Inventory of the Ichabod T. Williams and Sons Collection, 1926 – 1968

 

Descriptive Summary

Abstract: Ichabod T. Williams Company was founded in 1870 in New York City. The firm was renamed Ichabod T. Williams and Sons in 1882. The company would establish operations throughout the world and grow into a leading manufacturer and distributor of mahogany and other fine foreign hardwoods for veneers, cabinets, furniture, and other uses.

Collection includes materials collected by Samuel Dunstan Williams, son of Ichabod T. Williams. Materials cover Ichabod T. Williams and Sons, the Mahogany Association, and the commercial use of mahogany. Also includes an original 1926 edition of Mahogany Antique and Modern, edited by William Farquahar Payson. Collection materials date from 1926 to 1968.

Title: Ichabod T. Williams and Sons Collection, 1926 – 1968

Creator: Samuel Dunstan

Repository: Forest History Society Library and Archives

Call Number: 2012-003

Language of Material: Material in English

Extent: 1 linear ft. (1 box)

Historical Note

Ichabod T. Williams Company was founded in 1870 in New York City. It would grow to becomes the largest firm for manufacturing and distributing fine hardwoods in the world, establishing offices in England, British Honduras, Nicaragua, Mexico, Colombia, Grand Bassam, Ivory Coast, and French West Africa. It also had agents in France, Belgium, and Germany.

In 1880, Ichabod T. Williams was joined in business by his son, with his second son following in 1882. The business was subsequently renamed Ichabod T. Williams and Sons. The company had main offices in various locations in the New York area over the years. In 1885 they purchased half a mile of waterfront property on the main ship channel in New York Bay, between Tompkinsville and Stapleton, Staten Island. This would become the site of the largest hardwood and mahogany yards in New York City. Construction of the largest Mahogany Saw and Veneer Mill in the world — in Carteret, New Jersey — was commenced in 1922 and completed in 1925. The plant was closed and the business ceased operations 1972. For additional information, see also: “The Mahogany Empire of Ichabod T. Williams & Sons, 1838-1973” by John C. Callahan in Forest & Conservation History, Volume 29, Issue 3, July 1985, Pages 120-130.

Collection Overview

This collection consists of materials collected by Samuel Dunstan about his family business, the I.T. Williams Company, as well as the Mahogany Association, and the use of mahogany. Also includes an original 1926 edition of Mahogany Antique and Modern, edited by William Farquahar Payson. Collection materials date from 1926 to 1968.

Subject Headings

  • I. T. Williams Company
  • Lumber Trade, Illinois
  • Mahogany Association
  • Mahogany
  • Hardwood Industry
  • Veneer Industry

Detailed Description of the Collection

1. I. T. Williams & Sons Company Collection materials, 1926-1968.

Box 1

  •  Biographical Materials
    Samuel Dunstan Williams; Thomas Williams
  • Brochure from Ichabod T. Williams and Sons listing the names of the hardwood they represented. Date unknown.
  • Mahogany Association, Inc. “Mahogany ‘The World’s Finest Cabinet Wood’ in new fashion finishes.” A brochure illustrating various mahogany finishes and listing the names of the members of The Mahogany Association, Inc. (2 copies of brochure.)
  • Fine Hardwoods Association (of which I.T. Williams and Sons were members). “Fine Hardwood Veneers for Architectural Interiors.” AIA no. 19F, October 1960.
    Cover image showing the Figured Rosewood used at the Four Seasons Restaurant, New York, New York. Photos of other office interiors also shown.
  • Lamb, F. Bruce. “Mahogany Name Controversy.” Economic Botany, vol. 22, no. 1. January-March, 1968. 84-86 pp. Article reprint.
  • Reif, Rita. “Rare Wood and Veneers Are Company’s Specialty.” New York Times, Feb 18, 1964. Article clipping.
  • Lithography print of the I.T. Williams and Sons logo. Date unknown.
  • Envelope with Ichabod T. Williams & Sons, Inc. return address label.
  • Photograph: Annual Meeting of the Mahogany Association, Inc. in Chicago, January 22, 1948. Group includes Ichabod Thomas Williams and Thomas Resolved Williams.
  • Photograph: Annual Meeting of the Mahogany Association, Inc. at the Blackstone Hotel, Chicago. January 22, 1949. Group includes Ichabod Thomas Williams and his father, T.R. Williams.
  • May 1938 issue of Hardwood Record. Features the article “A Century of Leadership in Fine Woods: Ichabod T. Williams and Sons.”
  • Payson, William Farquahar, editor. Mahogany, Antique and Modern: A Study of its History and Use in the Decorative Arts. New York: E.P. Dutton and Company, 1926. 154 page illustrated volume.
  • An oversize, illustrated portfolio about the history of Ichabod T. Williams and Company: “After 88 Years, Carteret, 1838-1926”. Includes sections documenting their work in Carteret, New Jersey, as well as Africa, and Central and South America.

 

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright Notice

The nature of the Forest History Society’s archival holdings means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The Forest History Society claims only physical ownership of most archival materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ichabod T. Williams and Sons Collection, Library and Archives, Forest History Society, Durham, NC, USA.

Acquisitions Information

Received from Susan W. Williams in August 2012.

Processing Information

Processed by Desiree Peterson, November 2012

Encoded by Desiree Peterson, November 2012

Support for digitization and outreach provided by the Alvin J. Huss Endowment.