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Frank Whittemore Abrams Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: [Derived from SUMMIT record]
Date: 25 Nov 1987

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.

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.

Arrangement of the Collection

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


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.

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.



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.

Table of Contents



Published material

Subject files