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Robinson and Via Family Papers

Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Names:
Capital Transit Company (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Serenity Farm, Inc.  Search this
Howes, Grace Bourne, ?-1976  Search this
Robinson, Adina Theresa, 1963-  Search this
Robinson, Amanda Baden, 1849-1940  Search this
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Robinson, Frank A., 1883-1970  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., 1841-1905  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., Sr., 1932-  Search this
Robinson, Martha Walls, 1807-1897  Search this
Robinson, Robert David, 1962-  Search this
Robinson, Robert Henry, 1851-1937  Search this
Robinson, Thomas Wells, 1803-1869  Search this
Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1880-1961  Search this
Via, Adina Mae, 1937-1966  Search this
Via, Robert Delano, 1933-  Search this
Via, Robert Milton, 1906-1983  Search this
Creator:
Conner, Mary Robinson, 1930-2009  Search this
Via, Ida Virginia Woods, 1914-2010 -- 20th century  Search this
Extent:
22.1 Cubic feet (67 boxes, 3 map-size folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Photographs
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Place:
Maryland -- Family farms
Washington (D.C.)
Prince George's County (Md.)
Arizona -- motion pictures
Benedict (Md.)
Charles County (Md.) -- Family farms
Calvert County (Md.) -- Family farms
California -- motion pictures
Bahamas -- motion pictures
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Puerto Rico -- motion pictures
Washington -- motion pictures
Oregon -- motion pictures
Disneyland (California)
Brandywine (Md.)
St. Thomas, V.I. -- motion pictures
Florida -- motion pictures
Date:
1838-2014, undated
bulk 1872-1985
Summary:
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.

The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.

This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.

The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series:

Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated

Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated

Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-1997, undated

Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated

Subseries 2.2: Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1896-1961, undated

Subseries 2.3: Robinson, Frank A., 1899-1970, undated

Subseries 2.4: Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1841-1976, undated

Subseries 2.5: Conner, Mary Robinson, 1938-1985, undated

Subseries 2.6: Robinson, Franklin A., 1932-1997, undated

Subseries 2.6.1: Farming, 1948-1976, undated

Subseries 2.6.2: Financial, 1948-1988, undated

Subseries 2.6.3: 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA), 1945-1954, undated

Subseries 2.6.4: Travel, 1959-1970, undated

Subseries 2.7: Robinson, Jr., Franklin A., 1959-2001, undated

Series 3: Serenity Farm, Charles County, Maryland, 1962-2000, undated

Series 4: Via Farm, Calvert County, Maryland, 1954-1987, undated

Series 5: Via Family, 1932-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1: Family papers, 1941-1983, undated

Subseries 5.2: Via, Robert M., 1933-1987, undated

Subseries 5.3: Via, Ida Virginia, 1928-2010, undated

Subseries 5.4: Via, Robert D., 1933-1988, undated

Subseries 5.5: Robinson, Adina Via, 1937-1966, undated

Series 6: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.1: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.2: Photographic negatives, 1927--2000, undated

Series 7: AudioVisual, 1943-1988
Biographical / Historical:
Robinson Family

The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))

James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.

James worked as overseer for Benjamin Oden on Oden's estate Bellefields near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three slaves described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)

Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as overseer for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth I. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the churchyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County. In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.

Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).

In addition to his sons, Thomas owned slaves. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six slaves, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)

In April 11, 1855 Thomas excuted a deed of trust to J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore for securing a loan. At that time the farm was described as, "about five hundred and seventy acres . . . also the following personal property to wit Eight head of horses, nine cows, two mules, twelve work oxen, twenty Eight Sheep, one bull, two colts and all other stock of every description now on the aforesaid land, also the farming utensils and the following named Slaves, Stephen aged Sixty three years, Isaac aged twenty six years, Elvia aged twenty Eight years Alfred aged twelve years, Hanson aged ten years, Henrietta aged twelve years Susanna aged eight years, and Margaret aged three years. Together with the crop of Tobacco now in the house and the crop of wheat now growing." (EWB 1 pages 155 156, Land Records of Prince Georges' County)

Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the plantation in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)

In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865. In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)

Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)

Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).

By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.

As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County. Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)

In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.

On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.

At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm. Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.

On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.

The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)

On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)

On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee. Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).

Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.

On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.

On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.

The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of MTGA, the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.

In 1985, R. David began a greenhouse business for the sale of spring flowering bedding plants and hanging baskets but currently works in conjunction with Farming 4 Hunger to grow produce for local area foodbanks. A. Theresa is involved in the daily running of the farm along with Franklin. Franklin, Jr., obtained a BFA degree in Drama from The Catholic University of America in 1981 and an MA from The American University in Film and Video Production in 1988. He was a civilian employee of the United States Air Force (USAF) from November 1981 to January 1986. He pursued a full time career as a professional actor from 1986-2007 and is a published author and produced playwright. The three siblings have been involved in community affairs, with R. David sitting on the Charles County Agricultural Preservation Board, A. Theresa having served on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Parish, Charles County, and Franklin, Jr. having served on the vestries of both Trinity Parish and St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of the Washington Literacy Council, a choir member of the choir at St. Thomas Church, among other church related posts and as chair of the Charles County Historic Preservation Commission.

Via Family

The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.

The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).

Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.

Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).

Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).

After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.

On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction). In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).

On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.

Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.

Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.

Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.

In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.

On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Separated Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.

Division of Armed Forces History (National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Farms -- Maryland  Search this
Holidays  Search this
Amusement parks -- California  Search this
Children's parties  Search this
Rural women  Search this
Sheep ranches  Search this
Parks -- California  Search this
Rural families  Search this
Tobacco -- Harvesting  Search this
Tobacco -- Storage  Search this
Street-railroads  Search this
Street-railroads -- Employees  Search this
Travel  Search this
Urban transportation  Search this
Work and family  Search this
Tobacco curing  Search this
Women in agriculture  Search this
Farm equipment  Search this
Farm buildings  Search this
Family recreation  Search this
Family festivals  Search this
Farm ownership  Search this
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farm management  Search this
Illiterate persons  Search this
Christmas  Search this
Soldiers  Search this
Students  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Family farms  Search this
Easter  Search this
Electric railroads  Search this
Acting -- 1980-2000  Search this
Amateur films  Search this
Agricultural machinery  Search this
Agriculture -- 20th century -- Maryland  Search this
Tobacco farmers  Search this
Housewives -- United States  Search this
Weddings  Search this
Farmers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Photographs -- 19th century
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0475
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0475
Additional Online Media:

Elizabeth Robinson Farm Diary

Creator:
Robinson, Franklin A., (actor,writer), Jr., 1959- (collector donor)  Search this
Author:
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Collection Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 14.0" x 11.0".)
Container:
Box 4, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Holographs
Biographies
Diaries
Place:
Maryland -- 1951-1953
Date:
1951-1953
January 1, 1951 to January 31, 1953
Scope and Contents:
January 1, 1951 / to January 31, 1953. Commercially manufactured book labeled "Day Book" on the cover. The journal details the Robinson family farm business. Elizabeth Robinson writes of the daily business of their south Maryland farm. It sheds light on the basic farm business in the Chesapeake and Maryland area.
Local Numbers:
AC0475-0000251
Collection Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Agriculture -- Maryland -- 20th century  Search this
Farming  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Holographs -- 20th century
Biographies
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0475-ref1513

Elizabeth Robinson Farm Diary

Creator:
Robinson, Franklin A., (actor,writer), Jr., 1959- (collector donor)  Search this
Author:
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Collection Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 17.0" x 11.0".)
Container:
Box 4, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Biographies
Diaries
Holographs
Place:
Maryland -- 20th century
Date:
1953-1955
February 1, 1953 to December 15, 1955
Scope and Contents:
February 1, 1953 / to December 15, 1955. In standard "Compositions" book. The journal details the Robinson family farm business. Elizabeth Robinson writes of the daily business of their south Maryland farm. It sheds light on the basic farm business in the Chesapeake and Maryland area.
Local Numbers:
AC0475-0000258
Collection Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Agriculture -- Maryland -- 20th century  Search this
Farming  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Biographies
Diaries -- 20th century
Holographs -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0475-ref1514

Scurlock Studio Records

Creator:
Rice, Moses P.  Search this
Custom Craft  Search this
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Scurlock, George H. (Hardison), 1919-2005  Search this
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Scurlock, Robert S. (Saunders), 1917-1994  Search this
Names:
Howard University -- 20th century  Search this
DuBois, W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963  Search this
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915  Search this
Extent:
200 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Dye transfer process
Studio portraits
Matrices, color separation
Photographs
Color separation negatives
Place:
Washington (D.C.) -- Small business -- 20th century
Shaw (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.) -- African Americans
Date:
1888-1996
Summary:
The collection includes approximately 250,000 photonegatives, photoprints, color transparencies from the photographic business founded by Addison Scurlock in Washington, D.C. Collection also includes business records and ephemera.
Scope and Contents:
Photographs includes portraits of famous African-American luminaries such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and many other artists, intellectuals, educators, entertainers, etc., as well as documentation of Washington, D.C., including both the African-American community and national political life, and important photographs of Howard University; also commercial photography, including color materials.

Color separation materials include sets of black-and-white color-separation negatives, sets of matrices for the Kodak Dye Transfer process (full-color Dye Transfer prints are storied in a different series).

Business records:,The photography studio records and Custom Craft records are in separate subseries, reflecting the fact that they were operated as separate businesses.

The collection includes all forms of photographs produced by the studio, such as prints in black-and-white and color, black-and-white and color negatives, color transparencies, black-and-white dye-transfer matrices, slides, etc.; as well as business documents, studio session ledgers, appointment books, business and personal correspondence, tax documents, and books, catalogs, and other publications. This material documents not only the photographic output of the business, both commercial and artistic, as well as the personal and business side of the enterprise.

Some photographs in the collection were not created by the Scurlocks. Some black-and-white and color prints seem to derive from assignments in the Capitol School of Photography, and are therefore student work. Also Custom Craft, the professional color processing service provided by the studio, made prints for other photographers, and samples for printing reference, as well as studio decor, have been retained in the collection. Custom Craft worked for such diverse photographers as artist Robert Epstein and well-known Washington photographer Fred Maroon, for example.

The collection numbers several hundred thousand photographic negatives, prints, and transparencies made by the Scurlocks and other staff photographers of the studio in its various Washington locations. The negatives are estimated at approximately 160,000-200,000 in number, and the prints of all sizes and types at nearly 57,000. The vast majority of the photographs are portraits of individuals, family groups, and organizations, as the primary business of the studio was portrait photography. They date primarily from the 1940s to 1990s. There are also a number of images, made for commercial clients, of building interiors and exteriors, and food. A small group of photojournalistic documentation also exists. The subjects also include architectural and industrial views, scenes in and around Washington, including children and street laborers, political events, social events, and 35mm slides of President Kennedy's funeral, 1964. There are also more personal artistic images, including still lifes with plants and flowers, and a few nudes; Robert's wartime service is also documented by his photographs, including European landscape photographs.

In addition to images taken by the Scurlock studio photographers, there are some prints, especially color, of images by other photographers who were clients, such as Fred Maroon, a prominent Washington photojournalist, and Robert Epstein, a teacher at the Corcoran School of Art. A print of one of Maroon's pictures had been displayed in the studio reception room at the time the studio was closed.

A large group of manuscript items, business documents, ephemera, and office and studio supplies constitutes a separate series from the photographs. An important adjunct to the photographs, a set of ledgers recording and identifying portrait sittings, highlights this group.

Nearly all of the photographs and documents stored in the studio and auxiliary storage locations were accepted for acquisition in order to form a complete history of this family business's production and operations over the better part of a century, whereas a selection of photographic apparatus and studio equipment was acquired by the Photographic History Collection: these items have been inventoried and catalogued separately.

Studio Portraits

The majority of the surviving photographic negatives and proof prints were made in connection with the studio's portrait work for a wide variety of clients. These portraits include images of famous people, such as political figures, entertainers, and noteworthy persons in a variety of fields, including scientists, writers, intellectuals, and academics. The majority of the figures depicted among both the famous and the not so famous are black. The greatest number of studio portraits, most of which are identified and dated, depict a general clientele who visited the studio for portrait sittings. Although the individual images in this vast quantity have limited research value in the usual sense, the aggregate represents a chronology spanning almost ninety years, which may be useful for demographic and genealogical information and as visual evidence of changing styles in clothing, hair, and accessories. It constitutes a panorama of a significant percentage of Washingtonians of the period, especially the black community.

Portraits of famous personages include George Washington Carver, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, Marian Anderson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Mayor Walter Washington, and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, Mayor Marion Barry, D.C. Council members, statesmen such as Ralph Bunche, and many other noteworthy figures. Of particular interest is a signed group portrait of the U.S. Supreme Court with Chief Justice Berger presiding. There are also large- format portraits of Justice Thurgood Marshall and J. Edgar Hoover.

Group portraits include both formal sittings and the informal documentation of banquets, convocations, and similar events. This material includes groups at Howard University; Dunbar High School; the Post Office Clerks' Banquet; the Bishops' Meeting of the A.M.E. Church; a Y.M.C.A. camp, ca. 1947 1949; the 23rd annual conference of the N.A.A.C.P., 1932, etc.

Howard University

Several thousand black and white negatives and prints, 1930s-1960s, depict the people, facilities, and events of Howard University, with which the Scurlocks had a long business relationship. There are various portraits, including Howard University Medical School, represented by 850 negatives and 100 prints. A group of law school and medical school images numbers some 800 negatives and 200 prints. In addition, there are class portraits, as well as images of famous guests speaking at Howard convocations, such as President Herbert Hoover.

Wedding Photography

An important aspect of any portrait studio's output is wedding photography, and the Scurlock studio was no exception. Bridal portraits, group pictures of wedding parties, and the complete documentation of weddings, in both black and white and color, constitute a significant part of the collection. African-American weddings predominate and provide important insights into this aspect of the society.

Exhibitions

The studio's work was shown in special public exhibitions over the years, and several of these are included in toto. The most important was an extensive retrospective display of 121 prints of Addison's work, both vintage and posthumous, prepared by Robert for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1976. Others include: (1) a set of 32 black and white images made by Robert at the Ramitelli Air Base, Italy, while he was a major in the U.S. Air Force during World War II; (2) a group of portraits from a Black History Month exhibit at Woodward and Lothrop; and (3) a set of sixteen vintage and modern prints which Robert displayed in an interview on the "Today" television show in the 1980s.

Commercial Work

This category includes architectural and industrial photography for commercial clients, food and still life photographs, etc. Much of this material is comparatively recent and was made in large format color, and includes transparencies and enlargements. It is possible that some of the prints represent Custom Craft work for other photographers rather than the camera work of Robert and George Scurlock. Thus far, prints by artist Robert Epstein have been identified as extra prints of his work from orders which he placed with the firm. At least one image by Fred Maroon has been identified.

A group of color prints constitutes copies of artworks, primarily in the National Portrait Gallery, for which the Scurlocks worked. Prints in 8" x 10", 11" x 14", 16" x 20" and 20" x 24" sizes are included, and undoubtedly negatives and transparencies corresponding to these subjects will be found.

Photojournalism

In addition to the formal studio portraits and pictures documenting formal events, the Scurlocks took candid photographs of the everyday life of their city, as well as extraordinary events of local and national significance, ranging from occasions such as John F. Kennedy's funeral and the 1968 riots to political rallies and demonstrations.

Capitol School of Photography

The collection includes a variety of materials, such as books and ephemera, which document the activities of the Capitol School of Photography, a sideline of the Scurlock business. Some of the photographs apparently represent student work. The most famous student of the school was Jacqueline Bouvier (later Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), although no documentation of her association with the school has been located thus far. There are 45 photographs, ca. 1950s, showing the photography lab, men retouching prints, students with cameras, etc.

Personal Photographs

A few photographs of the Scurlock family are included in the collection in various forms and formats, including enlarged portraits of Addison and Robert. A self portrait of Addison and Mamie Scurlock is included in the Corcoran Gallery of Art exhibition series. Other photographs which represent personal artistic expression, such as a few nude studies and floral and plant still lifes, are included.

Series 6 includes: subseries 1 transparencies, subseries 2 slides, and subseries 3 other formats, which is rolled film of black and white and color negatives, and transparencies.
Series 1: Black and White Photographs:
Dates -- 1888-1993

Extent -- 105 boxes

Contents -- Series 1: Black and White Photographs: The materials are almost entirely black and white photographs, but in the subseries of clients, there may also be job envelopes, order materials, and other photographic material types that were included in the overall order. The series is arranged into two subseries, clients and subjects, and both are arranged alphabetically. The subseries clients documents the orders made by clients of the Scurlock Studio and individuals who were or could be identified but may or may not have actually placed an order at the Studio. The majority of the photographs in the clients subseries are formal portrait sittings but there are photographs of events, organizations, and businesses. The subseries subjects are photographs that were grouped into categories because no known client or individual in the image could be identified. The subjects cover a broad array of subjects but the majority of the subjects include unidentified people in formal portrait sittings and groups. In addition, not all photographs in this series were taken by the Scurlock Studio; there are photos by Abdon Daoud Ackad and other studios or photographers that were sent in to make copies. 1.1: Clients Black and white photographs1.2: Subjects Black and white photographs
Series 2: Color Photographs:
Dates -- 1930-1995

Extent -- 113 boxes

Contents -- Series 2: Color Photographs: The series color photographs consists of color photographs and hand-colored photographs, but there are also order envelopes and materials, and other photographic material types that were part of the order. The subseries are arranged as clients, subjects, weddings, and hand-colored photographs. Clients are arranged alphabetically by last name or the first word of an organization's name. Not all individuals, organizations, or businesses necessarily represent a client of the Scurlock Studio; if an individual or organization could be identified, the photograph was placed under the identified person or organization even if ther were not a known client of the Studio. The majority of the photographs are individual portrait sittings but also included are family portraits, businesses, organizations, and informal images. The subjects are arranged alphabetically, and document images of non-humans and humans that could not be connected to a known client. Weddings and hand-colored are arranged in alphabetical order with clients preceeding subjects. The were a large subject of the overall collection and the majority of weddings are color photographs but also included in the subseries are black and white and hand-colored photographs of weddings. The hand-colored photographs largely reflect the same subject matter of the subseries clients and subjects. In addition, not all photographs in this subseries were taken by the Scurlock Studio; there are photos by Abdon Daoud Ackad and other studios or photographers that were sent in to make copies. 2.1: Clients Color photographs2.2: Subjects Color photographs2.3: Weddings2.4: Hand-colored photographs
Series 3: Framed Prints:
Dates -- circa 1979

Extent -- 3 boxes

Contents -- Series 3: Framed Prints: The series framed prints includes three framed color photographs. The framed prints are arranged by the size, from smallest to largest, of the frame. The photographs are of two important political figures: Washington, D. C., Mayor Marion Barry and Senator Edward Brooke.
Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives:
Dates -- 1900-1994

Extent -- 320 boxes

Contents -- Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives: The material type of the series is black and white silver gelatin negatives. The negatives are arranged into twelve subseries. The materials document the clients and individuals whose photographs were taken by the Scurlock Studio and a wide variety of subject matters. The subjects represented are individual portrait sittings, organizations, events, businesses, commercial ventures of the Studio, and Washington, D. C. 4.1: Black and white negatives 4.2: Black and white negatives in freezers arranged by job number 4.3: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by client 4.4: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by subject 4.5: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by job number 4.6: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by client 4.7: Negatives in cold storage arranged by client with index cards 4.8: Negatives in cold storage arranged by subject 4.9: Black and white negatives for publication 4.10: Glass Plate Negatives 4.11: Customcraft Negatives 4.12: Banquet Negatives
Series 5: Color Negatives:
Dates -- 1964-1994

Extent -- 72 boxes

Contents -- Series 5: Color Negatives: The series color negatives primarily of color negatives but it also includes order envelopes and materials. The series is arranged into two subseries: clients and subjects. The subseries clients is arranged by job number, and the materials document the orders placed by clients of the Scurlock Studio and identified persons and organizations. The negatives depict individual portrait sittings, groups, and informal poses. The subseries subjects is arranged in alphabetical order, and the materials document negatives that could not be connected to a client of the studio. The negatives represent subjects such as art, buildings, commercial ventures of the Scurlock Studio, and unidentified people. 5.1: Color negatives arranged by client5.2: Color negatives arranged by subject
Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats:
Dates -- 1922-1994

Extent -- 40 boxes

Contents -- Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats: The series color transparencies, slides, and other formats consists of black and white and color transparencies, color slides, film, proofs, and order materials. The materials are arranged into four subseries: transparencies, slides, film, and proofs. The subseries are arranged by clients, in alphabetical order by last name, and then subjects, in alphabetical order. The materials document the orders placed at the Scurlock Studio by clients and identified individuals and organizations, and materials that could not be identified and are categorized by subjects. The subjects represented in the materials are primarily individual, family, and group portraits, and events and places. Cut but unmounted slides were typically placed in the subseries transparencies but a small number of cut but unmounted slides are included in the slides. The subseries proofs only contains a form of proof used by the Scurlock Studio that has a fugitive image, and other types of proofs printed on low quality paper or are water-marked and have a lasting image were included in the series Black and White Photographs and Color Photographs if the proof was either black and white or color. 6.1: Transparencies6.2: Slides6.3: Film6.4: Proofs
Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices:
Dates -- 1955-1957

Extent -- 7 boxes

Contents -- Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices: The materials in the series are black-and-white color separation negatives and a booklet about how to process black-and-white color separation negatives. The materials are arranged into three subseries: clients, subjects, and the booklet. The materials document orders placed at the Scurlock Studio by clients and individuals and organizations that could be identified but not connected to a specific order. The materials also document negatives categorized by subjects because there was no known client or identifiable individual or organization. The subjects represented are individual portrait sittings and groups, and unidentified people. 7.1: Clients Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives 7.2: Subjects Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives Booklet
Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records:
Dates -- 1907-1996

Extent -- 66 boxes

Contents -- Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records: The series Scurlock Studio Business Records contains paperwork pertaining to the administration of the business, the financial documentation of the business, the reocrds of sales, the advertising signs and promotions of hte business, the files kept on employees, and other materials kept at the Scurlock Studio. The series is arranged into six subseries: administrative file, financial, sales, advertising and marketing, employee and personnel, and office files. Each subseries is arranged differently according to the types of materials predominantly found in the subseries or in chronological order. The subjects represented in the series are mostly related to the financial records of the Scurlock Studio kept and the invoices of sales records. A wide variety of other subjects relating to the the business records of the Scurlock Studio can also be found including: session registers, construction plans, advertisements for specific holidays, and product information sent to the Studio. Some materials found in this series may be marked Scurlock Studio and Custom Craft, the color division of the Scurlock Studio, and were placed with this series because the Scurlock Studio was the primary business. Other materials with an unclear origin of either the Scurlock Studio or Custom Craft were placed in this series. 8.1: Administrative Files8.2: Financial8.3: Sales8.4: Advertising and Marketing8.5: Employee and Personnel8.6: Office Files
Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records:
Dates -- 1951-1994

Extent -- 57 boxes

Contents -- Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records: The series Custom Craft Business Records consists of paper documents relating to the administrative, financial, sales records, employee and personnel, and other files about the affairs of the Custom Craft business's day-to-day operations. The materials are arranged into five subseries: administrative, financial, sales, employee and personnel, and office files. The materials within a subseries are ordered by types of documents that consisted of a large number of materials listed first and materials with few documents following the grouped materials in chronological order. The materials document the day-to-day business of Custom Craft. The subjects represented are documents relating to the administration of the business, journals kept to document finances, the order invoices, the files kept about employees, product information, and materials accumulated in the office. Some documents may list both the Scurlock Studio and Custom Craft and were kept with the business records of Custom Craft if the materials appeared to fit the activities, color photography, of that business. Other documents relating to the business affairs of Custom Craft may be in the series Scurlock Studio Business Records because these documents did not clearly indicate which business the documents belonged to; in these cases, the materials were put in the series Scurlock Studio Business Records because the business was the primary business of the Scurlocks. There business records seem to indicate that there was not always a clear differentiation between the two businesses. 9.1: Administrative9.2: Financial9.3: Sales9.4: Employee and Personnel9.5: Office files
Series 10: Capitol School of Photography:
Dates -- 1948-1954

Extent -- 4 boxes

Contents -- Series 10: Capitol School of Photography: The series Capitol School of Photography consists of paper documents, photographs, and transparencies. The materials are arranged in chronological order and document the administration of the Capitol School of Photography and the students. The subjects represented are administrative documents, student files, photographs by students, photographs of students and the space used for the School, and transparencies of the same subjects.
Series 11: Washington Stock:
Dates -- 1981-1994

Extent -- 2 boxes

Contents -- Series 11: Washington Stock: The series Washington Stock consists of order materials, orders, and published materials. The materials are arranged chronologically and document the orders placed for Washington Stock and how the materials were used and published. The subjects represented are orders, standard forms used by Washington Stock, and published materials.
Series 12: Background Materials and Publications:
Dates -- 1902-1995

Extent -- 18 boxes

Contents -- Series 12: Background Materials and Publications: The series Background Materials and Publications is composed of paper documents, published materials, and materials from exhibitions. The materials are arranged into four subseries: historical and background information, Scurlock images, reference materials, and exhibition materials. The materials document the Scurlocks, published Scurlock images, published materials lacking Scurlock images, exhibitions of Scurlock images, and other exhibitions of related material. The subjects represented are largely materials related to the Scurlocks' photography and personal interests. Images were placed in the subseries Scurlock images if the photograph was credited to the Scurlocks or was a photograph known to have been taken by the Scurlocks; it is possible that uncredited and less well known images taken by the Scurlocks are present in the subseries reference materials. 12.1: Historical and Background Information12.2: Scurlock Images12.3: Reference Materials12.4: Exhibition Materials
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 12 series.

This collection was processed with numerous changes in arrangement and numbering of boxes. Original box numbers have been retained in this finding aid for cross-reference purposes and to assist anyone with a record of photographs according to the original box numbers.
Biographical / Historical:
The Scurlock photographic studio was a fixture in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1994, and encompassed two generations of photographers, Addison N. Scurlock (1883-1964) and his sons George H. (1920- 2005) and Robert S. (1916-1994).

The turn of the twentieth century saw a mass exodus of African Americans from the South to northern cities in search of better employment opportunities and fairer racial treatment. Although many considered Washington to be the northern-most southern city, it still offered opportunities for African Americans leaving seasonal agricultural work and racial oppression in the South. In Washington, African Americans found stable employment with the U.S. government. In addition, Howard University offered African Americans teaching opportunities, college education, and professional training as doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, and ministers. By 1900 a substantial African-American middle class existed in Washington. Despite the fact that Washington was a historically and legally segregated city (and would remain so into the 1960s), this middle class population continued to grow and prosper.

After graduation from high school, Addison Scurlock moved from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C., with his family in 1900. With a keen interest in photography, he sought out an apprenticeship at the white-owned Moses Rice Studio on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Rice brothers (Amos and Moses) had been in Washington working as photographers since the 1860s and had one of the more prominent and better studios in the city. There Addison learned portrait and general photography. In 1904, he left Rice and began his photographic career at his parents' home. By 1911, when he opened the Scurlock Studio, he had already captured the likeness of Booker T. Washington (1910; see Appendix B), most likely his most well-known portrait. Scurlock quickly identified his market: a self-sufficient African-American community which included students, graduates, and educators affiliated with Howard University; poets; writers; intellectuals; musicians and entertainers; politicians; socialites; fraternal and religious organizations and their leaders. The Scurlock Studio, located at 900 U Street, N.W., became a fixture in the midst of the thriving African-American business community. As with his white counterparts on Pennsylvania Avenue and F Street, N.W., Addison Scurlock inspired passers-by with window displays of his photographs of national leaders and local personalities.

During the 1930s, Addison Scurlock's two sons Robert and George apprenticed in the studio. In addition to portrait and general photography, the sons learned the techniques of retouching negatives and photographic prints, hand-coloring, hand-tinting, and mat decoration. George concentrated on the commercial side of the business while Robert concentrated on the portrait side. The Scurlocks' work changed with the times. From the early 1900s until Addison's death in 1964, the Scurlock Studio was the official photographer of Howard University. In the 1930s the studio began a press service and prepared newsreels on African American current events for the Lichtman Theater chain, which offered some of the few non-segregated venues in the city. Their press service supplied the African-American press with newsworthy photographs of current events, personalities, and social, political, and religious life. Clients included the Norfolk Journal and Guide, Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Cleveland Call and Post and the Washington Tribune and Afro-American. George and Robert ran the Capitol School of Photography from 1948 to 1952. Included among their students were African-American veterans under the G.I. Bill, Ellsworth Davis, who later worked as a Washington Post photographer and Bernie Boston of the Los Angeles Times. Perhaps their best-known student was the young Jacqueline Bouvier.

In 1952 Robert opened Washington's first custom color lab. Capitalizing on his knowledge of color processing, Robert was asked to take color portraits of both noted and ordinary individuals. In addition, the studio offered color views of important Washington landmarks and monuments. By the 1960s, Robert added magazine photography to his list of talents, publishing images in Life, Look, and Ebony. Robert continued photographing Washingtonians at his studio until his death in 1994.

According to George Scurlock, the Scurlock studio never had substantial competition in the African American community. Some Washington residents remember it differently, however. Dr. Theodore Hudson, a retired Howard University professor, recalled two other black photographers: Sam Courtney and a man named Sorrell. He said Courtney photographed events in the African American community...?

The collection represents the most comprehensive record of any long-lived, let alone African-American, photography studio, in a public institution. Other twentieth century studio collections exist, such as Robinson Studio, Grand Rapids; Hughes Company, Baltimore, Md. Among African American studio collections in public institutions are James Van Der Zee (New York City, 1912-80s), P.H. Polk (Tuskegee), and the Hooks Brothers (Memphis, Tenn., 1910-1975). The Scurlock Collection covers a greater time period and provides greater depth of coverage of African-American events and personages.

A number of articles have been written about the Scurlock family. Jane Freundel Levey, editor of Washington History magazine, believes that the family went beyond the artful use of light, shadow, and composition. She wrote, "Perhaps the most distinctive hallmark of the Scurlock photograph is the dignity, the uplifting quality of the demeanor of every person captured by photographs who clearly saw each subject as above the ordinary."

Constance McLaughlin Green, one of the leading historians of Washington, D.C., talks about African-American Washington as "the Secret City," a separate world with institutions of its own that remained virtually unknown to the white majority. Addison Scurlock and his sons captured that world on film and in doing so, documented that world in the course of running his business and perfecting his art. Steven C. Newsome, director of the Maryland Commission on Afro-American History and Culture stated that The Scurlocks' photograph "Gave us connections. They tell stories. They let us remember."

The collection includes photographs of the nationally famous Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Marian Anderson; the locally or regionally important: P.B.S. Pinchback, Judge Miflin Gibbs, Col. Jim Lewis, Ernest Just, Anna J. Cooper; and actors, artists, vaudevillians, and musicians such as Fredi Washington, Madame Lilian Evanti, Oakley & Oakley, and Duke Ellington.

Sources

George Scurlock. Interview conducted by David Haberstich and intern Lora Koehler at Mr. Scurlock's apartment, Aug. 2003.

Theodore Hudson, conversation with David Haberstich in the Archives Center, 2 February 2004.

Jane Freundel Levey, "The Scurlock Studio," Washington History, 1989, p. 44.

Robert S. Scurlock, "An Appreciation of Addison N. Scurlock's Photographic Achievements," The Historic Photographs of Addison N. Scurlock. Washington, D.C.: The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1986 (exhibition catalog).
Materials at Other Organizations:
The Historical Society of Washington, D.C. holds Scurlock-related materials.
Materials in the National Museum of American History:
Cameras and other photographic apparatus, studio furniture, and miscellaneous ephemera from the Scurlock studio are in the History of Photography Collection. An adding machine from the studio is in the Museum's mathematics collection. See accessions 1997.0293 and 2010.0157.
Provenance:
The Museum purchased the Scurlock Studio Records from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, through Judge Marjorie Lawson in 1997. During the period of negotiation between the museum and Robert Scurlock's heirs, his widow Vivian and brother George, the collection was on loan to the Museum and was housed primarily in a closed exhibition area on the second floor. Staff of the Archives Center took physical possession of the collection long before the transfer to the Museum was final. The studio records and photographs were housed principally in the 18th Street studio and in two rental storage facilities. The primary move of the collection to the Museum occurred in September 1995. An additional pickup occurred on February 12, 1996 (on tags). There was probably one additional pickup from the studio by David Haberstich and Caleb Fey on an unrecorded date.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Series 8: Business Records, Subseries 8.1: Studio Session Registers are restricted. Digital copies available for research. See repository for details.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Rights:
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Portraits -- 20th century  Search this
Politicians -- 20th century  Search this
Segregation  Search this
Commercial photography -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C)  Search this
Photography -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
African Americans -- History -- 20th century  Search this
African American entertainers -- 20th century  Search this
African American photographers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Dye transfer process
Studio portraits
Matrices, color separation
Photographs -- 20th century
Color separation negatives
Citation:
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0618
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0618
Additional Online Media:

Frank A. Robinson Farm Diary

Creator:
Robinson, Franklin A., (actor,writer), Jr., 1959- (collector donor)  Search this
Author:
Robinson, Frank A., 1883-1970  Search this
Collection Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 9.4" x 14.6".)
Type:
Archival materials
Biographies
Diaries
Holographs
Place:
Maryland -- 20th century
Date:
1917-1918
January 1, 1917 to January 1, 1918
Scope and Contents:
January 1, 1917 / to January 1, 1918. Ragged label pasted on cover with Robinson's name and the dates of the hournal. .The journal details Frank A. Robinson's family farm business. He writes of the daily business expenses of their south Maryland farm. It sheds light on the basic farm business in the Chesapeake and Maryland area.
Arrangement:
In Box 4, Folder 8.
Local Numbers:
AC0475-0000268.tif (AC scan)
Collection Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Agriculture -- Maryland -- 20th century  Search this
Farming  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Biographies
Diaries -- 20th century
Holographs -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0475-ref1516

"Remember -- Only You...." Smokey Bear 40th Anniversary Booklet

Author:
United States Dept. of Agriculture Forest Service  Search this
Subject:
National Zoological Park (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian Institution and United States Department of Agriculture, Forest Service  Search this
Physical description:
Number of Images: 13; Color: Color; Size: 7.83w x 10.488h and12.573w x 9.73h; Type of Image: Book; Medium: Paper
Type:
Paper
Book
Place:
United States, DC, Washington
Date:
1984
20th century
Topic:
Bears  Search this
Smokey Bear  Search this
Advertising--Forest fire prevention  Search this
Nature conservation  Search this
Anniversaries  Search this
Posters  Search this
Publicity  Search this
Standard number:
SIA2019-000003 and SIA2019-000004 and SIA2019-000005 and SIA2019-000006 and SIA2019-000007 and SIA2019-000008 and SIA2019-000009 and SIA2019-000010and SIA2019-000011 and SIA2019-000012 and SIA2019-000013 and SIA2019-000014 and SIA2019-000015
Restrictions & Rights:
No restrictions
Data Source:
Smithsonian Archives - History Div
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sic_14929

Bobcat Company Records

Creator:
Nelson, Scott  Search this
Bobcat Company  Search this
Extent:
24 film reels
56 Cubic feet (128 boxes, 8 oversized folders)
10 electronic discs (cd)
5 electronic discs (dvd)
14 videocassettes (betacamsp)
38 videocassettes (u-matic)
9 videocassettes (vhs)
1 videocassettes (digital betacam)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Film reels
Electronic discs (cd)
Electronic discs (dvd)
Videocassettes (betacamsp)
Videocassettes (u-matic)
Videocassettes (vhs)
Videocassettes (digital betacam)
DVDs
Compact discs
Christmas cards
Awards
Advertisements
Posters
Stickers
Tickets
Videocassettes
Photographs
Placemats
Invitations
Newsletters
Greeting cards
Place:
West Fargo (North Dakota)
Gwinner (North Dakota)
Date:
1940s-2009
Summary:
The Bobcat Company Records document a post-war invention process and American manufacturing system through the case study of a dynamic machine, the Bobcat skid-steer loader. The records focus primarily on Bobcat's products, marketing, and advertising through product literature, photographs, advertisements, posters, newsletters, and audiovisual materials.
Scope and Contents:
The records are divided into ten series which document a post-war invention process and American manufacturing system, through the case study of a dynamic machine, the Bobcat skid-steer loader. The records focus primarily on Bobcat's products, marketing, and advertising through product literature, photographs, advertisements, posters, newsletters, and audiovisual materials.

Series 1, Historical Background, 1965-2007 and undated, is divided into nine subseries: Subseries 1, Company Histories, 1965-1996 and undated; Subseries 2, Organizational Materials, 1970s-2003 and undated; Subseries 3, Factories/Plants, 1965-1996; Subseries 4, Union Materials, 1971, 2005-2007; Subseries 5, Kaizen Materials, 2003-2004 and undated; Subseries 6, Company Christmas Cards, 1965-1974 and undated; Subseries 7, Company Picnics, 1966-1979; Subseries 8, Awards, 1969-1988; and Subseries 9, Subject Files, 1963-1985.

Subseries 1, Company Histories, 1965-1998 and undated, consists of published and unpublished accounts of the early history of Melroe Manufacturing and its corporate evolution. Of note is the undated A Modern Guide to North Dakota. This guidebook is intended for "foreign" visitors (anyone from Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia or outside the city limits of Gwinner, North Dakota) and provides historical background as well as information on the many diverse and interesting aspects of North Dakota.

Subseries 2, Organizational Materials, 1970s-2003 and undated, consists of mission statements, codes of conduct, a corporate directory, organizational charts, and letterhead. The organizational chart, while marketing and sales specific, does provide an overview of the company's administrative functions.

Subseries 3, Factories/Plants, 1965-1996, includes information about each plant.Factories represented include Belcourt, Bismarck, Cooperstown, and Gwinner, North Dakota; and Fort Benton, Montana. The materials document each plant and consist of a range of formats from articles and clippings to birthday cards, highway maps, fact sheets, field trip schedules, histories of the plant, service awards, product literature, guides, press releases, and employee information.

The Belcourt Plant was home to Melroe Manufacturing's welding division. Dedicated in 1975 at the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (Chippewa Tribe), this plant was established to relieve the Bismarck Plant of a heavy workload in welding requirements. The plant closed in the 1980s.

The Fort Benton Plant manufactured thirty-two different models of chisel plows under Clark Equipment Company's Melroe Division for Ag Products. The Fort Benton Plant closed in 1982.

The Bismarck Plant served as Melroe Manufacturing's headquarters for the three Ag Product Plants: Bismarck, Benton, and Cooperstown. Opened in 1973, the Bismarck Plant made grain drills, the windrow pick-up combine attachment, the automatic reset plow and plow packers, and crop sprayer (the Spra-Coupe). The Bismarck Plant closed in 2009.

The Cooperstown Plant also manufactured Ag products such as grain augers, swathers, field sprayers, machinery trailers, raw crop harvesters, grain drill packers, steel buildings, and aluminum grain boxes. The best known products produced at this plant were the steel teeth for making hay stacks and the automatic reset moldboard plow. The plant also fabricated parts and components for the Bobcat skid-steer loader. Of note in the Cooperstown Plant materials are a black-and-white advertisement and programmatic brochures for Clark Equipment Company's 1975 International Teenage Exchange Program. Five teenagers from "Clark North America" were selected to live with Clark families in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, or Germany. The Cooperstown Plant closed in 1977.

The Gwinner Plant remains open today and is the main manufacturing facility for Bobcat of North America. The Gwinner folder contains a high school paper title "Melroe" by Craig Allen Knudson, undated, and remarks given at a Dealer Advisory Council Meeting by Jim Strande about the "B Series" from the Engineering Department.

Subseries 4, Union Materials, 1971, 2005-2007, includes information about the United Steel Workers Local 560, the union that is currently in place at the Bobcat Company. Employees formally voted to unionize on April 2, 1970, under the Allied Industrial Workers (A.I.W.). In the early 1990s, the A.I.W. was becoming too small and could no longer provide the best financial backing or representation to Melroe employees, and therefore the employees decided to merge with the United Paperworkers International Union (U.P.I.U.). In 2005, the U.P.I.U. decided to merge with the delegates of the United Steel Workers of America and form the United Steelworkers (U.S.W.). Today, the Bobcat Company is represented by the U.S.W. in District 11 which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The materials in this subseries consist of United Steel Workers Local 560 handbooks and agreements as well as authorized announcements from the local union members and Bobcat management that were posted for employees to read. These announcements/fliers were placed in authorized areas at the factory in Gwinner. There is one grievance record from 1971 detailing the request that certain jobs be posted so personnel can bid for the position.

Subseries 5, Kaizen Materials, 2003-2004 and undated, contains materials related to the Kaizen process, which is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the chief operating officer to the assembly line workers. These materials include An Introduction to the Bobcat Production System ( BPS), undated, and a booklet that provides a road map to all Bobcat employees in utilizing "lean" concepts versus traditional mass production manufacturing. The BPS is intended to redesign production systems, machinery and labor to be as efficient as possible. Other documents include copies of power point slides and materials from a Kaizen workshop.

Subseries 6, Company Christmas Cards, 1965-1974 and undated, includes Christmas cards sent by the Bobcat Company as well as "mock-ups" of cards created by Flint Communications. The Bobcat Company purchased merchandise from companies that specialized in promotional and specialty gifts. Additonal information from those companies is included in this subseries.

Subseries 7, Company Picnics, 1966-1979, contains information about the company's annual family picnic or "family feast" at Lisbon Park in Lisbon, North Dakota. The picnics typically included a program (musical entertainment), games for children, prizes, and a softball game. The documentation includes fliers announcing the picnic, tickets, and receipts and memos detailing the prizes available and the associated costs. Prizes included, but were not limited to, portable televisions, drills, binoculars, cookware, cameras, bicycles, camping equipment, vacuums, and clocks.

Subseries 8, Awards, 1969-1988, contains information about awards given to the Bobcat Company from external organizations as well as individual awards given by the company to its employees. The Export "E" Award is bestowed by the United States Department of Commerce. Awarded for success in boosting sales of American products abroad, Melroe Manufacturing won this honor in 1969 for its increased sales of farm implements and industrial equipment to Canadian and European markets. Material about the 'E" Award includes newspaper clippings and articles, presentation remarks, and photographs. The United States Senate Productivity Award is administered through the United States Senate Commerce Committee. Each United States senator is allowed to select one winner every year. The program was established to encourage competiveness in American industry and ensure its survival in the international marketplace through increased productivity. In 1984, Senator Mark Andrews (R) announced that the Melroe Division of Clark Equipment Company was a recipient of the Productivity Award. The file contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, black-and-white photographs of the presentation, a tour of the factory in Gwinner, North Dakota, and the medal itself. There are other files about awards that recognize employees: Employee Recognition Service Awards, Patents Awards Recognition Dinner, and the 1000 Club. These materials contain lists of awardees, award programs, invitations, and napkins.

Subseries 9, Subject Files, 1963-1985, captures a varity of documentation associated with the company's corporate structure such as testimonials from owners and users of Bobcat skid-steer loaders, the first invoice for the Bobcat skid-steer loader (1963), the celebration of the 100,000th Bobcat skid-steer loader being produced and the "Melroe Mission to Japan." In 1985, a cross-sectional group of Melroe employees were selected to tour Japanese manufacturing plants and examine new concepts in both manufacturing and engineering. The lessons learned from this valuable trip were implemented at Bobcat and ultimately manifested themselves in the Kaizen materials. See Series 1, Subseries 4. The report, Bobcat Reports: The Melroe Mission to Japan contains employee observations about the trip, insights into similarities and difference between Japanese plants and Melroe plants; life style differences; and what it meant individually to the employee.

Series 2, Clark Equipment Company, 1965-1994, contains documentation about the Clark Equipment Company, one of the largest producers of material handling equipment. There are three subseries: Subseries 1, Company Histories, 1965-1978, (not inclusive); Subseries 2, Annual Reports, 1974-1994 (not inclusive); and Subseries 3, Employee Information, undated. The histories consist of typescript documents that were used for various presentations as well as a printed history, "Growing Up with Clark," Clark Magazine, spring 1978, by Steve Lokker. The employee information contains an employee handbook titled "Your Circle of Security" detailing total compensation of pay, benefits, and career opportunities at Clark, and a Guide to Maintaining Non-Union Status and Combating Union Organizational Attempts, undated. The annual reports, 1974-1994, also include information about quarterly report and annual meeting summaries.

Series 3, Newsletters, 1965-2009, consists of published newsletters for both internal and external distribution. Arranged alphabetically by title, the newsletters represent a variety of Bobcat Company news items aimed at specific audiences such as current employees, former employees (alumni), dealers, prospective customers, and the industry. For example, Bobcat Briefs, a monthly publication, contains information for and about Melroe Manufacturing Company employees. The Summit (Bobcat Sales Masters) a monthly newsletter designed for salesmen at varying levels, allowed them to stay up-to-date on their progress in the Sales Masters Program. It was created to recognize the achievements of retail salesmen. Additional newsletters targeted at salesmen/dealers include the Bobcat's Pajamas, Feller Buncher Toppers, Melroe Scoop, Winners Circle, Territory Tales and Worksaver. Worksaver is published four times a year and sent directly to a dealer's mailing list of customers and prospects. Worksaver is part of the Bobcat Company's co-op advertising program, with the single most important feature being the ability to target the Bobcat sales message. Newsletters aimed at employees include Bobcat Briefs, Bobcat Messages, Melroe Pick-up, Clark Pick-up, Melroe and Messages. The only newsletter not represented in this series is the Spra-Coupe Reporter. See series 8 for this newsletter.

Series 4, Photographs, Negatives, Slides and Transparencies, 1960-2003 and undated, contains photographs, negatives, slides, and transparencies. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order following the original filing scheme created by the Bobcat Company. The only exception to this order is "Products" which are filed numerically by model number. For example, the B300 (Loader Backhoe), 2005, is filed before the 310 (Skid Steer Loader), 1977. Each model is identified parenthetically. The bulk of the materials consists of photographs, both black-and-white and color prints documenting the company's activities. They were created and assembled by Ernie Feland, the company's photographer for 37 years.

The images document almost every aspect of the company and its culture. Included are: products, employees, company picnics and outings, factory activities, trade shows, and dealerships. Well documented are the various company outings and activities that involved dealers and vendors. Elaborate theme-based activities were created for the dealers/vendors which were the highlight of the year. The company fostered a "family friendly" atmosphere and this is evident in the images. Many of the photographs documenting company products show the product in use in various industries and with various attachments. For example, there are photographs of skid-steer loaders removing snow, moving fertilizer, drilling holes, and hauling dirt.

Series 5, Dealer Materials, 1964-2003, documents the valuable connection between the customer, dealer, and the company. Dealers are an important part of the Bobcat success story. This series is further divided into eight subseries: Subseries 1, Dealer Advisory Council Meetings, 1967-1996; Subseries 2, Sales Meetings, 1964-1999; Subseries 3, District Manager Meetings, 1971-1990; Subseries 4, Conferences, 1973, 1974,1993; and Subseries 5, Specific Dealers, 1978, 1979, 2003; Subseries 6, Dealer Advertising and Sales Promotion Kits, 1967-1996; Subseries 7, Co-op Advertising Materials for Dealers, 1979-1982; and Subseries 8, Subject Files, 1965-2003.

Subseries 1, Dealer Advisory Council Meetings, 1967-1996, documents Dealer Advisory Council (DAC) activities and meetings. The first DAC was held in 1965 at the Ash Forks Camp on Lake of the Woods, Canada. Dealers competed in a sales contest prior to the meeting to determine which twelve of them would attend. Over the years the roster of dealers attending grew, and those chosen to serve on the council had an outstanding sales record. The company sought these dealers' advice on all aspects of Bobcat marketing, engineering and manufacturing, and both dealers and company management were encouraged to share their ideas and experiences. It is through a strong dealership system that the company sells its products and many times, it was a solid demonstration that sold the product. Dealers frequently were invited to the Bobcat Boot Camp in Lisbon, North Dakota, where they spent one week training on various Bobcat Company products as well as competitors' products.

To this day, dealers meet annually in different locations throughout the United States with particular emphasis on North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho, Wisconsin, and parts of Canada. The meetings were well planned and followed a structure with receptions, orientations, dinners, plant tours, presentations, group discussions, and award presentations.

These records provide insight into the relationship between the company and its dealers with dealer distributor materials such as the dealer kits. The photographs in Series 4 document this aspect of the company well. Among one of the boot camp's first trainers was none other than inventor Cyril Keller.

The materials are arranged chronologically by meeting date and contain correspondence, agendas, memos, lists of dealers (in some instances with profiles), certificates (recognizing outstanding sales achievement), invitations, licenses for fishing, invoices for airline tickets, presentation scripts, photographs (the majority document fishing and hunting trips), and brochures. Many of the meetings also had programs for "ladies" since many of the dealer's wives accompanied them.

Subseries 2, Sales Meetings, 1964-1999, documents the annual gathering of all Bobcat dealers. Unlike the DAC Meetings, the annual sales meetings were larger in scale and had more programmatic functions. Meetings were held in a variety of locations throughout the United States, and almost all of the meetings were held either in January or February. The meetings are arranged chronologically and contain the location of the meeting if known. There is unevenness to the type and amount of documentation for each meeting. Many files include agendas, memos, correspondence, name tags, meeting programs, banquet programs, and presentation remarks. Some meetings contained more unusual materials. The 1974 Kona, Hawaii Meeting had a "Clark Money Tree Mid-Term Quiz" designed for dealers and dealer salesmen as a means of testing their knowledge of the Clark Retail Finance programs. The quiz was graded, and if the individual passed, a doctor of finance was issued along with a cash prize. Additionally, an audio disc from the 1974 Kona, Hawaii Meeting, Swing and Sway The Bobcat Way with Bobcat- The One and Only and Cattin Around was intended for use by dealers for a wide variety of promotional and selling situations: background music for radio and TV commercials, local fairs, exhibits, and conventions.

Subseries 3, District Manager Meetings, 1971-1990, consists of documentation for district managers' meetings which dealt with the "how" of demonstrating, advertising, financing, and servicing and the "why" of compact size, maneuverability, all-wheel drive, visibility, time, and labor for Bobcat products. These meetings appear to have been held in conjunction with the annual sales meeting.

Subseries 4, Conferences, 1973, 1974, 1993, includes speeches, photographs, agendas, invoices, memos, programs, and notes. The bulk of the materials consists of Clark Executive Conference materials from 1973.

Subseries 5, Specific Dealers, 1978, 1979, 2003, contains files for specific Bobcat dealers in the United States. The files are arranged alphabetically by dealership name and include advertisements, announcements, correspondence, and other branded materials with the Bobcat logo.

Subseries 6, Dealer Advertising and Sales Promotion Kits, 1967-1996, consists of folders filled with a memo or letter to the dealer, dealer lists, newsletters, logo types, line drawings, price lists, brochures, product information sheets, specifications, and posters designed to assist dealers in promoting a certain product, campaign, or sale. Reg Stansfield served as the dealer development manager (regional, European and worldwide) from 1978 to 1988. It's clear that the company was interested in measuring performance, seeking room for improvement, and knowing about problems. Stansfield had a great interest in training and in helping salesmen avoid making unnecessary mistakes. He created "Sales Success Strategy" cards with sales tips which were included in the dealer promotion kits. These tips were part of the "Melroe Success Formula," which was to promote, demonstrate, sell, and support. Arranged chronologically, these kits provide valuable information on what the company was sending its dealers and the accompanying instructions. The kits also provide a comprehensive overview of the types of industries using Bobcat products, such as colleges, cemeteries, landscapers, stockyards, rendering, and the poultry industry.

Subseries 7, Co-op Advertising Materials for Dealers, 1979-1982, includes materials that were assembled into binders and were distributed to dealers as a way to assist them in promoting and advertising Bobcat products. The binders were organized into categories: direct mail, newspaper, radio, television, Yellow Pages, specialties, signs and displays, and fairs and shows.

Subseries 8, Subject Files, 1965-2003, are arranged alphabetically by topic. These files include topics such as dealer financial profiles, golf tournaments, review guidelines, motivational concepts, sales specialist's guides, website programs, and Y2K compliancy. The dealer-initiated materials include examples of specific materials developed by dealers for promoting Bobcat products and sales. For example, the J.S. Equipment Company of Sacramento, California, developed a Bobcat Bulletin and the K.C. Bobcat of Kansas City, Missouri, developed a mailer card touting their Bobcat Center with equipment and accessories. Proper use of the Bobcat brand name adds value, helps develop customer loyalty and presents a consistent identity. Spelled out in a brochure of Brand Identity and Standards for Bobcat Dealers are the four trade name categories used by dealers: "Bobcat of (location);" "Bobcat (Name);" "(Name) Bobcat;" and "An Independent Trade Name." Additionally, it details unacceptable uses of the Bobcat trademark logo and the associated color standards.

The Melroe Annual Sands Hill One Invitational Engolfment (MASHIE) files chronicle the establishment of an annual golf tournament designed for the company (Melroe) and its dealers to get to know each other better and have fun while doing it. The golf tournament included visits to the factory and offices as well as an awards dinner.

The motivational concepts file contains a variety of notes and lists detailing motivational concepts for dealers. There is an untitled poem about Christmas, Santa, and a Bobcat as well as a 1977 planning session document from Flint Advertising. The Y2K compliancy materials consist of memos, correspondence, spreadsheets, and questionnaires for dealers about their computer compliancy for the year 2000.

Series 6, Marketing and Promotional Materials, 1954-2007, are divided into ten subseries: Subseries 1, Correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, 1974-1976, 1990; Subseries 2, Budget/Finances, 1961-2000 (not inclusive); Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1964-2001; Subseries 4, Artwork/Storyboards, undated; Subseries 5, Advertising Proof Books, 1954-1993; Subseries 6, Surveys/Profiles, 1977, 1979, 1990-1991; Subseries 7, Promotional Ideas/Retail Sales, 1970s-2007; Subseries 8, Sales Campaigns and Programs, 1972-2001; Subseries 9, Contests, 1965-1999, undated; and Subseries 10, Posters, 1977-2005, undated.

Almost all of the promotional pieces were created by Flint Communications of Fargo, North Dakota, under the direction of the Bobcat Advertising/Marketing Department. Flint was established in 1946, by Harold Flint. Today, Flint consists of a network of six companies, known as the Flint Group, serving a diverse list of businesses, industries, government entities, and not-for-profit clients. The Flint Group includes Flint Communications, Fargo, North Dakota; HatlingFlint, St. Cloud, Minnesota; SimmonsFlint, Grand Forks, North Dakota; WestmorelandFlint, Duluth, Minnesota; AadlandFlint, Anchorage, Alaska; and Flint Interactive, an online services firm with staff in multiple locations. In some instances the marketing and promotional pieces have a Knight Printing Company tag affixed to them. This tag provided critical information to both Flint and the Bobcat Company for reordering purposes and dating. For example KN-500-397-#650152-F translated means Knight Printing Company-quantity 500-March 1997-Bobcat Company job number, and the F equals Flint.

The marketing and promotional materials were intended for dealers in the Bobcat dealership network. Many of these pieces were distributed through targeted promotional programs which were designed to maintain regular contact with all existing users, to foster rental customers, and generate new inquiries. The promotional pieces consisted of giveaways, sponsorships, machine displays on dealership frontage, special displays at shopping centers, casual machine displays at stockyards and auctions, presentations and lectures to associations and colleges, group demonstrations, and highway billboards. The promotional methods included permanent advertisements, building and truck designs, ads in newspapers, local television and radio spots, envelope stuffers and stickers for correspondence, fairs, shows, and customer service schools, open houses at dealerships, handouts for salesmen and mechanics, and special telephone canvassing campaigns. These methods maximized the "Worksaver" Program.

Basic markets for the Bobcat include agriculture, agri-business (feed, fertilizer, grain elevators, meat packing), construction (excavating, landscaping, paving, utility, sewer, roofing, concrete, sand and gravel, snow removal, asphalt, and brick), industry (foundries, glass, steel mills, chemicals, coal and coke, lumber, papers, smelters and refiners, castings), forestry, rental yards, and miscellaneous (garbage, rubbish removal, waste paper, nurseries).

Subseries 1, Correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, 1974-1976, 1990, contains correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, the advertising manager and public relations director at Melroe Manufacturing from 1964 to 1981.

Subseries 2, Budget/Finances, 1961-2000 (not inclusive), includes budgets, price lists, advertising schedules (with proposed ad expenditures). There are monthly budget spreadsheets with actuals, budget, and variation for media, production, printing, film and photo, travel, conventions, co-op advertising, sales aids, and miscellaneous.

Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1964-2001, documents advertisements (both color and black and white), color proofs (used to evaluate the ads' final appearance), some examples of the four-color process-a printing process that combines different amounts of the four colors red, yellow, blue and black, copies and/or originals torn from trade and industry magazines. The advertisements are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by language. There is some clip art with Bobcat Company logos and an advertising manual for the international market. The manual was intended to help dealers prepare their own advertising.

Subseries 4, Artwork/Storyboards, undated, include artwork-the visual components of many advertisements-with and without typeset text for a variety of Bobcat Company products. Many are black and color ink on tracing paper or a transparency such as a photographic image on clear plastic. Also included is documentation on the development of the Bobcat Company logo and storyboards for the Bobcat of Futureville with plans on how to set-up/lay out a Bobcat dealership.

Subseries 5, Advertising Proof Books, 1954-1993, consists of advertisements that were placed in newspapers or various industrial, construction, and farming publications. The proofs are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by product or the industry in which the product was used; for example, agriculture, contruction, forestry, industry, and rental. In some instances, the alphabetical heading is further refined such as construction (regional) versus construction (national). This distinction was drawn to distinguish the type of advertisement and where it would appear. Advertisements appeared in publications such as The Dakota Farmer, Montana Farmer- Stockman, The Farmer, Canadian Machinery and Metalworking, and Heavy Construction News.

Subseries 6, Surveys/Profiles for Skid-Steer Loaders, 1977, 1979, 1990-1991, contains survey and summaries from research services that conducted interviews and analysis for the company on the use of skid-steer loaders. The testimonials contained within this section are from employees at Central Bi-Products, (a meat processing facility) in Long Prairie, Minnesota.

Subseries 7, Promotional Ideas/Retail Sales, 1972-2001, include pamphlets, brochures, point-of-purchase ads, stickers, calendars, and greeting cards (Christmas, birthday, and Thanksgiving).

Subseries 9, Contests, 1965-1999 and undated, contains documentation illuminating the company's many and varied contests. Held company-wide and worldwide, the contests were intended for dealers to promote the sale of new products. Incentives included cash, prizes, or attachments for various Bobcat skid-steer loaders. The Let's Do It! contest and campaign of 1972-1973, was a competiton for all employees to think more about their productivity efforts. Employees competed quarterly for corporate awards which were given to divisons and plants with the best nine month performance. Employees were judged on return on investment, inventory control, sales volume, and forecasting while the plants were judged on productivity improvement and inventory control.

Subseries 10, Posters, 1977-2005 and undated, consists of posters created by the company for dealers to use in conjunction with various campaigns, programs, and contests.

Series 7, Product Information, 1967-2008, contains brochures, specification sheets, and catalogs detailing the various products offered for sale by the Bobcat Company. Melroe product history file consists of histories of Melroe Ag products, memorable dates in the Melroe company history and speeches about Melroe Manufacturing.

Series 8, Melroe Ag Products/Spra-Coupe Materials, 1972-1998, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Melroe Ag Products Division, 1973-1983 and Subseries 2, Spra-Coupe, 1972-1998, undated. Melroe Ag Products was a division of Melroe Manufacturing which specialized in farm equipment. The products included reset plows, multi-weeders, rock pickers, chisel plows, grain drills, harroweeders, windrow pick-ups and the Spra-Coupe. The Spra-Coupe materials consist primarily of advertisements, product information, and promotional materials. The Spra-Coupe was first built in 1963 by John D. Kirschmann and brought to market in 1965. In the spring of 1972, Melroe Manufacturing acquired the Spra-Coupe, which was designed to apply chemicals using a self-propelled sprayer. The Spra-Coupe was sold primarily to custom operators and was used to replace the airplane as a means of applying liquid spray.

Series 9, Press Related Materials, 1969-2005, is arranged chronologically and divided into four subseries: Subseries 1, Press Clippings, 1969-2005; Subseries 2, Scrapbook of clippings, 1977-1978; Subseries 3, Press Releases, 1972-1999, undated; Subseries 4, Press Conferences, 1978, 1989, 1994; and Subseries 4, Articles, 1967, 1979, 1993. The press releases were used by the company as "organizational announcements" and were released internally to announce promotions, new positions, scholarship recipients, and service awards. In some instances there are black-and-white photographs found in this series as well as "special" releases from 1972-1974 containing correspondence with television stations and industry specific publications such as the Montana Farmer- Stockman and Fertilizer Solutions.

Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1963-2007, is divided into seven subseries: Subseries 1, Corporate documentation, circa 1960s-2007, undated; Subseries 2, Promotional, 1967-2007, undated; Subseries 3, Sales, 1963-2003, undated; Subseries 4, Safety/training, circa 1970s-1983, undated; Subseries 5, Commercials, 2004, undated; Subseries 6, Spra-Coupe, 1988-1993, undated; and Subseries 7, Supplemental documentation, 1974-1975, 1983, undated.

Of note are the commercial films made by William Snyder. Snyder was born and raised in North Dakota, and after working in Hollywood, California, for Technicolor he returned to Fargo to form Bill Snyder Films, Inc. Most of Snyder's output was 16 mm film format in color and black-and-white for industrial programs produced by corporate entities and non-profit groups. Snyder supplemented this work by producing television commercials and commercial movies for industry, including Melroe Manufacturing. Melroe hired Snyder in the early 1960s to make a "short" demonstrating the company's skid-steer loader. Eventually more movies were made: The Story of the Bobcat Kid, Bobcat a Go- Go, and Farm Boy at Heart. The movies provide an insight into the marketing strategy of a small company looking for a new and creative marketing effort called the "info-mercial." Aired on local television in the five-state area (Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming) and using Melroe employees, these movies boosted sales for the company.

Subseries 1, Corporate documentation, circa 1960s-2007 and undated, contains footage of corporate events (primarily National Dealer Meetings), the manufacturing process in the two North Dakota factories, employees at work, and other company-related moving images.

Subseries 2, Promotional, 1967-2007 and undated, consists of films that promote various models of Bobcats and attachments to consumers and dealers. Many films highlight the features, capabilities, and different uses of specific models and associated attachments. CD-ROMs were probably given to potential customers based on their interest in Bobcat products or could have been used in dealerships for customers to access the same information.

Subseries 3, Sales, 1963-2003 and undated, documents the material shown to salesmen and dealers of Bobcats for sales purposes. Methods for improving sales, techniques for selling against competitors' machines, and detailed information about Bobcats' capabilities and features are highlighted to educate salesmen on the products. Numerous motivational and instructional videos were made with Reg Stansfield, Regional Sales Manager, offering strategies to improve sales and increase productivity. Some films in this subseries may have been shown to customers.

Subseries 4, Safety/training, circa 1970s-1983 and undated, documents education of the safe operation of Bobcat machines.

Subseries 5, Commercials, 2004 and undated, contains tapes of thirty second television commercials promoting Bobcat skid-steer loaders.

Subseries 6, Spra-Coupe, 1988-1993 and undated, consists of material relating to the Melroe Spra-Coupe and its electrostatic spraying process. Customer testimonials, descriptions of the use of the machine, and the features and capabilities of the Spra-Coupe are included.

Subseries 7, Supplemental documentation, 1974-1975, 1983, and undated, consists of brochures, scripts, and descriptions for some of the audio visual materials.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1, Historical Background, 1965-2007

Subseries 1.1, Company Histories, 1965-1998 and undated

Subseries 1.2, Organizational Materials, 1970s-2007 and undated

Subseries 1.3, Factories/Plants, 1965-1996; 2007

Subseries 1.4, Union Materials, 1971, 2005-2007

Subseries 1.5, Kaizen Materials, 2003-2004 and undated

Subseries 1.6, Company Christmas Cards, 1965-1974 and undated

Subseries 1.7, Company Picnics, 1966-1979

Subseries 1.8, Awards, 1969-1988

Subseries 1.9, Subject Files, 1963-1985

Series 2, Clark Equipment Company, 1965-1994 and undated

Subseries 2.1, Company Histories, 1965-1978

Subseries 2.2, Annual Reports, 1974-1994

Subseries 2.3, Employee Information and undated

Series 3, Newsletters, 1965-2009 and undated

Subseries 3.1, Bobcat Alumni Newsletter, 1984 fall; 1987 spring

Subseries 3.2, Bobcat Brief, 1985-1993

Subseries 3.3, Bob Cat's Pajamas, 1965-2008

Subseries 3.4, Bobcat Messages, 2000

Subseries 3.5, Bobcat System, 1993

Subseries 3.6, Clark Pickup, 1975-1976

Subseries 3.7, Feller Buncher Toppers, 1984-1985

Subseries 3.8, Melroe Farm Reporter, 1973-1977

Subseries 3.9, Melroe Messages, 1987-1996, 1999

Subseries 3.10, Melroe Pickup, 1969-1975

Subseries 3.11, Melroe Scoop, 1970

Subseries 3.12, Newsloader, 1979-1982 and undated

Subseries 3.13, Scoop, 1991

Subseries 3.14, The Summit, 1990-1992

Subseries 3.15, Territory Tales, 1974-2002

Subseries 3.16, The Winner's Circle, 1983-1989

Subseries 3.17, Worksaver, 1977-2008

Series 4, Photographs, Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, 1960-2003 and undated

Subseries 4.1, Alphabetical, 1960-2003 and undated

Subseries 4.2, Miscellaneous, 1963-1986 and undated

Series 5, Dealer Materials, 1964-2003

Subseries 5.1, Dealer Advisory Council Meetings, 1967-1996

Subseries 5.2, Sales Meetings, 1964-1999

Subseries 5.3, District Managers Meetings, 1971-1990

Subseries 5.4, Conferences, 1973, 1974, 1993

Subseries 5.5, Specific Dealers, 1978, 1979, 2003

Subseries 5.6, Dealer Advertising and Sales Promotion Kits, 1967-1996

Subseries 5.7, Co-op Advertising Materials for Dealers, 1979-1982

Subseries 5.8, Subject Files, 1965-2003

Series 6, Marketing and Advertising Materials, 1954-2007

Subseries 6.1, Correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, 1974-1976, 1990

Subseries 6.2, Budget/Finances, 1961-2000 (not inclusive)

Subseries 6.3, Advertisements, 1964-2001

Subseries 6.4, Artwork/Storyboards, undated

Subseries 6.5, Advertising Proof Books, 1954-1993

Subseries 6.6, Surveys/Profiles, 1977, 1979, 1990-1991

Subseries 6.7, Promotional Ideas/Retail Sales, 1970s-2007

Subseries 6.8, Sales Campaigns and Programs, 1972-2001

Subseries 6.9, Contests, 1965-1999, undated

Subseries 6.10, Posters, 1977-2005, undated

Series 7, Product Information, 1967-2008

Series 8, Melroe Ag Division/Spra-Coupe Materials, 1972-1998

Subseries 8.1, Melroe Ag Products Division, 1973-1983

Subseries 8.2, Spra-Coupe, 1972-1998, undated

Series 9, Press Related Materials, 1969-2005

Subseries 9.1, Press Clippings, 1969-2005

Subseries 9.2, Scrapbook of clippings, 1977-1978

Subseries 9.3, Press Releases, 1972-1999, undated

Subseries 9.4, Press Conferences, 1978, 1989, 1994

Subseries 9.5, Articles, 1967, 1979, 1993

Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, circa 1960s-2007, undated

Subseries 10.1, Corporate documentation, circa 1960s-2007 and undated

Subseries 10.2, Promotional, 1967-2007 and undated

Subseries 10.3, Sales, 1963-2003 and undated

Subseries 10.4, Safety/Training, circa 1970s-1983 and undated

Subseries 10.5, Commercials, 2004 and undated

Subseries 10.6, Spra-Coupe, 1988-1993 and undated

Subseries 10.7, Supplemental documentation, 1974-1975 and undated
Biographical / Historical:
The Bobcat Company Records document the evolution of the Bobcat skid-steer loader from a simple agricultural machine into a versatile and widely recognized tool. The Company's loaders, mini track loaders, and product attachments improved productivity in many industries such as shipping, landscaping, and construction. In 1958, approximately 20 loaders were built, and by the 1960s, the total number of units was in the few thousands. In the 1970s, 10,000 loaders were being manufactured a year. Today, Bobcat produces approximately 40,000 loaders a year and celebrated its 750,000th loader in 2008. Other companies, such as Caterpillar, Case, John Deere and New Holland all make loaders, but Bobcat dominates the market and its name is synonymous with the compact construction equipment industry. The records focus primarily on Bobcat's products, marketing, and advertising through product literature, photographs, advertisements, posters, newsletters, and audiovisual materials. The Bobcat Company is a story of individuals, simple ingenuity, independence, and innovation and improvement. The Kellers' problem of removing turkey manure from a barn was solved with a can-do, make-do ethos of the farm which spawned a global industry. The early roots of the Bobcat machine lie in the farming heritage of central Minnesota and the North Dakota plains with two blacksmith brothers, Louis (b. 1923-) and Cyril (b. 1922-) Keller. Out of farming necessity to make manual labor easier, a story of technology grew into a world-wide industry that would become known as the compact equipment industry and would be identified with the name Bobcat. In the fall of 1947, Louis Keller formed Keller Manufacturing (sometimes known as Keller Welding) in Rothsay, Minnesota, which provided a wide range of general repair services to customers, especially blacksmithing and welding services. In 1953, Cyril Keller joined his brother Louis as an equal partner in the business. The small family business noted that they "weld anything except a broken heart." In the summer of 1956, Eddie Velo, a local turkey farmer, approached the Kellers with the problem of cleaning manure out of his turkey barns after the turkeys had been taken to slaughter. Standard loader tractors could not be utilized because of their limited maneuverability, and they were too heavy to operate on the second story of a barn. Velo needed a tractor that could maneuver around the posts in his barn, move backwards and forward, and make sharp turns. The Kellers developed a drive system that was designed to provide the maneuverability required by Velo. A bucket was placed in the front, and a motor in the back. A third castor wheel was added to permit sharp turning. They employed a pulley-and-chain system to switch back and forth. They found that this system was too dangerous, and they abandoned it for a clutch system. The result was a system for "transmitting power from a power unit to propulsion wheels, drive shafts and the like, and in particular to a transmission system for self-propelled vehicles having independently rotatable propulsion or drive wheels."0F[1] A completed loader was delivered to Velo in fall 1957, but the Kellers continued to refine and test it. They manufactured six additional models on speculation and ultimately sold them to area poultry farms. To address the instability issues of having three wheels, they added a counter weight at the back. Additionally, they introduced attachments for the loader-snow blade, sweeper, a bucket, and a manure fork. The Kellers sought to mass-produce their loader. After pursuing various avenues, their uncle, Anton Christianson, a dealer with Melroe Manufacturing Company of Gwinner, North Dakota, introduced them to Melroe Manufacturing. Melroe Manufacturing Company was founded in 1947 by Edward Gideon "E.G." Melroe (d. 1955), a pioneer in agricultural technology. The Kellers were invited to bring their loader to the Melroe booth at the 1958 Minnesota State Fair, to determine the amount of interest in the loader. The interest was so great that Melroe decided to manufacture the loader. After the State Fair, an agreement was reached-Melroe would have exclusive manufacturing rights on a royalty basis. The Kellers would be employed by Melroe to further develop the loader. Access to the Melroe facilities allowed the Kellers' work to progress and be widely marketed. In the fall of 1958, Louis and Cyril Keller moved to Gwinner, North Dakota, to begin work. Louis worked on the manufacturing floor from 1958 to 1967 developing the loader, and Cyril worked from 1958 to 1980 as a salesman promoting and selling Melroe products and training dealers. Development of the first Melroe loader prototype (M60) began in November 1958 and was completed in early 1959. The prototype utilized the Keller patented drive design, which was used on various Melroe and later Bobcat models until 1982. The name "Bobcat" originated in 1962 with Lynn Bickett, of Gould, Brown and Bickett, a marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Allegedly, Bickett found the word "bobcat" in the dictionary, and noted that it was a North American mammal that is "tough, quick, and agile." These traits perfectly described the Melroe loader to them, and the Bobcat slogan, "Tough, quick, and agile," was born. Officially designated the Bobcat Company in 2000, the company previously operated under the names: Melroe Manufacturing (1958-1969); Clark Equipment Company (1969-1995); and was also known as Ingersoll-Rand Company (1995-2007). In 1969, Clark Equipment Company of Buchanan, Michigan, acquired Melroe Manufacturing and pushed the Bobcat loader to even greater sales. Clark was a leader in forklifts, but adding the Bobcat product line expanded Clark's range and marketing potential. In 1995, Clark was acquired by Ingersoll-Rand (IR), a leading manufacturer of construction equipment and industrial machinery. IR wanted a strong brand name and the top market share that accompanied it, and Bobcat was just the thing. The IR Company provided Bobcat with a platform to focus on product innovation (front end attachments) and it encouraged global manufacturing and development. The Bobcat Company was acquired by Doosan Infracore International of South Korea in October 2007.

2 Louis Keller. Transmission system. US Patent 3,151,503, filed Dec. 1, 1958, and issued Oct. 6, 1964.
Related Materials:
These records complement many of the Archives Center's agricultural holdings such as the William C. Kost Farm Records (documenting a 20th century family-owned farm in Illinois); the Robinson-Via Family Papers (documenting daily farm life in Prince George's County, Maryland); the Everett Bickley Collection (documenting agricultural technology of bean sorting) and the Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records (documenting the disappearing farm). These papers also complement the Archives Center's holdings of industrial equipment such as Caterpillar, Page Tractors, and B.B. Brown (documenting tractor engines). Construction related papers include the Clyde Learned Papers (documenting a highway engineer); Lloyd F. Rader Papers (documenting civil engineering); the Leon Struck Photo Album (documenting road building) and many of our collections of civil engineering materials.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry holds one magnetic lifter, Accession 2007.0196.01-.02
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Scott Nelson, President of the Bobcat Company of North America on June 23, 2008.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire. Do not use original materials when available on reference video, DVD, or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. The Archives Center does not own rights to these photographs. All requests for permission to use these photographs for non-museum purposes must be addressed directly to the Bobcat Company. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Construction industry  Search this
Construction equipment  Search this
Genre/Form:
DVDs
Compact discs
Christmas cards
Awards
Advertisements -- 20th century
Posters -- 20th century
Stickers
Tickets
Videocassettes
Photographs -- 20th century
Placemats
Invitations
Newsletters -- 20th century
Greeting cards
Citation:
Bobcat Company Records, 1940s-2009, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1129
See more items in:
Bobcat Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1129
Additional Online Media:

Timothy B. Bladen Southern Maryland Portraits: Photoprints

Creator:
Bladen, Timothy B.  Search this
Names:
Robinson, Franklin A., Sr., 1932-  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Cubic feet (1 box, 7 items)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Place:
Maryland -- 1980-2000
Date:
1980 - 2000
Scope and Contents:
These seven photographs were included in Mr. Bladen's exhibition, "Southern Maryland Portraits," at the National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Riverdale, Maryland, 2000. The prints are silver gelatin, received unmounted, all on 11" x 14" double-weight photographic paper.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series. Captions provided by the artist; editing and additional descriptive notes in brackets.
Biographical / Historical:
Timothy B. Bladen is a Maryland-based photographer. At the height of summer 1998, when Maryland was in the midst of a horrific drought, Timothy Bladen toured the southern Maryland countryside with an antique camera in his trunk, hunting for signs that the rural lifestyle was surviving. On this sentimental tour of Southern Maryland, he located and photographed many people from his own memories including a sausage maker, wood-carvers and watermen and aging farmers perched on their front stoops, tobacco farmers working in the fields and people milling about at a farmer's market.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Timothy B. Bladen, December 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Timothy B. Bladeb retains copyright. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Fishing  Search this
Mennonites -- 20th century  Search this
Sausages  Search this
Farms -- Maryland  Search this
Agriculture -- 20th century -- Maryland  Search this
Auctions  Search this
Crabbing  Search this
Crabs  Search this
Citation:
Timothy B. Bladen Southern Maryland Portraits (Photoprints), 1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of the artist.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0767
See more items in:
Timothy B. Bladen Southern Maryland Portraits: Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0767
Additional Online Media:

Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records

Director:
Daniel, Pete  Search this
Interviewee:
Accardo, Paul  Search this
Aguirre, Gloria Olmos  Search this
Allen, David  Search this
Anderson, Adra  Search this
Anderson, Walter  Search this
Andrews, John William  Search this
Ardoin, Leslie  Search this
Bailey, Charles  Search this
Bailey, Howard Taft  Search this
Baird, George E., Jr.  Search this
Baronet, Joe  Search this
Bell, Walter M.  Search this
Bennett, Novella  Search this
Bennett, W.J.  Search this
Benson, Dick  Search this
Benton, Aubrey  Search this
Benton, Ina Belle  Search this
Blackstock, Tom  Search this
Blackstock, Velva  Search this
Blanchard, J.F.  Search this
Booth, Mrs. N.J.  Search this
Booth, N.J.  Search this
Bosselman, Willie  Search this
Bossleman, Norman  Search this
Bowman, Wilbert A.  Search this
Bradford, Nara N.  Search this
Bradford, Norwood)  Search this
Brantley, L.D.  Search this
Breaux, Jessie Al., Sr.  Search this
Brinkley, Johnnie  Search this
Brinkley, Lucile  Search this
Broussard, Sam  Search this
Brown, Gordon  Search this
Brown, Mamie  Search this
Bunting, Benny  Search this
Bunting, Joe  Search this
Burkett, Ben  Search this
Burkett, Bennie F.  Search this
Bush, Miller  Search this
Byers, Ruby  Search this
Byers, Sanford  Search this
Caesar, Clarence  Search this
Carline, Herman C.  Search this
Carnahan, Cotton  Search this
Carter, Ethel H.  Search this
Castleberry, Guy W.  Search this
Caughron, Kermit  Search this
Caughron, Rex  Search this
Caughron, Roy  Search this
Cazer, Garland  Search this
Ceras, Delfino  Search this
Claffery, Clegg, Sr.  Search this
Clapp, Clyde  Search this
Clark, Fletcher Talmadge  Search this
Clayton, WIlliam P.  Search this
Cockerham, Lester  Search this
Cockerham, Marie  Search this
Cole, Buster  Search this
Coleman, Harold  Search this
Coleman, Mrs. Harold  Search this
Colvin, R.C.  Search this
Comeaux, Lewis  Search this
Connell, Alton  Search this
Cromertie, John L.  Search this
Crosby, Ruth  Search this
Crosby, Victor  Search this
Cummins, Mary Lee  Search this
Cummins, W.R.  Search this
Cunningham, Tom  Search this
Daniel, Florentine  Search this
Davies, W. J. K.  Search this
Davis, Fredda  Search this
Davis, Otto  Search this
Davis, Pauline  Search this
Delasbour, Anna  Search this
Derbigney, Durrell  Search this
Dillard, John T.  Search this
Dorminy, Henry Clayton  Search this
Dove, Dorothy  Search this
Ducrest, Jesse  Search this
Dulaney, T.W.  Search this
Elam, Edward  Search this
Feilke, Mabel  Search this
Felknor, Jessie F.  Search this
Finchum, Amos  Search this
Finchum, Eva  Search this
Fleming, Arthur B.  Search this
Fletcher, Mrs. Merle Ford  Search this
Flores, Roque Olmos  Search this
Foster, Jim  Search this
Foster, Vergie  Search this
Friesen, Viola Liechty  Search this
Gardner, C.E.  Search this
Garrich, Carl  Search this
Gay, Andrew  Search this
George, Leler  Search this
Gosney, Jessie  Search this
Gosney, Kenneth  Search this
Gray, Leonard  Search this
Gray, Wardell  Search this
Green, Alone  Search this
Green, Clarence  Search this
Griffin, A.C.  Search this
Griffin, Grace  Search this
Hahn, E.L.  Search this
Hall, Joe  Search this
Haransky, Charlotte  Search this
Harper, Woodrow, Sr.  Search this
Harrington, A.M.  Search this
Harris, Edna  Search this
Harris, John, Rev.  Search this
Harris, Robert B.  Search this
Hawkins, Charlie  Search this
Hemphill, Elvin  Search this
Hemphill, Mattie  Search this
Hill, Frank  Search this
Jefcoat, Laz  Search this
Jensen, Olga B.  Search this
Johnson, Herbert  Search this
Kilby, T.H.  Search this
Knight, Martin  Search this
Koen, Eulah  Search this
Lamson, Alfred Ellis  Search this
Landry, Steve  Search this
Lane, Clyde D.  Search this
Laney, John B.  Search this
Langley, Nellie  Search this
Latoilas, Donald  Search this
Lawrimore, Rufus B.  Search this
Leary, Mrs. Stillman  Search this
Leary, Stillman  Search this
Legnon, Hilton  Search this
Legnon, Lena Porrier  Search this
Lenius, Jane  Search this
Lewis, Bobby  Search this
Lewis, Dorothy  Search this
Lewis, Ralph  Search this
Littlejohn, Andrew  Search this
Loewer, Arthur  Search this
Long, Welchel  Search this
Lowder, Clayton  Search this
Lowder, Kathy R.  Search this
Mangum, O.L.  Search this
Martin, Lillian  Search this
McBrayer, Loomis  Search this
McCarty, Ben  Search this
McGee, Dean  Search this
Mercer, Midi  Search this
Minchew, Edna  Search this
Mire, John  Search this
Mohamed, Ethel Wright  Search this
Moody, Edgar  Search this
Morris, Edward  Search this
Murphree, Leo  Search this
Murray, Lurline S.  Search this
Nacquin, Leo  Search this
Nix, Agnes  Search this
Nix, Joe  Search this
Parker, Jonah  Search this
Patout, William A.  Search this
Patterson, Vanona  Search this
Pender, Bessie  Search this
Petticrew, Donald  Search this
Player, C.B., Jr.  Search this
Porter, Virginia  Search this
Proffitt, Harry, Jr.  Search this
Purvis, Clyde  Search this
Redmond, Virgie  Search this
Reed, Bunice  Search this
Reed, Howard  Search this
Rice, Frank  Search this
Richardson, Rosetta  Search this
Rivers, Marion  Search this
Roberts, Gerti  Search this
Roberts, James  Search this
Rodriguez, Ignacio  Search this
Rountree, G. Emory  Search this
Rucker, William  Search this
Salas, Maria  Search this
Sarten, Della  Search this
Scoggins, Lillie  Search this
Scroggins, Alma M.  Search this
Seidenschwarz, Rosie  Search this
Seidenstricker, L.F.  Search this
Seidenstricker, Laverne  Search this
Serrano, Adolofo  Search this
Serrano, Edith  Search this
Serrano, Lidia  Search this
Shannon, Jack  Search this
Shepherd, Grady  Search this
Sims, Lavana  Search this
Sizemore, Martiel  Search this
Skinner, Annie  Search this
Skinner, Jarvis  Search this
Smith, Ethel  Search this
Smith, George  Search this
Soileau, Rouseb  Search this
Spicer, J.M.  Search this
Spivey, Wayland  Search this
Starke, Granville  Search this
Steen, Albert  Search this
Stowers, J.W.  Search this
Strange, Fred  Search this
Strohl, Carl  Search this
Strohl, Mary  Search this
Sumner, Ruby C.  Search this
Temple, Effie  Search this
Thomas, Lottie  Search this
Thompson, Mioma  Search this
Thresto, Chuck  Search this
Tomlinson, Clifton  Search this
Turner, Mrs. O.C.  Search this
Van Houten, Rosetta  Search this
Van Houten, Rudy  Search this
Vickers, Lloyd  Search this
Vidrine, Levie A.  Search this
Walton, W.W.  Search this
Watson, Mary  Search this
Welborn, S.L.  Search this
Wells, Arnalee  Search this
Wells, Homer, Dr.  Search this
White, Wallace  Search this
Wigley, Mabry  Search this
Willey, Gretchen  Search this
Willey, John F.  Search this
Winskie, Dent  Search this
Woodard, Henry  Search this
Yohe, Alma M.  Search this
Yohe, Perry  Search this
Young, Walter  Search this
Interviewer:
Jones, Lu Ann  Search this
Extent:
25 Cubic feet (79 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Project files
Questionnaires
Photographs
Place:
Arkansas -- Agriculture
Mississippi -- Agriculture
Georgia -- Agriculture
South Carolina -- Agriculture
Tennessee -- Agriculture
Virginia -- Agriculture
North Carolina -- Agriculture
Louisiana -- Agriculture
Date:
1986-1991
Scope and Contents note:
The collection is divided into four series. Series 1: Oral History Transcripts, 1982-1991 are transcribed versions of the oral interviews. Correspondence and/or notes pertaining to the interviewed individual collected or written by the interviewer are filed in this series following the transcription. The majority of the oral histories were done by Lu Ann Jones between1985-1991. There are a few interviews done by Pete Daniel in the early 1980s and some reference copies of oral histories done elsewhere. This series is divided into eight sub-series: Sub-series 1a: Arkansas, Sub-series 1b: Georgia, Sub-series 1c: Louisiana, Sub-series 1d: Mississippi, Sub-series 1e: North Carolina (including transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project in English and Spanish), Sub-series 1f: South Carolina, Sub-series 1g: Tennessee, and Sub-series 1h: Virginia. Files are arranged alphabetically by state and there under by name; within the file materials are arranged chronologically. Interview files may contain transcribed copies of the oral history interviews and subsequent draft copies with corrections by the interviewer or subject. The file also may contain distillations or edited versions of the interview done by the researcher for possible publication. Correspondence and notes files may include Life History Forms, correspondence, newspaper articles, interviewer's notes, business cards, and paper copies of photographs. Signed releases are on file in the registrar's office, NMAH, with copies in the control file of the Archives Center.

Series 2: Project Files and Reference Materials, 1928-2004 contain notes and correspondence kept by Jones in support of the oral history project. This series is divided into four sub-series: Sub-series 2a: State Files, Sub-series 2b: Project and Reference Files, 1985-1991, Sub-series 2c: Reference Publications, Pamphlets and Articles, 1928-2004 and Sub-series 2d: Computer Floppy Disks, 1985 and n.d. This series include bills, receipts, photo orders, travel brochures, reference materials, articles, correspondence, fundraising proposals and materials, USDA Extension Service bulletins, product cookbooks, and ephemera. These materials are valuable in documenting the methodology of the oral history project. They are also valuable in detailing the funding and maintenance of the project over its five year lifespan. There is also a great deal of information on black farmers. This series is arranged alphabetically by state and county or by article/publication title and within the file chronologically.

Series 3: Photographic Prints and Slides, 1987-1991 documenting the individuals interviewed, their homes and businesses, and geographic locations that were studied as part of the oral history project. The series is arranged numerically then chronologically by year. This series is followed by detailed photographic descriptions arranged alphabetically by state then subject. Photograph files contain photographs taken by a Smithsonian photographer or Jones and any copies of photographs supplied by the subject. Most of the photographs are black and white. Series 4: Original Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CD), 1986-1991 are the original tapes of the individual interviews conducted by Jones. This series is divided into eight sub-series. Reference numbers for CDs matching the original tapes are noted after the tapes. CDs 495-497 are for the Smithsonian Photographer's Show: Sub-series 4a: Arkansas, Sub-series 4b: Georgia, Sub-series 4c: Louisiana, Sub-series 4d: Mississippi, Sub-series 4e: North Carolina (within this sub-series are the transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project there may be an English language transcription as well as one in Spanish), Sub-series 4f: South Carolina, Sub-series 4g: Tennessee and Sub-series 4h: Virginia and Sub-series 4i: Miscellaneous and Duplicates, within the sub-series tapes are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 4: Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
Arrangement:
Divided into 4 series: Series 1, Oral History Transcripts; Series 2, Project Files; Series 3, Photographic Prints and Slides, and Series 4, Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
History:
The history of the American South is intricately entwined with the history of agriculture in North America. Until very recently, post 1950, the South was predominately rural and agricultural in both its production and culture. By the 1980s American agriculture, and particularly agriculture in the south, was under attack on various fronts especially cultural, financial, and technological. This assault threatened the very existence of the small and family farm. Many small farming operations went bankrupt and the face of American agriculture was becoming more corporate. It was amidst these troubling times that the Agricultural Division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History undertook a massive project to document southern agriculture through oral history.

Through the efforts of NMAH staff, Pete Daniel, curator and project director, LuAnn Jones, researcher, and with countless support from staff photographers and personnel, Jones conducted approximately 159 interviews of individual persons, couples and sometimes small groups, in eight southern states over a five year period, 1986-1991. The project was funded by a series of grants from various sources. Not only were oral histories taken but also substantial documentary photographs and slides of the many interviewees. The interviews ranged from individual farmers to individuals at companies and corporations involved with agriculture. The range of crops discussed included tobacco, cotton and rice. The project interviewed a wide range of subjects: male, female, black, white, and Mexican. The project has contributed to at least two books, Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South by LuAnn Jones and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and others of which Jones was a contributing author.
Related Collections:
#60 Warshaw Collection

#149 Kulp Collection of Account Books, 1755-1904

#475 Robinson and Via Family Papers

#481 William C. Kost Farm Records

#767 Timothy B. Bladen, Southern Maryland Photoprints
Provenance:
A transfer from the Division of History of Technology (Agriculture), NMAH, July 2001
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farmers -- Arkansas  Search this
Agricultural laborers  Search this
Agriculture -- History  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Farmers -- Georgia  Search this
Farmers -- Louisiana  Search this
Farmers -- Mexico  Search this
Farmers -- Mississippi  Search this
Farmers -- North Carolina  Search this
Farmers -- South Carolina  Search this
Farmers -- Tennessee  Search this
Farmers -- Virginia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Project files
Questionnaires
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Citation:
Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records, 1985-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0773
See more items in:
Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0773
Additional Online Media:

John K. Parlett Collection of Agricultural Ephemera

Manufacturer:
Custom Auto and Equipment Sales  Search this
Allis-Chalmers -- 20th century  Search this
Case -- 20th century  Search this
International Harvestor. Case-IH -- 20th century  Search this
John Deere and Company. John Deere Plow Company -- 20th century  Search this
Sperry New Holland -- 20th century  Search this
Todd Equipment Company -- 20th century  Search this
Creator:
Parlett, John K., 1937-2005  Search this
Extent:
20 Cubic feet (60 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1859-2011, undated
Summary:
The John K. Parlett Collection of Agricultural Ephemera, 1859-2011, undated, is a collection of operator's instruction manuals, parts illustrations manuals, dealership materials, farming, farm life, and agriculture-related ephemera. The material is from national companies as well as local manufacturers and businesses.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of farming and rural life ephemera, dating from about 1859-2011, and undated. The materials are national in scope and include agricultural ephemera from all regions of the United States. Since Parlett's collecting interest spanned the entire spectrum of agricultural work, the collection is not livestock or crop specific. It covers many types of farming from dairying, beekeeping, poultry, cattle, sheep, and hogs to raising tobacco, small grains, hay and forage. It includes almanacs, operator's manuals, catalogues, promotional materials, pocket ledgers and notebooks, mail order catalogs, state fair advertising and catalogues, livestock care and feeding manuals, correspondence, receipts, guarantees, chemical and fertilizer handbooks, account books, "Ladies'" notebooks and calendars, directories, price lists, corporate "yearbooks," clothing advertisements and catalogues, farming practices handbooks, agent's sales order books, seed guides, National Grange material, farming co-op by-laws and ephemera, agriculture related convention materials, poultry magazines and journals, beekeeping magazines, barn and housing design material, gardening manuals, sales contracts for machinery, appliance manuals, commodity marketing guides, auction catalogues, home canning and meat processing manuals and guides, price lists, pamphlets, sale brochures, and dealer service manuals.

The range and national scope of items in the collection illustrate the progression of invention within agriculture. The machinery manuals not only describe machinery in detail, but break it down to the machinery components, how it is put together and how it is repaired. The invention aspect tracks the development of farm mechanization from hand work with intensive labor requirements to machinery developed to decrease labor costs and numbers while at the same time increasing production. The changes in agricultural technology in the later years of the Industrial Revolution, on the cusp of mechanization and the availability of mail order products for the home and farm, are documented in the collection by advertisements and mail order catalogues, for products purchased in nearby towns and equipment used in farm tasks.

The sizeable mail order component of the collection provides research opportunities into economics and marketing both to an agricultural community and an urban community. The demographic changes resulting from increased urbanization and employment opportunities in manufacturing -- and how small farms coped with them -- are documented in the collection by detailed descriptions of who was expected to do what tasks and how those tasks were accomplished. With the beginning of mail order by Aaron Montgomery Ward in 1872, mail order became an integral part of life in rural America. Mail order catalogs allowed rural residents to buy new equipment and follow the latest trends in fashion or household appliances without ever leaving the farm. Mail order also allowed rural American to reap the benefits of growing mass production. Homemade clothing gave way to ready-to-wear clothes sold through retail outlets and through mail order catalogues. Likewise tools and machinery that had been locally built and maintained gave way to parts and machinery that could be purchased through mail order as well as local equipment company dealers. Mail-order buying was made even more accessible in 1896 with the first rural free delivery (RFD) service.

Gender and ethnic aspects of farm life are documented in the collection. For example, sausage, lard, pudding making and similar tasks were traditionally done by women; labor was often divided along racial or ethnic lines and used different machinery and tools for various types of farms in different locations. The collection has a sizeable component of community materials related to farm life such as county and state fair catalogues, National Grange materials, and instructional booklets given away by feed and machinery manufacturers. "How to" booklets and pamphlets covering virtually every aspect of the farm and farm work targeted members of the farm family and its labor force.

The collection complements the Smithsonian's invention holdings as innovation was taking place on the farm as well as in the factory throughout the Industrial Revolution. The machinery manuals with their operation and repair guidelines, the schematic drawings and details on "new and improved" machinery provide a cohesive span of primary material to inform the evolution of farm work from hand and physical labor involving many people to the more mechanized farming capable of being done by one farmer alone or with minimal family or hired help.

The collection includes the business records (1971-1981, undated) for Custom Auto and Equipment Sales of Manassas, Virginia, a John Deere dealership. These records include equipment inventories, a John Deere Consumer Products Dealer Parts Administration Manual, JD Dart operators manual, and a Sperry New Holland dealer sales aid manual, sales accounts, all of which help document the transition from manual based accounting systems to product specific (in this case JD Dart for John Deere) computer based systems. This portion of the collection is illustrative of suburbanization. With the farm crisis of the early 1980s, Custom Auto and Equipment ceased selling farm machinery and concentrated on the urban aspect of the John Deere brand: lawnmowers, tillers and those pieces of machinery used in housing developments being built in and around Manassas. The market for farming equipment nearly ceased to exist and in an effort to salvage their business they adapted to the environment around them.

This collection also includes sales materials for Todd Equipment Company located in Chesapeake, Virginia with a branch office in Hagerstown, Maryland. Todd serves farm equipment dealers in the states of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and West Virginia. They carry an extensive line of machinery catering to all types of agricultural cultivation, care, and harvesting. As of 2015 they are still in business.

The collection is arranged in eight series with items arranged chronologically and in some series alphabetically.

Series 1, Allis-Chalmers, AGCO Allis, and Deutz Allis, 1957-1980, undated, is arranged chronologically. This series contains operator's manuals, sales ephemera, brochures, service manuals, setting up directions, a lease plan, and a sales book. This series includes brand names AGCO Allis, Allis-Chalmers, Athens Plow Company, Baldwin, and Jeoffroy Manufacturing Incorporated, L&M

Series 2, Case, Case-IH, International Harvester, 1903-1986, undated. This series is arranged chronologically. This series includes brand names McCormick-Deering, Farmall, International-Farmall, and McCormick. It includes sales brochures, price lists, operator and maintenance manuals, product guides, advertisements, pamphlets and brochures, catalogues, and a program from McCormick Day, 1931 in Blacksburg, Virginia.

Series 3, John Deere and Company, John Deere Plow Company, 1910-2008, undated, is arranged chronologically. This series contains publications, operator's and maintenance manuals, sales brochures and pamphlets, sales manuals, catalogues, product magazines, and safety manuals.

Series 4, Sperry-New Holland, 1975-1984, undated, is arranged chronologically. This series contains operator's and maintenance manuals, sales brochures and pamphlets.

Series 6, Custom Auto and Equipment Sales of Manassas, Virginia Business Records, 1971-1981, undated. These records include equipment inventories, John Deere Consumer Products Dealer Parts Administration Manual, JD Dart operator,s manual, and a Sperry New Holland dealer sales aid manual, and sales accounts.

Series 6, Todd Farm Equipment, Incorporated, 1973-1980, undated, is arranged chronologically. This series contains the contents of Todd's sales manual detailing various companies and their products. The series includes sales brochures, equipment specifications and capabilities as outlined in corporate sales material, and a Todd catalogue.

Series 7, Assorted Companies, Catalogues, Periodicals, and Publications, 1859-2011, undated. This series is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically for the undated material. This series contains material from a variety of companies and purveyors of farm-related equipment, products, and disciplines as well as farm culture-related materials. This series includes mail order catalogues, sales and instructional pamphlets, almanacs, advertisements, government publications, magazines, catalogues, convention and souvenir brochures, National Grange materials, manuals, cook books, record books, price lists, county and state fair ephemera, beekeeping-related materials, dairying related publications and equipment brochures, operator's manuals, and the auction catalogue from the Parlett Farm-Life Museum auction.

Series 8, Poultry, 1912-1949, undated, is arranged alphabetically. This series contains material related to the production of poultry. It includes magazines, advertisements for poultry products, and educational materials related to poultry.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in eight series.

Series 1, Allis-Chalmers, AGCO Allis, and Deutz Allis, 1957-1980, undated.

Series 2, Case, Case-IH, International Harvester, 1903-1986, undated.

Series 3, John Deere and Company, John Deere Plow Company, 1910-2008, undated.

Series 4, Sperry-New Holland, 1975-1984, undated.

Series 6, Custom Auto and Equipment Sales of Manassas, Virginia Business Records, 1971-1981, undated.

Series 6, Todd Farm Equipment, Incorporated, 1973-1980, undated.

Series 7, Assorted Companies, Catalogues, Periodicals, and Publications, 1859-2011, undated.

Series 8, Poultry, 1912-1949, undated.
Biographical / Historical:
John K. Parlett (1937-2005) was born in St. Mary's County, Maryland, and was a life-long resident of the county and state. He was a farmer and businessman and served as a St. Mary's County Commissioner from 1974-1978 and as a member of the Maryland House of Delegates from 1981-1986.

Parlett began collecting farm equipment and agriculture-related ephemera in the 1960s. His son, John K. Parlett, Jr., stated, "The more he collected the more his passion grew." Even though Parlett lived in Maryland, his collecting was national in scope and included materials he and his wife bought on collecting trips around the country. Parlett expanded his collection of equipment and agricultural ephemera after retiring in 1986. John K. Parlett, Jr., stated, "he [Parlett Sr.] caught 'the antique bug' . . . [they] went out almost every weekend collecting more things." Parlett did not merely collect old machinery, he sought and acquired catalogues, equipment operation manuals, posters, ephemera, county and state fair ephemera, and even records from an agricultural equipment dealer, Custom Auto and Equipment Sales, in Manassas, Virginia.

Between 1988 and 1993 the collection grew so large that Parlett built a 60,000 square foot building on his farm to hold the machinery component. He converted many farm sheds, turkey and chicken houses into display areas and a library. Parlett eventually founded the John K. Parlett Farm Life Museum of Southern Maryland located on his farm, known as Green Manor. Beginning in 1996, the museum was opened annually for the Farm Life Festival, benefitting the St. Mary's County Christmas in April program, founded by Parlett. The collection was open by appointment for study; the local Amish community consulted some of the materials in the collection for help in repairing their outdated equipment. Parlett was highly respected in collecting circles. He was a tenacious and indefatigable collector who made an effort to collect all types of agricultural machinery as well as archival materials relating to farm life. Rare or obsolete items are included in this collection, as are ephemeral items relating to farm and ranch life. "If it was used on the farm or in rural America in the last 100 years, chances are it'll be at the Southern Maryland Farm Life Festival," enthused Agrifarm.com in 2008 when describing the Parlett holdings.

The last year for the Farm Life Festival was 2009. The Parlett Collection, consisting of 1007 lots of machinery, tools, tractors, household, and general store items, was auctioned by Aumann Auctions in the fall of 2011. At the auction, some materials and machinery were purchased by The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan and other museums throughout the United States.

NMAH Curators Pete Daniel and Larry M. Jones surveyed the collection while Parlett was still alive. Jones was credited with advising Parlett while he was building the collection. Jones commented on the collection in 2005, "I was blown away by what he had put together; here was a man who turned an interest into one of the best rural farm life collections I've ever seen. And John has such an eye for good and appropriate stuff. It's just a sensational collection." He reportedly wrote a memo suggesting the Museum "investigate the possibility" of acquiring portions of the collection if and when Parlett was willing to donate items. There was no further discussion of acquiring any of the collection until 2010, when Craig Orr, archivist-curator, talked with John K. Parlett Jr., who expressed a willingness to donate the archival materials as the entire collection was being prepared for auction. Orr and Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., archives specialist, surveyed the collection in early 2011 and selected the materials included in the collection.
Related Materials:
Maid of Cotton, Cotton Council Collection, Southern Agriculture Oral History, Robinson and Via Family Papers, Louisan Mamer Papers, Harness-Maker's Account Books, Memphis Cotton Carnival Records, New England Merchant and Farmer Account Book, Hagan Brothers Account Books, Product Cookbook Collection, Maryland Farm Diary (1879-1894), Bermis B. Brown Collection, and The Cincinnati Boss Collection. The William E. Kost Farm Records, 1939-1989 and The Kent Family Records, 1879-1933.

There are holdings in the Division of Home and Community Life related to farming and agriculture including farm clothing, home arts materials such as needlework, quilts, sewing, kitchen appliances, farming implements and machinery, and 4-H objects. The Lemelson Center has assited in acquiring objects and archival collections in the field of invention and innovation in various divisions of NMAH.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Catherine Parlett, widow of John K. Parlett, in 2012.
Restrictions:
This collection is open for use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Tobacco -- 20th century  Search this
Tobacco  Search this
Poultry industry  Search this
Farmers  Search this
Farm ownership  Search this
Farm management  Search this
Tobacco farmers  Search this
Farm produce -- 1820-1850  Search this
Farm buildings  Search this
Family farms  Search this
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farm equipment  Search this
Farmers' markets  Search this
Farmers -- Virginia  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Cotton farming  Search this
Hay  Search this
Community organization  Search this
Family  Search this
Factories  Search this
Machinery -- 1940-1990  Search this
Machinery industry  Search this
Harvesting machinery  Search this
Machinery -- 1960-1990  Search this
Agricultural machinery  Search this
Machinery  Search this
Farmers -- 1930-1950  Search this
Farmers -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farmers -- 19th century  Search this
Farmers -- 1860-1870  Search this
Citation:
John K. Parlett Collection of Agricultural Ephemera, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1225
See more items in:
John K. Parlett Collection of Agricultural Ephemera
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1225

David Holton Harness-Maker's Account Books

Creator:
Holton, David, Jr., 1814-1865  Search this
Extent:
3 Items
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Date:
1841-1864
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of three manuscript account books dating from 1841 to 1864. They were created by David Holton, Jr. (1814-1865), a harness-maker in Charlestown, New Hampshire. They record all of Holton's business transactions in daybook form. In a daybook, each day's transactions --both sales and purchases --are recorded in the order in which they occurred. Daybooks are very useful to researchers since they list details, including the customers' names, prices, and what was sold or repaired. Such details are usually not found in other account books, such as ledgers.

The entries in these volumes document the work typically performed by a small harness-maker, with most entries being for the manufacture, sale or repair of leather pieces that comprised harness systems. These included harnesses, saddles, harness pads, halters, bridles, reins, saddle girths, and numerous types of straps. In addition, Holton sold whips of various kinds and materials, bells, carriage window curtains, trunks, aprons, and a variety of textiles and hardware for carriage repair and decoration. His products were used with wagons, carriages, stage-coaches, and agricultural implements. They provide a detailed look at the daily business of a typical harness-maker of the ante-bellum period.
Biographical / Historical:
Horse-drawn vehicles were crucial to American transportation from Colonial times until well into the 20th century. Although some goods were moved over long distances by canal, river, and ocean prior to the railroad, the majority of goods were moved by horsepower. Horse-drawn vehicles were essential for agricultural work and for short-distance transportation, in rural areas and cities alike. Horse-drawn vehicles continued in service well into the early 20th century. For example, statistics listed in the October 23, 1919, issue of Breeder's Gazette showed that New York City had 128,224 horses in 1910 [quoted in Charles Philip Fox, Horses in Harness (1987), p. 18]. In 1935, there were still an estimated 17 million horses in the country [Fox, p. 190]. The industries which supplied these vehicles and their trappings were important both for their own sake, in keeping goods and people moving, and as a major factor in the economy in their own right. For example, the 1890 census listed more than 13,000 carriage-making firms, which employed some 130,000 workers and produced products valued at more than $200 million [Thomas A. Kinney, The Carriage Trade: Making Horse-Drawn Vehicles in America (2004), p. 263].

While never quite rising to that level of economic scale, America's harness-makers played an essential role in keeping all those horses hitched to all those vehicles. The industry seems to have followed the same economic developmental arc as the carriage-making industry. Rather than following the path of most 19th century industries towards consolidation and mass production, the harness-making industry seems to have been characterized by relatively small, family-owned firms and partnerships engaged in "short-run, flexible production of rapidly changing goods," a system Kinney refers to as "batch production." While mass production "relies on complex, highly mechanized processes for the creation of large quantities of standardized goods," batch production "turns out small groups of similar or identical goods to order or in anticipation of demand," which provides "flexibility as a means of coping with fluctuating demand and the vagaries of fashion." [Kinney, pp. 4-5.] Like the carriage-making industry, the harness-making industry grew in scope during the late19th century to eventually encompass everything from one- and two-man shops to large factories that employed hundreds of workers. But large scale factories were the exception and most harness-making operations remained modest in scope, particularly in the period covered by these account books.

Harness-makers were concerned with the manufacture, sale, and repair of three specialized areas of leather work: harnesses, saddles, and horse collars. In each of these areas, complex finished products that formed part of a complicated system were created from a variety of specialized component pieces. Horse collars and harnesses enabled draft animals to pull vehicles and agricultural implements; saddles enabled horses to be ridden. An important part of the trade was the decorative embellishment of the various leather pieces; the finer the rig, the more decorative it was. In addition, harness-makers also supplied accessories, such as whips, bells, saddle bags, and so on.
Related Materials:
The Transportation Collection of the Division of Work & Industry collects, maintains, and exhibits materials documenting developments in American transportation history. Animal-drawn vehicles form an important part of the division's Road Transportation Collections, totaling almost fifty such vehicles, collected in an effort to document each common type of American carriage, sleigh, wagon, and cart. The Road Transportation Collections also include the James Cunningham, Son & Company collection. This Rochester, New York, company produced horse-drawn vehicles from 1838 to 1915 and motor vehicles from 1908-1931. The Cunningham collection is scheduled to be transferred to the AC in the near future. W&I's horse-drawn vehicle material also includes examples of harnesses and saddlery, harness catalogs, and materials relating to carriage-building.

W&I's Engineering Collections include documentary materials on the Hoopes Brothers and Darlington Wheel Works, a major accessory supplier to the carriage trade. Founded in 1866 and active until 1973, this West Chester, PA, company was one of the largest and longest-lived manufacturers of spokes and wheels for horse-drawn vehicles. The company was the focus of a 1969-1970 Smithsonian-sponsored film project to document wheels manufacture. Associated documentation includes operational photographs, factory blueprints, oral history interviews, drawings, extensive research files, and historic photographs and catalogs. This collection will probably also be transferred to the AC in the near future.

The Archives Center also contains some materials relating to horse-drawn vehicles and the harness-making industry. Most obvious among these are the Hagan Brothers Carriage Works Records, a collection of twenty-one volumes, 1882-1903, documenting a carriage-maker in Frederick, Maryland. This collection was purchased with Jackson Funds in July 2009. These records document the typical shop of the "golden age" of carriage building. In addition, the AC also holds the account book of F. Ayres, a Vermont wagon maker active from 1834 to 1869 --pretty much the same time period covered by the Holton volumes. The Warshaw collection includes series on "leather" (four boxes), "horses" (nine boxes), and "wagons" (ten boxes), dating from roughly the 1840s to the 1920s. Together, these series contain receipts, illustrations, trade cards, and catalogs from hundreds of small and large firms dealing in harnesses, saddles, whips, horses, wagons, carriages, buggies, and sundry accessories. However, the AC does not have any collections concerned solely with the harness-making industry.

The NMAH Branch Library has an extensive collection of catalogs from manufacturers of harnesses and other leather goods, carriage and wagon makers, and carriage accessory manufacturers.
Provenance:
Collection purchased in 2011.
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:
Horses  Search this
Citation:
David Holton Harness-Maker's Account Books, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1226
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1226

Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company photographs and other materials

Creator:
Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company  Search this
Consolidation Coal Company  Search this
Donor:
Bethlehem Steel Corporation  Search this
Extent:
23 Cubic feet (99 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Photograph albums
Date:
1885-1940s
Summary:
The collection documents the building, operation and daily life of coal mining communities in Kentucky, West Virginia and Ohio between 1911 and 1946. The collection is a valuable for the study of mining technology and the social conditions of the time period and regions.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists mostly of photographs depicting Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company mines and mining towns in Maryland, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Subjects include worker housing, schools for miners' children, gardens, churches, recreational facilities, health services, company stores, safety, mining machinery, construction of mines and related structures, and the interiors of mines.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Background Materials, 1904-1933

Series 2: Photographs, 1885-1940s

Subseries 2.1: Photograph Albums, 1885-1932

Subseries 2.2: West Virginia Division, 19091-1917

Subseries 2.3: Glass Plate and Film Negatives, 1911-1940s

Subseries 2.4: Numbered Photographs, 1911-1930

Subseries 2.5: Miscellaneous, 1913, 1916
Historical Note:
The Consolidation Coal Company was started in 1864 to mine bituminous coal deposits in Maryland's Cumberland region. it expanded by acquiring other mine companies as well as rail and other transportation companies. It went into receivership in 1932. The Pittsburgh Coal Company, founded in 1900, took over the firm in 1945 and formed the Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company.

The Consolidation Coal Company (Maryland)

The Consolidation Coal Company was incorporated in Maryland on March 8, 1860, for the purpose of effecting a merger of a number of coal operators mining the Georges Creek basin in Allegany County, Maryland. Because of the Civil War, during which Confederate armies frequently blocked the region's only outlet to market, the company was not actually organized until April 19, 1864. Starting life as the dominant operator in this small but significant coal field, "Consol" rose to become the nation's top producer of bituminous coal.

The Georges Creek or Cumberland Coal Field, occupying part of the triangle of western Maryland, contained a high-quality, low-volatile bituminous steam coal which was also, thanks to the Potomac River, the coal of this type most accessible to Eastern markets. Coal had been mined in the region beginning in the 1700s, and the first coal company, the Maryland Mining Company, had been incorporated in 1828. However, large-scale development could not occur until the mid-1840s, after the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad reached Cumberland and provided reliable transportation. This also coincided with the development of ocean steam navigation and a rapid growth in the number of railroad locomotives and stationary steam engines. Cumberland coal was ideal for ship bunkering, and much of the output was shipped to New York Harbor. Naturally, New York capitalists and manufacturers played a leading role in developing the field. Lewis Howell's Maryland and New York Iron and Coal Company rolled the first solid U.S. railroad rail at its Mount Savage mill in 1844. The Consolidation Coal merger was put together by New Yorkers such as William H. Aspinwall, Erastus Corning, the Delanos and Roosevelts, and the Boston financier John Murray Forbes, who already had substantial investments in the region.

Upon its formation, the Consolidation Coal Company acquired the properties of the Ocean Steam Coal Company, the Frostburg Coal Company, and the Mount Savage Iron Company totaling about 11,000 acres. The last named company brought with it control of the Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad, which connected the mines to the Baltimore & Ohio and later the Pennsylvania and Western Maryland railroads. In 1870, Consol absorbed the Cumberland Coal and Iron Company of 1840, the next largest operator in the field, and gained an additional 7,000 acres. Further purchases from the Delano interests gave it over 80 percent of the entire Cumberland Field.

Soon after its hated rival, the Pennsylvania Railroad, gained access to the Cumberland Coal Field, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad began purchasing large blocks of Consolidation Coal stock to protect its traffic base in 1875, eventually gaining a 52 percent interest. A B&O slate of directors was elected in February 1877, with Charles F. Mayer of Baltimore as president, and the company offices were moved from New York to Baltimore.

Until the turn of the century, Consolidation Coal's mining operations were confined to the small soft coal region of western Maryland. The company purchased the 12,000 acre Millholland coal tract near Morgantown, W.Va. in 1902 and acquired controlling interests in the Fairmont Coal Company of West Virginia and the Somerset Coal Company of Pennsylvania the following year. These acquisitions boosted Consolidation's annual production more than six-fold in only three years. The company purchased the 25,000 acre Stony Creek tract in Somerset County, Pa., in 1904. The Fairmont Coal Company purchase included a joint interest in the North Western Fuel Company, which owned and operated docks and coal distribution facilities in Wisconsin and Minnesota.

In 1906, the Interstate Commerce Commission held a formal investigation of rail ownership of coal companies, which resulted in the passage of the Hepburn Act and its "Commodities Clause," which prohibited railroads from dealing in the commodities they hauled. In anticipation of the new regulations, the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad sold its entire holdings of Consolidation stock to a Baltimore syndicate headed by Consol president Clarence W. Watson, J. H. Wheelwright and H. Crawford on April 26, 1906. At the time of the B&O's divestiture, the aggregate annual output of Consolidation's mines totaled more than 10 million tons and the company controlled more than 200,000 acres. The John D. Rockefeller interests began purchasing Consol securities in 1915, eventually securing a controlling interest. The company's offices were returned to New York City in May 1921.

After the B&O divestiture, Consol began expanding into the Southern Appalachian coal fields, which were just being opened by railroads on a large scale. The mines in this region yielded a low volatile coal that provided an ideal fuel source for stationary steam engines, ships, and locomotives. Of equal importance, operators in the remote mountains had been able to resist unionization and thus achieve lower operating costs, while all of Consol's previous holdings had been in the so-called "Central Competitive Field" to the north, which had been unionized in the 1890s. Consolidation Coal purchased 30,000 acres in the Millers Creek Field of Eastern Kentucky in 1909 and 100,000 acres in the Elkhorn Field the next year. In February 1922, Consol secured a long term lease and option on the Carter Coal Company, whose 37,000 acres straddled the borders of Virginia, West Virginia and Kentucky. In 1925, Consol became the nation's largest producer of bituminous coal, excluding the captive mines of the steel companies.

During the Great Depression, Consolidation Coal experienced serious financial difficulties and was forced into receivership on June 2, 1932. The Rockefellers liquidated their holdings at a loss, and the Carter Coal Company was returned to the Carter heirs in 1933. Consol was reorganized and reincorporated in Delaware as the Consolidation Coal Company, Inc. on November 1, 1935, and was able to retain its position as one of the nation's top coal producers. Eventually, stock control passed into the hands of the M.A. Hanna Company group of Cleveland, dealers in coal and iron ore. Although production reached record levels during the Second World War, management feared a recurrence of the collapse that had followed World War I. It also faced the prospect of increased competition from oil and natural gas and the loss of traditional markets such as home heating and locomotive fuel. As a result Consol opened negotiations with another large producer, the Pittsburgh Coal Company, which was the dominant operator in the Pittsburgh District.

The Pittsburgh Coal Company

The Pittsburgh Coal Company was a product of the great industrial merger movement of the late 1890s. In 1899, two large mergers were effected in the Pittsburgh District.

The Monongahela River Consolidated Coal and Coke Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on October 1, 1899 to merge the properties of over 90 small firms operating mines along the Monongahela River south of Pittsburgh. Some of these operations dated to the early 1800s, and all of them shipped coal down the Ohio-Mississippi River system by barge from close to the mine mouth, or later by the railroads built along the river banks. The combination controlled 40,000 acres of coal land, 100 steam towboats, 4,000 barges, and facilities for handling coal at Cincinnati, Louisville, Vicksburg, Memphis, Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

The Pittsburgh Coal Company was incorporated in New Jersey as a holding company on September 1, 1899 and acquired the properties of over 80 operators located in the areas back from the river on both sides of the Monongahela south of Pittsburgh. The combination was engineered by some of the most prominent Pittsburgh industrialists, including Andrew W. Mellon, Henry W. Oliver, and Henry Clay Frick. It controlled over 80,000 acres and six collector railroads, the longest of which was the Montour Railroad. Most of its output was shipped by rail, with a large share being transferred to ships on the Great Lakes for distribution throughout the industrial Midwest. The company owned coal docks and yards at Chicago, Cleveland, Duluth, West Superior, Sault Ste. Marie, Ashtabula, Fairport and Thornburg. Subsequently, the company expanded in southwestern Pennsylvania and the Hocking Valley of Ohio through the lease of the Shaw Coal Company in 1901 and the purchase of the Midland Coal Company in 1903. Most of the properties were vested in a separate Pittsburgh Coal Company, an operating company incorporated in Pennsylvania.

Unlike the Consolidation Coal Company, which had grown by gradual accretion, the Pittsburgh Coal Company had been created in a single stroke. As with many mergers of the period, its capitalization probably contained a high percentage of "water" in anticipation of profits from future growth. Unfortunately, the years after the merger saw explosive growth in the coal fields of Southern Appalachia instead. Although farther from major consuming centers, they enjoyed several advantages. The coal itself was superior, low-volatile with higher BTU content and altogether cleaner than the high-volatile coals of Ohio and the Pittsburgh District. As already noted, the southern mines were also non-union. With the inroads of Southern Appalachian coal, the Pittsburgh Coal Company continuously lost ground in the crucial Lake and western markets from 1900 to 1915. The company's capitalization proved unwieldy in the unsettled economic conditions following the Panic of 1907. A reorganization plan was devised under which a new Pittsburgh Coal Company was incorporated in Pennsylvania on January 12, 1916 by merging the old Pittsburgh Coal Company of Pennsylvania and the Monongahela River Consolidated Coal and Coke Company. The old holding company was then liquidated and the stock of the new operating company distributed to its stockholders. Dissension between the common and preferred stockholders delayed consummation of the plan until July 16, 1917.

The Pittsburgh Coal Company, which had all its operations in the Central Competitive Field, had a much more difficult time than Consolidation in breaking the 1923 Jacksonville Agreement with the United Mine Workers in 1925-1927 and reverting to non-union status. The three-year struggle ended the company's ability to pay dividends. Pittsburgh Coal survived the Depression without receivership but with ever-increasing arrearages on its preferred stock. By the end of World War II, its managers were just as eager as those at Consol to attempt greater economies through merger. The Pittsburgh Coal Company and the Consolidation Coal Company merged on November 23, 1945, with exchange ratios of 65 to 35 percent. Pittsburgh Coal Company, the surviving partner, changed its name to the Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company.

The Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company

After the merger, the M.A. Hanna Company interests of Cleveland became the dominant factor in Pitt-Consol's affairs. Hanna had transferred its pre-merger Consol stock to its subsidiary Bessemer Coal & Coke Corporation in 1943. This led to a restructuring whereby Pitt-Consol acquired Hanna's share of the North Western-Hanna Fuel Company in April 1946 and the Hanna coal properties in eastern Ohio on June 16, 1946 These included large reserves of strippable coal that accounted for about 20 percent of the state's production. Pitt-Consol later acquired Hanna's holdings of coal land in Harrison, Belmont and Jefferson Counties, Ohio, on December 30, 1949. It purchased the New York Central Railroad's 51 percent interest in the Jefferson Coal Company, giving it full control, in 1952 and merged it into the Hanna Coal Company Division.

Pitt-Consol sold its last major railroads, the Montour Railroad and the Youngstown & Southern Railway to the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie Railroad on December 31, 1946. The Northwestern Coal Railway had been sold to the Great Northern system, and the Cumberland & Pennsylvania Railroad had been sold to the Western Maryland Railway in May 1944.

In addition, a new Research and Development Division was created to fund projects aimed at developing more efficient production methods, new outlets for coal consumption, coal-based synthetic fuels and chemical byproducts. A new coal gasification plant opened at Library, Pa., in November 1948, and the company began the manufacture of a smokeless fuel briquette under the trademark "Disco" at Imperial, Pa., in 1949. An experimental coal slurry pipeline was built in Ohio in 1952.

During the 1950s and early 1960s, Pitt-Consol made many changes in its coal holdings, selling high-cost or less desirable properties, diversifying its reserves across many different coal fields, rationalizing property lines to permit large mechanized underground or strip mines and forming joint ventures with steel companies to secure guaranteed customers. Pitt-Consol acquired the Jamison Coal and Coke Company in 1954 and the Pocahontas Fuel Company, Incorporated, a large producer of low-volatile Southern Appalachian coal, in 1956. In the latter year, it sold its Elkhorn Field properties to the Bethlehem Steel Corporation. As Pittsburgh District operations became less central, the corporate name was changed back to Consolidation Coal Company in April 1958.

The Consolidation Coal Company, CONOCO and CONSOL Energy, Inc.:

Consol continued to expand into the early 1960s. On April 30, 1962, it absorbed the Truax-Traer Coal Company of Illinois. Truax-Traer also mined lignite in North Dakota, a low-grade but low-sulfur coal that was taking a greater share of the power generation market as environmental laws placed greater restrictions on high-sulfur coal from the Central Competitive Field. The following year Consol acquired the Crozer Coal and Land Company and the Page Coal and Coke Company, owners of additional reserves of low-volatile, low-sulfur steam coal in southern West Virginia.

In 1966, just two years after the company marked its centennial, Consolidation Coal was acquired by the Continental Oil Company (Conoco). This was part of a general trend whereby U.S. oil companies extended their reach by acquiring coal reserves and large coal producers. In turn, Conoco was acquired by E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company in 1981. This purchase was motivated by DuPont's desire to obtain better control of chemical feedstocks in an era of high oil prices. Consolidation Coal was not a major factor in the Conoco acquisition and did not really fit into DuPont's strategy, especially after coal and oil prices declined. As a result, it was quickly sold off when DuPont was restructured a decade later. In 1991, a new holding company CONSOL Engery, Inc. was incorporated as a joint venture of DuPont Energy Company and the German energy conglomerate Rheinisch-Westfalisches Elektrizitatswerk A.G., through its wholly owned subsidiaries Rheinbraun A.G. and Rheinbraun U.S.A. GmbH. Consolidation Coal Company became a wholly-owned subsidiary of CONSOL Energy, Inc. DuPont eventually sold most of its half interest, so that by 1998, Rheinbraun affiliates owned 94% of CONSOL Energy stock, while DuPont Energy retained only 6%. CONSOL Energy purchased the entire stock of the Rochester & Pittsburgh Coal Company on September 22, 1998. CONSOL Energy stock began trading on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "CNX" in 1999, with an initial public offering of more than 20 million shares.

CONSOL Energy produced more than 74 million tons of coal in 1999, accounting for approximately 7% of domestic production. The company currently operates 22 mining complexes, primarily east of the Mississippi River.

Source

Historical note from the Consolidation Coal Company Records, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

The Archives Center holds a number of collections that document coal.

Coal and Gas Trust Investigation Collection (AC1049)

Hammond Coal Company Records (AC1003)

Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company Records (AC0071)

Lehigh Valley Coal Company Records (AC1106)

Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company Records (AC0282)

Materials in Other Organizations

Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

CONSOL Energy, Inc. Mine Maps and Records Collection, 1857-2002

AIS.1991.16

The CONSOL Energy Inc. collection contains coal mine maps, related documents and topographical information, as well as surface maps and detailed information on mine accidents. Additionally, there are technical drawings, outside notes on multiple mines, traverse and survey books, information on companies and railroads with which CONSOL conducted business, and a variety of non-print materials including photographs, negatives and aperture cards. Digital reproductions of selected material are available online.

CONSOL Energy Inc. West Virginia and Eastern Ohio Mine Maps and Records Collection, 1880-1994

AIS.2004.22

The CONSOL Energy Inc. West Virginia and Eastern Ohio Mine Maps and Records Collection contains coal mine maps as well as surface maps and detailed information on mine accidents in West Virginia and Eastern Ohio. Additionally, there are technical drawings, related documents, traverse and survey books, publications and photographs.

Consolidation Coal Company Records, 1854-1971, bulk 1864-1964

AIS.2011.03

The Consolidation Coal Company (Consol) was created by the merger of several small operators mining the Georges Creek coal basin in Allegany County, Maryland. The company expanded rapidly in the early twentieth century through the purchase of substantial tracts in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Kentucky as well as docks and distribution facilities in the Great Lakes region. By 1927, Consol was the nation's largest producer of bituminous coal. Following a merger with the Pittsburgh Coal Company in 1945, the company pursued a policy of acquiring companies which afforded opportunities for greater diversification while selling off unprofitable lines. In addition, a new research and development division was created to fund projects aimed at developing more efficient production methods and new outlets for coal consumption. The records of the Consolidation Coal Company and its affiliated companies are arranged in seven series. Minute books and contract files provide the most comprehensive documentation in this collection.
Provenance:
Donated to the National Museum of American History in 1987 by Bethlehem Steel Corporation.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.

Special arrangements required to view original glass plate and film negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Mining corporations  Search this
Mining -- West Virginia  Search this
Mining -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Mining -- Maryland  Search this
Company towns  Search this
Mining -- Kentucky  Search this
Mines -- West Virginia  Search this
Mines -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Mines -- Maryland  Search this
Mines -- Kentucky  Search this
Mining and minerals industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Photograph albums -- 20th century
Citation:
Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company photographs and other materials, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1007
See more items in:
Pittsburgh Consolidation Coal Company photographs and other materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1007
Additional Online Media:

William C. Kost Farm Records

Creator:
Kost, William Elvidge  Search this
Kost, William Cassell, (farmer), 1917-1989  Search this
Source:
Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Former owner:
Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
17.66 Cubic feet (53 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Housebooks
Receipts
Place:
Illinois -- 1940-1990
Vermont (Ill.) -- 1940-1990
Date:
1939-1989
Summary:
The records of the Kost family farm, Vermont, Illinois. The farm consisted of 120 acres where small grains, hay, and cattle were raised.
Scope and Contents:
The William C. Kost Farm Records is an exhaustive collection of bills, receipts, pay-stubs, and other financial records relating to the business of a small, mid-western family farm. Beginning with Kost's employment as a bookkeeper in 1942 for local Vermont, Illinois area taverns, the financial records intensely cover the period until the year before his death in 1989. The collection is a complete financial picture of a typical mid-western farm during the post WWII period, through the agricultural boom days of the 1950s and 1960s, and into the trying agricultural times of the late 1970s and 1980s. These financial records reconstruct a day to day, week to week, and month to month, financial portrait of the Kost farm. The limited amount of correspondence found in this collection complements the financial record. Tax returns, medical, and personal expense records are all included within the collection. Kost and his wife ran the farm operation with occasional hired help. Kost also took a job off the farm to supplement the farm income.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into three series.

Series 1, Tavern Accounts, 1939-1945

Series 2, Maryland Farm, 1946

Series 3, William C. Kost Farm, 1946-1989
Biographical / Historical:
William Cassel Kost (1917-1989) acquired land and began farming in Vermont, Illinois in 1946. The farm consisted of 120 acres where Kost raised small grains, hay, and cattle. Prior to this time, Kost had been a bookkeeper for local taverns and a tenant farmer. Over the next fifty-three years, Kost worked his own farm as well as occasionally renting land, the Maryland Farm and others. In the 1950s, Kost secured a position with Hemp & Company, later known as the King-Sealey Thermos Factory, first in a part-time capacity then as a full-time employee, retiring on disability in 1975. He continued to farm until his death in August 1989. He was married to Maxine Elvidge (1916-1987) and had one son, William Elvidge Kost (1941-).
Related Materials:
Division of Work and Industry and the Division of Home and Community Life holds artifacts related to this collection.
Provenance:
Donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center by William E. Kost in 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs, negatives, and slides.
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:
Farms -- 1940-1990 -- Illinois  Search this
Hay  Search this
Work and family -- 1940-1990  Search this
Wheat  Search this
Soybean  Search this
Swine  Search this
Rural families -- 1940-1990  Search this
Agriculture -- 1940-1990 -- Illinois  Search this
Livestock  Search this
Corn  Search this
Beef cattle  Search this
Family records -- 1940-1990  Search this
Family farms -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farm equipment -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farm buildings -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farmers -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farm management -- 1940-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Housebooks -- 1940-1990
Receipts -- 20th century
Citation:
William C. Kost Farm Records, 1939-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0481
See more items in:
William C. Kost Farm Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0481

Walker R. Smith Rural Maryland Photoprints

Photographer:
Smith, Walker R., 1910-  Search this
Extent:
0.1 Cubic feet (1 box)
100 Photographic prints (11" x 14", 8" x 10", 6" x 11", 4" x 10", 5"x 7", 4" x 5", and smaller.)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographic prints
Photographs
Place:
Adamstown (Md.) -- 1930-1990
Doubs (Md.) -- 1930-1990
Maryland -- rural -- 1930-1990
Date:
circa 1936-1991
Scope and Contents:
Photographs of the rural Maryland village of Doubs and environs; subjects include trains and railroad subjects, farming activities, grocery stores, people at work and play, etc.
Arrangement:
1 series. Arranged by size and topic, access at topical level.
Biographical / Historical:
The photographer has been photographing a small Maryland village area, Doubs (and Adamstown) for over fifty years (ca. 1930s to date of gift). Much of his work is personal, but some is semi-professional work for friends and neighbors.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Walker R. Smith, 1992, March 11.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted: donor retains reproduction rights. Some prints are marked with copyright notice.
Topic:
Railroads -- Trains -- 1930-1990  Search this
Agriculture -- 20th century -- Maryland  Search this
Groceries -- Stores -- 1930-1990  Search this
Stores -- 1930-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
Walker R. Smith Rural Maryland Photoprints, Archives Center, ca. 1936-1991, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0446
See more items in:
Walker R. Smith Rural Maryland Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0446

Beer Tap Knob, "Heurich’s Original"

Measurements:
overall: 3 1/4 in x 2 1/2 in x 1 1/2 in; 8.255 cm x 6.35 cm x 3.81 cm
Object Name:
Faucet Knob, Beer
Credit Line:
Walter Voigt
ID Number:
AG.MHI-M-9472.01
Catalog number:
MHI-M-9472
Accession number:
276730
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Food
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_859493

Beer Tap Knob, "Senate Beer"

Measurements:
overall: 3 in x 2 1/4 in x 1 1/4 in; 7.62 cm x 5.715 cm x 3.175 cm
Object Name:
Faucet Knob, Beer
Credit Line:
Walter Voigt
ID Number:
AG.MHI-M-9472.03
Catalog number:
MHI-M-9472
Accession number:
276730
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Food
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_859495

Beer Tap Knob, "Senate Beer"

Measurements:
overall: 2 1/4 in x 2 in x 1 3/4 in; 5.715 cm x 5.08 cm x 4.445 cm
Object Name:
Faucet Knob, Beer
Credit Line:
Walter Voigt
ID Number:
AG.MHI-M-9472.04
Catalog number:
MHI-M-9472
Accession number:
276730
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Food
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_859496

Beer Tap Knob, "Kooler-Keg Senate Beer"

Measurements:
overall: 2 in x 1 1/4 in x 3/4 in; 5.08 cm x 3.175 cm x 1.905 cm
Object Name:
Faucet Knob, Beer
Credit Line:
Walter Voigt
ID Number:
AG.MHI-M-9472.06
Catalog number:
MHI-M-9472
Accession number:
276730
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Food
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_859498

Beer Tap Knob, "Old Georgetown Premium Beer"

Measurements:
overall: 2 in x 3 in x 1 1/4 in; 5.08 cm x 7.62 cm x 3.175 cm
Object Name:
Faucet Knob, Beer
Credit Line:
Walter Voigt
ID Number:
AG.MHI-M-9472.08
Catalog number:
MHI-M-9472
Accession number:
276730
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Agriculture and Natural Resources
Food
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_859500

Paradise in Bali ca. 1960s

Creator:
Linker, Hal 1916  Search this
Physical description:
archival original 1 film reel (780 feet) sound b&w 16mm
Type:
Television programs
Travelogs
Place:
Bali
Asia
Indonesia
Bali (Indonesia : Province)
Singapore
Date:
ca 1960s
20th century
Topic:
Street scenes  Search this
Architecture--Religious  Search this
Architecture, Modern  Search this
Zoos  Search this
Tourism  Search this
Dance  Search this
Agricultural practices--wet rice  Search this
Volcanoes  Search this
Funeral rites and ceremonies  Search this
Local number:
HSFA 2002.16.63
Restrictions & Rights:
OK:0 Information on reproduction and fees available from Human Studies Film Archives
See more items in:
Hal Linker Film and Video Collection, ca. 1955-1985
Data Source:
Human Studies Film Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_368195

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