Collection consists of labels, created by Chicago business Valmor Products Company, for packaging intended to appeal to the African American consumer market dating from 1934-1946.
Scope and Contents:
Collection consists of fifty-three product labels created by Chicago area business Valmor Products Company and its subsidiaries: Madam Jones and Famous Products Company. The labels do not appear to have been used on product packaging. Personal care products were for both men and women and include cold cream, perfume, bleaching cream, talcum powder, toilet water, shaving cream, deodorant, hand cream, hot comb oil, hair dressing, and mouth wash. Common brand names on the product labels are Sweet Georgia Brown, Lucky Brown, Lucky Mojo, Lucky Man, Madam Jones, and Happy Go Lucky. Some of the products are specific to the African American community with mainstream products meant to appeal to this sector of American society. In many cases the company name, brand name, and copyright date appear on the labels. Materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the company name. If the company name does not appear on the label the brand name of the product was used.
Collection is arranged in one series.
Biographical / Historical:
The Valmor Company was established in 1926 on the South side of Chicago. It was owned and operated by Morton Gross Neumann (1898-1985) and Rose Fogelson Neumann (1902-1998). The company catered to an African American consumer market and employed local black residents as warehouse workers and salesmen. It created advertisements and product packaging using the talents and skills of African American artists Charles Clarence Dawson (June 12, 1889 - March 1, 1981) and Jay Paul Jackson (September 10, 1905 - May 16, 1954). Products were sold under the Valmor name and its subsidiary companies: Lucky Brown, Madam Jones, King Novelty, and Famous Products Company. The company was purchased by New York's R. H. Cosmetic Corporation after the death of Morton G. Neumann in 1985.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, NMAH.AC0060
Nathaniel Mathis Collection of Barbering and Beauty Culture NMAH.AC0641
Cover Girl Advertising Oral History & Documentation Project NMAH.AC0374
Carolyn Jones Papers NMAH.AC0552
Valmor Products Label Collection, Special Collections, Chicago Public Library, Harold Washington Library Center
Graphic Arts Collection, Special Collections, Firestone Library, Princeton University
Collection was donated to the Archives Center by National Museum of American History (NMAH) curator Helena Wright, November 23, 1993.
Collection is open for research.
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.
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2036. Records may contain personally identifiable information (PII) that is permanently restricted; Transferring office; 09/16/2021 memorandum, Toda to File; Contact reference staff for details
Interviews conducted by Helena E. Wright of Helen Boyer and Warrington Colescott for research related to her position as curator in the division of Graphic Arts in the Department of Social and Cultural History at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Colescott discusses his suite of prints "The History of Printmaking" purchased by the Division of Graphic Arts, National Museum of American History in 1985. He mentions Rembrandt states and proofs; Robert Rauschenberg; Tamarind; viscosity printing; Slade School; Anthony Gross; and printmaking at the university level.
Boyer discusses being a member of a family of printmakers in Pittsburgh PA; the background and career of her mother, printmaker Louise Boyer; her mother's involvement in the development of anodized aluminum plates for drypoint; her mother's printmaking techniques; her father, architect and printmaker Ernest W. Boyer and his printmaking techniques; her own artistic development and career; the print market; the satirical and political content of her work from the 40s, her silk paintings; exhibitions; working for a toy manufacturer; working various jobs; and working in toy design.
Biographical / Historical:
Curator; National Museum of American History.
Transferred from the National Museum of American History, Division of Graphic Arts, 1993.