The Bobcat Company Records document a post-war invention process and American manufacturing system through the case study of a dynamic machine, the Bobcat skid-steer loader. The records focus primarily on Bobcat's products, marketing, and advertising through product literature, photographs, advertisements, posters, newsletters, and audiovisual materials.
Scope and Contents:
The records are divided into ten series which document a post-war invention process and American manufacturing system, through the case study of a dynamic machine, the Bobcat skid-steer loader. The records focus primarily on Bobcat's products, marketing, and advertising through product literature, photographs, advertisements, posters, newsletters, and audiovisual materials.
Series 1, Historical Background, 1965-2007 and undated, is divided into nine subseries: Subseries 1, Company Histories, 1965-1996 and undated; Subseries 2, Organizational Materials, 1970s-2003 and undated; Subseries 3, Factories/Plants, 1965-1996; Subseries 4, Union Materials, 1971, 2005-2007; Subseries 5, Kaizen Materials, 2003-2004 and undated; Subseries 6, Company Christmas Cards, 1965-1974 and undated; Subseries 7, Company Picnics, 1966-1979; Subseries 8, Awards, 1969-1988; and Subseries 9, Subject Files, 1963-1985.
Subseries 1, Company Histories, 1965-1998 and undated, consists of published and unpublished accounts of the early history of Melroe Manufacturing and its corporate evolution. Of note is the undated A Modern Guide to North Dakota. This guidebook is intended for "foreign" visitors (anyone from Minneapolis, Chicago, New York, St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Canada, South America, Europe, Asia or outside the city limits of Gwinner, North Dakota) and provides historical background as well as information on the many diverse and interesting aspects of North Dakota.
Subseries 2, Organizational Materials, 1970s-2003 and undated, consists of mission statements, codes of conduct, a corporate directory, organizational charts, and letterhead. The organizational chart, while marketing and sales specific, does provide an overview of the company's administrative functions.
Subseries 3, Factories/Plants, 1965-1996, includes information about each plant.Factories represented include Belcourt, Bismarck, Cooperstown, and Gwinner, North Dakota; and Fort Benton, Montana. The materials document each plant and consist of a range of formats from articles and clippings to birthday cards, highway maps, fact sheets, field trip schedules, histories of the plant, service awards, product literature, guides, press releases, and employee information.
The Belcourt Plant was home to Melroe Manufacturing's welding division. Dedicated in 1975 at the Turtle Mountain Indian Reservation (Chippewa Tribe), this plant was established to relieve the Bismarck Plant of a heavy workload in welding requirements. The plant closed in the 1980s.
The Fort Benton Plant manufactured thirty-two different models of chisel plows under Clark Equipment Company's Melroe Division for Ag Products. The Fort Benton Plant closed in 1982.
The Bismarck Plant served as Melroe Manufacturing's headquarters for the three Ag Product Plants: Bismarck, Benton, and Cooperstown. Opened in 1973, the Bismarck Plant made grain drills, the windrow pick-up combine attachment, the automatic reset plow and plow packers, and crop sprayer (the Spra-Coupe). The Bismarck Plant closed in 2009.
The Cooperstown Plant also manufactured Ag products such as grain augers, swathers, field sprayers, machinery trailers, raw crop harvesters, grain drill packers, steel buildings, and aluminum grain boxes. The best known products produced at this plant were the steel teeth for making hay stacks and the automatic reset moldboard plow. The plant also fabricated parts and components for the Bobcat skid-steer loader. Of note in the Cooperstown Plant materials are a black-and-white advertisement and programmatic brochures for Clark Equipment Company's 1975 International Teenage Exchange Program. Five teenagers from "Clark North America" were selected to live with Clark families in Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, France, or Germany. The Cooperstown Plant closed in 1977.
The Gwinner Plant remains open today and is the main manufacturing facility for Bobcat of North America. The Gwinner folder contains a high school paper title "Melroe" by Craig Allen Knudson, undated, and remarks given at a Dealer Advisory Council Meeting by Jim Strande about the "B Series" from the Engineering Department.
Subseries 4, Union Materials, 1971, 2005-2007, includes information about the United Steel Workers Local 560, the union that is currently in place at the Bobcat Company. Employees formally voted to unionize on April 2, 1970, under the Allied Industrial Workers (A.I.W.). In the early 1990s, the A.I.W. was becoming too small and could no longer provide the best financial backing or representation to Melroe employees, and therefore the employees decided to merge with the United Paperworkers International Union (U.P.I.U.). In 2005, the U.P.I.U. decided to merge with the delegates of the United Steel Workers of America and form the United Steelworkers (U.S.W.). Today, the Bobcat Company is represented by the U.S.W. in District 11 which includes Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and South Dakota. The materials in this subseries consist of United Steel Workers Local 560 handbooks and agreements as well as authorized announcements from the local union members and Bobcat management that were posted for employees to read. These announcements/fliers were placed in authorized areas at the factory in Gwinner. There is one grievance record from 1971 detailing the request that certain jobs be posted so personnel can bid for the position.
Subseries 5, Kaizen Materials, 2003-2004 and undated, contains materials related to the Kaizen process, which is a Japanese philosophy that focuses on continuous improvement throughout all aspects of life. When applied to the workplace, Kaizen activities continually improve all functions of a business, from manufacturing to management and from the chief operating officer to the assembly line workers. These materials include An Introduction to the Bobcat Production System ( BPS), undated, and a booklet that provides a road map to all Bobcat employees in utilizing "lean" concepts versus traditional mass production manufacturing. The BPS is intended to redesign production systems, machinery and labor to be as efficient as possible. Other documents include copies of power point slides and materials from a Kaizen workshop.
Subseries 6, Company Christmas Cards, 1965-1974 and undated, includes Christmas cards sent by the Bobcat Company as well as "mock-ups" of cards created by Flint Communications. The Bobcat Company purchased merchandise from companies that specialized in promotional and specialty gifts. Additonal information from those companies is included in this subseries.
Subseries 7, Company Picnics, 1966-1979, contains information about the company's annual family picnic or "family feast" at Lisbon Park in Lisbon, North Dakota. The picnics typically included a program (musical entertainment), games for children, prizes, and a softball game. The documentation includes fliers announcing the picnic, tickets, and receipts and memos detailing the prizes available and the associated costs. Prizes included, but were not limited to, portable televisions, drills, binoculars, cookware, cameras, bicycles, camping equipment, vacuums, and clocks.
Subseries 8, Awards, 1969-1988, contains information about awards given to the Bobcat Company from external organizations as well as individual awards given by the company to its employees. The Export "E" Award is bestowed by the United States Department of Commerce. Awarded for success in boosting sales of American products abroad, Melroe Manufacturing won this honor in 1969 for its increased sales of farm implements and industrial equipment to Canadian and European markets. Material about the 'E" Award includes newspaper clippings and articles, presentation remarks, and photographs. The United States Senate Productivity Award is administered through the United States Senate Commerce Committee. Each United States senator is allowed to select one winner every year. The program was established to encourage competiveness in American industry and ensure its survival in the international marketplace through increased productivity. In 1984, Senator Mark Andrews (R) announced that the Melroe Division of Clark Equipment Company was a recipient of the Productivity Award. The file contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, black-and-white photographs of the presentation, a tour of the factory in Gwinner, North Dakota, and the medal itself. There are other files about awards that recognize employees: Employee Recognition Service Awards, Patents Awards Recognition Dinner, and the 1000 Club. These materials contain lists of awardees, award programs, invitations, and napkins.
Subseries 9, Subject Files, 1963-1985, captures a varity of documentation associated with the company's corporate structure such as testimonials from owners and users of Bobcat skid-steer loaders, the first invoice for the Bobcat skid-steer loader (1963), the celebration of the 100,000th Bobcat skid-steer loader being produced and the "Melroe Mission to Japan." In 1985, a cross-sectional group of Melroe employees were selected to tour Japanese manufacturing plants and examine new concepts in both manufacturing and engineering. The lessons learned from this valuable trip were implemented at Bobcat and ultimately manifested themselves in the Kaizen materials. See Series 1, Subseries 4. The report, Bobcat Reports: The Melroe Mission to Japan contains employee observations about the trip, insights into similarities and difference between Japanese plants and Melroe plants; life style differences; and what it meant individually to the employee.
Series 2, Clark Equipment Company, 1965-1994, contains documentation about the Clark Equipment Company, one of the largest producers of material handling equipment. There are three subseries: Subseries 1, Company Histories, 1965-1978, (not inclusive); Subseries 2, Annual Reports, 1974-1994 (not inclusive); and Subseries 3, Employee Information, undated. The histories consist of typescript documents that were used for various presentations as well as a printed history, "Growing Up with Clark," Clark Magazine, spring 1978, by Steve Lokker. The employee information contains an employee handbook titled "Your Circle of Security" detailing total compensation of pay, benefits, and career opportunities at Clark, and a Guide to Maintaining Non-Union Status and Combating Union Organizational Attempts, undated. The annual reports, 1974-1994, also include information about quarterly report and annual meeting summaries.
Series 3, Newsletters, 1965-2009, consists of published newsletters for both internal and external distribution. Arranged alphabetically by title, the newsletters represent a variety of Bobcat Company news items aimed at specific audiences such as current employees, former employees (alumni), dealers, prospective customers, and the industry. For example, Bobcat Briefs, a monthly publication, contains information for and about Melroe Manufacturing Company employees. The Summit (Bobcat Sales Masters) a monthly newsletter designed for salesmen at varying levels, allowed them to stay up-to-date on their progress in the Sales Masters Program. It was created to recognize the achievements of retail salesmen. Additional newsletters targeted at salesmen/dealers include the Bobcat's Pajamas, Feller Buncher Toppers, Melroe Scoop, Winners Circle, Territory Tales and Worksaver. Worksaver is published four times a year and sent directly to a dealer's mailing list of customers and prospects. Worksaver is part of the Bobcat Company's co-op advertising program, with the single most important feature being the ability to target the Bobcat sales message. Newsletters aimed at employees include Bobcat Briefs, Bobcat Messages, Melroe Pick-up, Clark Pick-up, Melroe and Messages. The only newsletter not represented in this series is the Spra-Coupe Reporter. See series 8 for this newsletter.
Series 4, Photographs, Negatives, Slides and Transparencies, 1960-2003 and undated, contains photographs, negatives, slides, and transparencies. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order following the original filing scheme created by the Bobcat Company. The only exception to this order is "Products" which are filed numerically by model number. For example, the B300 (Loader Backhoe), 2005, is filed before the 310 (Skid Steer Loader), 1977. Each model is identified parenthetically. The bulk of the materials consists of photographs, both black-and-white and color prints documenting the company's activities. They were created and assembled by Ernie Feland, the company's photographer for 37 years.
The images document almost every aspect of the company and its culture. Included are: products, employees, company picnics and outings, factory activities, trade shows, and dealerships. Well documented are the various company outings and activities that involved dealers and vendors. Elaborate theme-based activities were created for the dealers/vendors which were the highlight of the year. The company fostered a "family friendly" atmosphere and this is evident in the images. Many of the photographs documenting company products show the product in use in various industries and with various attachments. For example, there are photographs of skid-steer loaders removing snow, moving fertilizer, drilling holes, and hauling dirt.
Series 5, Dealer Materials, 1964-2003, documents the valuable connection between the customer, dealer, and the company. Dealers are an important part of the Bobcat success story. This series is further divided into eight subseries: Subseries 1, Dealer Advisory Council Meetings, 1967-1996; Subseries 2, Sales Meetings, 1964-1999; Subseries 3, District Manager Meetings, 1971-1990; Subseries 4, Conferences, 1973, 1974,1993; and Subseries 5, Specific Dealers, 1978, 1979, 2003; Subseries 6, Dealer Advertising and Sales Promotion Kits, 1967-1996; Subseries 7, Co-op Advertising Materials for Dealers, 1979-1982; and Subseries 8, Subject Files, 1965-2003.
Subseries 1, Dealer Advisory Council Meetings, 1967-1996, documents Dealer Advisory Council (DAC) activities and meetings. The first DAC was held in 1965 at the Ash Forks Camp on Lake of the Woods, Canada. Dealers competed in a sales contest prior to the meeting to determine which twelve of them would attend. Over the years the roster of dealers attending grew, and those chosen to serve on the council had an outstanding sales record. The company sought these dealers' advice on all aspects of Bobcat marketing, engineering and manufacturing, and both dealers and company management were encouraged to share their ideas and experiences. It is through a strong dealership system that the company sells its products and many times, it was a solid demonstration that sold the product. Dealers frequently were invited to the Bobcat Boot Camp in Lisbon, North Dakota, where they spent one week training on various Bobcat Company products as well as competitors' products.
To this day, dealers meet annually in different locations throughout the United States with particular emphasis on North Dakota, Minnesota, Idaho, Wisconsin, and parts of Canada. The meetings were well planned and followed a structure with receptions, orientations, dinners, plant tours, presentations, group discussions, and award presentations.
These records provide insight into the relationship between the company and its dealers with dealer distributor materials such as the dealer kits. The photographs in Series 4 document this aspect of the company well. Among one of the boot camp's first trainers was none other than inventor Cyril Keller.
The materials are arranged chronologically by meeting date and contain correspondence, agendas, memos, lists of dealers (in some instances with profiles), certificates (recognizing outstanding sales achievement), invitations, licenses for fishing, invoices for airline tickets, presentation scripts, photographs (the majority document fishing and hunting trips), and brochures. Many of the meetings also had programs for "ladies" since many of the dealer's wives accompanied them.
Subseries 2, Sales Meetings, 1964-1999, documents the annual gathering of all Bobcat dealers. Unlike the DAC Meetings, the annual sales meetings were larger in scale and had more programmatic functions. Meetings were held in a variety of locations throughout the United States, and almost all of the meetings were held either in January or February. The meetings are arranged chronologically and contain the location of the meeting if known. There is unevenness to the type and amount of documentation for each meeting. Many files include agendas, memos, correspondence, name tags, meeting programs, banquet programs, and presentation remarks. Some meetings contained more unusual materials. The 1974 Kona, Hawaii Meeting had a "Clark Money Tree Mid-Term Quiz" designed for dealers and dealer salesmen as a means of testing their knowledge of the Clark Retail Finance programs. The quiz was graded, and if the individual passed, a doctor of finance was issued along with a cash prize. Additionally, an audio disc from the 1974 Kona, Hawaii Meeting, Swing and Sway The Bobcat Way with Bobcat- The One and Only and Cattin Around was intended for use by dealers for a wide variety of promotional and selling situations: background music for radio and TV commercials, local fairs, exhibits, and conventions.
Subseries 3, District Manager Meetings, 1971-1990, consists of documentation for district managers' meetings which dealt with the "how" of demonstrating, advertising, financing, and servicing and the "why" of compact size, maneuverability, all-wheel drive, visibility, time, and labor for Bobcat products. These meetings appear to have been held in conjunction with the annual sales meeting.
Subseries 4, Conferences, 1973, 1974, 1993, includes speeches, photographs, agendas, invoices, memos, programs, and notes. The bulk of the materials consists of Clark Executive Conference materials from 1973.
Subseries 5, Specific Dealers, 1978, 1979, 2003, contains files for specific Bobcat dealers in the United States. The files are arranged alphabetically by dealership name and include advertisements, announcements, correspondence, and other branded materials with the Bobcat logo.
Subseries 6, Dealer Advertising and Sales Promotion Kits, 1967-1996, consists of folders filled with a memo or letter to the dealer, dealer lists, newsletters, logo types, line drawings, price lists, brochures, product information sheets, specifications, and posters designed to assist dealers in promoting a certain product, campaign, or sale. Reg Stansfield served as the dealer development manager (regional, European and worldwide) from 1978 to 1988. It's clear that the company was interested in measuring performance, seeking room for improvement, and knowing about problems. Stansfield had a great interest in training and in helping salesmen avoid making unnecessary mistakes. He created "Sales Success Strategy" cards with sales tips which were included in the dealer promotion kits. These tips were part of the "Melroe Success Formula," which was to promote, demonstrate, sell, and support. Arranged chronologically, these kits provide valuable information on what the company was sending its dealers and the accompanying instructions. The kits also provide a comprehensive overview of the types of industries using Bobcat products, such as colleges, cemeteries, landscapers, stockyards, rendering, and the poultry industry.
Subseries 7, Co-op Advertising Materials for Dealers, 1979-1982, includes materials that were assembled into binders and were distributed to dealers as a way to assist them in promoting and advertising Bobcat products. The binders were organized into categories: direct mail, newspaper, radio, television, Yellow Pages, specialties, signs and displays, and fairs and shows.
Subseries 8, Subject Files, 1965-2003, are arranged alphabetically by topic. These files include topics such as dealer financial profiles, golf tournaments, review guidelines, motivational concepts, sales specialist's guides, website programs, and Y2K compliancy. The dealer-initiated materials include examples of specific materials developed by dealers for promoting Bobcat products and sales. For example, the J.S. Equipment Company of Sacramento, California, developed a Bobcat Bulletin and the K.C. Bobcat of Kansas City, Missouri, developed a mailer card touting their Bobcat Center with equipment and accessories. Proper use of the Bobcat brand name adds value, helps develop customer loyalty and presents a consistent identity. Spelled out in a brochure of Brand Identity and Standards for Bobcat Dealers are the four trade name categories used by dealers: "Bobcat of (location);" "Bobcat (Name);" "(Name) Bobcat;" and "An Independent Trade Name." Additionally, it details unacceptable uses of the Bobcat trademark logo and the associated color standards.
The Melroe Annual Sands Hill One Invitational Engolfment (MASHIE) files chronicle the establishment of an annual golf tournament designed for the company (Melroe) and its dealers to get to know each other better and have fun while doing it. The golf tournament included visits to the factory and offices as well as an awards dinner.
The motivational concepts file contains a variety of notes and lists detailing motivational concepts for dealers. There is an untitled poem about Christmas, Santa, and a Bobcat as well as a 1977 planning session document from Flint Advertising. The Y2K compliancy materials consist of memos, correspondence, spreadsheets, and questionnaires for dealers about their computer compliancy for the year 2000.
Series 6, Marketing and Promotional Materials, 1954-2007, are divided into ten subseries: Subseries 1, Correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, 1974-1976, 1990; Subseries 2, Budget/Finances, 1961-2000 (not inclusive); Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1964-2001; Subseries 4, Artwork/Storyboards, undated; Subseries 5, Advertising Proof Books, 1954-1993; Subseries 6, Surveys/Profiles, 1977, 1979, 1990-1991; Subseries 7, Promotional Ideas/Retail Sales, 1970s-2007; Subseries 8, Sales Campaigns and Programs, 1972-2001; Subseries 9, Contests, 1965-1999, undated; and Subseries 10, Posters, 1977-2005, undated.
Almost all of the promotional pieces were created by Flint Communications of Fargo, North Dakota, under the direction of the Bobcat Advertising/Marketing Department. Flint was established in 1946, by Harold Flint. Today, Flint consists of a network of six companies, known as the Flint Group, serving a diverse list of businesses, industries, government entities, and not-for-profit clients. The Flint Group includes Flint Communications, Fargo, North Dakota; HatlingFlint, St. Cloud, Minnesota; SimmonsFlint, Grand Forks, North Dakota; WestmorelandFlint, Duluth, Minnesota; AadlandFlint, Anchorage, Alaska; and Flint Interactive, an online services firm with staff in multiple locations. In some instances the marketing and promotional pieces have a Knight Printing Company tag affixed to them. This tag provided critical information to both Flint and the Bobcat Company for reordering purposes and dating. For example KN-500-397-#650152-F translated means Knight Printing Company-quantity 500-March 1997-Bobcat Company job number, and the F equals Flint.
The marketing and promotional materials were intended for dealers in the Bobcat dealership network. Many of these pieces were distributed through targeted promotional programs which were designed to maintain regular contact with all existing users, to foster rental customers, and generate new inquiries. The promotional pieces consisted of giveaways, sponsorships, machine displays on dealership frontage, special displays at shopping centers, casual machine displays at stockyards and auctions, presentations and lectures to associations and colleges, group demonstrations, and highway billboards. The promotional methods included permanent advertisements, building and truck designs, ads in newspapers, local television and radio spots, envelope stuffers and stickers for correspondence, fairs, shows, and customer service schools, open houses at dealerships, handouts for salesmen and mechanics, and special telephone canvassing campaigns. These methods maximized the "Worksaver" Program.
Basic markets for the Bobcat include agriculture, agri-business (feed, fertilizer, grain elevators, meat packing), construction (excavating, landscaping, paving, utility, sewer, roofing, concrete, sand and gravel, snow removal, asphalt, and brick), industry (foundries, glass, steel mills, chemicals, coal and coke, lumber, papers, smelters and refiners, castings), forestry, rental yards, and miscellaneous (garbage, rubbish removal, waste paper, nurseries).
Subseries 1, Correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, 1974-1976, 1990, contains correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, the advertising manager and public relations director at Melroe Manufacturing from 1964 to 1981.
Subseries 2, Budget/Finances, 1961-2000 (not inclusive), includes budgets, price lists, advertising schedules (with proposed ad expenditures). There are monthly budget spreadsheets with actuals, budget, and variation for media, production, printing, film and photo, travel, conventions, co-op advertising, sales aids, and miscellaneous.
Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1964-2001, documents advertisements (both color and black and white), color proofs (used to evaluate the ads' final appearance), some examples of the four-color process-a printing process that combines different amounts of the four colors red, yellow, blue and black, copies and/or originals torn from trade and industry magazines. The advertisements are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by language. There is some clip art with Bobcat Company logos and an advertising manual for the international market. The manual was intended to help dealers prepare their own advertising.
Subseries 4, Artwork/Storyboards, undated, include artwork-the visual components of many advertisements-with and without typeset text for a variety of Bobcat Company products. Many are black and color ink on tracing paper or a transparency such as a photographic image on clear plastic. Also included is documentation on the development of the Bobcat Company logo and storyboards for the Bobcat of Futureville with plans on how to set-up/lay out a Bobcat dealership.
Subseries 5, Advertising Proof Books, 1954-1993, consists of advertisements that were placed in newspapers or various industrial, construction, and farming publications. The proofs are arranged chronologically and then alphabetically by product or the industry in which the product was used; for example, agriculture, contruction, forestry, industry, and rental. In some instances, the alphabetical heading is further refined such as construction (regional) versus construction (national). This distinction was drawn to distinguish the type of advertisement and where it would appear. Advertisements appeared in publications such as The Dakota Farmer, Montana Farmer- Stockman, The Farmer, Canadian Machinery and Metalworking, and Heavy Construction News.
Subseries 6, Surveys/Profiles for Skid-Steer Loaders, 1977, 1979, 1990-1991, contains survey and summaries from research services that conducted interviews and analysis for the company on the use of skid-steer loaders. The testimonials contained within this section are from employees at Central Bi-Products, (a meat processing facility) in Long Prairie, Minnesota.
Subseries 7, Promotional Ideas/Retail Sales, 1972-2001, include pamphlets, brochures, point-of-purchase ads, stickers, calendars, and greeting cards (Christmas, birthday, and Thanksgiving).
Subseries 9, Contests, 1965-1999 and undated, contains documentation illuminating the company's many and varied contests. Held company-wide and worldwide, the contests were intended for dealers to promote the sale of new products. Incentives included cash, prizes, or attachments for various Bobcat skid-steer loaders. The Let's Do It! contest and campaign of 1972-1973, was a competiton for all employees to think more about their productivity efforts. Employees competed quarterly for corporate awards which were given to divisons and plants with the best nine month performance. Employees were judged on return on investment, inventory control, sales volume, and forecasting while the plants were judged on productivity improvement and inventory control.
Subseries 10, Posters, 1977-2005 and undated, consists of posters created by the company for dealers to use in conjunction with various campaigns, programs, and contests.
Series 7, Product Information, 1967-2008, contains brochures, specification sheets, and catalogs detailing the various products offered for sale by the Bobcat Company. Melroe product history file consists of histories of Melroe Ag products, memorable dates in the Melroe company history and speeches about Melroe Manufacturing.
Series 8, Melroe Ag Products/Spra-Coupe Materials, 1972-1998, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Melroe Ag Products Division, 1973-1983 and Subseries 2, Spra-Coupe, 1972-1998, undated. Melroe Ag Products was a division of Melroe Manufacturing which specialized in farm equipment. The products included reset plows, multi-weeders, rock pickers, chisel plows, grain drills, harroweeders, windrow pick-ups and the Spra-Coupe. The Spra-Coupe materials consist primarily of advertisements, product information, and promotional materials. The Spra-Coupe was first built in 1963 by John D. Kirschmann and brought to market in 1965. In the spring of 1972, Melroe Manufacturing acquired the Spra-Coupe, which was designed to apply chemicals using a self-propelled sprayer. The Spra-Coupe was sold primarily to custom operators and was used to replace the airplane as a means of applying liquid spray.
Series 9, Press Related Materials, 1969-2005, is arranged chronologically and divided into four subseries: Subseries 1, Press Clippings, 1969-2005; Subseries 2, Scrapbook of clippings, 1977-1978; Subseries 3, Press Releases, 1972-1999, undated; Subseries 4, Press Conferences, 1978, 1989, 1994; and Subseries 4, Articles, 1967, 1979, 1993. The press releases were used by the company as "organizational announcements" and were released internally to announce promotions, new positions, scholarship recipients, and service awards. In some instances there are black-and-white photographs found in this series as well as "special" releases from 1972-1974 containing correspondence with television stations and industry specific publications such as the Montana Farmer- Stockman and Fertilizer Solutions.
Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1963-2007, is divided into seven subseries: Subseries 1, Corporate documentation, circa 1960s-2007, undated; Subseries 2, Promotional, 1967-2007, undated; Subseries 3, Sales, 1963-2003, undated; Subseries 4, Safety/training, circa 1970s-1983, undated; Subseries 5, Commercials, 2004, undated; Subseries 6, Spra-Coupe, 1988-1993, undated; and Subseries 7, Supplemental documentation, 1974-1975, 1983, undated.
Of note are the commercial films made by William Snyder. Snyder was born and raised in North Dakota, and after working in Hollywood, California, for Technicolor he returned to Fargo to form Bill Snyder Films, Inc. Most of Snyder's output was 16 mm film format in color and black-and-white for industrial programs produced by corporate entities and non-profit groups. Snyder supplemented this work by producing television commercials and commercial movies for industry, including Melroe Manufacturing. Melroe hired Snyder in the early 1960s to make a "short" demonstrating the company's skid-steer loader. Eventually more movies were made: The Story of the Bobcat Kid, Bobcat a Go- Go, and Farm Boy at Heart. The movies provide an insight into the marketing strategy of a small company looking for a new and creative marketing effort called the "info-mercial." Aired on local television in the five-state area (Minnesota, South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming) and using Melroe employees, these movies boosted sales for the company.
Subseries 1, Corporate documentation, circa 1960s-2007 and undated, contains footage of corporate events (primarily National Dealer Meetings), the manufacturing process in the two North Dakota factories, employees at work, and other company-related moving images.
Subseries 2, Promotional, 1967-2007 and undated, consists of films that promote various models of Bobcats and attachments to consumers and dealers. Many films highlight the features, capabilities, and different uses of specific models and associated attachments. CD-ROMs were probably given to potential customers based on their interest in Bobcat products or could have been used in dealerships for customers to access the same information.
Subseries 3, Sales, 1963-2003 and undated, documents the material shown to salesmen and dealers of Bobcats for sales purposes. Methods for improving sales, techniques for selling against competitors' machines, and detailed information about Bobcats' capabilities and features are highlighted to educate salesmen on the products. Numerous motivational and instructional videos were made with Reg Stansfield, Regional Sales Manager, offering strategies to improve sales and increase productivity. Some films in this subseries may have been shown to customers.
Subseries 4, Safety/training, circa 1970s-1983 and undated, documents education of the safe operation of Bobcat machines.
Subseries 5, Commercials, 2004 and undated, contains tapes of thirty second television commercials promoting Bobcat skid-steer loaders.
Subseries 6, Spra-Coupe, 1988-1993 and undated, consists of material relating to the Melroe Spra-Coupe and its electrostatic spraying process. Customer testimonials, descriptions of the use of the machine, and the features and capabilities of the Spra-Coupe are included.
Subseries 7, Supplemental documentation, 1974-1975, 1983, and undated, consists of brochures, scripts, and descriptions for some of the audio visual materials.
Collection is arranged into ten series.
Series 1, Historical Background, 1965-2007
Subseries 1.1, Company Histories, 1965-1998 and undated
Subseries 1.2, Organizational Materials, 1970s-2007 and undated
Subseries 1.3, Factories/Plants, 1965-1996; 2007
Subseries 1.4, Union Materials, 1971, 2005-2007
Subseries 1.5, Kaizen Materials, 2003-2004 and undated
Subseries 1.6, Company Christmas Cards, 1965-1974 and undated
Subseries 1.7, Company Picnics, 1966-1979
Subseries 1.8, Awards, 1969-1988
Subseries 1.9, Subject Files, 1963-1985
Series 2, Clark Equipment Company, 1965-1994 and undated
Subseries 2.1, Company Histories, 1965-1978
Subseries 2.2, Annual Reports, 1974-1994
Subseries 2.3, Employee Information and undated
Series 3, Newsletters, 1965-2009 and undated
Subseries 3.1, Bobcat Alumni Newsletter, 1984 fall; 1987 spring
Subseries 3.2, Bobcat Brief, 1985-1993
Subseries 3.3, Bob Cat's Pajamas, 1965-2008
Subseries 3.4, Bobcat Messages, 2000
Subseries 3.5, Bobcat System, 1993
Subseries 3.6, Clark Pickup, 1975-1976
Subseries 3.7, Feller Buncher Toppers, 1984-1985
Subseries 3.8, Melroe Farm Reporter, 1973-1977
Subseries 3.9, Melroe Messages, 1987-1996, 1999
Subseries 3.10, Melroe Pickup, 1969-1975
Subseries 3.11, Melroe Scoop, 1970
Subseries 3.12, Newsloader, 1979-1982 and undated
Subseries 3.13, Scoop, 1991
Subseries 3.14, The Summit, 1990-1992
Subseries 3.15, Territory Tales, 1974-2002
Subseries 3.16, The Winner's Circle, 1983-1989
Subseries 3.17, Worksaver, 1977-2008
Series 4, Photographs, Negatives, Slides, and Transparencies, 1960-2003 and undated
Subseries 4.1, Alphabetical, 1960-2003 and undated
Subseries 4.2, Miscellaneous, 1963-1986 and undated
Series 5, Dealer Materials, 1964-2003
Subseries 5.1, Dealer Advisory Council Meetings, 1967-1996
Subseries 5.2, Sales Meetings, 1964-1999
Subseries 5.3, District Managers Meetings, 1971-1990
Subseries 5.4, Conferences, 1973, 1974, 1993
Subseries 5.5, Specific Dealers, 1978, 1979, 2003
Subseries 5.6, Dealer Advertising and Sales Promotion Kits, 1967-1996
Subseries 5.7, Co-op Advertising Materials for Dealers, 1979-1982
Subseries 5.8, Subject Files, 1965-2003
Series 6, Marketing and Advertising Materials, 1954-2007
Subseries 6.1, Correspondence of Ferd Froeschle, 1974-1976, 1990
Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, circa 1960s-2007, undated
Subseries 10.1, Corporate documentation, circa 1960s-2007 and undated
Subseries 10.2, Promotional, 1967-2007 and undated
Subseries 10.3, Sales, 1963-2003 and undated
Subseries 10.4, Safety/Training, circa 1970s-1983 and undated
Subseries 10.5, Commercials, 2004 and undated
Subseries 10.6, Spra-Coupe, 1988-1993 and undated
Subseries 10.7, Supplemental documentation, 1974-1975 and undated
Biographical / Historical:
The Bobcat Company Records document the evolution of the Bobcat skid-steer loader from a simple agricultural machine into a versatile and widely recognized tool. The Company's loaders, mini track loaders, and product attachments improved productivity in many industries such as shipping, landscaping, and construction. In 1958, approximately 20 loaders were built, and by the 1960s, the total number of units was in the few thousands. In the 1970s, 10,000 loaders were being manufactured a year. Today, Bobcat produces approximately 40,000 loaders a year and celebrated its 750,000th loader in 2008. Other companies, such as Caterpillar, Case, John Deere and New Holland all make loaders, but Bobcat dominates the market and its name is synonymous with the compact construction equipment industry. The records focus primarily on Bobcat's products, marketing, and advertising through product literature, photographs, advertisements, posters, newsletters, and audiovisual materials.
The Bobcat Company is a story of individuals, simple ingenuity, independence, and innovation and improvement. The Kellers' problem of removing turkey manure from a barn was solved with a can-do, make-do ethos of the farm which spawned a global industry. The early roots of the Bobcat machine lie in the farming heritage of central Minnesota and the North Dakota plains with two blacksmith brothers, Louis (b. 1923-) and Cyril (b. 1922-) Keller. Out of farming necessity to make manual labor easier, a story of technology grew into a world-wide industry that would become known as the compact equipment industry and would be identified with the name Bobcat.
In the fall of 1947, Louis Keller formed Keller Manufacturing (sometimes known as Keller Welding) in Rothsay, Minnesota, which provided a wide range of general repair services to customers, especially blacksmithing and welding services. In 1953, Cyril Keller joined his brother Louis as an equal partner in the business. The small family business noted that they "weld anything except a broken heart." In the summer of 1956, Eddie Velo, a local turkey farmer, approached the Kellers with the problem of cleaning manure out of his turkey barns after the turkeys had been taken to slaughter. Standard loader tractors could not be utilized because of their limited maneuverability, and they were too heavy to operate on the second story of a barn. Velo needed a tractor that could maneuver around the posts in his barn, move backwards and forward, and make sharp turns. The Kellers developed a drive system that was designed to provide the maneuverability required by Velo. A bucket was placed in the front, and a motor in the back. A third castor wheel was added to permit sharp turning. They employed a pulley-and-chain system to switch back and forth. They found that this system was too dangerous, and they abandoned it for a clutch system. The result was a system for "transmitting power from a power unit to propulsion wheels, drive shafts and the like, and in particular to a transmission system for self-propelled vehicles having independently rotatable propulsion or drive wheels."0F A completed loader was delivered to Velo in fall 1957, but the Kellers continued to refine and test it. They manufactured six additional models on speculation and ultimately sold them to area poultry farms. To address the instability issues of having three wheels, they added a counter weight at the back. Additionally, they introduced attachments for the loader-snow blade, sweeper, a bucket, and a manure fork. The Kellers sought to mass-produce their loader. After pursuing various avenues, their uncle, Anton Christianson, a dealer with Melroe Manufacturing Company of Gwinner, North Dakota, introduced them to Melroe Manufacturing. Melroe Manufacturing Company was founded in 1947 by Edward Gideon "E.G." Melroe (d. 1955), a pioneer in agricultural technology.
The Kellers were invited to bring their loader to the Melroe booth at the 1958 Minnesota State Fair, to determine the amount of interest in the loader. The interest was so great that Melroe decided to manufacture the loader. After the State Fair, an agreement was reached-Melroe would have exclusive manufacturing rights on a royalty basis. The Kellers would be employed by Melroe to further develop the loader. Access to the Melroe facilities allowed the Kellers' work to progress and be widely marketed. In the fall of 1958, Louis and Cyril Keller moved to Gwinner, North Dakota, to begin work. Louis worked on the manufacturing floor from 1958 to 1967 developing the loader, and Cyril worked from 1958 to 1980 as a salesman promoting and selling Melroe products and training dealers.
Development of the first Melroe loader prototype (M60) began in November 1958 and was completed in early 1959. The prototype utilized the Keller patented drive design, which was used on various Melroe and later Bobcat models until 1982. The name "Bobcat" originated in 1962 with Lynn Bickett, of Gould, Brown and Bickett, a marketing agency in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Allegedly, Bickett found the word "bobcat" in the dictionary, and noted that it was a North American mammal that is "tough, quick, and agile." These traits perfectly described the Melroe loader to them, and the Bobcat slogan, "Tough, quick, and agile," was born.
Officially designated the Bobcat Company in 2000, the company previously operated under the names: Melroe Manufacturing (1958-1969); Clark Equipment Company (1969-1995); and was also known as Ingersoll-Rand Company (1995-2007). In 1969, Clark Equipment Company of Buchanan, Michigan, acquired Melroe Manufacturing and pushed the Bobcat loader to even greater sales. Clark was a leader in forklifts, but adding the Bobcat product line expanded Clark's range and marketing potential. In 1995, Clark was acquired by Ingersoll-Rand (IR), a leading manufacturer of construction equipment and industrial machinery. IR wanted a strong brand name and the top market share that accompanied it, and Bobcat was just the thing. The IR Company provided Bobcat with a platform to focus on product innovation (front end attachments) and it encouraged global manufacturing and development. The Bobcat Company was acquired by Doosan Infracore International of South Korea in October 2007.
2 Louis Keller. Transmission system. US Patent 3,151,503, filed Dec. 1, 1958, and issued Oct. 6, 1964.
These records complement many of the Archives Center's agricultural holdings such as the William C. Kost Farm Records (documenting a 20th century family-owned farm in Illinois); the Robinson-Via Family Papers (documenting daily farm life in Prince George's County, Maryland); the Everett Bickley Collection (documenting agricultural technology of bean sorting) and the Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records (documenting the disappearing farm). These papers also complement the Archives Center's holdings of industrial equipment such as Caterpillar, Page Tractors, and B.B. Brown (documenting tractor engines). Construction related papers include the Clyde Learned Papers (documenting a highway engineer); Lloyd F. Rader Papers (documenting civil engineering); the Leon Struck Photo Album (documenting road building) and many of our collections of civil engineering materials.
The Division of Work and Industry holds one magnetic lifter, Accession 2007.0196.01-.02
This collection was donated by Scott Nelson, President of the Bobcat Company of North America on June 23, 2008.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire. Do not use original materials when available on reference video, DVD, or audio tapes. Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. The Archives Center does not own rights to these photographs. All requests for permission to use these photographs for non-museum purposes must be addressed directly to the Bobcat Company. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Wisconsin George Borg developed machines that make synthetic fur. Delavan, WI.
Pennsylvania Converting rusty iron into pure iron. National-US Radiator Corp., Johnstown, PA.
New York Factories become classrooms; adult education. Elmira College, Elmira, NY.
Minnesota Production of the game "Cooties." Schaper Toy Co., Minneapolis, MN.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
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.
Industry on Parade Film Collection, 1950-1959, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Collection consists of approximately 13,500 images (original photographs, copy prints, and film and glass plate negatives) for freight, passenger, private, and street and rapid transit cars manufactured by the Pullman Palace Car Company. The collection contains primarily early railroad Americana, including interior and exterior views of private and business cars as well as passenger and street cars. The collection is an important part of the historical record of the railroad car-building industry as well as the history of architecture and interior design.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of approximately 13,500 images (original photographs, copy prints, and film and glass plate negatives) for freight, passenger, private, and street and rapid transit cars manufactured by the Pullman Palace Car Company. The collection contains primarily interior and exterior views of private and business cars as well as passenger and street cars. The collection is an important part of the historical record of the railroad car-building industry as well as the history of architecture and interior design. Historians, designers, railroad enthusiasts, model railroad hobbyists, scholars, and others will find this collection useful.
The glass plate negatives in this collection were produced using the wet collodion process, which was introduced to the United States in 1855 and used into the 1880s. The plates were coated with chemicals, sensitized, exposed and developed, all while the plate was wet. Later, Pullman photographers used the dry collodion process. This process involved using glass plates with a photographic emulsion of silver halides suspended in gelatin. This process had shorter exposure times.
George Pullman assembled a variety of photographers to document his company's work. The photography was primarily used as a record of work, especially for the Operating Department and Manufacturing Department at Pullman, as well as for prospective corporate customers.
Before establishing an in-plant photographic department in 1888, Pullman relied on local photographers. Some of the photographers included John Jex Bardwell, Wylie Dennison, Henry R. Koopman, J. W. Taylor, Thomas S. Johnson, Wylie Dennison, John P. Van Vorst, Clayton Ford Smith, Joseph McAllister, Melvin C. Horn, Ernie Stutkus, and Donald J. O'Barski. Many of the photographers signed the glass plates using their initials. For example, John P. Van Vorst signed his J.P.V.V.
Photography of Pullman activities began in the Detroit Shops (property of the Detroit Car & Manufacturing Co. which was purchased by Pullman in 1873 and operated as the Detroit Shops of Pullman) in the 1870s and expanded to include photographing the town of Pullman, steel car construction, shop accidents, workers, panoramic views, and in some instances, for company publications. In-plant photography was started with Wylie Dennison in 1888. Dennison was the first full-time Pullman photographer, and he created the Pullman Photographic Department. Dennison instituted the practice of recording each photograph, noting the negative number, description of the car, the type of view (typically one interior view and one exterior view) and lot number. All of Dennison's photography was done outside in the daylight.
The negative numbers assigned to the glass plates were identified with a "lot" number. The lot number identified the production order, and in later years, the plan number was added, designating the layout of the car. Photographing one car out of each new lot was the intital practice, but over-time, the Photographic Department began taking six or more views of the interior and exterior as well as end views.
Lot numbers include:
Lots 1 - 500 (Pullman Car Works - Chicago)
Lots 1 - 500 (Detroit Car Works)
Lots 500 plus (can be freight and passenger mixed)
Lots 1000 to 4999 (Pullman passenger equipment)
Lots 5000 to 5999 (Pullman freight equipment)
Lots 5000 + Haskell and Barker (Pullman overlap)
Lots 6000 to 7000+ (Pullman and P-S passenger)
Lots 8000 to 9999 (Pullman freight equipment)
Lots 10000+ (Pullman freight equipment)
Series 1, Original prints, circa 1880-1949, are arranged numerically by Pullman numbers. The original prints begin with number 7343 and end with number 33091. The photographs document Pullman cars, including freight, passenger, private, and street railway/rapid transit. Many of the images depict interior views of the cars, and there are some views of porters and passengers. There is some documentation of the workmen constructing the cars. The prints are primarily 8" by 10" black-and-white and were originally bound into books and backed on linen. The prints were unbound at some time. Many of the original prints bear an embossed stamp "Built by Pullman Car and Manufacturing Corporation Chicago." Some photographs are sepia-tone and there are no negatives for these prints.
Series 2, Copy prints, 1885-1955, consists of prints made from the glass plate negatives by the Smithsonian photographic services office. The copy prints were originally stored in loose binders but were re-housed into folders and arranged numerically according to the original Pullman Company number. The number is typically found in the lower right corner of the image. The copy prints are black-and-white and are either 5" x 7" or 8" x 10".
Series 3, Film negatives, 1917-1955, consists of film negatives (4" x 5" and 8" x 10") that are arranged numerically by Pullman numbers. In some instances, information on the enclosure includes the type of car (e.g. sleeper, freight), the name of the car if applicable, name of railroad company, geographical information, and date(s). In some instances, "repro," or "broken glass" are recorded. For negatives that did not conform to the Pullman numbering system, the container list provides additional information. For example, Haskell and Barker Car Company (Haskell and Barker merged with the Pullman Company in 1922) machine shop views, or Pullman cars in St. Paul, Minnesota are recorded in the collection inventory listing.
Series 4, Glass plate negatives, [circa 1882-1948], is divided into two subseries, Subseries 1, 6" x 8" negatives and Subseries 2, 8" x 10" negatives. The series consists of approximately 13,500 glass plate negatives arranged by Pullman Company negative number. The negatives document primarily Pullman cars, including freight, passenger, private and street railway/rapid transit. Many of the images depict interior and exterior views of the cars and some views of porters and passengers. The interior views include details such as seating, window treatments, lighting fixtures, bathroom fixtures, wood paneling, marquetry work, fabrics, floor treatments, and other furnishings. There is some documentation of the construction of the cars by workmen in the factory.
The negative numbers and lot numbers are etched on the glass plates. Overall the series is in good condition, although there are some broken plates which have been separated. The negatives are not inclusive and some plates are missing, or there are two copies. If plates are missing or additional copies exist, this is noted in the collection inventory. In some instances, plates are labeled 3937 and then 3937-A. This numbering distinguished two different views/angles of the same car.
Many of the envelope enclosures contain the negative number, sometimes preceed by the letter "P" (e.g. P9597), lot number (L4700), and in some instances, text describing the negative. Text typically includes the type of car (sleeper, freight), the name of the car if applicable, name of railroad company, geographical information, and date(s). If a copy print was created from the negative plate, the enclosure is stamped "printed." However, this practice was not consistent. Plates that were not printed are occasionally noted, but not with any consistency.
The 6" by 8" glass plates numbered 82-4130 to 82-4167, represent numbers assigned by the Office of Photographic Services, Smithsonian Institution. Previously labeled "Pullman" on the enclosures, the plates primarily document engines and passenger cars for the New York, New Haven, & Hartford Railroad, 1870-1890 and undated. The plates do not have Pullman negative numbers etched in the lower left or right corners and it is unclear if these plates belong to this collection.
Series 5, Indices, 1990 and undated include bound, typescript indices to the Pullman negatives. Created by the National Museum of American History, Division of Transportation (now known as the Division of Work and Industry), the indices include listings by railroad, private cars, freight cars, street cars and rapid transit, and Pullman negatives. The indices provide the name of the railroad/railway (e.g. Chicago & Alton), type of car (e.g. coal car or box car), number, lot, remarks (e.g. baggage area), year, type of view (e.g. exterior or interior) and frame number (for the laser disc).
One index is a supplemental guide listing sepia tone prints for which no negative exists in our collection. The indices for the negative listings on laser discs one and two are available. However, the actual lasers discs are missing.
Horn, Don. "The Pullman Photographers," Railroad Heritage, No. 7, 2003, pp. 5-13.
Arnold, Rus. "This Negative File was a Sleeper." Technical Photography. May 1970, pp. 21-XX.
Pullman State Historic Site, http://www.pullman-museum.org/theCompany/timeline.html (last accessed April 18, 2011)
The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1, Original prints, 1904-1949
Series 2, Copy prints, 1885-1955
Series 3, Film negatives, undated
Series 4, Glass plate negatives, circa 1882-1948
Series 5, Indices, 1990 and undated
Biographical / Historical:
Recognizing a market for luxurious rail travel, George M. Pullman, who had earlier
experimented with sleeping car construction and was wealthy from the provisioning and transporting of Colorado miners in the early 1860s, incorporated the Pullman's Palace Car Company in 1867. By the 1870s his operations were already national and included the operation of sleeping cars under contract with the nation's railroads, the manufacture of cars at the Detroit Works, and the creation of subsidiary firms serving Great Britain and Europe. In the three decades before the turn of the century, the prosperous company grew enormously and included a much heralded model company town adjacent to the new car works at Pullman, Illinois. Acclaim turned to condemnation following the nationwide strike that originated at the Pullman Car Works in 1894. Pullman died in 1897, two years before his company absorbed its last major competitor, the Wagner Palace Car Company, which had been financed by the Vanderbilts.
The Pullman's Palace Car Company entered the twentieth century with a new name, the
Pullman Company, and a new president, Robert Todd Lincoln. An extremely profitable
virtual monopoly, the Pullman Company began replacing its wood cars with safer all steel bodied models (heavyweights) in its newly segregated manufacturing department and at the same time (1906) came under the regulation of the Interstate Commerce Commission. From 1918 to 1920, the United States Railroad Administration, citing the war emergency, assumed control of the operating arm of the firm, renamed the Pullman Car Lines for the duration of federal control.
The Pullman Company reached its peak during the 1920s, manufacturing new heavyweight
cars at a rapid pace. Seeking to expand its freight car production, Pullman merged with the Haskell and Barker Car Company in 1922. Edward F. Carry and his Haskell and Barker associates assumed the presidency and other executive positions in the enlarged Pullman Company. More reorganization took place in 1924, when the Pullman Company Manufacturing Department became a distinct firm, the Pullman Car and Manufacturing Corporation, and in 1927, when a parent or holding company, Pullman Incorporated, was created to oversee the two subsidiary firms. In 1929, following Carry's death, President David A. Crawford engineered the merger of the Pullman Car and Manufacturing Corporation with the Standard Steel Car Company, forming the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company.
During the first three decades of the twentieth century Pullman sought to impede the
unionization of its workers by offering new benefits, including a pension plan in 1914, a death benefit plan in 1922, and a plan of group insurance in 1929. F. L. Simmons' Industrial Relations Department, created in 1920, also directed the formation of company-sponsored occupationally-based unions under the plan of employee representation. A. Philip Randolph's Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters and other unions would not successfully organize company workers until the New Deal Railway Labor Act of 1934 forbade corporate interference in union matters.
The Depression marked the end of Pullman prosperity. Both the number of car orders and sleeping car passengers declined precipitously. The firm laid off car plant and service workers, reduced fares, and introduced such innovations as the single occupancy section in an effort to fill its cars. During this decade the firm built fewer new cars, but it added air conditioning to its existing heavyweights and remodeled many into compartment sleepers.
In 1940, just as orders for lightweight cars were increasing and sleeping car traffic was growing, the United States Department of Justice filed an anti-trust complaint against Pullman Incorporated in the U. S. District Court at Philadelphia (Civil Action No. 994). The government sought to separate the company's sleeping car operations from its manufacturing activities. In 1944 the court concurred, ordering Pullman Incorporated to divest itself of either the Pullman Company (operating) or the Pullman-Standard Car Manufacturing Company (manufacturing). After three years of negotiations, the Pullman Company was sold to a consortium of fifty-seven railroads for around forty million dollars. Carroll R. Harding was named president of this new Pullman Company. The new Pullman Company started out optimistically in 1947 with good passenger traffic figures, but the years following brought steady and marked decline. Regularly scheduled lines were cancelled; all shops except St. Louis and Chicago were closed; employees were furloughed, and major railroad owners such as the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroad totally or partially withdrew from service. On January 1, 1969, at the age of 102, the Pullman Company ceased operation, though it maintained a small central office staff to wind up affairs and handle an equal pay-for-equal-work lawsuit (Denver Case) that continued in the courts until 1981.
John H. White (1933-), historian and curator, collected the Pullman photographs in 1969. White was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, and graduated with a bachelors of arts in history from Miami University Ohio in 1958. Shortly after receiving his degree, He joined the staff of the Smithsonian Institution as Assistant Curator of the Division of Transportation, Department of Science and Technology, Museum of History and Technology. White later became Associate Curator of the Division, 1961-1966, Curator, 1967-1985, and Senior Historian, 1986-1989. White specialized in land transportation, particularly the history of railroads.
White worked closely with Arthur Detmers Dubin (1923-) to acquire the Pullman photographs for the museum. Dubin was an avid train enthusiast and collector, and he frequently used the Pullman "archives" for his own research on railroads. Dubin was born in Chicago, Illinois and began his architectural education at the University of Michigan in 1941 but his education was interrupted by World War II, and he served with distinction in the United States Army until 1946. After completing his studies in 1949, Dubin joined his father's and uncle's architectural firm, Dubin and Dubin, as a second--eneration architect. The leadership of the firm soon passed to Arthur and his brother, Martin David, and in 1965 they were joined by John Black and in 1966 by John Moutoussamy. Arthur's life--ong interest in trains and transportation and their implications for architecture is evident in transit stations commissions and service on transportation--elated advisory boards (Dubin was a member of the Illinois Railroad Commission), as well as in his writings and personal collections.
In July, 1966, Dubin contacted then Vice President of Public Relations at Pullman-Standard E. Preston Calvert about the history and future of the photographic negative plates. Dubin appealed to Calvert to preserve these materials. Dubin and White were also in contact by correspondence and in June, 1967, White contacted Calvert also, stating that the Chicago Historical Society or Illinois State Historical Society should be offered the plates as a first option. Failing a local Illinois repository accepting the materials, White indicated that the Smithsonian would accept the negatives.
During the spring of 1968, White, working with Dubin and Nora Wilson, editor of the company's publications, coordinated a visit by White to Chicago to examine the photographic negatives at the Pullman Car Works factory in south Chicago. In April 1968, White examined the vast collection of glass plate negatives (approximately 20,000). From April, 1968 to August, 1969, Pullman-Standard and the Smithsonian negotiated acquisition details, including shipping and related costs. In August, 1969, White returned to complete the task of sorting the glass plates, discarding broken plates, and weeding repetitive views. He selected approximately 13,500 glass plates. Views of Pullman towns were donated to the Chicago Historical Society. Dubin appraised the photographic plates and film negatives, presumably on behalf of Pullman-Standard, and estimated the plates to be worth between $54,000 and $67,500 dollars.
Historical note courtesy Martha T. Briggs and Cynthia H. Peters, Guide to Pullman Company Archives, The Newberry Library, Chicago, 1995.
Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago Area Architects Oral History Project
http://www.artic.edu/aic/resources/resource/734?search_id=1 (last accessed on February 23, 2011)
John H. White papers, 1959-1989, Record Unit 007384, Smithsonian Institution Archives, Washington, D.C.
Telephone conversation of Alison Oswald, archivist, with John H. White, April 14, 2011.
Materials in the Archives Center
Pullman Palace Car Company Materials, 1867-1979 (AC0181)
John H. White, Jr. Railroad Reference Collection, 1880s-1990 (AC0523)
Materials in Other Organizations
•Art Institute of Chicago
•California State Railroad Museum
•Chicago History Museum
•Arthur Dubin Collection at Lake Forest College
•Illinois Railway Museum
•Indiana University Northwest's Calumet Regional Archives
Pullman-Standard Railroad Car Manufacturing Company Personnel Records—Personnel Record Series CRA 314
This index of employee names was created from the original personnel cards housed at Indiana University Northwest's Calumet Regional Archives from the Indiana locations. Although the records are not complete from the Michigan City plant for the entire period from 1912 to the 1970's, there may be information that will assist researchers with finding key details of a family member. The Hammond Pullman plant was merged with the Haskell Barker Company of Michigan City in 1922.
•Newberry Library, Chicago
The Pullman Company archives at the Newberry Library consists of 2,500 cubic feet of records from the Pullman Company and Pullman heirs. The collection is comprised of business archives of the Pullman Palace Car Company from 1867 and includes records of the entire firm up to the 1924 split into operating (sleeping car operation, service, and repair) and manufacturing companies. From 1924 to 1981 the records chronicle the activities of the operating company only.
•Pennsylvania State Archives
•Pullman State Historic Site
•Pullman Technology (Harvey, Illinois)
•Smithsonian Institution Archives
•South Suburban Genealogical & Historical Society (South Holland, Illinois)
The collection was donated by Pullman-Standard Company, through Nora Wilson, editor of employee publications for the Department of Public Relations and Advertising, on October 8, 1969.
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 email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
The papers of California conceptual artist and sculptor David Ireland measure 24.8 linear feet and 8.39 GB and date from circa 1910s to circa 2009, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960 to 2005. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, notes and notebooks, installation projects and exhibition files, teaching files, travel files, personal business records, printed and digital material and commercial recordings, photographic materials, artwork, and video and sound recordings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of California conceptual artist and sculptor David Ireland measure 24.8 linear feet and 8.39 GB and date from circa 1910s to circa 2009, with the bulk of the material dating from 1960 to 2005. The papers include biographical material, correspondence, notes and notebooks, installation projects and exhibition files, teaching files, travel files, personal business records, printed and digital material and commercial sound recordings, photographic materials, artwork, and video and sound recordings.
Biographical material includes awards and certificates, address books and appointment books, artist's statements, resumes, chronologies, student university materials, passports, and sound and video recordings of interviews with Ireland. Correspondence is with friends, peers, universities, galleries, and museums, including Jeffrey Grobart, Eleanor Coppola, Margie Lee, Marie-Louise Lienhard, Paul Marion, and Alta Tingle, among others. Notes and notebooks contain incoming phone messages, notes to self, regarding projects and ideas, as well as various other notes and plans.
Installation projects and exhibition files constitute the bulk of the collection and document David Ireland's extensive projects and exhibitions around the world. Files are found for his Capp Street house project and Pacific Enterprises project in San Francisco; Boott Mills project in Lowell, Massachusetts; IKEA Emeryville Public Art Project in Emeryville, California; and several Washington State Arts Commission and Western Washington University projects. Other exhibition and installation locations found within the files include the American Academy in Rome; Yerba Buena Arts Center in California; Perth Institute of Contemporary Art in Australia; Helmhaus in Zurich, Switzerland; Arts Club of Chicago; SFMOMA; New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York; Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the Mattress Factory in Pittsburgh, among many others. The files contain a wide variety of materials, including sound and video recordings in various formats.
Teaching files document David Ireland's many roles as visiting artist, artist-in-residence, instructor, and conference and symposium panelist at the California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco Art Institute, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and Stanford University Department of Art, among others. Travel files document Ireland's trips abroad, both independent of and as a result of installation and project obligations.
Personal business records are comprised of financial materials and documentation relating to Ireland's two early South African import and safari businesses as well grants and project proposals, various loan agreements, representation through Gallery Paule Anglim, property sales and tax documentation, inventory materials, and various other business materials. Also found within the collection are printed material and four commercial sound recordings. Photographs are of the artist, friends and family, Ireland's Oakland studio, and works of art. There is artwork by Ireland, including sketches, drawings, and prints, and a few pieces of artwork by other artists. In addition to sound and video recordings arranged in other series, there is one video recording and six sound cassettes that are either unidentified or have no additional context within the collection.
This collection is arranged as 11 series.
Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1950-circa 2009 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1937-circa 2008 (4 linear feet; Boxes 2-6)
Series 3: Notes and Notebooks, circa 1965-circa 2008 (0.7 linear feet; Boxes 6-7)
Series 4: Installation Projects and Exhibition Files, circa 1960s-circa 2009 (11.6 linear feet; Boxes 7-18, OV26, OV27, 7.84 GB; ER01-ER15)
Series 5: Teaching Files, 1977-1998 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 18-19)
Series 6: Travel Files, circa 1950s-circa 1994 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 19-20)
Series 7: Personal Business Records, circa 1965-circa 2008 (1.1 linear feet; Boxes 20-21)
Series 8: Printed Material and Commercial Recordings, 1932-circa 2009 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 21-23, 0.553 GB; ER16)
Series 9: Photographic Materials, circa 1910s-circa 2005 (1 linear foot; Boxes 23-24)
Series 10: Artwork, circa 1965-circa 2003 (0.2 linear feet; Box 24)
Series 11: Video and Sound Recordings, circa 1965-circa 1990s (0.4 linear feet; Box 25)
Biographical / Historical:
David Ireland (1930-2009) was a conceptual artist and sculptor who worked in San Francisco, California.
Ireland was born in Bellingham, Washington and attended Western Washington University. In 1953, he received a degree in industrial design and printmaking from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now California College of the Arts) in Oakland. He then served two years in the U. S. Army in Missouri, returning to live and work in Bellingham. For several years, Bellingham served as his launch point for extensive travels in Europe and Africa.
In the late 1950s, Ireland founded Hunter Africa, an artifacts import business. He moved the business to San Francisco in 1965 and also began a second business leading safaris in Africa. He married Bellingham native Joanne Westford and had two children, Ian Ireland and Shaughn Niland; they divorced in 1970.
Ireland attended the San Francisco Art Institute and received a graduate degree in 1974. There, he met other Bay Area artists involved in the conceptual movement there, including Tom Marioni, Paul Kos, Howard Fried, and Terry Fox.
Much of Ireland's artwork of the 1980s and 1990s centered on the transformation of his home at 500 Capp Street in San Francisco, where he dramatically physically and conceptually transformed the interior and exterior structure into a mix of architectural sculpture and environmental art piece. He bought a second home in 1979 to transform, and, in the 1980s, completed a renovation of the main building at the Headlands Center for Arts in Sausalito with artist Mark Thompson.
David Ireland's work has been presented in more than forty solo exhibitions at venues that included the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C.; The Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York. He created major public projects and private commissions in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Washington, D. C., and other cities. His work is included in the permanent collections of The Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Oakland Museum of California, and University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, among others.
The David Ireland papers were donated in 2010 by the David Ireland Estate through Jock Reynolds, Special Trustee, The David Ireland Revocable Trust.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
The papers document the life and activism of Grayce Uyehara who was a pivotal figure within the Redress Movement and sought reparations for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
The papers document the life and activism of Grayce Uyehara who was a pivotal figure within the Redress Movement and sought reparations for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The collection materials span different social justice topics that Uyehara was involved with outside of Japanese American communities. Geographically, the materials are primarily from her time in Stockton, California; Rohwer, Arkansas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C., as well as other places.
The papers include materials relating to Uyehara's own incarceration; her lobbying work with the Japanese American Citizens League; other activism and grass roots activities; speeches; campaign materials; articles; memos; financial reports; work journals; photographs of the Uyeharas; community newspapers; film slides of redress; personal letters; internal correspondence; leadership conference notes; educational materials; interviews; awards; student theses; pamphlets; booklets; oral histories; maps; meeting minutes; newsletters; directories; and congressional records.
The collection is unarranged.
Grayce Uyehara was a social worker and pivotal Redress Movement activist who helped lead the reparations campaign for the wrongful incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Uyehara was born Ritsuko Kaneda on July 4th, 1919, in Stockton, California. Her parents named her Ritsu, which roughly translates to notions of law and independence, informed by their understanding of the significance of Independence Day. Her father, Tsuyanoshi Kaneda, worked in agriculture and business and performed domestic tasks. Through this, he developed a reliable business working for lawyers, doctors, and school administrators. Her mother, Tome Kaneda, raised their children. Her mother was strict but also encouraged her children to excel at whatever they did. She enrolled them in Japanese and music classes and expected them to help out at church and in the community. Uyehara was the second of seven children, and as the eldest daughter was expected to be a role model for her younger siblings.
In high school, Uyehara belonged to a Japanese student club, excelled in her schoolwork, and was part of the marching band, playing the bassoon. She also played piano for Sunday school at church, which had both English and Japanese services. She became involved in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), participating in its oratorical contests. Because of her community service, the elders and her peers in the Japanese American community respected Uyehara.
Uyehara majored in music at the University of the Pacific. She believed music would allow her to start a career as a local Japanese American piano teacher and church organist. She worked many jobs to pay for tuition while her parents helped cover her costs. While in college, she became involved in the Japanese American Young People's Christian Conference (YPCC) in Northern California. Uyehara continued to be recognized for her leadership and competence by becoming the chairperson of the Sacramento YPCC as a college senior.
In January 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Uyehara was asked by the university president to become an instructor to teach Japanese to young men in military service at the local army base. Citing her patriotic duty, she accepted the position. She was able to finish school before being incarcerated, partly because her mother pushed her to do well and to stay in school. When the Uyehara family prepared to leave their home in April, one of her professors offered to hold their household belongings. Although she satisfied her graduation requirements, she received her degree in absentia. Two of her siblings were also in college when their academic careers were interrupted. She was very upset that her parents did not get to see her graduate because they had sacrificed so much.
The Kaneda family was forcibly relocated to the Stockton Temporary Detention Center in May 1942. At the Stockton Center, she put her service skills to work and assisted other Nisei inmates in organizing a makeshift school for Japanese American youth. Located on the site of the county fairgrounds, the school was forced to hold classes in the grandstands. Through one of her father's contacts, she was able to secure a donation of books, and she became the supervisor in charge of elementary education. Some of the young soldiers that she taught at the base also came to visit her. She spent four months there, and in September of 1942, her family was notified that they would be forcibly moved to Rohwer, Arkansas. While her family traveled ahead, she stayed behind to help close the Stockton Temporary Detention Center.
At Rohwer, Uyehara remained active and continued to hone her leadership and organizational skills. She helped create church services for young people, played the piano at various events, and taught music in junior high-level classes. During this time, she realized that her previous career path as a piano teacher was not realistic. She discovered that the Minnesota State Teachers College was offering scholarships to eligible camp inmates and decided to pursue the opportunity. She left the camp in January 1943 with three other young Nisei. She lived at a boarding house with another Nisei student from the Tule Lake incarceration camp. She had an active social life but found the classes to be unchallenging. During the summer in St. Paul, she stayed with a woman who was active with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a liberal group who spoke out against war. Unsure of what to do next, she then returned to Rohwer where she worked at the camp hospital, continually checking for jobs. She found a job listing in Virginia where one of her younger sisters was attending school, and she left Rohwer for the last time. In Virginia, she worked as an editorial secretary. She was grateful that it was not a service job, which was the norm for young Japanese American women. Uyehara's brother, Ben, was attending Temple University in Philadelphia during this time. He assured her that the Quakers would help the Kaneda family with moving from the camp. Convinced, she packed up again and moved further north.
In Philadelphia, Uyehara found an apartment in the Fellowship House, an organization providing workshops on race relations in the city. She began working for Family Services, a social service agency in the Germantown area of Philadelphia as a receptionist and typist, but she also conducted intake interviews with the clients of the agency. She further continued her role as a community leader by becoming involved with the International Institute which assisted immigrants settling in Philadelphia, and became concerned with the needs of the Japanese American population moving in. Working closely with the Institute, she helped form the Philadelphia Nisei Council, which coordinated with the War Relocation Authority. She was the Nikkei representative of the Philadelphia Committee of Social Service Agencies whose role was to assist with relocation problems. Uyehara developed a handbook that detailed practical issues such as the cost of living in the city, how to rent an apartment, and where to find jobs. The Council began a newsletter, so the community could be aware of new people moving in to the area and of community events. She also started youth groups to provide activities and social interaction for high school and college-age youth coming out of the camp experience.
In Philadelphia, Uyehara became re-acquainted with Hiroshi Uyehara, whose mother knew Grayce's mother. They briefly met in Rohwer. He worked at a nearby Westinghouse factory as a draftsman. He had to receive an Army and Navy clearance, and during the wait went on strike. He became a volunteer at the International Institute where they reconnected. They married in 1946. Later, she and her husband were among those who formed the Philadelphia Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) to influence more people on social issues affecting Japanese Americans in a national context. Afterwards, the director of the International Institute arranged for the board to pay her graduate school tuition at the University of Pennsylvania while she worked as a social worker for the agency. She graduated in 1947 with a Masters in Social Work. Within two years of working in the community, she was asked to serve on the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission. She used this opportunity to highlight the perspectives of Japanese Americans.
The Uyehara's first son, Chris, was born in May of 1948. In 1950, they had a second child, Lisa. The International Institute asked her to return as a volunteer, and she started a program to help American servicemen and Japanese brides returning from Japan to adjust to a new life. She worked directly with Japanese women in teaching American customs, including etiquette and cooking lessons. She also provided individual counseling. She was very active with the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and became president, creating parent education programs and raising funds for the local school library. Uyehara was also very active in the National Association of Social Workers, the Cub Scouts, the local Presbyterian church, the West Chester Human Relationships Council, and the League of Women Voters. Later, she had two more children, Larry, in 1952, and Paul, in 1955. During this time, she was asked to help in establishing the first day care center for working mothers in West Chester. Despite the low pay, she was instrumental in establishing the center. In addition, she got involved in civil rights issues for African Americans, especially for school desegregation and upgrading placement rates for African American students.
In 1972, Uyehara served as the governor for the Eastern District Council of the JACL. She was on the National Board, and was the vice-president for General Operations, Chapter President, the National Civil Rights Committee, and the National Scholarship Committee. In 1974, Uyehara was the first woman to hold a JACL elected office. From 1973 to 1974, she was on the National Education Committee. She used her organizational skills to rearrange some existing educational programs so that the history of Japanese Americans could become more well known throughout the country. She also prioritized projects within the committee to make the programs more attractive to potential funders. Her ability to effectively organize with the JACL was influenced by the lessons learned in reading Years of Infamy by Michi Weglyn, and in the organizing lessons within African American communities after Brown v. Board of Education was passed.
In 1978, Uyehara was present at the 1978 Salt Lake City Convention when JACL decided to pursue redress, and was asked to be on the National Committee for Redress. Using her experience in improving school districts for African Americans, she worked hard to generate educational materials, bombard congressional offices and speak at various events and community organizations. She was also effective in gaining support from the Presbyterian Church and Jewish organizations. By 1985 she devised a plan to reach people on the East Coast, since there weren't many JACL chapters in major cities there. She retired from her job as a school social worker in order to help the JACL achieve redress. In the spring, she transferred to the Legislative Education Committee (LEC). Her philosophy was "If you're going to do it, you do it right. You just don't talk about it".
Uyehara did a lot of traveling between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Her husband was very supportive during this time. The leadership in Washington consisted of JACL officials and four Nikkei congressmen, who recognized Uyehara's work in coalition building and developing political relationships. Whenever a new member of Congress signed on to the Civil Liberties Act, she would send out a press statement, and any significant chapter events would be announced through her "Action Alerts." She also led congressional meetings with people like Senator Inouye, Ralph Neas, and Mike Masaoka because she was very familiar with the legislative process.
Uyehara sent information "vernaculars" to newspapers and newsletter organizations in New York and Los Angeles as well as the Pacific Citizen, so that people could see progress taking place within the redress effort. She urged people to initiate contacts in states like Florida and North Carolina to ensure votes were not lost. If an area had lower numbers of Japanese American constituents, she would ask different contacts to support the redress effort and lobby congress to vote for it. She also used her existing relationships with the American Friends Service Committee, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Jewish war veterans, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'irth and the American Jewish Committee. Greatly aided by her efforts, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was passed. It issued a formal apology from the government and $20,000 to each surviving incarceree. This act also required monuments, museums, and classrooms to teach the history of Japanese American incarceration so similar discrimination would never happen again to others.
After redress was passed, Uyehara was still actively involved in community organizing. She chaired the JACL Legacy Fund campaign, which raised over $5 million to support other JACL programs. She engaged with the Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, speaking at educational engagements about redress and organizing efforts for residents in her retirement community through the Diversity Committee and the Mental Health Committee. She was a passionate advocate for Japanese Canadian redress. She also helped coordinate the Philadelphia area fundraising effort for the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation. In addition, she enjoyed spending more time with family, gardening, and playing the piano.
In 2014, Uyehara was honored by Asian Americans United with its Standing Up for Justice Award. Uyehara passed away on June 22, 2014, at Virtual Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Japanese Americans remember Uyehara for her effectiveness and dedication as an activist, community leader, and the mother of Redress. Her experiences of being discriminated against and having to work to support the family at a young age sensitized her to the plight of working women and the economically disadvantaged. This greatly informed her service not only for Japanese Americans, but for all communities in America.
Susan Nakaoka. "Nisei Political Activists: The Stories of Five Japanese American Women
Master of Arts., (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1999) found in Grayce Uyehara Papers, Box 1, Folder N, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Gammage, Jeff. "Grayce Uyehara, fought for interned Japanese-Americans." The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com/philly/obituaries/20140624_Grayce_Uyehara fought_for_interned_Japanese-Americans.html June 23, 2014. Last Accessed March 18, 2019.
Collection donated to the Archives Center in 2019 by Paul M. Uyehara.
The collection is open for research use.
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.
The Norma Merrick Sklarek Archival Collection documents the prestigious and groundbreaking career of one of the early women architects who also broke ground for African American architects as well. The collection highlights Sklarek's journey and accomplishments as she paved the way for future women architects and architects of color. The collection is comprised of family records, resumes, business ephemera, photographs, correspondence, publications, clippings, architectural drawings, as well as her many awards and accolades.
The materials in this collection have been separated into eight series. The materials have been ordered and organized based on the content and chronology. Within each series and subseries, the folders are organized as close to the collection's original order as when it was acquired.
Biographical / Historical:
Norma Merrick Sklarek was a renowned architect and a woman of firsts who broke racial and gender barriers earning her place in the male-dominated world of architecture. She was the first Black woman member and esteemed fellow of the highly respected architectural professional organization, American Institute of Architects (AIA). Norma was distinguished in her career for leading challenging assignments and managing large, complex construction projects.
Norma Merrick was born April 15, 1926 to Dr. Walter Ernest Merrick, and Amelia (Amy) Willoughby in Harlem, New York City, New York. Her parents had emigrated from Trinidad, though her father was born in St. Vincent, West Indies. Norma's parents were a part of the first significant Caribbean immigration waves to the United States in the early 20th century. Arriving just a year before her birth, her parents saw possibility and education there. Her father, Walter attended Howard University and eventually became a physician. While her mother, Amy worked as a seamstress in a factory to make ends meet as Walter "wasn't much of a businessman" as described by Norma in an oral history interview. He practiced medicine in Harlem, New York. Norma stated that her father often served as a physician to African American celebrities such as Hazel Scott, Ethel Waters and Art Tatum. Walter was also a talented musician and carpenter that supported his daughter's love of art and math and encouraged her to pursue a career in architecture.
Around 1940, Norma was enrolled at the prestigious Hunter College High School for the intellectually gifted and "Ivy League-bound" young women. Excelling academically, Norma attended Barnard University, the prestigious women's college formerly administered by Columbia University. She attended Barnard initially in order to gain a year of a liberal arts education so that she could be accepted into then-known Columbia University School of Architecture. In 1947, she met and married, Dumas Flagg Ransom, law student at nearby Wagner University. She subsequently gave birth to her first son, Gregory Merrick Ransom shortly thereafter. She graduated from Columbia in 1950 with a Bachelor of Architecture (B.Arch.) degree. She was one of only two women and the only African American in her graduating class.
Despite her Columbia University pedigree, her race and gender made it predictably difficult to obtain employment. Norma easily recalls in an oral history interview later in life that she was turned down by nineteen prospective employers. It was on the twentieth interview with the Department of Public Works (DPW) that she was hired as a junior draftsperson for New York City. She passed her architecture licensing examination in 1954 becoming the first Black woman believed to be licensed to practice architecture in New York. Despite a poor recommendation from her DPW supervisor, she worked briefly at Katz, Waisman, Blumenkranz, Stein and Weber as a junior associate. She felt stifled and unchallenged and left that firm to do some rendering coloring work with notable New York architect, Bob Schwartz. In 1955, she started working at notable architectural firm, Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill (SOM) in New York City where she was given larger-scale projects. At the same time, she taught architecture courses at New York City Community College (presently called the New York City College of Technology) located in Brooklyn, NY. She was the school's first woman faculty member. It was also during her tenure at SOM that Norma joined AIA and inadvertently became the organization's first African American woman member. She was a member of the Council for the Advancement of the Negro in Architecture, a New York-based group. During all this groundbreaking work, Norma was a twice-divorced mother of two sons with the birth of her second son, David Merrick Fairweather from her union with Benjamin Fairweather. Norma depended on the assistance of her family in raising her sons while she worked and advanced her career.
In an effort to advance her career, Norma moved to Los Angeles, California to work with architectural firm, Gruen Associates in 1960. A requisite for an architect in California, Norma became the first Black woman to be a licensed architect in the state. Gruen Associates, founded by visionary Austrian architect Victor Gruen, was notable for their pioneering work with shopping malls and multi-use buildings. At Gruen, in 1965 she earned the director of architecture position where she was responsible for hiring and overseeing multiple staff members as well as serving as project manager on several high-profile projects for the firm.
Her projects included the high-rise multi-use building California Mart (1963), now known as California Market Center; skyscraper Fox Plaza (1966) in San Francisco and some of Norma's most notable work for Gruen, The Pacific Design Center (1975), a multi-use facility utilized by the California's bustling apparel and fashion industry. Norma's contributary design is affectionately known by California's locals as the "Blue Whale." Norma worked on the latter project with Gruen's lead architect at the time, Cesar Pelli, known for some of the world's tallest buildings, most notably World Finance Center (Brookfield Place) in New York City. Pelli also shared his credit with Norma for her exemplary contribution to the renovation and redesign of the San Bernardino City Hall (1972) in California as well as their work on the U.S. Embassy (1976) in Tokyo, Japan. While at Gruen, Norma married Rolf Sklarek, a fellow architect at the firm. She also taught architecture courses at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) and the University of Southern California (USC). At UCLA, she was the first African American member of the faculty.
In 1980, she was finally recognized for all of her trailblazing and innovative work, when she became the first African American woman elected to the AIA College of Fellows. The highest honor within the architecture profession. This prestigious award gave her assurance that she could take her career to another level. She departed Gruen for Welton Becket & Associates, a prominent California firm renowned for iconic music and cultural centers, including the iconic Capitol Records building in Los Angeles. Norma was appointed as the vice president of the firm and lead project manager on one of her most notable works, Terminal One at the Los Angeles International Airport. She was recognized for the timely completion of the project as preparation for the influx of travelers to Los Angeles the for the 1984 Olympic Games. Norma also suffered the loss of her husband, Rolf Sklarek, the same year.
It was her work from the Los Angeles Airport project that empowered Norma to break yet another barrier. 1985 proved to be significant year as she became first African American woman to found and co-own a woman-owned architectural firm. Norma collaborated with fellow veteran architects Margot Siegal and Katherine Diamond to create Siegel-Sklarek-Diamond (SSD). SSD was one of the largest woman-owned architecture firms at the time. Their largest project was the Tarzana Promenade, a 90,000 sq. ft. medical and retail center, and the remodel and renovation of the Lawndale Civic Center; both located in California. Norma also designed work for the proposed Marva Collins Preparatory School in Compton, CA. The school was named after seminal educator, Marva Collins that had revolutionized education for low-income students in a crime-ridden area in Chicago, Ill. The hope was the replicate Collins' important work for children in Compton.
Being a new firm amidst the prevalence of racism and sexism within the profession left SSD at a disadvantage. Their projects were mainly residential and smaller commercial projects that didn't bring the income and accompanying challenges like larger scaled projects. Sklarek left SSD in 1989 for Jerde Partnership, an established innovator in the design and construction of shopping malls around the world. Norma was hired as the principal on the project management for the design and construction of the Mall of America. Located in Bloomington, Minnesota, it is considered to be the largest shopping mall in United States.
In 1992, Norma retired from the profession but did not resign herself to stop working. Norma became an active advocate in broadening the profession to include more women and people of color. She focused her work on teaching, lecturing, and mentoring. Over the years, she served as faculty and lecturer at several universities including UCLA, USC, University of Iowa, Kansas State University, California Polytechnic as well as her alma mater Columbia University. In an effort to inspire Black architects, Norma regularly lectured at HBCUs including Howard University, Hampton University, Tuskegee University, and Southern University.
Sklarek's work was recorded and recognized by the black press and publishers, such as her being included in Ebony magazine as early as 1958, in their article on "Successful Young Architects." In 2008, the AIA awarded her with the Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award that recognizes architects who represented the profession's responsibility to address social issues. She also served on multiple professional boards and committees, such as the California Architects Board, Professional Qualifications Committee, California State Board of Architectural Examiners, the AIA National Ethics Council and many more.
On February 6, 2012, Sklarek died in the Pacific Palisades, California at the age of 85. She was survived by her husband Cornelius Welch, whom she married in 1985; her son, David Merrick Fairweather, stepdaughter Susan Welch as well as three grandchildren. She was predeceased by her son Gregory Merrick Ransom in 2006.
1926 -- Norma Merrick was born to Amy Willoughby and Walter Merrick in Harlem, New York.
1944 -- Graduated from Hunter College High School, New York, NY
1944-1945 -- Attended Barnard College, New York, NY
1945-1950 -- Attended Columbia University in New York City earning a bachelor's degree in architecture (B.Arch.).
1947 -- Married Dumas Flagg Ransom and had son, Gregory Merrick Ransom. They later divorced.
1950 -- Married Elwyn (Benjamin) Fairweather and had son, David Merrick Fairweather. They later divorced.
1950-1955 -- Worked at the Department of Public Works, New York, NY
1954 -- Licensed in the state of New York; believed to be the first black woman architect licensed in New York
1959 -- First African American woman member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA).
1955-1960 -- Worked at Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill in New York, NY
1957-1960 -- Architecture faculty member at New York City Community College, Brooklyn, NY
1960 -- Married Francis "Harry" Pena in New York, NY. Moved to California and began working at Gruen Associates and served as the Director of Architecture until 1980.
1962 -- First African American woman architect licensed in California
1963 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of the California Mart, Los Angeles, CA.
1966 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction Fox Plaza in San Francisco, CA.
1967 -- Sklarek divorced Pena and married Rolf Sklarek, a fellow architect at Gruen Associates.
1970 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of the Park Center Commercial Complex in San Jose, CA .
1972-1973 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of the San Bernardino, City Hall in San Bernardino, CA.
1973 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of Commons-Courthouse Center in Columbus, IN.
1973-1978 -- Served as faculty member in the UCLA School of Architecture and Urban Planning
1976 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of the U. S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan.
1978 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of Pacific Design Center in Los Angeles, CA.
1980 -- First African American woman fellow of the AIA
1980-1985 -- Worked as VP and project manager at Welton Becket & Associates in Santa Monica, CA
1984 -- Sklarek working with Welton Becket Associates coordinated the design and construction of Terminal One at the Los Angeles International Airport, Los Angeles, CA. Rolf Sklarek died in February.
1985 -- Sklarek along with Margot Siegal and Katherine Diamond formed their own firm, Siegel- Sklarek-Diamond. Sklarek married Dr. Cornelius Welch.
1989 -- Left the Siegel-Sklarek-Diamond and joined The Jerde Partnership, in Venice, CA, as the principal project manager.
1989-1992 -- Sklarek coordinated the design and construction of the Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN.
1992 -- Retired from The Jerde Partnership
2003-2007 -- Served as commissioner on the California State Board of Architectural Examiners
2008 -- Awarded American Institute of Architects' Whitney M. Young Jr. Award
2012 -- Norma Merrick Sklarek died in the Pacific Palisades, California at the age of 85.
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of David Merrick Fairweather and Yvonne Goff
Collection is open for research. Access to collection materials requires an appointment.
The NMAAHC Archives can provide reproductions of some materials for research and educational use. Copyright and right to publicity restrictions apply and limit reproduction for other purposes.
Records of a family-owned manufacturing firm, best known for kitchenware products including the Bundt Pan and Micro-Go-Round. The collection richly documents the entrepreneurial spirit of the Minnesota firm and its history of product innovation through technical files, marketing materials, and administrative and financial records.
Scope and Contents:
The Nordic Ware collection consists of approximately twenty-eight cubic feet of records from the Northland Aluminum Company, most dealing with its Nordic Ware business. The Dalquist family recognized the importance of record keeping, and this collection documents very well the evolution of an entrepreneurial, family-owned American business from its earliest years.
Of particular interest for researchers may be the Pillsbury and Bundt Cake Pan dual marketing strategies, showcased mainly in Series 3, Marketing and Sales Records, 1948-2004, the introduction of ethnic cookware into American Culture through such dishes as the Rosettes and Timbales set and Taco dinner kit, the segmentation of product lines by price level to target consumers of differing incomes, and the issue of a trademarked term like "Bundt" becoming generic as seen in Series 6, Legal Records, 1962-1978. Series 4, Engineering Department Records, 1950-1994, provide in-depth documentation of the technical development of several of Nordic Ware's innovative products.
Series 1: Historical and Background Materials, 1940s-2006
These materials provide a history of Dave Dalquist as an entrepreneur and how this led to his ownership of Northland Aluminum Products and the Nordic Ware brand. There are histories put together by the company as well financial summaries for some years. The series contains The Nordic Ware Saga, a book edited and produced by the Dalquist family, and America at Home: A Celebration of Twentieth-Century Housewares. Both books have valuable background information on the company and how it fits into the housewares industry. There also are materials from the original business, Plastics for Industry. An undated marketing booklet, published about 1990, briefly describes the company's history and its product line and corporate structure. Additional company history is found in six installments written by Dave Dalquist under the title "From the Skipper" and covering the years 1946 to l985.
Series 2: David Dalquist Files, 1963-1993
David Dalquist, the president and founder of the company, kept these files in his office and home. Dalquist had no formal filing system and preferred to group records together as he used them. This order has been maintained as much as possible to the folder level. Several files contain information and notes from Dalquist's attendance at the National Housewares Shows and the meetings held there with his sales representatives. The annual Housewares Shows in Chicago were key events in this industry and Nordic Ware made them a high priority. The sales meetings materials include speeches Dalquist delivered. This series reveals Dalquist's involvement with every aspect of the company. It portrays an entrepreneur who began with an engineering degree, very limited capital, and no business experience. Dalquist built a multi-million dollar company while insisting on high ethical and business standards.
The several companies owned by the Dalquist family are documented in these files. There is a merger agreement between Northland Metal Finishers and Northland Aluminum. The records show the company went through several phases and had several brands besides Nordic Ware, including Minnesota Ware, DuNord, and Norcast.
Series 3: Marketing and Sales Records, 1948-2004
The Marketing and Sales Records focus mainly on the promotion of the Nordic Ware Brand and the sale and distribution of products, especially to the retail trade industry. There is evidence of how Nordic Ware presented its products to the industry and of other types of promotions to build brand awareness. These records are divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, General and Department Records, 1967-1995; Subseries 2, Promotional and Trade Sales Materials, 1958-2004; and Subseries 3, Public Relations, 1948-1992
Subseries 3.1: General and Department Records, 1967-1995
Dave Dalquist initially handled most of the company's marketing and sales, but as the company grew, a separate department was created. Among other things, this department created sketches of new product ideas that employees submitted as part of the New Product Idea meetings periodically scheduled by Dave Dalquist. Several files contain this artwork and a design notebook. There are also the files of Doug White, a Vice President of Marketing and Sales. Other art renderings, such as line art used in catalogs, are in this series.
Subseries 3.2: Promotional and Trade Sales Materials, 1958-2004
This subseries consists both of advertising geared towards the trade industry and that aimed at the consumer to promote brand image and sales. A 1970s scrapbook is a record of cross-promotional offers in which Nordic Ware and other firms advertised their products together in a single advertisement. The scrapbook also documents Nordic Ware products offered as sales premiums. The advertisements are organized by the brand co-featured in the advertisement. The Bundt Pan was the predominant Nordic Ware product in these advertisements. The Pillsbury file is especially important as it shows the building of the dual marketing arrangement which allowed Bundt Pans to be packaged with Pillsbury mixes. Nordic Ware received national publicity that it would otherwise have been difficult to generate. The Bundt Pan was integrated into magazine recipes and articles and included in mentions of other brands. These records document the remarkably brief time in which the Bundt Pan achieved national recognition.
The trade market was critical to Nordic Ware. The Sales Guides, 1982-2004, were given to regional sales representatives with information on sales promotions and incentives to representatives for sales of Nordic Ware products in specific markets. The Guides also have product descriptions, so that each representative was fully familiar with the products. Along with these guides, Nordic Ware put out trade catalogs, also found in this subseries. Although there is no master list of the catalogs, many have been hand-dated by Nordic Ware employees. Many of the models in the catalogs and the advertisements were members of the Dalquist family, neighbors, and other acquaintances.
Subseries 3.3: Public Relations, 1948-1992
These materials mainly document a series of campaigns created by Sara Jean Thomas, a public relations contractor. She worked with the marketing and sales department to build the Nordic Ware brand and to create a series of television and radio product promotions in the form of household hints. Several scripts are included here along with details of the overall campaigns. There also are files documenting the reach of these promotions. Other materials include a press kit for Chef Tell, a celebrity chef who represented Nordic Ware products for several years and who made appearances at its booth at the National Housewares Shows. New product press releases (with photographs) and general public relations files (1986-1989), along with the Marketing Communication Plans (1987-1989), give details on the planning of other public relations efforts. The trade press clippings scrapbook documents mentions of Nordic Ware and its products, competitors' advertising, and general developments in the house wares industry. Trade press clippings also are found in Series 8, subseries 4.
Series 4: Engineering Department Records, 1950-1994
The Engineering Department was vital to the success of Nordic Ware. Records in this series reveal the process by which a new product idea was developed, built, tested, and turned into a saleable product. Museum staff members selected the records in this series, occupying about five cubic feet, from a much larger group of files, roughly twenty-five feet in extent. The criteria for selection included substantive information on the design development of new products, especially those requiring substantial engineering work, and on product re-design to create cost efficiencies and resolve product problems.
Subseries 4.1: General Records, 1969-1992
These records deal with general departmental business and include incoming and outgoing correspondence and general files kept by individual engineers. They also provide operational information such as source for production materials, work orders processing, and treatment of employee issues in the department.
Engineers in the department kept these notebooks mainly for developing design ideas and working out the technical logistics of bringing the designs into production. The notebooks also served as evidential records for patent disputes. The engineers signed and dated the pages of their notebooks as proof of when ideas were conceptualized and who recorded them.
Subseries 4.3: Product Files, 1976-1993, undated
These records originally were organized by product number, but no index to the numbering system accompanied the records so files of like products were grouped together. The Micro-Go-Round, Oven-Aire, and Wok are the most thoroughly documented. The records include blueprints at various stages of the products development, work orders for research and development, outside quotations, invoices, quality control tests and guidelines, memoranda to and from other company offices about product development, and other types of operational materials. Most of these products had multiple versions, and evidence of ongoing testing and modification is seen in the records.
These records document some of the innovation that made Nordic Ware an important presence in the housewares industry. The Micro-Go-Round was a particularly revolutionary product at the time, and the records show how the company recognized a need for the product and did what was necessary to develop it, although it had little or no experience with microwave technology. Micro-Go-Round records also are found in Subseries 5 of this series. The Oven-Aire required extensive development efforts to bring to fruition. The idea behind this product was to make conventional ovens cook more evenly and operate like a convection oven. The records include photographs of the original working model, tests done in some of the engineers' home kitchens, and comparison photographs of foods cooked with and without the device. Though the product never took off in the market, the invention and development process is documented here from the perspective of the several parties who worked on it. To a much more limited degree, records for some of the other products -- like the Popgun Popcorn Popper and the Supremer Ice Creamer --demonstrate the design and development process. There is even information about packaging design for some of the products.
Subseries 4.4: New Product Ideas Files, 1976-1993
These records document Nordic Ware's efforts to identify and develop a stream of new products and to involve employees in that process. They include product ideas submitted from outside the firm but primarily relate to New Product Meetings at which employees shared their own ideas. The meetings often included voting for the best ideas and for those that would be most feasible to manufacture. Most of the files contain original artwork, usually brought to the meeting by the marketing department. They also include lists of product ideas and who submitted them, ballots for the voting on the best ideas, and notes taken at the meetings. Several files have memoranda to the employees encouraging submission of ideas outside the annual meeting cycle. Related materials are found in Series 3, Marketing and Sales Records, 1948-2004, Subseries 1, General and Department Records, 1967-1995.
Subseries 4.5: General Research and Development, 1976-1993
This subseries mainly contains files on the development of microwave cookware products and the Micro-Go-Round. Dr. T.K. Ishii, a leading researcher in microwave technologies from Marquette University, served as a consultant to Nordic Ware. He advised on technical problems and explained processes to the Nordic Ware engineers to enable them to develop products. Other materials deal with the application and certification process for Underwriters Laboratories, an independent organization that tested products and certified them as meeting its safety standards.
Subseries 4.6: Patent Materials, 1950-1994
Many records in this subseries deal with the patent application process. An outside legal firm submitted Nordic Ware's applications and negotiated with the Patent Office. The records include correspondence surrounding patent disputes and sworn affidavits by engineers submitted as proof of their work. Several reference files of non-Nordic Ware patents are in this subseries. Many were sent by the law office to Nordic Ware engineers to keep them current on new developments.
Subseries 4.7: Trade Associations, 1977-1994
These records reflect the participation of Engineering Department staff in trade associations, especially The Society of the Plastics Industry, Inc. Lloyd Keleny and several others were involved with the Microwave Oven Cookware Committee. The Society was concerned with the absence of standards for microwave ovens and the resulting problem that cookware used in these ovens was not always effective. The Committee gathered data and encouraged the microwave industry to recognize that consistency was needed. There also are files from the Frankfurt International Housewares Fair, 1994. Nordic Ware tried to build its presence internationally, and fairs such as this were opportunities to meet foreign manufacturers and distributors. They also enabled the company to see what was happening on a global level.
Series 5: Financial Records, 1948-1982
These records include financial information for Nordic Ware and other Dalquist interests, including Maid of Scandinavia Company, when it was still joined with Northland Aluminum Products, and the Minnesota Brand of Cookware. The intermixing of financial reports, invoices and receivables, petty cash receipts, and bank statements for the various enterprises demonstrates the close relationship of all of the beginning operations of the Dalquist family. There are many examples of consolidated financial information in the records including the balance sheets, combined financial reports, income statements, and the audit reports. Of particular interest is the accounting ledger (1949-1950) for Plastics for Industry, the Dalquist brothers' original company. It has handwritten entries and shows the company's simplified bookkeeping system. It also provides important financial data on the startup capital and the progress in the first year of business.
Reports created by the research firm Dunn and Bradstreet contain information submitted by the Dalquists to prove their credit worthiness to lenders. Several loan agreements document the company's practice of borrowing money on future earnings in order to meet operating expenses and finance innovation. Machinery owned by Nordic Ware is listed in several factory inventories. The firm also leased machinery instead of buying in order to save money. Inventory summaries (1950-1978) detail the numbers and value of the unsold product then on hand.
Though Nordic Ware stock was never traded publically, there was an employee shareholder plan that included profit sharing. Records in this subseries document the evolution and operation of the plan, including one employee's case for a public offering of the company stock. At some point Dave Dalquist did consider making the company public but decided to maintain private ownership. The emphasis on taking pride and ownership in the company was often repeated in memoranda that Dalquist wrote to employees about stock options. The records show that he was very conscious of morale and high standards of work within the company.
Series 6: Legal Records, 1962-1978
The bulk of these records deals with trademark issues, especially Nordic Ware's creation, licensing, and protection of the "Bundt" mark. Included are copies of correspondence with the law firms that handled applications to the Patent and Trademark Office and correspondence from that office. Correspondence and legal papers document licensing negotiations with Pillsbury and others. In several instances Nordic Ware took legal steps when the Bundt Pan trademark was being misused.
Series 7: Recipes and Cookbooks, 1966-2004, undated
This series is comprised of a large selection of cookbooks and recipe files maintained by Dotty Dalquist and reflect her active role in business activities. She did much of her cooking and experimenting in a test kitchen in her own home and was integral to the preparation of foods to be photographed in Nordic Ware products. These photographs demonstrated the use of the products and were included in the advertisements, catalogs, and product or recipe brochures.
Dotty Dalquist kept recipes, product booklets, notes, and other materials to aid in the development of her own recipes. She organized much of the material by food type, but she also had several files for specific Nordic Ware products. The Bundt Pan was a major product, and the files on it reflect that. As Nordic Ware sought new ways to promote the use of its products, Dalquist's development of new and inventive recipes was a major part of that effort.
Subseries 7.2: Bundt Pan Cookbooks, 1966-2004
Nordic Ware published several books by Dotty Dalquist to promote use of the Bundt Pan. Pillsbury and other firms also published their own books. Pillsbury incorporated its products into the recipes to promote the dual product relationship between the Bundt Pan and the Pillsbury brand of cake mixes. These books were sold in stores and added as premiums to go along with the purchase of the other products.
Subseries 7.3: Other Recipe and Public Relations Materials, 1970-1996, undated
Recipe contests and a cookbook were among the efforts to involve employees with the Nordic Ware products and to generate new recipes and ideas. These files include photographs and entries and correspondence about these employee activities.
A file of correspondence, mainly to and from Dotty Dalquist, concerns problems consumers encountered using specific recipes that she had published. Consumers also wrote about recipes they had tried on their own and could not get satisfactory results with a Nordic Ware product. Dalquist's problem-solving efforts were an example of the personal customer service in which Nordic Ware took pride.
Series 8: Non-Nordic Ware Reference Materials, 1940-2001, undated
The materials in this series were used by Nordic Ware as reference resources. They have been organized into subseries by type.
Dotty Dalquist collected cookbooks published by a wide range of manufacturers and trade organizations. The cookbooks are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the sponsor. Many companies, such as Pillsbury and General Foods, put out these kinds of books to promote their own brands. This may have influenced Dalquist's creation of her own Bundt Pan cookbook.
Subseries 8.2: Product Guides (some with recipes), 1940-1992, undated
These product guides, for appliances and other items used in Dotty Dalquist's kitchen, include use instructions and, often, recipes. Nordic Ware often included recipes in the print materials packaged with its products and associated with its advertising.
Subseries 8.3: Home and Food Related Ephemera, 1950-1980, undated
These materials include booklets of general household hints, recipe cards published by various organizations, and information on food processes.
Subseries 8.4: Periodicals, 1967-2001
Several scrapbooks in this subseries contain clippings from various trade publications. Some focus on Nordic Ware and Northland Aluminum Products in articles or advertisements while others contain industry, including competitors', product advertisements. There are several issues of trade periodicals with Nordic Ware related stories. Trade press clippings also are found in Series 3, Marketing and Sales Records, 1948-2004, Subseries 3, Public Relations, 1948-1992.
Most of these newsletters were for reference use with Nordic Ware's microwave cookware projects. With its extensive line of these microwave products, there was an active effort to stay up to date with the field. The firm also tried to find different kinds of foods and recipes that could be prepared using a microwave oven.
Series 9: Photographs, 1940s-2006, undated
This series consists of a wide range of photographic prints re-housed in archival sleeves and assembled into a single binder. The photographs are arranged roughly by image content and document the Dalquist family and employees; factory and offices scenes, including a series of black and white images by Mel Jacobsen, a commercial photographer; and product displays at trade shows and other locations. The photographs also include a few images of Nordic Ware products and of baked foods and black and white images of plastic molds created by Plastics for Industry. Most of the photographs are undated and many are unidentified. There is a View Master viewer with one viewing card containing photographs assembled for Nordic Ware's sixtieth anniversary in 2006. Series 2, David Dalquist Files, includes five photographs of foods baked in Bundt Pans. Series 3, Marketing and Sales Records, Subseries 1, General and Department Records, 1967-1995, has photographs of a factory outlet store and product displays.
The collection is divided into nine series.
Series 1: Historical and Background Materials, 1940s-2006
Series 2: David Dalquist Files, 1963-1993
Series 3: Marketing and Sales Records, 1948-2004
Subseries 1, General and Department Records, 1967-1995
Subseries 2, Promotional and Trade Sales Materials, 1958-2004
Subseries 3, Public Relations, 1948-1992
Series 4: Engineering Department Records, 1950-1994
In 1946, the year he returned from Navy service in the Pacific, H. David (Dave) Dalquist (1918-2005) joined his brother Mark to launch a new manufacturing firm, Plastics for Industry, in Minneapolis. The two University of Minnesota graduates soon were making foundry patterns and industrial plastic products for area businesses, as well as aluminum consumer cookware. Among their earliest products were ebelskiver pans, krumkake irons, and rosette irons, essential kitchen tools for the area's large Scandinavian population. Their first employee, Donald Nygren, remained as head designer for many decades.
In 1950, the brothers bought Northland Aluminum Products, a small firm with a line of "Nordic Ware" products including griddles and steak platters. The same year, Dave Dalquist created a cast aluminum, fluted cake pan at the request of two local women, members of the Hadassah organization. The women sought to replicate a heavy mold used in Europe. Northland Aluminum registered the trademark "Bundt" for the new product and began to sell it to local department stores. (The women sold manufacturing "seconds" as a fund raiser for their group.) Mark Dalquist created a firm, Maid of Scandinavia, to market products by mail. It separated from Northland Aluminum in 1963. Over the years, Northland Aluminum increasingly used "Nordic Ware" to identify itself for marketing and public relations purposes.
Northland Aluminum created a subsidiary finishing and coating firm, Northland Color Anodizing Company, in 1962. In 1964, Northland became one of the first to license the use of Teflon from its inventor, DuPont, and non-stick products became an important part of the company's line. Northland also did coating work for many industries including medical, computer, and commercial food processing. For many years Northland also had a division to produce heads for video recording machines. Product sales reached $1,000,000 in 1964.
During the 1960s, Nordic Ware grew slowly, gradually increasing its product line to include specialty baking and cookware items and stove-top cookware. The company also expanded its production capacity and built its sales and marketing capabilities, including a national network of sales representatives working on commission. Dorothy Dalquist, Dave's wife, played a vital role in the company's history. She joined him at crucial annual sales conventions to demonstrate products, tested new products, and developed recipes for them in her home kitchen. Additionally, she represented the firm in public relations activities.
Although the Bundt Pan was only one of many Nordic Ware products, it became a national celebrity in 1966 when a Texas woman used it for her prize-winning Tunnel of Fudge Cake in the immensely popular Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. In 1970, Nordic Ware licensed the Bundt trademark to Pillsbury for use with a line of cake mixes. Customers received a cake pan at a small additional price with the purchase of the packaged mix. Although this pan was spun of light aluminum, not cast like the original models, the Pillsbury promotion was very successful. In addition to the classic Bundt design, the company began producing special designs, including a cathedral, a castle, a rose, a heart, and, in 2006, a stadium shaped pan. The Bundt Pan continues to be the most popular cake pan in America, and the company estimates it has sold sixty million pans over the past six decades.
Despite the steady popularity of the Bundt Pan, Dalquist and his firm knew that the spike in Bundt Pan sales resulting from the Pillsbury promotion was temporary, and they continued their strategy of seeking new products to buoy overall sales revenues. In 1978 Nordic Ware developed a "new thermoset plastic molding technology to create an extensive line of cookware designed to work in both conventional and microware ovens."
In these same years, as microwave oven use rapidly spread, Nordic Ware developed its second celebrity product. Designed by the company's own engineers, the Micro-Go-Round was promoted in print and television advertising and is still its most successful product. Since then, Nordic Ware has introduced a wide range of new products, some of them successful (for example, nonstick Barbecue Grill Cookware), others not (including a device to create convection currents in a baking oven and a bicentennial cake platter). Northland Aluminum holds at least twenty-five patents for its products.
Today David Dalquist (born 1949) -- son of founder "Dave Dalquist" and, like his father, an engineer -- heads Nordic Ware. He has been involved with the company for his entire working life with major executive responsibilities since the early 1980s. David Dalquist's mother, Dotty, is on the Board of Directors and serves as Corporate Secretary. David's three sisters—Corrine, Linda, and Susan—are also involved in the business. The firm employs between 200 and 400 people and continues, as a point of pride, to manufacture its products in the United States. The family has refused numerous buyout offers. Nordic Ware has managed to design and market products for the large, low price retailers, including Wal-Mart, and for the upscale, specialty gourmet market. Williams-Sonoma, a leader in the latter field, has exclusive sales for a small number of new Nordic Ware products each year.
For its sixtieth anniversary, Nordic Ware produced a company history, H. David Dalquist, The Nordic Ware Saga: An Entrepreneur's Legacy (Kirk House Publishers, Minneapolis, 2006). The volume provides edited recollections of "Dave," many family members, and other employees drawn from oral history interviews. This finding aid is based largely on that information, other historical sources within the collection, and visits to Nordic Ware offices by National Museum of American History staff members Paula Johnson and Nanci Edwards (June 2006) and Paula Johnson and John Fleckner (August 2006).
The Division of Work and Industry holds thirty-six objects from Nordic Ware (Accession # 2007.0034), including Bundt Pans in a variety of shapes, foundry patterns and molds for Nordic Ware products, a wood panel display of products manufactured by Plastics for Industry, three versions of the Micro-Go-Round, and other kitchenware products.
This collection was donated by Dorothy M. Dalquist and H. David Dalquist in 2007.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
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.
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 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.
Marcel Breuer Associates/Architects and Planners Search this
37.6 Linear feet
The Marcel Breuer papers, 1920-1986, contain biographical material, correspondence, business and financial records, interviews, notes, writings, sketches, project files, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material that document the career of architect and designer Marcel Breuer.
Scope and Contents note:
The Marcel Breuer papers span the years 1920 to 1986 and measure 37.6 linear feet and 0.14 gigabytes. They consist of biographical material, correspondence, business and financial records, interviews, notes, writings, sketches, project files, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material that document Breuer's career as an architect and designer. This material reflects the prolificacy and diversity of his creations, from tubular steel chairs to private residences, college campuses, factories, department stores, and international, municipal, and corporate headquarters and complexes.
The Biographical Material Series contains documents that list or certify significant events or associations attained by Breuer during his career, such as résumés, licenses, and certificates. The number of awards contained in this series attest to the esteem in which he was held by his colleagues.
Breuer's Correspondence Series illustrates the interaction of his various colleagues and the operation of his architectural offices in the execution of their projects, many of which were in progress simultaneously. This series includes letters from Joseph Albers, Jean Arp, Herbert Bayer, Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Naum Gabo, Sigfried Giedion, Walter and Ise Gropius, Louis I. Kahn, György Kepes, László Moholy-Nagy, Henry Moore, Eero Saarinen, and José Luis Sert.
The Business and Financial Records Series contains documents which reflect Breuer's commercial transactions that do not directly relate to one specific project. Two project books pertain to 36 architectural projects and record their basic physical and financial details, such as site measurements and cost projections. There are also miscellaneous invoices and receipts, and one of Breuer's personal income tax returns.
The Interviews Series contains typescripts of interviews. Of particular interest is the audiotape interview of Breuer, who discusses his early years as a student and his first impressions of the Bauhaus. There are also untranscribed audiotape interviews of his colleagues György Kepes and Harry Seidler, and his patrons Mr. A. Elzas, and the Koerfers, who discuss their business relationships with Breuer.
There are address lists of colleagues and patrons and résumés from architects contained within the series on Notes, while the Writings Series contains typescripts of lectures and articles written by Breuer concerning architecture and its history. Writings by others are about Breuer and his work, including typescripts, galleys, and photographs of architectural and design projects used in the publication of the book Marcel Breuer Buildings and Projects, 1921-1961 by Cranston Jones.
The Sketches Series consists of 3 small, hand-drawn depictions of unidentified floor plans.
The largest and most comprehensive series houses the Project Files, which consist of approximately 300 project files containing letters, legal documents, and photographs that record the planning and execution of many of Breuer's most important architectural projects. These include the UNESCO Headquarters Building (Paris, France), St. John's Abbey and University (Collegeville, Minnesota), the IBM Corporation Research Center (La Gaude, France), the HUD Headquarters Building (Washington, D.C.), the De Bijenkorf Department Store (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), and the third power plant and forebay dam for the Grand Coulee Dam (Washington state). The file for the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York contains an interesting set of photographs of Breuer showing Jacqueline Kennedy through the construction site.
Of equal importance are the additional Project Files for the 100 residences designed by Breuer, including prefabricated houses such as Kleinmetalhaus and Yankee Portables, and commissioned residences such as the two Gagarin Houses (Litchfield, Connecticut), the two Harnischmacher Houses (Wiesbaden, Germany), Koerfer House (Moscia, Switzerland), the Neumann House (Croton-on-Hudson, New York), the Saier House (Glanville-Calvados, France), the Staehelin House (Feldmeilen, Switzerland), the Starkey House (Duluth, Minnesota), and the three Rufus Stillman Houses (Litchfield, Connecticut). There are also files concerning the four houses Breuer designed for himself in Lincoln and Wellfleet, Massachusetts, and in New Canaan, Connecticut.
The Project Files for Breuer's furniture designs are not as comprehensive as those for his architectural creations but contain many photographs of his early conceptions for chairs, tables, desks, cabinets, rugs, and tapestries.
The Exhibition Files Series contains primarily photographs of exhibitions in which Breuer participated. The extent of his participation is sometimes difficult to determine, because it ranged from designing a single chair, designing rooms for an apartment or an entire house specifically to be shown in an exhibition, to designing an exhibition building. Breuer was also the subject of a retrospective exhibition sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art. This traveling exhibition was seen in New York City, Chicago, Paris, and Berlin.
Images contained in the Photographs Series are of Breuer, including one of him in Philip Johnson's house, Breuer family members, and colleagues, including Herbert Bayer, Alexander Calder, Serge Chermayeff, Walter and Ise Gropius, and Matta. Three photograph albums in this series contain more than 1,000 photographs of 59 architectural projects.
The Printed Material Series houses general clippings that concern groups of projects, rather than one specific project. There is also a scrapbook of tearsheets concerning architectural projects, exhibition announcements, and catalogs for others, and miscellaneous press releases and brochures.
The Marcel Breuer papers are arranged into 11 series, based on type of document. Each series, except Project Files, has been arranged chronologically. The Project Files Series has been divided into 19 subseries of related architectual and design project types. The overall arrangement reflects Breuer's original arrangement. Each subseries or file group within is arranged alphabetically according to the surname of an individual, or a location name of a university. The contents of each project file have been arranged according to material type and a chronology that best reflects the progression of the project toward completion.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1920-1981 (Boxes 1, 36; Reel 5708; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1986 (Boxes 1-6, OV 47; Reels 5708-5717; 5.3 linear ft.)
Series 3: Business and Financial Records, 1933-1980 (Box 6; Reels 5717-5718; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 4: Interviews, 1963-1985 (Boxes 6-7; Reel 5718; 0.4 linear ft., ER01; 0.14 GB)
Series 5: Notes, 1934-1976 (Box 7; Reel 5718; 0.4 linear ft.)
Series 6: Writings, 1923-1981 (Boxes 7-8; Reels 5718-5720; 1.0 linear ft.)
Series 7: Sketches, circa 1920s-circa 1980 (Box 8; Reel 5720; 1 folder)
Series 8: Project Files, 1921-1986 (Boxes 8-23, 36-40, OVs 43-57; Reels 5720-5737; 27.6 linear ft.)
Series 9: Exhibition files, 1922-1974 (Box 34, OV 49; Reels 5737-5738; 0.8 linear ft.)
Series 10: Photographs, 1928-1979 (Boxes 34, 41-42; Reel 5738; 0.3 linear ft.)
Series 11: Printed Material, 1925-1984 (Boxes 35, 42; Reels 5738-5739; 1.0 linear ft.)
Marcel Lajos Breuer was born on May 21, 1902, in the Danube valley town of Pécs, Hungary, to Jacques Breuer, a physician, and Franciska (Kan) Breuer. His siblings were Hermina and Alexander. Throughout his life, Breuer used his first name only on official documents and preferred that his friends use his middle name, the Hungarian form of "Louis." The diminutive form of this name was usually spelled "Lajkó" and pronounced "Lye-ko."
In 1920, Breuer graduated from the Magyar Királyi Föreáliskola in Pécs. He had received a scholarship to study art in Vienna but took an immediate dislike to the Art Academy there, so searched elsewhere for training. He started working in the studio of a Viennese architect and soon became interested in training in the cabinetmaking shop of the architect's brother. Breuer was not satisfied with this arrangement either, and, upon hearing about the year-old Bauhaus school in Germany, he departed for Weimar in 1921.
Founded and directed by Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus combined the teaching of the pure arts with training in functional technology. Breuer received a master's degree from the Bauhaus in 1924, then studied architecture in Paris, where he first met Le Corbusier.
In 1925, Gropius enticed Breuer to return to the Bauhaus, now relocated in Dessau, by offering him a post as master of the carpentry workshop and a commission to design the interiors of the new Bauhaus buildings. Inspired by his new bicycle's handlebars, Breuer designed his first tubular steel chair, the Wassily chair, named for his friend Wassily Kandinsky. This chair and dozens of other Breuer designs for furnishings were mass-produced by the Thonet Brothers in Germany.
Two years later, in 1928, Breuer left the Bauhaus to begin a private architecture practice in Berlin, emphasizing prefabricated housing and the use of concrete in building. During this time Breuer worked on a designs for the Potsdamer Platz, Spandau-Haselhorst Housing, and a hospital in Elberfeld, and he completed work on the Lewin House and the Harnischmacher Apartment. Due to the deteriorating economic and political conditions in Germany, Breuer closed his Berlin office in 1931 and traveled to Budapest, Zurich, Morocco, Greece, and Spain. Returning to Germany in the following year, he began designing furniture in aluminum. Breuer established his reputation as an architect upon completion of the Harnischmacher House in Wiesbaden, a house notable for the use of contrasting materials and distinctive interiors.
The Nazis closed the Bauhaus in 1933. The following year, Breuer designed the Dolderthal Apartments in Zurich for the Swiss architectural historian Sigfried Giedion. From 1935 to 1937, Breuer settled in London, and became partners with F. R. S. Yorke. During this time he designed for the Isokon ("isometric unit construction") Control Company laminated plywood furniture that became widely imitated.
In 1937, Breuer accepted an invitation from Walter Gropius to join the faculty of the School of Design at Harvard University to teach architecture, and he moved to the United States. Among his students were Edward Larrabee Barnes, Ulrich Franzen, Philip Johnson, I. M. Pei, and Paul Rudolph. Breuer formed a partnership with Gropius in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1937 to 1941. Their firm was engaged primarily in the design of private homes.
In 1946, Breuer moved to New York City, where he established an office in an East 88th Street townhouse. The number of his commissions began to grow slowly, and it was during this time he constructed his own notable residence in New Canaan, Connecticut. He developed the bi-nuclear, or "two-center" house, which was designed to meet the living requirements of modern families by creating functional areas for separate activities.
Breuer's architectural reputation was greatly enhanced when, in 1953, he was commissioned to design, in collaboration with Pier Luigi Nervi and Bernard Zehrfuss, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Headquarters in Paris. During this year, he also began work on a series of innovative buildings for St. John's Abbey and University in Collegeville, Minnesota.
Between 1963 and 1964, Breuer began work on what is perhaps his best-known project, the Whitney Museum of American Art, in New York City. He also established an office with the name Marcel Breuer Architecte, in Paris, to better orchestrate his European projects. Also during this time, Herbert Beckhard, Murray Emslie, Hamilton Smith, and Robert F. Gatje became partners in Marcel Breuer and Associates. When Murray Emslie left a year later, he was replaced by Tician Papachristou, who had been recommended by Breuer's former student, I. M. Pei.
After several moves to increasingly larger office space in New York, Breuer established his largest office at 635 Madison Avenue and 59th Street in 1965. After suffering the first of a series of heart attacks, Breuer reduced his travel to Europe, eventually leaving the management of the Paris office in the hands of Mario Jossa.
Between 1965 and 1973, Marcel Breuer and Associates continued to receive many diverse and important commissions, including the Department of Housing and Urban Development Headquarters Building (Washington, D.C.), showrooms for Scarves by Vera (New York City), the IBM Corporation (La Gaude, France), the Baldegg Convent (Lucerne, Switzerland), Bryn Mawr School for Girls (Baltimore, Maryland), a third power plant for the Grand Coulee Dam, the Australian Embassy (Paris, France), the Armstrong Rubber Company (New Haven, Connecticut), and the State University of New York Engineering Complex (Buffalo). Breuer also designed residences including a second Gagarin House (Litchfield, Connecticut), the Saier House (Glanville-Calvados, France), the Soriano House (Greenwich, Connecticut), and a third Rufus Stillman House (Litchfield, Connecticut).
Due to failing health in 1972, Breuer sold his New Canaan house and moved into Manhattan so he could more easily commute to the office. By 1976, Breuer's health had declined further, and he retired from practice. The name of his firm was subtly changed from Marcel Breuer and Associates to Marcel Breuer Associates, and later to MBA/Architects and Planners.
Marcel Breuer died on July 1, 1981, in New York City.
This chronology below is based on evidence found within the Marcel Breuer Papers. The dating of projects reflects the range of dates encompassed by the files for each project, not the project's actual construction time. Most architectural projects have several equally significant dates from which it is difficult to assign a single date. Significant dates for a building may include the date of groundbreaking, the laying of the cornerstone, or the first opening day. When a project's dates are unknown or uncertain, a question mark in brackets appears at the end of the entry.
1902 -- Marcel Lajos Breuer is born on May 21 in Pécs, Hungary.
1920 -- Breuer graduates from Magyar Királyi Föreáliskola (high school) in Pécs. Breuer travels to Vienna to study art.
1921 -- Breuer enrolls at the Bauhaus, Wiemar, Germany. Furniture designs: tea table; wooden cabinet.
1923 -- Architectural project: apartment house (multistory duplex with continuous terrace gardens). Furniture designs: miscellaneous bureaus.
1924 -- Breuer earns a master's degree from the Bauhaus. Breuer studies architecture in Paris, where he meets Le Corbusier. Furniture designs: desk and bookcase.
1925 -- Breuer returns to the Bauhaus, now located in Dessau, and takes post of master of the carpentry workshop. Architectural projects: Canteen, Bauhaus-Dessau, Germany; Kleinmetallhaus (prefabricated house in steel); Gropius House, Dessau, Germany; Wissinger Apartment, Berlin, Germany [1925?]. Furniture designs: Wassily chair; Rückenlehnstuhl ("back-leaning chair"); tubular steel stool; modular system for cabinets.
1926 -- Breuer marries Martha Erps. Architectural projects: Gröte Residence, Dessau, Germany; Moholy-Nagy Apartment and Studio, Berlin, Germany; Muche House, Dessau, Germany; Piscator Apartment, Berlin, Germany; Thost House, Hamburg, Germany. Furniture designs:(modular) system for unit furniture; dining room chair; tubular steel chair; office chair; storage wall unit. Exhibition: Bauhaus Exhibition, Dessau, Germany; table for Kandinsky's Master's Studio.
1930 -- Breuer meets György Kepes in Berlin. Architectural project: Boroschek Apartment, Berlin, Germany. Exhibitions: Bauhaus Exhibition, Berlin-Germany, House for a Sportsman, Cork Industry Display; Paris Werkbund Exhibition, Paris, France, Wohn Hotel, Vitrine and Cabinets, and Klubraum Gropius.
1931 -- Breuer closes the Berlin office and travels in Europe and North Africa. Architectural project: Reidemeister Residence, Berlin, Germany. Furniture design: bookcase. Exhibition: Bauausstellung Exhibition, Berlin, Germany, Mitarbeiter Hassenpflug Apartment.
1932 -- Breuer returns to Germany.
1933 -- Nazis close the Bauhaus. Architectural project: Harnischmacher House I, Wiesbaden, Germany. Furniture designs: aluminum chairs; aluminum tables.
1934 -- Breuer divorces Martha Erps. Architectural project: Dolderthal Apartments, Zurich, Switzerland. Exhibition Building Competition, Budapest Spring Fair, Budapest, Hungary.
1935 -- Breuer moves to London and forms partnership with F. R. S. Yorke. Furniture designs: Isokon chairs; plywood nesting tables; plywood dining table. Exhibition: Heal's "Seven Architects" Exhibition, London, England; Designs for two chairs.
1936 -- Architectural projects: Motley Fashion Shop, London, England; London Theatre Studio, London, England; Clifton House (Crofton Gane House), Bristol, England; Sea Lane House, Angmering-on-Sea, Sussex, England; Ventris Apartment, London, England. Exhibitions: Royal Show, Bristol, England, Gane's Pavilion; British Cement and Concrete Association Exhibition, London, England, Garden City of the Future (civic center).
1937 -- Breuer and Yorke dissolve their partnership. Breuer moves to the United States to teach at Harvard. Breuer and Walter Gropius establish Walter Gropius and Marcel Breuer, Associated Architects. Architectural project: Obergurgl Ski Lodge, Obergurgl, Austria.
1938 -- Architectural projects: Wheaton College Competition, Art Center, Norton, Massachusetts; Fischer House and Studio, Newtown, Pennsylvania; Gropius House, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Haggerty House, Cohasset, Massachusetts; Margolius House, Palm Springs, California. Furniture design: cabinet with hinged drawers. Exhibition: "Marcel Breuer and the American Tradition in Architecture," Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1939 -- Architectural projects: Black Mountain College, Black Mountain, North Carolina; Breuer House, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Ford House, Lincoln, Massachusetts; Frank House, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Exhibition: New York World's Fair, Flushing Meadows, New York; Pennsylvania Pavilion.
1943 -- Architectural projects: South Boston Redevelopment Project, Boston, Massachusetts; Stuyvesant Six (housing development), New York, New York; Wellfleet Housing Development, Bi-Nuclear "H" House, Wellfleet, Massachusetts.
1944 -- Architectural projects: Van Leer Vatenfabrieken N.V., Office Building, Amstelveen, The Netherlands; 1200 Square Foot House, Florida; Geller House I, Lawrence, Long Island, New York; East River Apartments, New York, New York; Long Beach Nurses' Residence, Long Beach, Long Island, New York.
1945 -- Architectural projects: Eastern Airlines Ticket Office, Boston, Massachusetts; Smith College Competition, Dormitories, Northampton, Massachusetts; Unidentified Memorial, [location unknown]; Cambridge War Memorial, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Florida House, Miami Heights, Florida; Tompkins House, Hewlett Harbor Village, Long Island, New York.
1946 -- Breuer and family move to New York City. Breuer establishes an office on East 88th Street. Architectural projects: Small House Competition; Martine House, Stamford, Connecticut; Preston Robinson House, Williamstown, Massachusetts.
1947 -- Architectural projects: Breuer House I, New Canaan, Connecticut; Scott House, Dennis, Massachusetts; Thompson House, Ligonier, Pennsylvania.
1948 -- Architectural projects: Ariston Club, Mar del Plata, Argentina; Breuer Cottage, Wellfleet, Massachusetts; Kniffin House, New Canaan, Connecticut; Witalis House, Saddle Rock, Kings Point, New York; Wise Cottage, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Exhibition: Low Cost Furniture Competition, Museum of Modern Art, New York, Cutout plywood chair.
1949 -- Publication of book, Marcel Breuer: Architect and Designer, by Peter Blake. Architectural projects: United States Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO); Headquarters, Paris, France; Clark House, Orange, Connecticut; Herrick House, Canajoharie, New York; Hooper Residence Additions, Baltimore, Maryland; Marshad House, Croton-on-Hudson, New York; Smith House, Aspen, Colorado; Tilley House, Middletown, New Jersey; Wolfson Trailer House, Pleasant Valley, New York. Exhibition: Museum of Modern Art Exhibition, New York, New York, House in museum garden.
1950 -- Breuer moves his office to East 37th Street, New York. Architectural projects: Alaska Air Terminal, Anchorage, Alaska [1950?]; Sarah Lawrence College, Arts Center, Bronxville, New York; Vassar College, Dwight Ferry House (a cooperative dormitory), Poughkeepsie, New York; Aspen House, Aspen, Colorado; Englund House, Pleasantville, New York; Hanson House, Lloyd Harbor, Huntington, Long Island, New York; Lauck House, Princeton, New Jersey; McComb House, Poughkeepsie, New York; Mills House, New Canaan, Connecticut; Pack House, Scarsdale, New York; Rufus Stillman House I, Litchfield, Connecticut.
1951 -- Architectural projects: Grosse Pointe Public Library, Grosse Pointe, Michigan; Aufricht House Addition, Mamaroneck, New York; Breuer House II, New Canaan, Connecticut; Caesar House, Lakeville, Connecticut. Furniture design: Canaan desk.
1952 -- Architectural projects: Scarves by Vera, Showroom, New York, New York; Levy House, Princeton, New Jersey; George Robinson House, Redding Ridge, Connecticut; Tibby House, Port Washington, New York.
1953 -- Architectural projects: Bantam Elementary School, Litchfield, Connecticut; Litchfield High School, Litchfield, Connecticut; Northfield Elementary School, Litchfield, Connecticut; St. John's Abbey and University, Monastery Wing, Abbey Church and Bell Banner, Collegeville, Minnesota; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Oakville, Ontario, Canada; De Bijenkorf Department Store and Garage, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Calabi House, Lagrangeville, New York; Crall House, Gates Mills, Ohio; Gagarin House I, Litchfield, Connecticut; Neumann House, Croton-on-Hudson, New York; Snower House, Kansas City, Missouri; Edgar Stillman House, Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Exhibition: Tile Council of America Exhibition, New York, New York, Patio-Bathroom.
1954 -- Architectural projects: New London Railroad Station, New London, Connecticut; Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey; Grieco House, Andover, Massachusetts; Harnischmacher House II, Wiesbaden, Germany; Karsten House, Owings Mills, Maryland; Starkey House (formerly Alworth House), Duluth, Minnesota.
1955 -- Publication of book, Sun and Shadow: The Philosophy of an Architect, edited by Peter Blake. Architectural projects: New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, Train "X," Budd "Hot Rod," Budd "Flying Cloud," and ACF Talgo Locomotives and Passenger Cars, Rye Railroad Station, Rye, New York [1955?]; Connecticut Junior Republic Association Dormitory, Litchfield, Connecticut; Torrington High School, Torrington, Connecticut; Hunter College, Library, Classrooms, and Administration Building, Bronx, New York; Annunciation Priory, Bismarck, North Dakota; O. E. McIntyre, Inc. Plant, Westbury, Long Island, New York; Laaff House, Andover, Massachusetts; McGinnis Apartment, Biltmore, New York, New York; McGinnis House, Charlmont, Massachusetts. Exhibition: Good Design Exhibition, Museum of Modern Art, New York, New York, Hyperbolic Paraboloid.
1956 -- Breuer moves his office to Third Avenue and 57th Street, New York. Breuer is the first recipient of La Rinascente's Compasso d'Oro Prize. Architectural projects: U.S. Embassy, The Hague, The Netherlands; Boston and Maine Railroad, North Station Industrial Building; Boston and Maine Railroad, Fairbanks Morse Locomotive and Passenger Cars; New Haven Railroad Station, New Haven, Connecticut; New York University, University Heights Campus, Bronx, New York; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Van Nuys, California; Wohnbedarf Furniture Showroom, Zurich, Switzerland; Hooper House, Baltimore, Maryland; Krieger House, Bethesda, Maryland; Staehelin House, Feldmeilen, Switzerland.
1957 -- Breuer receives an honorary doctorate from the University of Budapest. Architectural project: Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, New York. Exhibitions: International Autumn Fair, Vienna, Austria, U.S. Pavilion; "Amerika Baut" ("America Builds"), Marshall House, Berlin, Germany.
1958 -- Breuer becomes a Fellow of the American Institute of Architects. Architectural projects: El Recreo Urban Center, Caracas, Venezuela; St. John's Abbey and University, St. Thomas Aquinas Residence Hall, Collegeville, Minnesota; Halvorson House, Dryberry Lake Area, Kenora, Ontario, Canada; Recreational Apartments, Tanaguarena, Venezuela. Exhibitions: "Ars Sacra" Exhibition, Louvain, France; Concrete Industries Exposition, Cleveland, Ohio, The Pavilion.
1959 -- Architectural projects: Whitby Elementary School, Greenwich, Connecticut; Ustinov House, Vevey, Switzerland. Exhibitions: "U.S. Architecture in Moscow," Moscow, U.S.S.R.; "1960 National Gold Medal Exhibition of the Building Arts," Museum of Contemporary Crafts, New York, New York, Photographic Displays of Various Breuer Projects; "Form Givers at Mid-Century" (traveling exhibition), Photographic Displays of Various Breuer Projects.
1960 -- Architectural projects: Flaine Ski Resort Town, Haute-Savoie, France; St. John's Abbey and University, Library, Collegeville, Minnesota; Brookhaven National Laboratory (for Nuclear Research), Upton, Long Island, New York; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Rochester, Indiana; Abraham & Straus Department Store, Facade, Hempstead, Long Island, New York; McMullen Beach House, Mantoloking, New Jersey.
1961 -- Architectural projects: St. Francis de Sales Church, Church and Rectory, Muskegon, Michigan; Temple B'Nai Jeshurun, Short Hills, Millburn Township, New Jersey; One Charles Center, Baltimore, Maryland; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Research Center, La Gaude, France; Fairview Heights Apartments, Ithaca, New York. Exhibitions: "Bauhaus" [location unknown]; "New Forms in Concrete," American Federation of Arts (traveling exhibition).
1962 -- Publication of book, Marcel Breuer Buildings and Projects, 1921-1961, by Cranston Jones. Architectural projects: Torrington Manufacturing Company, Machine Division, Torrington, Connecticut; Scarves by Vera, Showroom, Los Angeles, California; Kacmarcik House, St. Paul, Minnesota. Exhibition: "Fourth Biennale of Present-Day Christian Art," Salzburg Dome, Salzburg, Austria.
1963 -- Herbert Beckhard, Murray Emslie, and Hamilton Smith become partners in Marcel Breuer and Associates. Architectural projects: Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Headquarters Building, Washington, D.C.; Hoboken Terminal Building, Hoboken, New Jersey; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York; Grand Central Air Rights Building, 175 Park Avenue, New York, New York; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Nivelles, Belgium; Koerfer House, Moscia, Tessin, Switzerland; Van der Wal House, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Exhibitions: "Recent American Synagogue Architecture," The Jewish Museum, New York, New York; "Churches and Temples: Postwar Architecture," American Institute of Architects, Pepsi Cola Gallery, New York, New York; "On Campus: Recent Buildings," American Federation of Arts (traveling exhibition).
1964 -- Breuer establishes an office near the Parc des Expositions, Paris, France. Robert F. Gatje becomes a partner in Marcel Breuer and Associates. Murray Emslie leaves, and Tician Papachristou joins Marcel Breuer and Associates. Architectural projects: Boston Redevelopment Parcel 8 Competition, Boston, Massachusetts; ZUP (Zone à Urbaniser par Priorité/"Zone Designated for Priority Urbanization") Community, Bayonne, France; New York University, University Heights Campus, Technology Building II, Bronx, New York; St. John's Abbey and University, Science Hall, and Auditorium, Collegeville, Minnesota; Yale University, Becton Center for Engineering and Applied Science, New Haven, Connecticut; St. Luke's Church, Fairport, New York; Franklin Delano Roosevelt Memorial, Washington, D.C.; Scarves by Vera, Showroom and Offices, 417 Fifth Avenue, New York, New York; De Gunzburg Houses, Megève, Haute-Savoie, France; Rufus Stillman House II, Litchfield, Connecticut. Exhibition: "Art in the United States" Part III, ("Architecture in the U.S.A."), Brearley School, New York, New York.
1965 -- Breuer's Paris office (Marcel Breuer Architecte) moves to 48 rue Chapon in the third arrondissement. Breuer's New York office moves to 635 Madison Avenue and 59th Street. Breuer suffers the first of a series of heart attacks while in New York in August. Architectural projects: Interama (Community for Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay), Miami, Fla.; Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) Headquarters, Washington, D.C.; State School for the Mentally Retarded, Nassau County, New York; Cardinal Stritch College (Tri-Arts Center), Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Mary College, Bismarck, North Dakota; University of Massachusetts, Murray Lincoln Campus Center and Parking Structure, Amherst, Massachusetts; Laboratoires Sarget, Corporate Headquarters and Pharmaceutical Plant, Bordeaux, France; Purdue Frederick Company, Corporate Headquarters, Bordeaux, France; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Swindon, England; Torrington Manufacturing Company, Administration Building, Torrington, Connecticut. Exhibition: "Architecture of Industry," Architectural League of New York, (traveling exhibition).
1966 -- Breuer and Robert F. Gatje move back to the New York office. Eric Cercler and Mario Jossa are left in charge of the Paris office. Architectural projects: Sports Park, Corona-Flushing Meadow Park, Queens, New York; Charlotte Hungersford Hospital, Torrington, Connecticut; Stables Competition, Central Park, New York, New York; St. John's Abbey and University, Student Residence Hall II and Student Center and Swimming Pavilion, Collegeville, Minnesota. Furniture design: Tapestries. Exhibitions: Svoboda & Company Furniture Exhibition," Selection 66," Vienna, Austria; School of Architecture Exhibition, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma; "Rugs," Stephen Radich Gallery, New York, New York; "Bauhaus: A Teaching Idea," Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1967 -- Architectural projects: Campus High School, Secondary Education Complex, Madison Park Urban Renewal Area, Boston, Massachusetts; Kent School, Girls' Chapel, Kent, Connecticut; St. John's Abbey and University, Ecumenical and Cultural Research Center, Collegeville, Minnesota; Cleveland Museum of Art, Education Wing, Cleveland, Ohio; Baldegg Convent, Mother House Institute, near Lucerne, Switzerland; Cleveland Trust Company, Bank and Office Building, Cleveland, Ohio; Grand Coulee Dam, Columbia Basin Project Third Power Plant and Forebay Dam, Douglas County, Washington; Geller House II, Lawrence, Long Island, New York; Kreizel House Addition, [location unknown]; Soriano House, Greenwich, Connecticut.
1968 -- Breuer is awarded the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Architects. Breuer is awarded the Jefferson Foundation Medal in Architecture from the University of Virginia. Architectural projects: Olgiata Parish Church, Rome, Italy; Harrison-State Development Corporation, Office Building, Bristol Center, Syracuse, New York; Armstrong Rubber Company, New Haven, Connecticut; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Expansion of Headquarters Facility, Armonk, New York; International Business Machines Corporation (IBM), Offices, Laboratories, and Manufacturing Facility, Boca Raton, Florida; Scarves by Vera, Showroom, 1411 Broadway, New York, New York; Rosenberg House, [location unknown].
1969 -- Mario Jossa is made sole director of the Paris office. Architectural projects: West Queens High School, Long Island City, Queens, New York; Harvard University, Bio-Chemistry Building, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Boston Office Building, 60 State Street, Boston, Massachusetts. Exhibition: "Le Bauhaus: 1919-1969," Musée National d'Art Moderne et Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris, France.
1970 -- Breuer receives an honorary doctorate from Harvard University. Publication of book, Marcel Breuer New Buildings and Projects, by Tician Papachristou. Architectural projects: Australian Embassy, Paris, France; Bryn Mawr School for Girls, Baltimore, Maryland; State University of New York at Buffalo, Engineering and Applied Science Complex, Buffalo, New York; University of Virginia, Physics Building, Charlottesville, Virginia. Exhibition: ["Marcel Breuer"?], Szépmuvészeti Múzeum (Museum of Fine Arts), Budapest, Hungary.
1971 -- Architectural projects: Acquitaine Coast Resort, Port Contis, France; Atlanta Central Library, Atlanta, Georgia; Pine Ridge High School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota; Marlborough-Gerson Gallery, New York, New York; European Investment Bank, Kirchberg Plateau, Luxembourg; Torin Corporation, Tech Center, Building 1, Torrington, Connecticut.
1972 -- Breuer suffers another heart attack in Kabul, Afghanistan. Breuer sells his house in New Canaan and moves to 63rd Street, New York. Architectural projects: Clarksburg Public Library, Clarksburg, West Virginia; Southern New England Telephone Company (SNET), Traffic Service Position; Systems Building, Torrington, Connecticut; American Press Institute, Conference Center, Reston, Virginia; Afghanistan Hotels, Kabul and Bamyan, Afghanistan; Picker House, Lake Carmel, New York; Saier House, Glanville-Calvados, France. Exhibitions: "Breuer en France," Knoll International, Paris, France; "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York.
1973 -- Architectural projects: Heckscher Museum, Expansion Project, Huntington, New York; Defendon Pharma, Limburg an der Lahn, Germany; Torin Corporation, Sculpture, Torrington, Connecticut; Torin Corporation, Assembly Plant, Lawton, Oklahoma; Gagarin House II, Litchfield, Connecticut; Rufus Stillman House III, Litchfield, Connecticut. Exhibition: "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, Illinois.
1974 -- Architectural projects: Strom Thurmond Courthouse and Federal Office Building, Columbia, South Carolina; Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority, Red Line Subway Expansion, Cambridge, Massachusetts. Exhibitions: "The Flowering of American Folk Art," Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, New York, Installation designed by Breuer and Hamilton Smith; "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Centre de Création Industrielle, Pavillon de Marsan, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, France.
1975 -- Architectural projects: Lawton Community, Lawton, Oklahoma; Mundipharma, Limburg, Germany; Andrew Geller Shoes, Inc., Showroom, New York, New York; Mt. Tochal Hotel, Tehran, Iran. Exhibition: "Marcel Breuer at the Metropolitan Museum of Art" (traveling exhibition), Bauhaus-Archiv, Berlin-Charlottenburg, Germany.
1976 -- Breuer retires from practice. Marcel Breuer and Associates becomes Marcel Breuer Associates and later MBA/Architects and Planners. Architectural projects: Sadat City Ministries Complex, Cairo, Egypt; National Museum of American Amusement, [location unknown]; Torin Corporation, Penrith, Australia; Mideast Market (fish, meat, and vegetable market), Kuwait; Cairo Airport Hotel, Cairo, Egypt; Bratti House, New Canaan, Connecticut.
1977 -- Mario Jossa becomes a partner in MBA/Architects and Planners. Architectural projects: BAFO Warehouse, Springfield, Virginia; ITT Palm Coast Condominiums, Flagler Beach, Florida. Exhibition: "Art and Contemporary Architecture," David Findlay Galleries, New York, New York.
1978 -- Breuer receives the Grand Médaille d'Or from the Academy of Architecture, France. Architectural projects: Litchfield County Courthouse, Litchfield, Connecticut; Grand Coulee Dam, Columbia River Basin Project, Visitors Arrival Center, Douglas County, Washington.
1979 -- Architectural project: Boyarsky House, Lawrence, New York.
1980 -- Breuer receives an honorary doctorate from the Parsons School of Design. MBA/Architects and Planners moves to 26th Street, New York. MBA/Architects and Planners sells the Paris practice to Mario Jossa. Architectural projects: Pall Corporation, Headquarters and Parking Structure, Glen Cove, New York; Philip Morris, Inc., Manufacturing Facility, Cabarrus County, North Carolina; Pittsburgh Convention Center Hotel, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
1981 -- Marcel Breuer dies on July 1 in New York City. Architectural projects: N F & M Corporation, Jericho, New York; Garces House, Cali, Colombia.
1982 -- Herbert Beckhard leaves the partnership in November. Architectural projects: Xerox Corporation, [location unknown]; General Electric Company, Waldorf Towers Apartment, New York, New York; General Electric Company, Chairman's Office Competition, New York, New York; General Electric Company, Corporate Guest Facility and Helipad, Lewisboro, New York.
1983 -- Partnership now called Gatje Papachristou Smith, and is located in offices on lower Fifth Avenue, New York. Architectural project: 44th Street Precinct House, Bronx, New York.
1986 -- Partnership of Gatje Papachristou Smith dissolved.
Related Archival Materials note:
Additional blueprints and drawings by Breuer are located at Syracuse University.
A presentation book for the IBM Research Center in La Gaude, France, is located in the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.
The collection was donated to the Archives of American Art in five installments, 1985-1999, by Constance Breuer, widow of Marcel Breuer.
The microfilm for this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
5.3 Linear feet (Boxes 1-6, OV 47; Reels 5708-5717)
Scope and Contents note:
Correspondents in this series include a wide range of international architects, designers, and artists who interacted with Breuer. The letters discuss his training and the execution of his hundreds of architectural projects and designs for furnishings. Researchers will find the letters between Breuer and his Bauhaus colleagues, including Josef Albers, Herbert Bayer, Walter Gropius, and László Moholy-Nagy, of particular interest.
Appendix A: List of Notable Correspondents from Series 2: Correspondence
The files are arranged chronologically, with the undated letters arranged alphabetically according to the correspondents' surnames.
Appendix A: List of Notable Correspondents from Series 2: Correspondence:
Aalto, Alvar, 1964 (1 invitation): to reception honoring Aalto
Abercrombie, Stan (architect), 1964-1977 (8 letters)
Abramovitz, Max (Harrison & Abramovitz, Architects), 1947 (3 letters) and 1963 invitation from Brandeis University in honor of Abramovitz
Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1975 (2 letters): from Breuer's office Académie d'Architecture, 1976-1979 (4 letters)
Acme Laboratory Equipment Company, 1950 (1 letter): from Breuer's office ács, Gábor and Anikó, 1956 (1 letter)
Agel, Jerome B. (Agel & Friend), 1959 (1 letter): includes press release
Agostini, Edward (Becker and Becker Associates), 1969 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Airflow Refrigeration, 1954: (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Alabama Polytechnic Institute, 1947 (1 letter)
Albers, Josef ("Juppy") and Anni (Black Mountain College), 1933-1958 (11 letters): a 1956 letter includes miscellaneous typescripts by Albers and clippings; a 1965 letter to the Phoenix Art Museum from William A. Leonard of the Contemporary Arts Center concerns an Albers exhibition and includes a list of works; a 1967 letter from Breuer to National Institute of Arts and Letters includes a typescript concerning Albers
Alexander, H. J. W. (Architectural Association), 1957-1958 (4 letters)
Alpern, Robert, 1964 (letter from Breuer)
B. Altman & Company, 1951 (1 letter)
Aluminum Company of America (ALCOA), 1946-1964 (2 letters)
Aluminum Import Corporation, 1946 (2 letters)
Alvarez, Raúl J., 1968 (1 letter)
American Academy in Rome, 1947-1961 (4 letters): request recommendations for Frederic S. Coolidge, Arthur Myhrum, and Thomas B. Simmons
American Academy of Arts and Letters, 1965-1978 (10 letters): a letter 1967 is a nomination by Walter Gropius for Sigfried Giedion's honorary membership in American Academy of Arts and Letters and National Institute of Arts and Letters; see National Institute of Arts and Letters
American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1977 (1 letter)
American Academy of Political and Social Science, 1946 (1 letter)
American Arbitration Association, 1960-1968 (52 letters)
American Church in Paris, 1966 (1 letter): from Robert F. Gatje
American Council for Emigres in the Professions, Inc., undated: letter introduces Viola Kondor
American Craftsmen's Council (Mrs. Vanderbilt Webb), 1967 (1 letter)
American Designer's Institute, 1947 (convention schedule)
American Export and Isbrandtsen Lines, 1963 (1 letter)
American Federation of Arts, 1958-1967 (8 letters)
American Field Service, 1956 (1 ): letter from Breuer on behalf of Danielle Eyquem
American Fork & Hoe Company, 1944 (1 letter)
American Hungarian Studies Foundation (August J. Molnár), 1964-1968 (10 letters): a 1967 invitation is to George Washington Awards Dinner in honor of Breuer, Watson Kirkconnel, and Hans Selye
American Institute of Architects, 1946-1976 (45 letters): membership applications for Edward Larrabee Barnes, Landis Gores, John MacL. Johansen, George Sherman Lewis, A. McVoy McIntyre, Robert Hays Rosenberg, Bernard Rudofsky); a 1963 letter from Breuer's office concerns a Skyscraper Architecture survey team from Japan; a 1968 letter concerns the Comité Organizador de Los Juegos de la XIX Olimpiada
American Institute of Architects, College of Fellows, 1976 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
American Institute of Architects, Jury of Fellows, 1960 (3 letters): from Breuer
American Institute of Architects, Library Buildings Award Program, 1967 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
American Institute of Architects, New York Chapter, 1945-1963 (16 letters)
American Institute of Decorators (Richard F. Bach), 1956 (1 letter)
American Institute of Interior Design in Switzerland (Charles D. Gandy and Susan Zimmermann), 1977-1978 (2 letters)
American-Jewish Congress: see Commission on Community Interrelations (CCI)
American Library Association, 1951-1968 (2 letters)
American Planning and Civic Association, undated: membership notice
American Press Institute, 1974-1975 (5 letters): from Breuer
American Radiator and Standard Sanitary Corporation, 1947 (1 letter): from Breuer
American Shakespeare Festival, 1954 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
American Society for Church Architecture, 1965-1966 (4 letters)
American Society for Friendship with Switzerland, 1969 (1 letter)
American Society of Interior Decorators, 1976 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
American Society of Planners and Architects (ASPA), 1945-1947 (12 letters)
Anderson, Lawrence B., 1945-1965 (2 letters): see American Society of Planners and Architects (ASPA)
András, Ivánka, 1957 (1 letter)
Andrews, Robert, 1956 (1 letter)
Aoyagi, Nobuo, 1964 (1 letter)
Aoyagi, Tetsu, 1965 (1 letter)
Arbelaez, Carlos, 1952 (1 letter): from Breuer)
Architects & Engineers Institute, 1959 (1 letter)
Architects' Collaborative, 1946-1959 (3 letters): see McMillan, Louis and Peggy
Architectural Association, London, 1965-1969 (7 letters): see project file for UNESCO for correspondence with Edward J. Carter Architectural Design, 1960 (1 letter): from Ernesto Fuenmayor and Manuel Sayago of Centro Profesional del Este)
Architectural Forum, 1960 (1 letter): from Leonard J. Currie
Architectural Group, (W. D. Wilson), 1947 (1 letter)
Architectural League of New York, 1947-1975: (26 letters and minutes from 6 meetings): see Ketchum, Morris
Architectural Record, 1946-1959 (9 letters)
Architectural Students Association, 1958 (1 letter)
Architecture Formes Fonctions, 1971 (3 letters): includes a typescript "Design Research in Concrete" for July 1971 magazine
Architektur + Wohnwelt, 1975 (3 letters)
Argan, Giulio Carlo, 1955-1957 (6 letters)
Arizona, University of, 1974 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Bergen County Cut Stone Company, 1967 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Bergen, Emiel, 1956 (1 letter)
Berger, Donald (North Dakota Agricultural College), 1953 (1 letter)
Berger, George, 1950 (1 letter)
Berger, Otti, undated and 1934-1937 (7 letters)
Berger, Sanford and Helen (architects), 1945 (1 letter): from
Breuer to László Moholy-Nagy and Ludwig Mies Van der Rohe introducing the Bergers
Berger, Stephen E., 1959 (1 letter)
Berizzi, Sergio, 1959 (4 letters): letters of introduction
Berko, Franz, 1946-1947 (5 letters): including one from László Moholy-Nagy
Berlin Interbau, (International Building Exhibition), 1957 (1 letter): from mayor of Berlin
Berndt, Marianne, 1933 (1 letter)
Berti, Vincent, 1974 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Better-Philadelphia Exhibition (Richard A. Protheroe, Harry
B. Nason, Hugh B. Sutherland), 1947 (1 letter)
Bevington, Alistair M., 1959 (1 letter): includes résumé
Bevington, Mariette (stained-glass designer), 1967 (1 letter): to Herbert Beckhart
Bharadwaj, Ajaya, 1955 (2 letters)
Biasini, E. J. (French prime minister), 1972 (1 letter)
Biddle, Mrs. Francis, 1962-1968 (3 letters): includes a funeral announcement for her husband)
Biddle, George, 1965 (4 letters): 3 from Breuer
Bier, Justus (University of Louisville), 1938 (3 letters)
Bigeleisen, Jacob (University of Rochester), 1970 (1 letter) Ronald S. Biggins and Associates, 1958 (1 letter)
Bijenkorfbeheer N.V., Amsterdam, 1967-1974 (2 letters): from Breuer
Bill, Alexander H., Jr., undated (1 calling card)
Blake, Peter (architect), undated and 1950-1976 (41 letters): a 1958 letter from Breuer is illustrated with a hand-drawn map by
Blake of Easthampton property
Blanton, John A., 1951 (1 letter)
Blaustein, Morton K., 1963-1965 (2 letters)
Bliss, Douglas P. (Glasgow School of Art), 1947 (1 letter): from Breuer
Bloeme, Sidney, 1963 (1 memorandum): from James S. Plaut
Blum, Kurt (photographer), 1974 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Bode, Paul (architect), 1956 (1 letter)
Bodri, Ferenc, 1967-1975 (3 letters): 2 1975 letters from Breuer
Boehringer Ingelheim, Ltd., 1975 (1 letter): from Breuer
Bogner, Walter, 1938-1960 (4 letters): see Project File for UNESCO
Boissonnas, Eric and Sylvie, undated and 1960-1978 (20 letters)
Bollingen Foundation, 1964 (1 invitation): to reception in honor of Sigfried Giedion
Bonaparte, Mrs. Robert L., 1955 (1 letter)
Bonomi, Maria, undated and 1958 (2 letters)
Bookman, Mrs. John, 1964 (1 letter)
Borbíró, Virgil (Hungarian architect), 1945-1956 (2 letters): includes Borbíró's obituary
Borglum, Paul, 1950 (1 letter): see Project File for UNESCO
Born, Karl, 1968 (1 letter): from Breuer
Borsódy, István ("Stephen"; historian; Hungarian Legation) and Zsóka, 1946-1965 (5 letters): 1951 letter includes a biographical sketch of Borsódy by Aladár Szegedy-Maszák
Bortfeldt, Hermann (Büro Willy Brandt), 1963 (1 letter)
Bosch, Robert, 1934 (2 letters)
Bosserman, Joseph Norwood, 1963-1967 (2 letters)
Bosshard, J., 1956 (1 letter)
Boston Architectural Center, 1968 (1 letter)
Boston Redevelopment Authority, 1970 (1 letter)
Boston Society of Architects, 1946 (1 letter): from Breuer to John R. Abbott
Botond, Stephen G. ("Pista"; architect), 1958-1960 (2 letters): includes wedding announcement for Botond and Patricia Potter Luce
Bouchet, Maxime, 1953 (5 letters)
Bourget, Inc., 1955 (2 letters): from Breuer's office
Bower, John, 1954 (1 letter)
Bozzola, Vittorio, 1964 (2 letters)
Bradford, Carol (Mrs. Amory H. Bradford), 1951 (1 letter): from Breuer
Brandon-Jones, John, 1958 (1 letter)
Brandstätter, Elsbeth, 1936-1937 (2 letters)
Brassaï, Gyula Halász (Romanian photographer), undated (1 calling card): no signature
Peter Bratti Associates, 1974-1975 (2 letters): from Breuer
Bratti, Peter (A. Tozzini Tile Works, Inc.), 1958 (1 letter)
Braun, Wolfgang, 1968 (1 letter): from Breuer
Braziller, George, 1966 (1 letter)
Bremer, Paul and Nina, 1975 (2 letters)
Breuer, Constance (née Leighton), 1947-1982 (22 letters): from Breuer and Breuer's office; a 1967 letter, 1967, from French filmmaker Gerard Calisti is routed from Robert Osborn; an invitation from M. Knoedler and Company concerns reception for Lina Kandinsky
Breuer, Francesca, undated and 1966-1973 (3 letters): includes a letter of recommendation from Tician Papachristou
Breuer, Hermina, 1950 (1 telegram): from Breuer
Brewer-Cantelmo Company, Inc., 1966 (3 letters): from Breuer's office
Brewer, Joseph, 1965 (1 letter)
Brewster, George W. W., Jr., undated and 1946 (2 letters)
Brey, David M. (architect), 1950 (1 letter)
Breydert, Katherine, 1946 (1 letter)
Brickel/Eppinger, Inc., 1963 (3 letters)
Brigham, Richard C., 1954 (1 letter)
Brion, Maud (secretary to Eric Cercler), 1966-1972 (10 letters)
Brissenden, Norine (Mrs. P. R. Brissenden), 1947 (1 letter)
British Chair Company, 1954 (1 letter): from Breuer's office
Hudnut, Joseph ("Vi"; Harvard University) and Claire, undated and 1946-1947 (3 letters): see American Society of Planners and Architects (ASPA); Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM), Chapter for Relief and Post-War Planning; Harvard University, Graduate School of Design
Hug, Hattula Moholy-Nagy (daughter of László Moholy-Nagy), 1976 (1 letter)
Murray, J. A. (University of Toronto School of Architecture), 1947-1956 (3 letters)
Murrow, Mrs. Edward R., 1961 (1 letter)
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, 1969 (2 letters)
Museu de Arte Moderna do Rio de Janeiro, 1954 (1 letter)
Museu de Arte Moderna do São Paulo, 1956 (1 letter concerning IV Bienal de S. Paulo)
Museum of Contemporary Crafts, 1967 (7 letters)
Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1941-1976 (49 letters)
Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, 1967 (3 letters)
Museum of the City of New York, 1959 (2 letters)
Muskat, Irving E., 1968 (2 letters)
Mutsu, Masako, 1964-1965 (2 letters): from Breuer
Myers, John S. and Shirlee, 1955-1959 (4 letters)
Myers, Ralph E., 1958 (2 letters)
Myers, Robert L., 1950 (1 letter)
Nadeau, Eleanor Saxe, 1950 (1 letter)
Nader, Fouzieh, 1972 (2 letters)
Nagare, Masayuki, 1963-1965 (6 letters): 5 letters from Breuer
Nagel, Chester (architect), 1968 (1 letter)
Nagy Iván, Dr. Vitéz (Ministry Secretary), undated (1 letter)
Najibullah, Yousof, 1968 (1 letter): from Breuer
Napier, Frieda (Mrs. Ian Napier), undated and 1937 (7 letters)
Nathan, Carl H. (Suncraft), 1945 (1 letter)
National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council, undated (1 letter)
National Citizens for Johnson and Humphrey, 1964 (1 letter)
National Committee of Arts, Letters and Sciences for John F. Kennedy for President, 1960 (2 letters)
National Concrete Masonry Association, 1958-1959 (7 letters)
National Council of American Soviet Friendship, Inc., Architects' Committee, 1944-1945 (13 letters)
National Council of American Soviet Friendship, Inc., Building Industry Committee, 1946 (6 letters)
National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, 1946-1959 (5 letters): request recommendations for Jean Bodman Fletcher, I. M. Pei, and Richard G. Stein
National Council of Churches, 1955 (1 letter)
National Council on Schoolhouse Construction, 1951 (1 letter)
National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1965-1968 (47 letters): 1967 letter from Breuer includes typescripts concerning Josef Albers and Constantino Nivola; 1968 encloses a letter from Philip Johnson; see American Academy of Arts and Letters National Society of Interior Designers, Inc., 1958 (1 letter) National Terrazzo & Mosaic Association, 1955 (1 letter from Murray S. Emslie)
National Trust for Historic Preservation, 1975 (2 letters): from Breuer's office
Pack, Nancy (Mrs. Howard Meade Pack), undated and 1953 (2 letters)
Paine Furniture Company, 1946 (1 letter)
Pajor, Zoltán, 1938-1947 (7 letters)
Palestrant, Stephen, 1963 (1 letter)
Palmer Physical Laboratory, Princeton, New Jersey, 1945 (1 letter)
Papachristou, Tician and Judy, undated and 1967-1974 (6 letters)
Papadaki, Stamo, 1945-1951 (14 letters): see Commission on Community Interrelations (CCI) of the American-Jewish Congress; Congrès Internationaux d'Architecture Moderne (CIAM), Chapter for Relief and Post-War Planning
Zahedi, H. E. Ardeshir (ambassador of Iran), 1974-1975 (4 letters): from Breuer
Zanuso, Marco (architect; Olivetti), 1957 (1 letter): from Breuer
Zechlin, Hans Josef, 1950 (1 letter)
Ziegler, Barbara, 1947 (1 letter)
Ziegler, Frank, 1974 (1 letter): from Breuer
Ziegler, Richard, undated (1 letter)
Zwick, Virgil J., 1959 (1 letter)
The microfilm for this collection has been digitized and is available online via the Archives of American Art website.
Marcel Breuer papers, 1920-1986. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the microfilming of this collection was provided by the Gerta Charitable Trust. Funding for the digitization of the microfilm was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art.
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Costume Search this
1.6 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Enoch Steen was born in Norway in 1888. His family moved to the United States and settled in Minnesota in 1890. In 1913 he began working with Meyer & Company, a tailor-to-trade business in Chicago. This company had acquired the American Woolen Mills Company from Sears, Roebuck & Co. in 1900. Meyer & Company also sold clothes under the names of Paragon Tailoring Company and the Lincoln Trading Company. Steen's principal duties were sales and advertising.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is organized into two series. The first series consists of material relating to early tailoring companies in existence before the establishment of J.B. Simpson, Incorporated in Chicago. Included are magazines, advertisements for salesmen, photographs of vaudeville actors endorsing the clothes, catalogues of several companies featuring, among the regular line, the jazz style suit. The second series includes articles, correspondence, and memos about the history and organization of J.B. Simpson, Incorporated from 1920 to 1972. In addition, there are measurement instructions and devices for measuring men for suits, manuals, memos and newsletters which were directed to showroom managers and to the salesmen.
This collection should be of particular interest to persons researching men's wear during the late nineteenth and much of the twentieth century through the history of one company, J.B. Simpson, Incorporated of Chicago.
This collection is divided into two series:
Series 1: Tailoring Companies Before J.B. Simpson, Incorporated, 1888-1918, undated
Series 2: J.B. Simpson, Incorporated Records, 1923-1972, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Enoch Steen was born in Norway in 1888. His family moved to the United States in 1890, and he grew up on a farm in Minnesota. In 1913 he began working with Meyer & Company, a tailor-to-trade business in Chicago. This company, which had acquired the American Woolen Mills Company from Sears, Roebuck & Company in 1900, also sold clothes under the names of Paragon Tailoring Company and the Lincoln Trading Company. Steen's principle duties were sales and advertising.
Meyer & Company concentrated its business in the rural areas of the American South, where it specialized in the "Jazz Style Suit with Dip Fronts." The suits had a dip front coat and peg top trousers with strong, vivid colors and fabric patterns. The term jazz was actually a derogatory one and was used by Steen as a quick means of identification. Nifty, sassy, smart, and foxy were used as descriptors in letters and advertising. They were sold from 1900 through 1920, directly to the customer by salesmen on commission. Salesmen were recruited by the company through classified advertisements in magazines and newspapers. The company provided each salesman samples, a tape measure, self-measurement order blanks, and catalogues. All communication between the salesmen and the company was done by mail.
Steen purchased a list of 1,500,000 names of persons in small hamlets and rural routes in the South from a man who had used the names for liquor sales. A million circulars were sent to prospective agents on the list, and soon the American Woolen Mills Company became the leader in the field. From 1913 to 1921, Steen never saw a man wearing a jazz style suit, although thousands were shipped every month to the deep South. However, it seemed that Meyer and Company would have to go into bankruptcy. Steen formulated the idea of writing to each of the customers whose suits had been returned unclaimed even though they had already paid a five dollar deposit, and offer them the suit at a third off or a quarter the price. This strategy was a big success and brought in half a million dollars.
Steen used the name J.B. Simpson as the letterhead when writing to these customers explaining that he was a jobber in men's suits and woolens. The name Simpson was that of a woman sharing a hospital room with his wife, and the initials J.B. belonged to the office manager of Meyer & Company.
Business was still bad and employees idle. Steen suggested that new customers would have to be drawn from the northern cities and towns where men were on the payrolls of factories and businesses. The South would never be the same and many people had moved north to work. He put an ad in the country edition of the Chicago Sunday Tribune looking for salesman to, "sell $50 suits for $29.50. You keep $4., your comm. No exper. needed." Hundreds of answers were received and twelve new agents were selected to try sample test lines. It was at this point that J.B. Simpson, Incorporated was selected to be the name of the new company.
As the test agents brought in new business from northern communities, application forms went to all who answered. Orders were placed for 1,000 style books, order blanks, and other necessary supplies. These were sent to the agents in December, 1921. By the first week of January, 1922, the shops and workshops were working at full capacity, and at the end of six months a handsome profit had been made. There was no idle overhead, no advertising expense, almost no loss on unclaimed garments, no road men, no jobber expense, no retail cost and practically no selling expense for the $6.50 sample line for each agent. This success continued for the next 18 months. By 1924 the depression was over and many agents returned to their old jobs. Steen had to work hard for business.
Gradually, Steen realized that it would be possible to succeed in Chicago or any large city. Starting with an agent in Chicago who sold many suits, more agents were hired and more orders came in. One of the agents suggested that it would be helpful if there could be a factory showroom in the building where they could meet their customers, write up orders and take delivery. This produced so much business that a manager was employed. A sales and service room was established in the Chicago Loop district which proved even more successful. New York City was the next location for a factory sales and serve room and then Detroit. The Simpson creed, expounded by Enoch Steen in speeches and employee newsletters, was as follows:
Good, better best
Never stop to rest
Til the good is better
And the better, best
From 1922 on, Meyer & Company sold a line under the Simpson name through the Simpson sales organization. An increasing amount of the company's sales volume was secured under the Simpson name. In 1933, some Meyer & Company assets were transferred to J.B. Simpson, Incorporated. In 1937, a group of Chicago businessmen headed by Steen and George Kuh acquired control from the members of the Meyer and Strauss families and assumed active management of the company.
In an in-house newsletter of 1937, mention was made of the Lady Simpson division specializing in ladies tailor made clothes, accounting for seven percent of the company's volume by October 1952. In 1942, Simpson took over the A. Nash Company of Cincinnati, Ohio, its name, sales and manufacturing plant, and retained the Nash Golden Rule Clothes line. During World War II, Simpson Clothing Company manufactured uniforms for the Navy and Coast Guard.
By the middle of 1951, J.B. Simpson, Incorporated had 22 companies and owned branch showrooms in various large cities. From the beginning, the employees in the shops and workrooms were members of the Amalgamated Clothing Workers Union. All salesmen were paid a commission. A profit-sharing plan was put into effect in 1944 for managers, department heads, supervisors, and others who contributed to the company's success, but the result of whose work could not be accurately and separately measured. The payroll for shops and offices averaged 1,000 people. It was assumed that they produced about 150,000 orders a year.
In 1957, Enoch Steen became president of Edwards and Hill. This firm purchased Bullock and Jones, a San Francisco men's clothing store, in September 1947. It also owned Hill store in Chicago and two stores under the name of Lewis and Thomas Saltz in Washington, D.C.
The Division of Home and Community Life (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) holds artifacts related to this collection.
This collection was donated to the Smithsonian by Richard Steen(son of Enoch), president of Lewis and Thomas Saltz, Incorporated, in 1973. Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Costume, 1995.
The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection items are available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.