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Lewis & Valentine company records

Object Details

sova.aag.lvc
GUID
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kb6b87d85b6-90fe-4657-96f1-2b4c381715e0
Creator
Lewis & Valentine Company
Donor
Lewis, Hewlett Withington
Names
Lewis & Valentine Company
Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, Pa.)
Rodin Museum (Philadelphia, Pa.)
Owner
Auchincloss, Hugh D.
Du Pont, Eugene
Kahn, Otto Hermann, 1867-1934
Names
Lewis, Harold Carman
Owner
Schwab, Charles M., 1862-1939
Stotesbury, Edward Townsend, 1849-1938
Woolworth, F. W.
du Pont, Pierre S.
Place
New York (State) -- Greenvale
New York (State) -- Roslyn
Topic
Nurseries (Horticulture) -- United States
Gardens -- New York (State)
Tree moving
Landscape gardening -- New York (State)
Provenance
Gift from Hewlett Withington Lewis, former owner of Lewis & Valentine Nurseries.
Creator
Lewis & Valentine Company
Donor
Lewis, Hewlett Withington
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Lewis & Valentine company records
Summary
The Lewis & Valentine Company Collection contains records of the Lewis & Valentine Company dating from 1916 to 1971 including photographs, negatives, brochures, books, trade catalogs, company papers, letters from clients, customer lists and a history of the company written by Harold Carman Lewis. Photographs document the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia, estates in Long Island, New York, and the properties of Hugh D. Auchincloss, Eugene du Pont, Walter P. Chrysler, Otto H. Kahn, F. W. Woolworth, Pierre S. du Pont (Longwood Gardens), Charles M. Schwab and Edward T. Stotesbury. This collection contains only a sampling of the records of Lewis & Valentine and should not be considered comprehensive.
Biographical/Historical note
Specializing in moving and replanting large trees, Lewis & Valentine was one of the most prominent landscape contracting companies in the eastern United States during the first half of the twentieth century. The Lewis & Valentine Company was formed by five brothers whose father had hoped that his sons would grow up to be lawyers. Instead, the Lewis brothers formed a landscape design, installation and nursery firm that specialized in developing "successful methods for transplanting full-grown trees." Their success was based on "doing well the task which is usually considered impossible." The company was the inspiration of H.C. Lewis, the oldest of seven brothers, who believed that estate owners should have the luxury of immediate landscapes, rather than waiting decades for their landscapes to mature. The Lewis brothers started their business in the early 1900s. Shortly afterwards, a Mr. Valentine, roommate of Albert Addison Lewis at the Amherst Landscape School in Massachusetts, invested in the business. After three years Mr. Valentine moved on and the Lewis brothers bought back his interest, but continued to keep Valentine part of the company's name. Lewis & Valentine was the largest firm in America devoted to transplainting mature trees in the years leading up to the Great Depression. It claimed to be "the most experienced and most versatile, backed by an intimate knowledge of horticulture and the development of fine estates." The company was noted as a leader in providing complete landscape services, from selling and guaranteeing the plants, to designing and installation, requiring that its staff be men "of good character and not afraid of hard work." This was evident in the firm's principle of no limitations to the size of trees that they were willing to deliver. The trees were often full-grown and ranged in age from twenty to a hundred years old. Many were so large that 20 or more tons of earth had to be moved during the relocation process. During its first 25 years in business, Lewis & Valentine opened nineteen offices east of the Mississippi serving such notable clients as Charles A. Schwab and Pierre du Pont at his estate, Longwood. The business was set up as an organization of independent companies. Each was incorporated under the laws of the state in which it operated. The offices were located in Connecticut (Darien), Florida (Palm Beach), Illinois (Chicago), Maryland (Baltimore), Massachusetts (Boston and Hanover), Michigan (Detroit), Pennsylvania (Ardmore and Pittsburg), New Jersey (Ashbury Park and Morristown), New York (Buffalo, Roslyn-Long Island, Rye, Valley Stream-Long Island, New York City), North Carolina (Winston-Salem) and Ohio (Cleveland and Cincinnati). Although no longer owned by any members of the Lewis family, the company still exists and operates in Long Island under the name Lewis & Valentine Nurseries.
Extent
2.5 Cubic feet (documents, 366 photographs, 1 videotape.)
Date
1916-1971
Archival Repository
Archives of American Gardens
Identifier
AAG.LVC
Type
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Brochures
Books
Lists
Correspondence
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Citation
Smithsonian Institution, Archives of American Gardens, Lewis & Valentine Company Records.
Arrangement note
The collection is arranged into 3 series: Series 1: Documents Series 2: Photographs Series 3: Videotape
Processing information note
The records were processed in 2000 and updated in 2003. Encoded by Rihoko Ueno, December 2011.
Rights
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Genre/Form
Videotapes
Brochures
Books
Lists
Correspondence
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Finding Aids note
http://www.gardens.si.edu/horticulture/res_ed/AAG/FindingAids/L&VFindingAid_Jul2010.pdf
Restrictions
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: aag@si.edu.
Separated Materials
Dozens of historic photographs from the Lewis & Valentine Co. were found In the Eleanor Weller Collection at AAG amongst images that had been amassed by Weller for possible use in The Golden Age of American Gardens: Proud Owners, Private Estates, 1890-1940. These photos were removed from the Weller Collection and added to the Lewis and Valentine Co. Records.
AAG.LVC
AAG.LVC
AAG
Record ID
ebl-1503513322757-1503513322764-0
Auchincloss Garden [slide]
Finding aid
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