Margaret Fishback papers, 1863-1978 and undated (bulk 1920-1973), bulk 1920-1973
Using These Materials
- Collection is open for research.
- Fishback, Margaret, 1904-1985
- Margaret Fishback was an advertising copywriter for Macy's, Cecil & Presbrey, Warwick & Legler, Young & Rubicam, Doyle Dane Bernbach, and a number of freelance clients. A poet, columnist, and author of prose work, she contributed frequently to national magazines and published several books. The Margaret Fishback Papers span the years 1863 through 1978 and document Fishback's dual careers in advertising and writing as well as her personal life. The collection includes correspondence, layouts, drafts, galley proofs, radio scripts, working copy of advertising text, poetry, prose, published material, appointment books, scrapbooks, photographs, and other materials. Clients represented in the papers include Borden's, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Clairol, General Foods, Gourmet Foods, Gimbels, Macy's, Martex, Moore-McCormack Lines, Norcross, Norsk, Pabst, and Simmons Beautyrest.
47.6 Linear Feet
About 35,700 items
- Material in English
- Collection ID:
- Scope and Content:
The Margaret Fishback Papers span the years 1863 through 1978 and document Fishback's dual careers in advertising and writing as well as her personal life. The collection includes correspondence, layouts, drafts, galley proofs, radio scripts, working copy of advertising text, poetry, prose, published material, appointment books, scrapbooks, photographs, and other materials. Clients represented in the papers include Arrow, Borden's, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Clairol, General Foods, Gimbels, Gourmet Foods, Macy's, West Point Pepperell (Martex), Moore-McCormack Lines, Norcross, Norsk, Pabst, Simmons Beautyrest, and Wrigley. Materials that predate Fishback's birth consist of a small collection of 19th-century prints and illustrations.
The collection is organized into three series: Personal Files, Writings, and Advertising.
The Personal Files Series chiefly documents Fishback's personal life through personal correspondence, datebooks, diaries, and photographs. Also included are a number of items collected by Fishback such as etiquette books, newspaper clippings, church bulletins, and travel memorabilia. Biographical data, chiefly news articles, provide secondary source material about Fishback and her family.
The Writings Series documents Fishback's writing career, containing her published works as well as a large amount of work in unpublished form. Writings include articles and light poetry written for national news and general-interest publications such as Collier's, Liberty, Life, Look, the New York Times, New Yorker, Saturday Evening Post, and Time. Writings also include Fishback's contributions to women's magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Family Circle, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Judge, Mademoiselle, McCall's, War Brides, Woman's Day, and Woman's Home Companion. A large number of Fishback's poems were reprinted as compilations; Fishback also compiled her own work in several scrapbooks. Materials represent Fishback's writings for children, including a promotional booklet for Martex and an English translation of a German poetry book. In addition to general prose and poetry, this series also includes materials collected and produced for a column entitled "Woman-Talk," which Fishback wrote for Liberty from 1943 to 1947. Also included are short stories, greeting card work, letters to magazine and newspaper editors, speeches for various events such as author talks and advertising conventions, and other miscellaneous writings. General files document the administrative aspects of Fishback's writing career. These files contain correspondence, chiefly between Fishback and various editors and publishers, as well as financial and legal materials.
The Advertising Series documents Fishback's advertising work for R.H. Macy and Co. Department Store, as well as work for advertising agencies and freelance work. Included in this series are advertisements in various stages of production: notes, drafts, proofs, and tear sheets. Administrative materials, such as correspondence, often accompany the advertisements. Also represented in this series is evidence of Fishback's professional affiliations, particularly with the Advertising Women of New York (AWNY). Materials generated or collected in the process of preparing for speaking engagements with professional societies are also included. The series also includes a small collection of trade literature, chiefly books on advertising topics written by other authors.
Large-format print materials have been removed from their original series locations and relocated to Oversize Materials. Relocated items have been replaced in the Detailed Description of the Collection by dummy folders enclosed in brackets.
- Biographical / Historical:
Margaret Fishback Date Event 1900 Mar. 10 Born Margaret Fishback, Washington, D.C. 1917 Graduated from Central High School (Washington, D.C.) 1921 A.B. degree, Goucher College (Baltimore, Md.) 1921 Teacher, English and History, Columbia Junior High School (Washington, D.C.) 1922 Organizational Department, Tamblyn and Brown (New York, N.Y.) 1926-1930 Divisional copywriter, R. H Macy & Co. (Macy's) 1930-1942 Institutional advertisement writer, Macy's 1932 Published I Feel Better Now, Verses 1933 Published Out of My Head 1935 Published I Take It Back 1935 June 14 Married Alberto Gastone Antolini, chief rug buyer, Macy's 1937 Published One to a Customer: Collected Poems 1938 Published Safe Conduct: When to Behave--And Why 1940 Published Time for a Quick One 1940-1942 Copy Chief, Macy's 1942 Jan. 25 Son Anthony Frederick (Tony) Antolini born 1943-1947 Wrote "Woman-Talk" column in Liberty magazine 1945 Published Look Who's A Mother! 1948-1950 Copywriter, Cecil & Presbrey 1951 Copywriter, Warwick & Legler 1956 Divorced Alberto Antolini 1958 Copywriter, Young & Rubicam 1959 Oct. 1-1961 Copywriter, Doyle Dane Bernbach 1963 Published My Little Library: Dolls, Games, Rhymes 1963 Published Poems Made Up to Take Out 1968 Published The Animal Parade (translated from German) 1969 Published A Child's Book of Natural History 1985 Sept. 25 Died, Camden, Me.
Margaret Fishback Antolini was an advertising copywriter and author of light verse and prose. She was known for her wry, cynical attitudes towards domesticity, and her marriage to Alberto Gastone Antolini in 1935 prompted headlines such as "Sneerer at Love Engaged to Wed" ( The New York American, 17 April 1935). The couple had one son, Tony. Fishback lived in several New York City neighborhoods, settling in Murray Hill in 1941, where she would remain until at least 1976. She spent most summers in Thomaston, Maine.
Fishback contributed light verse and prose to a number of national publications, including Collier's, Cosmopolitan, Glamour, Good Housekeeping, Harper's Bazaar, Look, Mademoiselle, New York Times, Reader's Digest, Saturday Evening Post, and Woman's Day. She authored several compilations of light verse, an etiquette book called Safe Conduct: When to Behave--and Why, and two children's books. Common themes in Fishback's work include New York City, womanhood, marriage, and career. Fishback also frequently based her writings on stories and advertisements in newspapers. She published primarily under her maiden name, but also occasionally under her married name and the pseudonyms "Marne" and "Marnie."
Fishback was described in a 1932 New York newspaper article as "the highest-paid advertising woman in the world". In addition to her advertising work for Macy's and various advertising agencies, she also did extensive freelance work. Fishback contributed to advertising campaigns for Arrow Shirts, Borden's, Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Clairol, DuPont, Gimbels, Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P), Hanes Hosiery, Martex, Norsk, Pabst Blue Ribbon, Seagram's, Simmons Beautyrest, and Wrigley, among several others. She was also a member of the professional society Advertising Women of New York (AWNY).
Chronology of Major Published Work Date Event 1932 I Feel Better Now, Verses 1933 Out of My Head 1935 I Take It Back 1937 One to a Customer: Collected Poems 1938 Safe Conduct: When to Behave--And Why 1940 Time for a Quick One 1945 Look Who's A Mother! 1963 My Little Library: Dolls, Games, Rhymes 1963 Poems Made Up to Take Out 1968 The Animal Parade (translated from German) 1969 A Child's Book of Natural History
- Acquisition Information:
- The Margaret Fishback Papers were received by the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book Manuscript Library as a gift from Anthony Antolini in 2005.
- Processing information:
Processed by Angela McClendon and Stacy Lavin, March 2007
Encoded by Angela McClendon
Completed May 2007
Accession 2005-0015 is described in this finding aid.
- Physical Location:
- For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
- Rules or Conventions:
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Related Material:
Materials related to this collection may be found in other Hartman Center collections, including the Nan Findlow Papers, Rena Bartos Papers, Lucile Turnbach Platt Papers, Sidney A. Olson Papers, David B. McCall Papers, and Garrett Orr Papers.
- Separated Material:
A set of Fishback's published books, listed below, has been cataloged separately and is available in the Duke David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Individual titles can be found in the online library catalog. Duplicate copies of these books have remained with the collection.
- I Feel Better Now, Verses (1932)
- Out of My Head (1933)
- I Take It Back (1935)
- One to a Customer: Collected Poems (1937)
- Safe Conduct: When to Behave--And Why (1938)
- Time for a Quick One (1940)
- Look Who's a Mother! (1945)
- Poems Made Up to Take Out (1963)
- The Animal Parade (1968)
Click on terms below to find related finding aids on this site. For other related materials in the Duke University Libraries, search for these terms in the Catalog.
Advertising -- Social aspects
Advertising -- History -- 20th century
Women in advertising
Women in the advertising industry -- New York (State)
Women authors, American -- 20th century
Humor in advertising
Advertising agencies -- New York (State) -- New York
Advertising agencies -- United States -- History
Clippings (information artifacts)
Layouts (printer matter)
Proofs (printed matter)
Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
Young & Rubicam
Pabst Brewing Company
West Point Pepperell (Firm)
Advertising Women of New York
Chef Boy-Ar-Dee (Firm)
Doyle Dane Bernbach Inc.
General Foods Corporation
John W. Hartman Center for Sales, Advertising & Marketing History
Moore-McCormack Lines, Inc.
Fishback, Margaret, 1904-1985
New York (N.Y.) -- Social life and customs -- 20th century
Women -- New York (State) -- New York
Using These Materials
Collection is open for research.
- USE & PERMISSIONS:
The copyright interests in this collection have not been transferred to Duke University. For more information, consult the copyright section of the Regulations and Procedures of the David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
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- PREFERRED CITATION:
[Identification of item], Margaret Fishback Papers, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University