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M.F. Neal & Company, Inc., Records, 1873–1998 (Mss3 N2455 a FA2), Virginia Historical Society, Richmond, Va.
Gift of Julia (Neal) Rose and T. David Neal, Richmond, Va., 2013. Accessioned August 3, 2015.
Repository: Virginia Historical Society.
Collection number: Mss3 N2455 a FA2
Title: M.F. Neal & Company, Inc., Records, 1873–1998
Size: 4 linear feet (242 folders).
Abstract: Concern M.F. Neal & Company, Inc., Richmond, Virginia, dealers in spices and flavorings, and Thomas D. Neal IV, who served as the company's president from 1970-1984. Includes information on products purchased and produced, clients, and the spice and flavorings industry.
There is limited material from the early days of the M.F. Neal & Company founded by Mills F. Neal. This includes a notebook containing milling instructions for various spices and some information about factory equipment. The majority of the material relates to the period 1970-1984, after the company was purchased by MacAndrews and Forbes Company, during which time Thomas D. Neal IV was president. These materials include information about clients, products, production, and travel by T.D. Neal to either obtain raw ingredients or secure clients and producers. Also included are materials related to T.D. Neal's later financial ventures as an employee of Old Mansion, Inc. and owner of Rivanna Farms, Ltd. Last, there is personal material of T.D. Neal chiefly during his final years..
This collection is organized into four series with subdivisions as necessary. These include: Series 1. M.F. Mills & Company, Inc.; Series 2. M.F. Mills and MacAndrews and Forbes; Series 3. Thomas D. Neal pre- and post-M.F. Neal employment; and Series 4. Thomas D. Neal personal materials. With the exception of Series 2 materials are generally arranged alphabetically.
Series 2 is further subdivided into eleven subseries as follows: Series 2.1. Clients and suppliers; Series 2.2. Correspondence; Series 2.3. Equipment and facilities; Series 2.4. Financial materials; Series 2.5. MacAndrews and Forbes Company; Series 2.6. Personnel; Series 2.7. Products; Series 2.8. Publications; Series 2.9. Sales; Series 2.10. Travel; and Series 2.11. Miscellaneous.
M. F. Neal & Company was an integral piece of the tobacco and food industries in Richmond and in the greater South for much of the twentieth century. The company was founded by Mills F. Neal (1892-1971) in 1927, and was the continuation of an earlier concern, Neal and Binford (established by C.B. Neal and Mayo M. Binford sometime between 1910 and 1920), which in turn was the successor to J.D. Patton and Company. M. F. Neal & Company imported raw materials from around the world and processed them in its Richmond factory before selling them to the firms that produced cigarettes and food products. M. F. Neal & Company existed independently until 1970, when it was bought up by MacAndrews and Forbes Company, Inc. (or MaFCo). As part of the purchase agreement, Mills F. Neal retired and his nephew, Thomas D. Neal IV (or Jr.) became president. T. D. Neal continued to act as president of the M. F. Neal division of MacAndrews and Forbes until he retired in 1984. At this point, he started a new business, Rivanna Farms, Ltd., to continue similar work. The records conclude with Thomas D. Neal's death in 1998.
Family-owned business enterprises - Virginia - Richmond - History - 20th century.
Flavoring essences industry -- History -- 20th century.
M.F. Neal & Company, Inc. (Richmond, Va.)
MacAndrews & Forbes Company (Camden, N.J.)
Neal, Mills F., 1892-1971.
Neal, Thomas David, 1917?-1998.
Neal and Binford (Richmond, Va.)
Old Mansion, Inc.
Rivanna Farms, Ltd.
Spice trade - History - 20th century.
Tobacco industry - United States - History - 20th century.
Company history materials include a sign for Neal and Binford (C.B. Neal and Mayo M. Binford), "Importers and Dealers in Tobacco Supplies," and successors to J.D. Patton & Co., n.d.; letter, 1927 April 11 [copy], Mills F. Neal to State Planters Bank and Trust Company and Brockenbrough Lamb, Administrators of Mayo M. Binford, deceased, offering to purchase the assets of Neal and Binford; newspaper article, 1927 April 23, announcing the establishment of the firm of M.F. Neal & Company, Inc.; and newspaper article, 1970 February 3, announcing the purchase of M.F. Neal & Company by MacAndrews & Forbes Company. Customers represented include A.E. Staley Manufacturing Company, Brown and Williamson Tobacco Company, C.F. Sauer Company, C.W. Antrim and Sons, Inc., Larus and Brother, Maclin Zimmer McGill, Philip Morris and Company, and Sutliff Tobacco Company.
Among the products produced and sold were St. John's-bread, now more commonly known as carob, a tree whose seeds are used to produce both a cocoa-like powder and the thickening agent locust bean gum, Deer Tongue leaf, a plant native to eastern North America, and Sweet gum, which produces a resin used in perfume, food, and tobacco flavoring. The Company also imported spices such as anise, angelica, cardamom, and mace to be milled according to customer specifications.
Miscellaneous historical materials include a broadside, 1873 August 1, "Tolls on Mayo's Bridge!"; letter, 1879 June 5, P. Whitlock, Model Cigar Factory, Richmond, to W.C. Agee & Co., Buckingham C.H., concerning a shipment of cigars; Adams Express Co. and Southern Express Co. receipts, 1915, issued to Thomas D. Neal (1848-1917), and newspaper article, 1969 September 21, on the centennial of the Danville, Va., tobacco market and mentioning Thomas D. Neal (1812-1884)as its unofficial founder.
|1.||Company history materials, n.d. and ca. 1927-1986|
|2.||Correspondence, n.d., 1954-1967|
|4.||Customers, C.F. Sauer Company, 1950-1967|
|5.||Directory, 1950s-1960s (instructions for grinding of spices and other products)|
|6.||Employee lists, evaluations, vacation schedules, etc., 1962-1971|
|7.||Factory and equipment information, 1919-1965|
|8.||Factory and equipment information, catalogs, 1960s|
|9.||Financial miscellany, 150-1970|
|10.||Insurance benefits, 1962|
|11.||Inventory, Finished and in process, 1953 July|
|12.||Operations notebook, 1958-1964 (maintenance, shifts, man-hours per job)|
|13.||Price lists, 1950, from companies other than M.F. Neal|
|14.||Promissory notes, 1966-1969, between M.F. Neal and William H. Rae|
|15.||Products: Carob [aka St. Johns- Bread and Locust bean], 1919-1934|
|16.||Products: Cocoa, 1923-1965|
|17.||Products: Deer Tongue Leaf [aka trout-lily, dog's-tooth violet, etc.], 1965|
|18.||Products: Sweet gum|
|19.||Products: Miscellaneous, 1939-1965|
|20.||Products and customers, Notes on, 1954-1961|
|21.||Profit and loss figures, 1952-1965 and 1968-1969|
|22.||Publications: American Spice Trade Association, Inc., 1958-1960|
|23.||Publications: Collection of Medicinal Plans in Florida (Christiansen, 1930)|
|24.||Publications: Golden Anniversary of the AMF Cigarette Machine (AMF, 1957)|
|25.||Publications: Savory Herbs : Culture and Use (1946)|
|26.||Publications: Seeing Richmond (1914)|
|27.||Publications: Southern Tobacco Journal (1895 December)|
|28.||Publications: Tobacco Leaf : Organ of the Tobacco Trade of the United States (1865 March 4: facsimile)|
|29.||Publications: Weeds used in Medicine (Henkel, 1917)|
|31.||Sales calls, 1967|
|33.||Miscellaneous historical materials unrelated to M.F. Neal, 1873-1986|
This series concerns the M.F. Neal & Company after its purchase by MacAndrews & Forbes Company (MaFCo) in 1970 and traces the erosion of the relationship between Thomas D. Neal IV and the MaFCo management.
These files includes scattered correspondence, notes, and orders to and from American and international companies. They reflect the companies for whom M.F. Neal was obtaining and processing products, as well as the companies from whom they obtained raw materials.
|34.||Address book, 1971-1979|
|36.||Customer lists, 1970-1984|
|37.||Customer notes, 1976-1984|
|38.||Customers by grade, 1973-1974|
|39.||AAF, Inc. (Marietta, Ga.), 1979-1981|
|40.||Amato Agency, Inc. (N.Y.C.), 1983-1984|
|41.||American Tobacco Company (N.Y.C.), 1973-1983|
|42.||Bell Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (Northbrook, Ill.), 1983|
|43.||Botanical International, Inc. (Long Beach, Ca.), 1981|
|44.||Brown and Williamson Tobacco Corp. (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 1976-1983|
|45.||Brücker (Otto) (Hamburg, Ger.), 1978|
|46.||California Aromatics and Flavors, Inc. (Sun Valley, Ca.), 1972-1973|
|47.||Celanese Polymer Specialties Co. (Louisville, Ky.), 1978|
|48.||Charabot and Company, Inc. (Englewood, N.J.), 1981|
|49.||Conwood Corporation (Memphis, Tenn.), 1972|
|50.||Crawford Mar and Company (Trinidad, West Indies), 1979-1984|
|51.||Florasynth, Inc. (N.Y.C.), 1981-1982|
|52.||Hemisphere Associated (Cold Spring Harbor, N.Y.), 1983-1984|
|53.||Hoffman Tobacco, Ltd. (Richmond, Va.), 1978-1980|
|54.||Imperial Tobacco Leaf Services, Inc. (Wilson, N.C.), 1972-1981|
|55.||International Flavors and Fragrances, Inc. (Hazlet, N.J.), 1974, 1983|
|56.||Laboratorios Mixim, S.A. (San Bartolo Naucalpan, Mex.), 1980-1983|
|57.||Liggett and Myers, Inc. (Durham, N.C.), 1972|
|58.||Longeval (A.), S.A. (Belgium)|
|59.||Lorillard (Greensboro, N.C.), 1982-1983|
|60.||Manheimer (J.), Inc. (Long Island City, N.Y.), 1980|
|61.||Meer (North Bergen, N.J.), 1983|
|62.||Natural Extract Processing Corporation (Deer Park, N.Y.), 1980-1981|
|63.||Penick (S. B.) and Company (N.Y.C.), 1976|
|64.||Philip Morris USA (Richmond, Va.), 1970-1980|
|65.||Reynolds (R. J.) Tobacco company (Winston-Salem, N.C.), 1970-1983|
|66.||Rhodia (N.Y.C.), 1978|
|67.||Sunland Marketing, Inc., 1973-1974, 1982|
|68.||Sutliff Tobacco Company (San Francisco, Ca.), 1983|
|69.||United States Tobacco Company (Richmond, Va.), 1976-1983|
|70.||Wilbur Chocolate Company, Inc. (Lititz, Pa.), 1973-1983|
|71.||Winters (R.D.), Inc. (Hershey, Pa.), 1982|
|72.||Woodward and Dickenson (Bryn Mawr, Pa.), 1972, 1980-1981|
The bulk of this series is correspondence between Thomas D. Neal, President of M.F. Neal & Company, and his bosses at MacAndrews & Forbes Company. They show the shift from enthusiasm for the possibilities of expanding M.F. Neal's influence to the gradual realization that, as a subsidiary, the company would never be first in line for investment and upgrade. Over the years Neal is pressured to cut staff and expand production but without necessary improvements to the factory and the equipment. He also has to contend with the loss of railroad siding which had allowed easy access to shipping. The correspondence concerning the company office furniture, specifically that located in T.D. Neal's office, is a rather amusing sidelight to the above. Mills F. Neal left the furniture to his sister, Grace Mills Neal, who verbally gifted it to T.D. Neal so that it could remain in the factory. Years later she either regretted and tried to renege, or outright forgot about the gift, and these exchanges reflect T.D. Neal's efforts to keep the furniture in his possession.
The folder containing phone message slips serves as a prime example of T.D. Neal's documentary efforts. He used any piece of paper handy to make notes during phone conversations, and though cryptic, they do, in fact, help understand the day-to-day operations of the company.
|74.||Correspondence with MaFCo, 1971-1987|
|75.||Correspondence concerning office furniture, 1971-1979|
|76.||Correspondence concerning Seaboard Coast Line's removal of siding, 1983-1984|
|77.||Correspondence, General, 1972-1982|
|78.||Phone message slips, 1974-1983|
This is by no means a complete set of materials concerning the factory at in Richmond. There are, however, scattered blueline drawings of different parts of the building (for example, the electrical layout) in the Equipment and Facilities folder (Folder 79).
|79.||Equipment and facilities, 1971-1987|
|80.||Equipment catalogs, 1963-1983|
|81.||Factory building, Sale of, 1986-1987|
|82.||Photographs, ca. 1980s|
|83.||Warehouse building, Appraisal of, 1983|
This is a very scattered series, and may chiefly relate to T.D. Neal's efforts to prove the company was financially viable to his MaFCo supervisors. Another possibility is that these materials were collected as part of Neal's efforts to purchase the company back from MaFCo in 1980 and 1984.
|84.||Balance sheets, etc., 1982-1984|
|85.||Financial reports, 1970|
|86.||Financial reports, 1971|
|87.||Financial reports, 1972|
|88.||Financial reports, 1973|
|89.||Financial reports, 1974|
|90.||Financial reports, 1975|
|91.||Financial reports, 1979|
|92.||Financial reports, 1980|
|93.||Financial reports, 1981|
|94.||Financial reports, 1982|
|95.||Financial reports, 1983|
|96.||Financial reports, 1984|
|97.||Inventory of stock on hand, 1969|
|98.||Inventory of stock on hand, 1974|
|99.||Inventory of stock on hand, 1975|
|100.||Production reports, Daily, 1971-1984 (incomplete)|
These include limited official corporate materials and appear to consist chiefly of T.D. Neal's notes or records on the relationship between M.F. Neal and MacAndrews & Forbes Company.
|101.||Agreements, 1969, between M.F. Neal & Company and MaFCo re: merger|
|102.||Annual reports, 1968-1969, 1974, 1976, 1980, 1982|
|103.||Board of Directors minutes, etc., 1971|
|104.||Camden (N.J.) visit, 1982 (this concerns a visit T.D. Neal made to MaFCo management)|
|105.||Correspondence, etc,. re: T.D. Neal's plans to buy back M.F. Neal & Co., 1980, 1984|
|106.||Management reports and charts, 1980|
|107.||Notes, correspondence, financial data, etc., 1971-1979, documenting relationship between M.F. Neal and MaFCo (these consist of T.D. Neal's comments on MaFCo missteps)|
|108.||Press releases, 1981-1984|
|109.||Stock option agreement between MaFCo and T.D. Neal, 1970|
|110.||Stock reports, 1971-1984|
|111.||Work reduction options, 1983|
Among the material in this series is a folder documenting T.D. Neal's efforts to force the resignation of his secretary, Lolas Brown (Folder 112). This, in part, concerns his negotiation with his MaFCo bosses over his authority "on the ground." It appears Brown may have been talking to MaFCo behind Neal's back in order to curry favor.
Also in this series is a file on T.D. Neal's stepson, Dana Holladay Neal, the son of his second wife, Betty Ann (Holladay) Bellaire Neal and her first husband, Marc Bellaire. Dana worked at M.F. Neal during school breaks from the Virginia Military Institute, and upon his graduation in 1983 went to work full-time in sales (Folder 120).
|112.||Brown, Lolas, 1974-1982|
|113.||Employee performance appraisals, 1983|
|114.||Employment contract (blank), n.d.|
|115.||Factory employees, Number of and wage increases, 1981-1983|
|116.||Incentive compensation (bonus) plan, 1979-1984|
|117.||Insurance, Life and medical|
|118.||Job applicants, 1979-1984|
|119.||Job description, [Sales Manager], 1980|
|120.||Neal, Dana H., 1980-1983|
|121.||Organizational charts, 1971 (for both M.F. Neal and MaFCo)|
|122.||Pension plan, 1979|
|124.||Salaries and benefits, 1974-1984|
These files contain information about and sometimes orders for different products, not all of which M.F. Neal handled. Of particular interest are Tonka beans, the fruit of a South American tree that contains coumarin, the compound that gives the beans a pleasant odor that has been compared to vanilla. Tonka beans are used in some regional cuisines, but their use in the United States is limited, as over-consumption can cause liver damage and hemorrhage. They are used primarily in flavoring tobacco.
|128.||Deer Tongue Leaf, 1969-1977|
|132.||Maypop leaves/Passion flower herb, 1979-1984|
|135.||Tonka beans, 1973-1980|
|137.||Product notes and miscellaneous, 1976-1983|
These were materials collected by T.D. Neal, or received as gifts. Most concern some aspect of the spice trade or of tobacco product manufacture.
|138.||Agricultural Trade Policy (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1973)|
|139.||Chemical Industry (Cox, 1955)|
|140.||Chemical Marketing Reporter (June 29, 1987)|
|141.||Dictionary of Tobacco Terminology (DeBardeleben, 1980)|
|142.||Drug and Cosmetic Industry (June, 1979 and February, 1980)|
|143.||Food and Agricultural Export Directory (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1973)|
|144.||Food Technology (May 1984)|
|145.||Foreign Agricultural Circular (U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, 1980 Mar, 1980 Apr)|
|146.||The Maxwell Report : Year-end Sales Estimates for the Cigarette Industry (Maxwell, 1983)|
|147.||Newsletter (U.S. Dept. of Commerce. Office of Field Operations, 1973 Oct-Nov)|
|148.||Perfumer and Flavorist (April/May 1980 issue)|
|149.||Richmond Report (Pace Communications, Inc., 1984)|
|150.||Richmond, Virginia Executive's Handbook (Richmond Chamber of Commerce, 1967?)|
|151.||Seagrant-Virginia Marine Times (Spring 1974)|
|152.||The Story of Lucky Strike (American Tobacco Company, 1953)|
|153.||Tobacco: Deeply Rooted in America's Heritage (Tobacco Tax Council, Inc., n.d.)|
|154.||Tobacco in Virginia (Tobacco Tax Council, Inc., )|
|155.||Tobacco : the Old Dominion's Pot of Gold (Tobacco Tax Council, Inc., )|
|156.||Turning Point : Annual Report of the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce (1972-1973)|
|157.||United States Tobacco and Candy Journal (1984 January 19-February 8)|
|158.||Virginia Manufacturers' Association Bulletin (1976 December 15)|
|159.||World Tobacco (1982 June-July)|
|160.||100 Years with the Sutliff Tobacco Company (1948)|
|161.||1982 International Directory and Buyers' Guide (Tobacco International)|
These materials are very scattered, but do include examples of orders received. Also, there are printed lists of M.F. Neal products. These "price lists" rarely list prices. More information may be obtained in the two folders of Weekly Market Reports, which list prices by commodity (folders 170-171).
|162.||Imports and exports, 1974-1984|
|163.||Invoices, Miscellaneous, 1974-1984|
|164.||Orders, Miscellaneous, 1973-1983|
|165.||Price lists, n.d. and 1970-1983|
|166.||Price lists from companies other than M.F. Neal, 1973-1976, 1984|
|167.||Sales, Miscellaneous, 1973-1977|
|168.||Sales calls report, 1980 May 12-21|
|169.||Shipping information, etc., n.d.|
|170.||Weekly Market Report, 1971-1984, A.A. Sayia and Company, Inc. (incomplete)|
|171.||Weekly market Report, 1973-1980, George Uhe Co., Inc. (incomplete)|
|172.||Miscellaneous notes, 1984 and n.d.|
T.D. Neal traveled regularly both to visit clients and to visit potential clients. Post-1982 trips reflect MaFCo's belief that Neal needed to "get out there" and drum up business. These files contain some or all of the following: itinerary, travel arrangements, business cards of persons met, correspondence, orders resulting from visits, and notes.
|173.||1972 July (Latin America)|
|174.||1973 October 18 (Washington, D.C.)|
|175.||1973 December 11-13 (California)|
|176.||1974 May-June (Central and South America and the Caribbean)|
|177.||1974 October (Spain, Morocco)|
|178.||1976 October 6 (New York City)|
|179.||1976 November 8-22 (Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Italy, France)|
|180.||1978 April (South America)|
|181.||1980 February (Brazil, Venezuela)|
|182.||1980 April 28-May 2 (North Carolina)|
|183.||1981 April 13-14 (New York State)|
|184.||1981 May (Marseille)|
|185.||1982 September 30-October 15 (West Coast)|
|186.||1983 January 31-February 3 (New York City)|
|187.||1983 April 5-6 (Florida, Georgia)|
|188.||1983 March (Venezuela)|
|189.||1983 May-June (Europe)|
|190.||1983 November 15-18 (North Carolina)|
|191.||1983 November 16-December 10 (Mid-West, this trip taken by Dana H. Neal)|
|192.||1984 January 4-April 12 (New Jersey, New York City, Connecticut; this was two trips combined into one folder by T.D. Neal)|
|193.||1984 January 30-February 2 (Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia)|
|194.||1984 May (Spain)|
|195.||1984 June (Asia)|
|196.||Miscellaneous travel brochures|
|197.||Miscellaneous travel materials|
Among the interesting things in this series is an internal report on the equipment used to mill cocoa and St. Johns-bread (carob), 1971, and discussion of the equipment upgrades needed to increase productivity (folder 201), and data generated by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture's Foreign Agricultural Service to identify foreign companies with needs that might be met by American producers (folder 205).
|198.||Advertising and publicity, ca. 1980-1982|
|199.||Hopper car, Requirements for use, ca. 1983|
|200.||Holiday cards, ca. 1970s-1980s|
|201.||Study of the cocoa and St. Johns-bread milling operations, 1971|
|202.||Tobacco Chemists Research Conference, 34th, 1980 October 27-29|
|203.||Tobacco Chemists Research Conference, 35th, 1981 October 6-9|
|204.||Virginia Conference on World Trade, 32nd, 1980 October 15-17|
|205.||United States Dept. of Agriculture, Foreign Agricultural Service, Trade Opportunity Referral System leads, 1972-1981|
This series traces Neal's non-F.M. Neal business activities both before he was employed by and after he retired from M.F. Neal. These include materials dating back to his work for Philip Morris USA, his connection with Old Mansion, Inc., and his establishment of Rivanna Farms. Both Old Mansion and Rivanna Farms were companies dealing in spices and flavorings.
The folders labeled "Rivanna Farms Notebook" reflect Neal's rather loose records-keeping style. Materials were filed alphabetically, but the reason for the choice of the letter under which they were filed is not always obvious. The materials include correspondence, orders, notes, phone message slips, etc.
|206.||Old Mansion, Inc., 1981-1986|
|207.||Philip Morris, 1940-1981|
|208.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "A"|
|209.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "B"|
|210.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "C"|
|211.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "F"|
|212.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "G-H"|
|213.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "I-J"|
|214.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "L"|
|215.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "M"|
|216.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "P-Q"|
|217.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "R"|
|218.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "S"|
|219.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "T"|
|220.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "U-V"|
|221.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "W"|
|222.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, "X-Y-Z" (also items that may belong in other folders)|
|223.||Rivanna Farms Notebook, Loose materials|
|224.||Rivanna Farms prospects|
|225.||Rivanna Farms, Tonka beans importation|
Included are articles on various topics of interest to Neal, including business advice and methods, strategies for maintaining health, achieving financial success, military history, and advice aimed at single persons interested in re-entering the dating scene; medical records; VMI Class of '38 alumni information; World War II military service materials; and a miscellaneous file that contains everything from name tags and business cards to Neal's application for membership into the Society of Colonial Wars.
|227.||Articles, Business advice|
|228.||Articles, Health, wealth and retirement|
|229.||Articles, Military subjects|
|230.||Articles, Relationships and romance|
|233.||Key to markings of boxes and fibre drums for move, 1987|
|234.||MaFCo retirement and consultancy agreements|
|236.||Neal, Thomas David V|
|238.||River Road Church, Baptist. Singles group|
|239.||Sauer (C.V.) Company, Proposed employment agreement, 1984|
|240.||Virginia Military Institute Class of '38|
|241.||World War II military service|