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Research Files


This series consists of research files of scholar Anne Farnam (1940-1991) relating to A. H. Davenport Co., Irving and Casson, and Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport Co. Material includes: copies of published material, photographs and copies of photographs, notes made by Farnam, correspondence, and inventory cards prepared by Farnam of the reference library developed by the firm. Materials are arranged by subject matter as follows:

Folder 1 - CC010.008.001 - Lectures, 1978 and beyond. Includes: slide lists for six lectures delivered by Farnam from 1972 to 1979; and brochures of two symposia with talks by Farnam.

Folder 2 - CC010.008.002 - F. H. Bacon. Includes: "I Knew H. H. Richardson," by Welles Bosworth, "Journal of the A. I. A." September 1951; copies of letters from Bacon kept by nephew Henry Bacon McKoy; essay "How F. H. Bacon Co. Started" by F. H. Bacon; essay "An Outline for the Family" by F. H. Bacon; "Expedition of the Archaeological Institute of America; Investigations at Assos, Drawings and Photographs of the Buildings and Objects Discovered during the Excavations of 1881-1882-1883" by Joseph T. Clarke, Francis H. Bacon, and Robert Koldewey, published by William Fenwick Harris, Cambridge, MA, 1921; "The Declaration of Independence: The Story of a Parchment" by David C. Mearns, Library of Congress, Washington DC, 1950; and miscellaneous notes and correspondence.

Folder 3 - CC010.008.003 - Library Furniture. Includes information on library commissions such as: black-and-white photographs and negatives of Arlington, MA library interior details and furniture; photo of armchair made for Malden Public Library; copy of Malden Public Library expenditures journal showing 1885 payment to A. H. Davenport Co. for furniture; copy of Robbins Library (Arlington, MA) inventory dated 11/01/1915; "The Library Furniture of H. H. Richardson" by Farnam in 1972 as part of her master's degree requirements; and miscellaneous notes and research documents.

Folder 4 - CC010.008.004 - White House. Includes: photographs and negatives of White House interior and exterior from Library of Congress; ". . . Appendix EEE of the Annual Report of the Chief of Engineers for 1903" Washington, Government Printing Office which lists description and cost of White House furnishings, including many Davenport items; copies of correspondence between A. H. Davenport Co. and Army Corps of Engineers regarding details of commissions; and miscellaneous correspondence and notes.

Folder 5 - CC010.008.005 - Iolani Palace. Includes: photographs and negatives of Iiolani Palace interiors and furniture pieces; Iolani Palace brochure dated 1978; copy of Boston Herald article of May 8, 1882 titled "King Kalakaua. / His New Palace Just Completed at Honolulu. / How It Will Be Furnished and by Whom. / Flattering recognition of Boston's Industries;" correspondence between Iolani Palace staff and Farnam regarding lecture, reupholstery of A. H. Davenport pieces, restoration project, and potential Farnam work on project; correspondence between Iolani Palace staff and Scalamandre regarding upholstery; copies of drawings for woodwork and furniture; and copy of acknowledgement of receipt of $10,000 as deposit, written in 1882 by A. H. Davenport Co.

Folder 6 - CC010.008.006 - I&C - A. H. D. Co. Library. Includes: bibliography of books in reference library of Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport of uncertain origin; "Brief Analysis and Listing of the Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport Library" by Farnam; September 1980 appraisal of library by Timothy Trace; and correspondence regarding potential sale of library to a variety of institutions.

Folder 7 - CC010.008.007 - Correspondence & Miscellaneous Information. Includes: Duke University Chapel Brochure; 1974 photographs of unidentified Brookline, MA house with documented mantels; George Eastman House information; November 11, 1986 article from Honolulu Advertiser regarding palace restoration; copy of A. H. Davenport Co. invoice dated 1901; and miscellaneous correspondence.

Folder 8 - CC010.008.008 - Malden, MA house of A. H. Davenport. Includes: negatives and contact sheets of photographs of house; black-and-white photographs of house interior and furniture taken by Richard Cheek in 1976; photographs of album of photographs dating to shortly after the house's construction in 1891-1892; listing of newspaper articles mentioning A. H. Davenport and family; essay "The Davenport Family" by Helen C. King in 1955 for the Malden Historical Society; and copy of May, 1944 newspaper article on bequest of Alice Davenport to establish home for aged couples.

Folder 9 - CC010.008.009 - Cambridge Factories. Includes: photographs, ca. 1970, of factory interior; copies of undated Cambridge city map showing factory locations: "The Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport Companies and Their Factory Buildings" by Farnam, dated December 1975 and prepared for the Cambridge Historical Commission; correspondence with Cambridge Historical Commission regarding research; photocopy of eight page Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport brochure of unknown date; and two brochures published ca. 1975 by Joseph Murphy of Weymouth, MA later who had purchased rights to name after company closure.

Folder 10 - CC010.008.010 - Photos. Includes negatives, contact sheets and photographs of selected pages from design drawing and photo albums formerly in the collection of The Strong Museum. Some of the images were used as illustrations in Farnam's published articles.

Folder 11 - CC010.008.011 -- Squirrel Island, ME. Includes: "Squirrel Island's First Hundred Years" by Edith H. Wheeler in July 1971 "Down East Magazine" discussing history of island and contributions of A. H. Davenport to community's development; photographs and negatives dated 1974 of Squirrel Island building exteriors and interiors, including library donated by AHD; and miscellaneous notes.

Folder 12 - CC010.008.012 -- Glessner House. Includes: 1984 Glessner House brochure; essay "The House at 1800 Prairie Avenue, Chicago" by John J. Glessner; copies of letters to Glessner from H. H. Richardson, Shipley, Rutan & Coolidge; and miscellaneous correspondence and notes.

Folder 13 - CC010.008.013 -- Ezra Brabrook. Includes general research notes and photograph of Brabrook from collection of Essex Institute.

Item 14 - CC010.008.014 - Library Inventory Cards. Comprised of fourteen envelopes of index cards listing contents of Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport Co.'s library, arranged roughly by subject matter or form.

You can find this within:


Collection Name
Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport -- Collection I
Collection Code
Date of Acquisition
Physical Description
1 box containing 13 file folders and 12 packets; ca. 1 linear foot
Collection Type
Corporate Records
Description Level
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

Elsie Anne Farnam (1940-1991) held curatorial, administrative and managerial positions at the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA) and Essex Institute (Salem, MA). She conducted research on A. H. Davenport Co., Irving and Casson, and their successor company Irving and Casson - A. H. Davenport Co. from roughly 1970 until her death. Her published work on the subject includes:

Farnam, Anne (1976). A. H. Davenport and Company, Boston Furniture Makers. "Antiques," 109 (no. 5), 1048-1055.

Farnam, Anne (1979). H. H. Richardson and A. H. Davenport: Architecture and Furniture as Big Business in America's Gilded Age. In Kebabian, P. B. and W. C. Lipke (Eds.), "Tools and Technologies, America's Wooden Age" (pp. 80-93). Burlington, VT: University of Vermont, Fleming Museum.

Farnam, Anne (1987). The A. H. Davenport Company of Boston: Notes on the Upholsterer's Trade in the late 19th and Early 20th Centuries. In Edward S. Cooke, Jr. (Ed.), "Upholstery in America & Europe from the Seventeenth Century to World War I" (pp. 231-238). New York: Norton.


Items are arranged in folders by subject matter.

Record details

Farnam, Anne (Researcher)
Other People
Bacon, Francis H. (Francis Henry), 1856-1940
Brabrook, Ezra H., d. 1880
Davenport, Albert H., 1845-1906
Farnam, Anne
Descriptive Terms
research notes
Material Type
research notes
No number was assigned by The Strong Museum.
Location Note
HAV-01-403-A-306, Barcode 11099.
Related Items
Brochure -- "The Irving & Casson Company"

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