E. St. Elmo Lewis was a longtime advocate of advertising as an educational force and a pioneer in many of the methods now standard practice in the profession. He achieved national recognition as an outstanding lecturer, writer, teacher and leader in the application of sound advertising methods in a variety of fields. He was among the first advocates of establishing new methods for tracing results in advertising and made important contributions to the development of a more scientific approach in the business.
He was co-founder and first president of the Association of National Advertisers and a founding member of the Adcraft Club of Detroit, of which he served two terms as president.
In 1896 he made one of the first scientific customer research surveys studying the use of serums and anti-toxins among 5,000 American doctors.
Lewis was the author of a number of books on business, including Financial Advertising, A Better Day’s Work, and Going to Make a Speech?. He also wrote Getting the Most Out of the Business, one of the most widely circulated books in the general business field.
His wide and diverse interests extended into the field of management-labor relations. In the late-1930s, he created and organized the famous "Evansville Plan" for industrial peace, operated by the Evansville Cooperative League.
He was the advertising manager for the National Cash Register Company and the Burroughs Adding Machine Company. He also served as the general manager of the Art Metal Construction Company and as a special sales and advertising consultant to many corporations and trade associations. His longest tenure was at Campbell-Ewald Company as vice president.
At various times, he was visiting lecturer at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania and at New York University, conducting special courses in sales and advertising. He was an honorary member of Delta Sigma Pi.