Charles M. Schwab Memorial Library
Part of collection: Bethlehem Steel Corporation records (1699)
- From the Record Group: Creation: 1714-1977
Scope and Content
Hagley's holdings of Schwab Library material are divided among the Vertical File, Manuscripts, Publications and Microfilm.
The Vertical File (15.5 cubic feet) is that part of a much larger file that deals directly with the history of Bethlehem Steel and the iron and steel industries. The file consists of equal parts of news clippings, photostats, and tear sheets of trade journal articles: historical articles from scholarly journals and historical society publications; and public and internal Bethlehem reports.
Of particular interest are a series of internal plant histories, data on Bethlehem's corporate family tree, and plant and product brochures. There is a series of reports, articles, and brochures on some of the large bridges built by Bethlehem and McClintic-Marshall, and also on the Holland Tunnel and Grand Coulee Dam. Other files contain brochures and mailings on the bonus controversy of 1931, the government armor plant project of 1916, the Employee Representation Plan, and the management training "Loop Course." There are also clippings on strikes, and copies of work rules and notices from Schwab's tenure with the Carnegie Steel Company. There are historical articles on early iron and steel works in the United States and Great Britain, including the Saugus Iron Works restoration, and obituaries and biographical sketches of persons associated with Bethlehem and its predecessors.
As might be expected, a large portion of the Vertical File is devoted to the life of Charles M. Schwab, including copies of his writings and speeches, cartoons, and obituaries. There is a collection of menus for testimonial dinners that Schwab attended, some autographed with the names of other famous guests. There is a similar, but smaller, collection pertaining to Eugene Grace.
The Schwab Library Manuscripts consist of typescript histories of Bethlehem, a small body of non-Bethlehem original manuscripts collected by or donated to the Schwab Library.
The most important item is the "Notes on Mr. Charles M. Schwab's Life," prepared by Sidney B. Whipple around 1936. Whipple, a writer for the New York World-Telegram, interviewed Schwab in 1935 for the purpose of collecting notes for a biography to be written at an unspecified time in the future. Whipple violated the terms of his arrangement by starting to write the biography himself and revealing some of the information he had collected through articles in his newspaper. Whipple was fired, and the notes and biographical manuscript were confiscated. The biography has since disappeared. In the absence of any large body of Schwab's papers, the Whipple Notes are the major source for studying Schwab's life and career. They include Schwab's evaluations of his contemporaries and contain transcriptions of some original documents now lost.
Among the other Bethlehem items are a "Review of the Commercial and Manufacturing Development of Bethlehem Steel Company," which describes the growth of the company's physical plant to 1940, and a course of lectures on steelmaking used for management training. The most important non-Bethlehem item is a bound memoir of Sidney Gilchrist Thomas. The Publications are primarily employee magazines from various Bethlehem plants. Additional issues and titles can be found in the Published Collections Department. There is also a run of annual reports of the United States Steel Corporation.
The Schwab Library Microfilm includes documents relating to Charles M. Schwab. A number of the individual items are also available in hard copy and are filed either in the "Schwab" section of the Vertical File or under Schwab's name in the Executive Office Records. The microfilm includes the first volume of the Whipple Notes, some of the dinner menus, Schwab's diaries for 1920-1921 and 1937, and a photo album of Schwab's New York mansion.
From the Record Group: 75 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
This collection is open for research.
- Schwab, Charles M., 1862-1939 (Person)
- From the Collection: Bethlehem Steel Corporation (Organization)