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Alka-Seltzer Documentation and Oral History Project

Creator:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Doyle Dane Bernbach.  Search this
Jack Tinker & Associates.  Search this
Manufacturer:
Alka-Seltzer  Search this
Names:
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Miles, Franklin, Dr.  Search this
Interviewee:
Beals, Richard  Search this
Case, Eugene  Search this
Chaplin, Charles  Search this
Lawrence, Mary Wells  Search this
Interviewer:
Griffith, Barbara S., Dr.  Search this
Extent:
16 Boxes
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Audiocassettes
Publications
Commercials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Audiotapes
Business records
Place:
Elkhart (Ind.) -- 1950-1990
Date:
1953-1987
Summary:
The Alka-Seltzer Oral History and Documentation Project is a result of a one year effort supported, in part, by Miles Laboratories, Incorporated. Twenty-four oral history interviews and a variety of related materials were gathered to document Alka- Seltzer advertising, primarily from the mid-1950s to the 1980s. The project covers "Speedy" Alka-Seltzer, "Oh what a relief it is," "The Blahs," "Alka Seltzer on the rocks," and "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" campaigns
Scope and Contents:
Oral histories with individuals associated with Alka-Seltzer and its advertising campaigns are at the core of the Alka-Seltzer Documenation and Oral History Project. Conducted by Smithsonian Institution staff, the oral histories primarily examine Alka-Seltzer's innovative and memorable print and television commercials. Abstracts exist for each interview.The collection also includes background information, archival materials from Miles Laboratories, Inc., television commercials, storyboards, and company publications.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 8 series.

Series 1: Research Files, circa 1930-1986

Series 2: Interviewee Files, 1986-1987

Series 3: Oral Histories, 1986-1987

Subseries 3.1: Original Interviews

Subseries 3.2: Reference Cassettes

Subseries 3.3: Master Audio Tapes

Series 4: Miles Archives Materials, 1931-1980

Subseries 4.1: Marketing Research and Sales Data

Subseries 4.2: Alka-Seltzer Storyboards and History (Photocopies)

Subseries 4:3: Miles Advertising History and Oral History Program(photocopies)

Series 5: Company Publications, 1960-1986

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1950-1985

Series 7: Alka-Seltzer Posters, 1967-1986

Series 8: Audiovisual Materials

Subseries 8.1: Original Masters

Subseries 8.2: Reference Videos
Biographical / Historical:
The Alka-Seltzer Oral History and Documentation Project is a result of a one year effort supported, in part, by Miles Laboratories, Incorporated Twenty-four oral history interviews and a variety of related materials were gathered to document Alka- Seltzer advertising, primarily from the mid-1950s to the 1980s. The project covers "Speedy" Alka-Seltzer, "Oh what a relief it is," "The Blahs," "Alka Seltzer on the rocks," and "I can't believe I ate the whole thing" campaigns.

Miles Laboratories, Incorporated, the maker of Alka-Seltzer, and Wade Advertising of Chicago established a light-hearted advertising approach with the iconic puppet "Speedy", which had a tablet for a body and a smaller one for a hat. Speedy came to life through stop motion animation, a technique in which each of the puppet's movements was captured on a separate frame of film. The voice of Richard Beals made "Speedy" a distinctive character.

"Speedy" was a mainstay of Alka Seltzer advertising until 1964, when Miles,Incorporated took the account to Jack Tinker & Partners in New York. The agency's work for Alka-Seltzer embodied what came to be called advertising's "creative revolution," replacing the "talking heads" and "hard sell" of earlier advertising with humor, wit, and engaging storylines, even within the limits of a 30 second television spot. In 1969, the Alka Seltzer account went to Doyle, Dane, Bernbach, an agency which changed the look of print advertising during the early years of the "creative revolution." In 1970, Alka-Seltzer moved agencies to Wells, Rich, Greene, where the product's advertising came under the direction of Mary Wells Lawrence. Ms. Lawrence had worked on the Alka Seltzer account while at Tinker and continued Alka Seltzer's reputation for innovative and captivating work. In 1984 they shifted to McCann Erickson.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Miles Laboratories in 1988 and created by the Smithsonian Institution in 1986 and 1987.
Restrictions:
Researchers may use reference copies only. The interview with Charles Chaplin is restricted and may not be copied or quoted until his death.
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:
advertising -- History -- 1950-1990  Search this
Pharmaceutical industry -- 1950-1990  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Audiocassettes
Publications -- Business
Commercials
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Audiotapes -- 1950-2000
Business records -- 1950-2000
Citation:
Alka-Seltzer Oral History and Documentation Project, 1953-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0184
See more items in:
Alka-Seltzer Documentation and Oral History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0184
Additional Online Media:

[Speedy: color photoprint]

Creator:
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 9.6" x 7.3")
Container:
Box 12, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
Spokes figure for Alka-Seltzer.
Local Numbers:
AC0184-0000001 (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves.
Collection 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:
advertising  Search this
Mascots  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1950-2000 -- Color photoprints
Collection Citation:
Alka-Seltzer Oral History and Documentation Project, 1953-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Alka-Seltzer Documentation and Oral History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0184-ref823

[Alka-Seltzer Commercial Classics: b & w photoprint]

Creator:
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 10.0" x 8.1")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
Circa 1980
Scope and Contents:
Frames from twelve classic commercials.
Arrangement:
In Center for Advertising History Collection black copy photo notebook page 317. Original color poster located in map case 3 drawer 10.
Local Numbers:
AC0184-0000002 (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves.
Collection 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:
advertising  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1950-2000 -- Color photoprints
Collection Citation:
Alka-Seltzer Oral History and Documentation Project, 1953-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Alka-Seltzer Documentation and Oral History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0184-ref824

Miles Laboratories, Inc. articles

Collection Creator:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Researchers may use reference copies only. The interview with Charles Chaplin is restricted and may not be copied or quoted until his death.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Alka-Seltzer Oral History and Documentation Project, 1953-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Alka-Seltzer Documentation and Oral History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0184-ref16

Blood Glucose Test Strips, Visidex II

Maker:
Ames  Search this
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
paper (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 4 1/8 in x 1 5/8 in x 1 5/8 in; 10.4775 cm x 4.1275 cm x 4.1275 cm
overall: 10.2 cm x 4.2 cm x 4.2 cm; 4 1/32 in x 1 21/32 in x 1 21/32 in
Object Name:
blood glucose test strips
Place made:
United States: Indiana, Elkhart
Date made:
ca 1984
Product expiration date:
1986-02
ID Number:
1985.0178.01
Catalog number:
1985.0178.01
Accession number:
1985.0178
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Health & Medicine
Diabetes
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1429157
Additional Online Media:

Miles Laboratories, Inc.

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, International Exchange Service  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 502, Smithsonian Institution, International Exchange Service, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0502-refd1e11490

[Trade catalogs from Ames Co., Inc.]

Company Name:
Ames Co., Inc.  Search this
Related companies:
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Notes content:
Glucometer Reflectance Photometer ; Visidex II ; Disc Electrophoresis ; Clinitest 2-Drop Method ; Clinitest Reagent Tablets ; Clinitest Urine-Sugar Analysis Set ; Reagent Strips ; Diastix Reagent Strips ; Keto-Diastix Regent Strips ; Acetest Reagent Tablets ; Pacer Programmable Analyzer ; Spectrophotometer ; Clini-Tek Printer ; Clini-Tek Semiautomated Urine-Chemistry System ; Rialyze Hepatitis Test Kit
Includes:
Trade catalog, price lists and manual
Black and white images
Color images
Physical description:
21 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Drugs; pharmaceuticals and patent medicines  Search this
Laboratories and laboratory supplies and equipment  Search this
Measuring; calculating and testing devices  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Topic:
"Laboratories -- Furniture, equipment, etc."  Search this
Calculators  Search this
Drugs  Search this
Measuring instruments  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Patent medicines  Search this
Pharmacy  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Weighing instruments  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_35067
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_35067

[Trade catalogs from Miles Laboratories, Inc.]

Company Name:
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Related companies:
Marschall Div. ; Ames Co. ; Chemicals Div. ; Takamine Laboratory ; Subsidiary of Bayer AG ; Miles Diagnostics ; Miles Scientific ; Dome Laboratories ; Cutter Biological ; Dr. Miles Medical Co. ;  Search this
Notes content:
"Enzyme Products for Food and Industrial Processing" ; "Takamine" brand enzymes ; sodium isoascorbate ; citric acid ; "Tissue-Tek" microtome-cryostat ; biochemicals ; "Lux" "Lab-Tek" biological labware ; pharmaceuticals ; Bactine ; "One-A-Day" vitamin A and D tablets ; Dr. Miles Nervine liquid, tablets, and pills ; Aspir-Mint tablets ; Alka-Seltzer
Includes:
Trade catalog and price lists
Black and white images
Color images
Physical description:
43 pieces; 3 boxes
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Biotechnology and biochemical equipment and supplies  Search this
Chemicals and chemical products  Search this
Drugs; pharmaceuticals and patent medicines  Search this
Foods and beverage products and processing equipment (including brewing; distilleries; beer; wine; etc.)  Search this
Laboratories and laboratory supplies and equipment  Search this
Measuring; calculating and testing devices  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Topic:
"Laboratories -- Furniture, equipment, etc."  Search this
Beverage industry  Search this
Biochemical engineering  Search this
Biotechnology  Search this
Calculators  Search this
Chemicals  Search this
Distilleries  Search this
Drugs  Search this
Food industry and trade  Search this
Measuring instruments  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Patent medicines  Search this
Pharmacy  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Weighing instruments  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_29721
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_29721

[Trade catalogs from Pentex Inc.]

Company Name:
Pentex Inc.  Search this
Related companies:
Miles Laboratories, Inc. ; Pentex Biochemicals, Miles Reseach Products Division  Search this
Notes content:
Circa 1962-1969 trade lit for a maker of biochemicals and biotech products for academia, medical and industrial uses - blood protiens, enzymes, diagnostic reagens, serums, plasmas , tissue culture, etc
Includes:
Trade catalog and price lists
Black and white images
Physical description:
4 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Kankakee, Illinois, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Chemicals and chemical products  Search this
Laboratories and laboratory supplies and equipment  Search this
Biotechnology and biochemical equipment and supplies  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Topic:
"Laboratories -- Furniture, equipment, etc."  Search this
Biochemical engineering  Search this
Biotechnology  Search this
Chemicals  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_30257
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_30257

[Trade catalogs from Miles Diagnostics]

Variant company name:
West Haven, CT  Search this
Company Name:
Miles Diagnostics  Search this
Related companies:
Miles Laboratories, Inc. ; Miles Inc., Diagnostics Div. ; Miles Pharmaceutical Div.  Search this
Notes content:
"Pentex" albumins ; "Pentex" blood proteins ; "Ex-Cyte" growth enhancement media supplement ; "Glucometer 3" blood glucose monitor ; diabetes care system ; Cipro ; Adalat
Includes:
Trade catalog and price lists
Black and white images
Color images
Physical description:
14 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Kankakee, Illinois, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Biotechnology and biochemical equipment and supplies  Search this
Drugs; pharmaceuticals and patent medicines  Search this
Laboratories and laboratory supplies and equipment  Search this
Measuring; calculating and testing devices  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Topic:
"Laboratories -- Furniture, equipment, etc."  Search this
Biochemical engineering  Search this
Biotechnology  Search this
Calculators  Search this
Drugs  Search this
Measuring instruments  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Patent medicines  Search this
Pharmacy  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Weighing instruments  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_31337
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_31337

[Trade catalogs from Bayer AG]

Company Name:
Bayer AG  Search this
Related companies:
Farbenfabriken vormals Friedr. Bayer & Co. ; Cutter Laboratories Inc. (Berkeley, CA) ; Miles Laboratories Inc. ; I.G. Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft  Search this
Notes content:
Aristol ; Piperazine-Bayer ; Salophen ; Salicylic Acid ; Phenacetine-Bayer ; Trional ; Europhen ; Erophen-Aristol ; Losophan ; Sulfonal-Bayer. Biomedical products ; dies ; insect repellant ; allergy products ; veterinary products.
Includes:
Trade catalog, manual and photographs
Black and white images
Physical description:
10 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Leverkusen, Germany
Date range:
1800s-1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Chemicals and chemical products  Search this
Drugs; pharmaceuticals and patent medicines  Search this
Veterinary and pet supplies  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Biotechnology and biochemical equipment and supplies  Search this
Topic:
Biochemical engineering  Search this
Biotechnology  Search this
Chemicals  Search this
Drugs  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Patent medicines  Search this
Pet supplies  Search this
Pharmacy  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Veterinary instruments and apparatus  Search this
Veterinary medicine  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_9900
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_9900

[Trade catalogs from Dr. Miles Medical Co.]

Company Name:
Dr. Miles Medical Co.  Search this
Related companies:
Miles Laboratories, Inc. ;  Search this
Notes content:
"Dr. Miles' Restorative Nervine" for treatment of "nervous diseases" ; nervous system ; hearts ; heart disease ; "Dr. Miles' New Heart Cure" ; "Dr. Miles' Restorative Blood Purifier" ; other medicines . "Flower Gardens:" Along with advertisements for Miles' products, this brochure includes information on starting and maintaining a flower garden ; Nervine tablets and liquid for nervous disorders ; laxatives ; Asper-Mint tablets for pain relief ;
Includes:
Trade catalog and price lists
Black and white images
Color images
Physical description:
2 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Elkhart, Indiana, United States
Date range:
1800s-1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Drugs; pharmaceuticals and patent medicines  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Topic:
Drugs  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Patent medicines  Search this
Pharmacy  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_31340
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_31340

Hemastix Reagent Strips For Urinalysis

Maker:
Ames Division of Miles Laboratories Inc.  Search this
Physical Description:
orthotolidine (overall material)
cumene hydroperoxide (overall material)
Measurements:
box: 4 1/4 in x 1 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 10.795 cm x 3.81 cm x 3.81 cm
bottle: 3 3/4 in x 1 3/8 in; 9.525 cm x 3.4925 cm
Object Name:
Reagent Strips
urine testing
reagent strips
urinalysis
Subject:
Georgetown Pharmacy  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Matthew E. Donahue, M.D., in memory of Francis Donahue
ID Number:
2002.0136.011
Accession number:
2002.0136
Catalog number:
2002.0136.011
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1215745

Milumil Infant Formula

Maker:
Miles Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 7 in x 4 1/8 in; 17.78 cm x 10.4775 cm
Object Name:
vitamin coll object
infant formula
Date made:
ca 1984
ID Number:
1985.0178.06
Catalog number:
1985.0178.06
Accession number:
1985.0178
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Medicine
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1371446

[Trade catalogs from Cutter Laboratories, Inc.]

Variant company name:
Founded 1897 ; Berkeley, CA  Search this
Company Name:
Cutter Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Related companies:
Bayer & Co. ; Cutter Dental (Berkeley, CA) ; Miles Laboratories Inc. ; I.G. Farbenindustrie Aktiengesellschaft ; Cutter Biological (Elkhart, IN)  Search this
Notes content:
Cutterjet Ram Jet Handpiece ; urinary drainage systems ; enema administration units ; tubes ; catheters ; clinical bags ; incontinence products ; radiological products ; medical trays ; "CutterJel" ; Vein Amine ; "Intralipid" admixture ; "Gamimune" Immune Globulin Intravenous ; "Prolastin" ; IV and administration sets ; plasma fractions ; blood equipment ; Pen-Troches Cutter ; Dextran ; "The Microscope" publication (Vol. IX, No.4, April 1947) ; "Saftisystem" I.V.
Includes:
Trade catalog and histories
Black and white images
Color images
Physical description:
31 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Emeryville, California, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Dental equipment and supplies  Search this
Medical and surgical instruments and supplies  Search this
Topic:
Dental instruments and apparatus  Search this
Medical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Surgical instruments and apparatus industry  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_35531
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_35531

[Trade catalogs from Dome Laboratories]

Company Name:
Dome Laboratories  Search this
Related companies:
Miles Laboratories Inc.  Search this
Notes content:
"Exzit" creme, lotion, and cleanser
Includes:
Trade catalog
Physical description:
1 piece; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
West Haven, Connecticut, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Cosmetics  Search this
Topic:
Cosmetics  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_35851
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_35851

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