Carl Nold was an anarchist activist who worked as a skilled machinist. He is notable as a
co-defendant and prison comrade of Alexander Berkman, after Berkman's attempt to assassinate
Henry Clay Frick. In his later years, Nold helped Agnes Inglis develop the Labadie
Collection of anarchist letters and literature at the University of Michigan.
Nold was born in Wensberg, Germany in 1869. He emigrated to the United States in 1883, at
age 14. From a young age, Nold was an adherent to the cause of anarchism. His activism in
anarchist circles led to his 1892 imprisonment as a accomplice to murder. Nold and his
roommate, Henry Bauer, who were living and working in Pittsburgh, had allowed Alexander
Berkman to stay with them the night before his attempt on Frick's life. Secondary accounts,
including Emma Goldman's Living My Life, suggest that Nold and Bauer were unaware of
Berkman's mission. Nevertheless, both men were arrested and convicted of complicity in the
assassination attempt. In prison, Berkman, Bauer and Nold formed a close friendship, and
Nold is mentioned often in Berkman's Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist.
After five years in prison, Nold was released. He continued to be active in anarchist
politics, living for a while at an anarchist commune in Arkansas, and then participating in
anarchist groups in St. Louis. In the late 1920s and early 1930s, Nold was living and
working in Detroit, Michigan. There he became acquainted with Agnes Inglis, who was
organizing the Labadie Collection at the University of Michigan. In the last years of his
life, Nold helped Inglis by tracking down anarchist comrades and appealing for donations of
their historical materials. During these years he also contributed to the journal Man! Nold
died in 1934.