Thorvald F. Hammer Papers
Scope and Content
The papers of Thorvald F. Hammer chronicle the life and career of one of Connecticut's most prominent and gifted industrialists of the twentieth century. They also describe in part the day-to-day workings of the Malleable Iron Fittings (MIF) Company, which Mr. Hammer was involved in the management of for over fifty years. In addition, it provides a close-up view of the Connecticut iron industry, which once formed an integral part of the state's economy.
The papers span the period from 1890 to 1987. They contain Thorvald F. Hammer's personal and business correspondence, a variety of company records such as reports and surveys, personnel records, production and reference materials, historical data about the Malleable Iron Fittings Company>, and biographical information concerning Mr. Hammer. The papers contain very little about the Hammer family itself except for a small amount of personal correspondence between Mr. Hammer and his family and friends.
- Creation: undated, 1854-1987
The collection is open and available for research with the exception of Employee Record Cards and Employment Application Records which are restricted to scholarly and genealogical use. In order to protect confidentiality, individually identifiable information may not be recorded except for genealogical use.
Restrictions on Use
Permission to publish from these Papers must be obtained in writing from the owner(s) of the copyright.
Thorvald Frederick Hammer (1893-1987) was a leading industrialist and engineer in the state of Connecticut for over fifty years. He became president of the Malleable Iron Fittings Company (MIF) in 1935 upon the death of the former president, his father, Alfred E. Hammer. His family had been involved in the management of MIF from its inception in 1864. He had started working with the company at the age of fourteen during his summer vacations and became a permanent employee after graduating from Yale University in 1918 and serving in the U.S. Navy during the First World War. He remained in active service with the company until 1969.
As president of the company, he embarked on a program of modernization, which put the production of malleable iron castings on an assembly line basis. At the same time, he installed dust elimination systems and shower bath facilities to protect the health and safety of employees and to improve the environment of the work place.
Mr. Hammer was also an accomplished engineer in his own right. He made a significant contribution to the development of the galvanizing process and was the holder of several original patents. In 1962, Mr. Hammer resigned the presidency and assumed the position of Chairman of the Board when the company was sold to a group of Connecticut businessmen headed by Robert E. Thompson. Thompson became President of the company. In 1969, the company was sold to Waltham Industries and Mr. Hammer retired chairman emeritus. During his retirement, he was an independent engineering consultant.
Thorvald F. Hammer was also a prominent member of several business boards including Southern Connecticut Gas Co., the American Mutual Insurance Co., and the regional board of the Connecticut National Bank. He was a founder of the Branford Historical Society and served as chairman of the Blackstone Memorial Library of Branford, Connecticut, from 1951 to 1986.
He was a lifelong resident of Branford, Connecticut. He was the husband of State Senator Lucy T. Hammer, and they had one daughter, Alexandra Hammer Clark>. He died in 1987 at the age of 93.
(Additional biographical information about Mr. Hammer may be found in Series VI, Memorabilia, Biographical and Historical Records.)
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Language of Materials
Thorvald Hammer was born in 1893. He was a leading industrialist and engineer in the state of Connecticut for over fifty years. He graduated from Yale University in 1918 and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during the First World War. Thorvald Hammer became the president of the Malleable Iron Fittings Company (MIF) in 1935. An accomplished engineer, Mr. Hammer contributed to the development of the galvanizing process and was the holder of several original patents. After resigning from the presidency, Mr. Hammer assumed the position of Chairman of the Board. He died in 1987 at the age of 93.
Series I: Corresepondence (undated, 1931-1981) contains correspondence to and from Thorvald F. Hammer. The correspondence is divided into three categories: Personal and Individual Business, Companies and Corporate, and Interoffice Memoranda. The first category contains correspondence of a personal or business nature addressed to or from individuals and is filed in alphabetical order by correspondent's name. The bulk of Mr. Hammer's personal letters to and from his wife, Lucy Hammer, family and friends are filed under the letter H. The second category is correspondence to and from company or corporate addresses involving mostly business matters such as product and process information, price and service quotes, complaints, work proposals, and consultation recommendations. It is also filed in alphabetical order by correspondent institutional name. The last category is internal company correspondence concerning the day-to-day management of MIF Co. Included in this category is the internal correspondence to and from Mr. Robert Thompson, who was Mr. Hammer's successor as president of the company. This correspondence is arranged in the order in which Mr. Hammer maintained it.
Series II: Reports and Surveys (1892-1970) contains reports, surveys, studies, and statistical information for the MIF Company. Among other documents, these records include annual reports, Boards of Directors meetings minutes, production studies, labor productivity studies, budgets, sales activities reports, and weekly operating and payroll analyses. These records are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
Series III: Personnel and Labor (1919-1962) contains records pertaining to executive employment and recruitment, labor contracts, labor policies, and employee records. Employee record cards and employee application records contain personal information on both management and non-management MIF Co. employees, such as: name, address, date of birth, physical attributes, pay rates, etc. N.B.: Individually identifiable information may not be recorded from employee records except for genealogical use in employee relations and policies may also be found in the interoffice memoranda in Series I: Correspondence and in Series II: Reports and Surveys.
Series IV: Subject Files (undated, 1900-1970) contains reference material by MIF Co. concerning the processes and machinery used in the production of descriptions, machinery parts' listings, required standards and specification guides, and photographs of machinery. These records are arranged in alphabetical order by title.
Series V: Reference Materials (1892-1982) contains reference materials maintained by Mr. Hammer on companies and organizations other than MIF Co. These various materials include iron and steel industry directories and information, corporate histories, handbooks, and reports. These records are arranged in alphabetical order by topic. There are also industry catalogs and price lists which are arranged in alphabetical order by company name. MIF Co.'s catalogs and price lists are also contained in this group of records.
Series VI: Memorabilia, Biographical and Historical Records (undated, 1854-1987) contains material concerning Thorvald F. Hamme's life and career, the history of MIF Co., and assorted memorabilia. These include such materials as newspaper clippings, photographs, published and unpublished articles, advertisements, and handwritten notes. Also included in this series are Mr. Hammer's models of various iron production processes, his consultant blueprints, and one box of iron product samples.
The personal and business papers of Thorvald Frederick Hammer were donated to the University of Connecticut Foundation by his wife, Lucy T. Hammer, in March, 1988.
The Papers were transferred from the University of Connecticut Foundation to the Historical Manuscripts and Archives Department of the University of Connecticut Libraryies (now Archives & Special Collections) in 1989.
- Thorvald F. Hammer Papers
- Archives & Special Collections staff
- 1990 August
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- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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