MC.00.063 John J. Nesbitt, Inc. and Family records, 1910s-1970s

Collection of John J. Nesbitt, Inc. and Family records MC.00.063

Summary Information

Title
John J. Nesbitt, Inc. and Family records
Inclusive Dates
1910s-1970s
Extent
0.33 Cubic feet
Abstract
Albert J. Nesbitt was the first child of John J. Nesbitt, the founder of John J. Nesbitt, Inc., which manufactured heating and ventilating units for schools in the early twentieth century. In 1941, Albert became the president of the company after his father's death. The company continued producing heating and cooling elements for schools. During World War II, the company devoted their facilities to produce munitions for the Philadelphia Ordinance District for which they were awarded four Army/Navy "E" Awards. This collection documents various John J. Nesbitt, Inc. products and activities, as well as some personal history of Albert J. Nesbitt. The records span a time period from the 1912 to 1987 with a bulk range of 1935-1970. It largely consists of Nesbitt publications in the form of marketing publications, ephemera, catalogs, annual reports, and one official company newsletter. Other records found in the collection include correspondence, awards and dedications awarded to Albert J. Nesbitt, clippings, one book titled "This I Believe," and photographs of various members of the Nesbitt family, Nesbitt facilities and products. Records in the collection are useful for researchers interested in Nesbitt company products or early heating, ventilation, and air conditioning technology in general.
Call Number
MC.00.063
Language
English
Finding Aid Prepared By
Finding aid prepared by Hoang Tran (2014 February)
Repository
W. W. Hagerty Library 3300 Market Street Philadelphia, PA 19104 215.895.6706 archives@drexel.edu

Preferred Citation

Collection of John J. Nesbitt, Inc. and Family Records, Drexel University Archives.

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Access and Use

Acquisition Information

The collection was donated by John and Sandy Nesbitt.

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Preferred Citation

Collection of John J. Nesbitt, Inc. and Family Records, Drexel University Archives.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • George Moll Advertising Agency (Philadelphia, PA.).
  • John J. Nesbitt, Inc..

Genre(s)

  • Black-and-white photographs.
  • Clippings
  • Color photographs
  • Publications

Personal Name(s)

  • Nesbitt, Albert J., (Albert James), 1899-1977
  • Nesbitt, John J., III, (John James)

Subject(s)

  • Annual reports
  • Awards
  • College trustees
  • Drexel Institute of Technology--History
  • Drexel University--History
  • Heating and ventilation industry
  • School buildings--Heating and ventilation.

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Biographical Note

In the early 20th century John J. Nesbitt (1869-1941) founded John J. Nesbitt, Inc. in Atlantic City, NJ. The company was the leading manufacturer of heating, ventilating, and air conditioning units for schools. In 1926 the company moved their operations to Philadelphia.

John married Elizabeth Dunlevy (1871-1932) of Philadelphia in 1898. Their children, Albert, John and Harry, ran the family business with their father until his death in 1941, when Albert became president of the company. The company continued to produce heating and cooling equipment for schools until World War II, when it began to produce munitions for the Philadelphia Ordinance District. For its work during the war, the company received four Army/Navy "E" Awards. After the war, Nesbitt Inc. continued to be an innovator and producer in the heating and air conditioning industry. Nesbitt Inc. was sold to ITT in 1965.

Albert Nesbitt (1899-1977) studied engineering at Drexel's evening school and received an honorary Doctor of Engineering in 1952. He was a member of Drexel's Board Trustees from 1953-1970, serving as Chairman of the Board from 1966 to 1968. In honor of his many contributions to Drexel, the university dedicated Nesbitt Hall in honor of Albert and his wife Irene on October 17, 1970. In 1974, Drexel renamed its College of Home Economics as the Nesbitt College of Design, Nutrition, Human Behavior, and Home Economics at Drexel University.

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Scope and content note

This collection documents various marketing records of John J. Nesbitt, Inc., as well as some personal history of Albert J. Nesbitt, president of John J. Nesbitt, Inc. The records span a time period from the 1912 to 1987 with a bulk range of 1935-1970. It largely consists of Nesbitt Inc. publications in the form of marketing pamphlets and ephemera, product catalogs, annual reports, and one copy of "Nesbitt’s Newsbits" (1961), the official company newsletter. Other records include correspondence, awards and dedications awarded to Albert J. Nesbitt, clippings, one book titled "This I Believe," and photographs of various members of the Nesbitt family, Nesbitt facilities and products. The collection is particularly useful to those interested in products and technologies developed and produced by John J. Nesbitt, Inc. as well as early heating, ventilation, and air conditioning products for schools.

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Collection Inventory

Publications 

BoxFolder

Annual Reports 1960-1962 

11

Army-Navy Production Award ("E Award") presentation ceremony program 1944 February 11 

Army-Navy Production Award presentation ceremony program, 1944 February 11

BoxFolder

Catalogs and Engineering Data 1925-1945 

12-3

Nesbitt Marketing Publications 1932-1964, undated 

14-7

Newsbits (Official Company Newsletter) 1961 

18

This I Believe 1952 

21

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Photographs 

BoxFolder

Albert J. Nesbitt 1920s-1958 

19

John J. Nesbitt 1960s 

110

John J. Nesbitt Family circa 1922 

111

Nesbitt Inc. Facility 1932 

112

Company photo in front of Nesbitt Inc. headquarters and plant (State Road and Rhawn Street, Holmesburg section, Northeast Philadelphia) circa 1945   1.0 photographs

Company photo in front of headquarters and plant (State Road and Rhawn Street, Holmesburg section, Northeast Philadelphia), circa 1945

Nesbitt Products 1912-1917, 1938 

113

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Awards and Dedications 

BoxFolder

War Department: Appreciation for patriotic service by Albert J. Nesbitt 1946 January 31 

114

Golden Deeds Award 1955 December 6 

114

Americanism Award 1956 March 22 

114

Annual Awards Banquet 1959 April 2 

114

Citizen Action Award 1970 March 12 

114

Nesbitt Hall dedication ceremony program 1970 October 17 

115

Nesbitt Hall name change commemoration 1974 April 30 

115

Resolution of commendation to the Comittee on Higher Educational Opportunities 1958 

21

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Correspondence 

BoxFolder

Albert Nesbitt to Shareholders 1959-1963 

116

Invitations 1962, 1987 

117

Letter to Dorothy M. Nesbitt 1944 February 17   2.0 items

Letter to Dorothy Nesbitt, 1944 February 17

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Clippings 1950s-1977, undated 

Box
1
Folder
19

"School Home Rule Unit is Split over Ground Rules" - Bulletin article undated   1.0 item

"School Home Rule Unit is Split over Ground Rules", undated

Albert J. Nesbitt and Ruth Jent, Community Chest fundraising campaign (newspaper photograph) 1950   1.0 item

Albert J. Nesbitt and Ruth Jent, Community Chest fundraising campaign (newspaper photograph), 1950

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