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Delegate

Subject of:
MelPat Associates, American, 1965 - 1986  Search this
Lou Rawls, American, 1933 - 2006  Search this
United Negro College Fund, American, founded 1944  Search this
President Jimmy Carter, American, born 1924  Search this
Wilma Rudolph, American, 1940 - 1994  Search this
National Urban League, American, founded 1910  Search this
American Association of Blacks in Energy, American, founded 1977  Search this
One Hundred Black Men, Inc., American, founded 1963  Search this
National Association of Black Social Workers, American, founded 1968  Search this
Interracial Council for Business Opportunity, American, founded 1963  Search this
National Association for Equal Opportunity in Higher Education, American, founded 1969  Search this
American Bridge Association, American, founded 1932  Search this
African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church, American, founded 1821  Search this
National Association of Market Developers, American, founded 1953  Search this
The Girl Friends, Inc., American, founded 1927  Search this
Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded 1784  Search this
Sears, Roebuck & Co., American, founded 1893  Search this
Morehouse College, American, founded 1867  Search this
Opportunities Industrialization Center of America, Inc., American, founded 1964  Search this
National Newspaper Publishers Association, American, founded 1827  Search this
National Pharmaceutical Association, American, founded 1947  Search this
Chi Delta Mu Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1913  Search this
Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1932  Search this
Top Ladies of Distinction, Inc., American, founded 1964  Search this
National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., founded 1919  Search this
The Links, Incorporated, American, founded 1946  Search this
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American, founded 1909  Search this
Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1937  Search this
Republican Party, American, founded 1854  Search this
Charms, Inc., American, founded 1952  Search this
Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, founded 1908  Search this
National United Church Ushers Association of America, Inc., American, founded 1919  Search this
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, American, founded 1920  Search this
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., founded 1922  Search this
Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1943  Search this
National Pharmaceutical Association, American, founded 1947  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
National Association of Negro Musicians, Inc., founded 1919  Search this
National Association of University Women, American, founded 1910  Search this
Shriners International, American, founded 1870  Search this
Daughters of Isis, American, founded 1910  Search this
American Tennis Association, American, founded 1916  Search this
Democratic Party, American, founded 1828  Search this
CBS Broadcasting, Inc., American, founded 1927  Search this
A. Philip Randolph, American, 1889 - 1979  Search this
Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1929  Search this
Congressional Black Caucus, American, founded 1971  Search this
369th Veterans Association, American  Search this
Benjamin Hooks, American, 1925 - 2010  Search this
National Bankers Association, American, founded 1927  Search this
Association for the Study of African American Life and History, American, founded 1915  Search this
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1911  Search this
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, American, founded 1914  Search this
Alliance for Women in Media, American, founded 1951  Search this
Created by:
C. Melvin Patrick, American, died 1985  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 7/16 × 7/16 in. (27.5 × 21.4 × 1.1 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1980
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Communities  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Government  Search this
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Labor  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Sororities  Search this
Television  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Anne B. Patrick and the family of Hilda E. Stokely
Object number:
2012.167.14
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd533a4aa5f-52b1-4ee7-8dd0-1df51498bd61
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.167.14
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Delegate

Published by:
MelPat Associates, American, 1965 - 1986  Search this
Created by:
C. Melvin Patrick, American, died 1985  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 7/16 × 9/16 in. (27.5 × 21.4 × 1.5 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, California, United States, North and Central America
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States, North and Central America
Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1984
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Communities  Search this
Dance  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Government  Search this
Hollywood (Film)  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Labor  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Olympics  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Sororities  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Anne B. Patrick and the family of Hilda E. Stokely
Object number:
2012.167.18
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5a99826b2-563a-492a-9d22-e03c2c02f99c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.167.18
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Abbott's Monthly Vol. II No. 1

Created by:
Abbott's Monthly, American, 1929 - 1933  Search this
Published by:
Robert Sengstacke Abbott, American, 1830 - 1940  Search this
Edited by:
Lucius Clinton Harper, American, 1895 - 1952  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 11 3/8 x 8 9/16 x 1/4 in. (28.9 x 21.7 x 0.6 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
3435 Indiana Avenue, Chicago, Cook County, Illinois, United States, North and Central America
Date:
January 1931
Topic:
African American  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Literature  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Bobbie Ross in memory of Elizabeth Dillard
Object number:
2012.84.2
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd550285a19-5e43-45c9-a3bc-b4080d03c637
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.84.2
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Maryland Farm Diary

Source:
Valentino, Carmen D.  Search this
Associated name:
Bond, William  Search this
Brown, Annie  Search this
Brown, Charles  Search this
Brown, Edward  Search this
Brown, Henry  Search this
Campbell, William  Search this
Gemmill, Benjamin B.  Search this
Gemmill, Ephraim  Search this
Goodwater, Charles  Search this
Johnston, Thomas  Search this
Johnstone, Samuel  Search this
Jones, William  Search this
Klob, Ella  Search this
Lomax, Joseph  Search this
Morgan, John  Search this
Pugh, Edward  Search this
Schultz, William  Search this
Sewell, Rose  Search this
Spencer, George  Search this
West, William  Search this
Whitaker, James  Search this
Former owner:
Valentino, Carmen D.  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 item)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Record books
Daybooks
Financial records
Account books
Place:
Harford County, Maryland
Fallston, Harford County, Maryland
Bel Air, Harford County, Maryland
Watervale, Harford County, Maryland
Maryland
Ashland
Hanways' Mill
Potspring, Maryland
Maryland -- Family farms
Timonium, Maryland
Fairs -- 1870-1879 -- United States
Forest Hill, Harford County, Maryland
Date:
1879-1884
Summary:
A farm journal and account book for a farm located at Long Branch, Harford County, Maryland, covering the time period March 1879 to August 1884 (excepting 1880) and documenting all aspects of farm life and labor.
Scope and Contents:
The diary bears numerous handwriting styles, denoting more than one author. The farm documented in this volume featured truck farming, orchards, small grain crops, dairying, and hogs. A possible German or Amish influence is indicated, probably due to its proximity to Pennsylvania, with such products as cider, sauerkraut, wheat and hay being produced, as well as by products from hogs including sausages, lard, and pudding (scrapple). Curing and preservation of meat is documented as well.

All tasks of day-to-day life on the farm, by whom they were performed and with what equipment as well as the weather were recorded. The compiler recorded other such detail as which fertilizers were used for which crops, variety names, how much was paid to each hand who worked on the farm (in the case of tenant farmers, with firewood or cow pasture), names given to animals, and such things as laborers' travel to nearby towns to purchase goods and supplies. Especially descriptive are the parts of the diary relating to livestock, with entries for births, sales, and activities such as butchering, sausage making, curing and preservation of meat.

The farm was comprised of fields, orchards, meadows and gardens, in addition to a number of outbuildings, sheds, smokehouses, a barn, a stable, and a blacksmith shop. Maintenance of these buildings is described in detail in the diary.

This volume is rich in detail about the functioning of a typical American farm during this time period. It also includes an entry for the Fallston, Maryland earthquake of March 11, 1883 (page 95).
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.

Series 1, Farm diary, 1879-1884
Biographical / Historical:
This diary is a combined farm journal and account book for a farm located at or near Long Branch, Harford County, Maryland, covering the time period from March 1879 to August 1894, excepting the year 1880. This was a time when American agriculture was on the cusp of mechanization, and a time when increasing urbanization was changing the demographics of farm life. More and more youth were relocating to urban areas, challenging small family farms to continue to run with fewer people, and forcing them to bring on day laborers or other help.

Farms in the northern part of Maryland were quite distinct from those in the southern part, where tobacco dominated. The farm documented in this volume featured truck farming, orchards, small grain crops, dairying, and hogs. A possible German or Amish influence is indicated, probably due to its proximity to Pennsylvania, with such products as cider, sauerkraut, wheat and hay being produced, as well as by products from hogs including sausages, lard, and pudding (scrapple). Curing and preservation of meat is documented in the volume as well. The products (wheat, hay, cider, sauerkraut) being sold in nearby towns (as documented in the volume) indicates that the farm was not just self-sufficient but also a profitable participant in the market economy.

An interesting entry is found on page 95, for March 11, 1883, "A very perceptible earthquake was experienced here the house shook, & things on sideboard rattled. It lasted about 3 minutes." This is primary documentation of the Fallston, Maryland quake. Other entries mention the Maryland State Fair at Timonium, trips to Hanways' Mill, Ashland and other local destinations.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Robinson and Via Family Papers, 1845-2010, (AC0475)

Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records, 1986-1991, (AC0773)

John K. Parlett Collection of Agriculture Ephemera, (AC1225)
Provenance:
This collection was purchased at auction from Carmen D. Valentino of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 2012.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
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. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Housewives -- United States  Search this
Rural women  Search this
Rural scenes  Search this
Farms -- Maryland  Search this
Sausages  Search this
Rural families  Search this
Work and family  Search this
Farmers  Search this
Agriculture -- 1870-1940 -- Maryland  Search this
Gardens -- Maryland  Search this
Earthquakes -- Maryland  Search this
Gardening  Search this
Weather conditions  Search this
Family farms  Search this
Farmers -- 19th century  Search this
Agriculture  Search this
Agricultural laborers  Search this
Agricultural supplies and equipment -- 1850-1870  Search this
Fairs -- 1880-1889 -- United States  Search this
Agricultural Prices  Search this
Agricultural products  Search this
Genre/Form:
Record books
Daybooks -- 1870-1880
Financial records -- 19th century
Account books -- 19th century
Daybooks -- 1880-1910
Citation:
Maryland Farm Diary, 1879-1884, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1267
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1267

Memoirs and Correspondence Sent to Family, numbered 1-31

Collection Author:
Boyd, Theodore E.  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 20
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1973-1974
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Theodore E. Boyd World War I Collection, Accession 2013-0016, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Theodore E. Boyd World War I Collection
Theodore E. Boyd World War I Collection / Series 2: Memoirs
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-2013-0016-ref22
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Saul Nesbitt Papers

Collector:
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Creator:
Nesbitt, Saul, 1920-1993  Search this
Names:
Archway Cookies, Inc.  Search this
Borden's Farm Products Co. of Illinois  Search this
Campbell Soup Company  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
Eastman Kodak Company  Search this
Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association  Search this
Franco American Food Co.  Search this
Lever Brothers and Unilever, ltd.  Search this
National Distillers and Chemical Corporation  Search this
Nesbitt Associates, Ltd.  Search this
P. Ballantine & Sons  Search this
Philip Morris Incorporated  Search this
Revlon, Inc.  Search this
Schick (Firm)  Search this
Scott Paper Company  Search this
Seagram Company  Search this
Extent:
3.5 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides
Sketches
Transparencies
Press releases
Correspondence
Photographs
Media lists
Blueprints
Drawings
Clippings
Client lists
Date:
1951-1984
Scope and Contents:
Background and biographical information consists of Nesbitt's resume, an artist/designer statement, list of clients and accomplishments of Nesbitt Associates, Ltd., press releases, articles, and photographs of the designer.,The materials in this collection document Nesbitt's work from 1951 through 1984.
The records of the office of public relations cover the years 1955-1963 and include press releases and clippings describing some Nesbitt's products, his theories on consumer motivation, and the results of his surveys, as well as correspondence with members of the press. General office correspondence is boxed separately.
Color slides, color and black & white transparencies, and black & white photographs of most of Nesbitt's designs for packaging from 1951-1981 are included. Oversized materials include books jackets and booklets designed by Nesbitt, as well as some renderings for packaging designs done in color.
Three samples of fitted presentation boxes designed by Nesbitt are included, as well as a prototype for a design award for Parsons School of Design in New York, and two "Multiplication" cubes commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Arrangement:
This collection has been reboxed in archivally-sound containers, but the materials have only been partially processed and arranged. Record groups include: 1) Backgound and Biographical Information; 2) Records of the Public Relations Office, 1955-1963; 3) Correspondence; 4) Slides, Transparencies, and Photographs; 5) Oversized Materials; and 6) Samples.
Biographical / Historical:
Packaging, industrial, and graphic designer. Born in New York City, August 10, 1920. Nesbitt was a student of sculptor Chaim Gross and studied art at many New York institutions including: Art Students League; New York University; Columbia University; Pratt Institute of Art; and the New School.

He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 where he worked as a cartographer and as the head of the visual aid section in a military intelligence training center. In 1945, he joined the staff of Harper's Bazaar magazine where he was an illustrator assisting art director Alexey Brodovich. In 1946, Nesbitt was hired by the industrial design studio of Raymond Loewy as a handletterer and packaging designer.

He worked with Lippincott Industrial Design from 1948 to 1951. Nesbitt opened his own design studio, Nesbitt Associates, Ltd. in 1951. The firm specialized in package design, trademarks, and corporate identities. Some of his most recognizable designs were for the label for Campbell's Soup and the Florists' Telegraph Delivery (F.T.D.) Winged Mercury 'Interflora' figure, still used today. Nesbitt's other clients included: Franco American; Revlon; Ballantine Beer; Borden; Champion spark plugs; Kodak; Philip Morris cigarettes; Schick razors; and Archway cookies. In addition, Nesbitt developed the "Karry Kit" for Ballantine Beer which came to be widely used and known as the six pack.

Nesbitt was known for his revealing studies and surveys of the buying needs and preferences of the "average American housewife" and consumers in general. His opinions on what he referred to as "underpackaging" were widely publicized in professional magazines and journals. In 1984, Nesbitt retired from the design field and went to California to resume his career as a sculptor until his death in 1993.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the designer's wife, Mrs. Saul Nesbitt, in 1994.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Industrial designers  Search this
Packaging designers  Search this
Graphic designers  Search this
Topic:
Consumers -- Research  Search this
Consumers' preferences -- United States  Search this
Housewives as consumers  Search this
Labels -- Design  Search this
Corporate image -- Design  Search this
Logos (Symbols) -- Design  Search this
Graphic arts -- United States  Search this
Design, Industrial -- United States  Search this
Packaging -- Design  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides
Sketches
Transparencies
Press releases
Correspondence
Photographs -- 20th century
Media lists
Blueprints
Drawings
Clippings
Client lists
Citation:
Saul Nesbitt Papers, 1951-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1275
See more items in:
Saul Nesbitt Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1275

Robinson and Via Family Papers

Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Names:
Capital Transit Company (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Serenity Farm, Inc.  Search this
Howes, Grace Bourne, ?-1976  Search this
Robinson, Adina Theresa, 1963-  Search this
Robinson, Amanda Baden, 1849-1940  Search this
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Robinson, Frank A., 1883-1970  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., 1841-1905  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., Sr., 1932-  Search this
Robinson, Martha Walls, 1807-1897  Search this
Robinson, Robert David, 1962-  Search this
Robinson, Robert Henry, 1851-1937  Search this
Robinson, Thomas Wells, 1803-1869  Search this
Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1880-1961  Search this
Via, Adina Mae, 1937-1966  Search this
Via, Robert Delano, 1933-  Search this
Via, Robert Milton, 1906-1983  Search this
Creator:
Conner, Mary Robinson, 1930-2009  Search this
Via, Ida Virginia Woods, 1914-2010 -- 20th century  Search this
Extent:
23.1 Cubic feet (70 boxes, 3 map-size folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Photographs
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Place:
Maryland -- Family farms
Washington (D.C.)
Prince George's County (Md.)
Arizona -- Motion pictures
Benedict (Md.)
Charles County (Md.) -- Family farms
Calvert County (Md.) -- Family farms
California -- Motion pictures
Bahamas -- Motion pictures
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Puerto Rico -- Motion pictures
Washington -- motion pictures
Oregon -- Motion pictures
Disneyland (California)
Brandywine (Md.)
St. Thomas, V.I. -- Motion pictures
Florida -- Motion pictures
Date:
1838-2017, undated
bulk 1872-1985
Summary:
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subseries 2.6.1: Farming, 1948-1976, undated

Subseries 2.6.2: Financial, 1948-1988, undated

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

Subseries 2.6.4: Travel, 1959-1970, undated

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

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

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

Series 5: Via Family, 1932-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1: Family papers, 1941-1983, undated

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

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

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

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

Series 6: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.1: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Via Family

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974

Creator:
Jacques Seligmann & Co.  Search this
Subject:
Hauke, Cesar M. de (Cesar Mange)  Search this
Glaenzer, Eugene  Search this
Haardt, Georges  Search this
Seligman, Germain  Search this
Seligmann, Arnold  Search this
Parker, Theresa D.  Search this
Waegen, Rolf Hans  Search this
Trevor, Clyfford  Search this
Seligmann, René  Search this
Seligmann, Jacques  Search this
De Hauke & Co., Inc.  Search this
Jacques Seligmann & Co  Search this
Eugene Glaenzer & Co.  Search this
Germain Seligmann & Co.  Search this
Gersel  Search this
Type:
Gallery records
Topic:
Mackay, Clarence Hungerford, 1874-1938 -- Art collections  Search this
Schiff, Mortimer L. -- Art collections  Search this
Arenberg, duc d' -- Art collections  Search this
Liechtenstein, House of -- Art collections  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- France -- Paris  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
La Fresnaye, Roger de, 1885-1925  Search this
Art, Renaissance  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Art treasures in war  Search this
Art, European  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- France -- Paris  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9936
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212486
AAA_collcode_jacqself
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212486
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Oral history interview with June Schwarcz, 2001 January 21

Interviewee:
Schwarcz, June Therese, 1918-2015  Search this
Interviewer:
Fisch, Arline M., 1931-  Search this
Subject:
Noguchi, Isamu  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin  Search this
Louis, Morris  Search this
Rothko, Mark  Search this
Letchzin, Stanley  Search this
Bellas Artes (Santa Fe, N.M.)  Search this
De Vera Gallery  Search this
Japonesque Gallery  Search this
Mobilia Gallery  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Susan Cummins Gallery  Search this
Sybaris Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Enamels and enameling -- Technique  Search this
Enamels and enameling -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-workers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)12744
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)227013
AAA_collcode_schwar01
Theme:
Craft
Women
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_227013
Online Media:

Emmy Lou Packard Papers

Creator:
Packard, Emmy Lou, 1914-1998  Search this
Names:
American Civil Liberties Union  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
Covarrubias, Miguel, 1904-1957  Search this
Edmunds, John, 1913-  Search this
Kahlo, Frida  Search this
Lange, Dorothea  Search this
O'Gorman, Juan, 1905-  Search this
O'Higgins, Pablo, 1904-  Search this
Refregier, Anton, 1905-  Search this
Reynolds, Malvina  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Extent:
9.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Photographs
Interviews
Diaries
Date:
1900-1990
Summary:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers measure 9.4 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1990, and focus on the career of painter, printmaker, muralist, and sculptor Emmy Lou Packard. Also found are extensive materials relating to Packard's personal and professional relationship with muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo, with whom Packard lived for one year in Mexico. Papers include correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material.
Scope and Contents note:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers measure 9.4 linear feet and date from 1900 to 1990, and focus on the career of painter, printmaker, muralist, and sculptor Emmy Lou Packard. Also found are extensive materials relating to Packard's personal and professional relationship with muralist Diego Rivera and painter Frida Kahlo, with whom Packard lived for one year in Mexico. Papers include correspondence, financial records, notes, writings, exhibition files, photographs, and printed material.

Biographical materials include resumes, personal forms, and certificates. Correspondence is with family, friends, and colleagues, including muralist Anton Refregier, songwriter Malvina Reynolds, and composer John Edmunds. There is one letter from Dorothea Lange. Also found is correspondence with various political and arts organizations, such as the American Civil Liberties Union and the Russian magazine Soviet Woman. Much of the correspondence discusses personal relationships and political and art-related activities. Additional correspondence with and concerning Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo is arranged in Series 6.

Personal business records found within the papers include studio real estate and rent records, insurance records, price lists for artwork, consignment records, and miscellaneous receipts. There is one interview transcript of an interview with Packard for the Radical Elders Oral History Project. The papers include a series of notebooks/diaries, address lists, and other notes.

Packard's reference files and personal papers documenting her professional and close personal relationship with Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo are arranged into a separate series. They include her research files for a planned book on the two artists, personal letters between Packard and the couple, as well as several interesting photographs. Also found in this series are notes, writings, and printed materials relating to Diego Rivera, Frida Kahlo, and other Mexican artists, such as Covarrubius, Juan O'Gorman, and Pablo O'Higgins.

The collection also includes typescripts and additional writings by Packard and others. Artwork consists of orginal drawings and prints by Packard and others not directly associated with projects. Exhibition and project files for many of Packard's commissioned projects are also found within the collection, including her files for the restoration of Anton Refregier's Rincon Annex Post Office mural in San Francisco and the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco. Many of the project files contain correspondence, reports, contracts, printed material, photographs, and artwork.

The papers also include photographs of Packard, her family, residences, artwork, friends, and colleagues, including Cesar Chavez, Juan O'Gorman, Malvina Reynolds, Charles Safford, Ralph Stackpole, and Tennessee Williams. Two scrapbooks are found, as well as additional printed materials such as clippings and exhibition announcements and catalogs. There are also two artifact items, a vinyl record of Malvina Reynolds and a political campaign button.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged into fifteen series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1942-1985 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1919-1990 (Box 1-3; 2.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1945-1985 (Box 3; 21 folders)

Series 4: Interview Transcript, 1979 (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 5: Notes, 1900-1985 (Box 3-4, 10; 1.1 linear feet)

Series 6: Reference Files on Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, 1929-1986 (Box 5, 10, OV 11; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings by Packard, 1953-1984 (Box 6; 17 folders)

Series 8: Writings by Others, 1955-1984 (Box 6; 19 folders)

Series 9: Artwork, 1921-1976 (Box 6; 10 folders)

Series 10: Exhibition Files, 1950-1964 (Box 6, OV 11; 5 folders)

Series 11: Project Files, 1953-1985 (Box 6-7, 10, OV 11; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 12: Photographs, 1914-1982 (Box 8, 10; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 13: Scrapbooks, 1947-1950 (Box 8, 10; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 14: Printed Material, 1936-1988 (Box 8-9, 10; 1 linear foot)

Series 15: Artifacts, 1984 (Box 9-10, OV 11; 2 folders)
Biographical/Historical note:
Emmy Lou Packard was born in Imperial Valley, California on April 15, 1914, to Walter and Emma Leonard Packard. In the late 1920s she lived with her family in Mexico City where she became acquainted with Diego Rivera, from whom she received regular art criticism and encouragement. She graduated from the University of California, Berkeley and completed courses in fresco and sculpture at the California School of Fine Arts in 1940. That year and the next, Packard worked as a full-time painting assistant to Rivera on his 1,650 square-foot fresco at the World's Fair in San Francisco. During this project, Packard became very close to Rivera and Frida Kahlo and returned to Mexico with them and spent a year living with the couple.

From then on, except for in 1944-1945 working for a defense plant, Packard worked and grew in various aspects of her art. In addition to her work in fresco, Packard is known for her work in watercolor, oil, mosaic, laminated plastic, concrete, and printmaking, both in linocuts and woodblocks. She received numerous commissions that included installations for ships, hotels, and private homes for which she executed large woodcuts and mural panels. During the 1950s and 1960s, Packard was hired to restore several historic murals, most notably the Rincon Annex Post Office mural by Anton Refregier and the Coit Tower murals in San Francisco.

Between 1966 and 1967 she was commissioned by architects to design and execute a number of concrete and mosaic pieces, one of which went to the Mirabeau Restaurant in Kaiser Center, Oakland. She also designed and executed a mural for the Fresno Convention Center Theater during that same period. In 1973-1974, she designed and supervised a glazed brick mural for a public library in Pinole, California.

Packard had one-woman shows at the San Francisco Museum of Art, Raymond and Raymond Gallery (San Francisco), Addison Gallery of American Art (Andover, Mass.), Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Pushkin Museum (Moscow), and March Gallery (Chicago). Emmy Lou Packard died in 1998.
Related Archival Materials note:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Emmy Lou Packard conducted by Mary Fuller McChesney in 1964.
Provenance:
Emmy Lou Packard donated her papers to the Archives of American Art from 1984-1988.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Emmy Lou Packard papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Printmakers -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, Mexican  Search this
Muralists -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Photographs
Interviews
Diaries
Citation:
Emmy Lou Packard papers, 1900-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.packemmy
See more items in:
Emmy Lou Packard Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-packemmy
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Online Media:

1945 Cushman Motor Scooter

Maker:
Cushman Motor Works  Search this
Physical Description:
steel (overall material)
rubber (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 40 in x 28 in x 84 in; 101.6 cm x 71.12 cm x 213.36 cm
Object Name:
motor scooter
Place made:
United States: Nebraska, Lincoln
Date made:
1945
Credit Line:
Gift of Brother Thomas C. Bracco, S. J.
ID Number:
2000.0235.01
Accession number:
2000.0235
Catalog number:
2000.0235.01
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Work
America on the Move
Transportation
Family & Social Life
Road Transportation
Sports & Leisure
Exhibition:
America On The Move
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-27e9-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1330041
Online Media:

Service Fall In! National League for Woman's Service

Issuing body:
National League for Woman's Service  Search this
Artist:
Patterson, Lucile  Search this
Collection Creator:
Princeton University  Search this
Extent:
1 Poster (1/2 size; Multi-color, 63.5 x 44.5 cm)
Container:
Map-folder 528
Type:
Archival materials
Posters
Place:
United States
Date:
circa 1917
Image:
Main Image: Woman in uniform riding a horse and carrying U.S. flag being followed by women representing farmers, nurses, housewives, etc.
Local numbers:
Princeton Poster# 6702
General:
Issued by: Nation League for Womans Service

Artist(s): Lucile Patterson
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Copyright status of items varies. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Relief and volunteer organizations  Search this
Women's War Work  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
World War, 1914-1918 -- War work  Search this
Women in war  Search this
Genre/Form:
Posters
Collection Citation:
Princeton University Posters Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Princeton University Poster Collection
Princeton University Poster Collection / Series 2: World War One / United States
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0433-ref8566

Fuller Brush Company Records

Creator:
Fuller Brush Company  Search this
Extent:
32.5 Cubic feet (77 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Clippings
Ledgers (account books)
Letters (correspondence)
Motion picture film
Newsletters
Photographs
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Training manuals
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records
Place:
Connecticut -- Hartford
Kansas
Date:
1890-2017
Summary:
The collection documents the Fuller Brush Company founded by Alfred C. Fuller in 1906.
Content Description:
The collection documents the Fuller Brush Company from the early years of its existence. The contents include photographs; ledgers; correspondence; internal reports; manufacturing facility studies; quality control reports; financial statements; sales data; company newsletters, some loose and some in bound form; other internal publications; advertising; trade literature; product manuals; catalogs; training manuals and employee handbooks; company annual reports; convention programs and materials; films; materials relating to employee incentives; vinyl records of radio broadcasts; scripts, pressbooks, and other promotional material for motion pictures; informational audio-cassete tapes; contracts, trial testimonies, and other legal papers; industry surveys and marketing campaign proposals; and clippings and printed materials.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into thirteen series. Unless otherwise noted, material is arranged chronologically.

Series 1: Historical background, 1916-2001

Series 2: Corporate records, 1917-2010 (bulk 1973-1976)

Series 3: Marketing, 1941-2013

Series 4: Operational records, 1913-1976 (bulk 1969-1976)

Series 5: Financial materials, 1919-1996

Series 6: Personnel, 1922-1984

Series 7: Sales managers, 1922-1990

Series 8: Distributors, 1921-2006

Series 9: Publications, 1920-1999

Series 10: Product materials, 1912-2017

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1890-2000

Series 12: Press Clippings and Publicity, 1921-2010

Series 13: The Fuller Brush Man and The Fuller Brush Girl, 1947-1953, 2004 (bulk 1947-1952).
Historical:
Founded in 1906 by Alfred C. Fuller in Hartford, Connecticut, the Fuller Brush Company predominately sold a wide range of cleaning products, marketed for personal care, housekeeping, and commercial users. Mostly a direct-selling company, it is perhaps best known for its independent, door-to-door salesmen, a figure referred to in popular culture as "the Fuller Brush Man." Calling on the housewives of America, the Fuller Brush Man would visit households with a gift, flyers, and a case full of samples, with which he would demonstrate the use of cleaning implements of various shapes and sizes. Through techniques such as developing new products based on customer feedback, and providing a satisfaction guarantee by allowing for product returns during the Fuller Brush Man's next visit, the Fuller Brush Company inspired new levels of trust and credibility in direct selling. In return, the company reaped massive profits. During the peak of the company's popularity, in around the 1950s, the Fuller Brush Man was a ubiquitous part of the American landscape, alluded to in comic strips, radio programs, and popular films, such as the 1948 Red Skelton comedy The Fuller Brush Man and the 1950 comedy The Fuller Brush Girl, starring Lucille Ball.

The Fuller Brush Company continually used its resources to promote and establish the identity of the Fuller Brush Man, to its own salespeople as well as the public. Traditional print advertisements were supplemented with extensive publicity coverage, carefully crafted by the Fuller Brush Company's advertising and public relations team. The company fostered a culture of achievable aspiration among new recruits, through in-house publications, which celebrated the accomplishments of fellow dealers, incentive programs, and a career ladder pipeline, which allowed high achieving salesmen to advance from independent dealers to regional sales managers--who were considered formal employees of the Fuller Brush Company. Some sales managers became local celebrities in their districts, adding their own charisma to the development of the Fuller Brush Man--such as New York District's Al Teetsel--whose "Fine and Dandy" personal motto established a cult following. Other Fuller Brush Company salesmen used the Fuller Brush Man's distinctive optimism, pluck, and perseverance to later become celebrities in their own right, such as evangelist Billy Graham, who attributed his high school days as a successful Fuller Brush Man to his future success.

While the Fuller Brush Company is best known for its door-to-door network of Fuller Brush Men, and its household products division, the company experimented with various channels of distribution and other specialized products during its over 100-year history. The Fuller Brush Company produced implements to clean guns during World War II, and in 1945 was honored with the E Award for its war effort contributions. In the 1940s, the Fuller Brush Company introduced female salespeople, or "Fullerettes" to their door-to-door ranks (mostly to promote their Debutante Cosmetics line, released by Daggett & Ramsdell, Inc. in 1948). The company returned to actively recruiting Fullerettes in 1966, and thereafter welcomed distributors of either sex. The company's Machine Division produced the mast for the sailboat "Columbia" in 1958, and in the 1960s, its Marine Division produced items for the maintenance of nautical equipment. Around the 1960s, its Household Division incorporated new items such as vitamins and hormone treatments into its personal care product line. The company experimented with retail brick-and-mortar locations, and, in 1974, instigated a telemarketing program. After 1985, the Fuller Brush Company began to move away from door-to-door sales techniques, redeveloping its sale channel distribution system to include mail order catalogs, a secure sales website for distributors, network-marketing techniques, and a reinterpretation of sales territories for distributors where district territories began to blur in favor of nationwide sales opportunities.

Founded in Hartford, Connecticut, the company remained in the region through the 1960s, though the company shifted locations to larger offices and manufacturing facilities as it grew. In 1960, operational facilities and headquarters moved to a large, custom-built campus in East Hartford, Connecticut. However, in 1968, the company was acquired by the Kitchens of Sara Lee, Inc. (then a part of the Consolidated Foods Corporation). During the 1970s the Fuller Brush Company experienced rapid changes in administration and organization. Under President Nat Zivin, headquarters relocated to Niles, Illinois in 1973. Later the same year, headquarters and operations moved to a large manufacturing facility in Great Bend, Kansas. The company remained a division of Sara Lee until 1989.

The Fuller Brush Company grew to involve multiple subsidiaries, including many that were international. The Fuller Brush Company established a wholly-owned Canadian subsidiary in 1921, called the Fuller Brush Company, Limited. In 1942, the Fuller Brush Company bought out a competitor, the Albany, New York-based Mohawk Brush Company. The "bristlecomb" hairbrush, introduced by the Mohawk Brush Company in 1928, remained one of the Fuller Brush Company's signature products. In 1961, the Fuller Brush Company founded and incorporated Charter Supply Corporation as a wholly-owned Mohawk subsidiary. Charter Products operated as a "private label" division, to rebrand duplicate products. The Fuller Brush Company also owned subsidiaries in Mexico; in 1968, the Fuller Brush Company held 100% interest in House of Fuller, S.A. and Charter de Mexico, S.A., both established in Mexico. Also in 1968, the Fuller Brush Company was a partial owner of House of Fuller (Jamaica), Ltd. The Fuller Brush Company conducted business around the world, including dealings in England, France, Jamaica, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Spain, and Venezuela.

With growth came legal challenges. The Green River Ordinance, established in 1931, placed limits on door-to-door sales. The Fuller Brush Company challenged the ordinance, when it went to the Supreme Court in 1937. Over the course of its history, the Fuller Brush Company weathered lawsuits ranging from trademark disputes to labor treatment complaints from area managers in Puerto Rico.

After the sale by Sara Lee in 1989, the Fuller Brush Company was held by a series of private owners, including Lee Turner and Stuart A. Ochiltree. In June 1994, CPAC, Inc. purchased the company. In 1995, CPAC, Inc. also bought a longtime competitor of the Fuller Brush Company, Stanley Home Products, a company founded in 1929 by Stanley Beverage, a former sales vice president for the Fuller Brush Company. The two companies became siblings under the same parent organization; items from the Stanley Home Products line were sold by Fuller Brush Company distributors, and manufactured at the Fuller Brush Company plant in Great Bend. In 2012, both the Fuller Brush Company and Stanley Home Products filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The companies merged their product lines and catalogs, eliminating equivalent products, to cut costs and streamline operations.

In December 2012, David Sabin and Chicago-based private equity firm Victory Park Capital purchased the Fuller Brush Company. The company headquarters moved to Napa Valley, California. Facing increased financial difficulties, in 2016 the company began to phase out its independent distributor system and domestic manufacturing operations. Around January 2018, the company was sold to Galaxy Brush LLC of Lakewood, New Jersey.
Biographical:
Alfred C. Fuller (January 13, 1885 - December 4, 1973), was founder and first president of the Fuller Brush Company, as well as the "original Fuller Brush Man." He was born in rural Nova Scotia, to parents Leander Joseph Fuller and Phebe Jane Collins. The eleventh of twelve children, Fuller took pride in the resilient and self-sufficient spirit he developed growing up on a Nova Scotian farm, and valued such qualities throughout his life over formal education. Long after his success, he promoted himself as an average man among average men.

In 1903, at age eighteen, Alfred Fuller left his family home in Nova Scotia, and followed siblings who settled in the United States. He moved in with his sister Annie and her husband, Frank Adler, in Somerville, Massachusetts. After a series of odd jobs, Fuller considered trying his hand at selling brushes (he was inspired by a brother, Dwight, who made and sold brushes before his death by tuberculosis in 1901). Alfred discovered a knack for trade; unlike many other direct salesmen at the time, his sales technique emphasized product demonstrations. Eventually, Fuller decided to make his own brushes. He set up a workbench in his sister's basement in January 1906. Four months later, he moved to Hartford, Connecticut where he founded the Fuller Brush Company.

The rapid success of the company, improved Alfred C. Fuller's romantic prospects. With the enthusiastic support of his sister, Annie, Alfred initiated a courtship with a Nova Scotian woman who had formerly caught his eye, Evelyn Ellis. They were married on April 10, 1908. However, the marriage was strained, and they divorced in 1930. In 1932, Alfred Fuller remarried. His second wife, Mary Primrose Pelton, was also Nova Scotian, the daughter of a judge from Yarmouth. They remained together for the rest of his life.

Alfred C. Fuller and his first wife Evelyn had two sons. Alfred Howard was born in 1913 and Avard in 1916. Both would later rise to prominence within the Fuller Brush Company, serving as its second and third presidents. The elder son, Howard, was Fuller Brush Company President from 1943 until 1959. From an early age, Howard challenged his father regarding the direction of the company. With his bold and aggressive personality, Howard was able to institute changes to the company that resulted in higher profits, such as distributing catalogs before the salesman's visit, shortening product demonstrations, prioritizing many small sales over few large sales, and developing other techniques that emphasized speed and efficiency. However, his temperament also contributed to Howard and his wife Dora's untimely deaths. Howard, always interested in thrilling, high-risk pursuits (such as driving sports cars, piloting airplanes, and racing speedboats and sailboats) was cruising through Nevada at 120-miles per hour for a business trip, uncharacteristically accompanied by his wife, when his Mercedes-Benz 300 SL blew a tire. Both Fullers died in the accident.

Following the tragic accident, Avard assumed leadership of the Fuller Brush Company. Avard's more conservative nature ushered in an era of leadership where his father, Alfred C. Fuller, rose in honor and influence with the company. However, Avard relied on traditional sales strategies (such as promoting a culture around the Fuller Brush Man, rather than take a more active strategy toward integrating female distributors) which placed the Fuller Brush Company at a disadvantage with competitors such as Avon Cosmetics. Avard served as President of the Fuller Brush Company until 1969.

Although Alfred C. Fuller never reclaimed presidency of the Fuller Brush Company, he remained chairman emeritus for the duration of his life. A treasured company figurehead, celebrations were held in his honor long after his retirement. In 1956, a testimonial dinner was held where a portrait of Fuller was unveiled in honor of the 50-year anniversary of the Fuller Brush Company. In 1965, Alfred C. Fuller was further honored, when his birthplace was dedicated as a historic landmark. Alfred C. Fuller was known as "Dad" Fuller to the thousands of Fuller Brush Men and Fullerettes who represented the company door-to-door throughout the country, and made frequent appearances in in-house publications and external publicity. Working with Hartzell Spence, Alfred C. Fuller wrote an autobiography, titled A Foot in the Door, published by the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. in 1960. A practicing Christian Scientist with a devout Methodist mother, Fuller frequently alludes to the influence of his faith in his autobiography. Alfred C. Fuller passed away on December 4, 1973.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Stanley Home Products Collection (AC0788)

Earl S. Tupper Papers (AC0470)

Brownie Wise Papers (AC0509)

Ann and Thomas Damigella Collections (AC0583)

Industry on Parade Film Collection, episodes 66, 217 (AC0507)

Materials at the Smithsonian Institution

Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collection, includes some Fuller Brush Company catalogs;

The Work and Industry Division, National Museum of American History holds artifacts from the Fuller Brush Company from previous accessions, such as hairbrushes for women and men (including bristlecomb hairbrushes); shower brushes; toothbrushes; combs; a military brush; brush holders; and similar materials. (AG.A.6645-AG.A.6653; AG.A.6656-AG.A.6666; AG.77-FT-15.0523; ZZ.RSN833134).

The Medicine and Science Division, National Museum of American History holds a general purpose cleaning brush, and a bathroom fixtures cleaning brush from a previous accesssion (2006.0098).

National Portrait Gallery holds a portrait of Alfred Fuller.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department

Avon Products Inc., Records, 1880-2012

University of Wyoming, American Heritage Center, Archives

Columbia Pictures Records, 1934-1974 (collection #93555)

Includes materials related to the Fuller Brush man and Fuller Brush Girl, 1950.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts collected along with the acquisition of archival material are held by the Divisions of Work and Industry, and Medicine and Science.

Separated materials assigned to the Division of Work and Industry include a men's tie; buttons; ashtray; charm; and tape measure. See accession 2018.0089.

Separated materials assigned to Division of Medicine and Science include a bathing brush, a dental plate brush, a women's hair brush, a comb cleaner, and toothbrushes. Some items are maintained in original packaging, or are kept with original paper inserts. See accession 2018.0090.
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Fuller Brush Company through David Sabin, 2018.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Reference copies for audio and moving images materials do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Advertising copy  Search this
Advertising, Point-of-sale  Search this
Broom and brush industry  Search this
Door-to-door selling  Search this
Household supplies  Search this
Print Advertising  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Traveling sales personnel  Search this
Manufacturing  Search this
Cosmetics industry  Search this
Industry -- U.S.  Search this
Direct selling  Search this
Businesspeople  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Radio broadcasts  Search this
Product demonstrations  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Ledgers (account books) -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Motion picture film
Newsletters -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Printed materials
Programs (documents)
Reports -- 20th century
Sales catalogs
Sales records
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Trade literature -- 20th century
Training manuals -- 20th century
Financial statements
Market surveys
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
Fuller Brush Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1459
See more items in:
Fuller Brush Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1459
Online Media:

Louisan E. Mamer Rural Electrification Administration Papers

Creator:
Mamer, Stuart M.  Search this
Mamer, Louisan E., 1910-2005  Search this
Names:
Rural Electrification Administration  Search this
Tennessee Valley Authority  Search this
United States. Department of Agriculture  Search this
Extent:
10.1 Cubic feet (31 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Trade catalogs
Cookbooks
Manuals
Scrapbooks
Newsletters
Lecture notes
Articles
Specifications
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
1927-2002
Summary:
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.
Arrangement:
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." [1]

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. [2]

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.

Footnotes

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.

Sources

"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
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Reddy Kilowatt Records (AC0913)
Provenance:
Donated by Louisan E. Mamer to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian in June 2004.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Cookery  Search this
Electric toasters  Search this
Farms  Search this
Electric lighting  Search this
Electricity  Search this
Stoves  Search this
Refrigerators  Search this
Recipes  Search this
Electric apparatus and appliances  Search this
Laundry  Search this
New Deal, 1933-1939  Search this
Home economics  Search this
Rural electrification  Search this
Kitchens  Search this
Kitchen appliances  Search this
Genre/Form:
Trade catalogs
Cookbooks
Manuals
Scrapbooks
Newsletters -- 20th century
Lecture notes
Articles
Specifications
Publications
Photographs -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
Louisan E. Mamer Rural Electrification Administration Papers, 1927-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0862
See more items in:
Louisan E. Mamer Rural Electrification Administration Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0862
Online Media:

Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials

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

Series 1: Corporate Records, 1920-1992, 2003

Subseries 1.1: Annual reports, 1949, 1966, 1988

Subseries 1.2: Correspondence and company identity, 1920-1988

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

Subseries 1.4: Newspaper clippings and articles, 1934-2003

Subseries 1.5: Awards, 1940s-1987

Subseries 1.6: Patent information, 1925-1994

Subseries 1.7: Photographs, 1927-1966

Series 2: Personnel Records, 1943-1992

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

Subseries 3.1: Newsletters, 1942-1988

Subseries 3.2: Press releases, 1973-1990

Series 4: Product Information, 1948-1994

Series 5: Advertising and sales materials, 1913-2000

Subseries 5.1: Advertising materials, 1913-2000

Subseries 5.2: Sales materials, 1922-1993

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

Series 7: Exhibits, 1981-1994

Series 8: Grace Jeffers Research Materials, 1987-1997

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

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

Subseries 10.1: Background Materials, 1965-1999

Subseries 10.2: Employee Benefits, 1963-1998

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leo Baekeland Papers, 1881-1968 (AC0005)

DuPont Nylon Collection, 1939-1977 (AC0007)

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

Earl Tupper Papers, circa 1914-1982 (AC0470)

The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession # 1997.0319 and #1997.3133.
Provenance:
This collection was assembled by Grace Jeffers, historian of material culture, primarily from materials given to her by Susan Lewin, Head of Formica's New York design and publicity office when the office closed in 1995. The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Grace Jeffers in September 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. 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.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastics as art material -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastics in interior design -- 1920-2000  Search this
advertising -- plastic industry -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastic jewelry -- 1920-2000  Search this
Laminated plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Exhibitions -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
House furnishings -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Housewives as consumers -- 1920-2000  Search this
Electronic insulators and insulation -- Plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Women in popular culture -- 1920-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scripts (documents)
Videotapes
Posters -- 20th century
Samples -- 1920-2000
Advertisements
Brochures
Blueprints -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Exhibition catalogs
Catalogs
Catalogs -- 1920-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0565
See more items in:
Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0565
Online Media:

Newspaper Articles

Collection Creator:
Scott, Blanche Stuart, 1889-1970  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1911 - 1955
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Blanche Stuart Scott Collection, Acc. NASM.XXXX.0062, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Blanche Stuart Scott Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0062-ref13
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Oral history interview with June Schwarcz

Interviewee:
Schwarcz, June, 1918-2015  Search this
Interviewer:
Fisch, Arline M.  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Bellas Artes (Santa Fe, N.M.)  Search this
De Vera Gallery  Search this
Japonesque Gallery  Search this
Mobilia Gallery  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Pratt Institute  Search this
Susan Cummins Gallery  Search this
Sybaris Gallery  Search this
Brancusi, Constantin, 1876-1957  Search this
Letchzin, Stanley  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
Noguchi, Isamu, 1904-1988  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Extent:
75 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2001 January 21
Scope and Contents:
An interview of June Schwarcz conducted 2001 January 21, by Arline M. Fisch, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in Schwarcz's home and studio, Sausalito, California.
Schwarcz speaks of her family background; early interest in color and form; studies at Pratt Institute; working in as a package designer and free-lance designer for department stores such as Macy's in New York and Hochschild-Kohn in Baltimore; living in Chicago, Brazil, and Denver; learning about enamels from a group of "housewives" in Denver; reading Kenneth Bates's book [Enameling: Principles and Practice] "as if it were the Bible"; visiting America House and meeting Dominick Maillard; settling in Sausalito, California, in 1954; the comparison of natural erosion in streams and rocks to etched surfaces; sources of inspiration including fog, folk art, African art, ancient Chinese ceramics, the Japanese aesthetic, ethnic clothing and fabrics, pleats and folds, and works by Isamu Noguchi, Constantin Brancusi, Morris Louis, and Mark Rothko; the practice of working on several pieces at one time; the influence of two books, Santayana's "The Sense of Beauty" and Junichiro Tanizaki's "In Praise of Shadows;" her desire to "making things that are beautiful"; her husband's support and assistance with tools, materials, and techniques; the significance of various tools and equipment; developing forms through paper patterns; the body as vessel; color as "personality"; technical pitfalls of the enameling process; technical problems of electroplating; the 1974 World Craft Conference in which Stanley Letchzin presented his findings on electroforming; meeting Letchzin and comparing processes; the difficulties in selling work; the lack of an audience; teaching workshops at Arrowmont and Vail; aversion to teaching and commissions; relationships with Susan Cummins Gallery, Bellas Artes Gallery, Japonesque Gallery, De Vera Gallery, Sybaris Gallery, and Mobilia Gallery; travel to Europe and Japan; honors and awards; and interest in transparent enamels. Schwarcz also describes her use of basse taille, plique-à-jour, electroplating, electroforming, brush plating, raku, scotchbrite, and Mi-Tique (patina solutions). She also recalls development of each piece in her retrospective catalog, "June Schwarcz : forty years, forty pieces" (San Francisco Craft & Folk Art Museum, 1998) and concludes the interview by discussing five current pieces in progress.
Biographical / Historical:
June Schwarcz (1918-2015) was an enamaler from Sausalito, California. Arline M. Fisch (1931-) is a metalsmith from San Diego, California.
General:
Originally recorded as 4 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 7 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 36 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Occupation:
Enamelers -- California  Search this
Topic:
Enamels and enameling -- Technique  Search this
Enamels and enameling -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-workers -- California -- San Francisco -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.schwar01
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schwar01

Manila Davis Talley Scrapbook

Creator:
Talley, Manila Davis.  Search this
Names:
Curtiss-Wright Corporation  Search this
United States. Civil Air Patrol  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Date:
bulk 1917-1967
bulk 1929-1942
Summary:
This collection consists of a scrapbook relating to Manila Davis Talley and her aviation career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of one scrapbook which contains newspaper clippings, membership cards, programs, photographs, and pilot's licenses, mostly relating to Manila Davis Talley and her aviation career. The focus of the collection is on the years 1929-42, and highlights Talley's career as a salesperson for Curtis-Wright, and her association with the 99s and the Betsy Ross Corps. Also included is the scrapbook is information on the Women's National Air Races, the Women's National Air Meets, and Talley's work with the Civil Air Patrol. The scrapbook also includes clippings and other items related to Amelia Earhart, Jimmy Doolittle and General Balbo.
Arrangement:
Single item in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
Manila Davis Talley (1898-1973) soloed in October 1929 and received her pilot's license in April of 1930. She joined Curtis-Wright Corporation as a saleswoman in late 1929 or early 1930. Talley joined the 99s (international association of female pilots) in 1930 and was a founding member of Betsy Ross Corps, a private 1930s female auxiliary/reserve for the Army Air Corps. Talley was the third woman to go through Air Force War College, in December 1966.
Provenance:
Estate of Manila Davis Talley, Gift, Unknown, NASM.XXXX.0041
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Women air pilots  Search this
Airplane racing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Manila Davis Talley Scrapbook, NASM.XXXX.0041, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0041
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0041
2 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Manila Davis Talley Scrapbook digital asset number 1
  • View Manila Davis Talley Scrapbook digital asset number 2
Online Media:

Pillsbury Company Bake-Off Collection

Collector:
Pillsbury Company  Search this
Extent:
2.15 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Print advertising
Tear sheets
Cookbooks
Videotapes
Date:
1933-1998
Scope and Contents:
Material documenting Pillsbury's Bake-Off from its inception in 1949 through its 50th anniversary in 1999. Papers include primarily cookbooks issued after Bake-Offs, biographies of contestants and VHS videos of five Bake-Offs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into fivce series.

Series 1: Historical Background Series 2: Cookbooks, 1933-1998

Series 3: Bake-Off Contestants, 1957-1998

Series 4: Videotapes of Bake-Offs, 1950, 1955, 1968, 1976, 1996

Series 5: Advertisements, 1949-1983
Provenance:
Collection donated by The Pillsbury Company, through Ms. Jackie Peterson (letter from Craig Orr to her, April 5, 2001).
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Contests -- United States  Search this
Food  Search this
Housewives -- United States  Search this
Baking  Search this
Baked products  Search this
Cookery, American  Search this
Genre/Form:
Print advertising
Tear sheets -- 1940-2000
Cookbooks
Videotapes
Citation:
Pillsbury Bake-Off Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0690
See more items in:
Pillsbury Company Bake-Off Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0690
Online Media:

The Kitchen Debate and Cold War consumer politics : a brief history with documents / Shane Hamilton, Sarah Phillips

Author:
Hamilton, Shane 1976-  Search this
Phillips, Sarah T. 1974-  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 171 pages : illustrations ; 21 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Soviet Union
Date:
2014
20th century
1955-1965
1945-1991
1945-
Topic:
Cold War--Social aspects  Search this
Consumption (Economics)--History  Search this
Foreign relations  Search this
Economic conditions  Search this
Social conditions  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1107057

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