Finding Aid to the Ruth Teiser papers, circa 1930-1990

Finding Aid written by Lara Michels
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Finding Aid to the Ruth Teiser papers, circa 1930-1990

Collection Number: BANC MSS 98/182 c

The Bancroft Library

University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California
Finding Aid Written By:
Lara Michels
Date Completed:
November 2012
© 2012 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Ruth Teiser papers
Date (inclusive): circa 1930-1990
Collection Number: BANC MSS 98/182 c
Creators : Teiser, Ruth
Extent: Number of containers: 25 cartons, 2 boxes, 1 oversize folder (linear feet: 31.5)
Repository: The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Abstract: The papers of freelance writer and historian, Ruth Teiser, divided into three series: Winemaking in California files; Research and Writing files; and Personalia and General Correspondence.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, 94720-6000. Consent is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission from the copyright owner. Such permission must be obtained from the copyright owner. See: 
Restrictions also apply to digital representations of the original materials. Use of digital files is restricted to research and educational purposes.Materials in this collection may be protected by the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17, U.S.C.). In addition, the reproduction of some materials may be restricted by terms of University of California gift or purchase agreements, donor restrictions, privacy and publicity rights, licensing and trademarks. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.
All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley 94720-6000. See: .

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ruth Teiser papers, BANC MSS 98/182 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Alternate Forms Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Teiser, Ruth--Archives
Teiser, Sidney
Wine and wine making--California
Wine industry--California
Canning and preserving--California
Bakeries--California--San Francisco Bay Area
Printers--California--San Francisco Bay Area
Book industries and trade--California--San Francisco Bay Area
San Francisco (Calif.)--History
Harroun, Catherine

Administrative Information


No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Lara Michels in 2012.

Biographical Information

Ruth Teiser (1915-1994) was born in Portland, Oregon to attorney Sidney Teiser and Betty (Kline) Teiser. Ruth attended Mills College from 1932 to 1934 and Stanford University (where she received her B.A. and M.A.) from 1936 to 1941. She built a career as a reporter and freelance writer and photographer. Her articles, essays, and book reviews appeared in Bay Area newspapers and magazines, including Westways, Travel, Wine World, Wines and Vines, and California Living. Subject areas of particular interest to Teiser were wine in California, San Francisco history, and books and fine printing. In 1965, Teiser started a new phase in her career when she became a part-time senior editor and interviewer at the Regional Oral History Office (ROHO), Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. For ROHO, Teiser and her long-time friend and colleague Catherine Harroun, director of the Wells Fargo HIstory Room, conducted a series of interviews with local printers, publishers, hand bookbinders in the Bay Area. They also conducted many interviews for a wine oral history series. In 1976, the Book Club of California published Printing as Performance Art by Teiser and Harroun. In 1983, the pair published a history of California wine entitled Winemaking in California, which won awards of merit from the California Historical Society and the Commonwealth Club of California.

Scope and Content of Collection

Divided into three series: wine making in California files, research and writing files, and personalia and general correspondence. The wine making in California files consist of materials Teiser gathered during the course of researching and writing her book on the history of wine in California. These materials include biographical files, files on California wineries, geographical files, subject files, and some manuscripts and book production files. Teiser's research and writing files consist of manuscripts and research materials (with some photographs) from Teiser's career as a freelance writer and reporter. Topics represented in these files include canning and other food technologies; bakeries and bread; economic development and the electronics industry in Santa Clara County; printing and fine presses in Northern California; San Francisco history; and assorted others. The collection also includes a small amount of general correspondence and personalia from Ruth Teiser and her colleague and friend Catherine Harroun. Among these personal items are some materials on Sidney Teiser and family photographs.

Container List


Series 1  Winemaking in California files, circa 1940-1983

Physical Description: carton 1-12; carton 13, folder 1-16; oversize folder 1

Subseries 1.1  Biographical files, circa 1940-1983

Physical Description: Carton 1, folder 1-18

Scope and Content Note

Biographical materials about persons connected to the history of the California wine industry.


Arranged alphabetically.

Subseries 1.2  Wineries alphabetical files, circa 1940-1983

Physical Description: Carton 1, folder 19-20; carton 2-4; carton 5, folder 1-22
Carton 1, Folder 19

A, general

Carton 1, Folder 20, Carton 2, Folder 1

Allied Grape Growers

Carton 2, Folder 2-3


Carton 2, Folder 4-5

B, general

Carton 2, Folder 6-8

Buena Vista

Carton 2, Folder 9-12

C, general

Carton 2, Folder 13


Carton 2, Folder 14

Chateau St. Jean

Carton 2, Folder 15

Christain Brothers

Carton 2, Folder 16-17

Crista Blanca

Carton 2, Folder 18

D, general

Carton 2, Folder 19

E, general

Carton 2, Folder 20

F, general

Carton 3, Folder 1


Carton 3, Folder 2

Franzia Family

Carton 3, Folder 3-4

G, general

Carton 3, Folder 5-8


Carton 3, Folder 9

Geyser Peak

Carton 3, Folder 10


Carton 3, Folder 11

H, general

Carton 3, Folder 12


Carton 3, Folder 13

I-J, general

Carton 3, Folder 14-19

Italian Swiss Colony

Carton 3, Folder 20

K, general

Carton 3, Folder 21

L, general

Carton 3, Folder 22


Carton 4, Folder 1-5

M, general

Carton 4, Folder 6-8

Paul Masson

Carton 4, Folder 9

C. Mondavi (and Charles Krug)

Carton 4, Folder 10

N-O, general

Carton 4, Folder 11

National Distillers

Carton 4, Folder 12


Carton 4, Folder 13-14

P-Q, general

Carton 4, Folder 15

R, general

Carton 4, Folder 16


Carton 4, Folder 17-19, Carton 5, Folder 1

S, general

Carton 5, Folder 2

St. George Vineyard

Carton 5, Folder 3

Domain San Martin

Carton 5, Folder 4


Carton 5, Folder 5-6


Carton 5, Folder 7

Santo Tomas

Carton 5, Folder 8


Carton 5, Folder 9-11


Carton 5, Folder 12


Carton 5, Folder 13

Sutter Home/Trinchero

Carton 5, Folder 14

T, general

Carton 5, Folder 15

U-V, general

Carton 5, Folder 16


Carton 5, Folder 17


Carton 5, Folder 18

W-Z, general

Carton 5, Folder 19-22, Carton 6, Folder 1



Subseries 1.3  Geographical files, circa 1940-1983

Physical Description: Carton 6-7; oversize folder 1
Carton 6, Folder 2-3

Alameda/Contra Costa Counties

Carton 6, Folder 4

Kern County

Carton 6, Folder 5

Lake and Mendocino Counties

Carton 6, Folder 6-12

Los Angeles area

Carton 6, Folder 13-18


Carton 6, Folder 19

Orange County

Carton 6, Folder 20

San Benito County

Carton 6, Folder 21

San Diego County

Carton 6, Folder 22-24, Carton 7, Folder 1-2

San Joaquin Valley

Carton 7, Folder 3-5

San Luis Obispo

Carton 7, Folder 6

San Mateo County

Carton 7, Folder 7-8

Santa Barbara

Carton 7, Folder 9-11, Oversize Folder 1

Santa Clara/Santa Cruz County

Carton 7, Folder 12

Sierra Foothills

Carton 7, Folder 13-14

Solano/Sacramento Counties

Carton 7, Folder 15-20

Sonoma County

Carton 7, Folder 21



Subseries 1.4  Subject files, circa 1930-1983

Physical Description: Carton 8-10; Carton 11, folder 1-24
Carton 8, Folder 1-3

Statistical reports from 1970s-1990s

Carton 8, Folder 4

Federal and state records

Carton 8, Folder 5

Winery association

Carton 8, Folder 6-7

Grape Growers Directory of 1884 and 1891

Carton 8, Folder 8

Marketing orders

Carton 8, Folder 9

California State Agricultural Society transactions, 1856-1973

Carton 8, Folder 10

Examiner Series, 1889-1890

Carton 8, Folder 11

California wine exports

Carton 8, Folder 12


Carton 8, Folder 13

Federal files

Carton 8, Folder 14

Raisin industry

Carton 8, Folder 15


Carton 8, Folder 16

Prohibition wineries

Carton 8, Folder 17

Bonded wineries

Carton 8, Folder 18


Carton 8, Folder 19

Pioneer Museum, Stockton; Holt-Atherton Center

Carton 8, Folder 20

Temperance, pre-1920

Carton 8, Folder 21


Carton 8, Folder 22

California Vineyardists Association

Carton 9, Folder 1-2

California Wine Association

Carton 9, Folder 3

Pro-rate and other stablization plans for Central California wineries

Carton 9, Folder 4-5

Recent trends

Carton 9, Folder 6-13

Wine Institute

Carton 9, Folder 14-15

University of California viticulture and enology

Carton 9, Folder 16

Vintage Magazin

Carton 9, Folder 17-19

Home winemaking

Carton 9, Folder 20

Wine Museum of San Francisco

Carton 9, Folder 21

Rancho and Pueblo period

Carton 10, Folder 1-2

Mission period

Carton 10, Folder 3-5

Arpad Haraszthy

Carton 10, Folder 6

Agoston Haraszthy

Carton 10, Folder 7

Frank Schoonmaker

Carton 10, Folder 8


Carton 10, Folder 9

Gift packaging of California wines

Carton 10, Folder 10

Shipping grapes/fresh grapes

Carton 10, Folder 11


Carton 10, Folder 12

Wahrenbrock report and Shear correspondence

Carton 10, Folder 13-15

University of California Press book on wine

Carton 10, Folder 16

Prohibition statistics

Carton 10, Folder 17

Woodrow Wilson and prohibition

Carton 10, Folder 18

Sacramental wines

Carton 10, Folder 19-31

Chronological materials, 1919-1980

Carton 11, Folder 1

Recent growth/economic

Carton 11, Folder 2


Carton 11, Folder 3

County production, grapes by type (1930, 1950)

Carton 11, Folder 4

Miscellaneous to 1982

Carton 11, Folder 5


Carton 11, Folder 6

California Wine history, for seminar

Carton 11, Folder 7

Winery and vineyard equipment

Carton 11, Folder 8

Flor Sherry, Rietz, Cella Grape Juice

Carton 11, Folder 9

William Keith

Carton 11, Folder 10


Carton 11, Folder 11

Wentz, Roby (photos)

Carton 11, Folder 12-13

Villa Banfi

Carton 11, Folder 14


Carton 11, Folder 15


Carton 11, Folder 16-17

Dr. W.V. Cruess

Carton 11, Folder 18-20

State Viticulture Commission

Carton 11, Folder 21

Wine in California--chronology

Carton 11, Folder 22

Wine, Panama Pacific International Exposition

Carton 11, Folder 23

Italian Vineyard Company

Carton 11, Folder 24

The Wasp


Subseries 1.5  Book production files, circa 1980-1983

Physical Description: Carton 11, folder 25-29; carton 12; carton 13, folder 1-16

Scope and Content Note

Manuscript chapters of Winemaking in California (carton 11-12) as well as a range of book production files (carton 12-13), such as press releases; mailings and promotions; correspondence with publishers; correspondence with libraries and museums regarding rights; and copies of pictorial materials to be used in book.

Series 2  Research and writing files, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 13, folder 17-36; carton 14-23; carton 24, folder 1-24; box 1; oversize folder 1

Subseries 2.1  Canning in California and other food topics, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 13, folder 17-36; carton 14, folder 1-31

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: Tea Garden Products; California Packing Corporation; S and W Foods; Filice and Perrelli Canning Company; Sacramento Frosted Foods, Incorporated; Sebastopol Cooperative Cannery; Packing and canning, general; olives; fortune cookies; Schmidt lithography; California canning history; salt; University of California food research; asparagus; artichokes; Spice Islands Company; food in Canada; ricotta; Mariani Frozen Foods; First National Conference on Packaging Wastes; apples; peaches; Monterey jack cheese; Tuolumne apples.

Subseries 2.2  Bay Area bakeries and bread, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 14, folder 32-37; carton 15, folder 1-13

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: general bakery information; french bread in San Francisco; Parisian French Bread; Boudin Bakery; Bidou Baking Company; Larraburu Brothers; Columbo Bakery; Universal Bakery (Richmond, California).

Subseries 2.3  Santa Clara economic development and electronics industry, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 15, folder 14-42; carton 16, folder 1-9

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: Santa Clara county agriculture; Santa Clara county science; electronics; and particular electronics companies operating in Santa Clara county during the 1950s and 1960s.

Subseries 2.4  Printing and fine presses in Northern California, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 16, folder 10-31; carton 17; carton 18, folder 1-4; box 1; oversize folder 1

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: young fine printers; Amaranth Press; Wesley Tanner; Five Trees Press; Two Windows Press; Rebis Press; Poltroon Press; miscellaneous small press information; little magazines; amateur printers; Cranium Press; COSMEP; Giligia Press; Wallace Kibbee; bookbinding; Kelsie T. Harder; Grabhorn Press; Red Hill Press; hand presses; Graham Mackintosh; MacKenzie and Harris; Giovanni Mardersteig; Scrimshaw Press; Hal Stallings book exhibit; Turtle Island Foundation; Twin Rocker handmade paper; Unicorn Press; new printing techniques; Panjandrum Press; book production in Northern California; western publishing; Lane Publishing. Box 1 includes audiocassettes of interviews conducted by Teiser with the following printers/publishers: Jack Shoemacker of North Point Press, Robert Hawley of the Oyez Press, Clifford Burke of the Cranium Press, and Dennis Koran of Panjandrum Press.

Subseries 2.5  San Francisco history, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 18, folder 5-29; carton 19-20; carton 21, folder 1-17

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: Carton 18: Teiser's research notes from the San Franciso Examiner; transcriptions of J.L. Van Bokkelen's letters to Robert Patten; Wells Fargo Nitroglycerin explosion of 1866; The Dance of Death (book); San Francisco business buildings in the 19th century; Durant case; California brewing history; Ivy Green/George Barnes; notes from the Here Today newspaper column; rum versus water controversy; Freddie Francisco columns; Morgan Hill; Hightower murder; Dr. Cornelius Herz. Carton 19: Milo Abercrombie; Ashe family; Windeler Cave; Twin Valley School; Union Iron Works; George R. Lawrence; Aaron Ross; Old Fort Point; Alcatraz; Charles Wells Banks; Coit Tower; San Francisco trees; Chinese Historical Society. Carton 20: Muni Pier; Folsom estate; Ned Greenway; 4th of July Party (SF and Leese); Hugh James Glenn; Goad sisters; Harden-Hickey; De Bretteville family; Atherton versus Wilcox; Bacon Place; Lucky Baldwin; Maurice Barrymore; Beale versus Marriott; Raymond Bierce; Biscaccianti; Bohemian Club; Bonnet murder; Newton Booth; Botkin-Dunning; Nat J. Brittain; Cliff House; Burlingame and polo club; San Francisco characters; Sir Harry Westwood Cooper; Jim Corbett; Curtis murder (Tivoli Theater); Dashaways; Debutantes of 1947-48; Del Monte Hotel; Chicken Divine; Fisk-Mansfield-Lawlor; J.C. Duncan; Charles Kohler; Southern California secession attempts and Haraszthy; What Cheer House; San Francisco restaurants; Milligan case; Peter Britt; old companies in Northern California; Bethlehem Steel; Cogswell statues. Carton 21: San Francisco Marine Exchange; M. A. R. De Poli; Willard Worden; Commandments to California Wives (book); Juana Briones; Francisco C. Arce; San Francisco breweries; John Wieland; Fredericksburg Saloon; Teiser's manuscript on Sarah Althea Hill entitled San Francisco Scandal; California postcards.

Subseries 2.6  Gold Rush towns and topics, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 21, folder 18-26

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: Columbia, California; Columbia Historic Park; Columbia Fire Department; Downieville, California.

Subseries 2.7  Assorted other topics, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 21, folder 26-28; carton 22-23; carton 24, folder 1-16

Scope and Content Note

Includes files and/or manuscripts on the following: Carton 21: Richmond-San Rafael Ferry; San Francisco Flower Terminal. Carton 22: SF Flower Terminal; Evie's Head; Pullman shops; National Realiteria; Richmond Blueprint Company; Plastic House; book clubs; libraries; earthquake mechanism lab; Nogales; Golden Gateway redevelopment; Frazer River; McMillin's Mausoleum; End of the Trail (sculpture by James Earl Fraser); elephants at the Portland Zoo; electronics in the Bay Area; quicksilver. Carton 23: Quicksilver; signs; H.S. Crocker; Brian Bufano; beds; Vashon Island; Barney Taylor, Monterey; Tubac, Arizona; Wells Fargo; Sam Gordon; Theodore LeRoy property research. Carton 24: Theodore LeRoy property research.

Subseries 2.8  Book Reviews and Ideas, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 24, folder 17-24

Scope and Content Note

Clippings of book reviews Teiser published in Bay Area newspapers and two files of ideas of columns and articles.

Series 3  Personalia and general correspondence, circa 1930-1990

Physical Description: Carton 24, folder 25-28; carton 25

Scope and Content Note

Some general correspondence as well as assorted personalia and miscellany from Ruth Teiser and her colleague Catherine Harroun. Includes personal and family photographs.

Series 4  Audio-cassettes, circa 1991

Physical Description: Box 2

Scope and Content Note

Three audio cassette tapes containing Teiser's Regional Oral History Office interview with Hans Kornell; one audio cassette with material relating to Stephen Vincent, John McBride and P. Vangelisti; and one audio cassette entitled "Rexroth on San Francisco cultural development."