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Guide to the William John Fielding Papers TAM.069

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 Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives

Collection processed by Tamiment staff

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on October 01, 2018 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Historical/Biographical Note

William J. (William John) Fielding (1886-1974) was an author, editor, and sexologist. Born in New Jersey, he left school before completing the eighth grade and first worked in blast furnaces and then as a sandhog, boring tunnels under the Hudson River. In 1906, he decided to prepare for a clerical career rather than continuing hard manual labor. That same year, he enrolled in bookkeeping and accounting courses, and in 1909 was hired as secretary for the Tiffany Company. By 1913, Fielding had articles published in the New York Call and began taking classes at the Rand School of Social Science. He became interested in social problems and birth control and wrote a number of books and pamphlets on sexology and psychology, thirty of which were published over the years in the  Little Blue Books series, including a thirteen-volume series, "Rational Sex" (Emanuel Haldeman-Julius, publisher). Fielding also published articles in  The New York Call, the daily newspaper of the Socialist Party. He served as editor and literary editor of the  Newark Leader (1915-22), as editor of  Know Thyself (1913-24), and was active in Socialist Party politics in New Jersey throughout the 1920s. He also corresponded with Alfred Korzybski regarding the latter's theories of general semantics and mathematical reasoning. In 1942, Fielding was appointed secretary-treasurer of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, and in 1946 he became a trustee. Fielding retired from Tiffany in 1963 and published his autobiography  All the Lives I Have Lived in 1972.


1908: Began his life-long relationship with Joseph Lewis
1909: Hired as secretary by George Heydt, then advertising manager for Tiffany Company.
1913-1915: Emanuel Haldeman-Julius was on the staff of the socialist newspaper,  The New York Call and published articles by Fielding.
1914: Bought copies of  The Woman Rebel by Margaret Sanger at an Emma Goldman meeting. As a grassroots supporter, he distributed copies of the book, and his writings began to reflect themes of social hygiene. By 1920, Joseph Lewis introduced Fielding to Dr. William J. Robinson, editor of  Critic and Guide.
1914: George Heydt became secretary to the president and several vice-presidents at Tiffany and Fielding moved up the corporate ladder as Heydt's secretary
1918: Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation formed
1913-late 1920s: Attended classes on economics, sociology and psychology at the Rand School, and participated in the Socialist Party politics in New Jersey.
1915-1918: Editor of the  Newark Leader
1919-1930: The  Little Blue Books were published by Emanuel Haldeman-Julius and gained wide popularity through mass distribution. Fielding contributed thirty titles to the series, including a thirteen-volume series on "Rational Sex" and other works in sexology and psychology.
1920: Introduced to A. Korzybski's theories of general semantics and mathematical reasoning.
1919-1922: literary editor of  Newark Leader
1913-1924: editor of  Know Thyself
1925: attended Sixth International Neo-Malthusian and Birth Control Conference as a member of the advisory council of the American Birth Control League
1933-1934: met Havelock Ellis and Norman Haire.
1942: Moved to Long Island. Appointed secretary-treasurer of the Louis Tiffany Foundation.
1946: Appointed trustee of the Tiffany Foundation
Late 1940's: Became involved with Ethical Humanism
1963: Retires from Tiffany.
1972: Publication of his autobiography,  All the Lives I Have Lived (Dorrance and Co.).