Railway Express Agency records, 1881-1967  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Railway Express Agency
Title
Railway Express Agency records
Dates
1881-1967 (inclusive)
Quantity
5.2 cubic feet, (10 document cases, 1 oversize folder)
Collection Number
Mss 2372
Summary
Materials relating to the northwestern U.S. operations of the freight shipping company Railway Express Agency (REA), consisting primarily of records created by the Seattle office of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks in their relations with REA. Includes correspondence (1921-1943), bulletins (1939-1963), express rates, delivery sheets, and ephemera.
Repository
Oregon Historical Society, Davies Family Research Library
Davies Family Research Library
Oregon Historical Society
1200 SW Park Avenue
Portland, OR
97205
Telephone: 503-306-5240
Fax: 503-219-2040
libreference@ohs.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public.

Languages
English
Sponsor
Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Historical NoteReturn to Top

The Railway Express Agency had its origins in the overland stagecoach and pony express services that linked the eastern and western U.S. prior to the building of the transcontinental railroad. In the railroad era, express companies worked with the railroads in handling door-to-door freight shipping. By 1914 there were seven major express companies, and these were consolidated by the Federal Government during World War I into the American Railway Express Agency. In the late 1920s a group of U.S. railroads purchased the company and changed its name to the Railway Express Agency, Inc. It had a monopoly on the shipment of freight on railroads and was obliged to ship all manner of goods, including motion pictures, circus animals, and hazardous materials. In 1960 the company adopted the trade name REA Express. In 1961 it formed a trailer leasing company called REA Leasing Corporation, and in 1965 it joined with Seven Arts Associated Corp. and Travel Theaters, Inc., to form REA Express-Seven Arts Transvision Inc.

By the mid 1970s the company's profits were decreasing due, in part, to the domination of the railroad companies, high inflation, and a decline in express shipments. In 1975 it filed for Chapter XI bankruptcy.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The collection consists primarily of records collected by the Seattle office of the Brotherhood of Railway Clerks (B.R.C.). These detail the union's dealings with REA over issues of wages, promotions, and employment classification. Included is correspondence (1921-1943), bulletins (1939-1963), lists of express rates, delivery sheets, signs, tags, labels, pamphlets, and other ephemera.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

The Oregon Historical Society is the owner of the materials in the Research Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Research Library prior to any use of reproductions. The Society does not necessarily hold copyright to all the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use of reproductions may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright holders.

Preferred Citation

Railway Express Agency records, Mss 2372, Oregon Historical Society Research Library

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

The following section contains a detailed listing of the materials in the collection.

Series A:  Bulletins and Notices, 1939-1963Return to Top

Bulletins contain notifications of job openings; lists of wages, hours, job descriptions. Notices contain notification of job from bulletin having been filed; lists name of employee, title of position, date filled.

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
1/1
Montana Division (old volume I)
  • Spokane, WA, 483-519, 1939 April 7-December 16
  • Anaconda, MT, 3, 4, 1939 March 16-November 15
  • Billings Seniority District, 10-17, 1939 May 3-November 13
  • Bozeman Seniority District, 1-3, 1939 May 15-October 7
  • Butte Seniority District, 1-4, 1939 May 1-July 17
  • Glasgow Seniority District, 1-3, 1939 APril 28-1940 January 6
  • Glendive Seniority District, 1, 1939 November 27-December 11
  • Great Falls Seniority District, 1-6, 1939 May 11-1940 January 11
  • Havre Seniority District, 1, 1939 August 23-31
  • Lewiston Seniority District, 1, 1939 May 19-July 26
  • Livingston Seniority District, 1939 June 23-Aug. 10
  • Miles City Seniority District, 1939 April 15
  • Missoula Seniority District, 1939 June 10-19
1939-1940
Oregon Seniority District--Bulletins and notices
Box/Folder
1/2
1-68 (old volume II)
1939 January 6-1940 January 6
1/3
1-63 (old volume III)
1940 January 11-1940 November 16
1/4
64, 1-16 (old volume IV)
1940 December 31-1942 January 14
1/5
1-68 (old volume V)
1942 January 5-1943 January 6
1/6
1-109 (old volume VI)
1943 January 3-1944 January 8
2/1-2
1-70 (old volume VII)
1944 January 8-1945 January 9
W.A.Y. Division
Box/Folder
2/2-5
Old volume VIII
  • Seattle Seniority District, 1-75, 1939 January 6-1940 January 16
  • Seattle Seniority District, D1-D8, 1939 April 14-December 29
  • Aberdeen Seniority District, 1,2, 1939 January 10-April 25
  • Bellingham Seniority District, 9-13, 1939 May 1-August 4
  • Kelso/Longview Seniority District, 7-11,1939 May 16-November 16
  • Pasco Seniority District, 1, 1939 November 28-December 12
  • Tacoma Seniority District, 16-25, 1939 January 12-May 15
  • Vancouver Seniority District, 3-5, 1939 January 27-September 15
  • Walla-Walla Seniority District, 1, 1939 April 14-Decmeber 11
  • Wenatchee Seniority District, 2, 1939 September 29-October 5
  • Yakima Seniority District, 1, 1939 September 11-23
1939-1940
2/6
Old volume IX
  • Portland Seniority District, 1-62, 1939 January 10-1940 January 15
  • Albany Seniority District, 8, 1939 January 10-24
  • Baker Seniority District, 1,2, 1939 September 8-January 15
  • Bend Seniority District, 1, 1939 September 5-19
  • Eugene Seniority District, 1-8, 1939 August 14-December 11
  • LaGrande Seniority District, 1,2, 1939 December 14-January 8
  • Medford Seniority District, 1, 1939 December 4
  • Advice: Medford Seniority District, 1, 1939 January 12
  • Bulletins and notices: Pendleton Seniority District, 1-3, 1939 February 3-July 3
  • Bulletins and notices: Salem Seniority District, 1939 January 23-December 23
  • Bulletins and notices: The Dalles Seniority District, 1, 1939 August 10-23
1939-1940
2/7-8
Old volume X
  • Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 1-101, 1940 January 9-1941 January 11
  • Bulletins and notices: Albany Seniority District, 1,2, 1940 July 6-29
  • Bulletins and notices: Astoria Seniority District, 1, 1940 October 7-21
  • Bulletins and notices: Baker Seniority District, 1-3, 1940 February 5-November 25
  • Bulletins and notices: Bend Seniority District, 1,1940 August 26-September 4
  • Bulletins and notices: Eugene Seniority District, 1-5, 1940 March 27-November 5
  • Bulletins and notices: Hood River Seniority District, 1-4, 1940 June 8-December 13
  • Bulletins and notices: LaGrande Seniority District, 1, 1940 January 15-26
  • Bulletins and notices: Medford Seniority District, 1, 1940 January 3-17
  • Advice: Medford Seniority District, 1, 1940 February 5-10
  • Bulletins and notices: Pendleton Seniority District, 1, 1940 June 18-29
  • Bulletins and notices: Salem Seniority District, 1-4, 1940 January 8-December 30
  • Bulletins and notices: The Dalles Seniority District, 1-4, 1940 May 27-September 17
1940-1941
3/1-3
Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District (old volume XI), 1-80
1941 January 12-1942 January 12
3/4-7
Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District (old volume XII), 1-162
1942 January 12-1943 January 14
3/8
Old volume XIII
  • Bulletins and notices: Albany Seniority District, 1-7, 1942 September 14-January 14
  • Bulletins and notices: Astoria Seniority District, 1-4, 1942 April 6-October 5
  • Bulletins and notices: Baker Seniority District, 1, 1942 January 29-February 6
  • Bulletins and notices: Corvallis Seniority District, 1-2, 1942 August 10-October 19
  • Bulletins and notices: Eugene Seniority District, 1-7, 1942 January 14-1943 January 2
  • Bulletins and notices: Hood River Seniority District, 1, 1942 July 9-24
  • Bulletins and notices: LaGrande Seniority District, 1-5, 1942 May 5- October 5
  • Bulletins and notices: Medford Seniority District, 1-4, 1942 July 28-December 7
  • Bulletins and notices: Pendleton Seniority District, 1-7, 1942 May 5-1943 January 14
  • Bulletins and notices: Salem Seniority District, 1-11, 1942 January 5-December 15
1942-1943
4/1-3
Old volume XIV, Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 1-214
1943 January 14-1944 February 3
4/4-5
Old volume XV, Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 1-225 (parts a, b)
1945 January 5-October 4
5/1
Old volume XV, Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 1-225 (part c)
1945 January 5-October 4
5/2-4
Old volume XVI, Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 231-450
1946 March 18-August 27
6/3
Old volume XVII, Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 451-635 (part a)
1946 August 15-1947 January 9
6/1-2
Old volume XVII, Bulletins and notices: Portland Seniority District, 451-635 (parts b, c)
1946 August 15-1947 January 9
5/5
Old volume XVIII, Bulletins and notices: Pacific Northwest Division
  • 1-13, 1962 February 15-December 19
  • 1-2, 1963 February 18-July 4
1962-1963

Series B:  Correspondence, management-employee disputes., 1921-1943Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
6/4
H. E. Harrison, dispute over seniority
1921 March 4-August 22
6/5
C. A. Slinger and W. A. Hurlbert: wage dispute
1923 May 23-December 7
6/6
L. J. Herr: wage/time dispute
1922 June 12-1924 March 17
6/7
A. E. Light: right to work
1922 May 16-1924 March 7
6/8
R. E. Seims: wage claim; decision 3860
1924 February 13-1925 August 12
6/9
T. A. Preston: bumping; case 1127
1924 June 16-November 24
6/10
Protest of non-allowances for 8 hours, Eugene-Salem route; case 1240
1924 September 11-July 2
6/11
C. E. Jenson: wage claim
1927 Aprtil 6-June 20
6/12
Steve Bates: wage claim
1927 May 12- September 12
6/13
H. B. Ferguson: violation of rule 19
1928 March 7-November 1
6/14
Extra board: correspondence and rules
1927 June 30-1932 December 1
7/1
Carl Housel: deadhead-time pay dispute
1928 November 10-1929 March 8
7/2
Extra pay to messengers
1929 January 9-February 11
7/3
E. E. Wilkes & C. G. Pickett: seniority dispute
1929 March 13-October 16
7/4
Work for furloughed employees
1929 July 8-August 19
7/5
M. C. Waddell: bumping of H. B. Ferguson
1930 October 1-1931 March 30
7/6
R. Crawford et. al.: wage claim
1930 November 24-1931 February 27
7/7
Aberdeen and Hoqiam Agency consolidation
1932 February 8-May 4
7/8
Steve Bates: protest over job displacement
1932 July 5-August 2
7/9
General file
1932 august 5-December 10
7/10
J. Wiseman: wage claim
1933 April 22-October 13
7/11
Hans Paulsen: wage claim
1938 March 3-April 11
7/12
Charles Hennig: wage claim
1938 April 26-July 29
7/13
Paul Deator: wage claim
1938 July 14-29
7/14
L. H. Alsid: rebulletining of Portland-Astoria truck route
1942 June 24-October 12
7/15
R. L. Anderson: wage compensation claim
1942 December 15-March 20

Series C:  Forms, labels, and printed matter, circa 1881-1963Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
7/16
Tags and labels
undated
7/17
Forms
undated
7/18
Uniform Express receipt books
1949
7/19
Delivery sheet, Adams Express Company
1881 July
7/20
Messenger tally, Adams Express Company
1893
7/21
Signs
undated
Oversize folder
Oversize signs
  • Sign warning of penalties of breaking into railroad cars, no. 3268 (10-26)
  • Truck poster, "HIHO, REA! AWAAAAY!" (2 sheets, flourescent orange)
  • "Explosives / keep fire away" (rules for handling railroad car carrying explosives)
undated
Booklets
Box/Folder
7/22
Time table for Spokane, Portland, and Seattle Railroad (old volume I)
1956 March 1
7/23
Time table for Canadian Pacific Railroad (old volume II)
1947 February 23
8/1
Passenger train time table for Northern Pacific: North Coast Limited (old volume III)
1943 October 17
8/2
Fern & Evergreen routing guide from Pacific Northwest Railroad (old volume IV)
1945 November 5
8/3
The official register of passenger train equipment (old volume V)
1945 September
8/4
The official guide of the railways and steam navigation lines of the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, & Cuba... (old volume VI)
1955 July
8/5
The official guide of the railways... (old volume VII)
1967 April
8/6
Uniform Express receipt book, no. 797-1000 customers (old volume VIII)
undated
9/1
Wells, Fargo & Co., express register of way bills forwarded
circa 1910-1919
9/2
Wells, Fargo, & Co., Express account book
1911

Series D:  General papers, 1921-1963Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
9/3
Seniority roster for Portland, Or.
1958 January
Pamphlets
Box/Folder
9/4
Agreement governing working hours of service and working conditions between REA and it employees
1967 January 1
9/5
Group insurance plan / employee and dependent health, employee life, Travellers Insurance Co. Hartford, Conn.
1961 January
9/6
Handbook for REA Express employees, no. 5039 (1-63)
1965 January 15
9/7
Labor relations
  • A challenge to the Railroad Fraternity about corruption of A. F. Whitney
  • Copy of address given by John F. Griner at National Association of Retired and Veteran Railway Employees, 1960 May 2
1935; 1960
9/8
Pamphlets
  • How your community benefits from an investment in progress, no. DR 655-50
  • District accounting system, illustration of and instructions on use of forms used by American Railway Express Co., 1921 April 1
1921; undated
9/9
General materials
1945-1948; undated
Oversize folder
Form "Set-up of organizations," with names of employees, rates of pay, job duties, etc.
1931 October 1;

Series E:  Company rules, circa 1946-1962Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box/Folder
9/10-11
Volume I: rules 1-100; description, interpretation, challenges, etc.
circa 1937-1951
9/12
Volume III: Index of awards made by National Railroad Adjustment Board violations of employees rights in rules 1-39
1964
10/1
Volume IV: Index of awards made by National Railroad Adjustment Board violations of employees rights in rules 40 and up
1964
10/2
Volume V: claims made to Express Board of Judgement no. 1; includes: claim statement of claiment, rubuttal, decision; decisions E1498 to E1574
1946 December 6-1947 March 21
10/3
Same as above, decisions E1575 to E1631
1948 February 28-1949 November 14
10/4
Rate pages, local and national for freight (ditto pages, from old volume VII)
undated
10/5
Rate pages (from old volume VII)
  • First and second class express rates, I.C.C. 8460, 1959 September 1
  • Supplement to local and joint tariffs no. 18: ordinary merchandise, 1960 December 15
  • Local and joint tariffs no 16: ordinary merchandise, I.C.C. 8291, 1957 March 25
  • Commodity tariffs no. 23-A: abrasives, advertising, printed matter, I.C.C. 8475, 1969 January 11
1957-1968
10/6
Commodity tariffs from Railway Express Agency
1961-1962
10/7
Rates of express to Alaska using Alaska Airlines
circa 1959
10/8
Rates of air express from Portland, Or.
circa 1960
10/9
Shippers' export declaration
1949
10/10
List of postal zones for Alaska cities, and parcel post guide
1950 November 15; 1960
10/11
Rate schedules
1953

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Express service--United States--Northwest, Pacific--History.
  • Express service--Employees--Labor unions.
  • Labor unions--Northwest, Pacific--History.
  • Railroads--Northwest, Pacific--History.
  • Corporate Names :
  • Railway Express Agency (creator)
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Ephemera
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Other Creators :
    • Corporate Names :
    • Brotherhood of Railway Clerks (creator)