Amalgamated Leather Companies, Inc.
Hagley Museum & Library
Manuscripts & Archives Department
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
90.6 linear ft.
The New York firm of F. Blumenthal & Co., founded in 1875, was the American agency for Anciens établissements Blumenthal of Paris and Frankfurt-on-Main (dating from 1716), a noted manufacturer of fine kid leathers. In 1890 the Blumenthal firm was established in Wilmington and incorporated in 1909, with Ferdinand Blumenthal (d. 1914) as president and Julien Stevens Ulman (d. 1920) as vice president and treasurer. William C. Blatz (1881- ) and John Blatz (1876- ) were members of the firm by 1916, and the latter became president in 1920. Their father had founded the F.J. Blatz & Brother Co. at Elizabeth, N.J., makers of kid leather. On November 17, 1919 the firm was reincorporated at Wilmington as the Amalgamated Leather Companies, Inc., having taken over the business of F. Blumenthal & Co. in the manufacture of black and colored glazed kid and other classes of leather used largely in the manufacture of shoes. The new incorporation reflected the severing of connections with the European parent because of World War I and the increasing influence of the Blatz family. By 1920 the Wilmington plant's production exceeded a million goat skins a month in an extensive operation including tanneries, warehouses, extracting plants, wharves, and railway sidings. Kid and reptile leathers were imported chiefly from Africa and India. Shoe factories were the primary customers. Controlled subsidiaries were: F. Blumenthal & Co. of Delaware (exports); Febeco Leather Corp. (heavy leather); Qualitas Specialty Corp., formerly Qualitas Patent Leather Co.; Clio Kid Corp. (cabretta and sheep skin leather); Amalgamated Leather Co. of Massachusetts (New England sales); Amalgamated Leather Co. of Canada (for sales there); Delton Manufacturing Co. (shoe dressings); Transoceans Products Corp. (purchase of raw materials); Fashion Publicity Co. (advertising); Wilmington Warehousing Co. (storage); Amalgamated Leather Export Corp.; Leather Trading Corp.; and Blumenthal Import Corp. Manufacturing ceased in 1966 and Amalgamated Leather Companies, Inc., was dissolved in 1967. The records of the Amalgamated Leather Companies are arranged in three accessions according to donor. The largest came directly from the company, and the other two are company records received from members of the Blatz family. Administrative records of F. Blumenthal & Co. include: minute book (1910-1919), financial papers, plant appraisals, foreign accounts and manufacturing ledgers. Amalgamated Leather Companies, Inc. records include: corporate minutes (1919-1959); stock transfer books and stockholder lists (1931-1962); account books (1901-1965); plant appraisals; inventories (1921-1961); legal documents, inluding briefs of title, deeds, mortgages, maps, and tax records; cost figures (1920-1958); production and sales analysis (1940-1967); customer memos and correspondence; retirement and profit-sharing trust records; correspondence with foreign dealers and bankers; and reports and newsletters of the Tanners Council of America. Also included are records of the company's subsidiaries, including the Amalgamated Leather Export Corporation, the Amalgamated Leather Company of Canada, the Amalgamated Leather Company of Massachusetts, the Blumenthal Import Corporation, the Leather Trading Corporation, the Qualitas Specialty Corporation, the Surpass Leather Company, and the Wilmington Warehousing Company. Miscellaneous papers from the files of William C. Blatz, Jr., (Accession 979) include administrative papers, copies of minutes, business and personal correspondence, financial statements, sales correspondence and literature, and a history of the company prepared by Blatz. There are also records on production, technical data, including tanning formulae, lists of keys to formulae and procedures in the industry, and government reports on manufacturing and tanning in Germany during World War II. There are records on employee and management relations, a wage list (1903), piece-work rates (1950-61), and the records of a course taken by Blatz in time-and-motion studies. Miscellaneous papers of Peter A. Blatz (Accession 983) include cost estimates, formulae and procedures for tanning and dyeing, laboratory reports, manufacturing reports (1938-44, 7 v.), American and foreign tanning patents, and sample books containing swatches of kid and suede.