Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Thread


Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1834-1923
Physical Description:
2.23 Cubic feet
consisting of 4.5 boxes, 6 folders, 2 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, plus digital images of some collection material.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Thread forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents

Scope and Contents
This collection consists primarily of materials produced for and by manufacturers of cotton, silk, and wool threads and yarns. The bulk of the material consists of advertising or "trade" cards; advertisements, bills, receipts, and publications are also present. A number of samples of threads and yarns are included. Most of the material is undated.
Of particular interest may be the great variety of colorful illustrations found on the advertising trade cards. Babies, children, and adults are featured as well as numerous comic characters, celebrities, and royalty. Flowers, birds, animals, and scenic views are also used. A small group of articles ca. 1870 details the then current techniques of thread manufacturing as well as a history of the industry. Series 1, Manufacturers of Thread and Yarns, circa 1834-1923; undated, is arranged alphabetically by name of manufacturer. The greatest part consists of trade cards produced for Clark and Company and J. & P. Coats. The cards are arranged by the subjects depicted and are so listed. Trade cards from several other companies are also found in smaller quantities. A small amount of business materials is present for some of the companies.
Series 2, Related Materials, circa 1837-1898; undated, is arranged as follows: Thread Retailers, Thread Samples, and Articles about Thread. These are followed by: Images, Miscellaneous materials, and Import /Export documents.


Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Thread is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.

Digital Content

More …

Using the Collection

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Preferred Citation
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Thread, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution

Materials in the Archives Center

Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of


Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
Business Number: Phone: 202-633-3270
Fax Number: Fax: 202-786-2453