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Guide to the Sol Stetin Photographs PHOTOS.275

Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archive
Elmer Holmes Bobst Library
70 Washington Square South
10th Floor
New York, NY 10012
(212) 998-2630
tamiment.wagner@nyu.edu


Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Kiron Johnson and Erika Gottfried

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on September 17, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Descriptive Summary

Creator: Stetin, Sol, 1910-2005
Title: Sol Stetin Photographs
Dates [inclusive]: 1940s-1980s; undated
Abstract: Sol Stetin, starting out as a shop steward at a dye shop, rose to become a key figure in the labor movement as president of the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). During his tenure as TWUA president, Stetin led the 17-year campaign to organize the J.P. Stevens textile company in the anti-union South; following this, he also engineered the merger between the TWUA and the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union (ACWA) that formed the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU) in 1976. Stetin later taught labor studies at William Paterson College and Rutgers University and helped establish the American Labor Museum. The Sol Stetin Photographs Collection includes black and white and color photographs, photocopies of photographs, one contact sheet, and one newspaper clipping from the 1940s to the 1980s that document union events and Sol Stetin's involvement with the TWUA.
Quantity: 0.5 Linear Feet in 1 manuscript box.
Language: Materials are in English
Call Phrase: PHOTOS.275

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Historical/Biographical Note

Born in Lozd, Poland, in 1910, Sol Stetin migrated to the United States at the age 10, and later became a key figure in the labor movement as president of the Textile Workers Union of America (TWUA). He began his career in the textile industry and labor unions in 1930 when he took a job at a dye shop and became active in the nationwide textile strike of 1934. He started as a shop steward for the TWUA. Later Stetin became the organizer and director of the TWUA's mid-Atlantic region and served secretary-treasurer on the union's board before becoming TWUA's president in 1972. He continued as its president until its merger with the larger Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union in 1976, which he engineered. During his tenure, Stetin led the 17-year campaign to organize the J.P. Stevens textile company in the anti-union South. He retired in 1982, but continued an active labor-union-related life, helping to establish the American Labor Museum, teaching labor studies and union organizing at William Paterson College and Rutgers University, in New Jersey, where he became the first labor leader in residence. Stetin died on May 24, 2005, from complications of leukemia in St. Louis, Missouri, at the age of 95.

The TWUA was an industrial union of textile workers established by the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO) in 1939. In 1976 it merged with the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America to become the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union (ACTWU). As a leading organization in the CIO's "Operation Dixie," it led numerous organizing campaigns in the union-resistant South, aiming to help textile workers achieve higher wages, health insurance and other benefits, and to ensure fair labor practices. The TWUA was able to organize new plants and revive some moribund organizations, but it was unable to achieve a breakthrough win which would organize the whole industry. In 1995, the TWUA's textile locals became part of UNITE/HERE, a manufacturing and hospitality workers union.

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Scope and Contents

The Sol Stetin Photographs Collection includes black and white and color photographs, photocopies of photographs, one contact sheet, and one newspaper clipping of Textile Workers of America Union events. Some photographs have accompanying correspondence that helps to identify them. Most of the materials are undated but range from the 1940s to the 1980s. The collection documents meetings, conferences, conventions, charity events, strikes, marches, and contains portraits of Sol Stetin and other members of the union. There are also photographs of Stetin with President Lyndon Baines Johnson, then-Senator Herbert Humphrey, Sidney Hillman, and comedian Jerry Lewis.

Arrangement

This collection is arranged into one series by subject and formats.

Series I: Sol Stetin Photographs.

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Access Points

Subject Names

  • Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978
  • Hillman, Sidney, 1887-1946.
  • Rieve, Emil, 1892-1975.
  • Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973

Document Type

  • Correspondence.
  • Black-and-white photographs.
  • Color photographs.
  • Clippings (information artifacts)
  • Contact sheets.

Subject Organizations

  • Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union
  • Textile Workers Union of America

Subject Topics

  • Strikes and lockouts -x Textile industry -- United States.
  • Te-tile workers -- Labor unions.
  • Clothing workers -x Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Labor unions -- Organizing -- United States.
  • Clothing workers -x Labor unions -- United States.
  • Clothing workers -- New York (State) -- New York.
  • Clothing workers -- United States.

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Access

Materials are open without restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

The Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Archives has no information about copyright ownership for this collection and is not authorized to grant permission to publish or reproduce materials from it. Materials in this collection, which were created in 1940-1989, are expected to enter the public domain in 2076.

Preferred Citation

Identification of item, date; Sol Stetin Photographs; PHOTOS 275; box number; folder number; Tamiment Library/Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives, New York University.

Related Archival Materials

Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union Printed Ephemera Collection (PE 019); Textile Workers Union of America Scrapbooks (WAG 249).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Provenance is unknown, but collection was likely donated in 2005. The accession numbers associated with this collection are 2012.068 and NPA.2009.029.

Processing Information

Photographs and photocopies were placed into acid-free folders and box.

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Container List

Container 1 Container 2   Title Date
Box: 1 Folder : 1 Conferences and Conventions.
1939; 1952; 1977; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 2 Contact Sheet.
1977
Box: 1 Folder : 3 Meetings and Group Shots I.
1940s-1970s; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 4 Meetings and Group Shots II.
1950s-1980s; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 5 Meetings and Group Shots III.
1940s-1970s; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 6 Newspaper Clipping.
May 18, 1949
Box: 1 Folder : 7 Other Events.
1964; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 8 Photocopies.
1970s; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 9 Portraits - Other.
1947; 1975; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 10 Portraits - Sol Stetin.
1948;1950; 1951; 1977; 1978; undated
Box: 1 Folder : 11 Strikes and Marches.
1968; undated

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