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Guide to the Howard Scott Papers, 1921-1984 and undated, bulk 1930s-1950s

Collection Overview

The Howard Scott Papers span the years 1921-1984, although the bulk of materials covers the period from the 1930s to the 1950s, documenting Scott's career in outdoor advertising as a billboard designer and graphic artist. The papers include correspondence (including two letters from Norman Rockwell), newspaper and magazine clippings, awards, and school yearbooks relating to Scott's personal and professional life, in addition to photographs, sketches, lithographs and reprints of outdoor advertising images for clients such as Amoco, Chesterfield (Liggett and Myers), Esso and Mobil oil products, DeSoto, Ford, and Nash automobiles, H.J. Heinz Co., Lever Brothers, Pabst and Schlitz beers, World War II-era programs such as the USO and Navy recruitment, and the 1939-1940 World's Fair. The collection is arranged into four series--the General Papers Series, the Photographs Series, the Graphic Design, Artwork and Sketches Series, and the Memorabilia Series.

The General Papers Series includes correspondence, biographical information, clippings, sketches, school yearbooks, publications and certificates of recognition. Included are articles about "Elmer," the character created by Scott to help promote the 1940 World's Fair.

The Photographs Series includes approximately 100 prints and transparencies depicting billboard images for a variety of products, such as Esso oil and gasoline, Heinz ketchup, Knickerbocker beer, Swan (Lever Brothers) soap and Twenty Grand cigarettes. Several of the photographs show models in poses which served as the basis for billboard images. Some of the images are signed by artists other than Scott. In addition, approximately 20 photographs depict Scott at various ages, and at work in his studio.

The Graphic Design, Artwork, and Sketches Series includes sketches and proof sheets for billboards and outdoor advertising campaigns created by Scott, as well as a sampling of outdoor poster work by other artists. Major clients include Chesterfield cigarettes; Knickerbocker, Pabst and Schlitz beers; DeSoto, Ford and Nash automobiles; Amoco and Mobil gas and oil; along with a sampling of World War II poster designs including Navy recruiting and the USO. Media include pencil and ink sketches, watercolors, lithographs, and oil paintings. A large mixed media painting depicts an award-winning outdoor design for Ford, with the slogan "He's Doing Fine...He Bought a Ford V-8."

The Memorabilia Series includes awards and trophies that Scott won for his advertising artwork and reflects the esteem with which Scott's work was held by his peers in the outdoor advertising industry.

Closely related collections include: the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Archives; the Garrett Orr Papers; the John Paver Papers; the Strobridge Lithographing Company Advertisements; the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) Slide Library; the War Effort Mobilization Campaign Poster Collection; and the R.C. Maxwell Records.

Descriptive Summary

Title
Howard Scott papers, 1921-1984 and undated, bulk 1930s-1950s
Creator
Scott, Howard
Extent
4.0 Linear Feet, 600 Items
Repository
David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University
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

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

Correspondence (two letters from Norman Rockwell), biographical information, clippings, sketches, school yearbooks, publications and certificates of recognition. Included are articles about "Elmer," the character created by Scott to help promote the 1940 World's Fair. Arranged alphabetically.

Awards and notices, 1938
Box 1
Biographical information and obituary notices, 1983-1984 and undated
Box 1
Clippings, 1942-1947, 1956 and undated
(2 folders)
Box 1
Elmer character created for 1940 World's Fair, 1940
Box 1
Holyoke High School class of 1921 alumni list, 1921
Box 1
Letters from Norman Rockwell 1962, 1972
Box 1
Prattonia, 1925

[Pratt Institute student publication]

Box 1
Miscellaneous, 1929-1962
Box 1
Speeches and presentations, 1956-1964
Box 1
Yearbook [Holyoke High School?], 1921
Box 1

Approximately 100 prints and transparencies depicting billboard images for a variety of products, such as Esso oil and gasoline, Heinz ketchup, Knickerbocker beer, Swan soap and Twenty Grand cigarettes. Several of the photographs show models in poses which served as the basis for billboard images. Some of the images are signed by artists other than Scott. In addition, approximately 20 photographs depict Scott at various ages, and at work in his studio. Arranged alphabetically.

Contact sheets for billboard advertisements, undated
Box 2
Banks
Box 2
Gasoline
Box 2
Motor fuel
Box 2
Motor oil
Box 2
Oil burner
Box 2
Knickerbocker beer
Box 2
Poster House, Ltd. design for generic home repair loan billboard
Box 2
Roth's Black Hawk bacon
Box 2
SOHIO
Box 2
Swan soap
Box 2
Twenty Grand cigarettes
Box 2
Scott, Howard, 1930s-1950s
(Folders 1-4 of 6)
Box 2
Scott, Howard, 1930s-1950s (continued)
(Folders 5-6 of 6)
Box 3
Miscellaneous photographs, 1949 and undated
Box 3

Sketches and proof sheets for billboards and outdoor advertising campaigns created by Scott, as well as a sampling of outdoor poster work by other artists. Media include pencil and ink sketches, watercolors, lithographs, and oil paintings. A large mixed media painting depicts an award-winning outdoor design for Ford, with the slogan "He's Doing Fine...He Bought a Ford V-8." Arranged alphabetically by genre type.

Advertisements and periodical covers, 1920s-1950s

[Includes AandP, Amoco gas and oil, Arrow collars, Calvin Klein, Campbell's soup, DeSoto automobiles, Fleetwood cigarettes, forest fire prevention, Golfer's, Holsum bread, Ivory soap, Jantzen sqimwear, Kemp's ice cream, Lay's potato chips, Mail Pouch tobacco, Mobil gas and oil, Nash automobiles, Palmolive soap, Saturday Evening Post, Schlitz beer, Wings, World War II]

(3 folders)
Box 4
Billboard and poster designs, 1937-1950s and undated

[Includes designs for banks (generic designs), Democrats for Wilkie, Dieldrin (Shell) insecticide, Drake's Cakes, Ford, Ivory soap, Laymen's National Committee, Liberty Loans, Navy recruiting, Pabst beer, Rath's Black Hawk bacon, U.S.O., World War II]

(3 folders)
Box 5
Billboard and poster designs, 1940s-1950s and undated (continued)

[Includes designs for Breck shampoo, Chesterfields cigarettes, Cott beverages, Knickerbocker beer, Nash automobiles, Paul Jones bourbon, U.S.O.]

Box 10
Billboard art and poster designs, 1940s-1950s (continued)

[Includes designs for Nash automobiles, Saturday Evening Post, U.S.O., World War II]

Box 11
Billboard art and poster designs, 1940s-1950s (continued)

[Includes designs for Nash automobiles, Saturday Evening Post, U.S.O., World War II]

Oversize Folder 3
Billboard and poster designs, 1940s-1950s

[Includes Old Gold cigarettes, Petri wine, Sherlock Holmes films]

Oversize Folder 4
Billboard and poster backgrounds, undated
Box 9
Billboard and poster designs, undated

[Includes designs for Cadillac, Cott beverages, Nabisco (Ritz crackers) and Nash automobiles]

Box 10-11
Painting for Ford billboard, He's Doing Fine...He Bought a Ford V-8, circa 1938
Oversize Folder 5
Paintings and sketches, 1920s-1950s and undated
Box 6

Awards and trophies that Scott won for his advertising artwork. Arranged alphabetically by competition title and type of award, and chronologically therein.

Certificates, 1947-1958
Box 7
1935, First Place
Box 8
1937, Second Place
Box 8
1941, Honorable Mention
Box 8
Circa 1942, Honorable Mention (plaque)
Box 7
First Award-Food products
Box 8
First Grand Award
Box 8
Second Grand Award
Box 8
1951, Food products
Box 8
1952, Gasoline and oils
Box 8
Kerwin H. Fulton Award, 1937
Box 8

Historical Note

DateEvent(s)
Circa 1902Born, Holyoke, Mass.
1921Graduated from Holyoke High School; illustrated the school yearbook
1925Graduated from Pratt Institute program in general art; attended Art Students League in New York
1935Created award-winning poster for Ford, It's no use, Mac, it's a Ford V-8
1942Served in the U.S. Navy during World War II; produced patriotic posters for the U.S. War Information Service
1948Won the top two awards at the 16th Annual Exhibition of Outdoor Advertising, presented by the Art Directors Club of Chicago--the gold medal for a Heinz poster and the silver for a Nash Motors poster
Circa 1955Worked with Outdoor Advertising Inc. to raise standards of poster boards; worked with Raymond Loewy to improve billboard structures
1956Founded Verilux, Inc., which researched full-spectrum lighting systems for artists and the printing industry; developed the Trucolite lighting system.
1965Received a U.S. patent for the Verilux light bulb, a full spectrum bulb that simulates natural lighting
1983Died August 17, in Greenwich, Conn.

Howard Scott was one of the foremost graphic artists working in outdoor advertising during the 1930s-1950s and the recipient of numerous outdoor advertising industry design awards.

Subject Headings

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Howard Scott Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University

Provenance

The Howard Scott Papers were donated to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library through a gift in 1996.

Processing Information

Processed by Richard Collier

Completed March 2003

Encoded by Richard Collier

Processing was supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

This finding aid is NCEAD compliant.