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Minutes

Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents  Search this
Extent:
8.70 cu. ft. (9 document boxes) (7 12x17 boxes) (1 16x20 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Date:
1846-1995
Descriptive Entry:
These records are the official minutes of the Board. They are compiled at the direction of the Secretary of the Smithsonian, who is also secretary to the Board, after approval by the Regents' Executive Committee and by the Regents themselves. The minutes are edited, not a verbatim account of proceedings. For reasons unknown, there are no manuscript minutes for the period from 1857 through 1890; and researchers must rely on printed minutes published in the Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution instead. Minutes are transferred regularly from the Secretary's Office to the Archives. Minutes less than 15 years old are closed to researchers. Indexes exist for the period from 1907 to 1946 and can be useful.
Historical Note:
The Smithsonian Institution was created by authority of an Act of Congress approved August 10, 1846. The Act entrusted direction of the Smithsonian to a body called the Establishment, composed of the President; the Vice President; the Chief Justice of the United States; the secretaries of State, War, Navy, Interior, and Agriculture; the Attorney General; and the Postmaster General. In fact, however, the Establishment last met in 1877, and control of the Smithsonian has always been exercised by its Board of Regents. The membership of the Regents consists of the Vice President and the Chief Justice of the United States; three members each of the Senate and House of Representatives; two citizens of the District of Columbia; and seven citizens of the several states, no two from the same state. (Prior to 1970 the category of Citizen Regents not residents of Washington consisted of four members). By custom the Chief Justice is Chancellor. The office was at first held by the Vice President. However, when Millard Fillmore succeeded to the presidency on the death of Zachary Taylor in 1851, Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney was chosen in his stead. The office has always been filled by the Chief Justice since that time.

The Regents of the Smithsonian have included distinguished Americans from many walks of life. Ex officio members (Vice President) have been: Spiro T. Agnew, Chester A. Arthur, Allen W. Barkley, John C. Breckenridge, George Bush, Schuyler Colfax, Calvin Coolidge, Charles Curtis, George M. Dallas, Charles G. Dawes, Charles W. Fairbanks, Millard Fillmore, Gerald R. Ford, John N. Garner, Hannibal Hamlin, Thomas A. Hendricks, Garret A. Hobart, Hubert H. Humphrey, Andrew Johnson, Lyndon B. Johnson, William R. King, Thomas R. Marshall, Walter F. Mondale, Levi P. Morton, Richard M. Nixon, Nelson A. Rockefeller, Theodore Roosevelt, James S. Sherman, Adlai E. Stevenson, Harry S. Truman, Henry A. Wallace, William A. Wheeler, Henry Wilson.

Ex officio members (Chief Justice) have been: Roger B. Taney, Salmon P. Chase, Nathan Clifford, Morrison R. Waite, Samuel F. Miller, Melville W. Fuller, Edward D. White, William Howard Taft, Charles Evans Hughes, Harlan F. Stone, Fred M. Vinson, Earl Warren, Warren E. Burger.

Regents on the part of the Senate have been: Clinton P. Anderson, Newton Booth, Sidney Breese, Lewis Cass, Robert Milledge Charlton, Bennet Champ Clark, Francis M. Cockrell, Shelby Moore Cullom, Garrett Davis, Jefferson Davis, George Franklin Edmunds, George Evans, Edwin J. Garn, Walter F. George, Barry Goldwater, George Gray, Hannibal Hamlin, Nathaniel Peter Hill, George Frisbie Hoar, Henry French Hollis, Henry M. Jackson, William Lindsay, Henry Cabot Lodge, Medill McCormick, James Murray Mason, Samuel Bell Maxey, Robert B. Morgan, Frank E. Moss, Claiborne Pell, George Wharton Pepper, David A. Reed, Leverett Saltonstall, Hugh Scott, Alexander H. Smith, Robert A. Taft, Lyman Trumbull, Wallace H. White, Jr., Robert Enoch Withers.

Regents on the part of the House of Representatives have included: Edward P. Boland, Frank T. Bow, William Campbell Breckenridge, Overton Brooks, Benjamin Butterworth, Clarence Cannon, Lucius Cartrell, Hiester Clymer, William Colcock, William P. Cole, Jr., Maurice Connolly, Silvio O. Conte, Edward E. Cox, Edward H. Crump, John Dalzell, Nathaniel Deering, Hugh A. Dinsmore, William English, John Farnsworth, Scott Ferris, Graham Fitch, James Garfield, Charles L. Gifford, T. Alan Goldsborough, Frank L. Greene, Gerry Hazleton, Benjamin Hill, Henry Hilliard, Ebenezer Hoar, William Hough, William M. Howard, Albert Johnson, Leroy Johnson, Joseph Johnston, Michael Kirwan, James T. Lloyd, Robert Luce, Robert McClelland, Samuel K. McConnell, Jr., George H. Mahon, George McCrary, Edward McPherson, James R. Mann, George Perkins Marsh, Norman Y. Mineta, A. J. Monteague, R. Walton Moore, Walter H. Newton, Robert Dale Owen, James Patterson, William Phelps, Luke Poland, John Van Schaick Lansing Pruyn, B. Carroll Reece, Ernest W. Roberts, Otho Robards Singleton, Frank Thompson, Jr., John M. Vorys, Hiram Warner, Joseph Wheeler.

Citizen Regents have been: David C. Acheson, Louis Agassiz, James B. Angell, Anne L. Armstrong, William Backhouse Astor, J. Paul Austin, Alexander Dallas Bache, George Edmund Badger, George Bancroft, Alexander Graham Bell, James Gabriel Berrett, John McPherson Berrien, Robert W. Bingham, Sayles Jenks Bowen, William G. Bowen, Robert S. Brookings, John Nicholas Brown, William A. M. Burden, Vannevar Bush, Charles F. Choate, Jr., Rufus Choate, Arthur H. Compton, Henry David Cooke, Henry Coppee, Samuel Sullivan Cox, Edward H. Crump, James Dwight Dana, Harvey N. Davis, William Lewis Dayton, Everette Lee Degolyer, Richard Delafield, Frederic A. Delano, Charles Devens, Matthew Gault Emery, Cornelius Conway Felton, Robert V. Fleming, Murray Gell-Mann, Robert F. Goheen, Asa Gray, George Gray, Crawford Hallock Greenwalt, Nancy Hanks, Caryl Parker Haskins, Gideon Hawley, John B. Henderson, John B. Henderson, Jr., A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., Gardner Greene Hubbard, Charles Evans Hughes, Carlisle H. Humelsine, Jerome C. Hunsaker, William Preston Johnston, Irwin B. Laughlin, Walter Lenox, Augustus P. Loring, John Maclean, William Beans Magruder, John Walker Maury, Montgomery Cunningham Meigs, John C. Merriam, R. Walton Moore, Roland S. Morris, Dwight W. Morrow, Richard Olney, Peter Parker, Noah Porter, William Campbell Preston, Owen Josephus Roberts, Richard Rush, William Winston Seaton, Alexander Roby Shepherd, William Tecumseh Sherman, Otho Robards Singleton, Joseph Gilbert Totten, John Thomas Towers, Frederic C. Walcott, Richard Wallach, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., James E. Webb, James Clarke Welling, Andrew Dickson White, Henry White, Theodore Dwight Woolsey.
Topic:
Museums -- Administration  Search this
Museum trustees  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 1, Smithsonian Institution. Board of Regents, Minutes
Identifier:
Record Unit 1
See more items in:
Minutes
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0001
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Additional Online Media:

Venture Capital - Prospectors, 1982

Collection Creator::
Nace, George W.  Search this
Container:
Box 13 of 22
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 01-246, George W. Nace Papers
See more items in:
George W. Nace Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa01-246-refidd1e5114

Venture Capital Chez River, 1982

Collection Creator::
Nace, George W.  Search this
Container:
Box 13 of 22
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 01-246, George W. Nace Papers
See more items in:
George W. Nace Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa01-246-refidd1e5102

Southwest Venture Capital Network, Incorporated

Collection Creator:
Safko, Lon S.  Search this
Container:
Box 13, Folder 7
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1992
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research use.
Collection Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Collection Citation:
Safko International, Inc. Records, 1984-1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Safko International, Inc. Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0911-ref210

Kenneth J. Friedman, Western States Venture Capital Inc.

Designer:
Dan Friedman, American, 1945–1995  Search this
Medium:
Lithograph on heavy white paper
Type:
graphic design
Business card
Object Name:
Business card
Made in:
USA
Credit Line:
Gift of Ken Friedman
Accession Number:
1997-19-514
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1997-19-514

Playbill for Duke Ellington's Sophisticated Ladies

Published by:
Playbill, American, founded 1884  Search this
Used by:
Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, American, founded 1910  Search this
Subject of:
Duke Ellington, American, 1899 - 1974  Search this
Gregory Hines, American, 1946 - 2003  Search this
Judith Ann Jamison, American, born 1943  Search this
Phyllis Hyman, American, 1949 - 1995  Search this
P. J. Benjamin  Search this
Hinton Battle, German-American, born 1956  Search this
Gregg Burge, American, 1957 - 1998  Search this
Mercedes Ellington, American, born 1939  Search this
Priscilla Baskerville  Search this
Terri Klausner  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W: 9 x 5 5/8 in. (22.9 x 14.3 cm)
Type:
theater programs
Place used:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1981
Topic:
African American  Search this
Actors  Search this
Broadway Theatre  Search this
Jazz (Music)  Search this
Musical Theatre  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Kayla Deigh Owens
Object number:
2011.45.91
Restrictions & Rights:
Playbill used by permission. All rights reserved, Playbill Inc.
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Memorabilia and Ephemera
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2011.45.91
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Something Ventured Film Transcripts

Creator:
Miralan Productions  Search this
Names:
Western Association of Venture Capitalists  Search this
Extent:
7.73 Megabytes (23 digital transcripts)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Megabytes
Date:
2008-2010
Summary:
The collection contains 23 interview transcripts relating to the production of the 2011 film Something Ventured: Risk, Reward and the Original Venture Capitalists.
Content Description:
Interview transcripts relating to the production of the 2011 film Something Ventured: Risk, Reward and the Original Venture Capitalists.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series and is alphabetical by name of interviewee.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Miralan Productions, LLC through Paul Holland and Molly Davis, January 2018.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Rights to the collection are owned by the Stanford Special Collections and University Archives. Users with questions and requests regarding usage should contact the Stanford Special Collections and University Archives.
Topic:
Entrepreneurship  Search this
Transcripts  Search this
Businesspeople  Search this
Venture capital  Search this
Venture capital -- United States  Search this
Citation:
Something Ventured Film Transcripts, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1467
See more items in:
Something Ventured Film Transcripts
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1467

VC : an American history / Tom Nicholas

Author:
Nicholas, Tom (Associate professor) http://id.loc.gov/vocabulary/relators/aut http://id.loc.gov/authorities/names/nb2009031712 http://viaf.org/viaf/103513884  Search this
Physical description:
vi, 382 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
History
Place:
United States
Date:
2019
Topic:
Venture capital--History  Search this
Entrepreneurship--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1107277

Digital Directions in Learning: Assessing Progress--Badges as a New Tool

Creator:
Smithsonian Education  Search this
Type:
Youtube videos
Uploaded:
2014-06-25T18:04:02.000Z
Topic:
Education  Search this
Youtube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianEducation
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianEducation
Data Source:
Smithsonian Education
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_MKA0JRFqDRc

How AltSchool Is Personalizing Education By Collecting Loads of Data on Its Students

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Conversations and talks
Lesson Plans
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:36:11 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_317dd49f938f16420bed05978fcfd0fe

Could This Cooler Help Combat Global Hunger?

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Conversations and talks
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 21 Nov 2016 15:43:04 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_51857f4333bb3239aaf299f3b52e5812

Microelectronics Oral History Collection

Interviewee:
Madland, Glen  Search this
Goldstein, Andrew  Search this
Flaschen, Steward  Search this
Faggin, Frederico  Search this
Everitt, Bruce  Search this
Petritz, Richard  Search this
Nebeker, Frederik  Search this
Morten, David  Search this
Creator:
Finn, Bernard S., 1932-  Search this
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Morton, David  Search this
Names:
Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Transcripts
Audiotapes
Date:
1996.
Summary:
Transcripts and audio cassettes of oral history interviews with pioneers in the field of microelectronics. The interviews document the spectrum of innovative activities in the microelectronics industry.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains transcripts and original audio cassettes of oral history interviews with pioneers in the field of microelectronics. Series 1, Transcripts, 1996 are arranged alphabetically and a table of contents and abstracts are available for each interview. Series 2, Audio Cassette Tapes, 1996 are arranged alphabetically. The interviews were conducted by Andrew Goldstein, David Morton, and Frederik Nebeker.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1: Transcripts, 1996

Series 2: Audio Cassette Tapes, 1996
Historical:
The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, in cooperation with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Center for the History of Electrical Engineering, conducted oral histories to document the spectrum of innovative activities in the microelectronics industry. These activities include, translation (people or companies instrumental in knowledge transfer between invention stage and commercialization); venture capital (entrepreneurs or financiers); applications (use of the basic form of microelectronics technology in entirely new, often unexpected applications) research management; legal issues; and chip design.
Provenance:
This collection was created by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation with NMAH staff member, Barney Finn of the Division of Information, Technology and Communication and David Morton of the Center for the History of Electrical Engineering in 1996.
Restrictions:
Some oral histories are restricted; others unrestricted for research use on site by appointment. Gloves required with unprotected photographs.
Rights:
Copyright status unknown or uncertain.
Topic:
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Engineers -- 20th century  Search this
Microelectronics  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Electric engineering -- 20th century  Search this
Microelectronics industry -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Transcripts
Audiotapes
Citation:
Microelectronics Oral History Collection, 1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0566
See more items in:
Microelectronics Oral History Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0566

A Flexible Circuit Has Been Injected Into Living Brains

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 08 Jun 2015 15:00:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_7c46164d4f4d840b98bf41a7bd0be705

Could Mini Satellites Provide Free Internet to All?

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Conversations and talks
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 19 Mar 2014 14:06:20 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_8d2b2ca3577cc9c5a660fc15d99f1d7e

Your Smartphone And Sunglasses Could Soon Project Holograms

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Conversations and talks
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 11 Jun 2014 07:30:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_abf9cfa15b8cc91c5fe78394ca149fcb

Records of Wedge Innovations

Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Extent:
13 Cubic feet (28 boxes, 5 oversized folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Notebooks
Oral histories (document genres)
Audiotapes
Financial records
Financial statements
Interviews
Correspondence
Photographs
Drawings
Advertisements
Date:
1985-1996
Summary:
The records of Wedge Innovations document the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level; also included are company management and policies.
Scope and Contents:
The SmartLevel story gives excellent insight into the life cycle of a small Silicon valley start-up in the 1980s. SmartLevel's creator, Wedge Innovations, established a market for a new product, achieved national distribution, off-shore manufacturing, and product licensing, before going out of business due to pressure from profit-hungry venture capitalists.

The records of Wedge Innovations is a "tool biography" that documents the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level first conceived in 1985 by Andrew Butler. The SmartLevel Collection is divided into seven series: Corporate Records, Engineering Records, Financial Records, Marketing Records, Operations Records, Product Development Records, and Corporate Culture, reflecting both the organizational structure of Wedge Innovations and the company's working environment.

Series 1, Corporate Records, 1985-1993, address the overall management of Wedge Innovations and document its policies, especially through the company's annual business plans, 1986-1992, and the monthly reports prepared for the Board of Directors' meetings, 1989-1992. This series also details the workings of each department through weekly departmental reports. The staff meetings files, July-November 1989, February 1990-November 1992, are particularly useful for understanding the day-to-day operation of the company.

Series 2, Engineering Records, 1985-1993, document the design and development of the SmartLevel from its conception in 1985 as the WedgeLevel, through its production as the SmartLevel in 1989, and through its refinement into the Pro SmartLevel and the Series 200 SmartLevel in 1991. The design process is particularly well documented through Andrew Butler's and Kevin Reeder's design notebooks and through the detailed technical drawings done by Butler, Reeder, and Ronald Wisnia. Also well documented are the efforts made to solve the many problems associated with the development and quality control of the electronic sensor module that was the heart of the SmartLevel.

Series 3, Financial Records, 1985-1992, include Wedge's summary financial statements from 1985 to 1992.

Series 4, Marketing Records, 1986-1992, document customer and dealer relations through marketing department correspondence, operational records, and advertising campaigns. This series is particularly rich in promotional material (1988-1992), such as advertisements, advertising copy, photographs, product promotion plans, and videotapes that demonstrate the varied features and uses of the products.

Series 5, Operations Records, 1990-1993, document the manufacturing process and the Company's offshore operations.

Series 6, Product Development Records, 1986-1993, document the company's intended development of an entire "Smart Tools" line.

Series 7, Corporate Culture, 1985-1996, contains employee photographs and oral history interviews with key Wedge personnel conducted in 1995 and 1996 by David Shayt, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History. The interviews discuss the background of the participants, the company's origins and history, product development, the Silicon Valley context, and the efforts of Wedge Innovations successor firm, SmartTool Technologies.
Arrangement:
The collection organized into seven series.

Series 1, Corporate Records, 1985-1993

Series 2, Engineering Records, 1985-1993

Series 3, Financial Records, 1985-1992

Series 4, Marketing Records, 1986-1992

Series 5, Operations Records, 1990-1993

Series 6, Product Development Records, 1986-1993

Series 7, Corporate Culture, 1985-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Andrew G. Butler (b. 1955), the founder of Wedge Innovations exhibited an interest in building construction and an entrepreneurial spirit early in life. From age 12 to 17 he built a boat that he then sailed alone from California to Tahiti, where he spent several years as an independent carpenter and building contractor. After returning to the United States, he earned a B.S. degree in electromechanical engineering from Stanford University (1983) and became a software specialist for Bechtel Construction. In 1985, he conceived of an idea for an electronic carpenter's level that could read a range of angles. Butler formed Wedge Innovations in 1986. He worked in the basement of his home in order to develop and market this level, selling his boat to finance the venture. He hired Marilyn Crowell as his secretary and Robert Nagle and Dan Kellogg as engineers. This company developed the sensor technology and software necessary to build the company's first product, the WedgeLevel. The heart of this tool was an electronic sensor circuit connected to a microprocessor capable of measuring the tool's orientation. This sensor module fit into an ergonomically-designed teak rail with anodized aluminum edges jointly developed by Butler, engineering design consultant Kevin Reeder, and engineer Ronald Wisnia.

In 1987, Wedge moved to Santa Clara to begin manufacturing the WedgeLevel. The transition from a research and development concern to a manufacturing company proved difficult, due to manufacturing and financial difficulties. It was difficult to obtain a reliable yet inexpensive source of teak for the rails, designs for a plastic composite and aluminum rail were developed, while offshore manufacturing of the sensor components was established. Overarching all concerns was the persistent difficulty of obtaining sufficient investment capital. While managing his growing company, Butler also began planning for a line of hand tools that combined microelectronics and user-oriented, ergonomic design. In 1988, the company changed the name of its product to SmartLevel in order to emphasize the company's proposed line of Smart Tools. That same year, the company adopted a new corporate logo, a stylized W with a red wedge, signaling its growing maturity. Promotion of the product also began through demonstrations of the prototype done by consultant building contractor, Rick Feffer.

In January 1989, the SmartLevel prototype was launched at the National Association of Home Builders Show in Atlanta, Georgia. The favorable publicity generated by this launch and by the company's media campaign generated many orders. To supply these orders, Wedge moved to larger quarters in Sunnyvale on April 1, 1989. In June 1989, Wedge gained further publicity by donating several SmartLevels to a Habitat for Humanity project in Milwaukee, where former president Jimmy Carter used one. Although Wedge expected to ship the first SmartLevels in July 1989, there were considerable delays in manufacturing. In particular, there were stability and performance problems with the sensor, which engineer Ken Gunderson was brought in to remedy. The sensor module was re-engineered to be more rugged and the level was redesigned with a plastic composite and aluminum rail. The new level, known as the Pro SmartLevel, was intended for the professional construction market. The first SmartLevels were shipped on September 5, 1989.

In 1990, patents were granted to Andrew Butler, Donald G. Green, and Robert E. Nagle for an inclinometer sensor circuit and to Butler and Ronald Wisnia for a carpenter's level design. That same year, Brian Bayley joined Wedge as Vice-president for Engineering, and Edwin "Win" Seipp joined as Project Manager - DIY SmartLevel. Seipp's responsibility was to develop a low-cost, "do-it-yourself" version of the SmartLevel, which was eventually called the Series 200 SmartLevel. This level had an all-aluminum rail and a non-removable sensor.

In September 1990, the company moved to San Jose and by 1991 had over 60 employees. Although sales continued to grow and name recognition of the product was quite strong, Wedge had difficulty meeting the expectations of its investors. Butler entered into financial negotiations with the Macklanburg-Duncan Corporation, a large-scale manufacturer of hand tools, to seek investment in his company. These negotiations led in November 1992 to the acquisition of Wedge by Macklanburg-Duncan, which dissolved all but Wedge's engineering section. Macklanburg-Duncan today manufactures a "SmartTool" level, while Butler co-owns D2M (Design To Market), a company that develops new product ideas for the market.

SmartLevel Chronology

1992 -- Butler negotiates with Macklanburg-Duncan for a merger to save Wedge. In the midst of the negotiations, Butler is fired by his Board of Directors. Butler regains control of Wedge three months later, fires the replacement president, and sells Wedge outright to Macklanburg-Duncan, which dissolves all but the engineering functions of Wedge.

1991 -- Wedge sponsors a "New Product Development Conference," where numerous designs for new hand tools are worked on. SmartLevel sales and name recognition grows but not quickly enough to meet overhead expenses of new facility or investors' demands.

1990 -- Yet more redesign work, both in-house and with Kevin Reeder, who also develops idea for "SmartTube" carrying case (not built). Patents granted to Andy Butler et al. for inclinometer sensor circuit and carpenter's level design. Wedge hires Brian Bayley as vice-president for engineering to develop a low-cost model of the SmartLevel. The all-aluminum Series 200 SmartLevel is born. Wedge moves to larger facilities in San Jose.

1989 -- SmartLevel launched at National Association of Home Builders show in January. Good press coverage, but cannot meet orders. More publicity from Habitat for Humanity project when former President Jimmy Carter uses a SmartLevel. But stability and performance problems plague sensor. More redesign work results in more rugged Pro SmartLevel. The first SmartLevels shipped on September 5, 1989.

1987-1988 -- Wedge moves to Santa Clara; intends to begin manufacturing and todevelop an entire line of "Smart Tools" but encounters financial and engineering difficulties; Wedge consults with independent design engineer, Kevin Reeder, on level design. Intensive redesign effort develops the SmartLevel, made of plastic and aluminum rail.

1986 -- Wedge Innovations founded in the basement of Butler's house; basic sensor design worked out; teak & aluminum WedgeLevel developed.

1985 -- Idea for electronic carpenter's level formulated by Andy Butler.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History contains artifacts related to the SmartLevel Collection. These include five SmartLevels (Accession #1991.0823; 1996.0284; 1996.0285; 1996.0288; and 1996.0289). They are an original teak WedgeLevel, a Pro SmartLevel, a Series 200 SmartLevel, a Bosch version of the SmartLevel, and a Macklanburg-Duncan SmartTool level. There are also four sensor modules (torpedo levels), two sensors, two carrying cases, one cap, one tee shirt, and one wooden puzzle with the inscription "The World Isn't Just Level and Plumb."
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Andrew Butler, SmartLevel inventor and company founder, Brian Bayley, Vice-President for engineering at Wedge Innovations from 1989-1992, and Kevin Reeder, an independent industrial designer, 1995-1997.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Product demonstrations -- 1980-2000  Search this
Technological innovations -- Hand tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Electronics -- Tools and implements -- 1980-2000  Search this
Industrial design -- 1980-2000  Search this
Leveling -- 1980-2000  Search this
Teak -- Use of -- 1980-2000  Search this
Level indicators -- 1980-2000  Search this
Venture capital -- 1980-2000 -- United States  Search this
Silicon Valley -- 1980-2000  Search this
Tools -- 1980-2000 -- United States  Search this
Small business -- Management -- 1980-2000  Search this
Investors -- 1980-2000  Search this
Inventors -- 1980-2000  Search this
Engineers -- 1980-2000  Search this
Industrial designers -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- Tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Carpenters -- 1980-2000  Search this
Carpentry -- Tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Merchandise displays  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Notebooks -- 1980-2000
Oral histories (document genres) -- 1990-2000
Audiotapes
Financial records -- 1980-2000
Financial statements -- 1980-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Correspondence -- 1970-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1980-2000
Drawings -- 1980-2000
Advertisements -- 1980-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Citation:
The Records of Wedge Innovations, 1985-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0534
See more items in:
Records of Wedge Innovations
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0534
Additional Online Media:

Interviewee, Po Chi Wo; Interviewer, David Shayt, National Museum of American History

Collection Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Extent:
1 sound recording (Duration 1 hour)
Container:
Box 26, Item 534.1
Box 24, Item 534.1
Box 25, Item 534.1
Type:
Archival materials
Moving Images
Sound recordings
Date:
1996 August 29
Scope and Contents:
Location: San Francisco, California

Po Chi Wo is a venture capitalist who was a partner in Advent International (Boston) in 1990 when Advent invested in Wedge Innovations. As a result of this investment, Wo had visiting rights to the monthly Wedge Board of Directors meetings. In this interview he discusses Advent's investment in Wedge. He begins on side one with his own educational background and upbringing, how he became a venture capitalist, his early investment efforts, and how he met Andy Butler in 1990.

Wo continues by discussing how Advent came to invest in Wedge, what was attractive and what was risky about the investment in the SmartLevel, how Advent tried to support Wedge's operations in Asia, and the significance of Wedge's Silicon Valley location. Wo also discusses the due diligence process, how venture capital works in general, the "shared risk strategy," how venture capital firms help start-up companies, and how return on investment is calculated by venture capital firms.

On side two, Wo discusses the expectations of investors in start-up companies, the relationship of the Board of Directors to Wedge and their lack of support for Wedge, the "failure" of Wedge, their lack of management experience, the sale of Wedge, and the possible buyers for Wedge.

He also discusses Andy Butler's creativity, Wedge's efforts to promote its growth, marketing and sales of the SmartLevel, appealing to "early adopters" of new technology versus a broad base of consumers, the "FUD factor" (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) by consumers of new technologies, the lack of product stability of the SmartLevel, diversification of Wedge's product line, international marketing of the SmartLevel, and the future of smart tools. He ends by describing what it means to be an inventor and how the inventor's artistic drive pushes him or her to overcome his fear of failure.
Collection Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Collection Citation:
The Records of Wedge Innovations, 1985-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Records of Wedge Innovations
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0534-ref246

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Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Conversations and talks
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 19 May 2015 16:31:41 +0000
Topic:
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See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_21e57744cafb47b367da3ce5af4aa136

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Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Interviews
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 30 Jun 2014 21:46:30 +0000
Topic:
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See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_2704fc227669ff9af65257607b3eb3ea

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Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 10 Mar 2014 18:57:00 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_8380b58e0539af96a6a3f3100f4b1c81

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