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Finding Aid for the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company Legal Records, 1906-1936 (bulk 1918-1934)

Mss. C76-1

Buffalo History Museum. Research Library


1 Museum Court
Buffalo, NY 14216
Phone: 716-873-9644 ext. 306
Fax: 716-873-8754
Email: library@buffalohistory.org
URI: http://www.buffalohistory.org

Finding aid prepared by Buffalo History Museum staff.
Finding aid encoded in EAD by Kuniko Simon, March 2008.
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid prepared using local best practices.

Funding for the initial encoding was provided through the Regional Bibliographic Databases Program administered by the Western New York Library Resources Council.

Please use the following URL when citing this document:
http://purl.org/net/findingaids/view?docId=ead/bechs/bechs_c76_1.xml

© 2010. Buffalo History Museum. All rights reserved.


Collection Overview

Title: Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company Legal Records, 1906-1936 (bulk 1918-1934)
Creator: Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company
Extent: 24 boxes (12 linear feet)
Language of Material: Collection material in English.
Repository: Buffalo History Museum.Research Library
Abstract: The records of Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company consist of the company's legal papers between 1906 and 1936.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

[Description and dates], Box/folder number, Mss. C76-1, Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company Legal Records, 1906-1936 (bulk 1918-1934), Research Library, Buffalo History Museum.

Acquisition Information

The majority of these records were maintained by Dudley, Stowe and Sawyer, the Buffalo law firm employed by the company and the donor of the collection.

Boxes (Nos. 23 & 24) were donated by Mr. William B. H. Sawyer in June of 1977, and are additions to the existing Collection. They concern the Creditors Committee - Davidson, Wurster, and Fisher. The papers are legal documents, correspondence concerning claims against the Company and a suit brought against the United-States by the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company.

Terms of Access

Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, 1906-1936 (bulk 1918-1934), are open for research.

Copyright

Copyright of papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns. Researchers must obtain the written permission of the holder(s) of copyright and the Buffalo History Museum before publishing quotations from materials in the collection.

Processing Information

Collection reprocessed and retroconverted by Peter Nelson, 28 April 1992.

Accruals and Additions

No further accruals are expected to this collection.


Historical Note

The company from which the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company developed was organized in Buffalo in 1870. It changed its name to the George N. Pierce Company in 1896, and then again in 1909 to become the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company. For several decades the company manufactured high quality luxury automobiles.

In August 1928 the controlling stock of the company was sold to the Studebaker Corporation, and many of the Pierce-Arrow executives were replaced by employees of Studebaker.

In November 1932, the Company sold its truck business to the White Motor Company, a Studebaker subsidiary. From that date forward Pierce-Arrow manufactured passenger automobiles exclusively.

In August 1933, a syndicate composed of certain investment banking firms and individuals from Buffalo, New York City and Boston purchased Pierce-Arrow stock from the Studebaker Corporation, including a $2,000,000 note owed by Pierce-Arrow for advances. Subsequently the capital structure was reorganized, providing for the exchange of the $2,000,000 note for Common Stock. However, this reorganization did not provide adequate working capital, and the Company had to borrow funds for this purpose.

During the first half of 1934, the Company's working capital was depleted by losses resulting chiefly from a tool and die maker's strike which made it impossible for the Company to complete its 1934 models until after the peak selling season had passed. Working capital was also depleted as a result of the disruption of the Company's selling organization brought about by the dissolution of corporate relations with Studebaker, and also by a generally unfavorable public reception of Pierce-Arrow's new lower-priced model.

On August 18, 1934, Pierce-Arrow filed a petition in Bankruptcy Court under Section 77-B of the Bankruptcy Act. Under these provisions the company continued to operate by the same management without the appointment of trustees. It continued to produce a limited number of automobiles under the bankruptcy provisions until 1937.

During the late months of 1937, Pierce-Arrow's creditors began to lose faith in the company's viability. On May 12, 1938 at 11:36 a.m., Pierce-Arrow's buildings and machinery were sold to William Emblidge.


Scope and Content Note

This collection documents the legal activities of Pierce-Arrow Motor Company Legal Records such as correspondence; minutes; organization papers; contracts; legal documents concerning lawsuits regarding trademarks, compensation claims, and patents; and other legal records kept by Buffalo law firm of Dudley, Stowe and Sawyer.



Container List

Box-folder Contents
1.1-2.8 Financial materials
Box-folder Contents
3.1-4.2 Foreign materials
Box-folder Contents
4.3-5.8 Trademark, etc. materials
Box-folder Contents
5.9-7.5 Tax materials
Box-folder Contents
8.1-9.7 Contract materials
Box-folder Contents
10.1-11.13 Corporate materials
Box-folder Contents
12.1-12.11 Corporate materials
Box-folder Contents
13.1-13.11 Corporate materials
Box-folder Contents
13.12-16.3 Corporate materials

(See also XIII)

Box-folder Contents
16.4-21.7 Legal materials

(See also XIV)

Box-folder Contents
21.8-21.11 Properties
Box-folder Contents
22.1-22.11 Miscellaneous materials
Box-folder Contents
23.1 Correspondence, claims, and a Plan of Reorganization filed September 24, 1934 - December 28, 1934
23.2 Correspondence and claims January 4, 1935 - March 12, 1935
23.3 Correspondence and claims February l, 1935 - July 13, 1935
23.4 In the District Court of the United States for the Western District of New York, December 20, 1934

In the Matter of the Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, Debtor. Proceedings for the reorganization of a corporation, no. 22145, rudder section 77-B of the Bankruptcy Law.

23.5 In the District Court of the United States for the Western District of New York, March 25, 1934-December 12, 1934.

In the Hatter of the Pierce-Arrow. Motor Car Company, Debtor. No. 22145. First report of Edward R. Bosley, Special Master, second report of Edward R. Bosley, Special Master, and Third and final report of Edward R. Bosley, Special Master.

23.6 Court Proceedings, August 18, 1934 - November 8, 1934
23.7 Court Proceedings, November 8, 1934 - January 12, 1935
24.1 Court Proceedings, January 15, 1935 - March 18, 1935
24.2 Claims Correspondence, October 3, 1934 - October 31, 1934
24.3 Claims Correspondence, November l, 1934 - January 30, 1935
24 In the Court of Claims of the United States The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company (plaintiff) -versus United States of America (defendant) Petition

Located between folders 3 and 4.

Box-folder Contents
24.4 Court of Claims of the United States, No. B-4223336 (decided Nov. 5, 1923), The Pierce- Arrow-Motor Car Company versus The United States. 8 pp. November 5, 1923
24.4 Court of Claims of the United States, No. B-422; The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, Plaintiff, versus The United States of America, Defendant. Evidence for the Plaintiff. pp.301-390
24.4 In the Court of Claims of the United States, No. B-422; The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, Plaintiff, versus The United States of America, Defendant. Evidence. pp. 391- 401.
24.4 In the Court of Claims of the United States, No. B-422; The Pierce-Arrow -Motor Car Company, Plaintiff, versus The United States of America, Defendant. pp. 403 - 443.
24.4 In the Court of Claims of the United States, No. B-422; The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company, Plaintiff, versus The United States of America, Defendant. Evidence. Page 444.
24.4 In the Court of the United States, The Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company versus The United States, No. B-422; Plaintiff's Reply Brief. Page 461.
24.4 Pierce-Arrow against the United States, B-422; Copy of Plaintiff's Exhibits 26-C, 26-D, 26-E, 26-F, 26-G and 29. 9 pp.
24.5 3336: Correspondence concerning the law suit against the United States September16, 1921 - February 28, 1923
24.6 3336: Correspondence concerning the law suit against the United States March l, 1923 - May 6, 1924

Search Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the Library's online catalog.

Contributors

Buffalo History Museum
Dudley, Stowe & Sawyer

Subject Terms

Automobile industry and trade--New York (State)--Buffalo
Pierce-Arrow Motor Car Company--Archives
Studebaker Corporation

Genre Terms

Stock certificates