Charlotte Nichols Montgomery papers
Scope and Contents
The Writings (1912-1981) consist primarily of articles, tear sheets, drafts, proofs, research material and correspondence relating to her Good Housekeeping column
Speaker of the House(1955-1982), originally titled
Strictly as a Customer.Most folders contain a copy of the column with handwritten edits, carbon copy drafts of each segment of the
Speaker for the Housecolumns, and the first proofs with further edits. Good Housekeeping materials also include the columns
Woman and Her Car(1950-1956) and
The Better Way(1957-1958), the columns
Young Folks at Home(Redbook(1953),
From a Woman's Viewpoint(Tide, 1948-1956) and
Over at the Montgomery's(1955-1956) co-written with husband Harry M. Montgomery, articles written for the Ford Motor Co. publication Fine Cars, pamphlets, and articles Montgomery authored for over fifty periodicals. Industry journals and newsletters are also located in this series. The series includes copies of two romance novels: Summer Job (1942) and Keep Love Flying (1942) as well as a manuscript and copies of the non-fiction book Handbook for the Woman Driver (1960). Montgomery's early writings are represented with handwritten notebooks, advertising copy, newspaper articles, carbon copies of three dozen short stories, essays, and handwritten notes for new books. In addition are articles written under the pseudonyms
Evelyn Bannen. Some of the articles are bound in the original magazines or pamphlets, others are tear sheets, drafts and proofs or displayed in scrapbooks.
The Research Materials (1950-1982) series is comprised of Montgomery's research for her writings and speeches and includes books, newspapers, notes, pamphlets, correspondence, clippings and photos. The materials cover a wide range of interests including but not limited to automobiles, safety, aging, insurance, fraudulent schemes, food, clothing, appliances, detergents and many additional topics.
The Speeches (1949-1981) include carbon copies, drafts, notes, photos, and programmes for the speeches and talks given by Montgomery. Her speeches addressed, and sometimes introduced, the issues that concerned women consumers to a wide variety of organizations ranging from advertising agencies to marketing companies to USO volunteers.
The Consultant Work (1954-circa 1972) series includes correspondence, notes, advertising campaign material, a book, pamphlets, clippings, recipes, scripts and photos documenting Montgomery's work as a consultant for Campbell Soup, Citgo, RMDavis Production, Bristol-Myers, Ford Motor Co., and General Foods.
The Correspondence (1943-1986) series is composed of business, reader, and personal correspondence. Business correspondence consists of letters from manufacturers or professional acquaintances, press releases, invitations, and memos from her editors John Mack Carter, Herbert R. Mayes and other co-workers. Reader correspondence consists of hundreds of letters and postcards written to Montgomery with compliments, complaints about merchandise and services, requests for Good Housekeeping pamphlets or suggestions for her column. Carbon copies of Montgomery's responses to each letter writer are interfiled with the business and reader letters. Personal correspondence contains family and courtship correspondence from 1926-1930 but the bulk of this material consists of letters written during World War II between Montgomery and her husband and their children Sarah Montgomery and Harry Montgomery, Jr. Also included are letters from friends and relatives and ephemera that date from Harry Montgomery's wartime duty in Europe. Letters from other long-term correspondents such as Zdenka Pitrova, a Czechoslovakian fan who became a friend, are included.
Journals and Diaries (1934-1984) are handwritten accounts of professional transactions. The Journals (1950-1982) record speaking engagements, business lunches and dinners, business letters sent and received and phone calls made and received. The Diaries (1934-1984) and detail personal and professional activities including a record of professional transactions prior to 1950.
The Civic Activity (1933-1980) series of correspondence, pamphlets, notes, clippings, and memorabilia documents Montgomery's engagement in professional, national and local organizations.
The Awards (1953-1984) consist of the national press awards, industry recognitions, and regional, academic, and comic certificates presented to Montgomery.
Biographical materials (1912-1927, 1961-1979) include Montgomery's passport, high school and college yearbooks, college memorabilia, books, alumnae notes, and ephemera.
The Professional Contacts (circa 1928-1983) series includes organizational membership lists, organizational directories and hundreds of file cards with the names, addresses and phone numbers of business contacts.
Photographs (circa 1928-1981) include formal group portraits of the Vassar College Class of 1927, black and white formal and informal portraits and proofs, negatives, book cover and publicity stills of Montgomery, as well as black and white and color photographs and snapshots of Montgomery speaking at events and with sponsors and event attendees.
- Majority of material found within 1954 - 1974
Conditions Governing Access
Conditions Governing Use
From the Woman's Viewpoint.From 1948 on, she worked as a freelance journalist and editor. By 1951 she was simultaneously writing columns for Redbook and Good Housekeeping and was a regular contributor to Fine Cars, the National Observer, Today's Woman, and other periodicals. The first woman to write a column about automobiles, the Good Housekeeping automotive column
Woman and Her Car(1950-1956) became her third book, Handbook for Women Drivers (1960). In 1955 Montgomery began writing the column
Strictly as a Customerfor Good Housekeeping. The column was renamed in in 1957 to
Speaker for the House,a column that ran until her retirement in 1982. It was in this column for consumers that topics such as automobile safety, (child safety was a particular concern), services for the handicapped, fraudulent packaging, insurance, mail scams, and the Equal Rights amendment were addressed and advice for consumers dispensed. She was also a consultant to Bristol-Myers, Campbell Soup Co., Citgo, General Foods, Ford Motor Co., Proctor and Gamble, and RMDavis Productions, among others. Additionally, she gave many speeches to business and women's groups over the years and participated in professional, national and local organizations. She won numerous awards and commendations during her fifty-five year career as a journalist and pioneering consumer advocate. In 1982 Montgomery suffered a severe stroke but continued her life in Westfield until 1994, when she moved to Amherst, Massachusetts where she died at age ninety on November 10 of that year.
65.53 Linear Feet (128 full Hollinger, 7 half Hollinger, 8 record storage, and 1 specialty boxes)
Language of Materials
Speaker for the Housein Good Housekeeping magazine from 1955-1982.
- Advice columnists -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Automobile driving -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Automobile industry and trade -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Automobiles -- Design and construction Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Automobiles -- Safety measures Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Child rearing -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Consumer education -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Mount Holyoke College Manuscript Collections Subject Source: Local sources
- Newspapers -- Sections, columns, etc Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Soldiers -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women authors, American -- 20th century Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women consultants -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women consumers -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Women journalists -- United States Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- World War, 1939-1945 -- Personal narratives, American Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- correspondence Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- diaries Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- magazines (periodicals) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- press releases Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- scrapbooks Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- speeches (documents) Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Charlotte Nichols Montgomery Papers, 1912-1986
- Finding Aid
- Finding aid prepared by Joyce Clifford.
- © 2007
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Code for undetermined script
- Language of description note
Part of the Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections Repository
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