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Guide to the Robert A. Hamer Papers, 1857-1995 and undated, bulk 1926-1995

Abstract

Robert A. Hamer was an executive of the Foster and Kleiser Outdoor Advertising Company in California. He worked as a pictorial artist from 1936 to 1953, and as Paint Manager, California Region, from 1956 until his retirement in 1979.

The Robert A. Hamer Papers span the years 1857-1995, the bulk of which document the period 1926-1995, and includes photographs, negatives, correspondence, clippings, administrative records, cartoons, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and newsletters. The collection primarily documents Hamer's career in outdoor advertising with the Foster and Kleiser Company in Southern California, and also touches on events in his personal life. The bulk of the collection consists of photographs of Foster and Kleiser billboards in Southern California, covering two time periods, 1926-1935 and 1950-1970. Other photographs document business activities from 1937-1977, including Foster and Kleiser social events; commercial art production; and sign painting. Clients represented in the collection include Anheuser-Busch, C.H. Baker Shoes, and Slavick's Jewelry. Other clients represented are from the alcoholic beverage, food, travel, and automobile industries, and financial institutions.

Descriptive Summary

Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
Creator
Hamer, Robert A.
Title
Robert A. Hamer papers, 1857-1995 and undated, bulk 1926-1995
Language of Material
English
Extent
2.4 Linear Feet, 1800 Items
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Collection Overview

The Robert A. Hamer Papers span the years 1857-1995, the bulk of which document the period 1926-1995, and include photographs, negatives, correspondence, clippings, administrative records, cartoons, scrapbooks, memorabilia, and newsletters. The collection primarily documents Hamer's career in outdoor advertising with the Foster and Kleiser Company in Southern California, and touches on events in his personal life. The bulk of this collection consists of photographs of Foster and Kleiser billboards in Southern California, covering two time periods, 1926-1941 and 1951-1962. Other photographs document business activities from 1937-1977, including Foster and Kleiser social events; commercial art production; and sign painting. Clients represented include Anheuser-Busch, C.H. Baker Shoes, and Slavick's Jewelry. Other clients represented are from the alcoholic beverage, food, travel, and automobile industries, and financial institutions.

The collection is organized into two series: Business & Personal Files and Photographs & Negatives. The Business & Personal Files Series documents milestones in Hamer's personal and professional life, and contains photographs, correspondence, scrapbooks, administrative records, writings, school newsletters, clippings, awards, cartoon sketches, and memorabilia. Included is a typewritten transcription of correspondence (1857-1880) by Hamer's ancestor, Samuel A. Jackson. ThePhotographs & Negatives Series makes up the bulk of the collection, and includes photographs and negatives depicting Foster and Kleiser billboards in Southern California. Other photographs document business and personal activities. Included are photographs of model and performer Charo posing with Hamer, accomplished billboard artist Mario Rueda, and other employees.

Large-format print materials have been removed from their original locations and relocated to Oversize Materials.

Administrative Information

A majority of collections are stored off site and must be requested at least 48 business hours in advance for retrieval. Contact Rubenstein Library staff before visiting. Read More »

warning Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Researchers must register and agree to copyright and privacy laws before using this collection.

All or portions of this collection may be housed off-site in Duke University's Library Service Center. There may be a 48-hour delay in obtaining these materials.

Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.

warning Use Restrictions

The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Consists of scrapbooks, photographs, personal and business correspondence, administrative records, print materials, newspaper clippings, awards, ephemera, cartoon sketches, and memorabilia that document Hamer's professional and personal life. Series is organized into three categories: Business files; Personal files; and Scrapbooks. Business files include cartoon sketches that humorously depict Hamer and coworkers. Personal files chiefly document Hamer's early life and retirement years, including a brief biographical essay written by Hamer shortly after his retirement. Correspondence in this category includes a typewritten transcription of letters from 1857-1880 that belonged to Hamer's ancestor, Samuel A. Jackson. Hamer's personal correspondence reflects his interest in the visual arts. Scrapbooks include annotated photographs that document the operational history of Foster and Kleiser in Southern California. Scrapbook contents had been removed from their original binders before acquisition, so no order could be determined. Business Files and Personal Files are arranged alphabetically.

Includes correspondence, administrative records, promotional materials, cartoon sketches, newsletters, and print materials. Cartoon sketches humorously depict Hamer and coworkers. Arranged alphabetically.

[ Hamer's Little Helpers sketch, undated, removed to Oversize Materials Folder 1]
Box 1
[ #1 Son sketch, undated, removed to Oversize Materials Folder 1]
Box 1
Correspondence, 1953-1979
Box 1
Industry newsletters, 1947-1958
Box 1
Los Angeles Trade-Technical College papers, 1965-1978
Box 1
Office papers, 1965-1967
Box 1
Personnel records, 1953-1960 and undated

Includes Hamer's superintendant's school test and employee record; policy memoranda; and employee lists.

Box 1
Promotional materials, undated
Box 1
State Fire Marshal certificates, 1962-1977
Box 1

Consists of correspondence, writings, newsletters, cartoon sketches, clippings, memorabilia, and ephemera. Materials chiefly document Hamer's early life and retirement years, including a brief biographical essay written by Hamer shortly after his retirement. Correspondence includes a typewritten transcription of letters from 1857-1880 that belonged to Hamer's ancestor, Samuel A. Jackson. Hamer's correspondence reflects his interest in the visual arts. Arranged alphabetically.

Anaheim Art Association, 1984-1986
Box 1
Biographical essay, 1985
Box 1
Cartoon sketches, undated
Box 1
Certificates and awards, 1963-1975
Box 1
Correspondence, 1857-1995
(2 folders)
Box 1
Postcards, 1903-1914
Box 1
[World War II anti-aircraft training document, undated removed to Oversize Materials Folder 1]
Box 1
[ Frank and Ernest clipping, 1995, removed to Oversize Materials Folder 1]
Box 1
School newsletters, 1929-1933
Box 1

Consists of photographs, personal and business correspondence, administrative records, newspaper clippings, awards, and memorabilia that document Hamer's professional and personal life. Included are annotated photographs that document the operational history of Foster and Kleiser in Southern California. Scrapbook contents had been removed from their original binders before acquisition, so no order could be determined.

Scrapbook contents
(5 folders)
Box 1

Consists of photographs and negatives documenting Foster and Kleiser billboards, and also Hamer's personal and professional life. Series is organized into four categories: Billboard photographs; Other business photographs; Personal photographs; and Negatives. Includes 1975 photographs of model and performer Charo posing with Hamer, accomplished billboard artist Mario Rueda, and other employees; and photographs taken May 31, 1960, at a retirement dinner held for Claude Jones. Billboard photographs are arranged alphabetically, and therein chronologically. Other business photographs and Personal photographs are arranged chronologically to show changes over time in Hamer's life and career; and in outdoor advertising.

Includes photographs taken during two periods, 1926-1941 and 1951-1962. Markings on workbook photographs indicate they were once organized in binders, and are labeled with street locations of billboards. Workbook photographs seem to have been used in routine work practices. Arranged alphabetically, and therein chronologically by date.

Automobiles and automobile services, 1926-1940
Box 2
Clothing and accessories, 1926-1931
Box 2
Entertainment, 1926-1933
Box 2
Financial institutions, 1926-1931
(4 folders)
Box 2
Food and beverage, 1926-1941
(3 folders)
Box 2
Food, beverage, and services, 1926-1932
Box 2
Gift shops and department stores, 1926-1935
(2 folders)
Box 2
Home furnishings and appliances, 1926-1931
Box 2
C.H. Baker shoes, 1926-1932
Box 2
Other shoe stores, 1926-1931
Box 2
Slavick's Jewelry, 1926-1931
(2 folders)
Box 2
Travel and miscellaneous, 1926-1931
Box 2
Small photographs, 1952-1961
Box 3
Automobiles and travel, 1951-1962 and undated
Box 3
Entertainment and beer, 1954-1960
Box 3
Financial institutions, 1954-1962
Box 3
Food, beverage, and beauty products, 1958-1962
Box 3
Liquor, 1955-1961
Box 3
Services and retail, 1954-1962
Box 3
Beer, 1954 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Beer and liquor, 1959 and undated
Box 3
Blank billboards, 1958-1960 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 3
Financial institutions and non-profit organizations, 1955-1959 and undated
Box 3
Food and beverage, 1958-1959 and undated
Box 3
Service industries, 1959 and undated
Box 3
Travel and miscellaneous, 1959 and undated
Box 3

Consists of photographs that document Foster and Kleiser business activities, including award ceremonies; dinners; social events; and artists at work. Includes head shots of Hamer and other employees; 1975 photographs of model and performer Charo posing with Hamer, accomplished billboard artist Mario Rueda, and other employees; and photographs taken May 31, 1960, at a retirement dinner held for Claude Jones. Arranged chronologically to show changes over time in Hamer's career; and in outdoor advertising.

1937-1948
Box 4
1951, [ Foster and Kleiser 50th Anniversary photograph, removed to Oversize Materials folder 1]
Box 4
1955-1957
Box 4
1958, Nick Brigante's retirement dinner
Box 4
1958-1959
Box 4
1960 May 31, Claude Jones' retirement dinner
Box 4
1960
Box 4
[ 1962, Hamer's Sloyd Shop [sic] photograph, removed to Oversize Materials folder 1]
Box 4
1965-1966
Box 4
[ 1968, Happy Birthday Los Angeles photograph, removed to Oversize Materials Folder 1]
Box 4
1970-1971
Box 4
1973-1977
Box 4
Undated
(2 folders)
[Undated business photograph, removed to Oversize Materials Folder 1]
Box 4

Consists of photographs that document Hamer's personal life. Images are chiefly of Hamer, friends and relatives.

1925-1993
Box 4
Undated
Box 4
Undated
(4 folders)
Box 5
Hamer's Little Helpers sketch, undated
Oversize Folder 1
#1 Son sketch, undated
World War II anti-aircraft training document, undated
Oversize Folder 1
Frank and Ernest clipping, 1995
1951, Foster and Kleiser 50th Anniversary photograph
Oversize Folder 1
1962, Hamer's Sloyd Shop photograph
1968, Happy Birthday Los Angeles photograph
Undated, Business photograph

Historical Note

Chronology List

DateEvent(s)
1914 Nov. 5Born Robert Adolph Hamer, Los Angeles, Calif.
1933Graduated from Manual Arts High School (Los Angeles, Calif.)
1935A.A. degree, Los Angeles City College
1936-1953Pictorial artist, Foster and Kleiser Company (Los Angeles, Calif.)
1947Married Esther Hankel
1953-1956Paint superintendent, Foster and Kleiser Company
1956-1979Paint manager, California region, Foster and Kleiser Company
1979 Dec. 31Retired, Foster and Kleiser Company
1996 Nov. 5Died, Orange County, Calif.

Robert A. Hamer served as a member of the Curriculum Advisory Committee with the Los Angeles Trade-Technical College; and as chairman of the California State Division of Apprenticeship Standards for Southern California, during the 1960s and 1970s.

Subject Headings

Related Material

Related Material

Materials related to this collection may be found in other Hartman Center collections, including the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives, OAAA Poster Design Collection, OAAA Slide Library, and John E. Brennan Outdoor Advertising Survey Reports.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Robert A. Hamer Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Robert A. Hamer Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library as a purchase in 2007.

Processing Information

Processed by Rita Johnston, October 2007

Encoded by Rita Johnston, October 2007

Accession 2007-0022 is described in this finding aid.

Descriptive sources and standards used to create this inventory: DACS, EAD, NCEAD guidelines, and our local Style Guide.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.