Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Archives Center Home  |  Collections Index

 

THE FREDA DIAMOND COLLECTION, ca. 1945-1984
#616

(3 cu. ft.: 2 DB, 1 (.5) DB,  4 F/O)

by: Julie Statz, December 1998

Biographical Note

Freda Diamond's work shaped the tastes of many Americans in the middle of the twentieth century. Diamond was born in New York City in 1905. She graduated from Cooper Union, a renowned institution of design, and then studied in Europe. As an industrial designer, Diamond's area of expertise focused largely on the home, influencing the tastes of the average American housewife. Her ability to predict consumer demands through market research was an important factor in the success of her designs. In 1942, Libbey Glass, a division of Owens-Illinois, commissioned Diamond (at her own prompting) to make a survey of consumer tastes. The resulting award-winning designs sold many companies on the idea of researching consumer preferences before manufacturing a product. Her opinion was so respected that in 1945 she was appointed to a manufacturing rehabilitation committee sent to Italy. Diamond's role was to educate Italian craftsmen on what to manufacture for the American mass market. In 1957 and 1968 she made similar trips to Japan. She died in 1998.

Scope and Content

The collection is arranged in eight series as follows:

Series 1: CLIENT FILES, contains articles, advertisements, photographs and sketches pertaining to Freda Diamond's designs done for individual clients from 1945 to 1975. Arranged alphabetically by client name.

Series 2: LIBBEY GLASS (a division of Owens-Illinois) ca. 1946-1984, contains additional client files, arranged as follows:

     Subseries 1: Business Records, 1949-1984

     Subseries 2: Photographs, 1949-1951, 1964

     Subseries 3: Press releases, 1946-1960

     Subseries 4: Sketches, 1961-1967

     Subseries 5: Templates, n.d.

     Subseries 6: Ideas Kit, n.d.

Series 3: SHAKER FURNITURE & CLOTHING contains photos and sketches, n.d.

Series 4: ARTICLES, 1945-1983, arranged as follows:

     Subseries 1: Articles written by Freda Diamond, 1946-1983.

     Subseries 2: Articles featuring Freda Diamond, 1945-1974

     Subseries 3: Life Magazines, 1954-1955, 1969

Series 5: SCRAPBOOK, 1937-1946

Series 6: PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS, 1951-1994

Series 7: FOREIGN TRIPS, documenting trips to Japan in 1957 and 1968, Israel in 1973.

Series 8: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1964-1967

Provenance

The collection was donated to the division of Ceramics and Glass, NMAH by Freda Diamond in June of 1997. That material was transferred from the division of Ceramics and Glass to the Archives Center in July of 1998. A second body of material was donated to the Archives Center in July of 1998 from the estate of Freda Diamond through Irene Peveri.

Container List

 
Box Folder SERIES 1: CLIENT FILES, 1945-1966
5 1 Audion: electric chord organ, ca. 1959-1960
1 1 Ballanoff Metal Products Co.: stove burner covers, 1951
5 2 Cal-Dak: folding tray tables, 1965
1 2 Carter Rugs: mats and rugs, 1950
5 3 Continental Can Co.: kitchenware and paper goods, 1951-1963, n.d.
4 1 Daison: table lamps, 1952-1954
1 3 Durable Wood Products Corp. (Durawood), mirrors, 1950-1951
5 4 Edwin Knowles China Co.: china place settings, 1952-1958
4 2 Furniture Accents: cocktail table, 1957-1958
5 5 G. Fox Co. Inc.: design/decorating consultant, 1946-1966
6 General Electric: vacuum cleaner, 1955 & (Regina Electrikbroomette, 1979)
1 4 Hampden Inc.: folding furniture, 1957
5 Hess: design/decorating consultant, n.d.
6 Jackson Upholstery Co.: chairs, 1953
5 7 Joanna Western Mills Co.: window treatment, 1954-1960 n.d
4 3 [Light-o-lier ?]: ceiling and wall light fixtures, n.d.
5 8 Lincoln Industries Inc.: furniture, 1950-1951
1 7 Magnolia Products Inc.: toilet seat covers, 1964
5 9 May Co.: design/decorating consultant, n.d.
1 8 Mayfair: design/decorating consultant, n.d.
4 4 May-Stern: design/decorating consultant, 1951, n.d.
1 9 Mobay: urethane foam furniture, ca. 1959
10 Saint Alice's Church: design/decorating consultant for the interior of the Rectory, ca. 1952
11 Schiffer Prints: wallpaper and fabrics, 1950-1951, n.d.
12 Sears & Roebuck: kitchenware, 1951
13 S.K. Smith Co.: leather crafted desk items, n.d.
14 Stern's Co.: design/decorating consultant, 1951-1954, n.d.
4 5 Syracuse Ornamental: decor, 1945-1946
5 10 T. Baumritter Co. Inc.: wood/metal furniture, 1956, n.d.
1 15 Ullman Co. Inc.: princess place mats, 1949
5 11 United States Plywood Corp.: cocktail table, 1955
4 6 Window Shade Manufacturing: window treatments,. 1955-1957, n.d.
7 Yale & Towne Manufacturing: porcelain knobs, 1952-1954, n.d.

 

SERIES 2: LIBBEY GLASS, 1946-1984

Subseries 1: Business Records, ca. 1946-1984

2 1 Company history, 1950, 1979
2 Correspondence, 1949-1966, 1984
3 Store survey and store listings, 1966
5 12 Advertisements, ca. 1946-1966
13 Articles, 1948-1966
14 Newsletters, 1957-1966, 1975
15 Sketches and photographs, 1955-1965, n.d

 

Subseries 2: Photogaphs, 1949-1951, 1964

2 4 Photos: Display advertised in Life, 1949
5 Photos: Award for "Classic" at Merchandise Mart, 1950
6 Photos: "Vanity Fair" & "Kathie Norris" TV shows, 1951
7 Photos: Toledo Museum, "Diamond Cut," 1951
8 Photos: "The Company Showcase," 1964

 

Subseries 3: Press Releases, 1946-1960

2 9 Press Release: "Merry-Go-Round" 1946
Press Release: "Candy Stick" 1946
Press Release: "Tropical" 1946
10 Press Release: "Classic" 1949
11 Press Release: "Corsage" 1949
12 Press Release: "Currier & Ives" 1949
13 Press Release: " Emerald Glass" 1949
14 Press Release: "Emerald Swirl" 1949
15 Press Release: "Monogram" 1949
16 Press Release: "Stardust" 1949
17 Press Release: "Coin Cut" 1950
18 Press Release: "Crystal Garland" 1950
19 Press Release: "Crystal Leaf" 1950
20 Press Release: "Horseless Carriage" 1950
21 Press Release: "Laurel Classic" 1950
22 Press Release: "Rose Classic" 1950
23 Press Release: "Cranberry Bouqet" 1951
Press Release: "Colonade" 1951
Press Release: "Classic Ribbons" 1951
24 Press Release: "Diamond Cut" 1951
25 Press Release: "Rio Grande" 1951
Press Release: "Laureline" 1951
Press Release: "Tea Garden" 1951
26 Press Release: "Santa Maria" 1951
Press Release: "Timepiece" 1951
26 Press Release: "Luster Bands" 1951
27 Press Release: "Treasure Island" 1951
28 Press Release: "Baguette" 1952
Press Release: "Reprose" 1952
Press Release: "Glenmore" 1952
29 Press Release: "Circus" 1952
30 Press Release: "Curio" 1952
31 Press Release: "Flair" 1952
32 Press Release: "Anniversary Cavalcade" 1953
33 Press Release: "Mobile" 1955
Press Release: "Maple Leaf" 1955
Press Release: " Provincetown" 1955
34 Press Release: "Hob Knob or Hob Nail" 1960
35 Press Release: "Custard Cup" 1961
36 Press Release: "Berry Festival" n.d.
37 Press Release: "Cavalry" n.d.
38 Press Release: "Decanter" n.d.
39 Press Release: (modified) "Governor Clinton" n.d.
40 Press Release: "Highlanders" n.d.
41 Press Release: "Ivy" n.d.
42 Press Release: "PAA passenger planes" n.d.

 

Subseries 4: Sketches, 1961-1967

2 43 Sketches: "Descord" stemware, 1965-1966
44 Sketches: "Beaumont" stemware, 1966
45 Sketches: "Charmont" stemware, 1966
46 Sketches: "Prestige" stemware, 1966
47 Sketches: "Suzanne" stemware, 1966
48 Sketches: "Chaumont" stemware, 1967
49 Sketches: "Mariemont" stemware, 1967
50 Sketches: "Polaris" stemware, 1967
2 51

Subseries 5: Stemware Templates, n.d.

2 52

Subseries 6: "Ideas Kit" Exhibit II, n.d.

SERIES 3: SHAKER FURNITURE AND CLOTHING, N.D
3 10 Shaker Furniture: photos- original designs, n.d.
11 Shaker Furniture: photos- contemporary designs, n.d.
12 Shaker Furniture: correspondence, 1945
13 Shaker Home Accessories: sketches- contemporary designs, n.d.
4 8 Shaker Furniture: photos- contemporary designs, n.d
9 Shaker Furniture: sketches- contemporary designs, n.d.
10 Shaker Furniture: company brochures, 1938, n.d.
11 Shaker Furniture: articles and advertisements, 1945, 1967
12 Shaker Clothing: sketch book- contemporary designs, n.d.
7 all Furniture: sketches and photos, n.d.

 

SERIES 4: ARTICLES, 1945-1983
Subseries 1: Articles Written by Freda Diamond: 1946-1983
1 16 Articles Written by F. Diamond: 1946, 1951-1961, n.d.
4 13 Articles Written by F. Diamond: 1952-1956, 1983

 Sub series 2: Articles Featuring Freda Diamond, 1945-1974

1 17 Biographical: 1951, 1957, 1995, n.d.
5 16 Biographical: 1953-1964, 1974
1 18 Women in the Design Industry: 1951, 1956, n.d.
19 Post WWII Design Industry: 1945, n.d.
5 17 Post WWII Design Industry: 1945, n.d.
1 20 Affordable Home Furnishing: 1951-1958, 1974, n.d.
21 Trends in Home Furnishings: 1950-1967, n.d.
5 18 Trends in Home Furnishings: 1951-1967, n.d.
1 22 "It's Fun to Furnish": 1951-1952
5 19 "It's Fun to Furnish": 1952
1 23 Bridal Industry: 1951-1952
24 Home Furnishings Industry & Retail: 1952-1963, 1974
5 20 Home Furnishings Industry & Retail: 1953-1968
1 25 Home Furnishings Shows & Exhibits: 1950, 1952-1959, n.d
5 21 Home Furnishings Shows & Exhibits: 1950-1965
1 26 The Museum of Modern Art (Home Furnishings): 1952
27 Japanese &American Design (in English): 1957-1959
4 14 Japanese & American Design (in English): 1957-1959
1 28 Japanese & American Design (in Japanese): 1957
5 22 Collage of Articles (including- Daison, T. Baumritter, Window Shade Manufacturing), 1952, 1956

 

Subseries 3: Magazines, 1954-1969

4 15 Life magazine, April 5, 1954
16 Life magazine, May 2, 1955
17 Life magazine: special issue on moon landing, July 1969
18 Magazine insert: "Land of the Sun," n.d.

 

6 SERIES 5: SCRAPBOOK, CA. 1937-1946

 

SERIES 6: PRESENTATIONS & AWARDS, 1951-1994
1 29 Presentation & Conference: Invitations and programs, 1951-1986
30 Presentation: "For the Rehabilitation of Italian Arts and Crafts," 1945
31 Presentation: WCBC radio appearance, 1951
32 Presentation: "Fifth Anniversary Exhibition of Good Design to Show," ca 1954
33 Presentation: "Far Eastern Economic Review," 1957
34 Award: Frank Child Award, 1994

 

SERIES 7: FOREIGN TRIPS: JAPAN 1957 &1968, ISRAEL 1973
3 5 Japan 1957: Itineraries, names and phone numbers
6 Japan 1957: Correspondence
7 Japan 1957 & 1968: "JETRO" news bulletin
8 Japan 1957: Photographs
9 Japan 1957: Pamphlets
10 Japan 1968 ("World Trip"): Itineraries and addresses
11 Japan 1968 ("World Trip"): Correspondence
12 Japan 1968 ("World Trip"): Japan notes
13 Israel 1973: Itinerary
SERIES 8: PHOTOGRAPHS, 1964, 1967
4 19 1964, 1967

TOP

E-mail: archivescenter@si.edu
Revised: December 20, 2001