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Subseries 6.2
Industrial progress and national defense, 1912-1938
Boxes 78-87

Scope and Content Note

The first world war demonstrated the extent of this country's dependence upon chemical industry. It also indicated the vulnerability of this industry which relied on foreign sources for important raw materials, including potash for fertilizer and sodium nitrate for fertilizers and explosives. In addition, the coal-tar chemical industry, the basis of synthetic organic chemical industry at that time, was virtually nonexistent in the United States because of a German monopoly. Coal-tar products included most textile and other dyes, many important medicinals, and powerful explosives. The poisonous gases used in chemical warfare were also coal-tar products. It became apparent that the nation's security was tied to a self-sufficient American chemical industry.

The outbreak of war led to the formation of industrial and scientific mobilization and coordination organizations, and new emphasis on research to offset dependence upon foreign raw chemicals. The government synthetic nitrogen program was begun, and intensive exploration was carried out for American deposits of critical raw material such as potash. Perhaps the most significant development during these years was the move to establish an independent coal-tar chemical industry in the United States. War-induced shortages of coal-tar products focused national attention on the lack of a competitive coal-tar chemical industry. The U. S. Alien Property Custodian, under the amended Trading With the Enemy Act, was given authority to seize enemy alien chemical patents and issue them to American chemical manufacturers. The prospect of tariff protection also encouraged investment in this expensive industry.

Herty played an important part in these activities. He served on the nitrate supply committees of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Research Council (1916-1917). He helped to organize the Naval Consulting Board Industrial Preparedness Committee (See Subseries 6.3), and he was one of the original members of the National Research Council Division of Chemistry and Chemical Technology. He warned against dependence upon the German potash syndicate; in 1929 he discussed with President Hoover the question of Palestinian potash deposits.

Herty figured prominently in the establishment of an American coal-tar chemical industry. He spoke out as president of the American Chemical Society as early as 1915 for the importance of the industry in national defense. He served as a member of the Dyestuffs Advisory Committee of the War Trade Board (WTB). In 1919, he represented the WTB in Paris concerning arrangements with the Allied Reparations Commission for obtaining German reparations dyes stocks. The Dyestuffs Advisory Committee of the WTB was transferred to the Textile Alliance, Inc. when it took over the responsibility of importing and distributing the reparations dyes to American users, and Herty remained on the committee. He actively promoted protective legislation for the coal-tar dye industry. As president of the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association (See Subseries 6.1) he continued to look out for the interests of this industry.

The first part of the subseries relates to Herty's nitrogen work. Most of this concerns the Nitrate Supply Committees of the National Academy of Sciences (1916-1917) and the National Research Council (1917). Correspondents include: Dr. Leo H. Baekeland, Dr. A. A. Noyes, Dr. Charles L. Parsons, and Dr. W. R. Whitney. Between 1918-1932 there is some correspondence about industrial developments in the nitrogen fixation process and occasional references to nitrogen work at Muscle Shoals.

Files relating to Herty's association with the National Research Council include correspondence with Dr. George E. Hale, Dr. John Johnston, and Dr. Vernon Kellogg. He was one of the original members of its Division of Chemistry and Chemical Technology.

The Potash section contains frequent correspondence about government potash investigations (1918-1929). Between 1924 and 1927 he corresponded with Senator Morris Sheppard (Texas) and Representative Nicholas Longworth (Ohio) about potash legislation. In 1929 he was in correspondence with Dr. Thomas H. Norton about the Dead Sea potash and bromine salts concessions.

Files concerning Herty's work for an independent American coal-tar chemical industry consists mainly of general correspondence about these activities. His efforts were of a promotional nature during the years 1915-1918. In 1915 he gathered information about the needs of a coal-tar chemical industry through correspondence with Dr. Thomas Norton of the Department of Commerce and Dr. Bernhard C. Hesse. He alerted the public to the necessity of protective legislation for the coal-tar dye industry through speeches, editorials in the Journal of Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, and other writings. He tried to enlist support for a protective tariff among the American press, especially the Manufacturers Record and the Philadelphia Public Ledger. He made a similar effort with Southern textile manufacturers. In 1916 he corresponded with Fred Lewis and Fuller Callaway about setting up a publicity campaign among southern textile manufacturers to lobby for a tariff, but the campaign failed to get off the ground. There is also frequent correspondence with American dye manufacturers.

Herty corresponded with Representative Ebenezer J. Hill (Connecticut), Senator Furnifold Simmons (North Carolina), and Representative Claude Kitchin (North Carolina) about protective dye legislation measures. There is relatively little correspondence about the coal-tar chemical industry in 1918; most of it concerns American military and industrial demands for toluol, a coal-tar derivative.

Between 1919 and 1922, Herty was involved with the War Trade Board (WTB) and Textile Alliance activities concerning the procurement of German Reparations dye stocks. The general correspondence during these years is primarily concerned with various legislative measures to protect the American coal-tar dye industry. Correspondents for these years include: Representative Longworth, Senator Simmons, Senator James E. Watson (Indiana), Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen (New Jersey), Dr. S. Whetmore of British Dyes Corporation, LTD, and Dr. Edward Fahs Smith. There is also correspondence with American dye manufacturers and with members of the press, particularly Douglas G. Woolf of the Textile World Journal.

Most of the correspondence for 1923 and 1924 concerns communications between U. S. Department of Commerce officers and Herty (who was in Europe in 1923) about the activities of German, British, Swiss, Italian and French coal-tar dye manufacturers. Correspondents include: Frederick E. Breithut, American Trade Commissioner; C. Concannon, chief, Chemical Division, Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce (BFDC); Lieut. Frank B. Gorin, chief Heavy Chemical Section of Chemical Division, BFDC; Assistant Secretary of State Leland Harrison; and Chester Lloyd Jones, American Commercial Attache. Correspondence about the coal-tar dye industry decreases substantially after 1924. There is some correspondence in 1925 with Lieut. Gorin, now of the U. S. Chemical Warfare Association, about dye imports.

The subseries also contains Herty's correspondence with the American Dyes Institute (ADI) for the years 1919-1922. This trade association of American dye manufacturers was absorbed into the SOCMA. Herty was a member of the Tariff Committee of the ADI. Correspondents include: W. R. Corwine, H. E. Danner, Dr. J. Merritt Matthews, and M. R. Poucher.

Additional files relate to the War Trade Board, the Allied Reparation Commission, and the American Commission to Negotiate Peace. In May of 1919, Herty was appointed to the Advisory Committee on Dyes to the WTB; he served as committee secretary. The committee recommended types and quantities of dyes which could be imported to meet unfilled demands of American consumers. In 1919, Herty secured an option from the German dye cartel to cover amounts and types of dyes needed by Americans which were not covered by the reparation allotment. Most of the correspondence is with the following: L. Bennett, secretary, WTB; Franklin W. Hobbs; Karl de Laittre, director, Bureau of Research and Statistics, WTB; W. B. D. Penniman, WTB trade advisor; and Clarence M. Woolley, vice-chairman, WTB.

In September, 1919, the WTB asked the Textile Alliance, Inc. to take over the control and importation of the Reparation Commission dyestuffs. The WTB Dyes Advisory Committee became a joint committee of the WTB and the Textile Alliance. Correspondence concerning the committee after August, 1919, is filed with the Textile Alliance papers in box 87. The committee remained active, although the WTB Dye Advisory Committee terminated in December, 1921, as part of the Textile Alliance until February, 1924. The U. S. government ended the arrangement between the WTB and the Textile Alliance in January, 1922. In December, 1927.; Herty was appointed chairman of the Textile Alliance Subcommittee of the Committee, appointed June 22, 1921, to Dispose of the Surplus Derived from the Sale of the Underwritten Dyes. Correspondents in the Textile Alliance papers include: Frank D. Cheney, Franklin W. Hobbs, A. C. Imbrie, August Merz, M. B. Metcalf, E. V. Patterson, M. R. Poucher, H. B. Thompson, and W. H. Watkins.

The Textile Alliance had agreed to sell German reparation dyes and divide the sale profits between the United States government and a fund set aside for textile research. In 1930 the government's share of this money was donated by Congress for this research; the Textile Foundation was established to administer the fluids. The files contain correspondence with Textile Foundation chairman Franklin W. Hobbs and Foundation secretary and assistant treasurer Edward T. Pickard. The section also contains correspondence about the American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists, mainly with the association president E. H. Killheffer.

The U. S. Tariff Commission section contains correspondence relating to the American coal-tar dye industry between 1917 and 1931. Major correspondents are Dr. F. 0. Taussig, chairman of the Tariff Commission, and Dr. Grinnell Jones, who worked for the commission on tariff chemical schedules. Some Tariff Commission publications and press releases relating to the coaltar chemical industry are included here.

The remainder of the series contains miscellaneous Department of Commerce papers concerning the coal-tar chemical industry; various other papers relating to dyestuffs and the chemical industry.. Also included are papers relating to Herty service as a member of the Chemical Advisory Committee to the Department of Commerce; a deputy administrator with the National Recovery Administration, 1933 and 1934; and a member of the Georgia State Planning Board in 1937 and 1938.

Box Folder Content
72 1 General Correspondence: 1915
72 2 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. Correspondence: 1916
72 3 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. Correspondence: 1917
72 4 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Academy of Sciences. Reports: 1916-1917
72 5 U. S. Bureau of Mines. Reports on the Nitrogen Industry: 1917
72 6 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. Correspondence: March-July, 1917
72 7 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. Correspondence: August-September, 1917
72 8 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. Proceedings and Recommendations: 1917
72 9 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. General Correspondence: November-December, undated, 1917
72 10 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. General Correspondence: 1918-1919
72 11 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. General Correspondence: 1920-1921
72 12 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. General Correspondence: 1924, 1926-1929, 1931-1932
72 13 Nitrate Supply Committee of the National Research Council. Miscellaneous Papers: 1916-1917, 1921, 1926-1929
73 1 Great Britain. Nitrogen Products Committee. Final Report: 1920
73 2 U. S. War Expenditures. Congressional Report: 1920
73 3 Muscle Shoals. Legislation, Senate Committee Hearings and Statements: 1921-1922, 1926-1927, 1929
73 4 Muscle Shoals. Presented by the Muscle Shoals Commission: 1931
National Research Council
73 5 Correspondence: 1916-1918
73 6 Correspondence: 1919
73 7 Correspondence: 1920-1921
73 8 Correspondence: 1922-1924
73 9 Correspondence: 1925-1929
73 10 National Research Fellowships in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Correspondence: 1931
73 11 Miscellaneous Papers:1920, 1931
74 1 Correspondence: 1914-1917
74 2 Correspondence: 1918
74 3 Correspondence: 1919-1920
74 4 Correspondence: 1921-1922
74 5 Correspondence: 1924-1926
74 6 Correspondence: 1927-1928
74 7 Correspondence: 1929
74 8 Correspondence: 1930-1932
74 9 British Government Documents Relating to the Dead Sea Salts Concession:1928-1929
74 10 Miscellaneous Papers: 1915-1922
74 11 Miscellaneous Papers: 1924-1927, 1929-1930
American Coal-tar Dye Industry, Correspondence
75 1 1915
75 2 January-February, 1916
75 3 March, 1916
75 4 April-May, 1916
75 5 June-July, 1916
75 6 August-September, 1916
75 7 October-December, undated, 1916
75 8 January-February, 1917
76 1 March-April, 1917
76 2 May, 1917
76 3 June-October, 1917
76 4 November-December, undated, 1917
76 5 January-March, 1918
76 6 April-December, 1918
76 7 January-June, 1919
76 8 July-September, 1919
76 9 October-December, 1919
76 10 January-May, 1,920
76 11 June-October, 1920
77 1 November-December, 1920
77 2 January-February, 1921
77 3 March 1921
77 4 April-May, 1921
77 5 June-July, 1921
77 6 August-September, 1921
77 7 October, 1921
77 8 November-December, undated, 1921
77 9 January-April, 1922
77 10 May-August, 1922
77 11 September-December, undated, 1922
78 1 January-July, 1923
78 2 August-September, 1923
78 3 October, 1923
78 4 November-December, undated, 1923
78 5 Diary and Notes about Paris Trip: 1923-1924
78 6 January, 1924
78 7 February-March, 1924
78 8 April-October, 1924
78 9 November, undated, 1924
78 10 1925
78 11 1927, 1929, 1931, 1938
American Dyes Institute
78 12 Correspondence: 1919
78 13 Correspondence: January-June, 1920
78 14 Correspondence: July-December, 1920
78 15 Correspondence: 1921-1922
War Trade Board
79 1 Advisory Committee on Dyes. Correspondence: May-June, 1919
79 2 Advisory Committee on Dyes. Correspondence: July, 1919
79 3 Advisory Committee on Dyes. Correspondence: August-December, undated, 1919
79 4 Advisory Committee on Dyes. Correspondence: 1920-1921
79 5 Advisory Committee on Dyes. Minutes of Meetings: 1919
79 6 Regulations, Orders and Press Notices: 1918-1921
79 7 War Trade Board Journal: 1918-1919
79 8 Miscellaneous Papers: 1917-1919
Allied Reparation Commission and American Commission to Negotiate Peace
79 9 Correspondence: May-September, 1919
79 10 Correspondence: October-December, 1919
80 1 Correspondence: 1920-1921
80 2 Personal Notes and Diary: 1919
80 3 Miscellaneous Papers: 1919, 1922-1923, undated
80 4 Organization Committee of Reparation Commission. SubCommission for Dyestuffs, Chemical and Pharmaceutical Products. Papers: 1919
American Commission to Negotiate Peace.
80 5 List of Intermediates, etc., from German Chemical Companies: 1919
80 6 Lists of Dye Stocks of German Chemical Companies: 1919
80 7 Lists of Dye Stocks of German Chemical Companies: 1919
80 8 Lists of Dye Stocks of German Chemical Companies: 1919
Textile Organizations.
80 9 Textile Alliance, Inc. Correspondence: 1919
80 10 Textile Alliance, Inc. Correspondence: 1920
80 11 Textile Alliance, Inc. Correspondence: 1921
81 1 Textile Alliance, Inc. Correspondence: 1922-1925
81 2 Textile Alliance, Inc. Correspondence: 1926-1928
81 3 Textile Alliance, Inc. Dyestuffs Advisory Committee. Minutes of Meetings: 1919-1922
81 4 Textile Foundation. Correspondence: 1930-1932, 1934-1935
81 5 Textile Foundation. Correspondence: 1936-1938
81 6 Textile Foundation. Miscellaneous Papers: 1931, 1937
81 7 American Association of Textile Chemists and Colorists. Correspondence: 1928-1930, 1934-1935, 1937
81 8 United States Institute for Textile Research, Inc. Correspondence: 1931-1932
U. S. Tariff Commission
81 9 Correspondence: 1917-1919
81 10 Correspondence: 1920-1921, 1923-1924, 1926-1928, 1931
82 1 Press Releases: 1920-1921, 1926-1928
82 2 Tariff Information Series Publications. Numbers: 2, 11, 22, 23, 26
82 3 Tariff Information Series Publications. Numbers: 31-35, 37
82 4 Miscellaneous Publications: 1917-1920
Department of Commerce
83 1 Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Publications: 1913-1928
83 2 Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Artificial Dyestuffs Wed in the United States: Quality and Value of Foreign Imports and of Domestic Production During the Fiscal Year 1913-1914. Special Agent Series No. 121. By Thomas H. Norton. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1916 (Typescript).
83 3 Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Artificial Dyestuffs Wed in the United States: Quality and Value of Foreign Imports and of Domestic Production During the Fiscal Year 1913-1914. Special Agent Series No. 121. By Thomas H. Norton. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1916. Inscribed to Herty from Norton
83 4 Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce. Commercial Organizations in Germany. Special Agents Series No. 77. By Archibald J. Wolfe. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1914
American Dyestuffs Industry
84 1 Medicinals: 1918-1922
84 2 Message of the President of the United States: Communicated to the Two Houses of Congress at the Beginning of the First Second Session of the Sixty-Sixth Congress. Washington: May 20, 1919; December 2, 1919
84 3 Competitive-Noncompetitive List of Dutiable Coal-Tar Products Other Than Dyes, Color Acids and Color Bases. New York: U. S. Appraiser's Office, March, 1926.
84 4 American Coke Manufacturing: 1914., 1916
84 5 Library of Congress. List of References on Dyestuffs: Chemistry, Manufacture Trade. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1919
84 6 Coal-Tar Food Colors. United States Department of Agriculture Publications: 1912, 1925
84 7 Miscellaneous Printed Material: 1912-1936
84 8 Miscellaneous Printed Material: undated
84 9 Miscellaneous Printed Material: 1922-1926, undated
84 10 Toluol: 1917-1918
84 11 Cartels, Combines, Trusts and Monopolies. League of Nations Publications: 1926-1927
American Dyestuffs Industry. Legislation. Papers
85 1 Legislation. H.R. 16763: 1916
85 2 Trading With the Enemy Act: 1917-1919
85 3 Legislation. Longworth Bill (H.R. 8078): 1919-1920, undated
85 4 Legislation. Fordney Bill (H.R. 7456): 1921-1924, undated
85 5 Legislation. Fordney Bill. (H.R. 7456): Notes for Testimony at Hearing [?], undated
85 6 Legislation. Miscellaneous: 1922-1932
85 7 Legislation. Congressional Record: 1916, 1921, 1926, 1930
85 8 Legislation. Dyestuffs Hearings: 66th Congress. 1919
Foreign Dyestuffs Industries
85 9 British Dye Industry. Miscellaneous Papers: 1919-1928, undated
85 10 British Government Documents: 1913, 1918-1919
86 1 British Government Documents: 1920
86 2 German Dye Trust. Miscellaneous Papers: 1919-1929, undated
86 3 German Dye Industry. Miscellaneous Papers: 1919-1926, undated
86 4 Chemische Fabrik Griesheim Elektron. Goldmark-Eröffnungsbilanz: January, 1924
86 5 Kalle & Co. Aktiengesellschraft. Goldmark-Eröffnungs-Bilanz: January, 1924
86 6 Chemische Fabriken vorm Weiler-ter Meer. Goldmark-Eröffnungs-Bilanz: January, 1924
86 7 Farbwerk Muhlheim. Ordentliche General-Versammlung: December, 1924
86 8 Farbwerke vorm Meister Lucius & Brüning. Goldmark-Eröffnungs-Bilanz: January, 1924
86 9 Actien-Gesellschraft für Anilin-Fabrikation. Goldmark-Eröffnungs-Bilanz: 1924
86 10 Farbenfabriken vorm Friedr. Bayer & Co. LeverkuSenator Goldmark-Eröffnungs-Bilanz: January, 1924
86 11 "The Evasion of German Capital," translated from the French by Eugene A. Masuret, Warren M. Hamilton, and J. E. Cocke, Paris, November 5, 1925
86 12 Germany. Economic Situation and Industrial Development. Miscellaneous Papers: 1921-1923, 1931
86 13 "Organization du Consortium des Fabriques Allemandes de Produits Chimiques," by G. W. Wernlé. Paper read at 3rd Congress of Industrial Chemistry, Paris, October 21-26, 1923
86 14 "Swiss Coal-Tar Chemical Industry. Production, Export and Import Statistics" by Frederick E. Breithut, American Trade Commissioner, October 22, 1923
American Chemical Industry. Miscellaneous Papers
86 15 American Tariff League. Correspondence: 1927
86 16 Southern Tariff Association. Correspondence: 1928
86 17 Commercial Bribery. Correspondence: 1925-1928, 1930-1931
87 1 Commercial Bribery. Miscellaneous Papers: 1921-1922, 1925-1927, 1930, undated
87 2 Chemical Advisory Committee to Department of Commerce. Correspondence: 1926-1927
87 3 Foreign Loans to European Chemical Cartels: Correspondence: 1927-1928
87 4 National Association of Manufacturers. Correspondence: 1927-1928, 1930
87 5 National Recovery Administration. Correspondence: 1933
87 6 National Recovery Administration. Correspondence: 1934-1935
87 7 Georgia State Planning Board. Correspondence: 1937-1938
87 8 American Chemical Industry. General Correspondence: 1925-1926
87 9 American Chemical Industry. General Correspondence: 1927-1928
87 10 American Chemical Industry. General Correspondence: 1929-1931