Guide to the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation Records
Portions of this collection are digitized

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0961
Creators:
Cooper-Bessemer Corporation (Mt. Vernon, Ohio)
Dates:
1870-1961
Languages:
English
,
Spanish; Castilian
.
Physical Description:
27 Cubic feet
68 boxes, 1 map-folder
Repository:
These records document the activities of the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, and Grove City, Pennsylvania, manufacturers of steam, gas, and oil engines, compressors, and furnaces.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
These records document the activities of the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, manufacturers of steam, gas, and oil engines; compressors; and furnaces through correspondence, financial materials, trade literature and photographs.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into eleven series.
Series 1: Background Materials, 1895-1944
Series 2: Correspondence, 1866-1961
Series 3: Financial Materials, 1888-1929
Series 4: Newsletters, 1917-1942
Series 5: Product and Sales Materials, 1870-1961
Series 6: Advertising Materials, 1921-1945
Series 7: Printed Materials, 1902-1953
Series 8: Photographs, 1881-1930s
Series 9: Air Brushed Photographs/Renderings, 1909-1930s, undated
Series 10: Glass Plate Negatives, 1906-1913, undated
Series 11: Drawings, 1906-1944

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
C. & G. Cooper Company was founded by Charles (1811-1891) and Elias Cooper (1814-1848) in 1833 in Mt. Vernon, Ohio. Situated in Central Ohio, abundant supplies of coal, iron and natural gas were available to the Cooper brothers as well as proximity to the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad lines. Previously, the brothers opened a coal mine in 1832 and then a foundry for casting metals. Their principal products were plows, carding machines, and special power machinery. In 1848, Elias Cooper died and Charles Cooper sold an interest in the Company to T.L. Clark and the firm changed its name from to C. & E. Cooper to Cooper & Clark. In 1852, John Cooper (1824-1916), the younger brother of Charles and Elias, joined the company and became known as Coopers & Clark. T.L. Clark retired in 1853 and the company became C. & J. Cooper.
In 1852, the company built its first blowing engine and with the growth of the railroad system and a demand for railroad equipment, the company responded with manufacturing steam locomotives. In 1865, F.L. Fairchild (d. 1912) joined the company as a partner and the firm became known as C.& J. Cooper & Company. J.C. Debes, a mechanical engineer formerly of the George H. Corliss Works, began working for the company in 1865 designing Corliss engines that came to market in 1869. Corliss engines would become a principal product of the company by 1886. Colonel George Rogers (son-in-law of Elias Cooper) joined the company when John Cooper retired and the name once gain changed to C. & G. Cooper & Company. By 1881, Desault B. Kirk (son-in-law of Charles Cooper) and son, C.F. Cooper (d. 1894) along with E.H. Fairchild and B.F. Williams became active partners in the company. In 1929, Cooper merged with Bessemer Gas Engine Co. of Grove City, Pennsylvania, to form Cooper-Bessemer Corporation. Cooper Machinery Services is the current equipment manufacturer for Cooper-Bessemer engines.
During World War One and World War Two, the company made munitions—steel shells, special purpose lathes, surface grinders and multiple-head cutting off machines—to aid the Allies. Its work contributed to faster and more efficient production for the war effort and earned it the Maritime "M" and Army/Navy "E" Awards. Over the years, the company's products included: simple and compound Corliss engines, gas and diesel engines, rolling mill engines, marine engines, compressors, and power units for ice and refrigeration, cotton-ginning and oil-milling.
Sources
Cooper Machinery Services (last accessed on April 12, 2022 https://www.cooperservices.com/our-company/heritage/cooper-origins/the-history-of-cooper-bessemer/)
C. & G. Cooper Company, Seventy-Five Years of Engine Building, Mount Vernon, Ohio, 1900.
100 Years of Power, Cooper-Bessemer, 1833-1933, 1933.

Administration
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by the Cooper-Bessemer Corporation, through Robert S. Warren, Manager of Advertising and Public Relations, in 1965 and 1969.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2022.
Ownership and Custodial History
Collection transferred to the Archives Center from Division of Work and Industry, 2006.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
Archives Center, Cooper-Bessemer Corporation Records, National Museum of American History.
Conditions Governing Use
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.

Related Materials
Materials at the National Museum of American History
Smithsonian Institution Libraries, Trade Literature Collection
Includes Cooper-Bessemer Corporation, Chapman Engineering Company, and Hope Engineering and Supply Company.

More Information

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Advertising Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Airbrushing Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Air-compressors Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cashbooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1900-1950 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Catalogs -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Engines Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Diesel motor Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings -- 19th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Furnaces Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letterpress copybooks Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Marine engines Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1850-1900 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Price lists Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsletters Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 1900-1950 Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Steam-engines Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Trade literature -- 20th century Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Refrigeration and refrigerating machinery Topical Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Corporate Name 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
archivescenter@si.edu
https://americanhistory.si.edu/archives