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McCullough Tool vs. Scherbatskoy regarding patents and patent licenses

Collection Creator:
Scherbatskoy, Serge A., 1908-2002  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1968
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Serge Scherbatskoy Papers, 1925-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Serge A. Scherbatskoy Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0936-ref266

McCullough Tool vs. Scherbatskoy regarding patents and patent licenses (and other pertinent cases)

Collection Creator:
Scherbatskoy, Serge A., 1908-2002  Search this
Container:
Box 19, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1965
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Serge Scherbatskoy Papers, 1925-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Serge A. Scherbatskoy Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0936-ref265

S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection

Creator:
Darby, S. Newman, 1928-2016 ((inventor))  Search this
Darby, Kenneth  Search this
Darby, Naomi  Search this
Names:
Mistral, Inc.  Search this
Windsurfing International, Inc.  Search this
Drake, Jim  Search this
Schweitzer, Hoyle  Search this
Extent:
2.65 Cubic feet (7 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Advertisements
Sketches
Photographs
Rigging plans
Sail plans
Legal files
Blueprints
Film (performing arts)
Illustrated periodicals
Correspondence
Design drawings
Drawings
Videotapes
Place:
Falls (Pa.) -- 1950-1990
Susquehana River -- 1950-1990
Date:
1944-1998
Summary:
The collection documents S. Newman Darby's development of the sailboard, which became known as the windsurfer through sketches, mechanical drawings, plans, patent specifications, legal documents, photographs, correspondence, notebooks, clippings, periodicals, and an 8mm film.
Scope and Contents:
The S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection, 1946-1998, documents the body of Newman Darby's inventive output as well as the development of the windsurfing industry. It consists of sketches, mechanical drawings, plans, patent specifications, legal documents, photographs, correspondence, notebooks, clippings, periodicals, an 8mm film and a videocassette. The collection is particularly rich in the material related to the development of the sailboard, including Darby's personal memoirs. It contains U.S. and foreign patents related to windsurfing as well as records and reports related to Darby's testimony in litigation and the recognition of the priority of his invention. the collections research value lies in the documentation of the invention of the windsurfer and the industry and culture it spawned. It documents the processes of invention and marketing of new devices. It is evidence of the full range of S. Newman Darby's imagination, life and career.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Biographical materials, 1969-1982

Series 2: Inventions and designs, 1953-1990

Series 3: Darby Industries, 1982-1983

Series 4: History of windsurfing, 1944-1998

Series 5: Photographs, 1946-1997

Series 6: Audio-Visual materials, 1965-1997
Biographical / Historical:
S. Newman Darby is recognized as the first person in the United States to conceive of connecting a hand-held sail rig fastened with a universal joint to a floating platform for recreational use. He called it sail boarding in 1965, when he published his designs in Popular Science Monthly magazine. Although he and his brothers Ronald and Kenneth began manufacturing the boards through their company Darby Industries, they never applied for a patent.

S. Newman Darby (1928-2016) was born in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. He graduated from West Pittston High School in 1946. A sign painter and artist, like his father Sidney Darby, he studied drafting at the Pennsylvania State University extension school where he took chemistry, business, art, and photography courses for one year. His first invention, the Darby Dory, a folding rowboat dates from 1953. The sailboard developed out of Darby's experiments with a personal pontoon catamaran, each hull being big enough for one foot and designed to be operated with a hand-held sail and no rudder. By 1964 he had designed a universal joint that connected a mast to a flat bottom sailing scow. This board had a centerboard, tail fin and kite shaped free sail. Early tests were conducted on Trailwood Lake and the Susquehanna River, near West Pittston.

Today sail boarding is known as windsurfing. It adopted its name from Windsurfer International, a company Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake established on the basis of a patent granted to them in 1970 for a "wind-propelled apparatus." In all essential qualities, their claims duplicated Newman Darby's earlier work.

After Schweitzer bought out Drake's share in 1973, he energetically promoted the sport and licensed manufacturing rights to more than 20 companies around the world. Schweitzer forcefully prosecuted patent infringements he perceived among windsurfer manufacturers and he threatened to sue the 1984 Olympic Committee should it authorize a board produced by a manufacturer not licensed by Windsurfer International. Although he was aware of the growth of the sport and the profits flowing into Windsurfer International through its licensing activities, Darby was unable to mount a legal challenge to Schweitzer. His priority in the invention of the sport was overlooked and almost forgotten.

In the late 1970's, Mistral, a Swiss manufacturer sued by Windsurfer International in Germany, located Darby and presented his "prior art" as a defense. In the early 1980's, courts in the United States were asked to rule on the validity of the Windsurfer International patent. Newman Darby's prior art was at the center of the controversies. The court voided Windsurfer's original patent and Schweitzer was forced to apply for a reissue based on severely limited claims. He lost the use of "windsurfer" as a trademark. Schweitzer retained the reissued patent through further challenges until it expired in 1987. The example of Newman Darby has become a textbook case of the importance of thorough searches for "prior art" for patent attorneys.

Following completion of the patent litigation Darby designed original sail rigs for Mistral in Europe and Horizon in the United States. In 1982 Newman entered into a new partnership with his brothers Ronald and Kenneth and formed NRK, Inc., to design and manufacture windsurfing boards, training devices and to produce written and video documentaries of his contributions to the history of the sport.

Naomi Albrecht Darby, Newman's wife, sewed the first sails for the boards and participated in their testing and marketing. She documented Darby's inventions through the years in photographs and moving images. Over the years, Darby has worked on numerous inventions--most of them related to wind propulsion. Like many independent inventors, Newman Darby conceives of his ideas, executes all of the mechanical plans, builds his own prototypes and tests them. Darby continues to research improvements in windsurfing and to teach courses in boat building and design.
Related Materials:
An original sailboard, rig, mast and daggerboard from the same period are also housed in the Pennsylvania State Museum at Harrisburg.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds artifacts relating to S. Newman Darby and his invention of the windsurfer, including an original board, boom and mast, and sail dating from 1964. See accessions #1998.0086 and #1998.0323.
Provenance:
Most of the collection was donated to the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History by S. Newman Darby and his wife Naomi on February 3, 1998.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Sporting goods industry -- 1950-1990  Search this
Sailboats -- 1950-1990  Search this
Patent law and legislation -- 1950-1990 -- United States  Search this
Patent licenses  Search this
Patents (international law) -- 1950-1990  Search this
Boatbuilders -- 1950-1990  Search this
Boats and boating -- 1950-1990  Search this
Boats and boating -- Designs and plans -- 1950-1990  Search this
Inventors -- 1950-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Aquatic sports -- 1950-1990  Search this
Darby simulator  Search this
Windsurfers -- 1950-1990  Search this
Windsurfing -- Inventions -- 1950-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 1950-2000
Sketches -- 1950-1990
Photographs -- 20th century
Rigging plans -- 1950-1990
Sail plans -- 1950-1990
Legal files -- 1950-1990
Blueprints -- 1950-2000
Film (performing arts) -- 1950-1990
Illustrated periodicals -- 1950-1990
Correspondence -- 1940-1990
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Drawings -- 1950-1990
Videotapes
Citation:
S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0625
See more items in:
S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0625
Additional Online Media:

Telescoping Shopping Cart Collection

Creator:
Watson, Orla E., 1896-1983  Search this
Watson, Edith, (estate of)  Search this
Names:
Telescope Carts, Inc.  Search this
Western Machine Company  Search this
Goldman, Sylvan  Search this
O'Donnell, George  Search this
Taylor, Fred  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (2 boxes, 1 oversized folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Letters (correspondence)
Patents
Photographs
Date:
1946-1983
2000
Scope and Contents:
The Telescoping Shopping Cart Collection, 1946-1983; 2000, provides information relating to the development of the product and the legal challenges encountered by its creator, Orla E. Watson, in the patenting, licensing, and manufacturing process.

The collection is divided into three series: Series 1: Background Information, 1983;2000; Series 2: Business Records, 1946-1979; and Series 3: Legal Records, 1946-1966.

Series 1: Background Information, 1983; 2000, contains two items, a document entitled Brief History of the Telescopic Grocery Cart, authored by Leslie S. Simmons, personal representative, Edith Watson estate, 2000, and Orla E. Watson's death certificate, 1983.

Series 2: Business Records, 1946-1979, contains information on the finances and operations of Telescope Carts, Inc. and the development and marketing of the telescoping cart. Materials include royalty and income tax statements of Orla E. and Edith Watson, business correspondence, a time line of cart development, blueprints, patents, details about the patent process, and marketing and publicity materials of brochures and photographs.

Series 3: Legal Records, 1946-1966, contains material relating to the manufacture and licensing of telescope carts, and legal challenges to both the company and Orla E. Watson, including the challenges to the patent process spearheaded by Sylvan Goldman, and the evidence collected for Watson's claim for a tax refund from the Internal Revenue Service.
Arrangement:
Divided into 3 series

Series 1: Background information, 1983, 2000

Series 2: Business Records, 1946-1979

Series 3; Legal Records, 1946-1966
Biographical / Historical:
The first shopping cart in the United States was developed in the late 1930s and patented by Sylvan Goldman of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Goldman received US Patent 2,155,896 in April 1939 for a "combination basket and carriage" and in April of 1940 he received US Patent 2,196,914 for a "folding basket carriage for self-service stores." It consisted of upper and lower baskets placed atop a folding frame similar to that of a folding chair with wheels. Following use, the baskets would be removed and stacked with others and the frame folded. Prior to each use the baskets and the frame needed to be assembled.

In 1946, Orla E. Watson, of Kansas City, MO, devised a plan for a telescoping shopping cart which did not require assembly or disassembly of its parts before and after use; this cart could be fitted into another cart for compact storage, hence the cart descriptor. The hinged side of the baskets allowed the telescoping. Watson's Western Machine Company made examples of this invention, and the first ones were manufactured and put to use in Floyd Day's Super Market in 1947.

Alongside the telescoping cart, Watson developed the power lift which raised the lower basket on the two-basket telescoping cart to counter height while lifting the upper basket out of the cashier's way at the check out counter. This made moving groceries, before the invention of the automatic conveyor belt, easier for the customer and the cashier. Watson manufactured and sold the power lift in 1947, but then discontinued efforts on the invention to focus on the telescoping cart. The patent application was abandoned and never granted.

The manufacturing, distribution, and sales of Watson's telescoping carts was handled by Telescope Carts Inc., established in 1947 by Watson, his partner, Fred Taylor, and George O'Donnell. The company had difficulty with the manufacture and sale of the carts, as authorized suppliers were not making carts of the quality expected. Other manufacturers saw an opportunity, and soon telescoped carts were being made and sold by unlicensed parties despite Watson's pending patent.

Watson applied for a patent on his shopping cart invention in 1946, but Goldman contested it and filed an application for a similar patent. In 1949 Goldman relinquished his rights to the patent and granted them to Watson. In exchange, Goldman received licensing rights in addition to the three other licenses previously granted; Watson continued to receive royalties for each cart produced.

The royalties Watson received for each cart manufactured led to his 1954 claim against the Internal Revenue Service, for refund of taxes paid on the profits of his invention, as a Congressional bill changed the status of invention-derived income from ordinary income to capital gains, thereby lowering the taxes owed.

Orla E. Watson was born in 1896, and after attending Nevada Business College for one year, he worked as a stock clerk in a hardware store in Kansas City, then joined the Army until 1918, when he entered a series of jobs as machinist, layout man, forman. He tinkered with mechanical inventions on the side (such as a Model T Ford timer). In 1933, he opened his own business making air conditioners, but he took two more jobs before opening Western Machine Co., a machine shop and contract manufacturing business in 1946.

He had also applied for and was granted four patents prior to the telescoping shopping cart, for mechanical valves, pumps, and gauges, none of which were ever licensed or manufactured.

Orla E. Watson died January 17, 1983.
Separated Materials:
The National Museum of American History's Division of Culture and the Arts houses original shopping carts created by Sylvan Goldman and Orla E. Watson.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History in July, 2000, by the estate of Edith Watson, through Leslie S. Simmons, personal representative. The two telescoping Watson carts were donated in July 2000 by Leslie S. Simmons, personal representative, Edith Watson estate.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Shopping carts  Search this
Retail trade -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Grocery trade  Search this
Container industry -- Equipment and supplies -- 1940-2000  Search this
Supermarkets -- 1940-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Patents -- 1940-1950
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1940-2000
Citation:
Telescoping Shopping Cart Collection, 1946-1983, 2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0739
See more items in:
Telescoping Shopping Cart Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0739
Additional Online Media:

Arthur Ehrat, oral history interview (original audio tape cassette), Total Running Time: 19:21

Collection Creator:
Ehrat, Arthur  Search this
Fleckner, John A., 1941-  Search this
Container:
Cassette 907.3
Type:
Archival materials
Audio
Scope and Contents:
Ehrat says that Bob Copelin's shed, where he worked on and tested the first rims, was important in establishing that he came up with the breakaway rim idea before Frederick Tyner, because the shed was built and a heater installed not long before Ehrat began tinkering. (There is a receipt for the heater, sold by Farmers Elevator Co. in Oct. 1975, in Series 1, Subseries 1.) Other topics: keeping track of rims sold and revenue/costs associated with the patent; licensing; attorney fees; new breakaway rims; Ehrat family history documents (See Series 1, Subseries 1Ehrat History)
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Arthur Ehrat Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Arthur Ehrat Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0907-ref45

The Real McCoy: Audio Tour with Robert Hall

Creator:
Anacostia Museum  Search this
James, Portia P.  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Baker, Henry E. (Henry Edwin), 1859-1928  Search this
Banneker, Benjamin, 1731-1806  Search this
Carver, George Washington, 1864?-1943  Search this
Davidson, Shelby J. (Shelby Jeames), 1868-1930  Search this
Forten, James, 1766-1842  Search this
Harper, Solomon, 1893-  Search this
Jennings, Thomas L.  Search this
Joyner, Marjorie Stewart, 1896-1994  Search this
Latimer, Lewis Howard, 1848-1928  Search this
Matzeliger, Jan Ernst, 1852-1889  Search this
McCoy, Elijah, 1844-1929  Search this
Montgomery, Benjamin  Search this
Morgan, Garrett A., 1877-1963  Search this
Murray, George W. (George Washington), 1853-1926  Search this
Rillieux, Norbert, 1806-1894  Search this
Temple, Lewis  Search this
Walker, C. J., Madam, 1867-1919  Search this
Woods, Granville, 1856-1910  Search this
Collection Creator:
Smithsonian Institution. Anacostia Community Museum  Search this
Extent:
1 sound recording (open reel, 1/4 inch)
Culture:
African American  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Sound recordings
Narration
Place:
Anacostia (Washington, D.C.)
Washington (D.C.)
United States
Date:
circa 1989
Scope and Contents:
During the audio tour of exhibition, The Real McCoy: African-American Invention and Innovation, narrator Robert Hall presents contributions made by black inventors to American technology from 1619 to 1930. Inventions and innovations by Benjamin Banneker, Elijah McCoy, Lewis Latimer, James Forten, Lewis Temple, Norbert Rillieux, Ned (slave), Benjamin Montgomery, George Washington Carver, Solomon Harper, Madame C.J. Walker, and Marjorie Joyner, among others, are highlighted. This history, challenges, and successes of patent licensing for inventions created by black inventors, including the question of patents for inventions created by slaves, are discussed.
Audio tour narration. Part of The Real McCoy: Afro-American Invention and Innovation 1619-1930 Audiovisual Materials. Undated.
Biographical / Historical:
The exhibition - The Real McCoy: African-American Invention and Innovation, 1619-1930 - focused on outstanding black inventors, as well as anonymous innovators, who, as slaves, craftsmen and workers, made important contributions to the United States. Included are actual inventions, such an Jan Matzelieger's "shoe-lasting" machine, which revolutionized shoe production, and Garrett Morgan's safety hood and automatic traffic signal, forerunners of the modern gas mask and traffic stop light. The exhibition examines such topics as African influences on Colonial technology and how the slave system stymied technological innovation. Individual inventors such as Lewis Temple, Elijah McCoy, James Forten, and Norbert Rillieux are profiled. Also featured are artifacts from some of the expositions of the late 19th-century, which celebrated this new surge of black inventiveness. The exhibition was curated by Portia James and organized by the Anacostia Museum. It was held at the museum from May 1989 - May 1990.
General:
Title transcribed from physical asset.
Series Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Some items are not accessible due to obsolete format and playback machinery restrictions. Please contact the archivist at acmarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
African Americans  Search this
African American women  Search this
African American inventors  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions  Search this
Technology  Search this
Technological innovations  Search this
Patents  Search this
Patent laws and legislation  Search this
Slaves  Search this
Slavery  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Narration
Citation:
The Real McCoy: Audio Tour with Robert Hall, Exhibition Records AV03-026, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.03-026, Item ACMA AV002680
See more items in:
The Real McCoy: Afro-American invention and innovation, 1619-1930 exhibition records
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-acma-03-026-ref505

Serge A. Scherbatskoy Papers

Creator:
Scherbatskoy, Serge A., 1908-2002  Search this
Names:
Neufeld, Jacob, 1906-2000  Search this
Extent:
17 Cubic feet (39 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Contracts
Agreements
Notebooks
Correspondence
Diazo prints
Laboratory notebooks
Patent applications
Reports
Date:
1925-2002
Summary:
Collection documents the professional career and business interests of inventor Serge A. Scherbatskoy, who specialized in petroleum geophysics. Papers include laboratory notebooks, license agreements, correspondence, blue line prints, patent litigation files, newspaper clippings, reference files, patents, promotional literature, and audio-visual materials.
Scope and Contents:
The Scherbatskoy papers provide insight into the relationship between inventors and the United States oil industry between the 1930s and 1990s, the evolution of the history of applied geophysics, and the development of technological innovation in oil prospecting, specifically applied and geophysics. One of the strengths of the collection is the patents Scherbatskoy pursued, renewed, or impeded. As sole proprietor of his own company, Geophysical Measurements Corp., Scherbatskoy meticulously constructed an international patenting program which made him a successful player among the giants of the oil industry. Another highlight of the collection is Scherbatskoy's fifteen laboratory notebooks that include his well logging work notes and drawings. Legal files illustrating litigation over the infringement of Scherbatskoy's patents are also found in the collection. The papers demonstrate how the oil prospecting industry worked from scientific, commercial and legal perspectives. The bulk of the papers are arranged chronologically to reflect the timeline of Scherbatskoy's career. Due to the limited number of personal materials, Scherbatskoy's personal papers are placed at the end of the series list.

Series 1, World War II Work, 1935-2002, is divided into three subseries and includes information on Scherbatskoy's relationship with physicists Bruno Pontecorvo (1913-1993) and Jacob Neufeld (1906-2000). Neufeld and Scherbatskoy worked on the application of nuclear physics to geophysical prospecting. Neufeld would later join the staff of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Materials include a file about Pontecorvo, Neufeld's laboratory notebook, and some correspondence between Neufeld and Scherbatskoy. This series also includes materials on Scherbatskoy's well logging projects during and after World War II.

Series 2, Invention Laboratory Journals and Drawings, 1958-1992, is further divided into two subseries and includes fifteen laboratory journals and a folder of drawings related to Scherbatskoy's well logging work. The journals are arranged numerically by journal number. In some instances, journal numbers repeat. Journals are paginated and include drawings, tipped-in graphs and charts, and notes relating to Scherbatskoy's well logging work. Some of the notebooks include pages signed by a witness, which Scherbatskoy could use as evidence to prove his ownership of a particular well logging invention idea.

Series 3, Radio Corporation of America (RCA), 1946, 1948, is comprised of one folder with a license agreement between Scherbatskoy and Radio Corporation of America for magnetic recording systems.

Series 4, Canadian Geophysical Measurements Corporation (GMC), 1957-2002, is divided into three subseries and provides information on Scherbatskoy's company Canadian Geophysical Measurements Corporation. Materials include license agreements, correspondence, and Canadian Geophysical Measurements vs. Computalog Gearhart, Ltd litigation files.

Series 5, ARPS Corporation (Jan J. Arps), 1960-1995, includes information on Arps Corporation, organized by Scherbatskoy, Jacob Neufeld, and Jan J. Arps in Dallas, TX to develop and practice measurement while drilling. The Arps Corporation materials are comprised of administrative and financial records, business correspondence, contracts of consultation, patents, license agreements, and Scherbatskoy's stock information.

Series 6, Gearhart-Owen Industries (GOI) (Gearhart Industries, Inc., (GII)), 1961-1996, is divided into seven subseries and consists of records generated during Scherbatskoy's measurement while drilling (MWD™) work with Gearhart-Owen Industries, Inc. One of the largest series in the collection, the Gearhart-Owen materials include license agreements, correspondence, litigation files, measurement while drilling reports and blue line prints of measurement while drilling equipment, signal extraction measurement while drilling study reports, reference materials, and United States, United Kingdom, and Canadian patent assignments between Scherbatskoy, Gearhart-Owen, and the Scherbatskoy Family Trust. Included in the litigation subseries is the Scherbatskoy Family Trust vs. Gearhart Industries, Inc., case. The Scherbatskoy Family Trust in 1975 sued for royalty payments due Scherbatskoy under the Scherbatskoy Gearhart-Owen Agreement on nuclear well logging technology and measurement while drilling. The case was settled in the late 1980s, and Gearhart Industries, Inc., paid royalties to the Scherbatskoy Family Trust. Gearhart materials are also present in Series 7, 8 and 9.

Series 7, Halliburton Company, 1978-1999, is divided into four subseries and includes license agreements, lawsuits and patent infringements, patents, and company acquisitions. This series documents Scherbatskoy's relationship with the Halliburton Company pre-and post-Halliburton's acquisition of Gearhart Industries in the 1980s. Halliburton materials are also in Series 8 and 10.

Series 8, Other Professional Work, 1964-1999, is divided into twelve subseries: McCullough Tool Company, Exploration Logging, Inc., Eastman Whipstock, Schlumberger, Ltd., Sperry-Sun Well Surveying Company, Christensen, Inc., Gunn and Kuffner (attorneys), NL Industries, Inc., Baker Oil Tools, Inc., AMF Scientific Drilling International, Inc., Geolink (UK) Ltd., Technolink (Cyprus), Ltd., and Computalog Gearhart, Ltd. In addition to providing information on oil prospecting companies that Scherbatskoy consulted with during his career, materials also include correspondence between Scherbatskoy and attorneys Gunn and Kuffner relating to Scherbatskoy's well logging patent rights.

Series 9, Well Logging Research Materials, 1937-2002, includes correspondence, papers, reports, promotional literature, and general research files relating to Scherbatskoy's well logging research.

Series 10, Licensing Agreements, 1961-1989, contains four folders documenting the nuclear well logging agreement between oil prospecting companies such as Gearhart Owen, Halliburton, Geophysical Measurements, Inc., and Welex Jet Services. Both Marvin Gearhart and Harold Owen of Gearhart-Owen had been employees of Welex before founding Gearhart-Owen Industries.

Series 11, Patents, 1937-1998, includes copies of patents issued to, among others, Scherbatskoy, Robert E. Fearon (inventor), James Upchurch (inventor), John Westlake (inventor), Mobil Oil Corp and Exxon. Materials also include patent applications, patent protests, patent annuities, and correspondence with the United States Patent Trademark Organization and the German Trademark Office.

Series 12, Personal Materials, 1925-1983, includes materials on Scherbatskoy's immigration to the United States, school diplomas, and memorial book. Visual materials include original photographs, and color copies of original photographs of Scherbatskoy as an adult, his family, and his inventions. Also included is a 1944 submarine training 16mm reel-to-reel film and an audio cassette tape of Scherbatskoy discussing his World War II work with his daughter Mary Scherbatskoy.
Arrangement:
Collection arranged into twelve series.

Series 1, World War II Work, 1935-2002

Subseries 1, Relationship with Bruno Pontecorvo, 1940-2002

Subseries 2, Relationship with Jacob Neufeld, 1935-1954

Subseries 3, Scherbatskoy Well Logging Project, 1940-1951

Series 2, Invention Journals and Drawings, 1958-1992

Subseries 1, Lab Journals, 1963-1992

Subseries 2, Scherbatskoy Invention Drawings, 1958, 1966

Series 3, Radio Corporation of America (RCA), 1946, 1948

Series 4, Canadian Geophysical Measurements Corporation (GMC), 1957-2002

Subseries 1, License Agreements, 1957-2002

Subseries 2, Correspondence, 1967-2002

Subseries 3, Canadian Geophysical Measurements vs. Computalog Gearhart, Ltd., 1986-1996

Series 5, ARPS Corporation (Jan J. Arps), 1960-1995

Series 6, Gearhart-Owen Industries, Inc., (GOI), (Gearhart Industries Inc., (GII), 1961-1996

Subseries 1, License Agreements, 1961-1996

Subseries 2, Correspondence, 1974-1988

Subseries 3, Scherbatskoy Family Trust (SFT) vs. Gearhart Industries, Inc., 1975-1988

Subseries 4, Measurement While Drilling (MWD) Development Reports and Blue Line Prints, 1973-1984

Subseries 5, Gearhart-Owen Signal Extraction (MWD) Study, 1979-1981

Subseries 6, Reference Materials, 1977-1990

Subseries 7, Patent Assignments, 1961-1987

Series 7, Halliburton Company, 1978-1999

Subseries 1, License Agreements, 1979-1999

Subseries 2, Lawsuits and Patent Infringements, 1989-1996

Subseries 3, Patents, 1978-1997, undated

Subseries 4, Halliburton Acquisitions, 1988-1999

Series 8, Other Professional Work, 1964-1999

Subseries 1, McCullough Tool Company, 1964-1996

Subseries 2, Exploration Logging, Inc., 1966-1998

Subseries 3, Eastman Whipstock, (Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftungz-(GmbH)), 1978-1995

Subseries 4, Schlumberger, Ltd., 1967-1999

Subseries 5, Sperry-Sun Well Surveying Company, 1971-1996

Subseries 6, Christensen Diamond Products, Inc., 1977-1988

Subseries 7, Gunn and Kuffner (Attorneys), 1977-1999

Subseries 8, NL Industries, Inc., 1978-1994

Subseries 9, Baker Oil Tools, Inc., 1980-1999

Subseries 10, AMF Scientific Drilling International, Inc., 1984-1987

Subseries 11, Geolink (UK), Ltd., /Technolink (Cyprus) Ltd., 1985-2002

Subseries 12, Computalog Gearhart, Ltd., 1990-2002

Series 9, Well Logging Research Materials, 1937-2002

Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1967-2002

Subseries 2, Papers and Reports, 1960-1990

Subseries 3, Promotional Literature, 1978, undated

Subseries 4, General, 1937-1996

Series 10, Licensing Agreements, 1961-1989

Series 11, Patents, 1937-1998

Subseries 1, Well Logging Patents, 1937-1998

Subseries 2, John E. Westlake (Inventor) Patents, 1972-1996

Subseries 3, James M. Upchurch (Inventor) Patents, 1990-1998

Subseries 4, Other, 1943-1997

Series 12, Personal Materials, 1925-1983

Subseries 1, Personal Papers, 1925-1966

Subseries 2, Photographs, circa 1950s, undated

Subseries 3, Audio Visual Materials, 1944, 1983
Biographical / Historical:
Serge Alexander Scherbatskoy (1908-2002), a petroleum geophysical engineer, held more than 200 patents worldwide in petroleum exploration. Scherbatskoy was born July 18, 1908, in Buyuk Dere, Turkey, a suburb of Constantinople where his father, Alexander Ippolitovich Scherbatskoy, was Third Secretary to the Russian Embassy. After the Russian Revolution of 1917, Alexander Ippolitovich planned to accept a post in the Kerensky government. When that fell, he joined the League of Nations offices in Berlin. Later, he moved the family to Paris where he was employed by Yokohama Specie Bank. Young Serge completed his education at the Sorbonne, earning a degree in physics in 1926.

In 1929, only months before the stock market crash, Scherbatskoy immigrated to the United States. He worked for Bell Labs in New York City from 1929 to 1932. While there, Scherbatskoy worked on the Type C Carrier telephone system, assisted in the Reproduction of Music in Auditory Perspective (the first Hi Fi) and invented an automatic volume control using copper oxide semiconductors, for which the patent was denied. About this time, he met Mary Ellen Dunham; they married in 1938 and had four children: Mary, Serge, Timothy, and Jonathan.

After being laid off from Bell Labs in 1932, Scherbatskoy held a number of odd jobs. He organized the "Bureau of Radio Engineering" to repair radios house-to-house. In 1933, he went to the University of Pennsylvania under a grant from the Works Progress Administration (later Work Projects Administration; WPA) and assisted with developing a "sound prism" (i.e., spectrometer). He worked for PHILCO Radio and Television Corporation from 1933 to 1934 where he developed a "sweeping frequency" oscillator for testing radios. About 1936, Scherbatskoy headed west to Tulsa, Oklahoma, and joined Seismograph Services Corporation. While at Seismograph, he developed the "Expander" and the "Automatic Signal Control" for use in seismographic exploration.

Scherbatskoy left Seismograph Corp. and, with Bill Green and Jerry Westby, started Well Surveys Incorporated in 1937 to develop his idea of nuclear logging of cased wells. In nuclear logging, logs are obtained by using radiation sources in the logging tool. Well Surveys was one of the first American companies that applied nuclear physics to oil prospecting. Standard Oil of New York financed the project, but various parties could not agree and they dissolved the Well Surveys Incorporated.

According to an audiotaped interview conducted by Scherbatskoy's daughter Mary, during World War II Serge Scherbatskoy worked for the U.S. Navy as an independent prime contractor to develop the lethal probability integrator (aircraft gunner training simulator) and other projects. Scherbatskoy also was involved tangentially with the Manhattan Project. As part of the Project, Scherbatskoy was recruited by Gilbert LaBine (1890-1977), a Canadian prospector who discovered radium and uranium deposits at Port Radium, Northwest Territories in 1930. Known as the father of Canada's uranium industry, LaBine was president of Eldorado Mining and Refining Limited from its start in the late 1920s to 1947. Scherbatskoy developed a portable radiation detector and headed a team pioneering this form of uranium exploration near Great Bear Lake, Canada, during 1944, locating deposits used in atomic weapons production.

In 1948, Scherbatskoy formed Geophysical Measurements Corporation (GMC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. During this time, Scherbatskoy worked on the development of well logging technology. "Well logging is the process of exploring systematically the entire length of a drill hole by means of an instrument capable of measuring physical factors associated with the rocks traversed and producing a graph."1 In December 1960, Scherbatskoy, Jan J. Arps (physicist), and Jacob Neufeld (physicist) joined together with Reinholdt & Gardner (a brokerage firm) to form a limited partnership named Arps Corp. to assign, sell and license patents. The purpose was to lease to the oil industry, equipment utilizing the patented Arps process for continuous telemetering to the earth's surface of measurements made at the bottom of a borehole while drilling.

In 1964, GMC conducted a stock swap with McCullough Tool which then went bankrupt in 1968. During the 1970s, Scherbatskoy's activities included consulting with Jacob Neufeld of Oak Ridge National Laboratories. In 1973 he began a relationship with Marvin Gearhart of Gearhart-Owen Industries of Dallas, Texas. Gearhart-Owen was an instrument and oil services firm originally founded by Marvin Gearhart and Harold Owen in 1955. In 1980, Marvin Gearhart changed the name from Gearhart -Owen to Gearhart Industries, Inc., "The GO Company." Scherbatskoy was named Director of Special Projects and continued his own patent program which developed "Measurement While Drilling" and directional drilling patents.

"Measurement While Drilling" (MWD) refers to measurements acquired down hole while drilling that specifically describe directional surveying and drilling-related measurements. "Logging While Drilling" (LWD) refers to petrophysical measurements, similar to open hole wireline logs, acquired while drilling. Wireline logs are a cabling technology used by operators of oil and gas wells to lower equipment into the well. Directional drilling is the science of drilling non-vertical wells. These systems—MWD and LWD—are based on mud telemetry which is the transmission of encoded data through a drilling rig's drilling mud system using rapid fluctuations in the pressure of a closed loop circulating system.

When Gearhart-Owen went bankrupt in 1986, it was acquired by Halliburton. Scherbatskoy worked at Gearhart-Owen until 1988, when he opened his own office in Fort Worth developing Measurement While Drilling patents. Scherbatskoy died on November 25, 2002 in Fort Worth, Texas.

Source

Oil and Gas Journal, February 22, 1940, p. 62.
Related Materials:
The Scherbatskoy Papers complement the Philip Bishop Collection documenting petroleum prospecting and extraction in the Museum's Modern Physics Collection and the American Petroleum Institute (API) Photograph and Film Collection (AC0711) in the Archives Center. The API Collection documents all aspects of the production of oil, including exploration, drilling, cracking, refineries, pipelines, tankers, storage tanks, service stations, and the numerous products other than gasoline produced by the petroleum industry.

The Division of Science, Medicine and Society holds three prototypes related to this collection. See accession 2007.0212.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Serge A. Scherbatskoy's daughter, Mary Scherbatskoy, and three sons, Serge Scherbatskoy, Jr., Timothy Scherbatskoy, and Jonathan Scherbatskoy, on 2007
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Seismology  Search this
Physicists  Search this
Seismic prospecting  Search this
Physics  Search this
Petroleum -- Prospecting  Search this
Petroleum industry  Search this
Patents  Search this
Licenses  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions  Search this
Geophysics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Contracts
Agreements
Notebooks
Correspondence
Diazo prints
Laboratory notebooks
Patent applications
Reports
Citation:
Serge Scherbatskoy Papers, 1925-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0936
See more items in:
Serge A. Scherbatskoy Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0936

Arthur Ehrat Papers

Creator:
Ehrat, Arthur  Search this
Fleckner, John A., 1941-  Search this
Extent:
10 Cubic feet (26 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Videotapes
Audiovisual materials
Interviews
Oral history
Legal records
Patents
Date:
2011
1865-2005
bulk 1970-1990
Summary:
Arthur Ehrat invented and patented a breakaway basketball rim, fashioning his prototypes from bolts, metal braces and one key part: a piece of the heavy-duty coil spring on a John Deere cultivator. His invention helped to revolutionize the way basketball is played because players could slam dunk the ball with fewer injuries and without bending the rims or breaking backboards. This collection includes correspondence, legal documents --such as patent papers, litigation files and licensing agreements --photographs and sketches that relate to the basketball invention, as well as materials regarding his two field spreader patents and other invention ideas.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into five series and consists of approximately seven cubic feet.

This collection includes correspondence and legal documents--such as patent papers, litigation files and licensing agreements--that relate to Arthur Ehrat's basketball goal, as well as materials regarding his field spreader patents and other invention ideas. The bulk of the collection is made up of attorney correspondence, patent infringement documents, and patent licensing documents. The collection also contains handwritten notes by Arthur Ehrat and his attorneys, sketches of his inventions, an oral history interview, and photographs.

Attorney McPherson Moore sent many of the legal documents and correspondence to Ehrat. These documents were assembled by the law firms for which Moore worked. The original order has been preserved.

The correspondence consists of letters from attorney McPherson Moore to Ehrat and from Moore or his associates to other attorneys regarding litigation, pending licensing agreements, and other actions. The correspondence contains handwritten notes, promotional materials for sporting goods companies, drafts of legal documents, copies of patents and other enclosures. The majority of the correspondence is copies.

Correspondence found throughout the collection is key to understanding the legal documents because it provides insight into the legal negotiations behind the settlement and licensing process, and the diligence necessary to protect a viable patent from infringement. Correspondence should be read in conjunction with litigation and licensing documents to gain a better sense of the negotiations between attorneys and how and why the legal documents were created.

Throughout this collection, reference is made to legal terms, including pleadings, production documents, discovery, patent infringement, file histories, and Bates numbers. Series 3, Civil Action and Settlement Records has numerous sets of pleadings, which are the legal documents filed in a lawsuit. These documents encompass complaints, petitions, answers, motions, declarations, and memoranda.

The discovery process is the effort of one party to a lawsuit to get information from the other party prior to a trial. This is done through depositions, requests for or production of documents, and interrogatories (written questions to the other party).6

Bates numbers --named after the Bates Automatic Numbering Machine patented in the late 1800s --are used to identify documents with a unique number. The parties to a lawsuit use these numbers to keep papers in order when they are sent to the other party during discovery. This collection contains sets of production documents stamped with Bates numbers. (See Series 3, Subseries 8: Ehrat v. Icon, Proform and K's Merchandise, 1984-1996)7

Patent infringement is "the manufacture and/or use of an invention or improvement for which someone else owns a patent issued by the government, without obtaining permission of the owner of the patent by contract, license or waiver."8

A patent file history (also called a file wrapper) is a folder maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It contains all of the correspondence and documents from a patent application.9 See Series 2, Subseries 2 for the file history of Ehrat's United States Patent No. 4,365,802.

Series 1: Background Materials, 1968-2005, 2011

This series, which is further divided into three subseries, comprises oral history interviews, early sketches of Ehrat's basketball goal, articles about slam dunking, Ehrat's breakaway rim, correspondence and notes, income and expense records (including legal expenses), photographs and facsimiles of photographs, and invoices from the components Ehrat purchased when he created prototypes. One receipt documents the heater Bob Copelin purchased for his new shed in 1975, around the time Ehrat began inventing. This was significant when Ehrat was trying to prove to the United States Patent Office that he had his idea before Frederick Tyner.

Subseries 1: Ehrat History, 1968-2005

Correspondence in this subseries includes a handwritten list of possible names for the basketball rim, one which Ehrat titled, "The Rebounder Has Been Tested." The correspondence also contains copies of letters sent to the United States Patent Office intended to prove that Ehrat's rim was unique; a letter from National Basketball Association saying that, after testing, it is going to use Kenneth Mahoney's (Toss Back) rim instead of Ehrat's; letters from basketball halls of fame; and copies of e-mail from the Smithsonian. This subseries has an original sketch of Ehrat's basketball goal with annotations. Also included is a 1 D2" VHS tape of Ehrat explaining the components he used to fashion his first breakaway rim prototypes and a news segment in which Ehrat was interviewed about his invention at the Chicago Board of Trade. The audio and video recordings contain some repetition of information.

Subseries 2: Photographs and Clippings, 1973-2005

Color photocopies of photographs depicting early rims; a birthday gathering for Ehrat's father, William Ehrat, circa 1974-1975 (used to help prove that he was working on the rim before Frederick Tyner); Ehrat giving a rim to Virden High School; Ehrat with sportscaster Dick Vitale; and a studio shot of his daughters, Rose, Jo, Sharon, Jane, and Linda.

Three photographs in this subseries show prototype rims with coil springs. Ehrat holds up one of these photographs in the video history, but he does not discuss the photographs' origin. There are no markings of any kind on the photographs.

Subseries 2 also contains field photographs taken by John Fleckner, National Museum of American History staff, in May 2005. Field photographs include: the grain elevator Ehrat managed; rim prototypes; and a donated rim hanging on the gym wall at Virden High School.

Articles in this subseries are from the Virden Recorder, The State Journal-Register, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and Kentucky Living. The topics covered include collapsible rims and breakaway rims; Ehrat and his invention; and the Smithsonian Institution's interest in the breakaway rim. Also included is a clipping from Farmers Elevator Co.'s meeting minutes from December 15, 1973, in which the board voted to relinquish rights to any patent or product created by Ehrat.

Subseries 3: Oral History Interview, 2005

A May, 2005, interview of Ehrat by John Fleckner at Ehrat's home in Virden, IL. Ehrat discusses his background, attorney Ralph Staubly, basketball rims he built, and a slam dunk contest that his nephew Randy Albrecht helped organize in the early 1980s at St. Louis Community College. Subseries 3 also contains Digital video disks (DVD) in which Ehrat discusses the documents he sent to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History. There is some repetition of topics discussed in the audio and video recordings.

Series 2: Patent Records for Basketball Rim, 1865-1984 (bulk 1970s-1984)

This series, divided into four subseries, contains copies of patents used as research or as prior art for Ehrat's patent application, a file history of the patent, correspondence/notes from Ehrat and his attorneys, and legal papers sent from Ehrat's first attorney, Ralph Staubly, to McPherson Moore.

Subseries 1: Ehrat and Dittrich Patents, 1979-1984

Copies of Ehrat's United States Patent No. 4,365,802, deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals and William Dittrich's two patents, United States Patent No. 4,151,989, basketball practice device and United States Patent No. 4,465,277, basketball goal structure.

Subseries 2: Research and File History, 1865-1984

The complete patent file history consists of a list of actions taken (rejections, appeals, civil action filed) on the patent application for United States Patent No. 4,365,802. Pages 19-23 are copies of letters sent to United States Patent Office to establish the rim's unique qualities after the examiner's interference search found Frederick Tyner's patent (United States Patent No. 4,111, 420, Energy-absorbing basketball goal/backboard unit) and ruled Ehrat's invention was too similar.

Subseries 3: Correspondence and Notes, 1976-1984

Two sets of letters from acquaintances. The first set, 1977-1978, was sent to the United States Patent Office and provide a sense of the invention's unique quality. The second set, 1983-1984, consists of letters written by Ehrat's friends and was used in Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Mt. Vernon School District and Porter (Series 3, Subseries 1) to establish that Ehrat had his breakaway rim idea before Frederick Tyner. A letter in the correspondence folder for this litigation, dated February 23, 1984, mentions that copies of these letters were sent to Basketball Products International. Also in this subseries is a transcript of a phone conversation between Ehrat and attorney McPherson Moore about when Ehrat had the idea for a breakaway rim and who knew about it.

Subseries 4: Files from Ehrat's First Attorney, Ralph Staubly, 1976-1982

Includes the file about Ehrat sent from Ralph Staubly to McPherson Moore when Ehrat changed legal representation in 1983. The folder contains originals, copies, and drafts of documents sent to the United States Patent Office, some with annotations. Also included is a high school basketball rulebook, 1977-1978, and the notes Ralph Staubly used to write an affidavit for Ehrat's patent application in which Ehrat swears he invented before Frederick Tyner.

Series 3: Civil Action and Settlement Records, 1984-1996

This series is divided into eight subseries. It contains full and partial sets of case pleadings, with pleadings indices, from eight court cases, attorney correspondence and notes, depositions of Ehrat and Frederick Tyner, case judgments, and signed settlements.

In 1984, Ehrat and Basketball Products International were plaintiffs or defendants together in five civil action lawsuits that involved sporting goods companies, including Porter Equipment Company, Gared Company, and Toss Back. These lawsuits and their correspondence should be consulted in conjunction with one another.

Subseries 1: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Mt. Vernon School District and Porter, 1984

Civil action, February 1984-June 1984: The complaint alleges patent infringement by sporting goods company Porter for manufacturing products embodying the invention, and infringement by Mt. Vernon School District (WA) for purchasing Porter basketball goals. Action dismissed June 11, 1984. This subseries contains the subpoena and deposition of Frederick Tyner regarding United States Patent No. 4,111, 420, Energy-absorbing basketball goal/backboard unit. It also contains plaintiff's exhibits, numbered 1-31, which include Tyner's notes, documents, and facsimiles of photographs related to his patented basketball goal.

Subseries 2: Porter Equipment Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984

Civil action, April 1984-June 1984: The complaint alleges that Ehrat's and Basketball Products International's patents are invalid and unenforceable and that Porter and Mt. Vernon School District did not infringe. Porter calls for dismissal or transfer of the case. The pleadings index for Vol. 1 has a note at the bottom that says "Start Vol. 2," but Vol. 2 is not in the collection.

Subseries 3: Gared Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984-1988

Civil action, March 1984-October 1984: This action is in response to letters sent by attorney McPherson Moore threatening a lawsuit if Gared Company does not cease manufacture of infringing goals. Gared Company files a complaint for declaratory judgment, calling the patent invalid and alleging unfair competition. A stipulated dismissal of complaint was signed by Moore and Ralph Kalish, Gared Company's legal counsel. Declaratory judgment is the judgment of a court which determines the rights of parties without ordering anything be done or awarding damages.

Of note in this subseries is the deposition of Ehrat regarding his involvement with Gared Company and the city of St. Louis, where the company is based. Gared Company's counsel, Ralph Kalish, asks Ehrat questions about his nephew, Randy Albrecht. Ehrat purchased 12 rims from Gared Company, on the advice of his nephew, for the purpose of building and testing his releasable basketball goals. Kalish tries to assess whether there was a profit motive and how Gared Company's goals factored into that.

Subseries 4: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Gared Company, 1984

Civil action, April 1984-June 1984: Complaint filed against Gared Company and Athletic Supply (which purchased Gared Company goals) for patent infringement. The case was dismissed.

Subseries 5: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Toss Back

Civil action, May 1984-June 1984: Complaint filed against Toss Back and the cities of Seattle and Tacoma (which purchased Toss Back basketball goals) for patent infringement. There is no evidence of a settlement or of court action. Toss Back signed a licensing agreement with Ehrat in 1985 (See Series 4, Licensing Agreements).

Subseries 6: Ehrat v. Gared Company and Nixdorff-Krein Industries, 1982-1990 (bulk 1987-1990)

Civil action, 1988-1990: Complaint filed against sports equipment company Gared and its parent company, Nixdorff-Krein Industries, for patent infringement. Request for passing case for settlement filed by Ehrat's attorney, McPherson Moore, and granted by the court. The signed settlement is in this subseries. This subseries has file histories of Gared Company patents. A file history (or file wrapper) is a folder kept at the United States Patent and Trademark Office that has all of the correspondence and documents from a patent application

Subseries 7: Ehrat v. Diversified Products, 1989-1994

Civil action, 1993: A complaint was filed against Diversified Products after a series of letters calling for the company to cease manufacture and sales of infringing basketball goals went unheeded. The parties were granted a consent judgment to settle out of court. The signed settlement is in this subseries.

Subseries 8: Ehrat v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., Pro Form Fitness Products Inc., and K's Merchandise Mart, 1984-1996 (bulk 1994-1996)

The Icon Health & Fitness Inc. (hereinafter Icon) pleadings consist of two volumes, Vols. 2 and 3. Vol. 1 is missing. There is a draft of the first page of Ehrat's complaint against Icon in Box 9, Folder 3. A consent judgment was entered, and the parties settled out of court. The signed settlement is in this subseries.

There are two categories of production documents in this subseries, those for the plaintiff (three folders) and those for the defendant (seven folders), that have Bates numbers affixed to or printed on the bottom of the pages. Bates numbers are used to identify documents with a unique number. The parties to a lawsuit use these numbers to keep papers in order when they are sent to the other party during discovery.

The plaintiff's production documents include Bates numbers 1-205. Numbers 1-105 contain Ehrat's patent file history; numbers 107-205 are copies of Ehrat's licensing agreements through 1993.

In the defendant's production documents, one folder has Bates # I10001 and other numbered pages that are not in a particular order. Bates numbers I10068- I10882 include the file history for United States Patent No. 4,365,802, deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals; correspondence among defendant's attorneys; copies of patents; and copies of licensing agreements through 1993.

Series 4: Licensing Agreements, 1982-2000 (bulk 1980s-1990s)

This series is divided into twenty-six subseries and encompasses materials pertaining to Ehrat's relationships with numerous companies that manufacture or sell sports equipment. These materials include correspondence and notes, licensing agreements and drafts of agreements, Dun and Bradstreet financial reports, catalogs, pamphlets, and other promotional materials. Ehrat and attorney McPherson Moore used the promotional materials to determine whether the companies were marketing or selling basketball goals that infringed on Ehrat's patent, then contacted the companies about licensing Ehrat's patent. With the exception of Subseries 1: Correspondence and Subseries 6: William Dittrich Patents, each subseries represents a different company.

To better understand Ehrat's relationships with these companies, researchers should consult Subseries 1: Correspondence, as well as the correspondence within specific subseries, in conjunction with licensing agreements and other documents in this series.

There are thirteen signed licensing agreements in this series, some of which bear original signatures. Ehrat's first licensee was with Basketball Products International, which signed an exclusive agreement in 1983. In November, 1984, after five civil action lawsuits in which Ehrat and Basketball Products International were either co-plaintiffs or co-defendants, the company signed a nonexclusive licensing agreement. Drafts of the agreements exist for some companies, but there is no evidence that the agreements were signed. In some cases, correspondence indicates which companies were not interested in entering into an agreement.

Ehrat's licensees include Huffy (signed May 1988); Basketball Products International, exclusive license (signed July 1983), nonexclusive license (signed November 1984); Toss Back (signed January 1985); Porter Equipment Company (signed 1985 and 1989); RDH Enterprises/Schutt (signed August 1991); Industrial Machine Specialties/Bison (signed January 1987); Lifetime Products (signed March 1989); Fisher-Price (owned by Quaker Oats, signed April 1988); Indian Industries/Harvard Sports (signed June 1991); McCullough (signed April 1990); and Sure Shot (signed March 1991).

Companies in this series without signed licensing agreements include Medart; Blazon-Flexible Flyer; Spang/Today's Kids; Sports and Leisure/Ideas That Sell; Wilson Sporting Goods; Hutch Sporting Goods; Aalco; Bergfeld Recreation; Future Pro; MacGregor; Pro-Bound; Architectural Design Products; and Hyland Engineering.

Settlements and licensing agreements that Ehrat signed with Gared Company, Diversified Products, and Icon appear only in Series 3, Civil Action and Settlement Records.

Subseries 6, William Dittrich Patents, contains correspondence and documents relating to the patent and royalty agreement Dittrich made with Ehrat in 1987. Dittrich had two basketball-related patents but had difficulty getting companies to license with him because there was confusion about his patents and those of Ehrat and Frederick Tyner. Dittrich contacted Ehrat's attorney, McPherson Moore, and they worked out an agreement. Ehrat acquired Dittrich's patents and they joined forces to attract licensing agreements and to split royalties and litigation settlements. Subseries 6 also has the transcript of a 1986 phone conference between William Dittrich and McPherson Moore regarding a possible joint agreement with Ehrat and the patent file history for United States Patent No. 4,151,989, basketball practice device. There is no file history for Dittrich's other patent, United States Patent No. 4,465,277, basketball goal structure, but there are pieces of the file history in this subseries. Subseries 6 also includes drafts and signed patent assignment papers and a signed licensing agreement between Ehrat and Dittrich, 1987.

Subseries 9, Lifetime Products, consists of itemized lists of attorney's fees from McPherson Moore for November 30, 1987, to February 28, 1989. The fees are for research, phone calls, photocopies, correspondence, and litigation documents for Ehrat v. Gared Company. The companies listed in these papers include Gared Company, Lifetime, Huffy, Fisher-Price, Sports and Leisure, Today's Kids, Toss Back, and Blazon.

Subseries 16, McCullough contains a Dunk-Kit (see Box 18), which Ehrat purchased in 1989. The Dunk-Kit is a set of springs and bolts that turn a set basketball goal into a breakaway goal. According to attorney McPherson Moore, the springs and bolts constituted an infringement of Ehrat's patent. McCullough disagreed with this assessment but eventually agreed to a monetary settlement.

Series 5: Field Spreader Patents and Other Ideas, 1977-2003

Subseries 1: Field Spreader Patents, 1977-2003

This subseries contains copies of Ehrat's two field spreader patents: United States Patent No. 4,358,054, field-sprayer tank-vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals and United States Patent No. 4,588,127, material-spreading field vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals. It also contains magazines, articles, and pamphlets on agricultural equipment and litigation documents between SoilTeq and Ag-Chem.

Subseries 2: Other Ideas, 1971-1998

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ehrat came up with ideas for other inventions, but none of them were patentable. This subseries has original sketches for "electric clippers with box for holding clippings;" a beverage can with multiple containers; and an "automobile refreshment temperature control." Included in the folders are letters that outline the ideas behind the inventions and the reasons they were not patented. Also included are copies of patents that relate to Ehrat's ideas.

Series 6: Toby Dittrich Files, 1889-1997

This series, which is further divided into five subseries, contains administrative records, prior art, patent records, correspondence, litigation materials, financial records, marketing and sales materials, photographs, and newspaper clippings from William A. (Toby) Dittrich. Dittrich invented the "Dunk King" break-away basketball rim in the mid 1970s while he was a physics professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington State. Dittrich patented and marketed his rim with mixed success before selling the rights to his patents to Arthur Ehrat in the mid 1980s. The two agreed to market and license their products independently, and cooperatively share royalties and settlements from patent infringement cases.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1: Background materials, 1968-2005

Subseries 1: Ehrat History, 1968-2005, 2011

Subseries 2: Photographs and Clippings, 1973-2005

Subseries 3: Oral History, 2005

Series 2: Patent records for basketball rim,1865-1984

Subseries 1: Ehrat and Dittrich Patents, 1979-1984

Subseries 2: Research and File History, 1865-1984

Subseries 3: Correspondence and Notes, 1976-1984

Subseries 4: Files from First Attorney, Ralph Staubly, 1976-1982

Series 3: Civil action and settlement records, 1984-1996

Subseries 1: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Mt. Vernon School District and Porter Equipment Company, 1984

Subseries 2: Porter Equipment Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984

Subseries 3: Gared Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984-1988

Subseries 4: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Gared Company --Pleadings, 1984

Subseries 5: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Toss Back, 1984

Subseries 6: Ehrat v. Gared Company and Nixdorff-Krein Industries, 1982-1989 (bulk 1987-1989)

Subseries 7: Ehrat v. Diversified Products, 1989-1994

Subseries 8: Ehrat v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., Pro Form fitness Products, Inc. and K's Merchandise Mart, 1984-1996 (bulk 1994-1996)

Series 4: Licensing agreements, 1982-2000 (bulk 1980s-mid-1990s)

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1980-1989

Subseries 2: Huffy, 1982-1994

Subseries 3: Basketball Products International, 1984-2000

Subseries 4: Toss Back, 1985-1988

Subseries 5: Porter, 1985-2000

Subseries 6: William Dittrich Patents, 1985-1994

Subseries 7: RDH Enterprises/Schutt, 1986-1991

Subseries 8: Industrial Machine Specialties/Bison, 1987-1999

Subseries 9: Lifetime Products, 1987-1989

Subseries 10: Medart, 1988

Subseries 11: Blazon-Flexible Flyer, 1988-1989

Subseries 12: Fisher-Price, 1988-1990

Subseries 13: Spang/Today's Kids, 1988-1990

Subseries 14: Sports and Leisure/Ideas That Sell, 1988-1990

Subseries 15: Indian Industries/Harvard Sports, 1989-2000

Subseries 16: McCullough, 1989-1993

Subseries 17: Wilson Sporting Goods, 1990

Subseries 18: Hutch Sporting Goods, 1990-1991

Subseries 19: Sure Shot, 1991-1997

Subseries 20: Aalco, 1991

Subseries 21: Bergfeld Recreation, 1991

Subseries 22: Future Pro, 1995-1997

Subseries 23: MacGregor, 1997

Subseries 24: Pro-Bound, 1997

Subseries 25: Architectural Design Products, 1997-1998

Subseries 26: Hyland Engineering, 1998

Series 5: Field spreader patents and other ideas, 1977-2003

Subseries 1: Field Spreader, 1977-2003

Subseries 2: Other Ideas, 1971-1998

Series 6: Toby Dittrich Files, 1889-1997

Subseries 1: Administrative, 1977-1991

Subseries 2: Patent Information, 1889-1989

Subseries 3: Legal/Patent Infriengement Matters, 1977-1997

Subseries 4: Marketing and Sales, 1977-1991

Subseries 5: Other Inventions and Ideas, 1978-1980
Biographical / Historical:
Arthur Henry Ehrat was born December 20, 1924. He grew up on a farm near Shobonier, IL, east of St. Louis. Ehrat had four sisters and a brother: Dorothea, Ruth, Bernice, Grace and Walter. Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, Ehrat learned farming skills, including milking, baling, and operating heavy equipment such as threshing machines. After graduating from Vandalia High School he moved to Wheaton, IL, to work on a farm. From the latter part of 1945 until 1947, Ehrat was an Army medic, stationed in Fort Sheridan, IL; Camp Atterbury, IN; Fort Meade, MD; and Manila, Philippines. After his Army service, Ehrat moved back to Illinois and spent a few years farming with his brother.

In the early 1950s Ehrat lived with his sister Bernice and her family in Minneapolis while attending a two-year course at Minneapolis Business College. Upon completion of the course, he returned to Virden, IL and worked at a grain elevator. Ehrat met Mary Mardell Worth in Virden. They were married June 27, 1954, and had five daughters: Rose, Jo, Sharon, Jane and Linda. Ehrat managed the grain elevator at Farmers Elevator Co. in Lowder, IL for nearly 30 years.

In the mid-1970s, Ehrat's nephew, Randy Albrecht, a coach at St. Louis University, mentioned that basketball players were slamming the basketball ball through the rim and hurting themselves, as well as bending or breaking the rims, which were affixed directly to the backboard. The bent rims had to be straightened, causing a delay of game. While Ehrat never had a strong interest in the game of basketball, Albrecht suggested his uncle, who was known as a tinkerer, come up with a safer basketball rim. The conversation sparked a few ideas. Ehrat bought a flimsy $20 basketball rim and began building a prototype.

Basketball fans during the 1940s and 1950s didn't see many slam dunks. Despite the leaping ability of stars Bob Kurland, George Mikan, and James Clifford Pollard, aka "the Kangaroo Kid," the dunk shot was considered showboating and was often done only in practice. Basketball players, whose average size was smaller in the mid-20th century, viewed the dunk as a low-percentage shot compared with the ubiquitous jump-shot.

In 1967, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) outlawed dunking. A few years later, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who played professionally for the American Basketball Association's Virginia Squires, re-ignited excitement about basketball with his high-flying slams. In the first half of 1976, a few months before Ehrat first applied for a patent, the dunk was reinstated in college basketball.

At the professional level, flamboyant hoops star Darryl "Dr. Dunk" Dawkins shattered some glass backboards in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which prompted the National Basketball Association (NBA) to ban the shattering of backboards and make collapsible rims mandatory. The NBA's call for collapsible rims, along with the NCAA's reinstatement of the dunk, opened the door for innovations in basketball rims.

Collapsible rims, which folded down when pressure was applied to them, were the precursor to breakaway rims and had to be manually put back in place. Ehrat created a safer basketball rim that automatically snapped back after a slam dunk.

Ehrat's first rim, used a door spring. It was bolted to two plates, one that remained fastened while the other flexed down under pressure. The hinge was not strong enough, so he focused on creating a detent. A detent is a device that holds one mechanical part in relation to another so the device can be released when force is applied. If someone slam dunks a basketball and pulls on the rim, a detent would allow the rim to flex downward with minimal pressure on the backboard. Ehrat fitted some heavy-duty magnets between metal plates on the rim, but this did not work as he envisioned.

The turning point came when Ehrat decided to use a spring mechanism. Drawing upon his agricultural background, he pulled a spring from a John Deere cultivator, cutting it to fit the basketball rim. The thick, sturdy coil was able to withstand more than a hundred pounds of pressure before yielding downward and would push the rim back into place. In addition to the spring, he tested ball bearings, bolts, and corner braces before finding the right combination that would hold at least 150 pounds of pressure.

Once he had viable prototypes, Ehrat tested their durability. He sent one to Virden High School and enlisted Randy Albrecht, to test the other prototypes. Albrecht used his connections as a basketball coach at St. Louis Community College at Meramec to have prototypes installed at the schools where he worked. The rims were sent to other high schools and colleges by Ehrat. For more information on where the prototypes went, see his deposition in Series 3, Subseries 3. Ehrat estimated in his deposition that he built approximately 36-40 prototype rims.

It took six years, from July 1976 to December 1982, for Ehrat to receive the patent on his basketball goal (United States Patent No. 4,365,802, Deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals). His application was rejected twice, with patent examiner Paul Shapiro noting that Frederick C. Tyner held a patent for a similar basketball goal (United States Patent No. 4,111, 420, energy-absorbing basketball goal/backboard unit).

Ehrat and his attorney, Ralph Staubly, pursued an appeal of the rejection. Staubly, a retired patent examiner had moved to Springfield, IL, in the 1970s to open a private practice. A major part of the appeal involved notarized letters from acquaintances who said that Ehrat's invention was unique and would be an asset to the sport of basketball. He also proved, through copies of canceled checks and a rough sketch of his invention, that he was working on his breakaway basketball goal in 1975 before Frederick Tyner conceived of his. In a 1984 deposition (Series 3, Subseries 1), Tyner placed the date of his invention near the last week of March or first week of April 1976, not long after he heard that the NCAA had reinstated dunking.

Ehrat won the appeal, effectively rendering the Tyner patent invalid. After Staubly fell ill and moved to Texas, and in early 1983, Ehrat found a new patent attorney,McPherson Moore of the St. Louis firm Rogers, Eilers and Howell, who became Ehrat's main legal counsel for approximately 20 years.

In February, 1983, two months after Ehrat received his patent, his attorney McPherson Moore sent certified letters to more than 60 sporting goods companies to announce the patent. The letters were sent to alert companies of possible infringement and to garner interest in licensing agreements.

During the basketball goal patent's 17-year lifespan, Ehrat obtained a dozen companies as licensees. Only Fisher-Price and Schutt Manufacturing signed without much difficulty. Ehrat worked to get the other companies licensed, in some cases filing patent infringement lawsuits or threatening to file them. Ehrat's first licensing agreement, signed in 1983, was with Basketball Products International.

Ehrat was involved in eight civil action lawsuits, five of which took place in 1984, when he had to prove for a second time that he had his idea for a breakaway goal before Tyner. Ehrat also defended his patent against other, similar patents issued to sporting goods companies in the early 1980s. Kenneth Mahoney of Toss Back, Charles Engle of Gared Company, and the Porter Equipment Co. all received patents for basketball goal devices, citing Ehrat's patent as prior art. Ehrat was involved in lawsuits with all three companies.

In 1986, Ehrat and attorney McPherson Moore were contacted by William "Toby" Dittrich, who held two patents --United States Patent No. 4,151,989, basketball practice device and United States Patent No. 4,465,277, basketball goal structure. Dittrich was having difficulty licensing his patents to companies because of the confusion over Ehrat's and Tyner's patents. Dittrich assigned his patents to Ehrat in 1987 and they signed a joint licensing agreement to split royalties and settlement money.

In addition to his basketball goal patent, Ehrat also holds two patents for agricultural inventions: United States Patent No. 4,358,054, field-sprayer tank-vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals; and United States Patent No. 4,588,127, material-spreading field vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals.

Arthur Ehrat died on July 9, 2015.
Related Materials:
Artifacts related to this collection were donated to the Museum's Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment, now the Division of Culture and Arts.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2005 by Arthur Ehrat. An addenda of materials related to Toby Dittrich was donated by Toby Dittrich in 2014.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Patent suits  Search this
Sporting goods industry -- 1950-1990  Search this
Baketball hoops  Search this
Basketball  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
Audiovisual materials
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Legal records
Patents -- 20th century
Citation:
Arthur Ehrat Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0907
See more items in:
Arthur Ehrat Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0907
Additional Online Media:

Patent-Related Material

Collection Creator:
Herrick, Gerard Post, 1873-1955  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Scope and Contents:
This series consists of materials relating to patents applications filed by, patents awarded to, and patent licenses acquired by Herrick. The series also includes materials relating to the alleged attempt by C. L. Stauffer and F. E. Seiler to market Herrick's convertible aircraft design as their own. Titles and information appearing in square brackets were added during processing.
Collection Restrictions:
Please see NASM Archives for restrictions.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Gerard Post Herrick Papers, NASM.XXXX.0097, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0097, Series 1
See more items in:
Gerard Post Herrick Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-xxxx-0097-ref9

Aladdin Industries, Inc. Records

Creator:
Johnson, Victor S., Sr., 1882-1943  Search this
Johnson, Victor, Jr., 1906-  Search this
Aladdin Industries, Inc. (Nashville, Tenn.).  Search this
Names:
Allen, Steve  Search this
Reagan, Ronald  Search this
Extent:
50 Cubic feet (120 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Newsletters
Commercial art
Picture postcards
Laboratory notebooks
Patents
Design drawings
Business records
Advertisements
Scrapbooks
Date:
1889-2003
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of approximately 50 cubic feet of material documenting Aladdin Industries Inc., manufacturers of vacuum ware and lunch boxes. The majority of the material dates from 1947 to the 1970s. The strength of the collection is with the lunch box documentation and product development, marketing, and sales records. There is some interesting labor history—specifically United Steel Workers agreement. The files of Victor S. Johnson, Sr. and Victor S. Johnson, Jr. form the core of the collection and provide rich documentation on the company's activities.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seventeen series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Materials, 1919-1997

Series 2: Victor S. Johnson Sr. Files, 1916-1945

Series 3: Victor S. Johnson Jr. Files, 1906-1983

Series 4: Employee and Personnel Records, 1910-2001

Series 5: Research and Development Records, 1910-1976

Series 6: Patent Records, 1889-1973

Series 7: Sales Records, 1939-2000

Series 8: Advertising and Marketing Records, 1931-2001

Series 9: School Lunch Kits, 1952-1989

Series 10: Lamps and Kerosene Heaters, 1911-2000

Series 11: Temp-Rite, 1972-2000

Series 12: Competitors, 1963-2001

Series 13: Style Guides, 1966-1998

Series 14: Newsletters, 1943-1998

Series 15: Photographs, 1923-1986

Series 16: Scrapbooks, 1908-1962

Series 17: Audiovisual Materials, 1993-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Victor Samuel Johnson Sr., (1882-1943) was born in Nebraska. As a soap salesman for the Iowa Soap Company, he became interested in kerosene mantle burners. Dissatisfied with the available kerosene lamps, he began selling and dealing U.S. made mantles and incorporated the Mantle Lamp Company of America in Chicago in 1908. Johnson selected the name "Aladdin" from the famous story, "Aladdin; or The Wonderful Lamp." Johnson began research and development of a mantle lamp that gave off a steady white light and did not smoke. The Mantle Lamp Company began manufacturing lamps in 1912, with Plume & Atwood Manufacturing Company burners, and marketed them as "Aladdin Lamps." The company diversified in 1917 and began producing insulated cooking dishes, known as Aladdin Thermalware jars, for the U.S. military. These jars had an aluminum or steel jacket wrapped around a heavy glass receptacle. The space between was filled with cork. The introduction of the thermalware began the company's venture into heat and cold retaining receptacles.

In 1919, Johnson organized a subsidiary of the Mantle Lamp Company of America, Aladdin Industries, Inc., to market and sell the Aladdin thermalware jars and vacuum ware. At the same time, Mantle lamp Company of America formed Aladdin Limited in Canada and England to sell thermalware as well as Pathfinder Radio Corporation, Cadillac Photograph Corporation, Aladdin Chemical Corporation, Aladdin Phonograph Corporation, Johnson Laboratories, Inc. (radio components), and Aladdin Radio Industries (magnetic and radio research). Pathfinder, Cadillac, Aladdin Chemical and Aladdin Phonograph all failed. In 1926, the Mantle Lamp Company acquired Lippincott Glass Company of Alexandria, Indiana, where it manufactured and fabricated glass chimneys, shades and lamp bases, mantles, wicks, and metal lamp bases. The Alexandria plant closed in 1952 and eventually moved to Nashville.

In 1943, Victor S. Johnson Sr. died and his son, Victor S. Johnson Jr. (1906-), succeeded him as president of Aladdin Industries Inc. Johnson Jr. moved Aladdin from Chicago to Nashville, Tennessee in 1949 to place the company strategically in mid-America to distribute its products. Aladdin's general offices, vacuum bottle production, and electric lamps and kerosene completed the move by 1952.

In 1950, Aladdin began illustrating flat metal school lunch kits (lunch boxes with liquid containers) with images of popular radio, movie and television figures. Hopalong Cassidy was the first character kit. This innovative marketing decision produced an explosive growth in the lunch kit market and made Aladdin a pioneer in image licensing. Character lunch boxes became a large part of the childhood experience and are collector's items today. Over the years, Aladdin extended the range of characters depicted and began manufacturing plastic and soft, vinyl lunch kits with printed themes. It also introduced "3D" embossing on the flat metal kits. Embossed metal lunch kits were completely phased out in 1986 due to high production costs. In addition to the school lunch kits, Aladdin also introduced wide mouth vacuum bottles (pint and quart size) in 1953. The wide mouth bottles also carried "adult" themes such as the "Angler" fisherman's bottle. The thermosware line eventually moved from metal to plastic jackets and from a glass insulated filler to foam.

In 1965, Aladdin purchased the Stanley steel bottle operation from Landers, Frary and Clark in New Britain, Connecticut. Aladdin's diversification strategy led to the introduction in 1968 of the Temp-Rite® meal distribution plan, an insulated thermal tray service for hospitals, the airline industry, and prisons. The Temp-Rite® system gave rise to a full line of products and services and Aladdin formed a subsidiary, known as Aladdin Synergetics, Inc., to handle its health care and food service operations. Aladdin Synergetics was sold to Welbilt Corporation in 1998; the new operation was named Aladdin Temp-Rite. Other products added over the years included electric lamps, shades, kerosene stoves, and an electronics division in 1956. This division was established from a small technical research group whose function was patent licensing. As a subsidiary of Aladdin Industries, it produced transformers and radio and telephone filters. The subsidiary was sold to Vernitron in October, 1979.

At various times, Aladdin established offices in Alexandria, Indiana; Chicago, Illinois; Nashville, Tennessee; Portland Oregon, Canada; Hungry; France; Australia, New Zealand; England; Iraq, Iran, Brazil, Japan, Peru, Venezuela, Chile, Uruguay, France, Germany, Iceland, Sweden, and South Africa to market and sell its products.

Aladdin was financially mismanaged in the 1990s and rapidly declined. Aladdin Industries Inc. reorganized in 1999 and became known as Aladdin Industries LLC. High labor costs and unsuccessful efforts to develop new products led to further decline. By January, 2002, Aladdin had sold its remaining product lines and closed its Nashville plant. Aladdin lamps are still sold today by the Aladdin Mantle Lamp Company of Clarksville, Tennessee.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Cultural History, National Museum of American History, holds 30 lunch boxes and 28 thermos bottles from Aladdin Industries, Nashville, Tennessee. Additionally, there is a pair of lamps. See Accession 2003.0255. Although the children's steel lunch boxes predominate, the collection represents the full spectrum of Aladdin box designs including vinyl, hard plastic, and fabric.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center by Aladdin Industries in 2003.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Lunchboxes  Search this
Character merchandising  Search this
Celebrities  Search this
Food containers  Search this
Food container industry  Search this
Thermos bottles  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Commercial art
Picture postcards -- 20th century -- United States
Laboratory notebooks
Patents -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Business records -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Citation:
Aladdin Industries, Inc. Records, 1889-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0844
See more items in:
Aladdin Industries, Inc. Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0844
Additional Online Media:

Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 42

Author:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (6.0" x 3.5")
Container:
Box 21, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Diaries
Date:
1925 December 20-1926 November 2
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref331
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Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 50

Author:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (6.0" x 3.5")
Container:
Box 21, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Diaries
Date:
1931 December 17-1932 May 30
1931 December 12 - 1932 May 30
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref339
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Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 55

Author:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (6.0" x 3.5")
Container:
Box 21, Folder 9
Type:
Archival materials
Diaries
Date:
1935 January 1- 1935 December 31
1935 June 1- 1935 December 31
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref344
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Leo Baekeland Diary Volume 57

Author:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Collection Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (6.0" x 3.5")
Container:
Box 22, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Diaries
Date:
1936 May 18-1937 March 27
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries -- 20th century
Collection Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0005-ref346
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Volume 6

Collection Creator:
Kearns, Robert W.  Search this
Kearns, Timothy  Search this
Brown, Brian Ivan  Search this
Quan, John  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1961-06-25 - 1962-10-17
Scope and Contents:
302 pages; [PO 11159-PO 111462]; topics include patent licensing, dissertation idea, and expenditures.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some health-related materials in Series 6: National Bureau of Standards are restricted until 2055.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
Robert W. Kearns Papers, 1963-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1406, Subseries 2.7
See more items in:
Robert W. Kearns Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-1406-ref22

Condenser Patents, Licenses

Collection Creator:
Clark, George Howard, 1881-1956  Search this
Collection Source:
Electricity and Modern Physics, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Container:
Box 168, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1893-1929
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs, negatives, and slides.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
George H. Clark Radioana Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
George H. Clark Radioana Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0055-ref1336

Patent Licensing

Collection Creator:
Baer, Ralph H., 1922-2014  Search this
Container:
Box 38, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1993 - 1997
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution.
Collection Citation:
Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1943-2015, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Ralph H. Baer Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0854-ref559

Patent Cover from Patents granted to Charles F. Brush relating to electric machinery and apparatus

Language:
Englsih
Date:
1878-1894
Topic:
Invention  Search this
Intellectual property  Search this
Patent, Licensing  Search this
Charles Brush  Search this
Image ID:
SIL-patentsgrantedc00unit_0007
Catalog ID:
457632
Rights:
No Copyright - United States
See more items in:
See Wonder
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:silgoi_110701

Owning the future / Seth Shulman

Author:
Shulman, Seth  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 240 p. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1999
Topic:
Technological innovations--Economic aspects--Forecasting  Search this
Diffusion of innovations--Economic aspects--Forecasting  Search this
Information technology--Economic aspects--Forecasting  Search this
High technology industries--Forecasting  Search this
Knowledge management  Search this
Intellectual property  Search this
Patent licenses  Search this
Exchanges of patents and technical information  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_700751

Impact; a compilation of Bell System innovations in science and engineering which have helped create new industries and new products. Prepared by members of the technical staff, Bell Telephone Laboratories, and the Western Electric Company Patent Licensing Division. M. D. Fagen, editor

Author:
Bell Telephone Laboratories  Search this
Fagen, M. D  Search this
Western Electric Company, inc Patent Licensing Division  Search this
Physical description:
ix, 147 p. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1971
1971]
Topic:
Telecommunication--Equipment and supplies  Search this
Call number:
TK5103 .B435
TK5103.B435
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_31347

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