Guide to the John Paver Papers, 1920-1979
The John Paver Papers span the years 1920 through 1979, with the bulk of the collection dating from 1938 through the year 1971. The collection documents Paver's career in the outdoor advertising industry, especially his years as president of the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau (NOAB), and his work writing a textbook on the outdoor advertising medium. Series include the Biographical Files Series; Writings and Speeches Series; NOAB Files Series; Subject Files Series; Personal Files Series; Miscellaneous Files Series; Photographs, Negatives, and Slides Series; and Oversize Materials. Researchers interested in the following subjects may find this collection especially helpful: management in the advertising industry, more specifically the outdoor advertising industry; the outdoor medium itself; and traffic and advertising. Common formats in the collection include paper files such as correspondence, meeting minutes, writings, memoranda, printed materials; and photographic prints and negatives. The Resource for Outdoor Advertising Descriptions (ROAD) database, which holds searchable information about the images in this and other outdoor advertising collections will be available in early 2003.
Paver was instrumental in the establishment of standards for traffic measurement and, later, standards and the quality of billboards, topics all reflected in each of the collection's series, especially the Writings and Speeches Series, the NOAB Files Series, and the Subject Files Series. He pioneered research determining the relationship between traffic or habitual movement and trade activities. This work culminated in the publication, Traffic and Trade (McGraw-Hill, 1935), co-authored with research associate Dr. Miller McClintock, and in the founding of the industry authority for measuring outdoor advertising circulation, the Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB). His contributions in the area of window display (show windows) advertising, and, more generally, the outdoor medium are significant as well; all are documented within the collection. A large part of his career was spent in service to the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau before and after World War II; he led the organization for about seventeen years and became a prominent figure in the outdoor advertising industry. The papers document well Paver's work on an outdoor advertising textbook through draft copies and research materials. Through this activity, Paver grew to become a respected authority on poster and painted display advertising in the United States, and served as a speaker and consultant in the last years of his life. For more detailed information about Paver's life and career, see the Biographical Note above as well as the Biographical Files Series. All collection series are further described within the container list.
At the end of this finding aid is a list of publications removed from the collection and cataloged separately. Closely related collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library include the John Brennan Papers, the John Browning Papers, the Duplex Advertising Co. Records, the H.E. Fisk Collection of War Effort Mobilization Campaigns, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Records, the Outdoor Advertising Poster Design Collection, the Outdoor Advertising Slide Library, the Garrett Orr Papers, the R.C. Maxwell Company Records, the Howard Scott Papers, and the Strobridge Lithography Company Photographs.
- Collection Number
- John Paver papers
- 1920-1979, bulk 1938-1971
- Paver, John
- 33.1 Linear Feet, 16,105 Items
- David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Access to the Collection
Collection is open for research.
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Please contact Research Services staff before visiting the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library to use this collection.
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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.
How to Cite
[Identification of item], John Paver Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University.
(See also Legal Size Materials)
The Biographical Files Series ( 1942-1969) includes narratives typed and printed primarily for publication. Paver apparently wrote and rewrote the information in many different forms to suit individual purposes. Some documents include details of his work and military experience ( U.S. Air Force), athletic experience, work performed for NOAB, as well as résumés, and letters of congratulation and recommendation, including items from Miller McClintock, J. Walter Thompson advertising executive Norman Strouse, and others. A publicity file holds articles and other printed materials containing various blurbs about Paver.
(See also Legal Size and Oversize Materials)
The Writings and Speeches Series ( 1923-1972) contains a mix of document formats. Much of the correspondence, memoranda, printed materials, and other non-manuscript items are presumed to relate to the drafts with which they are foldered--probably as research materials. The majority of the items in this series are draft pieces of Paver's planned textbook on the outdoor advertising medium, mostly in holograph (handwritten) or typescript formats, although the book was never published. Book segment titles were distinguished or subjects were assigned to folders wherever possible. The series is divided into two subseries, Writings and Speeches by Paver, and Writings and Speeches by Others. Paver's materials are further subdivided into three groups: (1) files created for his textbook, (2) speeches by Paver, and (3) miscellaneous writings by Paver. Writings and Speeches by Others contains far fewer items, but has similar groupings within it. Photographic materials from this series and all others have been removed to the Photographs, Negatives, and Slides Series. Photocopies of most photographs were left in original order to preserve context.
Paver's textbook files are evidence of his efforts to create a comprehensive introduction and analysis of the outdoor medium. Folders with title- or subject-identified materials make up the initial alphabetical run. These are most often typescripts with holograph edits, but there are some holograph manuscripts as well. Included are long descriptions of both subjects and organizations such as "the advertising agency," the Advertising Council, the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau, the Traffic Audit Bureau, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the Advertising Research Foundation, techniques of buying, art creation, writing advertising copy, market coverage, painted displays, public relations, and more general topics such as " Outdoor Advertising in the US."
The next alphabetical run within Paver's textbook files contains items comparable to the alphabetical by subject group, but is ordered by genre/book part. It includes portions Paver labeled as the appendix, illustrations, and more. There are traffic flow graphs and a glossary of industry terms helpful for the novice advertiser. In addition, there are outlines, questionnaire results, and a large number of manuscript fragments. Similar to the previous group, these files describe outdoor advertising in detail, but also highlight its importance in the world with fragments such as one titled, "Posters as a Visual Aid in Projecting America's Image to the World." Paver compared the medium to others, wrote about industry changes and outdoor advertising abroad, and discussed industry research.
Paver's speeches reveal his broad knowledge of the outdoor advertising industry; he spoke on the medium in general as well as on more specific topics like traffic measurement. This group of materials is evidence of his many speaking engagements in his home state of Texas, as well as abroad for the British Poster Advertising Association and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Australia. Paver also presented to organizations such as state outdoor advertising associations, and to smaller groups including a student women's advertising club. A number of the speeches were obviously connected to his work with the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau or were at least given during his employment there.
Miscellaneous writings by Paver, some going back to the beginnings of his advertising career, include files regarding his college thesis on transportation in Chicago, and Traffic and Trade Research Report, a work completed at Harvard, 1934. There is a broader picture of the man in drafts of his World War II experiences and family history.
(See also Legal Size Materials)
Paver likely used these materials in his research and writings on the industry. Authors include advertising executives Norman Strouse and Kerwin Fulton. Topics such as advertising leasing, criticism and other problems facing the industry, advertising and war, NOAB, personnel, and European outdoor advertising are discussed. The files are primarily arranged alphabetically by author.
(See also Legal Size and Oversize Materials)
The National Outdoor Advertising Bureau (NOAB), ca. 1919-1970, the organization with which Paver is most closely associated, was created to help advertisers obtain recognition by billboard owners and to handle arrangements for outdoor advertising. These files date from 1925 through 1968. NOAB was a cooperative organization owned exclusively by the advertising agency members and helped them with all phases of an outdoor campaign. Paver assumed leadership of the agency in 1945, and by 1958 it placed over $70 million in contracts for painted displays, billboards, and other outdoor advertising. He directed the organization for about seventeen years, a time span reflected within the collection, but his time working for the NOAB Field Service Office in the late 1930s is also represented. The papers document his years of leadership through a variety of formats including minutes of NOAB's executive committee from 1950 through the time of his retirement. He represented NOAB through correspondence and multiple speaking engagements, serving often as a cheerleader promoting the industry. The series is arranged alphabetically by subject, revealing information about his travels abroad, contract and policy information, the industry's view of NOAB, Paver's specific duties, poster rates and evaluation, and work for Standard Oil. Particular attention is paid to the Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB) which Paver helped to establish and later defend. TAB became the industry's body to measure circulation of outdoor advertising and is still in existence. Included also are several manuals, some printed materials and other items about or related to NOAB.
(See also Legal Size and Oversize Materials)
The Subject Files Series (1920-1972) is arranged alphabetically by topic, proper name, or title, and contains a mix of formats including printed materials, writings, correspondence, and maps. Many folders appear to be collections of research materials for his writing, and all pertain to his professional activities although not always purely outdoor advertising. There are files relating to his window study performed in Allentown, Pa., traffic information for parts of his home state of Texas, auto safety and registration, his writing and publication plans, the "Bull Penn" professional organization, Canadian outdoor advertising, costs, advertising coverage, an international conference, Paver's traffic counting invention (Paver-Sills Traficounter), parking, Paver's work with research associate Leon Quera, awareness of outdoor advertising, regulation of the industry, billboard structure, traffic engineering and safety. Correspondents include the British Poster Advertising Association and other prominent industry figures such as Ben Egan, Karl Eller (Eller Media), and T. Walter Tyrrell.
(See also Legal Size and Oversize Materials)
The Personal Files Series (1943-1979) reveals a wide breadth of activity beyond Paver's professional duties. Materials document relationships with family members as well as connections to such organizations as the Freemasons, Paver's church, and the Chicago Athletic Association. Most prominent is documentation of his time spent raising orchids, including newsletters, photographs, and correspondence with the American Orchid Society.
(See also Legal Size and Oversize Materials)
The Miscellaneous Files Series contains additional materials for all of the previous series including speeches, professional correspondence, personal wartime correspondence, writings, printed materials, and clippings. These originally loose items were placed in unsorted folders for protection, but at the time of processing, resources were unavailable for item-level identification and sorting. Topics include outdoor advertising in the U.S. and abroad; traffic safety, circulation, and engineering; biographical materials; TAB, OAAA, and NOAB; military orders and service during WWII; outdoor advertising construction, product name recall, reach and frequency; costs; the "Bull Penn;" and orchids.
The Photographs, Negatives, and Slides Series (ca. 1920s-1970) contains over 300 items, pulled together from all other parts of the collection. A few photographs are from the 1920s, but the majority appear to have been taken in the 1950s and 1960s.They document a great deal of outdoor advertising mounted in that era, and also provide evidence of other areas of Paver's life such as his garden work. Most are undated (color or black and white) photographs of outdoor advertising, especially billboards, but there are also a large number of portraits of Paver from the 1940s and 1950s. Some photographs show advertising artwork and artists at work on large painted displays, and some seem to form part of an office presentation. Other photograph subjects include office workers demonstrating particular activities; business gatherings of various sorts; advertising in Paris and an Asian city (perhaps in Japan), and a wedding gathering. Around 40 photographs show Paver's pool area, where he worked with and displayed his collection of orchids.
More detailed information about all photographs, slides, and negatives were entered into the Resource for Outdoor Advertising Descriptions (ROAD) database which will be available in early 2003. The database has the following information fields: image number, dates, image type, product category, company, product/brand, headline, advertisement type, posting company, image color, rural or city scene, ethnicity of some individuals, presence of women/children, famous persons, city, state, non-advertisement type, and additional notes.
The Legal Size Materials include items from all of the other series, except Photographs, Negatives, and Slides.
The Oversize Materials include items from all of the other series, except the Biographical Files Series, and the Photographs, Negatives, and Slides Series.
|1900 Jan. 15||
Born in Montgomery, Alabama
Student Army Training Corps enlistee at University of California when World War I armistice signed
Graduated from Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.) with a Bachelor of Science degree
Graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Civil Engineering
|1925 Sept.-1927 Apr.||
Research Engineer at Sunland Sales Corporation
|1927 Apr.-1933 Jan.||
Chief Engineer-Secretary at the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA)
|1933 Jan.-1936 Jan.||
Erskine Fellow and Research Associate for Miller McClintock at Erskine Bureau for Street Traffic Research at Harvard University
|1936 Jan.-1937 Apr.||
Research Associate for McClintock at Advertising Research Foundation
|1937 Apr.-1942 June||
Engineer and Manager of National Field Service Department at National Outdoor Advertising Bureau (NOAB)
|1942 June-1944 June||
Major-Lieutenant Colonel in US Air Force during World War II
|1944 Jul.-1945 Jan. 1||
Managing Director of Traffic Audit Bureau (TAB)
|1945 Jan. 1 -1962||
President and General Manager of NOAB
Featured speaker at the national convention of the British Poster Advertising Association
Speaker again for the British Poster Advertising Association
Retired from NOAB
Guest of honor and speaker at the European Association of Outdoor Advertising in Paris
After retirement, Paver still promoted the establishment of an international organization to make use of poster advertising throughout the world and traveled extensively for this purpose. He worked closely with the British and London Poster Associations and the Outdoor Advertising Federation of Europe. Paver also published "My World War II Experiences" at some point before 1968. Only a few copies were created by printer, Harry Deckoff, of the Tribune Printing Company in New York
Most cataloged separately and represented in the online catalog.
1952 Proceedings. Institute Of Traffic Engineers. Twenty-third Annual Meeting.
Action For Outdoor Recreation For America., Washington, D.C.: Citizen's Committee For The Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission Report, 1964.
All Media Evaluation Study., New York: Sponsor Services Inc., c1954.
American Marketing Journal, 2, no. 3 (July 1935).
BBDO Newsletter, (February 1966) 75th Anniversary Edition.
Bulletin [of the] National Council of State Garden Clubs, Inc., 12, no. 3 (1941).
Cass, Samuel, and Raymond DesJardins. Co-ordinated Transportation. Conn.: Eno Foundation for Highway Traffic Control, 1956.
Cook County Board of Commissioners. Moving Vehicle Method Of Estimating Traffic Volumes and Speeds., Chicago: Inland Press Inc., 1956.
Davis, Clarence and Burkett Van Kirk. Some Rights Of Landowners Adjacent To The Interstate Highway System. Reprinted from Nebraska State Bar Journal 11, no. 1 (January 1962).
Economic and Social Effects of Highway Improvements...A Summary. East Lansing, Mich.: Michigan State University Press, 1961.
The Executive: The Digest of Current Literature for Top Management 5, no. 3 (August 1961).
IMSA Signal Magazine 1, no. 1 (November-December 1965).
IOA Outdoor Newsletter [Institute of Outdoor Advertising] 4, no. 3 (March 1969).
------------ 4, no. 4 (April 1969).
------------ 4, no. 5 (May 1969).
The International Advertiser 3, no. 2 (February 1962).
Joint Assembly and Senate Committee on the Scenic Preservation of State Highways. Report. Sacramento: California State Printing Office, 1931.
Journal of the American Institute of Planners 25, no. 2 (May 1959).
Kettering, Charles F. Research and Social Progress. Speech delivered at the Washington Award Banquet, Palmer House, Chicago, Illinois, February 25, 1936.
Library Classification and Sample Bibliography of Traffic Engineering Materials. New Haven, Conn.: Bureau For Street Traffic Research, Yale University, 1940.
A New Way to Buy Painted Outdoor Advertising. Detroit: Painted Outdoor Advertising Association, 1924.
On Target 2, no. 2 (April 1969).
------------ 2, no. 3 (June 1969).
Outdoor Advertiser 14, no. 75 (Sept. 1961).
------------ 14, no. 6 (July 1962).
Outdoor Advertising News 14, no. 1, (April 1960) [Outdoor Advertising Association of Australia].
------------ 14, no.1 (July 1960) [Outdoor Advertising Association of Australia].
Outdoor Advertising News 54, no 11 (Nov. 1963) [Outdoor Advertising Association of America].
------------ 54, no. 11 (Nov. 1963). [Outdoor Advertising Association of America].
------------ 54, no. 12 (Dec. 1963). [Outdoor Advertising Association of America].
------------ 55, no. 9 (Sept. 1964). [Outdoor Advertising Association of America].
------------ 56, no. 10 (Oct. 1965). [Outdoor Advertising Association of America].
The Outdoor Bulletin 6, no. 12 (Dec. 1961).
The Place of Advertising in the Distributive System. Los Angeles: E. J. Murphy.
Proper Locations for Bus Stops: A Recommended Practice. New Haven, Conn.: Institute of Traffic Engineers, 1954.
Public Relations in Outdoor Advertising. Chicago: Outdoor Advertising Association of America, 1928.
Public Roads 30, no. 5 (Dec. 1958). (2 copies)
Recommended Research Program for Institute of Outdoor Advertising. New York: Advertising Research Foundation, Inc., 1967.
A Report on Automation Trends in the Modern Production Market. Cleveland, Ohio: Penton Publications, 1966.
Riksaffischering: Plats-och Adressförteckning. Stockholm: Wennergren-William A.B.
Roadside Protection: A Study of the Problem and a Zoning Legislative Guide. Washington, D.C.: American Automobile Association.
Signs and Outdoor Display Structures. New York: American Standards Association, 1956.
Suffrin, Harry. This Canadian Food Chain Develops Several Shopping Centers. Conn.: Eno Foundation for Highway Traffic Control, 1956.
A Study of Human Response to Visual Environments in Urban Areas. Arthur D. Little, Inc., 1967.
A Study of Techniques to Measure Response to Urban Roadside Environments. Arthur D. Little, Inc.
Summary of a Study by Arthur D. Little, Inc. Measuring Human Response to the Environment of the Urban Roadside. Commissioned by the Outdoor Advertising Association of America, 1967.
Super Markets and Self-Service Stores: A Study of Their Importance in 694 Cities. Outdoor Advertising Inc., c1946.
A Time for Keen Perspective: Papers from the 1961 Region Conventions. American Association of Advertising Agencies, 1962.
Traffic Engineering 28, no. 8 (May 1958).
------------ 28, no. 11 (Aug. 1958).
------------ 31, no. 7 (April 1961).
Traffic Engineering and Control 5, no. 11 (March 1964).
Traffic Quarterly. Bulletin 10, no. 1 (Jan. 1956).
------------ 12, no. 12 (April 1958).
Click to find related materials at Duke University Libraries.
- John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
- National Outdoor Advertising Bureau
- Outdoor Advertising Association of America
- Paver family
- Paver, John
- Paver, John
- Traffic Audit Bureau (New York, N.Y.)
- United States. Air Force
- Advertising layout and typography
- Advertising, Outdoor -- Design and construction -- Standards
- Advertising, Outdoor -- Europe
- Advertising, Outdoor -- Law and legislation -- United States
- Advertising -- Management
- Advertising -- Posters
- Advertising agencies
- Advertising executives
- Advertising, Outdoor -- Posters
- Advertising, Outdoor -- United States
- Billboards -- United States
- Billboards -- Design and construction -- Standards
- Billboards -- Europe
- Commercial art -- United States
- Commercial art
- Posters -- Design
- Posters -- United States
- Paver-Sills Traficounter
- Poster, American -- 20th century -- United States
- Show windows
- Signs and signboards
- Traffic estimation
- Traffic flow
- Traffic surveys
The John Paver Papers were transferred to the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1996.
Processing of this collection was supported by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
Processed by Lisa Stark
Completed March 29, 2001
Encoded by Lisa Stark
Folder date spans were figured by sampling and so may not be strictly accurate for all materials in a particular folder.
There was no meaningful arrangement to the collection when it came to the library, and so most organization has been imposed to approximate how Paver may have used the files. For instance, files obviously created during his tenure at the National Outdoor Advertising Bureau (NOAB) were pulled into a separate group of files by that name. Most individual folders hold a wide range of material types, such as manuscripts, photographs, and printed materials. Folder labels give an indication of most materials in a folder, but perhaps not all materials in the folder.
All photographs, slides, and negatives were pulled from folders into their own series. Whenever a photograph had been filed with other papers, a photocopy was made of the photograph, and left with the papers to preserve context. Approximate dates on the backs of photos may not be accurate. They were usually entered into the image database when found, but could not be confirmed.
Oversize materials were labeled with the same title as the folder from which they were pulled. Thus an oversize item may, for instance, have the title/label "Typescript" when the oversize item is actually a clipping, if "Typescript" is on the folder label from which the item originally came.
Patrons should use caution since the collection still contains some rusty staples.