Marshall Johnson came for a visit to Hagley on October 23 and 24, 2018 to see some of the materials he had been bringing here for the past several years. Johnson, an industrial designer, began his career designing tools and packaging for Black and Decker in Towson, MD. He went on to work for ALCOA (the Aluminum Company of America) in a variety of positions, eventually designing small appliances and cookware for Wear-Ever, Proctor-Silex, and Hamilton Beach.
Marshall and I had a very enjoyable time discussing the many boxes of appliances, appliance ephemera, plans, personal materials, and other historic material that he has been donating. He had an expansive career, inventing and designing many popular products that people often used. I will focus on some of those in my next newsletter post – I am sure many readers will recognize his products!
The collection at Hagley includes concept and design drawings by Johnson, as well as other materials used in the production of the products. Additionally, Johnson collected various product information booklets and promotional cookbooks that came with the appliances, as well as ads, articles, and other information on appliances and cookware and their histories.
While here, Johnson participated in an oral history interview about his career and his reasons for giving his collection to Hagley's Manuscripts and Archives Department. His oral history will be available on Hagley’s website, along with the finding aid for his collection, when the project is completed.
Gail Stanislow is a Project Archivist at Hagley Museum and Library.