Austin W. Curtis Papers: 1896-1971
Summary Information
Title: Austin W. Curtis Papers
Creator: Curtis, Austin W., 1911-
Inclusive dates: 1896-1971
Extent: 2 linear feet
Extent: 1 oversize volume
Extent: 1 oversize folder
Abstract:
Assistant to George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute, later a Detroit, Michigan, businessman. Correspondence and other papers of G. W. Carver relating primarily to experiments with soil improvement and the discovery of new applications for the peanut and other Southern agricultural products; newspaper clippings and memos relating to Curtis' campaign for Congress in 1958 and his work with Carver; and photographs.
Call number: 851314;Aa;2;AC;Ac
Language: The materials are in English.
Repository: Bentley Historical Library
1150 Beal Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2113
Phone: 734-764-3482
Fax: 734-936-1333
e-mail: bentley.ref@umich.edu
Home Page: http://www.bentley.umich.edu/
Finding aid prepared by: Thomas E. Powers

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

The collection was received from Austin W. Curtis (donor no. 5161) in 1971.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.

To protect fragile audiovisual recordings (such as audio cassettes, film reels, and VHS tapes), the Bentley Historical Library has a policy of converting them to digital formats by a professional vendor whenever a researcher requests access. For more information, please see: http://bentley.umich.edu/research/duplication/.

Copyright:

Donor(s) have not transferred any applicable copyright to the Regents of the University of Michigan. Patrons are responsible for determining the appropriate use or reuse of materials.

Preferred Citation:

item, folder title, box no., Austin W. Curtis Papers, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan


Biography

Austin W. Curtis was a laboratory assistant to George Washington Carver at Tuskegee Institute. Later, he became a Detroit, Michigan businessman.


Collection Scope and Content Note

The Curtis collection has two parts: papers of George Washington Carver that Curtis collected while in Carver's employ; and papers of Curtis mainly relating to his business activities with A.W. Curtis Laboratories of Detroit, Michigan, and also his unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 1958. The Carver papers are of the most significance, relating to Carver's experiments with soil improvement and his discovery of new applications for the peanut and other agricultural products of the South.

Subject Terms

This collection is indexed under the following headings in the finding aid database and catalog of The Bentley Historical Library/University of Michigan. Researchers desiring additional information about related topics should search the catalog using these headings.


  • African Americans.
  • African Americans -- Michigan.
  • Agriculture -- United States.
  • Detroit (Mich.)
  • Scientists -- United States.
  • Southern states.
  • United States -- Politics and government -- 1953-1961.
  • African Americans.
  • Alabama.
  • Georgia.
  • Laboratories.
  • Motion picture theatres -- Virginia -- Norfolk.
  • Drawings.
  • Photographs.
  • Videotapes.
  • A. W. Curtis Laboratories (Detroit, Mich.)
  • Bentley, Alvin M. (Alvin Morell), 1918-1969.
  • Curtis, Austin W., 1911-
  • Negro Manufacturers and Distributors Association.
  • Tuskegee Institute.
  • United States. Congress -- Elections, 1958.
  • United States. Congress -- Elections, 1960.
  • Carver, George Washington, 1864-1943.
  • Ford, Edsel, 1893-1943.
  • Ford, Henry, 1863-1947.
  • George Washington Carver School (Ways, Ga.)
  • Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village.
  • Louis, Joe, 1914-1981.
  • Starr, Floyd Elliot, 1883-1980.
  • Starr Commonwealth for Boys.
  • Tuskegee Institute.
  • Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955.
  • Caliver, Ambrose, 1894-1962.
  • Carver, George Washington, 1864-1943.
  • Chisholm, Frank P.
  • Collingwood, Herbert W. (Herbert Winslow), 1857-1927.
  • Commission on Interracial Cooperation.
  • Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • Dudley, James Benson, 1859-1925.
  • Earle, Franklin Sumner, 1856-1929.
  • Graves, Bibb, 1873-1942.
  • Hamilton, John, 1843-1921.
  • Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1943.
  • Morse, Warner Jackson, 1872-1931.
  • Moton, Robert Russa, 1867-1940.
  • National Pecan Growers Exchange.
  • Peabody, George Foster, 1852-1938.
  • Rosenwald, Julius, 1862-1932.
  • Spillman, William Jasper, 1863-1931.
  • Thomas, Jesse O.
  • Washington, Margaret James Murray, 1861-1925.
  • White, Walter Francis, 1893-1955.
  • Wilson, James, 1835-1920.
Contents List
Request materials for use in the Bentley Library
Container / Location Title
 
Business and personal papers [series]
Box   1  
Correspondence undated, 1901-1942 (15 folders)
Box   1  
Scientific correspondence and notes concerning mycological specimen 1900-1901 (2 folders)
Box   1  
Radio scripts
Box   1  
Bible class materials 1929-1930
Box   1  
George W. Carver miscellanea (2 folders)
Box   1  
Newspaper clippings concerning George W. Carver 1896-1971 (3 folders)
Box   1  
Miscellaneous newspaper clippings
Box   1  
Low-cost paint experiments 1939-1942 (4 folders)
Box   1  
Research proposals 1941-1942
Box   1  
Papers concerning Haitian business plan 1955
Box   1  
Report of investment and business potential of the Republic of Liberia, West Africa
Box   1  
Curtis's campaign for Congress 1958
Box   1  
Reports of field work on behalf of the senatorial campaign of Alvin M. Bentley 1960
Box   1  
Newspaper clippings concerning A.W. Curtis, Jr. 1935-1965 (2 folders)
Box   2  
Negro Manufacturers and Distributors Association (Curtis was president) 1964-1965
 
A.W. Curtis Laboratories, Detroit, Michigan
Box   2  
Organization prospectus and suggestions for organized office operations
Box   2  
Literature for dealers
Box   2  
Form letters; price lists
Box   2  
Outline for comprehensive peanut research 1940

(report compiled by AWC at Tuskegee Institute)

Box   2  
Notebook concerning food laboratory report and Carver's visit to Henry Ford's food experimental laboratory in Dearborn, Michigan 1942
Box   2  
George Washington Carver Foundation undated
Box   2  
George Washington Carver classbook circa 1897-1910
Box   2  
George Washington Carver and Tuskegee Institute (4 folders)

(Includes pamphlets, reprints, brochures, and other printed materials)

Oversize Volume   1  
Notebook concerning plan for establishing the Carver Creative Research Laboratories at Tuskegee Institute 1937

(prepared by A.W.Curtis, Jr.; includes photographs; 1 oversize volume: AC)

 
Visual Materials (photographs and reproductions of photographs) [series]

The Visual materials series consists of photographs relating to the life and activities of George Washington Carver. Included are photographs of Carver, alone and with various notables; photographs of Carver's visit to Greenfield Village and to the Starr Commonwealth for Boys; photographs and reproductions of Tuskeegee Institute; and photographs of various buildings named in Carver's honor. In addition, there is a videotape (VHS) of Detroit Black Journal (Detroit television program) segment on Curtis (1990s?).

Box   2  
Portraits (also informal photographs of George Washington Carver)
Box   2  
George Washington Carver with others

(receiving honorary degree; also with Joe Louis, Franklin Roosevelt, James A. Farley)

Box   2  
George Washington Carver with Atlanta businessmen alongside Georgia Railroad car
Box   2  
Henry Ford visiting Tuskegee Institute;George Washington Carver visiting Greenfield Village in Dearborn
Box   2  
George Washington Carver visiting the Starr Commonwealth for Boys in Albion, Michigan
 
Tuskegee Institute
Box   2  
Buildings (2 envelopes)
Box   2  
Laboratories
Box   2  
Carver Theatre (Norfolk, Virginia)
Box   2  
Carver School on the Ford Plantation, Ways, Georgia
Box   2  
Miscellaneous
Box   2  
Videotape (VHS) of Detroit Black Journal segment on Curtis 1990s
Oversize Folder   1  
Photographs; watercolor studies made by George Washington Carver at Iowa State College Experiment Station
Additional Descriptive Data
Selective Index to Correspondents
Bethune, Mary McLeod, 1875-1955.
  • Mar. 14, 1925, Mar. 29, 1926
Caliver, Ambrose, 1894-1962.
  • Dec. 4, 1925
Carver, George Washington, 1864?-1943.
  • Correspondence throughout
Chisholm, Frank P.
  • Aug. 17, 1917, Sept. 29, 1917, Oct. 10, 1917, July 2, 1918, Oct. 11, 1918, Mar. 27, 1919, Dec. 9, 1924, Feb. 15, 1926
Collingwood, Herbert W. (Herbert Winslow), 1857-1927.
  • June 6, 1918, Dec. 9, 1924
Commission on Interracial Cooperation.
  • Nov. 17, 1924, Dec. 3, 1925, Nov. 16, 1926
Du Bois, W. E. B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963.
  • June 29, 1923
Dudley, James Benson, 1859-1925.
  • Mar. 1919
Earle, Franklin Sumner, 1856-1929.
  • Feb. 23, 1901
Graves, Bibb, 1873-1942.
  • Dec. 17, 1928
Hamilton, John, 1843-1921.
  • Dec. 30, 1905, Feb. 15, 1911
Kellogg, John Harvey, 1852-1943.
  • Sept. 11, 1919, Sept. 5, 1920, 1926
Morse, Warner Jackson, 1872-1931.
  • Aug. 24, 1925
Moton, Robert Russa, 1867-1940.
  • Feb. 7, 1918
National Pecan Growers Exchange.
  • Dec. 29, 1924, Jan. 1, 1925, Aug. 30, 1928
Peabody, George Foster, 1852-1938.
  • May 3, 1934
Rosenwald, Julius, 1862-1932.
  • Aug. 11, 1921, Dec. 21, 1926
Spillman, William Jasper, 1863-1931.
  • Nov. 14, 1905
Thomas, Jesse O.
  • Sept. 22, 1919, Oct. 20, 1924
Washington, Margaret James Murray, 1861-1925.
  • Nov. 27, 1911
White, Walter Francis, 1893-1955.
  • June 1923
Wilson, James, 1835-1920.
  • Sept. 6, 1906, Oct. 4, 1907, Feb. 4, 1908, Sept. 1, 1908, Dec. 10, 1910