Samuel S. Scherr Papers 1940-2002

Size
6 linear feet
Call number
MC 00331

The Samuel S. Scherr Papers document the professional and personal life of Samuel Scherr. The primary focus of this collection is Sherr's career as an industrial designer, but it also includes information about Scherr's private life, especially his time in the Army during World War II. The collection contains patent information, drawings, trademarks, pictures, sketches, videos, correspondence, and personal memorabilia from World War II. The collection spans the early 1940s to 2002.

Samuel S. Scherr (1923-2002), industrial and product designer, was president of Scherr & McDermott, a design firm working in the fields of industrial, environmental, and graphic design. In 1955 as CEO and President of Scherr & McDermott, collaborating with the International Cooperation Administration, Scherr helped establish the Korean Small Scale Industry & Handicraft Design Center in South Korea. In 1977, Samuel Scherr became the President of the American Crafts Council, a position he held for two years. Scherr continued his design and marketing work with Samuel Scherr & Partners, Fulton + Partners, and as an individual consultant.

Biographical/historical note

Samuel S. Scherr (1923-2002) was a respected professional in the fields of industrial and product design. Born October 31, 1923 in Akron, Ohio, Scherr began schooling in 1941 at the Cleveland Institute of Art majoring in Industrial Design. His schooling was interrupted when in 1943 he enlisted with the United States Army Air Force. While in the Army Air Force, Scherr was attached to the 5th Air Force Combat Camera Unit. Stationed in the Pacific Theatre, Scherr was a part of many military operations; he quickly advanced to the rank of sergeant. He was awarded a Bronze Star along with two Air Medals. Upon his honorable discharge from the Army Air Force in 1945, Scherr returned to the Cleveland Institute of Art.

After Scherr graduated from the Cleveland Institute of Art in 1946, General Motors hired him to work in its design department, specializing in automobile accessories and interiors. In 1948, Samuel Scherr, along with Eugene Smith and Jim McDermott, formed Smith, Scherr & McDermott International, a design firm working in the fields of industrial, environmental, and graphic design. The company later changed its name to Scherr & McDermott upon the departure of Eugene Smith. Scherr served as Scherr & McDermott International's President until 1977. During his 29 years at Scherr & McDermott, Scherr saw the design firm open offices in diverse places such as New York, South Korea, Peru, Columbia, and Ecuador. Headquartered out of Akron, Ohio, Scherr & McDermott served a plethora of clients, including Hoover, Rubbermaid, the City of Akron, General Electric, and the Government of Korea. Products that were designed by Scherr & McDermott include the Hoover Suitcase Vacuum (included in the Louvre's 100 Best Product Designs of the 20th Century) and the City of Akron's seal (it served as Akron's official seal from 1965 until it was officially replaced in 1996).

In 1955 as CEO and President of Scherr & McDermott, collaborating with the International Cooperation Administration, Scherr helped establish the Korean Small Scale Industry & Handicraft Design Center in South Korea. In 2000 as a result of this work, Scherr was named "Father of Industrial and Product Design in Korea." In 1974, Scherr joined Kromex, a Cleveland Ohio Company. At Kromex, Scherr was named Design and Product Development Manager for the Housewares Division.

In 1977, Scherr & McDermott was dissolved. Samuel Scherr became the President of the American Crafts Council. Headquartered in New York City, the American Crafts Council is a non-profit organization that represents craftsmen and artists. As part of his job as President of the American Crafts Council, Scherr had to oversee the sale of the American Craft Museum to the Museum of Modern Art. He also had to supervise the design and construction of new American Craft Museum and office facility. Scherr served in this position for two years.

Samuel Scherr continued to design late into his life. He spent many of his retired years working on the Tri-Cap Spire, a tower that Scherr had envisioned for Raleigh, North Carolina. The Tri-Cap Spire would have stood 625 feet, placing it amongst the taller towers of the world.

At the end of his tenure from the American Crafts Council, Scherr went on to form a new business, Samuel Scherr & Partners. This business served to provide design and marketing services to multi-national corporations, advertising agencies, industrial design firms, and marketing service organizations. In 1989, Samuel Scherr & Partners dissolved.

Samuel Scherr, while working for Samuel Scherr & Partners, joined Fulton + Partners as a Vice President. Fulton + Partners is a New York City-based design firm founded in 1966 by James Fulton, a past president of the Industrial Designers Society of America.

From 1989 until his death in 2002, Samuel Scherr was a design and marketing consultant in North Carolina and Ohio. He was involved with real estate and rehabilitation of older buildings for uses in commercial and living environments.

Samuel Scherr was a member of the American Marketing Association, the Industrial Design Society of America, the Mayor's Commission-Urban, the Design-City of Akron, the Board of Directors-Weathervane Playhouse, the Hart Directors Club of New York, and the Board of Directors-City Gallery Museum, Raleigh, North Carolina. Among his honors, Samuel Scherr was named the Father of Industrial Design in Korea in 2000. Also in 2000, Samuel Scherr and his wife were awarded the Design Guild Award by North Carolina State University School of Design.

Samuel Scherr married a fellow designer, Mary Ann Weckman in May 1947. Mary Ann Scherr is a noted metal smith and jeweler. She teaches at Meredith College, in Raleigh North Carolina. The Scherrs had three children, Randall, Scott, and Sydney Jo.

Scope/content

The Samuel S. Scherr Papers document the professional and personal life of Samuel Scherr. The primary focus of this collection is Sherr's career as an industrial designer, but it also includes information about Scherr's private life, especially his time in the Army during World War II. The collection contains patent information, drawings, trademarks, pictures, sketches, videos, correspondence, and personal memorabilia from World War II. The collection spans the early 1940s to 2002.

Physical description

14 archival storage boxes, 1 flatbox

Arrangement

The collection is divided into three major series. The first series, Personal Papers, contains information relating to Scherr's time spent in the United States military and his personal life. The Professional Papers series contains documents related to Samuel Scherr's life as an Industrial Engineer. The Audiovisual Material series, contains photographs and videocassettes from throughout Scherr's personal and professional life.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Samuel S. Scherr Papers, MC 00331, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of Mary Ann Scherr in 2003 (Accn. no. 2003-0013).

The collection is organized into five principal series:

Personal Papers
Size: 1 linear foot

This series covers the personal life of Sam Scherr. This series includes Scherr's time in the military during World War II, and his family life. The series is organized in Alphabetical order.

1.5 archival storage boxes

50th Wedding Anniversary (1 of 2) May-June 1997
Box 1, Folder 1
50th Wedding Anniversary (2 of 2) May-June 1997
Box 1, Folder 2
Biographical undated
Box 1, Folder 3
Correspondence 1959, 1984
Box 1, Folder 4
Leeper Desure Family Reunion 1999
Box 1, Folder 5
Memorabilia
Memorabilia, Appointment Book 1982
Box 1, Folder 6
Memorabilia, Appointment Book 1983
Box 1, Folder 7
Memorabilia, Appointment Book 1984
Box 1, Folder 8
Memorabilia, Appointment Book 1985
Box 1, Folder 9
Memorabilia, Bob Hope 1998
Box 1, Folder 10
Memorabilia, Currency
Legal box 6, Folder 1
Memorabilia, World War II Geisha Art undated
Box 1, Folder 12
Memorabilia, World War II Miscellaneous Items 1943-1945
Box 1, Folder 13
Memorabilia, Sketch of Sam Scherr January 12, 1998
Box 1, Folder 11
Memorabilia, Stamps (1 of 5)
Legal box 6, Folder 2
Memorabilia, Stamps (2 of 5)
Legal box 6, Folder 3
Memorabilia, Stamps (3 of 5)
Legal box 6, Folder 4
Memorabilia, Stamps (4 of 5)
Legal box 6, Folder 5
Memorabilia, Stamps (5 of 5)
Legal box 6, Folder 6
Memorabilia, World War II War Department Envelope, undated
Box 1, Folder 14
New York 1996-1997
Legal box 6, Folder 7
Party for Mary Ann Scherr
Party for Mary Ann Scherr July 1988
Box 1, Folder 15
Party for Mary Ann Scherr, Correspondence July 1988
Box 1, Folder 16
Party for Mary Ann Scherr, RSVPs (1 of 2) July 1988
Box 1, Folder 17
Party for Mary Ann Scherr, RSVPs (2 of 2) July 1988
Box 1, Folder 18
Press Clippings 1968-2000
Box 1, Folder 19
Resumes undated
Box 1, Folder 20
Soon Hyung Kwon 1996
Box 1, Folder 21
Trip to Venezuela 1993
Box 1, Folder 22
World War II Certificates January 19, 1944, November 12, 1945
Box 1, Folder 23
World War II Manila Movement October 8, 1985
Box 1, Folder 24
World War II Military Documents 1944-1945
Box 1, Folder 25
Mary Ann Scherr (Designer/Educator/Metalsmith) career portfolio undated
Box 1, Folder 44
Photographs
Album 10
Professional Papers
Size: 3.5 linear feet

This series is divided into seven subseries. It covers the entire professional life of Scherr, from his time at General Motors to his freelance and real estate work after he had retired. This series is divided into alphabetical order.

7 archival storage boxes

American Crafts Council undated
Box 1, Folder 26
American Society of Interior Designers October 1, 1981
Box 1, Folder 27
Art, Japan and Korea 1995
Box 1, Folder 28
Fulton + Partners
Fulton + Partners, Advertising undated
Box 1, Folder 29
Fulton + Partners, Correspondence, Arlyn Inc. February 6, 1985
Box 1, Folder 30
Fulton + Partners, Correspondence, Libbey Glass 1984-1985
Box 1, Folder 31
Fulton + Partners, Correspondence, Nabisco 1985
Box 1, Folder 32
Fulton + Partners, Correspondence, Tadiran Electronic Industries 1985
Box 1, Folder 33
Fulton + Partners, Correspondence, Universal Paper Goods 1985
Box 1, Folder 34
Fulton + Partners, Correspondence, Whirlpool Corporation 1985
Box 1, Folder 35
Fulton + Partners, Financial February 11, 1985
Box 1, Folder 36
Fulton + Partners, Products 1982
Box 1, Folder 37
Fulton + Partners, Product Design 1984
Box 1, Folder 38
Fulton + Partners, Resume, General undated
Box 1, Folder 39
Fulton + Partners, Resume, General 1985
Box 1, Folder 40
Fulton + Partners, Resume, General 1985
Box 1, Folder 41
Fulton + Partners, Resume, Marvin Jensen 1985
Box 1, Folder 42
Fulton + Partners, Sam Scherr undated
Box 1, Folder 43
Hearne Automotive
Hearne Automotive, Contact Information undated
Box 2, Folder 1
Hearne Automotive, Logo Designs undated
Box 2, Folder 2
Hearne Automotive, Sign Specifications 1997
Box 2, Folder 3
Hearne Automotive, Sketches undated
Box 2, Folder 4
Korea
Korea, Art undated
Box 2, Folder 5
Korea, Globalization Strategy 1997
Box 2, Folder 6
Korea, Industrial Activities Bulletin July 1959
Box 2, Folder 7
Korea, Kyung Won Chung 1997-1998
Box 2, Folder 8
Kromex 1974
Box 2, Folder 21
Kromex, Ohio Arts Council 1976
Legal box 6, Folder 8
North Carolina State University, Venezuela Institute of Design 1992-1993
Legal box 6, Folder 9
Photographs - Employees, Product Designs, Workspace
Album 11
Photographs - Product Designs
Album 12
Photographs - Product Designs
Album 13
Photographs - Product Designs
Album 14
Real Estate
Real Estate, Air Conditioning Proposal 1997
Box 2, Folder 9
Real Estate, Bills and Payments 1994-1997
Box 2, Folder 10
Real Estate, Closing 1997
Box 2, Folder 11
Real Estate, Financial Statements 1997
Box 2, Folder 12
Real Estate, Inspection Report 1997
Box 2, Folder 13
Real Estate, Insurance 1997
Box 2, Folder 14
Real Estate, Landscaping 1993-1995
Box 2, Folder 15
Real Estate, Lumber 1997
Box 2, Folder 16
Real Estate, Purchase Contract 1997
Box 2, Folder 17
Real Estate, Remodeling 1993
Box 2, Folder 18
Real Estate, Utilities 1997
Box 2, Folder 19
Real Estate, Variance 1994
Box 2, Folder 20
Scherr & McDermott
Scherr & McDermott, Akron City Seal 1964
Box 2, Folder 25
Scherr & McDermott, Akron City Seal, Press Clippings 1964-1965
Box 2, Folder 26
Scherr & McDermott, Alianza (1 of 2) 1966
Box 2, Folder 27
Scherr & McDermott, Alianza (2 of 2) undated
Box 2, Folder 28
Scherr & McDermott, Awards 1954
Box 2, Folder 29
Scherr & McDermott, "Boron Glasses" 1956
Legal box 6, Folder 10
Scherr & McDermott, Clients 1972
Box 2, Folder 30
Scherr & McDermott, Correspondence 1957-1961
Box 2, Folder 31
Scherr & McDermott, Coporate Logos undated
Box 2, Folder 32
Scherr & McDermott, Dwight Eisenhower 1956-1969
Box 2, Folder 33
Scherr & McDermott, Guyana, Contract 1969
Box 2, Folder 34
Scherr & McDermott, Guyana, Correspondence 1969
Box 2, Folder 35
Scherr & McDermott, Guyana, Jewelery Design 1969
Box 2, Folder 36
Scherr & McDermott, Guyana, Press Clippings 1965-1969
Box 2, Folder 37
Scherr & McDermott, "Industrial Design", 4th Annual Design Review 1957
Box 3, Folder 1
Scherr & McDermott, "Industrial House" undated
Box 3, Folder 2
Scherr & McDermott, Inter Society Color Council 1958
Box 3, Folder 3
Scherr & McDermott, Korea, American Embassy Bulletin August 1955
Legal box 6, Folder 11
Scherr & McDermott, Korea, Handicraft and Small Scale Industry 1955
Box 3, Folder 4
Scherr & McDermott, Korea, Press Clippings 1955-1959
Box 3, Folder 5
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Automotive Service Table (1 of 2) 1899-1951
Legal box 6, Folder 12
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Automotive Service Table (2 of 2) 1950
Legal box 6, Folder 13
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Bowling Bags 1963-1964
Legal box 6, Folder 14
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Chair (1 of 2) 1964
Legal box 6, Folder 15
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Chair (2 of 2) 1964-1965
Legal box 6, Folder 16
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Electric Iron 1957
Legal box 6, Folder 17
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Golf Bag 1953-1958
Box 3, Folder 6
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Marble Gun 1958
Box 3, Folder 7
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Slit Eye Shades 1956-1957
Legal box 6, Folder 18
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Tapered Collapsible Container undated
Legal box 6, Folder 19
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Toy Tractor (1 of 2) 1960-1961
Legal box 6, Folder 20
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Toy Tractor (2 of 2) 1953-1962
Legal box 6, Folder 21
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Toy Tractor (1 of 2) 1941-1961
Box 3, Folder 8
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Toy Tractor (2 of 2) 1928-1959
Box 3, Folder 9
Scherr & McDermott, Patent, Wall Tile 1954
Legal box 6, Folder 22
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, American Machine & Foundry Company undated
Legal box 6, Folder 23
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, Gas-Fired Door Heater 1966
Legal box 6, Folder 24
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, General Tire & Rubber Company 1963
Box 3, Folder 10
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, House Resolution 8873 1957
Box 3, Folder 11
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, Miscellaneous 1950-1967
Box 3, Folder 12
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, Syringe Package 1959
Box 3, Folder 13
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, Trademarks 1963-1964
Box 3, Folder 14
Scherr & McDermott, Patent Information, Trademarks and Copyrights 1959-1962
Box 3, Folder 15
Scherr & McDermott, Photograph Negatives (1 of 3) undated
Box 3, Folder 16
Scherr & McDermott, Photograph Negatives (2 of 3) undated
Box 3, Folder 17
Scherr & McDermott, Photograph Negatives (3 of 3) undated
Box 3, Folder 18
Scherr & McDermott, Product Design undated
Box 3, Folder 19
Scherr & McDermott, Product Design, Concept Automobile undated
Box 3, Folder 20
Scherr & McDermott, Press Clippings 1950-1973
Box 3, Folder 21
Scherr & McDermott, Public Relations 1947-1967
Box 3, Folder 22
Scherr & McDermott, Resume undated
Box 3, Folder 23
Scherr & McDermott, Russia 1959
Box 3, Folder 24
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Candle Holders (1 of 2) 1970
Box 3, Folder 25
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Candle Holders (2 of 2) 1970
Box 3, Folder 26
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Clocks 1973
Box 3, Folder 27
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Coasters 1970
Box 3, Folder 28
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Glass Holders 1970-1971
Box 3, Folder 29
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Miscellaneous (1 of 3) 1970
Box 3, Folder 30
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Miscellaneous (2 of 3) 1970-1971
Box 3, Folder 31
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Miscellaneous (3 of 3) undated
Box 3, Folder 32
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Peruvian Block 1970
Box 3, Folder 33
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Wine Racks (1 of 2) 1970
Box 4, Folder 1
Scherr & McDermott, Sketches, Wine Racks (2 of 2) 1970
Box 4, Folder 2
Scherr & McDermott, Speeches, American Crafts Council 1975
Box 4, Folder 3
Scherr & McDermott, Speeches, American Marketing Association 1972
Box 4, Folder 4
Scherr & McDermott, Speeches, Blackwell 1972
Box 4, Folder 5
Scherr & McDermott, Speeches, Miscellaneous undated
Box 4, Folder 6
Scherr & McDermott, Speeches, Porcelain Enamel Institute 1961
Box 4, Folder 7
Scherr & McDermott, Time Sheet undated
Box 4, Folder 8
Scherr & McDermott, X-Acto 1979
Box 4, Folder 9
Scherr Collection
Scherr Collection, Advertising undated
Box 2, Folder 22
Scherr Collection, "Our People" 2002
Box 2, Folder 23
Scherr Collection, Publicity 1976
Box 2, Folder 24
Society of Industrial Designers
Society of Industrial Designers, 7th Annual Meeting (1 of 4) 1952
Box 4, Folder 10
Society of Industrial Designers, 7th Annual Meeting (2 of 4) 1952
Box 4, Folder 11
Society of Industrial Designers, 7th Annual Meeting (3 of 4) 1952
Box 4, Folder 12
Society of Industrial Designers, 7th Annual Meeting (4 of 4) 1952
Box 4, Folder 13
Society of Industrial Designers, Correspondence 1958
Box 4, Folder 14
Tri-Cap Spire
Tri-Cap Spire, Contracts 1997
Box 4, Folder 15
Tri-Cap Spire, Correspondence 1997-1998
Box 4, Folder 16
Tri-Cap Spire, Kline Towers 1996
Box 4, Folder 17
Tri-Cap Spire, Ottis Elevators 1997
Box 4, Folder 18
Tri-Cap Spire, Planning 1997
Box 4, Folder 19
Tri-Cap Spire, Proposal 1997
Box 4, Folder 20
Tri-Cap Spire, Research, Demographics 1998
Box 4, Folder 21
Tri-Cap Spire, Research, Financial 1998
Box 4, Folder 22
Tri-Cap Spire, Research, Focus Groups 1998
Box 4, Folder 23
Tri-Cap Spire, Research, Marketing (1 of 2) 1998
Box 4, Folder 24
Tri-Cap Spire, Research, Marketing (2 of 2) 1998
Box 4, Folder 25
Tri-Cap Spire, Sketches undated
Box 4, Folder 26
Tri-Cap Spire, Sketches undated
Legal box 6, Folder 25
Tri-Cap Spire, "South of the Border" 1977-1978
Box 4, Folder 27
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey undated
Box 4, Folder 28
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 1-19 undated
Box 4, Folder 29
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 20-39 undated
Box 4, Folder 30
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 40-59 undated
Box 4, Folder 31
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 60-79 undated
Box 4, Folder 32
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 80-99 undated
Box 4, Folder 33
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 100-119 undated
Box 4, Folder 34
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 120-139 undated
Box 4, Folder 35
Tri-Cap Spire, Survey 140-152 undated
Box 4, Folder 36
Oversized Series 2
Size: 1 linear foot

This series contains pastels and a metal Christmas tree created by Scherr & McDermott.

2 archival storage boxes

Pastels of Clocks
Oversize legal box 7, Folder
Metal Christmas Tree
Card box 8, Folder
Audiovisual Materials
Size: 1.5 linear feet

This series contains photographs and VHS Cassettes

6 archival storage boxes

Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette March 23, 1998
Box 9, Folder 1
Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette March 25, 1998
Box 9, Folder 2
Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette March 30, 1998
Box 9, Folder 3
Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette April 1, 1998
Box 9, Folder 4
Flat File
Trademark
Product Design, Pastel of Automobile
Product Design, Pastel of Automobile

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice. Because of the nature of certain archival formats, including digital and audio-visual materials, access to digital files may require additional advanced notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Samuel S. Scherr Papers, MC 00331, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

This collection may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations. Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which North Carolina State University assumes no responsibility.