The Department of Commerce was originally created as the US Department of Commerce and Labor on February 14, 1903. It was subsequently renamed the Department of Commerce on March 4, 1913, as the bureaus and agencies specializing in labor were transferred to the new Department of Labor. As the Federal government grew and evolved, other bureaus were transferred to and from the Commerce Department, giving it a rich history and unique role in the Cabinet.
What do we expect to accomplish by creating a Department of Commerce? The name of the new Department answers the question. We hope to develop new fields of profitable trade and foster old ones. We hope to facilitate industrial development and promote commerce at home and abroad....We will look to this Department to give direction to the energetic campaign that has for its object the conquest of the markets of the world by American merchants and manufacturers.
-- Congressman Charles F. Cochiran, Congressional Record, January 15,1903
Enjoy the photographic history of the 100th Anniversary of the Department of Commerce