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Peter J. Conlon family collection

Identifier: L2006-20

Scope and Content of the Collection

The Peter J. Conlon family collection contains Conlon's books, bound journals, photographs, posters, and artifacts, dating 1889-1931, and the dues books, 1934-1964, of his son, Peter J. Conlon, Jr., and grandson, Peter J. Conlon, III.


  • Creation: 1889-1964


Restrictions on Access

Collection is open for research use.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Georgia State University is the owner of the physical collection and makes reproductions available for research, subject to the copyright law of the United States and item condition. Georgia State University may or may not own the rights to materials in the collection. It is the researcher's responsibility to verify copyright ownership and obtain permission from the copyright holder before publication, reproduction, or display of the materials beyond what is reasonable under copyright law. Researchers may quote selections from the collection under the fair use provision of copyright law.

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Biography of Peter J. Conlon

Peter J. Conlon was one of the original organizers for the International Association of Machinists (IAM), called "boomers" because they spread the word about the union by following the railroad to towns that were "booming." Conlon was born in Brooklyn in 1869 and grew up in Springfield, Illinois. After finishing his formal education, he traveled to Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and became an apprentice on the Saint Louis and Western Railroad. When he received his journeyman papers, he moved on to Kansas City, working for the Union Pacific Railroad. In Kansas City he also organized and became a charter member of Local Lodge 27 in February 1890. For the next several years he traveled extensively, always working to bring more members into the International Association of Machinists. In 1895 he was elected to the General Executive Board of the IAM, and when the Grand Lodge Convention established 5 vice presidencies in 1901 Conlon was elected first vice president. In 1916, the vice presidencies were reorganized so that there were only two, one for the U.S. and one for Canada. Conlon narrowly lost the election for the U.S. vice presidency, but was appointed a General Organizer. He served in this capacity until 1921, when he was again elected to the vice presidency. He remained a General Vice President until his death from a heart attack in March of 1931.


2.5 Linear Feet (in 2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Peter J. Conlon was born in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1869 and raised in Springfield, Illinois. He joined the International Association of Machinists in 1890 and served as an early organizer for the union. In 1895 he was elected to its General Executive Board. He later served the IAM as First Vice President, General Organizer, and Vice President for the United States before his death in March 1931. The collection consists of books, bound journals, photographs, posters, and artifacts, primarily documenting Conlon and the IAM, 1889-1931. It also includes the dues books of his son and grandson, 1934-1964.

Off-Site Storage

Collection is stored offsite. Allow at least 2 working days for retrieval.

Custodial History

Christina Carter, Peter J. Conlon's great-granddaughter, donated the collection to the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.

Acquisition Information

Donated by the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Communication Department, 2006.

Related Archival Materials

Georgia State University Library is the official repository for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, and the collection includes the Grand Lodge records as well as numerous Local and District Lodges. Please see the IAMAW Research Guide for more collections. In addition, GSU Digital Collections includes complete, full-text runs of the Machinist Monthly Journal and the Machinists Newspaper available in GSU Digital Collections as well as numerous photographs and local publications from both the US and Canada.

Separated Materials

During processing, books and bound journals were separated to the Labor Book Collection and cataloged. Material must be requested separately; consult archivist for access.

Separated to the Special Collections Department Book Collection

  1. Industrial Relations: Final Report and Testimony. Submitted to Congress by the Committee on Industrial Relations created by the Act of August 23, 1912. 11 volumes.
  2. Thirty Years of Labor by Terence Vincent Powderly.
  3. Public acts, proclamations by the President relating to the United States Railroad Administration, and general orders and circulars issued by the Director General of Railroads to December 31, 1918
  4. Decisions of the United States Railroad Labor Board with addenda and interpretations. 6 volumes
  5. The American Labor Who's Who
  6. The Balance of Power: A Novel by Arthur Goodrich
  7. Annual report of the Bureau of Labor and Industrial Statistics of the State of Virginia
  8. The Growth of American Trade Unions, 1880-1923 by Leo Wolman

Separated to the Southern Labor Archives Periodicals Collection

  1. The collection also includes a run of The Machinists' Monthly Journal which has been cataloged and shelved with the Book Collection

Processing Information

Processed by Kira Homo at the item level, 2007.

Peter J. Conlon Family:
A Guide to Its Collection at Georgia State University Library
Georgia State University Library
May 2007
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Repository

100 Decatur St., S.E.
Atlanta, Georgia 30303
404-413-2881 (Fax)