Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild Scholarship Certificate

This is the scholarship certificate presented to Harvey E. Whitman as an award for his 1948 model car entry into the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild. Harvey’s model (object number 1987.0049.04) won the first place national scholarship in the competition’s senior division, and was awarded a $4,000 scholarship. The certificate reads, “To all persons to whom these presents may come, Greeting. Be it known that Harvey E. Whitman has built a model motor car of his own design which in the opinion of the Honorary Board of Judges of the Guild deserves an award as notably superior in craftsmanship. Therefore, the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild confers upon him a Four Thousand Dollar University Scholarship. In witness whereof, we have caused this certificate to be signed by the Officers of the Guild, and our official Guild Seal affixed in the City of Detroit, on the twenty fourth day of August in the year of our lord, one thousand nine hundred and forty eight.”
From 1930 until 1968, the Fisher Body Division of General Motors sponsored the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild and its annual model-building competition. For the first seven years of the contest, the young men in the Guild built models of a Napoleonic carriage (the Fisher Body logo) to show their high precision skills in craftsmanship. In 1937 the contest expanded to include model automobiles, which became a source of inspiration for new GM automobiles. By 1948 model cars became the only accepted entry for the contest. Winning car models were both practical and stylish original designs made with superior craftsmanship on an exacting 1/12th scale. For General Motors, the competition was a major public relations success while also serving as a type of design aptitude test for the entrants. For the young men of the Guild, the contest was a chance to win scholarships, cash prizes, and an once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses paid trip to Detroit for the regional winners. Designs featured in these models would often presage production automobiles, as many winners went on to work for General Motors or other automotive companies as designers.
Currently not on view
Object Name
certificate, scholarship
associated institution
Fisher Body Craftman's Guild
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
See more items in
Work and Industry: Transportation, Road
Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center

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