In 1905, the Jackson & Sharp Company’s Wilmington district manager wrote to Speaker Joseph Cannon, requesting that he appoint Delaware Representative Hiram Burton to the Committee on Rivers and Harbors. At the time, the Speaker of the House appointed Members to committees, so Members, and occasionally their constituents, wrote to request their preferred positions.
Although many House records shed light on the work of committees, some records illuminate the stories of the public. Founded in 1863, the Jackson & Sharp Company manufactured high-quality railroad cars with elegant interiors. The company added shipbuilding to its manufacturing as well. After the turn of the century, Jackson & Sharp was purchased by the American Car and Foundry Company. It increasingly concentrated its production on ships, rather than railroads. The company’s stationery features an elaborate engraving, depicting its products and peninsular location. In front of the company office stands a train, each car a different model. A tugboat, schooner, dry dock, and other ships surround the facility. In red ink and a modern typeface, the name of the company’s new owner sits above its original name. The image encapsulates the industrial history and development of the mid-Atlantic region.