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Edward F. Levin papers, 1939-1981

Identifier: 038.01.21

This collection includes the business papers of Edward F. Levin, an IIT graduate who took some of IIT's earliest food technology classes in the 1940s. The following items are included in the collection:

  1. Legal agreement between Levin and Leo Seelig concerning the incorporation of their business, "Private Brands, Inc.," with each contributing half the cost of its incorporation and capitalization, and with each retaining half control (February 15, 1951).
  2. Legal agreement between Levin's company (Private Brands, Inc.) and B. Heller & Company, arranging for the Heller Company to "manufacture soups and other food products for Private Brands" (1955).
  3. Legal agreement between Private Brands, Inc. and the Heller Company regarding the management of a debt owed to the Heller Company by Private Brands, Inc. (May 27, 1955).
  4. A notice, signed by Levin, tendered to the management company for a business suite at 614 W. lake Street, giving notice of the termination of occupancy as of April 30, 1955 (dated March 31, 1955).
  5. A letter, dated July 11, 1955, issued to B. Heller and Company by Private Brands, Inc., stating that the terms of the agreement of May 27, 1955 has not been altered but allows for some voluntary transfer of funds from the Heller Company to Private Brands, Inc.
  6. A food formula book created and maintained by Levin; small loose leaf notebook (n.d.; ca. 1955).
  7. A color photo of Edward F. Levin at the International Food Distributors' Association meeting at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, Chicago, March 1981.
  8. A copy of Edward F. Levin's academic transcript from IIT. Levin's daughter Michelle Levin Parker has highlighted (with yellow marker) the courses for which some of her father's textbooks have survived (and have been incorporated into the IIT Archives book collection; see below for list).


  • Creation: 1939-1981


Language of Materials

Records are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Research

Collection Size

1 Boxes

Biographical Note

Edward F. Levin (June 19, 1919-November 7, 2011), a 1938 graduate of Austin High School (Chicago, Ill.), graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1942 with a focus in pre-medical studies. He also attended the Central YMCA College. He returned to Illinois Institute of Technology in the mid-1940s for additional coursework in food technology. On July 22, 1945 he married Marcia Soloski, in Duluth, Minnesota. In 1951 the Levins founded Private Brands, Inc., a manufacturer of bases for dehydrated soup. Facilities were rented at Morgan and 15th Street in Chicago. Initially, Edward Levin worked for other employers while devoting his free hours to mixing the soup base and making deliveries via streetcar; Marcia Levin managed the firm's finances. As the business grew to provide full-time employment for the couple, both would attend trade shows in the food industry. By the time the Levins sold Private Brands in the early 1980s it was a leader in the institutional food industry.


Nos. 7 and 8 in the Scope-Content list were part of accession 2012.017; the rest (nos. 1-6) were part of the original Levin accession (2012.007). No. 1 in the textbook list was part of the original accession (2012.007) while the remaining textbooks (nos. 2-5) arrived as part of accession 2012.017

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Formerly 2012.007

Separated Materials

The following textbooks, used by Levin while a student at IIT, were separated from the manuscripts collection and are housed with the book collection of University Archives and Special Collections.


Mindy Pugh, Assistant University Archivist, 2/27/2012

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

35 West 33rd Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 567-5993

Paul V. Galvin Library

35 West 33rd Street | Chicago, IL | 60616