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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.

Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.archivescenter@si.edu 202-633-3270 www.americanhistory.si.edu/archives

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
Series 2, Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America, circa 1934, 1936, undated
Series 3, Stanley Home Products, 1938-1946, undated
Series 4, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956-1958
Series 5, Tupper Corporation, 1950

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.

Access Points:

Subject/Names:
Beveridge, Frank Stanley
O’Brien, Catherine L.
Squires, Norman W.
Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company
Encyclopedia Britannica
Stanley Home Products
Tupperware Corporation
WearEver Company

Subject/Topical:
Sales promotion
Marketing
Product demonstrations

Form/Genre:
Business records -- 20 th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20 th century
Photographs -- 20 th century
Sound recordings
Trade catalogs
Catalogs

Occupations:
Salesman

CONTAINER LISTING

Box

Folder

 

 

 

Series 1, Background Materials, circa 1908-2006

1

1

Personal photographs, circa 1908, 1944, 1955, 1957, 1959, 1976, 1989

 

2

Correspondence, 1983, 1984, 1991

 

3

Obituary, 1991

 

4

Recommendations to the Direct Selling Association, 2003, 2004

 

5

Information relating to Tupperware documentary film, 2004

 

6

Interview with Daniel T. Squires, 2006

 

 

Series 2, Aluminum Cooking Utensil Company of America, circa 1934, 1936, undated

 

7

Telegrams, 1934, undated

 

8

Memo from V. Earl Irons, 1936

 

 

Series 3, Stanley Home Products, 1938-1946, undated

 

9

Private hostess party demonstrations information, 1938

 

10

Correspondence, 1938, 1940, 1945, 1946

 

11

Photographs of employees, 1938, 1940, 1941, 1945, undated

 

12

Area sales information, 1944

 

13

Commission account information, 1945

 

14

Yankee region board meeting, 1946

 

 

Series 4, Encyclopedia Britannica, 1956-1958

 

15

EB News, 1956-1958

 

16

Announcement of Squires membership in Britannica International Diamond Pin Society, 1957

 

17

Facsimile of paycheck,1957

 

18

Monthly sales achievements, 1957

 

19

Photograph of trade booth, 1958

 

 

Series 5, Tupperware Corporation, 1950

 

20

Newspaper article, 1950

 

21

Hostess division training information, 1950

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Revised: January 16, 2009