Held at: Conshohocken Historical Society [Contact Us]120 E. 5th Avenue, Conshohocken, PA, 19428
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Conshohocken Historical Society. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
J. Ellwood Lee opened his first factory in Conshohocken, Pennsylvania in 1887. His company, JELCO, produced medical supplies, and had 600 employees at the beginning of the 20th century--rendering it the largest individual employer in Conshohocken at the time. Lee's industrial complex continued to grow.
Lee foresaw the popularity of automobiles, and recognized a potential in the rubber tire market. In 1905 he merged his medical supply operations with Johnson & Johnson, and while his plant in Conshohocken continued to produce medical supplies until 1909, Lee began experimenting with rubber production. In 1912, the Lee Tire and Rubber Company factory opened. J. Elwood Lee died soon after in 1914, but his company flourished and "Lee of Conshohocken" tires became a household name.
By 1962, the success of Lee of Conshohocken began to decline. A New York firm took over majority of Lee stocks, and changed its name to Lee National Corporation. Soon after, the corporation was sold to Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in 1965. They restored the original name of Lee Tire and Rubber Company, but the company's equipment was outdated and its days were numbered. Lee of Conshohocken went out of business in 1980.
Welsh, Phillip and Sharon. Conshohocken in Vintage Postcards. Charleston, S.C.: Arcadia, 2002. p. 56-57.
This collection includes records of J. Ellwood Lee's medical supply company, Lee Rubber & Tire Company, and some subsidiaries. Most of the records relate to finances, but there is a subsidiary's minute book and a small amount of administrative/legal materials as well.
From the time of J. Elwood Lee's medical supply company, this collection contains a debtor inventory (1890), three time books (1894-1896, 1888-1890, and 1900-1902) and a sales ledger (1905).
From Lee Rubber & Tire Company, this collection includes a private ledger and monthly statement (1911-1913), treasurer's record book (1912-1921), materials relative to the incorporation of Lee Tire Sales Company (1914), and a cash book (1934-1937).
From subsidiaries of Lee Rubber & Tire Corporation, this collection includes minutes of Republic Rubber Corporation of Ohio (1917-1922) and by-laws of Lee Tire & Rubber Company of New York, Inc. (1923-1928).
Gift of Kelly-Springfield Tire Company (the last owners of the Lee Tire name), circa 1987.
Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2011-2012 as part of a pilot project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.
In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Conshohocken Historical Society directly for more information.
- Conshohocken Historical Society
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Michael Gubicza through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
- This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
- Access Restrictions
Contact Conshohocken Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.