Document Collection

Finding Aid for the Fritz Lumber Collection

Fritz Lumber, on the north side of Lancaster Avenue in Berwyn, operated from 1860 to 2016. The business was started in 1860 by Henry Fritz and William Lobb. In more recent times the business was owned and operated by Bill Fritz III and his son Howard. After the property was vacated, various manuscripts, photographs, clippings and printed matter were collected and donated to the TEHS by Eadeh Enterprises.

Folder 1: Manuscripts

Invoices; bills; an 1891 deed; a photocopy of an 1894 “Agreement for a Private Siding;” a 1905 cancelled check (16 items). Also, miscellaneous correspondence from 1936 to 1999 (16 items).

Folder 2: Photographs

Three 35mm slides showing the Fritz buildings

14 color snapshots of the property and an antique coal truck loader

6 Polaroids of a shed damaged by fire.

3 men behind the counter, modern inscription on verso: “office staff, ca. 1930”

Photograph of Harry & Bessie Fritz, inscribed on verso “April 13, 1920 /My dad’s grandpop Brother [sic] / call ‘henry’ ”

11 photographs of various persons

Cigar store, inscribed on verso: “Bob Makin’s cigar store ….”

Photograph of a car inscribed “A brand new Dodge Coupe for Howard Fritz. Snapped in the Alleghenies en route from Detroit, 1920.”

Photocopy from an unidentified book, showing large iron gates made for Fritz Lumber, ca. 1900 [?]

American Non-Gran Bronze building (8 x 10”, faded)

Oversize photographs of loggers and logging operations in an unidentified forest area (includes two smaller photocopies showing a logging train crossing a trestle and moving through a forest, ca. 1900? Several carry the inscription “Darius Kinsey/ Seattle WA.” Due to their size (11 x 14”) these images are stored in the flat file.

Folder 3: Printed Matter

Trade cards, advertisements, a business card, a note pad (8 items). Twelve newspaper clippings were found and added to the existing file of clippings, in the general Biographical Files.

Bound financial ledgers:

Scores of financial ledgers were found on the property when it was being cleared. There were far too many to save, and thus the three stored with the TEHS archives are taken as a representative sample. Two very large ledgers (about size?) cover the dates 1886 to 1943, and a third dates to the twentieth century.

Fritz ledger No. 1: May 1, 1886 – Nov. 8, 1889 (976 pages, 16 x 12”, with A to Z name index at the front)

Fritz ledger No. 2: Aug. 17, 1910 – Dec. 31, 1943 (720 pages, 18 x 16”)

Fritz ledger No. 3: 1925 to the late 1940s (13 x 10”)

Entries in these ledgers appear to encompass accounts receivable, accounts payable, and general accounts.

Artifacts: Stored with the other TEHS artifacts.

Pencils, pens, carpenter’s apron, and a printed label from a box of screws.

References: TEHS History Quarterly, “In Memoriam: William H. Fritz III,” Vol. 54 #2, Spring 2018, p. 35, and Fritz’s Lumber Yard, Vol. 32 #2, April 1994, pp. 67-74