United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- Westminster
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- Marston
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- New Windsor
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.
The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.
This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.
The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
The collection is divided into seven series:
Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated
Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated
Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated
Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated
Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated
Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated
The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))
James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.
James worked as a farm manager for Benjamin Oden near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) by April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three enslaved described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)
Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as a farm manager for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth J. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the graveyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County.
In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.
Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).
In addition to his sons, Thomas owned enslaved. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six enslaved, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)
Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the farm in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)
In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865.
In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)
Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)
Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).
By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.
As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County.
Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)
Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)
In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.
On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.
At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)
Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm.
Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.
On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932-2023), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.
The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)
On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)
On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee.
Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).
Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.
On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.
On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.
The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of the Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.
The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.
The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).
Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.
Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).
Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).
After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked first at the Hecht Company department store on 7th Street in the District and later for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.
On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction).
In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).
On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.
Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.
Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.
Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.
In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.
On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Materials at Other Organizations
The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Materials at the National Museum of American History
The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.
Division of Armed Forces History (now Division of Olitical and Military History, National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Collection is open for research but negatives and audiovisuial materials are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to the donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Film reels (silent, color reversal; 21,000 feet (9.75 hours), 16mm)
Scope and Contents:
Full film record shot during an expedition to the Nyae-Nyae region of the Kalahari Desert
in Namibia, sponsored by the Harvard Peabody Museum. Footage documents: construction
of a skerm (shelter) and setting-up of a household, preparation and consumption of a
springbok, hunting and preparation of a small snake, and digging and eating of roots.
Technologies illustrated include: fire building, hide preparation, subterranean storage of
water in ostrich egg shells, setting of a trap, and the entire bow-and-arrow manufacturing
process. Depicted are the arrangements of skerms within the werft (encampment).
Representations of Ju/'hoan rituals include scenes from a wedding, keloid scarification,
and divining with oracle discs. Also included is winnowing of tobacco by non-San people
and activities of the Marshall expedition. Footage primarily shot by John Marshall;
additional photography by Laurence Marshall.
The John Marshall Ju/'hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection is open for research. Please contact the Archives for availabilty of access copies of audio visual recordings. Original audiovisual material in the Human Studies Film Archives may not be played.
Materials relating to Series 6 Production Files are restricted and not available for research until 2048, 2063, 2072. Kinship diagrams in Series 13 are restricted due to privacy concerns. Various copyrights and restrictions on commercial use apply to the reproduction or publication of film, video, audio, photographs, and maps.
The John Marshall Ju/'hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection, 1950-2000, Human Studies Film Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Finding aid has been funded through generous support from the Arcadia Fund.
Series consists of various items of ephemera and memorabilia, and various artifacts. Included are Victorian cards, an album of remembrance with entries by various individuals who were friends and acquaintances of the original owner, an autograph book, cartes-de-visite, dried flowers from Lawrence farm, cabinet cards (including one of Fanny Ward), hat pins, leather post cards, tobacco cards, boxes with cloth scraps and dried flowers from Ulysses S. Grant's funeral (which were mementos belonging to Cornell's grandparents), a papier-mache pull-toy horse, a shell box, sheet music, plastic dolls, match boxes, stuffed bird figures, metal pendants, clockhands, wood and cork pieces, beads, and other material. Most, if not all, of this material was accumulated by Cornell in the course of his regular collecting activities. Some of the objects are of uncertain origin and may have belonged to his brother, Robert.
Cornell seems to have used some of these items, including the tobacco cards, sheet music, hat pins, leather post cards, cartes-de-visite, autograph book, and miniature rug samples, in a layout he designed for Good Housekeeping magazine. Other items, including the shell box, papier-mache pull-toy horse, and memento boxes from General Grant's funeral, seem to have been part of the 1982 exhibition, "Joseph Cornell: An Exploration of Sources," at the National Museum of American Art, which presented a select group of boxes and collages in the context of his source materials. ( See Series 10 for a letter from the Acting Director of NMAA identifying these materials.)
Other items in this series, such as the wood and cork pieces, the clockhands, and wooden beads, could also constitute some of the found objects that Cornell collected and often used in many of his box constructions. Items, such as dried flowers from Lawrence farm and even the memento boxes of Grant's funeral, could constitute those objects that Cornell often collected as souvenirs and memorabilia relating to a particular event or idea. The dried flowers, for instance, seem to relate to the GC 44 "exploration," of which Cornell's visits to Lawrence farm played a part.
As far as possible, material is arranged in chronological order. For storage and preservation purposes, loose objects that cannot be housed in folders are housed together within smaller boxes, which are then housed in an archival box. For descriptive purposes, loose objects are treated as one file with an item list (provided below).
Use of the original papers requires an appointment.
Joseph Cornell papers, 1804-1986, bulk 1939-1972. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Funding for the processing and digitization of this collection was provided by the Getty Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art.
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
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 22.2, 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.
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 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.
Materials in the Archives Center
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana (AC0060)
Hills Bros. Coffee Incorporated Records (AC0395)
The collection was donated by N W Ayer ABH International, April 15, 1975 and by Ayer & Partners, October 30, 1996.
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.
Publication and production quality duplication is restricted due to complex copyright, publicity rights, and right to privacy issues. Potential users must receive written permission from appropriate rights holders prior to obtaining high quality copies. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The papers document the life and work of William R. Hutton, a civil engineer during the late 1800s to the early 1900s. Materials include diaries, notebooks, correspondence, letterpress copy book, printed materials, publications, specifications, photographs, drawings, and maps that document the construction of several architectural and engineering projects during this period. Most notable are the records containing information related to the construction of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Hudson River Tunnel, the Washington Aqueduct, the Kanawha River Canal, and the Washington/Harlem River Bridge. There are also several records about railroads in the state of Maryland, the District of Columbia and elsewhere, including the Western Maryland Railroad, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Colorado Midlands Railway, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, the Northern Adirondack Railroad, and the Pittsfield and Williamstown Railroad. The records can be used to track the progression of these projects, and engineering innovation during the late 1800s to the early 1900s.
Scope and Contents:
These papers document William R. Hutton's professional career as a civil engineer and his personal affairs. Although the personal materials in the collection provide insight into a man and a family that have been largely forgotten by biographers, it is the professional materials that are perhaps the most interesting to researchers. They provide a compelling narrative of the push to the West that occurred in 19th century America and the internal improvements movement typified by the American System plan proposed by Henry Clay. Perhaps best remembered for the high tariffs that accompanied it, the American System plan was also concerned with the advancement of internal improvements, such as canals, that would unite the East and West in communication, travel, and trade. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal can be seen as one of the products of this movement (1) and was in fact initially heralded as the first great work of national improvement (2).
The papers in this collection that are related to the construction and maintenance of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal are an invaluable documentation of efforts during this turbulent time to unite the eastern and western United States. They provide details of the canal from its initial construction to its decline with the incline at Georgetown project. The canal also serves as an example, or perhaps a warning against, federal involvement in state improvement efforts as it was the first project to be directly funded and staffed by the federal government (3). The groundbreaking ceremony was attended by then President John Quincy Adams whose toast, "to the canal: perseverance," (4) became an ironic omen, as construction of the canal took over twenty-two years to be completed. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal materials can be used as a case study for the problems encountered during canal building (5). These problems are best typified in the collection by the papers relating to the Georgetown incline. This project was headed by Hutton and was plagued with construction problems, boating accidents, and obsolescence from the moment of its completion. Despite these issues, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal remains a structure of historical significance in America. As the third and last effort to construct an all-water route to the West (6), the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is an important artifact of 19th century attitudes and efforts towards commerce, trade, travel, and communication between the eastern and western United States. Other significant canals and water structures represented in the collection are the Kanawha Canal, the Washington Aqueduct, and a large collection of materials relating to the Kingston Water Supply (New York).
One of the most significant internal improvements made during this time was the railroad. The legal conflicts that arose between the canal companies and railroads is also represented in the materials relating to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. These materials specifically deal with the legal conflict's between the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The development and construction of the railroads is also represented in the materials documenting the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, the Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, the Northern Adirondack Railroad, the Western Maryland Railroad, the Mexican National Railroad, the Colorado Midlands Railroad, and the Columbia Railroad.
The collection also demonstrates the spirit of innovation and invention that was prevalent in the engineering field in the nineteenth century. Joseph Gies writes, "...one of the distinctive characteristics of the great nineteenth century engineering adventurers was their readiness to gamble on the translation of theory into practice" (7). In this quote, he is speaking of the civil engineer Dewitt Clinton Haskins and a project that truly encapsulates engineering invention in the nineteenth century, the Hudson River Tunnel. Responding to the increase in the population of the City of New York in the late nineteenth century from sixty thousand to three and a half million, the Hudson River Tunnel was originally devised as a way to alleviate traffic and to transport train passengers directly across the Hudson River (8). Beginning with records dating from 1881 to 1901, the Hutton papers can be used to document not only the advances in engineering during this time but also the costs of progress. Haskins' initial efforts to build the tunnel using submerged air pressurized caissons were marked by failure and in some cases fatalities. Workers on the tunnel often suffered from what came to be known as "caisson disease" or "the bends," caused by the immense forces of compression and decompression experienced while working in the tunnels (9). This problem was so prevalent that as construction progressed the rate of worker deaths caused by "the bends" rose to twenty-five percent (10). Materials in the collection document worker complaints and deaths resulting from this disease as well as providing a technical record of the construction of the tunnel. The highlight of the materials relating to the Hudson River Tunnel is an album that contains photographs of workers in the tunnel and a detailed daily report of the construction progress on the tunnel that was maintained by Hutton's assistant, Walton Aims. The first hand account in these reports provides insight not only into the construction of the tunnel, but also the problems encountered.
Another project featured in the Hutton collection that was devised in response to the population explosion in the City of New York in the nineteenth century is the Harlem River Bridge, or as it is now known, the Washington Bridge. Known as one of the longest steel arch bridges of its time, the Harlem River Bridge also represents that spirit of invention and innovation that was prevalent in the civil engineering field during the nineteenth century. The collection provides an invaluable resource for those wishing to track the construction of the bridge from early concept drawings and proposals to finalized plans. Also present are photographs of the construction and workers. Societal response to the bridge in the form of newspaper and magazine clippings help to create the narrative of the Washington Bridge, and these are supplemented by correspondence from the builders, suppliers, and planners.
This collection also includes diaries, 1866-1901; letterpress copybooks, 1858-1901; correspondence on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Hudson River Tunnel, Washington Bridge over the Harlem River, and Maryland and Colorado railroads, 1861-1901, and on Hutton's financial and real estate affairs, 1835-1921; construction photographs of the Harlem River, Cairo, Poughkeepsie, Niagara bridges and the Hudson River Tunnel, Washington Aqueduct, and Capitol Dome (in the form of albumen, cyanotype, salted paper print); data and drawings; rolled land profile drawings; canal notes, 1828-1892; Hudson River Tunnel construction reports, 1889-1891; publications, drawings, and maps of railroad routes; pamphlets and reprints on hydraulic works and water supply; road, railway, bridge, and hydraulic construction specifications, 1870-1900; drawings (linen, oil cloth, and heavy drawing paper), and blueprints; account books, 1891-1899; and plans, drawings, field notebooks, and publications on American and European construction projects, especially in Maryland, New York, and France; personal correspondence detailing his role as executor for the estates of Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Annie Theller, and the Countess H. De Moltke-Hvitfeldt and his relationships with his children, siblings, cousins, and colleagues, 1850-1942.
Materials are handwritten, typed, and printed.
Special note should be made that any materials dated after the year 1901 were added to the collection by another creator who is unidentified. It can be speculated that professional materials added after this date were contributed by his brother and colleague Nathanial Hutton or his son Frank Hutton. Personal materials contributed after this date may have been added by his wife, daughters, or other members of his extended family.
Series 1, Letterpress Copybooks, 1858-1901, consists of twenty seven letterpress copybooks containing correspondence between Hutton and other engineers, architects, and building suppliers. The letterpress copybooks in this series have been arranged chronologically. The books involve a process by which ink is transferred through direct contact with the original using moisture and pressure in a copy press. The majority of the correspondence is business- related. Some letterpress copybooks are devoted to specific projects such as the Washington/Harlem River Bridge, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad, and the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. The letterpress copybooks provide a record of correspondence written by Hutton, which makes it distinctive from the other correspondence in the collection. Most of the other correspondence has Hutton as recipient.
The letterpress copybooks also document Hutton's various residences throughout his life and provide a glimpse into the civil engineering profession at the time by demonstrating how engineers shared ideas and comments about projects. This can be supplemented with the printed materials in the collection as many of the authors also appear in the correspondence. Other topics covered in the letterpress copybooks include business reports (specifically the report of the president and directors of the Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad), records of people and companies involved in projects, pasted in engineering sketches, engineering specifications and notes, travel expenses and estimates, construction histories and progress, legal issues with family estates, tax information, Colorado Railroad, payment certificate schedules, St. Paul Railroad, personal correspondence, title guarantees, Hudson River Tunnel, financial matters, real estate matters, insurance information, sketches and drawings, supply lists, cost estimates, the Memorial Bridge, Coffin Valve Company, engineering expenses, engineering calculations, payroll notes for Kingston Water Supply, proposals, account information, Hutton Park, reservoirs, contract drafts, French Society of Civil Engineers, inspection results (specifically Piedmont Bridge), land descriptions, damage reports, Morse Bridge, Illinois Central Railroad, North Sea Canal, moveable dams, iron works, site histories, Potomac Lock and Dock Company, Kanawha River canal (lock quantities, specifications, payroll information), Pennsylvania Canal, and bills for services.
Series 2, Professional Correspondence, 1861-1901, consists of correspondence that relates to Hutton's architectural and engineering projects. This series is further subdivided into two subseries: Project Correspondence and General Correspondence. Subseries 1, Project Correspondence, 1876-1899, correspondence is divided by project and arranged alphabetically. Subseries 2, General Correspondence, 1861-1901, is arranged chronologically. Both series contain handwritten and typed letters. Some letters are on letterpress copybook pages and are most likely copies. Some materials are in French and Spanish. Special note should be made that this series does not contain all of the professional correspondence in the collection. Some correspondence has been separated according to project and placed in Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965, in order to make it easier for researchers to access materials related to those subjects.
Subseries 1, professional correspondence topics include comparisons between construction projects (specifically comparisons of the Kanawha River Canal to other canals), supply lists, location recommendations, sketches, construction plans and modifications, bills for supplies and works, leaks in the gates, cost estimates, Brooklyn Water Supply, use of lake storage (Ramapo Water Supply), water supply to states and counties, damages to water supply pipes, estimates of water quantities, responses to construction reports, legal issues related to projects, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, and payment for services.
Subseries 2, general correspondence topics include employment opportunities, committee meetings and elections, land surveys, sketches, engineering plans and ideas, work on projects, dismissal from projects, notes on supplies, Washington Aqueduct, construction progress, land purchases, Civil War, Jones Falls, cost of water pumps, steam drills, lots divisions and prices, repairs, report of the engineering bureau, tidewater connection at Annapolis, bridge construction, construction costs, statement of vessels that entered and cleared Baltimore, technical questions from colleagues, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, supply costs, letters of introduction, requests for reference, changes to plans and designs, survey reports, St. Andrew's lot, Canal Coal Company, publication process, American Society of Civil Engineers and its members, responses to project inquiries, Graving Dock gross revenue, job offers, specifications, trade figures, contracts, water levels, appointment dates and times, moveable dams, proposals for membership, salaries, Piedmont Coal Lands, maps, land profiles, Washington Bridge, board payments, Nicaragua Canal, Grant Coal Company, statistics, engineering notes, Hartford Bridge, water pressures, coal deposits, Colorado Coal, pipe lines, reservoirs, boat costs for canals, floods, bridges, letters of resignation, engines, Ruxton Viaduct, Colorado and Midland Railroad, Morse Bridge, share values, railroad locations, membership invitations, call for submissions, structural tests, record of accounts for room and board, appointments, water rights (Putnam County), publications, blueprints, visitation programs, cotton compresses, street trenches, pressures in dams, level tests, Portland Transportation bureau, trade information, concrete steel, Chicago drainage canal, ship canals, Augusta Cotton and Compress Company, Sooysmith case, Consolidated Gas Company, masonry, book binding, Columbia Railway Company, jetties, land grades, Chesapeake and Delaware canal, water wheels, pneumatic lock, tunnel arches, rifton power, Hutton's health, elevators, Brooklyn Bridge Terminals, girder weights, legal issues and their results, rating table for the Potomac, land profiles, transmission lines, transformers, water turbines, and water power on the Potomac River.
Correspondents for this series include the following: Captain Montgomery C. Meigs, Captain T.W. Symons, William Bryan, Ernest Flagg, John Hurd, Jake Wolfe, J.C. Saunders, J.H. Dolph, Charles J. Allen, G.H. Mendell, Virgil S. Bogue, B.A. Mounnerlyn, Edward Burr, H.G. Prout, R. William, H. Dodge, C.R. Suter, M. Mink, W.R. King, John Lyons, Alex Brown and Sons, John G. Butler, D. Condon, Bernard Carter, R.P. McCormick, D.R. Magruder, Andrew Banks, Isaac Solomon, C.J. Mayer, C.W. Kern, John Herring, James S. Mackie, D.R. Magunde, D. Rittaguide, R.S. Stevens, J.L. Raudolph (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), J.M. Lane, W.D. Stuart, W.G.P. Palmer (Committee Church of the Ascension), C. Crozet, General W. Hughes, V.R. Maus, J.M. Hood (Western Maryland Railroad Company), Ernest Pontzen, M. Haus, William F. Craighill, Harry Hutton, John W. Pearce, Reverend James A. Harrald, William Watson, A.L. Rives, Thomas Monro, A.F. Croswan (Commander United States Navy), H.R. Garden, William McAlpine, James Forrest, Wm. Bloomsfield, Daniel Ammen, Linel Wells, A. and Otto Sibeth, Alfred Noble, Clemens Hershel, Sidney Warner, E.H. de Rheville, Theodore Cooper, William Findlay Shunk, Lewis S. Wolfe, Rufus Mead, Theodore F. Taylor, John Bogart, J. Whaler, B. Williamson, Colonel F.V. Greene, Robert H. Sayre (Lehigh Valley Railroad Company), Charles W. Pussey, Louis Q. Rissel, V.C. Bogue, H.C. Eckenberger, Melville E.G. Leston, Edwin Parson, Rudolph Hering, R.S. Hale, F.M. Turner, Thosl Martindale, Justus C. Strawbridge, William M. Ayresm, R.L. Austin, A.M. Miller, P. Livingston Dunn, T.J. Cleaver, C.S. Dutton, H.A. Carson, William Bainbridge Jaudon, H.A. Presset, Thomas H. McCann, Russel Sturgis, H.G. Prout, Alexis H. French, John K. Cowen, F.W. Williams, J. Waldorf, B.H. Byrant, B.H. Jones, M.H. Rogers, J.W. Ogden, General W. Cashing, William Longhudge, A.J. Cameron, T.L. Patterson, J.J. Hagerman, H. Wigglesworth, Charles B. Rowland, E. Bantz, W.G. Lathrop, Clarence King, George Rowland, George A. Tibbals (Continental Iron Works), George N. Vanderbilt, Eugene C. Lewis, F.P. Burt, Colonel John C. Clarke, Lieutenant Thomas Turtle, W.S.M. Scott, E. Bates Dorsey, Bernard Carter, George M. Shriver (Baltimore and Ohio Railroad), Russel Sturgis, Macmillan Publishing, James Abernethy, B. Baker, J.G.W. Fynje, A. Mallet, Jean Hersuy, L.F. Vernon Horcourt, Robert Lilley, A.J. Johnson, F.M. Colby, Henry D. Loney, A.S. Cameron, James A. Harrald, William Watson, John B. Lervis, A.L. Rives, Edwin F. Bidell, Frank H. Stockett, E. McMahon, C.F. Elgin, Enrique Budge, G. Clayton Gardiner, Dwight Porter, William A. Chapman, T.E. Sickels, Theodore Cooper, C.J. Warner, Institution of Civil Engineers, Robert Gordon, United States Coast of Geodetic Survey Office, C.P. Pattun, J.N. Putnam, Sidney B. Warner, H.D. Fisher, Union Pacific Railway Company, Lewis S. Wolle, George E. Waring Junior, The American Exhibition, G.F. Swain, American Society of Civil Engineers, N.H. Whitten, U.S. Engineer Office, Government Works Committee, J.J. Hagerman, D. Jackson, Sterling Iron and Railway Company, E.P. Alexander, E. Williamson, Central Railway Company of New Jersey, William A. Underwood, F. Collingwood, James Dun (Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad Company), Henry F. Kilburn, Louis A. Bissell, Virgil G. Boque, H.C. Eckenberger, Melville Egleston, Charles Parson, George Swain, Continental Iron Works, Rudolph Hering, J.B. Gordon, Mayor's Office (Baltimore), Harry Robinson, Pennsylvania Railway Company, W.H. Gahagan, L. Luiggi, B.H. Bryant, T.J. Cleaver (Chesapeake and Delaware Canal Company), H.A. Carson, H.A. Presset (Department of the Interior, United States Geological Survey), John K. Cowen, Vernon H. Brown, J. Waldorf, B.H. Bryant, L.F. Root, P.W. White, Metropolitan Railroad Company, Charles F. Mayer (Consolidated Coal Company, Cumberland and Pennsylvania Railroad Company), J.M. Lane (Western Maryland Railroad), Dr. R.S. Stewart (Annapolis and Elk Ridge Railroad), Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad (John Lyons, John G. Butler, D. Candon, R.P. McCormick, Andrew Banks), Thomas F. Rowland, J.A. Bensel, Walton Aims, S.D. Coykendall, H.C. Rogers, John F. Ward, T.B. Jewell, H.A. Pressey, C.S. Armstrong, J. Nennett, V.G. Bague.
Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942, contains correspondence with immediate and extended family, specifically the heirs to the Benjamin H. Hutton and Joseph Hutton estates and Adele Gorman. Correspondence is primarily arranged chronologically, but some files have been divided based on subject or author (the Deer Park and Adele Gorman files), or by form (the Telegrams, and Cablegrams file). Special note is made of the posthumous correspondence file, which includes correspondence both relating to Hutton's death and correspondence that was written by family members after the years of his death. The series contains both hand written and typed letters. Some correspondence is in French. The correspondence demonstrates his relationship with his children specifically Elizabeth (Bessie) Hutton, and illuminates his role in his family. This series also provides details about nineteenth century upper class society and activities. Special note should be made that this folder does not contain all of the personal correspondence contained in the collection. Some correspondence has been separated according to recipient, or subject in order to make researching these recipients or subjects easier.
Series 3 correspondence topics include: estate payments, distribution of assets, funds transfers, estate lines, conflicts with tenants, sketches, lot maintenance, real estate sales, deeds, real estate sales negotiations, congratulations wishes on new babies, family illnesses, family affairs and travels, traveling directions, personal investments, invitations for social occasions, family debts, professional interests, professional and personal appointments, family issues, requests for money, sketches, advice to children (specifically Frank Hutton), life insurance, books, letters of introduction, legal issues, funeral expenses, charity donations, advertisements, minutes from professional organizations, army enlistment, deaths of friends and family, recipes, estimates of personal expenses, renovations, stock certificates (Great Northern Railway Company, New York), food, social activities, the weather, marriages, real estate and construction plans, and loan agreements.
Correspondents include the following: Frank Hutton, Thomas B. Brookes, J.L. Marcauley, C.M. Matthews, Edward J. Hancy, John M. Wilson, H.A. Carson, William H. Wiley (of John Wiley and Sons Scientific Publishers, New York), Georgina Hutton, Pierre and Jane Casson, George McNaughlin, Henrietta Hutton, Aaron Pennington Whitehead, J.B. Wheeler, B. Williamson, Robert De Forest, Elizabeth (Bessie) Hutton, Grace Beukard, J.C. Saunders, Mary Hutton, William J. Pennington, C.S. Hurd, Henry C. Cooper, Henry J. Segers, S.F. Miller, Annie Theller, Alfred Noble, Maria Burton, Joseph Hobson, E. Lennon, F. Hulberg, Charles Gordon Hutton, Edward C. Ebert, A. William Lewin, E.R. Dunn, William P. Craighill, Theodore Cooper, P.I. Chapelle, Anita McAlpine, Clarence King, Victoria Raymond, and Adele Gorman.
Series 4, Personal Materials, 1835-1946, contains documentation about Hutton's personal finances, role as executor of the Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Annie Theller, and Countess H. De Moltke-Hvitfeldt estates, Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary Hutton (daughter), Frank Hutton, John Caulfield (son-in-law), and B.F. and C.H. Hutton. The series has been divided into four subseries: Financial Records, 1876-1901, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, Other Huttons, 1876-1936, and Personal Material, 1878-1946. Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, contains correspondence relating to specific family estates and family members. This correspondence was separated from Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942, to make it easier for researchers to access all records relating to the family estates. This series includes hand written, typed, and printed materials. Some materials are in French. All material dated after 1901 has been added to the collection by other creators such as Hutton's wife and children.
Subseries 1, Financial Records, 1876-1901, includes account books, account records, correspondence related to bank accounts, bank statements, financial notes, bills and proofs of payment, rent receipts, tax bills (New York, Flatbush, Montgomery County), checks, money exchanges, receipts for tax payments, real estate receipts, stock and bond certificates, loan agreements, executor accounts, rebate calculation sheet, and tax and insurance payments.
Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921, includes property maps and information (rent, mortgage costs, deeds), correspondence, notes on estate distribution, estate assets, value of estate and estate payments, account records, loan agreements, receipts, proof of payments, checks, financial records, legal documents, insurance documents, tax bills, auction receipts, and wills relating to the estates of Benjamin H. Hutton, Joseph Hutton, Countess H. de Moltke-Hivtfeldt, Annie Theller, and William R. Hutton. Also included are correspondence, property maps and information, and deeds and mortgages on Hutton properties.
Subseries 2, the estate and real estate records correspondence topics include: Virginia state building codes, construction costs, construction notices, purchasing offers for property, real estate prices, receipts of payments, property lines, real estate purchases and sales, real estate sales negotiations, deeds insurance estimates and costs, loan costs, property estimates, renovation costs, mortgages, property damages and repairs, property tax payments, insurance rates and payments, rent payments, telephone installation, building permits, rental agreements, reports on property condition, contracts of sale, conflicts with tenants, changes of address, deeds, distribution of estate monies, details about the Countess' illness, estate arrangements, changes of address, problems arising out of estate distribution, payment of debts, will details, selling of mortgage shares, accounts, estate settlement, money cables and transfers, dealings with lawyers, rent on Hutton Park property, legal and accounting fees, power of attorney transfer, investments, property security, land appraisals, lists of assets, legacy taxes, mortgages transfers, property management, Flatbush property, property rent and values, and physicians bills.
Correspondents include the following: A.C. Weeks, Walter I. Green, John D. Probsh, A.G. Darwin, Thomas H. McCann, Allan Farguhar, Thomas Dawson, Potter and Crandall Real Estate and Insurance Brokers, George C. Tilyou, H.D. Olephant, F. Winston, Richard E. Calbraith, Frank P. Martin, Henry DeForest, Henry C. Cooper, Metropolitan Telephone and Telegraph Company, John Ecker, C.K. Avevill, Georgina Hutton, Edward J. Hancy, Robert Graham, W.M. Bennett, Willis E. Merriman, Nathan L. Miller, Harry Hutton, Marquise de Portes (Adele Gorman), Annie Theller, Samuel L. Theller, Mrs. R. Locke, Frank Z. Adams, John Palmer (Secretary of State, New York), J.T. Cammeyer, Frank P. Martin, Florence Theller, Francis H. Seger, Henry C. Cooper, D.W.G. Cammeyer, Campbell W. Adams, Jane Casson, Elizabeth Hutton, Rene de Portes, H.G. Atkins, Grace Beukard, Aaron Pennington Muikhead, J.E. Delapalme, T.H. Powers, Egerton L. Winthrop Junior, George B. Glover, William Jay and Robert W. Candler, B. Williamson, J.E. Knaff, Cornelius C. Vermeule, S.V. Hayden, Charles G. Landon[?], H.A. Hurlbert, F.A. Black, John L. Calwalder, the Health Department of New York, A.G. Darwin, William Laue, Frederick Frelinghuysen, Charles S. Brown, Henrietta Hutton, Edward Gelon.
Subseries 3, Other Huttons, 1874-1936, includes professional drawings and proposals, checks, insurance information, correspondence, tax information, medical information, tax bills, relating to Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary Hutton (daughter), Henry and Harry Hutton, Frank Hutton (son), John Caulfield (son-in-law), B.F. Hutton, and C.H. Hutton.
Subseries 4, Personal Materials, 1878-1946, contains handwritten property notes, school notes, sermons, travel documents, menus, Christmas cards, jewelry box, postal guide, typed religious materials and flyers.
Series 5, Diaries, 1866-1901, contains twenty nine diary books that document both Hutton's personal and professional life. These diaries provide not only a record of Hutton's life, but were also used by Hutton himself as a reference tool. When working on projects he would refer to notes and observations he made in his diary (as evidenced by notes made in his diaries). The first pages of the diaries often list his height, weight and clothing sizes as they varied from year to year. A researcher could probably use the cashbooks (see Series 7) and the diaries in conjunction as both detail the purchases made by Hutton. Many of the diaries also include a short record of accounts in the back. The diaries are arranged chronologically.
Topics found in the diaries include short form accounts of daily activities and appointments, records of the weather, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, construction progress on projects, steam pumps, sketches and calculations, extension of Washington railroads, cost of food, work supplies, travel costs, costs of goods and food, work deadlines, home renovations, visits to family, cash accounts, accounts of household duties, produce on Woodlands property, records of deaths, debts owed, account of clearing Woodlands property, church visits, Hancock and Tonoloway Aqueduct, canals, Drum Point Railroad, Montgomery C. Meigs, Washington Aqueduct, Annapolis Water Works, telegram costs, wages for Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, William Craighill, Morris Canal, Annapolis Railroad and Canal, professional duties (inspections), Kanawha River Canal, travel schedules, professional expenses, cash received from Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, John's Dam, cathedral construction (St. Patricks?), Piedmont Bridge, Cumberland, account of farm property belonging to Major Campbell Bruns, Cunard Pier, Marquise de Portes, rent costs, Baltimore Canal, Kingston Water Supply, Croton Orange Estate, Pierre Casson, Hudson River Tunnel, Washington/Harlem River Bridge, entertainment costs, Greenwood cemetery, train schedule, notes on illness, real estate sales, Hutton Park, Benjamin H. Hutton estate and heirs, estimates, accounts of correspondence received and sent, Central Railroad, rent on Orange properties, addresses, contracts and building supplies for projects, personal finances, Joseph Hutton property on Vanderbilt Avenue, New York, amounts paid and received, medical appointments, Ramapo Water Company, drawing progress of maps and diagrams, Harbor Board (New York), property repairs, inspection and test reports, reservoirs, lists of birthdays, Boston Tunnel, family financial issues, tax payments, and prayers.
Series 6, Notebooks, 1860-1900, document the engineering and architectural projects worked on by Hutton. The series has been divided into three subseries: Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899; Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886; and Subseries 3, Notes, 1863-1900. Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899, contains sixteen field notebooks used by Hutton. Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886, contains seven notebooks. Subseries three, Notes, 1863-1900, contains four documents.
Some notebooks correspond to specific projects such as the Kanawha River Canal (lockgate and Phoenix Waterline), Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, Buffalo Reservoir, Potomac Lock and Dock Company, Northern Adirondack Railroad account, Washington Aqueduct, Little Rock Bridge, Wilson-Adam Dock, Croten Brick Works, Hutton Park, Centennial Iron Works, Cumberland Canal, Williamsport Aqueduct, Catoctin Aqueduct, Alexandria Canal, Miller's Saw Mill, Seneca Dam, Union Tunnel, Cumberland Waterworks, Victoria Bridge, Welland Canal, North Sea Canal, Ramapo Water Company, Annapolis Water Company, Antietam Aqueduct, Interoceanic Canal, San Quentin Canal, Suez Canal, Amsterdam Canal, Harlem Bulkhead, Morris Canal, Blue Lake Canal, and Nicaragua Canal.
These notebooks should be used in conjunction with the other materials in the collection related to professional projects, as they often provide more detailed accounts of the construction and land surveys. Some of the notebooks contain entries from several different sources. The notebooks were probably shared among the engineers working on these projects. The notebooks also contain looseleaf ephemera such as hand written calculations, newspaper clippings, and blueprints. Languages found in this series are English and French.
Notebook topics include construction projects, supply needs, costs for labor, sketches (Woodland Mills, landscapes, dams, railway cars, Noland Tunnel), costs of crops, survey measurements, cost of livestock, aqueducts, inspections, canal bridges, seed prices, dams, measurements, coffer dam, canal maintenance, worker salaries, calculations, towpath sketches and measurements, shipping rates, worker accidents, water and coal used, geometrical sketches (Washington Aqueduct), locks, damage reports, interactions with other engineers (William Reading), coal shipments on the canal, travel expenses, land survey notes, drafts for correspondence, William Craighill, Victoria docks, lists of personal supplies used, construction time estimates, surveying expenses, telegram costs, sand pump, canal from Sherling to Tuxedo Bay, analysis of several artificial lakes and reservoirs, distances of reservoirs to main pipes, calculations for the Austin Wheel, engine construction, bridges, gauging water depth, results and observations of tests and performance, problems with construction, to-do lists, cost of land surrounding towpaths, Fawcett's Lock, Tarman's Lock, comparison of costs in transporting coal by water and by rail, inspection notes, iron work, drainages, leaks, cost of supplies, watergates, harbor ferries, railroad station distances, flood protection, Panama Canal via the Nicaraguan route, cost of jetties, water levels, pressure of steam, boilers, steam and water cycle, water depth, cement, Great Falls, Virginia, waterflow, soundings, time of floats, flow of currents, rain fall measurements, tunnel measurements, cost of trenching San Francisco water supply, record of livestock, cost of food, rates of sawing woods and mills, preliminary railroad line measurements, profile of final line, and railroad line profiles.
Series 7, Cash Books, 1856-1899, contains seven cashbooks which list prices for personal items purchased by Hutton. Topics include groceries, church dues, clothes, hygiene products, cigars, some short journal entries about his work (Williamstown), concerts, dinners, family addresses, cakes, meals, cars, stamps, office supplies (pencils and papers), valentines, glasses, gloves, fabric, medicine, needles, diapers, tobacco, shoes (adult and childrens), travel expenses, telegrams, candles, newspapers, liquor, coal oil, jewelry, allowances given to family members, bank deposits, monies paid and received, taxes, subscriptions, tailoring costs, deposits and payments into estate trusts, and notes about payments to Benjamin H. Hutton heirs. The cashbooks also contain some personal loose leaf ephemera such as prayers, sketches, and engineering notes collected by Hutton.
Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965, contains documents about engineering and architectural projects throughout Hutton's career, including information about the professional organizations and the legal issues in which he was involved. This series has been divided into eight subseries based on project, document form, and document subject. Some materials are in French and Italian.
Series 8, Professional Projects, also includes correspondence related to specific projects, primarily the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, the Hudson River Tunnel, the Washington/Harlem River Bridge, and the Georgetown Incline.
Topics include construction and repair to the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, engineering and use of Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, worker contracts, supply and labor purchases, design plans and proposals, construction and repair costs, supply notes and costs of supplies, water pressure and power, shipping materials and routes (specifically the shipping of coal), inspections and their findings, condition of canal dam and locks, water supply, drainage, sketches, board proceedings, business meetings, deeds, cost comparisons to other shipping methods, hiring processes, wages, cost estimates, Hutton's consulting fees, measurements and calculations, funding issues, worker conflicts, negotiations with municipal governments, payment schedules, bills for services, air pressure in Hudson River Tunnel, permission for construction, specifications, mortality rate among workers on the Hudson River Tunnel, construction reports, outlet incline, proposals for construction, letters of introduction, railroad versus water for trade, controversy with Tiersey, construction contracts, construction schedules, construction issues, construction progress, construction damage, basis for estimates, supply requests, internal politics, changes to construction plans, contract and price adjustments, issues with suppliers, construction delays, work permits, bills, worker issues, engineering notes, construction excavations, expenses, construction instructions, Union Bridge Company, lighting installations, construction processes, hiring practices, electrical conductors, water proofing, hydraulics, cement, concrete, payment of contributors, processes of approval for construction, meeting dates of the Harlem River Bridge Commission, and contract restrictions.
Correspondents include the following: W.W.M. Kaig, Henry Dodge, E. Mulvany, John Shay, James Clarke, H.D. Whitcomb, Horace Benton, J. Rellan, J.R. Maus, W.E. Merrill, A.P. Gorman, J.H. Staats, Vernon H. Brown, Charles H. Fisher (New York Central and Hudson River Railway Company), B. Baker, John Fowler, Benjamin and John Dos Passos, Charles B. Colby, Charles B. Brush, S. Pearson, Stanford White, Horace E. Golding, R.H. Smith, Daniel Lord, A. Fteley, Herbert Hinds, J.R. Bartlett, D.M. Hirsch, M.H. Bartholomew, Thomas O. Driscoll, W.E. Porter, Thomas F. Rowland, George Edward Harding, R.H. Dames, William Watson, James B. Eads, J.D. Bright, H. Aston, Charles Suley, A.M. Maynard, W.R. Henton, G. Geddes, H.P. Gilbut, Malcolm W. Niver (Secretary of the Harlem River Bridge Commission), J.D. Patterson, George Devin (Assistant Engineer Washington/ Harlem River Bridge), J.B. Wheeler, John Bogart, Charles Burns, J. McClellon, Rob Bassee, B. Williamson, Theodore Cooper, Lewis Cass Ledyard, R.M. Hunt, John Cooper, Henry Wilson, A.A. Caille, Myles Tierney, W. Pentzen, L.B. Cantfield, George Q. Grumstaid Junior, M.J. Funton, George Pierce, W.O. Fayerweather, Noah S. Belthen, Herbert Steward, W.M. Habirsham.
Subseries 1, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1965, consists of plans, blueprints, land profiles, drawings, boat rates, contract forms, order forms, descriptions of the canal, design information, engineering data, sketches, cost estimates, land titles, microfilm, business papers, supply bills, patent bills, news clippings, reports, specifications, stockholder's reports, receipts, water leases, printed materials, and correspondence.
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal project was started in 1828 and completed twenty two years later in 1850. The canal's main objective was to connect Georgetown to the coal banks above Cumberland, Maryland, providing a short and cheap trade route between the eastern and western United States. It was also hoped that the canal would provide greater communication and travel between these two regions. Plagued by natural disasters, and construction setbacks, the canal was never completed in time to be useful and became obsolete shortly after its completion. Canal trade was eventually put out of business by the increase of railroads. Although it was an important development in engineering at its inception, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal is no longer in use and has become what locals affectionately refer to as "the old ditch." The canal was designated a National Historical Park in 1971 and consists of 184.5 miles of hiking and biking trails.
Subseries 2, Hudson River Tunnel, 1887-1901, consists of agreements for construction, certificates, contracts, and cost estimates, construction reports, engineering notebooks, engineering notes, sketches, land profiles, maps, progress profiles, plans, proposals, printed material, statements of expenses, and correspondence.
The Hudson River Tunnel project was started in 1874, and the final tubes were opened in 1910 after several construction setbacks. The tunnel connects Weehawken, New Jersey and Pennsylvania Station in Manhattan, New York City. Today the Hudson River Tunnel, known as the North River Tunnels is used by Amtrak's Northeast Corridor and New Jersey Transit rail lines.
Subseries 3, Harlem River Bridge, 1878-1982, consists of blueprints, printed materials, photographs, engineer's estimates, schedules, costs, reports, proposals, contracts, specifications, and correspondence.
The Harlem River Bridge project was started in 1885 and was completed in 1889. It spans the Harlem River in New York City, New York and connects the Washington Heights section of Manhattan with the Bronx. It was later named and is still known as the Washington Bridge and has been adapted over time to carry highway traffic. These adaptations have allowed the bridge to remain in use today.
Subseries 4, Other Projects, 1858-1832, consists of drawings, maps, blueprints, plans, proposals, cost estimates, bills, correspondence, sketches, land profiles, dimensions, engineering notes, account records, photostats, supply lists, calculations, legal documents, surveys, inspection reports, financial data, and measurements on architectural and engineering projects. Highlights of this subseries include: Western Maryland Railroad, Washington Aqueduct, Panama Canal, Ramapo Water Company, Piedmont Bridge, Northern Adirondack Railroad, Columbia Railroad, Morris Canal, Pittsfield and Williamstown Railroad, Suez Canal, St. Gothard Canal, Tansa Dam, Colorado Midland Railroad Company, Memorial Bridge, Mersey Tunnel, Little Rock Bridge, Kingston Water Supply, Kanawha River Canal, Florida Ship Canal, East Jersey Water Company, Consolidated Coal Company, Dismal Swamp Canal, Boston and Baltimore Tunnels, St. Patrick's Cathedral, Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, Annapolis Water Company, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad Company, and the Baltimore Beltline.
Subseries 5, Unidentified Project Files, 1872-1900, consists of bills of sale, engineering forms and regulations, cement test results and methods, census bulletin, contracts, cost estimates, correspondence, notes on publications, engineering data and notes, drawings, surveys, sketches, payrolls, photographs, and reports.
Subseries 6, Specifications, 1870-1900, consists of documents related to some of Hutton's projects, including specifications for bridges, reservoirs, canals, viaducts, docks, buildings, water works, and tunnels. Some specifications are more general, and some are blank proposal/specification forms. There are also proposals for estimates and a "call" or advertisement to contractors to bid on certain projects. Many of the specifications deal with projects in New York State, but projects in Pennsylvania, the City of Baltimore, and Europe are represented. The materials are arranged alphabetically by project name. There is one folder of documentation for the Potomac River Bridge (Arlington Memorial Bridge) in Washington, D.C. The Arlington Memorial Bridge was part of the 1901 McMillan Commission's plan for restoring Pierre (Peter) Charles L'Enfant's original plan for the capital. Two decades passed before construction was initiated by the architectural firm McKim, Mead, and White. The documentation for the Memorial Bridge consists of calculations and monetary figures for materials such as granite.
Subseries 7, Legal Documents, 1886, contains documents related to a patent infringement suit for moveable dams involving Alfred Pasqueau vs. the United States. This file contains both a printed version of the case and a handwritten statement from Hutton.
Subseries 8, Professional Organizations, 1870-1902, contains documents related to professional organizations where Hutton held membership. Specific organizations represented are American Institute of Architects, American Society of Civil Engineers, Institution of Civil Engineers, Boston Society of Civil Engineers, Societe des Ingenieurs Civils de France, Librarie Polytechnique, American Agency of "Engineering" in London, Imperial Institute, League of Associated Engineers, Railroad Corporation, American Institute of Mining Engineers, and the Century Association. Material in the subseries includes correspondence, candidates for membership, membership payments, membership lists, meeting minutes, schedule of terms, professional practices, charges, articles of association, invitations for membership, and election notes. Some materials are in French.
Series 9, Printed Materials, 1850-1913, contains a variety of printed materials relating to engineering and architectural projects written by Hutton and fellow engineers. This series can be used to examine not only professional developments of the period and responses to those developments, but also to track how ideas were transferred between engineers across countries and continents. This series should be used in conjunction with the professional correspondence found in this collection, as many of the authors also appear there. Some materials are in French, German, Spanish, and Italian.
Subseries 1, Printed Materials by Hutton, 1852-1900, includes printed papers on the Missouri flood wave, the Ravine du Sud, the Potomac waterfront, the Colorado midlands, and the application of water supply machinery.
Subseries 2, Printed Materials by Others, 1826-1913, includes printed materials on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canals, Tehuantec Ship Railway, Interoceanic canals and railways, jetties, Nicaragua Canal, uses of cements, mortars, concretes, steam power, harbors, Niagara Falls, Kanawha River canal, Mississippi River, Hudson River Bridge, sewage disposal, Washington Aqueduct, specifications, construction progress reports, hydraulic experiments, water supply, drainage, road surfacing, sea walls, water-cooling apparatus, pollution reports, bridges, pipes, channels, reservoirs, irrigation, water power, and sewers.
Subseries 2 contains an issue of The North American Review in which Hutton has specifically highlighted an article entitled, "The Inter-Oceanic Canal." Please see the container list for names of authors.
Subseries 3, Printed Materials with No Author, 1852-1903, includes printed materials on harbor reports, Annapolis Water Company, Ramapo Water Company, water departments and boards, maps, engineer's reports, sea walls, preservation of structures, annual reports, Coal and Iron Railway Company, sewers, Baltimore and Drum Point Railroad, contract specifications, proposals, social club life, Croton Water Supply, law suits, water supplies, moveable dams, reservoirs, East River Bridge, Eastern Canal, water filtration, Kingston New Water Supply, water pipes, locks, docks, contracts, construction reports, Croton Water Supply, and surveys. Also included are issues of journals such as Le Correspondant, Circular of the Office of Chief Engineers, The Club, VIII Congres International de Navigation, Journal of the Association of Engineering Studies, and Journal of the Franklin Institute.
Subseries 4, Newspaper, Journals and Magazine Clippings, 1873-1900, contains clippings from a variety of newspapers such as Scientific American, andRailroad Gazette. Subjects included are the Union Tunnel opening in Baltimore, Drum Point Railroad, railroad company conflicts, Washington/Harlem River Bridge, Metropolitan Railroad, Western Maryland Railroad, crop prospects, lumber trade, North Avenue Bridge, Nicaraguan Canal, harbors, river improvements, reactions to engineering projects, Belt tunnel, city transit, Washington, D.C. flood in 1880, tunnel shields, Springfield Bridge, railroad patents, Panama Canal, jetties, Hudson Tunnel, steel boilers, composition and use of cement, and the Brooklyn Bridge.
Subseries 5, Oversized Printed Materials, 1889-1892, contains large printed materials related to the Washington Aqueduct, General Post Office Building, subway arches, cornices, Warwick's Castle, Neuschwanstein Castle, Renaissance paintings, botanical drawings, school buildings, church architecture, the Hospital for the Insane of the Army and Navy and the District of Columbia, the Panama Canal, Morningside Park, and the Mississippi Jetties. Also includes engravings of Hutton, T.N. Talfound, and F. Jeffrey and photographs of Montgomery C. Meigs, and Hutton. Some materials are in German and French.
1. Ward, George Washington, "The Early Development of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Project," Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science Series XVII, no. 9-11 (1899): 8.
2. Ibid., 88.
3. Ibid., 55.
4. Ibid., 90.
5. Sanderlin, Walter S., "The Great National Project: A History of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal," Johns Hopkins University Studies in Historical and Political Science Series LXIV, no. 1 (1946): 21.
6. Ibid., 282.
7. Gies, Joseph, Adventure Underground (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday and Company Inc., 1962): 134.
8. Ibid., 131-132.
9. Ibid., 135-136.
10. Ibid., 145.
The collection is arranged into ten series.
Series 1, Letterpress Copybooks, 1858-1901
Series 2, Professional Correspondence, 1861-1901
Subseries 1, Project Correspondence, 1876-1899
Subseries 2, General Correspondence, 1861-1901
Series 3, Personal Correspondence, 1850-1942
Series 4, Personal Materials, 1835-1946
Subseries 1, Financial Records, 1876-1901
Subseries 2, Estate and Real Estate Records, 1835-1921
Subseries 3, Other Huttons, 1874-1936
Subseries 4, Personal Materials, 1878-1946
Series 5, Diaries, 1866-1901
Series 6, Notebooks, 1860-1900
Subseries 1, Engineering and Survey Field Notes, 1860-1899
Subseries 2, Notebooks, 1871-1886
Subseries 3, Notes, 1863-1900
Series 7, Cashbooks, 1856-1899
Series 8, Professional Projects, 1830-1965
Subseries 1, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 1828-1965
Subseries 2, Hudson River Tunnel, 1887-1901
Subseries 3, Harlem River Bridge, 1878-1892
Subseries 4, Other Projects, 1858-1932
Subseries 5, Identified Project Files, 1872-1900
Subseries 6, Specifications, 1870-1900
Subseries 7, Legal Documents, 1886
Subseries 8, Professional Organizations, 1870-1902
Series 9, Printed Materials, 1826-1913
Subseries 1, Printed Materials by Hutton, 1852-1900
Subseries 2, Printed Materials by Others, 1826-1913
Subseries 3, Newspaper, Journals, and Magazine Clippings, 1855-1901
Not much is known about the history of William Rich Hutton outside of his role in architectural and engineering projects of the late 1800s and early 1900s. In many cases, he is spoken of only in reference to his projects, and the short biographies that have been written read more like a resume than a life story. Because of this lack of information, this note will focus on Hutton's professional accomplishments, but will attempt to make some comments on his personal life.
William Rich Hutton was born on March 21, 1826 in Washington, D.C., the eldest son of James Hutton (died 1843) and his wife, the former Salome Rich (1). He was educated at the Western Academy (Washington, D.C.) from 1837-1840 under George J. Abbot and then at Benjamin Hallowell's School in Alexandria, Virginia, where he received special training in mathematics, drawing, and surveying (2). Hutton began his professional career in California when he, along with his younger brother James, accompanied their uncle William Rich to work for the United States Army. His uncle was a paymaster for the army and Hutton became his clerk. They traveled around the new state paying the various platoons stationed there, but Hutton also occupied his time by drawing the landscapes and structures he saw in the settlements of Los Angeles, San Francisco, La Paz, Mazatlan, Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Pedro, San Diego, and Cape San Lucas (3). These drawings are now held by the Huntington Library in San Marino, California. Hutton held the position of clerk until the spring of 1849, and in July of that year he began working with Lieutenant Edward O.C. Ord and completed the first survey of Los Angeles and its surrounding pueblo lands and islands. Hutton continued surveying in California from 1850-1851. He was hired by William G. Dana to survey the Nipomo Ranch in San Luis Obispo County and also surveyed the ranches Santa Manuela and Huer-Huero, both owned by Francis Z. Branch. After his employment with Dana, he became the county surveyor for San Luis Obispo County, where he prepared the first survey and map of the region. He also continued to survey ranches for Captain John Wilson during this time. In August 1851, he resigned from his position as county surveyor and moved to Monterey where he worked as an assistant to Captain (later General) Henry W. Hallack, superintendent of the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine in Santa Clara County (4). He remained in this position until March, 1853 when he returned to Washington, D.C. by way of Mexico (5).
Hutton began his career as a civil engineer in Washington, D.C. He was first assigned to the position of assistant engineer on a survey of the projected Metropolitan Railroad in 1853, which was chartered to connect Washington, D.C. with the mainline of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. In 1855 he began his professional relationship with Montgomery C. Meigs when he was appointed to the position of assistant engineer on the Washington Aqueduct. He also served as division engineer on this project until construction was shut down in 1861 because of the outbreak of the Civil War. Fortunately for Hutton, the construction on the Aqueduct was resumed in 1862, and when Congress transferred the supervision of the aqueduct project from the War Department to the Department of the Interior, Hutton was made chief engineer. By the end of the Civil War, Hutton's reputation as a civil engineer was established (6).
During this decade Hutton also served as the chief engineer for the Annapolis Water Works (1866) and as chief engineer for one of his most famous projects, the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal (1869-1871). Although some historians minimize Hutton as just one of many engineers to work on the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, he did make one major contribution to its construction: the Georgetown Canal Incline. Perhaps the final effort of the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal company to compete with the emerging and fast expanding railroad, the Georgetown Incline was designed to allow canal boats to travel through the canal with low water levels and to alleviate canal congestion. Unfortunately, by the time the incline was completed use of the canal had decreased so significantly that it was no longer needed to help control traffic (7). Despite this, Hutton continued to work as a consulting engineer for the Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Company until 1881, when he was let go because of the dwindling fortunes of the company (7).
In the 1870s and 1880s Hutton was busy with several engineering projects. During 1871-1873, he was the chief engineer in the completion of the Western Maryland Railroad to Hagerstown and Williamsport (9). He also practiced as an architect with his brother, the prominent Baltimore architect Nathanial Henry Hutton, during the years 1873-1880. He relocated to New York in 1880, serving as chief engineer for the Washington Bridge in 1888 and 1889 and the Hudson River Tunnel from 1889 to 1891. In 1886, he became the consulting engineer for the New Croton Aqueduct and served in the same position for the Colorado Midland Railway between the years of 1886-1889 (10).
As his personal and professional correspondence shows, Hutton continued to work on various engineering and architectural projects until his death on December 11, 1901. In addition to these projects, he also invented the innovative system of locks and moveable dams used in the Kanawha River Canal. He was awarded the Diplome d'Honneur for this featat the Paris Exposition in 1878 (11). His correspondence also demonstrates how Hutton was respected within his professional community. These letters refer to the accuracy of his work, his willingness to help other colleagues and supply them with reference materials and information, and, in addition to all this, his politeness. It seems that these qualities defined not only his personality but also his ideology. In one of the cashbooks in the collection, dated 1899, a hand written note contains a religious parable of "The Straw." The phrase in this parable that speaks most to Hutton's work ethic, and to the spirit of inventors everywhere, is this: "Even so however lowly may be the act, however little opportunities we may have of assisting others, we may still do something. Let us beg to fulfil our duty in this regards by making ourselves useful to others by some little act of thoughtful charity..." (12). Hutton, in his dedication to civil engineering, seems to have lived up to this virtue, and in his work he changed the landscape of Washington, D.C. and New York.
The Fairy Godfather: Hutton's Personal History
His professional records reveal a man who was fiercely dedicated to his work. His obituary references his professional life more than his personal life (13). Despite his reputation in the professional engineering community, his personal records demonstrate that Hutton was also dedicated to his family and children. In 1855, he married Montgomery County native Mary Augusta Clopper (died 1915). Together they lived on her family's estate known as the Woodlands, and had five children: Frank C. Hutton, Mary Hutton, Elizabeth Hutton (later Caulfield), Rosa Hutton, and Annie Salome Hutton (14). It is at this estate that Hutton died and was buried. The personal letters to his wife found in the Woodlands Collection held at the Montgomery County Historical Society show a man in love and willing to take time from his work to write to his wife. His letters to his children show a similar interest and compassion. In the many letters found in this collection from his daughter Elizabeth (Bessie) one can see a father who is interested in not only his daughter's activities abroad, but also in her opinion. This interest also extends to his son Frank Hutton, as their correspondence shows Hutton offering his son advice on his own engineering projects.
Hutton also served as executor to many of his extended family's estates. Many letters show the conflicts that Hutton had to mediate and the dependence of his cousins on him for advice and money. Although his family was wealthy (his cousin was Benjamin H. Hutton whose daughters married into the court of Napoleon III), they were volatile, and his records seem to indicate that he served as a mediator for many of their disputes. In addition to this, as his nickname of Fairy Godfather suggests, Hutton was always willing to lend his family either financial or moral support when needed. Unfortunately, little other documentation concerning Hutton's personal life exists outside of this collection and the one held at the Montgomery County Historical Society.
1. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942).
2. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): ix.
3. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942). and Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): x-xi.
4. Waters, Willard O., "Introduction," California 1847-1852 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942).
5. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): xvii.
6. Waters, Willard O., "Memoir," Glances at California 1847-1853 (San Marino: The Huntington Library, 1942): xvii-xviii.
7. Skramstad, Harold, "The Georgetown Canal Incline," Technology and Culture, Vol. 10, no. 4 (Oct. 1969): 555.
8. Business Correspondence, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal, 22 February 1881, William R. Hutton Papers, 1830-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 27, folder number 29.
9. "William Rich Hutton," The Club: A Journal of Club Life for Men and Women,(July 1894):37
12. Cashbook, 1899, William R. Hutton Papers, 1830-1965, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number 23, folder number 5.
13. The Woodlands Collection, Montgomery County Historical Society.
Materials in the Archives Center
The Montgomery C. Meigs Papers, 1870-1890, (AC0987). Contains materials relating to the construction of the Washington Aqueduct including a book of drawings illustrating reservoirs, tunnels, culverts, and other structural elements, a Government Senate Document relating to construction progress, scrapbooks created by Meigs that include newspaper clippings about the Washington Aqueduct project, water supply, engineering projects, building construction, architecture and other subjects. Collection is currently unprocessed, but is available for research.
Materials in Other Organizations:
The William Rich Hutton Papers, 1840-1961, are located at the Huntington Library in California (see http://catalog.huntington.org).
The collection contains 95 drawings, 13 letters, and 39 facsimile copies of letters and manuscripts. The illustrative material includes both watercolor and pencil drawings of California (including Los Angeles, Monterey, San Francisco, the New Almaden Quicksilver Mine, and the California missions), Baja California, Mexico, and Peru. There are also five pieces in the collection related to the author María Amparo Ruiz de Burton. In 1942, the Huntington Library published Glances at California 1847--853: Diaries and Letters of William Rich Hutton, Surveyor and California 1847--852: Drawings by William Rich Hutton.
The Hutton family papers are located at the Montgomery County Historical Society, Sween Library (see http://www.montgomeryhistory.org/sites/default/files/Family_Files.pdf).
The collection contains account books from the Woodlands estate, recipe books, livestock records, records of Mary Augusta Hutton (wife), Mary and Rose Hutton (daughters), newspaper clippings (including his obituary), correspondence, record books, deeds, bills and receipts, engineering papers, religious momentos (funeral service cards), and insurance papers.
The collection was donated by Mr. and Mrs. James J. Madine, a relative of Hutton's and last owners of the Woodlands estate; the Department of Forests and Parks, Maryland; Louis Fischer; and Mr. and Mrs. Mayo S. Stuntz, 1965-1966, 1974.
The collection is open for research. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
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.
Alland, Alexander, Sr. (Alexander Landschaft), 1902-1989 Search this
Kaslov, Steve, ca. 1888-1949 (King of the Red Bandanna Romany Gypsies ) Search this
Box 4, Folder 19
Scope and Contents note:
Tent set up in backyard of house, of canvas remnants (one advertising a side show, wrasputin and the Empresso) over board frame. Tent used for family gatherings, storage. A series of three pictures demonstrates vat cleaning in coppersmithing process. Set includes a few interior shots in the house. Note tobacco pipe, walking stick. #81, 125 (woman identified as Mara Jura), 129, 130, 131i
Collection is open for research.
Photographs by de Wendler-Funaro are available for reproduction. Fees for commercial use. Permission to reproduce photographs by Alexander Alland must be granted by the photographer's estate; other photographs may have copyright restrictions.
Carlos de Wendler-Funaro Gypsy Research Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Processing of the collection was funded by the Getty Grant Program; digitization of the collection was funded by the Samuel H. Kress Foundation and the Terra Foundation for American Art. Glass plate negatives in this collection were digitized in 2019 with funding provided by the Smithsonian Women's Committee.
Subject/Sitter: Tobacco Company, Howard University student representative
Collection is open for research.
Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
The collection was acquired with assistance from the Eugene Meyer Foundation. Elihu and Susan Rose and the Save America's Treasures program, provided funds to stabilize, organize, store, and create digital surrogates of some of the negatives. Processing and encoding funded by a grant from the Council on Library and Information Resources.
Image number 011 "Holiday Handcraft" has been removed from the slideshow due to culutral sensitivity.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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 email@example.com.
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.
This subseries is in storage off-site. Contact Archives Center for terms of access.
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.
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.