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Alfred and Rose Anderson Papers

Identifier: LP000602

Scope and Content

The documents in this collection center principally on the controversies at both the national level and within I.U. 440 during 1924-1925. The larger portion of the collection consists of pamphlets, booklets and bulletins which span a far longer period of time and wider spectrum of interests.

Important subjects: Industrial Union 440, 1922-1931; IWW "Unity Convention", 1924; IWW conventions, 1921-1934; Mooney, Tom, 1931-1933; IWW factionalism, 1924-1925; Sacco-Vanzetti case, 1927

Important correspondents: Doyle, Tom; Flynn, Elizabeth Gurley; Fisher, Joe.

Series Description: Series I, The IWW and General Files, 1905-1936; Boxes 1-3: Correspondence, articles, dues receipts, financial statements, minutes, bulletins and flyers, convention materials, constitutions, reports, ballots and delinquent lists relating to Alfred Anderson, from 1919-1936, several Industrial Unions, especially I.U. 440, and the IWW generally, from 1905-1934.

Series II, Publications, c. 1900-1935; Boxes 4-8: Pamphlets, booklets, leaflets, manifestos, newspapers, clippings and bulletins concerning the IWW, radical, socialist and anarchist matters and international syndicalism. Numerous IWW publications, including some oversize Industrial Union bulletins.


  • 1905 - 1936
  • Majority of material found within 1924 - 1925


Language of Materials

Material entirely in English.


Collection is open for research.


Refer to the Walter P. Reuther Library Rules for Use of Archival Materials. Restrictions: Researchers may encounter records of a sensitive nature – personnel files, case records and those involving investigations, legal and other private matters. Privacy laws and restrictions imposed by the Library prohibit the use of names and other personal information which might identify an individual, except with written permission from the Director and/or the donor.


Alfred Anderson was born in Bralanda, Sweden, on January 23, 1899, and came to the United States in 1916. His wife, Rose, whom he married in 1923, was born on January 31, 1897, in Austria. She emigrated to the U.S. in 1911 and was a member of the Socialist Party and the IWW. Although this collection is jointly titled, the papers here are almost exclusively those of Mr. Anderson. In 1919, three years after his arrival in the U.S., Anderson was working as a machinist in Cleveland, Ohio, and was a member of the IWW Industrial Union (I.U.) 573, Manufacturing and Metal Machinery Workers. He moved to Rockford, Illinois, in early 1920, and during the next three years he joined I.U. 410, Textile Workers, I.U. 300, Metal and Machinery Workers, I.U. 310, General Construction Workers,and I.U. 440, another Metal and Machinery Worker Industrial Union based in Chicago. By 1923 he had apparently moved to Chicago where he became a very active member of I.U. 440. In August 1924 Anderson was named as a "special organizer" for I.U. 440, although he claimed that he was actually its Chicago Branch Secretary-Treasurer. This dis-pute was resolved by his election to that post in February 1925. Anderson continued a membership in I.U. 330, Construction Workers, into the 1920s. However, the bitter controversies which arose within the IWW both locally and nationally caused him to withdraw from an active role in the union after completion of his term as Secretary-Treasurer of I.U. 440. Nevertheless, he maintained his interest in the IWW, Marxism and syndicalism and, as a result, subscribed to many journals and bulletins and collected a considerable quantity of pamphlets which had to do with these subjects. He also wrote some articles, a few of which were published in the I.U. 440 Bulletin. Anderson died in January 1973 in Elmhurst, Illinois, where his widow, Rose, continued to live.


4 Linear Feet (7 MB, 1 OS)


Though collectively titled, the collection is largely that of Alfred Anderson. Mr. Anderson was an active member of Industrial Workers of the World and various Industrial Union locals during the 1920's. The collection reflects the activities of Industrial Union 440, and the IWW, and particularly the controversies at both the national level and within the Industrial Union 440 during 1924-1925 which ultimately caused Mr. Anderson to withdraw from active union participation.


Arranged in 2 series – Series 1 (Boxes 1-3), and Series 2 (Boxes 4-8). Folders are arranged alphabetically.


The papers of Alfred and Rose Anderson were placed in the Archives of Labor and Urban Affairs in May 1973 by Rose Anderson and her son, Eugene Anderson.

Related Materials

IWW Collections


One poster, "Buried Alive by the Lumber Trust", has been placed in the Archives Audiovisual Collection.

Additionally, incomplete runs of the following journals and newspapers have been transferred to the Archives Library: Federation News (Chicago AFL), 16 Aug 1924 Industrial Pioneer, Feb 1921-Jul 1924 Industrial Solidarity (Chicago), 6 issues, Jul 1915-Aug 1927 (IWW) Industrial Unionist (Portland, Oregon), 4 issues, Apr 1925-Jan 1926 (IWW) Industrial Worker (Seattle), 4 issues, Apr 1923-Mar 1925 (IWW) Labor Herald, 3 issues, Jan 1923-Sep/Oct 1924 New Unionist (Los Angeles), Aug 1927-Jan 1932 (IWW) One Big Union, Apr 1919-Dec 1921 Road to Freedom and Freedom, Oct 1925-Nov 1933

Books given to the Library: Bergegren, Hinke. Strejkledaren. Stockholm: Axel Holmstroms Forlag, 1907.

Hunt, Henry. The Case of Thomas J. Mooney and Warren K. Billings. New York City: National Mooney-Billings Committee, 1929.

Smith, Walker C. The Everett Massacre. Chicago: IWW Publishing Bureau, n.d.

Tolstoy, Leo N. Kreutzer-Sonaten. Stockholm: Albert Bonniers Forlag, 1909.

Tridon, Andre. The New Unionism. New York: B.W. Huebsch, 1917. 2 copies.

Processing History

Processed and finding aid written by Walter P. Reuther Library in July 1984.
Guide to the Alfred and Rose Anderson Papers
Processed by Walter P. Reuther Library.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Walter P. Reuther Library Repository

5401 Cass Avenue
Detroit MI 48202 USA