The Bradley, Graham & Hamby Advertising and Public Relations Agency of Columbia was unique at its time. Its three partners were women who gained success in what was then a male-dominated profession. During a period of over twenty years, Jane Bradley, Cora Graham, and Dolly Hamby served a broad range of clients and gained particular recognition for their success in managing and promoting political campaigns. These campaigns ranged from local to statewide to regional contests and included those of Barry Goldwater (1964), Ernest F. Hollings (1958 and 1968), Robert E. McNair (1966), Donald S. Russell (1962), South Carolinians for Eisenhower (1952), and Strom Thurmond (1954 and 1964).
Typical of the accolades the firm received was this from Strom Thurmond, 2 December 1954, following his successful 1954 write-in campaign for the U.S. Senate-"Realizing what an outstanding job you did of handling the newspaper, radio and television advertising of my campaign, I find words are inadequate to properly express my sincere appreciation. You keenly analyzed the advertising needs of the campaign, systematically and efficiently laid the groundwork for the most effective presentation possible, and spent long hours carefully implementing the program." Similarly, B.H. Kline of Kline Iron and Metal Co. wrote on 29 November 1954-"In the three and a half years your firm has handled our advertising, we have had the soundest advertising program in our history. Your conscientious and well thought out plans for our program, the exact and careful execution of this program, and the splendid service you've given us have meant much to our progress."
The Hamby papers are comprised chiefly of the records of the firm. Lottie "Dolly" Derieux Hamby (1918-2001) was born in Columbia to Theodotus Capers and Lottie Derieux Hamby. She graduated from Columbia's University High School and earned an A.B. degree in French and English in 1938 from the University of South Carolina. She then completed some graduate work in French at her alma mater.
During the 1940s Miss Hamby worked as a secretary and a free-lance artist. In 1949 she went to work at Cox Advertising Agency. In April 1951 Hamby co-founded the Bradley, Graham & Hamby Advertising and Public Relations Agency, Inc., with Cora Doten Graham (d. 1986) and Jane H. Bradley. They based the firm in Columbia. Miss Hamby holds the distinction of being the first South Carolinian to be inducted into the "Foremost Women in Communications in America."
The papers, dating primarily from 1954 to 1974, consist of six linear feet of material arranged into five series-general, clients, clippings, audio-visual, and oversize. General papers consist chiefly of correspondence with clients including James F. Byrnes, Robert McNair, and Strom Thurmond. The series also includes speech notes and biographical and agency information.
The clients series constitutes the bulk of the collection. In addition to political clients, the firm handled the All-American City Celebrations for Columbia and Florence, Kline Iron and Steel Co., the 1972 minibottle campaign, the Palmetto Outdoor Historical Drama, the Southern Governor's Conference, and the Tricentennial Commission. The firm's involvement in the controversy with Badische Anilin und Sodafabrik (BASF) is the most well-documented account. The firm represented opponents of the proposed construction by BASF of a plant in Beaufort County that would manufacture dyes, plastics and petro-based products. Citizens groups, concerned over the potential environmental impact of the plant, began to form in opposition to BASF in late 1969. South Carolinians for a Better Environment, South Carolina Environmental Action, Inc., and the Citizens Association of Beaufort County are the three main groups documented in this collection for their opposition to BASF. According to "Fight With A Giant: A thumbnail synopsis of the BASF controversy," the firm worked to "outline and guide its [the groups'] efforts to inform the public of the threat posed by the proposed location of BASF in estuarine waters" (8 February 1972). Since the agency worked with several citizens groups on this issue, their records for each organization overlap.
Audiovisual materials include a sizable number of photographs and slides, a smaller number of negatives, and four radio spots from the 1972 minibottle campaign.