Papers of Donald J. Christensen, 1911? - 1998?


Full Christensen Collection Finding Aid in PDF
Collection Processed by: Dorothy Truman

Biography of Donald J. Christensen
(8/10/1923 - 5/5/2007)

  • Graduated Central Catholic High School
  • 3 years in Navy 1941-1945 (age 18-21)
  • Studied at Lowell Textile Institute, BS in textile chemistry and dyeing
    5 year course taken in evenings while working in the industry
  • ICS Diploma for Analytical Chemistry
  • State University Extension course in textile design
  • 1945-1948 Worked Lawrence Print Works lab technician /assistant
    1947 head of dye lab
  • 1948-1949 Derby Chemical Co. dye technician
  • 1950-1953 Chief Chemist - Textron
    Nashua Bleachery and Dyehouse
  • 1953-1954 Indian Head
    fabric called Indian Head originated in mid 19th century,
    linen-like cotton
  • 1954-1963 Chemist Coleport Fabrics – Nashua Finishing Company
    Nashua Finishing Established in Nashua 1954
    Closed Dec. 31, 1963
  • 1965-1992 Bacteriologist and Senior Chemist at
    Lawrence Experimental Station

Scope and Content
These records cover the professional career in the dyeing and finishing aspects of textile manufacture during the waning years of the industry in Lawrence.

The most valuable parts of these collections are probably the production files and the chemical and dye companies’ dye catalogs. Both these series contain fabric samples.

There are many course and lab notebooks that are filed as their own series at the beginnings of the collection. Many are undated and it is unclear as to which may be student records and which are working lab records.

Most of the working records here are the bulky files including samples of fabric. Some records include the recipe for the dyes. At the moment many of these files are in non-archival plastic bags.

Some reference materials that are clearly marked with D. J. Christensen’s name are considered separate series. It might be assumed that these items were were used by him. Some predate the period of Donald J. Christensen’s professional work

There are also some other reference materials from dye manufactures that do not contain fabric samples and these also are arranged by manufacturer. There are also some text books, a number date from well before the 1940s when D. J. Christensen worked in the textile industry. The inventory notes the publication dates.

Some reference materials books are stamped “from Aspinook Corp. Research Library, and some are labeled Textron control laboratories. Other items are US Government bulletins with specifications for fabrics and with information re: German textile industry in 1940s.


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Founded in 1978 as the Immigrant City Archives, the mission of the Lawrence History Center is to collect, preserve, share, and animate the history and heritage of Lawrence and its people.