In Feb., 1903, the Congress established a Department of Commerce and Labor empowered to investigate and report upon the operations of corporations engaged in interstate commerce (with the exception of common carriers).
The first secretary was G. B. Cortelyou. In 1913 the Department of Labor was established as a separate executive department, while the functions of the Department of Commerce were expanded; the chief officer of each department, the secretary, received cabinet rank.
Among its tasks are taking of censuses, promotion of American business at home and abroad, establishing standard weights and measures, and issuing patents and registering trademarks.
Agencies under control of the secretary of commerce include: