Louis S. Meyer papers, 1973-1986
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Brief Description:

The Louis S. Meyer papers reflect the varied consumer interests and activities Louis S. Meyer participated in from 1969-1986. His involvement in the consumer movement began as a successful businessman. With a degree in political science, he pursued a political life as a state campaign coordinator and became an expert in government and community interrelationships. With this latter expertise, Meyer became the consumer advisor and moderator for conferences held on the deregulation of the telecommunications industry.

This collection is organized into four series; 1) legislative and consumer issues, 2) organizational files of the conference of Consumer Organizations (COCO), 3) the relationship between COCO and the telecommunication industry, primarily with the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) and, 4) audio visual material.

The first series of the collection demonstrates Meyer's concern with various consumer and legislative issues, such as medical malpractice reports, health and nutrition pamphlets, transcribed lectures on children's television advertising, pamphlets on the national use of the metric system and the Universal Product Code for pricing. His interest in rural and utility legislation led to a close contact with Senator Lee Metcalf of Montana who pursued such legislative acts as the Family Farm Development Act, the National Electrical Energy Conservation Act and the Consumer Representation Plan of 1975-1976. This close contact is seen by the correspondence in the series with the Senator and the numerous Congressional Records found in the collection. In 1975, Meyer became an active member of COCO and later held numerous administrative positions with the organization.

The second series contain organizational files from COCO which includes annual and financial reports, memberships lists, and minutes from the Steering Committee from 1976-1985. In this series, there is extensive conference material the donor collected and filed in notebooks. The conference material has been removed from the notebooks and filed in folders and boxes according to its original order.

The third series contains the bulk of the collection and documents the important role COCO and Meyer played in advising AT&T on consumer/community relations during the deregulation of 1979-1986. This series is divided into five sub-series; 1) conferences on deregulation, 2) Joint Consumer Advisory Panel Meetings, 3) reports and transcribed lectures concerning telecommunications, 4) information from other telecommunications companies, 5) judicial information and government documents. Community impact conferences were held on deregulation throughout the United States in 1982-1983. Meyer monitored the conferences and compiled material from each of these conferences. This material has been kept intact and is largely made up of pamphlets, agendas and reports. COCO and AT&T organized a Joint Consumer Advisory Panel in 1975 which met on a regular basis until 1985. All correspondence, minutes and agendas have been placed in chronological order and maintained as Meyer had compiled it. The collection contains numerous reports and transcribed lectures on telecommunication legislation and deregulation from 1979-1986. The processor placed these within the third sub-series due to related content. COCO advised other telecommunication companies.

The fourth sub-series documents the advisory meetings between companies including ATTIX, NACAA, and API, Southern New England Telephone and PCC from 1980-1984. The agendas and minutes of these meetings are within this sub-series. The final sub-series contains various judicial and government documents. The judicial information describes court cases of Western Electric (1982) and the New England Telephone and Telegraph (1983). There are Federal Communication Commission hearings concerning different telecommunication topics such as customer equipment and services, AT&T regulation of domestic and interstate services, and the MTS and WATS structure inquiry. This sub-series also contains legislative acts and bills including the Communications Act of 1978, Telecommunications/ Deregulations Act of 1981 and 1982 with their respective amendments, the Disabled Act of 1982 and various unnamed bills H.R. 13015, H.R. 4102 and 4103, H.R. 5421 and H.R. 6121.

The fourth series is audio visual material and contains recordings of audio and video cassettes. The audio cassettes are 60- and 90- minute tapes of various speakers at the Food and Education Conference (1974), Erie Consumer Credit (1976), COCO Internship Conference (1976), Utility and Energy Conference (1976), the Legislative and Regulatory Process Workshops (1976), and the Consumer Protection Conference (1977). There are also recorded lectures by Meyer on subjects such as the future of rural America, the food industry and consumer protection. The video cassettes' are primarily concerned with the telecommunications industry. Some deal with public relations, others are recorded interviews, still others are speakers at a utility conference. A 30 minute 16mm film, produced by COCO, called "Keeping Up With Technology" is also found in this series.

Held at:
Morse Department of Special Collections
Email: libsc [at] ksu.edu
Created by: Meyer, Louis S. (1925-2003)
Volume: 36.0 Linear Feet
Acquired: 01/01/1988.
Arrangement: The papers are contained in fourteen document boxes (6.10 linear feet) and span the years 1973-1986. The collection contains correspondence, reports, minutes, lectures, legal and financial documents, government documents, printed conference material, newspaper clippings and audio visual material. The papers are organized in the following series; 1) legislative and consumer issues, 2) Conference of Consumer Organizations (COCO) and, 3) COCO and the telecommunication industry. A fourth series contains audiovisual material including audio cassettes of various conference lectures and video cassettes of telecommunications information. This series comprises an additional 6 linear feet of material.
Biographical Note for Meyer, Louis S. (1925-2003) :

Louis S. Meyer was born in Erie, Pennsylvania in 1925.  He served in the United States Coast Guard from 1943 to 1946.  In 1949, Meyer earned a B.A. degree from Alleghney College, PA.  From 1949 to 1956 he worked as Department Manager and Buyer for P.A. Meyer and Sons in Erie, PA.

In 1958, Meyer married Kay Elsie Lawrence. From 1958 to 1959, he served on the Board of Directors, Greater Erie Industrial Development Corporation.  Meyer was a graduate assistant in the Political Science Department, Arizona State University from 1960 to 1961.  He became a research assistant with the Bureau of Government Research at Arizona State University in 1961 and worked there until he graduated with a M. A. degree in 1962.

Meyer joined the faculty at University of Arizona in 1963 and served as faculty at AFL-CIO Labor School in Arizona from 1963 until 1964. In 1964, he earned a Ph.D. degree from University of Arizona.  He became Assistant Professor at Arizona State University in 1964 and served in that capacity until 1965 when he became the Administrative Assistant to Governor Samuel Goddard of Arizona.  In 1966, Meyer accepted a position as Assistant Professor at the University of Wyoming.  Meyer became State Coordinator, Shields for Governor in Arizona in 1968.

In 1968, Meyer accepted a position as Professor at Edinboro State College in Pennsylvania. While at Edinboro State College he worked as Director of the Bureau of Government Services (1970-1973) and Director of the Institute for Community Services (1974-1983).  During his tenure at Edinboro, Meyer served as a member of the National Joint Panel Conference of Consumer Organizations and Direct Selling Association (1975-1977), as member and chairman of National Joint Panel, Conference of Consumer Organizations (COCO) and American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) (1975-1985), as chairman of the National Steering Committee of COCO (1977-1985), as member and chairman of Consumer Advisory Council Pennsylvania Power and Light Company (1978), as member and co-chair of the Commonwealth Joint Panel, Pennsylvania Citizens Consumer Council/Bell Telephone of PA (1978), as member of the National Advertising Review Board, Council of Better Business Bureaus, Washington, D.C. (1982), and as moderator of 36 conferences on Deregulation and Divestiture of the Telecommunications Industry (1982-1983).

Meyer became Director of the Pennsylvania Institute for Community Services in Edinboro, PA in 1983 then President of the Pennsylvania Citizens Consumer Council in 1984.

Louis S. Meyer died on February 5, 2003 in Cambridge Springs, Pennsylvania.

Access Restrictions: No access restriction: All materials are open for research.
Subject Index
Consumer movement
Languages of Materials
English [eng]
Rights/Use Restrictions: The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.  The literary rights of the unpublished writings of Louis Meyer have been transferred to the University Archives of Kansas State University.  Contact the Comsumer Movement Archives curator for more information.
Physical Access Notes: Original materials available during open hours of repository and any digitized materials that are online are available with Internet access.
Technical Access Notes: Collection contains materials that are not accessible without proper technology.
Acquisition Notes: Louis S. Meyer  Donation
PreferredCitation: [Item title], [item date], Louis S. Meyer papers, Box [number], Folder [number or title], Morse Department of Special Collections, Kansas State University Libraries.