United States Business Histories

The historical evolution of American business underpins much of American history generally. The 19th-Century Industrial Revolution wrought changes in management structure and oversight, pollution and pollution controls, manufacturing and other technology, and import and export trends, all of which continued to change as laws followed these significant developments. Understanding the evolution of American business is useful for providing organizational histories, but is also important for analyzing CERCLA disputes relating to liability. SHRA’s team of researchers has experience researching and understanding business and corporate trends through research on industries as varied as zinc and lead mining and smelting, laundry machine manufacturing, phosphate mining and processing, cement, timber, and many others. We understand and can articulate how your company’s history fits into larger trends related to anti-trust, environmental, and labor regulations, among others, and bring your interesting corporate history to life. Let SHRA tell your business story.

Select Past Project

CBS/Viacom Corporation (2021-present)

CBS/Viacom retained SHRA to assist in reconstructing the history of several corporations who operated smelting businesses on a particular polluted site in the New York region. The research required primary source collection at the New York Public Library as well as obscure published business sources to reconstruct the business ownership and leadership. This work is ongoing.

New Mexico Attorney General, State of New Mexico v. Intrepid LLC (Pecos River) (2019-2021)

The New Mexico Attorney General retained SHRA to research and provide an expert report on the history of potash refinery water use on the Pecos River in New Mexico. The project required conducting research into the history of the corporation as well as the potash industry as a whole. This particular company underwent many ownership and structural changes, in addition to the operation’s technological changes over time which affected water use on the site. Dr. Stevens provided an expert report as well as trial testimony, helping the State of New Mexico secure a favorable ruling from Judge Weschler in New Mexico State Court in 2021.

Land O’Lakes, United States of America v. Land O’Lakes (2018-2021) 

SHRA was retained to research and provide a history of this remarkable cooperative enterprise, including its acquisition of an oil refinery to provide cheap fuel for its members, and its compliance with environmental laws including the Clean Water Act. Produced an expert report, a rebuttal report, and deposition testimony. The case was settled favorably out of court.

Client Confidential (2013-2015)

SHRA conducted research on the history of vertical integration in mining/refining industry. The primary inquiries related to whether the parent company had direct control over the subsidiary company, whose operations were located thousands of miles away, and what drove various mergers and acquisitions during the corporation’s history. SHRA’s research focused on business industry norms of the period, and examining communication standards and organizational structures.