Stephen R. Leonard Oneida Community, Limited Photograph Collection

Collection Owner:
Cover Image:
Group of People Outside the Mansion House
Group of People Outside the Mansion House - Image Source

Collection Facts

Dates of Original:

Historical Context

When the Oneida Community voluntarily decided to stop its strict communal lifestyle, they formed a joint stock corporation called, “Oneida Community, Limited,” which manufactured and sold animal traps, silk thread, and silverware worldwide. The new company kept many of the values of the original utopian community including, selflessness, innovation, community, and treating all people with dignity. This philosophy was especially applied to their workforce as Oneida Community, Limited furnished workers with excellent wages, fine working conditions, and even built the town of Sherrill, New York to provide housing and company-funded entertainment and recreation facilities.

Many of these photos were taken by Stephen R. Leonard (1872-1964), who was born into the original Oneida Community. He was trained as an engineer at Cornell before working at Oneida Community, Limited as the Superintendent of the Trap Shop and Farms and Director of Personnel. He also served on the Board of Directors and eventually rose to Vice President of the company. He was a beloved member of the OCL community and was an avid hunter, musician, fisherman, and photographer.

Scope of Collection

This collection of photographs documents life at the Mansion House, Sherrill, and Oneida Community, Limited from 1881-1935.