Albert Brown Hale, a shoemaker and factory foreman from West Newbury and Haverhill, Massachusetts, kept these 13 diaries between 1894 and 1931. He regularly recorded daily events, such as his work experiences, social life, and family news.
Each diary is a pre-printed daily diary: the 1894 volume is "The Standard Diary;" the remaining volumes (1912-1931) were published by the Pfister & Vogel Company. Hale wrote lengthy entries each day, describing the day's events, and inserted important names, places, subjects, and events in block letters for emphasis. Hale's writing details his activities, particularly his shoemaking work, routine manual tasks, and his social life. Throughout 1894, he kept a record of the number and types of shoes he made each day. Hale frequently called on friends, attended community events, and traveled around Massachusetts. Many entries reflect his involvement with Haverhill's local Masonic Lodge. In his later diaries, he reported some of his son's activities. Though Hale focused primarily on his personal experiences, he occasionally wrote brief lines about important news events, such as developments during World War I and United States presidential elections.