Guide to the Coal and Gas Trust Investigation Collection, 1870-1929

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1049
Creators:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.
Bay State Gas Company.
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI
Dates:
1858-1929
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
0.75 Cubic feet
3 boxes
Repository:
The papers document an investigation by M.L. Webb, an attorney from Massachusetts, into possible trust violations by the coal and gas industry of New England, New Jersey, and Delaware in the late nineteenth century. Documents assembled by Webb include patents, stock records, photographs, correspondence, hand written notes, published materials, and investigation notebooks.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection is a series of records accumulated by M. L. Webb, an attorney in Massachusetts. The records show Webb's desire to track down patents and operations information, as well as financial records for the following coal and gas companies: Bay State Gas Company, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, Lowe Water Gas Company, and the New England Gas and Coke Company. Included are three series: Coal Companies (1858-1929), Notes (1868-1929), and Patents concerning machinery involved in the manufacture and illumination of coal gas (1870-1897), a flammable gaseous fuel made from coal that was used in lighting, cooking and heating.
Series 1, Coal Companies, 1858-1929, is divided into five subseries: Subseries 1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926; Subseries 2, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925; Subseries 3, Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925; Subseries 4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925; and Subseries 5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925. The series includes articles of incorporation, stock and bond notes, personal notes by M.L. Webb, company and state correspondence, financial histories and notes and ledgers.
Subseries 1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926, includes certificates of incorporation from New Jersey (1875), Massachusetts (1884), and Delaware (1879), all three of which were released to the investigation in 1925; notes concerning Bay State Gas Company bonds from 1885-1925; a notebook of company patent information from 1872-1915; M. L. Webb's trust investigation notes on the Bay State Gas Company from 1875-1926; and official state records concerning the Bay State Gas Company issued by the State of Delaware (1889-1925).
Subseries 2, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925, contains a notebook with mortgage records for the Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company from 1872-1925.
Subseries 3, Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925, contains company patent records (1858-1925), company stock records (1878-1884), stock ledger items, a financial history of the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, company correspondence (1878-1929), state government correspondence (1874-1925), and notebooks filled with notes concerning the financial records of the Kidder Coal and Gas Company.
Subseries 4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925, consists of articles of incorporation for the Lowe Water Gas Company, issued in 1874 and released to the investigation in 1925.
Subseries 5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925, consists of an investigation notebook documenting the New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925.
Series 2, Notes, 1868-1929, consists of notes compiled from the trust investigation by M. L. Webb and includes notebooks on various coal and gas companies, and a set of unidentified and undated photographs taken by F. B. Boyette.
Series 3, Patents, 1870-1897, contains patent records concerning the manufacture and illumination of coal gas, held by the Lowe Water Gas Company and the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1870-1897, specifically patents held by Moses W. Kidder, Joseph Flannery, Person Noyes, and Hiram White.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1, Coal Companies, 1858-1929
Subseries 1.1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926
Subseries 1.2, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925
Subseries 1.3, Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925
Subseries 1.4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925
Subseries 1.5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925
Series 2, Notes, 1868-1929
Series 3, Patents, 1870-1897

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John Edward Charles O'Sullivan Addicks (1841-1919) was an industrialist and capitalist. Addicks became involved with the natural gas business in the 1880s, then in its infancy. He built gas works in Jersey City, and in 1882 he was instrumental in organizing the Chicago Gas Trust. Addicks formed the Bay State Gas Company in Boston in 1884. His success at forming gas monopolies earned him the nicknames "Gas Addicks" and the "Napoleon of Gas." [1] The Coal and Gas Trust Investigation Collection contains documents concerning M. L. Webb's investigation of several coal and gas companies. Webb conducted an investigation of possible trust violations by the coal and gas industry companies, one of which was the Bay State Gas Company.
[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Edward_Addicks (accessed on April 9, 2010)

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Robert Ageton (volunteer), 2007; revised by Michael Stratmoen (intern), April, 2010; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Processed by Robert Ageton (volunteer), 2007; revised by Michael Stratmoen (intern); supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Source of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Conditions Governing Use
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Preferred Citation
Coal and Gas Transit Investigation Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry, 2007.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Trusts and trustees Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Legislative documents Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notebooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Legal documents -- 19th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Investigations Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI 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
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives