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OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION

Title: Coal and Gas Transit Investigation Collection

Collection Date(s): 1858-1929

Extent and Forms of Material: .75 cubic foot (3 boxes)

Creator: Bay State Gas Company

Abstract: The papers document an investigation by M.L. Webb, an attorney from Massachusetts, into possible trust violations by the coal and gas industry of New England, New Jersey, and Delaware in the late nineteenth century. Documents assembled by Webb include patents, stock records, photographs, correspondence, hand written notes, published materials, and investigation notebooks.

Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. archivescenter@si.edu 202-633-3270 www.americanhistory.si.edu/archives

Collection Number: AC1049

Processing Note: Processed by Robert Ageton (volunteer), 2007; revised by Michael Stratmoen (intern), April, 2010; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.

 

INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION

Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.

 Preferred Citation: [Title and date of item], Coal and Gas Transit Investigation Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX

 

IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Administrative/Biographical History: John Edward Charles O'Sullivan Addicks (1841-1919) was an industrialist and capitalist. Addicks became involved with the natural gas business in the 1880s, then in its infancy. He built gas works in Jersey City, and in 1882 he was instrumental in organizing the Chicago Gas Trust. Addicks formed the Bay State Gas Company in Boston in 1884. His success at forming gas monopolies earned him the nicknames "Gas Addicks" and the "Napoleon of Gas.” The Coal and Gas Trust Investigation Collection contains documents concerning M. L. Webb’s investigation of several coal and gas companies. Webb conducted an investigation of possible trust violations by the coal and gas industry companies, one of which was the Bay State Gas Company.

Scope and Content: This collection is a series of records accumulated by M. L. Webb, an attorney in Massachusetts. The records show Webb’s desire to track down patents and operations information, as well as financial records for the following coal and gas companies: Bay State Gas Company, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, Lowe Water Gas Company, and the New England Gas and Coke Company. Included are three series: Coal Companies (1858-1929), Notes (1868-1929), and Patents concerning machinery involved in the manufacture and illumination of coal gas (1870-1897), a flammable gaseous fuel made from coal that was used in lighting, cooking and heating.

Series 1, Coal Companies, 1858-1929, is divided into five subseries: Subseries 1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926; Subseries 2, CitizenSteam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925; Subseries 3, Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925; Subseries 4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925; and Subseries 5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925. The series includes articles of incorporation, stock and bond notes, personal notes by M.L. Webb, company and state correspondence, financial histories and notes and ledgers.

Subseries 1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926, includes certificates of incorporation from New Jersey (1875), Massachusetts (1884), and Delaware (1879), all three of which were released to the investigation in 1925; notes concerning Bay State Gas Company bonds from 1885-1925; a notebook of company patent information from 1872-1915; M. L. Webb’s trust investigation notes on the Bay State Gas Company from 1875-1926; and official state records concerning the Bay State Gas Company issued by the State of Delaware (1889-1925).

Subseries 2, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925, contains a notebook with mortgage records for the Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company from 1872-1925.

Subseries 3, Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925, contains company patent records (1858-1925), company stock records (1878-1884), stock ledger items, a financial history of the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, company correspondence (1878-1929), state government correspondence (1874-1925), and notebooks filled with notes concerning the financial records of the Kidder Coal and Gas Company.

Subseries 4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925, consists of articles of incorporation for the Lowe Water Gas Company, issued in 1874 and released to the investigation in 1925.

Subseries 5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925, consists of an investigation notebook documenting the New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925.

Series 2, Notes, 1868-1929, consists of notes compiled from the trust investigation byM. L. Webb and includes notebooks on various coal and gas companies, and a set of unidentified and undated photographs taken by F. B. Boyette.

 Series 3, Patents, 1870-1897, contains patent records concerning the manufacture and illumination of coal gas, held by the Lowe Water Gas Company and the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1870-1897, specifically patents held by Moses W. Kidder, Joseph Flannery, Person Noyes, and Hiram White.

System of Arrangement: This collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1, Coal Companies, 1858-1929
Subseries 1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926
Subseries 2, CitizenSteam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925
Subseries 3, Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925
Subseries 4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925
Subseries 5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925
Series 2, Notes, 1868-1929
Series 3, Patents, 1870-1897

Acquisition Information: Source of acquisition unknown.

Custodial History: Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Work and Industry, 2007.

Access Points:

Subject/Names:
Flannery, Joseph
Kidder, Moses W.
Noyes, Persons

Subject/Topical:
Trusts and Trustees
Webb, M. L.
Wilbur, W. L.
Coal Gas
Kidder, Moses
Addicks, J. Edward
Boyette, F. B.
Illuminating Gas
Bay State Gas Company
Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company
The Kidder Coal and Gas Company
Lowe Water Gas Company
New England Gas and Coke Company

Form/Genre:
Notebooks
Photographs--19 th Century
Legal Documents--19 th Century
Legislative Documents
Patents

CONTAINER LISTING

Box

Folder

 

 

 

Series 1, Coal Companies, 1858-1929

 

 

Subseries 1, Bay State Gas Company, 1872-1926

1

1

Articles of Incorporation, Delaware, 1879

 

2

Articles of Incorporation, Massachusetts, 1884

 

3

Certificates of Incorporation, New Jersey, 1875

 

4

Bond and notes, 1885-1925

 

5

Patent notebook, 1872-1915

 

6

Trust investigation notes, 1875-1926

 

7

Correspondence, 1889-1925

 

 

Subseries 2, Citizen Steam and Gas Light Company, 1872-1925

 

8

Mortgages notebook, 1872-1925

 

 

Subseries 3, The Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1858-1925

 

9

Company patent records, 1858-1925

 

10

Stocks, 1878-1884

 

11

Stock ledger item, undated

 

12

Financial history, declaration of trust, 1874-1925

 

13

Summary of the Kidder Coal and Gas Company of Hartford Connecticut, 1874-1906

 

14

Statement of Facts in the Coal-Gas Company for New England, 1878-1925

 

15

Notes of the Kidder Coal and Gas Company, 1875-1897

 

16

Correspondence, 1878-1929

 

17

State Government Correspondence, 1874-1925

2

1A

“For New England, 1878” and “exhibits” ledgers, 1874-1925

 

1

“For New England” record book, 1878, 1925-1926

 

 

Subseries 4, Lowe Water Gas Company, 1874-1925

 

2

Articles of Incorporation, 1874, 1925

 

 

Subseries 5, New England Gas and Coke Company, 1872-1925

 

3

Bay State of Delaware, 1872-1925

 

 

Series 2, Notes, 1868-1929

 

4

Notebook about coal investigation and history, undated

 

5

Hearings by the Board of Aldermen of Boston on the Petition of the Citizens’ Gas Light Company, 1874

 

6

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Water Gas Inquiry. Testimony given before the special committee of the Senate, 1884 May

 

7

Argument in favor of permitting the manufacture of water gas before the joint standing committee on manufacturers, 1884 March

 

8

Declaration of trust of the Massachusetts Gas Companies, [1902?]

  9 Unidentified photographs, undated

3

1

Person Noyes last will and testament, 1907

 

2

Standard Oil (notes about), undated

 

3

Testimony of Edwin Evans about Kidder process for making water and fuel gas, 1879-1883

 

4

Notebooks with Notes on Various Gas Companies, 1874-1925

 

5

Water/Gas Process for various companies notebook, 1878-1929

 

6

Consumer Gas Company Water Gas and Boston Gas Notebook, 1868-1893

 

 

Series 3, Patents, 1870-1897

 

7

Moses W. Kidder patent history, undated

 

8

Kidder Water gas process notebook, (lists patents), 1870-1880

 

9

Moses W. Kidder patents, 1870-1875

 

10

Moses W. Kidder patents, 1875-1879

 

11

Patents (Flannery, White, and Noyes), 1875-1881

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._Edward_Addicks (accessed on April 9, 2010)

 

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Revised: March 7, 2011