In January of 1894, printers of Fulton County, New York, met to consider the formation of a typographical union. On March 19 of that year, the Fulton County Typographical Union, No. 268, was chartered by the International Typographical Union (ITU) according to Fulton County Typographical Union, No. 268, Minutes, 1894. Although the union had jurisdiction over all of Fulton County, the printers were generally employed in composing rooms in Gloversville and Johnstown, the county's twin cities.
In 1933, in the middle of the depression, the printers of Fulton County endured some of their most difficult contract negotiations. The local newspaper publishers were losing advertisement because of the economic conditions in the county and the nation as a whole, so they demanded that the printers take wage cuts. After a few months of discussion and the introduction of strikebreakers by the American Newspaper Publishers Association, the union finally acceded to the publishers' demands according to Fulton County Typographical Union, No. 268, Minutes, 1933.
The Fulton County Typographical Union, No. 268, has always been small. The union never had more than approximately 50 members, and now it has substantially less than half that number. With the difficulties of running a small union and the pressure to consolidate, the Fulton County Typographical Union might some day merge with the Albany Typographical Union No. 4.
The records of the Fulton County Typographical Union, No. 268, are remarkable for containing a complete set of minutes (1894-1963). included in the minutes are financial statements of the union, reports of delegates to conventions, and occasional correspondence. All the contracts of the union have not survived, but there is a good selection of them for the years 1901 to 1963. There are, however, gaps of many years in these contracts, and the contracts are especially voluminous in the first twelve years of the twentieth century. A couple of other items are included in this collection--a constitution and a scale report--but they are not as important as are the other types of material.
These records provide insight into the workings of a small union over almost a century of development. The fluctuations of the workforce and the introduction of new technologies play a role in the progress of this union, as do the necessary sacrifices of a small union in an often depressed economy. In recent years, Fulton County has had the highest unemployment in New York State.
For related records, see the records of the Albany Typographical Union No. 4, 1850-55, 1869, 1874-1988; Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M, 1941, 1946-88; and the records of the Empire Typographical and Mailer Conference, 1919-20, 1929-75, 1983, 1985-88, 1990. Other available records related to Fulton County include the records of the Glove Cities Area Joint Board, ACTWU, 1933-89; and occasional items in the records of the Graphic Communications International Union, Local 259-M. For additional labor collections in the Department, see the online Labor subject guide.
The collection is organized into the following series:
Series 1 is arranged chronologically.
All items in this manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, Fulton County Typographical Union, No. 268, CWA. The records were subsequently microfilmed as part of the Harry Van Arsdale, Jr., Labor History Project.
Processed by: Geoffrey A. Huth
Collection record created by: This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on
Published: 2017-04-14 09:58:07 -0400
Encoded in EAD by Michael Carroll, 2014
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The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
Preferred citation for this material is as follows:
Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Fulton County Typographical Union No. 268 Records, 1894-1973. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).
|1||1||Constitution and Rules of Order||1954|
|1||3||Contracts, American Fancier||1901|
|1||4||Contracts, A. E. Blanck||1901-1903|
|1||5||Contracts, Byron & Scovic||1918|
|1||6||Contracts, Collins & Combes Publishing Company||1902-1905, 1908|
|1||7||Contracts, William B. Collins Company||1901, 1909, 1925, 1930, 1953-1963|
|1||8||Contracts, James S. Comrie||1906, 1908|
|1||9||Contracts, Daily Leader||1905-1907|
|1||10||Contracts, Fulton County Democrat||1912|
|1||11||Contracts, John B. Judson||1901-1903, 1905-1907, 1909-1910, 1925|
|1||12||Contracts, Labor News Publishing Company||1902|
|1||13||Contracts, Merwin Printing Company||1925|
|1||14||Contracts, Morning Herald Printing Company||1902-1903, 1905-1908, 1925|
|1||15||Contracts, H. Ross [Owner of the Gloversville Standard and the Morning Herald]||1901|
|1||16||Contracts, Charles M. Smith||1901-1903|
|1||17||Contracts, James W. Snyder||1902, 1905-1906, 1908-1909|
|1||18||History of Fulton County Typographical Union by E. L. Wert, (MISSING), Aug.||1987|