Guide to the Elmer J. Maloy Collection, 1916-1989 AIS.2003.05

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Elmer J. Maloy Collection
Creator
Maloy, Elmer J.
Collection Number
AIS.2003.05
Date [bulk]
Bulk, 1936-1945
Date [inclusive]
1916-1989
Extent
0.25 linear feet (1 box)
Abstract
Elmer J. Maloy was elected mayor (Democrat) of the city of Duquesne, Pennsylvania, in 1937. During his time as mayor, he implemented various reforms on behalf of the rank and file workers in the steel industry. This collection contains a majority of newspaper clippings chronicling Maloy's election and labor policies. In addition, there are a small amount of photographs, election memorabilia, correspondence, and later oral history interviews with Maloy.

Preferred Citation

Elmer J. Maloy Collection, 1916-1989, AIS.2003.05, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Biography

Elmer J. Maloy was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in 1896. He later moved to the city of Duquesne, Pennsylvania. In 1911 at age fifteen, Maloy dropped out of high school to take a job as a water boy at Duquesne Works. Wanting to learn a skilled trade, he apprenticed to become a Millwright, which repaired and serviced various machines in the mill. He left the Duquesne Works for a short stint in the United States Army in 1918. When he went to war, Maloy was promised by the superintendent of the mill that his job would be held for him and he would continue to receive any promotions he would have earned, if he had stayed. When he returned in 1919, his foreman did not promote him to Millwright as expected, but rather kept him as a Millwright's Helper. Maloy witnessed more inequality on the job, such as nepotism, long hours, unsafe working conditions, and low pay. These conditions under which he worked caused him to look toward unionization. However, he knew if he mentioned unionization around the mill he would be terminated. Maloy, with a few other laborers, at one point refused to work overtime. After the men discovered their ability to create a type of "slow down strike," they gained break time and overtime payment. Despite Maloy's own gains in the workforce, he remained discontent with the wage rates. After experiencing hardships as a laborer, Elmer Maloy joined up with the Steel Workers' Organizing Committee (later to become the United Steel Workers of America). It was with this organization where he helped pioneer an attempt to unionize the Duquesne steel mills. Maloy showed great leadership among the rank and file workers and was first president of this committee, Local 1256, in 1937.

At the time, the Republican Party had control of the politics of the city of Duquesne. The Republican Party also controlled many organizations and services in the city. A majority of the citizens in the town voted Republican as well. Since the Republicans held a majority in the city and mill leadership positions, they were also in control of the issues that affected the lives of many plant laborers. However, after the Great Depression when Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected in November 1932 and implementing New Deal economic policies more Duquesne citizens began to vote Democrat. As a result of this new majority, the Republican Party was unable to change or discount Democrat Party votes like they had in the past.

In 1937, Maloy ran for Mayor on the Democrat ticket. He spoke out against the Republican administration that did not come out in support of Roosevelt's New Deal economic policies. Maloy's original intention for running for mayor was anger. As President of Local 1256, he would try to obtain permits to hold union meetings and the Duquesne police chief would routinely deny him the permit. Out of spite, Maloy decided he would run for mayor. Maloy was supported by the workforce of the entire Duquesne area to which he called, "the best organized political organization that didn't go into politics that's ever been created (Maloy interview November 7, 1967, p. 57)." Maloy was elected Mayor of the city of Duquesne in 1937 at age 41.

Elmer Maloy was the first Democrat to be elected mayor of Duquesne and he served two consecutive four year terms. During his mayoral terms, Maloy desired to be a fair labor leader. Some of his labor policies included the implementation of a forty hour work week for all municipal employees without increasing taxes. Maloy also had a plan to implement a 'New Deal' type policy, which brought Works Progress Administration projects to Duquesne.

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Scope and Contents Note

The Elmer J. Maloy Collection documents the political career of a union activist in the steel industry. The bulk of this collection (1937-1945) contains a series of news clippings that document Maloy’s decision to run as the first democratic mayor of Duquesne, Pennsylvania. The clippings concentrate on his decision to run, his victory, his immediate reforms, and his mayoral career. There are a small number of photographs of Maloy and those related to his political or union career.

As interest in the steel industry and labor unions became more evident, Elmer Maloy was interviewed in 1967 and 1968 by members of Penn State University. The collection contains a transcription of each of these interviews. Both contain valuable information about Maloy's early career as a day laborer and explanations on his opinions on unionization. In addition, they also give a good deal of information about his political career, his work in the Steel Workers Organizing Committee, as well as his work after his two terms serving as mayor were finished.

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Arrangement

The arrangement of the Elmer J. Maloy Collection has been mainly kept in its subject form. The collection is arranged chronologically.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, September 2009

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

The University of Pittsburgh holds the property rights to the material in this collection, but the copyright may still be held by the original creator/author. Researchers are therefore advised to follow the regulations set forth in the U.S. Copyright Code when publishing, quoting, or reproducing material from this collection without the consent of the creator/author or that go beyond what is allowed by fair use.

Acquisition Information

Gift of Joan E. Striegel in September 2009.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Shelley Byron in September 2009.

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Related Materials

Related Material

U.S. Steel Corp. National-Duquesne Works Records, 1890-1985, AIS.1991.06, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Federation of Labor. Committee for Industrial Organization.
  • Carnegie Steel Company.
  • Steel Workers Organizing Committee (U.S.).
  • United States Steel Corporation. Duquesne Works.

Genre(s)

  • Clippings (Information artifacts)
  • Correspondence
  • Interviews
  • Oral histories (Document genres)
  • Photographs

Geographic Name(s)

  • Duquesne (Pa.)
  • Duquesne (Pa.) -- Politics and government

Personal Name(s)

  • Maloy, Elmer J.

Subject(s)

  • Iron and steel workers -- Labor unions -- Pennsylvania -- Duquesne
  • Labor
  • Labor unions -- Organizing -- Pennsylvania -- Duquesne
  • Mayors -- Pennsylvania -- Duquesne
  • Personal papers
  • Politics
  • Steel industry and trade -- Pennsylvania -- Duquesne

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Previous Citation

Elmer J. Maloy Collection, 1916-1989, AIS.2003.05, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

  BoxFolder
Duquesne Silver Jubilee, September 10-16, 1916 11

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  Folder
“Joint Council Grants Steelworker Gains,” O'Malley Resignation clipping, 1936 2

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  Folder
Correspondence from Peter O'Malley to Maloy, 1936 3

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  Folder
“Steel Union Leaders Meet Here to Make Demands,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, September 10, 1936 4

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Steel Industry Wages with Frances Perkins, November 1936 5

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings Regarding Maloy’s Election as Head of Veterans of Foreign Wars Post, 1936 6

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings Regarding Power Struggle within the Pittsburgh District Council of Employee Representatives, December 1936 - February 1937 7

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  Folder
“Vote Defeats Steel Plant Arbitration,” 1936 - 1937 8

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  Folder
Poll Cards for Maloy, 1937 9

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping “Maloy Ousted, Hill in as Employee Council Head,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, January 1937 10

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on the Steel Workers Group Conferring on Wage Scale with Carnegie Steel Company, March 1937 11

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping “Text of the Contract of Committee for Industrialized Organization, Carnegie Co.,” March 3, 1937 12

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  Folder
Ralph Mould, "Steel Strike Town," Christian Century, June 23, 1937 13

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings of Maloy Winning Democratic Primary versus Kopriver, July 1937 14

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Maloy’s Election as First President of 1256 Lodge, 1937 15

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Mayoral Candidate’s Support from Earle, August 1937 16

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on First Mayoral Term, November 1937 17

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  Folder
Letters of Congratulations Post-Election, November 1937 18

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Committee for Industrialized Organization Victories in Mill Towns, 1937 19

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  Folder
Newsweek Photograph of Maloy and Article, December 27, 1937 20

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Mayoral Term, 1938 21

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on First Term as Mayor, 1938 22

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping "He Turned the Table on the Company Union", 1938 23

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  Folder
Clipping on Revival of Steel Production at the Duquesne Works, Bulletin Index, September 19, 1940 24

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  Folder
"Union Mayor, Union Town,” Friday Magazine, December 27, 1940 25

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Mayoral Term, 1940 26

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping “Central Labor Union supports Abernathy for Sheriff,” Pittsburgh Post Gazette, November 1941 27

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Mayoral Career, Including Reelection Campaign, 1941 28

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Death Threat Incident, 1942 29

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  Folder
Front Pages of the Duquesne Times, 1937-1945 30

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  Folder
Mayor, News of the City of Duquesne, 1945 31

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  Folder
First Penn State University Interview by Donald Kennedy, November 7, 1967 32

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  Folder
Second Penn State University Interview, March 1968 33

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  Folder
Correspondence between Eric Davin and Joan Strigel Regarding Research on Maloy, 1989 34

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping on Steel Workers’ Struggle in Aliquippa, undated 35

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  Folder
Phil Murray at the Homestead Mill, Photograph, undated 36

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  Folder
Photographs, undated 37

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  Folder
Newspaper Clippings on Maloy, undated 38

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping on Maloy as a Consultant in Australia, undated 39
  Folder
Newspaper Clipping on Maloy as a Consultant in Australia, undated 38

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  Folder
Miscellaneous Newspaper Clippings on the Maloy Family, undated 40

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  Folder
Newspaper Clipping “Jubilee Week Set by Maloy,” the Daily News, September 1941 41

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