In May of 1918 the Bethlehem Steel Corporation launched its first employee newsletter, a publication “devoted to the interest and general health and welfare of all Employees.” A contest later renamed the newsletter to the “Bethlehem Booster,” and the rest is history. In celebration of the centennial anniversary of the newsletter’s debut, the National Museum of Industrial History (NMIH) is running a limited reprinting of these fascinating, and often humorous, looks into the past.
The bulletin was run by editor-in-chief J. E. Gheen under the Bureau of Labor and Safety (later renamed the Bureau of Employment, Compensation, and Welfare) at Bethlehem Steel Corporation. The semimonthly publication is filled with company news, whimsical cartoons, poetry, photographs of the plant, and recaps of the Bethlehem Steel athletic teams. The reproductions are printed in coordination with Brad Orey, the manager of Reprographics & Print Services at Lafayette College, and include the full sixteen-issue run of 1918 newsletters.
The first two issues are now available in the NMIH gift shop for $3 per issue, and will later be available online at nmih.org. New issues will be available each month until the last publications in December. Sets of all sixteen issues will be available for $42.