Manuscript Group 1105, Empire Steel and Iron Company, Mount Hope, NJ Records, 1902 – 1961

Archives Documents, Manuscripts, Maps, & Photographs

Manuscript Group 1105, Empire Steel and Iron Company, Mount Hope, NJ
Records, 1902 – 1961, 1 linear foot
Call Number: MG 1105


Accident reports, plans, and miscellaneous records of the Empire Steel and Iron Company’s Mt. Hope Mine.  The accident reports provide detailed information about each injured worker. This collection sheds some light on the work experiences of Hungarian, Russian and other eastern European immigrant workers.

Gift of Joseph Conwill, 1979.

Historical Note:

The mine at Mount Hope, owned by Empire Steel and Iron Company has been owned by several companies since its discovery in the early 18th century.  During the American Revolution, John Jacob Faesch, a former ironmaster at another mine, provided ore for the making of canon and shot for Washington’s army.  The making of iron during this period required charcoal, and the axes of many men nearly cleared away the forests around the mine, but the Morris Canal was constructed and this permitted the company to use coal.  The coming of the Morris and Essex Railroad in 1848 provided cheaper transportation and increased the work at the mine and the opening of many other mines, which eventually produced 100,000 tons of ore by 1855.  The mines prospered until the Mesabi Range in Minnesota was discovered.  After that, mining in Morris County began to decline – this was shaft mining and more expensive than the open pit mining at Mesabi.

The information in this collection shows that the Empire Steel and Iron Company was operating the Mount Hope mine until 1901 – though it can’t be established with this collection just when Empire acquired the mine.  Shahmoon Industries sold the mine in 1972.

Company officers listed in the collection include Leonard Peckett, President; H. S. Hart, Auditor (Assistant Treasurer).  Duke Peckett is listed at the supervisor of the Mount Hope mine operations.  The main office of Empire Steel and Iron Company was located in Catasauqua, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection contains data from 1902-1961 and provides information of occupational safety, immigrant movements and occupations, and iron mines in America. Researchers of immigrants of the early 1900s will note that many of the miners are middle-Europeans, who according to the accident reports, speak little or no English.  there is some correspondence with a New York Employment Agency to the Empire Steel and Iron Company inquiring about work for laborers or mine operatives.  One inquiry asks for work for a group of Greek men who have their own English-speaking supervisor.  It is requested that the mine company only supply them a house and they will provide their own food and cooking.

Other firms’ letterheads are also found and two of these seem to be related to, or part of, the company at later dates.  These are Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation and Shahmoon Industries, which appears to be a subsidiary of Warren Foundry.  The files include general correspondence of daily operations, i.e. cost of shaft repairs, switchboards, valves, etc., as well as accident reports from 1901-1912.  There are five time sheets, operating/power costs data, requisitions, bills, and freight tariff charts.  There is some printed material:

The Articles of Agreement between Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation and the International Union of Mines, Mill and Smelter Workers, Local 681, dated June 22, 1944.

  • A booklet of “American Railway Association Rules and Interstate Commerce Commission Regulations for Transportation of Dangerous Articles Other than Explosives,” dated October 1, 1911.
  • Engineering and Mining Journal – Press Magazine, Vol. 120 #1, dated July 4, 1925.

The collection has three series: Accident Reports, General Correspondence, and Printed Material.

The Accident Reports consist of fourteen files of accident reports at the Mount Hope, New Jersey mine owned by Empire Steel and Iron Company.  They cover the time period from 1901-December 1912.  The reports contain the following information: name/address, occupation/weekly wages, general duties, how long employed, how long at this particular job, machinery/tools involved, was job explained to worker, did worker speak English, description of accident, did worker go home, how long away from work, and description of injuries.

The next series contains the general business correspondence and daily paperwork of the company in nine folders.  Lastly, File 25 contains some printed material pertaining to mining in general – magazines and booklets.  All material is arranged chronologically.

Related Collections:

See records from other iron mines.

See records from ironworks.

Folder List:

Folder Contents Dates
Accident Reports
1 Accident reports (14 items) 1901-1908
Contains various accident reports, including one accident which involves the deaths of two Austro-Hungarian miners.
2 Accident reports (26 items) Jan. 25, 1909-July 2, 1909
Contains various reports on accidents at mine.  Also informative note of family circumstance after the death of John Vanderbush, age 28.
3 Accident reports (27 items) July 8, 1909-Dec. 29, 1909
Contains various accident reports, including one man totally blind, one man partially blind, and three men killed.
4 Accident reports (14 items) Jan. 1, 1910-June 2, 1910
Accident reports including lacerations, contusions, broken bones, and burns. Also report of 40 year old man and one 19 year old man who died suddenly of a heart attack.
5 Accident reports (16 items) June 24, 1910-Dec. 1916
First report involves five men, one man losing a leg.  Second report concerns man killed.  Balance of reports usual injuries.
6 Accident reports (16 items) Sept. 6, 1911-Dec. 23, 1911
Incidents reported are general but it should be noted that most reports involve mid-European immigrants who speak no English.
7 Accident reports (26 items) Jan. 27, 1911-Aug. 31, 1911
Usual incidents.  One report describes major incident in which two men are killed, one is seriously injured, and one has minor injuries.  Also two reports of train accident on Mount Hope Mineral Railroad involving miners.
8 Accident reports (2 items) 1908-1911
This file contains 2 summary reports (with many copies) of accidents from 1908, 1909, 1910, 1911.  Summary from 1908 is just figures – no details – for each shaft.  Summary from 1909-1911 is same as each report in Accident Report files – presents some details.
9 Accident reports (26 items) Jan. 1, 1912-May 1912
Usual incidents with one report of accident involving two men killed. Several of the reports in this file concern miners of Hungarian nationality.
10 Accident reports (18 items) June 18, 1912-July 29, 1912
Usual incidents.  Many mid-European miners, especially Hungarian.
11 Accident reports (11 items) Aug. 1912
Usual minor incidents.
12 Accident reports (18 items) Sept. 17, 1912-Sept. 30, 1912
Usual minor incidents.
13 Accident reports (13 items) Oct. 1912
Usual minor incidents.
14 Accident reports (19 items) Nov. 1912-Dec. 1912
Usual minor incidents.
General Correspondence
15 General Correspondence (40 items) 1902-1908
Correspondence relating to general operations of the mine, i.e. cost of improvements to mine shafts, shipment of parts, etc.  It also contains three letters between the New York State Commission on Lunacy and Empire Steel and Iron Company in reference to the employment and health of Janusz Andrew of Hungary.
16 General Correspondence (47 items) Jan. 4, 1909-May 13, 1909
Correspondence relating to general operations of the mine.  Also includes letters to and from New Jersey Senator T. J. Hillery of Boonton, New Jersey in reference to the Employee Liability Bills before the State Senate and Assembly, letters are dated around Feb. 9, 1909.  (These bills referred to Assembly Bill #34 as produced in the Assembly Report for 1901.  This bill states, “an act to extend and regulate the liability of employers to make compensation for personal injuries suffered by employees in their service.”  This bill failed to become law at end of April 15, 1909 session.)
17 General Correspondence (43 items) June 1, 1909-Nov. 26, 1909
In addition to usual correspondence, this file contains letters from the Greater New York Employment Agency in reference to the employment of men in the mines and requests that pay due some of the men be forwarded to the agency.  (The company uses a number to identify employees and the name with some of the numbers appears to be an Anglicized version of the name from the agency.)
18 General Correspondence n. d.
General correspondence pertaining to employee safety procedures and new laws regarding employers’ liabilities in same.
19 General Correspondence (5 items) Feb. 21, 1940-Dec. 5, 1941
Mine time sheets.
20 General Correspondence (4 items) 1928-1930-1942
Miscellaneous pieces pertaining to operating costs and power costs data.  These are under heading of Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation at the Mt. Hope mine.  Shows breakdown of ore breaking costs per ton.  One sheet gives breakdown of costs for use of electric power at mine.
21 General Correspondence (7 items) 1948-1952
Miscellaneous items for orders of supplies and repairs.  Requisitions for explosives, 1948-1949, and explosive materials – i.e. fuses, caps, powder, etc.
22 General Correspondence (42 items) 1907-1912
Freight Tariff tables for Mt. Hope Mineral Railroad applying to coal, sand, ice, and potatoes.  Freight Tariff tables for Central Railroad Company of New Jersey, New York, and Long Branch Railroad in connection with Mt. Hope Mineral Railroad for building sand, sand and stone tailings, crushed stone and amesite.  Freight Tariff tables for Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad and Wharton and Northern Railroad.
23 General Correspondence (24 items) 1904, 1907, 1908, 1909
Bills for Empire Steel and Iron Company.  Bills for Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation from 1940, 1942, 1950.  Bills for Shahmoon Industries Company from 1961 (a division of Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation).
24 General Correspondence – Miscellaneous (13 items) 1909-1942
Order confirmations, receipt for payment of artificial leg, cash account sheet dated 1938, shipping sheets for Ulster Truck from Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation, and rent receipts.
Printed Material
25 Articles of Agreement – Warren Foundry and Pipe Corporation and International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers, Local 681 June 22, 1944
Large booklet containing American Railway Association Rules and Interstate Commerce Commission Regulations for Transportation of Dangerous Articles Other Than Explosives Oct. 1, 1911
Engineering and Mining Journal – Press Magazine, Vol. 120, No. 1: Contains articles and advertisements pertaining to mining. July 4, 1925

Processed by Sharon Sandusky, Bloomfield College, 1983


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