[Brooklyn, NY]: [Brenack Brothers] 1920s-1940s. A large archive of over 100 photographs documenting some of the work done by stevedores Brenack. The firm made crates, boxes, cradles and other mechanical devices to enable safe shipping of large items by boat, truck, or other necessary means. The archive contains many interesting objects being sent including automobiles and notably airplanes.
The archive consists of:
- (4) 7 1/2 x 9 1/2 inch photographs mounted on thick board depicting many boxes with handles marked "M.S. FRIEDE" of New York, Moscow, and Petrograd. Friede an exporter of Automobiles and accessories, metal products, paper box machinery, and cigarette making machinery in the 1910-20s era
- June 1, 1943 letter from J. T. Hamlyn Lt. Comander RNR thanking Messrs. Brenack Bros for their work: "With reference to the cradles and securing of two tugs on the deck of this ship. You will be pleased to hear that your work stood the passage excellently, and although at times we were rolling 35 degrees each side we never had to touch any of your gear with the exception of an occasional screwing up of a turnbuckle..." With a small group of copies, presumably to hand out to prospective clients. The ship referred to is the HMS LST-428, a United States Navy LST-1-class tank landing ship that was transferred to the Royal Navy during World War II.
- Letter from the International Motor Truck Corporation to Mr. T. P. Brenack dated April 4, 1932 thanking Brenack for a job well done when shipping to Bogota with accompanying photographs. Apparently firetrucks were shipped.
- (3) images from inside the factory/warehouse
- (2) images noting completed crates for Vought Corsair (airplane) SS Eastern Prince, April 28th (commercial photographer Rudy Arnold, Press Photographer for Floyd Bennett Airport Brooklyn NY)
- (6) images showing crating of a Grumman G-21, "Boxed at Floyd Bennett Field, for the United States Navy Sent to Pearl Harbor, Territory of Hawaii" by photographer Arnold
- (1) image of Lockheed electra being loaded on the tug (?) Clermont with Bernack crate on the deck
- (1) image and (1) copy image of S S "INGRIA" Sikorsky S-43-10 dated June 26, 1936 stamped Bernack Inc. by Commercial Photographer George W. King with his embossed stamp
- (9) misc images of airplanes being boxed or partially disassembled - some are copy images
- (8) images showing a Martin 156 airplane or pieces thereof (engines) by photographer Arnold - several are copy images
- (6) images of a Sikorsky 43 airplane - 4 are copy images.
- (5) images of winching onto a ship an unknown set of cylinders by Commercial Photographer Garcia & Zeuner, Inc. Brooklyn
- (8) images of various trucks, some disassembled for shipment
- (30+) images of various boxes stamped Brenack, boxes on trucks for shipment, etc. Of interest are the printed notes on the boxes indicating where they are headed, contents in some cases, etc in addition to trucks used in transport
The above are nearly all 7 x 9 or 8 x 10 inch images. Most are soiled to some degree with indications of use. Some are linen backed, others just on paper. The archive has another 20-30 smaller images of miscellaneous nature. Good. Photograph. 
(from NY Marine News Service, 1920) "In the development of the port of New York one of the most notable features is the excellence of the facilities for the loading and unloading of freight. The stevedoring business is an index to the importance of any port, for the volume of commerce received and shipped at the waterfront is the measure of the commerce of the port. It is therefore a significant fact that within the last decade the volume of business for the stevedores of New York has more than doubled, and the number of firms engaged in the business has also increased.
The Brenack Stevedoring Company, Inc., is one of the newer enterprises in this branch of industry, having been established on April I, 1916, by Thomas P. Brenack, who has been engaged in this line of business for the past twenty years. Bringing to the enterprise the benefit of long experience and the advantage, important in this line, of business, of close touch with ample supplies of skilled stevedoring labor, Mr. Brenack has gained a record of highest efficiency in the prompt execution of orders for work of this kind. He includes among his regular customers many important lines and leading ship owners of New York, whose constant patronage he has gained and retained by the uniformly prompt and reliable service rendered in every department of the stevedoring business.
Mr. Brenack established his own business at a time when the port of New York was so congested with freight awaiting shipment that every stevedoring enterprise in and around New York was overloaded with orders. It was an opportune time for Mr. Brenack to bring his experience and abilities to bear in the effort to relieve the situation, and his help at that juncture was very effective. In addition to general stevedoring work the company does a storage business upon an extensive scale, operating both waterfront and inland storage warehouses, where articles may be re-ceived from wharves and piers subject to shipping orders, or may be placed while waiting for removal to shipboard. A specialty of this part of the business, also, is the boxing of automobiles for export, at reasonable rates."
An advertisement from 1942 notes: "BRENACK BROS. Marine Carpenters 91-97 WYCKOFF ST. BROOKLYN, NEW YORK Specialists in Preparing Vessels for Carrying Heavy Deck Cargoes Including the Lashing and Securing of Same. SHIPS FITTED FOR HORSES, CATTLE, GRAIN, MAGAZINES. AIRPLANES BOXED FOR EXPORT"
We purchased these photographs from an antique dealer who separated the material during a move throughout many boxes - we basically worked to put the archive back together. While there may be a few outliers in the archive, the theme is clear and consistent - a firm who is used to disassembling and shipping large scale equipment like automobiles and planes for long distance shipment. The archive is interesting from many perspectives - how these objects were disassembled for shipping (and hence how they were manufactured), the infrastructure used to load and move the crates (boats, trucks), and (with further research) some indications of where the boxes were being sent.