Henry Stieg Collection of the Pratt & Whitney Company
Scope and Content Note
The collection consists of materials gathered by Henry Stieg, a machinist at the Pratt & Whitney Division of the Niles-Bement-Pond Company from 1940 to 1973 and departmental steward in the Unity Lodge Local 251 of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers and, after 1948, Unity Lodge, Local 405 of the United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, C.I.O.. The materials include publications, newsletters and flyers and memoranda of the locals and the company, drawings and machine plans, reports and maps, correspondence, contract proposals and agreements, job evaluations, newspaper clippings and pamphlets. Topics include a strike at the company, by Local 251, in 1946 and labor issues between the company's workers and its owners as well as other general issues in labor relations.
The collection also includes a report and maps associated with a plan to build an easement to the Niles-Bement-Pond property from the New Haven Railroad and the Connecticut Company between New Park Avenue and the railroad tracks in West Hartford, Connecticut, and reports from the U.S. Department of Commerce National Bureau of Standards about gages produced by the company.
- undated, 1934-1993
The collection is open and available for research.
Restrictions on Use and Copyright Information
Permission to publish from this Collection must be obtained in writing from both the University of Connecticut Libraries and the owner(s) of the copyright.
History of Pratt & Whitney Company
Pratt & Whitney Company was founded in 1860 by Francis Pratt (1827-1902) and Amos Whitney (1832-1920), who met while working as machinists for the Phoenix Iron Works. The first products they produced included silk winders, guns, lathes, and drills. The company formally incorporated in 1869. By the end of the 1800s the company branched into the production of planters, screw machines, die sinkers, wrenches, gages, weighing machines, and more.
In 1879 the company hired Harvard professor William A. Rogers and Stevens Institute of Technology graduate George M. Bond to begin work to establish the standard inch. This led to the important development of the Rogers-Bond Comparator, accurate to one fifty-thousandth of an inch. This research helped Pratt & Whitney develop and promulgate the mass production of interchangeable parts.
In 1901 Pratt & Whitney Company was purchased by the Niles-Bement-Pond Company. At that time the company concentrated on the manufacture of machine tools, small tools, and gages. In 1925 the company began producing aircraft engines, but by 1929 had moved this operation to a plant in East Hartford, Connecticut. With the move the manufacture of engines became unaffiliated with the Pratt & Whitney Division of the Niles-Bement-Pond Company, but the company retained the rights to use the Pratt & Whitney name.
Due to its need for expansion the Pratt & Whitney Company relocated from its original offices on Capitol Avenue in Hartford to a 166-acre complex on Charter Oak Boulevard in West Hartford in 1939. The company became well known for the precision of its equipment, which was able to accurately measure to 5 millionths of an inch. By 1961 Pratt & Whitney had begun to produce numerically controlled measuring systems, which allowed for even greater accuracy.
In 1945 Niles-Bement-Pond Company was acquired by Chandler Evans. Chandler Evans merged with Penn-Texas Corporation in 1955. Penn-Texas Corporation was renamed in 1958 as Fairbanks Whitney Corporation after it merged with Fairbanks Morse & Company. By 1960 the Pratt & Whitney Division employed over 2500 workers and produced more than 2000 items. By 1968 it was part of Colt Industries.
In 1991 Moore Products Company assumed control of Pratt & Whitney Company and moved its headquarters to Plainville, Connecticut. Today the company is known as Pratt & Whitney Measurement Systems, Inc. and is located in Bloomfield, Connecticut.
History of the workers unions
United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers of America, Unity Lodge, Local 251, represented workers at the Pratt & Whitney Division of Niles-Bement-Pond in West Hartford, Connecticut. Its predecessor union was established in 1933-1934 as the Machine Tool and Co-workers of America, Unity Lodge. In March 1937 the Unity Lodge affiliated with the United Automobile Workers of America to become UAW Local 348.
The charter for Local 251 was established on October 3, 1938. Local 251 became part of the Amalgamated Local 405 of the International Union of United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America on March 19, 1948.
For more information about the early history of unions that served the Pratt & Whitney Company, see Dick Lenzi's Toward Industrial Unionism in Hartford: A History of the Labor Movement at Pratt & Whitney Tool Company, 1900-1937.
Biographical information about Henry R. Stieg
Henry R. Stieg was born on March 19, 1909, in Hartford, Connecticut, where he was a lifelong resident. He attended Hartford High School for three years and graduated from Bulkeley High School. He attended Northeastern University for three years but did not earn his degree. He married Helen Chaplin in 1939 or 1940 and they adopted one son, Karl.
Henry Stieg worked at Underwood Typewriter in the 1930s and was hired by the Pratt & Whitney Company on February 5, 1940, as a master gage inspector. During World War II he was prevented from enlisting in the military by the company, who argued with the government that Mr. Stieg's skills were better put to use producing materials for the war than in being a soldier.
Mr. Stieg became a departmental steward in Local 251 in 1944, recording secretary in 1945 and was a prominent figure in the court case that came out of changing the local from the U.E. to the U.A.W. in 1948. He was elected to the Negotiating Committee in 1950 and served as a trustee from 1955 to 1973. He retired from the company in 1973.
Mr. Stieg was also a founding member, in 1940, and treasurer for many years, of the Connecticut Electric Railway Association which runs the Connecticut Trolley Museum in East Windsor, Connecticut.
Henry R. Stieg died on January 2, 1999, in Springfield, Massachusetts.
4 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
The collection consists of materials gathered by Henry R. Stieg, a master gage inspector at the Pratt & Whitney Division of the Niles-Bement-Pond Company from 1940 to 1973 and departmental steward in the Unity Lodge Local 251 of the United Electrical, Radio & Machine Workers and, after 1948, Unity Lodge, Local 405 of the United Automobile, Aircraft and Agricultural Implement Workers of America, C.I.O.. The materials include publications, newsletters and flyers and memoranda of the locals and the company, drawings and machine plans, reports and maps, correspondence, contract proposals and agreements, job evaluations, newspaper clippings and pamphlets.
Provenance and Acquisition
The collection was donated in June 1998 by Henry R. Stieg and his son Karl H. Stieg.
No-foreign-war crusade : a handbook of ways and means by which individuals and groups may help to keep the United States out of war and promote world peace, 1937, Dodd
The General Motors Strike: The Facts and Their Implications, 1946, Dodd
The Drive Against Labor: An analysis of recent legislative proposals to restrict union activity, 1947, Dodd
. What is the John Birch Society?, Dodd
Steward's Guide: Hints on Bargaining and Grievance Procedure, Dodd
. Digest of Major Labor Laws in Connecticut, 1963 (published by the Labor Education Center, Division of Continuing Education Services, University of Connecticut), Dodd
- Connecticut (state) Subject Source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- Correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Design drawings Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Fliers (printed matter) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Labor Subject Source: Fast
- Labor unions Subject Source: Fast
- Machine-tool industry Subject Source: Fast
- Maps (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Pamphlets Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Publications (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Strikes and lockouts Subject Source: Fast
- Henry Stieg Collection of the Pratt & Whitney Company
- Archives & Special Collections staff
- 2012 June
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Archives and Special Collections, University of Connecticut Library Repository
University of Connecticut Library
405 Babbidge Road Unit 1205
Storrs Connecticut 06269-1205 USA US