ILGWU Benjamin Schlesinger Papers, 1900-1923

International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union President's Office


2 linear feet.
Arranged in two sections: General correspondence and Subject files; alphabetically arranged within each section.
Correspondence, form letters, circulars and subject files relating to Schlesinger's term, June 1914 to January 1923. Topics covered in these materials include union organizing; strikes, labor disputes, working conditions, and other labor issues in the women's garment industry, particularly in New York City; inter-union relations; relations between manufacturers' associations and the union; efforts by Schlesinger and others to form an alliance of garment workers' unions; discussions with foreign garment workers' unions; education for workers in New York City; and Jewish war relief efforts during World War I..
Individuals and organizations represented in the general correspondence file include: Jane Addams; American Medical Aid for Russia; the American Red Cross; Abraham Baroff; Joseph Barondess; Bernard Braff; Robert Bruère; the Cloak, Suit & Skirt Manufactuer's Association; Max Danish; Clarence S. Darrow; Israel Feinberg; John Fitzpatrick of the Chicago Federation of Labor; J.J. Goldman; Adolph Held; Henry Hilfers; Sidney Hillman; Hamilton Holt; Humanitarian Cult; Isaac A. Hourwich; Fiorello H. LaGuardia; Algernon Lee; Jean Longuet; Judah L. Magnes; Amos Pinchot; Norman Thomas; Alexander Trachtenberg; B.C. Vladeck; Lillian Wald; Stephen Wise; and the Women's Trade Union League.
Significant organizations, individuals and topics represented in the subject files include AFL officials, including letters from Samuel Gompers and Frank Morrison; the British Trades Union Congress; letters from Abraham Cahan of the Jewish Daily Forward; correspondence from Morris Hillquit on union legal matters; and materials on the International Clothing Workers' Federation.
Other organizations and individuals in the subject files include letters from Louis Marshall; the Mayor's Council of Conciliation in the Cloak & Suit Industry (New York City); United Garment Workers' Union of America; United Ladies' Tailors Trade Union (London, England); United Mine Workers; United Textile Workers; letters from Samuel Untermyer; the Waterproof Garment Manufacturers' Association; and the Wholesale Dress Manufacturers' Association.
The subject files also contain considerable documentation of numerous locals of the International, including Local 8 (San Francisco Cloak Makers' Union), Local 21 (Chicago Cloak Cutters' Union), Local 22 (Dressmakers' Union), Local 23 (Skirt and Cloth Dressmakers' Union), Local 25 (Ladies' Waist and Dressmakers Union), Local 28 (Ladies' Garment Workers, Seattle), Local 30 (Cutters and Trimmers of Cincinnati), Local 32, (Winnipeg, Manitoba), Local 33 (Corset Workers' Union), Local 34 (Corset Cutters Union), Local 35 (Cloak, Skirt and Dress Pressers' Union), Local 37 (Pressers' Union), Local 38 (Ladies' Tailors' and Dressmakers' Union), Local 39-40 (Corset Workers' Union), and Local 41 (Wrapper, Kimono and House Dress Makers' Union).
Other locals represented include Local 43 (Ladies' Waist and White Goods Workers' Union), Local 44 (Chicago Cloakmakers' Union), Local 45 (National Alliance of Ladies' Cloaks and Suits Designers), Local 48 (Italian Cloak, Suit and Skirtmakers' Union), Local 49 (Waist, Dress and Petticoat Workers' Union), Local 50 (Misses and Children's Dressmakers' Union), and Local 52 (Los Angeles).
Files of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union (ILGWU) president Benjamin Schlesinger during his second term as president, from June 1914 to January 1923. Schelsinger was a Jewish immigrant from Lithuania who began working in the garment industry in Chicago as a teenager. He became a union organizer soon after and rose quickly in the ranks of the Chicago Cloakmakers' Union. He served as president of the ILGWU for a brief time in 1903. Later, he was business manager of the Jewish Daily Forward in Chicago, and was elected to two more (non-concurrent) terms as ILGWU president.
"Permanent deposit".
The ILGWU Records, except for publications and materials produced for publication, are restricted. Materials created prior to twenty years from the current date are open to researchers only with prior written permission from the Director of the Kheel Center; materials created during the past twenty-years are closed; the minutes of the General Executive Board are closed. For more information contact the Kheel Center.
ILGWU Benjamin Schlesinger Papers, 5780/009. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Martin P. Catherwood Library, Cornell University.
Related collections: 5780/002, 5780/010, 5780/056.
English and Yiddish.
Finding aid available in repository and through interlibrary loan, folder level control.
Forms part of: ILGWU records, 1884-2006, bulk 1923-1995.

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