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Archives Center Ethnic Imagery Collection

Collector:
Music, Sports and Entertainment, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Culture and the Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Music, Sports and Entertainment, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Seller:
Tom's Hoard House  Search this
Tom's Hoard House  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertising
Advertising cards
Postcards
Stereographs
Trade cards
Date:
1889 and undated
Scope and Contents:
Advertising, postcards, trade cards, and stereographs, depicting African Americans in stereotypical or demeaning ways.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Provenance:
Collected from various donors and vendors by the Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment (now the Division of Culture and the Arts). Donors include Richard E. Ahlborn and Alice M. Miles; vendors include Tom's Hoard House.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Race discrimination  Search this
Ethnic imagery  Search this
Stereotypes (Social psychology) in advertising  Search this
Ethnic relations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertising
Advertising cards
Postcards
Stereographs
Trade cards
Citation:
Archives Center Ethnic Imagery Collection, undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1138
See more items in:
Archives Center Ethnic Imagery Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1138

Ways of Seeing: Mapping Ethnic Imagery in the Landscape of Commerce, 1992-1995

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Traveling Exhibition Service  Search this
Container:
Box 3 of 15
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years. until Jan-01-2028; Transferring office; 9/27/1984 memorandum, Glenn to Loar; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 17-358, Smithsonian Institution. Traveling Exhibition Service, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa17-358-refidd1e3804

Ethnic Imagery

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Provost for the Arts and Humanities  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 96-093, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Provost for the Arts and Humanities, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa96-093-refd1e2255

Ethnic Imagery

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Traveling Exhibition Service, Office of the Director of Exhibits  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2017; Transferring office; 9/27/1984 memorandum, Glenn to Loar; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 01-209, Smithsonian Institution, Traveling Exhibition Service, Office of the Director of Exhibits, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa01-209-refd1e228

Ethnic Imagery

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 96-006, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities, Subject Files
See more items in:
Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa96-006-refd1e2113

X Ethnic Imagery

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution., Traveling Exhibition Service  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2014; Transferring office; 9/27/1984 memorandum, Glenn to Loar; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 01-204, Smithsonian Institution., Traveling Exhibition Service, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa01-204-refd1e2060

Ethnic Imagery (3 folders)

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 95-171, Smithsonian Institution, Deputy Assistant Secretary for the Arts and Humanities, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa95-171-refd1e421

Dennis Manochio Fireworks Collection

Collector:
Manochio, Dennis  Search this
Names:
Little Bo-Peep (Fictitious character)  Search this
Sambo (Fictitious character)  Search this
Superman (Fictitious character)  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (2 Boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Packaging
Labels
Date:
ca. 1920s-1940s.
Summary:
Fireworks packaging, labels, wrappers and boxes. Many of the labels contain illustrations and logos with ethnic imagery, often stereotypical, and a variety of other subjects.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of fireworks labels, wrappers, and packaging, part of a crate, and one product catalogue for the Martin's Real Fireworks Displays of Iowa. The majority of the fireworks labels and packaging were made in China or Macao, but some were made in the United States, Canada, and India. The labels are in Chinese, English, French, and German. Many of the labels are for "firecrackers," small noisemaking cylinders that are an inch and a half in length, often strung together with others and fused consecutively. Other types of fireworks include ladyfingers (a small ¾" firecracker), cherry bombs and M-80s (illegal firecracker with a small red sphere an inch in diameter with flash powder), rockets (a cylinder with cone shaped head filled with pyrotechnic materials), shells or bombs (a canister fired out of a mortar), and torpedoes (fulminate of mercury mixed with grit and twisted in a piece of paper). The collection is particular rich in ethnic imagery. Other images include" elephant, birds, cowboys, anchors, pirates, tigers, cats, dogs, camels, cocks, lions, coyotes, dragons, wheels, horses, gorillas, rick shaws, rockets, fishing, and superman to name a few. The collection is divided into one series by fireworks brands and is arranged alphabetically. Information is provided for where the fireworks were manufactured, what company made them and what company distributed them. Most labels are undated.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.

Series 1: Brands
Biographical / Historical:
Collector of patriotic ephemera and fireworks dealer.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History through Sgt. Leonard Anderson, Office of the Sheriff, Santa Clara County, California on July 11, 1995.
Restrictions:
Colection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Fishing  Search this
Rickshaws  Search this
Wheels  Search this
Ethnic imagery  Search this
Camels  Search this
Birds  Search this
Cowboys  Search this
Circuses (performances)  Search this
Dragons  Search this
Dogs  Search this
Cats  Search this
Gorilla  Search this
Roosters -- Pictorial works  Search this
Lions  Search this
Tigers  Search this
Elephants  Search this
Hawks  Search this
Pirates  Search this
Anchors  Search this
Fireworks  Search this
Logos (Symbols)  Search this
Horses -- Logos (Symbols)  Search this
Coyote (Canis latrans)  Search this
Swallows  Search this
Genre/Form:
Packaging
Labels
Citation:
Dennis Manochio Fireworks Collection, ca. 1920s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0533
See more items in:
Dennis Manochio Fireworks Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0533

B. Thomas Smith Minstrel Show Posters

Collector:
Smith, B. Thomas, Jr.  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertising
Posters
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
A collection of posters advertising minstrel shows. The posters feature stereotypical images of black characters.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into one series.
Provenance:
Collection donated by B. Thomas Smith, Jr., 2016.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Blackface entertainers  Search this
Ethnic imagery  Search this
Stereotypes (Social psychology) in advertising  Search this
Minstrel shows  Search this
Vaudeville  Search this
Theater  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertising
Posters
Citation:
B. Thomas Smith Minstrel Show Posters, undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1409
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1409

Ethnic Imagery (Ways of Seeing: Mapping Ethnic Imagery in the Landscape of Commerce)

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Traveling Exhibition Service  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2019; Transferring office; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 04-064, Smithsonian Institution, Traveling Exhibition Service, Exhibition Records
See more items in:
Exhibition Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa04-064-refd1e1187

Ethnic Imagery in the Landscape of Commerce

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Provost  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2012; Transferring office; 9/26/1996 memorandum, Kirby to Schneider; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 00-043, Smithsonian Institution, Office of the Provost, Grant Records
See more items in:
Grant Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa00-043-refd1e741

Mapping Ethnic Imagery in the Landscape of Commerce

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Provost for the Arts and Humanities  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 96-093, Smithsonian Institution, Assistant Provost for the Arts and Humanities, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa96-093-refd1e2488

Anne E. Peterson Stereograph Collection

Publisher:
Strohmeyer & Wyman  Search this
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
American Stereoscopic Co.  Search this
H. C. White Co.  Search this
Photographer:
Young, R.Y.  Search this
Clarke, Edw.  Search this
Collector:
Peterson, Anne E. (photographic historian)  Search this
Names:
Vatican Library (Rome, Italy) -- Chronological subdivision--1890-1910  Search this
McKinley, William, 1843-1901 (President)  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Tissue stereographs
Pamphlets
Photographs
Stereographs
Place:
Rome (Italy) -- 1890-1910
New Orleans (La.)
Brussels (Belgium) -- 1890-1910
Chartres (France) -- 1890-1910
Bavaria (Germany) -- 1890-1910
Berlin (Germany) -- 1890-1910
New York (N.Y.) -- 1890-1910
Central Park (New York, N.Y.) -- 1890-1910
Germany -- 1890-1910
Date:
circa 1893-1904
Scope and Contents:
This collection is composed of two series: (1) 22 stereographs by several publishers, many of which relate to or were actually printed from negatives in the Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection; and (2) a pamphlet. The fourth group of cards illustrates certain aspects of how stereographs were used by various companies, including two variant images taken on the sugar levee in New Orleans, apparently in 1893 by a Strohmeyer & Wyman photographer, which later appeared in different versions by other publishers. This demonstrates how two negatives, apparently taken by the same photographer minutes apart, were published by four different publishers, although a nearly identical caption was retained for all five versions of the published photographs.

The other stereographs include comic and genre scenes (posed or staged), travel views, etc. Included is a tinted French tissue published by American Stereoscopic Co.

The pamphlet, published by Underwood & Underwood in 1902, illustrates one of the company's marketing techniques.

Most of these items are in fair to good condition.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Stereographs

Series 2: Pamphlet
Biographical / Historical:
Anne E. Peterson, the donor of this material, is a photographic historian who served as project manager for the Underwood & Underwood Videodisc Project in 1990-1992.

Ms. Peterson earned a B.A. in art history at the University of Texas (Austin) in 1970 and an M.A. in American civilization from George Washington University (Washington, D.C.) in 1980, with a concentration in history of photography and American arts. Working for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Decatur House, and Wilson House from 1975-1980, she was a guest curator at Wilson House for the exhibition and catalogue, Hornblower & Marshall, Architects (1976-1978). From 1978 to 1980 she worked for the Prints and Photographs Division at the Library of Congress, cataloging the Frances Benjamin Johnston photographic collections, and later served as a guest curator at the Library. She was Curator of Photography for the Louisiana State Museum in New Orleans from 1981 1982, and later worked on exhibitions and publications for the Albin O. Kuhn Library and Gallery (University of Maryland Baltimore County) and Lousiana State University (Baton Rouge).

Ms. Peterson became associated with the Archives Center in 1985, working on the Donald Sultner Welles Collection, especially the manuscript material, then worked on the Underwood & Underwood Collection from 1990, during which time she also prepared the Sultner Welles Collection brochure and assisted with the final editing and preparation of the register.

She has lectured and participated in seminars and symposia widely. Her most recent publication at this writing is the book, Frances Benjamin Johnston: The Woman and Her Work.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Anne E. Peterson, 1990, December 31.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site. Photographs must be handled with white cotton gloves, unless they are housed in plastic sleeves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Cotton -- 1890-1910  Search this
Sugar trade -- 1900-1910 -- New Orleans  Search this
Courtship -- 1890-1910  Search this
Racism -- 1890-1910  Search this
Ethnic imagery  Search this
Genre/Form:
Tissue stereographs
Pamphlets -- 1900-1910
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1890-1910
Stereographs -- 1890-1910
Citation:
Anne E. Peterson Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0402
See more items in:
Anne E. Peterson Stereograph Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0402

Race & Representation: Ethnic Imagery in American Advertising, Dr. Fath Ruffins, 10/15/1993

Collection Creator:
National Museum of Natural History, Office of Guest Services  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-214, National Museum of Natural History, Office of Guest Services, Friday Noon Lecture Program Audiotapes
See more items in:
Friday Noon Lecture Program Audiotapes
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa07-214-refd1e1384

Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 13: Agriculture, Business, and Law

Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Extent:
26 Boxes
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1827-1985
Summary:
Sam DeVincent loved music and art and began collecting sheet music with lithographs at an early age.

Series 13, Agriculture, Business, and Law contains approximately 3,300 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards business, commerce, farming and food, finances, labor, law, and social order in the United States.

An overview to the entire DeVincent collection is available here: Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music.
Scope and Contents note:
Series 13, Agriculture, Business, and Law, 1827-1985, undated, contains approximately 3,300 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards business, commerce, farming and food, finances, labor, law, and social order in the United States. The series comprises nine cubic feet, plus two boxes of ephemera. The materials are grouped by subject and arranged alphabetically by title within each folder unless otherwise noted in the container list. The dates of the sheet music refer to the copyright of the music, and not to the subject on the cover, songwriter's life or other events.

Subseries 1, Business and Jobs, 1927-1982, undated, includes songs, mostly popular titles, published by businesses to advertise the store or product, and songs about specific jobs, work in general, and unions. Note that Series 5, Politics and Political Movements also has songs about unions. Specific jobs with their own folders are Barbershop/Beauty Parlor, Mining, and Stenographer/Typewriter. Songs about traveling salesmen are in Series 15, Holidays and Celebrations, in subseries 1; folder C, "Travel."

Subseries 2, Agriculture: Farming, Food, and Tobacco, 1836-1986, undated, includes many songs about life on the farm, the 4-H Club, blacksmithing, dairy, and shepherding. Several foods warrant their own folders, including baked products and candy. Beverages include alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks --especially beer, wine, and coffee, Prohibition, and general songs about drinking.

Subseries 3, Finances and Valuables, 1841-1982, undated, includes music about gems, gold, silver, and treasure; and numerous songs about money, taxes, and those with money problems such as bums, hobos, and tramps. Folder N has ethnic imagery. (During the 1880s to the 1900s the term "coon songs" was used to designate a specific genre of song that conveyed African American stereotypes using lyrics in dialect. The images of African Americans in these songs were more virulently racist than in any other period of American song. Additional sheet music in this genre is found in Series 3.4 of the DeVincent Collection.)

Subseries 4, Law and Social Order, 1858-1972, undated, includes music about law, jail, prison, and guns. Note that some music and ephemera about specific crimes or outlaws are in other parts of the collection, such as articles about the murder of Stanford White in Series 11, Entertainment, Ephemera, Evelyn Nesbitt; also Jesse James in Series 8, Geography, Missouri; and Billy the Kid in Series 16, Country, Western, and Folk, Outlaws.

Subseries 5, Public Services and Utilities, 1836-1984, undated, includes music about electricity, light, fire, gas and oil, postal service, soldiers' mail, and telegraph, telephone, and wireless. Also see Series 1l, subseries 14, for more items relating to radio, telegraph, and wireless.

Ephemera, 1901-1987, (two boxes) relating to the subseries subjects and are arranged in the same order as the music. About one half of the items pertain to farm animals.

Material related to this series within the DeVincent Collection may be found in Series 1, Transportation; Series 2, Armed Forces; Series 5, Politics and Political Movements; Series 7, Sports; and Series 15, Holidays and Celebrations.
Arrangement note:
Arranged in 6 subseries.

13.1: Business and Jobs

13.2: Agriculture: Farming, Food, and Tobacco

13.3: Finances and Valuables

13.4: Law and Social Order

13.5: Public Services and Utilities

13.6: Ephemera
Materials in Other Organizations:
Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

This collection contains duplicates of materials in the Smithsonian collection, as well as materials acquired by Mr. DeVincent after the donation to the Smithsonian. The phonograph records described above were transferred to the University of Missouri at Kansas City.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Donald J. Stubblebine Collection of Musical Theater and Motion Picture Sheet Music and Reference Material, 1843-2010 (AC1211)
Forms Part Of:
Series 13: Agriculture, Business, and Law forms part of the Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music .

An ongoing, updated list of DeVincent topical series is available via the Smithsonian finding aid portal.
Provenance:
This collection was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution in 1988 from Sam and Nancy Lee DeVincent.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0300.S13
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 13: Agriculture, Business, and Law
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s13
Additional Online Media:

Frank Seymour Firefighting Ephemera Collection

Donor:
CIGNA  Search this
Collector:
Seymour, Frank  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Articles
Postcards
Illustrations
Prints
Date:
1852 - 1957
Summary:
The collection documents firefighting and fires in American history through newspaper and magazine illustrations, ephemera, and photographs. The emphasis is on large urban fires (New York City and Chicago) and industrial fires in the northeastern United States. There are some illustrations of cartoons, rescues, poems, fires on ships and clippings about great floods in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents firefighting and fires in American history through newspaper and magazine illustrations, ephemera, and photographs. The emphasis is on large urban fires (New York City and Chicago) and industrial fires in the northeastern United States. There are some illustrations of cartoons, rescues, poems, fires on ships and clippings about great floods in Cincinnati and Pittsburgh.

Series 1, Newspaper clippings, 1852-1933, consists primarily of illustrations and text from Harper's Weekly, but other publications represented include Collier's Weekly, Harper's New Monthly MagazineIllustrated London News, Leslie's Weekly, Gleason's Pictorial, and Scientific American. The clippings are arranged geographically by state and city. The majority of the clippings relate to fires, firemen, fire engines, and parades featuring fire equipment. There is one folder that relates to a fire on the steamship Bienville, an explosion of the H.L. Cotton, as well as the floods. There is some ethnic imagery depicting John Bull during the Civil War and antislavery movement in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania folder.

Series 2, Illustrations, [1939?], consists of printed color illustrations of fire engines from Kenneth Holcomb Dunshee's book, Enjine! Enjine! published by Howard Vincent Smith of New York in 1939. The illustrations are arranged in an alphanumeric system (FS 105) assigned by Frank Seymour.

Series 3, Photographs and Ephemera, 1957 and undated, consists of primarily black-and-white photographs of engines, horse-drawn fire ambulances, a dog-drawn fire hose, an auction program for the Joseph L. Hallett Firemanic Collection, and a brochure for the National Fire Museum, Inc. of South Carver, Massachusetts. There is one color photograph of Ellie Mazur, undated.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1, Newspaper Clippings, 1852-1933

Series 2, Illustrations, [1939?]

Series 3, Photographs and Ephemera, 1957 and undated
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center, National Musuem of American History

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Fires and firefighting (series), circa 1821-1955.(AC0060)

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Fires and firefighting: stereographs, circa 1875-1888 (AC0060)

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Inventions: stereographs, 1880s (AC0060)

Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, [Firefighters working water pump: Active no. 1810. photonegative,] 1926. (AC0143)

Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, [Firefighters in action.] 2031 photonegative. (AC0143)

Jack Robrecht Firefighting Photographs (AC1231)

Materials at the Division of Home and Community Life, National Museum of American History

The Division of Home and Community Life Life holds fire-related artifacts. See Accession numbers: 2005.0233; 2005.0279; 2006.0247; 2007.0160; and 2007.0174.
Provenance:
Donated by CIGNA through Roxanne Korostowski, Director, Relocation Services on August 19, 2005.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Firefighters  Search this
Ships -- Fires and fire prevention  Search this
Fire extinction  Search this
Fire departments  Search this
Disasters  Search this
Fires  Search this
Fire engines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles
Postcards
Illustrations
Prints
Citation:
Frank Seymour Firefighting Ephemera Collection, 1852-1957, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1232
See more items in:
Frank Seymour Firefighting Ephemera Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1232

Program Tapes

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Resident Associates Program, African American Studies Center  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 96-121, Smithsonian Institution, Resident Associates Program, African American Studies Center, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa96-121-refd1e837

Eskimo Pie Corporation Records

Creator:
Eskimo Pie Corporation.  Search this
Nelson, Christian Kent, 1893-1992  Search this
Extent:
15 Cubic feet (31 boxes, 19 folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertisements
Sheet music
Posters
Photographs
Business records
Legal records
Clippings
Date:
1921-1996
Scope and Contents:
Printed advertisements, photographs (including negatives and slides), sales presentation materials and packaging; patent and legal information, clippings, posters, scripts for radio commercials, sheet music for jingles, etc. Also includes personal papers (correspondence) of Christian Nelson, inventor of the Eskimo Pie.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into eight series.
Biographical / Historical:
Eskimo Pie, America's first chocolate covered ice cream bar, was invented by Christian Kent Nelson in his home laboratory in 1920. Nelson patented his invention and the ice cream bar quickly rose in popularity in America. By 1922, Nelson was earning $2000 per day in royalties on his product.

Christian K. Nelson was born on March 12, 1893, in Gunstrup, Denmark, to Pedar Nelson and Margerethe Madesen Nelson. While Nelson was an infant, the seven Nelson children and their parents emigrated to the United States. The dairy farming family settled in Illinois, Wisconsin, and finally in Iowa in 1903. In Onawa, Iowa, Nelson opened a small confectionery shop near the high school where he worked as a teacher. The inspiration for the invention of Eskimo Pie was a boy's indecision in Nelson's confectionery store in 1920. A boy started to buy ice cream, then changed his mind and bought a chocolate bar. Nelson inquired as to why he did not buy both. The boy replied, "Sure I know--I want 'em both, but I only got a nickel." For weeks after the incident, Nelson worked around the clock experimenting with different methods of sticking melted chocolate to frozen ice cream until he found cocoa butter to be the perfect adherent.

Immediately, he produced 500 ice cream bricks with a chocolate candy coating. The "I-Scream Bars" were a hit at the local village fireman's picnic and Nelson began searching for companies to manufacture his new product.

On July 13, 1921, Nelson and chocolate maker Russell C. Stover entered into a joint agreement to market and produce the product. It was decided the name would change from Nelson's "I-Scream Bar" to "Eskimo Pie". In the hand-written agreement composed the same day the two met for the first time, the entrepreneurs agreed to "coat ice cream with chocolate [sic] divide the profits equally." They decided to sell the manufacturing rights to local ice cream companies for $500 to $1000, plus royalties on each Eskimo Pie sold.

Nelson and Stover began their business venture with an advertising campaign in Des Moines, Iowa. The first 250,000 pies produced were sold within 24 hours. By spring 1922, 2,700 manufacturers sold one million Eskimo Pies per day. On January 24, 1922, the United States granted patent number 1,404,539 for the Eskimo Pie. Nelson's patent applied to any type of frozen material covered with candy. Nelson also had the name "Eskimo Pie" trademarked. Initially, even the word "Pie" in a brand name frozen treat was covered by this trademark. The breadth of the patent was detrimental to Eskimo Pie because of growing legal costs associated with its defense.

Russell Stover sold his share of the company in 1922. Because of the cost of litigation, high salaried salesmen, and difficulties in collecting royalties, the company was sold in 1924. Eskimo Pie became a subsidiary of United States Foil Company, the supplier of the Eskimo Pie wrapper. Headed by R.S. Reynolds, Sr., the company later became known as Reynolds Metals Company.

In 1925, dry ice was invented. Nelson was eager to find a way to make buying Eskimo Pie as easy as buying another snack from a vendor. Nelson began to market thermal jugs with dry ice supplied with Eskimo Pies to vendors without access to a freezer. This increased visibility and distribution and made Eskimo Pie an "impulse" item.

The patent litigation continued until October 3, 1929, when the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the decision of the lower courts declared that the 1922 patent was invalid, due to "lack of invention." Eskimo Pie resembled an earlier product that also called for ice cream with cocoa butter dipped in chocolate. The judge declared that Nelson had merely changed the shape for an existing product. Even his trademark on the work "pie" was invalidated, as the judge said the word had a wide variety of use.

Nelson retired to California and assigned his royalties to his wife, Myrtle Skidmore "Skid" Nelson. However, Nelson, reportedly "bored," came out of retirement in 1935 to rejoin Eskimo Pie and work on new products. Nelson continued to create ice cream innovations such as ice patties and colored ice cream holiday centers within Eskimo Pie products. In 1955, Nelson was awarded a patent for his Eskimo Machine. The machinery squeezed out ice cream of the correct dimensions which was then cut into bars. This process was faster than the older method of molding the ice cream bar. After a decline in sales during the Great Depression, Eskimo Pie received a boost from sales to the United States armed forces during World II. Rising commodity prices in the post war era forced the company to reduce the size of the product. However, the distinct foil wrapper remained the same. Nelson officially retired from Eskimo Pie in 1961 as vice-president and director of research. Surviving his wife by one year, he died March 8, 1992.

In 1992, Eskimo Pie became independent of Reynolds' Metals. The company continues to market dozens of shapes, sizes, and types of frozen treats. The brand name Eskimo Pie continues to have strong consumer recognition and has appeared in cartoons, movies, and even in Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary.

Sources

"He Made Kids Scream for Ice Cream," 1959, manuscript from collection Nelson-Stover Agreement, July 13, 1921, manuscript from the collection U.S. Patent 1,404,539 January 24, 1922, manuscript from the collection

Scope and Content Note

The Eskimo Pie Collection consists primarily of materials relating to the advertising, business, and packaging of its ice cream products. The collection includes numerous photographs, printed advertisements, and packaging materials. It also contains company annual reports and newsletters, business history, information on machines and equipment used in manufacturing the product, and the history of the invention of Eskimo Pie. The formulas and directions for creating many of the Eskimo Pie products are included.

Series 1: CHRISTIAN NELSON PAPERS, 1921-1992 - Contains personal information on the inventor of Eskimo Pie, Christian Nelson, including his correspondence and financial information. Most of the correspondence is business related. Subseries 1: Christian Nelson Personal Papers, 1933-1988 - These materials include tax information, bank account information, and a few documents related to his personal life. Not many documents of a personal nature are in the collection. Most details of his life are found in magazine and newspaper clippings in Series 2, Subseries 4. Subseries 2: Nelson Correspondence (by correspondent), 1944-1946 - This subseries contains Nelson's business correspondence previously arranged alphabetically by correspondent. The correspondence only dates from 1944-1946. Subseries 3: Nelson and Business Correspondence (by date), 1920-1990 - Arranged chronologically by decade, this correspondence consists of letters on various topics that were scattered throughout the collection. Most of these letters are business related but many have personal notations within them. Not all letters include Nelson.

Series 2: HISTORICAL AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION, 1921-1992 - This series includes any information that helps to narrate the story of the invention of Eskimo Pie and the company that sold the product. It contains company scrapbooks of specific years, important historical documents regarding Eskimo Pie history, and newspaper clippings and magazine articles that summarize the detailed history of the company. Subseries 1: Background Information on Company, 1921-1992 - This information includes company scrapbooks that contain articles, letters, promotions and/or advertisements for a particular year. The scrapbooks often relate the history of Eskimo Pie in past years as well as representing the year of the scrapbook. Other materials such as the Eskimo Pie patent, and information on Christian Nelson and Russell Stover with their original agreement are included. Subseries 2: Information on Related Companies, 1947-1987 - This material contains annual reports and the company publications of Reynolds Aluminum which supplied the Eskimo Pie wrapper. Eskimo Pie became a subsidiary of Reynolds (then known as US Foil Company) in 1924. Other companies whose products are related to Eskimo Pie are also included. Subseries 3: Patent and Legal Information, 1921-1965 - Important legal documents of the Eskimo Pie business are arranged in this subseries by type of document. The patents include many of Nelson's patents as well as other patents of invention related to ice cream. Subseries 4: Newspaper Clippings and Magazine Articles, 1920-1990 - Most articles in the subseries are related to the history or business of Eskimo Pie, although a few are not. Cartoons that use the Eskimo Pie name are included.

Series 3: MANUFACTURING AND EQUIPMENT, 1922-1990 - This series documents the machinery and equipment used to produce, package, and freeze the ice cream. It also includes the specific formulas of Eskimo Pie products with ingredients and directions for their preparation. Subseries 1: Machinery, 1922-1990 - This series is comprised of catalogues, plans, and brochures on general types of machines used to create ice cream along with very specific types of machines with specific names (such as the Eskimo Machine). It also includes video footage of a 1990 production line. Some photographs of equipment are included in the catalogues but other photographs of machinery can be found in Photographs under Series 5, Subseries 1. Subseries 2: Formulae and Directions, 1942-1963 - Formulas and specifications to create certain Eskimo Pie products make up this series. The formulas and directions were sent to franchise manufacturers and field personnel and state how to use the machinery to create the desired product. The folders labeled with product numbers include booklets of formulas and the folders labeled with formulas of specific products are loose pages or additions to the booklets. Other formulas and directions for specific products can be found in some of the promotional brochures in Series 7 Subseries 4.

Series 4: ESKIMO PIE COMPANY RECORDS, 1951-1995 - The company records in this series are comprised of Annual Company Reports and Company Newsletters. Subseries 1: Eskimo Pie Annual Reports, 1951-1995 - The Annual Reports include financial information as well as the names of the directors, officers, and management personnel for that particular year. Subseries 2: Eskimo Pie Newsletters, 1968-1979 - These monthly newsletters function as a company information tool for employees. They include company news along with general interest features such as cartoons, news of the company sports teams, announcements of vacations and birthdays, etc.

Series 5: PHOTOGRAPHS AND NEGATIVES, 1928-1990 - This series consists of photographs and negatives of various subject matter. Subseries 1: Photographs, 1928-1990 - These photographs are arranged by subject matter. Some of the main subject categories of the photographs include machinery and equipment, advertising, promotions, and pictures of Christian Nelson at company events. Subseries 2: Photograph Negatives and Slides, 1928-1990 - This subseries includes many negatives of the photographs already contained in Subseries 1. Only one folder in this subseries is slides.

Series 6: ESKIMO PIE BUSINESS INFORMATION, 1921-1990 - This series consists of any records pertaining to the business of the Eskimo Pie company including finances, marketing, sales, promotions, personnel information, packaging, and publications. It does not include advertising. Subseries 1: General Business Information, 1922-1990 - Business information that did not fit into any particular business category comprises this series. Each folder's information is very specific to its own particular topic and is arranged chronologically. Subseries 2: Marketing, 1927-1996 - This series includes any marketing information that attempts to sell Eskimo Pie to the consumer. This information does overlap with some aspects of advertising and packaging, as they also function as marketing tools to promote increased buying. It also includes promotional materials for the film AWho's Minding the Mint?" which featured an Eskimo Pie ice cream man as a character. The information is organized by specific years or time periods. Subseries 3: Employee Information and Incentives, 1952-1970 - This subseries includes general information such as personnel lists and phone lists but also includes incentive campaigns for employees. These incentive campaigns were directed towards salesmen, particularly route driver salesman, and propose prize rewards for sales. The booklets in box 31 include the ads for incentives to be sent out to the salesmen throughout the year. Along with the ads are explanations of the incentive and the company's reasoning behind its approach to the salesmen in that particular ad. The prizes to be awarded are not specifically listed but are displayed in pictures in many of the incentive ads. Subseries 4: Premiums and Promotions, 1937-1990 - Information on premiums in which consumers save wrappers and send them to Eskimo Pie for goods as well as special promotions are included in this subseries. Lists of goods that can be purchased with the corresponding number of wrappers are included. Other promotions include prizes for contests or special offers with Eskimo proofs of purchase. This subseries includes promotional brochures that explain the new promotions. Subseries 5: Financial Information, 1932-1990 - Any business information pertaining to Eskimo Pie's finances, sales, and\or profits is included in this subseries. It also includes U.S. Foil Royalty Reports that report the number of wrappers shipped and manufactured of different businesses including those of Eskimo Pie (Eskimo Pie was a subsidiary of U.S. Foil). The U.S. Foil reports are addressed to Myrtle Nelson. Bank information of Frozen Products, Inc., which manufactured Eskimo Pie and Eskimo confections, is also included. Subseries 6: Packaging, 1921-1954 - This subseries consists of actual boxes, wrappers, lids, and sticks that were used in packaging Eskimo Pie products. The materials are organized by types of packaging and the dates of the materials are generally unclear. Subseries 7: General Publications Related to Ice Cream, 1935-1990 - Listed in chronological order, these publications provide information on the ice cream, dairy, and chocolate industries in a specific time frame. These publications generally do not mention Eskimo Pie products.

Series 7: ADVERTISING MATERIALS, 1922-1992 - The advertising materials included in this series mainly consist of the actual advertisements. Little written information on specific advertising campaigns is included with the print, radio, and television advertisements. The promotional brochures do include some written information on the product the company is promoting. Subseries 1: Print Advertisements, 1922-1989 - This subseries includes a range of types of advertisements. Some ads include printed ads in magazines and newspapers while many are proofs of advertisements that will go to print. Other types of advertisements include banners, decals, and railstrips which appear to be point of purchase displays for vending machines, ice cream stands, ice cream carts or trucks, or even the grocery store. Although the scrapbooks mainly consist of advertisements, they also include packaging, machinery, and marketing information. Subseries 2: Radio Advertisements, 1930-1985 - This small subseries includes scripts for radio announcements and advertisements. The sheet music for the radio jingles, "I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream," "Oh My, Eskimo Pie,"and "New Eskimo Pie on a Stick" are included here. Subseries 3: Television Advertisements, 1948-1992 - The television materials included consist of story boards, scripts for television advertisements with corresponding still photographs, television commercials, and little written information on television campaigns. Subseries 4: Promotional Brochures, 1951-1964 - This subseries consists of materials pertaining to new products or special occasion items (e.g. Christmas, Halloween). The brochures were probably sent to vendors, distributors and /or ice cream producers. The brochures intended for vendors and distributors contain samples of advertising, packaging, point of purchase displays and in some instances, inexpensive premiums to be awarded to consumers. The brochures for ice cream manufacturers contain some of the same material as well as the formula and directions for the product, a list of equipment required, and a price list for rental of that equipment. The material, contained in the boxes has been organized alphabetically where possible.

Series 8: MISCELLANEOUS, 1921-1979 - This series includes materials found in the collection with no apparent relation to Christian Nelson or Eskimo Pie. Random materials that display the Eskimo Pie logo are also included.

Provenance

The Eskimo Pie collection was donated on May 10, 1996, to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center.

Related Collections The Division of Cultural History has several objects which are also part of the Eskimo Pie Collection.

The Archives Center holds many collections related to ice cream and the food industry including: #58 Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (see Dairy)

#78 Faris and Yamna Naff Arab-American Collection, 1880-1995 (see waffle cone machine)

#112 Famous Amos Collection, 1979-1983

#300 Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, 1790-1980 (see Ice Cream)

#451 Good Humor Collection, 1930-1990

#588 Carvel Ice Cream Records, 1934-1989

#594 Krispy Kreme Donut Corporation Records, 1937-1997
Separated Materials:
Related artifacts housed in the Division of Culture and the Arts.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Dave Clark, Eskimo Pie Corporation, July 12, 1996.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Copyright and trademark restrictions.
Topic:
Stereotypes (Social psychology)  Search this
Polar bear in art  Search this
Ice cream industry -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Ice cream industry  Search this
Ethnic imagery  Search this
advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements
Sheet music -- Advertising
Posters
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 1890-1920
Business records -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Legal records
Clippings
Citation:
Eskimo Pie Corporation Records, 1921-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0553
See more items in:
Eskimo Pie Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0553
Additional Online Media:

Finances and Valuables

Series Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1841-1982, undated
Scope and Contents note:
Subseries 3: Finances and Valuables, 1841-1982, undated, includes music about gems, gold, silver, and treasure; and numerous songs about money, taxes, and those with money problems such as bums, hobos, and tramps. Folder N has songs related to ethnic imagery.
Series Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Series Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Series Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0300.S13, Subseries 13.3
See more items in:
Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Series 13: Agriculture, Business, and Law
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0300-s13-ref170

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, d. 1969  Search this
Extent:
1,150 Cubic feet (approximately. Series 1 contains approximately 1108 cubic feet consisting of approximately 2050 boxes, approximately 326 oversize boxes, and map case material. Additional material in Series 2-4 is unquantified. With also, some digital images of select collection materials.)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Posters
Letterheads
Advertisements
Maps
Business ephemera
Calendars
Trade cards
Broadsides
Ephemera
Stationery
Advertising cards
Sheet music
Photomechanical prints
Sales catalogs
Chromolithographs
Place:
business ephemera -- Adirondack Mountains (N.Y.)
Albany (N.Y.)
Date:
circa 1708-1977
Scope and Contents:
The Warshaw Collection consists of approximately 1,150 cubic feet of material currently contained in approximately 2,050 vertical document boxes, approximately 326 flat oversize boxes, 34 map case drawers of oversize materials, 56 volumes of photographic photo prints, 17 boxes of 4 x 5 color transparencies and black and white photonegatives, 11 boxes of stereographs, and a videodisc. It consists of a large body of business ephemera. Ephemera is used to refer to the transient everyday items which are usually printed on paper however in some cases fabric, leather and wood have been used. This material is manufactured for a specific limited use and then meant to be thrown away. The collection also contains samples of ephemera that were meant to be saved for a short period of time and discarded later such as stock certificates. This material dates from the late eighteenth century to about 1977, but the bulk of the material is late from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

The largest advertising history collection in the Archives Center, the Warshaw Collection is organized into five major categories: I. Business Ephemera -- - Vertical Files, II. Business Ephemera - - Oversize, III. Other Collection Divisions, IV. Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers and V. Photographic Reference Materials. Scope and content notes and a detailed description of the contents for all of these divisions are found in the following sections of the register.

Series 1: Business Ephemera, circa 1724-1977, makes up the largest portion of the collection. It is divided into 538 subject and geographic categories created by Mr. Warshaw and is contained in 2,050 vertical document boxes. Materials include vast numbers of advertising cards, scraps, stock cards, trade catalogs, price lists, menus, pamphlets, labels, lithographs, photographs, business letterheads, bills, receipts, greeting cards, post cards, calendars, printed advertisements, periodicals, newspaper clippings, broadsides, shipping documents, handbills, premiums, promotional items, announcements, business cards, packaging and point of purchase displays.

II. BUSINESS EPHEMERA - - OVERSIZE FILES, ca. 1850-1960, consists of approximatley 326 flat oversize boxes and 34 map case drawers of materials. Materials include posters, newspapers, point of purchase displays, packaging, printed advertisements, periodical illustrations, lithographs, labels, shipping documents, promotional items, trade catalogs, pattern sheets, maps, art reproductions, fashion design drawings, membership certificates and price lists. The material is organized by the same subject and geographical categories as materials in the vertical document boxes.

III. OTHER COLLECTION DIVISIONS, ca. 1790-1957, represents a significant accumulation of one type of material rather than a mix of various types of ephemera. Materials generally relate to one subject. Most of the material is stored in flat oversize boxes. Materials include cinema lobby cards, fire insurance maps, photographs and scrapbooks of liquor and wine labels.

IV. ISADORE WARSHAW PERSONAL PAPERS, ca. 1917-1966, consists of three document boxes of materials relating to how Mr. Warshaw maintained the collection as a business. Most of this material is correspondence sent to him in response to his research inquiries. A smaller portion of the material is printed advertisements and circulars created by Mr. Warshaw to advertise his services and the collection. Magazine articles, letterhead stationery and photographs make up the remainder of the material.

V. PHOTOGRAPHIC REFERENCE MATERIAL, consists of photographs, slides and transparencies of items found in the collection. These materials were created for a number of purposes. Some were created in response to requests by researcher for images to be used in publications, exhibitions, and for other purposes. Others were created as a quick reference source for researchers. Several thousand photographic images from the Warshaw Collection were also transferred to an experimental videodisc by the Institution's Office of Photographic and Printing Services (OPPS). The videodisc is available for viewing on equipment in the Archives Center.

Use of the prints, slides, and videodisc reduces wear and tear on the collection, permits rapid searching through many images, and assures the researcher - - in most cases that a photographic negative of transparency already exists, and that copies can be reproduced relatively quickly and inexpensively. Searching the collection's photographic reproductions is especially appropriate for researchers who want to see general images of subjects such as "women in advertising" or an advertisement from a particular year.

The Warshaw Collection originally contained books, three-dimensional objects and food crate labels. Those books that did not directly relate to the collection were transferred to the Smithsonian Libraries. Remaining publications are stored in the Business Ephemera-Vertical Files document boxes within the appropriate subject category.

Mr. Warshaw collected three-dimensional objects to illustrate packaging, to convey information about product content, shape and size, and to document advertising in three-dimensional forms. Such items included hair product packaging, games, patent medicine containers, cosmetics, tobacco tins, food containers, and liquor bottles. There were also a number of objects, mostly made of glass, tin, and wood, including trays and stained glass signs advertising products such as patent medicine, tobacco, phonographs, refrigerators, stoves, hair products, meat, agricultural tools and implements, whiskey, bakery goods, and beer. Some of these objects were framed. All these objects have been transferred to the appropriate divisions in the Museum. Information on the locations of these items can be obtained in the Archives Center reference room.

Food crate labels were once an important advertising device. Used to develop loyalty to particular growers, these labels were appealing because of the commercial artwork. Some of the labels were mounted on wood. These labels also were transferred to a curatorial unit. The un-mounted labels are in the "foods" section of the Business Ephemera - - Vertical Files.

Research Strengths and Limitations

The strength of the Warshaw Collection lies in its size, its variety, and its extraordinarily rich visual imagery. These images illustrate how Americans perceived themselves or wished to be perceived, how they saw others, their work patterns, their recreation habits, and other aspects of American culture from the late eighteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries. They provide an alternative source to written and printed historical materials, sometimes conveying information about values and practices not otherwise documented. These images stand as a powerful reminder that the origins of modern, visual mass communications go much farther back than the invention of television.

Most of the imagery, of course, is a vision of American life as seen through the eyes of advertising agencies and of the businesses they represented. Researchers working with the collection find it an especially rich source for examining the dynamic relationship between advertising and American culture over the centuries.

There are some problems, however, interpreting American culture through these materials. Most of the advertisements in the collection represent Anglo-American mainstream culture. African Americans, Native Americans, Asian Americans and members of other ethnic groups are only occasionally depicted in the advertisements. Much of this imagery is stereotypical and fails to recognize ethnic groups as consumers. Despite these limitations the ethnic imagery offers penetrating insights into American culture and its changing values and tastes. The Archives Center's Ethnic Imagery Project has identified thousands of items within the Warshaw Collection, and in other Center collections, which depict race and ethnicity. The Project also is seeking to expand the range of such imagery within the Center's collections to provide a better rounded view of how Americans see themselves and each other.

There are few indications in the collection of consumer response. The materials mostly consist of end products, what customers received. Testimonials and celebrity endorsements are among the materials but do not constitute a large portion of it, nor do they appear in every subject category. There is also little documentation on the success or failure of advertisements. Evidence about advertisers' decisions to use specific advertisements is extremely rare.

There is no complete history of any one company represented in the collection. For many of the businesses, the material consists of fragments of the advertising materials created to sell their products or services. Biographical information on founders or the early developments of the company may be included on letterhead stationery or bills and receipts but not always. Occasionally one finds company publications that discuss the history of the business. These were usually produced for anniversaries and more often for larger companies that had existed for a long time, such as Proctor & Gamble.

Most of the businesses represented in the Collection were east of the Mississippi River. This is probably due to the collecting possibilities for Mr. Warshaw. It also may be due to the concentration of many industries in this region.

Despite its limitations, the Warshaw Collection is the most heavily used collection in the Archives Center. Researchers in the Collection often find information unavailable elsewhere. Researchers in the Collection have included academic historians, Smithsonian curatorial staff , and outside museum staff interested in the collection for exhibition purposes. Smithsonian Shops buyers and others interested in motifs for licensed products, collectors and hobbyists find the collection a rich source for such research.
Series 1: Business Ephemera:
Dates -- circa 1544-1988

Contents -- Series 1: Business Ephemera1.1: Subject Categories1.2: Geographical Categories
Series 2: Other Collection Divisions:
Dates -- circa 1850-1957

Contents -- Series 2: Other Collection Divisions2.1: Business Records [Obsolete as of 2017]2.2: Cinema Lobby Cards2.3: Fire Insurance Maps2.4: Liquor and Wine Labels and Advertisements2.5: Photographs2.6: Stereographs2.7: Sheet Music2.8: Rewards and Wanted Posters
Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers:
Dates -- circa 1917-1966

Contents -- Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers3.1: Correspondence3.2: Secondary Writings about Warshaw and the Collection3.3: Business Materials3.4: Miscellaneous
Series 4: Photographic Reference Material:
Dates -- undated

Contents -- Series 4: Photographic Reference Material4.1: Photoprints4.2: 35mm color slides4.3: Color transparencies4.4: Videodisc
Arrangement note:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Biographical / Historical:
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana is the result of the foresight and energy of Isadore Warshaw. Warshaw believed that the history of America was closely tied to the history of American business. He observed, however, that the business community often looked to the future rather than the past and tended not to retain historical company records. As a result, a number of businesses had no coherent record of their past. Warshaw realized that these records could be of value one day.

"Sonny" Warshaw, as he was known to family and friends, was born June 12, 1900 and reared in Albany, New York, the second youngest of ten children of Rubin and Ray (Mackler) Warshaw. Although he received little formal education, he started in business as a book scout in 1915 searching for rare publications for dealers and collectors. Later he became a rare book dealer and collector himself. His hobbies included sketching and painting, and several pieces of this self-taught artist's work were exhibited in local banks.

Warshaw's interest in collecting business ephemera began in 1928 when an important event inspired him. In the process of searching for books, he often ran across various pieces of ephemera. In these posters, labels, ledgers, invoices, calendars, business cards, correspondence on letterhead stationery, and advertising cards, he could see the romantic side of big business. One day he ran across an invoice signed by John Forsythe, founder of a New York haberdashery, and sent it to the store. In reponse, he received a thank-you note along with an invitation to select six shirts in appreciation for the item he found. This combination of events encouraged Warshaw to begin a lifelong mission. He opened an office at 61 Columbia Street in Albany, New York, announcing to the business community that he had their history and would make it available.

In 1942, Isadore Warshaw moved from Albany to New York City where he opened an office at 752 West End Avenue. In 1944, he married Augusta Levy, a former buyer for a group of women's ready-to-wear shops in Miami, Florida. They had no children. A portion of their apartment was used as an office where Mrs. Warshaw handled all the correspondence. The Warshaws lived with the fear of a fire destroying the collection because this was their sole source of income. Insurance companies informed them that in order to insure the collection, each piece would have to be counted. As a result, the collection was never insured. A fire did occur once in the building but only a small portion of their vast holdings suffered from smoke damage.

Warshaw spent a great deal of time at the New York Public Library, museums, and historical societies, gathering ideas and information relating to his business pursuits. He never referred to his time spent researching and collecting as a hobby. As his business began to grow, he relied on as many as forty scouts across the country to hunt for material. He acquired material from companies going out of business, buildings about to be demolished, garage sales, auctions, antique shows, stamp dealers and collectors, old safes, small country merchants, and bookstores. He also advertised in catalogues for the book industry throughout the country.

Warshaw's approach at first was to purchase pieces of Americana in hope of finding a buyer. He mailed thousands of advertisements to his five hundred corporate clients. Rejected items went to a brownstone building that he referred to as his warehouse. Warshaw later discovered that there was more profit in renting materials or selling reproduction rights to the very materials he had once carted away. Companies rented objects or entire packaged displays to commemorate anniversaries, for sales conventions, annual reports, trade shows, lectures, and window displays. A few of his major clients included Johnson & Johnson, Kaiser Steel Company, the Riegel Paper Company, the American Can Company, and the Western Electric Company. Reward posters and gold-rush prints were used as props for TV westerns.

Warshaw used the collection to do various kinds of research for a number of businesses. Sometimes he investigated the history of a firm to supply it with founding dates. He found evidence of expansion and product diversification in various documents in the collection. For example, company records showed that Procter and Gamble began as a soap and candle manufacturer before it expanded to a wide variety of products.

Warshaw also had clients outside the business community. Members of the legal profession relied on his collection for various purposes. Lawyers contacted him when they wanted to convert personal property from estates to cash, and he also served as an expert witness, providing evidence in disputes involving trademarks, copyrights, and slogans.

American Heritage, Life, and other publications wishing to illustrate articles found graphics in the collection. Warshaw swapped items with local libraries and historical societies. Joseph N. Kane used the collection to document information for his book, Famous First Facts. Commenting on the many uses of his collection, Warshaw stated:

I have been fortunate. As a collector of things that now document the rapid growth of industry, I have been able to find wide use for my collection. People are beginning to realize that while the romance of war, fashion and science, for instance, is well preserved in swords, wax dolls, and fascinating models...the romance of business in the form of ledgers, sample books, posters, and tin cans tends to perish in debris. Now people come to me to illustrate histories and to get pictures of things as they were.

As Warshaw aged, he began to look for a buyer for the collection. Ralph M. Hower, at one time a professor of business at Harvard, recommended that the collection be purchased and indexed by the Baker Library at Harvard's Business School. He regarded it as a wealth of evidence on such topics specialization, diversification, and integration of business firms and the location of trade and industry.

Discussions about the Warshaw Collection among the staff of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History (then the Museum of History and Technology) began in 1961. The primary reason for the Museum's interest in purchasing the collection was to prevent the dispersal of a unique resource that could never be assembled again. In the opinions of Smithsonian staff, it provided evidence of things that could be found nowhere else.

Although negotiations for buying the collection and bringing it to the Museum began in 1966, the collection was not actually purchased and transported to the Museum until August 1967. Warshaw had moved his business several times and at the time of the sale, it was located in three rooms on the second floor of 270 West 96th Street in New York. Packing the collection took four days and it was transported to Washington by two tractor trailers.

When the collection arrived at the Museum, it consisted primarily of advertising ephemera. There were also a number of three-dimensional objects, including shoes, clothing, jewelry, furs, ashtrays, coffee and tobacco tins, carpets, patent medicines, cosmetics, hair products, paperweights, whiskey bottles, and food packages. The collection was divided into hundreds of subject headings created by Warshaw. Some of Warshaw's personal papers revealing his business transactions were included, as well as advertisements used by Warshaw to solicit business from manufacturers and retailers. Most of the rest of Warshaw's own papers were destroyed by Mrs. Warshaw when she left New York in 1973.

Following the sale of the collection to the Museum, Warshaw found himself unable to relinquish his life's work. He continued to do research for a number of old clients, relying on such sources as the public library, historical societies, collectors, and dealers in this type of material. In the process he acquired additional material. The volume of this portion of the collection was equal to the size of a station wagon. It was offered to the Museum by Mrs. Warshaw in 1971, and Museum staff went to the New Jersey home of Mrs. Warshaw's brother to pick up the new collection in November 1971.

Curators from the Museum were encouraged to spend time with the collection after its arrival to determine its content in their subject areas. At that time the collection was stored in shirt boxes. Efforts were made to put the materials in vertical document boxes, keeping them in the subject categories created by Warshaw. As time went on, it was clear that the method used by Warshaw was not adequate for research use. Warshaw located materials by hunch rather than by system and there was little cross-referencing in the collection. Not only was it inaccessible to outside researchers, but many of the objects were fragile and required more protection than they had in their original storage containers.

When the Archives Center was established in 1982, it was intended to be a repository for documents and other archival material in the Museum, assuring proper storage and a place where researchers could come to use collections.

The Warshaw Collection was one of the greatest concerns of the Archives Center because of its heavy use. In 1983 the Archives Center and the Division of Conservation worked together to develop a plan to integrate archival principles with conservation methods and techniques, thus taking the first steps in creating a re-housing project.

The first part of the re-housing project began with a survey of the collection to analyze content and condition of the materials. Faith Zieske, a conservator, conducted the survey. She chose a standard statistical analytical method, randomly using 70 vertical document boxes as samples, to analyze the entire collection. Zieske consulted both the Library of Congress Preservation Office and the conservation staff of the Folger Shakespeare Library. A plan was then developed for implementing the survey. After examining the results of the survey, Zieske developed a phased plan for reorganizing and preserving the collection.

Conservation technician Carolyn Long and museum specialist Lorene Mayo began the pilot project in the summer of 1983, testing recommendations made in the survey. During this period Long wrote guidelines for handling the collection. Long and Mayo also developed new storage containers for housing objects of unusual shape.

As the re-housing project developed, finding aids were created for the processed portions of the collection. This was a crucial step that allowed staff and researchers to find items without actually going through the collection. Archives Center staff continue to develop means of making the collection more accessible to researchers who come to the Museum to use the collection, as well as to increase awareness of the existence of the collection in the research community outside the Museum.

List of Sources

"Cashing In On Old Office Records." Business Week, (December 6, 1958).

"A Glimpse at Industrial Advertising of the 80's." Industrial Marketing, (February 1946).

Interview by Vanessa Broussard-Simmons with Mrs. Augusta Levy Warshaw and Correspondence in Control File for Warshaw Collection.

Kahn, Joseph. "Trademark Detective: The Colorful Past of American Business is the 'Beat' of a Sleuth Who has Pioneered a New Kind of History." The Rotarian, ( December 2, 1957) .

Kramer, A. Stanley. "What's Old on Madison?" Madison Avenue. (March 1961).

Menuez, Caroline Bird. "There's Gold in Your Attic." Esquire, (1946).
General:
Several specific companies or proprietors repeatedly appear in various subseries of this collection. These records were dispersed through many subseries and prior arrangement efforts, including those done by the collector as well as post-acquisition staff, which focused on a category or business name of the vendors rather than retaining the record source original provenance and order. As of 2016, there is not a plan to cull through the collection and reconstitute such records, however if such an effort was made, it would likely result in reasonably comprehensive business records for several entities. A few have been noted here but an exhaustive survey of the collection in regards to the this trend of dispersal has not been conducted.

Jacob House (occasionally with variant spellings), which often account for some of the earliest business record within the Warshaw Business Americana Collection, particularly those documents dating in the 1700s and early 1800s.

Luddington, F.L. ... (see Hardware)

Stemmeler...(see Whiskey...)

[Note to be completed, NB 2016-10-18]
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)
Provenance:
The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060, was purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Sears, Roebuck & Co. catalogs restricted due to fragile condition. Researchers should consult microfilm in NMAH library for 1880-1983 editions, drawer 692.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Insurance, Fire -- Maps  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Fires -- Insurance  Search this
Genre/Form:
Posters
Letterheads
Advertisements
Maps
Business ephemera
Calendars
Trade cards
Broadsides
Ephemera
Stationery
Advertising cards
Sheet music
Photomechanical prints
Sales catalogs
Chromolithographs
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060
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