Samuel S. Scherr Papers 1940-2002

Size
6 linear feet
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

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.

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).

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 May, 1997-June, 1997
Box 1, Folder 1
50th Wedding Anniversary May, 1997-June, 1997
Box 1, Folder 2
Biographical, undated
Box 1, Folder 3
Correspondence
Box 1, Folder 4
Leeper Desure Family Reunion
Box 1, Folder 5
Memorabilia
Appointment Book 1982
Box 1, Folder 6
Appointment Book 1983
Box 1, Folder 7
Appointment Book 1984
Box 1, Folder 8
Appointment Book 1985
Box 1, Folder 9
Bob Hope
Box 1, Folder 10
Military Currency [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Sketch of Sam Scherr January 12, 1998
Box 1, Folder 11
Stamps [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Stamps [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Stamps [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Stamps [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Geisha Art from World War II
Box 1, Folder 12
Miscellaneous items from World War II
Box 1, Folder 13
War Department Envelope from World War II
Box 1, Folder 14
Party for Mary Ann Scherr
Party for Mary Ann Scherr July, 1988
Box 1, Folder 15
Correspondence July 1988
Box 1, Folder 16
RSVPs July 1988
Box 1, Folder 17
RSVPs July 1988
Box 1, Folder 18
Press Clippings
Box 1, Folder 19
Resume
Box 1, Folder 20
Soon Hyung Kwon
Box 1, Folder 21
New York [ Oversized ] 1997
Box 1, Folder
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
Box 1, Folder 24
World War II Documents
Box 1, Folder 25
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
Box 1, Folder 26
American Society of Interior Designers
Box 1, Folder 27
Art, Japan and Korea
Box 1, Folder 28
Fulton + Partners
Advertising
Box 1, Folder 29
Correspondence
Arlyn Inc.
Box 1, Folder 30
Libbey Glass
Box 1, Folder 31
Nabisco
Box 1, Folder 32
Tadiran Electronic Industries
Box 1, Folder 33
Universal Paper Goods
Box 1, Folder 34
Whirlpool Corporation
Box 1, Folder 35
Financial
Box 1, Folder 36
Products
Box 1, Folder 37
Product Design
Box 1, Folder 38
Resume
General
Box 1, Folder 39
General
Box 1, Folder 40
General
Box 1, Folder 41
Marvin Jensen
Box 1, Folder 42
Sam Scherr
Box 1, Folder 43
Hearne Automotive
Contact Information
Box 2, Folder 1
Logo Designs
Box 2, Folder 2
Sign Specifications
Box 2, Folder 3
Sketches
Box 2, Folder 4
Korea
Art
Box 2, Folder 5
Globalization Strategy
Box 2, Folder 6
Industrial Activities Bulletin July, 1959
Box 2, Folder 7
Kyung Won Chung
Box 2, Folder 8
Kromex
Box 2, Folder 21
Kromex, Ohio Arts Council [ Oversized ]
Box 2, Folder
North Carolina State University, Venezuela Institute of Design [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Real Estate
Air Conditioning Proposal
Box 2, Folder 9
Appraisal [ Oversized ]
Box 2, Folder
Bills and Payment
Box 2, Folder 10
Closing
Box 2, Folder 11
Financial Statements
Box 2, Folder 12
Inspection Report
Box 2, Folder 13
Insurance
Box 2, Folder 14
Landscaping
Box 2, Folder 15
Lumber
Box 2, Folder 16
Appraisal [ Oversized ]
Box 2, Folder
Purchase Contract
Box 2, Folder 17
Remodeling
Box 2, Folder 18
Utilities
Box 2, Folder 19
Variance
Box 2, Folder 20
Scherr Papers
Advertising
Box 2, Folder 22
Loan [ Oversized ]
Box 2, Folder
Publicity
Box 2, Folder 23
"Our People"
Box 2, Folder 24
Scherr McDermott
Akron City Seal
Box 2, Folder 25
Akron City Seal, Press Clippings
Box 2, Folder 26
Alianza
Box 2, Folder 27
Alianza
Box 2, Folder 28
Awards
Box 2, Folder 29
"Boron Glasses" [ Oversized ]
Box 2, Folder
Clients
Box 2, Folder 30
Correspondence
Box 2, Folder 31
Coporate Logos
Box 2, Folder 32
Dwight Eisenhower
Box 2, Folder 33
Guyana
Contract
Box 2, Folder 34
Correspondence
Box 2, Folder 35
Jewlery Design
Box 2, Folder 36
Press Clippings
Box 2, Folder 37
"Industrial Design", 4th Annual Design Review
Box 3, Folder 1
"Industrial House"
Box 3, Folder 2
Inter Society Color Council
Box 3, Folder 3
Korea, American Embassy Bulletin [ Oversized ] August 1955
Box 3, Folder
Korea, Handicraft and Small Scale Industry
Box 3, Folder 4
Korea, Press Clippings
Box 3, Folder 5
Metal Christmas Tree [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Pastels of Clocks [ Oversized ]
Box 1, Folder
Patents
Automotive Service Table [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Automotive Service Table [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Bowling Bags [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Chair [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Chair [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Electric Iron [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Golf Bag
Box 3, Folder 6
Marble Gun
Box 3, Folder 7
Slit Eye Shades [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Tappered Collapsible Container [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Toy Tractor
Box 3, Folder 8
Toy Tractor
Box 3, Folder 9
Toy Tractor [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Toy Tractor [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Wall Tile [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Patent Information
American Machine Foundry Company [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
Gas-Fired Door Heater [ Oversized ]
Box 3, Folder
General Tire Rubber Company
Box 3, Folder 10
House Resolution 8873
Box 3, Folder 11
Miscellaneous
Box 3, Folder 12
Syringe Package
Box 3, Folder 13
Trademarks
Box 3, Folder 14
Trademark [ Flat File ]
Box 2, Folder
Trademarks and Copyrights
Box 3, Folder 15
Photograph Negatives
Box 3, Folder 16
Photograph Negatives
Box 3, Folder 17
Photograph Negatives
Box 3, Folder 18
Product Design
Box 3, Folder 19
Product Design, Concept Automobile
Box 3, Folder 20
Product Design, Pastel of Automobile [ Flat File ]
Box 2, Folder
Product Design, Pastel of Autmobile [ Flat File ]
Box 2, Folder
Press Clippings
Box 3, Folder 21
Resume
Box 3, Folder 22
Russia
Box 3, Folder 23
Sketches
Candle Holders
Box 3, Folder 24
Candle Holders
Box 3, Folder 25
Clocks
Box 3, Folder 26
Glass Holders
Box 3, Folder 27
Miscellaneous
Box 3, Folder 28
Miscellaneous
Box 3, Folder 29
Miscellaneous
Box 3, Folder 30
Peruvian Block
Box 3, Folder 31
Wine Racks
Box 4, Folder 1
Wine Racks
Box 4, Folder 2
Speeches
American Crafts Council
Box 4, Folder 3
American Marketing Association
Box 4, Folder 4
Blackwell
Box 4, Folder 5
Miscellaneious
Box 4, Folder 6
Porcelain Enamel Institute
Box 4, Folder 7
Time Sheet
Box 4, Folder 8
X-Acto
Box 4, Folder 9
Society of Industrial Designers
7th Annual meeting
Box 4, Folder 10
7th Annual meeting
Box 4, Folder 11
7th Annual meeting
Box 4, Folder 12
7th Annual meeting
Box 4, Folder 13
Tri-Cap Spire
Contracts
Box 4, Folder 14
Correspondence
Box 4, Folder 15
Kline Towers
Box 4, Folder 16
Ottis Elevators
Box 4, Folder 17
Planning
Box 4, Folder 18
Proposal
Box 4, Folder 19
Research
Demographics
Box 4, Folder 20
Financial
Box 4, Folder 21
Focus Groups
Box 4, Folder 22
Focus Group VHS Cassettes [ Oversized ] March 23, 1998
Box 1, Folder
Focus Group VHS Cassettes [ Oversized ] March 25, 1998
Box 1, Folder
Focus Group VHS Cassettes [ Oversized ] March 30, 1998
Box 1, Folder
Focus Group VHS Cassettes [ Oversized ] April 1, 1998
Box 1, Folder
Marketing
Box 4, Folder 23
Marketing
Box 4, Folder 24
Sketches
Box 4, Folder 25
Sketches [ Oversized ]
Box 4, Folder
"South of the Border"
Box 4, Folder 26
Survey
Box 4, Folder 27
Survey 1-19
Box 4, Folder 28
Survey 20-39
Box 4, Folder 29
Survey 40-59
Box 4, Folder 30
Survey 60-79
Box 4, Folder 31
Survey 80-99
Box 4, Folder 32
Survey 100-119
Box 4, Folder 33
Survey 120-139
Box 4, Folder 34
Survey 140-152
Box 4, Folder 35
Oversized Series 1
Size: 1 linear foot

This series contains legal sized documents from Scherr's personal and professional life.

2 archival storage boxes

Memorabilia
Currency
Flat box 5, Folder 1
Stamps
Flat box 5, Folder 2
Stamps
Flat box 5, Folder 3
Stamps
Flat box 5, Folder 4
Stamps
Flat box 5, Folder 5
New York 1997
Legal box 6, Folder 1
Kromex, Ohio Arts Council
Legal box 6, Folder 2
North Carolina State University, Venezuela Institute of Design
Legal box 6, Folder 3
Real Estate, Appraisal
Legal box 6, Folder 4
Real Estate, Purchase
Legal box 6, Folder 5
Scherr Papers, Loan
Legal box 6, Folder 6
Scherr McDermott
"Boron Glasses"
Legal box 6, Folder 7
Korea, American Embassy Bulletin August, 1955
Legal box 6, Folder 8
Patent
Automotive Service Table
Legal box 6, Folder 9
Automotive Service Table
Legal box 6, Folder 10
Bowling Bags
Legal box 6, Folder 11
Chair
Legal box 6, Folder 12
Chair
Legal box 6, Folder 13
Electric Iron
Legal box 6, Folder 14
Slit Eye Shades
Legal box 6, Folder 15
Tapered Collapsible Container
Legal box 6, Folder 16
Toy Tractor
Legal box 6, Folder 17
Toy Tractor
Legal box 6, Folder 18
Wall Tile
Legal box 6, Folder 19
Patent Information, American Machine Foundry Company
Legal box 6, Folder 20
Patent Information, Gas-Fired Door Heater
Legal box 6, Folder 21
Tri-Cap Spire, Sketches
Legal box 6, Folder 22
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
Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette March 25, 1998
Box 9, Folder
Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette March 30, 1998
Box 9, Folder
Tri-Cap Spire, Focus Group VHS Cassette April 1, 1998
Box 9, Folder
Photographs
Album 10, Folder
Photographs
Album 11, Folder
Photographs
Album 12, Folder
Photographs
Album 13, Folder
Photographs
Album 14, Folder
Flat File
Trademark
Product Design, Pastel of Automobile
Product Design, Pastel of Automobile
Unprocessed materials undated
Unprocessed records undated
Flat box 15

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance 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.