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Maidenform Collection

Creator:
Maidenform, Inc.  Search this
Photographer:
Avedon, Richard  Search this
Names:
Coleman, Beatrice  Search this
Coleman, Joseph  Search this
Inventor:
Rosenthal, Ida  Search this
Rosenthal, William  Search this
Extent:
35 Cubic feet (87 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Newsletters
Tear sheets
Photographs
Videotapes
Clippings
Business records
Date:
1922-1997
Scope and Contents:
Patent and trademark documents, advertisements, sales and marketing material, market research, photographs, packaging, company newsletters and magazines, and business records documenting the history of the Maidenform Company from 1922 to1997.
Arrangement:
Collection organized into eleven series.

Series 1, Company History, 1922-1990

Series 2, News Articles, 1941-1997

Series 3, Patents, Trademarks, and Registrations, 1871-1979

Series 4, Publications, 1931-1997

Series 5, Sales and Marketing Materials, 1929-1997

Series 6, Advertising, 1929-1997

Series 7, Photographs, 1927-1993

Series 8, Patterns, circa 1950s

Series 9, World War II Activities, 1941-1946

Series 10, Labor Relations, 1937-1990

Series 11, Miscellaneous Unprocessed Materials
Biographical / Historical:
The history of Maidenform, Incorporated began at Enid Frocks, a small dress shop in New York City owned and operated by Enid Bissett. Ida Rosenthal was a Russian Jewish immigrant and seamstress at Enid's shop. In 1922, Ida and Enid decided that the fit and appearance of their custom-made dresses would be enhanced if improvements were made to the bandeaux style bras then in vogue. They gathered the bandeaux in the middle in a design modification that provided more support in a manner they believed enhanced, rather than downplayed, a woman's natural figure. Ida's husband, William, added straps and further refined the style. The called their bras "Maidenform", in counterpoint to the "Boyish Form" brand then in vogue. Initially, the bras were given away with each dress they sold. As the bras gained popularity they began selling them, and eventually the bras became so popular they stopped making dresses altogether and shifted to full-scale brassiere manufacturing. The first Maidenform plant opened in Bayonne, N.J. in 1925. After World War II, the company began marketing heavily in Europe and Latin America. Eventually, Maidenform operated plants in West Virginia, Florida, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.

Documentation for the development and manufacture of a "pigeon vest" is also included in the collection. The pigeon vest allowed troopers to carry homing pigeons with them as they parachuted behind enemy lines. During World War II, Maidenform manufactured these pigeon vests and silk parachutes for the war effort.

Maidenform advertising campaigns were enormously successful, and generated controversy as well as praise. The now famous "I Dreamed" campaign was launched in 1949; this campaign ran for 20 years, making it one of the longest running campaigns in the history of advertising. The advertisements featured models in everyday or fantastic situations, elaborately costumed but wearing only a Maidenform bra above the waist. This campaign was followed by the "Maidenform Woman" campaign which was credited with boosting sales by 200 percent in some stores. The "Dares to Dream" campaign played off the "I Dreamed" tagline in 1984, and in 1987, the "Celebrity" campaign began. The "Celebrity" ads were notable for the absence of women in lingerie; instead, well-known male actors discussed their feelings about women and lingerie in print and commercial advertisements. The tone of the advertising shifted in 1992 with a series of ads called "The Women's Advocacy" campaign.

Maidenform was family owned and operated until 1997. After the death of William Rosenthal in 1958, his wife, Ida, became the president of their company. In 1963, she suffered an incapacitating stroke. At this time, son-in-law Dr. Joseph Coleman became head of the company. Upon his death in 1968, his wife (the only surviving child of Ida and William) Beatrice Rosenthal Coleman, gained complete control over the business until her death in 1990.

The Ida and William Rosenthal Foundation, a philanthropic and charitable institution founded in 1953, is run by granddaughter Catherine Brawer.
Related Materials:
The Division of Home and Community Life holds Maidenform artifacts including brassieres, girdles, and "long-lines," and two of the costumes used in the "I Dreamed" campaign.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Maidenform, Incorporated in May 1997.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used for research.
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.

The donor has imposed restrictions on reproduction, broadcast or use of the collection for commercial purposes of any kind by third parties. Reproduction, broadcast or other use of the collection for commercial purposes of any kind by third parties is subject to prior written consent. These permissions will be required until July 2047. Please see the repository for further details.
Topic:
Advertising campaigns  Search this
Sex in advertising  Search this
advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Brassieres -- 20th century  Search this
Parachutes -- 1940-1950  Search this
Symbolism in advertising  Search this
Homing pigeons -- 1940-1950  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements
Newsletters -- 20th century
Tear sheets
Photographs -- 20th century
Videotapes
Clippings
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Maidenform Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0585
See more items in:
Maidenform Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0585
Additional Online Media:

Delegate

Published by:
MelPat Associates, American, 1965 - 1986  Search this
Created by:
C. Melvin Patrick, American, died 1985  Search this
Subject of:
Universal Network Television, American, founded 1950  Search this
Alex Haley, American, 1921 - 1992  Search this
Percy Ellis Sutton, American, 1920 - 2009  Search this
Columbia Records, American, founded 1888  Search this
Brown & Williamson, American, born 1894  Search this
Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1937  Search this
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry  Search this
National Association of Market Developers, American, founded 1953  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded 1784  Search this
Chi Delta Mu Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1913  Search this
National Newspaper Publishers Association, American, founded 1827  Search this
Roy Wilkins, American, 1901 - 1981  Search this
National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., American, founded 1935  Search this
National Association of Black Social Workers, American, founded 1968  Search this
National Pan-Hellenic Council, American, founded 1930  Search this
Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1932  Search this
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, American, founded 1914  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, American, founded 1914  Search this
National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
National Urban League, American, founded 1910  Search this
National Dental Association, American, founded 1913  Search this
National United Church Ushers Association of America, Inc., American, founded 1919  Search this
Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1943  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, American, founded 1913  Search this
President Jimmy Carter, American, born 1924  Search this
Shriners International, American, founded 1870  Search this
Daughters of Isis, American, founded 1910  Search this
Opportunities Industrialization Center of America, Inc., American, founded 1964  Search this
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
National Urban League Guild, American, founded 1946  Search this
Tuskegee Airmen, 1941 - 1946  Search this
Congressional Black Caucus, American, founded 1971  Search this
Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World, American, founded 1898  Search this
National Council of Negro Women, founded 1935  Search this
Muhammad Ali, American, 1942 - 2016  Search this
369th Veterans Association, American  Search this
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, American, founded 1957  Search this
Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded 1784  Search this
National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., American, founded 1935  Search this
Northside Center for Child Development, Inc., founded 1946  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 7/16 × 5/16 in. (27.5 × 21.4 × 0.8 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1977
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Communities  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Government  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Labor  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics (Practical)  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
Sororities  Search this
Tennis  Search this
United States--History--1969-2001  Search this
United States--Social life and customs  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Anne B. Patrick and the family of Hilda E. Stokely
Object number:
2012.167.11
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.167.11
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  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 1

Coleman, Beatrice (Mrs.)

Subseries Creator:
Custom Craft  Search this
Rice, Moses P.  Search this
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Scurlock, Robert S. (Saunders), 1917-1994  Search this
Scurlock, George H. (Hardison), 1919-2005  Search this
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Container:
Box 17
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents note:
Subject/Sitter: baby
Subseries Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

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.
Subseries 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.
Subseries Citation:
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.3: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by client
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0618-s04-03-ref1597

Beatrice Coleman and Beatrice Dedman

Created by:
Unidentified  Search this
Subject of:
Beatrice Cloman Dedman, American, 1895 - 1990  Search this
Beatrice Coleman, American, 1892 - unknown  Search this
Medium:
photographic gelatin and silver on photographic paper mounted to cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W: 3 3/4 × 5 1/2 in. (9.5 × 14 cm)
Type:
photographs
portraits
Place depicted:
Dermott, Arkansas, United States, North and Central America
Date:
ca. 1915
Topic:
African American  Search this
American South  Search this
American West  Search this
Communities  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Princetta R. Newman
Object number:
2014.75.114
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
The Princetta R. Newman Collection of Family Photographs, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2014.75.114
Additional Online Media:

Photographic print of Harper Franklin, Beatrice Coleman and Beatrice Dedman

Created by:
Unidentified  Search this
Subject of:
Harper Franklin  Search this
Beatrice Coleman, American, 1892 - unknown  Search this
Beatrice Cloman Dedman, American, 1895 - 1990  Search this
Medium:
photographic gelatin and silver on photographic paper mounted to cardboard
Dimensions:
H x W: 6 1/8 × 4 1/4 in. (15.6 × 10.8 cm)
Type:
photographs
portraits
Place made:
Dermott, Arkansas, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1915
Topic:
African American  Search this
American South  Search this
American West  Search this
Communities  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Princetta R. Newman
Object number:
2014.75.92
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
The Princetta R. Newman Collection of Family Photographs, Tulsa, Oklahoma
Classification:
Media Arts-Photography
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2014.75.92
Additional Online Media:

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