National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of History of Technology Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry Search this
18 Cubic feet (54 boxes, 1 map folder)
This collection documents the products and business activities of the Worthington Corporation, its predecessors and its subsidiaries. The records focus on the products that the Worthington Corporation produced, including steam pumps, hydraulic pumps and gas engines.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the products and business activities of the Worthington Corporation, its predecessors and its subsidiaries. It consists of annual and monthly reports, correspondence, legal filings, trade literature, photographs, airbrushed photographs and product illustrations, financial reports, meeting minutes, newsletters, company histories and research notes, patents, blueprints, engineering sketchbooks, lecture notes, publications, and promotional materials for several World's Fairs where Worthington products were exhibited.
The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1: Historical and Reference Materials, 1847-1965
Series 2: Administrative and Business Records, 1856-1963
Series 3: Publications, 1872-1982
Series 4: Photographs, 1840-1964
Series 5: Sketchbooks and Notebooks, 1882-1964
Biographical / Historical:
Henry R. Worthington (December 17, 1817-December 17, 1880) was an innovator in the world of 19th century steam pumps earning patents for a direct-acting steam pump (US Patent 6274) and a duplex steam pump (US Patent 116,131). Initially, Worthington partnered with William H. Baker to found the Worthington & Baker Works in 1845, with the works based in Brooklyn. Worthington's company began by producing various pumps for naval craft, including pumps installed on the USS Monitor, the first ironclad ship of the US Navy. After Baker's death, Worthington changed the name of his business to the Henry R. Worthington Corporation and expanded into the production of water works pumps for major cities.
Worthington pumps gained international acclaim at World's Fairs in the latter half of the 19th century. Fountains at the Centennial Exposition of 1876 and Columbian Exposition of 1893 and the hydraulic pumps for the Eiffel Tower's elevators at the Exposition Universelle of 1900 were all powered by Worthington products.
In 1899, Worthington was purchased and merged into the International Steam Pump Company, along with the Blake and Knowles Steam Pump Company, Laidlaw-Dunn-Gordon Company, the Snow Steam Works, the Deane Steam Pump Company and several smaller works. After the acquisition of these different works, the International Steam Pump Company's product line expanded to include gas engines and mining machinery.
International Steam Pump reverted to the Worthington name, first as Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation (1916-1952) and then as the Worthington Corporation (1952-1967). It was also during this time when Worthington relocated its main works from Brooklyn to Harrison, New Jersey in 1917. All the while, the company continued to produce hydraulic engines, gas engines and water works pumps. Through various mergers the company also diversified into refrigeration and air conditioning. In 1967, the Worthington Corporation merged with the Studebaker Automobile Manufacturing Company, becoming Studebaker-Worthington.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Pumps (AC0060)
Division of Political and Military History
The Division of Political and Military History holds photographs of a World War I bond drive at the Deane Works of Holyoke, Massachusetts. See accessions: 1979.0015.01 and 1979.0015.04.
Division of Medicine and Science
The Division of Medicine and Science holds several Watch Dog Water Meters produced by the Worthington-Gamon Meter Company. See accessions PH.325890 and PH.325891.
Smithsonian Institution Libraries Trade Literature Collection
The libraries contain trade literature on Worthington and its subsidiaries.
Donated to the Smithsonian in the 1960s by Studebaker Worthington, Inc.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.