Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
19 documents - page 1 of 1

Fuller Brush Company Records

Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Extent:
32.5 Cubic feet (77 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Clippings
Ledgers (account books)
Letters (correspondence)
Motion picture film
Newsletters
Photographs
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Training manuals
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records
Place:
Connecticut -- Hartford
Kansas
Date:
1890-2017
Summary:
The collection documents the Fuller Brush Company founded by Alfred C. Fuller in 1906.
Content Description:
The collection documents the Fuller Brush Company from the early years of its existence. The contents include photographs; ledgers; correspondence; internal reports; manufacturing facility studies; quality control reports; financial statements; sales data; company newsletters, some loose and some in bound form; other internal publications; advertising; trade literature; product manuals; catalogs; training manuals and employee handbooks; company annual reports; convention programs and materials; films; materials relating to employee incentives; vinyl records of radio broadcasts; scripts, pressbooks, and other promotional material for motion pictures; informational audio-cassete tapes; contracts, trial testimonies, and other legal papers; industry surveys and marketing campaign proposals; and clippings and printed materials.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into thirteen series. Unless otherwise noted, material is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Historical background, 1916-2001

Series 2: Corporate records, 1917-2010 (bulk 1973-1976)

Series 3: Marketing, 1941-2013

Series 4: Operational records, 1913-1976 (bulk 1969-1976)

Series 5: Financial materials, 1919-1996

Series 6: Personnel, 1922-1984

Series 7: Sales managers, 1922-1990

Series 8: Distributors, 1921-2006

Series 9: Publications, 1920-1999

Series 10: Product materials, 1912-2017

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1890-2000

Series 12: Press Clippings and Publicity, 1921-2010

Series 13: The Fuller Brush Man and The Fuller Brush Girl, 1947-1953, 2004 (bulk 1947-1952).
Historical:
Founded in 1906 by Alfred C. Fuller in Hartford, Connecticut, the Fuller Brush Company predominately sold a wide range of cleaning products, marketed for personal care, housekeeping, and commercial users. Mostly a direct-selling company, it is perhaps best known for its independent, door-to-door salesmen, a figure referred to in popular culture as "the Fuller Brush Man." Calling on the housewives of America, the Fuller Brush Man would visit households with a gift, flyers, and a case full of samples, with which he would demonstrate the use of cleaning implements of various shapes and sizes. Through techniques such as developing new products based on customer feedback, and providing a satisfaction guarantee by allowing for product returns during the Fuller Brush Man's next visit, the Fuller Brush Company inspired new levels of trust and credibility in direct selling. In return, the company reaped massive profits. During the peak of the company's popularity, in around the 1950s, the Fuller Brush Man was a ubiquitous part of the American landscape, alluded to in comic strips, radio programs, and popular films, such as the 1948 Red Skelton comedy The Fuller Brush Man and the 1950 comedy The Fuller Brush Girl, starring Lucille Ball.

The Fuller Brush Company continually used its resources to promote and establish the identity of the Fuller Brush Man, to its own salespeople as well as the public. Traditional print advertisements were supplemented with extensive publicity coverage, carefully crafted by the Fuller Brush Company's advertising and public relations team. The company fostered a culture of achievable aspiration among new recruits, through in-house publications, which celebrated the accomplishments of fellow dealers, incentive programs, and a career ladder pipeline, which allowed high achieving salesmen to advance from independent dealers to regional sales managers--who were considered formal employees of the Fuller Brush Company. Some sales managers became local celebrities in their districts, adding their own charisma to the development of the Fuller Brush Man--such as New York District's Al Teetsel--whose "Fine and Dandy" personal motto established a cult following. Other Fuller Brush Company salesmen used the Fuller Brush Man's distinctive optimism, pluck, and perseverance to later become celebrities in their own right, such as evangelist Billy Graham, who attributed his high school days as a successful Fuller Brush Man to his future success.

While the Fuller Brush Company is best known for its door-to-door network of Fuller Brush Men, and its household products division, the company experimented with various channels of distribution and other specialized products during its over 100-year history. The Fuller Brush Company produced implements to clean guns during World War II, and in 1945 was honored with the E Award for its war effort contributions. In the 1940s, the Fuller Brush Company introduced female salespeople, or "Fullerettes" to their door-to-door ranks (mostly to promote their Debutante Cosmetics line, released by Daggett & Ramsdell, Inc. in 1948). The company returned to actively recruiting Fullerettes in 1966, and thereafter welcomed distributors of either sex. The company's Machine Division produced the mast for the sailboat "Columbia" in 1958, and in the 1960s, its Marine Division produced items for the maintenance of nautical equipment. Around the 1960s, its Household Division incorporated new items such as vitamins and hormone treatments into its personal care product line. The company experimented with retail brick-and-mortar locations, and, in 1974, instigated a telemarketing program. After 1985, the Fuller Brush Company began to move away from door-to-door sales techniques, redeveloping its sale channel distribution system to include mail order catalogs, a secure sales website for distributors, network-marketing techniques, and a reinterpretation of sales territories for distributors where district territories began to blur in favor of nationwide sales opportunities.

Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, the company remained in the region through the 1960s, though the company shifted locations to larger offices and manufacturing facilities as it grew. In 1960, operational facilities and headquarters moved to a large, custom-built campus in East Hartford, Connecticut. However, in 1968, the company was acquired by the Kitchens of Sara Lee, Inc. (then a part of the Consolidated Foods Corporation). During the 1970s the Fuller Brush Company experienced rapid changes in administration and organization. Under President Nat Zivin, headquarters relocated to Niles, Illinois in 1973. Later the same year, headquarters and operations moved to a large manufacturing facility in Great Bend, Kansas. The company remained a division of Sara Lee until 1989.

The Fuller Brush Company grew to involve multiple subsidiaries, including many that were international. The Fuller Brush Company established a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary in 1921, called the Fuller Brush Company, Limited. In 1942, the Fuller Brush Company bought out a competitor, the Albany, New York-based Mohawk Brush Company. The "bristlecomb" hairbrush, introduced by the Mohawk Brush Company in 1928, remained one of the Fuller Brush Company's signature products. In 1961, the Fuller Brush Company founded and incorporated Charter Supply Corporation as a wholly-owned Mohawk subsidiary. Charter Products operated as a "private label" division, to rebrand duplicate products. The Fuller Brush Company also owned subsidiaries in Mexico; in 1968, the Fuller Brush Company held 100% interest in House of Fuller, S.A. and Charter de Mexico, S.A., both established in Mexico. Also in 1968, the Fuller Brush Company was a partial owner of House of Fuller (Jamaica), Ltd. The Fuller Brush Company conducted business around the world, including dealings in England, France, Jamaica, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela.

With growth came legal challenges. The Green River Ordinance, established in 1931, placed limits on door-to-door sales. The Fuller Brush Company challenged the ordinance, when it went to the Supreme Court in 1937. Over the course of its history, the Fuller Brush Company weathered lawsuits ranging from trademark disputes to labor treatment complaints from area managers in Puerto Rico.

After the sale by Sara Lee in 1989, the Fuller Brush Company was held by a series of private owners, including Lee Turner and Stuart A. Ochiltree. In June 1994, CPAC, Inc. purchased the company. In 1995, CPAC, Inc. also bought a longtime competitor of the Fuller Brush Company, Stanley Home Products, a company founded in 1929 by Stanley Beverage, a former sales vice president for the Fuller Brush Company. The two companies became siblings under the same parent organization; items from the Stanley Home Products line were sold by Fuller Brush Company distributors, and manufactured at the Fuller Brush Company plant in Great Bend. In 2012, both the Fuller Brush Company and Stanley Home Products filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The companies merged their product lines and catalogs, eliminating equivalent products, to cut costs and streamline operations.

In December 2012, David Sabin and Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital purchased the Fuller Brush Company. The company headquarters moved to Napa Valley, California. Facing increased financial difficulties, in 2016 the company began to phase out its independent distributor system and domestic manufacturing operations. Around January 2018, the company was sold to Galaxy Brush LLC of Lakewood, New Jersey.
Biographical:
Alfred C. Fuller (January 13, 1885 - December 4, 1973), was founder and first president of the Fuller Brush Company, as well as the "original Fuller Brush Man." He was born in rural Nova Scotia, to parents Leander Joseph Fuller and Phebe Jane Collins. The eleventh of twelve children, Fuller took pride in the resilient and self-sufficient spirit he developed growing up on a Nova Scotian farm, and valued such qualities throughout his life over formal education. Long after his success, he promoted himself as an average man among average men.

In 1903, at age eighteen, Alfred Fuller left his family home in Nova Scotia, and followed siblings who settled in the United States. He moved in with his sister Annie and her husband, Frank Adler, in Somerville, Massachusetts. After a series of odd jobs, Fuller considered trying his hand at selling brushes (he was inspired by a brother, Dwight, who made and sold brushes before his death by tuberculosis in 1901). Alfred discovered a knack for trade; unlike many other direct salesmen at the time, his sales technique emphasized product demonstrations. Eventually, Fuller decided to make his own brushes. He set up a workbench in his sister's basement in January 1906. Four months later, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he founded the Fuller Brush Company.

The rapid success of the company, improved Alfred C. Fuller's romantic prospects. With the enthusiastic support of his sister, Annie, Alfred initiated a courtship with a Nova Scotian woman who had formerly caught his eye, Evelyn Ellis. They were married on April 10, 1908. However, the marriage was strained, and they divorced in 1930. In 1932, Alfred Fuller remarried. His second wife, Mary Primrose Pelton, was also Nova Scotian, the daughter of a judge from Yarmouth. They remained together for the rest of his life.

Alfred C. Fuller and his first wife Evelyn had two sons. Alfred Howard was born in 1913 and Avard in 1916. Both would later rise to prominence within the Fuller Brush Company, serving as its second and third presidents. The elder son, Howard, was Fuller Brush Company President from 1943 until 1959. From an early age, Howard challenged his father regarding the direction of the company. With his bold and aggressive personality, Howard was able to institute changes to the company that resulted in higher profits, such as distributing catalogs before the salesman's visit, shortening product demonstrations, prioritizing many small sales over few large sales, and developing other techniques that emphasized speed and efficiency. However, his temperament also contributed to Howard and his wife Dora's untimely deaths. Howard, always interested in thrilling, high-risk pursuits (such as driving sports cars, piloting airplanes, and racing speedboats and sailboats) was cruising through Nevada at 120-miles per hour for a business trip, uncharacteristically accompanied by his wife, when his Mercedes-Benz 300 SL blew a tire. Both Fullers died in the accident.

Following the tragic accident, Avard assumed leadership of the Fuller Brush Company. Avard's more conservative nature ushered in an era of leadership where his father, Alfred C. Fuller, rose in honor and influence with the company. However, Avard relied on traditional sales strategies (such as promoting a culture around the Fuller Brush Man, rather than take a more active strategy toward integrating female distributors) which placed the Fuller Brush Company at a disadvantage with competitors such as Avon Cosmetics. Avard served as President of the Fuller Brush Company until 1969.

Although Alfred C. Fuller never reclaimed presidency of the Fuller Brush Company, he remained chairman emeritus for the duration of his life. A treasured company figurehead, celebrations were held in his honor long after his retirement. In 1956, a testimonial dinner was held where a portrait of Fuller was unveiled in honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Fuller Brush Company. In 1965, Alfred C. Fuller was further honored, when his birthplace was dedicated as a historic landmark. Alfred C. Fuller was known as "Dad" Fuller to the thousands of Fuller Brush Men and Fullerettes who represented the company door-to-door throughout the country, and made frequent appearances in in-house publications and external publicity. Working with Hartzell Spence, Alfred C. Fuller wrote an autobiography, titled A Foot in the Door, published by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. in 1960. A practicing Christian Scientist with a devout Methodist mother, Fuller frequently alludes to the influence of his faith in his autobiography. Alfred C. Fuller passed away on December 4, 1973.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Stanley Home Products Collection (AC0788)

Earl S. Tupper Papers (AC0470)

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collections (AC0583)

Industry on Parade Film Collection, episodes 66, 217 (AC0507)

Materials at the Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collection, includes some Fuller Brush Company catalogs;

The Work and Industry Division, National Museum of American History holds artifacts from the Fuller Brush Company from previous accessions, such as hairbrushes for women and men (including bristlecomb hairbrushes); shower brushes; toothbrushes; combs; a military brush; brush holders; and similar materials. (AG.A.6645-AG.A.6653; AG.A.6656-AG.A.6666; AG.77-FT-15.0523; ZZ.RSN833134).

The Medicine and Science Division, National Museum of American History holds a general purpose cleaning brush, and a bathroom fixtures cleaning brush from a previous accesssion (2006.0098).

National Portrait Gallery holds a portrait of Alfred Fuller.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department

Avon Products Inc., Records, 1880-2012

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Archives

Columbia Pictures Records, 1934-1974 (collection #93555)

Includes materials related to the Fuller Brush man and Fuller Brush Girl, 1950.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts collected along with the acquisition of archival material are held by the Divisions of Work and Industry, and Medicine and Science.

Separated materials assigned to the Division of Work and Industry include a men's tie; buttons; ashtray; charm; and tape measure. See accession 2018.0089.

Separated materials assigned to Division of Medicine and Science include a bathing brush, a dental plate brush, a women's hair brush, a comb cleaner, and toothbrushes. Some items are maintained in original packaging, or are kept with original paper inserts. See accession 2018.0090.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Fuller Brush Company through David Sabin, 2018.
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.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Advertising copy  Search this
Advertising, Point-of-sale  Search this
Broom and brush industry  Search this
Door-to-door selling  Search this
Household supplies  Search this
Print Advertising  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Traveling sales personnel  Search this
Manufacturing  Search this
Cosmetics industry  Search this
Industry -- U.S.  Search this
Direct selling  Search this
Businesspeople  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Radio broadcasts  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Ledgers (account books) -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Motion picture film
Newsletters -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports -- 20th century
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Trade literature -- 20th century
Training manuals -- 20th century
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Fuller Brush Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1459
See more items in:
Fuller Brush Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1459
Additional Online Media:

"Fuller Brush Presents" Kelly DiGrazia (audio cassette)

Collection Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound cassette
Container:
Box 63
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Sound cassettes
Date:
1990-01
Scope and Contents:
Audio cassette. Total running time 00:32:07 (approximately 00:24:13 of content).

In this second edition of "Fuller Brush Presents," an audio cassette series in which managers provide tips about how they found success with the Fuller Brush Company, Dereck Striker introduces Kelly DiGrazia, Division Manager from Chicago, Illinois. Kelly DiGrazia talks about her background, recruiting new representatives (particularly women), training new recruits, motivation and retention, bonus representatives, building a personal schedule, providing product demonstrations, and leadership.
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
Fuller Brush Company Records / Series 7: Sales Managers / 7.1: Guides
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1459-ref1276

The "Pepsi Generation" Oral History and Documentation Collection

Topic:
Pepsi-Cola World
Pepsi-Cola (soft drink)
Creator:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
7.7 Cubic feet (32 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Audiocassettes
Commercials
Interviews
Oral history
Videotapes
Date:
1938-1986
Summary:
The Pepsi Generation Collection is the result of an oral history and documentation project conducted in 1984 and 1985 by the Center for Advertising History and supported in part by a grant from the Pepsi Cola Company.
Scope and Contents:
At the core of the "Pepsi Generation" Oral History and Documention Collection are oral history interviews with individuals involved with Pepsi-Cola and its advertising campaigns. In addition to the oral histories there are research files which include an almost complete run of Pepsi-Cola World, interview abstracts, print advertising, and television commercials from Pepsi's best-known advertising campaigns.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series

Series 1: Research Files, 1943-1985

Series 2: Interviewee Files, 1984-1985

Series 3: Oral History Interviews, 1984-1985

Subseries 3.1: Reference Copies, 1984-1985

Subseries 3.2: Master Tapes,1984-1985

Subseries 3.3: Original Tapes, 1984-1985

Series 4: Pepsi-Cola Video, 1946-1988

Subseries 4.1: Reference videos

Subseries 4.2: Master Copies

Series 5: Pepsi Cola Audio, circa 1970, undated
Biographical / Historical:
In 1983, as part of the 20th anniversary of the "Pepsi Generation" advertising campaign, Pepsi-Cola donated to the Archives Center approximately 200 advertising and promotional items (see collection AC0092). The Archives Center accepted these items and proposed an oral history project to document the "Pepsi Generation" story.

The Archives Center embarked upon this project in the spring of 1983. A professional oral historian, Dr. Scott Ellsworth, conducted twenty-nine interviews during 1984 and 1985 with twenty-six people involved in Pepsi advertising, including bottlers, advertising executives, producers, directors, a songwriter, a performer, a publisher, the president of Pepsi, the chairman of the board, and two former Pepsi presidents.

The interviews focus primarily on the "Come Alive, You're In The Pepsi Generation" advertising campaign, Pepsi's adoption of youth-oriented advertising, campaign execution, television commercial production, background of the idea for the "Think Young" campaign, and the company's response to the "Pepsi Generation"campaign.

The Pepsi Generation Collection is the result of this oral history and documentation project conducted in 1984 and 1985 by the Center for Advertising History and supported in part by a grant from the Pepsi Cola Company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Beverages

N.W. Ayer Advertising Agency Records

Pepsi-Cola Advertising Collection
Provenance:
Collection donated by Pepsi-Cola Company through Rebecca Madiera in 1983. Interviews made for the Smithsonian Institution in 1984 and 1985.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. One oral history is restricted. Only reference copies of the audiovisual materials may be used. Several reels of television commercials have been digitized and are available in the Smithsonian Institution's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Advertising agencies  Search this
Ambiguity in advertising  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Music in advertising  Search this
Prize contests in advertising  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
advertising -- Beverages -- 1930-1990  Search this
Advertising writing  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Youth-oriented advertising  Search this
Slogans  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiocassettes
Commercials
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history
Videotapes
Citation:
The "Pepsi Generation" Oral History and Documentation Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0111
See more items in:
The "Pepsi Generation" Oral History and Documentation Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0111
Additional Online Media:

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection

Creator:
Damigella, Ann.  Search this
Damigella, Thomas  Search this
Names:
Tupperware (Firm).  Search this
Tupperware Home Parties.  Search this
Tupperware International.  Search this
Extent:
17 videocassettes (vhs)
38 motion picture films
1.25 Cubic feet (4 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videocassettes (vhs)
Motion picture films
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Date:
1951-1997
Summary:
Film, sound recordings and documentary material relating to the history of Tupperware home parties and the Damigella Tupperware distributorship in Everett, Massachusetts.
Scope and Contents:
Because of their long affiliation with Tupperware, the Damigellas have amassed a significant collection of archival documentation and memorabilia relating to the history of Tupperware, and particularly to the sales practices and sales force training methods of this highly successful, widely emulated, international corporation.

The collection includes film, sound recordings and printed material relating to Tupperware sales practices and methods of sales force motivation and control.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in ten series. Within each series, materials are arranged chronologically.

Series 1: CATALOGS, 1957-1997

Series 2: GAMES AND DEMONSTRATION GUIDES, 1965-1990

Series 3: ADVERTISING, 1970-1980

Series 4: TUPPERWARE INTERNATIONAL, 1960-1990

Series 5: RECRUITMENT, DEALERSHIP AND MANAGERSHIP, 1960-1995. Proscriptive and motivational literature about working for Tupperware. Series 6: SOUND RECORDINGS, 1953; 1977-78

Series 7: OUR WORLD MAGAZINE, 1976-1991. Sales force magazine, containing demonstration, recruitment and sales advice; product information; and profiles of successful dealers, managers and distributors.

Series 8: JUBILEE PUBLICATIONS, 1967-1982. Publications reviewing and highlighting Jubilee, the annual sales force gathering in Orlando, Florida.

Series 9: DAMIGELLA DISTRIBUTORSHIP AND TUPPERWARE HISTORICAL MATERIALS, 1960-1991. News clippings, research reports, and other background information about Tupperware and the Damigella distributorship, including a chronology compiled by Tom Damigella, Jr.and material assembled by the son of Stanley Home Products and Tupperware salesman Norman Squires relating to his contributions to or innovation in the home party plan.

Series 10: MOVING IMAGES, 1951-1991. 54 16mm films and 2@ VHS videotapes. Film and video mastering and duplication were made possible by a gift from Tupperware International.

There are six subseries.

Subseries 1: Promotional/Motivational Films, 1960-1992. Contains promotional and motivational films featuring activities organized by the company to bring dealers and distributors together, usually with statements from Tupperware executives. Contains product promotion films introducing new Tupperware to the sales force. Contains Jubilee films showcasing the annual celebration, showing award ceremonies, games, music and entertainment (including appearances by Anita Bryant, Waylon Jennings and Pat Boone).

Subseries 2: Training Films, 1952-1997. Includes step-by-step guides to planning Home Parties, learning sales techniques, demonstrating products, and introducing new sales promotions. One film gives tips on safe driving to and from the Tupperware parties, for managers using cars leased by the distributorship for their use.

Subseries 3: Corporate Films, 1958-1992. Includes films showing product development from design to end result as well as discussions of business strategies.

Subseries 4: Commercials, 1983-1994. Presents new products; emphasizes effectiveness and efficiency of using Tupperware.

Subseries 5: Home Movies, 1951-1997. Includes home movies shot by Tupperware distributors Tom and Ann Damigella. This material includes tributes to the Damigellas.

Subseries 6: Acquired Films, 1961. Non-Tupperware films acquired by the Damigellas.
Biographical / Historical:
Ann and Tom Damigella already had experience selling Stanley Home Products when they encountered Tupperware in 1947. Mr. and Mrs. Damigella foresaw great possibilities with the new product, and immediately decided to add Tupperware to the line of products they offered door to door. In 1950, they attended the first "round table" meeting with Earl Tupper (inventor of Tupperware), Brownie Wise (who perfected Tupperware's home party sales system) and sixteen to twenty other Tupperware distributors from around the country. The Damigellas quickly became some of the top Tupperware sales people in the country; in 1952 they were awarded a Cadillac as one of the top six movers of Tupperware in North America. Self-proclaimed Tupperware people, their son, Tom Damigella, Jr., and son-in-law, Jon Nelson, followed them into the business, making the Damigella Distributorship the oldest and among the most successful distributorships in the country -- the distributorship has been in the top 25 in sales every year since the early 1960s. Tom. Jr. manages the distributorship since his father's retirement in 1994; Jon Nelson went on to become one of Tupperware's regional vice-presidents.
Related Materials:
Tupperware may also be found in the Museum=s artifactual holdings, in the former Division of Domestic; contact Jennifer Oka at (202) 357-2308. Researchers interested in the history of Tupperware should also consult the Earl Tupper (AC#470) and Brownie Wise (AC#509) Collections in the Archives Center.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History by Ann and Thomas Damigella in July 1997.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Most items have copyright and/or trademark restrictions. Tupperware films: Most duplication and use of films in commercial and non-commercial productions requires written permission from the Tupperware Corporation. See repository for details.
Topic:
Plastic container industry -- 1950-2000  Search this
Product demonstrations -- 1950-2000  Search this
Sales -- Plastic containers -- 1950-2000  Search this
Direct selling -- 1950-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Citation:
Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection, 1951-1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0583
See more items in:
Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0583
Additional Online Media:

Brownie Wise Papers

Inventor:
Wise, Brownie Humphrey, 1913-1991  Search this
Names:
Stanley Home Products  Search this
Tupperware (Firm).  Search this
Vivian Woodward Cosmetics  Search this
Extent:
27 sound recordings
15 Cubic feet (26 boxes, 7 folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sound recordings
Personal papers
Business records
Speeches
Audiovisual materials
Photographs
Date:
circa 1928-1968
Summary:
The papers consist of business records documenting the history of Tupperware from 1951-1958, during which Brownie Wise served as vice president of the Tupperware Company. Also, personal papers and business records documenting her marketing activities for Stanley Home Products, Vivian Woodard Cosmetics, and others.
Scope and Contents:
The Brownie Wise Papers constitute an essential complement to the Earl Tupper Papers, acquired in 1992, and to the museums rich collections of Tupperware products. Together these collections document not only the founding and early business history of Tupperware, but also significant areas of American history in which the museum has a demonstrated interest. The Brownie Wise Papers illuminate aspects of an American consumer culture which achieved its apex in the post-World War II years; in many ways, Tupperware and the Tupperware party reflect the key defining elements of the fifties. Of special significance is the story these papers tell of a successful woman business executive and working mother, in an era whose women have more often been characterized by June Cleaver and Harriet Nelson. The Tupperware story offers rich insights into the society and culture of the era, illuminating issues of gender, consumerism, and technological development.

There are approximately 15 cubic feet of materials, including photographic and audiovisual materials. The collection is organized into eight series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, circa 1928-1968

Series 2: Stanley Home Products, Patio Parties, circa 1947-1959

Series 3: Tupperware Home Parties, circa 1951-1959

Series 4: Direct Sales consulting, circa 1958-1969

Series 5: Other Direct Sales Consulting, circa 1958-1971

Series 6: Other Business ventures, circa 1958-1967

Series 7: Photographs, 1930-1968

Series 8: Audiovisual Materials, 1953-1957; 1977
Biographical Note:
Brownie Humphrey was born in Buford, Georgia in 1913, the daughter of Rosabelle Stroud Humphrey and Jerome Humphrey, a plumber. According to longtime friend Kay Robinson, Brownie knew that there were few business opportunities for women in the South, and that "unless she wanted to work in sales, she would have to leave the South." After meeting Robert Wise at the Texas Centennial in 1936, where the couple saw an exhibition highlighting a bright future at Ford Motors, Brownie and Robert married and moved to the Detroit area where he worked as a machinist, later opening a small machine shop. The couple divorced in 1941, about three years after the birth of their only child, Jerry. Brownie Wise never remarried.

During the late 1930s and early 1940s, Brownie contributed to a correspondence column of the Detroit News under the pen name "Hibiscus." Her columns were largely autobiographical, but used elements of fantasy and romance to address a uniquely female urban community. In Detroit, Wise worked briefly at an ad agency and in a millinery shop. During World War II, Wise got a job as an executive secretary at Bendix. After the war, Brownie and her mother, Rose Stroud Humphrey, began selling Stanley Home Products. When Jerry became ill in 1949, they followed a doctor's advice and moved to Miami where they began a direct selling business they called Patio Parties. Through this business, the mother daughter team distributed Poly-T (Tupperware), Stanley Home Products, West Bend, and other household goods through an innovative home party plan adopted by Brownie.

Thomas Damigella in Massachusetts, and Brownie Wise in South Florida, quickly became among the fastest movers of Tupperware products, attracting the attention of Earl Tupper, who was still searching for a profitable outlet for his plastic containers. Because Americans were still skeptical of plastics and because the Tupper seal required demonstration, early attempts at department store sales had been unsuccessful. Some independent dealers had more success selling through demonstrations at state fairs or door-to-door, but sales and distribution remained low. The experiences of Damigella and Wise convinced Tupper to offer the products on a home party plan. He partnered with Norman Squires, the originator of Hostess Home Parties, to pursue this strategy.

In 1951, Tupper recruited Brownie to develop the Hostess party plan for Tupperware, and named her vice president of the company. She is credited with developing the party plan and sales organization, and with creating the annual Jubilee, a pep-rally and awards ceremony for dealers and distributors; it was her idea to locate company headquarters in Kissimmee, and she oversaw the design and construction of the campus. With the company's meteoric success came national recognition. Her public role was all the greater because Earl Tupper shunned all public exposure; Wise was the public head of the company throughout the 1950s. She was both honored guest and invited speaker at national sales and marketing conferences, where she was often the only woman in attendance. Scores of laudatory articles about her appeared in the sales industry and general business press, and she became the darling of the women's magazines, including features in McCalls, Charm and Companion.

Tupper and Wise clashed over the management and direction of the business in late 1957 and the board of directors forced her out in January, 1958. She filed a $1,600,000 suit against the company for conspiracy and breach of contract, but settled out of court for a year's salary -- about $30,000. Shortly thereafter, Tupper sold the company to Dart/Rexall and relinquished all involvement with it.

Beginning in 1958 and through the 1960s, Brownie co-founded three direct sales cosmetics companies, Cinderella (1958-59), Carissa (1963) and Sovera/Trivera (1966-69). She also was president of Viviane Woodard Cosmetics (1960-62), and consulted for Artex and others. In addition, she undertook a real estate development venture in Kissimmee with Charles McBurney and George Reynolds (both former Tupperware executives). She seems never to have achieved the same level of success in these later business ventures. Wise continued to live in the Kissimmee area, moving from Waters' Edge, the spectacular 1920s mansion she occupied during the Tupperware years, to a home George Reynolds designed for her in. She was active in her church and as an artist, working in clay and textiles. During the last eight years of her life she was in declining health. She died in December 1992.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History in March 1994 by Brownie Wise's son, Jerry Wise, of Kissimmee, Florida.
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:
Direct selling  Search this
Women in marketing  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Plastics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Personal papers -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Speeches
Audiovisual materials
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
Brownie Wise Papers, 1938-1968, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0509
See more items in:
Brownie Wise Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0509
Additional Online Media:

Earl S. Tupper Papers

Creator:
Tupper, Earl Silas  Search this
Tupper Corporation  Search this
Names:
Tupperware (Firm).  Search this
Tupper, Glenn O.  Search this
Tupper, Miles  Search this
Extent:
14 Cubic feet (27 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Letters (correspondence)
Advertising fliers
Business records
Personal papers
Photographs
Business letters
Notes
Clippings
Family papers
Interviews
Date:
2003
1908-1989
Summary:
Papers documenting inventor Earl S. Tupper, his inventions, Tupperware and the Tupper Company.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the life of inventor Earl S. Tupper through correspondence, notes, photographs, drawings and sound recordings.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into five series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1910-1989

Series 2: Early Business Papers and Scientific Notes, 1930-1965

Series 3: Tupper Corporation/Tupperware Business, 1908-1983

Series 4: Neil Osterweill Oral Histories and Research Notes, 1926-1989

Subseries 4.1: Research Files, 1926-1989

Subseries 4.2: Original Masters, 1987-1989

Subseries 4.3:Research Copies, 1987-1989

Subseries 4.4:Research Copies, 1987-1989

Subseries 4.5: Preservation Copies, undated

Series 5: Center for Advertising History, Oral History Interviews, 1992

Subseries 5.1: Original Masters, 1992

Subseries 5.2: Research Copies, 1992

Subseries 5.3: Research Copies, 1992

Subseries 5.4: Preservation Copies, 1992

Subseries 5.5: Abstracts and Transcripts, 1992, 2003
Biographical / Historical:
Earl Silas Tupper was born in 1907, to a New Hampshire farming family of modest means. During his youth and boyhood in New England, his mother Lulu Clark Tupper, took in laundry and ran a boarding house, while his father, Earnest Leslie operated a small family farm. Earnest Tupper loved to tinker, developing labor-saving devices for the farm and family greenhouses; one of his devices, a frame to facilitate the cleaning of chickens, was granted a patent. It is from his father that Earl Tupper is said to have developed a love for invention. Even as a boy, Tupper showed an enterprising and entrepreneurial spirit. At the age of 10, Earl discovered he could move more of the family's produce by selling door-to-door, bringing the product directly to the customer.

After high school graduation in 1925, Tupper continued to work in the family greenhouses in Shirley Massachusetts for two years. Tupper was an ambitious young man, though, and he was determined to earn his first million by the time he was thirty. During the twenties, he set out on a number of different paths, including work as a mail clerk and on a railroad labor crew. In 1928, he took a course in tree surgery, with the idea of setting up his own tree surgery and landscaping business. He continued to help out with the family business, and got married in 1931. Through the early thirties, the landscaping and nursery business continued to grow and thrive, despite the Depression, enabling Tupper to pursue some of his ideas and inventions. His scientific notebooks for this period reflect the diversity of his interests. Even after Tupper Tree Doctors was forced into bankruptcy in 1936, Tupper remained optimistic about his ability to develop and manufacture some of his inventions.

In 1936, Tupper met Bernard Doyle, the inventor of Viscoloid, the plastics manufacturing division of DuPont, located in nearby Leominster, Mass. He went to work for DuPont in 1937, but stayed there only one year. Later, Tupper would say it was at Dupont "that my education really began." Tupper took the experience he had gained in plastics design and manufacturing at DuPont, and struck out on his own. In 1938, he formed the Earl S. Tupper Company, advertising the design and engineering of industrial plastics products in Leominster, Massachusetts. Much of the fledgling company's early work was performed under subcontract to DuPont. Business was good during the war, because despite the difficulty of acquiring the raw materials necessary for plastics production for the domestic market, Tupper Plastics was able to garner several defense contracts, molding parts for gas masks and Navy signal lamps.

After the war, Tupper turned his attention to developing plastics for the growing consumer market. Many of his earliest designs, which included plastic sandwich picks, cigarette cases, and an unbreakable tumbler for the bathroom, were offered as premiums with other products. For example, Tek toothbrushes offered the tumbler with purchase of a toothbrush, and cigarette companies and other businesses offered cigarette cases imprinted with their logo.

Plastics was still in its infancy in the forties, and the commercial market for plastics product was limited by plastic's reputation for being brittle, greasy, smelly and generally unreliable. Tupper's contributions were twofold. First, he developed a method for purifying black polyethylene slag, a waste product produced in oil refinement, into a substance that was flexible, tough, non-porous, non-greasy and translucent. Second, he developed the Tupper seal, an airtight, watertight lid modeled on the lid for paint containers. Together, these innovations laid the foundations for the future success of Tupperware. Nevertheless, marketing the new product presented a challenge. Tupper experimented with department store sales, but as Businessweek reported in 1954, "in retail stores it fell flat on its face." It seemed clear that the new lid required explanation or demonstration.

In the late 1940s, Thomas Damigella (in Massachusetts) and Brownie Wise (in Florida) were selling household products through Stanley Home Products. Purchasing through local plastics distributors, both began offering Tupperware as part of their product line, and were moving enough Tupperware to attract Earl Tupper's attention. In 1948, Tupper met with Damigella, Wise, and several other local distributors at a Sheraton in Worcester Massachusetts to discuss a new distribution plan. Modeled on the home party plan pioneered by Stanley Home Products and expanded and refined by Brownie Wise, the home party plan became and remains the exclusive outlet for Tupperware. Wise was named Vice President of the company (named Tupperware Home Parties) in 1951, a position she held until 1958, when Tupper sold the company to Rexall for $16 million.

Tupperware's success stems from the combined genius of Earl Tupper, the self-styled Yankee inventor and entrepreneur and Brownie Wise, the consummate saleswoman and motivator. If Tupper personified reverence for the product, Wise personified respect for the sales force. "If we build the people," she was fond of saying, "they'll build the business." Almost half a century later, their legacy remains an important part of Tupperware's continuing success.

Earl S. Tupper died on October 5, 1983.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Leo Baekeland Papers (AC0005)

DuPont Nylon Collection (AC0007)

J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics (AC0008)

Celluloid Corporation Records (AC0009)

Albany Billiard Ball Company Records (AC#0011)

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection (AC0583)

Materials at the National Museum of American History

Tupperware related artifacts are located in the Division of Home and Community Life, the Division of Medicine and Science and the Division of Work and Industry. See accessions: 1983.0711; 1984.1098; 1985.3014; 1985.3015; 1987.0180; 1990.3055; 1992.0209; 1992.0605; 1993.0257; 1994.0118; 1994.0124; 1995.0109; 1998.0070; 1998.0220; 2012.0133; and 2014.3077.
Provenance:
The materials were donated to the Archives Center in 1992 by Glenn O. Tupper, Earl Tupper's son.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. The original tapes (Subseries 4.2) have been dubbed onto audiocassettes (Subseries 4.3) for researcher use, and master reel to reels for preservation (Subseries 4.4). There are transcripts available for some interviews.
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:
Plastics  Search this
Plastic container industry  Search this
Plastic tableware  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Marketing  Search this
advertising  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Advertising fliers
Business records -- 20th century
Personal papers -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Business letters
Notes
Clippings
Family papers
Interviews
Citation:
Earl S. Tupper Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0470
See more items in:
Earl S. Tupper Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0470
Additional Online Media:

[Brownie Wise demonstrating Tupperware in Hawaii : black-and-white photoprint]

Collector:
Wise, Brownie Humphrey, 1913-1991  Search this
Names:
Tupperware (Firm).  Search this
Wise, Brownie Humphrey, 1913-1991  Search this
Collection Inventor:
Wise, Brownie Humphrey, 1913-1991  Search this
Extent:
1 Item
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Hawaii -- 1950-1960
Date:
circa 1950-1960
Scope and Contents:
Brownie Wise conducting a Tupperware "home party" on the beach; photographer unidentified.
Local Numbers:
AC0509-0000005.tif (AC Scan)
General:
In Box 29a, Folder 4.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Beaches  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Women in marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1950-1960 -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin
Collection Citation:
Brownie Wise Papers, 1938-1968, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Brownie Wise Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0509-ref973

Norman Squires Collection

Creator:
Beveridge, Frank Stanley  Search this
Encyclopedia Britannica  Search this
O'Brien, Catherine L.  Search this
Squires, Norman W.  Search this
Stanley Home Products  Search this
Wearever Aluminum  Search this
Donor:
Squires, Daniel T.  Search this
Squires, Daniel T.  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Letters (correspondence)
Sound recordings
Trade catalogs
Business records
Photographs
Catalogs
Date:
1936-2006.
Summary:
Collection documents Norman Squires's career as a salesperson for the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America, Stanley Home Products, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Norman Squires conceptualized and implemented the party plan method of direct selling.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents Squires's professional life as a salesperson with four companies: Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America (WearEver Company), Stanley Home Products, Encyclopedia Britannica and Tupper Corporation. Most of the materials relate to the creation of the hostess party plan and his achievements in sales. There is very little information about his personal life other than a few family photographs. The collection is useful for understanding selling techniques dating from the 1930s through the 1950s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1, Background Materials, circa 1908-2006

Series 2, Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America, circa 1934, 1936, undated

Series 3, Stanley Home Products, 1938-1946, undated

Series 4, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956-1958

Series 5, Tupper Corporation, 1950
Biographical / Historical:
add
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Stanley Home Products Collection (NMAH.AC.0788)

Earl S. Tupper Papers (NMAH.AC.0470)

Brownie Wise Papers (NMAH.AC.0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection (NMAH.AC.0583)

Helen Hoch Tupperware Films (NMAH.AC.0865)

Jon and Sylvia Boyd Tupperware Films (NMAH.AC.0870)
Provenance:
Daniel T. Squires donated his father's papers in 2006 and requested that the materials be titled the "Norman W. Squires Collection."
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Marketing  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Sound recordings
Trade catalogs
Business records -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Catalogs
Citation:
Norman W. Squires Collection, 1936-2006, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Daniel T. Squires.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0927
See more items in:
Norman Squires Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0927
Additional Online Media:

Stanley Home Products Collection

Creator:
Stanley Home Products  Search this
Beveridge, Frank Stanley  Search this
O'Brien, Catherine L.  Search this
Donor:
Perkins, Homer  Search this
Extent:
18 Cubic feet (19 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Publications
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Lectures
Photographs
Catalogs
Date:
1896 - 1999
Summary:
The collection documents the development of the Stanley Home Products Company, Incorporated its activities and those of its employees. The materials include photographs and photograph albums, speeches and presentations, catalogs and other printed material, inspirational and motivational materials, annual reports, film and audio recordings.
Scope and Contents:
The Stanley Home Products Company, Incorporated Records consist of photographs, financial papers and advertising materials documenting the history of Stanley Home Products its activities and those of its employees, its connection to the local community, and the philosophies of its founders and executives, especially Frank Stanley Beveridge and his close assistant Catherine L. O'Brien.

The majority of the materials date primarily from the 1960s and 1970s and includes photographs and photograph albums, speeches and presentations, catalogs and other printed material, inspirational and motivational materials, and annual reports. also film and audio recordings of Stanley "pilgrimages", meetings and other company events. There is a substantial amount of material relating to background information about Stanley Home Products and its founder Frank Stanley Beveridge.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eleven series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1912-1980

Series 2, Corporate Records 1940-1999; undated

Series 3, Financial Records, 1942-1979; undated

Series 4, Sales Records, 1912-1980; undated

Series 5, Advertising Materials, 1935-1982; undated

Series 6, Speeches and Inspirational Material, 1951-1979; undated

Series 7, Department of Education Records, 1946-1988; undated

Series 8, Photographs Visual Images, circa 1906-1990; undated

Series 9, Newspaper Clippings, 1910-1999; undated

Series 10, Publications, circa 1896-1981; undated

Series 11, Audiovisual Materials, 1951-1971
Biographical / Historical:
Company, started in 1931, which sold brushes and household products Stanley Home Products Company, Incorporated was founded by Frank Stanley Beveridge on August 15, 1931. The direct-selling company began in a small tobacco shed in Westfield, Massachusetts and eventually grew into a multi-million dollar, international business. Stanley Home Products is one of the founders of the direct-selling business. Unlike other direct-selling companies, Stanley Home Products has sold a large variety of products, including brushes, cleaners, small appliances, toiletries, beauty aids, clothes, and furniture.

One of Stanley's greatest contributions to the direct-selling business was the creation of the hostess party plan. The plan focuses on giving a party that allows a dealer to sell his or her products to several people at once instead of door-to-door. This system, which is used by companies like Tupperware, Avon, and Mary Kay, was created by Frank Stanley Beveridge and Catherine L. O'Brien in the early years of Stanley Home Products Company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Earl S. Tupper Papers (AC0470)
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Homer G. Perkins on behalf of Stanley Home Products Company, Incorporated in October, 2001.
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:
Product demonstrations  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Direct selling  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Motion pictures (visual works)
Sound recordings
Lectures
Photographs -- 20th century
Catalogs
Citation:
Stanley Home Products Collection, 1931-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0788
See more items in:
Stanley Home Products Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0788
Additional Online Media:

Product Demonstrations

Collection Creator:
Gerber, H. Joseph  Search this
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company (Hartford, Conn.).  Search this
Container:
Box 175, Folder 10
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
undated
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:
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0929-ref2697

Records of Wedge Innovations

Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Extent:
13 Cubic feet (28 boxes, 5 oversized folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Notebooks
Oral histories (document genres)
Audiotapes
Financial records
Financial statements
Interviews
Correspondence
Photographs
Drawings
Advertisements
Date:
1985-1996
Summary:
The records of Wedge Innovations document the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level; also included are company management and policies.
Scope and Contents:
The SmartLevel story gives excellent insight into the life cycle of a small Silicon valley start-up in the 1980s. SmartLevel's creator, Wedge Innovations, established a market for a new product, achieved national distribution, off-shore manufacturing, and product licensing, before going out of business due to pressure from profit-hungry venture capitalists.

The records of Wedge Innovations is a "tool biography" that documents the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level first conceived in 1985 by Andrew Butler. The SmartLevel Collection is divided into seven series: Corporate Records, Engineering Records, Financial Records, Marketing Records, Operations Records, Product Development Records, and Corporate Culture, reflecting both the organizational structure of Wedge Innovations and the company's working environment.

Series 1, Corporate Records, 1985-1993, address the overall management of Wedge Innovations and document its policies, especially through the company's annual business plans, 1986-1992, and the monthly reports prepared for the Board of Directors' meetings, 1989-1992. This series also details the workings of each department through weekly departmental reports. The staff meetings files, July-November 1989, February 1990-November 1992, are particularly useful for understanding the day-to-day operation of the company.

Series 2, Engineering Records, 1985-1993, document the design and development of the SmartLevel from its conception in 1985 as the WedgeLevel, through its production as the SmartLevel in 1989, and through its refinement into the Pro SmartLevel and the Series 200 SmartLevel in 1991. The design process is particularly well documented through Andrew Butler's and Kevin Reeder's design notebooks and through the detailed technical drawings done by Butler, Reeder, and Ronald Wisnia. Also well documented are the efforts made to solve the many problems associated with the development and quality control of the electronic sensor module that was the heart of the SmartLevel.

Series 3, Financial Records, 1985-1992, include Wedge's summary financial statements from 1985 to 1992.

Series 4, Marketing Records, 1986-1992, document customer and dealer relations through marketing department correspondence, operational records, and advertising campaigns. This series is particularly rich in promotional material (1988-1992), such as advertisements, advertising copy, photographs, product promotion plans, and videotapes that demonstrate the varied features and uses of the products.

Series 5, Operations Records, 1990-1993, document the manufacturing process and the Company's offshore operations.

Series 6, Product Development Records, 1986-1993, document the company's intended development of an entire "Smart Tools" line.

Series 7, Corporate Culture, 1985-1996, contains employee photographs and oral history interviews with key Wedge personnel conducted in 1995 and 1996 by David Shayt, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History. The interviews discuss the background of the participants, the company's origins and history, product development, the Silicon Valley context, and the efforts of Wedge Innovations successor firm, SmartTool Technologies.
Arrangement:
The collection organized into seven series.

Series 1, Corporate Records, 1985-1993

Series 2, Engineering Records, 1985-1993

Series 3, Financial Records, 1985-1992

Series 4, Marketing Records, 1986-1992

Series 5, Operations Records, 1990-1993

Series 6, Product Development Records, 1986-1993

Series 7, Corporate Culture, 1985-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Andrew G. Butler (b. 1955), the founder of Wedge Innovations exhibited an interest in building construction and an entrepreneurial spirit early in life. From age 12 to 17 he built a boat that he then sailed alone from California to Tahiti, where he spent several years as an independent carpenter and building contractor. After returning to the United States, he earned a B.S. degree in electromechanical engineering from Stanford University (1983) and became a software specialist for Bechtel Construction. In 1985, he conceived of an idea for an electronic carpenter's level that could read a range of angles. Butler formed Wedge Innovations in 1986. He worked in the basement of his home in order to develop and market this level, selling his boat to finance the venture. He hired Marilyn Crowell as his secretary and Robert Nagle and Dan Kellogg as engineers. This company developed the sensor technology and software necessary to build the company's first product, the WedgeLevel. The heart of this tool was an electronic sensor circuit connected to a microprocessor capable of measuring the tool's orientation. This sensor module fit into an ergonomically-designed teak rail with anodized aluminum edges jointly developed by Butler, engineering design consultant Kevin Reeder, and engineer Ronald Wisnia.

In 1987, Wedge moved to Santa Clara to begin manufacturing the WedgeLevel. The transition from a research and development concern to a manufacturing company proved difficult, due to manufacturing and financial difficulties. It was difficult to obtain a reliable yet inexpensive source of teak for the rails, designs for a plastic composite and aluminum rail were developed, while offshore manufacturing of the sensor components was established. Overarching all concerns was the persistent difficulty of obtaining sufficient investment capital. While managing his growing company, Butler also began planning for a line of hand tools that combined microelectronics and user-oriented, ergonomic design. In 1988, the company changed the name of its product to SmartLevel in order to emphasize the company's proposed line of Smart Tools. That same year, the company adopted a new corporate logo, a stylized W with a red wedge, signaling its growing maturity. Promotion of the product also began through demonstrations of the prototype done by consultant building contractor, Rick Feffer.

In January 1989, the SmartLevel prototype was launched at the National Association of Home Builders Show in Atlanta, Georgia. The favorable publicity generated by this launch and by the company's media campaign generated many orders. To supply these orders, Wedge moved to larger quarters in Sunnyvale on April 1, 1989. In June 1989, Wedge gained further publicity by donating several SmartLevels to a Habitat for Humanity project in Milwaukee, where former president Jimmy Carter used one. Although Wedge expected to ship the first SmartLevels in July 1989, there were considerable delays in manufacturing. In particular, there were stability and performance problems with the sensor, which engineer Ken Gunderson was brought in to remedy. The sensor module was re-engineered to be more rugged and the level was redesigned with a plastic composite and aluminum rail. The new level, known as the Pro SmartLevel, was intended for the professional construction market. The first SmartLevels were shipped on September 5, 1989.

In 1990, patents were granted to Andrew Butler, Donald G. Green, and Robert E. Nagle for an inclinometer sensor circuit and to Butler and Ronald Wisnia for a carpenter's level design. That same year, Brian Bayley joined Wedge as Vice-president for Engineering, and Edwin "Win" Seipp joined as Project Manager - DIY SmartLevel. Seipp's responsibility was to develop a low-cost, "do-it-yourself" version of the SmartLevel, which was eventually called the Series 200 SmartLevel. This level had an all-aluminum rail and a non-removable sensor.

In September 1990, the company moved to San Jose and by 1991 had over 60 employees. Although sales continued to grow and name recognition of the product was quite strong, Wedge had difficulty meeting the expectations of its investors. Butler entered into financial negotiations with the Macklanburg-Duncan Corporation, a large-scale manufacturer of hand tools, to seek investment in his company. These negotiations led in November 1992 to the acquisition of Wedge by Macklanburg-Duncan, which dissolved all but Wedge's engineering section. Macklanburg-Duncan today manufactures a "SmartTool" level, while Butler co-owns D2M (Design To Market), a company that develops new product ideas for the market.

SmartLevel Chronology

1992 -- Butler negotiates with Macklanburg-Duncan for a merger to save Wedge. In the midst of the negotiations, Butler is fired by his Board of Directors. Butler regains control of Wedge three months later, fires the replacement president, and sells Wedge outright to Macklanburg-Duncan, which dissolves all but the engineering functions of Wedge.

1991 -- Wedge sponsors a "New Product Development Conference," where numerous designs for new hand tools are worked on. SmartLevel sales and name recognition grows but not quickly enough to meet overhead expenses of new facility or investors' demands.

1990 -- Yet more redesign work, both in-house and with Kevin Reeder, who also develops idea for "SmartTube" carrying case (not built). Patents granted to Andy Butler et al. for inclinometer sensor circuit and carpenter's level design. Wedge hires Brian Bayley as vice-president for engineering to develop a low-cost model of the SmartLevel. The all-aluminum Series 200 SmartLevel is born. Wedge moves to larger facilities in San Jose.

1989 -- SmartLevel launched at National Association of Home Builders show in January. Good press coverage, but cannot meet orders. More publicity from Habitat for Humanity project when former President Jimmy Carter uses a SmartLevel. But stability and performance problems plague sensor. More redesign work results in more rugged Pro SmartLevel. The first SmartLevels shipped on September 5, 1989.

1987-1988 -- Wedge moves to Santa Clara; intends to begin manufacturing and todevelop an entire line of "Smart Tools" but encounters financial and engineering difficulties; Wedge consults with independent design engineer, Kevin Reeder, on level design. Intensive redesign effort develops the SmartLevel, made of plastic and aluminum rail.

1986 -- Wedge Innovations founded in the basement of Butler's house; basic sensor design worked out; teak & aluminum WedgeLevel developed.

1985 -- Idea for electronic carpenter's level formulated by Andy Butler.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History contains artifacts related to the SmartLevel Collection. These include five SmartLevels (Accession #1991.0823; 1996.0284; 1996.0285; 1996.0288; and 1996.0289). They are an original teak WedgeLevel, a Pro SmartLevel, a Series 200 SmartLevel, a Bosch version of the SmartLevel, and a Macklanburg-Duncan SmartTool level. There are also four sensor modules (torpedo levels), two sensors, two carrying cases, one cap, one tee shirt, and one wooden puzzle with the inscription "The World Isn't Just Level and Plumb."
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Andrew Butler, SmartLevel inventor and company founder, Brian Bayley, Vice-President for engineering at Wedge Innovations from 1989-1992, and Kevin Reeder, an independent industrial designer, 1995-1997.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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:
Product demonstrations -- 1980-2000  Search this
Technological innovations -- Hand tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Electronics -- Tools and implements -- 1980-2000  Search this
Industrial design -- 1980-2000  Search this
Leveling -- 1980-2000  Search this
Teak -- Use of -- 1980-2000  Search this
Level indicators -- 1980-2000  Search this
Venture capital -- 1980-2000 -- United States  Search this
Silicon Valley -- 1980-2000  Search this
Tools -- 1980-2000 -- United States  Search this
Small business -- Management -- 1980-2000  Search this
Investors -- 1980-2000  Search this
Inventors -- 1980-2000  Search this
Engineers -- 1980-2000  Search this
Industrial designers -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- Tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Carpenters -- 1980-2000  Search this
Carpentry -- Tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Merchandise displays  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Notebooks -- 1980-2000
Oral histories (document genres) -- 1990-2000
Audiotapes
Financial records -- 1980-2000
Financial statements -- 1980-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Correspondence -- 1970-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1980-2000
Drawings -- 1980-2000
Advertisements -- 1980-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Citation:
The Records of Wedge Innovations, 1985-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0534
See more items in:
Records of Wedge Innovations
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0534
Additional Online Media:

Interviewee, Rick Feffer; Interviewer, David Shayt, National Museum of American History

Collection Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Extent:
1 sound recording (Duration 1 hour)
Container:
Box 24, Item 534.7
Box 26, Item 534.7
Box 25, Item 534.7
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images
Sound recordings
Date:
1995 June 22
Scope and Contents:
Location: Sunnyvale, California

Rick Feffer discusses his educational and work background, his remodeling work before joining Wedge Innovations, how he came to work for Wedge and appear in the first advertising photographs and videos, the first WedgeLevel promotional video, the Home Builders Show in January 1989, why Macklanburg-Duncan bought Wedge Innovations, the importance of dealer training and product demonstration for selling SmartLevel, working for Wedge, the durability issue for the SmartLevel, the influence of product demonstration on the evolution of product design and quality control, promoting the SmartLevel, consulting for Macklanburg-Duncan, customer service, Zircon (his current employer), Macklanburg-Duncan's change of SmartLevel design, origin of the Wedge name, the use of owner registration cards by Wedge for market research, brand name recognition of SmartLevel, the "failure" of Wedge Innovations, the influence of investors on Wedge, the New Products Development Conference, sales strategies, alternate uses/markets for SmartLevel, learning on the job, the Habitat for Humanity Project in Milwaukee and meeting Jimmy & Rosalyn Carter [1989], teak for WedgeLevel rails, stand-off clips for WedgeLevel, cherry wood rails, Stabila and Bosch versions of SmartLevel, offshore manufacturing of rails and quality control problems, working the "Christmas rush," the lasting impact of SmartLevel on the hand tool industry, the SmartLevel carrying case, and the early 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-ref240

Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project

Creator:
Blocki, Jim  Search this
Cook, Fielder  Search this
Durante, Al  Search this
Green, Chester  Search this
Courtice, Richard  Search this
Dougherty, Marion  Search this
Holland, Dorothy  Search this
Holland, Fran  Search this
Herlihy, Ed  Search this
Hill, George Roy  Search this
Myers, Farlan  Search this
Jeffrey, Tad  Search this
Kraft General Foods, Inc.  Search this
Pratt, Lee  Search this
Powell, Bob  Search this
Wiener, Tom  Search this
Names:
National Broadcasting Company, Inc.  Search this
Thompson, J. Walter (advertising agency).  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Commercials
Interviews
Audiotapes
Audiovisual materials
Date:
1947-1992
Summary:
Oral history interviews with fourteen former Kraft and J. Walter Thompson executives chart the evolution of Kraft's approach to television, from its pioneering efforts in the medium's infancy to the search to maintain identity in an increasingly competitive and fragmented media landscape. Casting, directing, and production of the live dramas and the commercials are discussed at length. Kraft's philosophy of advertising, its relationship with J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and NBC, and consumer outreach are also featured.
Scope and Contents:
Oral history interviews with fourteen former Kraft and J. Walter Thompson executives chart the evolution of Kraft's approach to television, from its pioneering efforts in the medium's infancy to the search to maintain identity in an increasingly competitive and fragmented media landscape. Casting, directing, and production of the live dramas and the commercials are discussed at length. Kraft's philosophy of advertising, its relationship with J. Walter Thompson advertising agency and NBC, and consumer outreach are also featured.

Series 1, Research Files, 1947-1992 contains newspaper and magazine clippings, reports and scholarly articles about the history and development of Kraft, Kraft Radio Music Hall, and Kraft Television Theatre. Folders are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1992 contains the abstracts of the oral history interviews and additional information about the interviewee, such as resumes, publications and correspondence, when available. The files are arranged alphabetically by interviewees' last name. Each abstract begins with a brief biographical statement about the interviewee, and a note about the scope and content of the interview. The abstracts correspond to a timed message on track two of the research copy of each audiocassette tape. At the end of each abstract is an index to proper names (people, trade names, KTT episodes, etc.) and to some general themes addresses during the interview. A master index, located in the last folder of this series, combines these individual indices into a comprehensive listing. Complete transciprts are also available for most interviews.

Series 3, Oral History Interviews, 1992 is subdivided into three subseries, representing each of three audio formats: original masters, research copies, and reel-to reel preservation copes. The interviews are arranged alphabetically.

Series 4, Television Commercials, circa 1950 feature comemrcials for a variety of Kraft products. They aired on Kraft Television Theatre between 1947 and 1958.

Series 5, Administrative Files, circa 1950 - 1992 are files created by the Center for Advertising History. Included in this series are bibliographies , briefing books, project proposals and budget, files on project consultants, deeds of conveyance, publicity, and Center publications prepared for the project.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1: Research Files, 1947-1992

Series 2: Interviewee Files, 1992

Series 3: Oral History Interviews, 1992

Subseries 3.1: Original Audio Tapes

Subseries 3.2: Researcher Copies

Subseries 3.3: Preservation Masters

Series 4, Television Commercials, circa 1950

Subseries 4.1: Master Copies

Subsieries 4.2: Researcher Copies

Series 5: Administrative Files, circa 1950 - 1992
Biographical / Historical:
The Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project is the result of a year-long study undertaken by the former Center for Advertising History. The objective of the project was to create a collection of oral history interviews that documentated the history and development of Kraft Television Theater, especially the relationship between advertising and the origins of commercial sponsorship in the early days of television programming.

Oral history interviews with fourteen former Kraft and J Walter Thompson executives were conducted in 1992 by Tom Wiener, a free-lance writer and oral historian under contract to the former Center for Advertising History. Included were Ed Herlihy, the voice of many of Kraft's memorable commercials; James Blocki, Richard Courtice, Chester Green, and Robert Powell, the architects of Kraft's advertising and marketing strategies in the television era; directors George Roy Hill and Fielder Cook, who launched their successful careers at Kraft Television Theatre; Marion Dougherty, one of Hollywood's leading casting directors who also got her start on KTT; and Dorothy Holland, a veteran of Kraft's Consumer Affairs Department and the company's first female Vice President.

The oral history interviews chart the evolution of Kraft's approach to television, from its pioneering efforts in the mediums infancy to the search to maintain identity in an increasing competitive and fragmented media landscape. Casting, directing and production of the live dramas and the commercials are discussed at length. Kraft's philosophy of advertising, its relationship with J Walter Thompson advertising agency and NBC, and consumer outreach are also featured.

On May 7, 1947, at 7:30 p.m. in New York City, advertising made a first significant step into the television era with the debut of Kraft Television Theatre. The program, which became the first regularly scheduled dramatic series on network TV presented weekly live adaptations of plays featuring performers familiar to New York theater goers. Included in each week's installment were commercials for Kraft Cheese Company products.

Kraft's foray into a new advertising medium grew out of the company's progressive advertising policies and its long running association with its primary advertising agency, J. Walter Thompson. Kraft was founded by James Lewis Kraft, a Canadian-born entrepreneur who in 1903 began buying cheese from Chicago wholesalers and peddling it from a horse-drawn wagon. Through acquisitions of other companies and their established brands, as well as development of new products, Kraft's company steadily grew into a leader in the cheese and dairy products business.

As early as 1911, Kraft began advertising on Chicago elevated trains and billboards. In 1919, Kraft inaugurated a 70-year tradition of advertising in such national magazines as Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeeping. Fourteen years later, looking for a vehicle to promote its newest product, Miracle Whip Salad Dressing, Kraft entered the electronic era with The Kraft Program, hosted by popular bandleader Paul Whiteman on the NBC Radio Network.

Soon renamed The Kraft Music Hall, the show also acquired a new host, crooner Bing Crosby. Crosby's relaxed style was mirrored in the Music Hall's commercials. As written by J. Walter Thompson staffers, they possessed a relaxed, conversational tone, extolling the practical uses of Miracle Whip, Velveeta and other Kraft products.

The Music Hall continued on the air until 1949, but by that time, Kraft Television Theatre was into its third season, well established as the leading dramatic series on the air. Kraft Television Theatre provided a unique laboratory for both its sponsor and Thompson. As with the Music Hall, Thompson actually produced the program: its staffers adapted the dramas, directed them, and hired the casts. NBC provided only technical facilities and crew. Each week, in effect, was opening night for a play that was performed live in front of bulky cameras, under hot lights. Working with modest budgets, producer-directors Stanley Quinn, Maury Holland, and Harry Herrmann took an important first step toward exploiting the potential of television to inform and entertain.

For its part, Kraft drew on the tradition established in its radio ads. From the start, Kraft acted as if it were a guest in the viewer's home, which led to a remarkably effective means of presenting its products. No human face was ever seen, only a pair of hands demonstrating the uses of the product, as a reassuring voice explained the virtues of Cheez Whiz, Draft Cheddar, or any number of products from Draft's expanding line.

In 1958, after eleven years and over 600 programs, Kraft Television Theatre left the air. The show's ratings had slipped under increased competition from mystery and adventure shows filmed in Hollywood as well as quiz shows. Kraft's single sponsorship didn't end with the demise of the Television Theatre. It revived the Music Hall, quite successfully, with Perry Como, whose relaxed personality was a throwback to Bing Crosby. In later years, Kraft chose to be sole sponsor of several specials a year, including the Country Music Association Awards show. Although these programs were pre-recorded, Kraft continued to produce its commercials live through the 1960's, with those same hands and that same soothing voice. Kraft's place in both television and advertising history is secure. Kraft Television Theatre launched a decade of live televised drama that is still regarded as the cornerstone of TV's Golden Age. And the Kraft "hands" commercials are a reminder of the effectiveness of a low-key, low-tech approach to promoting products as humble as Velveeta and Miracle Whip.

As part of a program to document and study modern advertising, the former Center for Advertising History selected Kraft Television Theatre as the last in a series of case studies of significant American advertising campaigns.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

N W Ayer Advertising Collection (AC0059)

Materials at Other Organizations

J. Walter Thompson Archives, Duke University

Kraft General Foods Archives, Glenview, Illinois

The Kraft General Foods Archives was established as an internal information resource for the comanpy. ARchives staff will assist outside researchers whenever time and resources permit by answering questions over the phone or through the mails. Requests for direct access to archival collections will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Source materials documenting Kraft's television advertising efforts include: film and videotape copies of Kraft Television Theatre, Kraft Suspense Theatre, Kraft Mystery Theatre, Kraft Music Hall, and other Kraft-sponsored shows. Videotape copies of these shows can be accessed through the Musuem of Broadcast Communication in Chicago, and through the NBC collection at the Library of Congress. Materials also include film and videotape copies of Kraft commercials, early 1950s-present; publications and magazine/newspaper articles about the various shows; company publications featuring articles about the various shows; NBC listings of production details about the shows (dates, producers, actors/actresses, etc.) Any requests for copies of pages from this listing must be cleared through NBC; photos of scenes from the shows as well as still photos of the actors/actresses who appeared in them; print ads supporting Kraft's televiison advertising efforts; casting lists for Kraft Television Theatre (incomplete); and musical scores for Kraft Television Theatre (incomplete).
Provenance:
Collection donated by Kraft General Foods, Inc., on April 16, 1993. Oral histories created by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution in 1992.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Patrons may use researcher copies of audio and video cassettes. Two of the three videotapes of television commercials have been digitized and can be viewed in the Smithsonian Institution's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS).
Rights:
Copyright restrictions. Contact the Archives Center.
Topic:
Copy writers  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
advertising -- Food  Search this
Broadcast advertising  Search this
Television producers and directors  Search this
Actors in the advertising industry  Search this
Television advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Commercials
Interviews
Audiotapes
Audiovisual materials
Citation:
Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project, 1947-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0464
See more items in:
Kraft Television Theatre Oral History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0464
Additional Online Media:

Productions

Creator:
Smithsonian Press/Smithsonian Productions  Search this
Extent:
5 cu. ft. (5 record storage boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Floppy disks
Audiotapes
Video recordings
Date:
1987, 1989, 1991-1993, 1997
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of audiovisual records created during the production of "American Encounters," "To Coexist: Diversity and Development," "Diversity Endangered," and "The Beauty and Diversity of Our Planet." "American Encounters" is a series of eight videos about Hispanic and Native American culture in New Mexico. The first five videos were produced in 1992 and shown in the permanent exhibition "American Encounters." These videos include "Pueblo Resistance" (14:14); "Many Voices" (9:29); "Hispanic Resistance" (11:20); "Matachines Spanish: Bernalillo" (8:19); and "Matachines Indian: San Juan" (8:01). In 1994, three 20-minute videos were added to the series to be distributed for educational purposes. These videos include "Only Death Will Take Me From This Place," a look at village life in northern New Mexico; "Spreading Beauty Wherever I Go," on the "lowrider" cars of New Mexico; and "Corn Is Who We Are," dealing with Pueblo Indian food. "To Coexist: Diversity and Development" was produced in 1989 for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The 30-minute program depicts how development professionals can take biological diversity into account when planning their projects. "Diversity Endangered" is a 10-minute video production demonstrating the interrelatedness of living organisms and the part that man plays in disturbing or preserving the crucial balance. The video was produced in 1987. "The Beauty and Diversity of Our Planet" is a 30-second public service announcement done by Robert Redford. This was possibly done in conjunction with "Our Biosphere: The Earth in Our Hands" which Redford narrated. Materials in this accession include original video, dub masters, window dubs, edited masters, and sound mixes on 1" magnetic tape, 3/4" U-Matic tape, Betacam SP, digital Betacam, and DAT tapes. Materials also include computer diskettes.
Restrictions:
Special restrictions on use of these materials may apply. Viewing copies are not currently available, but can be made for a fee, Transferring office; 4/10/2002 memorandum, Peters to SIA; Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
American Encounters (Video recording)  Search this
Beauty and Diversity of Our Planet (Video recording)  Search this
Corn Is Who We Are (Video recording : 1994)  Search this
Diversity Endangered (Video recording : 1987)  Search this
Hispanic Resistance (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Many Voices (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Matachinas Indian: San Juan (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Matachinas Spanish: Bernalillo (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Only Death Will Take Me from This Place (Video recording : 1994)  Search this
Our Biosphere: The Earth in Our Hands (Motion picture : 1989)  Search this
Pueblo Resistance (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Spreading Beauty Wherever I Go (Video recording : 1994)  Search this
To Coexist: Diversity and Development (Video recording : 1989)  Search this
Biodiversity  Search this
Hispanic Americans  Search this
Pueblo Indians  Search this
Video recordings -- Production and direction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Floppy disks
Audiotapes
Video recordings
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 02-202, Smithsonian Press/Smithsonian Productions, Productions
Identifier:
Accession 02-202
See more items in:
Productions
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa02-202

Productions

Topic:
Diversity Endangered (Video recording : 1987)
To Coexist: Diversity and Development (Video recording : 1989)
National Teleconference on Biodiversity (Video recording : 1986)
Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications  Search this
Extent:
3.08 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes) (1 document box) (1 tall document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Date:
1986-1988
Descriptive Entry:
This collection is comprised of motion picture, video, and audio recordings of three productions regarding issues related to biodiversity, biotic communities, and the study of these systems. "To Coexist: Diversity and Development" was produced for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The 30-minute program depicts how development professionals can take biological diversity into account when planning their projects. "Diversity Endangered" is a 10-minute video production demonstrating the interrelatedness of living organisms and the part that man plays in disturbing or preserving the crucial balance. "National Teleconference on BioDiversity," held September 24, 1986, was Smithsonian's first live teleconference produced for the Directorate of International Activities. The final event of the four-day National Forum on BioDiversity was cosponsored by the National Academy of Sciences and the Institution. This 2-hour program was telecast via satellite to more than a hundred downlink sites on university campuses nationwide.
Restrictions:
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing/listening copies are not currently available. Viewing/listening copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
Biological diversity  Search this
Biotic communities  Search this
Meetings  Search this
Media programs -- Education  Search this
Documentary videos  Search this
Video recordings -- Production and direction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 02-121, Smithsonian Institution. Office of Telecommunications, Productions
Identifier:
Accession 02-121
See more items in:
Productions
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa02-121

Productions, 1987, 1989, 1991-1993, 1997

Creator:
Smithsonian Press/Smithsonian Productions  Search this
Uniform title:
American Encounters (Video recording)  Search this
Beauty and Diversity of Our Planet (Video recording)  Search this
Corn Is Who We Are (Video recording : 1994)  Search this
Diversity Endangered (Video recording : 1987)  Search this
Hispanic Resistance (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Many Voices (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Matachinas Indian: San Juan (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Matachinas Spanish: Bernalillo (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Only Death Will Take Me from This Place (Video recording : 1994)  Search this
Our Biosphere: The Earth in Our Hands (Motion picture : 1989)  Search this
Pueblo Resistance (Video recording : 1992)  Search this
Spreading Beauty Wherever I Go (Video recording : 1994)  Search this
To Coexist: Diversity and Development (Video recording : 1989)  Search this
Subject:
Redford, Robert  Search this
United States Agency for International Development  Search this
American Encounters (Exhibition) (1992: Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Physical description:
5 cu. ft. (5 record storage boxes)
Type:
Floppy disks
Collection descriptions
Audiotapes
Video recordings
Place:
New Mexico
Date:
1991
1991-1993
1987, 1989, 1991-1993, 1997
Topic:
Biodiversity  Search this
Hispanic Americans  Search this
Pueblo Indians  Search this
Video recordings--Production and direction  Search this
Documentary videos  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 02-202
Restrictions & Rights:
Restrictions pertaining to the use of these materials may apply (based on contracts/copyright). Access restrictions may also apply if viewing/listening copies are not currently available. Viewing/listening copies can be made for a fee. Contact reference staff for details
See more items in:
Productions 1938-2009 and undated [Smithsonian Productions]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_247072

Product Demonstration Manual

Collection Creator:
Nordic Ware Division, Northland Aluminum  Search this
Collection Donor:
Dalquist, H. David  Search this
Dalquist, Dorothy  Search this
Container:
Box 8, Folder 16
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
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:
Nordic Ware Collection, 1942-2006, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Nordic Ware records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0980-ref161

Diary

Collection Author:
Harriman, Stephen (farmer)  Search this
Myers, Annamae Barlup (farmer)  Search this
Container:
Box 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1945
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:
Annamae Barlup Myers & Stephen Harriman Diaries, 1883-1894, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Annamae Barlup Myers and Stephen Harriman Diaries
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0345-ref33
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Diary digital asset number 1

The Story of Brownie Wise, the Ingenious Marketer Behind the Tupperware Party

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 10 Apr 2018 17:47:47 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_12999727aecd0f33b09d6844eeffa79b

Modify Your Search






or


Narrow By