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Series VI. President's Office Files, 1940-1949

Scope and Content Notes:

Even before the U.S. entered World War II, jobs became more available as the nation began building its defenses. By 1941, the company was working almost exclusively on government-funded projects across the United States. Rust Engineering's skill in building large plants made it ideal for the jobs, which included the construction of navy shipyards, machine shop and assembly buildings, shell forging and machining plants, and ordnance plants. Some projects, such as a Naval Ordnance Plant in Canton, Ohio, employed hundreds of employees and operated on 24-hour shifts. The company was particularly proud of this plant, which was completed ahead of schedule and contained what one worker called "the prettiest machine shop I ever saw."

To complete this work, Rust had to navigate the many restrictions and regulations on the use of raw materials, and a significant amount of correspondence is dedicated to dealing with rationing boards and securing salaries for workers. Private work did continue, and Rust built boiler houses, blast furnaces, and stove foundations for steel mills.

Most wartime work was overseen by S.M. Rust, Jr., who was vice-president at the time. S.M. Rust, Sr. did not retire from the presidency until 1945, when he became Chairman of the Board of Directors.

Rust Engineering's opportunities for jobs only rose after the war, as it repaired overworked machinery and converted now-obsolete war factories into peacetime enterprises. As the nation entered the Space Age, the company also worked on nuclear energy projects and structures for NASA.

The files taper off and end by 1949. It is possible that records from the 1950s went on to Litton Industries, which purchased Rust in 1967. Some information about Rust's activities during the 1950s and beyond can be found in Series VIII.

Subseries 1. Correspondence

Scope and Content Notes:

Records from the 1940s are made up almost entirely of Day Files, consisting of copies of outgoing correspondence written by S.M. Rust, Jr., and interoffice files containing both incoming and outgoing mail. There are no job files and few subject files, but despite the limitations a great deal of information about company activity can be found in the correspondence. The interoffice files are much more extensive than earlier, possibly because of better record keeping techniques, but more likely because the offices had to work together constantly to keep up with government projects; many letters were sent between branch offices every day, often by airmail, as Rust coordinated numerous jobs around the country.

Box 46
Folder 1 General Correspondence, 1940
Folder 02-04 S.M. Rust, Jr. Day File, January-December, 1940
Folder 05-06 S.M. Rust and S.M. Rust, Jr. Day File, January-October, 1940
Folder 7 S.M. Rust and S.M. Rust, Jr. Correspondence, January-December, 1940
Folder 8 Daily reports from Pittsburgh Office to S.M. Rust, 1940
Folder 9 S.M. Rust, Jr., personal, 1940

Box 47
Folder 1 Interoffice correspondence, 1940
Folder 02-04 Birmingham Office correspondence, January-December, 1940
Folder 5 Los Angeles Office correspondence, 1940
Folder 6 New York Office correspondence, 1940
Folder 07-08 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, October-December, 1940
Folder 9 Windsor Office correspondence, 1940

Box 48
Folder 1 General correspondence, 1941
Folder 02-04 S.M. Rust and S.M. Rust, Jr. Day File, January-December, 1941
Folder 5 Daily reports from Pittsburgh Office to SMR, 1941
Folder 6 Daily Reports from SMR, Jr. to SMR, 1941
Folder 07-09 Birmingham Office correspondence, January-March, 1941

Box 49
Folder 01-08 Birmingham Office correspondence, April-November, 1941

Box 50
Folder 1 Birmingham Office correspondence, December, 1941
Folder 02-03 Chicago Office correspondence, 1941
Folder 4 Los Angeles Office correspondence, 1941
Folder 5 Montreal Office correspondence, 1941
Folder 06-07 New York Office correspondence, 1941
Folder 08-09 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, January-June, 1941

Box 51
Folder 01-02 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, July-December, 1941
Folder 3 General correspondence, 1942
Folder 04-06 W.B. Gillies correspondence, 1942
Folder 7 S.M. Rust personal correspondence, 1942
Folder 08-09 S.M. Rust, Jr. and Day File, First-Second Quarter, 1942

Box 52
Folder 1 S.M. Rust, Jr. and Day File, Third Quarter, 1942
Folder 02-04 Interoffice correspondence, January-December, 1942
Folder 05-07 Birmingham Office correspondence, January-March, 1942

Box 53
Folder 1 Birmingham Office correspondence,April-September, 1942

Box 54
Folder 01-03 Birmingham Office correspondence, October-December, 1942
Folder 4 Los Angeles Office correspondence, 1942
Folder 5 New York Office correspondence, 1942
Folder 6 Philadelphia Office correspondence, 1942
Folder 07-08 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, January-February, 1942

Box 55
Folder 01-05 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, March-April, 1942
Folder 2 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, May-December, 1942
Folder 6 General correspondence, 1943
Folder 07-09 S.M. Rust, Jr. Day File, First-Third Quarter, 1943

Box 56
Folder 1 S.M. Rust, Jr. Day File, Fourth Quarter, 1943
Folder 2 Interoffice, First Quarter, 1943
Folder 03-04 Interoffice, Third-Fourth Quarter, 1943
Folder 05-09 Birmingham Office correspondence, January, 1943

Box 57
Folder 01-07 Birmingham Office correspondence, June-December, 1943
Folder 8 Los Angeles Office correspondence, 1943
Folder 9 New York Office correspondence, 1943

Box 58
Folder 01-02 Washington, D.C. Office correspondence, 1943
Folder 03-04 General correspondence, 1944
Folder 5 S.M. Rust, Jr. correspondence, 1944
Folder 06-08 S.M. Rust, Jr. Day File, Second-Fourth Quarter, 1944
Folder 9 S.M. Rust, Jr. correspondence, 1944
Folder 10 General correspondence, 1945
Folder 11-13 S.M. Rust Day File, January-September, 1945

Box 59
Folder 1 S.M. Rust Day File, October-December, 1945
Folder 2 S.M. Rust General Correspondence, 1946
Folder 03-06 S.M. Rust Day File, First-Fourth Quarter, 1946
Folder 7 S.M. Rust Interoffice, 1946
Folder 8 Interoffice, 1946
Folder 09-10 S.M. Rust Day File, January-December, 1947
Folder 11 S.M. Rust, Jr. personal file, 1947

Box 60
Folder 1 General Correspondence, 1948
Folder 02-03 S.M. Rust Day File, January-December, 1948
Folder 4 Birmingham Office correspondence, 1948
Folder 05-06 S.M. Rust Day File, January-December, 1949
Folder 7 S.M. Rust Personal File, 1949
Folder 8 S.M. Rust, Jr. personal file, 1949
Folder 9 S.M. Rust personal correspondence, 1950-1953

Subseries 2. Subject Files

Folder 10 Salary raises and financial information, 1940-1942
Folder 11-12 Contracts, 1940-1942

Box 61
Folder 1 Board of Directors and Stockholders Meeting minutes, 1940
Folder 2 Daily reports from H.J. Bawser to S.M. Rust, April-May, 1940
Folder 3 Job application by prisoner Walker Buckner, 1940
Folder 4 Salary Records, 1940-1942
Folder 5 Completed questionnaire on construction practices for Associated General Contractors of America, 1941
Folder 6 Legal information handled by Bayard Baldridge, 1942
Folder 7 Balance sheets, 1942
Folder 8 Fuel oil rationing, 1942
Folder 9 Gasoline rationing, 1943
Folder 10 Insurance, 1943
Folder 11-12 War Department survey of personnel, services, completed projects, 1943
Folder 13 Qualifications and histories of key personnel for Army records, 1943
Folder 14 China-America Council of Commerce and Industry, Inc., 1944
Folder 15 Proposed international work in South America, 1944
Folder 16 Law Office of Miller and Chevalier, 1944-1945
Folder 17 Report to Reconstruction Finance Corporation Relative to Gadsden Ordnance Plant, Gadsden, Alabama, 1945

Box 62
Folder 1 Anthony Bruyaux -- post-war surplus plants, 1945
Folder 2 Drawing: Oil and air piping layout for No. 7 periodic circular kiln, Harbison Walker Refectories, 1946
Folder 3 Proposed incinerator for the Town of Leesburg, Virginia, 1946
Folder 4 Wage and fuel expenses, 1947
Folder 5 Birmingham Office analysis, 1939-1949