Gaylord Nelson Papers, 1954-2006 (bulk 1963-1980)

Contents List

Scope and Content Note

The Foote, Cone & Belding (FCB) collection consists almost entirely of microfilmed scrapbooks of the PRINT ADVERTISING produced from 1917, when the firm operated as Lord & Thomas, until 1982, together with a few examples of TELEVISION ADVERTISING, and PUBLICATIONS. While the collection includes a significant portion of the print advertising designed by FCB, some notable advertising campaigns are missing. These include the work done for the Levi Strauss Company, which the firm represented beginning in the 1930s. Also absent are ads about forest safety produced for the Advertising Council. Smokey the Bear, the character conceived for the council by the FCB staff in San Francisco, remains one of the best known advertising icons ever developed. Material about the Edsel automobile is also limited.

Among the best documented accounts are the American Tobacco Company (maker of Lucky Strike cigarettes), Armour (maker of Dial Soap), Colgate-Palmolive-Peet, First National Bank of Chicago, Frigidaire, International Harvester, Kimberly-Clark, New York Central Railroad, Pepsodent toothpaste, Quaker Oats, and RCA Victor. In addition to the print advertising that appeared in magazines and newspapers, there are photographs of advertising billboards, 1941-1945, for two accounts: Sunkist and Union Oil.

There are no overall administrative or individual account records in the collection, either for its history as Lord & Thomas or as Foote, Cone & Belding, and consequently no primary information on the creative planning and development of any account.

The PRINT ADVERTISING series divides into two sections, 1917-1979 and 1980-1982. For the period 1917 to 1979, the advertising is arranged alphabetically by client name and chronologically thereunder, with further refinements for the ads produced by regional FCB offices and for some individual products and product lines. After the initial microfilming was completed, the Archives received additional scrapbooks covering 1980-1982. Unlike the earlier scrapbooks, these volumes were arranged chronologically by time period, and then alphabetically by client. Work of the local FCB offices is indicated in the contents list by place name (for example, Chicago or Toronto), following the name of the client and preceding the date(s).

Some original ads were selected for permanent retention based on the importance of the campaign or the graphic quality of the particular advertisement. When the first selection proved too limited, it was temporarily decided to retain all of the original ads until a better selection could be made. Because of their deteriorated condition, these original ads, which are not included in this finding aid, may be used for reproduction purposes only with special permission.

The television advertising produced by FCB is only meagerly documented. The year 1964 is represented by one box of scripts and a videorecording about the most significant ads produced between 1950 and 1979. The scripts include thumbnail versions of some of the images that appeared on the screen. In addition, the video magazine Person to Person, produced by True North from 1994 to 1996, contains approximately ten minutes of television commercials at the end of each tape.

The PUBLICATIONS series includes published material of a miscellaneous nature ranging from early books published by Lord & Taylor on advertising theory and practice, to historical memos written by Fairfax Cone, and miscellaneous internal publications. Of special interest is the previously mentioned internal video magazine, Person to Person, which includes information for employees on routine matters such as stock options and company performance, sample FCB commercials, and information about individual employees and advertising campaigns.