Collection inventory

Special Collections home page
printer friendly version

Frank Whittemore Abrams Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Abrams, Frank W. (Frank Whittemore), 1889-1976
Title: Frank Whittemore Abrams Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1929-1964
Quantity: 2 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American executive. Abrams graduated from Syracuse University (Engineering) in 1912, shortly thereafter joined Standard Oil of New Jersey where he served as Director (1940) and Chairman of the Board (1946-1954). Papers include correspondence (1953-1961); a transcript of recorded reminiscences of Abrams by the Columbia University Oral History Project Office; photographs; and published materials, including articles by and about Abrams, clippings, and printed speeches.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Frank Whittemore Abrams (1889-1976) was an American businessman and a trustee of Syracuse University.

Abrams was born in Rockville Center, Long Island on June 24, 1889. He attended public schools and graduated from Syracuse University (SU) in 1912. Abrams was married three years later to the former Ruth Florence Corrigan, with whom he had one son. After completing an engineering degree at SU, Abrams was hired by the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey. He worked his way up in the company, becoming superintendent of a plant in 1920, manager of the New York City plants in 1922, director of the company's operations in New York and New Jersey in 1927, and president of the firm in 1933. He served as a director of Standard Oil of New Jersey from 1940 on, and as chairman of the board from 1946 until his retirement in 1954. Abrams was no less active following his retirement, however. Former President Herbert Hoover asked him to be a member of a commission considering reorganization of the executive branch of government.

Abrams served as trustee of several colleges, including Cooper Union and Syracuse University. He was especially interested in the problem of financial aid, and served on the Council for Aid to Higher Education. He also made numerous speeches to business organizations on the subject, saying that support of education was "everybody's business."

Abrams also taught courses in business at Stetson University in Florida, and served on the boards of the Alfred Sloan Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc.

Return to top

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Frank W. Abrams Papers consists of Correspondence, Subject files, Writings, and Published material.

Correspondence contains both incoming and outgoing letters, filed together.

Subject files contains photographs of Abrams.

Writings contains manuscripts of various pieces of writings by Abrams, including a memoir of a European trip taken in 1948 and a transcript of an interview of Abrams done by the Columbia University Oral History Research Office.

Published material includes annual meetings of Standard Oil Company of New Jersey, articles about and by Abrams, printed speeches, clippings, and a copy of court testimony in A. P. Smith Co. v Barlow.

Return to top

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence and published material are arranged alphabetically. Writings are arranged chronologically.

Return to top


Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Return to top

Subject Headings


Abrams, Frank W. (Frank Whittemore), 1889-1976.

Corporate Bodies

Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.


Engineers -- United States.
Executives -- United States.
Oil industries.
Petroleum industry and trade.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.



Return to top

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Frank Whittemore Abrams Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Frank Abrams, 1967, 1971.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: [Derived from SUMMIT record]
Date: 25 Nov 1987
Revision history: 9 Mar 2007 - converted to EAD (MRC); 9 Dec 2016 - additions processed, inventory updated (MRC)

Return to top


Box 1 A, miscellaneous
Box 1 Advertising Council 1959 - mentions speech, "Education is Everybody's Business"
Box 1 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation 1969
Box 1 American Association of Fund Raising Counsel 1955
Box 1 American Petroleum Institute Quarterly 1956-1957 - includes articles
Box 1 B, miscellaneous
Box 1 C, miscellaneous
Box 1 Center for Religion and Society, SUNY Stony Brook 1970-1971
Box 1 Christian Science Monitor 1954-1956 - article
Box 1 Columbia University 1954-1955, 1965
Box 1 Council for Financial Aid to Education, Inc. 1954, 1956, 1964, 1967, 1969
Box 1 Council for State University Colleges of Medicine 1954-1955
Box 1 D, miscellaneous
Box 1 E, miscellaneous
Box 1 Economic Club, Detroit 1956 - regarding a speech
Box 1 Eisenhower, Dwight 1958 - Defense Department reorganization
Box 1 F, miscellaneous
Box 1 Food and Drug Citizens Advisory Committee 1955-1956
Box 1 Foreign Policy Association 1955
Box 1 G, miscellaneous
Box 1 H, miscellaneous
Box 1 Harper's Magazine 1955-1956
Box 1 Honorary degrees 1946, 1953-1960
Box 1 Hoover Commission on Organization of the Executive Branch of Government 1953-1954
Box 1 Hoover, Herbert 1955, 1964 - includes both father and son (Sr. and Jr.)
Box 1 I, miscellaneous
Box 1 Industrial Relations Counselors, Inc. 1952-1961
Invitations - speaking invitations, guest invitations, etc.
Box 1 Carleton College 1958-1959
Box 1 Case Institute of Technology 1957
Box 1 Columbia University 1957-1959 (3 folders)
Box 1 Commission for Study of Industrial Medicine 1956
Box 1 Desk and Derrick Club 1959
Box 1 Eisenhower, American Heritage Foundation 1954
Box 1 Elmira College 1955
Box 1 Empire State Foundation 1955
Box 1 Grand Rapids (Michigan) Chamber of Commerce 1958
Box 1 Maryland colleges 1958
Box 1 National Fund for Medical Education 1958 - award
Box 1 Newark Rotary Club 1958
Box 1 Oil Progress Week luncheon 1955
Box 1 Princeton University 1955
Box 1 Roper Public Opinion Research Center, Williams College 1959
Box 1 St. John's University 1954
Box 1 A. P. Sloan Foundation Symposium on Basic Research 1959
Box 1 Stetson University 1958
Box 2 University of Pennsylvania Council for Financial Aid to Education 1957
Box 2 Wabash College 1957
Box 2 Wake Forest College 1958-1959
Box 2 World's Fair Trade Center project 1959
Box 2 Miscellaneous 1954-1966 (7 folders)
Box 2 J, miscellaneous
Box 2 Javits, Jacob 1957-1958
Box 2 K, miscellaneous
Box 2 Kefauver, Estes 1956
Box 2 L, miscellaneous
Box 2 M, miscellaneous
Box 2 Mayor's Advisory Council 1953-1955
Box 2 N, miscellaneous
Box 2 National Commission for Adult Literacy 1956-1958
Box 2 New York Herald Tribune - regarding article
Box 2 New York University 1957 - regarding speech, President's Committee for Education Beyond the High School
Box 2 New York University, Bellevue Medical Center 1947, 1957
Box 2 O, miscellaneous
Box 2 P, miscellaneous
Box 2 Planned Parenthood 1968
Box 3 Population Reference Bureau 1961-1966, 1968-1969
Box 3 R, miscellaneous
Box 3 Rockefeller, Nelson 1959
Box 3 S-T, miscellaneous
Box 3 Saturday Review 1954, 1956, 1959-1960, 1962, 1966 (2 folders)
Box 3 Stetson University (Florida) 1956-1957, 1967-1968
Box 3 U-W, miscellaneous
Box 3 Wallace, DeWitt 1967-1968
Box 3 Yale University 1954
Box 3 55th Reunion, Class of 1912, Syracuse University 1967 - typescript
Box 3 European trip 1948 - typescript
Box 3 Talks and remarks 1966 - photocopies
Box 3 Transcript of recorded conversation with Abrams, made by Columbia University Oral History Research Office 1954 - typescript
Published material
Box 3 Address 1964
Box 3 Annual meetings, Standard Oil of New Jersey 1948, 1951-1953, 1964 (2 folders)
Box 3 Articles about Abrams 1940, 1946-1949, 1951, 1953, 1955, 1961, 1969 (2 folders)
Box 3 Articles by Abrams
Box 3 Newspaper clippings about
Box 3 Newspaper clippings by
Box 3 Newspaper clippings scrapbook pages
Box 4 Speeches 1947-1948, 1950, 1954-1958, 1962-1964 - typescripts (2 folders)
Box 4 Speeches 1929, 1947-1953, 1955, 1959-1960, 1962, undated - pamphlets (2 folders)
Box 4 Testimony by Abrams, A. P. Smith Co. v Barlow 1953
Subject files
Box 4 Employment of college alumni 1961
Box 4 Photographs of Abrams

Return to top