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Charles Atlas Records

Creator:
Atlas, Charles, 1893-1972  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (9 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Photographs
Date:
circa 1909-1998
Summary:
Collection consists primarily of educational, promotional and publicity materials created by Charles Atlas and others for his bodybuilding business.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of educational, promotional and publicity materials created by Charles Atlas and others for his bodybuilding business. There is some information about Atlas's personal life including a biography, newspaper clippings and photographs of him throughout his life and of his family. The materials are useful in understanding health, physical culture, body training and self-esteem issues for males in American society during the first half of the twentieth century.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1, Educational Materials, circa 1920s-1998, undated

Series 2, Publicity Materials, 1936-1998, undated

Series 3, Promotional Materials, 1936-1998, undated

Series 4, Photographs, circa 1909-1998, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Atlas was born Angelo Siciliano in 1893 in Italy and immigrated to New York as a young boy with his family. After failing to build up his body using weight-training equipment, he stumbled upon the concept of resistance exercise – pitting one muscle against another to build strength – during a visit to the Prospect Park Zoo in Brooklyn, and soon turned himself into a muscular beauty. He got his start in physical culture demonstrating exercise equipment and working as a circus strongman, ripping telephone books in half and performing other feats of strength. He later found work as an artists' model, becoming one of the most sought after models in the country, and was chosen as "The World's Most Perfectly Developed Man" in 1922 by Physical Culture magazine.

For the next several years, Atlas tried to capitalize on his title by composing a multi-lesson, mail-order bodybuilding course that emphasized both exercise and clean living, physically and mentally. However, he turned out to be a poor businessperson and did not find much success. It was not until Atlas met advertising man Charles P. Roman in 1928, who named the system "Dynamic-Tension" and came up with the "97-pound weakling" marketing concept for which Atlas remains famous, that the correspondence course began to take off. With Roman as his business partner, Atlas became a ubiquitous presence on the backs of comic books and in the minds of scrawny boys everywhere, promising strength and manliness to all who successfully completed his program. The pair sold the course to millions of students worldwide, many of whom wrote Atlas to thank him for changing their lives. They sold several other products, including vitamins and a ten-volume encyclopedia called the Sexual Education Series. Roman bought out Atlas's half of the business in 1970 and sold Charles Atlas, Ltd., to Jeffrey C. Hogue in 1997. The company continues to operate, selling the Dynamic-Tension course, licensed apparel and other items, and nutritional supplements.
Provenance:
Charles Atlas, Ltd. president Jeffrey C. Hogue donated the collection to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center on April 23, 1998.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
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:
Bodybuilding  Search this
Masculinity  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Citation:
Charles Atlas Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0654
See more items in:
Charles Atlas Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0654
Online Media:

Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company Records

Collector:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Engineering and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Engineering and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Co.  Search this
Names:
Atlantic City Railroad  Search this
Mine Hill & Schuylkill Haven Railroad  Search this
Reading Belt Railroad  Search this
Bines, William H.  Search this
Boggs, George B.  Search this
Buckholz, Charles W.  Search this
Byers, Charles E.  Search this
Chamberlain, E.C.  Search this
Davis, N.M.  Search this
Gowen, Franklin B.  Search this
Jamison, Robert  Search this
Keim, George DeB  Search this
Lorenz, William  Search this
Manning, Charles P.  Search this
Nichols, Henry K.  Search this
Rice, George  Search this
Richardson, F.E.  Search this
Royers, John H.  Search this
Steele, J. Dutton  Search this
Thompson, J.W.  Search this
Whitney, E.S.  Search this
Wilson, H.T.  Search this
Wootten, John E.  Search this
Yarington, T.O.  Search this
Zacharias, H.C.  Search this
Extent:
18 Cubic feet (55 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Right of way deeds
Reports
Letterpress copybooks
Mechanical drawings
Estimates
Financial statements
Circular letters
Bills
Accident reports
Correspondence
Place:
Lackawanna County (Pa.)
Luzerne County (Pa.)
Cressona (Pa.)
Harrisburg (Pa.)
Norristown (Pa.)
Philadelphia (Pa.)
New Jersey
Sumerton (Pa.)
Cheltenham (Pa.)
Sunbury (Pa.)
Reading (Pa.)
Trenton (N.J.)
Schuylkill County (Pa.)
Pennsylvania
Date:
1860-1936
Summary:
Collection of engineering reports and correspondence from the Engineering Department of the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company. The Philadelphia and Reading Railroad was most used for the transportation of anthracite coal within Pennsylvania from 1833 through the early 1970s.
Scope and Contents:
Primarily outgoing correspondence from the Engineering Department of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad Company, the remainder being engineering reports and other miscellaneous papers.

Series 1: Letterpress Copybooks consists of 219 volumes from various engineers, each with own index (1865-1892): were generated by Chief Engineer, Assistant Chief Engineer, various resident engineers, other lower-level engineers, and the Chief Road-Master. Bulk of copybooks created by William H. Bines and Henry K. Nichols during long careers with the Philadelphia & Reading. Other volumes contain letters and reports by Charles W. Buckholz, Charles E. Byers, William Lorenz, and others. Correspondence covers all aspects of the engineering operations of the railroad, much of it at highest levels, being addressed to the Presidents of the Reading. Also includes one letterbook from John E. Wooten (1865), Superintendent.

Series 2: Reports of Chief Engineer to Auditor, 1908-1910; structural design calculation notebooks, 1901-1935; right of way deeds, 1903; and tracings of assorted machine parts.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: Letterpress Copybooks

Series 2: Reports and Miscellaneous papers
Biographical / Historical:
This railroad was chartered in 1833 to provide low-cost transportation from the Schuylkill and Mahanoy anthracite coal fields in eastern Pennsylvania to Philadelphia. Main line from Philadelphia to Pottsville opened 1842. Reading expanded by acquiring other railroads, and by 1869 had monopoly of coal traffic from Schuylkill anthracite region.

Expansion accelerated when Franklin B. Gowen became president (1869) and attempted to dominate entire anthracite trade. Purchased Schuylkill Canal (1870) to eliminate competition for coal trade; then organized the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company in 1871 to purchase and operate coal mines; secured over 40 percent of U.S. anthracite reserves, but debt incurred led railroad to bankruptcy and receivership (1880). Gowen's reckless style drove the Reading into second receivership (1886), and he was forced to resign.

Gowen's Successor, Archibald A. McLeod, tried to increase company control over anthracite trade (1892-1893), then control of several New England railroads. The Reading went bankrupt again and McLeod was ousted. In a reorganization (1896), the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and the Coal & Iron Company became properties of the Reading Company, a holding company. Later additions to system were infrequent and largely confined to short branches and improvements inalignment. Due to anti-trust proceedings, company divested mining subsidiary (1923) and merged wholly owned railroad companies into an operating company. Acquired Lehigh & Susquehanna Railroad 1963, went bankrupt in early 1970s, and conveyed portions of its lines to Conrail (1976). The reorganized Reading Company retains real estate and other non-rail holdings.
Related Materials:
Hagley Museum & Library, Manuscripts & Archives Department, P.O. Box 3630, Wilmington, Delaware 19807.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Reading Company, Philadelphia, Pa., 1960s.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
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:
Railroad accidents  Search this
Railroad engineering  Search this
Railroads -- New Jersey  Search this
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Railroad companies -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Engineering  Search this
Engineers  Search this
Railroad engineers  Search this
Coal -- Transportation  Search this
Anthracite coal industry  Search this
Railroads -- Surveying  Search this
Railroad tracks  Search this
Railroads -- Maintenance and repair  Search this
Railroads -- Signalling  Search this
Transportation  Search this
Railroads -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Right of way deeds
Reports
Letterpress copybooks
Mechanical drawings
Estimates
Financial statements
Circular letters
Bills
Accident reports
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Citation:
Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0208
See more items in:
Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0208

Report of the engineers on their investigations of the merits of narrow guage [!] railways, as applicable to long main lines. April 25, 1871

Author:
Osborne, Richard B  Search this
Manning, Charles P  Search this
Physical description:
24 p. 19 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1872
Topic:
Narrow gauge railroads  Search this
Call number:
TF675 .O81
TF675.O81
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_158608

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