Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Guide to the Byron Fogel Placemat Collection

Collection ID:
Fogel, Byron J.
1961 - 2007
Physical Description:
2 Cubic feet
4 boxes
More than 400 placemats collected between 1961 and 2007 from throughout the United States and abroad. The collection consists of advertising placemat used by a variety of restaurants, hotels, casinos, and expositions.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Collection consists of placemats and coasters with advertising from a variety of restaurants, including Burger King, McDonalds, Denny's, International House of Pancakes, Bob Evans, Waffle House, gambling casinos, motels, and hotels. Travel and tourism are a general theme of the collection. The state of Nevada is especially emphasized with several placemats advertising hotels and casinos in Las Vegas. The United States Bicentennial is also emphasized. The placemats contain such subjects as plants, games, horoscopes, the metric system, world's fairs, and barns. There are also various illustrations of outdoor scenes.
Series 1, Placemats, 1961-2007, undated, forms the majority of the materials in this collection. The materials are arranged into two subseries. The first subseries are placemats from eating establishments. The second subseries include materials that cannot be identified by a company or whose primary business is not as an eating establishment.
Subseries 1, Restaurants, 1966-2007, undated, include materials primarily from restaurants but also from cafes, delis, take outs and inns. There are a number of placemats from well known chain restaurants as well as small local establishments primarily located in the United States. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the company.
Subseries 2, Subjects, 1961-1989, undated, include placemats that were created to be informative or to celebrate events. These materials were probably purchased by some eating establishments and used once the company's name was printed on the placemat. Some of the placemats were used in hotels, casinos, airplanes or other places that food was served. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by subject.
Series 2, Other Materials, undated, includes other forms of advertisements used primarily by restaurants and some hotels to communicate to the public the products and services the company offered. The materials are arranged in alphabetical order by the name of the company.

The collection is arranged into two series. Series 1, Placemats, 1961-2007, undated
Subseries 1, Restaurants, 1966-2007, undated Subseries 2, Subjects, 1961-1989, undated
Series 2, Other Materials, undated

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Byron Fogel was born in Chicago, Illinois. When he was three months old the Fogel family moved to Los Angeles, California. As a boy Fogel collected stamps, coins, trading and post cards. In the 1950s Fogel was given his first placemat. Athough though Fogel obtained a history degree and settled on a career in the financial services industry he never lost his passion for collecting. In the 1970s Fogel realized that there was no known collection of placemats. In 1975, he set out to see how many placemats he could acquire. Fogel asked family and friends to obtain these materials when they were out dining and/or traveling. He collected coasters as well. As a member of the Ephemera Society of America, Fogel submitted an article about placemats for its newsletter which was later incorporated in The Encyclopedia of Ephemera.

Jennifer Shaifer
Custodial History
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center from the [Division of Work & Industry?[ with an [addendum?] on November 27, 2007.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated to the Division of Extractive Industries (now the Division of )by Byron J. Fogel on November 15, 1981.
Processing Information
Processed by Jennifer Shaifer (intern), October 2008; supervised by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist.

Using the Collection
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.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
Preferred Citation
Byron Fogel Placemat Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
Donald Rouland Ephemera Collection (AC0 )
Arthur Bernie Wood Papers
Lucinda Rudell Covered Bridge Collection.

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Placemats -- 20th century 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