The Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center

Printable copy

Finding Aid to the Edward J. White Papers, 1913-1958

Processed by James Stuart Osbourn; Revised August 2008 by Chad Leinaweaver.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Edward J. White Papers
Dates: 1913-1958
Extent: 5 linear feet (4 standard archival boxes)
Abstract: Collection of financial records, photographs and personal correspondence of Edward J. White, an electrical contractor and his company, based in Newark, N.J.
Provenance: Gift of Ruth Willner, June 1984.
Preferred Citation: Edward J. White Papers, the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library.

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Restrictions on Access

Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Photocopying of materials is limited and no materials may be photocopied without permission from library staff.

Use Restrictions

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

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Biographical Note

Edward Joseph White was born in Millburn, N.J. on June 27, 1891 of Irish-Catholic parentage. The family settled in Newark in 1899. His interest in electricity began early on with employment in the telephone department of the Lackawanna Railroad and later, with the Westinghouse Company (1909). Other employers included Public Service, General Electric and the Brooklyn Edison Company. The establishment of his own firm in 1927 was an outgrowth of his work for the R. W. Electric Company in 1918, an electric contracting firm that after several years was dissolved.

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Scope and Content

These papers and other materials outline the concerns of Newark businessman Edward J. White, an electrical contractor, during the decades from 1930’s-through the 1950’s There is some material which predates the formation of the firm Edward J. White & Company, of which Mr. White was president and founder. The collection includes information on his business activities, as president of the firm, his social activities within the Newark community, and private matters.

Some papers reflect on Mr. White’s commercial interest, but also reflect on the spiritual and social views which he held. An example is Mr. White's long involvement in the Newark Safety Council. This period of Mr. White’s business activities was one of immense change for the nation, a period when electrical power became universal and an important source of energy. The topics reveal a world of transformers, switches, outlets, generators and wiring. Other topics reflect on Mr. White’s interest in new products and the patenting of the same, the interaction of labor and employers, and work undertaken for the military following the formal declaration of war by the U.S. against the Axis powers in 1941. One collection of letters within the time span World War II is the correspondence of Mr. White with several men, doubtless former employees then drafted into the armed forces. The economic concerns of these several young men are manifest in these letters.

Other parts of the collection include numerous articles written by Edward White on electrical matters for the Jersey Review, and other publications. Mr. White was also the publisher of his own periodical White Lines, a trade journal begun in 1938. Another important segment is the picture collection, numbering approximately some two hundred items. These include the wiring of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, The Edison Tower, and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. These files also include financial statements of the firm and also other correspondence of a purely personal nature.

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Access Points

The entries below represent persons, organizations, topics, places, and forms documented in this collection.

Subject Names:

White, Edward J. (Edward Joseph), 1891-1959.

Subject Organizations:

Edward J. White & Co.—History—Sources.

Subject Topics:

Electric engineers—New Jersey—Newark—Correspondence.
Buildings—New Jersey—Photographs.
White Lines—History—Sources.

Subject Places:

Newark (N.J.).

Document Types:

Financial records.

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Container List

A 1 Correspondence 1913-1939
A 2 Correspondence 1940-1949
A 3 Correspondence 1950-1958
B 1 Photographs: Edward J. White Co., Newark, N.J. trucks and construction crews, offices and laboratories, work projects–transformers, lighting fixtures, starters, etc.)  
B 2 Photographs, Newark, N.J.:
American Insurance Co., Park Pl., ca. 1930's (2) (Electrical Show Exhibition);
Sacred Heart Cathedral (construction scaffolding); Military Park, 1938-39 (first Christmas tree of the Essex Electric League);
Branch Brook Park, greenhouse, 1930. (4);
Ruppert Stadium, 1930, (9);
Branch Brook Park, Park Avenue Bridge, 1930 (2);
Douglas Apartments (under construction) (18);
Arkansas Company, (transformers) 1936;
St. James Church; Kresge Department Store, 1949 (interior) (3);
Koegel Wagner Co., (oxygen furnaces);
Pittsburgh Plate Glass Co., (starters);
Lesire Corp.;
Westside Park, tennis courts, 1930 (4).
B 2 Photographs, New Jersey:
St. Elizabeth College, library, Convent, N.J. 1954;
St. Clair's Hospital, Denville, NJ 1951-52 (under construction) (11);
Standard Oil Esso Station, Route 25, Linden, NJ, ca. 1940 (17);
American Brake Shoe Company, research center, Mahwah, NJ 1948 (2);
Calco Chemical Company, Gloucester, NJ, 1946 (2);
Court House, Madison; NJ;
Sunnyfield Pool, West Caldwell, NJ, 1931;
Mennen Co., Morris Plains, NJ 1953 (3)
Universal Chain Co., Maplewood, NJ (transformers);
Orange Quarry Co., West Orange, NJ (transformers);
Jersey Central Power & Light Co., sub station, Whippany, NJ;
Public Service Electric & Gas Co., sub station, Caldwell, NJ, 1940;
B 2 Mountainside Ice Co., Paterson/NJ(switchboard);
Church of the Assumption, Morristown, N.J.;
Marcus L. Ward Estate, (road lighting).
B 3 Edward J. White, misc. photographs 1920-1950;
Frank C. Nagy, v.p., Edward J. White/Co.;
Edward J. White II on Ranger, Morris Co. Fair;
Misc. unidentified construction crews, work sites.
B 4 International Lighting Exposition, Chicago, Ill., 1947-: Photographs, pamphlets, correspondence, misc. biographical material, unpublished articles, newspapers, and periodical articles.  
C   Edison Memorial Tower, Edison, N.J., photographs postcards, pamphlets, correspondence, report of N.J. Commission Edison Park, 1938.
Misc. newspaper and periodical articles, typed, scrapbooks, etc.

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