Guide to the International Salt Company Records
Digitized Content

Summary
"D"
"D"
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1158
Creators:
International Salt Company
Costain, Harold Haliday
Rittase, William M., 1894-1968
Dates:
1881-1993
bulk 1920-1929
Languages:
English
Some materials in Spanish.
Physical Description:
3.5 Cubic feet
11 boxes, 1 oversize folder
Repository:
The collection contains business records and photographic materials documenting the International Salt Company. The business records include correspondence, account and ledger books, a payroll book, patent and trademark information, print advertising and marketing materials, and a salesman salt display kit. The photographic materials include a series of photographs by William M. Rittase, a series of photographs by Harold Haliday Costain, a small photograph album, snapshots, and slides. The images cover all facets of the salt manufacturing and packaging operations, and include photographs taken in New York State, Michigan, and Louisiana.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection contains business records and photographic materials documenting the International Salt Company. The business records include correspondence, account and ledger books, a payroll book, patent and trademark information, print advertising and marketing materials, and a salesman salt display kit. The photographic materials include a series of photographs by William M. Rittase, a series of photographs by Harold Haliday Costain, a small photograph album, snapshots, and slides. The images cover all facets of the salt manufacturing and packaging operations, and include photographs taken in New York State, Michigan, and Louisiana.
The scrapbooks contain advertisements for the International Salt Company's Sterling Salt label and other leading salt companies, especially Morton's. Much of the ephemera consists of labels, but there are also small pamphlet cookbooks. The cookbooks, prepared and marketed by various salt companies, tout recipes for tasty dishes using specific salts and expound upon the merits of salt in general, especially the medical benefits. Other clever salt-related advertising appears in conjunction with maps, buttons, song books, calendars, and health exercises.
Series 1, Business Records, 1894-1937, consists primarily of financial materials--ledgers, cash books, monthly statements, timekeeping and payroll information--for the Avery Rock Salt Mining Company (A.R.S.M.Co.), Detroit Rock Salt Company, Detroit Salt Company, International Salt Company, and the Restof Mining Company. Additionally, there is one annual report for the International Salt Company (1957) and the newsletter Saltmaker, 1964.
There are two A.R.S.M.Co. ledgers, 1898-1907 and 1907-1922. The first ledger, 1898-1907, predates the founding of the International Salt Company, and it is likely that A.R.S.M.Co was absorbed by International Salt during a merger. Documentation recorded including inventories, merchandise, labor, surplus, insurance, office expenses, legal expenses, taxes, bills receivable, directors' committee fees, fuel, candles, oil, waste and packing, rental, repairs and maintenance, interest, labor, feed, outside salary account, Cuban consignment account, and loan account. Specific persons, such as superintendents F. Rundio and Sidney Bradford, are mentioned and specific companies including Restof Mining, Joy Morton Company, Havana Mill, G. Lawton Childs & Company, International Salt of New York and various others (pages 193-212), are listed with expenses.
The Detroit Salt Company (general ledger), 1911-1913, consists of one bound volume documenting the company's assets, liabilities, expenses, earnings, advance accounts, and old accounts.
Detroit Rock Salt Company (cash record), 1912 October-1913 January, consists of one bound volume documenting cash received and cash disbursed.
International Salt Company, Inc., Independent Salt Company Division (monthly statements), 1933 October-1937 December, consists of one bound volume of general ledger trial balance sheets organized chronologically. Detailed documentation includes general expenses, assets, capital assets, liabilities, special reserves, net worth, profit and loss statements, warehousing costs and tonnage purchased.
Restof Mining Company (time and payroll), 1894 July 1-1895 March 31, consists of one bound volume of 400 pages, documenting the time and payroll for employees. The volume contains the name of the employee, the number of days worked, hourly wage earned per day, the amount earned, advances, board due, store (supplies due), rent, and any balances due. A portion of the volume is severely water-damaged.
Series 2, Trademarks, 1881-1935, consists of copies of issued trademark declarations from the United States Patent Office. The trademarks are for company names, logos, salt containers and packages, and various salt products. The trademarks are arranged alphabetically by the name of the trademark. For example, Amaessa, a trademark for baking powder and salt is filed with other trademarks beginning with the letter "A." Additional materials consist of one file folder of correspondence and printed materials about patents, trademarks and copyright laws. The correspondence relates specifically to the ownership of certain trademarks by International Salt Company, and there is correspondence from John L. Ryon, assistant sales manager and W.T. Chisolm, vice-president of International Salt Company. There are compiled lists of brand names, trademarks, and package designs for which International Salt registered at the United States Patent Office, 1926-1927. There are two examples of small cloth bags branded with "Ideal Salt" and some packaging, such as "White Lily High Grade Salt" and labels such as "Purex Free Running Table Salt." The Peter J.L. Searing trademark for salt (No. 52,963) and Chicago Sawed Salt-Block Company (No. 15,174) provide examples of ethnic imagery. A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.
Series 3, Photographs, 1934-1993, is divided into five subseries: Subseries 1, Harold Haliday Costain, 1934; Subseries 2, William Ritasse, circa 1934; Subseries 3, Loose Photographs, 1969-1993; Subseries 4, Slides, circa 1970s; and Subseries 5, Album (unidentified), undated.
Subseries 1, Harold Haliday Costain, circa 1934, consists of three photographs (approximately 10 1/2" x 13") black-and-white prints mounted to 16" x 20" boards. The prints are numbered #6, #42, and #44 and depict a salt mine and equipment used in salt manufacturing located in Avery Island, Louisiana.
Subseries 2, William Ritasse, circa 1934, consists of black-and-white prints (10" x 14") signed by Ritasse which are mounted on 18 1/2" x 20" boards. The photographs are arranged numerically from #350 to #480. Many of the photographs are captioned. American photographer William Rittase (1887-1968), active in the 1920s-1930s, is known for his industrial photography. Rittase's images provide insight into International Salt Company activities such as salt manufacturing, packaging operations, general factory processes, printing salt bags, can labeling, brine storage, exteriors of buildings, crushing salt, men in the salt mines, machine shop views, and equipment.
Subseries 3, Loose Photographs, 1969-1993, consists of black-and-white and color prints, as well as transparencies depicting salt mines and related activities. Some of the photographs document a visit by International Salt Company executives to the Jefferson Island, Louisiana salt plant.
Subseries 4, Slides, circa 1970s, consists of seventeen color slides documenting salt plants, equipment and salt miners.
Subseries 5, Album (damaged mine), undated, consists of twenty-two 4" x 6 1/2" black-and-white photographs documenting the damage to a salt manufacturing plant. The photographs are captioned, but there is no indication of the geographic location of the salt plant.
Series 4, Advertising and Marketing Materials, 1920-1948, consists of two scrapbooks (14" x 17" and 11" x 16") that contain primarily tear sheets, unbound periodical pages showing an advertisement as printed, or as a proof, newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, price lists, recipes, labels, periodicals, and other ephemera.
The scrapbook, 1920-1931, consists primarily of advertisements and newspaper clippings related to advertising salt products, especially for Morton's Salt and Diamond Crystal Salt. Other companies represented include Colonial Salt Company, Carey Salt Company, Jefferson Island Salt Company, Kerr Salt Company, Mulkey Salt Company, Myles Salt Company, Ohio Salt Company, Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, Remington Salt Company, Star Salt Corporation, Union Salt Company, Worcester Salt Company, and Watkins Salt Company.
The scrapbook from 1945-1948 is devoted to advertisements for the International Salt Company and Sterling Salt, which promoted salt uses for the home (table salt, curing meats, and brines), industry (rock salt for winter weather) and agriculture (killing weeds). Many of the advertisements were part of the "Pass the Salt" campaign and were featured in publications such as Woman's Day, National Provisioner, Food Industries, Hide, Leather and Shoes, Chemical Previews, and Public Works. The scrapbook is divided into three sections: institutional, weed prevention, and Lixate, a process developed by the International Salt Research Laboratory for making brine. Many of the advertisements were prepared by J.M. Mathes Incorporated.
Also included is a traveling salt kit for Sterling Salt Company salesmen, undated, featuring small glass vials of sterling salt from mines in Detroit, Avery Island, Louisiana, and Restof, New York. Each vial notes the types of salts--purified, softener, iodized, medium flake, coarse flake, granular flour, and meat.
Series 5, Posters, circa 1920s, consists of oversize advertising posters for Worcester Salt Company. There is one set of labels from an exhibit titled "I Eat Rocks! Salt of the Earth."

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into five series.
Series 1, Business Records, 1894-1937
Series 2, Trademarks, 1881-1935
Series 3, Photographs, 1934-1993
Subseries 1, Harold Haliday Costain, circa 1934
Subseries 2, William Ritasse, circa 1934
Subseries 3, Loose Photographs, 1969-1993
Subseries 4, Slides, circa 1970s
Subseries 5, Album (damaged mine), undated
Series 4, Advertising and Marketing Materials, 1920-1948
Series 5, Posters, circa 1920s

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
The International Salt Company incorporated on August 22, 1901, and in 1902, the company purchased the stock and assets of the National Salt Company, which had failed. By 1934, International Salt was a holding company for six subsidiaries: Avery Salt Company (West Virginia), Detroit Rock Salt Company (Michigan), Eastern Salt Company (Massachusetts), Independent Salt Company (New York), International Salt Company, Inc. (New York), and Retsof Mining Company (New York). All of the subsidiaries operated rock salt mines and evaporated salt plants and distributed salt. In 1940, the International Salt Company decided to sell four of its subsidiaries--Avery Salt Company, Detroit Rock Salt Company, International Salt Company, Inc., and Retsof Mining Company.
John M. Avery discovered rock salt at Petite Anse, Louisiana in 1862. Petite Anse Island was renamed Avery Island in the late 19th century. Ownership and mining of salt at Petite Anse involved numerous parties until 1886, when New Iberia Salt Company took over operations. In 1896, the Avery family began operating the mine, and they founded the Avery Rock Salt Mining Company. In 1899, the International Salt Company leased the mine.
The Detroit Salt and Manufacturing Company was founded in 1906. The company quickly went bankrupt during construction of a shaft and was acquired in 1910 by the Watkins Salt Company, which incorporated the new organization under the name Detroit Rock Salt Company. The company experienced success and the International Salt Company purchased the mine circa 1914. In 1983, International Salt closed the mine's operations and in 1985, Crystal Mines, Inc., purchased the mine as a potential storage site.
In 1885 the Empire Salt Company of New York was renamed the Retsof Mine Company, and the Village of Retsof was founded near the mine shaft. During the next 110 years, the mine grew to become the largest salt-producing mine in the United States and the second largest in the world. Before the initial collapse in March 1994, the mine encompassed an underground area of more than 6,000 acres, and the mine footprint (outer edge of mined area) extended over an area of nearly ten square miles. At the time of the collapse, the Retsof Mine was owned by Akzo-Nobel Salt Incorporated (ANSI) and, during the winter of 1993--994 operated at full capacity to meet demands for road salt throughout the northeastern United States. The Retsof Mine ceased operations on September 2, 1995, and by December, twenty-one months after the initial collapse, the mine was completely flooded.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, 2012.
Author
Alison Oswald.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Tom Maeder donated the collection on June 13, 2009.

Bibliography
Bibliography
United States Patent and Trademark Office (http://www.uspto.gov/trademarks/index.jsp) last accessed on April 30, 2012.
Dewing, Arthur S. Corporate Promotions and Reorganizations. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1914.
Detroit Salt Company (http://www.detroitsalt.com/) last accessed on May 1, 2012
International Salt Company: Dividends out of Subsidiary Surplus at Date of Acquisition; Amortization of Bond Discount, Accounting Review, 16, No. 1 (1941): 97-102.
Kappel, William M., Richard M. Yager, and Todd S. Miller. "The Retsof Salt Mine Collapse, Widespread subsidence occurred after a mine collapse in the Genesee Valley, New York." U.S. Geological Survey, Ithaca, New York (1995): 111-120.
McNulty, John. "A Dash of Tabasco," New Yorker, June 13, 1953.
Phalen, W.C. Technology of Salt Making in the United States, Bulletin 146. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Mines, 1917.
Werner, Charles Jolly. A History and Description of the Manufacture and Mining of Salt in New York. Huntington, Long Island, New York, 1917.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research.
Preferred Citation
International Salt Company Records, 1881-1993, Archives Center, 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 held at the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution Libraries, National Museum of American History
Trade catalogs from International Salt Company Inc., 1900s
Materials held at Other Organizations
Harvard University Archives
Ritasse, William M., 1894-1968. Photographs of Hardvard University campus and environs taken by William M. Ritasse, circa 1930.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs
Avery Rock Salt Mining Company, Plan. June 16, 1924 (AKZO No. 7-77-02) - Avery Island Salt Works, Akzo Salt Incorporated, Avery Island, Iberia Parish, LA
Salt Mine Village, Salt Workers' Houses No. 6, Avery Island, Iberia Parish, LA
Avery Island Sugarhouse, Avery Island, Iberia Parish, LA
State Library of Louisiana
Historic Photograph Collection contains images of salt mining at Avery Island, Louisiana.
University of North Carolina, Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Library
Papers for the Avery Family of Louisiana, 1796-1951

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photograph albums Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salt Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Slides (photographs) -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transparencies Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Time books Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salt workers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salt mines and mining -- Michigan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salt mines and mining -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salt industry and trade Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Salt mines and mining -- Louisiana Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cashbooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Annual reports Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ledgers (account books) Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
advertising Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Financial records Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial photography -- 1990-2000 -- Texas Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mines and mineral resources -- Louisiana Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mines and mineral resources -- New York Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mines and mineral resources -- Michigan Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Newsletters Type 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