Melvin H. Baker papers
This collection details the history and development of the National Gypsum Company as seen by its founder and Chief Executive, Melvin H. Baker. It is mainly comprised of Baker's speech typescripts, business and personal correspondence, and records. Correspondence contains letters with Robert F. Kennedy, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Richard M. Nixon, and Nelson Rockefeller, among many other distinguished individuals and organizations.
Included are volumes of Baker's privately published book, "My Second Forty Years," and typescripts of Donald R. Rizzo's 1965 book, "The Future Begins at Forty: The Story of the National Gypsum Company in Commemoration of its 40th Anniversary."
- Baker, Melvin H. (Melvin Houston) (Person)
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6.05 Linear Feet (15 manuscript boxes, 1 half manuscript box)
Born in 1885 to humble beginnings in Sevierville, Tennesee, Melvin H. Baker would become a pioneer of industry. As one of the founders of the Buffalo-based National Gypsum Company, Baker served as Chief Executive Officer for 37 years, from 1928 until his retirement in 1965. National Gypsum is a supplier of building and construction materials.
Active in charitable and social organizations, Baker held directorships in 9 major business organizations and 10 civic groups, including the Buffalo Area Chamber of Commerce and the American Cancer Crusade. Holding 5 honorary university degrees, Baker established the Melvin H. Baker professorship in American Enterprise at UB's School of Management. He also received a citation for "Industrial Pioneering" in 1951 from the University at Buffalo, and was awarded the Chancellor's Medal in 1957.
After his retirement, Baker continued to serve on National Gypsum's Board of Directors until 1974, whereby he acted as a consultant until his death in 1976 at the age of 90.
This collection is arranged in five series: I. My Second Forty Years, II. Speeches, III. Correspondence, IV. National Gypsum Company, V. Personal.
Accruals and Additions
- Finding Aid for the Melvin H. Baker papers
- Finding aid prepared by Archives staff.
- Description rules
- Language of description