Scope and Content
Title: Boilermaker's Union, Local Lodge 6 Collection,
Date (inclusive): 1919-1985 (Bulk: 1938-1950)
Accession number: 1990/080
Boilermaker's Union, Local Lodge 6
Extent: 4 cubic feet
San Francisco State University. Labor Archives & Research Center
San Francisco, California 94132
Shelf location: For current information on the location of these
materials, please consult the Center's online catalog.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Labor Archives & Research Center. All requests
for permission to publish or quote from materials must be submitted in writing to the
Director of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Labor
Archives & Research Center as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to
include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the
[Identification of item], Boilermaker's Union, Local Lodge 6 Collection, 1990/080, Labor
Archives & Research Center, San Francisco State University.
This collection was donated to the Labor Archives and Research Center following a visit
to the Boilermakers' Union Local 6 by Susan Goldstein while she was conducting the Bay
Area Labor History Survey, a project which examined the records of 100 local unions in
five San Francisco Bay Area counties. Guy Brooks, Secretary-Treasurer and Business
Manager of Local 6, offered these records which they had removed from their files. This
collection was processed by Carol Cuenod, assistant archivist.
The boilermakers in San Francisco have a long history of organization. By 1867, a group
identified as the Journeymen Boilermakers' Protective Union became a part of the San
Francisco Trades' Union. They were among the founding unions of the Federated Iron Trade
Council of San Francisco in 1885
. The International Brotherhood of Boilermakers, Iron Ship
Builders and Helpers was organized in 1893, and the San Francisco lodge received its
charter in 1900.
The work of boilermakers is heavy-gauge metal fabrication and includes welders, burners,
drillers, and rollers. Among the many industries employing boilermakers are
manufacturing, railroad, dams, and shipbuilding. Lodge 6's records include the World War
II period when tremendous growth and changes occurred in these industries. There was a
boom in shipbuilding on the Pacific Coast and the boilermakers were among the trades
negotiating master contracts for shipbuilding and manufacturing as members of the Pacific
Coast Metal Trades Council and the Bay Area Metal Trades Council. The years of World Was
II also saw African-Americans and women struggling to becoming members of Lodge 6 for the
This collection documents the unique career of a labor leader named Edgar Rainbow, a
Native American (Cherokee). Mr. Rainbow was first elected business manager of Lodge 6 in
1936 and continuously held that position for 36 years until 1972. He also served
concurrently as president of the Lodge from time to time and was a prominent figure in
the Bay Area Metal Trades Council.
1Ira B. Cross,
A History of the Labor Movement
(Berkeley: University of California Press, 1935), pp.
Scope and Content
This collection of non-current records was slated for disposal by Lodge 6. Because LARC
surveyor, Susan Goldstein, expressed an interest, the Union granted permission for the
collection to be transferred to the Archive. Due to Lodge 6's original intent, there had
been no effort to maintain the existing order. Although some of the records were in
manila folders, much of the material consisted of loose documents.
The material covers a wide scope of activity and has been divided into ten series. With
the exception of the Minute Books, researchers should assume that this collection made up
of fragmented series. The earliest material is minutes of regular meetings beginning in
1929; the bulk of the records cover the period 1938 to 1950.
Most important are two groupings of records within the Contract Administration Series
(Series VIII). Files concerning conventions and negotiations for the master shipbuilding
contract of the Pacific Coast Metal Trades Council along with records pertaining to the
Shipbuilding Division of Bethlehem Steel Corporation,
Bay Area Metal Trades Council administrated the contract with Bethlehem Steel
MarinShip and Chicago Bridge and Iron Co. serve to record the
growth of the Boilermakers during World War II, as well as the initial entry of women in
Correspondence is arranged with other materials by subject. Minutes of committees or
affiliated organizations are also kept by subject. The Series Description will set forth
the detail of arrangement.