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COLLECTION Identifier: MC 550; CD-1

Collection of the American Red Cross Clubmobile Service, 1940-1998 (inclusive), 1943-1946 (bulk)

Correspondence, memoirs, photographs, ephemera, etc., of members of the American Red Cross Clubmobile Service, who served coffee and doughnuts to servicemen during World War II.

Dates

  • 1940-1998
  • Majority of material found within 1943-1946

Language of Materials

Materials in English.

Access Restrictions:

Access. Collection is open for research. An appointment is necessary to use any audiovisual material.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright. Copyright in the papers created by Phyllis Lawson Birchard, Anne Ferguson Boy, Margaret Gearhart Brodie, Nancy Bastien Chase, Patricia Maddox Collins, Margaret Evans Daniel, Helene Deming, Nathalie Kimberly DesMarais, Elma Ernst Fay, Ruth "Pat" Mau Flynn, Virginia Billingsley Guerriero, Jean Hemingway Hackleman, Virginia Storts Hall, Mary Lou Pearce Hart, Mary Claire Murtha Henkel, Jane Anne McKee Jack, Rosalie Campbell Jordan, Jill Pitts Knappenberger, Maribel Lea Knott, Virginia Wilson Cook Osgood, Angela Petesch, Constance Fagan Russe, Eleanor Campbell Schroeder, and Louise Perry Zuspann is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library. Copyright in papers created by Nathalie Fallon Chadwick and Jane Weir Scott is held by the President and Fellows of Harvard College for the Schlesinger Library, but during their lifetimes, their written permission is required for the publication of quotations from the papers. Copyright in papers created by Charlotte Colburn Gasperini is held by Charlotte Colburn Gasparini. Copyright in other papers in the collection may be held by their authors, or the authors' heirs or assigns.

Copying. Papers may be copied in accordance with the library's usual procedures. Copies, either in electronic form or as print outs, may be made from the CD-ROM donated by Charlotte Colburn Gasparini. Researchers or other libraries wishing to obtain a copy of the entire CD-ROM should contact the donor.

Extent

5.96 linear feet ((11 file boxes, 1 folio+ box) plus 1 folio folder, 1 folio+ folder, 1 CD-ROM, 25 objects, 15 photograph folders)

The collection contains correspondence, memoirs, insignia, clippings, photographs, etc., documenting the experiences of women who served in the American Red Cross Clubmobile Service. The collection was created by the Schlesinger Library from materials solicited from Clubmobilers whose names were provided by Elma Fay Ernst. Materials are filed alphabetically under the name of the Clubmobiler/donor and are described in greater detail in the inventory of the finding aid. All folder titles and descriptions were created by the archivist.

Most of the photographs in this collection are or will be cataloged in VIA, Harvard University's Visual Information Access database. Others, referred to as "uncataloged" photographs, are not of sufficient research interest to warrant cataloging and are simply treated as part of the documents they accompany; they are marked on the back with an asterisk in square brackets [*].

HISTORY

The American Red Cross Clubmobile was conceived by Harvey D. Gibson, Red Cross Commissioner to Great Britain, who wanted to create a mobile service club. Early Clubmobiles were remodeled London Green Line buses driven by an English driver and operated by three American women. Each Clubmobile contained a kitchen with a built-in doughnut machine and a primus stove for heating water for coffee. The rear of the Clubmobile contained a lounge with built-in benches that could be converted into bunks. Each Clubmobile carried a Victrola with loud speakers, current phonograph albums, paperback books, cigarettes, candy, and gum. These Clubmobiles were stationed in a town near American Army installations and followed a routine of going to different bases each day where the Clubmobilers would talk to servicemen while they served coffee and doughnuts and played music.

In 1944, in preparation for the invasion of Normandy, two-and-a-half-ton GMC trucks were converted into Clubmobiles containing kitchens with doughnut machines and coffee urns. Like the larger Clubmobiles, the GMC trucks contained Victrolas and a supply of albums, cigarettes, books, candy, and gum. These Clubmobiles were staffed by three American women, one of whom would drive the truck in addition to serving soldiers. They traveled with the rear echelon of the Army Corps and received their orders from the Army.

The Red Cross required Clubmobilers to be between the ages of twenty-five and thirty-five, to have at least some college education, and some work experience. In addition, they had to be healthy, "physically hardy," sociable, and attractive. Clubmobiles were arranged into ten groups identified by a letter of the alphabet and were managed by the group leader who was responsible for personnel issues, supplies, and housing for Clubmobilers in her group. Each group was comprised of several clubmobiles, which were staffed by three women, one of whom was the crew captain and was responsible for reports, personnel issues, and coordination with the group captain and Army concerning assignments.

Clubmobiles were given names of states and cities in the United States, although many clubmobiles were unofficially renamed by their crews. They served troops in England, France, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany, until May 7, 1945. A limited number of Clubmobiles continued service in Great Britain and Germany through 1946.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession numbers: 95-M74, 95-M75, 95-M81, 95-M83, 95-M96, 95-M96a, 95-M107, 95-M109, 95-M110, 95-M115, 95-M118, 95-M119, 95-M124, 95-M126, 95-M128, 95-M129, 95-M134, 95-M144, 96-M25, 96-M28, 96-M35, 96-M43, 96-M127, 97-M66, 98-M13, 98-M25, 98-M38, 98-M120, 99-M1, 99-M14, 99-M122, 2006-M168, 2007-M103

The American Red Cross Clubmobile collection was given to the Schlesinger Library by members of the American Red Cross Clubmobile Service between June 1995 and June 2007.

SEPARATION RECORD

Donors: Elma Ernst Fay, Virginia Billingsley Guerriero, Virginia Storts Hall, Mary Lou Pearce Hart, Mary Claire Murtha Henkel, Jane Anne McKee Jack, Barbara Bray Kratz, Virginia Wilson Cook Osgood, Constance Fagan Russe

Accession numbers: 95-M52, 95-M74, 95-M83, 95-M96, 95-M124, 95-M128, 96-M35, 96-M43, 96-M127, 98-M25, 99-M1

Processed by: Johanna Carll

The following periodicals donated by Elma Ernst Fay have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 1, August 15, 1943
  2. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 2, August 23, 1943
  3. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 3, August 31, 1943
  4. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 11, December 23, 1943
  5. Sinker Jr., Number 1, June 1946
  6. Sinker Jr., Number 6, April 1948
  7. Sinker Jr., April 1962
  8. Sinker Jr., December 1962
The following periodical donated by Virginia Billingsley Guerriero has been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker Jr., Number 7, August 1948
The following periodical donated by Jean Hemingway Hackleman has been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Group A Newsletter, 1993
The following periodicals donated by Virginia Storts Hall have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker Jr., November 1980
  2. Sinker Jr., 1981
The following periodical donated by Mary Lou Pearce Hart has been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker, Volume II, Number 10, December 23, 1944
The following periodical donated by Mary Claire Murtha Henkel has been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker Jr., October 1966
The following periodicals donated by Jane Anne McKee Jack have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library book collection:
  1. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 4, September 15, 1943
  2. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 5, September 29, 1943
  3. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 6, October 14, 1943
  4. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 7, October 28, 1943
  5. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 8, November 11, 1943
  6. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 9, November 25, 1943
  7. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 10, December 9, 1943
  8. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 12, January 6, 1944
  9. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 14, February 2, 1944
  10. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 15, February 17, 1944
  11. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 16, March 2, 1944
  12. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 17, March 16, 1944
  13. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 18, March 29, 1944
  14. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 19, April 14, 1944
  15. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 20, April 28, 1944
  16. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 21, May 12, 1944
  17. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 22, May 26, 1944
  18. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 24, June 23, 1944
  19. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 25, July 7, 1944
  20. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 26, July 21, 1944
  21. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 27, August 4, 1944
  22. Sinker, Volume II, Number 1, August 18, 1944
  23. Sinker, Volume II, Number 2, September 1, 1944
  24. Sinker, Volume II, Number 3, September 15, 1944
  25. Sinker, Volume II, Number 4, September 29, 1944
  26. Sinker, Volume II, Number 5, October 13, 1944
  27. Sinker, Volume II, Number 6, October 26, 1944
  28. Sinker, Volume II, Number 7, November 10, 1944
  29. Sinker, Volume II, Number 8, November 24, 1944
  30. Sinker, Volume II, Number 9, December 8, 1944
  31. Sinker, Volume II, Number 11, January 5, 1945
  32. Sinker, Volume II, Number 12, January 19, 1945
  33. Sinker, Volume II, Number 13, February 2, 1945
  34. Sinker, Volume II, Number 14, February 14, 1945
  35. Sinker, Volume II, Number 15, March 2, 1945
  36. Sinker, Volume II, Number 17, April 6, 1945
  37. Sinker, Volume II, Number 18, April 20, 1945
  38. Sinker, Volume II, Number 19, May 11, 1945
  39. Sinker Jr., Number 2, December 1946
  40. Sinker Jr., Number 3, April 1947
The following periodicals donated by Barbara Bray Kratz have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker Jr., Number 14, June 1952
  2. Sinker Jr., Number 15, January 1953
  3. Sinker Jr., Number 18, August 1954
  4. Sinker Jr., Number 19, February 1955
  5. Sinker Jr., 1968
  6. Sinker Jr., May 1969
  7. Sinker Jr., March 1974
  8. Sinker Jr., November 1978
  9. Recent News: Fighting Group A Clubmobilers, April 30, 1951
  10. Group A Newsletter, July 1953
  11. Group A Newsletter, September 1954
  12. Group A Newsletter, July 1955
  13. Group A Newsletter, July 1956
  14. Group A Newsletter, November 1957
  15. Group A Newsletter, October 1958
  16. Group A Newsletter, November 1959
  17. Group A Newsletter, November 1960
  18. Group A Newsletter, November 1961
  19. Group A Newsletter, April 1963
  20. Group A Newsletter, October 1964
  21. Group A Newsletter, November 1, 1965
  22. Group A Newsletter, December 10, 1966
  23. Group A Newsletter, December 1968
  24. Group A Newsletter, March 1970
  25. Group A Newsletter, March 1971
  26. Group A Newsletter, April 22, 1972
  27. Group A Newsletter, 1973
  28. Group A Newsletter, 1974
  29. Group A Newsletter, March 1975
  30. Group A Newsletter, July 1976
  31. Group A Newsletter, 1977
  32. Group A Newsletter, May 1978
  33. Group A Newsletter, 1979
  34. Group A Newsletter, April 1980
  35. Group A Newsletter, 2006
  36. Group A Newsletter, 2007
The following periodicals donated by Virginia Wilson Cook Osgood have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 13, January 20, 1944
  2. Sinker, Volume 1, Number 23, June 9, 1944
The following periodicals donated by Constance Fagan Russe have been transferred to the Schlesinger Library periodical collection:
  1. Sinker Jr., Number 4, August 1947
  2. Sinker Jr., Number 5, December 1947

Processing Information

Processed: October 2007

By: Johanna Carll
Link to catalog
Title
American Red Cross. Clubmobile Service. Collection of the American Red Cross Clubmobile Service, 1940-1998 (inclusive), 1943-1946 (bulk): A Finding Aid
Author
Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library on the History of Women in America
Sponsor
Processing of this collection was made possible by a gift from the Radcliffe College Class of 1955.
EAD ID
sch01115

Repository Details

Part of the Schlesinger Library, Radcliffe Institute Repository

The preeminent research library on the history of women in the United States, the Schlesinger Library documents women's lives from the past and present for the future.

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