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Edward Hellmich Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Hellmich, Edward J.
Title: Edward Hellmich Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1953-2003
Bulk Dates: 1953-1958
Quantity: 12 linear ft.
Abstract: Photographs, company documents, memorabilia and artifacts relating to Edward J. Hellmich, co-founder of The Branchell Company and Hellmich Manufacturing Corp, which designed, manufactured, and sold melamine dinnerware
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010
http://scrc.syr.edu

Biographical History

Edward J. Hellmich (1911?-2000?) was an American businessman. With his wife Mildred (Mimi), he founded and operated Hellmich Mfg. Co. and The Branchell Co., based in St. Louis, Missouri. Hellmich and Branchell, respectively, manufactured and sold melamine plastic dinnerware under the trade name Melmac. There was also a factory in Bayamon, Puerto Rico. The Hellmichs sold the company to Lenox, the well-known china company, in 1958. Kaye LaMoyne was one of the firm's primary designers, responsible for the Ebonyte and Color-Flyte lines.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Edward Hellmich Papers consists of artifacts, company histories, correspondence, legal papers, memorabilia, and photographs, most of which pertain to Hellmich Mfg. Co. and The Branchell Co., companies founded by Hellmich for the manufacture and sale of melamine plastic dinnerware.

Artifacts contains specimens of Melmac dinnerware (plates, cupes, bowls, serving platters, etc.) including examples of Branchell's Ebonyte and Color-Flyte lines. Many of the items have no company or brand markings whatsoever, suggesting they are prototype models. Also included here are specimens of flatware with melamine handles in various colors, as well as examples of small flower-shaped candle holders, as for use on birthday cakes.

Company histories contains histories of Hellmich Mfg. Co., The Branchell Co., and Melmac, written by members of the Hellmich family. There is also a published book on Melmac dinnerware.

Correspondence includes Hellmich Mfg. Co. individuals such as Kaye LaMoyne, Karl Gottschalk, and Ernest Hellmich, as well as with attorneys and Lenox, Inc. regarding the sale of the company to Lenox.

Legal papers includes articles of incorporation, contracts, notes, and similar items.

Memorabilia includes both company material, such as clippings, letterhead, and product tags; and personal material, such as an invitation to the Hellmichs' 50th wedding anniversary and a tribute to Mimi by Edward.

Photographs include a formal portrait of Edward Hellmich, staged photographs of Melmac dinnerware settings, and the Hellmich factory in Puerto Rico.

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Arrangement of the Collection

Alphabetically by title or topic.

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Restrictions

Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advance notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Related Material

Special Collections Research Center has a number of collections related to plastics. Please search our collections to locate other relevant collections and cataloged material.

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Subject Headings

Persons

Hellmich, Edward J.
Hellmich, Ernest.
LaMoyne, Kaye.

Corporate Bodies

Hellmich Manufacturing Corp.
The Branchell Co.

Associated Titles

Zimmer, Gregory R., 1947 -- Melmac dinnerware.

Subjects

Flatware -- Specimens.
Melamine.
Plastic tableware -- Specimens.
Plastic tableware.
Plastics -- History.
Plastics -- Marketing.
Plastics industry and trade.

Places

Puerto Rico.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Contracts.
Correspondence.
Legal documents.
Photographs.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Edward Hellmich Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Christina Hellmich, 2019.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: MRC
Date: 13 Nov 2019
Revision history:

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Inventory

Artifacts
Aztec line
Box 1 Plate, large - dinner plate, "Aztec" line, cream-colored with red, yellow, and blue design (1 item)
Box 1 Bowl - shallow bowl, "Aztec" line, dark cream, plain (1 item)
ColorFlyte line
Box 1 Plates, medium - salad or dessert plates, ColorFlyte "Royale" line, in black (3) and pink (2) (5 items)
Box 1 Cup - tea or coffee cup, ColorFlyte "Royale" line, pinkish color (1 item)
Box 1 Cream pitcher - ColorFlyte "Royale" line, pinkish color (1 item)
Box 1 Bowl, medium - shallow bowl molded with handle, ColorFlyte (but not Royale), lime green (1 item)
Ebonyte line
Box 1 Cake stand - forest green with design of Chinese[?] characters on top, two-piece construction joined with screw (1 item)
Box 2 Bowl, medium - bright green bowl with two bamboo handles and design of Chinese[?] characters; "Ebonyte" on underside of base (1 item)
Box 2 Lid - lid for bowl, above (1 item)
Box 2 Cups - coffee or tea cups, reddish-orange color with single bamboo handle and design of Chinese[?] characters on outside (7 items)
Box 2 Cups - coffee or tea cups, reddish-orange color with two bamboo handles and design of Chinese[?] characters on outside (2 items)
Box 2 Creamers? - cup shape with pour spout, reddish-orange color with single bamboo handle and design of Chinese[?] characters on outside (4 items)
Box 2 Lid, small - reddish-orange color, with design of Chinese[?] characters (1 items)
Oversize 2 Platter, large - serving platter, forest green with design of Chinese[?] characters on top, "Ebonyte" and "K La Moyne" in gold on underside of base (1 item)
Oversize 2 Platter, large - serving platter, lime green, no decoration or markings; possibly a prototype for the darker green one (1 item)
Unidentified product lines - several have some combination of "Branchell," "K. LaMoyne", "St. Louis, Mo", "Melmac", or "quality dinnerware" on the underside while others are entirely blank and are presumably prototypes
Box 2 Bowls, small - black, no markings (2 items)
Box 2 Lids, small - reddish-orange color, plain with no decoration (2 items)
Box 2 Bowls, small - reddish color, no markings (2 items)
Box 2 Saucers - reddish color, no markings (4 items)
Box 3 Plates, large - dinner plates, red, no markings (2 items)
Box 3 Bowl, large - red, no markings (1 item)
Box 4 Flatware - metal with light grey handles, probably melamine (2 items)
Box 4 Flatware - metal with dark grey handles, probably melamine (5 items)
Box 4 Flatware - metal with dark pinkish handles, probably melamine (5 items)
Box 4 Flatware - metal with turquoise handles, probably melamine (2 items)
Box 4 Bowls, medium - medium size, no markings, one each of pale yellow, peach, tan, and cinnamon color (4 items)
Box 5 Bowl, large - black with design of pink, blue, and yellow balloons[?] and streamers; underside of base reads "Carnival" (1 item)
Box 5 Bowl, large - black with faded/rubbed design of pink, blue, and yellow flowers; underside of base reads "Pinks" (1 item)
Box 5 Teacup - yellowish cup with handle, "Melmac" (1 item)
Box 5 Tumbler, small - pinkish color, "Melmac" (1 item)
Box 5 Tumbler, medium - white, "Melmac" (1 item)
Box 5 Sugar bowls[?] - small open-topped containers, one in pinkish and one in grey, "Melmac" (2 items)
Box 5 Teacup - "Lenoxware," white with handle (1 item)
Oversize 1 Platter, large - large cake or serving platter, black, no markings, with decorative metal ring on base (1 item)
Box 6 Bowl, large - large serving or salad bowl, black, no markings, with decorative metal ring on base (1 item)
Box 6 Bowl, large - large serving or salad bowl, black, no markings, with decorative metal swirls on edge (1 item)
Box 6 Bowls, small - small soup or cereal bowls, black, no markings, with decorative metal swirls on edge serving as handle (2 items)
Box 6 Lids - small lids which fit bowls, one with a simple metal knob and the other with decorative metal swirls matching the bowls (2 items)
Box 6 Bowl, medium - black, no markings, no decoration (1 item)
Box 6 Bowl, medium - black, no markings, decorative metal ring on base (1 item)
Box 6 Metal decorations - decorative metal swirl pieces (2 items)
Box 7 Plates, medium - salad or dessert plates, red, no markings, possibly prototype (2 items)
Box 7 Salad server set - red, no markings; two separate pieces, both rounded but one is molded with a fork-shaped design (2 items)
Box 7 Serving plate - grey, oval with two lobes (1 item)
Miscellaneous
Box 5 Candle holders - small plastic holders for birthday cake candles; includes one set mounted on printed cardstock, as originally sold (25+ items)
Box 5 Dish, small - small white plastic dish, printed on underside with "#10 Hellmich Mfg Corp Bayamon, P.R. 5-29-55" and 9 small circles in a diamond shape; printed on the interior is a message that begins "Ed - would like you to have this…" and ends with "Ever, Dave" (1 item)
Box 5 Eyeglasses - pair of eyeglasses in a cream-colored plastic, left arm says "Raybert" and "SHE"; may not be a Hellmich product (1 item)
Company histories
Box 8 Branchell Company history 2003, undated - includes one copy with extensive annotations and corrections in unknown hand
Box 8 "History of business" by Mildred Hellmich Apr 1973 - photocopy of handwritten document
Box 8 "Melmac" by Edward Hellmich undated - handwritten, 3 pp.
Box 8 Melmac Dinnerware / Gregory R. Zimmer and Alvin Daigle, Jr., LW Book Sales 1997 - published book
Correspondence
Box 8 Gottschalk, Karl 1955
Box 8 Hellmich, Ernie 1955-1958, undated
Box 8 LaMoyne, Kaye 1953, 1955
Box 8 Lawyers, various 1956-1958 - relating to sale of Hellmich Mfg. to Lenox
Box 8 Lenox, Inc. 1958
Box 8 Miscellaneous 1955, 2002, undated
Legal papers
Box 8 Agreement to sell 1958 - several copies and supporting documentation
Box 8 Articles of incorporation, Hellmich Mfg. / Caribe Hellmich Mfg. 1953
Box 8 Driver's license / Licensia de conductor, Puerto Rico 1966
Box 8 Contracts to sell and manufacture 1953, 1956
Box 8 Employment agreement 1958
Box 8 Lease, Puerto Rico property circa 1953
Box 8 Loans and notes 1958-1959
Memorabilia
Box 8 Clippings 1958, 1963, 1968
Box 8 50th wedding anniversary invitation 1996
Box 8 Guest book, Puerto Rico 1953-1964
Box 8 Letterhead, product tags, etc. undated
Box 8 Tribute to Mimi Hellmich by Edward Hellmich undated
Photographs
Oversize 2 Ebonyte dinnerware - three-piece set, black with decorative metal swirls; appears to be same line as items in Box 6 (1 item)
Box 8 Edward Hellmich undated - formal portrait photo
Box 8 Melmac place settings undated - probably for advertising
Box 8 Puerto Rico plant circa 1953-1960
Box 8 Miscellaneous - most are candid shots in and around the Puerto Rico factory

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