One envelope OVERSIZE ; Band instruments ; uniforms , uniform trimmings , and accessories ; musical instruments ; cornets ; reproductions of 1881 and 1891 catalogs ; contra basses ; "flügelhorns" ; trombones ; french horns ; slide trombones ; other horns ; piccolos ; "clarionets" or clarinets ; fifes ; bugles ; trumpets ; kettle drums ; snare drums ; bass drums ; cymbals ; cornet mutes ; repairs ; music stands ; drum accessories ; other instrument accessories ; "McCosh's Guide For Amateur Brass Bands: To Which is Added a Short Drum Major Tactics" , a handbook with a "How to March" section and practice exercises , and other instructional material ; organs ; music ; harps ; "orguinette" , "cabinetto" , and cabinet "orguinette" , semi-automatic reed instruments played by means of bellows or winding and perforated paper rolls ; pianos ; banjos ; "musical boxes" or music boxes ; violins , including information on Stradivarius violins and others in the R. D. Hawley collection ; zithers ; autoharps ; dulcimers ; "Washburn" guitars ; mandolins ; xylophones and other percussion instruments ; "musical novelties" ; musical cigar stand , decanter , and beer glass ; concertinas and "bandonions" ; "accordeons" or accordions ; harmonicas ; other musical instruments and accessories
The Formica Collection consists of textual files, photographs, slides, negatives, drawings, blueprints, posters, advertisements, product brochures, newsletters, and informational pamphlets documenting the history of the Formica Corporation and the use of Formica brand plastic laminate.
Scope and Contents:
The Formica Collection, 1913-2003, consists of textual files, photographs, photo slides, drawings, blueprints, posters, advertisements, product brochures, informational pamphlets, and research notes documenting the history of the Formica Corporation and the use of Formica brand plastic laminate.
The collection is arranged into ten series.
Series 1: Corporate Records, 1920-1992, 2003
Subseries 1.1: Annual reports, 1949, 1966, 1988
Subseries 1.2: Correspondence and company identity, 1920-1988
Subseries 1.3: Corporation histories and timelines, 1949-1991, undated
Subseries 1.4: Newspaper clippings and articles, 1934-2003
Subseries 1.5: Awards, 1940s-1987
Subseries 1.6: Patent information, 1925-1994
Subseries 1.7: Photographs, 1927-1966
Series 2: Personnel Records, 1943-1992
Series 3: Newsletters, Magazines, and Press Releases, 1942-1990
Subseries 3.1: Newsletters, 1942-1988
Subseries 3.2: Press releases, 1973-1990
Series 4: Product Information, 1948-1994
Series 5: Advertising and sales materials, 1913-2000
Subseries 5.1: Advertising materials, 1913-2000
Subseries 5.2: Sales materials, 1922-1993
Series 6: Subject Files, circa 1945, 1955-1991, 2002
Series 7: Exhibits, 1981-1994
Series 8: Grace Jeffers Research Materials, 1987-1997
Series 9: Audio Visual Materials, 1982-1995, undated
Series 10: Martin A. Jeffers Materials, 1963-1999
Subseries 10.1: Background Materials, 1965-1999
Subseries 10.2: Employee Benefits, 1963-1998
Subseries 10.3: Product Information, [1959?]-1997
Subseries 10.4: Advertising and Sales Records, 1987-1999
Biographical / Historical:
Since its founding in 1913, the history of the Formica Company has been marked by a spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship. The history begins with the discovery of Formica by two men who envisioned the plastic laminate as breakthrough insulation for motors. Later, Formica became a ubiquitous surfacing material used by artists and architects of post-modern design. The various applications of the plastic laminate during the twentieth century give it a prominent role in the history of plastics, American consumerism, and American popular culture.
The Formica Company was the brainchild of Herbert A. Faber and Daniel J. O'Conor, who met in 1907 while both were working at Westinghouse in East Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. O'Conor, head of the process section in the Research Engineering Department, had been experimenting with resins, cloth, paper, and a wide array of solvents in an effort to perfect a process for making rigid laminate sheets from Kraft paper and liquid Bakelite. O'Conor produced the first laminate sheet at Westinghouse by winding and coating paper on a mandrel, slitting the resulting tube, and flattening it on a press. The finished product was a laminated sheet with the chemical and electrical properties of Bakelite that were cut into various shapes and sizes. O'Conor applied for a patent on February 1, 1913, but it was not issued until November 12, 1918 (US Patent 1,284,432). Since the research was done on behalf of Westinghouse, the company was assigned the patent, and O'Conor was given one dollar, the customary amount that Westinghouse paid for the rights to employees' inventions.
Herbert Faber, Technical Sales Manager of insulating materials, was excited about O'Conor's discovery. Faber saw limitless possibilities for the new material. However, he quickly became frustrated by Westinghouse's policy limiting the sale of the laminate to its licensed distributors. After failing to persuade Westinghouse to form a division to manufacture and market the new material, Faber and O'Conor created their own company. On May 2, 1913, the first Formica plant opened in Cincinnati, Ohio. On October 15, 1913, the business incorporated as the Formica Insulation Company with Faber as president and treasurer and O'Conor as vice-president and secretary. The company began producing insulation parts used in place of or "for mica," the costly mineral that had been used in electrical insulation.
Like most new companies, Formica had modest beginnings. Faber and O'Conor faced the challenge of looking for investors who would let them maintain control over the company. Finally, they met J. G. Tomluin, a lawyer and banker from Walton, Kentucky, who invested $7,500 for a one-third share in the Formica Company. Renting a small space in downtown Cincinnati, Faber and O'Conor began work. The company's equipment list consisted of a 35-horsepower boiler, a small gas stove, and a variety of homemade hand screw presses. By September 1913, Tomluin had brought in two more partners, David Wallace and John L. Vest. With the added capital, O'Conor, Faber, and Formica's eighteen employees began producing automobile insulation parts for Bell Electric Motor, Allis Chalmers, and Northwest Electric.
Initially, the Formica Company only made insulation rings and tubes for motors. However, by July 4, 1914, the company obtained its first press and began to produce flat laminate sheets made from Redmenol resin. Business gradually grew, and by 1917 sales totaled $75,000. Fueled by World War I, Formica's business expanded to making radio parts, aircraft pulleys, and timing gears for the burgeoning motor industry. In the years that followed, Formica products were in high demand as laminate plastics replaced older materials in washers, vacuum cleaners, and refrigerators. By 1919, the Formica Company required larger facilities and purchased a factory in Cincinnati.
During this time, patent battles and legal suits emerged to challenge Formica's success. On June 11, 1919, Westinghouse sued Formica for patent infringement on its laminated gears; Formica won. Later that year, Westinghouse brought two new lawsuits against Formica. The first was for a patent infringement on the production of tubes, rods, and molded parts; the second was over an infringement based on a 1913 patent assigned to Westinghouse through O'Conor. Formica prevailed in both suits.
Legal battles did not deter the company. Having to defend itself against a giant corporation gave Formica a reputation as a scrappy contender. Finally, Faber and O'Conor made a quantum leap in 1927, when the company was granted a U.S. patent for a phenolic laminate utilizing lithographed wood grains of light color, forming an opaque barrier sheet which blocks out the dark interior of the laminate. In 1931, the company received two more patents for the preparation of the first all paper based laminate and for the addition of a layer of aluminum foil between the core and the surface, making the laminate cigarette-proof. These patents would allow Formica to move from a company dealing primarily with industrial material to the highly visible arena of consumer goods.
In 1937, Faber had a severe heart attack which limited his activity within the company. O'Conor continued as president, encouraging new product lines, including Realwood, as a laminate with genuine wood veneer mounted on a paper lamination with a heat-reactive binder. With the introduction of Realwood and its derivatives, manufacturers started using Formica laminate for tabletops, desks, and dinette sets. By the early forties, sales of Formica laminate were over 15 million dollars. The final recipe for decorative laminate was perfected in 1938, when melamine resins were introduced. Melamine was clear, extremely hard, and resistant to stains, heat, light, less expensive than phenolic resins. It also made possible laminates of colored papers and patterns.
Due to World War II, Formica postponed the manufacturing of decorative laminate sheets. Instead, the company made a variety of war-time products ranging from airplane propellers to bomb buster tubes.
The post-World War II building boom fueled the decorative laminate market and ushered in what would come to be known as the golden age for Formica. The company, anticipating the demand for laminate, acquired a giant press capable of producing sheets measuring thirty by ninety-six inches for kitchen countertops. Between 1947 and 1950, more than 2 million new homes were designed with Formica brand laminate for kitchens and bathrooms.
Formica's advertising campaigns, initially aimed at industry, were transformed to speak to the new decorative needs of consumer society, in particular the American housewife. Formica hired design consultants, Brooks Stevens, and, later, Raymond Loewy who launched extensive advertising campaigns. Advertising themes of durability, cleanliness, efficiency, and beauty abound in promotional material of this time. Advertisers promised that the plastic laminate, known as "the wipe clean wonder," was resistant to dirt, juices, jams, alcohol stains, and cigarette burns. Atomic patterns and space-age colors, including Moonglo, Skylark, and Sequina, were introduced in homes, schools, offices, hospitals, diners, and restaurants across America.
The post-war period was also marked by expansion, specifically with the establishment of Formica's first international markets. In 1947, Formica signed a licensing agreement with the British firm the De La Rue Company of London for the exclusive manufacture and marketing of decorative laminates outside North America, and in South America and the Pacific Basin. In 1948, Formica changed its name from the Formica Insulation Company to the Formica Company. In 1951, Formica responded to growing consumer demand by opening a million square foot plant in Evendale, Ohio, devoted to the exclusive production of decorative sheet material. In 1956, the Formica Company became the Formica Corporation, a subsidiary of American Cyanamid Company. A year later, the international subsidiaries that Formica formed with De La Rue Company of London were replaced by a joint company called Formica International Limited.
The plastic laminate was not merely confined to tabletops and dinette sets. Formica laminate was used for skis, globes, and murals. Moreover, well-known artists and architects used the decorative laminate for modernist furniture and Art Deco interiors. In 1960, Formica's Research and Development Design Center was established, adjacent to the Evendale plant, to develop uses for existing laminate products. In 1966, the company
opened the Sierra Plant near Sacramento, California. Such corporate expansion enabled Formica to market its laminates beyond the traditional role as a countertop surface material.
In 1974, Formica established its Design Advisory Board (DAB), a group of leading designers and architects. DAB introduced new colors and patterns of laminate that gained popularity among artists and interior designers in the 1980s. In 1981, DAB introduced the Color Grid, a systematic organization of Formica laminate arranged by neutrals and chromatics. The Color Grid was described as the first and only logically arranged collection of color in the laminate industry. DAB also developed the Design Concepts Collection of premium solid and patterned laminates to serve the needs of contemporary interior designers.
In the 1980s and 1990s, the corporation continued to produce laminates for interior designers, artists, and architects. In 1982, Formica introduced COLORCORE, the first solid-color laminate. Due to its relatively seamless appearance, COLORCORE was adopted by artists for use in furniture, jewelry, and interior design. The introduction of COLORCORE also marked the emergence of a wide variety of design exhibitions and competitions sponsored by the Formica Corporation. In 1985, Formica Corporation became independent and privately held. Formica continues to be one of the leading laminate producers in the world with factories in the United States, England, France, Spain, Canada, and Taiwan.
For additional information on the history of the Formica Corporation, see:
DiNoto, Andrea. Art Plastic: Designed for Living. New York: Abbeville Press, 1985.
Fenichell, Stephen. Plastic: The Making of a Synthetic Century. New York: Harper/Collins, 1996.
Jeffers Grace. 1998. Machine Made Natural: The Decorative Products of the Formica Corporation, 1947-1962. Master's thesis. Bard Graduate Center for Studies in the Decorative Arts.
Lewin, Susan Grant, ed. Formica & Design: From Counter Top to High Art. New York: Rizzoli, 1991.
Materials at the Archives Center
Leo Baekeland Papers, 1881-1968 (NMAH.AC.0005)
DuPont Nylon Collection, 1939-1977 (NMAH.AC.0007)
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics, circa 1900-1975 (NMAH.AC.0008)
Earl Tupper Papers, circa 1914-1982 (NMAH.AC.0470)
The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession # 1997.0319 and #1997.3133.
This collection was assembled by Grace Jeffers, historian of material culture, primarily from materials given to her by Susan Lewin, Head of Formica's New York design and publicity office when the office closed in 1995. The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Grace Jeffers in September 1996.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Contact the Archives Center for information at 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 may apply when requesting reproductions.
The Mamer collection includes a wide range of materials used to teach concepts and the usage of electricity to predominately rural audiences. Mamer kept many of her materials in labeled notebooks; other papers were filed loosely with no apparent order. The collection materials date pre-dominantly from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s. There are some materials from the late 1930s. There is only one item from 1927 and one from 1999.
Scope and Contents:
The Mamer collection materials date pre-dominantly from the mid-1940s to the mid-1950s. There are some materials from the late 1930s. There is only one item from 1927 and one from 1999. Many materials are undated. The collection includes a wide range of materials used to teach concepts and the usage of electricity to predominately rural audiences. Mamer kept many of her materials in labeled notebooks; other papers were filed loosely with no apparent order.
The arrangement is generally by type or purpose of document. Original order and subject headings have been maintained where it is readily apparent. Mamer filed some materials in broad subject categories, for instance L.P. Gas, Lighting and Electric Ranges; are in Series 1, Subseries 1.2. One of Mamer's systems of keeping notes for presentations was to type talking points on paper, and then cut them into strips, and file them in envelopes under broad categories. These may have been used during oral presentations as mnemonic devices or as simple maxims pertaining to the topic being discussed. (In an October 2004 phone interview Mamer could not recall their specific use.) These can be found in Series 1, Subseries 1.1. Many of the documents in this collection were originally printed on highly acidic paper and extreme care is recommended in handling them.
The collection is divided into three series. The arrangement is generally by type or purpose of document. Many materials are undated.
Series 1: Demonstration & Training Materials, 1932-2002
Subseries 1.1: Demonstrator Notes and Resources, 1936-1994
Subseries 1.2: Electrical Appliance and Subject Files, 1932-1952
Subseries 1.3: Cooperative Study Courses, 1938-1953
Subseries 1.4: Adviser Packets and Co-op Shop Paks, circa 1948-1974
Series 2: Publications, 1927-1999
Series 3: Photographs, Filmstrips, Slides and Vu-Graphs, 1943-1952, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Louisan E. Mamer (1910-2005) was born on August 28, 1910 to Louis H. and Anna Mary Elizabeth Mies Mamer. She graduated from the University of Illinois, College of Agriculture with an AB in 1931. Mamer begin her government career with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), moving to the Rural Electrification Administration (REA), United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) in 1935. The REA was one of President Franklin Roosevelt's programs described collectively as the New Deal. The REA's goal was to bring affordable electricity to rural America. Electrification brought prosperity and an elevated standard of living to rural areas, but initially there was a great deal of ignorance about electricity in its applications and uses. Mamer was hired by the REA as a Home Electrification Specialist, or "demonstrator," to educate people in the uses of electricity.
Mamer was based at the REA headquarters in Washington, DC but traveled extensively throughout the Midwest performing demonstrations of electrical appliances, planning and teaching "training schools" for rural electrical co-op advisors, demonstrators, and home economics teachers initially in the states of Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska. This traveling show came to be known as the "electric circus." Her first show was in the Maquoketa Valley Rural Electric Co-op near Anamoso, Iowa. Mamer described the process in a 1975 interview: "We would usually move into a town over the weekend. Having made the move and set up the tents [two large circus tents] and gotten ready for the show during the daytime, say, on a Monday, that night we would have the home electrification specialist (which was my job) demonstrate lighting equipment. I believe the next morning we had a laundry equipment demonstration at about 10 a.m., and in the afternoon, we demonstrated small appliances and some kitchen and laundry planning along the way. The last evening, the home electrification specialist conducted a big cooking duel between two local men. That was a highlight of the whole program." 
The electric circus was discontinued in 1941, a victim of WWII gas shortages. Mamer continued educating rural America with the Electro-Economy Tour designed to help the war effort. This was also discontinued due to WWII shortages. After the war, Mamer began traveling and demonstrating again while also developing training courses for the REA and REA co-ops nationwide. Through her demonstrations and training materials, Mamer was not only teaching rural America in the uses of electricity but in a lifestyle reflecting the goals of the New Deal - a better life for average Americans. Mamer's largest audiences seem to have been rural housewives but men were included as well, especially in the "cooking duel". Mamer identified with these women and from her notes and interviews she seems to have firmly believed in her mission to better people's lives through electricity.
In a 1948 article for Practical Home Economics magazine, Mamer briefly described her background and work:
My background is rural; locale, southern Illinois. As I grew, 'college' like 'mama's bank account' was always with us, and we worked to get the money for it --selling pecan meats, mowing, raking, doing everything but plowing for the same pay as the hired men. Finally I had almost $1,000, a fashionable suntan, unfashionable broad shoulders and a "harrowing" walk that served me well in getting about at the University of Illinois.
That first year I planned to become a writer, but by my sophomore year I decided that I should learn something to write about. So I spent my last three years and four summers more becoming a home economist and satisfied my craving for writing on The Daily Illini and the Illinois Agriculturist, college sheets of which I was woman's editor.
My background was, as astrologers would put it, propitious to home economics. My mother had already mothered one family of seven brothers, and she operated on a big scale. We butchered; we churned; we canned; we baked bread; we had two acres of garden, fruit, chickens and a milk route. All this-sans electricity, sans running water.
When I started teaching, an all-electric foods laboratory was a rarity, but I got one and was very proud of it. I also got a great deal of experience which came in handy when I left teaching to take a job in Washington writing for NYA.
REA was so new then that home economics hadn't entered the picture, so I went in as a writer. In 1937, after a training period in TVA, REA sent me to Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska as a regional home economist. Except for being lent briefly to WPB I've been in REA ever since.
My secret ambition is to build a modern house; furnish it modern and Chinese; equip it all-electric and with a husband guaranteed not to wander; operate the whole arrangement at enough profit to provide myself with all the secretarial and other help I would like to have to do my job the way I would like to do it and write besides. 
Mamer married Arthur C. Hagen (1911-2000), an REA electrical engineer, on March 20, 1954. She devoted her working life to the REA retiring in 1981. Mamer died in Washington, DC in December 2005.
1. "Bringing Light to Rural America," Rural Cooperatives magazine, March 1998.
2. "Methods of Teaching Home Use of Electricity," part 1 by Louisan E. Mamer, Practical Home Economics magazine, April and May 1948.
"Bringing Light to Rural America," Rural Cooperatives magazine, March 1998.
Campbell, Dan, "When the Lights Came On," Rural Cooperatives Magazine, August 2000.
Troppa, Gina M., "The REA Lady --A Shining Example," Illinois Currents, 2002
Materials in the Archives Center
Reddy Kilowatt Records (AC0913)
Donated by Louisan E. Mamer to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian in June 2004.
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.
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.
United States of America -- Florida -- Palm Beach County -- Palm Beach
Scope and Contents:
The folder includes worksheets.
Casa de Miel was built in Mediterranean Revival style in 1927 by architect John L. Volk, with revisions and new landscaping by the current owners. The two-thirds acre property includes a swimming pool and two pavilions, an orchid house, furnished loggia, guest house, formal patio and putting green which replaced the original tennis court. The design of the plantings and placement of outdoor furnishings and planted containers are mostly symmetrical. Two original wall fountains on the house now are used as containers for flowers. Container plantings are featured throughout the property to soften the predominant hardscape. Tall hedges have been grown for privacy and as shields against sea salt and winds. Sculptures also are featured, including one by Fernando Botero at the entry and another by Barry Flanagan set among palm trees. The plant selection is appropriate for the tropical climate, including palms, bougainvillea, hedges of confederate jasmine, ficus and podocarpus, agave, and tropical annuals.
Persons associated with the property include: Frank Craig (former owner 1927-1933); R. T. Rich (former owner, 1933-1955); Cornelius Walsh (former owner, 1955-1997); John L. Volk (1901-1984) (original architect, 1927); Jeffrey W. Smith (architect, 1998-2001); Mario Nievera (landscape architect, 1998-2001); Fernando Silva (gardener, 2001-present); Barry Flanagan (1941-2009) (sculptor); Fernando Botero (sculptor).
Casa de Miel related holdings consist of 1 folder (18 digital images)
Access to original archival materials by appointment only. Researcher must submit request for appointment in writing. Certain items may be restricted and not available to researchers. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Archives of American Gardens encourages the use of its archival materials for non-commercial, educational and personal use under the fair use provision of U.S. copyright law. Use or copyright restrictions may exist. It is incumbent upon the researcher to ascertain copyright status and assume responsibility for usage. All requests for duplication and use must be submitted in writing and approved by Archives of American Gardens. Please direct reference inquiries to the Archives of American Gardens: email@example.com.
Remington Standard Typewriter Mfg. Co ; Remington Typewriter Co. Inc. ; Sperry Rand Co. ; E. Remington & Sons (Ilion, NY ; Louisville, KY) ; Wyckoff, Seamans & Benedict ; Powers Accounting Machines (Buffalo, NY) ; Dexigraph Div. ; Remington Rand of India Ltd. (Calcutta, India ; New Delhi, India) ; Remington Sewing Machine Co. ; Safe-Cabinet Div. Search this
One envelope OVERSIZE ; Some pieces in Hindi ; electric typewriters ; "Travel-riter" portable typewriter ; photos of 1950's women at typewriters ; "Remington Standard" ; Electric portable typewriter ; "Office-riter" ; "Keyboard Margin Control" ("KMC") ; unique illustration of 1873 Remington typewriter with foot-pedal carriage return, and cover engraving of late 1800's parlour with woman at typewriter ; history of the typewriter ; "Manual of Typewriting and Exercises for Practice" (1889) ; "Kardex" visible records for library ; adding machines ; steel filing cabinets ; loose leaf binders ; "Film-A-Record" 35mm all-purpose planetary camera ; "portagraph" for engineering tracing and office copying ; office furniture ; electric razors ; photos of women in the workplace ; heat-resistant filing cases ; "Univac" system data processing and scientific computing ; "Whiz-Kardex" filing systems ; "film-a-record" ; "Remington Notes" publication (vol. 3, no. 2 ; vol. 4, no. 7) ; "Safe-Cabinet" ; safes
Trade catalog, price lists, manual, samples and histories
Black and white images
Types of samples:
filing card ; reinforced folder ;
134 pieces; 9 boxes
Type of material:
New York City, New York, United States
Topic (Romaine term):
Architectural designs and building materials Search this
Collection consists of lantern slides and stereographs produced by several companies: Keystone View Company, Better America Lecture Service, Incorporated, American Press Association, J. Stanley-Brown, William H. Rau, and J. F. Maertz Department Store. The lantern slides were primarily intended to be used for educational presentations about the United States, other countries, history, and society. Many of the slides and stereographs are accompanied by descriptive text and in some instances by small cards--one card for each slide--and in other instances directly on the back of a stereoview. The majority of images were taken from 1900 to 1930.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of lantern slides and stereographs primarily designed for use in audio-visual educational presentations about the United States, other countries, history, and society. Many of the slides and stereographs are accompanied by descriptive text. In some instances on small cards--one card for each slide-- and in other instances printed directly on the back of a stereoview. A few of the lantern slides, particularly the ones of the J. F. Maertz Department Store of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, are advertisements for consumer products. The majority were taken from 1890 through 1930. While the collection as a whole is in good general condition, some lantern slides, stereographs, and text cards are missing, and some of the lantern slides are cracked.
The collection will appeal to researchers examining the course of nineteenth-century social history broadly, especially how lantern slides were marketed to educators to teach geography, social studies, science, history and reading. The lantern slides as artifacts will be of interest to those who study material culture.
Series 1, Keystone View Company Lantern Slides and Stereographs, undated, is divided into seven subseries: Subseries 1, #1-#600, undated; Subseries 2, H-1 to H-300; Subseries 3, Biblical, undated; Subseries 4, Santa Barbara, California, undated; Subseries 5, Roads, undated; and Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, undated.
The series depicts scenes from around the United States and the rest of the world. Each image is intended to be characteristic of its location and in most cases is accompanied by a text card that describes the scene and gives the geographic coordinates (latitude and longitude) of the location. Many of the glass lantern slides have corresponding stereoviews and in these instances two box numbers are given.
Subseries 1, #1-#600, undated, is arranged in order by the numbers on the image. Views #1-261 are arranged in a rough geographic order beginning in Maine and proceeding down the Atlantic Coast, through the former Confederate states, into the Midwest and Plains states, the mountain West states and the West coast, and ending in the territories of Alaska and Hawaii and the Panama Canal. Views #262-346 begin in eastern Canada, proceed across Canada and move through Mexico and Central America into the Caribbean, thence the length of South America and the Antarctic. Views #347-554 begin in the British Isles and move through Northern and Southern Europe and into Central Europe and then Russia, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Far East. Views #556-592 begin in North Africa and cover the length of the continent and a few areas in the Pacific. The series concludes with views of several planets, President McKinley reviewing Civil War heroes (1899), and the work of a Mexican artist (1900).
Subseries 2, H-1 to H-300, undated, is arranged in order by the numbers on the image. H-1 to H-258 depict scenes and sites of American history beginning with several images of indigenous peoples and proceeding, roughly chronologically, through major events and locations to about 1925. Images H-259 to H-300 document a range of localities and activities across the country in the mid-1920s, including major buildings in Washington, D.C., industrial activities, and modern agricultural practices.
Subseries 3, Biblical, undated, shows religious art works and rural scenes.
Subseries 4, Santa Barbara, California, undated, contains two images. One is pastoral with a Franscican friar, the other a fountain.
Subseries 5, Roads, undated, includes three images of roads, one with a person on horseback, the other two depicting wagons.
Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, undated, contains lithoprint stereographs, each with a short description, depicting scenes such as landmarks in the United States; news events in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; warfare; domestic scenes and scenes of foreign countries.
This series consists of lantern slides produced by Newell Dwight Hillis' Better America Lecture Service Incorporated. Newell Dwight Hillis (1858-1929), was a noted clergyman, lecturer and author. The Better American Lecture Service sought to make better Americans and to inspire greater loyalty to American institutions. Better America Lecture Service rented the lecture manuscript and slides to churches, societies, schools, and patriotic organizations. Slides were sent in a tin box and contained suggestions for publicity arrangements. (Nevada Educational Bulletin, December 1920).
Hillis published more than twenty volumes including collections of his sermons, inspirational works, and a novel. In addition, many of Hillis addresses were published and distributed as pamphlets. The slides were intended to be used for lectures on subjects such as socialism and equality. The slides generally consist of text, drawings, images of persons, paintings, and landscapes. A few slides in each set are missing, and there is no text accompanying any of the slides. The series is arranged into twelve subseries alphabetically by topic.
Series 3, American Press Association lantern slides, undated, is divided into ten subseries: Subseries 1, General Images, undated; Subseries 2, Coffins and soliders, undated; Subseries 3, Mexican War, undated; Subseries 4, Niagara Falls Conference, undated; Subseries 5, Pancho Villa and Major Gonzales, undated; Subseries 6, Parade, undated; Subseries 7, Refugees, undated; Subseries 8, Warships, undated; Subseries 9, West Virginia Mine Explosion, undated; and Subseries 10, Women March for Votes (Suffrage), undated.
The series consists of lantern slides from the American Press Association depicting news events from early twentieth century history (e.g., Mexican War; Ludlow Colorado strike; suffragettes; Gettysburg veterans; various ship disasters). Each slide has a caption with a brief description of the scene. Many slides are cracked; one is completely broken and is in a folded paper. There are also approximately fifty slides with scenes of events associated with the Mexican-American War, most with short captions identifying the scenes. Many of these slides are cracked.
Series 4, J. F. Maertz Department Stores advertisement lantern slides, early 1920s, is divided into thirteen subseries: Subseries 1, Bathrooms, undated; Subseries 2, Children's shoes and clothing, undated; Subseries 3, Dress goods, undated; Subseries 4, Dress patterns, undated; Subseries 5, Hosiery, undated; Subseries 6, House furnishings, undated; Subseries 7, House wares, undated; Subseries 8, Ladies' Home Journal, undated; Subseries 9, Shoes, undated; Subseries 10, Store advertising, undated; Subseries 11, Underwear, undated; Subseries 12, Women's clothing, undated; and Subseries 13, Miscellaneous, undated.
The series consists of lantern slides showing advertisements used in J.F. Maertz Department Store catalogs for consumer goods. Slides are categorized by type of goods, including children's shoes and clothes, bathroom needs, dress patterns, men's wear, shoes, house furnishings, house wares, Ladies' Home Journal, and underwear.
Series 5, J. Stanley-Brown and E. H. Harriman lantern slides, undated, is divided into nineteen subseries: Subseries 1, Alaska-California scenes, undated; Subseries 2, Animal life, undated; Subseries 3, Artifacts, undated; Subseries 4, California/Franciscan life, undated; Subseries 5, California Indians, undated; Subseries 6, California mission exteriors, undated; Subseries 7, California mission interiors, undated; Subseries 8, Eskimos,undated; Subseries 9, Franciscans, undated; Subseries 10, Indians, undated; Subseries 11, Landscapes, undated; Subseries 12, Maps, undated; Subseries 13, Mission interiors, undated; Subseries 14, Seascapes, undated; Subseries 15, General images (#1-7;10), undated; Subseries 16, General images (#11-14; 16-17; 19-20), undated; Subseries 17, General images (#21-30), undated; Subseries 18, General images (#31-33; 36-40), undated; and Subseries 19, General images (#42; 45-50), undated.
The series contains lantern slides, each labeled with the names of distributors, "J. Stanley-Brown, 1318 Massachusetts Avenue, Washington, D.C. and E.H. Harriman, 1 East, 55th Street, New York." The slides, some with captions, depict maps; landscapes; seascapes; Eskimos; animal life; Franciscan dwellings; Indians of California; California missions and Franciscan life. There are slides depicting various scenes of California missions and scenes of indigenous Alaskans. Some slides are cracked.
The series consists of lantern slides and stereoviews from distributors that include the American Series; Griffith and Griffith; Pesko Binocular Company; William H. Rau Publisher; and the Universal Photo Art Company.
The stereographs related to domestic and military issues and geography are dated circa 1905, and copyrighted by H. C. White, and distrbuted by World Series.
The stereo views produced by William H. Rau, a publisher in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, show parades and other ceremonies at Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) encampments and Elks conventions held in Philadelphia. The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War.
The collection is divided into six series.
Series 1: Keystone View Company Lantern Slides and Stereographs, undated
Subseries 1, #1-#600, undated
Subseries 2, H-1 to H-300, undated
Subseries 3, Biblical, undated
Subseries 4, Santa Barbara, California, undated
Subseries 5, Roads, undated
Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, undated
Series 2: Hillis Better America Lecture Service Lantern Slides, undated
Series 3: American Press Association Lantern Slides, undated
Subseries 1, General Images, undated
Subseries 2, Coffins and Soliders, undated
Subseries 3, Mexican War, undated
Subseries 4, Niagara Falls Conference, undated
Subseries 5, Pancho Villa and Major Gonzales, undated
Subseries 6, Parade, undated
Subseries 7, Refugees, undated
Subseries 8, Warships, undated
Subseries 9, West Virginia Mine Explosion, undated
Subseries 10, Women March for Votes (Suffrage), undated
Series 4: J. F. Maertz Department Store Advertisement Lantern Slides, early 1920s
Subseries 1, Bathrooms, undated
Subseries 2, Children's shoes and clothing, undated
Subseries 3, Dress goods, undated
Subseries 4, Dress patterns, undated
Subseries 5, Hosiery, undated
Subseries 6, House furnishings, undated
Subseries 7, House wares, undated
Subseries 8, Ladies' Home Journal, undated
Subseries 9, Shoes, undated
Subseries 10, Store advertising, undated
Subseries 11, Underwear, undated
Subseries 12, Women's clothing, undated
Subseries 13, Miscellaneous, undated
Series 5, J. Stanley-Brown and E.H. Harriman lantern slides, undated
Subseries 1, Alaska-California scenes, undated
Subseries 2, Animal life, undated
Subseries 3, Artifacts, undated
Subseries 4, California/Franciscan life, undated
Subseries 5, California Indians, undated
Subseries 6, California mission exteriors, undated
Subseries 7, California mission interiors, undated
Subseries 8, Eskimos, undated
Subseries 9, Franciscans, undated
Subseries 10, Indians, undated
Subseries 11, Landscapes, undated
Subseries 12, Maps, undated
Subseries 13, Mission interiors, undated
Subseries 14, Seascapes, undated
Subseries 15, General images (#1-7;10), undated
Subseries 16, General images (#11-14; 16-17; 19-20), undated
Subseries 17, General images (#21-30), undated
Subseries 18, General images (#31-33; 36-40), undated
Subseries 19, General images (#42; 45-50), undated
Series 6: Miscellaneous Stereographs, 1887-1907
Subseries 1, American Series, 1887
Subseries 2, C.H. Graves Publisher, 1907
Subseries 3, Griffith and Griffith, 1894
Subseries 4, Pesko Binocular Company, 1907
Subseries 5, William H. Rau Publisher, undated
Subseries 6, Domestic scenes, undated
Subseries 7, Military, undated
Subseries 8, Places-Asia, undated
Subseries 9, Places-Cuba, undated
Subseries 10, Places-Egypt, undated
Subseries 11, Places-France, undated
Subseries 12, Places-Germany, undated
Subseries 13, Places-Italy, undated
Subseries 14, Places-Monte Carlo, undated
Subseries 6.15, Palestine, undated
Subseries 6.16, Places-United States, undated
Subseries 6.17: Miscellaneous, undated
Series 7: Miscellaneous Lantern Slides, undated
Lantern slides are hand-drawn, painted, or photographic images on glass, intended for viewing by projection; often made in sets. Photographic lantern slides were introduced in the United States by 1850 and popular through World War I; commonly 3.25 x 4 in. (9 x 10 cm.) with a black paper mask, a cover glass, and taped edges. Thesaurus of Graphic Materials
Stereographs consist of two nearly identical photographs or photomechanical prints, paired to produce the illusion of a single three-dimensional image, usually when viewed through a stereoscope. Typically, the images are on card mounts, but they take the form of daguerreotypes, glass negatives, or other processes. Stereographs were first made in the 1850s and are still made today. They were most popular between 1870 and 1920.
In 1851 stereo daguerreotypes were exhibited for the first time to the general public at the London International Exhibition (Crystal Palace). Shortly thereafter, American photographers began making stereographs. One of the first American photographic firms to produce stereographs was the team of William and Frederick Langenheim. The Library owns a set of their early stereoviews of American cities on the East Coast.
By 1860 both amateur photographers and publishing firms were making stereographs. The major stereo publishers sold their views by mail order, door-to-door salesmen, and in stores. Stereographs were sold individually and in boxed sets.
Stereographs are usually mounted. They were typically published with caption information printed under the image or on the back of the mount. The mount also provided information about the publisher, photographer, and sometimes the series or a list of views available from the photographer or publisher.
Stereographs were collected by many middle-class families in the late 19th century. People acquired stereographs of tourist sites they had visited, as well as exotic locales that they would only experience through the wonder of the stereoscope. Viewing stereographs was a common activity, much like watching television or going to the movies today. Stereoviews were also used as an education tool in classrooms.
(Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, Stereograph Format)
The Division of Cultural History at the National Museum of American History assembled a collection of miscellaneous lantern slides and stereographs beginning in 1943. Other collection contents were acquired over many years in unrecorded transactions.
Several distributors and publishers of stereographic images are represented in the collection. One of the most prominent was the Keystone View Company of Meadville, Pennsylvania. Founded by Benneville Lloyd Singley (d.1938), a former Underwood & Underwood salesman, Keystone became a major distributor of stereographic images. From 1892 through 1963 it produced and distributed both educational and comic/sentimental stereoviews and stereoscopes used to see the images in 3-D. By 1905 it was the world's largest stereographic company. In 1963 Department A (stereoviews sold to individual families) and the education departments were closed, but Keystone continued to manufacture eye-training stereographic products as a subsidiary of Mast Development Company. In 1972 Mast closed the Meadville manufacturing site.
All of Keystone's manufacturing was done in Meadville, but branch offices were in New York, St. Louis, San Francisco, Portland, Oregon, Chicago, Toronto, Canada and London, England. Salesmen and photographers were scattered around the world, and the company offered 20,000 different views.
Selling stereoviews and lantern slides to schools was a field pioneered by Underwood & Underwood, and for several years Underwood & Underwood and Keystone were competitors for the growing educational market. According to the 1953 Keystone Sales Manual the more aggressive sales methods and the more progressive editorial policies of the Keystone View Company soon made it the acknowledged leader in the industry, and Underwood & Underwood decided to give up the contest.
Between 1915 and 1921 Keystone View Company purchased the negatives of nearly all of its competitors. They also continued to have staff photographers travel the world, so that by 1935 Keystone had approximately two million stereoscopic negatives.
Keystone View Company produced stereographic sets up through the mid-twentieth century, and had a stereoscopic photographer on staff until at least 1955.
Thesaurus of Graphic Materials, (2007), http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/tgm1/ (accessed February 10, 2011).
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Online Catalog, Stereograph Format, http://www.loc.gov/pictures/collection/stereo/background.html (accessed February 14, 2011).
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
University of California, Riverside/California Museum of Photography
George Eastman House
Brooklyn Historical Society
Donated to the Department of Anthropology, United States National Museum by Mrs. Joseph Stanley-Brown, through Mrs. Herbert Feis, in 1943.
The Division of Cultural History (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) at the National Museum of American History assembled a collection of miscellaneous lantern slides and stereographs beginning in 1943. Other collection contents were acquired over many years in unrecorded transactions. An unknown portion of the collection transferred to the Archives Center, date unknown.
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected lantern slides and stereographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
This collection consists ofcorrespondence, scrapbooks, catalogs, brochures, original drawings, photographs, financial records, resumes, legal documents, magazine articles, business records, press releases, artwork, and samples of boxes, bags, and buttons. Files documenting the company's history include a statement of the company's philosophy and records pertaining to the establishment of new stores in various cities. Project files document the furniture, fabrics, rugs, and accessories imported and design by Design Research, Inc. Bound reprints of articles that appeared in Interiors and International Design magazines are included. Clippings and other records documenting the design and construction of D/R stores are provided in the files pertaining to Benjamin Thompson & Associates, Inc. Also found in these files is a printed and bound presentation copy of Thompson's address, "The Craft of Design and the Art of Building", along with other articles by and about Thompson. Additional information pertaining to D/R's association with Marimekko can be found in the Cooper- Hewitt Design Archive's Marimekko Collection.
Unprocessed. Consists of six record groups: 1) Company history; 2) Office records; 3) Project files; 4) Clippings and Scrapbooks; 5) Benjamin Thompson & Associates, Inc. for D/R; and 6) Photographs.
Retail establishment and product design. Design Research, Inc. (D/R), founded in 1953 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, by architect Benjamin Thompson, specialized in the latest post-war products for the modern home. The displays in the stores were considered unique in that they were designed at domestic scale and the products were shown in realistic, homelike arrangements.
Products were sought and selected based on the anticipated preferences of customers, not on traditional retail buying patterns. At the time, the availability of "good design" was limited to wholesale firms such as Herman Miller and Knoll. Thompson was the first to introduce the work of many European and Asian designers to the American retail market, including the work of the design firm of Marimekko for which D/R was the exclusive U.S. represenative. The company also created many of its own products including chairs manufactured by Thonet. D/R later opened stores in New York City, San Francisco, and Philadelphia. Thompson's own architectural firm, Benjamin Thompson & Associates, Inc., designed all of the D/R stores. For the San Francisco store, Thomspon renovated the former Ghirardelli Chocolate factory. Even after the stores officially closed in 1978, D/R remained a model for many merchants.
The materials in this collection were donated to Cooper-Hewitt in 1995 by Benjamin and Jane Thompson.
Unprocessed; access is limited. Permission of Library Director required for use.
Furniture design -- United States -- History -- 20th century Search this
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
Dorothy Liebes papers, circa 1850-1973. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing of the Dorothy Liebes papers was provided by the Terra Foundation for American Art. Funding for the digitization of the collection was provided by the Coby Foundation.
This collection covers the period that Ratia was with Marimekko, 1951-1979.It includes scrapbook, press releases, correspondence, brochures, photographs, magazine articles, swatches, and trade catalogs. It contains extensive information about the company's affiliation with D/R and its operations in Finland. It includes a copy of "Phenomenon Marimekko," the catalog from a comprehensive exhibition that was held at the Museum of Applied Arts in Helsinki in 1986. The collection contains legal correspondence and contracts pertaining to D/R's representation of Marimekko in the United States, as well as numerous swatches, sample books, brochures for stockholders, and trade catalogs. Files pertaining to Marimekko's work in Finland is mostly in Finnish and consists of brochures, posters, articles, and sample books, as well as a copy of the publication, "Design in Finland 1983."Additional information on Marimekko's association with D/R can be found in the Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive's Design Research, Inc. Collection.
Unprocessed. This collection consists of six record groups: 1) Company history and background information; 2) Marimekko/Design Research, Inc. Correspondence; 3) Marimekko Finland; 4) Scrapbooks and press clippings; 5) Swatches and samples; and 6) Photographs.
Finnish fabric manufacturer and retail chain. The company's chief designer was Armi Ratia (1912-1979), who was known for her use of vibrant colors and large patterns. She first joined her husband's design firm, Printex, in 1949. In 1951, the company was renamed Marimekko, which means "a little dress for Mary" in Finnish. During the 1960s and '70s, the firm manufactured cotton, jersey, and wool fabrications, along with paper, laminated plastics, and table coverings. Ratia was known for designing free, easy fashions in bold painterly designs taking much of her inspiration from nature and handicraft.
Ben Thompson, the founder of the retail establishment Design Reseaach, Inc. (D/R), discovered Ratia's designs at the Finnish Pavilion of the Brussels World Fair in 1957, and persuaded her to come to the United States. D/R became the exclusive representative of Marimekko products in the U.S. Today, through franchises worldwide, Marimekko stores sell simple clothing for women and children, as well as household accessories and furniture.
Location of Other Archival Materials Note:
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Textiles Department. 28 printed textiles designed by or for Marimekko.
Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, Wallcoverings Department. One samplebook.
Marimekko Homepage. Additional information on the history of the company and its activities today can be found on Marimekko's homepage: http://www.marimekko.fi/.
The materials in this collection were donated to Cooper-Hewitt in 1975 by Benjamin and Jane Thompson.