OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION
Title: Norman W. Squires Collection
Collection Date(s): circa 1908-2006, undated
Extent and Forms of Material: .33 cubic feet, including photographs and audiocassette tape (1 box)
Creator: Norman W. Squires
Abstract: Collection documents Norman Squires’s career as a salesperson for the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America, Stanley Home Products, and Encyclopedia Britannica. Norman Squires conceptualized and implemented the party plan method of direct selling.
Collection Number: AC0927
Processing Note: Processed by Adrienne Cain (intern), 2008, and Vanessa Broussard Simmons, archivist, 2008.
INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION
Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.
Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an “as needed” basis, as resources allow.
Technical Access: Do not use original materials when available on reference audio cassette tapes.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, Norman W. Squires Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX
IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION
Biographical Note: A native of Long, Island, New York, Norman Wells Squires was born in 1906. He began his sales career with the Fuller Brush Company in 1923. Even at a young age Squires realized the inefficiency of door-to-door sales. As a result, in 1935, while an employee for the Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America selling WearEver products, he developed his hostess home party plan. He continued to perfect this method of direct selling after becoming a salesman for Stanley Home Products in 1938. The success of his plan gave Squires the freedom to leave Stanley Home Products in 1946 to start his own business, Hostess Home Accessories, Incorporated, which thrived on his direct selling concept. In 1950 Earl Tupper, inventor of Tupperware, purchased Squires’s company and incorporated it into his own business, Tupper Corporation, as the Hostess Division. Squires was named general sales manager. However, in the early 1950s Tupper dissolved the division, as well as Squires’s connection to Tupperware. Squires eventually went on to become the first winner of Encyclopedia Britannica’s “Man of the Year” Award in 1957, beating out more than 9,000 other salesmen for the prize recognizing the year’s highest selling employee. Additionally, Squires later did consulting work for the Harlem Globetrotters, facilitated the integration of a New Orleans public school, and helped organize the Ohio lottery. He passed away in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in April, 1991.
Scope and Content Note: This collection documents Squires’s professional life as a salesperson with four companies: Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America (WearEver Company), Stanley Home Products, Encyclopedia Britannica and Tupper Corporation. Most of the materials relate to the creation of the hostess party plan and his achievements in sales. There is very little information about his personal life other than a few family photographs. The collection is useful for understanding selling techniques dating from the 1930s through the 1950s.
Series 1, Background Materials, circa 1908-2006, includes photographs, an obituary and correspondence relating to Squires’s role in developing the hostess party plan direct selling method. There is also an interview by National Museum of American History senior archivist John Fleckner with Daniel, Squires’s son, discussing his father’s life. The materials are arranged first by type and then in chronological order.
Series 2, Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America, circa 1934, 1936, undated, relates to Squires’s employment with the company in the 1930s. The company later becomes the WearEver Company. It includes telegrams documenting Squires’s achievements in sales leadership. There is also a memo from V. Earl Irons, Squires’s supervisor, requesting that Squires do a presentation at a supervisors’ meeting relating to his success in hiring and interviewing new salespersons.
Series 3, Stanley Home Products, 1938-1946, undated, includes information about Squires’s employment with the company. Materials document the creation and development of the hostess party plan in company correspondence and a typed transcription of an actual hostess home party in 1938. The materials also correspondence from Frank Stanley Beveridge and Catherine L. O’Brien, founders of the company, and other company employees. Other materials include information about Squires’s attempts to include women in the company, photographs of employees, presentations, board meeting agenda, commission account information and sales operation information. Materials are arranged first by type and then in chronological order.
Series 4, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956-1958, consists of information about Squires’s sales achievements. Materials include an announcement, newsletters, sales achievement notifications, and a copy of a paycheck. There is a signed photograph of Senator William Benton, chair of the board of Encyclopedia Britannica. There is also a photograph of a trade booth set up for the 1958 edition of the Encyclopedia. Materials are arranged first by type and then in chronological order.
Series 5, Tupper Corporation, 1950, consists of a newspaper article stating that Earl S. Tupper, founder of Tupper Corporation, purchased the assets of the Hostess Home Accessories, Incorporated. This part of the company became the Hostess Division of Tupper Corporation with Norman W. Squires serving as the general sales manager. Also included is training information for the Hostess Division.
System of Arrangement: The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1, Series 1, Background Materials, circa 1908-2006
Acquisition Information: Daniel T. Squires donated his father’s papers in 2006 and requested that the materials be titled the “Norman W. Squires Collection.”
Related Archival Materials: The Norman W. Squires Collection complements the Stanley Home Products Collection, Earl S. Tupper Papers, Brownie Wise Papers, Ann and Thomas Damigella Collection, Helen Hoch Tupperware Films and Jon and Sylvia Boyd Tupperware Films.