Guide to the Ivory Soap Essay Contest Collection

Collection ID:
Nixon, Helen
Ellis, Winifred
Physical Description:
9 Items
Documents saved by the winner of an essay contest, including: two congratulatory telegrams, two letters, three photographs of the winner with the car she won, an article, and an owner identification card from the car dealer.

Scope and Contents note
Scope and Contents note
The collection consists of documents about Helen Nixon's award-winning essay in the 1940 Ivory Soap contest, including a telegram and letter from Proctor & Gamble notifying her that she had won, a similar letter from Texaco, three photographs taken when she received the keys to her new Buick, and an owner's identification card for the car.

The collection is arranged into one series.

Biographical/Historical note
Biographical/Historical note
Helen Nixon, a dietician at Wichita General Hospital in Wichita Falls, Texas, was the winner of a nationwide essay contest sponsored by the Proctor & Gamble Company in 1940. Contestants were asked to finish the statement, "I like Ivory Soap because…" in 25 words or less. Nixon's award-winning essay expounded upon the soap's "general utilitarian value...which meant more convenience and greater economy in every household," according to an article about her in The Bulletin of Texas Dietetic Association. Her prizes included a Buick Eight Sedan, one thousand gallons of Texaco gasoline, and a fifty dollar certificate for automobile accessories.

Processing Information
Processed by Kiley Orchard (intern), 2008; supervised by Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist.
Kiley Orchard
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
This collection was donated by Helen Nixon's niece, Winifred N. Ellis, 2002.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
The collection is open for research and access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Terms Governing Use and Reproduction
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
Ivory Soap Essay Contest Collection, 1940, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Related Materials
Materials in the Archives Center
The Ivory Soap Advertising Collection, 1883-1990 (NMAH.AC.0791)

Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Soap Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Letters (correspondence) -- 1900-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950 Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Articles Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Contests 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