Lukens Steel Company
Hagley Museum & Library
Manuscripts & Archives Department
P.O. Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
720 linear feet
The Lukens Steel Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on January 17, 1917, as successor to the Lukens Iron & Steel Company of 1890. It was renamed Lukens, Inc., on April 14, 1982, and reincorporated in Delaware on January 28, 1987. Lukens is a medium-sized producer of specialty steel products and one of the top three U.S. producers of steel plate.
The Lukens Steel Company archive documents all aspects of the company's business from the early 19th century through the 1970s. Order books (1842-1903), sales records (1840-1908), and account books (1798-1917) document financial transactions and list major suppliers and customers. Of particular note is the day book of Rebecca Lukens (1842-1844).
Production records include records from the puddling mill (1873-1886) and the open hearth (1892-1907), as well as tonnage books (1891-1918). This material documents the transition from iron to steel production. Payrolls and wage books (1864-1904) show wage payments and the impact of technological change on wages and working conditions.
Corporate records include copies of minutes, board of directors' files, monthly and annual reports, and reports of departments, divisions, and committees. Accounting records include account books (1798-1938), auditors reports, and financial statements. General correspondence (1840-1906) is concerned with orders, sales, managerial and labor problems.
Executive officer files are primarily those of the vice presidents. They describe the evolution of the company from the early 1900s to the early 1970s, including the modernization of physical plant, the development of more bureaucratic management methods, changing markets and product mix, company contributions to World War II, and the recruitment of black and immigrant labor. There are also news releases, clippings and publications from the Public Relations Dept.
The historical miscellany deals primarily with company anniversaries and the Lukens/Huston family. The most important item is an 1825 autobiographical memoir by Rebecca Lukens. There are also anti-Bolshevik editorial cartoons (1919) and a poster regarding the SWOC drive at Bethlehem Steel. Records of subsidiary and related companies include minutes, maps and reports of the Alleghany Ore & Iron Company.
Drawings, blueprints and specifications of the Jacobs-Shupert United States Firebox Company document the use of Lukens steel in locomotive boilers. There are records on companies in which the Hustons had outside investments, such as the Belmont Iron Works of Philadelphia and the Florence Mining & Milling Co. of Marysville, Utah. There are also account books, time books and scattered payrolls for two early iron works unrelated to Lukens: the Laurel Iron Works (1854-1857) and the Triadelphia Iron Works (1847-1851), both owned by the Steele and Worth families.
The photographs include portraits of members of the Lukens and Huston families and over 5,200 views of the Coatesville plant, processes and products. Photographs from the 1880s show the old mill buildings shortly before their replacement and include views of interiors and employees. The bulk of the photographs, including many shots of company employees, were taken for the Public Relations Department, ca. 1930-1955.