For more than fifty years, Estelle Ellis (b. 1919) has advised American businesses about the changing face of American society: its demographics, its social structures, its values. She has helped these institutions understand social change and address the needs and interests of their diverse customers, audiences, and constituencies. Her work has spanned a period of significant social and economic change affecting women's lives and expectations. These shifts are apparent in her pioneering work for Seventeen, Charm, Glamour, and House & Garden magazines and, after the creation of her own firm (Business Image, Inc. in 1958) with corporate clients including the Kimberley-Clark Corporation, Evan-Picone, the Carter Hawley Hale group of department stores, Condé Nast Publications, Phillips-Van Heusen, Dow Chemical, and the Kimberly-Clark Corporation.
Client Files (including correspondence, presentations, proposals, and marketing materials) comprise the bulk of the collection. Photographic negatives, slides, and photographs from advertising campaigns and interviews with Ellis on audio and VHS cassette are also present. Ellis's personal research files on advertising and marketing, including magazine and newspaper tear sheets, are included.
The collection documents Ellis's career in publishing and as owner of Business Image, Inc. Ellis's innovative marketing and design sense is evident throughout these materials. Clients include: Carter Hawley Hale and its subsidiaries The Broadway, John Wanamaker, and Weinstock's; Condé Nast Publications and its subsidiaries Bride's, Charm, Glamour, and House & Garden; the Kimberly-Clark Corporation; and East/West Network, Incorporated.
Among the distinctive materials in the collection are promotional items developed for Seventeen and Charm magazines. Designed to be informative and eye-catching, these materials used creative techniques to highlight to potential advertisers the uniquely female qualities and concerns of the magazines' readers.
Box 15: Photographs by famed photographer Helmut Newton, including original 35mm black-and-white negatives, contact sheets, and color transparencies.
Estelle Ellis Papers, 1941-2004, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Sex role in advertising
Youth as consumers
Women in marketing
Women in advertising
1992.3153 (NMAH Acc. No.)
2003.3028 (NMAH Acc. No.)
2004.3015 (NMAH Acc. No.)
Unrestricted research use on site, by appointment. Gloves required with unprotected photographs. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270