Thursday, Sep 8, 2022

Chicago, Illinois -- The Eastland Disaster Historical Society (EDHS) is excited to announce a new project that will be of great value to researchers, genealogists, and family historians for generations to come.

Ron Steinberg (pictured above), a friend and supporter of EDHS for more than twenty years, has graciously loaned his near-complete collection of Western Electric News newsletters to EDHS for the purpose of making the content of these newsletters useful and usable to a broad audience. The News newsletter contains articles and photos from Western Electric offices and factories throughout the country as well as around the globe.

EDHS will contract with The Digital Archive Group to scan the more than 10,000 pages in the collection. The digital images will later be made available to the public for free via the EDHS website. It is also important to note that the scanned newsletters will be created with Optical Character Recognition (OCR), which will enable text-based searching within the collection.

The cost to scan this amazing collection is $7,980. Please help us reach our goal of raising the funds to scan this collection by donating today via our website. Every donated dollar moves us closer to being able to have this collection scanned and made available to thousands of people.

Benefits for the EDHS community
Those with an interest in the Eastland Disaster will be able to view and research the information and photos for the Hawthorne Works' picnics that preceded and also followed the Eastland Disaster.

Benefits for genealogists and family historians
You will be able to view - and search within! - the newsletters, quickly accessing the treasure trove of employee data. The work anniversaries, promotions, sporting events, awards, enlisted employees, marriages, and photos of thousands of employees will now be accessible and available to those who had one or more family members work at Western Electric.

Benefits for researchers of all topics
Because Western Electric was the leader in the telephone, communications, and audio/video industries during the time of great technological advance, researchers can mine the newsletters no matter what their topic of research might be. Sports (e.g., the Chicago Stadium), World War I, international events (e.g., the 1933 World's Fair), politics, Hollywood, and many more areas are covered in the News because of Western Electric's involvement.