Guide to the Papers of Harold J. Ruttenberg, 1934-1998

Digital Research Library, University Library System

Summary Information

Detre Library & Archives, Heinz History Center
Papers Harold J. Ruttenberg
Harold J. Ruttenberg
Collection Number
Date [inclusive]
.05 cubic feet (1 box)
Language of Materials
The material in this collection is in English.
Harold J. Ruttenberg worked with the Amalgamated Iron and Steel Workers Union and the Steel Workers Organizing Comittee. He also worked in management as vice-president of Portsmouth Steel Company and became president and CEO of Stardrill-Keystone Company and United Steel and Wire Company. These papers contain correspondence, speeches, and newspaper and magazine articles about him.
Sponsor Note
This finding aid has been encoded as a part of the Historic Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University of Pittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Funding for this portion of the project has been donated by the Hillman Foundation.

Preferred Citation

Papers of Harold J. Ruttenberg, 1934-1998, MSS# 298, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

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Biographical Sketch of Harold J. Ruttenberg (1914-1998)

Harold J. Ruttenberg was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, and grew up in Greene County, Pennsylvania, where his father owned several general stores. During his undergraduate years at the University of Pittsburgh, he worked as an investigator for the United States Senate Special Committee Investigating the Munition Industry. He also worked for Professor Caroll Dougherty, a professor of economics, on material for Brookings Institution publications. This led to his activities with the Amalgamated Iron and Steel Workers Union and his opportunity, after graduation from the University of Pittsburgh in 1935, to work with the Steel Workers Organizing Committee which later became the United Steelworkers of America (USW). He soon assumed the post of Steel Union Research Director, the chief economist and director of research for the USW, and was early recognized as a leader in his field. During World War II, from 1942 to 1944, he was on leave from the union to serve as assistant director of the steel division of the War Production Board. He served in this full-time position at a dollar-a-year compensation level. Differences over policy issues led him to leave the union in 1946.

He then went, as vice president, to Portsmouth Steel Company in Ohio, where he began the second phase of his career, as a manager, implementing his ideas on the relationship between labor and management. He subsequently owned and was president and CEO of both Stardrill-Keystone Company in Beaver Falls and United Steel and Wire Company of Battle Creek, Michigan. In 1968, he became the president and CEO of Automatic Voting Machine Corporation, the name of which was changed in 1973 to American Locker Group, Inc., and retained those positions until his death in 1998. He wrote extensively from the time he began his career, expressing his views on issues of labor and management. In addition to his correspondence, he wrote books, articles, and editorials, and gave interviews and speeches. His career at all phases was covered by the press.

Harold J. Ruttenberg and his wife Katherine M. Ruttenberg had four children and lived in Pittsburgh. After the 1967 Israel-Arab War, for which Mr. Ruttenberg offered his services to the Israeli government, he became involved in high-technology manufacturing in Israel. The Ruttenbergs bought a home and lived there part-time from 1968 to 1993. The Ruttenbergs collected art and donated many pieces to museums and organizations here and in Israel.

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Scope and Content Notes

Included are papers related to his tenure with each of the industries with which he was affiliated--Portsmouth Steel Corporation (1946-1949)--or owned, including Stardrill-Keystone (1951-1959), and United Steel and Wire Company (1964-1968) and American Locker Group (1968-1998). An interim period of travel and writing (1960-1961) and his work as a consultant with his firm Humanations Associates (1961-1964) are also documented. These papers contain correspondence, speeches, and newspaper and magazine articles about him.

His published writings, with the exception of his books which were separated to the printed collection, are sorted chronologically under Publications--articles. The related correspondence is sorted chronologically under Publications--correspondence. Correspondence pertaining primarily to his professional activities is integrated chronologically into the Career files. Private correspondence is sorted separately.

Although Mr. Ruttenberg's involvement with Israel and the Ruttenbergs' art collecting and philanthropy spanned years which coincided with the years of his career, materials related to Israel and art, respectively, are sorted separately.

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Separate headings are given to art, Israel, his publications, and his career. The materials pertaining to his career are sorted chronologically and divided according to the years that he spent in various endeavors: his pre-labor years (1933-1944), his years with the steel workers (1934-1946), and his years as a manager.

The Harold J. Ruttenberg Papers are housed in one archival box and arranged alphabetically by folder title.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Digital Research Library, University Library System  Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania, Summer, 2001

Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222

Revision Description

 Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002 July 1, 2006

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Restrictions on Use

Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Acquisition Information

These materials came in one accession in 1997.

Acc# 1999.0037 Gift of Katherine M. Ruttenberg

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Susan M. Melnick on April 29, 1999.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Doug MacGregor on September 18, 2001.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Acme Fishing Tool Co. (Parkersburg, W.Va.)
  • American Locker Group (Jamestown, N.Y.)
  • American Voting Machine Co. (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • AVM Corporation (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Humanations Associates (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Keystone Driller Co. (Beaver Falls, Pa.)
  • Pennsylvania Security League
  • Portsmouth Steel Corporation (Portsmouth, O.)
  • Stardrill-Keystone Co. (Beaver Falls, Pa.)
  • United States Wire and Steel Co. (Battle Creek, MI.)
  • Steel Workers Organizing Committee
  • United Steelworkers of America

Personal Name(s)

  • Ruttenberg, Harold J. (1914-1998)
  • Murray, Philip (1886-1952)
  • Ruttenberg, Katherine M.
  • Rice, Charles Owen


  • Art -- Collectors and collecting
  • Industry -- Michigan -- Battle Creek
  • Industry -- New York -- Jamestown
  • Industry -- Ohio -- Portsmouth
  • Industry -- Pennsyvlania -- Beaver Falls
  • Industry -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Steel industry and trade
  • Steel industry and trade -- Government policy -- United States

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Collection Inventory

Art  1995-1998 11

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Pre-labor  1933-1934 2
Steel Workers  1935-1946 3
Portsmouth Steel Corporation  1946-1947 4
Stardrill-Keystone Co.  1955-1960 5
Travel and Writing  1960-1961 6
Humanations Associates  1962-1964 7
United States Wire and Steel Co.  1964-1966 8
American Locker Group  1968-1998 9

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Correspondence, personal  1960-1993 10

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Israel  1950-1989 11

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"85,000 Victims of Progress," Technological Unemployment: The Social and Economic Consequences of Technology "The Strategy of Industrial Peace," reprinted from "Labor and Total Production," "Union Participation: Key to Greater Productivity," Clinton S. Golden and Harold J. Ruttenberg"Working Relations of Employer and Employee in Wartime: The Union Viewpoint," "The Labor-Management Team," "What is the Solution to the Labor Crisis?"  February 16, 1938 April 1940 Spring 1940. July 1941 April-June 1942 1943 January 18, 1944 February 3, 1946 12
"Steel's Too Cheap," reprint of "End the Steel Famine," "Pay by the Year: Can the Unions Afford It?" "Pay by the Year' Holds Surprises for Labor," "Ce Qu'il Faut Dire Auz Syndicats [What one must tell theunions]," "Labor: Small Business is Forgotten Man," "Humanation," "A Wage Program That Could Stop Inflation," "A New Program for Collective Bargaining," "A Wage Program That Could Stop Inflation," "Humanation Approaches Optimum Productivity through Total Unity," "Game Plan in Steel,"  April 21, 1947 February 1948 December 1955 March 1956 June 15, 1956 July 5, 1956 November 1956 January 23, 1958 March 1958 May 1958 November 1963 September 18, 1971 13

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Correspondence  1934-1992 14

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