Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
2 documents - page 1 of 1

John A. Roebling Collection

Creator:
Roebling, Charles Gustavus, 1849-1918  Search this
Roebling, Ferdinand W. (Ferdinand William), 1842-1917  Search this
John A. Roebling's Sons Company  Search this
Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869  Search this
Roebling, Washington Augustus, 1837-1926.  Search this
Collector:
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
Extent:
18.5 Cubic feet (62 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Specifications
Reports
Price lists
Photographs
Newsletters
Letterpress books
Correspondence
Blueprints
Ledgers (account books)
Genealogies
Notebooks
Patents
Date:
1836-1975
bulk 1930-1950
Summary:
Collection documents the work of the John A. Roebling's Sons Company, builders of bridges. The materials consist primarily of photograph albums documenting some of the bridges, tramways, ski lifts and chair lifts that Roebling's Sons Company was involved with. The documentation also includes specifications, patents, and reference materials about the engineering process of building bridges and bridges in general.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the work of the John A. Roebling's Sons Company, builders of bridges. The materials consist primarily of photograph albums documenting a variety of bridges, mostly in the United States. The documentation also includes specifications, patents, and reference materials about the engineering process of building bridges and bridges in general.

Series 1, Historical background materials, 1895-1958, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, John A. Roebling's and Sons Company materials, 1895-1949 and Subseries 2, Newsletters, 1929-1931.

Subseries 1, John A. Roebling's and Sons Company materials, 1895-1949, contains a variety of items related to the company such as historical narratives, correspondence, price lists, testing data, and a ledger with cost estimates. The correspondence is partially bound (pages 1 to 104) from a letter press book (handwritten and typescript) belonging to John A. Roebling's and Sons Company. William Hildebrand and Charles G. Roebling are the chief correspondents. The correspondence documents daily activities related to the design and erection of bridges as well as finances and supplies. Charles G. Roebling's notebook, undated, contains calculations and notes about various bridge projects.

Subseries 2, Newsletters, 1929-1931, contain copies of Blue Center and Wire Engineering, which were John A. Roebling's and Sons Company publications intended for employees. The newsletters were apparently used as scrapbooks, with black-and-white photographs pasted into the pages. Found among the pages of Blue Center are photographs of the Hudson River Bridge and in Wire Engineering, there are photographs of the Maysville, Kentucky Bridge.

Series 2, Photographs, 1926-1975, comprises the largest series in the collection. The photographs are primarily black-and-white and document aerial tramways, tramways for logging or mining, chair lifts, ski lifts, floods, and bridge construction projects. The latter makes up the majority. Most photographs were assembled into albums with corresponding captions and dates, and almost all of the photographs document bridges in the United States. There is one exception, the Yauricocha Tramway in Peru. In some instances, the captions are recorded on the back of the photographs, and others were recorded on album pages. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of bridge and/or project.

Series 3, Specifications, 1855-1962, consists of printed textual documents (both bound and loose) that contain information for bidders, proposals, contracts, and bonds, and the detailed specifications. This series is arranged alphabetically by bridge name.

Series 4, Reports, 1928-1938, contains bound reports (both progress and final) detailing problems, requirements, research, manufacture, plant installation, cable equipment, strand adjustments, and Roebling Company developments. This series is arranged alphabetically by bridge/and/or project.

Series 5, Patent materials, 1849-1952, consists of issued patents (to a variety of individuals) for cable and cable appliances, cables, and cable apparatus, cableways and tramways, and grips. The patents are arranged by subject area, then by patent number.

Series 6, Reference materials, 1836-1964, contains a wide range of materials—articles, biographical files, drawings, photographs, newspaper clippings, advertising, correspondence, notes—documenting all aspects of bridges. This series is arranged alphabetically by topic.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1, Historical background materials, 1895-1958, undated

Subseries 1, Biographical, 1900-1958, undated

Subseries 2, John A. Roebling's and Sons Company materials, 1895-1949

Subseries 3, Newsletters, 1929-1931

Series 2, Photographs, 1926-1975

Series 3, Specifications, 1855-1962

Series 4, Reports, 1928-1938

Series 5, Patent materials, 1849-1952

Series 6, Reference materials, 1836-1964
Biographical / Historical:
John Augustus Roebling (1806-1869) was the founder and proprietor of John A. Roebling's Sons Company. Born in Mühlhausen, Germany, he was a civil engineer famous for his wire rope suspension bridge designs, in particular, the design of the Brooklyn Bridge. Roebling married Johana Herting in 1836 and they had nine children: Washington A. Roebling (1837-1926); Laura R. Methfessel (1840-1873); Ferdinand W. Roebling (1842-1917); Elvira R. Stewart (1844-1871); Josephine R. Jarvis (b. 1847); Charles Gustavus Roebling (1849-1918); Edmund Roebling (1854-1930); William Roebling (b. 1856, d. 1860); and Hannah Roebling (died in infancy). Roebling's three sons, Washington Augustus Roebling; Ferdinand William Roebling and Charles Gustavus Roebling, worked for the company.

Roebling's Sons Company was active in the design and manufacture of wire rope used in the erection of suspension bridges since the 1840s. Roebling devised a system of spinning the wires together where weights and swivels turned the wire coils in the opposite direction from the twisting, thereby removing kinks. Method of and Machine for Manufacturing Wire Rope (US Patent # 2,720) issued on July 16, 1842. Roebling would adapt this wire rope to his suspension bridge principle. In 1848, he established a company—John Roebling's Sons Company—in Trenton, New Jersey, to manufacture his wire rope. Roebling manufacturing plants were sold in 1952 to the Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) Company of Pueblo, Colorado. In 1968, the Crane Company purchased the CF& I.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

George S. Morison Collection (AC0978)

Modjeski and Masters Company Records (AC0976)

Materials at Other Organizations

The Rutgers University, Special Collections and University Archives

Roebling family papers, cicra 1820s-1950s
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Blair Birdsall, former chief engineer at John A. Roebling's Sons Company in 1981.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Bridges -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Bridge construction industry -- United States  Search this
Bridges -- Design and construction  Search this
Iron industry and trade -- United States  Search this
Iron industry and trade -- Colorado  Search this
Wire industry -- New Jersey  Search this
Suspension bridges -- Design and construction  Search this
Ski lifts  Search this
Wire-rope industry -- New Jersey  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Specifications
Reports
Price lists
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 1920-1940
Letterpress books
Correspondence
Blueprints
Ledgers (account books)
Genealogies
Notebooks
Patents
Citation:
John A. Roebling Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0981
See more items in:
John A. Roebling Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8419ecb5a-d411-4efa-b829-43d8cc9002ec
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0981
Online Media:

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Iron

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Extent:
4.82 Cubic feet (consisting of 10 boxes, 1 folder, 5 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, 1 flat box (partial).)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuals
Printed ephemera
Mail order catalogs
Manufacturers' catalogs
Trade cards
Printed material
Letterheads
Advertising fliers
Technical manuals
Advertising cards
Advertising mail
Publications
Sales catalogs
Trade catalogs
Illustrations
Sales letters
Correspondence
Advertisements
Trade literature
Commercial catalogs
Advertising
Sales records
Catalogs
Catalogues
Technical reports
Business letters
Business records
Ephemera
Invoices
Annual reports
Reports
Print advertising
Receipts
Business cards
Business ephemera
Date:
1803-1967
bulk 1830-1915
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Iron forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
Iron and steel are companion industries so there is overlap in the products and goods manufactured and sold, which is evident in the documents. Iron was commonly used in construction as well as ornamental application in architecture and art, especially facades and sculptures, in addition to landscape and cemetery design, particularly in fencing. Some applications include bridges, concrete supports, joists, grating, casements, stairs, railings, trellises, doors, seats and other furniture, vases, vanes, shutters, posts, and fire escapes. Bar, plates, pig iron, cast iron, ore, and steel are commonly referred to in the collection materials. The emphasis is on products rather than production methods.

Materials represent a sampling of business records such as invoices, financial sheets, correspondence and a small number of advertising and promotional circulars. There are price sheets and a few product catalogs. Several company/foundry histories and prospectus documents are present. There is a large volume of import/export documents (European) present.

No extensive runs or complete records exist for any single company or brand, and no particular subtopic is represented in detail, although for any singular subtopic though some publications may provide general and historical overviews of a person, company, or facet of industry.
Arrangement:
The materials are arranged into three series.

Business Records and Marketing Materials

Genre

Subject
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Missing Title

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Provenance:
Iron is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060, purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Mail-order business -- Catalogs  Search this
Benches, iron  Search this
Fences -- wrought iron  Search this
Iron and steel industry  Search this
Gates -- Iron  Search this
Iron and steel bridges  Search this
Public works  Search this
Wrought-iron  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Ironwork  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Iron industry and trade -- United States  Search this
Iron and steel workers -- 1920-1930 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Public buildings  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuals
Printed ephemera
Mail order catalogs
Manufacturers' catalogs
Trade cards
Printed material
Letterheads
Advertising fliers
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Advertising cards
Advertising mail
Publications
Sales catalogs
Trade catalogs
Illustrations
Sales letters
Correspondence
Advertisements
Trade literature
Commercial catalogs
Advertising
Sales records
Catalogs
Catalogues
Technical reports
Business letters
Business records
Publications -- Business
Ephemera
Invoices
Annual reports
Reports
Print advertising
Receipts
Business cards
Business ephemera
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Iron, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Iron
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Iron
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8feadb922-cd2c-4736-ba8f-2e992b118056
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-iron

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By
  • Archives Center, National Museum of American History