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Eisler Engineering Company records

Creator:
Eisler Engineering Company.  Search this
Names:
General Electric Company  Search this
Incandescent Lamp Manufacturer's Association.  Search this
Westinghouse Electric & Manufacturing Company  Search this
Eisler, Charles, Jr.  Search this
Extent:
30 Cubic feet (49 boxes, 25 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Blueprints
Correspondence
Place:
Newark (N.J.)
Hungary
Date:
(bulk 1920-1950s)
1885 - 1988
Summary:
Records document Charles Eisler, a Hungarian immigrant who was a skilled mechanic and engineer and his company, Eisler Engineering Company of Newark, New Jersey, which manufactured equipment for producing electric lamps, television and radio tubes, welding equipment and laboratory equipment.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the materials date from the 1930s to the 1950s and document Charles Eisler's contributions to the modern lamp making industry. There is considerable personal information documenting Eisler and his family, and his connection to his native Hungary. The collection is divided into 9 series: personal materials; business materials; employee records, operating records; diagrams and drawings; litigation and patent records; photographs; and scrapbooks.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1944-1970, is divided into six subseries: Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s; Photographs, 1912; Chronological Correspondence, 1944-1970; Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1969; Family and Friends Correspondence, 1956-1966; Vacation Information, 1951; Financial Information, 1960-1967; and Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967.

There are several passports (United States and German) for Eisler and his United States naturalization certificate of 1910. The photographs, 1912, are from Eisler's friend, Ed Korn. The photographs depict an airplane that Eisler created drawings for and two individuals, Bert Berry (parachutist) and Tony Januss, a pilot at Kinloch Field, St. Louis, Missouri.

The chronological correspondence, 1944-1970, is arranged chronologically. It contains letters about Hungarians and Hungarian issues; invitations to social events and speaking engagements; thank you letters; letters of condolence; donations; birthday greetings; and club memberships. Eisler was active in the Newark, New Jersey, Hungarian community. He donated equipment, clothes, and money to a variety of organizations that assisted Hungarians in the United States and in Hungary. Some of the correspondence was written by Mrs. R. Testa, secretary to Charles Eisler.

The alphabetical correspondence, 1941-1969, is arranged alphabetically. It consists of letters documenting such issues as stock in Eisler Engineering Company, personal purchases of Eisler's at the Ivanhoe Lobby Gift Shop by the Sea Hotel, and "Help the Suffering Hungarians" organization (1956-1961). This includes canceled checks from donors, specifically Operation Mercy to assist refugees from Budapest. Additionally, there is correspondence and itemized price lists for food and clothing for Hungarians. Of note is some Raritan Yacht Club (R.Y.C.) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, materials. There is a R.Y.C. Duffle Bag newsletter, February, 1964. Eisler was a member of R.Y.C.

Family and friends correspondence, 1956-1966, includes letters and postcards from family and friends, mostly in Hungarian. Topics discussed include sending food, clothing, hearing aids, and medicine to Hungarian refugees; Christmas packages; emigration; and U.S. Relief Parcel Service receipts.

Vacation information, 1951, consists of one file folder of documentation of airline tickets, baggage tickets, tour itineraries, receipts from hotels, letterhead from hotels, and itemized lists of purchases for several trips Eisler made. Airlines ephemera represented include Pan American World Airways System; Air France; British Overseas Airways Corp; Trans World Airlines, Inc; and Eastern Airlines.

Financial information, 1960-1967, contains investment securities (certificates) information for Massachusetts Investors Trust; consolidated checking account information; lists of personal donations, personal income, and savings accounts. Eisler's personal donations varied greatly, both in amount and in the type of organization—American Hungarian Studies Foundation at Rutgers, Father Flanagan's Boy's Home; and the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, New Jersey.

Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967, consists mostly of bills from doctors for services rendered.

Series 2, Business Materials, 1885, 1931-1985, is divided into seven subseries: correspondence, general files, financial information, World War II boards and regulations, real estate holdings and investments, articles, and Kahle Engineering.

Correspondence, 1946-1971, is arranged alphabetically by surname or company name. It contains a variety of issues—real estate, accounting, legal representation, and tenants. Attorneys Kessler and Kessler handled Eisler vs. General Electric Company. There is correspondence about meetings, depositions, and reviewing documents before filing. The tenant information includes assignments and agreements between individual tenants and the landlord, Lesire Corporation, which Eisler owned.

General Files, 1931-1985, contains files arranged alphabetically on a variety of topics.

Financial Information, 1931-1945, is mainly comprised of Treasury Department and Internal Revenue correspondence, and income tax documentation

World War II Boards and Regulations, 1942-1946, contain information about manpower, labor, and production during World War II for the manufacturing industry. The National War Labor Board contains wage rates and audit information for Eisler Engineering. The Manpower Commission established the total manpower allowance for Eisler Engineering and other companies. It set specific quotas for the number of male employees permitted. The War Production Board material includes a plant report of operations. It describes the product being made and categorizes the percentage of "war" versus "civilian" work. The War Department Plant Protection Division contains notes and recommendations for Eilser Engineering Company to implement.

Real Estate Holdings and Investments, 1932-1980, consists mainly of tax and stock returns and income information and cancelled notes for collateral with the Lesire Corporation. The record of real estate, 1952-1974, contains ledger sheets for seven separate properties with the name of the property, improvements if any, and address: Farm Flagtowne, Neshanic, New Jersey; 733 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 735-737 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 738-758 S. 13th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 16 N. Salem Street, Dover, New Jersey; 269 E. Blackwell Street, Dover, New Jersey; and Lad Construction. The ledger sheets also include a loan record with rents and mortgage receivable information. The Avenue L files document a factory building owned by Eisler in Newark, New Jersey. The files contain correspondence, receipts, and bills for work done on the building in preparation for sale.

Articles, 1885-1962 (not inclusive) includes four articles relating to the topic of electricity.

Kahle Engineering, 1960-1982, contains Dun and Bradstreet analytical reports from 1960 to 1964 and interoffice correspondence with Steven Logothetis, an employee of Kahle Engineering, interoffice memos, credit profiles, notes, mortgage papers, and information sheets for specific properties for purchase at public auction for the period 1979-1982.

Series 3, Employee/Personnel Records, 1940-1988, is divided into ten subseries: personnel files; accident reports; lists of employee names; service years and anniversaries; union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements; benefits (health and pension); deceased employees; payroll information; electrical license course; Department of Labor; and miscellaneous.

The bulk of this series consists primarily of employee personnel files from the 1940s to 1960s. Arranged alphabetically by surname, the files contain employee record cards, employee applications, in some instances photographs (head shots), tax withholding exemption certificates, medical forms, union dues information, union steward reports detailing grievances and appeals, correspondence, recommendations, unemployment benefit payments, workers compensation, paychecks, and applications for United States citizenship and visa requests. The employee record cards capture the employee name; address; social security number; department; occupation; title; clock number; phone number; race; marital status; date of birth; number of children; stating rate; increases; vacation taken; country of birth; entry into the United States; naturalized and, if so, when and where; former employees and any union grievances. It provides a comprehensive view of the employee composition of the company.

The accident reports, 1958-1988, are arranged chronologically by year and then further arranged alphabetically by employee surname. These accident claim forms used by Eisler Engineering Company are for the New Jersey Manufacturers Casualty Insurance Company of Trenton, New Jersey. Additionally, there are blank State of New Jersey accident forms. There is some correspondence about specific claims and employees. There is one file folder documenting injuries and illness, 1971-1978. It consists of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) forms completed by Eisler Engineering. They provide a summary of the types of injuries and illnesses, number of lost work days, number of cases and a supplementary record of occupational injuries.

Lists of employee names, 1957-1977, provides information on employees who left employment, were laid off, owed union dues; years of service to the company, birthdays, addresses, and job descriptions.

Service years and anniversaries, 1955-1970, provides the employee name, when employment began, years of service and if a service pin was awarded.

Union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements, 1942-1957 contain union contracts and agreements between Eisler Engineering Mutual Employees Association, Inc., and the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE-AFL-CIO).

Benefits (health and pension), 1957-1967, contains information on dental benefits, hospital service plans, Group Health Insurance (GHI) Inc., claim forms for medical care insurance, and the annual report of District 4 IUE, AFL-CIO Welfare Plan for 1957.

Deceased employees, 1946-1951, consists of form letters with the employees name, address, next of kin, date of death, and the amount of unpaid salary due.

Payroll Information, 1940-1973, includes deduction of wages or salary forms for union dues, plans for enrolling in the U.S. Savings Bond program, canceled payroll checks, forms for requesting vacation, and bonus and merit increases for employees.

Electrical License Course, undated, includes homework assignments, tests, and answers to questions, in lessons/courses on: compound generators, DC (direct current) self-excited generators, power, combination circuits, parallel circuits, split phase/resistance-start induction run motors, electricity, and compound motors.

Department of Labor, 1944-1956, contains employment reports and public contracts and minimum wage determinations. There is statistical information on the type of employee (male, female, non-white, and part-time) and a report of current and anticipated employment.

Miscellaneous contains one file folder with an undated Department of Labor and Industry letter about a highly desirable labor pool of technical, skilled, and semi-skilled workers becoming available.

Series 4, Operational Records, 1934-1977, is divided into two subseries: Equipment Quotes, 1960-1977, were prepared by Eisler for clients/companies in the United States and in foreign countries. The quotes include details about the machine requested and its price.

Operating Instructions and Parts Lists, 1934-1940s, are arranged predominately by machine number, but there are some exceptions. The files include drawings and sketches, operating instructions on assembling and disassembling, black and white photographs, charts, and product literature. There are some documents that were not created by the Eisler Engineering Company. These documents include operating instructions and drawings from other companies that Eisler had a working relationship with. The instructions, [1934-1945?], arranged alpha-numerically, are operating instructions for machines manufactured by the Eisler Engineering Company. The instructions are labeled D-1 to D-800. These instructions should be used in conjunction with the other operating instructions for specific machines. For example, instructions D-1 are for Eisler machine No. 00, a coil winding machine

Series 5, Diagrams and Drawings, 1924-1960, is divided into two subseries, wiring diagrams and drawings. The wiring diagrams 1934-1956, are arranged by type and provide instructions and diagrams on how to connect wires for Eisler machines. The drawings, 1924-1960, include blueprints, tracings, sketches and in some instances, specifications for specific machines. The name and number of the machine are listed. Also, the drawings contain factory layouts for companies in the United States and in Leningrad, Russia.

Series 6, Sales Records, 1924-1984, is divided into three subseries: customer sales lists, lamp machinery sales records, and catalogs. The Customer Sales Lists, 1951-1958, and the Lamp Machinery Sales Records, 1929-1958, include detailed information for each machine built and shipped to a client: shop number, job number, type of machine, machine number, customer name, customer order number, Eisler order number and date shipped, and a serial number if applicable. There are some lists for customer requested machines such as exhaust machines, stem machines, and base filling machines.

The catalogs, 1924-1979, are arranged into two sub-subseries, Eisler catalogs and other companies' catalogs. The catalogs are further arranged chronologically and are bound or consist of loose pages and individual bulletins. They provide information on incandescent lamps, power transmission tubes; neon tube signs; tungsten equipment and wire; burners, torches, fires, gas and air mixers; metal sprayers; bases; furnaces; vacuum flasks; ampules and vials; vacuum pumps; and electric welders.

Index cards for Eisler Engineering Anniversary Catalog 1945, are arranged by machine number and contain the machine name with a description, pricing information, and in some instances a date and annotations. Each card has a page number that correlates to the Anniversary Catalog No. 45-CE, 1945.

Series 7, Litigation and Patent Records, 1897-1953 (bulk 1926-1929), 1949, 1953, consist of briefs (for the defendant, Eisler, and plaintiff, General Electric) and the transcript of record in the case General Electric vs. Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company, 1926-1929. The litigation was heard in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Jersey and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Third District. GE brought suit against Eisler for infringement of two U.S. patents, #1,128,120 for manufacturing glass rods and forming spiders, and # 1,220,836 for a filament support wire inserting machine. Eisler allegedly infringed by manufacturing and selling a hook inserting machine.

There is one file folder of newspaper clippings about anti-trust in lamp manufacturing and specifically conclusions to the Opinion for the case United States of America vs. General Electric Company, 1953. GE, Corning Glass Works, N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabriken, Consolidated Electric Lamp Company, Hygrade Sylvania Corporation, Chicago Miniature Lamp Works, and Tung-Sol Lamp Works, Inc., were found guilty and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. GE, in particular, negotiated agreements through its wholly-owned subsidiary, International General Electric that divided the world lamp markets. This division permitted GE to have the U.S. market exclusively and bar foreign lamp manufacturers. The domestic licensees' growth was limited by GE to a fixed percentage of its own production and expansion so that over the years a licensee's share of the business was diminished. This restrained trade, and competition by GE unlawfully monopolized the incandescent electric lamp business.

A separate case involving Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. vs. Beacon Lamp Co., Leopold Rossbach, C. L. Shoninger, A.H. Moses, L.E. Whicher and J.T. Hambay from 1896 to 1898 is also documented through the brief for the complainant and a record of the case.

Patents, 1913-1931, are further divided into tube patents, 1924-1931 and tube patents assigned to Raytheon Company, 1913-1929. The patents were assembled by Eisler for reference.

Series 8, Photographs, 1944-1967, is further divided into six subseries: machines by number, CAMS; timers; jigs; transformers and electrodes; welders; welders, tips, jigs and fixtures; and miscellaneous. The series contains 8" x 10" black and white prints. Originally organized in three- ring binders, the photographs are arranged by machine number with further numerical identifiers. For example, Machine No. 103 is a glass lathe machine and No. 103-XL is a vertical glass lathe machine.

CAMS are curved wheels mounted on a rotating shaft and used to produce variable or reciprocating motion in another engaged or contacted part. They are used to produce or machine something. Tips refer to the remnant of the glass tubing through which the lamp was exhausted of its air (as well as filled with inert gases after the invention of the gas-filled lamp in 1912) and jigs are devices for guiding a tool or for holding machine work in place.

The majority of photographs document machinery; few employees are featured.

Photographs for Machine No. 170, can working equipment at vacuum products, features African American workers circa the 1950s and Machine No. 160, an automatic tub bottoming machine features a female employee. Some of the miscellaneous photographs contain prints of equipment, parts and employees working in the factory.

Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959, includes three scrapbooks. Many of the articles are in Hungarian or Spanish.

Scrapbook, 1943 (bulk 1945-1955), 1959, contains newspaper articles about Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company. Many articles and advertisements focus on specific machines Eisler manufactured. Articles about Charles Eisler contain information about the associations he belonged to, litigation, awards received, Lesire Corporation, his tenant company; and the appointment of Charles Eisler, Jr., as President of Eisler Engineering Company. Other items include company Christmas cards.

Scrapbook, 1916-1944, 1948, 1957, contains newspaper clippings and catalog pages on machines manufactured by Eisler; personal information about Charles Eisler's trip to Europe; a fire at his summer home; and Christmas decorations. There is documentation on Eisler Engineering Company employees, World War II contributions and production, and photographs of Charles Eisler presenting a donation to the Newark Hungarians and the U.S. Army Ambulance Branch.

Scrapbook, 1924-1959, contains convention programs, Family Circle information, documentation on various social events Eisler attended and machine advertisements.
Arrangement:
Collection organized into nine series.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1910s-1970s

Subseries 1, Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s

Subseries 2, Photographs, 1912

Subseries 3, Chronological Correspondence, 1946-1970

Subseries 4, Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1969

Subseries 5, Family and Friends Correspondence, 1956-1966

Subseries 6, Vacation information, 1951

Subseries 7, Financial information, 1960-1967

Subseries 8, Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967

Series 2, Business Materials, 1885, 1929-1985

Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1946-1971

Subseries 2, General Files, 1929-1985

Subseries 3, Financial Information, 1931-1945

Subseries 4, World War II Boards and Regulations, 1942-1946

Subseries 5, Real Estate Holdings and Investments, 1932-1980

Subseries 6, Articles, 1885-1962 (not inclusive)

Subseries 7, Kahle Engineering, 1960-1982

Series 3, Employee/Personnel Records, 1940-1988

Subseries 1, Personnel Files, 1940s-1960s

Subseries 2, Accident Reports, 1958-1988

Subseries 3, Lists of employee names, 1957-1977, undated

Subseries 4, Service years and anniversaries, 1955-1970

Subseries 5, Union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements and contracts, 1942-1957, undated

Subseries 6, Benefits (health and pension), 1957-1967, undated

Subseries 7, Deceased employees, 1946-1951

Subseries 8, Payroll Information, 1940-1973

Subseries 9, Electrical License Course, undated

Subseries 10, Department of Labor, 1944-1956

Subseries 11, Miscellaneous, undated

Series 4, Operating Records, 1934-1977

Subseries 1, Equipment Quotes, 1960-1977

Subseries 2, Operating Instructions and Parts Lists, 1934-1940s

Series 5, Diagrams and Drawings, 1924-1963, undated

Subseries 1, Wiring Diagrams, 1934-1956

Subseries 2, Drawings for Machines, 1924-1963

Subseries 3, Drafting Tools, undated

Series 6, Sales Records, 1924-1984

Subseries 1, Customer Sales Lists, 1951-1958

Subseries 2, Lamp Machinery Sales Records, 1929-1958

Subseries 3, Eisler Catalogs, 1924-1979

Subseries 4, Index cards for Eisler Engineering catalogs

Series 7, Litigation and Patents Records, 1897-1953

Subseries 1, Litigation Records, 1897 (bulk 1926-1929), 1949, 1953

Subseries 2, Patents, 1913-1931

Series 8, Photographs, 1942-1967

Subseries 1, By Machine Number, -1966

Subseries 2, CAMS, 1950-1967

Subseries 3, Timers, Jigs, Transformers, and Electrodes, 1952-1960

Subseries 4, Welders, 1944-1952

Subseries 5, Welders, Tips, and Jigs and Fixtures, 1944-1952

Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, 1944-1957

Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Eisler (1884-1973) was born in Hungary to Adolph and Helen Eisler. Charles was the second child of nine: George, Emil, Michael, Leopold, Rudi, Franz, Emma and Lajos. Eisler completed his engineering and mechanical studies by the age of 17 and began an apprenticeship with a local factory. He became a licensed steam engineer and fireman of high pressure boilers. In 1902, he left Hungary for Berlin, Germany, with the goal to immigrate to the United States. In Germany, Eisler worked in a factory in Eberswalde, north of Berlin. The factory manufactured cast-iron pipe and machinery, and Eisler operated a crane loading barges near the factory. Eisler left Eberswalde and returned to Berlin to work as a toolmaker at Allgemeine Electricitäts Gesellschaft' (AEG). He arrived in New York City on the SS Potsdam/Stockholm (I) in November 1904. Because Europeans dominated the field of skilled mechanics and tradesmen in the United States, Eisler easily found employment in East Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh Westinghouse. In 1907, Eisler worked for Studebaker Metzger Motor Company as a tool-designer and tool room foreman.

Eisler returned to Hungary in the spring of 1912 where he took a job as a tool designing engineer with an American owned electrical firm, Standard Electric Company, in Újpest. He married Frieda Schwartz Eisler (d.1962) on December 24, 1912, in Budapest. They had four children: Charles Eisler, Jr., Martha (Eisler) Leff; Ruth (Eisler) Forest; and Constance (Eisler) Smith. In 1914, Eisler, his wife Frieda, and their newborn son Charles, Jr., returned to the United States. Eisler worked at the Westinghouse Lamp Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, designing machines for building incandescent lamps with tungsten wire. At Westinghouse, Eisler held the position of chief engineer of the equipment division, and he completed the International Correspondence Schools course in mechanical engineering (1918). Eisler left Westinghouse in 1919 to work for Save Electric Corporation of Brooklyn, New York (an independent lamp manufacture), formed by Max Ettiger. At Save Electric, Eisler was equipment engineer superintendent and responsible for designing machines for the production of incandescent lamps.

General Electric (GE), Westinghouse, and RCA had a monopoly on modern incandescent lamp making machinery. The manufacture of lamps and tubes had moved from a low-rate, highly skilled craft work of Edison's Menlo Park to a high-rate, semi-skilled process dominated by GE and others. It was difficult for independent lamp manufacturers, such as Save Electric, to compete. The control and licensing of machinery patents was one method GE used to maintain a virtual monopoly on lamp manufacture throughout the first half of the 20th century. GE purchased Save Electric in 1920 to remove it from the incandescent lamp market. That same year, Eisler lost his job and started his own company, Eisler Engineering Company, to consult and manufacture equipment for producing electric lamps, television tubes, radio tubes, glass products, neon tubes, welding equipment and laboratory equipment. He established a machine shop at 15 Kirk Alley, Newark, New Jersey, where he redesigned many of his machines and drawings and started patenting. By 1924, Eisler's plant doubled in physical size and labor supply, with the radio tube industry peaking in 1929.1 However, the stock market crash of 1929-1930 severely impacted production, and Eisler never again saw the same growth. In 1929, Eisler sold a 49% interest in the company to Frank Bonner.

In June 1933, Eisler and others organized a group of independent manufacturers into the Incandescent Lamp Manufacturer's Association (ILMA). In response to the pressuring tactics of GE, Westinghouse and RCA, the group also documented every lamp maker who went out of business or that was bought by a monopoly member. The ILMA allowed members to pool their resources for patent litigation. "Eisler was the third leading outside supplier of lamp making machinery. It was not licensed by General Electric, and the unlicensed lamp manufacturers obtained most of their lamp making equipment from it. The Eisler equipment was less automatic and of considerably less speed than the machinery used by the General Electric group. However, it was considerably lower in price."2

Eisler Engineering Company was sued at least four times by GE between 1923 and 1928 for alleged patent infringement but won each case. The cases involved four United States patents owned by GE: Van Keuren #1,326,121; Mitchell and White #1,453,594; Mitchell and White #1,453,595; and Marshall #1,475,192. The last three patents address a process used in the manufacture of electric lamps known as "sealing in" of tip-less lamps. The plaintiff, GE, complained that Eisler, the defendant, was infringing. Several GE patents were declared invalid during the proceedings or were withdrawn, and Eisler's U.S. Patent #1,637,989 for tip-less lamps was upheld. See General Electric Company vs. Eisler Engineering Company, 20 F (2d.) 33 (C.C.A., 1927), 26 F (2d.) 12 (C.C.A., 1928), and 43 F (2d.) 319 (C.C.A., 1930). One of Eisler's strongest defenses was a 1916 article he published in Machinery on Tungsten Lamp Manufacture. Eisler defended his case not only for the interest of his own company but also for those who utilized his products as well as those who manufactured under a licensing agreement with Eisler Engineering Company.

In 1954, Charles Eisler, Jr., formerly vice president became president of Eisler Engineering Company, Inc., and Charles Eisler, Sr., became chairman of the board. In 1958, Eisler Senior officially stepped down. In the late 1970s, Eisler, Jr., sold the company to Kahle Engineering Company. Kahle, established in 1920 with its roots in the glass machinery business, provided equipment for the medical device, pharmaceutical, electrical and automotive industries. Today, Kahle focuses solely on the manufacture of assembly machines for medical devices.

Eisler was issued fifty-seven United States patents relating to the mass production of glass articles. His first patent was issued in 1916 (U.S. Patent # 1,209,650) for a turret attachment and his last was issued in 1958 (U.S. Design Patent # DES 182,796) for a spot welder/press type. Eisler received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey (1951) and was elected to life membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1952). He died on October 8, 1973 at the age of 89 in East Orange, New Jersey.

1 Eisler, Charles. The Million-Dollar Bend (New York: William-Frederick Press, 1960). 2 Bright, Arthur. The Electric Lamp Industry (New York: Macmillan Co., 1949).
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Kahle Engineering Company Records, 1930-1980 (AC0735), the successor company to Eisler Engineering

Materials in Other Organizations

Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives have some Eisler Engineering Company trade literature in the Sinclair New Jersey Collection: New Jersey Trade Literature and Manufacturers' Catalogs at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/libs/scua/sinclair/sinclair_main.shtml.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by E.N. Logothetis of Kahle Engineering on June 15, 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the majority is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Series 3, Employee Records, personnel files are restrictedContact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
welding -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Patents  Search this
Jigs and fixtures  Search this
Laboratory -- Furniture, equipment  Search this
Lamps  Search this
Litigation  Search this
Tubes  Search this
Tubes -- welding  Search this
Vacuum pumps  Search this
Electrodes  Search this
Furnaces  Search this
Electric lighting  Search this
Electric transformers  Search this
Vacuum-tubes  Search this
welding  Search this
Halogen incandescent lamps  Search this
Cams  Search this
Coils -- electric  Search this
Incandescent lamps  Search this
Electric lamps  Search this
Electric lamps, Arc  Search this
Electric lamp industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks
Blueprints
Correspondence -- 19th-20th century
Citation:
Eisler Engineering Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0734
See more items in:
Eisler Engineering Company records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0734
Online Media:

The Simmons Company Records

Creator:
Simmons Company  Search this
Extent:
9 Film reels
88 Cubic feet (172 boxes, 16 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Film reels
Advertisements
Business records
Videotapes
Date:
1892-2000
Scope and Contents:
Series 1 includes: news articles about the company and the Simmons family; photographs of the machinery, factories, factory workers, products and showrooms; annual reports; various corporate periodicals; audit reports; patents; and materials relating to sleep research conducted by Simmons. Series 2 includes product catalogues, scrapbooks of advertisements, advertising artwork and mechanicals, sales kits, point of purchase items, marketing plans and surveys, sales training videos and filmstrips, and commercials. Of special note are the materials on Simmons involvement in the New York World's Fair in 1964-65 and the XIII Winter Olympic Games in 1980. Most newsprint in this collection has been photocopied onto acid-free bond paper and the originals destroyed. Unless otherwise noted, the materials appear in date order within each subseries or sub-subseries. Physically, the materials are arranged by type and size.
Arrangement:
This collection is organized into two series.

Series 1: Corporate Materials, 1892-2000

Series 2: Marketing, 1896-1990s
Biographical / Historical:
This subject category- engineering consists of documents related to the field of engineering, both as a scientific discipline and as a business. Most of the material in the collection was produced by engineers, engineering firms, or firms using engineers in the course of other activities. The span dates for the collection are 1848-1963; the bulk dates are circa 1870-circa 1930. Most of the firms and individuals represented in the collection were located in eastern states like New York, Pennsylvania, and Massachusetts, though there are some items from other states and foreign countries.

Engineers & Engineering Firms material is comprised of materials from firms engaged in various activities in the engineering field, including machine and structural design; drafting; surveying; tool and machine repair and maintenance; consulting and inspection; and the manufacture of machine parts and factory equipment. The series consists of business cards; brochures, catalogs, and pamphlets; invoices and business correspondence; and handbills and other types of advertising matter. Bulk dates for this series are 1870-1930. Most firms in this series were based in the cities of the industrial North, especially Philadelphia, Boston, New York, and Chicago. A few items are from companies headquartered in other states and foreign countries. The material is arranged alphabetically by firm name. An article in the Simmons in-house publication The Owl states Zalmon G. Simmons "was not the inventor or first manufacturer of bed springs. His contribution was in lowering the price so that everyone could afford them. He took a hand-made item that sold for around $5 wholesale, and developed machinery which would enable its sale for as little as 80 cents."[1]

Simmons was born in Montgomery County, New York, in 1828. He moved to Kenosha, Wisconsin, at the age of fifteen with $3.00 in "tangible cash assets."[2] Upon finishing school, Simmons became a teacher and worked as a clerk in a general store; eighteen months later he bought the business.[3] Simmons was an enterprising individual and eventually became the President of the Rock Island Railway Company, the Northwest Telegraphy Company (which was bought by Western Union), and the First National Bank of Kenosha. In addition, Simmons served as mayor of Kenosha.

On April 16, 1871, Simmons purchased a cheese box factory, which also made wooden telegraph insulators for his telegraph company. As payment for a debt at his store, Simmons accepted a patent for a handmade, woven-wire bedspring.[4] Thus the Simmons legacy of mattress making was born. The company incorporated in 1884 as the Northwestern Wire Mattress Company.[5] The name was changed to the Simmons Manufacturing Company in 1889. "By 1891 the company was the largest of its kind in the world."[6]

When Zalmon Simmons died in 1910, his son, Zalmon Simmons, Jr., assumed power and continued expanding the company. "By 1919 the company had plants from coast to coast plus sixty-four warehouses and the beginnings of an export business."[7] Zalmon Simmons, Jr. became Chairman in 1932 and his son, Grant G. Simmons, became President of the company.

Since it appeared on the market, the Simmons name has become synonymous with its bestselling product, the Beautyrest mattress. Simmons introduced the Beautyrest in 1925 for the price of $39.50, about three to four times what the consumer was paying for a wire mattress at the time. Immediately the company began advertising using an innovative testimonial campaign featuring "celebrities" like Henry Ford, George Bernard Shaw, and Thomas Edison. By 1929 Beautyrest mattress sales had reached $9 million.[8] Grant G. Simmons wrote, "The consumer demand for Beautyrest stimulated by our national advertising literally forced hundreds of retailers who then had no interest in doing business with Simmons to carry our products."[9]

Card tables and folding chairs were added to the Simmons line in 1926. In 1940, the Hide-A-Bed sofa (which grew out of the studio couch of the 1930s) was born. Fold-out springs and mattresses were engineered to create the pull-out bed.[10] The Hide-A-Bed became one of the company's most famous products manufactured through the 1980s.[11] During WWII the company shifted its production to wartime needs, manufacturing 2,700 different items.[12] Almost immediately after the end of the War, Simmons resumed production; and in 1947 it introduced the Babybeauty mattress. Other Simmons mattress models have included, most notably, the Deepsleep and Maxipedic.

Throughout the years the Simmons Company has had many innovators and inventors make improvements to its mattresses and manufacturing machinery. John Marshall's pocketed-coil spring and John Gail's improvements and modifications to the manufacturing equipment are many of the most significant contributions. Together, Marshall's coil and Gail's pocketing machine made the Beautyrest mattress a reality.

The Sleep Research Foundation, established in1946 with a grant from the Simmons Company, "instituted a vast research program into the scientific aspects of sleep...dedicated to an objective study of sleep from a physiological and medical point of view."[13] The Sleep Research Center and its findings were a common feature in Simmons advertising.

Simmons has continued to use advertising as a way to make its brand known to consumers. Celebrity endorsements and "glamour girls in expensive lingerie" have been a mainstay in Beautyrest advertising.[14] Newspaper advertisements featuring so-called sale prices also have fueled demand for the products.

Company headquarters moved to New York City in 1923 and then to Atlanta, Georgia in 1975, where the company still resides. In 1979, Gulf & Western acquired the company, shifting control to outside the family for the first time. Wickes Corporation purchased Simmons from Gulf & Western in 1985. In 1991, Merrill Lynch Capital Partners, Inc. acquired a majority interest in the company. Today, Simmons has 17% of the bedding market share, second only to Sealy with 22%.[15]

[1]. "Zalmon G. Simmons." The Owl, December 1952, p. 10-11. Box 1, Folder 4.

[2]. "Kenosha Bank Celebrates 90 Years; Zalmon Simmons Is Remembered." Kenosha Evening News, 17 May 1941, n.p. Box 1, Folder 3.

[3]. Ibid. n.p.

[4]. "History of Simmons Company." Report to Stockholders for 1946: Diamond Anniversary, 1871-1946, p. 4. Box 1, Folder 3.

[5]. "Brief History of Simmons Company." ca. 1941. Box 1, Folder 2.

[6]. "History of Simmons Company." Report to Stockholders for 1946: Diamond Anniversary, 1871-1946, p. 5. Box 1, Folder 3.

[7]. "Simmons: The Bedtime Story That Became a Legend." Advertising News From Newsweek, 1969, p. 3. Box 1, Folder 5.

[8]. Simmons, Grant, Jr. "Simmons Company, 1870-1963." p. 7-8. Box 1, Folder 5.

[9]. Ibid. p. 11.

[10]. "Simmons: The Bedtime Story That Became a Legend." Advertising News From Newsweek, 1969, p. 3. Box 1, Folder 5.

[11]. In 1990, the Simmons Company sold the division that made Hide-A-Beds and recliners and licensed the use of the name to a manufacturer.

[12]. "Chronology of Simmons Company." ca. 1955. Box 1, Folder 4. Rise." The Christian Science Monitor, 28 June 1957. Box 1, Folder 4. & "Simmons History." ca. 1955. p. 3. Box 1, Folder 4.

[14]. Simmons, Grant, Jr. "Simmons Company, 1870-1963." p. 9. Box 1, Folder 5.

[15]. Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands,1994 ed. S.v. "Simmons Beautyrest" and "Sealy."
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, ca. 1724-1977 (Beds and Bedding) (AC0060) Ivory Soap Advertising Collection (AC0791)

Breck Girl Collection, 1936-1995 (AC0651) Edward J. Orth Memorial Archives of the New York World's Fair, 1939-1940 (AC0560)

Larry Zim World's Fair Collection (AC0519) Louis S. Nixdorff 1928 Olypic Games Collection, 1926-1978 (AC0443) Lloyd A. Strickland Collection of 1936 Olympics Photographs, 1936 (AC0743)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by the Simmons Company through Mr. Charlie Eitel, Chairman and CEO, and Mr. Donald Hoffman, Senior Vice President of Marketing, to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, in June 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Bedding industry  Search this
Sleep  Search this
Mattresses  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements
Business records -- 20th century
Videotapes
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0731
See more items in:
The Simmons Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0731
Online Media:

Sumner Hosiery Mill Records

Donor:
Sumner, Harold Townsend  Search this
Creator:
Sumner Hosiery Mill  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Photographs
Articles
Scrapbooks
Date:
1946-1957
Summary:
The collection documents Sumner Hosiery Mill through articles, newspaper clippings, publications, advertisements, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of one scrapbook (16" x 18" pages), from 1946 to 1957, documenting Sumner Hosiery Mill through articles, newspaper clippings, publications, advertisements, and photographs. There is one product booklet, Sumner See-Shells, Fall and Winter Shades, 1952 with samples of hosiery.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Harold Sumner, along with his brother Hubert, founded Sumner Hosiery Mill in Gastonia, North Carolina in 1946. The Sumner's joined a booming hosiery business and with their Government Issue (G.I) priority status (Servicemen's Readjustment Act of 1944), they ordered two hosiery machines. The machines were set-up in the Wisteria Hosiery Mill, but were moved in 1947 to create the Sumner Hosiery Mill. The Sumner's distinguished themselves from other hosiery mills by introducing colorful innovations and styles that were created to match shoes and outfits. In 1957, Sumner Hosiery sold their machines and shipped them to Chile.
Separated Materials:
Samples of Sumner Hosiery were donated to the Division of Social History(now the Division of Home and Community Life), National Museum of American History.
Provenance:
Collection was donated to the Archives Center, national Museum of American History by Harold Townsend Sumner on February 9, 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270. `
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  Search this
Hosiery, Nylon  Search this
Hosiery  Search this
Textile industry  Search this
Fashion  Search this
Knitting companies (Mills)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Articles
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Citation:
Sumner Hosiery Mill Records, 1946-1957, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0719
See more items in:
Sumner Hosiery Mill Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0719

International Battle of the Bands Records

Creator:
Free, Jerry D.  Search this
International Battle of the Bands, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
32 Cubic feet (88 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Audiovisual materials
Business records
Certificates
Music videos
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Videotapes
Place:
Nashville (Tenn.) -- Music -- 20th century
Date:
1981-1998.
Summary:
Business records, scrapbooks, audio disks, videotape, audio tape, and photographs documenting the business and entertainment activities at the International Battle of the Bands.
Scope and Contents note:
The International Battle of the Bands Records, 1981 - 1998, consists of a varied compilation of business records, advertising materials, scrapbooks, photographs, original video footage, and audio recordings. The Battle of the Bands Records document all aspects related to the production, advertising, and promotion of the regional, final, and future competitions
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series.

Series 1.1: International Battle of the Bands, 1981

Series 1.2: International Battle of the Bands, 1982

Series 1.3: International Battle of the Bands, 1983

Series 1.4: International Battle of the Bands, 1984

Series 1.5: International Battle of the Bands, 1985

Series 1.6: International Battle of the Bands, 1986

Series 1.7: International Battle of the Bands, 1987-1988

Series 1.8: International Battle of the Bands, 1989

Series 2.1: International Battle of the Bands Publishing, 1981

Series 2.2: International Battle of the Bands Publishing, 1982

Series 2.3: International Battle of the Bands Publishing, 1983

Series 2.4: International Battle of the Bands Publishing, 1984

Series 2.1: International Battle of the Bands Publishing, 1985

Series 3.1: International Battle of the Bands Recording, 1981-1986

Series 3.2: International Battle of the Bands Recording, 45s,

Series 3.3: International Battle of the Bands Recording, LPs, 1982-1986

Series 3.4: International Battle of the Bands Recording, Reel to Reel, 1981-1986

Series 3.5: International Battle of the Bands Recording, Cassettes, 1981-1986 Series 4: Photographs and Negatives, 1981-1986

Series 5: Videos, 1981-1993

Series 6: Card Files, 1981-1987

Series 7: Awards and Certificates, 1982-1990
Biographical/Historical note:
The International Battle of the Bands Corporation (IBB) was a Nashville-based promotion founded in 1975 by Mr. Jerry Free. Free, an Ohio native born in 1939, is currently Vice President and General manager of United Gunite Construction, where he began working in 1972. Before he founded the International Battle of the Bands, Free began his professional career as a door-to-door salesman for Look magazine. He remained at Look for 13 years, working his way up to a position on the board of directors in 1968.

Free's battle of the bands concept was not a new idea. Staged competitions between bands had been part of American popular music for most of the 20th century. The purpose of these competitions was to draw audiences to the theaters and music halls where bands would perform during the late afternoons and evenings. These events were a common occurrence in the swing era of the 1930s, as well as in Rhythm and Blues and Jazz in the 1940s and 50s. In the early days of Rock & Roll, fledgling music groups often achieved recognition by winning these types of contests. This local exposure sometimes led to regional and even national recognition. The idea of bringing attention to local artists served as the basis for the International Battle of the Bands. It was referred to by Free as the Agreatest search for new talent. Introducing the band competition into the age of televised coverage and corporate sponsorship enabled Free to take an old idea and transform it into a national enterprise.

With the backing of Seagram=s Seven the International Battle of the Bands Contest got its formal start in 1981. In association with the publishing and recording division of the IBB corporation, the International Battle of the Bands contest was developed with the purpose of discovering and promoting new country music talent. The contest was structured with a series of local and regional competitions, leading up to the Grand Finals held each year, with the exception of 1988, in Nashville, Tennessee. The 1988 finals that were held in Panama City Beach, Florida.

Local auditions were held in IBB affiliated clubs in 50 select cities throughout the United States. Winners of local contests moved on to regional competitions with hopes of reaching the Grand Finals and a chance of a recording contract with IBB records and a one year booking contract with Buddy Lee attractions. While remaining relatively low key in its early years, the IBB Grand Finals were broadcast to a national television audience in a 90 minute program hosted by Sammy Davis, Jr. and Louise Mandrell in 1986.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Jerry D. Free, December 16, 1998.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Some materials are restricted until 2050. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Music-halls -- 1980-2000  Search this
Music -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Music -- Performance  Search this
Music -- Publishing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes -- 1980-1990
Audiovisual materials
Business records -- 1950-2000
Certificates
Music videos
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Videotapes
Citation:
International Battle of the Bands Records, 1981-1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0677
See more items in:
International Battle of the Bands Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0677

Finlay Straus Scrapbook

Creator:
Wertheimer, Frederick P.  Search this
Vorchheimer, Bert  Search this
Vorchheimer, Carol  Search this
Finlay Straus Company.  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Scrapbooks
Date:
ca. 1929-1933.
Summary:
Scrapbook documenting Frederick P. Wertheimer's advertising and marketing work for the Finlay Straus Company, a jewelry and optical dealer. The scrapbook contains advertising, mostly in the form of circulars and newspaper advertisements, but also catalogs and mailings.
Scope and Contents:
The scrapbook contains advertisements dating from circa 1929-1933 from the Finlay Straus Company. Although the advertisements focus on jewelry, many other items are advertised as well. Especially prominent are the Christmas advertisements for Finlay Straus stores in which buyers receive a free baby doll if they spend twenty dollars or more. Catalogs, circulars, mailings, and other advertisements are also included among these materials.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Finlay began as a mail order house for fine jewelry in 1887. In 1924, Abraham Hirshberg took over the debt-ridden business and expanded with Finlay-Straus stores throughout the metropolitan New York area. In 1968, Finlay was purchased by Seligman & Latz, a publicly traded company listed on the New York Stock Exchange. Seligman & Latz operated Finlay until 1985 when it became privately owned. Finlay remained privately held until April 1995, when its parent, company Finlay Enterprises, Incorporated held its initial public stock offering.

With the acquisition of Carlyle & Company Jewelers in May 2005, Finlay returned to operating freestanding luxury stores. Carlyle consisted of 35 stores located primarily in southeastern United States under the Carlyle, J. E. Caldwell, and Park Promenade names. In November 2006 Congress Jewelers (a group of five stores located in Southwest Florida) was added, By August 2009, there were 182 Finlay locations: 67 Bailey Banks & Biddle, 34 Carlyle & Company four Congress specialty jewelry stores, and 77 licensed departments with The Bon Ton. On September 24, 2009, Finlay Enterprises announced completion of a bankruptcy auction for its business and assets to Gordon Brothers Retail Partners, LLC. Gordon Brothers was appointed to act as the Company's agent to conduct "store closings" or similar sales of merchandise located at all of the Company's retail store locations and the Company's two distribution centers.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Bert and Carol Vorchheimer.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Jewelry  Search this
advertising  Search this
Opticians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Citation:
Finlay Straus Scrapbook, 1929-1933, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0663
See more items in:
Finlay Straus Scrapbook
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0663
Online Media:

Breck Girls Collection

Creator:
Williams, Ralph William  Search this
Breck Company.  Search this
Dial Corporation.  Search this
American Cyanamid Company  Search this
Sheldon, Charles  Search this
Names:
Basinger, Kim  Search this
Gray, Erin  Search this
Hamill, Joan  Search this
Shields, Brooke  Search this
Tiegs, Cheryl  Search this
Extent:
6.5 Cubic feet (16 boxes, 188 pieces of original artwork)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Pastels (visual works)
Advertisements
Business records
Date:
circa 1936-1995
Summary:
The collection documents the development and evolution of the Breck Girl, a highly successful and long-lived advertising campaign whose hallmark was its vision of idealized American womanhood through correspondence, photographs, paintings, and print advertisements.
Scope and Contents:
188 pieces of original advertising art (mostly pastel drawings), and photographs, correspondence, and business records, documenting the development and evolution of the Breck Girls advertising campaign. Original advertising art includes portraits of famous models, such as Cheryl Tiegs, Brooke Shields, Kim Basinger, and Erin Gray. Artists represented include Charles Sheldon and Ralph William Williams. The 2006 addendum consists of approximately one sixth of one cubic foot of papers relating to Cynthia Brown's selection as a Breck Girl, 1988 and her induction into the Breck Hall of Fame.
Arrangement:
Collection divided into four series.

Series 1: Company history, 1946-1990

Series 2: Photographs, 1960-1995

Series 3: Print ads, 1946-1980

Series 4: Original artwork, 1936-1994
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. John Breck is credited with developing one of the first liquid shampoos in the United States, in Springfield Massachusetts in 1908; Breck is also credited with introducing the first ph-balanced shampoo, in 1930. During the early years of the business, distribution remained localized in New England, and the product was sold exclusively to beauty salons until 1946. Advertising for the brand began in 1932, but appeared only in trade publications, such as Modern Beauty Shop.

Edward Breck, son of the founder, assumed management of the company in 1936. Breck became acquainted with Charles Sheldon, an illustrator and portrait painter who is believed to have studied in Paris under Alphonse Mucha, an artist noted for his contributions to Art Nouveau style. Sheldon had achieved some measure of fame for his paintings of movie stars for the cover of Photoplay magazine in the 1920s, and had also done idealized pastel portraits for the cover of Parents magazine. He created his first pastel portraits for Breck in 1936, launching what would become one of America's longest running ad campaigns. When the company began national advertising (and mass distribution) in 1946, the campaign featured Sheldon's 1937 painting of seventeen-year old Roma Whitney, a spirited blonde. Ms. Whitney's profile was registered as Breck's trademark in 1951. When he retired in 1957, Sheldon had created 107 oil paintings and pastels for the company. Sheldon was known to favor ordinary women over professional models, and in the early years of the campaign, the Breck Girls were Breck family members, neighbors or residents of the community in which he worked; company lore holds that nineteen Breck Girls were employees of the advertising agency he founded in 1940. A Breck advertising manager later described Sheldon's illustrations as, "illusions, depicting the quality and beauty of true womanhood using real women as models." The paintings and pastels form a coherent, if derivative, body of work which celebrates an idealized vision of American girlhood and womanhood, an ideal in which fair skin, beauty and purity are co-equal.

Ralph William Williams was hired to continue the Breck Girls campaign after Sheldon's retirement. Between 1957 and his death in 1976, Williams modified the Breck Girl look somewhat through the use of brighter colors and a somewhat heightened sense of movement and individuality. The advertising manager during his tenure recalled that Aat first Williams continued in Sheldon' manner, but in later years, as women became more independent, he would take care to integrate each girl' particular personality; he studied each girl and learned her special qualities. During these years, Breck Girls were identified through the company's sponsorship of America's Junior Miss contests. Williams work includes pastels of celebrities Cybil Shepard (1968 Junior Miss from Tennessee), Cheryl Tiegs (1968), Jaclyn Smith (1971, 1973), Kim Basinger (1972, 1974) and Brooke Shields (1974) very early in their careers.

By the 1960s, at the height of its success, Breck held about a twenty percent share of the shampoo market and enjoyed a reputation for quality and elegance. Ownership of the company changed several times (American Cyanamid in 1963; Dial Corporation in 1990). The corresponding fluctuations in management of the company and in advertising expenditures tended to undermine the coherence of the national advertising campaign. In addition, despite William's modifications, the image had become dated. Attempts to update the image misfired, further limiting the brand's coherence and effectiveness. Finally, increased competition and an absence of brand loyalty among consumers through the 1970s and 1980s helped push Breck from its number one position into the bargain bin. The Breck Girl campaign was discontinued around 1978, although there have been at least two minor revivals, first in 1992 with the Breck Girls Hall of Fame, and again in 1995 when a search was begun to identify three new Breck Women. Scope and Content: The 188 pieces of original advertising art (62 oil paintings on board, 2 pencil sketches on paper, and 124 pastels on paper) and related photographs, correspondence and business files in this collection document the development and evolution of the Breck Girl, a highly successful and long-lived advertising campaign whose hallmark was its vision of idealized American womanhood. The collection is a perfect fit with other 20th century Archives Center collections documenting the efforts of American business to reach the female consumer market. The Estelle Ellis Collection (advertising and promotions for Seventeen, Charm, Glamour and House & Garden and many other clients) the Cover Girl Collection (make-up), the Maidenform Collection (brassieres), and the Tupperware Collections offer a prodigious body of evidence for understanding the role women were expected to play as consumers in the 20th century.

These advertising images also offer fertile ground for research into the evolution of popular images of American girlhood and womanhood. The research uses of the collection derive primarily from its value as an extensive visual catalog of the ideal types of American women and girls, arising and coalescing during a period in which 19th century ideals of womanhood were being revisited (the depression, the war years, the immediate post-war period) and continuing, with slight modifications and revisions, through several decades during which those historical ideals were being challenged and revised.
Related Materials:
Several items of packaging, 1930s-1980s are held in the former Division of Home and Community Life; an 18k gold Breck insignia pin is in the former. See Accession #:
Provenance:
The Dial Corporation through Jane Owens, Senior Vice President, Gift, June 1998.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Shampoos -- advertising  Search this
Hair -- Shampooing  Search this
advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Feminine beauty (Aesthetics)  Search this
Beauty contestants  Search this
Beauty culture  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Pastels (visual works)
Advertisements -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Breck Girls Collection, ca. 1936-1995, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0651
See more items in:
Breck Girls Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0651
Online Media:

Dorothy Shaver Papers

Collector:
Costume, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Costume, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Creator:
Shaver, Dorothy, 1893-1959  Search this
Donor:
Shaver, Elsie  Search this
Names:
Lord & Taylor  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Extent:
14 Sound recordings
32 Cassette tapes
1 Electronic discs (CD)
6 Cubic feet (22 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Cassette tapes
Electronic discs (cd)
Clippings
Photographs
Scrapbooks
78 rpm records
Phonograph records
Professional papers
Date:
circa 1920-1959; undated
bulk 1945-1959
Summary:
This collection contains the personal and professional papers of Dorothy Shaver, one of the best-known female executives in the 1950s; Shaver became the first female president of Lord & Taylor in 1945.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the personal and professional life of Dorothy Shaver. Types of materials include correspondence, clippings, biographical narratives, interviews, statements to the press, event programs, speeches, certificates, obituaries, awards and honorary degrees, souvenir publications, advertisements, scrapbooks, planning documents, travel itineraries, notes, invitations, seating lists, photographs, and audio recordings. These materials range in date from 1920 to 1959, but the bulk date is from 1945 to 1959. Those interested in the history of women in business, fashion merchandising, the department store Lord & Taylor, the "American Look" as a fashion trend, and the creation of the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art will find this collection useful. An oral history interview was conducted with Elsie Shaver, sister of Dorothy Shaver, in 1973.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Personal Papers, 1920s-1959; undated

Series 2: Professional Papers, 1927-1959; undated

Series 3: Social and Professional Activities, 1928-1959; undated

Series 4: Photographs, about 1920-1959; undated

Series 5: Audio Recordings, 1946-1948; 1956, 1973
Biographical History:
Dorothy Shaver was born on July 29, 1893, in Center Point, Arkansas to, Sallie Borden and James D. Shaver, a lawyer and judge. After graduating from Mena High School in 1910, Dorothy went on to study at the University of Arkansas and the University of Chicago. She moved to New York City with her sister Elsie, an artist, in the 1920s. Acting as an agent for her sister, Dorothy sold some of Elsie's fashion drawings to the department store Lord & Taylor. Dorothy also promoted Elsie's "Five Little Shaver" dolls, which became a major fad after Lord &Taylor introduced them.

Impressed, Lord & Taylor hired Dorothy Shaver to head its Comparative Shopping Bureau, the main purpose of which was to spy on other department stores. Shaver eventually reorganized this department to create a Bureau of Stylists in an effort to improve Lord & Taylor's merchandising strategy and set the pace for style in New York. Her career with Lord & Taylor skyrocketed from there. In 1927, Shaver became a member of Lord & Taylor's board of directors and in 1931, she was named a vice president. In 1937, she was elevated to first vice president and on December 19, 1945, she was named president of Lord & Taylor, becoming one of the first female executives of a large department store. One year later, she was elected to the board of directors of the Associated Dry Goods Corporation, of which Lord & Taylor was a division.

Under Shaver's direction, Lord & Taylor became one of the first department stores to sell clothing specifically designed for different subsets of their customer base; teenaged girls, young adult women, petite women, and career women. She also introduced a bridal shop and a maternity department. She was known for her unique merchandising techniques, such as spraying perfume from the store's marquee in an effort to sell perfume and attract customers. Six suburban branches were opened under her leadership in Manhasset, New York, 1941; Scarsdale, New York, 1948; Millburn, New Jersey, 1949; West Hartford, Connecticut, 1953; Bala-Cynwyd, Pennsylvania, 1954; and Garden City, New York, 1956.

Shaver was also known for her early recognition of American fashion designers. She promoted the "American Look" as a fashion trend, putting American designers on par with French designers. Her efforts fueled the careers of many American designers including Clare Potter, Claire McCardle, and Nettie Rosenstein. In 1937, Shaver established the American Design Awards, an annual event hosted by Lord & Taylor highlighting the achievements of innovators in the fields of design, the arts, housing, education, the sciences, and international relations.

Shaver also helped establish the Museum of Costume Art, which became the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1944. She was chairman of the institute's executive committee and was a member of the Museum's board of trustees. In 1942, as a merchandising consultant to the office of Quartermaster General, Shaver supervised the design of new uniforms and accessories for nurses in the military.

Shaver received numerous citations and awards over the course of her life, including honorary degrees from Syracuse University (1947), Bates College (1949), New York University (1950), Russell Sage College (1951), Lafayette College (1957), and Wheaton College (1957).

Shaver suffered a stroke and died soon after on June 28, 1959; she is buried in Texarkana, Arkansas. Her gravestone has the year of her birth as 1897, four years later than her actual birth date. This error apparently was done on the instruction of her sister, Elsie, because the two women enjoyed misrepresenting their ages.
Bibliographic references:
Lord and Taylor advertisement in: Museum of the City of New York, Paris, and New York. Design Fashion Culture 1925-1940 Monacelli Press, 1928, p. 166;
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Freda Diamond Collection, circa 1945-1984 (AC0616)

Estelle Ellis Collection, 1944-1994, #423, Brownie Wise Papers, circa 1928-1968 (AC0509) California Shop Records, 1938-1942 (AC0572)

Setting the Precedent: Four Women Who Excelled in Business, featuring Freda Diamond, Estelle Ellis, Dorothy Shaver, and Brownie Wise.
Related Artifacts:
The Division of Home and Community Life holds artifacts related to this collection. Items include: an inkstand, two pencils, a cigarette case, and a charm bracelet owned by Dorothy Shaver.
Provenance:
This collection was donated to the Museum's Division of Home and Community Life by Dorothy Shaver's sister, Elsie Shaver, in 1973.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the original audio acssettes are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Costume design  Search this
Women in business -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
78 rpm records
Phonograph records
Professional papers
Citation:
Dorothy Shaver Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0631
See more items in:
Dorothy Shaver Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0631
Online Media:

Scurlock Studio Records

Creator:
Custom Craft  Search this
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Scurlock, George H. (Hardison), 1919-2005  Search this
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Scurlock, Robert S. (Saunders), 1917-1994  Search this
Names:
Howard University -- 20th century  Search this
DuBois, W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963  Search this
Washington, Booker T., 1856-1915  Search this
Extent:
200 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Dye transfer process
Studio portraits
Matrices, color separation
Photographs
Color separation negatives
Place:
Washington (D.C.) -- Small business -- 20th century
Shaw (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.) -- African Americans
Date:
1888-1996
Summary:
The collection includes approximately 250,000 photonegatives, photoprints, color transparencies from the photographic business founded by Addison Scurlock in Washington, DC. Collection also includes business records and ephemera.
Scope and Contents:
Photographs includes portraits of famous African-American luminaries such as Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, and many other artists, intellectuals, educators, entertainers, etc., as well as documentation of Washington, DC, including both the African-American community and national political life, and important photographs of Howard University; also commercial photography, including color materials.

Color separation materials include sets of black-and-white color-separation negatives, sets of matrices for the Kodak Dye Transfer process (full-color Dye Transfer prints are storied in a different series).

Business records: The photography studio records and Custom Craft records are in separate series, reflecting the fact that they were operated as separate businesses.

The collection includes all forms of photographs produced by the studio, such as prints in black-and-white and color, black-and-white and color negatives, color transparencies, black-and-white dye-transfer matrices, slides, etc.; as well as business documents, studio session ledgers, appointment books, business and personal correspondence, tax documents, and books, catalogs, and other publications. This material documents not only the photographic output of the business, both commercial and artistic, as well as the personal and business side of the enterprise.

Some photographs in the collection were not created by the Scurlocks. Some black-and-white and color prints seem to derive from assignments in the Capitol School of Photography, and are therefore student work. Also Custom Craft, the professional color processing service provided by the studio, made prints for other photographers, and samples for printing reference, as well as studio decor, have been retained in the collection. Custom Craft worked for such diverse photographers as artist Robert Epstein and well-known Washington photographer Fred Maroon, for example.

The collection numbers several hundred thousand photographic negatives, prints, and transparencies made by the Scurlocks and other staff photographers of the studio in its various Washington locations. The negatives are estimated at approximately 160,000-200,000 in number, and the prints of all sizes and types at nearly 57,000. The vast majority of the photographs are portraits of individuals, family groups, and organizations, as the primary business of the studio was portrait photography. They date primarily from the 1940s to 1990s. There are also a number of images, made for commercial clients, of building interiors and exteriors, and food. A small group of photojournalistic documentation also exists. The subjects also include architectural and industrial views, scenes in and around Washington, including children and street laborers, political events, social events, and 35mm slides of President Kennedy's funeral, 1964. There are also more personal artistic images, including still lifes with plants and flowers, and a few nudes; Robert's wartime service is also documented by his photographs, including European landscape photographs.

In addition to images taken by the Scurlock studio photographers, there are some prints, especially color, of images by other photographers who were clients, such as Fred Maroon, a prominent Washington photojournalist, and Robert Epstein, a teacher at the Corcoran School of Art. A print of one of Maroon's pictures had been displayed in the studio reception room at the time the studio was closed.

A large group of manuscript items, business documents, ephemera, and office and studio supplies constitutes a separate series from the photographs. An important adjunct to the photographs, a set of ledgers recording and identifying portrait sittings, highlights this group.

Nearly all of the photographs and documents stored in the studio and auxiliary storage locations were accepted for acquisition in order to form a complete history of this family business's production and operations over the better part of a century, whereas a selection of photographic apparatus and studio equipment was acquired by the Photographic History Collection: these items have been inventoried and catalogued separately.

Studio Portraits

The majority of the surviving photographic negatives and proof prints were made in connection with the studio's portrait work for a wide variety of clients. These portraits include images of famous people, such as political figures, entertainers, and noteworthy persons in a variety of fields, including scientists, writers, intellectuals, and academics. The majority of the figures depicted among both the famous and the not so famous are black. The greatest number of studio portraits, most of which are identified and dated, depict a general clientele who visited the studio for portrait sittings. Although the individual images in this vast quantity have limited research value in the usual sense, the aggregate represents a chronology spanning almost ninety years, which may be useful for demographic and genealogical information and as visual evidence of changing styles in clothing, hair, and accessories. It constitutes a panorama of a significant percentage of Washingtonians of the period, especially the black community.

Portraits of famous personages include George Washington Carver, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Duke Ellington, Marian Anderson, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Sammy Davis, Jr., Sugar Ray Leonard, Muhammad Ali, Mayor Walter Washington, and Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton, Mayor Marion Barry, DC Council members, statesmen such as Ralph Bunche, and many other noteworthy figures. Of particular interest is a signed group portrait of the US. Supreme Court with Chief Justice Berger presiding. There are also large- format portraits of Justice Thurgood Marshall and J. Edgar Hoover.

Group portraits include both formal sittings and the informal documentation of banquets, convocations, and similar events. This material includes groups at Howard University; Dunbar High School; the Post Office Clerks' Banquet; the Bishops' Meeting of the AME Church; a YMCA camp, cira 1947 1949; the 23rd annual conference of the NAACP, 1932, etc.

Howard University

Several thousand black and white negatives and prints, 1930s-1960s, depict the people, facilities, and events of Howard University, with which the Scurlocks had a long business relationship. There are various portraits, including Howard University Medical School, represented by 850 negatives and 100 prints. A group of law school and medical school images numbers some 800 negatives and 200 prints. In addition, there are class portraits, as well as images of famous guests speaking at Howard convocations, such as President Herbert Hoover.

Wedding Photography

An important aspect of any portrait studio's output is wedding photography, and the Scurlock studio was no exception. Bridal portraits, group pictures of wedding parties, and the complete documentation of weddings, in both black and white and color, constitute a significant part of the collection. African-American weddings predominate and provide important insights into this aspect of the society.

Exhibitions

The studio's work was shown in special public exhibitions over the years, and several of these are included in toto. The most important was an extensive retrospective display of 121 prints of Addison's work, both vintage and posthumous, prepared by Robert for the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1976. Others include: (1) a set of 32 black and white images made by Robert at the Ramitelli Air Base, Italy, while he was a major in the US Air Force during World War II; (2) a group of portraits from a Black History Month exhibit at Woodward and Lothrop; and (3) a set of sixteen vintage and modern prints which Robert displayed in an interview on the "Today" television show in the 1980s.

Commercial Work

This category includes architectural and industrial photography for commercial clients, food and still life photographs, etc. Much of this material is comparatively recent and was made in large format color, and includes transparencies and enlargements. It is possible that some of the prints represent Custom Craft work for other photographers rather than the camera work of Robert and George Scurlock. Thus far, prints by artist Robert Epstein have been identified as extra prints of his work from orders which he placed with the firm. At least one image by Fred Maroon has been identified.

A group of color prints constitutes copies of artworks, primarily in the National Portrait Gallery, for which the Scurlocks worked. Prints in 8" x 10", 11" x 14", 16" x 20" and 20" x 24" sizes are included, and undoubtedly negatives and transparencies corresponding to these subjects will be found.

Photojournalism

In addition to the formal studio portraits and pictures documenting formal events, the Scurlocks took candid photographs of the everyday life of their city, as well as extraordinary events of local and national significance, ranging from occasions such as John F. Kennedy's funeral and the 1968 riots to political rallies and demonstrations.

Capitol School of Photography

The collection includes a variety of materials, such as books and ephemera, which document the activities of the Capitol School of Photography, a sideline of the Scurlock business. Some of the photographs apparently represent student work. The most famous student of the school was Jacqueline Bouvier (later Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis), although no documentation of her association with the school has been located thus far. There are 45 photographs, circa 1950s, showing the photography lab, men retouching prints, students with cameras, etc.

Personal Photographs

A few photographs of the Scurlock family are included in the collection in various forms and formats, including enlarged portraits of Addison and Robert. A self portrait of Addison and Mamie Scurlock is included in the Corcoran Gallery of Art exhibition series. Other photographs which represent personal artistic expression, such as a few nude studies and floral and plant still lifes, are included.

Series 6 consists of photographic materials including color transparencies, slides, film, and proofs but occasionally includes notes, forms, and envelopes associated with the orders.
Series 1: Black and White Photographs:
Dates -- 1888-1993

Extent -- 105 boxes

Contents -- Series 1: Black and White Photographs: The materials are almost entirely black and white photographs, but in the subseries of clients, there may also be job envelopes, order materials, and other photographic material types that were included in the overall order. The series is arranged into two subseries, clients and subjects, and both are arranged alphabetically. The subseries clients documents the orders made by clients of the Scurlock Studio and individuals who were or could be identified but may or may not have actually placed an order at the Studio. The majority of the photographs in the clients subseries are formal portrait sittings but there are photographs of events, organizations, and businesses. The subseries subjects are photographs that were grouped into categories because no known client or individual in the image could be identified. The subjects cover a broad array of subjects but the majority of the subjects include unidentified people in formal portrait sittings and groups. In addition, not all photographs in this series were taken by the Scurlock Studio; there are photos by Abdon Daoud Ackad and other studios or photographers that were sent in to make copies. 1.1: Clients Black and white photographs1.2: Subjects Black and white photographs
Series 2: Color Photographs:
Dates -- 1930-1995

Extent -- 113 boxes

Contents -- Series 2: Color Photographs: The series color photographs consists of color photographs and hand-colored photographs, but there are also order envelopes and materials, and other photographic material types that were part of the order. The subseries are arranged as clients, subjects, weddings, and hand-colored photographs. Clients are arranged alphabetically by last name or the first word of an organization's name. Not all individuals, organizations, or businesses necessarily represent a client of the Scurlock Studio; if an individual or organization could be identified, the photograph was placed under the identified person or organization even if ther were not a known client of the Studio. The majority of the photographs are individual portrait sittings but also included are family portraits, businesses, organizations, and informal images. The subjects are arranged alphabetically, and document images of non-humans and humans that could not be connected to a known client. Weddings and hand-colored are arranged in alphabetical order with clients preceeding subjects. The were a large subject of the overall collection and the majority of weddings are color photographs but also included in the subseries are black and white and hand-colored photographs of weddings. The hand-colored photographs largely reflect the same subject matter of the subseries clients and subjects. In addition, not all photographs in this subseries were taken by the Scurlock Studio; there are photos by Abdon Daoud Ackad and other studios or photographers that were sent in to make copies. 2.1: Clients Color photographs2.2: Subjects Color photographs2.3: Weddings2.4: Hand-colored photographs
Series 3: Framed Prints:
Dates -- circa 1979

Extent -- 3 boxes

Contents -- Series 3: Framed Prints: The series framed prints includes three framed color photographs. The framed prints are arranged by the size, from smallest to largest, of the frame. The photographs are of two important political figures: Washington, D. C., Mayor Marion Barry and Senator Edward Brooke.
Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives:
Dates -- 1900-1994

Extent -- 320 boxes

Contents -- Series 4: Black-and-White Silver Gelatin Negatives: The material type of the series is black and white silver gelatin negatives. The negatives are arranged into twelve subseries. The materials document the clients and individuals whose photographs were taken by the Scurlock Studio and a wide variety of subject matters. The subjects represented are individual portrait sittings, organizations, events, businesses, commercial ventures of the Studio, and Washington, D. C. 4.1: Black and white negatives 4.2: Black and white negatives in freezers arranged by job number 4.3: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by client 4.4: Black and white negatives in freezer storage arranged by subject 4.5: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by job number 4.6: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by client 4.7: Negatives in cold storage arranged by client with index cards 4.8: Negatives in cold storage arranged by subject 4.9: Black and white negatives for publication 4.10: Glass Plate Negatives 4.11: Customcraft Negatives 4.12: Banquet Negatives
Series 5: Color Negatives:
Dates -- 1964-1994

Extent -- 72 boxes

Contents -- Series 5: Color Negatives: The series color negatives primarily of color negatives but it also includes order envelopes and materials. The series is arranged into two subseries: clients and subjects. The subseries clients is arranged by job number, and the materials document the orders placed by clients of the Scurlock Studio and identified persons and organizations. The negatives depict individual portrait sittings, groups, and informal poses. The subseries subjects is arranged in alphabetical order, and the materials document negatives that could not be connected to a client of the studio. The negatives represent subjects such as art, buildings, commercial ventures of the Scurlock Studio, and unidentified people. 5.1: Color negatives arranged by client5.2: Color negatives arranged by subject
Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats:
Dates -- 1922-1994

Extent -- 40 boxes

Contents -- Series 6: Color Transparencies, Slides, and Other Formats: The series color transparencies, slides, and other formats consists of black and white and color transparencies, color slides, film, proofs, and order materials. The materials are arranged into four subseries: transparencies, slides, film, and proofs. The subseries are arranged by clients, in alphabetical order by last name, and then subjects, in alphabetical order. The materials document the orders placed at the Scurlock Studio by clients and identified individuals and organizations, and materials that could not be identified and are categorized by subjects. The subjects represented in the materials are primarily individual, family, and group portraits, and events and places. Cut but unmounted slides were typically placed in the subseries transparencies but a small number of cut but unmounted slides are included in the slides. The subseries proofs only contains a form of proof used by the Scurlock Studio that has a fugitive image, and other types of proofs printed on low quality paper or are water-marked and have a lasting image were included in the series Black and White Photographs and Color Photographs if the proof was either black and white or color. 6.1: Transparencies6.2: Slides6.3: Film6.4: Proofs
Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices:
Dates -- 1955-1957

Extent -- 7 boxes

Contents -- Series 7: Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives and Matrices: The materials in the series are black-and-white color separation negatives and a booklet about how to process black-and-white color separation negatives. The materials are arranged into three subseries: clients, subjects, and the booklet. The materials document orders placed at the Scurlock Studio by clients and individuals and organizations that could be identified but not connected to a specific order. The materials also document negatives categorized by subjects because there was no known client or identifiable individual or organization. The subjects represented are individual portrait sittings and groups, and unidentified people. 7.1: Clients Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives 7.2: Subjects Black-and-White Color Separation Negatives Booklet
Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records:
Dates -- 1907-1996

Extent -- 66 boxes

Contents -- Series 8: Scurlock Studio Business Records: The series Scurlock Studio Business Records contains paperwork pertaining to the administration of the business, the financial documentation of the business, the reocrds of sales, the advertising signs and promotions of hte business, the files kept on employees, and other materials kept at the Scurlock Studio. The series is arranged into six subseries: administrative file, financial, sales, advertising and marketing, employee and personnel, and office files. Each subseries is arranged differently according to the types of materials predominantly found in the subseries or in chronological order. The subjects represented in the series are mostly related to the financial records of the Scurlock Studio kept and the invoices of sales records. A wide variety of other subjects relating to the the business records of the Scurlock Studio can also be found including: session registers, construction plans, advertisements for specific holidays, and product information sent to the Studio. Some materials found in this series may be marked Scurlock Studio and Custom Craft, the color division of the Scurlock Studio, and were placed with this series because the Scurlock Studio was the primary business. Other materials with an unclear origin of either the Scurlock Studio or Custom Craft were placed in this series. 8.1: Administrative Files8.2: Financial8.3: Sales8.4: Advertising and Marketing8.5: Employee and Personnel8.6: Office Files
Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records:
Dates -- 1951-1994

Extent -- 57 boxes

Contents -- Series 9: Custom Craft Business Records: The series Custom Craft Business Records consists of paper documents relating to the administrative, financial, sales records, employee and personnel, and other files about the affairs of the Custom Craft business's day-to-day operations. The materials are arranged into five subseries: administrative, financial, sales, employee and personnel, and office files. The materials within a subseries are ordered by types of documents that consisted of a large number of materials listed first and materials with few documents following the grouped materials in chronological order. The materials document the day-to-day business of Custom Craft. The subjects represented are documents relating to the administration of the business, journals kept to document finances, the order invoices, the files kept about employees, product information, and materials accumulated in the office. Some documents may list both the Scurlock Studio and Custom Craft and were kept with the business records of Custom Craft if the materials appeared to fit the activities, color photography, of that business. Other documents relating to the business affairs of Custom Craft may be in the series Scurlock Studio Business Records because these documents did not clearly indicate which business the documents belonged to; in these cases, the materials were put in the series Scurlock Studio Business Records because the business was the primary business of the Scurlocks. There business records seem to indicate that there was not always a clear differentiation between the two businesses. 9.1: Administrative9.2: Financial9.3: Sales9.4: Employee and Personnel9.5: Office files
Series 10: Capitol School of Photography:
Dates -- 1948-1954

Extent -- 4 boxes

Contents -- Series 10: Capitol School of Photography: The series Capitol School of Photography consists of paper documents, photographs, and transparencies. The materials are arranged in chronological order and document the administration of the Capitol School of Photography and the students. The subjects represented are administrative documents, student files, photographs by students, photographs of students and the space used for the School, and transparencies of the same subjects.
Series 11: Washington Stock:
Dates -- 1981-1994

Extent -- 2 boxes

Contents -- Series 11: Washington Stock: The series Washington Stock consists of order materials, orders, and published materials. The materials are arranged chronologically and document the orders placed for Washington Stock and how the materials were used and published. The subjects represented are orders, standard forms used by Washington Stock, and published materials.
Series 12: Background Materials and Publications:
Dates -- 1902-1995

Extent -- 18 boxes

Contents -- Series 12: Background Materials and Publications: The series Background Materials and Publications is composed of paper documents, published materials, and materials from exhibitions. The materials are arranged into four subseries: historical and background information, Scurlock images, reference materials, and exhibition materials. The materials document the Scurlocks, published Scurlock images, published materials lacking Scurlock images, exhibitions of Scurlock images, and other exhibitions of related material. The subjects represented are largely materials related to the Scurlocks' photography and personal interests. Images were placed in the subseries Scurlock images if the photograph was credited to the Scurlocks or was a photograph known to have been taken by the Scurlocks; it is possible that uncredited and less well known images taken by the Scurlocks are present in the subseries reference materials. 12.1: Historical and Background Information12.2: Scurlock Images12.3: Reference Materials12.4: Exhibition Materials
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 12 series.

This collection was processed with numerous changes in arrangement and numbering of boxes. Original box numbers have been retained in this finding aid for cross-reference purposes and to assist anyone with a record of photographs according to the original box numbers.
Biographical / Historical:
The Scurlock photographic studio was a fixture in the Shaw area of Washington, D.C. from 1911 to 1994, and encompassed two generations of photographers, Addison N. Scurlock (1883-1964) and his sons George H. (1920- 2005) and Robert S. (1916-1994).

The turn of the twentieth century saw a mass exodus of African Americans from the South to northern cities in search of better employment opportunities and fairer racial treatment. Although many considered Washington to be the northern-most southern city, it still offered opportunities for African Americans leaving seasonal agricultural work and racial oppression in the South. In Washington, African Americans found stable employment with the U.S. government. In addition, Howard University offered African Americans teaching opportunities, college education, and professional training as doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, and ministers. By 1900 a substantial African-American middle class existed in Washington. Despite the fact that Washington was a historically and legally segregated city (and would remain so into the 1960s), this middle class population continued to grow and prosper.

After graduation from high school, Addison Scurlock moved from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Washington, D.C., with his family in 1900. With a keen interest in photography, he sought out an apprenticeship at the white-owned Moses Rice Studio on Pennsylvania Avenue. The Rice brothers (Amos and Moses) had been in Washington working as photographers since the 1860s and had one of the more prominent and better studios in the city. There Addison learned portrait and general photography. In 1904, he left Rice and began his photographic career at his parents' home. By 1911, when he opened the Scurlock Studio, he had already captured the likeness of Booker T. Washington (1910; see Appendix B), most likely his most well-known portrait. Scurlock quickly identified his market: a self-sufficient African-American community which included students, graduates, and educators affiliated with Howard University; poets; writers; intellectuals; musicians and entertainers; politicians; socialites; fraternal and religious organizations and their leaders. The Scurlock Studio, located at 900 U Street, N.W., became a fixture in the midst of the thriving African-American business community. As with his white counterparts on Pennsylvania Avenue and F Street, N.W., Addison Scurlock inspired passers-by with window displays of his photographs of national leaders and local personalities.

During the 1930s, Addison Scurlock's two sons Robert and George apprenticed in the studio. In addition to portrait and general photography, the sons learned the techniques of retouching negatives and photographic prints, hand-coloring, hand-tinting, and mat decoration. George concentrated on the commercial side of the business while Robert concentrated on the portrait side. The Scurlocks' work changed with the times. From the early 1900s until Addison's death in 1964, the Scurlock Studio was the official photographer of Howard University. In the 1930s the studio began a press service and prepared newsreels on African American current events for the Lichtman Theater chain, which offered some of the few non-segregated venues in the city. Their press service supplied the African-American press with newsworthy photographs of current events, personalities, and social, political, and religious life. Clients included the Norfolk Journal and Guide, Amsterdam News, Pittsburgh Courier, Cleveland Call and Post and the Washington Tribune and Afro-American. George and Robert ran the Capitol School of Photography from 1948 to 1952. Included among their students were African-American veterans under the G.I. Bill, Ellsworth Davis, who later worked as a Washington Post photographer and Bernie Boston of the Los Angeles Times. Perhaps their best-known student was the young Jacqueline Bouvier.

In 1952 Robert opened Washington's first custom color lab. Capitalizing on his knowledge of color processing, Robert was asked to take color portraits of both noted and ordinary individuals. In addition, the studio offered color views of important Washington landmarks and monuments. By the 1960s, Robert added magazine photography to his list of talents, publishing images in Life, Look, and Ebony. Robert continued photographing Washingtonians at his studio until his death in 1994.

According to George Scurlock, the Scurlock studio never had substantial competition in the African American community. Some Washington residents remember it differently, however. Dr. Theodore Hudson, a retired Howard University professor, recalled two other black photographers: Sam Courtney and a man named Sorrell. He said Courtney photographed events in the African American community...?

The collection represents the most comprehensive record of any long-lived, let alone African-American, photography studio, in a public institution. Other twentieth century studio collections exist, such as Robinson Studio, Grand Rapids; Hughes Company, Baltimore, Md. Among African American studio collections in public institutions are James Van Der Zee (New York City, 1912-80s), P.H. Polk (Tuskegee), and the Hooks Brothers (Memphis, Tenn., 1910-1975). The Scurlock Collection covers a greater time period and provides greater depth of coverage of African-American events and personages.

A number of articles have been written about the Scurlock family. Jane Freundel Levey, editor of Washington History magazine, believes that the family went beyond the artful use of light, shadow, and composition. She wrote, "Perhaps the most distinctive hallmark of the Scurlock photograph is the dignity, the uplifting quality of the demeanor of every person captured by photographs who clearly saw each subject as above the ordinary."

Constance McLaughlin Green, one of the leading historians of Washington, D.C., talks about African-American Washington as "the Secret City," a separate world with institutions of its own that remained virtually unknown to the white majority. Addison Scurlock and his sons captured that world on film and in doing so, documented that world in the course of running his business and perfecting his art. Steven C. Newsome, director of the Maryland Commission on Afro-American History and Culture stated that The Scurlocks' photograph "Gave us connections. They tell stories. They let us remember."

The collection includes photographs of the nationally famous Booker T. Washington, W.E.B. DuBois, Paul Laurence Dunbar, Mary McLeod Bethune, Mary Church Terrell, Marian Anderson; the locally or regionally important: P.B.S. Pinchback, Judge Miflin Gibbs, Col. Jim Lewis, Ernest Just, Anna J. Cooper; and actors, artists, vaudevillians, and musicians such as Fredi Washington, Madame Lilian Evanti, Oakley & Oakley, and Duke Ellington.

Sources

George Scurlock. Interview conducted by David Haberstich and intern Lora Koehler at Mr. Scurlock's apartment, Aug. 2003.

Theodore Hudson, conversation with David Haberstich in the Archives Center, 2 February 2004.

Jane Freundel Levey, "The Scurlock Studio," Washington History, 1989, p. 44.

Robert S. Scurlock, "An Appreciation of Addison N. Scurlock's Photographic Achievements," The Historic Photographs of Addison N. Scurlock. Washington, D.C.: The Charles Sumner School Museum and Archives, 1986 (exhibition catalog).
Materials at Other Organizations:
The Historical Society of Washington, DC holds Scurlock-related materials.

The Charles Sumner School Museumn and Archives holds Scurlock-related materials.
Materials in the National Museum of American History:
Cameras and other photographic apparatus, studio furniture, and miscellaneous ephemera from the Scurlock studio are in the History of Photography Collection. An adding machine from the studio is in the Museum's mathematics collection. See accessions 1997.0293 and 2010.0157.
Provenance:
The Museum purchased the Scurlock Studio Records from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, through Judge Marjorie Lawson in 1997. During the period of negotiation between the museum and Robert Scurlock's heirs, his widow Vivian and brother George, the collection was on loan to the Museum and was housed primarily in a closed exhibition area on the second floor. Staff of the Archives Center took physical possession of the collection long before the transfer to the Museum was final. The studio records and photographs were housed principally in the 18th Street studio and in two rental storage facilities. The primary move of the collection to the Museum occurred in September 1995. An additional pickup occurred on February 12, 1996 (on tags). There was probably one additional pickup from the studio by David Haberstich and Caleb Fey on an unrecorded date.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.

Series 8: Business Records, Subseries 8.1: Studio Session Registers are restricted. Digital copies available for research. See repository for details.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Rights:
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Portraits -- 20th century  Search this
Politicians -- 20th century  Search this
Segregation  Search this
Commercial photography -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C)  Search this
Photography -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
African Americans -- History -- 20th century  Search this
African American entertainers -- 20th century  Search this
African American photographers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Dye transfer process
Studio portraits
Matrices, color separation
Photographs -- 20th century
Color separation negatives
Citation:
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0618
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0618
Online Media:

Gordon D. Goldstein Collection

Creator:
Goldstein, Gordon D.  Search this
Names:
ENIAC.  Search this
Electrical Numerical Integrator and Computer (ENIAC).  Search this
Remington Rand.  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (6 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Technical manuals
Design drawings
Date:
1948 - 1957
Summary:
Papers relate to Gordon D. Goldstein, a computer engineer and frequent seminar speaker and participant, especially in the fields of linguistics and machine translation.
Scope and Contents:
The Goldstein Collection documents an interesting and important period in the development of the early computer industry. Many of the items in the collection are technical in nature; others, however, provide an interesting perspective on the development of post-war American culture. Items in the collection include design and training materials, operational manuals, professional literature, advertisements and promotional items, photographs, business and office documentation, and conference and seminar materials.

The collection is divided into five series. The first three series correspond to Goldstein's employment history; the fourth series includes notes and minutes from UNIVAC and computer conferences attended by Goldstein; and the fifth series contains general computer publications and computer advertisements. Of particular interest in the last series is a copy of the 1954 Report to the Association for Computing Machinery: First Glossary of Programming Terminology. This item was edited by Grace Murray Hopper.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 5 series.

Series 1, National Bureau of Standards, Electronic Computers Section/Standards Eastern Automatic Computer, 1948-1953

Series 2, U.S. Navy/Applied Mathematics Laboratory, 1950-1957

Series 3, UNIVAC-Remington Rand Corporation/Eckert-Mauchly Computer Corporation, 1948--956

Series 4, UNIVAC Conferences, 1950-1956

Series 5, Publications and Competitor Materials, 1950-1955
Biographical / Historical:
Born in 1917, Gordon D. Goldstein graduated from Clarkson College of Technology with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering. In 1941, Goldstein took a job with the Army Signal Corp as a civilian inspector of radio and navigation equipment. After leaving the Army Signal Corp, Goldstein took a job as development engineer at the Washington Institute of Technology where he was employed until 1950. From 1950 to 1951 he worked as chief engineer with computers for the Census Bureau in Philadelphia.

In 1951, Goldstein left the Census Bureau and took a job with the Navy Department. During his tenure there, Goldstein worked in three offices or divisions: the Naval Ordnance Laboratory (electronics scientist), the David Taylor Model Basin's Applied Mathematics Laboratory, and the Office of Naval Research (ONR), Information Systems Program where he was involved with applications of UNIVAC I. Goldstein worked in the Office of Naval Research from 1956 until his retirement in 1980.

Sources

Berkeley, Edmund C., ed. Who's Who in Computers and Data Processing 1971: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Computer Professionals. New York: The New York Times Book and Educational Division, 1971.

Gordon D. Goldstein Papers, 1950-1979. Charles Babbage Institute: Center for the History of Information Processing.

Williams, Michael R. A History of Computing Technology. Los Alamitos, California: IEEE Computer Society Press, 1997.
Related Materials:
Materials in Other Organizations

The Charles Babbage Institute, Center for the History of Information Processing houses the Gordon D. Goldstein Papers, 1950-1979, http://special.lib.umn.edu/findaid/xml/cbi00068.xml

Archives Center, National Museum of American History houses the Computer Oral History Collection, 1969-1973, 1977 http://invention.smithsonian.org/resources/fa_comporalhist_index.aspx
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Gordon D. Goldstein on December 13, 1978.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Seac computer  Search this
Systems engineering  Search this
Univac computer  Search this
Computers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Design drawings
Citation:
Gordon D. Goldstein Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0554
See more items in:
Gordon D. Goldstein Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0554
Online Media:

Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials

Creator:
Jeffers, Grace  Search this
Formica Corporation.  Search this
Names:
Faber, Herbert A.  Search this
Loewy, Raymond  Search this
O'Conor, Daniel J.  Search this
Stevens, Brooks  Search this
Extent:
18 Cubic feet (59 boxes, 11 oversize folders )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scripts (documents)
Videotapes
Posters
Samples
Advertisements
Brochures
Blueprints
Photographs
Newsletters
Exhibition catalogs
Catalogs
Correspondence
Date:
1913-2003
Summary:
The Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials consists of textual files, photographs, slides, negatives, drawings, blueprints, posters, advertisements, product brochures, newsletters, and informational pamphlets documenting the history of the Formica Corporation and the use of Formica brand plastic laminate.
Scope and Contents:
The Formica Collection, 1913-2003, consists of textual files, photographs, photo slides, drawings, blueprints, posters, advertisements, product brochures, informational pamphlets, and research notes documenting the history of the Formica Corporation and the use of Formica brand plastic laminate.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: Corporate Records, 1920-1992, 2003

Subseries 1.1: Annual reports, 1949, 1966, 1988

Subseries 1.2: Correspondence and company identity, 1920-1988

Subseries 1.3: Corporation histories and timelines, 1949-1991, undated

Subseries 1.4: Newspaper clippings and articles, 1934-2003

Subseries 1.5: Awards, 1940s-1987

Subseries 1.6: Patent information, 1925-1994

Subseries 1.7: Photographs, 1927-1966

Series 2: Personnel Records, 1943-1992

Series 3: Newsletters, Magazines, and Press Releases, 1942-1990

Subseries 3.1: Newsletters, 1942-1988

Subseries 3.2: Press releases, 1973-1990

Series 4: Product Information, 1948-1994

Series 5: Advertising and sales materials, 1913-2000

Subseries 5.1: Advertising materials, 1913-2000

Subseries 5.2: Sales materials, 1922-1993

Series 6: Subject Files, circa 1945, 1955-1991, 2002

Series 7: Exhibits, 1981-1994

Series 8: Grace Jeffers Research Materials, 1987-1997

Series 9: Audio Visual Materials, 1982-1995, undated

Series 10: Martin A. Jeffers Materials, 1963-1999

Subseries 10.1: Background Materials, 1965-1999

Subseries 10.2: Employee Benefits, 1963-1998

Subseries 10.3: Product Information, [1959?]-1997

Subseries 10.4: Advertising and Sales Records, 1987-1999
Biographical / Historical:
Since its founding in 1913, the history of the Formica Company has been marked by a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. The history begins with the discovery of Formica by two men who envisioned the plastic laminate as breakthrough insulation for motors. Later, Formica became a ubiquitous surfacing material used by artists and architects of post-modern design. The various applications of the plastic laminate during the twentieth century give it a prominent role in the history of plastics, American consumerism, and American popular culture.

The Formica Company was the brainchild of Herbert A. Faber and Daniel J. O'Conor, who met in 1907 while both were working at Westinghouse in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. O'Conor, head of the process section in the Research Engineering Department, had been experimenting with resins, cloth, paper, and a wide array of solvents in an effort to perfect a process for making rigid laminate sheets from Kraft paper and liquid Bakelite. O'Conor produced the first laminate sheet at Westinghouse by winding and coating paper on a mandrel, slitting the resulting tube, and flattening it on a press. The finished product was a laminated sheet with the chemical and electrical properties of Bakelite that were cut into various shapes and sizes. O'Conor applied for a patent on February 1, 1913, but it was not issued until November 12, 1918 (US Patent 1,284,432). Since the research was done on behalf of Westinghouse, the company was assigned the patent, and O'Conor was given one dollar, the customary amount that Westinghouse paid for the rights to employees' inventions.

Herbert Faber, Technical Sales Manager of insulating materials, was excited about O'Conor's discovery. Faber saw limitless possibilities for the new material. However, he quickly became frustrated by Westinghouse's policy limiting the sale of the laminate to its licensed distributors. After failing to persuade Westinghouse to form a division to manufacture and market the new material, Faber and O'Conor created their own company. On May 2, 1913, the first Formica plant opened in Cincinnati, Ohio. On October 15, 1913, the business incorporated as the Formica Insulation Company with Faber as president and treasurer and O'Conor as vice-president and secretary. The company began producing insulation parts used in place of or "for mica," the costly mineral that had been used in electrical insulation.

Like most new companies, Formica had modest beginnings. Faber and O'Conor faced the challenge of looking for investors who would let them maintain control over the company. Finally, they met J. G. Tomluin, a lawyer and banker from Walton, Kentucky, who invested $7,500 for a one-third share in the Formica Company. Renting a small space in downtown Cincinnati, Faber and O'Conor began work. The company's equipment list consisted of a 35-horsepower boiler, a small gas stove, and a variety of homemade hand screw presses. By September 1913, Tomluin had brought in two more partners, David Wallace and John L. Vest. With the added capital, O'Conor, Faber, and Formica's eighteen employees began producing automobile insulation parts for Bell Electric Motor, Allis Chalmers, and Northwest Electric.

Initially, the Formica Company only made insulation rings and tubes for motors. However, by July 4, 1914, the company obtained its first press and began to produce flat laminate sheets made from Redmenol resin. Business gradually grew, and by 1917 sales totaled $75,000. Fueled by World War I, Formica's business expanded to making radio parts, aircraft pulleys, and timing gears for the burgeoning motor industry. In the years that followed, Formica products were in high demand as laminate plastics replaced older materials in washers, vacuum cleaners, and refrigerators. By 1919, the Formica Company required larger facilities and purchased a factory in Cincinnati.

During this time, patent battles and legal suits emerged to challenge Formica's success. On June 11, 1919, Westinghouse sued Formica for patent infringement on its laminated gears; Formica won. Later that year, Westinghouse brought two new lawsuits against Formica. The first was for a patent infringement on the production of tubes, rods, and molded parts; the second was over an infringement based on a 1913 patent assigned to Westinghouse through O'Conor. Formica prevailed in both suits.

Legal battles did not deter the company. Having to defend itself against a giant corporation gave Formica a reputation as a scrappy contender. Finally, Faber and O'Conor made a quantum leap in 1927, when the company was granted a U.S. patent for a phenolic laminate utilizing lithographed wood grains of light color, forming an opaque barrier sheet which blocks out the dark interior of the laminate. In 1931, the company received two more patents for the preparation of the first all paper based laminate and for the addition of a layer of aluminum foil between the core and the surface, making the laminate cigarette-proof. These patents would allow Formica to move from a company dealing primarily with industrial material to the highly visible arena of consumer goods.

In 1937, Faber had a severe heart attack which limited his activity within the company. O'Conor continued as president, encouraging new product lines, including Realwood, as a laminate with genuine wood veneer mounted on a paper lamination with a heat-reactive binder. With the introduction of Realwood and its derivatives, manufacturers started using Formica laminate for tabletops, desks, and dinette sets. By the early forties, sales of Formica laminate were over 15 million dollars. The final recipe for decorative laminate was perfected in 1938, when melamine resins were introduced. Melamine was clear, extremely hard, and resistant to stains, heat, light, less expensive than phenolic resins. It also made possible laminates of colored papers and patterns.

Due to World War II, Formica postponed the manufacturing of decorative laminate sheets. Instead, the company made a variety of war-time products ranging from airplane propellers to bomb buster tubes.

The post-World War II building boom fueled the decorative laminate market and ushered in what would come to be known as the golden age for Formica. The company, anticipating the demand for laminate, acquired a giant press capable of producing sheets measuring thirty by ninety-six inches for kitchen countertops. Between 1947 and 1950, more than 2 million new homes were designed with Formica brand laminate for kitchens and bathrooms.

Formica's advertising campaigns, initially aimed at industry, were transformed to speak to the new decorative needs of consumer society, in particular the American housewife. Formica hired design consultants, Brooks Stevens, and, later, Raymond Loewy who launched extensive advertising campaigns. Advertising themes of durability, cleanliness, efficiency, and beauty abound in promotional material of this time. Advertisers promised that the plastic laminate, known as "the wipe clean wonder," was resistant to dirt, juices, jams, alcohol stains, and cigarette burns. Atomic patterns and space-age colors, including Moonglo, Skylark, and Sequina, were introduced in homes, schools, offices, hospitals, diners, and restaurants across America.

The post-war period was also marked by expansion, specifically with the establishment of Formica's first international markets. In 1947, Formica signed a licensing agreement with the British firm the De La Rue Company of London for the exclusive manufacture and marketing of decorative laminates outside North America, and in South America and the Pacific Basin. In 1948, Formica changed its name from the Formica Insulation Company to the Formica Company. In 1951, Formica responded to growing consumer demand by opening a million square foot plant in Evendale, Ohio, devoted to the exclusive production of decorative sheet material. In 1956, the Formica Company became the Formica Corporation, a subsidiary of American Cyanamid Company. A year later, the international subsidiaries that Formica formed with De La Rue Company of London were replaced by a joint company called Formica International Limited.

The plastic laminate was not merely confined to tabletops and dinette sets. Formica laminate was used for skis, globes, and murals. Moreover, well-known artists and architects used the decorative laminate for modernist furniture and Art Deco interiors. In 1960, Formica's Research and Development Design Center was established, adjacent to the Evendale plant, to develop uses for existing laminate products. In 1966, the company opened the Sierra Plant near Sacramento, California. Such corporate expansion enabled Formica to market its laminates beyond the traditional role as a countertop surface material.

In 1974, Formica established its Design Advisory Board (DAB), a group of leading designers and architects. DAB introduced new colors and patterns of laminate that gained popularity among artists and interior designers in the 1980s. In 1981, DAB introduced the Color Grid, a systematic organization of Formica laminate arranged by neutrals and chromatics. The Color Grid was described as the first and only logically arranged collection of color in the laminate industry. DAB also developed the Design Concepts Collection of premium solid and patterned laminates to serve the needs of contemporary interior designers.

In the 1980s and 1990s, the corporation continued to produce laminates for interior designers, artists, and architects. In 1982, Formica introduced COLORCORE, the first solid-color laminate. Due to its relatively seamless appearance, COLORCORE was adopted by artists for use in furniture, jewelry, and interior design. The introduction of COLORCORE also marked the emergence of a wide variety of design exhibitions and competitions sponsored by the Formica Corporation. In 1985, Formica Corporation became independent and privately held. Formica continues to be one of the leading laminate producers in the world with factories in the United States, England, France, Spain, Canada, and Taiwan.

For additional information on the history of the Formica Corporation, see:

DiNoto, Andrea. Art Plastic: Designed for Living. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985.

Fenichell, Stephen. Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century. New York: Harper/Collins, 1996.

Jeffers Grace. 1998. Machine Made Natural: The Decorative Products of the Formica Corporation, 1947-1962. Master's thesis. Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts.

Lewin, Susan Grant, ed. Formica & Design: From Counter Top to High Art. New York: Rizzoli, 1991.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

Leo Baekeland Papers, 1881-1968 (AC0005)

DuPont Nylon Collection, 1939-1977 (AC0007)

J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics, circa 1900-1975 (AC0008)

Earl Tupper Papers, circa 1914-1982 (AC0470)

The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession # 1997.0319 and #1997.3133.
Provenance:
This collection was assembled by Grace Jeffers, historian of material culture, primarily from materials given to her by Susan Lewin, Head of Formica's New York design and publicity office when the office closed in 1995. The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Grace Jeffers in September 1996.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastics as art material -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastics in interior design -- 1920-2000  Search this
advertising -- plastic industry -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastic jewelry -- 1920-2000  Search this
Laminated plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Exhibitions -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
House furnishings -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Housewives as consumers -- 1920-2000  Search this
Electronic insulators and insulation -- Plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Women in popular culture -- 1920-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scripts (documents)
Videotapes
Posters -- 20th century
Samples -- 1920-2000
Advertisements
Brochures
Blueprints -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Exhibition catalogs
Catalogs
Catalogs -- 1920-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0565
See more items in:
Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0565
Online Media:

Danish Film Stills of American Motion Pictures

Collector:
Danske filminstitut  Search this
Danske filminstitut  Search this
Extent:
10 Cubic feet (23 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Motion picture stills
Film stills
Place:
Denmark -- motion pictures
Date:
circa 1915-1986
Summary:
The collection contains primarily black-and-white silver gelatin photographic prints, produced by film studios and distributors for advertising and theater lobby display purposes. The films are mostly American, although the collection includes some European and Japanese films. Some films are accompanied by small booklets in Danish.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains primarily black-and-white silver gelatin photographic prints, produced by film studios and distributors for advertising and theater lobby display purposes. The films are mostly American, although the collection includes some European and Japanese films. Many prints were used for display purposes and have tack-holes in the corners. Some are in poor condition with tears, creases and folds; others are in excellent condition. Some images occur as glossy color photomechanical prints, but hand-tinted black-and-white prints are also included. There are often duplicate prints. Many prints are embossed or blind-stamped ASTATENS FILMCENSUR, with a date date. Some films include small booklets in Danish that lists the major actors and the plot of the movie. The collection has been divided into two series.

Series 1, Film Stills, is arranged alphabetically by film title, one motion picture per folder. The subjects range from pre-World War I silent films to comedies with Mickey Rooney, and European romances.

Series 2, Unidentied Film Stills, contains stills from films that can not be identified by archivists within the Archives Center. The series also contains a catalog that allows one to purchase books, pamphlets, programs, periodicals, and photographs of various films, actors, and directors.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1, Film Stills, 1915-1986

Series 2, Unidentified Film Stills, undated
Provenance:
Collection donated by a museum in Denmark, circa 1970s.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Copyright status of items varies. Collection items are available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
advertising -- Motion pictures  Search this
Motion pictures, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Motion picture stills
Film stills
Citation:
Danish Film Stills of American Motion Pictures, circa 1915-1986, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0543
See more items in:
Danish Film Stills of American Motion Pictures
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0543

Superconducting Super Collider Collection

Creator:
Science, Medicine and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
4 Cubic feet (8 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Bumper stickers
Videotapes
Photographs
Clippings
Handbills
Signs (declaratory or advertising artifacts)
Posters
Place:
Texas -- Environmental protection
Date:
1985-1992
bulk 1987-1989
Summary:
The collection was assembled by Museum curators and documents the efforts of persons in eight states to have the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), a particle accelerator, built in their state. Also documents efforts in each state to oppose locating the SSC in their state. The collection contains correspondence, press kits, posters, signs, bumper stickers, leaflets, handbills, clippings, photographs, and a videotape.
Scope and Contents:
The collections contains materials documenting the efforts by persons in eight competing states to have the Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) built in their state, as well as efforts in each state to oppose locating the SSC within their state. The materials include correspondence, press kits, posters, signs, bumper stickers, leaflets, handbills, clippings, two photographs and one videotape.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into nine series.

Series 1: Arizona (Ian MacPherson), 1988, undated

Subseries 1.1: Ian McPherson, 1988, undated

Series 2: Colorado (Uriel Nauenberg), 1987

Subseries 2.1: Uriel Nauenberg, 1987-1988

Series 3: Illinois, 1987-1991, undated

Subseries 3.1: Fermi National Laboratory Library/Paula Garrett, undated

Subseries 3.2: David L. Gross, 1988, undated

Subseries 3.3: Sharon Lough, 1988-1991

Subseries 3.4: Stan L. Yonkauski, undated

Series 4: Michigan, 1988-1989

Subseries 4.1: Larry Jones, 1988-1989

Series 5: New York, 1986-1990

Subseries 5.1: Gail Adair, 1987

Subseries 5.2: Mary Lou and Jim Alexander, 1986-1990

Subseries 5.3: Bill Herbert, 1987

Subseries 5.4: Doug McCuen, 1987-1988

Subseries 5.5: Brian L. Petty, 1987-1988

Series 6: North Carolina, 1987

Subseries 6.1: Bill Dunn, 1987

Series 7: Tennessee, 1987-1992

Subseries 7.1: Robert and Pat Sanders, 1987-1992

Subseries 7.2: J. Fred Weinhold, 1987

Series :, Texas, 1985-1990, undated

Subseries 8.1: Representative Joe Barton, undated

Subseries 8.2: Jean Caddel, 1986-1989

Subseries 8.3: Coby Chase, 1985-1989

Subseries 8.4: Red Oak Chamber of Commerce, 1990

Subseries 8.5: Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, undated

Subseries 8.6: Mari Beth Williams, undated

Series 9: Miscellaneous, 1987-1988
Biographical / Historical:
The Superconducting Super Collider (SSC), if built, would have been the world's most expensive instrument for basic science. It would have allowed physicists to study the collisions of subatomic particles in conditions approximating those of the Big Bang, the beginning of the universe. The SSC design called for a 10-foot wide tunnel to be laid out in an oval pattern similar to a racetrack, approximately 53 miles in circumference and 14 miles in diameter. The tunnel, buried several hundred feet underground, would have contained nearly 10,000 superconducting magnets. Small clusters of buildings located above the tunnel were planned to house the SSC's offices, laboratories, and control facilities. All of these structures would have made the SSC the largest particle accelerator in the world and, at an estimated cost of between $4.4 and $11.8 billion, one of the largest public works projects ever undertaken in the United States.

Physicists planned to use the SSC's superconducting magnets to accelerate two streams of protons (particles with a positive electrical charge that forming part of the nucleus of an atom) to a velocity of 20 trillion electron-volts (TeV) in opposite directions within the tunnel's parallel beam tubes. They would then deflect the two streams into each other and study the particles that were created in the resulting high-speed collisions. From these events, physicists hoped to detect particles never seen before and learn more about the composition of matter.

In January 1987, President Reagan publicly declared his support for the proposed SSC, to be built under the authority of the Department of Energy (DOE). States were invited to submit site proposals for the project, and from the twenty-five states that responded, eight finalists were selected: Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Texas.

The huge scale of the SSC meant that it would have a significant environmental and cultural impact on the area selected. The SSC would, one source estimated, "require 16,000 acres of donated land, a flow of between 500 and 2,200 gallons of water a minute and up to 250-megawatts of power, as well as accessibility to a major airport, so the world's scientists can fly in and out."1

In many of the finalist states, opponents of the SSC organized and actively campaigned against the project. They raised issues such as the threat to uproot hundreds of people from their homes or create heavy tax and utility burdens. Opponents attended public hearings on SSC issues, distributed leaflets by mail and by hand, and conducted letter-writing campaigns to local politicians. In New York, Citizens Against the Collider Here (CATCH) was able to force the state to withdraw from the competition. Groups in other states learned from the New York group's experiences and used similar techniques in their own campaigns, sometimes adopting the name CATCH. As one CATCH activist recalled, "opponents were not against the SSC or basic sciences, however they did not believe that they should be forced out of their homes for the SSC."2

Supporters of the SSC, on the other hand, addressed the concerns of the citizens by writing editorials or distributing pamphlets responding to particular issues or questions. Prominent city officials and politicians traveled to the proposed sites to discuss the economic and scientific benefits of the SSC, and cities distributed bumper stickers supporting the project. Scientists rebuffed claims that the SSC would produce large amounts of deadly radioactivity and contaminate the entire area. Supporters promised that, "the SSC project would bring federal funding, international prestige, and jobs—starting with 4,500 construction jobs, and later 2,500 full-time research staff positions."3

In November 1988, the Department of Energy declared the winning site to be Ellis County, Texas, southwest of Dallas near the town of Waxahachie. Full-scale construction began three years later with the building of laboratory facilities for the design and manufacture of the SSC's superconducting magnets. Contractors began boring the main tunnel and several vertical access shafts in January 1993.

The anticipated tremendous costs that dogged the project eventually helped undermine it. In June 1992 and again in June 1993, the House voted to cancel funds for the SSC; both times, the Senate restored funding. However, in October 1993 the House rejected the Senate's second restoration, and President Clinton echoed Congress's decision to cancel further work on the SSC. The project received a small budget to support termination activities through 1996. Once the remaining projects were shut down and the scientists and staff dispersed, only several empty buildings in the rural Texas countryside, and fourteen miles of tunnel underneath it, remained of the once-ambitious facility.

At the National Museum of American History, planning for the Science in American Life exhibit—which would examine how science, technology, and American society have intersected over a hundred-year period—began in 1990, at the same time that preparations were being made in Texas to build the Super Collider. Early in the planning phases, Smithsonian curators decided to dedicate a section of the exhibit to the SSC. This section was intended to be a "work in progress" that would change over time as the collider was built, reflecting the current and ongoing debates over the massive machine.

The exhibition design called for using materials donated by both supporters and opponents of the SSC. Early in the exhibit's development the curators began contacting organizations and individuals who both supported and opposed the SSC, asking if they still had materials related to their efforts. Over a two-year period, the curators collected a wide range of items in more than twenty donations, ranging from bumper stickers, t-shirts and hats, to newspaper clippings, maps, and copies of state site proposals.

The design of the SSC portion of the Science in American Life exhibit became permanent with the closing of the SSC in late 1993. The SSC portion now focuses on the roles that special interest groups, protest, and grass-roots political campaigns play in large-scale scientific endeavors. Many of the donated items were included in the exhibit.

Notes

1 DeMott, John S. and J. Madeleine Nash, "Super Push for a Supercollider," Time, April 13, 1987, p. 19, Box 2, Folder 20.

2 "Alexander Narrative," a brief typescript history of the New York CATCH organization, Box 3, Folder 14.

3 Koszczuk, Jackie. "Anti-SSC Felling CATCH-es On Fast," Daily Star News (Fort Worth, Texas), September 17, 1988, p. 4, Box 2, Folder 5.
Related Materials:
When the Superconducting Super Collider entered its termination phase in 1993, the Records Management Department of the project began grouping the official records of the SSC into five "disposition packages." These packages were in various stages of being assembled, shipped, received, and processed for research use and were dispersed to: the Fort Worth Regional Federal Records Center; Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory ("Fermilab") Archives; Niels Bohr Library, Center for History of Physics, American Institute for Physics; Ronald Reagan Presidential Library; and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory Archives.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by individuals connected in various ways to the Superconducting Super Collider. The items were donated from personal collections, official files, and the project archives of several different institutions. The donors were Gail Adair, Mary Lou and Dr. Jim Alexander, Representative Joe Barton, Jean Caddel, Coby Chase, Bill Dunn, the Fermi National Laboratory Library, David L. Gross, Bill Herbert, Larry Jones, Sharon Lough, Uriel Nauenberg, Doug McCuen, Ian McPherson, Andrea Miller, Brian L. Petty, the Red Oak Chamber of Commerce, Pat and Dr. Robert Sanders, the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce, J. Fred Weinhold, Mari Beth Williams, and Stan L. Yonkauski. A brief statement identifying donors and their connections to the Superconducting Super Collider accompanies each subseries in the container list.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Environmental impact analysis  Search this
Environmental protection -- Citizen participation  Search this
Superconducting Super Collider  Search this
NIMBY syndrome  Search this
Genre/Form:
Bumper stickers
Videotapes
Photographs -- 1980-2000
Clippings -- 20th century
Handbills
Signs (declaratory or advertising artifacts)
Posters -- 20th century
Citation:
Superconducting Super Collider Collection, 1985-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0538
See more items in:
Superconducting Super Collider Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0538
Online Media:

Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards

Creator:
Korda, Ronald S., -1996  Search this
Korda, Catherine  Search this
Extent:
57 Cubic feet (259 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Albums
Baseball cards
Collecting cards
Posters
Programs
Stickers
Date:
1952-1996
Summary:
Sports and trading cards, 1952-1996, amassed by card collector Ronald S. Korda. The sports cards are subdivided by sport. Baseball cards, (1952-1996), comprise the vast majority of the sports cards, while football (1968-1996) and hockey (1968-1996) are the two next largest subseries. There are lesser quantities of cards for basketball, and only a few each for all other sports, such as racing, skiing, etc. Non-sports cards cover a large variety of popular culture topics, including motion pictures, television programs, popular music, toys, games, cars and trucks, comics, fantasy art, and many other subjects. Some ephemeral items are also included in the collection, such as sticker albums, posters and programs
Scope and Contents:
This collection is divided into two main series, Series 1, Sports; and Series 2, Non-Sports.

Series 1, Sports, comprises more than 90% of the collection. Within Series 1, the collection is divided into seven subseries:

Subseries 1.1: Baseball;

Subseries 1.2: Football;

Subseries 1.3: Hockey;

Subseries 1.4: Basketball;

Subseries 1.5: Other Sports;

Subseries 1.6: Sports programs, schedules and other paper ephemera; toys, souvenirs and novelty items;

Subseries 1.7: Sports card packaging.

Subseries 1.1 is the largest, with baseball cards making up approximately 70% of the entire Korda collection. Within the first three subseries, the cards are further subdivided into cards in sets, which are sleeved, and cards in packs, which are stored in card-sized boxes. Subseries D and E are in packs only. Both cards in sets and in packs have been arranged alphabetically by manufacturer, and thereunder, chronologically. Within sets, cards are arranged in numerical order by card number. In cases where, for baseball cards, titles of sets were unclear or ambiguous, the reference book Sports Collector's Digest's Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards (which in this finding aid will be referred to as Standard Catalog) was used to determine how card sets should be titled. Likewise, in the rare cases in which cards were not numbered within sets, the order used was that given in Standard Catalog. In the case of football and hockey, Beckett's Football Card Monthly and Beckett's Hockey Card Monthly were used as reference guides.

Series 2: Non-Sports, is arranged into twenty three subseries:

Subseries 2.1: Mass Media and Entertainment

Subseries 2.2: Education

Subseries 2.3: Comic Books and Strips

Subseries 2.4: Toys and action figures

Subseries 2.5: Literature

Subseries 2.6: Automotive Themes

Subseries 2.7: Crime and Law Enforcement

Subseries H: Military Topics

Subseries 2.8: Biography

Subseries 2.9: Fine Arts

Subseries 2.10: Adult Themes

Subseries 2.11: Beauty Contests

Subseries 2.12: Video Games

Subseries 2.13: Parodies

Subseries 2.14: Product Advertising

Subseries 2.15: Fantasy Art

Subseries 2.16: Monsters

Subseries 2.17: Card Games

Subseries 2.18: Stickers, patches and tattoos

Subseries 2.19: Toys, games, puzzles, post cards and posters

Subseries 2.20: Pogs, caps and gum wrappers

Subseries 2.21: Oversize of above topics

Subseries 2.22: Non-card items, relating to above topics

Subseries 2.1, Mass media and entertainment, is the largest of the non-sports categories, comprising movies, television and music. Other subseries are similarly subdivided. Unlike the majority of the sports cards, the non-sports cards are stored in small, card-sized cartons, which have been assigned the letters A through DD, and are stored in 4 Paige boxes and 1 document box. They are listed here according to titles of packs.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: Sports

Series 2: Non-sports
Biographical note:
Ronald Korda, an employee of NBC television and a man of modest, middle class means, began assembling his card collection in childhood after receiving a pack of cards as a party favor. After that initial inspiration, he began his collecting hobby which was his passion until his death in March, 1996. In the early years of his hobby, he collected baseball cards, later expanding to other sports as well as cards on diverse popular culture topics. Among these topics are films, television, popular music, science and nature, comics and magazines, toys and action figures, games, and products, and in addition to cards, there are stickers, sticker albums, tattoos, gum wrappers, puzzles, games and other novelty items. Numerous foreign issues are included. He amassed his collection by attending cards and collectibles shows and seeking out reputable dealers, and by purchasing factory sets when they became available. He was selective and careful, and in the case of the sports cards, succeeded in acquiring complete sets of virtually every series which he collected. (With the non-sports cards, he tended to collect samples rather than entire sets.) This thoroughness is what makes this collection rare and possibly unique among any card collections in public or private hands. With few exceptions, there are no cards missing, and virtually all are in mint or near mint condition. The Kordas could have sold their collection for a fortune, but felt it important that the collection stay together as a unit. Mr. Korda, in an emotional article entitled "Collections Should Live Forever" written for Baseball Hobby News, referred to his collection as "my card family" and expressed the fear that the family would be split up after he died. He approached the Smithsonian late in 1995. Just days before the Archives Center was to acquire the collection, Mr. Korda died. Finalization of his gift was completed by his wife.
History:
Although baseball and other trading cards date back to the nineteenth century, with some of the earliest accompanying packages of tobacco, they gained great popularity during the Depression with the advent of the bubble gum card. In the post-World War II years, and especially during the prosperous decade of the 1950s, they began to enjoy tremendous popularity, as the technology for producing them improved. The market rapidly expanded, and cards for other sports and other topics became popular, just as competition among manufacturers was heating up. The earliest trading cards accompanied packs of tobacco, but were eventually used to advertise gum, cookies, soft drinks, baked goods, hot dogs, and numerous other products. Card manufacturers, such as Topps, changed card formats with each new set, varying the presentation of statistics, vertical and horizontal orientation, use of action shots, candid shots and portraits, and inclusion of puzzles, games, fold-outs, and other novelties. They also added new features, such as trivia questions, cartoons, and holograms. As the hobby has changed, so have trading cards. Today's glossy, high-tech trading cards bear little resemblance to the tobacco cards of the 19th century or even to the cards produced during the "golden age" of cards in the 1950s. This collection represents a very diverse sampling of the card hobby from the 1950s to the 1990s.
Separated Materials:
Some card packaging was transferred to the Museum's Division of Cultural History.
Provenance:
The entire collection was donated to the Archives Center in April, 1996 by Mr. Korda's widow, Catherine Korda. Some of the card packaging was transferred by the Archives Center to the Division of Cultural History.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270

Use of this collection by researchers requires compliance with security procedures more stringent than those required for other collections in the Archives Center. This is due to the high value and rarity of some of the items in this collection. Autographed items, and cards valued at higher than $300 by Standard Catalog and Beckett's are stored separately, and may be seen only with special permission from the Reference Archivist, and then only in cases (such as photography or scanning) where it is deemed a necessity.

Color photocopies have been placed in sleeves where these items would normally be stored. When using card boxes, only six at a time may be requested from the Reference Archivist, and unlike other collections, may not be reserved in advance (i.e., on each separate research visit, a researcher must request boxes only for that visit.)

Card sleeves may be taken out of the binders for photocopying only with the permission and the supervision of the Archives Center staff. Cards may not be taken from sleeves, except with the permission and supervision of Archives Center staff. This may involve making advance arrangements with the Archives Center staff. These procedures are necessary for the preservation of this exceptional collection in perpetuity.
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:
Baseball  Search this
Baseball players  Search this
Basketball  Search this
Basketball cards  Search this
Cards  Search this
Collectibles  Search this
Collectors and collecting  Search this
Football  Search this
Football cards  Search this
Football players  Search this
Hockey  Search this
Hockey players  Search this
Motion pictures  Search this
Popular music  Search this
Popular culture  Search this
Sports -- Collectibles  Search this
Sports -- 1950-2000  Search this
Sports cards  Search this
Television programs  Search this
Television personalities  Search this
Genre/Form:
Albums
Baseball cards
Baseball cards -- 1950-2000
Collecting cards
Posters -- 20th century
Programs -- Sports
Stickers
Citation:
Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards, 1952-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Catherine Korda.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0545
See more items in:
Ronald S. Korda Collection of Sports and Trading Cards
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0545
Online Media:

Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection

Performer:
Basie, Count, 1904-  Search this
Webster, Ben  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1901-1971  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Fitzgerald, Ella, 1917-1996  Search this
Goodman, Benny (Benjamin David), 1909-1986  Search this
Jamal, Ahmad, 1930-  Search this
Robinson, Bill, 1878-1949  Search this
Davis, Miles  Search this
Collector:
Smith, Ernie  Search this
Names:
Apollo Theatre (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Extent:
30 Cubic feet (352 film reels , 16 mm)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Place:
Harlem (New York, N.Y.) -- 20th century
Date:
1894-1979
Summary:
More than 300 reels of 16mm black and white and color film, silent and sound, fiction and documentary motion picture film documenting jazz and related musical performances, social and popular dance styles and performances, jazz musicians, performance locales, and documentation of African-American popular culture. A list of featured performers in the collection is shown below. The films are frequently compilations produced by Smith for lectures.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of 352 reels of 16mm motion picture film. Most of the film is 16mm black and white and sound (composite optical track print), although a few titles are silent or in color. The collection is comprised of compilation reels created by Ernie Smith to accompany his lectures, topical compilation reels created by Ernie Smith, compilation reels created by the Archives Center, and single title reels. The Archives Center produced master and reference video copies using a wet-gate telecine film-to-tape transfer system. Titles were often combined to allow for increased ease of handling, storage, and duplication.

The collection is strongest in the areas of jazz dance styles including Lindy Hop and tap, overviews of jazz musical performers and styles; specific jazz musicians and performers including Duke Ellington, Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, Bob Crosby, Lionel Hampton, Count Basie, Jack Teagarden as well as a wide range of female vocalists; and documentation of the New York jazz and club scene. The collection includes feature films and excerpts from feature films, Soundies and other film shorts, television kinescopes, and documentary films.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series and is not arranged in accordance with standard archival procedures. The breadth of the collection and the existence of so many multiple topic and/or performer compilation reels made it impossible to impose traditional archival series order. Therefore, each reel is described at the item level in the container list.
Biographical / Historical:
Ernie Smith began collecting jazz-related film in 1955. He wrote the entry about jazz film in the "Grove Dictionary of Jazz," and worked with Marshall Stearns on the book "Jazz Dance."
Ernest (Ernie) Smith began collecting jazz and jazz dance films during the mid-1950s. An Art Director for a New York advertising agency, Smith had a long-standing interest in jazz and jazz dance that began during his youth in Pittsburgh, Pa. Early on, Smith discovered that jazz music was best appreciated while dancing. He became an accomplished Lindy Hopper, frequenting both white and African American ballrooms.

His job at the advertising agency supported Smith's two passions - painting and jazz dance and music. Smith was also a film enthusiast so, in 1954, after taking a jazz class at the New School taught by Marshall Stearns, a leading jazz scholar, he began collecting examples of jazz and jazz dance on film. In the process of creating his film collection, Smith became one of the leading authorities on jazz and jazz dance films. He collaborated with Stearns on the 1964 book Jazz Dance, compiling the book's jazz dance film listing. He also wrote the extensive entry on jazz film for the 1988 edition of New Grove Dictionary of Jazz .

Smith built his film collection by identifying films of potential interest and acquiring them through trade and purchase. He created lecture reels on specific topics -- the history of jazz, social dance, tap dance, Duke Ellington, Lindy Hop -- and presented lecture/screenings nationally and internationally. He also provided footage for numerous documentaries and maintained active relationships with filmmakers, other film collectors, jazz scholars, the swing dance community, and musicians.

Ernie Smith donated his film collection to the Archives Center in 1993. He continues to lecture and participate in swing dance activities, but he devotes the majority of his time to painting and related artistic pursuits.
Provenance:
The Archives Center acquired the collection from Ernie Smith in 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the films are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Tap dancing -- 1930-1970  Search this
Motion pictures and music -- 1930-1970  Search this
Dancing in motion pictures, television, etc. -- 1930-1970  Search this
Television and music -- 1930-1970  Search this
Jazz -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Jazz musicians -- 1930-1970  Search this
Jazz dance -- 1930-1970  Search this
African Americans in the performing arts -- 1930-1970  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Citation:
Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0491
See more items in:
Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0491

Commercial Decal, Incorporated Corporate Records

Creator:
Commercial Decal, Inc.  Search this
Seliger, Charles, 1926-2009  Search this
Rockwell, Norman, 1894-1978  Search this
Extent:
4.62 Cubic feet (39 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Annual reports
Exhibition catalogs
Decals
Photographs
Lithographs
Screen prints
Date:
1926-1993, undated
Scope and Contents note:
The Commercial Decal, Incorporated records consist of decals, photographs and advertising materials that trace the business transactions of Commercial Decal, Incorporated from its early creation through its closing in 1992. Most of the actual decals and patterns are from the early 1970s through 1992. The records of product orders, however, date back to 1926. Background information on Commercial Decal, Incorporated and its parent company, Pictorial Productions, Incorporated is also included among the materials. There are also several photographs of the plant and its employees from the 1940s.

The collection is arranged into eight series in thirty nine boxes. Series one contains historical and background materials. Series two consists of the corporate records of Commercial Decal, Incorporated and Pictorial Productions, Incorporated. These materials include articles, newsletters, annual reports, and photographs. Series three consists of the work order cards for individual orders. Order cards follow pieces of work through the several stages of decal production. Series four includes work orders and patterns for specific orders. These orders are written out on pressroom and proofing jackets that are similar to work order cards. Unlike series three, a copy of the pattern used is included with the order jackets. Series five and six contain original and copied decals that were used between the 1970s and 1990s. Series five contains copies of a variety of patterns and series six mainly focuses on special and commemorative decals. Series seven includes advertising materials created by Kleb Associates, Incorporated for Commercial Decal, Incorporated. Series eight contains materials relating to the artistic career of surrealist artist Charles Seliger, Commercial Decal's vice-president of design. There are several catalogues from Seliger's art shows in the United States and Europe dating from the 1970s to the early 1990s.
Arrangement:
Divided into 8 series: (1) Background and Historical Information, 1935-1993; (2) Corporate Records, 1964-1991; (3) Work Order Cards, 1926-1972; (4) Work Orders and Patterns, 1940-1985; (5) Patterns, 1974-1989; (6) Commemorative and Special Decals, circa 1970-1990; (7) Advertising Mmaterials, dates unknown; (8) Charles Seliger Artwork, circa 1970-1990.
Biographical/Historical note:
Commercial Decal, Incorporated Corporate Records, was a pictorial printing company opened in Mount Vernon, New York, in 1912. The company was one of the few American firms that produced decorative decals for major ceramic companies. The company supplied decals to most of the ceramics industry, including such major firms as Haviland, Homer Laughlin, Lenox, Hallcraft, Bradford, Corning, Anchor Hocking, and Salem China. They also produced decals for glass and plastic products. Most of the company's decals featured straightforward, edge-of-the-plate designs in floral, abstract, or geometric patterns. Other products included decals of reproductions of famous art works (Norman Rockwell was particularly popular), commemorative and historical designs, advertising decals for products (including Coca-Cola, McDonald's, and Quaker Oats), and original patterns and designs for china sets and cookware. In 1935, Commercial Decal, Incorporated Corporate Records designed a new set of dishes for the White House at the request of Eleanor Roosevelt, who gave them to her husband, Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a Christmas present. In 1973, company President Charles Silberstein, introduced a new method of transfer, the four color or camera separation process, which revolutionized the business by making colors more reproducible and accurate and production time faster. In the mid-1980s, the company began to lose customers to increased competition. Then, in the late-1908s, the New York State Department of Environmental Control imposed heavy fines on the company for serious violations of environmental laws. Between lost customers, increased competition, and the need to install environmentally-friendly new equipment, the company was unable to pay the fines. By August of 1992 the company had gone out of business.
Related Materials:
Materials held by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Salem China Company, 1930s-1981, undated
Provenance:
Collection donated by Commercial Decal, through Charles Seliger, Febuary 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but a portion of the collection remains unprocessed and is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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 -- 20th century  Search this
Decalcomania  Search this
Ceramics -- 20th century  Search this
Lithography -- 20th century  Search this
Glass -- 1940-1990  Search this
Serigraphy  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Annual reports
Exhibition catalogs -- 1970-2000
Decals
Photographs -- 20th century
Lithographs
Screen prints
Citation:
Commercial Decal, Incorporated Corporate Records, 1940-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0477
See more items in:
Commercial Decal, Incorporated Corporate Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0477

Earl S. Tupper Papers

Creator:
Tupper, Earl Silas, 1907-  Search this
Tupper Corporation  Search this
Names:
Tupperware (Firm).  Search this
Tupper, Glenn O.  Search this
Tupper, Miles  Search this
Extent:
14 Cubic feet (27 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Letters (correspondence)
Advertising fliers
Business records
Personal papers
Photographs
Business letters
Notes
Clippings
Family papers
Interviews
Date:
2003
1908-1989
Summary:
Papers documenting inventor Earl S. Tupper, his inventions, Tupperware and the Tupper Company.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the life of inventor Earl S. Tupper through correspondence, notes, photographs, drawings and sound recordings.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into five series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1910-1989

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

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

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

Subseries 4.1: Research Files, 1926-1989

Subseries 4.2: Original Masters, 1987-1989

Subseries 4.3:Research Copies, 1987-1989

Subseries 4.4:Research Copies, 1987-1989

Subseries 4.5: Preservation Copies, undated

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

Subseries 5.1: Original Masters, 1992

Subseries 5.2: Research Copies, 1992

Subseries 5.3: Research Copies, 1992

Subseries 5.4: Preservation Copies, 1992

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leo Baekeland Papers (AC0005)

DuPont Nylon Collection (AC0007)

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

Celluloid Corporation Records (AC0009)

Albany Billiard Ball Company Records (AC#0011)

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection (AC0583)

Materials at the National Museum of American History

Tupperware related artifacts are located in the Division of Home and Community Life, the Division of Medicine and Science and the Division of Work and Industry. See accessions: 1983.0711; 1984.1098; 1985.3014; 1985.3015; 1987.0180; 1990.3055; 1992.0209; 1992.0605; 1993.0257; 1994.0118; 1994.0124; 1995.0109; 1998.0070; 1998.0220; 2012.0133; and 2014.3077.
Provenance:
The materials were donated to the Archives Center in 1992 by Glenn O. Tupper, Earl Tupper's son.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but master (preservation) tapes are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics  Search this
Plastic container industry  Search this
Plastic tableware  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Business -- History  Search this
Marketing  Search this
advertising  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Advertising fliers
Business records -- 20th century
Personal papers -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Business letters
Notes
Clippings
Family papers
Interviews
Citation:
Earl S. Tupper Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0470
See more items in:
Earl S. Tupper Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0470
Online Media:

who [sic] snags more stockings? / who wears out more shoes? [Booklet.]

Publisher:
Street & Smith Publications, Inc.  Search this
Charm (Magazine)  Search this
Advertiser:
Charm (Magazine)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Ellis, Estelle  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (9" X 13.5".)
Container:
Box 6, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Booklets
Advertisements
Date:
1953
Scope and Contents:
Illustrated booklet containing reproductions of staged photographs from Charm Magazine, with statistics about working women's buying habits for shoes and stockings.
Local Numbers:
AC0423-0000024a.tif - AC0423-0000024t.tif (AC Scans)
General:
In Box 6, Folder 2.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but negatives in Box 62 are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Clothing -- American  Search this
Hosiery  Search this
advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Women in marketing -- 1940-1990  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Shoes  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Reproductions
Booklets -- 1920-1970
Advertisements
Collection Citation:
Estelle Ellis Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
See more items in:
Estelle Ellis Collection
Estelle Ellis Collection / Client Files / 1.11: Charm Magazine (Street and Smith/Condé Nast Publications, Incorporated) / Marketing studies
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0423-ref2133

Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs

Creator:
d'Arazien, Arthur  Search this
Extent:
11 Cubic feet (28 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Dye destruction process
Photographic prints
Transparencies
Cibachrome (tm)
Tear sheets
Color negatives
Color prints (photographs)
Dye destruction photoprints
Silver-dye bleach process
Type c color prints
Chromogenic processes
Place:
Canada -- Industry -- 1940-1980
Date:
circa 1930-2002
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes Arthur d'Arazien's professional work in industrial photography from the late 1940's through about 1981; personal creative photography and other types of professional work were retained by Mr. d'Arazien or placed elsewhere. Thus this collection is a very cohesive, unified body of work, which documents primarily American (and some Canadian) business and industry during a period of expansion a golden age of American industry. Although it represents the photographer's creative and artistic style and skill, the subject matter is appropriate to the National Museum of American History from several viewpoints the visual documentation of industry and technology, as well as advertising, public relations, and business history.

The photographs include black and white negatives and prints from the negatives, as well as color negative and transparency materials, up to 8" x 10" in size. Probably the majority of the transparencies were made in the large size. The black and white materials include pictures of d'Arazien at work some made by famous Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt, a colleague at the Famous Photographers School. A number of Dye Transfer prints mounted on illustration board were made by master color printer Don Browning.

In addition to frequently extensive caption information on all of d'Araziens original envelopes and enclosures, many enclosures for color negatives and transparencies bear d'Arazien labels with technical information or instructions for color printing, such as filter pack designations and local printing controls. These enclosures therefore have been retained in the collection, although usually they are not of archival quality.

Of secondary significance are 62 large color prints, mostly Type C, with a few Cibachromes, which were made from the original transparencies for exhibition purposes. Most were made either by K & L laboratories, New York City (stickers on back) or Eastman Kodak professional laboratories, Rochester, N.Y., and have been wet mounted to non archival Masonite. At the time of acquisition, several had faded and/or changed color. These are available for research and exhibition purposes, but are not expected to survive as long as the original transparencies.

The collection contains Mr. d'Arazien's files of printed materials. These include reproductions which indicate how his photographs were used by clients. Included are annual reports, promotional pieces, magazine tearsheets from advertising and editorial uses, and other biographical items.

Series 1: Professional industrial photographs.

Photographs document primarily American business and industry (including some taken in Canada). Black-and-white negatives with prints from these negatives, also color negative and transparency materials. Most transparencies are 8" x 10". The photographs demonstrate the photographer's reputation as a master of dramatic lighting and the coordination of large-scale, complex industrial setups in factories, steel mills, and even outdoor settings. Also 65 color prints, mostly Type C with a few Cibachromes, made from the original transparencies for exhibition purposes, mostly wet-mounted to Masonite. Black-and-white photographs include pictures of d'Arazien at work--some by Life magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt.

Series 2: D'Arazien's files of printed materials, some of which include photomechanical reproductions of his work, indicating how the photographs were used by clients; also annual reports, magazine tearsheets from advertising and editorial uses, and other promotional items, in addition to biographical materials.

2007 addendum: Transparencies, slides, prints and negatives of additional photographs by Arthur d'Arazien, including industrial subjects as well as travel, architectural, agricultural, portrait, art, still life and personal photographs. Also included are miscellaneous papers, mostly relating to d'Arazien's photographic work.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into three series.

Series 1: Paper Documents

Subseries 1.1: Publications and Reproductions.

Subseries 1.2: Photographer's Labels, Envelopes, Etc.

Series 2: Photographs

Subseries 2.1: Color Phototransparencies

Subseries 2.2: Color Photonegatives and Color Photoprints

Subseries 2.3: Black and White Photonegatives and Photoprints

Subseries 2.4: Color Photoprints: Enlargements Mounted on Masonite

Material is arranged in each sub-series primarily by client names, in alphabetical order.

Series 3: Oversize prints
Biographical / Historical:
Arthur d'Arazien began his photographic career as an assistant to a famous theatrical photographer, documenting Broadway shows. A distinctive emphasis on dramatic lighting in his later work suggests the heavy influence of the theater. He did fashion and commercial photography, as well as photographing the 1939 World's Fair, for Underwood & Underwood Illustration Studios, East 44th St., New York City, in 1938 1939. He was described in a U.S. Camera Annual article as Aan architect whose interest in photography has caused him to make a profession of it.

D'Arazien taught aerial photography for the U.S. Air Corps Technical Training Command at Lowry Field, Denver, during World War II. He began his career in industrial photography with the De Laval Separator Company, New York City. His energy and creativity led to assignments which often were judged too difficult for lesser photographers. His growing reputation as an industrial photographer kept pace with the dynamic growth of the industrial and technological activities he was photographing during the 1950s through the 1980s.

Robert Vogel, former Curator of Mechanical and Civil Engineering for the National Museum of American History, wrote that d'Arazien: ...became internationally known for his dramatic color views of the American industrial scene at a time when our industry can be said to have been at the height of its powers....He was commissioned by the giants of steel, paper, chemicals, machinery, transportation, automobiles, mining, metal refining, textiles, and the other heavy (and medium) industries. ...He developed a number of special techniques for obtaining the grand, sweeping views that became his trademark, including multiple exposures to achieve dramatic lighting effects, elaborate lighting setups involving multiple flashes from several vantages employing a number of assistants intercommunicating by radio, complex arrangements with transportation lines and the various departments of the subject organization to produce the desired juxtaposition of elements in the photograph, and the like. His MO was anything but that of simply walking onto the scene and snapping the shutter; for many of his breathtaking views he appears to have been more producer and impresario than photographer.

Arthur d'Arazien describes the growth of his spectacular style as an eager response to new subjects, challenges, and photographic materials:

...knowing that color was the coming thing in corporate advertising, I pursued that line. I did lots of experimenting; every assignment gave me an opportunity to try something new, such as combination day and night exposures on a single sheet of film, multiple flash bulbs to light large interiors, multiple exposures on the same film, such as...moving objects ...automobiles, trains...to build up excitement in a picture. Colored gels to change colors. I even used old fashioned flash powder to light ...steel mills, because there were no flashbulbs powerful enough to light these dark, cavernous interiors: this idea was borrowed from the Air Corps night time aerial photography with magnesium flash powder.

A skilled painter and metal sculptor as well as photographer, d'Arazien came from a family of artists. His photographs were made primarily on assignment from industrial corporations for advertising, editorial, and public relations purposes, but have been exhibited and collected as works of art in the Smithsonian Institution (Division of Photographic History), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Cleveland Museum. His work was included in the Photography in the Fine Arts exhibitions organized by Ivan Dimitri, and he was a founding faculty member of the Famous Photographers School, Westport, Connecticut, in the early 1960's.

D'Arazien married Margaret Scott and has two sons. He had a studio in Waterside Plaza, New York, and made his home in New Canaan, Connecticut, until moving to Naples, Florida, upon his retirement in 1988. The collection was brought to the Smithsonian's attention by his son Steven, and was donated to the Archives Center before this move. In anticipation of this gift, Mr. d'Arazien spent several months inspecting his collection, eliminating duplicate and technically unsuccessful images, and captioning photographs.

Sources American Aces, U.S. Camera Annual 1939. Clipping in scrapbook no. 1, box 24, first page.

Robert M. Vogel, memorandum, undated, but written after a December 1987 visit to d'[Arazien's home. In Archives Center collection control file.

Letter to the author, 26 February 1992, in collection control file.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Arthur d'Arazien, December 24, 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the majority of the collection is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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:
Industry -- Photographs -- 1940-1980 -- Canada  Search this
Industry -- Photographs -- 1940-1980 -- United States  Search this
Steel industry and trade -- 1940-1980  Search this
Agriculture -- Photographs -- 20th century  Search this
Travel -- Photographs -- 1930-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film
Photographs -- Chromogenic -- 1900-2000
Dye destruction process
Photographic prints
Transparencies
Cibachrome (TM)
Tear sheets
Color negatives
Color prints (photographs)
Dye destruction photoprints
Silver-dye bleach process
Photographs -- Color prints -- 20th century
Type C color prints
Chromogenic processes
Citation:
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs, ca. 1930-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0314
See more items in:
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0314
Online Media:

[Jones & Laughlin ad campaign; staged image of a grocery check-out with factory in background, Aliquippa : chromogenic color transparency]

Photographer:
d'Arazien, Arthur  Search this
Advertiser:
Jones & Laughlin  Search this
Collection Creator:
d'Arazien, Arthur  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (8" x 10".)
Container:
Box 8, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Advertising
Chromogenic processes
Photographs
Date:
1960
Scope and Contents:
Set includes three female shoppers and cashier at counter, with two children observing. Customer at cash register wears red shorts. "360-C" in white ink on film.
Local Numbers:
AC0314-0000006.tif (AC Scan No.)
General:
From Box 8, folder 6.
Restrictions:
Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Shopping  Search this
Factories -- 20th century  Search this
Shorts (Clothing)  Search this
Steel industry and trade -- 1940-1980  Search this
Supermarkets  Search this
Grocery trade  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertising
Chromogenic processes
Photographs -- 1900-2000 -- Chromogenic
Collection Citation:
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs, ca. 1930-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs
Arthur d'Arazien Industrial Photographs / Series 2: Photographs / 2.1: Color Phototransparencies
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0314-ref274
Online Media:

Mauldin Cartoon Collection

Artist:
Mauldin, Bill, 1921-2003  Search this
Collector:
Archives of American Art  Search this
Archives of American Art  Search this
Names:
Chicago Sun-Times  Search this
St. Louis Post-Dispatch  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (20 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Clippings
Sketchbooks
Correspondence
Genealogies
Personal papers
Political cartoons
Cartoons (humorous images)
Place:
Arizona
Vietnam
Date:
1946-1987
Summary:
Collection is believed to contain all of Mauldin's published cartoons from 1946 to 1987; also periodical and newspaper articles about and by Mauldin, personal items, including his genealogy, and an original sketchbook used by Mauldin while he was in Vietnam, February 1965.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains newspaper clippings or photocopies of Mauldin's published cartoons from 1946 to 1987. Some of his most famous cartoons from World War II were reprised during this time. Newspaper and magazine articles written and/or illustrated by Mauldin are also included as are magazine covers and a Vietnam sketchbook containing pen and ink renderings of battle scenes observed by Mauldin during a visit. Other documents include correspondence, a number of articles written about Mauldin, his genealogy and photographs of his family. Some correspondence and drawings by Mauldin's friend, artist Mailton Caniff are also included.

Series 1, Artwork and Articles, 1946-1987, include published material written or drawn by Mauldin and is arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 1, Cartoons, 1946-1987, consists of clippings and draft submissions of published cartoons and are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 2, Articles Written by Mauldin, 1947-1982, consists of clippings and drafts of newspaper and magazine articles and is arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 3, Articles Illustrated by Mauldin, 1948-1970, consists of illustrations arranged chronologically.

Subseries 4, Related Materials, 1961-1968, consists of magazine covers, sketches and a map to his wedding and is arranged in alphabetical order.

Series 2, Biographical Information, 1947-1968; undated, includes articles written about Mauldin, biography, some correspondence and reviews of and advertisements for his books. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order.

Series 3, Other Artwork, 1948-1960, include clippings of drawings by Milton Caniff and some miscellaneous material. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in three series:

Series 1, Artwork and Articles, 1946–1987

Subseries 1.1, Cartoons, 1946-1987

Subseries 1.2, Articles Written by Mauldin, 1947-1982

Subseries 1.3, Articles Illustrated by Mauldin, 1948-1970

Subseries 1.4, Related Materials, 1961-1968

Series 2, Biographical Information, 1947-1968; undated

Series 3, Other Artwork, 1948-1960
Biographical / Historical:
William Henry (Bill) Mauldin, a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning military and political cartoonist, was born in Mountain Park, New Mexico in 1921. He studied for a year at the Academy of Fine Arts in Chicago and did some freelance cartooning before World War II. He joined the Arizona National Guard and when the war broke out he was activated and became a cartoonist for the 45th Infantry Division newspaper, and later for Stars and Stripes, a newspaper written for and distributed to GI's. It was for the Stars and Stripes that he created his two most famous characters. Willie and Joe were two dog faced infantrymen whose exploits reflected Mauldin's first hand observations of combat (he was awarded the purple heart) and the anxieties and frustrations that confronted Americans in a combat zone. His cartoons were the most popular pinups in tents and barracks along with photos of movie stars. Many of the Army's leaders, including General Patton, didn't like the disrespectful tone of some of the cartoons, but General Eisenhower did, so they continued to be published.

After the war he drew political cartoons, first for United Feature Syndicates then for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and then for the Chicago Sun Times. They ranged in subject from local matters to international politics. He was a master satirist who could find the cracks in any idol be it democratic (Kennedy), republican (Eisenhower) or demagogue (De Gaulle).

Mauldin wrote newspaper and magazine articles, some on contemporary life and politics, and some based on his visits to war zones in Korea, the Mid-East and Vietnam. He wrote a number of books including Up Front which was made into a movie.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Alice R. Colquitt, on March 10, 1988.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Cartoonists  Search this
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975  Search this
Korean War, 1950-1953  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings -- 20th century
Sketchbooks -- 1940-1990
Correspondence -- 1940-1990
Genealogies
Personal papers -- 20th century
Political cartoons -- 1940-1950
Cartoons (humorous images) -- 1930-1960
Citation:
Mauldin Cartoon Collection, 1946-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0307
See more items in:
Mauldin Cartoon Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0307
Online Media:

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