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RG3254.AM:  Max Petersen, 1876-1937

Papers:  1903-1923

Lincoln, Lancaster County, Neb.:  Businessman

Size:  0.5 cu.ft.; 1 box


A native of Germany, Max Petersen emigrated with his family and settled in Chicago. In 1883, the family moved to Lincoln, Nebraska. His father, Andrew M. Petersen, was a grocer, and in the early 1890s joined his two sons, Christian P. and Max, in the candy making firm of A.M. Petersen and Sons. The partnership lasted until around 1905, but the brothers, together and separately, practiced candy making and confection wholesaling for many years after. Max made his strongest attempt at confection wholesaling from about 1916 to 1923. He also worked as a travel agent, a slot machine (vending machine) dealer, and a grocer. He was also a wholesale distributor for such products as brooms (made by the Deshler Broom Factory in Deshler, Nebraska), and attempted to patent his own inventions, notably a popcorn vending machine and a tea and coffee boiler. He died in Lincoln in 1937, leaving his wife, Mary, and three children, Edward, Eva and Maxine.


This collection consists of the business records of Max Petersen. The collection includes business correspondence (incoming and outgoing), real estate records, tax records, stationery, and records relating to inventions. The materials in this collection relate to the business activities of Max Petersen during the years 1903-1923 (especially 1915-1923). By no means a complete record, they provide insight into the efforts of a small manufacturer and wholesaler in Nebraska.

Note:  The Nebraska History Museum holds additional items relating to Max Petersen and his candy making business, including advertising ephemera, packaging materials and candy making equipment. Not all items are on exhibit. Interested researchers should contact the Museum Collections department for more information.


Box 1


  1. Business Correspondence, 1911, 1915-1916

  2. Business Correspondence, 1917-1920

  3. Business Correspondence, 1921-1922

  4. Business Correspondence, 1923

  5. Real Estate Records, 1903-1924

  6. Tax Records, 1907-1923

  7. Stationary, c.1916-1923

  8. Records regarding inventions, 1913

  9. Insurance Documents, 1914-1922



Confectioners — Nebraska — Lincoln

Crystal Refrigerator Company (Fremont, Neb.)

Deshler Broom Factory (Deshler, Neb.)

Deshler (Neb.) — Businesses

Grocery stores — Nebraska — Lincoln

Gullen Brokerage Company (Omaha, Neb.)

Hershey Chocolate Company (Hershey, Pennsylvania)


Lancaster County (Neb.) — History

Lincoln (Neb.) — Businesses

Lincoln (Neb.) — History

Marr-Hein Candy Company (Fremont, Neb.)

McMillian Candy Company (Falls City, Neb.)

Petersen, Max, 1876-1937

Thayer County (Neb.) — History

Warnes family

Woods Brothers Companies (Lincoln, Neb.)


PJE/law   12-1988

Encoded TMM   03-07-2011