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Cooper Bessemer Corporation Records

Creator:
Cooper Bessemer Corporation (Mt. Vernon, Ohio)  Search this
Source:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
Former owner:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
Extent:
17.4 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cashbooks
Advertising
Airbrushing
Photographs
Correspondence
Newsletters
Letterpress copybooks
Financial records
Drawings
Date:
circa 1866-1944
Scope and Contents note:
These records document the activities of the Cooper Bessemer Corporation of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, manufacturers of steam, gas, and oil engines; compressors; and furnaces. Included are advertisements and trade literature for C. & G. Cooper gas engines, Chapman Engineering Company, Chapman-Stein gas producers, and Cooper Bessemer gas and diesel engines and compressors, 1921-1925, 1936-1944; C. & G. Cooper steam engine catalogs and price lists, 1870-1888, 1908-1910, 1924; Stein furnace book and sales literature, 1932; letterpress copybook, 1866; cash books, 1873-1920; Chapman Engineering cash book, 1917; financial records, 1918-1923; newsletters; correspondence, 1914-1935; office and plant photographs, 1881-1935; and photographs, air brush renderings, and drawings of steam, gas, and diesel engines, generators, and installations.
Arrangement:
1 series. Arrangement: By type of material.
Biographical / Historical:
This collection is unprocessed.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation, Mt. Vernon, Ohio circa 1965 and 1969.
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:
Furnaces  Search this
Engines  Search this
Diesel motor  Search this
Genre/Form:
Cashbooks
Advertising
Airbrushing
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Correspondence -- 1900-1950
Newsletters
Letterpress copybooks
Financial records
Drawings -- 20th century
Drawings -- 19th century
Citation:
Archives Center, Cooper Bessemer Corporation Records, circa 1886-1944, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0961
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0961

Hart, Schaffner and Marx Records

Creator:
Hart, Schaffner and Marx.  Search this
Source:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Costume  Search this
Names:
Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.  Search this
Abt, Levi  Search this
Hart, Harry  Search this
Hart, Max  Search this
Hillman, Sidney  Search this
Marx, Marcus  Search this
Schaffner, Joseph  Search this
Former owner:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Costume  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (17 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sales letters
Stylebooks
Account books
Cashbooks
Retailers
Sales catalogs
Business records
Vouchers
Voucher register
Place:
Chicago (Illinois) -- 1900-1960
Illinois -- 1900-1960
Date:
1901-1955
Scope and Contents note:
The collection falls roughly into 4 parts. Series 1 is primarily composed of the company's history and its advertising, including a number of style books. The historical materials highlight the firm's importance in the men's clothing industry; the style books are a valuable record of styles in men's clothing during the first half of the 20th century. The Warshaw Collection of Americana contains a number of Hart, Schaffner and Marx style books from 1903 1928 that duplicate a number in this collection. The miscellaneous records in Box 3 relate primarily to a failed retail store that was placed under new management and reports on naval uniforms and government shipments in the first half of the 1940's. Though obviously incomplete, these records illustrate that the company manufactured military uniforms during World War II as well as civilian clothing.

The Trade Board decisions in Series 2 (February 1921 Febuary 1934) provide a colorful picture of early labor management relations and the everyday incidents in the work place that came before the Trade Board. They are also illustrative of good labor management relations that were developed very early in the history of organized labor.

The company's records, kept in minute detail, in notebooks, by hand, comprise Series 3, the largest part of the collection. They are testimony to the many operations involved in the profitable production of a suit, coat, vest, knickers, or trousers that are part of men's clothing. Large books record items such as tailoring specifications for various articles of clothing, hours worked and earnings for specific operations, piece work lists by article and operation for various shops. There are also account books, cash books, and a voucher register. These appear to be illustrative rather than complete records.

Series 4 consists of 2 boxes of materials of the kind used in the manufacture of men's clothing. They have been kept with the records because Hart, Schaffner and Marx was the first manufacturer to have its salesmen work from swatches of material instead of trunk loads of clothing, an innovation soon followed by other manufacturers.

All of the actual company records are prior to 1955. There are a few pieces of descriptive material of a later date.

The arrangement is chronological where appropriate; otherwise, it is alphabetical. Many of the records in Series 3 are handwritten.
Arrangement:
Divided into 4 series.

Series 1: Company History, Advertising and Style Books

Series 2: Trade Board Decisions, 1921-34

Series 4: Company Records, 1903-1946

Series 4: Material Swatches, undated
Biographical/Historical note:
In 1872, twenty-one year old Harry Hart and his 18-year-old brother Max opened a retail store for men's clothing on State St. in Chicago, Illinois. In 1879 two brothers in law Levi Abt and Marcus Marx joined them. Eight years later Levi Abt left and Joseph Schaffner, a cousin of the Harts, took his place. Thus in 1887 Hart, Schaffner and Marx was born.

The transition from retailing only to manufacturing evolved from clothing that was made to sell in their own store. There was an apparent need for facilities to supply ready made men's clothing to interested retailers and the business prospered.

High quality workmanship and improved employee management relationships were among early goals of the company. A labor agreement of 1911, initiated by Joseph Schaffner, was developed in cooperation with Sidney Hillman, then a cutter in a Hart, Schaffner and Marx factory. As a result Joseph Schaffner emerged as a leader and humanitarian and Sidney Hillman led the way for workers to cooperate with management wherever possible. The 1911 agreement became the model for the men's clothing industry and later for women's clothing. It was the foundation on which the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America was built and helped to rid the United States of sweatshops in the clothing industry. Sidney Hillman in later years won world acclaim as a labor leader and became an advisor on labor relations to President Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Hart, Schaffner and Marx became known for a number of "firsts" in the clothing industry in addition to its peaceful labor relations. The firm introduced a one price policy permitting no cut rates or better prices for any one; it advertised nationally; it introduced the tropical weight suit for summer wear. The company conceived and carried out selling with swatches of materials thus doing away with the practice of salesmen using trunk loads of clothing to demonstrate their line. It was the first manufacturer to offer proportional fit clothing made for men of different build as well as different size. Hart, Schaffner and Marx was also among the first to develop and expand its own retail division. By the firm's 75th anniversary in 1962 it had 78 stores in 37 metropolitan areas inspite of being thought of primarily as a manufacturer. Based in Chicago it did business throughout the United States.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Hart, Schaffner and Marx, 1973.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Probable copyright and trademark restrictions.
Topic:
Clothing trade -- 1900-1960  Search this
Clothing stores -- 1900-1960  Search this
Industrial relations  Search this
Men's clothing industry -- 1900-1960  Search this
Men's clothing  Search this
Retail trade -- 1900-1960  Search this
Trade-unions -- 1900-1960  Search this
Sweatshops  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sales letters
Stylebooks -- 1900-1960
Account books -- 20th century
Cashbooks -- 1900-1950
Retailers -- 1900-1960
Sales catalogs -- 1900-1960
Business records -- 20th century
Vouchers -- 1900-1960
Voucher register
Citation:
Hart, Schaffner and Marx Records, 1901-1955, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0426
See more items in:
Hart, Schaffner and Marx Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0426
Online Media:

Anglo-American Telegraph Company Records

Creator:
Anglo-American Telegraph Company, Ltd.  Search this
Names:
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
14 Cubic feet (51 volumes in 44 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Journals
Minute books
Cashbooks
Ledgers
Date:
1862-1947
Summary:
Records relating to the organization of the company, corporate and financial records. Corporate records include two volumes of the company's acts, charters, contracts and agreements, 1862-1883; minutes of board meetings relating to varied subjects, such as agreements between the company and other telegraph companies such as Western Union Telegraph concerning sales of property, details of trnsactions or purchases undertaken by the company. Financial records consist of nine volumes of "journals" showing monthly records of receipts, 1866-1912; nineteen volumes of ledgers reveal a detailed financial status of the company, 1866-1912; and nine volumes of cash books consist of the financial transactions of the company, 1904-early 1941. See also 1 folder of the Anglo-American Telegraph Company telegrams in the Warshaw Collection under the heading "Telegraphs".
Scope and Contents:
These records consist of material relating to the organization of the company, corporate and financial records. Corporate records include two (2) volumes of the company's acts, charters, contracts and agreements from 1862 to 1883; minutes of board meetings relating to varied subjects, such as agreements between the company and other telegraph companies such as Western Union Telegraph concerning sales of property, details of transactions or purchases undertaken by the company.

Financial records consist of nine (9) volumes of "journals" showing monthly records of receipts for 1866 to 1912; nineteen (19) volumes of ledgers reveal a detailed financial status of the company for the years 1866 1912; and nine (9) volumes of cash books consist of the financial transactions of the company between 1904 and early 1941.

Miscellaneous Records in series 5 include the Log Book of the Heart's Content Station from 1866-1867; printed correspondence from William Orton, president of Western Union, to the company; the company's general orders, 1880; and the Engineer's Final Report, 1880.

References

K.R. Haigh. Cableships and Submarine Cables. London: Adlard Coles Ltd., 1968, esp. Chapter 39.

Vary T. Coales and Bernard Finn. A Retrospective Technology Assessment: Submarine Telegraph; Transatlantic Cable of 1866. San Francisco Press Inc., 1979.

Charles Bright. Submarine Telegraphs: Their History, Construction, and Working. London: Crosby Lockwood and Son, 1898.

Susan Schlee. The Edge of Unfamiliar World: A History of Oceanography. New York: Putnam, 1968.

Samuel Carter. Cyrus Field: A Man of Two Worlds. New York: Putnam, 1968.

Henry M. Field. The Story of the Atlantic Telegraphy. New York: Scribner, 1892.
Arrangement:
The collection is aranged into five series and within each series arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Corporate Records, 1862-1947

Series 2: Journals, 1866-1912

Series 3: Ledgers, 1866-1912

Series 4: Cash Books, 1904-1941

Series 5: Miscellaneous Records, 1866-1880
Biographical / Historical:
Anglo American Telegraph Company history begins in 1852 when the government of Newfoundland granted an English engineer, F.N. Crisborne, the exclusive right to land cables in Newfoundland for thirty years. This exclusive right was predicated on the condition that a land line be constructed across the country from St. Johns to Cape Ray. Work on the system started in 1852 with the laying of a cable across the Northumberland Strait and the commencement of the construction of the land line across Newfoundland.

The life of the cable was less than a year old and only forty miles of land line were completed before the company went bankrupt. On his visit to New York to raise more money for his company, Crisborne was introduced to Cyrus West Field (1819 1892), a retired American merchant. Field recognized the importance of Crisborne's concession in Newfoundland in connection with a proposed Atlantic cable, found a syndicate among his friends, and arranged for the extension of Crisborne's concession to fifty years from 1856. He then formed a new company called New York, Newfoundland and London Electric Telegraph Company.

On his visit to England at the end of 1854 to order a cable to span the Gulf of St. Lawrence between Cape Ray and Cape North, Field met John Watkins Brett, who, with his brother had been responsible for the first channel cable. Field also met Charles T. Bright of the Magnetic Company. Both Brett and Bright were convinced of the feasibility of an Atlantic cable. The formation of the Atlantic Telegraph Company on October 20, 1856, was a result of a meeting of Field, Brett and Bright. The new company attempted but failed in 1857 to successfully launch the first Atlantic cable due to financial difficulties, but plans were made immediately for a second attempt in 1858. In late 1858, the cable failed after passing 723 messages.

The Atlantic Telegraph Company did not go into liquidation for Field and Bright were still convinced that a working cable could be achieved. In the United States, Field aroused the interest of the board of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company who agreed to take a considerable amount of their payment for the manufacture and laying of a cable in shares of the Atlantic Telegraph Company. The promoters, and, principally, the board of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company, were not daunted by efforts to raise money for yet another attempt in spite of failures. A new company, the Anglo American Telegraph Company, was formed with the capital Atlantic Telegraph Company raised. This new company took over the New York, Newfoundland and London Telegraph Company until 1873 when the two companies amalgamated under the name Anglo American Telegraph Company, Ltd. Anglo American Telegraph Company operated in part as an agent of the Telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company. But the joint efforts of the two companies effected the completion of the cable in 1866 between London and New York.

During the pioneering years of cable construction, the British cable industry designed, manufactured and laid all major submarine cables. Britain possessed the technology, the necessary capital and the extensive overseas interests fundamental to an ambitious effort in cable expansion. Besides, Britain depended on the cooperation of the European states for external telegraphic communications. The British themselves were, however, familiar and experienced in dealing with large engineering projects, such as railways and other similar ventures. An added advantage for the British was an excess of investment capital in the United Kingdom.

In the United States, similar factors either were absent or did not work to Cyrus Field's advantage. Field was unable to secure the support of prominent American businessmen. Samuel Morse (1791 1872), best remembered for his work on the telegraph and as one of the first Americans to make telegraph commercially viable, was the only prominent scientist who supported the project in the United States. Unlike Britain where it was easier to obtain government support through informal tactics, in the United States, Field had to submit a bill in the Congress. Obtaining support from Congress for the project was a difficult task, especially since the cable joined the two British territories. In addition, there was little precedent for United States government support for large engineering projects, particularly the ones that had an international dimension.

The United States government support for the cable project came largely from Field's unabating conviction that the cable should be an international project and from the expectation of the British government that the United States would provide a guarantee similar to the one Britain had granted: to link North America and Britain by cable. Through the help of William H. Seward (1801 1872) who served as Secretary of State (1860 1869) and favored American expansionism, Cyrus Field's idea of constructing American cable in the Atlantic Ocean to Britain received government support. In fact, Seward favored plans for the United States to also construct cables in the Pacific or Caribbean regions.

Following passage of the bill in Congress, the directors and officers of Atlantic Telegraph Company met to settle the question of how to proceed. As a result of proper planning and hard work, successful functioning of the cable came in 1866, after three failed attempts to launch a cable: 1856 1857, 1858 and 1864 1865. The 1866 success came as a result of the Atlantic Telegraph Company board listening to the views of engineers and electricians who expressed optimism. The board shared the confidence of their technicians. Consequently the board made the decision to raise money to build a new cable, as well as use the material from the previous cable project of 1865.

The Anglo American, as an agent of Atlantic Telegraph Company lay and operated cables. In return, it received 125,000 English pounds annually from Atlantic Telegraph revenues and another 25,000 English pounds annually from revenues of New York, Newfoundland, and London Company a twenty five percent return. The cable laying work began at Valentia Bay on July 13, 1866. By September 8, 1866, Atlantic cable was operating.

The major part of the 1866 cable was renewed by the telegraph Construction and Maintenance Company. The Construction and Maintenance Company and the Western Union Company reached an agreement in 1911 whereby from 1912, the latter company would lease all the Anglo American cable for ninety nine years. Since 1912, all new cables laid in conjunction with the joint system were the property of the Western Union Telegraph Company.

Western Union Telegraph Company terminated the lease prematurely in 1963. The Anglo American Telegraph Company received a substantial payment as compensation. The ownership and operation of the company was solved by forming a new company, Transatlantic Cables Limited, with their offices in Bermuda.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

AC0205, Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Provenance:
The initial collection was donated by the TransAtlantic Cable Limited, Bermuda in 1970.
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:
Communications  Search this
Atlantic telegraph cable  Search this
Telegraph, Wireless  Search this
Submarine telegraphy  Search this
Genre/Form:
Journals -- 1860-1920
Minute books
Cashbooks -- 1900-1950
Ledgers -- 1860-1920
Citation:
Anglo-American Telegraph Company Records, 1862-1947, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Washington, DC.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0073
See more items in:
Anglo-American Telegraph Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0073
Online Media:

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