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Mather & Company workplace posters

1923 1924 1929
 Collection
Accession: 1994-319

Abstract

Mather & Company was a printer of motivational workplace posters, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Between 1923 and 1929, the company produced approximately 350 work-incentive posters. The posters were color lithographs containing vivid images accompanied by witty captions that demonstrated workplace interpersonal interactions, appropriate behaviors, ideals, and guidelines. This artificial collection consists of twenty-six Mather & Company work-incentive posters. The design of each poster follows a standard format; each includes a three-part message and a single image using a colorful pallet.

Dates

  • 1923
  • 1924
  • 1929

Creator

Extent

26 item(s)

Physical Description

26 prints, lithographs : color ; 48 x 36 in. or smaller.

Historical Note

Mather & Company was a printer of motivational workplace posters, based out of Chicago, Illinois. Between 1923 and 1929, the company produced approximately 350 work-incentive posters. The posters were color lithographs containing vivid images accompanied by witty captions that demonstrated workplace interpersonal interactions, appropriate behaviors, ideals, and guidelines. Businesses would subscribe and receive a new poster every week. These posters hung on the walls of factories and offices across America.

The Mather & Company printing house was a family-owned and managed business by Harry Mather (1863-1929) and his son Charles Mather (1895-1972). Salesman Charles Rosenfeld (1886-1983) is credited with proposing the idea of the workplace posters to Charles Mather. Rosenfeld left the company in 1925 to create a new company, C.J. Howard Inc., that produced action posters and postcards of their own.

In 1923, the Seth Seiders Syndicate bought Mather & Company. Throughout the next several years, the Seth Seiders Syndicate purchased several other small publishing companies, including C.J. Howard Inc. The subsidiaries continued to publish under their own names and to be managed by their existing employees. Seiders chose Rosenfeld to help consolidate the companies.

Scope and Contents

This artificial collection consists of twenty-six Mather & Company work-incentive posters. The design of each poster follows a standard format; each includes a three-part message and a single image using a colorful pallet. The early posters were in horizontal format, and the later posters were vertical. The posters have been described as being in the Art Deco style. Several of the 1929 posters feature animals, such as a peacock, a tiger, rhinoceros, and a vulture.

The posters were created by commercial artists, including Robert Beebe (1891-1966), William Frederic Elmes (1900-1956), Frank Beatty (1899-1984), Henry Lee Jr. (1905-1975), and Hal DePuy (1895-1948). The artist of several posters are unknown.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

Posters were purchased from antiquarian booksellers.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
Mather & Company workplace posters
Status:
Author:
Laurie Sather
Date:
2021
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400