William Hammatt Davis (1879-1964) was born in Bangor, Maine, the son of Owen Warren Davis and Abigail Gould. After graduating from high school in 1896, he moved to Washington, D.C., to work for his brother, A. G. Davis, in the patent department of General Electric. While in Washington, D.C., he attended the Corcoran Scientific School and graduated from the George Washington University Law School in 1901. From 1902 to 1903, he worked for the U.S. Patent Office as an examiner. He left to join the patent law firm, Betts, Betts, Sheffield and Betts in New York City. In 1906, he joined the firm Pennie and Goldsborough and married Grace Greenwood Colyer. He and his wife raised three children. During World War I, Davis headed the contract section of the Planning Division of Purchase, Storage, and Traffice at the War Department. He also provided legal advice to the War Department's Claims Board. During the 1920s and early 1930s, he continued to practice law. In 1933, he became deputy administrator for the National Recovery Administration and then compliance director. While chair of the New York State Mediation Board, between 1937 and 1940, Davis honed his skills as a labor mediator. In March 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt appointed him a member of the National Defense Mediation Board (NDMB). From July 1941, he served as chair of NDMB, until he became chair of the National War Labor Board (NWLB) in January 1942. The NWLB aimed to balance the needs and demands of labor unions and industry during World War II. In March 1945, Roosevelt appointed him to the Office of Economic Stabilization. After the war, Davis founded the New York City law firm Davis, Hoxie, Faithfull and Hapgood. He also served as a commissioner of the New York City Board of Transportation, from 1946 to 1947; a member of the patent advisory panel of the Atomic Energy Commission, from 1947 to 1957; chairman of the President's Commission on Labor Relations in Atomic Installations, from 1948 to 1949; and chairman of the Atomic Energy Labor Relations Panel, from 1949 to 1953. The board of trustees of the New School for Social Research made him chairman in 1950, and he held the position until 1957.
From the description of Davis, William H. (William Hammatt), 1879-1964 (U.S. National Archives and Records Administration). naId: 10575521
From the description of Reminiscences of William Hammatt Davis : oral history, 1958. (Columbia University In the City of New York). WorldCat record id: 309732060