Five College Archives and Manuscript
UMass Amherst seal
Carl Halpern Papers, 1920-1986 (Bulk: 1950-1965)
2 boxes (1 linear ft.)
Collection number: MS 783

Born in 1902, Carl Halpern grew up in the Bronx where he attended elementary school. Upon leaving school, he took several jobs, including shoe salesman and accounting clerk, before he was hired as an errand boy in 1917 at the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Halpern stayed with the company for more than 40 years, retiring as an Executive Vice President.

The collection consists chiefly of materials relating to Halpern's tenure at Electro-Chemical Engraving Company, including company reports and inter-company memos, advertisements for products, and other materials related to the business. Of singular importance is Halpern's memoir, which intertwines his personal history with that of the company during the nearly five decades he was associated with the business.

Terms of Access and Use:

The collection is open for research.

Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries

Biographical Note
Carl Halpern

Carl Halpern

Sadie and Abraham Halpern immigrated to the United States from Europe at the end of the nineteenth century. The couple met and married in New York City in 1900, and their first of four sons, Carl, was born in 1902. Five years later the young family moved to the the Bronx where Halpern attended school. By the end of elementary school, Carl began working at a number of different jobs including shoe salesman and accounting clerk before landing a job as an office boy in 1917 at Hauserman Metal Manufacturing Company, a predecessor to Electro-Chemical Engraving Company Incorporated. This job would prove to shape the rest of Halpern's life--both professionally and socially--as he rose from errand boy with little formal education to Vice-President of the company at the time of his retirement in 1964.

During his early years at Electro-Chemical, Halpern returned to school in the evenings in order to earn his high school diploma. Later he attended City College and the Mechanics Institute in New York City where he learned mechanical drafting, blueprint making, and techniques for metal tooling and tool making. Always eager to acquire new skills, Halpern continued to take on additional resposilbities at Elctro-Chemical and over time he assumed a leadership role at the company.

Carl Halpern met his wife Nettie in 1924 at the wedding of his secretary and they were married the following year. The couple had two children: Joel in 1929 and Helen in 1938. After his retirement, Halpern wrote an incredibly detailed memoir tracing both his personal history as well as the history of the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Carl Halpern passed away in early 1986.

Scope and contents of the collection

The bulk of the collection relates to Carl Halpern's nearly fifty-year long association with the Electro-Chemical Engraving Company. Included in these materials are internal communications, reports, such as the General Survey of Manufacturing Facilities (c.1954), and company advertisements.

Halpern's memoir provides the most detailed picture of the company's operation over several decades. In it he records memories of staff who worked at the company, different types of equipment the company used and purchased, and changes in the company and its culture.

Related to the memoir are biographical pieces on Carl and Nettie Halpern, an article in The Bronx County Historical Society Journal about Carl's early employment, and some personal correspondence.

Information on Use
Terms of Access and Use
Restrictions on access:

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Cite as: Carl Halpern Papers (MS 783). Special Collections and University Archives, University of Massachusetts Amherst Libraries.

Alternative Formats Available

Selected material in the collection has been scanned and are available online through our digital repository, Credo.

History of the Collection

Acquired from Joel M. Halpen.

Processing Information

Processed by Jason Fuller, September 2013.

Additional Information
Contact Information
Special Collections and University Archives
W.E.B. Du Bois Library
University of Massachusetts Amherst
Amherst, MA 01003-9275

Phone: (413) 545-2780
Fax: (413) 577-1399
Link to SCUA

Contents List
Address books
ca. 1967

Box 2:21
Address books
ca. 1970

Box 2:22
Alzheimer's Disease

Box 2:23
Barnes, Eleanor: letter, Electro-Chemical Engraving Co. memories

Box 1:1
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: advertisements
ca. 1960

Box 1:2
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: annual report, pension fund

Box 1:3
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: bankruptcy

Box 1:4
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: bankruptcy, letter to creditors
1965 July 23

Box 1:5
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Christmas lists and expenses

Box 1:6
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: company rules and union contract

Box 1:7
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: contract demands, Local Union #14531

Box 1:8
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: correspondence
1957, 1962-1963

Box 1:9
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Electro Analysis
1952, 1954

Box 1:10

Bi-monthly newsletter.

Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Etched Products Corporation advertisement and sample
ca. 1950

Box 1:11
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: Etched Products Corporation, auction sale

Box 1:12
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: General Survey of Manufacturing Facilities

Box 1:13
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: General Survey of Manufacturing Facilities
ca. 1954

Box 1:14
Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.: report and memos
ca. 1954

Box 1:15
Electroplating: technical notes
ca. 1940

Box 1:16
Genealogical reports

Box 3:1
General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen of the City of New York: library brochure
ca. 1979

Box 3:2
Halpern, Carl: Bronx County Historical Society Journal

Box 1:17

Issues of the publication containing articles by Carl Halpern and his son Joel Halpern, recording memories of childhood, family, and his career at Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.

Halpern, Carl, Classical music: list by composer

Box 3:3
Halpern, Carl: correspondence
1960-1966, 1985

Box 1:18
Halpern, Carl: dinner announcements
1938, 1940

Box 1:19
Halpern, Carl: interview notes
1977 Aug 20

Box 1:20
Halpern, Carl: interview transcript

Box 1:21

Interview conducted in 1976; transcript typed in 1981. See photocopies of the testimonial dinner photographs.

Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 8-77
Box 1:22
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 78-177
Box 2:1
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 178-277
Box 2:2
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 278-378
Box 2:3
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 379-477
Box 2:4
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs
ca. 1980
p. 477-555
Box 2:5

Includes appendices, which feature a copy of the payroll from the Electro-Chemical Engraving Co., ca. 1950s.

Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, additional material on family relationships
1981 July 23

Box 2:6
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, "autobiography" (drafts)
ca. 1980

Box 2:7
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, biographical notes
ca. 1980

Box 2:8
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, early jobs
1979 Dec

Box 2:9
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, early jobs

Box 2:10
Halpern, Carl, Memoirs, family history
ca. 1980

Box 2:11
Halpern, Carl: resignation notices
1962, 1964

Box 2:12
Halpern, Joel M.: correspondence

Box 3:4
Halpern, Joel M., Letters: research, Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.

Box 2:13
Halpern, Joel M.: research, Electro-Chemical Engraving Co.

Box 2:14
Halpern, Nettie M., Biographical notes
1978 Dec

Box 2:15
Halpern, Nettie M., Finances: record book

Box 3:5
Halpern, Nettie M., Recollections

Box 2:16

Notes recorded in 1965, typed in 1981.

Halpern, Nettie M., Travel diary

Box 3:6
Judaica: printed materials
ca. 1960-1970

Box 3:7
Judaica: printed materials
ca. 1970-1980

Box 3:8
List of names

Box 2:17
Negatives (photographic): Niagara Falls, family trip

Box 2:18
Photograph: family
ca. 1953

Box 2:19
Photograph: family
ca. 1953

Photographs (photocopies): dinner

Box 2:20

See interview transcript for background on images of Carl Halpern's testimonial dinner.

YM-YWHA of Souther Westchester: birthday/anniversary list

Box 3:9

Search Terms
The following terms represent persons, organizations, and topics documented in this collection. Use these headings to search for additional materials on this web site, in the Five College Library Catalog, or in other library catalogs and databases.

  • Bronx (New York, N.Y.)
  • Electro-Chemical Engraving Company
  • Genealogy

  • Halpern, Carl
  • Halpern, Joel Martin

Genre terms
  • Memoirs

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