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Howard B. Bishop Papers 1921-1961 (bulk 1940-1960)
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Biography

Biographical Note

Born on January 22, 1878 in Bloomington, Illinois, Howard Berkey Bishop was educated as a chemical engineer. He became a member of the American Chemical Society in 1902. During World War I he worked for Baker & Adamson, contributing to the development and manufacture of smokeless gun powder. He subsequently owned the Sterling Products Company in Easton, Pennsylvania. In 1939 he sold his company to the Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company and devoted his retirement to "promoting the formula for a better way of life."

While in his twenties, Bishop had converted to a lifestyle that abstained from smoking, drinking alcohol or coffee. In time he developed overall guidelines that he determined would improve the quality and length of life of his fellow humans. To better promulgate his beliefs, he formed the Human Engineering Foundation (HEF) in 1940. This educational, non-profit organization's stated purposes were to "investigate and analyze the contents of narcotics, coffee, tea, cocoa, chocolate, colas, tobacco, snuff, caffeine, alcohol and derivatives" and to "bring to the attention of individuals the effect upon their health and economic life resulting from the use" of these substances. He was also an active member of the American Vegetarian Union.

In letters written to advertising firms, radio and television corporations, publishers, athletes and any other public figure that provided encouragement for what he considered to be deleterious lifestyles, Bishop pointed out the harm he felt they were inflicting on society and suggested that they adopt habits espoused by the HEF. The foundation, through Humanic Brands, produced supplemental substances designed to help people break their unhealthy habits. Bishop also produced various newspaper articles, advertisements, editorials and flyers that pointedly illustrated HEF's cause. Howard Bishop continued these activities until his death in November, 1963.