National Industrial Distributors' Association (NIDA) records1890-2003
The National Industrial Distributors Association (NIDA) was a trade organization representing wholesalers of industrial supplies and hardware that attempted to address some of the problems which stemmed from their relationship with manufacturers, whom they accused of excessive price cutting and attempting to deal directly with retailers. The National Industrial Distributors Association was created in 1905 with thirty-eight members. The records briefly document the history, goals, legal issues, and governmental impact on professional associations of companies which manufacture, supply, and distribute the nation's goods and materials.
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The National Industrial Distributors Association (NIDA) was a trade organization representing wholesalers of industrial supplies and hardware that attempted to address some of the problems which stemmed from their relationship with manufacturers, whom they accused of excessive price cutting and attempting to deal directly with retailers. The National Industrial Distributors Association was created in 1905 with thirty-eight members.
Two years prior, the Southern Industrial Distributors Association was established. At first separately, later jointly, these two organizations considered issues such as the value of education relevant to the industries, new tools, pricing, the impact of fair trade laws, competition, and other topical concerns.
Recognizing the political and commercial success of SIDA and NIDA, suppliers formed their own association, also in 1905, for similar purposes. Manufacturers followed and joined the suppliers to form the American Supply & Machinery Manufacturers Association (ASMMA).
The New Deal's National Recovery Act was designed to bring about economic recovery by countering the general deflation, which many economists believed was responsible for the Depression. The NRA thus recognized that the distributors could play a significant role in keeping prices at a stable level. The NRA thus recognized the National Industrial Distributors Association, and its codes received the stamp of the "Blue Eagle."
During World War II, distributors played an important role in the Lend-Lease program and, later, indirect war production. The War Production Boards thus gave distributors priority status.
The distributors' association continued to prosper in the 1950s and early 1960s. However, when inflation became a problem in the 1970s, much of the New Deal legislation was repealed. The Wright-Patman law, which exempted distributors from the Sherman Antitrust Act, was repealed in 1978, and this was a severe blow to the NIDA.
In 2004 two trade associations merged to form the Industrial Supply Association. These associations were the Industrial Distribution Association (IDA) and the Industrial Supply Manufacturers Association (ISMA), both of which were formed from several earlier mergers.
Today, the Industrial Supply Association maintains its past goals and has added additional services for the membership of trade associations. The organization has added lobbying, health care education, analysis of small business legislation, lobbying, excellent communication among all associations, the introduction of new products, and education for the use of new technologies.
The records are arranged in six series:
Series I Distribution Associations
Series II: Supply Associations
Series III: Association Partnerships
Series IV. Wholesalers' Associations
Series V: Industrial Legal Concerns
Series VI: General Information
Records are arranged chronologically within each series, and in each select group within each series.
Scope and Content
The records briefly document the history and growth of several of the oldest trade associations in the nation. Board minutes, membership lists, convention programs, aids for better management and salesmanship, accounts of legal issues, education for personal safety, and incentives of membership, all of which describe the commitment that associations demonstrated for generations of suppliers, manufacturers, and distributors.
The National Industrial Distributors Association records include proceedings of the first annual convention (1906) and executive committee minutes (1918 and 1928). Annual financial reports on members' operations (1920-1946) trace the profitability of member firms. NRA code authority binders document New Deal efforts to exempt distributors from the antitrust laws so that the Association could play a role in raising prices as part of the recovery effort. Minutes of the Modern Methods Committee document the efforts of the Association to bring modern management techniques to its members during the 1950s and early 1960s. The collection also includes newsletters and Association form letters that the NIDA staff used to communicate with its membership.
Language of Materials
The records were presented as a gift by the Industrial Distributors' Association in December 2004.
National Industrial Distributors' Association (NIDA) videos (Accession 2021.220), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- National Industrial Distributors' Association (NIDA) records
- Dave Burdash
- Description rules:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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- 2021: Laurie Sather