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These documents, found among the collection donated to the Bangor Public Library by Bangor Hydro-Electric Company, consist of reports from a Bangor Railway & Electric Company (BREC) employee who served as a spy, or "spotter" as described in these pages, who reported to the company the activities of motormen and conductors of the railway who hoped to form a union.
The "spotter" is identified only as R.B.R. Looking at the 1912 Bangor City Directory, a likely candidate to be R.B.R. is Robert B. Robinson, a patrolman. Police in the early part of the 20th century were known to be union busters. The 1914 Bangor City Directory also lists Robinson as a patrolman. Page 3 of this document confirms that R.B.R. was hired by the company only after presenting suspicion of a union forming within the company. [Further research into this will be made and changes to this description will be made as needed].
R.B.R. reveals the names of many, many men who worked at BREC during 1912, as confirmed by the 1912 city directory. Hereafter is list of these men with a brief explanation of the role each played at BREC and in the union.
J.P.C. (not fully identified and unable to confirm via the city directory): listed as Assistant Superintendent for BREC
Maurice E. McCormack: Assistant Superintendent of BREC; hired R.B.R. into the company, fully knowing why R.B.R. was being employed
Howard Corning: Treasurer of BREC; also knew the purpose of the hiring of R.B.R.
Walter D. Merrow: BREC conductor and union organizer
John McGreal: BREC motorman and union president; fired by company, but remained a key figure in the union forming efforts
Fred A. Merrill: BREC conductor and union organizer
G. Ivan Smith: BREC conductor and union organizer; identified by R.B.R. as instigator of union
John H. Reardon: A union organizing specialist from Worcester, Massachusetts who counseled the men; worked with Amalgamated Association of Street and Electric Railway Employees
LaForest T. Hinton: BREC motorman and union member
Ralph L. Whiting: BREC motorman and union member
Charles S. Bullock: BREC conductor and union member
Louis E. Grant: BREC conductor and union member
Nicholas Driscoll: BREC conductor and union member
Clifford Jellison: BREC conductor and union member
Charles H. Johnson: BREC superintendent; not known to be part of union
Fred S. Emery: BREC motorman: not known to be part of union
Thomas F. Allen: a state detective who investigated the union organizing at the behest of BREC President John R. Graham
John P. Griffin: BREC motorman and union organizer
Carl C. Nason: BREC motorman and union organizer
Christian Billie: BREC inspector; known to be anti-union
Fred B. Avery: BREC mechanic and union vice president
Nathaniel F. Lambert: BREC conductor and union member
Michael Kelley: BREC motorman and union member
John Fred Boyce: BREC motorman and union member
Henry Crowe: BREC motorman; known to be anti-union
David F. Rice: BREC conductor and union member
Willis L. Conners: BREC conductor and union member
Fred S. Feltch: BREC motorman
Leroy M. Boulter: BREC motorman and union member
James Frank Armitage: BREC conductor and union member; fired by company
Gerald E. Richardson: BREC conductor and union member
Elbridge Atherton: BREC conductor
George P. Lawrence: BREC motorman and union member
William F. Silliman: presumed to be lawyer who represented company President John R. Graham in negotiations with John Reardon
Ambrose Eisnor: BREC motorman and union member
William E. Kelley: BREC conductor and union member
J. Thomas Fillier: BREC motorman and union member
William A. Severance: BREC motorman; not a union member
Many other men are mentioned throughout R.B.R.'s reports, but their first names could not be determined. A man named DeWitt was of particular amusement to R.B.R., as he thought DeWitt a fool and said so in multiple reports.
This is truly a one-of-a-kind slice of Bangor 1912. It details the safety concerns and pay demands of the conductors and motormen behind their union forming. It also explains at length the steps taken by BREC employees to defraud the company out of fares, fares they pocketed for themselves. Numerous locales like restaurants are referenced. We hope you enjoy.
Bangor Railway & Electric Company, Bangor Hydro-Electric Company, unions 20th century, union busting 20th century, John R. Graham, John H. Reardon, Bangor Maine history
Bangor Railway & Electric Company, "Bangor Railway and Electric Company Union Spying in October to December 1912" (1911). Bangor Hydro Electric News. 67.
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