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American Hospital Supply Corporation Financial Records

Identifier: 55/28/2

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Scope and Contents

This series is comprised of the financial records of the American Hospital Supply Corporation and its subsidiary companies. Included are journals, cash distribution records, cash receipt records, general ledgers, financial statements, check registers and a transfer ledger. The records are arranged in eleven boxes and fourteen volumes and span the period 1923-1963. However, the records are less complete for years after 1943.

Journals are represented here by twenty-nine volumes, twenty of which pertain to the American Hospital Supply Corporation; the other nine relate to subsidiary companies. These are chronological records of funds received and expended, and sales commissions. Within each month's record the entries are categorized by name of supplier; the dates and amounts of each purchase are listed thereafter. The journals for Campbell Labs, Inc. (Volumes 5-9) also include material that normally would be found in cash receipts, cash disbursement and general ledger records. The two volumes of the Journal of Pennsylvania Clients (Volumes 12-13) feature alphabetical listings of Pennsylvania physicians and hospitals who had dealings with the American Hospital Supply Corporation. The Mellon National Bank Journal (Volume 10) lists various accounts with chronological records of the deposit and withdrawal of funds.

Cash Disbursements records consist of ten volumes. These provide a daily chronological record of corporate finds expended. Generally noted is the amount, the recipient, and the account from which funds were disbursed.

Cash Receipts records are found in eight volumes. These provide a chronologically-ordered daily record of all income from sales. Listings generally show the amount of funds received, their source, the amount of any discounts, and the account to which the funds were posted.

The General Ledgers consist of four volumes, all related to the financial activities of the American Hospital Supply Corporation. Two volumes cover the period from 1922-1924 (Box 10); one of these is a chronological journal of accounts receivable and accounts payable. The other volume is arranged primarily by account and provides a detailed record of the company's revenues and expenditures. The final two volumes (Box 10 and Volume 3) combine chronological and account-name systems and cover the periods 1926-1927 and 1932-1934.

Two volumes of Check Registers reflect expenses incurred by Campbell Labs, Inc., and American Hospital Supply Export Corporation (AHSECO). They contain copies of checks issued and are arranged sequentially by check number. Information includes check number and amount, name of payee, and reason for payment.

An Invoice Book is categorized first geographically by the different sales divisions of AHSC, and then chronologically within those divisions. It is a simple record of invoice numbers and associated amounts of money. Posting references to other financial records are included.

The Financial Statements of the AHSC subsidiary companies, 1949-1961, include both balance sheets and earnings statements. Balance sheets show assets, liabilities and net worth. The various entries include the amount of money on hand, tied up in merchandise or invested, value of capital equipment, amounts owed, and other related items. The earnings statements generally provide information about sources of income from outside the company, net sales, gross profits, depreciation value, and many other statistics. Financial statements are usually monthly records and frequently include year-to-date totals.

An AHSC Transfer Ledger is divided into categories such as office supplies, accounts receivable, bad debts, taxes and so on. Within each account are listed credit and debit amounts and posting dates along with folio numbers linking the ledger to other volumes of financial records.


  • 1923 - 1963


Conditions Governing Access

Collection may contain sensitive materials; consultation with University Archivist required prior to use.


11 Boxes

14 Volumes

Language of Materials



This collection is comprised of 11 boxes and 14 volumes of financial records of the American Hospital Supply Corporation and its subsidiary companies, spaning the period 1923-1963. Included are journals, cash distribution records, cash receipt records, general ledgers, financial statements, check registers and a transfer ledger.


Materials are arranged by type and chronologically within company or subsidiary name.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This series has been separated from the papers of Foster G. McGaw, donated to the University archives by James Vail on February 22, 1988 (Accession #89-133; see also Accession #88-52 and Accession #89-73).

Related Materials

Related materials concerning Foster McGaw and the American Hospital Supply Corporation have been arranged and described as separate series: The Foster G. McGaw Papers, Series 55/28/5, document his personal life and philanthropic activities; catalogs and publications are found in Series 55/28/1; his personal papers relating to the American Hospital Supply Corporation--corporate records oriented more specifically to his personal concerns--form Series 55/28/3; multi-volume scrapbooks presented by business associates to McGaw on the occasion of his 75th birthday (AHSC's 50th anniversary) constitute Series 55/28/4; and the corporate records of Baxter Travenol, which absorbed AHSC in 1985, are arranged as 55/28/6.

Processing Information

Timothy J. Waltz, March 22, 1990.

Guide to the American Hospital Supply Corporation Financial Records
Timothy J. Waltz
March 22, 1990
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US