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Foster Brothers records, 1875-1973, bulk 1893-1942

Foster Brothers

Collection Information

Size: 13 Linear feet

Summary: The records of Boston picture frame company Foster Brothers measure 13 linear feet and date from 1875-1973 with the bulk of the material falling between 1893 and 1942. Correspondence, stock records, financial records, writings, miscellaneous business records, printed material, scrapbooks, and photographs document the history of this company that operated a factory, retail store, and wholesale and mail order businesses between 1893 and 1942. A small number of family papers are included, with items pre-dating and post-dating the business.

Biographical/Historical Note

Established by Stephen Bartlett Foster (1856-1932) and John Roy Foster (1863-1931), Foster Brothers opened in 1893 at 164 Boylston Street, Boston. By 1896, Foster Brothers had moved to 3 Park Square, just around the corner from its first location. Eventually, the business relocated to 4 Park Square, where it stayed for the remainder of its existence. The original Foster Brothers factory was housed in the old Parkman's Market building on Cambridge Street in Boston. In 1918, the Fosters built a new factory in Arlington, the suburb in which the brothers lived.


Helen Foster Osborne, daughter of John R. Foster, donated the Foster Brothers records to the Archives in four installments between 1973 and 1976.

Language Note

English .


Funding for the processing of this collection was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art