The Betty J. Meggers and Clifford Evans Papers document their research and professional activities from 1946-2012 and primarily deal with their archaeological and anthropological research in South America. Their work at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and their frequent collaboration with other researchers and professional organizations is also represented. In addition, this collection contains detailed records on South American research conducted by the Smithsonian Institution from the 1950s through the 2010s. The collection consists of research and project files, raw data and analysis, graphs and illustrations, photographs, correspondence, maps and charts, and administrative files.
Scope and Contents:
The Betty J. Meggers and Clifford Evans papers document their research and professional activities from 1946-2012 and primarily deal with their archaeological and anthropological research in South America. There is also significant material detailing research conducted in South America by the National Museum of Natural History (particularly the Department of Anthropology). Material documenting their publication and collaboration efforts with researchers and other colleagues is represented as well. There is also limited material related to Meggers and Evans time in graduate school at Columbia University and their brief careers before starting at the Smithsonian Institution in the early 1950s. The collection consists of research and project files, raw data and analysis, graphs and illustrations, photographs, correspondence, maps and charts, and administrative files.
This collection is arranged in 12 series: Series 1. Personal, 1893-2012, undated; Series 2. Writings, 1944-2011, undated; Series 3. Research, 1930-2011, undated; Series 4. Correspondence, 1922-2012; Series 5. Conferences and Seminars, 1949-2010, undated; Series 6. Museum and Institute Subject Files, 1973-2011, undated; Series 7. Smithsonian Institution Amazon Ecosystem Program, 1962-2008, undated. Series 8. National Program of Archeological Research in Brazil, 1961-1989, undated; Series 9. Paleoindian Research: Paleoclimatology and Paleofauna Programs, 1960-1992, undated; Series 10. Latin American Archaeology Fund, 1971-1991, undated; Series 11. Photographs, 1937-2008, undated; Series 12. Maps and Charts, 1957- circa 2009, undated.
Biographical / Historical:
Clifford Evans Chronology
1920 -- Born in Dallas, Texas.
1941 -- Bachelors degree in anthropology from the University of Southern California.
1946 -- Married Betty Meggers.
1948-1949 -- Field research: Lower Amazon archaelogical expedition to Marajo, Mexiana, Caviana, and Territory of Ampa, Brazil. With Betty Meggers.
1950 -- Ph.D., Columbia University.
1950-1951 -- Instructor, Anthropology, University of Virginia.
1951-1962 -- Associate Curator, Smithsonian Department of Anthropology.
1952-1953 -- Field research: Archaelogical and ethnographic investigations in British Guiana. With Betty Meggers.
1954 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Betty Meggers and Emilio Estrada.
1956 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations along the Rio Napo, Eastern Ecuador. With Betty Meggers.
1957 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Betty Meggers and Emilio Estrada.
1958 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Betty Meggers and Emilio Estrada.
1961 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Betty Meggers and Emilio Estrada.
1962-1964 -- Curator of the Division of Archaeology.
1963 -- Field research: Archeological investigations of megalithic structures on Nan Madol, Ponape, Caroline Islands. With Betty Meggers.
1964-1970, 1975-1981 -- Supervising Curator of the Department of Anthropological Research.
1965-1970 -- Co-principal investigator with Betty Meggers of PRONAPA.
1966 -- Field research: Archeological survey on Dominica. With Clifford Evans.
1968-1975 -- Co-principal investigator with Betty Meggers of the Proyecto Andino de Estudios Arqueologicos.
1970-1975 -- Chairman of the Department of Anthropology.
1971 -- Creates the Latin American Archaeology Fund with Betty Meggers.
1972 -- Creates the Paleo-Indian, Paleoecology, and Paleoenvironmental Research Program.
1974 -- Creates the Amazon Ecosystems Research Program.
1975-1980 -- Co-principal investigator with Betty Meggers of PRONAPABA.
1976 -- Field research: Paleoindian and Archaic sites and museum collections in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. With Betty Meggers and Dennis Stanford.
1981 -- Dies in Washington, D.C.
Betty Meggers Chronology
1921 -- Born December 5 in Washington, D.C.
1943 -- A.B. in anthropology, University of Pennsylvania
1944 -- M.A., University of Michigan
1948-1949 -- Field research: Lower Amazon archaelogical expedition to Marajo, Mexiana, Caviana, and Territory of Ampa, Brazil. With Clifford Evans.
1950-1951 -- Instructor, Anthropology, American University
1952 -- Ph.D., Columbia University
1952-1953 -- Field research: Archaelogical and ethnographic investigations in British Guiana. With Clifford Evans.
1954 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Clifford Evans and Emilio Estrada.
1954-2012 -- Research Associate, Department of Anthropology, national Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution
1956 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations along the Rio Napo, Eastern Ecuador. With Clifford Evans.
1957 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Clifford Evans and Emilio Estrada.
1958 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Clifford Evans and Emilio Estrada.
1961 -- Field research: Archaelogical survey and excavations on coastal Ecuador. With Clifford Evans and Emilio Estrada.
1963 -- Field research: Archeological investigations of megalithic structures on Nan Madol, Ponape, Caroline Islands. With Clifford Evans.
1965-1970 -- Co-principal investigator with Clifford Evans of PRONAPA.
1966 -- Field research: Archeological survey on Dominica. With Clifford Evans.
1968-1975 -- Co-principal investigator with Clifford Evans of the Proyecto Andino de Estudios Arqueologicos.
1975-1980 -- Co-principal investigator with Clifford Evans of PRONAPABA.
1976 -- Field research: Paleoindian and Archaic sites and museum collections in Peru, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. With Clifford Evans and Dennis Stanford.
1976-1996 -- Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society
1982-1985 -- Consultant, Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Belem, Brazil
2012 -- Dies in Washington, D.C.
Betty J. Meggers and Clifford Evans were anthropologists specializing in the archeology of lowland South America. Their combined careers at the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology totaled over 100 years. Evans was born in 1920 in Texas. He received his bachelor's degree in anthropology and archaeology from the University of Southern California in 1941. Following his service as a bombardier during World War II, he enrolled in the anthropology doctoral program at Columbia University where he met Meggers, a fellow student in the department. Meggers was born in 1921 in Washington, D.C., and was the daughter of well-known archaeologist William Frederick Meggers. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a bachelors degree in anthropology in 1943 and from the University of Michigan with a masters in anthropology in 1944 before being admitted to Columbia.
Meggers and Evans did their dissertation research together in South America— Meggers worked on the island of Marajo at the mouth of the Amazon River while Evans did archaeological research in the Amapa territory of Brazil. The two were married on September 13, 1946.
After Evans received his Ph.D. in 1950, he was hired by the Smithsonian Institution as an associate curator in the Department of Anthropology in 1951. After graduating in 1952, Meggers worked as an anthropology instructor at American University for one year before being hired as a research associate in the Smithsonian Department of Anthropology in 1954.
Evans was named Curator of the Division of Archaeology in 1962, and Supervising Curator of the newly created Office of Anthropological Research in 1964. Under his leadership, standardized operating procedures were created that centralized accessioning, cataloging, storing, and lending of objects. This freed curators from many complicated and routine activities. In 1970, Evans was appointed the Chairman of Anthropology for a five year term, where he initiated many large-scale research programs with Meggers that continued to operate many years after his chairmanship ended.
The first program that Evans and Meggers created was the "Paleo-Indian, Paleoecology, and Paleoenvironmental Research Program" in 1972, which was designed to study prehistoric peoples in the Western Hemisphere. The second program, implemented in 1974 was the "Amazon Ecosystems Research Program," which organized Brazilian scientists and Smithsonian staff members interested in environmental studies of the Amazon region.
Meggers and Evans conducted much of their field work together, which resulted in hundreds of articles, essays, presentations, and books. The majority of their work was done in the Amazon and Andean regions of South America, particularly Brazil, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Ecuador. Aside from these publications, they were also able to collect many archaeological specimens that are still part of the Smithsonian's holdings.
The conclusions that Meggers and Evans drew from their research and field work, while ground-breaking, were often controversial. In the early 1960s local businessman and amateur archaeologist Emilio Estrada excavated pottery from the Valdivia area in Ecuador and shared his results with Meggers and Evans. After finding significant similarities between Valdivian artifacts and those from Japan's ancient Jomon culture, they theorized that there was transpacific contact between Japan and South America around the beginning of the third millennium B.C. Their theory remains controversial.
Meggers and Evans also argued that despite the rich forests of the Amazon region, the river basin's thin, poor soil could not hold enough nutrients to sustain intensive agriculture. As a result, they argued, large and complex societies could not have existed in the Amazon River basin as other archaeologists and anthropologists have suggested.
After finishing his tenure as chairman of the Department of Anthropology, Clifford Evans died in 1981 of a heart attack at the age of 60. Following his death, Meggers continued in her position as research associate in the Department of Anthropology for another 30 years. Though she did not conduct additional fieldwork after her husband's death, Meggers wrote prolifically and was heavily involved in analyzing field work data and collaborating with colleagues working throughout South America. She made it possible for many researchers to study and conduct research at the National Museum of Natural History, and presented in many conferences and seminars locally and internationally. In addition, Meggers advocated on the behalf of colleagues to the National Geographic Society and other organizations to procure funding for archaeological and anthropological expeditions all over the world. Betty Meggers died in 2012 at the age of 90.
There are about 25 slide cases, each containing about 200 to 300 kodachrome slides, that are currently stored at the Department of Anthropology at the National Museum of Natural History. These were created in the late 1940s and early 1950s and contain images of field work and other trips to South American locations such as Peru, British Guiana, the Peru Highlands, Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Hondouras, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Mexico. Contact repository for more information.
2 rolls of 16mm film, 22 audio cassettes, and 1 VHS of South and Central American research were transferred to the Human Studies Film Archives in 2015.
The papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by the estate of Betty J. Meggers in 2013.
The Betty J. Meggers and Clifford Evans papers are open for research. Personal correspondence, however, is RESTRICTED until 2026.
The Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh papers, 1876-2004 (bulk 1921-1975), document the professional and personal lives of Matthew Stirling, Smithsonian archaeologist and Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-1957), and his wife and constant collaborator, Marion Stirling Pugh. The bulk of the material is professional in nature and includes material from Matthew's early career in the 1920s, the careers of Matthew and Marion together from when they married in 1933 to Matthew's death in 1975, and Marion's life and work from 1975 until her death in 2001.
The majority of the documentation relates to the investigation of the Olmec culture in Mexico by the Stirlings, including the discoveries of eight colossal Olmec heads. In addition, the collection documents their work in Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, looking for connections between Mesoamerica and South America. Materials include field notes, journals, correspondence, photographs, writings, clippings, ephemera, articles, and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh papers, 1876-2004 (bulk 1921-1975), document the professional and personal lives of Matthew Stirling, Smithsonian archaeologist, and Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-1957), and his wife and constant collaborator, Marion Stirling Pugh. The bulk of the material is professional in nature and includes material from Matthew's early career in the 1920s, the careers of Matthew and Marion together from when they married in 1933 to Matthew's death in 1975, and Marion's life and work from 1975 until her death in 2001.
The majority of the documentation relates to the investigation of the Olmec culture in Mexico by the Stirlings, including the discoveries of eight colossal Olmec heads. In addition, the collection documents their work in Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica, looking for connections between Mesoamerica and South America. Materials include field notes, journals, correspondence, photographs, writings, clippings, ephemera, articles, and scrapbooks.
Series 1. Field work, 1921-1998 (bulk 1921-1975) and undated, documents the archaeological expeditions undertaken by Matthew and Marion Stirling over a span of 40 years. This includes expeditions Matthew undertook prior to his marriage and collaboration with Marion to Papua New Guinea, Ecuador, and Florida, and extensive documentation of expeditions they embarked on together to Mexico, Panama, Ecuador, and Costa Rica.
Series 2. Other travels, 1946-1972 is comprised of materials documenting trips the Stirlings took that, for the most part, did not include field work. This includes trips for both business and personal travel, however it was common for the two to overlap.
Series 3. Administrative files, 1924-1980 and undated is partly comprised of materials the Stirlings compiled and organized into an alphabetical filing structure and also of materials that are administrative in nature and did not directly relate to other categories outlined in this finding aid.
Series 4 Writings and lectures, 1925-1990 and undated, consists of articles, papers, drafts, and notes primarily written by Matthew Stirling, with some materials co-written by Marion, and documentation relating to presentations the Stirlings gave regarding their field work and other professional matters. Also included is material relating to films that were made about the Stirling's work.
Series 5. Personal and family materials, 1880-1996 and undated, consists of documents, photographs, and ephemera that are personal in nature. This includes items relating to Matthew Stirling's young life and family history, photographs, correspondence, and clippings relating to his extended family, and photographs of and correspondence from Matt and Marion's children.
Series 6. Anthropological journals, 1876-1959, consists of collections of anthropological journals collected and categorized for reference and research purposes.
Series 7. Marion Stirling Pugh, 1924-2004 (bulk 1948-2002) and undated, consists of materials relating to endeavors Marion undertook without Matthew, primarily relating to her participation in the Society of Women Geographers from 1948-2000 and her life after Matthew died in 1975 until her death in 2001.
This collection is arranged in 7 series: 1) Field work, 1921-1998 (bulk 1921-1975), undated; 2) Other travels, 1946-1972; 3) Administrative files, 1924-1980, undated; 4) Writings and lectures, 1925-1990, undated; 5) Personal and family materials, 1880-1996, undated; 6) Anthropological journals, 1876-1959; 7) Marion Stirling Pugh, 1924-2004 (bulk 1948-2002), undated.
MATTHEW WILLIAMS STIRLING:
Matthew Williams Stirling, archaeologist and Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology (1928-1957), was born on August 28, 1896 in Salinas, California. After serving as an Ensign in the Navy from 1917-1919, he graduated with a B.A. in Anthropology in 1920 from the University of California, Berkeley studying under T.T. Waterman, Alfred L. Kroeber, and E.W. Gifford. From 1920-1921 he worked as a teaching fellow at the university, where he taught William Duncan Strong. Stirling's first tenure at the Smithsonian (then the U.S. National Museum (USNM)) was from 1921-1924, first as a museum aide, then as an Assistant Curator of Ethnology. While in the position he took night classes at George Washington University and received his M.A. in 1922. He received an honorary Sc.D. from Tampa University in 1943. In 1924, Stirling resigned his position at the museum and embarked on a journey to South American with his friend Perry Patton. From 1925-1927 he embarked on the Smithsonian sponsored American-Dutch Expedition to Papua New Guinea to explore the previously unknown interior region of Dutch New Guinea. Stirling was appointed Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology at the Smithsonian Institution in 1928 and married Marion Illig in 1933. They worked together for the next 40 years studying Olmec culture and the connection to greater Mesoamerica and South America. They had two children (Matthew W. Stirling Jr. in 1938 and Ariana Stirling in 1942). Stirling retired as Director of the B.A.E. on December 31, 1957. He died January 23, 1975 in Washington, D.C.
Collins, Henry B. "Matthew Williams Stirling, 1896-1975." American Anthropologist, New Series, 78, no. 4 (1976): 886-88.
Coe, Michael D. "Matthew Williams Stirling, 1896-1975." American Antiquity 41, no. 1 (1976): 67-73.
MARION STIRLING PUGH:
Marion Stirling Pugh (nee Illig) was born in Middletown, New York on May 12, 1911. She graduated from Rider College in 1930 and came to Washington D.C. in 1931 where she took a job as a secretary to the Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology, Matthew Stirling. She attended night school at George Washington University from 1931-1933 where she studied anthropology, geology, and Russian. Marion and Matthew were married on December 11, 1933 and promptly embarked on a honeymoon expedition to Florida where Matthew was in charge of Works Progress Administration (WPA) projects. They worked together for the next 40 years studying Olmec culture and the connection to greater Mesoamerica and South America. They had two children (Matthew W. Stirling Jr. in 1938 and Ariana Stirling in 1942).
Marion was an active member of the Society of Women Geographers and was elected to the executive board in 1954. She served as president of the society from 1960-1963 and 1969-1972. She had a long-time association with the Textile Museum in Washington D.C. and in the 1970s established what would become the Latin American Research Fund to secure Latin American ethnographic textiles for the museum.
After Matthew's death in 1975, Marion married General John Ramsey Pugh in 1977. Pugh died in 1994. Marion continued to travel the world, including making a trip to Antarctica in her 80s, until her death on April 24, 2001 in Tucson, Arizona.
"Marion Stirling Pugh, 89." The Washington Post. May 11, 2001. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/local/2001/05/11/marion-stirling-pugh-89/01329ba8-f32b-4d66-83fb-9f3c311aaefb/?utm_term=.ab20f25e060b (accessed May 16, 2019).
Conroy, Sarah Booth. "Archaeologist Marion Pugh, Digging Up Memories." The Washington Post. July 8, 1996. https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/lifestyle/1996/07/08/archaeologist-marion-pugh-digging-up-memories/09f465e7-5900-455e-bcd5-b81828a502d5/?utm_term=.703ff0e84313 (accessed May 16, 2019).
Matthew Williams Stirling and Marion Stirling Pugh Chronology
1896 August 28 -- Matthew Williams Stirling born in Salinas, California to Ariana and John Williams Stirling
1911 May 12 -- Marion Illig born in Middletown, New York
1914-1920 -- Matthew Stirling attended the University of California, Berkeley, receiving his B.A. in Anthropology in 1920. He studied under A.L. Kroeber, T.T. Waterman, and E.W. Gifford.
1917-1919 -- Matthew Stirling served as an ensign in the U.S. Navy during World War I
1920 -- Matthew Stirling's travels to Europe with his parents
1920-1921 -- Matthew Stirling worked as teaching fellow at the University of California, Berkeley and taught William Duncan Strong
1921-1924 -- Matthew Stirling worked at the United States National Museum (USNM), first as a Museum Aide and then as an Assistant Curator of Ethnology
1922 -- Matthew Stirling received Master of Arts degree from George Washington University, studying under Truman Michelson Matthew Stirling went on a trip to the cave country of France and Spain with friend Perry J. Patton
1923 Winter -- Matthew Stirling sent by J. Walter Fewkes to excavate at Weedon (or Weeden) Island, Florida
1924 Spring -- Matthew Stirling resigned from his Smithsonian USNM post
1924 Summer -- Matthew Stirling conducted excavations in Mobridge, South Dakota
1924 July -- Matthew Stirling went on a trip to South America with friend, Perry J. Patton
1924 Winter -- Matthew Stirling continued excavations in Weedon Island, FL
1924-1925 -- Matthew Stirling sold real estate on Weedon Island, Florida to fund the expedition to Papua New Guinea in the winters of 1924 and 1925
1925-1927 -- Matthew Stirling organized and led the American-Dutch Expedition (or Smithsonian Institution-Dutch Colonial Government expedition) to Papua New Guinea
1928 -- Matthew Stirling named Chief of the Bureau of American Ethnology (BAE) at the Smithsonian Institution
1929 March-April -- Matthew Stirling surveyed mounds in Tampa Bay and Calusa areas of Florida
1930s -- Matthew Stirling conducted various archaeological excavations in Georgia and Florida under the Works Progress Administration (WPA)
1930 -- Marion Illig received a Bachelor of Science degree from Rider College From February through April, Mathew Stirling conducted more work on Tampa Bay mounds in Florida In July, Matthew Stirling went to Marfa, Texas to examine pictographs in caves and also went to Deeth, Nevada
1931 September-1932 March -- Matthew Stirling a member of the Latin American Expedition to South and Central America. He studied the Tule/Kuna Indians in Panama and the Jivaro in Ecuador
1931-1933 -- Marion Illig moved to Washington D.C. to attend George Washington University and worked at the BAE as a secretary for Matthew Stirling
1933 December 11 -- Matthew and Marion Stirling married
1933 December-1934 May 5 -- Matthew Stirling supervised Federal Civil Works Administration (or Federal Emergency Relief Administration) projects in Florida, also called Florida Federal Relief (Bradenton, Perico Island, Canaveral Island, and Belle Glade) and BAE excavations in Macon, Georgia
1934 October -- Conducted archaeological work in King, Queen, and Halifax counties in Virginia and Granville City, North Carolina
1935 -- Matthew Stirling acted as the president of the Anthropological Society of Washington Expedition to Guatemala, Honduras, and Yucatan Peninsula to study the Maya and the Quché (or Quiche) Indians from January to February 15, 1935
1935-1936 -- Matthew Stirling acted as the vice president of the American Anthropological Association
1936 -- Matthew Stirling and WPA workers conducted archaeological surveys in southern Florida in July 1936 Matthew and Marion Stirling visited an excavation in Macon, Georgia in Fall 1936 Matthew Stirling supervised archaeological projects in Hillsborough and Dade Counties in Florida
1938 January-March -- Matthew and Marion Stirling take first field trip to Mexico, visiting Tres Zapotes
1938 December 24-1939 April 15 -- First Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with C.W. Weiant. Excavated Tres Zapotes and discovered lower portion of Stela C
1939 -- Matthew Stirling received his first Franklyn L. Burr Award from the National Geographic Society
1939 December 26-1940 April 20 -- Second Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Philip Drucker. Excavated Cerro de las Mesas and La Venta
1940 December 29-1941 April 30 -- Third Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Philip Drucker. Excavated Cerro de las Mesas and Izapa
1941 -- Matthew and Marion Stirling received the Franklyn L. Burr Award from the National Geographic Society (shared with Richard Hewitt Stewart)
1942 April -- Matthew Stirling visited Dr. Philip Drucker at La Venta
1942 April-June -- Fourth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico. Visited Tuxtla Gutierrez, Zoque, Tzotzil and Chamula Indians, and Palenque
1943 -- Fifth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Waldo R. Wedel. Excavated La Venta Matthew Stirling awarded honorary Doctor of Science from Tampa University
1944 January 28-May -- Sixth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico. Visited Michoacán, Jalisco, Uruapan, Tlaquepaque, and Tarascan Indians from Lake Pátzcuaro and conducted archaeological surveys in Southern Veracruz, Tabasco, and Campeche
1945 January 22-May 31 -- Seventh Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico. Excavated La Venta, San Lorenzo, Piedra Parada, and Tapachula
1946 January 26-April -- Eighth Smithsonian Institution/National Geographic Society Expedition to Mexico with Dr. Philip Drucker. Excavated San Lorenzo
1947 -- Matthew Stirling becomes Director of the Bureau of American Ethnology (title changed from "Chief")
1947 December-1948 -- First Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expeditions to Panama including Cocle, Balboa, Chitre, Parita (Sixto Pinilla Place), Monagrillo, and El Hatillo
1949 -- Second Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expedition to Panama
1951 -- Third Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expedition to Panama
1953 -- Fourth Smithsonian Institution/ National Geographic Society Expedition to Panama
1954 -- Marion Stirling elected to the executive board of the Society of Women Geographers
Records of the Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated, documenting overall operations of the company, the creation of advertising materials, and development of the coffee trade.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into thirteen series.
Series 1, Hills Family Papers, 1856-1942; undated, consists primarily of personal and business related materials of Austin H. Hills Sr., Austin Herbert Hills Jr. and Herbert Gray Hills. Austin Herbert Hills Sr. was the father of Austin Herbert Hills Jr. and Reuben Wilmarth Hills founders of Hills Bros. Coffee Company Incorporated. Herbert Gray Hills is the son of Austin Herbert Hills Jr. In addition, there are home movies created in 1933 by members of the Hills family. The series is divided into three subseries.
Subseries 1.1, Austin Herbert Hills, Sr. Papers, 1856-1875; undated, consists primarily of materials related to his business affairs. Born in Rockland, Maine and a ship builder by trade, Austin Sr. opened a butter, eggs and cheese business in 1863. These materials are a miscellaneous assortment of correspondence and accounting ledgers relating to the partnership of Hills, Rice & Company. In addition, there is an article from the Daughters of the American Revolution Magazine about Harriet Heal Hills (Mrs. Austin H. Hills). Mrs. Hills joined the Oakland chapter in 1904 and remained a very active member most of her life. Her father was John Heal who served as corporal in the continental army. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 1.2, Austin Herbert Hills, Jr. Papers, 1875-1923, contain correspondence which relate to both business and personal matters. The correspondence is arranged in the order that Mr. Hills maintained which is in alphabetical order by the last name of the recipient or sender and then in chronological order. In addition, there is an accounting ledger for Austin Hill's diary business prior to the creation of the Hills Bros. Coffee Company.
Subseries 1.3, Herbert Gray Hills Correspondence, 1923-1942, contain handwritten notes, letters, telegrams and other related materials. Subjects discussed include annual stockholders meetings, golf tournaments, quantities of merchandise shipped to various locations, programs for division managers' meetings, a copy of the proposed demands by office workers' union and I. L. A. 38-44 on San Francisco business and industrial establishments, and advertising. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date as they were maintained by Mr. Hills.
Series 2, Background Materials, 1896-1988; undated, contain a substantial amount of information relating to the Hills family and the history of the coffee company. Most of these materials are unpublished chronologies, historical sketches, newspaper clippings, presentations written by T. Carroll Wilson, and magazine articles. There is also a genealogy of the Hills family which dates from 1602-1950. One of the more interesting histories is the informal memoirs of Frank Veirs, Jr., who began as a plant employee and later became a factory superintendent. Veirs maintained detailed notes on the company's activities dating from 1896 to 1946. These notes are personal in nature but add to the historical events of the company. Reminiscences of daily routines, the management styles of the Hills brothers and company loyalty among employees are major themes throughout his writings. In 1948, NW Ayer advertising agency created the Hills of San Francisco which commemorates the twenty fifth anniversary of NW Ayer & Sons service to Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated. Limited copies of this publication were distributed to Hills Bros. top executives. The 1967 publication of a Background Story of Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated was designed by Walter Landor and Associates and based on a slide presentation created by T. Carroll Wilson. The original script and slides are included among these materials. In addition, there are local newspaper clippings on the history of the family and the company dating from 1922 to 1931. In 1988, Hill Bros. Company, Incorporated hired history associates to create a catalogue of artifacts and archival materials in its holdings. With the assistance of T. Carroll Wilson key items were chosen and described in the catalogue. There are a number of folders divided by the sections of the catalogue and include original samples followed by a color photocopy of the catalogue and two black and white copies. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 3, Coffee Reference Files, 1921-1980; undated, are materials relating to the cultivation, packaging, distribution, advertising, marketing and consumption of this beverage primarily in the United States. The materials provide an in-depth analysis of the history of the coffee trade and Hills Bros. Coffee Company's unique position in its developments. The series is divided into two subseries. Subseries one is material created by Hills Bros. primarily for the company but also includes information directed at the coffee trade and consumers. Subseries two is materials created by the coffee industry and other publishers primarily for the trade with a few materials directed toward consumers.
Subseries 3.1, Hills Bros. Coffee Company Literature, 1921-1976; undated, consist of publications created by the company for promotional and educational use. Such materials provide a significant amount of information on both the history of the coffee industry, and the history of Hills Bros. Coffee Company. Important publications include a copy of "Behind the Cup" (1928) which outlines the history of Hills Bros. from the establishment of the Arabian Coffee and Spice Mills to the building of the home office and plant on Harrison Street in 1926. This publication was also used as a companion piece to the film of the same title and was created by the NW Ayer advertising agency. Hills Bros. Coffee Company publications relating to the coffee trade include a 1922 booklet entitled Cultivation and Preparation of Coffee and Tea which was distributed widely to teachers and schools. The Art of Entertaining, another NW Ayer Advertising Agency creation, was designed to educate the consumer about coffee with tips on entertaining and coffee recipes. In addition, there are a series of inspirational books written by Coleman Cox for Hills Bros. which was distributed to its employees. A number of presentations written by T. Carroll Wilson for professional meetings and publications are also included among these materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 3.2, Coffee Industry Literature, 1924-1980; undated, consists of publications including articles, annuals, proceedings from conventions, pamphlets and books. Topics of discussion include major growers, coffee roasting and packaging, the history of coffee as a consumer product, marketing, distribution and recipes. These materials assist in placing Hills Bros. and its major developments in the field in historical perspective. The majority of the publications was created by the Pan American Coffee Bureau and includes materials from the Coffee Industries of America, National Coffee Association, Federation of Coffee Growers of Columbia, American Coffee Bureau, Associated Coffee Industries of America and the Bureau of Coffee Information. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Series 4, Advertising Materials, circa 1890s-1987; undated, comprise the largest series in the collection. These materials consist of scrapbooks, advertising cards, postcards, letterhead stationery, labels, proof sheets, advertising forms, advertising portfolios, printed advertisements, schedules for newspaper advertising, storyboards for television commercials and packaging. Researchers will be able to trace the evolution of Hills Bros. advertising campaigns using a variety of formats promoted through newspaper, magazine, radio and television. In addition, there are materials that document the decision making process. Records show the amount of money Hills Bros. allocated annually for advertising and budget proposals. This information supports evidence of the percentage of advertising costs versus the total overall operating budget. Correspondence between Hills Bros. and NW Ayer Advertising Agency provide insight into the client and advertising agency relationship. The series is organized into eleven subseries.
Subseries 4.1, Scrapbooks, 1906-1978; undated, consist of seven volumes containing materials created by the company to document their products and packaging. Six of the scrapbooks are conventionally sewn and are relatively small compared to the scrapbooks referred to by the company as its historical albums in series two. These volumes contain primarily circulars, labels, postcards, advertising cards and printed advertisements. A number of the materials relate to the teas and spices that were sold by the company as well as its coffee. In addition, there is a scrapbook of mostly newspaper clippings documenting the introduction of Hills Bros. High Yield coffee in 1978. All of these scrapbooks are in fairly good condition and the contents remained securely attached to the pages. Given the sound condition of the volumes, the only preservation measure that was taken was to box the volumes. The boxes provide physical protection during storage and assist in safe retrieval and transport. The outside of the scrapbooks are identified as labels but contain other types of material. The scrapbooks are arranged by the number assigned to it by the company and then in chronological order.
Subseries 4.2, Historical Albums, 1911-1967, were created by the company and provide an overview and rich source of the company's visual materials arranged in chronological order by year. The earlier volumes were created by one of the Hills brothers and later carried out by various members of the staff. The albums contain a variety of materials such as paperboard boxes, pamphlets, metal cans, newspaper clippings, photographs, printed advertisements, street car advertisements and labels. These albums presented a number of preservation concerns. Many of the materials in the albums are partially loose or detached from the scrapbook pages because the rubber cement has lost its adhesive properties. Some of the oversized items are folded to fit the scrapbooks and show signs of deterioration. The size of these mammoth volumes made it extremely difficult to handle and transport them. Structurally the volumes could not support the contents. Based on the assumption that these volumes were valuable research tools, the recommendation was to disband the scrapbooks. Still maintaining the original order of the volumes the pages were numbered and only fifty pages were housed per box. Loose materials were sleeved and also kept in order. Most of the materials in these scrapbooks can be found in other parts of the collection.
Subseries 4.3, Ephemera, 1890s-1987, contain some of the earliest forms of advertising and materials also found in the scrapbooks and historical volumes. The material consists of advertising cards, advertising forms, artwork, business cards, envelopes, handbills, record cards, letterhead stationery, postcards, labels, and point of purchase displays. Some of the materials are for products sold by the company before they became exclusively involved in the coffee market. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by type.
Subseries 4.4, Portfolios, 1919-1985, undated consist of packets of material created by Hills Bros. and generally directed toward retailer grocers. Salesmen would utilize these portfolios as a means of introducing advertising campaigns and convincing grocers of how well supported the products were. The portfolios often included printed advertisements; directions for window and store displays; price lists of products by the case; suggested stocking requirements and/or guidelines; schedules for newspaper, radio or television coverage; advertising forms; story boards; illustrations of colorful outdoor advertisements; coupons and premiums and literature explaining the theme of each campaign. Researchers will find these materials useful in understanding product advertising from the point of view of the retail grocer. The materials document Hills Bros. suggestions for selling their products, display methods and customer satisfaction techniques. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.5, Proof sheets, 1922-1968, consist mostly of materials created by NW Ayer & Son Advertising Agency. Generally these proof sheets are black and white copies of what appeared in magazines or journals. At the bottom of each page pertinent information such as publication title, location and date is often included. The changing messages of advertising and shifts in target audiences can be seen through the use of storylines, particularly in the earlier proof sheets. Researchers should also consult the NW Ayer Collection finding aid located in the Archives Center reference room for copies of proof sheets not included among these materials. Materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 4.6, Advertising Forms, 1922-1971; undated, consist of in-store wall posters or window displays to attract the attention of the customer and to assist in selling the products. Graphically interesting and colorful, noted artists such as Norman Rockwell created some of these advertising forms. All of the advertising forms are numbered and some are dated. There is also a scrapbook containing advertising forms. In addition, there are electrotypes, mats and multi-graph plates also included among the materials. Series five contains photographs of some of the advertising forms with information about intended use in the store. Materials are arranged first by size and then in order by the number assigned to each advertising form. Photographs of some of the advertising forms can be found in the reference room located in the Archives Center.
Subseries 4.7, Newspaper and Magazine Advertising, 1926-1971; undated, consists primarily of schedules for newspaper advertisements. The schedules date from 1928-1933 and were prepared by NW Ayer & Sons Advertising Agency for the Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland and San Francisco divisions. These materials provide useful information including the name of the publication and the amount of money that was spent for a particular time period. There are estimates for advertising in both newspapers and magazines which were also prepared by NW Ayer & Sons. The estimates document the company's management of printed advertisements noting where they appeared, the date, length of publication and cost. Hills Bros. correspondence to salesmen and grocers discuss advertising campaigns and suggest ways to sell more coffee. In addition, there are recapitulation of newspaper advertising costs and circulation for the Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland and San Francisco divisions. Other materials include a report, typescripts of newspaper advertisements, dealer materials for coffee guide newspaper advertisement, press releases for newspaper advertisements, mailers to dealers about newspaper advertisements, samples of newspaper advertisements for the Chicago market and newspaper advertising circulation for the Midwest market. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.8, Sampling Campaigns, 1928-1941 consist primarily of materials related to the sampling campaign conducted in the fall of 1941. The plan for the campaign was developed by the Reuben H. Donnelley Corporation and consisted of mailings and home-to-home coffee distribution. The sampling territories were divided into three geographical locations. Section one, the Michigan campaign, comprised of Detroit and its suburbs including Wayne county and the cities of Jackson, Ann arbor, Ypsilanti, Pontiac, Port Huron, Lansing, Flint, Saginaw, Bay City and Midland. Section two, the Ohio and Indiana campaign, included Cleveland and its suburbs, Toledo and suburbs (including Adrian and Monroe, Michigan), Indianapolis and suburbs and Fort Wayne. Section three, North Dakota, Minnesota and upper Michigan peninsula campaign, included the towns around Fargo and Grand Forks, North Dakota from Houghton and Calumet, down to Escanaba and over to Sault Ste. Marie in the upper Michigan peninsula. The procedures for conducting the campaign; information relating to sampling territories; shipping schedules for coffee samples from the warehouse in Edgewater, New Jersey; notes relating to sampling figures; instructions for carriers; 1etters and booklets to grocers; radio announcements; coffee grams; pages from telephone directories for Grand Rapids, Michigan, Peoria, Illinois and Milwaukee, Wisconsin and an article from the Detroit News Booster dated September 1941 about the campaign are included among the materials. In addition, there is a small amount of material related to sampling campaigns conducted from 1928-1934. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.9, General Files, 1923-1978; undated consist of information used primarily by the company as reference materials. There is information on coffee advertising; the history of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC) advertising; correspondence; jig saw puzzle advertisements; printed advertisements; memorandum relating to original vacuum pack; excerpts of letters written by the advertising department in 1948; scrapbook of competitor's instant coffee advertisements in San Francisco; outline of merchandising, sales promotion activity in 1930-1952 with correlation bar chart and cross reference to advertising report, ground and instant coffee television advertising history; advertising plan for ground and instant coffee; budget proposal; information on outdoor advertising; scripts for radio commercials; advertising plans for instant coffee; dealers information on radio and television advertising and materials relating to electrotypes and mats. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 4.10, NW Ayer Advertising Agency Materials, 1943, 1958 consist primarily of the scrapbooks that were created by the agency in 1958 for Shirley Temple's Storybook. This program was a series of sixteen hour-long children's programs on National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Hills Bros. Coffee sponsored the programs which included Beauty and the Beast, Rumpelstiltskin, Nightingale, Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Dick Whittington and his Cat, Land of Green Ginger, Sleeping Beauty, Rip Van Winkle, Little Lame Prince, Magic Fishbone, Wild Swans, Hiawatha, Rapunzel, Ali Baba, Emperor's New Clothes and Mother Goose. The scrapbooks were assembled in the order that the programs aired and included clippings for the public and the trade. In addition, there is a menu for an event for Hills Bros. and NW Ayer employees in 1943.
Subseries 4.11, Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising Agency Materials, 1963-1968; undated, consists of material created for print, radio and television advertisements. There is a list of printed advertisements and examples of the ones that were created from 1963-1967. There are also scripts that were created for radio commercials dating from 1967-1968. Some of the printed advertisements are from the same campaigns as the radio commercials. The bulk of the material is storyboards created for television commercials and advertising instant coffee from 1965-1967. These materials are arranged in alphabetical order by title. In addition, there are also competitive consumer promotion and publicity reports prepared by the agency for Hills Bros. These materials informed Hills Bros. about the advertising activities of major competitors. The reports date from 1967-1968 and include information about Butter-Nut, Chase & Sanborn, Folgers, Maxim, Maxwell, MJB, Nescafe, Tasters Choice and Yubon. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the company.
Series 5, Photographs, 1882-1973; undated, document advertising, company activities, office buildings, plants, packaging, grocery store displays, window and wall displays, employees and the coffee trade. Company photographer, Ken P. Allen, is credited with many of the company related images and some relating to the coffee trade. Most of the photographs are labeled and have negatives. Documentation for some of the photographs can also be found in other portions of the collection. The series is divided into twelve subseries.
Subseries 5.1, Employees, 1882-1961; undated, document the activities of people working for the company. Company employees consist of factory workers, salesmen, and executives. Company executives include Austin Hills, Reuben Hills, Edward E. Hills, Herbert Gray Hills, Leslie W. Hills and T. Carroll Wilson. A number of the employee photographs were created for company publications. Some of the company activities include female employees in the preparedness parade, the company basketball team, a groundbreaking ceremony, salesmen conventions, managers' meetings and coffee testing or cupping. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.2, Division Offices, 1924-1931; undated, include images of Hills Bros. offices across the country including Butte, Chicago, Denver, El Paso, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Milwaukee, Phoenix, Portland, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Spokane, and Wichita. These photographs document both the work stations of the region and Hills Bros. personnel in their work environment. The interior and exterior of the division offices are also shown. There is one image of an unidentified office. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the city in which the offices are located.
Subseries 5.3, Facilities and Vehicles, 1927-1973; undated, primarily document the work environment and social spaces for many of the plant and factory workers. There are a number of images of female employees engaged in work. Some of the photographs show machinery used for transporting bags of green coffee into the warehouse, controlled roasting, vacuum packing, and granulation control. The architectural design, construction and outside views of the Edgewater Plant, 1939-1940, are also included among these materials. The location of this plant was critical for shipping green coffee up the Hudson River from the New York Harbor to the plant. In addition, there are images of trucks used by the company. Images of the cafeteria dating from 1927 and exhibits for employees dating from 1938-1968 are also found among these materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.4, Advertising, 1925-1959; undated includes images of the various logos, designs, displays and illustrations used by Hills Bros. throughout the years. There are a number of images of the Arab trademark photographed in various settings. Many of the images have negatives and include advertising forms, point of purchase displays, outdoor displays, food show exhibits, newspaper advertisements, a 1940 medal award for newspaper campaign advertising and selling, service cards and displays installed by advertising service men. Most of the materials are dated and are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 5.5, Sales, circa 1921-1939; undated, consist of photographic materials maintained by Hills Bros. for use in sales presentations. Included among these materials is an incomplete set of plates from a jobber portfolio for the Midwest area dating from 1921-1922. There are also a number of negatives of sales maps dating from 1931-1939 and telephones. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.6, Packaging, 1884-1969; undated includes both prints and negatives of containers used by Hills Bros. to prepare and store coffee products. There are images of boxes, cans, glass jars, coffee guides and coffee pots. An evolution of packaging design as it relates to historical events is evident throughout the images. Of note are prints of the Hills Bros. coffee cans in the paintings by artist Fred Machetanz dating from 1969. The materials are arranged in chronological by date.
Subseries 5.7, Grocery Store Displays, circa, 1901-1935, contain the largest amount of materials in this series. Hills Bros. photographer, Ken Allen visited a number of retail grocers around the country to document Hills Bros. coffee displays. Some of these photographs were used in broadsides created by Hill Bros. entitled "Interesting Grocery Stores" and "Before and After." The broadsides were created from 1928-1933 with the retail grocer as the target market. Approximately 30,000 broadsides were mailed to customers. The photographs are identified by the name of the store and location. Most of the prints also have negatives and correspondence granting Hills Bros. permission to publish the photographs. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the grocery store.
Subseries 5.8, Store Tests, 1938, consists of photographs, negatives, reports and drawings from merchandising tests conducted in grocery stores in California, Arizona, Oregon, Missouri and Minnesota. "Before" photographs document shelf displays while the "after" photographs document the new floor displays. Reports on the corresponding sales figures used to promote Hills Bros. merchandising service in retail grocery stores are also include among the materials. The materials were maintained in the order that they were created by the company.
Subseries 5.9, Window and Wall Displays, 1928, 1930, 1934, contain a large number of photographs documenting the installations of window and wall displays. The displays were created by the advertising department in San Francisco and given to advertising service representatives as patterns for the installations. Advertising service representatives operated throughout the entire marketing area from the Pacific Coast to Chicago. It was custom to visit every grocery store at least once a year. Representatives offered to install a window display or wall display free of cost to the store. The materials are arranged by number and include some duplicates.
Subseries 5.10, Publicity, 1933-1936; undated, include photographs and correspondence that were maintained by Hills Bros. for publicity purposes. A large portion of the photographs consist of Hollywood movie stills with scenes using Hills Bros. coffee primarily from the 1930s. There is a substantial amount of material on the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Incorporated polar expedition (1933) for the production of the movie "Eskimo." Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Freuchen, a Scandinavian surveyor, the movie chronicles his experiences charting the North Arctic Zone for use in maps put out by the Danish government. The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios, Incorporated crew was sent above the Arctic Circle to film the production using natives. A supply of Hills Bros. coffee was included among the food provisions to last the crew for a year. Photographs of the expedition and movie stills were later used by Hills Bros. for advertising in grocery stores. In addition, there is also a newspaper article from the Citizen News dated January 1934 that discusses the adventures of the cast and crew of Eskimo. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.11, Miscellaneous, 1898-1949; undated, is a random mix of images including the return of troops from the Spanish American War on Market Street; Boeing Air Transportation, Incorporated; Frank Goss from the Columbia Broadcasting System; Fresno Bee National Recovery Administration; Infants' Choir; Kinner Airplane and Motor Corporation, Ltd.; gold miners with hot coffee by the camp fire; and Fred N. Palmiter. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 5.12, Coffee and Tea Industry, 1900s-1947; undated, consist of prints and negatives relating primarily to the cultivation, growth and processing of green coffee. A number of these images document women laborers from Guatemala and El Salvador examining, hand picking and sorting coffee beans. The photographs were created to illustrate the production process in the 1930s. A photograph of Mr. and Mrs. C. H. Brown on a coffee buying trip in the 1900s is also included among the materials. There are photographs of coffee mills and Hills Bros. Company's participation in food shows. In addition, there are some images relating to the tea trade including the loading of tea in Asia. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 6, Sales and Marketing Records, 1906-1989; undated, primarily consist of the materials that were created by the company to communicate with the sales force. Bulletins and correspondence make up the bulk of these materials. There are also materials that were used by salesmen on a daily basis while conducting business in the field. Some of the activities of the sales department including meetings and conventions are also documented. In addition, market research, reports and studies inform the sales department about the coffee industry and consumer consumption. The materials are divided into eight subseries.
Subseries 6.1, Bulletins for Salesmen, 1912-1969 were created and distributed by the company to keep the sales force informed about sales activities. Some of the earlier bulletins contain quotes by Reuben Hills. As the primary means of communication from management to the sales force, this body of materials is rather extensive and documents over a period of time issues, concerns, advertising, sales approach of the company and changes in price structure. Eventually the bulletin system phased out due to extensive use of telephone and computer communication. The San Francisco division has some of the earliest bulletins. The materials are arranged first in alphabetical order by division or city and then in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.2, Division Bulletins and General Letters, 1925-1927 include the correspondence that was distributed to the different divisional regions including Denver, Kansas City, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Portland and Salt Lake City. These materials were created for the salesmen and provide information on progress reports, goals of the company and sales techniques. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by division and then in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.3, Correspondence, 1919-1989, include general letters to sales representatives, memos, and management letters. The materials primarily document sales activities but also include the perspective of the entire company. Letters discuss trading in the green coffee market, special promotions, divisional sales performance, dealer coffee inventories, policy changes, etc. In 1962, the name of the management letters was changed from Monday to weekly; however, the company maintained the same format. The letters are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.4, Conventions and Meetings, 1915-1971, consists primarily of programs and menus from sales conventions dating from 1915-1943. These materials provide valuable information about the activities at the sales conventions and include the location and agenda for each meeting. There are some song books that were used at the conventions. (See series five for photographs of the sales conventions). There is also information from the divisional managers' meetings which include new sales and marketing strategies and date from 1935-1956. In addition there are materials from a NED sales meeting, a District sales meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1966 and a sales meeting and marketing presentation in Buffalo, New York in 1971. The materials are arranged in chronological order.
Subseries 6.5, Salesmen Materials, 1906-1973; undated provide valuable information about the tools that informed the sales force. It includes materials given to salesmen upon employment and information needed to conduct daily business transactions in the field. Some of the earliest materials are a salesman's notebook dating from 1906 and a sales department territory book for the western region dating from 1907-1908. There are reference and instruction books dating from 1912-1949. Instruction books were created to provide tips and instructions on how to improve sales performance. Materials relating to salaries date from 1925-1937 and contain information on most of the sales representatives charted over this time period and presented in yearly earnings. There is a substantial number of price lists, pocket sized cards containing prices of various products, carried by each sales representative and dating from 1925-1969. An order form book, order forms and delivery forms also carried by the sales representatives are included among the materials. In addition there are monthly sales standing dating from 1931-1935, instructions on the pickup and disposition of unsalable coffee, a 1973 sales presentation and the territorial arrangement of the city of Chicago in 1930. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.6, Reports and Studies, 1941-1978 primarily inform the company about the sales of the various coffee products primarily by division, territory or state. There is a study that compares the sales of ground and instant coffee by division. An exploratory study concerning consumer attitudes toward freeze dried coffee conducted in August and September in 1968 is also included among the materials. In addition, two studies from the 1970s relating to sales force capacity and high yield coffee can also be found among the materials. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.7, Marketing Research, 1956-1978; undated consist of reports, research studies and surveys created by Hills Bros. and outside companies relating to various aspects of the coffee trade and consumer market. The materials include information on criteria for label design, packaging, types of coffee consumed, brand images, how advertising affects consumption and marketing plans. In addition there is a study investigating the economic and financial aspects of the United States coffee industry created in 1978 and an undated copy of the Brazilian coffee performance marketing plan. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 6.8, Pricing Information, 1949-1965 include correspondence, press releases and company memos relating primarily to coffee importation and pricing. There is some correspondence between Hills Bros. and the Office of Price Stabilization relating to regulations from the federal government concerning the exchange rate of green coffee and coffee prices to the consumers. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 7, Employee Records, 1934-1966, contain useful information relating to the employees and what it means to work for the company. Service and retirement materials include an executive employee service record created in 1934. It is a list of employees in upper management including the name, date of employment, and length of service. There is information on retirement plans for employees in 1953. A list of the retirement dates, birth dates, and employment dates for employees who were participants in the retirement plan from 1953-1959 is also included among the materials. A photograph of a silver plate commemorating the fiftieth anniversary in 1967 of Eugene F. Hoelter with the company is included among these materials. Employee guides from the 1960s provide information on the company's perception of its position in the coffee industry, short histories of the company, the organization of the company, and employee benefits. There is also general information and instructions for plant employees at the Edgewater, New Jersey plant which is undated. In addition, there is Herbert Grey Hills's company identification card and exhibitor's employee's pass. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 8, Accounting and Financial Records, 1903-1960; undated include some of the earliest materials from the company that were not destroyed in the 1906 fire and documents the sale of other products such as tea. There is a distributor's notebook dating from 1903-1904 with a 1925 letter enclosed inside. Record books dating from 1904 provide information relating to coffee stock distribution. They also contain information relating to tea distribution by the company and pricing. Coffee acquisition ledgers dating from 1906-1917 are grouped according to the kind of coffee bean which refers to the general region or seaport from which the beans originate including Ecuador, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Guatemala. There is one exception which is listed by stock number and contains mixed kind categories. The ledgers provide stock numbers, mark, quantity, location of coffee bean purchases, date of purchases, costs and grades. Entries are not consistently in chronological order by month. There are also a number ledgers maintained by the company that record information relating to retail grocers and how much they purchased from the company including product types, prices and quantities ordered. Analysis of expense account records date from 1917-1921. A tea acquisition ledger dating from 1920-1923 is divided into groups including natural leaf, Oarjeeling, Hilvilla Black, Ceylon, Java, Oolong, Gunpowder and sample (green and black). Information about stock numbers, mark, quantities, invoice weight, house weight, C.F.I. date, and where the tea was purchased can be obtained through these records. In addition there are financial statements dating from 1959-1960 and an undated coffee stock book. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 9, Office Files, 1915-1970; undated consist of materials relating directly to the business of the company and some materials that were kept on file probably as reference information. The series is divided into two subseries. Subseries one is general materials and includes court documents, correspondence, manuals, maps and some images. Subseries two is T. Carroll Wilson's correspondence dating from 1941-1970.
Subseries 9.1, General, 1915-1969; undated includes information relating to the company's participation in the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915. At the exposition Hills Bros. installed and operated the first automatic machine created to vacuumed-pack coffee. Other materials from the expo include rules and regulations governing the delivery, location, installation, maintenance and transportation of exhibits and merchandise. The Museum's Division of Cultural History has some of the artifacts relating to the exposition.
Legal records including court documents for the Federal Trade Commission versus Hills Bros. Company case in 1925 and the United States Department of Justice, Anti-Trust Investigation, 1948 are included among the materials. There are correspondence granting Hills Bros. exclusive rights to use "Hot Coffee" for radio and advertising purposes. There is also information relating to the company's cooperation with the National Recovery Administration, President's reemployment agreement. In addition there is correspondence collected by the company relating to rumors, religion and race dating from 1958-1964 and correspondence about the jig-saw puzzle campaign.
Packaging materials dating from 1931-1969 primarily document the history and uses of various types of containers used by Hills Bros. for its products and labels. A paper written by Ralph Vilas discussing the historical evidence of vacuum packaging from 1931-1934, correspondence and photographs of packaging for the "Blue Brand", an article discussing the selling and merchandising of carton coffee, memos and newspaper clippings relating to vacuum packing, a paper discussing the tinplate used in can making, requirements for packaging and information relating to the coffee can using an Ansel Adams' photograph are all included among these materials.
In the 1930s Hills Bros. created the Arab Chronicle and Broadsides which were primarily distributed to retail grocers. The broadsides were the size of newspapers and folded to about one-sixth of a page for mailing. They consisted of photographs, advertisements, information relating to new advertising campaigns, advice to increase sales and news of events around the world. In addition to completed copies of the broadsides there are also drafts of the articles for each issue.
Hills Bros. opened a coffee house in 1958 at Disneyland in Anaheim, California. The Hills Bros. Coffee House operated as a restaurant for several years and provided a sandwich type menu with its coffee products. It was also used as a facility for taste-testing by the marketing research department.
In the 1960s Hills Bros. owned and operated three vans known as Hillsmobiles. The Hillsmobiles were used to promotion sales in various communities. The vans would ride through the neighborhoods distributing free samples of coffee. Included among the materials are letters and memos, manuals for the promotion and operation of the hillsmobiles as well as photographs, images and negatives of the vehicles.
Random materials include a Gertz Bros. Company catalogue dating from 1925, information about Chase and Sanborn coffee, maps illustrating where to go in New England, a marketing map of the United States used as a practical aid for economic sales and advertising and information about St. Augustine's oldest store museum. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 9.2, T. Carroll Wilson Correspondence, 1941-1970 relate primarily to his association with the National Coffee Association. The materials date from April 7, 1941 to December 8, 1970. The correspondence is arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 10, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Materials, 1933-1986; undated, provide background information and a photographic almost daily account of the construction. Leslie Hills suggested placing a camera mount on the parapet of the building on Harrison Street at the beginning of the construction. From this position Ken P. Allen documented the progress until its completion in 1936. Allen also created motion film of the construction from the same position. The State Bridge Authority produced a movie in 1940 using the Hills Bros. materials. The series is divided into two subseries. Subseries one is the textual records that provide background information on the construction of the bridge. Subseries two is the photographic materials documenting to the construction.
Subseries 10.1, Background Information, 1933-1986; undated, include correspondence between Hills Bros., the State Department of Public Works and the California Commission for the Golden Gate International Exposition in reference to Hills Bros. providing the state with the original negatives of its films. The two organizations used these materials to develop a motion picture for the Golden Gate International Exposition. A list of the scenes for reels two and three and a script of the movie are also included. There are black and white photographs of the construction of the bridge and a photograph of Charles Henry Purcell, chief engineer, taken by Ken Allen. In addition there is a newspaper article from the San Francisco Chronicle dating from 1986. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 10.2, Photographic Materials, 1933-1936; undated, consists of 8 x10 and 4 x 5 black and white negatives of the construction of the Bay Bridge. Most of the negatives are dated. The materials are arranged first by size and then by date in the order that they were created.
Series 11, Golden Gate International Exposition Materials, 1915-1940; undated, primarily document the construction and management of the Arabian Theater. The Arabian Theater was located inside the Food Pavilion on Treasure Island. A color and sound version of the film "Behind the Cup: The Story of Hills Bros." was created and shown in the theater. Materials include correspondence, blueprints, photographs, newspaper articles, forms, insurance documents, passes and visitors comments. Other materials relating to the Golden Gate International Exposition can also be found in volume seven of the historical albums in series four subseries two. The series is divided into nine subseries. The materials were maintained in the order created by the company.
Subseries 11.1, Coffee Theater, circa 1939, include correspondence between Hills Bros. and NW Ayer about the creation of the murals in the theater. There is also information concerning script creation, production, promotion and the success of the Behind the Cup film. In addition there is information relating to the theater staff, visitor comments and the general management of the theater. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.2, Exposition Attendance, 1915-1940, contains comparisons of the 1915 and 1939 attendance figures, statistics on paid and non-paid admission, operating period, average gate receipt, total paid and non-paid admissions. Daily attendance records document numbers for the fair, theater, monthly totals and the weather. In addition, hourly attendance includes time, entrance, and cumulative totals. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.3, Correspondence, 1937-1940; undated, includes both incoming and outgoing communications between Hills Bros. and the Golden Gate International Exposition Company. These letters discuss permits, contracts and agreements, payment, approval for construction, regulations, applications of exhibit colors, shipment procedures, etc. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.4, Construction, 1937-1940; undated, contains information on the building of the food and beverage facility. There is correspondence and invoices relating to payments; removals; services including telephone, water, gas, electricity; estimates, and furniture. Fire insurance documents contain information on the types of coverage and public and regular liabilities. In addition there is information relating to exhibitors questionnaire and endorsements, cost of exhibit space, permission to dismantle forms, application for exhibit space and an application for a construction permit. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.5, Blueprints, 1937-1939, were created by the architect Harry A. Thompsen Jr. These blueprints include the foundation plan, the main floor plan, the lobby, the auditorium, front and side elevations, details of the upper chenau, and the mezzanine. There are also plans of Vacationland, the health and education building and the science building. A small amount of material exists on the sandwich slide, prices of coffee, average revenue and expenses, coffee equipment, coffee making instructions, the production of sales, the menu and an inventory of cups and saucers and the heating and ventilation system. A description of Threlkeld's restaurant and a history of the Threlkeld's Commissary Company are also included. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.6, Behind the Cup, 1937-1940; undated, contains correspondence between Hills Bros. company executives and the Consulate General of El Salvador relating to filming in El Salvador and Guatemala for the "Behind the Cup" movie. There are also newspaper clippings from San Salvador, a translation of the script and a photograph of T. Carroll Wilson and Ken P. Allen. Other materials include correspondence between Ken Allen and T. Carroll Wilson, releases for photographs, camera reports, narration arrangements and contracts. A copy of the "Behind the Cup" booklet which was produced by the NW Ayer Advertising Agency is also included. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.7, Newspaper Cooperation, 1939, contain clippings about "Behind the Cup" in Chicago, Illinois; Denver, Colorado; Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles, California; Minneapolis, Minnesota; Portland, Oregon; and San Francisco, California. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.8, Solicitations and Replies, 1938-1940, contain letters to Hills Bros. with replies attached. In addition there is information on the type of equipment or services available for use by Hills Bros. at the expo, business cards, postcards and promotional materials. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Subseries 11.9, Miscellaneous, 1938-1940, contains a scrapbook including descriptions, images, a listing of business and industry participants, brochures, general summaries, construction of buildings, government involvement in the expo, personnel article and rules and regulations governing the transportation of exhibits. There is also information on the sandwich slide, model freight cars, Treasure Island employees and articles from the San Francisco Chronicle. The materials are maintained in the order that the company kept them.
Series 12, World War II Materials, 1942-1949; undated, primarily document the United State government's coffee rationing and wartime packaging requirements. The United States War Production Board issued regulations designed to control the use of metals during this time period which greatly affected the coffee industry. These materials reflect the impact of rationing and regulations not only on the coffee industry but Hills Bros. in particular. The company's response to these measures is documented among these materials. The series is divided into six subseries.
Subseries 12.1, Production and Quotas, 1942-1946, is a compilation of correspondence, memos and conservation orders from the War Production Board maintained in the files of Herbert Grey Hills and T. Carroll Wilson. These materials relate to production quotas of coffee for roasters; restrictions on manufacture, sale and delivery of glass containers; price differential in relation to ceiling prices; small buyers and consumers accounts; new accounts and the exchange of brands and sizes. A copy of the National Coffee Association Bulletin: War Production Board, Conservation orders M135 and a copy of the red can brand quota plan dating from 1944-1946 is also included among these materials. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 12.2, Rationing, 1939-1946, consists primarily of correspondence, orders, instructions and forms from the War Production Board concerning quotas for coffee distribution and production, allowable inventory and operating inventory, ration stamps or certificates and army and navy re-orders. Post-rationing sales control and how it would affect or apply to consumers and the armed forces is also discussed. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 12.3, Containers and Closures, 1942-1949; undated, is government orders relating to quotas on size and standards for glass jars and closures, shipping containers, cans and glass jar labels. Hills Bros. specifications based on these orders is also included. There are photographs of glass jar products, discussions on original art work for labels and considerations for packing and shipping. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Subseries 12.4, Appeals, 1948, are a group of materials compiled as a presentation to the United States Department of Commerce by the Packaging and Container Committee of the National Coffee Association. This presentation was submitted on April 22, 1948. It is the National Coffee Association's attempt to use cans again.
Subseries 12.5, Advertising Campaigns, 1942; undated include correspondence relating to the "Gone with the Tin" advertising campaign. Along with the correspondence are announcements for the campaign, newspaper clippings and positive feedback from the public attesting to Hills Bros. participation in winning the war while still providing customers with the best possible products. There is also information relating to the "Waste is a Fighting Word Today" advertising campaign. Favorable responses and announcements for the advertisements are included among the materials. In addition there are some miscellaneous forms. Materials are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 13, Machinists Strike Scrapbooks, 1945-1946, consist of three scrapbooks of press clippings covering the machinist's strike that occurred in San Francisco over more pay and less hours. Hills Bros. Coffee plant which was identified as one of the big "fringe shops" was impacted by the strike due to a few maintenance machinists' participation. Hills Bros. warned grocers and their customers not to expect large supplies of coffee due to the strike. The scrapbooks are arranged in chronological order by date.
Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1934-1984; undated, consists of film, vifro, and sound recordings including television and radio commercials, television and radio programs, promotional materials and Hills Bros. company activities. Hills Bros. had a photography and filming unit that began producing motion picture documentation of Hills Bros. activities in the early 1930s. This effort resulted in a detailed documentation of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (Bridging the Bay, 1938-39) and a promotional film that was shown at the Golden Gate International Exposition Fair (Behind the Cup, 1939). In addition, Hills Bros. became involved with radio programming and advertising in 1934 and television advertising in the early 1950s. The collection includes a substantial number of television commercials dating from 1951-1984 as well as television programs that were sponsored in part by Hills Bros. including Shirley Temples Storybook (1958) and Meet Me at Disneyland (1962). The series is divided into six subseries.
Subseries 13.1, Moving Images, 1951-1984 consists of television commercials, television programs, film and video documentation of corporate activities. The subseries is further organized into five subsubseries.
Subsubseries 13.1.1, Television Commercials, 1951-1984, consist of a representative sample of Hills Bros. television commercials beginning with their first efforts in the early 1950s. The commercials were created by a succession of adverting agencies beginning with N.W Ayer and including Doyle, Dane, Bernbach; Foote, Cone, and Belding; and Wells Rich Greene/West. Products advertised include Hills Brothers regular roast, instant, drip roast, high yield, and flavored "European Style" coffees.
Subsubseries 13.1.2, Television Programs, 1951-1967, consist of television programs that were sponsored, in part, by Hills Bros. coffee or that were related to Hills Bros. Hills Bros. major television sponsorship effort resulted in several series including Shirley Temple's Storybook (1958), Meet Me at Disneyland (1962), Bat Masterson (1959-60), and Lead off Man (1964). Hills Bros. also provided consultation services for the program Science in Action (1951) as well as major funding for NET Festival White House Red Carpet (1967).
Subsubseries 13.1.3, Promotional Materials, 1939-1977, include material created by the company to promote their products and activities. This series includes two films of particular interest. Behind the Cup: The Story of Hills Bros. Coffee (1939), created for the Golden Gate International Exposition Fair, was produced in 35mm Cinecolor for theatrical screening. Also of note are two short films probably produced for screening at a meeting of Hills Bros. employees. In the first Gene Barry, star of Bat Masterson and Hills Bros.' spokesman describes the next season's plans for Bat Masterson and presents a portion of a proposed episode. In the second film Walt Disney talks about his company's plans for the next year including additions to Disneyland and planned episodes of Walt Disney Presents.
Subsubseries 13.1.4, Hills Bros. Activities, 1930-1962, consists of primarily 16mm "home movie" documentation of activities as diverse as the 1941 Detroit Sampling Campaign, coffee production in El Salvador, and activities in the Hills Bros. processing plant.
Subsubseries 13.1.5, Miscellaneous Film and Video, 1938-1966, includes films about coffee, travelogues, and a substantial amount of film documenting the construction of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge.
Subseries 13.2, Sound recordings, 1934-1964; undated, include materials from Hills Bros. and other coffee manufacturers. There are the radio series Tune of the Day which includes Hills Bros. commercials, Hills Bros. radio commercials, Shirley Temple "Dreams Are Made for Children" produced by Columbia Pictures Corporation, Maxwell House Coffee programs and a coffee jingle from the Pan American Coffee Bureau.
Subsubseries 13.2.1, Radio commercials, undated, consists of the radio versions of commercials for various advertising campaigns.
Subsubseries 13.2.2, Radio Programs and Other Broadcasts, circa 1934-1964; undated, includes the Tune of the Day series, Ruth Ashton's Women's News Desk and two baseball broadcasts.
The collection is arranged in thirteen series.
Series 1, Hills Family Papers, 1856-1942; undated
Subseries 1.1: Austin Herbert Hills, Sr. Papers, 1856-1875; undated
Subseries 1.2,: Austin Herbert Hills, Jr. Papers, 1875-1923
Subseries 1.3: Herbert Gray Hills Correspondence, 1923-1942
Series 2: Background Materials, 1896-1988; undated
Series 3: Coffee Reference Files, 1921-1980; undated
Subseries 3.1,: Hills Bros. Coffee Company Literature, 1921-1976; undated
Subseries 3.2: Coffee Industry Literature, 1924-1980; undated
Series 4: Advertising Materials, circa 1890s-1987; undated
Subsubseries 13.2.2, Radio Programs and Other Broadcasts
Biographical / Historical:
These records were donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History by Hills Bros. Coffee, Incorporated.
Collection is open for research.
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.
National Geographic- Smithsonian archeological expedition to Costa Rica, 1964 Search this
February 23-May, 15, 1964
Scope and Contents:
Includes report (56 pages); list of plates (56 pages); electrostatic copy of field journal (42 pages); field notebook (38 pages) sketch maps, "Archeological areas worked by the expedition" and "Rough sketch map of Williamsburg area" (2 pages); and 164 photos with 2 pages of notes. Concerns Williamsburg, Palmar (Diquis Delta), La Peninsula, and Bagares areas.