New Finding Aids Available!

The Commission has recently finished conducting inventories on a few of our smaller collections, and the corresponding finding aids for each are now available. Scroll down to read descriptions and view a selection of images from the following collections: Hovey Family Records, Signet Hosiery Company Collection, Squirrel Brand Company Collection, Cambridge Historical Commission Objects Collection, and The Riverside Press Collection.

Hovey Family Records

The Hovey Family Records are a collection of documents, booklets, and photographs which once belonged to the Hovey Family of Cambridge. In 1997, the bulk of the collection was found in a house in Worcester, MA by Shirley Piermarini and these items were donated to the CHC that same year. In 2001, Ms. Piermarini donated five Hovey family photographs. View the finding aid here.


Photograph portrait of a young girl in the Hovey family, taken in 1871.



Caption: Susan A. Hovey’s autograph book, 1876

Signet Hosiery Company collection

In 1926, the Signet Hosiery Company began moving into the newly-expanded Kendall Square Building located at 238 Main Street in Cambridge. Signet and its president William H. Doty encouraged customers to form their own Signet Clubs with their friends and relatives. Weekly membership dues of $1 entitled you to a subscription for hosiery and lingerie at discount prices.


Membership book for the Signet Hosiery Company, 1926

This collection contains materials from the 1920s-1930s, and includes documents relating to Signet Hosiery Company club membership along with a Signet Hosiery Company hosiery box. View the finding aid here.


Signet Hosiery Company hosiery box measuring 3 x 6.75 x 9.5”, c. 1920s-1930s

Squirrel Brand Company collection

The Squirrel Brand candy company started in 1890 in Roxbury, but had a presence in Cambridge beginning in 1915. Their focus was on manufacturing nut-based candies, such as roasted nuts and nougats. Their most popular product was made of caramel, vanilla, and nut taffy called the “Squirrel Nut Zipper.” Squirrel Brand moved to Texas after being purchased by Southern Style Nuts in 1999. The New England Confectionery Company (NECCO) purchased the license for Squirrel Brand from Southern Style in 2004, officially bringing the long-loved company back to Massachusetts.

Squirrel Brand adv card IMG_20151222_113527

Cardboard advertisement to “Eat Squirrel Brand Butter Chews,” c. 1940s.

This collection includes advertising materials manufactured for the Squirrel Brand Company, c. 1910-1940, and one copy of a document relating the history of the company from “The History of Candy Making in Cambridge” by the Cambridge Historical Society. View the finding aid here.


Tin container for Squirrel Brand Salted Mixed Nuts, c. 1930s.

Cambridge Historical Commission Objects collection

This collection is composed of objects relating to various aspects of Cambridge history, c. 1890s-1980s. Within the collection are vases, pins, buttons, and badges. View the finding aid here.


Longfellow Home Vase, glazed ceramic, made in Germany, 5.25” in height, no date


Cambridge 50th Anniversary Souvenir Pin, 1896

The Riverside Press collection

The Riverside Press started in Boston as a book-printing factory that began in 1852. Later, Henry Houghton began The Riverside Press along the Charles River in Cambridge.


Photograph of the Riverside Press building, c. 1910

The Riverside Press collection contains photographic materials related to The Riverside Press. Subjects include architectural views of The Riverside Press buildings, interior views, machinery, and construction views, c. 1890s-1950s. View the finding aid here.


Photograph of the first automatic fed cylinder press at Riverside, c. 1910

Currently, these findings aids are only available in paper format at the Commission. To view the finding aids for these collections, or to schedule an appointment for in-person research, please contact the Cambridge Historical Commission today at 617.349.4683 or e-mail our Archivist, Emily at


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