Iron and Steel Union Constitution
Scope and Contents
The manuscript in this collection is an incomplete, holograph copy of the constitution which was adopted by The Iron and Steel Roll Hands Union and The Associated Brotherhood of Iron and Steel Heaters, Rollers and Roughers. It was adopted at their joint meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana, August 3, 1875 but its usefulness was short-lived as the union the following year merged and became The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. The manuscript is incomplete lacking several pages including the first one noting the name of the proposed union. It was written on letterhead of the Columbus Lodge No.11 of The National Union of Rollers, Roughers, Catchers and Hookers of the United States.
The proposed constitution describes election and duties of general officers, formation and duties of the council, raising and disbursement of funds, admission and transfer of members, protection of members, duties of members receiving support, removal of member receiving support, suspension of members' benefits, clearance cards, correspondence, funeral funds and dissolution of the association.
According to the proceedings of the 11th reunion of The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, the manuscript constitution remained in the hands of William Martin, the elected Secretary of the Roll Hands Union and later the General Secretary of the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. It was probably sent to Buckler when he requested information on the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers in 1903 or 1904. William Martin probably wrote the constitution as he was a delegate from the Roll Hands and was elected secretary of the joint committe meeting in Indianapolis, August 1875. The stationary on which it is written reflects the original name of the Roll Hands: National Union of Rollers, Roughers, Catchers and Hookers.
- Creation: (1875)
Access to the papers is unrestricted.
Permission to publish material from this collection must be requested in writing from the Manuscripts Librarian, Milton S. Eisenhower Library, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, Md. 21218.
The formal name of the iron and steel union whose constitution forms this collection is not known, but the union was formed in 1875 by the merger of The Iron and Steel Roll Hands Union and The Associated Brotherhood of Iron and Steel Heaters, Rollers and Roughers.
The Associated Brotherhood of Iron and Steel Heaters, Rollers and Roughers originated in Chicago in 1861 where a local lodge of heaters organized. At that time it was called The Associated Brotherhood of Iron and Steel Rail Heaters. Membership was extended to other groups of workers including the rollers and roughers and by 1873, the association had 22 lodges and 480 members. The name of the association became The Associated Brotherhood of Iron and Steel Heaters, Rollers and Roughers.
The Iron and Steel Roll Hands Union had initially organized as a national union at Springfield, Illinois in June 1873 with 15 lodges and 473 members. It was named The National Union of Rollers, Roughers, Catchers and Hookers of the United States. Lodge No. 11 of the N.U.R.R.C.H. was located in Columbus, Ohio where a second convention was held in August 1874. At this time the union admitted two other classes of workmen - buggeymen and cold straighteners. The name of the union was changed to The Iron and Steel Roll Hands Union.
The following year, The Iron and Steel Roll Hands Union enlarged its membership again. Delegates representing The Associated Brotherhood of Iron and Steel Heaters, Rollers and Roughers and The Iron and Steel Roll Hands Union met in Indianapolis, Indiana on August 3, 1875 to consider the question of amalgamation. Although this amalgamation was not finalized, a constitution was adopted. The formal name of this proposed union is not known.
In the same month, The United Sons of Vulcan, a union of boilers and puddlers, were convening in Philadelphia. On August 21, 1875, the Heaters and the Roll Hands received notice from The United Sons of Vulcan that they would consider consolidation with the two groups. A meeting of the three committes was held Dec. 7, 1875 in Pittsburgh where a constitution was written and adopted for the proposed Amalgamated Association. Each organization met in separate session, voted to amalgamate, and on August 4, 1876, the proposed constitution was adopted as a whole resulting in the formation of The Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers. In 1942, the Association merged with United Steelworkers of America.
For more information on these unions see:
Almagamated Assoc. of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers:
Constitution and General Laws. HD6515.I85c 1874-1891
Proceedings of Conventions. HD6515.I85f V.1 1876-80
Reynolds, Lloyd George. Trade Union Publications. (1850- 1941)
Robinson, Jesse Squibb. The Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel and Tin Workers.
H31.J6 Ser.38 no.2. 1920.
United Sons of Vulcan. Proceedings.
0.19 Cubic Feet (1 letter half-size document box)
Language of Materials
The manuscript was given as a gift to the Library in 1905 by William H. Buckler. Buckler apparently acquired the manuscript and some other materials on this union when he was a student in the Economy Seminary at The Johns Hopkins University. In 1902, under the direction of professors Jacob H. Hollander and George E Barnett, the members of the Economy Seminary began collecting materials about trade unions in order to study them. This project culminated in 1904 with the publication of A Trial Bibliography of Amerian Trade Union Publications which was updated in 1907 and re-published in 1944 as Trade Union Publications by Lloyd G.Reynolds and Charles C. Killingsworth. Buckler apparently acquired this manuscript from the union while working on the Seminary project and donated it to the Library. The manuscript was later added to the Hutzler Collection of Economic Classics and given the catalog number Hutzler 2050.
General Physical Description note
1 volume (27 pages)
- Iron and Steel Union Constitution (1875)Ms. Hut005
- Joan Grattan
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English
Part of the Special Collections Repository
The Sheridan Libraries
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