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Palmer Brothers Collection Edit


Finding Aid Author
Leslie Albamonte
Finding Aid Date
April 6, 2021
Description Rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of Description
Edition Statement
Edited by Ashley Aberg, April 18, 2023
Series Statement
This collection includes 4 series. 1. Legal Records (Patents, Deeds/Contracts) 2. Genealogical Records 3. Business Records (Catalogs, Price Lists, Publicity) 4. Photographs
Finding Aid Note
Part of the Manuscript Collections, Greenwich Historical Society Contact: Christopher Shields, Curator of Library and Archives 47 Strickland Road Cos Cob, CT 06807 United Stated


  • 1848-1987 (Creation)


  • 1.5 Linear Feet (Whole)
    3 legal size document boxes. 1 half-width letter size document box.

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  • Scope and Contents

    The Palmer Brothers Collection consists of Legal Records, Genealogical Records, Business Records and Photographs.

    Legal Records make up the bulk of the collection and include many Deeds/Contracts of Frank T. Palmer dating from 1848-1954. Of note is a deed to Conde Nast Publication for a triangular plot of land on Wendle Place that was leased at $1 a year for 10 years, to be used for ornamental purposes only. In addition, the original patent for Frank Palmer’s Portable Wood-Sawing Machine from 1903 is included.

    Genealogical Records include only one file with a letter from Elizabeth Thomas Wallis Schutt detailing family history, and also has a separate, incomplete family tree.

    The Business Records series has product catalogs, both original and reproductions, from 1892-1940, a price list as recent as 1961, and two magazine articles from the late 1970’s and early 1990’s detailing the history of the organization and factory.

    Many original photographs, spanning from 1908-1950, show the products, machinery, factory (inside and out), laborers, products, and others.

  • Condition Description

    Some early photographs in bad condition. Some copies of catalogs are faded.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Identification of Item], The Palmer Brothers Collection, Greenwich Historical Society

  • Processing Information

    Processed by Leslie Albamonte, April 2021

  • Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

    This collection consists mostly of paper documents, which do not require any additional technology for access, as well as a large number of photographs.

  • Administrative History

    The Palmer Brothers Engine Company was located in Cos Cob, CT. From 1887 to 1987 motorboat engines were manufactured there. The first successful marine engines built in New England were built by Palmer Bros. Palmer Engines embodied the same superior qualities upon which their reputation was founded. They could be operated on Gasoline or Kerosene and are designed to give their rated horsepower at normal revolutions.

    Palmer Engines are manufactured in three types – two cycle signle and double cylinder type, four cycle medium duty type and one heavy duty type. Palmer Engines are highly satisfactory for pleasure and commercial use.

    In 1901 there were about 150 Palmer engines in motorboats plying the Sound within a 100 mile radius of New Rochelle, New York. Palmer Bros. then grew into the greatest of all the old time marine engine manufacturers.

    The successor company, The Palmer Engine Company, finally closed its doors in 1972.

  • General

    Associated accession numbers: A.1989.008, A.1990.071, A.1992.007, A.1992.010, A.1992,063, A.1996.022, A.1997.004, A.1999.034, A.2002.011, A.2003.016