Lila Mae Watson is most notably known for her work designing the Black Box, the most perfected and safest elevator created. However many people outside of the Elevator Guild do not know about her historical run for guild president. 


  In the summer of 1967, Lila Mae Watson began her run for President of the Elevator Guild with the bold hope that she could unite the two factions of the guild and demolish the divide. Through her hard-fought campaign and her strategic advertising, Lila Mae won the presidency in March of 1968 and began her work towards unifying the Intuitionist and Empiricist factions.

  This site is dedicated to showing and explaining the pieces that ultimately helped Lila Mae win her presidency. Items from her campaign are here to show you the change Lila Mae brought not only to the guild but to the way campaigns ran in the guild as well. 




Lila Mae Watson Door Hangers (1967)

  Knowing her audience, Lila Mae Watson put the door hangers advertising her campaign primarily in the elevator guild office on the doors of members of the Intuitionist faction. Lila Mae knew it would be hard to sway the members of the rivaling Empiricist faction so she didn’t waste paper there. However, Lila Mae took an approach that no guild front runner had done before, she advertised to the people outside her guild. These door hangers began to appear on the doors of apartments, offices, and any metropolis city building with an elevator. Lila Mae knew these people couldn’t vote, but these were still people being effected by the elevator guild; and they were more willing to voice their opinion. Phone calls began to flood the guild’s offices from people outside the guild asking questions and voicing their approval of Lila Mae. 

Lila Mae Watson campaign poster (1967)

  This campaign poster appeared inside many elevators, plastered on buildings, inside offices, and even appeared inside public works buildings across the metropolis. Lila Mae Watson gained popularity amongst the community and it began with this poster. Outside the elevator guild and community, not many people were familiar with Ms. Watson, until November 1967 when her campaign posters hit the streets. She quickly became a strong figure for young minority girls to look up to. Lila Mae became very active in her community following her rise in popularity to help ensure her spot as guild president and make a positive impact on the younger generation. This caught the eye of those who opposed her, namely the Empiricists who would often vandalize posters of her around the metropolis.  


Lila Mae Watson Magazine ad series (1967)

  Lila Mae Watson was the first candidate to advertise her campaign for Elevator Guild President in magazines. Her magazine ad series was featured in local metropolitan magazines and in the winter and spring issues of Lift Magazine. Just like with the door hangers, Lila Mae was sure this would reach a larger group of people and it did just that. People called into the Metropolitan Elevator Guild from around the country after seeing her advertisement in Lift. Across the country, people began to stand with Lila Mae. 

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Lila Mae Watson elevator Guild Business card (1954)

  When Lila Mae Watson entered the Metropolitan Elevator Guild she became the first black female inspector. Lila Mae entered the guild as an intuitionist inspector despite later leaving the intuitionist faction and uniting the guild as a whole. This was the business card she was given upon being hired by the guild. Lila Mae used the guild's green business cards and company vehicles to help brand her campaign. 


Lila Mae Watson Campaign Buttons (1967)

  Buttons were sometimes seen from guild president campaign runs but never in this volume. Lila Mae Watson handed out campaign buttons to guild members and civilians. This helped spread her campaign and her message throughout the city even more than she had already ensured. Soon Lila Mae became the most popular conversation topic at grocery stores, offices,  salons, and even bars.

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Lila Mae Watson Campaign Speech (1967)

  This was the first speech Lila Mae gave as the official nominee for running of the Elevator Guild President. In her speech, Lila Mae established her platform and her plans to unite the guild. This was the first time many guild members had heard her speak publicly. If her advertising wasn't going to win her the campiagn, her public speaking could easily get her the presidency. She was soft-spoken yet strong and assertive, she quickly became someone people wanted leading the guild.   


  Lila Mae Watson's branding team worked to make sure that elements from the Elevator Guild made it into her campaign. The green was chosen because of the use of green throughout the guild on the cars, buildings, and stationary. This was done to make the guild feel more familiar with her despite her extended absence and the drastic changes she was wanting to make to the guild. The gold accents on her logo and in her branding were added to reflect the gold detailing used on elevators around the Metropolis. 

  An easily interpreted symbol, the elevator button graphic was added to her logo and used in her branding. Lila Mae's branding team decided to add an upwards arrow to the L in her logo. This was decision was made after Lila Mae Watson gave her first speech to 40 people at a local public park where she coined her slogan "together we rise."

Lila Mae Watson was featured in the Spring 2020 issue of Lift Magazine. Check out the article featured on her to learn more about her time in the guild, her campaign, and her years as president of the Elevator Guild.


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