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Danbury Industrial Corporation Records

Identifier: MS 050

Scope and Content Note

The Danbury Industrial Corporation Records contains a variety of records which document the activities of the D.I.C. from its founding until its liquidation. The majority of the material ranges from the dates: 1918 through 1919 (founding of D.I.C); the late 1920s; 1940-1948; 1965-1969.

The original order of the documents was maintained where possible and the original naming convention of the corporate files and correspondence files were maintained. The collection is divided into eight series I: Corporate Client files, II: Legal Documents, III: History of D.I.C., IV: Danbury Economic Development, V: Financial, VI: Correspondence, VII: Oversized, and VIII: Miscellaneous.

Corporate Client Files reflect the D.I.C.’s original file structure. The contents of the folders were put in chronological order and contain information on many of the D.I.C.’s partner corporations, namely: the Danbury Rubber Company, EVOM Electronics, and the Heli Coli Corporation. Folders contain invoices, bills, leases, correspondence etc. Many files contained blueprints and maps for D.I.C. backed construction projects which were moved to the Oversized series.

The Legal Documents series ranges from 1920s to the 1950s and contains agreements, deeds, titles, and leases between the D.I.C. and its clients/partners. The History of D.I.C. series is a variety of documents which describe the corporation. It includes advertising, public relations documents, clippings, promotional material, and miscellaneous stock holder information ranging from 1917 to 2002. The majority of the material is from the 1950s. Of particular note is the “Danbury industrial Survey (1916-1918);” The “Survey" contains comprehensive descriptions and statistical analyses of Danbury's business and industrial community. It also contains an index and is paginated. Contained therein are maps, brochures, clippings, and advertisements along with exhaustive descriptions of Danbury's industry, population, infrastructure, economic situation and transportation. The assemblage of brochures, statistics, maps (railroad, topographical, sewer, etc) was used to promote Danbury as a center for industry. The History series also contains various lists of shareholders at different times; clippings; and shareholder annual reports.

The Danbury Economic Development Corporation was presumably an offshoot of the D.I.C. and contains various correspondences that had been placed in folders labeled “Danbury Economic Development.” Most of the correspondence is to or from Richard Gretsch.

The Financial series is an assortment of files from 1918 to 1970 including items such as a list of D.I.C. shareholders, lists of boards of directors, payments on stock, outstanding balances, check stubs, and Treasurer's Receipts.

The Correspondence Series contains folders put in chronological order from 1917-1938, and 1940s to 1970s.The files primarily contain information on the D.I.C.’s partners/clients, letters of inquiry, and general correspondence. Some of the materials are duplicated in the Corporate Client Files. The Oversized series contains blueprints of extensions, and renovations pertaining to D.I.C. backed projects; included also are maps of prospective land for D.I.C. or industrial land for factories to corporations that are connected to the D.I.C. The dates range from 1917 to 1969.

The Miscellaneous Series is a collection of files all concerning the D.I.C, however, they do not correlate with any particular series. Title searches, various publications (“Danbury Plan of Development” and a WCSU Thesis: "A Study of Danbury's Industrial Transition"), and the original filing boxes that contained the Correspondence and Financial Series.


  • 1916-2002 , (Bulk 1945-1965)
  • Majority of material found within 1916 - 1965


Access Restrictions

Open for research without restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Permission to publish materials must be obtained in writing from the:
Ruth A. Haas Library
Archives and Special Collections
181 White Street
Danbury, CT 06810
Phone: 203-837-8992

Historical/Biographical Note

The Danbury Industrial Corporation was established between 1916-1918 to promote the City of Danbury as an attractive location for business and industry initially through the purchase of land for industrial development. It continued operation until 1994. Its first president was Frank H. Lee and first vice president Charles A. Mallory.

Initially, shares were sold in the Corporation and funds raised from the sale of shares were used to purchase properties for industrial development. Participation in the Corporation was initially dominated by management in the hatting industry but changed as the industrial climate changed with the demise of the hatting in Danbury following World War II.

The following is the D.I.C.'s history which was published in Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's December 1950 edition of the "Monthly Review" (pg. 8) entitled "The Danbury Industrial Corporation"

In 1918, the 19,000 inhabitants of Danbury, Connecticut, were entirely dependent upon the manufacture of hats and allied products for industrial employment. The hat industry was highly seasonal. While the hourly wages of hat workers were high, their yearly incomes were low.

Reliance on one industry led to unstable employment conditions and encouraged many of the ambitious young people of Danbury to leave town to look elsewhere for employment. To improve the situation the people of the community wanted to diversify the city's industrial base. To do that, a group of businessmen formed the Danbury Industrial Corporation shortly after the end of World War I.

Their venture was one of the first community-development corporations in the country. They sold stock for $10 a share to the general public to raise the original capital of the corporation. It was not difficult to sell the stock. More than 1,000 original stockholders bought $163,000 worth of stock. There were many small stockholders and only a few large ones; some participants bought only one share. The hat manufacturers of Danbury cooperated fully in the venture and constituted the largest group of stockholders in the corporation. Some manufacturers sold stock at their plants to employees and one even bought stock for his employees. The Danbury Industrial Corporation purchased an existing industrial building of 36,000 square feet for its first acquisition and rented it to a new manufacturer. Later the industrial corporation constructed an 8,800 square-foot addition to the plant.

Since the industrial corporation bought its first factory, it has built five new plants to the specifications of manufacturers who first occupied them on a lease basis. The rentals are based on the original cost of the buildings and range from 35 to 50 cents per square foot a year. The corporation has shown a willingness to grow with its tenants and has constructed additions to its buildings from time to time as the need has arisen. Altogether, the Danbury Industrial Corporation has built about 250,000 square feet of modern industrial space for the diversified enterprises which it has brought into Danbury.

Originally the corporation did not intend to sell its buildings. However, it has sold two of them to tenants who wanted to own their factory space. The corporation is now prepared to build plants on a rent-amortization basis with an option for the occupant to purchase if he should so desire.

The industrial corporation has used its own funds to finance part of the cost of construction of new factories. With the capital of the corporation available as equity money, insurance companies have been willing to lend additional sums on a mortgage basis to erect the factories. While local banks have not put money into the buildings, they have aided the community's industrial development by making short-term loans to manufacturers in the industrial corporation's plants.

Danbury has made good progress in converting from a one-industry town since the establishment of the industrial corporation. Only about half of its industrial employment is now concentrated in the hat industry. The Danbury Industrial Corporation has brought six new manufacturers into Danbury largely by providing desirable industrial space on a rental basis. Those concerns now employ about 575 workers and have a total annual payroll of approximately $1,300,000.

The diversification of industry in Danbury through the efforts of the industrial corporation has led to the establishment of a pool of skilled and semi-skilled workers in a variety of industries from which other new manufacturers can draw. The existence of the Danbury Industrial Corporation and an improved community attitude toward industry have been important factors in causing at least six other manufacturers to locate in Danbury, even though they have not asked for help from the industrial corporation.

In addition to the construction of five new plants and the purchase of one existing building, the Danbury Industrial Corporation has acquired good industrial land along the railroad during the past several years. With desirable industrial sites on hand, it is now in a position to deal with prospects as soon as they turn up and to fill their needs promptly.

The Danbury Industrial Corporation maintains an office with a paid secretary, but the officers of the corporation serve without compensation. The corporation does not utilize advertising campaigns or other promotional devices to attract manufacture. It has had the most success in working through industrial realtors. The corporation has carefully screened prospective tenants, and has maintained close contact with those who moved in. It has sustained only one default on its leases. The stockholders have always thought of the industrial corporation as a nonprofit organization, and it has not promised dividends or paid them regularly. Nevertheless, the corporation has declared dividends from time to time in the past 32 years as it has built up surplus funds. It has repaid stockholders 51 per cent of the original cost of their stock in dividends.

The corporation has plowed a large part of its earnings back into the business, and it has sustained no losses. As a result, its assets today considerably exceed the original $163,000. All of its buildings are in first class condition and are fully occupied. The Danbury Industrial Corporation is in a sound financial position to continue its work.


14.5 Linear Feet (, 14 boxes, one OS Folder, and one ledger)

Language of Materials



The Danbury Industrial Corporation was established between 1916-1918 to promote the City of Danbury as an attractive location for business and industry initially through the purchase of land for industrial development. The collection includes the D.I.C. records, clippings, correspondence, legal documents and most notably a three volume Danbury Industrial Survey which contains comprehensive descriptions and statistical analyses of Danbury's business and industrial community from 1918.


The files are grouped into 8 series:
1. Corporate Client Files
2. Legal Documents
3. History of D.I.C.
4.Danbury Economic Development Corp.
5. Financial
6. Correspondence
7. Oversized
8. Miscellaneous


A small part of the collection was donated by Joe Wrinn to President Schmotter and transferred to the Archives in 2009. A subsequent and larger donation was made by Mr. Wrinn in 2010 which had been in the custody of his father.

General Physical Description note

6 linear feet (10 boxes)

Guide to the Danbury Industrial Corporation Records
Unverified Full Draft
Brian Stevens and Gessika Al Hayak
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Description is in English.
Edition statement
This version was derived danburyIndustrial wcsu eadSchemaTemplate_w_unitid.xlsx

Repository Details

Part of the Western Connecticut State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

Haas Library
181 White St
Danbury 06810 USA US
203.837.8322 (Fax)