Heller, Max T. and Heller, William
Hagley Museum and Library
PO Box 3630
Wilmington, DE 19807-0630
3.5 linear ft.
Leonard W. Walton, the collector, was a printing industry executive with Milprint, Inc., between 1936 and 1976.Milprint, Inc., was founded by the brothers Max T. ("Popsy") Heller and William ("Billy") Heller as the Milwaukee Printing Company in 1899. Beginning in 1908, they succeeded in developing printing techniques for flexible media used in commercial packaging, at first glassine paper, and then cellophane, foil and polyethylene. The Heller brothers were able to get in at the beginnings of the mass marketing of consumer goods, when individually sealed wrappings implied safety and purity. Their paper wrappings practically made the individual nickel candy bar possible, and the firm dominated the candy wrapper market at an early date. Its in-house artists and designers advised clients on the most effective way to package their products. The Heller brothers also developed "Trans-Vision," a means of depicting complex objects in peel-away layers on transparent film, whose most common use was probably depicting the anatomy of the human body in textbooks. William Heller sold Milprint to Philip Morris Incorporated in 1957. In 2008, it is owned by the Bemis Company, Inc., and remains a leading producer of printed packaging. Of the Milprint and other printing company records collected by Leonard W. Walton, fully two-thirds are printing samples on a full range of media: paper, cardboard, foil, cellophane and polyethylene. They include candy and bread wrappers, cigarette and whiskey boxes, and potato chip bags. Some are for such well-known goods as Marlboro, Memorex, Arnold’s bread, and Southern Comfort, while many are for now-vanished local brands. Of particular note are glassine wrappers for military rations in World War II. The remainder of the collection consists of an assortment of company correspondence, photos, advertising, programs for holiday and veteran employees’ parties, and folksy homilies sent by Billy Heller to inspire his sales force. There are runs of several employee newsletters and magazines, including the Milprint communique´ (1942-45) carrying news of employees serving in the armed forces.