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Diamond Match Company, Berst-Forster-Dixfield Division, Timber Unit Records

Identifier: SpC MS 0050

Scope and Contents

The collection contains records of the manager of the Timber Unit and is primarily concerned with the activities and administration of that office. The collection had been re-foldered by Library staff at an earlier time; the folder headings used in that project have been retained.

The collection opens with files of correspondence, 1939-1955, much of it to and from Gordon M. Blakely, manager of the unit during most of this time. Office reference files form the next group of records; they primarily concern analyses of wage rates and job tasks.

The collection also includes production records maintained in the manager's office, especially yard inventories, lumber production totals and job costs for various projects.


  • Creation: 1938-1955
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1944-1952


Restrictions on Access

Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice required for retrieval.

Use Restrictions

Information on literary rights available in the Library.

Historical Note

The collection contains records of the Timber Unit of the Diamond Match Company's Berst-Forster-Dixfield Division. The Timber Unit, located in Oakland, Maine, was responsible for the purchase, transportation, and production of the lumber used to manufacture the company's products in Maine. It contracted with various lumber camps in the state for its supplies.

The company had a long history in Oakland, beginning as the Forster Manufacturing Company in 1913. This company manufactured toothpicks and clothespins until 1916, when it was succeeded by the Berst-Forster-Dixfield Company, headquartered in New York City, which operated from 1923 to 1946. This company was succeeded by Diamond Match Company in 1947, which seems to have absorbed Berst-Forster sometime before that. Diamond Match had been formed in 1881 when twelve already-existing match companies agreed to consolidate into one. Diamond Match took over 85% of the market in the 1880's and in 1910 patented the first non-poisonous match in the United States. In 1957 it merged with Gardner Board and Carton Company to form Diamond-Gardner; in 1959 it merged with United States Printing and Lithograph Company to become Diamond National Corporation and then became Diamond International in 1964. The company engaged in various activities including packaging, lumber production, pulp and paper, specialty printing, and matches and woodenware. It operated in several states and in addition to its mill in Oakland also had mills in Rumford, Phillips, and Dixfield, Maine.

During its operation in Oakland, the plant made a number of products, including ice cream sticks, swab sticks, lollypop holders, toothpicks and woodenware. In its peak years just before World War II, the mill at Oakland employed over 500 people and its activities also gave work to loggers and others who provided raw materials to the mill. The operation in Oakland closed in 1983.


0.8 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Records of the Timber Unit of the Diamond Match Company's Berst-Forster-Dixfield Division.

Conservation Note

The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes. Documents have been surface cleaned as needed and metal fasteners removed. Photographs have been housed in polypropylene sleeves and remain with the relevant documents.

Guide to the Diamond Match Company, Berst-Forster-Dixfield Division, Timber Unit Records
Box And Folder List Available
March 2004
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States