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Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Cosmetics

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Extent:
2.98 Cubic feet (consisting of 6 boxes, 3 folders, 9 oversize folders, 2 map case folders, plus digital images of some collection material. )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business ephemera
Ephemera
Date:
1813-1940
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Cosmetics 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:
This collection consists of a great variety of materials, including business correspondence, bills and receipts, advertisements, order forms, business and advertising cards, labels, bookmarks, calendars, formulas, handbooks, pamphlets, price lists, leaflets, display cards, postcards, circulars, packaging, toilet albums, and labels. Many of the products are perfumes or colognes; others include shaving creams, hair preparations, manicure supplies, soaps, creams and lotions, powders, makeup, and bath products. Foot preparations, dental care products, deodorants, medications, starch, oils and spices, and brushes are also present. Most of these products are for the use of female consumers. Trade materials are directed toward scalp specialists, hairdressers, dermatologists, beauty culturist and manicurists. There are a number of materials from female-owned establishments. Other materials include publications, such as catalogues produced by manufacturers for consumers, and publications for the trade. Cosmetic appliances, formulas, labels, trademarks and patents, and import/export documents are also present. Most of this material dates from the late 19th to the early 20th century.

Images of women and of flowers predominate in this collection. Most of the women are Anglo American with a few others such as Turkish, Asian, Scots, Brazilian, Swiss, Egyptian and African American.
Arrangement:
Arranged into three subseries

Subseries 1: Manufacturers, Distributors, and Retailers, circa 1830-1960

Subseries 2: Publications, circa 1850-1940

Subseries 3: Related Materials, circa 1890-1934
Materials in the Archives Center:
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)
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:
Cosmetics 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:
advertising -- Cosmetics  Search this
Cosmetics  Search this
Cosmetics industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business ephemera
Ephemera
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Cosmetics
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Cosmetics
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep82935e08b-fe06-440e-809c-6fb8b33d6174
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-cosmetics
Online Media:

Western Union Telegraph Company Records

Creator:
United Telegraph Workers.  Search this
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
452 Cubic feet (871 boxes and 23 map folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Administrative records
Articles
Books
Clippings
Contracts
Drawings
Photographs
Patents
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Scrapbooks
Specifications
Technical documents
Date:
circa 1820-1995
Summary:
The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into twenty-six (26) series and consists of approximately 400 cubic feet. The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into twenty-seven series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Information, 1851-1994

Series 2: Subsidiaries of Western Union, 1844-1986

Series 3: Executive Records, 1848-1987

Series 4: Presidential Letterbooks and Writings, 1865-1911

Series 5: Correspondence, 1837-1985

Series 6: Cyrus W. Field Papers, 1840-1892

Series 7: Secretary's Files, 1844-1987

Series 8: Financial Records, 1859-1995

Series 9: Legal Records, 1867-1968

Series 10: Railroad Records, 1854-1945

Series 11: Law Department Records, 1868-1979

Series 12: Patent Materials, 1840-1970

Series 13: Operating Records, 1868-1970s

Series 14: Westar VI-S, 1974, 1983-1986

Series 15: Engineering Department Records, 1874-1970

Series 16: Plant Department Records, 1867-1937, 1963

Series 17: Superintendent of Supplies Records, 1888-1948

Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records 1852-1985

Series 19: Public Relations Department Records, 1858-1980

Series 20: Western Union Museum, 1913-1971

Series 21: Maps, 1820-1964

Series 22: Telegrams, 1852-1960s

Series 23: Photographs, circa 1870-1980

Series 24: Scrapbooks, 1835-1956

Series 25: Notebooks, 1880-1942

Series 26: Audio Visual Materials, 1925-1994

Series 27: Addenda
Biographical / Historical:
In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, conceived of the idea for an electromechanical telegraph, which he called the "Recording Telegraph." This commercial application of electricity was made tangible by their construction of a crude working model in 1835-36. This instrument probably was never used outside of Professor Morse's rooms where it was, however, operated in a number of demonstrations. This original telegraph instrument was in the hands of the Western Union Telegraph Company and had been kept carefully over the years in a glass case. It was moved several times in New York as the Western Union headquarters building changed location over the years. The company presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1950.

The telegraph was further refined by Morse, Vail, and a colleague, Leonard Gale, into working mechanical form in 1837. In this year Morse filed a caveat for it at the U.S. Patent Office. Electricity, provided by Joseph Henry's 1836 "intensity batteries", was sent over a wire. The flow of electricity through the wire was interrupted for shorter or longer periods by holding down the key of the device. The resulting dots or dashes were recorded on a printer or could be interpreted orally. In 1838 Morse perfected his sending and receiving code and organized a corporation, making Vail and Gale his partners.

In 1843 Morse received funds from Congress to set-up a demonstration line between Washington and Baltimore. Unfortunately, Morse was not an astute businessman and had no practical plan for constructing a line. After an unsuccessful attempt at laying underground cables with Ezra Cornell, the inventor of a trench digger, Morse switched to the erection of telegraph poles and was more successful. On May 24, 1844, Morse, in the U.S. Supreme Court Chambers in Washington, sent by telegraph the oft-quoted message to his colleague Vail in Baltimore, "What hath God wrought!"

In 1845 Morse hired Andrew Jackson's former postmaster general, Amos Kendall, as his agent in locating potential buyers of the telegraph. Kendall realized the value of the device, and had little trouble convincing others of its potential for profit. By the spring he had attracted a small group of investors. They subscribed $15,000 and formed the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Many new telegraph companies were formed as Morse sold licenses wherever he could.

The first commercial telegraph line was completed between Washington, D.C., and New York City in the spring of 1846 by the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Shortly thereafter, F. O. J. Smith, one of the patent owners, built a line between New York City and Boston. Most of these early companies were licensed by owners of Samuel Morse patents. The Morse messages were sent and received in a code of dots and dashes.

At this time other telegraph systems based on rival technologies were being built. Some companies used the printing telegraph, a device invented by a Vermonter, Royal E. House, whose messages were printed on paper or tape in Roman letters. In 1848 a Scotch scientist, Alexander Bain, received his patents on a telegraph. These were but two of many competing and incompatible technologies that had developed. The result was confusion, inefficiency, and a rash of suits and counter suits.

By 1851 there were over fifty separate telegraph companies operating in the United States. This corporate cornucopia developed because the owners of the telegraph patents had been unsuccessful in convincing the United States and other governments of the invention's potential usefulness. In the private sector, the owners had difficulty convincing capitalists of the commercial value of the invention. This led to the owners' willingness to sell licenses to many purchasers who organized separate companies and then built independent telegraph lines in various sections of the country.

Hiram Sibley moved to Rochester, New York, in 1838 to pursue banking and real estate. Later he was elected sheriff of Monroe County. In Rochester he was introduced to Judge Samuel L. Selden who held the House Telegraph patent rights. In 1849 Selden and Sibley organized the New York State Printing Telegraph Company, but they found it hard to compete with the existing New York, Albany, and Buffalo Telegraph Company.

After this experience Selden suggested that instead of creating a new line, the two should try to acquire all the companies west of Buffalo and unite them into a single unified system. Selden secured an agency for the extension throughout the United States of the House system. In an effort to expand this line west, Judge Selden called on friends and the people in Rochester. This led, in April 1851, to the organization of a company and the filing in Albany of the Articles of Association for the "New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company" (NYMVPTC), a company which later evolved into the Western Union Telegraph Company.

In 1854 there were two rival systems of the NYMVPTC in the West. These two systems consisted of thirteen separate companies. All the companies were using Morse patents in the five states north of the Ohio River. This created a struggle between three separate entities, leading to an unreliable and inefficient telegraph service. The owners of these rival companies eventually decided to invest their money elsewhere and arrangements were made for the NYMVPTC to purchase their interests.

Hiram Sibley recapitalized the company in 1854 under the same name and began a program of construction and acquisition. The most important takeover was carried out by Sibley when he negotiated the purchase of the Morse patent rights for the Midwest for $50,000 from Jeptha H. Wade and John J. Speed, without the knowledge of Ezra Cornell, their partner in the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company (EMTC). With this acquisition Sibley proceeded to switch to the superior Morse system. He also hired Wade, a very capable manager, who became his protege and later his successor. After a bitter struggle Morse and Wade obtained the EMTC from Cornell in 1855, thus assuring dominance by the NYMVPTC in the Midwest. In 1856 the company name was changed to the "Western Union Telegraph Company," indicating the union of the Western lines into one compact system. In December, 1857, the Company paid stockholders their first dividend.

Between 1857 and 1861 similar consolidations of telegraph companies took place in other areas of the country so that most of the telegraph interests of the United States had merged into six systems. These were the American Telegraph Company (covering the Atlantic and some Gulf states), The Western Union Telegraph Company (covering states North of the Ohio River and parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota), the New York Albany and Buffalo Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company (covering New York State), the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company (covering Pennsylvania), the Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company (covering sections of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois), and the New Orleans & Ohio Telegraph Company (covering the southern Mississippi Valley and the Southwest). All these companies worked together in a mutually friendly alliance, and other small companies cooperated with the six systems, particularly some on the West Coast.

By the time of the Civil War, there was a strong commercial incentive to construct a telegraph line across the western plains to link the two coasts of America. Many companies, however, believed the line would be impossible to build and maintain.

In 1860 Congress passed, and President James Buchanan signed, the Pacific Telegraph Act, which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to seek bids for a project to construct a transcontinental line. When two bidders dropped out, Hiram Sibley, representing Western Union, was the only bidder left. By default Sibley won the contract. The Pacific Telegraph Company was organized for the purpose of building the eastern section of the line. Sibley sent Wade to California, where he consolidated the small local companies into the California State Telegraph Company. This entity then organized the Overland Telegraph Company, which handled construction eastward from Carson City, Nevada, joining the existing California lines, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Sibley's Pacific Telegraph Company built westward from Omaha, Nebraska. Sibley put most of his resources into the venture. The line was completed in October, 1861. Both companies were soon merged into Western Union. This accomplishment made Hiram Sibley leader of the telegraph industry.

Further consolidations took place over the next several years. Many companies merged into the American Telegraph Company. With the expiration of the Morse patents, several organizations were combined in 1864 under the name of "The U.S. Telegraph Company." In 1866 the final consolidation took place, with Western Union exchanging stock for the stock of the other two organizations. The general office of Western Union moved at this time from Rochester to 145 Broadway, New York City. In 1875 the main office moved to 195 Broadway, where it remained until 1930 when it relocated to 60 Hudson Street.

In 1873 Western Union purchased a majority of shares in the International Ocean Telegraph Company. This was an important move because it marked Western Union's entry into the foreign telegraph market. Having previously worked with foreign companies, Western Union now began competing for overseas business.

In the late 1870s Western Union, led by William H. Vanderbilt, attempted to wrest control of the major telephone patents, and the new telephone industry, away from the Bell Telephone Company. But due to new Bell leadership and a subsequent hostile takeover attempt of Western Union by Jay Gould, Western Union discontinued its fight and Bell Telephone prevailed.

Despite these corporate calisthenics, Western Union remained in the public eye. The sight of a uniformed Western Union messenger boy was familiar in small towns and big cities all over the country for many years. Some of Western Union's top officials in fact began their careers as messenger boys.

Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century the telegraph became one of the most important factors in the development of social and commercial life of America. In spite of improvements to the telegraph, however, two new inventions--the telephone (nineteenth century) and the radio (twentieth century)--eventually replaced the telegraph as the leaders of the communication revolution for most Americans.

At the turn of the century, Bell abandoned its struggles to maintain a monopoly through patent suits, and entered into direct competition with the many independent telephone companies. Around this time, the company adopted its new name, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).

In 1908 AT&T gained control of Western Union. This proved beneficial to Western Union, because the companies were able to share lines when needed, and it became possible to order telegrams by telephone. However, it was only possible to order Western Union telegrams, and this hurt the business of Western Union's main competitor, the Postal Telegraph Company. In 1913, however, as part of a move to prevent the government from invoking antitrust laws, AT&T completely separated itself from Western Union.

Western Union continued to prosper and it received commendations from the U.S. armed forces for service during both world wars. In 1945 Western Union finally merged with its longtime rival, the Postal Telegraph Company. As part of that merger, Western Union agreed to separate domestic and foreign business. In 1963 Western Union International Incorporated, a private company completely separate from the Western Union Telegraph Company, was formed and an agreement with the Postal Telegraph Company was completed. In 1994, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. was acquired by First Financial Management Corporation. In 1995, First Financial Management Corporation merged with First Data Corporation making Western Union a First Data subsidiary.

Many technological advancements followed the telegraph's development. The following are among the more important:

The first advancement of the telegraph occurred around 1850 when operators realized that the clicks of the recording instrument portrayed a sound pattern, understandable by the operators as dots and dashes. This allowed the operator to hear the message by ear and simultaneously write it down. This ability transformed the telegraph into a versatile and speedy system.

Duplex Telegraphy, 1871-72, was invented by the president of the Franklin Telegraph Company. Unable to sell his invention to his own company, he found a willing buyer in Western Union. Utilizing this invention, two messages were sent over the wire simultaneously, one in each direction.

As business blossomed and demand surged, new devices appeared. Thomas Edison's Quadruplex allowed four messages to be sent over the same wire simultaneously, two in one direction and two in the other.

An English automatic signaling arrangement, Wheatstone's Automatic Telegraph, 1883, allowed larger numbers of words to be transmitted over a wire at once. It could only be used advantageously, however, on circuits where there was a heavy volume of business.

Buckingham's Machine Telegraph was an improvement on the House system. It printed received messages in plain Roman letters quickly and legibly on a message blank, ready for delivery.

Vibroplex, c. 1890, a semi-automatic key sometimes called a "bug key," made the dots automatically. This relieved the operator of much physical strain.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Additional moving image about Western Union Telegraph Company can be found in the Industry on Parade Collection (AC0507). This includes Cable to Cuba! by Bell Laboratory, AT & T, featuring the cable ship, the C.S. Lord Kelvin, and Communications Centennial! by the Western Union Company.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.

Western Union International Records form part of the MCI International, Inc. Records at the First Data Corporation, Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Records of First Data Corporation and its predecessors, including Western Union, First Financial Management Corporation (Atlanta) and First Data Resources (Omaha). Western Union collection supports research of telegraphy and related technologies, and includes company records, annual reports, photographs, print and broadcast advertising, telegraph equipment, and messenger uniforms.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867

This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts (apparatus and equipment) were donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society, now known as the Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Western Union in September of 1971.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but Series 11 and films are stored off-site. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audiovisual materials. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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 equipment  Search this
Communication -- International cooperation  Search this
Electric engineering  Search this
Electric engineers  Search this
Electrical equipment  Search this
Electrical science and technology  Search this
Telegraphers  Search this
Telegraph  Search this
Genre/Form:
Administrative records
Articles
Books
Clippings
Contracts
Drawings
Photographs -- 19th century
Patents
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Specifications
Technical documents
Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0205
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8b72e8493-288c-4bd0-84d5-011155da30a7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0205
Online Media:

[Stamp "Received" from Patent Department, 1957, for the patent Electrically Inscribable Lithographic Offset Printing Plate.]

Collector:
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Collection Creator:
United Telegraph Workers.  Search this
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 2.5" x 2.3")
Container:
Box 461
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
June 17, 1957
Scope and Contents:
Rubber stamp imprint.
Local Numbers:
AC0205-0000130 (AC Scan)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but Series 11 and films are stored off-site. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audiovisual materials. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection 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:
Lithography -- 20th century  Search this
Offset printing  Search this
Patents -- 1950-1970  Search this
Rubber stamps  Search this
Telegraph, Wireless  Search this
Collection Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Western Union Telegraph Company Records / Series 12: Patent Materials / 12.4: Patent Application Files / D-6581
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep871415c88-3268-4911-ab8a-8e693345cc2a
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0205-ref11340

Jantzen Knitting Mills Collection

Creator:
Jantzen, Carl C.  Search this
Names:
Jantzen Knitting Mills.  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Costume  Search this
Portland Knitting Company.  Search this
Zehntbauer, John C.  Search this
Extent:
7 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Catalogs
Photograph albums
Date:
1925-1977
Summary:
Carl C. Jantzen and John C. Zehntbauer founded the Portland Knitting Company in 1910 as a retail store selling knitted products (i.e. sweaters, hosiery, jackets). Carl Jantzen later invented an automated circular knitting machine that allowed the company to make light-weight materials for swimsuits. In 1916, the company first used the name Jantzen as their trademark and went on to specialize in swimsuits.
Scope and Contents:
This collection has a thorough representation of company newsletters, Jantzen Yarns, and many sample and print catalogues from the 1970s which show the Jantzen clothing and swimwear lines for misses, juniors, and men during that time. There are several company histories written by Zehntbauer which were printed in Jantzen Yarns. The photographs, though few in number, are a good sampling documenting Jantzen headquarters, as well as employees at work. The films, are aimed at store buyers and feature different lines of Jantzen clothing or swimwear, or are training films for sales representatives.

Series 1: SAMPLE CATALOGUES, 1974-1976, includes sample catalogs are for misses, juniors, and men.

Series 2: PUBLICATIONS, 1925-1977, contains issues of Jantzen Yarns (house publication), 1925-1973 (some of the covers of the newsletters include cover art by noted "pin-up" artists George Petty, Jon Whitcomb, Pete Hawley, and Rene Gruau); Intra-Views (company newspaper); and clothing and swimwear catalogues for women, juniors, and men, 1972-1977.

Series 3: COMPANY HISTORY, 1921, 1923-32, 1973, includes photocopies of various company histories written by John A. Zehntbauer; a photocopy of a patent; and an annual report for 1973 (many volumes of Jantzen Yarns [Series 2] have annual reports as an issue).

Series 4: PHOTOGRAPHS, ca. 1920s/30s, consists of a group of photos (originally from an album) showing the main office building, warehouses, and photographs of groups of employees at work or in posed groups.

Series 5: AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS, 1951, 1976, undated, is divided into two subseries. Subseries 5.1: Films, circa 1951, undated, consists of four films produced for store buyers and sales representatives. Subseries 5.2: Slide Presentation Materials, 1976, includes slides, script, and audiocassette for an in-plant presentation on the Misses Fall 1976 line of Jantzen clothing.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Sample Catalogues, 1974-1976

Series 2: Publications, 1925-1977

Series 3: Ccompany History, 1921, 1923-32, 1973

Series 4: Photographs, circa. 1920s-1930s

Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, 1951, 1976, undated

Subseries 5.1: Films, 1951

Subseries 5.2: Slide Presentation Materials, 1976
Biographical / Historical:
Known primarily for its swimsuits, the Jantzen Knitting Mills are located in Portland, OR. John A. Zehntbauer and Carl C. Jantzen founded the company in 1910. It was then called the Portland Knitting Co. and consisted of a retail store and "a few knitting machines on the second floor" where heavy sweaters, woolen hosiery and other articles of clothing were manufactured.

The two partners were intent on expanding their company, especially by means of a product that would give them an edge in the highly competitive knitting industry. Fortunately, a member of a rowing club approached them one day and asked if they could make him a pair of rowing trunks "of a rib stitch." The success of this item led to the company's specialization in the manufacture of swimsuits in the elastic rib stitch. A patent for this suit was granted in 1921. Carl Jantzen's inventiveness was responsible for the development of an automated circular knitting machine, a derivative of hosiery knitting machines, with a fine needle-bed which produced the light-weight material needed for swimsuits. It also reduced the cost of knitting dramatically.

In 1916 the company first used the name Jantzen as a trademark in advertising, and in 1918 they changed the name officially to the Jantzen Knitting Mills. The name was again changed in 1954 to Jantzen Inc.

Early advertising campaigns were aimed at encouraging swimming. One of the longest used slogans was "the Suit that Changed Bathing to Swimming." An idea for a cut-out sticker of a "diving girl" in a red Jantzen suit and knitted cap was reported in a 1923 issue of Men's Wear N.Y. as "proving popular with auto-drivers--[and that] many windshields carry as many as 3 or 4 of the figure." It also became the Jantzen logo. Billboards were used extensively with artwork by George Petty and McClelland Barclay. Ads in Life and Vogue in 1921 represented the first national advertising of the bathing suits and established the product as "first class."

Before the peak year of 1930, the firm operated factories in Canada, England, and Australia, in addition to exporting to many countries in Europe, South America, and the Phillippines. After the Depression years of 1931-34, a decision was made to license companies in Europe, rather than operating there. The decision was based on the uncertainty of U.S. foreign trade regulations and on the awareness of Zehntbauer, after a trip to Europe, of the political changes taking place.

In 1936 Jantzen made one of its greatest plant investments: a new spinning mill which was considered "the most up to date dying and spinning mill in the U.S." It enabled Jantzen to experiment with different fibers instead of having to purchase them from other mills. In the same year the firm hired their first female designer.

In 1937 serious considerations of making satin latex swimsuits--which were cut and sewn--were resolved in favor of keeping the elastic knit stitch. By 1973 sales and earnings were the highest in the 63 year history. Employees numbered 4,500.

Currently, Jantzen is owned by Vanity Fair Corporation. The company also operates an archives which is limited to serious research inquiries. Some historical information may also be located on their website: http://www.jantzen.com.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Industry on Parade Film Collection (AC0507)

Contains a 1952 film about Jantzen entitled "Suited for Swimming!" which describes the manufacture of swim suits at the company's Portland, Oregon, plant.
Separated Materials:
Related collections in the Division of Home and Community Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life). The collection includes bathing and swimming suits and men's, women's and children's clothing (tennis and exercise outfits, blouses, and trousers (1912-1990s). Items have been donated by Jantzen as well as private donors. Also available in the Division are samples of advertisements from the 1940s to 2000 and news articles about Jantzen.
Provenance:
Donated by Jantzen, Inc. in November 1973 and November 1978.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Bathing suits  Search this
Clothing Manufacturers  Search this
Knitting companies (Mills)  Search this
Textile industry  Search this
Textile fabrics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Catalogs
Photograph albums -- 20th century
Citation:
The Jantzen Knitting Mills Collection, 1925-1977, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0233
See more items in:
Jantzen Knitting Mills Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep83ac0a371-0431-42a8-a7a2-1e69e8df50d0
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0233
Online Media:

Leo H. Baekeland Papers

Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Nepera Chemical Co.  Search this
Extent:
15 Cubic feet (49 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Professional papers
Clippings
Laboratory notes
Personal correspondence
Photographs
Notebooks
Diaries
Date:
1976
1863 - 1968
Summary:
The papers document Leo H. Baekeland, a Belgian born chemist who invented Velox photographic paper (1893) and Bakelite (1907), an inexpensive, nonflammable, versatile plastic. The papers include student notebooks; private laboratory notebooks and journals; commercial laboratory notes; diaries; patents; technical papers; biographies; newspaper clippings; maps; graphs; blueprints; account books; batch books; formula books; order books; photographs; and correspondence regarding Baekeland, 1887-1943.
Scope and Contents:
Baekeland documented his life prolifically through diaries, laboratory notebooks, photographs, and correspondence. These constitute the bulk of the collection. The Bakelite company history is also incompletely documented in this collection through Baekeland's correspondence, the commercial laboratory notebooks, and some company ledgers.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Reference Materials, 1863-1868 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Biographical, 1880-1965

Subseries 1.2:Company History, 1910-1961

Subseries 1.3: Related Interests, 1863-1968 and undated

Series 2: Published and Unpublished Writings (by Leo H. Baekeland), 1884-1945

Series 3: Correspondence, 1888-1963 Subseries 3.1: Personal Correspondence, 1916-1943

Subseries 3.2: Charitable Donations, 1916-1938

Subseries 3.3: Family Correspondence, 1888-1963

Subseries 3.4: Clubs and Associations, 1916-1943

Series 4: Diaries, 1907-1943

Series 5: Reading and Lecture Notes, 1878-1886

Series 6, Laboratory Notebooks, 1893-1915

Series 7: Commercial Laboratory Notebooks, 1910-1920

Series 8: Bakelite Company, 1887-1945

Series 9, Patents, 1894-1940

Series 10: Bakelite Corporation Ledgers, 1910-1924; 1935; 1939

Series 11: Photographs, 1889-1950 and undated

Subseries 11.1: Photographs, 1889-1950 and undated

Subseries 11.2: Film Negatives, 1900-1941 and undated

Subseries 11.3: Photoprints, 1894-1941

Subseries 11.4: Stereographs, 1888-1902 and undated

Subseries 11.5: Film and Glass Plate Negatives, 1899-1900 and undated

Series 12: Audio Materials, 1976
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Hendrik Baekeland was an industrial chemist famous for his invention of Bakelite, the first moldable synthetic polymer, and for his invention of Velox photographic paper. Baekeland's career as an inventor and innovator was punctuated by an urge to improve existing technologies and a willingness to experiment both meticulously and daringly. Born in Ghent, Belgium in 1863, Baekeland was a distinguished chemistry student and became a young professor at the University of Ghent. He had a long standing interest in photography and sought to further photographic technology with his expertise in chemistry. In 1887 he obtained his first patent for a dry plate which contained its own developer and could be developed in a tray of water. With the support of a business partner/faculty associate, Jules Guequier, he formed a company named Baekeland et Cie to produce the plate, but the venture failed due to lack of capital.

On August 8, 1889, he married Celine Swarts, daughter of his academic mentor Theodore Swarts, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Ghent. After his wedding he travelled to different countries using a traveling scholarship he had been awarded two years previously. His travels ended in the United States where he was offered a job researching chemical problems associated with manufacturing bromide papers and films with A. and H.T. Anthony and Company, a photographic supply producer. Leo and Celine Baekeland had three children: George, Nina and Jenny (1890-1895).

He left Anthony and Company in 1891 to be a consulting chemist. During that time he invented a photographic print paper using silver chloride which could be developed in artificial light instead of sunlight and thus offered more flexibility and consistency to photographers. In 1893, with financial support from Leonard Jacobi, a scrap metal dealer from San Francisco, he formed the Nepera Chemical Company in Yonkers, New York, to manufacture "gaslight" paper under the trade name Velox. The paper became quite popular and the company expanded its operations after its first three years. Finally, George Eastman bought the company for a reported $750,000 which afforded Baekeland the time to conduct his own research in a laboratory he set up on his estate, "Snug Rock," in Yonkers.

Baekeland worked on problems of electrolysis of salt and the production of synthetic resins. He was hired as a consultant to work with Clinton P. Townsend to perfect Townsend's patented electrolytic cell. Baekeland's work there contributed to the success of the Hooke Electrochemical Company which began in operations in Niagara Falls in 1905.

Simultaneously, in 1902 Baekeland began researching reactions of phenol and formaldehyde, and by 1907 was able to control the reactions and produce a moldable plastic (oxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride) which he named Bakelite. Although the process was not perfected for another couple of years, Baekeland applied for a patent for Bakelite right away. He announced his discovery to the scientific community in 1909, and in 1910 formed the General Bakelite Company. Bakelite was a thermosetting resin that, unlike Celluloid became permanently solid when heated. It was virtually impervious to heat, acids, or caustic substances. It could be molded into a wide variety of shapes and was an excellent electric insulator that came to replace hard rubber and amber for electrical and industrial applications. It was also suitable for a wide variety of consumer products such as billiard balls, jewelry, pot handles, telephones, toasters, electric plugs, and airplane instrument knobs. Two companies challenged Bakelite with significant competition, Condensite Corporation of America and Redmanol Chemical Products Company. Bakelite finally merged with these two companies in 1922 to become the Bakelite Corporation. Union Carbide finally bought the corporation in 1939.

Baekeland sustained his interest in photography by taking numerous photographs throughout his lifetime. He also devoted much of his spare time to professional societies and received various honorary degrees and awards such as the Perkin Medal. He had several hobbies such as boating, wine and beer making, and, exotic plants. He also traveled extensively throughout the world, which is documented in his diaries and photographs.

Baekeland spent his final years mostly in his Coconut Grove, Florida home where he became increasingly eccentric until his mind failed him and he was institutionalized. He died in 1943 at the age of eighty.

Scope and Content: Baekeland documented his life prolifically through diaries, laboratory notebooks, photographs, and correspondence. These constitute the bulk of the collection. The Bakelite company history is also incompletely documented in this collection through Baekeland's correspondence, the commercial laboratory notebooks, and some company ledgers.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Albany Billiard Ball Company Records (AC0011)

Celluloid Corporation Records (AC0009)

J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics (AC0008)

Materials at Other Organizations

The Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department in Delaware also several related collections including: the Directors of Industrial Research Records, 1929 -982; the Du Pont Viscoloid Company, Survey of the Plastics Field, 1932; The Society of the Plastics Industry, 1937-1987; the Roy J. Plunkett Collection, 1910-1994 (inventor of Teflon); and the Gordon M. Kline Collection, 1903.
Separated Materials:
The National Museum of American History, Division Medicine and Science has several artifacts associated with Baekeland including the original "Bakalizer" the apparatus in which Bakelite was first made. See accession numbers: 1977.0368; 1979.1179; 1981.0976; 1982.0034; 1983.0524; 1984.0138.
Provenance:
The bulk of the collection was donated to the National Museum of American History's Division of Physical Sciences in November, 1981, by Celine Karraker, Leo H. Baekeland's granddaughter.
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:
Phenolic resins  Search this
Travel -- Photographs  Search this
Chemists -- 1880-1970  Search this
Inventors -- 1880-1970  Search this
Plastics -- 1880-1970  Search this
Chemistry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Professional papers -- 1880-1970
Clippings -- 1880-1970
Laboratory notes
Personal correspondence -- 1880-1970
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 19th-20th century
Notebooks -- 1880-1970
Diaries -- 1880-1970
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Nitrate -- 19th-20th century
Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0005
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep846e88df6-033d-4805-99e2-b308002a75f4
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0005
Online Media:

Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 58

Author:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (6.0" x 3.5")
Container:
Box 22, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Diaries
Date:
1937 March 28-1938 September 11
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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:
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Leo H. Baekeland Papers / Series 4: Diaries
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8874be797-7713-4276-b38c-a504d6070e96
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref347
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  • View Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 58 digital asset number 1

Correspondence, Andrews, Ambrose - Harding, Chester

Creator:
Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956  Search this
Andrews, Ambrose, 1805-1859  Search this
Bates, Edward, 1793-1869  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Cloar, Carroll  Search this
Colman, Samuel, 1832-1920  Search this
Bacon, Josephine Daskam, 1876-1961  Search this
Rogers, Daniel Denison, 1751-1825  Search this
Elliot, William Parker  Search this
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Harding, Chester, 1792-1866  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Beach, Ella  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
Town, Ithiel, 1784-1844  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Collection Creator:
Brumbaugh, Thomas B. (Thomas Brendle), 1921-  Search this
Extent:
14 Items (Letters, written in ink, ball point, graphite, typewritter)
Type:
Archival materials
Lithographs
Correspondence
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
1779-1981
Scope and Contents:
This folder is an amalgamation of letters written and recieved by prominent figures in 19th and 20th century American art. Included in the folder are letters by Ambrose Andrews, Edward Bates, Gifford Beal, Aaron Bohrod, Carroll Clear, Samuel Colman, Josephine Daskam, Daniel Denison Rogers, William Elliot, George de Forest Brush, and Chester Harding. The letters' subjects cover a wide range of topics, including the buying and selling of art, invitations to dinner, and general correspondence.
Arrangement:
Organized alphabetically by author.
Biographical / Historical:
Ambrose Andrews was a portrait, miniature, and landscape portrait who worked throughout New England and the United States. He was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1801 and studied at the National Academy of Design. He exhibited paintings at many different institutions, including his portraits of Henry Clay and Sam Houston. Andrews's work is now in the New York Historical Society.
Edward Bates was a representative for Missouri in the mid-1800s. He served in the War of 1812 as a sergeant in a volunteer brigade, studied and practiced law, attended the state constitutional convention, was district attorney from 1821 to 1826, and was a member of the state senate. He declined to serve as Secretary of War for President Fillmore, but was appointed Attorney General of the United States by President Lincoln, and served from March 5, 1861 to September 1864. Bates died on March 25, 1869.
Admiral Charles Henry Davis was born on January 16, 1807, and served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation between 1862 and 1865. He then served as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory. He had three ships named after him.
Forbes Watson was an art critic, lecturer, and administrator in New York City in the early 20th century. He served as art critic for the New York Evening Post. In 1933 he was appointed Technical Director of the first New Deal art program, the Public Works of Art Project, which provided work for artists in the decoration of non-federal buildings. He later worked at the Treasury Department of Painting and Sculpture, which administered funding for decorating federal buildings. Watson finally served in the Treasury Department's War Finance Division, where he organized exhibitions and posters by combat artists to promote the sale of war bonds. Forbes Watson's papers are held in the Archives of American Art.
Gifford Beal was an American artist who worked with many organizations for the advancements of the arts, finding inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including holiday scenes, every-day life, and landscapes. Beal loved spontaneity and was influenced by French Impressionists. He was commissioned by the government to paint two murals: one on the post office in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and one in the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Beal's papers are held in the Archives of American Art.
Aaron Bohrod was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 21, 1907, where he studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for a while in the advertising art department at the Fair Department Store in Chicago, but eventually moved to New York City, where he joined the Art Students League. He died on April 3, 1992. During World War II, Bohrod worked as an artist for the United States Army Corps of Engineer and Life magazine in Europe.
Carroll Cloar was an American realist and surrealist who lived from 1913 to 1993. He grew up in Arkansas, but later moved to Tennessee, travelled Europe, and joined the Art Students League in New York City. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, and although he did complete some artwork during this period, none of it survives. Cloar then settled in Memphis. One of his paintings was chosen to commemorate President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. Cloar died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 10, 1993, after a long battle with cancer.
Samuel Colman was an American painter who belonged to the Hudson River School, and is most well-remembered for his landscapes. He was born in Portland, Maine, in 1832, and began exhibiting at the young age of 18. At 27 he was elected an associate of the National Academy, and later studied abroad in Paris and Spain. He was made a full Academician upon his return to the United States, and both founded and served as the first president of the American Water-color Society. He continued to both study in Europe and exhibit artwork, moving from New York to Rhode Island. Colman is represented in the metropolitan Museum, Chicago Art Institute, and many other collections. He died in New York City in 1920.
Josephine Daskam Bacon was an American writer known for writing about "women's issues" and using female protagonists. She wrote a series of juvenile mysteries and helped pioneer the Girl Scouts movement, writing a guidebook for the organization.
Daniel Denison Rogers is perhaps most widely remembered for the painting that John Singleton Copley completed of his wife, Abigail Bromfield.
Ithiel Town was an American architect and civil engineer who lived from October 3, 1784 to June 13, 1844. He worked in the Federal and revivalist Greek and Gothic styles, and was widely copied. He was born in Connecticut, and built both Center Church and Trinity Church in New Haven. Town patented a wooden lattice truss bridge, which made him quite wealthy. He formed a professional architecture firm with Alexander Jackson Davis. One of Town's most amazing feats was the construction of the Potomac Aqueduct in Washington, D.C., which allowed fully loaded canal boats to cross the Potomac River.
William Parker Elliot designed the old U.S. Patent Office, a very important Greek Revival building, with Ithiel Town.
George de Forest Brush was an American painter who grew up in Connecticut and is typified by his paintings and drawings of Native Americans. Even after moving from Wyoming, where he met the Native Americans, back to the East, Brush still occasionally enjoyed living in a teepee. Brush's artistic style later developed into Renaissance-inspired portraits. He was friends with Abbott H. Thayer, and along with Brush's wife, Mary, and son, Gerome, they all contributed to early camouflage designs. Brush died in New Hampshire in 1941.
Chester Harding was an American portrait painter born in Massachusetts in 1792. He worked in many different professions, finally becoming a self-taught itinerant portrait painter. Harding settled in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, in a building that now houses the Boston Bar Association (the Chester Harding House, a Historic National Landmark). He studied at the Philadelphia School of Design, later setting up a studio in London, where he befriended and painted for royalty and nobility. Harding finally returned to Boston, where he died in 1866.
Local Numbers:
FSA A2009.06 4
Other Archival Materials:
Thomas B. Brumbaugh research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1876-1994 (bulk 1960s-1994); Also located at Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Real property  Search this
Drawing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Lithographs -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Identifier:
FSA.A2009.06, Series FSA A2009.06 4
See more items in:
The Brumbaugh Collection of Artist Letters
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3fe083cf2-c3ca-489b-b0ee-4f49e62444b0
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-fsa-a2009-06-ref2

"Mrs. O'Flahrety's Boarding House" Mutoscope Movie Poster

Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 55.5 cm x 35 cm; 21 27/32 in x 13 25/32 in
Object Name:
poster
Object Type:
posters
Date made:
ca 1925
Subject:
Irish Americans  Search this
Motion Pictures  Search this
Entertainment, Film  Search this
ID Number:
PG.76.87.18
Catalog number:
76.87.18
Accession number:
2008.0095
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Mutoscope Collection
Popular Entertainment
Photo History Collection
Advertising
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-54cf-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1328553

"Biddy the Irish Wash Woman" Mutoscope Movie Poster

Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 19 1/2 in x 13 19/32 in; 49.53 cm x 34.50006 cm
Object Name:
poster
Object Type:
posters
Date made:
ca 1920s
Subject:
Entertainment, Film  Search this
Motion Pictures  Search this
Irish Americans  Search this
ID Number:
2008.0095.008
Accession number:
2008.0095
Catalog number:
2008.0095.008
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Photographic History
Mutoscope Collection
Popular Entertainment
Photo History Collection
Advertising
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-4547-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1328365
Online Media:

Hammered Dulcimer in America

Author:
Groce, Nancy  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1983
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_113147

Eisler Engineering Company records

Creator:
Eisler Engineering Company.  Search this
Names:
General Electric Company  Search this
Incandescent Lamp Manufacturer's Association.  Search this
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company  Search this
Eisler, Charles, Jr.  Search this
Extent:
30 Cubic feet (49 boxes, 25 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Blueprints
Correspondence
Place:
Newark (N.J.)
Hungary
Date:
1885 - 1988
bulk 1920-1950s
Summary:
Records document Charles Eisler, a Hungarian immigrant who was a skilled mechanic and engineer and his company, Eisler Engineering Company of Newark, New Jersey, which manufactured equipment for producing electric lamps, television and radio tubes, welding equipment and laboratory equipment.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the materials date from the 1930s to the 1950s and document Charles Eisler's contributions to the modern lamp making industry. There is considerable personal information documenting Eisler and his family, and his connection to his native Hungary. The collection is divided into 9 series: personal materials; business materials; employee records, operating records; diagrams and drawings; litigation and patent records; photographs; and scrapbooks.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1944-1970, is divided into six subseries: Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s; Photographs, 1912; Chronological Correspondence, 1944-1970; Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1969; Family and Friends Correspondence, 1956-1966; Vacation Information, 1951; Financial Information, 1960-1967; and Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967.

There are several passports (United States and German) for Eisler and his United States naturalization certificate of 1910. The photographs, 1912, are from Eisler's friend, Ed Korn. The photographs depict an airplane that Eisler created drawings for and two individuals, Bert Berry (parachutist) and Tony Januss, a pilot at Kinloch Field, St. Louis, Missouri.

The chronological correspondence, 1944-1970, is arranged chronologically. It contains letters about Hungarians and Hungarian issues; invitations to social events and speaking engagements; thank you letters; letters of condolence; donations; birthday greetings; and club memberships. Eisler was active in the Newark, New Jersey, Hungarian community. He donated equipment, clothes, and money to a variety of organizations that assisted Hungarians in the United States and in Hungary. Some of the correspondence was written by Mrs. R. Testa, secretary to Charles Eisler.

The alphabetical correspondence, 1941-1969, is arranged alphabetically. It consists of letters documenting such issues as stock in Eisler Engineering Company, personal purchases of Eisler's at the Ivanhoe Lobby Gift Shop by the Sea Hotel, and "Help the Suffering Hungarians" organization (1956-1961). This includes canceled checks from donors, specifically Operation Mercy to assist refugees from Budapest. Additionally, there is correspondence and itemized price lists for food and clothing for Hungarians. Of note is some Raritan Yacht Club (R.Y.C.) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, materials. There is a R.Y.C. Duffle Bag newsletter, February, 1964. Eisler was a member of R.Y.C.

Family and friends correspondence, 1956-1966, includes letters and postcards from family and friends, mostly in Hungarian. Topics discussed include sending food, clothing, hearing aids, and medicine to Hungarian refugees; Christmas packages; emigration; and U.S. Relief Parcel Service receipts.

Vacation information, 1951, consists of one file folder of documentation of airline tickets, baggage tickets, tour itineraries, receipts from hotels, letterhead from hotels, and itemized lists of purchases for several trips Eisler made. Airlines ephemera represented include Pan American World Airways System; Air France; British Overseas Airways Corp; Trans World Airlines, Inc; and Eastern Airlines.

Financial information, 1960-1967, contains investment securities (certificates) information for Massachusetts Investors Trust; consolidated checking account information; lists of personal donations, personal income, and savings accounts. Eisler's personal donations varied greatly, both in amount and in the type of organization—American Hungarian Studies Foundation at Rutgers, Father Flanagan's Boy's Home; and the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, New Jersey.

Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967, consists mostly of bills from doctors for services rendered.

Series 2, Business Materials, 1885, 1931-1985, is divided into seven subseries: correspondence, general files, financial information, World War II boards and regulations, real estate holdings and investments, articles, and Kahle Engineering.

Correspondence, 1946-1971, is arranged alphabetically by surname or company name. It contains a variety of issues—real estate, accounting, legal representation, and tenants. Attorneys Kessler and Kessler handled Eisler vs. General Electric Company. There is correspondence about meetings, depositions, and reviewing documents before filing. The tenant information includes assignments and agreements between individual tenants and the landlord, Lesire Corporation, which Eisler owned.

General Files, 1931-1985, contains files arranged alphabetically on a variety of topics.

Financial Information, 1931-1945, is mainly comprised of Treasury Department and Internal Revenue correspondence, and income tax documentation

World War II Boards and Regulations, 1942-1946, contain information about manpower, labor, and production during World War II for the manufacturing industry. The National War Labor Board contains wage rates and audit information for Eisler Engineering. The Manpower Commission established the total manpower allowance for Eisler Engineering and other companies. It set specific quotas for the number of male employees permitted. The War Production Board material includes a plant report of operations. It describes the product being made and categorizes the percentage of "war" versus "civilian" work. The War Department Plant Protection Division contains notes and recommendations for Eilser Engineering Company to implement.

Real Estate Holdings and Investments, 1932-1980, consists mainly of tax and stock returns and income information and cancelled notes for collateral with the Lesire Corporation. The record of real estate, 1952-1974, contains ledger sheets for seven separate properties with the name of the property, improvements if any, and address: Farm Flagtowne, Neshanic, New Jersey; 733 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 735-737 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 738-758 S. 13th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 16 N. Salem Street, Dover, New Jersey; 269 E. Blackwell Street, Dover, New Jersey; and Lad Construction. The ledger sheets also include a loan record with rents and mortgage receivable information. The Avenue L files document a factory building owned by Eisler in Newark, New Jersey. The files contain correspondence, receipts, and bills for work done on the building in preparation for sale.

Articles, 1885-1962 (not inclusive) includes four articles relating to the topic of electricity.

Kahle Engineering, 1960-1982, contains Dun and Bradstreet analytical reports from 1960 to 1964 and interoffice correspondence with Steven Logothetis, an employee of Kahle Engineering, interoffice memos, credit profiles, notes, mortgage papers, and information sheets for specific properties for purchase at public auction for the period 1979-1982.

Series 3, Employee/Personnel Records, 1940-1988, is divided into ten subseries: personnel files; accident reports; lists of employee names; service years and anniversaries; union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements; benefits (health and pension); deceased employees; payroll information; electrical license course; Department of Labor; and miscellaneous.

The bulk of this series consists primarily of employee personnel files from the 1940s to 1960s. Arranged alphabetically by surname, the files contain employee record cards, employee applications, in some instances photographs (head shots), tax withholding exemption certificates, medical forms, union dues information, union steward reports detailing grievances and appeals, correspondence, recommendations, unemployment benefit payments, workers compensation, paychecks, and applications for United States citizenship and visa requests. The employee record cards capture the employee name; address; social security number; department; occupation; title; clock number; phone number; race; marital status; date of birth; number of children; stating rate; increases; vacation taken; country of birth; entry into the United States; naturalized and, if so, when and where; former employees and any union grievances. It provides a comprehensive view of the employee composition of the company.

The accident reports, 1958-1988, are arranged chronologically by year and then further arranged alphabetically by employee surname. These accident claim forms used by Eisler Engineering Company are for the New Jersey Manufacturers Casualty Insurance Company of Trenton, New Jersey. Additionally, there are blank State of New Jersey accident forms. There is some correspondence about specific claims and employees. There is one file folder documenting injuries and illness, 1971-1978. It consists of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) forms completed by Eisler Engineering. They provide a summary of the types of injuries and illnesses, number of lost work days, number of cases and a supplementary record of occupational injuries.

Lists of employee names, 1957-1977, provides information on employees who left employment, were laid off, owed union dues; years of service to the company, birthdays, addresses, and job descriptions.

Service years and anniversaries, 1955-1970, provides the employee name, when employment began, years of service and if a service pin was awarded.

Union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements, 1942-1957 contain union contracts and agreements between Eisler Engineering Mutual Employees Association, Inc., and the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE-AFL-CIO).

Benefits (health and pension), 1957-1967, contains information on dental benefits, hospital service plans, Group Health Insurance (GHI) Inc., claim forms for medical care insurance, and the annual report of District 4 IUE, AFL-CIO Welfare Plan for 1957.

Deceased employees, 1946-1951, consists of form letters with the employees name, address, next of kin, date of death, and the amount of unpaid salary due.

Payroll Information, 1940-1973, includes deduction of wages or salary forms for union dues, plans for enrolling in the U.S. Savings Bond program, canceled payroll checks, forms for requesting vacation, and bonus and merit increases for employees.

Electrical License Course, undated, includes homework assignments, tests, and answers to questions, in lessons/courses on: compound generators, DC (direct current) self-excited generators, power, combination circuits, parallel circuits, split phase/resistance-start induction run motors, electricity, and compound motors.

Department of Labor, 1944-1956, contains employment reports and public contracts and minimum wage determinations. There is statistical information on the type of employee (male, female, non-white, and part-time) and a report of current and anticipated employment.

Miscellaneous contains one file folder with an undated Department of Labor and Industry letter about a highly desirable labor pool of technical, skilled, and semi-skilled workers becoming available.

Series 4, Operational Records, 1934-1977, is divided into two subseries: Equipment Quotes, 1960-1977, were prepared by Eisler for clients/companies in the United States and in foreign countries. The quotes include details about the machine requested and its price.

Operating Instructions and Parts Lists, 1934-1940s, are arranged predominately by machine number, but there are some exceptions. The files include drawings and sketches, operating instructions on assembling and disassembling, black and white photographs, charts, and product literature. There are some documents that were not created by the Eisler Engineering Company. These documents include operating instructions and drawings from other companies that Eisler had a working relationship with. The instructions, [1934-1945?], arranged alpha-numerically, are operating instructions for machines manufactured by the Eisler Engineering Company. The instructions are labeled D-1 to D-800. These instructions should be used in conjunction with the other operating instructions for specific machines. For example, instructions D-1 are for Eisler machine No. 00, a coil winding machine

Series 5, Diagrams and Drawings, 1924-1960, is divided into two subseries, wiring diagrams and drawings. The wiring diagrams 1934-1956, are arranged by type and provide instructions and diagrams on how to connect wires for Eisler machines. The drawings, 1924-1960, include blueprints, tracings, sketches and in some instances, specifications for specific machines. The name and number of the machine are listed. Also, the drawings contain factory layouts for companies in the United States and in Leningrad, Russia.

Series 6, Sales Records, 1924-1984, is divided into three subseries: customer sales lists, lamp machinery sales records, and catalogs. The Customer Sales Lists, 1951-1958, and the Lamp Machinery Sales Records, 1929-1958, include detailed information for each machine built and shipped to a client: shop number, job number, type of machine, machine number, customer name, customer order number, Eisler order number and date shipped, and a serial number if applicable. There are some lists for customer requested machines such as exhaust machines, stem machines, and base filling machines.

The catalogs, 1924-1979, are arranged into two sub-subseries, Eisler catalogs and other companies' catalogs. The catalogs are further arranged chronologically and are bound or consist of loose pages and individual bulletins. They provide information on incandescent lamps, power transmission tubes; neon tube signs; tungsten equipment and wire; burners, torches, fires, gas and air mixers; metal sprayers; bases; furnaces; vacuum flasks; ampules and vials; vacuum pumps; and electric welders.

Index cards for Eisler Engineering Anniversary Catalog 1945, are arranged by machine number and contain the machine name with a description, pricing information, and in some instances a date and annotations. Each card has a page number that correlates to the Anniversary Catalog No. 45-CE, 1945.

Series 7, Litigation and Patent Records, 1897-1953 (bulk 1926-1929), 1949, 1953, consist of briefs (for the defendant, Eisler, and plaintiff, General Electric) and the transcript of record in the case General Electric vs. Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company, 1926-1929. The litigation was heard in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Jersey and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Third District. GE brought suit against Eisler for infringement of two U.S. patents, #1,128,120 for manufacturing glass rods and forming spiders, and # 1,220,836 for a filament support wire inserting machine. Eisler allegedly infringed by manufacturing and selling a hook inserting machine.

There is one file folder of newspaper clippings about anti-trust in lamp manufacturing and specifically conclusions to the Opinion for the case United States of America vs. General Electric Company, 1953. GE, Corning Glass Works, N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabriken, Consolidated Electric Lamp Company, Hygrade Sylvania Corporation, Chicago Miniature Lamp Works, and Tung-Sol Lamp Works, Inc., were found guilty and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. GE, in particular, negotiated agreements through its wholly-owned subsidiary, International General Electric that divided the world lamp markets. This division permitted GE to have the U.S. market exclusively and bar foreign lamp manufacturers. The domestic licensees' growth was limited by GE to a fixed percentage of its own production and expansion so that over the years a licensee's share of the business was diminished. This restrained trade, and competition by GE unlawfully monopolized the incandescent electric lamp business.

A separate case involving Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. vs. Beacon Lamp Co., Leopold Rossbach, C. L. Shoninger, A.H. Moses, L.E. Whicher and J.T. Hambay from 1896 to 1898 is also documented through the brief for the complainant and a record of the case.

Patents, 1913-1931, are further divided into tube patents, 1924-1931 and tube patents assigned to Raytheon Company, 1913-1929. The patents were assembled by Eisler for reference.

Series 8, Photographs, 1944-1967, is further divided into six subseries: machines by number, CAMS; timers; jigs; transformers and electrodes; welders; welders, tips, jigs and fixtures; and miscellaneous. The series contains 8" x 10" black and white prints. Originally organized in three- ring binders, the photographs are arranged by machine number with further numerical identifiers. For example, Machine No. 103 is a glass lathe machine and No. 103-XL is a vertical glass lathe machine.

CAMS are curved wheels mounted on a rotating shaft and used to produce variable or reciprocating motion in another engaged or contacted part. They are used to produce or machine something. Tips refer to the remnant of the glass tubing through which the lamp was exhausted of its air (as well as filled with inert gases after the invention of the gas-filled lamp in 1912) and jigs are devices for guiding a tool or for holding machine work in place.

The majority of photographs document machinery; few employees are featured.

Photographs for Machine No. 170, can working equipment at vacuum products, features African American workers circa the 1950s and Machine No. 160, an automatic tub bottoming machine features a female employee. Some of the miscellaneous photographs contain prints of equipment, parts and employees working in the factory.

Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959, includes three scrapbooks. Many of the articles are in Hungarian or Spanish.

Scrapbook, 1943 (bulk 1945-1955), 1959, contains newspaper articles about Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company. Many articles and advertisements focus on specific machines Eisler manufactured. Articles about Charles Eisler contain information about the associations he belonged to, litigation, awards received, Lesire Corporation, his tenant company; and the appointment of Charles Eisler, Jr., as President of Eisler Engineering Company. Other items include company Christmas cards.

Scrapbook, 1916-1944, 1948, 1957, contains newspaper clippings and catalog pages on machines manufactured by Eisler; personal information about Charles Eisler's trip to Europe; a fire at his summer home; and Christmas decorations. There is documentation on Eisler Engineering Company employees, World War II contributions and production, and photographs of Charles Eisler presenting a donation to the Newark Hungarians and the U.S. Army Ambulance Branch.

Scrapbook, 1924-1959, contains convention programs, Family Circle information, documentation on various social events Eisler attended and machine advertisements.
Arrangement:
Collection organized into nine series.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1910s-1970s

Subseries 1, Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s

Subseries 2, Photographs, 1912

Subseries 3, Chronological Correspondence, 1946-1970

Subseries 4, Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1969

Subseries 5, Family and Friends Correspondence, 1956-1966

Subseries 6, Vacation information, 1951

Subseries 7, Financial information, 1960-1967

Subseries 8, Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967

Series 2, Business Materials, 1885, 1929-1985

Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1946-1971

Subseries 2, General Files, 1929-1985

Subseries 3, Financial Information, 1931-1945

Subseries 4, World War II Boards and Regulations, 1942-1946

Subseries 5, Real Estate Holdings and Investments, 1932-1980

Subseries 6, Articles, 1885-1962 (not inclusive)

Subseries 7, Kahle Engineering, 1960-1982

Series 3, Employee/Personnel Records, 1940-1988

Subseries 1, Personnel Files, 1940s-1960s

Subseries 2, Accident Reports, 1958-1988

Subseries 3, Lists of employee names, 1957-1977, undated

Subseries 4, Service years and anniversaries, 1955-1970

Subseries 5, Union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements and contracts, 1942-1957, undated

Subseries 6, Benefits (health and pension), 1957-1967, undated

Subseries 7, Deceased employees, 1946-1951

Subseries 8, Payroll Information, 1940-1973

Subseries 9, Electrical License Course, undated

Subseries 10, Department of Labor, 1944-1956

Subseries 11, Miscellaneous, undated

Series 4, Operating Records, 1934-1977

Subseries 1, Equipment Quotes, 1960-1977

Subseries 2, Operating Instructions and Parts Lists, 1934-1940s

Series 5, Diagrams and Drawings, 1924-1963, undated

Subseries 1, Wiring Diagrams, 1934-1956

Subseries 2, Drawings for Machines, 1924-1963

Subseries 3, Drafting Tools, undated

Series 6, Sales Records, 1924-1984

Subseries 1, Customer Sales Lists, 1951-1958

Subseries 2, Lamp Machinery Sales Records, 1929-1958

Subseries 3, Eisler Catalogs, 1924-1979

Subseries 4, Index cards for Eisler Engineering catalogs

Series 7, Litigation and Patents Records, 1897-1953

Subseries 1, Litigation Records, 1897 (bulk 1926-1929), 1949, 1953

Subseries 2, Patents, 1913-1931

Series 8, Photographs, 1942-1967

Subseries 1, By Machine Number, -1966

Subseries 2, CAMS, 1950-1967

Subseries 3, Timers, Jigs, Transformers, and Electrodes, 1952-1960

Subseries 4, Welders, 1944-1952

Subseries 5, Welders, Tips, and Jigs and Fixtures, 1944-1952

Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, 1944-1957

Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Eisler (1884-1973) was born in Hungary to Adolph and Helen Eisler. Charles was the second child of nine: George, Emil, Michael, Leopold, Rudi, Franz, Emma and Lajos. Eisler completed his engineering and mechanical studies by the age of 17 and began an apprenticeship with a local factory. He became a licensed steam engineer and fireman of high pressure boilers. In 1902, he left Hungary for Berlin, Germany, with the goal to immigrate to the United States. In Germany, Eisler worked in a factory in Eberswalde, north of Berlin. The factory manufactured cast-iron pipe and machinery, and Eisler operated a crane loading barges near the factory. Eisler left Eberswalde and returned to Berlin to work as a toolmaker at Allgemeine Electricitäts Gesellschaft' (AEG). He arrived in New York City on the SS Potsdam/Stockholm (I) in November 1904. Because Europeans dominated the field of skilled mechanics and tradesmen in the United States, Eisler easily found employment in East Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh Westinghouse. In 1907, Eisler worked for Studebaker Metzger Motor Company as a tool-designer and tool room foreman.

Eisler returned to Hungary in the spring of 1912 where he took a job as a tool designing engineer with an American owned electrical firm, Standard Electric Company, in Újpest. He married Frieda Schwartz Eisler (d.1962) on December 24, 1912, in Budapest. They had four children: Charles Eisler, Jr., Martha (Eisler) Leff; Ruth (Eisler) Forest; and Constance (Eisler) Smith. In 1914, Eisler, his wife Frieda, and their newborn son Charles, Jr., returned to the United States. Eisler worked at the Westinghouse Lamp Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, designing machines for building incandescent lamps with tungsten wire. At Westinghouse, Eisler held the position of chief engineer of the equipment division, and he completed the International Correspondence Schools course in mechanical engineering (1918). Eisler left Westinghouse in 1919 to work for Save Electric Corporation of Brooklyn, New York (an independent lamp manufacture), formed by Max Ettiger. At Save Electric, Eisler was equipment engineer superintendent and responsible for designing machines for the production of incandescent lamps.

General Electric (GE), Westinghouse, and RCA had a monopoly on modern incandescent lamp making machinery. The manufacture of lamps and tubes had moved from a low-rate, highly skilled craft work of Edison's Menlo Park to a high-rate, semi-skilled process dominated by GE and others. It was difficult for independent lamp manufacturers, such as Save Electric, to compete. The control and licensing of machinery patents was one method GE used to maintain a virtual monopoly on lamp manufacture throughout the first half of the 20th century. GE purchased Save Electric in 1920 to remove it from the incandescent lamp market. That same year, Eisler lost his job and started his own company, Eisler Engineering Company, to consult and manufacture equipment for producing electric lamps, television tubes, radio tubes, glass products, neon tubes, welding equipment and laboratory equipment. He established a machine shop at 15 Kirk Alley, Newark, New Jersey, where he redesigned many of his machines and drawings and started patenting. By 1924, Eisler's plant doubled in physical size and labor supply, with the radio tube industry peaking in 1929.1 However, the stock market crash of 1929-1930 severely impacted production, and Eisler never again saw the same growth. In 1929, Eisler sold a 49% interest in the company to Frank Bonner.

In June 1933, Eisler and others organized a group of independent manufacturers into the Incandescent Lamp Manufacturer's Association (ILMA). In response to the pressuring tactics of GE, Westinghouse and RCA, the group also documented every lamp maker who went out of business or that was bought by a monopoly member. The ILMA allowed members to pool their resources for patent litigation. "Eisler was the third leading outside supplier of lamp making machinery. It was not licensed by General Electric, and the unlicensed lamp manufacturers obtained most of their lamp making equipment from it. The Eisler equipment was less automatic and of considerably less speed than the machinery used by the General Electric group. However, it was considerably lower in price."2

Eisler Engineering Company was sued at least four times by GE between 1923 and 1928 for alleged patent infringement but won each case. The cases involved four United States patents owned by GE: Van Keuren #1,326,121; Mitchell and White #1,453,594; Mitchell and White #1,453,595; and Marshall #1,475,192. The last three patents address a process used in the manufacture of electric lamps known as "sealing in" of tip-less lamps. The plaintiff, GE, complained that Eisler, the defendant, was infringing. Several GE patents were declared invalid during the proceedings or were withdrawn, and Eisler's U.S. Patent #1,637,989 for tip-less lamps was upheld. See General Electric Company vs. Eisler Engineering Company, 20 F (2d.) 33 (C.C.A., 1927), 26 F (2d.) 12 (C.C.A., 1928), and 43 F (2d.) 319 (C.C.A., 1930). One of Eisler's strongest defenses was a 1916 article he published in Machinery on Tungsten Lamp Manufacture. Eisler defended his case not only for the interest of his own company but also for those who utilized his products as well as those who manufactured under a licensing agreement with Eisler Engineering Company.

In 1954, Charles Eisler, Jr., formerly vice president became president of Eisler Engineering Company, Inc., and Charles Eisler, Sr., became chairman of the board. In 1958, Eisler Senior officially stepped down. In the late 1970s, Eisler, Jr., sold the company to Kahle Engineering Company. Kahle, established in 1920 with its roots in the glass machinery business, provided equipment for the medical device, pharmaceutical, electrical and automotive industries. Today, Kahle focuses solely on the manufacture of assembly machines for medical devices.

Eisler was issued fifty-seven United States patents relating to the mass production of glass articles. His first patent was issued in 1916 (U.S. Patent # 1,209,650) for a turret attachment and his last was issued in 1958 (U.S. Design Patent # DES 182,796) for a spot welder/press type. Eisler received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey (1951) and was elected to life membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1952). He died on October 8, 1973 at the age of 89 in East Orange, New Jersey.

1 Eisler, Charles. The Million-Dollar Bend (New York: William-Frederick Press, 1960). 2 Bright, Arthur. The Electric Lamp Industry (New York: Macmillan Co., 1949).
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Kahle Engineering Company Records, 1930-1980 (AC0735), the successor company to Eisler Engineering

Materials in Other Organizations

Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives have some Eisler Engineering Company trade literature in the Sinclair New Jersey Collection: New Jersey Trade Literature and Manufacturers' Catalogs at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/libs/scua/sinclair/sinclair_main.shtml.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by E.N. Logothetis of Kahle Engineering on June 15, 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the majority is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Series 3, Employee Records, personnel files are restrictedContact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
welding -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Patents  Search this
Jigs and fixtures  Search this
Laboratory -- Furniture, equipment  Search this
Lamps  Search this
Litigation  Search this
Tubes  Search this
Tubes -- welding  Search this
Vacuum pumps  Search this
Electrodes  Search this
Furnaces  Search this
Electric lighting  Search this
Electric transformers  Search this
Vacuum-tubes  Search this
welding  Search this
Halogen incandescent lamps  Search this
Cams  Search this
Coils -- electric  Search this
Incandescent lamps  Search this
Electric lamps  Search this
Electric lamps, Arc  Search this
Electric lamp industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks
Blueprints
Correspondence -- 19th-20th century
Citation:
Eisler Engineering Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0734
See more items in:
Eisler Engineering Company records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8d545ecf6-200c-44df-8a5c-405e9ca1e3b6
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0734
Online Media:

mustard mill model

Measurements:
overall: 23.3 cm x 27.3 cm x 34.5 cm; 9 3/16 in x 10 3/4 in x 13 9/16 in
overall: 27.4 cm x 40 cm x 31 cm; 10 13/16 in x 15 3/4 in x 12 3/16 in
Object Name:
Mustard Mill Model
Date made:
1900-1950
early 20th century
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. W. H. Oehmig and Mr. Robert Oehmig
ID Number:
CH.337023
Catalog number:
337023
Accession number:
1979.0223.01
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Chemistry
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a0-e5f8-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_2979
Online Media:

IBM Manual Card Punch

Maker:
IBM  Search this
Physical Description:
iron (overall material)
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 16 cm x 43.4 cm x 14.7 cm; 6 5/16 in x 17 3/32 in x 5 25/32 in
Object Name:
card punch
Date made:
after 1930
Subject:
Mathematics  Search this
Credit Line:
In Memory of Robert B. Roberts
ID Number:
1987.0601.01
Accession number:
1987.0601
Catalog number:
1987.0601.01
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Tabulating Equipment
Computers & Business Machines
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746a5-2b28-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_694437
Online Media:

Manuel Quiles Films

Donor:
Wood, Priscilla  Search this
Quilles, Mario  Search this
Creator:
Quiles, Manuel, 1908-1989  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Home movies
Place:
Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1944-1947
Summary:
Home movies documenting various events in a small, close-knit, South Bronx, New York community of Puerto Ricans who came to the mainland U.S. in the 1920s and 1930s. The films depict birthdays, weddings and Christmas celebrations.
Scope and Contents:
These films, created by Manuel Quiles, document a small community of Puerto Rican immigrants who arrived in the United States during the 1920s and 1930s. These Puerto Rican families were located mostly in the South Bronx, New York. The films contain footage of family gatherings and holiday celebrations, as well as family trips to the Bronx Zoo, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, and Mexico.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into one series that contains all films and videos. The original order of each reel of film was retained. The reels are organized chronologically.
Biographical / Historical:
Manuel Ismael Quiles (June 17, 1908 - October 1989) grew up in Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic, and moved with his family to the U.S. in the 1920s. Throughout his life, Quiles worked in a number of professions that allowed him to use his artistic talents. During the Depression he traveled to Chicago and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps, which sent him to Wyoming to work as a photographer for a newspaper. Later he returned to New York City and studied tool and die, machine, and patent model making at Gompers High School. After World War II, Quiles continued to pursue his artistic interests by working as a silk screen artist for a sign and showcase company. Later, he designed Spanish greeting cards and created labels for products sold in religious and botanical stores. Throughout his lifetime Quiles worked as a photographer, camera maker, silk screen artist, sculptor, locksmith, and wood carver. Eventually Manuel Quiles gained recognition as an artist through his relationship with Jay Johnson, the owner of America's Folk Heritage Gallery. Quiles began to sell and exhibit his work at Johnson's New York gallery. When working on his sculptures, Quiles relied on woodworking skills he learned as a child from his cousin, a cabinet maker in Puerto Rico. References to his art work can be found in both Jay Johnson's American Folk Art of the Twentieth Century and Carolyn Morrow Long's Spiritual Merchants: Religion, Magic, and Commerce.
Provenance:
Donated by Mario Quilles and Priscilla Q. Wood in 2001.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment. Unprotected films must be handled 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:
Weddings  Search this
Christmas  Search this
Birthday parties  Search this
Puerto Ricans -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Home movies
Citation:
Manuel Quiles Films, 1944-1947, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0765
See more items in:
Manuel Quiles Films
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep82d173d0b-0965-4005-b83f-1cc34eca23f8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0765

Music

Collection Creator:
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.). Department of Anthropology  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Smithsonian Institution. United States National Museum. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Container:
Box 63
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Includes printed patent office specifications, 1870s-early 20th century.
Collection Restrictions:
Some materials are restricted.

Access to the Department of Anthropology records requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Department of Anthropology Records, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Department of Anthropology records
Department of Anthropology records / Series 17: Division of Ethnology / 17.1: Manuscript and Pamphlet File
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nw3c18deaaa-1648-48c2-9f8e-42ebd8dac2c4
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-xxxx-0311-ref15111

William J. Hammer Collection

Creator:
Hammer, William J. (William Joseph), 1858-1934 (electrical engineer)  Search this
Former owner:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Electricity and Modern Physics  Search this
Names:
Batchelor, George  Search this
Bell, Alexander Graham, 1847-1922  Search this
Berliner, Emile, 1851-1929  Search this
Curie, Marie  Search this
Curie, Pierre  Search this
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931  Search this
Jehl, Francis  Search this
Johnson, Edward H.  Search this
Sprague, Frank J.  Search this
Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943  Search this
Upton, Francis R.  Search this
Extent:
36 Cubic feet (124 boxes, 3 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
circa 1847-1989
Summary:
Original documents and papers generated by William J. Hammer and by various companies and individuals with whom he was associated. Includes material related to the research and inventions of Edison, Bell, Tesla, the Curies, etc.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes original documents and papers generated by Hammer and by various companies and individuals and various secondary sources assembled by Hammer between 1874 and 1934. Hammer's lifelong association with the foremost scientists of his day -- Edison, Bell, Maxim, the Curies, the Wright brothers, and others - afforded him a unique opportunity to collect materials about the development of science along many lines.

This collection, which includes rare historical, scientific, and research materials, was donated by the International Business Machine Corporation to the Museum of History and Technology in 1962 and held by the Division of Electricity. In 1983 it was transferred to the -Archives Center. The collection was badly disorganized when received and contained many fragile documents in poor condition. The collection was organized and arranged as reflected in this register.

The collection documents in photographs, manuscripts, notes, books, pamphlets, and excerpts, the beginnings of electrical technology. In its present state, it comprises four series: Series 1 contains twenty-two boxes of the William J. Hammer Papers, containing both biographical and autobiographical material; Series 2 has twenty boxes of material on Edison; Series 3 consists of thirty-three boxes of reference material; and Series 4 holds twenty-one boxes of photographs and portraits. See the container list beginning on page 39 for more detailed information on the contents of the collection.

Most of the material in the collection is chronologically arranged. However, in some cases alphabetical arrangement has been employed, for example, in the arrangement of portraits of eminent men of electrical science (Series 4, Boxes 78-80, 100-101), and the arrangement of publications (by authors' last names).

Hammer did original laboratory work upon selenium, radium, cathode rays, x-rays, ultra-violet rays, phosphorescence, fluorescence, cold light, and wireless. These aspects of his career are reflected in many parts of the collection: in Series 1 there are articles, notes, diagrams, sketches, graphs,, and correspondence; in Series 3 articles, magazines, news clippings, and bound pamphlets. Tie contributed many technical writings, some of which are found in Series 1.

Papers detailing Hammer's aeronautical activities were transferred to the National Air and Space Museum. They consist of two scrapbooks and one cubic foot of aeronautical photographs of balloons, airplanes, and gliders and one-half cubic foot of correspondence. For further information contact the National Air and Space Museum Archives at (202) 357-3133.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: William J. Hammer Papers, 1851-1957

Series 2: Edisonia, 1847-1960

Series 3: Reference Materials, 1870-1989

Series 4: Photographs, 1880-1925
Biography of William J. Hammer:
William Joseph Hammer, assistant to Thomas Edison and a consulting electrical engineer, was born at Cressona, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1858, and died March 24, 1934. His parents were Martha Augusta Bech (1827-1861) and William Alexander Hammer (1827-1895). He attended private and public schools in Newark, New Jersey, and university and technical school lectures abroad.

On January 3, 1894, Hammer married Alice Maud White in Cleveland, Ohio. They had one daughter, Mabel (Mrs. Thomas Cleveland Asheton). Alice Hammer died in 1906.

In 1878 Hammer became an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In December 1879 he began his duties as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. He assisted in experiments on the telephone, phonograph, electric railway, ore separator, electric lighting, and other developing inventions. However, he worked primarily on the incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device. In 1880 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In this first year, the plant under general manager Francis Upton, turned out 50,000 lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was "a pioneer of Incandescent Electric Lighting"! (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2).

In 1881 Edison sent Hammer to London as Chief Engineer of the English Electric Light Co. In association with E. H. Johnson, general manager, Hammer constructed the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This plant included three, thirty-ton "Jumbo" steam-powered dynamos (generators), and operated 3,000 incandescent lamps. Holborn was the first central station ever constructed for incandescent electric lighting. Hammer began its operation on January 12, 1882, by lighting the Holborn Viaduct.

In 1882 Hammer also installed a large isolated lighting plant containing twelve Edison dynamos at the Crystal Palace Electric Exposition and the Edison Exhibit at the Paris Electrical Exposition.

At this time Hammer also designed and built the first electric sign. The sign spelled the name "Edison" in electric lights, and was operated by a hand controlled commutator and a large lever snap switch. It was erected over the organ in the Crystal Palace concert hall.

In 1883 Hammer became Chief Engineer for the German Edison Company (Deutsche Edison Gesellschaft), later known as Allegemeine Elektricitaets Gesellschaft. Hammer laid out and supervised the installations of all Edison plants in Germany. While in Berlin he invented the automatic motor-driven "flashing" electric lamp sign. The sign, which flashed "Edison" letter by letter and as a whole, was placed on the Edison Pavilion at the Berlin Health Exposition in 1883.

On his return to the United States in 1884, Hammer took charge of some of Edison's exhibits, including Edison's personal exhibit, at the International Electrical Exhibition held under the authority of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. There he built the first flashing "Column of Light." He also became confidential assistant to E. R. Johnson, president of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. Together with Johnson and Frank J. Sprague, he became an incorporator of the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor company. He also was elected a trustee and the company's first secretary.

Hammer installed an all-electric house at Newark, New Jersey in 1884 and he devised various electrical devices and contrivances for an unusual party for friends and colleagues. (See "Electrical Diablerie" beginning on page 6).

At the end of 1884 Hammer became chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. For over two years he made financial, mechanical, and electrical reports on the various stations throughout the United States. During 1886-87 he was chief engineer and general manager of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. He also acted as contractor for the company. He laid $140,000 of underground tubing and installed Sprague Electric Motors.

In 1888, acting as an independent engineer, he was placed in charge of completing the 8,000 light plant of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St.Augustine Florida. At the time this was the largest isolated incandescent lighting plant ever constructed. Also in 1888 Hammer was appointed consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinati Centennial Expostition, and as a contractor designed and installed over $40,000 worth of electrical effects.

Hammer was appointed Edison's personal representative remarked, "There are a lot of crowned heads in the Edison business. How many of them am I subservient to?" Mr. Edison answered "You take no instructions except from Thomas A. Edison." Hammer asked "What are your instructions?" Mr. Edison replied, 'Hammer, I haven't any. Go and make a success of it.' In Paris he set up and operated all of Edison's inventions, which embraced nineteen departments and covered 9,800 square feet of space. He also built a huge Edison lamp forty-five feet high employing 20,000 lamps. Edison remarked, 'He had entire charge of my exhibit at the Paris Exposition, which was very successful." This was the largest individual exhibit at the Exposition, costing $100,000. Mr. Edison replied, "I want you to go right out and have a card engraved William J. Hammer, Representative of Thomas A. Edison. You are the only representative I have here," and he complimented him on his work adding, "The French government will do something handsome for you for your work." Hammer replied that he would not raise his hand to get it and did not believe in giving such honors to people who seek them. Mr. Edison said, "You are wrong. You are a young man and such things are valuable. At any rate if there's anyone in this exhibition who deserves recognition, you do, and I'm going to see you get it' (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2). Thirty-four years later, in 1925, through the personal influence of Edison, Hammer was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government.

In 1890 Hammer returned to the United States and opened an office as a consulting electrical engineer. He was in private practice until 1925, making reports, conducting tests, and giving expert testimony in patent suits.

On January 31, 1890, Hammer formed the Franklin Experimental Club of Newark where boys could come and carry on experiments, build apparatus, and listen to lectures. Hammer equipped the laboratory at his own expense. One side was an electrical laboratory and the other a chemical laboratory. About forty-five boys joined. Each boy had a key to the club and a section of a bench with his own drawer for keeping notes, tools, and other equipment. In 1892 the structure was destroyed by fire from a saloon next door, ending Hammer's plans for a large and useful institution.

In 1896 Hammer was elected president of the National Conference of Standard Electrical Rules, which prepared and promulgated the "National Electric Code."

In 1902 in Paris, Hammer visited Pierre and Marie Curie, the discoverers of radium and polonium. They gave him nine tubes of radium and one of polonium to bring back to the United States. He also acquired some sulphide of zinc, with which he mixed radium carbonates, producing a beautifully luminous powder. This was the first radium-luminous material ever made. By mixing the powder with Damar varnish he produced the first radium-luminous paint. He was also the first person to make colored (and white) luminous materials. In 1907 he invented and patented a process for producing colored phosphorescent materials by combining phosphorescent and fluorescent substances.

Back in the United States in the fall of 1902 and into 1903, Hammer applied his radium-luminous materials to thirty different objects: luminous dials for clocks and watches, toys, artificial flowers, radium luminous gun sights, taps and pulls for lamp sockets, switches, keyholes, push buttons, telephone transmitters, poison bottle labels, a small plaster figure, push pins, and writing implements among others. He did not patent the invention due to the scarcity and high cost of radium, but later in an important suit involving foreign and American patents of radium-luminous materials, his testimony and that of other noted scientists and professionals of the day who had visited his home and laboratory proved that his work completely anticipated that of all inventors both in the United States and abroad. In 1902 he was one of the first persons to be burned with radium.

Hammer gave eighty-eight lectures on the Curies' work and on radium and radioactive substances. He wrote the first book published on radium, Radium and other Radioactive Substances, 1903. Hammer proposed and used radium for cancer and tumor treatment, successfully treating and curing a tumor on his own hand in July 1903. Tie also supplied several hospitals with radioactive water he had made and conducted extensive experiments with x-rays, cathode-rays, radium-rays, ultraviolet lights, phosphorescence, fluorescence, and cold-light. He was probably the first to suggest many wartime uses for radium-luminous materials, such as airplanes, instruments, markers, barbed-wire, and landing fields.

Hammer also did important work with selenium, a nonmetallic element that resembles sulphur and tellurium chemically. It is obtained chiefly as a by-product in copper refining, and occurs in allotropic forms. A grey stable form varies in electrical conductivity depending on the intensity of its illumination and is used in electronic devices. Hammer invented selenium cells and apparatus, and suggested industrial uses for selenium and other light-sensitive cells.

In 1886 Hammer devised a system for automatically controlling street and other lights by use of a selenium cell. In 1892 he designed a torpedo that could be steered by searchlight and selenium cell. In the early 1900s he suggested many other uses for "light" cells, including burglar alarms, dynamo control, buoy, railroad signaling, automatic gun firing, transmission of music, stethoscope recorder, automatic operating shutters, automatic boiler feed, snow recorder, and electric motor control.

At the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 Hammer was Chairman of the Jury for Telegraphy, Telephony, and Wireless. He was also a member of the "Departmental" Jury ("Applied Science: Electricity") and of the committee appointed to organize the International Electrical Congress at St. Louis in 1904.

In 1906 Hammer received the "Elliott Cresson" gold medal from the Franklin Institute for his "Historical Collection of Incandescent Electric Lamps," accumulated over thirty-four years. This collection received a special silver medal at the International Electrical Exposition at the Crystal Palace, London, England, in 1882, and "the Grand Prize" at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904.

During the First World war Hammer served as a major on the General Staff of the, Army War College, Washington, D.C., where he was attached to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division and later to the operations Division at the war Department in charge of electrical and aeronautical war inventions. He did special work at the U.S. Patent office, marking and delaying patents that might be useful to the enemy and served on the Advisory Board of Experts attached to the Alien Property Commission. He was elected Historian general of the Military order of the World War (1926-1928) and was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers.

Hammer was an early aeronautics enthusiast and became the owner of one of the first airplanes sold in the United States to an individual. Even in his last few years of his life, Hammer's interest in airplanes did not wane. In 1931, by the permission of the Secretary of the -Navy, Hammer made a twelve-hour flight in the Los Angeles dirigible from the Lakehurst, New Jersey airdrome along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to New York, flying over New York City at night.

Hammer served on numerous committees. In 1916 he was a member of a special committee, appointed by the Aeronautical Society of America. one of his responsibilities on this committee was to recommend methods for the formation of a reserve force of civilian aviators for the Army. At the start of World War I, Hammer was appointed chairman of a committee on camouflage by the Aeronautical Society. During the war, he flew airplanes and tested sound devices and was also among the first five selected out of thousands for the dissemination of propaganda into many countries. He also examined documents and papers captured from spies and prisoners of war to see if these material contained any technical matter of value to the U. S. Army.

Hammer traveled extensively as a delegate of the Military Order of World War I. For example, in 1922 he attended the aeronautical Congress and Flying Meet in Detroit, Michigan. In the same year he also attended Immigration Conferences of the National Civic Federation in New York.

Between 1922 and 1928 Hammer intensified his efforts in collecting and organizing autographed portraits of eminent scientific men, a project he had been working on for over forty-five years. Tie displayed many of these portraits with his Historical Collection of Incandescent Electrical Lamps in -his New York home. At this time he also prepared an elaborate bibliography on selenium and its industrial and scientific applications.

Major William Joseph Hammer, described by Edison as "my most valuable assistant at Menlo Park" died of pneumonia March 24, 1934.
'Electrical Diablerie':
"ELECTRICAL DIABLERIE"

N.Y. World, January 3, 1885 and Newark, N.J. Daily Advertiser and Journal, January 3, 1885

Some years ago, (1884) on New Year's eve, an entertainment was given at the home of Mr. William J. Hammer, in Newark, N.J., which, for the display of the powers of electricity has seldom, if ever, been equaled. Mr. Hammer, who has for years been associated with Mr. Edison, both in this country and in Europe, desiring to give his old classmates, the "Society of Seventy-Seven," a lively and interesting time, invited them to "an electrical dinner"at his home.

The invitations which were sent out were written upon Western Union telegram blanks with an Edison electric pen. When the guests arrived and entered the gate, the house appeared dark, but as they placed foot upon the lower step of the veranda a row of tiny electric lights over the door blazed out, and the number of the house appeared in bright relief. The next step taken rang the front door bell automatically, the third threw open the door, and at the same time made a connection which lit the gas in the hall by electricity.

Upon entering the house the visitor was invited to divest himself of his coat and hat, and by placing his foot upon an odd little foot-rest near the door, and pressing a pear-shaped pendant hanging from the wall by a silken cord, revolving brushes attached to an electric motor brushed the mud and snow from his shoes and polished them by electricity. As he was about to let go of the switch or button, a contact in it connected with a shocking coil, caused him to drop it like a hot potato. Up-stairs was a bedroom which would be a fortune to a lazy man; he had only to step on the door sill and the gas was instantly lighted. The ceiling was found to be covered with luminous stars, arranged to represent the principal constellations in the heavens-while comets, moons, etc., shone beautifully in the dark. By placing one's head on the pillow, the gas, fifteen feet away, would be extinguished and the phosphorescent stars on the ceiling would shine forth weirdly, and a phosphorescent moon rose from behind a cloud over the mantel and slowly describing a huge arch disappeared behind a bank of phosphorescent clouds on the other side of the room; by pressing the toe to the foot-board of the bed the gas could again be relit.

Pouring a teacup of water into the water clock on the mantel and setting the indicator would assure the awakening of the sleeper at whatever hour he might desire. There was also in the hall outside the room a large drum, which could be set to beat by electricity at the hour when the family wished to arise. The whole house was fitted throughout with electric bells, burglar alarms, fire alarms, telephones, electric cigar lighters, medical coils, phonographs, electric fans, thermostats, heat regulating devices, some seven musical instruments, operated by electricity, etc.

Upon the evening referred to nearly every. piece of furniture in the parlor was arranged to play its part. Sit on one chair and out went the gas, take another seat and it would light again; sitting on an ottoman produced a mysterious rapping under the floor; pressure on some chairs started off drums, triangles, tambourines, cymbals, chimes and other musical instruments; in fact, it seemed unsafe to sit down anywhere. The quests stood about in groups and whispered, each hoping to see his neighbor or a new comer caught napping.

One visitor (Brown) secured an apparently safe seat, and was telling a funny story--he had left electricity far behind--but just as he reached the climax, a pretty funnel-shaped Japanese affair like a big dunce cap, that seemed but a ceiling ornament which was held in place by an electromagnet, dropped from overhead and quietly covered him up, thus silently extinguishing the story and the story-teller.

A big easy chair placed invitingly between the folding doors joining the double, parlors sent the unwary sitter flying out of its recesses by the sudden deafening clamor of twenty-one electric bells hidden in the folds of the draperies hanging in the doorway. In a convenient position stood the silver lemonade pitcher and cup, the former was filled with the tempting beverage, but no matter how much a guest might desire to imbibe one touch convinced him that the pitcher and cup were so heavily charged with electricity as to render it impossible for him to pour out a drink or even to let go until the electricity was switched off from the hidden induction coil.

Some one proposed music, and half a selection had been enjoyed when something seemed to give way inside the piano, and suddenly there emanated from that bewitched instrument a conglomeration of sounds that drowned the voices of the singers, and the keys seemed to beat upon a horrible jangle of drums, gongs and various noise-producing implements which were fastened inside of and underneath the piano.

After the guest were treated to a beautiful display of electrical experiments, under the direction of Mr. Hammer, and Professor George C. Sonn, they were escorted to the dining-room, where an electrical dinner had been prepared and was presided over by 'Jupiter," who was in full dress, and sat at the head of the table, where by means of a small phonograph inside of his anatomy he shouted, "Welcome, society of Seventy-Seven and their friends to Jove's festive board." The menu was as follows: "Electric Toast," "Wizard Pie," "Sheol Pudding," "Magnetic Cake," "Telegraph Cake," "Telephone Pie," "Ohm-made Electric Current Pie," "Menlo Park Fruit," "Incandescent Lemonade," "'Electric Coffee" and "Cigars," etc., and music by Prof. Mephistopheles' Electric Orchestra.

About the table were pretty bouquets, and among the flowers shone tiny incandescent lamps, while near the center of the table was placed an electric fan which kept the air cool and pure, and at each end was a tiny Christmas tree lighted with small incandescent lamps, planted in a huge dish of assorted nuts and raisins. Each lamp had a dainty piece of ribbon attached to it upon which the initials of the Society and the date were printed, and each guest received a lamp to take away with him as a souvenir of the occasion. Plates of iced cakes made in the form of telephones, switches, bells, electric lamps, batteries, etc., stood on each side of the center piece.

Promptly at 12 o'clock, as the chimes of the distant churches came softly to the ears of the assembled quests, pandemonium seemed to change places with the modest dining-room. A cannon on the porch, just outside the door, and another inside the chimney, were unexpectedly discharged; and at this sudden roar, every man sprang back from the table; the lights disappeared; huge fire-gongs, under each chair beat a tattoo. The concussion produced by the cannon in the fireplace caused several bricks to come crashing down the chimney, and as the year of 1884 faded away, the table seemed bewitched. The "Sheol Pudding" blazed forth green and red flames illuminating the room, tiny tin boxes containing 'Greek" fire which had been placed over each window and door were electrically ignited by spirals of platinum iridium wire heated by a storage battery and blazed up suddenly; the "Telegraph Cake" clicked forth messages said to be press reports of the proceedings (it was also utilized to count the guests and click off the answers to various questions put to it); bells rang inside the pastry; incandescent lamps burned underneath the colored lemonade; the thunderbolt pudding discharged its long black bolts all over the room (long steel spiral springs covered with black cloth) and loud spirit rapping occurred under the table. The silver knives, forks and spoons were charged with electricity from a shocking coil and could not be touched, while the coffee and toast (made by electricity) were made rapidly absorbed; the "Magnetic Cake' disappeared; the "Wizard" and "Current Pies' vanished, and 'Jupiter" raising a glass to his lips began to imbibe.

The effect was astonishing! The gas instantly went out, a gigantic skeleton painted with luminous paint appeared and paraded about the room, while Jupiter's nose assumed the color of a genuine toper! His green eyes twinkled, the electric diamonds in his shirt front (tiny lamps) blazed forth and twinkled like stars, as he phonographically shouted "Happy New Year'. Happy New Year!" This "Master of Cererionies' now becoming more gentle, the guests turned their attention to the beautiful fruit piece, over four feet high, that stood in the center of the table. From the fruit hung tiny electric lamps, and the whole was surmounted by a bronze figure of Bartholdils "Statue of Liberty;" uplifted in "Miss Liberty's" right hand burned an Edison lamp no larger than a bean.

The dinner finished, and there was much that was good to eat, notwithstanding the "magical" dishes which they were first invited to partake of, speeches were delivered by Messrs. Hammer, Rutan, McDougall, 'Brown, Duneka, and Dawson, and an original poem was read by Mr. Van Wyck. Upon repairing to the parlors the guest saw Mr. Hammer's little sister, May, dressed in white and mounted upon a pedestal, representing the "Goddess of Electricity:" tiny electric lamps hung in her hair, and were also suspended as earrings, while she held a wand surmounted by a star, and containing a very small electric lamp.

Not the least interesting display of electricity took place in front of the house, where a fine display of bombs, rockets, Roman candles, Greek fire and other fireworks were set off by electricity, which was by the way, the first time this had been accomplished. The guests were requested to press button switches ranged along the front veranda railing thus causing electricity from a storage battery to heat to a red heat tiny platinum iridium spirals attached to each fuse of the various pieces of fireworks thus sending up rocket after rocket, as well as igniting the other pieces which had been placed in the roadway in front of the house.

An attempt was made to send up a large hot air balloon to which was attached a tiny storage battery and an incandescent signal lamp but a sudden gust of wind caused the ballon to take fire as it rose fr(xn the ground. This constituted the only experiment made during the evening which was not an unqualified success. The innumerable electrical devices shown during the progress of the dinner were all operated by Mr. Hammer, who controlled various switches fastened to the under side of the table and attached to a switchboard, which rested on his lap, while the two cannons were fired by lever switches on the floor, which he operated by the pressure of the foot. Electricity was supplied by primary and storage batteries placed under the table. After an exhibition of electrical apparatus and experiments with a large phonograph, the guests departed with a bewildered feeling that somehow they had been living half a century ahead of the new year."
Expositions and Exhibitions:
The many Expositions held at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries were important for the Edison Electric Company's future business. In particular the Paris Electrical Exposition, 1881, and the Crystal Palace Exposition in London in 1892 were introductions for the company's international business enterprises. Edison, therefore, sent his ablest men from the Menlo Park staff (Batchelor, Hammer, Jehl, Johnson) to Europe to oversee the installation and promotion of the company's exhibits.

THE INTERNATIONAL PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1881

The International Paris Electrical Exposition was held during the summer of 1881. Many of Edison's electric lighting systems, ranging from arc lights to incandescent devices, were exhibited. A model of the Edison central-station lighting system showed an arrangement of incandescent lights within a complete electrical distributing system, including novel appliances and controls of the Edison system. "The completeness of its conception made a profound impression on the foremost European electrical engineers of that era." (Josephson, Matthew. Edison, A Biography. p. 252). Edison also exhibited his first "Jumbon generator. It was "direct-connected" to its driving engine, another area in which Edison pioneered. Edison improved upon the original design of William Wallace's "Telemachon' - a generator coupled to a water-powered turbine. Wallace had earlier in the decade produced the first dynamo in America.

Charles Batchelor headed the Edison exhibits within Paris. Edison received many gold medals and diplomas and was awarded the ribbon of the Legion of Honor.

The William J. Hammer Collection contains various reports and catalogues exhibited at the International Exposition of Electricity. (Series 3, Box 44, Folders 1-4)

THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1882

At the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1882 in London, Edison displayed a great many of his inventions, including: the steam dynamo; specimens of street pipes and service boxes used in the Edison underground system of conductors, and the system of house conductors with devices for preventing abnormal increase of energy in house circuits; apparatus for measuring the resistance of his lamps, for measuring the energy consumed in lamps, and rheostats for restoring currents; also thermogalvano-meters, carbon rheostats, dynamometers, photometers, carbon regulators, Weber meters,, current regulators, and circuit breakers for controlling electric light circuits; the carbon relay, the pressure relay, and the expansion relay; the telegraph system in Morse characters; and the Roman character automatic telegraph.

Thomas Edison also exhibited the carbon telephone, the musical telephonograph, telephone repeater, and numerous apparatus for demonstrating the method of varying the resistance of a closed circuit by contact with carbon, illustrative of the experimental factors of the Edison carbon transmitter. Incandescent lamps, the process of the manufacture of lamps, and various designs of electric light chandeliers were also on display.

Hammer won the silver medal at the exposition for the first complete development of the incandescent electric lamp from its initial stages to date. At the exhibition the first hand-operated flashing electric lamp sign was displayed, which was invented and built by Hammer.

The collection contains photographs of the Edison dynamo, and the Edison Electric Lighting Plant of 1882 erected by Hammer. The official Catalogue of the International Electric and Gas Exhibition, and various articles from the Daily Telegraph, Daily Chronicle, and Daily News are also included within the collection (Series 4, Box 99 and Series 3, Box 42, Folder 1-2).

THE BERLIN EXPOSITION OF 1883.

The Berlin Exposition of 1883 had the first motored flashing electric sign designed, built and operated by Hammer. The electric sign spelled out the word "Edison" letter by letter and was used on the Edison pavilion in the Health Exposition. It has most features of today's flashing sign.

The collection contains two photographs of the first flashing sign (Series 4, Box 99).

THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION OF 1884

The Franklin Institute International Electrical Exhibition was held in Philadelphia from September 2 to October 14, 1884. Many of Edison's companies had display booths at the exhibition. The Edison Electric Light Company showed in operation their system of house lighting as supplied from a central station. The Edison Company for Isolated Lighting exhibited their system of lighting factories, hotels, hospitals, and other places situated beyond the reach of a central lighting station. A full assortment of Edison lamps and dynamos also made up parts of other exhibits. Also displayed at the exhibition was the first flashing column of light, which Hammer designed and built.

Included within the collection are a variety of photographs of the exhibitions. Four pamphlets also are contained in the collection (Series 3, Box 1, Folder 3), (Series 4, Box 99).

THE EXPOSITION OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE CENTRAL STATES OF 1888

The Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States, in Cincinnati from July 4 to October 27, was in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Cincinnati. The exposition showed the progress and ramifications of the first hundred years of this settlement.

The space occupied by permanent buildings was greater than that covered by any building for exhibiting purposes on the Western continent. T',ie exposition developed the Electric Light Plant to make a special feature of electric lighting in the evening. Several companies used this opportunity to make exhibits of their apparatus and for their equipment to be used for illumination. The Edison Lamps were used for displays in showcases and pavilions of exhibitors of the Park Building.

The collection contains photographs of the halls of the exposition and a poster which is a souvenir of the electrical display of the exposition. An official Guide of the Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States is included within the collection. (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 4).

THE SUMMER CARNIVAL AND ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION, ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, 1889

The Summer Carnival and Electric Exhibition held at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada was to celebrate the opening of the Canadian Pacific Short Line to St. John and Portland. The Electrical Exhibition was the most popular of the displays present, containing the Monster Edison Lanm, the Mysterious Electric Fountain, and many other inventions.

The William J. Hammer Collection contains a poster that illustrates some of the leading exhibits at the Electrical Exhibition (Series 4, Box 99).

PARIS UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION OF 1889

The Universal Exposition of 1889 held in Paris was larger than all previous expositions held there. The famous Eiffel Tower was its principal attraction.

A large portion of the exhibit hall within the Palace of Mechanical Industries contained Thomas Edison's electrical inventions, including various electric lamps for use in houses. Variations of the telephone also were shown. During the Paris Exposition Europeans were exposed to the phonograph for the first time. Hammer represented Edison's interests at the Paris Exhibition.

The collection contains articles from New York World, New York Herald and Electrical World on Edison's exhibits at the Paris Exposition (Series 3, Box 44, folder 6). A scrapbook of photographs from the exhibition showing exhibit buildings and halls and loose photographs showing Edison's exhibits are included in the collection (Series 4, Box 98).

THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1892

The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1892 was held in London. Hammer displayed a great variety of products in the machine room of the Electrical Exhibition. Sockets for controlling individual incandescent lamps on alternating currents and the Ward Arc Lamp for use on incandescent circuits were just a few of the items displayed. Edison's companies displayed specimens of all types of incandescent electric lamps for public and private illumination. They also displayed primary batteries for use in telegraphy, telephony, household work, and engines.

The William, J. Hammer Collection contains a variety of photographs of the electrical exhibition. The Official Catalogue and Guide of the Electrical Exhibition is also contained within the collection (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Folder 2, Box 42).

LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION, 1904

The Louisiana Purchase Expostition of 1904, held in St. Louis, Missouri from April 30 to December 1, celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The nineteen million people who attended made it the largest exposition ever. The year 1904 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Edison's invention of the carbon filament lamp and central power station system.

F.J.V. Skiff, the exhibits classifier for the fair, developed a twofold classificatory arrangement. He organized exhibits in a sequential synopsis corresponding to the sixteen different departments of the exposition. The principal exhibition buildings were built in the shape of a fan. The departments of education, art, liberal arts, and applied sciences-including electricity - headed the classification, Skiff noted, because they "equip man for the battle and prepare him for the enjoyments of life.' Departments devoted to displays of raw materials such as agriculture, horticulture, !inning, forestry, fish and game came next. Anthropology, social economy, and physical culture concluded the classification.

The Hammer collection contains photographs of Hammer with other Chairmen of Domestic and Foreign Jurors of the Electricity Section of the International Jury of Awards of the Louisiana Exposition and Hammer as chairman of the jury on telegraphy, telephony, and wireless. (Series 4, Box 102). A pamphlet by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company on the exhibit of the Radiophone at the Department of Applied Science is also part of the collection (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 5).

THE PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION OF 1915

The Panama Pacific Exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and the four hundredth anniversary of the European discovery of the Pacific Ocean. It was held in San Francisco from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Approximately nineteen million people attended the exposition.

The eleven main buildings of the exposition were grouped around a central court of the Sun and Stars at the entrance of which was the famous Tower of Jewels. The main group of exhibits comprised the Palaces of Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Mines,

Transportation, Agriculture, Horticulture and all kinds of food products. During the exposition special days were set aside to honor industrialists Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company provided a large searchlight to flash out a Morse code greeting on the nighttime sky for their arrival.

The William J. Hammer Collection contains a pamphlet on the "Illumination of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition." The pamphlet describes the lighting of the exposition, and the use of arc lamps ' searchlights, incandescent electric lamps, and gas lamps (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 43).
Provenance:
Collection donated by IBM, 1962.
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:
Fluorescence  Search this
Electrical engineering  Search this
Incandescent lamps  Search this
Phosphorescence  Search this
Selenium cells  Search this
Cathode rays  Search this
X-rays  Search this
Radium  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
William J. Hammer Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0069
See more items in:
William J. Hammer Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep806480cfb-3204-4fc1-8e11-b58fffe1b338
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0069
Online Media:

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)
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:

Coxe Brothers Collection

Creator:
Coxe Brothers and Company, Inc. (Drifton, Pennsylvania)  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 Work and Industry  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Extractive Industries  Search this
Engineer:
Coxe, Eckley B. (Eckley Brinton), 1839-1895  Search this
Names:
Coxe, Tench, 1755-1824  Search this
Extent:
100 Cubic feet (55 boxes, 107 map folders )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Agreements
Blueprints
Correspondence
Deeds
Drawings
Glass plate negatives
Legal documents
Maps
Patents
Photographs
Tracings
Place:
Pennsylvania
Date:
1830-1997
Summary:
Collection documents the Coxe Brothers and Company Inc., an anthracite coal producer in Pennsylvania.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains primarily drawings of mine machinery and buildings, including buildings within the company town such as worker housing and churches and maps, including real estate maps, contour and topographical maps, maps of highways and roads, insurance maps and others. There are some photographs, including glass plate negatives, of mining machinery and operations; deeds, leases, and agreements and papers relating to Eckley B. Coxe's patents and legal matters.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series.

Series 1: Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Estate Materials, 1891-1969

Series 2: Patent Material, 1871-1902

Series 3: Agreements, Deeds, and Leases, 1882-1949

Series 4: Miscellaneous Documentation, 1866-1950

Series 5: Glass Plate Negatives and Photographs, 1890-1937

Series 6: Drawings, 1885-1991

Series 7: Maps, 1830-1997
Historical:
The Coxe family's connection with Pennsylvania's anthracite coal region is rooted in the prescience of the statesman, author and land speculator Tench Coxe. Recognizing the significance anthracite would play in the development of the newly founded Republic, Tench purchased nearly 80,000 acres of land surrounding outcroppings of anthracite coal in Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill counties. He hoped that future generations of the family would profit from the land when the anthracite industry came of age. Indeed, his purchase would secure wealth for the Coxe family and all their mining enterprises well into the twentieth century.

Tench Coxe was born in Philadelphia on May 22, 1755, to William and Mary Francis Coxe, members of a family with a long tradition of land ownership. Tench's great-grandfather, Dr. Daniel Coxe, personal physician to King Charles II and Queen Anne of England, held large colonial land grants in New Jersey and the Carolinas. Though he never visited his property in the new world, Dr. Coxe would eventually acquire the title of Governor of West Jersey. Upon his death, he passed the whole of his North American land holdings to his son, Colonel Daniel Coxe. The Colonel was the first Coxe to leave England for life in America, settling in Burlington, New Jersey in 1702. Inheriting a passion for land, Colonel Coxe distinguished himself by publishing "A Description of the Provinces of Carolana," which in 1722 proposed one of the earliest plans for political union of the British colonies of North America. Tench Coxe explored various career options in his struggle to establish his name in the United States. After considering a profession in law, Tench chose instead to join his father's import-export firm, Coxe & Furman, in 1776. The renamed firm of Coxe, Furman & Coxe operated for fourteen years but was dissolved by mutual agreement after experiencing financial difficulties.

Soon after, Tench and a business partner from Boston established a new commercial enterprise under the name of Coxe & Frazier. After several prosperous years, this firm also disbanded, freeing Tench to pursue a career in public service. Tench's Loyalist sympathies during the American Revolution complicated his political ambitions. Following British General Howe's evacuation of Philadelphia in 1778, the Supreme Executive Council of Pennsylvania accused Tench of treason for collaborating with the enemy. Although he swore an oath of allegiance to the United States of America, his Tory leanings would be used repeatedly to undermine his political influence. Despite his Loyalist past, Tench retained the respect of his patriot neighbors. He was selected as the sole Pennsylvania delegate to the Annapolis Convention in 1786, and then selected to the Second Continental Congress in 1788. After the war, Tench became an advocate for the Whig Party, although his politics were often in direct support of the Federalist cause. This was apparent from a pamphlet he wrote in 1788 titled, "An Examination of the Constitution of the United States," which revealed his strong support for the ratification of the United States Constitution.

With the new government in place, Tench received a variety of appointments to public office under George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson. He was named Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in 1790, Commissioner of the Revenue of the United States in 1792 and Secretary of the Pennsylvania Land Office in 1800. After switching his affiliation to the Republican Party in 1803, Tench accepted an appointment from Thomas Jefferson as Purveyor of the Public Supplies, an office that he held until 1812. The duties of his various posts ultimately made Tench an authority on the industrial development of the nation. In 1794 he published a collection of essays under the title, "A View of the United States of America," in which he contemplated the development of commerce and manufacturing in America. These essays reveal his early awareness of coal in Pennsylvania, as he remarked:

"All our coal has hitherto been accidentally found on the surface of the earth or discovered in the digging of common cellars or wells; so that when our wood-fuel shall become scarce, and the European methods of boring shall be skillfully pursued, there can be no doubt of our finding it in many other places."

Anthracite coal was discovered around the year 1769 in Pennsylvania. It is the hardest of the known types of coal, with an average 85%-95% carbon content, as compared to the 45%- 85% range of the bituminous coal found in the western part of the state. The high carbon content in anthracite allows it to burn at much higher temperatures than bituminous coal and with less smoke, making it an ideal fuel for home heating. The only anthracite deposits of commercial value in the United States are located within four major fields in Eastern Pennsylvania and are confined to an area of 3,300 square miles. These four coalfields are commonly referred to as the Northern, Eastern-Middle, Western-Middle and Southern fields. Tench Coxe's awareness of the promise of anthracite coal, coupled with his tenure in the Pennsylvania land office and a family tradition of land speculation spurred him in 1790 to begin purchasing promising acreage. Though he acquired land throughout the country, he particularly focused on land in Carbon, Luzerne and Schuylkill counties in Northeastern Pennsylvania, which he believed held vast underground seams of coal.

Despite large land holdings, Tench Coxe lived most of his life in debt thanks to litigation, tax problems and complications with business partners. Realizing that he would not be able to develop the property in his lifetime, Tench worked diligently to retain the property he believed was enriched with valuable mineral deposits, in hopes that his dreams would be realized by future generations of Coxes. Tench's son, Charles Sidney Coxe, would inherit from his father a passion for land ownership and for the untapped potential of the anthracite coal region. When Tench Coxe died on July 16, 1824, he left Charles sole executor of his estate, which was composed of approximately 1.5 million acres in eight states. Born July 31, 1791, Charles Sidney Coxe was the sixth of ten children of Tench and Rebecca Coxe. Educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Brown University, Charles was admitted to the Philadelphia Bar in 1812. Charles eventually served as District Attorney of Philadelphia and associate judge of the District Court of Philadelphia, but he remained infatuated by his father's vision.

Charles devoted his life to keeping together the large coal properties handed down by Tench to his surviving children. This monumental task involved paying annual taxes on completely unproductive land, fighting a never-ending battle against squatters and timber thieves, and litigating an endless array of boundary disputes. Charles and his family routinely spent their summer months in Drifton, Luzerne County a location that would eventually become synonymous with the Coxe name. His son Eckley Brinton Coxe gained his first experience in the coalfields at Drifton, accompanying his father as he traced the geology of the area in search of coal veins. Besides introducing Eckley to the "family business", the surveys gave Charles invaluable detailed knowledge that he used to preserve the coal deposits on his family's property. Deposits that he discovered comprised nearly half of the entire Eastern-Middle field. Even as his knowledge grew, however, Charles was unable to develop the land he retained. He saw the pioneers of anthracite mining lose fortunes as the mining technology of the day struggled to catch up with the new demands.

Regular shipments of anthracite began in the 1820s as canals opened the coal regions of Pennsylvania to markets in Philadelphia. The demand for anthracite remained relatively low during the early years of the industry, but as markets developed and demand increased, railroads began to compete in the trade and would eventually come to dominate as carriers to all of the major markets. As the problems of mining and transporting coal and developing a market for it were worked out, the demand for "hard coal" grew substantially. Coal sales increased from 364,384 tons in 1840 to 3,358,890 tons in 1850 and would steadily increase throughout the century to levels exceeding 40 million tons annually. Charles Coxe's witness to the inception of this industry unquestionably spurred his desire to realize his father's dream, but like Tench, he too would have to defer to his sons.

Charles S. Coxe had married Ann Maria Brinton in 1832 and together they were the parents of seven children, Brinton, Rebecca, Anna Brinton, Eckley Brinton, Henry Brinton, Charles Brinton and Alexander Brinton. The eldest son, Brinton Coxe, followed the career of his father, establishing himself in the legal profession. Brinton was a renowned lawyer and writer of constitutional law and served with prestige as president of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania from 1884 until his death. The remaining four sons would distinguish themselves in the coal business under the guidance of their brother, Eckley B. Coxe. Born in Philadelphia on June 4, 1839, Eckley B. Coxe entered into a family in which his calling was clear. His aptitude for the calling, however, would astonish the entire industry. Eckley's earl surveying excursions with his father introduced him to the mines, machines and collieries of the anthracite industry. His exposure to local miners must also have made a lasting impression, as his knowledge of their customs and sympathy toward their circumstances proved to be one of his greatest assets as an employer.

Eckley Coxe's formal education began in 1854 at the University of Pennsylvania. Although focusing his studies in chemistry and physics, he took additional courses in French and bookkeeping after receiving his degree in 1858. After graduation, Eckley briefly returned to the coalfields where he was engaged in topographic geological work on his family's land, learning a skill that would later earn him a commission to the Second Geological Survey of Pennsylvania. In 1860 Eckley went abroad to polish his technical education, spending two years in Paris at the Ecole Nationale des Mines, one year at the Bergakademie in Freiberg, Germany and nearly two years on a tour studying the practical operations of European mines. Armed with both practical and theoretical knowledge of his craft, Eckley B. Coxe returned to America and embarked on the mission for which his entire life had prepared him. On January 30, 1865, Eckley, his brothers Alexander, Charles and Henry and a cousin, Franklin Coxe, formed the co-partnership Coxe Brothers and Company.

The company began with a combined capital of $120,000, with Eckley investing $40,000 and the other partners investing $20,000 each. The firm was formed for the exclusive purpose of mining and selling coal from the Drifton property, which they leased from the Estate of Tench Coxe. The Estate had begun leasing property as early as 1852 to various companies, which paid royalties to the estate in return for the coal they mined. Coxe Brothers would operate under a similar lease, but they would, in a sense, be paying royalties to themselves as both partners and heirs. Coxe Brothers and Company began operations in Drifton in February 1865, sending their first shipment of coal to market the following June. Once the operations at Drifton were fully tested and proved successful, Eckley moved to consolidate control over all of his family's land, in order to keep all the mining profits in the family.

By 1879 Coxe Brothers and Company had opened collieries at Deringer, Gowen and Tomhicken, adding Beaver Meadow Colliery two years later. The firm's success exceeded all of the partners' expectations, reaching well beyond the goals set forth in the original Articles of Copartnership. Charles B. Coxe died in 1873 and Franklin Coxe retired from the firm in 1878. In 1885, the remaining partners agreed to extend the life of the firm indefinitely and operate for the purpose of developing the land belonging to the Estate of Tench Coxe.

Even more important to the success of the Coxe family mining interests was the organization of the Cross Creek Coal Company in October 1882. The officers of this company included the three remaining partners of Coxe Brothers and Company, along with a Philadelphia partner, J. Brinton White and the Coxe's first cousin Arthur McClellan, brother of the Civil War General, George B. McClellan. Cross Creek Coal Company took over all of the mining operations on the Estate lands, led by Eckley B. Coxe, president of both companies. Coxe Brothers transferred the mining rights to the Coxe property to the Cross Creek Coal Company but retained control of the Coxe collieries where the freshly mined coal was prepared.

Eckley's shrewd and aggressive management of his family's land proved successful. When his father, Charles S. Coxe died in 1879, Eckley assumed an even more direct role in the management of the property. In addition to receiving the inheritance of his grandfather's land, he, along with his three surviving brothers, became executors of the Estate of Tench Coxe. By 1886, Eckley had brought nearly 3/4ths of his family's property under his direct control. Coal shipments from these properties reached an astounding 1.5 million tons in 1890, a vast improvement from the 27,000 tons sold in its inaugural year. Coxe Brothers and Company did not limit itself to mining operations on the lands of the Estate of Tench Coxe. By 1889, the firm was also leasing lands from the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, West Buck Mountain Coal Company, Anspach & Stanton, the Black Creek Coal Company, and the Central Coal Company. In total Coxe Brothers was operating roughly 30,000 acres of coal property.

Just over twenty years after its inception, Coxe Brothers and Company established itself as the largest individual anthracite producer that was not associated with a major railroad. This distinction, however, made them an obvious target for the expanding railroad industry. Realizing the value of anthracite as freight, railroads entered into a land scramble throughout the region, securing their coal freight by purchasing it before it was mined. This point is perhaps best illustrated by the actions of the Pennsylvania Railroad, which in 1872 purchased 28,000 acres in the anthracite fields. Of the roughly 38 million tons of coal produced in 1888, 29 million had been mined by coal companies linked with the railroads.

The remaining independent producers were forced to negotiate with the railroads to have their coal shipped to market. It was the practice of the railroads to charge exorbitant fees to the independent producers, which in effect reduced the railroads' competition in the coal sale yards. In order to survive, many independent producers were either forced to sell their coal directly to the railroads at the mines or to sell their operation completely to the railroad. Eckley B. Coxe, however, pursued an altogether different means of survival. In 1888, the partners of Coxe Brothers and Company petitioned the Interstate Commerce Commission for relief from the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company (LVRR). They argued that the Lehigh Valley Coal Company (LVCC), entirely owned by the LVRR, sold coal at a price that did not net them sufficient funds to pay the fees that were being charged to Coxe Brothers and Company for the same shipping service. The railroads were willing to operate their coal companies at a loss, since they were more than able to absorb the losses with increased railroad freight. As a result of discriminating between the companies it owned and independent operators, the LVRR was found in violation of federal law and was forced to lower its rates in 1891.

The lengthy trial, however, inspired Eckley to build his own railroad, which began operations in 1891. Incorporated as the Delaware, Susquehanna & Schuylkill Railroad, its tracks linked all of the Coxe collieries with connections to most of the major rail lines in the region. With sixty miles of single gauge track, twenty-nine locomotives and 1,500 coal-cars, they forced the railroads to compete for the immense freight being produced by their coal companies. By compelling his adversaries to come to fair terms with victories in both the courts and in the coalfields, Eckley succeeded in securing Coxe Brothers' position as the largest independent anthracite producers in Pennsylvania. In June 1893, Ezra B. Ely and Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr. were admitted to the firm of Coxe Brothers and Company. Ezra, a long-time business associate and general sales agent of Coxe Brothers and Company and Eckley, Jr., son of the deceased Charles Brinton Coxe, joined the firm just weeks prior to the establishment of two more Coxe mining enterprises.

On June 19,Coxe Brothers and Company, Incorporated was organized as the selling agency for Coxe coal and purchased from the firm their supply headquarters in New York, Boston, Buffalo, Chicago, Milwaukee and Philadelphia. This same day also saw the formation of the Coxe Iron Manufacturing Company, which took control of the firm's machine shops in Drifton. In addition to being responsible for the construction and repair of Coxe mines and railroads, this company also filled large outside orders for machinery. It was in these machine shops that Eckley proved himself as one of the most brilliant mining engineers of the day. The United States Patent Office records 111 patents either issued directly to Eckley B. Coxe or as a supervisor of employees who worked under his instructions at the Drifton Shops. Seventy-three of these patents pertained to the details of the Coxe Mechanical Stoker, which introduced the first practical means of burning small sizes of anthracite coal. This innovation put an end to the financial loss associated with large culm banks of fine sized coal that plagued collieries as waste. The subject of waste seems to have driven the business and personal endeavors of Eckley B. Coxe.

As a founder and future president of the American Institute of Mining Engineers, Eckley was appointed to chair a committee to investigate waste in coal mining, which he did thoroughly. His report outlined the waste associated with the extraction, preparation and transportation of anthracite coal. To combat waste in the preparation of coal, Eckley designed and erected the world's first coal breaker made of iron and steel. This fireproof structure, used to separate coal into uniform sized pieces, was also equipped with numerous innovative labor-saving devices, including an automated slate picking chute, improved coal jigs, corrugated rollers for breaking coal and electric lighting for nighttime operations. The breaker at Drifton stood as one of the most revolutionary coal structures in the region until Eckley erected an even more magnificent iron and steel coal breaker at Oneida. In creating more economical methods for preparing and consuming coal, Eckley helped boost the anthracite industry to remarkable levels. Although he secured many of his inventions by patent, Eckley licensed his improvements to many coal operators and created an agency to help install and maintain the complicated machinery at the various collieries. This service reflected Eckley's conviction that the mutual exchange of knowledge in engineering matters would benefit the whole anthracite industry, and in turn would benefit each individual company. That attitude appears to have carried over in his interactions with consumers, as is evidenced by a paper Eckley read before a meeting of the New England Cotton Manufactures, acknowledging that, "It may seem curious that a person whose life has been spent in mining and marketing coal should appear before this association to discuss the economical production of steam, involving, as it does, either the use of less fuel or fuel of less value. But I am convinced that the more valuable a ton of coal becomes to our consumers, the more in the end will be our profit from it."

Eckley recognized, however, that the increased demand for anthracite would subvert his battle against waste. The abundance of coal beds in the region gave rise to numerous operators who often sacrificed long-term efficiency for low-overhead and quick profits. Using cheap machinery and incompetent labor, these operators mined only the most valuable and easily available veins, leaving large amounts to waste. Mining practices like these were prohibited in many European countries, where the right to mine had to be obtained from the government. In many countries, mining operations were required to work to full capacity, so long as they did not compromise the safety of the men or the mine. Having witnessed European laws in practice, Eckley was an advocate for comparable laws in this country, calling for a well-educated corps of experts to inspect the mines and manufactories to ensure the protection of life and property. In later years, mining foremen would be required by Pennsylvania law to pass an extensive exam, demonstrating not only practical experience but also specific knowledge of the principles of ventilation. Eckley was also aware that mining legislation alone could not prevent careless miners.

As an employer of skilled labor and a trustee of Lehigh University, Eckley gave a great deal of thought to the issue of technical education. In concluding a paper titled, "Mining Legislation," read at the general meeting of the American Social Science Association in 1870, Eckley insisted "upon the importance of establishing schools for master miners, in which anyone who works in the mines could, while supporting himself by his labor, receive sufficient instruction in his business to qualify him to direct intelligently the underground workings of a mine." His exposure to the finest technical institutions of Europe made Eckley keenly aware of the shortcomings in America of giving its students an equivalent education. In order to prevent future mining foremen and superintendents to grow up without a theoretical knowledge of their work, Eckley established the Industrial School for Miners and Mechanics in Drifton. The school opened its doors on May 7, 1879, providing young men employed by Coxe Brothers and Company with an opportunity to educate themselves outside of working hours. This unique opportunity gave the young miners a chance to combine the scientific knowledge of various disciplines, including trigonometry, mechanical drawing, physics, mineralogy and drafting with the experience gained in their daily toil. Classes were held free of charge at night and during idle days in the mines in a two-story building erected by Eckley Coxe, known as Cross Creek Hall.

In addition to comfortably seating 1,000 people and housing a library and reading room for the residents of Drifton, it also furnished classrooms for the eleven students who enrolled in the school during its first year. The school succeeded in delivering a first-class technical education to its students for nearly ten years before a fire completely destroyed the Hall in 1888. Five years later the school reorganized under the name Miners and Mechanics' Institute of Freeland, Pennsylvania, which soon after changed its name to the Mining and Mechanical Institute of Freeland. The school continues to operate today as the MMI Preparatory School and stands as a testimonial to Eckley's achievements in promoting technical education.

Eckley and the Coxe family gave generously to the people of the anthracite fields. They donated estate lands for churches and cemeteries of various denominations, as well as schools, parks and baseball fields. Eckley also established a scholarship prize of $300 for the best student at his mining school, which would continue for the term of four years if the recipient chose to pursue higher education. Eckley made a point, however, not to confuse business with charity and confined his donations predominantly to gifts of opportunity and knowledge. But, as the people of Drifton affirmed during the opening ceremonies for Cross Creek Hall, "For relieving those who have been disabled by accidents, providing for the widows and orphans, visiting our homes in times of sickness, taking an interest in the education and welfare of our children and providing a free library, to promote our intellectual culture you are worthy of the highest praise we can bestow." One of the most deplorable circumstances in the coalfields was the scarcity of adequate hospitals. Nineteenth century anthracite mining was extremely dangerous, with miners facing hazards from explosions, suffocation, cave-ins and floods.

By 1881, Coxe Brothers and Company employed 1,171 people, who endured their share of accidents, despite the sound mining methods initiated by the company. The closest hospital was in Bethlehem, which was over two hours away. To remedy the situation, at least for his own workers, Eckley established the Drifton Hospital on September 1, 1882, for the benefit of Coxe Brothers and Company employees. The building could accommodate thirty-five patients and in its first sixteen months of operation treated eighty-five people. In later years, a state hospital at Hazleton was built for the miners of the Eastern-Middle field. Eckley was an obvious candidate for the Board of Commissioners of the state hospital, an appointment he received in 1891.

The company also maintained an accident fund for its employees. In the event a Coxe Brothers employee died, the fund contributed fifty dollars to the family to defray their funeral expenses. It also provided the widows of employees with three dollars a week for one year, allowing an additional dollar per week for each child less than twelve years of age. In cases where the employees were disabled, men were given five dollars a week until they were able to perform light work.

In all his endeavors, Eckley B. Coxe held himself to a high standard of honor. His standard of personal integrity created unusual circumstances when he was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate in November 1880. Elected a Democrat from the 26th senatorial district, comprised of parts of Luzerne and Lackawanna counties, he declined to take the oath prescribed by the state constitution, thereby forfeiting the office. In an address to his constituents in January 1881, he explained that he was not able to swear to the fact that all his campaign funds had been contributed as "expressly authorized by law." He further stated, "I have done nothing in this campaign that I am ashamed of, or that was inconsistent with strict honesty." A detailed examination of his accounts shows expenses that were not considered "expressly authorized," but were also not uncommon for most of the political candidates in Pennsylvania. In holding himself to the strict letter of the law, he earned the respect of both Democrats and Republicans alike. The next year Eckley B. Coxe was again elected to the Senate, this time with a majority three times as large as the previous year.

Eckley's personal character made him a model senator and he took advantage of the opportunity to spread his opinions across the entire commonwealth. Belonging to the minority party in the Senate, Eckley was unable to initiate any legislation, but did remain vocal concerning many of the major issues of the day. He was particularly interested in the "Voluntary Trade Tribunal Statute," which dealt with the vexed topic of labor organizations. In addressing the Senate, Eckley argued, "Though not pretending to be a workingman, or in any way his representative, but, on the contrary, a large employer of labor of all kinds, I feel and admit that he has equal rights with me. What he properly demands, and what he will have, is justice. To be satisfied, he must feel that the bargain is fair, and that it has been reached in an honorable way, without any resort to coercion. He cares more for this than a slight addition to or a deduction from his daily pay. Where the workingman does not get his dues, trouble must ensue, and capital must pay its share of the bill, which is often a large one." Eckley made every attempt to treat his men with the respect they demanded. Even so, he was not immune to strikes, which brought his collieries to a halt on several occasions. When demands for increased wages by a joint committee of the Knights of Labor and the Miners' and Laborers' Amalgamated Association brought operations in the anthracite fields to a standstill in 1887, Eckley remained open to hearing the grievances of his men, but like many coal operators, refused to meet with organizations, as he did not believe they represented the best interest of his men. As labor struggled to organize in the latter part of the century, workingmen were as determined to stand by their unions as operators were to ignore them.

This state of affairs resulted in repeated struggles between labor and capital throughout the country, struggles that were especially bitter in the coalfields. When a congressional committee was appointed to investigate the labor troubles in Pennsylvania in 1888, Eckley testified, "It does not make any difference to us whether the men belong to any association or not. I do not care what association they belong to or what politics they have; it is none of my business; but when it came to the question, I was always willing and anxious to deal with my own men, and I expect to always; but I want to deal with the men who are interested to the particular question that I have got to settle." Eckley continued to remain active in the mining profession through his associations with numerous professional organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Engineer's Club of Philadelphia, the American Chemical Society, the Society for the Promotion of Engineering Education and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, to name just a few. In 1870, Eckley published a translation of Julias Weisbach's treatise, "A Manual of the Mechanics of Engineering and of the Construction of Machines, with an Introduction to the Calculus." Weisbach was a former professor of Eckley's at the Bergakademie in Freiberg, and an influential voice in the field of mechanics. This capacious volume, used primarily as a textbook, was completed at a monetary loss, but would, however, associate Eckley's name with one of the leading mechanical engineers in the world.

As Eckley continued to advance his own career and the anthracite industry as a whole, he never lost sight of his principal commitment to developing the lands of the Estate of Tench Coxe. In an effort to fully exploit the resources of his family's land, Eckley organized four additional companies in June 1893. The Drifton, Oneida, Tomhicken and Beaver Meadow water companies were organized to supply water to the industries and citizens of Hazle, East Union, Black Creek and Banks Township, respectively. On June 20, 1893, the capital stock of the four water companies, along with the stock of the Cross Creek Coal Company, Coxe Brothers and Company, Incorporated, the Delaware, Susquehanna and Schuylkill Railroad Company, and the Coxe Iron Manufacturing Company were placed into a trust under the control of Eckley B. Coxe, who served as president of them all. The trust was created to secure the continuation of the companies in the case of the death or sale of interest by any of the partners. The ownership of these companies was held in the same interest as that of the firm of Coxe Brothers and Company, being 4/15ths each with Eckley and Alexander Coxe, 3/15ths each vested in Henry B. and Eckley B. Coxe, Jr., and a 1/15th interest with Ezra B. Ely.

With the establishment of the various new Coxe enterprises, the business of the original firm (Coxe Brothers and Company) became limited to the operation of company stores at Fern Glen, Eckley and Drifton. This was no small point, however. By remaining a partnership, the Coxe family was not bound by the corporation laws of Pennsylvania, which prohibited the operation of company stores. But Coxe Brothers and Company stores respected the spirit of the anti-company store legislation. All Coxe employees were paid in cash that they could spend anywhere and not company script, which they would have to spend on overpriced goods at company stores. Eckley instructed his stores to sell goods as cheaply as possible and at no point were store debts deducted from an employee's wages. The various Coxe-owned enterprises remained in Eckley's charge till May 13, 1895, when at the age of 55, Eckley Brinton Coxe died of pneumonia. His death was mourned across the region as the buildings of Drifton were draped in black and Coxe collieries went idle. On the occasion of his funeral, every mine in the region suspended operations as a tribute to their deceased colleague.

Although Eckley was gone, his benevolence lived on through his wife of twenty-six years, Sophia Georgiana (Fisher) Coxe. Sophia undoubtedly served as Eckley's guiding light in his many altruistic endeavors. She was collectively known throughout the region as the "Angel of the Anthracite Fields" and the "Coxe Santa Claus." Sophia earned the latter title by providing the children of the Coxe mining towns with gifts and candy at an annul Christmas Party held in Cross Creek Hall. With the income guaranteed to her in Eckley's will, Sophia embarked on numerous acts of charity, funding additions to the Hazleton State Hospital, White Haven Sanitarium and the Philadelphia Children's Hospital. Sophia also advanced Eckley's work in education as a faithful benefactor of the Mining and Mechanical Institute of Freeland. She endowed the school with a new gymnasium and a trust fund to keep the school operating after her death, which occurred in 1926.

As Eckley's benevolence continued after his death, so too did his mining enterprises. His two surviving brothers, Alexander and Henry Coxe remained active in the business affairs of the Coxe mining companies, as Alfred E. Walter, a business associate, took control of the trust and presidency of the Coxe companies. The trust would subsequently pass to Irving A. Stearns from 1901 to 1905, when the trusteeship was canceled. The mining enterprises continued to expand through the turn of the century under the administration of Alexander B. Coxe. A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, Alexander had distinguished himself in the Civil War, serving on the staff of Major-General George Meade. After the war, he played a major role in the financial management of Coxe Brothers and Company as the only Coxe partner, other than Eckley, who resided in Drifton. He continued to live near the collieries for nearly forty years.

In March 1900, Alexander initiated a series of business maneuvers to streamline the management of the various Coxe companies. He purchased the entire capital stock of the Coxe Iron Manufacturing Company and the selling agency, Coxe Brothers and Company, Inc. for the Cross Creek Coal Company. Now representing the combined capital of three companies, the Cross Creek Coal Company officially changed its name to Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. The new company name distinguished only by the replacement of "and" by "&". Days later, the original firm of Coxe Brothers and Company was dissolved by agreement, with the remainder of its property and assets being assigned to the Cross Creek Coal Company for the sum of $300. The business of the firm would be continued by Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. and the Delaware, Susquehanna & Schuylkill Railroad, both of which were owned in the same interest as the original firm. As both the executor of the Tench Coxe Estate and partner of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc., Alexander was in a unique situation to further consolidate the management of the Coxe properties. On June 24, 1904, the numerous individual leases from the Estate of Tench Coxe to Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. were consolidated into one blanket lease. The lease granted exclusive mining rights to the latter on the Drifton, Eckley, Stockton and Beaver Meadow properties, as well as on portions of the Tomhicken, Derringer and Oneida properties. The terms of the lease were agreed to continue until the coal was exhausted from the property or mining operations became unprofitable.

In 1904 Coxe Brothers was operating roughly 30,000 acres of land, although not all of it came from family leases. In addition to owning small portions of land, they still held leases on additional property from the Lehigh Valley Railroad Company, West Buck Mountain Coal Company, Anspach & Stanton, Black Creek Improvement Company and the Central Coal Company. The year 1904 also marked the death of Henry B. Coxe, leaving the sole responsibility of the company and the estate in Alexander's charge. With most of the family leaving the coalfields for homes in Philadelphia and nobody in the family willing to take the reins of the family business, the aging Alexander contemplated giving in to the railroads and selling off the mining operations. The Pennsylvania Railroad approached Alexander with an offer to purchase the entire operation of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc., in an attempt to secure the valuable freight being produced at Coxe collieries. This freight totaled over one 1,500,000 tons of anthracite with 1,000,000 tons being mined directly from Coxe land. The LVRR, however, was not willing to lose its principal independent coal shipper and made Coxe Brothers a matching offer. Fortunately for the LVRR, Alexander Coxe served on its board of directors and in 1905 agreed to sell the whole of the Coxe mining enterprises to the LVRR.

The sale was completed on October 7, 1905, and included all of the property and assets of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. comprising, 1100 miners' houses, real estate in Chicago and Milwaukee, floating equipment in New York harbor, all the mined coal on hand as well as the leasehold rights covered in the 1904 lease. Also included in the sale were the Delaware Susquehanna & Schuylkill Railroad and the four Coxe subsidiary water companies. In return the LVRR paid a total of 18.4 million dollars, $6,400,000 being paid in cash and $12,000,000 in collateral trust four percent bonds, which could be redeemed in semi-annual payments of $500,000. The bonds were issued by the Girard Trust Company, which secured payment with Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. stock, pledged by the LVRR. These bonds would mature in February 1926 at which time the stock was to be transferred back to the LVRR. The sale had the effect of taking the Coxe family out of the mining industry after forty years of successful operations.

The sale also marked the last major land acquisition by the LVRR, which competed in an industry that by some estimates controlled as much as 78% of the entire anthracite output. Nearly all of the other large independent operators had sold-out years ago, leaving the Coxe family operations as a relic of a day gone by. The family, however, would not forget the employees who gave the better part of their lives in service to the company. The Coxe Relief Fund was created by a resolution of the former stockholders of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. on October 31, 1905, and was funded by contributions from the Coxe family. In addition to paying off the sundry debts of the company, the fund provided a pension to numerous Coxe employees. The Coxe family benefited greatly from Alexander Coxe's management of the company. In addition to providing the estates of his former partners with an $18.4 million dollar sale, he secured the Heirs of Tench Coxe a steady income of coal royalties for years to come. The stress and anxiety of such an endeavor, however, had an adverse effect on his health. Just four months after completing the sale to the LVRR, Alexander B. Coxe died.

With all of the original Coxe partners dead, a new generation of Coxe heirs stepped in to manage the affairs of the Estate of Tench Coxe. In January 1906, Henry Brinton Coxe, Jr. and Alexander Brown Coxe, both sons of Henry B. Coxe, became the Estate Agents. The management of the estate's property remained in the hands of agents and attorneys-in-fact for its entire existence, one member of which was always a descendant of Tench Coxe.

Although selling all of its direct interests in mining, the Coxe family retained ownership of the land it leased to Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc., now a subsidiary of the LVRR. Indirectly having control of the leases to the Coxe property, the LVRR subleased the mining rights of the Coxe land to the Lehigh Valley Coal Company, placing Coxe Brothers in the business of preparing coal at the breakers.

For years Federal law had prohibited railroad companies from owning their own coal properties, a law that was easily avoided by placing control of their properties with a coal company whose stock they owned entirely. Laws seeking to put an end to monopolistic trusts were becoming increasingly more stringent, however, placing all of the major rail lines in the anthracite field at risk of prosecution. In June of 1906, the Hepburn Act passed into law. Containing a commodities clause, it explicitly forbade the interstate shipment by railroad companies of any mining product in which they held a direct or indirect interest.

The LVRR became an easy target for the law. The railroad could not readily disguise its ownership of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. because it was paying for the purchase with railroad bonds. A decision in 1911, by the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New York, affirmed that the LVRR was in violation of the Commodities Clause of the Hepburn Act by its stock ownership of both the LVCC and Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. To evade the clause the Lehigh Valley Coal Sales Company was organized in an attempt to distance the railroad from its mining operations. The sales company purchased Coxe Brothers and Lehigh Valley coal at the breakers and distributed it to the various dealers.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad Company's entanglement with its coal properties remained obvious nonetheless and in March 1914, the Federal Government filed suit against the railroad for trust evasion, charging it with violations of both the Sherman Anti-Trust Act and the Hepburn Act. After six years of litigation, a decision was handed down ordering the dissolution of the Lehigh Valley mining combination. The final decree of the court was handed down in November 1923, outlining the exact steps the court required. The decree called for the creation of a trusteeship that would hold the complete voting power of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. stock. The trustee was further ordered not to vote the stock in any way that would bring about a unity of interest or a suppression of competition between the two companies. Under the direction of the Coxe trustee, Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. went through a series of changes in the operation of their property. In 1929 management of the Coxe properties was turned over to the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, operated by Donald Markle, son of the highly successful retired anthracite operator, John Markle. The change in management took control of the Coxe Brothers property out of the hands of the LVCC, severing the remaining links with the LVRR. The agreement with Jeddo-Highland had been in place for seven years when, in 1936, Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. was given direct control of its mining operations, placing them back in the business of mining coal for the first time since the company was sold in 1905.

Management by Coxe Brothers did not prove to be very sound, as strikes repeatedly shut down operations. During a strike in 1938, an operative employed by the company to spy on the men reported, "They say the company is not providing and using props at any place – that no effort is being made to save the roof. They say no coal is being taken which entails the expenditure of anything but the minimum amount of money. This they interpret to mean the abandonment of the company's operations there in the near future is a certainty. This is now the basis for the strike." The poor management of Coxe Brothers under the control of its board of directors, many of whom were directors of the LVRR, did not go unnoticed by the Coxe trustee and in 1940 management of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc., once again, was turned over to the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company. Management of portions of some properties were also granted to the Gowen Coal Company, Wolf Collieries Company, Pardee Brothers and Company, Inc., Sterrick Creek Coal Company and the Haddock Mining Company.

The year 1940 marked the last year that Coxe Brothers had any direct or indirect control concerning mining, selling or transporting coal from its leased property. The anthracite industry saw peak years of production during World War I, but then began a steady decline from which it would never recover. By the 1940s coal operators were becoming increasingly scarce giving the LVRR an opportunity to regain control of the capital stock of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. In 1942 they petitioned the United States Government to end the trusteeship, arguing that Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. acted strictly as a property agent without any control of the operators' policies. They further argued that 82% of the coal on Coxe Brothers property had been removed since the trusteeship was created and with the decreased market for anthracite coal, finding a buyer of the Coxe Brothers stock would be nearly impossible.

The courts handed down a decision in favor of the railroad and ordered the stock of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. returned to the LVRR. The return of Coxe Brothers' stock was authorized by the courts with the explicit requirement that quarterly reports concerning the financial condition and conduct of business be submitted to the office of the Attorney General of the United States. The approval of the Attorney General's office was also required before Coxe Brothers could change the terms or execute any new lease. In its petition to the courts the LVRR alluded to the "short prospective life of Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc." This attitude appears to be confirmed upon the latter's return to LVRR control. A memo from C.E. Hildum, Vice President of the LVRR, in June 1943, stated, "Coxe Bros. presumably could use its cash to continue mining operations, either by its own organization or through management agreements, until its working funds were exhausted, or until its operating leases exceeded the Railroad Company profits from the movement of coal."

The LVRR was once again mining for freight, a practice that ultimately brought about a significant decrease in coal royalties for the Heirs of Tench Coxe. In 1943, Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. leased over 19,000 acres of land, 79% of which was leased from the Estate of Tench Coxe. The remaining portions were either owned in fee or leased from the Deringer Estate, LVCC or the Estate of Charles S. Coxe. For the next seven years Coxe Brothers did not operate any of its collieries but was still required to obtain the heirs' consent before subleasing to tenants. The Estate Agents, however, were unhappy with the way Coxe Brothers was managing their property. The agents believed that Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. was mainly interested in obtaining freight for the railroad rather than obtaining the maximum income from the properties.

Coxe Brothers was further criticized for allowing the Haddock Mining Company to operate the Beaver Meadow, Deringer and Tomhicken properties without paying royalties or taxes for a period of nine months. In 1938, an amendment was made to the 1904 lease in which royalties were to be paid to the estate on a profit-sharing basis, with 2/3 of the net income being paid in royalties. The estate was then permitted to employ accountants to examine the records of Coxe Brothers. The accountants found numerous discrepancies in Coxe Brothers' accounts and in February 1949 the Heirs of Tench Coxe filed a lawsuit against Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. to recover $350,000 due them in royalties. The heirs charged that Coxe Brothers took unauthorized deductions in computing their net income, the basis for establishing royalty payments. The lawsuit, however, was just an example of the animosity that existed between the two interests. It eventually became the clear desire of the Estate Agents to eliminate Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. as a "middleman" by canceling the terms of the 1904 lease.

In 1950, the Estate Agent, Daniel M. Coxe, called a meeting of the Coxe heirs to discuss the canceling of their lease with Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. It was agreed by all parties involved that the result of such an action would create considerable savings on overhead and increased royalties to the Estate. As part of the settlement agreement from the lawsuit filed a year earlier the terms of the 1904 lease were canceled. In addition, Coxe Brothers assigned all of its subleases, titles to culm and refuse banks, its fee land, mining equipment, drainage tunnels and miners houses to the Estate of Tench Coxe. Of particular significance in this agreement was the stipulation that all of the maps, leases, surveys, correspondence and records of every nature relating to the property be transferred to the Estate. The ownership of these records were retained by the Estate until 1968 when they were transferred to the Historical Society of Pennsylvania, as a portion of this collection. The courts approved the settlement agreement in July 1950, having the effect of putting Coxe Brothers & Company, Inc. out of business and in line for liquidation. Coxe Brothers was officially dissolved in July of the following year with distribution to its stockholders, the LVRR. The settlement also placed the Coxe family in direct control of its landholdings for the first time in forty-five years.

By 1950, the anthracite industry was a shell of its former self. A deflated market for anthracite led to decreased income for the estate. Under the direction of the agents, new leases were granted to mining operations, including the Jeddo-Highland Coal Company, but finding additional tenants proved to be extremely difficult. Given the state of affairs in the anthracite fields it soon became the clear intention of the Tench Coxe Estate to divest itself of its land holdings.

In 1956, the first major land sale was completed for 2,000 acres, to the Beryllium Corporation of Reading to establish the firm's new Nuclear Division. The land sale trend continued in 1959 with the sale of the Drifton Village and again in 1960 with the sale of Tomhicken. Coal production on estate lands was down to 62,744 tons in 1960 without any hope of future improvements. Facing the prospect that the majority of accessible coal deposits had been exhausted and profitable leases were no longer available, Daniel urged to the heirs to liquidate the real estate of the Estate of Tench Coxe. The large number of individuals, estates and trusts holding an interest in the Tench Coxe Estate, however, made property sales extremely difficult.

With over fifty-seven distributees, representing 108 heirs on two continents, the fractional interests of the estate were getting smaller as the number of heirs multiplied with each generation. To avoid the lengthy task of securing consent from all of the individual family members, the heirs and owners of the Tench Coxe properties executed a trust agreement, which conveyed their authority to sell the family property to a group of trustees, which included Daniel M. Coxe, Eckley B. Coxe, III and Tench C. Coxe, Jr. The trust was organized under the name Tench Coxe Properties Liquidating Trust in December 1961.

Initially, the trust was able to sell only small portions of the property, but nonetheless actively pursued a buyer for the large acreage that remained. The trust liquidated the last remaining portions of the estate lands in 1966, with the sale of 16,400 acres to Butler Enterprises, Inc., owned by the prominent Philadelphia real estate developers, Philip and Nathan Seltzer. Butler Enterprises was drawn to the area due in large part to the efforts of Can-Do, Inc., (Community-Area New Development Organization). This citizen-sponsored organization was established in 1956 with the intention of drawing new industries to the Hazleton region, which Philip Seltzer described as being one of the "great progressive areas of Pennsylvania." Can-Do, Inc. functioned with assistance from the Coxe family, which had a great deal to gain from increasing the vitality of the region.

The assistance was also very much characteristic of the Coxe family's tradition of providing support for the social and economic development of the region. The transfer of title to Butler Enterprises marked the end of an era for the Coxe family, an era spanning over 150 years of direct involvement with the people and geology of the area. An example of this relationship between labor and capital can be seen today at Eckley Miners Village, a historic site representing a nineteenth century company mining town or "patch town." The site is maintained by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, on land once owned by the Estate of Tench Coxe. The family's impact will also continue to be felt at MMI Preparatory School, which continues to benefit from contributions from the Heirs of Tench Coxe and the Sophia Coxe Charitable Trust.

Although the Coxe family has long since left the coalfields of Northeastern Pennsylvania, the potential still exists for the Coxes to return to the region, through the auspices of Tench Coxe, Inc. Established in 1968, this company holds the gas and oil rights to roughly 13,000 acres of property included in the sale to Butler Enterprises. Although the prospect of discovering gas and oil may not be substantial, large domes discovered on the property in the 1950's may prove to be valuable storage sites for natural gas surpluses pumped into the Northeast during summer months. The domes are situated at depths of 18,000 feet, which do not make them economically useful to date.

Source

Coxe Family Mining Papers, Background Notes, Historical Society of Pennsylvania, 2001. (last accessed February 28, 2022, http://www2.hsp.org/collections/coxe/findingaid.html)
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

Historical Society of Pennsylvania

Coxe Family Papers, 1638-1970 (inclusive), 1730-1900 (bulk)

The collection is broken into three major series of papers. They include the Tench Coxe section, 1638, 1776-1824, 1879; the Charles Sidney Coxe, Edward Sidney Coxe, and Alexander Sidney Coxe legal papers section, circ 1810-1879; and Third Party Papers, circa 1722-1815. The Tench Coxe Section is broken down further into four series: Volumes and printed materials; Correspondence and general papers; Essays, addresses and resource material; and Bills and receipts

Coxe Family Mining Papers, 1774-1968

The Coxe family mining papers document the history of what once was the largest independent anthracite coal producer in the United States

The William J. Wilgus Collection, 1915-1916

Documents the valuation conducted by William Wilgus during 1915 and 1916 on land and property either owned or leased by Coxe Brothers and Company, Inc. Coxe Brothers was a company that mined and leased anthracite coal lands in northeastern Pennsylvania.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Tench Coxe Properties through Daniel M. Coxe, Senior Trustee to the Division of Extractive Industries, National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History). The exact date of the acquisition is unknown, but it is presumed to be pre-1978.
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:
Anthracite coal  Search this
Coal mines and mining  Search this
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Company towns  Search this
Mines  Search this
Mining  Search this
Mining equipment  Search this
Genre/Form:
Agreements
Blueprints
Correspondence -- 19th-20th century
Deeds
Drawings -- 19th century
Drawings -- 20th century
Glass plate negatives
Legal documents -- 19th century
Maps
Patents -- 19th century
Photographs
Photographs -- 19th century
Tracings
Citation:
Coxe Brothers Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1002
See more items in:
Coxe Brothers Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8e29ebe7f-2837-4d3e-938e-6f844f019642
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1002
Online Media:

Kenneth M. Swezey Papers

Creator:
Swezey, Kenneth M., 1905-1972 (journalist)  Search this
Sarony, Napoleon, 1821-1896  Search this
Tesla, Nikola, 1856-1943  Search this
Extent:
8.6 Cubic feet (26 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Cabinet photographs
Patents
Date:
1891 - 1988
Summary:
The collection consists of correspondence (both of Nicola Tesla and Kenneth Swezey), copies of patents, articles, pamphlets, brochures, stamps, newsletters, and manuscripts, from 1890-1972 collected and assembled by Swezey.
Scope and Contents:
The Swezey papers are divided into four series: Series 1: Correspondence and Subject Files, Series 2: Tesla Photographs, Series 3: Publications and Series 4: Research Notes. Series 4: Research Notes is housed in a small metal box and contains Swezey's research notes presumably for his incomplete biography of Tesla. Series 1: Correspondence and Subjects Files is arranged alphabetically and is composed of correspondence, copies of patents, articles, pamphlets, brochures, stamps, newsletters and manuscripts. The folders within this series are titled and include a diverse combination of correspondence between Swezey and Tesla, and between Swezey and his colleagues, companies, government officials, museum curators, and Tesla's admirers. Box 19 contains photographs of Tesla, his inventions, his laboratories and personal photographs. Boxes 20-26 include bibliographies, biographies and articles. The collection is strong in articles from magazines such as Electrical Experimentor, newspaper clippings, articles regarding electricity, power, radio, pamphlets, and brochures. The collection generally follows Swezey's arrangement and is somewhat inconsistent in terms of organization. However, the folder titles are fairly specific and should give the researcher direction. The materials within the folders are arranged chronologically. While some photo prints have been placed together in Series 2, there are also a large number of photo prints throughout the collection, according to Swezey's original arrangement. The collection provides an overview of Tesla's unusual personality and Swezey's intense preoccupation with Tesla. The collection also provides insight into Tesla's way of life, philosophies, personality and a general overview of his inventions and how society reacted to this prolific and unusual inventor.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Correspondence and Subject Files, 1891-1988

Series 2: Tesla Photographs, 1983; 1943

Series 3: Publications, 1959-1970

Series 4: Research Notes, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Nikola Tesla (1856-1943) was born in Smiljan, Lika, now Yugoslavia and emigrated to America in 1884. He worked at the Edison Machine Works as a dynamo designer where he was promised a salary of $18.00 a week, with a completion bonus of $50,000. He realized at the end of the year the bonus had been a practical joke and he resigned. By 1887, he accumulated enough money to build a laboratory and start working on models of motors. Shortly thereafter, he developed his famous polyphase, alternating current motor, using an alternating current instead of the direct current used up until this point. Tesla's motor kept "exact step with the rotations of the field, regardless of load; this was the first polyphase synchronous motor." (Science, Swezey, vol. 127 p.1149) The induction motor which he later invented developed a high torque in starting, built up speed, and could maintain speed with varying loads. In 1888, Tesla received his first patents from the U.S. Patent Office. George Westinghouse quickly recognized Tesla's lucrative ideas, and hired him. Westinghouse was awarded the important Niagara Falls Power contract using Tesla's patents for his turbine engine utilizing the polyphase system. After a year, despite his very high salary with Westinghouse, Tesla decided to go back to working in his private lab in New York. He experimented with high frequency currents which led to many discoveries, including the famous Tesla coil the forerunner of fluorescent and neon lighting. At the same time he started delving in the new field of science, telautomatics, now called automation. He built and demonstrated model boats controlled by wireless radio impulses and the first radio controlled torpedo (the forerunner of the guided missile) One of Tesla's dreams was to transmit electric signals all over the world without using wires . In 1899, he began building a demonstration plant for wireless transmission at his Shoreham, Long Island laboratory. Despite never completing the plant due to lack of funds, his vision earned him the name "father of radio". In Tesla's latter years he worked on inventions and ideas which he could not afford to develop and became more eccentric and withdrawn from society. He died January 7, 1943 at the age of 87. Although Tesla was well regarded in his time, he was never revered in this country as he was in Yugoslavia. Most of Tesla's original documents and correspondence are in Belgrade, Yugoslavia at the Nikola Tesla Museum. The Library of Congress Manuscript Division holds 7 reels of microfilm of these materials.

Kenneth M. Swezey (1905-1972) wrote for the New York Sun in his late teens and early twenties. At this time he met and became friends with Nikola Tesla. Swezey regarded him as an unsung electrical genius and collected Tesla materials from 1921-1972. In his capacity as writer for various publications he frequently wrote about Tesla and his scientific advancements. Privately he spent a large part of his time memorializing him, eg. he started the Tesla Society. He also organized anniversary celebrations commemorating Tesla, etc. Swezey also wrote science books, among them: Formulas, Methods, Tips and Data for Home and Workshop, 1969; Science Shows You How, 1964 and After Dinner Science. When Mr. Swezey died in 1972, the Smithsonian Institution acquired his collection. Kenneth Swezey felt that the United States should honor Tesla and spent most of his life trying to memorialize him. He was instrumental in organizing a celebration of Tesla's 75th anniversary with the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, soliciting admiring statements from both individuals and corporations, for the unpublished pamphlet, "Tribute to Nikola Tesla." Some of Mr. Swezey's other Tesla related activities included: forming the Tesla Society, organizing and designing the 100th anniversary celebration, successfully lobbying for the naming of ships, schools, and a unit of measurement after Tesla, and the striking of a stamp commemorating Tesla.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Robert MacCrate, Attorney, Sullivan and Cromwell in 1972.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Series 1: Leland Anderson correspondence, box 2 is restricted by the donor until 2030.
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:
Radio -- History  Search this
Electrical engineering  Search this
Electrical engineers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Cabinet photographs
Patents
Citation:
Kenneth M. Swezey Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0047
See more items in:
Kenneth M. Swezey Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep82f8acf59-7398-45d6-973e-9391f2fde87a
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0047
Online Media:

James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection

Creator:
New York University  Search this
Arthur, James, 1842-1912 (machine shop owner)  Search this
Names:
Jones, Ezekiel  Search this
Extent:
15 Cubic feet (32 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Reports
Sales catalogs
Advertisements
Publications
Clippings
Business records
Inventories
Patents
Manuscripts
Press releases
Date:
1743-1967
Summary:
A collection of diverse archival materials on the subject of watches and clocks assembled by James Arthur (1842-1912).
Scope and Contents note:
These records contain material on the Arthur collection of clocks and watches. Includes publications, inventories, manuscripts, reports, photographs, advertisements, catalogues, newspaper clippings, patents, and business records; correspondence files of NYU curators concerning the administration of the collection; a watch record book of sales of Ezekiel Jones, carried on bookkeeping, 1822 and 1825; and a copy of the Smithsonian-NYU permanent loan agreement, 1964.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 10 series.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1937-1964 (bulk 1950-1957)

Series 2, Subject Files

Series 3, Organizations

Series 4, The Arthur Collection at New York University, 1930-1968

Series 5, Patent Specification (Unprocessed)

Series 6, Horological Pamphlets and Articles, 1743-1947 (Unprocessed)

Series 7, Miscellaneous, 1825-1966 (Unprocessed)

Series 8, Clock Makers Directory, 15 volumes (Unprocessed)

Series 9, Press Clippings about watches and clocks (Unprocessed)

Series 10, Photographs (Unprocessed)
Biographical/Historical note:
James Arthur owned and operated a New York machine shop for patent models. He came to the United States from Scotland in 1871. Fourteen years later he established Arthur Machine Works in New York City for the construction of original and special machinery. He was a skillful, ingenious, highly trained mechanic. While not technically a clockmaker or a watchmaker, he was especially interested in horology and timekeeping devices. From boyhood, clocks and watches were his hobby and he was a discriminating collector.

For more than forty years, he collected watches and clocks from many countries and periods. Arthur was quick to recognize any features of a clock or watch that gave it a distinctive character. His fondness for the fine points of the machinery did not blind him to distinctions of form and beauty in the cases, to originality in the maker, or to the historical significance of the work. He was devoted to the science no less than to the art of timekeeping. Arthur's collection contained some 1,200 watches, 300 clocks, and numerous accessories.
Provenance:
Collection donated by New York University, 1964.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Watches  Search this
Collectors and collecting  Search this
Clocks and watches  Search this
Horology  Search this
Models (Patents)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Reports
Sales catalogs
Advertisements
Publications
Clippings
Business records -- 19th century
Inventories
Patents
Manuscripts -- 19th century
Press releases
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection, 1743-1967, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Lent by New York University.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0130
See more items in:
James Arthur Clock and Watch Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8eb766704-3ca2-4615-835b-c8b334f70231
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0130

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