Karam Family
Papers, ca. 1920-1944


Quantity: 12 Items (1 folio size folder)
Access: Open to research
Acquisition: Purchase, Mrs. Hudson’s Fine Books and Paper,  Chelsea, N.Y.,  July 2000
Processed By: Sharon Wolff, Student Assistant (University at Albany), Manuscripts and Special Collections, July 2014

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Biographical Note:

Bazel E. Carrm, later Basil Karam, was born about 1880. In February 1918 he filed for a patent for a convertible automobile body, which was granted August 15, 1922. This was a key document in the establishment of the Carrm Convertible Auto Body Co., located in New York City in the 1920s. The company sold its unique convertible car bodies from there, advertising “the convenience of the quick, simple change from a neat roadster into a comfortable 6-passenger touring model.” Bazel later lent his name to the Carrm-Si-Kari Company, circa 1930s, which appears to have been an international products company located in New York City. Bazel’s daughter, Elena Karam, was an actress in the 1960s and 1970s, appearing in films with Steve McQueen, in Love with the Proper Stranger, and Sylvester Stallone, in F.I.S.T.

Scope and Content Note:

The collection consists chiefly of portraits of individuals, many of which are presumed to be Bazel E. Carrm, at various stages of life, and his daughter, Elena Karam, including an image of a group of men posing for an advertisement in a Carrm car, and what appears to be Bazel at a social gathering in June 1933. Also included are two letters to Helen from her father, presumably Bazel, and an advertisement for the Carrm Convertible Auto Body Company.

Item List:

Folder Item Description
1 1 Photograph of [Bazel E. Carrm] (side-view of a man with a goatee and handle-bar mustache), ca. 1920s
1 2 Photograph of the Carrm patent convertible auto body, American Motors Inc., 100 Broad Street, New York, US.A. (view of convertible action in process)
1 3 Photograph of  the Carrm touring car, ca. 1920 (view of car with convertible top up and two men in the car; image appears in advertisement sheet in item 12)
1 4 Photograph of [Bazel E. Carrm], ca. 1940s (full-length picture of a man, standing,  wearing a top hap and frock coat, leaning on a cane)
1 5 Photograph of [Bazel E. Carrm], ca. 1940s (view showing upper body in seated position with hands resting on a cane; same attire as Item 5)
1 6 Photograph of [Bazel E. Carrm and company seated at a table in a restaurant], June 8, 1933
1 7 Photograph of Elena Karam, undated
1 8 Photograph of [Bazel E. Carrm], ca. 1920s (man wearing a fedora and an overcoat, holding a cane)
1 9 Photograph of [Bazel E. Carrm], ca. 1920 (man sitting in a chair next to a stove)
1 10-11 Letters from [Bazel] to Helen
  1. August 18, 1935, discussing recent damages caused by “quakes” and the temporary burial of a prince Abdul Karim.
  2. November 7, 1944, acknowledging Helen’s previous letters and telling her about voting in the 1944 Roosevelt-Dewey presidential election.
Letters are written on Carrm-Si-Kari Company letterhead.
1 12 Advertisement for Carrm Convertible Auto Body Co., ca. 1920s
Last Updated: May 21, 2021