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scroll

Type:
scroll
Credit Line:
Gift of Mrs. E. Sanderson Cushman
Accession Number:
1963-47-6
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1963-47-6

Scroll

Type:
Scroll
Made in:
Tibet
Date:
early 18th century
Credit Line:
Purchased by Friends of the Museum Fund
Accession Number:
1954-15-1
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1954-15-1

Computer World Smithsonian Awards

Creator:
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Computerworld Magazine.  Search this
Source:
Computers, Information and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Former owner:
Computers, Information and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
145 Cubic feet (341 document boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Software
Questionnaires
Photographs
Interviews
Essays
Date:
1989-2000
Summary:
Collection documents an awards program established in 1989 as a partnership between Computerworld Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution. The Computer World Smithsonian Awards (CWSA) brought together the Chairmen of Chief Executive Officers of the world's foremost information technology companies with the world's leading universities, libraries and research institutions to document a revolution in progress—the global information technology revolution. The program identified men, women, organizations and institutions leading the technology revolution and asked them to contribute case studies. Collection consists of case studies which include questionnaires, essays, oral histories, conference proceedings, publications, video tapes, photographs, slides, software, and product samples about each project.
Scope and Contents:
An important part of the award process was that nominees actively created the permanent record of their work, for inclusion in the permanent CWSA archives at the Smithsonian. Strict guidelines were set up to ensure that a complete record was created. Each nomination had to be in the form of a packet of primary source materials about the project. Nominees were instructed on the types of materials to include and were required to answer a standard questionnaire and write an essay about the significance of the project. As a result, each case study includes a wealth of information about the project, including oral histories, conference proceedings, publications, video tapes, photographs and slides, software, examples of the product generated, and other records, as well as the standardized information required by the program. The collection is arranged into thirteen series chronologically.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into thirteen series.

Series 1, General

Series 2, 1989

Series, 3, 1990

Series 4, 1991

Series 5, 1992

Series 6, 1993

Series 7, 1994

Series 8, 1995

Series 9, 1996

Series 10, 1997

Series 11, 1998

Series 12, 1999

Series 13, 2000
Biographical / Historical:
Established in 1989 as a partnership between Computerworld Magazine and the Smithsonian Institution, the Computer World Smithsonian Awards (CWSA) Program brought together the Chairmen or Chief Executive Officers of the world's foremost information technology companies with the world's leading universities, libraries and research institutions to document a revolution in progress: the global information technology revolution.

The awards program was dedicated to identifying the men and women, organizations and institutions, that were leading this revolution and to recording the impact of their achievements on society. The first awards were presented in 1991 during a ceremony at NMAH. According to that year's press release, the CWSA awards were created to "recognize heroes of technological innovation, to demystify public perceptions of technology and to clearly identify the benefits technology brings to the lives of the general public."

Over the course of each year, members of the Chairmen's Committee would identify those organizations whose use of information technology had been especially noteworthy for the originality of its conception, the breadth of its vision, and the significance of its benefit to society. Those organizations were asked to contribute a case study regarding their project to the CWSA collection, which was to be housed at the Smithsonian's NMAH. Nominated projects were sorted into ten categories and winners were selected by a panel of distinguished representatives in each specialty. The first year's categories were: business and related services; education and academia; environment, education and agriculture; finance, insurance and real estate; government and non-profit organizations; manufacturing; media, arts and entertainment; medicine and health care; and transportation. The categories changed slightly over the years as the process was refined.

In 2001, the Smithsonian decided to sever its affiliation with the CWSA program. The program continued under the sole auspices of Computerworld magazine, without any Smithsonian connection. New case studies now "become part of the broader, worldwide collection, archived on the world wide web and also presented, in a variety of formats, to archives, museums, universities and libraries in each of the more than 40 countries on six continents represented by the award winners," according to their website (http://www.cwheroes.org/home.asp).
Related Materials:
The Division Information, Technology and Society holds significant artifacts included with the nomination packets.
Provenance:
Division of the History of Technology
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 held by donor and/or heirs. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.] .
Topic:
Computers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1980-1990
Software
Questionnaires
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1980-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Essays
Citation:
The Computer World Smithsonian Awards, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0425
See more items in:
Computer World Smithsonian Awards
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0425
Online Media:

National Company (NATCO) Atomic Clocks Records

Creator:
Bagnall, James  Search this
Orensberg, Arthur  Search this
NATCO, Inc. (National Company, Inc.)  Search this
Mainberger, Walter  Search this
Lerner, Louis C.  Search this
Holloway, Joseph  Search this
Grant, Eugene  Search this
George, James  Search this
Daly, Richard Timothy, Jr.  Search this
Bovarnick, Michael  Search this
Extent:
5.5 Cubic feet (16 boxes, 3 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Blueprints
Technical drawings
Reports
Manuals
Photographs
Date:
1955 - 1968
Summary:
The records document the development of the first commercial atomic clocks by the National Company, Inc., (NATCO) of Malden, Massachusetts, a company known for producing specialized electronic equipment. The records include blueprints, technical drawings and schematics, technical and research reports, instruction manuals, photographs, and marketing materials.
Scope and Contents:
The National Company (NATCO) Atomic Clocks Records, 1955-1968, documents the development of the first commercial atomic clocks. Materials were generated by the National Company, Inc. (NATCO) of Malden, Massachusetts which produced the clocks under contract for military branches of the U.S. government and also marketed them on a retail basis. The collection consists of blueprints, technical drawings and schematics, technical and research reports, instruction manuals, photographs, marketing materials, and a stock offering prospectus for NATCO. If one blueprint, drawing or parts list had two or more models listed, it is included under the first model cited.

Series 1, National Company, Inc., (NATCO), 1957-1959, consists of a stock offering prospectus, 1959, which describes the organization of NATCO, its executives and Board of Directors, financial condition, and products. Located in this series is a bound volume of photographs which accompanied NATCO's contract bids. This volume contains photographs of a state-of-the-art machine shop and electronics laboratory of the late 1950s and early 1960s. A blueprint for a radio receiver— the product on which NATCO had built its reputation—is here.

Series 2, Atomichrons, 1955-1968, contains blueprints, original technical drawings and schematics, instruction manuals for setup and operation, technical and research reports, photographs and marketing materials arranged by Atomichron model from the National Atomic Frequency System (NAFS) prototype through the NC3701 and NC3702. The NC1001, the first commercial atomic clock, is fully documented. Technical Memoranda and proposals (TM-) related to particular models have been included with them. Other Technical Memoranda and proposals are in Series 3, Components, 1955-1957, and Series 5, Technical Memoranda and Reports, 1956-1957.

Series 3, Components, 1955-1967, contains materials related to the development of NATCo's Cesium Beam Tube and other parts of the Atomichrons. It includes Technical Memoranda (TM-), blueprints and original drawings, original notes and computations, parts lists, and photographs. Also included in this series is material related to the Production Engineering Measure (PEM), 1962-1967. This was a piece of equipment designed and built by NATCO to measure the accuracy of each Cesium Beam Tube as it was produced.

Series 4, Collision Avoidance System, 1962-1967, consists of material related to James J. Bagnall's patented Collision Avoidance System, using the Cesium Beam Frequency Standard. It includes his research report, the patent assigned to NATCO, and proposals and reports from NATCO representatives to Air Transportation Association conferences and meetings for 1967.

Series 5, Technical Memoranda and Reports, 1956-1967, consists of bound and numbered (TM-) technical memoranda. These are research reports and proposals for future research or products. Other technical memoranda are in Series 2, Atomichrons and Series 3, Components, 1955-1967.

Series 6, Reprints from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), 1953-1955, contains a bound volume of reprinted or photocopied papers which document research developments in Cesium Beam Frequency Standards at the time NATCO was establishing itself as a commercial producer.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1: National Company, Inc., (NATCO), 1957-1959

Series 2: Atomichrons, 1955-1968

Subseries 2.1, National Atomic Frequency System (NAF), 1956

Subseries 2.2, NC1001, 1955-circa 1959

Subseries 2.3, NC1001, Polaris, 1956-1958

Subseries 2.4, NC2001, Militarized, 1956-1961

Subseries 2.5, NC3001, Airborne, 1956-1961

Subseries 2.6, NC1200, 1959

Subseries 2.7, Missileborne Atomichron, 1959-1960

Subseries 2,8, NC1501, 1958-1964

Subseries 2.9, NC1601, Economy, 1958-1964

Subseries 2.10, Tactical Frequency Standard Drawings, 1959

Subseries 2.11, Tri-Service CBFS, circa 1965

Subseries 2.12, NC3501, circa 1965, 1967

Subseries 2.13, NC3601, Aerospace, circa 1965

Subseries 2.14, NC3701, Commercial, 1964-1968

Series 3: Components, 1955-1967

Series 4: Collision Avoidance System, 1962-1967

Series 5: Technical Memoranda and Reports, 1956-1967

Series 6: Reprints from MIT, 1953-1955
Biographical / Historical:
An atomic clock is a cesium-based frequency standard. It operates by exposing cesium atoms to microwaves at one end of their resonant frequencies and then counting their corresponding cycles as a measure of time. In 1955, Louis Essen of Britain's National Physical Laboratory and William Markowitz of the U.S. Naval Observatory collaborated to produce the first measurement of what is now called the atomic second. In 1967, the 13th general Conference of Weights and Measures formally redefined the atomic second as 9,192,631,770. The atomic second became the internationally accepted unit of time. Atomic clocks are the most accurate of all clocks. The first clock in 1949 was based on the microwave resonances of the ammonia molecule. It was patented by Harold Lyons and Benjamin F. Husten. The first commercial atomic clocks were developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Research Laboratory of Electronics under J.R. Zacharias, a protégé of I.I. Rabi's, circa 1955-1956 and were manufactured by the National Company, Inc. (NATCO) of Malden, Massachussets. NATCO, founded in 1914, was a well-respected company known for producing specialized electronic equipment in short runs. Prototype clocks bore the working name National Atomic Frequency Standard (NAFS). When the first commercial product was unveiled on October 3, 1956, it bore the trade name "Atomichron" and the model number NC-1001. Between 1956 and 1960, fifty Atomichrons were made and sold to military agencies, government agencies, and universities. Nine other models followed with refinements in size, portability and accuracy. The most radical design departure began with the NC3001 when the beam tube was placed in the horizontal position. Prices ranged from $10,000 to $50,000.

Patents covering NATCO's frequency standards include: 2,960,663, 2,972,115, 2,991,389, 3,258,713, 3,305,290. In 1965, James J. Bagnall was assigned patent 3,167,772 for a Collision Avoidance System to NATCO. It never reached production.

Although supported by research contracts by all three military branches, especially the Army Signal Corps, NATCO failed to achieve a lasting profitability. It was liquidated, and its patents were acquired by Frequency Electronics in 1969.

Sources

1. PEM Drawing C43767, 1967, PEM Drawings (C38037-C43767), 1964-1967, Series 3, Components, 1955-1967, Atomic Clock Collection, Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution National Museum of American History.

2. Forman, Paul. "Atomichron: The Atomic Clock from Concept to Commercial Product," in Proceedings of the IEEE, vol. 73, p. 1181-1204, 1985.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

Artifacts related to this collection are located in the Division of Work and Industry.

Materials at Other Organizations

Materials related to MIT staff and departments who were involved in NATCO's Atomic Clock projects also can be found in the Historical Collections at the MIT Museum (http://web.mit.edu/museum/) and in the Institute Archives and Special Collections (http://libraries.mit.edu/archives/) of the MIT Libraries in Cambridge, Mass.
Provenance:
Materials in this collection were donated to the Division of Electricity and Modern Physics by Louis C. Lerner in December 1984. The bulk of the blueprints were purchased from Robert Reeves in August, 1991.
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:
Atomic clocks  Search this
Airplanes -- Collision avoidance -- 1950-1970  Search this
United States -- Air defenses -- Military -- 1950-1970  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Frequency standards -- 1950-1970  Search this
Cold War -- 1950-1970  Search this
Clocks and watches -- 1950-1970  Search this
Military-industrial complex -- Massachusetts -- Cambridge  Search this
Patents -- 1950-1970  Search this
Genre/Form:
Blueprints -- 20th century
Technical drawings
Reports -- 1940-1970
Manuals -- 1950-1970
Photographs -- 1940-1970
Citation:
National Company (NATCO) Atomic Clocks Records, 1955-1968, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0547
See more items in:
National Company (NATCO) Atomic Clocks Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0547
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:

Sterling Drug, Inc. Records

Creator:
Sterling Drug, Inc.  Search this
Winthrop Chemical Company  Search this
Bayer Company  Search this
Donor:
History Factory (Chantilly, Virginia)  Search this
History Factory (Chantilly, Virginia)  Search this
Names:
Eastman Kodak Co.  Search this
Extent:
120 Cubic feet (261 boxes, 16 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Brochures
Advertisements
Manuals
Catalogs
Price lists
Financial records
Photographs
Press releases
Newsletters
Clippings
Date:
1867-1993
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains domestic and foreign advertising for both pharmaceutical and consumer health care products; sales and marketing materials for pharmaceuticals aimed at physicians, such as brochures, package inserts, reports, catalogs, price lists, manuals; the company's business and administrative papers, including annual reports, news releases, clippings, newsletters and publications, financial and corporate files, histories, and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into four series. In most instances, original folder titles were retained. In circumstances where there was no folder title, the processing archivist created one derived from the nature of the materials. The contents of some folders were combined.

Series 1: Products, 1946-1948

Series 2: Advertising, 1902-1984

Series 3: Sales and Marketing, 1881-1979

Series 4: Corporate, 1896-1993
Historical:
Sterling Drug was founded in Wheeling, West Virginia in 1901 by two childhood friends, William E. Weiss and Albert H. Diebold, to manufacture and sell a pain-relieving preparation called "Neuralgine." The company's original name was Neuralgyline. Within a few years, Weiss and Diebold realized that expansion required more product lines and that this would be best obtained by acquisition. This policy continued throughout the life of the organization. At least 130 companies were acquired directly or indirectly between 1902 and 1986. In 1913, Weiss and Diebold established intangible assets (trademarks, patents, and copyrights) and tangible assets (offices and plants). By 1914, the company set-up proprietary agencies for overseas trading. Weiss and Diebold changed the name of the company in 1917 from Neuralgyline, which was difficult to say, to Sterling Products.

Sterling Products benefited from World War I. Because supplies of drugs from Germany were cutoff by the Allied blockade, they established the Winthrop Company to manufacture the active ingredients. After the war, Sterling acquired the American Bayer Company in December 1918. They established a separate subsidiary, the Bayer Company, to market Bayer Aspirin. During the 1930s, Winthrop made Sterling a leader in the pharmaceutical field with such renowned products as Luminal, the original phenobarbitol; Salvarsan and Neo-Salvarsan, the first effective drugs in the treatment of syphilis; Prontosil, the first of the sulfa drugs; and Atabrine, the synthetic antimalarial that replaced quinine during World War II. The company expanded overseas in 1938, and eventually operated about seventy plants in about forty countries. Sterling was especially profitable in Latin America. By 1942, the use of Sterling Products as a name was confusing and could not be licensed to conduct business in some states. Therefore, the company namechanged to Sterling Drug, Inc.

In 1988, in order to avoid a hostile takeover by Hofmann-LaRoche, Sterling became a division of Eastman Kodak and remained one until 1994 when Kodak disposed of its health-related businesses. This left Sterling broken up with Sanofi purchasing Sterling's ethical business; Nycomed of Norway purchasing the diagnostic imaging; and SmithKline Beecham purchasing the worldwide over-the counter pharmaceutical business.

Source

Collins, Joseph C. and John R. Gwilt. "The Life Cycle of Sterling Drug, Inc." Bulletin for the History of Chemistry, Volume 25, Number 1, 2000.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

NW Ayer and Sons Incorporated Advertising Agency Records (AC0059)

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Patent Medicines (NMAH.AC.0060)

Parke-Davis Company Records (NMAH.AC.0001)

Norwich Eaton Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Records (NMAH.AC.0329)

Syntex Collection of Pharmaceutical Advertisements (NMAH.AC.0821)

Garfield & Company Records (NMAH.AC.0820)

Materials at the National Museum of American History

Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collection

Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to Sterling Drug, Inc. that include a banner, flag, product packaging, memorabilia, a colander, and a soap dispenser. See accessions 2001.0314, 2004.0129, and 2018.5001.
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center by the History Factory through Bruce Weindruch (President and CEO), in 2001.
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:
Antibiotics  Search this
Anesthesia  Search this
advertising  Search this
Analgesics  Search this
Barbiturates  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Pharmaceutical industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Brochures
Advertisements -- 20th century
Manuals
Catalogs
Price lists
Financial records
Photographs -- 20th century
Press releases
Newsletters -- 20th century
Clippings
Citation:
Sterling Drug, Inc. Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0772
See more items in:
Sterling Drug, Inc. Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0772
Online Media:

Rock ' n ' Soul Audiovisual History Project Collection

Interviewer:
Daniel, Pete  Search this
McGovern, Charles  Search this
Meehan, John P.  Search this
Less, David  Search this
Sponsor:
National Museum of American History (U.S.)  Search this
Author:
Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum (Memphis, Tennessee)  Search this
Names:
Stax Records  Search this
Sun Records  Search this
Presley, Elvis, 1935-1977  Search this
Interviewee:
Anderson, Clara  Search this
Berger, Bettye  Search this
Blackwood, James, 1919-2002  Search this
Burlison, Paul  Search this
Dickinson, Jim, 1941-  Search this
Fontana, D.J., 1954-  Search this
Ford, Fred  Search this
Gist, Morse  Search this
Gordon, Willie  Search this
Jackson, Cordell, 1923-  Search this
Kesler, Stan  Search this
Lansky, Bernard  Search this
Manuel, Bobby, 1945-  Search this
Mitchell, Willie, 1928-  Search this
Moore, Scotty, 1931-  Search this
Nelson, Ford  Search this
Newborn, Calvin  Search this
Novarese, John, 1923-1996  Search this
Perkins, Carl  Search this
Phillips, Sam, 1923-  Search this
Porter, David, 1941-  Search this
Rich, Charlie, 1932-1995  Search this
Riley, Billy Lee, 1933-  Search this
Roll, Bobby  Search this
Sammons, George  Search this
Stewart, Jim  Search this
Talley, Bob  Search this
Thomas, Rufus, 1917-  Search this
Withers, Ernest  Search this
Yelvington, Malcolm, 1918-2001  Search this
Extent:
20 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Video recordings
Interviews
Oral history
Audio cassettes
Transcripts
Audiovisual materials
Place:
Memphis (Tenn.)
Date:
1992 and 1999
Summary:
In 1990, curators at the National Museum of American History began a project to develop a traveling exhibition about American music, and in the course of research, curators repeatedly returned to the Mississippi Delta area and Memphis, Tennessee to conduct interviews. A group in Memphis organized to raise the funds to complete the research, to acquire objects and artifacts, and the project ultimately became the Smithsonian-affiliated Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum, which opened in 2000 at 191 Beale Street.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of oral and video history interviews conducted by curators at the National Museum of American History with musicians, recording executives, disc jockeys, and others involved with the development of rock'n'soul music. Complete transcripts of all of the interviews exist.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in four series.

Series 1, Original Interviews

Series 2, Reference Copies

Subseries 1: Umatic Videos

Subseries 2: Reference DVDs

Series 3: Audio Cassettes

Series 4: Transcripts
Biographical / Historical:
In 1990, National Museum of American History curators Dr. Pete Daniel and Dr. Charles McGovern, began conducting research with the intention of creating a traveling exhibit about "American music." Their investigations led them to the Mississippi delta and ultimately to Memphis Tennessee, which had developed as a crossroads where people and musical traditions met beginning in the 1930s. Based on their discoveries they refined their scope in order to focus on the music that grew out of the traditions that met and mixed in Memphis. They weren't able to secure funding for the originally proposed exhibit, but instead partnered with the Memphis Rock'n'Soul Museum to develop the exhibit Rock'n'Soul: Social Crossroads. The museum and exhibit opened in 2000 and explores the influential musical form that has its roots in Memphis.

Much of the basic research for the exhibit as well as the production elements for the companion radio series, "Memphis: Cradle of Rock'n'Soul" came from oral and video history interviews conducted with musicians, record producers, radio disc jockeys and others involved with the development and popularization of rock'n'soul during 1992 and 1999. Daniel and McGovern partnered with John Meehan of Smithsonian Productions to create high-quality, informative interview tapes. The Rock'n'Soul Video History Collection is comprised of these unedited interviews.
Provenance:
Made at the National Museum of American History for the Smithsonian-affiliated Memphis Rock 'n' Soul Museum in 1992 and 1999.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Only refrence DVDs and digital reference copies in the Smithsonian Institution's Digital Asset Management System (DAMS) may be used. 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:
Soul musicians  Search this
Soul music  Search this
Rockabilly music  Search this
Rock musicians  Search this
Rock music -- Interviews  Search this
Rock music  Search this
Genre/Form:
Video recordings -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1990-2000
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Audio cassettes -- 1990-2000
Transcripts
Audiovisual materials
Citation:
Rock 'n' Soul Videohistory Collection, 1990-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0879
See more items in:
Rock ' n ' Soul Audiovisual History Project Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0879

Joseph Pedott Papers

Creator:
Joseph Enterprises, Inc. (Location of Meeting--San Francisco, California; )  Search this
Pedott, Joseph  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Oral history
Audiotapes
Interviews
Design drawings
Photographs
Packaging
Date:
circa 1976-2005, 2008
Summary:
Papers relating to products developed and marketed by Joseph Enterprises, Inc., including the Chia Pet and the Clapper. The collection includes internal business documentation including correspondence, design drawings, and photographs. Print advertising and packaging samples as well as audiovisual materials make up an important part of the collection. The video collection includes commercials for the Chia and Clapper products as well as clips of product mentions in popular entertainment. In addition, there are two recorded oral history interviews with Joseph Pedott.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the Chia Pet, the Clapper, and other products of Joseph Enterprises, Inc. Other materials include packaging and advertising campaigns by Joseph Pedott Advertising & Marketing for other companies. While fragmentary and limited in extent, these materials illustrate the progress of Joe Pedott's career from a one-man advertising agency to a modest scale, enduring marketing business. The papers include early advertising work for small local clients and for a national client (Eversharp/Parker Pen) and well as early television for a variety of retail products. There is little on unsuccessful products, often just a few advertisements. The materials are complemented by the oral history interviews.
Arrangement:
Collection organized into eight series.

Series 1: Oral History Interviews, September 2004, April 2008

Series 2: Chia Pet, 1981-2005, undated

Series 3: The Clapper, 1976-1985, undated

Series 4: Scribe Ett, 1981, 1984, undated

Series 5: Eversharp Pen Company, undated

Series 6: Various Products, 1985, undated

Series 7: Newspaper Clippings, 1989-2004, undated

Series 8: Audiovisual Materials, 1979-2005, undated

Subseries 8.1, Commercials, 1979-2005

Subseries 8.2, Promotions, 1996-2001
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph Pedott was born April 14, 1932 in Chicago. He attended the University of Illinois, where he and friend Daryl Peters, began the advertising company, Pedott & Peters. They successfully began producing commercials for automotive and retail companies and made a large amount of money by the time they reached the age of twenty-one. After making a bad business investment the partners focused on completing college. They began building up the company upon graduation.

Pedott and Peters worked together for several years before deciding to dissolve the partnership. Pedott then began working for R. Jack Scott, a Chicago advertising agency. Pedott worked for Scott for just over two years and during that time, out-performed those with more experience in the advertising field. Pedott left Chicago for San Francisco in 1956. He worked briefly at a small firm on commission before forming his own agency, Joseph Pedott Advertising & Marketing. Pedott's firm was innovative in advertising techniques. The company was the first to use "dealer tagging," a technique used at the ends of television commercials. During the last five seconds of the commercial consumers would learn where the advertised item could be purchased.

While attending a Chicago house wares show Pedott noticed the Chia Pet. He spoke with the product owner and learned that while the product was selling well, the owner was losing money on every Chia sold. Pedott bought the name and concept and reworked the manufacturing of the product after a trip to Mexico to witness first hand how the Chias were made. Later pedott moved Chia manufacturing to China. Pedott created a new company, Joseph Enterprises, Inc., (JEI) to manufacture the Chias. Joseph Pedott Advertising ran the advertising campaigns for all of JEI's products while continuing to work for non JEI clients.

After improving the quality of the product, the "new" Chia arrived on the market in 1982 and quickly expanded throughout the country, sold largely at drugstores. Today, the Chia Pet has large name recognition among the American public and continues to be a popular gift, especially at Christmas time. The line has expanded beyond the original ram and bull shapes to include a variety of animals (pig, elephant, kitten, dinosaur, etc.) as well as famous cultural icons such as Jerry Garcia, Bugs Bunny and various Looney Tunes characters, and Homer and Bart Simpson. In addition, the Chia Herb Garden entered the market in the mid-1990s.

Pedott's other success, the Clapper, came about through the advertising campaign for the Great American Turn On. Pedott discovered that the original product did not work properly and felt the owners were cheating their customers. JEI bought the product, including the patent, and reworked the electrical wiring to ensure that the company was selling a high quality product. As with the Chia Pet, The Clapper and its advertising, like the Chia, are familiar to a large number of Americans.

Note: Material for this section was taken from Joe Pedott Oral History Interview Abstract, September 20, 2004, Joseph Pedott Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Related Materials:
Materials in the National Museum of American History

The Division of Culture and the Arts holds artifacts related to this collection (Accession # 2005.3116) that include:

1. Chia Pet Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Chia pet dog

2. Chia Pet Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Chia pet ram

3. Chia Pet Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Chia pet bull

4. Chia Pet Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Chia-saurus

5. Chia Pet Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Chia Shrek character

6. Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Donkey from Shrek

7. Chia Pet Handmade Clay Decorative Planter with Chia Seeds, Jerry Garcia Chia

8. Bigmouth: A portable, plastic garbage bag holder

9A. CD Mobile antenna with packaging

9B. CB Mobile monitor with box

10. Video recorder with packaging

11. Metal detector with packaging

12. Pen set with frame and packaging

13. Light switch with box

14. Light switch with packaging

15. Jar lid opener with box

16. Tapeless measure with packaging

17A. Pen, engraving

17B. Pen, engraving with packaging

17C. Pen, engraving with packaging

17D. Pen, engraving with packaging

18A. Knife, Pumpkin cutter

18B. Knife, Pumpkin cutter

18C. Knife, Pumpkin cutter

18D. Knife, Pumpkin cutter

18E. Knife with packaging

18F. Pumpkin cutter with packaging
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Joseph Pedott, 2005.
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:
Novelties  Search this
Toys  Search this
Popular culture  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements
Oral history
Audiotapes
Interviews
Design drawings
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Packaging
Citation:
Joseph Pedott Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0898
See more items in:
Joseph Pedott Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0898
Online Media:

Joe Adams Papers

Creator:
Adams, Joe, 1922-  Search this
Morehead, Howard, 1926-2003  Search this
Names:
Charles, Ray, 1930-2004  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (3 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Letters (correspondence)
Scrapbooks
Date:
1948-1980
Summary:
Photographs, scrapbooks, and other materials documenting the career of Joe Adams, a Los Angeles radio announcer and movie and television actor, who later became Ray Charles's manager.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is comprised of photographs, correspondence, certificates, magazines and scrapbooks of newspaper clippings dating from 1947-1980. The materials document Adams's career in radio and film, as well as touching upon his military experience with the Tuskegee Airmen. Various documents and newspaper features depict Adams's relationship with a multitude of local and national celebrities; of particular note is the long list of musicians represented, such as Ella Fitzgerald and Frank Sinatra. Public figures, including several former mayors of Los Angeles and members of law enforcement, also appear.

The collection also includes magazines featuring articles on Adams and other celebrities and public figures. Adams appears in many advertisements for a variety of products that sponsored his radio shows. There are photographs, programs and advertisements for the movies, shows and plays in which Joe Adams appeared, including Disc Jockey and Carmen Jones. There is correspondence from public relations employees during the Ray Charles tour and from other radio personalities and journalists. There are also several certificates given in appreciation for Adams's community service. Newspaper articles and photographs feature "Joe Adams Day," declared by the mayor of Los Angeles, and document Adams's overseas USO tour to entertain the men and women of the Armed Forces, which was also broadcasted on Armed Forces Radio.

Series 1, Photographs, circa 1947-1980; undated, documents Joe Adams's personal and professional life. The photographs are arranged by subject, including Adams's work in radio and film, his public appearances, celebrities, Joe Adams Day, his work with the military and his later years. There is some overlap among the subject categories. The majority of the photographs cannot be dated. Featured programs, places, organizations and celebrities include the 7th United States Infantry Division, Emma Adams, Jim Ameche, Armed Forces Radio, Milton Berle, Eugene Biscailuz, Ruth Bowen, Fletcher Bowron, Tom Bradley, Tommy Butler, California Artichoke Foundation, Ray Charles, Nat King Cole, Paul Compton, Billy Daniels, Disc Jockey, the movie, Egyptian Shriners, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, Suzette Gomez, Amos Green, Lionel Hampton, Eddie Harbin, Shirley Haven, Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association, Lena Horne, Jamaica, the Broadway play, Joe Adams Day, Danny Kaye, KDAY radio, Korea, KOWL Radio, Joe Lewis, Julie London, Nellie Lutcher, Will Martin, Clarence Metcalf, Husky Miller, MGM Studios, Roy Milton, David "Fathead" Newman, One Night Stand radio program, Pantages Nightclub, Pigalle Nightclub, Pub of Pittsburg, Pa., Lillian Randolph, Willis Reed, "Sugar Ray" Robinson, Kenny Rogers, Timmie Rogers, Ruth Bowen Agency, Wylie "Captain Death" Seldon Jr., Lionel "Chico" Sesma, George "Geo" Shearing, Frank Sinatra, "Star of Stars" Charity Show, Barry Sullivan, The Trenier Twins, The Tuskegee Airmen, USO, Viscount Airlines, Ches Washington, Dinah Washington, and Ben Webster.

Series 2, Scrapbooks, circa 1947-1954; undated, consists of newspaper articles, photographs, advertisements, and playbills. The scrapbooks document Adams's start in radio, his permanent appointment to KOWL, his service in the military and the inner-city community, his unique perspective and his philanthropy. They contain newspaper advertisements for Adams's radio shows on KOWL and the Armed Forces Radio Broadcasts. The scrapbooks include advertisements for his television shows as well as events and benefits where Adams was the featured emcee. Ink drawings of Adams used to advertise various products also appear in the newspaper articles. There are news stories on Joe Adams Day, a bus accident involving Lionel Hampton, the release of Ray Charles's song "Georgia" (1979), and advertisements for the movies Carmen Jones and The Manchurian Candidate. Numerous photographs document Adams's broadcasts and musical performances domestically and abroad as well as his interactions with many celebrities in the musical world. Aside from some newspaper clippings that include the date of publication, the contents of the scrapbooks are not dated. Featured programs, places, organizations and figures include Emma Adams, Ira Adams, Don Allen, Armed Forces Radio, Pearl Bailey, George A. Baron, Count Basie, Harry Belafonte, Irvin Berman, Eugene Biscailuz, Manny Borun, Fletcher Bowron, Charley Browning, Carmen Jones, the movie, Ray Charles, Club de Lisa, Arthur Croghan, Clay Cunningham, Dorothy Dandridge, Sammy Davis Jr., Warren Dorn, Billy Eckstine, Egyptian Shriners, Bob Ellis, Kay Francis, Robert D. Funk, Georgia (by Ray Charles), Lee Gillette, Golden Grooves radio show, Curley Hamner, Lionel Hampton, Hunter Hancock, Addie Hansen, Leon Helflin, Billie Holiday, H. Claude Hudson, Jamaica, the Broadway play, Al Jarvis, Herb Jeffries, Joe Adams Day, Leon King, KOWL Radio, June Kristy, Chuck Landis, Mauri Lyn, The Manchurian Candidate, MGM Studios, Husky Miller, Lucky Millinder, Tim Moor, Otto Preminger, Paul Price, Lillian Randolph, Leonard J. Roach, Caesar Romero, Nina Russell, Lionel "Chico" Sesma, Jerry Simons, Mike Thompson, Sonny Tufts, Sarah Vaughan, T-Bone Walker, Dinah Washington, Leon H. Washington Jr. and Artie Wayne.

Series 3, Other Materials, 1948-1980; undated, includes magazines, correspondence, certificates and newspaper articles. The magazine cover stories are dedicated to fashion or to public figures such as John F. Kennedy, but they each contain a feature on Joe Adams and his involvement in the broadcast industry and the jazz music scene. There are fashion photographic spreads using musical stars that Adams knew well such as Nat King Cole. Two certificates thank Adams for community service to the Hollywood Canteen and the Hollywood Junior Chamber of Commerce (the "Out of this World series" celebrity baseball game). The correspondence is from other members of the broadcasting industry and pertains to matters in and outside of the business realm. The series also contains publicity concerning Ray Charles's tour through South Africa and the story of how Adams came to be his manager. Aside from magazines and newspaper clippings where the date of publication is featured, the majority of these materials are not dated. Featured programs, places, organizations and figures include Ami Artzi, Eddie Chamblee, Ray Charles, The Ray Charles Band, Nat King Cole, Madi Comfort, The Cotton Club, Arthur Croghan, Hilary Falkow, Roberta Flack, Joe Greene, Hollywood Canteen, Hollywood Junior Chamber of Commerce, Lena Horne, Charlotte Moton Hubbard, Karen Hutchinson, Jamaica, the Broadway play, Lyndon B. Johnson, James Earl Jones, Danny Kaye, John F. Kennedy, Lew Lauria, Robert Lewis, Sonny Liston, Paul R. McClure, Ricardo Montalban, Willa Moultrie, Lee Harvey Oswald, Breau Palmer, and Jack Ruby.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into three series.

Series 1, Photographs, circa 1947-1980

Series 2, Scrapbooks, circa 1947-1954; undated

Series 3, Other Materials, 1948-1980; undated
Biographical / Historical:
Joe Adams was born on April 11, 1924. A native of Los Angeles, California, he wanted to work in radio at a very young age. Despite the racial discrimination that existed in the radio and television industry, Adams pressed on, practicing public speaking in vacant lots. He also gained confidence serving domestically as a pilot with the 332nd Tuskegee Airmen Fighter Group during World War II. After his time in the service, Adams was able to get occasional radio work at Hollywood stations such as KFWB, KPAS, KFOX, and KGFJ. In 1946, Adams got the chance to host a fifteen minute radio show at KOWL. He also married his wife, Emma Millhouse, that year.

Within two years, Joe Adams was hosting the number one-rated live radio show in Los Angeles, and the show had expanded from fifteen minutes to five hours. Adams was also able to sign on fifty-six sponsors for his show, a number previously unheard of. This was the beginning of a career that would last for more than twenty years.

During the 1940s and 1950s, Adams garnered success both on the radio, the small screen, and the big screen. He had two television shows, Adams Alley and Joe Adams Presents, made famous for the many music and film stars that Adams featured. Some of the celebrities Adams hosted included Jerry Lewis, Duke Ellington, The Trenier Twins, Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Count Basie. Ellington played two themes for Adams's shows, "Take the 'A' Train" and "Smada" ("Adams" backwards). Both songs were written by jazz great, Billy Strayhorn. In 1954, Adams fronted a band that was part of the first USO tour to entertain troops stationed in Korea. Among the band members was actress-turned-singer, Shirley Haven.

Adams opened a nightclub, Pigalle, which was wildly popular in Los Angeles. In addition to being one of the first radio personalities to do a simulcast radio and live show by appearing live at the Paramount Theater in downtown Los Angeles, Adams was the first African American to be featured in an on-air, West Ccoast network radio show.

Adams appeared in nearly thirty movies, including the hit Carmen Jones (1954), where he played Husky Miller, and the original version of The Manchurian Candidate (1962). In 1958, Adams became the first African American to receive the Foreign Correspondents Award for Outstanding New Actors from the Hollywood Foreign Correspondents Association. The Foreign Correspondents Award would later be called The Golden Globe. In 1957, Adams retired from radio and television to star in the Broadway play, Jamaica, with Lena Horne and Ricardo Montalban.

Adams made many famous friends during his career in broadcasting and film; one of the best known was Ray Charles. After inviting Adams on tour in 1959, Charles asked Adams to become his manager. Adams agreed (although to date, Adams humorously claims, he was never formally hired), and he managed Charles until the musician's death in 2004. Adams helped position Charles for fame through such venues as a long line of Pepsi commercials and the creation of both a Ray Charles studio and a company. Adams even arranged for Charles to tour in South Africa, and he served as both the producer of the Ray Charles Show and the wardrobe designer for Charles and his backup singers, the Raelettes.

Adams also acquired expertise outside the broadcasting and music business. He became a licensed commercial pilot and an authority in law. His philanthropy and his tireless work for African Americans and inner-city communities have been recognized by many organizations, from the Egyptian Shriners to the Urban League. Even his home town of Los Angeles has recognized Adams's efforts, making March 14th the official "Joe Adams Day."

Sources

The National Visionary Leadership Project. "Joe Adams." http://www.visionaryproject. org/adamsjoe (accessed June 20, 2008).

Ray Charles Official Website. "Joe Adams." http://www.raycharles.com/the_legacy_ joe_adams.html (accessed June 28, 2008).
Separated Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds artifacts related to this collection, including three jackets and one blue tuxedo worn by Joe Adams during his onstage career with Ray Charles and two scripts from the movie The Manchurian Candidate (1962) and the Broadway musical, Jamaica. See accession number 2005.3098.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Joe Adams.
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:
Radio broadcasting  Search this
African American radio stations  Search this
Broadcasting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Citation:
Joe Adams Papers, 1948-1980, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0908
See more items in:
Joe Adams Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0908
Online Media:

Reddy Kilowatt Records

Creator:
Northern States Power Company  Search this
Hooks, Benjamin, Dr.  Search this
Xcel Energy  Search this
Reddy Communications, Inc.  Search this
Reddy Kilowatt, Inc.  Search this
Gofman, John W.  Search this
Commoner, Barry, 1917-  Search this
Collins, Ashton B.  Search this
Names:
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
New York World's Fair (1964-1965)  Search this
Extent:
30 Cubic feet (119 boxes )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Animated cartoons
Letters (correspondence)
Reports
Promotional literature
Photographs
Motion pictures (visual works)
Memorandums
Filmstrips
Cartoons (humorous images)
Speeches
Comic books
Coloring books
Advertisements
Scrapbooks
Audiotapes
Date:
1926-1999
Summary:
The records document the development and use of Reddy Kilowatt, a cartoon figure trademark created in 1926 by Ashton B. Collins, Sr. More than 150 investor-owned electric utilities in the United States and at least twelve foreign countries licensed the use of the Reddy Kilowatt trademark. The records include a wide range of textual and visual materials and sound and moving image recordings.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of approximately thirty cubic feet of material created or compiled by Ashton Collins, Sr., and the Reddy Kilowatt Service; Reddy Kilowatt, Inc.; and Reddy Communications, Inc. Materials include publications, advertisements, clip art, photographs, drawings, sketches, correspondence, small artifacts, ephemera, and audio-visual material. It is divided into eight series: Series 1, Background Materials, 1926-1977; Series 2, Ashton Collins, Sr., Materials, 1926-1974; Series 3, Client Services and Publications, 1935-1999; Series 4, Advertising Materials, 1939-1997; Series 5, Scrapbooks, 1935-1960; Series 6, Copyright, Trademark and Other Legal Materials, 1926-1994; Series 7, Reference Materials, 1926-1992; Series 8, Audio-Visual Materials, 1939-1989.

Throughout its history, the Reddy Kilowatt firm was particularly thorough in keeping records of its publications and services. In addition to materials generated by the company itself, there is a significant amount of material accumulated through efforts in market and legal research activities. Particular strengths of the collection include a wide variety of Reddy Kilowatt publications and ephemera; trademark and legal files; files kept on other trademark characters; audio-visual materials; and materials relating to the public debate over atomic energy. The audio-visual materials are unusual because of the amount of textual documentation retained. There is also a significant portion of material documenting the company's involvement in the 1964-1965 World's Fair. The collection is also particularly rich in correspondence and memoranda. The reach of possibilities involving the appearance of the Reddy Kilowatt character in a variety of poses, media, and merchandise should not be underestimated.

Series 1, Background Materials, 1926-1977

This series is divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, Articles of Incorporation, 1953; Subseries 2, Histories and Origins of Reddy Kilowatt, 1926-1977; and Subseries 3, Reddy Remarks, 1935-1936. Series 8, subseries 6, consists of five hours of oral history interviews with Mrs. Ashton Collins Sr. and her son Ashton Collins Jr.

Subseries 1, Articles of Incorporation, 1953, contains the packet of legal information mailed to licensees including the certificate of incorporation, Collins's letter of transmittal, a summary of the corporate structure, the joint tenancy agreement, the corporate by-laws, and copies of a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The packet also includes the Reddy Kilowatt Guide Book, which directed licensee companies on correct and incorrect methods of depicting Reddy Kilowatt. Upon incorporation, Collins retained 80 percent of the company's stock; the remaining 20 percent was available only to Reddy Kilowatt licensees. The Reddy Kilowatt Service begun by Ashton Collins, Sr., in 1934, was wholly owned by him until the formation of Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., in 1953.

Subseries 2, Histories and Origins of Reddy Kilowatt, 1926-1977, contains a variety of documents that illustrate the origins and development of both the Reddy Kilowatt character and the company that promulgated his use. A photo album and newspaper clippings from the First Alabama Electrical Exposition document the first appearance of Reddy Kilowatt. Newspaper clippings, graphics, and ephemera from 1926 to 1934 illustrate the adoption of Reddy Kilowatt into advertising use by a handful of eastern and southern electric utilities. Files of press clippings spanning 1937 to 1977 consist largely of utility company newsletters and articles from trade publications. Correspondence is also included. The press clipping files document a carefully developed and tightly controlled company mythology about the emergence of the Reddy Kilowatt character and the success of Collins's endeavors.

Subseries 3, Reddy Remarks, 1935-1936, includes promotional materials that describe Collins's advertising program to prospective clients as well as a series of newspaper advertisements from three electric utilities. This subseries represents Ashton Collin's initial attempt to design an entire advertising program in conjunction with promoting a trademark figure.

Series 2, Ashton Collins, Sr., Files, 1926-1974

This series is divided into four subseries: Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1926-1964; Subseries 2, Speeches, 1942-1974; Subseries 3, Articles, 1933-1951; and Subseries 4, Miscellaneous, 1933; 1953.

Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1926-1964, includes letters discussing Collins's original attempts to set up the Reddy Kilowatt program, as well as Collins's later revitalization of the Reddy Kilowatt/lighting bolt connection. Also included are thank you letters following the Edison Electrical Institute's tribute to Collins and a few holiday cards. Collins's correspondence is also distributed throughout the collection in conjunction with specific topics.

Subseries 2, Speeches, 1942-1974, includes transcripts and notes from speeches given by Collins to various electrical industry forums. Subjects include trends in the electrical consumer market, political situations involving electric utilities, and recommendations for electric utility advertising. Themes include calls for action against government regulation of public utilities and the need for specific advertising directed toward youth and women. Correspondence and event programs are included, as well as a reference file containing material about public speaking and relevant issues in the electrical industry.

Subseries 3, Articles, 1933-1951, contains seven short editorials submitted to Electrical Worldin 1933 and two articles written by Collins for investor-oriented magazines (1947 and 1951).

Subseries 4, Miscellaneous, 1933; 1953, contains a hotel bill and a sheet of the Reddy Kilowatt letterhead used by Ashton Collins.

Series 3, Client Services and Publications, 1935-1999, encompasses the range of publications and services provided to licensees of the Reddy Kilowatt trademark. Publications range from clip art illustrations to detailed program guides. Services include wiring certification, portable talking figures for exhibition, comprehensive advertising plans, access to demographic surveys, special informational mailings, and access to trademark merchandise. The first seven subseries are publications arranged alphabetically; the remaining eight subseries are specific service programs, also arranged alphabetically: Subseries 1, Clip Art, 1936-1978; Subseries 2, Communications in Environment/Youth, 1971-1972; Subseries 3, Reddy Bulletin, 1935-1964; Subseries 4, Reddy Kilowatt Activities, 1934-1935; Subseries 5, Reddy Kilowatt Ink, 1986-1993; Subseries 6, Reddy Kilowatt's Review, 1936-1940; Subseries 7, Reddy News, 1942-1999; Subseries 8, Environmental Program, 1960-1974; Subseries 9, Grass Roots Impact Plan, 1950-1952; Subseries 10, Reddy-Items Merchandise, 1947-1994; Subseries 11, Reddy Kilowatt Talking Figure, 1949-1970; Subseries 12, Reddy Kilowatt Youth Program, 1938-1987; Subseries 13, Reddy Wiring Program, 1955-1963; Subseries 14, Special Executive Mailings, 1950-1994; and Subseries 15, Subject Files, 1952-1988.

Subseries 1, Clip Art, 1936-1978, includes mat service sheets, original sketches, and layout boards. The mat service sheets were sent regularly to client companies for use in advertisements. They include Reddy Kilowatt in a variety of poses and activities meant to illustrate a wide variety of uses for electricity as well as the benefits of investor-owned utilities. Subjects include but are not limited to household appliances, farm uses, atomic energy, national defense, electric rates, power outages, safety, voting, famous Americans, holidays, the New York World's Fair (both 1939 and 1964-1965), and the Beatles. One noteworthy theme is the potential of electrical appliances to alleviate household chores, specifically targeted toward women. The sketches included in the subseries originate from Ray Crosby, longtime art director for Reddy Kilowatt. Included among the layout boards are the original designs for a series of 1940s advertisements concerning American mobilization for war. The subseries also contains the Reproduction Proof Index, which cross-references a detailed list of subjects with corresponding service sheet numbers. The index incorporates mat service sheets from approximately 1955 to the indexes' publication dates, 1970-1972.

Subseries 2, Communications in Environment/Youth, 1971-1972, contains issues of the newsletter, Communications in Environment/Youth, and related correspondence. Communications in Environment/Youth informed client companies of issues of public concern related to utility companies, including environmental issues, and provided information about successful public programs. These include topics such as plant siting, interactions with public school systems, information about nuclear plant safety, efforts to switch to recycled paper, and youth safety programs. The correspondence includes internal memoranda discussing connections between youth culture and environmental concerns, and promotional letters sent to client companies.

Subseries 3, Reddy Bulletin, 1935-1964, contains issues of the Reddy Bulletin, a promotional device for the Reddy Kilowatt Program and a means to communicate industry-wide information. It contains advertisements for Reddy Kilowatt merchandise, comic books, films, television commercials and other promotional materials. Promotional merchandise includes items such as ashtrays, balloons, candy, soap, decals, patches, scorebooks, notepads, aprons, canning labels, pens, safety posters, dishes, coasters, clocks, playing cards, poker chips, bill inserts, calendars, billboards, correspondence cards, and plywood display figures. Examples of many of the items were included with the Reddy Bulletin. Where possible, these items have been left in situ. The Reddy Bulletin also includes general information relevant to electric utility advertising executives.

Subseries 4, Reddy Kilowatt Activities, 1934-1935, contains issues of the earliest client-oriented publication from the Reddy Kilowatt Service. A one-page sheet, Reddy Kilowatt Activities described usage of the Reddy Kilowatt trademark by the initial licensees of Reddy Kilowatt.

Subseries 5, Reddy Kilowatt Ink, 1986-1993, contains issues of the quarterly newsletter, Reddy Kilowatt Ink. Begun in 1986, the newsletter included two pages of clip-art along with suggestions for use in advertisements. It filled the former function of Reddy News, which was reformatted into a magazine-style industry publication in the 1970s.

Subseries 6, Reddy Kilowatt's Review, 1936-1940, contains issues of Reddy Kilowatt's Review, which combined advertisements by licensees with commentary by Ashton Collins. Anecdotes of consumer response to Reddy Kilowatt and testimonials from clients appear sporadically.

Subseries 7, Reddy News, 1942-1999, contains issues of Reddy News and a thorough index. Initially, Reddy News was a collection of advertisements by clients, released biannually. It was meant to stimulate advertising ideas among licensee companies and included explanatory copy that underscored the goals of the Reddy Kilowatt Program . Reddy Newswas reformulated in the 1970s as a bi-monthly trade publication focused on the business concerns of investor-owned utilities, though examples of advertisements were still included. The hand-written index was compiled by Mrs. Collins, Sr., and cross-references detailed subject headings with Reddy News issues from 1942 to 1970.

Subseries 8, Environmental Program, 1960-1974, includes consumer brochures, clip art, and a program guide titled Environment: A Reddy Kilowatt Program. There is also a notable 1973 study, "Public Acceptance of Nuclear Power-Analysis and Approaches," complied by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., and released only to client companies. This series represents Reddy Kilowatt, Inc.'s response to increased public scrutiny of the environmental impact of power plants in the 1960s and 1970s, especially atomic energy facilities. More information about the public relations strategies developed by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., in relation to atomic energy is contained in Series 4, Advertising Materials, 1939-1997; Subseries 1, Bernard J. Bachem Files, 1959-1980. The firm's market research on the public debate concerning atomic energy is reflected in a series of audio recordings located in two sub-subseries located in Series 8, Audio-Visual Materials, 1939-1989; Subseries 4, Sub-subseries 3, News Programs, 1976-1979 and Sub-subseries 4, Speeches, 1975-1980, undated.

Subseries 9, Grass Roots Impact Plan, 1950-1952, contains a series of brochures, clip art and promotional documents. The Grass Roots Impact Plan was an advertising program designed to "fight creeping socialism" by promoting the benefits of investor-owned utilities. The plan also promoted the use of atomic energy. The brochures were mailed out to participating companies in intervals to be kept in a binder for a complete program guide.

Subseries 10, Reddy-Items Merchandise, 1947-1994, includes catalogs, supplier information and publicity material related to the Reddy-Items Merchandise Program. Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., contracted for a wide variety of merchandise items to distribute through its client companies. There is little information or correspondence within the collection about the actual process of ordering such materials. The catalogs provide an overview of merchandise available for specific years. Interested researchers may wish to refer to the artifact collection for actual examples of Reddy-Items merchandise and to examine the Reddy Bulletin, used primarily to advertise these products to clients. See Series 3, Client Services and Publications, 1935-1999, Subseries 3, Reddy Bulletin, 1935-1964.

Subseries 11, Reddy Kilowatt Talking Figure, 1949-1970, consists of correspondence, design proposal, design specifications, display kit instructions and publicity materials related to a three-dimensional Reddy Kilowatt figure used at expositions and fairs. The figure was wired to an external microphone and speaker, so that the figure could talk to the audience and answer questions. A script is included with the display kit instructions, along with explanatory photographs. Multiple photographs of the figure in use are included with the textual materials.

Subseries 12, Reddy Kilowatt Youth Program, 1938-1987, includes a program guide, presentation binder, promotional materials, pen and ink illustrations, poetry, documentation of two Reddy Kilowatt youth clubs, business presentation scripts, and a government anti-communist brochure. The "Mother Juice" rhymes illustrate Ashton Collins, Sr.'s early interest in focusing advertising attention on youth populations in order to inculcate appreciation of electricity and its applications. The confluence of the baby boom and the post World War II anti-communism movement made this focus a mainstay of the Reddy Kilowatt Program, providing Collins with an opportunity to combine capitalist economic values with consumer electricity usage. The script for "Fission, Fertility, and the Future" spells out Collins's reasoning behind his interest in influencing youth populations, and the accompanying program guide and presentation binder illustrate the mechanics of his youth-oriented advertising plan for electric utilities. Of particular note is the 1964 survey of adults and adolescents testing for trademark recognition and attitudes about electricity. The survey was commissioned by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., and performed by Gilbert Youth Research Organization in five cities across the United States. Another notable item in the subseries is Communist Target, a 1960 report by J. Edgar Hoover to the House Committee on Un-American Activities.

Subseries 13, Reddy Wiring Program, 1955-1959, includes brochures, ephemera, and photographs related to the Reddy Wiring Program. This program promoted a specific standard of electrical wiring in new homes. Participating builders were then allowed to designate their products as "Medallion" or "Gold Medallion" homes.

Subseries 14, Special Executive Mailings, 1950-1994, consists of letters and press releases sent to a list of advertising and public affairs executives of Reddy Kilowatt client companies. Topics include, but are not limited to, requests for information, legal updates, personnel changes, promotions of specific advertising programs, and reprints of articles.

Subseries 15, Subject Files, 1952-1998, are arranged alphabetically by subject heading. Subjects include, but are not limited to, sports trophies, ventriloquist acts, brochures about the 1976 Bicentennial, consumer information brochures, and the Annual Report competition. Of note is the 1953 Artist Guide, which explains the particulars of drawing Reddy Kilowatt.

Series 4, Advertising Materials, 1939-1997, is divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, Bernard J. Bachem Files, 1959-1980; Subseries 2, Business Advertising, 1940-1997; and Subseries 3, Client Advertising, 1939-1977.

Subseries 1, Bernard J. Bachem Files, 1959-1980, consists of files generated and maintained by Bernard J. Bachem, the vice-president in charge of audio-visual media and the Reddy Kilowatt Environmental Program from approximately 1958 to 1972. The files are arranged alphabetically by subject heading. Topics include production and syndication of television commercials, nuclear energy public relations strategies, radio scripts, and the Reddy and Mr. Toot children's show. Of note is a file of correspondence with Terrytoons, which contracted with Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., to produce television commercials.

Subseries 2, Business Advertising, 1940-1997, consists of brochures and presentation materials developed for advertising to business clients. The subseries includes several "presentation binders" used at meetings with potential clients to describe the Reddy Kilowatt Program. In 1940, Ashton Collins, Sr., began collecting testimonials from executives at licensee companies for use in approaching new clients. These became a mainstay of his business advertising approach until the 1960s, when the company began developing a series of glossy brochures. Slide-shows and filmstrips also became a key advertising tool; scripts and related memoranda are contained within this subseries, and are also found in Series 8, Audio-Visual Materials, 1939-1989, Subseries 1, Supplementary Materials, 1945-1984; and Subseries 5, Filmstrips, 1939-1984.

Subseries 3, Client Advertising, 1939-1977, contains advertisements created by licensees of the Reddy Kilowatt trademark. Materials are organized alphabetically by subject and include newspapers, bill inserts, notices, brochures, employee handbooks, annual reports, comic strips, signs and posters. More examples of client advertisements can be found in Series 3, Client Services and Publications, 1935-1999, Subseries 3, Reddy News, 1942-1999.

Series 5, Scrapbooks, 1935-1960, undated, consists of eight scrapbooks: Plant Openings, Publicity, Reddy on Display, Reddy Made Magic, Transportation, Use of Reddy on Trucks; and Reddy news Launchings. The Plant Openings, 1948-1949, details when a plant opened and contains the associated advertising for the plant dedication typically with photographic collages. The Publicity Scrapbook, 1935-1950, contains newspaper clippings about Reddy Kilowatt and articles from trade publications such as the Advertisers Digest. Reddy on Display Scrapbook, 1948, depicts window displays of Reddy Kilowatt at various public service and gas companies across America. The Reddy Kilowatt Scrapbook tells the story of Reddy Kilowatt's daily activities starting at 6 a.m. and ending at 2 a.m. The Reddy Made Magic Scrapbook, 1948, contains publicity for the Technicolor motion picture film, Reddy Made Magic, which tells the story of electricity. The majority of the publicity consists of announcements for the showing of the film. The Transportation Scrapbook, 1947, contains advertising for electric and gas powered buses, trolleys, and trams. Reddy Kilowatt is cast as the servant for electricity, gas, and transportation. Use of Reddy on Trucks Scrapbook, undated, consists of black-and-white photographs of electric companies using the Reddy Kilowatt logo and clippings from the Reddy Bulletin of trucks. Reddy News Launchings Scrapbook, 1942-1960, consists of pages from the Reddy News presumably used for developing news releases.

Series 6, Copyright, Trademark and Other Legal Materials, 1926-1994, is divided into six subseries: Subseries 1, Copyright Materials (general), 1926-1953; Subseries 2, Trademark Materials (general), 1932-1953; Subseries 3, United States Trademarks, 1933-1989; Subseries 4, Foreign Trademarks, 1937-1994; Subseries 5, Reddy Kilowatt v. Mid-Carolina et al., 1937-1976; Subseries 6, Trademark Character Files, 1937-1976; and Subseries 7, Reference Materials, 1945-1980.

Subseries 1, Copyright Materials (general), 1926-1953, contains general copyright information and compiled lists of copyrights for various Reddy Kilowatt activities, such as the Reddy News, Reddytoons, and bulletins, and correspondence between the Alabama Power Company and the Library of Congress Copyright Office about copyrighting the basic figure and name of Kilowatt and such prefixes as "Reddy," "Happy," and "Handy." The Alabama Power Company initiated this correspondence in 1926 to protect its symbolic character "Reddy Kilowatt" for appliance sales and general advertising.

Subseries 2, Trademark Materials (general), 1932-1953, includes general correspondence about trademarks, trademarks not granted, trademark renewals and re-publication, trademark assignments, and infringements cases. The trademark assignment file also contains a patent assignment (United States patent # 2,349,706) from Ashton B. Collins to Reddy Kilowatt, Inc. The patent is for a display device designed primarily to hold advertising matter. The infringement materials relate to improper uses of Reddy Kilowatt and clients seeking permission or clarification on the proper use of the trademark.

Subseries 3, United States Trademarks, 1933-1989, consists primarily of registered trademarks, certificates of renewal, correspondence about the registration process with the United States Patent Office and examples of the trademark being used by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc. The bulk of the correspondence is from C.A. Snow and Company, registered patent attorneys, and Louise M. Bender, corporate secretary for Reddy Kilowatt, Inc. Examples of the trademarks are found in the Reddy News, "clip sheets" of trademark symbols , on business letterhead, stickers, playing cards, calendars and other ephemera. Trademark file #651,768, contains a copy of the Reddy Kilowatt Handbook of Trademark Usage, 1958. This handbook was intended to guide electric light and power companies licensed to use Reddy Kilowatt trademarks. Trademark file #827,151, contains a small binder of Reddy Kilowatt small appliance advertisements, 1938 to 1965, not inclusive. This subseries is arranged chronologically by registered trademark number.

Many of the materials in this series were filed under the provisions of the Lanham Act, named for Representative Fritz G. Lanham of Texas, passed on July 5, 1946, and signed into law by President Harry Truman to take effect "one year from its enactment," on July 5, 1947. The Lanham Act is found in Title 15 of the U.S. Code and contains the federal statutes governing trademark law in the United States. The Act prohibits a number of activities, including trademark infringement, trademark dilution, and false advertising.

Subseries 4, Foreign Trademark Materials, 1937-1994, consists of registered trademarks, correspondence and examples of the Reddy Kilowatt trademarks in foreign countries such as Australia, Barbados, Mexico, Kenya, the Netherland Antilles and South Korea. The Kenya file contains specific information about trademark law and policies in Kenya. Several publications of note are Law of Kenya Trademarks Ordinance Chapter 506, 1962; The Merchandise Marks Ordinance Chapter 505, 1963, detailing the specific Kenyan laws and information on the electricity industry in Kenya; the East African Power and Lighting Company's The East African Power and Light Company, Directors Report and Accounts, 1965; and The Power Supply Industry in Kenya, 1966.

Subseries 5, Reddy Kilowatt v. Mid-Carolina et al., 1926-1960, includes correspondence and legal documents related to the trademark infringement lawsuit filed by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., against Mid-Carolina Electric Cooperative and the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA). The lawsuit was filed in 1953 and resolved by Judge Harry E. Watkins in 1956. The subject of the dispute was "Willie Wiredhand," an advertising trademark character used by the NRECA. Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., alleged that the character was drawn similarly to Reddy Kilowatt and used in comparable ways, thus confusing consumers' ability to discern between the two. Judge Watkins's decision hinged on the legal boundaries drawn between service areas of investor-owned utilities and electric cooperatives. Because electric cooperatives were prevented from competing for investor-owned consumer audiences, Judge Watkins deemed that the trademarks also were not in competition. Ashton Collins, Sr., was greatly disappointed by the decision, and this is reflected in the post-decision correspondence files. Other files of note concern consumer surveys in South Carolina and Iowa commissioned by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., with the aim of finding evidence to bolster the lawsuit; depositions from participants are included in the files. Ashton Collins, Sr.'s affidavit and documentation of the Willie Wiredhand trademark also are included in the subseries.

Subseries 6, Trademark Character Files, 1937-1976, contains the reference files developed by Ashton Collins, Sr., and Reddy Kilowatt, Inc. concerning other trademark characters. The correspondence reflects an interest in factors leading to success of other trademark characters as well as an active concern with trademarks that might infringe on Reddy Kilowatt's success. Files include early characters such as the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroads' Chessie the Cat and Borden's Elsie the Cow. A large file on Smoky Bear contains advertisements including Reddy Kilowatt. Files that reflect infringement concerns include Willing Water, Bill Ding, Mr. Wirewell, and Genie.

Subseries 7, Reference Materials, 1945-1980, contains files developed on topics relating to non-character corporate trademarks. Materials include brochures, articles, advertisements, publications and correspondence. Files on efforts by Xerox Corporation, Coca-Cola Company and Dow Chemical Company to regulate language about their trade names are included. Other notable files include Bakelite advertisements and a file of correspondence and articles concerning Isadore Warshaw, who testified on behalf of the NRECA during the Reddy Kilowatt v. Mid-Carolina et al., hearings.

Series 7, Reference Materials, 1926-1992, consists of general files maintained by Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., for internal reference. It is divided into five subseries: Subseries 1, Client Use of Services, 1977-1984; Subseries 2, New York World's Fair, 1938-1939, 1961-1966; Subseries 3, Subject Files, 1940-1992; Subseries 4, Testimonials, 1939-1977; and Subseries 5, Empty Binders, 1926-1987.

Subseries 1, Client Use of Services, 1977-1984, consists of files maintained during the incarnation of the company as Reddy Communications, Inc. During this period, the firm was emphasizing its usefulness as an information clearinghouse for the electric utility industry. These files include monthly reports on client use of services as well as more detailed reports on steps taken to meet client requests for information.

Subseries 2, New York World's Fair, 1938-1939; 1961-1966, contains files largely accumulated during the participation of Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., in the 1964-1965 New York World's Fair, with some documentation surviving from the 1938-1939 New York World's Fair. Reddy Kilowatt was used prominently in "Tower of Light," the investor-owned electric utility exhibit. The 1964 exhibit included a musical show which met with some initial criticism and was revised for the 1965 fair to become "Holiday with Light." Materials include press releases from production companies and Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., scripts, photographs and production documents for the shows; correspondence with the production company; and electrical industry trade publications.

Subseries 3, Subject Files, 1940-1992, includes files on unique uses of Reddy Kilowatt, Reddy Kilowatt-themed apparel, verses written by consumers, World War II-era advertisements, and files used by company staff for market research.

Subseries 4, Testimonials, 1939-1977, contains letters from executives at licensee companies attesting to the benefits of receiving the Reddy Kilowatt Service. The letters were occasionally edited and compiled for use in business presentations.

Subseries 5, Empty Binders, 1926-1987, includes the original binders and albums used for presenting Reddy Kilowatt programs.

Series 8, Audio-Visual Materials, 1939-1984, undated

The series is divided into five subseries: Supplementary Materials, 1945-1984; Animation Cels, 1946; 1985; Moving Images, 1940s-1989; Audio, 1946-1980; and Filmstrips, 1939-1984.

Subseries 1, Supplementary Materials, 1945-1984, contains scripts, production documents, promotional materials, correspondence and memoranda related to the audio-visual materials in this series. Of particular note are the files containing production documents and correspondence related to The Mighty Atom. These files track the decision-making process within Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., concerning the inclusion of previous footage from Reddy Made Magic. Other materials relating to this subseries may be found in Series 4, Advertising Materials, 1939-1997, Subseries 1, Bernard J. Bachem Files, 1959-1980.

Subseries 2, Animation Cels and Sketches, 1946; 1985, contains mylar animation cels and paper sketches used in the production of Reddy Made Magic and the "Adventure Kid" television commercial.

Subseries 3, Moving Images, 1940s-1989, contains all film (excluding the filmstrips) and video in the collection and is organized chronologically. The films and videos include animated educational films, commercials, television shows, home movies, an informal instructional video, and an employee appreciation video.

Subseries 4, Audio, 1946-1980, undated This series contains all the audio (excluding those items associated with filmstrips) and is divided into 5 subseries.

Sub-subseries 1, Music, 1954-1960, undated, contains Reddy Kilowatt theme songs and promotional music used by Reddy Communications and is organized chronologically, with undated materials last.

Sub-subseries 2, Promotional, 1946-1979, undated, consists of promotional audio such as radio commercials and informational spots. The items are organized chronologically, with undated materials last.

Sub-subseries 3, News Programs, 1976-1979, consists of recordings on cassette tapes. The cassette tapes are organized chronologically.

Sub-subseries 4, Speeches, 1975-1980, undated, contains recordings of speeches and presentations given by important figures in and outside of the electrical industry. The items are organized chronologically, with undated materials last.

Sub-subseries 5, Corporate Interviews, circa 1974-1977, consists of informal interviews conducted by Reddy Communications, Inc. employees. The interviews are organized chronologically.

Sub-series 6, Oral Histories, 1983, consists of five hours of audio cassette recordings with Mrs. Ashton Collins, Sr. and Ashton Collins, Jr. at the initial stages of collection acquisition. The oral histories were conducted by John Fleckner, Archivist with the Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Topics discussed include biographical information about Ashton Collins, Sr.; the early history of the Reddy Kilowatt Service; Mrs. Ashton Collins, Sr.'s experiences in the Reddy Kilowatt, Inc. office; her participation in electric industry conventions; Cuba's ousting of Reddy Kilowatt; and the transition in the company's services during the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Sub-subseries 7, Reference CDs, consists of all reference copies made of the audio. Multiple titles are contained on each disc.

Subseries 5, Filmstrips, 1939-1984, consists of filmstrips and their associated audio and elements (negatives, A and B roll, etc.), paired together by title. The filmstrips are organized chronologically.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Background Materials, 1926-1977

Subseries 1.1, Articles of Incorporation, 1953

Subseries 1.2, Histories and Origins of Reddy, 1926-1977

Subseries 1.3, Reddy Remarks, 1935-1936

Series 2, Ashton Collins, Sr., Materials, 1926-1974, undated

Subseries 2.1, Correspondence, 1926-1964

Subseries 2.2, Speeches, 1942-1974, undated

Subseries 2.3, Articles, 1933-1951

Subseries 2.4, Miscellaneous, 1933; 1953

Series 3, Client Services and Publications, 1935-1999, undated

Subseries 3.1, Clip Art, 1936-1978, undated

Subseries 3.2, Communications in Environment/Youth, 1971-1972

Subseries 3.3, Reddy Bulletin, 1934-1941; 19431964

Subseries 3.4, Reddy Kilowatt Activities, 1934-1935

Subseries 3.5, Reddy Kilowatt Ink, 1986-1993

Subseries 3.6, Reddy Kilowatt's Review, 1936-1940

Subseries 3.7, Reddy News, 1942-1965, 1959-1972, 1978-1988, 1993-1999

Subseries 3.8, Environmental Program, 1960-1974

Subseries 3.9, Grass Roots Impact Plan, 1950-1952

Subseries 3.10, Reddy-Items Merchandise, 1947-1995

Subseries 3.11, Reddy Kilowatt Talking Figure, 1949-1970, undated

Subseries 3.12, Reddy Kilowatt Youth Program, 1936-1987

Subseries 3.13, Reddy Wiring Program, 1955-1963, undated

Subseries 3.14, Special Executive Mailings, 1950-1994

Subseries 3.15, Subject Files, 1952-1998, undated

Series 4, Advertising Materials, 1939-1997

Subseries 4.1, Bernard J. Bachem Files, 1959-1980

Subseries 4.2, Business Advertising, 1940-1997

Subseries 4.3, Client Advertising, 1939-1977

Series 5, Scrapbooks, 1935-1960, undated

Series 6, Copyright, Trademark and Other Legal Materials, 1926-1994

Subseries 6.1, Copyright Materials (general), 1926-1953

Subseries 6.2, Trademark Materials (general), 1932-1981, undated

Subseries 6.3, United States Trademarks, 1930-1994

Subseries 6.4, Foreign Trademark Materials, 1937-1998

Subseries 6.5, Reddy Kilowatt v. Mid-Carolina et al., 1926-1960

Subseries 6.6, Trademark Character Files, 1937-1976, undated

Subseries 6.7, Reference Materials, 1945-1980

Series 7, Reference Materials, 1926-1992

Subseries 7.1, Client Use of Services, 1977-1984

Subseries 7.2, New York World's Fair, 1938-1939; 1961-1968

Subseries 7.3, Subject Files, 1940-1992

Subseries 7.4, Testimonials, 1934-1977

Subseries 7.5, Empty Binders, 1926-1987

Series 8, Audiovisual Materials, 1939-1989, undated

Subseries 8.1, Supplementary Materials, 1945-1984, undated

Subseries 8.2, Animation Cels and Sketches, 1946; 1985

Subseries 8.3, Moving Images, 1940s-1989

Subseries 8.4, Audio, 1946-1980, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Ashton B. Collins, Sr. (1885-1976), the commercial manager of Alabama Power Company, created the trademark character Reddy Kilowatt in 1926 in an attempt to humanize electric utility service for marketing and other corporate communications purposes. Reddy Kilowatt first appeared publicly at the 1926 Alabama Electrical Exposition in a display for the Alabama Power Company, which also ran supporting newspaper advertisements. The original figure had five arms to illustrate the many capabilities of electric service. Though Collins originated the idea of Reddy Kilowatt, he asked an engineer from the company's drafting department, Dan Clinton, to create a usable sketch of the character. After the exposition, Collins retained the copyrights to Reddy Kilowatt. In 1932, he recruited a friend, Dorothea Warren, to develop several sketches of Reddy Kilowatt in an attempt to sell what Collins called "The Reddy Kilowatt Program." At the time, Collins was employed by Edison Electrical Institute to travel the country promoting electrical household cooking appliances. He used the opportunity to network with electric utility managers and to promote his idea of using Reddy Kilowatt to humanize electric service in the home. Collins convinced his first clients in 1933. By the end of 1934, at least six other electric utility companies had adopted the "Reddy Kilowatt Program." Subscribers to the Reddy Kilowatt Service received sheets of clip art for use in advertisements. The mechanism for this distribution was called a "mat service." The Reddy Kilowatt mat service was the backbone of the licensee program from the 1930s until the late 1960s. The mat service offered various poses of Reddy Kilowatt to be included in advertisements for the licensee companies, as well as complete advertisements to which the licensee companies could simply add their name. Another publication, Reddy News, was soon developed to reinforce the program. Published biannually, it was sent to licensee companies to provide ideas about ways to use the Reddy Kilowatt trademark. As the mat service evolved, the Reddy Kilowatt figure found many uses. Common themes were the benefits of electrical appliances for farms and homes, safety, and holidays. The descriptions of electrical appliances emphasized gender roles in alluding to the potential new freedom for women from household chores. Farm-oriented advertisements underscored increased farm productivity through electrical innovations such as incubators and automated milking machines. As electric usage increased, the mat service added advertisements pointing out the need for updated wiring in order to maintain safety. More mundane concerns included electric service issues such as power outages, vandalism and timely bill payment. A wide variety of Reddy Kilowatt holiday poses became available, ranging from the Easter Bunny to President's Day and Halloween. Christmas was especially well illustrated, accenting the possibility of electrical appliances as gifts. The Reddy Kilowatt Service was only available to investor-owned utilities, and the mat service reflected this by emphasizing the benefits of this economic structure. Other economic themes included the inexpensiveness of electric service and payment of taxes by investor-owned utilities. The service also began to express a specific political agenda in response to public ownership of utilities and rural electrification cooperatives. Bolstered by post-World War II anti-communist sentiments, the Reddy Kilowatt Service began issuing advertisements promoting free enterprise which linked public and co-operative utilities with the road to socialism. In 1950, Collins launched the Grass Roots Impact Plan, a comprehensive advertising plan incorporating these themes. Ashton Collins consistently emphasized to his licensees the need to begin the consumer education process early. Youth education was a clear priority for the Reddy Kilowatt Service and was even included in Collins's initial "Reddy Remarks" program via a bedtime story booklet. Licensee companies sponsored Reddy Kilowatt Youth Clubs in the late 1940s, inspired by Collins's speeches emphasizing the importance of youth programming. In the mid-1960s, Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., developed a comprehensive youth program for client companies that incorporated youth education with capitalist economic values. Collins developed a supporting slide presentation titled "Fission, Fertility, and the Future." Tailored to an audience of business executives, the presentation emphasized the importance of reaching youth during a period of social upheaval in order to protect the interests of investor-owned utilities. Film and television programs developed by the company also reflected the emphasis on youth outreach. Since the company's business revolved around a cartoon character, the transition into animation seemed fairly simple. Reddy Kilowatt, Inc., entered into a partnership with Walter Lantz Productions to produce Reddy Made Magic, a 1946 cartoon about the history of electricity. However, producing audio-visual media turned out to be too expensive and the experiment with animation remained limited. In 1957, Collins tested the waters again by contracting for a commercial with Terrytoons, a low-budget animation company and, in 1959, the company hired John Sutherland to update Reddy Made Magic for the atomic age. The Mighty Atom recycled the historical sequence from the previous film and added a new sequence promoting the use of atomic energy. Collins already had used the cheaper media of filmstrips and slide presentations for business presentations, and this format also was incorporated into the youth program. Licensee companies were encouraged to use Reddy Kilowatt in their own sponsorship of radio and television programs, and some used Reddy Kilowatt in locally produced commercials. Ashton Collins was an aggressive and skillful promoter of Reddy Kilowatt, and the range of the program was not limited to the United States. Collins began registering his trademarks in prospective markets early on, and soon received trademarks in Canada (1934), Argentina (1937), Great Britain (1938), and Mexico (1938). Trademarks were also granted in Australia, Barbados, Kenya, Mexico, South Korea, Venezuela and the Netherlands Antilles. Though no official list of international licensee companies is available, materials within the collection indicate lively usage of Reddy Kilowatt in South America and Australia. Ashton Collins, Sr. was married in 1931 to Mrs. Ashton Collins, Sr. They had two sons, Ashton, Jr., and Beatty. Each member of the family became involved in the business over time, though that was not required by Ashton Collins, Sr., at any time. After the two boys left home, Mrs. Collins began volunteering at the office; her work included filing, photocopying, and assembling indexes and scrapbooks. After his release from the Air Force, Ashton Collins, Jr., approached his father about working in the company. Ashton Collins, Sr., met with him over the course of a day and outlined a program for him to work his way up through the company. Collins, Jr., agreed and began work in the mailroom. In 1962, he became president of the company and his father became chairman of the Board of Directors. Beatty Collins's involvement in the company was limited to service on the Board of Directors. By the late 1960s, the business climate for investor-owned utilities had changed significantly. Public concern over the environmental impact of power plants resulted in greater scrutiny of new plant construction, particularly in regard to nuclear energy facilities. Electric utilities no longer desired to sell increased output, as building new plants became too costly to justify their expense. The Reddy Kilowatt Program reflected these changes in several ways. An environmental program was developed to help electric utilities navigate their way through the increasingly complicated public and business climate. This included a number of services specifically targeted toward the issue of atomic power such as consumer advertising meant to demonstrate the minimal output of radioactive waste and a low-profile consulting service focusing on atomic plant siting issues. As companies moved away from blanket advertising for electric usage, the Reddy Kilowatt character was relegated to children's programming. As Ashton Collins, Sr.'s, influence in the company began to wane, the youth program moved away from economic education and shifted to conservation issues and electrical safety. The company changed its name to Reddy Communications, Inc., at some point before 1982 and began to market itself as an information clearinghouse and consulting service. In 1998, the company was bought by Northern States Power, which had recently become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Xcel Energy.
Related Materials:
Related Archival Materials: See Louisan E. Mamer Rural Electrification Administration papers, 1927-2002 (AC0862).

Related Artifacts: The Division of Information Technology and Communications holds artifacts related to this collection (Accession #: XXXX-XXXX).
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center by Xcel Energy in 2005.
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.

Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. Reference copies are ½ inch VHS, audio cassette, or compact disc. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. There are no reference copies on VHS or DVD for the filmstrips, and the Archives Center does not have a filmstrip projector.

Technical Access: Titles on Beta Max video tape and all picture and audio elements for Original Film (OF) 913.7 cannot be viewed. Viewing the film and filmstrip portion of collection requires special appointment.
Rights:
Collection items are available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions.
Topic:
Baby boom generation  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Electricity -- History  Search this
Nuclear energy  Search this
Public utilities  Search this
Trademarks  Search this
Industrial films  Search this
Anti-communist movements -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Animated cartoons
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Reports
Promotional literature
Photographs -- 20th century
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Memorandums
Filmstrips
Cartoons (humorous images) -- 20th century
Speeches
Comic books
Coloring books
Advertisements -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Audiotapes
Citation:
Reddy Kilowatt Records, 1926-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0913
See more items in:
Reddy Kilowatt Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0913
Online Media:

Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records

Creator:
Gerber, H. Joseph, 1924-1996  Search this
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company (Hartford, Conn.).  Search this
Extent:
75 Cubic feet (182 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Marketing records
Photographs
Speeches
Correspondence
Catalogs
Clippings
Patents
Business records
Manuals
Legal documents
Date:
1911 - 1999
Summary:
Records document the Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, Hartford, Connecticut, and its four subsidiaries: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc., Gerber Scientific Products, Inc., Gerber Systems Corp., and Gerber Optical, Inc. Gerber Scientific designs, develops, manufactures, markets and services computer aided design and computer aided CAD/CAM systems. The records include correspondence, memoranda, product literature, trade literature, patent records, instruction manuals, proposals, engineering records, photographs, technical reports, drawings, press releases, and newspaper clippings.
Scope and Contents:
The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records document the company's designs, development, manufacture, and marketing of computer-aided design and computer-aided CAD/CAM systems. The records are arranged into twelve series and consist of Personal, Corporate Records, Engineering Department Records, Product Literature, Instruction Manuals/User Guides, Proposals, Photographs, Trade Literature, Press Releases and Newspaper Clippings, Patent Records, Lectra Systèmes Litigation Materials, and Audio Visual Materials.

Series 1, David R. Pearl, 1968-1984, contains three volumes of diaries kept by David R. Pearl, President of Gerber Garment Technology. The diaries were maintained by Pearl from July 21, 1968 to June 6, 1977, to document Pearl's and H. Joseph Gerber's activities concerning the development of the technology and the establishment of a business to market computer-controlled fabric cutting devices. One notebook contains some materials later than 1977. There are diary entries for September 12, 1979, February 1, 1980, and October 29, 1984.

Series 2, Corporate Records, 1968-1999, includes administrative records, an Industrial Projects Eligibility Review, annual reports, shareholders reports, newsletters, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) materials, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) materials, Gerber Museum documents, and empty Gerber Scientific Instrument Company binders. The administrative documents consist of a corporate history, mission statement, organizational chart, company map, time line and biographies of key corporate personnel. There are two organizational charts: one for the Engineering Organization (software, mechanical and electrical divisions) from 1987 and one for the subsidiary Gerber Garment Technology, Inc. (Gerber Garment Technology (GGT)), dated 1985. Additional organizational charts can be found with the 1968 annual report. The Industrial Projects Eligibility Review was submitted to the Connecticut Development Authority by Gerber Scientific Intsrument (GSI) to facilitate financing for future expansion of the company. A copy of the company's articles of incorporation are here. The newsletters included in this series are in-house publications for employees only. The newsletter Communiqué, 1960, is in Series 4, Product Literature. The NYSE materials include press releases, photographs, the listing application to the NYSE and printed material about Gerber Scientific, Inc. joining the NYSE in October 1980. Gerber Scientific is traded on the Stock Exchange as GRB. The Securities and Exchange Commission files contain Form S-3, a registration statement and the Annual Report, and Form 10-K for Gerber Scientific, Inc. The Gerber Museum file includes photographs of artifacts and a 1996 memo and fax discussing the establishment of a museum to honor H. Joseph Gerber.

Series 3, Engineering Department Records, 1966-1990, is the largest series and is arranged alphabetically by the engineer's last name and then alphabetically by subject/topic. The records include the files of: Ed LaGraize, David Logan, Bud Rich, Ron Webster, and Ken Wood. The majority of engineering files belong to David Logan. Logan joined Gerber Scientific Instrument in 1957 as a project engineer. From 1959 to 1961, he was chief engineer and then became Vice President of Engineering from 1961 to 1963. From 1963 to 1980, Logan served as Senior Vice President of Engineering. He holds several patents, primarily in the field of plotting devices and control systems. The engineering files contain technical memoranda, correspondence, drawings, product literature, trade literature, notes, and drawings.

Series 4, Product Literature, 1953-1996, contains informational sheets for a variety of products available from Gerber Scientific, Inc. and its subsidiary companies. Gerber Scientific Instrument (GSI) creates designs, manufactures and promotes data reduction equipment of many types. Data reduction equipment allows complex mathematical problems to be solved quickly and accurately. Both analogue and digital systems are offered. The bulk of the product literature falls into the following categories: instruments, data reader systems, recorders, special scanning tables, oscillogram amplitude tabulators, standard system scanners, and plotters. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of product with a few exceptions.

Series 5, Instruction Manuals/User Guides, 1953-1980, undated, is divided into two subseries, Gerber Scientific Instrument Company manuals and other companies' manuals. This series contains instruction manuals, maintenance manuals, and users' guides for a variety of Gerber Scientific, Inc. products. The Gerber System Model 1434, Ultra Precise Artwork Generator which provides precision photo-plotting on photo-sensitive material is well represented among the manuals. The other companies represented include Bendix Industrial Controls and the KOH-I-NOOR Rapidograph, Inc.

Series 6, Proposals, 1961-1980, consists of bound certified and signed technical and bid proposals completed by Gerber Scientific Instrument Company detailing available and actual estimated costs and pricing data for Gerber products. The proposals were assembled for specific companies such as North American Aviation.

Series 7, Photographs, 1948-1974, undated, is further divided into three subseries: Product and Client Files, 1966-1974, undated; Gerber Scientific Instrument (Gerber Scientific Intsrument (GSI) Corporate, 1948-1970, undated; and Numerical, 1966-1974, undated photographs. The majority of photographs are 8" x 10" black-and-white prints. The product and client file photographs are arranged alphabetically. The Gerber Scientific Instrument (GSI) corporate photographs include photographs of GSI buildings both interior and exterior shots, employees, employee functions such as banquets, annual meetings, tours, stockholder meetings, and trade shows. The numerical photographs are arranged numerically according to the number assigned on the reverse of the photograph. Some of the numerical photographs are identified by product name, but others are labeled unidentified.

Series 8, Trade Literature, 1947-1992, is arranged alphabetically by company name. The trade literature in this series is from competitors or from companies that used Gerber products.

Series 9, Press Releases and Newspaper Clippings, 1943-1996, is divided into two subseries, Press Releases, 1972-1982 and Newspaper Clippings, 1943-1996. The press releases are arranged chronologically. This series contains information on H. Joseph Gerber, his company and its subsidiaries, and the garment and apparel industry. The newspaper clippings are arranged chronologically and include a wide variety of local Connecticut and United States newspapers and industry specific magazines such as Bobbin and Apparel Industry.

Series 10, Patent Records, 1911-1985, contains copies of patents, correspondence with patent attorneys and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, patent search results, and other legal filings associated with the patenting process. The materials are arranged chronologically with the name of the equipment or instruments being patented noted.

Series 11, Lectra Systèmes Litigation Materials, 1968-1990, contains documents that mainly deal with Lectra (France), but there are documents about patent infringement for Lectra (Japan) and Lectra (United Kingdom). The materials consist of depositions by David Pearl, then president of Gerber Garment Technology, and David Siegelman, then Vice President and General Manager for Lectra Systèmes, Inc., in the United States. Confidential progress reports, memoranda, correspondence, competition reports, drawings and sketches, notes, and other documents summarize events in the litigation history.

Lectra Systèmes was formed on November 12, 1973 at Bordeaux-Cestas (France) by two visionary engineers, Jean and Bernard Etcheparre. They developed a computer system, the LECteur-TRAceur 200, which automatically calculated and plotted all sizes of an item of apparel. The Lectra Systèmes litigation materials document Gerber Garment Technology's claim that Lectra infringed upon Gerber's line of cutting machines. The specific patents being infringed are United States patents: 3,955,458; 4,205,835; and 3,765,289. In September 1986, Lectra introduced a new line of cutting machines that cost roughly half as much as Gerber's top-of-the-line competing system. Gerber Garment Technology filed suit in the United States and France as Gerber Garment Technology, Inc. v. Lectra Systems, Inc. Civil Action No. 1:86-cv-2054CAM. In 1992, Lectra Systems, Inc., appealled the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District infringement of Gerber's U.S. Patent No. 3,955,458 ('458 patent) and denied Lectra's claim that Gerber's U.S. Patent No., 4,205,835 ('835 patent) is unenforceable.

Series 12, Audio Visual Materials, 1986-1998, includes 3⁄4" U-matic, 1⁄2" VHS, audio cassettes, BetaCam SP, and one Super 8mm color, silent camera original reversal film. The majority the of audio visual materials cover interviews with H. Joseph Gerber, the National Technology of Medal ceremony, and sales and marketing footage for various Gerber products.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into twelve series.

Series 1: David R. Pearl Materials, 1968-1984

Series 2: Corporate Records, 1968-2002

Subseries 2.1: Administrative, circa 1977-1995

Subseries 2.2: Industrial Projects Eligibility Review, undated (contains articles of incorporation for Gerber Scientific)

Subseries 2.3: Annual Reports, 1968-1999

Subseries 2.4: Shareholders Reports, 1990-1995, 1997, 1998

Subseries 2.5: Newsletters, 1969-1996

Subseries 2.6: New York Stock Exchange, 1980 October

Subseries 2.7: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 1983-1992

Subseries 2.8: Gerber Museum, 1996

Subseries 2.9: Gerber Scientific Instrument Company binders (empty), undated

Subseries 2.10: Stock and Financial Information, 1949-2002

Series 3: Engineering Department Records, 1966-1990

Subseries 3.1: Ed LaGraize's Files, 1978-1990

Subseries 3.2: Dave Logan's Engineering Files, 1966-1990

Subseries 3.3: Dave Logan's Competitors Files, 1966-1982

Subseries 3.4: Bud Rich's Files, 1967-1980

Subseries 3.5, Ron Webster's Files, 1963-1992

Subseries 3.6: Ken Wood's Files, 1976-1980

Subseries 3.7: Ken Wood's Case Study of Model 1434, 1966-1989

Subseries 3.8: General Engineering Files, 1970-1980

Series 4: Product Literature, 1953-1996

Series 5: Instruction Manuals/User Guides, 1953-1980, undated

Subseries 5.1: Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, 1953-1979

Subseries 5.2: Other Companies, 1962, 1980

Series 6: Proposals, 1961-1980

Series 7: Photographs, 1948-1974, undated

Subseries 7.1, Product and Client Files, 1966-1974, undated

Subseries 7.2, Gerber Scientific Instrument Corporate, 1948-1970, undated

Subseries 7.3, Numerical, 1966-1974, undated

Series 8: Trade Literature, 1947-1992

Series 9: Press Releases and Newspaper Clippings, 1943-1998

Subseries 9.1: Press Releases, 1972-1998

Subseries 9.2: Newspaper clippings, 1943-1996

Subseries 9.3: Articles, 1969-1991

Series 10: Patent Records, 1911-1985

Series 11: Lectra Systèmes Litigation Materials, 1968-1990

Series 12: Audio Visual Materials, 1986-1998
Biographical / Historical:
Heinz Joseph "Joe" Gerber was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 17, 1924. In 1940, Gerber escaped the Nazis and immigrated to New York City and then to Hartford, Connecticut, with his mother Bertha Gerber, a dressmaker. Gerber's father, Jacob, is presumed to have died in a concentration camp. Gerber attended Weaver High School and graduated in two years (1943). He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, on a scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1947. As a junior at RPI, Gerber developed the Gerber Variable Scale, his first invention. The earliest version of the variable scale was fashioned from an elastic band removed from a pair of pajamas. Gerber created a rubber rule and scale that could flow with a curve, expand, contract, and turn a corner. The scale allows for direct reading of curves, graphs, and graphical representations, giving direct numerical readings of proportions, spacing and interpolation. The Variable Scale became the building block of what would become Gerber Scientific Instrument Inc.

With financial assistance from Abraham Koppleman, a newspaper and magazine distributor in Hartford, Gerber and Koppleman formed a partnership and incorporated Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in 1948. Gerber served as president, Koppleman as treasurer, and Stanley Levin as secretary. The manufacture of Variable Scale was jobbed out and the distribution was conducted from Hartford. Gerber also worked as a design analytical engineer for Hamilton Standard Propellers of United Aircraft and for Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Shares of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company were eventually sold to the public in 1961, and in 1978, the company changed its name to Gerber Scientific, Inc. In the 1960s and 1970s, Gerber developed the first series of precision, computer-driven cutting systems for the apparel industry called the Gerber Cutter. The cutters introduced automation to the garment industry. In 1967, Gerber realized that the U.S. garment industry, due to a lack of automation, was faced with increasing overseas competition. Gerber's solution was to engineer the GERBERcutter S-70, a machine that cuts apparel quickly and effectively while using less cloth.

Gerber holds more than 600 United States and foreign patents. Many of his patents relate to the United States apparel industry. In 1994, Gerber was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Clinton for helping to revolutionize the optical, garment, automotive, and other industries. His pioneering achievements include:

-a generation of data readers (electromechanical devices that converted graphical data directly into computer readable format);

-projection systems that interactively converted information from aerial photographs for use in computers;

-devices that plotted digital output data from computer cards or tape;

-digital numerically-controlled drafting machines which verify the accuracy of the cutting path of numerical machine tools;

-a photoplotter (drafting machine configured with a unique light source to directly draw high accuracy layouts of printed circuit board masters on photographic film or glass with light beams); and

-systems with laser technology to draw at high speeds.1

Subsequent subsidiaries of Gerber Scientific, Inc., were: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc. (GGT); Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. (GSP); Gerber Systems Corp. (GSC), and Gerber Optical, Inc., (GO). GGT makes computer-controlled cutting and design equipment for apparel, automotive, aerospace and other industries. GSP produces systems for sign-making and graphic arts industries. GSC makes production systems for printing, industrial machinery and other industries. GO makes equipment for the optical-lens manufacturing industry.2

In 1954, Gerber married Sonia Kanciper. They had a daughter, Melisa Tina Gerber, and a son, David Jacques Gerber. H. Joseph Gerber died on August 9, 1996, at the age of 72.

Sources

1 National Medal of Technology, 1994.

2 W. Joseph Campbell, "High Tech and Low Key as Gerber Scientific Mounts a Recovery Philosophy that Reflects Innovative Founder," Hartford Courant, May 16, 1994.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, February 1996 (AC0609)

This videohistory documents the inventor, engineers, assembly workers, operators and other technicians who worked with the computer-controlled fabric cutter.

Heinz Joseph Gerber Papers (AC1336)

This collection documents Joseph Gerber's personal life including his highschool and college years, correpondence with family and friends, and speeches given by Gerber throughout his life.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by David Gerber, son of H. Joseph Gerber, on December 23, 2006.
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:
Fabric cutters -- 1960-1990  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Computerized instruments -- 1960-1990  Search this
Automation -- 1960-1990  Search this
Machinery -- 1960-1990  Search this
Machine-tool industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles
Marketing records
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1940-2000
Speeches
Correspondence -- 20th century
Catalogs
Clippings
Patents
Business records -- 1950-2000
Manuals
Legal documents
Citation:
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0929
See more items in:
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0929
Online Media:

Greville I. Bathe Papers

Creator:
Bathe, Greville  Search this
Names:
Evans, Oliver, 1766-1819  Search this
Perkins, Jacob, 1766-1849  Search this
Extent:
5 Cubic feet (12 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Patents
Wills
Notebooks
Genealogies
Letters
Pamphlets
Articles
Writings
Design drawings
Catalogs
Date:
bulk 1933-1944
1893-1985
Scope and Contents note:
Papers contain archival materials comprising Bathe's research on Oliver Evans (1755-1819), an American engineer engaged in the development of steam engines. The collection includes copies of letters, design drawings, pamphlets and a book written by Evans, patents, a scrapbook, articles, genealogical information, Evans's will, and writings by Bathe on Evans, including his book about him. Correspondence with libraries and other scholars is included, as are papers relating to the book such as reviews, notebooks, and papers relating to the printing and publishing. There is also research material on American engineer Jacob Perkins, for Bathe's books Citizen Genet (1946), Horizontal Windmills (1948), and Ship of Destiny...Merrimac (1951), and assorted trade catalogs and materials pertaining to Bathe's manufacturing companies in London and Philadelphia. A photograph album compiled by Bathe containing photographs and sketches of models built by Bathe is also included.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1: Correspdondence, 1893-1960

Series 2: Photographs, 1897-1954

Series 3: Writings, 1933-1960

Series 4: Catalogs/Trade Literature, 1905-1985

Series 5: Research about Oliver Evans (1955-1819), 1933-1962

Series 6: Research about Jacob Perkins (1766-1849), 1937-1944

Series 7: Miscellaneous, 1919-1980
Biographical:
Greville I. Bathe (1883-1964) was born in Cambridge, England. He attended the London Polytechnic Institute, earning a degree in mechanical engineering. Bathe worked in England as a model maker and in 1919 came to the United States to establish a model making business in Philadelphia which he ran until 1936. Bathe retired to Florida in 1948.

Bathe built and collected working scale models of steam engines, a hobby that dates to his childhood in England. During his lifetime he amassed a significant library of books (1,500) on the history of technology before and after the Industrial Revolution. Bathe wrote extensively about steam engines and was the author of many articles and books which included Jacob Perkins: His Inventions, His Times, and His Contemporaries (1943), Horizontal windmills, draft mills and similar air-flow engines (1948), The rise and decline of the paddle-wheel (1962), The St. John's Railroad, 1858 to 1895: a contemporary history of a pioneer railroad (1958), and his definitive biography of Oliver Evans (1935).
Related Materials:
Swarthmore College Libraries

Bathe Collection in the History of Technology

The Bathe Collection is comprised of some 1,500 volumes on the history of technology before and after the Industrial Revolution. The collection was willed to Swarthmore by Greville Bathe, author of several books on the history of technology, and contains primary source material from the 16th through 18th centuries as well as contemporary bibliographies, biographies, histories, and secondary materials. The collection's range of subject matter extends from steam engines and their inventors to post-Newtonian mechanics, early aeronautics, and the Atlantic cable. In addition, it includes Greville Bathe's books, galley proofs, and manuscripts.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History holds artifacts related to Greville I. Bathe, specifically scale models built by Bathe.
Provenance:
Originally a bequest to the National Museum of American History from Greville I. Bathe.
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:
Windmills  Search this
Engineering -- History  Search this
Steam-engines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Patents
Wills
Notebooks
Genealogies
Letters
Pamphlets -- 19th century
Articles
Writings
Design drawings
Catalogs
Citation:
Archives Center, Greville I. Bathe Papers, 1933-1967, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0970
See more items in:
Greville I. Bathe Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0970

Nordberg Manufacturing Company Collection

Creator:
Nordberg Manufacturing Company  Search this
Names:
Chain Belt Company  Search this
Nordberg, Bruno V.  Search this
Extent:
45 Cubic feet (58 boxes, 110 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notebooks
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Blueprints
Place:
Milwaukee (Wis.)
Date:
1891-1947
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of the company's photo and negative archives; miscellaneous trade publications; G. Turnwald notebooks; technical memoranda; trade literature; operating manuals; parts books; Nordberg company history; machinery proposals; order books; time records; Chain Belt Company catalogs; and blueprints used in the shops.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: Background Materials, 1912-1957

Series 2: Catalogs/Bulletins, 1891-1972

Series 3: Sales/Order Materials, 1891-1971

Series 4: Advertising Materials, 1911-1955

Series 5: Operating Manuals and Instructions, 1917-1964

Series 6: Technical Memorandum, 1919-1969

Series 7: Turnwald Notebooks, 1928-1942

Series 8: Trade Literature, 1912-1974

Series 9, Photographs, undated

Series 10: Drawings, 1884-1979
Historical:
The Nordberg Manufacturing Company, founded in 1890 by Bruno V. Nordberg, manufactured steam engines (later diesel engines) and precision built heavy machinery in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The company later added Poppet valve steam engines, oil engines, railway track maintenance machinery, crushers, machinery for processing ore, mine hoists, blowing engines, condensers, steam pumping engines, and Corliss engines for every type of power service. Nordberg was a leading manufacturer of marine diesel engines and supplied engines for many of the American merchant marine ships.

In 1895, the company elected Jacob Friend as its first president. From 1912-1924, Bruno Nordberg served as president, and in 1924, Robert Friend, son of Jacob Friend, became president. The company purchased the Busch-Sulzer Brothers Diesel Engine Company of St. Louis in 1946, merging two of the largest diesel engine manufacturers.
Related Materials at the National Museum of American History:
Division of Work and Industry

The Division holds a photograph of the Nordberg diesel type oil engine at the Central Station Burro Mountain Copper Company Power House. Related artifacts include a builders plate and calipers. See Accession #: 1984.0243

Smithsonian Institution Libraries Trade Literature Collection

The libraries hold trade literature relating to Nordberg Manufacturing Company, Chain Belt Company, Rexnord, Inc.

Michigan Technological University, J.R. VanPelt and Opie Library

Nordberg Manufacturing Company Engineering Blueprints Collection, circa 1890-circa 1946

220.0 cubic ft.

Blueprints, circa 1890-circa 1946, of the Nordberg Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Includes blueprints of valve engines, pumps, hoists, compressors, and similar equipment, much of which was used by mining companies in Michigan's Upper Peninsula.

Wisconsin Historical Society Library and Archives

Nordberg Manufacturing Company photographs, circa 1910-1970s

182 photographs and 4.0. c.f. of negatives (10 archives boxes).

Photographs and negatives, circa 1910-1970s, related to the Nordberg Manufacturing Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Images include views of heavy machinery used in the manufacture of mine hoisting engines and aerial views of the manufacturing company. The collection also includes an album of photographs made in the manufacturing plant of the company of Corliss and Poppett valve steam engines.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry holds related Nordberg Manufacturing Company objects that include a builders plate and calipers. See Accession #1984.0243.
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
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:
Heavy machinery  Search this
Diesel engines  Search this
Steam-engines  Search this
Marine engines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notebooks
Trade catalogs
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 19th-20th century
Blueprints
Citation:
Nordberg Manufacturing Company Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0975
See more items in:
Nordberg Manufacturing Company Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0975
Online Media:

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:

Robinson and Via Family Papers

Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Names:
Capital Transit Company (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Serenity Farm, Inc.  Search this
Howes, Grace Bourne, ?-1976  Search this
Robinson, Adina Theresa, 1963-  Search this
Robinson, Amanda Baden, 1849-1940  Search this
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Robinson, Frank A., 1883-1970  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., 1841-1905  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., Sr., 1932-  Search this
Robinson, Martha Walls, 1807-1897  Search this
Robinson, Robert David, 1962-  Search this
Robinson, Robert Henry, 1851-1937  Search this
Robinson, Thomas Wells, 1803-1869  Search this
Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1880-1961  Search this
Via, Adina Mae, 1937-1966  Search this
Via, Robert Delano, 1933-  Search this
Via, Robert Milton, 1906-1983  Search this
Creator:
Conner, Mary Robinson, 1930-2009  Search this
Via, Ida Virginia Woods, 1914-2010 -- 20th century  Search this
Extent:
23.1 Cubic feet (71 boxes, 3 map-size folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Photographs
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Place:
Maryland -- Family farms
Washington (D.C.)
Prince George's County (Md.)
Arizona -- Motion pictures
Benedict (Md.)
Charles County (Md.) -- Family farms
Calvert County (Md.) -- Family farms
California -- Motion pictures
Bahamas -- Motion pictures
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Puerto Rico -- Motion pictures
Washington -- motion pictures
Oregon -- Motion pictures
Disneyland (California)
Brandywine (Md.)
St. Thomas, V.I. -- Motion pictures
Florida -- Motion pictures
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- Westminster
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- Marston
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- New Windsor
Date:
1838-2017, undated
bulk 1872-1985
Summary:
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.

The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.

This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.

The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series:

Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated

Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated

Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated

Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated

Subseries 2.2: Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1896-1961, undated

Subseries 2.3: Robinson, Frank A., 1899-1970, undated

Subseries 2.4: Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1841-1976, undated

Subseries 2.5: Conner, Mary Robinson, 1938-1985, undated

Subseries 2.6: Robinson, Franklin A., 1932-1997, undated

Subseries 2.6.1: Farming, 1948-1976, undated

Subseries 2.6.2: Financial, 1948-1988, undated

Subseries 2.6.3: 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA), 1945-1954, undated

Subseries 2.6.4: Travel, 1959-1970, undated

Subseries 2.7: Robinson, Jr., Franklin A., 1959-2001, undated

Series 3: Serenity Farm, Charles County, Maryland, 1962-2000, undated

Series 4: Via Farm, Calvert County, Maryland, 1954-1987, undated

Series 5: Via Family, 1932-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1: Family papers, 1941-1983, undated

Subseries 5.2: Via, Robert M., 1933-1987, undated

Subseries 5.3: Via, Ida Virginia, 1928-2010, undated

Subseries 5.4: Via, Robert D., 1933-1988, undated

Subseries 5.5: Robinson, Adina Via, 1937-1966, undated

Series 6: Photographs, Photographic Slides, and Photographic Negatives, 1860-2000, undated

Subseries 6.1: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.2: Photographic negatives, 1927--2000, undated

Subseries 6.3: Photographic Slides, 1955-1979, undated

Series 7: AudioVisual, 1943-1988
Biographical / Historical:
Robinson Family

The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))

James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.

James worked as overseer for Benjamin Oden on Oden's estate Bellefields near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three slaves described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)

Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as overseer for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth I. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the churchyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County. In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.

Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).

In addition to his sons, Thomas owned slaves. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six slaves, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)

In April 11, 1855 Thomas excuted a deed of trust to J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore for securing a loan. At that time the farm was described as, "about five hundred and seventy acres . . . also the following personal property to wit Eight head of horses, nine cows, two mules, twelve work oxen, twenty Eight Sheep, one bull, two colts and all other stock of every description now on the aforesaid land, also the farming utensils and the following named Slaves, Stephen aged Sixty three years, Isaac aged twenty six years, Elvia aged twenty Eight years Alfred aged twelve years, Hanson aged ten years, Henrietta aged twelve years Susanna aged eight years, and Margaret aged three years. Together with the crop of Tobacco now in the house and the crop of wheat now growing." (EWB 1 pages 155 156, Land Records of Prince Georges' County)

Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the plantation in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)

In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865. In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)

Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)

Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).

By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.

As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County. Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)

In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.

On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.

At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm. Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.

On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.

The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)

On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)

On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee. Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).

Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.

On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.

On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.

The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of MTGA, the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.

In 1985, R. David began a greenhouse business for the sale of spring flowering bedding plants and hanging baskets but currently works in conjunction with Farming 4 Hunger to grow produce for local area foodbanks. A. Theresa is involved in the daily running of the farm along with Franklin. Franklin, Jr., obtained a BFA degree in Drama from The Catholic University of America in 1981 and an MA from The American University in Film and Video Production in 1988. He was a civilian employee of the United States Air Force (USAF) from November 1981 to January 1986. He pursued a full time career as a professional actor from 1986-2007 and is a published author and produced playwright. The three siblings have been involved in community affairs, with R. David sitting on the Charles County Agricultural Preservation Board, A. Theresa having served on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Parish, Charles County, and Franklin, Jr. having served on the vestries of both Trinity Parish and St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of the Washington Literacy Council, a choir member of the choir at St. Thomas Church, among other church related posts and as chair of the Charles County Historic Preservation Commission.

Via Family

The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.

The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).

Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.

Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).

Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).

After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.

On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction). In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).

On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.

Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.

Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.

Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.

In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.

On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Separated Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.

Division of Armed Forces History (National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but negatives and audiovisuial materials are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to the donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Farms -- Maryland  Search this
Holidays  Search this
Amusement parks -- California  Search this
Children's parties  Search this
Rural women  Search this
Sheep ranches  Search this
Parks -- California  Search this
Rural families  Search this
Tobacco -- Harvesting  Search this
Tobacco -- Storage  Search this
Street-railroads  Search this
Street-railroads -- Employees  Search this
Travel  Search this
Urban transportation  Search this
Work and family  Search this
Tobacco curing  Search this
Women in agriculture  Search this
Farm equipment  Search this
Farm buildings  Search this
Family recreation  Search this
Family festivals  Search this
Farm ownership  Search this
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farm management  Search this
Illiterate persons  Search this
Christmas  Search this
Soldiers  Search this
Students  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Family farms  Search this
Easter  Search this
Electric railroads  Search this
Acting -- 1980-2000  Search this
Amateur films  Search this
Agricultural machinery  Search this
Agriculture -- 20th century -- Maryland  Search this
Tobacco farmers  Search this
Housewives -- United States  Search this
Weddings  Search this
Farmers  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Photographs -- 19th century
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0475
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0475
Online Media:

William C. Kost Farm Records

Creator:
Kost, William Elvidge  Search this
Kost, William Cassell, (farmer), 1917-1989  Search this
Source:
Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Former owner:
Agriculture and Natural Resources, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
17.66 Cubic feet (53 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Housebooks
Receipts
Place:
Illinois -- 1940-1990
Vermont (Ill.) -- 1940-1990
Date:
1939-1989
Summary:
The records of the Kost family farm, Vermont, Illinois. The farm consisted of 120 acres where small grains, hay, and cattle were raised.
Scope and Contents:
The William C. Kost Farm Records is an exhaustive collection of bills, receipts, pay-stubs, and other financial records relating to the business of a small, mid-western family farm. Beginning with Kost's employment as a bookkeeper in 1942 for local Vermont, Illinois area taverns, the financial records intensely cover the period until the year before his death in 1989. The collection is a complete financial picture of a typical mid-western farm during the post WWII period, through the agricultural boom days of the 1950s and 1960s, and into the trying agricultural times of the late 1970s and 1980s. These financial records reconstruct a day to day, week to week, and month to month, financial portrait of the Kost farm. The limited amount of correspondence found in this collection complements the financial record. Tax returns, medical, and personal expense records are all included within the collection. Kost and his wife ran the farm operation with occasional hired help. Kost also took a job off the farm to supplement the farm income.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into three series.

Series 1, Tavern Accounts, 1939-1945

Series 2, Maryland Farm, 1946

Series 3, William C. Kost Farm, 1946-1989
Biographical / Historical:
William Cassel Kost (1917-1989) acquired land and began farming in Vermont, Illinois in 1946. The farm consisted of 120 acres where Kost raised small grains, hay, and cattle. Prior to this time, Kost had been a bookkeeper for local taverns and a tenant farmer. Over the next fifty-three years, Kost worked his own farm as well as occasionally renting land, the Maryland Farm and others. In the 1950s, Kost secured a position with Hemp & Company, later known as the King-Sealey Thermos Factory, first in a part-time capacity then as a full-time employee, retiring on disability in 1975. He continued to farm until his death in August 1989. He was married to Maxine Elvidge (1916-1987) and had one son, William Elvidge Kost (1941-).
Related Materials:
Division of Work and Industry and the Division of Home and Community Life holds artifacts related to this collection.
Provenance:
Donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center by William E. Kost in 1993.
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:
Farms -- 1940-1990 -- Illinois  Search this
Hay  Search this
Work and family -- 1940-1990  Search this
Wheat  Search this
Soybean  Search this
Swine  Search this
Rural families -- 1940-1990  Search this
Agriculture -- 1940-1990 -- Illinois  Search this
Livestock  Search this
Corn  Search this
Beef cattle  Search this
Family records -- 1940-1990  Search this
Family farms -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farm equipment -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farm buildings -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farmers -- 1940-1990  Search this
Farm management -- 1940-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Housebooks -- 1940-1990
Receipts -- 20th century
Citation:
William C. Kost Farm Records, 1939-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0481
See more items in:
William C. Kost Farm Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0481

Headman's axe and block, grim reminders of old times, in Tower of London. 10589 interpositive

Topic:
ENGLAND TOUR
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (5" x 8")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Place:
England
London (England)
Tower of London
Local Numbers:
RSN 24196
General:
Currently stored in box 3.2.36 [31].
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment. 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:
Axes -- England  Search this
Historical artifacts -- England  Search this
Museums -- England  Search this
Palaces -- England  Search this
Prisons -- England  Search this
Towers -- England  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Interpositives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.2: Underwood and Underwood Positives / RSN Numbers 24181-24282
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref21962

Stonehenge--a remarkable relic of earlier ages--greatest curiosity in England. 178 Interpositive

Topic:
ENGLAND
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (4" x 5")
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
England
Stonehenge (England)
Local Numbers:
RSN 25457
General:
Company catalog card included.
Currently stored in box 3.2.44 [123], moved from [58].
Copy and Version Identification Note:
127459
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment. 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:
Children -- England  Search this
Historical artifacts -- England  Search this
Ruins -- England  Search this
Stones -- England  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Interpositives -- Glass
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 3: Underwood & Underwood glass plates / 3.2: Underwood and Underwood Positives / RSN Numbers 25436-25540
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref23217

Episode 305

Collection Producer:
Lodge, Arthur  Search this
Arthur Lodge Productions.  Search this
Collection Creator:
National Association of Manufacturers  Search this
Extent:
1 Motion picture film
Container:
Reel AC0507-OF0305
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images
Motion picture films
Date:
1956 August 18
Scope and Contents:
Illinois Using human "guinea pigs" for research. Volunteers take medicines not yet approved; pharmaceuticals and medical research. Abbott Laboratories, Chicago, IL.

New York Making wood products using traditional wooden machinery. American Manufacturing Concern, Falconer, NY.

Pennsylvania Soft shirt collar replacing the starched collar, making shirt care easier. Apparel industry. Philip-Jones Corp., Pottsville, PA.

New Mexico An archeologist studies the land and artifacts of earlier civilizations, before gas company drills pipeline. El Paso Natural Gas Co., Gallup, NM.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the films are stored off-site.Special arrangements must be made directly with the Archives Center staff to view episodes for which no reference copy exists. 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 will be charged for reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Industry on Parade Film Collection, 1950-1959, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Industry on Parade Film Collection
Industry on Parade Film Collection / Series 1: Motion Picture Films
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0507-ref585

1989.0438.3133, Poster commemorating an exhibition that collector, Larry Zim, assisted museum staff of Queens Museum with; objects from his collection borrowed? Marked "In Celebration of [/] the Fair's Fortieth [/] Anniversary, An [/] Exhibition of Art...

Collection Collector:
Cultural History, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  Search this
Zim, Larry (Larry Zimmerman), 1931-1987  Search this
Container:
Map-folder 119
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1980
Scope and Contents:
26 3/8 x 23 5/8 in.; 66.9925 x 60.0075 cm
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but two oversize folders 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.
Collection Citation:
Larry Zim World's Fair Collection, 1841-1988, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Larry Zim World's Fair Collection
Larry Zim World's Fair Collection / Series 4: Oversize Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0519-ref1511

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