Hagley Museum & Library
Manuscripts & Archives Department
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
5.8 linear ft.
Irving Warner, Jr., was a nationally known consulting engineer and lime expert and vice president of the family-owned Warner Company of Philadelphia and Wilmington, Del. The Warner family began mercantile operations in Wilmington in the 18th century. Soon they were operating a line of ships between Philadelphia and Wilmington, which became important in transporting coal brought down from the Pennsylvania fields. By the time of the Civil War, the business had expanded to include sand and lime used in mortar and cement. The company began importing Portland cement from Europe in 1865. The firm was incorporated in 1885 as the Charles Warner Company and reincorporated in 1929 as the Warner Company to consolidate the operations of its various subsidiaries. In 1899 it purchased the Cedar Hollow Lime Company of Devault, Pa., which worked one of the largest dolomite deposits in the East for the production of lime. It also acquired the famous Bellefonte Ledge in Centre County, Pa., the largest and purest deposit of high-calcium limestone in the East. Eventually, one of the company's best known products was ready-mixed concrete, delivered in revolving drum trucks. It was the first firm in the Philadelphia area to provide this service. It was likewise first in the East to produce and market a hydrated lime, and the first to store quicklime in air-tight bunkers. The company maintains extensive limestone reserves and manufacturing plants in the Delaware Valley. Warner's papers include information on company history, his administrative and technical files as director of research and company vice president, personal correspondence and financial records, biographical sketches and genealogical data. The historical miscellany includes typescript histories of the Warner Company and its predecessors, as well as sample bills and trade cards from the 18th and 19th centuries. There is also a late 19th century map of the Schuylkill Valley between Conshohocken and Pottstown. The administrative files include financial and policy papers of the Warner Company and papers relating to the Atlantic Pre-stressed Concrete Company, a joint venture between Warner and the Brann & Stuart Company. The most important series is Warner's technical files, which include correspondence, reports, patents and monographs relating to the processing of lime and gravel. Warner's monographs cover such topics as Cedar Hollow pulverized limestone, rotary lime kilns, grading calculations for the sand and gravel industry, principles of hydration of dolomitic lime, and continuous pressure hydration (Super Limoid). Warner's personal papers include information on his investments. There is also a large file on the opposition to routing Interstate 95 through the city of Wilmington.