Bruce Hamilton Papers, 1975-1997

Overview of the Collection

Hamilton, Bruce
Bruce Hamilton Papers
1975-1997 (inclusive)
1.5 linear feet, (3 boxes)
Collection Number
This collection contains documents pertaining to The North Face from the late 1960s to the 1990s, including information about the Oval Intention, Buckminster Fuller, the 1990 International Trans-Antarctica Expedition, as well as The North Face financial records, media articles, and product planning documents.
Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives Division
Special Collections & Archives
Merrill-Cazier Library
Utah State University
Logan, UT
Telephone: 4357978248
Fax: 4357972880
Access Restrictions

No restrictions on use, except: not available through interlibrary loan.


Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection contains documents pertaining to The North Face from the late 1960s to the 1990s. Much of it is devoted to the design and evolution of the company's geodesic dome-shaped tent, the Oval Intention, as well as to the 1990 International Trans-Antarctica Expedition. It also contains general information related to The North Face, such as financial records, media articles, and product planning documents and sketchbooks.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

Bruce Hamilton studied biology and chemistry at Vanderbilt University from 1964-1968, and from there he began working at The North Face, where he served as the VP Manufacturing and CEO for nearly 20 years. During his time with The North Face, he participated in the creation of the revolutionary Oval Intention, a tent with a geodesic dome structure. The geodesic dome was pioneered by the architect R. Buckminster Fuller, who met with The North Face staff during the final product design and made a number of subsequent visits to the company.

After leaving The North Face in October 1989, Hamilton worked as the CEO of Yakima Products for eight years, where he took over most of the day-to-day management of the company.

In 1998, Hamilton left Yakima Products to work as the CEO of Wing Inflatables. After eight years, he decided to retire.

Since 2007, Hamilton and his wife Cathy have owned and operated Wildwood Manufacturing, a company that produces made-to-order electric guitar and bass bodies and necks. Hamilton and his family live in Arcata, California.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

It is the responsibility of the researcher to obtain any necessary copyright clearances.

Permission to publish material from the Bruce Hamilton papers must be obtained from the Manuscript Curator and/or the Special Collections Department Head.

Preferred Citation

Initial Citation: Bruce Hamilton papers USU_COLL MSS 552. Special Collections and Archives. Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library. Logan, Utah.

Following Citations:USU_COLL MSS 552, USUSCA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Arranged topically.

Acquisition Information

Bruce Hamilton donated these materials to USU Special Collections and Archives in 2021. The sketchbooks were donated in 2023.

Related Materials

Outdoor Recreation Catalogs (BOOK COLL 72)

Outdoor Recreation Serials (BOOK COLL 72a)

Mark Erickson papers, USU COLL MSS 555

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Box Folder
1 1 Bay to Breakers undated
1 2 Will Steger undated
1 3 Photo album of 1990 Trans-Antartica expedition 1990
2 1 The North Face's R. Buckminster fuller dedication catalog undated
2 2 Buckminster Fuller 1977 October
2 3 Buckminster Fuller 1983 June
2 4 Big Tent undated
2 5 Oval Intention Tent undated
3 1 Financial records 1978-1986
3 2 Financial records 1989-1996
3 3 Product planning 1975-1985
3 4 South Coast Plaza retail outlet 1986 November
3 5 Newspaper clippings 1984-1997
3 6 Sketchbook July 1976 - January 1977
3 7 Sketchbook February 1977 - October 1977
3 8 Sketchbook October 1977 - February 1983
3 9 Sketchbook July 1983 - February 1987

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Camping equipment industry
  • Sports and Recreation