Biographical Notes: Earnest Elmo Calkins (1868-1964) was born in Galesburg, IL and attended Knox College graduating in 1891. In 1902 Calkins established an advertising firm with Ralph Holden (18xx-1926) Calkins and Holden in New York. The firm broke new ground in the field by creating the concept of an advertising campaign (the Arrow shirt man) and the advertising jingle. Among the most familiar was Phoebe Snow created for the Lackawanna Railroad. Calkins was the recipient of significant awards and has been called the father of modern advertising.
In addition, E.E.Calkins authored numerous books on a variety of topics. They Broke the Prairie (Scribners, New York 1937) is the history of Knox College and Galesburg, IL written for the town's centenary. Deaf since the age of six due to a childhood disease, Calkins's autobiography, And Hearing Not--- (Scribners, New York, 1946) details his youth. Modern Advertising (Appleton, New York, 1915) and The Business of Advertising (Appleton, New York, 1905) detail his professional philosophy. Various other titles deal with printing arts, building models, dining and deafness.
Calkins married Angie C. Higgins in 1904 (1863-1950). They had no children. He received an honorary degree from Knox College in 1921 and served as an honorary trustee from 1950 until his death.
Scope Notes: The collection includes published articles and drafts by E.E. Calkins, as well as correspondence both personal and business. Topics range from advertising and deafness, from printing to the book arts. Calkins authored a history of the founding of Galesburg, Illinois, and Knox College, They Broke the Prairie (Scribners, New York, 1937). Several boxes include research materials and correspondence with those with local connections.
Collection range: 1909-1964
Collection size: 6.5 feet
Donor: Earnest Elmo Calkins, Knox Class of 1891, Honorary Degree- Litt.D. 1921, Honorary Trustee 1950-1964