Scope and Contents
The Garfield Company Records are divided into seven series: Series 1, Historical Background; Series 2, Customer Materials; Series 3, Correspondence, 1937-1952; Series 4, Financial Records, 1918-1950; Series 5, Advertising and Packaging Materials, 1923-1968 and undated; Series 6, Drawings/Diagrams, 1958; and Series 7, Photographs, circa 1950s. The collection documents Garfield and Company, a pharmaceutical manufacturer in New Jersey during the twentieth century. Garfield and Company made Seidlitz Powder, a commonly known medication composed of a mixture of tartaric acid, sodium bicarbonate, and potassium sodium tartrate that was used as a mild cathartic by dissolving it in water and then drinking it. The records include customer files, correspondence, advertising, packaging, audio visual materials, photographs, packaging, advertising and financial records. The collection provides good insight into the company during the World War II period and the hardship conditions under which they operated, such as delays in receiving raw materials and difficulty with labor.
Series 1, Historical Background, 1915-1969 and undated, consists of newspaper clippings and articles, corporate identity pieces (letterhead and envelopes), correspondence, and audio visual materials about Garfield and Company. The majority of the correspondence relates to machinery companies and their ability to provide equipment and expertise to manufacture powders and handle packaging issues. Other correspondence relates to advertising agencies and the State of New Jersey Division of Employment Security. The correspondence with Seil, Putt and Rusby, Inc., documents an analytical, consulting and research chemists firm that conducted testing for Garfield. The audio visual materials contain an oral history with Julius Garfield, son of Isidor Garfield on ½" VHS video footage (OV 820.1-2) and a demonstration of how Seidlitz powders are manufactured. The video footage, of which there are two copies, is approximately one hour in length and is divided into two segments. The first segment features the manufacturing equipment producing Seidlitz powders and the second segment features an informal interview with Julius Garfield discussing his father's background and his father's automation of the process of packaging Seidlitz powders. The audio cassettes (OTC 820.1-2) contain a more detailed oral history with Julius Garfield. He provides additional information about his father's background, his brother's (especially George's) background, and the history of the company. Curator Ray Kondratus, of the Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History, conducted the oral history interview, circa 1970s.
Series 2, Customer Materials, 1909-1952, includes materials about customers who had a business relationship with Garfield and Company. The materials are divided into two subseries, Subseries 1, Index Card Files, 1909-1939 and Subseries 2, Customer Files, 1949, 1951-1952.
Subseries 1, Index Card Files, 1909-1939, contains customer names, addresses, and order history from 1909 to the 1920s. They are arranged geographically by city and alphabetically by customer name. They adhere to a color coding schema. Department stores are designated yellow; wholesalers pale blue; second jobbers buff; and chain drug stores are pink. The cards are annotated revealing information about the customer's personality, job information, and the specific salesman for that account.
Subseries 2, Customer Files, 1949, 1951-1952, is arranged alphabetically by customer name. The files contain invoices/receipts for companies, department stores, drug stores, and other organizations that ordered Seidlitz powder from Garfield and Company. The receipts include the name and address of the company and the cost for each order. Also included are bills of lading documenting where the shipment was sent and who received it.
Series 3, Correspondence, 1937-1952, is arranged alphabetically and consists of letters to and from other companies, individuals, and the War Production Board. Some general subject files are also here. The War Production Board correspondence contains information about the use and salvage of raw materials in the factory; requests to purchase certain types of materials; and compliance with quarterly requests for inventory, purchases, and usage of certain foods and materials. Included in the general subject files is documentation about insurance and workers compensation claims for employees of Garfield and Company. The documentation includes primarily State of New York Department of Labor Workers Compensation forms and accident/injury reports. The reports provide detailed information on the nature of the accident/injury, hourly wage and demographic information about the employee.
Series 4, Advertising and Packaging Materials, 1923-1968 and undated, and is divided into four subseries, Subseries 1, Advertising Materials, 1923-1968 and undated; Subseries 2, Posters, 1940s and undated; Subseries 3, Radio Broadcasts, 1951-1964, and Subseries 4, Packaging Materials, 1953 and undated.
Subseries 1, Advertising Materials, 1923-1968 and undated, contains primarily proofs of advertisements for Garfield Seidlitz powders, merchandising reports, price lists, metal printing plates for two advertisements, and calendars. The advertising proofs are in color, black-and-white, and pencil on tracing paper and were prepared by firms such as F.M. Advertising Agency, Inc. There are some pin-up calendars advertising Clairol, Inc., products, 1943, and other pin-ups advertising Garfield and Company Seidlitz powders, 1950-1951.
Subseries 2, Posters, 1940s and undated, consists of posters for Garfield and Company Seidlitz powders and war posters created from woodcuts by Frances "Fran" O'Brien Garfield and Ernest Hamlin Baker. Garfield and Baker designed the posters for the Putnum County Defense Council of New York. Garfield and Company distributed the posters.
Subseries 3, Radio Broadcasts, 1951-1964, contains two 5" inch reel-to-reel audio tapes of radio broadcasts for Garfield and Company products and four audio discs (33 rpm and 87 rpm) of radio broadcasts.
Subseries 4, Packaging Materials, 1953 and undated, consists primarily of labels for Seidlitz powders and cardboard carton packages for transporting and displaying Seidlitz powders. The labels are paper and primarily two and one half by four inches. They feature standard language about the Seidlitz powders. They are imprinted with the name of a specific drug company, such as Hazeltine and Perkins Drug Company or Gill Brook Laboratories. There are some labels that have been imprinted on aluminum sheets. The cardboard cartons are for Seidlitz powders, cough syrups, laxatives, rhinitis tablets, diarrhea remedies, and toothpaste. Packaging specific to a company/manufacturer is arranged alphabetically under the name of the company.
Series 5, Financial Records, 1918-1950, is divided into four subseries: Subseries 1, Invoices, 1918-1941; Subseries 2, Sales Books and Ledgers, 1939-1947 and undated; Subseries 3, Receipts, 1948-1952; and Subseries 4, Tax Materials, 1936-1950 and consists primarily of tax information for the company and specific employees, sales ledgers and invoices and receipts.
Subseries 1, Invoices, 1918-1941, contains invoices issued by Garfield and Company to companies, department stores, drug stores, and other organizations for purchases of Seidlitz Powders. Included are bills of lading. The subseries are arranged alphabetically. See also Series 2, Customer Files, 1949, 1951-1952.
Subseries 2, Sales Books and Ledgers, 1939-1947 and undated, documents order information about the number of tins, carts, and packs of Seidlitz powder sold to specific companies.
Subseries 3, Receipts, 1948-1952, is arranged alphabetically by name of company and contains documentation on products and services that Garfield and Company purchased and used. For example, they purchased soda bicarbonate from the American Cyanamid Company and used the Bronx Haulage Company for rubbish removal.
Subseries 4, Tax Materials, 1936-1950, contains employee wage records, tax returns, employee withholding exemption certificates, and invoices for Samuel Markowitz, an accountant. Some of the records detail the name of the employee, time worked (days and hours), wages, deductions, and wage paid.
Series 6, Drawings/Diagrams, 1958, contains one line drawing for hot water at the Garfield Company, December, 1958, and pencil sketches and diagrams for wiring of the tins and cartons machinery, 1958.
Series 7, Photographs, circa 1950s, contains black-and-white photographs of Isidor Garfield, employees operating packaging machinery, an exterior view of the manufacturing facility, and a store display.