from W.H. Monroe

Click here for a one-page transcription of the letter or on the following links to download the three pages of the letter, converted to black-and-white images:

[letter1] [page 2] [page 3]

Lyman Smith’s Sons tannery purchased most of their raw material in Europe and South Africa. They sent buying agents abroad on months-long trips to purchase the sheep, goat and cow hides that would be tanned and turned into leather for boots, shoes, gloves and industrial belts.

In 1874, buying agent W.H. Monroe wrote to Lyman Smith’s Sons from Vienna, Austria to report on his success in procuring materials. His letter describes how slow the market is as the result of a depression in Europe, citing the cost of pelts in England and France. He also describes the effect the depression has had on Austrian culture, in particular, with great personal losses, suicides and even murder among those who lost their fortunes in the stock market.

Collection: Mss.5 Winslow Bros. & Smith Company (b.1, f.4)
Date: 13 February 1874
Location: Vienna, Austria
Item type: letter
Author: W.H. Monroe
MA History/
Social Studies Frameworks:
USII.1, E.1.2, E.2.1, E.2.7, E.5.3

Return to Norwood industries.

This project is supported by a grant from the Norwood Cultural Council, a local agency which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency.


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