Beautiful certificate from the International Textbook Company
issued in 1932. This historic document was printed by the Scranton Lithograph Company and has an ornate border around it with a vignette of the Pennsylvania state seal. This item has the signatures of the Company’s officers and is over 77 years old.
The International Textbook Company or I.T.C. was founded in 1895 by publisher Thomas J. Foster in Scranton, PA.
As its' name implies the I.T.C. published instruction papers, booklets, and textbooks for its' subsidiary department the International Correspondence Schools. The textbook company and the International Correspondence Schools were dependent on each other from the beginning.
The Correspondence School started in 1891 as a Question and Answer column in the pages of the mining journal titled "Colliery Engineer and Metal Miner" published by Mr Foster. This column was a response to the in depth tests required of miners and inspectors by the "New" Pennsylvania Mine Safety Act of 1885.
The I.T.C. merged the Colliery Engineer School of Mines, School of Mines, Correspondence Schools, and the International Correspondence School as the International Correspondence Schools of Scranton, PA under the new International Textbook Company.
Several Scranton correspondence schools had textbooks printed or published by I.T.C. as direct subsidiaries of the School The Institute of Business Science and as their own entities the Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences.
Mr T.J. Foster's less than ethical business practices bankrupted the school and the book company. Philanthropic Scranton bankers and businessmen who saw the potential impact this school would have on their workforce and community reorganized it under receivership in 1905. Many men and women who didn't have the means for schooling past grade 8 in the first half of the 20th century can thank them for their vision. I.C.S. and other later schools such as The American School of Correspondence in Chicago, IL provided a way to gain practical knowledge that could better their earning potential without quitting work for 3-4 years.
The books in The International Library of Technology were published by I.T.C. These books were bound volumes of the course materials for the more than 240 courses offered. These books were used and made available in at least 184 Colleges (Including The U.S. Military Academy at West Point and Cornell University) and at least 649 Public Libraries.
History from Wikipedia and OldCompany.com (old stock certificate research service).
To conduct this novel scheme of education, the Colliery Engineer Company was incorporated cnder the laws of the State of Pennsylvania, on June 18, 1890, "for the purpose of transacting a printing and publishing business." On September 24, 1901, the charter was amended by changing the name of the corporation to The International Textbook Company and the purpose for which this corporation was formed was broadened so as to include education by correspondence methods in connection with the printing, binding, publishing and selling of instruction papers, textbooks, periodicals, drawing plates, etc. The International Textbook Company at that time became the proprietors of the instruction department conducted for ten years under the trade name of the International Correspondence Schools, having the right under its charter "to give instruction by correspondence through the mails and otherwise to such persons as may desire to study mathematics, physics, the arts and sciences, English and foreign languages and all subjects constituting a technical, scientific, classical, or academic education, and to grant diplomas or certificates of proficiency to those who shall successfully complete the prescribed courses of study."
The International Textbook Company owns all the stock of the International Correspondence Schools; manages and directs it as one of the departments of its business and is alone responsible for the work done by the teachers, as it is also responsible for the acts of its employes in other departments of its business.
The first great work of the International Correspondence Schools was the preparation of a scries of unique textbooks, entirely different in their plan from those used by students working under the personal supervision of a teacher. These books are easy to learn, easy to remember, and easy to apply. Very early in the history of the schools it was discovered that the ordinary textbooks used in schools and colleges would not meet the needs of those engaged in home study. Many International Correspondence Schools students are without preliminary training. To instruct such men by correspondence, the lesson paper must explain itself and must also be so simple that the dullest student cannot fail to grasp the meaning. To aid the student, copious use is made of illustrations, diagrams, etc. To prepare this series of text books has cost more than $2,000,000, and an average of $150,000 is spent year by year in the preparation and revision of textbooks and instruction papers.
During the time that the International Correspondence Schools were owned and operated by the Colliery Engineer Company, the work of correspondence education grew to such magnitude that it became necessary to provide a suitable building for carrying on the work of instruction and the printing of textbooks. Therefore, in 1898, property was purchased on Wyoming avenue, above Mulberry street, and the fourstory, brown stone building was erected which is now occupied by the company for administration purposes. At the time it was thought that this would afford sufficient room for future growth. But before the building was completed it was found necessary to erect the annex standing in the rear. These two buildings are now used entirely as the headquarters of the administrative departments of the schools.
In 1910, because the work of the schools had outgrown all bounds, the company was compelled to erect the instruction building on the corner of Wyoming avenue and Ash street. This building is of brick, four stories high, well lighted and modern in every respect, 460 feet long by 167 feet wide. Besides affording convenient quarters for the instruction department this building also contains the printing and manufacturing departments of the schools. The three buildings furnish about seven acres of floor space. At the present time plans are under consideration for enlargement in order to accommodate the increasing work of the schools.
The International Textbook Company is a stock concern, having an authorized capital of $10,000,000, $7,000,000 of which have been issued. The officers of the company are as follows: Thomas J. Foster, president; Rufus J. Foster, vice-president; Stanley P. Allen, secretary; Elmer H. Lawall, treasurer; Madison F. Larkin, controller. Directors—W. L. Connell, J. K. Griffith, E. H. Lawall, R. J. Foster, B. B. Megargee, E. A. Scitz, T. J. Foster, T. E. Jones, C. D. Simpson. The executive committee, consisting of Messrs. T. J. Foster, W. L. Connell, J. K. Griffith and Thomas E. Jones, meets regularly to consider matters of importance.
Manifestly such an enterprise demands not only high executive ability but a broad and comprehensive plan of operation, involving the writing and publishing of textbooks of a technical character; the teaching of these textbooks by correspondence to all purchasers who desire instruction; and the supply of requisite material, drawing instruments, etc., used by the students in their studies or in the daily practice of their professions. Hence, the work of the International Textbook Company, the International Correspondence Schools and the Technical Supply Company. The last two are subsidiary companies, their stock being owned by the International Textbook Company.
The work of the Textbook Company in the printing and binding of technical literature, makes it easily the largest publisher in the world of textbooks on the trades and engineering professions. Every day five and one-half tons of paper are fed into the presses and every day 130,000 sheets leave the printery. Each day the bindery turns out i,ooo complete textbooks averaging 500 pages each. The hides of 8,000 cattle and 6,000 goats are needed each year simly to furnish the leather corners and backs of these textbooks.
As an evidence of the character of these volumes 649 libraries have bought the International Library of Technology, which consists of the bound volumes of the technical courses, while 184 colleges, including the United States Military Academy of West Point, Columbia, Cornell and nearly every State university, are using International Correspondence Schools textbooks in their class room work.
History of Scranton and its people, Volume 1 By Frederick Lyman Hitchcock 1914