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United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America Records

Identifier: mss-084

Scope and Content Note

The United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America Records contain correspondence, agreements, reports, meeting minutes, financial and strike records, membership records, newspaper clippings, broadsides, poster, documents, printed matter, and publications in the format of paper files, [scrapbooks and ledgers], and microfilm reels. Documentation is rich and complete, though there is less material dating from approximately 1889-1935 and the amount of correspondence increases after 1945. Most of the material relates directly or indirectly to John C. Lawson, who as International Secretary Treasurer from 1935 to [1975] was a principal driving force behind the union.

In general, the papers are presented in topical series and arranged chronologically; the microfilm is presented chronologically. Three series (financial material, contracts and agreements, and publications) have been kept together as topical series rather than dispersed chronologically as originally filed and for ease of use.

The large block of correspondence from 1945 through 1967 (which includes the microfilm) retains the three principal groupings created by the union: Representatives Correspondence, Miscellaneous Correspondence (both arranged alphabetically by subject for each year), and Local Correspondence (arranged numerically by local for each year). For the years before 1950, the Representatives and Miscellaneous groups of correspondence have been lumped together such that correspondence from Representatives is presented alongside correspondence filed by subject, under the heading of General Correspondence. There is no correspondence for the years 1951-1954. Notable correspondents include George Aiken, Warren Austin, Ralph Flanders, Ernest Gibson, W. Averell Harriman, Bishop Robert Joyce, Ken McKeller, John S. Millis, Charles Plumley, Mortimer Proctor, Walter Reuther, Elen Roosevelt, Bishop Ed Ryan, and Harry S. Truman.

The bound volumes contain mostly financial records and minutes of the executive board meetings. These have been listed in appropriate series arranged chronologically by type.


  • 1889-1971


Collection is open for research.

Some financial records contain social security numbers and are not generally available (noted as "closed" in the file title). Individuals' social security numbers have been redacted from Tax files which are available in place of more detailed financial records of other kinds. Contact Silver Special Collections to arrange for mediated access to closed files.

Publication Rights

All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Curator of Manuscripts.

Historical Note

Prior to the affiliation of this union with the CIO (Congress of Industrial Organizations) in January, 1938, the name of the union was Quarry Workers' International Union of North America. It was organized in 1903 as an affiliate of the AFL (American Federation of Labor), and its headquarters was located in Barre, Vermont. "According to the 1911 constitution, the purposes of the union were 'to rescue the trade from the dangers surrounding it, and by mutual effort to place ourselves on a foundation sufficiently strong to prevent further encroachment' was one of the primary causes of the switch from the AFL to the CIO in 1938" (S.J. Bertrand, A Survey of Graniteville Branch #12 Quarry Workers Union 1922-1941, Unpublished thesis, 1966).

Because of the nature of the stone industry in the early part of the twentieth century and because of the craft union set-up of labor organizations, the union was then limited more or less to quarrying and related work in the stone industry. However, from the very beginning, if fought for an industrial union because its leaders saw very early that quarrying was only a small part of the stone and allied products industry. It anticipated the rapid growth of, and the extension of the industry from the mines and quarries to the plants. It prophesied that the industry would reach into many and varied fields. Very early in the AFL days it was necessary to organize workers in related industries which were merely a natural and normal extension of quarrying and mining of stone and allied products.

As a result of the passage of the National Recovery Act in 1933 the Quarry Workers' International Union of North America began organizing in the related fields with some marked success. Following the ruling of the Supreme Court of the United States which made the National Recovery Act ineffectual, there was a lull until two events took place. The first and most important was the passage of the so-called Wagner Act and the second was the fight for industrial unionism within the AFL which was led by John L. Lewis and others at the famous Atlantic City convention in 1935. At that convention the representatives of the Quarry Workers' International Union of North America voted for the proposal calling for industrial organization within the AFL.

While the Quarry Workers' Union was in the AFL and the workers in the industry were split up into nine unions bickering and quarreling with each other. This union faced its most costly prolonged struggles in the period 1934-1936 when it struck the Vermont Marble Company in Vermont; the marble company in Carthage, Missouri; the lime industry in Martinsburg, West Virginia; and the granite industry in Elberton, Georgia. It had to defend itself against raids of the AFL in the cement industry at the North American Cement Corp. at Security, Maryland. After a referendum vote to affiliate with the CIO a charter was granted to this union in January 14, 1938 by the CIO.

From the very beginning of the affiliation with the CIO the organizational activities of this union broadened. With industrial unionism the union was able to adjust itself to the expanding nature of the stone and related industries. The uses of stone and other minerals had expanded and changed in some four decades so that the original product could hardly be recognized. Varieties of stone, related minerals, and other material were crushed and mixed with chemicals in such a way that they could be used in industries, in homes, on the farms, in defense industries, and elsewhere. Accordingly, a change of the union's name became necessary. At the 1940 convention the name was changed to the United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America (see 1940 Convention Proceedings, present in the collection).

Note: most of the above description of the union was taken from a Brief of the USAPWA, from March, 1954 located in the folder "Ohio Brick and Tile Workers Dispute: Brief." For a more detailed history, see Sidney Jeanne Bertrand's thesis A Summary of Graniteville Branch #12 Quarry Workers Union 1922-1941, 1966.


117.5 Linear Feet (90 cartons, 1 box, 39 oversize ledgers)

Language of Materials



Collection contains representative and local correspondence, contracts and agreements, audit and other reports, financial and strike materials, clippings, printed matter, and other records documenting the functions and activities of the United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America.

Separated Material Note

The following items have been removed from the papers and placed in other parts of the library: Oversize Documents: 1. Quarryworkers International Union Charter to Quarrymens Protective Union of Stony Creek, Conn., 1903 October 26 2. Quarryworkers International Union Charter to Quarrymens Protective Union of Redstone, N.H.. 1903 November 12 3. Quarryworkers International Union Charter to Lumpers, Boxers, and Derrikmen's Union of Barre, Vt., 1904 March 12 4. Quarryworkers International Union to Quarryworkers of Westerly, R.I., 1906 April 12 5. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Local #193, Marblehead, Ohio, 1934 January 10 6. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #252 Security, Md., 1934 May 28 7. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #254 York, Pa., 1934 June 12 8. Committee for Industrial Organization Certificate of Affiliation with Q.W.I.U.N.A., 1938 January 14 9. Committee for Industrial Organization Certificate of Affiliation with Q.W.I.U.N.A., 1938 November 16 10. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #276 Dingwall, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, 1938 May 2 11. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #282 Alexandria, Ia., 1938 June 13 12. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #232 Marble Cliff, Ohio, 1939 May 8 13. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #288 Keystone, Pa., 1939 March 24 14. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #289 Certain-Teed, York, Pa., 1939 April 11 15. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #298 Silica, Ohio, 1940 March 1 16. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #292 United Tile Workers, Junction City, N.H., 1940 March 1 17. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #297 Skippers, Va., 1940 March 28 18. John C. Lawson Appointment to Selective Service Board, 1948 July 29 19. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #299 Blair, Martinsburg, W. Va., 1940 August 21 20. Q.W.I.U.N.A. Charter to Branch #72 Northfield, Vt., 1940 September 3 21. U.S.A.P.W.N.A. Charter to Branch #34 Center Rutland, Vt., 1953 June 11

Oversize Posters: 1. Subscription to C.I.O. News, 1948 2. C.A.R.E. Poster, 1948 3. Infantile Paralysis Poster, 1948 4. March of Dimes Poster, 1949 January

Vermont Research Collection Books 1. Proceedings of the Q.W.I.U.N.A. Conventions, 1929-1970 (12 volumes) 2. A Vermont State Power Authority. Report of the Joint Commission of the Vermont State Farm Bureau and the Vermont Labor and Farm Council, 1948 November 22. 3. The Granite Cutters Journal, vol. 76, nos. 3 and 4 for 1952 June and July Vermont Research Collection Periodicals - General Stacks 1. The American Federationist (Americal Federation of Labor Journal) vol. 15, 1908 January-December 2. Organic Gardening, 1945 July

Processing Information

Paper inventory and details written on cartons are not accurate as files have been shifted to properly fill containers during data entry (May 2016); use container numbers from finding aid to locate material. Cartons 3, 11, 12, 2A, 6A, 21A/34, 28A, 33A, 38A, 47A, 51A, 56A, 62A, 74A, 83A, and 90A and 92A (box) were eliminated due to rearrangment for proper filling/support and consolidation. Carton 86A was reduced to a box for the same reason.

Guide to the United Stone and Allied Products Workers of America Records
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
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Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the University of Vermont Libraries, Special Collections Repository

Silver Special Collections Library
48 University Place, Room B201
Burlington Vermont 05405 U.S.A. US
(802) 656-2138
(802) 656-4038 (Fax)