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New Collection in the Archives: George W. Taylor Papers

Written by Megan Good, Archives Intern.

Wharton Professor George W. Taylor was not only a notable teacher and scholar, but also a significant figure in the labor relations industry. The “Father of American Arbitration” graduated from Penn with his B.A. in 1921 and Ph.D. in 1929, both in Economics. After graduation, Taylor became an assistant professor in the Wharton School in 1930, where he taught continuously until 1964, when the Wharton School named an endowed chair after him.
 
Taylor received national acclaim after successfully mediating a strike at Apex Hosiery in Philadelphia in 1932. He was appointed impartial chairman of the collective bargaining processes between the American Federation of Hosiery Workers and the Full Fashioned Hosiery Manufacturers of America, a position which he held for 10 years. Taylor was also to become an impartial chairman for labor arbitration between the United Auto Workers and General Motors, the official arbitrator of the Congress of Industrial Organizations (CIO), and crafted New York’s Taylor Law, which established collective bargaining rights for state workers. He also worked in public service under Presidents Roosevelt, Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy. Taylor was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Johnson in 1963.
 
The Archives recently processed a collection of Taylor’s papers that he collected relating to the hosiery industry from 1928 to 1972.  The finding aid for the George W. Taylor Papers is located here. The collection includes negotiations, reports, publications, and decisions that impacted the hosiery industry, bearing Taylor’s influence. If you are interested in learning more about this collection, please stop by the Archives or the Biddle reference desk at 215-898-6161.