What does a round puzzle of a bowl of popcorn have to do with Herman Wolf? What about an assortment of brightly colored shapes?
We’re not sure. Herman Wolf’s earlier years were filled with membership in the Socialist Party and government employment. During the second World War, Wolf’s governmental employment was extensive. He directed labor-public relations for the British Mangement-Labor Commission, wrote a war handbook entitled Labor Defends America, and directed a staff for the War Production Board, which supplied war plant Labor-Management Production Committees with ideas and materials for impoving efficiency. After the war, Wolf spent two years as Director of the Fuller House, Inc. of Wichita, Kansas, a corporation created to promote the building of R. Buckminster Fuller’s Dymaxion Dwelling Machine (the Fuller House). In 1946, he moved to Connecticut and began Herman Wolf Associates, a public relations firm. He was involved in politics, serving as chief campaign aide in the successful campaigns of Abe Ribicoff, John Dempsy and Ella Grasso.
In 1972, Wolf closed down his public relations firm for a brief time to become Executive Vice President of the Design Science Institute of Washington D.C., a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing the philosophy and works of R. Buckminster Fuller.
These puzzles are a part of his collection, and could be public relations pieces, architectural designs, or maybe just a hobby. I think they are examples used for the war plant committees of how a staff spending time doing puzzles can be inefficient (thanks Megan and Dan!) For more information on Herman Wolf, please see his online finding aid.