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Richard S. Latham Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Latham, Richard S.
Title: Richard S. Latham Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1958-1967
Quantity: 14.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American industrial designer. Correspondence, expense files, diaries.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Richard Latham (1920-1991) was an American industrial designer.

Latham was born in Kansas City and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago. His first job was as an industrial designer for Montgomery Ward. During the war he worked for a model shop building models and mockups of military products, including the first instrument panels for radar and for jet fighters. In 1945 he took a position with the Chicago office of Raymond Loewy, where he entered the then-new field of corporate imaging and branding, designing a complete "look" (packaging, logos, advertising, etc.) for clients ranging from International Harvester to Frigidaire to meat-packing giant Armour.

Latham eventually became Director of Design for Loewy's Chicago office, but in 1955 he left to open Latham, Tyler, and Jensen. The new firm focused on product planning, which was at the time a relatively new field. Their first large client was General Electric's Major Appliance Group in Louisville; later they added GE's consumer electronics group. The company was successful to open a branch office in Denmark.

In 1965 Latham became President of the International Council of Societies of Industrial Designers, whose members societies come from 40 countries; in this position he travelled, lectured, and met with designers from all over the world. Speaking a few years later, he said:

What has become a prominent question in my mind is, "Is all this design necessary or literally are all these things necessary?" I've been told that the design staff at General Motors as of 1969 is 1,700 men...[and] that in 1969...the four major television companies will completely restyle their product lines, in effect duplicating each others product...The question that occurs to me is are all of these exact copies of each other necessary, and finally, the question is, "is an Early American television set necessary?"...If LTJ had not pursued the planning philosophy I probably wouldn't be asking myself these kind of questions, but rather concentrating on the next client and all the next things that we should design whether the world needs them or not.

In 1970 Latham opened Richard S. Latham & Associates, Inc. He became design advisor for Bang & Olufsen of Denmark, and for Land's End, which he helped found. Shortly after his retirement, Latham said:

I find I have not changed my opinion of the fundamental rights and wrongs attendant to the practice of my profession and the succeeding years seem to have demonstrated the inherent problems of "marketing too many" low quality products to ordinary citizens; "junk food" has become a part of the American language in that time period, and the excesses of high pressure marketing and low quality products and service have come to be understood at every walk of life in the USA today.

[Portions of this biographical sketch adapted from the biographical sketch on the IDSA's website, and the autobiographical essay in the collection. Quotes are taken from the essay in the collection.]

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Richard Latham Papers are arranged in five categories.

Financial papers consists of invoices canceled over a four year period. Client correspondence refers to correspondence with Latham's business clients; among the companies represented are Archer Daniels Midland, Blackhawk Manufacturing, Celotex Corporation, Chicago Tribune, Culligan, General Electric, Hammond Organ, Kuehne Manufacturing, Playskool, Simplicity, and U.S. Steel. General correspondence contains correspondence to various persons concerning non-business topics. Expense files contains material relating to business and personal expenses, 1966-1968. Diaries discuss Latham's trip to the Berlin Fair in 1962.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Financial papers are subdivided by year into four series (1965-1968 inclusive); within that material is arranged alphabetically. Client correspondence is arranged alphabetically. General correspondence, expense files, and diaries are arranged chronologically.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has numerous collections of individuals and organizations in the field of industrial design. Please refer to the SCRC Subject Index for a complete listing.

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Subject Headings


Latham, Richard S.


Industrial design -- United States.
Industrial designers -- United States.

Genres and Forms


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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Richard S. Latham Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MK
Date: Mar 1978
Revision history: 8 Jun 2009 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Box 1 A, miscellaneous
Box 1 American Airlines
Box 1 American Express
Box 1 American Society of Industrial Designers
Box 1 Arrow Photo Copy
Box 1 Avis Rent-A-Car
Box 1 B, miscellaneous
Box 1 Barret-Schiristie Co.
Box 1 Berkshire Hotel
Box 1 Browne and Storch
Box 1 Brundo Art Supply
Box 1 C, miscellaneous
Box 1 Cadillac Plastic
Box 1 Central Steel and Wire
Box 1 John Sheffield Chapman
Box 1 Chez Paul
Box 1 Chicago Paper Company
Box 1 Chicago Towel Company
Box 1 Clark and Barlow
Box 1 Commonwealth Edison Company
Box 1 Container Corporation of America
Box 1 Continental Coffee Company
Box 1 Cordcraft, Inc.
Box 1 Craftman Type
Box 1 David Cramer
Box 1 D, miscellaneous
Box 1 The Drake
Box 1 DuBow Secretarial Service
Box 1 E, miscellaneous
Box 1 Emery Air Freight Corporation
Box 1 F, miscellaneous
Box 1 Fey Publishing Company
Box 1 G, miscellaneous
Box 1 Gaslight Club
Box 1 General Fireproofing Company
Box 1 Grand Prix Automotive
Box 1 H, miscellaneous
Box 1 Harry's Auto Parts
Box 1 Fred Harvey
Box 1 Paul J. Heinz
Box 1 Hertz Rent-A-Car
Box 1 Hinckley and Schmitt
Box 1 Edward Hines Lumber
Box 1 Holmes Company
Box 1 Horders
Box 1 Barry Howe
Box 1 Huey Company
Box 1 I, miscellaneous
Box 1 Illinois Bell Telephone
Box 1 Illinois Central Railroad
Box 1 Illustro Inc.
Box 1 International Business Machines
Box 1 K, miscellaneous
Box 1 Kelley and Smith
Box 1 Kennedy Webster
Box 1 Keuffel and Esser
Box 1 The Key Club
Box 1 Kroch's and Brentano's
Box 1 Borris Kroll Fabrics, Inc.
Box 2 L, miscellaneous
Box 2 LaSalle National Bank
Box 2 Lettering, Inc.
Box 2 M, miscellaneous
Box 2 Monsen (2 folders)
Box 2 Fritz Mulhauser
Box 2 N, miscellaneous
Box 2 National Rent-A-Car
Box 2 National Rent-A-Car or Truck
Box 2 Near North Guide
Box 2 Nu Way Express and Van Company, Inc.
Box 2 O, miscellaneous
Box 2 The Odman Corporation
Box 2 OMNI-Division
Box 2 Ozark Airlines
Box 2 P, miscellaneous
Box 2 Package Design
Box 2 Bruce Pattou
Box 2 Pure Oil Company
Box 2 Railway Express Agency
Box 2 Runkle, Thompson, Kovats, Inc.
Box 2 S, miscellaneous
Box 2 Louis Sappanos Company
Box 2 Schumacher Ford, Inc.
Box 2 Sheldon's Art and Drafting Co.
Box 2 Standard Oil Company (2 folders)
Box 2 Standard Photo
Box 2 Standard Studios
Box 2 T, miscellaneous
Box 2 Bill Taura Design
Box 2 Joanne Taylor
Box 2 U, miscellaneous
Box 2 V, miscellaneous
Box 2 W, miscellaneous
Box 2 Walroth Whiteprint Equipment
Box 2 Joseph Welna
Box 2 Western Union
Box 2 The Whitehall Club
Box 2 XYZ, miscellaneous
Box 2 Z Frank Rent a Car
Box 2 Contribution Receipt File
Box 3 A, miscellaneous
Box 3 American Airlines
Box 3 American Express
Box 3 Arrow Photo (2 folders)
Box 3 Avis Rent-a-Car
Box 3 B, miscellaneous
Box 3 Browne and Storch
Box 3 Brundo Art Supply Company
Box 3 C, miscellaneous
Box 3 Cadillac Plastic
Box 3 John Sheffield Chapman
Box 3 Chez Paul
Box 3 Chicago Towel Company
Box 3 Clark and Barlow
Box 3 Commonwealth Edison Company
Box 3 Container Corporation of America
Box 3 Continental Coffee Company
Box 3 David Cramer
Box 3 D, miscellaneous
Box 3 The Drake
Box 3 DuBow Secretarial Service
Box 3 E, miscellaneous
Box 3 Emery Air Freight
Box 3 F, miscellaneous
Box 3 G, miscellaneous
Box 3 Gaslight Club
Box 3 H, miscellaneous
Box 3 Harry's Auto Parts
Box 3 Fred Harvey
Box 3 Hertz Rent-A-Car
Box 3 Holmes Company
Box 3 Horders
Box 3 Barry Howe
Box 3 Huey Company
Box 3 I, miscellaneous
Box 3 Illinois Bell Telephone
Box 3 Illinois Central Railroad
Box 3 International Business Machines
Box 3 K, miscellaneous
Box 3 Kelley Ambruse and Smith
Box 3 Kennedy Webster
Box 3 The Key Club
Box 3 Kinney Rent-A-Car
Box 3 Kroch's and Brentano's
Box 3 L, miscellaneous
Box 3 LaSalle National Bank
Box 3 Lettering, Inc.
Box 3 Logan Square Typographers
Box 3 M, miscellaneous
Box 3 McClurg Company, A.G.
Box 3 McFarland
Box 3 Merit Photo Company
Box 3 Monsen Typographers (2 folders)
Box 3 Mulhauser, Fritz
Box 4 N, miscellaneous
Box 4 Near North Guild
Box 4 O, miscellaneous
Box 4 Odman Corporation
Box 4 Old Wells Auto Park
Box 4 P, miscellaneous
Box 4 Postmaster of Chicago
Box 4 Pure Oil Company
Box 4 R, miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 4 Railway Express Agency
Box 4 Runkle, Thompson, Kovats, Inc.
Box 4 Frederick Ryder Company
Box 4 S, miscellaneous
Box 4 Sheldon's (3 folders)
Box 4 Standard Oil Company (3 folders)
Box 4 Standard Photo Company
Box 4 T, miscellaneous
Box 4 Joanne Taylor
Box 4 U, miscellaneous
Box 4 W, miscellaneous
Box 4 Walruth Whiteprint Company
Box 4 Welna Gallery
Box 4 Western Union
Box 4 Raymond Wielgus Company
Box 4 XYZ, miscellaneous
Box 4 A, miscellaneous
Box 4 American Airlines
Box 4 American Express
Box 4 Arrow Photo Copy (4 folders)
Box 4 Avis Rent-A-Car
Box 4 B, miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 5 Browne and Storch
Box 5 The Brundo Art Supply Co.
Box 5 C, miscellaneous
Box 5 Cadillac Plastic
Box 5 John Sheffield Chapman
Box 5 Chez Paul
Box 5 Chicago Towel Company
Box 5 Clark and Barlow
Box 5 Commonwealth Edison Co.
Box 5 Continental Coffee Company
Box 5 D, miscellaneous
Box 5 The Drake
Box 5 DuBow Secretarial
Box 5 E, miscellaneous
Box 5 Emery Air Freight
Box 5 F, miscellaneous
Box 5 G, miscellaneous
Box 5 Robert J. Gary
Box 5 Gaslight Club
Box 5 H, miscellaneous
Box 5 Harry's Auto Parts
Box 5 Fred Harvey
Box 5 Hertz Rent-A-Car
Box 5 Hinckley and Schmidt
Box 5 Horders
Box 5 Barry Howe
Box 5 Huey Company
Box 5 I, miscellaneous
Box 5 Illinois Bell Telephone Co.
Box 5 Illinois Central Railroad
Box 5 International Business Machines
Box 5 K, miscellaneous
Box 5 The Key Club
Box 5 Kinney Rent-A-Car
Box 5 Kroch's and Brentano's
Box 5 L, miscellaneous
Box 5 LaSalle National Bank
Box 5 Lettering, Inc.
Box 5 Logan Square Typographers
Box 5 M, miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 5 Merit Photo (2 folders)
Box 5 Monsen Typographers (2 folders)
Box 5 Fritz Mulhauser
Box 5 N, miscellaneous
Box 5 O, miscellaneous
Box 5 Odman Corporation
Box 5 Old Wells Auto Park
Box 5 P, miscellaneous
Box 5 Post Master of Chicago
Box 5 Pure Oil Company
Box 6 R, miscellaneous
Box 6 Railway Express Agency
Box 6 Fredrick Ryder Company
Box 6 S, miscellaneous
Box 6 Sheldon's
Box 6 Standard Oil Company
Box 6 Standard Photo Supply
Box 6 T, miscellaneous
Box 6 Joanne Taylor
Box 6 United Airlines
Box 6 W, miscellaneous
Box 6 Walruth Whiteprint Equipment
Box 6 Welna Gallery
Box 6 Western Union
Box 6 Raymond Wielgus Products
Box 6 XYZ, miscellaneous
Box 6 A, miscellaneous
Box 6 American Airlines (2 folders)
Box 6 American Express
Box 6 Arrow (4 folders)
Box 6 Avis Rent-A-Car
Box 6 B, miscellaneous
Box 6 Browne and Storch, Inc.
Box 6 The Brundo Art Supply Co.
Box 6 Budget Rent-A-Car
Box 6 C, miscellaneous
Box 6 Cadillac Plastics
Box 6 Chez Bill
Box 6 Chicago Towel Company
Box 6 Clark and Barlow
Box 6 Commonwealth Edison Co.
Box 6 Continental Coffee Co.
Box 6 D, miscellaneous
Box 6 The Drake
Box 6 Dubow Secretarial
Box 6 E, miscellaneous
Box 6 Emery Air Freight
Box 6 F, miscellaneous
Box 6 G, miscellaneous
Box 6 Gaslight Club
Box 6 H, miscellaneous
Box 6 Fred Harvey
Box 7 Hertz Rent-A-Car
Box 7 Hinckley and Schmidt
Box 7 Horders
Box 7 I, miscellaneous
Box 7 Illinois Bell Telephone
Box 7 Illinois Central Railroad
Box 7 International Business Machines
Box 7 J, miscellaneous
Box 7 Ronald P. Johnson
Box 7 K, miscellaneous
Box 7 John P. Kelley
Box 7 The Key Club
Box 7 Kinney Rent-A-Car
Box 7 Kroch's and Brentano's
Box 7 L, miscellaneous
Box 7 LaSalle National Bank
Box 7 Lettering, Inc.
Box 7 M, miscellaneous
Box 7 Merit Photo (4 folders)
Box 7 Monsen (2 folders)
Box 7 N, miscellaneous
Box 7 Near North Guild
Box 7 O, miscellaneous
Box 7 Odman Corporation
Box 7 Old Wells Auto Park
Box 7 P, miscellaneous
Box 7 Brace Pattou and Associates
Box 7 Postmaster of Chicago
Box 7 Pure Oil Company
Box 7 R, miscellaneous
Box 7 Anthony Radavich
Box 7 Railway Express
Box 7 Rosenthal
Box 7 S, miscellaneous
Box 7 Sheldon's (3 folders)
Box 7 Standard Oil (3 folders)
Box 7 Standard Photo
Box 7 T, miscellaneous
Box 7 Joanne Taylor
Box 7 U, miscellaneous
Box 7 V, miscellaneous
Box 7 W, miscellaneous
Box 7 Walruth Whiteprint, Inc.
Box 7 Welna Gallery
Box 7 Western Union
Box 7 Raymond Wielgus, Inc.
Box 7 Xerox Corporation
Clients correspondence
Box 8 Pierce Adams Agency 1958
Box 8 Airguide Instrument Co.
Box 8 Allied Radio Corporation
Box 8 Allied Reports 1958
Box 8 A.S. Aloe
Box 8 A.S. Aloe Contract
Box 8 Aluminum Co. of America (Alcoa)
Box 8 Alcoa Contract
Aluminum Extrusions, Inc.
Box 8 General correspondence 1959-1966 (4 folders)
Box 8 Board of Director's Meeting
Box 8 American Bank Note Company
American Museum of Electronics
Box 8 General correspondence
Box 8 Contract
Box 8 Amron
Box 8 General correspondence 1958-1959, 1962-1963 (4 folders)
Box 8 General file (2 folders)
Archer Daniels Midland
Box 8 General correspondence 1962-1963 (2 folders)
Box 8 General file
Box 9 Argus Inc. (2 folders)
Box 9 Arvin Industries
Box 9 Aqua Chem
Box 9 Avon Products
Box 9 Bank of Green Bay - contract
Box 9 Richard Beckhard Associates
Bell and Howell
Box 9 General correspondence 1961-1963 (3 folders)
Box 9 Contract
Box 9 Cost File
Box 9 Louis Bernat
Blackhawk Manufacturing
Box 9 Aerial survey
Box 9 Development lab
Box 9 General correspondence 1959
Box 9 Bollenbach Company
Box 9 Brain Research Foundation
Box 9 Brentwood-General correspondence
Box 9 Burroughs Equipment Co.
Box 9 California Museum of Science and Industry - general correspondence (4 folders)
Cantigny Memorial Trust
Box 9 Contract
Box 9 Diagrams
Box 9 Flag frames
Box 9 Memorial Hall
Box 9 Sculptor
Carnes Corporation
Box 9 Contract
Box 9 General file 1958
Box 9 Invoices 1958
Celotex Corporation
Box 9 Contract
Box 9 General correspondence
Box 9 Chicago Hardware Foundry
Box 9 Chicago International Fair
Box 9 Chicago Printed String Co.
Box 9 Chicago Tribune
Box 9 Chicken Delight, Inc.
Box 9 Coffee Host, Inc.
Box 9 Continental Bearings
Box 9 Container Corporation of America
Box 9 Corning Glass Works
Box 9 C.P. Electronics, Inc.
Box 9 C. Cretors
Box 9 General correspondence 1960-1965 (3 folders)
Box 10 General file
Box 10 Market Planning Group (2 folders)
Box 10 Cyprus Mining
Box 10 Dansk
Box 10 Correspondence 1959
Box 10 General file
Box 10 Market research data (2 folders)
Box 10 Dentists' Supply Company
Box 10 Dole Value Company
Box 10 Dual Jet Refrigeration
Box 10 DuPont De Nemours
Box 10 Dynex Corp.
Box 10 Easterling Company (4 folders)
Box 10 Economics Laboratorie
Box 10 Edwards and Deutsch Lithographing Co.
Box 10 EKCO (10 folders)
Box 11 EKCO (7 folders)
Box 11 Elgin National Watch Co.
Box 11 Evanston Art Center
Box 11 First National Bank of Marinette
Box 11 Florsheim Farms
Box 11 Fostoria Glass Company
Box 11 Franklin Manufacturing Company
Box 11 Garden City Plating and Manufacturing
General Electric
Box 11 Budgets
Box 11 Bridgeport
Box 11 Louisville
Box 11 Field Enterprises
Box 11 General 1958-1959 (2 folders)
Box 11 Henry Foster
Box 11 Hot Point Division
Box 11 Schenectady (2 folders)
Box 11 Syracuse (3 folders)
Box 11 Utica
Box 11 Crotonville Design Conference
Box 11 General Exhibit and Displays
Box 11 General file
Box 12 General file (2 folders)
Box 12 Report, television
Box 12 Geutings
Box 12 Greeley and Hansen
Box 12 Bank of Green Bay
Box 12 Hallmark Cards
Hammond Organ
Box 12 Contract
Box 12 General correspondence (2 folders)
Box 12 Hinson Manufacturing Co.
Box 12 Interstate Vending
Box 12 Jefferson Electric
Box 12 Kettering
Box 12 Kroehler Manufacturing Co.
Box 12 Kuehne Manufacturing Co.
Box 12 LaMere Industries
Box 12 R.S. Landaver
Box 12 Mars
Box 12 The Mengel Furniture Company
Box 12 National Society for Crippled Children and Adults
Box 12 Norman Hoffman Bearings
Box 12 O-Cel-O
Box 12 O'Cedar
Box 12 Jane McCullough
Box 12 Museum of Science and Industry
Charles Newman
Box 12 General correspondence
Box 12 Contract
Box 12 Pittsburgh Corning Corp.
Box 12 Playskool Manufacturing
Box 12 Product Presentation, Inc.
Box 12 Profexray, Inc.
Box 12 Rand McNally
Box 12 Ritepoint-Contract
Box 12 Roehr Products
Box 12 Correspondence
Box 12 General file (4 folders)
Box 13 General file (7 folders)
Box 13 Schenectady Museum
Box 13 Arthur Scholder
Box 13 Sealy, Inc.
Box 13 Wesley Sharer and Associates
Box 13 Simplicity Manufacturing Co.
Box 13 Sola Electricity Company
Standard meetings
Box 13 General file
Box 13 Correspondence
Box 13 Meetings reports
Box 13 Presentation
Box 13 Research Data-Market
Box 13 Stitzel-Wellor Distillery Company
Box 13 Stonegate China Co.
Box 13 Structural Products, Inc. (6 folders)
Box 13 Technical Exhibits
Box 13 Touche, Ross, Bailey and Smart
Box 13 Thomas Industries
Box 13 J. Walter Thompson
Box 13 Clare Udell, Inc.
Box 13 United States Department of Commerce
United States Information Agency
Box 13 Construction contracts
Box 13 General correspondence
Box 14 General correspondence (4 folders)
Box 14 Exhibit
Box 14 United States Steel Corporation
Box 14 Universal Training Systems
Box 14 Van Baerle, Inc.
Box 14 Vienna Trade Fair
Box 14 John C. Virden Co.
Box 14 Weber Costello Company
Box 14 Wisconsin Telephone Company
General correspondence
Box 14 1958
Box 14 1959 (2 folders)
Box 14 1965
Box 14 1966
Box 14 1967
Expense files
Box 14 1966
Box 14 1967
Box 14 1968
Box 14 Berlin Fair

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