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William Hobart Papers

Identifier: MS-444

Scope and Contents

The William Hobart Collection holds great significance because it displays through the use of photographs, correspondence, company records, and other media the evolution of a company from its beginnings as a small family-owned business based out of Troy into a substantial national foodservice and food retail industry. The collection covers important landmarks such as acquisitions, documents the Hobart brothers family life, the Hobart Institute of Technology, and Troy community development directly related to the Hobart’s contributions.

Series I, The Hobart Brothers Company, which is divided into six subseries, encompasses the entire span of the company from its creation through the year 2010. The series includes a wealth of information about the development of the corporation and outlines the implementation of appliances and expansion into the global marketplace.

Subseries IA, Correspondence, is comprehensive and includes correspondence from the offices of the executives (Hobart brothers), management, and general stationary used in the company throughout the years. For correspondence relating directly to the acquisition, see the Acquisition and Mergers Subseries IB.

Subseries IB, Acquisition and Mergers, mainly includes information regarding the merger with Illinois Tool works and the acquisition of PrestoLite. Most related items are articles in Troy newspapers and drafts of letterheads written to management and employees and are dated 1996/1997.

Subseries IC, Company Promotional Information, contains brochures from the 1950s sent to other corporations that contain detailed photographs of employees operating factory equipment , a brief summary of the company’s history, and the business tour to Russia in 1990.

Subseries ID, Annual Reports, consists of reports from mainly the 1960s and 1970s. Reports include nominations of directors and an overview of appliances added to the company’s manufacturing inventory.

Subseries IE, Community Relations, contains items relating directly to the company and its contributions to the community of Troy at large. It includes a Troy Sesquicentennial Celebration program covering the years of 1814-1964.

Subseries IF, Electric Car, contains blueprints, graphs, sketches, and articles relating to the development of the proposed engine and battery for an electric car model. Photographs of the electric car engine are included in Series III.

Series II, Hobart Institute of Technology, contains course catalogs, brochures with historical timelines (most likely used for advertising purposes), and programs from celebrations relating to the Institute. The dates span from 2004-2010.

Series III, Photographs, is divided into two subseries and includes family photographs, photographs of the city of Troy, Troy Graduation photographs, the Hobart homes, Hobart appliances, the proposed electric car, and signed photographs from the 1992 President George H.W. Bush campaign. There are three glass plate negatives included. Two are depicting Charles Hobart and one depicts an unidentified home.

Subseries IIIA, Family, contains portraits of Charles Clarence Hobart, Lou Hobart, Martha Hobart, William Hobart, and Edward Hobart. There are also a variety of unidentified glass slides and photographs.

Subseries IIIB, General, includes five concentration areas:

Hobart Homes and Buildings includes C.C. Hobart’s house, Frances Hobart’s house and photographs from 1961. It also includes older unidentified photographs which may date back to the 1900s. It also contains Hobart Company building photographs, includes two copies of photographs and a blueprint, possibly of plans for expansion during the 1950s.

Products and Appliances, includes copies of three photographs of appliances from approximately the 1960s. It also contains photographs of the battery and engine at various stages of development.

City of Troy, General information and Graduation Photographs contains items from 1909, 1930, and a yearbook from 1931. President George Bush Campaign Contribution includes autographed photographs sent to the Hobart family for support of his 1992 campaign.

Hobart Brothers 75th Anniversary includes photographs from the 1992 celebration.

Series IV, Family History, includes a Xeroxed copy of the Hobart name family history, Julie DuCamp Hobart’s awards and community achievements, and press information regarding Edward Hobart’s funeral in July 1985.


  • 1880-2010
  • Majority of material found within 1960-2010

Conditions Governing Access

There are no restrictions on accessing material in this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.

Biographical / Historical

The Hobart Electrical Manufacturing Company was founded in 1897 in Troy, Ohio, by C.C. (Clarence Charles) Hobart and Herbert. L. Johnson. In 1903, Hobart motors were officially sold to dealers and the first self-contained coffee powered mills were officially on the market. By 1905, Hobart increased the manufacturing line to include electric meat choppers.

During the early 1900s, Hobart expanded to the international level including opening sales offices in South Africa, South America, and Australia, and, by 1926, the M-80 mixer was added to the sales market. During the same year, they purchased the Crescent Washing Machine Company and entered the warehouse market as well. The company continued to introduce many more appliances to the market and opened up their first Sales Training School in 1961. The Hobarts were also experimenting with the invention of an electric car during the 1970s, which is documented in the photographs and sketches within the collection. They continued to acquire many companies such as Frandor Engineering Company, Koch Refrigeration, Wacson Systems and the Commercial Cooking Equipment Division of General Electric. The company also merged with Illinois Tool works in 1995 and PrestoLite in 1996. New appliances and innovations were introduced throughout the twentieth century.

As the Hobart Corporation grew from a small, family owned, business to a large international corporation, the Hobart family became increasingly involved with Troy civic life and established the Hobart Arena as well as numerous other local achievements.


6 linear feet

Language of Materials



The William Hobart Papers document the evolution of a company from its beginnings as a small family-owned business based out of Troy, Ohio, into a substantial national foodservice and food retail industry. The collection covers important landmarks such as acquisitions, documents the Hobart brothers family life, the Hobart Institute of Technology, and Troy community development directly related to the Hobart’s contributions. The collection includes personal Hobart family papers, company related papers, correspondence, photographs, blueprints, sketches, pamphlets, financial records, employee records, and certificates.


The collection is arranged into four series:

  1. Series I: Hobart Brothers Company
  2. Subseries IA: Correspondence
  3. Subseries IB: Acquisitions and Mergers
  4. Subseries IC: Company Promotional Information
  5. Subseries ID: Annual Reports
  6. Subseries IE: Community Relations
  7. Subseries IF: Electric Car
  8. Series II: Hobart Institute of Technology
  9. Series III: Photographs
  10. Subseries IIIA: Family
  11. Subseries IIIB: General
  12. Series IV: Family History

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The William Hobart Papers were donated to Wright State University Special Collections and Archives by William H. Hobart in June, 2010.

Separated Materials

The work Piqua Revisited: A Collection of Historical Photographs was separated from collection. It was cataloged and is available in Special Collections and Archives Reading Room.

Guide to the William Hobart Papers (MS-444)
Lisa Rickey
2018 Dec 5
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Wright State University Libraries, Special Collections and Archives Repository

Special Collections and Archives
3640 Colonel Glenn Hwy
Dayton OH 45435-0001 USA