Papers, 1916-1988. (Archival material, 1916) []
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Papers, 1916-1988.

Author: Thomas Lamb
Edition/Format:   Archival material : English
The Thomas Lamb papers are arranged in two series. The first consists of business files and textual materials, the second of graphics and artifacts.

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Genre/Form: Caricatures and cartoons
Named Person: Marc Harrison; Edgar Kaufmann; Thomas Lamb; Hideki Tōjō; Hideki Tōjō; Edgar Kaufmann; Marc Harrison
Document Type: Archival Material
All Authors / Contributors: Thomas Lamb
OCLC Number: 82501098
Description: 71 linear ft


The Thomas Lamb papers are arranged in two series. The first consists of business files and textual materials, the second of graphics and artifacts.

The business papers document the full scope of Thomas Lamb's career and include client correspondence, notebooks, drawings, publicity files, personal writings, patents and publicity materials. Client files of particular interest include those relating to Lamb's contracts with Ellison & Spring, Lord & Taylor, Judson Mills, PARA Mfg. Co., the Lawton Company, Wear-Ever/Cutco and Good Housekeeping (Kiddyland). Products from his early career include draperies, napkins, tablecloths, shower curtains, floor coverings and the Kiddyland toys and cartoons. The Wear-Ever/Cutco materials are perhaps the most extensive and include contracts, correspondence and trade literature for the Lamb lines of cutlery and kitchenware. Much of the latter features women in poses and roles typical of 1950s advertising. Other products include surgical, dental and industrial equipment, luggage and sports equipment. The development of the Lim-Rest crutch and the universal handle are well described, including drawings and studies of the anatomy and physiology of the hand and its interaction with handles.

The business papers also include magazine profiles of Lamb, files on the 1948 Museum of Modern Art show, childhood materials and notes from the 1920s, as well as autobiographical notes compiled in the 1970s and a eulogy by fellow designer Marc S. Harrison. There is also a group of writings from the 1940s that describe Lamb's ideas about the Second World War and foreign relations, including an unpublished essay, "A way to American security," 1941.

The artifacts and graphics that were the primary output of Lamb's studio constitute the bulk of the records. They include mock-ups, molds, and casts in plaster, wax, clay and metal, as well as scrapbooks of graphics and two-dimensional representations. There is also a wide array of actual items or parts of items fitted with Lamb handles, including crutches, kitchenware, cutlery, luggage, dental and surgical instruments, tennis rackets, golf clubs, wood and metal-working tools, garden tools, hairbrushes, cigarette holders, knife sharpeners and vacuum cleaners.


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