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Guide to the E. F. Craven Company Records, 1793-1991 and undated, bulk 1907-1965

Collection Overview

The E. F. Craven Company Records document the development of a North Carolina road machinery dealership from a small family business into a multi-million dollar corporation. The material spans the years from 1793 to 1991; the bulk of the collection is dated 1907-1965.

Much of the material in the early years of the Correspondence Series consists of communication to and from equipment dealers and customers concerning the sale and repair of road machinery. The Cravens usually included information on the health and activities of family members in their business letters to each other. E. A. Craven frequently offered financial and spiritual advice to his son, writing his responses on the back of his son's letters to him, so that the letter and the reply appear on opposite sides of the same page. Between December 1912 and January 1916 there is a considerable amount of correspondence between family members regarding the execution of Eli A. Craven's will. Many letters written between 1907 and 1930 are written on stationery illustrated with detailed renderings of various types of early road-building equipment.

From the late 1920's until the 1940's, Franklin Duval Craven ran the Asheville office of E. F. Craven Company, frequently travelling on sales trips. E. F. Craven often wrote encouraging his son in his work and giving him advice on sales strategy. Letters from E. A. Craven and E. F. Craven reflect the deep religious beliefs of the two men and the importance they placed in conducting their lives and their business in a moral fashion.

During World War II, several of the company's employees served in the armed forces. Duval Craven corresponded frequently with them, and copies of his letters and their replies can be found among the correspondence from the war years.

As the organizational structure of the company increased in complexity, the amount of family correspondence in the collection decreased. Interoffice communications comprise a large amount of the correspondence after the 1960's.

The files in the Legal Papers, Financial Records, and Directors' Minutes Series combine to form a profile of the E. F. Craven Company: its sales, expansions, customer base, and its staff and leaders. Of particular interest is its relationship with the NC Highway Commission and state officials. Early materials in the Legal Papers Series relate to the business and land-holding activities of the Craven family in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Among the items in the Printed Materials Series is a nearly complete run of The Road Machinery News, a serial published by E. F. Craven Company from 1925 until 1978. This newsletter contained news about road construction, information and advertisements regarding road building machinery, and a column "A Line or Two," written by E. F. Craven. In these editorials, Craven expressed his moral and spiritual philosophies. The articles were compiled in 1975 and published as a volume entitled A Line or Two. Educational material on general sales techniques published in 1928 and 1929 is also included in the Printed Materials Series. These books and pamphlets were used in the hiring and training of E. F. Craven Company sales staff.

The Visual Materials Series includes photographs, silent motion picture films, and illustrated trade catalogs demonstrating the attributes of road construction machinery and road-building techniques of the early twentieth century. Use copies must be made of moving images before content can be accessed. Please contact the Research Services staff before coming to use this series.

Both Eli F. Craven and Eli A. Craven became members of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) in the 1890's. Occasional references to the Craven family's support of the Society of Friends are found in documents throughout the collection. Items specifically concerned with the Religious Society of Friends are grouped in the Subject Files under the same name.

Descriptive Summary

Title
E. F. Craven Company records 1793-1991 and undated bulk 1907-1965
Creator
E. F. Craven Co.
Extent
42 Linear Feet, Approximately 33,750 Items
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library Durham, North Carolina 27708-0185
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.
Language
English

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

In addition, all or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Also, some of the materials in this collection are not immediately accessible, because they require further processing before use.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in the records of the E. F. Craven Company have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Consists of letters and copies of letters to and from the Cravens, their employees, and their business associates. Arranged chronologically by year. In years for which a large amount of correspondence exists, the letters are arranged in one to six-month increments. Includes two letter copy books containing letters written by Eli A. Craven and Eli Franklin Craven between 1901 and 1905.

1866-1906, April
(5 folders)
Box 1
1906, April-1907, March 23
(5 folders)
Box 2
1907, March 24- Sept.
(6 folders)
Box 3
1907, Oct.-1908, Apr.
(8 folders)
Box 4
1908, May-Sept.
(8 folders)
Box 5
1908, Oct.-1909, Oct.
(7 folders)
Box 6
1909, Nov.-1910, June
(6 folders)
Box 7
1910, July-Dec.
(7 folders)
Box 8
1911, Jan.-Mar.
(4 folders)
Box 9
1911, Apr.-June
(4 folders)
Box 10
1911, July-1912, Feb.
(7 folders)
Box 11
1912, Mar.-1914, Mar.
(6 folders)
Box 12
1914, Apr.-1915, Nov. 15
(6 folders)
Box 13
1915, Nov. 16-Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 14
1917, Jan.-1928, Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 15
1929, Jan.-1930, Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 16
1931, Jan.-1933, Apr.
(8 folders)
Box 17
1933, May-1934, Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 18
1935, Jan.-1936, Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 19
1937, Jan.-1941, Dec.
(7 folders)
Box 20
1942, Jan.-1944, Dec.
(6 folders)
Box 21
1945, Jan.-1947
(4 folders)
Box 22
1948, Jan.-1955
(8 folders)
Box 23
1956-1965
(9 folders)
Box 24
1966, Jan.-1969
(7 folders)
Box 25
1970-1974
(7 folders)
Box 26
1975, Jan.-1979
(7 folders)
Box 27
1980-1991, n.d.
(8 folders)
Box 28
Vol. No. 1 Letter copy book, 1901-1903 (contains vol. 1)
Box 29
Vol. No. 2 Letter copy book, 1904-1905 (contains vol. 2)
Box 30

Includes statements, invoices, reports, tax forms, cancelled stock certificates, and payroll records. Most of the items were generated by the E. F. Craven Company and its suppliers. Arranged chronologically by year. Refer to container list for description of volumes. See oversize material as well.

1884-1915
(8 folders)
Box 31
1916-1925
(8 folders)
Box 32
1926-1939
(6 folders)
Box 33
1940-1965
(6 folders)
Box 34
1966-1976
(5 folders)
Box 35
1977-1985, n.d.
(6 folders)
Box 36
Price lists from Acme Road Machinery Co., n.d.
Box 36
Stock stubs and certificates
Box 37
Vol. No. 3 Account Book, 1855-1868
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 4 Account Book, 1872-1878
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 5 Sales Book, 1892
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 6 Cash Book, 1897-1913
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 7 Bankbook: Greensboro National Bank, 1899-1901
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 8 Sales Comparison Book, 1907-1929
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 9 Cash Book, 1915-1926
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 10 Bankbook, 1917-1923
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 11 Account Book, 1920-1924
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 12 Expense Book, 1924-1926
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 13 Audit Report, 1924-1925
Box 38 (contains vols. 3-13)
Vol. No. 14 Payroll Book, 1926-1935
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 15 Expense Book, May 1927
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 16 Expense Book, July 1927
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 17 Expense Book, July 1927
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 18 Cash Journal, 1927-1928
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 19 Sales Comparison Book, 1927
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 20 Schedule of Rental & Depreciation of Construction Equipment, 1928
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 21 Ledger, 1928
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 22 Account Book, 1929
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 23 Schedule of Rental & Depreciation of Construction Equipment, 1930-1939
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 24 Order Book, 1933
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 25 Order Book, 1936
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 26 Record of Tax-Deductible Business Expenditures, 1937-1941
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 27 Cash Book, 1941-1943
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 28 Cash Book, 1944-1946
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 29 Sales Book, 1946-1947
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 30 Sales Book, 1947-1949
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 31 Bills Payable & Bills Receivable, 1921, Aug.-1925, Aug.
Box 39 (contains vols. 14-31)
Vol. No. 32 Stock Ledger, 1927-1982
Box 40 (contains vols. 32-37)
Vol. No. 33 Account Book, 1910-1918
Box 40 (contains vols. 32-37)
Vol. No. 34 Account Book, 1910-1917
Box 40 (contains vols. 32-37)
Vol. No. 35 Cash Book, 1975-1982
Box 40 (contains vols. 32-37)
Vol. No. 36 Appraisal Report, 1981, Aug. 31
Box 40 (contains vols. 32-37)
Vol. No. 37 Appraisal Report, 1981, Sept. 1
Box 40 (contains vols. 32-37)
Order books, 1910-1917
(28 items)
Box 41
Vol. No. 38 Order Book, 1917, Jan.-1918, June
Box 41
Vol. No. 39 Order Book, 1918, June-1919, Dec.
Box 41
Vol. No. 40 Order Book, 1920, Jan.-Sept.
Box 41
Vol. No. 41 Order Book, 1922, Aug. 27-1924, Jan.
Box 41
Vol. No. 42 Order Book, 1924, Jan.-1925, Mar.
Box 41
Vol. No. 43 Order Book, 1925, Mar.-1926, Apr.
Box 41
Vol. No. 44 Order Book, 1926, Apr.-1927, June
Box 41
Vol. No. 45 Order Book, 1927, June-1928, Nov.
Box 41
Vol. No. 46 Order Book, 1928, Nov.-1930, July
Box 41
Vol. No. 47 Order Book, 1930, July-1932 Nov.
Box 41
Vol. No. 48 Order Book, 1932, Nov.-1934, Dec.
Box 41
Vol. No. 49 Notes and Bills Receivable and Payable, 1921-1922
Box 41
Vol. No. 50 Bills Receivable, 1925-1927
Box 41
Vol. No. 51 Notes and Bills Receivable, 1925-1928
Box 41
Vol. No. 52 Factory Invoice Records, 1922, Aug.-1924, Mar.
Box 41
Vol. No. 53 Factory Invoice Records, 1924, Feb.-1925, July
Box 41
Vol. No. 54 Factory Invoice Records, 1925, July-1926, July
Box 41
Vol. No. 55 Ledger, 1913-1917, May
Box 41
Vol. No. 56 Ledger, 1917, Apr.-1919, Jan.
Box 41
Vol. No. 57 Cash Journal, 1920, Jan.-1922, Apr.
Box 41
Vol. No. 58 Cash Journal, 1922, May-1923, Feb.
Box 41
Vol. No. 59 Cash Journal and Daily Financial Statement, 1922, Mar.-1925, Dec.
Box 41
Vol. No. 60 Equipment Sales and Ownership Record, 1927
Box 41
Vol. No. 61 Factory Invoice Records, 1926, June-1926, Sept.
Box 41
Vol. No. 62 Equipment Sales and Ownership Record, 1917-1927
Box 41
Vol. No. 63 Ledger, 1910-1915
Box 41
Vol. No. 64 Equipment Ownership Record, 1921-1927
Box 41
Vol. No. 65 Cash Receipt Journal, 1918-1919
Box 41
Vol. No. 66 Cash Receipt Journal, 1920-August 1922
Box 41
Vol. No. 67 Cash Receipt Journal, 1922-1923
Box 41
Vol. No. 68 Record of Sales by Individuals 1921-1926
Box 41
Vol. No. 69 Account Journal, 1921, Oct.-1923, Feb.
Box 41
Vol. No. 70 Record of Paid Freight Bills, 1922-1925
Box 41
Vol. No. 71 Monthly Balances on Open Accounts, 1925-1926
Box 41
Vol. No. 72 Monthly Balances and Payments on Open Accounts, 1927-1928
Box 41

Early legal papers consist of land transactions, property inventories, summonses, and wills. Among the other items are contracts between E. F. Craven Company and various manufacturers of road machinery regarding the sale of their products; documents regarding the 1968 controversy over the North Carolina Highway Commission's specifications for road machinery; the 1974 merger agreement between E. F. Craven Company and Pitt Realty Corporation; and the 1975 purchase agreement between E. F. Craven Company and Brocar, Incorporated. Arranged chronologically by year.

Papers, 1793-1965
(6 folders)
Box 42
N.C. Highway Commission, 1966-1967
Box 43
Papers, 1968-1974
Box 43
Motor Grader Hearing, 1968, Jan. 19-1968, Mar. 5
(4 folders)
Box 43
Pitt-Craven Merger, 1974
(7 folders)
Box 43
Purchase agreement, 1975, Nov. 14
(2 folders)
Box 44
Lease agreement, 1975, Nov. 14
Box 44
Papers, 1975-1978
Box 44
D & L Limited Partnership Closing Documents, 1982, Nov. 15
Box 44
Papers, 1982-1983, n.d.
Box 44

Includes a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation and the by-laws of E. F. Craven Company as well as a continuous run of the minutes of the Board of Directors from 1926-1983. Arranged chronologically.

Directors' Minutes, 1926-1974
(7 folders)
Box 45
Directors' Minutes, 1975-1983
(8 folders)
Box 46

Arranged in three general categories: Machinery (subdivided alphabetically by manufacturer), People, and Places. Items are arranged chronologically by year within these categories with some exceptions being made due to housing constraints. Refer to the container list for descriptions of films and volumes. Also see oversize material.

Photographs, demonstration catalogs, and 16mm. motion picture films of machinery sold by E. F. Craven Company; photographs of the Craven family and company employees; and pictures of the E. F. Craven Company buildings and construction sites comprise this series.

[Originals of films are closed to use. Technical Services staff need to arrange for use copies to be made before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services staff before coming to use the collection.]

Allis-Chalmers, 1930-1989, n.d.
(3 folders)
Box 47
Best-Midget, 1920-1977, n.d.
Box 47
Bucyrus Erie, 1930-1979, n.d.
(4 folders)
Box 47
Peerless-Russell, 1932-1977, n.d.
Box 48
Russell Manufacturing Catalog Pages, ca. 1918
(3 folders)
Box 48
Sandusky, Unidentified, 1920-1977, n.d.
Box 48
Unidentified and miscellaneous, 1920-1980, n.d.
Box 48
Vol. No. 73 Littleford Tar and Asphalt Heaters Photographic Catalog, n.d.
Box 49 (contains vols. 73-78)
Vol. No. 74 Allis-Chalmers Manufacturing Catalog, 1928-1929
Box 49 (contains vols. 73-78)
Vol. No. 75 Erie Shovel Catalog, n.d.
Box 49 (contains vols. 73-78)
Vol. No. 76 Frank G. Hough Company Album, n.d.
Box 49 (contains vols. 73-78)
Vol. No. 77 Universal Crane Catalog, ca. 1920
Box 49 (contains vols. 73-78)
Vol. No. 78 Parsons Company Catalog, ca. 1920
Box 49 (contains vols. 73-78)

[Original films are closed to use. Technical Services staff need to arrange for use copies to be made before contents can be accessed. Please contact Research Services staff before coming to use the collection.]

1. Russell Grader with Caterpillar tractor and Adams back-sloper attachment, n.d.
Box 50
2. Terracing with county maintenance equipment (Allis-Chalmers HD7 Diesel 22 Tractor) in Texas, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Iowa, n.d.
Box 50
3. American Asphalt Company loading rock and sand with Haiss loaders in Chicago, Illinois, n.d.
Box 50
4. How to Build a Modern Mixed-In-Place Road Surface Written text gives step-by-step explanation. Littleford Distributor and Littleford Bituminous Resurfacer, n.d.
Box 50
5. Machinery not identified. Dated 6/15/1928. Road construction; in Raleigh, NC.
Box 50
6. Haiss Excavator. Digging wet clay and macadam. Filmed in Illinois and at the state capitol grounds in Olympia, WA, ca. 1927.
Box 50
7. Haiss Excavator. Loading sand and rock in Chicago, IL and Rockville, NY, n.d.
Box 50
8. Haiss excavation and concrete pouring. Digging subway under Illinois Central Station, n.d.
Box 50
9. Tractor pulling trees. Machinery not identified, n.d.
Box 50
10. Haiss creeper, grader, and loader. Late 1920's.
Box 50
11. Adams grader and back-sloper with leaning wheel, 1928.
Box 50
12. Bucyrus-Erie Steam Shovel. Excavating underground in some shots, n.d.
Box 50
Photographs, 1901-1989, n.d.
(4 folders)
Box 51
Oversize photographs, 1920s, n.d.
Box 65 (2nd 70:H)
1900-1978, n.d.
(2 folders)
Box 51

Consists of unused stationery, serials, advertisements, catalogs, and pamphlets produced by E. F. Craven Company and machinery companies with whom they did business as well as articles and a book written by Eli Franklin Craven. Includes clippings of articles about E. F. Craven Company and the Craven family. See container list for description of volumes.

Introduction, 1983, Aug. 25
Box 52
1925, Mar.-1960, Nov.
(12 folders)
Box 52
1960-1978, Jan.
(6 folders)
Box 53
Baker, Bucyeus-Erie, Enginews, Russell News
Box 53
Vol. No. 79 E. F. Craven Company Catalog, 1943-1944
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 80 E. F. Craven Company Catalog, 1953
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 81 E. F. Craven Company Catalog, 1973
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 82 Allis-Chalmers United Tractor Catalog, 1930
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 83 Allis-Chalmers Ind"U"strial Catalog, 1930
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 84 Rawlings Implement Company Catalog, 1916
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 85 Russell Grader Repair Parts Catalog, n.d.
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 86 Russell Grader Manufacturing Company Catalog, 1926-1927
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 87 Russell Grader Manufacturing Company Catalog, 1914
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 88 John Deere Plow Company Catalog, 1916
Box 54 (contains vols. 79-88)
Vol. No. 89 Stag Manganese Steel Catalog, n.d.
Box 55 (contains vols. 89-93)
Vol. No. 90 Acme Road Machinery Company Price List, 1900-1910
Box 55 (contains vols. 89-93)
Vol. No. 91 E. F. Craven Company Catalog, 1924-1926
Box 55 (contains vols. 89-93)
Vol. No. 92 Powers Highway Catalog and Directory, 1932
Box 55 (contains vols. 89-93)
Vol. No. 93 Western Wheeled Scraper Company Catalog, ca. 1927
Box 55 (contains vols. 89-93)
Vol. No. 94 Earth Mover, 1927
Box 56 (contains vols. 94-95)
Vol. No. 95 Earth Mover, 1928
Box 56 (contains vols. 94-95)
"Practical Selling" pamphlets, 1929
Box 57 (contains vols. 96-97)
Sales Training notebook, 1922-1977
Box 57 (contains vols. 96-97)
Vol. No. 96 Illustrated Selling, 1928
Box 57 (contains vols. 96-97)
Vol. No. 97 A Line or Two, 1975
Box 57 (contains vols. 96-97)
Allis-Chalmers catalogs and literature, 1930s-1950s
Box 72
Advertising, stationery, etc., 1880-1990, n.d.
(6 folders)
Box 58
Clippings, 1913, Jan. 15-1986, July, n.d.
Box 58

Consists of papers related to organizations or topics of interest to members of the Craven family. Groupings include Better Schools and Roads, Inc.; Genealogy; Greensboro Y.M.C.A.; Juvenilia; and the Religious Society of Friends. Arranged alphabetically by subject and chronologically by year within each subject.

Better Schools and Roads, 1949-1971
Box 59
Genealogy, 1852-1987
(5 folders)
Box 59
Juvenilia, 1893, Sept. 26-1975, May 5
(2 folders)
Box 59
Religious Society of Friends, 1891-1976
Box 59
Y.M.C.A., 1928-1933
Box 59

Promotional items such as pencils, rulers, and luggage tags distributed by E. F. Craven Company and suppliers.

Various memorabilia
Box 60

Includes a notebook of biblical texts for sermons, pages from datebooks and appointment calendars, mailing lists, and drafts of editorials. Arranged chronologically by year.

Miscellaneous
(2 folders)
Box 61

Files contain various correspondence, business, legal, personal, and financial papers that had been restricted by F. Duval Craven for his lifetime. Material is now open to use. Materials relate to and were collected by F. Duval Craven, but many family members are represented, especially in the correspondence. The correspondence spans five decades and is divided into two groups: personal letters exchanged between F. Duval Craven and many family members, and business correspondence, much of it having to do with the Craven Company's contracts with the State of NC Highway Commission. Most of the correspondence is incoming, addressed to F. Duval Craven. Legal and financial papers include wills, legal contracts, legal suits and other disputes or issues, and memos and correspondence about the family business. The personal papers, a small group, include newspaper clippings, a few photographs, some memorabilia, post cards, grade school report cards, receipts from business/vacation trips, and campaign and political papers (electoral ballots)

The final group of folders contain aptitude tests carried out by a national testing firm on Craven Company employees during the fifties and sixties. These folders offer a detailed record of testing methods in the corporate world of the fifties and sixties. Some of the test reports are annotated by Craven after many years as to the outcome of the employee's performance, and note his assessment of this type of psychological and character testing.

The materials were sealed in envelopes. During processing they were kept in original order as found in envelopes (each folder or group of folders represents the contents of an envelope), then arranged by series in rough chronological order, with resulting date overlap between folders. Aptitude test folders are closed to research until 2016.

1933-1978
(20 folders)
Box 62
1952-1981
(33 folders)
Box 63
1972-1986
(21 folders)
Box 64
1916-1965
(22 folders)
Box 65
1967-1985
(21 folders)
Box 66
1922-1966
(21 folders)
Box 67
1966-1987
(19 folders)
Box 68
1922-1966
(3 folders)
Box 69
Papers, 1907-1979
Box 70
Record of Indenture, 1812
Box 70
Photographs, 1908-1911, n.d.
Box 70
Photographs, 1926-1959, n.d.
Box 70
Photographs, ca. 1920-1929, n.d.
Box 70
Machinery advertisements, n.d.
Box 70
Machinery blueprints, 1908-1915
Box 70
E. F. Craven Co. Calendar, 1931
Box 70
Blueprints for E. F. Craven equipment shop, 1979
Box 70
Miscellaneous
Box 71

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1907Eli Franklin Craven sold road building machinery built by various manufacturers
1918Craven built his first office building (13,000 square feet) on Morehead Avenue in Greensboro, NC
1925Craven built larger three-story building adjoining his existing one and facing on Elm Street
1926Craven incorporated his business as E. F. Craven Company. His son Franklin Duval Craven began working for him as a salesman
1964F. Duval Craven became President of the company after his father's death
Nov. 1975E. F. Craven Company was sold to Brocar, Inc., retaining same officers and employees. Company's name changed to EFC Associates, Inc.
1978F. Duval Craven retired
1993 Mar. 30Death of F. Duval Craven

Although Eli Franklin Craven founded the company named for him, the Craven family's involvement in the sale of road-building machinery began with his father Eli Asbury Craven (1824-1912). The elder Craven, a Methodist minister, sold farm and road machinery in Causey, NC before 1895. Around the turn of the century, both he and his son represented Acme Road Machinery, a company based in Frankfort, New York. Eli F. Craven sold machines produced by other companies as well, including Studebaker Brothers, Russell Grader Manufacturing Company, and John Deere Plow Company. Soon he became known to his customers as "E. F. Craven, the Road Machinery Man."

Craven's business flourished after the 1921 issuance of North Carolina's first road bonds. In 1926, after the incorporation of the company, Craven changed the slogan to "E. F. Craven Company, the Road Machinery Men," and sales totalled over $1,000,000.00. Eli Franklin Craven was manager. His son, F. Duval Craven, worked for the company as a salesperson.

During the 1940's, Franklin Duval Craven took an increasingly active role in the management of the company. Duval served as General Manager by 1948. At his father's death in 1964, he became the president of E. F. Craven Company. At this time, his brother Edwin Asbury Craven (1909-1966) was Vice-President and Treasurer. In 1977, F. Duval Craven gave up many of the operating responsibilities of the company. Charles A. Hines, Jr. became President and Chief Operating Officer.

In November 1975, F. Duval Craven sold the company to John J. Brogan of West Chatham, Massachusetts and Charles C. Carson of New York City (Brocar, Inc.), who changed the name to EFC Associates. The company retained the same officers and staff.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], E. F. Craven Company Records, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The E. F. Craven Company Records were donated to the Manuscript Department in 1978 by Franklin Duval Craven, the son of Eli Franklin Craven. Mr. Craven also provided support for the processing of the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Melissa J. Delbridge, Kelly Cottrell, Edna Riggs, and Sandra Hack

Encoded by Robin LaPasha

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.