Wilbur Joseph Cohen Papers

Collection Number: 5222

Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library


Wilbur Joseph Cohen Papers, 1937-1942
Collection Number:
Cohen, Wilbur Joseph
3 linear ft.
Forms of Material:
Papers (documents) .
Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library
The collection consists of the papers and pamphlets collected by Mr. Cohen and relating to the Social Security Advisory Council during 1937-1938.
Collection material in English


Wilbur J. Cohen was director of the Research and Statistics Bureau of the Wisconsin Health, Education, and Welfare Department, and technical advisor of the U.S. Advisory Council on Social Security. The Advisory Council was appointed by the Senate Finance Committee in cooperation with the U.S. Social Security Board and was composed of representatives of the public, employers, and employees. The purpose of the Advisory Council was to cooperate with a special subcommittee of the Committee on Finance (Senators Pat Harrison, Harry Flood Byrd, Arthur J. Vandenberg) and the Social Security Board in the study of problems relative to social security, with special attention to the problem of financing an old age insurance system.


Includes letters, memoranda, and reports of the meetings of the United States Social Security Advisory Council during the period Cohen served as its technical advisor (1937-1938), as well as correspondence, reports, notes, pamphlets, ,statistical studies and other documents assembled by Cohen, relating to economic security.
Correspondence (1932-1948) discusses old age benefits in general, including methods of financing,, the wage base, women's eligibility, and various alternative schemes. Disability insurance is also examined: its feasibiity, benefit specifications, and the medical, surgical, and institutional care of annuitants. Revisions to Title II of the Social Security Act are discussed, including the possibility of extending coverage to employees of charitable agencies and state governments. Changes in AC 12, especially coverage of women and the children of deceased wage earners, are mentione,d as are proposas for the coverage of dependent children, agricultural laborers, the self-employed and widows under AC 13. Coverage of dependent children, still an issue in AC 14, is discussed, as is the exclusion of mental illness from th edisability definition. Title VIII of the Act, especially in relation to the inclusion of state and charitable workers, is the subject of correspondence, as is the possibility of a guaranteed annual wage.
The major correspondents include Wilbur J. Cohen, J. Douglas Brown (chairman, Advisory Council on Social Security), Arthur J. Altmeyer (chairman, Social Security Board), Eleanor Lansing Dulles (chief, Division of Old Age Benefits Research, Bureau of Research and Statistics), John J. Corson (director, Bureau of Old Age Insurance), Murray W. Latimer (chairman, Railroad Retirment Board), Alanson W. Wilcox (assistant general counsel), Edwin F. Witte (professor, University of Wisconsin, Department of Economics), I.S. Falk (acting director, Bureau of Research and Statistics),, and W.R. Williamson (actuarial consultant).
Reports and papers (ca. 1935-1957) on the overall issue of economic security (old age security, unemployment compensation, aid to children and the handicapped) include a report by I.S. Falk on permanent and total disability (1938); an analysis by Abraham Epstein of the federal old age insurance plan; a statement by Emile Rieve (president, Textile Workers of America) suporting a national system of unemployment insurance; documents regarding state vs. federal control of unemployment insurance; a report by Eleanor Dulles to the Advisory Council on her examination of the social security reserve problem (1957); a study of old age assistance and unemployment insurance in foreign countries; documents concerning state economic security plans in the 1930s; and documents regarding the implementation of social security and actuarial and statistical analyses of the program by various subdivisions of the Social Security Board, private and state agencies.

Altmeyer, Arthur J. (Arthur Joseph), 1891-1972.
Brown, J. Douglas (James Douglas), 1898-1986
Cohen, Wilbur Joseph, 1913-
Corson, John Jay, 1905-
Dulles, Eleanor Lansing, 1895-1996
Epstein, Abraham, 1892-1942
Falk, I. S. (Isidore Sydney), 1899-1984
Latimer, Murray W.
Rieve, Emil, 1892-1975
Williamson, W. R. (William Rulon), 1889-
Witte, Edwin E. (Edwin Emil), 1887- 1960
International Conference of Employment Security Agencies
United States. Advisory Council on Social Security (1937-1938). Interim Committee.
United States. Social Security Board.

Social security.
Pensions -- Finance
Unemployment insurance.
Unemployment insurance -- Governement policy
Pensions. Agriculture. United States.
Self-employed. Pensions. United States.
Widows' pensions. United States.
Women. United States. Pensions.

Form and Genre Terms:
Papers (documents)


Access Restrictions:
Access to the collections in the Kheel Center is restricted. Please contact a reference archivist for access to these materials.
Restrictions on Use:
This collection must be used in keeping with the Kheel Center Information Sheet and Procedures for Document Use.
Cite As:
Wilbur Joseph Cohen Papers #5222. Kheel Center for Labor-Management Documentation and Archives, Cornell University Library.


Box 1 Folder 1 1937-1938
Box 1 Folder 2 1937
Box 1 Folder 3 1937
Box 1 Folder 4 1937-1938
Box 1 Folder 5 1938
Box 1 Folder 6 1938
Box 1 Folder 7 1938
Box 1 Folder 8 1938
Box 1 Folder 9 1937
Box 1 Folder 10 1938
Box 1 Folder 11 1938
Box 1 Folder 12 1938
Box 1 Folder 13 1939
Box 1 Folder 14 1938-1939
Box 1 Folder 15 1938-1939
Box 1 Folder 16 1938-1939
Box 1 Folder 17 1938-1940
Box 1 Folder 18 1938-1939
Box 1 Folder 19 1950
Box 1 Folder 20 1937
Box 2 Folder 1 1937-1939
Box 2 Folder 2 1939
Box 2 Folder 3 1940-1946
Box 2 Folder 4 1939
Box 2 Folder 5 1940
Box 2 Folder 6 1948
Box 2 Folder 7 1948
Box 2 Folder 8 1948
Box 2 Folder 9 1948
Box 2 Folder 10 1948
Box 2 Folder 11 1948
Box 2 Folder 12 1947
Box 3 Folder 1 1938-1940
Box 3 Folder 2 1938
Box 3 Folder 3 1938
Box 3 Folder 4 1938
Box 3 Folder 5 1938
Box 3 Folder 6 1938
Box 3 Folder 7 1938
Box 3 Folder 8 1938
Box 3 Folder 9 1948-1952
Box 3 Folder 10 1950
Box 3 Folder 11 1949
Box 3 Folder 12 1949
Box 3 Folder 13 1947
Box 3 Folder 14 1948-1949
Box 3 Folder 15 1935
Box 3 Folder 16 1935
Box 3 Folder 17 1940-1941
Box 3 Folder 18 1939
Box 3 Folder 19 1941-1943
Box 3 Folder 20 1944-1945
Box 3 Folder 21 1932-1936
Box 3 Folder 22 1948
Box 3 Folder 23 1935