1935 - 1937 SUPER GROUP OF FOUR [4] ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HAND WRITTEN BY AN IRISH IMMIGRANT AND FAMILY DETAILING A LIFE OF INCREDIBLE LOWS AND HIGHS: A WIFE DEAD 2 YEARS, 7 CHILDREN, UNION AND LABOR STRIFE AND THEN A THUNDER BOLT OF A LOTTERY WIN

By: WILLIAM TIMMONS

Price: $6,585.99

Quantity: 1 available


On offer is a fascinating collection of journals from a family struggling through the Great Depression in pre-WWII America. It includes four journals for the years of 1935, 1936, 1937 and 1943, and a notebook, all items are in fair condition. The Journals were written by William J. Timmons and members of his family. Timmons was born in 1889 in Navan, Ireland. He emigrated to the United States in 1906. He married and he and his wife had 7 children - 5 girls and 2 boys. His wife passed away in 1933, apparently from injuries resulting from burns. Timmons worked in some manufacturing firms - in particular the Walter Kidde Company and context suggests that he also worked some land. Casual research has not turned up any additional information on him. The journals do not follow a strict chronological structure. Some in fact have entries made by some of his children or are written entirely by one of his daughters. The first journal was written in 1935, it measures 8.25'x6.75' and has 52 pages and is 50% complete. It is a composition book in which he appears to write out the drafts of letters he will then send out. One in particular details his personal and family history as he struggles to raise his 7 children on his own. Written to Rt Rev Monsignor Meehan (possibly Rev Robert Meehan), he details his difficult circumstances, his personal history and his request for a job at the parish cemetery: "... I am working at present for the Walter Kidde fire extinguisher co in Bloomfield NJ. ... I find it very difficult to continue sending them (his 3 high school age daughters) to Bayley High School with the money I make at present. I get 55¢ per hour for eight hours each day ... I can't work seven days a week so I can make ends meet… My wife and children moved into East Hanover in 1925. My wife and I agreed to live in very humble living quarters so that we could afford to send our children through a Catholic High School. ..." [draft letter Oct 7, 1935]. Another letter is to Walter Kidde, detailing improper activities at work including theft of metal and metal scrap. It appears that this was not his first communication and there was tension between himself and other men working in the shop: "... I am bewildered and timid in writing to you as Mr. Hiss has informed me that you do not wish to receive any more letters from me. He also told me that you turned over the last letter to him and that it was confidential between the three of us but it was known throughout the shop and for three weeks the men would not speak to me ..." [draft letter Oct 7, 1935]. Other entries detail what he sees as theft or misappropriation of company material. The second journal measures 9.5' x7,5', has 120 pages and 99% complete. It is written by one of his daughters. She never identifies herself. It opens with good news: "In the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and thirty six on the twenty seventh day of April, God bestowed the blessings on Daddy of winning two thousand two hundred and eighty dollars ($2280)" [Page 1]. This is the equivalent of nearly 20 years wages for Timmons. Covering the time period from April 27 to July 23, 1936, she keeps a record of family expenses and daily events: "Daddy went to Whippany to see about plowing and Charlie Beaumont about truck. Uncle Joe got from Dad $3.00" [Jun4. 1933] The 3rd journal measures 9,5' x7,5', has 112 pages and is 99% complete. It covers the period June 15th, 1936 to July 17, 1937. Not all entries are in chronological order. This one appears to have been written by either a son or daughter. It is more likely a son as it refers to the writer working in a shop. Many of the entries describe day-to-day work tasks. He describes an accident he suffered from in which parts he was hand carrying exploded. He also talks about the manufacture of 15 navy shells. He also records conversations about attempts to unionize their shop: "... The men told Dad that Val Hill wanted the shop all one he wanted the union and they said it was Dad who was keeping it from being a union. Dad asked how many men worked there they said about 360. Dad said if 359 joined the union they would never get 360 to join. ..." [June 19, 1937]; "Dad had no money to get Bill clothes for graduation so he stood home from work. Cat (daughter Catherine) and I went to Uncle Joe's house but he was already at work and then we went to Sharkeys and Ruth told us she wouldn't have it. ..." [June 22, 1937]. This journal also includes some list of expenses and, more importantly, full names of people that the family knows. The 4th journal is written by Ann Timmons. It measures 8,5' x 6,75', has 50 pages and 78% complete, it covers the period from March to October, 1943. It begins with a letter dated Mar 17th to the Internal Revenue Service: "Gentlemen I cannot pay. Please grant me a month's grace to pay the balance ($50.83) on my income tax. I am sorry to have this happen but faithfully promise to pay the rest on Apr 15th [Mar 17]. A number of pages appear to be a time record extending from April to Sept. In July, she replies to a letter from her brother Bill who is serving in the United States army in North Africa, likely as part of Operation Torch: "... I received your letter Saturday July 10 and am really proud of you. It sure gives me a proud feeling to get a letter from a brother of mine in Africa that can beat the h____ out of any enemies that gets in his way. But anyway, I'd like to see anybody cross an Irishman and get away with it. ..." [July 11]. On Oct 26, 1943 she writes a letter in which she provides her brother Pat's address to a Pvt. Adams. Pat is already in uniform, attached to the 92nd Field Artillery Battalion. Also in October, she drafts a long 16 page letter to her brother Bill. The last volume is a top-bound writing notebook dated from 1937, it measures 9,75'x8', has 78 pages and 100% complete. This was written by William Timmons and goes into significant detail about the problems and in-fighting at the Walter Kidde Company where he was working. It is notable that, although his full name is William Timmons, as evidenced from previous letters he has written, the men at work refer to him as 'Mike'. He refused to join a union which caused great animosity: "... He said - Boys, when Floria and I go away, you boys start to work on Mike Timmons and make him join the C.I.O. Union. ... I said to them if the President of the United States asked me to join the C.I.O. Union, I would refuse… Then the mob made all sorts of threatening and insulting remarks". This collection offers a fabulous insight into the day-to-day challenges of an ordinary working class man and his family. For a historian, it is valuable from several perspectives. It describes the struggle of this man to raise his family on his own, it describes industrial life on the shop floor and it provides an insight into the rough world of union organizing. What makes it special is the inclusion of entries and comments by at least two of his children who provide another perspective on life around them.

Title: 1935 - 1937 SUPER GROUP OF FOUR [4] ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPT DIARIES HAND WRITTEN BY AN IRISH IMMIGRANT AND FAMILY DETAILING A LIFE OF INCREDIBLE LOWS AND HIGHS: A WIFE DEAD 2 YEARS, 7 CHILDREN, UNION AND LABOR STRIFE AND THEN A THUNDER BOLT OF A LOTTERY WIN

Author Name: WILLIAM TIMMONS

Illustrator: /

Categories: Books and Manuscripts General Overview, 20th Century Manuscript, 20th Century Diary,

Publisher: EAST HANOVER, NJ, 1935

Book Condition: Fair

Type: Manuscript

Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall

Seller ID: 0008178

Keywords: KEYWORDS: HISTORY OF, UNITED STATES, NEW JERSEY; MORRIS COUNTY; EAST HANNOVER; 20TH CENTURY; 1930s; 1940s; GREAT DEPRESSION; NEW DEAL; C.I.O. UNION; CONGRESS OF INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATIONS; INDUSTRIAL WORKERS DURING THE NEW DEAL; LABOR UNIONS DURING GREAT DEPRESSION; WALTER KIDDE COMPANY; IRISH CATHOLICS IN MORRIS COUNTY IN 1930s; ; 92ND FIELD ARTILLERY BATTALION; UNIONIZING IN THE GREAT DEPRESSION; AGGRESSIVE UNIONIZATION; RAISING A FAMILY DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION; WAGES DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION; INDUSTRIAL LIFE IN THE NEW DEAL; WW2; SECOND WORLD WAR; AMERICAN SOLDIERS IN NORTH AFRICA; AMERICANA, HANDWRITTEN, MANUSCRIPT, DOCUMENT, LETTER, AUTOGRAPH, WRITER, HAND WRITTEN, DOCUMENTS, SIGNED, LETTERS, MANUSCRIPTS, DIARY, DIARIES, JOURNALS, PERSONAL HISTORY, SOCIAL HISTORY, HISTORICAL, HOLOGRAPH, WRITERS, AUTOGRAPHS, PERSONAL, MEMOIR, MEMORIAL, ANTIQUITÉ, CONTRAT, VÉLIN, DOCUMENT, MANUSCRIT, PAPIER ANTIKE, BRIEF, PERGAMENT, DOKUMENT, MANUSKRIPT, PAPIER OGGETTO D'ANTIQUARIATO, ATTO, VELINA, DOCUMENTO, MANOSCRITTO, CARTA ANTIGÜEDAD, HECHO, VITELA, DOCUMENTO, MANUSCRITO, PAPEL