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[Electric vibrator and fishing reel, catalog page]

Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (9.1" x 6.1".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1933
Scope and Contents:
Page 20 from 1933 Bakelite Laminated catalog
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000007.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref553

Armand G. Winfield Papers

Creator:
Winfield, Armand G.  Search this
Names:
Affordable House (Norwich, Conn.)  Search this
California. Dept. of Industrial Relations. Committee on Attitude Response and Evaluation  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
New Mexico. Corrections Dept.  Search this
New York World's Fair (1939-1940 : New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Society of Plastics Engineers  Search this
United Nations Industrial Development Organization  Search this
Winfield Fine Art in Jewelry (Firm)  Search this
Extent:
18 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Correspondence
Stage designs
Sketches
Blueprints
Drawings
Builder's models
Design patents
Place:
Midland (Tex.)
Scott Air Force Base (Ill.)
Date:
1960 - 1980
Scope and Contents:
The eleven boxes contain documentation relating to project files including business correspondence, invoices, sketches, contracts and agreements, research materials, brochures, photographs, slides and models.

This collection, which includes some biographical material and which is specifically related to the design process and to the use of plastics, is interesting because it sufficiently covers the work of this inventor and experimenter. This collection includes Winfield's work in plastics in conjunction with architecture, building and design.
Biographical / Historical:
Armand G. Winfield, pioneering plastics researcher and consultant. Throughout the past fifty-six years Winfield has done extensive research and development in the areas of plastics in architecture and building, art, museum work, industry (applications engineering), and low cost housing for developing countries. In addition, he has worked in the entertainment field on the application of plastics for stage sets and amusement parks. His career is documented in over 300 published articles, chapters and books on plastics and other subjects, almost 90 of which are concerned with plastics in building and architecture.

Armand G. Winfield has been involved professionally in the plastics and business fields since 1939. He graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1941 and did graduate work at the University of New Mexico, the State University of Iowa and at Washington University in St. Louis, Mo. He began his career in museum work using synthetic lattices and acrylics for the preservation of specimens. His interest shifted to the plastics materials in the mid-1940s, and he invented the first mass-producible process for embedding specimens in acrylics. As a principal in Winfield Fine Art in Jewelry in New York City, he conducted precursory work for the electronics encapsulation field and pioneered biological, medical and art embedments in the United States.

Professor Winfield has been on the teaching faculties of Franklin & Marshall College, Lancaster, Pa. (Undergraduate Teaching Fellowship: 1939-1941); Harris Teachers' College (1950) and Washington University School of Engineering (1956) in St. Louis, Mo.; Yale University Art School (1960-1961) in New Haven, Conn.; Pratt Institute Industrial Design Department (1964-1970) in Brooklyn, N.Y.; Visiting Critic in Architecture (Plastics), The College of the City of New York (1968-1969), New York, N.Y.; Adjunct Professor of Plastics Engineering, University of Massachusetts Lowell (1978-1981), Lowell, Mass.; and Research Professor Mechanical Engineering (Plastics), the University of New Mexico (Appointed 1993), Albuquerque, N.M. He has also been an invited lecture at over 40 other colleges and universities in the United States and abroad.
Provenance:
All materials were donated to the museum by Armand G. Winfield in 1992. Transferred to the Archives Center in 2012.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Industrial designers -- United States  Search this
Plastics designers -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Plastics in building  Search this
Plastics industry and trade -- Sources -- History -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Plastics as art material  Search this
Plastics -- Research  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Correspondence
Stage designs
Sketches
Blueprints
Drawings
Builder's models
Design patents
Citation:
Armand G. Winfield Papers, 1960-1980, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1271
See more items in:
Armand G. Winfield Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1271

Printed from Bakelite Printing Plates on Miehle Cylinder Press [page from catalog]

Topic:
Bakelite
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (11.9" x 7.8".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000001.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref547

From 9 to 32 operations eliminated - cost reduced 40 per cent [advertisement]

Topic:
Bakelite
Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (12.2" x 8.9".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1926
Scope and Contents:
Advertisement illustrates Bakelite parts for a Reconnaissance Transit and contains reprinted article from April 1926, Factory
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000002.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref548

What Lamson gained hrough changing to a Bakelite Pulley [advertisement]

Topic:
Bakelite
Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (12.2" x 8.9".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1926
Scope and Contents:
Advertisement illustrates Bakelite pulley for Lamson Cash Carrier and contains reprinted article from July 1926, Factory
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000003.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref549

What Formica Is! [trade literature]

Names:
Formica Insulation Co.  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 6.0" x 3.3".)
Container:
Box 2, Folder Formica
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1927
Scope and Contents:
Cover of booklet about Formica manufacturing, uses, properties, etc.
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000004.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 2: Plastics Trade Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref550

Blowing Press 1 Mold [photograph]

Names:
Charles Burroughs Co.  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 9.7" x 7.6".)
Container:
Box 4, Item Leather Portfolio III
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000005.tif (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 4: Charles Burroughs Co.
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref551

Hydraulic Sheeter [photograph]

Names:
Charles Burroughs Co.  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 9.7" x 7.6".)
Container:
Box 4, Item Leather Portfolio III
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000006.tif (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 4: Charles Burroughs Co.
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref552

Application for shock resistant materials [catalog page]

Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (9.1" x 6.1".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1931
Scope and Contents:
Page 22 from 1931 Bakelite Molded: Fifth Edition catalog
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000008.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref554

Bakelite: The Material of a Thousand Uses [catalog cover]

Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (7.4" x 5.3".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1924
Scope and Contents:
The catalog shows the different personal uses for Bakelite such as jewelry, cigarette holders, pipes, manicure sets, letter sets, etc.
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000009.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref555
Online Media:

Luxene, the Translucent Bakelite Denture Material [advertisement]

Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 6.3" x 3.6".)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1940
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000010.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection 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:
Dentures  Search this
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref556

Listening in with Celoron [advertisement]

Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 6.2" x 3.3".)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000011.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection 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:
Sound -- Recording and reproducing  Search this
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 2: Plastics Trade Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref557

Plaskon: Plastic Materials for Modern Industrial Production [catalog cover]

Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 11.0" x 8.4".)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000012.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 2: Plastics Trade Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref558

[Bakelite labels, photograph]

Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper., 6.9" x 4.2".)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000013.tif (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 1: Bakelite Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref559

[Bakelite radio dial]

Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Collection Source:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution).  Search this
Collection Creator:
DuBois, J. Harry, 1903-1986  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on plastic., 3.9" x 4.2".)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0008-0000014.tif (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protected by sleeves.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
J. Harry Dubois Collection of the History of Plastics, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics
J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics / Series 2: Plastics Trade Catalogs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0008-ref560

Albany Billiard Ball Company Records

Creator:
Albany Billiard Ball Company (Albany, New York)  Search this
Names:
Hyatt, John Wesley (inventor)  Search this
Koener, Max  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (25 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cashbooks
Invoices
Contracts
Ledgers (account books)
Journals (accounts)
Legal documents
Time books
Patents
Place:
Albany (N.Y.)
Date:
1870 - 1974
Summary:
These records include documents relating to John Hyatt and include legal documents, 1871-1966; bank books; patents; patent certificates; patent assignments; memoranda and articles of association; union contracts; balance sheets; profit and loss accounts; journals and cash books; ledgers; time books; invoices; photographs; and correspondence to and from the company.
Scope and Contents:
The records include documents relating to John Hyatt and consist of articles of agreement; articles of association; contracts; bills of sale; by laws; deeds; licenses to manufacture; memoranda; bank books; patents; patent certificates; patent assignments; union contracts; balance sheets; profit and loss accounts; journals and cash books; ledgers; time books; invoices; minutes; photographs; and correspondence to and from the company, 1870-1974.
Biographical / Historical:
The Albany Billiard Ball Company is possibly the earliest successful plastics firm and certainly one of the oldest plastics companies in the world. The business was started in 1868 on Albany's South End. The company was renamed in September, 1977 the Albany-Hyatt Billiard Ball Company. John Wesley Hyatt was one of the company's founders and the American inventor of celluloid. Celluloid, besides being the base of photographic film, was a substitute for ivory, long the prime substance in billiard ball manufacture. The Hyatt "composition" ball, with a celluloid base, dominated the sport until the 1960s.
Related Materials:
New York State Library

Albany Billiard Ball Company Records, 1894-1944, bulk 1914-1944

The records of the Albany Billiard Ball Company consist chiefly of account books detailing its finances. The cash journals detail the quantity and cost of goods sold to various firms and individuals. Costs and fees for shipping and handling are also noted. The journals of income and disbursements provide a more detailed record of administrative and production costs of the company as well as income derived from sales. Principle expenditures include labor, raw materials, maintenance of equipment and facilities, and taxes.
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
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:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Plastics -- Molding  Search this
Celluloid  Search this
Molding -- Plastics  Search this
Billiards  Search this
Genre/Form:
Cashbooks
Invoices
Contracts -- union
Ledgers (account books)
Journals (accounts)
Legal documents
Time books
Patents
Citation:
Albany Billiard Ball Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0011
See more items in:
Albany Billiard Ball Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0011
Online Media:

[Women polishing billiard balls in Albany Billiard Ball factory]

Creator:
Albany Billiard Ball Company (Albany, New York)  Search this
Collection Creator:
Albany Billiard Ball Company (Albany, New York)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on paper, 4.6" x 6.4")
Container:
Box 24, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1930
Local Numbers:
AC0011-0000001.tif (AC Scan No.)
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site by appointment. Photographs must be handled with cotton gloves unless protecte by sleeves.
Collection 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:
Billiards -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Billiards  Search this
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
Albany Billiard Ball Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Albany Billiard Ball Company Records
Albany Billiard Ball Company Records / Series 7: Photographs / Manufacture of billiard balls
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0011-ref674

Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials

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

Series 1: Corporate Records, 1920-1992, 2003

Subseries 1.1: Annual reports, 1949, 1966, 1988

Subseries 1.2: Correspondence and company identity, 1920-1988

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

Subseries 1.4: Newspaper clippings and articles, 1934-2003

Subseries 1.5: Awards, 1940s-1987

Subseries 1.6: Patent information, 1925-1994

Subseries 1.7: Photographs, 1927-1966

Series 2: Personnel Records, 1943-1992

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

Subseries 3.1: Newsletters, 1942-1988

Subseries 3.2: Press releases, 1973-1990

Series 4: Product Information, 1948-1994

Series 5: Advertising and sales materials, 1913-2000

Subseries 5.1: Advertising materials, 1913-2000

Subseries 5.2: Sales materials, 1922-1993

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

Series 7: Exhibits, 1981-1994

Series 8: Grace Jeffers Research Materials, 1987-1997

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

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

Subseries 10.1: Background Materials, 1965-1999

Subseries 10.2: Employee Benefits, 1963-1998

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leo Baekeland Papers, 1881-1968 (AC0005)

DuPont Nylon Collection, 1939-1977 (AC0007)

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

Earl Tupper Papers, circa 1914-1982 (AC0470)

The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession # 1997.0319 and #1997.3133.
Provenance:
This collection was assembled by Grace Jeffers, historian of material culture, primarily from materials given to her by Susan Lewin, Head of Formica's New York design and publicity office when the office closed in 1995. The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Grace Jeffers in September 1996.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastics as art material -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastics in interior design -- 1920-2000  Search this
advertising -- plastic industry -- 1920-2000  Search this
Plastic jewelry -- 1920-2000  Search this
Laminated plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Exhibitions -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
House furnishings -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Housewives as consumers -- 1920-2000  Search this
Electronic insulators and insulation -- Plastics -- 1920-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Women in popular culture -- 1920-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scripts (documents)
Videotapes
Posters -- 20th century
Samples -- 1920-2000
Advertisements
Brochures
Blueprints -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Exhibition catalogs
Catalogs
Catalogs -- 1920-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0565
See more items in:
Grace Jeffers Collection of Formica Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0565
Online Media:

[Illustration of Celluloid Factory buildings]

Names:
Celluloid Corporation.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Hyatt, John Wesley (inventor)  Search this
Celluloid Corporation.  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 5.9" x 7.9".)
Container:
Box 3, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
undated
Local Numbers:
AC0009-0000001.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
Celluloid Corporation Records, 1883-1943, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Celluloid Corporation Records
Celluloid Corporation Records / Series 4: Photographs / Celluloid Corporation Employees & Factory Buildings
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0009-ref544

[Illustration of Celluloid Factory buildings: section of booklet page]

Names:
Celluloid Corporation.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Hyatt, John Wesley (inventor)  Search this
Celluloid Corporation.  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 2.7" x 4.3".)
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1935
Scope and Contents:
Illustration on page 6 of Celluloid - Grand Daddy of 'Em All, by George H. Boehmenr.
Local Numbers:
AC0009-0000002.tif (AC Scan No.)
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Plastics industry and trade  Search this
Collection Citation:
Celluloid Corporation Records, 1883-1943, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Celluloid Corporation Records
Celluloid Corporation Records / Series 1: Publications / Boehmer, George H. (General Sales Manager) Celluloid, Grand Daddy of 'Em All. Newark, New Jersey: Celluloid Corporation (2 copies) History of development of Celluloid and the Celluloid Corporation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0009-ref545

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