Sargent and Company Records
The collection includes extensive documentation of the company's activities and development from the mid 19th century through the mid 20th century. Documentation includes correspondence, administrative, legal and financial records, publications, reports, blueprints, notes and family papers. Detailed information, gaps, and dates are included in the series descriptions. The collection also includes some information concerning the Peck and Walter Manufacturing Company, a predecessor of Sargent and Company, and two subsidiary firms— Sargent Card Clothing Company and the Sargent Wharf Company. Note on Sampling of Series IV: Subseries H: Product Cost Records—the 25 volumes of Product Cost Records represent a systematic sampling of 472 volumes found in the collection. The records contain a detailed analysis of each cost component for production and sale of a wide variety of products, including each part of every product (e.g., each pin for a lock). These records were only kept for an eight year period, until a simplified card system was developed. The 472 volumes formed several natural groupings, such as Locks, Coffin hardware, Escutcheons, and “Old cost sheets.” The number of volumes in each group ranged from 4 to 209. It was decided to save a 5% sample, selected in order to make the sample for each of the groups of volumes produce relatively the same variance and reliability of data in relation to each category. The following procedure was used: the square root of the number of volumes in each group was divided by the number of volumes to be saved (25). The number of volumes in each group was then divided by this factor, and this product was rounded off to determine the number of volumes to save for each group of volumes. This number ranged from 1 to 7. The volumes to be saved were selected from each category of volumes, using random number tables. This sample should thus produce statistically reliable data for the pre-sample universe of 472 volumes.