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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
Patents
Scrapbooks
Contracts
Drawings
Articles
Administrative records
Clippings
Books
Photographs
Newsletters
Photograph albums
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.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audio visual materials. Contact the Archives Center at 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:
Electric engineering  Search this
Electric engineers  Search this
Electrical equipment  Search this
Communication -- International cooperation  Search this
Electrical engineers  Search this
Electrical science and technology  Search this
Communications equipment  Search this
Telegraphers  Search this
Telegraph  Search this
Genre/Form:
Patents
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Contracts
Drawings
Articles
Administrative records
Clippings
Books
Photographs -- 19th century
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Specifications
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
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
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0205
Online Media:

Grace Nicholson: Inventories and Clippings

Collection Creator:
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation  Search this
Collection Collector:
Johnson, Frederick, 1904-1994  Search this
Churchill, Frank C. (Frank Carroll), 1850-1912  Search this
Davis, Edward H., b. 1862  Search this
Churchill, Clara G.  Search this
Harrington, M. R. (Mark Raymond), 1882-1971  Search this
Harvey, Byron  Search this
Emmons, George Thornton  Search this
Gridley, Marion E. (Marion Eleanor), 1906-1974  Search this
Wildschut, William  Search this
Stiles, William F., 1912-1980  Search this
Verrill, A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt), 1871-1954  Search this
Skinner, Alanson, 1886-1925  Search this
Waterman, T. T. (Thomas Talbot), 1885-1936  Search this
Harvey, Fred  Search this
Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956  Search this
Lothrop, S. K. (Samuel Kirkland), 1892-1965  Search this
Barrett, S. A. (Samuel Alfred), 1879-1965  Search this
Pepper, George H. (George Hubbard), 1873-1924  Search this
Speck, Frank G. (Frank Gouldsmith), 1881-1950  Search this
Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956  Search this
Collection Director:
Dockstader, Frederick J.  Search this
Heye, George G. (George Gustav), 1874-1957  Search this
Collection Source:
Force, Roland W.  Search this
Burnett, Edwin K.  Search this
Container:
Box 262A, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1928 - 1968
Restrictions:
Image number 011 "Holiday Handcraft" has been removed from the slideshow due to culutral sensitivity.
Collection Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Collection Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation Records, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation records
Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation records / Series 6: Collectors
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmai-ac-001-ref14859
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  • View Grace Nicholson: Inventories and Clippings digital asset number 1

Print, Under the Palisades

Artist:
Cozzens, Frederic Schiller  Search this
Maker:
Charles Scribner's Sons  Search this
Physical Description:
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 14 3/8 in x 20 5/8 in; 36.5125 cm x 52.3875 cm
Object Name:
chromolithograph
Date made:
1884
Subject:
Maritime  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of CIGNA Museum and Art Collection
ID Number:
2005.0279.118
Catalog number:
2005.0279.118
Accession number:
2005.0279
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Maritime
Art
Cigna Maritime Collection
Transportation
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-90b9-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1332310
Online Media:

Katherine Kingsford Panama Canal Photograph Album

Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Kingsford, Katherine  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Place:
Panama Canal (Panama)
Panama
Date:
circa 1904-1914
Summary:
An album of photographs of Panama and the Panama Canal, circa 1904-1914.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of a disbound album of photographs relating to the Panama Canal, including a few construction scenes, vessels traveling through the Canal, urban and rural street scenes, housing, hospital scenes, historic buildings, and people. The three inch by three inch photographic prints are mounted on black album paper and most are badly faded and unidentified. Most of the photographs are informal and have the feel of snapshots taken by an amateur photographer. There are a few larger format photographs. Also included is the Official Handbook of the Panama Council, 1913.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in one series.

Series 1, Photograph Album, circa 1904-1914
Biographical / Historical:
On November 18, 1903, the United States and Panama negotiated the Hay-Bunau-Varilla Treaty, which granted the United States. permission to construct a canal that would join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Construction for the Panama Canal began on May 4, 1904. The large workforce -- at its highest population in 1913 it numbered 44,733 men, not including those sick, on leave, or otherwise absent -- had a great impact on Panama. As there were not enough amenities to accommodate them when they arrived, the workers built entire communities, paved streets, improved communication systems, and installed water and sewage systems. Likewise, the railroad was improved for more efficient transportation of supplies, labor, food, and equipment. Much to the credit of Chief Sanitary Officer Dr. William Crawford Gorgas, yellow fever was completely eradicated on the isthmus and malaria cases greatly reduced. Native villages and towns along the planned construction route were required to relocate.

The first self-propelled, ocean-bound vessel traveled on the canal on January 7, 1914, and the canal was formally opened in August of that year. The Panama Canal construction project was the most expensive construction project in United States history to that date, costing $375,000,000.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

William Currie Photograph Album (AC1043)

John Frances Little Panama Canal Scrapbook (AC0708)

Roland A. McCrady Photograph Collection (AC0710)

Robert Dearborn Panama Canal Photonegatives (AC1111)

W.A. Fishbaugh Panama Canal Photograph Album (AC1021)

Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection (AC0143)

W.P. Stine Panama Canal Papers (AC1039)
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History's Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now Division of Work and Industry) by Katherine Kingsford in1982. It was transferred to the Archives Center in 2007.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Canals -- Panama  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums -- 20th century
Citation:
Katherine Kingsford Panama Canal Photograph Album, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1040
See more items in:
Katherine Kingsford Panama Canal Photograph Album
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1040

Lehigh Valley Railroad Records

Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Company  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
3.25 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Correspondence
Payrolls
Blueprints
Reports
Date:
1882-1936
Summary:
Papers and photographs documenting the Lehigh Valley Railroad.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection consists of papers and photographs relating to the infrastructure of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, including correspondence, blueprints, inspection reports, plat and profile books, and photographs of tracks and bridges.
Biographical/Historical note:
Originally known as the Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad, the Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVRR) competed for the lucrative anthracite coal transport trade in northeastern Pennsylvania. It dominated the industry in eastern Pennsylvania, New York and New Jersey, becoming known as the "Route of the Black Diamond." The Delaware, Lehigh, Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad was first suggested by prominent members of Lehigh and Northampton Counties, and the bill was carried through the legislature by Dr. Jesse Samuel, then a representative from Lehigh County. In August 1847, the necessary certificate to the Governor was signed for the purpose of obtaining a charter of incorporation. The name of the company was changed to Lehigh Valley Railroad Company by an act of assembly on January 7, 1853. Although the railroad did carry passengers, it depended mainly on the transportation of coal as its source of profit. The demise of the coal industry and the rise of auto and air transportation in the 1950s led to its financial ruin and a takeover by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1960. The records were acquired over the course of several years from the main offices of the LVRR.

Source

Historical note courtesy the Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVRR) Company Records Collection MG-274, Pennsylvania State Archives
Related Archival Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

Coxe Brothers Collection (NMAH.AC.1002)

Girard Estate Records (NMAH.AC.1011)

Lehigh Valley Coal Company Records (NMAH.AC.1106)

Materials at Other Organizations

Lehigh Valley Railroad (LVRR) Company Records Collection MG-274, 1849-1962, undated

The bulk of the records are 703 volumes of minutes, reports, journals, ledgers, cash books, company history, records of lands owned by the LVRR, and other records pertaining to everyday operations. Major series include: Minutes of the Board of Directors, 1850-1962 (which, among other things, contain information on accidents); Annual Reports, 1852-1975; Trustee Files, [ca. 1900-1982]; Cash Books, 1855-1952; Ledger, 1853-1955; and Real Estate Department Records, 1878-1951. (For records documenting personnel see Robert Dructor's publication: Guide to Genealogical Sources at the Pennsylvania State Archives, 2nd ed.) Records of Subsidiary Companies, consisting of 1,421 volumes, are organized by transportation companies, 1851-1950, and non-transportation, 1844-1947, then arranged alphabetically by company name. For each company there are minutes and/or financial accounts. Also included are three cubic feet (over five-hundred items) of photographic negatives taken by staff photographers. Subjects include construction of the Claremont Terminal, Jersey City, New Jersey, 1917-1923; ruins of the Morris Canal near Washington, New Jersey; the 1902 Lehigh River flood near Easton; and construction of an unidentified engine and freight-house, probably in Buffalo, 1915.
Provenance:
Original provenance unknown.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs 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:
Railroad bridges  Search this
Railroads -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Railroads -- Maintenance and repair  Search this
Railroads -- Buildings and structures  Search this
Railroad tracks  Search this
Railroad companies -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1920-1940
Correspondence
Payrolls
Blueprints
Reports
Citation:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Records, 1882-1936, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1046
See more items in:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1046

Mountain cut-off construction costs

Collection Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Collection Creator:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Company  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 39
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1887-1892
Collection Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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.
Collection Citation:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Records, 1882-1936, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Lehigh Valley Railroad Records
Lehigh Valley Railroad Records / Series 5: Miscellaneous
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1046-ref586

Robinson and Via Family Papers

Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Names:
Capital Transit Company (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Serenity Farm, Inc.  Search this
Howes, Grace Bourne, ?-1976  Search this
Robinson, Adina Theresa, 1963-  Search this
Robinson, Amanda Baden, 1849-1940  Search this
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Robinson, Frank A., 1883-1970  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., 1841-1905  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., Sr., 1932-  Search this
Robinson, Martha Walls, 1807-1897  Search this
Robinson, Robert David, 1962-  Search this
Robinson, Robert Henry, 1851-1937  Search this
Robinson, Thomas Wells, 1803-1869  Search this
Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1880-1961  Search this
Via, Adina Mae, 1937-1966  Search this
Via, Robert Delano, 1933-  Search this
Via, Robert Milton, 1906-1983  Search this
Creator:
Conner, Mary Robinson, 1930-2009  Search this
Via, Ida Virginia Woods, 1914-2010 -- 20th century  Search this
Extent:
23.1 Cubic feet (70 boxes, 3 map-size folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Photographs
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Place:
Maryland -- Family farms
Washington (D.C.)
Prince George's County (Md.)
Arizona -- Motion pictures
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Date:
1838-2017, undated
bulk 1872-1985
Summary:
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.

The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.

This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.

The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series:

Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated

Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated

Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated

Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated

Subseries 2.2: Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1896-1961, undated

Subseries 2.3: Robinson, Frank A., 1899-1970, undated

Subseries 2.4: Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1841-1976, undated

Subseries 2.5: Conner, Mary Robinson, 1938-1985, undated

Subseries 2.6: Robinson, Franklin A., 1932-1997, undated

Subseries 2.6.1: Farming, 1948-1976, undated

Subseries 2.6.2: Financial, 1948-1988, undated

Subseries 2.6.3: 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA), 1945-1954, undated

Subseries 2.6.4: Travel, 1959-1970, undated

Subseries 2.7: Robinson, Jr., Franklin A., 1959-2001, undated

Series 3: Serenity Farm, Charles County, Maryland, 1962-2000, undated

Series 4: Via Farm, Calvert County, Maryland, 1954-1987, undated

Series 5: Via Family, 1932-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1: Family papers, 1941-1983, undated

Subseries 5.2: Via, Robert M., 1933-1987, undated

Subseries 5.3: Via, Ida Virginia, 1928-2010, undated

Subseries 5.4: Via, Robert D., 1933-1988, undated

Subseries 5.5: Robinson, Adina Via, 1937-1966, undated

Series 6: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.1: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.2: Photographic negatives, 1927--2000, undated

Series 7: AudioVisual, 1943-1988
Biographical / Historical:
Robinson Family

The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))

James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.

James worked as overseer for Benjamin Oden on Oden's estate Bellefields near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three slaves described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)

Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as overseer for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth I. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the churchyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County. In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.

Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).

In addition to his sons, Thomas owned slaves. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six slaves, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)

In April 11, 1855 Thomas excuted a deed of trust to J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore for securing a loan. At that time the farm was described as, "about five hundred and seventy acres . . . also the following personal property to wit Eight head of horses, nine cows, two mules, twelve work oxen, twenty Eight Sheep, one bull, two colts and all other stock of every description now on the aforesaid land, also the farming utensils and the following named Slaves, Stephen aged Sixty three years, Isaac aged twenty six years, Elvia aged twenty Eight years Alfred aged twelve years, Hanson aged ten years, Henrietta aged twelve years Susanna aged eight years, and Margaret aged three years. Together with the crop of Tobacco now in the house and the crop of wheat now growing." (EWB 1 pages 155 156, Land Records of Prince Georges' County)

Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the plantation in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)

In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865. In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)

Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)

Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).

By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.

As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County. Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)

In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.

On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.

At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm. Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.

On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.

The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)

On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)

On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee. Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).

Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.

On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.

On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.

The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of MTGA, the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.

In 1985, R. David began a greenhouse business for the sale of spring flowering bedding plants and hanging baskets but currently works in conjunction with Farming 4 Hunger to grow produce for local area foodbanks. A. Theresa is involved in the daily running of the farm along with Franklin. Franklin, Jr., obtained a BFA degree in Drama from The Catholic University of America in 1981 and an MA from The American University in Film and Video Production in 1988. He was a civilian employee of the United States Air Force (USAF) from November 1981 to January 1986. He pursued a full time career as a professional actor from 1986-2007 and is a published author and produced playwright. The three siblings have been involved in community affairs, with R. David sitting on the Charles County Agricultural Preservation Board, A. Theresa having served on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Parish, Charles County, and Franklin, Jr. having served on the vestries of both Trinity Parish and St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of the Washington Literacy Council, a choir member of the choir at St. Thomas Church, among other church related posts and as chair of the Charles County Historic Preservation Commission.

Via Family

The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.

The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).

Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.

Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).

Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).

After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.

On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction). In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).

On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.

Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.

Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.

Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.

In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.

On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Separated Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.

Division of Armed Forces History (National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Farms -- Maryland  Search this
Holidays  Search this
Amusement parks -- California  Search this
Children's parties  Search this
Rural women  Search this
Sheep ranches  Search this
Parks -- California  Search this
Rural families  Search this
Tobacco -- Harvesting  Search this
Tobacco -- Storage  Search this
Street-railroads  Search this
Street-railroads -- Employees  Search this
Travel  Search this
Urban transportation  Search this
Work and family  Search this
Tobacco curing  Search this
Women in agriculture  Search this
Farm equipment  Search this
Farm buildings  Search this
Family recreation  Search this
Family festivals  Search this
Farm ownership  Search this
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farm management  Search this
Illiterate persons  Search this
Christmas  Search this
Soldiers  Search this
Students  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Family farms  Search this
Easter  Search this
Electric railroads  Search this
Acting -- 1980-2000  Search this
Amateur films  Search this
Agricultural machinery  Search this
Agriculture -- 20th century -- Maryland  Search this
Tobacco farmers  Search this
Housewives -- United States  Search this
Weddings  Search this
Farmers  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Photographs -- 19th century
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0475
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0475
Online Media:

Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records

Creator:
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company  Search this
Names:
Anthracite Water Company  Search this
Extent:
17 Cubic feet (51 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Reports
Circular letters
Letterpress copybooks
Place:
Shamokin (Pa.)
Reading (Pa.)
Pennsylvania -- Anthracite coal industry
Pottsville (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Ashland (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Mahanoy City (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Schuylkill River (Pa.) -- Anthracite coal industry
Date:
1866-1927
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately seventeen cubic feet of records of the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company, dating from the period 1866-1927. The bulk of the collection comprises 124 letterpress copybooks from the company's Engineering Department. These contain letters and reports sent by engineers located at the major centers of the company's operations in the Schuylkill coal field — Ashland, Mahanoy City, Pottsville, and Shamokin. They also include the Chief Engineer, the Assistant Engineer, division engineers, resident engineers, associate engineers, mining engineers and their assistants, and transitmen. Among these were George S. Clemens, Joseph B. Garner, John R. Hoffman, James F. Jones, Henry M. Luther, Roland C. Luther, Henry Pleasants, John H. Pollard, John H. Strauch, and S. B. Whiting.

Their letterpress copybooks reflect the evolving organization of the Engineering Department, as job titles were changed and individuals were promoted or transferred from one post to another. The copybooks either accompanied the man when he took up a new post or remained in the office, where they were used by his successors. The copybooks in this collection have been arranged into series by person and position. Several additional volumes have been placed in a series of miscellaneous records at the end of the collection.

The correspondence in these volumes deals with all aspects of mining construction and operations, engineering personnel matters, and coordination with the Railroad for the shipment of coal, as well as periodic reports of operations and wagon accounts detailing how much coal had been shipped. Also included is correspondence relating to the formation and operation of the Schuylkill Coal Exchange Committee, which was set up to ease competition among the railroads in the Schuylkill region.

The collection also includes eight letterpress copybooks kept by S. B. Whiting while he was General Manager and General Superintendent of the company (1882-ca. 1888) . Whiting also kept letterbooks in which he pasted letters received from his superiors: Series 1 of the collection consists of two volumes of letters received (1879-1883) from Franklin B. Gowen, President, and one volume of letters received (1881-1884) from George DeB. Keim, General Solicitor and Vice President. In addition, there are eight letterpress copybooks kept by Roland C. Luther during his tenure as General Superintendent (ca. 1888-1902) and one volume from his tenure as the company's Second Vice President (1903-1905) . Also included is a volume of printed circular letters from both the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad and from the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company (1874-1887), which is located in Series 16.

Of additional interest is the inclusion of letters relating to the operation of the Anthracite Water Company among the letterpress copybooks of George S. Clemens, who served as that company's manager in the 1910s. In addition, several of the circular letters pertain directly to the 1888 anthracite coal strike.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 16 series.

Series 1: Letters received, S. B. Whiting, 1881-1883

Series 2: George S. Clemens, Shamokin, Ashland, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1875-1921

Series 3: Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1866-1881

Series 4: John H. Pollard, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1881-1905

Series 5: John H. Pollard, T. R. Spinney, and Joseph Garner, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1888-1911

Series 6: John H. Pollard and T. B. Van Buren, Ashland and Mahanoy City, 1902-1913

Series 7: Division Engineer, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1902-1927

Series 8: Henry M. Luther and John H. Pollard, Ashland, Pennsylvania, 1881-1905

Series 9: Joseph S. Harris, Pottsville, 1871-1877

Series 10: J. Price Wetherill, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1879-1881

Series 11: James F. Jones and Roland C. Luther, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1881-1891

Series 12: John R. Hoffman and Roland C. Luther, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1883-1909

Series 13: Henry Pleasants and S. B. Whiting, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1874-1880

Series 14: S. B. Whiting and Roland C. Luther, Pottsville and Reading, Pennsylvania, 1877-1905

Series 15: George A. Brooke and John H. Strauch, Pottsville, Pennsylvania, 1879-1909

Series 16: Miscellaneous Records, 1873-1987
Biographical / Historical:
The Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. was organized in order to ensure its parent company, the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, a dominant position in the transportation of anthracite coal from the Schuylkill fields of eastern Pennsylvania. For thirty years after its incorporation in 1833, the Philadelphia & Reading had been the main carrier of coal from this region, shipping anthracite coal from independently owned mines to Philadelphia. By the mid-1860s, however, the company faced increasing competition from other railroads as well as interruptions in supply due to miners' strikes. In response, Franklin B. Gowen, President of the Philadelphia & Reading, decided to gain control of enough coal acreage to ensure the company's survival. However, since it was illegal for railroads to directly own coal fields or operate mines in Pennsylvania, the company had to organize a separate company for the purpose. Accordingly, the Laurel Run Improvement Company was incorporated in May 1871. By taking advantage of a loophole in the Laurel Run company's charter, the Philadelphia & Reading purchased it in November 1871, and thus circumvented the legal restrictions on railroad ownership of coal lands. The newly-acquired company was renamed the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Company in December 1871.

The company quickly acquired coal lands: by 1872, 80,000 acres had been purchased; by 1874, almost 100,000 acres - approximately one-third of the entire Schuylkill coal field. Originally, the company did not intend to mine coal itself; rather, it would rent the collieries it had acquired to independent operators, with the stipulation that the end product must be shipped over the Philadelphia & Reading railroad's lines. Unfortunately, this arrangement did not prove to be either practical or profitable and the company had to take direct control of its mining operations. Despite this step, however, the Coal & Iron Company continued to be unprofitable. In 1913 the United States government brought suit against the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad under the Sherman Anti-Trust Act, claiming that its ownership of both the Coal & Iron Company and the Railroad were a monopoly of trade. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled against the railroad in 1920. Under the terms of an agreement worked out by the Court, in December 1923, the Philadelphia & Reading transferred its interests in the Coal & Iron Company to a new company formed for the purpose — the Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Corporation.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work & Industry has a collection of photographs from the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company, 1866-1927.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware The bulk of the surviving records of the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company and its parent company, the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad Company.
Provenance:
These records were obtained by the National Museum of American History sometime prior to 1978. They were transferred from the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources to the Archives Center in July 1989. An additional thirty-five volumes were transferred to the Archives Center in July 1996.
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. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Anthracite coal industry  Search this
Coal -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Coal mines and mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Anthracite Coal Strike, Pa., 1902  Search this
Engineers  Search this
Engineering  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Reports
Circular letters
Letterpress copybooks
Citation:
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records, 1866-1927, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0282
See more items in:
Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0282
Online Media:

The Crisis, Vol. 3, No. 5

Edited by:
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963  Search this
Subject of:
The Crisis, American, founded 1910  Search this
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American, founded 1909  Search this
Illustrated by:
John Henry Adams Jr., American, 1880 - 1944  Search this
Written by:
Jessie Redmon Fauset, American, 1882 - 1961  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper with metal
Dimensions:
H x W: 9 3/4 × 6 3/4 in. (24.8 × 17.1 cm)
H x W (Open): 9 3/4 × 13 1/2 in. (24.8 × 34.3 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place printed:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
March 1912
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Civil Rights  Search this
Education  Search this
Housing  Search this
Literature  Search this
Lynching  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Social reform  Search this
Theatre  Search this
Theatre companies  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2015.97.14.3
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Movement:
Anti-Lynching Movement
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5aa371455-85aa-4302-9581-84d672800cb6
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2015.97.14.3
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The Crisis, Vol. 5, No. 6

Edited by:
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963  Search this
Subject of:
The Crisis, American, founded 1910  Search this
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American, founded 1909  Search this
Written by:
Jacob Riis, Danish American, 1849 - 1914  Search this
Harry H. Pace, American, 1884 - 1943  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper with metal
Dimensions:
H x W: 9 3/4 × 6 7/8 in. (24.8 × 17.5 cm)
H x W (Open): 9 3/4 × 13 5/8 in. (24.8 × 34.6 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place printed:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
Kowaliga, Elmore County, Alabama, United States, North and Central America
Date:
April 1913
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Civil Rights  Search this
Communities  Search this
Education  Search this
Holidays and festivals  Search this
Labor  Search this
Literature  Search this
Lynching  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Social reform  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2015.97.14.6
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd513428f29-a86f-468e-9c50-8590967dd829
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2015.97.14.6
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The Crisis, Vol. 7, No. 2

Edited by:
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963  Search this
Subject of:
The Crisis, American, founded 1910  Search this
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American, founded 1909  Search this
Written by:
James D. Corrothers, American, 1869 - 1917  Search this
Fenton Johnson, American, 1888 - 1958  Search this
Photograph by:
W. L. Brockman  Search this
Grace Moseley  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper with metal
Dimensions:
H x W: 9 3/4 × 6 3/4 in. (24.8 × 17.1 cm)
H x W (Open): 9 3/4 × 13 1/2 in. (24.8 × 34.3 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place printed:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
December 1913
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Civil Rights  Search this
Education  Search this
Holidays and festivals  Search this
Literature  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Poetry  Search this
Race relations  Search this
Religion  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Social reform  Search this
U.S. History, 1865-1921  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2015.97.14.9
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5f9626c39-165e-461e-b0ba-85bd6f6c2261
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2015.97.14.9
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Twelve Years A Slave

Written by:
Solomon Northup, American, 1808 - 1875  Search this
Published by:
Derby and Miller, American, 1848 - 1853  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper with gold, cloth, and cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W x D (Closed): 7 3/4 × 5 1/2 × 1 5/16 in. (19.7 × 14 × 3.4 cm)
H x W x D (Open): 7 3/4 × 11 1/2 × 4 1/8 in. (19.7 × 29.2 × 10.5 cm)
H x W x D (open at 90 degrees): 7 3/4 × 6 × 6 1/4 in. (19.7 × 15.2 × 15.9 cm)
H x W x D (open at 60 degrees): 7 3/4 × 5 3/4 × 5 3/4 in. (19.7 × 14.6 × 14.6 cm)
Type:
narratives
hardcover books
Place printed:
Auburn, Cuyahoga County, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
New Orleans, Orleans Parish, Louisiana, United States, North and Central America
Washington, District of Columbia, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1853
Topic:
African American  Search this
American South  Search this
Antislavery  Search this
Domestic slave trade  Search this
Free communities of color  Search this
Law  Search this
Literature  Search this
U.S. History, 1815-1861  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2014.262
Restrictions & Rights:
Public Domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Slavery and Freedom Objects
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Movement:
Abolitionist movement
Exhibition:
Slavery and Freedom
On View:
NMAAHC (1400 Constitution Ave NW), National Mall Location, Concourse 3, C3 053
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd537167978-c6a5-4b5c-8aad-8b8ccdd82f33
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2014.262
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Colonel John Stevens' 1825 Experimental Locomotive Model

Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 16 1/4 in x 10 1/2 in x 24 1/4 in; 41.275 cm x 26.67 cm x 61.595 cm
Object Name:
model, locomotive
Place made:
United States: District of Columbia, Washington
Date made:
1898
ID Number:
2017.3011.01
Catalog number:
2017.3011.01
Accession number:
2017.3011
See more items in:
America on the Move
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b2-7991-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1827972

Cross section of Pennsylvania R.R. tubes under the Hudson River, showing concrete flooring. [Active no. 11410 : non-stereo photonegative.]

Topic:
NEW JERSEY
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Names:
Pennsylvania Railroad.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (4" x 5".)
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Hudson River
Jersey City (N.J.)
New Jersey
Local Numbers:
RSN 15088

Video number 14475
General:
Company catalog card included.
Similar to RSN 27861
Currently stored in box 3.1.41 [16].
Orig. no. 105
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Construction -- New Jersey  Search this
Railroads -- New Jersey  Search this
Tunnels -- New Jersey  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.1: Underwood and Underwood Negatives / RSN Numbers 15045-15134
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref11624

Steam shovel and tripod drills deepening canal prism in 70-ft. berm, Culebra Cut (W). 1913 stage--canal excavations. 11479 photonegative

Topic:
PANAMA CANAL & ZONE TOUR
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (4" x 5")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Culebra Cut (Panama)
Panama
Panama Canal (Panama)
Date:
1913
Local Numbers:
RSN 15157

Video number 14544
General:
Company catalog card included.
Similar to RSN 15158 and 24642.
Currently stored in box 3.1.41 [16].
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Canals -- Panama  Search this
Construction -- Panama  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Panama  Search this
Railroads -- Panama  Search this
Steam shovels -- Panama  Search this
Trains -- Panama  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.1: Underwood and Underwood Negatives / RSN Numbers 15135-15239
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref11693

Steam shovel and tripod drills deepening canal prism in 70-ft. berm, Culebra Cut (W). 1913 stage--canal excavations. 11479 photonegative

Topic:
PANAMA CANAL & ZONE TOUR
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (5" x 8")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Place:
Culebra Cut (Panama)
Panama
Panama Canal (Panama)
Date:
1913
Local Numbers:
RSN 15158

Video number 14545
General:
Company catalog card included.
Similar to RSN 15157 and 24642.
Currently stored in box 3.1.41 [16].
Copy and Version Identification Note:
157244
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Canals -- Panama  Search this
Construction -- Panama  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Panama  Search this
Railroads -- Panama  Search this
Steam shovels -- Panama  Search this
Trains -- Panama  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.1: Underwood and Underwood Negatives / RSN Numbers 15135-15239
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref11694

Lookikng south from Obispo toward Las Cascadas, over finished canal. 1913 stage--completed canal and locks before letting in water. 11480 photonegative

Topic:
PANAMA CANAL & ZONE TOUR
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (4" x 5")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Las Cascadas (Panama)
Obispo (Panama Canal Zone)
Panama
Panama Canal (Panama)
Date:
1913
Local Numbers:
RSN 15159

Video number 14546
General:
Company catalog card included.
Similar to RSN 15191 and 24643.
Currently stored in box 3.1.41 [16].
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Canals -- Panama  Search this
Construction -- Panama  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Panama  Search this
Laborers -- Panama  Search this
Railroads -- Panama  Search this
Trains -- Panama  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.1: Underwood and Underwood Negatives / RSN Numbers 15135-15239
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref11695

Spanish laborers at work in Culebra Cut and loaded train hauling dirt from canal. 11525 photonegative

Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (5" x 8")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Place:
Culebra Cut (Panama)
Panama
Panama Canal (Panama)
Date:
1913
Local Numbers:
RSN 15238

Video number 14624
General:
Company catalog card included.
Similar to RSN 24663.
Currently stored in box 3.1.42 [40].
Copy and Version Identification Note:
157245
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Canals -- Panama  Search this
Construction -- Panama  Search this
Laborers -- Panama  Search this
Railroads -- Panama  Search this
Trains -- Panama  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.1: Underwood and Underwood Negatives / RSN Numbers 15135-15239
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref11774

[Construction materials.] 25871 photonegative

Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (5" x 8")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Local Numbers:
RSN 17247
General:
Company catalog card included.
Currently stored in box 3.1.62 [73].
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Bridges  Search this
Architecture  Search this
Railroads  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.1: Underwood and Underwood Negatives / RSN Numbers 17205-17290
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref13681

The Cut at Obispo, where the canal begins at the east end of Lake Bohio. 11517 interpositive

Topic:
PANAMA CANAL
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
H.C. White Co.  Search this
Photographer:
Wallace  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (3 3/4" x 7")
Type:
Archival materials
Landscapes (representations)
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Place:
Bohio Lake (Panama)
Obispo Cut (Panama Canal Zone)
Panama
Date:
1906
Local Numbers:
RSN 642

Video number 05713
General:
Similar to RSN 1845.
Currently stored in box 1.2.6 [24].
Collection Restrictions:
The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment.
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:
Canals -- Panama  Search this
Construction -- Panama  Search this
Railroads -- Panama  Search this
Genre/Form:
Landscapes (representations)
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Interpositives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 1: H. C. White glass plates / 1.1: H.C. White Negatives / RSN Numbers 680-773
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref16060

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