Guide to the Saul Nesbitt Papers

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1275
Creators:
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archives
Nesbitt, Saul, 1920-1993.
Dates:
1951 - 1984
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
3.5 Cubic feet
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Background and biographical information consists of Nesbitt's resume, an artist/designer statement, list of clients and accomplishments of Nesbitt Associates, Ltd., press releases, articles, and photographs of the designer.,The materials in this collection document Nesbitt's work from 1951 through 1984.
Scope and Contents
The records of the office of public relations cover the years 1955-1963 and include press releases and clippings describing some Nesbitt's products, his theories on consumer motivation, and the results of his surveys, as well as correspondence with members of the press. General office correspondence is boxed separately.
Scope and Contents
Color slides, color and black & white transparencies, and black & white photographs of most of Nesbitt's designs for packaging from 1951-1981 are included. Oversized materials include books jackets and booklets designed by Nesbitt, as well as some renderings for packaging designs done in color.
Scope and Contents
Three samples of fitted presentation boxes designed by Nesbitt are included, as well as a prototype for a design award for Parsons School of Design in New York, and two "Multiplication" cubes commissioned by the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection has been reboxed in archivally-sound containers, but the materials have only been partially processed and arranged. Record groups include: 1) Backgound and Biographical Information; 2) Records of the Public Relations Office, 1955-1963; 3) Correspondence; 4) Slides, Transparencies, and Photographs; 5) Oversized Materials; and 6) Samples.

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Packaging, industrial, and graphic designer. Born in New York City, August 10, 1920. Nesbitt was a student of sculptor Chaim Gross and studied art at many New York institutions including: Art Students League; New York University; Columbia University; Pratt Institute of Art; and the New School.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1942 to 1945 where he worked as a cartographer and as the head of the visual aid section in a military intelligence training center. In 1945, he joined the staff of Harper's Bazaar magazine where he was an illustrator assisting art director Alexey Brodovich. In 1946, Nesbitt was hired by the industrial design studio of Raymond Loewy as a handletterer and packaging designer.
He worked with Lippincott Industrial Design from 1948 to 1951. Nesbitt opened his own design studio, Nesbitt Associates, Ltd. in 1951. The firm specialized in package design, trademarks, and corporate identities. Some of his most recognizable designs were for the label for Campbell's Soup and the Florists' Telegraph Delivery (F.T.D.) Winged Mercury 'Interflora' figure, still used today. Nesbitt's other clients included: Franco American; Revlon; Ballantine Beer; Borden; Champion spark plugs; Kodak; Philip Morris cigarettes; Schick razors; and Archway cookies. In addition, Nesbitt developed the "Karry Kit" for Ballantine Beer which came to be widely used and known as the six pack.
Nesbitt was known for his revealing studies and surveys of the buying needs and preferences of the "average American housewife" and consumers in general. His opinions on what he referred to as "underpackaging" were widely publicized in professional magazines and journals. In 1984, Nesbitt retired from the design field and went to California to resume his career as a sculptor until his death in 1993.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection is unprocessed.
Author
NMAH Staff
Immediate Source of Acquisiton
Collection donated by the designer's wife, Mrs. Saul Nesbitt, in 1994.

Using the Collection
Restrictions on Access
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Preferred Citation
Saul Nesbitt Papers, 1951-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
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.

Custodial History
Custodial History
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center in 2012.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Slides Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Industrial designers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Packaging designers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Transparencies Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Press releases Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Media lists Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Blueprints Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Consumers -- Research Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Consumers' preferences -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Housewives as consumers Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Labels -- Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Corporate image -- Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Logos (Symbols) -- Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graphic arts -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Design, Industrial -- United States Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Packaging -- Design Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Client lists Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Graphic designers Occupation Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Campbell Soup Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Borden's Farm Products Co. of Illinois Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archives Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Franco American Food Co. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Eastman Kodak Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Florists' Telegraph Delivery Association Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Revlon, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Archway Cookies, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Nesbitt Associates, Ltd. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Seagram Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Schick (Firm) Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philip Morris Incorporated Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Lever Brothers and Unilever, ltd. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scott Paper Company Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
National Distillers and Chemical Corporation Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
P. Ballantine & Sons Corporate Name 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