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Dye Maker's Recipe Book

An inventory of the recipe book at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Summit record]
Date: 01 Jan 2001

Biographical History

The recipe book owner was a cloth dyer in nineteenth century England and the United States. His name is written on page 114, but is difficult to read. It may be "R. Lavery." On this same page, the writer records some details of his life, stating that he studied cloth dyeing as a child at "Thompsons [sic] of Primrose Clithero [sic]," likely referring to James Thomson (1779 - 1850), owner of Primrose Print Works in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England. On the same page, the writer adds that his father moved the family to the United States while he was still a child. Other names mentioned in the book include William McMurry, May Lyons, and Ormerod Stout of Clitheroe ("My father borrowed money from him to take [us?] back to the U.S. and never paid him").

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Dye Maker's Recipe Book consists of a notebook of handwritten dye recipes, listed by color. Examples include "Madder Red for Platy Old Style," "Steam Pink for Machine" and "Brown Standard." Some of the recipes are accompanied by small cloth samples showing the resulting colors. There are also general notes about dying methods and diagrams of the machines used. Most of the book is undated, although a few years are listed, including 1842, 1843, and 1845.

Arrangement of the Collection

Single item.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Subject Headings


Lavery, R.
Thomson, James, 1779-1850.


Color in the textile industries -- History.
Dyes and dyeing.
Textile industry -- England -- Clitheroe -- 19th century.


Clitheroe (England) -- History.

Genres and Forms

Technical manuals.



Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Dye Maker's Recipe Book,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Purchased, 1968.

Table of Contents

Recipe Book