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Dispatches from the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Duke University
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Come for the ad, stay for the history lesson

Mon, 06/29/2015 - 14:00

The Hartman Center houses a Vertical Files collection from Brouillard Communications, a division of the J. Walter Thompson Company advertising agency, with files on an extensive set of industry groups and individual companies. While processing this collection I came across this 1948 ad for Avondale Mills of Alabama. The ad celebrates graduates from an Avondale Negro School with a quote from Booker T. Washington (“Cast down your bucket where you are”) and encouragement to take advantage of the opportunities that education provides, whether in one of Avondale’s mills—the ad points out that 1 in 12 Avondale employees were African American, about 600 out of the 7,000 total workforce—or in any of a number of other professions. As a corporate public relations piece, it is effusively inspirational.

We tend to think of Birmingham as the epicenter of the civil rights movement, a place Dr. King once called the most segregated city in America, where racial oppression was at its harshest. Bull Connor, the bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church, King’s letter from jail there.  History, however, is more complicated and more vexing.  In 1897 Braxton Bragg Comer (who would serve as Governor of Alabama from 1907-1911) established a mill in the Avondale neighborhood of Birmingham, not far from the city center.  Comer’s vision, carried out and expanded by his sons and other family members, was to create an ideal Progressive-era mill village, complete with schools, hospitals and dairy farms to serve the employees. Avondale employed men and women (and also some children, which brought sharp criticism from child labor reformers), white and black, and offered profit sharing and retirement plans, medical care, living wages, affordable housing, even access to vacation properties in Florida. By the time this ad ran in the Saturday Evening Post, the company had expanded to several mills and 7,000 employees who, as the ad proclaims “participate in Avondale’s ‘Partnership-with-People’.”

This all sounds very much like contemporary progressive economic and social rhetoric, and the list of Avondale’s employee benefits would be appealing today. The following decades, of course, would see the collapse of the textile industry in the U.S. South as production moved overseas (the Avondale Mills would themselves close for good in 2006), but here in this ad is a remarkable testimony to a social experiment that combined progressive social welfare ambitions with company town paternalism.

Post contributed by Richard J. Collier, Technical Services Archivist, John. W. Hartman Center.

The post Come for the ad, stay for the history lesson appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 14: “Person to Person”

Mon, 05/18/2015 - 18:48

The ambiguity! After his emotional awaking with Leonard in the retreat circle, did Don finally find inner peace and decide to leave his New York persona behind? Or did his awakening give him the clarity of vision to return to McCann and write one of the most iconic ad campaigns of all time for Coca-Cola as his sly smile seems to suggest? Are we really left to believe that the only substantive result of Don’s odyssey is that he’s now learned to embrace his cool, calculating cynicism?

Don streaks across the Bonneville salt flats in a Chevy Chevelle SS and indicates the presence of a shimmy to a couple of gear heads once back in the garage. Despite his transient existence he’s still in touch with Sally, who, during a brief phone conversation, reveals Betty’s illness. Don phones Betty and insists on coming home to be with her and take care of the kids. Betty, in the name of maintaining as much normalcy as possible for them, insists on his continued absence. His absence, after all, has been an important part of their normal.

Joan and Richard visit Key West and try cocaine. Referring to her life as “undeveloped real estate,” Richard tries to persuade Joan to leave New York City and take advantage of all he can offer her. Marriage is discussed and dismissed. She later dines with Ken who is seeking the name and number of a producer that worked on the Birds Eye account. She agrees to help.

Pete leaves McCann for the last time. Peggy congratulates him and says she is happy for him. Pete says that Peggy will be a creative director somewhere by 1980. Peggy also meets Joan for lunch after agreeing to write the script for Dow’s film. She hands her a check in payment for two more additional scripts. Citing her workload, Peggy demurs. Joan suggests that they partner and turn the work into a production company: “we won’t have to answer to anyone.” Peggy ponders the proposition.

Don is dropped off at Stephanie’s house in L.A. Both are worn down by life. In the morning Stephanie leaves for a retreat and insists that Don accompany her. After Stephanie is confronted by a fellow retreat attendee about abandoning her child she leaves Don without saying goodbye . . . and without a ride. Don phones Peggy collect. After chiding him for leaving, she softens and suggests that he’d be welcomed back at McCann if he returns. After all, doesn’t he want the chance to work on Coke? Don says he phoned only to say goodbye. Peggy phones Stan to express her concern and during the conversation he confesses his love for her. After talking out her feelings, Peggy realizes that she reciprocates.

Roger visits Joan to let her know that he has decided he wants Kevin in his will. Joan accepts and chuckles when Roger says he is marrying Megan’s mother, Marie. Later Joan cancels a date with Richard in favor of a business meeting. Richard chafes at the time and attention she is devoting to her business that could be given to him. The phone rings and Joan takes the call. Richard wishes her well and leaves.

The morning following Don’s emotional awakening with Leonard, he sits in the lotus position on the cliffs above Big Sur chanting a new age mantra. He closes his eyes, smiles, a bell sounds. Cue the famous 1971 “Hilltop” Coke commercial with its message of love, harmony, and acceptance. Don has accepted who he is.

A gallery of our selected advertisements may also be found on Flickr.

Post contributed by Josh Larkin Rowley, Reference Archivist for the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

The post Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 14: “Person to Person” appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Mad Men Monday–Season 7, Episode 13 “The Milk and Honey Route”

Mon, 05/11/2015 - 19:32

This week’s episode opens with Don Draper’s Cadillac methodically rolling down a dark, deserted highway.  The hum of wheels on pavement is interrupted when he is pulled over by a patrolman that, once he’s confirmed the driver’s identity, cryptically says, “You knew we would catch up with you eventually.”

Of course the scene is only a dream and Don wakes in a modest motel room somewhere in Kansas, a long way from the luxury of Manhattan.  His vision-quest through Middle America continues south only to be interrupted by car trouble in Oklahoma.  He’s dropped at a hotel where he meets the owner, Del, and his wife, Sharon.  Sharon tries to convince Don to stick around town for a VFW gathering to benefit a veteran whose kitchen burned down.  A day later, Don reluctantly accepts despite a repaired Cadillac and his own rambling spirit.  After several shots of Old Crow, a few cans of Lone Star beer, and some prodding from intoxicated vets, Don tells the table that he killed his Commanding Officer in Korea.  Later that night, Sharon lets three angry vets into Don’s hotel room who are convince that he stole the cash from the donations jar.  They leave without the money but with the keys to Don’s Cadillac which will be held as collateral until the money is returned.  Don confronts Andy, a housekeeper at the hotel, about his theft of the money, demands its return, and suggests that he get out of town.  Kindly, Don agrees to drive him to the nearest bus stop where he hands him the car keys and steps out of the car with some sage advice for the budding con artist, “don’t waste this.”  His possessions whittled down to what will fit inside a Sears bag, Don looks content.

Pete bumps into Duck Phillips on the elevator at McCann and Duck asks for a private conversation in which he tries to convince him to help persuade Learjet to hire him as a headhunter.  Pete reluctantly agrees to meet and, over the course of dinner, quickly realizes that he’s been tricked into an interview for the position.  Despite Pete’s adamant lack of interest, Duck persists and tries to convince him to attend a second dinner with the spouses.  Pete approaches Trudy about her possible attendance at the dinner and in the process reminds her how much she used to love client dinners.  Trudy admires Pete for his ability to be sentimental about the past but adds that she, on the other hand, remembers things as they actually were.  After Duck spins Pete’s no-show at the dinner as a reaction to Learjets initial salary offer they up it coniderably.  Pete shows up at Trudy’s in the pre-dawn hours, tells her of his job offer in Wichita, professes his love, and invites her to move with him and reunite the family.  Reluctant at first, she eventually accepts.

Betty struggles up the stairs at the university only to stumble and fall, injuring a rib and wounding her pride.  At the hospital a doctor requests that she phone her husband as her condition appears to be more serious.  In the car after the doctor’s visit, Francis has a tantrum and threatens to sue the hospital for frightening Betty.  A second doctor, however, confirms the findings of the first:  Betty has an aggressive form of lung cancer and is given months to live.  Back at the house, Francis castigates Betty for refusing to seek treatment and accuses her of giving up.  Against Betty’s wishes, Francis goes to Sally’s college, gives her the bad news, and enlists her to convince Betty to seek treatment.  After brushing off Sally in the kitchen, Betty enters her bedroom that evening for a conversation.  Sally accuses her of taking pleasure in the tragedy of her condition.  After watching her own mother die slowly Betty simply wishes to spare Sally that same experience.  She also hands her a letter with instructions to be opened after her death.  Back in her dormitory, Sally reads the letter detailing practical matters such as burial site and Betty’s preferred dress, hairstyle, and lipstick.  Betty says she loves her and knows that her life will be an adventure.

Last night’s episode featured references to apples, Learjet, and Old Crow whiskey among others.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reference the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.










The post Mad Men Monday–Season 7, Episode 13 “The Milk and Honey Route” appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Mad Men Monday – Season 8, Episode 12 “Lost Horizon”

Mon, 05/04/2015 - 17:22

The move to McCann is underway and a number of the SC&P staff are finding the transition challenging in their own unique ways.

Don is welcomed with enthusiasm by Jim Hobart, who expects Don to “bring things up a notch around here.” Later Don attends his first meeting in which Conley Research presents its findings on the market for a new Miller “diet beer.” Don seems out of his element in a room full of creative directors all taking notes. He watches a plane fly by high up in the air and walks out.

Joan was welcomed by two women copywriters who have interest in her accounts. They invite her to join them for drinks sometime.  Later she has conference calls with her clients and her ill-prepared colleague Dennis, who interrupts Joan and thinks he has better ways of handling her clients.  When she complains to Ferg about working with Dennis he promises to make it better, which means that she will work directly with him instead. His lecherous intentions quickly become clear.

Peggy’s move is thwarted by the fact that McCann has mistaken her for a secretary and did not reserve an office for her.  She refuses to move her belongings over until she gets an office and so spends a few surreal days in an empty SC&P working on Dow.

Don planned to drive Sally back to school, but found out belatedly from Betty that she got a ride from a friend instead. As he drives back to the city he impulsively takes a detour towards Pennsylvania and keeps driving all the way to Racine, Wisconsin. While his colleagues wonder where he is over the next few days, he tries to find out where Diana is from her ex-husband by posing as someone who has a prize for Diana. Her ex gets irate and sees through Don’s charade. He tells Don that Diana is a tornado who destroys everything.

Peggy and Roger drink too much vermouth and talk at SC&P before they make their official moves over to McCann.  Peggy is later seen walking confidently into the office with her belongings and Bert Cooper’s artwork that Roger gave her.

Joan meets with Jim Hobart and says she’d rather not work with Ferg on her accounts. Jim belittles her and her status at SC&P.  She says she’s willing to take the money she is owed and walk away, but he retorts that he will only give her fifty cents on the dollar. She threatens to contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the ACLU regarding the sexism at McCann. Later she finds Roger waiting for her and he tells her to take the offer and that he can’t help her. She dejectedly agrees to the deal and walks out with her Rolodex and a photo of her son.

Don keeps on driving and picks up a hitchhiker headed to St. Paul.

Last night’s show featured references to Ladies Home Journal, Tampax, Miller, and Westinghouse, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.

Post contributed by Jacqueline Reid Wachholz, Director of the John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising, and Marketing History.

The post Mad Men Monday – Season 8, Episode 12 “Lost Horizon” appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 11 “Time & Life”

Mon, 04/27/2015 - 15:59

The characters at SC&P faced their worst fear last night as McCann Erickson planned to absorb and dissolve the agency. With 30 days to vacate their offices and 30 days for Don to find a new place to live, it truly is setting up to be the end of an era.

The episode opens on dinner as Ken enjoys toying with Pete and criticizing the work done by SC&P.

Roger receives a letter canceling the lease on the SC&P offices. After yelling at some of the secretaries, he calls McCann and discovers that it was not a mistake.  McCann is planning to absorb the agency and move everyone into their own building. Roger, Don, Pete, Ted and Joan discuss the news with dread.

Stan and Peggy observe and audition children for a client.  Stan comments that Peggy hates kids after she struggles working with them. Pete pulls her aside and tells her the bad news about the agency.

Lou calls Don and gleefully tells him that he is quitting and moving to Tokyo to work with Tatsunoko Productions on developing his comic into a cartoon.

The partners meet and come up with a strategy to move the agency to California where they could work on the clients that are a conflict for McCann. They rush off to see if they can get those clients to stick with them at “Sterling Cooper West.” Roger and Pete meet with Ken to get Dow to stay with them but he refuses and leaves.

Peggy meets with a headhunter who tells her that her best bet is to stay and work at McCann.

Pete and Trudy meet with the headmaster at Greenwich Country Day school, which rejected Tammy’s application. Pete says that it a family tradition for a Campbell to be at that school. The headmaster bears a grudge dating back to 1692 when his ancestors and Pete’s began a historic clan feud.  He insults Trudi and Pete punches him before leaving. Later Trudi bemoans the fact that it is hard being a divorced woman because men try to take advantage of her.

Stan and Peggy have to babysit a girl who was left by her mother who had to pick up her son. The girl manages to staple her finger causing an argument between Peggy and the mother who returns. Later Peggy reveals to Stan that she gave a child up for adoption and says it is not fair that women have to make hard choices when men don’t.

The SC&P partners make their pitch to keep their conflicting clients and move to California, but Jim Hobart explains that they all will have great jobs at McCann working on top tier clients like Buick and Coca Cola. Only Ted seems happy to hear that he will get what he always wanted, to work on a pharmaceutical account. They all leave and commiserate over beer. The next day the partners announce the big news to the office and try to make it sound positive, but the staff quickly start taking over them and walk away.

Last night’s show featured references to toys, Dow, Buick, and first aid, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.

 

The post Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 11 “Time & Life” appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 10 “The Forecast”

Mon, 04/20/2015 - 16:37

Last night’s episode saw Don Draper struggling to see the future for both the ad agency and himself. The show opens with his realtor nagging him to get out of bed and replace the stained carpeting so she can sell his apartment.

Joan travels to the Los Angeles office to hire new staff with Lou Avery. She meets a retired gentleman named Richard who wanders into the office. They quickly hit it off and romance blooms. Shortly after she returns home he calls from New York and they go out again. Despite being very attracted to Joan, Richard later says he is disappointed to find out she has a young son, as he is more interested in a life of leisure and adventure. She leaves angrily.

Peggy, Ed and Mathis struggle to come up with creative work for Tinkerbell Cookies. Mathis bickers with Ed during the client pitch and ends up swearing in front of the clients. Later he tries a Don Draper line to rectify the situation and save face, which falls flat and gets him fired.

Sally is busy getting ready for a 12 state teen summer bus trip. Glen Bishop stops by to tell her that he is enlisting in the army, which upsets Sally. Later Sally tries to make amends, but can’t reach Glen by phone. Betty is surprised to see Glen after so long and they reconnect after Sally leaves for her trip when he tells her that he enlisted because he flunked out of college. She attempts to reassure him and he tries to kiss her. She thwarts his advance, but clearly shows some care and affection for him.

Peggy insists that Don conduct her performance review and he takes the opportunity to ask her about her plans for the future. She says she wants to be the first woman creative director at the agency and to “create something of lasting value.”

Richard comes to the agency with flowers to apologize for his behavior and says he wants to be a part of Joan’s life. She accepts his apology.

Don takes Sally and a few of her friends out for Chinese food before their bus trip leaves. One of her friends is flirtatious with Don, which irritates Sally. At the bus station Sally tells him that her goal in life is to get away from him and Betty and be a different person.

The episode ends with Don walking into his empty apartment to find that his realtor is in the middle of completing a contract on his apartment with a young couple. She ushers him out the door and says to him that now they just need to find him a place. He goes out to the hall and seems somewhat overwhelmed at what the future might bring.

Last night’s show featured references to grapefruit, Sanka, travelers checks and carpeting, among other things. Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.

The post Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 10 “The Forecast” appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Congratulations to Our 2015-2016 Research Grant Recipients

Thu, 04/16/2015 - 16:18

The Rubenstein Library’s research centers annually award travel grants to undergraduate and graduate students, faculty, and independent scholars through a competitive application process. Congratulations—we look forward to sharing our collections with you!

History of Medicine Research Grants

Lindsey Beal, MFA, for photographic research on late nineteenth and early twentieth century obstetric and gynecological instruments.

Forceps from the History of Medicine instrument collection

Elaine LaFay, PhD candidate in History and Sociology of Science, University of Pennsylvania, for dissertation work on “Weathered Bodies, Sickly Lands: Climate, Health, and Place in the Antebellum Gulf South.”

Jaipreet Virdi-Dhesi, PhD, for work on “Deafness is Misery: Advertised Cures for Hearing Loss in Early 20th Century America.”

 

John Hope Franklin Center for African and African-American History and Culture Research Grants

Wangui Muigai, Princeton University, “An Awful Gladness: Infant Mortality and Race from Slavery to the Great Migration”

Jessica Parr, University of New Hampshire at Manchester, “’Saved from My Pagan Land:’ the Role of Religion in Self-Making in the Black Atlantic, 1660-1820.”

Whitney Stewart, Rice University, “Domestic Activism: The Politics of the Black Home in Nineteenth-Century America”

Brandon Winford, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “Building New South Prosperity: John Hervey Wheeler, Black Banking, and the Economic Struggle for Civil Rights”

N.C. Mutual Home Office and Mechanics and Farmers Bank

 

John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History Research Grants

Dana Alsen, Department of History, University of Alabama, “Changing Patterns of Food Consumption in North Carolina, 1945-1989”

Dr. Makeda Best, Dept. of Visual Studies, California College of the Arts, “Sensing Memory: Kodak Cameras, Class, the Haptic, and the Labor of Memory in Late Nineteenth Century America”

Cari Casteel, History of Technology, Auburn University, “The Odor of Things: Deodorant, Gender, and Olfaction in the United States, 1888-2010”

Advertisement for Jergens Dryad Deodorant

 

Dr. Victoria Greive, Dept. of History, Utah State University, “Childhood and the Ideology of Domestic Security: Advertising During the Cold War”

Kira Lussier, Institute for the History and Philosophy of Science and Technology, University of Toronto, “Managing Your Self:  Personality Testing in Corporate America, 1960-present”

Dr. Einav Rabinovitch-Fox, Visiting Scholar, Institute of Research on Women, Gender, and Sexuality, Columbia University,  “Ad Women in a (Mad)Men World: Negotiating Gender in the Advertising Business 1910-1930”

Dr. Rebecca Sheehan, United States Studies Center, University of Sydney, “The Rise of the Superwoman: How Sex Remade Gender in America’s Long 1970s”

Dr. Mark Tadajewski, Professor of Marketing, Durham University, “Jean Kilbourne: Recalling the Contributions of a Feminist Critic of Advertising”

Seth Tannenbaum, Department of History, Temple University, “Take Me Out…To the Concession Stand: Baseball, Food, and Citizenship in the Twentieth Century”

 

Sallie Bingham Center for Women’s History and Culture, Mary Lily Research Grants

Meaghan Beadle, Ph.D. candidate, history, University of Virginia, “This is What a Feminist Looks Like! Photography and Feminism, 1968-1980.”

Hanne Blank, Ph.D. candidate, history, Emory University, “Southern Women, Feminist Health: Activist Health Service and Communities of Radical Conscience in the Southeastern U.S., 1968-1990.”

Feminist Women’s Health Center

 

Samantha Bryant, Ph.D. candidate, history, University of Nebraska at Lincoln, “‘Black Monster Stalks the City’: The Thomas Wansley Case and the Racialized Cultural Landscape of the American Prison Industrial Complex, 1960 – 1975.”

Jaime Cantrell, Visiting Assistant Professor of English, The Sarah Isom Center for Women’s and Gender Studies, University of Mississippi, “Southern Sapphisms: Race, Sexuality, and Sociality in Literary Productions, 1968-1994.”

Ariel Dougherty, Independent scholar, for book research on film teaching programs for young women, women of color, and queer women.

Anne Gray Fischer, Ph.D. candidate, history, Brown University, for dissertation research on the politics of prostitution in the US from 1960s – 1980s.

Anna Iones, Ph.D. candidate, English language and literature, University of Virginia, “Shocking Violence, Contested Consent: The Feminist Avant-garde from Kathy Acker to Riot Grrrl.”

Catherine Jacquet, Assistant Professor, history, Louisiana State University, Responding to Rape: Contesting the Meanings of Sexual Violence in the United States, 1950-1980.

Whitney Stewart, Ph.D. candidate, history, Rice University, “Domestic Activism: The Politics of the Black Home in Nineteenth-Century America.”

Mary Whitlock, Ph.D. candidate, sociology, University of South Florida, “Examining Forty Years Of The Social Organization Of Feminisms:  Ethnography Of Two Women’s Bookstores In the US South.”

Leah Wilson, Master’s student, English, Iowa State University, “Fleeing the Double Bind: Subverting the ‘White Trash’ Label through Female Solidarity and Erotic Power in Dorothy Allison’s Cavedweller.”

The post Congratulations to Our 2015-2016 Research Grant Recipients appeared first on The Devil's Tale.

Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 9 “New Business”

Mon, 04/13/2015 - 17:57

Last night’s episode began and ended with scenes focusing on things that Don has lost in his life. At the Francis house, Don makes a milkshake for his sons. Betty and Henry come home and Don wistfully watches his family chatting together then leaves alone.

Megan calls to ask Don for $500 for the movers. She wants them to “just sign the papers and be done with this” and is tired of asking for an allowance.

Don tracks down Diana at a steakhouse. He wants to have dinner with her “even if it’s five minutes at a time.” Later she comes to his apartment in the middle of the night. They talk about their divorces and her past.

Peggy hires reknown photographer Pima Ryan for the Cinzano shoot. Stan scoffs at first, but then wants Pima to look at his work. Pima seduces him, and later makes a pass at Peggy. They both realize that Pima took advantage of them.

Megan’s mother, Marie, criticizes Megan for letting Don off so easy. Megan’s sister implies that Megan is a failure because of her divorce. Marie is left to supervise the movers at Don’s apartment and fills the whole moving truck with Don’s furniture. Marie calls Roger asking for cash to pay the mover. He arrives at Don’s apartment with the money and Marie rekindles their previous affair.

Harry and Megan meet for lunch to discuss her acting career. He flatters Megan, but then makes a pass at her. She leaves in disgust. She goes back to Don’s apartment, shocked to discover it empty except for Roger and Marie. Megan scolds them both and leaves.

Don and Megan meet in the attorney’s office. Megan accuses him of ruining her life. Don writes her a check for a million dollars. “I want you to have the life you deserve,” he says. She takes the check and gives Don her wedding ring.

Don arrives at Diana’s tiny apartment. He is ready for a new start and gives her a book about New York City. Diana insists that she can’t see him anymore because she forgot about the daughter she abandoned while with Don and she never wants to do that. Don goes home to find his apartment completely empty.

Last night’s episode featured references to blenders, Life Cereal, Cinzano vermouth, photography, Champagne, and Tab, among other things.  Enjoy our selection of highlighted ads that reflect the brands and themes that Mad Men characters interacted with last night.

A gallery of our selected images may also be found on Flickr.

The post Mad Men Monday – Season 7, Episode 9 “New Business” appeared first on The Devil's Tale.