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Hardware Scrapbook

Identifier: SC MS 0256

Scope and Contents

The “scrapbook” measures 30.5 x 23 x 5.5 cm. The binding is a tan cloth in very poor condition as the cover board is fully separated from the spine which is in poor condition too. The pages are glossy paper with many illustrations in the Eastlake and Art Nouveau decorative style of door locks, lock trimmings and hinges manufactured by the Reading Hardware Company, Reading, Pennsylvania. As a frontispiece, there is an engraving of the Reading Hardware Company’s factories at Reading, Pa. The hardware catalogue was apparently out of date at the time the newspaper articles were beginning to be pasted on top of the pages by a Lehigh employee interested in economy and recycling. About half of the 671 pages are used for the newspaper articles which are in most cases extremely brittle and fragile.


  • Creation: 1897 - 1912
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1907 - 1912

Conditions Governing Access

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection is open for research.

Please inquire about copyright information.

Biographical / Historical

All the newspaper articles in this scrapbook collection appear to refer to Lehigh University activities. The newspaper articles were collected in part by the Henry Romeike agency, a well-known newspaper clipping bureau, started in 1881 in London and then in 1885 opened also in New York City. Henry Romeike (1855-1903) is credited with establishing the first newspaper clipping service. In its day, such a clipping service was considered an important commercial service for gauging success. The person at Lehigh University responsible for collecting newspaper clippings referring to Lehigh was an economical minded individual in using an out of date Reading Hardware Co. catalogue (1897) as the scrapbook. Some of the Eastlake and Art Nouveau hardware featured on the pages in the catalogue still remain on display in some of Lehigh’s historic buildings. The newspaper articles are mostly dated from about 1907 to 1912. Among the many articles featured in the scrapbook are the 1911 dedication of the Asa Packer plaque in Packer Church; Lehigh’s cooperation with the University of Liverpool, England in bestowing an honorary Master degree in 1908 to Lehigh alumnus Horace Field Parshall; President Drinker’s interest in forestry; Mary Packer Cummings’ death in 1912; Charles M. Schwab’s address to Lehigh alumni; John Fritz’s work in armor plate and Professor Mansfield Merriman’s departure from Lehigh. The greatest number of articles appears to be those regarding Mr. Parshall (1865-1932) who was chairman of the Central London Tube Railway. Mr. Parshall graduated Lehigh from Lehigh in 1887 with an electrical engineering degree. He was a world renowned engineer of electric generators and electric railway engineering. Lehigh’s president Henry S. Drinker, wanting to confer the honorary degree regardless of the fact that Mr. Parshall was too busy to travel from London to Lehigh to accept it, arranged with the University of Liverpool to confer the degree on behalf of Lehigh. Liverpool was considered a sister institution.


2 boxes

2 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



There is a two-fold interest in this item. The actual hardware illustrated within the catalogue that was utilized as a scrapbook for some Lehigh University newspaper articles appearing in many newspapers between 1907 to 1912. The hardware illustrated in the book is now of considerable interest to antique restoration. Much of the hardware reflects the Eastlake and Art Nouveau architectural styles. The newspaper articles feature many interesting features of Lehigh’s history.


Arranged haphazardly according to year of newspaper articles. Loosely arranged from 1908 to 1912 with some 1907 articles appearing at the end or just tucked in among the pages already used for pasted down articles.

Hardware Scrapbook
Ilhan Citak and Eleanor Nothelfer
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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  • Associated Title: Reading Hardware Company’s Illustrated Catalogue of Locks and Hardware, 1897 edition, 671 p.

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)