© 2007 University of Chicago Library
Wyler, Silvain and Arma. Collection
2.25 linear feet (2 boxes)
Special Collections Research Center
Silvain and Arma Wyler founded the Wyler Company in Chicago in 1931, first importing bouillon cubes from Europe, then pioneering the development of dehydrated food products. Among their major philanthropic achievements was the Silvain and Arma Wyler Children's Hospital, dedicated at University of Chicago in 1966. This collection contains many photographs of the Wylers, as well as smaller amounts of material documenting their personal interests, social activities and philanthropic work.
Open for research.
When quoting material from this collection, the preferred citation is: Wyler, Silvain and Arma. Collection [Box #, Folder #], Special Collections Research Center, University of Chicago Library
Born in Switzerland in 1894, Silvain Wyler was educated in business administration and began his career in textile manufacturing. Through family connections, he met Arma during her visit from Chicago to Zurich. The two returned to Chicago and were married at the Drake Hotel.
Encouraged by Arma Wyler's parents, the couple sought entrepreneurial opportunities in the food processing industry. Silvain and Arma Wyler founded the Wyler Company in 1931, beginning by importing bouillon products from Europe. By the 1940s, the company had begun manufacturing its own products, and soon diversified into other areas of dehydrated food processing. The company merged with Borden in 1961, though the Wylers continued to be involved with the company.
The Wylers were active philanthropists, and among their major projects was the Silvain and Arma Wyler Children's Hospital at University of Chicago. After Silvain Wyler died suddenly in 1963, Arma Wyler carried on with planning for the hospital, which was dedicated in 1966.
This collection documents some of the personal interests, social activities, and philanthropic work of Silvain and Arma Wyler. It includes dozens of photographs of the Wylers, including formal portraits, travel photographs taken aboard cruise ships, and informal snapshots. There are also many unidentified photographs, likely of friends and family members. The Wylers philanthropic support of the Wyler Children's Hospital is represented in news clippings, press releases and ephemera; correspondence documenting the couple's longtime support of the Art Institute of Chicago is also included. A variety of personal material, including two pieces of writing by Arma Wyler and items from Silvain Wyler's memorial service, are also found.
The following related resources are located in the Department of Special Collections:
University of Chicago. Seventy-Fifth Anniversary. Records
|Box 1 Folder 1|
Arma Wyler, family biographical writing, n.d.
|Box 1 Folder 2|
Arma Wyler, "Love Comes to an Actress," carbon of typescript, n.d.
|Box 1 Folder 3|
Arma Wyler, correspondence, 1944-1963
|Box 1 Folder 4|
Art Institute of Chicago, correspondence, 1953-1989
|Box 1 Folder 5|
Dedication of Wyler Children's Hospital, press releases and program, 1966
|Box 1 Folder 6|
Silvain and Arma Wyler, photographs, ca. 1930s-1960s
|Box 1 Folder 7|
R.M.S. Queen Mary, R.M.S. Queen Elizabeth, S.S. America, photographs, 1949-ca. 1950s
|Box 1 Folder 8|
Unidentified photographs, 1901-ca. 1960s
|Box 1 Folder 9|
Life insurance certificate, brochure and memorial card, 1960s
|Box 2 Folder 1|
Silvain Wyler, memorial service guest book and photographs of monument, 1963
|Box 2 Folder 2|
Hilde and Walter, wedding album, 1947
|Box 2 Folder 3|
Scrapbook fragments and newspapers, 1966-1975