Skip to Main Content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock ( ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

About Us & Contacts

DOC History

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.  

One of the best resources for an overview of the department's history is From Lighthouses to Laserbeams: A History of the US Department of Commerce (1988), available through the library in both print and digital formats.