Summary Information
Title: Records of the Trimble Company
Collection Number: MSS#80
Creator: Trimble Company
Collection Dates: 1883-1967
Extent: 3 cubic feet (5 boxes)
The Trimble Company was a prominent construction firm in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, founded in 1858 by William F. Trimble. The company had four names in its 100 year history; Trimble Company, changed to W.F Trimble & Sons Co. in 1903, The Trimble Company in 1942, and A. H. Trimble Construction and Engineering in the early 1960s. The collection includes contracts, correspondence, financial documents, patents, projects, and other matters relating to the estates of various family members. Of note are near-comprehensive photographs of the company's projects.


The material in this collection is in English.


Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania
Senator John Heinz Pittsburgh Regional History Center
1212 Smallman Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15222


This finding aid has been encoded as a part of theHistoric Pittsburgh project a joint effort of the University ofPittsburgh and the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Fundingfor this portion of the project has been donated by the HillmanFoundation.
Date Published:

Spring 2000

This guide to the collection was originally prepared by Historical Society Staff in 1982. Records rearranged and inventory rewritten by Erin Clougherty on March 24, 1994. Revisions occurred to the finding aid as a part of the encoding process in Spring 2000.

Encoded by Robert V. Fletcher on March 1, 2000 from an existing finding aid. >Reviewed by Curator Steve Doell on August 8, 2000.
Revision Description:
July 1, 2006:
Converted from EAD Version 1.0 to EAD Version 2002

History of the Trimble Company (1858-c1967)

The Trimble Company was a construction firm in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania beginning in the mid-19th century. Trimble was founded in 1858 by William F. Trimble as a construction company in Allegheny City (Pittsburgh). William and Margaret Ann had nine children, of which four sons (Charles, William, Samuel, and Alexander) eventually joined the firm. The company changed names four times in over 100 years; first name change occurred in 1903, when the company adopted the name W.F. Trimble and Sons Company. William F. Trimble Jr., son of Anthony Trimble, joined the firm in 1910 and was named president of the company upon his uncle's death (William L Trimble) in 1937. The company, in 1942, was again reorganized and the name was changed to The Trimble Company. In the early 1960s, the company reorganized and again changed its name to A.H. Trimble Construction and Engineering. The Trimble family also started the Locust Land Company in the late 1800s. The Locust Land Company was also located in Allegheny City, at the same address. The Locust Land Company concentrated their land holdings in this area of the city.

The Trimble Company was a prominent contributor to the construction industry in the Pittsburgh region. The company concentrated its work on industrial and institutional buildings, and projects. Among its most notable construction projects were: the Stephen C. Foster Memorial and Heinz Memorial Chapel at the University of Pittsburgh, Buhl Planetarium, the Pennsylvania Railroad Warehouse, the Horne's Department Store Warehouse, Gimbel's Department Store Warehouse, and Pittsburgh-Xenia Theological Seminary. The Trimble Company also completed a major amount of work for the United States Armed Forces; including the construction of military bases, war housing, and veterans' housing. The largest contract that the Trimble Company worked on was the Indiantown Gap Military Reservation for the United States Army in 1939-1940. This project was done in conjunction with the Ferguson-Edmonson Company and Huffman-Wolfe Company. The Trimble Company's list of clients included The Aluminum Company of America, Gulf Oil Corporation, Pittsburgh Plate Glass Company, Bell Telephone Company, the United States Army, the United States Navy, the Veterans Administration, the City of Pittsburgh, the County of Allegheny and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Collection Scope and Content Note

The Trimble papers include contracts, correspondence, financial documents, patents, projects, and matters relating to the estate of various family members. Most of these items document the company, with an overlap of estate papers dealing with company business. Notably, these records include near-comprehensive photographs of the company's projects. These photographs have been arranged as MSP# 80.

The Trimble Company Records are arranged in two series. Series I contains the business records and Series II the estate papers.

The Trimble Company Records are housed in five archival boxes.

Controlled Access Terms
  • Buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Commercial buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Construction industry -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Department stores -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Dwellings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Transportation buildings -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
  • Universities and colleges -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh.
Corporate Names
  • Buhl Planetarium (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • University of Pittsburgh. -- Stephen C. Foster Memorial.
  • Gimbels (Department store : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Horne's (Department store : Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • University of Pittsburgh. -- Heinz Memorial Chapel.
  • Indiantown Gap (Military reservation)
  • Locust Land Company (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Pennsylvania Railroad Warehouse (Pittsburgh, Pa.)
  • Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Pa.)
Access and Use
Access Restrictions:

This collection is open for research.

Aquisition Information:

These materials came in one accession, in 1982.

Acc# 1982.251 -- Gift of Anthony F. Trimble. Records: Anthony Trimble was the last head of the Trimble Company.

Preferred Citation:

Records of the Trimble Company, 1883-1967, MSS# 80, Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania

Processing Information:

This guide to the collection was originally prepared by Historical Society Staff in 1982. Records rearranged and inventory rewritten by Erin Clougherty on March 24, 1994.

Revision and rearrangement for the encoded version of the finding aid provided by Robert V. Fletcher on March 1, 2000.


Property rights reside with the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Literary rights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or publish, please contact the curator of the Archives.

Contents List
Series I Business Records
Scope and Content Notes:

These records includes board material, organizational documents, financial material, contracts, project reports, scrapbooks and other sundry items, primarily documenting the financial aspects of the company. These records are not comprehensive of inclusive years of the company, but are concentrated in different periods, primarily 1936 through 1960. Of special note are the patents awarded to Charles P. Trimble in 1911, for a construction clamping devise. The correspondence provides little information on the company but does include a letter of a personal nature, written during the Great Depression, explaining why a debt was not repaid. Members of the Trimble Family also owned the Locust Land Company (which later became part of the Trimble Company), owners of land in Allegheny City (Pittsburgh's north side). This material contains leases, correspondence of a financial nature, tax forms, journals and ledgers. The papers on specific projects are primarily sketchy correspondence and financial material dealing directly with each project. The publications are ones that the Trimble Company distributed with their name on it. While these records do not provide a comprehensive view into the activities of the Trimble Company, they provide sufficient insight into the operations of a construction firm in Pittsburgh during the twentieth century.

The Business Records are arranged alphabetically with an informational folder arranged to the front.

Box 1
folder 1 Informational folder
folder 2 Board Meetings 1937-1957
folder 3 Charters 1903-1942
folder 4 Contracts 1926-1950
folder 5 Correspondence 1930-1961
folder 6 1947-1953
folder 7 1954-1956
folder 8 1957-1958
folder 9 Accountants-Correspondence 1950-1959

Box 2
folder 1 Balance Sheet 1967
folder 2 Bank Book 1883-1911
Charitable Organizations
folder 3 1956
folder 4 1957
folder 5 Equipment Sales 1961
General Ledger 1936-1949
Shareholder and Taxes
folder 6 1940-1948
folder 7 1949-1953
folder 8 1954-1961
folder 9 Union National Bank 1960-1961
Voucher Register 1959-1960

Box 3
folder 1 Legal 1960-1961
Locust Land Company
folder 2 1898-1927
folder 3 1939-1944
folder 4 1945-1958
folder 5 Journal 1938-1947
folder 6 Ledger 1938-1947
folder 7 Patents 1911
folder 8 Personnel 1951-1960

Box 4
folder 1 Personnel-Manual 1947
folder 1 Projects
folder 2 1897-1903
folder 3 1903-1906
folder 4 Gimble's Warehouse 1946-1927
folder 5 Horne's Warehouse 1926-1947
folder 6 Indiantown Gap 1940-1942
folder 7 Edgar Kaufman Jr. 1963
folder 8 Navy/Dravo 1943-1944
folder 9 Record Book 1956-1961
folder 10 Sisters of St. Joseph 1960-1961
folder 11 Miscellaneous

Box 5
folder 1 Publications
Scrapbook 1931-1935
Series II Estate Papers
Scope and Content Notes:

This series includes wills, correspondence, and other financial documents. The earliest records document the estate of Company Founder William F. and Margart Ann Trimble. The bulk of the remaining estate material documents the William F Trimble Jr estate. Given the tight control of the company by members of the Trimble Family, these records provide insight in the personal wealth of the family members and genealogical information on the family. These records provide little additional information on the company except the family members' personal stake.

The Estate Records are arranged chronologically.

folder 2 1909
folder 3 1939-1942
folder 4 1954
folder 5 1955
folder 6 1956-1958