Harriet Spalding, ca. 1875

With his brother, J. Walter Spalding, Albert established the sporting goods business of Spalding & Brother in the spring of 1876. A surviving ledger page from that first year reveals that the brothers contributed $3,000 in working capital in addition to a loan of $800 from their mother, Harriet Irene Spalding. She lived with her daughter Mary Spalding Brown and her son-in-law in Rockford while also spending considerable time in Chicago with her sons. Harriet recalled this time in her reminiscences, privately published in 1910 when she was eighty-nine. Son Albert confirmed that she was always the vital part of his success.

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