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Advertisements from the Dow Chemical Historical Collection

Identifier: 2008-064-003

Scope and Content

For a more detailed inventory, please view this record in our library catalog:

The bulk of this material consists of domestic print advertisements for various brands of the Dow Chemical Company, primarily taken from magazines published between 1921 and 1993. The loose advertisements primarily feature prominent Dow Chemical Company brands, such as Dowflake, Dowmetal, Magnesium, Plastics, Saran, Styron and Ziploc and are generally grouped together by product line. A subset of ephemera consists of leaflets for the Dowflake and Dowmetal Pistons products, ranging in date from 1921-1927. Notably, one of the advertisements and a magazine article in the collection feature the work of two prominent artists, Arthur Lidov and A.H. Knighton-Hammond. The posters within this collection largely consist of internal communications campaigns, such as the "Know More in 74" campaign for the advancement of women employees at Dow and the "Life is Fragile" campaign encouraging safety in the workplace. Of particular note are two booklets of rhyming verse about the Dowflake product entitled "The Two Wise Men and the Wonder Bag" (1931) and "Peter and Peggy visit the Dust Imps" (1932), which include full color illustrations aimed towards children. There is also a considerable amount of material from a 1980s campaign entitled "Dow lets you do great things" which includes print advertisements and full color storyboards from television commercials created for the campaign.


  • Creation: 1921-1993
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1936-1986

Restrictions on Access


Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

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Background Note

In 1897, the Dow Chemical Company was founded by chemist Herbert H. Dow in Midland, Michigan. The company initially produced bromide, employing Dow's process that oxidized the brine by electrolysis. Dow expanded during World War I by replacing Germany as a supplier of explosives, aspirin, magnesium, and synthetic indigo. During World War II, Dow flourished as a manufacturer of magnesium and synthetic rubber and later with inventive consumer products like Saran Wrap and Ziploc bags. Through innovation and constant reinvention, Dow has endured as a multinational corporation providing products for both industries and consumers.


14 Linear Feet (14 boxes; ca. over 900 items)

Language of Materials



A collection of print advertisements, leaflets, posters and other ephemera created by the Dow Chemical Company, ranging from 1921-1993.

Ownership and Custodial History

Gift of the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation, 2008.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Source of acquisition--Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation. Method of acquisition--Gift; Date of acquisition--2008.

Digitized Materials

Selected materials from this collection have been digitized and are available in our Digital Collections:

Related Archival Materials

Forms part of: Dow Chemical Historical Collection, 1897-2006 (bulk 1900-1990), at the Science History Institute.

See also the Papers of Herbert H. Dow, 1872-1930 (bulk 1915-1922), at the Science History Institute.

See also Dow Chemical Company Historical Image Collection, 1942-1998 (bulk 1963-1986), at the Science History Institute.

Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Revision Statements

  • 09-2023: Digitized Materials note added.

Repository Details

Part of the Science History Institute Archives Repository

315 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia PA 19106 United States
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