Beneficial Corporation and Hodson Trust records Edit

Summary

Identifier
MS 0515

Dates

  • approximately 1920-1997 (Creation)

Extents

  • 150 Cubic Feet (Whole)

Names

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    The Benefical Company and Hodson Trust archives spans 1920-1997. The collection includes annual reports, executive correspondence, public relations materials (including advertising), training manuals, photographs (including interior and exterior shots of Beneficial offices), video tapes, and corporate give-aways.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    This collection is housed off-site and requires 48-hours' notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

    This collection is not processed. Please contact Special Collections for more information about how to access this collection.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    This collection was gifted by the Hodson Trust in 1999.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Beneficial Corporation was one of the largest consumer finance companies in the United States, prior to its acquisition by Household International, Inc. in 1998. Beneficial began as the Beneficial Loan Society in 1914 in Elizabeth, New Jersey, founded by "Colonel" Clarence Hodson (1868-1928). Norwegian immigrant Olaus Westby Caspersen (18961971) joined Beneficial in 1920. In 1929, the company was reorganized as Beneficial Finance Corporation by Olaus Caspersen who would spend 18 years as president of the company.

    In 1960, the company entered the British market. In 1961, the company purchased Western Auto Supply Co., and in 1965 purchased Spiegel, Inc. (later sold in 1981). In 1970, the company changed its name to Beneficial Corporation. In 1976, Beneficial began offering credit cards through its People's Bank & Trust Co. subsidiary in Delaware. In the same year, Finn M. W. Caspersen, the son of Olaus Caspersen, became chairman and chief executive. The company bought Parliament Leasing in 1977, and First Texas Financial Corp., a savings and loan, in 1978. In 1977, Beneficial entered the reinsurance business through its insurance subsidiaries, but this business caused significant financial losses in the 1980s. Beneficial downsized this business and emphasized its second mortgage business.

    In 1998, the company was purchased by Household International, Inc., for about $8.25 billion in stock. Household International was in turn acquired by HSBC Group in 2003, and made a part of the HSBC Finance Company.

    Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beneficial_Corporation, accessed 2016 August 22.

  • Biographical / Historical

    The Hodson Trust, settled in 1920 by the family of Beneficial Corporation founder Colonel Clarence Hodson, benefits four Maryland educational institutions: Hood College of Frederick, St. John's College of Annapolis, The Johns Hopkins University of Baltimore, and Washington College of Chestertown.

    Source: http://www.hodsontrust.org/index.html, accessed 2016 August 22.

  • Preferred Citation

    [Name of folder or item], [Date], [Box number], [Folder number], [Collection title], [Collection number], Special Collections, The Johns Hopkins University.

  • Processing Information

    This collection is not processed. Please contact Special Collections for more information about how to access this collection.

  • Scope and Contents

    The Benefical Company and Hodson Trust archives includes over 300 linear feet of material and spans 1920-1997. The collection documents both the Benefical Company and its charity, the Hodson Trust, from the time of its founding by Colonel Clarence Hodson, to its sale to Household Finance in 1997. The materials in the collection include annual reports, executive correspondence, public relations materials (including advertising), training manuals, photographs (including interior and exterior shots of Beneficial offices), video tapes, and corporate give-aways.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Single copies may be made for research purposes. Researchers are responsible for determining any copyright questions. It is not necessary to seek our permission as the owner of the physical work to publish or otherwise use public domain materials that we have made available for use, unless Johns Hopkins University holds the copyright.

  • Other Finding Aids

    An offline inventory is available. Please contact Special Collections for more information.

Collection Details