The Mandarin letterhead and envelope


Off-white letter and envelope with red lettering. On the upper left-hand corner of the envelope reads in red letters “The Mandarin 2209 Polk Street, San Francisco.” On the white letterhead, in the upper right hand corner of the letter spears a symbol, the name of the restaurant and an address. The symbol is of a woman in Chinese dress wear outlined in gold and underneath it in red letters reads “The Mandarin” and finally an address below “2209 Polk St., San Francisco GR 4-5438” in gold letters.

A letterhead is the heading at the top of a piece of stationary, usually signaling the name and contact information of the company. An envelope is the packaging stationery that encloses the letterhead. The letterhead was first known as “letter paper” in the late 19th century. In the beginning of the 20th century, letterheads were customized to fit typewriters. By the 1940s, many companies began to place their logos on letterhead.

The Smithsonian holds several letterheads and envelopes from different locations of Mrs. Cecilia Chiang’s restaurant, The Mandarin. The letters and envelope signal a formal business culture and the reliance of correspondence through the post office. These letterhead and envelopes certainly take us back to a time before computers and the internet.

Date Made: 1960s

Location: Currently not on view

See more items in: Work and Industry: Asian Pacific American Business, Food


Exhibition Location:

Credit Line: Gift from Cecilia Chang

Data Source: National Museum of American History

Id Number: 2013.0127.05aAccession Number: 2013.0127Catalog Number: 2013.0127.05a

Object Name: letterhead and envelope

Physical Description: paper (overall material)Measurements: letterhead: 10 1/2 in x 7 1/4 in; 26.67 cm x 18.415 cmenvelope: 4 7/8 in x 7 1/2 in; 12.4206 cm x 19.05 cm


Record Id: nmah_1444315

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