J. Walter Thompson Company. Edward G. Wilson papers, 1906-1991, bulk 1946-1971 43 Linear Feet — 30,500 Items
The Edward G. Wilson Papers cover the period 1906-1991 and highlight Wilson's 40 year career (1930-1971) as an executive with the J. Walter Thompson Company (JWT). The bulk of materials fall between 1946 and 1971, and covers the period from Wilson's return to JWT following military service in World War II until his retirement, and includes Wilson's writings and speeches, clippings, correspondence and memoranda. As General Counsel and head of JWT's Legal Department, Wilson oversaw contractual relations pertaining primarily to the sponsorship of radio and television programs for a number of clients--including DeBeers Consolidated Mines, Ltd., the Eastman Kodak Company, the Ford Motor Company, the Scott Paper Company and Unilever. The collection reveals JWT's relationships with radio and television personalities--such as Fred Allen and Edgar Bergen--and professional organizations like the Radio Writers Guild and the Television Writers of America. In addition, materials in the collection touch on the anti-communist movement and blacklisting within the U.S. entertainment industry of the 1950s--involving personalities such as Jean Muir and John Henry Faulk, among others. The collection also includes records from a number of JWT international offices, with heavier representation from offices in London; Bombay (Mumbai), India; and Johannesburg, South Africa, along with records kept by some of Wilson's predecessors, such as Donald Foote and Sam Meek, and the South African advertising executive and politician James Hamilton Russell.
The papers are organized into twelve series--International Offices (Restricted), Trip Files, Client Files, Chronological Files (Restricted), Legal Files (Restricted), Subject Files, Financial Files (Restricted), Personnel Files (Restricted), Domestic Policy and Procedures, International Policy and Procedures, Writing & Speeches, and Personal Files. The bulk of materials is contained in three large series--International Offices, Chronological Files, and Legal Files. Large-format materials have been located in Oversize Materials. Sensitive personnel materials pertaining to individual employee matters are closed to non-JWT users until 2045, and have been physically removed to Restricted Materials.
The International Offices Series (Restricted) contains files documenting Wilson's tenure as head of JWT's international operations, including information on the England, India and South African offices. The bulk of the records date from the 1950s and 1960s.
The Trip Files Series contains clippings, correspondence, and memoranda detailing trips Wilson made during his tenure as the head of JWT's international operations. Also includes Wilson's reports on the regional offices as well as their clients.
The Client Files Series contains correspondence between Wilson and the managers of individual JWT offices relating to specific clients, such as Caltex, the Campbell Soup Company, S.C. Johnson, Kraft, Pan American Airlines, and the Shell Oil Company and Unilever.
The Chronological Files Series (Restricted) consists of letters and memoranda that reflect the company's routine operations.
The Legal Files Series (Restricted) contains files relating to entertainment law--contract negotiations between the professional unions such as the Radio Writers Guild and the advertisers and agencies; and contractual and billing information pertaining to radio personalities like Fred Allen and Edgar Bergen. Legal actions, disputes, lawsuits, and the blacklisting of entertainers--as well as to corporate affairs, such as stock ownership, profit-shairing, client relations, and lawsuits against JWT are also represented.
The Subject Files Series consist of Wilson's office files and include reports, correspondence, articles and printed materials that cover topics such as Agent-Client relationships, employee evaluations and recruitment, management meetings, and client records, especially for the Eastman Kodak Company, the Ford Motor Company and the Scott Paper Company.
The Financial Files Series (Restricted)include Finance Committee minutes and background materials, along with organizational information on regional offices.
The Personnel Files Series (Restricted) consists of statistical records of departmental personnel, as well as biographical information, clippings, and correspondence relating to transfers, promotions, and job responsibilities of individual executives and office managers.
The Domestic Policies and Procedures Series and International Policies and Procedures Series document the operational guidelines for JWT's domestic and international offices.
The Writing and Speeches Series contains primarily speeches given by Wilson, including several made after his retirement.
The Personal Files Series includes correspondence, interviews and articles about Wilson that reflect in large part Wilson's ongoing relationship with JWT after his retirement.