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Donaldson Brown papers

1921-1966
 Collection
Identifier: 1334

Abstract

Donaldson Brown (1885-1965) was an industrialist and business executive with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and the General Motors Corporation. These papers relate to Brown's association with GM, and reflect his concern with financial policy, organization and operation, and employee relations. They are especially concerned with the period of World War II. Files from the 1920s and 1930s describe Brown's effort to relate pricing policies to financial control.

Dates

  • 1921-1966

Creator

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Donaldson Brown (1885-1965) was an industrialist and business executive with E.I. du Pont de Nemours and the General Motors Corporation. Brown was the DuPont Company's treasurer from 1918-1921. He was an expert in internal financial procedures. In 1921 when Pierre S. du Pont reorganized GM's Executive Committee and Advisory Staff he nominated Donaldson Brown to head the Financial Staff. Brown was chairman of the GM Finance Committee until his retirement in 1946. From 1937-1946 he served as company vice president.

Scope and Content

The papers relate to Brown's association with General Motors Corporation (GM), and reflect his concern with financial policy, organization and operation, and employee relations. They are especially concerned with the period of World War II. Files from the 1920s and 1930s describe Brown's effort to relate pricing policies to financial control. Papers from the World War II period document the effects that government regulation had on GM There is also correspondence relating to the 1948 antitrust suit which forced the DuPont Company to divest itself of its holdings in GM.

Correspondence with Walter S. Carpenter, Jr. (1926-1940) is chiefly during the period of his presidency of the DuPont Company (1940-1948) and is largely concerned with financial policy. Elements relating to General Motors Corporation affairs (1921-1957) cover the years of Brown's vice presidency, when he was in charge of finance (1921-1937), his chairmanship of the Finance Committee (1937-1946), and as a member of the board of directors.

Subjects covered by the General Motors Corporation files include: pricing policy in relation to financial control, 1923; a report by John Lee Pratt on the Winton Engine Company, 1929; the Michigan bank holiday, 1933, and Brown's role in meeting the emergency with Detroit banks; labor-management relationships during World War II; letter to James F. Byrnes, director of war mobilization, with memorandum on proposed basis for control of prices of manufactured goods during the immediate post-war period, 1944; General Motors Company in relation to "Bigness and Labor", 1934-55; government investigations, 1955; Sloan's story of his association with General Motors Corporation; materials for Brown's personal memoir, SOME REMINISCENCES OF AN INDUSTRIALIST (Privately printed, 1957), 1929-1957; and draft of chapters 1-12 of Alfred P. Sloan's MY YEARS WITH GENERAL MOTORS (New York, 1964).

Papers concerning the Gulf Oil Corporation: exchange of General Motors Corporation stock, 1946-47; incentive compensation plan, 1948; dividend policy; matters concerning financial control, 1948-53; organization, including Broseco Corporation, Brown's holding company, 1948-1954.

Speeches describe Brown's approach to industrial management and labor relations.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research. Litigators may not view the collection without approval.

Use Restrictions

Literary rights retained by Brown's heirs.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

On Deposit.

Related Names

Source

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Donaldson Brown papers
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400