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Robert Ledley Papers

Creator:
Ledley, Robert S.  Search this
National Biomedical Research Foundation. Georgetown University  Search this
Names:
Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial Scanner  Search this
Computer-Assisted Tomography Scanner  Search this
National Biomedical Research Foundation. Georgetown University  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuals
Patents
Photographs
Design drawings
Correspondence
Articles
Diagrams
Slides (photographs)
Notes
Motion pictures (visual works)
Albums
Date:
1972-1990
Summary:
The Robert Ledley Papers document the development of the first whole-body diagnostic imaging system, the Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial (ACTA) X-ray Scanner by Ledley in 1973. Also included is material relating to Ledley's company, Digital Science Information Corporation (DISCO), as well as the public and medical communities' reactions to the scanner.
Scope and Contents:
The Robert Ledley Papers document the development of the Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial (ACTA) X-ray Scanner, Ledley's company Digital Science Information Corporation (DISCO), as well as the public and medical communities' reactions to the scanner. The collection is arranged into nine series.

Series 1, ACTA Scanner I Schematics, 1973-1975; Series 2, ACTA Scanner I [Computer and Electronics], 1973; and Series 3, ACTA Scanner Tomograph Mechanics, 1973-1974 document the development and design of the ACTA scanner through drawings, notes, memoranda, and product information. More detailed information about these materials is located in the control file. All oversize drawings have been moved to flat storage for preservation concerns.

Series 4, ACTA Scanner Operating Instructions, 1975, is the operating manual created for the scanner used in Ledley's Georgetown lab.

Series 5, ACTA Articles, Clippings, and Press Releases, 1973-1979, is comprised of the aforementioned materials relating to the ACTA Scanner. Newspaper clippings illuminate the public's perception of the scanner, and scientific pieces highlight the medical community's reaction. Ledley's published articles on the scanner and related topics are included.

Series 6, Digital Information Science Corporation (DISCO) material, 1973-1981, documents Ledley's career and his company. A biographical sketch, list of articles, textbooks, and patents highlight Ledley's achievements. Invoices, receipts, contracts, and correspondence illuminate the financial situation at DISCO and the relationship between the company and Pfizer.

Series 7, Computer manuals, 1972-1975, documents the computer systems and software that were used with the ACTA Scanner.

Series 8, Photographic material, 1973-1978, includes an album of photographs depicting the ACTA Scanner and images of the scans it created. This album was disassembled due to preservation concerns. This series also includes a collection of slides featuring the scanner and related equipment in use and images of the scans it created. A detailed description of each photograph and slide is included in the control file.

Series 9, ACTA Scanner film, [1974?], is a 16mm narrated film describing the creation of the scanner, its components, the way they work, the scanner in use, and images of the scans produced.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into nine series.

Series 1, ACTA Scanner I Schematics, 1973-1975

Series 2, ACTA Scanner I [Computer and Electronics], 1973

Series 3, ACTA Scanner Tomograph Mechanics, 1973-1974

Series 4, ACTA Scanner Operating Instructions, 1975

Series 5, ACTA Articles, Clippings, and Press Releases, 1973-1979

Series 6, Digital Information Science Corporation (DISCO) material, 1973-1981, undated

Series 7, Computer manuals, 1972-1975

Series 8, Photographic material 1973-1978

Subseries 1, Photographs, 19731978

Subseries 2, Slides, 1974

Series 9, ACTA Scanner film [1974?]
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Steven Ledley was born in Flushing Meadows, New York in 1926. He received a D.D.S. degree from New York University College in 1948. While attending dental school, he simultaneously studied at Columbia University; he earned a M.A. in Theoretical Physics in 1949. He volunteered for the army and was sent to the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.1 After completing his service, Ledley held a wide variety of research and academic positions in physics, electrical engineering, and medicine.

Ledley was a physicist within the External Control Group of the Electronic Computer Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards from 1953-1954. He was an operations research analyst within the Strategic Division of the Operations Research Office at Johns Hopkins University from 1954-1956. Ledley went on to become an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at The George Washington University from 1956-1960 while also serving as a consultant mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards Data Processing Systems Division, 1957-1960. At this time, Ledley also worked part time at the National Research Council's National Academy of Sciences from 1957-1961. Ledley became the president of the National Biomedical Research Foundation in 1960, a position he still holds today. He was an instructor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1960-1963. He returned to The George Washington University's Department of Electrical Engineering in 1968 where he was a professor until 1970. He then became a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1970. In 1974, Ledley also became a professor in the Radiology Department at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In 1975, he became the director of the Medical Computing and Biophysics Division at Georgetown University Medical Center.

In 1972, the British company Electric and Musical Industries Limited (EMI) released a medical imaging machine for use on smaller areas of the body that were positioned under a water tank. In 1973, Ledley developed the Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial (ACTA) X-ray Scanner (US Patent #3,922,552). This machine was a whole-body diagnostic medical imaging system. He was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health for an engineering equipment project, but the money was never received due to budget cuts. Ledley looked elsewhere for funding. He consulted with Georgetown staff and discovered a neurosurgeon had asked to buy a head scanning machine from EMI. Ledley did not think the images in EMI's brochure appeared clear, and he offered to create a similar machine for half the price. Georgetown agreed to fund this project for $250,000. Ledley secured the services of a machinist at a local machine shop, an electronic engineer, and a programmer/mathematician to assist in the project.2 The ACTA Scanner debuted in February, 1974 and did not require the use of a water tank.

Following the creation of the ACTA Scanner, Ledley organized Digital Information Science Corporation (DISCO) in order to manufacture the system. DISCO began producing scanners as orders were received. Due to financial constraints, DISCO was forced to request $100,000 upon receipt of the order, $100,000 when the scanner was halfway completed, and the final $100,000 payment upon delivery3. In 1975, Pfizer purchased the rights to manufacture the ACTA Scanner from DISCO for $1.5 million.

Ledley is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has earned numerous awards and honors for his work. In 1997, he received the National Medal of Technology from President William Jefferson Clinton for his pioneering work on the whole-body CT diagnostic X-ray scanner. He also founded the Pattern Recognition Society and Computerized Tomography Society.

Sources

1 Ash, J., D. Sittig, and R. Ledley. "The Story Behind the Development of the First Whole-body Computerized Tomography Scanner as Told by Robert S. Ledley." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2006 Sep-Oct (2006), 465-469, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1561796. (accessed June 24, 2009).

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.
Separated Materials:
An ACTA Scanner and numerous accessories were donated to the Museum in 1984.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Robert S. Ledley on September 18, 1984.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
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:
Medical innovations  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Biology  Search this
History of science and technology  Search this
Digital Information Science Corporation  Search this
Diagnostic imaging  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Medical technology  Search this
Medical radiology  Search this
Whole body imaging  Search this
Tomography  Search this
Radiology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuals -- 1970-1990
Patents
Photographs
Design drawings
Correspondence -- 20th century
Articles -- 20th century
Diagrams
Slides (photographs) -- 1950-2000
Notes
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Albums
Citation:
Robert Ledley Papers, 1972-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1135
See more items in:
Robert Ledley Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1135
Additional Online Media:

Mail tray

Medium:
plastic
Dimensions:
12 x 26 x 4.12 in (30.48 x 66.04 x 10.478 cm)
Type:
Mail Processing Equipment
Place:
United States of America
Date:
1970s - 1990s
Topic:
Mail Processing  Search this
Object number:
1984.0693.1
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npm_1984.0693.1

Manuals

Collection Creator:
Hammersley, Frederick, 1919-2009  Search this
Container:
Box 17, Folder 13
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1980
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Collection Rights:
The Frederick Hammersley papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Frederick Hammersley papers, circa 1860-2009, bulk 1940-2009. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Frederick Hammersley papers
Frederick Hammersley papers / Series 9: Printed Material
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-hammfred-ref738

Inner-City Support System Project

Collection Creator:
Garrison, Vivian, 1933-2013  Search this
Extent:
30.12 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1968-1997
Scope and Contents:
Series 3 contains material documenting Garrison's research into the community health practices of low-income and minority communities of the greater New York City area (predominantly Newark, New Jersey), as well as her implementation of culturally sensitive clinical practice and health care training with the College/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (C/UMDNJ). This series includes case files and clinical interviews; clinical evaluation instruments, including interview and observation schedules; data cards; tables and tabulations; sound and video recordings of clinical interviews with patients and healers; correspondence; conference notes; drafts and publications; grant applications; reports; photographic slide presentations; sound and video recordings of workshops, presentations, and staff meetings; workshop scripts and handouts; training manuals; and notes.

Garrison served as the Principal Investigator of the U.S. Public Health Grant "Inner-City Support Systems" (ICSS) at UMDNJ. Much of the material in this series is administrative, documenting the implementation of research done at ICSS (through workshops, presentations, and publications) and the administration of the grant (through applications, reports, and financial documents).

Of note in the series are materials related to "Bumi" (in sub-series (3.5)). These materials document a particular training module created by ICSS staff surrounding the implementation of culturally-sensitive clinical healing practices. Also of note is sub-series (3.6) Working papers and publications, circa 1975-1989, 2006. This sub-series documents both internal reports and external publications created by ICSS staff. It includes correspondence, drafts, and proofs ("slugs") of a series of ICSS-specific papers published in the journal Psychiatric Annals. This sub-series also contains detailed definitions of "support systems" and the ICSS project.

Material in this series also documents the Resource Center for Multicultural Care and Prevention (RCMCP) at UMDNJ - an offshoot of the ICSS program. The series also contains material related to the development and implementation of the workshop "Culturally Sensitive Case Management Training" (CSCMT), which Garrison administered while at UMDNJ, and to the Community Support Systems Assessment (CSSA) manual developed by Garrison and ICSS staff.

Related material can be found in Series 4: Community Support Systems of Haitian Immigrants (CSSHI), which grant was connected to the ICSS project and was administered by Garrison during her time at UMDNJ. Additional material related to publications made from ICSS-gathered data can be found in Series 5: Publications, manuscripts, and associated research files.
Arrangement:
Series 3 is arranged into 8 sub-series. The first half (sub-series 3.1 to 3.4) contains research material and clinical files. The second half (subseries 3.5 to 3.8) contains materials related to the administration, implementation, and dissemination of the ICSS project. The sub-series are as follows:

(3.1) Research files, data, and instruments, circa 1968-1984, undated; (3.2) Case files of clinical patients, 1978-1984; (3.3) Sound recordings of clinical interviews, consultations, and treatments, 1975-1988; (3.4) Video recordings of clinical interviews, consultations, and treatments, circa 196074-1983; (3.5) Administrative files, circa 1972-1991; (3.6) Working papers and publications, circa 1975-1989, 2006; (3.7) Sound recordings of administrative and professional material, 1972-1984, 1997 (3.8) Video recordings of presentations, demonstrations, and interviews, circa 1970-1990.
Restrictions:
The following sub-series are restricted due to the presence of personal health information (PHI) and personally-identificable information (PII): (3.2) until 2064; (3.3) until 2068; (3.4) until 2063. Any additional restrictions are noted at the item level.
Collection Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Collection Citation:
Vivian E. Garrison papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2017-19, Series 3
See more items in:
Vivian E. Garrison papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-naa-2017-19-ref16

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Records

Creator:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network  Search this
Associated name:
Cox Commission  Search this
OutServe  Search this
Burton, Sala, Representative  Search this
Cohen, William S. (Secretary of Defense)  Search this
Deutch, John M. (Undersecretary of Defense)  Search this
Frank, Barney, Representative  Search this
Perry, William J., Secretary of Defense  Search this
Powell, Colin, General  Search this
Rumsfeld, Donald, Secretary of Defense  Search this
Studds, Gerry E. (Congressman)  Search this
Extent:
7.5 Cubic feet (23 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Articles
Interviews
Newsletters
Legal documents
Instructional materials
Clippings
Research
Correspondence
Writings
Legislative documents
Legal records
Legal correspondence
Legislation (legal concepts)
Office files
Project files
Letters
Periodicals
Manuals
Letters (correspondence)
Government records
Annual reports
Date:
1975-2009, undated
bulk 1993-2008
Summary:
This collection contains records and research material produced and collected by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a lobbying and legal assistance organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender servicepersons. They were instrumental in overturning the United States Department of Defense's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains correspondence, case files, legal briefs, subject files, research files, press releases, office records, clipping files, publications, and other material produced and collected by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), a lobbying and non-profit legal services organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender military servicepersons founded in the aftermath of the passage of the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) legislation of December 1993. These records do not include material generated post 2009 and the final two years before the official overturning of DADT in September 2011. Before donation to the Archives Center, SLDN removed any material that they deemed sensitive, personal, or in violaton of their client's privacy.

Correspondence contains that which was sent by SLDN and received by SLDN. Major correspondents were: the Executive Office of the President, members of Congress, officials of the Department of Defense and other defense related federal agencies, other similarly focused non-profit organizations as well as private citizens. Correspondence may also include petitions, corresonpondence with clients of SLDN, those seeking legal services and or statistics related to DADT and others. Case files are generally refence copies of cases filed by SLDN, individuals, or invdividuals with other organizations relating to LGBT treatment within the military. Case files contain most often the public record copy of the legal brief that was filed with the courts and any supporting or relevant documents. Legal briefs relate to cases filed by SLDN or to the cases that in some way informed those legal cases and issues related to the mission of SLDN. Subject and research files were complied from various sources and contain copies or original material produced in support of the SLDN mission with regard to legal actions or as a lobbying organization. Press releases are generally those produced by SLDN. Office records pertain to the day to day workings of the organization and inter-office memorada and communication between employees or other organizations. Clipping files were compiled from a variety of national and international sources such as newspapers, magazines, and journals and used as reference tools within SLDN. Publications were those produced either by SLDN or collected by SLDN for research and reference purposes in-house.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series, one of which has been arranged further into subseries. The contents of each series or subseries are arranged chronologically. The series and subseries arrangement of the records is as follows:

Series 1, Administrative Records, 1994-2008

Series 2, Subject Files, 1980-2009 (bulk 1994-2009)

Subseries 1: Research Files, 1980-2008, undated

Subseries 2: Department of Defense, 1985-2003, undated

Subseries 3: United States Army, 1994-2005

Subseries 4: United States Navy, 1991-2008, undated

Subseries 5: United States Air Force, 1994-2004, undated

Subseries 6: United States Coast Guard, 1996-2005

Subseries 7: National Guard and Reserves, 2004

Series 3, Publications, 1988-2007

Series 4, Case Files, 1975-2008, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) is a non-profit founded in 1993 in the wake of the Clinton adminstration's efforts to make military service legal and non-discriminatory for openly lesbian, gay, and bisexual persons. The organization employs less than twenty persons and has a Board of Directors. SLDN provided legal services to LGBT servicmembers and was also a lobbying and policy organization. This initiative resulted in the passing of legislation commonly referred to as "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" (DADT) in December 1993. DADT prohibited military personnel from discriminating against or harassing closeted homosexual or bisexual servicemembers or applicants while still barring openly homosexual or bisexual persons from military service. This policy proved controversial and continued to result in the discrimination and separation of LGBT persons from the military.

The original purpose of SLDN was working to overturn the DADT policy through legal or legislative means while providing free legal services to servicemembers targeted by DADT. Its scope of concern not only included active duty personnel but the National Guard, reserves, and officer training programs. On occasion it worked with other similarly focused organizations and directly with the Department of Defense and other relevant federal agencies. By the time of the repeal of DADT in September 2011 and its official enactment in January 2012, SLDN had provided legal aid to thousands of servicepersons.

In July 2012 SLDN announced that it was merging with OutServe, effective in October 2012. OutServe is an organization of active LGBT military servicepersons, reportedly one of the largest employee resource groups in the world. SLDN continues to provide free legal advice and assistance and also works with veteran organizations while maintaining a "watchdog" status on LGBT issues within the military establishment.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Collection, 1942-2012, undated (AC1146)
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN), 2012.
Restrictions:
This 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:
Don't ask, don't tell (Military personnel policy)  Search this
Women  Search this
War  Search this
Equality  Search this
Government and politics -- United States Congress actions  Search this
United States Department of Defense  Search this
United States Coast Guard  Search this
Homosexuality  Search this
United States Marine Corps  Search this
United States Air Force  Search this
Bisexuality  Search this
Civil rights  Search this
Civil rights -- United States  Search this
Courts-martial and courts of inquiry  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Activism  Search this
United States Navy -- 20th century  Search this
National defense  Search this
Air defenses -- United States  Search this
Armed Forces -- Operations other than war  Search this
Laws -- United States Congress actions  Search this
Lawsuits  Search this
Lesbianism  Search this
U. S. Army  Search this
Sexual harassment  Search this
Sodomy  Search this
Sailors  Search this
Trials (Sex crimes)  Search this
Soldiers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Interviews
Newsletters -- 20th century
Legal documents -- 20th century
Instructional materials
Articles -- 1950-2000
Articles
Clippings -- 20th century
Clippings -- newspaper -- Virginia
Research
Correspondence -- 20th century
Writings
Interviews -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 2000-2020
Articles -- 1940-1980
Articles -- 1880-1940
Legislative documents
Legal records
Legal documents
Legal correspondence
Legislation (legal concepts)
Office files
Project files
Letters
Periodicals
Manuals -- 1970-1990
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Government records
Annual reports
Citation:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Records, 1877-2009 (bulk 1993-2008), undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1282
See more items in:
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1282

Mildred A. Morton collection

Author:
Morton, Mildred A.  Search this
Konan, Mildred  Search this
Extent:
0.41 Linear feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Filmstrips
Magazines (periodicals)
Date:
1970-1984
Summary:
This collection contains articles and filmstrip material with content written by sociologist Mildred A. Konan (later Morton) circa 1970-1984.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 3 educational filmstrips and magazine publications from 1970-1984 with content written by sociologist Mildred A. Konan (later Morton). The material documents Peruvian and Mexican gourd art and artists.

The filmstrips include the titles Peruvian Gourd Art (Los Mates Burilados Del Peru), and two copies of Mexican Lacquerware (El Arte del Maque en Mexico). The materials include filmstrips and synchronized audio cassettes, as well as manuals written by Mildred A. Konan and Raymond W. Konan. These filmstrips were published in 1970 and 1972 by Educational Filmstrips of Hunstville, Texas.

The publications in this collection include articles written by Mildred A. Konan including the 1979 Américas article, "Works of Art from Humble Gourds"; the 1979 Horticulture article, "The Ubiquitous Gourd"; the 1980 Aboard: AeroPeru article, "Works of Art from Humble Gourds" ; and the 1984 Américas article, "A Lustrous Tradition." Some of the publications are in English and others are in Spanish.

The collection also contains an article about Peruvian artist Max Inga Adanaque from the 1980 bulletin for Partners of the Americas and a biography written by Mildred A. Konan in 1980 about Gerasimo Sosa Alache, a Peruvian potter and ceramic sculptor.
Arrangement:
The publications and filmstrip guides are arranged in box 1 and the filmstrips and audiocassettes are arranged in a separate box.
Biographical / Historical:
Mildred A. Konan was a sociologist who studied in Peru, Mexico, and Nigeria, specializing in rural development and social change. She taught at the University of Maryland and Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, Nigeria. Konan also studied gourd art with her husband Raymond W. Konan. She later changed her last name to Morton.
Separated Materials:
The NMAI also holds a large gourd collection collected and donated by Mildred Morton. They are cataloged under the object numbers 268642 - 268781.
Provenance:
Gift of Mildred A. Morton, 2012.
Restrictions:
The original filmstrips and audio cassettes are restricted due to condition. Textual material is accessible by appointment only, Monday - Friday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment.
Rights:
Some materials may be copyrighted. Please contact NMAI Archives for more information.
Topic:
Art, Peruvian  Search this
Art, Mexican  Search this
Genre/Form:
Filmstrips
Magazines (periodicals) -- 1970-1990
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Mildred A. Morton collection, box # and folder #, NMAI.AC.383; National Museum of the American Indian Archives Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.383
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-383

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:

Charles Fertig Collection

Source:
Graphic Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Creator:
Fertig, Charles  Search this
Former owner:
Graphic Arts, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Names:
St. Joseph News-Press and Gazette (newspaper).  Search this
Extent:
1.25 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Logs (records)
Manuals
Technical manuals
Place:
Missouri -- 1970-1990
Date:
1979-1985
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of records relating to the development of direct plate imager technology and its early use by the St. Joseph News Press and Gazette, credited with being a leader in the field of laser adaptation to computer reproduction of photographs for newspaper use. It consists primarily of maintenance manuals, maintenance logs and systems logs, and training notes over a period of about five years.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Maintenance logs, System logs

Series 2: Maintenance manuals

Series 3: Training Notes

Series 4: Miscellaneous
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Fertig was a technician at the St. Joseph News-Press and Gazette. The newspaper developed a direct plate imager technology and is credited with being a leader in the field of laser adaptation to computer reproduction of photographs for newspaper use.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Charles Fertig, April 8, 1988.
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:
Computers in industry -- 1970-1990  Search this
Lasers in the graphic arts -- 1970-1990  Search this
Graphic arts -- 1970-1990  Search this
Direct Plate Imager Technology  Search this
Newspapers -- Printing  Search this
Photography -- Photomechanical processes -- 1970-1990  Search this
Photomechanical processes -- 1970-1990  Search this
Printing -- Newspapers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Logs (records)
Manuals -- 1970-1990
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Citation:
Charles Fertig Collection, 1979-1985, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0312
See more items in:
Charles Fertig Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0312

Vietnam Color Slides and Technical Manuals

Creator:
Murphy, Kevin.  Search this
Extent:
1.32 Cubic Feet ((2 boxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Color slides
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
bulk 1970-1990
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of three carousels of slides relating to Kevin Murphy's service in Vietnam, as well as technical manuals and documentation for the following aircraft: deHavilland (Canada) (DHC-4) AC-1A (CV-2A, C-7A); Shorts C-23A Sherpa; and Bell UH-1 Iroquois (Huey). There is also one 8mm film, titled "U-TAPAO RTNB-1972 (ARC Light)," [Boeing B-52 Stratofortress out of Thailand].
Biographical / Historical:
Kevin Murphy (b. 1945) was a strategic bomber pilot with the 34th Bomb Squadron (SAC) during the Vietnam Conflict
Provenance:
Kevin Murphy, gift, 2009
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
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
Topic:
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Bell UH-1B (HU-1B) Iroquois (Huey)  Search this
Boeing B-52 Stratofortress Family (Model 464)  Search this
de Havilland (Canada) (DHC-4) AC-1A (CV-2A, C-7A)  Search this
Shorts C-23A Sherpa  Search this
Genre/Form:
Color slides
Motion pictures (visual works)
Citation:
Vietnam Color Slides and Technical Manuals, Accession 2009-0030, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2009.0030
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2009-0030

Manuals and Reference Guides

Collection Creator:
Shaner, David, 1934-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 55
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1970s-1990s
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Collection Rights:
The David Shaner papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
David Shaner papers, 1937-2007, bulk 1968-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
David Shaner papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-shandavi-ref73

[Trade catalogs from PhotoMetrics, Inc.]

Variant company name:
Founded 1978 (http://www.photomet.com/about.php) ; also in Munich, Germany. Now headquartered in Tuscon, AZ.  Search this
Company Name:
PhotoMetrics, Inc.  Search this
Related companies:
Photometrics has been a division of Roper Scientific, Inc. since 1998.  Search this
Notes content:
Trade lit, circa 1970s-1990s from Photometrics®, the world's leading designer and manufacturer of high-performance CCD camera systems for the life sciences. Includes: Charge-coupled devices for quantitative electronic imaging ; EDP scanning microscopes ; products for scientific digital CCD imaging.
Includes:
Trade catalog and manual
Black and white images
Color images
Physical description:
7 pieces; 1 box
Language:
English
Type of material:
Trade catalogs
Trade literature
Place:
Lexington, Massachusetts, United States
Date:
1900s
Topic (Romaine term):
Biotechnology and biochemical equipment and supplies  Search this
Scientific and optical instruments  Search this
Computers and computer equipment  Search this
Laboratories and laboratory supplies and equipment  Search this
Measuring; calculating and testing devices  Search this
Topic:
"Laboratories -- Furniture, equipment, etc."  Search this
Biochemical engineering  Search this
Biotechnology  Search this
Calculators  Search this
Computers  Search this
Measuring instruments  Search this
Optical equipment  Search this
Optical instruments  Search this
Scientific apparatus and instruments  Search this
Weighing instruments  Search this
Record ID:
SILNMAHTL_32379
Location:
Trade Literature at the American History Museum Library
Collection:
Smithsonian Libraries Trade Literature Collections
Data source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:SILNMAHTL_32379

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