Associated Industries of New York State/Business Council of New York State Records, 1996 December 19 - 2017 March 27
- Business Council Of New York State
- The Associated Industries of New York State/ Business Council of New York State Records contains documents which were created during the group's 66 years of business. Among the contents are files on the group's former directors, correspondence and legal council records. The records of the association also contain some publications from other sources.
- 10.02 cubic ft. and 365 captures
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Associated Industries of New York State/Business Council of New York State Records, 1914-2004. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as [shortened name]).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this record group is unrestricted.
The researcher assumes full responsibility for conforming with the laws of copyright. Whenever possible, the M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives will provide information about copyright owners and other restrictions, but the legal determination ultimately rests with the researcher. Requests for permission to publish material from this collection should be discussed with the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
- Scope and Content:
The general goal of Associated Industries was to restrict government involvement in business affairs, but the association had many specific interests, some of which changed or disappeared as the years progressed. One of their first and lasting concerns was workmen's compensation: they discussed and monitored legislation on this issue for the entire 66 years of their existence. Sometimes, though, their focus changed, as in the 1950's when their interest in workmen's compensation was especially concerned with occupational hearing loss. Taxation of all kinds, corporate as well as personal, always held their interest. Other topics of long term concern were unemployment insurance (1940-80), environmental pollution (ca. 1955-80), the cost and quality of education (1968-80), and energy policy (1971-80). There were also some subjects that interested for only a limited number of years. One of these was the National Bituminous Coal Act of 1937 which was an issue only until about 1945.
The primary sources of information about issues of concern for Associated Industries are the minutes of their board meetings (1914-79) and in The Monitor (1914-72), a monthly publication. During the 1960's, The Monitor became an organ of conservative opinion, even carrying a few articles by Ronald Reagan. Both these sources had information on the specific concerns of the association and on the general character of their thinking, but The Monitor is more frequently a source for their general political ideas and for their reactions to the events of their time because it was used as a public relations tool as well as a source of information for the association's members. After The Monitor ceased monthly publication and it became a quarterly leaflet named Monitor, the association published a few smaller publications which are not as good a source as the magazine these replaced. Press releases (1975-79) became a way for the association to disseminate their views and information about their activities. The issues files (1971-72, 1977-79) are not a very good source for information about the association's views because these files consist mostly of material not produced by Associated Industries.
During the term of president Raymond T. Schuler, there was a great increase in the amount of records produced. The most obvious of which was the addition of a president's file (1977-79) which consists of the scripts for speeches that Schuler made as president of Associated Industries and memoranda to and from the president's office. The speeches were an important part of the public relations of Associated Industries during the late 1970s.
The files on former directors (1950-81) contain files on individual directors which include correspondence from and concerning the directors, photographs of the directors, news clippings, tables of each director's association with Associated Industries, and other biographical material. For the most part, however, each individual file is fairly small and contains little information. Also within this series are general files on directors which are usually only lists of members of different committees.
The legal counsel records (1920, 1945-47, 1952-80) are not records produced by Associated Industries but are those kept by the different partners of Costello, Cooney & Fearon who served as legal counsel for the association. The bulk of these records consists of legal opinions as well as correspondence between Associated Industries and its legal counsel.
The records of the association also contain some publications from other sources (1957-80), most notably from Empire State Chamber of Commerce, an organization they eventually merged with to form The Business Council of New York State, Inc.
- Biographical / Historical:
According to a short of history of the founding of Associated Industries of New York State, the Buffalo Chamber of Commerce called for a meeting of manufacturers on the 27th and the 28th of March 1914 in response to the labor laws of 1913 and 1914. Twenty-seven men, representing various businesses, met for these two days and appointed a committee to draft a constitution for an association which would combat legislation unfavorable to business. They voted unanimously in favor of that constitution, which gave the name of the organization as Federated Industries and its purpose as "to promote the mutual welfare of its members . . . and assist in establishing equitable and beneficial laws and rules pertaining to industries in the state of New York." The members decided their association should register as a corporation, and afterwards the executive committee met and voted to change the name of the association to Federated Industries, Inc., which was the first of many name changes.
By the executive committee meeting held on April 23, 1914, the association's name appeared in the general form it retained: Associated Industries (sometimes abbreviated to AI or AINY). An unincorporated body, the association determined in this first formal meeting "to go about its work not in a high-handed, but in a high-minded way, seeking to obtain only that to which it is entitled, but expecting to have all that willingly conceded and granted."
In the executive committee meeting of December 11, 1914, E. J. Barcalo, the first president of the association, brought up "the question of a proposed amalgamation between the New York State Manufacturers' Association and Associated Industries," but the members of Associated Industries worried that "the reported policy and the reputation of the New York State Manufacturers' Association as unfriendly to labor would be a detriment rather than an asset to Associated Industries."
At first, most of its members came from western New York, but by December 1914 the association had already begun to try to attract manufacturers in Glens Falls and were contemplating meeting with people in the Albany area. By 1915, the association had 748 members and a "considerable portion of the increase in membership was due to the amalgamation of Associated Industries and the New York State Manufacturers' Association, which occurred in June." The amalgamated association was named Associated Manufacturers and Merchants (of New York State). This merger helped extend the association's membership across the state. A few years later, the organization started to expand its membership into New York City.
During the board meeting of November 13, 1919, the board of directors recommended "the incorporation of the Association, under the Membership Corporations Law," and on January 29, 1920, Associated Industries of New York State, Inc., filed a certificate of incorporation.
The head office for Associated Industries opened in Buffalo in 1914. A second office opened in New York city in 1943 and another in Albany near the beginning of 1952. In late 1954, the New York office closed, and by 1962 the Buffalo office had closed, leaving the office in the state capital as the only office for the association.
The major officers of the association, the president and the secretary, were paid employees who did not have to be directors of the association. They and their assistants ran the daily business of Associated Industries. The executive committee made recommendations to the board of directors about all affairs of Associated Industries and required the approval of the board before acting on anything, but the executive committee also had the power to make decisions on its own in the interim between meetings.
On August 11, 1976, Active Industry for Development of the Economy (AIDE) was incorporated as a political action committee, funded by Associated Industries, that would donate money to political candidates "who will seek to improve the business climate of New York State." AIDE and a new policy of accepting whole associations as members to AI marked the beginning of a serious push to join others to achieve their goals.
The board of directors accepted Raymond T. Schuler as president on June 9, 1977. He was to be their last president. During Schuler's tenure, he built up staff positions, membership increased, and a few large companies like Gulf + Western and the Grumman Corporation joined AI. Schuler also travelled across the state making scores of speeches to business, fraternal and cultural groups.
According to a memorandum from the Empire State Chamber of Commerce and dated April 21, 1980, Associated Industries and Empire State Chamber of Commerce consolidated in 1980 to form The Business Council of New York State, Inc., with the goals of the new association being "to improve and promote the economy and business climate of New York State and promote the welfare of its members, their employees, consumers and the general public."
- Acquisition information:
All items in the manuscript group were donated to the University Libraries, M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, by the Business Council of New York State, Inc., on 30 June 1988.
- Processing information:
Processed in 2012 by Geoffrey Huth.
- Social Activists and Public Advocates
Records and Briefs
Wages -- New York (State)
- Associated Industries of New York State, inc.
Business Council of New York State
- Albany (N.Y.)