Guide to the Harold J. Ruttenberg Papers, 1934-1998 AIS.1999.04

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections
Harold J. Ruttenberg Papers
Ruttenberg, Harold J.
Collection Number
1.25 linear feet
Harold J. Ruttenberg, a union organizer, helped to shape the labor movement in the steel industries of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. This collection contains correspondence, published articles about Ruttenberg, published articles by Ruttenberg, reports, publications by the Congress of Industrial Organizations, Steel Workers Organizing Committee, United Steel Workers of America, and the National War Labor Board. Information on Ruttenberg's books, Dynamics of Industrial Democracy, co-authored by Clinton S. Golden, and Self-Developing America is also included.

Preferred Citation

Harold J. Ruttenberg Papers, 1934-1998, AIS.1999.04, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Harold J. Ruttenberg, a labor leader and business executive, was born on May 22, 1914. At an early age, he was exposed to the lifestyle of steelworkers and coal miners in Pennsylvania. Even before Ruttenberg graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a degree in sociology and economics, he was involved with the labor movement and labor leaders recognized his skills while he worked for the Pennsylvania Security League and the Congress of Industrial Organizations. Ruttenberg served as an investigator for the U.S. Senate Special Committee Investigating the Munitions Industry and was assigned to Federal Laboratories, a Pittsburgh-based company which provided munitions to various steel companies as well as to both warring factions in Cuba.

Ruttenberg was research director for Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC) and retained the position after SWOC became the United Steel Worker Association (USWA) in 1942. In fact, Ruttenberg played a major role in the formation of the USWA. From 1942 until 1944, Ruttenberg served as Assistant Director of the Steel Division of the War Production Board whose mission was to increase the steel supply for the benefit of the war effort. In 1946, Ruttenberg resigned as research director for USWA and began his career as a business executive, while remaining active in labor and management issues. As a labor leader, Ruttenberg fought for a guaranteed minimum annual wage for union workers and tying steelworker's wages to increased productivitiy in mills.

After leaving the USWA, Ruttenberg became president of Portsmouth Steel Company and served as an executive for Stardrill-Keystone Drilling Machine Company, Humanation Associates, United Steel and Wire Company, and AVM/American Locker Group Corporation. Ruttenberg was known to take over companies in financial difficulty and make them profitable. During his life, Ruttenberg wrote countless articles and participated in the writing of two books: The Dynamics of Industrial Democracy which he co-authored with Clinton S. Golden and  Self-Developing America. He also wrote his memoirs published as  My Life in Steel: from CIO to CEO. Ruttenberg played an important role in improving relations between the union and management. Ruttenberg died in 1998.

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Scope and Content Notes

This collection contains correspondence, published articles by and about Ruttenberg, reports, publications by CIO, SWOC, USWA, and the National War Labor Board. The collection consists of information written by and about Ruttenberg during his life as a business executive. Most of the contents concern labor and management issues. Information on Ruttenberg's books, Dynamics of Industrial Democracy and  Self-Developing America is also included. Oral history interviews with Ruttenberg are included in the National Council of Jewish Women Oral History Projects at the Archives Service Center. Additional papers housed at Pennsylvania State University Archives and an inventory of these papers is contained in the first folder of Box 1.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, March 2002

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
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Revision Description

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

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.


Permission for publication is given on behalf of the University of Pittsburgh as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Acquisition Information

This collection was a gift of Katherine (Kitty) Ruttenberg, wife of Harold J. Ruttenberg in 1999.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Holly J. Mengel in March 2002.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Holly Mengel in March 2002. Information about the collection title and the controlled access terms was extracted from the MARC record in the University of Pittsburgh catalog Voyager ID number: 4019701

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Automated Voting Machines (AVM)/American Locker Group.
  • Congress of Industrial Organizations (U.S.).
  • Federal Laboratories, Inc.
  • Humanation.
  • Pennsylvania Security League.
  • Portsmouth Steel Company.
  • Stardrill-Keystone.
  • Steel Workers Organizing Committee (U.S.).
  • United States. Congress. Senate. Special Committee to Investigate the Munitions Industry.
  • United States. War Production Board.
  • United Steel and Wire Company.
  • United Steel Workers Association.
  • University of Pittsburgh.


  • Correspondence

Personal Name(s)

  • Batista y Zaldívar, Fulgencio, 1901-1973
  • Golden, Clinton S. (Clinton Strong), 1888-1961
  • Murray, Philip, 1886-1952
  • Nye, Gerald P. (Gerald Prentice), 1892-1971
  • Raushenbush, Stephen, b. 1896
  • Ruttenberg, Harold J.
  • Ruttenberg, Katherine M., 1914-


  • Business and Industry
  • Executives -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Industrial relations -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Iron and steel workers -- Labor unions -- United States
  • Labor
  • Labor disputes -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Labor leaders -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Labor movement -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Personal papers
  • Steel industry and trade -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Strikes and lockouts -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh
  • Wages -- Iron and steel workers -- United States
  • Weapons industry -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Harold J. Ruttenberg Papers, 1934-1998, AIS.1999.04, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh.

Papers of Harold J. Ruttenberg, 1934-1998, UE 99:4, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh.

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Collection Inventory

Series  I. Biographical Information 

Description of papers held at Pennsylvania State University Archives 11
Letters of reference for Ruttenberg, 1934 2
Mr. and Mrs. Ruttenberg as art collectors, 1998 3
Ruttenberg's activities in Israel, 1967-1976 4
Obituaries, 1999 5

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Series  II. Special Committee Investigating the Munitions Industry 

Correspondence between Ruttenberg and the Special Committee, 1934 6
Shipping Orders, Invoices, and Bills from Federal Laboratories, Inc., 1932-1934 7
Federal Laboratory Correspondence, 1932-1934 8
Other Evidence Gathered by Ruttenberg for the Special Committee 9
Reports by Ruttenberg to the Special Committee, 1934-1935 10
Federal Laboratory Catalogs, 1933    2.0 items 11
Federal Gas Weapons and Modern Protective Equipment, 1933    1.0 item ("Federal Gas Weapons and Modernt Protective Equipment," online pending)
Federal Protection Modern Ordnance & Munitions, 1933    1.0 item ("Federal Protection Modern Ordnance & Munitisions," online pending)

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Series  III. Ruttenberg as a Labor Leader 

Amalgamated Association of Iron, Steel, and Tin Workers, 1934 12
Pennsylvania Security League Annual Report, Newspaper Clippings and Advertisements, 1936 13
Congress of Industrial Organization Publications, 1942-1943 14
Articles and Newspaper Clippings about Steel Workers Organizing Committee, 1937-1942 15
SWOC Publications, 1938-1939 16
Speeches, Articles, and Correspondence about USWA by Ruttenberg, 1940-1946 17
Newspaper Clippings concerning SWOC and USWA, 1936-1993 18
USWA 50th Anniversary Celebration, June 17, 1986 19
USWA Publications, 1942-1962 20
PIC Magazine with article by Ruttenberg, January 18, 1944 21
Newspaper Clippings for War Production Board, 1943-1944 22
National War Labor Publications, 1944-1945 23

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Series  IV. Ruttenberg as a Business Executive 

Portsmouth Steel Company, 1946-1949 224-25
Life Magazine with article by Ruttenberg, April 21, 1947 26
Stardrill-Keystone Drilling Machine Company, 1951-1959 27-28
Humanation Associates, 1959-1964 29-30
United Steel and Wire Company, 1965-1966 31-32
AVM/American Locker Group Corporation, 1973-1996 33-34
Transcript of Speech given by Harold J. Ruttenberg to the Harvard University Graduate School of Business, No Date 35

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Series  V. Books by Ruttenberg 

Notes and Reviews on Dynamics of Industrial Society, 1942-1946 36
Notes and Reviews on Self-Developing America, 1960-1997 37
Correspondence relating to the publication of Ruttenberg's memoirs, My Life in Steel: From CIO to CEO, 1999-2000 38

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