Archives of Georgetown, Delaware, businesses

Biographical and Historical Notes

The collection consists primarily of materials related to three prominent businesses that were active in Georgetown, Delaware, at the turn of and into the mid-twentieth century: J.W. Blizzard, Layton & Layton, and the Georgetown Gas Company.

J.W. Blizzard operated a general store located at the corner of Rose and Prince Streets in Georgetown, as well as an additional business called The Foot Store. Included in the collection are invoices, receipts, and correspondence from the many distributors whose goods were sold by Blizzard.

The firm of Layton & Layton, established by L. Lee Layton, Jr., furnished supplies for J.W. Blizzard. As a wholesale distributor, Layton & Layton not only provided goods for other local businesses such as J.W. Blizzard but for numerous Sussex County residents as well.

Also included in the collection are delivery receipts for the Georgetown Gas Company. Customers consisted largely of individual residents rather than local businesses. The collection also contains assorted materials related to individual residents of Sussex County and a small collection of ephemera concerning agriculture, particularly tractor manuals and catalogs.


Information derived from collection.

Scope and Content Note

The Archives of Georgetown, Delaware, businesses is the gift of Milt Chaski, Jr., who acquired the material in one "odd lot" at an auction sale. Related business miscellany from a later purchase was added to the collection. The collection comprises business records and receipts from three businesses, as well as additional ephemera from Sussex County, allowing a glimpse of regional dry goods transactions, wholesale delivery, and agricultural supplies in the area. As paper Americana, the collection yields many examples of interesting letterhead and receipts. Spanning the years 1893-1949 with the bulk of the material dating from 1919-1927, the collection is divided into three series related to businesses and two series of miscellany.

The first series consists of materials related to J.W. Blizzard’s Georgetown business including invoices, receipts, bills of lading, and correspondence. Blizzard acquired his goods from companies across the country, especially from Baltimore and Philadelphia, including Lippincott and Company and the Howard Manufacturing Company. Blizzard had many transactions with distributor Layton & Layton.

The second series includes materials related to the wholesale distributor, Layton & Layton, another Georgetown supplier. Layton & Layton had dealings with some of the most prominent suppliers in the country, such as Postum Cereal Company, McCormick and Company (spices), Sherwin-Williams Company (paints), and the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (tobacco products).

The third series in the collection contains receipts generated by the Georgetown Gas Company. These include carbon copies for gas deliveries made to residences. The collection also contains a fourth series of material related to Sussex County, Delaware. Included are bills of lading for deliveries made to Sussex County by the Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington Railroad, materials related to stock purchases by Susan Ennes, legal documents regarding the estate of James H. Warren, and items belonging to Linda Lank of Lewes.

The fourth series consists of miscellaneous Sussex County, Delaware, materials, such as receipts for services provided and materials purchased, correspondence, and legal documents.

The final series of the collection consists of ephemera concerning agriculture. Included in this series are pictures and manuals and catalogs related to various makes and models of tractors.