Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Engineering

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969
Physical Description:
0.82 Cubic feet
consisting of 1.5 boxes, 5 folders, 2 oversize folders.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Engineering forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This subject category- engineering consists of documents related to the field of engineering, both as a scientific discipline and as a business. Most of the material in the collection was produced by engineers, engineering firms, or firms using engineers in the course of other activities. The span dates for the collection are 1848-1963; the bulk dates are circa 1870-circa 1930. Most of the firms and individuals represented in the collection were located in eastern states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, though there are some items from other states and foreign countries.
Engineers & Engineering Firms material is comprised of materials from firms engaged in various activities in the engineering field, including machine and structural design; drafting; surveying; tool and machine repair and maintenance; consulting and inspection; and the manufacture of machine parts and factory equipment. The series consists of business cards; brochures, catalogs, and pamphlets; invoices and business correspondence; and handbills and other types of advertising matter. Bulk dates for this series are 1870-1930. Most firms in this series were based in the cities of the industrial North, especially Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Chicago. A few items are from companies headquartered in other states and foreign countries. The material is arranged alphabetically by firm name.
General materials consists of items related to engineering, covering topics such as professional associations, building plans, caricatures of famous engineers, and a sample engineer's celluloid protractor. Under associations, there is a list of membership candidates for the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1897. There is also a preliminary list and a final ballot list of applications to be considered for the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1894. The material is arranged alphabetically by subject.
Publications contain published matter related to engineering, including articles, directories, pamphlets and periodicals. Articles include "On the Loss of Head Resulting from the Passage of Water Through a 24-inch Stop Valve" from the American Society of Civil Engineering (1892) and an 1890 sheet from Engineering News. There are three editions of "The Engineer" directory, 1908, 1914, and n.d. as well as an n.d. directory of the latest engineering books supplied by The Engineering News Publishing Company Pamphlets include "Power and the Engineer" (no date), "Engineers' License Law" (circa 1891), "Earthwork and its Cost" (1903), "Tables of Circles and Other Specimen Pages from Trautwine's Civil Engineers' Pocket-Book" (1893), "The Mechanical Engineer: His Preparation and His Work" (1875), "The Investigation of Engineering Education and Related Activities (1934), "Transactions of the American Institute of Electrical Engineers" (1893), and "Engineers of America: an Encyclopedia" (1913). Under periodicals, there is a 1962 and 1963 magazine "Reproduction Engineer", "Third Meeting of the Michigan Association of Surveyors and Civil Engineers" (1882), and the "Journal of the Western Society of Engineers" (1910). The bulk of the materials are from the late 19th century and early 20th century. Materials are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Processing Information
In 2016, with funding provided by the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund, the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History implemented the use of minimal level processing standards to increase information about and facilitate access to more of our collections. A large portion of stored material from the original acquisition received minimal level processing, which resulted in additions to this Subject category. This effort included basic arrangement and replacement of non-archival housing for long-term stability, but staples and other fasteners have not all been removed. Revisions to the encoded finding aid were made to reflect the added content in context to the previously processed material.
Minimal level processing and enhancement of the machine-readable finding aid completed by Nicole Blechynden, September 2017.
Vanessa Broussard-Simmons and Nicole Blechynden
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Engineering is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Engineering, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of
Forms Part Of

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Business ephemera Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ephemera Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Engineering Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012