Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society
25 Nottingham Court
Buffalo, NY 14216-3199
19.5 linear feet
Incorporation papers, minutes, ledgers, formula books for Larkin products, financial and sales records, stock certificate books, supplier records, books of original coupons and labels, mail order catalogs, company histories, correspondence with subsidiaries and branch divisions, plans and correspondence concerning Larkin buildings (including the Larkin Administration Building by Frank Lloyd Wright), patent and trademark records, personnel materials, and Larkin family estate records. Correspondents include Elbert Hubbard, John Larkin, Sr., Harry Larkin, Jr. and Darwin D. Martin. Soap company started in Buffalo in 1875 by John D. Larkin. Elbert Hubbard was the first salesman, and in 1878 he became a partner. The company introduced many unprecedented but now commonplace commercial ideas; also innovative in instituting modern personnel management policies. When John D. Larkin died in 1926, his son John, Jr. took over the company's direction. Gradually, sales began to fall off and the qualitiy of the goods available through premiums was called into question. The majority of the business was sold in 1942, with a nominal mail order business persisting until 1962; the Larkin Warehouse business was liquidated in 1967.