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George F. Johnston Company records

Call Number: WA MSS S-2606
Scope and Contents

The collection consists of records documenting the day-to-day administration and operation of the George F. Johnston Company of Etiwanda, California. The records date from 1901 to 1954, with the bulk dating from 1901 to 1933, and relate to the company's production, sale, and distribution of grapes, its finances, and its labor force, which was primarily Japanese American. Included are correspondence, invoices, statements, sales and expense receipts, shipping logs and manifests, claims records, ledgers, daily time reports and time books, bank documents, and related material.

The collection provides documentation of the fruit trade and grape industry in California in the first half of the twentieth century, and sheds light on the work and experiences of fruit growers, viticulturists (grape growers), agricultural laborers, and vineyard laborers (grape pickers) in California during the same period.

Conditions Governing Access

The materials are open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

The George F. Johnston Company Records is the physical property of the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University. Literary rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, consult the appropriate curator.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum on the William Robertson Coe Fund, 2007.


The collection is organized into five series: I. Alphabetical Files, 1912-1933. II. Other General Business Records, 1901-1954. III. Other Sales and Expense Records, 1911-1926. IV. Labor Records, 1915-1933. V. Bank Records, 1911-1950.

This organization represents an order imposed by library staff and is not meant to reflect how the records were organized by the company, but rather to provide access to material which was received by the library in a highly disorganized state. Records that lent themselves to alphabetical arrangement (ie. that could be attributed to a particular entity) were sorted into files by name. The decision to arrange this material alphabetically was based on the fact that small alphabetical groupings were found which seemed to suggest some level of alphabetical organization on the part of the creator. Other more format- or function-based records were organized into series by type.

Researchers should note that material in each series will often overlap with material found in other series, particularly amongst I. Alphabetical Files, II. Other General Business Records, and III. Other Sales and Expense Records. In order to locate all relevant or related material, researchers will likely need to consult each series.

1901 - 1954
Majority of material found within 1901 - 1933
36.07 Linear Feet (38 boxes)
Related Names
George F. Johnston Company
Language of Materials