Radio Corporation of America, RCA Victor Division records
The Victor Talking Machine Company was a Camden, New Jersey company founded in 1901 by Eldridge Reeves Johnson (1867-1945), a former machinist for the Berliner Gramophone Company. It quickly became both the leading U.S. manufacturer of phonographs and the recorder and manufacturer of phonograph records by many of the leading musical artists of the day. In 1926, Johnson sold controlling interests in the company to a banking firm, who, in 1929, sold the company to the Radio Corporation of America. Successive name and management changes would include the Radio-Victor Division of the Radio Corporation of America, the RCA Manufacturing Company, the RCA Victor Division and, in 1968, RCA Records. The records in this collection come from the Camden administration building. There are ten volumes of corporation committee minutes dating from 1912 to 1931 and covering, including financial statements, levels of output, plant construction, approvals of Victrola designs and prices, production levels, purchases of materials, real estate, patents and patent suits, trademarks, and advertising. Two volumes consist of reports from the President to the Board of Directors and production contracts from 1945-1946. In addition to the basic contract terms, they contain capsule histories of companies in the Victor-RCA family. This is a digital collection in process. New volumes will be added as they are scanned.
Most of the postcards from this collection date from 1900 to 1940 and depict railroad station exteriors, although some show waiting rooms, lobbies, or terminals. Many of the postcards identify the railroads serving the station depicted as well as the station itself. The collection has not been digitized in its entirety. Image: Santa Fe Depot in Oakland, California.
A small selection of items from Hagley's extensive collection of materials related to industrial designer Raymond Loewy. The collection has not been digitized in its entirety. Image: Automobiles of the Future sports car design by Raymond Loewy.
Reading Company file related to the Pinkerton Detective Agency
Reports and billings for Pinkerton detectives employed by Franklin B. Gowen, president of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad, on three different missions. The first involved violence in the Anthracite Coal Region, 1873-1880. James McParlan was commissioned to infiltrate the alleged Molly Maguires, a secret Irish organization that practiced retributive murders and beatings against bosses and rival ethnic gangs. Two other agents were sent to collect information and infiltrate the miners’ union during the Long Strike of 1875, and Robert J. Linden was sent to organize a company police force to protect property and arrest suspects. Gowen also had Pinkertons shadow a committee of the state legislature investigating the Reading’s activities during the strike. Lastly, Gowen used Pinkertons to track lobbyists of the rival Pennsylvania Railroad and legislators suspected of receiving bribes to have the state assume the claims arising out of riot damage during the great 1877 railroad strike and to report on the progress of their trials in 1880. Note: This online collection includes the Molly Maguire materials in Hagley Library’s collection of Reading Company records (with the exception of 8 volumes of stenographic reports of trial proceedings for John Donohue, Patrick Hester, Martin Bergen, James McDonnell and Charles Sharpe). The Reading Company collection has not been digitized in its entirety.
Robert K. Austin picture file on the history the automobile in America
The Robert K. Austin collection consists of a picture reference file of American automobiles built between 1877 and 1979. Most pictures are illustrations clipped from magazines and other publications, but there are also some postcards, photographs, and ephemera items. This collection has not been digitized in its entirety. The online collection includes images dating from 1958 to 1962 and depict automobile assembly lines at General Motors Corporation plants. Image: Inspecting final product during automobile assembly.