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United Shoe Machinery Corporation Records

Creator:
United Shoe Machinery Corporation  Search this
Names:
Emhart Corporation.  Search this
Extent:
145 Cubic feet (296 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Papers
Photographs
House organs
Catalogs
Scrapbooks
Commercial catalogs
Albums
Magazines (periodicals)
Advertisements
Clippings
Research
Legal records
Motion pictures (visual works)
16mm motion picture film
Business records
Place:
Massachusetts
Beverly (Mass.)
New England
Date:
1898 - 1987
Summary:
The collection documents the activities of the United Shoe Machinery Corporation of Beverly, Massachusetts, manufacturers of shoe machinery equipment. The collection consists of engineering records, legal records, research and development records, employee/personnel records, correspondence, company catalogs, product literature, advertising materials, photographs, and moving images.
Scope and Contents:
This collection is among the largest and most complete bodies of business records in the holdings of the Archives Center. The records document in considerable detail the firm's engineering department and research and development efforts in shoe making machinery and in related technical areas, especially during World War II and as it attempted to diversify its activities after the war. There is detailed information, much of it on microfilm, about the leasing of United Shoe Machinery (USM) machines. The records also provide insight into the USM's culture of corporate paternalism, including its athletic and relief associations and its industrial school. The collection is rich in visual materials depicting both the machines made by the firm and the employees and the facilities.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into seventeen series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Materials, 1901-1985

Series 2: Executive Records, 1927-1987

Subseries 2.1: United Shoe Machinery, 1927-1975

Subseries 2.2: Emhart Corporation, 1976-1987

Series 3: Correspondence, 1890, 1901-1915

Series 4: Wilson Palmer Files, 1925-1952

Series 5: Research and Development Department Records, 1914-1980

Subseries 5.1: Background, 1947-1974

Subseries 5.2: Financial Information, 1947-1975

Subseries 5.3: Reports, 1962-1973

Subseries 5.4: Facilities, 1947-1975

Subseries 5.5: Personnel, 1942-1979

Subseries 5.6: Labor, 1961-1970

Subseries 5.7: Subject Files, 1943-1977

Subseries 5.8: Project Files, 1914-1968

Subseries 5.9: New Development (ND) Project Files, 1924-1970

Subseries 5.10: Experimental (EX) Project Files, 1931-1938

Subseries 5.11: Automatic Controls Project, 1939-1979

Subseries 5.12: Baseball Stitching Machine Projects, 1949-1973

Subseries 5.13: Component Inserting Projects, 1954-1960

Subseries 5.14: Automatic Control Research Notebooks, 1939-1976

Subseries 5.15: Baseball Stitching Machine Research Notebooks, 1942-1956

Subseries 5.16: Component Inserting Research Notebooks, 1956-1965

Subseries 5.17, General Research Notebooks, 1939-1968

Series 6: Legal Records, 1900-1968

Subseries 6.1: Court Exhibits for Machine History, 1910-1951 (bulk 1948-1950)

Subseries 6.2: Leases, Cancellation Letters, Shipments, and Transfers (Microfilm), 1900-1958

Subseries 6.3: Patent Search, 1949

Series 7: Engineering Records, 1904-1979

Series 8: Employee/Personnel Materials, 1908-1981

Series 9: Mutual Relief Association Incorporated, 1902-1951

Series 10: Athletic Association, 1929-1962

Series 11: Industrial School Records, 1909-1938

Subseries 11.1: English for American Citizenship (Industrial Series), 1912, 1919-1921

Subseries 11.2: English for American Citizenship (Intermediate Series), 1921

Subseries 11.3: Text Books, 1909-1938

Series 12: Northwestern University Students' Cooperative Work, 1951-1960

Series 13: Aberthaw Construction Company Records, 1918-1920

Subseries 13.1: Correspondence, 1918-1919

Subseries 13.2: Reports, 1919-1921

Subseries 13.3: Purchase Orders, 1919-1920

Subseries 13.4: Receiving Records, 1919-1920

Series 14: Publications, 1898-1987

Subseries 14.1: United Shoe Machinery Corporation Catalogs, circa 1899-1961

Subseries 14.2: Beverly Today, 1979-1985

Subseries 14.3: Machinery Division Newsletter,1969-1970

Subseries 14.4: The Three Partners,1914-1920

Subseries 14.5: USM Today,1968-1976

Subseries 14.6: Quarter Century Club News, 1977-1987

Subseries 14.7: H.E. Smith & Company Catalogs, 1898-1930

Series 15: Product Literature, 1952-1979

Series 16: Advertising and Marketing Materials, 1902-1981

Series 17: Photographs, 1907-1960s

Subseries 17.1: Employees, 1907-1981

Subseries 17.2: Equipment/Products, 1961-1972

Subseries 17.3: Factories/Buildings, 1920s-1960s

Subseries 17.4: Trade Shows, 1954, 1968-1973

Subseries 17.5: Miscellaneous, undated

Subseries 17.6: Postcards, 1906-1938

Subseries 17.7: Prints from Glass Plate Negatives, undated

Subseries 17.8: Albums, 1915-1950s

Subseries 17.9: Film Negatives, 1956-1958

Subseries 17.10: Glass Plate Negatives, 1915-1923

Series 18: Audio-Visual Materials, 1934-1972
Biographical / Historical:
The United Shoe Machinery Company was formed in 1899 by the consolidation of the most important shoe machinery firms in the industry: Goodyear Shoe Machinery Company; Consolidated McKay Lasting Machine Company; and McKay Shoe Machinery Company. By this merger, conflicting patents were eliminated and patents supplementing each other were brought under United control to permit their prompt combination in a single machine or process. To ensure efficiency, the new company also continued the practice previously followed by its constituent firms of renting machinery that it manufactured instead of selling it. The authorized capital of the new company was twenty five million dollars. After the 1899 merger, United grew quite rapidly. In 1903, it began construction of a new factory in Beverly, Massachusetts about thirty-five miles from Boston. At its peak, this company employed 9,000 workers and produced eighty-five percent of all shoemaking machines in the United States. By 1910, it had an eighty percent share of the shoe machinery market with assets reaching forty million dollars, and it had acquired control of branch companies in foreign countries.

In 1911, the first of three civil anti-trust suits was brought against United by the United States government. It charged that the 1899 merger had restrained trade and violated the Sherman Act. The Massachusetts District Court ruled that the 1899 merger was not an attempt to restrain trade, only an attempt to promote efficiency. The court also said that the five companies that were merged to form United were not competitive with each other. The government appealed to the Supreme Court, which only affirmed the District Court's verdict.

In 1917, the United Shoe Machinery Corporation, incorporated in 1905, absorbed the United Shoe Machinery Company. The United Shoe Machinery Corporation had its headquarters in Boston and its main manufacturing plant in Beverly, Massachusetts.

The second government suit was brought against United Shoe in 1915. The government claimed that United Shoe's leasing system restricted the shoe manufacturer to exclusive use of United Shoe's products and that it was a violation of the newly enacted Clayton Act. The Massachusetts District Court ruled in favor of the government. The Supreme Court, hearing United Shoe's appeal case, only affirmed the District Court's ruling. In 1923, United modified its leasing policy.

The last government suit against United was filed in 1947 and charged United with monopolizing the trade, manufacture, and distribution of shoe machinery from 1923 to 1947. During this period, United had bought all shares, assets, and patents of twenty one companies that dealt in the shoe machinery manufacture. The court ruled that United had clearly violated the Sherman Act, and United was forced to modify its leasing policies and restrict its purchases of other shoe machinery businesses and its acquisition of patents. In 1968, the United Shoe Machinery Corporation changed its name to USM Corporation. In 1976, United Shoe Machinery Company merged with Emhart Industries and produced the modern-day Emhart Corporation.

In 1989, in order to resist a two billion dollar takeover attempt by a New York investment group (which included oil heir Gordon P. Getty), Emhart merged with Black & Decker Corporation. The merged company operates from Black & Decker's headquarters in Towson, Maryland. The company headquarters in Farmington, Connecticut, were closed in June 1989.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

Lynn Historical Society & Museum, Lynn, Massachusetts

Lynn, Massachusetts businesses collection, 1888-1991

Small volumes and pamphlets of shoe and shoe-related industry businesses in Lynn, Massachusetts, including miscellaneous articles and histories on the shoe industry in Lynn, manuals, catalogs, broadsides, patents, handbooks, patterns, price lists, brochures, and legal materials. Businesses represented include Beaudry Machine Company, Beckman Machine Company, Bresnahan Shoe Machinery Company, George W. Emerson & Company, Hamel Shoe Machinery Company, Gregory & Read Co., David Knox & Sons Machinery Company, Krippendorf Kalculator Company (manufacturers of a mechanical device to compute pattern values), Peerless Machinery Company, Quarmby & Hilliker, Machine Builders, Swain, Fuller Manufacturing Company, W.J. Young Machinery Company, and George J. Kelly, Inc. (maker of shoe polish).

United Shoe Machinery Company Records, 1915-1974

Materials assembled by Edward F. McCarthy, director of USM research, including notebooks, diagrams, manuals, brochures, catalogs, code sheets, flow charts, price lists, handbooks, lectures, directories, lexicons, catalogs of other firms, personal notebooks on shoe construction (1927-1931), factory visits to other shoe companies, and production of leading manufacturers (1939-1960), and floor directory of the plant; ledgers listing machines shipped and returned from the Lynn and Puerto Rico plants (nine volumes, 1935-1974); and machine development materials, including patents, chiefly those of Edward Quinn.

Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) Salem, Massachusetts

An accession in 1987 of institutional archives, includes publications, photographs, advertisements, lectures, scrapbook of shoes made for United Shoe Machinery Corporation of Beverly, Massachusetts, shoes from which are in the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum (87020).

Beverly Historical Society, Beverly, Massachusetts

The United Shoe and Machinery Company Collection contains a large quantity of the company's patents, most of which pertain to the production and manufacture of shoes. Additionally there are patents for golf balls, nail guns, and magnetic closures. The majority of the remaining materials are Quarter Century Club documents ranging from financial and membership records, to pictures and other ephemera. The remainder of the collection consists of miscellaneous objects including sample knives and knife parts from the Booth Brothers Company.

University of Connecticut, Dodd Center

Emhart Corporation Records, undated, 1883-1989

Emhart Corporation was a multinational company located in Farmington, Connecticut. Prior to its 1989 merger with Black & Decker, Emhart operated in over one hundred countries with a worldwide work force of 30,000 employees. Emhart's products included machines for the manufacture of glass bottles and shoes; filling, sealing and packaging machinery; security systems; electronics; chemical products; metal fasteners; rubber processing equipment; and consumer and do-it-yourself products. Brand name products included True Temper® hardware and sporting goods, and Price Pfister® plumbing fixtures. Emhart's domestic roots went back to the American Hardware Company, founded in New Britain, Connecticut, in 1902.

Beverly Public Schools (Beverly, Massachusetts)

Beverly Public Schools/Beverly trade school records, 1909-1995

Materials relating to the establishment and operation of the Beverly trade schools, including trustee minutes, annual reports, curriculum journals, correspondence, photographs, programs and ephemera, and calendars.

Cornell University, Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections

[United Shoe Machinery Corporation publications], 1911-1913

Harvard University, Baker Library

[United Shoe Machinery Company, of New Jersey, et al. court proceedings], 1911-1917

United Shoe buildings and properties

The Cummings Properties now owns and leases "the Shoe."
Separated Materials:
Materials at National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry holds artifacts related to the United Shoe Machinery Corporation. Some artifacts include a drafting table (1989.0259.349), tool chest (1989.0259.348), and molds for shoes, shoe heels, shoe welts, threads, needles, awls, and show wax.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by United Shoe Machinery Corporation, through Kevin Cochrane on November 20, 1987.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view materials in cold storage and audio visual materials. Using cold room materials requires a three hour waiting period, reference copies do not exist for audio visual materials. Arrangements must be made with the Archives Center staff two weeks prior to a scheduled research visit. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Industrial workers  Search this
Photography, Industrial  Search this
Tanners  Search this
Shoe machinery industry  Search this
Industrial history  Search this
Baseball  Search this
Genre/Form:
Papers
Photographs -- 20th century
House organs
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 1900-1950
Catalogs
Scrapbooks
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Commercial catalogs
Albums
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film -- 1900-1950
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Research -- 20th century
Legal records
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
16mm motion picture film
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
United Shoe Machinery Corporation Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0277
See more items in:
United Shoe Machinery Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0277
Online Media:

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Engines

Creator:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969  Search this
Extent:
3.01 Cubic feet (consisting of 6.5 boxes, 2 folders, 2 oversized folders.)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Trade cards
Business records
Commercial catalogs
Reports
Business ephemera
Catalogs
Periodicals
Legal documents
Manufacturers' catalogs
Invoices
Advertising mail
Printed ephemera
Ephemera
Publications
Sales records
Trade catalogs
Sales letters
Manuals
Business letters
Letterheads
Advertising
Advertising cards
Receipts
Advertisements
Print advertising
Commercial correspondence
Patents
Advertising fliers
Printed materials
Printed material
Sales catalogs
Illustrations
Catalogues
Business cards
Correspondence
Date:
1829-1957
Summary:
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Engines forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana
Scope and Contents:
Covers all manner of engines including: boilers, gasoline, steam, water motors, automatic shut off, self-oiling, portable, vertical, mining, marine, diesel, crude oil, stationary, generators, compound, pumping, silent, alcohol, turbine, kerosene, hydrolic, caloric pumping, sectional, gasolene, iron man, single cylinder, slide valve, apparatus, cut-off, wind, horse, air cooled, valueless, two cycle, and the Corliss engine. Some of the following include engines used in portable sawing outfits, powered mills for grinding grain, feed cookers, boilers, injectors, and generators.

Materials represent a sampling of catalogues, correspondence, invoices, receipts, advertising and marketing material, bulletins, advertising cards, caricatures, seals, product specifications, booklets, price lists, company histories, order forms, prospectus, a few photographs, contracts, a legal opinion on a patent dispute (Novelty Iron Works, 1856), an operations guide 80-foot Elco Submarine Chacer Instructions, Care and Operations of Machinery Plant (Standard Motor Construction Company, 1917), patents and patent circulars, and a promotional diary. Many items are illustrated with print drawings and schematics of engines and associated equipment, plus some images of manufacturing facilities. No extensive runs or complete records exist for any single company or brand, and no particular depth is present for any singular subtopic, although some publications may provide general and historical overviews of a person, company, or a facet of industry.
Arrangement:
Engines is arranged in three subseries.

Business Records and Marketing Material

Genre

Subject
Forms Part Of:
Forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana.

Series 1: Business Ephemera

Series 2: Other Collection Divisions

Series 3: Isadore Warshaw Personal Papers

Series 4: Photographic Reference Material
Provenance:
Engines is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Diesel engines  Search this
Engines  Search this
advertising -- Business ephemera  Search this
advertising -- Brand name products  Search this
Steam engineering  Search this
Marine engines  Search this
Rotary steam engines  Search this
Sales promotion  Search this
Corliss steam-engine  Search this
Advertising, Direct-mail  Search this
Steam-engines  Search this
Diesel motor  Search this
Genre/Form:
Trade cards
Business records -- 20th century
Commercial catalogs
Reports
Business ephemera
Catalogs
Periodicals
Legal documents
Manufacturers' catalogs
Invoices
Advertising mail
Printed ephemera
Ephemera
Publications
Sales records
Trade catalogs
Sales letters
Manuals
Publications -- Business
Business letters
Letterheads
Advertising
Advertising cards
Receipts
Advertisements
Print advertising
Commercial correspondence
Patents
Advertising fliers
Printed materials
Printed material
Sales catalogs
Illustrations
Business records
Catalogues
Business cards
Business records -- 19th century
Correspondence
Citation:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Engines, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0060.S01.01.Engines
See more items in:
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Engines
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0060-s01-01-engines

Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records

Advertiser:
Procter & Gamble Company  Search this
Mars, Incorporated  Search this
American Airlines  Search this
Burger King Corporation  Search this
Coca-Cola Company  Search this
Anheuser-Busch, Inc.  Search this
Creator:
Sosa, Lionel  Search this
Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates (San Antonio, Texas)  Search this
Aguilar, Adolfo  Search this
Bromley, Ernest W.  Search this
Extent:
14 Cubic feet (31 boxes and 1 map folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Newsletters
Marketing records
Ephemera
Photographs
Commercials
Awards
Advertisements
Ledgers (account books)
Articles
Magazines (periodicals)
Place:
Texas -- 20th century
San Antonio (Tex.)
Date:
1981-1997
Summary:
The collection documents the work of the Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates advertising agency of San Antonio, Texas.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the work of the Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates advertising agency of San Antonio, Texas. They created advertising for large corporations such as Western Union, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Mars, Procter and Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, and Burger King. Additionally, they worked on political campaigns for Republican candidates including George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Works created for local institutions such as the San Antonio Symphony and Incarnate Word High School are also represented in the collection. Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar were pioneers in developing advertising strategies to appeal to Latino consumers.

This collection includes internal corporate documentation such as awards, financial reports, marketing strategies, advertisement samples and newsletters, as well as newspaper and magazine articles. The majority of the collection consists of audiovisual materials in D2, BetacamSP, 3/4" U-Matic and 1" videotape formats. The audiovisual materials contain commercials, casting calls/auditions, director reels, public service announcements, focus groups sessions and more. Six hours of oral histories with the principals and transcriptions of the interviews are also included in the collection. Prominent sections of the collection include advertisements created for the Center for Disease Control to address misconceptions about AIDS in Latino communities, as well as photographs, an audiocassette, and public service announcements pertaining to the life and death of singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez.
Arrangement:
This collection is divided into five series:

Series 1: Background Materials, 1980-2015

Series 2: Financial Materials, 1983-1989

Series 3: Clippings, 1988-1999

Series 4: Advertisements, 1988-1995

Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, 1988-1997
Biographical / Historical:
Lionel Sosa (b. 1939) is from San Antonio, Texas and is of Mexican descent. His first venture as an entrepreneur was starting a graphic design studio called Sosart which later developed into an advertising agency. Ernest Bromley (b.1951), of Puerto Rican and Canadian descent, joined the company in 1981 while employed at the University of Texas, San Antonio as a researcher. Bromley's background in acculturation, advertising and consumer research provided a unique perspective for the newly developed Sosa and Associates. Adolfo "Al" Aguilar (b. 1955), also of Mexican descent, studied advertising and marketing at the University of Texas, Austin. Aguilar worked for Coca-Cola's first Hispanic Marketing Department when he began meeting with Sosa and Bromley. Eventually, Aguilar helped bring the Coca-Cola account to Sosa Bromley and Associates. This successful transfer ultimately led to the development of Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center:

López Negrete Communications Advertising Collection (NMAH.AC.1413)

Hector and Norma Orcí Advertising Agency Records (NMAH.AC.1384)

Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Collection (NMAH.AC.1343)

Dolores Valdes-Zacky Papers (NMAH.AC.1394)

Castor Advertising Corporation Collection (NMAH.AC.1461)

Spanish Language Television Collection (NMAH.AC.1404)

Goya Foods, Inc. Collection, 1960-2000 (NMAH.AC.0694)
Separated Materials:
Items relating to this collection were donated to the Division of Numismatics and Division of Work and Industry. See accessions: 2002.0007.0517 (Tetradrachm coin); 2015.0080.01 (1988 Clio Award Trophy Hispanic Advertising AIDS Campaign); 2015.0080.02 (Promotional Mug); 2015.0080.05 (Promotional Watch); 2016.3049.02 (1993 Clio Award for Hispanic Market Coca Cola Classic); 2015.0080.06 (1990 Adweek Plaque); 2015.0080.03 (1995 Selena Commemorative Pin).
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2015, by Lionel Sosa, Ernest Bromley and Adolfo Aguilar.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Advertising campaigns  Search this
Advertising agencies -- 1980-2000  Search this
Advertising executives  Search this
advertising -- Soft drinks  Search this
advertising -- Food  Search this
advertising -- Confectionery  Search this
advertising -- Beverages  Search this
advertising -- Brand name products  Search this
advertising -- Audio-visual materials  Search this
advertising -- Alcoholic beverages  Search this
advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- Airlines  Search this
Minorities in advertising  Search this
Television advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history
Newsletters
Marketing records
Ephemera -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1980-2000
Commercials
Awards
Advertisements -- 1980-2000
Ledgers (account books)
Articles -- 20th century
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Citation:
Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records, 1981-1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1351
See more items in:
Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1351
Online Media:

Kryptonite Lock Company Records

Creator:
Zane, Michael Stuart, III  Search this
Kryptonite Lock Company (Canton, Massachusetts)  Search this
Zane, Elizabeth  Search this
Extent:
5.6 Cubic feet (; 15 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Business records
Awards
Bumper stickers
Correspondence
Press releases
Photographs
Newsletters
Oral history
Date:
1972 - 2003
Summary:
Massachusetts entrepreneur Michael Zane purchased a bicycle lock design and its trade name, 'Kryptonite lock," in 1972. Working with members of his family, Zane developed the Kryptonite Corporation. The records consist of audio-visual materials, correspondence, design drawings, photographs, testing records, patent information, sales reports, product information, advertisements, clippings, periodicals, legal documents, and research files.
Scope and Contents:
The Kryptonite Lock Company Records, 1972-2001 document a wide spectrum of activities engaged in by the company. The records consists of audio-visual materials, correspondence, design drawings, photographs, testing records, patent information, sales reports, product information, advertisements, clippings, periodicals, legal documents, and research files. The strength of the collection resides in the marketing and sales documents. They tell a remarkable story of a small family business which created an internationally recognized brand name product. The collection also richly documents competition and innovation in the bicycle and motorcycle lock industry, through sales representative trip reports, product research and development records, and the research files on other companies. Although the collection provides a wide spectrum of documents from most aspects of the company's activities, some portions of the record are sparse and incomplete.

Series 1: History, 1973-1974, 2001, 2003, contains a company history and chronology as well as the field notes and photographs documenting the acquisition of the collection. There are two oral history interviews with Michael Zane conducted by NMAH archivist John Fleckner. The 2001 interview is an overview of the Kryptonite history; the 2003 interview focuses on Zane's description and history of the artifacts collected by the museum. There is a seven-page transcription of the 2001 interview. In addition, this series includes materials related to two companies associated with the early history of the Kryptonite Corporation, Zane Manufacturing Company (the sheet metal company owned by Michael Zane's father) and Ernest Zane and Liberty Distribution (a short-lived bicycle accessory distribution company) created by the Zane brothers to supplement and encourage the sale of their locks.

Series 2: Correspondence, 1983-2000, arranged by topic, documents some of the company's key areas of interest. The topics include customers, design ideas, media, suppliers and distributors, and sponsorships. Most of the correspondence focuses on complaints about or suggested improvements for the locks.

Series 3: Product Research and Development, 1987-2000, is arranged into three subseries, Subseries 1: Development, 1987-2000; Subseries 2: Research, 1985-1999

Subseries 1: Development, 1987-2000, is arranged by project and documents the design process of various security devices. It contains design drawings and design revisions.

Subseries 2: Research, 1985-1999, includes research on various lock patents. It also contains testing data for various locks produced by Kryptonite and outside testing companies.

Series 4: Administrative and Financial Papers, 1972-2000, includes various memos, meeting notes and agendas that thoroughly document the later part of the company's history. There is sporadic documentation of human resources activities of the company in this series. The series also includes various financial records. Sales representative trip reports are included as well. These reports are narrative accounts written by Kryptonite sales representatives to detail the state of product placement and the competition in retail stores throughout the country.

Series 5: Marketing, Advertising, and Publicity, 1972-2001, consists of five subseries, Subseries 1: Marketing materials, 1985-2000; Subseries 2: Advertising materials, 1989, undated; Subseries 3: Publicity materials, 1973-2001; Subseries 4: Crime-related materials, 1982-1996; and Subseries 5: Liz Zane files, 1990-1998 and is the most comprehensive series in the collection. It documents the marketing, advertising, and publicity efforts of the company.

Subseries 1: Marketing materials, 1985-2000, includes marketing materials, such as product sheets describing each of the company's products, and promotional materials, such as posters, bumper stickers, and postcards. Market research undertaken by the company is also included.

Subseries 2: Advertising materials, 1989, undated, contains various advertisements dating from the earliest lock designs to the merger with Ingersoll-Rand. Of particular note is a retrospective advertising notebook illustrating the numerous advertising campaigns undertaken by the company from its creation in 1972 to 1989.

Subseries 3: Publicity materials, 1973-2001, documents the multi-faceted publicity efforts of the company. Included are company newsletters, press clippings, reprint notebooks, various printed materials, press kits, and press releases.

Subseries 4: Crime-related materials, 1982-1996, consists of materials that document theft prevention activities. Included are claim reports that Kryptonite used to develop new designs and to generate an annual list of the top twenty cities for bicycle theft. Also included is the report on bicycle theft undertaken by the company in response to a sharp increase in the number of claims filed in New York City in 1988; ultimately this report resulted in the repeal of the lock guaranty in that city.

Subseries 5: Liz Zane files, 1990-1998, contains materials documenting Liz Zane, wife of Michael Zane, founder of the Kryptonite Corporation. She served as the Communications Manager for the company in the 1990s. Included in this series are press kits, her correspondence with law enforcement officers, and various research files related to publicity activities.

Series 6: Other Companies, 1985, 1991, 2001, undated, includes the Kryptonite Corporation's files documenting its patent infringement suit against Ming Tay, a Taiwanese competitor. Also included is information about the company's relationship with Trek and the company's merger with Ingersoll-Rand. In addition, the research files contain catalogs and advertisements of the company's competition.

Series 7: Visual Materials, 1988, 1996, 1997, undated, consists of black and white and color prints, slides, contact sheets, negatives and two 1⁄2" VHS tapes. The prints, slides, contact sheets and negatives document Michael and Peter Zane, the factory, a motorcycle lock, and promotional prints featuring the lock in advertising and being used. The 1⁄2" VHS tapes include a New York City Channel 4 News piece about bike theft (April 1988) and an Inside Edition, (October 1996) and Dateline (October 1997) programs on the Kryptonite Corporation.
Arrangement:
This collection is organized into seven series.

Series 1: History, 1973-1974, 2001, 2003

Subseries 1.1: Chronology and company history, undated

Subseries 1.2: Field Documentation, 2001, 2003

Subseries 1.3: Zane Manufacturing Company, undated

Subseries 1.4: Liberty Distribution, 1973-1974

Series 2: Correspondence, 1983-2000

Series 3: Product Research and Development, 1987-2000

Subseries 3.1: Development, 1987-2000

Subseries 3.2: Research, 1985-1999

Series 4: Administrative and Financial Papers, 1973-2001

Series 5: Marketing and Sales, 1972-2001

Subseries 5.1: Marketing materials, 1985-2000

Subseries 5.2: Advertising materials, 1989, undated

Subseries 5.3: Publicity materials, 1973-2001

Subseries 5.4: Crime-related materials, 1982-1996

Subseries 5.5: Liz Zane files, 1990-1998

Series 6: Other Companies, 1985, 1991, 2001, undated

Subseries 6.1: Ming Tay lawsuit, 1985

Subseries 6.2: Relationships with other companies, 1991, 2001

Subseries 6.3: Competition research files, undated

Series 7: Visual Materials, 1988, 1996, 1997, undated

Subseries 7.1: Photographs, undated

Subseries 7.2: Video cassettes, 1988, 1997
Biographical / Historical:
In 1971, Michael Zane read a newspaper article that sparked his imagination. He discovered that bicycle mechanic, Stanley Kaplan had designed and built a new bicycle lock, which he named the Kryptonite lock. Zane and Kaplan quickly became partners. Aided by the metal manufacturing experience of Ernest Zane, Michael's father, the partners began to produce and market the locks amid a rapidly growing bicycle industry. In this first year, the company sold approximately 50 locks.

In 1972, Zane bought the lock idea and the company name from Kaplan, and founded the Kryptonite Corporation with $1,500 from his personal savings. Using his father's sheet metal business, Zane Manufacturing Company, as a subcontractor for the metal work, Michael Zane's Kryptonite Corp. began manufacturing a slimmer, stronger lock made of stainless steel versus the original hardened steel version. Concentrating in the Boston area where the company was based, Zane started selling the lock to local bike shops. Realizing the need to expand his market and having no money for national advertising, Zane decided to undertake an experiment. He locked a bicycle to a parking meter with a Kryptonite lock on the Lower East Side in New York City for a month. By the time he retrieved the bike, it was completely stripped except for the part attached to the lock. The press was alerted to the experiment, and the resulting publicity helped move Kryptonite locks into New York City bicycle shops, as well as those in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.

Michael's brother, Peter, joined the company in 1974. Peter concentrated on exporting and legal matters, while Michael handled marketing, design, research, and manufacturing. In this same year, to supplement and encourage their lock sales, the brothers started Liberty Distribution, a bicycle accessory distribution company. It was also at this time that Kryptonite began guaranteeing its locks—if your bike was stolen while secured with a Kryptonite lock, the company would send you up to $500. The guarantee quickly became a selling point.

The next year the company received another free publicity boost; Consumer Reports awarded the Kryptonite's U-lock its highest bicycle security device rating. Distribution expanded to Chicago and Los Angeles, and the company sold approximately 25,000 locks.

In 1977, Kryptonite introduced the K-4 lock. Michael Zane refined the company's basic U-shaped lock by creating a bent foot on one end making the lock easier to use and simplifying the design. This design gained the Kryptonite K-4 U-lock a place in New York's The Museum of Modern Art permanent design collection in 1983 and won both Japan's Good Design Prize and Germany's Museum of Utilitarian Art Award in 1988.

In 1978, Kryptonite expanded into the motorcycle lock market and began exporting its product into European markets. In the late 1980s, just as Kryptonite began to offer a newly designed mountain bike lock, anti-theft guarantee claims began to increase dramatically in Manhattan. This increase in theft forced Kryptonite to stop offering the guarantee in Manhattan and spurred the Zane's to redesign their locks. During this same time, Kryptonite was under constant competition from various domestic and foreign competitors. Many of these competitors adapted Kryptonite's U-lock design. Some so closely mimicked the Kryptonite design that the company took legal action.

In 1992, in response to an increase in thefts and ongoing competition, Kryptonite introduced its Evolution series of locks. This new design placed the locking mechanism in the middle of the crossbar of the lock, rather than at the end, making it less susceptible to breakage.

The next year Kryptonite entered the automobile security market. In its first year on the market, the Kryptonite Steering Wheel Lock was named one of Motor Trend magazine's top ten innovative car care products for 1993. Kryptonite's entrance into automobile security generated interest from Winner International Corporation, the maker's of The Club automotive lock, resulting in a number of court battles.

Kryptonite introduced the New York Lock in 1994. This newly designed lock allowed Kryptonite to reestablish an anti-theft guarantee for $1,000 in Manhattan. The company recreated its earlier publicity event by successfully locking bicycles throughout New York City to prove the efficacy of its locks. Kryptonite also issued a top ten list of cities with the most bicycle thefts (based on its claim reports) and expanded its involvement in theft prevention activities.

In 1995, Gary Furst became CEO of the rapidly growing company. In the following year, Kryptonite celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary and developed a program called Flex Security, focusing on innovative locking systems for homeowners and contractors. In addition, Kryptonite entered the computer security market by creating locks for desktops and laptops.

With its expansion into new markets and rising sales, larger companies became increasingly interested in Kryptonite. In 2001, Ingersoll-Rand, a leading industrial firm, bought Kryptonite.
Related Materials:
Materials held at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry holds related artifacts. See accession 2003.0234.

2003.0234 Bicycle lock collection—Kryptonite Brand

2003.0234.01a, b, c Earliest Kaplan design lock, metal bar, U shape with padlock; ca. 1971; 22cm x 15.8cm x 4 cm

2003.0234.02a, b Second generation design, stainless steel bar with combination lock; ca. 1972; 24cm x 17cm x 4cm

2003.0234.02c Crossbar plate marked "SK Associates"; 14.5cm x 3.75cm x .25cm

2003.0234.02d "Sesamee" brand combination lock for use with .02a; 8.5cm x 5cm x 2.4cm

2003.0234.03a, b, c, d Kryptonite-2, improved version of lock with changed lock cover; 24cm x 18cm x 4cm

2003.0234.04a, b, c Kryptonite-2, lock with attached padlock; 21cm x 17cm x 4 cm

2003.0234.04d Cross bar samples tested with bolt cutters; 14cm x 3.8cm & 10cm x 4cm

2003.0234.04e "Dynalock" brand, key operated padlock; 7cm x 4.5cm

2003.0234.05a, b, c Competitor style lock, "Citadel" brand, ca. 1973; 26cm x 17.8 cm

2003.0234.06a,b Kryptonite-3 (K-3) integrated lock eliminated need for padlock; 18cm x 25cm x 4cm

2003.0234.06c, d Sample of integral lock and cover used on K-3 lock; 7cm x 4cm x 8cm

2003.0234.06e Bracket for attaching to bike to carry K-3 lock; 10cm x 3.2cm x 1.5cm

2003.0234.07a, b, c Kryptonite-4 (K-4) made of rod rather than flat steel; 27cm x 19.6cm

2003.0234.08a, b, c Motorcycle version of K-4 lock; 41.3cm x 22.3cm

2003.0234.09 Vinyl lock cover branded "Secur-a-Glide by Harley Davidson"; 28.5cm x 2.5cm d.

2003.0234.10a, b, c Die stamp for lock cam, example of cost saving part; small metal parts

2003.0234.11a Steel lock carrying bracket for attachment to bike, in retail package; 9.5cm x 7cm x 4cm

2003.0234.11b Plastic lock carrying bracket for attachment to bike, retail package; 8.5cm x 4.5cm x 4cm

2003.0234.11c Punched, flat steel plate to be formed into item .11a, bracket; 21cm x 7cm

2003.0234.12a, b, c "Velo Racer" lock; 18cm x 13.4cm

2003.0234.13a, b, c "Evolite" lock with cut-away to show lock mechanism; 25cm x 16cm

2003.0234.13d Sample of lock mechanism opening from side rather than end of cross arm; 7.5cm x 2cm d.

2003.0234.14a, b, c, d K-4 lock and bike bracket in retail package targeted to Mountain Bikers; 27.5cm x 19.7cm

2003.023415a, b, c Heavy weight lock branded "New York Lock"; 32.5cm x 16.5cm

2003.0234.16a, b, c Uncoated metal prototype of "New York Lock"; 27.5cm x 16.3cm

2003.0234.17a, b, c "New York Lock" in retail packaging; 25.5cm x 14cm

2003.0234.18a, b, c Heavy weight chain and Kryptonite EV Disc lock for motorcycle; chain 97cm x 3.7cm x 6cm; lock 9cm x 9.8cm

2003.0234.19a, b, c "Evolution 2000" lock with prototype titanium U bracket; 27.2cm x 16cm

2003.0234.19d Titanium U rod of lock tested to destruction; 60.7cm x 1.3cm d.

2003.0234.20a, b, c, d Computer parts manufactured by Zane family before manufacturing bike locks, 4 small, metal items
Provenance:
This collection was donated to the National Museum of American History by Michael Stuart Zane III and Elizabeth Zane on June 3, 2003.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Bicycle theft -- Prevention  Search this
Bicycles -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Locks and keys  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Awards
Bumper stickers
Correspondence -- 1970-2000
Press releases
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters
Oral history
Citation:
Kryptonite Lock Company Records, 1972-2003, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0840
See more items in:
Kryptonite Lock Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0840
Online Media:

The hardware scrap book / compiled by Fowler & Sellars Co., White Plains, N.Y

Compiler:
Fowler & Sellars Co.  Search this
Subject:
Fowler & Sellars Co  Search this
Physical description:
38 unnumbered pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm, in portfolio 33 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
New York (State)
White Plains
Date:
1928
1928-1929
Topic:
Stores, Retail  Search this
Hardware  Search this
Household supplies  Search this
Brand name products  Search this
Wit and humor in advertising  Search this
Call number:
MSS 001856 B
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1083597

Expertengespräch : Veranstaltung des Institut für Absatzwirtschaft, Universität Münceh und der Deutschen Olivetti GmbH, Frankfurt am Main / Die Neue Sammlung Staatliches Museum für angewandte Kunst, München ; [Text und Gestaltung: Bernd Keller]

Author:
Neue Sammlung, Staatliches Museum für Angewandte Kunst (Bavaria, Germany)  Search this
Keller, Bernd  Search this
Deutsch Olivetti DTS GmbH  Search this
Universität München Institut für Absatzwirtschaft  Search this
Subject:
Deutsche Olivetti DTS GmbH  Search this
Physical description:
3 v. in folder : ill. ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Germany
Date:
1986
Topic:
Industrial design  Search this
Corporate image  Search this
Brand name products  Search this
Advertising--Brand name products  Search this
Call number:
TS73 .N48e 1986
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_522679

Paper advertising collectibles : treasures from almanacs to window signs / by Robert Reed

Author:
Reed, Robert 1940-  Search this
Physical description:
207 p. : col. ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Catalogs
Place:
United States
Date:
1998
C1998
Topic:
Advertising specialties--Collectors and collecting  Search this
Advertising--Brand name products--Collectors and collecting--Catalogs  Search this
Printed ephemera--Collectors and collecting--Catalogs  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_559063

Courriers distingués : l'image de marque à travers le courrier = Special mail : the brand image through mail

Title:
Special mail
Author:
Musée de la poste (France)  Search this
Physical description:
179 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 30 cm
Type:
Exhibitions
Date:
1997
1997]
Topic:
Commercial art  Search this
Advertising, Direct-mail  Search this
Advertising--Brand name products  Search this
Call number:
NC997.A4 P37 1997
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_595474

Rogo ON pakkēji / Hasegawa Sumio hen

Author:
Hasegawa, Sumio 1939-  Search this
Physical description:
144 p. : chiefly col. ill. ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Japan
Date:
1990
Topic:
Brand name products--Catalogs  Search this
Advertising--Brand name products  Search this
Trademarks  Search this
Call number:
HD69.B7R64 1990X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_428999

Satisfaction guaranteed : the making of the American mass market / Susan Strasser

Author:
Strasser, Susan 1948-  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 339 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1995
1989
[1995]
Topic:
Advertising--Psychological aspects--History  Search this
Consumers--History  Search this
Sales promotion--History  Search this
Brand name products--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_496651

Satisfaction guaranteed : the making of the mass market / Susan Strasser

Author:
Strasser, Susan 1948-  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 339 p. : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1989
Topic:
Advertising--Psychological aspects--History  Search this
Consumers--History  Search this
Sales promotion--History  Search this
Brand name products--History  Search this
Call number:
HF5813.U6 S79 1989X
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_382134

Endorsed by Earhart : how Amelia financed her flying! / Barbara H. Schultz

Title:
How Amelia financed her flying!
Author:
Schultz, Barbara Hunter  Search this
Subject:
Earhart, Amelia 1897-1937  Search this
Physical description:
103 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
2014
20th century
Topic:
Endorsements in advertising--History  Search this
Marketing--History  Search this
Advertising--Brand name products--History  Search this
Celebrities in mass media  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1032514

Branding USA / B. Martin Pedersen

Author:
Pedersen, B. Martin  Search this
Physical description:
455 pages : color illustrations ; 31 cm
Type:
Books
Bildband
Place:
United States
Date:
2006
©2006
Topic:
Commercial art  Search this
Advertising--Brand name products  Search this
Product management  Search this
Graphic arts  Search this
Designers  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1047782

Powerlines : words that sell brands, grip fans, and sometimes change history / Steve Cone

Author:
Cone, Steve 1950-  Search this
Physical description:
xviii, 251 p. : ill ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2008
Topic:
Slogans  Search this
Brand name products  Search this
Marketing  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_902377

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