ALBERT CLEMENT MIDDLETON was born around 1871 to Frank B. and Sallie Middleton. His father was a well known merchant in Camden. At the time of the 1880 Census the family lived at 717 Cooper Street, the corner of North 8th and Cooper Streets. That block included the John Cooper family at 715, Benjamin C. Reeve at 701, and Benjamin Starr at 700, all well-known men in their day. At the time of the 1880 Census Albert was the oldest of 4 children, the others being Edward, Frank, and Mary.

Albert Middleton's childhood was spent on Cooper Streett in Camden. Childhood friends included future lawyer Martin Bergen and Volney Bennett, whose family's lumber business is still in operation after well over 100 years. Another childhood friend Will Paul, later a journalist in Camden, wrote of Albert Middleton in the early 1940s: 

"In the house adjoining Coopers lived a boy with whom I went to school. He was big, inclined to be fat and was very good natured. When two of us lightweights would try to throw him, he would grin arid shake us off. None of us then suspected he was going to have an important part in giving Camden its greatest industry and the whole world a popular instrument of entertainment. The boy was Albert C. Middleton. How he became the partner, with financial backing, of Eldridge Johnson when the latter was moving on from his small machine shop to manufacture Victor Talking Machines is too well known to be told again here."

Frank B. Middleton took a position with the Pennsylvania Railroad later in the 1880s. After attending school, Albert C. Middleton entered into the workplace as a clerk in Philadelphia. In these years he made the acquaintance of inventor Eldridge R. Johnson, who had been working on the problem of producing a commercially viable phonograph. He had been producing an pre-Victrola version for the Berliner Company when that organization's operation were halted in 1900.  In September of that year Johnson met with inventor Leon Douglass, who was also involved in phonograph development. A company was formed in September of  1900 which became the Victor Talking Machine Company. Eldridge Johnson, Leon Douglass and Albert C. Middleton were among the original incorporators, along with Thomas Parvin. Albert Middleton was the company's first secretary.  

Victor's success meant wealth for Middleton, but it appears it never went ot his head. Will Paul relates:

As one of his boyhood pals I should have had some enjoyment from his great wealth. And I did. It was one day when I had called at the Victor office to see some department head and had been waved to a bench by one of those reception queens who treat you like something the cat dragged in. As I sat there wishing I were the queen's boss, so I could fire her, Bert came in. the door. I greeted him with a "Hello, Bert, you old sonofagun," and a slap on the back. If he hadn't been a millionaire, I couldn't have got square with the queen.

Albert C. Middleton served as secretary of the Victor Company until 1914. His assistant, in 1910, was Albert W. Atkinson, who also had been with Victor from the beginning. Albert C. Middleton then sat on the Board of Directors of the Victor Company until 1920. In 1928 he was made Treasurer of the State of New Jersey. Horace G. Githens, a Camden County freeholder from North Camden, served underneath Middleton as Deputy State Treasurer. Albert C. Middleton was still serving as State Treasurer in April of 1930.

Albert Middleton suffered a heart attack while at the Hotel Walt Whitman on November 11, 1938. He passed away at home in March of 1939.

Bank Directory - March-December 1916

First National Bank
Camden, N J.

DAVID BAIRD, President
WILLIAM T. READ, Vice President and Solicitor
W. S. AYRES, Assistant Cashier
THEODORE THOMPSON, Assistant Cashier


David Baird        

Frank L. Starr 

Alfred W. Clement         

Walter J. Staats 

Frank C. Somers      

David Baird Jr. 

J. J. Albertson         

Joseph W. Graham 

Albert C. Middleton      

Lawrence M. Verga

Ferdinand A. Loeb

Melbourne F. Middleton Jr.

William T. Read         

Philadelphia Office, 246 Market Street
W. S. AYRES, Assistant Cashier

Discount Day, Thursday

Condition of Bank - March 7, 1916

Bank Directory - March 7, 1916

Camden Safe Deposit and Trust Company
Camden, N. J.

EPHRAIM TOMLINSON, 2d Vice President
JOSEPH LIPPINCOTT, ,Treasurer and Secretary


Alexander C. Wood

Joseph W. Cooper

George Reynolds         

Ephraim Tomlinson 

Joseph H. Gaskill         

George W. Jessup

Edward L. Farr        

William Joyce Sewell, Jr.

Edmund E. Reed, Jr.

J. Dayton Voorhees

William J. Bradley       

Albert C. Middleton

George J. Bergen       

Report of Condition - The Bank's Balance Sheet

Camden Courier-Post- January 31, 1928

Sworn in at Trenton Ceremony; Many Camden Leaders in Attendance

Trenton, Jan. 31- Albert C. Middleton, of Moorestown, today was formerly elected and sworn in State Treasurer of New Jersey, succeeding William T. Read, of Camden, at a ceremony conducted in the Assembly Chamber at the State House here.


April 2, 1928

Camden Courier-Post * June 1, 1932

Joshua C. Haines - Isabella C. Reinert
Elizabeth C. Verga -
David Baird Jr. - Walter Keown
Frank B. Hanna - Etta C. Pfrommer - Howard B. Dyer
William D. Sayrs Jr. - Lottie B. Stinson - Anna G. Holl
Mrgaret Wermuth - Carlton M. "Cy" Harris
J.C. Remington -
Charles A. Wolverton
Carl Kisselman - Edward Deibert - L. Scott Cherchesky
William E.A. King - J. Claud Simon
T. Phillips Brown - J.H. Reiners -
Rocco Palese
Morris Praissman - George R. Pelouze
Albert S. Woodruff - Clay W. Reesman
William Wimer -
Horace G. Githens
J. Wesley Sell - A.C. Middleton




Robert Brennan - Marie Mackintosh - William H. Heiser - Mary McCready
James Corea - Susie Marchiano - James E. Tatem - Mary A. Ivins
Martin A. McNulty - Madeline Salvatore - Howard B. Dyer - Mary S. Hartung
Edward A. Kemble - Mary D. Guthridge - Edmund A. Walsh - Mamie F. Piraine
Edward Holloway - Deborah Schuck - Henry I. Haines - Lillian M. Walker
Horace B. Beideman - Etta C. Pfrommer - Carlton M. Harris - Mary E. Hamel
Henry Knauer - Louella I. Whaland - Jesse M. Donaghy - Lottie B. Stinson

Camden Courier-Post * June 10, 1932

A.C. Middleton - Mrs. Elizabeth Verga - William T. Read
Pauline Caperoon - Wilda Townsend - David Baird Jr. 

Camden Courier-Post - February 2, 1938

$25,000 Asked of Legislature as Port Commission Share of Gas Tax

Trenton, Feb. l.-The cargo movement through the Camden Marine Terminals increased from 221,668 tons in 1936 to 230,868 tons last year, the South Jersey Port Commission reported to the legislature last night. This increase, the report states, was despite a maritime strike and the business recession.

A total of 550 vessels of all types berthed last year at the terminals, which serve the South Jersey Port district comprising seven tidewater counties bordering on the Delaware River and bay.

The water-borne commerce of the district during 1936, according to a survey made by the commission, amounted to 6,428437 tons, valued at $108,591,938, an increase of more than 25 percent over the 1935 figures.

The commission asked the legislature for $25,000 as its share of the $250,000 allotment to the State Board of Commerce and Navigation from gas tax funds provided for, in a bill now before the legislature, the money to be used for dredging in the district.

A summary of other matters covered in the report follows:

New Warehouses

"New cargo warehouses built lat a cost exceeding $500,000 proved their earning capacity during the year.

"Five steamship' lines operate on regular schedule from the terminals carrying cargoes· to and from all Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific coast ports and to Hawaii and the Far East. Foreign cargoes are handled largely by tramp steamers. The lumber movement from the Pacific coast and fertilizers for farms showed a considerable increase.

"In order that industries located on the Delaware river below Cam den may have free customs services, the same as their competitors on the Pennsylvania side of the river, the commission has made application to the Secretary of the Treasury for extension of the customs port limits of the Port of Philadelphia for a distance of 11 miles in New Jersey.

"At a recent hearing before the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors, representatives of New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware joined in urging that the Port of Philadelphia be provided with a channel 40 feet in depth to the sea. This was demanded for the national defense as well as to put the Delaware River ports on an equality as to channel depth with New York, Boston and Norfolk. The Port Commission believes the plea will be successful.

"Figures are given showing an increase in traffic across the Delaware River. The construction of two vehicular tunnels is planned by private interests.

Opposes Civilian Bill

The Commission is opposing the pending Federal regional authorities’ bills now before the Rivers and Harbors Committee of the House of Representatives and says the work of waterways improvement. 'Which has been under the direction of the army engineers for over a century, should not be turned over to civilian control The bills are termed an unwarranted and unnecessary invasion of the sovereign rights of New Jersey.’

"The Pettingill bill repealing the long-and short-haul clause of the Interstate Commerce Act is denounced as striking a severe blow at the water-carriers, marine terminals and longshoremen. The bill is now before the Senate.

"The Commission reports upon its intervention in rate cases before Federal and State regulatory bodies and is a party defendant in the Southern Governors' rate case.

"Working in close touch with the army engineers, the Commission has been active in procuring improvements in many South Jersey navigable streams. There is a shore line of over 200 miles in the Port District, ·135 miles being on tidewater of Delaware River and bay.

"Gloucester County holds first place among the Port District counties in water-borne tonnage chiefly on account of its large oil refineries. Camden County ranks second and Salem County third.

"The Commission paid off $50,000 of its 4-1/2% percent Marine. Terminal bonds in 1937. Its total outstanding bonded indebtedness is $2,180,000."

The members of the South Jersey Port Commission are A. C. Middleton, Chairman; Henry W. Peterson and W. C. Garlan, the latter a new member appointed as successor to T. Yorke Smith, who died March 23, 1937 after having served on the commission for ten years.

New Jersey Mirror - March 9, 1939

Albert C. Middleton Ex-State Treasurer, Died in Moorestown
Co-Founder of Victor Talking Machine Company; Was 70 Years of Age
In Ill Health About Two Years

Albert C. Middleton, former State Treasurer of New Jersey, chairman of the South Jersey Port Commission since 1926, died on Saturday morning at his home, 232 East Main street, Moorestown, after a long illness. He was 70 years old, and a native of Camden. Mr. Middleton had been in ill health for two years. A year ago he suffered a stroke, and last Armistice Day he collapsed from a heart attack, while dining at the Hotel Walt Whitman, Camden. He was revived but never fully recovered and recently his condition became increasingly worse.

Mr. Middleton was co-founder with Eldridge R. Johnson of the Victor Talking Machine Company, now a subsidiary of the Radio Corporation of America. He retired as treasurer of the firm just before its merger with R.C.A. He constantly advocated frequent changes in Victrola models, which many of his colleagues said was a major factor in the volume of the company's business. He also was the first to recommend national advertising of the project. He was a leader of the development of the Camden Marine Terminal.

A member of one of South Jersey's oldest Quaker families, Mr. Middleton was educated in Friends' schools in Camden and in Philadelphia. He early made his mark in the business and political world, but except as State Treasurer and membership on the South Jersey Port Commission, which he held to his death, never occupied public positions. He was for many years a director of the First Camden National Bank and Trust Company, of the old Camden Safe Deposit and Trust Company, and of the Camden Fire Insurance Company. In 1928 he was elected by joint session of the Legislature as State Treasurer, and was re-elected in 1931. He was for years a member of the Union League, in Philadelphia, and of the old Camden Republican Club when it was located at 308-312 Cooper street.

Mr. Middleton was a graduate of the Friends' School of Philadelphia and was a director of the Friends' Society of America. Surviving are his wife, Mrs. Rena Middleton, a daughter, Miss Rena Middleton; two brothers, Frank Middleton, of Haddonfield, and Edward Middleton, of Moorestown, and a sister, Mrs. Charles K. Perry, of Camden. Funeral services were held at 11 a. m. Tuesday at his late residence.

New Jersey Mirror - March 9, 1939

Talking Things Over With the Editor

Former State Treasurer Albert C. Middleton, who died at his home in Moorestown on Saturday, was one of the best known citizens of his community. Indeed, his reputation, largely by reason of having been the state's chief fiscal officer for six years, extended far) beyond the confines of his own county. By some he was regarded more as a Camden figure than as a Burlington-

countian, although he had made his home in Moorestown for many years. His business activities had largely to do with the Victor Talking Machine Company, in which, as an associate of Eldridge R. Johnson, pioneer of the vast business now owned by the Radio Corporation of America, he made the large fortune with which he had long been credited.

Mr. Middleton was a political protege of the late David Baird, Sr., and it was largely through the latter's influence that he was made State Treasurer. He also was a director in important financial and industrial institutions. His activity in politics was a development in his later life. He had not been in good health for some time and had dropped some of his former responsibilities, although continuing as a member of the South Jersey Port Commission of which he had been president since its creation in 1927. He came of Quaker stock and was a graduate of the Friends' School of Philadelphia, and a director of the Friends' Society of America.