The E. E. Libbey Papers are comprised of 3.0 linear feet of materials, including correspondence, receipts, and order forms documenting business conducted by E. E. Libbey, a dealer in pulpwood, cedar posts, white birch, and hemlock bark in Pittsfield, Maine. These records, spanning the years1900 to 1912, provide a glimpse into Maine's bustling turn-of-the century timber and pulpwood industries.

Libbey bought and sold various types of wood. His correspondents included individuals from all over the state of Maine and parts of New Hampshire, Vermont, and Massachusetts. He conducted a particularly large amount of business with Boston lumber wholesalers. Perhaps the highlight of the collection is found in receipts and letters between Libbey and prominent pulp and paper companies. Included is a large run of documents from S. D. Warren & Company, which operated a papermill at Cumberland Mills, Maine, and some materials from International Paper Company and the Great Northern Paper Company. Many order memorandums for Libbey's wood shipments on the region's railroads, such as the Maine Central Railroad, the Boston & Maine Railroad, and the Bangor & Aroostook Railroad, are preserved. In addition, Libbey's papers relate to transactions he made with other companies, including the Estate of Charles Forster, New England Telephone & Telegraph Company, Skowhegan Pulp Company, and United Box Board and Paper Company, among others.

Biographical information on E. E. Libbey is scant. While he appears to have operated his business in Pittsfield, Maine, some documents in this collection suggest that he lived, at least for a time, in the neighboring small town of Detroit, Maine. Pittsfield is located in Somerset County, Maine, and has historically been a modestly busy commercial crossroads for the surrounding area. Libbey apparently was a small businessman who contracted not only with other small businessmen, but also with some large lumber manufacturers and paper companies.

Libbey's records fit into the larger context of Maine's timber, pulpwood, and paper industries. Maine's lumber industry was quite competitive in national markets throughout most of the nineteenth century. Even though conventional lumbering in the state lost some of its dominance after 1880, a new forest industry emerged in the form of pulp and paper production. In the mid-nineteenth century, after wood pulp became a practical replacement for rags as a source of fiber in paper, paper companies began to build pulp mills and papermills in Maine. By 1900, the papermaking industry began consolidating, and large companies, such as International Paper Company and the Great Northern Paper Company, controlled much of the industry. Providing spruce pulpwood to several papermills, E. E. Libbey had modest dealings with these giant firms. Libbey's papers also document a small part of the continuing general lumber trade of the day as Libbey shipped cedar posts, white birch, and other types of wood to lumber manufacturers and wholesalers.

The University of Maine Special Collections Department at Folger Library possesses the extensive papers of the Great Northern Paper Company and numerous collections of business records belonging to nineteenth century Maine lumbering firms.

The E. E. Libbey Papers are arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The documents were initially stored in a rough alphabetical fashion in a series of five large wood-framed letter books owned by Libbey. As much as possible, the original order of his business records has been retained.


Charles E. Clark, "Maine: A Bicentennial History" (1977).

Judd, Richard W., et al, "Maine: The Pine Tree State from Prehistory to the Present" (1995).

* * * * * * *


ACS - Autograph Card Signed

AD - Autograph Document

ADS - Autograph Document Signed

AL - Autograph Letter

ALS - Autograph Letter Signed

DS - Document Signed

EEL - E. E. Libbey

MSS - Manuscript Signed

TC - Typed Card

TD - Typed Document

TEL - Telegram

TL - Typed Letter

TLS - Typed Letter Signed

ACCESSION DATA: Status: Open Access. Provenance: Acquired January 1998, purchased from DeWolfe & Wood of Alfred,Maine. Processed by Scott S. Taylor, April 1998.

BULK DATES: 1903 - 1911
SPAN DATES: 1900 - 1912

EXTENT: 2 boxes, 3.0 l.f.