Skip to main content

American Leftist Organizations and Labor Unions Stamps and Ephemera

 Collection
Identifier: SPC-2018-026

Scope and Contents

This collection contains one box of stamps, stickers, labels, cards, and other ephemera produced by socialist and communist organizations and labor unions in the United States, 1890-1940. The bulk of the materials are stamps. Many materials were part of specific campaigns, including boycotts, fundraisers, and strikes. Unions and organizations represented include the Industrial Workers of the World, the International Labor Defense, the International Workers Order, the Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers, the League Against Yellow Journalism, the Bonus Expeditionary Force, the American Federation of Musicians, the Bakery and Confection Workers International of America, the Brewery Workmen's National Union, the Filling Station Employees Union, the International Hod Carriers, the United Cloth and Hat Makers, the Western Federation of Miners, and the Metal Polishers, Buffers, Platers and Brass Workers Union.

Dates

  • 1890-1940; undated

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

There are no access restrictions on this collection.

Conditions Governing Use

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Director of Archives and Special Collections. Permission for publication is given on behalf of Special Collections as the owner of the physical materials and not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained.

Biographical / Historical

The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) is an international labor union with ties to socialism and anarchism. Founded in 1905, membership peaked in 1917 at 150,000 members. Internal tensions and the First Red Scare after World War I contributed to the decline of the union in the 1920s.

The International Workers Order (IWO) was a fraternal, mutual benefit, insurance organization from 1930 to 1954. The IWO boasted nearly 200,000 members immediately after World War II. Members had access to low-cost health and life insurance and medical and dental care. Affiliated with the Communist Party, the IWO disbanded under pressure from legal action taken against it by the state of New York.

The International Labor Defense (ILD), operating 1925-1946, published a monthly newsletter and sold seals and stamps to raise funds for such cases as the Scottsboro Boys, Tom Mooney, and Sacco and Vanzetti. The ILD, which emerged from the Communist Party, was a staunch supporter of the Bill of Rights.

The Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers for Economic Reconstruction, held May 6-7, 1933, in Washington, DC, was organized by Norman Thomas and Clarence Senior of the Socialist Party of America. Over 4,000 delegates from unions, farmers brotherhoods, labor cooperatives, student associations, and organizations of the unemployed met and devised a set of demands including money for public works projects, cash relief, and a bonus to unemployed veterans, as well as national health insurance, abolition of child labor, and nationalization of banks.

Extent

1 box

.20 Linear Feet

Language of Materials

English

Overview

The American Leftist Organization and Labor Unions Stamps and Ephemera Collection contains stamps, stickers, labels, cards, and other ephemera produced by socialist and communist organizations and labor unions in the United States, 1890-1940. The bulk of the materials in this collection are stamps from fundraising, boycott, and strike actions. Highlights include stamps and campaign cards from the International Workers of the World, "Save the Scottsboro Boys" fundraising stamps from the International Labor Defense, stamps and ephemera from the Continental Congress of Workers and Farmers, and stamps from the International Workers Order.

Processing Information

Collection processed by Sharon MacNett, 2018.
Title
American Leftist Organizations and Labor Unions Stamps and Ephemera
Status
Completed
Author
Sharon MacNett
Date
October 2018
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Repository Details

Part of the California State University Dominguez Hills, Gerth Archives and Special Collections Repository

Contact:
University Library South -5039 (Fifth Floor)
1000 E. Victoria St.
Carson CA 90747
310-243-3895