1.   Historical note

2.   Scope and content

3.   Provenance

4.   Processing note

5.   Inventory

6.   Subjects

    List of finding aids

    R.I.H.S. Library page

    R.I.H.S. home page

 George T. Metcalf Papers

 Advertising Executive, Providence, Rhode Island

 Records, 1937-1976

 Size: 0.75 linear feet

 Catalog number: MSS 822

 Processed by: Lori Salotto, September 1999

©Rhode Island Historical Society

Manuscripts Division


Historical note:

            George T. Metcalf (1891-1976) was born in Wickford, R.I. to Dr. Harold and Mrs. Mary Anna Metcalf. He graduated from Brown University in 1913 and moved to Providence in 1915. In 1916, he served with Battery A of the Rhode Island NationalGuard on the Mexican border to help suppress raiding by Pancho Villa.The Battery received no state aid, so they had to wear old Spanish- American War uniforms. Metcalf also served with an artillery unit in France during World War One.

            After the war, Metcalf worked as a bookkeeper, and as an advertising manager and salesman for several companies. He founded his own advertising and public relations firm,The George T. Metcalf Company, in 1932. By the 1950s his firm was a million- dollar company employing twenty. In 1962, t he company had to weather a major crisis. The vice president of the company, Sheldon D. Spencer, went into the advertising business with another individual, and violated his employee contract by taking major clients away from Metcalf's company. Metcalf sued this employee and received a large settlement to be paid over several years. In 1964, the company was sold to another partner. However, Mr. Metcalf continued as treasurer until his retirement in 1968.

            Besides owning his own business, Mr. Metcalf was a member of several organizations. He became a Trustee of Brown University, served as the secretary from 1960 to 1973, then became a Trustee Emeritis. He was also involved with the Concerned Citizens of the East Side, the Ann Eliza Club, and the El Paso Club. Mr. Metcalf served as the treasurer for the Concerned Citizens of the East Side. This group was organized throughout 1975 in response to bars that were open until early morning hours and the changing of residential property to commercial property so that a new tavern could be opened. The Ann Eliza Club (incorporated 1882) was an informal bohemian club of artists who came to read, paint, talk, eat, and drink. All members were required to share in entertaining the other members, and all new members were required to bring with them a chair and a stein. Mr. Metcalf also served as the president of the El Paso Club from 1964 to 1974. This was an organization of veterans of the 1916 skirmish on the Mexican border.

            George T. Metcalf married his first wife, Nina Wilkinson (1886-1944), circa 1918. They had one son, Edward Deforest Metcalf (1924-1968). After his first wife died of a cerebral embolism in 1944 at the age of 58, George then married Frances Graham Hunter Munson (1896-1981) on August 13, 1945. George preceded her in death, on March 27, 1976, at the age of 85, as the result of an apparent suicide. He is buried in Providence at the Swan Point Cemetery.


Letter from donor in collection file.

Munro, Walter."Early History of A.E.," April 11, 1935, in Ann Eliza Club Records (Mss 262).

Providence city directories

Rhode Island Cemetery Database

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Scope and content:

            Found in these records are information on George T. Metcalf's advertising and public relations business, organizations he was a member of, and personal papers.

            There were also several interesting items found in this collection: an undated letter from an El Paso Club member, Carroll Adams, about his son and grandson's military service in Vietnam with the mention of the invasion of Cambodia (box 1, folder 3); a letter from another member, Major Walter B. Donnelly, about a possible screenplay concerning Battery A, with Paul Newman possibly interested in a part (box 1, folder 3); a lawsuit he brought against a former business partner who took company clients with him (box 1, folder 4); a genealogy dating back to 1016 (box 2, folder 3; and a suicide note (box 2, folder 1).

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These records were donated in 1993 by Fred Lippitt, a cousin of George T. Metcalf's second wife, Frances.

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Processing note:

A folder of photographs was sent to the Graphics Division.

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Box 1, folder 1: A.E. Club, copies of talks he gave before the club, 1962, 1964, undated

Box 1, folder 2: Concerned Citizens of the East Side, financial records and correspondence,1975

Box 1, folder 3: El Paso Club, minutes, correspondence, and songs, 1962-1975

Box 1, folder 4: George T. Metcalf Company (G.T.M. Co.) - Agreements with Spencer and Hyland, 1950-62.

Box 1, folder 5: G.T.M. Co. - Bank books, 1959-1972.

Box 1, folder 6: G.T.M. Co. - Corporate records, 1950-1959

Box 1, folder 7: G.T.M. Co. - Mid-year financial statements, 1959-1962, 1966

Box 1, folder 8: G.T.M. Co. - Year-end financial statements, 1950-1959

Box 1, folder 9: G.T.M. Co. - Office records, 1951-1963

Box 1, folder 10: G.T.M. Co. - Operating statements and balance sheets, 1957-1966

Box 1, folder 11: G.T.M. Co. - Tax and records of earnings, 1937-72

Box 2, folder 1: Boston University's class of 1884's 25th reunion, 1909 (father's alma mater)

Box 2, folder 2: Estate - final instructions, 1973-1976

Box 2, folder 3: Estate of Helen L. Wilkinson, 1945

Box 2, folder 4: Genealogy, 1957, listing ancestors back to 1016

Box 2, folder 5: Income taxes, 1973-1975

Box 2, folder 6: Legal documents, 1937-1965

Box 2, folder 7: Medical insurance, 1970-1975

Box 2, folder 8: Military service record certification, 1960

Box 2, folder 9: Securities and insurance policies, 1953-1958; will dated 1958

Box 2, folder 10: Swan Point Cemetery papers, 1969

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Advertising - Rhode Island

Ann Eliza Club

Concerned Citizens of the East Side

El Paso Club

George T. Metcalf Company

Mexico - History - Revolution, 1910-1920

Suicide - Rhode Island - Providence

Swan Point Cemetery

United States. Army - History - Punitive Expedition into Mexico, 1916

Veterans - Rhode Island

Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975

Wilkinson, Helen L.

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