Organized in 1854 as the Corn Exchange, the Association's object was "to provide and maintain suitable accommodations for general business exchange in the City of Philadelphia; to inculcate just and equitable principles of trade; to acquire, disseminate and preserve valuable business information, and to adjust controversies and misunderstandings between members of that body." In 1867, the Association changes its title to the Commercial Exchange.
The Exchange, headquartered in the Bourse after the 1890s, monitored the grain trade in the city and maintained standardized scales for equitable weighing procedures. In addition, it lobbied for port improvements as well as trade and tariff legislation. Other important activities of the Exchange included raising a military company during the Civil War, and providing valuable assistance to the Food Administration during World War I in its enforcement of rules and regulations.
ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT
The records of the Commercial Exchange are divided into two series. The first, which is comprised of the annual reports, offers a detailed picture of the commodity trade in the city. Yearly statistics indicate the quantity and value of products and the amount of trade with each country. They also include the reports of the Exchange's committees. The second series is made up largely of the minutes of Board of Director's meetings, beginning in 1910. There are also briefs of the major legal opinions from 1891 to 1930, and a scrapbook covering 1900-1940.
Series I: Annual ReportsBox 1
1-5 Annual Reports, 1855-1884 (volumes)Box 2
6-8 Annual Reports, 1885-1898 (volumes)Box 3
9-12 Annual Reports, 1899-1912 (volumes)Box 4
13-16 Annual Reports, 1916-1935 (volumes)Series II: Minutes and Historical MaterialsBox 5
1-6 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1910-1914 (1-6, 6 folders)Box 6
7-16 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1915-1920 (7-16, 10 folders)Box 7
17-25 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1921-1925Box 8
26-34 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1926-1930Box 9
35-45 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1930-1935Box 10
46-55 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1936-1943Box 11
56-64 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1943-1951Box 12
65-72 Board of Director's Minute Book, 1952-1959Box 13
73-74 Legal Opinions, 1891-1930
75 Scrapbook, ca. 1900-1949