Scope and Content
Title: Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation: N.N. Hill Brass Company Business Correspondence
Dates (inclusive): 1892-1919
Bulk dates: 1894-1900
Collection Number: priJLC_TRAN_Hill
Last, Jay T.
approximately 770 items in 9 binders
The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens.
Prints and Ephemera
1151 Oxford Road
San Marino, California 91108
Abstract: The N. N. Hill Brass Company business correspondence, a subset within the Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation,
contains records of the N.N. Hill Brass Company, a bell manufacturing company in
East Hampton, Connecticut, that date from the early 1890s through the 1910s. The approximately 770 pieces of incoming correspondence
and related documents focus on the company's manufacture, advertisement, and sale of bicycle bells,
and their involvement with the bicycle industry and related trade associations and bicycle clubs.
Finding aid last updated on October 11, 2013.
The collection is open to qualified researchers by prior application through the Reader Services Department. For more information,
please visit the Huntington's website:
In order to quote from, publish, or reproduce any of the materials, researchers must obtain formal permission from the office
of the Library Director.
Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Huntington as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission of the
copyright holder, which must also be obtained.
[Item title]. Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation: N.N. Hill Brass Company Business Correspondence, The Huntington
Library, San Marino, California.
This collection forms part of the Jay T. Last Collection of Lithographic and Social History, which was
donated to the Huntington Library by Jay T. Last in 2005 as a gift in progress. The bulk of the transportation ephemera was transferred to the Library in 2010.
The N.N. Hill Brass Company records described in this finding aid were originally acquired along with a small amount of additional
business correspondence to the company. This additional material was received by
the Library as part of other ephemera series within the Jay T. Last Collection and is organized according to the industry
associated with the correspondent.
Background of the Jay T. Last Collection
The Jay T. Last Collection is an unparalleled archive of printed paper artifacts that documents American lithographic, social,
and business history. The collection began in the early 1970s when
physicist and Silicon Valley pioneer Jay Last moved to Southern California and started collecting citrus box labels he found
at local flea markets and rummage sales. As his collection grew,
Last realized that these labels conveyed important information about commercial printing, graphic design, and social history,
and he expanded his collection to include other forms
of American visual culture. Today this collection contains more than 140,000 lithographic prints, posters, and ephemera of
mostly nineteenth and early twentieth century American
origin and represents works by more than five hundred lithographic companies.
Background of the N. N. Hill Brass Company
The N. N. Hill Brass Company of East Hampton, Connecticut, manufactured bells, and later toys.
Norman Newton Hill (1863-1950) founded the company in January 1889, and it operated until the early 1960s.
Related materials in the Huntington Library
Related materials in other repositories
Scope and Content
The N. N. Hill Brass Company Business Correspondence, a subset within the Jay T. Last Collection of American Transportation,
contains approximately 770 pieces of incoming correspondence, and some related documents, written to the N.N. Hill Brass Company
East Hampton, Connecticut, from the early 1890s through the 1910s that focus on the company's manufacture, advertisement,
and sale of bicycle bells, and their involvement with the bicycle industry and related
trade associations and bicycle clubs. The letters were received primarily from bicycle manufacturers and sellers and concern
the purchase of bicycle bells including issues related to orders; shipments; invoice and payment matters; and requests for
price quotes, catalogs and price lists.
The collection also includes correspondence related to advertising, requests for donations of prizes by bicycle clubs, correspondence
from trade associations, and bicycle shows related to exhibits and exhibit programs.
The materials include both handwritten and typed correspondence primarily on company stationery from a variety of companies
across the United States and in other countries. Some of the letterhead has engraved or lithographed images of bicycles or
commercial or industrial scenes.
The collection is arranged in binders according to the general type of correspondent (such as bicycle manufacturers, parts
manufacturers, bicycle retailers, other retailers etc.) and then alphabetically by company within each section.
Business records -- United States -- 19th century.
Business records -- United States -- 20th century.
N.N. Hill Brass Co.
Advertising -- Bicycle industry.
Bells –- Connecticut –- East Hampton.
Transportation equipment industry.