Meneely and Company
Records, 1825-1945

SC13434

Quantity: 69 Boxes (12 cubic feet)
Access: Records are open to research upon signing an agreement concerning photoduplication and publication of contents
Alternative Formats: Certain items as indicated in the inventory list are also available on microfilm
Acquisition: Received from the City of Watervliet, January 31, 1956
Processed By: Emily R. Novak, Intern, Manuscripts and Special Collections, Fall 1997
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Historical Note:*

Meneely and Company was founded in 1826 by Andrew Meneely (1801-1851) in what was formerly known as West Troy (originally Gibbonsville), and is now Watervliet, New York. Meneely studied under Julius Hanks, the first man to open a bell foundry in the Troy area, and married Philena Hanks, daughter of Rodney Hanks, who was Julius’s brother. Following the marriage, Meneely became the proprietor of Julius’s foundry in Gibbonsville; Julius Hanks continued to operate his own foundry in Troy. In addition to bells, Meneely produced town clocks, chimes, and civil engineering instruments.

The timeline of the firm’s history is as follow:

1826 Andrew Meneely founds Meneely and Company.
1835 Meneely takes as a partner Jonas V. Oothout. Oothout steps down in 1841.
1849 Business renamed Andrew Meneely and Son, after Meneely makes his son, Edwin, a partner.
1851 Business renamed Andrew Meneely’s Sons, after Meneely steps down and his son, George, becomes Edwin’s partner. The foundry continues to produce church bells, chimes and fire alarms, but eliminates town clocks and civil engineering equipment.
1863 Business renamed E.A. and G.R. Meneely
1874 Business renamed Meneely & Co., after George withdraws from the business. Edwin and his sons, Andrew H. and George K., continue to operate the business. After Edwin leaves, his sons continue to use Meneely & Co. as the business name. A subsidiary, the Meneely Brass and Bronze Company, was incorporated in 1921.

*Information for this section was obtained from History of Rensselaer Co., New York by Nathaniel Bartlett Sylvester (Philadelphia: Everts and Peck, 1880) and Troy and Rensselaer County, New York: A History by Rutherford Hayner (New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company, Inc., 1925).

Scope And Content Note:

The materials are a representative sample of the company’s business documentation. Due to limits in staff and resources, most carbon copies, letterpress copies, and other items in poor condition were eliminated during the appraisal process. What remains is an incomplete collection of correspondence, bills, bookkeeping materials, deeds, and mortgages pertinent to Andrew Meneely. Business records are most complete for the years 1870 through 1890.

Business records are supplemented by a small sampling of the company’s catalogs, chime music, programs from performances in which bells made at the Meneely foundry were used, miscellaneous printed items and some photographs.

Series Descriptions:

The Meneely Bell and Co. records are divided into fifteen series:

Series I: Correspondence, 1836-1945 (Boxes 1-44)

Consists of business letters received by Meneely Bell and Company between 1836 and 1945. Correspondence includes requests for catalogs, prices, and delivery information. Often included are preliminary sketches of churches, bell towers, bell inscriptions and orders.

Series II: Personal Correspondence, Andrew Meneely, 1801-1851 (Box 44, Folder 27)
This series is comprised of personal correspondence written by Andrew Meneely to his children, primarily to his son, Edwin. Additional items include letters from Edwin to his father, a letter from Andrew Meneely’s brother, John, and miscellaneous correspondence.

Series III: Legal Papers, 1825-1888 (Box 45)

This series is divided into four sub-series: miscellaneous legal papers, comprising preparation
for court cases, trial information, and other legal documents from 1834 to 1888; deeds and mortgages from 1825 to 1887; bonds of indebtedness from 1825 to 1878, and patent and copyright papers from 1857 to 1874.

Series IV: Bills, Receipts of Payment, and Shipping Receipts, 1857-1905 (Boxes 46-52)

This series is divided into two sub-series: bills incurred by Meneely Bell and Company throughout the course of business, and receipts documenting payment to those businesses and individuals from 1857 to 1894. Shipping receipts are from the year 1905 only.

Series V: Canceled Checks and Check Registers, 1852-1906 (Boxes 53-54)

Canceled checks from 1852 to 1906 and one check register spanning 1855 and 1856.

Series VI: Bookkeeping Records, 1833-1942 (Boxes 55-63)

This series, divided into eight sub-series, is composed of journals, ledgers, statements of sales, trial balances, promissory notes, reports, one daybook and one cashbook. Dates span 1833 to 1942.

Series VII: Copybooks, 1911-1919, 1928, 1931 (Boxes 64-65)

Four copybooks of correspondence, two covering 1911-1919, one from 1928, and one from 1931.

Series VIII: Hemisphere Bell (Box 65)

This series consists of a ledger with the label Hemisphere Bell. This ledger, however, has no entries.

Series IX: Sizes of Frames and Wheels and Minutes of Meetings, 1918-1939 (Box 65)

This series consists of one bound volume divided into two parts. The first part contains information on the sizes of frames and wheels. The second part contains minutes from board meetings. The volume spans the period from 1918 to 1939.

Series X: Catalogs (Boxes 66-67)

Assorted catalogs of bells and Meneely products

Series XI: Chime Music (Box 67)

Samples of chime music to be played on Meneely chimes

Series XII: Programs (Box 68)

Programs from concerts in which Meneely bells and chimes were used.

Series XIII: Photos and Pictures (Box 68)

Miscellaneous photographs, pictures from catalogs, and drawings generated for publicity and company use throughout the course of business. Some personal photographs mixed in.

Series XIV: Miscellaneous Printed Materials (Box 69)

This series contains miscellaneous printed materials including ads in papers and magazines promoting Meneely Bell, fliers, postcards, and other print materials.

Series XV: Miscellaneous Business Records (Box 69)

This series, divided into four sub-series, consists of blueprints, mason’s and carpenter’s specs from early in the foundry’s history, newspaper clippings of metal market reports from the paper The American Metal Market and Daily Iron and Steel Report, and an assortment of other business documents that do not fit in the above series.

Related Resources:

The records of the rival firm, Meneely Bell Co. (Troy, N.Y.) are also held by the New York Library, Manuscripts and Special Collections. This record group comprises approximately 12 cubic feet consisting chiefly of account books. An unpublished finding aid is available in the repository.

The archive of Hudson Mohawk Industrial Gatewayexternal link also includes records of Meneely and Company, in particular the ledgers and journals that cover the period from 1860 to 1925. 

Box and Folder List:


Box Folder Contents
    Series I: Correspondence, 1836-1945 (Boxes 1-44)
1 1 1836
1 2 1844
1 3 1850
1 4 1852
1 5-6 1853-1855, Letter E
1 7 1855
1 8 1855, Letter E
1 9 1856
1 10-11 1856, Letter E
1 12-13 1857
1 14-15 1857-1859, Letter E
1 16-18 1858
1 19 1859, Letter B
2 1-3 1859, Letter B
2 4-6 1859-1860
2 7-9 1859-1861
3 1-7 1860, Letter B
3 8 1860, Letter P
3 9-11 1860-1861, Letter E
4 1 1860-1861, Letter E
4 2-11 1861-1862, Letter B
4 12-16 1861-1862, Letter H
4 17 1861-1862, Letter M
4 18 1863-1865, Letter B
4 19 1863-1865, Letter C
4 20-21 1863-1865, Letter F
5 1-11 1863-1865, Letter F
5 12 1863-1865, Letter G
5 13-19 1863-1865, Letter H
5 20 1863-1865, Letter K
5 21 1863-1865, Letter M
5 22 1863-1865, Letter R
5 23 1863-1865, Letter S
5 24 1863-1865, Letter T
5 25 1863-1865, Letter W
6 1 1866-1868, Letter B
6 2 1866-1868, Letter C
6 3 1866-1868, Letter E
6 4 1866-1868, Letter F
6 5 1866-1868, Letter G
6 6 1866-1868, Letter H
6 7 1866-1868, Letter J
6 8 1866-1868, Letter L
6 9-17 1866-1868, Letter M
7 1 1866-1868, Letter R
7 2 1866-1868, Letter S
7 3-9 1866-1868, Letter W
7 10-11 1869
7 12-13 1870
7 14 1871
7 15 1872
7 16 1873
7 17 1874
8 1-5 1875-1876, Letter A
8 6-11 1875-1876, Letter B
9 1-5 1875-1876, Letter B
9 6-10 1875-1876, Letter C
10 1-5 1875-1876, Letter C
10 6-9 1875-1876, Letter D
10 10-11 1875-1876, Letter E
11 1-5 1875-1876, Letter F
11 6-12 1875-1876, Letter G
12 1-8 1875-1876, Letter H
12 9 1875-1876, Letter I
12 10-12 1875-1876, Letter J
13 1-2 1875-1876, Letter K
13 3-7 1875-1876, Letter L
13 8-14 1875-1876, Letter M
14 1-2 1875-1876, Letter N
14 3 1875-1876, Letter O
14 4-7 1875-1876, Letter P
14 8 1875-1876, Letter Q
14 9-12 1875-1876, Letter R
15 1-6 1875-1876, Letter S
15 7-8 1875-1876, Letter T
15 9-10 1875-1876, Letters U & V
16 1-5 1875-1876, Letter W
16 6 1875-1876, Letters Y & Z
16 7-10 1876-1877, Letter B
16 11-12 1876-1877, Letter K
17 1-3 1877-1878, Letter A
17 4-9 1877-1878, Letter B
17 10-13 1877-1878, Letter C
18 1-2 1877-1878, Letter D
18 3 1877-1878, Letter E
18 4-8 1877-1878, Letter F
18 9-11 1877-1878, Letter G
19 1-7 1877-1878, Letter H
19 8 1877-1878, Letter I
19 9-10 1877-1878, Letter J
19 11-2 1877-1878, Letter K
20 1-4 1877-1878, Letter L
20 5-12 1877-1878, Letter M
21 1 1877-1878, Letter N
21 2 1877-1878, Letter O
21 3-4 1877-1878, Letter P
21 5-7 1877-1878, Letter R
21 8-14 1877-1878, Letter S
22 1-2 1877-1878, Letter T
22 3 1877-1878, Letters U & V
22 4-7 1877-1878, Letter W
22 8 1877-1878, Letters Y & Z
22 9-11 1878-1879, Letter A
22 12-13 1878-1879, Letter B
23 1-4 1878-1879, Letter B
23 5-12 1878-1879, Letter C
24 1-5 1878-1879, Letter D
24 6-8 1878-1879, Letter E
24 9-12 1878-1879, Letter F
25 1-2 1878-1879, Letter F
25 3-5 1878-1879, Letter G
25 6-12 1878-1879, Letter H
26 1-3 1878-1879, Letters I & J
26 4-7 1878-1879, Letter K
26 8-11 1878-1879, Letter L
27 1-8 1878-1879, Letter M
27 9-11 1878-1879, Letter N
27 12 1878-1879, Letter O
28 1-5 1878-1879, Letter P
28 6 1878-1879, Letter Q
28 7-11 1878-1879, Letter R
29 1-7 1878-1879, Letter S
29 8-11 1878-1879, Letter T
30 1-4 1878-1879, Letter W
30 5 1878-1879, Letters X, Y & Z
30 6-10 1879-1880, Letter B
30 11-13 1879-1880, Letter C
31 1-6 1879-1880, Letter C
31 7-8 1879-1880, Letter E
31 9-12 1879-1880, Letter F
32 1 1879-1880, Letter F
32 2-5 1879-1880, Letter G
32 6-15 1879-1880, Letter H
33 1-3 1879-1880, Letter J
33 4-6 1879-1880, Letter K
33 7-10 1879-1880, Letter L
33 11-12 1879-1880, Letter M
34 1-7 1879-1880, Letter M
34 8-9 1879-1880, Letter O
34 10 1879-1880, Letter Q
34 11-13 1879-1880, Letter R
35 1-2 1879-1880, Letter R
35 3-12 1879-1880, Letter S
36 1-6 1879-1880, Letter W
36 7-12 1881-1882, Letter B
37 1-3 1881-1882, Letter B
37 4 1881-1882, Letter G
37 5 1881-1882, Letter T
37 6-8 1881-1882, Letter W
37 9-11 1884-1886, Letter L
38 1-4 1884-1886, Letter M
38 5-10 1884-1886, Letter P
38 11-14 1884-1886, MISC.
39 1 1887
39 2-8 1888-1889, Letter C
39 9 1888-1889, Letter M
39 10-13 1891-1892, Letter C
39 14 1891-1892. Letter L
40 1-2 1891-1892, Letter C
40 3 1891-1892, Letter G
40 4 1891-1892, Letter H
40 5-13 1891-1892, Letter M
40 14 1891-1892, Letter Q
40 15 1891-1892, MISC.
41 1 1892-1893, Letter B
41 2 1892-1893, Letter C
41 3 1892-1893, Letter D
41 4 1892-1893, Letter E
41 5 1892-1893, Letter G
41 6 1892-1893, Letter H
41 7 1892-1893, Letter K
41 8 1892-1893, Letter L
41 9 1892-1893, Letter M
41 10 1892-1893, Letter N
41 11 1892-1893, Letter P
41 12 1892-1893, Letter Q
41 13 1892-1893, Letter R
41 14 1892-1893, Letter S
41 15 1892-1893, Letter T
41 16 1892-1893, Letter W
41 17-19 1894, Letter L
41 20 1894, Letter Q
41 21 1894, Letter R
41 22 1894, Letter S
41 23 1894, MISC.
41 24-25 1900-1901, Letter O
41 26-29 1900-1901, Letter S
42 1 1900-1901, Letter C
42 2-4 1900-1901, Letter S
42 5 1900-1901, Letter T
42 6 1900-1901, Letter U
42 7-9 1900-1901, Letter V
42 10 1903
42 11 1904
42 12 1905
42 13 1906
42 14 1907
43 1-2 1908
43 3-9 1909
43 10-16 1910
44 1-2 1910
44 3-9 1911
44 10-14 1912
44 15 1913
44 16 1914
44 17 1917
44 18 1918
44 19 1920
44 20 1921
44 21 1922
44 22 1926
44 23 1927
44 24 1943
44 25 1945
44 26 UNDATED
    Series II: Personal Correspondence, Andrew Meneely, 1801-1851 (Box 44, Folder 27)
44 27 All personal correspondence within this folder.
    Series III: Legal Papers, 1825-1888 (Box 45)
45 1-6 Miscellaneous Legal Papers, 1834-1888
45 7 Deeds, Mortgages, 1825-1835
45 8 Deeds, Mortgages, 1836
45 9-10 Deeds. Mortgages, 1836-1837
45 11 Deeds, Mortgages, 1838-1841
45 12 Deeds, Mortgages, 1842-1844
45 13-14 Deeds, Mortgages, 1846-1847
45 15 Bonds of Indebtedness, 1825-1878
45 16-17 Patent and Copyright Papers, 1857-1874
    Series IV: Bills, Receipts of Payment, and Shipping Receipts, 1857-1905 (Boxes 46-52)
46 1-2 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1857-1863
46 3 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1859-1879
46 4-5 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1863-1864
46 6-8 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1864-1865
46 9-17 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1880
47 1 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1880
47 2-4 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1880-1882
47 5-13 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1881
47 14-16 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1882
48 1-12 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1882
48 13-16 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1883
49 1-4 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1883
49 5-7 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1883-1885
49 8-12 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1884
49 13 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1885
50 1-5 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1886
50 6-8 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1887-1888
50 9-13 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1888
50 14-15 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1889
51 1-11 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1890
51 12-16 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1891
52 1-5 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1891
52 6-9 Bills and Receipts of Payment, 1894
52 10-19 Shipping Receipts, 1905
    Series V: Canceled Checks and Check Registers, 1852-1906 (Boxes 53-54)
53 1 Checks, September-December 1852 - September-December 1854
53 2 Checks, January-April 1855
53 3 Checks, May-June 1855
53 4-5 Checks, August-November 1855
53 6-7 Checks, January-March 1856
53 8 Checks, April-July 1856
53 9-11 Checks, August-December 1856
53 12-13 Checks, January-September 1857
54 1-2 Checks, December 1857-May 1858
54 3-4 Checks, June-November 1858
54 5 Checks, February 1862-September 1863
54 6-7 Checks, October 1863-March 1872
54 8 Checks, April 1887-June 1903
54 9-10 Checks, July 1903-July 1906
54 11 Check Registers, January 1855-August 1856
    Series VI: Bookkeeping Records, 1833-1942 (Boxes 55-63)
55   Journals, 1845-1847
55   Journals, 1847-1849
56   Journal, 1849-1854 (Also available on microfilm: MB/FM 681.86884 M541 207-1668 RL 1)
57   Journal, 1854-1857 (Also available on microfilm: MB/FM 681.86884 M541 207-1668 RL 1)
58   Journal, 1884-1898
59   Ledger, 1849-1854 (Also available on microfilm: MB/FM 681.86884 M541 207-1668 RL 2)
60   Ledger, 1854-1857 (Also available on microfilm (MB/FM 681.86884 M541 207-1668 RL 3)
61   Ledger, 1857
61   Ledger, 1857-1860
61   Day Book, 1857
62   Ledgers, 1925-1942
62   Advertising Book, 1877-1890
63 1 Statement of Sales, 1850-1857, 1865, 1866, 1868, 1869
63 2-3 Trial Balances, 1877-1882
63 4-5 Trial Balances, 1883-1886
63 6-7 Trial Balances, 1936-1938
63 8-9 Promissory Notes, 1833-1849
63 10-12 Promissory Notes, 1850-1906
63 13 Reports, 1898
63 14 Cashbook, 1879-1882
    Series VII: Copybooks, 1911-1919, 1928, 1931 (Boxes 64-65)
64   Copybooks, 1911-1919
65   Copybooks, 1928, 1931
    Series VIII: Hemisphere Bell
65   Ledger (No informational content)
    Series IX: Sizes of Frames and Wheels and Minutes of Meetings, 1918-1939 (Box 65)
65   Bound Volume, 1918-1939
    Series X: Catalogs (Boxes 66-67)
66 1-6 Catalogs
67 1-3 Catalogs
    Series XI: Chime Music (Box 67)
67 4-7 Chime Music
    Series XII: Programs (Box 68)
68 1-6 Programs
    Series XIII: Photos and Pictures (Box 68)
68 7-9 Photos and Pictures
    Series XIV: Miscellaneous Printed Materials (Box 69)
69 1-7 Miscellaneous Printed Materials
    Series XV: Miscellaneous Business Records (Box 69)
69 8 Blueprints
69 9 Mason’s and Carpenter’s Specificatoins
69 10-14 Metal Market Reports (Newspaper Clippings)
69 15-16 Miscellaneous Papers
Last Updated: March 5, 2014