Manuscript Collections - Herbert D. Brown Papers

March 13, 2020

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7 linear feet, 10 linear inches (18 manuscript boxes)
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library


The papers of Herbert Daniel Brown document his career as a government efficiency expert and industrial relations counselor. His interest in amortization, annuities, and pensions began with early experience in the insurance business, and continued as a lifetime study of their underlying principles.

Born in Fort Madison, Iowa, February 1, 1870, Brown married Harriet Chedie Connor on July 29, 1897.  They came to Washington, DC in 1903 where he entered government service, first in the Census Bureau, then in the Bureau of Corporations, the forerunner of the Federal Trade Commission.  Mrs. Brown assisted her husband by writing reports, histories, and summaries of his work.

Brown’s study of actuarial and superannuatation problems led to an interest in the agitation for civil service pensions, and to his support in 1908 of the Civil Service Retirement Association in promoting retirement legislation for civil service employees. From 1910-13 Herbert Brown also served as assistant actuary in charge of work of the Joint Congressional Commission on Fidelity Bonds, accountant on President Taft’s Commission on Economy and Efficiency to work on problems connected with the personnel of Civil Service, and as Chief of the Division of Efficiency, Civil Service Commission.

In 1915 President Wilson appointed Brown to chief of the newly formed U.S. Bureau of Efficiency.  He served in that capacity until 1933 when the bureau was abolished by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The primary purpose of the Bureau of Efficiency was better economy through decreased appropriations achieved by increased efficiency.  The Bureau provided a scheme for classifications and definitions for each civil service position bringing a greater equality to public service. Brown established the Bureau of War Risk Insurance during WWI and the military serial number. He also established procedures for investigating various private pension funds putting them on a sound financial basis.

At the request of the Bureau of Labor, Brown introduced the study of retirement plans for civil servants and industrial corporations in foreign lands, including the government of Great Britain, New Zealand, New South Wales, and Canada.

At the request of Herbert Hoover, the Browns made trips to Porto Rico and the Virgin Islands in 1930 and 1931 to report on political, social, and economic conditions. Brown also conducted an economic survey in Panama in 1929


Box      Contents

1          Actuaries Board, 1923‑1934
            Agriculture Department Meat Inspection Regulations, 1922
            American Chemical Society Report, 1924
            American Engineering Council, 1924
            American Legion, 1927
            Appropriations, 1921‑33
            Atomic Bomb Test, Bikini, 1946
            Bok Peace Plan, 1923‑1924
            Brown, Herbert D.
                     Chronology, 1901‑1926
                     Personal File, 1890‑1959
            Budget of the United States
                     Why Our Budget System Will Not Reduce Taxes, undated (article)
                     Clippings, 1907-1911, 1916-1917, 1919-1925 (7 folders)

2                   Clippings, 1926-1957 (2 folders)
                     Speeches, 1919, 1921
            Bureau of Efficiency
                     Abolishment, 1932‑1933
                     Acts of Congress, 1916‑1933
                     Actuarial Work, undated
                     Appropriations and Savings, 1914‑1932
                     Article – Should Your Child Be A Public Servant by Robert Moses, Colliers,
                              Nov 13, 1953
                     Clippings, 1916-1932 (7 folders)

3                   Clippings, 1933-1934 and undated (2 folders)
                     Correspondence, 1931
                     History and Purposes, 1918‑1919
                     House of Representatives, Economy Committee Testimony, 1932
                     Letters to College Daughter, excerpts
                              Chapters 7‑12, 1917
                              Chapters 13‑28, 1918
                     List of Employees, 1924, 1932
                     Memorandum, 1919
                     Press Release, 1925
                     Rubin, Morris H., undated
                              Notes, I‑IV, 1913-1919
                              Published copy, 1918‑1919
                              Shall The People Rule, draft
                                       Table of Contents
                                       Chapter I, 1903
                                       Chapter II, 1903-1913 (3 folders)
                                       Chapter IV, 1908‑13
                                       Chapter V, 1911-1913 (2 folders)

4                                     Chapter VI, 1913‑14
                                       Chapter VII, 1913
                                       Chapter VIII, 1913-1919 (2 folders)
                                       Chapter IX, 1918‑19
                                       Chapter X, 1918‑19
                                       Chapter XI, 1918‑19
                                       Chapter, XII, 1919
                                       Chapter XIII, 1919
                                       Chapter XIV, 1919
                                       Chapter XV, 1920
                                       Chapter XVI, 1921-1925 (4 folders)
                                       Chapter XVIII, 1926‑1927
                                       Chapter XXI, 1929
                                       Chapter XXIV, 1929
                                       Chapter XXV, 1930-1932 (3 folders)
                                       Chapter XXVIII, 1932
                                       Chapter XXXII, 1933 (2 folders)
                                       Chapter XXXIV, 1933-1935 (2 folders)
                                       Chapter XXXV, 1935-1941 (4 folders)

5                   Roundup, 1934
                     Service School for Federal Employees, 1920
                     Speeches, 1928, 1932 and undated
                     Statement of Work, 1914‑32
                     Stowell, Ellery C., 1925
            Business Recovery Program, 1933
            Calendar Reform, 1923
            Census, clippings, 1919‑1930
            Congress, clippings, 1921-1933 (3 folders)
            Constitution, Study of, 1922
            Coolidge, Calvin, 1923‑1926 (as subject)
            Cost of Living and Pay of Employees, 1930‑1931
            Council of Personnel Administration, clippings, 1931
            Crime, 1927
                     General, 1912-1915, 1925-1926 (9 folders)

6                   General, 1927-1931, 1933 and undated (13 folders)

7                   Reports
                              Bureau of Foreign and Domestic Commerce, 1930‑1931
                              Dupuy, William Atherton, 1925-1926 (2 folders)
                              Davis, Ben G., 1924
            District of Columbia
                     Clippings, 1921-1924, 1928 (6 folders)

8                   Clippings, 1930, 1933 (2 folders)
                     Fiscal Relations, 1929
                     Jail, 1927-1929 (3 folders)
                     Public Utility Corporations Taxation, 1932
            Eastman Kodak Company, 1932
            Economic Depression in Iowa, 1932
            Economy and Efficiency, President's Commission on, 1913
            Employment Assurance, 1944
            Employment of Federal Prisoners, undated
            Fidelity Bonds Report, 1917
            Germany, 1925
            Government Activities – Index, 1929
            Great Britain, 1922
            Harding, Warren (subject file), 1921‑1924
            Herring, Clyde L., 1938
            Immigrants, clippings, 1922
            Industrial and Engineering Chemistry, 1923‑1930
            Labor, 1918, 1925
            Lay‑off and Its Prevention, 1930
            Memoranda, 1931‑1932
            Missions, Board of, 1914
            Morgan, Sidney, 1932
            National League of Women Voters, 1923
            Office Appropriations, 1924
            Office Equipment
                     Chesapeake and Potomac Telephone Co., undated, 191319‑25
                     Dalton Adding Machine Company, 1910‑1914
                     Millionaire Calculating Machine, 1913‑1914
                     National Cash Register Company, 1925
                     Pierce Accounting Machine, 1921‑1927
                     Remington Rand, 1926‑1928
                     Tabulating Machine Company, 1913-1914 (2 folders)

9                   World's Largest Corporation As User and Prospect, undated
                     XxX Company, Inc., undated
            Office Expenses, 1913-1914 (2 folders)
                     Correspondence, 1929-1932 (4 folders)
                     Economic Survey, 1929
                     Manuscript draft of article, Jan-Feb 1929 (2 folders)

10        Report on the Financial Administration, 1929
            Payroll Stabilization, 1954
                     General correspondence, 1908‑1912
                     Article, "Essentials of a Program of Unemployment Reserves", undated
                     Bibliography, undated, 1923
                     Civil Service
                              Articles, 1911
                              Bills, S1944
                              Retirement in Canada, 1914
                              Retirement in Great Britain and New Zealand, 1910
                              Retirement in United States
                              Savings and Annuity Plan, 1912‑1913
                              Workmen's Compensation and Disability, 1911‑1913
                     Clergy, 1914
                              General, 1913‑1914

11                          Boston, 1911‑1919 and undated
                     Private Companies
                              General, 1913‑1914
                              Carnegie Institution, 1914
                              DuPont de Nemours Powder Company, 1912-1916, 1925 (2 folders)
                              Newport News Shipbuilding, 1913-1914 (2 folders)
                              Spectator Company, 1908‑1914
            Postal Service, 1927‑1928
            Profit‑Sharing, undated
            Prohibition, 1922
            Publications, 1921‑1925
            Reclassification of Government Salaries, Congressional Commission on
                     General, 1912-1913, 1919-1920 (4 folders)
                     Correspondence, 1920
                     Class Specifications
                              Service Symbol
                                       13. Chemistry
                                       21. Architectural
                                       23. Civil Engineering
                                       24. Electrical Engineering
                                       25. Marine Engineering and Naval
                                       26. Mechanical Engineering
                                       27. Mining Engineering
                                       28. Miscellaneous Engineering
                                       51. Administrative and Supervisory Clerical

12                 Legislation, 1919-1925 (2 folders)
                     Meetings, 1919
                     Moses, Robert, 1919‑1920
                     The Reclassificationist, 1920
            Reorganization of the Executive Branch of Government
                     General, 1914, 1920-1921, 1924, 1932-1933 (7 folders)
                     Bills Introduced in Congress – List, 1919‑1920
                     Memorandum, 1923 (2 folders)
            Reorganization of the Federal Government, 1932
            Repauno Plan for Payroll Employees, 1936
            Schools and Universities, 1923‑1924, 1927
            Smith, Alfred, 1927 (as subject)
            Social Security Administration, press release, 1936
            Surety Bonding, 1912‑1914
            Tax Saving, undated
            Unidentified manuscript draft on peace, 1939 (pp. 1022‑1056)
            United States Geological Survey, 1908
            Veteran's Relief, 1932

13        Virgin Islands
                     General, 1926-1938 and undated (6 folders)
                     Bill to Provide a Permanent Government, 1930
                              Benning, Paul D., 1930

14                          Sonne, H. C., 1930
                              US Department of Agriculture, Office of Experimental Studies, 1931
                              Annual Reports of, 1926‑1935
                              Pearson, Paul M., Report on, 1931
                              Report of Survey of Administrative Offices, tentative draft, 1930
                     Map, undated
                     Printed Material, 1918-1940 (2 folders)
                     Report on Political, Social and Economic Conditions in the Virgin Islands, 1930
                     Author Index
                     Introductory Material
                              Letter Preliminary to Submission
                              Table of Contents

15                          Letter of Transmittal
                              General Situation
                              General Program
                              Specific Recommendations
                     Part I, Remedial Measures
                              1. Political Need: An Act to Provide for a Permanent Form of Government
                                       (4 folders)
                              2. General Social and Economic Needs of the Islands (5 folders)

16                          2. General Social and Economic Needs of the Islands
                              3. Peculiar Needs of St. Thomas
                              4. Peculiar Needs of St. John
                              5. Peculiar Needs of St. Croix
                     Part II, Historical and Statistical Data Concerning the Virgin Islands
                              1. Description of the Virgin Islands
                              2. Government of the Virgin Islands
                              3. Government Organization and Activities. (2 folders)
                              4. Revenues of the Virgin Islands
                              5. History of Banking and Currency
                              9. Annual Report of the Department of Public Welfare, Fiscal Year 1928/29
                              11. Summaries of Annual Reports of the Governors
                              12. Summaries of Special Reports
                              13. Resolutions of the Colonial Councils, 1924
                     Part III. The Agriculture of the Virgin Islands, Summary Statement
            Report on Political Social and Economic Conditions in the Virgin Islands, 1930
                     (2 folders)
17                 Report on Political Social and Economic Conditions in the Virgin Islands, 1930
                              (4 folders)
                     Report on the West Indian Sugar Factory, 1923.
            Vollmer, Aug 1924
            Voter Registration, 1922
            War Risk Insurance Bureau
                     Difficulties, 1919 (2 folders)
                     Expenditures, 1918
                     Memoranda, 1918‑1923

18                 Report, 1918 (3 folders)
                     Report of Committees, 1918
            We Go to Vote series, Christian Science Monitor, 1932
            Weather Forecasting, 1924‑1927
            Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Company, 1933
            Wilson, Woodrow, 1920‑1924 (as subject)

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