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Chemical Leaman Tank Lines Inc. collection


Held at: Downingtown Area Historical Society [Contact Us]PO Box 9, Downingtown, PA, 19335

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Downingtown Area Historical Society. 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

Chemical Leaman Tank Lines Inc. was at one time the largest tank truck carrier in the nation, transporting chemicals, coal tar derivatives, petroleum, petrochemicals, cement, and other liquid, dry, and gas products throughout most of the United States and Canada. It was based in Downingtown, Chester County, Pennsylvania. Its parent company, Chemical Leaman, Corp., was based in nearby Lionville.

In 1913, B. F. Leaman and his son, Clair, began a truck operation. Initially, they mostly transported lime and milk. In 1930, they purchased Motor Mileage Corporation and began hauling fuel oil. In 1933, Leaman Transportation Company was incorporated. Chemical Tank Lines, established in 1949 to haul large quantities of chemicals, merged with Leaman in 1961 to form Chemical Leaman Tank Lines, Inc.

In 1977, Chemical Leaman Tank Lines, Inc. and its subsidiaries were brought under the parent company Chemical Leaman Corporation. Chemical Leaman Corporation acquired Fleet Transport Company, Inc. in 1996; it formed Leaman Logistics, Inc. and TransPlastics, Inc. in 1997.

Chemical Leaman Corporation merged with Montgomery Tank Lines in 1998, changing its name to Quality Distribution, Inc. and forming the subsidiary Quality Carriers the following year. Quality Distribution, Inc., based in Tampa, Florida, is still active as of 2014.


Quality Distribution. "QDI History." Accessed July 23, 2014.

This collection consists mainly of Chemical Leaman Tank Lines promotional materials and related photographs and records. There is a large quantity of printed matter, including annual reports, pamphlets, and other promotional materials; as well as press releases and newspaper clippings about Chemical Leaman. Some internal memos, press shots of trucks and employees (framed and unframed), financial documents, and a few other administrative records, mostly relating to the creation of promotional materials, is included. Additionally, there are a few plaques and corporate gifts including a latch hook rug, baseball cap, pin, and ring in the collection.

Most materials were a gift of Mary Louise Corrigan, 2004. Additional materials from other sources.

Summary descriptive information on this collection was compiled in 2012-2014 as part of a project conducted by the Historical Society of Pennsylvania to make better known and more accessible the largely hidden collections of small, primarily volunteer run repositories in the Philadelphia area. The Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories (HCI-PSAR) was funded by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

This is a preliminary finding aid. No physical processing, rehousing, reorganizing, or folder listing was accomplished during the HCI-PSAR project.

In some cases, more detailed inventories or finding aids may be available on-site at the repository where this collection is held; please contact Downingtown Area Historical Society directly for more information.

Downingtown Area Historical Society
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Celia Caust-Ellenbogen and Sarah Leu through the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories
This preliminary finding aid was created as part of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania's Hidden Collections Initiative for Pennsylvania Small Archival Repositories. The HCI-PSAR project was made possible by a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
Access Restrictions

Contact Downingtown Area Historical Society for information about accessing this collection.

Collection Inventory

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