IBEW History

The following history tells the story of the courageous men and women who made the IBEW what it is today. The legacy of our founders reflects the unwavering goal of today’s leaders: joining electricians in a common organization to make a better life for all. We hope this story inspires you with the spirit of trade unionism as we build the IBEW of the future.  

  • 1890-1897 - The Dream is Born
    • 1891-1920 - IBEW vs. The Corporations
    • 1891-1930 - Workers' Rights Trampled
  • 1897-1903 - Coming of Age
  • 1903-1908 - The Ties That Bind Us
  • 1908-1914 - The Third Revolution
  • 1914-1919 - Making the Connections—
    The IBEW and the Telephone
  • 1919-1924 - On the Move
  • 1925-1930 - IBEW BETWEEN THE WARS—
    A Time of Discovery and Despair
  • 1930-1939 - Storm Clouds of Depression and War
  • 1940-1945 - The American Century
  • 1945-1950 - Containment and Expansion
  • 1950-1960 - Winds of Change
  • 1960-1970 - To the Moon
  • 1970-1980 - Building for The Future
  • 1980-1986 - Hanging On-Labor in the Reagan Era
  • 1986-1991 - A Union of Hearts and Minds
  • 1991-2091 - Into the Next Century

 

  • Cigarmaker Was a "Pure and Simple Man - About Samuel Gompers
  • E Pluribus Unum - The Birth of a United Labor Movement 
  • From the Golden Days of Yesteryear..... Excerpts from The Electrical Worker
  • Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914 
  • Only Bread & Water - About the 1912 strike of 23,000 textile workers in Massachusetts.
  • Judicial Restraint 
  • The U.N. Is Not Dead - editorial in the August 1948 Electrical Workers' Journal.
  • Placing Stones - Reflections of Charles Pillard 
  • All Sides of the Diamond - A Talk With J.J. Barry

     

 

Canadian Labour Report

  • Canadian Locals Enthusiastic From The Electrical Worker, April 1900
  • Daniel O’Donoghue, Trade Unionist and MPP 
  • Unity Equal Strength - Uniting the Labour Movement in Canada
  • Workers Struggle to Survive 

The above stories are from They Dared to Dream, an 18-part history of the IBEW that was compiled by the staff of the IBEW Journal: J.J. Barry, editor; Mary Ann Van Meter, directory; Carol Cipolari, supervisor; Thorn Pozen, Margaret Bamber and Ruth Cobb, senior editorial assistants, published in 1991 for the IBEW Journal and the 1991 IBEW Convention.