Archives Directory for the History of Collecting in America

Archives related to: Schwab, Charles M., 1862-1939

titleCorrespondence of Charles M. Schwab, 1891.
locationUniversity of Pittsburgh, Libraries
collection titleThis correspondence consists primarily of incoming letters and telegrams dated 1891 sent to Charles M. Schwab while he worked as general superintendent of the Edgar Thompson Steel Works and Furnaces in Braddock, Pa.

The letters include three typed, signed letters from Henry Clay Frick written during September 1891. J.G.A. Leishman, Vice Chairman and Treasurer of Carnegie Brothers & Co. Limited, and F.T.F. Lovejoy, Secretary of the firm, wrote several letters, mainly dealing with daily activities. The collection contains 20 letters and 5 telegrams received by Charles M. Schwab.

Bio/History:
Charles M. Schwab was born on April 18, 1862, in Williamsburg, Pa., and grew up in Loretto, Pa. In 1879, he began working for the Carnegie Co. as a stake-driver in engineering corps of Edgar Thompson Steel Works and Furnaces in Braddock, Pa. This plant formed part of Carnegie Brothers & Co., Limited. Schwab was frequently promoted while working at the Edgar Thompson Steel Works, and in 1886, Carnegie appointed him to the position of general superindentent at the Homestead works.

In 1889 Schwab became general superintendent of the Edgar Thompson Steel Works and later went on to become the president of Carnegie Steel Company, Limited. During the years 1901-3 Schwab was president of U.S. Steel Corporation, and bought Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
extent.35 cu. ft.
formatsCorrespondence
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://pittcat.pitt.edu/
finding aidAvailable in repository and on Internet
acquisition informationThe Charles Schwab Papers were purchased from Schoyer’s Books by Charles Aston, University of Pittsburgh’s Special Collections Dept., and then donated to AIS, 1994.
updated01/28/2019 15:36:11
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titleCarnegie Steel Company records 1853-1912 (1869-1912) [manuscript]
locationHistorical Society of Western Pennsylvania
collection titleArchives Collection
MSS 0315
extent49.50 linear ft
formatsBusiness Papers
accessContact repository for restrictions and policies.
record sourcehttp://digital.library.pitt.edu/hswp/
updated11/12/2014 11:30:06
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titleBethlehem Steel Corporation Records, 1714-1982.
locationHagley Museum and Library
collection titleThe records of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation are a series of fragments, lacking the complete runs of corporate and executive documents that normally comprise a business archive. The surviving records give a reasonable overview of the company’s history and activities, but one which is lacking in depth.

The largest part of the archive consists of design and construction drawings for vessels built at Bethlehem shipyards, particularly the Harlan Yard at Wilmington. Specifications and other constructions documents were also extensively collected, and there are ship lists and site plans for most of the yards. The company also prepared a master card file listing most of the vessels built by Bethlehem and collected copies of individual vessel histories prepared by the Navy.

The ship drawings are as yet only partially processed.

The largest textual series are two synthetic collections of vertical files and miscellaneous manuscripts produced by the company’s two in-house historical units, the Charles M. Schwab Memorial Library and the Archives.

These contain samples of company trade literature and brochures, newsclippings and tear sheets from the trade press covering Bethlehem’s history and products, as well as the life of Charles M. Schwab and other Bethlehem officials, and the company’s role in both world wars. Of particular note are two volumes of biographical notes on Schwab’s life, from interviews conducted by Sidney B. Whipple a few years before his death. The Archives and Schwab Library also collected non-company manuscripts on the early history of the iron and steel industries. Among items of note is a biographical memoir of Sidney Gilchrist Thomas.

There is at least fragmentary coverage of a few of the more important episodes in the company’s history. Surviving fragments of Schwab’s papers contain some information on the Carnegie Steel Company and the formation of U. S. Steel, as well as the controversy over the large bonuses paid to Bethlehem executives. The papers of vice president H. S. Snyder cover the project to build submarines for Britain during World War I and the acquisiton of ore mines in Cuba. The papers of vice president Archibald Johnston include reports on an aborted project to equip the Chinese Navy.

Management and technical procedures are described in plant general managers’ minutes (1918-22), superintendents’ training manuals, and reports on the practices of other American and foreign steelmakers. Bethlehem’s products are described in brochures, drawings, and engineers’ notebooks. Material on ordnance and armorplate includes a series of large wash drawings and illustrated test reports.

Although scarce, there are a few interesting pieces on labor issues. Committee reports contain some information on work processes, efficiency, and wage payment systems. There is also fragmentary information on company houses, company unions, welfare work, and safety campaigns.

Labor-related ephemera includes copies of work rules and union broadsides. The Schwab Library files include a series of menus from banquets at which Schwab was a speaker or guest.

The photographic portion of the archive is in some ways more comprehensive than the textual portion. It includes photographs of most of Bethlehem’s steel plants, Cuban and Mesabi Range ore mines, and some of its shipyards and coal mines. There are also numerous views of Bethlehem’s many products, including ordnance, naval and commercial vessels, bridges and buildings. The photographs are serviced by the Pictorial Collections Department.

History:
The Bethlehem Steel Corporation was the number two steel producer in the United States between 1916 and 1984. For a time it was also the largest shipbuilding firm in the world.

The Bethlehem Steel Corporation was incorporated in New Jersey on December 10, 1904, to effect the reorganization of the United States Shipbuilding Company of 1902. Bethlehem was a holding company whose purpose was to control the older Bethlehem Steel Company and a series of shipyards in Elizabeth, N.J., Wilmington, Del., and San Francisco, Calif.

The company was controlled by Charles M. Schwab until his death in 1939. In addition to steel ships, Bethlehem was a major producer of armor plate and ordnance and soon ranked on a par with Krupp, Armstrong’s and the other big European munitions makers. It also pioneered in structural steel, manufacturing the rolled wide-flange columns and beams invented by Henry Grey.

Bethlehem grew rapidly by absorbing competitors. Its principal acquisitions were the Fore River Shipbuilding Company (1913), the Pennsylvania and Maryland Steel Companies (1916), the Lackawanna Steel Company (1922), and the Midvale Steel & Ordnance Company (1923). A second round of acquisitions, including the Pacific Coast Steel Company (1930), the McClintic-Marshall Corporation (1931) and the Kalman Steel Company (1931), expanded Bethlehem’s reach into other areas of the country and strengthened its position in structural steel fabrication and as a supplier to the new manufacturers of consumer goods.

Like all domestic steel makers, Bethlehem was increasingly vulnerable to competition from non-union minimills and foreign producers, particularly after 1973. A drastic downsizing program between 1977 and 1990 temporarily eliminated massive annual losses. In the process, the company lost its number-two ranking, its fabrication and special product divisions, and its self-sufficiency in raw materials. Iron and steel production at the original Bethlehem site ceased in 1995, followed by the rolling mill in 1997 and the coke works in 1998. Bethlehem acquired the properties of Lukens Inc., a specialty plate manufacturer on May 29, 1998. With the end of the boom of the 1990s, Bethlehem filed for bankruptcy on October 15, 2002. The company’s remaining assets were sold to International Steel Group Inc. on May 7, 2003.

Location:
SODA HOUSE - Manuscripts & Archives

Call Number or Accession Number:
1699

extent200.5 linear ft.
formatsBusiness Papers Financial Records Legal Papers Research Files Ephemera
accessCopyright retained by Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
record sourcehttp://38.115.62.80/cgi-bin/Pwebrecon.cgi?DB=local&PAGE=First
finding aidUnpublished finding aid available at the repository.
updated11/12/2014 11:30:06
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title[Edward N. Hurley, full-length portrait, standing with Charles M. Schwab] [graphic] / M. Rosenfeld, N.Y.
locationLibrary of Congress
collection titleEdward N. Hurley, full-length portrait, standing with Charles M. Schwab

CALL NUMBER:
BIOG FILE - Hurley, Edward N.--Schwab, Chas M. <item>

-- Request in:
Prints & Photographs Reading Room (Madison, LM337)



-- Status:
Not Charged

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CALL NUMBER:
LC-USZ62-116287 (b&w film copy neg.)

-- Request in:
Prints & Photographs Reading Room (Madison, LM337)


extent1 photographic print.
formatsPhotographs
accesssee repository for restrictions.
record linkhttp://hdl.loc.gov/loc.pnp/cph.3c16287
record sourcehttp://lccn.loc.gov/96509967
updated11/12/2014 11:30:16
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