Charlotte Cramer Sachs, New York City, 1950s

Charlotte Cramer Sachs, New York City, 1950s

Charlotte Cramer Sachs


Charlotte Cramer Sachs was an artist, inventor, entrepreneur, food and wine enthusiast, and an early developer of prepared cake and muffin mixes. Her company Cramer Products Company pioneered the manufacture and distribution of many types of prepared food mixes under the brand Joy Prepared Mixes.


Charlotte Cramer Sachs (born September 27, 1907 in Berlin, Germany; died March 11, 2004, New York, NY) was an artist, inventor, entrepreneur, food and wine enthusiast, and an early developer of prepared cake and muffin mixes.[1] Cramer Sachs founded and operated Cramer Products Company (1940-2004) in New York City to manufacture and distribute prepared cake, popover, muffin, and frosting mixes known as Joy Prepared Mixes, primarily during the postwar years.

An independent inventor, Cramer Sachs worked outside of the constraints of government and industrial settings in the postwar years, allowing her to explore and express her creativity and balance her role as a single, working mother. Working on a small scale and finding inspiration in her home, she created products geared primarily towards women. She believed in the possibilities and opportunities of American capitalism and built from scratch a modest, one-woman company that succeeded, at least for a while, in bringing her creations to market. All of her inventions emerged from direct personal experiences.

Cramer Sachs held six patents. Her first patent in 1940, Improvements in combined key and flashlight (U.S. Patent 2,208,498), embodied her inventive spirit. It helped with the everyday task of illuminating a door lock in a dark place. This device signaled a theme for future inventive endeavors, creating products for everyday use that “help” the consumer as well as signaling Cramer Sachs’s interest in commercializing her products. In 1950, Charlotte diversified her product line and developed, patented, and marketed products for home and commercial use with a special emphasis on temperature-controlled, noiseless, vibration-free wine safes. She also initiated the development of a wine museum in New York State. Other entrepreneurial activities included the founding of Crambruck Press and Crambruck Foundation, outlets for publishing and promoting her musical compositions and poetry. Charlotte was also an artist known as “Charlo.” Her art and other works were displayed publicly at several exhibitions.

Family Background and Ethnic Identity

Charlotte Anna Emma Cramer Sachs was born in Berlin, Germany, on September 27, 1907, to Hans Siegfried Cramer (June 6, 1872-March 1, 1963) and Gertrud (neé Bruck, September 12, 1874-September 8, 1946). Known as “Lotte,” Charlotte was educated in Berlin and Switzerland. She attended public schools in Berlin, followed by an unhappy term at a rigidly structured French finishing school in Montreux, Switzerland, from October 1923 to January 31, 1924.[2] Charlotte’s one brother, Frederick “Fritz” Henry Cramer (March 2, 1906-September 4, 1954) attended the Arndt Gymnasium in Berlin and received his Ph.D. from the Universität Zürich. Fritz would later immigrate to the United States with his family and teach history at Mt. Holyoke College in South Hadley, Massachusetts.[3]

Charlotte and her brother, separated by one year, were good friends and playmates. Charlotte envied Fritz’s opportunity to study in America at Columbia University in 1923. Life in New York City was something Charlotte yearned to experience. In April of 1924, Hans, Gertrud, and Charlotte sailed for New York on the S.S. Deutschland. Charlotte wrote in her memoir, “I took it all in with gusto. This was the new world, and I wanted to learn its ways.”[4]

Charlotte’s father, Hans Siegfried Cramer, was born to Moritz Cramer (183?-1886) and Emma Lachs Cramer (d. 1890s) in Brandenburg, Germany. Moritz Cramer, a successful Jewish businessman in Brandenburg, worked in textiles along with his brother Siegmund Cramer (1840-1903) under the name H.S. Cramer & Söhne.[5] Hans was one of five children, Elsbeth (1871-1940), Ernst (October 1, 1873-1948), Margarete (1875-late1950s), and Toni (1879-1967). After his father’s death in 1886, Hans left school at age fourteen to apprentice in an unidentified business to help support the family. In 1894, at the age of twenty-two, he established the firm H.S. Cramer & Co. in Berlin, specializing in the import and export of grains from Europe, with branch offices in Hamburg and Bremen.[6] Cramer advertised his business of grain and feed stuffs and work as a grain agent and commission merchant in U.S. publications.[7]

Charlotte grew up in very comfortable surroundings with nursemaids and later a governess, Ilse “Ische” Schiftan, of whom she was very fond.[8] The Cramers lived in the affluent and elegant Berlin suburb of Dahlem, west of the city. By 1918, the city had a population of around two million—which fell gradually but steadily to 1,779,000 in 1939—and covered 90 square kilometers. When its adjoining towns and villages were incorporated in 1920, Greater Berlin (as it then became) was the biggest city in Europe after London.[9] The make-up of Berlin’s inhabitants during the 1920s consisted of “seventy-five percent . . . Protestants, mainly Lutheran; 10 percent . . . Catholic; 4.3 percent, Jewish; 1.3 percent, Eastern orthodox and Muslims—and there were also 310,000 atheists.”[10]

Hans Cramer married Gertrud Bruck (1875-1946), a Lutheran convert since 1893, on December 17, 1903. Known as “Trude,” Bruck was one of six children born to Adalbert Bruck (1842-1909), a judge in Berlin, and Anna (neé Flato, 1852-1904). Gertrud completed her education in Bonn, earning her Abitur (German high school diploma) in 1893. As an “Abiturientin” Gertrud was entitled to move directly to university, but she did not attend. She was one of only thirty-six women in Germany to receive the Abitur.[11] Gertrud authored From the diary of a high school girl (Aus Dem Tagebuche einer Gymnasiastin) in 1902.[12]

Mrs. Cramer enjoyed the arts—paintings, poetry and writing, music, theater—and entertaining family and friends. German, French, and English were spoken in the home and chess, dance and piano lessons, as well as physical activity, especially tennis, were aspects of the Cramer family’s daily life. Both Charlotte and Fritz were members of the Rot-Weiss Tennis Club in the Grunewald district of Berlin and would become accomplished players.[13] Charlotte credits her Uncle Erich Wagenitz (1876-1927), a judge, as “a guiding light that shone greatly during her childhood.”[14] Wagenitz shared his love of music, books, and beauty in any form with Charlotte.

The family entertained regularly and Charlotte had a wide circle of friends, including Wilhelmine Corinth, daughter of Lovis and Charlotte Berend-Corinth.[15] Charlotte’s 1918 diary contains early evidence of her sketching, drawing, musical and writing interests.[16] The family traveled throughout Europe and enjoyed mountain resorts and outdoor activities. Some of their travels included Lake Lugano in southern Switzerland; Oberstdorf in the Bavarian Alps; Oberhof in central Germany, known for its winter sports; Merano, Italy; and St. Moritz. Family life was interrupted during World War I when Hans Cramer was drafted into military service in Rathenow, Germany (east of Berlin), and then in Bucharest, Romania, and Ankara, Turkey. During Cramer’s military service, the family visited him in Bucharest and Sinaia, Romania.[17] Cramer, using his business acumen and knowledge of agricultural products, helped the German Army provide food supplies to German troops on the Eastern front.[18]

Both the Cramer and the Bruck families were of Jewish origin, but in 1900, Adalbert and Anna Bruck converted to Lutheranism.[19] There is no evidence the Cramer family converted to Christianity and Hans Cramer was listed in the 1931 Jewish Address Book for Greater Berlin.[20] The Cramer Family did not practice their religion and neither Hans nor Gertrud identified with religious or political organizations while living in Berlin. At some point in the twentieth century, Gertrud purchased a German Bible translated by Martin Luther from 1545, but it is unclear if the family used it in any religious context. Charlotte and her brother Fritz were christened in the Lutheran Church, Fritz in 1909 and presumably Charlotte at the same time.[21] Cramer Sachs fondly recalls Christmases (lighting candles, singing carols, exchanging gifts and Christmas stollen) in her memoir, providing evidence that the family observed a secular celebration of the holiday. In the United States, Charlotte did not identify with her Jewish roots, or Lutheranism, but continued to both speak and write German with her parents.

On September 12, 1924, Charlotte married American-born Donald L. Samuels (June 12, 1901 – 1948) of Paterson, New Jersey, in the civil registry office in Berlin-Dahlem.[22] The couple met at a tennis tournament in Marienbad, a spa town (now in the Karlovy Vary Region of the Czech Republic), when Charlotte was just fifteen and Donald twenty-two. The young couple moved to New York City in December 1924, where Donald worked as an independent stock broker and as a merchant for the Manhattan Shirt Company.[23] The couple had one daughter, Eleanor Charlotte Samuels (June 11, 1926-August 11, 1972), born in New York. They were married for six years and divorced in 1930 citing marital differences.[24]

The 1930 divorce and Charlotte’s naturalization as a United States citizen on March 7, 1932, ushered in a new phase of life for her.[25] From 1930 to 1945, Charlotte raised her daughter alone, although she did live with her parents who provided financial and emotional support as well as household help. In her memoir she wrote, “Life as a young divorcee was very different from anything I had known. Eventually my child and I returned to my parents’ house.”[26]

During this fifteen-year period, Charlotte began to lay the foundation for her company and business ventures. She traveled to England and Germany several times, assisting her parents with household-related matters in Berlin. While she was devoted to both her parents, it was with her father that she shared a close bond. Alike in many ways, Charlotte learned her father’s business sense although she did not work for, nor take an interest in, H.S. Cramer & Co. In August 1945, Charlotte Cramer married Alexander Sachs (August 1, 1893-June 23, 1973) in Stamford, Connecticut. Sachs was born to Samuel and Sarah Sachs, Jews from Rossien, Lithuania (then part of the Russian Empire). He had immigrated to the United States in 1904, and was naturalized a United States citizen in 1919.[27] Sachs became a well-known economist and banker and was the chief economist at Lehman Brothers and a member of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s Administration since the early 1930s.[28] In Alexander, Charlotte found an equal partner with similar interests and her marriage of twenty-eight years was filled with great happiness.

H.S. Cramer & Co.

Early in his business career, Hans Cramer sought to expand his business throughout Europe and overseas, even considering a move to Switzerland around 1907-1908. He began establishing business contacts outside Germany, especially in the United States. He traveled to the United States for the first time in 1902 to visit his younger brother, Ernst Cramer. Ernest, as he was known in the United States, worked as a salesman for a baking company in New York City.[29] He was the first Cramer family member to emigrate from Germany to the United States in 1902.[30]

Hans Cramer made twelve trips to the United States between 1902 and August 1938. Many of these trips were between Germany and New York from 1924 to 1931 and were business-related. However, by the fall of 1924, Charlotte was married and living in New York, as was Ernest and his family. Hans and Gertrud Cramer sought renters for their Dahlem home to ease some of their financial burdens. The poor economic climate in Germany and Europe in the 1920s deterred them from a move to Switzerland. The growing threat of Nazism would be the final factor forcing a departure for England in the spring of 1933 and ultimately immigration to the United States in December 1934. Hans and Gertrud arrived in New York in early January 1935. Observing the economic opportunities in the United States to expand his business further reinforced Cramer’s decision to move to New York versus Switzerland. The value of the Reichsmark had, by 1921, sunk to around 7 percent of its value of 1913; it had declined to 1 percent by mid-1922 and by the beginning of 1923 to less than 0.0004 percent.[31]

Cramer’s business in Berlin suffered from the anti-Jewish legislation and specifically the April 1, 1933, boycott of Jewish businesses.[32] In later years, while trying to gain war restitution and reparations, Cramer wrote, “The tendencies of Hitlerism had compelled me to leave Germany and to build up an existence elsewhere. The decrees of the Hitler administration resulted ultimately in the foreclosure and sale of this property [Haus Cramer]. The sale at a price of RM 180,000 (roughly $1.1 million in 2010 USD) was one of those waste sales, general at the time, of real estate in Jewish possession.”[33] Cramer further elaborated, “Money was lent to me and my wife in 1934 while in London. We were not able to pay the interest on the mortgage and real estate taxes on Dahlem.”[34] Cramer owned two mortgages amounting to RM 150,000 (roughly $961,000 in 2010 USD), plus accrued interest as of 1935 and 1936 respectively and penalty claims. “It was due to the duress conditions prevailing since 1933 that I lost my business (established 1894) in grain and feeds and with it my income and found myself unable to continue payment of interest. I had to go abroad to try and build up a new existence.”[35]

Cramer joined other Germans leaving the country. Thirty-seven thousand of the approximately 525,000 Jews in Germany left the country in 1933. In 1933 about 73 percent of the emigrants left for countries in Western Europe, 19 percent for Palestine, and 8 percent chose to go overseas.[36] The material difficulty of emigrating from Germany was considerable, especially in a period of economic uncertainty; it entailed an immediate and heavy material loss: Jewish-owned property was sold at lower prices, and the emigration tax (the Brüning government’s 1931 “tax on capital flight,” which was levied on assets of two-hundred thousand Reichsmark and up, was raised by the Nazis to a levy on assets of fifty thousand Reichsmarks and up) was prohibitive.[37]

Hitler’s rise to power and Cramer’s personal financial situation resulted in his final departure from Germany for England in 1933. Cramer and his wife remained in England where he had business contacts until their December 1934 departure for New York.[38] While in England, the Cramers were joined by Charlotte and her daughter, Eleanor, who lived with them before returning to New York in June of 1936. During this period (1933-1938), Charlotte, an American citizen, traveled to Germany frequently to visit the house at Dahlem to inventory the family’s possessions.[39] Hans Cramer’s decision to leave Germany influenced the decision of his sisters, Margarete Cramer and Toni Cramer Orgler, to emigrate to Palestine. Elsbeth Cramer was killed by the Nazis in Chelm, Poland.[40]

With the help of business contacts cultivated by himself and his brother Ernest, Hans Cramer succeeded in establishing himself in New York City where his firms were known as H.S. Cramer & Co, exporter, importer and commission merchant and H.S.C. Trading Company, Agricultural Products.[41] Hans was a member of the New York Produce Exchange among other associations.[42]

Cramer’s financial success in the United States was solid. In a relatively short time, by 1939, the Cramer Family lived in Manhattan (1200 Fifth Avenue) and employed a maid, Ellen Fox from Ireland. Hans Cramer’s export/import businesses, H.S. Cramer & Co. and H.S.C. Trading Company were located at 2 Broadway.[43] In 1941, H.S. Cramer & Co. did $5,500,000 (about $81.4 million in 2010 USD) of import and export business and Cramer’s personal income was $7,500 ($111,000 in 2010 USD).[44]

Cramer Sachs wrote in her memoir that, “My father always liked the wide horizons of America. He had felt that on that continent, untroubled of the echo of the murmur of history through thousands of years, a nation surged forward, un-handicapped by its past, strong, healthy, optimistic, promising.”[45] It is Hans Cramer’s business savvy, work ethic, and perseverance that allowed the family to immigrate to the United States with relative financial ease and begin a new life.

Haus Cramer

Circa 1909-1910, Hans and Gertrud Cramer commissioned “Haus Cramer,” a villa, completed in 1912 by German architect Adam Gottlieb Hermann Muthesius (1861-1927). Prior to building their home, the Cramer family lived in an apartment at Brückenallee 10 in Berlin from 1903 to 1913. Haus Cramer would become a focal point for the family around which their lives (and later, fond memories) would revolve. Muthesius was known for promoting the English Arts and Crafts Movement and his main concern was with domestic architecture. His early domestic buildings were erected for wealthy clients in Berlin between 1905 and 1912.[46] Muthesius promoted the comfort, the simplicity, and the connection between house and garden which he had observed in England.[47]

Haus Cramer was built of gray limestone and located at Pacelliallee 18/20 (formerly Cecilienallee 18/20) at the corner alley of Im Dol parks and gardens with a total acreage of 40,000 sq. feet with buildings covering 4,000 sq. feet. The remainder of the estate included gardens (rose and fruit), lawns, a tennis court, and a chicken yard. With ample room for the family, the house also contained apartments for a gardener or chauffeur, servants’ quarters, as well as a gymnasium and dark room.[48] Cramer’s choice of Muthesius as an architect and the Dahlem neighborhood for his private home are evidence of his financial stability and status in Berlin. The house symbolized success and was a source of great pride and happiness to those who lived there. Cramer Sachs wrote in 1929, “My parents built it with great care and love, and it carried, if invisible, an inscription to: Aux Enfants. Everything to delight children, from a fully stocked playroom, to an indoor and open air gymnasium was thought of.”[49]

Haus Cramer fell into disrepair during World War II and was later partially destroyed by a gas explosion in the 1950s. After World War II, Hans Cramer waged a long battle to gain restitution from the government of Germany for his lost property.[50] Ultimately the City of Berlin provided funds to reconstruct Haus Cramer and restore the gardens. Julius Posener, a noted German architectural historian, intervened in the 1970s and petitioned the city to reconstruct the house for use by Stanford University which eventually purchased the home in 2000 from the City of Berlin for their Stanford in Berlin program.[51] Cramer Sachs retained fond memories of her childhood house and extensive grounds in Dahlem throughout her life, even crediting its wine cellar—unusual in that it provided separate, climate-controlled environments for red and white wines—as the inspiration for her successful line of custom-built, vibration-free wine storage units that would later make Cramer Products Company a household name among wine connoisseurs.

Founding of Cramer Products Company and Joy Prepared Mixes

Like the career of many women in the postwar period, Charlotte’s inventing and business building began in the home on a small scale. With financial assistance from her father, Charlotte developed Joy Prepared Mixes under the name of Cramer Products Company, marking the beginning of a successful career in inventing. Her Joy Prepared Early American Muffin Mix first appeared in 1941.[52]

Spurred by the onset of her daughter Eleanor’s diabetes and a need to help her manage her health, Cramer enrolled in dietary courses at the New York Institute of Dietetics in 1940 at the age of thirty-three. The school, founded in 1935,[53] offered a one-year, intensive dietitian course along with nutrition science, the basics of food preparation, and menu planning that qualified students for positions in hotels, schools, food manufacturing, and steamships. Advertisements for the school noted that age was no obstacle.[54]

At the New York Institute of Dietetics, Charlotte learned more about food preparation and with knowledge gained from her coursework was able to create prepared cake mixes. She had always enjoyed baking and, at the insistence of friends, created a batch of ingredients for a cake. “Then I’ll add the liquid,” said the friend, and “bake a cake when I please.”[55] When asked how much the pre-mixed ingredients cost, Charlotte began to think about establishing a business to sell her cake mix. Beginning small and modestly, she purchased a food mixer and began experimenting and measuring ingredients at home that would “stand up” to consumers and the competition. “It took quite some time before something worthwhile emerged from my testing.”[56]

In April 1943, Charlotte and her father Hans (lessee) co-signed a property lease made by the City Bank Farmers Trust Company (lessor) for Cramer Products Company located at 305 East 47th Street in New York City.[57] Charlotte wrote in 1950 to a prospective business partner that “During 1944 the partnership was dissolved, and this explains the ‘short’ year.”[58] One can infer that Cramer Products Company was no longer financially backed by Hans Cramer and by 1950 Charlotte was seeking other partners/investors. The financial assistance her father provided propelled Charlotte and allowed her to flourish as a business entrepreneur and inventor in later years. Charlotte brought great energy to her work and felt a strong need to help and improve. Her business interests were not financially motivated, but rather altruistic, to make an impact on others’ lives and for the “joy” of creating. The name Joy Products was chosen to express Charlotte’s delight in creativity.

Through Cramer Products Company, Charlotte helped working women, especially during wartime, save time in the kitchen with her prepared mixes. Being savvy, she also recognized women’s increasing importance as consumers. By 1944, she had moved her operation out of the home and was manufacturing prepared mixes on a larger scale at 76 Varick Street, New York City.[59] She had a talent for organizing and identifying individuals who could assist her in her creative pursuits, which were many and varied. Her pursuit of learning and her intellectual curiosity continued throughout her life and Cramer Sachs worked daily until her death in 2004.

Prepared cake mixes had been readily available to homemakers since the early 1930s. P. Duff and Sons cake mixes were the first to appear, starting with gingerbread in 1931. Other manufacturers soon followed, more than two hundred of them by 1947, but most of these rudimentary products were distributed only regionally.[60] Prepared baking mixes are “ready-to-use preparations with flour bases; some of them requiring only the addition of liquid, while others need eggs or shortening before baking.”[61] Wartime shortages of certain food items—namely butter and sugar—affected the cake mix industry favorably. Women working outside of the home during the war and the postwar years demanded more prepared mixes to respond to their busy lives. By the late 1950s, baking mixes of all sorts had a permanent place in the American pantry.[62]

Some of the earliest marketing and testing conducted by Cramer Products Company involved a direct mailing effort in August of 1947 to women in Mt. Vernon, New York, and Englewood, New Jersey, to solicit responses from three yes/no questions. By offering a free Joy cake mix, Charlotte was asking for a “frank reaction from typical American families.”[63] This feedback informed her about the need for the product, and how to improve its quality. Cramer describes a laboratory and testing kitchen for Joy cake and muffin mixes using a method called “Nutromics.” A phrase coined by Charlotte, “Nutromics” was a method that combined the most advanced knowledge of nutrition with the good parts of the old established system of home economics. This method, she noted, would be universally and rapidly accepted.[64]

Once the testing of ingredients and customer interest was completed, Charlotte turned her attention to the advertising and marketing of her product within the New York metropolitan area, although she did acknowledge the desire to gain representation in areas beyond two hundred and fifty miles of New York.[65] Sometime in the late 1940s, Cramer Products Company began referring to itself through its letterhead as “Food Manufacturers and Packers.”[66] This tagline for the company name reinforced their work with food and in 1946 Cramer founded Cramer Overseas, Inc. to distribute her products.[67] Charlotte credited the New York State Department of Commerce’s Woman’s Program for providing her encouragement and assistance.[68] The Women’s Program and Women’s Council were developed in 1945 under New York Governor Thomas Dewey to encourage and assist would-be female business owners in launching independent enterprises.[69] Cramer took advantage of the clinics offered by the Women’s Program which included displays of products or services women might develop into businesses, with a weighty emphasis on home-baked goods.[70] Books and pamphlets were also made available, and counsel on how to expand one’s business. Cramer’s company fell under the category of “the professional class” within the Woman’s Program. This described women whose businesses advanced beyond the home.[71] Charlotte had financial backing, a topic the Woman’s Program did not address, but rather focused on the advantages of commercializing domestic skills.[72]

Cramer touted that her Joy Products contained “No artificial coloring. Only the best ingredients are used. Rich in natural vitamins, not only enriched by using synthetic treated flours, in Joy muffins only grain of the highest test value is used which is thoroughly cleaned and washed before being milled by the old stone grinding method in a century old mill, operated by water power as by our forefathers, so as to preserve and retain all the essential vitamins as nature gave them.”[73] She boasted that her mixes were a “homemade” product which would win the praise of all. In developing the mixes, she was aware of the practical, economic, and healthful aspects that the product should embody. She promoted Joy products as saving time and avoiding waste, work, and space. The mixes were ideal to keep on the pantry shelf, to be used at a moment’s notice by a housewife or working mother. In 1941, Joy Prepared Early American mixes were awarded first prize in Atlantic City as the best product by the National Woman’s Farm and Garden Association.[74] Another award acknowledging her work was the American Family Heritage Award granted by the Free Enterprise Awards Association in 1952 for achieving success despite adversity through industry, sacrifice and ethics.[75] Cramer was also included in the Who’s Who of U.S. Executives, 1990.[76]

Taking her baking talents and transforming them financially as well as learning how to advertise and market her small company held challenges. Cramer ran her company alone, controlling her own business decisions, but she sought input from individuals who could help her on targeted issues such as marketing and advertising.[77] Cramer used a variety of advertising agencies and individuals to help craft her message. In 1944, she enlisted the advertising agency of Needham & Groham, Inc. to help launch a newspaper advertising campaign. Advertisements for Joy Prepared Mixes appeared in Chain Store Age, the Florida Times Union, the Industrial Press Service, the San Francisco Progress, House Beautiful, and the Grand Rapids Press Retailers Bulletin.[78] This advertising campaign promoted Joy Products outside the metropolitan New York area.

Cramer named Richard C. Staelin as the sales manager in September 1946.[79] Formerly an assistant to the president of Grocery Store Products Company, Staelin helped Cramer repackage the “Joy” product line—popovers, muffins, and cake mixes—for wider appeal. Looking to meet the trend in self-service grocery Charlotte invested heavily in this effort and with the help of package/industrial designer James “Jim” H. Nash (1893-1960), created a package with appeal and dimensional value. Nash promoted the great value of the package design for both direct and cross advertising.[80]

Staelin noted that, “We wanted the finest packages we could obtain, a package with quality, appeal, and tremendous display value. This we are now confident we have accomplished, with packages that will mean an enormous sales increase wherever they are displayed.”[81] The Joy product line was sold for between $.20 and $.23 per package in 1944 (roughly $2.73 in 2010 USD).[82] Mixes were available at several department stores, B. Altman and Company (New York City), Gimbel Brothers (New York City); William Hengerer (Buffalo, New York); John Wanamaker (New York, New York); Farm and Garden Shop (Rockefeller Plaza, New York, New York); and Bloomingdales (New York, New York). A 1945 product display in a store in Jacksonville, Florida shows Joy Prepared Mixes being advertised and stocked alongside Duff’s Waffle Mix, Curtiss Muffin Mix, Pillsbury Pancake Mix, and Clabber Girl and Armand Hammer baking soda.[83]

Cramer understood the value and power of radio advertising. In 1947, Joy Prepared Cake Mixes sponsored the “Cinderella Weekend” on WCUA in Philadelphia. Using the specialty food broker, Dunnie Shewell, she positioned her product within the popular quiz show, and in effect reached tens of thousands of listeners.[84] Free “get acquainted” coupons were also distributed. As a clever marketing technique, Cramer created a handwritten note to potential customers, “Dear Friend,” encouraging them to purchase frosting mixes and use them widely in refreshing milk shakes or in favorite sauces. She signed her note “Joy Cramer.”[85] When a customer purchased a Joy cake mix at full price, they got one free package of Joy minute frosting. The coupons were redeemable at the Buymore Foods, Inc. in Larchmont, New York. [86] By 1948, Staelin solicited circulation reports from radio stations, including WQXR and WQXQ of the New York Times to broaden the company’s reach. Further efforts to advertise Joy Products, especially the New Yorkshire pudding mix, included a 33 1/3” record, “With Love from New York” from 1959.[87]

The extent of Cramer’s financial success with cake mixes during most of the first decade is unknown. In the early 1950s, Cramer Sachs sought a partner that could bring more capital to Joy Prepared Mixes, but she did not succeed in this endeavor. Manufacturers like General Foods, General Mills, and Pillsbury had a significant corner on the cake mix market and Joy Prepared Mixes was one of two hundred cake mixes on the market. Competing against larger corporations was difficult and eventually, Joy Prepared Mixes dissolved quietly. Charlotte began diversifying her product line which shifted to include non-food items. In 1950, certified public accountants Kurz and Kurz prepared projected monthly operating figures for the company detailing a profit of $6,150 ($55,700 in 2010 USD).[88] By 1970, Cramer Products Company net profit was $12,750.36 ($71,600 in 2010 USD).[89]

Other Inventive and Entrepreneurial Activities

In 1950, Cramer Products Company was diversifying its product line to include more than Joy Prepared Mixes. “I think of our firm as being in the business of creating new product ideas,” Cramer said.[90] A member of the Chartered Institute of American Inventors, Cramer’s interests were wide and varied and she began to create and sell new ideas such as paperboard products, games, food trays, and an infants’ bassinette called the “Cozi-Crib.” She began to patent. As early as 1940, Charlotte patented a combined key and flashlight which allowed the user to unlock locks in the dark more easily. Other inventions followed; a wedge heel shoe that could be adjusted in 1950 (U.S. Patent 2,509,423); a low cost, disposable lap tray in 1957 (U.S. Patent 2,808,191); a personal cooling device for wine in 1975 (U.S. Patent 3,885,571); and in 1995, a design patent for a cabinet (U.S. Patent D363,618). Many of Cramer’s patented ideas were not widely commercialized and distributed, such as her party platter stand of 1952, which used a record or paper plate to create a platter[91] and toy log cabin furniture for children.[92] Charlotte also sought licensing agreements to expand her product line. In 1954, she began the (unsuccessful) process of licensing and selling an orthodontic device for infants (U.S. Patent 2,520,773) from Dr. Adolf Wilhelm Mueller in Germany.[93]

The personal cooling device for wine storage occupied most of Cramer’s inventive efforts from the 1960s until her death in 2004. Fond memories of visits with her father to the wine cellar at Haus Cramer, coupled with searching for a way to cool her own wine at an appropriate temperature using a portable, electric air-cooled wine cellar inspired Cramer Sachs to invent. Writing in 1978, Cramer Sachs said, “When I was a little girl, my parents had two wine cellars-one for red and one for white. Naturally I thought everybody did. You can imagine my surprise when years later, I saw friends storing excellent wines in the closet. It was then that I decided I must create the perfect environment for the protection and maturation of wines.”[94] Although she hardly drank wine herself, she created six products for the wine connoisseur under the name Cramanna: the wine wheel, the modern wine cellar, a suspension rack, wine log book, bottle ring, and tipsy table. Additional products that she marketed included the cool kit, cool safe, the lucky fountain on wheels and other unusual products.[95] In 1985, Cramer Products became a distributor for the Forster Longfresh, a Swiss precision unit once again demonstrating Cramer’s ability to diversify her product line and work with others in related fields. Her enthusiasm for wine would culminate in the development and eventual dissolution (1982-1993) of The Wine Museum of New York.[96]

Charlotte loved animals, especially dogs which she had as pets since childhood in Berlin. She invented several pet accessories in the early 1950s, including: “Watch-Dog,” a dog collar with a time piece (1953); “Bonnie Stand,” a holder fashioned to accommodate disposable food bowls (1954); and “Guidog,” an early version of a retractable dog leash (1953).

Charlotte’s interests outside of Cramer Products Company were eclectic and allowed her to create and explore other passions, especially art. Known in the art world as “Charlo,” she was also an accomplished artist, creating tiles, sculptures, collages, paintings and Chinese calligraphy for friends and family. Her apartment on Fifth Avenue contained a small kiln for firing items and she used found objects to incorporate into her art. In 1956, Charlotte exhibited “The Magic World of Charlo” at the Shuster Gallery in Manhattan and in 1961, she showed “Unusual Pieces of Art” at the Crespi Gallery. In 1970, one of Charlo’s wall hangings, “People” was accepted by President Richard Nixon.[97] Her love of music began with piano lessons in Berlin and was expressed later in her own creations (compositions and games). In 1961, she created Domi-Notes, a game that taught children how to read musical notes and frequently used chords and in 1969, “Musicards,” a major chords game.[98] Charlotte and Alexander Sachs frequented the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, attending musical programs and in 1978, Charlotte donated two sculptures, “Burning Bush” and “Omega” to the Cathedral’s Museum of Religious Art. Even her specialty wine cabinets would expand to include musical instruments, such as the well-tempered cabinet for musical instruments. Other pursuits included the establishment of the Crambruck Press, circa 1964 and later, the Crambruck Foundation. Combining the family names of Cramer and Bruck, Cramer Sachs used the press as an outlet for her grief through songs and poetry (“Returning to Dahlem,” 1957; “For My Home and Country,” 1969; and “A Salute to Berlin,” 1977) and the Crambruck Foundation supported the Poetry in Haus Cramer series in the late 1990s.


Charlotte Cramer Sachs’s inventive and entrepreneurial life spanned nearly the entire twentieth century, two continents, and involved the world of commerce, invention, music, poetry, and art. She was a woman who overcame the burdens of divorce and single parenthood, the loss of her homeland (and family home), the death of her only child, the special difficulties of being an independent inventor during a period of strong corporate research and development, and the challenges of being a woman launching a new business in a new country during the postwar period. Her father’s business, H.S. Cramer & Co., enabled an easier immigration path for his family and provided a foundation for Charlotte to build a successful company that allowed her to express her creative talents in many forms. Charlotte’s inventive work provided her great satisfaction and was intellectually stimulating. Knowing she could make a difference and improve upon something was her true motivation. Cramer Sachs remarked in 1961, “Once you get started working, chances are you‘ll get involved in something interesting. And it’s like opening another window in your life when you become involved in something creative and new.”[99]


[1] The author gratefully acknowledges the generous assistance of Lilian M. C. Randall, niece of Charlotte Cramer Sachs, with research for this project.

[2] Lilian M. C. Randall, “Carpe Diem and Haus Cramer,” paper, Stanford University Symposium, Berlin, November 30, 2012. Charlotte Cramer Sachs’s formal education ended at age sixteen, but she was a life-long learner. She graduated from the New York Institute of Dietetics (1940); earned a certificate from New York University, Division of General Education for completing the Schillinger System of musical composition (1960), and a certificate for a Contemporary Poetry Workshop, New England Poets’ Conference (1980).

[3] “Mt. Holyoke Staff Saddened by Death of Cramer in Crash,” Boston Globe, September 5, 1954, C13.

[4] Typescript memoir of Charlotte Cramer, private collection, 98. Charlotte’s memoir was written from 1929 to 1935 after her marriage to Donald Samuels ended in divorce. There are two pages with entries written in 1938. The memoir is divided into three parts, Part I: Early Years, Part II: Coming of Age and Part III: Up to Now. The memoir is incomplete and contains annotation and marginalia from Charlotte and her niece, Lilian M. C. Randall. It is the only autobiographical account of Charlotte’s life from childhood to her early twenties.

[5] George Sauer, Handbook of European Commerce. What to buy and where to buy it (London: S. Low, Marston, Searle and Rivington, 1876), 163.

[6] H.S. Cramer, Grain Agent and Commission Merchant, The Weekly Modern Miller, June 9, 1900, 5.

[7] H.S. Cramer, Grain and Feed Stuffs, The Weekly Northwestern Miller, January 17, 1900, 103.

[8] Notes by Charlotte Cramer Sachs for Dr. Karen Kramer, Director, Stanford House in Berlin [1995 and 2001?]. Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Box 6, Folder 31. Charlotte writes that Ilse “Ische” Dietz (neé Schiftan) was a much loved governess who lived briefly at Haus Cramer after the family left Germany in 1933.

[9] Anton Gill, A Dance Between Flames: Berlin Between the Wars (New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 1993), 34.

[10] Gill, 89.

[11] Randall, 2012.

[12] Published in the German Magazine for Politics, Economics, Literature and Art (April – September 1902).

[13] Typescript memoir of Charlotte Cramer, Part I: Early Years, private collection, 43.

[14] Ibid, page 46-47. Charlotte’s uncle Erich Wagenitz (1876-1927) was born in Brandenburg and spent most of his life in Berlin. In 1907 he married Elisabeth Bruck (1880-1943), sister of Gertrud Bruck, Charlotte’s mother. Charlotte’s aunt and uncle were both painters and had a strong interest in and passion for the arts which they shared with her.

[15] “Paid Notice: Deaths Klopfer, Wilhelmine C,” New York Times, June 3, 2001. Wilhelmine was born June 13, 1909, in Berlin, Germany, daughter of the late and noted German Impressionist painter, Lovis Corinth and Charlotte Berend Corinth. She was an actress in a Berlin theater in the 1930’s. Wilhelmine also immigrated to the United States and she and Charlotte were in contact.

[16] Handwritten diary [Tagebuch of Lotte Cramer] of Charlotte Cramer, 1918 and 1924, from private collection. The diary contains drawings and sketches, silhouettes, lists of books, musical notes, and an immediate family history. Many of the pages are blank.

[17] Typescript memoir of Charlotte Cramer, Part I: Early Years, private collection, 16-17.

[18] Randall, 2012.

[19] Jews and Dissidents Register of Berlin, VIII HA J 01 No. 28, page 117, birth record for Anna Flato; cf. VIII HA J No. 01 49, and page 127, marriage entry for Anna Flato and Adalbert Bruck; cf. VIII HA J 01 No. 39; and page 443, birth daughter Gertrud Lea Bruck. The Bruck family were Jewish. The Jews and Dissidents Register of Berlin acted as a record of the non-Christian population.

[20] Jewish Address Book for Greater Berlin (Jüdisches Adressbuch für Gross-Berlin), 1931, 68.

[21] Telephone conversation with the author on April 29, 2012. Lilian M. C. Randall, niece of Charlotte Cramer Sachs, stated that her father, Fritz Cramer, was christened in the Lutheran Church in 1909.

[22] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.;Marriage Reports in State Department Decimal Files, 1910-1949;Record Group:59, General Records of the Department of State, 1763-2002;Series ARC ID:2555709;Series MLR Number:A1, Entry 3001;Series Box Number:525;File Number:133.

[23] Obituary for “Donald L. Samuels,” New York Times, November 3, 1948, 27. The 1940 United States Census also lists Donald L. Samuels’ occupation as a broker, Stock Exchange. See National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; passport Applications, January 2, 1906-March 1925; Collection Number: ARC identifier 583830/MLR Number A1 534; Series: M1490; roll: 2044. Samuels’ passport application lists his occupation as a merchant for the Manhattan Shirt Company and that his travel plans to Europe in 1922 were for business and health.

[24] “Wife Sues 332-Pound Broker Who Quit Diet; Alleges Cruelty, Saying He Vowed to Reduce,” New York Times, July 17, 1929, 13.

[25] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944;Series: M1972;Roll: 767, Charlotte Cramer-Samuels, Number 186014, 1931 and Petition for Citizenship, Charlotte Cramer, Number 3549438, Soundex Index to Petitions for Naturalization filed in Federal, State, and Local Courts located in New York City, 1792-1989. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Northeast Region.

[26] Typescript memoir of Charlotte Cramer, Part III: Up to Now, private collection.

[27] Alexander Sachs, Petition for Naturalization, February 27, 1919. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.;Petitions for Naturalization from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, 1897-1944;Series:M1972;Roll:173.

[28] Sachs was instrumental in bringing to President Roosevelt’s attention the potentially vast destructive power of atomic bombs. Sachs was friends with Albert Einstein and Leó Szilárd and they discussed the role the atomic bomb might have in the world. Sachs’s prior relationship with the president put him in the unique position to communicate to President Roosevelt the gravity of the situation and make the scientific material intelligible. In October of 1939, Sachs delivered a letter written by Einstein in August 1939 outlining the issues and urgency. See Peter Chapman, The Last of the Imperious Rich, Lehman Brothers, 1844-2008 (New York: Penguin Group, 2010), 113-114. See also Geoffrey T. Hellman, “A Reporter at Large, The Contemporaneous Memoranda of Dr. Sachs,” New Yorker, December 1, 1945, 73-80.

[29] National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Fifteenth Census of the United States, 1930; United States of America, Bureau of the Census T626; 2,667 rolls.

[30] Ernst Cramer emigrated on December 24, 1902, and was naturalized a citizen on February 1, 1908, in Chicago. See the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.; Soundex Index to Naturalization Petitions for the United States District and Circuit Courts, Northern District of Illinois and Immigration and Naturalization Service District 9, 1840-1950;Microfilm Serial:M1285;Microfilm Roll: 39.

[31] Kurt Borchardt, Perspectives on Modern German Economic History and Policy (Cambridge: University of Cambridge Press, 1991), 137.

[32] Saul Friedländer, Nazi Germany and the Jews: The Years of Persecution, 1933-1939 (New York: Harper Collins, 1997), 19.

[33] In a letter of September 20, 1946, Hans Cramer writes to the City of Berlin, Finance, Tax Office for Properties about the grounds and his house stating that the Haus Cramer and estate was, “Sold at auction by the Reich in June 1940 because of “Reichsfluchtsteuer” (tax on leaving the Reich) which had accrued to RM 72,491.80 (roughly $451,000 in 2010 USD). It allotted to the Victoria Insurance in Berlin for RM 180,000.” From Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Box 4, Folder 26, Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library. Unless otherwise noted, all 2010 USD values calculated by using MeasuringWorth. For conversions from Reichsmark to U.S. dollars, see (accessed August 15, 2013).

[34] Enclosure II of detailed property list, typescript by Hans Cramer, 1946, from Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Box 4, Folder 28. Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library.

[35] Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Box 4, Folder 34. Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library.

[36] Friedländer, 62. See also Werner Rosenstock, “Exodus 1933-1939: A survey of Jewish Emigration from Germany,” in: Leo Baeck Institute Yearbook 1.1 (1956), 377.

[37] Friedländer, 62.

[38] Hans and Gertrud Cramer sailed on the S.S. Washington from Southampton, England to New York, New York, December 29, 1934, to January 6, 1935. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA); Washington, D.C.;Passenger and Crew Lists of Vessels Arriving at New York, New York, 1897-1957; National Archives Microfilm Publication T715, 8892 rolls; Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

[39] Inventories for contents of house, 1933-1934, from Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Box 3, Folder 18, Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library.

[40] Central Database of Shoah Victim names, (accessed April 17, 2013). Elsbeth Cramer was deported by the Nazis to Chelm, Poland, where she was murdered. The information is based on a list of deportations from Berlin found in Gedenkbuch Berlins der jüdischen Opfer des Nationalsozialismus (Berlin: Freie Universität Berlin, Zentralinstitut für Sozialwissenschaftliche Forschung, 1995). Additional notes from 1952 found in the Haus Cramer architectural papers and records at Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, document that Elsbeth was living in a sanatorium in Berlin. After her death, Dr. Lamm of Berlin was assigned to act as a trustee of Elsbeth Cramer’s estate, as designated by the Jewish Community in Berlin. Hans Cramer was seeking “under same law to dispose of Credit [Dresdener Bank?] Elsbeth Cramer.”

[41] Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library, Box 4, Folder 27. In a note of April 28, 1953, Cramer notes that his business in H.S.C. Trading had shrunk considerably since 1954 and he was not sure where [the company] was going.

[42] The American Register of Exporters and Importers, 1946, 7. Listed under Agricultural Products are H.S. Cramer & Co., Inc. and H.S.C. Trading Company. Cramer belonged to the American Spice Trade Association, the Oil Trades Association of New York, the American Seed Association, the Tea Association of the U.S.A., the Rubber and Trade Association of New York, and the Commodity’s Exchange, Inc.

[43] New York City Telephone Directory, 1940, 228.

[44] Benjamin Abraham, Petitioner v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, respondent, Reports of Tax Court of United States, Volume 9, 1948. Abraham was a vice president and director of H.S. Cramer & Company. He petitioned the Internal Revenue Service in August 1947 about two issues: deduction of war losses sustained during 1941 in France and that H.S. Cramer & Co did not reimburse petitioner for sums of money he expended in the entertainment of the firm’s customers. The “finding of facts” notes that H.S. Cramer & Co did $5,500,000 of import and export business and it paid petitioner $28,000 as his salary.

[45] Typescript memoir of Charlotte Cramer, private collection, 85.

[46] Sonja Gunther, Julius Posener, and Dennis Sharp, Hermann Muthesius, 1861-1927 (Great Britain: Architectural Association, 1979), 2.

[47] Ibid, 4.

[48] Haus Cramer brochure, undated, from Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, Box 6, Folder 16, Columbia University, Avery Architectural & Fine Arts Library.

[49] Typescript memoir of Charlotte Cramer, private collection, 17.

[50] Also see endnote 32.In 1941 the Reich Ministry of Air became the legal proprietor of the house. After the war, “by decree of the Allied Control Council the estate was seized in favor of the American Military Government and by its order is in administration of the Finanzamt für Liegenschaften as trustee.”

[51] Stanford University, Campus Report, February 1, 1978, 13. The Stanford in Berlin Program began in 1975 in the western sector of the divided city as one of ten overseas campuses for Stanford. See Bing Overseas Studies, Stanford University, (accessed April 24, 2013).

[52] Advertisement for Joy cake and muffin mixes, 1942, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 14, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[53] History of the Star Career Academy, (accessed April 23, 2013). Star Career Academy (SCA) was founded in 1979 and is the successor to the New York Institute of Dietetics.

[54] Good Housekeeping 111.2 (August 1940), 191.

[55] Clementine Paddleford, “New Mix Reliable in Putting Pop in Popovers,” Herald Tribune, July 5, 1945.

[56] June Owen, “Food News: Expert Mixer Owner of Thriving Cake-Mix Business Was First to Develop Many Products,” New York Times, July 19, 1960.

[57] “Assignment, assumption and consent to assignment of lease,” City Bank Farmers Trust Company to Hans S. Cramer, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 2, Folder 17, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian. It is unclear if Cramer Products Company occupied an entire building or a space within the building at 305, East 47th Street, Manhattan.

[58] Letter from C.A. Cramer to A. Piza Mendes, February 27, 1950, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 2, Folder 21, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[59] Certificate of conducting business under an assumed name, September 1944, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 2, Folder 18, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian. The factory that manufactured, packed, and distributed Joy Prepared Mixes was located at 76 Varick Street in Lower Manhattan, near Canal Street and SoHo.

[60] Laura Shapiro, Something from the Oven (New York: Penguin Group, 2005), 72.

[61] “Consumer Market for Baking Mixes,” Research Department, McCall’s Magazine, February 19, 1948, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 17, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[62] Shapiro, 74.

[63] Form letter soliciting customer feedback about Joy cake mixes, August 1947, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 17, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[64] Suggested copy heads for Joy cake mixes, [1944?], from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 16, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[65] Letter from C.A. Cramer to A. Pisa Mendes, February 27, 1950, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 21, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[66] Form letter from Cramer Products, circa 1944-1953, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 15, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[67] Packaging for Cramanna, an enriched tea bread mix, 1946, from Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 14, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[68] Owen, New York Times, July 19, 1960.

[69] Michals, Debra. “Toward a New History of the Postwar Economy: Prosperity, Preparedness, and Women’s Small Business Ownership,” Business and Economic History 26.1 (Fall 1997), 45.

[70] Ibid, 48.

[71] Ibid, 50.

[72] Ibid, 51.

[73] Form letter from Cramer Products Company, circa 1944-1953, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 15, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[74] Joy cake and muffin mixes advertising leaflet, 1942, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 14, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[75] Press release, American Family Heritage Awards Given to Business Founders and Heirs, 1952, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 9, Folder 2, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[76] Plaque from Who’s Who of U.S. Executives, 1954, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 10, folder 2, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

[77] Charlotte ran her company alone, assuming sole responsibility for all of its functions. She did hire Richard C. Staelin as a sales manager in 1946, but it is unclear how long he stayed with the company and if he assisted in other ways. Office staff that helped with the manufacture and packaging of prepared mixes included Miriam, Anita B., Natalie, Shirley F., and Florence S. No formal employee records of the company exist. See the Saga of Joy, December 1944, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, folder 16, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

[78] Joy Products Scrapbook, 1944-1945, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 9, folder 5, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

[79] “Named Sales Manager of Cramer Products Co.,” New York Times, September 5, 1946, 39.

[80] James Harley “Jim” Nash was a noted package and industrial designer who owned his own industrial design engineering firm of Jim Nash Associates, Inc. He began his advertising career with the agency Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborn, Inc., and he designed for Mobil Gas, Bon Ami, Aunt Jemima Flour, McCormick Spices, and Swans Down and Duff’s cake mixes, from the Advertising News and Notes, New York Times, January 7, 1948, 42. See also Obituaries, “James H. Nash, 67, Designer, is Dead,” New York Times, March 6, 1960, 86.

[81] “Named Sales Manager of Cramer Products Co.,” New York Times, September 5, 1946, 39.

[82] Joy Products Scrapbook pages, 1944-1945, Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 9, Folder 5, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[83] Photograph of Joy Popover Mix display, Jacksonville, Florida, December 22, 1945. Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 9, Folder 6, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[84]The Cinderella Weekend premiered on August 4, 1947 on WTIC in Hartford, Connecticut. The popular quiz show selected one winner each week for the Grand Prize, a new outfit, and an all-expense paid trip to New York City which included a Broadway show, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 17, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[85] Joy Minute Frostings coupon, circa 1948, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 17, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[86]Joy Minute Frostings coupon, circa 1948. Buymore Foods, Inc. was located at 1945 Palmer Avenue, Larchmont, New York. From the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 17, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[87] “With Love from New York,” song materials, 1959-. Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 9, Folder 6, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[88] Cramer Products Company projection of monthly operating figures based on 10,000 cases, 22 days, 1 shift, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 2, Folder 20, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[89] United States Income Tax Return, Schedule C, Form 1040, Profit or Loss from Business or Profession of Cramer Products Company, 1970. Alexander Sachs papers, FDR Library and Archives, Box 420.

[90] Cramer quoted in Home Furnishings Daily, January 11, 1966, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 9, Folder 6, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[91] Party platter stand example, 1952, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 11, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[92] Joy Originals product literature, January 11, 1957, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 3, Folder 9, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian. The log cabin furniture was distributed under the name Joy Originals, a division of Cramer Products Company which did industrial design and product development. Other Joy Original products included the “Watch Dog.”

[93] Exclusive license agreement, Cramer Products Company, Incorporated and Dr. A.W. Mueller, 1954, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 2, Folder 23, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[94] “Introducing the 1978 Wine Steward,” from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 6, Folder 1, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[95] “For the wine buff,” advertisement, 1970, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 5, Folder 23, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[96] The Wine Museum was designed to be a non-profit cultural and educational organization and resource center on all aspects pertaining to wine. A provisional charter for the Wine Museum was granted by the University of the State of New York on March 26, 1982. The museum was dissolved in 1993. From the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 6, Folder 8, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[97] Letter from Robert G. Nauman Shuster, January 24, 1970, and letter from Richard Nixon, March 16, 1970, from private collection.

[98] Domi-Notes flyer, circa 1961, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 5, Folders 6 and 7, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

[99] Roberta Fleming Roesch, “Housewife Finds Time For Two Careers,” King Features Syndicate (KFS), July 3, 1961, from the Charlotte Cramer Sachs papers, Box 1, Folder 3, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian.

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Article Title Charlotte Cramer Sachs
  • Coverage 1907-2004
  • Author
  • Website Name Immigrant Entrepreneurship
  • URL
  • Access Date May 26, 2024
  • Publisher German Historical Institute
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 22, 2018