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Railroad Trade Literature Collection

Extent:
76 Boxes
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Trade literature
Manuals
Pamphlets
Magazines (periodicals)
Date:
1861-1994
Summary:
The collection documents various aspects of railroad companies through pamphlets; trade catalogs; operating and service manuals, especially for railroad equipment; specifications; magazines and reprints; bulletins, and articles.
Arrangement note:
Collection is arranged into one series. Materials are arranged alphabetically.
Provenance:
Unknown.
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:
Railroad companies  Search this
Railroads -- 19th century  Search this
Railroads -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Trade literature -- 1920-2000
Manuals
Pamphlets
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Citation:
Railroad Trade Literature Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1136
See more items in:
Railroad Trade Literature Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1136

Cadillac Salesmen's Books and Automobile Trade Literature Collection

Collector:
Anderson, John R.  Search this
Names:
Cadillac Motor Car Company  Search this
Chrysler Corporation  Search this
Hupp Motor Company  Search this
Nash Motors Company  Search this
Packard Motor Car Company  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuals
Illustrations
Guidebooks
Handbooks
Samples
Scrapbooks
Advertising
Date:
1920s-1986
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains guidebooks issued to Cadillac salesmen containing images of vehicles, and data on the specifications, options and features of the 1963, 1966, 1968, and 1970-1978 vehicles. Many of the books contain upholstery samples from which buyers could choose. Also: 1920s print advertisements for luxury vehicles, including Cadillac, Packard, Willys-Knight, Nash, Chrysler, and Hupmobile; advertising booklets for consumers extolling the features of the new models of Lincoln and Lincoln Mercury vehicles, 1956-1986; a scrapbook of print advertisements for various automobiles, 1920s-1960s; and one owner's manual, 1940, for Lincoln's Zephyr and Continental models.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Cadillac salesmen's books, 1963-1978

Series 2: Automobile trade literature, 1920s-1986.
Provenance:
Collection donated by John R. Anderson.
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:
Advertising, magazine -- 20th century  Search this
Automobile industry and trade  Search this
Upholstery  Search this
Automobiles -- 1920-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuals
Illustrations
Guidebooks
Handbooks
Samples
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Advertising
Citation:
Cadillac Salesmen's Books and Automobile Trade Literature Collection, ca. 1920s-1986, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1401
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1401

20TH CENTURY CATALOGUE 1900

Author:
L.L. May & Co  Search this
Type:
Books
Trade catalogs
Date:
1900
Topic:
Nursery stock  Search this
Call number:
009884
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_220327

Jane and Michael Stern Collection

Creator:
Stern, Michael, 1946-  Search this
Stern, Jane  Search this
Extent:
17 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Ephemera
Trade literature
Articles
Notes
Menus
Cookbooks
Brochures
Correspondence
Slides (photographs)
Writings
Business records
Postcards
Date:
1920 - 2005
Scope and Contents:
The collection primarily consists of the raw materials amassed by Jane and Michael Stern as they traveled the United States, researching for their books on American material culture subjects, with particular emphasis on food and dining. These materials include writings, jottings and notes from their various stops while traveling; photographs and slides of places they visited; vintage postcards collected in their travels; paper ephemera such as take-out menus, placemats, etc.; large quantities of trade literature such as product cookbooks (some dating back to the 1920s), food packaging and brochures on food-related subjects, under headings such as "Meat, Fish, Game", "Parties, Etiquette, How-To", "Baking" and numerous others; trade literature on other material culture subjects the Sterns wrote books about with headings which include "Rodeo", "Cowboys", "Indians" and many others; correspondence; business records, articles and clippings.
Arrangement:
Collection is unarranged.
Biographical / Historical:
The Sterns are authors who compiled a popular series of books called Roadfood, in which they provide recommendations of restaurants, truck stops, diners, delis, bakeries and other food-related establishments in each U.S. state serving classic American regional specialties. They are also authors of books about other American material culture subjects including truckers, cowboys, kitsch, and dog shows. They are frequent guests on public radio, and are regular contributors to magazine columns.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Jane and Michael Stern, 2016.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark.
Topic:
Automobile travel -- United States  Search this
Diners -- United States  Search this
Bakeries -- United States  Search this
Restaurants -- United States  Search this
Truck stops -- United States  Search this
Cowboys -- United States  Search this
Roads -- United States  Search this
Delicatessens -- United States  Search this
Dining  Search this
Dog shows -- United States  Search this
Truck drivers -- United States  Search this
Rodeos -- United States  Search this
Food -- United States  Search this
Local foods -- United States  Search this
Kitsch -- United States  Search this
Material culture -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ephemera -- 20th century
Ephemera -- 21st century
Trade literature
Articles -- 21st century
Notes -- 20th century
Menus -- 20th century
Cookbooks -- 21st century
Brochures -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 21st century
Brochures -- 21st century
Cookbooks -- 20th century
Slides (photographs) -- 20th century
Writings
Business records -- 20th century
Articles -- 20th century
Postcards -- 20th century -- United States
Correspondence -- 20th century
Menus -- 21st century
Citation:
Jane and Michael Stern Collection, ca. 1920-2015, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1392
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1392
Additional Online Media:

John Challis Records

Creator:
Challis, John, 1907-1974  Search this
Truesdale, Ephraim  Search this
Donor:
Frayer, William W.  Search this
Extent:
24 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertisements
Ledgers (account books)
Sound recordings
Photographs
Magazines (periodicals)
Design drawings
Letters (correspondence)
Concert programs
Drawings
Musical scores
Diplomas
Trade literature
Clippings
Business records
Date:
circa 1900-1974
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the Challis Harpsichord business, and the lives of Mr. Challis and his partner, Ephraim Truesdale. The collection contains correspondence, both personal and business; business records, including ledgers and journals; drawings, including design drawings for harpsichord decorations and elements; client files; subject files, especially on harpsichord and musical instrument subjects; printed materials such as concert programs, trade literature, magazines on the subject of music and musical instruments, clippings, advertisements and publicity materials; photographs, including many of instruments and many of Challis' family members; music scores; ceremonial items such as diplomas; templates for elements of harpsichords; and recordings.
Arrangement:
Collection is unarranged.
Biographical / Historical:
John Challis was an American builder of harpsichords and clavichords. He attended Michigan Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University), where his interest in constructing keyboard instruments emerged. He spent four years apprenticing with Arnold Dolmetsch in England, returning in 1930, when he set himself up building instruments in a two-story space above a dress shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Dr. William W. Frayer, 2016.
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:
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Harpsichord  Search this
Harpsichord makers  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Clavichord  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Ledgers (account books) -- 20th century
Sound recordings
Photographs -- 20th century
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Design drawings
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Concert programs
Drawings -- 20th century
Musical scores
Diplomas
Trade literature
Clippings -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
John Challis Papers, ca. 1930-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1375
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1375

William R. Stone Microwave Oven Papers

Donor:
Hoffman, Robin  Search this
Hoffman, Robin  Search this
Creator:
Stone, William R., 1920-2006  Search this
Raytheon Company  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Graphs
Memorandums
Reports
Specifications
Patents
Articles
Notes
Photographs
Design drawings
Trade literature
Date:
1967 - 1985
Scope and Contents:
Papers documenting William R. Stone's involvement in the invention and development of the microwave for industrial and home use. The collection includes biographical information; patents, and other invention related papers; photographs; design drawings; internal company papers and memoranda; Stone's research and reports, especially on the subject of microwave safety; and trade literature relating to products for both industrial and home use.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Stone was an engineer for Raytheon. He was involved in the invention and development of microwave ovens for industrial uses, such as for ink drying, rubber vulcanization, and later for home use.
Provenance:
Robin Hoffman
Restrictions:
UNPROCESSED COLLECTION.
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:
Microwave heating  Search this
Microwave equipment industry  Search this
Engineers -- 20th century  Search this
Safety  Search this
Microwave ovens  Search this
Microwave oven industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Graphs
Memorandums -- 1950-2000
Reports
Specifications
Patents -- 20th century
Articles -- 1950-2000
Notes
Photographs -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 20th century
Trade literature
Citation:
William R. Stone Microwave Oven Papers, 1967-1985, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1320
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1320

Robert W. Kearns Papers

Creator:
Kearns, Robert W.  Search this
Kearns, Timothy  Search this
Brown, Brian Ivan  Search this
Quan, John  Search this
Names:
Kearns and Law  Search this
Tann Company  Search this
United States. Bureau of Standards.  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Cubic feet (24 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Reports
Trade literature
Patents
Photographs
Drawings
Notebooks
Correspondence
Memorandums
Date:
1963 - 1999
Summary:
The collection documents the inventive career of physicist and engineer Robert W. Kearns. Kearns invented and patented in 1967 the windshield wiper system with intermittent operation (US 3,351,836), among other inventions. The papers include notebooks, correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs, patents, drawings, and trade literature.
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes notebooks, correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs, patents, drawings, and trade literature. Kearns held patents related to circuitry which are integral to electronic intermittent windshield wipers. The windshield wiper documentation consists of patents, correspondence, and a set of drawings from November 16, 1967 for Tann Company. Other documentation includes Kearns's work with the engineering firm Kearns and Law (brochures, shop orders, agreements); his National Bureau of Standards work, which consists of his personnel file and notebooks detailing his highway skid resistance research; and subject files that cover a range of topics that interested Kearns, such as radar, speed control, and electric cars. At the heart of the collection are 32 invention notebooks (1963-1986) belonging to Kearns as well as engineers he worked with including John Quan, Brian Ivan Brown, and Timothy Kearns, son of Robert Kearns. Bound, paginated, and dated, the notebooks contain sketches, schematics, calculations, data, telephone numbers, and details about materials, costs, testing data, and descriptions for many of Kearns's projects. The notebooks present a comprehensive overview of his ideas and are significant to understanding his creative process and how his ideas changed or did not change over time. The majority of the notebooks are arranged in chronological order and therefore researchers can see Kearns's work unfold. Many of the notebooks are stamped with a "PO" to indicate a "protective order" followed by a number, and many of the notebooks were used during court proceedings. The protective order restricted access to notebooks which were filed with the court, or to be filed with the court at a future date.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1957-1991

Series 2: Notebooks, 1954-1994

Series 3: Patents, 1957-1985

Series 4: Kearns and Law Engineers, 1957-1962

Series 5: Kearns Engineers, 1967-1985

Series 6: National Bureau of Standards, 1967-1972

Series 7: Ford Motor Company (Engineering Technical Education Program), 1964-1966

Series 8: Windshield Wiper Materials (Kearns vs. Ford Motor Company), 1962-1993

Series 9: Subject Files, 1965-1999

Series 10: Correspondence, 1989-1999
Biographical / Historical:
Robert William Kearns was born in Gary, Indiana on March 10, 1927 to Martin W. Kearns and Mary E. Kearns. One of three children, Kearns grewup in the Detroit area, graduating from the University of Detroit, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1952); Wayne State University, Masters of Science in Engineering Mechanics (1957); and Case Western Reserve University, Ph.D. in engineering (1964). Kearns also earned certificates in nuclear reactor control from Argonne National Laboratories (1958 and 1959). He was a Corporal in the United States Army, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Strategic Services Unit (SSU); the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA.) from July 31, 1945 to November 29, 1946.

Prior to joining the military in 1945, Kearns worked at Mercury Engineering Company (1943-1945) in Detroit as a draftsman preparing engineering shop drawings. After the war, Kearns joined the H & A Tool and Die Company (1946-1947), also in Detroit, as a draftsman preparing engineering shop drawings for the manufacture of the individual parts for machinery and special dies. Through the University of Detroit Cooperative Program with the National Bureau of Standards, he participated in an engineer in training program (1949-1952) where he executed a variety of standardized tests on engineering materials. He held a variety of engineering positions: designer/draftsman with Peerless Design Company, Detroit (1952); junior engineer with Burroughs Corporation Research Laboratories, Philadelphia (1952-1953); and engineer with Bendix Aviation Corporation, Detroit (1953-1957) where Kearns supervised and directed of a group of engineers responsible for the design of computer components, servomechanisms, control systems and related devices. Other duties included planning, liaison with other Bendix divisions, establishing test equipment requirements, as well as technical specifications and reports. In 1957, Kearns joined the faculty of Wayne State University, Department of Engineering Mechanics, as an assistant professor (1957-1963), later becoming an associate professor (1963-1967).

Kearns also established two independent businesses, the engineering firms of Kearns and Law (1963-1976) and Computer Central (1965-1976). Founded with partner Kenneth J. Law, an electrical engineer, Kearns and Law provided industry with consultation, research, design, and development services in the fields of computers, automatic controls and instrumentation. Computer Central manufactured a series of control components such as the Linear Range Comparator, Sign or Equality Binary Comparator, Identity Comparator, Dual Brush V-Scan Encoder Electronics, Gray Code to Binary Code Encoder Electronics, and Digital Difference to Analog Converters. Kearns served as Detroit's Commissioner of Buildings and Safety Engineering (1967-1971), where he acted as an administrator, overseeing professional engineering activities such as building inspections. Kearns moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1971 to become principal investigator for the highway skid resistance program at the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (1971-1976).

In 1967, Kearns invented and patented an electronic windshield wiper system with intermittent operation (US 3,351,836). Previous wiper systems were controlled by vacuum tubes. He installed his device on his 1962 Ford Galaxy and met with Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation in 1963 with the goal of manufacturing his idea and being a supplier to the auto industry. Kearns tried to commercialize the wiper through the Tann Corporation. In 1969, Kearns's intermittent windshield wiper was installed on Ford cars without his knowledge. He ultimately filed suit against Ford for patent infringement in 1978 (representing himself as Kearns Associates), seeking $141 million in damages (a figure eventually raised to $325 million). Kearns's purpose in pursuing litigation was not a cash award. Rather, he wanted the rightful ownership. In all, he filed lawsuits against 26 car manufacturers and other companies concerning the same patent (US 3,351,836). In July 1990, a federal jury ruled that Ford had unintentionally infringed on Kearns's patent and awarded him $10.2 million. In June 1992, Kearns was awarded $11 million from Chrysler. Kearns held over 30 patents, with the majority relating to windshield wipers.

Kearns died in 2005. He married Phyllis Hall (1932-2013) in 1953, divorcing in 1989. The couple had six children: Dennis Kearns (b.1954); Timothy Kearns (b.1956); Patrick Kearns (b.1958); Kathleen Corsetty (b. 1961); Maureen Kearns (b. 1964); and Bob Kearns (b. 1967).
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Estate of Robert W. Kearns, through Dennis Kearns and Maureen Kearns, 2016.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some health-related materials in Series 6: National Bureau of Standards are restricted until 2055.
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.
Occupation:
Inventors  Search this
Topic:
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Windshield wipers  Search this
Automobiles -- Design and construction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Reports -- 20th century
Trade literature -- 20th century
Patents -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Drawings -- 20th century
Notebooks -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Memorandums -- 20th century
Citation:
Robert W. Kearns Papers, 1963-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1406
See more items in:
Robert W. Kearns Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1406

Edgecraft Corporation Records

Creator:
Smith, Jeff, 1939-2004  Search this
Child, Julia  Search this
Guthrie, Janet, 1938-  Search this
Edgecraft Corporation  Search this
Friel, Daniel D.  Search this
Claiborne, Craig  Search this
Yan, Martin, 1948-  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (3 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Container:
Box 4
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Catalogs
Articles
Financial records
Business records
Press releases
Correspondence
Audio cassettes
Videocassettes
Photographs
Point-of-purchase displays
Advertisements
Design drawings
Clippings
Date:
1984-2004
Summary:
The collection documents the development and marketing of the Chef's Choice brand of knife sharpeners.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the development and marketing of the Chef's Choice brand of knife sharpeners. It contains print advertisements, including foreign ads; press releases; press kits; point-of-purchase displays; articles from numerous magazines, including some in foreign languages; catalogs; photographs, including from trade fairs and company events; trade literature; audiovisual materials including VHS recordings of demonstrations of the product, and an interview with Chef Craig Claiborne; biographical material on Daniel Friel, who invented the Chef's Choice knife sharpener; design drawings; business records including correspondence and financial statements; notes; letters from famous chefs praising the knife sharpener, including Julia Child, Jeff Smith, Jacques Pepin, Martin Yan and others. A letter from race car driver Janet Guthrie is also included.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Office Files, 1984-2016

Series 2: Product Information, 1984-2016
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in 1984, by retired Dupont Engineer Daniel Friel, EdgeCraft Corporation introduced the Chef's Choice brand of electric knife sharpener. They also offer other small kitchen appliances.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Edgecraft Corporation, 2016.
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:
Cutlery trade  Search this
Kitchen utensil industry  Search this
Knives  Search this
Kitchen utensils  Search this
Knife sharpening  Search this
Genre/Form:
Catalogs -- 20th century
Articles -- 20th century
Financial records -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Articles -- 21st century
Press releases -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Audio cassettes -- 20th century
Videocassettes -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Point-of-purchase displays -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Citation:
Edgecraft Corporation Records, 1984-2004, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1382
See more items in:
Edgecraft Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1382

Ryder Mobile Homes Park Collection

Author:
Ryder Mobile Homes, Inc.  Search this
Donor:
Zink, Philip G.  Search this
Zink, Scott  Search this
Zink, Philip G.  Search this
Zink, Scott  Search this
Names:
Ryder, Ralph  Search this
Extent:
15 Cubic feet (44 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertisements
Business records
Photographs
Trade catalogs
Date:
circa 1920s-2001
Summary:
The collection documents trailer park life, particularly the Ryder Mobile Homes Park founded by Ralph Ryder in New Haven, Connecticut in 1930.
Scope and Contents:
The collecton consists of photographs, trade literature, plans, park bulletins, specifications, sales materials and contracts from manufacturers, articles, and sales literature on the company's own products. There are some personal items relating to the company founder Ralph Ryder. The photographs depict the Ryder Mobile Homes Park, and its trailers and residents, as well as other mobile homes and recreational vehicles.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seven series.

Series 1: Ryder Mobile Homes Park, 1930-1990s

Series 2: Residential Mobile Homes Materials, 1947-2001

Series 3: Recreational Trailer Materials, 1967-1972

Series 4: Mobile Homes Trade Literature, circa 1920s-circa 1970s

Series 5: Mobile Homes Accessories Trade Literature, 1945-1994

Series 6: Magazines, 1936-1973

Series 7: Photographs, 1928-1989
Historical note:
Ryder Mobile Homes, Inc. operated a mobile home park in New Haven, Connecticut from 1930 to 1981. Ralph Ryder established the company in 1930. He built and lived in a house car, a trailer on a truck body, near New Haven, Connecticut. The company designed and built its own recreational vehicles in the 1940s and operated a dealership circa 1950 to 1981, where it sold many different brands of mobile home trailers and recreational vehicles. Ryder began selling trailers in 1936 and moved his sales operation and trailer home to a ten-acre wooded lot in Hamden, Connecticut, that he purchased from Henry Usher. He opened his trailer lot to other residents, creating one of the first mobile home parks in the United States. The trailer lot expanded to sixty acres and is still in operation. Ryder's nephew, Gary Zink, joined the business in 1947. Zink continued the business operations after Ryder's death in 1973 and then sold the business in 1999.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Scott and Phillip G. Zink on July 10, 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:
Mobile home industry  Search this
Recreational vehicle industry  Search this
Recreational vehicle living  Search this
Recreational vehicles  Search this
Mobile home living  Search this
Mobile homes  Search this
Mobile home parks  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Trade catalogs
Citation:
Ryder Mobile Homes Park Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0777
See more items in:
Ryder Mobile Homes Park Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0777
Additional Online Media:

Baldwin Locomotive Works Scrapbooks

Creator:
Baldwin Locomotive Works.  Search this
Source:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Former owner:
Transportation, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Names:
Baldwin, Matthias W. (industrialist)  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (4 volumes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Business records
Clippings
Articles
Blueprints
Trade literature
Photographs
Specifications
Scrapbooks
Letterheads
Contracts
Date:
1867-1929.
Scope and Contents note:
Four scrapbooks containing items relating to the Baldwin Locomotive Works, including: blueprints, photographs, examples of company letterhead and blank company forms, clippings and articles, business records such as contracts and specifications, trade literature, and miscellany.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical/Historical note:
The Baldwin Locomotive Works was started as a sole proprietorship by Matthias W. Baldwin in 1831. The company was the largest railroad engineering plant of its kind in the world. It is now out of business.
Provenance:
Collection donated by James C. Macinnes.
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:
Transportation  Search this
Railroads  Search this
Locomotive industry -- Pennsylvania  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1860-1930
Clippings
Articles
Blueprints
Trade literature
Photographs -- 20th century
Specifications
Scrapbooks
Letterheads
Contracts
Photographs -- 19th century
Citation:
Baldwin Locomotive Works Scrapbooks, 1867-1929, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1181
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1181

Iowa Button Industry Collection

Creator:
Automatic Button Company.  Search this
American Pearl Button Company.  Search this
Claus Schmarje Button Company.  Search this
Barry Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Schmarje, Claus  Search this
Sessler, Mary Alice  Search this
U.S. Button Company.  Search this
Weber and Sons Button Company.  Search this
Perkins Freshwater Pearl Products, Inc.  Search this
McKee Button Company.  Search this
Schmarje, Clarence  Search this
Ronda Button Company.  Search this
Hawkeye Pearl Button Company.  Search this
Hahn, Bernard  Search this
J & K Button Company  Search this
Iowa Button Company.  Search this
Extent:
13 Cubic feet (55 boxes, 4 map folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Trade literature
Videotapes
Commercial catalogs
Correspondence
Clippings
Photographs
Price lists
Account books
Audiotapes
Place:
Muscatine (Iowa)
Iowa -- Button industry
Date:
1898 - 1993
Summary:
Collection documents the manufacture of both freshwater pearl and plastic buttons in Muscatine, Iowa, including at least 12 different companies from primarily 1925 to the 1960s.
Scope and Contents:
Collection documents the manufacture of both freshwater pearl and plastic buttons in Muscatine, Iowa, including at least 12 different companies. The records, primarily 1925-1960s, with a few items from 1993 production, include corporate financial records, wage and employment statistics, sales and purchase data, photographs, correspondence, catalogs, and publications. Some records document the Barry Manufacturing Company, a machine tool company which specialized in designing and producing the unique machinery needed for this industry; also background material that places the corporate records into the historical context of the button industry in Muscatine.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 14 series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Materials, 1898-1990

Series 2: American Pearl Button Company, undated

Series 3: Automatic Button Company, 1937, 1965

Series 4: Barry Manufacturing Company/The Barry Company, 1890-1980

Series 5: Hawkeye Pearl Button Company, 1914-1968

Series 6: Iowa Pearl Button Company, 1955

Series 7: J & K Button Company, 1993

Series 8: McKee Button Company, 1988

Series 9: Muscatine Pearl Works, 1944-1947

Series 10: Perkins Freshwater Pearl Products, 1944-1966

Series 11: =Rhonda Button Company, 1946-1968

Series 12: Claus Schmarje Button Works, 1914-1941

Series 13: US Button Company, 1915

Series 14: Weber and Sons Button Company, 1900-1976
Biographical / Historical:
Muscatine, Iowa was the primary American manufacturing source for mother-of-pearl buttons made from Mississippi River shellfish, 1890s-1960s. During the industry's peak, there were some 53 small firms making pearl buttons in the area. In the 1930s some of these firms began experimenting with plastics as a substitute for the dwindling supply of shellfish. Several firms successfully converted to plastics and the city remains a center for plastic button manufacture today.

This unique industry drew upon natural resources to provide employment for almost an entire city (Muscatine is still known as the "Pearl City"). The mass production of low-cost buttons was crucial to the success of ready-made clothing and the development of the modern clothing trade. The industry was also involved in early work by American manufacturers to develop synthetic materials to replace increasingly scarce natural resources.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Mary Alice Sessler, Weber and Sons Button Company, Bernard Hahn.,J & K Button Company (November 19, 1993); and Clarence Schmarje (November 19, 1993).
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:
Wages -- Button industry  Search this
Buttons  Search this
Mollusks  Search this
Mother-of-pearl  Search this
Crustacea  Search this
Pearl button industry -- Iowa  Search this
Plastics  Search this
Button industry workers  Search this
Button industry -- Iowa  Search this
Genre/Form:
Trade literature -- 1920-2000
Videotapes
Commercial catalogs -- 1920-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Price lists
Account books -- 20th century
Audiotapes
Citation:
Iowa Button Industry Collection, ca. 1920s-1993, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0504
See more items in:
Iowa Button Industry Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0504

Eugene B. Johnson Papers

Names:
National Sales Engineering Corporation  Search this
Extent:
1.75 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Business records
Invoices
Laboratory notes
Letters (correspondence)
Trade catalogs
Date:
1927-1980
Summary:
The papers relate to Johnson's work as an engineer with the National Sales Engineering Corporation Records, and its machine tool products.
Content Description:
The papers relate to Johnson's work as an engineer and salesman with the National Sales Engineering Corporation Records, and its machine tool products. They include Johnson's school records including exam blue books and notebooks; his credentials; client files and information, including quotes, invoices and correspondence; and trade literature for company products.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Eugene B. Johnson (October 18, 1915 - November 22, 2007) was a salesman in the tool and die manufacturing field. Spending much of his career as a salesman for the National Sales Engineering Corporation, Johnson rose to become the company's vice president by the time of his retirement.

https://www.legacy.com/obituaries/detroitnews/obituary.aspx?n=eugene-b-johnson&pid=182719095
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Topic:
Identification cards  Search this
Machine-tool industry  Search this
Machine-tools  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Invoices -- 20th century
Laboratory notes -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Citation:
Eugene B. Johnson Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1450
See more items in:
Eugene B. Johnson Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1450

Shriners Hospital Patient Isolation Unit Records

Donor:
Shriners Hospital for Children (Cincinnati, Ohio)  Search this
Hitzler, Ron  Search this
Hitzler, Ron  Search this
Creator:
Maley, Matthew  Search this
Extent:
0.75 Cubic feet (2 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Specifications
Reports
Reprints
Trade literature
Design drawings
Photographs
Articles
Technical drawings
Technical reports
Laboratory notes
Correspondence
Date:
1956-1981
bulk 1969-1972
Summary:
Collection documents the development, study, and evaluation of gnotobiotic or germ-free patient isolation. During the 1960s, Shriners Burn Unit in Cincinnati, Ohio modified a previously existing unit, the Life Island (Mark V) and subsequently developed their own germ free unit, the Snyder Unit. One of the main developers of the Snyder Unit was Dr. Matthew Maley of Shriners Hospital. Collection includes correspondence, notes, reports, drawings, photographs, journal articles and trade literature.
Scope and Contents:
The Shriners Hospital Patient Isolation Unit Records consist of approximately .75 cubic feet and document the development and testing of the Synder Unit.

While the majority of the documentation is for the Synder Unit, there are articles and speeches from symposia held on gnotobiotics or the study of germ free living. These articles and speeches range from dealing with burn victims and cancer patients to the toxicity of certain germs to the sustainability of germ free animals.
Arrangement:
The records are arranged into two series.

Series 1, Patient Isolation Unit Materials, 1966-1972

Series 2, Gnotobiotics Research, 1956-1981
Biographical / Historical:
In 1966, Shriners Burns Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio, (now known as the Shriners Hospital for Children) purchased a Life Island (Mark V) patient isolation system or germ free unit and made modifications to it. In 1967, the Shriners Burns Institute began working with the Snyder Manufacturing Company to create their own germ free unit, named the Snyder Unit. This project had several collaborators including Dr. Matthew Maley, Dr. P.C. Trexler, and Dr. Bruce MacMillan. The Snyder Unit was tested from 1967 to 1972. It was used for about a year before the doctors working on the project realized that a smaller and simpler unit named with the acronym, CRS, was more efficient economically and health-wise. While the CRS was not a "bubble" isolation unit like the Life Island or the Synder Unit, it was still considered an isolation unit and soon replaced both the modified Life Island and the Synder Unit which was retired in 1980.

The Synder Unit was also studied to determine if it could be used for cancer patients or patients taking immunosuppressant drugs. Tests proved that while the Synder Unit did help a few cancer patients, the results were not significant enough for its use for patients with weakened immune systems.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Medicine and Science holds a Snyder Isolator (prototype) and Life Island Isolator Mark V unit (Accession #: 1980.0187).
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Ron Hitzler, 2008.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Isolation (Hospital care)  Search this
Burn care units  Search this
Hospitals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Specifications
Reports -- 1950-1980
Reprints
Trade literature
Design drawings
Photographs -- 20th century
Articles -- 20th century
Technical drawings
Technical reports
Laboratory notes
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
Shriners Hospital Patient Isolation Records, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1142
See more items in:
Shriners Hospital Patient Isolation Unit Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1142
Additional Online Media:

Royce L. Beers Papers

Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
Beers, Royce. L., 1888-  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (4 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Technical reports
Business records
Awards
Articles
Patents
Blueprints
Notebooks
Drawings
Date:
ca. 1900-1969.
Summary:
Collection documents stokers and fuel burners and includes patents, awards, articles, notebooks, graphs, drawings, tables, and company publications.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection consists of the personal papers of Royce L. Beers, mostly as they relate to his work in mechanical engineering. It includes trade literature, publications, articles, company records and price lists, patents, correspondence, technical reports, tables, graphs, calculations, drawings and sketches, blueprints, research notebooks, field notes, photographs and prints. Also included are personal and biographical material, such as portraits and documents related to an awards banquet.

The Beers papers contain several items that are of general interest: copies of the Ringlemann scale, a photograph of the Panama Canal Zone, reference to Nestle's Milk Products Company, and an article written by Orville Wright. There are even some unexpected materials, such as a write-up of Mrs. Beers' hospital diet.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Personal Materials, circa 1900-1969

Series 2, Trade Literature, 1919-1947

Series 3, Publications, 1921-1948; undated

Series 4, Reports, 1917-1946; undated

Series 5, Blueprints, Drawings, Graphs and Tables, 1914-1949; undated

Series 6, Engineering Research Notebooks, 1913-1945

Series 7, Photographs and Prints, undated

Series 8, Miscellaneous Materials, undated
Biographical/Historical note:
Mechanical engineer.
Provenance:
Found in the collection of the Division of the History of Technology.
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:
Stokers, Mechanical  Search this
Power (Mechanics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Technical reports
Business records -- 20th century
Awards
Articles -- 20th century
Patents
Blueprints
Notebooks -- 1900-1950
Drawings -- 20th century
Citation:
Royce L. Beers Papers, 1900-1969, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0880
See more items in:
Royce L. Beers Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0880

Burris and Byrd Family Card Sample Case

Creator:
Burris, Jeanne  Search this
Burris, Charlene  Search this
Byrd, James  Search this
Byrd Family  Search this
Byrd, Kathryn  Search this
Extent:
1 Folder
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Card samples
Picture postcards
Trade literature
Greeting cards
Postcards
Sample books
Place:
Atlanta (Ga.)
Ohio
Date:
ca. 1920
Scope and Contents note:
A pocket sample case of greeting cards and postcards offered for sale by the Ohio Card Company of Cadiz, Ohio.
Biographical/Historical note:
The Ohio Card Company was a dealer in postcards, namecards, fine art pictures, games, novelties, etc. The company offered a way of ordering namecards and postcards via the mail using sample books. Acquired in the 1920s (probably in Atlanta, Georgia) by Charlene J. Burris's grandparents (Milton and Mary Lola Johnson) to hold a lock of hair from Ms. Burris's mother (Ouida LaRuth Johnson, b. 1918).
Provenance:
Collection donated by Jeanne and Charles Burris and James and Kathryn Byrd and Family, date unknown.
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:
Traveling sales personnel  Search this
Genre/Form:
Card samples
Picture postcards -- 20th century -- United States
Trade literature
Greeting cards
Postcards
Sample books
Citation:
Burris and Byrd Family Card Sample Case,1920, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Jeanne and Charles Burris and James and Kathryn Byrd and Family.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0126
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0126

James J. Childs Numerical Control Collection

Creator:
Childs, James J., 1926-  Search this
Extent:
55 Cubic feet (132 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Trade catalogs
Design drawings
Correspondence
Date:
1952-1991
Scope and Contents note:
Archival materials, including correspondence, photographs, and drawings relating to the field of numerical control of machinery; also a large quantity of printed material, especially trade catalogs and trade literature.
Arrangement:
Divided into 3 series.
Biographical/Historical note:
Expert in the field of numerical control, has served as a consultant to U.S. Government agencies on the subject.
Provenance:
Collection donated by James J. Childs.
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:
Numerical control  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Trade catalogs
Design drawings
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
James J. Childs Numerical Control Collection, 1952-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0420
See more items in:
James J. Childs Numerical Control Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0420

Cincinnati Boss Company Records

Creator:
Cincinnati Boss Company.  Search this
Extent:
11.75 Cubic feet (32 boxes)
3 Film reels
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Film reels
Photographs
Motion pictures (visual works)
Catalogs
Legal documents
Newsletters
Date:
1900-1990
Scope and Contents note:
Collection includes business records, photographs, films, and trade literature documenting the company's meat packing operations.
Arrangement:
Divided into 4 series: Series I, Catalogs; Series II, Miscellaneous; Series III: Photographs; Series IV: Films.
Biographical/Historical note:
The Cincinnati Boss Company was founded in the 1880s to manufacture machinery used in the meat packing industry.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Cincinnati Boss Company.
Restrictions:
UNPROCESSED COLLECTION.
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:
Meat industry  Search this
Packing-houses  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Motion pictures (visual works)
Catalogs
Legal documents
Newsletters -- 20th century
Citation:
Cincinnati Boss Company Records, 1900-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0741
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0741

S. Morgan Smith Company Records

Collector:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Allis-Chalmers  Search this
S. Morgan Smith Company  Search this
Names:
Atlanta Water and Electric Power Company  Search this
Extent:
23 Cubic feet (88 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Advertisements
Trade literature
Catalogs
Place:
Atlanta (Ga.)
York (Pa.)
Date:
1890-1914.
Scope and Contents:
Archival materials, including photographs, advertising art, catalogs and other trade literature, documenting the equipment, facilities, personnel and products of the S. Morgan Smith Company, engineers and contractors. The subjects of the photographs include engines, fire pumps, generators, paper machinery, turbines, the construction of a dam and hydroelectric station by the Atlanta Water and Electric Power Company, and the Mathis Dam near Atlanta.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Engineering company in York, Pennsylvania, it later became Allis-Chalmers.
Provenance:
Donated to the National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History) in 1968 by the Allis-Chalmers Company.
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:
Power plants  Search this
Dams  Search this
Engines  Search this
Fire pumps  Search this
Hydroelectric power plants  Search this
Hydraulic engineering  Search this
Generators and generating stations  Search this
Water-power  Search this
Turbines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 19th-20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 1890-1920
Advertisements
Trade literature
Catalogs
Citation:
S. Morgan Smith Company Records, 1890-1914, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1099
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1099

Hooker-Howe Company Papers

Creator:
Hooker-Howe Costume Company  Search this
Source:
Renaud, Claire  Search this
Former owner:
Renaud, Claire  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertisements
Black-and-white photographs
Catalogs
Trade catalogs
Date:
1922-1938
Summary:
Archival materials documenting the Hooker-Howe Costume Company's (Haverhill, Massachusetts) business providing costumes, wigs, make-up, props and other items for minstrel shows and other amateur theater.
Content Description:
Archival materials documenting the Hooker-Howe Costume Company's (Haverhill, Massachusetts) business providing costumes, wigs, make-up, props and other items for minstrel shows and other amateur theater. The collection includes advertisements, catalogs, trade literature, photographs of actors in costume, placards intended for advertising current or upcoming shows.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
The Hooker-Howe Costume Company was located in the Bradford District of Haverhill, Massachusetts. According to one of its catalogues it was createdstarted in 1905. The company was headed by Mr. C. E. Hooker and consisted of the reception room; a show room; the main office; several wardore departments; the alteration, cleansing and pressing room; and the shipping department. Hooker-Howe offered costumes in addition to other items such as sets. Merchandise was shipped all across the counrty.
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center in 2019 by Claire Renaud.
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:
Costumes  Search this
Minstrel shows  Search this
Theater  Search this
Theater -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Black-and-white photographs
Catalogs
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Citation:
Hooker-Howe Company Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1475
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1475

Fuller Brush Company Records

Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Extent:
32.5 Cubic feet (77 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
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

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