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The Duplex Advertising Company. Billboard Images and Records spans the period 1964-1993 and documents the outdoor advertising work of this company in the central Texas area, primarily through photographs, negatives and slides of billboards. Many of the images are in color. A large number of the images are of national campaigns advertised in central Texas, as well as billboards, signs and posters of local Texas business services. In addition, a handful of articles written by R. V. Miller, Jr. for a number of publications, as well as other printed material and miscellaneous items from the Duplex Advertising Company, are present. Some of these articles, along with the images themselves, provide examples of commercial art and design in the outdoor advertising arena. The collection includes outdoor advertising images from national clients such as Kentucky Fried Chicken, Chevrolet, Coca Cola, Coors, Wendy's, Hardee's, and Taco Bell, and Texas clients such as Lone Star and Pearl beers.

Related materials may be found in other outdoor advertising collections, including the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Archives, the Garrett Orr Papers, the Howard Scott Papers, the John Paver Papers, the John E. Browning Papers, the R.C. Maxwell Co. Records, and the Strobridge Collection.

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The Outdoor Advertising Association of America Slide Library spans the years 1891 through the 2000s, with the bulk of the collection originating in the 1950s and later. The collection documents over a hundred years of outdoor advertising primarily in the United States, plus some international campaigns from several other continents. The Slide Library is a large collection, almost entirely comprised of slides of billboards, exhibiting a grand range of graphic artistry, advertising campaigns, and marketing strategies. A smaller group of images supports the ad collection with views of artwork, billboard construction and other related images. In addition to over 62,000 slides, there are a few early glass slides, as well as transparencies, a small number of paper files, and six audiocassettes accompanying slide presentations. Many images were submitted by outdoor advertising companies over a number of years to the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) as entries in annual national competitions to determine the best poster designs. The OAAA currently sponsors the OBIE Awards, which were preceded by awards programs under various names and sponsorships starting in the early 1930s. The award is modeled after the ancient Egyptian obelisk, considered by many the earliest form of outdoor advertising. Indeed much of the collection can be seen as evidence of this awards program although only the Award Nominees Series contains slides labeled as such. Other slides probably were transferred to OAAA when companies cleaned out their back files, though the precise sources of many items are unknown. The slides were maintained at OAAA primarily as a large supply of creative examples for member companies. Researchers interested in the following subjects may find the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Slide Library especially helpful: the outdoor advertising medium itself, advertising awards, advertising design, billboard construction, and commercial art, as well as the many outdoor advertising companies, advertisers, and advertising campaigns represented.

The images, designed to attract mass audiences, depict part of American society's history - a history of consumer attitudes and desires. The collection is therefore a valuable tool in formulating not only a pictorial development of the outdoor advertising industry but of societal norms and opinions. The ads speak to the creativity of artists and designers, but they also convey a rich story of how these creators saw society at large, especially in the United States. Perhaps more importantly, ads reveal how corporations and designers felt America wanted to see itself. Such visual richness underlies the primary goals of selling goods and services and promoting ideas for the public good. There are thousands of product advertisements but also many public service ads, political issue ads, and even Happy Birthday greetings in the collection. Billboards are one direct link from corporate America, various interest groups, and their advertising specialists to consumers; and a succinct one-sided conversation designed to spur them to action.

In contrast to other types of advertising, outdoor ads were designed with the fast-moving traveler in mind. The collection documents well the evolution of the billboard's attempt to reach those on the move, especially drivers. With careful thought to what would quickly provoke interest, advertisers presented a huge range of thought from text-free images of abstract artwork to direct discourse (e.g. Vote for Nixon). Because posters were displayed for only limited time periods, and because their physical size makes them impractical to store, photography is the primary method of capturing billboard images. Most billboard photos - whether print or slide - were created to document the work of the company which posted them for their business use.

Within the Slide Library, the creative output of many outdoor advertising companies is documented, although particular creators of many of the ads are unknown. Foster and Kleiser is well represented in the collection. Other companies named in the collection include Naegele, Pacific, Turner, Eller, Donnelly, Columbus, General Outdoor, Patrick, Gannett, Lamar, United, and many others. Thousands of national campaigns are represented, but many local ads are present as well. Outdoor formats range from 19th century posters to "multi-vision" boards that automatically change views with the use of three-sided boards. Most images are of actual billboards, posters, and other outdoor advertising formats in the field, while a sizable portion are just images of the ad design itself with a plain background. There are some slides of stock posters ("Your brand name here") and other forms of outdoor advertising such as bus cards, street furniture, and truck side advertising. The vast majority of the advertisements are in English.

The first three series make up the bulk of the collection: the Award Nominees Series, the Chronological Series, and the Topical Series (by far the largest of the three). These series are made up almost completely of slides showing advertisements, usually in billboard format. All series are described further within the container list. The only other series with a sizable number of advertisements is the International Posters Series. This is where the largest concentration of international ads is found, although there are a few scattered within the other main series. Ads may also be found scattered throughout the Presentations and Presentation Slides Series.

Several additional small series contain images of related content, providing support and context to the advertisements. These include the Construction and Creation Series, the Artwork Series, the Street Scenes and Approaches Series, and the Other Outdoor Advertising Related Images Series. The Presentations and Presentation Slides Series adds insight by showing some of the internal conversation between directors and trainees, advertisers and advertising creators, and more.

The most direct route to locate any identified ad is through the Resource for Outdoor Advertising Description (ROAD) database, available in early 2003. Information about most slides in the collection has been added to this database. Researchers will be able to search for specific attributes of ads such as brand or company name, product type, and headline, as well as other types of information including slide number, date, collection name, image type, image color, outdoor advertising type, and special notes. Many database records also contain a searchable field with the outdoor advertising company's name (posting company), a field indicating if the billboard is in a rural or urban setting, information on the presence of women, children, ethnic individuals, or famous people in the ad, and the billboard's geographic location. Various slide series were entered into the database differently. Multiple searches may be required for comprehensive searching. For more information, consult Research Services Staff (

For more contextual information, use this collection in conjunction with the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Records, especially that collection's Physical Structure Series, and Photographs, Slides, and Negatives Series. Closely related collections in the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library include the John Brennan Outdoor Advertising Survey Reports, the John Paver Papers, the John Browning Papers, the Duplex Advertising Co. Records, the H.E. Fisk Collection of War Effort Mobilization Campaigns, the Outdoor Advertising Association of America Records, the Outdoor Advertising Poster Design Collection, the Garrett Orr Papers, the R.C. Maxwell Company Records, the Howard Scott Papers, and the Strobridge Lithographing Company Advertisements.

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The Acme Advertising Collection is one of the collections created by Professor Richard Pollay in the History of Advertising Archives (Faculty of Commerce, Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia). The collection was motivated by the observation that Acme named enterprises are characteristically small ventures that represent the grass roots of local and regional economies. At the same time, the ubiquity of the Acme brand name has made its way into popular culture, where it has become an icon for independent business in general, featured in print cartoons from artists such as Gary Larson (The Far Side) and G.B. Trudeau (Doonesbury), and in the Warner Bros. animated Road Runner features. Items in the Acme Collection come from a variety of sources. Many items were donated to Dr. Pollay, but the majority were acquired by Dr. Pollay himself over several decades. In earlier years items were found in shops, flea markets, and antique stores across North America. However, in recent years most items were acquired through the internet auction site, eBay ( The Acme Advertising Collection dates from the 1850s through 2006 and consists of approximately 3000 items from over 900 distinct companies and producers, primarily of U.S. or Canadian origin, all bearing the brand name Acme. The collection contains a diverse array of items, both three-dimensional and printed materials, including: promotional items and memorabilia; trade cards; business cards; magazine tear sheets; catalogs; newspaper clippings; signs; displays; writing instruments; rulers; clothing; toys and games; school and office stationery supplies; photographs and slides. A number of corporations are represented in the collection, including: Acme Bail Bonds; Acme Boots; Acme Brick Company; Acme Harvester; Acme Markets; Acme Motor Truck Company; Acme White Lead and Color Works; Duane H. Nash, Inc.; Lautz Bros. and Company; and Warner Bros.

The Acme Advertising Collection dates from the 1850s through 2006 and consists of approximately 3000 items from over 900 distinct companies and producers, primarily of U.S. or Canadian origin, all bearing the brand name Acme. The collection contains a diverse array of items, both three-dimensional and printed materials, including: promotional items and memorabilia; trade cards; business cards; magazine tear sheets; catalogs; newspaper clippings; signs; displays; writing instruments; rulers; clothing; toys and games; school and office stationery supplies; photographs and slides. A number of corporations are represented in the collection, including: Acme Bail Bonds; Acme Boots; Acme Brick Company; Acme Harvester; Acme Markets; Acme Motor Truck Company; Acme White Lead and Color Works; Duane H. Nash, Inc.; Lautz Bros. and Company; and Warner Brothers.

A significant part of the collection is organized and grouped to represent rooms in a house. For example, kitchen items have been collected together. Office, wardrobe, and bathroom items are similarly gathered. Most items are represented in the Detailed Description by thumbnail images. In all, the collection consists of 28 Series: Kitchen Collectibles; Wardrobe and Bedroom Collectibles; Toys, Games, Sports and Recreation; Office and School Supplies; Domestic Hardware; Grocery and Store Collectibles; ACME Beer; Warner Brothers; Clothing Collectibles; Industrial Hardware; Bottles and Jars; Catalogs; Stationery and Certificates; Books and Monographs; Specialty Advertisements; Posters, Magazine, and Newspaper Advertisements; Sales Oddities; Photographs; eBay Files; Acme Bail Bonds; Acme Truck; Audiovisual Materials; Match Covers; Telephone Directories; Business Cards; Trade Cards; Slides; and Miscellaneous Items.

The collection arrived already organized into 28 series. Every item had been assigned an "accession number," a unique 8-digit identifier, in the format "100-xx-xxx": the middle digits refer to the Series number, and the last three digits represent a running accession sequence within the Series. Items have been arranged by Series and numerically therein; however, there are a few exceptions where items have been transferred to another series after having been previously assigned an accession number. The collection also arrived with a descriptive database that was created and maintained by Professor Pollay's staff. The item descriptions in this finding aid represent a distillation of that database into a form more consistent with EAD-compliant finding aids. The collection has been processed with the original order maintained as much as possible. In addition, some items have been deaccessioned or retained by the donor, and only a digital image of the item exists in the collection. Those have been noted in the inventory.

Series 1: Kitchen Collectibles consists of Acme products for kitchen use: juice extractors; sifters; cast iron pans; and other utensils.

Series 2: Wardrobe and Bedroom Collectibles consists of Acme products for use in the bedroom or used as part of a wardrobe, including shoe pads, zippers, scissors, etc.

Series 3: Toys, Games, Sports and Recreation includes Acme toys and games, and other items used in sports and recreation, including model cars, toy trains, whistles, and playing cards.

Series 4: Office and School Supplies includes Acme products used as office and school supplies: erasers, staplers, rulers, pencils, etc.

Series 5: Domestic Hardware includes objects related to hardware used in homes, including wall thermometers; padlocks; iron hinges; and binoculars.

Series 6: Grocery and Store Collectibles includes grocery items such as evaporated milk, potato bags, bread bags, store signs, product display signs, and postcards.

Series 7: ACME Beer includes bottles, tins, catalogs, souvenir programs, flat advertisements and advertising objects relating to the Acme brand of beer.

Series 8: Warner Brothers consists of advertising objects and novelty items from Warner Bros. that feature the Acme label: Wile E Coyote lapel pin; Acme Optical glass case; along with clothing items like neckties, waist pouches, sweatshirts, and hats.

Series 9: Clothing Collectibles consists of clothing items featuring the Acme label and includes aprons, caps and T-shirts.

Series 10: Industrial Hardware includes industrial type objects like printing plates, radio control switches, etc.

Series 11: Bottles and Jars consists of bottles, glassware and jars featuring the Acme name or logo Also included are two colored glass slides, a baby's bottle and items in glass picture frames.

Series 12: catalogs includes various-sized catalogs, brochures, ledgers, and flyers. They are: Acme Trading Co., Acme Boot Co., and Acme Brick. Each item is individually described.

Series 13: Stationery and Certificates consists of assorted business stationery and certificates, including examples of late 19th century and early 20th century lithography on bond certificates and company letter heads. The companies Duane H. Nash Inc., Acme Harvester Co., and Acme Shear Co. provide examples of typical workmanship.

Series 14: Books and Monographs includes books, picture books, monographs and magazines that feature the Acme sign or logo or make mention of Acme.

Series 15: Specialty Advertisements consists primarily of promotional items such as blotters; small calendars; stickers; and slide charts that feature an Acme logo or trademark.

Series 16: Posters, Magazine, and Newspaper Advertisements consists of print advertisements; mounted clippings; and photocopies of stationery and other paper items. Several companies are featured, including: Acme Boot Co., Acme Card System Co., Acme Harvester Co., Acme White Lead and Color Paint Works, Acme Wagon Co., Acme Washing Machine Co., and Acme Visible Card System. Each item is individually described. Each item carries an accession number.

Series 17: Sales Oddities consists of various advertising objects that feature an Acme logo or trademark, including both printed and three-dimensional objects such as tokens, pocket items, patches and decals.

Series 18: Photographs consists of photographs, negatives, and reprints of various shops, billboard, signs, and buildings featuring the Acme sign or logo. There are several pictures from Acme News Pictures, Inc. and Acme Telephoto, both press agencies.

Series 19: eBay Files consists of printouts from relating to Acme-branded items. Printouts are housed in binders which are arranged roughly by year.

Series 20: Acme Bail Bonds consists of mostly printed materials related to the Acme Bail Bonds Company.

Series 21: Acme Truck consists of print advertisements for the Acme Truck, predominantly dating 1918-1922.

Series 22: Audiovisual Materials consists of sound and video recordings on various formats: cassette and video tapes; CD-ROM; vinyl records; and CDs. Each item features "Acme" as a trademark or logo or as part of the band name.

Series 23: Match Covers consists of assorted matchbook covers featuring the Acme label. Items are housed in a binder.

Series 24: Telephone Directories consists of the advertising Yellow pages. The provenance of these advertisements is largely unknown. The Series reflects the order in which they were collected.

Series 25: Business Cards consists of 138 business cards from various Acme companies. Items are housed in one binder.

Series 26: Trade Cards consists of various trading cards that were produced between the late 1880s and the 1930s. The bulk of items comes from the Lautz Bros Soap Co.

Series 27: Slides consists of 232 slides of various objects, locations and businesses featuring the name Acme. Slides are housed in one binder.

Series 28: Miscellaneous Items consists of miscellaneous items featuring the Acme label, name or trademark. Includes gas masks, farm implements, etc.