Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, 1995-1996
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
Gerber, H. Joseph 1924-1996
2.5 cu. ft.: 9 boxes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
VHS (videotape format)
Grand Rapids (Mich.)
H. Joseph Gerber invented the computer-controlled fabric cutter.
This videohistory documents the inventor, engineers, assembly workers, operators and other technicians who worked with the Gerber S-70 computer-controlled fabric cutter. It shows the Gerber Fabric Cutter in operation, with Peter Liebhold explaining. The Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 is part of a systematic approach to layout and cutting that has revolutionized the needle trades. This video history contains original, master, and reference videos, Dictaphone microcassettes, and tape digests and notes documenting the development, operation and use of the Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 in three locations: H.I.S., Inc., in Bruceton, Tennessee (Chic blue jeans use of cutter); General Motors in Grand Rapids, Michigan (automotive use of the cutter); and Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in Hartford, Connecticut (Gerber corporate office and invention factory). The video footage documents H. Joseph Gerber, engineers, assembly workers, operators, and other technicians who worked with the cutter at the three locations. Footage from the Tennessee and Michigan sites provides insight into the complexity of introducing a new technology into the workplace and documents operators and managers discussing the effect of the cutter on workflow, quality, personnel, and attitudes towards the job. Footage from Connecticut documents the engineers who developed the cutter and provides valuable insight into the invention process. Collection includes oral history audio tapes, original, master, and reference videos, and notes documenting Liebhold's visits to Bruceton, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hartford, Connecticut.
Series 1, Notes, 1995-1996: includes documentation created by Peter Liebhold in preparation for his site visits to Bruceton, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hartford, Connecticut. Includes lists of potential interviewees, questions for employees, and general notes detailing observations at each site. The H. Joseph Gerber interview file consists of a brief tape digest keyed to each of the seven microcassettes, notes from the interview, and the questions asked of Mr. Gerber. The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company file contains a video digest for only three interviews: Ed Roth, Fred Rosen, and Larry Wolfson.
Series 2, Audio tapes (microcassettes), 1995 June: Seven Dictaphone microcassettes of oral history interviews with H. Joseph Gerber conducted by Peter Liebhold, Curator, American History Museum and Stanley Leven, Director and Secretary of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company.
Series 3, Original Videos (BetaCam SP), 1996: 38 BetaCam SP video tapes, 19 hours.