Three important store inventory ledgers (1891, 1893, 1894) from the Alaska Treadwell Gold Mine Company's store in Douglas, Alaska. They came from the California branch of the Corbus family, as there is a letter in one of the ledgers from a Corbus in California to Mrs. J.P. Corbus in Douglas, Alaska, c/o A.T.G.M.Co. The Corbus family were early Treadwell people. Andrew Taylor Corbus was secretary-treasurer of the Alaska Treadwell Gold Mine Co. from 1890-1905. Notes on the Corbus family in the State Library indicate that Andrew's son, John Parker Corbus, moved to California soon after 1900 but was still principal stockholder and president of Alaska Electric Light & Power Co. until his death in 1933.
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The ledgers are unique, and unusual in that they aren't sales ledgers (which are rare enough) but are inventory ledgers of the Treadwell store, which I believe was the largest store in Alaska for the whole nineteenth century. I doubt that there was a larger store in Alaska even including the Klondike years. And to be able to know what was in the Treadwell store for the years of 1891, 1893 and 1894, will be of immense interest to scholars for centuries to come. I have handled a lot of rare Alaska material over the years, and have seen ledgers for various stores around the United States, but I have never come across an early inventory ledger for an Alaska store. I have seen hundreds of sales ledgers for lower 48 stores, but never an inventory ledger.
The first ledger states 'Inventory Apl 30,1891, May 5, '91 Noon Finished' and contains about 4000 entries over 98 pages.
The second ledger states 'Inventory of Merchandise on hand at ATGMCo's store Douglas Island Alaska May 1893. Commenced listing May 3, '93 Finished listing May 8th '93 10am. Commenced extensions May 13 8am. Finished extensions.' The 1893 ledger contains about 5000 entries across 111 pages.
The third ledger states 'Inventory--Mdse on hand at A.T.G.M.Co's. Douglas Island Store, May 15, 1894. Commenced May 8th 8am. Finished May 13th 6pm.' It lists about 4780 entries on 104 pages. Of course each entry is composed of various units, dozens or grosses.
These 13,000 to 14,000 entries comprise a staggering array of nineteenth century merchandise, from dynamite fuse and grenades, to shovels and nails, and from boys shirts to lace, yard goods, food and dolls, baseball bats and sole leather. These ledgers offer an unique and complete window into nineteenth century life in Alaska. Someone studying baseball can see how many balls, bats and gloves were stocked, indicating the importance of the sport to the community. All aspects of nineteenth century Alaska business and culture are here. They deserve full indexing and dissertation treatment.
I have included a scan of an ad for the ATGMCo. store from the Alaska News, Dec 7, 1893. The Case & Draper photo is not included.
The ledgers are about 3/8 to 1/2 inch thick each, and measure 6 inches wide X 14 3/4 inches tall.
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