Main content

John E. Rovensky Papers

Notifications

Held at: Princeton University Library: Public Policy Papers [Contact Us]

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Princeton University Library: Public Policy Papers. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

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).

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.

The Papers have been arranged in two series:

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.

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

For preservation reasons, original analog and digital media may not be read or played back in the reading room. Users may visually inspect physical media but may not remove it from its enclosure. All analog audiovisual media must be digitized to preservation-quality standards prior to use. Audiovisual digitization requests are processed by an approved third-party vendor. Please note, the transfer time required can be as little as several weeks to as long as several months and there may be financial costs associated with the process. Requests should be directed through the Ask Us Form.

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

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

Publisher
Public Policy Papers
Finding Aid Author
Christopher M. Shannon
Finding Aid Date
2007
Sponsor
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.
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Single copies may be made for research purposes. To cite or publish quotations that fall within Fair Use, as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission is required. For instances beyond Fair Use, it is the responsibility of the researcher to determine whether any permissions related to copyright, privacy, publicity, or any other rights are necessary for their intended use of the Library's materials, and to obtain all required permissions from any existing rights holders, if they have not already done so. Princeton University Library's Special Collections does not charge any permission or use fees for the publication of images of materials from our collections, nor does it require researchers to obtain its permission for said use. The department does request that its collections be properly cited and images credited. More detailed information can be found on the Copyright, Credit and Citations Guidelines page on our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us through the Ask Us! form.

Collection Inventory

Scope and Contents

This series documents Rovensky's participation in the Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy, the National Monetary Association, and the Stable Money Association, including his tenure as president of the Stable Money Association in 1927. The papers include discussions of logistics and operations, policies, and recruitment. Rovensky's participation ranges from merely paying dues and commenting on publications to active research, writing, and meeting attendance. The Stable Money Association papers also include discussions of the formation of the group and its mission statement, literature, and meeting minutes and agenda.

Arrangement

Arranged alphabetically by association.

Physical Description

2 boxes

American Bankers Association Writing Contest, 1927. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Economists' National Committee on Monetary Policy, 1935-1968. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Physical Description

1 box

1923, 1923. 3 folders.
Physical Description

3 folders

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1924, 1924. 2 folders.
Physical Description

2 folders

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
Paper Given at Annual Meeting, 1923. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
Physical Description

2 boxes

1920-1921, 1920-1921. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1922-1926, 1922-1926. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1927, 1927. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1927, 1927. 4 folders.
Physical Description

4 folders

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1928, 1928. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1929-1932, 1929-1932. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
1958-1963, undated, 1958-1963. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Literature, 1926-1929. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content
Meetings, 1926-1928. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Materials Viewable Online
  1. View digital content

Scope and Contents

The Correspondence series is composed of letters between Rovensky and other bankers and economists. Most of the correspondence discusses the economic policies that Rovensky's associations touted.

Arrangement

Arranged chronologically.

Physical Description

2 boxes

1921-1922, 1921-1922. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1923, 1923. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1924, 1924. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1925-1926, 1925-1926. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1927, 1927. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1928, 1928. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1929-1930, 1929-1930. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1931-1936, 1931-1936. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

1946-1947, undated, 1946-1947. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Kemmerer, Edwin W, 1921-1928. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Lombard, Norman, 1961-1963. 1 folder.
Physical Description

1 folder

Print, Suggest