Scope and Contents
The bulk of the materials date from the 1930s to the 1950s and document Charles Eisler's contributions to the modern lamp making industry. There is considerable personal information documenting Eisler and his family, and his connection to his native Hungary. The collection is divided into 9 series: personal materials; business materials; employee records, operating records; diagrams and drawings; litigation and patent records; photographs; and scrapbooks.
Series 1, Personal Materials, 1944-1970, is divided into six subseries: Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s; Photographs, 1912; Chronological Correspondence, 1944-1970; Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1969; Family and Friends Correspondence, 1956-1966; Vacation Information, 1951; Financial Information, 1960-1967; and Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967.
There are several passports (United States and German) for Eisler and his United States naturalization certificate of 1910. The photographs, 1912, are from Eisler's friend, Ed Korn. The photographs depict an airplane that Eisler created drawings for and two individuals, Bert Berry (parachutist) and Tony Januss, a pilot at Kinloch Field, St. Louis, Missouri.
The chronological correspondence, 1944-1970, is arranged chronologically. It contains letters about Hungarians and Hungarian issues; invitations to social events and speaking engagements; thank you letters; letters of condolence; donations; birthday greetings; and club memberships. Eisler was active in the Newark, New Jersey, Hungarian community. He donated equipment, clothes, and money to a variety of organizations that assisted Hungarians in the United States and in Hungary. Some of the correspondence was written by Mrs. R. Testa, secretary to Charles Eisler.
The alphabetical correspondence, 1941-1969, is arranged alphabetically. It consists of letters documenting such issues as stock in Eisler Engineering Company, personal purchases of Eisler's at the Ivanhoe Lobby Gift Shop by the Sea Hotel, and "Help the Suffering Hungarians" organization (1956-1961). This includes canceled checks from donors, specifically Operation Mercy to assist refugees from Budapest. Additionally, there is correspondence and itemized price lists for food and clothing for Hungarians. Of note is some Raritan Yacht Club (R.Y.C.) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, materials. There is a R.Y.C. Duffle Bag newsletter, February, 1964. Eisler was a member of R.Y.C.
Family and friends correspondence, 1956-1966, includes letters and postcards from family and friends, mostly in Hungarian. Topics discussed include sending food, clothing, hearing aids, and medicine to Hungarian refugees; Christmas packages; emigration; and U.S. Relief Parcel Service receipts.
Vacation information, 1951, consists of one file folder of documentation of airline tickets, baggage tickets, tour itineraries, receipts from hotels, letterhead from hotels, and itemized lists of purchases for several trips Eisler made. Airlines ephemera represented include Pan American World Airways System; Air France; British Overseas Airways Corp; Trans World Airlines, Inc; and Eastern Airlines.
Financial information, 1960-1967, contains investment securities (certificates) information for Massachusetts Investors Trust; consolidated checking account information; lists of personal donations, personal income, and savings accounts. Eisler's personal donations varied greatly, both in amount and in the type of organization—American Hungarian Studies Foundation at Rutgers, Father Flanagan's Boy's Home; and the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, New Jersey.
Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967, consists mostly of bills from doctors for services rendered.
Series 2, Business Materials, 1885, 1931-1985, is divided into seven subseries: correspondence, general files, financial information, World War II boards and regulations, real estate holdings and investments, articles, and Kahle Engineering.
Correspondence, 1946-1971, is arranged alphabetically by surname or company name. It contains a variety of issues—real estate, accounting, legal representation, and tenants. Attorneys Kessler and Kessler handled Eisler vs. General Electric Company. There is correspondence about meetings, depositions, and reviewing documents before filing. The tenant information includes assignments and agreements between individual tenants and the landlord, Lesire Corporation, which Eisler owned.
General Files, 1931-1985, contains files arranged alphabetically on a variety of topics.
Financial Information, 1931-1945, is mainly comprised of Treasury Department and Internal Revenue correspondence, and income tax documentation
World War II Boards and Regulations, 1942-1946, contain information about manpower, labor, and production during World War II for the manufacturing industry. The National War Labor Board contains wage rates and audit information for Eisler Engineering. The Manpower Commission established the total manpower allowance for Eisler Engineering and other companies. It set specific quotas for the number of male employees permitted. The War Production Board material includes a plant report of operations. It describes the product being made and categorizes the percentage of "war" versus "civilian" work. The War Department Plant Protection Division contains notes and recommendations for Eilser Engineering Company to implement.
Real Estate Holdings and Investments, 1932-1980, consists mainly of tax and stock returns and income information and cancelled notes for collateral with the Lesire Corporation. The record of real estate, 1952-1974, contains ledger sheets for seven separate properties with the name of the property, improvements if any, and address: Farm Flagtowne, Neshanic, New Jersey; 733 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 735-737 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 738-758 S. 13th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 16 N. Salem Street, Dover, New Jersey; 269 E. Blackwell Street, Dover, New Jersey; and Lad Construction. The ledger sheets also include a loan record with rents and mortgage receivable information. The Avenue L files document a factory building owned by Eisler in Newark, New Jersey. The files contain correspondence, receipts, and bills for work done on the building in preparation for sale.
Articles, 1885-1962 (not inclusive) includes four articles relating to the topic of electricity.
Kahle Engineering, 1960-1982, contains Dun and Bradstreet analytical reports from 1960 to 1964 and interoffice correspondence with Steven Logothetis, an employee of Kahle Engineering, interoffice memos, credit profiles, notes, mortgage papers, and information sheets for specific properties for purchase at public auction for the period 1979-1982.
Series 3, Employee/Personnel Records, 1940-1988, is divided into ten subseries: personnel files; accident reports; lists of employee names; service years and anniversaries; union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements; benefits (health and pension); deceased employees; payroll information; electrical license course; Department of Labor; and miscellaneous.
The bulk of this series consists primarily of employee personnel files from the 1940s to 1960s. Arranged alphabetically by surname, the files contain employee record cards, employee applications, in some instances photographs (head shots), tax withholding exemption certificates, medical forms, union dues information, union steward reports detailing grievances and appeals, correspondence, recommendations, unemployment benefit payments, workers compensation, paychecks, and applications for United States citizenship and visa requests. The employee record cards capture the employee name; address; social security number; department; occupation; title; clock number; phone number; race; marital status; date of birth; number of children; stating rate; increases; vacation taken; country of birth; entry into the United States; naturalized and, if so, when and where; former employees and any union grievances. It provides a comprehensive view of the employee composition of the company.
The accident reports, 1958-1988, are arranged chronologically by year and then further arranged alphabetically by employee surname. These accident claim forms used by Eisler Engineering Company are for the New Jersey Manufacturers Casualty Insurance Company of Trenton, New Jersey. Additionally, there are blank State of New Jersey accident forms. There is some correspondence about specific claims and employees. There is one file folder documenting injuries and illness, 1971-1978. It consists of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) forms completed by Eisler Engineering. They provide a summary of the types of injuries and illnesses, number of lost work days, number of cases and a supplementary record of occupational injuries.
Lists of employee names, 1957-1977, provides information on employees who left employment, were laid off, owed union dues; years of service to the company, birthdays, addresses, and job descriptions.
Service years and anniversaries, 1955-1970, provides the employee name, when employment began, years of service and if a service pin was awarded.
Union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements, 1942-1957 contain union contracts and agreements between Eisler Engineering Mutual Employees Association, Inc., and the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE-AFL-CIO).
Benefits (health and pension), 1957-1967, contains information on dental benefits, hospital service plans, Group Health Insurance (GHI) Inc., claim forms for medical care insurance, and the annual report of District 4 IUE, AFL-CIO Welfare Plan for 1957.
Deceased employees, 1946-1951, consists of form letters with the employees name, address, next of kin, date of death, and the amount of unpaid salary due.
Payroll Information, 1940-1973, includes deduction of wages or salary forms for union dues, plans for enrolling in the U.S. Savings Bond program, canceled payroll checks, forms for requesting vacation, and bonus and merit increases for employees.
Electrical License Course, undated, includes homework assignments, tests, and answers to questions, in lessons/courses on: compound generators, DC (direct current) self-excited generators, power, combination circuits, parallel circuits, split phase/resistance-start induction run motors, electricity, and compound motors.
Department of Labor, 1944-1956, contains employment reports and public contracts and minimum wage determinations. There is statistical information on the type of employee (male, female, non-white, and part-time) and a report of current and anticipated employment.
Miscellaneous contains one file folder with an undated Department of Labor and Industry letter about a highly desirable labor pool of technical, skilled, and semi-skilled workers becoming available.
Series 4, Operational Records, 1934-1977, is divided into two subseries: Equipment Quotes, 1960-1977, were prepared by Eisler for clients/companies in the United States and in foreign countries. The quotes include details about the machine requested and its price.
Operating Instructions and Parts Lists, 1934-1940s, are arranged predominately by machine number, but there are some exceptions. The files include drawings and sketches, operating instructions on assembling and disassembling, black and white photographs, charts, and product literature. There are some documents that were not created by the Eisler Engineering Company. These documents include operating instructions and drawings from other companies that Eisler had a working relationship with. The instructions, [1934-1945?], arranged alpha-numerically, are operating instructions for machines manufactured by the Eisler Engineering Company. The instructions are labeled D-1 to D-800. These instructions should be used in conjunction with the other operating instructions for specific machines. For example, instructions D-1 are for Eisler machine No. 00, a coil winding machine
Series 5, Diagrams and Drawings, 1924-1960, is divided into two subseries, wiring diagrams and drawings. The wiring diagrams 1934-1956, are arranged by type and provide instructions and diagrams on how to connect wires for Eisler machines. The drawings, 1924-1960, include blueprints, tracings, sketches and in some instances, specifications for specific machines. The name and number of the machine are listed. Also, the drawings contain factory layouts for companies in the United States and in Leningrad, Russia.
Series 6, Sales Records, 1924-1984, is divided into three subseries: customer sales lists, lamp machinery sales records, and catalogs. The Customer Sales Lists, 1951-1958, and the Lamp Machinery Sales Records, 1929-1958, include detailed information for each machine built and shipped to a client: shop number, job number, type of machine, machine number, customer name, customer order number, Eisler order number and date shipped, and a serial number if applicable. There are some lists for customer requested machines such as exhaust machines, stem machines, and base filling machines.
The catalogs, 1924-1979, are arranged into two sub-subseries, Eisler catalogs and other companies' catalogs. The catalogs are further arranged chronologically and are bound or consist of loose pages and individual bulletins. They provide information on incandescent lamps, power transmission tubes; neon tube signs; tungsten equipment and wire; burners, torches, fires, gas and air mixers; metal sprayers; bases; furnaces; vacuum flasks; ampules and vials; vacuum pumps; and electric welders.
Index cards for Eisler Engineering Anniversary Catalog 1945, are arranged by machine number and contain the machine name with a description, pricing information, and in some instances a date and annotations. Each card has a page number that correlates to the Anniversary Catalog No. 45-CE, 1945.
Series 7, Litigation and Patent Records, 1897-1953 (bulk 1926-1929), 1949, 1953, consist of briefs (for the defendant, Eisler, and plaintiff, General Electric) and the transcript of record in the case General Electric vs. Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company, 1926-1929. The litigation was heard in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Jersey and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Third District. GE brought suit against Eisler for infringement of two U.S. patents, #1,128,120 for manufacturing glass rods and forming spiders, and # 1,220,836 for a filament support wire inserting machine. Eisler allegedly infringed by manufacturing and selling a hook inserting machine.
There is one file folder of newspaper clippings about anti-trust in lamp manufacturing and specifically conclusions to the Opinion for the case United States of America vs. General Electric Company, 1953. GE, Corning Glass Works, N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabriken, Consolidated Electric Lamp Company, Hygrade Sylvania Corporation, Chicago Miniature Lamp Works, and Tung-Sol Lamp Works, Inc., were found guilty and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. GE, in particular, negotiated agreements through its wholly-owned subsidiary, International General Electric that divided the world lamp markets. This division permitted GE to have the U.S. market exclusively and bar foreign lamp manufacturers. The domestic licensees' growth was limited by GE to a fixed percentage of its own production and expansion so that over the years a licensee's share of the business was diminished. This restrained trade, and competition by GE unlawfully monopolized the incandescent electric lamp business.
A separate case involving Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. vs. Beacon Lamp Co., Leopold Rossbach, C. L. Shoninger, A.H. Moses, L.E. Whicher and J.T. Hambay from 1896 to 1898 is also documented through the brief for the complainant and a record of the case.
Patents, 1913-1931, are further divided into tube patents, 1924-1931 and tube patents assigned to Raytheon Company, 1913-1929. The patents were assembled by Eisler for reference.
Series 8, Photographs, 1944-1967, is further divided into six subseries: machines by number, CAMS; timers; jigs; transformers and electrodes; welders; welders, tips, jigs and fixtures; and miscellaneous. The series contains 8" x 10" black and white prints. Originally organized in three- ring binders, the photographs are arranged by machine number with further numerical identifiers. For example, Machine No. 103 is a glass lathe machine and No. 103-XL is a vertical glass lathe machine.
CAMS are curved wheels mounted on a rotating shaft and used to produce variable or reciprocating motion in another engaged or contacted part. They are used to produce or machine something. Tips refer to the remnant of the glass tubing through which the lamp was exhausted of its air (as well as filled with inert gases after the invention of the gas-filled lamp in 1912) and jigs are devices for guiding a tool or for holding machine work in place.
The majority of photographs document machinery; few employees are featured.
Photographs for Machine No. 170, can working equipment at vacuum products, features African American workers circa the 1950s and Machine No. 160, an automatic tub bottoming machine features a female employee. Some of the miscellaneous photographs contain prints of equipment, parts and employees working in the factory.
Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959, includes three scrapbooks. Many of the articles are in Hungarian or Spanish.
Scrapbook, 1943 (bulk 1945-1955), 1959, contains newspaper articles about Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company. Many articles and advertisements focus on specific machines Eisler manufactured. Articles about Charles Eisler contain information about the associations he belonged to, litigation, awards received, Lesire Corporation, his tenant company; and the appointment of Charles Eisler, Jr., as President of Eisler Engineering Company. Other items include company Christmas cards.
Scrapbook, 1916-1944, 1948, 1957, contains newspaper clippings and catalog pages on machines manufactured by Eisler; personal information about Charles Eisler's trip to Europe; a fire at his summer home; and Christmas decorations. There is documentation on Eisler Engineering Company employees, World War II contributions and production, and photographs of Charles Eisler presenting a donation to the Newark Hungarians and the U.S. Army Ambulance Branch.
Scrapbook, 1924-1959, contains convention programs, Family Circle information, documentation on various social events Eisler attended and machine advertisements.