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Robert Dollar Papers, circa 1872-1967
BANC MSS 69/113 c  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Administrative Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Robert Dollar papers
    Date (inclusive): circa 1872-1967
    Collection Number: BANC MSS 69/113 c
    Extent: Number of containers: 78 cartons and 72 volumes Linear feet: 98 19 digital objects (19 images)
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    University of California, Berkeley
    Berkeley, CA 94720-6000
    Phone: (510) 642-6481
    Fax: (510) 642-7589
    Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
    URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu/
    Abstract: Family papers, including diaries, memoirs, and other writings of Robert Dollar; photographs; scrapbooks; clippings; etc., with some material relating to other members of the family. Business records of the Robert Dollar Company and its many divisions including Dollar Steamship Lines, Dollar Portland Lumber Company, Globe Wireless Ltd., Admiral Oriental Line, Egmont Timber Company, etc.
    Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research except for materials in Cartons 71, 72, 75-77 which are unarranged and unavailable for use. Inquiries regarding these materials should be directed, in writing, to the Head of the Public Services.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Robert Dollar Papers, BANC MSS 69/113 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley

    Alternate Forms Available

    Digital reproductions of selected items are available.


    The founder of a vast lumber and shipping empire, Robert Dollar was born in Falkirk, Scotland in 1844. He emigrated to Canada with his father in 1858 and started work as a cook's boy in a lumber camp. By 1866 he was foreman of a camp and, in 1871, bought his first piece of timber land. He continually enlarged his scope of operations, moving first to Michigan, and, in 1888, to California where he opened an office in San Francisco and established his home in San Rafael. By 1893 Dollar had established a mill and lumbering business at Usal in Mendocino County, and shortly thereafter embarked upon his shipping career with the purchase of the steam schooner Newsboy, used to transport lumber to coastal markets. In 1901 he bought his first large steamer. In 1903 he and his three sons -A. Melville, J. Harold, and R. Stanley -incorporated their lumbering and shipping interests into one parent company, The Robert Dollar Company.
    Frequent trips to the Far East starting in 1902 convinced Dollar of the need for development of foreign trade across the Pacific. Each year he increased the number of ships carrying lumber and freight to Japan, China, Singapore. etc. He and his wife travelled widely to establish new offices and solicit new business in 1910 the Dollar Steamship Lines was incorporated to control the growing fleet. In 1924 the Round-the-World Dollar Line was established. Other divisions of The Robert Dollar Company included the Dollar Portland Lumber Company, the Admiral Oriental Line, American Mail Line Ltd., Globe Wireless Ltd., Egmont Timber Company, and Heintz and Kaufman Ltd.
    Dollar remained active until several weeks before his death in 1932. Control of the company went to his sons. A. Melville Dollar died several weeks after his father and J. Harold Dollar, in 1936. R. Stanley Dollar then headed the company until his death in 1958. Today R. Stanley, Jr., J. Harold, Jr., and Robert Dollar II continue the business which again consists primarily of lumber operations.

    Scope and Content

    This collection of Papers was given to the Bancroft Library in 1969 by R. Stanley Dollar, Jr. and by other members of the Dollar family. It is divided into two sections: "History Room Data" which consists of material selected by the company as being of exceptional value, and the additional papers. Many photographs were removed for separate cataloging. A key to arrangement follows.

    Additional Note

    History Room Data material designated as such by the company. Arranged in a rough alphabetical order, in twenty-four cartons, as follows.