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Charles Schwab Bethlehem Steel Archive
Charles Schwab Bethlehem Steel Archive 

The Bethlehem Steel Corporation, based in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, was once the second largest steel producer in the United States after Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania-based U.S. Steel. During the mid 1800s, the United States Navy decided it needed to rebuild its fleet in order to restore its worldwide naval prominence. Bethlehem Steel provided the necessary steel and quickly became one of the largest shipbuilding companies in the world and one of the most powerful symbols of American industrial manufacturing leadership. From the Spanish-American War through World War II, Bethlehem Steel was the single most important source of military products for our armed forces. During World War I and World War II, Bethlehem Steel's 15 Shipyards produced over 1,100 ships, more than any other ship builder at the time.

Taking the name Bethlehem Steel Company in 1899, the company reorganized as the Bethlehem Steel Corporation in 1904 under Charles M. Schwab, a protégé of Andrew Carnegie. Getting his start in Carnegie's steelworks factory in Braddock, PA as a laborer, Schwab quickly rose in the Carnegie empire. In 1892, Schwab was chosen by Carnegie to normalize his steel plant in Homestead, PA after a crushing strike. His success in improving labor relations while increasing production led to his appointment as president of the Carnegie Steel Company in 1897 at the age of 35. Schwab proposed the merger of the competing steel companies that would create U.S. Steel. After 2 years, he resigned in 1903 to become the first president and chairman of the board of directors of Bethlehem Steel Corporation.

Under Schwab's leadership, Bethlehem Steel Corporation became a manufacturing giant possessing steel mills, coal mines, and shipyards throughout the country and even the world. Bethlehem Steel introduced the famous Grey Mill or H-section steel structural members, which became the framework for many of the nation's most significant skyscrapers and long-span bridges including: the Golden Gate Bridge, the Madison Square Garden, Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building, Hoover Dam and Alcatraz.

This Bethlehem Steel collection of documents includes 18 authorized signature cards (varying dates from 1905 and 1908) for accounts held with the Morton Trust Company. Signatures on cards includes president, CHARLES M. SCHWAB, first vice-president, ARCHIBALD JOHNSTON, second vice-president HENRY S. SNYDER, treasurer and secretary BARRY JONES, assistant treasurer and secretary, JAMES KERNAN.

Additional documents include:

The Plan and Agreement of Reorganization report for the United States Shipbuilding Company which became part of the Bethlehem Steel Company.

Two New York Stock Exchange certificates, dated June 27, 1906, issued from the Secretary's Office to the Morton Trust Company announcing the listing of shares of preferred stock of the Bethlehem Steel Corporation and signed GEORGE W. ELY.

Accompanying letters included:

December 23, 1903 - Announcing the newly elected board of directors and signed by president, EDWARD M. McILVAIN, vice-president, ADOLPHE E. BORIE, treasurer, HENRY S. SNYDER, assistant treasurer, JAMES KERNAN and secretary, HENRY S. SNYDER. The Bethlehem Steel corporate seal has been affixed.

October 29, 1908 - Announcing the election of Charles M. Schwab as president of Bethlehem Steel, Archibald Johnston as first vice president, Henry S. Snyder as second vice president, Barry H. Jones continuing as secretary and treasurer, James Kernan as assistant secretary and treasurer and signed by BARRY H JONES

September 18, 1911 - Announcing the election of Eugene G. Grace as a vice president and signed by BARRY H. JONES.

September 29, 1911 - Announcing the election of James Kernan as assistant secretary and assistant treasurer, Eugene G. Grace as general manager and a vice president, Archibald Johnston as a vice president and Henry S. Snyder as a vice president and signed by BARRY H. JONES, secretary of Bethlehem Steel. The Bethlehem Steel corporate seal has been affixed to the document. $1500.00*


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