Biographical files cover the period from 1938-1989 and include resumes, clippings, correspondence, certificates, awards, speeches, brochures for exhibitions, and artwork. Project files cover the period from 1934-1961 and contain clippings, catalogs, brochures, and scrapbooks.,This collection documents Bach's work as an industrial designer, architect, and painter from 1934-1992.
The files on the Ridgeway Center mall are particularly extensive. Photographs cover the period from 1937-1961 and document Bach's design projects, particularly the Ridgeway Center, his house in Stamford, and the Miami and New York offices of Callaway Mills. Portraits of Bach and his family are included as well. Glass lantern slides document of seven of Bach's interior and exterior design projects. Also included are several signed and numbered prints of Bach's watercolor scenes of the Riviera.
1) Biographical files, 1938-1989; 2) Project files, 1934-1961; 3) Photogaphs, 1937-1961; and 4) Glass Slides.
Materials are arranged chronologically within four record groups:
Biographical / Historical:
Industrial designer, architect, and painter. Born in Germany, 1904. Bach studied film directing and design in Europe. He turned to industrial design upon immigrating to the United States in 1926. His design work from 1932-53 include a Philco radio, furniture for Heywood-Wakefield, carpets for Bigelow-Sanford, and appliances for General Electric. Bach designed and built his own home in Stamford, Connecticut, in 1938.
In the late 1940s, he developed a plan for one of the first shopping malls in America, the Ridgeway Center of Stamford. He remodeled the interior and exterior of Sach's furniture store, 1948-49, and redesigned the Seneca Textile Building on 34th Street in Manhattan in 1952. Bach moved to Florida in 1959, where he designed the Palm Trail Plaza, a marina apartment complex in Delray Beach, completed in 1961. In addition, Bach was also a noted painter. His watercolors were featured in numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe.
Related Archival Materials:
431 drawings of designs for furniture, textiles, lamps, pianos, clocks, appliances, and retail, office, and home interiors.,Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department.
All materials were donated to the museum by Alfons Bach in 1993. The collection was transferred to the Archives Center in 2012.
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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.
3 Boxes (2 letter sized boxes, 1 legal sized box.)
This collection spans the period from the mid-1940s to the early-1960s and consists ofnewspaper and magazine articles by and about Loewy, including the 1949 TIME magazine on which he appeared on the cover. Extensive clippings exist pertaining to his designs for automobiles. Also includes many articles and speeches written by and about William Snaith, a partner in the firm which was renamed Raymond Loewy/William Snaith, Inc. in 1961. A catalog from the exhibition, "Ten Automobiles," which took place at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in 1953, is included. Other materials include brochures printed and designed by the firm, press releases, a listing of projects, honors, and membership. Some photographs of Loewy and his design team are included. The collection does not contain any original design materials or project files.
Industrial Designer. Born Paris, France, November 8, 1893, Loewy initially studied electrical engineering, and by 1909, he has designed and sold a successful airplane model. He immigrated to the United States in 1919 and became a naturalized citizen in 1938. Loewy began working as a freelance window display designer for Macy's and Saks Fifth Avenue, and as an illustrator for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, and others, from 1919.
He designed the trademark for Neiman-Marcus in 1923. Loewy is identified as one of the founding fathers of industrial design. In 1929, he started Raymond Loewy Associates in New York, and by 1947, he appeared on the cover of TIME magazine. Loewy's designs always stressed the importance of the clean, functional, dynamic design of products. His schooling in electrical engineering translated into his designs for automobiles, trains, airplanes, ships, and spacecraft for NASA. He also designed interiors for many hotels, offices, and supermarkets. He is best known for his designs for the 1947 Studebaker Starlight Coupe; the 1953 Starliner Coupe; the 1961 Avanti; the 1947 line of Hallicrafter radio recievers; the 1929 Gestetner duplicating machine; the 1934 Sears Coldspot refrigerator; and the S-I steam locomotive for the Pennsylvania Railroad.
He also designed logos for Exxon and Shell oil companies, and bottles and refrigerated vending machines for Coca Cola. He became President of the American Society of Industrial Designers in 1946. Loewy established Compagnie de l'Esthetique Industrielle in Paris in 1952. His work has been featured in many exhibitions, including: "An Exhibition for Modern Living", Detroit Institute of Arts, 1949; "The Designs of Raymond Loewy", Renwick Gallery of the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., 1975; and "The Machine Age in America", Brooklyn Museum, 1986, among others. He authored, "The Locomotive: Its Esthetics", 1937; "Never Leave Well Enough Alone", 1951; and "Industrial Design", 1979. In 1961, Loewy went into semi-retirement, became partners with William Snaith, and renamed the company Raymond Loewy/William Snaith, Inc. Loewy died in Monte Carlo, July 14, 1986.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Library of Congress, Washington, D.C. The Raymond Loewy Collection. Drawings, blueprints, sketches, phtographs, slides, and audio and video recordings, covering the period from 1929-1988.
Canadian Center for Architecture, Special Collections. Vertical file docmenting Loewy's work.
The materials in this collection were donated to Cooper-Hewitt by Betty Reese, Loewy's publicist.
Unprocessed; access is limited. Permission of Library Director required for use.
This collection documents Wallance's career from his enrollment in the Design Laboratory School in 1936 to his death in 1990.Included are his designs for tableware, furniture, and household accessories, as well as material on his research and writings. This collection consists of sketches, drawings, photographs, correspondence, and reference materials, in addition to publicity and promotional materials. Extensive documentation exists on Wallance's pioneering designs for stainless steel flatware for H. E. Lauffer Company and his experimental furniture for the U.S. Army, Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center, and the Hard Manufacturing Company. Thorough documentation of his research for his landmark book, "Shaping America's Products," is included. The collection also contains a substantial amount of information on the Design Laboratory School, the first industrial design school in the United States to be patterned after the Bauhaus.
This collection is arranged into eight record groups: 1) Industrial Design Projects; 2) "Shaping America's Products"; 3) Other Activities; 4) General Correspondence; 5) Business Records; 6) Biographical Material; 7) Reference Material; and 8) Photographs and Slides. Within each record group, materials are arranged by client, or in lieu of a client, by project name.
Letter size, legal size, and oversized materials, photographs, slides, film, and video are all boxed separately. Where possible, subjects have been cross referenced between the various sizes and types of material.
Metalworker, furniture and industrial designer. Born New York City, September 26, 1909. Wallance graduated New York University in 1930 with a B.A. in English Literature. He traveled to northern Europe where he was exposed to the International Style in architecture and design. Upon returning to the United States, he went to work in his father's furniture store and saw the need for more inventive designs in retail furnishings. He attended Design Laboratory School in New York City from its inception in 1936 until it closed its doors in 1940.
From 1941-2, Wallance served as the state of Louisiana's technical and design director for the National Youth Administration, established in 1940 by President Roosevelt to help build a young, technically capable work force. During World War II, Wallance designed mass-produced furniture for servicemen's families living abroad for the Office of the Quartermaster General, Washington. He began designing tableware, cutlery, and accessories for H.E. Lauffer in 1951.
Among his most recognizable designs for Lauffer were Design One, a highly sculptural, brushed stainless steel flatware created in 1953, and Design Ten, a colored plastic flatware created in 1978-79. Both designs are now produced by Towle Manufacturing Company. ln addition, Wallance designed auditorium seating in steel and upholstered polyurethane foam for Philharmonic Hall at Lincoln Center in 1964 and hospital furniture in steel and plastics for Hard Manufacturing Company in 1965. Wallance is best known for his book, "Shaping America's Products", 1956, which remains a seminal study of the relationship of craftsmanship to industry.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Approximately 100 items, consisting of models, prototypes, and production pieces of flatware, cutlery, and other items.
These materials were donated to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in 1991 by David M. and Gregory J. Wallance, sons of the designer.
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
This collection documents Horwitt's major projects from the 1930s to the 1960s.Project files include drawings, sketches, blueprints, correspondence, patents, legal correspondence, clippings, financial reports, and advertisements for Horwitt's projects. Samples of logos and letterheads he designed are included as well. The most thorough documentation pertains to the Braquette, the Cyclometer, the Museum Watch, and the Beta Chair. Drawings, sketches, blueprints, and plans are boxed separately, mostly flat. Interviews with individuals who worked with and knew Horwitt are on audio cassettes, "Recollections of Nathan Horwitt." Two short videos, "The Legend behind the Museum Watch" and "Movado Worldwide Museum" are stored on 3/4 in. video cassettes.
Arranged in six record groups; 1) Project files; 2) Drawings, sketches, and blueprints; 3) Film and video; 4) Photographs and Transparencies; 5) Sound Recordings; and 6) Reference Material.
Industrial designer. Born Romania, 1889. Horwitt studied at City University of New York, New York University, and the Art Students' League, New York. In the 1920s, Horwitt formed his own, short-lived company, Design Engineers, Inc. He served as an advertising copywriter for the pharmaceutical company, E.R. Squibb, after serving in World War II.
Horwitt is best known for his design of a numberless black-face watch that has become known as the "Museum Watch" and was produced by the Movado Watch Company. He also designed the 1930 Beta chair and the Braquette, a frameless picture frame. His innovative designs for timepieces incorporated the classic elements of modern design while retaining some of the traditional elements of telling time, such as the circular face.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Models and prototypes of approximately 25 objects, including models of the Museum Clock, the Cyclox clock, the Braquette, and the Beta Chair.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Three drawings of Horwitt's designs for perfume bottles.
Movado Web Page. Information on Horwitt's work for the Movado Watch Company can be found on the company's web site, http://www.movado.ch/nhorwit.html.
Hank Horwitt, the designer's son, gave Cooper-Hewitt all his relevant design materials from his home studio in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, in 1991.
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
This material does not cover all clients and projects undertaken by Dreyfuss. This collection consists of theater design materials, industrial design materials, primarily, though not exclusively, from the 1950s and 60s, draft copies of his books, including extensive research files for the "Symbol Sourcebook," texts of lectures delivered by Dreyfuss, and biographical material. Included is Dreyfuss's Brown Book which provides an outline of his achievements. Photographs and slides of many of his designs are included. Materials relating to three publications include original drafts of the books with author notes, drawings, photographs, correspondence, and research materials. Also contains materials relating to the symbols exhibition held at the Hallmark Gallery in New York City in 1972.This collection was the source of many of the objects and issues addressed in Cooper-Hewitt's 1997 exhibition, "Henry Dreyfuss: Directing Design", and companion book, "Henry Dreyfuss, Industrial Designer: The Man in the Brown Suit", both conceived by Russell Flinchum. 311 reels of microfilm documenting most of the projects undertaken by Dreyfuss Associates were created by the firm and added to the collection later.
Materials are arranged into four record groups: 1) Biographical information; 2) Theater design; 3) Industrial design; and 4) Publications.
The biographical material is arranged into four sub groups:1) Lectures and Articles by Dreyfuss; 2) Articles about Dreyfuss; 3) Dreyfuss firm promotional mailings; and 4) Other material (photos, awards, etc.).Each sub-group is filed chronologically.
The Industrial Design records are divided into two sub groups:Early Industrial Design, 1929-1935, and Industrial Design, 1936-1969, and arearranged alphabetically by client name.
The publication materials arearranged alphabetically by title of publication.
Industrial and stage designer. Born New York, March 2, 1904. Attended Society for Ethical Culture High School in New York. Apprenticed to designer Norman Bel Geddes, 1922-1924. Established his own industrial design firm in 1929. His clients included Bell Telephone Laboratories, Deere & Company, Honeywell, Inc., Polaroid Corporation, General Electric, the 1939-40 and 1964-65 New York World's Fairs, New York Central Railroad, Hoover Company, Singer Sewing Machine Company, Royal Typewriter Co., Lockheed Aircraft, McCall's magazine, and others.
Dreyfuss was a founding member of the Society of Industrial Designers, and the first president of the Industrial Designers Society of America. He is best known for his designs for the Bell 500 and Trimline telephones, the Westclox Big Ben alarm clock, Deere & Company tractors, Polaroid's Automatic 100, Swinger, and SX-70 Land Cameras, and New York Central Railroad's 1938 Twentieth Century Limited. In the 1950s, Dreyfuss was one of the pioneers in the application of anthropometrics (the study of human dimensions and capabilities) in his designs. In 1969, Dreyfuss retired from his firm, but remained active as a corporate consultant. He was the author of several important books including: "Designing for People", 1955; "Measure of Man", 1959; and "Symbol Sourcebook", 1972.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Models and realized objects including control knobs for GM and Deere vehicles, plastic plates and various ceramic pieces with international symbols, Trimline telephones, an RCA Victor radio, a Westclox "Big Ben" alarm clock, and a Presco "AirClip" hair clipper.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Hundreds of drawings of designs for tractors, train, plane, and ship interiors, television and radio cabinets, product labels, logos, packaging, office buildings, and costumes.
Other archival repositories containing Dreyfuss materials include: AT&T Archives, Warren, New Jersey; Deere & Co. Archives, Moline, Iowa; Honeywell Archives, Minneapolis, MN; Hoover Company, Canton, Ohio; Polaroid Archives, Cambridge, MA; Billy Rose Theater Collection, New York Public Library; Ethical Culture/Fieldson School Archives, New York; New York Central System Historical Society, Inc.
United Scenic Artists Local 829 Archives, New York; New York World's Fair 1939-40 Archives, Manuscript Division, New York Public Library; and San Diego Aerospace Museum Archives.
Henry Dreyfuss and Doris Marks donated his papers to Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, in the fall of 1972.
Additional materials were transferred to the museum in 1973 from the University of California at Los Angeles, which held a small collection of material deeded by Henry Dreyfuss in 1962.
311 reels of microfilm were donated to the museum in 1992.
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph material.
Mair, Francis M., 1916-1991 (commercial artist) Search this
146 Cubic Feet
Business records -- 20th century
Personal papers -- 20th century
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Scope and Contents:
Collection documents the career of designer Walter Landor and the significant body of commercial imagery and packaging produced by Landor Associates design firm. Contains corporate and business records of Landor Associates, personal papers of Landor, oral history interviews, films, videotapes, and other audiovisual resources.
Subgroup 1: Landor Associates Business Records
Series 1: Historical Background and Project Administrations Files
Series 2: Newsletter, 1978-84
Series 3: Scrapbooks
Series 4: Memoranda, 1956-1979
Series 5: News stories and Newsclippings
Series.6: Corporate Subject files
Series 7: Walter Landor reading files
Series 8: New Brochure
Series 9: International files
Series I0: Promo files
Series I 1: Conventions and seminars
Series 12: Awards
Series 13: Tours, presentations, parties
Series 14: Communication films (a Landor subsidiary)
Series 15: Client files
Series 16: The Ferryboat Klamath and the Museum of Packaging Antiquities
Subgroup 2: Walter Landor Papers
Series 17: Papers
Series 18: Trip files
Series 19: Speeches
Series 20: Corporate reference
SUBGROUP 3: Photographic and Other Audiovisual Materials
Series 2 1: Photographs
Series 22: Slides
Series 23: Publications
Series 24: Videos
Series 25: Films
Series 26: Speeches/interviews/discussion sessions on audiocassette
Walter Landor, son of Jewish Bauhaus architect Fritz Landauer, came to the United States in 1938 with the design team for the British Pavilion at the 1939 World's Fair in New York City. He emigrated to the United States in 1941, launching a small design firm in San Francisco. Landor started out doing package design for a largely local and regional clientele (including many West Coast wineries and breweries), although he soon developed a client list that included some of the world's largest and most prestigious corporations. In addition to his own considerable design abilities, Landor had a gift for inspiring and organizing the creativity of a group of associates, and for developing lasting and productive relationships with his clients. The firm developed particular strength in its portfolio of airlines, financial institutions and consumer goods, and prided itself on a network of international clients. From the beginning, Landor linked design to research in consumer behavior, developing increasingly sophisticated methods for evaluating the effectiveness of his designs. This collection documents Walter Landor's remarkable career, the significant body of corporate identity, packaging and other commercial imagery produced by Landor Associates, and the interplay between industrial design and American consumer culture.
Personal papers donated to Archives Center in 1993 by Josephine Landor, widow of Walter Landor; business records donated to Archives Center in 1993 by Landor Associates.
Collection is open for research.
The Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions.,Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Project files containmagazine and newspaper clippings, reviews, correspondence, renderings, floor plans, perspective drawings, site plans, sketches, preliminary drawings, patents, stationery, labels, and technical reports. There is an extensive collection of photographs and slides of many of Deskey's packaging designs, interiors, furnishings, and exhibition installations. The files of Donald Deskey Associates include organizational charts, client files, proposals, and financial records. Some of Deskey's personal correspondence, speeches, articles, and family photographs are included. Materials cover the period from 1927-1975.
Arranged into six records groups: 1) architecture/interiors projects; 2)Donald Deskey Associates; 3) industrial design projects; 4) reference; 5) Donald Deskey's personal papers; and 6) photographs. A special collection of more than one thousand slides of Deskey's work are boxed separately.
Industrial, interior, and packaging designer. Born Blue Earth, Minnesota, November 23, 1894. By 1943, he had established Donald Deskey Associates in New York. Along with Dreyfuss, Bel Geddes, and Loewy, Deskey was one of the great industrial design pioneers in the 1930s.
He is best known for his designs for the furnishings and interiors of Radio City Music Hall in 1932, and for his work for companies such as: Widdicomb Furniture Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan; W & J Sloane, New York; and Estey Manufacturing Company, Owosso, Michigan. Deskey is also known for his familiar packaging designs for Procter & Gamble products, such as Crest toothpaste, Prell shampoo, and Tide detergent.
Donald Deskey Associates also was responsible for lamppost #10, the streetlight still in use today in New York City. Materials from this archival collection were featured in Cooper-Hewitt's 1994 exhibition and accompanying book, "Packaging the New: Design and the American Consumer, 1925- 1975."
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Drawings and Prints Department. Approximately 3,000 drawings for furniture and textile designs.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Applied Arts Department. Two tables, handles, and a glass bottle and box designed by Deskey.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Textiles Department. One textile designed by Deskey.
Other sources of archival information on Deskey include, the Procter & Gamble Archive, Cincinnati, Ohio, and Deskey Associates, New York City.
The Deskey collection was donated to the museum in three installments.
In 1975, Deskey deposited at Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum,, hundreds of drawings, 3 four-drawer file cabinets of material, and several oversized packages comprising the bulk of his papers covering the period from 1927-1965. These items were officially donated to the museum in 1988.
In 1992, Deskey Associates of New York made an additional gift consisting of, approximately 1,000 35mm slides that documented projects from the 1960s through 1980s, and focused primarily on designs for packaging.
In 1994, Donald Deskey's nephew, Robert Deskey presented the Museum with, 120 postcards, letters, and family photographs.
Unrestricted research use onsite by appointment. Permission of staff required to photograph materials.
The Brannock Device Company began with the 1925 invention of the Brannock Device, a tool to measure foot length and width at the same time, by inventor and businessman Charles F. Brannock. Early in his career Brannock worked as a shoe salesman at the Park-Brannock shoe store, and in 1962 he became the CEO of the company. This collection documents both the Park-Brannock store and the Brannock Device. Materials in The Brannock Device Company Records, 1925-1998, include of correspondence, design drawings, United States and foreign patents and trademarks, advertisements, product information, sales records, photographs, and a film strip documenting the invention, promotion, and sale of the Brannock Device as well as the concurrent development of Park-Brannock as a leading shoe store in Syracuse, N.Y.
Scope and Contents:
The Brannock Device Company Records, 1925-1998, consist of correspondence, design drawings, United States and foreign patents and trademarks, advertisements, product information, sales records, photographs, and a film strip documenting the invention, promotion, and sale of the Brannock Device as well as the concurrent development of Park-Brannock as a leading shoe store in Syracuse, NY. The collection is useful to researchers for its stories of invention and entrepreneurship and its exemplification of the patent and trademark process in the United States and internationally in the early 20th century. The process of manufacturing and marketing in the shoe industry, and manufacturing of military supplies during World War II is also highlighted.
The collection is divided into two subgroups: The Brannock Device Company Records and Park-Brannock Shoe Store Records. The Brannock Device Company subgroup is arranged into six series: Series 1: Historical Background, 1928-1995; Series 2: Operational Records, 1926-1963; Series 3: Product Development Records, 1925-1981; Series 4: Advertising and Marketing Records, 1926-1980, 1998; Series 5: Sales and Distribution Records, 1925-1996; and Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930-1997. The Park-Brannock subgroup is similarly arranged into five series: Series 1: Historical Background, 1936-1963, 1981; Series 2: Operational Records, 1936-1972; Series 3: Advertising and Marketing Records, 1933-1962; Series 4: Sales Records, 1916-1918, 1927-1961; and Series 5: Photographs, 1934-1967.
Subgroup 1: The Brannock Device Company, 1925-1998
Series 1: Historical Background, 1928-1995
This series contains articles about Charles Brannock, the Brannock Device, the device in the military, and shoe-fitting in general. The series provides an understanding of the company and the shoe industry as shown both through trade magazines, popular magazines, and newspapers.
Series 2: Operational Records, 1926-1963
This series contains bookkeeping, correspondence, census, insurance, and financial records which account for the company as a whole. It is organized into seven subseries: Book for recording devices on hand, November 1927-January 1929; Correspondence, 1926-1951; Census, 1947-1963, 1980; Insurance Inventory, 1956; Royalties Accrued, January 1946-March 1951; Time Records, 1952, 1954, 1958; and Notes, undated.
The correspondence between Charles and Otis Brannock reflects the strong business relationship which existed between father and son. Charles Brannock put Florence Williams in charge when he was vacationing each July from 1928 to 1931. The often humorous correspondence between them reflects daily business at the factory. Correspondence with Dr. Joseph Levyfield, chairman of the National Foot Health Council, pertains to children's foot exams in schools. For sales analyses of the Brannock Device, see Series 5: Sales and Distribution Records, United States--Private Sector, Direct Sales, under Sales analyses, 1964-1973.
Series 3: Product Development Records, 1925-1981
This series documents the process from invention to manufacture of the Brannock Device. It is divided into four subseries: Competitors' Devices and Other Products, Fitting Stool, Design, and Manufacture. Patents and Trademarks are included in the Sales and Distribution series because they were granted after sale of the device had already commenced and the foreign patents and trademarks are intricately linked to foreign sales.
The Competitors' Devices and Other Products subseries is further refined: Competitors' Devices; Other Products; Correspondence, 1928-1981, and Memos and Reports, n.d. The subseries provides documentation on the other devices Brannock considered while designing and making modifications to his own device. It also includes sale or manufacture negotiations for other inventors' products. Most of these devices were designed later than the Brannock Device and had attributes of the Brannock Device. Charles Brannock liked to keep abreast of new developments in order to protect his own interests.
The Fitting Stool subseries is a product development file on the fitting stool Charles Brannock designed to accommodate his device which enabled salesmen to measure the foot while seated instead of kneeling or squatting. It consists of design drawings and correspondence with American Fixture and Showcase Manufacturing Company, Thonet, and Commonwealth Shoe and Leather Company about negotiating its manufacture.
The Design subseries is further divided: Drawings and Ideas; Specifications; Correspondence, 1935-1975; Customer Comments; and Case of Child Cutting Finger on Device, July 1961-January 1962. The drawings and ideas are rough sketches done by Charles Brannock. The specifications include descriptions of materials used and assembly instructions. They were shipped with military orders for devices and are included in the text of patent applications. The design correspondence consists of actual and proposed modifications to the device. Of particular interest are the unsolicited modification proposals the company received. Customer comments were always appreciated and taken into account in the design process from 1946-1961. The case file of a child cutting her finger on a device resulted in a legal settlement in 1962.
The manufacture subseries contains correspondence with, and pamphlets about, companies that manufactured the device. Of particular interest are the Brannock Device Company's investigation into making plastic devices due to the shortage of aluminum in World War II, as outlined in the correspondence with the Eclipse Moulded Products Company. Also, a number of sample shoe company name plates and instruction plates which were screwed into free sections of the device are in this subseries.
Series 4: Advertising and marketing Records, 1926-1980, 1998
This series contains records from the company which contributed toward the goal of making a sale. It is divided into seven subseries: Correspondence, 1926-1974, 1998; Mailing Lists, 1947-1949; Ideas and Copy; Materials Printed with the Brannock Device Name; Advertisements and Product Information, 1934-1980; Measuring Device Instructions; and Advertising and Merchandising Plans, 1938, 1956, and undated.
The Correspondence, 1926-1974, 1998, contains letters between Brannock and various advertising agencies, printers, and magazines.
The Mailing Lists, 1947-1949, are partial listings of stores Brannock sent advertisements to.
The Ideas and Copy subseries consists of advertising ideas sketched by Brannock or proposed by the Proctor and Collier advertising agency or others. Also included are preliminary versions of advertisements and product information booklets.
Printed Materials with the Brannock Device Name, provides examples of stationery, business cards, and leases seen by potential customers.
The Advertisements and Product Information, 1934-1980, subseries contains various advertisements which appeared in magazines, newspapers, and displays, and product information leaflets which were mailed to customers. Also represented are advertisements by shoe stores which feature the Brannock Device and examples of the Brannock Device being used to advertise other products such as insurance, apartments, magazines, carpets, floorings, and die castings.
The Instructions subseries contains: Ideas and Copy, and Completed Instructions. Ideas and Copy are preliminary versions of the instruction sheets of individual models, including the Bran-X-Stick and a Sock-Measuring Device. The Completed Instructions are finished copies of the instruction sheets of many models.
The Advertising and Merchandising Plans, 1938, 1956, n.d. subseries contains information on three promotional schemes employed by the company: an early advertising plan, a Brannock Device Company merchandising campaign in 1938, and a cooperative effort with Miles Shoes in 1956.
Series 5: Sales and Distribution Records, 1925-1986
The largest series in the collection, the sales and distribution series documents Brannock's sales, partnerships he entered into, and the legal measures he took to ensure his company's success. The series is divided into three subseries: United States--Private Sector, United States--Military, and Foreign.
The United States--Private Sector subseries is further divided: Patents and Trademarks, 1928-1971; Direct Sales, 1926-1973; Salesmen Files, 1925-1935; and Shoe Fairs, 1938-1968.
The Patents and Trademarks, 1928-1971, contains patent and trademark certificates; correspondence with Brannock's lawyer, Theodore E. Simonton, and others in reference to obtaining patents and trademarks; and sales inquiries from those wishing to buy Brannock's patents.
The Direct Sales, 1926-1973, contains customer information and form letters; rental contracts, 1926-1927; customer correspondence, 1927-1989; customer service endeavors, and sales figures.
Arranged alphabetically, the Salesmen Files, 1925-1935 document the enthusiasm for the device experienced by shoe store owners across the country as they inquired about selling it followed by their disappointment with commission percentages and the fact that large shoe companies were getting the device at a discount and distributing it among their affiliates, and therefore not buying from salesmen.
The Shoe Fairs, 1938-1968, contains trade literature, visitation reports, and correspondence from Charles Brannock and his employees while attending the National Shoe Fair and the National Safety Congress and Exposition in Chicago from 1938 to 1968. It is organized chronologically by event. The information learned at the fairs was also useful in keeping abreast of the latest in shoe fashion for the Park-Brannock store.
The United States--Military, 1928-1972 subseries contains correspondence, contracts, and orders relating to the sale of the Brannock Device to the military. The subseries is arranged into seven smaller series: Army, 1939-1962; Coast Guard, 1932-1945; Marine Corps, 1943-1956; Merchant Marine, July 1944-August 1944; Navy, 1928-1970; Women's Army Corps, 1942-1944; and Miscellaneous Military Branches, undated. Arrangement within each smaller series is chronological.
Additional documentation on the Brannock Device in the military are in the following series: articles can be found in the Historical Background series; competitors' designs, drawings, specifications, and materials employed to make military devices are in the Product Development series; instructions and military-theme ads are in the Advertising and Marketing series, and photographs of military fittings and military devices are located in the photographs series.
The Foreign, 1937-1986, subseries documents the complex legal relationship between the Brannock Device Company, the Selby Shoe Company, the Brannock Device Company's lawyer, Theodore E. Simonton, and others as the companies strove for protection and distribution of the Brannock Device in foreign countries. It is arranged into five smaller series: Foreign Trademark Listings; Correspondence about Patents, Trademarks, and Distribution, 1928-1986; Patents and Trademarks; London Speech about Shoe-Fitting and the Company History; and Film Strip.
The foreign trademark listings were compiled periodically by the Brannock Device Company to keep track of their patents and trademarks. The correspondence is arranged chronologically. The actual patent and trademark certificates are arranged by country, and some folders also contain accompanying correspondence. This series does not contain all patents and trademarks issued to protect the Brannock Device internationally; some of the trademarks listed in the container list are renewals and therefore would not be the date of first issue. The London speech is a file of notes Charles Brannock used when giving a speech on his company's history and success in London, England. The sound-slide, instructional film strip is entitled "The Key to Repeat Sales." This series contains a transcript with a frame-by-frame description of each slide and accompanying narration.
Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930-1997
This series is divided into five subseries: Personal; Foot-Measuring Devices; Military; Employees and the Factory, 1949, 1997; and Negatives of Brannock Device, 1933-1958. The series contains black and white photos of Charles and Otis Brannock, competitors' devices, the Brannock device in window displays as well as in use and alone, the Women's Army Corps and various military men being fitted, employees, and the factory. There are also color photos, circa 1997, of the employees, the factory, and devices. Black and white, labeled negatives, 1933-1958, are also included here.
Subgroup 2: Park-Brannock Shoe Store Records, 1916-1918, 1927-1981
Series 1: Historical Background, 1936-1963, 1981
Newspaper and magazine articles about Park-Brannock anniversaries, moves into new stores, and the 1981 closing dominate this series. These articles are useful in understanding the rise of Park-Brannock as a leading shoe and accessory retailer. Photo-laden articles put the industrial design-influenced decor of each store into context.
Series 2: Operational Records, 1936-1972
This series is arranged into six subseries: Financial Materials, 1936-1972; Memos, December 1937-April 1944, January 1949, May 1958-May 1961; Business Course Tailored to Park-Brannock, undated; Store Planning, 1935-1961; New York City Business Trips, January 1949-August 1952; and Miscellaneous Notes, undated.
The Financial Materials, 1936-1972 subseries contains all available financial information for Park-Brannock. It is arranged into five smaller series: Correspondence, May 1937-December 1972; Annual Reports, 1945-1972; Department Sales Figures, 1957-1961; Merchandise Budget, August 1939-January 1941; and Miscellaneous Reports, 1936-1944.
The Memos, December 1937-April 1944, January 1949, May 1958-May 1961 subseries contains a limited amount of general internal correspondence. For correspondence between Charles and Otis Brannock, see the Operational Records series of subgroup 1, the Brannock Device Company. For other internal correspondence, see the correspondence with Alice Buxton in the Advertising and Marketing Records series in subgroup 2, Park-Brannock.
The Business course Tailored to Park-Brannock, undated is a file on how to be successful in the shoe business with advice specifically for Park-Brannock. The author is unknown, but it appears to be a commissioned service.
The Store Planning, 1935-1961 subseries contains architectural drawings for a proposed but not undertaken renovation of the original Park-Brannock building in 1935, and files containing store planning advertisements and correspondence used in the moves to new stores in 1937 and 1946.
The New York City Business Trips, January 1949-August 1952 subseries consists of a chronological file of notes taken by Charles Brannock on business accounts during trips to New York City.
The Miscellaneous Notes, undated, subseries contains various notes made by Charles Brannock.
Series 3: Advertising and Marketing, 1933-1962
Like the Advertising and Marketing Records series in the Brannock Device Company subgroup, this series contains records from the company which contributed toward the goal of making a sale. Correspondence documents the arrangements made by the company to create and post advertisements. Ideas and copy display early moments of this process. Materials printed with the Park-Brannock logo represent what the customers were given to remember their purchases: stationery, receipts, gift cards, bags, and box designs. Printed advertisements, radio advertisements, and form letters brought customers into the store. The Junior League of Syracuse file documents photographic advertising campaigns surrounding this group of fresh-faced young girls, as well as Park-Brannock's efforts to edge into this consumer group with advertisements in their newsletter. Correspondence with and reports from Alice Buxton have to do with her visits with doctors and nurses to promote the store along with evaluations of the company's advertising campaigns. The "Betsey Budget" lawsuit resulted from Park-Brannock copyrighting a commissioned advertising booklet which the artist would rather have had in her own name.
Series 4: Sales Records, 1916-1961
This series is arranged into seven subseries: Customer Correspondence, 1928-1944; Supplier Correspondence, 1927-1944; Florsheim Sales Instruction Manual; Inventories, 1961; Promotions; Receipts, 1916-1918; and Sales Floor Management.
The customer and supplier correspondence consists of mail orders, returns, and repair requests. An interesting aspect of the customer correspondence is the amount of shoe orders customers placed through the mail. Customers often received several pairs of shoes matching their descriptions, selected a pair, and mailed the remainder back to Park-Brannock. Sometimes customers would send in an outline of their foot to be sized or color swatches to match the shoes to a dress. Often the purchasing negotiations would require several letters between store and customer. The most prominent shoe supplier to correspond with Park-Brannock was the Selby Shoe Company, followed by Brown Shoe Company; Marshall, Meadows, and Stewart, Inc.; and LaValle, Inc.
Series 5: Photographs, 1932-1967
This series contains labeled, black and white, 8" x 10" photographs from each of the three stores as well as a booklet celebrating Park-Brannock's 50th anniversary in 1956, window displays from Park-Brannock and other stores, and labeled 8" x10" negatives.
The collection is divided into two subgroups.
Subgroup 1, The Brannock Device Company, 1925-1998
Series 1: Historical Background, 1928-1995
Series 2: Operational Records, 1926-1980
Subseries 1: Book for Recording Devices on Hand, 1927-1929
Subseries 2: Correspondence, 1926-1951
Subseries 3: Census, 1947-1980
Subseries 4: Insurance Inventory, 1956
Subseries 5: Royalties Accrued, 1946-1951
Subseries 6: Time Records, 1952-1958
Subseries 7: Notes, undated
Series 3: Product Development Records, 1925-1981
Subseries 1: Competitors' Devices and Other Products, c. 1928-1981
Subseries 2: Fitting Stool, 1936-1947
Subseries 3: Design, 1925-1975
Subseries 4: Manufacture, 1927-1959
Series 4: Advertising and Marketing Records, 1926-1998
Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1926-1998
Subseries 2: Mailing Lists, 1947-1950
Subseries 3: Ideas and Copy, undated
Subseries 4: Printed Materials with the Brannock Device Name (stationery, business cards, leases), undated
Subseries 5: Advertisements and Product Information, 1934-1980
The Brannock Device Company began with the 1925 invention of the Brannock Device by Charles F. Brannock. Charles Brannock was working as a salesman in the Park-Brannock shoe store, co-owned by his father Otis C. Brannock and Ernest N. Park, in Syracuse, New York when he saw the need for an improved foot-measuring device. The Brannock Device soon gained favor over size-sticks because it measured foot length and width at the same time. Additionally, it measured heel-to-ball length, a feature which aided in fitting heeled shoes.
Charles F. Brannock (1903-1992) was an inventor and businessman. He began tinkering with the idea of a new foot-measuring device while attending Syracuse University, where he would get up in the middle of the night and work on sketches and calculations. Brannock obtained a patent for the device on August 28, 1928, but by then manufacture and sale of the device was already underway. Brannock assembled the device in the Park-Brannock shoe store and gave the device a trial on the sales floor. In 1926, Charles Brannock began offering the device to shoe retailers first on a rental basis and then by sale through the use of salesmen who lived throughout the country and each covered a geographic area. By 1929, the company began to phase out salesmen because it offered quantity discounts to shoe companies which distributed the devices to their stores at a lower price than salesmen could offer.
Brannock sold his device internationally beginning in 1929 through Mr. I. Singer of London, England. In 1936 distribution rights transferred to Henry Maitland Marler of Feature Shoes Limited of London, an affiliate of the Selby Shoe Company. Renewing and protecting foreign trademarks proved to be a legal challenge. Due to some confusion, Brannock's British patent was allowed to lapse. In order to prevent other companies from using the Brannock name in England, H.M. Marler set up Brannock Fitting Device Limited in October 1937. The company began manufacturing Brannock Devices in January 1946, but royalties accrued through European sale by 1951 did not even cover a third of the cost of trademarks, patents, and designs.
Fortunately for the Brannock Device Company, these costs were absorbed by the Selby Shoe Company, with whom it had entered into agreements about foreign distribution in November 1941. Selby had exclusive rights to distribute the Brannock Device in South America, South Africa, and other countries, and assisted Brannock in securing trademarks in many foreign countries.
In 1933 a United States Navy captain asked a shoe salesman to find the source of many sailors' foot problems. The salesman, after measuring sailors' feet with the Brannock device, declared that the Navy shoe was not the cause of the problem; the sailors were simply wearing the wrong size shoes. The captain was so happy that he would not have to order special shoes for his men that he wrote an article in the July 1933 issue of United States Naval Institute Proceedings which described how the Brannock Device had eliminated foot troubles aboard the ship. This gave Brannock an opportunity to promote his device in the Navy by sending the article to other ships. He calibrated his device for use in other branches of the military and by World War II the Brannock Device was being used by most of the armed forces. Several articles were written about the greater foot comfort enjoyed by the military after the introduction of the device. Charles Brannock was proud of his small but widespread role in the war effort and in the comfort of America's enlisted men and women.
Through the years Charles Brannock developed many different models of his device, including the women's, men's, junior, growing girl's, athletic, ski-boot, and military models. In 1947, Brannock moved the device company to a machine shop at 509 East Fayette Street in Syracuse, where it remained for 50 years.
Brannock advertised both the store and the device in local papers, and the device in trade literature such as Boot and Shoe Recorder. He encouraged other shoe stores to promote themselves by using the device in their advertising. He also attended the annual National Shoe Fair in Chicago from 1938 to 1968 in order to promote the device as well as learn about shoe-fashion trends for the Park-Brannock shoe store.
Concurrently, Charles Brannock also played a significant role in the Park-Brannock shoe store. His father, Otis C. Brannock and Ernest N. Park founded Park-Brannock in 1906 in a small store at 321 South Salina Street, focusing on women's shoes. In February 1937, they moved to a three-story building at 427 South Salina Street. Finally, in 1946, a six-story store was built at 473-475 South Salina Street through 129 East Onondaga Street. While waiting for the newest store to be built, Park-Brannock temporarily moved to the Chimes Building at 510-512 South Salina Street and 113 West Onondaga Street. Park-Brannock gained fame in Syracuse for a wide selection of men's, women's and children's shoes, handbags, millinery, hose, and accessories. In an advertisement, the store declared itself "one of America's finest shoe stores." The design of the two newer stores was state-of-the-art, and Park-Brannock was featured in shoe magazine articles. For example, the men's department was designed to look like a great room inside a ship. Charles Brannock became the CEO of Park-Brannock after both his father and Ernest Park died in 1962. Park-Brannock closed its doors in 1981, after the Hotel Syracuse offered to purchase the property for its new Hilton Tower.
Charles Brannock died on November 22, 1992, at the age of 89. The company was purchased in 1993 from the Brannock Estate by Salvatore Leonardi. Leonardi continues to manufacture Brannock devices in a small factory in Liverpool, New York. Over a million Brannock Devices have been manufactured, and it remains the shoe industry standard
Materials at the National Museum of American History
Artifacts (several Brannock Devices and competitors' devices) are in the Division of Culture and the Arts and the Division of Armed Forces History.
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History by Salvatore Leonardi on November 4, 1998.
This collection is open for research use.
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
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.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Equipment and supplies Search this