Scope and Contents
Series 1: Tom Carvel Personal Information
Includes magazine and newspaper articles about Tom Carvel's childhood, his start in the ice cream business, and how he built a successful chain of fast food ice cream supermarkets. One article of particular interest is from the
, dated August 21, 1975, entitled "Carvel the Marvel." It talks about his ethnic background and how it has influenced his strong work ethic. This series also contains personal photographs, 1918-1984. These include Tom Carvel playing the drums, hosting a celebrity golf tournament, promoting his business, and a variety of other personal photographs.
Series 2: Financial Information
Includes annual reports from the period 1969-1985, when the Carvel Corporation was a publicly traded company. It also contains a Federal Trade Commission disclosure statement from March 1981, which explains the legal rights and obligations between the Carvel Corporation and the franchise owners.
Series 3: Educational Information for Franchise Owners
Includes materials to help the franchise owners, both new and old, improve their business and increase sales, 1954-1984. The "Why Carvel?" sales brochure is aimed at potential franchise owners. It explains the concept of the 36 flavor, 60 variety ice cream store and lists 83 reasons why a potential franchise owner would be interested in owning a Carvel franchise. In letters to store owners, 1956-1957, Tom Carvel wrote about the increases and decreases in revenue and the benefits of the educational seminars, among other topics. The Annual Educational Seminar packet is a folder containing a list of daily events and meetings, computer print-out commissary order forms, and promotional items. The collection contains an incomplete set of educational seminar packets, 1963-1977. The educational seminars reinforce the material written in the employee magazines.
Series 4: Employee Magazines, 1956-1989
. These magazines address both store owners and customers. The magazines feature articles about store owners, general articles about the ice cream industry, and ways to improve the image of the Carvel Corporation within the community. They also feature sections intended for the customers, including "Teen Talk with Sven Teen," a section of jokes called "Have a Smile," and recipes.
focus on the Carvel franchise system and items used to increase revenue and name recognition, such as menu boards and sales promotions. In addition, the magazines talk about expansion into states like California, Florida, and Ohio. Another purpose was to boost the morale of the store owners and create a "family type atmosphere" within the corporation. They showcase new members of the "Carvel Family" who graduated from the Carvel College. A regular section was the "Dealer of the Month," which gave a brief biographical description which also describes how the dealers had increased their sales revenue.
Series 5: Publicity Materials
Includes clippings, magazine and newspaper articles covering the Carvel Corporation, Tom Carvel, the numerous community events sponsored by the Carvel Corporation, and the ice cream industry in general. The majority of the publications are local newspapers, with a large sampling from the
, a Yonkers newspaper. The publications date from 1953 to 1985. The series also includes general correspondence acknowledging the use of the Carvel name.
The press clippings and newspaper articles contests sponsored by the Carvel Corporation, organizations which met at the Carvel Inn, and charitable events sponsored by the Carvel Corporation. Included are photographs of Robert F. Kennedy at the Carvel Inn in 1968. The series also includes articles about the ice cream industry. They are from the
New York Times
, financial magazines like
, and trade publications. The articles focus on the history and continued expansion of the industry.
Series 6: Advertising Campaign Materials
Includes advertising bulletins, formula service bulletins, and packet information for the $5,000 advertising stores. This material, 1957-1989, was used to keep franchise owners informed about the industry, the actions taken by the Carvel Corporation to assure the success of its individual franchise owners, and how the Carvel Corporation helped each of them promote their business through advertising.
The advertising bulletins are general correspondence written primarily by Tom Carvel. These bulletins inform franchise owners of industry and corporate news, modifications in daily operations (such as C.O.D. deliveries of commissary orders) and the announcement of new promotional items. They further discuss the reasons for increases in product cost and generally keep the franchise owner informed about changes in the industry.
The formula service division bulletins consist of story boards for television commercials and manuals for standard operating procedures. The manuals describe the step-by-step process and necessary ingredients for making Carvel ice cream desserts. They served to create uniformity of product and service within the chain.
The $5,000 advertising store campaign material, dating from 1971-1972, consists of a kit for preparing advertisements for local newspapers, bulletins, and special mailings. The Carvel Ice Cream Corporation stipulated that new franchise owners make a $5,000 "contribution" to be used for the advertising of their individual store. This material offers a systematic approach for promoting and increasing customer traffic from the initial grand opening onwards.
Series 7: Promotional Items
Includes a variety of promotional materials for events dating from 1951-1986. Included are items such as coupons, sweepstakes, and contests; general correspondence about these promotional events; information on the Carvel comic book; inter-office and general correspondence regarding Tom Carvel's guest appearances on shows like "What's My Line" and the "David Letterman Show;" inter-office correspondence discussing the Carvel Corporation's commitment to advertising on television; and audiotape interviews with Tom Carvel.
The Carvel Corporation had both in-house and tie-in promotional events which it sponsored. The in-house events consisted of ice cream eating contests, "buy one get one free" offers, a happy birthday club, and a variety of sweepstakes with prizes ranging from a pony to a trip to Florida. The tie-ins included such events as a day with the New York Yankees and discount coupons for Walt Disney's "Great Ice Odyssey."
In July, 1966, Carvel Corporation formulated an initial concept for a comic book. It contained the general plot and gave sample drawings of a superhero-type figure, along with a villain and a flying saucer. The comic books in this series date from 1973 to1975.
In May, 1971, Carvel began advertising on television in the New York - New Jersey - Connecticut area. General correspondence was sent to the franchise owners explaining the costs and objectives, and how they could promote their individual stores in conjunction with this new advertising campaign. After the advertising campaign started, Carvel released a memo stating that sales had increased as a direct result of television advertising.
Two audiotapes of radio interviews with Tom Carvel from 1983 are included in this series. They are important because they give researchers an opportunity to hear Tom Carvel's voice, a key element in the success of his commercials.
Series 8: Store and Equipment Records
Includes patent information, store brochures, equipment catalogs, and changes in brochures. The Carvel Corporation derived the majority of its revenue from the sale of formula mixes, equipment, and leasing of the Carvel name to its franchise owners, making this information important to the Carvel story.
The patent information, 1952-1976, includes inter-office correspondence between in-house attorneys and Tom Carvel and general correspondence between Carvel, his patent attorney, and the U.S. Patent Office. The material consists of Tom Carvel's initial petition for a patent and the blueprints for his building design and advertising device. In 1976, Tom Carvel petitioned for a new patent for his building design. In general correspondence pertinent to this matter Carvel's attorney agreed with the Patent Office that the design modifications were not significant enough to warrant a new patent.
The store brochure,
Carvel Franchise System
Investing in Your Future
, explains how the Carvel Ice Cream Corporation derives it revenue from franchise owners and features testimonials from store owners praising the Carvel Corporation. Changes in sales brochures show that ultimately the reasons to own a Carvel Franchise expanded from 83 to 123.
This series also includes equipment order catalogs which give the order number, a title name for each piece of equipment and a photograph, and take-home dessert menus with enclosed coupon sheets.
Information regarding Carvel's "Lease Back Land Offer," 1955, demonstrates one way the Carvel Corporation attempted to expand its franchise business. It includes a classified advertisement offering individuals an opportunity to purchase land, build a Carvel Franchise, and lease it back to the Carvel Corporation. There are numerous inquires from potential investors who wanted further information.
Series 9: Vending Vehicles
Includes patent information and sales brochures for Carvel's mobile ice cream vending vehicles, 1958-1961. The patent material consists of inter-office and general correspondence between Tom Carvel, his patent attorney, and the U.S. Patent Office. It includes Tom Carvel's petition for patents and the blueprint drawings for his vending vehicles. One of the sales brochures, "This is a Carvehicle Franchise," lists the customized features of the vending vehicles and the reasons why someone would want to own a Carvehicle franchise. Also included is a trade journal article from the June 1958 issue of
Ice Cream Field
which discusses the creation of the Carvehicle Corporation, a subsidiary of the Carvel Corporation.
Series 10: Store Address Information
Agents involved in the distribution of equipment and supplies to the franchise owners, including their names, addresses, and telephone numbers. The series also contains the store books, which list the store number, owner, address, and length of time in business. The material dates from the late 1980s.
Series 11: Photographs
Is arranged in the same order as the written material, 1936-ca.1980. The photographs support the printed material in the previous series. They include views of conventions, promotional events and products, stores, vending vehicles, and production facilities. Box 15 in the collection contains a variety of duplicate photographs.
The convention photographs date from 1956 to1965. The majority are of franchise owners at the annual convention dinner celebration. Other convention photographs include demonstrations of equipment and products and the crowning of "Miss Flying Saucer."
The promotional photographs, 1939-ca.1970, are primarily of events, beginning with the 1939 unveiling of Carvel's ice cream freezer-dispenser. The importance of Carvel-sponsored community events is apparent through the scenes of children and ice cream eating contests. Also, there are examples of promotional tie-ins like the "Flying Saucer" frisbee.
The store photographs date from 1936-ca.1970, and include shots of the exterior, interior and store employees. Some of the photographs are of grand opening celebrations; these show the transformation over time from the free standing, all-glass-front store to stores in strip shopping centers.
The vending vehicle photographs, 1937-ca.1970, include a mobile vending scooter dated 1957, mobile vending vehicles from the late 1950s-1960s, and delivery trucks from the early 1970s. The production facility photographs date from around 1940. They include views of factory workers assembling the freezing and dispensing equipment which is sold to franchisees. The majority of the photographs are of equipment and dispensing components.
Miscellaneous photographs include promotional photographs for movies and golf and three photographs of Carvel storefronts from the set of the movie
Series 12: Dugan's Bakery and Hubie Burger Records
Includes materials regarding Tom Carvel's other retail ventures. Dugan's Bakery was acquired by the Carvel Ice Cream Corporation in the 1950s or 1960s. The only information regarding the bakery consists of two photographs: one showing a Dugan's delivery man and the other a tractor trailer.
Hubie Burger material includes letters, a store location index, a standard operating manual, and a variety of photographs and menus. The store location index, from the late 1950s, consists of photocopies of photographs of some of the Hubie Burger franchise owners. An accompanying listing shows that not all of the stores are part of this index. The 1959 standard operation procedure manual gives details on every aspect of owning a Hubie Burger Franchise: information on inventory, advertising, maintenance of equipment, written descriptions of the equipment, payment terms, and recipes. Also included are drawings of the Hubie Burger uniforms for men and women.
Series 13: Non-Carvel Franchise Information, 1957-1988
Annual reports and informational materials from other restaurant franchise chains, including are photographs from the 1950s showing non-Carvel ice cream stores using Carvel equipment.
Series 14: Audiovisual Materials
The audiocassettes feature oral histories with Agnes, Linda, and Pam Carvel, Frank Hubner, Herbert Roth, William Shick, and Stanley Townend. The video component to the history of Carvel contains compilation reels of commercials, training videos, and Tom Carvel appearing on television programs. The videos in the collection are copies (mastered then duplicated for reference) made from original materials loaned to the Archives Center from the Carvel Corporation.