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J. J. Fahrney Papers

Identifier: SC 0303
  • Not requestable

  • Staff Only

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.


  • 1886-1936


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 (

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.


0.2 cubic feet (1 box)

Language of Materials



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.


The collection is arranged topically into seven folders.


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

Acquisition Information

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


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

Processing Information

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

A Guide to the J. J. Fahrney Papers, 1886-1936
Tiffany Cole
October 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the James Madison University Libraries Special Collections Repository

820 Madison Drive
MSC 1706
Harrisonburg Virginia 22807
(540) 568-3612