Contents and Arrangement Expanded View

Collection Overview

Creator:
Rovensky, John E. (John Edward), 1880-1970
Collector:
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
Title:
John E. Rovensky Papers
Repository:
Public Policy Papers
Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/9593tv14q
Dates:
1920-1968 (mostly 1920-1929)
Size:
3 boxes
Storage Note:
Mudd Manuscript Library (mudd): Box 1-3
Language:
English

Abstract

John E. Rovensky (1880-1970) was a banker and economist. As a banker, he held the position of vice president at the National Bank of Commerce, Bank of America, and City Bank. As an economist, he was a member of the Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy, the National Monetary Association, and the Stable Money Association. Rovensky's papers document his work as an economist, including his tenure as president of the Stable Money Association in 1927. The papers are comprised of correspondence, offprints, and newspaper clippings.

Collection Description & Creator Information

Description:

Rovensky's papers document his work as an economist, including his tenure as president of the Stable Money Association in 1927. The papers are comprised of correspondence, offprints, and newspaper clippings. In his work as an economist, Rovensky espoused monetary stabilization and the Federal Reserve.

Please see the series descriptions in the contents list for additional information about individual series.

Arrangement:

The Papers have been arranged in two series:

Collection Creator Biography:

Rovensky, John E. (John Edward), 1880-1970

John E. Rovensky (1880-1970) was a banker and economist. As a banker, he held the position of vice president at the National Bank of Commerce, Bank of America, and City Bank. As an economist, he was a member of the Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy, the National Monetary Association, and the Stable Money Association. He also held positions at American Car & Foundry.

Rovensky was born in 1880 near New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Canada to a recently immigrated Austro-Hungarian glassmaker. In 1885, the family moved to Allegheny, Pennsylvania and again to Jeanette, Pennsylvania in 1893. Rovensky dropped out of high school at age 16, after contracting tuberculosis. Rovensky married Madjesia Ewing in 1904. They were separated in 1935 and divorced in 1947. He was married again in 1954, to socialite Mrs. Maisie Cadwell Manwaring Plant Hayward, who died in 1956.

Rovensky's first job was as an errand boy at the First National Bank of Pittsburgh in 1900. He was steadily promoted, eventually becoming assistant cashier. During this period, Rovensky studied at the American Institute of Banking. The Institute gave young men the opportunity to study economics, business, business law, and accounting with professors from the University of Western Pennsylvania (now University of Pittsburgh). Rovensky eventually become president of the Pittsburgh chapter of the Institute. In June of 1913, the Pittsburgh branch of the First National Bank temporarily closed and, within a day, Rovensky opened a bank nearby to handle the bank's customers during the hiatus.

Rovensky was hired in early 1914 as assistant cashier in charge of foreign trade at the prestigious National Bank of Commerce in New York City. Here he created one of the first dollar banker's acceptance import credit under the new Federal Reserve Act at the onset of World War I. Within two years, Rovensky became the vice president, which made him the youngest vice president of a New York bank at age 35. In 1926, Rovensky was a candidate for president of the bank. Stevenson Ward was given the job however, and Rovensky, dissatisfied with Ward's leadership, moved to Bank of America. He was later appointed vice chairman of that firm. In 1931, National City Bank absorbed Bank of America, but Rovensky, unlike his Bank of America colleagues, retained his position as vice chairman.

From 1920 to 1933, Rovensky played a major role in three associations which advocated monetary stabilization: the Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy, the National Monetary Association, and the Stable Money Association. He was president of the Stable Money Association in 1927.

In 1944, faced with compulsory retirement at National City Bank, Rovensky became chairman of the executive committee of the American Car and Foundry. He had served on the board of directors since 1940. In 1951, he became chairman of the board. At the behest of his fiancée, Maisie Cadwell, he retired in 1954 and spent the remaining years of his life in Newport, Rhode Island, Manhattan, and Palm Springs. Rovensky died February 18, 1970.

For additional information on the life of John E. Rovensky, see the biography written by Donald L. Kemmerer: The Life of John E. Rovensky: Banker and Industrialist: from the Gilded Age to the Atomic Age (1977).

Collection History

Acquisition:

Gift of Mrs. Robert M. Grace in February 1977 .

Archival Appraisal Information:

A typed manuscript chapter from The Life of John E. Rovensky by Donald L. Kemmerer has been separated from this collection.

Sponsorship:

These papers were processed with the generous support of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission and the John Foster and Janet Avery Dulles Fund.

Processing Information:

This collection was processed by Christopher M. Shannon in 2006. Finding aid written by Christopher M. Shannon in October 2006.

Access & Use

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions for Reproduction and Use:

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. For quotations that are fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For those few instances beyond fair use, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold the copyright and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from the Mudd Library to move forward with their use.

Credit this material:

John E. Rovensky Papers; Public Policy Papers, Department of Special Collections, Princeton University Library

Permanent URL:
http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/9593tv14q
Location:
Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library
65 Olden Street
Princeton, NJ 08540, USA
(609) 258-6345

Find More

Related Material:

This collection is part of a group of 28 Mudd Manuscript Library collections related to 20th century economic thought and development which were processed as part of a National Historical Publications and Records Commission funded project. Researchers wishing to access these collections should search for the subject "Economics--20th century" or related terms in the Princeton University Library Main Catalog. Collections at the Mudd Manuscript Library of particular relevance to the John E. Rovensky Papers include the records of the Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy and the papers of two other individuals involved with the Committee, Edwin W. Kemmerer and Walter E. Spahr.

Publication Note:

The following sources were consulted during the preparation of the biographical note: Kemmerer, Donald L., "John E. Rovensky, 1880-1970, Industrial and Banker, 1977 Presidential Address," Business and Economic History 6 (1997). Obituary, The New York Times, 19 February, 1970.

Subject Terms:
Bankers -- United States.
Economic stabilization.
Economics -- 20th century.
Monetary Policy -- United States.
Genre Terms:
Clippings.
Correspondence.
Manuscripts.
Minutes.
Offprints.
Names:
Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System U.S.
Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy (U.S.)
Stable Money Association
National Monetary Association
Rovensky, John E. (John Edward), 1880-1970