Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc. (NIFTI), Scrapbooks, 1958-1971
Size: 16 scrapbooks
Provenance: Received from Robert F. Burger, Executive Director, NIFTI, April 22, 1991.
Collection Summary: Community operated organization devoted to the conservation and preservation of Toledo neighborhoods, established in 1952 and incorporated in 1957
Scrapbooks contain mission statements and other foundation papers, newspaper clippings, and other materials documenting the group's efforts at community beautification. The scrapbooks were used to recruit new members and entered into national city beautification contests. Among the issues covered by these scrapbooks are air and water pollution, traffic safety, fair housing, gun control, industrial development, and streets and expressway construction.
Related Collections: Toledo Commission of Publicity and Efficiency Records, MSS-030
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: Emma Jackson, March, 1997; last updated: June 2014
The Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc. (NIFTI) was established in 1952 but was not incorporated until 1957. Wayne Snow, a local salesman decided to organize the association after he was asked by Jaycee officials, a local community improvement association, to head a month that was dedicated to the improvement of Toledo neighborhoods.
Wayne Snow was born in Lamsburg, Virginia in 1906. He graduated from the University of Southern California in 1933. After college he taught journalism and biology classes in Billings, Montana, and became assistant to the president of the Billings Polytechnic Institute.
Mr. Snow came to Toledo during the depression years. During World War II he headed Seabee recruiting in the Ninth Naval District for three years. Furthermore, Wayne Snow was the number one salesman for city beautification in Toledo and received many certificates of recognition and awards.
The Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc. was a local non-profit, non-partisan, state-incorporated public service organization dedicated to the conservation and improvement of Toledo.
NIFTI’s main concern, however, was more than an interest in structures. Its aim was to replace apathy and neglect with action; to stimulate better citizenship by helping Toledoans help themselves to better living by greater pride in their homes and neighborhood.
NIFTI did not replace or duplicate the functions of existing organizations. It cooperated with them encouraging and assisting neighbors to work together for better surroundings. NWTI always cooperated with City Government, at the same time doing all in its power to foster a strong, firm enforcement program from City Hall.
NIFTI had a Board of Directors, which was composed of a full time executive secretary and an office stenographer. NIFTI accomplished its objectives through block and area groups and through committees such as: low cost housing rehabilitation, tree planting and pollution, youth and a speaker’s bureau.
The organization celebrated it’s 40th anniversary this year. Students and community members planted flowers and dedicated the site as the Wayne E. Snow Memorial Gateway in recognition of the anniversary.
The spirit of NIFTI lives on despite the death of Snow. Ed Osiiski, NIFTI executive director, and a new generation of volunteers are keeping the dream alive.
Scope and Content Note
The Neighborhood Improvement Foundation of Toledo, Inc. Collection (NIFTI) is comprised of a Scrapbook Series. This collection contains sixteen scrapbooks, dating from 1958 to 1971.
The scrapbooks are organized by year with1958-1960 being the first scrapbook of this series. It contains news clippings of NIFTI’s mission statements, purpose, goals, and initial foundation. The 195 8-1960 scrapbooks also introduced the Toledo public to this new civic organization and urged citizens to become members.
The following scrapbooks were entered every year dating from 1965 to 1971 as a contestant for the cleanest, beautiful city national contest.
The 1965 scrapbook is the first of its kind entered into the National Clean-Up Paint-Up Fix-Up Plant-Up Contest- a contest that selected America’s most beautiful and cleanest city. There are three scrapbooks in the 1965 collection, and each displays the beautification effort of the City of Toledo in 1965. This scrapbook along with the following scrapbooks contain news clippings of the continuous efforts to improve run-down areas of the city. Before-and-after photographs are also included to show the improvements.
There are two 1966 scrapbooks. Scrapbook number one contains news clipping of the 1965 Award of Distinguished Achievement presented to the “City of Toledo for Continuous Program for Community Improvement in the National Cleanest Town Achievement Award Contest.” It also includes community clean-up efforts to form neighborhoods recreational areas and parks. The second Scrapbook, particularly battled air and water pollution. Both scrapbooks contain information on community development, conservation and photographs of clean-up projects.
There were three scrapbooks entered for 1967. All of these scrapbooks contain community wide beautification, improvement clubs and city health. Scrapbook number two contains news clippings that urged traffic safety and fair housing, the third scrapbook contains news clippings about Toledo being honored with an award on the national level for city cleanliness.
There are three 1968 scrapbooks. All of these scrapbooks advocated urban growth and development, gun control, industrial development, streets and expressway reconstruction. Scrapbook number two includes news clippings of the Fiberglass Tower construction-Toledo’s tallest building.
The 1969 sub-series include two scrapbooks. Scrapbook number one contains community-wide beautification, scenes of Toledo and Division of Forestry, a section of the scrapbook that encourages tree and flower planting. Included also in Scrapbook no.1 are community neighborhood improvement organizations: Toledo Conservation Center, Roosevelt Conservation and Old West End Conservation Center. Scrapbook number two includes property improvements, University of Toledo expansions, youth activities and photographs of junk cars that polluted the appearance of an otherwise beautiful neighborhood.
The final collection of three scrapbooks are for the years 1970-71. These were the last entries for the national contest. All three scrapbooks dated NIFTI’s contributions and accomplishments made to the city of Toledo and nationally over a thirteen year period. The scrapbooks contain information from the late fifties to early seventies with news clippings, photographs, and correspondence that dates and amounts to the organization tremendous accomplishments.
^ All Scrapbooks are located in the oversize area.