The Ward M. Canaday Center

for Special Collections

The University of Toledo

Finding Aid

Frank H. Canaday Papers, 1911-1976

MSS-031

Size: 18 linear feet.

Provenance: After the death of Mr. Canaday, his papers went to his first wife Molly's niece, Alexis C. Hook.  By a deed of gift dated March 19, 1984, Keith B. and Alexis C. Hook of Glastonbury, Connecticut, transferred title to this collection to the University of Toledo Libraries.

Access: Open

Collection Summary: This collection pertains primarily to Frank Canaday's personal interests and activities, including travel, writing, music, and art. A few materials also document Canaday's work at Willys-Overland Motors, Inc. and the U.S. Advertising Corporation. Some items document wartime production of the Willys-Overland Jeep and marketing of Willys-Knight products in Australia, the Far East, and Europe. Board of Directors meeting minutes, financial records, annual reports, and clippings document the purchase of Willys-Overland Motors by Henry J. Kaiser in 1953.

Subjects: Business and Commerce, Music, Art, Drama & Theater, Travel, and War, Soldiers, & Veterans

Copyright: The literary rights to this collection are assumed to rest with the person(s) responsible for the production of the particular items within the collection, or with their heirs or assigns.  Researchers bear full legal responsibility for the acquisition to publish from any part of said collection per Title 17, United States Code.  The Ward M. Canaday Center for Special Collections may reserve the right to intervene as intermediary at its own discretion.

Completed by:  Paul M. Gifford, November 1986; revised by Tamara Jones, August 2016

 

 

Biographical Sketch

1893, Sept. 21

Born in New Castle, Indiana, third son of Miles M. and Sarah H.

1910 -

Graduated from New Castle High School.

1913 -

Traveled to Brazil.

1914 -

B. A. (English Literature), Harvard College.

1914-1916

Advertising Manager, American Journal of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.

1916-1917

General Advertising Assistant, Husband & Thomas (advertising agency), Chicago, Illinois.

1917-1919

Lieutenant, 333rd Field Artillery, mainly active as French translator; after armistice, with Rent, Reclamation and Claims Service of U. S. Army.

1919-1920

General Assistant, J. Roland Kay Company (international advertising agency), Chicago, Illinois.

1921 -

Assistant, Advertising Department. Guaranty Trust Company, New York, N. Y.

1922 -

Assistant, A. F. Thane and Company (import-export firm).

1922-1926

Advertising Manager, Wing Tai Vo Tobacco Corporation (subsidiary of British-American Tobacco Corporation), Shanghai, China.

1926-1930

Manager, Foreign Department, United States Advertising Corporation, Toledo, Ohio.

1928-1929

Traveled to Oceania, arranging advertising contracts for Willys-Knight.

1931-1936

Copywriter, United States Advertising Corporation.

1932, Dec.

Married Mary Russell (Molly) Morpeth of Wellington, New Zealand, in Toledo.

1936-1948

Account Executive, United States Advertising Corporation and its successors, Ewell & Thurber Associates and Canaday, Ewell Thurber, Inc., Toledo, Ohio.

1936-1953

Director, Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.

1939-1940

Consular Agent for Republic of France, Toledo, Ohio.

1946 -

Moved to New York, N. Y., in order to write novels and short stories; semi-retired

1950 -

Bought summer house in South Woodstock, Vermont.

1976 -

Wrote and had published, Triumph in Color: Molly Morpeth Canaday.

1976, June 13.

Died in Hanover, New Hampshire.

 

Scope and Content Note

The papers of Frank H. Canaday, advertising and corporate executive and brother of Ward M. Canaday, Chairman of the Board of Willys-Overland Motors, Inc., contain correspondence, journals, scrap­books, photographs, a novel, and various records of his financial and business activities.  The content of the papers reflect Canaday's interests well.  He cared little for business, unfortunately for most researchers, so only a small proportion of the papers pertain to his activity in that area.  Most of the material has to do with his personal interests; these include travel, writing, music, and art.  Nevertheless, those researching Willys-Overland and Ward M. Canaday will not be completely disappointed.  Letters from Ward can be found in abundance throughout the entire correspondence series, and many provide a good insight into his character.  Willys-Overland material is mainly from 1928-1929 and the postwar period.  It documents the companies efforts to expand overseas markets, postwar marketing, and its sale to Henry J. Kaiser in 1953. Researchers in other areas, including Harvard alumni, Toledo music and art in the 1940s, and world travel, will also find considerable items of interest.

As noted above, the Frank H. Canaday Papers reflect those activities in which Canaday was most strongly interested.  By 1935, at the height of his business career, he felt unhappy with his career.  At the time of his retirement in 1946, he looked back on his years in advertising as having been destructive.  He felt his real interests and talents lay elsewhere – in writing short stories and novels, in current events, in art and music, and especially in travel.  Canaday, a bon vivant, fluent in French and knowledgeable in several other languages, possessed a ready wit and made friends easily.  His papers demonstrate both his lack of interest in business and his wide-ranging, yet persistent, personal interests.

Canaday's frustration with his career stemmed, no doubt, from his complicated relationship with his elder brother, Ward.  Frank consistently admired Ward, and Ward reciprocated; yet Frank carefully main­tained a separate identity.  The incoming correspondence is liberally sprinkled with letters from Ward.  In Frank's college years, Ward rather domineeringly suggested to him what courses to take and in what kind of activities to participate.  As the years progressed, business letters alternated with frequent, but short personal greetings.  In sum, the letters, documents, and photographs of Ward, his wife and family contribute a great deal toward our understanding of the Toledo industrialist.  Anyone researching the life of the Chairman of the Board of Willys-Overland Motors, Inc., then, will find material here of a defi­nitely productive value.

Less can be said for the research value of the material relating to the U. S. Advertising Corporation, Willys-Knight Motors, and Willys-Overland Motors.  The greatest historical interest in any of these companies is likely to revolve around the production of Jeeps during World War II. Unfortunately, the War years are represented only by a manuscript, "How Come the Jeep" by publicist A. Wade Wells (published later as Hail to the Jeep: A Factual and Pictorial History of the Jeep.  New York: Harper, 1946) and by a few public relations-related items in the scrapbooks.  On the other hand, certain other records are useful in researching other aspects of those companies.  The incoming and outgoing correspondence files for 1928 and 1929 and the reports of foreign conditions document the marketing and advertising of Willys-Knight products in Australia, the Far East, and Europe, as well as the automobile market in those areas generally.  Frank Canaday’s copies of the minutes of the Board of Directors, financial records, annual reports, and clippings in the scrapbooks are a fruitful source for the history of the purchase of Willys-Overland Motors, Inc., by Henry J. Kaiser in 1953.  For other years, however, material on the U.S. Advertising Corporation and on Willys-Overland tends to be sparse.

One long-standing interest covered by the entire range of the papers was in Harvard University.  As a student, Canaday wrote for the Crimson and saved his stories in a scrapbook.  A journal he kept in 1914 records events of the year in which he graduated.  He belonged to the Harvard Clubs of New York and Toledo and regularly attended class reunions.  The Hoosier-born Canaday loved the New England and Harvard mystique.  On advice of his brother, he cultivated the "old boy" network; among his correspondents over the years were classmates Christian A. Herter, Leverett Saltonstall, and Wilmington, Delaware financier, Alfred Dupont Chandler, Jr.  If not concerned with affairs of Harvard alumni, the content of Canaday’s correspondence with Herter and Saltonstall tends to contain Canaday’s comments on public affairs with acknowledgments by both of them.  Correspondence with Chandler is of a more personal nature.  Chandler's long letters mainly discuss his philosophy about finance and public affairs.  Canaday launched a quixotic campaign in 1963 and 1964 among Harvard alumni organizations to halt the merger of Harvard and Radcliffe.  The considerable correspondence generated by this effort demonstrates sentiment for and against this merger.  Harvard-related material continues on as late as 1969, when Canaday and Harvard's Houghton Library negotiated for a gift which never reached fruition.

This collection may be useful to researchers wishing to study concert music in Toledo.  Frank and Molly, Canaday were avid concert-goers and in the 1940s actively supported the Friends of Music, a Toledo organization which led ultimately to the creation of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra.  Many programs can be found in the scrapbooks for those years.

Molly was serious about her painting and in her last years, having developed a mature style, enjoyed a modest reputation.  Although this collection will probably yield little to researchers interested in studying art in Toledo, it does contain a long series of correspondence with the Viennese refugee painter, Joseph Floch and with the art historian, Hans Tietze.  Frank was devoted to his wife and to her interests.  In his final years, he organized material from his scrapbooks in order to write a book about Molly entitled Triumph in Color: The Life and Art of Molly Morpeth Canaday.  (Canaan, N. H.: Phoenix Publishing, 1976).

Frank's World War I experiences are well documented.  Frequent letters to his sister-in-law, Miriam Coffin Canaday, describe his activities.  A journal (scrapbooks 4 and 5) provides a chronological record.  It is liberally illustrated with photographs and a variety of memorabilia.  Some correspondence during this period was carried on in French.

Travel, as noted before, was a passion shared by both Frank and Molly.  A journal describes his visit to Brazil in 1913.  The 1922-1926 sojourn in China is not well documented in this collection since his files and scrapbooks for those years have been donated to the Harvard-Yenching Library at Harvard University.  The 1928-1929 world trip was strictly for business, but photographs do document some of his tours to places like Angkor Wat and his shipboard socializing.  On this trip he met a British military officer, James Walker, with whom he maintained a friendship for many years.  A number of letters and other material from Walker describe the development of the Benguela Railway in Angola and the Katanga controversy of the early 1960s.  Other trips, to New Zea­land and to Europe, were made in the 1950s and 1960s.  Journals for those trips, illustrated by photographs and memorabilia, can be found in the scrapbooks.  Entries typically record where Frank and Molly stayed, where they ate, what they visited, and whom they saw.

The scrapbooks generally contain a variety of materials; many, however, of dubious historical value.  Letters, photographs, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, calling cards, and other items comprise the content of the typical scrapbook.  Frank Canaday was an "idea man" and was eager to share his views with journalists, writers, politicians, and marketing agents.  If something struck his momentary fancy, he did not hesitate to offer his ideas to any of those people.  His political awareness was heightened mainly during presidential election years, although he frequently expressed his opinion to his representatives in Congress.  Much of his correspondence, both in the correspondence files and in the scrapbooks, belongs to this category.  Likewise, Canaday frequently saved newspaper clippings and articles from popular magazines on a wide variety of subjects, mainly of a general-interest nature.

The researcher should be alerted, nevertheless, to items of greater interest in the scrapbooks.  Willys-Overland annual reports, Toledo photographs, and certain significant letters can be found in certain scrapbooks.

Since for much of Canaday's life, his business and family life were closely intertwined, his correspondence files contain both business, family, and personal letters.  Significant correspondents include Ward M. Canaday, Miriam Coffin Canaday, Wilbur ("Jack") Canaday, Miron Canaday, Mrs. Sarah H. Canaday, Doreen Canaday Spitzer; his wife's New Zealand relatives, Charlton D. Morpeth, Nona Greig, Pat Entrican, and others; and friends James Dulin, Alfred D. Chandler, Frederick and Emma Endres Kountz, Robert Ayers, James Walker, Joseph Floch, Henri Jegu, and Robert Lexow Grant.

 

Folder List

 

Box
Folder
Description
    SERIES 1: JOURNALS
1
1
Brazil trip, 1913
1
2
1914
18
18
January 1-March 3, 1926
1
3
1929-1930
     
    SERIES 2: CORRESPONDENCE
    Subseries A: Outgoing
1
4
General, 1914-1927
1
5
To Ward M. Canaday, 1912-1918
1
6
To Miriam Coffin Canaday, 1912-1913
1
7
To Miriam Coffin Canaday, 1914-1916
1
8
To Miriam Coffin Canaday, 1917
1
9
To Miriam Coffin Canaday, 1918-1919
1
10
To Charles A. Baldwin, 1916-1920, 1928
1
11
General, 1928
1
12
John N. Willys Export Corporation, 1928
1
13
U. S. Advertising Corporation, 1928
1
14
General, 1929
1
15
U. S. Advertising Corporation, 1929
1
16
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1929-1930
1
17
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1931
1
18
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1932 (January-May)
1
19
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1932 (June-September)
1
20
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1932 (October-December)
1
21
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1934
1
22
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1935
1
23
To Molly Morpeth Canaday, 1936
1
24
1933-1934
1
25
1935 – General
1
26
1937-1939
1
27
1940-1942
1
28
1943-1944 – General
1
29
1943-1944 – re: Jeep Book by Wells
1
30
1945-1946
1
31
1947
1
32
1948
1
33
1949
1
34
1950
1
35
1951
1
36
1952 (January-June)
2
1
1952 (July-December)
2
2
1953
2
3
1954
2
4
1955
2
5
1956
2
6
1957
2
7
1958 (January-June)
2
8
1958 (July-December)
2
9
1959
2
10
1960
2
11
1961
2
12
1961-1962 – re: Benguela Railway
2
13
1962
2
14
1963
2
15
1963-1964 – Harvard-Radcliffe Merger
2
16
1965
2
17
1966
2
18
1967
2
19
1968
2
20
1969
2
21
1970-1976
    Subseries B: Incoming
2
22
1911
2
23
1912
2
24
1913
2
25
1914
2
26
1915
2
27
1916
2
28
1917
2
29
1918
2
30
1919
2
31
1920
2
32
1921
2
33
1922
2
34
1923-1927
2
35
1928 – General
2
36
1928 – John N. Willys Export Corporation 
2
37
1928 – U. S. Advertising Corporation
2
38
1929 – General
2
39
1929 – U.S. Advertising Corporation (January-May)
2
40
1929 – U.S. Advertising Corporation (June-December)
2
41
1930-1931
2
42
1932 – General
2
43
Molly Morpeth, 1932 (March-October)
2
44
Molly Morpeth, 1932 (November-December)
3
1
1933
3
2
1934 – General
3
3
1934 – Molly Morpeth Canaday
3
4
1935 – General
3
5
1935 – Molly Morpeth Canaday
3
6
1936 – General
3
7
1936 – Molly Morpeth Canaday
3
8
1937-1939
3
9
1940-1942
3
10
1943-1944 – General
3
11
1943-1944 – re: Jeep Book  by Wells
3
12
1945-1946
3
13
1947
3
14
1948
3
15
1949
3
16
1950
3
17
1951
3
18
1952 (January-June)
3
19
1952 (July-December)
3
20
1953
3
21
1954
3
22
1955
3
23
1956 (January-June)
3
24
1956 (July-December)
3
25
1957
3
26
1958
3
27
1959
3
28
1960
3
29
1961
3
30
1961-1963 – re: Benguela Railway
3
31
1962
4
1
1962-1964 – re: Harvard-Radcliffe Merger
4
2
1963-1969 – re: Genealogy
4
3
1963
4
4
1964
4
5
1965
4
6
1966
4
7
1967
4
8
1968
4
9
1969
4
10
1970
4
11
1971
4
12
1972
4
13
1973
4
14
1974
4
15
1975
4
16
1976
4
17
Undated
     
    SERIES 3: REPORTS, 1928-1929
4
18
Willys Australia Advertising Agreement
4
19
Paris Auto Show
4
20
Conditions in Countries Visited
4
21
Olympia Motor Show
4
22
European Advertising Ventures
4
23
Miscellaneous Notes
     
    SERIES 4: WILLYS-OVERLAND MOTORS, INC.
4
24
Board of Directors – Minutes, 1951-1953
4
25
Board of Directors – Agenda, 1952-1953
4
26
Finance Committee – Minutes, 1952-1953
4
27
Memoranda, 1947-1953
4
28
Press Releases, 1947-1953
4
29
Financial Reports, 1946-1953
4
30
Annual and Semiannual Reports, 1946-1953
4
31
Miscellaneous
     
    SERIES 5: OVERLAND CORPORATION
4
32
Board of Directors – Agenda and Minutes, 1954-1958
4
33
Finance Committee
4
34
Financial Reports
4
35
Annual Reports
4
36
Overland Properties, Inc.
4
37
Overland Services, Inc.
4
38
Canaday, Ewell and Thurber, Inc.
4
39
Dominion Industries Company
4
40
Empire Securities, Inc.
4
41
Ward M. Canaday, Inc.
4
42
J. Roland Kay Company, 1919
4
43
Canaday Family – Financial Matters
4
44
Real Estate – Mill at Ully St. Georges, France
4
45
Real Estate – Sherburne, Vermont
4
46
Resumes
4
47
Certificates
4
48
Letters of Introduction
4
49
Material From Military Service
4
50
China Sojourn – Miscellaneous
4
51
Daily Schedules – Various Times
4
52
Woodstock Country School
     
    SERIES 6: SCRAPBOOKS (number, inclusive years, and content, if other than general)
5
--
1. 1913-1919 – Harvard Crimson Articles
5
--
2. 1915-1916
5
--
3. 1916-1919
5
--
4. 1917-1918 – War Material, Journal
6
--
5. 1918-1919 – Journal
6
--
6. 1919 – Journal
6
--
8. 1920-1925 – Short  Stories Written in China, Letters
6
--
9. 1910-1927
7
--
20. 1926-1928
7
--
21. 1928 – Pacific Islands, New Zealand
7
--
22. 1928-1929 – Australia, East Indies, Singapore
7
--
23. 1928-1929 – Germany
8
--
24. 1929 – Far East
8
--
25. 1929 – Spain, France
8
--
26. 1929 – Christmas Cards
8
--
27. 1929 – Japan, Philippines, China
9
--
28. 1930
9
--
29. 1930-1931
9
--
30. 1932
9
--
31. 1933-1935
10
--
32. 1935-1936
10
--
33. 1936
10
--
34. 1936-1937
10
--
35. 1936, 1938-1939
11
--
36. 1938-1943
11
--
37. 1940-1946 – Journal
11
--
38. 1939-1944
11
--
39. 1940-1942
12
--
40. 1940-1945 – Musical Programs
12
--
41. 1944-1945
12
--
42. 1945
12
--
43. 1944-1945
12
--
44. 1944-1945
OS
--
45. 1946-1949
OS
--
46. 1950-1960
13
--
47. 1954 – Journal of European Tour, Vol. 3: Apr. 17-May 4
13
--
48. 1954 – Journal of European Tour, Vol. 1: Feb. 4-June 15
13
--
49. 1954 – Journal of European Tour, Vol. 2: Apr. 1-Apr. 16
13
--
50. 1954 – Journal of European Tour
14
--
51. 1959
14
--
52. 1961
14
--
53. 1963
14
--
54. 1963-1964
14
--
55. 1965
15
--
56. 1966
15
--
57. 1967 – Trip to Mexico, Tahiti
15
--
58. 1968 – World Tour
15
--
59. 1968 – World Tour
16
--
60. 1968 – World Tour
16
--
61. 1967-1970
16
--
62. 1969-1971 – Molly Canaday's Illness and Death
16
--
63. 1971-1972 – Molly Canaday's Exhibit of Art Works
     
    SERIES 7: WRITINGS
17
1
Short Story and Skit
17
2
Planchette (novel), pp. 1-70
17
3
Planchette, pp. 71-139
17
4
Planchette, pp. 140-213
17
5
How Come the Jeep, by A. Wade Wells – Chapters 1-10
17
6
How Come the Jeep – Chapters 11-16
17
7
How Come the Jeep – Chapters 17-21
17
8
How Come the Jeep – Dummy
17
9
How Come the Jeep – Miscellaneous
17
10
"The Education of Alfred Chandler or Innocents Abroad" by Alfred D.  Chandler
     
    SERIES 8: PHOTOGRAPHS
17
11
Canaday Family – Early Members
17
12
Lewis and Sarah Schmidt and Family
17
13
Mr. & Mrs. Miles M. Canaday and Family
17
14
Canaday Brothers
17
15
Frank H. Canaday, 1893-1920
17
16
Frank H. Canaday, 1920-1976
17
17
Molly Morpeth Canaday
17
18
Ward M. Canaday
17
19
Doreen Canaday Spitzer
17
20
Miron Canaday and  Family
17
21
Wilbur Canaday and Family
17
22
Frank Canaday's Travels and Homes
17
23
Ully-St. Georges (Frank's Property)
17
24
Willys-Overland Motors, Inc.
17
25
Snapshots From Others
17
26
Portraits of Others
17
27
Negatives
17
28
Newspaper Clippings
17
29
Published Material – General
17
30
Published Material – Benguela Railway
17
31
Miscellaneous
     
    SERIES 9: MOLLY MORPETH CANADAY
18
1
Correspondence – Outgoing (general)
18
2
Correspondence – Incoming, 1932
18
3
Correspondence – Incoming, 1933
18
4
Correspondence – Incoming, 1934
18
5
Correspondence – Incoming, 1935
18
6
Correspondence – Incoming, 1936
18
7
Correspondence – Incoming, 1937-1938
18
8
Correspondence – Incoming, 1942-1950
18
9
Correspondence – Incoming, 1952-1954
18
10
Correspondence – Incoming, 1955-1956
18
11
Correspondence – Incoming, 1957-1959
18
12
Correspondence – Incoming, 1960-1961
18
13
Correspondence – Incoming, 1962-1963
18
14
Correspondence – Incoming, 1964-1970 and Undated
18
15
Medical  Records
18
16
Citizenship and Wedding
18
17
Art

OS - Designates Oversized Area