The Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge fonds consists primarily of textual records that document the developmental phases and operation of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, and the administrative activities of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge Company and the Niagara Falls International Bridge Company Joint Board of Directors.
As these records document the lifespan of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge from conception to destruction, they also show the operational progress and administrative history of the conjoined bridge company and Board of Directors. Included is a large collection of handwritten letters and early telegram correspondence authored by and addressed to various members of the Joint Board of Directors, engineers, attorneys, and representatives from the Great Western Railroad Company and the New York, Lake Erie, and Western Railroad Company. Of note is the glut of professional correspondence between William Hamilton Merritt, Charles Brydges, William Swan, and various engineers involved with the concept, construction, and renewals of the Niagara Falls Suspension Bridge, including Charles Ellet, Jr., Samuel Keefer, John Augustus Roebling, and Leffert Lefferts Buck.
The fonds also includes textual records that document financial and business transactions between the conjoined bridge company, engineers, and merchants. Many of the latter bear historical company letterheads and insignia, including those of the Detroit Bridge and Ironworks Co., the Hamilton Bridge and Tool Company, the First National Bank of Albion (NY), and the Grand Trunk and Great Western Railroads. Further records document the internal administration of the conjoined bridge company and the interactions of the Board of Directors and executives, including internal financial records, engineering drafts, and executive meeting reports. In the interest of provenance, a small amount of ephemeral material, including photographs, postcards, stamps, and miscellaneous correspondence addressed to Glenn C. Way of 1631 Niagara Avenue, Niagara Falls, New York (1902 -1917), Charles H. Stringer (Clifton Hotel Accountant) of 1259 Heywood Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, and c/o the Clifton Hotel (1902 -1931) is also maintained within the fonds.