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George H. Clark Radioana Collection

Creator:
Clark, George Howard, 1881-1956  Search this
Source:
Electricity and Modern Physics, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Names:
American Marconi Company.  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Former owner:
Electricity and Modern Physics, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
220 Cubic feet (700 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Technical manuals
Clippings
Patents
Correspondence
Blueprints
Letters patent
Photographs
Sale catalogs
Technical drawings
Date:
circa 1880-1950
Summary:
The collection forms a documentary record of over half a century of the history of radio, with the greatest emphasis on the period 1900-1935. The collection includes materials that span the entire history of the growth of the radio industry. It is useful for those historians and other researchers interested in technological development, economic history, and the impact of applications of technology on American life.
Scope and Contents:
The materials accumulated in this collection represent the overriding collecting passion of one individual, George H. Clark. The collection forms a documentary record of over half a century of the history of radio, with the greatest emphasis on the period 1900-1935.

The collection includes materials that span the entire history of the growth of the radio industry. It is useful for those historians and other researchers interested in technological development, economic history, and the impact of applications of technology on American life.

In particular, the collection is rich in biographical information on the men who developed the technical aspects of radio and the industry; information on the inception, growth, and activities of radio companies, most notably the National Electric Signaling Company and RCA; and in photographs of all aspects of Radioana.

While most materials document technical aspects of radio, there is much information (e.g. Series 109, 134) on broadcasting and on the early history of television.

The collection, housed in over 700 boxes (about 276 linear feet), was organized into 259 numbered "classes" or series by Clark. Sixty series numbers were never used or were eliminated by Clark and combined with other series. The unused numbers are scattered throughout the filing system. The collection also includes material from series that were eliminated. These materials were never reclassified and are included as an unprocessed series at the end of the series descriptions. The collection also contains material that was never assigned a "class" designation by Clark (Lettered Series: D, E, F, G, H).

The arrangement of the collection is Clark's own; his adaptation of the Navy filing system he helped devise in 1915. Clark periodically revised the filing system and reclassified items within it.

Clark assigned class numbers to types of equipment (e.g. broadcast receivers), systems (impulse-excited transmitters and systems), scientific theories (circuit theory), and topics (company history, biography). Box 1 contains descriptions of the classification system.

When Clark classified an item and filed it he also assigned a serial number. This classification begins with 1 (or 1A) for the first item in the class and continues with successive numbers as items were added. As a consequence, the order of individual items within a series reflects the order in which Clark filed them, not any logical relationship between the items. Clark created cross references for items dealing with more than one subject by making notations on blank sheets of paper placed in related series.

Clark made cross references between series when there was no logical relationship between them; that is, when a person using the collection would not normally look in the series. For example no cross reference would be made of an engineer from series 87 (portraits) to series 4 (biography), but one would be made from series 87 to series 142 (history of television) if the item showed the engineer, say, working on a television installation.

Clark created the insignia "SRM" as the sign on the bottom of all sheets of paper numbered by him for binding. SRM stood for Smithsonian Radio Museum. This replaced the earlier though not greatly used sign "CGM." For a time about 1930, the class number on each sheet was preceded by these: "C.G.M.", for Clark, Martin, and Goldsmith, the earliest contributors to what would become the Clark Radioana Collection. After about 1933-34 Clark used C.W.C. for Clark Wireless Collection.

There are many photographs located in most series throughout the collection. But there are also three exclusive photographic series. Lettered series A, B, C. See index; and also series descriptions under lettered series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 223 series.

Numbered Series 1-233:

Series 1, Library Operating System, 1915-1950

Series 2, Apparatus Type Numbers, 1916-1931

Series 3, Photographic Lists, 1925-1928

Series 4, Biographies of Radio Personages, Technical Index to Correspondents in Series 4

Series 5, History of Radio Companies, 1895-1950

De Forest Radio Company, 1905-1930s

Jenkins Televsion Corporation, 1924-1931

Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, 1908-1929

National Electric Signaling Company, 1896-1941

Wireless Specialty Apparatus Company, 1906-1929

Radio Corporation of America, 1895-1950

Series 6, Shore Stations, 1900-1940

Series 7, Marine Stations, 1900-1930s

Series 8, Broadcasting Stations, 1910s-1940s

Series 9, Amateur Stations, 1910s-1940s

Series 10, Miscellaneous Information, 1911-1914

Series 11, Radio Antiques, 1921-1938

Series 13, Specifications of Radio Apparatus, 1910s-1930s

Series 14, General History, 1899-1950s

Series 15, Radio Companies Catalogues & Bound Advertisements, 1873-1941

Series 16, Log Books, 1902-1923

Series 17, Radio Companies' House Organs, 1896-1942

Series 18, Prime Movers, 1904-1911

Series 19, Batteries, 1898-1934

Series 20, Rectifiers, 1875-1935

Series 21, Motor Generators, 1898-1936

Series 22, Nameplates of Apparatus, 1928

Series 23, Switchboards and Switchboard Instruments, 1910-1935

Series 24, Radio Frequency Switches, 1905-1905-1933

Series 25, Transmitter Transformers, 1893-1949

Series 26, Operating Keys, 1843-1949

Series 27, Power Type Interrupters, 1902-1938

Series 28, Protective Devices, 1910-1925

Series 30, Message Blanks, 1908-1938

Series 31, Transmitter Condensers, 1849-1943

Series 32, Spark Gaps, 1905-1913

Series 33, Transmitter Inductances, 1907-1922

Series 34, Transmitter Wave Changers, 1907-1924

Series 37, ARC Transmitters, 1907-1940

Series 38, Vacuum Tube Type of Radio Transmitter, 1914-1947

Series 39, Radio Transmitter, Radio-Frequency, Alternator Type, 1894-1940

Series 41, Vacuum Tubes, Transmitting Type, 1905-1948

Series 43, Receiving Systems, 1904-1934

Series 45, Broadcast Receivers, 1907-1948

Series 46, Code Receivers, 1902-1948

Series 47, Receiving Inductances, 1898-1944

Series 48, Receiving Condensers, 1871-1946

Series 49, Audio Signal Devices, 1876-1947

Series 50, Detectors, 1878-1944

Series 51, Amplifiers, 1903-1949

Series 52, Receiving Vacuum Tubes, 1905-1949

Series 53, Television Receivers, 1928-1948

Series 54, Photo-Radio Apparatus, 1910-1947

Series 59, Radio Schools, 1902-1945

Series 60, Loudspeakers, 1896-1946

Series 61, Insulators, 1844-1943

Series 62, Wires, 1906-1945

Series 63, Microphones, 1911-1947

Series 64, Biography, 1925-1948

Series 66, Antennas, 1877-1949

Series 67, Telautomatics, 1912-1944

Series 69, Direction Finding Equipment, Radio Compasses, 1885-1948

Series 71, Aircraft Transmitters, 1908-1947

Series 72, Field or Portables Transmitters, 1901-1941

Series 73, Mobile Radio Systems, 1884-1946

Series 74, Radio Frequency Measuring Instruments, 1903-1946

Series 75, Laboratory Testing Methods and Systems, 1891-1945

Series 76, Aircraft Receivers, 1917-1941

Series 77, Field Portable Receivers, 1906-1922

Series 78, Spark Transmitter Assembly, 1909-1940

Series 79, Spark Transmitter System, 1900-1945

Series 82, Firsts in Radio, undated

Series 85: Distance Records and Tests, 1898-1940

Series 87, Photographs of Radio Executives, and Technical Types, 1857-1952

Series 90, Radio Terms, 1857-1939

Series 92, Static Patents and Static Reducing Systems, 1891-1946

Series 93, Low Frequency Indicating Devices, 1904-1946

Series 95, Articles on Radio Subjects, 1891-1945

Series 96, Radio in Education, 1922-1939

Series 98, Special Forms of Broadcasting, 1921-1943

Series 99, History of Lifesaving at Sea by Radio, 1902-1949

Series 100, History of Naval Radio, 1888-1948

Series 101, Military Radio, 1898-1946

Series 102, Transmitting & Receiving Systems, 1902-1935

Series 103, Receiving Methods, 1905-1935

Series 108, Codes and Ciphers, 1894-1947

Series 109, Schedules of Broadcasting & TV Stations, 1905-1940

Series 112, Radio Shows and Displays, 1922-1947

Series 114, Centralized Radio Systems, 1929-1935

Series 116, United States Government Activities in Radio, 1906-1949

Series 117, Technical Tables, 1903-1932

Series 120, Litigation on Radio Subjects, 1914-1947

Series 121, Legislation, 1914-1947

Series 122, History of Radio Clubs, 1907-1946

Series 123, Special Applications of Radio Frequency, 1924-1949

Series 124, Chronology, 1926-1937

Series 125, Radio Patents & Patent Practices, 1861-1949

Series 126, Phonographs, 1894-1949

Series 127, Piezo Electric Effect, 1914-1947

Series 128, ARC Transmitting & Reciving Systems, 1904-1922

Series 129, Spark Systems, 1898-1941

Series 130, Vacuum Tubes Systems, 1902-1939

Series 132, Radiophone Transmitting & Receiving System, 1906-1947

Series 133, Photo-Radio, 1899-1947

Series 134, History of Radio Broadcasting, 1908-

Series 135, History of Radiotelephony, Other Than Broadcasting

Series 136, History of Amateur Radio

Series 138, Transoceanic Communication

Series 139, Television Transmitting Stations

Series 140, Radio Theory

Series 142, History of Television

Series 143, Photographs

Series 144, Radio Publications

Series 145, Proceedings of Radio Societies

Series 146: Radio Museums

Series 147, Bibliography of Radio Subjects and Apparatus

Series 148, Aircraft Guidance Apparatus

Series 150, Audio Frequency Instruments

Series 151, History of Radio for Aircrafts

Series 152, Circuit Theory

Series 154, Static Elimination

Series 161, Radio in Medicine

Series 162, Lighting

Series 163, Police Radio

Series 169, Cartoons

Series 173, Communications, Exclusive of Radio (after 1895)

Series 174, Television Methods and Systems

Series 182, Military Portable Sets

Series 189, Humor in Radio (see Series 169)

Series 209, Short Waves

Series 226, Radar

Series 233, Television Transmitter

Lettered Series

Series A, Thomas Coke Knight RCA Photographs, circa 1902-1950

Series B, George H. Clark Collection of Photographs by ClassSeries C, Clark Unorganized and/or Duplicate Photographs

Series D, Miscellaneous

Series E, News Clippings Series F: Radio Publications

Series G, Patent Files of Darby and Darby, Attorneys, circa 1914-1935

Series H, Blank Telegram Forms from many Companies and Countries Throughout the World

Series I (eye), Miscellaneous Series

Series J, Research and Laboratory Notebooks

Series K, Index to Photographs of Radio Executives and Technical Types

Series L, Index to Bound Volumes of Photos in Various Series

Series M, Index to David Sarnoff Photographs

Series N, Federal Government Personnel Files

Series O, Addenda Materials
Biographical / Historical:
George Howard Clark, born February 15, 1881, at Alberton, Prince Edward Island, Canada, emigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen. He worked as a railroad telegraph operator for the Boston and Maine Railroad during high school and college. In his unpublished autobiography he wrote:

In 1888, when I was a lad of seven, I suddenly blossomed out as a scrapbook addict, and for years I gave up boyhood games for the pleasure of sitting in a lonely attic and 'pasting up' my books ... By 1897, in high school, I graduated to beautiful pictures, and made many large size scrapbooks ... Around that time, too, I became infatuated with things electrical, and spent many evenings copying in pen and ink the various electrical text books in the Everett, Mass., Public Library. Clark began collecting material pertaining to wireless or radio in 1902. In 1903 he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. During his last year of college he specialized in radio work under the instruction of Professor John Stone Stone and after graduation went to work for Stone's radio company, the Stone Telegraph and Telephone Company, of Boston.

In 1908 Clark took a competitive examination open to all wireless engineers in the United States and entered the civilian service of the Navy. He was stationed at the Washington Navy Yard, with special additional duty at the Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering and at the National Bureau of Standards.

In 1915 Clark helped devise a classification system for Navy equipment, assigning a code number to each item. This system of classification for blueprints, photographs, reports, and general data, was prepared by Arthur Trogner, Guy Hill, and Clark, all civilian radio experts with the US Navy Department in Washington. In 1918 Clark adopted the 1915 Navy classification system for organizing the radio data he was accumulating. Clark created the term "Radioana" at this time. He began spending his evenings and weekends pasting up his collection and numbering pages. At this time he bound the accumulated material. It totaled 100 volumes.

In July 1919, after resigning from the Navy, Clark joined the engineering staff of the Marconi Telegraph Company of America, which became part of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) later the same year. His first work was at Belmar and Lakewood, New Jersey, assisting the chief engineer, Roy A. Weagant, in his development of circuits to reduce the interference caused by static (static reduction). Clark and his wife were assigned to the unheated Engineer's Cottage. His wife decided not to stay and left for Florida. Clark moved his trunks of wireless material to the heated RCA hotel at Belmar and spent most of the winter "pasting." As Clark mentions, "From that time on I was wedded to scraps."

After a year of work in New Jersey, Clark was assigned to the sales department in New York, where he devised the "type number system" used by RCA. This type number system, for example, gave the designation UV 201 to the company's first amplifier tube.

From 1922 to 1934 Clark was in charge of RCA's newly created Show Division, which held exhibits of new and old radio apparatus at state fairs, department stores, and radio shows. About 1928 Clark started an antique radio apparatus museum for RCA. RCA's board of directors announced:

Recognizing the importance of providing a Museum for the Radio Art to house the rapidly disappearing relics of earlier days, and the desirability of collecting for it without further delay examples of apparatus in use since the inception of radio, the Board of Directors of RCA has made an initial appropriation of $100,000, as the nucleus of a fund for the establishment of a National Radio Museum. A plan for ultimately placing the museum under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution was coupled with the goal of the Institution's gathering the largest possible library of wireless data.

Around 1933 the RCA traveling exhibition program ended and Clark started classifying his collected "radioana" material. The objects of the museum were eventually turned over for exhibit purposes to the Rosenwald Museum in Chicago and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, when space was not forthcoming at the Smithsonian. A list of objects sent to the two museums (with tag and case numbers) is in Series 1, Box A. The "radioana" collection remained under Clark's care during the 1930s, and became of increasing use to RCA. Clark continued to add to the material.

Between 1934 and 1942 Clark was in court many times regarding patent infringements. Clark's wireless data was useful and he testified frequently, for example, in RCA's suit against the United States in the Court of Claims over the Marconi tuning patents and in the Westinghouse Company's suit against the United States over the heterodyne. Patent specifications and material regarding these and other radio industry suits are found throughout this collection.

In 1946 RCA retired George Clark and denied him space to house his "radioana" collection. Clark wished to remain in New York and house the collection somewhere in the city where it would be open at all times to the public and where it would be maintained. He hoped to continue cataloguing the collection and writing books from its information. He wanted to keep the collection under his control for as long as he was capable of using it.

George H. Clark died in 1956 and his collection was subsequently given to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1959 the collection was given to the Smithsonian's new Museum of History and Technology, where space was available to house it. The collection remained in the Division of Electricity until the spring of 1983 when it was transferred to the Archives Center.
Brief Company Histories From The Radio Industry, 1900-1930s:
Introduction

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Guglielmo Marconi began his first wireless company, Western Union, Postal Telegraph, and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) were the major enterprises in electrical communications. General Electric, Western Electric, and Westinghouse were the major producers of electrical equipment. All these earlier developments set the stage for the expansion of the radio industry.

General Electric, which dominated the lighting industry, was formed in 1892 as a merger of the Edison and Thomson-Houston companies. It was active in building central power station equipment; controlled nearly all the important early patents in electric railways; took a leading part in the introduction of trolley systems; and was the principal supplier of electric motors. Westinghouse promoted the alternating current system and installed the first AC central station in Buffalo, NY, during the winter of 1866-1867. After years of patent litigation, in 1896 GE and Westinghouse agreed to share their patents on electrical apparatus.

American Bell Telephone Company purchased Western Electric in 1881. Western Electric had a strong patent position in telephone equipment and in industrial power apparatus, such as arc lamps, generators, motors, and switchboard equipment.

Until RCA was formed in 1919, these established electrical companies played no active part in the early development of the American radio industry. They were in difficult financial positions, reorganizing, or concentrating their efforts and resources on improving their existing products.

The revolution in "wireless" technology, which began in earnest after 1900, centered in New York City, home of the Lee de Forest and American Marconi companies, and in Boston, headquarters of John Stone Stone and Reginald Fessenden.

Information in this section was compiled from the Clark Collection; the Invention and Innovation in the Radio Industry by W. Rupert Maclaurin, Macmillan Company, New York, 1949; and Radio Pioneers, Institute of Radio Engineers, Commemorating the Radio Pioneers Dinner, Hotel Commodore, New York, NY, November 8, 1945.

The De Forest Companies

Lee De Forest (1873-1961), inventor of the three-element vacuum tube or triode (1906) and the feedback circuit, was one of the first Americans to write a doctoral thesis on wireless telegraphy: "The Reflection of Short Hertzian Waves from the Ends of Parallel Wires," Yale University, 1899. The grid-controlled tube or audion of De Forest was first a radio detector, 1906-1907; in 1912 was adapted to an amplifier; and later to an oscillator. When it was perfected as a high vacuum tube, it became the great electronic instrument of electrical communications.

De Forest began work in the Dynamo Department at the Western Electric Company in 1899. Six months later he was promoted to the telephone laboratory. In 1900 De Forest went to work for the American Wireless Telegraph Company where he was able to carry out work on his "responder." However, after three months when De Forest refused to turn over the responder to the company, he was fired.

In the following year De Forest had a number of jobs, was active as an inventor, and created numerous firms to manufacture his inventions. In 1901 De Forest joined with Ed Smythe, a former Western Electric colleague and a collaborator in his research, to found the firm of De Forest, Smythe, and Freeman. Between 1902 and 1906 De Forest took out thirty-four patents on all phases of wireless telegraphy. The responder that he had been working on for so long never proved satisfactory.

The numerous De Forest companies, reflected his many interests and his inability to carry one project through to a conclusion. Unlike Marconi, but similar to Fessenden, De Forest had great inventive skill which resulted in a great number of companies; but none lasted long. The original partnership of 1901 led to the Wireless Telegraph Co. of America (1901), the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company (Maine) (1902), and the American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company (1903), to name a few.

The American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company was incorporated after De Forest met a stock promoter, Abraham White. While many stations were built by this company, many never sent a message due to static interference. In 1907 two speculators from Denver with large holdings of company stock put the company out of business. The assets were sold to a new company that these speculators organized, the United Wireless Telephone Company. De Forest was forced to resign. He took the triode patents with him.

De Forest joined with one of White's stock salesmen, James Dunlop Smith, and together with De Forest's patent attorney, Samuel E. Darby, they formed a new corporation, the De Forest Radio Telephone Company in 1907. This company set out to develop wireless communication by means of the radio telephone.

In January 1910 De Forest staged the first opera broadcast, with Enrico Caruso singing. The Radio Telephone Company went bankrupt in 1911 following an aborted merger with North American Wireless Corporation. In 1913 he reorganized the company as the Radio Telephone and Telegraph Company and began producing the triode.

The Marconi Company brought a patent suit, claiming the triode infringed on the Fleming valve to which it had rights. In 1916 the court decided that Marconi had infringed the three element De Forest patent and that De Forest had infringed the two element Fleming valve. The result was that neither company could manufacture the triode.

In 1920 RCA acquired the De Forest triode rights through cross-licensing agreements with AT&T which had recently purchased the rights to it. De Forest's company was no match for GE, Westinghouse, and RCA. The De Forest Radio Company (1923) went bankrupt in 1928, was reorganized in 1930, and went into receivership in 1933. RCA eventually purchased its assets.

Marconi Companies

Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) came from a wealthy and well connected Italian family. He was able to spend his time developing his inventions and following his own course of action. Marconi spent his entire life developing wireless communication into a "practical" reality. In 1905 Marconi invented a directional antenna. In 1909 he shared with Karl Ferdinand Braun the Nobel prize in physics. And in 1912 he invented the time spark system for the generation of continuous waves. The principal patents in his name were improved types of vertical antennas; improved coherer; magnetic detector for the detection of wireless signals; and improvements on methods of selective tuning. Two other inventions of great importance to the Marconi companies' patent structure were the Oliver Lodge tuning patent and the Ambrose Fleming valve.

In 1895 Marconi made the first successful transmission of long wave signals. The following year he met William Preece, engineer-in-chief of the British Post Office, who was interested in inductive wireless telegraphy. This meeting led to the formation in 1897 of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd. In 1898 he transmitted signals across the English Channel. In 1899 an American subsidiary was formed. The various Marconi companies were the dominant enterprises in both British and American wireless until 1919 when RCA was formed.

From a business standpoint, wireless did not become profitable until long distance communications were accomplished. On December 12, 1901 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Marconi received a telegraph signal in the form of repetitions of the Morse telegraphic letter "S" transmitted from the Marconi station at Poldhu, Cornwall, England. This success, however, was met by opposition from vested interests, particularly the Anglo-American Telegraph Company whose cables terminated in Newfoundland.

So as not to restrict his company's future to one front alone, Marconi decided to exploit the field of communication with ships at sea. In order to control this field he decided in 1900 to lease his apparatus rather than sell it outright. This strategy did not work. Competition developed in Germany (Telefunken Corporation) and the United States (American De Forest and its successor, United Wireless) and Marconi was forced to sell rather than lease apparatus to the navies of various countries. He nevertheless retained numerous restrictions. This led to further friction. At the height of this debacle English stations worldwide refused to communicate with ships without Marconi equipment. This absurd and dangerous situation had to change and coastal stations opened up to all senders in 1908.

Marconi's system was based on spark technology. He saw no need for voice transmission. He felt the Morse code adequate for communication between ships and across oceans. He, along with most others, did not foresee the development of the radio and the broadcasting industry. He was a pragmatist and uninterested in scientific inquiry in a field where commercial viability was unknown.

For these reasons Marconi left the early experimentation with the radio telephone to others, particularly Lee De Forest and Reginald Fessenden.

National Electric Signaling Company

Canadian-born Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932), one of the principal early radio inventors and the first important inventor to experiment with wireless, left the University of Pittsburgh in 1900 to work for the U.S. Weather Bureau. There he invented the liquid barretter, an early radio receiver, and attempted to work out a means for wireless transmission of weather forecasts. After a squabble over patent rights, Fessenden resigned in 1902.

The National Electric Signaling Company (NESCO), primarily intended to support Fessenden's work on wireless, telegraphy, and telephony, was formed by Fessenden and two Pittsburgh capitalists, Hay Walker, Jr. and Thomas H. Given. It began as an inventor's laboratory and never proved successful as a business venture.

Fessenden recognized that a continuous wave transmission was required for speech and he continued the work of Nikola Tesla, John Stone Stone, and Elihu Thomson on this subject. Fessenden felt he could also transmit and receive Morse code better by the continuous wave method than with a spark-apparatus as Marconi was using.

In 1903 Fessenden's first high-frequency alternator needed for continuous wave transmission was built to his specifications by Charles Steinmetz of GE. In 1906 Fessenden obtained a second alternator of greater power from GE and on Christmas Eve broadcast a program of speech and music. The work on this alternator was given to Ernst F. W. Alexanderson. It took years for Alexanderson to develop an alternator capable of transmitting regular voice transmissions over the Atlantic. But by 1916 the Fessenden-Alexanderson alternator was more reliable for transatlantic communication than the spark apparatus.

Fessenden also worked on continuous-wave reception. This work arose out of his desire for a more effective type of receiver than the coherer, a delicate device that was limited by its sensitivity on a rolling ship at sea. In 1903 he developed a new receiving mechanism - the electrolytic detector.

As his work progressed Fessenden evolved the heterodyne system. However, due to faulty construction and the fact that it was ahead of its time, heterodyne reception was not fully appreciated until the oscillating triode was devised, thus allowing a practical means of generating the local frequency.

Between 1905 and 1913 Fessenden developed a completely self-sustaining wireless system. However, constant quarrels between Fessenden, Walker, and Given culminated in Fessenden's forming the Fessenden Wireless Company of Canada. He felt a Canadian company could better compete with British Marconi. As a result, his backers dismissed Fessenden from NESCO in January of 1911. Fessenden brought suit, won, and was awarded damages. To conserve assets pending appeal, NESCO went into receivership in 1912, and Samuel Kintner was appointed general manager of the company.

In 1917 Given and Walker formed International Signal Company (ISC) and transferred NESCO's patent assets to the new company. Westinghouse obtained majority control of ISC through the purchase of $2,500,000 worth of stock. The company was then reincorporated as The International Radio Telegraph Company. The Westinghouse-RCA agreements were signed in 1921 and International's assets were transferred to RCA.

RCA

The development of the radio industry accelerated after 1912. This was due to several factors, the most important of which was the passage of legislation by the US government requiring ships at sea to carry wireless. This created a market incentive and spurred the growth of the industry. Also, with the outbreak of World War I, the larger electrical companies turned their manufacturing output to radio apparatus, supporting the war effort. Three firms were prominent in this industrial endeavor: AT&T, GE, and Westinghouse.

AT&T's early contributions to this effort centered on their improvements of De Forest's triode, particularly in the evolution of circuits, the redesign of the mechanical structure, and an increase in the plate design. The importation of the Gaede molecular pump from Germany created a very high vacuum. The resulting high-vacuum tube brought the practical aspects of the wireless telephone closer to reality. By August 1915 speech had been sent by land wire to Arlington, Va., automatically picked up there via a newly developed vacuum-tube transmitter, and subsequently received at Darien, Canal Zone. By 1920 AT&T had purchased the rights to the De Forest triode and feedback circuit, and had placed itself in a strong position in the evolution of radio technology.

GE centered its efforts on the alternator, assigning Ernst F. W. Alexanderson to its design, and on further development of vacuum tube equipment for continuous wave telegraph transmission. By 1915 Alexanderson, Irving Langmuir, William D. Coolidge, and others had developed a complete system of continuous wave transmission and reception for GE.

As can be seen, both AT&T and GE were diverting major time and expenditures on vacuum tube research. This inevitably led to patent interferences and consequently, to cross-licensing arrangements.

Westinghouse was not in the strategic position of GE and AT&T. Nevertheless, during the war it did manufacture large quantities of radio apparatus, motors, generators, and rectifiers for the European and American governments. Postwar moves led Westinghouse into full partnership with the other two companies.

By the end of the war, all three companies had committed significant resources to wireless. They were hampered internationally, however, by the Marconi Company's dominant status, and in the United States they were blocked by opposing interests with control of key patents.

The US government also was concerned with this lack of solidarity in the wireless industry and over the British domination of the field worldwide. This impasse set a fascinating and complicated stage for the formation of the RCA.

Owen D. Young, legal counselor for GE, was instrumental in breaking the impasse. Through an innovative and far-reaching organizational consolidation, Young was able to persuade British Marconi that persistence in monopoly was a fruitless exercise, because of the strong US government feelings. Marconi, realizing the harm of a potential American boycott, finally agreed to terms. GE purchased the controlling interest in American Marconi, and RCA was formed. Young was made chairman of the board of RCA, while Edwin J. Nally and David Sarnoff of the old American Marconi were appointed president and commercial manager respectively.

On July 1, 1920, RCA signed a cross-licensing agreement with AT&T. The telephone company purchased one half million shares of RCA common and preferred stock for several considerations -- the most important being that all current and future radio patents of the two companies were available to each other royalty-free for ten years. Many provisions of these agreements were ambiguous and led to later squabbles between the RCA partners.

In May 1920 Westinghouse, which had an efficient radio manufacturing organization, formed an alliance with the International Radio and Telegraph Company (NESCO's successor). Westinghouse's part ownership gave them control of Fessenden's patents, particularly continuous-wave transmission and heterodyne transmission. Westinghouse also wisely purchased in October of 1920 Armstrong's patents on the regenerative and superheterodyne circuits -- which also included some of Columbia University professor Michael Pupin's patents. This placed Westinghouse in a strong bargaining position vis-à-vis RCA and in their new consolidated corporation. Westinghouse joined the growing group of radio companies on June 30, 1921. With these mergers, RCA agreed to purchase forty percent of its radio apparatus from Westinghouse and sixty percent from GE.

Through these and other legal arrangements, RCA obtained the rights to over 2,000 patents. These amounted to practically all the patents of importance in the radio science of that day. As a result, other firms in the radio industry, for example, the United Fruit Company and the Wireless Specialty Apparatus Company, entered into cross-licensing arrangements with RCA.

RCA also made arrangements internationally with the three dominant companies in radio communication in their respective countries. British Marconi, Compagnie Generale de Telegraphie sans fil, and Telefunken. Each corporation was given exclusive rights to use the other companies' patents within their own territories.

The rise of amateur radio in the 1920s and, to a greater extent, the demand for new products by the general public contributed to the rise of the broadcasting industry. This put a strain on the earlier agreements between the major radio corporations and between 1921 and 1928 there was a struggle over patents for control of the evolving medium.

An initial attempt by AT&T to control the broadcasting industry -- using its earlier cross-licensing agreements to manufacture radio telephone transmitting equipment -- began with AT&T's disposal of RCA stock holdings in 1922-1923. It ended in 1926 with a new cross-licensing agreement which gave AT&T exclusive patent rights in the field of public service telephony and gave GE, RCA, and Westinghouse exclusive patent rights in the areas covered by wireless telegraphy, entertainment broadcasting, and the manufacture of radio sets and receiving tubes for public sale.

In 1926 after the agreements were finalized, RCA, GE, and Westinghouse joined forces and established the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Fifty percent of the stock went to RCA, thirty percent to GE, and twenty percent to Westinghouse. The new company was divided into three divisions: the Red, Blue, and Pacific Networks. Independent, competing networks soon emerged. William S. Paley and his family formed the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in 1927. The Mutual Broadcasting System was formed in 1934.

By 1928 RCA had strong patent positions in all major areas of the radio industry, including the research, development and manufacture of vacuum tubes and speakers. Most small companies entering the industry in the 1920s produced their products based on prior research by others and on expired patents. An RCA license, therefore, was essential for the manufacture of any modern radio set or vacuum tube.

In the late 1920s new developments in the reproduction of sound, produced significant changes in the phonograph industry. Among those new developments were the introduction of the electronic record, and the marketing of the Radiola 104 Loudspeaker in 1926. In 1929 RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company. This changed not only the quality but the sales of the phonograph and the phonograph record. A new entertainment industry was born and an ever-expanding market for consumer products was created with cultural implications that continue today.

Telefunken

German industrialists were eager to break the Marconi Company's monopoly. Although Marconi had patents on his inventions in Germany, the Germans developed a rival system through the Telefunken Corporation, incorporated in 1903, based on the inventions of Professor Ferdinand Braun, Dr. Rudolf Slaby, and Count George von Arco.

Before 1903 the Braun-Siemens and Halske system had been developed by Gesellschaft fur Drahtlose Telegraphie (GFDT). The Slaby-Arco system had been developed by Allgemeine Electrizitats-Gesellschaft. After litigation over patents, the German court handed down a decision in favor of the GFDT. The Kaiser, with national interests in mind, ordered that the rivalry cease. The two systems were amalgamated under GFDT, and became known as the Telefunken.

Chronology of Some Significant Events In The History of The Radio Industry

1895 -- Marconi experiments with Hertz's oscillator and Branley's coherer.

1897 -- In March Marconi demonstrates his wireless system on Salisbury Plain, near London, and files a complete patent specification. In May trials of Marconi's system are made over water between Lavernock and Flatholm, a distance of three miles. On May 13, communication is established between Lavernock Point and Brean Down, a distance of eight miles. German scientist Professor Slaby is present. The first Marconi station is erected at the Needles, Isle of Wight. A distance of fourteen and one-half miles is bridged by wireless. In December the Marconi station at the Needles communicates with a ship eighteen miles at sea.

1898 -- In England Oliver Lodge files a complete specification covering inventions in wireless telegraphy.

1899 -- The New York Herald uses Marconi's wireless telegraphy to report the progress of the International Yacht races between the Columbia and the Shamrock off New York harbor in September. US. Navy vessels make trials of Marconi's wireless telegraph system. The cruiser New York and the battleship Massachusetts are equipped with apparatus. Fessenden develops improvements in methods of wireless telegraph signaling.

1900 -- The Marconi International Marine Communication Company is organized on April 25th in London. Reginald Aubrey Fessenden begins work at the United States Weather Bureau. Over the next two years he invents the liquid barretter, an improved radio receiver.

1901 -- In February on board the SS Philadelphia, Marconi receives wireless signals over a distance of 1,551 miles. In March Marconi wireless telegraph service begins between islands of the Hawaiian group. On December 12, Marconi receives transatlantic signal at St. John's, Newfoundland from Poldhu, Cornwall, England. The Canadian government orders two Marconi telegraph sets for use at coastal points along the Strait of Belle Isle.

1901 -- Fessenden procures US patent no. 706737 for a system of radio signaling employing long waves (low frequency). De Forest develops a system of wireless telegraphy in Chicago. 1903-06 10,000 to 50,000 cycle machines, 1 kW, are developed by Steinmetz and by Alexanderson of GE for Fessenden. 1905 Marconi procures patent number 14788 in England, covering the invention of the horizontal directional antenna.

1906 -- At Brant Rock, Massachusetts, Fessenden employs a generator of one-half kW capacity, operating at 75,000 cycles, for radio purposes. He succeeds in telephoning a distance of eleven miles by means of wireless telephone apparatus.

1907 -- De Forest procures a U. S. patent for an audion amplifier of pulsating or alternating current.

1908 -- Marconi stations in Canada and England are opened for radio telegraph service across the Atlantic. Fessenden constructs a 70,000-cycle alternator with an output of 2.5 kW. at 225 volts, for radio signaling purposes. He reports successful radio telephone tests between Brant Rock and Washington, DC, a distance of 600 miles.

1909 -- US House of Representatives passes the Burke Bill for the compulsory use of radio telegraphy on certain classes of vessels. The United Wireless Telegraph Company and the Radio Telephone Company of New York (De Forest and Stone systems) begin the erection of radio stations in the Central and Western states. Marconi shares with Ferdinand Braun of Germany the Nobel prize in recognition of contributions in wireless telegraphy.

1910 -- An act of the US government requires radio equipment and operators on certain types of passenger ships. The Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Marconi station is opened in September. This station communicates with Clifden, Ireland. The transatlantic tariff is seventeen cents a word.

1911 -- A radio section is organized by the US Department of Commerce to enforce the provisions of national radio legislation. Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company acquires the Lodge-Muirhead patents.

1912 -- Rotary gap is used with Fessenden 100 kW 500 cycle spark set at NAA, the Navy's first high-power station at Arlington, Virginia. Marconi Wireless of America acquires property of the United Wireless Telegraph Company. British Marconi secures the important radio patents of Bellini and Tosi, Italian inventors. Wreck of the SS Titanic on April 15th. The act of 1910 is extended on July 23 to cover cargo vessels. requires an auxiliary source of power on ships and two or more skilled radio apparatus operators on certain types of passenger ships. On August 13, an act provides for licensing radio operators and transmitting stations.

1912-1913 -- High vacuum amplifying tubes (an improvement on De Forest's), using the findings of pure science, are produced almost simultaneously in two great industrial laboratories, by Dr. H. D. Arnold of AT&T and Irving Langmuir of GE.

1915 -- De Forest Ultra-audion three-step (cascade) audio amplifier is announced and introduced into practice.

1916 -- GE and the Western Electric Company develop the first experimental vacuum tube radiotelephone systems for the Navy.

1917-1918 -- First production of vacuum tubes in quantity, both coated filament and tungsten filament types, by Western Electric Company and GE.

1918 -- Lloyd Espenschied procures US patent number 1,256,889 for the invention of a duplex radio telegraph system. (See Lloyd Espenschied Papers, Archives Center, NMAH, Collection #13.) The House of Representatives passes a resolution on July 5, authorizing the President to take over management of telegraph and telephone systems due to war conditions.

1919 -- Bills are introduced in Congress for permanent government control of radio stations. The widespread resentment of amateurs has more to do with the defeat of these bills than the objections of commercial companies. Roy Alexander Weagant, New York, reports having developed means of reducing disturbances to radio reception caused by atmospherics or static. This is the first successful static-reducing system. GE purchases the holdings of the British Marconi Company in the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, the name of the latter company being changed to Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in October. Edward J. Nally is elected president of the new company.

1920 -- E. F. W. Alexanderson is appointed Chief Engineer of RCA. RCA begins the installation of 200-kW Alexanderson alternators at Bolinas, California, and Marion, Massachusetts. The Tropical Radio Telegraph Company, a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company, New York, operates ten long-distance radio stations at points in Central and South Americirca RCA purchases 6,000 acres at Rocky Point, Long Island, New York, and begins erection of a Radio Central station, comprising a number of operating units for communication with European stations and stations in South Americirca On May 15, RCA inaugurates radio telegraph services between installations at Chatham and Marion, Massachusetts, and stations at Stavanger and Jaerobe, Norway. Westinghouse Company's radio station KDKA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, broadcasts returns of the national elections, November 2. Development, design, and manufacture by GE of the early receiving and transmitting tubes made available to the public by RCA (UV-200,201,202). Radio telegraph stations and properties taken over by the government under war time powers are returned to their owners at midnight, February 29. The government calls for bids for the sale of large quantities of surplus radio and telegraph and telephone apparatus purchased for war needs and not used.

1921 -- RCA develops Vacuum tubes UV-200(detector) and UV-201(amplifier) -- both triodes with brass shells known as the UV base, and incorporating a filament that required 1 ampere at 5 volts for operation -- for storage battery operation; and at the same time also released to the public the WD-11 for dry cell operation, which employed an oxide-coated tungsten filament. RCA station at Rocky Point, Long Island, opens on November 5. WJZ station established by the Westinghouse Company in Newark, NJ. RCA broadcast station at Roselle Park, NJ (WDY) opens on December 15. It continues operation until February 15, 1922, when its operation is transferred to WJZ, Newark, previously owned by Westinghouse. RCA installs 200-kW alternator at Tuckerton, NJ.

1922 -- First use of tube transmitters by RCA for service from the United States to England and Germany. RCA begins substitution of tube transmitters on ships to replace spark sets. RCA begins replacement of crystal receivers by tube receivers on ships.

1923 -- Broadcast stations WJZ and WJY opened in New York in May by RCA. WRC opens in Washington on August 1. The UV-201A, receiving tubes developed by GE and consuming only 1/4 of an ampere are introduced by RCA. Tungsten filaments coated and impregnated with thorium were employed.

1924 -- Edwin H. Armstrong, demonstrates the superheterodyne receiver on March 6th. In November RCA experiments with radio photographs across the Atlantic. RCA markets the superheterodyne receivers for broadcast reception.

1925-26 -- Dynamic loudspeakers introduced. Magnetic pick-up phonograph recording and reproduction developed. RCA opens radio circuit to Dutch East Indies. Direction-finders introduced on ships.

1927 -- Fully self-contained AC radio receivers introduced.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Smithsonian in 1959.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs, negatives, and slides.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Radio engineers -- 1880-1950  Search this
Electric engineers -- 1880-1950  Search this
Radio -- History  Search this
Electricity -- 1880-1950  Search this
Communication -- 1880-1950  Search this
Genre/Form:
Technical manuals -- Electrical equipment
Clippings
Patents
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Blueprints
Letters patent
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Sale catalogs -- Electrical equipment -- 1880-1950
Technical drawings
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Citation:
George H. Clark Radioana Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0055
See more items in:
George H. Clark Radioana Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0055
Online Media:

Lee Nordness business records and papers

Creator:
Nordness, Lee  Search this
Names:
American Art Expositions (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  Search this
Forms and Objects (Firm)  Search this
Johnson Wax  Search this
Lee Nordness Galleries  Search this
Little Studio  Search this
Metromedia, Inc.  Search this
Nordness Gallery  Search this
Talent Discovery Company  Search this
Aronson, David, 1923-2015  Search this
Blaustein, Al H., 1924-2004  Search this
Collie, Alberto  Search this
Crawford, Ralston, 1906-1978  Search this
D'Arista, Robert, 1929-  Search this
Gibran, Kahlil, 1922-  Search this
Gikow, Ruth, 1915-1982  Search this
Grippe, Peter, 1912-  Search this
Guglielmi, Louis, 1906-1956  Search this
Hebald, Milton  Search this
Kachadoorian, Zubel, 1924-  Search this
Kearns, James  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Levi, Julian E. (Julian Edwin), 1900-1982  Search this
Meigs, Walter, 1918-1988  Search this
Prestopino, Gregorio  Search this
Williams, Hiram  Search this
Zerbe, Karl, 1903-1972  Search this
Extent:
117.5 Linear feet (Boxes 1-121)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1931-1992
bulk 1954-1984
Summary:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers measure 117.5 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to 1992 with the bulk of materials dating from 1954 to 1984. The records document seven New York City art-related companies with which Nordness was involved: Talent Discovery Company, The Little Studio, Ltd., American Art Expositions, Inc., Nordness Gallery, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., and Forms & Objects, Inc. Records include correspondence, artist's files, business and legal records, inventories, financial and sales records, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Also found is a small group of personal papers.
Scope and Contents:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers measure 117.5 linear feet and date from circa 1931 to 1992 with the bulk of materials dating from 1954 to 1984. The records document seven New York City art-related companies with which Nordness was involved: Talent Discovery Company, The Little Studio, Ltd., American Art Expositions, Inc., Nordness Gallery, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., and Forms & Objects, Inc. Records include correspondence, artist's files, business and legal records, inventories, financial and sales records, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials. Also found is a small group of personal papers.

More than half of the collection documents Lee Nordness' primary businesses, Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc. Business correspondence, artist's files, extensive project files, business and legal records, financial and sales records, inventories, printed materials, scrapbooks, and photographic materials reveal Nordness' role as an art dealer of contemporary American artwork and art consultant to companies and organizations. The records document his ability to adapt to changing external markets as well as his own interests, from dealing primarily in paintings and sculpture to promoting American fine crafts. Artists from Nordness' permanent roster are represented, including David Aronson, Al Blaustein, Alberto Collie, Ralston Crawford, Robert D'Arista, Kahlil Gibran, Ruth Gikow, Peter Grippe, Louis Guglielmi, Milton Hebald, Zubel Kachadoorian, James Kearns, Rico Lebrun, Julian Levi, Walter Meigs, Gregorio Prestopino, Hiram Williams, and Karl Zerbe. Companies and organizations represented include S.C. Johnson & Son, Co., Metromedia, and Cooper-Hewitt, National Museum of Design. Because materials from Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Art Advisory Section were often interfiled and related, the records were not separated into different series.

The records of Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc. document the exhibition and sale of artwork through correspondence, artist's files, business records, financial and sales records, and scrapbooks for artists and exhibition seasons. Forms & Objects, Inc. contains correspondence, lecture notes, public relations files, business records, financial and sales records, scrapbooks and photographic materials related to American fine crafts.

The organization and press surrounding the monumental exhibitions Art:USA:58 and Art:USA:59 are illustrated in the correspondence, banking records, founding documents, newspaper clippings, paid bill receipts, and sales invoices of the American Art Expositions, Inc. records. Photographs of the Art:USA:59 artists taken by Fred Darrah are also found here.

The bulk of the records of The Little Studio, Inc. are financial records and sales invoices. Lee Nordness' involvement in the gallery is also documented through correspondence and business records. The records of Talent Discovery Company are primarily financial, including banking records, receipts, and tax records. Also found are shipping records, correspondence, and inventory cards.

There are few personal papers of Lee Nordness, the bulk of which are related to his involvement with his tenant cooperative. Also found is scattered correspondence, a scrapbook, and travel documents.

Records for the various companies were co-mingled upon accession. AAA has attempted to place papers in Nordness' original order based on discussions with Nordness and evidence from the records. However, researchers should note there is significant interfiling of the companies' records throughout the collection, especially scrapbooks and photographs. Researchers are strongly encouraged to use dates and keywords to help discover related materials throughout all series.

Abbreviations were often written by the gallery in the upper left-hand corner of a document to indicate to which company the record should be filed. Abbreviations used include: Nordness Gallery, "NG" or "LN"; Art Advisory Section, "AA" or "LN"; Exhibition Section, "ES" or "E/S"; Forms & Objects, "F/O"; American Art Expositions, "AAE"; The Little Studio, "TLS"; and, Talent Discovery Company, "TDC."
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Nordness Gallery, Inc. and Lee Nordness Galleries Art Advisory Section, Inc., circa 1938-1992, bulk 1958-1982 (67.8 linear feet; Boxes 1-67, 117-119)

Series 2: Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Section, Inc., 1938-1985 (25.5 linear feet; Boxes 68-93, 120, FC 122)

Series 3: Forms & Objects, Inc., circa 1931, circa 1959-1984 (13.5 linear feet; Boxes 93-106, 120)

Series 4: American Art Expositions, Inc., 1955-1968 (1.4 linear feet; Boxes 106-107)

Series 5: The Little Studio, Inc., 1947-1969 (7.7 linear feet; Boxes 108-115, 121)

Series 6: Talent Discovery Company, 1953-1957 (0.9 linear feet; Boxes 115-116, 121)

Series 7: Personal Papers of Lee Nordness, 1948-1976 (0.7 linear feet; Box 116)
Biographical / Historical:
New York City gallerist and entrepreneur Lee Nordness (1922-1995) was born in Olympia, Washington. He studied art in college and received a bachelor's degree from Uppsala University in Sweden. From 1954-1956, Nordness ran a small gallery, Talent Discovery Company, out of his apartment in New York City. Around 1955, Nordness became the director of The Little Studio, Ltd., a gallery started by Richard Kollmer in 1952 to showcase moderately priced artwork by young artists. Nordness took over the business in 1957; it closed in April 1963.

In 1958, Nordness incorporated American Art Expositions, Inc. to organize Art:USA:58, a large exposition of contemporary American art held at Madison Square Garden. The following year Art:USA:59 was held at the New York Coliseum.

Lee Nordness opened his own gallery, Nordness Gallery, Inc., in December 1957 on Madison Avenue. The gallery promoted a roster of contemporary painters and sculptors, including David Aronson, Al Blaustein, Alberto Collie, Ralston Crawford, Robert D'Arista, Kahlil Gibran, Ruth Gikow, Peter Grippe, Milton Hebald, Zubel Kachadoorian, James Kearns, Julian Levi, Walter Meigs, Gregorio Prestopino, Hiram Williams, Karl Zerbe, and the estates of Louis Guglielmi and Rico Lebrun. In 1966, Lee Nordness reorganized his businesses. He closed Nordness Gallery and opened Lee Nordness Art Advisory Section, an art consulting service to corporations, collectors, museums, and individuals, and Lee Nordness Galleries Exhibition Sections, Inc. to handle exhibitions and the sale of paintings and sculptures.

Lee Nordness had an interest in American crafts and, beginning in 1968, he added a permanent roster of American craftmakers to exhibit alongside paintings and sculpture. He opened Forms & Objects, Inc. to handle the exhibition and sales of fine crafts such as ceramics, fiber, glass, metal and wood. With a need for additional exhibition space, the gallery moved a few blocks off Madison Avenue to 236-238 East 75th Street.

Nordness traveled the globe to assemble prominent collections for clients, such as Art:USA, a collection of contemporary works by 102 American artists for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. Art:USA traveled throughout the United States and Europe in the mid-late 1960s before being donated to the National Collection of Fine Arts (Smithsonian Institution). In the late 1960s, he assembled a collection of 300 American craft objects for S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc. called Objects:USA, which toured throughout the United States and Europe. This collection was disassembled in the late 1970s, many of the works donated to the Museum of Arts and Design, formerly the Museum of Contemporary Craft.

Nordness closed his New York galleries in the mid-1980s. Soon after, he moved to Belfair, Washington and opened Lee Nordness Galleries, Inc. in 1986. He passed away in 1995 in Washington.
Separated Materials:
Three microfilm reels of material were loaned to the Archives of American Art by Lee Nordness in 1959 regarding American Art Exposition, Inc.'s Art:USA 58 and Art:USA:59. Microfilm includes correspondence, catalogs, visitor lists, press releases, lists of artwork, financial records, and advertising materials and is available on reels NAU1, NAU2 and NAU3.

Later, in 1964 and 1969, Lee Nordness loaned original materials for microfilming compiled by Nordness Gallery about the careers of Gregorio Prestopino, Julian E. Levi, and Lee Gatch, including correspondence, exhibition materials, biographical information, clippings, and photographs. Loaned material is available on reels N69-21 and D169. Original materials were returned to Nordness, but some may have been included in later donations and those originals have been integrated with the other donated records.

The contents of microfilm reels are not described in the container listing of this finding aid.
Provenance:
The Lee Nordness business records and papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in several increments by Lee Nordness in 1976, 1986 and as a bequest in 1996. Original materials were also lent by Nordness in 1964 and 1969 for microfilming, some of which may have been included in subsequent donations.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Lee Nordness business records and 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.
Topic:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
Lee Nordness business records and papers, circa 1931-1992, bulk 1954-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.nordlee
See more items in:
Lee Nordness business records and papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-nordlee
Online Media:

Tanager Gallery records

Creator:
Tanager Gallery  Search this
Names:
Arnold, Anne, 1926-  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Cajori, Charles, 1921-  Search this
Cherry, Herman  Search this
Dodd, Lois, 1927-  Search this
Fine, Perle, 1908-1988  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen, 1928-2011  Search this
Geist, Sidney  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hazelet, Sally  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Ippolito, Angelo  Search this
Katz, Alex, 1927-  Search this
King, William, 1925-2015  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip, 1924-  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Rivers, Larry, 1925-2002  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros, 1922-1997  Search this
Wesselmann, Tom, 1931-2004  Search this
Extent:
2.6 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Date:
1952-1979
Summary:
The records of contemporary New York City Tanager Gallery measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1952 to 1979. Found are administrative files, financial and legal records including detailed receipt books, scattered correspondence, artists' files for circa 70 artists that include price lists and biographies, two scrapbooks of printed materials, newsclippings, exhibition announcements and other printed materials, and five photographs of openings at the gallery and of the exterior of the building.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of contemporary New York City Tanager Gallery measure 2.6 linear feet and date from 1952 to 1979. Found are administrative files, financial and legal records including detailed receipt books, scattered correspondence, artists' files for circa 70 artists that include price lists and biographies, two scrapbooks of printed materials, newsclippings, exhibition announcements and other printed materials, and five photographs of openings at the gallery and of the exterior of the building.

Administrative files include four day books, lists of artists and exhibitions, historical sketches, and an address book. There are two ledger books of expenses for shows and four receipt books from 1959-1962 which are organized by date and list artist, and artwork, buyer, and price. Correspondence is arranged chronologically and comprised mainly of copies of letters sent by the Gallery to artists as invitations to exhibit. Also found are scattered letters from museums and artists.

There are artists' files for circa 70 artists that contain a variety of materials, including price lists and biographies or resumes. Artists files are found for Anne Arnold, James Brooks, Charles Cajori, Herman Cherry, Lois Dodd, Sally Hazelet Drummond, Perle Fine, Helen Frankenthaler, Sidney Geist, Philip Guston, Hans Hofmann, Angelo Ippolito, Philip Pealstein, Alex Katz, William King, Robert Rauschenberg, Larry Rivers, Theordore Stamos, and Tom Wesselmann among many others.

The collection includes two scrapbooks containing mostly newsclippings and exhibition announcements, as well as additional loose newsclippings, numerous exhibition announcements and catalogs, and press releases. There are five photographs of gallery openings and the exterior of the building, the latter taken by Rudy Burkhardt.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 7 series:

Series 1: Administrative Files, 1952-1979 (Boxes 1, 4; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 2: Financial and Legal Records, 1952-1962 (Box 1; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1952-1967 (Boxes 1-2; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Artists Files, circa 1952- circa 1962 (Box 2; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 5: Scrapbooks, circa 1962 (Boxes 2-3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1952-1971 (Boxes 2, 4; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 7: Photographs, circa 1952-circa 1959 (Box 2; 2 folders)
Historical Note:
The Tanager Gallery operated from 1952-1962 in New York City. The gallery was one of the first artist cooperative galleries formed on 10th Street in Manhattan to provide an alternative to the larger upscale galleries of Madison Avenue.

In 1952, the artist cooperative Tanager Gallery opened at 90 East 10th Street in Manhattan. Co-founders included Charles Cajori, Lois Dodd, Angelo Ippolito, William King, and Fred Mitchell. The Tanager offered open spaces for young artists to show their work and to sell art on their own terms. Membership at the Tanager included American Realists Alex Katz and Philip Pearlstein, and the Pop art/found-art collagist Tom Wesselmann. Later artists to join the cooperatiive included Mary Abbott, Perle Fine, Sidney Geist, Joseph Groell, Nanno de Groot, Sally Hazelet, Ben Isquith, Lester Johnson, Nicholas Marsicano, George Earl Ortman, Charlotte Park, Philip Pearlstein, Frank Stout, Raymond Rocklin, and Sal Sirugo. From 1952 to 1962, the Tanager Gallery exhibited works from about 250 artists.

The opening of Tanager and other 10th Street galleries was a radical change for the New York arts scene and for emerging New York artists who generally found representation with uptown gallery owners and/or art dealers on 57th Street or Madison Ave. In the 1950s, Manhattan's 10th Street was a gathering place for young artist-bohemians. The galleries were often the centers for anything avant-garde or new, such as art installations, happenings, poetry readings, jazz sessions, and performance art. For example, Tanager Gallery hosted a series of forums with local artists who would discuss their work and objectives.

Tanager Gallery received attention and respect from the more established art galleries and critics in New York, including Dore Ashton, Leo Castelli, Tom Hess, Martha Jackson, and Dorothy Miller. The Tanager Gallery closed in 1962.
Related Material:
Among the holdings of the Archives of American Art are the Lois Dodd papers, 1952-2001 and an oral history interview with Lois Dodd by Barbara Shikler from 1988.
Provenance:
Lois Dodd, co-founder of the Tanager Gallery, donated the Tanager Gallery records in several increments between 1972 and 1989.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Tanager Gallery records 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.
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Citation:
Tanager Gallery records, 1952-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tanagall
See more items in:
Tanager Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tanagall
Online Media:

Financial and Legal records

Collection Creator:
Tanager Gallery  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Linear feet (Box 1)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1952-1962
Scope and Contents note:
Found are account books, banking materials, certificates, materials relating to the closing of the gallery in 1962, invoices, two ledgers, loan materials, price lists, receipt books, and Department of Labor records. The ledger books show expenses and income for Tanager Gallery exhibitions, organized by date and divided by exhibition. Receipt books span December of 1959 to May of 1962 and record those works of art sold at the Tanager Gallery. Researchers will find the artist, buyer, artwork details, and price.
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Tanager Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Tanager Gallery records, 1952-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tanagall, Series 2
See more items in:
Tanager Gallery records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-tanagall-ref25

Price Lists, Group Shows

Collection Creator:
Tanager Gallery  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 21
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1952- circa 1962
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The Tanager Gallery records 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.
Collection Citation:
Tanager Gallery records, 1952-1979. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Tanager Gallery records
Tanager Gallery records / Series 2: Financial and Legal records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-tanagall-ref38

James Graham & Sons records

Creator:
James Graham & Sons  Search this
Names:
Coe Kerr Gallery  Search this
Duveen-Graham (Gallery)  Search this
Graham Gallery  Search this
Graham Modern (Gallery)  Search this
Cicero, Carmen, 1926-  Search this
Coheleach, Guy  Search this
Crile, Susan, 1942-  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Duveen, Albert  Search this
Fogel, Seymour, 1911-1984  Search this
Fried, Nancy  Search this
Graham, Robert Claverhouse, 1913-1994  Search this
Kriesberg, Irving, 1919-  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Perrine, Van Dearing, 1869-1955  Search this
Santlofer, Jonathan, 1946-  Search this
Schley, Reeve, 1936-  Search this
Stevens, Peter  Search this
Thorne, Joan, 1943-  Search this
Trieff, Selina, 1934-  Search this
Wyeth, Andrew, 1917-2009  Search this
Wyeth, Jamie, 1946-  Search this
Wyeth, N. C. (Newell Convers), 1882-1945  Search this
Extent:
103.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Visitors' books
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
1821
1815
circa 1896-2011
Summary:
The records of the New York City gallery James Graham & Sons measure 103.2 linear feet and date from 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011 (bulk 1950s-1980s). The collection generally documents the gallery's contemporary art department during the time in which Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. worked at the gallery (1940-1979); records prior to 1954 are sparse and scattered. Gallery records include artist files; correspondence; exhibition files; financial records; inventory records; printed materials; sales, loans, and consignment records; scrapbooks; and photographic materials. Also found are records from Coe Kerr Gallery regarding exhibitions.. There is a 8.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2018 that includes artists' files regarding exhibitions and photographs of works of art.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the New York City gallery James Graham & Sons measure 103.2 linear feet and date from 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011 (bulk 1950s-1980s). The collection generally documents the gallery's contemporary art department during the time in which Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. worked at the gallery (1940-1979); records prior to 1954 are sparse and scattered. Gallery records include artist files; correspondence; exhibition files; financial records; inventory records; printed materials; sales, loans, and consignment records; scrapbooks; and photographic materials. Also found are records from Coe Kerr Gallery regarding exhibitions of artwork by Jamie Wyeth, and to a lesser extent, Andrew and N.C. Wyeth.

Over the years, the gallery changed names and established contemporary art departments. In addition to records of James Graham & Sons, the collection holds the records of Duveen-Graham Modern Art (in partnership with Albert Duveen), Graham Gallery, Graham Modern, JG|Contemporary, and, to a lesser extent, The Clapp and Graham Co.

Alphabetical files are a mix of business correspondence and business records. The bulk of the series contains correspondence with galleries, museums, other institutions, and, to a lesser extent, clients regarding sales, consignments, and loans of artwork. Also found are materials relevant to the daily operations of the gallery, including correspondence, subject files, and scattered financial, business and legal records.

Exhibition files provide scattered documentation of the gallery's exhibitions through catalogs, clippings, correspondence, guest books, notes, photographs, press materials, price lists, and sales receipts and other financial records.

Artists' Files document the numerous artists who have been represented by the gallery, especially modern American artists. Folders for each artist can contain a variety of materials, including correspondence with the artist or with institutions regarding consignments, loans, sales and exhibitions; photographic materials primarily of artwork; sales invoices; exhibition catalogs, postcards, and other printed materials; press releases; magazine and newspaper clippings; price lists; artist binders; and research materials on artists and artwork. Also found are some subject files, per original arrangement. There is extensive material related to artists Carmen Cicero, Susan Crile, Elaine De Kooning's portrait of President John F. Kennedy, Edwin Dickinson, muralist Seymour Fogel, Nancy Fried, Irving Kriesberg, Gari Melchers, Jonathan Santlofer, Reeve Schley, Peter Stevens, Joan Thorne, and Selina Trieff.

Artwork files document sales, consignments, and loans of artwork primarily from the mid-1980s to 2000s. Materials include agreements and contracts; condition reports; correspondence; invoices and receipts; photographs of artwork; shipping records; and photocopied printed material and other documentation. This series requires written permission from the donor in order to access.

Sales records from 1959-1984 (missing 1974) are found in the Financial Records series. Also found are check stub books from the mid-late 1950s; price lists; records for the Four Seasons Charter Corp.; and scattered banking, consignment, tax, and other financial records. Inventory cards from mid-1950s-1970s and inventory lists, often with notations and prices, are found in the series Inventory Records.

Coe Kerr Gallery Records regarding the Wyeths document Jamie Wyeth's exhibitions primarily from the mid-1970s-early 1980s. Also found is limited material regarding Andrew Wyeth and N.C. Wyeth. Materials include correspondence, photographs, exhibition printed materials, and extensive newspaper clippings.

There are exhibition catalogs, books, announcements, magazines, clippings, postcards, posters and other printed materials related to artists, John Graham & Sons exhibitions, and exhibitions by Graham artists held at other galleries and museums. Also found is an 1815 fifty cent note which was redeemed in 1821.

Seven scrapbooks document discrete aspects of the business, including the gallery's advertising, participation in an art fair, and the careers of artists Guy Coheleach and Van Dearing Perrine. Materials housed in the scrapbooks include clippings, catalogs, photographs, and other printed materials.

Photographic Materials include mostly black and white photographs, negatives, slides and transparencies of artwork; scattered photographs of installations, artists, and the gallery; and a handful of personal snapshots. The bulk of the photographs are undated, but were likely printed between 1950s-1990s.

There is a 8.0 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated in 2018 that includes artists' files regarding exhibitions and photographs of works of art.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Alphabetical Files, circa 1896, 1902-1999, bulk 1955-1986 (Boxes 1-15; 15 linear feet)

Series 2: Exhibition Files, 1912, 1947-2004 (Boxes 16-24; 8 linear feet)

Series 3: Artists' Files, circa 1907-2006, bulk 1955-1999 (Boxes 24-62, 95-96; 39.1 linear feet)

Series 4: Artwork Files, circa early 1900s-2011, bulk mid-1980s-2009 (Boxes 63-71, 94, 101; 9.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Financial Records, circa 1937-1993 (Boxes 72-76, 96; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Inventory Records, circa 1954-1993 (Boxes 76-78, 96; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 7: Coe Kerr Gallery Records Regarding Wyeths, 1964-1988 (Boxes 78-80, 97; 2.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Materials, 1815, 1821, 1949-2006 (Boxes 81-82, 97; 2.1 linear feet)

Series 9: Scrapbooks, 1897-1990s (Boxes 82, 98-100; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1929-1990s (Boxes 83-93, 96, 100-101; 11.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1940-1980 (Boxes 102-109; 8 linear feet)
Historical Note:
The James Graham & Sons gallery has been owned and managed by the Graham family in New York City since 1857. Throughout its history, the gallery has specialized in decorative arts, antiques, and 19th-early 20th century and contemporary American art.

In 1857, Samuel Graham founded a gallery at 66 Third Street and specialized in furniture. Graham was joined by his son James in the 1880s and expanded the business to include antiques and decorative arts. James A. Graham, the third generation Graham, joined the gallery in the early 20th century. James Graham and antiques dealer Marshall Clapp created Clapp & Graham in 1914, a partnership which was dissolved around 1940.

James R. Graham, the fourth generation Graham, joined the gallery in 1937, followed by his brother Robert Claverhouse Graham, Sr. in 1940. The gallery was then named James Graham & Sons and was located at 514 Madison Avenue. At this time, the gallery specialized in bronzes, ceramics, silver, sculptures, and 19th-early 20th century American art. Robert C. Graham, Sr. introduced modern American art, especially The Eight, into the gallery's inventory.

In 1955, the gallery moved to 1014 Madison Avenue, where it remained until the late 2000s. That same year, Graham opened its first contemporary department with Albert Duveen. Duveen-Graham Modern Art gallery was based on the third floor of the Madison Avenue building and dealt solely in contemporary art until its closing in 1958. Robert C. Graham, Jr. (Robin) joined the gallery in 1963, becoming the fifth generation Graham to run the family business. The gallery is currently located at 32 East 67th Street.

Betsy Fahlman's "James Graham & Sons: A Century and a Half in the Art Business" (2007) was a valuable resource in constructing this Historical Note.
Related Material:
Among the other resources relating to James Graham & Sons in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Robert Claverhouse Graham, November 19, 1976, and the David Herbert papers, 1950-1995.
Provenance:
The James Graham & Sons records were donated in 2007, 2008, and 2012 by Priscilla Caldwell and Jay Grimm of James Graham & Sons and in 2018 by Cameron Shay of James Graham & Sons.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Artwork Files (Boxes 63-71, 94) and some photographic materials (Box 93 and 101) require written permission to access.
Rights:
The James Graham & Sons records 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.
Topic:
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Painting -- United States  Search this
Sculpture -- United States  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Visitors' books
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Citation:
James Graham & Sons records, 1815, 1821, circa 1896-2011, bulk 1950s-1980s. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.jamegras
See more items in:
James Graham & Sons records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-jamegras
Online Media:

Harry Warren Papers

Donor:
Riva, Julia  Search this
Jones, Jophe  Search this
Composer:
Warren, Harry, 1893-1981  Search this
Extent:
32 Cubic feet (70 boxes, 26 folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Memorabilia
Awards
Sheet music
Correspondence
Scripts (documents)
Posters
Theater programs
Legal records
Programs
Date:
1894-2000
bulk 1926-1980, undated
Scope and Contents:
The Harry Warren Papers consists of original music manuscripts, scores, song sheets, commercial sheet music, bound scores, scripts, business records, correspondence (business, personal and fan), clippings, magazines, photographs, cassette tapes, LP records, posters and programs and personal memorabilia. The material documents the personal life and professional career of composer, songwriter and lyricist Harry Warren from 1894 to 1981 and to a lesser extent the operation of his Four Jays Music Corporation, circa 1954-2000. The bulk of the collection covers the years 1927-1980. The collection is organized into eight series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into eight series.

Series 1: Music Manuscripts, 1928-1987

Subseries 1.1: Original Holographic Theatre and Motion Picture Music Manuscripts, 1930-1960

Subseries 1.2: Bound Presentation Scores, 1931-1982

Subseries 1.3: Original Individual Song Manuscripts, 1938-1965

Subseries 1.4: Published Sheet Music, 1930-1980

Subseries 1.5: Published Songs, Instrumentals, and Song Collections, 1928-1987

Series 2: Correspondence, 1930-1994

Series 3: Business Records, 1894-1996

Series 4: Scripts, 1946-1958

Series 5: Theatre Programs and Posters, 1915-1999

Series 6: News Clippings and Magazines, 1934-2000

Series 7: Recordings, Audio-Visual Materials, and Photographs, 1926-1977

Subseries 7.1: Recordings, Playback Discs, 1934-1961

Subseries 7.2: Cassette Tapes, 1933-1981, undated

Subseries 7.3: Photographs, 1930-1977, undated

Subseries 7.4: Reference Video Tapes, 1933-1957

Subseries 7.5: Compact Discs, undated

Subseries 7.6: Film, 1927-1964

Series 8: Memorabilia, 1918-1990
Biographical / Historical:
With the possible exception of Irving Berlin, no one has contributed as much material to the canon of American popular song in the 20th century as Harry Warren (1893-1981). Warren was born in Brooklyn, New York, December 24, 1893, to Italian immigrant parents. His birth name was Salvatore Anthony Guaragna. By the time he graduated from grade school, he was known as "Harry Warren". He legally changed his name in 1938. He was educated in the public schools of New York but had no formal musical training. He taught himself to play the organ and piano and also sang in the church choir. Both Warren's sister and brother were performers so the theatrical world was not unknown to him. He worked as an actor and assistant director for the Vitagraph film studio in New York and played mood music for actress Corinne Griffith. During World War I, Warren served in the United States Navy at Montauk Point, New York. For a few weeks after the war, he worked as an insurance examiner for The Travellers Agency.

In December 1918, Warren married Josephine Wensler (1897-1993). Their first child was a son named Harry Warren, Jr. (1920-1937). In 1920, Warren became a song plugger for the music publishing firm of Stark & Cowan. Warren continued writing and in 1922 along with lyricist Edgar Leslie produced his first song hit, "Rose of the Rio Grande." From that point on, Warren composed a continuous stream of hits introduced by such artists as Paul Whiteman and others. By 1925, a second child, Joan (1924-1991), nicknamed "Cookie", was born. Warren continued his success with such songs as "I Love My Baby (My Baby Loves Me)," "In My Gondola" and the very popular 1928 hit "Nagasaki."

By 1929, Warren was the director of the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He held that position until 1933. He also served on the ASCAP Board of Directors. During this time Warren worked with various musicians including Gus Kahn, Bert Kalmer, and Harry Ruby. In 1930, he wrote his first motion picture score for the film Spring is Here. Al Jolson asked him to compose a song for the show, Wonder Bar (1931). During the 1930s, Warren composed three other Broadway shows, Sweet and Low (1930), Crazy Quilt (1931) featuring Fanny Brice, and Laugh Parade (1931) starring Ed Wynn.

In 1932, Warren was hired by Warner Brothers Studios to help write songs for the Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler film 42nd Street (1933). Along with lyricist, Al Dubin, Warren wrote such hits as "We're in the Money" and "The Shadow Waltz". Warren continued composing memorable songs for motion pictures such as Gold Diggers of 1933, The Singing Marine (1937), and Footlight Parade (1933). Gold Diggers of 1935 included Warren's first Academy Award winning song, "Lullaby of Broadway". Warren made cameo appearances in a few films during his stay at Warner Brothers. He and lyricist Dubin can be seen in 42nd Street, Go Into Your Dance (1935), and A Very Honorable Guy (1934). He also appeared in a Vitaphone short entitled Harry Warren: America's Foremost Composer.

Warren left Warner Brothers for 20th Century Fox in 1940. At Fox he helped compose the scores for such motion pictures as, Sun Valley Serenade (1941), Orchestra Wives (1942), and The Gangs All Here (1943) that included the Carmen Miranda standard, "The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat". During this period, he worked with lyricists Ralph Rainger, Mack Gordon and Leo Robin, and others. Hello Frisco, Hello (1943) garnered Warren his second Academy Award for the song, "You'll Never Know". While at Fox, Warren composed "Chattanooga Choo Choo" a song that became the first gold record in the history of the recording industry.

In 1945, legendary musical film producer Arthur Freed at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer courted Warren for his MGM production unit. Freed quipped that Warren would have the office right next door to his--and he did. For Warren the offer to write music at the studio that practically invented the movie musical was irresistible and he left 20th Century Fox for MGM. He joined Freed in writing the songs for Yolanda and the Thief (1945) starring Fred Astaire and Freed's protégée Lucille Bremer. The film was directed by the incomparable Vincent Minnelli. His next high profile score was for The Harvey Girls (1946) composed with renowned lyricist Johnny Mercer. The picture starred Judy Garland and John Hodiak. Directed by George Sidney, it was a major success, due in part to Warren's tuneful "On the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe". This song brought Warren his third and what would be his final Academy Award.

While at MGM, Warren worked with lyricists Mack Gordon, Ralph Blane, and others. In 1948, he and Blane composed the song score for Freed and director Rouben Mamoulian's ambitious film adaptation of Eugene O'Neills stage play Ah Wilderness entitled Summer Holiday (1948) starring Mickey Rooney and Gloria DeHaven. This is reported to have been Warren's favorite film assignment, but the film was not an unqualified success. Warren remained at MGM until the 1950s composing for such films as The Barkleys of Broadway (1949), starring Astaire and Rogers, Summer Stock (1950), starring Judy Garland and Gene Kelly and his final film for MGM, Skirts Ahoy! (1952), starring Esther Williams and Vivian Blane. After leaving MGM, Warren wrote the score for the Bing Crosby film, Just for You at Paramount. Warren also served on the Board of Directors for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Warren went on to write the music for two Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin films, The Caddy (1953) for which he composed "That's Amore", Artists and Models (1955) and for three Jerry Lewis films, Rock-a-Bye Baby (1958), Cinderfella (1960), and The Ladies Man (1961). Warren also composed instrumental pieces one being a "Mass in Honor of St. Anthony".

Warren returned to Broadway in 1956 with the musical Shangri-La, based on the novel Lost Horizon. The show was not a success and closed after fewer than thirty performances. He composed the title song for the Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr film, An Affair to Remember (1957); this song brought him his last nomination for an Academy Award. The song was later used in the motion picture Sleepless in Seattle (1993) starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

During the 1950s, Warren started his own music publishing company, Four Jays Music Corporation. After writing the songs for The Ladies Man, Warren retired from films but continued to write for piano, even composing the song for the Miss Oklahoma Pageant. His last film effort was to compose one song for the motion-picture Rosie (1968). During the last years of his life Warren composed and ran his music publishing business, but remained largely forgotten as the man who had composed a great deal of America's musical heritage.

With the resurgence in the appreciation of the movie musical in the early 1970s, the tunes composed during Warren's heyday were back in vogue, brought on in a large part by the phenomenal success of MGM's That's Entertainment! (1974). In 1980, he was asked to compose the musical numbers for an upcoming movie musical entitled, Manhattan Melody but it was never produced. 1980 brought the Warren name back to the marquees of Broadway with the David Merrick production of 42nd St.. The full budgeted big Broadway musical used the basic storyline from the 1933 film and drew upon the whole of the Warren and Dubin catalogue for the score. The production proved to be wildly popular, running in excess of five years on Broadway. Warren died in California on September 22, 1981. He was interred in the Sanctuary of Tenderness at Westwood Memorial Park in Los Angeles beside his wife and son. After Warren's death, his daughter Joan "Cookie" Warren Jones administered the music publishing company until her death in 1991.
Key:
OF = Original Film, RV = Reference Video, MV = Master Video
Separated Materials:
The Division of Cultural History has three dimensional objects related to Harry Warren.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution by Julia Riva and Jophe Jones, granddaughters of Harry Warren, on December 15, 2000.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. 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.

Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Occupation:
Composers -- 20th century  Search this
Topic:
Musical films  Search this
Popular music -- Writing and publishing  Search this
Musical reviews, comedies, etc.  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 20th century
Memorabilia -- 20th century
Awards
Sheet music -- Manuscripts -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Scripts (documents)
Posters -- 20th century
Theater programs -- 1910-1990
Legal records
Programs
Citation:
Harry Warren Papers, 1909-2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Jophe Jones and Julia Riva.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0750
See more items in:
Harry Warren Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0750
Online Media:

Martin Birnbaum papers

Creator:
Birnbaum, Martin, 1878-1970  Search this
Names:
Fogg Art Museum  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Philadelphia Museum of Art  Search this
Scott & Fowles (Firm)  Search this
Beardsley, Aubrey, 1872-1898  Search this
Beaux, Cecilia, 1855-1942  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Bufano, Beniamino, 1898-1970  Search this
Chanler, Robert Winthrop, 1872-1930  Search this
Choate, Mabel, 1870-1958  Search this
Clark, Stephen C. (Stephen Carlton), b. 1882  Search this
Cœdès, George  Search this
Davis, Edmund  Search this
Davis, Reginald  Search this
Despiau, Charles, 1874-1946  Search this
Diederich, William Hunt, 1884-1953  Search this
Dillingham, Louise  Search this
Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952  Search this
Dulac, Edmund, 1882-1953  Search this
Fernández, Luis, 1900-1973  Search this
Haseltine, Herbert, 1877-1962  Search this
Hoffman, Malvina, 1887-1966  Search this
Hoowij, Jan, 1907-  Search this
Jacobs, Leonebel  Search this
John, Augustus, 1878-1961  Search this
Jones, Lois Mailou, 1905-1998  Search this
Kester, Lenard, 1917-  Search this
Manship, Paul, 1885-1966  Search this
McIlhenny, Henry P.  Search this
Melchers, Gari, 1860-1932  Search this
Nadelman, Elie, 1882-1946  Search this
Parmelee, James  Search this
Parrish, Maxfield, 1870-1966  Search this
Potterton, Alfred B.  Search this
Richter, Gisela Marie Augusta, 1882-1972  Search this
Ricketts, Charles S., 1866-1931  Search this
Rock, Joseph Francis Charles, 1884-1962  Search this
Rothenstein, William, Sir, 1872-1945  Search this
Sargent, John Singer, 1856-1925  Search this
Scott, Stevenson  Search this
Scudder, Janet, b. 1873  Search this
Sinclair, Upton, 1878-1968  Search this
Sprinchorn, Carl, 1887-1971  Search this
Stein, Leo, 1872-1947  Search this
Sterne, Maurice, 1878-1957  Search this
Sterner, Albert, 1863-1946  Search this
Werntz, Carl N. (Carl Newland), 1874-1944  Search this
Wilson, Stanley  Search this
Winthrop, Grenville Lindall, 1864-1943  Search this
Extent:
3.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Etchings
Photographs
Date:
1862-1967
bulk 1920-1967
Summary:
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott & Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birnbaum measure 3.2 linear feet and date from 1862-1967, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920-1967. The papers document Birnbaum's association with the firm of Scott & Fowles, the lives and activities of his friends and colleagues, and his literary work, through biographical material, correspondence, writings and notes, business records, printed material, a scrapbook, scattered artwork, and photographs of Birnbaum, friends and colleagues, and artwork.

Correspondence, primarily letters received by Birnbaum in New York, and throughout Europe from 1917-1960s, reflects Birnbaum's association with Scott & Fowles, particularly Stevenson Scott, and includes many details about the lives and activities of his correspondents, among them: artists Edward Bruce, Cecilia Beaux, Beniamino Bufano, Stephen C. Clark, Louise Dillingham, William Hunt Diedrich, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Jan Hoowij, Malvina Hoffman, Leonebel Jacobs, Lenard Kester, Lois Mailou Jones, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Maxfield Parrish, Charles S. Ricketts, William Rothenstein, John Singer Sargent, Janet Scudder, Carl Sprinchorn, Maurice Sterne, Albert Sterner, Carl N. Wertz, and Stanley Wilson. Also found is correspondence with art collectors and patrons including Mabel Choate, Edmund Davis, Reginald Davis, Henry P. McIlhenny, James Parmalee, Edith Wetmore, and Grenville Windall Linthrop, and museums including the Fogg Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art and then curator Gisela Marie Augusta Richter, and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Correspondence with scholars, writers, and publishers including George Coedes, Edmund Dulac, Joseph Francis Charles Rock, Upton Sinclair and others, documents aspects of Birnbaum's literary and scholarly work.

Writings include drafts of The Last Romantic, including Upton Sinclair's revision, and some of Birnbaum's early published and unpublished writings, as well as notes on Aubrey Beardsley.

Business records include financial records such as bills, receipts, canceled checks and statements for sales of artwork, and scattered legal records.

A small amount of printed material primarily consists of programs for musical events which evidence Birnbaum's early success as a violinist, as well as scattered news clippings, 2 exhibition catalogs, and announcements for the publications of Angkor and the Mandarin Road and The Last Romantic. Additional printed material about Birnbaum can be found in the dismantled scrapbook, 1960-1961.

Artwork includes 2 etchings and a sketch by Birnbaum, bookplates by various artists, circa 10 sketches by other and unidentified artists, and 3 cards with original artwork.

Photographs include snapshots and portraits of Birnbaum and artists and friends, among them: Robert Chanler, Charles Despiau, Norman Douglas, Luis Fernandez, Herbert Haseltine, Augustus John, Paul Manship, Gari Melchers, Elie Nadelman, Albert Sterner, Stevenson Scott, and Grenville Lindall Winthrop. Also found is a photo of Birnbaum with Edward Bruce, Alfred Potterton, Leon Stein, and Maurice Sterne, circa 1915-1916, and photographs proposed for use in The Last Romantic, travel snapshots, and photos of artwork.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1890-1950s (0.3 linear feet; Box 1, OVs 4-5)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1862-1967 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1890-circa 1960 (0.45 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 4: Business Records, 1918-1967 (0.15 linear feet; Box 2)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1895-circa 1960 (0.15 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 6: Scrapbook, 1960-1961 (1 folder; Box 3)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1890-circa 1960 (0.15 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1900-circa 1960s (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)
Biographical / Historical:
New York art dealer, critic, and author Martin Birmbaum (1878-1970) was the manager of the American branch of the Berlin Photographic Company in New York City from 1910–1916, and a longtime partner in the art firm Scott & Fowles. He spent the later part of his career building the Grenville Lindall Winthrop Collection, now at the Fogg Museum.

Birnbaum immigrated to the United States from Hungary as a child. He was an accomplished violinist who studied at City College of New York, and graduated with a law degree from Columbia University in 1901, but developed a life-long interest in art during visits to Europe. As manager of the Berlin Photographic Company he had great success in staging art exhibitions at the company's New York galleries, which led him to a junior partnership in the Fifth Avenue firm of art dealers, Scott & Fowles. Birnbaum traveled widely and built relationships with many of the prominent artists and art collectors of his day and, in addition to the Grenville Lindall Winthrop collection, was influential in developing other important art collections including those of Edward Davis, Reginald Davis, and Henry P. McIlhenny.

Birnbaum wrote widely about his experiences and encounters in the world of wealthy socialites, literary salons, artists, art patrons, and collectors in publications such as Aubrey Vincent Beardsley (Berlin Photographic Co., 1911), Oscar Wilde: Fragments and Memories (J.F. Drake, Incorporated, 1914) , Vanishing Eden:Wanderings in the Tropics (New York: William E. Rudge's Sons, 1942), Angkor and the Mandarin Road (Vantage Press, 1952), and The Last Romantic (Twayne Publishers, 1961). He died in 1970 at the age of 92.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming (reels N698, N698A-N698B) including correspondence, bookplates, sketches, newspaper clippings, and a list of books containing ornamental drawings and illustrations. Loaned materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
Material on reels N698, N698A-N698B were lent for microfilming by Martin Birnbaum in 1967. The rest of the collection was donated in an anonymous gift in 1970 and by Martin Birnbaum's great-nephew, Jerome Ziegler, in 1975.
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.

Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Martin Birnbaum 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:
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Etchings
Photographs
Citation:
Martin Birnbaum papers, 1962-1967, bulk 1920-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.birnmart
See more items in:
Martin Birnbaum papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-birnmart

Western Union Telegraph Company Records

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

Series 1: Historical and Background Information, 1851-1994

Series 2: Subsidiaries of Western Union, 1844-1986

Series 3: Executive Records, 1848-1987

Series 4: Presidential Letterbooks and Writings, 1865-1911

Series 5: Correspondence, 1837-1985

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

Series 7: Secretary's Files, 1844-1987

Series 8: Financial Records, 1859-1995

Series 9: Legal Records, 1867-1968

Series 10: Railroad Records, 1854-1945

Series 11: Law Department Records, 1868-1979

Series 12: Patent Materials, 1840-1970

Series 13: Operating Records, 1868-1970s

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

Series 15: Engineering Department Records, 1874-1970

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

Series 17: Superintendent of Supplies Records, 1888-1948

Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records 1852-1985

Series 19: Public Relations Department Records, 1858-1980

Series 20: Western Union Museum, 1913-1971

Series 21: Maps, 1820-1964

Series 22: Telegrams, 1852-1960s

Series 23: Photographs, circa 1870-1980

Series 24: Scrapbooks, 1835-1956

Series 25: Notebooks, 1880-1942

Series 26: Audio Visual Materials, 1925-1994

Series 27: Materials for Interfile (Series 1; Series 3; Series 13; Series 15-23; Series 25-26)
Biographical / Historical:
In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, conceived of the idea for an electromechanical telegraph, which he called the "Recording Telegraph." This commercial application of electricity was made tangible by their construction of a crude working model in 1835-36. This instrument probably was never used outside of Professor Morse's rooms where it was, however, operated in a number of demonstrations. This original telegraph instrument was in the hands of the Western Union Telegraph Company and had been kept carefully over the years in a glass case. It was moved several times in New York as the Western Union headquarters building changed location over the years. The company presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1950.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.

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

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

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867

This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts (apparatus and equipment) were donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society, now known as the Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Western Union in September of 1971.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audio visual materials. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Electric engineering  Search this
Electric engineers  Search this
Electrical equipment  Search this
Communication -- International cooperation  Search this
Electrical engineers  Search this
Electrical science and technology  Search this
Communications equipment  Search this
Telegraphers  Search this
Telegraph  Search this
Genre/Form:
Patents
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Contracts
Drawings
Articles
Administrative records
Clippings
Books
Photographs -- 19th century
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Specifications
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Technical documents
Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0205
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0205
Online Media:

N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records

Creator:
Ayer (N W) Incorporated.  Search this
Names:
American Telephone and Telegraph Company -- Advertisements  Search this
Cunningham & Walsh.  Search this
Hixson & Jorgenson  Search this
United Air Lines, Inc. -- Advertisements  Search this
Ayer, Francis Wayland  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Extent:
270 Cubic feet (1169 boxes )
7 Film reels (1463 boxes, 18 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Film reels
Business records
Interviews
Oral history
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Date:
1817-1851
1869-2006
Summary:
Collection consists of records documenting one of the oldest advertising agencies created in Philadelphia. The company then moves to New York and expanses to international markets. During its history NW Ayer & Sons acquires a number of other advertising agencies and is eventually purchased. The largest portion of the collection is print advertisements but also includes radio and television. NW Ayer is known for some of the slogans created for major American companies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists primarily of proof sheets of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son, Incorporated for their clients. These materials are in series one through thirteen and consist primarily of print advertisements. There are also billboards, radio and television commercials. The advertisements range from consumer to corporate and industrial products. The majority of the advertisements were created for Ayer's New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and international offices. Printed advertisements created by Cunningham & Walsh, Hixson & Jorgensen and Newell-Emmett are also included among these materials. Researchers who are interested in records created by Ayer in the course of operating an advertising agency will find these materials in Series fourteen-nineteen.

Series fourteen consists of advertisements created by NW Ayer & Son to promote their services to potential clients.

Series fifteen are scrapbooks of some of the earliest advertisements created by the company. Series sixteen are publications. Some of the publications were created by Ayer while others were about Ayer or the advertising industry in general. Provides good background materials and puts the company in perspective. Series eighteen are the legal records. Materials relating to employees including photographs, oral histories etc. are found in series nineteen.

Series twenty is one of the smallest amounts of materials and includes information relating to the history of NW Ayer & Son.

The container lists for series one-thirteen are part of a database and are searchable. The list has been printed for the convenience of the researcher and is included in this finding aid. Series fourteen-twenty container lists are also a part of the finding aid but are not in a searchable format.

Series 1, Scrapbooks of Client Advertisements, circa 1870-1920, is arranged into three boxes by chronological date. There are two bound scrapbooks and one box of folders containing loose scrapbook pages. NW Ayer & Son compiled an assortment of their earliest ads and placed them into scrapbooks. Besides the earliest advertisements, the scrapbooks contain requests to run advertisements, reading notices and listings of papers Ayer advertised in. The early advertisements themselves range from medical remedies to jewelry to machines to clothing to education and more. Most of the advertisements in the bound scrapbooks are dated.

Series 2, Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930, NW Ayer was fond of creating scrapbooks containing proofsheets. The series contains proofsheets created between 1892 and 1930, organized into 526 boxes. For convenience of storage, access and arrangement, the scrapbooks were disassembled and the pages placed in original order in flat archival storage boxes. The proofsheets are arranged by book number rather than client name. Usually the boxes contain a listing of the clients and sometimes the dates of the advertisements to be found within the box.

Series 3, Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975, is organized into 532 oversize boxes, and contain proofsheets and tearsheets created between 1920 and 1972. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by company name (occasionally subdivided by brand or product), and thereunder chronologically by date of production. Many major, national advertisers are represented, including American Telephone & Telegraph, Armour Company, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Carrier Corporation, Domino Sugar, Caterpillar tractor company, Ford Motor Company, General Electric, Goodyear, Hills Bros. Coffee, Ladies Home Journal, National Dairy, Plymouth (Chrysler Corporation), Steinway, TV Guide, United Airlines and the United States Army. Also contained in this series are three scrapbooks of client advertisements including Canada Dry, Ford Motor, and Victor Talking Machine.

Series 4, 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001, is organized into ninety three oversized boxes,one folder and contains proofsheets for select Ayer clients, created between 1975 and 2001. Within this series, materials are arranged alphabetically by client name and there under chronologically by date of production. Major national advertisers represented include American Telephone & Telegraph, Avon, the United States Army, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Dupont, TV Guide, Sealtest, Kraft Foods, Gillette, General Motors, Cannon Mills.

Series 5, Billboards, circa 1952-1956, consists of mounted and un-mounted original art/mock-ups. Twenty-two pieces of original art created as mock-ups for Texaco billboards.

Series 6, Film and Video Commercials, 1967-1970,

Series 7, Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated, is arranged into eight boxes and includes radio scripts, television scripts, and story boards for commercials.

Subseries 7.1, Scripts and storyboards for Radio and Television Commercials, dates Scripts for radio and television commercials includes title, date, length of commercial, advertising agency, client information

NW Ayer's radio and television materials mainly focus on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Some of Ayer's materials relate to Bell Telephone Hours.

Storyboards are used in television and film to assist the director in working with crew to tell the story. To show the viewer through the use of figures, visual effects and camera angles. When directors first start thinking about their storyboard they create a story in their mind. They think of all the camera angles, visual effects and how the figures will interact in their mind. They try to create an extraordinary story in their head to attract the viewer (YOU) In order for the storyboard to be entirely effective it can't be a passive document. When done properly, a storyboard serves as a central design, meeting the needs of many team members including graphics artists, video personnel and programmers.

Another function of a storyboard is to help the team communicate during the training development process. This communication is very important in working with a large team as in the movie King, produced in 1996. Figures help the director explain to the crew how they are going to record the film and how to present it to the audience. Sometimes the director wants special effects to be added to the film, but his budget might not be that big so the director will have to change the story to fit their budget.

The Visual Effects are an important part in the storyboards it adds a special touch of creativity to your film. Camera angles are an important expects in your film because the camera angles determine where the viewing audience will look. If you want your audience to look at a certain object you must turn their attention to it by focusing on that object and maybe you might try blocking something out. Then you will have your audience's attention and you may do whatever else you have to, it could be scaring them are just surprising them or whatever you do.

Also included is talent information and log sheets relating to the storage of the commercials.

Bell Telephone Hour Program, 1942-[19??], The Bell Telephone Hour, also known as The Telephone Hour, was a five minute musical program which began April 29, 1940 on National Broadcasting Company Radio and was heard on NBC until June 30, 1958. Sponsored by Bell Telephone showcased the best in classical and Broadway music, reaching eight to nine million listeners each week. It continued on television from 1959 to 1968.

Earlier shows featured James Melton and Francia White as soloists. Producer Wallace Magill restructured the format on April 27, 1942 into the "Great Artists Series" of concert and opera performers, beginning with Jascha Heifetz. Records indicate that the list of talents on the program included Marian Anderson, Helen Traubel, Oscar Levant, Lily Pons, Nelson Eddy, Bing Crosby, Margaret Daum, Benny Goodman, José Iturbi, Gladys Swarthout and .The series returned to radio in 1968-1969 as Bell Telephone Hour Encores, also known as Encores from the Bell Telephone Hour, featuring highlights and interviews from the original series.

National Broadcasting television specials sponsored by the Bell System, 1957-1987includes information relating to Science series, Bell system Theshold Series, Bell telephone hour and commercial and public sponsored programs

Series 8, Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989, is arranged alphabetically by the name of the client in ninety boxes and six oversize folders. Clients include Illinois Bell Telephone (1955-1989), Microswitch (1969-1989), Teletype (1975-1984), John Deere (1974-1989) and Caterpillar (1966-1972) are particularly well represented. Other clients of interest include Dr. Scholl's shoes (circa 1968-1972), the Girl Scouts (1976-1980), Sunbeam Personal Products Company (1973-1981), Bell and Howell (1974-1983) and Alberto Culver shampoos (1967-1971), Honeywell, Incorporated, Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations, Kraft, Incorporated, Sears, Roebuck and Company, and YMCA.

Series 9, Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987, include printed advertisements created by this office and information relating to the employees.

Subseries 9.1, Print Advertisements, 1977-1987, printed advertisements arranged in one box alphabetically by client. There is a sparse sampling of clients from this particular Ayer branch office. The majority of the advertisements contained within this series are from Pizza Hut (1986-1987). Also included are Computer Automation (1977-1978), State of the Art, Incorporated (1982) and Toshiba (1986).

Subseries 9.2, Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s, includes cards of employees who worked in the Los Angeles office. Information on the cards includes name, address, telephone number, birthday, date hired, departure date and why (retired, terminated, resigned, etc) and position. Not all cards have all information. There is also a photograph of the employees on the cards.

Series 10, Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated, NW Ayer maintained partnerships with international companies such as Sloanas Ayer in Argentina, Connaghan & May Paton Ayer in Australia, Moussault Ayer in Belgium, NW Ayer, LTD. in Canada, GMC Ayer in France, Co-Partner Ayer in Germany, Wong Lam Wang in Hong Kong, MacHarman Ayer in New Zealand, Grupo de Diseno Ayer in Spain, Nedeby Ayer in Sweden, and Ayer Barker in United Kingdom. This group of material is a small sampling of advertisements created from these International offices. It is arranged alphabetically by client. There are quite a few automobile advertisements (i.e. Audi, Fiat, General Motors, Mercedes-Benz, and Volkswagen). In addition there are numerous advertisements for various personal items from MacLean's toothpaste to Quick athletic shoes to Labello lip balm, etc. Most of the advertisements have the creator's name printed on the advertisements.

Series 11, Cunningham & Walsh, Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated contains 98 boxes 11 folders materials from the New York advertising agency acquired by NW Ayer in the 1960s. The company began with Newel-Emmett, an agency of nine men which broke up in 1949. Two of the men Fred Walsh and Jack Cunningham formed this agency in bearing their names in 1950. The agency created "let your fingers for the walking campaign for American Telephone & Telegraph, Mother Nature for Chiffon, and Mrs. Olson for Folgers's coffee and let the good times roll for Kawasaki motorcycle. In 1986, NW Ayer Incorporated purchased Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated.

Subseries 11.1, Print Advertisements, 1915-1987, are contained in ninety eight boxes of primarily print advertisements arranged alphabetically by client name. Clients that are particularly well represented are Graybar (electrical implements, circa1926-1937), Johns-Manulle (circa1915-1971), Smith and Corono typewriters (circa 1934-1960), Sunshine Biscuit Company (circa 1925-1961), Texaco Company (circa 1936-1961), Western Electric (circa 1920- 1971) and Yellow Pages (circa 1936-1971). Cunningham and Walsh also represented several travel and tourism industry clients, including Cook Travel Services (circa 1951-1962), Italian Line (circa 1953-1961), Narragansett and Croft (circa 1956-1960) and Northwest Airlines (circa 1946-1955). There are photographs of Texaco advertisements dating from 1913-1962. There is also a scrapbook of advertisements from the Western Electric Company dating from 1920-1922.

Subseries 11.2, Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967, consist of materials created for Western Electric. Materials are arranged in chronological order.

Subseries 11.3, Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated include client lists, information relating to NW Ayer purchase and annual report 1962.

Series 12, Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, a Los Angeles advertising company, merged with Ayer in 1969. This series is housed in one box. Within the box are four scrapbooks and folders with a hodgepodge of materials relating to advertising. Of most interest are the scrapbooks. Two scrapbooks deal with Hixson and Jorgensen's self promotion ad campaign "the right appeal gets action" (1953-1957). The other two scrapbooks contain news clippings about the company and its activities (1959-1971).

Series 13, Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957, founded in 1919 and governed in the 1940s by a partnership of nine men. The partnership broke up in 1949 when the men went their separate ways. The materials consist of print advertisements for one of client, Permutit Company, a water conditioning company. The materials are arranged in one box in chronological order.

Series 14, House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991, 16 boxes consists of advertisements or self-promotion advertisements to campaign for new clients. The series is arranged chronologically by date into fifteen boxes. Within the series are two scrapbooks containing self promotion ads from 1888-1919 and 1892-1895. Numerous house ads relate to Ayer's "Human Contact" campaign. In addition to the self promotion ads, Ayer ran advertisements expounding about particular concepts or themes for example, one month the concept would "understand" while another month would be "teamwork" and yet another would be on "imagination". Some of the self promotion ads target specific groups like Philadelphia businessmen. Other advertisements incorporate the fine arts.

Series 15, Scrapbooks, 1872-1959, relates to company events, records and news clippings about Ayer's history. The six boxes are arranged by chronological date. Two of the boxes focus solely on the death of founder F.W. Ayer (1923). Another box houses a scrapbook that showcases Ayer's annual Typography Exhibition (1931-1959). One box contains a scrapbook that specifically deals with correspondences relating to Ayer's advertising. Yet another box's contents are folders of loose pages from scrapbooks that have newspaper clippings, order forms, correspondences and other company records. In one box, a bound scrapbook houses a variety of materials relating to Ayer and advertising (i.e. newspaper clippings, competitor's advertisements, NW Ayer's advertisements, correspondences for advertisements, clippings regarding the "theory of advertising."

Series 16, Publications, 1849-2006, are housed in thirty four boxes and are arranged into three main categories.

Subseries 16.1, House Publications, 1876-1994, covers diverse topics; some proscriptive works about the Ayer method in advertising, some commemorating people, anniversaries or events in the life of the agency. Materials consist of scattered issues of the employee newsletter The Next Step 1920-1921. The materials are arranged in chronological order by date of publication. Ayer in the News, The Show Windows of an Advertising Agency, 1915, book form of advertisements published on the cover of Printer's Ink, highlighting Ayer's relations with advertisers. The Story of the States, 1916, Reprint in book form of a series of articles published in Printer's Ink for the purpose of adding some pertinent fact, progressive thought and prophetic vision to the Nationalism of Advertising highlights major businesses, manufacturer, natural resources and other qualities or attractions of each state. The Book of the Golden Celebration, 1919, includes welcome address and closing remarks by founder F. Wayland Ayer, The Next Step, 1920 employee newsletter with photographs, employee profiles, in-house jokes, etc., Advertising Advertising: A Series of Fifty-two Advertisements scheduled one time a week. Twenty-seven, thirty and forty inches, a day of the week optional with publisher, 1924

Subseries 16.2, Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-2006, includes a book first published in 1939. Includes articles, documenting events and is arranged chronologically by date of publication.

Subseries 16.3, General Publications about Advertising, 1922-1974, are arranged chronologically by date of publication and relate primarily to the history of advertising.

Subseries 16.4, Publications about Other Subjects, 1948-1964, include four books about the tobacco industry primarily the history of the American Tobacco Company and Lorillard Company from the Cunningham and Walsh library.

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1, Contracts, 1885-1908, undated, are arranged alphabetically and span from 1885-1908. The majority of the contracts are with newspaper and magazine publishers from around the country.

Subseries 17.2, General client information, 1911-1999, undated, including active and cancelled lists with dates, client gains, historical client list, (should move this to series 20) Ayer Plan User Guide Strategic Planning for Human Contact, undated

Subseries 17.3, Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated, contain information used by Ayer to create advertisements for some of its clients. American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate Case History, American Telephone &Telegraph Corporate advertisement memo, commissioned artists for DeBeers advertisements, DeBeers information relating to the creative process and photography credits, a case history for DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., The Diamond Engagement Ring, Managing Communication at all levels, DuPont publications, JC Penny Marketing Communication Plan Recommendation, Leaf, Incorporated, Saturn presentation, and USAREC oral presentation.

Subseries 17.4, Potential Clients, 1993, includes grouping has a questionnaire sent to Ayer by a potential client. Questionnaire response for Prudential Securities, 1993 Prudential Securities advertising account review, 1993.

Subseries 17.5, Financial Records, 1929-1938, includes balance sheet, 1929 May 1 Balance sheet and adjustments Consolidated statement of assets and liabilities, Expenses 191936-37 Business review and expenses, 1937 and 1938 Business review and expenses comparative statement, 1937 and 1938.

Series 18, Legal Records, circa 1911-1982, Ayer's legal records are arranged by twelve subject groupings within four boxes. The twelve groupings are advertising service agreements (circa 1918-1982), bylaws, copyright claims, correspondences, international correspondences, dissolution of trusts, stock information, agreements between partners, incorporation materials, reduction of capital, property information and miscellaneous materials. The bulk of the materials are the advertising service agreements. These agreements are between Ayer and their clients and state the services Ayer will offer and at what cost. The bylaws are Ayer's company bylaws from 1969 and 1972. The copyright claims are certificates stating Ayer's ownership over certain published materials (i.e. "Policy", Media Equalizer Model, and Don Newman's Washington Square Experiment). The correspondences relate to either the voting trust and receipts for agreement or the New York Corporation. The international correspondences are from either Ayer's Canadian office or London office. The dissolutions of trusts contains materials about the dividend trust of Wilfred F. Fry, the investment trust of Winfred W. Fry, the voting trust, and the New York corporation. The stock information has stock certificates and capital stock information. The agreements between partners (1911-1916) specify the terms between F.W. Ayer and his partners. The incorporation materials (circa 1929-1977) deal with Ayer advertising agency becoming incorporated in the state of Delaware. The reduction of capital grouping is a notification that shares of stock have been retired. The property information grouping contains property deeds and insurance policy (circa 1921-1939), a property appraisal (1934), and a bill of sale (1948). The miscellaneous grouping contains a house memo regarding a set of board meeting minutes and a registry of foreign companies in Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (1929-1954).

Subseries 18.1, Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2, Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4, Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5, International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6, Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7, Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8, Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9, Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10, Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11, Property Information, 1921-1948

Subseries 18.12, Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19, Personnel Records, circa 1889-2001, are arranged into eight groupings within eight boxes. The groupings are employee card files, photographs, Ayer alumni, biographies, speeches, recollections, oral histories, and miscellaneous. Typed manuscript of book A Copy Writer Speaks by George Cecil, NW Ayer, Incorporated copy head 1920s-1950s

Subseries 19.1, Employee card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963, consists of index cards with the name, age, job title, date and wage increases, date of hire/fire, as well as remarks about the employee's service and/or reasons for seeking or leaving the job. Materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the employee within three boxes.

Subseries 19.2, Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated, are housed in two boxes. The photographs grouped together by subjects i.e. personnel, company events, Ayer buildings, and miscellaneous. This grouping primarily consists of personnel photographs. Includes a glass plate negative dated 1924 of NW Ayer.

Subseries 19.3, Ayer Alumni, circa 1989-98, include employees who have left Ayer. There is a listing of Ayer "graduates" and their current job. Emeritus, Ayer's alumni newsletter 1989-1996, makes up the majority of materials in this grouping. The newsletter keeps the alumni up to date with the happenings of Ayer and what has become of former Ayer employees. Emeritus is a quarterly newsletter devoted to the activities, thoughts and feelings of Ayer alumni a body of people who consists of retirees and former employees.

Subseries 19.4, Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994, undated, prominent members of Ayer's operations had biographical sketches completed of them. This was true for the bio sketches of Robert Ervin, Louis T. Hagopian, and George A. Rink. There is a substantial file on Dorothy Dignam ("Mis Dig"), a leading woman in the advertising world from the 1930s to the 1950s. Also of interest is a video ("The Siano Man") compiled by Ayer employees to commemorate Jerry Siano's retirement from Ayer in 1994. The series is arranged alphabetically by last name.

Subseries 19.5, Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975, contains speeches made by Wilfred W. Fry and Neal W. O'Connor. Wilfred W. Fry had various speaking engagements connected with Ayer. Contained in this group is a sampling of his speeches from 1919 to 1931. Neal O'Connor's speech "Advertising: Who Says It's a Young People's Business" was given at the Central Region Convention for the American Association of Advertising Agencies in Chicago on November 6, 1975. The speeches are arranged alphabetically by the speaker's last name.

Subseries 19.6, Recollections, 1954-1984, undated, are arranged alphabetically by last name. These are recollections from Ayer employees about the company and its advertisements. Some recollections are specifically about certain types of advertisements, like farm equipment while others reflect on F. W. Ayer and the company.

Subseries 19.7, Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991, include interviews with key NW Ayer personnel, conducted by Ayer alumnae Howard Davis, Brad Lynch and Don Sholl (Vice President creative) for the Oral History Program. The materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.8, Oral History Interview Audio Tapes, 1985-1990, include interviews on audiotape the materials are arranged alphabetically by the last name of the interviewee.

Subseries 19.9, Internal Communications, 1993-1999, includes information sent to employees relating to retirements, management changes, awards won by the company, promotions, potential new accounts, free items, grand opening of Ayer Café, donation events, sponsorship programs, holiday schedules, discounts for employees from clients, Ayer joins MacManus Group.

Subseries 19.10, General Materials, 1940; 1970, includes agency directory entry including a list of the employees, 1970s, annual banquet program for the Curfew Club May 22, 1940 a group formed by the Philadelphia employee in 1938. It sponsored numerous sports, social and educational activities. Groups were formed in public speaking, music appreciation and a series of talks on Monday evenings title the modern woman. The front page was a series of talks for general interest. A list of officers, 1991, Twenty five year club membership, 1973 December 1, List of NW Ayer graduates, 1970, List of Officers, 1991 May 31, Obituary for Leo Lionni, 1999 October 17, List of photographers of advertisements, 2001

Series 20, Background and History Information, 1817-1999, undated includes a chronology, 1817-1990, quick reference timeline, 1848-1923, loose pages from a scrapbook containing examples of correspondence, envelopes, advertisements dating from 1875-1878; slogans coined by NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1899-1990, history of management, 1909-1923, articles and photographs about the building and art galleries, 1926-1976, publications about the Philadelphia building, 1929, pamphlet relating to memories of NW Ayer & Sons, Incorporated, 1930s-1950s, television history, 1940-1948, Article about the history of the company, 1950 January, pocket guide, 1982, AdWeek reports about standings for advertising agencies, information relating to Human Contact which is NW Ayer's Information relating to Human Contact, undated which is their philosophy on advertising.

Series 21, Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated, consists of print advertisements collected by Ayer from other major advertising companies. The companies include Doyle Dane Bernback, Incorporated, Leo Burnett Company, Grey Advertising Agency, D'Arcy Ad Agency, Scali, McCabe, Sloves, Incorporated and Erwin Wasey Company. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by client and include products from Ralston Purina and Van Camp (Chicken of the Sea), Kellogg, American Export Lines and No Nonsense Fashions.

Series 22, 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1999, undated, includes material given to the Archives Center in 2010. It is organized into seventy one oversized boxes and contains proofsheets of print advertisements for select Ayer clients. These are arranged alphabetically by client name and include substantial quantities of materials from American Telephone &Telegraph (1945-1996), Bahamas Ministry of Tourism (1967-1987), Carrier (1971-1981), Citibank (1973-1991), DeBeers (1940s-1960s and1990s), Electric Companies Advertising Program [ECAP] (1942-1970s), General Motors (1989-1998), J.C. Penney (1983-1986), Newsweek (1966-1975), and Proctor and Gamble (1980s-1890s). There are also numerous other clients represented by smaller quantities of materials.

Subseries 22.1, Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2, Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated, include Cannon towels, Cheny Brothers silks, Cornish & Company organs and pianos, Enterprise Manufacturing Company, 1879 sad iron, an ad from Harper's Weekly 1881 for ladies clothing, Ostermoor & Company mattresses, Pear's soap, Porter's cough balsam, Steinway pianos.

Series 23, Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985, consists of three boxes of printed advertisements for the American Telephone and Telegraph Company. Some of the same advertisements might also be found in series two, three and four.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into twenty-three series.

Series 1: Scrapbooks of Client Print Advertisements, circa 1870-1920

Series 2: Proofsheets, circa 1870-1930

Series 3: Proofsheets, circa 1920-1975

Series 4: 2001 Addendum, circa 1976-2001

Series 5: Billboards, circa 1952-1956

Series 6: Audiovisual Materials

Series 7: Radio and Television Materials, 1933-1993, undated

Series 8: Chicago Office Print Advertisements, 1954-1989

Series 9: Los Angeles Office Materials, 1950s-1987

Subseries 9.1: Printed Advertisements, 1977-1987

Subseries 9.2: Personnel Files, 1950s-1970s

Series 10: Foreign Print Advertisements, 1977-1991, undated

Series 11: Cunningham & Walsh Incorporated Materials, 1915-1987, undated

Subseries 11.1: Printed Advertisements, 1915-1987

Subseries 11.2: Radio and Television Advertisements, 1963-1967

Subseries 11.3: Company Related Materials, 1962-1986, undated

Series 12: Hixson & Jorgensen Materials, 1953-1971, undated

Series 13: Newell-Emmet, 1942-1957

Series 14: House Print Advertisements, 1870-1991

Series 15: Scrapbooks, 1872-1959

Series 16: Publications, 1849-2006

Subseries 16.1: House Publications, 1876-1994

Subseries 16.2: Publications about NW Ayer, 1949-1995

Subseries 16.3: General Publications about Advertising, 1922-2006

Subseries 16.4: Publications about other Subjects, 1948-1964

Series 17, Business Records, circa 1885-1990s

Subseries 17.1: Contracts, 1885-1908, undated

Subseries 17.2: General Client Information, 1911-1999, undated

Subseries 17.3: Individual Client Account Information, 1950s-1990s, undated

Subseries 17.4: Potential Clients, 1993

Subseries 17.5: Financial Records, 1929-1938

Series 18: Legal Records, circa 1911-1984

Subseries 18.1: Advertising Service Agreements, 1918-1982

Subseries 18.2: Bylaw Materials, 1969-1972

Subseries 18.3, Copyright Claims, 1962-1969

Subseries 18.4: Correspondence, 1928-1933

Subseries 18.5: International Office Correspondence, 1947-1948

Subseries 18.6: Dissolution of Trusts, 1934-1937

Subseries 18.7: Stock Information, 1934-1974

Subseries 18.8: Agreements between Partners, 1911-1916

Subseries 18.9: Incorporation Materials, 1929-1977

Subseries 18.10: Certificates of Reduction of Capital, 1937; 1975

Subseries 18.11: Property Information

Subseries 18.12: Miscellaneous Materials, 1929-1977

Series 19: Employee Materials, circa 1889-2001

Subseries 19.1: Employee Card files, circa 1892-1915; 1929-1963

Subseries 19.2: Photographs, circa 1924-1984, undated

Subseries 19.3: Alumni Publications, circa 1989-1998

Subseries 19.4: Biographical Information, circa 1889-1994

Subseries 19.5: Speeches, circa 1919-1931; 1975

Subseries 19.6: Recollections, 1954-1984, undated

Subseries 19.7: Oral History Interview Transcripts, 1983-1985; 1989-1991

Subseries 19.8: Oral History Audiotapes, 1985-1990

Subseries 19.9: Internal Communications, 1993-1999

Subseries 19.1: General Materials, 1940-2001

Series 20: History and Background Information about the Company, 1817-1999, undated

Series 21: Materials Created by other Advertising Agencies, 1945-1978, undated

Series 22: 2010 Addendum of Print Advertisements, circa 1879s-1990s, undated

Subseries 22.1: Print Advertisements, 1930-1990, undated

Subseries 22.2: Print Advertisements on Glass Plate Negatives, 1879-1881, undated

Series 23: Microfilm of Print Advertisements, circa 1908-1985
Biographical / Historical:
Founded in Philadelphia in 1869, NW Ayer & Son is one of the oldest and largest advertising agencies in America. For most of its history, it was the undisputed leader and innovator in the field of advertising. In 1876, NW Ayer & Son pioneered the "open contract", a revolutionary change in the method of billing for advertising which became the industry standard for the next hundred years. NW Ayer pioneered the use of fine art in advertising and established the industry's first art department. It was the first agency to use a full-time copywriter and the first to institute a copy department. The agency relocated to New York City in 1974. During its long history, the agency's clients included many "blue-chip" clients, including American Telephone & Telegraph, DeBeers Consolidated Diamond Mines, Ford Motor Company, Nabisco, R. J. Reynolds and United Airlines. However, in later years, the Ayer's inherent conservatism left the agency vulnerable to the creative revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, the advertising industry restructuring of the 1980s and the economic recession of the early 1990s. The agency was bought out by a Korean investor in 1993. In 1996, NW Ayer merged with another struggling top twenty United States advertising agency, Darcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, under the umbrella of the McManus Group. Ayer continues to operate as a separate, full-service agency.

Through a series of buyouts and mergers, Ayer traces its lineage to the first advertising agency founded in the United States, a Philadelphia agency begun by Volney Palmer in 1841. Palmer began his career in advertising as a newspaper agent, acting as middleman between newspaper publishers and advertisers across the country. By 1849, Palmer had founded his own newspaper, V. B. Palmer's Register and Spirit of the Press, and had developed a complete system of advertising which included securing advertising space and placing ads in scores of commercial, political, religious, scientific and agricultural journals across the country. Palmer went one step further than the "space jobbers" of the day when he began offering "advertisements carefully drawn for those who have not the time to prepare an original copy." Always an enthusiastic promoter of advertising as an incentive to trade and American economic growth, Palmer promised advertisers that "every dollar paid for advertising in country newspapers will pay back twenty-fold" and encouraged skeptical consumers that "he who wishes to buy cheap should buy of those who advertise." When Palmer died in 1863, the agency was bought by his bookkeeper, John Joy, who joined with another Philadelphia advertising agency to form Joy, Coe & Sharpe. That agency was bought out again in 1868 and renamed Coe, Wetherill & Company. In 1877, Coe, Wetherill and Company was bought out by the newly formed NW Ayer & Son.

Francis Wayland Ayer was an ambitious young schoolteacher with an entrepreneurial streak. Having worked for a year soliciting advertisements on a commission basis for the publisher of the National Baptist weekly, Francis Ayer saw the potential to turn a profit as an advertising agent. In 1869, Ayer persuaded his father, Nathan Wheeler Ayer, to join him in business, and with an initial investment of only $250.00, NW Ayer & Son was born. Notwithstanding a smallpox epidemic in Philadelphia in 1871 and the general economic depression of the early 1870s, the agency flourished. The senior Ayer died in 1873, leaving his interest in the agency to his wife, but Francis W. Ayer bought her out, consolidating his interest in the company's management. In 1877, with Coe, Wetherill & Company (the successor to Palmer's 1841 agency) on the verge of bankruptcy and heavily indebted to Ayer for advertising it had placed in Ayer publications, Ayer assumed ownership of that agency. Thus did NW Ayer lay claim to being the oldest advertising agency in the country.

Both Nathan Wheeler and Francis Wayland Ayer began their careers as schoolteachers, and one of their legacies was a commitment to the cause of education: correspondence schools and institutions of higher learning were historically well-represented among Ayer clients. Just after World War I, the agency was heralded as "co-founder of more schools than any citizen of this country" for its conspicuous efforts to advertise private schools. Well into the 1960s, an "Education Department" at Ayer prepared advertisements for over three hundred private schools, camps and colleges, representing almost half the regional and national advertising done for such institutions. In fact, to its clients Ayer presented advertising itself as being akin to a system of education. In 1886, Ayer began promoting the virtues of the Ayer way advertising with the slogan, "Keeping Everlastingly at It Brings Success."

The agency's goals were simple: "to make advertising pay the advertiser, to spend the advertiser's money as though it were our own, to develop, magnify and dignify advertising as a business." Initially, Ayer's fortunes were tied to newspapers, and the agency began to make a name for itself as compiler and publisher of a widely used American Newspaper Annual. During the first years, Ayer's singular goal was "to get business, place it [in newspapers] and get money for it"; after several years as an independent space broker, however, Francis Ayer resolved "not to be an order taker any longer." This decision led NW Ayer and Son to a change in its mode of conducting business which would revolutionize the advertising industry: in 1876, Ayer pioneered the "open contract" with Diggee & Conard, Philadelphia raised growers and agricultural suppliers. Prior to the open contract, NW Ayer & Sons and most agencies operated as "space-jobbers," independent wholesalers of advertising space, in which the opportunities for graft and corrupt practices were virtually unlimited. In contrast, the open contract, wherein the advertiser paid a fixed commission based on the volume of advertising placed, aligned the advertising agent firmly on the side of the advertiser and gave advertisers access to the actual rates charged by newspapers and religious journals. The open contract with a fixed commission has been hailed by advertising pioneer Albert Lasker as one of the "three great landmarks in advertising history." (The other two were Lasker's own development of "reason-why" advertising copy and J. Walter Thompson's pioneering of sex appeal in an advertisement for Woodbury's soap.) Although the transition to the open contract did not happen overnight, by 1884, nearly three-quarters of Ayer's advertising billings were on an open contract basis. Since Ayer was, by the 1890s, the largest agency in America, the switch to direct payment by advertisers had a significant impact on the advertising industry, as other agencies were forced to respond to Ayer's higher standard. Just as important, the open contract helped to establish N W Ayer's long-standing reputation for "clean ethics and fair dealing" -- a reputation the agency has guarded jealously for over a century. The open contract also helped to establish Ayer as a full service advertising agency and to regularize the production of advertising in-house. From that point forward, Ayer routinely offered advice and service beyond the mere placement of advertisements. Ayer set another milestone for the industry in 1888, when Jarvis Wood was hired as the industry's first full-time copywriter. Wood was joined by a second full time copywriter four years later, and the Copy Department was formally established in 1900. The industry's first Art Department grew out of the Copy Department when Ayer hired its first commercial artist to assist with copy preparation in 1898; twelve years later Ayer became the first agency to offer the services of a full time art director, whose sole responsibility was the design and illustration of ads.

Ayer's leadership in the use of fine art in advertising has roots in this period, but achieved its highest expression under the guidance of legendary art director Charles Coiner. Coiner joined Ayer in 1924, after graduating from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. Despite early resistance from some clients, Coiner was adamant that "the use of outstanding palette and original art forms bring a greater return in readership, in impact and prestige for the advertiser." To this end, Coiner marshaled the talents of notable painters, illustrators and photographers, including N.C. Wyeth and Rockwell Kent (Steinway), Georgia O'Keefe (Dole), Leo Lionni (DuPont), Edward Steichen (Steinway, Cannon Mills), Charles Sheeler (Ford), and Irving Penn (DeBeers). Coiner believed that there was a practical side to the use of fine art in advertising, and his success (and Ayer's) lay in the marriage of research and copywriting with fine art, an arrangement Coiner termed "art for business sake." Coiner's efforts won both awards and attention for a series completed in the 1950s for the Container Corporation of America. Titled "Great Ideas of Western Man" the campaign featured abstract and modern paintings and sculpture by leading U.S. and foreign artists, linked with Western philosophical writings in an early example of advertising designed primarily to bolster corporate image. In 1994, Charles Coiner was posthumously named to the American Advertising Federation's Hall of Fame, the first full time art director ever chosen for that honor.

Coiner and fellow art director Paul Darrow also created legendary advertising with the "A Diamond Is Forever" campaign for DeBeers; ads featured the work of Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali and other modernist painters. The "A Diamond is Forever" tagline was written in 1949 by Frances Gerety, a woman copywriter at Ayer from 1943 to 1970. In 1999, Ad Age magazine cited "A Diamond is Forever" as the most memorable advertising slogan of the twentieth century.

Coiner also earned respect for his volunteer government service during World War II; he designed the armbands for civil defense volunteers and logos for the National Recovery Administration and Community Chest. As a founding member of the Advertising Council in 1945, Ayer has had a long-standing commitment to public service advertising. In the mid-1980s, Ayer became a leading force in the Reagan-era "War on Drugs". Lou Hagopian, Ayer's sixth CEO, brokered the establishment of the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, a media coalition which generated as much as a million dollars a day in donated advertising space and time to prevent the use and abuse of illegal drugs. Famous names appear among NW Ayer's clientele from the very earliest days of the agency. Retailer John Wanamaker, Jay Cooke and Company, and Montgomery Ward's mail-order business were among the first Ayer clients. The agency has represented at least twenty automobile manufacturers, including Cadillac, Chrysler, Ford, General Motors, Plymouth, and Rolls-Royce. Other major, long-term clients through the years have included American Telephone & Telegraph, Canada Dry, Cannon Mills, Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Kellogg's, R. J. Reynolds, Steinway and Sons, United Airlines, and the United States Army. By the time of Ayer's hundredth anniversary in 1969, some of these companies had been Ayer clients for decades if not generations, and the longevity of those relationships was for many years a source of Ayer's strength.

But the advertising industry began to change in the late 1960s and 1970s, due in part to a "creative revolution." Small advertising agencies won attention with provocative copywriting and art direction that more closely resembled art than advertising. Advances in market research allowed clients to more narrowly tailor their advertising messages to distinct groups of consumers, and this led to a rise in targeted marketing which could more readily be doled out to specialized small agencies than to larger, established firms like NW Ayer & Son. The civil rights and anti-war movements also contributed to increasing public skepticism with the values of corporate America, and by extension, with some national advertising campaigns. Older, more conservative firms like Ayer were hard pressed to meet these new challenges.

About 1970, in an effort to meet these challenges and to establish a foothold on the West Coast, Ayer bought out two smaller agencies--Hixson & Jorgenson (Los Angeles) and Frederick E. Baker (Seattle). The agency relocated from Philadelphia to New York City in 1974 in an attempt both to consolidate operations (Ayer had operated a New York office since the 1920s) and to be closer to the historic center of the advertising industry. Riding the wave of mergers that characterized the advertising industry in the late 1980s and 1990s, Ayer continued to grow through the acquisition of Cunningham & Walsh in 1986 and Rink Wells in 19xx.

During this transitional period, Ayer received widespread acclaim for its work for the United States Army, which included the widely recognized slogan "Be All You Can Be". Ayer first acquired the Army recruitment account in 1967 and with help from its direct marketing arm, the agency was widely credited with helping the Army reach its recruitment goals despite an unpopular war and plummeting enlistments after the elimination of the draft in 1973. Ayer held the account for two decades, from the Vietnam War through the Cold War, but lost the account in 1986 amid government charges that an Ayer employee assigned to the account accepted kickbacks from a New York film production house. Despite Ayer's position as the country's 18th largest agency (with billings of $880 million in 1985), the loss of the agency's second largest account hit hard.

NW Ayer made up for the loss of the $100 million dollar a year Army account and made headlines for being on the winning end of the largest account switch in advertising history to date, when fast food giant Burger King moved its $200 million dollar advertising account from arch-rival J. Walter Thompson in 1987. Burger King must have had drive-thru service in mind, however, and Ayer made headlines again when it lost the account just eighteen months later in another record-breaking account switch. Another devastating blow to the agency was the loss of its lead position on the American Telegraph and Telephone account. Ayer pioneered telecommunications advertising in 1908, when the agency was selected to craft advertising for the Bell System's universal telephone service. Despite valiant efforts to keep an account the agency had held for most of the twentieth century, and for which they had written such memorable corporate slogans as American Telephone &Telegraph "The Voice with a Smile" and "Reach Out and Touch Someone", the agency lost the account in 1996.

After a wave of mergers and acquisitions in the late 1980s, the economic recession of the early 1990s hit Madison Avenue hard, and Ayer was particularly vulnerable. Despite the agency's long history and roster of "blue-chip" clients, Ayer was not known for cutting-edge creative work. Moreover, though the agency had offices overseas, Ayer had never built a strong multinational presence, and many of the smaller international offices were sold during the financial turmoil of the 1980s. This left a real void in the new climate of global marketplace consolidation. By about 1990, earnings were declining (although Ayer was still among the top twenty United States agencies in billings), and the agency was suffering from client defections, high management turnover, expensive real estate commitments and deferred executive compensation deals, all fallout of the high-flying 1980s. This was the atmosphere in 1993, when W.Y. Choi, a Korean investor who had already assembled a media and marketing empire in his homeland, began looking for an American partner to form an international advertising network. Jerry Siano, the former creative director who had recently been named Ayer's seventh CEO, was in no position to refuse Choi's offer of $35 million to buy the now floundering agency. The infusion of cash was no magic bullet, however. Choi took a wait-and-see approach, allowing his partner Richard Humphreys to make key decisions about Ayer's future, including the purging of senior executives and the installation of two new CEOs in as many years.

The agency's downward trend continued with the loss of another longtime client, the DeBeers diamond cartel in 1995. Adweek reported that Ayer's billings fell from $892 million in 1990 to less than $850 million in 1995. Several top executives defected abruptly, and the agency failed to attract major new accounts. Ayer was facing the loss not merely of revenue and personnel, but the loss of much of the respect it once commanded. Ayer remained among the twenty largest U.S. agencies, but an aura of uncertainty hung over the agency like a cloud. A new CEO was appointed, and Mary Lou Quinlan became the agency's first woman CEO in 1995. A year later, Ayer and another struggling top twenty agency, D'arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles, combined as part of the McManus Group of companies. In 1998, the McManus Group had worldwide billings of more than $6.5 billion.

Under the McManus Group, Ayer was able to expand its international operations and begin to rebuild a stronger global presence. Several important new clients were won in 1997 and 1998, including Avon, General Motors, Kitchenaid, several Procter & Gamble brands and, most notably, Continental Airlines worldwide accounts. Born in the nineteenth century, Ayer may be one of a very few advertising agencies to successfully weather the economic and cultural transitions of both the twentieth and twentieth first centuries. Ayer was eventually acquired by the Publicis Groupe based in Paris, France which closed down the N.W. Ayer offices in 2002.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)

Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.

Technical Access: Viewing the film portion of the collection without reference copies requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to audio discs requires special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies.
Topic:
Advertising agencies  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1840-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history -- 1980-1990
Print advertising
Proof sheets
Proofs (printed matter)
Scrapbooks -- 1840-1990
Trade literature
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Citation:
NW Ayer & Sons, incorporated Advertising Agency Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0059
See more items in:
N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0059
Online Media:

Archives Center Brewing History Collection

Creator:
Anchor Brewing Co.  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (1 box, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Clippings
Color photographs
Correspondence
Diaries
Handbooks
Labels
Legal records
Menus
Notes
Press sheets
Date:
1968-1997
Scope and Contents:
An artificial collection of archival materials relating to brewing in America. As accruals are received, the collection will be organized according to donor. Initial donation from the Anchor Brewing Co. is an original press sheet from the first printing of an Anchor Steam beer bottle label, 1968.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1: Anchor Brewing Company

Series 2: Louis P. Hutchins

Series 3: Jeff Lebesch

Series 4: Michael J. Lewis

Series 5: Bill Owens (Buffalo Bill's Brewery)

Series 6: Joseph Williams
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Anchor Brewing Company though David Burkhart in 2017.
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:
Awards  Search this
Beer  Search this
Beverages  Search this
Books  Search this
Bottling  Search this
Brewing  Search this
Licenses  Search this
Recipes  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements
Clippings
Color photographs
Correspondence
Diaries
Handbooks
Labels
Legal records
Menus
Notes
Press sheets
Citation:
Archives Center Brewing History Collection, 1968, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1419
See more items in:
Archives Center Brewing History Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1419
Online Media:

Solomon Adler Papers

Creator:
Adler, Solomon, 1901-1989  Search this
Extent:
4.5 Cubic feet (5 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Printed material
Sketches
Photographs
Notes
Legal records
Drawings
Correspondence
Date:
1916-1980
bulk 1950-1966
Summary:
The papers document independent inventor Solomon Adler's work with sewing machine technology through correspondence, photographs, notes, drawings, sketches, patents, litigation records, and printed materials. The collection provides insight into both an independent inventor's process of invention and Japanese work culture during the post-World War II period.
Scope and Contents:
The papers include correspondence, photographs, notes, drawings, sketches, patents, litigation records, and printed materials, primarily documenting Adler's work with sewing machine technology. The papers provide insight into an independent inventor's process of invention and Japanese work culture during the post-World War II period.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1920s-1950s and undated consists primarily of high school chemistry and biology notes, business cards, photographs, speeches, and writings of Sol Adler. The photographs contain one black-and-white portrait of Adler, November 1958, and two negatives of him from the nineteen teens; and one scanned copy of a photograph, circa the 1920s of Sol Adler with his children, R. Michael and Diane Zoe Adler. There is a small booklet, Agreement between Manufacturers Machine and Tool Co., Inc., and Amalgamated Machine and Instrument Local No. 475 from 1941. Adler worked for Manufacturers Machine and Tool Co., Inc.

Series 2, Inventions, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Other, 1919-1980 and undated, and Subseries 2, Sewing Machines, 1938-1962 and undated. Arranged chronologically, both subseries highlight Adler's inventive work. While the primary focus of Adler's invention work was on sewing machines, his interests were broad.

Subseries 2.1, Other Inventions, 1919-1980 and undated, contains documentation in the form of drawings and sketches, photographs, correspondence, and patents. Overall, the documentation is uneven. The inventions include a dividing head (a specialized tool that allows a workpiece to be easily and precisely rotated to preset angles or circular divisions); decorative window treatment; telescoping umbrella; can opener; question/answer machine; correlating device; radio station recording device; receptacle tap; fountain pen; television projection device; combined ash tray and cigarette holder; automatic machine gun; juice blender; thermonuclear idea; apparatus for producing pile fabric; an extensible, retractable and concealable table; and textile machinery.

Only some of Adler's inventions were patented. However, many of his ideas were well documented through drawings or descriptive text. In some instances prototypes were built.

The question and answer machine, 1939, was approximately three feet by four feet and was powered by a battery, the device was intended for educational use by children and adults. It used interchangeable answer cards on a broad range of subjects and informed the user of a correct and wrong answer by lights and a buzzer.

The correlating device, 1942, was designed for automobile use, and it combined driving directions and maps on a roll of paper data mounted on the dashboard. Although patented (US Patent 2,282,843), the device was never manufactured.

The radio station recording device, 1939, was a device to maintain a record of radio stations tuned on a radio receiver during a twenty-four hour period using recording disks.

The receptacle tap (Siphon-It), 1939, was patented (US Patent 2,184,263). The Siphon-It was designed to fit any size bottle, can, or the like containing fluids without removing the bottle cap. The "tap" punctured the bottle cap and was then turned like a screw several times. It allowed the contents under pressure to not lose carbonation and be poured easily.

The combined ash tray and cigarette holder and lighter, 1951, was Adler's only design patent (US Patent Des. 163,984). Purely ornamental, the tray would light and hold a cigarette.

The automatic machine gun, 1952, was conceived of by Adler and his son R. Michael Adler. The drawings and accompanying narrative text detail a method for cooling the gun through the use of an automatically operated gas turbine centrifugal air compressor and a gun of simple design with few parts and capable of an extremely high rate of fire. Adler submitted his drawings and text to the United States Army Ordance Department at the Pentagon, but it was not manufactured.

Adler's thermonuclear fusion proposal, a technical paper written in 1960, was never realized. The paper, titled "Attempt to Utilize the Concentrated Magnetic Field Around a Pinched Plasma Column as the Focal Point for Particle Acceleration," details through text and schematics Adler's ideas about a thermonuclear reactor. Additionally, there is correspondence, journal articles, newspaper articles, and a notebook with notes from other publications and some loose drawings related to thermonuclear issues.

An apparatus for producing pile fabric (US Patent 3,309,252), was patented in 1967. The intention of the apparatus was to create a method for producing carpets and rugs in a fast, practical, and inexpensive way.

Adler's work with non-woven textiles and fabrics (see US Patent 3,250,655) is well documented through correspondence, drawings, notes, fabric samples, and photographs. Adler founded the Adler Process Corporation in the 1960s as a research and development organization specializing in the development of products for domestic and industrial uses. The corporation also built machinery for the commercial production of the products which included pile fabric (such as carpeting), non-woven fabrics, and leather-like material. A prospectus details the "Adler Process."

Method and apparatus for production of pile carpeting and the like (US Patent 3,424,632, 3,592,374, and 3,655,490)

Subseries 2.2, Sewing machines, 1938-1962 and undated, consists primarily of documentation about the development of the Pacesetter sewing machine and its predecessors through correspondence, drawings and sketches, photographs, guide manuals, and promotional materials. Adler constructed skeletal aluminum models to better understand the functions and internal mechanisms of sewing machines. Between 1940 and 1948, he designed and constructed a sewing machine prototype, which he called his "Parent Machine." The Parent Machine would become known as the Pacesetter. Seven patents were awarded for the novel mechanisms contained within this prototype (US Patent 2,561,643), the most notable being for a compact sewing machine that could expand to a full-sized machine. Additional sewing machine inventions include the needleless sewing machine; a zig-zag sewing machine, and an attachment for a zig-zag sewing machine (US Patent 3,016,030).

While working as an engineer for the Brother International Corporation in Japan in the early 1950s, Adler developed the Pacesetter sewing machine. This portable machine was designed to meet the rapidly growing popularity of multiple decorative and embroidery patterns. A selector dial, which Adler called the "Wishing Dial," controlled sixteen internal cams, multiple cam selectors and followers to automatically sew thirty different basic decorative stitch patterns. Since the Pacesetter could sew both zigzag and straight stitches, varying the width and length of the basic patterns made it possible to create thousands of decorative variations. Adler introduced the Pacesetter sewing machine at the Independent Sewing Machine Dealers Show in New York, July 18, 1955.

Series 3: Brother International Corporation, 1954-1959 and undated

Started in 1908 by Kanekichi Yasui, the Yasui Sewing Machine Company manufactured and repaired sewing machines. The company was later renamed Yasui Brother Sewing Machine Company by Masayoshi Yasui, the eldest of Kanekichi's ten children, who inherited the company. The new name reflected the involvement and spirit of cooperation of other "brothers" in the Yasui family.

In 1934, the Yasui brothers liquidated the Yasui Brother Sewing Machine Company and created the Nippon Sewing Machine Company in Nagoya, Japan. Nippon emerged in response to a Japanese sewing machine market dominated by imported products, and it began mass producing industrial sewing machines. In 1941, Brother Sales, Ltd. was established as a sales outlet for the Japanese market, and in 1954 Brother International Corporation (BIC) was created as an exporting company with offices established in New York City. The company actively promoted exporting in advance of other Japanese companies.

Adler joined BIC in 1954 as a consultant for their product design and development work. This work was previously done in-house by design and engineering staff, so Adler, an American, was charting new territory. The materials in this series consist of corporate histories, and annual report, correspondence, product literature, conference materials, and notebooks maintained by Adler. The latter constitutes the bulk of the material along with the correspondence.

The "conference" materials document a meeting Adler attended, presumably in Japan in 1957. The file contains detailed notes about product marketing and production factors. A flow chart for "product coordinating factors" outlines the motivations, idea sources, management control, and execution of an idea generally.

The correspondence, 1954-1958, consists of letters and inter-company communications (memorandum), patents and drawings between Sol Adler, Max Hugel and the legal firm of, Kane, Dalsmier and Kane of New York. The correspondence relates almost exclusively to patenting matters, especially by Adler and legal matters involving Singer Sewing Manufacturing Company alleging that Brother International infringed on certain Singer-owned patents.

The notebooks of Solomon Adler, approximately 1951-1958, consists primarily of materials documenting Adler's work in Japan on sewing machines. The materials were assembled by Adler and titled "notebook." Some of the materials are three hole punched (indicating they may have been in a three-ring notebook) and are both handwritten and typescript. Also included are chronologies of his work; translations of Japanese words into English; drawings in pencil on tracing paper; sketches in pencil on scrap paper and letterhead; detailed notes about mechanisms and methods of sewing machine operation; business cards; comparative data for sewing machines; and correspondence.

Of note is the "digest" or chronology of events from 1958 to 1959 maintained by Adler to detail the alleged patent infringement of BIC on Singer Sewing machine patents. The digest also notes the value, author of a document, to whom it was sent, date, and a brief description. Adler created a ranking system for his digest, assigning different values, very important, urgent, important, and general. He also compiled a chart of competitor sewing machines by brand name. Many of the Japanese documents--patents and drawings--bear Adler's "chop" or rubber stamp with Japanese characters for his surname.

The Litigation Materials, 1952-1961 and undated, consists of documents (numbered exhibits) assembled by Adler for use in litigation against Brother International Corporation (BIC). The exhibits were used as documentary evidence in court, and the materials are primarily typescript notes and correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, technical drawings by Adler, patents, photographs and some product literature detailing aspects of the BIC sewing machines.

In 1958, Singer Sewing Machine Company filed a lawsuit against Nippon Sewing Machine Company for patent infringement by BIC's Pacesetter and Select-O-Matic sewing machines. Adler, on behalf of Nippon, conducted extensive patent research into the allegations, working with BIC attorneys in New York as well as creating new sewing machine designs to overcome Singer's claims. In 1959, Singer filed another lawsuit alleging that Nippon was violating United States customs laws by shipping automatic zigzag sewing machines to the United States, which were alleged to infringe on Singer patents. Correspondence related to this patent infringement can be found in Series 3: Brother International Corporation.

Adler returned to the United States in April of 1959 as the representative for Nippon and the Japanese sewing machine industry to help prepare the case and act as a consultant. BIC and Singer representatives appeared before the United States Tariff Commission (USTC). Adler officially testified on behalf of BIC, explaining the three angle cam structure difference between the Singer #401 sewing machine and imported Japanese sewing machines. Adler's testimony was successful, and with patent problems resolved, Adler resigned from BIC in July of 1959 and commenced a long negotiation with the company for financial compensation for his invention work.

Series 5, Publications, 1953-1967, consists of select issues of theNew Japan Sewing Machine News, which followed developments in the Japanese sewing machine industry and other publications featuring articles and brief pieces about sewing machines in general.

References

(http://welcome.brother.com/hk-en/about-us/history.html last accessed on March 24, 2011)
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: Personal Materials, 1920-1950s and undated

Series 2: Inventions, 1938-1980

Subseries 1: Other, 1938-1980

Subseries 2: Sewing, 1938-1962 and undated

Series 3: Brother International Corporation, 1952-1961

Series 4: Publications, 1953-1967
Biographical / Historical:
Solomon "Sol" Adler is probably best known for his sewing machine inventions, but his portfolio of work also includes ideas and patents for a fountain pen, a window treatment, a receptacle tap, a telescoping umbrella, an ashtray, a retractable table, and jewelry designs. Adler wrote fiction as well (mostly short stories) that reflected his experiences during the early 1900s in New York City. He filled pages with themes on social protest, radicalism, mobs, unions, poverty, and sweatshop operators. In 1958 Adler wrote about theories of nuclear physics, noting, "Indeed a very bold attempt and definitely a long way from sewing machines." Adler's flow of ideas was constant, and he sought to express them constantly.

Sol Adler was born on July 8, 1901, [Russian?] on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, one of Isaac and Mindel Adler's five children. Isaac was a tailor, so sewing machines were part of Sol's life from the beginning. As a young man, Adler apprenticed in machine shops, honing his skills until he became an expert machinist and toolmaker; these skills eventually allowed him to build the machines he visualized. Adler's design drawings show his precision as a draftsman and engineer (he attended the City College of New York) and provide good insight into the drawing abilities that he later used in preparing patent drawings. Adler also enjoyed metalworking. His home workshop boasted a geared lathe, tilling head machine, drill press, bench grinder, and an assorted hand tools.

Adler's work on sewing machines began in the late 1930s with tinkering with his sister-in-law Bess's treadle-operated Singer machine. Bess wanted a lightweight, motorized sewing machine that had enough space between the frame and the needle for large projects such as quilts. Using his own basement machine shop, Adler began building simple frameworks for sewing machines to understand better the relationships between the parts and their functions. Adler's first sewing machine (which he dubbed the "parent machine") earned U.S. Patent 2,561,643, issued in 1951. The machine was a full-size home machine, with a concealed motor and power cord that could also expand into a commercial-size machine. Six subsequent patents for subassemblies were derived from the "parent machine" over the next several years.

During the Second World War, Adler worked for Manufacturing Methods Technology (MM&T) as a development engineer and experimental machine shop supervisor.

Analyzing the evolving U.S. domestic sewing machine market gave Adler ideas for further inventions, refining the machines and adding new features. Unfortunately, success was elusive; his machine with zigzag and straight-stitch capability was rejected by several U.S. and European sewing machine manufacturers. But in 1954, Adler met Max Hugel, president of the Asiatic Commerce Corporation of New York, later known as Brother International Corporation (BIC), a subsidiary of the Nippon Company. Nippon wanted to solve certain design and operational problems it was having in developing a zigzag sewing machine for sale in the United States. Adler joined BIC, moved to Japan, and succeeded in helping correct the design issues. Adler named the machine the "Select-O-Matic" because by turning a few knobs, an operator could select one of the six patterns that the machine produced.

Adler stayed with BIC until 1959, and worked on a variety of sewing machines, including an automatic zigzag machine and the versatile "Pacesetter," which was unveiled in the United States to great acclaim at the Sewing Machine Show in New York City on July 18, 1955 (a version of the Pacesetter is still sold by Brother). Additionally, he worked on a line of industrial and domestic sewing machines, home washing machines, home knitting machines, and other small appliances. Adler earned several Japanese patents for his work.

Among Adler's writings is a pronouncement of his passion for invention: "When an idea is conceived by an inventor, it never leaves him in peace, it possesses him day and night until it is expressed, after which he enjoys a sense of relief and accomplishment."

Adler married Fay (neé Kagan) in 1928. They had two children, Ralph Michael Adler and Diane Zoe Adler. Adler died on May 31, 1989 at the age of 88.

Issued United States Patents:

Receptacle tap (2,184,263)

Correlating device (2,284,843)

Sewing machine (2,561,643)

Sewing machine feed (2,473,934)

Bobbin winder for sewing machine (2,455,638)

Extension leaf for sewing machines (2,464,838)

Sewing machine feed (2,473,934)

Threading device (2,516,171)

Sewing machine pressure bar (2,554,970)

Sewing machine needle bar operating mechanism (2,554,971)

Sewing machine (2,561,643)

Sewing machine (2,709,978)

Attachment for zigzag sewing machines (3,016,030)

Sewing machine (3,053,207) assigned to Nippon Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company

Sewing machine (3,055,325) assigned to Nippon Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company

Method and apparatus for making non-woven fabric (3,236,711)assigned to Adler Process Corporation

Method for producing non-woven fabric (3,250,655)

Method and apparatus for producing pile fabric (3,309,252) assigned to Adler Process Corporation

Method and apparatus for production of pile fabric and the like (3,424,632) assigned to Adler Process Corporation

Combined ashtray, cigarette holder and lighter (Des. 163,984)
Separated Materials:
The Division of Home and Community Life holds artifacts related to this collection, including several sewing machine prototypes, the Siphon-It and the combination ashtray, lighter and cigarette holder. See Accession numbers: 2009.0118 and 2009.0114.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by R. Michael Adler and Diane Zoe Adler, September, 2009. Additonal materials were donated by R. Michael Adler in 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. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Sewing machines  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Printed material
Sketches
Photographs -- 20th century
Notes
Legal records
Drawings -- 20th century
Correspondence
Citation:
Solomon Adler Papers, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1157
See more items in:
Solomon Adler Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1157
Online Media:

Sohmer & Co. Records

Author:
Falcone Custom Grand Pianos  Search this
Collector:
Musical Instruments, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Musical Instruments, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Donor:
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Creator:
Sohmer & Company  Search this
Names:
Sohmer & Company  Search this
Kuder, Joseph  Search this
Sohmer, Harry J.  Search this
Sohmer, Harry J., Jr.  Search this
Sohmer, Hugo  Search this
Sohmer, William  Search this
Extent:
43 Cubic feet (78 boxes and 11 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sales catalogs
Photographic prints
Advertisements
Scrapbooks
Clippings
Journals (accounts)
Ledgers (account books)
Place:
Ivoryton (Conn.)
New York (N.Y.) -- Musical instruments industry
Date:
1872-1989
Scope and Contents:
The records of Sohmer & Co., date from 1872 through 1989. They fall into fourteen series based primarily on function. Legal, financial, inventory & appraisal, manufacturing, marketing, advertising, and sales are the major series. Photographs, awards, family papers, publications about Sohmer, general publications, "miscellaneous" and correspondence are the remaining series. The records are especially strong in the areas of advertising, finances, and marketing. The collection does not contain corporate records, articles of incorporation, executive records, minutes, annual reports, or personnel records such as payrolls or job descriptions.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 14 series.

Series 1: Stock and Legal Records, 1882-1985

Series 2: Financial Records, 1887-1962

Series 3: Inventory & Appraisal Records, 1891-1980

Series 4: Manufacturing Records, 1872-1967

Series 5: Marketing, 1901-1989

Series 6: Advertising Records, 1880-1983

Series 7: Sales Records, 1923-1982

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1920-1964

Series 9: Awards, 1876-1976

Serioes 10: Sohmer Family Papers, 1945-1970

Series 11: Publications about Sohmer, 1883-1986

Series 12: General Publications, 1912-1985

Series 13: Miscellaneous Records, 1894-1983

Series 14: Correspondence, 1892-1987
Historical:
When Sohmer & Co. was founded in 1872 by Hugo Sohmer and his partner Joseph Kuder, it became one of 171 piano manufacturers in New York City. Over the next 110 years, Sohmer & Co. was one of the few active and successful family-owned and operated piano-making ventures in the United States. Nationally known for tonal quality and fine craftmanship, the firm's product, in the music trade, came to be referred to as "The Piano-Maker's Piano."
Biographical:
Born to an eminent physician in Dunningen, Wurtemberg, Germany on November 11, 1846, Hugo Sohmer enjoyed a first class education. Riding the last major wave of German immigration, which had brought piano makers such as Albert Weber, George Steck, John and Charles Fischer, and Henry E. Steinway to America, Hugo arrived in New York City in 1862. He became an apprentice in the piano making house of Schuetze & Ludolf. To learn more about European piano making, Hugo returned to Germany in 1868 and travelled extensively throughout Europe. In 1870 he returned to New York and by 1872 the 26 year old Sohmer and his partner, Josef Kuder, began manufacturing pianos in the 149 East 14th Street factory previously utilized by J.H. Boernhoeft and most recently by Marschall & Mittauer.

Josef Kuder, originally from Bohemia, Austria Hungary, learned piano making in Vienna between 1847 and 1854. Kuder arrived in New York in 1854 and became a pianomaker with Steinway & Sons which had been founded in 1853. In 1861 he returned to Vienna; he worked there until returning to New York in 1864, where he worked for Marschall & Mittauer until joining Sohmer.

Concentrating on tonal quality and response, Sohmer & Co. began producing pianos which were recognized in 1876 by an award from the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia. In the waning years of the nineteenth century Sohmer & Co. received other awards including a diploma from the Exposition Provinciale in Montreal, Quebec in 1881, the gold medal at the Great New England Fair in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1889, and an award from the World's Columbian Commission in 1893 in Chicago.

By 1883 additional factory space, located on East 23rd Street and formerly used by Carhart & Needham, was occupied to accomodate increased production. In three years this space proved inadequate and forced the renting of an extension to the original factory. The main office and salesrooms were located at 31 West 57th Street in New York City. Meanwhile, in 1884 Sohmer invented the first five foot "baby" grand piano which was applauded for its musical brilliance and depth of tone. In the early 1900's Sohmer produced grand pianos in four sizes: Concert, Parlor, Baby & Cupid.

Limited space and increased production soon became issues again, and in 1887 the company moved its factory and special machinery to Astoria, Long Island. This factory, located at 31st Avenue and Vernon Boulevard, remained in continuous operation until 1982, when the Adirondack Chair Co. bought the building and Pratt Read acquired the company.

During the 1880s a number of letters patent were granted to Sohmer for such piano improvements as the agraffe bar for tone augmentation, and the aliquot string, which were auxiliary strings "arranged in conjunction with the regular strings for the purpose of giving forth reverberatory or sympathetic waves of sound, thus augmenting the general tone results of each unison." (Spillane, History, 256.)

In 1894 Hugo Sohmer took competitor Sebastian Sommer to court for stenciling the name "Sommer" on the fallboard of his pianos. Sohmer declared that "Sohmer" was a trademark used as an emblem to distinguish the piano from others, especially the Sommer piano which he considered inferior. The court in this equity case dismissed the case on the grounds that Sohmer had not proven damages accruing from the advertising and sale of the Sommer piano.

By 1907 Sohmer & Co. was producing 2,000 pianos per year. Additionally, with Farrand & Co. of Detroit, Sohmer was making the Sohmer Cecilian player piano. On June 8, 1913 Hugo Sohmer died in Scarsdale, N.Y.; 20 days later, Josef Kuder died as well. Hugo was survived by his wife, Elizabeth; a daughter, Adelaide S. Weber; and a son, Harry J. Sohmer, born in 1886. Company leadership was assumed by Harry J. Sohmer after Hugo's death.

During the 1920s Sohmer began a special department in its plant for the manufacture of period pianos. According to Harry Sohmer, the 1930s were difficult. He recalled that, once only one piano in 29 days was shipped. The number of American piano manufacturers dropped from 140 to 22 during this time. It was during this time that Harry's cousins, Frank and Paul Sohmer joined the company as consultants. However, through its pioneering efforts in the introduction of a console vertical piano known as a "Spinet," Sohmer revitalized the industry. (Taylor, "Piano Family.") This console vertical piano has been called "The Musicians' Console.

Primarily because of its concentration on the console vertical pianos Sohmer & Co. never cultivated famous performers in the way that Steinway and Baldwin did. While publicly acknowledging that it never entered into the competition for artistic endorsement (an acknowledgement which perhaps worked to its favor), Sohmer & Co. relied upon a most comprehensive and innovative advertising strategy stressing integrity, quality and craftsmanship in the pursuit of the ideal tone and touch.

In 1940 Harry incorporated the company as Sohmer & Co. and led it, with his sons Harry J. Sohmer, Jr., (born 1917) as production manager and Robert H. Sohmer (born 1920), as process engineer. By 1969 Harry Jr. was vice president in charge of production and Robert was production engineer/ treasurer. In 1971 Harry Sr. died and Harry Jr. became president.

In 1982 Pratt Read Corporation, a long established manufacturer of piano keyboards, acquired Sohmer & Co. for an undisclosed amount, and moved the operations to its Ivoryton, Connecticut factory, while retaining the Sohmer name. The Sohmer brothers retained their positions in the company. At the time of its purchase Sohmer & Co. employed 120 people, produced 2500 pianos yearly, and grossed $5 million in sales. Harry J. Sohmer, Jr., grandson of the founder, in expressing his feelings about the move and the Sohmer piano, compared his piano to old New York beers saying that "they were strictly New York products and in a way so were we." He concluded by saying, "We were always identified with this city. Sohmer was a New York piano." (Prial, "Sohmer Piano.")

By July 1983 under Pratt Read's management Sohmer was producing 6 pianos per day, only 50% of the expected capacity according to H.B. Comstock, president of Pratt Read. In 1986 the Ivoryton factory was sold to a group of investors organized as Sohmer Holding Co., who continued to make pianos there until a lack of skilled workers and financial losses forced its closing in December 1988. In an effort to fill the backlog of orders, Sohmer president Tom Bradshaw opened a new facility in Elysburg, Pennsylvania. A retail showroom was maintained in Ivoryton. In 1989, the Sohmer company was sold to the Falcone Custom Grand Piano Company of Haverhill, Massachusetts.

References

Cox, Erin. "Labor Woes a Main Factor in Sohmer Closing," The Pictorial Gazette West, 3 (December 8, 1988), 1, 22.

Dolge, Alfred. Piano and their Makers. 1911; rpt. New York: Dover Publications, 1973.

Loesser, Arthur. Men, Women and Pianos: A Social History. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1954.

Musical Merchandise Review. "Sohmer Pianos Underway at Conn. Pratt Read," July 1983, 91.

The Music Trades. "Pratt, Read Acquires Sohmer & Co. Piano Maker,"August 1982, 18.

Piano and Organ Purchaser's Guide, 1907, 1930. Prial, Frank J. "Sohmer Piano, and 110 Years of Craft, will leave Astoria," New York Times, August 13, 1982, B1, B4.

Purchaser's Guide to the Music Industries. 1956, New York: The Music Trades, 1956, 58 60.

Spillane, Daniel. History of the American Pianoforte: Its Technical Development, and the Trade. 1890; rpt. New York: Da Capo Press, 1969.

Taylor, Carol. "Piano Family Stays in Tune," New York World Telegram & Sun, August 15, 1958.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Pratt Read Corp. Records (AC0320)

Chickering & Sons Records (AC0264)

Steinway Piano Co. Collection (AC0178)
Provenance:
Collection donated by Pratt Read Corporation, August 11, 1989.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
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:
Musical instrument manufacturing  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
advertising -- History  Search this
Keyboard instruments  Search this
Piano  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Sales catalogs
Photographic prints
Advertisements
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Scrapbooks
Clippings
Journals (accounts)
Ledgers (account books)
Citation:
Sohmer & Co. Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0349
See more items in:
Sohmer & Co. Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0349
Online Media:

Alice Trumbull Mason papers

Creator:
Mason, Alice Trumbull, 1904-1971  Search this
Names:
American Abstract Artists  Search this
Kelpe, Paul, 1902-1985  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913- -- Photographs  Search this
Extent:
1.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Date:
1921-1977
Summary:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of abstract artist Alice Trumbull Mason date from 1921 to 1977 and measure 1.3 linear feet. The collection documents her career as a painter, particularly her role as one of the founders of the American Abstract Artists group, through biographical materials; correspondence with family, friends, fellow artists, art galleries, museums, and organizations; writings and notes, including notebooks of poetry and other creative writings; a small amount of printed material; photographs of Mason, friends, and her artwork; and original artwork, including five sketchbooks.

Biographical material consists of resumes, passports, exhibition files, as well as documentation of her membership and active participation in art organizations, including her work as an officer in the American Abstract Artists group. Also found here are scattered personal financial and legal records. Personal and professional correspondence is with family members, including many detailed letters between her and her husband Warwood, fellow artists, including Paul Kelpe, art organizations, curators, museums, galleries, and others. Professional correspondence generally discusses selection of exhibition and awards, sale of artwork, and art events. Writings and notes, mostly from the 1920s and 1930s, consist of Mason's notes on art history and her creative writings, including poetry and "abstract writing." Also found are a few writings about abstract art and various notes and lists.

Printed material includes news clippings on topics of interest to Mason, and other miscellaneous items such as brochures, and exhibition announcements. Photographs include several portraits of Mason with her artwork, photographs of friends including artist Ibram Lassaw, photographs of an American Abstract Artists exhibition, and artwork by her and others. Original artwork found in this collection includes five sketchbooks belonging to Mason, including two that document her travels through Greece and Italy, and other loose drawings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1925-1968 (Box 1, OV 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1922-1977 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, 1921-1965 (Box 1; 6 folders)

Series 4: Printed Material, 1936-1974 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 5: Photographs, 1920s-1967 (Box 1, OV 3; 5 folders)

Series 6: Artwork, 1924-1963 (Box 1-2, OV 3; 0.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Alice Trumbull Mason was born in 1904 in Litchfield, Connecticut. Her mother, Anne Leavenworth Train, was an accomplished artist before she met Alice's father, William Trumbull, a descendent of the Revolutionary War era painter, John Trumbull. Alice spent much of her childhood in Europe with her family. From 1921 to 1922 they lived in Florence and Rome where she studied at the British Academy. In 1923 she continued her studies with painter Charles W. Hawthorne at the National Academy of Design in New York and from 1927 to 1928 attended courses at the Grand Central Art Galleries taught by Arshile Gorky. Gorky inspired her interest in abstract painting, and Mason painted her first non-objective works in 1929. In 1928 she returned to Italy and Greece and was greatly influenced by ancient art, Byzantium, and Italian primitives. She married Warwood Mason, a merchant seaman, in 1930 and her daughter Emily was born in 1932 and her son Jonathan in 1933. During this period she stopped painting and devoted her creative energy to writing poetry inspired by American avant-garde writers.

Mason began painting again in 1934 and was recognized as a key figure of American abstraction. In 1935 she met and became close friends with fellow artist Ibram Lassaw, and they, along with several other artists, began to meet on a regular basis which led to the first American Abstract Artists group exhibition in 1937. Mason remained very active in the group and served as treasurer in 1939, secretary from 1940 to 1945, and president from 1959 to 1963. She was also an activist for abstract art, protesting the decisions of the Museum of Modern Art several times for excluding abstract artists from exhibitions. During the 1940s her paintings and concept of "architectural abstraction" was influenced by the arrival of Piet Mondrian in New York. Also in the 1940s she had two one-woman shows, but throughout her career she felt there was a bias against women in the New York art world and most often she participated in AAA group shows. Her work would be viewed as an important bridge for future abstract and conceptualist artists. In 1958 her son died, and though she continued to paint and participate in exhibitions, she never recovered from this tragedy and in the late 1960s withdrew into seclusion until her death in 1971.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is a collection of interviews by Ruth Bowman of members of the American Abstract Artists group conducted between 1963-1965, that includes an interview with Alice Trumbull Mason. The Archives of American Art also houses 2.3 linear feet of the records of the American Abstract Artists group.
Separated Material:
A portion of the material donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969 relating to her involvement with the American Abstract Artists was separated and filed with the American Abstract Artists records at the Archives of American Art. Files of news clippings and exhibition catalogs were transferred to the Smithsonian American Art Museum and National Portrait Gallery Library after microfilming.
Provenance:
A portion of this collection was donated by Alice Trumbull Mason in 1969. Additional material was donated from 1972 to 1977 by Mason's daughter, Emily Mason Kahn.
Restrictions:
The collection is partially microfilmed. Use of material not microfilmed requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Alice Trumbull Mason 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.
Topic:
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Sketchbooks
Poetry
Citation:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers, 1921-1977. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.masoalic
See more items in:
Alice Trumbull Mason papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-masoalic
Online Media:

Hiram Powers papers

Creator:
Powers, Hiram, 1805-1873  Search this
Names:
Adams, John Quincy, 1767-1848  Search this
Astor, William B. (William Backhouse), 1792-1875  Search this
Atlee, Samuel Yorke, b. 1808  Search this
Browning, Elizabeth Barrett, 1806-1861  Search this
Bryant, William Cullen, 1794-1878  Search this
Calhoun, John C. (John Caldwell), 1782-1850  Search this
Crawford, Thomas, 1813 or 14-1857  Search this
Dix, John A. (John Adams), 1798-1879  Search this
Durand, Asher Brown, 1796-1886  Search this
Everett, Edward, 1794-1865  Search this
Fuller, Charles Francis  Search this
Gray, Henry Peters, 1819-1877  Search this
Greeley, Horace, 1811-1872  Search this
Healy, G.P.A. (George Peter Alexander), 1813-1894  Search this
Jackson, Andrew, 1767-1845  Search this
Kinney, E. Clementine  Search this
Kinney, William  Search this
Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 1807-1882  Search this
Marsh, George Perkins, 1801-1882  Search this
Morse, Samuel Finley Breese, 1791-1872  Search this
Peabody, George, 1795-1869  Search this
Powers, Longworth, 1835-1904  Search this
Powers, Preston, 1842 or 1843-1904  Search this
Sartain, John, 1808-1897  Search this
Story, William Wetmore, 1819-1895  Search this
Taylor, Bayard, 1825-1878  Search this
Trollope, Francis  Search this
Webster, Daniel, 1782-1852  Search this
Extent:
12.4 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Writings
Drawings
Poetry
Date:
1819-1953
bulk 1835-1883
Summary:
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Of note is Powers' "Studio Memorandum," from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional papers include scattered biographical material, financial and legal records, printed materials, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of sculptor Hiram Powers measure 12.4 linear feet and date from 1819 to 1953, with the bulk of the material dating from 1835 to 1883. Over two-thirds of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence, which is particularly rich in documenting his artwork, methodology, and his interaction with business associates, purchasers of his artwork, and his numerous friends in the United States and Florence, Italy. Other papers include scattered biographical material, writings by Powers and others, financial and legal records, news clippings and printed items, photographs of Powers, his family, artwork, as well as an extensive collection of carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of many notable figures. Also found is a small amount of artwork by Powers and others, a scrapbook, and two autograph and memorabilia albums.

Biographical material consists of documents for honors conferred on Powers, price lists and inventories of his artwork, papers regarding his death, including a translation of his will, and ephemera, such as his studio cap.

The bulk of the collection consists of Powers' correspondence with family, friends, business associates, and others, documenting his career as an artist and his personal life after he and his family moved to Florence, Italy, in 1837. Almost all of the letters have typed unconfirmed transcriptions completed by volunteers at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Besides details of his studio work and business dealings, his letters often discuss his views on aesthetics, American politics, slavery and the Civil War, and Spiritualism. Notable correspondence is with William B. Astor, Edward Everett, Samuel York Atlee, William and E. Clementine Kinney, George P. Marsh, George Peabody, Presidents Andrew Jackson and John Quincy Adams, William Cullen Bryant, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, John C. Calhoun, Thomas Crawford, John A. Dix, Asher Durand, Charles Francis Fuller, Henry Peters Gray, Horace Greeley, George P. A. Healy, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Samuel F. B. Morse, W. W. Story, John Sartain, Frances Trollope, and Daniel Webster.

Writings by Powers include his "Studio Memorandum," a journal-type notebook he kept from 1841 to 1845, which contains dated notations of letters written, receipts and expenditures, business contacts, works in progress, commissions and price quotations for work, comments on problems encountered during studio work, and other notes. Additional writings include poetry and autobiographical essays and instructions for handling his sculptures. Writings by others include poetry, most of which was written in praise of Powers' artwork. Of note are handwritten transcripts of poems by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Bayard Taylor, and John Quincy Adams. Also found here are short writings about Powers and his artwork.

Scattered financial and legal records in this collection include patent documents for tools invented by Powers, legal agreements, account statements, and bills and receipts. Printed material consists of news clippings, two booklets, an art association brochure, and an exhibition catalog for works by Powers.

This collection contains photographs of Hiram Powers, his family, friends, notable public figures, and artwork. Many of the photographs were taken by his son, Longworth Powers, who had a private photography studio in Florence. Included are portraits of Powers and his family, as well as a collection of 267 carte de visite and cabinet card portraits of artists, performers, politicians, writers, scientists, and other public figures, many of whom were friends with the Powers family. Other photographs depict Woodstock, Vermont, the marble quarry at Carrara, Italy, and artwork by Hiram and Preston Powers. Also found here is a photograph album kept by Louisa Powers.

Artwork consists of three drawings by Hiram Powers, including a caricature of Miner Kellogg. Also found in this collection is a scrapbook containing news clippings regarding the American tour of the sculpture Greek Slave, an autograph album belonging to Louisa Powers, and an album containing pencil drawings by Preston Powers and dried flowers collected on travels.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 8 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1841-1927 (Box 1, 15; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1819-1883 (Box 1-10; 9.0 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1827-1887 (Box 10; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Financial and Legal Records, circa 1840s-1892, 1915 (Box 10, OV 17; 8 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, circa 1845-1953 (Box 10; 5 folders)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1860s-1900, 1927, 1932, early 1950s (Box 10-13, 16, OV 17; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Artwork, 1860, mid-1800s (Box 11; 4 folders)

Series 8: Scrapbooks and Albums, 1847-1876 (Box 14; 3 folders)
Biographical Note:
American sculptor Hiram Powers (1805-1873) was born in Woodstock, Vermont, and lived and worked briefly in Washington, D.C. and Boston, before settling permanently in Florence, Italy. Powers is known for portrait busts of prominent American politicians and his idealized neo-classical sculptures, most notably the Greek Slave.

The second youngest of nine children, Powers moved with his family to Cincinnati, Ohio in 1817. When he was 18 he began working in a factory that repaired watches and organs, and he later worked in the mechanical department of Dorfeuille's Western Museum. There, he developed his interest in sculpture and received a commission to create wax figures for a tableau of Dante's Inferno. In 1825 he studied with the Prussian sculptor Frederick Eckstein, who taught him how to model clay and make plaster casts. His early commissions for portrait busts caught the attention of Nicholas Longworth, who became his first patron and funded his travel to Washington, DC, in 1834. While in Washington, Powers completed portrait busts of several prominent politicians, including President Andrew Jackson. He also briefly worked on several commissions in Boston. In 1837, thanks to the patronage of Colonel John S. Preston, he and his family moved to Florence, Italy. He intended to live there for only a few years, but remained there for the rest of his life.

Powers set up a studio in Florence with several assistants, and continued to work on portrait bust commissions. He and his family were active members of the intellectual community of American and English émigrés, such as Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Horatio Greenough, the Trollope family, and many others. His studio was also a frequent stop on tourists' visits to Florence. In 1839 Powers began working on idealized sculptures in the Neo-classical style, based on history, mythology, and religion. Perhaps most famous of these are Greek Slave and Fisher Boy. Completed in 1845, Greek Slave was exhibited in London and toured the United States. The sculpture received wide attention from the press for its depiction of female nudity and its philosophical significance, and established Powers' international success as a sculptor.

During his career Powers received private and government commissions for portrait busts and ideal sculptures, and sold many replicas of his work. He also invented improved tools for use in his studio, which were patented in the United States, and he developed a special finishing process for marble from the Carrara quarry. He maintained friendships with many Americans through extensive correspondence, and openly expressed his views on the Civil War and the abolition of slavery. Powers' son Longworth had a photography and sculpture studio nearby, and his son Preston, also a sculptor, took over many of Hiram Powers' remaining projects at the time of his death in 1873.
Related Material:
Additional Hiram Powers papers are available at the Winterthur Museum.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds materials lent for microfilming. Reel D117 contains "The Sculpture of Hiram Powers," by Paul B. Metzler. Reels 815-818 includes a "Collection of Letters from Old Residents of Cincinnati to Hiram Powers," compiled by Clara Louise Dentler. Reels 1102-1103 are comprised of an unpublished manuscript entitled "White Marble: The Life and Letters of Hiram Powers, Sculptor," by Clara Louise Dentler. Lent materials were returned to the lenders and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Hiram Powers papers were purchased by the Smithsonian American Art Museum in 1967 from Christina Seeber, great-granddaughter of Hiram Powers which was subsequenlty transferred to the Archives of American Art in 1984. The Cincinnati Historical Society and Ohio State University also lent the Archives omaterials for microfilming in 1974.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Hiram Powers 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.
Topic:
Sculptors -- Italy -- Florence  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Writings
Drawings
Poetry
Citation:
Hiram Powers papers, 1819-1953, bulk 1835-1883. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.powehira
See more items in:
Hiram Powers papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-powehira
Online Media:

John Davis Hatch papers

Creator:
Hatch, John Davis  Search this
Names:
St. John's College (Annapolis, Md.) -- Students  Search this
University of Massachusetts -- Faculty  Search this
University of Oregon -- Faculty  Search this
Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938  Search this
Browne, Henry Kirke  Search this
Callahan, Kenneth, 1905-1986  Search this
Clark, Ezra  Search this
Cranch, John, 1807-1891  Search this
Cropsey, Jasper Francis, 1823-1900  Search this
Darley, Felix Octavius Carr, 1822-1888  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen), 1862-1928  Search this
Granger, C. H.  Search this
Guy, Seymour J., 1824-1910  Search this
Harvey, George W., 1855-  Search this
Hatch, Olivia Stokes  Search this
Henry, Edward Lamson, 1841-1919  Search this
Inman, Henry, 1801-1846  Search this
McNeill, Lloyd  Search this
Peale, Rembrandt, 1778-1860  Search this
Scott, Julian  Search this
Trumbull, John, 1756-1843  Search this
Vanderlyn, John, 1775-1852  Search this
Extent:
24.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Essays
Reviews (documents)
Photographs
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Notes
Lectures
Sketches
Date:
1790-1995
Summary:
The papers of art historian, collector, educator, and museum administrator John Davis Hatch measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1790-1995. Within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence; personal business and legal documents; diaries; research, organization, and teaching files; writings; printed materials; photographs; and works of art (mostly sketches) by American artists. Research files regarding artists and specific subjects comprise the bulk of this collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, collector, educator, and museum administrator John Davis Hatch measure 24.9 linear feet and date from 1790-1995. Within the papers are biographical materials; correspondence; personal business and legal documents; diaries; research, organization and teaching files; writings; printed materials; photographs; and works of art (mostly sketches) by American artists. Research files regarding artists and specific subjects comprise the bulk of this collection.

Scattered biographical materials include an invitation to the Hatch's anniversary party in 1964, short biographical sketches and resumes, certificates, report cards, a silhouette of the Hatch Family circa 1904, and a typecript of a diary written by Olivia Hatch as a child.

Correspondence includes professional correspondence between Hatch and colleagues; letters from family and friends; and some materials regarding exhibitions from the Hatch Collection. The bulk of correspondence spans Hatch's professional career although there are scattered letters from 1915-1943 from Hatch to his parents. Also found are letters addressed to an unidentified "Henry." Correspondence is also found in the research files.

Personal business and financial records consist of inventories, bills, receipts, and other records for artworks purchased, loaned, or donated by Hatch. Also found are records from the J. D. Hatch Associates Cultural Consultants, a draft of Hatch's will, stock and tax materials, and travel papers and passports.

Scattered diaries and journal fragments and a transcript date from 1925-1965. Thirteen "Daily Reflection Journals" date from 1975-1987.

Research files on artists and subjects are extensive, comprising one-half of the collection. Files are varied and may include primary research materials, correspondence, printed materials, notes, and writings. Some of the artists' letters and other materials dated from 1790-early 1800s may have been purchased by Hatch. Among many other items, there is an illustrated letter written by Oscar Bluemner and photographs of Bluemner; primary research materials dating from the early 1800s on John Vanderlyn including a will, receipts, and correspondence; a letter from Rembrandt Peale dated 1830, and an autograph letter from John Trumbull dated 1790. Also found is an index card file.

Organization files contain files and records related to Hatch's affiliations with many cultural organizations. A small amount of teaching and education files consist of Hatch's notes and lectures from the University of Oregon and the University of Massachusetts, and from his continuing education courses he took at St. John's College. Writings and notes include short essays by Hatch, mostly concerning art, exhibitions and museum administration; book reviews; general notes, lists, and reports.

Printed Materials are comprised of exhibition catalogs and announcements, including those from the American Drawing Annual in the 1940s-1950s; printed articles annotated by Hatch; clippings; pricelists; and published works.

A small number of photographs are of Hatch, some by Dorothy Frazer; of his family and friends; and of artists. The bulk of the photographs are of works of art including those owned by Hatch.

Artwork includes two sketchbooks - one by Kenneth Callahan and another by Lloyd McNeill; and additional drawings and sketches by Julian Scott, Henry Kirke Browne, Kenneth Callahan, Ezra Clark, John Cranch, Jasper Francis Crospey, F. O. C. Darley, C. H. Granger, Seymour J. Guy, George Harvey, Edward Lamson Henry, Henry Inman, as well as unsigned or illegible names.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, circa 1900-1980s (Box 1; 8 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1903-1990s (Box 1-3; 2 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business and Legal Records, Date (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Diaries and Journals, 1925-1987 (Box 3, 23; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 5: Research Files, 1790-1992 (Box 3-13, 20-21, 24; 12.7 linear feet)

Series 6: Organization Files, 1930s-1990s (Box 13-14; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 7: Teaching and Education Files, 1930s-1993 (Box 14-15; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Writings and Notes, 1936-1990s (Box 15; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1870s-1990s (Box 15-19, 22, 25-26, OV1; 5.9 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographs, circa 1900-1990s (Box 22; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 11: Artwork, 1851-1973 (Box 22; 0.3 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Art historian, collector, educator, and museum administrator John Davis Hatch (1907-1996) worked in the Boston and New England area, as well as the Pacific Northwest, and New York state. Hatch served as director of the Art Institute of Seattle, the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Albany Institute of Art and History, and the Norfolk Museum of Art and Sciences.

John Davis Hatch was born in San Francisco, California in 1907. His father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were architects and Hatch studied landscape architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. He served as an apprentice to Lockwood de Forest. After abandoning landscape architecture, he accepted a position as director of the Seattle Fine Arts Society (1928-1931) at the age of twenty-one and taught art history courses at the University of Washington.

In 1932, Hatch accepted the position of assistant director of the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. He also directed the federal Public Works of Art Project in New England. Additionally, Hatch served from 1940-1948 as director of the Albany Institute of Art and History and from 1950-1959 of the Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences. Hatch worked as an art advisor for exhibitions at five historically African-American colleges in Atlanta and in San Simeon in California. He founded the American Drawing Annual exhibition.

Hatch conducted extensive research on artists Oscar Bluemner and John Vanderlyn, American silverwork, and American drawing. In addition, Hatch collected American drawings and later donated many of works of art from his personal collection to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. Aside from his early teaching in Washington state, Hatch taught at the University of Massachusetts and the University of Oregon. He was a member of numerous professional arts-related organizations.

In 1939, Hatch married Olivia Stokes with whom he had four children: Sarah, John, Daniel and James. He died in 1996.
Related Material:
The Archives of American Art holds two oral history interviews with John Davis Hatch: June 8, 1964 conducted by H. Wade White and 1979-1980 conducted by Robert F. Brown. Also found is a separately cataloged photograph of Hatch and Henry Francis Taylor from 1933.

Additional research materials complied by Hatch are located in the Albany Institute of History and Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the library of the National Gallery of Art, and the Senate House, Kingston, New York.

Hatch donated two hundred and seventy American drawings to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.
Separated Material:
Four books annotated by Bluemner, a letter from Bluemner, a letter from A. Stieglitz to Bluemner, photographs of works of art, and exhibition materials were removed from the papers and merged with the Oscar Bluemner papers at the Archives of American Art.
Provenance:
John Davis Hatch and the John Davis Hatch estate donated his papers to the Archives of American Art in several installments between 1960-1996. Many of the primary materials relating to John Vanderlyn were acquired by Hatch from a photographer in Kingston, New York who received them from a niece of Vanderlyn. Robert Graham of James Graham and Sons gave Vanderlyn's will to Hatch.
Restrictions:
Use of originals requires an appointment.
Rights:
The John Davis Hatch 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:
Art historians -- Massachusetts  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Drawing, American  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Artists -- United States  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, American -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Essays
Reviews (documents)
Photographs
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Notes
Lectures
Sketches
Citation:
John Davis Hatch, 1790-1995. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.hatcjohn
See more items in:
John Davis Hatch papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-hatcjohn

Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers

Creator:
Brinley, Putnam  Search this
Names:
Blashfield, Edwin Howland, 1848-1936  Search this
Brinley, Kathrine Sanger  Search this
Bruce, Edward, 1879-1943  Search this
Coffin, William A. (William Anderson), 1855-1925  Search this
Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold), 1856-1933  Search this
Erskine, John, 1879-1951  Search this
Euwer, Anthony  Search this
Gabay, Esperanza  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Meiere, M. Hildreth, d. 1961  Search this
Peixotto, Ernest, b. 1869  Search this
Troy, Hugh  Search this
Extent:
14.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Diaries
Photographs
Writings
Poetry
Date:
1879-1984
Summary:
The papers of painter and muralist Daniel Putnam Brinley and his wife, linguist and writer Kathrine Sanger Brinley, date from 1879 to 1984 and measure 14.3 linear feet. The Brinleys' careers and lives are documented in biographical materials, as well as extensive correspondence with one another, family, friends, art galleries, organizations, publishers, and others. Also found within the papers are writings by both, including 16 diaries (1 by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the rest by Kathrine), essays, manuscripts, typescripts, notes and notebooks, poetry, and various other writings. There are mural commission files, files for organizations of which the Brinleys were members, financial and legal records, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material. Also found are photographs of the Brinleys, family, friends, travels, and artwork, and six sketchbooks and original artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and muralist Daniel Putnam Brinley and his wife, linguist and writer Kathrine Sanger Brinley, date from 1879 to 1984 and measure 14.3 linear feet. The Brinleys' careers and lives are documented in biographical materials, as well as extensive correspondence with one another, family, friends, art galleries, organizations, publishers, and others. Also found within the papers are writings by both, including 16 diaries (1 by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the rest by Kathrine), essays, manuscripts, typescripts, notes and notebooks, poetry, and various other writings. There are mural commission files, files for organizations of which the Brinleys were members, financial and legal records, exhibition catalogs, news clippings, and other printed material. Also found are photographs of the Brinleys, family, friends, travels, and artwork, and six sketchbooks and original artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley.

Biographical material consists of biographical sketches and professional summaries for both Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley, passports, personal mementos, award certificates, two radio interview transcripts, and military records documenting Daniel Putnam Brinley's service in the American Expeditionary Forces and the Camouflage Corps.

The papers contain extensive correspondence (4.6 linear feet) divided into family correspondence and general correspondence. Family correspondence includes letters between Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley and with their parents and siblings. General correspondence primarily includes the Brinley's personal correspondence with friends and extended family. These letters discuss travel, mutual acquaintances, social events, and general news. Also found is professional correspondence regarding the exhibition and commission of artwork by Daniel Putnam Brinley and the publication of writings by Kathrine Sanger Brinley. Also discussed in the letters are the Brinleys' participation in art, social, and religious organizations. Correspondence of note is with Edwin Blashfield, Edward Bruce, William A. Coffin, Charles H. Davis, John Erskine, Anthony Euwer, Esperanza Gabay, Robert Henri, Hildreth Meiere, Ernest Peixotto, and Hugh Troy.

Writings and notes are by Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley. Included among their writings are one diary by Daniel Putnam Brinley, 15 diaries by Kathrine Sanger Brinley, essays, notebooks and notes, manuscripts, and typescripts. Subjects of their writings include essays about religion, poetry, and autobiographical and travel essays. Also found among Daniel Putnam Brinley's writing are lecture notes, fictional stories and plays, essays about art, and historical research for his mural projects.

Mural commission files include correspondence, lists, contracts, financial agreements, notes, plans, sketches, and photographs for specific murals. There is extensive documentation on murals Brinley completed for the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in New York and the Liberty War Memorial in Kansas City Missouri. Organization files document the Brinleys' participation in art and social organizations.

Scattered financial and legal records include receipts, account books, leases, estate and power of attorney documents, and records regarding their house and property in New Canaan, Connecticut. Printed material consists of published items documenting the careers, social activities and personal interest of the Brinleys, and includes books, exhibition catalogs and announcements, news clippings, newsletters, and items from their travels abroad.

Photographs depict Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley, individually and with family and friends, and include photographs of Daniel Putnam Brinley working on mural commissions. Also found are photographs of their travels, their homes, Daniel Putnam Brinley's artwork, and reference photographs for his murals. Artwork in this collection includes six of Daniel Putnam Brinley's sketchbooks, primarily from his travels in Europe and Canada, loose drawings and mural studies, drawings by Albert Sterner and Reinhold Palenske, and a lithograph by John Steuart Curry.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1879-1970s (Box 1, OV 16; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1879-1984 (Box 1-6; 4.6 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1895-1964 (Box 6-9; 3.3 linear feet)

Series 4: Commission Files, 1920-1979 (Box 9-10; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 5: Organization Files, 1909-1964 (Box 10-11; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 6: Financial and Legal Records, 1896-1965 (Box 11; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1895-1979 (Box 11-13, OV 16-17; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, 1881-1971 (Box 13-14, OV 22; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1891-1950s (Box 14-15, OVs 18-21; 0.9 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Daniel Putnam Brinley (1879-1963) was a muralist and painter in New York City and New Canaan, Connecticut. Brinley was born in Newport, Rhode Island, and studied from 1900 to 1902 at the Art Student's League under Kenyon Cox and John Henry Twachtman. Influenced by Twachtman, he became an impressionist landscape painter for a time. In 1904, he married his childhood friend, writer Kathrine Gordon Sanger (1877-1966). For the next four years they traveled throughout Europe and lived in Paris, where Brinley studied art independently and became a member of the modernist circle of painters.

In 1908 the Brinleys returned to the United States and Daniel established a studio in New York City. During this period his work was heavily influenced by the modernist movement, with flattened forms and a deeper hued palette. Brinley had his first one-man show at Madison Avenue Galleries in 1910, exhibited at Alfred Stieglitz's gallery at 291, and helped organized the 1913 Armory Show. He was also a founding member of the Association of American Painters and Sculptors and the Grand Central Art Galleries. In 1914 the Brinleys built a home, Datchet House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, and spent part of each year there for the remainder of their lives.

In 1917 Daniel Putnam Brinley trained with the American Expeditionary Forces and went to France as the Director of Decoration for the Foyers Du Soldat (YMCA), remaining there until 1919. After returning to the United States he became a mural painter and received numerous commissions for memorials, office buildings, churches, and public spaces over the next forty years. Perhaps most notable of these commissions was the Liberty War Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, for which Brinley painted 24 decorative maps showing the history of World War I. He remained active in the art community as a member of the Architectural League of New York, the National Academy of Design, and the Silvermine Guild of Artists, among others.

Kathrine Sanger Brinley was a writer and linguist who worked in Europe, New York City, and Connecticut. She lived in Europe from 1904 to 1908 where she studied the arts and crafts of the middle ages and became an expert on English writing and language of the 14th century. She published articles and books on these subjects and during the 1920s had a successful career touring as a dramatic recitalist of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer. From 1934 to 1938 the Brinley's spent their summers traveling throughout Canada, and Kathrine published four travel books which were illustrated by Daniel Putnam Brinley. Kathrine Sanger Brinley published and wrote professionally under the name Gordon Brinley.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is the Elizabeth Loder research material on Daniel Putnam Brinley, 1919-1990.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming on reel 1427, including select family photographs. Loaned material was returned to the lender is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers were lent for microfilming by their niece, Elizabeth Loder, in 1978-1979. Loder subsequently donated all but select family photographs in 1991 and additional material in 1992.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley 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 -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Topic:
Muralists -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Mural painting and decoration -- United States  Search this
Authors -- Connecticut -- New Canaan  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Sketches
Diaries
Photographs
Writings
Poetry
Citation:
Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers, 1879-1984. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.brindani
See more items in:
Daniel Putnam Brinley and Kathrine Sanger Brinley papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-brindani
Online Media:

Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation records

Creator:
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation  Search this
Collector:
Johnson, Frederick, 1904-1994  Search this
Churchill, Frank C. (Frank Carroll), 1850-1912  Search this
Davis, Edward H., b. 1862  Search this
Churchill, Clara G.  Search this
Harrington, M. R. (Mark Raymond), 1882-1971  Search this
Harvey, Byron  Search this
Emmons, George Thornton  Search this
Gridley, Marion E. (Marion Eleanor), 1906-1974  Search this
Wildschut, William  Search this
Stiles, William F., 1912-1980  Search this
Verrill, A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt), 1871-1954  Search this
Skinner, Alanson, 1886-1925  Search this
Waterman, T. T. (Thomas Talbot), 1885-1936  Search this
Harvey, Fred  Search this
Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956  Search this
Lothrop, S. K. (Samuel Kirkland), 1892-1965  Search this
Barrett, S. A. (Samuel Alfred), 1879-1965  Search this
Pepper, George H. (George Hubbard), 1873-1924  Search this
Speck, Frank G. (Frank Gouldsmith), 1881-1950  Search this
Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956  Search this
Barrett, S. A. (Samuel Alfred), 1879-1965  Search this
Churchill, Clara G.  Search this
Churchill, Frank C. (Frank Carroll), 1850-1912  Search this
Davis, Edward H., b. 1862  Search this
Emmons, George Thornton  Search this
Gridley, Marion E. (Marion Eleanor), 1906-1974  Search this
Harrington, M. R. (Mark Raymond), 1882-1971  Search this
Harvey, Byron  Search this
Harvey, Fred  Search this
Hodge, Frederick Webb, 1864-1956  Search this
Johnson, Frederick, 1904-1994  Search this
Keppler, Udo J., 1872-1956  Search this
Lothrop, S. K. (Samuel Kirkland), 1892-1965  Search this
Pepper, George H. (George Hubbard), 1873-1924  Search this
Skinner, Alanson, 1886-1925  Search this
Speck, Frank G. (Frank Gouldsmith), 1881-1950  Search this
Stiles, William F., 1912-1980  Search this
Verrill, A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt), 1871-1954  Search this
Waterman, T. T. (Thomas Talbot), 1885-1936  Search this
Wildschut, William  Search this
Director:
Dockstader, Frederick J.  Search this
Heye, George G. (George Gustav), 1874-1957  Search this
Dockstader, Frederick J.  Search this
Source:
Force, Roland W.  Search this
Burnett, Edwin K.  Search this
Names:
Ford-Bartlett East Greenland Expedition 1930  Search this
Harriman Alaska Expedition (1899)  Search this
Hendricks-Hodge Expedition (1917-1923).  Search this
Huntington Free Library  Search this
Hyde Exploring Expedition (1902-1903)  Search this
Museum of the American Indian, Heye Foundation  Search this
Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research  Search this
Former owner:
Burnett, Edwin K.  Search this
Force, Roland W.  Search this
Extent:
400 Linear feet
Culture:
Indians of North America  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Administrative records
Photographs
Annual reports
Field notes
Correspondence
Ledgers (account books)
Minutes
Date:
1890-1998
Summary:
These records document the governance and programmatic activities of the Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation (MAI) from its inception in 1904 until its sublimation by the Smithsonian Institution in 1990. The types of materials present in this collection include personal and institutional correspondence, individual subject files, minutes and annual reports, financial ledgers, legal records, expedition field notes, research notes, catalog and object lists, publications, clippings, flyers, maps, photographs, negatives and audio-visual materials. These materials span a varied range of subjects relating to the activities of the museum which are more fully described on the series level.
Scope and Contents:
These records document the governance and programmatic activities of the Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation (MAI) from its inception in 1904 until its sublimation by the Smithsonian Institution in 1990. The types of materials present in this collection include personal and institutional correspondence, individual subject files, minutes and annual reports, financial ledgers, legal records, expedition field notes, research notes, catalog and object lists, publications, clippings, flyers, maps, photographs, negatives and audio-visual materials. These materials span a varied range of subjects relating to the activities of the museum which are more fully described on the series level.
Arrangement:
The MAI, Heye Foundation records have been arranged into 21 series and 50 subseries: Series 1: Directors, 1908-1990 (1.1: George Gustav Heye, 1863-1962, 1.2: Edwin K. Burnett, 1943-1960, 1.3: Frederick Dockstader, 1950-1976, 1.4: Alexander F. Draper, 1972-1977, 1.5:Roland W. Force, 1963-1990, 1.6: George Eager, Assistant Director, 1977-1990) Series 2: Board of Trustees, 1916-1990 (2.1: Board of Trustee Minutes, 1916-1990, 2.2: Individual Board Correspondence, 1943-1990, 2.3: Subject Files, 1917-1990) Series 3: Administrative, 1916-1989 (3.1: Subject Files, 1904-1991, 3.2: Personnel, 1956-1991, 3.3: Legal, 1900-1989, 3.4: Task Force, 1976-1986, 3.5: George Abrams, 1980-1991) Series 4: Financial, 1916-1990 (4.1: Ledgers, 1900-1962, 4.2: Correspondence, 1905-1985, 4.3: Subject Files, 1916-1990) Series 5: Expeditions, 1896-1973Series 6: Collectors, 1872-1981Series 7: Registration, 1856-1993Series 8: Collections Management, 1937-1988Series 9: Curatorial, 1963-1990 (9.1: Curatorial Council, 1973-1990, 9.2: Gary Galante, 1979-1991, 9.3: Mary Jane Lenz, 1974-1994, 9.4: James G. E. Smith, 1963-1990, 9.5: U. Vincent Wilcox, 1968-1984, 9.6: Anna C. Roosevelt, 1973-1988) Series 10: Exhibits, 1923-1991 (10.1: MAI Exhibits, 1923-1990, 10.2: Non-MAI Exhibits, 1937-1991) Series 11: Public Programs, 1935-1990Series 12: Publications, 1904-1994 (12.1: Annual Reports, 1917-1989, 12.2: Publications by MAI, 1904-1990, 12.3: Publications by Other Sources, 1881-1990, 12.4: Administration, 1920-1988, 12.5: Archival Set of Official Publications, 1907-1976) Series 13: Public Affairs, 1938-1991Series 14: Development, 1927-1991 (14.1: Administration, 1979-1990, 14.2: Donors, 1978-1990, 14.3: Fundraising, 1973-1990, 14.4: Grants, 1970-1990, 14.5: Subject Files, 1976-1990) Series 15: Other Departments, 1914-1990 (15.1: Archives, 1914-1990, 15.2: Conservation, 1972-1989, 15.3: Education, 1921-1990, 15.4: Indian Information Center, 1977-1989, 15.5: Museum Shop, 1947-1989, 15.6: Photography, 1918-1990, 15.7: Physical Anthropology, 1919-1956) Series 16: Huntington Free Library, 1926-1991Series 17: Museum Relocation, 1969-1992 (17.1: Subject Files, 1979-1990, 17.2: American Museum of Natural History, 1980-1987, 17.3: Dallas, Texas, 1984-1987, 17.4: Smithsonian Institution, 1979-1990, 17.5: U.S. Custom House, 1977-1990, 17.6: Other Locations, 1974-1987) Series 18: MediaSeries 19: PhotographsSeries 20: Miscellaneous, 1837-1990Series 21: Oversize, 1873-1972 (21.1: Maps, 1873-1975, 21.2: Miscellaneous, 1884-1982)
History of the Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation:
The Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation was established by wealthy collector George Gustav Heye in 1908. Heye began collecting American Indian artifacts as early as 1897 and his collection rapidly increased over the next several years. Based in New York, Heye bought collections and documentary photographs, sponsored expeditions, and traveled and collected items himself. In addition, once MAI was established he sponsored numerous expeditions across the Western Hemisphere, including North American, Canada, South America and Central America.

From 1908 to 1917 Heye housed his artifacts on temporary loan at the University of Pennsylvania's University Museum, Pennsylvania, in lofts on East 33rd Street in New York City, and at other depositories. In 1917, the collections moved from his apartment to their permanent museum location at Audubon Terrace, at 155th Street and Broadway in New York City. The museum, containing ethnographic and archaeological collections from North, Central and South America, opened to the public in 1922. Less than ten years later, Heye completed a storage facility in the Pelham Bay area of the Bronx, known as the Research Branch. Heye served as Chairman of the Board and Museum Director until his death in 1957. After growing concern about the financial and other management of the collections came to a head, the museum became part of the Smithsonian Institution in 1989 and in 1994 opened exhibit space in the U.S. Customs House at Bowling Green near New York City's Battery Park. The Cultural Resources Center in Suitland, Maryland later opened in 1999 and the main Washington, DC museum opened in 2004.

Please visit the following links for more information about the history of the museum; History of the Collection, Collections Overview, and Significance of the Collection. Moreover, for information about how the museum currently cares for and exhibits the collection, please see the Conservation department and recent entries regarding Exhibitions and Conservation on the NMAI Blog. In addition, see portions of the NMAI Archive Center's collections highlighted in the SIRIS Blog.
Related Materials:
In 2004, the Huntington Fee Library, once part of the MAI/Heye Foundation, was transferred to the Cornell University Library Rare Book and Manuscript Collection. While this collection mainly contained books, it also contained a significant amount of archival materials. The Huntington Free Library's Native American Collection contains outstanding materials documenting the history, culture, languages, and arts of the native tribes of both North and South America, as well as contemporary politics and human rights issues are also important components of the collection. Further information about the collection and links to finding aids can be found here: rmc.library.cornell.edu/collections/HFL_old.html.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadcast materials from the collection must be requested from the National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Peru  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Tennessee  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- New York (State)  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Panama  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- New Jersey  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- New Mexico  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Missouri  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Nevada  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- California  Search this
Indians of South America  Search this
Indians of Central America  Search this
Pre-Columbian objects  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Texas  Search this
Museums -- Collection management  Search this
Archaeological expeditions  Search this
Ethnological expeditions  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology)  Search this
Museums -- Acquisitions  Search this
Museums -- Curatorship  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Cuba  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Ecuador  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Arkansas  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Canada  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Guatemala  Search this
Excavations (Archaeology) -- Haiti  Search this
Genre/Form:
Administrative records
Photographs
Annual reports
Field notes
Correspondence
Ledgers (account books)
Minutes
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation Records, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.001
See more items in:
Museum of the American Indian/Heye Foundation records
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-001
Online Media:

Gene Davis papers

Creator:
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
Names:
White House (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Baro, Gene  Search this
Colby, Carl  Search this
Davis, Douglas  Search this
Davis, Florence  Search this
Greenberg, Clement, 1909-1994  Search this
McGowin, Ed, 1938-  Search this
Naifeh, Steven, 1952-  Search this
Nordland, Gerald  Search this
North, Percy, 1945-  Search this
Seitz, William Chapin  Search this
Thomas, Alma  Search this
Wall, Donald  Search this
Extent:
17.7 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Date:
1920-2000
bulk 1942-1990
Summary:
The papers of the artist Gene Davis measure 17.7 linear feet and date from 1920-2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1942-1990. Papers document Davis's personal life and his career as an artist and educator, as well as his career as a journalist in the 1940s and 1950s, through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, business records, estate records, writings by and about Gene Davis, printed materials concerning Davis's art career, personal and art-related photographs, and artwork by Davis and others.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of the artist Gene Davis measure 17.7 linear feet and date from 1920-2000, with the bulk of materials dating from 1942-1990. Papers document Davis's personal life and his career as an artist and educator, and to a lesser degree his early career as a journalist in the 1940s and 1950s, through biographical materials, correspondence, interviews, business records, estate records, writings by and about Gene Davis, printed materials concerning Davis's art career, personal and art-related photographs, and artwork by Davis and others.

Biographical materials include birth and death certificates, awards, biographical narratives by Gene Davis and others, CVs, résumés, personal documents from Davis's family and childhood, documents related to his work as a White House correspondent, documentation related to his death and memorial service, and papers for the family pets. A video documentary about Davis by Carl Colby is found on one videocassette.

Correspondence is mainly of a professional nature, and correspondents include gallery and museum curators, private art collectors, publishers, fellow artists, art educators, academics, and students. Letters document exhibitions, sales, book projects, teaching jobs, visits to studios, local art community events in the Washington, D.C. area, and other projects. Significant correspondents include Gene Baro, Douglas Davis, Clement Greenberg, Gerald Nordland, William Seitz, Alma Thomas, and Donald Wall. Interviews and lectures include sound recordings and transcripts. Many of the interviews were broadcast or published. Also found is a single lecture by Davis given in 1969 at the National Collection of Fine Arts, Smithsonian Institution, entitled "Contemporary Painting." Sound recordings are found for three of the interviews and for the lecture, on 4 sound reels and 1 sound cassette.

Business records include artwork documentation, price lists, sales records, contracts, financial and legal records, gallery and museum files documenting sales and exhibitions, records related to the construction of Davis's home studio in 1970, and a few teaching records. Estate records mainly reflect Florence Davis's efforts to document the works of her husband, and to manage their exhibition, promotion, and sale after his death in April 1985. Estate records include an inventory of artworks, documentation of gifts to museums, correspondence, legal, and financial records. Writings include notes, drafts of essays, artist statements, and articles by Davis, and many articles by others about Davis. Several of Davis's articles reflect specifically on the Washington, D.C. art scene. Also found are drafts of monographs on Davis including one by Donald Wall (1975) and one by Steven Naifeh (1982). Records of Naifeh's book also include photographs of all black and white and color plates from the published book. Among the writings are also notes and research files of Percy North, who worked on an update to Naifeh's 1982 bibliography after Davis's death.

Printed materials include annual reports of museums, published arts-related calendars, auction catalogs, brochures from organizations with which Davis had some affiliation, exhibition announcements and invitations, exhibition catalogs, magazine articles, newspaper clippings, newsletters, posters, press releases, and other published material. Photographs include personal photographs of Gene and Florence Davis and their families, portraits of Gene Davis, photographs of Gene Davis with artworks and working in the studio, Davis' art classes and students, installations of site-specific works, conceptual and video works, exhibition openings, and photographs of artwork, both installed in exhibitions and individually photographed. Found among the photographs are also four videocassettes documenting the Gene Davis retrospective as installed at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in 1987.

Artwork includes photographs, drawings, moving images, and documentation of conceptual art. Works by Davis include documentation of the 1969 "Giveaway" with Douglas Davis and Ed McGowin, "The Artist's Fingerprints Except for One which belongs to someone else," documentation of his "Air Displacement" happening, a short film entitled "Patricia," and a video entitled "Video Puzzle." Other moving images include four reels of film of Davis's stripe paintings, and other experiments with motion picture film and photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 8 series.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1930-1987 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 1, 17)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1943-1990 (1.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 3: Interviews and Lectures, 1964-1983 (0.3 linear feet; Box 3)

Series 4: Business and Estate Records, 1942-1990 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 3-5, 17, OV 20)

Series 5: Writings, 1944-1990 (2 linear feet; Boxes 5-6, 17, OV 19)

Series 6: Printed Material, 1942-1990 (5.5 linear feet; Boxes 7-11, 17-18, OV 20, FC 35-37)

Series 7: Photographs, 1920-2000 (3.8 linear feet; Boxes 11-15, 17, OV 19)

Series 8: Artwork, 1930-1985 (2.2 linear feet; Boxes 15-16, 18, FC 21-34)
Biographical / Historical:
Gene Davis (1920-1985) was a Washington, D.C.-based artist and educator who worked in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, collage, video, light sculpture, and conceptual art. Davis is best known for his vertical stripe paintings and his association with the Washington Color School.

Davis was born in 1920 in Washington, D.C. and began his career as a writer. In his twenties he wrote pulp stories and worked as a journalist, reporting for United Press International and serving as a White House correspondent for Transradio Press Service during the Truman administration. Later, he worked in public relations for the Automobile Association of America. A self-taught artist, Davis began painting while still working full-time as a writer, influenced by the prevailing abstract expressionist artists of the time, his frequent visits to the Corcoran Gallery and Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C., and by his friend and mentor, Jacob Kainen. His first one-man show was held in the lobby of the Dupont Theater in Washington in 1952. He had a drawing accepted in the Corcoran Area Show in 1953, and won several local art prizes in the 1950s. He began showing work regularly in galleries around Washington, such as the Watkins Gallery at American University, the Gres Gallery, and the Henri Gallery, and had solo exhibitions at Jefferson Place Gallery in 1959 and 1961. Many of the painters who made up what became known as the Washington Color School also showed there, including Kenneth Noland, Howard Mehring, and Sam Gilliam. In 1965, the Washington Gallery of Modern Art held a seminal exhibition entitled Washington Color Painters, which included Davis, Noland, Mehring, Morris Louis, Thomas Downing, and Paul Reed.

Davis began showing outside of Washington regularly in the 1960s, including the Poindexter and Fischbach galleries in New York City, and in several important group shows at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He had three works shown in the 1964 exhibition Post-Painterly Abstraction, organized by the influential art critic Clement Greenberg at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. In the late 1960s, he began teaching art classes at the Corcoran School, and spent the summer of 1969 as artist in residence at Skidmore College's "Summer in Experiment" program.

Davis experimented with form continuously throughout his career, including a period of conceptual work in the late 1960s. In 1969 he participated in the "Giveaway," organized by Douglas Davis and Ed McGowin, in which multiple copies of a Davis painting were given away to invited guests in a gesture intended to subvert the art market. Davis also began experimenting with scale, creating a series of tiny paintings he called "Micro-paintings," which were exhibited at Fischbach Gallery in 1968. Around this time he also began working with film and video, recruiting models from his art classes to enact tightly choreographed movement pieces that played with rhythm and interval. Convinced by a lawyer that his videos were a liability without having obtained releases from the models, Davis destroyed all but one of his video works. The surviving video, "Video Puzzle," shows a foreshortened view of a model on the floor of a gallery spelling out a statement by Clement Greenberg at predetermined intervals.

Davis made several large-scale site-specific works using the stripe motif in public places. The first of these was created in the Bal Harbour, Florida, Neiman Marcus department store in 1970. Later works included Franklin's Footpath, executed in the road leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in 1972, and Niagara (1979) at ArtPark in Lewistown, NY, promoted at the time as the largest painting in the world. Interior large-scale works were created twice at the Corcoran Gallery, with Magic Circle (1975) and Ferris Wheel (1982), both executed in the museum's rotunda. Black Yo-Yo was created for the Cranbrook Academy in 1980, and Sun Sonata (1983), an illuminated wall of colored liquid-filled tubes, was created as an architectural feature of the Muscarelle Museum of Art in Williamsburg, Virginia. Plans for an unexecuted work called "Grass Painting," for a site near the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., were exhibited in the 1974 "Art Now" festival.

In the late 1970s and 1980s Davis consistently exhibited his work in several solo gallery shows a year, and also had numerous solo exhibitions in major museums. A major exhibition, Recent Paintings, was organized by the Walker Art Center in 1978, and traveled to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in 1979. A drawing retrospective was held at the Brooklyn Museum of art in 1983, and the same year the Washington Project for the Arts organized an exhibition entitled Child and Man: A Collaboration, featuring drawings Davis made in response to childrens' drawings. Davis died suddenly in April 1985 at the age of 65, and a major retrospective of his work was held at the Smithsonian National Museum of American Art in 1987.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Gene Davis conducted by Estill Curtis Pennington on April 23, 1981. A transcript is available on the Archives of American Art website.
Provenance:
Donated 1981 by Gene Davis and 1986 by his wife, Florence. Additional material donated 1991 and 1993 from Smithsonian American Art Museum via a bequest to them from the Gene and Florence Davis estate. Much of the 1993 addition was assembled by art historian Percy North at the request of Florence Davis. An additional folder of photographs of Davis taken in 1969 but printed in 2000 was later added to the collection.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Gene Davis 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:
Reporters and reporting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Video artists -- Washington, D.C.  Search this
Conceptual artists -- Washington, D.C  Search this
Painters -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Collagists -- Washington, D.C  Search this
Topic:
Color-field painting -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Photographs
Interviews
Video recordings
Citation:
Gene Davis papers, 1920-2000, bulk 1942-1990. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.davigene
See more items in:
Gene Davis papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-davigene
Online Media:

Tanager Gallery records, 1952-1979

Creator:
Tanager Gallery  Search this
Subject:
Cherry, Herman  Search this
Dodd, Lois  Search this
Burkhardt, Rudy  Search this
Cajori, Charles  Search this
Geist, Sidney  Search this
Fine, Perle  Search this
Frankenthaler, Helen  Search this
Guston, Philip  Search this
Arnold, Anne  Search this
Brooks, James  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert  Search this
Stamos, Theodoros  Search this
Wesselmann, Tom  Search this
Hofmann, Hans  Search this
Hazelet, Sally  Search this
Katz, Alex  Search this
Ippolito, Angelo  Search this
Pearlstein, Philip  Search this
King, William  Search this
Rivers, Larry  Search this
Type:
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Sketches
Topic:
Art, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)7221
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)209359
AAA_collcode_tanagall
Theme:
Diaries
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_209359
Online Media:

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