Scope and Content:
The records of the Bethlehem Steel Archives consist of six subseries, all of which represent synthetic collections created or assembled by the archivist.Vertical File The Vertical File is a collection of newsclippings, tear sheets, and brochures covering the history of Bethlehem Steel and its predecessors along with general historical information on various aspects of the steel and shipbuilding industries. Of particular note are ship lists for most of the Bethlehem ship yards, yard and plant histories, and articles on ships built by Bethlehem. There are broadsides for company clambakes (ca. 1910), from the 1910 Bethlehem steel strike, and work rules from Cambria Steel. Another item of note is a manuscript history of the Electric Boat Company of Bayonne, New Jersey, and Groton, Connecticut, a predecessor of General Dynamics.Manuscript CollectionThe Manuscript Collection is a group of non-Bethlehem items collected by the Archives, most pertaining to the early Pennsylvania iron industry. These include journals from the New Market Forge in Lebanon County and the Warwick Furnace and Forge near Pottstown.Potts-Rutter Papers The most comprehensive manuscript collection is the Potts-Rutter Papers (ca. 1714-1839). These Papers are the record of five generations of one of the most successful families of ironmasters in Colonial Pennsylvania. The numerous descendants of Thomas Rutter (d. 1730) and Thomas Potts, Sr. (1660-1762) frequently intermarried and thus retained control of their business within a small family group until the decline of the charcoal iron industry in the mid-nineteenth century.Thomas Rutter, an English blacksmith who had first settled near Germantown, established his first forge on Manatawny Creek in Berks County in 1716. Around 1720, he also constructed the Colebroo,dale Furnace on nearby Ironstone Creek. Pine Forge followed in 1725. Rutter secured the services of Thomas Potts, Sr., as ironmaster, and he had assumed the active management of the enterprises well before Rutter's death in 1730. The family alliance was cemented by the marriages of each of Potts' three sons. John (1710-1768), Thomas (1720-1762), and David (1722-1762) to Rutter's granddaughters.Thomas Potts (1720-1762), the second son of Thomas Potts, Sr., owned shares in the Mount Pleasant Furnace and Forge on...