In the late 1840s, Henry Lehman made the journey from Germany to Alabama, where he established a dry goods store. Several years later, he was joined by his two brothers and over the coming years the firm of Lehman Brothers would become a commodities broker buying and selling cotton for the planters in the area. They opened a New York office in 1858, and during the next century and a half they would become one of the world's most prominent financial firms. Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, but curious persons can still learn about their various dealings via this site. The Lehman Brothers Collection at Harvard University's Baker Library contains digitized records of their deal books from the 1920s to the 1980s. On the homepage, visitors can learn about the history of the firm, and also use the "Using the Deal Books" to learn how to decipher all of their transactions. The deal books can also be browsed by chronology, company, or industry. That's far from all, as the site also has extensive business records, which include executive records, financial documents, and correspondence. Taken as a whole, it's a tremendous resource for persons with an interest in business history and American history more generally.


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