This past semester I was fortunate enough to intern at the Waverly Community House, and for the second half of my time there I got the chance to work in their archives. I was beyond excited for this since archival work is my intended career path, and it was certainly as fascinating as I expected. In digging into a place with such detailed and varied history, I was able to work with all kinds of materials from 1919 to now!
My initial responsibility was to just organize some of the areas that were in disarray, as well as catalog the materials for future reference. While doing this I found some incredibly interesting documents about the Comm. and even outside historical areas. For those who may not know, the Comm. is currently in possession of practically all the records from the Scranton Lace Company. They maintain architectural, managerial, and even manufacturing records for the now historic industry. These include abundant lace samples, from the swatches I’ve included below to full length curtains and tablecloths.
Even more fascinating was the Scranton Lace 1946 Employee Report, likely sent to employees to boost morale and justify wages. There is some very interesting data in this booklet, if not solely for the fact that the figures could be entirely fabricated. Even so, it’s a great look into past practices of corporations, and this one is certainly trying to motivate their employees in some odd ways.
Even from this small booklet we can draw many conclusions about labor and the operations of the Scranton Lace Company. Thankfully I’ll be working in the archives over the summer as well, and I hope to share many more fascinating pieces of history!