St Louis Exposition Hall - 1888

St. Louis Exposition and Music Hall 


Photo credits: St Louis Exposition and Music Hall interior view with chairs set up for Democratic Convention, 1888.  Missouri History Museum Wilhelm von Mallinckrodt Album: "Durch Nord Amerika" (Across North America). This hall was one of the few to have electric lights during Henry's time in Saint Louis.

We look back at our infancy and the struggles of our forefathers with great admiration. There have been a lot of great men and women in the annals of IBEW history, but few capture our imagination as much as Henry Miller. This may be due to the fact that so little is known about Henry, or perhaps because his enormous contributions formed the bedrock from which we all still stand. As Grace Palladino points out in, Dreams of Dignity, Workers of Vision, “The St. Louis union was by no means the first to organize electrical workers, however.”

Delegates from two such unions are listed in the, REPORT OF PREOCEEDINGS of the Tenth Annual Convention of the American Federation of Labor, held in Detroit, Michigan in December of 1890: C.C. Thomas of the ‘Electrical Union’ of Pittsburg, Pennsylvania and R. Relyea from the ‘Electrical Workers’ union in Detroit, Michigan (see image).

AFL 1890 Electric Delegates





Yet somehow, against tremendous odds, the path chosen by the delegates to the first NBEW Convention was a successful one, and given the time period that fact cannot be overstated.