Carl Halpern Papers
1920-1986 (Bulk: 1950-1965)
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 783

Abstract

Born in 1902, Carl Halpern grew up in the Bronx where he attended elementary school. Upon leaving school, he took several jobs, including shoe salesman and accounting clerk, before he was hired as an errand boy in 1917 at the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Halpern stayed with the company for more than 40 years, retiring as an Executive Vice President.

The collection consists chiefly of materials relating to Halpern's tenure at Electro-Chemical Engraving Company, including company reports and inter-company memos, advertisements for products, and other materials related to the business. Of singular importance is Halpern's memoir, which intertwines his personal history with that of the company during the nearly five decades he was associated with the business.

Access

The collection is open for research.

Language:

English
Carl Halpern Papers
1920-1986 (Bulk: 1950-1965)
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Call no.: MS 783

Background on Carl Halpern

Carl Halpern

Carl Halpern

Sadie and Abraham Halpern immigrated to the United States from Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. The couple met and married in New York City in 1900, and their first of four sons, Carl, was born in 1902. Five years later the young family moved to the the Bronx where Halpern attended school. By the end of elementary school, Carl began working at a number of different jobs including shoe salesman and accounting clerk before landing a job as an office boy in 1917 at Hauserman Metal Manufacturing Company, a predecessor to Electro-Chemical Engraving Company Incorporated. This job would prove to shape the rest of Halpern's life--both professionally and socially--as he rose from errand boy with little formal education to Vice-President of the company at the time of his retirement in 1964.

During his early years at Electro-Chemical, Halpern returned to school in the evenings in order to earn his high school diploma. Later he attended City College and the Mechanics Institute in New York City where he learned mechanical drafting, blueprint making, and techniques for metal tooling and tool making. Always eager to acquire new skills, Halpern continued to take on additional resposilbities at Elctro-Chemical and over time he assumed a leadership role at the company.

Carl Halpern met his wife Nettie in 1924 at the wedding of his secretary and they were married the following year. The couple had two children: Joel in 1929 and Helen in 1938. After his retirement, Halpern wrote an incredibly detailed memoir tracing both his personal history as well as the history of the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Carl Halpern passed away in early 1986.

Contents of Collection

The bulk of the collection relates to Carl Halpern's nearly fifty-year long association with the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Included in these materials are internal communications, reports, such as the General Survey of Manufacturing Facilities (c.1954), and company advertisements.

Halpern's memoir provides the most detailed picture of the company's operation over several decades. In it he records memories of staff who worked at the company, different types of equipment the company used and purchased, and changes in the company and its culture.

Related to the memoir are biographical pieces on Carl and Nettie Halpern, an article in The Bronx County Historical Society Journal about Carl's early employment, and some personal correspondence.

Collection inventory
Barnes, Eleanor: letter, Electro-Chemical Engraving Co. memories
1982

Box 1: 1
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: advertisements
ca. 1960

Box 1: 2
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: annual report, pension fund
1959

Box 1: 3
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: bankruptcy
1965

Box 1: 4
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: bankruptcy, letter to creditors
1965 July 23

Box 1: 5
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Christmas lists and expenses
1945-1958

Box 1: 6
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: company rules and union contract
1947

Box 1: 7
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: contract demands, Local Union #14531
1962

Box 1: 8
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: correspondence
1957, 1962-1963

Box 1: 9
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Electro Analysis
1952, 1954

Box 1: 10

Bi-monthly newsletter.

Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Etched Products Corporation advertisement and sample
ca. 1950

Box 1: 11
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Etched Products Corporation, auction sale
1959

Box 1: 12
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: General Survey of Manufacturing Facilities
1950

Box 1: 13
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: General Survey of Manufacturing Facilities
ca. 1954

Box 1: 14
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: report and memos
ca. 1954

Box 1: 15
Electroplating: technical notes
ca. 1940

Box 1: 16
Halpern, Carl: Bronx County Historical Society Journal
1983-1990

Box 1: 17

Issues of the publication containing articles by Carl Halpern and his son Joel Halpern, recording memories of childhood, family, and his career at Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.

Halpern, Carl: correspondence
1960-1966

Box 1: 18
Halpern, Carl: dinner announcements
1938, 1940

Box 1: 19
Halpern, Carl: interview notes
1977 Aug 20

Box 1: 20
Halpern, Carl: interview transcript
1981

Box 1: 21

Interview conducted in 1976; transcript typed in 1981. See photocopies of the testimonial dinner photographs.

Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 8-77
Box 1: 22
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 78-177
Box 2: 1
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 178-277
Box 2: 2
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 278-378
Box 2: 3
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 379-477
Box 2: 4
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 477-555
Box 2: 5

Includes appendices, which feature a copy of the payroll from the Electro-Chemical Engraving Co., ca. 1950s.

Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, additional material on family relationships
1981 July 23

Box 2: 6
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, "autobiography" (drafts)
ca. 1980

Box 2: 7
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, biographical notes
ca. 1980

Box 2: 8
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, early jobs
1979 Dec

Box 2: 9
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, early jobs
1980

Box 2: 10
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, family history
ca. 1980

Box 2: 11
Carl, Halpern: resignation notices
1962, 1964

Box 2: 12
Halpern, Joel M., Letters: research, Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.
1976

Box 2: 13
Halpern, Joel M.: research, Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.
1976

Box 2: 14
Halpern, Nettie M., Biographical notes
1978 Dec

Box 2: 15
Halpern, Nettie M., Recollections
1981

Box 2: 16

Notes recorded in 1965, typed in 1981.

List of names
undated

Box 2: 17
Negatives (photographic): Niagara Falls, family trip
1941

Box 2: 18
Photograph: family
ca. 1953

Box 2: 19
Photograph: family
ca. 1953

Map case 4: 5
Photographs (photocopies): dinner

Box 2: 20

See interview transcript for background on images of Carl Halpern's testimonial dinner.

Administrative information
Provenance

Acquired from Joel M. Halpen.

Processing Information

Processed by Jason Fuller, September 2013.

Copyright and Use (More informationConnect to publication information)

Cite as: Carl Halpern Papers (MS 783). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Search terms
Subjects
  • Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
  • Genealogy
Names
  • Electro-Chemical Engraving Company
  • Halpern, Carl
  • Halpern, Joel Martin
Genre terms
  • Memoirs