John L. Thompson Sons & Company

Documenting Change: Industry and Business in Troy and Rensselaer County, NY

Historical Note: John L. Thompson Sons & Company traces its origins in Troy back to 1797 when Dr. Samuel Gale Jr. opened an apothecary shop in the city. John L. Thompson joined the business in 1881, and his name was added to the firm in 1821. In 841 the business became John L. Thompson & Company. The business was primarily engaged in the wholesale drug trade, but also manufactured some patent medicines. The firm went out of business in 1990.

A. – Records at AIHA

Records, 1818-1889.

Extent: 132 items.

Scope and Content: A small collection of correspondence, bills, receipts, and order (1818-1889), including orders from the Watervliet Arsenal from 1827 to 1832.

Location: McKinney Library, Albany Institute of History and Art, 125 Washington Ave., Albany, NY 12210.

B. – Records at RCHS

Records, 1879-1986

Extent: 2 cu. ft.

Scope and Content: A small collection of stock ledgers (1880-1940), minutes ( 2 vols. 1903-1934, 1935-1940), personnel records (ca. 1895-1939), sales ledgers (1921-1925, 1973-1985), group of post card orders (1879), plus some miscellaneous correspondence.

Location: Rensselaer County Historical Society, 59 Second Street, Troy, NY 12180.

Note: A few records of John L. Thompson Sons & Company are in private hands. These include a salesman’s price book (ca. 1909), stock certificate record books, voting trust agreement, and correspondence relating to a 1972 anniversary booklet about the business. The bulk of the recent business records of the company appear not to have survived the dissolution of the business.