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Morris Evans Leeds papers

Identifier: HC.MC-1014

Scope and Contents

Included in the collection is correspondence of Morris E. Leeds, mainly with E. Tudor Gross of Providence, Rhode Island, in 1942, relating to the first window envelope, invented by Lewis Walker Leeds, ca. 1861. Gross was preparing to write an article on the history of the window envelope. The collection opens with a 1942 letter from L. Hollingsworth Wood to Leeds telling him of Gross’s endeavor. The papers also include 1862 sample envelopes; a copy of a photograph of Barclay R. Leeds, ca. 1862; a photograph of Lewis W. Leeds, ca. 1862; an 1862 contract with William Lyon to manufacture the “stampsealing and postmark-preserving envelope;” an article in Scientific American, July 12, 1862 about the invention, along with three letters from Barclay Leeds and Lewis Leeds in 1862 detailing some business aspects relating to the envelope; bills, circulars; pictures; copies of the Collectors Club Philatelist, April, 1942, containing E. Tudor Gross's article, "The first window envelope."


  • Creation: 1862-1944
  • Creation: Majority of material found in 1862; 1942

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Biographical / Historical

Morris Evans Leeds (1869-1952) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the son of Barclay R. Leeds and Mary Maule Leeds. He was educated at Westtown School and graduated from Haverford College in 1888. He studied at the University of Berlin from 1892-1893. For a brief time, he taught at Westtown, then was employed by Queen & Company. Beginning in 1889 until 1903, Leeds was managing partner in Morris E. Leeds & Co. He became the president of Leeds & Northrup in 1903. The company made strides not only in the field of precision instruments, but also under the direction of Leeds, in employee working conditions, relations between employees and management, and amelioration of unemployment. In 1926, Leeds married Hadassah J. Moore. They had two daughters. From 1909-1952, he was a member of the Corporation and Board of Haverford College, serving as President of the Board from 1928-1945. Leeds was also active on the School Board of Philadelphia and was its president from 1938-1948. Morris E. Leeds was interested in botany and was a member of many scientific and cultural societies. He was co-author of Toward Full Employment.


0.5 linear ft. (1 box)

Language of Materials



A collection that focuses on two dates: 1862 & 1942. In the former, Lewis W. Leeds' invention of the window envelope is detailed with contracts, bills, correspondence and samples of the envelope. In 1942, his descendant, Morris E. Leeds corresponds with E. Tudor Gross who has become interested in the invention and ends with the article entitled "The Window Envelope," which appeared in the Collector's Club Philatelist in April of that year.


Arranged chronologically from 1862-1944.


The Morris Evans Leeds papers were donated to Special Collections, Haverford College in 1962 by Hadassah Moore Leeds Parrot.

Related Materials

See also collection HC.MC-1127.

Processing Information

Original processing information unknown. Collection reboxed and finding aid updated November 2021 by Abel Kelbessa.

Morris Evans Leeds papers, 1862-1944
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • November, 2021: Reboxed and finding aid updated

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