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American Iron and Steel Institute (AI&SI) records

Accession: 1631

The records of the American Iron and Steel Institute and its predecessors provide an overview of the American iron and steel industries from their roots in the mid-eighteenth century to the early 1980s. The bulk of the archive consists of the Institute's library. Most of the Institute's own publications, plus a large collection of steel industry annual reports, are cataloged individually and stored in the general Imprints Department stacks.

Dates: 1872-1985; Majority of material found within 1908-1975

American Iron and Steel Institute photographs and audiovisual materials

Accession: 1986-268

The American Iron and Steel Institute is a trade association of North American steel producers. The group’s mission includes advocating for public policy, education and innovation for the Iron and Steel Industry. The Institute was established under the leadership of Elbert H. Gary (1846-1927) in 1908, after the Panic of 1907 brought an end to industry-wide consolidations. This collection consists of photographs, research notes, audio, film, and video which document the history of the steel industry. The images cover the entire scope of the steel industry from basic raw materials through the multiple aspects of steelmaking. In addition to images documenting the technical aspects of steel production, there are photographs showing steel in use. These include a variety of industrial and consumer applications and images related to the steel industry and environmental issues. The Albert T. Keller (1869-1940) photographs depict the sites or remains of early ironworks primarily in the mid-Atlantic states and New England states during the 1930s and there are over fifty blast furnace complexes pictured. The Walter C. Woodman (1903-1979) photographs and research notes document the history of iron furnaces and Saugus Iron Works becoming a national historic landmark.

Dates: 1851-1980

Betts & Seal records

Accession: 2179

Betts & Seal was an iron foundry in Wilmington, Delaware that operated under that name from 1857 to 1867, but was established in 1828. The Betts family of Wilmington, Delaware, produced three generations of innovative founders and machinists. The records of Betts & Seal cover the operation of the foundry from 1828 to 1867. The result is a rare time-capsule look at the workings of a small but innovative foundry during the first phase of American industrialization.

Dates: 1828-1867

Brandywine Iron Works and Nail Factory correspondence

Accession: 2674

A small body of letters and fragments recovered from the Graystone mansion property at Coatesville, Pennsylvania, relating to the Brandywine Iron Works and Nail Factory during the time when Rebecca Webb Pennock Lukens (1794-1854) was proprietor after the death of her husband.

Dates: 1813-1871; Majority of material found in 1834

Clement S. Brinton collection on the early iron industry

Accession: 0692

Clement S. Brinton (1875-1963) was a trained chemist who spent his entire career with the Food & Drug Administration designing and directing food inspection laboratories in the Philadelphia area. Brinton was also a local amateur historian and was particularly interested in the history of the eighteenth- and nineteenth-century iron industry. The Brinton Collection is a useful source on the early iron industry in the northeastern states. The materials are, in many cases, not unique, including such items as postcards, newspaper clippings, souvenir booklets and brochures, and extracts from published articles. The collection focuses on old iron works in New Jersey, southeastern Pennsylvania, and northeastern Maryland.

Dates: 1889-1957

Cooper & Hewitt records

Accession: 1754

Cooper & Hewitt partners were iron businessmen who purchased ironworks, property, and iron mines. In 1845, a rolling mill complex was incorporated as the Trenton Iron Company, and in 1847 iron mines at Andover, New Jersey, were purchased. The records consist of two payroll sheets from 1848, as well as eighty-two inbound letters, mostly from 1849 to 1850. The letters are primarily operating reports from the superintendent of the Andover mine.

Dates: 1848-1870

Cyrus J. Sharer research files on the iron ore and steel industries

Accession: 2183

This collection represents materials collected by Cyrus J. Sharer for his research on the iron and steel industry and particularly the world iron ore trade. The main emphasis is on the iron ore trade of the Great Lakes. The period covered, mid-1960s to mid-1980s, was one of crisis and reorganization in the American steel industry and in the lake ore trade, and this is reflected in the records.

Dates: 1943-1987

David Thomas papers

Accession: 2023

David Thomas (1794-1882) was a Pennsylvania iron manufacturer who introduced into the United States the use of anthracite coal in the manufacture of pig iron. The papers consist of twenty-eight letters received by Thomas between May 1839 and 1842. They contain important new information on one of the textbook examples of nineteenth century technology transfer.

Dates: 1839-1843

David Thomas papers

Accession: 2197

David Thomas (1794-1882) was a Pennsylvania iron manufacturer who introduced into the United States the use of anthracite coal in the manufacture of pig iron. The papers consist of typed transcripts twelve letters, the bulk of which were sent by David Thomas to his niece, Jane Harris Bowen, and nephew, David Harris, in Wales. The letters deal primarily with family news, but Thomas also writes about general business conditions, the level of prices and wages and the Civil War.

Dates: 1862-1872

Edge Moor Iron Company records

Accession: 1064

The Edge Moor Iron Company engaged in the manufacture of iron and steel bridges at a plant located on the Delaware River north of Wilmington. The collection is comprised of a limited selection of documents, primarily connected to the liquidation of the company in 1936. It includes plant and property maps, clippings, and deeds and titles covering the property.

Dates: 1774-1941

Empire Steel & Iron Company Records

Accession: 2285

The records consist of photocopies of miscellaneous documents of the Empire Steel and Iron Company, the originals of which are in the possession of the National Canal Museum at Easton, Pa. Most of them seem to have come from the Mount Hope site. There is another small collection of miscellaneous materials from the field office of the Mount Hope Mine at the New Jersey Historical Society.

Dates: 1857-1991; bulk 1903-1918

Erie City Iron Works records

Accession: 0905

The Erie City Iron Works was founded by Pennsylvania capitalist Bethuel Boyd Vincent (1803-1876) as the Presque Isle Foundry in 1840. The Works was a major manufacturer of boilers, stationary and portable engines and machinery for sawmills and steam riveting as well as railroad freight and passenger cars. Their records are largely comprised of accounting records.

Dates: 1864-1937

Erie City Iron Works technical illustrations

Accession: 1973-419

The Erie City Iron Works in Erie, Pennsylvania, was a major manufacturer of boilers, stationary and portable engines, and machinery for sawmills and steam riveting. The collection consists of technical diagrams of engines.

Dates: circa 1912-1924

Frederick W. Wood papers

Accession: 0884

Frederick William Wood (1857-1943) was an executive and engineer in the steel and shipbuilding industries. His papers constitute a major source on the history of the American steel industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The papers are primarily official records of the various companies with which Wood was associated.

Dates: 1867-1943

Frederick W. Wood photographs

Accession: 1975-330

Frederick William Wood (1857-1943) was an executive and engineer in the steel and shipbuilding industries. The Frederick W. Wood photographs document the career of Frederick W. Wood in the steel and shipbuilding industries, most notably his time working for Pennsylvania Steel Company at Steelton, Pennsylvania, Maryland Steel Company and Bethlehem Steel Company at Sparrows Point, Maryland, and the American International Shipbuilding Corporation at Hog Island Shipyard, located in Pennsylvania on the Delaware River. Researchers interested in the steel and iron industries, the shipbuilding industry, company towns, and the regional history of the greater Philadelphia and Baltimore areas would find this collection useful.

Dates: 1880-1949

George Atwell Richardson papers

Accession: 1230

George A. Richardson (1886-1976) was an engineer with an expertise in metallurgy. He spent his career primarily involved in technical publicity and sales for major steel manufacturers such as the Midvale Steel & Ordnance Company and the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The papers consist primarily of materials collected by Richardson during the performance of his official duties with the steel companies, in preparing technical lectures and papers, and in teaching courses in metallurgy.

Dates: 1923-1948

Grubb family business records

Accession: 1948

The Grubb family were ironmasters in Lancaster, York, and Dauphin Counties, Pennsylvania, for a period of over 150 years. The records include account books and letters relating to the family's various iron enterprises, including the Codorus, Mananda, Mount Hope, Mount Vernon, and Henry Clay.

Dates: 1818-1854

Harvey family papers

Accession: 1211

Thomas William Harvey (1795-1854) was an important inventor in the arts of metalworking and metallurgy. The Harvey family papers primarily relate to Thomas William Harvey and his magnetic experiments. It also includes a biography written by his great-grandson Thomas W. Harvey (1884-1965), articles of association of the Harvey Galvanic Company, and two account books of the Harvey Electro Magnetic Company.

Dates: 1839-1940

Henry family papers

Accession: 1209

The Henry family were armsmakers who operated a family gun manufactory in eastern Pennsylvania for five generations. The records of the Henry family document the line leading from the first William to Granville, with some records of William, III. The main body of records deals with the operation of the Boulton Gun Works, its predecessor operation at Nazareth and the associated gun shop and store in Philadelphia.

Dates: 1758-1909

Huston-Lukens family papers

Accession: 1441

Stewart Huston (1898-1971) began his career as a metallurgist and worked in varying capacities in the family business, Lukens Steel Company, in Coatesville, Pennsylvania, from 1923 until his death. Assembled by Huston, the collection relates to genealogy and family history.

Dates: 1718-1971

John Elgar letter to Charles Lukens

Accession: 1366

John Elgar was a Quaker master mechanic employed in the York, Pa., foundry of Phineas Davis, Israel Gartner and James Webb. The letter is an order for sheet iron used to build the hull of the steamboat Codorus.

Dates: 1825 March 31

John J. Beer papers

Accession: 2279

John Joseph Beer (1927-) was a professor of the history of science and chemistry at the University of Delaware until his retirement in 1992. Beer played a major role in developing the university’s program in the history of technology and the Hagley Fellowship Program. The bulk of the papers consists of correspondence, notes, research materials, and drafts for a projected book or article on "Russia iron," a highly finished, wear-resistant iron produced in Russia during the nineteenth century.

Dates: 1835-1991; Majority of material found within 1961-1991

John Pott business records

Accession: 1120

His business records consist of four time and board books and one day book from the Greenwood Iron Works and a single day book from the District Forge.

Dates: 1799-1828

Katherine Wooten biographical sketch of Stephen Onion

Accession: 0475

Stephen Onion (d. 1754) was an important ironmaster in the Chesapeake colonies during the early 18th century. The document is a three-page biographical sketch of Stephen Onion, copied from more extensive genealogical notes. The sketch includes several quotations from Onion's letters, which are not otherwise identified.

Dates: 1964

Lukens Steel Company records

Accession: 0050

Lukens Steel Company was a medium-sized producer of specialty steel products and one of the top three U.S. producers of steel plate. The Lukens Steel Company records documents all aspects of the business from the early nineteenth century through the 1970s.

Dates: 1798-1993

Martha Furnace daybook/diary

Accession: 0339

Martha Furnace was an iron plantation built in 1793 by the Pennsylvania ironmaster Isaac Potts (1750-1803) on a branch of the Wading River two miles above Harrisville in eastern Burlington County, New Jersey. The volume is a combined daybook and diary, containing a comprehensive account of the operation of a Pine Barrens iron plantation during the early 1800s.

Dates: 1808-1815

Millerstown Iron Company letterbook (microfilm)

Accession: 2262

The Millerstown Iron Company, organized in 1873, constructed the Macungie Furnace in Macungie, Pennsylvania, and was a small anthracite iron company. The microfilmed letterbook documents the business correspondence of the company and includes outgoing correspondence from the Macungie furnace's superintendents.

Dates: 1877-1880

Millerstown Iron Company minute book

Accession: 2243

The Millerstown Iron Company, organized in 1873, constructed the Macungie Furnace in Macungie, Pennsylvania, and was a small anthracite iron company. The minute book records the activities of the directors of the company, primarily concerning company finances and the efforts to raise money by the sale of bonds.

Dates: 1873-1879

Nineteenth-century business miscellany

Accession: 0994

By the beginning of the nineteenth century, Pennsylvania was already a leader in the coal, iron, steel, railroad, and petroleum industries. As the manufacturing industries grew in the cities, so did the small businesses of craftsman and artisans that populated the surrounding areas selling their goods. These merchants played an important role in trade, community relationships, and the economy.  This is an artificial collection of account books, cash ledgers, and receipt books of nineteenth-century merchants of various industries in Pennsylvania. Minimal correspondence is included as well as a poem.  Mineral, iron and leather industries are represented as well as organ building which includes two treatises written in German.  

Dates: 1767-1890

Orrick, Grubbs & Parker records

Accession: 0343-II

The firm of Orrick, Grubbs & Parker, iron merchants, was formed in Philadelphia around 1839, succeeding the firm of Samuel D. Orrick & Co. The records consist of 26 letters addressed to Orrick & Fox, Samuel D. Orrick & Co., Orrick, Grubbs & Parker and E. B. & C. B. Grubb concerning shipments of iron from the Grubb furnaces and its resale to manufacturers along the east coast.

Dates: 1837-1846

Oxford Furnace history

Accession: 2033

The Oxford Furnace in Warren County, New Jersey, was one of the oldest blast-furnaces in the state. The records consist of two drafts in ozalid copy of a typescript collection of letters and articles on the history of Oxford Furnace.

Dates: 1944-1946

Phoenix Iron and Steel Co. miscellany

Accession: 0909

The Phoenix Iron and Steel Company began in the late eighteenth century as a manufacturer of cut nails. It later became a major producer of railroad rails and iron and steel structural members. It operated as the Phoenix Iron and Steel Company from 1950 to 1959, when it was reorganized as the Phoenix Steel Corporation. This small collection primarily consists of a sample of letters received by president Samuel J. Reeves (1872-1878), primarily concerned with the Girard Avenue Bridge contract. There is also a volume of annual reports by the superintendent and a company history written by Catherine S. Sisto in 1950.

Dates: 1872-1950

Phoenix Iron Company records

Accession: 0683

The Phoenix Iron Company began in the late eighteenth century as a manufacturer of cut nails. It later became a major producer of railroad rails and iron and steel structural members. This small collection of records includes incoming correspondence chiefly relating to orders for and deliveries of iron for railroads.

Dates: 1844-1875

Phoenix Steel Corporation records

Accession: 0916

The Phoenix Steel Company began in the late eighteenth century as a manufacturer of cut nails. It later became a major producer of railroad rails and iron and steel structural members. Their records include minutes (1856-1929); stock ledgers; brief of title papers and property maps; legal and financial correspondence and tax papers; account books; and a works diary.

Dates: 1827-1963; bulk 1856-1949

Reading Stove Works records

Accession: 1828

The Reading Stove Works manufactured stoves, furnaces, and heaters. The collection includes Board of Directors minutes and sales and financial statements document the history of the company.

Dates: 1891-1904

Records of Philadelphia and Trenton area manufacturers

Accession: 1003

This collection reflects material from a small amount of manufacturers operating in the Philadelphia and Trenton, New Jersey, largely in the early-to-mid 19th century. The records primarily include correspondence, bills, receipts, and accounts. There are also various legal papers and testimonies concerning suits involving land and water rights in Burlington County, New Jersey, with descriptions of miscellaneous dams, saw, grist, woolen, and fulling mills.

Dates: 1790-1878

Robert Coleman papers

Accession: 1008

Robert Coleman (1748-1825) was one of the most important ironmasters in Pennsylvania and acquired Elizabeth Furnance near Manheim, Pennsylvania. His papers consists of correspondence, receipts, and miscellany, mostly involving the purchase of land.

Dates: 1785-1832

Sust collection of William Sellers & Co. graphic materials

Accession: 2019-201

Charles William Feil Sust (1885-1947) and his son Carl William Sust (1914-1996) were employees at William Sellers & Co. Both worked as sheet metal workers in the 1930s and 1940s. William Sellers & Co. was an iron works that manufactured machine tools used for turning, planing, shaping, drilling, boring, or cutting metal or wood. This small collection is primarily photographs of machine tools manufactured by the William Sellers & Co. in the 1930s and 1940s. There are several photographs of various rooms and shops at the company, three include Charles Sust. There are a few publications and blueprints, as well as employee pins.

Dates: circa 1930s-1940s

Taylor-Wharton Iron and Steel Company photographs and films

Accession: 1971-530

The Taylor-Wharton Iron & Steel Company produced frogs, switches and other railroad fittings including couplings, axles and wheels, as well as war material during both World Wars. The company was incorporated in 1912 as successor to the Taylor Iron & Steel Company. The collection contains photographs primarily of products such as dredging equipment, railroad tracks, rollers, crushers, and buckets. The films document dredge buckets in operation and were shot in the United States and at international locations. The collection has been organized into four series: Company history, Plant views, Products, and Films. Each series is arranged alphabetically.

Dates: 1776; 1780; 1870-1965

Vulcan Iron Works negatives

Accession: 1971-210

Vulcan Iron Works was a producer of mine and industrial locomotives, mine hoists, and other colliery machinery. Vulcan's locomotives were designed for mine, logging, plantation and factory work, including steam, electric and battery models for underground haulage. A large number were sold to strip mine and earth moving contractors. The majority of the collection consists of original negatives (glass plate and film) dating from about the 1880s to 1943. These are builder's photographs, recording the construction of locomotives and machinery, although there are some photographs of the plants themselves (interiors and exteriors), employees at work, the town of Wilkes-Barre, and equipment installed and in service, particularly at collieries in the anthracite fields. About half the pictures are of locomotives and the rest are of mining equipment. There are also 1,340 negatives of drawings and plans, chiefly of mining equipment hoists. The collection also contains about 2,400 copy photographs made to preserve the images on original nitrate negatives which had extensively deteriorated. The collection is organized into five series: Railroad; Mining and manufacturing equipment; Factory, mill, and shop views; Drawings; and People.

Dates: circa 1880s-1943, 1948

Wright family papers

Accession: 1665

Samuel Gardiner Wright (1781-1845) was a West Jersey Quaker merchant and ironmaster who conducted a wide-ranging mercantile business based in Philadelphia, iron furnaces in the New Jersey Pine Barrens and in southern Delaware and maintained a country house and farm in Monmouth County, N.J. The papers document his varied business interests, especially iron manufacture and sales. There are smaller quantities of papers from his wife, sons and grandson.

Dates: 1785-1902, bulk 1809-1876

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American Iron and Steel Institute 3
Baldwin Locomotive Works 2
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Brandywine Iron Works and Nail Factory (Coatesville, Pa.) 2
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Erie City Iron Works 2
Huston, Stewart, 1898-1971 2
Lukens Steel Company 2
Lukens, Charles, 1786-1825 2
Lukens, Rebecca W. (Rebecca Webb), 1794-1854 2
Millerstown Iron Company (Macungie, Pa.) 2
Phoenix Iron Company 2
Phoenix Iron and Steel Company 2
Thomas, David, 1794-1882 2
Trenton Iron Co 2
William Sellers & Co. (Philadelphia, Pa.) 2
Wood, Frederick W. (Frederick William), 1857-1943 2
A. Gibbons, Jr., & Company 1
Allen & Turner (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1
Atsion Iron Works (Atsion, N.J.) 1
Ball, Joseph, 1758-1822 1
Barium Steel Corporation 1
Bath Iron Works, Ltd 1
Batsto Furnace (Batsto, N.J.) 1
Beer, John J. 1
Belmont Iron Works (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1
Bethlehem Steel Corporation 1
Betts & Seal 1
Betts & Stotsenburg 1
Betts, Edward, 1825-1917 1
Betts, Pusey & Company 1
Betts, Pusey, Jones & Seal 1
Blockley Cotton Factory (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1
Bollman, W. (Wendel) 1
Bonzano, Adolphus, 1830-1913 1
Boulton Gun Works 1
Brandywine Iron Works (Coatesville, Pa.) 1
Brinton, Clement S. (Clement Starr), 1875-1963 1
Buck, Robert S. (Robert Shute), 1802-1877 1
By-Products Steel Corporation 1
Camden and Amboy Rail Road and Transportation Company 1
Carr, Martha S. 1
Central Iron and Steel Company 1
Charles Huston & Sons 1
Clarke, Thomas Curtis, 1827-1901 1
Coatesville Relief Association 1
Codorus (Steamboat) 1
Coleman, Robert, 1748-1825 1
Cooper & Hewitt 1
Cooper, Hewitt & Company (Ringwood, N.J.) 1
Corliss Steam Engine Company 1
Cornell Steamboat Company 1
David Reeves & Son 1
Davis, Gartner & Webb 1
Dutton, Carl E. (Carl Evans) 1
E. Betts & Company 1
Earl, Caleb, 1756-1815 1
Earl, Caleb, 1795-1873 1
Edge Moor Iron Company 1
Elgar, John, 1784-1858 1
Evans, Jesse, 1770-1849 1
Eyre, Manuel, 1777-1845 1
Federal Furnace (Lakehurst, N.J.) 1
Federal Slitting Mill (Rokeby, Pa.) 1
Florence Mining and Milling Company 1
Gartner, Israel 1
General Boat Works, Inc 1
George M. Newhall Engineering Company 1
Gibbons & Huston 1
Gibbons, Abraham, 1812-1895 1
Gilbert Elevated Railway Company 1
Griffen, John, 1812-1884 1
Grubb family 1
Hagley Museum and Library 1
Hampton Furnace (Shamong, N.J. : Township) 1
Hanover Furnace (Hanover Furnace, N.J.) 1
Harte, Charles Rufus, 1870-1956 1
Henry family 1
Huston & Penrose 1
Huston family 1
Huston, A. F. (Abram Francis), 1852-1930 1
Huston, Charles L. (Charles Lukens), 1906-1982 1
Huston, Charles L., 1856-1951 1
Huston, Charles, 1822-1897 1
Huston, Penrose & Company 1
Huston, Robert M. (Robert Mendenhall), 1795-1864 1
Jacobs-Shupert United States Firebox Company 1
John H. Bliss, 1823-1907 1
Keller, Albert T., 1869-1940 1
Kemble & Warner 1
Kemble, Peter, 1825-1887 1
Kemble, William, 1795-1881 1
Kensington Lead Works (Philadelphia, Pa.) 1
Lancaster Locomotive Works 1
Laurel Iron Works (Newlin, Pa. : Township) 1
Lehigh Valley Railroad Company 1
Lukens Co-operative Store, Ltd 1
Lukens Coal Company, Inc 1
Lukens Erecting Company, Inc 1
Lukens Iron Works (Coatesville, Pa.) 1
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