Series I, the General Business File, primarily documents Hugh Moore’s central role in managing the Dixie Cup business as president (1910-1936, 1939-1943), and continued involvement in directing operations as chairman of the board of directors (1936-1955) and the finance committee (1955-1957). Series I also provides some record of the early paper cup industry in the United States. This series is arranged alphabetically in two subseries. The items within each folder are filed in reverse chronological order, and, with only a few exceptions, Moore’s original folder titles were retained.
The material in Subseries 1 (1908-1920) offers a fragmentary glimpse into the operation of the first regional companies that were headquartered in New York City and sold the first paper cups and vendors manufactured by the American Water Supply Company of New England. Of particular interest is a rich collection of clippings (1908-1911) which Moore gathered about the campaign to abolish the common drinking cup, which traces the movement against the “tin dipper” throughout the United States and gives evidence to the growing popularity of the paper cup. These scrapbooks contain articles and advertisements in popular magazines, medical journals, and newspapers published in New York, Kansas, Nevada, Arkansas, Illinois, Michigan, and other locations. There are also two issues of Moore’s Cup Campaigner (1909-1910), and a copy of Alvin Davison’s influential article “Death in School Drinking Cups” (1908). The printed material distributed by the regional companies, and, after 1910, the Individual Drinking Cup Company, include pamphlets promoting the Luellen Cup & Water Vendor, price lists, leaflets, and programs announcing dramatic and musical recitals about the dangers of the common cup. There are also several printer mechanicals of the earliest advertisements and a scrapbook of engraving proofs. The remaining files primarily pertain to the financial activities of the Individual Drinking Cup Company. These items include correspondence, financial statements, stockholders’ reports, files regarding the reorganization of the company which took place in 1917, and several files concerning the construction of the new plant in Easton.
Subseries 2 (1921-1964) represents the bulk of this series and documents the company’s operation after it relocated to Easton, Pennsylvania, in 1921. It contains Moore’s incoming and outgoing correspondence, internal memoranda, reports, and printed material. These records were maintained by Moore’s secretary, Margaret Sullivan, an Easton native, who worked for Moore from 1921 until her retirement in 1964. The materials in these files generally fall into the following categories: correspondence with Moore’s management staff and other individuals who played a major part in the company’s operation and development; business associates (including competitors); finance; promotion and advertisement; legal counsel; and related subject files.
The individuals with whom Moore corresponded regularly were members of the company’s management team and included Drew Catlin, Cecil F. Dawson, E. Stanley Grant, William Genne, Joseph W. Glenn, Samuel Graham, Howard Hill, Harry L. Jones, E. Russell Kirk, Joseph Kuebler, Arthur Lillicrapp, James E. McGiffert, Arthur Nolan, Otis Roe, Samuel M. Sawyer, Wilbur Soulis, Harry Stone, John B. Taylor, Edwin G. Wessman, Henry Westphal, and Edgar Winne. There is also extensive correspondence with the president of the Vortex Company of Chicago, Robert C. Fenner, who became head of the merged Dixie-Vortex Company in 1936, resigned sometime in early 1939, and was succeeded by Hugh Moore. In these letters Moore and Fenner discuss managing their plants in Chicago, Easton, and Toronto (Canada), and various issues regarding the merger. Other noteworthy correspondents who lent their support to the company included investors William T. Graham, Edgar L. and Hunter S. Marston, Austin M. Pinkham, Hugh C. Leighton, Chester Snyder, and public health crusader Samuel Crumbine. Information regarding Lawrence Luellen can be found in files of the Milans & Milans law firm and the Board of Directors in this subseries. (Dixie agreed in a contract, dated 8 July 1920, to pay Lawrence Luellen a compensatory sum of $9,000.00 per annum. The relationship between the company and Luellen deteriorated until the board of directors asked him to vacate his position. On 8 January 1930 Luellen resigned as vice- president and director of the Individual Drinking Cup Company).
In addition to corresponding with individual members of his staff, Moore regularly sent memoranda (1920-1955) to all his employees on such topics as wages, overtime, vacation, tardiness, the cost of long-distance telephone calls, and how to better manage personal finances. In his effort to encourage productivity, Moore also entered into bets on quotas with his sales staff. The company’s relationship with its employees is further documented by the Dixie Men’s (1926-1931) and Women’s Club (1928-1933) files. Only workers who exhibited certain qualifications set forth in the clubs’ code, including a good work ethic and loyalty to management were considered for membership and received a special yearly bonus. There is also some correspondence and printed material pertaining to worker strikes which occurred at the Easton plant in 1937 and 1941.
Another category of records in this series are reports and correspondence with business associates such as the Pullman Company, the Pennsylvania Railroad, H.P. Hood & Sons, the Borden Company, and the National Dairy Products Organization. The files on major competitors include Lily- Tulip Corporation, Vortex Company, United States Envelope Company, and the Libby Glass Manufacturing Company, among others. More information on these and other competitive companies can be found in Series II and Series III.
The Cup & Container Institute files (1932-1964) provide valuable information about the relationship between the major paper cup manufacturers. Hugh Moore and others founded the Hygienic Cup Institute in 1932, which became the Cup and Container Institute in 1933, and finally the Paper and Container Institute in the 1950s. Along with Moore’s Individual Drinking Cup Company, the Institute initially represented the Public Service Cup Company (makers of the Lily cup), Vortex Company, and the U.S. Envelope Company, and later would also include other industry giants like Sealright Co. Inc. and the American Paper Goods Co. Among the issues which the Institute addressed over the years included industry standards, government regulations, and wages. Hugh Moore was a member of the Budget Committee and was active as a member, and for several years chairman (1937-1941) of the Institute’s Public Health Committee (renamed the Public Relations Committee in June 1941). The files contain committee memoranda, minutes, reports, bulletins issued on net sales figures, and printed material. Moore’s correspondence with the Public Health Committee is primarily with the Committee’s secretary, Homer N. Calver. For related material see also the Federal Trade Commission, which includes material about the Commission’s 1940 decision to serve a complaint against the Cup & Container Institute and its members for unfair methods of competition. The Institute eventually admitted that there had been price- fixing and agreed to discontinue this practice.
Other material in this series pertains to the financial activities of the company. The lending institutions with whom Moore dealt with over the years included: First National Bank (Easton); Title Guarantee & Trust Co.; Banker’s Trust Company of New York; First National Bank of Chicago; and Prudential Insurance Company. Moore’s financial management advisors included: Lawrence A. Baker of Baker, Selby and Rutter; Haskins & Sells; Edward F. Hayes; Shearman, Sterling & Wright; and Arthur W. Wakeley. Loomis Sayles & Company of Boston assisted in managing capital expenditures, expansion and investment, pension plans, and annual report presentation. The Industrial Relations Counselors firm was hired to manage employee compensation, benefits, and profit sharing plans. Among the other files which relate to the company’s financial management include material on stockholders, bank loan negotiations, and financial statements. See also Series V.
This series is also an important source for documenting the advertisement and promotion of Dixie products. In one of its earliest efforts to test the market (1927), the Individual Drinking Cup Company sought the written opinion of its consumers about the newly introduced “Decorated Dixie.” The company also collected data about the audience of its “Dixie Circus” radio program in the early 1930s. On numerous occasions Moore sought the ideas of the McClain- Simpers Organization, Hicks and Greist, Fred Smith & Company, and Young and Rubicam to improve the promotion of Dixie products. The Melody cup design of the early 1950s was developed with the help of Nowland & Schladermundt. There is also material on the promotion of a home product line introduced in 1949. In an effort to win the so called “Battle of the Brands,” Moore and his staff discussed the need to develop a low-cost cup, and employed Hicks & Greist and Fred Smith & Company to develop an effective ad campaign. For additional material on promotion and advertisement see also Series IV.
Moore also sought the advice of numerous legal counselors over the years regarding patent applications, cases of infringement, and specific legal disputes. There is substantial correspondence with legal advisors that included Clifford E. Dunn, Martin Merson, Milans & Milans, Moses & Nolte, Charles W. Hills & Co. of Chicago, and Edwin M. Simpson. See also Series III for additional material on the major legal cases and Series II for information on less significant patent disputes.