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Direct marketing file

Collection Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Container:
Box 52, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Collection Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0393-ref251

Direct Marketing Creative Guild

Collection Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Container:
Box 52, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Collection Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0393-ref252

Direct Marketing, 1972-1984

Collection Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Container:
Box 23-25
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Collection Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0393-ref147

Direct marketing survey

Collection Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Container:
Box 14, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1987-1988
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
The Records of Wedge Innovations, 1985-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Records of Wedge Innovations
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0534-ref138

Direct Marketing Analysis

Collection Donor:
Dobrow, Joe  Search this
Collection Creator:
Fresh Fields  Search this
Whole Foods Market  Search this
Container:
Box 4, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1994-1995
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Fresh Fields Records, 1993-2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Fresh Fields Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1367-ref50

Association of Direct Marketing Agencies

Collection Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Container:
Box 52, Folder 14
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Collection Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0393-ref253

Direct Marketing Association Presentation, 2006 (electronic records)

Collection Creator::
National Postal Museum  Search this
Container:
Box 3 of 4
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 16-003, National Postal Museum, Publicity Records
See more items in:
Publicity Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa16-003-refidd1e910

DMAW (Direct Marketing Association of Washington), 2001

Collection Creator::
National Zoological Park. Office of the Director  Search this
Container:
Box 5 of 19
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2031; Transferring office; 1/5/2001 memorandum, Peters to Montes; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 18-142, National Zoological Park. Office of the Director, Subject Files
See more items in:
Subject Files
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa18-142-refidd1e1880

Preliminary planning memorandum on the development of a direct marketing program (MMDM, Inc.)

Collection Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Container:
Box 14, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1974-04-08
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Reference copies for audio and moving images materials do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Fuller Brush Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Fuller Brush Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1459-ref229

A direct marketing proposal for the Fuller Brush Company (Downe Select Marketing)

Collection Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Container:
Box 14, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1974-06-12
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Reference copies for audio and moving images materials do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Fuller Brush Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Fuller Brush Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1459-ref232

John Caples Papers

Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Names:
Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborn  Search this
Extent:
24 Cubic feet (64 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Business letters
Awards
Essays
Diaries
Tear sheets
Typescripts
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
circa 1900-1987
Scope and Contents:
Series Three, Speeches and Lectures, contains Caples' speeches to advertising industry associations and other business organizations, as well as a series of lectures prepared for a college course on advertising techniques that Caples taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Business during the 1953-54 academic year..

Series Four, Client Files, contains correspondence, advertising copy, press clippings, memos, tearsheets, and other business records for scores of clients for whom Caples did work; Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal are especially well represented. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.

Subseries A contains client files from Caples' years at Ruthrauff & Ryan (1925-1927).

Subseries B contains client files from Caples' years at BBDO (circa 1946-1972).

Subseries C contains files documenting copy testing and direct mail methods and results. Some of the copy-testing materials are in poster-sized format presumably designed for presentation. Several sets of lantern slides illustrating copy-testing results are also included. Series 5, Business Files, includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
Series 1: Personal Papers, is divided into three subseries.

Subseries 1.1 contains Caples' diaries in original, unedited manuscript form. The diaries are arranged chronologically. They constitute a notable resource for the study of the advertising industry from an insider's perspective during a period of tremendous expansion of advertising as a force in American business and culture. They document Caple's participation in and reflections on the business of advertising, and detail his acquaintance with noted business and advertising professionals. The diaries record his responses to the major events of his lifetime, such as presidential elections, the stock market crash of 1929, American entry into World War II, the Kennedy assassinations, and the moon landing. Caples recorded conversations and contacts with some of the key advertising and communications people of his time, including Rosser Reeves, David Ogilvy, George Gallup and Harry Reasoner. Also found in the diaries are reflections of a more mundane or personal nature: weather conditions, the best restaurants, whether to quit drinking or go on a diet, and Caples= ambivalence about retiring from BBDO. Caples wrote precisely one page each day from 1928 through 1981. Missing from the series are the years 1935-1940, 1946-1950; 1952-1955; 1957-1962.

Subseries 1.2 contains edited, rewritten portions of the diaries, presumably intended for publication as short-stories or reminiscences. Of particular interest are humorous short stories relating to Caples' years at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD during the early 1920s.

Subseries 1.3 contains photographs of Caples and his family, ca. 1900-1960.

Subseries 1.4 contains personal and family papers, including material documenting Caple's service as a recruitment and enlistment officer for the U.S. Navy during World War II, and a copy of a dissertation about Caples by Gordon White, entitled John Caples, Adman.

Series 2: Publications, contains Caple's published and unpublished manuscripts about advertising techniques, direct marketing, and the advertising industry. Arrangement is according to publication and thereunder by date of publication. This series is arranged into two subseries.

Subseries 2.1 contains articles published in advertising industry publications such as Advertising Agency, Advertising and Selling, Direct Marketing, and Printer's Ink, and for business publications like Saturday Review. The articles typically are of a how-to nature, but also include Caples observations about the business of advertising, including a series for Advertising Agency in the 1950s, titled "Diary of an Ad Man," which drew heavily from his diaries.

Subseries 2.2 contains book manuscripts. Caples was a prolific and respected author in his field, publishing four widely acclaimed books on advertising and direct marketing techniques. Material in this series includes rough and final drafts, illustrative material, and correspondence with editors and publishers. There are also letters of congratulation from friends and letters of praise from readers.

Series 3: Speeches and Lectures, contains Caples' speeches to advertising industry associations and other business organizations, as well as a series of lectures prepared for a college course on advertising techniques that Caples taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Business during the 1953-54 academic year..Series 4: Client Files, contains correspondence, advertising copy, press clippings, memos, tearsheets, and other business records for scores of clients for whom Caples did work; Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal are especially well represented. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.

Subseries 4.1 contains client files from Caples' years at Ruthrauff & Ryan (1925-1927).

Subseries 4.2 contains client files from Caples' years at BBDO (ca. 1946-1972).

Subseries 4.3 contains files documenting copy testing and direct mail methods and results. Some of the copy-testing materials are in poster-sized format presumably designed for presentation. Several sets of lantern slides illustrating copy-testing results are also included.

Series 5: Business Files, includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Personal Papers

Series 2: Publications

Series 3: Speeches and Lectures

Series 4: Client Files

Series 5: Business Files
Biographical / Historical:
John Caples (1900-1990) was one of advertising's most influential copywriters. He grew up in New York City, the eldest of two sons of Byron Caples, a doctor, and Edith Richards Caples, a grandniece of W.W. Cole, P.T. Barnum's partner.

After graduation from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Caples began his advertising career at Ruthrauff & Ryan in 1925, during the decade in which advertising began to assume its modern form, both in style and organizational structure. His first year there, he wrote a legendary mail-order advertisement for the U.S. School of Music. This advertisement, more than a thousand words long, embodied many of the techniques which Caples was later to develop, and is still regarded within the industry as one of the most effective pieces of advertising copy ever written. It began with the straightforward but emotionally insightful headline: "They laughed when I sat down at the piano." The headline became a part of American popular culture, appearing in ads, comics, cartoons, and greeting cards into the 1990s.

In 1927, Caples moved to Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne (BBDO), where he had the opportunity to work alongside Bruce Barton, an advertising legend and pioneer of direct mail. Caples remained at BBDO for 55 years, during which time he reshaped the field of direct response advertising. At BBDO he supervised direct response advertising for DuPont, U..S. Steel, General Electric, United Fruit, Hormel, the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Phoenix Mutual, Liberty Mutual, Western Airlines, U.S. Navy Recruiting, and many other clients. In his honor, the Direct Marketing Creative Guild established the John Caples Award to recognize creative excellence in direct marketing.

Caples was also respected for the development of innovative copy-testing techniques. He was the author of countless articles and several well-respected books, including Tested Advertising Methods (1932), Advertising for Immediate Sales (1936), Making Ads Pay (1957) and How To Make Your Advertising Make Money (1983). He also served as a recruitment and enlistment officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. John Caples retired from BBDO in 1981. He died after a long convalescence in 1990.
Related Materials:
As part of the collection, the Archives Center accepted 22 books on advertising, including copies of Caples' books, some in foreign languages. These books are housed in the Archives Center.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in December 1990 by Caples' widow, Mrs. Dorothy Dickes Caples, of New York City.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Topic:
Advertising copy  Search this
advertising  Search this
Advertising, Direct-mail  Search this
Advertising executives  Search this
Copy writers  Search this
Direct marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business letters
Awards
Essays
Diaries -- 20th century
Tear sheets
Typescripts
Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0393
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0393
Additional Online Media:

Mailings

Creator::
National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Society  Search this
Extent:
0.5 cu. ft. (1 document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Brochures
Manuscripts
Date:
2008, undated
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of records documenting marketing and solicitation efforts of the National Air and Space Society, the National Air and Space Museum's membership program. Materials include sample direct mail marketing letters and brochures with included membership forms.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums  Search this
Astronautical museums  Search this
Direct-mail fund raising  Search this
Fund raising  Search this
Museums -- Membership  Search this
Direct marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Brochures
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-096, National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Society, Mailings
Identifier:
Accession 07-096
See more items in:
Mailings
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa07-096

Mailings

Creator::
National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Society  Search this
Extent:
0.5 cu. ft. (1 document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Brochures
Manuscripts
Newsletters
Date:
circa 1996-2004
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of records documenting marketing and solicitation efforts of the National Air and Space Society, the National Air and Space Museum's membership program. Materials include sample direct mail marketing letters, brochures, member newsletters, member event calendars, blank certificates, and information request cards.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums  Search this
Astronautical museums  Search this
Direct-mail fund raising  Search this
Fund raising  Search this
Museums -- Membership  Search this
Direct marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Brochures
Manuscripts
Newsletters
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 10-081, National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Society, Mailings
Identifier:
Accession 10-081
See more items in:
Mailings
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa10-081

Mailings

Creator::
National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Society  Search this
Extent:
0.25 cu. ft. (1 half document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Newsletters
Brochures
Date:
circa 2003-2006
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of records documenting marketing and solicitation efforts of the National Air and Space Society, the National Air and Space Museum's (NASM) membership program. Materials include brochures, member newsletters, blank certificates, holiday cards, and other informational materials.
Topic:
Aeronautical museums  Search this
Astronautical museums  Search this
Direct-mail fund raising  Search this
Fund raising  Search this
Museums -- Membership  Search this
Direct marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Newsletters
Brochures
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 10-116, National Air and Space Museum. National Air and Space Society, Mailings
Identifier:
Accession 10-116
See more items in:
Mailings
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa10-116

FY 2003-70 Kaleidoscope Direct marketing

Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Business Ventures, Product Development and Licensing  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Rights:
Restricted for 15 years. Any requests to access these records during the restriction period, including requests from the staff of Smithsonian Business Ventures, must first receive permission, in writing, from the Director of Product Development and Licensing, until Jan-01-2021; Transferring office; 08/16/1994 memorandum, Johnstone to Watson; Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-001, Smithsonian Institution, Smithsonian Business Ventures, Product Development and Licensing, Product and Contract Records
See more items in:
Product and Contract Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa07-001-refd1e10937

Board of Directors Records

Creator:
Smithsonian Business Ventures  Search this
Extent:
4.5 cu. ft. (4 record storage boxes) (1 document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Floppy disks
Date:
1998-2007
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of records that document the activities and meetings of the Board of Directors of Smithsonian Business Ventures (SBV). SBV was formed in 1999 as the revenue-producing organization at the Smithsonian. It has three primary business divisions: media, retail and business development, and licensing. The Board of Directors purpose is to guide and support the Chief Executive Officer, Gary Beer, and to ensure that the appropriate plans and polices are in place to maximize the financial assets under the management of SBV within the overall mission of the Smithsonian. Assets include Smithsonian magazine, retail stores, theaters, catalogs, product licensing, books and recordings, visual media, travel tours, direct marketing, and food services. Materials include correspondence, memoranda, reports, meeting minutes, meeting transcripts, budget records, strategic planning records, and other related materials. Some materials are in electronic format.
Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2023; Transferring office; 04/16/2013 memorandum, Toda to Cunigan; Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
Museum finance.  Search this
Boards of directors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Floppy disks
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 13-146, Smithsonian Business Ventures, Board of Directors Records
Identifier:
Accession 13-146
See more items in:
Board of Directors Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa13-146

Publications

Collection Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
Series 2: Publications, contains Caple's published and unpublished manuscripts about advertising techniques, direct marketing, and the advertising industry. Arrangement is according to publication and thereunder by date of publication. This series is arranged into two subseries.

Subseries 2.1 contains articles published in advertising industry publications such as Advertising Agency, Advertising and Selling, Direct Marketing, and Printer's Ink, and for business publications like Saturday Review. The articles typically are of a how-to nature, but also include Caples observations about the business of advertising, including a series for Advertising Agency in the 1950s, titled "Diary of an Ad Man," which drew heavily from his diaries.

Subseries 2.2 contains book manuscripts. Caples was a prolific and respected author in his field, publishing four widely acclaimed books on advertising and direct marketing techniques. Material in this series includes rough and final drafts, illustrative material, and correspondence with editors and publishers. There are also letters of congratulation from friends and letters of praise from readers.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Collection Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0393, Series 2
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0393-ref15

Business Files

Collection Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
This series includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Collection Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0393, Series 5
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0393-ref24

Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers

Creator:
Dodd, Sharon Donovan  Search this
Donovan, Christine  Search this
Donovan, James F. Jr., Dr.  Search this
Donovan, Marion O'Brien, 1917-1998 (woman inventor)  Search this
Rabinow, Jacob, 1910-  Search this
Walters, Barbara  Search this
Names:
Keko Corporation.  Search this
Saks Fifth Avenue.  Search this
Extent:
7 Cubic feet (17 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Sketches
Publications
Publicity photographs
Photographs
Advertising mail
Scrapbooks
Clippings
Birth certificates
Correspondence
Color prints (photographs)
Dye diffusion transfer prints
Marriage certificates
Patent drawings
Date:
1949-1999
Summary:
Correspondence, patents, photographs, newspaper clippings, and subject files about various inventors and ideas. Collection documents women inventors, American culture, 1950s-1970s, and products designed for women and the home. Donovan's papers offer a near complete invention record, including both successes and failures, as well as patent and trademark correspondence.
Scope and Contents:
The Donovan papers offer a near complete invention record, including both successes and failures, and include correspondence, photographs, patents, newspaper clippings, and subject files about various inventions and ideas. This collection documents direct marketing techniques for products designed especially for women and the home. It may be useful for researchers interested in women inventors and entrepreneurs, American culture from the 1950s through the 1970s, and advertising history.

Series 1: Personal Papers and Biographical Materials, 1917-1999

Subseries 1.1: Biographical Materials, 1917-1999 includes newspaper clippings, biographical materials, and memorabilia relating to Marion Donovan's early life, family, and social activities. Note: Original clippings have been photocopied, and researcher copies are available.

Subseries 1.2: Magazine Publications, 1953-1999 includes original magazines which featured articles on Marion Donovan.

Series 2: The Boater, 1949-1995

Includes United States and foreign patents, notes, clippings, correspondence, photos, press releases and scrapbooks that document the invention of the Boater diaper cover.

Series 3: Other Ideas and Inventions, 1941-1993

Subseries 3.1: Marion Donovan's Subject Files, 1941-1995 are arranged chronologically and contain advertisements, articles, correspondence, sketches, notes, United States and foreign patents, photo materials, press releases, publications, and some artifacts documenting her ideas and inventions.

Subseries 3.2: Barbara Walters' Television Special, Not For Women Only, [1975] features an episode highlighting "Inventors and Invention," with a panel that includes Marion Donovan, Jacob Rabinow, and Henry Kloss, demonstrating their inventions.

Series 4: Dentaloop, 1979-1996

Subseries 4.1: Manufacturing Files, 1979-1996 contains files relating to the manufacture and packaging of DentaLoop, and includes photo materials, correspondence with various manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, clippings, craft materials, and reports.

Subseries 4.2: Patents and Patent History, 1985-1996 contains files kept by Marion Donovan documenting the patent history of her and others' dental inventions.

Subseries 4.3: Marketing Files, 1989-1995 includes a substantial mailing list compiled over the years by Marion Donovan Associates, various order forms, advertising drafts, press releases, correspondence with Procter & Gamble, photo materials, personalized questionnaire responses, and a "How-To" videotape demonstration.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 4 series.

Series 1: Personal Papers and Biographical Material, 1999

Series 2: The Boater, 1949-1999

Series 3: Other Ideas and Inventions, 1941-1993

Series 4: DentaLoop, 1979-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Twentieth-century inventor, Marion O'Brien Donovan (1917-1998), made a career of designing solutions to everyday, domestic problems. Her career is framed by her invention in 1949 of the "Boater," a diaper cover made of surplus parachute nylon, and her invention in 1993 of DentaLoop, individual precut circles of two-ply dental floss. As an inventor and entrepreneur, Donovan created products that addressed problems in personal health, beauty, and household needs.

Marion O'Brien was born into a family of inventors on October 15, 1917, in South Bend, Indiana. Marion's father, Miles O'Brien, with his identical twin brother John, developed an industrial lathe for manufacturing gun barrels and founded the South Bend Lathe Works in 1906. After her mother died when she was seven, Marion spent a majority of her time at her father's factory, even inventing a "tooth powder" while in elementary school. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Rosemont College in 1939, and worked briefly for both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. In 1942, she married James F. Donovan and moved to Westport, Connecticut.

A Connecticut housewife and mother of two in 1946, Donovan was unsatisfied with the options available to her to keep her babies dry. To her, cloth diapers "served more as a wick than a sponge," and rubber pants assured a nasty case of diaper rash. Looking for a way to hold the dampness in without keeping air out, she experimented by clipping a panel from her shower curtain, sewing a moisture-proof diaper cover, and replacing safety pins with snaps. Three years later, she introduced the "Boater." Donovan's attempts to sell her idea to leading manufacturers failed, but her product became an instant sensation and commercial success when she began selling the Boater at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1949. In 1951, Donovan sold both her company, Donovan Enterprises, and her diaper patents to children's clothing manufacturer Keko Corporation, for one million dollars.

Marion Donovan's interest in design and invention manifested itself in a Master's degree in architecture which she received from Yale University in 1958, at age forty-one. According to her obituary, she was one of three women in her graduating class. In the decades that followed, Donovan would go on to invent "The Ledger Check," a combined check and record-keeping book; "The Big Hang-Up," a garment hanger and closet organizer; and "The Zippity-Do," an elasticized zipper pull.

Marion Donovan was involved in every aspect of product development, serving as creator, designer, manufacturer, and marketer. Often, designing the product also meant designing the machinery that could construct the product to her unique specifications. While working on the development of DentaLoop, for example, she and second husband, John Butler, traveled to a factory in Germany to explore floss-producing machinery ideas. Donovan also went to great lengths to market her floss product. Between the years 1991 and 1995, in collaboration with daughter Christine, she launched her largest promotional campaign, marketing DentaLoop directly to hundreds of dental professionals and pharmacists all over the country. Always envisioning improvements, she continued to correspond with companies specializing in oral hygiene products until her husband suffered a stroke, and she focused her attentions on caring for him. Following his death in July, Marion O'Brien Donovan Butler died four months later on November 4, 1998.
Related Materials:
Artifacts were donated to the National Museum of American History in March of 2000. The "Boater" diaper cover (1949), a key chain bracelet, and "The Zippity-Do" (1970) were donated to the American Costume Collection of Social History Collection. "DentaLoop" (1993) materials were donated to the Science, Medicine, and Society Division.
Provenance:
Ms. Donovan's daughters, Christine Donovan and Sharon Donovan Dodd, and son, Dr. James F. Donovan, Jr., donated the collection to the Archives Center, March 2000.
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:
Women in technology  Search this
Women in marketing  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Trademarks  Search this
advertising  Search this
Diapers  Search this
Dental hygiene -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1970-1980
Sketches
Publications
Publicity photographs
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film -- 1900-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Advertising mail
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Birth certificates
Correspondence -- 20th century
Color prints (photographs)
Dye diffusion transfer prints
Marriage certificates
Patent drawings -- 20th century
Citation:
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers, 1949-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0721
See more items in:
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0721
Additional Online Media:

Interviewees, Andrew Butler, Stuart McFaul, Marilyn Crowell and Ronald Wisnia

Collection Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Extent:
1 sound recording (Duration 1 hour)
Container:
Box 26, Item 534.3
Box 25, Item 534.3
Box 24, Item 534.3
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images
Sound recordings
Date:
1995 June 20
Scope and Contents:
Location: Palo Alto, California

This tape contains the remarks of Stuart McFaul and Andrew Butler, with occasional comments by Marilyn Crowell and Ronald Wisnia. McFaul was responsible for public relations at Wedge, while Butler founded the company [in 1985]. Butler related how he had been fired by the Board of Directors in June 1992, took back control of Wedge in August 1992, fired the replacement president, Richard Couch, and finally sold the company on November 16, 1992 [to Macklanburg-Duncan].

McFaul and Butler together described what they did before coming to Wedge Innovations, how their formal education influenced their work at Wedge, the company's New Product Development Conference [in 1991], Smart tools technology, potential consumer markets for SmartLevel and brand name recognition.

Butler alone discussed his reasons for founding Wedge, the limitations of traditional construction tools, marketing the SmartLevel, hiring Ron Wisnia, the process of building Wedge, and the origin of the Wedge name.

McFaul alone discussed the issues involved in the promotion of SmartLevel, Wedge's direct marketing survey, the cultivation of SmartLevel users, Butler's efforts in the promotion of SmartLevel, and the design of the products and store displays.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
The Records of Wedge Innovations, 1985-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Records of Wedge Innovations
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0534-ref234

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