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Arch GA 39.5

Hower, Ralph M., 1903-1973. Ralph M. Hower Papers, 1870-1970: A Finding Aid

Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University

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Harvard Business School, Boston MA 02163.

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: Arch GA 39.5
Repository: Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School, Harvard University
Creator: Ralph M. Hower, 1903-1973
Title: Ralph M. Hower papers
Date(s): 1870-1970
Quantity: 16 linear feet (33 boxes)
Language of materials: English
Abstract: The papers of Ralph M. Hower contain correspondence, writings, records from outside consulting work, and teaching materials while a professor at Harvard Business School.

Provenance:

Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Ralph M. Hower.

Processing Information:

Processed: September 1998, March 1999, June 2000
By: Jeffrey Mifflin and Sean Perrone

Conditions Governing Access:

Appointment necessary to consult collection.

Preferred Citation:

Cite as: Ralph M. Hower Papers. HBS Archives. Baker Library Historical Collections. Harvard Business School.

Biographical Note:

Ralph Merle Hower was born in Salinas, Kansas, in 1903 and died in Massachusetts in 1973. He received a BA in economics from the University of Kansas in 1925. He was a Rhodes Scholar from 1925-1928 at Oxford University, where he received a BA in modern history. He earned a DCS in business history from the Harvard Business School in 1935. He also received an MA from Oxford in 1953 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Navarre (Spain) in 1967.
Prior to coming to the Harvard Business School, Hower was an Instructor of Economics at the University of Kansas from 1928 to 1930. At the Harvard Business School, he held the following positions: Research Assistant, 1930-1934; Instructor, 1934-1935; Assistant Professor, 1935-1946; Associate Professor, 1946-1949; and Professor, 1949-1970. He taught in the Advanced Management Program at the Harvard Business School. He also participated in Advanced Management Programs at Durham and Strathclyde in Great Britain; at the University of Western Ontario in Canada; at the Management Development Institute (IMEDE) in Switzerland; and at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE) in Barcelona, Spain. In addition to teaching at the Instituto de Estudios Superiores de la Empresa (IESE), Hower helped to establish this business school in the 1960s.
Hower was a major in the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps during World War II. He served as a Trustee of the Business History Foundation, and he was a member of the Board of Assessors of Weston, Massachusetts. He authored History of an Advertising Agency in 1939, a book about the Ayers Co.; History of Macy's of New York, 1943; The Administrator (with J.D. Glover), 1952; and Managers and Scientists (with C.D. Orth), 1963. He served as a consultant for Arthur D. Little, DuPont Corp., Esso Oil, Johnson and Johnson, Lederle Laboratories, Eli Lily & Co., Shell Oil, Standard Oil, United Parcel Service, and other corporations.

Series Outline

The collection is arranged in the following series:

Scope and Content Note:

The Ralph Merle Hower papers consist of correspondence, consulting and outside teaching, Harvard Business School teaching materials, writings, research materials, and administrative records. Hower's correspondence contains letters regarding his writings and extensive documentation on business history and the Business Historical Society, especially with professor Norman Gras. Writings contain information about the process of writing business history, especially in correspondence relating to Hower's published company histories. Much material consists of original records from the Ayer firm including transcriptions of records, and research and writing notes. The original records were used by Hower as research materials or his book The History of an Advertising Agency: N.W. Ayer & Son at Work, 1869-1939. Administrative records contain information regarding the joint HBS/IESE Advisory Committee and activities at HBS. Also included are consulting and outside teaching materials documenting Hower's activities as a consultant on effective management, business education, and related matters.
Several series in the collection contain records relating to the history of business. Series III., Correspondence, contains extensive documentation on business history in Hower's correspondence with Norman Gras and in folders pertaining to the Business Historical Society. Series V., Teaching Material (HBS), has Hower's notes on business history. Series VI., Writings, contains information about the process of writing business history, especially in correspondence relating to Hower's published company histories. Many files pertain to Hower's research for The History of an Advertising Agency: N.W. Ayer & Son at Work, 1869-1939. Series VII., N.W. Ayer & Son, Inc., Research Materials, consist of original records from the Ayer firm, transcriptions of records, and research and writing notes.

Container List


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