The scholarship program had a striking impact on the Simone family from Providence, R.I. The brothers Jerry, Eugene and Anthony all entered and won scholarships. Jerry Simone spent five years as a designer at Ford before going to pharmacy school. After college, Eugene Simone worked for 45 years at Merrill Lynch. Anthony Simone became a teacher and international school administrator, working around the world and at the United Nations.
Tony Simone has spearheaded a program to get these models out of basements and closets, to display them at museums and events around the country where the Guild Legacy can be perpetuated and stories told about the influence of this organizations which at one time was second in size of boys organizations to the Boy Scouts.
In 1937 the contest expanded to include model automobiles, which became a source of inspiration for new GM automobiles. By 1948 model cars became the only accepted entry for the contest. Winning car models were both practical and stylish original designs made with superior craftsmanship on an exacting 1/12th scale. For General Motors, the competition was a major public relations success while also serving as a type of design aptitude test for the entrants. For the young men of the Guild, the contest was a chance to win scholarships, cash prizes, and an once-in-a-lifetime all-expenses paid trip to Detroit for the regional winners. Designs featured in these models would often presage production automobiles, as many winners went on to work for General Motors or other automotive companies as designers.
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From 1930 until 1968, the Fisher Body Division of General Motors sponsored the Fisher Body Craftsman’s Guild and its annual model-building competition. For the first seven years of the contest, the young men in the Guild built models of a Napoleonic carriage (the Fisher Body logo) to show their high precision skills in craftsmanship.
The Piston Palace exhibit of Fisher Body Craftsman's Guild models and memorabilia.