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Edward J. White Papers

Identifier: MG White-(Fileroom)

Scope and Contents

These papers and other materials outline the concerns of Newark businessman Edward J. White, an electrical contractor, during the decades from 1930’s-through the 1950’s There is some material which predates the formation of the firm Edward J. White & Company, of which Mr. White was president and founder. The collection includes information on his business activities, as president of the firm, his social activities within the Newark community, and private matters.

Some papers reflect on Mr. White’s commercial interest, but also reflect on the spiritual and social views which he held. An example is Mr. White's long involvement in the Newark Safety Council. This period of Mr. White’s business activities was one of immense change for the nation, a period when electrical power became universal and an important source of energy. The topics reveal a world of transformers, switches, outlets, generators and wiring. Other topics reflect on Mr. White’s interest in new products and the patenting of the same, the interaction of labor and employers, and work undertaken for the military following the formal declaration of war by the U.S. against the Axis powers in 1941. One collection of letters within the time span World War II is the correspondence of Mr. White with several men, doubtless former employees then drafted into the armed forces. The economic concerns of these several young men are manifest in these letters.

Other parts of the collection include numerous articles written by Edward White on electrical matters for the Jersey Review, and other publications. Mr. White was also the publisher of his own periodical White Lines, a trade journal begun in 1938. Another important segment is the picture collection, numbering approximately some two hundred items. These include the wiring of the Sacred Heart Cathedral, The Edison Tower, and the Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company. These files also include financial statements of the firm and also other correspondence of a purely personal nature.


  • 1913 - 1958

Conditions Governing Use

Researchers wishing to publish, reproduce, or reprint materials from this collection must obtain permission.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Joseph White was born in Millburn, N.J. on June 27, 1891 of Irish-Catholic parentage. The family settled in Newark in 1899. His interest in electricity began early on with employment in the telephone department of the Lackawanna Railroad and later, with the Westinghouse Company (1909). Other employers included Public Service, General Electric and the Brooklyn Edison Company. The establishment of his own firm in 1927 was an outgrowth of his work for the R. W. Electric Company in 1918, an electric contracting firm that after several years was dissolved.


5 Linear Feet (3 Hollinger boxes)

Language of Materials



Collection of financial records, photographs and personal correspondence of Edward J. White, an electrical contractor and his company, based in Newark, N.J.

James Stuart Osbourn
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the Charles F. Cummings New Jersey Information Center, Newark Public Library Repository

3rd Floor
Newark Public Library
5 Washington St.
Newark NJ 07102 United States