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Second Year No.25

Creator:
New Negro Alliance (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Names:
Hastie, William, 1904-1976  Search this
Container:
Box 1
Type:
Archival materials
Text
Advertisements
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
September 1, 1934
Collection Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist at ACMarchives@si.edu
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
African American newspapers  Search this
Activism  Search this
Discrimination in employment  Search this
Business enterprises  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
New Negro Opinion newspaper
New Negro Opinion newspaper / Series 1: December 1933- December 1934
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/qa7be23dd00-015f-4097-be43-69732ffc5be9
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-10-012-3-ref21
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Western Union Telegraph Company Records

Creator:
United Telegraph Workers.  Search this
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
452 Cubic feet (871 boxes and 23 map folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Administrative records
Articles
Books
Clippings
Contracts
Drawings
Photographs
Patents
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Scrapbooks
Specifications
Technical documents
Date:
circa 1820-1995
Summary:
The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into twenty-six (26) series and consists of approximately 400 cubic feet. The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into twenty-seven series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Information, 1851-1994

Series 2: Subsidiaries of Western Union, 1844-1986

Series 3: Executive Records, 1848-1987

Series 4: Presidential Letterbooks and Writings, 1865-1911

Series 5: Correspondence, 1837-1985

Series 6: Cyrus W. Field Papers, 1840-1892

Series 7: Secretary's Files, 1844-1987

Series 8: Financial Records, 1859-1995

Series 9: Legal Records, 1867-1968

Series 10: Railroad Records, 1854-1945

Series 11: Law Department Records, 1868-1979

Series 12: Patent Materials, 1840-1970

Series 13: Operating Records, 1868-1970s

Series 14: Westar VI-S, 1974, 1983-1986

Series 15: Engineering Department Records, 1874-1970

Series 16: Plant Department Records, 1867-1937, 1963

Series 17: Superintendent of Supplies Records, 1888-1948

Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records 1852-1985

Series 19: Public Relations Department Records, 1858-1980

Series 20: Western Union Museum, 1913-1971

Series 21: Maps, 1820-1964

Series 22: Telegrams, 1852-1960s

Series 23: Photographs, circa 1870-1980

Series 24: Scrapbooks, 1835-1956

Series 25: Notebooks, 1880-1942

Series 26: Audio Visual Materials, 1925-1994

Series 27: Addenda
Biographical / Historical:
In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, conceived of the idea for an electromechanical telegraph, which he called the "Recording Telegraph." This commercial application of electricity was made tangible by their construction of a crude working model in 1835-36. This instrument probably was never used outside of Professor Morse's rooms where it was, however, operated in a number of demonstrations. This original telegraph instrument was in the hands of the Western Union Telegraph Company and had been kept carefully over the years in a glass case. It was moved several times in New York as the Western Union headquarters building changed location over the years. The company presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1950.

The telegraph was further refined by Morse, Vail, and a colleague, Leonard Gale, into working mechanical form in 1837. In this year Morse filed a caveat for it at the U.S. Patent Office. Electricity, provided by Joseph Henry's 1836 "intensity batteries", was sent over a wire. The flow of electricity through the wire was interrupted for shorter or longer periods by holding down the key of the device. The resulting dots or dashes were recorded on a printer or could be interpreted orally. In 1838 Morse perfected his sending and receiving code and organized a corporation, making Vail and Gale his partners.

In 1843 Morse received funds from Congress to set-up a demonstration line between Washington and Baltimore. Unfortunately, Morse was not an astute businessman and had no practical plan for constructing a line. After an unsuccessful attempt at laying underground cables with Ezra Cornell, the inventor of a trench digger, Morse switched to the erection of telegraph poles and was more successful. On May 24, 1844, Morse, in the U.S. Supreme Court Chambers in Washington, sent by telegraph the oft-quoted message to his colleague Vail in Baltimore, "What hath God wrought!"

In 1845 Morse hired Andrew Jackson's former postmaster general, Amos Kendall, as his agent in locating potential buyers of the telegraph. Kendall realized the value of the device, and had little trouble convincing others of its potential for profit. By the spring he had attracted a small group of investors. They subscribed $15,000 and formed the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Many new telegraph companies were formed as Morse sold licenses wherever he could.

The first commercial telegraph line was completed between Washington, D.C., and New York City in the spring of 1846 by the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Shortly thereafter, F. O. J. Smith, one of the patent owners, built a line between New York City and Boston. Most of these early companies were licensed by owners of Samuel Morse patents. The Morse messages were sent and received in a code of dots and dashes.

At this time other telegraph systems based on rival technologies were being built. Some companies used the printing telegraph, a device invented by a Vermonter, Royal E. House, whose messages were printed on paper or tape in Roman letters. In 1848 a Scotch scientist, Alexander Bain, received his patents on a telegraph. These were but two of many competing and incompatible technologies that had developed. The result was confusion, inefficiency, and a rash of suits and counter suits.

By 1851 there were over fifty separate telegraph companies operating in the United States. This corporate cornucopia developed because the owners of the telegraph patents had been unsuccessful in convincing the United States and other governments of the invention's potential usefulness. In the private sector, the owners had difficulty convincing capitalists of the commercial value of the invention. This led to the owners' willingness to sell licenses to many purchasers who organized separate companies and then built independent telegraph lines in various sections of the country.

Hiram Sibley moved to Rochester, New York, in 1838 to pursue banking and real estate. Later he was elected sheriff of Monroe County. In Rochester he was introduced to Judge Samuel L. Selden who held the House Telegraph patent rights. In 1849 Selden and Sibley organized the New York State Printing Telegraph Company, but they found it hard to compete with the existing New York, Albany, and Buffalo Telegraph Company.

After this experience Selden suggested that instead of creating a new line, the two should try to acquire all the companies west of Buffalo and unite them into a single unified system. Selden secured an agency for the extension throughout the United States of the House system. In an effort to expand this line west, Judge Selden called on friends and the people in Rochester. This led, in April 1851, to the organization of a company and the filing in Albany of the Articles of Association for the "New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company" (NYMVPTC), a company which later evolved into the Western Union Telegraph Company.

In 1854 there were two rival systems of the NYMVPTC in the West. These two systems consisted of thirteen separate companies. All the companies were using Morse patents in the five states north of the Ohio River. This created a struggle between three separate entities, leading to an unreliable and inefficient telegraph service. The owners of these rival companies eventually decided to invest their money elsewhere and arrangements were made for the NYMVPTC to purchase their interests.

Hiram Sibley recapitalized the company in 1854 under the same name and began a program of construction and acquisition. The most important takeover was carried out by Sibley when he negotiated the purchase of the Morse patent rights for the Midwest for $50,000 from Jeptha H. Wade and John J. Speed, without the knowledge of Ezra Cornell, their partner in the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company (EMTC). With this acquisition Sibley proceeded to switch to the superior Morse system. He also hired Wade, a very capable manager, who became his protege and later his successor. After a bitter struggle Morse and Wade obtained the EMTC from Cornell in 1855, thus assuring dominance by the NYMVPTC in the Midwest. In 1856 the company name was changed to the "Western Union Telegraph Company," indicating the union of the Western lines into one compact system. In December, 1857, the Company paid stockholders their first dividend.

Between 1857 and 1861 similar consolidations of telegraph companies took place in other areas of the country so that most of the telegraph interests of the United States had merged into six systems. These were the American Telegraph Company (covering the Atlantic and some Gulf states), The Western Union Telegraph Company (covering states North of the Ohio River and parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota), the New York Albany and Buffalo Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company (covering New York State), the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company (covering Pennsylvania), the Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company (covering sections of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois), and the New Orleans & Ohio Telegraph Company (covering the southern Mississippi Valley and the Southwest). All these companies worked together in a mutually friendly alliance, and other small companies cooperated with the six systems, particularly some on the West Coast.

By the time of the Civil War, there was a strong commercial incentive to construct a telegraph line across the western plains to link the two coasts of America. Many companies, however, believed the line would be impossible to build and maintain.

In 1860 Congress passed, and President James Buchanan signed, the Pacific Telegraph Act, which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to seek bids for a project to construct a transcontinental line. When two bidders dropped out, Hiram Sibley, representing Western Union, was the only bidder left. By default Sibley won the contract. The Pacific Telegraph Company was organized for the purpose of building the eastern section of the line. Sibley sent Wade to California, where he consolidated the small local companies into the California State Telegraph Company. This entity then organized the Overland Telegraph Company, which handled construction eastward from Carson City, Nevada, joining the existing California lines, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Sibley's Pacific Telegraph Company built westward from Omaha, Nebraska. Sibley put most of his resources into the venture. The line was completed in October, 1861. Both companies were soon merged into Western Union. This accomplishment made Hiram Sibley leader of the telegraph industry.

Further consolidations took place over the next several years. Many companies merged into the American Telegraph Company. With the expiration of the Morse patents, several organizations were combined in 1864 under the name of "The U.S. Telegraph Company." In 1866 the final consolidation took place, with Western Union exchanging stock for the stock of the other two organizations. The general office of Western Union moved at this time from Rochester to 145 Broadway, New York City. In 1875 the main office moved to 195 Broadway, where it remained until 1930 when it relocated to 60 Hudson Street.

In 1873 Western Union purchased a majority of shares in the International Ocean Telegraph Company. This was an important move because it marked Western Union's entry into the foreign telegraph market. Having previously worked with foreign companies, Western Union now began competing for overseas business.

In the late 1870s Western Union, led by William H. Vanderbilt, attempted to wrest control of the major telephone patents, and the new telephone industry, away from the Bell Telephone Company. But due to new Bell leadership and a subsequent hostile takeover attempt of Western Union by Jay Gould, Western Union discontinued its fight and Bell Telephone prevailed.

Despite these corporate calisthenics, Western Union remained in the public eye. The sight of a uniformed Western Union messenger boy was familiar in small towns and big cities all over the country for many years. Some of Western Union's top officials in fact began their careers as messenger boys.

Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century the telegraph became one of the most important factors in the development of social and commercial life of America. In spite of improvements to the telegraph, however, two new inventions--the telephone (nineteenth century) and the radio (twentieth century)--eventually replaced the telegraph as the leaders of the communication revolution for most Americans.

At the turn of the century, Bell abandoned its struggles to maintain a monopoly through patent suits, and entered into direct competition with the many independent telephone companies. Around this time, the company adopted its new name, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).

In 1908 AT&T gained control of Western Union. This proved beneficial to Western Union, because the companies were able to share lines when needed, and it became possible to order telegrams by telephone. However, it was only possible to order Western Union telegrams, and this hurt the business of Western Union's main competitor, the Postal Telegraph Company. In 1913, however, as part of a move to prevent the government from invoking antitrust laws, AT&T completely separated itself from Western Union.

Western Union continued to prosper and it received commendations from the U.S. armed forces for service during both world wars. In 1945 Western Union finally merged with its longtime rival, the Postal Telegraph Company. As part of that merger, Western Union agreed to separate domestic and foreign business. In 1963 Western Union International Incorporated, a private company completely separate from the Western Union Telegraph Company, was formed and an agreement with the Postal Telegraph Company was completed. In 1994, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. was acquired by First Financial Management Corporation. In 1995, First Financial Management Corporation merged with First Data Corporation making Western Union a First Data subsidiary.

Many technological advancements followed the telegraph's development. The following are among the more important:

The first advancement of the telegraph occurred around 1850 when operators realized that the clicks of the recording instrument portrayed a sound pattern, understandable by the operators as dots and dashes. This allowed the operator to hear the message by ear and simultaneously write it down. This ability transformed the telegraph into a versatile and speedy system.

Duplex Telegraphy, 1871-72, was invented by the president of the Franklin Telegraph Company. Unable to sell his invention to his own company, he found a willing buyer in Western Union. Utilizing this invention, two messages were sent over the wire simultaneously, one in each direction.

As business blossomed and demand surged, new devices appeared. Thomas Edison's Quadruplex allowed four messages to be sent over the same wire simultaneously, two in one direction and two in the other.

An English automatic signaling arrangement, Wheatstone's Automatic Telegraph, 1883, allowed larger numbers of words to be transmitted over a wire at once. It could only be used advantageously, however, on circuits where there was a heavy volume of business.

Buckingham's Machine Telegraph was an improvement on the House system. It printed received messages in plain Roman letters quickly and legibly on a message blank, ready for delivery.

Vibroplex, c. 1890, a semi-automatic key sometimes called a "bug key," made the dots automatically. This relieved the operator of much physical strain.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Additional moving image about Western Union Telegraph Company can be found in the Industry on Parade Collection (AC0507). This includes Cable to Cuba! by Bell Laboratory, AT & T, featuring the cable ship, the C.S. Lord Kelvin, and Communications Centennial! by the Western Union Company.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.

Western Union International Records form part of the MCI International, Inc. Records at the First Data Corporation, Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Records of First Data Corporation and its predecessors, including Western Union, First Financial Management Corporation (Atlanta) and First Data Resources (Omaha). Western Union collection supports research of telegraphy and related technologies, and includes company records, annual reports, photographs, print and broadcast advertising, telegraph equipment, and messenger uniforms.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867

This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts (apparatus and equipment) were donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society, now known as the Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Western Union in September of 1971.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but Series 11 and films are stored off-site. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audiovisual materials. 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:
Communications equipment  Search this
Communication -- International cooperation  Search this
Electric engineering  Search this
Electric engineers  Search this
Electrical equipment  Search this
Electrical science and technology  Search this
Telegraphers  Search this
Telegraph  Search this
Genre/Form:
Administrative records
Articles
Books
Clippings
Contracts
Drawings
Photographs -- 19th century
Patents
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Specifications
Technical documents
Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0205
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8b72e8493-288c-4bd0-84d5-011155da30a7
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0205
Online Media:

Correspondence, Andrews, Ambrose - Harding, Chester

Creator:
Beal, Gifford, 1879-1956  Search this
Andrews, Ambrose, 1805-1859  Search this
Bates, Edward, 1793-1869  Search this
Bohrod, Aaron  Search this
Cloar, Carroll  Search this
Colman, Samuel, 1832-1920  Search this
Bacon, Josephine Daskam, 1876-1961  Search this
Rogers, Daniel Denison, 1751-1825  Search this
Elliot, William Parker  Search this
Brush, George de Forest, 1855-1941  Search this
Harding, Chester, 1792-1866  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Beach, Ella  Search this
Thayer, Abbott Handerson, 1849-1921  Search this
Town, Ithiel, 1784-1844  Search this
Watson, Forbes, 1880-1960  Search this
Collection Creator:
Brumbaugh, Thomas B. (Thomas Brendle), 1921-  Search this
Extent:
14 Items (Letters, written in ink, ball point, graphite, typewritter)
Type:
Archival materials
Lithographs
Correspondence
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
1779-1981
Scope and Contents:
This folder is an amalgamation of letters written and recieved by prominent figures in 19th and 20th century American art. Included in the folder are letters by Ambrose Andrews, Edward Bates, Gifford Beal, Aaron Bohrod, Carroll Clear, Samuel Colman, Josephine Daskam, Daniel Denison Rogers, William Elliot, George de Forest Brush, and Chester Harding. The letters' subjects cover a wide range of topics, including the buying and selling of art, invitations to dinner, and general correspondence.
Arrangement:
Organized alphabetically by author.
Biographical / Historical:
Ambrose Andrews was a portrait, miniature, and landscape portrait who worked throughout New England and the United States. He was born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts in 1801 and studied at the National Academy of Design. He exhibited paintings at many different institutions, including his portraits of Henry Clay and Sam Houston. Andrews's work is now in the New York Historical Society.
Edward Bates was a representative for Missouri in the mid-1800s. He served in the War of 1812 as a sergeant in a volunteer brigade, studied and practiced law, attended the state constitutional convention, was district attorney from 1821 to 1826, and was a member of the state senate. He declined to serve as Secretary of War for President Fillmore, but was appointed Attorney General of the United States by President Lincoln, and served from March 5, 1861 to September 1864. Bates died on March 25, 1869.
Admiral Charles Henry Davis was born on January 16, 1807, and served as Chief of the Bureau of Navigation between 1862 and 1865. He then served as Superintendent of the Naval Observatory. He had three ships named after him.
Forbes Watson was an art critic, lecturer, and administrator in New York City in the early 20th century. He served as art critic for the New York Evening Post. In 1933 he was appointed Technical Director of the first New Deal art program, the Public Works of Art Project, which provided work for artists in the decoration of non-federal buildings. He later worked at the Treasury Department of Painting and Sculpture, which administered funding for decorating federal buildings. Watson finally served in the Treasury Department's War Finance Division, where he organized exhibitions and posters by combat artists to promote the sale of war bonds. Forbes Watson's papers are held in the Archives of American Art.
Gifford Beal was an American artist who worked with many organizations for the advancements of the arts, finding inspiration from a wide variety of sources, including holiday scenes, every-day life, and landscapes. Beal loved spontaneity and was influenced by French Impressionists. He was commissioned by the government to paint two murals: one on the post office in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and one in the Main Interior Building in Washington, D.C. Beal's papers are held in the Archives of American Art.
Aaron Bohrod was born in Chicago, Illinois on November 21, 1907, where he studied art at the Art Institute of Chicago. He worked for a while in the advertising art department at the Fair Department Store in Chicago, but eventually moved to New York City, where he joined the Art Students League. He died on April 3, 1992. During World War II, Bohrod worked as an artist for the United States Army Corps of Engineer and Life magazine in Europe.
Carroll Cloar was an American realist and surrealist who lived from 1913 to 1993. He grew up in Arkansas, but later moved to Tennessee, travelled Europe, and joined the Art Students League in New York City. During World War II, he joined the U.S. Army Air Corps, and although he did complete some artwork during this period, none of it survives. Cloar then settled in Memphis. One of his paintings was chosen to commemorate President Clinton's inauguration in 1993. Cloar died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 10, 1993, after a long battle with cancer.
Samuel Colman was an American painter who belonged to the Hudson River School, and is most well-remembered for his landscapes. He was born in Portland, Maine, in 1832, and began exhibiting at the young age of 18. At 27 he was elected an associate of the National Academy, and later studied abroad in Paris and Spain. He was made a full Academician upon his return to the United States, and both founded and served as the first president of the American Water-color Society. He continued to both study in Europe and exhibit artwork, moving from New York to Rhode Island. Colman is represented in the metropolitan Museum, Chicago Art Institute, and many other collections. He died in New York City in 1920.
Josephine Daskam Bacon was an American writer known for writing about "women's issues" and using female protagonists. She wrote a series of juvenile mysteries and helped pioneer the Girl Scouts movement, writing a guidebook for the organization.
Daniel Denison Rogers is perhaps most widely remembered for the painting that John Singleton Copley completed of his wife, Abigail Bromfield.
Ithiel Town was an American architect and civil engineer who lived from October 3, 1784 to June 13, 1844. He worked in the Federal and revivalist Greek and Gothic styles, and was widely copied. He was born in Connecticut, and built both Center Church and Trinity Church in New Haven. Town patented a wooden lattice truss bridge, which made him quite wealthy. He formed a professional architecture firm with Alexander Jackson Davis. One of Town's most amazing feats was the construction of the Potomac Aqueduct in Washington, D.C., which allowed fully loaded canal boats to cross the Potomac River.
William Parker Elliot designed the old U.S. Patent Office, a very important Greek Revival building, with Ithiel Town.
George de Forest Brush was an American painter who grew up in Connecticut and is typified by his paintings and drawings of Native Americans. Even after moving from Wyoming, where he met the Native Americans, back to the East, Brush still occasionally enjoyed living in a teepee. Brush's artistic style later developed into Renaissance-inspired portraits. He was friends with Abbott H. Thayer, and along with Brush's wife, Mary, and son, Gerome, they all contributed to early camouflage designs. Brush died in New Hampshire in 1941.
Chester Harding was an American portrait painter born in Massachusetts in 1792. He worked in many different professions, finally becoming a self-taught itinerant portrait painter. Harding settled in Beacon Hill, Boston, Massachusetts, in a building that now houses the Boston Bar Association (the Chester Harding House, a Historic National Landmark). He studied at the Philadelphia School of Design, later setting up a studio in London, where he befriended and painted for royalty and nobility. Harding finally returned to Boston, where he died in 1866.
Local Numbers:
FSA A2009.06 4
Other Archival Materials:
Thomas B. Brumbaugh research material on Abbott Handerson Thayer and other artists, 1876-1994 (bulk 1960s-1994); Also located at Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Permission to publish, quote, or reproduce must be secured from the repository.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Real property  Search this
Drawing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Lithographs -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Identifier:
FSA.A2009.06, Series FSA A2009.06 4
See more items in:
The Brumbaugh Collection of Artist Letters
Archival Repository:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/dc3fe083cf2-c3ca-489b-b0ee-4f49e62444b0
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-fsa-a2009-06-ref2

Florence Arquin papers

Creator:
Arquin, Florence  Search this
Names:
Art Institute of Chicago -- Faculty  Search this
Federal Art Project (Ill.)  Search this
United States. Department of State  Search this
Kahlo, Frida  Search this
Rebay, Hilla, 1890-1967  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Williams, Samuel  Search this
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959  Search this
Extent:
8.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Prints
Sketches
Date:
1923-1985
Summary:
The papers of Florence Arquin measure 8.2 linear feet and date from 1923 to 1985. The papers highlight her expertise in the field of Latin American studies and document Arquin's career as a painter, photographer, educator, writer, and critic through biographical material, correspondence, writings, teaching and project files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and scrapbooks. Additionally, the papers relate to her personal relationships with her husband Samuel Williams and friends, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Teaching and project files include material from Arquin's work with the Federal Art Project at the Art Institute of Chicago and as director of the U.S. State Department's Kodachrome Slide Project, which was part of an effort to provide educational agencies with visual aids to support Latin American Studies.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Florence Arquin measure 8.2 linear feet and date from 1923 to 1985. The papers highlight her expertise in the field of Latin American studies and document Arquin's career as a painter, photographer, educator, writer, and critic through biographical material, correspondence, writings, teaching and project files, printed material, photographs, artwork, and scrapbooks. Additionally, the papers relate to her personal relationships with her husband Samuel Williams and friends, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Teaching and project files include material from Arquin's work with the Federal Art Project at the Art Institute of Chicago and as director of the U.S. State Department's Kodachrome Slide Project, which was part of an effort to provide educational agencies with visual aids to support Latin American Studies.

Biographical materials include awards, biographical sketches and resumes, travel papers, identification cards, and ten address books.

The bulk of correspondence is comprised of letters written by Florence Arquin to her husband, Samuel Williams. These letters discuss her trips to Mexico in the 1940s, her role in the Kodachrome Slide Project, and her friendships with fellow artists Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, and others. Also found are copies of letters from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to Florence Arquin.

Writings and notes include extensive research notes, notebooks, and notecards by Florence Arquin, primarly on Latin American art and culture. Also found is a draft of Arquin's work on Diego Rivera, Diego Rivera (1886-1957): The Shaping of an Artist (Early Period--1889-1921). Writings by others include a draft of a foreword by Diego Rivera, and writings by Jose de Souza Pedreira, and Hilla Rebay.

Teaching and project files include materials from Arquin's time teaching at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work with the the Federal Art Project at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Kodachrome Slide Project. Teaching files are scattered and include student papers, class outlines, and a lecture. The Federal Art Project at the Art Institute of Chicago files include a proposal and project reports. The Kodachrome Slide Project files include correspondence, receipts, reports, educational guides and materials, slide sequences, and printed material.

Printed material includes exhibition catalogs and announcements, clippings, booklets, travel guides, magazines, education journals, subject files on Diego Rivera and Frank Lloyd Wright, and blank postcards from Arquin's travels. There are extensive booklets and pamphlets published by the Pan American Union, and travel guides and educational guides for Latin America. Some printed material is in Spanish.

Photographs include portraits and snapshots of Florence Arquin, Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo and others. Photos of Florence Arquin show her in her office, giving lectures, and at events with others. Photographs of works of art are by Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Artwork is scattered and includes a sketchbook by Florence Arquin with watercolor and pencil sketches and a print signed by de Diego.

There are four scrapbooks created by Florence Arquin. Scrapbooks may include photographs, writings, maps, and printed materials. Materials relate to the Federal Art Project at the Art Institute of Chicago, travel, and the Kodachrome Slide Project.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1939-1962 (0.4 linear feet; Box 1, 11)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1940-1985 (0.8 linear feet; Box 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1929-circa 1964 (2.0 linear feet; Box 2-4)

Series 4: Teaching and Project Files, 1930-1963 (1.4 linear feet; Box 4-5)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1923-1964 (1.8 linear feet; Box 5-7, 11)

Series 6: Photographs, 1929-circa 1960 (0.7 linear feet; Box 7, 11)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1940-circa 1950 (2 folders; Box 7, 11)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1935-1956 (0.9 linear feet; Box 8-10)
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, photographer, educator, writer, and critic, Florence Arquin (1900-1974) was active in Chicago, Illinois. She was widely known for her expertise in the field of Latin American studies and had a close relationship with Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. From 1935 to 1939 she worked as administrator for the Federal Art Project in Illinois and joined the Art Institute of Chicago in 1939 to develop education programs aimed at secondary school students.

Florence Arquin was born in 1900 in New York City. She graduated from the Art Institute of Chicago where she studied art education. After, she undertook post graduate studies at the National University of Mexico. In the early 1940s Arquin traveled to Mexico to paint, where she developed friendships with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In 1943 a solo exhibition of her paintings at the Benjamin Franklin Library in Mexico City was highly praised by Rivera in the catalog introduction. Arquin's book Diego Rivera: The Shaping of an Artist, 1889-1921 about the artist's formative years, was published by the University of Oklahoma Press in 1971.

Arquin traveled extensively in South America, the United States, and Europe throughout her life. From 1945 to 1951 she traveled to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Ecuador as Director of the Kodachrome Slide Project under the sponsorship of the Department of State. Arquin photographed aspects of life and culture and gave lectures at bi-national cultural institutions throughout those countries and in the United States. The project was part of an effort to provide educational agencies with visual aids in the field of Latin American studies.

Under another State Department grant, duplicates of Arquin's photographs were then made available for sale to institutions and individuals interested in the field of Latin American studies. The Metropolitan Museum of Art assumed responsibility for publicity, sale, and distribution of the slides from 1950 to 1955. Although few sales originated through the sales office of the Museum, Arquin managed to generate sales through her own efforts. In 1961 she applied for another grant to take control of the original slides and to add slides that she had taken on other visits to Latin America, Morocco, Spain, Portugal, and other European countries since then.

Florence Arquin died in 1974.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art by Samuel Williams, Arquin's husband, in 1991.
Restrictions:
The Florence Arquin papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Photographers -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Educators -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Authors -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Art critics -- Illinois -- Chicago  Search this
Topic:
Latino and Latin American artists  Search this
Art, Latin American  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Women painters  Search this
Women photographers  Search this
Women educators  Search this
Women art critics  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Prints
Sketches
Citation:
Florence Arquin papers, 1923-1985. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.arquflor
See more items in:
Florence Arquin papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw909303b02-1de7-44ba-8947-07b0fc7969fa
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-arquflor
Online Media:

Canela Marriage: Factors in Change

Author:
Crocker, William H.  Search this
Kensinger, Kenneth M.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1984
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Anthropology  Search this
See others in:
Anthropology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_99383

Discerning Experts: The Practices of Scientific Assessment for Environmental Policy

Author:
Oreskes, Naomi  Search this
Shindell, Matthew  Search this
Brysse, Keynyn  Search this
Jamieson, Dale  Search this
Oppenheimer, Michael  Search this
O'Reilly, Jessica  Search this
Wazeck, Milena  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2019
Topic:
Flight  Search this
Space sciences  Search this
Flight  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Space sciences  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_152974

The Life and Science of Harold C. Urey

Author:
Shindell, Matthew  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2019
Topic:
Flight  Search this
Space sciences  Search this
Flight  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Space sciences  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_152976

Species Interaction.

Author:
Lyons, S. Kathleen  Search this
Labandeira, Conrad C.  Search this
Behrensmeyer, Anna K.  Search this
Sues, Hans-Dieter  Search this
Wagner, Peter J.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2019
Topic:
Paleobiology  Search this
Natural History  Search this
See others in:
Paleobiology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_153705

Foundations of Paleoecology: Classic Papers with Commentaries

Author:
Lyons, S. Kathleen  Search this
Behrensmeyer, Anna K.  Search this
Behrensmeyer, Anna Katherine  Search this
Wagner, Peter J.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2019
Topic:
Paleobiology  Search this
Natural History  Search this
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Paleobiology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_153771

Paleoenvironmental Reconstruction

Author:
Lyons, S. Kathleen  Search this
Behrensmeyer, Anna K.  Search this
Behrensmeyer, Anna K.  Search this
Stromberg, Caroline A. E.  Search this
Wagner, Peter J.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2019
Topic:
Paleobiology  Search this
Natural History  Search this
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Paleobiology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_153772

Chiroxiphia linearis (Bonaparte; Long-tailed Manakin).

Author:
Janzen, Daniel H.  Search this
Foster, Mercedes S.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1983
Topic:
Vertebrates  Search this
Animals  Search this
Zoology  Search this
Natural History  Search this
See others in:
Vertebrate Zoology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_148049

Latin American Research Libraries in Natural History: A Survey

Author:
Woodman, Neal  Search this
Jenkinson, Marian A.  Search this
Foster, Mercedes S.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1994
Topic:
Vertebrates  Search this
Animals  Search this
Zoology  Search this
Natural History  Search this
See others in:
Vertebrate Zoology
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_148207

Geographical variation between Chondestes grammacus (Say) and Chondestes grammacus strigatus (Swains)

Author:
Coale, H. K.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1887
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_137931

Description of a new species and subspecies of the genus Dendroica

Author:
Coale, H. K.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1887
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_137932

List of Birds found breeding within the corporate limits of Mount Carmel, Illinois

Author:
Ridgway, Robert  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1887
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_137984

A Contribution to our Knowledge of Albinism

Author:
Toppan, George L.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1887
Topic:
Natural History  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_138020

When Music Makes History

Author:
Seeger, Anthony  Search this
Bohlman, Philip V.  Search this
Neuman, Daniel M.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1993
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_130325

Wild Birds and Urban Ecology of Ticks and Tick-borne Pathogens, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2005–2010

Author:
Anderson, Tavis K.  Search this
Kitron, Uriel D.  Search this
Hamer, Sarah A.  Search this
Brawn, Jeffrey D.  Search this
Hamer, Gabriel L.  Search this
Goldberg, Tony L.  Search this
Loss, Scott R.  Search this
Walker, Edward D.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
2012
Topic:
Zoology  Search this
Animals  Search this
Veterinary medicine  Search this
Animal health  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_112875

The oxygen isotopic record of seasonality in Neogene bivalves from the Central American Isthmus

Author:
Teranes, Jane L.  Search this
Bemis, Brian E.  Search this
Geary, Dana H.  Search this
Coates, Anthony G.  Search this
Jackson, Jeremy B. C.  Search this
Budd, Ann F.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1996
Topic:
Tropics  Search this
Biology  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_103507

Graphic correlation of marine deposits from the Central American isthmus: implications for Late Neogene paleoceanography

Author:
Dowsett, Harry J.  Search this
Cotton, Mathew A.  Search this
Coates, Anthony G.  Search this
Jackson, Jeremy B. C.  Search this
Budd, Ann F.  Search this
Object Type:
Smithsonian staff publication
Electronic document
Year:
1996
Topic:
Tropics  Search this
Biology  Search this
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILSRO_103670

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