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Notebook owned by Maxine Sullivan

Manufactured by:
Unidentified  Search this
Owned by:
Maxine Sullivan, American, 1911 - 1987  Search this
Medium:
ink and graphite on paper
Dimensions:
H x W (Closed): 10 1/2 × 8 3/16 in. (26.7 × 20.8 cm)
H x W (Open): 16 × 10 1/2 in. (40.6 × 26.7 cm)
Type:
notebooks
Date:
mid-20th century
Topic:
African American  Search this
Drama (Theatre)  Search this
Music  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2013.46.29.99
Restrictions & Rights:
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
Maxine Sullivan Collection
Classification:
Memorabilia and Ephemera
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2013.46.29.99

Joseph Blinder Medical Notebooks and Notes,

Creator:
Hirschkovitz, Jacob  Search this
Blinder, Joseph, 1884-1973  Search this
Names:
New York University  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Drawings
Notebooks
Date:
Circa 1908-circa 1911
Summary:
Dr. Joseph Blinder was born in Russia in 1884 and immigrated to the United States in 1908. He attended Bellevue Medical College (New York University) and graduated in 1911. The collection consists of Blinder's bound medical notebooks, class notes, lab notes, and miscellaneous papers during his medical education at Bellevue from 1908-1911. The notebooks cover the following topics: pharmacology, anatomy, obstetrics, physiology, chemistry, and pathology. There are some loose handouts in the notebooks from professors Dr. Brooks and Dr. Smith.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of Blinder's bound medical notebooks, class notes, lab notes, and miscellaneous papers from his medical studies at Bellevue College, New York University (1908-1911). In one instance, a notebook was written by another student, Jacob Hirschkowitz. Most of the notebooks contain drawings as well as loose handouts from professors, Dr. Brooks and Dr. Smith. The notebooks cover the following topics: pharmacology, anatomy, obstetrics, physiology, chemistry, and pathology. The notebook in Box 1, Folder 7, is fragile.
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Joseph Blinder was born in Russia in 1884 and immigrated to the United States in 1908. He attended Bellevue Medical College (New York University) and graduated in 1911. He established a family medical practice in 1915 in Brooklyn, New York, which he continued for 48 years, except for an interruption for U.S. Army service during World War I.

Reference Note

This information was gathered from a letter written by Dr. Blinder's son, Dr. Ted Blinder, that was given to the Smithsonian when he inquired about donating the collection in 1973.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Division of Medicine and Science, National Museum of American History

Artifacts from Dr. Joseph Blinder's office, including objects and furnishings (Accession #309903).
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Harold S. and Theodor J. Blinder on October 7, 1974.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Copyright status unknown. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Reproduction permission from the Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Medicine  Search this
Medical colleges  Search this
Medical education  Search this
Physicians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings -- 20th century
Notebooks -- 1900-1950
Citation:
Joseph Blinder Papers, circa 1908- circa 1911, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0831
See more items in:
Joseph Blinder Medical Notebooks and Notes,
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0831

Notebook of lace samples

Collector:
Marian Powys  Search this
Medium:
Medium: leather, paper, linen, silk Technique: notebook of needle and bobbin lace
Type:
lace
Notebook of lace samples
Made in:
USA
Date:
20th century
Accession Number:
1966-63-1
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Textiles Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1966-63-1

Self-Portrait while Drawing an Iris

Title:
Marina Stern Self-Portrait
Artist:
Marina Stern, active 20th Century  Search this
Sitter:
Marina Stern, active 20th Century  Search this
Medium:
Graphite on paper
Dimensions:
Sheet: 35.5 x 27.2cm (14 x 10 11/16")
Type:
Drawing
Date:
1991
Topic:
Costume\Dress Accessory\Eyeglasses  Search this
Printed Material\Book\Notebook  Search this
Self-portrait  Search this
Nature & Environment\Plant\Flower\Iris  Search this
Marina Stern: Female  Search this
Marina Stern: Visual Arts\Artist\Painter  Search this
Portrait  Search this
Credit Line:
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; the Ruth Bowman and Harry Kahn Twentieth-Century American Self-Portrait Collection
Object number:
S/NPG.2002.347
See more items in:
National Portrait Gallery Collection
Data Source:
National Portrait Gallery
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npg_S_NPG.2002.347

20th Century Read File Notebook, January 1973-June 1973

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12211

20th Century Read File Notebook, July 1973-December 1973

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 29 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12232

20th Century Read File Notebook, January 1974-June 1974

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 29 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12244

Architecture 10b, part 2 (Renaissance - 20th century)

Collection Creator:
Stewart, Jack, 1926-2005  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1947-1948
Collection Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice. This collection is copyright restricted.
Collection Rights:
The Jack Stewart 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:
Jack Stewart papers, 1926-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Jack Stewart papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-stewjack-ref119

Mollie Katzen Papers

Creator:
Katzen, Mollie, 1950-  Search this
Extent:
5.25 Cubic feet (6 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Notes
Design drawings
Sketchbooks
Cookbooks
Correspondence
Notebooks
Date:
1972-1991
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes Katzen's notes and notebooks compiled during her writing of The Moosewood Cookbook and The Enchanted Broccoli Forest, including notes on ingredients, preparation, presentation, etc.; copies of various editions of The Moosewood Cookbook; a sketchbook; voluminous mail from users of the cookbooks, praising them and asking questions or offering suggestions, (Katzen apparently answered the letters but her responses are not in the collection); and original, hand-written, hand-illustrated "mechanicals", i.e., original designs for the books' pages.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Katzen is the author of the influential 1974 vegetarian cookbook The Moosewood Cookbook, which was followed by additional vegetarian cookbooks. She also helped to found the Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca, New York.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Mollie Katzen, 2017.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark.
Topic:
Cookery -- 1970-2000  Search this
Vegetarianism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes -- 20th century
Design drawings
Sketchbooks -- 20th century
Cookbooks -- 1970-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Notebooks -- 20th century
Citation:
Mollie Katzen Papers, 1972-2001, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1434
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1434
Additional Online Media:

20th century boy : notebooks of the seventies / Duncan Hannah

Title:
Twentieth-century boy : notebooks of the seventies
Author:
Hannah, Duncan  Search this
Subject:
Hannah, Duncan  Search this
Physical description:
xvi, 476 pages : illustrations ; 22 cm
Type:
Diaries
Biography
Autobiographies
History
Place:
United States
New York (State)
New York
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
2018
20th century
Topic:
Painters  Search this
Art and society--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1092229

N. Joseph Woodland Papers

Creator:
Woodland, N. Joseph, 1921-2012  Search this
Names:
International Business Machines Corporation  Search this
Extent:
3.5 Cubic feet (11 boxes, 1 map-folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Articles
Transcripts
Technical drawings
Notebooks
Correspondence
Examinations (documents)
Notes
Patents
Date:
1943-2012
Summary:
The collection documents the career of N. Joseph Woodland, who, along with Bernard Silver, invented and developed the bar code.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the career of N. Joseph Woodland, who, along with Bernard Silver, invented and developed the bar code. The collection includes papers relating to Woodland's early life and education, such as exams and transcripts; papers relating to his work with IBM, including correspondence, notes and notebooks, and technical drawings; patents; photographs; awards and honors; articles.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1943-2012

Series 2: International Business machines Corporation (IBM), 1951-2006

Series 3: Node Code, 1986-2003

Series 4: Consulting, 1987-2000

Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, 1990-2011
Biographical / Historical:
Norman Joseph Woodland (1921-2012) was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Woodland also served during World War II in the Army as a technical assistant for the Manhattan Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Drexel University (1947) and a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Syracuse University (1956). He joined the Drexel University faculty as a lecturer in mechanical engineering in 1947.

In 1948, Woodland became aware of the need for supermarket inventory control through automated checkout. He conceived of the idea of using printed parallel stripes of varying widths to encode prices of items in 1949. Woodland, together with Bernard Silver (1921-1963), an electrical engineer, and fellow Drexel University faculty lecturer, defined a system to exploit the bar code invention to automatically capture item prices as well as inventory data. Woodland and Silver were issued US patent 2,612,994 for a classifying apparatus and method on October 7, 1952. Woodland and Silver sold their patent for $15,000 to Philco in 1961.

Woodland joined IBM in 1951 as a mechanical designer and later worked as a senior planner in artificial intelligence in general and expert systems. While at IBM, Woodland identified and applied existing and emerging technologies to enhance planned IBM products and systems. He worked in store systems marketing, long-range market planning, product planning, and artificial intelligence development. In 1983, he received an IBM technical sabbatical to work on expert systems and robotics at Carnegie Mellon University and to study these systems in use in Japan. A significant portion of Woodland's career focused on the bar code in general and supermarket automated check-out processes. His work laid the foundation for the creation of the universal product code (UPC symbol), for which ), for which he was an integral part of the IBM team's winning design, in his role as the person responsible for IBM's UPC symbol proposal to the grocery industry's symbol selection committee.

In 1992, Woodland won the National Medal of Technology for his invention and contribution to the commercialization of bar code technology, which improved productivity in every industrial sector and gave rise to the bar code industry. Woodland holds six patents.

Woodland married Jacqueline Woodland (née Blumberg) in 1951 and they had two daughters, Betsy Karpenkopf and Susan Woodland.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2017 by Susan Woodland, the daughter of N. Joseph Woodland.
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:
Bar coding  Search this
Numerical control  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Transcripts -- 20th century
Technical drawings -- 20th century
Notebooks -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Examinations (documents) -- 20th century
Notes -- 20th century
Patents -- 20th century
Citation:
N. Joseph Woodland Papers, 1943-2012, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1433
See more items in:
N. Joseph Woodland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1433
Additional Online Media:

20th Century Read File Notebook, December 1, 1975-March 31, 1976

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12126

20th Century Read File Notebook, January 1, 1975-June 30, 1975

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12138

20th Century Read File Notebook, July 1, 1975-December 1, 1975

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12150

20th Century Read File Notebook, July 1, 1974-December 31, 1974

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12162

20th Century Read File Notebook, April 1, 1976-May 31, 1976

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12175

20th Century Read File Notebook, June 1, 1976-August 31, 1976

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12187

20th Century Read File Notebook, September 1, 1976-December 30, 1976

Collection Creator::
National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Container:
Box 28 of 29
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Boxes 16-22 contain materials restricted indefinitely; see finding aid. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 458, National Museum of American Art. Department of Twentieth Century Painting and Sculpture, Records
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0458-refidd1e12199

Bernis B. Brown Collection

Source:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Brown, Bernis B., 1888-1960  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Cubic feet (15 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Notebooks
Patents
Books
Clippings
Catalogs
Correspondence
Manuscripts
Magazines (periodicals)
Newsletters
Date:
1878-1960
Scope and Contents note:
The collection documents the history of farm machinery in America, especially steam-powered machines. The papers include Brown's correspondence with individuals and institutions regarding his research and his collection, notes and notebooks, reference books and history books on farm machines, clippings and articles, newsletters on farming subjects, catalogs of farming equipment, subject files, photographs, magazines, and a manuscript for a history Brown compiled on early American farm power.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical/Historical note:
Brown was a dealer, salesmen and repairman of farm equipment, especially steam powered engines.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Division of Work and Industry,,National Museum of American History, 12th Street and Constitution Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20560.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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:
Steam-engines  Search this
Tractors  Search this
Agricultural machinery  Search this
Farm equipment  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Notebooks
Patents
Books
Clippings
Catalogs
Correspondence -- 20th century
Manuscripts -- 20th century
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Citation:
Bernis B. Brown Collection, 1878-1960, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1047
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1047

Robert W. Kearns Papers

Creator:
Kearns, Robert W.  Search this
Kearns, Timothy  Search this
Brown, Brian Ivan  Search this
Quan, John  Search this
Names:
Kearns and Law  Search this
Tann Company  Search this
United States. Bureau of Standards.  Search this
Extent:
8.5 Cubic feet (24 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Reports
Trade literature
Patents
Photographs
Drawings
Notebooks
Correspondence
Memorandums
Date:
1963 - 1999
Summary:
The collection documents the inventive career of physicist and engineer Robert W. Kearns. Kearns invented and patented in 1967 the windshield wiper system with intermittent operation (US 3,351,836), among other inventions. The papers include notebooks, correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs, patents, drawings, and trade literature.
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes notebooks, correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs, patents, drawings, and trade literature. Kearns held patents related to circuitry which are integral to electronic intermittent windshield wipers. The windshield wiper documentation consists of patents, correspondence, and a set of drawings from November 16, 1967 for Tann Company. Other documentation includes Kearns's work with the engineering firm Kearns and Law (brochures, shop orders, agreements); his National Bureau of Standards work, which consists of his personnel file and notebooks detailing his highway skid resistance research; and subject files that cover a range of topics that interested Kearns, such as radar, speed control, and electric cars. At the heart of the collection are 32 invention notebooks (1963-1986) belonging to Kearns as well as engineers he worked with including John Quan, Brian Ivan Brown, and Timothy Kearns, son of Robert Kearns. Bound, paginated, and dated, the notebooks contain sketches, schematics, calculations, data, telephone numbers, and details about materials, costs, testing data, and descriptions for many of Kearns's projects. The notebooks present a comprehensive overview of his ideas and are significant to understanding his creative process and how his ideas changed or did not change over time. The majority of the notebooks are arranged in chronological order and therefore researchers can see Kearns's work unfold. Many of the notebooks are stamped with a "PO" to indicate a "protective order" followed by a number, and many of the notebooks were used during court proceedings. The protective order restricted access to notebooks which were filed with the court, or to be filed with the court at a future date.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1957-1991

Series 2: Notebooks, 1954-1994

Series 3: Patents, 1957-1985

Series 4: Kearns and Law Engineers, 1957-1962

Series 5: Kearns Engineers, 1967-1985

Series 6: National Bureau of Standards, 1967-1972

Series 7: Ford Motor Company (Engineering Technical Education Program), 1964-1966

Series 8: Windshield Wiper Materials (Kearns vs. Ford Motor Company), 1962-1993

Series 9: Subject Files, 1965-1999

Series 10: Correspondence, 1989-1999
Biographical / Historical:
Robert William Kearns was born in Gary, Indiana on March 10, 1927 to Martin W. Kearns and Mary E. Kearns. One of three children, Kearns grewup in the Detroit area, graduating from the University of Detroit, Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (1952); Wayne State University, Masters of Science in Engineering Mechanics (1957); and Case Western Reserve University, Ph.D. in engineering (1964). Kearns also earned certificates in nuclear reactor control from Argonne National Laboratories (1958 and 1959). He was a Corporal in the United States Army, assigned to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), the Strategic Services Unit (SSU); the Central Intelligence Group (CIG), and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA.) from July 31, 1945 to November 29, 1946.

Prior to joining the military in 1945, Kearns worked at Mercury Engineering Company (1943-1945) in Detroit as a draftsman preparing engineering shop drawings. After the war, Kearns joined the H & A Tool and Die Company (1946-1947), also in Detroit, as a draftsman preparing engineering shop drawings for the manufacture of the individual parts for machinery and special dies. Through the University of Detroit Cooperative Program with the National Bureau of Standards, he participated in an engineer in training program (1949-1952) where he executed a variety of standardized tests on engineering materials. He held a variety of engineering positions: designer/draftsman with Peerless Design Company, Detroit (1952); junior engineer with Burroughs Corporation Research Laboratories, Philadelphia (1952-1953); and engineer with Bendix Aviation Corporation, Detroit (1953-1957) where Kearns supervised and directed of a group of engineers responsible for the design of computer components, servomechanisms, control systems and related devices. Other duties included planning, liaison with other Bendix divisions, establishing test equipment requirements, as well as technical specifications and reports. In 1957, Kearns joined the faculty of Wayne State University, Department of Engineering Mechanics, as an assistant professor (1957-1963), later becoming an associate professor (1963-1967).

Kearns also established two independent businesses, the engineering firms of Kearns and Law (1963-1976) and Computer Central (1965-1976). Founded with partner Kenneth J. Law, an electrical engineer, Kearns and Law provided industry with consultation, research, design, and development services in the fields of computers, automatic controls and instrumentation. Computer Central manufactured a series of control components such as the Linear Range Comparator, Sign or Equality Binary Comparator, Identity Comparator, Dual Brush V-Scan Encoder Electronics, Gray Code to Binary Code Encoder Electronics, and Digital Difference to Analog Converters. Kearns served as Detroit's Commissioner of Buildings and Safety Engineering (1967-1971), where he acted as an administrator, overseeing professional engineering activities such as building inspections. Kearns moved to Gaithersburg, Maryland in 1971 to become principal investigator for the highway skid resistance program at the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology (1971-1976).

In 1967, Kearns invented and patented an electronic windshield wiper system with intermittent operation (US 3,351,836). Previous wiper systems were controlled by vacuum tubes. He installed his device on his 1962 Ford Galaxy and met with Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Corporation in 1963 with the goal of manufacturing his idea and being a supplier to the auto industry. Kearns tried to commercialize the wiper through the Tann Corporation. In 1969, Kearns's intermittent windshield wiper was installed on Ford cars without his knowledge. He ultimately filed suit against Ford for patent infringement in 1978 (representing himself as Kearns Associates), seeking $141 million in damages (a figure eventually raised to $325 million). Kearns's purpose in pursuing litigation was not a cash award. Rather, he wanted the rightful ownership. In all, he filed lawsuits against 26 car manufacturers and other companies concerning the same patent (US 3,351,836). In July 1990, a federal jury ruled that Ford had unintentionally infringed on Kearns's patent and awarded him $10.2 million. In June 1992, Kearns was awarded $11 million from Chrysler. Kearns held over 30 patents, with the majority relating to windshield wipers.

Kearns died in 2005. He married Phyllis Hall (1932-2013) in 1953, divorcing in 1989. The couple had six children: Dennis Kearns (b.1954); Timothy Kearns (b.1956); Patrick Kearns (b.1958); Kathleen Corsetty (b. 1961); Maureen Kearns (b. 1964); and Bob Kearns (b. 1967).
Provenance:
Collection donated by the Estate of Robert W. Kearns, through Dennis Kearns and Maureen Kearns, 2016.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Some health-related materials in Series 6: National Bureau of Standards are restricted until 2055.
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.
Occupation:
Inventors  Search this
Topic:
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Windshield wipers  Search this
Automobiles -- Design and construction  Search this
Genre/Form:
Reports -- 20th century
Trade literature -- 20th century
Patents -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Drawings -- 20th century
Notebooks -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Memorandums -- 20th century
Citation:
Robert W. Kearns Papers, 1963-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1406
See more items in:
Robert W. Kearns Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1406

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