William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Records

Collection ID: 
SPC MSS 031
Date: 
1867-1912
Footage: 
1 linear foot (3 boxes)
Collecting Area: 

 

Collection Summary

Title
William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Records

Dates
1867-1912

Collection ID
SPC MSS 031

Creator
William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company
           
Quantity
1 linear foot (3 boxes)

Repository
Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries

Language
Materials in English

 

Detailed Collection Information

Historical Note

The William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company was created in Philadelphia in 1830.   The company earned its reputation by furnishing the government with iron-clads and other ships of war during the Civil War.  After the war, Cramp’s continued to grow by contracting with the American Steamship Company to produce four first-class iron steamers for trade on the Philadelphia and Liverpool Line.  In 1876, the quality of the Cramp shipyards caught the attention of the Russian government, which led to several contracts and increased international esteem.  At the time of William Cramp’s death in 1879, five of his sons were involved in various aspects of the company.  Charles Cramp served as president until October 1903, when he resigned and Henry S. Grove took over.  The last member of the Cramp family to serve on the company’s board of directors was Edwin S. Cramp (son of Charles) as Vice President, and he resigned in early 1907.

Description of Collection

The records of this prominent Philadelphia shipbuilder span the latter part of the 19th and the first decade of the 20th century and include architectural drawings, blueprints, correspondence, articles of incorporation, corporate records, photographs, contract documents, specifications, and telegrams. The materials include correspondence relating to the remodeling of the Edwin S. Cramp residence in New York City including bids on various parts of the job. There is also correspondence from the Cramp Co. to Washington lobbyists concerning a ship subsidy bill. The collection also contains government contracts, blueprints for ships constructed by the company, memos to various steamship lines and dry dock companies, as well as ballistics tests on armor plate and a list of all the engines built by the company between 1867 and 1901.

The collection includes the following prominent correspondents: Robert Burton, James L. Crandall, Dorothy Cramp, Edwin S. Cramp, William Cramp, J.A.C. Groner, Philip McElhone, Henry S. Grove, and the H.I. Crandall & Son Co. There are a number of photographs of the Variag, a cruiser built for the Russians.

Organization and Arrangement

The collection is arranged into 6 series as follows:


Series 1: Correspondence, 1876-1912, undated
Series 2: House Remodeling, 1903-1905, undated
Series 3: Engineering Tests and Journals, 1892-1904
Series 4: Financial Data, 1903-1905, undated
Series 5: Photographs, undated
Series 6: Ship Data, 1967-1907, undated

 

Patron Information

Catalog Record

A record for this collection is available in Temple University’s online library catalog: http://diamond.temple.edu/record=b1612270~S30

Research Access

Collection is open for research.

Collections Stored Off-Site

This collection may be housed off-site at the Library Depository, and require up to two business days to retrieve. Please review the finding aid and be prepared to identify specific materials to be retrieved. Contact the Special Collections Research Center in advance of your visit, so that materials may be relocated to the reading room for research.

Publication and Copyright Information

The William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Records are the physical property of the Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries. Intellectual property rights, including copyright, belong to the authors or their legal heirs and assigns. Researchers are responsible for determining the identity of rights holders and obtaining their permission for publication and for other purposes where stated.

Preferred Citation

[Description and date of item], [Box/folder number], William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Records, SPC MSS 031, Special Collections Research Center, Temple University Libraries, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Related Material

William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Records, SPC MSS 031, Independence Seaport Museum, Philadelphia PA.

William Cramp and Sons Ship and Engine Building Company Records, SPC MSS 031, Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, DE.

 

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

Purchased from Charles Apfelbaum in March 1990.

Processing Information

Collection processed and finding aid prepared in January 2002 by Anastasia Karel. Finding aid revised according to contemporary archival standards May 2017.  

 

Index Terms

The following headings have been used to index the description of this collection in Temple University’s electronic catalog:


Personal Names:
Burton, Robert
Cramp, Dorothy
Cramp, Edwin, S.
Cramp, William
Crandall, James L.
Groner, J.A.C.
Grove, Henry S.
McElhone, Philip

Corporate Names:
H.I. Crandall & So Co.

Subjects:
Shipyards – Pennsylvania – Philadelphia
Shipbuilding industry – Pennsylvania – Philadelphia

Material Types:
Administrative records
Architectural drawings
Articles of incorporation
Correspondence
Financial records
Photographs

 

Inventory

Series 1: Correspondence, 1876-1912, undated

1          1          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and Robert Burton: 9 letters, 9 addressed to Cramp, in chronological order          October 30, 1903-February 11, 1904

1          1          Report on Baltimore’s Dry Dock and Shipbuilding Co. by P.C. Asserson, U.S.N.; note: Burton was a Baltimore attorney          Undated

1          2          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and William and Thomas Clyde: 15 letters between these men, in chronological order; note: Thomas Clyde was William’s son, and they operated the Clyde Steamship Company          December 9, 1893-March 29, 1894

1          3          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and Benjamin H. Cramp: 67 letters or telegrams between the two brothers, mostly from 1910, in chronological order         October 9, 1879-January 4, 1911

1          4          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and James L. Crandall: 33 letters or telegrams between the two men, in chronological order; note: Crandall was president of the company H.I. Crandall & Son Co., Engineers and Contractors          September 18, 1907-March 28, 1908

1          5          Correspondence, Cramp Dry Dock Company: 3 newspaper articles on creation of this company          Undated

1          5          “Prospectus of Hampton Roads Dry Dock Company”, Norfolk, Va., 33p          October 15, 1906

1          5          “Estimated Cost of buildings, shops and equipment”          December 14, 1908

1          5          “Certificate of Incorporation of Cramp Dry Dock, Inc.”          January 21, 1908

1          5          “Prospectus – The Cramp Dry Dock Company”, Norfolk, Va.          January 22, 1908

1          5          “Bill of Incorporation” for Cramp Dry Dock Co.          circa 1908

1          5          “Financial plan” for Cramp Dry Dock Co.          circa 1908

1          5          Specification for “Railway Dry Docks for the Pescara Land Company”, Norfolk, Va.          circa 1908

1          5          Correspondence between Edwin S. Cramp, J. Groner, and George Norris, 60 letters or telegrams in chronological order          May 18, 1907-April 11, 1908

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Father (Charles) to son Edwin, September 15-October 16, 1876; undated

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Courtland Cramp to “brother”          October 6, 1877

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Harry Cramp to Edwin          November 30, 1877

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Harry to “brother”          March 14, 1883

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Father to “Eddie?”          April 21, 1885

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Benjamin, Howard, and Courtland to Edwin          November 22, 1887

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Edwin to “Dollie”         July 9-August 13, 1896; undated

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Benjamin to Father (Charles)          August 28, 1899

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: (?) Hutchinson (Secretary) to Miss Cramp (Dorothy?)          October 17, 1903

1          6          Correspondence, Cramp family: Francis Cramp to Edwin          June 8, 1910

1          7          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and Henry S. Grove: 119 letters, mostly between these two men, in chronological order; note: Grove became president of the Cramp company in October 1903          August 10, 1903-February 6, 1907

1          8          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and Edwin Lavens: 33 letters or telegrams, mostly from Lavens to Cramp, etc., in chronological order          November 14, 1900-March 11, 1904

1          9          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and Philip McElhone: 20 letters or telegrams from McElhone to Cramp with regards to a ship subsidy bill in Congress, in chronological order; note: Cramp was resigned from the company’s Board of Directors in early 1907 and was not the immediate recipient of these letters          February 9, 1907-May 8, 1907

1          10          Correspondence, Edwin S. Cramp and Carroll S. Smith: 32 letters or telegrams, all from Smith, in chronological order          July 31, 1901-September 25, 1905

2          1          Brass Foundry: correspondence about foundry, in chronological order          June 10, 1904-January 18, 1911

2          1          Brass Foundry: financial data from foundry, in chronological order          August 31, 1904-October 31, 1910

2          2          Correspondence, Miscellaneous, 61 pieces (approx.), in chronological order          Undated-October 5, 1904

2          3          Correspondence, Miscellaneous 2, 51 pieces (approx.), in chronological order          August 31, 1905-May 28, 1912

2          4          Correspondence, T.S.S. Mexico: 12 letters concerning this ship, in chronological order          May 17, 1906-June 13, 1906

 

Series 2: House Remodeling, 1903-1905, undated

2          5          House remodeling 1: miscellaneous materials (drawings, correspondence, etc.) on the remodeling of Edwin S. Cramp’s residence, 127 E. 61st St., New York City, in chronological order          Undated-August 31, 1903

2          6          House remodeling 2: more miscellaneous materials, in chronological order          September 1, 1903-December 31, 1903

2          7          House remodeling 3: more miscellaneous materials, in chronological order          January 1, 1904-June 23, 1905

 

Series 3: Engineering Tests and Journals, 1892-1904

3          1          Ballistic Tests of Armor Plates          November 30, 1892

3          1          Group #6, test of 23 “Maine” Barbette plates          March 22, 1893

3          1          Group #8, test of “Texas” Redoubt plates and “Indiana” Barbette plates          May 31, 1893

3          1          Group #9, test of “Texas” Turret plates and “Puritan” Barbette plates          February 3, 1894; February 17, 1894

3          1          Group #13, test of 20 “Puritan” Side Armor plats          May 15, 1894

3          1          Group #15, test of “Maine”, “Puritan”, and “Monadnock” Turret plates          July 20, 1894

3          1          Group #14, test of 20 “Indiana” Side Armor plates          July 20, 1894

3          2          Blueprints: Imperial Ottoman Cruiser “Medjidia” design          September 13, 1902

3          2          Neafie and Levy “Plan of Property”          March 21, 1903

3          2          “Proposed torpedo boat”          May 10, 1904

3          2          Letter and 3 drawings from C.H. Wheeler Condenser and Pump Co.          September 14, 1905

3          3          Boilers: Engineering journal, p. 80-84, article on German Navy’s Durr Boiler          July 19, 1901

3          3          Engineering journal, p. 129-134, part 2 of Durr Boiler article          July 26, 1901

3          3          Engineering journal, p. 164-167, part 3 of Durr Boiler article; clipped letter to editor of Engineering journal, about Durr Boiler          July 26, 1901; August 2, 1901

3          3          Letter about boilers to Edwin Cramp from Rodman Griscom          October 4, 1901

3          3          Estimate report for boilers on U.S.S. “Tennessee”          October 19, 1903

3          3          Typed notes of conversation with Stirling Boiler Co.          October 26, 1903

3          3          Letter concerning boilers on Battleships Mississippi and Idaho          December 23, 1903

3          3          Letter (translation of) concerning Yarrow boilers          June 13, 1904

3          3          Letter concerning test of boiler at Barberton          August 1, 1904

3          3          Results of test of boilers, nos. 1 and 3, contract no. 40-B          December 17, 1904

 

Series 4: Financial Data, 1903-1905, undated

Series 4 contains various materials and information related to the finances of the company.

3          4          Comparison of costs for hull nos. 216 and 219, and hull nos. 319 and 321          Undated

3          4          Bids for city ice boats          Undated

3          4          Financial statement and business statement for Wm. Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Co.          May 31, 1903

3          4          Itemized charge list for contract 208          August 18, 1903

3          4          Estimated cost for New York, New Haven & Hartford R.R.Co.’s “Sea Going Tugs”          August 25, 1903

3          4          Estimated cost for N.Y., et al R.R.Co.’s “Transfer Tugs”          August 25, 1903

3          4          List of price per pound of materials for U.S.S. Indiana, handwritten          August 13, 1903

3          4          Comparison of wages paid and average rate          September 1902, September 1903

3          4          Cost of contract order 208          November 13, 1902

3          4          Estimated cost for Battleships Mississippi and Idaho          January 11, 1904

3          4          Estimated cost for Clyde Line          January 12, 1904

3          4          Estimated cost for “proposed ship” handwritten          January 18, 1904

3          4          Estimated cost for U.S. Army’s “Suction Dredge”          May 17, 1904

3          4          Estimated cost for Panama Railroad Co.’s “Steamship”          July 12, 1904

3          4          Bids for proposal #330          December 16, 1905

3          4          Clipping from “Maine Review” concerning bids for building lightships          October 11, 1906

 

Series 5: Photographs, undated

3          5          20 black and white photographs of the Imperial Russian Navy Cruiser, Variag; note: on photograph #15, the U.S.S. Alabama is also visible          Undated

 

Series 6: Ship Data, 1967-1907, undated

3          6          Blank form used to compare ship data          Undated

3          6          Specifications for “triple expansion engine for Goodrich Transit Co.”          Undated

3          6          Specifications for “proposed Staten Island Ferry Boats”          Undated

3          6          Memo on “three deck cargo steamer”          July 3, 1897

3          6          Memo on “proposed single screw cargo steamer          January 5, 1898

3          6          Specifications for “proposed twin screw steamer”          April 6, 1897

3          6          Specifications for “proposed passenger and freight twin screw steamer for the Pacific (China) trade”          April 20, 1897

3          6          Booklet, “Cramp’s Ship Yard” for National Export Exposition, Philadelphia          1899

3          6          Comparison of “passenger accommodation between hulls #304 and #311”          October 9, 1901

3          6          “Engineering Data Card Magazine” (2) for “Oil Steamer – Capt. A.F. Lucas          February 1903

3          6          Comparison of “floor areas and weights per I.H.P”          February 27, 1903

3          6          Comparison of “I.H.P. per cu.ft. volume L.P. cylinder” for 26 ships          March 21, 1903

3          6          Data for S.S. Philadelphia          April 26, 1903

3          6          Letter about English steamers          May 15, 1903

3          6          Report on the “condition of work and stage of progress” on five battleships (“Georgia”, “Nebraska”, “New Jersey”, “Rhode Island” and “Virginia”)          June 10, 1903

3          6          “Velocity of steam” statistics for 10 ships          October 19, 1903

3          6          Letter about English steamers          October 21, 1903

3          6          Letter about turbine design/dimensions          March 25, 1904

3          6          Letter about torpedo boats          April 6, 1904

3          6          Letter about U.S. Navy Department          June 20, 1904

3          6          “List of Engines built by Wm. Cramp & Sons”          November 30, 1867-September 1904

3          6          Typed list, carbon, legal length, landscape. Comparison of four ships (“Tennessee”, “Montana”, “New Hampshire”, and “Maine”)          December 12, 1904

3          6          Correspondence about steamer “Asbury Park”, 11 pieces, in chronological order          September 20, 1905-November 25, 1905

3          6          Comparison of 11 ships built between 1879 and 1901          April 5, 1906

3          6          Article from “The American Marine Engineer” on the steamships Momus and Antilles          January 1907