Guide to the Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0395
Creators:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.
Dates:
1856-1989, undated
Languages:
English
Collection is in
English
. Some materials in
Spanish
.
Physical Description:
65 Cubic feet
Repository:
Printed advertisements, scrapbooks, correspondence, marketing research, radio commercial scripts, photographs, proof sheets, reports, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, television commercial storyboards, blueprints, legal documents, and audiovisual materials primarily documenting the history, business practices, and advertising campaigns of the Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated. Collection documents the professional and private lives of the Hills family; insight into the cultivation, production, and selling of coffee; and construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The collection consists of printed advertisements, scrapbooks, correspondence, marketing research, radio commercial scripts, photographs, proof sheets, reports, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, television commercial storyboards, blueprints, legal documents, and audiovisual materials. These materials primarily document the history, business practices, and advertising campaigns of Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated. Correspondence, genealogies, and home movies reveal a more domestic and social Hills family while company records document business activities outside of the home. Company records also provide insight into the cultivation, production, and selling of coffee, and the company's technological responses to the changes in the coffee trade, and consumer consumption demands. Of interest is the company's participation in social and cultural events including the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. In addition, the collection includes the company's documentation of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1936. The collection is arranged into thirteen series.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is arranged into thirteen series.
Series 1, Hills Family Papers, 1856-1942, undated
Subseries 1.1, Austin Herbert Hills, Sr. Papers, 1856-1875, undated
Subseries 1.2, Austin Herbert Hills, Jr. Papers, 1875-1923
Subseries 1.3, Herbert Gray Hills Correspondence, 1923-1942
Series 2, Background Materials, 1896-1988, undated
Series 3, Coffee Reference Files, 1921-1980, undated
Subseries 3.1, Hills Bros. Coffee Company Literature, 1921-1976, undated
Subseries 3.2, Coffee Industry Literature, 1924-1980, undated
Series 4, Advertising Materials, circa 1890s-1987, undated
Subseries 4.1, Scrapbooks, 1906-1978, undated
Subseries 4.2, Historical Albums, 1911-1967
Subseries 4.3, Ephemera, 1890s-1987
Subseries 4.4, Portfolios, 1919-1985, undated
Subseries 4.5, Proof sheets, 1922-1968
Subseries 4.6, Advertising Forms, 1922-1971, undated
Subseries 4.7, Newspaper and Magazine Advertising, 1926-1971, undated
Subseries 4.8, Sampling Campaigns, 1928-1941
Subseries 4.9, General Files, 1923-1978, undated
Subseries 4.10, NW Ayer Advertising Agency, 1943, 1958
Subseries 4.11, Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising Agency, 1963-1968, undated
Series 5, Photographs, 1882-1973, undated
Subseries 5.1, Employees, 1882-1961, undated
Subseries 5.2, Division Offices, 1924-1931, undated
Subseries 5.3, Facilities and Vehicles, 1927-1973, undated
Subseries 5.4, Advertising, 1925-1959, undated
Subseries 5.5, Sales, circa 1921-1939, undated
Subseries 5.6, Packaging, 1884-1969, undated
Subseries 5.7, Grocery Store Displays, circa, 1901-1935
Subseries 5.8, Store Tests, 1938
Subseries 5.9, Window and Wall Displays, 1928, 1930, 1934
Subseries 5.10, Publicity, 1933-1936, undated
Subseries 5.11, Miscellaneous, 1898-1949, undated
Subseries 5.12, Coffee and Tea Industry, 1900s-1947,. undated
Series 6, Sales and Marketing Records, 1906-1989, undated
Subseries 6.1, Bulletins for Salesmen, 1912-1969
Subseries 6.2, Division Bulletins and General Letters, 1925-1927
Subseries 6.3, Correspondence, 1919-1989
Subseries 6.4, Conventions and Meetings, 1915-1971
Subseries 6.5, Salesmen Materials, 1906-1973, undated
Subseries 6.6, Reports and Studies, 1941-1978
Subseries 6.7, Marketing Research, 1956-1978, undated
Subseries 6.8, Pricing Information, 1949-1965
Series 7, Employee Records, 1934-1966
Series 8, Accounting and Financial Records, 1903-1960, undated
Series 9, Office Files, 1915-1970, undated
Subseries 9.1, General, 1915-1969, undated
Subseries 9.2, T. Carroll Wilson Correspondence, 1941-1970
Series 10, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Materials, 1933-1986, undated
Subseries 10.1, Background Information, 1933-1986, undated
Subseries 10.2, Photographic Materials, 1933-1936, undated
Series 11, Golden Gate International Exposition Materials, 1915-1940, undated
Subseries 11.1, Coffee Theater, circa 1939
Subseries 11.2, Exposition Attendance, 1915-1940
Subseries 11.3, Correspondence, 1937-1940, undated
Subseries 11.4, Construction, 1937-1940, undated
Subseries 11.5, Blueprints, 1937-1939
Subseries 11.6, Behind the Cup, 1937-1940, undated
Subseries 11.7, Newspaper Cooperation, 1939
Subseries 11.8, Solicitations and Replies, 1938-1940
Subseries 11.9, Miscellaneous, 1938-1940
Series 12, World War II Materials, 1939-1949, undated
Subseries 12.1, Production and Quotas, 1942-1946
Subseries 12.2, Rationing, 1939-1946
Subseries 12.3, Containers and Closures, 1942-1949, undated
Subseries 12.4, Appeals, 1948
Subseries 12.5, Advertising Campaigns, 1942, undated
Subseries 12.6, Machinists' Strike Scrapbooks, 1945-1946
Series 13, Audio Visual Materials, 1930-1984, undated
Subseries 13.1, Moving Images, 1930-1966
Subseries 13.1.1, Television Commercials, 1951-1984
Subseries 13.1.2, Television Programs, 1951-1967
Subseries 13.1.3, Promotional Materials, 1939-1977
Subseries 13.1.4, Hills Bros. Activities, 1930-1962
Subseries 13.1.5, Miscellaneous Film and Video, 1938-1966
Subseries 13.2, Sound Recordings, 1934-1967, undated
Subseries 13.2.1, Radio Commercials, 1941-1967, undated
Subseries 13.2.2, Radio Programs and Other Broadcasts, 1934-1956, undated
Subseries 13.2.3, Cardboard Discs, 1941-1960; undated.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
draft

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Grace Meyer, volunteer, 1996; Deirdre Ryan, intern, 1996; and Vanessa Broussard-Simmons, archivist, 1996.
Author
Vanessa Broussard-Simmons, T. Carroll Wilson, and Wendy Shay
Immediate Source of Acquisition
These records were donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History by Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.
Conditions Governing Use
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.
Preferred Citation
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Related Materials
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
AC0059 NW Ayer Advertising Agency Records
AC0060 Warshaw Collection of Buisness Americana
AC0500 Landor Design Collection
AC0411 Charles W. Trigg Papers
Division of Cultural History, National Museum of American History
Artifacts include coffee packaging, Golden Gate International Exposition sampling cups and saucers, a bowling shirt, and coffee cans.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Coffee Topic 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
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives