Finding Aid for the Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series III: Voucher Files, 1892-1929 HCFF.1.3

 Part of the Frick Family Papers on deposit from the Helen Clay Frick Foundation

Summary Information

Repository
The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives10 East 71st Street
New York, NY, 10021
archives@frick.org
 © 2010 The Frick Collection. All rights reserved.
Creator
Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.
Title
Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series III: Voucher Files
ID
HCFF.1.3
Date [inclusive]
1892-1929
Extent
35.1 Linear feet ; 78 boxes
Abstract
Henry Clay Frick (1849-1919) was a prominent industrialist and art collector. This series consists vouchers for a wide range of expenditures, including household goods and services, payroll, donations, and travel.

Preferred Citation

Henry Clay Frick Papers, Series III: Voucher Files. The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives.

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Biographical Note

Henry Clay Frick was born in December 1849, in West Overton, Pa. One of six children, his parents were John W. Frick, a farmer, and Elizabeth Overholt Frick, the daughter of a whiskey distiller and flour merchant. Frick ended his formal education in 1866 at the age of seventeen, and began work as a clerk at an uncle's store in Mt. Pleasant, Pa. In 1871, Frick borrowed money to purchase a share in a coking concern that would eventually become the H.C. Frick Coke Co. Over the next decade, Frick expanded his business through the acquisition of more coal lands and coke ovens, and joined forces with fellow industrialist Andrew Carnegie in 1882. He assumed the chairmanship of Carnegie Bros. & Co. (later Carnegie Steel Co.) in 1889, and served in that capacity until his resignation from the company in December 1899. During his tenure as chairman, differences between Frick and Carnegie emerged, most significantly in their approach to labor issues. The 1892 Homestead Strike further strained relations between the two men, and in 1899, after Carnegie attempted to buy out Frick's share in the company for a fraction of its value, Frick sued. Frick eventually received a satisfactory price for his shares, but permanently severed his relationship with Carnegie.

In December 1881, Frick married Adelaide Howard Childs of Pittsburgh. The couple purchased a house (called Clayton) in the Homewood section of Pittsburgh, and had four children: Childs Frick (1883-1965), Martha Howard Frick (1885-1891), Helen Clay Frick (1888-1984), and Henry Clay Frick, Jr. (born 1892, died in infancy). After his break with Carnegie, Frick began spending less time in Pittsburgh, and established homes in New York and Massachusetts. In 1905, he leased the Vanderbilt mansion at 640 Fifth Avenue in New York City, and built an elaborate summer residence (known as Eagle Rock) in Prides Crossing, Mass., which was completed in 1906. In 1907, Frick purchased land at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 70th Street in New York. Construction of the new beaux arts mansion, designed by Thomas Hastings of the firm Carrère and Hastings, began in 1912, after the demolition of the Lenox Library formerly on the site. The family moved into the house at One East 70th Street in the fall of 1914, and Henry Clay Frick died there on 2 December 1919.

Frick showed a lifelong interest in art collecting, acquiring his first painting in 1881, and continuing to add to his collection until just before his death. Little is known about Frick's early experiences with art, but his taste initially favored local Pennsylvania artists, contemporary French painters, and Barbizon landscapes. Around the turn of the century his focus shifted to old master paintings, and he began to collect works by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Dyck, and Gainsborough. Though Frick chiefly acquired paintings through the firm of M. Knoedler & Co., he also purchased works through Joseph Duveen, Roger Fry, and Alice Creelman, among others. In the mid-1910s, Frick greatly expanded his collection by acquiring paintings, porcelains, sculpture, enamels, and furnishings from the estate of J.P. Morgan, who had died in 1913. Upon his death, Frick bequeathed to the public his New York residence, along with the paintings, furnishings, and decorative objects contained therein. The Frick Collection opened to the public in 1935.

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Scope and Content

Henry Clay Frick's Voucher Files, 1892-1929, consist of accounts payable vouchers and memorandum vouchers documenting a wide variety of expenditures, including household goods and services, payroll, investments, donations and gifts, and travel. Together, these items give a clear and thorough picture of the Frick family's tastes and habits, as well as their daily activities and interests. Examples of some expenditures are cars, china, clothing, shoes, furniture, jewelry, books, entertainment, tuition, horses, carriages, gifts to family members and charitable organizations, doctors' fees and prescriptions, and expenses incurred in the staffing, maintenance, and improvement of the family's residences. Highlights of this series include a voucher for a Mercedes automobile purchased in 1909, with attached fabric swatches and paint samples (#9650); a voucher for $1,000 paid to cellist Pablo Casals for a private concert in 1915 (#5018), and five donations of $500 apiece made to Helen Keller over the period of 1911-1915 (#1578, 2565, 3469, 4190, and 4954). Each voucher records when and to whom payment was made, the amount and nature of the expense, check number, and the account drawn upon for payment. Accounts payable vouchers were receipted by the payee at Frick's request, and are often accompanied by documents such as invoices, related correspondence, and canceled checks. Memorandum vouchers, on the other hand, appear to have been prepared for internal accounting purposes, were not receipted by the payee, and typically have few, if any, attachments.

Materials are arranged in three subseries: Subseries 1. Accounts Payable Vouchers - Group I, 1892-1919; Subseries 2. Accounts Payable Vouchers - Group II, 1912-1919; and Subseries III. Estate Vouchers, 1919-1929.

Subseries I contains a single run of more than 18,000 vouchers dating from the time the system was implemented in 1892 until Frick's death in late 1919. Vouchers are numbered sequentially, but start over at 1 after reaching 10,010 in 1909. Vouchers in Subseries I and III are indexed alphabetically by payee in eleven volumes, beginning in 1901. The original index covering the years 1892-1900 does not survive with these papers, but an electronic index for that period has been compiled. See the archives staff for more information.

Vouchers in Subseries II resemble those found in the first subseries, but comprise a second concurrent run of about 5,000 vouchers starting in 1912 and continuing until Frick's death. Expenditures documented in this subseries are very similar to those found in Subseries I, and were paid using the same bank accounts, so the purpose of the second run is not clear. Vouchers in Subseries II are indexed alphabetically by payee in two volumes, though these indexes appear to be less complete than the indexes found in Subseries I.

Subseries III, Estate Vouchers, date from Henry Clay Frick's death in until the settlement of his estate in 1929. This is the smallest of the three subseries, containing about 2,600 vouchers. Examples of expenditures in this subseries are legal fees, taxes, insurance, payroll, investments, continuations of gifts to family initiated during Frick's lifetime, and household and office expenses billable to the estate.

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Arrangement

Arranged in three subseries: I. Accounts Payable Vouchers - Group I, 1892-1919; II. Accounts Payable Vouchers - Group II, 1912-1919; and III. Estate Vouchers, 1919-1929. Items are arranged by voucher number, or chronologically, with indexes filed at the beginning of Subseries I and II.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

These records are open for research under the conditions of The Frick Collection/Frick Art Reference Library Archives access policy. Contact the Archives Department for further information at archives@frick.org.

Custodial History

These papers became the property of the Helen Clay Frick Foundation upon Helen Clay Frick's death in 1984. The papers were housed at the Frick Art and Historical Center in Pittsburgh until 2001, when they were transferred to The Frick Collection and Frick Art Reference Library.

Provenance

Placed on deposit by the Helen Clay Frick Foundation, 2001.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Vouchers for the construction of the Frick family's New York residence are filed in the One East 70th Street Papers. Documentation of expenditures prior to 1892 can be found in Henry Clay Frick's Invoice Books. Additional invoices are located in Henry Clay Frick's Receipts series.

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Financial records.
  • Vouchers.

Personal Name(s)

  • Frick, Adelaide Howard Childs, 1859-1931.
  • Frick, Childs, 1883-1965.
  • Frick, Helen Clay, 1888-1984.
  • Frick, Henry Clay, 1849-1919.

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Collection Inventory

Accounts Payable Vouchers - Group I, 1892-1929
   28.8 Linear feet  (63 boxes)

Subseries 1, Accounts Payable and Memorandum Vouchers, 1892-1929, contains one continuous run of more than 18,000 vouchers dating from the time the system was implemented in 1892 until Frick's death in 1919. Vouchers are numbered sequentially, but start over at 1 after reaching 10,010 in 1909. Eleven indexes, in which payees are listed alphabetically beginning in 1901, are filed at the beginning of the subseries. The original index covering the years 1892-1900 does not survive with these papers, but an electronic index for that period has been compiled. See the archives staff for more information.

Box Date
1

Voucher indexes
 

"No. 2," 1901 January-1903 March

"No. 3," 1903 April-1905 June

1901-1905
2

Voucher indexes
 

"No. 4," 1905 July-1907 September

"No. 5," 1907 October-1909 December

1905-1907
3

Voucher indexes
 

"No. 6," 1910 January-1912 March

"No. 7," 1912 April-1914 June

1910-1914
4

Voucher indexes
 

"No. 8," 1914 July-1916 September

"No. 9," 1916 October-1918 December

1914-1918
5

Voucher indexes
 

"No. 10," 1919 January-1921 March

[No. 11], 1921 April-1922 August

1919-1922
6

Voucher indexes
 

"No. 12," 1922 September-1928

1922-1928
7

Vouchers #2-600
 

1892 October-1894 July
8

Vouchers #601-1101
 

1894 July-1896 April
9

Vouchers #1102-1571
 

1896 April-1897 April
10

Vouchers #1572-1971
 

1897 April-1898 January
11

Vouchers #1972-2370
 

1898 January-October
12

Vouchers #2371-2740
 

1898 October-1899 May
13

Vouchers #2741-3150
 

1899 May-1900 January
14

Vouchers #3151-3570
 

1900 January-October
15

Vouchers #3571-4028
 

1900 October-1901 June
16

Vouchers #4029-4500
 

1901 June-1902 February
17

Vouchers #4501-5010
 

1902 February-October
18

Vouchers #5011-5450
 

1902 October-1903 March
19

Vouchers #5451-6000
 

1903 March-1904 January
20

Vouchers #6001-6699
 

1904 January-1905 May
21

Vouchers #6700-7300
 

1905 March-1906 March
22

Vouchers #7301-7746
 

1906 March-October
23

Vouchers #7747-8181
 

1906 October-1907 May
24

Vouchers #8182-8528
 

1907 May-November
25

Vouchers #8529-8925
 

1907 November-1908 July
26

Vouchers #8926-9317
 

1908 July-1909 January
27

Vouchers #9318-9669
 

1909 January-August
28

Vouchers #9670-10,010
 

1909 August-December
29

Vouchers #1-385
 

1910 January-June
30

Vouchers #386-820
 

1910 June-December
31

Vouchers #821-1153
 

1910 December-1911 April
32

Vouchers #1154-1510
 

1911 April-September
33

Vouchers #1511-1830
 

1911 October-1912 January
34

Vouchers #1831-2110
 

1912 January-May
35

Vouchers #2111-2410
 

1912 May-September
36

Vouchers #2411-2720
 

1912 September-December
37

Vouchers #2721-3015
 

1912 December-1913 March
38

Vouchers #3016-3315
 

1913 March-August
39

Vouchers #3316-3640
 

1913 August-1914 January
40

Vouchers #3641-3886
 

1914 January-May
41

Vouchers #3888-4145
 

1914 May-October
42

Vouchers #4146-4430
 

1914 October-1915 February
43

Vouchers #4431-4745
 

1915 February-July
44

Vouchers #4746-5035
 

1915 July-November
45

Vouchers #5036-5430
 

1915 November-1916 May
46

Vouchers #5431-5765
 

1916 May-October
47

Vouchers #5766-6115
 

1916 October-1917 March
48

Vouchers #6116-6475
 

1917 March-September
49

Vouchers #6476-6835
 

1917 September-1918 February
50

Vouchers #6836-7260
 

1918 February-August
51

Vouchers #7261-7635
 

1918 August-1919 January
52

Vouchers #7636-8005
 

1919 January-July
53

Vouchers #8006-8296
 

1919 July-November

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Accounts Payable Vouchers - Group II, 1912-1919
   7.7 Linear feet  (19 boxes)

Vouchers in Subseries II resemble those found in the first subseries, but comprise a second, simultaneous run of about 5,000 vouchers starting in 1912 and continuing until Frick's death. Expenditures documented in this subseries are very similar to those found in Subseries I, and were paid through the same bank accounts, so the purpose of the second run is not clear. Vouchers in Subseries II are indexed alphabetically by payee in two volumes, though these indexes appear to be less complete than those in Subseries I and III.

Box Date
54

Voucher indexes
 

1912-1919
55

Vouchers #1-200
 

1913 January-March
56

Vouchers #201-450
 

1913 March-June
57

Vouchers #451-700
 

1913 June-September
58

Vouchers #701-930
 

1913 September-1914 January
59

Vouchers #931-1050
 

1914 January-February
60

Vouchers #1051-1300
 

1914 February-July
61

Vouchers #1301-1550
 

1914 July-November
62

Vouchers #1551-1800
 

1914 November-1915 March
63

Vouchers #1801-2050
 

1915 March-August
64

Vouchers #2051-2300
 

1915 August-1916 January
65

Vouchers #2301-2550
 

1916 January-June
66

Vouchers #2551-2800
 

1916 June-October
67

Vouchers #2801-3050
 

1916 October-1917 February
68

Vouchers #3051-3300
 

1917 February-June
69

Vouchers #3301-3700
 

1917 June-December
70

Vouchers #3701-4082
 

1917 December-1918 July
71

Vouchers #4083-4530
 

1918 July-1919 March
72

Vouchers #4531-4977
 

1919 March-November

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Estate Vouchers, 1919-1929
   2.5 Linear feet  (6 boxes)

Consists of vouchers for legal fees, taxes, insurance, payroll, investments, continuations of gifts to family initiated during Frick's lifetime, and household and office expenses billable to the estate. Alphabetical indexes to payees are filed with the indexes in Subseries I.

Box Date
73

Vouchers #1-402
 

1919 December-1920 April
74

Vouchers #403-830
 

1920 April-1921 January
75

Vouchers #831-1330
 

1921 January-1922 January
76

Vouchers #1331-1880
 

1922 January-1923 December
77

Vouchers #1881-2373
 

1923 December-1926 February
78

Vouchers #2374-2679, and unnumbered
 

1926 February-1929 March

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