Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Air-Conditioning

Collection ID:
Warshaw, Isadore, 1900-1969
circa 1866-1965
Physical Description:
3.2 Cubic feet
consisting of 5 boxes, 1 folder, 1 oversize folder, 2 flat boxes.
A New York bookseller, Warshaw assembled this collection over nearly fifty years. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana: Air-Conditioning forms part of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Subseries 1.1: Subject Categories. The Subject Categories subseries is divided into 470 subject categories based on those created by Mr. Warshaw. These subject categories include topical subjects, types or forms of material, people, organizations, historical events, and other categories. An overview to the entire Warshaw collection is available here: Warshaw Collection of Business Americana

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
This material consists primarily of catalogs, printed advertisements, photographs, scattered correspondence on letterhead stationery, reports, operating manuals, diagrams, pamphlets, patents, price lists and order forms from manufacturers and distributors of climate control devices. Such devices include air conditioners, furnaces, exhaust fans, ceiling fans, blowers, gas exhausters, ventilators, heaters, stoves and refrigerators. The devices were manufactured for the heating and ventilating of private, public and industrial buildings. The buildings include schools, asylums, courts, hospitals, churches, auditoriums, theatres, factories, dry good stores, and private residences. Some of the companies also manufactured cooling and heating devices for railroad and subway cars. There is a substantial amount of materials from some of the major companies that still exist today. Among these companies are General Electric, Carrier Engineering Corporation, Philco Corporation and Hotpoint Company.
There are a number of images included in the materials. Most of the images are illustrations of products. Product illustrations are generally in trade catalogues as well as on a number of advertisements and price lists. Other illustrations of products can be found in photographs dating from the 1950s. These images are good examples of family life and products during that era.
Publications discuss a variety of topics concerning climate control devices. Among the reports, bulletins, pamphlets, and articles the topics of concern are primarily ventilation, refrigeration and manufactured weather. There are a few technical bulletins which cover the function and operation of a particular product.
Materials in boxes one through four are organized alphabetically by name of company. There are ten folders of material grouped by type: photographs, patents, import/export documents, related publications and miscellaneous items. Box five contains hand fans. Most of these fans were used to advertise a product or service for restaurants, grocery stores, dry good stores and patent medicines . The fans are arranged by type of image including flowers, animals and children.

Vanessa Broussard-Simmons
Funding for partial processing of the collection was supported by a grant from the Smithsonian Institution's Collections Care and Preservation Fund (CCPF).
Immediate Source of Acquisition note
Air-Conditioning is a portion of the Business Ephemera Series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Accession AC0060 purchased from Isadore Warshaw in 1967. Warshaw continued to accumulate similar material until his death, which was donated in 1971 by his widow, Augusta. For a period after acquisition, related materials from other sources (of mixed provenance) were added to the collection so there may be content produced or published after Warshaw's death in 1969. This practice has since ceased.

Digital Content

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation note
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana Subject Categories: Air-Conditioning, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Conditions Governing Access note
Collection is open for research. Some items may be restricted due to fragile condition.
Conditions Governing Use note
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Materials in the Archives Center
Materials in the Archives Center
Archives Center Collection of Business Americana (AC0404)

Forms Part Of

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Business ephemera Genre Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012