Fahrney, J. J. Papers, 1886-1936

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Summary Information

Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University
Fahrney, John Jerome, 1864-1937
J. J. Fahrney Papers
Collection No.:
SC 0303
1 box, .2 Cubic Feet
Language of the Material:
English .
The J. J. Fahrney Papers, 1886-1936, document the Fahrney Wheel Corporation (variously J. J. Fahrney & Sons) and its proprietor J. J. Fahrney of Timberville, Virginia.

Preferred Citation

[identification of item], [box #, folder #], J. J. Fahrney Papers, 1886-1936, SC 0303, Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA.

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Bio/Historical Note

John Jerome Fahrney (1863/1864-1937) was born in Rockingham County, Virginia to Peter and Treacy Hannah Fahrney. Fahrney was an inventor, wheelwright, blacksmith, mechanic, and broom factory operator. He was also the founder and president of Fahrney Wheel Corporation. Fahrney held several patents for inventions that improved the functionality of automobiles.

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Scope and Content

The J. J. Fahrney Papers, 1886-1936, primarily document the Fahrney Wheel Corporation (variously J. J. Fahrney & Sons) and its proprietor J. J. Fahrney of Timberville, Virginia.

Financial documents primarily comprise invoices from Cray Brothers, Standard Oil Company, Duplex Mill & Manufacturing Co., and Ford Motor Company. A blank Fahrney Wheel Corporation subscription booklet is included along with a 1916 invoice from Henkel & Company Printers, Publishers for "setting up type forms for subscription for stock." The collection also includes three deeds for land in Timberville.

Automobile related advertising circulars and marketing materials also include correspondence. Companies from which Fahrney received circulars include Firestone; Capt. W. A. Collings, Inc.; The Holsman Automobile Company; and The Air-Friction Carburetor Company.

Correspondence is primarily business related and concerns Fahrney's business and inventions, but a small selection of letters are more personal in nature. For example, an October 4, 1916 letter from Fahrney's wife Annie provides an update on happenings in Timberville while Fahrney is in Hagerstown, Maryland. A 1926 letter to his daughter Gladys is also included. Other correspondents include Metz Company, Standard Oil Company, patent attorney E. G. Siggers, and Cray Brothers.

Patents issued to J. J. Fahrney include water pump attachment for automobiles (1915), explosion engine vaporizers for heavy fuels (1916), tire heaters (1919), and cider press (1925).

Ephemera includes Fahrney Patent Automobile Wheel advertising postcards, a Fahrney Wheel Corporation card listing the company's board of directors, and wheel imagery.

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The collection is arranged topically into seven folders.

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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research. Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection. Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the James Madison University Special Collections Library to use this collection.

Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have been transferred to the James Madison University Special Collections Library. For more information, contact the Special Collections Library Reference Desk (library-special@jmu.edu).

Acquisition Information

Acquired at Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates' Summer Americana & Variety Auction on August 24, 2019.


Per auctioneer's catalog, the collection was from the Fritz and Loretta Orebaugh estate in New Market, Virginia.

Processing Information

The materials were received in disorder and with no particular arrangement. The archivist imposed an order based on material format.


Special Collections, Carrier Library, James Madison University

880 Madison DriveMSC 1704Harrisonburg, Virginia 22807library-special@jmu.eduURL: https://www.lib.jmu.edu/special/

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Index Terms

Corporate Name

  • Jeffrey S. Evans & Associates

Genre and Form

  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Financial Records
  • Invoices
  • Deeds
  • Patents
  • Advertising
  • Postcards


  • Family-owned business enterprises -- Virginia -- History
  • Advertising -- Automobiles -- Virginia -- History
  • Patents -- Virginia -- History
  • Inventions -- Virginia -- History
  • Timberville (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
  • Timberville (Va.) -- History -- 20th century
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 19th century
  • Rockingham County (Va.) -- History -- 20th century
  • Virginia -- Economic conditions -- History

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Obituary of J. J. Fahrney, Daily News-Record, February 2, 1937.

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Collection Inventory

Title/Description Instances
Deeds, 1886-1907 box 1 folder 1
Patents, 1904-1925 box 1 folder 2
Advertising circulars, 1906-1932, undated box 1 folder 3
Correspondence, 1909-1926 box 1 folder 4
Financial documents, 1910-1919 box 1 folder 5
Empty envelopes, 1910-1936 box 1 folder 6
Fahrney Wheel Corporation advertising postcards and assorted ephemera, undated box 1 folder 7