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Cleve Gray papers

Creator:
Gray, Cleve  Search this
Names:
Berry-Hill Galleries  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Connecticut. Commission on Arts, Tourism, Culture, History and Film  Search this
Jacques Seligmann and Co.  Search this
Neuberger Museum of Art  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Barzun, Jacques  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Davis, Jim, 1901-1974  Search this
Dillenberger, Jane  Search this
Duchanp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy, 1920-1984  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Grace, Louise N.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
Marin, John, 1870-1953  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Villon, Jacques, 1875-1963  Search this
Weber, Nicholas Fox, 1947-  Search this
Extent:
9.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Date:
1933-2005
Summary:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam protest movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.
Scope and Content Note:
The Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005, measure 9.2 linear feet. Papers include biographical material, alphabetical files, writings, artwork, audio/visual records, artifacts, printed material, and photographs. Extensive alphabetical files contain personal and professional correspondence as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Especially well-documented are: Gray's involvement with the Vietnam movement; and Threnody, his best-known work composed of fourteen large panels lamenting the dead of both sides sides in Vietnam, commissioned by the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Among the biographical material are award and membership certificates, biographical notes, and personal documentation.

The alphabetical files contain Cleve Gray's personal and professional correspondence, as well as subject files relating to projects and interests. Correspondence is with friends and family, colleagues, publishers, museum curators and directors, art dealers, collectors, and fans. Among the correspondents of note are: Jacques Barzun, James E. Davis, Naum Gabo, Louise N. Grace, Hans and Fridel Richter, and Jacques and Gaby Villon. Other substantial correspondence includes: Berry-Hill Galleries, Betty Parsons Gallery, Connecticut Commission on the Arts, Jacques Seligmann and Co., Neuberger Museum of Art, Pratt Institute, Princeton University, and Rhode Island School of Design. Subject files mostly consist of correspondence, but include printed material and some photographs. Among the subject files are: Art Collection of Cleve and Francine Gray, Artist-Dealer Consignments and Visual Artists' Rights Act of 1989, Artists' Tax Equity Act of 1979, Promised Gifts to Museums, Threnody, Vestments, and Vietnam Protest. Of particular interest are files relating to the Estate of Hans Richter (Cleve Gray, executor), and Gray's research correspondence and illustrations for his Cosmopolitan article "Women-Leaders of Modern Art."

Writings are manuscripts and drafts, research materials, notes, and miscellaneous writings by Cleve Gray and other authors. Those by Gray include articles and catalog introductions on a wide range of art-related topics, as well as book and exhibition reviews. Also found are a book proposal, texts and notes for lectures and talks, miscellaneous notes, poems, political statements, and student papers. Of particular interest are autobiographical notes in the form of a chronology that his biographer, Nicholas Fox Weber, cited as an "autochronology."

Among the writings by other authors are pieces about Cleve Gray including Nicholas Fox Weber's manuscript Cleve Gray. A significant amount of material relates to three books edited by Gray: David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin. Research material survives for an unpublished volume, Naum Gabo. Also included are notes relating to his translation of A l'Infinitif by Marcel Duchamp. Jane Daggett Dillenberger is represented by a lecture, "The Resurrection in Art." The remaining items by other authors are unsigned; of particular interest is a small notebook of reminiscences and notes about Jackson Pollock.

Artwork by Cleve Gray consists mostly drawings and sketches, and a small number of paintings, prints, and watercolors. Works by other artists consist are an unsigned mobile of paper cut-outs, possibly by Alexander Calder, and a pencil drawing signed Dick (probably Richard Avedon).

Audio recordings are a radio broadcast featuring Cleve Gray, several lectures by Gray on John Marin, and a lecture titled "Meaning in the Visual Arts." Other recordings are of Hans Richter and an interview with Jimmy Ernst conducted by Francine du Plessix Gray. Also found is a videocassette of "Glenville School Students at SUNY (Lincoln Center Activity)."

Artifacts are a Chinese scroll representative of those that hung in Cleve Gray's studio, two of his paintbrushes, Aberdeen-Angus Breeders' Association blue ribbon, and Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award.

The vast majority of printed material - articles, clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, reproductions of art work, etc. - are about or by Cleve Gray. Miscellaneous items and publications mentioning Gray consist of annual reports, brochures, calendars, newsletters, programs, etc. Clippings about Vietnam and Vietnam protest memorabilia reflect his passionate involvement in the anti-war movement; a small number of these items mention Gray or were written by him.

Photographs are of artwork, events, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. Most of the art work appearing in the photographs is by Cleve Gray and includes images of destroyed paintings. Also found is an original print of Photo Abstraction by Gray, circa 1934. Of particular note are photographs of Threnody, among them preparatory drawings and views of the work in progress. Photographs of artwork by other artists include Louise N. Grace, Jacques Lipchitz, John Marin, Hans Richter, and Jacques Villon.

Photographs of people are mainly portraits of Gray, and views of him with his wife and sons. Other individuals appearing in photographs are Hans Richter and some of Richter's descendants. Pictures of places consist of Gray's studio.

Events are an unidentified exhibition opening. Miscellaneous subjects are mostly exhibition installations. Illustrations consist of photographs published in David Smith by David Smith: Sculpture and Writings. Also found are small number of negatives and color transparencies.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1943-circa 2001 (Box 1; 0.1 linear ft.)

Series 2: Alphabetical Files, 1936-2005 (Boxes 1-5, 9; 4.3 linear ft.)

Series 3: Writings, 1935-2000 (Boxes 5-6; 0.85 linear ft.)

Series 4: Artwork, circa 1933-1987 (Boxes 6, 9, OV 12; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 5: Audio/Visual Records, 1971-1989 (Box 6; 0.25 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artifacts, 1957-1999 (Box 6, RD 11; 0.45 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1933-2005 (Boxes 7-8; 1.25 linear ft.)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1934-2002 (Boxes 8-10; 1.15 linear ft.)
Biographical Note:
Abstract Expressionist painter, sculptor, and writer Cleve Gray (1918-2004) lived and worked in Connecticut where he was politically active in the Vietnam protest movement and other liberal causes.

Born Cleve Ginsberg in New York City (the family changed its name to Gray in 1936), he attended the Ethical Culture School and at a young age developed a fascination with color and paint. At the urging of friends, Cleve's parents allowed him to accompany a school friend for lessons with George Bellows' student Antonia Nell. She encouraged and inspired the young artist, and a still life he painted in her class was shown at the National Academy of Design's 1932 annual exhibition. Miss Nell also introduced him to Louise N. Grace, an artist who became a good friend and had a lasting influence on him. While a student at Phillips Academy, Cleve studied painting with Bartlett Hayes and aspired to paint in France. Upon his graduation in 1936, he was awarded the Samuel F. B. Morse Prize for most promising art student.

Gray's mother was always supportive of his career choice. His businessman father, who didn't understand his son's desire to be an artist, insisted on a college education. Cleve chose Princeton, where he majored in art and archaeology, and studied painting with James E. Davis. His senior thesis was on Chinese landscape painting; both Eastern philosophy and art were long-term influences on Gray's work and outlook. He graduated summa cum laude in 1940, and then spent several months painting while living at the farm of a family friend in Mendham, New Jersey.

When a doctor suggeted that a dry climate might relieve sinus and asthma problems, Gray moved to Tucson, Arizona. Once settled in the desert, he contacted Louise N. Grace, whom he had met as a young teenager through his art instructor. Miss Grace, an artist and daughter of the founder of W. R. Grace and Co., was a highly cultured and independent woman older than his parents. The summer before Gray entered Phillips Academy, she had hired him to brush ground color onto canvases for murals she was painting for "Eleven Arches," her home in Tuscon then under construction. Miss Grace invited Gray to visit "Eleven Arches" to see the completed murals, and despite the substantial age difference, their friendship deepened; Gray found in her intellectual and spiritual guidance that was lacking in his own family. He remained in Tucson until enlisting in the U. S. Army in 1942, and they corresponded frequently during the the war. When a stroke in 1948 prevented Miss Grace from participating in the extensive tour of Europe she was arranging for a small group of friends, including Gray, she provided sufficient funds and insisted he make the trip on his own. Another stroke, suffered while Gray was traveling, left her in a coma; he was not permitted to see her again. Upon her death in 1954, Gray inherited "Eleven Arches."

Between 1943 and 1946, Gray was stationed in England, France, and Germany, serving in Army Signal Intelligence. Most of his work was performed at night, and he spent his free time drawing. While in London, Gray produced many colored pencil drawings of buildings that had been bombed. In France, a Red Cross volunteered to introduce him to Jacques Villon; although unfamiliar with the artist, Gray knew of Villon's brother, Marcel Duchamp, and accepted the invitation. Jacques and Gaby Villon lived near Gray's billet and he became a frequent visitor. Their friendship was important to his development as an artist. After being discharged from the Army in 1946, Gray remained in France to work with Villon who introduced him to the study of color and the concept of intellectual quality in painting. Gray also studied informally with André Lhote, Villon's former teacher. "American Painters in Paris," an exhibition presented in 1946 at Galerie Durand-Ruel, included work by Cleve Gray.

He returned to New York City in 1946. In the tight post-war rental market Gray managed to find a small room upstairs from a grocery store on East 106th Street for use as a studio. He commenced painting the London Ruins series based on drawings he had made during the war, and began thinking about exhibiting in New York. Gray secured introductions to Pierre Matisse, Curt Valentin, and Dorothy Miller. They encouraged him, but no opportunities came his way until Germain Seligmann, whose gallery was expanding its scope to include contemporary art, followed the advice of Curt Valentin and looked at Gray's work. Gary's first solo exhibition, held at Jacques Seligmann and Co., included selections from the London Ruins series, paintings done in Maine and Arizona, and a few portraits. The New York Times called it "an auspicious first," and one of the London Ruins series was selected by Edward Alden Jewell for the "Critic's Exhibition" at Grand Central Gallery.

Gray found New York City too frenetic. In 1949 he bought a large, old house in Warren, Connecticut, and lived and worked at "Graystones" for the remainder of his life. Half of a 6-car garage was converted to a studio; many years later, his studio moved to a barn, its renovation and design planned by sculptor and architect Tony Smith.

He married Francine du Plessix in 1957. Always interested in literature and philosophy, in the 1960s Francine du Plessix Gray began contributing articles to The New Yorker and is still affiliated with the magazine. Her reviews and articles appeared in prominent publications, and she wrote several award-winning novels and biographies. Their sons, Thaddeus and Luke (now a painter), were born in 1959 and 1961. Francine's mother, Tatiana du Plessix (the hat designer Tatiana of Saks), and step-father, the sculptor Alexander Liberman (also former art director of Vogue and later editorial director of Condé Nast publications) became Cleve Gray's closest friends.

The paintings and drawings of Cleve Gray - first consisting of figures and portraits, and then abstract compositions - were often produced in series. The earliest series, London Ruins, grew from the colored pencil drawings made while stationed in London during World War II. Travels to France, Italy, Greece, Morocco, Hawaii, Spain, Egypt, Japan, and Czechoslovakia, inspired many series, among them: Etruscan, Augury, Ceres, Demeter Landscape, Hera, Morocco, Hawaii, Ramses, Perne, Hatshepsut, Roman Walls, Zen, and Prague. His hometown, the Holocaust, and musicians inspired other series: Warren, Sleepers Awake!, Bela Bartok, and Four Heads of Anton Bruckner. Some series were works on paper, others were collage canvases, and a few series later spawned prints. Gray began using acrylics in the 1940s. Although the medium offered many benefits, he did not always like its appearance and frequently returned to oils. Around 1966 Gray was painting almost exclusively with acrylic, and eventually developed a technique of thinning the paint and applying successive layers of color (sometimes by pouring or with a sponge) on cotton duck rather than traditional canvas.

Gray was attracted to sculpture, too, working in that medium at different points in his career. His first sculpture, in plaster, was completed in 1959. In the early 1960s he visited a commercial sand-casting foundry and became excited about learning to cast in bronze. He made about a dozen sculptures to cast in sand, but due to too much undercutting, their casting became too difficult a problem. Lava flows seen while in Hawaii during 1970 and 1971 inspired a return to sculpture. This time, he used wood, papier maché, and metal. Gray then decided these pieces should be cast in bronze, and he was determined to do it himself. Friends taught him the lost wax process and he began working at the Tallix Foundry in Peekskill, New York where, over the next year, he cast about forty bronzes.

Gray's best known work is Threnody, a lament for the dead of both sides in Vietnam. In 1972, Gray received a commission to fill a very large gallery of the soon-to-open Neuberger Museum of Art (State University of New York, College at Purchase) designed by Philip Johnson. Friends of the Neuberger Museum paid his expenses and Gray, who was enormously excited about the project he considered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, donated his time. Developing plans for the execution of Threnody consumed most of his time during 1972 and 1973. Composed of a series of fourteen panels, each approximately twenty feet square, the piece presented a number of technical challenges. It was constructed and painted in situ during the summer and early fall of 1973. Since then, Threnody has been reinstalled at the Neuberger Museum of Art on several occasions.

Gray was commissioned to design liturgical vestments for two Episcopal churches in Connecticut in the 1970s. A chasuble, stoles, and a mitre were commissioned by the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut in 1984.

He won the "Outdoor Art at the Station Competition," for Union Station, Hartford, Connecticut. His very large porcelain enamel tile mural, Movement in Space, was installed on the façade of the transportation center in 1988.

Gray began writing occasional articles and exhibition reviews in the late 1940s. His concern with rational structure in art led him to question Abstract Expressionism and write "Narcissus in Chaos." This article, published in 1959 by The American Scholar, drew considerable attention. In 1960, Cosmopolitan published "Women - Leaders of Modern Art" that featured Nell Blaine, Joan Brown, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, Sonia Gretchoff, Grace Hartigan, Ethel Magafan, Louise Nevelson, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Between 1960 and 1970, Gray was a contributing editor of Art In America, producing numerous articles (a few co-authored with Francine) and reviews for the periodical. He edited three books, David Smith by David Smith: Scupture and Writings, Hans Richter, and John Marin, all published by Holt, Rinehart, and Winston, and translated Marcel Duchamp's A l'Infinitif.

During the early 1960s, Gray became intensely focused on the situation in Vietnam. His first artistic response came in 1963 with Reverend Quan Duc, painted to commemorate a Buddhist monk who had immolated himself. Francine, too, felt strongly about the issue and over time the couple became increasingly active in the anti-war movement. They joined a number of organizations and helped to found a local chapter of Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam. The years 1968 and 1969 were an especially intense and active period for the Grays. They protested, wrote and spoke out against the war, raised funds to support anti-war political candidates, and on a few occasions were arrested and jailed. Writing for Art in America, editing the book series, and anti-war activities left little time for his art. In 1970 Gray refocused his attention on painting.

Beginning in 1947, Gray was always represented by a New York Gallery: Jacques Seligmann and Co. (1947-1959), Staempfli Gallery (1960-1965), Saidenberg Gallery (1965-1968), Betty Parsons Gallery (1968-1983), Armstrong Gallery (1984-1987), and Berry-Hill Galleries (1988-2003). He was represented by galleries in other cities, as well, but not as consistently or for such long periods.

He exhibited extensively in group and solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally. In addition to numerous solo exhibitions presented by the dealers who represented Gray, there were retrospective exhibitions at: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Brooklyn Museum, Columbus Museum of Art, Krannert Art Museum (University of Illinois, Champaign), Princeton University Art Museum, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Many museums' permanent collections include the work of Cleve Gray, among them: Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Butler Institute of American Art, Columbus Museum of Art, Neuberger Museum of Art (SUNY, College at Purchase), the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Newark Museum, Oklahoma City Museum of Art, Phillips Collection, Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery (University of Nebraska, Lincoln), Smithsonian Institution, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and Yale University Art Gallery.

Cleve Gray served as artist-in-residence at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art in 1963 and at the Honolulu Academy of Arts in 1970, both sponsored by Ford Foundation programs. In 1980, he was appointed an artist-in-residence at the American Academy in Rome, where Francine concurrently served as a writer-in-residence; they returned for shorter periods during each of the subsequent seven years. Cleve Gray was presented the Connecticut Arts Award in 1987, and the Neuberger Museum of Art Lifetime Achievement Award in 1999. He was awarded an honorary degree by the University of Hartford in 1992, and was elected a member of The American Academy of Arts and Letters in 1998. In addition, he was a trustee of the Neuberger Museum of Art, New York Studio School, Rhode Island School of Design, and Wadsworth Atheneum.

Cleve Gray hit his head and suffered a massive subdural hematoma after falling on ice outside of his home. He died the following day, December 8, 2004.
Separated Material:
Exhibition catalogs and announcements and two scrapbooks donated to the Archives in 1967 and 1968 were microfilmed on reels D314-D315. Items on reel D315, transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum Library in 1975, are not described in this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Cleve Gray papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Mr. Gray in 1967 and 1968. The bulk of the collection was given by his widow, Francine du Plessix Gray, in 2007 and 2008.
Restrictions:
Use of original material requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordigs with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Cleve Gray papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women artists -- Photographs  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest Movements -- United States  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Citation:
Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.grayclev
See more items in:
Cleve Gray papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-grayclev

Cleve Gray papers, 1933-2005

Creator:
Gray, Cleve, 1918-2004  Search this
Subject:
Richter, Hans  Search this
Marin, John  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques  Search this
Pollock, Jackson  Search this
Grace, Louise N.  Search this
Gray, Francine du Plessix  Search this
Duchanp, Marcel  Search this
Dillenberger, Jane  Search this
Gabo, Naum  Search this
Ernst, Jimmy  Search this
Davis, Jim  Search this
Calder, Alexander  Search this
Barzun, Jacques  Search this
Weber, Nicholas Fox  Search this
Smith, David  Search this
Villon, Jacques  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
Neuberger Museum of Art  Search this
Jacques Seligmann and Co.  Search this
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Connecticut  Search this
Princeton University  Search this
Berry-Hill Galleries  Search this
Type:
Poems
Articles
Photographs
Reviews (documents)
Notes
Illustrations
Notebooks
Sketches
Drafts (documents)
Video recordings
Sound recordings
Interviews
Manuscripts
Paintings
Prints
Watercolors
Drawings
Lectures
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Women artists -- Photographs  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975 -- Protest movements -- United States  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Designers  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9567
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)211768
AAA_collcode_grayclev
Theme:
Art Theory and Historiography
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_211768
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:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
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:
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.
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

The Zorach Family papers

Creator:
Zorach Family  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum  Search this
Adams, Ansel, 1902-1984  Search this
Cunningham, Imogen, 1883-1976  Search this
Ipcar, Dahlov Zorach, 1917-  Search this
Newman, Arnold, 1918-2006  Search this
Partridge, Roi, 1888-1984  Search this
Zorach, Marguerite, 1887-1968  Search this
Zorach, Tessim  Search this
Zorach, William, 1887-1966  Search this
Extent:
4.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Date:
1900-1987
Summary:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.
Scope and Content Note:
The Zorach Family papers measure 4.4 linear feet and consist of materials relating to the lives and careers of sculptor and painter William Zorach, his wife painter and weaver Marguerite, and their children, painter and multi-media artist Dahlov Ipcar and collector and art dealer Tessim Zorach. The bulk of the papers consists of letters to Tessim regarding his parent's artwork. Additional materials include scattered letters to William Zorach; writings and notes by William, Marguerite, and Tessim; a sketchbook and drawings by William; prints by Marguerite; Marguerite's scrapbook; printed materials; and photographs of the Zorach family and of William Zorach in his studio and at work.

The majority of correspondence is between Tessim Zorach and various museums and galleries concerning exhibitions and donations of his parents' works of art. There are scattered letters to William Zorach among the correspondence. Business records consist of materials relating to the Collection of the Zorach Children, including lists of works of art by the Zorach's, a file relating to an exhibition of Zorach artwork at the Brooklyn Museum, and photographs of works of art considered for donation.

Writings and Notes include a typescript of an article written by Marguerite Zorach, writings by William Zorach, a typescript of Young Poems by William and Marguerite, as well as articles written by others about the Zorachs. Artwork by Marguerite Zorach includes two prints and a tracing. Also found is one sketchbook, and additional drawings by William Zorach. There is one unsigned lithograph.

The majority of exhibition announcements, catalogs, and clippings concern William and Marguerite Zorach although there are two announcements for Dahlov Ipcar. There is one scrapbook of clippings about Marguerite.

The papers include photographs of Marguerite and William Zorach, their parents, baby photos of Tessim and Dahlov, family pictures of the Zorachs, and of Marguerite and William in their studios. There are several folders of William Zorach working in his studios and additional photos of him carving a relief sculpture and a sculpture for the Southwest Bank. Most of these photographs contain detailed annotations written by William Zorach about the work. There is one folder of photographs of William in France in 1910-1911, including one of Zorach in Roi Partridge's studio. There is one photograph of Zorach taken by Ansel Adams in Yosemite, a photo of Zorach working by Arnold Newman, and several taken by Imogen Cunnigham.

Other photographs are of works of art, most of which depict William's works.

Artifacts include Marguerite's batik tools and approximately fifty commercially made printing blocks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1907-1969 (Box 1, 6; 3 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1982 (Box 1-2; 1.75 linear feet)

Series 3: Business Records, 1967-1971, circa 1960s-1970s (Box 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings and Notes, circa 1930s-1973, 1987 (Box 3; 8 folders)

Series 5: Artworks, 1900-circa 1920s (Box 3, 6; 12 folders)

Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1922-1953 (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1912-1982 (Box 3; 0.25 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1908-1966 (Box 3-5; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 9: Artifacts, circa 1910s, circa 1950s (Box 4; 0.5 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
William Zorach (1887-1966) was a modernist painter and sculptor working primarily in New York city, along with his wife Marguerite (1887-1968) who worked as a fauvist painter, printmaker, and textile artist. Their children were painter Dahlov Ipcar (1917-) and art collector Tessim Zorach (1915-1995.)

Born in Lithuania, William Zorach immigrated to the United States where his family settled in Cleveland, Ohio. An early interest in art led to a printmaking apprenticeship. He then moved to New York City and enrolled in the National Academy of Design where he studied painting and drawing. In 1910, Zorach traveled to Paris to study and where he met his wife Marguerite Thompson at the La Palette art school. Marguerite grew up in Fresno, California and studied art at Stanford University. Both artists were heavily influenced by the fauvist and cubist art movements.

Returning to America, Marguerite and William married and both continued to create and experiment with varied media. Their paintings were featured in the 1913 New York City Armory Show and they are credited with being among the first artists to introduce European modernist styles to American modernism. The Zorachs were very close both as a couple and as working active artists.

In the 1920s, Marguerite began to experiment with textiles and created large, fine art tapestries and hooked rugs. Also, she used batik dying techniques on fabrics. William also expanded his genre by creating direct sculpture in 1918, which would become his primary medium.

In 1915, William and Marguerite started a family with their son, Tessim. Two years later, their daughter Dahlov was born. The Zorachs divided the year and lived in New York City, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts. In 1923, the family bought a farm on Georgetown Island, Maine where they lived, worked, and entertained friends.

Dahlov and Tessim were exposed to art from an early age. Dahlov showed artistic promise as a child and her parents supported her creativity by allowing her to express herself without formal training. Dahlov pursued painting and later became an illustrator for children's books. Additionally, she wrote fantasy novels and short stories. Dahlov married Adolf Ipcar in 1936. Like the rest of his family, Tessim Zorach developed an interest of art and along with his wife Peggy, he amassed a large private collection of ancient to modern art.

William and Marguerite continued to sculpt and paint until their deaths in 1966 and 1968, respectively.

Together, Dahlov and Tessim established the Collection of the Zorach Children which coordinated donations of their parents' art to many museums throughout the United States and the world. The artwork of both artists is found in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Delaware Art Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Farnsworth Art Museum, Portland Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery and the Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Philips Collection, and educational institutions such as Colby College, University of Vermont, Williams College, Bowdoin College, and the University of Virginia. In addition William has works associated with many public buildings, among them: Radio City Music Hall, New York City Municipal Court, the U.S. Post Office in Washington D.C. as well as Farleigh Dickinson University.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds the Dahlov Ipcar papers, 1906-1997. Also found is one oral history interview with William Zorach conducted by by John D. Morse on April 2, 1959 and an oral history interview with Dahlov Ipcar conducted by Robert F. Brown on November 13, 1979.

The bulk of William Zorach's papers are held by the Library of Congress.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming on reels NY59-1-NY59-4 and NY59-19. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are now held by the Library of Congress, Manuscript Division. This material is not described in the collection container inventory or finding aid.
Provenance:
William Zorach lent papers for microfilming to the Archives of American Art in 1959. Tessim Zorach donated materials between 1976-1987.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Zorach Family papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artist couples  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Sculptors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Weavers  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Prints
Articles
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Notes
Writings
Citation:
The Zorach Family papers, 1900-1987. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.zorazora
See more items in:
The Zorach Family papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-zorazora

Thomas Henry Tibbles papers

Creator:
Tibbles, Thomas Henry, 1840-1928  Search this
Names:
Omaha World-Herald Company  Search this
Bryan, William Jennings, 1860-1925  Search this
Standing Bear, Ponca chief  Search this
Watson, Thomas E. (Thomas Edward), 1856-1922  Search this
Correspondent:
Crook, George, 1829-1890  Search this
La Flesche, Susette, 1854-1903  Search this
Extent:
2 Linear feet
41 Photographs
Culture:
Ponca  Search this
Omaha  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Articles
Essays
Book drafts
Correspondence
Autobiographies
Date:
1850-1956
bulk 1875-1905
Scope and Contents:
The Thomas Henry Tibbles papers include documents that span Tibbles career as a journalist and lecturer on Indian rights from the 1870s until his death in 1928. Of particular note are the documents related to his work on the Standing Bear vs. George Crook Habeas Corpus trial. This includes articles, essays and talks written by Tibbles as well as copies of a lecture given by Susette LaFlesche Tibbles. Notable correspondents include; Robert Clarkson, Joseph Cook, General George Crook, Robert N. Price and William Jennings Bryan. Examples of materials related to the Ponca land case and Standing Bear trial include reports from the Ponca Relief commitee, a petition from the Ponca people, minutes from the Council Concerning Ponca Land Right and additional documents and writings sent out by Tibbles to gain support from both the church and politicians. Also included in these papers are several drafts of Buckskin and Blanket Days, Tibbles' autobiography that was written in 1905 and published in 1957. There is a significant amount of correspondence between Chester Barris, grandson to Tibbles, and publishing houses between 1939 and 1956 in the search for a willing publisher. There is also correspondence between Barris and his aunt Theadora "Dora" Cogswell who worked on editing the manuscript. Cogswell conducted a large amount of research on the historicity of the events described by Tibbles and her notes are included in the collection. The photographs in this collection include portraits of the Tibbles/LaFlesche family as well as portraits of freinds and aquaintances. These include photographs of Edward Everett Hale, General George Crook, Governor Benjamin Butluer, Wendall Phillips, Thomas Watson, William Jennings Bryan and Harriet Beecher Stowe.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into three series. Series 1: Subject Files and Series 2: Buckskin and Blanket Days are both arranged alphabetically. Series 3: Photographs is subdivided into three subseries; Subseries 3A: T.H. Tibbles Portaits, arranged chronologically, Subseries 3B: Family and Friends and Subseries 3C: Presentation Portraits to Bright Eyes, both arranged alphabetically.
Biographical / Historical:
Thomas Henry Tibbles was born May 22, 1840, near Athens, Ohio to parents William and Martha (nee Cooley) Tibbles. In 1856, at the age of 16, Tibbles fought with anti-slavery Free-Staters in the Bleeding Kansas conflicts under James Henry Lane. Lane's troops disbanded the same year and Tibbles went on to study at Mt. Union College in Alliance, Ohio from 1858-1861. During the Civil War Tibbles served as a scout and newspaper correspondent in Missouri and Kansas and continued newspaper work until 1871 when he became a circuit preacher. Between 1874 and 1879, Tibbles worked on the staffs of various newspapers in Omaha, Nebraska eventually reaching the post of assistant editor of the Omaha Daily Herald. It was during his time at the Herald that Tibbles was instrumental in bringing the case of Standing Bear and the Ponca Indian people before the United States District Court at Fort Omaha. Standing Bear, along with thirty other Poncas, had returned to their home in Nebraska after being forcibly removed to Indian Territory 1878. They were being detained at the Omaha Reservation on an order from the Secretary of the Interior and Tibbles began to circulate the story of the plight of the Ponca to major newspapers gathering the support of the public. Eventually Tibbles had attorneys John L. Webster and A.J. Poppleton help Standing Bear petition the court with a writ of habeas corpus. On April 30, 1879 Judge Elmer Dundy declared that an Indian is a person within the law and that the Ponca were being held illegally, setting Standing Bear and the Ponca free. Following the trial, Tibbles continued to report on violations against Native American rights. Tibbles was a witness to the aftermath of the massacre of Native Americans at Wounded Knee in 1891, and reported this tragedy to the world. From 1893-1895, he worked as a newspaper correspondent in Washington D.C. On returning to Nebraska, Tibbles became editor-in-chief of The Independent, a weekly Populist Party newspaper. He was the Populist Party nominee for Vice President of the United States in 1904. Though unsuccessful in this campaign Tibbles continued to write on Populist issues as well as editing The Investigator from 1905-1910 and returning to the Omaha World Herald from 1910 to his retirement.

Tibbles had two children with his first wife, Amelia Owen whom he married in 1861. Eda, born in 1868 in Kansas City, married Herbert Bates in 1894 and May, born in 1870 in Danville Iowa, married Allen Barris in 1891. Amelia died of peritonitis in 1879. On June 29, 1882, Tibbles married Susette "Bright Eyes" LaFlesche (Omaha), daughter of Joseph "Iron Eye" LaFlesche. Susette LaFlesche worked closely alongside Tibbles during the Standing Bear's trial in her role as chief interpreter. Together, LaFlesche, Tibbles and Standing Bear carried out a successful lecture tour in England and Scotland in 1886-1887 speaking on issues of Indian rights. LaFlesche became well known as an eloquent writer and orator. Following her death in 1903 she was eulagized in the US Senate and was later inducted into the Nebraska Hall of Fame. Tibbles remarried for a final time in 1907 to Ida Belle Riddle. She remained by Tibbles side until his own death in 1928.

During his career, Tibbles wrote three books which included Ponca Chiefs (1880), which was written under the pen name "Zylyff", Hidden Power (1881) and The American Peasant (1892). Tibbles had also composed his memoirs titled Buckskin and Blanket Days which were eventually published in 1957 through the efforts of his grandson Chester Barris.
Related Materials note:
The dress of Susette "Bright Eyes" LaFlesche, wife to Tibbles, was also donated by Vivien Barris in 1984 and is a part of NMAI's Ethnology object collection. It has catalog number 25/2192.
Separated Materials:
The photographs have been moved to cool storage.
Provenance:
Thomas Henry Tibbles papers were originally donated to the Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation in 1960 by Vivien Barris, wife of Tibbles's grandson Chester Barris.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Habeas corpus -- United States -- Cases  Search this
Ponca Indians -- Legal status, laws, etc.  Search this
Wounded Knee Massacre, S.D., 1890  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles
Essays
Book drafts
Correspondence
Autobiographies
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Thomas Henry Tibbles papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.066
See more items in:
Thomas Henry Tibbles papers
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-066
Online Media:

Uriah A. Boyden Papers

Creator:
Boyden, Uriah A. (Uriah Atherton), 1804-1879  Search this
Francis, Joseph Sidney  Search this
Schultze, Bernhard  Search this
Names:
American Association for the Advancement of Science  Search this
Ames Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Atlantic Cotton Mills.  Search this
Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation.  Search this
Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation.  Search this
Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation.  Search this
Hamilton Manufacturing Company (Lowell, Mass.).  Search this
Jackson Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Lawrence Company.  Search this
Lowell Appleton Company.  Search this
Lowell Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Manchester Printing Works.  Search this
Merrimack Manufacturing Company.  Search this
New England Glass Company.  Search this
Saco Water Power Company.  Search this
Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company.  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Stark Mills  Search this
Suncook Mills Company.  Search this
Tilestons & Holllingsworth Upper Mill.  Search this
Boyden, Seth  Search this
Francis, James B. (James Bicheno), 1815-1892  Search this
Nobel, Alfred Bernhard, 1833-1896  Search this
Sawyer, Edward  Search this
Storrow, Charles S. (Charles Storer), 1809-1904  Search this
Straw, Ezekiel Albert, 1819-1882  Search this
Extent:
21 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Patents
Newspapers
Correspondence
Clippings
Articles
Drawings
Financial records
Legal documents
Notebooks
Place:
Nashua (N.H.)
Lowell (Mass.)—Industries
Manchester (N.H.)
Brookline (Mass.)
Brandon (Vt.)
Charlestown (Boston, Mass.)
Boston (Mass.)
Foxborough (Mass. : Town)
Date:
1806-1879
bulk 1830-1879
Summary:
Papers of Uriah A. Boyden (1804-1879), a Boston civil and mechanical engineer and the inventor of the Boyden turbine. Materials include correspondence, notes, calculations, articles, notebooks, legal documents, financial documents, patents and patent assignments, design drawings, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, business cards, and a print of a daguerreotype.
Scope and Content:
This collection documents the activities of Uriah Atherton Boyden (1804-1879), a Boston civil and mechanical engineer. The papers cover the span of Boyden's life, but the bulk of the papers date from between 1830 and 1879. The materials relate to his professional engineering life, including his work as an engineer for the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Corporation and his work with turbines at New England mills and manufacturing companies. The collection also contains papers that illustrate his scientific interests, including sound, meteorology, chemistry, and physics. Materials include correspondence, notes, calculations, articles, notebooks, legal documents, financial documents, patents and patent assignments, design drawings, newspaper clippings, pamphlets, business cards, and a print of a daguerreotype.

Series 1, Correspondence, 1823-1879, consists of three subseries: Subseries 1, Outgoing Correspondence, 1830-1879; Subseries 2, Incoming Correspondence, 1823-1879; and Subseries 3, Miscellaneous Correspondence, 1825-1879. The bulk of the series is comprised of letters, although some telegrams are included. The majority of Boyden's letters discuss his business dealings and scientific interests, but some correspondence is related to family matters. Family correspondents include his brothers Seth Boyden (1788-1870), William Pitts Boyden, Otis Boyden, Benjamin F. Boyden, and Alexander Boyden (1791-1881); his sisters Sarah Boyden (d. 1834) and Sabra Smith; and his parents Seth (1764-1840) and Susanna Boyden. He also corresponded with his niece Susan Boyden Burnet and sister-in-law Abigail Boyden. Subjects discussed include Seth Boyden's illness, death, and will in 1840 and Sarah Boyden's death in 1834.

Correspondence from the 1830s discusses the construction of the dry dock at the Charlestown Navy Yard, Massachusetts; experiments conducted at the Boston and Roxbury Mill Dam; Boyden's work as Chief Engineer for the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Corporation and his subsequent lawsuit against the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Corporation over a pay dispute; the employment of assistants; and the construction of a mill at the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

Frequent correspondents include William Livingston, who was deposed in Boyden's lawsuit of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad Company; F. George Stark of Amoskeag Village; John Jacques of Worcester, Massachusetts; R. Read of Amoskeag Manufacuring Company; and Ezekial Albert Straw (1819-1882), a civil engineer and agent for the Amoskeag Manufacuring Company and the governor of New Hampshire from 1872-1874. Correspondence from the 1840s is primarily about turbines. Subjects include the development of the Boyden Turbine at the Lowell Appleton Company and Boyden's patents (US Patents 5,068, 5,090, 5,114, 10,026, and 10,027).

Other topics include the Merrimack Manufacturing Company's new mill; the Stark Company's turbine; turbine pits for the Merrimack Company's Picking House; Boyden's design for a turbine built at the Lowell Machine Shop and used at Tilestons & Hollingsworth Upper Mill; and requests for books. During this period, Boyden sent letters to various manufacturing companies and mills, informing them he would be willing to sell his patent rights for turbine improvements and provide plans and specifications, although he would not oversee the construction of turbines. Recipients of these letters include hydraulic engineer James B. Francis, P. T. Jackson, treasurer of the Proprietors of Locks and Canals; T. G. Cary, treasurer of the Appleton Company; John Avery, agent of the Hamilton Manufacturing Company; Alexander Wright, agent of the Lowell Manufacturing Company; Charles T. Storrow, treasurer of the Essex Company and the Atlantic Cotton Mills; R. Read, agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company; Amos A. Lawrence, treasurer of Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company; John Mixer, treasurer of the Suncook Manufacturing Company; and William Dwight, treasurer of the Saco Water Power Company.

Letters relating to the Atlantic Cotton Mills turbine design, testing, and lawsuit comprise a portion of the correspondence from the late 1840s and 1850s. Other correspondence from the 1850s includes letters to and from Boyden's employee Norman W. Stearns, who traveled to California and Australia; discussion of the testing of a turbine at the Hamilton Manufacturing Company Mills at Lowell; an extract from a report on the power derived from the tides at the Boston and Roxbury Mill Dam; a letter from the Smithsonian Institution encouraging Boyden to publish his research on turbines; and the difficulties with turbine experiments at the Nashua Manufacturing Company's mills. Boyden continued to offer his patent rights to various companies, including James T. Ames, agent of the Ames Manufacturing Company, and Ezekial Albert Straw, agent of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.

Some letters were written by assistant Edward Sawyer on behalf of Uriah Boyden. Letters from the 1860s include Boyden's correspondence with the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia concerning the prize he created for any resident of North America who could determine by experiment whether all rays of light are transmitted at the same velocity. Common subjects include turbines; physics; Henri Giffard's invention of the injector; an apparatus for atmospheric electrical experiments; expanding gas; and the purchase of chemical substances.

There are many letters to the Bailliere Brothers, importers of periodicals; and E. G. Wallis, the Assistant Assessor of the third district of Boston for taxes. In 1862, Boyden wrote a letter to Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew offering a letter of recommendation for hydraulic engineer James B. Francis. Boyden also paid for a lecture in 1862 given by George Boutwell on liberating some Southern slaves. Letters from the 1870s discuss a variety of topics, including patents, the New England Glass Company, and the purchase of books. Finally, a folder of miscellaneous materials includes several letters of recommendation and introduction for Boyden, and a few letters neither to nor from Boyden.

Series 2, Notes on Turbines, 1833-1870, contains primarily Boyden's notes and calculations relating to the design, development, construction, and testing of turbines. There are also drawings of turbines, excerpts from scholarly journals about turbines, and the manuscript article about turbines for American Cabinet authored by Boyden. A published copy of this article is located in Series 10, Printed Material, 1835-1879. Some materials are in French.

A large portion of the papers are the calculations and results of experiments on Turbine No. 3 of the Atlantic Cotton Mills. More information on these experiments can be found in the Series 5, Notebooks, 1819-1867, and Series 6, Lawsuits, 1836-1864. Experiments conducted at the Appleton Company, where Boyden developed the Boyden turbine, appear in this series.

The turbine notes also contain measurements and computations for turbines for the Chicopee Manufacturing Company; designs and calculations for the Tileston and Hollingsworth's turbine in Dorchester, Massachusetts; an estimate for installing turbines for the Jackson Company; and a report to the Boston Water Power Company on the estimate of power from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Dam. Boyden was assisted in his calculations and experiments by Maximilian L. G. Wilde, Edward Sawyer, [Neil?], W. Mertz, David Dows, and James Emerson. The series contains an oversize miscellaneous folder comprised of calculations and tables.

Series 3, Subject Files, circa 1827-1875, contains groups of papers that Boyden assembled into packets and numbered and labeled with topical categories. The papers cover a wide range of topics. A large portion of the materials are excerpts or notes from published sources, although some packets contain Boyden's own calculations, tables, and surveys. Some materials are in French, German, and Greek and some have been translated from French and German into English.

One subject Boyden explores in depth is tobacco, including the tobacco trade, taxes on tobacco, consumption statistics from the United States and Europe, different varieties of plants, and tobacco's effect on health, including whether or not it contributes to mental illness. In addition, he discusses alcohol's effect on health; whether crime is connected with drinking alcohol, liquor licensing laws, and the option of prohibition in Massachusetts. He was also interested in the early history of the Bible, including how it was translated from the original Hebrew and how Egyptian connects to Old Testament history. Boyden compares different religious practices, including Islam, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and ancient Greek and Egyptian religion.

Boyden collected a great deal of information from census data in the United States and Great Britain. In the Boston area, he looks at the number of births among Irish immigrants compared to native born Americans, and in particular explores whether tobacco use increases or decreases births among Irish immigrants. He also utilizes population statistics to discuss mental illness in both Europe and the United States. Like Series 4, Notes and Papers, 1806-1879, the Subject Files contain statistics on the cause of and response to fires in Boston.

Finally, the Subject Files include information on a variety of scientific subjects. For instance, a portion of materials discuss hydraulic lime, atomic theory and molecules, chemistry, thermoelectricity, meteorology, astronomy, batteries, and water pressure through pipes. Boyden quotes from Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species in his explorations of natural history. Several packets are comprised of surveys of property lots in Brookline, Massachusetts and the Longwood area of Boston. Sources Boyden utilized include publications such as the Encyclopaedia Britannica, the Bible, the New York Herald, The Boston Daily Advertiser, L'Annales des Ponts et Chaussées (The Annals of the Department of Civil Engineering), Brockhaus's Encyclopaedia, Annals of Chemistry and Pharmacy, Les Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences (The Proceedings of the French Academy of Sciences), Annales de Chimie et de Physique (Annals of Chemistry and Physics), Annales d'Hygiène (Annals of Hygiene), Appleton's Cyclopaedia, Hunt's Merchant's Magazine, Esquirol's Treatise on Mental Maladies, The London Times, and Poggendorff's Annals. The packets also contain call slips from the Boston Athenaeum and the Boston Public Library.

Series 4, Notes and Papers, 1806-1879, consists of a wide range of material. Some papers are in French and German, or translated from published French and German into English. The series encompasses notes from Boyden's scientific experiments and observations. One subject Boyden studied indepth was meteorology, and the series contains weather observations, recordings of temperature and air pressure, and eyewitness accounts of unusual weather.

In addition, Boyden conducted experiments on the effect of a dam in the Merrimack River, the specific heat of steam, electricity, the effects of rays on bisulphide of carbon, glass making, and oils. Five notebooks document experiments on the chemical combination of oxygen with liquids at atmospheric temperatures. Furthermore, the series contains information on sound experiments made at Chelsea, Massachusetts, and at the Charlestown, Massachusetts aqueduct, which are also discussed in Series 5, Notebooks, 1819-1867, and Series 9, Drawings, circa 1835-1872. Boyden conducted surveys of various industrial projects, including the Jackson Manufacturing Company's mill work and dam; the sewers of Lowell, Massachusetts; the Nashua Mills; the aqueduct, cistern and pumping apparatus for the Boston Iron Company; the Lewiston Water Power Company; the bursting of a locomotive for the Boston and Lowell Railroad; and the cold well at Brandon, Vermont.

The series consists of several folders of drawings, including sketches of an apparatus for making signal sounds, and a design for a mercurial pump, and various scientific instruments. There are also copies of drawings of a differential galvanometer, dynamometer, pneumatic apparatus, and pneumatic glasses. The originals are located in Series 9, Drawings, circa 1835-1872. A significant portion of the series consists of Boyden's investigations of the causes of fires in Boston, including statistics and eyewitness accounts. The series also contains Boyden's computations and design for a chronometer.

Boyden is the author of several published papers found in this series, including "Researches in Meteorology," "Paper on Mechanical force," "An Essay on Caloric's Repulsing Caloric and its Attracting Ponderable Matter," and "Paper on Sound." "Explosions produced by Niter in Burning Buildings" appeared in The Boston Post May 9, 1862. Boyden also wrote Researches in Physics, which was printed in 1863. The series also contains translations and copies of papers and articles on various scientific subjects, including magnetism, electricity, heat, light, meteorology, and physics. These include articles from the Annales de Chimie et de Physique (Annals of Chemistry and Physics), the Bulletin des Sciences Mathématiques (Bulletin of the Mathematical Sciences), the Annalen der Physik und Chemie (Annals of Physics and Chemistry), Mémoires de l'Academie Royale (Imperial) des Sciences de l'Institut de France, and Les Comptes Rendus de l'Académie des Sciences (The Proceedings of the French Academy of Sciences). Boyden also collected single works, including A Treatise on the Heat of Permanent Gases by John Plana, New Branch of Physics, or Studies Concerning Bodies in the Spheroidal State by P. H. Boutigny, and Thermochrosis, or Calorific Coloration by Macedoine Melloni.

Nine miscellaneous folders contain citations from encyclopedias, notes from scientific articles and newspapers, calculations, notes on laws, notes from experiments, a tide table, accounts of the weather, directions for experiments, specifications for a section of a canal built in Lowell by the Proprietors of the Locks and Canals, and a description of a heliostat. One oversize miscellaneous folder contains a legal document concerning lease from the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation to Horace Gray, a plan of a screwdriver, a table of experiments made in grinding rye at the City Mills, and experiments on the flow of water over dams made at the Lower Locks in Lowell, Massachusetts.

Series 5, Notebooks, 1819-1867, consists of bound notebooks ranging in size from 5" x 7" to 7" x 8". The notebooks demonstrate Boyden's wide-ranging scientific interests. They contain primarily technical information, such as experiments on sound, electromagnetism, and thermometers and include drawings and tables with data. His notebooks include excerpts from scientific journals on physics and chemistry, including some materials in French.

The personal memoranda feature notes from his travels around New England and the Mid-Atlantic States, including descriptions of railroads, dams, and mills; bridges in Georgetown, Washington, District of Columbia; a smelting furnace in Pottsville, Pennsylvania; and the Baltimore Water Works aqueduct. Several additional personal notebooks document Boyden's property and expenditures. Many notebooks were written or corrected by others, presumably Boyden's assistants, including Edward Sawyer, Levi York, Maximilian S. G. Wilde, Charles Leonard, Charles Mason, Jeremiah Dickson, L.W. Cushing, and A. Neill. One common subject is Boyden's work with turbines and water-wheels at New England mills and manufacturing companies. Many notebooks record turbine experiments at the Lowell Appleton Company, where Boyden developed the Boyden turbine, and at the Atlantic Cotton Mills. For more information on Boyden's work at the Atlantic Cotton Mills, see Series 6, Lawsuits, 1836-1864 and Series 2, Notes on Turbines, 1833-1870.

Other notebooks document Boyden's involvement in the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester, New Hampshire, where he developed a hydraulic power system. Other mills Boyden studied include the Stark Mills, the Lawrence Company's mills, and the Boston and Roxbury Mill Dam. Boyden was interested in the construction of canals and locks, including the Weston Canal near Lowell, Massachusetts. Railroad surveys comprise a significant portion of the notebooks' content and include his work with railroad companies, including the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation and the Boston and Worcester Railroad Corporation. Boyden conducted a survey of a cold well at Brandon, Vermont. More information about that well can be found in Series 3, Subject Files, circa 1827-1875, and Series 3, Notes and Papers, 1806-1879.

Series 6, Lawsuits, 1836-1864, consists of legal materials related to lawsuits Boyden was involved in, both as a plaintiff and as a witness. The majority of the series is comprised of documents relating to Boyden's Atlantic Cotton Mills lawsuit, a conflict over whether Boyden had a right to conduct tests on turbines built from his design at the Atlantic Cotton Mills. The suit also involved a dispute over Boyden's patent rights to his turbine improvements used at the Atlantic Cotton Mills. On February 14, 1856, the court decided in favor of Boyden, and required the Atlantic Cotton Mills to award him reparations.

The series contains copies of correspondence related to Boyden's dealings with the Atlantic Cotton Mills, including letters to and from Charles S. Storrow and William Gray, treasurers of the Atlantic Cotton Mills. Also included are depositions; replies to allegations; Boyden's drafts of his answers to interrogatories; and calculations, notes, and drawings, presumably used as evidence in court. Bernhard Schultze (see Series 12, Bernhard Schultze Materials, 1837-1857) compared and corrected Boyden's November 21, 1855 reply to the answer of the Atlantic Cotton Mills and a statement of some expenses in measuring the power expended in actuating turbine No. 3 of the Atlantic Cotton Mills.

Also included are letters of reference for Boyden, probably related to his lawsuit of the Nashua and Lowell Railroad; Boyden's answers to interrogatories filed by the Boston Water Power Company in the case of Boston Water Power Company v. Horace Gray, which also includes his answers to interrogatories filed by the Boston and Worcester Railroad Company in regard to the receiving basin of the Boston Water Power Company; and Boyden's deposition in the case of Oswego Canal Company v. Henry M. Ames & Isaac L. Merriam.

Series 7, Financial Papers, 1820-1876, contains both personal and business financial papers. A large portion documents the New England Glass Company, including records of the stockholders meetings and end of year reports on the financial state of the company. There are also copies of receipts of bills Boyden sent to companies he worked for, including the Atlantic Cotton Mills, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation, the Ames Manufacturing Company, the Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company, the Lowell Machine Shop, and the Holyoke Water Power Company. Boyden also received stock dividends from some of the same companies and others, including the Merrimack Manufacturing Company, the New England Glass Company, the Old Colony Railroad Company, Stark Manufacturing Company, the Lancaster Mills, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, the Boston and Lowell Railroad Corporation, and the Boston Gas Light Company.

Another aspect of the papers includes Boyden's requests to buy certain items, including metals, glass cylinders, and wire for his experiments; books in English, French and German; and periodicals. There are also reports of Boyden's income for the Internal Revenue Service dating from 1864-1871. One document is a quitclaim deed for the Savin Hill property in Dorchester, Massachusetts, which Boyden surveyed. Surveying records can be found in Series 3, Subject Files, circa 1827-1875.

Series 8, Patents, 1838-1847, consists of three subseries, Subseries 1, Boyden's Patents, 1843-1847; Subseries 2, Other Patents, 1838-1843; and Subseries 3, Patent Assignments, 1849-1856.

Subseries 1, Boyden's Patents, 1843-1847, consists of issued patents for Boyden's turbine improvements with attached drawings and specifications, including patents for improvement in turbines, September 20, 1843 (US Patent 10,026); improvement in hydraulic motors, September 20, 1843 (US Patent 10,027); improvements in hanging shafts of waterwheels, April 17, 1847 (US Patent 5,068); and improvement in diffuser for waterwheels, May 1, 1847 (US Patent 5,090).

Subseries 2, Other Patents, 1838-1843, consists of a patent granted to John R. Wheeler for an improved waterwheel on April 14, 1838, and a patent granted to Amasa B. Beckwith for improvement in waterwheels on October 20, 1843.

Subseries 3, Patent Assignments, 1849-1856, consists of legal documents giving various companies the right to use Boyden's patented turbine improvements in their mills in exchange for royalties. Companies include the Great Falls Manufacturing Company, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, the Appleton Company, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, the Merrimack Manufacturing Company, the Lowell Manufacturing Company, and the Lowell Machine Shop.

Series 9, Drawings, circa 1835-1872, contains oversize drawings and some tables, ranging in size from approximately 48'' x 30'' to 21'' x 30''. Some of the papers are brittle and crumble easily. The series contains one work in German, "Werke Theorie und Bau der Wasserraeder" (A Work on the Theory and Construction of Waterwheels).

A significant portion of the series consists of Boyden's designs for turbines used at various mills throughout New England, including the Ames Manufacturing Company; the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company; the Appleton Company, the Atlantic Cotton Mills; the Hamilton Manufacturing Company; the Essex Company Machine Shop and Blacksmith Shop; the Lancaster Mill; the Manchester Printing Works; the Merrimack Manufacturing Company; the Merrimack Print Works; the Perkins Mills the Salmon Falls Manufacturing Company; the Stark Mills; and the New England Worsted Company and Suncook Manufacturing Company. More information on Boyden's work designing turbines for these companies can be found in Series 1, Correspondence, 1823-1879; Series 2, Notes on Turbines, 1833-1870; and Series 5, Notebooks, 1819-1867.

Of particular note are drawings from "Lowell Hydraulic Experiments", a work published in 1855 by James B. Francis. Francis developed an improved turbine based on the inward flow Poncelet turbine, which became known as the Francis turbine and was more efficient than the outward flow Boyden turbine. Boyden was an associate of Francis's, but it is unclear how closely involved he was in the development of the Francis turbine. One subseries, Boyden's improvements, contains drawings that demonstrate Boyden's development of new turbines.

The series also includes records from Boyden's experiments on sound in Charlestown, Massachusetts. Notes from other experiments on sound can be found in Series 4, Notes and Papers, 1806-1879, and Series 5, Notebooks, 1819-1867. Included in the series are designs for various tools, including a chronometer, differential galvanometer, hydraulic apparatus, and pneumatic glasses. Smaller copies of some of these drawings can be found in Series 4, Notes and Papers, 1806-1879.

Two folders of miscellaneous materials include several tables documenting people admitted to mental hospitals, the observation of tides made at the Charlestown Navy Yard; a table of fires in Boston; experiments on the wheel of the Poncelet System; a plan and sections for showing the results of surveys at the cold well in Brandon, Vermont; and designs for a brass apparatus, a rack of reflectors, an apparatus for measuring the heights of water, a glass scale, and a dynamometer. Nine folders contain unidentified drawings.

Series 10, Printed Material, 1835-1879, contains newspaper clippings and other printed material collected by Boyden. The major subjects covered by the newspaper clippings include a campaign to supply Boston with drinking water, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Smithsonian Institution. Other newspaper clippings discuss the career of Patrick Tracy Jackson, the founder of the Merrimack Manufacturing Company; Boyden's turbine wheel; railway accidents; a court case involving an escaped slave; the rotation of the earth; the establishment of a public library in Boston; the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Louisiana imbroglio of 1874-1875; and smoking. Boyden frequently clipped from the Daily Evening Traveller, the Boston Advertiser, The Boston Atlas, the Boston Post, and the Boston Evening Transcript. Some newspapers have been saved and placed in a folder in a map case drawer.

The series also includes a pamphlet entitled Martin's Twenty-One Years in the Boston Stock Market, or Fluctuations Therein from January 1835 to January 1856, two bulletins of new books offered by the Boston Public Library and marked up by Boyden, patents for Alfred Nobel's new explosive compound, several of Boyden's business cards, a print portrait of Boyden, and a metal sign that hung outside his office in Boston. The series contains one miscellaneous file that includes items such as a price list for mechanists' tools, an article on the phenomena of sound, and a table of the work and expenses on the Boston and Lowell Railroad.

Series 11, Seth Boyden Materials, 1840-1841, is comprised of documents related to the death of Uriah Boyden's father, Seth Boyden (1764-1840). Included are drawings of the headstones for the graves of Seth Boyden (1764-1840) and Uriah Boyden's sister, Sarah Boyden; Seth Boyden's last will and testament; a poster for an executer's sale; and the account of Uriah Boyden and Benjamin F. Boyden, the executers of Seth Boyden's (1764-1840) last will and testament.

Series 12, Bernhard Schultze Materials, 1837-1857, contains the letters and papers of Bernhard Schultze, a man employed by Boyden as a translator from around November 26, 1853 until his death in August 1857. Schultze was a witness in the case of Boyden v. Atlantic Cotton Mills and compared and corrected materials related to the case. These can be found in Series 6, Lawsuits, 1836-1864. He died from a head injury that occurred in Boyden's offices at 81 Washington Street.

More information about the accident in Boyden's official statement, August 17, 1857, to the coroner and the jury investigating Schultze's death, in Series 1, Correspondence, 1823-1879. Half of the materials are in German and consist of correspondence, receipts, registered letter slips, a medical bill, and a program for the Paine Festival and Annual Ball in 1857. Several of the documents relate to politics in the late 1850s and the election of 1856. Included is a newspaper article reporting on a pro-German James Buchanan rally; a circular supporting John C. Fremont and William L. Dayton, the Republican ticket in the election of 1856; and the by-laws of the Boston Kansas Club.

Series 13, Joseph Sidney Francis Materials, circa 1855-1872, consists of drawings made by Joseph Sidney Francis while studying at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. They are labeled as the property of James B. Francis, the hydraulic engineer and inventor of the Francis turbine who worked closely with Boyden. Included in this series are tables documenting the number of fires in Boston and the number of people admitted to French mental hospitals.
Arrangement:
The papers are arranged into thirteen series. The contents of each series or subseries is arranged chronologically, with the exception of Series 3, which is arranged numerically, and Series 9, which is arranged alphabetically by subject. The series and subseries arrangement of the papers are as follows:

Series 1, Correspondence, 1823-1879

Subseries 1, Outgoing, 1830-1879

Subseries 2, Incoming, 1823-1879

Subseries 3, Miscellaneous, 1825-1879

Series 2, Notes on Turbines, 1833-1870

Series 3, Subject Files, circa 1827-1875

Series 4, Notes and Papers, 1806-1879

Series 5, Notebooks, 1819-1867

Series 6, Lawsuits, 1836-1864

Series 7, Financial Papers, 1820-1876

Series 8, Patents, 1838-1847

Subseries 1, Boyden Patents, 1843-1847

Subseries 2, Other Patents, 1838-1843

Subseries 3, Patent Assignments, 1849-1856

Series 9, Drawings, circa 1835-1872

Series 10, Printed Material, 1835-1879

Series 11, Seth Boyden (1764-1840) Materials, 1840-1841

Series 12, Bernhard Schultze Materials, 1837-1857

Series 13, Joseph Sidney Francis Materials, circa 1855-1872
Administrative/Biographical History:
Civil and mechanical engineer and multi-faceted scientist, Uriah Atherton Boyden was born on February 17, 1804 in Foxborough, Massachusetts. His father Seth Boyden (1764-1849) was a farmer and blacksmith and invented a machine to split leather (Reynolds 2010). His brother Seth Boyden (1788-1870) was a noted inventor in Newark, New Jersey, and in 1825 Boyden worked for him in a "leather and sheepskin bookbinding business" (Reynolds 2010). Boyden moved back to Massachusetts in 1828 and worked with James Hayward on surveys for the Boston and Providence Railroad, and with Loammi Baldwin on a dry dock for the Charlestown Navy Yard (now Boston Navy Yard) (Reynolds 2010). In the 1830s he opened his own engineering practice and worked on mills in the growing industrial center of Lowell, Massachusetts and was the chief engineer from 1836-1838 on the Nashua and Lowell Railroad. He designed a hydraulic power system for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester, New Hampshire around 1840 (American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1975, 5).

Boyden is best known for inventing the Boyden turbine, "the first turbine to be manufactured in quantity in the United States"(American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1975, 1). Boyden developed this turbine around 1844 while working for the Appleton Company in Lowell, Massachusetts(American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1975, 5). Boyden improved the efficiency of the Fourneyron outward flow turbine by "providing a conical approach passage for the incoming water… providing guide vanes in the outlet passages and by adding a submerged diffuser" (American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1975, 2). Boyden assigned his patent rights to a number of mills and manufacturing companies in New England and provided them with plans and specifications for turbines, although he did not oversee construction.

The Boyden turbine was superseded in 1849 by the more efficient inward flow Francis turbine, developed by James B. Francis with Boyden's assistance (American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1975, 2-3). The Francis turbine is now used throughout the world (Reynolds 2010).

After 1850, Boyden focused on scientific pursuits, including chemistry, physics, and meteorology. His other interests included the causes of fires in Boston, tobacco's effect on people's health, and mental illness in Europe and the United States. However, he rarely published the results of his research (Reynolds 2010). In 1874, Boyden "deposited $1,000 with the Franklin Institute of Philadelphia to be awarded to any resident of North America who should determine by experiment whether light and other physical rays are transmitted at the same velocity" (American Society of Mechanical Engineers 1975, 5). No one has claimed the prize. Boyden died on October 17, 1879 in Boston. In his will, he bequeathed approximately $250,000 to Harvard University, which it used to build an observatory in Peru (Reynolds 2010). The Boyden Observatory is now located in South Africa.

Reference List

1975. The 102-inch Boyden Hydraulic Turbines at Harmony Mill No. 3, Cohoes, New York. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. http://files.asme.org/ASMEORG/Communities/History/Landmarks/5507.pdf, (accessed 18 July 2010).

Reynolds, Terry S. 2010. Boyden, Uriah Atherton. American National Biography Online. Oxford University Press. http://www.anb.org/articles/13/13-00178.html (accessed 18 July 2010).
Provenance:
Unknown.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rules may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Water-wheels  Search this
Tobacco  Search this
Thermometers  Search this
Thermoelectricity  Search this
Specific heat  Search this
Sound  Search this
Religions  Search this
Railroads -- Surveying  Search this
Railroads -- Construction  Search this
Radiometers  Search this
Pneumatics  Search this
Physics  Search this
Optics  Search this
Ozone  Search this
Natural history  Search this
Mental illness  Search this
Mills and mill-work  Search this
Dividends  Search this
Civil engineers  Search this
Chemistry  Search this
Chronometer  Search this
Census  Search this
Atomic theory  Search this
Fires -- Massachusetts -- Boston  Search this
Drinking of alcoholic beverages -- Law and legislation  Search this
Hydraulic turbines  Search this
Inventions -- 19th century  Search this
Glass manufacture  Search this
Hydraulic engineering and engineers  Search this
Lawsuits  Search this
Inventors -- 19th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Patents -- 1840-1850
Newspapers
Correspondence -- 19th century
Clippings
Articles
Drawings
Financial records
Legal documents
Notebooks
Citation:
Uriah A. Boyden Papers, 1806-1879, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0982
See more items in:
Uriah A. Boyden Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0982
Online Media:

William C. Sturtevant papers

Topic:
Handbook of North American Indians
Creator:
Sturtevant, William C.  Search this
Names:
National Museum of Natural History (U.S.)  Search this
Six Nations  Search this
Extent:
220 Linear feet (The total extent of the collection is 191.41 linear feet (consisting of 473 document boxes and 2 record boxes) plus 254 sound recordings, 94 computer disks, 42 card file boxes, 85 oversize folders, 9 rolled items, 18 binder boxes, and 3 oversize boxes. Of the total extent, 4.79 linear feet (14 boxes) are restricted.)
Culture:
Indians of North America -- Southeast  Search this
Indians of North America -- Northeast  Search this
Indians of North America  Search this
Iroquois Indians  Search this
Seminole Indians  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Realia
Research
Notes
Office files
Theses
Slides (photographs)
Sound recordings
Exhibition catalogs
Field notes
Clippings
Correspondence
Photographs
Microfilms
Newsletters
Manuscripts
Memorandums
Articles
Card files
Books
Artifacts
Negatives
Date:
1952-2007
Summary:
This collection contains the professional papers of William Curtis Sturtevant and documents his activities as Curator of North American Ethnology at the National Museum of Natural History, his work as the editor-in-chief of the Handbook of North American Indians, his research among the Seminole and Iroquois people, and other professional activities. The collection is comprised of books, sound recordings, research and field notes, realia, artifacts, clippings, microfilm, negatives, slides, photographs, manuscripts, correspondence, memorandums, card files, exhibition catalogs, articles, and bibliographies.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains the professional papers of William Curtis Sturtevant and documents his activities as Curator of North American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, his work as the editor-in-chief of the Handbook of North American Indians, his research among the Seminole and Iroquois people, and his involvement in various professional activities. The collection is comprised of research and field notes, sound recordings, realia, clippings, negatives, slides, prints, published and unpublished writings, correspondence, memorandums, conference papers and meeting notes, card files, exhibition catalogs, articles, bibliographies, student files such as class notes and papers from Sturtevant's years as an anthropology student, teaching materials including lecture notes and exams, daily planners, passports, military records, artwork including prints and lithographs, maps, and computer files.

The materials in this collection document Sturtevant's career as a preeminent North American ethnologist, museum curator, university professor, his role as General Editor of the Handbook of North American Indians, and his contributions to the field of Anthropology. From his early work with the Seminole Indians of Florida to his forays into Burma, and his decades-long study of how Native Americans have been depicted in artistic and popular culture, Sturtevant's diverse intellectual interests are represented in his research files. A copious note taker, Sturtevant captured his observations and opinions of everything from meetings with colleagues to museum exhibits. Sturtevant's commitment to the anthropological profession can be found in the notes and programs of the many conferences, symposiums, and lecture series he attended and at which he presented. He also held numerous leadership positions in various professional associations and sat on the board of directors/trustees for several cultural organizations including Survival International and the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation. Sturtevant was respected for his vast knowledge of indigenous peoples and he received a voluminous amount of correspondence from colleagues who often included copies of their papers and grant proposals. He kept many of these works, which, it appears he used as reference material. Sturtevant's own work is reflected in his writings; he published over 200 scholarly papers, articles, and books.

Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
Arrangement:
This collection is organized in 14 series: 1. Correspondence, 1951-2008; 2. Research Files, 1851, 1860s, 1880s, 1890, 1939-2006; 3. Writings, 1952-2006; 4. Professional Activities, 1952-2006; 5. Smithsonian, 1954-2008; 6. Handbook of North American Indians, 1971-2007; 7. Biographical Files, 1933-2007; 8. Student Files, 1944-1985; 9. Subject Files, 1902-2002; 10. Photographs, 1927-2004; 11. Artwork, 1699-1998; 12. Maps, 1949-1975; 13. Sound Recordings, 1950-2000; 14. Computer Files, 1987-2006.
Biographical/Historical note:
William C. Sturtevant (1926-2007), preeminent North American ethnologist, museum curator, and university professor, was best known for his contributions to Seminole ethnology, as curator of North American Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, and for his work as the general editor of the Handbook of North American Indians.

Sturtevant's passion for studying Native peoples began at a young age. In third grade "after a class on American Indians, he asked his father what kind of people study Indians, and his father replied, 'Anthropologists.' Sturtevant decided then that he would make anthropology his career" (Merrill 11). After graduating with honors from the University of California at Berkeley in 1949, Sturtevant went on to Yale University to complete his graduate work in anthropology. When it came time to decide on what area of North America he should focus his research, one of his faculty members at Yale, Irving Rouse, "suggested he consider the Seminoles of south Florida. By the end of his first fieldwork season, Sturtevant was convinced that the dearth of ethnographic information about these Seminoles and their status as one of the least acculturated of all North American Indian societies justified ethnographic research among them and offered the possibility of making an important contribution to North American ethnology" (Merrill 13). Sturtevant spent the summers of 1950 and 1951 conducting preliminary fieldwork among the Mikasuki-speaking Seminole and in 1952 he took up temporary residence at Big Cypress Reservation to undertake research for his dissertation, "The Mikasuki Seminole: Medical Beliefs and Practices." This work focused on Seminole medicine, but also included Sturtevant's analysis of Seminole worldview, religion, history, inter-ethnic relations, material culture, economy, kinship, language, and social organization.

In 1954, while he was finishing his dissertation, Sturtevant made the transition from student of anthropology to professional anthropologist. He was hired as an instructor in Yale's Anthropology Department and began his career in museum work as an assistant curator of anthropology at the Yale Peabody Museum. After receiving his PhD from Yale in 1955, Sturtevant moved on to the Smithsonian Institution, where he accepted a position as a research anthropologist at the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE). This position afforded Sturtevant the chance to continue to explore his many research interests in ways that a full time professorship or museum curatorship could not. Over the next ten years he studied the Catawba in South Carolina; the Seneca and Cayuga nations of the Iroquois League in New York, Oklahoma, and Ontario; continued his work with the Seminole; visited European museums to examine early ethnographic examples and possible European prototypes of eastern North American Indian material culture; and spent a year in Burma. In 1963, Sturtevant and his wife, Theda Maw, the daughter of a prominent Burmese family, took their three young children to Burma so that they could visit with Maw's family. Sturtevant took this as an opportunity to branch out from his Native American research and spent the year visiting neighborhoods in Rangoon and villages in the surrounding countryside, examining archival materials, studying the Burmese language, learning about Burmese clothing and other aspects of the culture, and taking photographs. He also collected 386 items of clothing and other objects for the Smithsonian.

When Sturtevant returned from Burma, he found the BAE had been dissolved. In 1965, he was transferred from the now-defunct BAE to the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), where he became curator of North American Ethnology, a position he held for the next forty-two years. During his tenure at NMNH Sturtevant oversaw all the North American ethnology collections, planned exhibitions, served on committees, and sponsored interns and fellows. One of Sturtevant's primary duties at NMNH was serving as the General Editor of the Handbook of North American Indians, "a major multi-volume reference work summarizing anthropological, linguistic, and historical knowledge about native peoples north of Mexico" (Jackson). Each volume was designed to represent a geographic or topical area of Americanist study. As General Editor, Sturtevant selected volume editors, chapter authors, oversaw office staff, and proofread manuscripts over the course of production.

Besides focusing on the Handbook, much of Sturtevant's time was taken up by responsibilities he held outside the Institution. Sturtevant was extremely involved in professional anthropological associations and held many leadership positions. Fresh out of graduate school, he began a three-year term on the Board of Governors of the Anthropological Society of Washington in 1957. He later became a member of the executive committee of the Florida Anthropological Society, served as book-review editor and associate editor of the American Anthropologist from 1962-1968, was a member of the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Anthropological Research in Museums and was both vice president and president of the committee once it became the Council for Museum Anthropology, was on the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Archives, served three terms on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation from 1976-1982 and was appointed to a fourth term between 1984 and 1986, and sat on the Board of Directors of Survival International from 1982-1988. He was President of the American Society for Ethnohistory, the American Ethnological Society, the American Anthropological Association, and the Anthropological Society of Washington. Sturtevant also taught classes at Johns Hopkins University as an adjunct professor in the Department of Anthropology, served as a consultant on exhibits at other museums, and reviewed manuscripts for scholarly publications.

Sturtevant remained active in the profession throughout his later years. After divorcing Theda Maw in 1986, he married Sally McLendon, a fellow anthropologist, in 1990 and they undertook several research projects together. Sturtevant was recognized for his dedication and contributions to the field of anthropology in 1996 when he was awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters by Brown University, and in 2002 when his colleagues published a festschrift in his honor, Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant.

Sturtevant died on March 2, 2007 at the Collingswood Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Rockville, MD after suffering from emphysema.

Sources Consulted

Estrada, Louie. 2007. William C. Sturtevant; Expert on Indians. Washington Post, March 17. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/03/16/AR2007031602273.html, accessed August 31, 2012.

Jackson, Jason Baird. 2007. William C. Sturtevant (1926-2007). http://museumanthropology.blogspot.com/2007/03/william-c-sturtevant-1926-2007.html, accessed August 31, 2012.

Merrill, William L. 2002. William Curtis Sturtevant, Anthropologist. In Anthropology, History, and American Indians: Essays in Honor of William Curtis Sturtevant. William L. Merrill and Ives Goddard, eds. Pp. 11-36. Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press.

1926 -- Born July 26 in Morristown, NJ

1944 -- Entered the University of California at Berkeley as a second-semester freshman

1944 -- Attended summer school at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in Mexico City where he took courses on Mexican archaeology and South American ethnology

1945 -- Drafted into the United States Navy

1946 -- Received an honorable discharge from the Navy with the rank of pharmacist's mate third class and returned to UC Berkeley

1947 -- Attended the University of New Mexico's summer field school in Chaco Canyon, New Mexico

1949 -- January: Received his Bachelor's degree with honors in anthropology from UC Berkeley

1949 -- Began graduate studies at Yale University

1950-1951 -- Spent the summers of 1950 and 1951 in Florida conducting fieldwork among the Mikasuki-speaking Seminole

1951 -- Conducted his first research study of the Iroquois, a classification of Seneca musical instruments, their construction and use, with Harold Conklin

1952 -- May: Moved to Big Cypress Reservation in Florida to conduct research for his dissertation. He focused on Seminole medicine, but also collected physical anthropological data such as blood-type frequencies, handedness, and color blindness

1952 -- July 26: Married Theda Maw

1954 -- Hired by Yale University as an instructor in the Department of Anthropology and as an assistant curator of anthropology in the Yale Peabody Museum

1955 -- Received PhD in anthropology from Yale University

1956 -- Joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) as a research anthropologist

1957 -- Began a three-year term on the Board of Governors of the Anthropological Society of Washington

1957 -- Traveled to Rock Hill, South Carolina to collect linguistic data from Sam Blue, the last member of the Catawba tribe to have maintained some proficiency in the Catawba language. While there, he made a small collection of Catawba pottery for the United States National Museum

1957-1958 -- Spent seven weeks continuing his research among the New York Seneca

1959 -- Returned to Florida to study Seminole ethnobotany. He also collected ethnographic materials, especially objects made for the tourist market, which he deposited in the United States National Museum

1959-1960 -- Member of the executive committee of the Florida Anthropological Society

1960 -- July and August: Visited 17 European museums to examine early ethnographic examples and possible European prototypes of eastern North American Indian material culture

1961-1962 -- Spent the summers of these years conducting ethnographic fieldwork among the Seneca-Cayuga in Oklahoma

1962 -- October: Visited the Six Nations Reserve in Ontario, Canada to conduct fieldwork among the Seneca and Cayuga there

1962-1968 -- Book-review editor and associate editor of the American Anthropologist

1963 -- October: Spent the year in Burma; visited neighborhoods in Rangoon and villages in the surrounding countryside, examined photographs in several archives, studied the Burmese language, and read extensively about the country's history and culture. Assembled notes on Burmese clothing and other aspects of the culture, took hundreds of photographs, and made a collection of 386 items of clothing and other objects for the Smithsonian

1964 -- Visited Inle Lake in the Southern Shan States southeast of Mandalay, where he examined local approaches to artificial island agriculture

1964-1981 -- Became a member of the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Anthropological Research in Museums, which became the Council for Museum Anthropology in 1974. Sturtevant was the Council's first vice president, serving two terms between 1974 and 1978, and was its president from 1978 to 1981

1965 -- Became curator of North American Ethnology in the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History after the dissolution of the BAE

1965-1966 -- President of the American Society for Ethnohistory

1966 -- Named the editor of the Handbook of North American Indians

1967-1968 -- Fulbright scholar and lecturer at Oxford University's Institute of Social Anthropology

1969 -- Began serving on the American Anthropological Association's Committee on Archives

1974-1989 -- Adjunct Professor in the Department of Anthropology at Johns Hopkins University

1976-1982 -- Served three terms on the Board of Trustees of the Museum of the American Indian-Heye Foundation and was appointed to a fourth term between 1984 and 1986

1977 -- President of the American Ethnological Society

1980-1981 -- President of the American Anthropological Association

1981 -- Spent part of the spring semester at the University of California Berkeley as a Regents Lecturer

1982-1988 -- Board of Directors of Survival International

1986 -- Divorced Theda Maw

1986-1987 -- Smithsonian Fellow at Oxford University's Worcester College

1990 -- Married Sally McLendon

1992 -- President of the Anthropological Society of Washington

1996 -- Awarded an honorary doctorate in humane letters at Brown University

2007 -- Died March 2 in Rockville, MD
Related Materials:
Other materials relating to William C. Sturtevant at the National Anthropological Archives are included in the following collections:

Manuscript 4504

Manuscript 4595

Manuscript 4806

Manuscript 4821

Manuscript 4972

Manuscript 7045

Photo Lot 59

Photo Lot 79-51

Photo Lot 80-3

Photo Lot 81R

Photo Lot 86-68 (6)

Photo Lot 86-68 (7)

American Society for Ethnohistory records

Committee on Anthropological Research in Museum Records

Handbook of North American Indians records

Records of the Department of Anthropology, National Museum of Natural History

Gordon Davis Gibson Papers, Sound Recordings

SPC Se Powhatan Confederacy Mattapony BAE No # 01790700

DOE Oceania:Amer Poly:Hi:Hawaiian Helmet:Sturtevant 04913800

DOE Oceania:Amer Poly:Hi:Hawaiian Helmet:Sturtevant 04913900

DOE Oceania:Amer Poly:Hi:Hawaiian Helmet:Sturtevant 04914000

Negative MNH 1530

Negative MNH 1530 B

Sturtevant is listed as a correspondent in the following NAA collections:

Administrative file, 1949-1965, Records of the Bureau of American Ethnology

John Lawrence Angel Papers

James Henri Howard Papers

Donald Jayne Lehmer Papers

John Victor Murra Papers

Records of the Society for American Archaeology

Albert Clanton Spaulding Papers

Waldo Rudolph Wedel and Mildred Mott Wedel Papers

Copies of sound recordings made by William C. Sturtevant can be found at The California Language Archive at UC Berkeley in two collections, The William Sturtevant collection of Creek/Seminole sound recordings, which includes 31 minutes of Northern Muskogean linguistic field recordings from 1951, and The William Sturtevant collection of Mikasuki sound recordings, which includes 33 minutes of Mikasuki linguistic field recordings from 1951. Two sound tape reels of Seminole music Sturtevant recorded in Florida in 1951 can be found at Wesleyan University's World Music Archives. Folk songs on these recordings include "Scalping Sickness," "Bear Sickness with blowing," "Bear sickness without blowing," "Lullaby," "Feather Dance," "Snake Dance," and "Crazy Dance." Performers include Josie Billie, Lee Cypress, Harvey Jumper, Boy Jim, Charlie (Johnny?) Cypress, Little Tiger Tail, Billy Ossiola, and Charlie Billy Boy.
Separated Materials:
One video tape, "Seminole History and Tradition", was transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives. Series 2.2, Tukabahchee Plate: Glass negative of spectrogram from FBI (Box 135), removed for storage with other glass plate negatives.
Provenance:
These papers were transferred to the National Anthropological Archives by the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History.
Restrictions:
Files containing Sturtevant's students' grades have been restricted, as have his students' and colleagues' grant and fellowships applications. Restricted files were separated and placed at the end of their respective series in boxes 87, 264, 322, 389-394, 435-436, 448, 468, and 483. For preservation reasons, his computer files are also restricted. Seminole sound recordings are restricted. Access to the William C. Sturtevant Papers requires an apointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Ethnology  Search this
Botany  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
Archaeology  Search this
History  Search this
Linguistics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Realia
Research
Notes
Office files
Theses
Slides (photographs)
Sound recordings
Exhibition catalogs
Field notes
Clippings
Correspondence
Photographs
Microfilms
Newsletters
Manuscripts
Memorandums
Articles
Card files
Books
Artifacts
Negatives
Citation:
William C. Sturtevant papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2008-24
See more items in:
William C. Sturtevant papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2008-24
Online Media:

Fuller Brush Company Records

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

Series 1: Historical background, 1916-2001

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

Series 3: Marketing, 1941-2013

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

Series 5: Financial materials, 1919-1996

Series 6: Personnel, 1922-1984

Series 7: Sales managers, 1922-1990

Series 8: Distributors, 1921-2006

Series 9: Publications, 1920-1999

Series 10: Product materials, 1912-2017

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1890-2000

Series 12: Press Clippings and Publicity, 1921-2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Stanley Home Products Collection (AC0788)

Earl S. Tupper Papers (AC0470)

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collections (AC0583)

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

Materials at the Smithsonian Institution

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

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

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

National Portrait Gallery holds a portrait of Alfred Fuller.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department

Avon Products Inc., Records, 1880-2012

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Archives

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

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

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

Separated materials assigned to Division of Medicine and Science include a bathing brush, a dental plate brush, a women's hair brush, a comb cleaner, and toothbrushes. Some items are maintained in original packaging, or are kept with original paper inserts. See accession 2018.0090.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Fuller Brush Company through David Sabin, 2018.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Reference copies for audio and moving images materials do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Advertising copy  Search this
Advertising, Point-of-sale  Search this
Broom and brush industry  Search this
Door-to-door selling  Search this
Household supplies  Search this
Print Advertising  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Traveling sales personnel  Search this
Manufacturing  Search this
Cosmetics industry  Search this
Industry -- U.S.  Search this
Direct selling  Search this
Businesspeople  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Radio broadcasts  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Ledgers (account books) -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Motion picture film
Newsletters -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports -- 20th century
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Trade literature -- 20th century
Training manuals -- 20th century
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Fuller Brush Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1459
See more items in:
Fuller Brush Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1459
Online Media:

Dr. Theodore Shell Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera

Creator:
Shell, Theodore, Dr. (dentist)  Search this
Names:
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Extent:
1.75 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Broadsides
Correspondence
Drawings
Sketches
Radio scripts
Articles
Programs
Clippings
Date:
1933-1990
Summary:
Periodical articles, news clippings, concert programs, radio transcripts, personal correspondence, broadsides, photographs, and pencil sketches collected by Dr. Shell. The material documents part of Duke Ellington's music career, especially ca. 1940-1974.
Scope and Contents:
The Dr. Theodore Shell Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera contains autographs, concert programs, publicity booklets, conference materials, correspondence, periodicals, news clippings, photographs, play lists, transcripts of radio broadcasts and a variety of other ephemeral materials that document the life, career, and legacy of Duke Ellington, as well as the early history of Jazz. The collection is arranged alphabetically. Oversized materials are located at the end of the collection but are listed alphabetically within the container list.

Items of particular interest include: a collection of programs, napkins, and menus autographed by Duke Ellington and other members of his orchestra including Johnny Hodges; concert programs spanning forty years of Ellington's career (1933-1973); a pencil-sketched portrait of Duke Ellington; and photographs of Duke Ellington, Cab Calloway, "Peg leg" Bates, Cat Anderson, Harry Carney, Paul Gonsalves, Harold Ashby, Russell Procope and many other Ellington band members taken or collected by Dr. Shell. There are radio broadcast transcripts that contain the scripts, play lists, and promotional spots from various Ellington radio performances between 1943 and 1946. Biographical notes document the life of one of Ellington's public relations agents, Jerome O. Rhea, and there are also some photographs that might possibly be of Rhea's family. Also of interest are a transcript of a meeting related to the organization of a Negro Baseball League and several hand-illustrated poems by African American poets, both of which are found in the Miscellaneous folder.
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Theodore Shell (1915- ), dentist, "amateur" photographer and Ellington enthusiast, was born in Rahweh, New Jersey. He graduated from Shaw University in 1937 with a degree in science and chemistry, and he served five years in the U.S. Army's chemical warfare service during World War II in the European Theatre. In 1950 he received his dentistry degree from Howard University and began a practice in Washington D.C. Dr. Shell also held the position of Clinical Professor of Dentistry for 43 years at Howard. He retired in 1993.

Dr. Shell first became interested in Ellington's music in 1952. He and Maurice Lawrence, a fellow member of the Omega Psi Phi National Fraternity, founded a Duke Ellington Club in 1956, and it eventually became Chapter 90 of the Ellington Society by 1962. Other founding members of this chapter include Grant Wright, Terrell Allen, and Juanita Jackson. Over the course of his activities with the Ellington Society, Dr. Shell had the privilege of meeting with Duke Ellington on numerous occasions, the first time being in 1964, and in 1971 he hosted Ellington's 72nd birthday party in his own home. Currently, Dr. Shell is serving as president of the organization.
Provenance:
Dr. Theodore Shell donated his collection of Duke Ellington ephemera to the National Museum of American History on November 17, 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Copyright restrictions. Contact the Archives Center.
Topic:
Jazz musicians -- 1940-1980 -- United States  Search this
Jazz  Search this
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Broadsides -- 1940-1980
Correspondence -- 1940-2000
Drawings -- 20th century
Sketches -- 1940-2000
Radio scripts -- 1940-1980
Articles -- 1940-1980
Programs -- 1940-1990
Clippings -- 20th century
Citation:
Dr. Theodore Shell Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera, 1933-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0502
See more items in:
Dr. Theodore Shell Collection of Duke Ellington Ephemera
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0502

Gathering souls and objects : missionary collections

Author:
Cannizzo, Jeanne 1947-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Livingstone, David 1813-1873 Art collections  Search this
Currie, Walter T Art collections  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Africa
Angola
Date:
1998
Topic:
Collecting African art  Search this
Manganja material culture  Search this
Material culture  Search this
Missionaries  Search this
Call number:
N5311 .C65 1998X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_685297

Duro Olowu

Author:
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Olowu, Duro  Search this
Type:
Articles
Exhibitions
Date:
2012
Call number:
N7398 .W4 2012
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1039793

"Momoh! We all like you!" : Porträts westafrikanischer Staatsmänner

Author:
Bender, Wolfgang 1946-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Middle Art  Search this
Bah, Chernor 1952-  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Africa, West
Date:
1990
20th century
Topic:
Portrait painting  Search this
Art, West African  Search this
Call number:
N7380 .S617 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_515329

All that jazz / by Charmaine Picard ; photographs by Kristine Larsen

Author:
Picard, Charmaine  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Gilliam, Sam 1933-  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
2015
Topic:
African American artists  Search this
Call number:
N8602 .A83
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1072881

L'image de l'autochthone maghrébin

Author:
Chebel, Malek 1953-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Pictorial works
Place:
Africa, North
Date:
1993
Topic:
North Africans--Portraits  Search this
Call number:
DT33.5 .I63 1993X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_532721

A terrifying mimesis : problems of portraiture and representation in African sculpture (Congo-Kinshasa) / by Z. S. Strother

Author:
Strother, Z. S  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Date:
2015
Topic:
Portrait sculpture, Pende  Search this
Naturalism in African art  Search this
Eastern Pende anthropomorphic sculpture  Search this
Eastern Pende roof finials  Search this
Sculpture, Pende  Search this
Call number:
N5310.7 .R428
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1065909

Brevity is the soul of wit : Amir Nour between minimalism and Africanism / Salah M. Hassan

Author:
Hassan, Salah M  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Nour, Amir I. M. 1939- Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Nour, Amir I. M. 1939- Influences  Search this
Type:
Articles
Date:
2017
Topic:
Sculpture, Sudanese  Search this
Call number:
NX1 .N737
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1088605

Royal commemorative figures in the Cameroon grasslands : Ateu Atsa, a Bangwa artist

Author:
Harter, Pierre 1928-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Atsa, Atem approximately 1840-1910  Search this
Type:
Articles
Place:
Cameroon
Cameroon Grassfields
Date:
1990
Topic:
Bangwa master sculptors  Search this
Portrait sculpture  Search this
Sculpture, Bangwa  Search this
Sculpture, Nyang  Search this
Call number:
N1 .A258
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_555497

The 1960s / Jay T. Last

Title:
Nineteen-sixties
Author:
Last, Jay T  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Segy, Ladislas  Search this
Franklin, Harry A  Search this
Furman, Aaron  Search this
Carlebach, Julius 1909-1964  Search this
Robbins, Warren M  Search this
Simpson, Merton D (Merton Daniel)) 1928-2013  Search this
Biebuyck, Daniel P. 1925-  Search this
Klejman, John J  Search this
Brandt, A (Alan)  Search this
Museum of Primitive Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Type:
Articles
Date:
2015
Topic:
African art dealers  Search this
Collecting African art  Search this
Sculpture, Lega  Search this
Call number:
N7391.65 .L37 2015
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1057644

Yoruba artist, Nigeria : figure of Queen Victoria ; Yoruba artist, Nigeria : figure of George V seated with orb and sceptre, wearing a crown and ceremonial cloak ; J. S. Odubate, Abeokuta, Nigeria : Edward, Prince of Wales / A. S

Author:
Smith, Alison 1962-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Subject:
Victoria Queen of Great Britain 1819-1901 Portraits  Search this
Windsor, Edward Duke of 1894-1972 Portraits  Search this
Odubate, J. S  Search this
Type:
Articles
Date:
2015
Topic:
Portrait sculpture, Yoruba  Search this
Sculpture, Egba  Search this
Call number:
N6764 .A795 2015
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1070814

Self-portraits, portraits, and copies among the Dan : the creative process of traditional African mask carvers

Author:
Fischer, Eberhard 1941-  Search this
Smithsonian Libraries African Art Index Project DSI  Search this
Type:
Articles
Date:
1984
1970
Topic:
Wood-carving, Dan  Search this
Aesthetics, Dan  Search this
Portrait sculpture, Dan  Search this
Masks, Dan--Copying  Search this
Artists, Dan  Search this
Dan sculptors  Search this
Dan self-portraits  Search this
Dan face masks  Search this
Dan style  Search this
Dan creativity  Search this
Sculpture, Dan  Search this
Call number:
N1 .I648
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_693026

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