Ready Fund Raising Company

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

Records, ca. 1950-1988

Extent: ca. 30 cu. ft.

Historical Note: A leader in the business of supplying and selling fund raising programs to youth groups and church groups across the United States, Ready Fund Raising was founded in 1909 by Herbert S. Harp who had developed a gelatin dessert which he called Ready Jell. He began manufacturing the dessert on Green Island and making it available for churches and other organizations to sell in fund raising. The company moved to Lansingburgh in the 1950s and continues to be run by the Lewis family , descendants of the company’s founder. The firm stopped making Ready Jell in the early 1960s. A related business operated by the Lewis family, Lewis and Company, engages in a mail order business selling kits and parts for the making of rosaries.

Scope and Content: Correspondence files, ledgers and ledger cards, payrolls, and sales records.

Location: Ready Fund Raising Company, 391 Third Ave., Troy, NY 12181.