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Lamborn and Company Records

 Collection
Identifier: MSS 0579

Scope and Content

The Lamborn Collection is divided into four series: Unpublished Documents, Publications, Miscellany and Memorabilia, and Photographs. The earliest records in Series 1 are compilations of selected documents bound in five volumes. Volumes 1 through 4 document the early career of Arthur Henry Lamborn and end with the creation of Lamborn & Company in 1923. Volume 5 contains photographs of the various buildings and offices used by A. H. Lamborn and Lamborn & Company in the Wall Street district in New York City and forms part of Series 4. Series 1 also contains a complete run of the minutes of Lamborn & Company from 1923 to 1977. Included in the collection are minutes of Lamborn, Inc., Lamborn Sugar Services, and Biledsa, Inc. All of the minutes end in 1976. In addition to minutes, there are a small number of documents from Lamborn & Company on a variety of subjects. Of special interest are the three volumes related to Julio Lobo and the collapse of his business interests. The publication series is far more complete and reflects the company’s expertise in the sugar trade. As an active trader in raw and refined sugars, Lamborn & Company’s insights concerning the sugar market were sought by other sugar brokers. The publication series contains serial publications, such as the Lamborn Sugar Statistical Reports (aka the Invisible Supplies Report) and the Lamborn Sugar-Market Reports, as well as many one-off publications. Of special note are the volumes marked Words of Wisdom on Sugar by Ody Lamborn. (These were compiled and presented to W. Davant Lamborn. Volume 1 is missing.) Of special note are the pictorial brochures for the 30th, 35th, 40th and 45th anniversaries of the Savannah Sugar Refining Corporations (Dixie Crystals), which depict the segregated appreciation picnics given for Black and white employees. In both series 1 and 2, there are materials created by firms and people associated with, but not part of, the Lamborn businesses. The third series contains testimonials to Henry Arthur Lamborn upon his death and travelogues from nine trips made by Ody Lamborn and members of his family. (The name Ody is probably derived from Odysseus. One of the travelogues is entitled Odyssey.) In some cases, Lamborn’s travelogues consist of letters written to his son Bill. They reflect on the people, politics, culture and antiquities of the places he visited. A postscript typically follows. There is a special emphasis on agriculture, but many of the entries are the typical tourist fare. One of the nine trips is entitled Diary of a Sugar Trip. Diary of a Sugar Trip is somewhat different in that it combines business with pleasure. Primarily, though, it was an around-the-world business trip, by air, starting from New York with stops in San Francisco, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, Hong Kong, India, Turkey, and London before returning to New York. Lamborn was accompanied by company vice president J. William Craig on this trip. Series 3 also includes unpublished research and writings from Dan Gutleben, who referred to himself as the Sugar Tramp. These complement Gutleben holdings at other repositories. Finally, Series 3 contains a remarkable collection of 31 sugar samples, encased in glass, from raw sugar factories from multiple nations. The photographic series contains the aforementioned volume related to the various office buildings associated with the life of Arthur Henry Lamborn. There is an additional album of the offices at 132 Front Street that includes the employees who worked there. The employees and officers are identified on a typed sheet that appears to have been compiled at a later date than the photographs. There are also loose photographs of some of the images from the Front Street offices.

Dates

  • 1897 - 1985
  • Majority of material found within 1906 - 1976

Creator

Access

The collection is open for research.

However, due to their fragility, access to Volumes 5 and 6 in the Lamborn Literature may be delayed.

Biographical/Historical Note

Arthur Henry Lamborn, 1871-1935, began his career at the Philadelphia office of the Spreckels Sugar Company as an office boy in 1889. He later worked for J. M. Greene & Company in New York City before setting up his own company, A. H. Lamborn, in 1906. The company became Lamborn and Company in 1923. The company was headquartered in New York City at 132 Front Street before moving to 99 Wall Street in 1932. The company had branch offices in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Savannah, Chicago, Detroit, Saginaw and Boston. The firm did considerable business with Cuban and Puerto Rican sugar factories and had an affiliate in Havana, Cuba. For a period of time, Lamborn & Company was one of the largest sugar traders in North America. It brokered both domestic and foreign sugar transactions and was involved in both raw and refined sugars. The company was also involved in the coffee trade. In its last years, the company dealt with a wide variety of food commodities.

Ody H. Lamborn, 1897-1971, succeeded his uncle as president in 1935 and retired in 1964. Ody Lamborn was a founder and first executive director of the Sugar Research Foundation. He served as president of the New York Coffee and Sugar Exchange from 1944 to 1946. He was the first president of the National Association of Commodity Exchanges and Allied Trades. In 1940 he was appointed to the United States Industry Advisory Group for a proposed new International Sugar Agreement. Ody Lamborn joined the business at the age of 15 in the New York office. He managed the Savannah branch office from 1917 through 1921, and then returned to New York. George Dinkel succeeded Ody Lamborn as president and served until 1968, when William D. Lamborn was elected. He served until his death on December 15, 1974. The last president of Lamborn & Company was Leon Salerno. By 1977, Lamborn & Company was no longer identified exclusively as a sugar firm, but it continued to publish its market reports until 1985. From 1982-1985, the reports were published by the Lamborn Company and the title was changed from Lamborn Sugar Market Report to Lamborn Sweetener Report. Lamborn & Company dissolved at the end of 1978. Another company incorporated under the same name in 1979, but ceased operations in 2012.

Extent

16.21 Linear Feet (17 Boxes, 1 Oversize plaque)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

The Lamborn Collection consists primarily of documents, publications and other materials related to the sugar brokerage firms, A. H. Lamborn and its successor, Lamborn & Company. It also includes personal accounts written by Ody H. Lamborn.

Location

Please note that this collection is housed in the Auxiliary Library Facility off campus and will require advance notice for timely retrieval. Please contact the Special and Area Studies Collections department prior to your visit.

Acquisition Information

Donated in 2021.

Processing Notes

The documents in volumes 5 and 6 in the Lamborn Literature were adhered with adhesive tape and are all falling out. The documents need to be transferred to folders before they can be used by researchers.

Creator

Title
A Guide to the Lamborn and Company Records
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid created by Carl Van Ness
Date
November 2021
Description rules
Finding Aid Prepared Using Dacs
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Description is written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Special and Area Studies Collections, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida Repository

Contact:
George A. Smathers Libraries
PO Box 117005
Gainesville Florida 32611-7005 United States of America
352-273-2755