Menu

Guide to the J. Walter Thompson Company. Shirley F. Woodell Papers, 1943-1958

Collection Overview

The papers of Shirley F. Woodell span the years 1943 to 1958. They consist of correspondence, memoranda, reports, maps, notes, itineraries, and a photograph album. The collection documents the operations of the J. Walter Thompson Company in Mexico, the Caribbean area, and Latin America, primarily through correspondence and reports written by Woodell during and immediately after his business trips. The bulk of the collection consists of Woodell's accounts of his field trips written, often daily, to J. Walter Thompson Company executives and staff. There is also correspondence to representatives of some of the company's clients. The collection documents the process of marketing a wide variety of American products, from cosmetics to automotive parts, in an international market. Local uses of products and the ways in which competitive products affected the markets for clients' products were also described because local economic and cultural factors affected decisions about advertising and distribution.

The correspondence and reports convey information relevant to advertising, however the collection also includes more general observations of an American traveler in foreign countries. Social customs, traditional cultures, political situations, and Indian peoples of many countries are noted throughout the manuscripts. Clients of the J. Walter Thompson Company represented in the collection include Chesebrough-Pond's, Ford Motor Company, Eastman Kodak Company, J.B. Williams Company, Kraft Foods Company, Pan American World Airways, Parker Pen Company, Reader's Digest Association, and Standard Brands Incorporated. A business trip Woodell made during his earlier employment with McCann-Erickson Worldwide is also documented. A record of one business trip to England, France and Belgium is included.

In correspondence, memoranda, and reports, Woodell describes meetings with product distributors, retailers, dealers, and other advertising executives, including information about their business operations as well as their personal characteristics. Print and radio advertisements, billboards, and signs are discussed with regard to both their market success and attendant production problems. Costs, production facilities, and translations from English to Spanish, Portuguese, or French were often problematic. Traveling on behalf of his company and its clients, Woodell was responsible for a myraid of details and conducting business at a distance from the company's New York office was often difficult. He was occasionally exasperated by delays or apparent lack of attention to his requests for information or assistance. Woodell also describes his accommodations, parties and other social functions that he attended.

The Photograph Album, titled "Friends," contains candid portraits of personnel from the J. Walter Thompson Company's New York Office and its various International Division offices, and representatives of the company's client businesses.

Descriptive Summary

Title
J. Walter Thompson Company. Shirley F. Woodell papers, 1943-1958
Creator
J. Walter Thompson Company.
Extent
1.7 Linear Feet, 1900 Items
Repository
Duke University. David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Location
For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Language
English.

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

Access to some portions of the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives is restricted.

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 the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives have not been transferred to Duke University. For further information, see the section on copyright in the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.

Contents of the Collection

Includes chiefly carbon copies of correspondence, memoranda, reports, expense reports, a survey form, maps, notes, and itineraries. Arranged chronologically.

(Clients: Chesebrough Manufacturing Corp.. Vaseline; Mack Truck; Schenley Distillers Corp.; Standard Oil Company of N.J.)
Box 1
(Clients: Ford Motor Co.)
Box 1
(Clients: Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; Ford Motor Co.; Gillette Safety Razor Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Libby, McNeill and Libby; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Radio Corporation of America; Reader's Digest Association; and Standard Brands)
Box 1
(Clients: Buxton; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Gillette Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Libby, McNeill and Libby; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Radio Corporation of America; Reader's Digest Association; and Standard Brands)
Box 1
(Clients: Buxton; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Gillette Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Libby, McNeill and Libby; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Scott Paper Co.; and Standard Brands)
Box 1
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Caterpillar Tractor Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Gillette Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Libby, McNeill and Libby; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Radio Corporation of America; Reader's Digest Association; and Standard Brands)
Box 1
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Caterpillar Tractor Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Gillette Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Libby, McNeill and Libby; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; P. Ballantine and Sons; Radio Corporation of America; Reader's Digest Association; and Standard Brands)
Box 1
(Clients: British Broadcasting Corp.; Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Buxton; Caterpillar Tractor Co.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Ford Motor Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Radio Corporation of America; Socony-Vacuum Co.; and Standard Brands)
Box 2
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Caterpillar Tractor Co.; Celanese Corp.; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Domit; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Goodrich Co.; Guanos Y Fertizantes; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; P. Ballantine and Sons; Pepsi-Cola Co.; Proctor and Gamble Co.; Radio Corporation of America; Reader's Digest Association; Rolex Watch USA; Sears, Roebuck and Co.; Socony-Vacuum Co.; and Standard Brands)
Box 2
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Caterpillar Tractor Co.; Celanese Corp.; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Pan-American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Radio Corporation of America; Reader's Digest Association; Socony-Vacuum Co.; and Standard Brands)
Box 2
1951, Feb.-May:Final Report, Pan American World Airways LAD Field Trip
Box 2
(Clients: Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Libby, McNeill and Libby; Mentholatum Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Reader's Digest Association; and Standard Brands)
Box 2
(Clients: Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons/Squibb Inter-American Corp.; Ford Motor Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Life International; Mentholatum Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Reader's Digest Association; Scott Paper Co.; and Standard Brands)
Box 2
(Clients: Aluminum Import Corp.; Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; International General Electric; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Mentholatum Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Reader's Digest Association; Standard Brands; and Timken Roller Bearing Co.)
Box 2
(Clients: Aluminum Import Corp.; Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Mosler Safe Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Reader's Digest Association; R.T. French Co.; Scott Paper Co.; Socony-Vacuum Co.; Standard Brands; Sylvania Electric Products; and Timken Roller Bearing Co.)
Box 3
(Clients: Aluminum Import Corp.; Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; E.R. Squibb and Sons; Ford Motor Co.; Gillette Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Mentholatum Co.; Mosler Safe Co.; Pan American World Airways; Parker Pen Co.; Reader's Digest Association; R.T. French Co.; Scott Paper Co.; Socony-Vacuum Co.; Standard Brands; Sylvania Electric Products; and Timken Roller Bearing Co.)
Box 3
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Eastman Kodak Co.; Goodrich Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Mentholatum Co.; National Carbon Co.; Pan American World Airways; Scott Paper Co.; Scripto; Standard Brands; and W.R. Grace Co.)
Box 3
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; Ford Motor Co.; J.B. Williams Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Lever Brothers Co.; Mentholatum Co.; Mosler Safe Co.; Murine Co.; Owens-Illinois Corp.; Pan American World Airways; R.T. French Co.; Scripto; and W.R. Grace Co.)
Box 3
(Clients: Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; Eastman Kodak Co.; Ford Motor Co.; H.F. Ritchie; Kraft Foods Co.; Mentholatum Co.; National Carbon Co.; Pan American World Airways; Reader's Digest Association; R.T. French Co.; Scott Paper Co.; Scripto; S.C. Johnson; Standard Brands; and W.R. Grace Co.)
Box 3
(Clients: Aluminum Import Corp.; Brown and Williamson Tobacco Co.; Burroughs Adding Machine Corp.; Carter Products; Champion Spark Plug Co.; Chesebrough-Pond's; E.I. duPont de Nemours and Co.; Eastman Kodak Co.; Ford Motor Co.; General Milk; J.B. Williams Co.; Kellogg Co.; Kraft Foods Co.; Mentholatum Co.; Mobil Oil Corp.; Murine Co.; Pan American World Airways; Reader's Digest Association; R.T. French Co.; Scott Paper Co.; Scripto; Standard Brands; Sylvania Electric Products; Tobal; and W.R. Grace Co.)
Box 3
1958, Dec.,Trip to Montevideo and Latin America, Tourist Commission
Box 3

Photographs, one letter (1982), and one clipping. The album was partially dismantled prior to receipt from the J. Walter Thompson Company Archives.

1950s, 1982
(1 folder)
Photograph Album, 1950s and 1982
Box 4

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
1907, Sept. 25Born, Louisville, Ky.
1907-1919Lived in Havana, Cuba
1926-1928Export advertising clerk, Holeproof Hosiery Company, New York
1927A.B., Columbia University
1928-1941Advertising manager, Packard Motors Export Corporation, New York
1938Founder and first President of the International Advertising Association
1941-1943Sales manager, International Division, National Broadcasting Corporation, New York
1943-1944Account executive, Foreign Department, McCann-Erickson Corporation, New York
1944-1945United States Navy Department
1946-1960J. Walter Thompson Company, International Department
1960Retired from the J. Walter Thompson Company; lecturer at the business school of The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; International Advertising Association Man of the Year award

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], J. Walter Thompson Company. Shirley F. Woodell Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.

Provenance

The Shirley F. Woodell Papers were transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from the J. Walter Thompson Company in 1987.

Processing Information

Processed by: Donna Longo DiMichele

Completed October 11, 1993

Processing of this collection was supported in part by the J. Walter Thompson Company Fund and the John and Kelly Hartman Foundation.

Encoded by Stephen Miller

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.