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Article
Publication date: 22 May 2019

Terrence H. Witkowski

This paper aims to present an autobiographical account on the life of Terrence H. Witkowski and his development as a marketing and consumption historian.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an autobiographical account on the life of Terrence H. Witkowski and his development as a marketing and consumption historian.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper is an autobiography and intellectual history.

Findings

The author traces his interest in history to childhood travel, to growing up in a home furnished with early American décor and to a lifelong passion for antique collecting. Historical research in marketing and consumption fit his independent personality, and has made the best use of his scholarly skill set.

Originality/value

This essay describes one person’s journey to becoming a marketing and consumption historian.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 11 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 12 November 2021

Terrence H. Witkowski

This paper aims to describe written and visual data sources useful for researching the history of advertising and marketing that are held in the collections of the…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to describe written and visual data sources useful for researching the history of advertising and marketing that are held in the collections of the McCracken Research Library at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming.

Design/methodology/approach

Knowledge of the McCracken collections has been acquired over several years of online searches and subsequent data analyses, communications with Library staff and from a personal visit to Cody in September 2021.

Findings

Several digital collections are surveyed. The Roy Marcot Firearms Advertisement Collection visually documents industry practices and also speaks to larger issues in American gun culture. The Winchester Publications provide insights via company magazines into product and management strategies, hardware retailing and visual merchandising tactics during the 1920s. The Schuyler, Hartley and Graham archive of business correspondence illustrate business-to-business marketing from the nineteenth through the early 20th century. The Buffalo Bill Collection reveals how the culturally important Wild West shows were promoted and experienced.

Originality/value

This paper familiarizes advertising and marketing historians with the primary sources in the McCracken Research Library and suggests some potential areas for study.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 21 August 2020

Terrence H. Witkowski

This study aims to present a history and critical analysis of arms and armor collecting in America from the late 19th century until the present day.

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Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to present a history and critical analysis of arms and armor collecting in America from the late 19th century until the present day.

Design/methodology/approach

The research draws from the literature on arms and armor, from primary written, visual and material evidence, and from the author’s long experience as an antique gun and sword collector.

Findings

American arms and armor collectors have included men of great wealth, museums and their curators and many enthusiasts of more modest means. Collectors, dealers and curators have created a substantial arms literature. Collectors have organized around various types of artifacts, historical periods and company brands. Dealers, auction houses and manufacturers have provisioned the market with period pieces and reproductions.

Originality/value

The history of antique arms and armor collecting is regarded as a social activity where enthusiasts have pursued “serious leisure” through consumption and brand communities. This history is further analyzed as a cultural practice wherein generations of collectors have interpreted the meaning of antique arms and armor.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 12 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2016

Terrence H. Witkowski

This paper aims to investigate the history and distribution of trade ceramics in Southeast Asia over a thousand-year period stretching from the ninth to the early…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the history and distribution of trade ceramics in Southeast Asia over a thousand-year period stretching from the ninth to the early nineteenth century CE.

Design/methodology/approach

The study takes a material culture approach to the writing of marketing history by researching the ceramics trade from the starting point of artifacts and their social context. It draws from literatures on Chinese and Southeast Asian ceramics art history and archaeology. It also is informed by first-hand experience inspecting surviving artifacts in shops, talking to dealers and taking in museum displays.

Findings

After a brief historical overview of the ceramics trade in Southeast Asia, the research further explores topics in physical distribution (transportation routes, hubs and local marketplaces and ships, cargo and packing) and product assortments, adaptation and globalization of consumer culture.

Research limitations/implications

The art history and archaeological literatures provide a good overview of the ceramics trade and analysis of surviving material artifacts, but only limited information about distribution and consumption. Many questions remain unanswered.

Originality/value

This study contributes to international business and marketing history by documenting a thousand years of trade among China, mainland and insular Southeast Asia, and a long-standing cultural exchange facilitated by seaborne commerce. It also shares a marketing perspective with the fields of Southeast Asian art history and archaeology. Research in marketing history has neglected this region. To fully understand the development of marketing in the pre-industrial era, accounts from civilizations outside the West must be included.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 20 March 2009

Terrence H. Witkowski

Through an account of the layout, operations, and four main product lines of a small Chicago bookstore between 1938 and 1947, the purpose of this paper is to show how a…

Abstract

Purpose

Through an account of the layout, operations, and four main product lines of a small Chicago bookstore between 1938 and 1947, the purpose of this paper is to show how a neighborhood retail establishment reacted to the sweeping events of the Great Depression and World War II.

Design/methodology/approach

The research is based upon multiple primary data sources including store financial records, family photographs, representative artifacts and ephemera, oral history interviews, and period retailing literature.

Findings

Located in an area of Chicago heavily populated by Polish and Jewish immigrants and their children, General Book Store was a traditional mom and pop operation. The mix of its product lines – books and magazines, model kits, greeting cards, and camera supplies and photo‐finishing – evolved over time while always connecting customers to the national experience. The store afforded its owners a modest, but upwardly mobile middle‐class life style.

Originality/value

Although much has been written on large‐scale retailing, marketing historians have conducted very little research on small‐scale retailing in the USA. This study documents the intermingling of a business and a household economy and how the management of merchandise assortments and maintenance of customer relationships depended upon both owner interests and the opportunities and constraints presented by environmental forces.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 1 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Article
Publication date: 24 May 2018

Terrence H. Witkowski

This paper aims to present a visually documented brand history of Winchester Repeating Arms through a cultural analysis of iconic Western images featuring its lever action rifles.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present a visually documented brand history of Winchester Repeating Arms through a cultural analysis of iconic Western images featuring its lever action rifles.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies visual culture perspectives and methods to the research and writing of brand history. Iconic Western images featuring Winchester rifles have been selected, examined, and used as points of departure for gathering and interpreting additional data about the brand. The primary sources consist chiefly of photographs from the nineteenth century and films and television shows from the twentieth century. Most visual source materials were obtained from the US Library of Congress, the Smithsonian Institution, the Buffalo Bill Center of the West and the Internet Movie Firearms Database. These have been augmented by written sources.

Findings

Within a few years of the launch of the Winchester brand in 1866, visual images outside company control associated its repeating rifles with the settlement of the American West and with the colorful people involved. Some of these images were reproduced in books and others sold to consumers in the form of cartes de visite, cabinet cards and stereographs made from albumen prints. Starting in the 1880s, the live Wild West shows of William F. Cody and his stars entertained audiences with a heroic narrative of the period that included numerous Winchesters. During the twentieth century and into the present, Winchesters have been featured in motion pictures and television series with Western themes.

Research limitations/implications

Historical research is an ongoing process. The discovery of new primary data, both written and visual, may lead to a revised interpretation of the selected images.

Originality/value

Based largely on images as primary data sources, this study approaches brand history from the perspective of visual culture theory and data. The research shows how brands acquire meaning not just from the companies that own them but also from consumers, the media and other producers of popular culture.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Terrence H. Witkowski, Yulong Ma and Dan Zheng

This research measured and compared the brand identity of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in China and the United States. Brand identity was defined as the customer…

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Abstract

This research measured and compared the brand identity of Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) in China and the United States. Brand identity was defined as the customer impressions of four different KFC identity elements – properties, products, presentations, and publications. A survey of young consumers in the two countries (n = 795), showed that the Chinese respondents were more apt to eat within KFC restaurants, and spend more time doing so, than the Americans. The Chinese also had much more positive impressions of KFC than their US counterparts. Brand identity impressions were correlated with overall customer satisfaction and with future patronage intentions for both groups, but much more so for the Americans. These findings support a model where differences in cultural frames of reference lead consumers to actively localize the brand identity of this nominally globalized product.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 15 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 26 October 2010

Terrence H. Witkowski

The marketing field established important institutions – college courses, teachable texts, professional associations, and regular conferences – during the first three…

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1864

Abstract

Purpose

The marketing field established important institutions – college courses, teachable texts, professional associations, and regular conferences – during the first three decades of the twentieth century, but did not fully mature as a scholarly discipline until the first specialized journals were launched in the mid‐1930s. The aim of this paper is to better understand the marketing discipline during this crucial formative period, especially the structure, presentation, and content of marketing knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

The primary sources are The American Marketing Journal and the National Marketing Review, the two predecessor journals that combined to form Journal of Marketing in 1936. They are examined for publishing data and content areas, article format and authorship, and the topics and methods constituting marketing knowledge.

Findings

The scholarship published in the first marketing journals was written by single authors who only infrequently cited other works. A wide range of topics were explored with much attention given to issues of marketing and society. Marketing writers considered their field a science and showed confidence in it despite dire environmental conditions.

Originality/value

The primary sources examined have been all but forgotten and deserve to be revisited. The research investigates not only the texts themselves, but the people who wrote them, their professional biographies and associational activities, and the larger academic and social environments of their time.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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Book part
Publication date: 11 August 2014

Terrence H. Witkowski

This chapter fosters understanding of core U.S. gun culture and how it promotes its political ideology through visual means.

Abstract

Purpose

This chapter fosters understanding of core U.S. gun culture and how it promotes its political ideology through visual means.

Methodology

The research applies key visual theory concepts to investigate a selection of political representations made by gun rights advocates. The images analyzed include photographs, posters, and other ephemera posted on blogs and commercial websites located through informed keyword searches of Google Images.

Findings

Core gun culture in the U.S. aggressively promotes its libertarian and right-wing ideology through tactics of interpellation, intertextuality, and exhibitionism, often in tandem with humor, sarcasm, paranoia, and sex appeals.

Research limitations/implications

Although the findings are preliminary, visual theories and methodologies present a promising direction for further consumer research on American gun culture.

Social implications

U.S. gun culture produces levels of gun violence that far exceed those in other developed countries. Knowledge of how the core gun culture represents itself visually may deliver insights for mitigating this social problem.

Originality

Relatively little consumer culture research has addressed U.S. gun culture and visual theories have not been fully deployed.

Details

Consumer Culture Theory
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78190-811-2

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Article
Publication date: 2 November 2012

Yuko Minowa and Terrence H. Witkowski

This study seeks to further understanding of spectator consumption practices by applying modern consumer theory in a much different historical context: the gladiator games…

Abstract

Purpose

This study seeks to further understanding of spectator consumption practices by applying modern consumer theory in a much different historical context: the gladiator games during the time of the Roman Empire. The objective is to validate modern ideas of consumption practices with evidence from the past.

Design/methodology/approach

The research draws from a sampling of classical and contemporary literatures as well as the interpretation of the images and inscriptions delineated on archaeological artifacts such as relief sculptures on sarcophagi, floor mosaics, fresco paintings, and terracotta and glass lamps. The visual content and consumption themes of selected objects are described and analyzed.

Findings

Spectators at the Roman games used these events for the sake of the experience, for integrating themselves into their community, for classifying themselves in a certain group category, and for interacting and socializing with other people. As in modern sporting events, consuming the Roman games served both instrumental and autotelic purposes for spectators. The games were directly an object of consumption as well as the focal resource of interpersonal communications.

Research limitations/implications

The set of visual data sources is small and the literary evidence is in translation of the original sources.

Originality/value

The research shows that Holt's typology of sports consumer practices is supported by evidence from a much different time and context. Thus, the theory provides a robust framework for analysing consumer practices and rituals.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 4 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

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