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Ralph H. Baer Papers

Creator:
Baer, Ralph H., 1922-2014  Search this
Extent:
16 Cubic feet (44 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
CD-ROMs
Diagrams
Drawings
Interviews
Videotapes
Correspondence
Sketches
Photographs
Oral history
Notes
Manuals
Date:
1943 - 2015
Summary:
Ralph H. Baer was a German-born ordnance specialist, inventor, and engineer. He was a pioneer of early videogame technology. The papers include autobiographical materials; firearms notes, manuscripts, and photographs; and videogame and television engineering notes, diagrams, schematics, and video documentation.
Scope and Contents:
The Ralph Baer Papers include autobiographical materials and an extended oral history interview. The Papers also include materials about military small arms created by Baer during his World War II service. The largest portion of the collection documents Baer's work on video games.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 12 series.

Series 1: Autobiographical Documents, 1962-2006

Subseries 1.1: Manuscript, book and other documents, 1962-2006

Subseries 1.2: Other Media: CDs, VHS videos, periodical, 1991, 2000-2003

Series 2: WW II Small Arms Documents, 1943-1953

Subseries 2.1: Correspondence, 1950-1953

Subseries 2.2: Writings and notes, 1943-1948

Subseries 2.3: Drawings and schematics, undated

Subseries 2.4: Manuals and encyclopedias, 1943

Subseries 2.5: Photographs, 1945

Series 3: Hans Otto Mauksch Materials, 1944-1964

Subseries 3.1: Personal background information, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1964

Subseries 3.2: Instructional materials, 1944-1946, undated

Subseries 3.3: Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1946, 1953

Series 4: TV Game Documents, 1966-1972

Subseries 4.1: Working notes, diagrams and schematics, 1966-1971

Subseries 4.2: Administrative documents, 1966-1972 Subseries 4.3: Notebooks, 1966-1968

Subseries 4.4: TV game development documentation, 1966-1968

Series 5: Sanders Associates, Transitron, and Van Norman Industries, 1952-2003

Series 6: Product Development Documents, 1974-2015

Series 7: Product Guides and Technical Support, 1943-2011

Series 8: Legal and Patent Documents, 1966-2014

Series 9: Writings and Notes, 1946-1999

Series 10: Miscellaneous, 1961-2012

Series 11: Correspondence, 1983-2014

Series 12: Publicity and Awards, 1979-2015
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph H. Baer (1922-2014) was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1938. A graduate of the National Radio Institute (1940), Baer worked as a radio technician in the New York City area, servicing all types of home and auto radios. During World War II, Baer served in the United States Army, one year stateside, and two years in Europe. He was assigned to Military Intelligence and became an expert on military small arms. Baer returned to the United States with eighteen tons of foreign small arms for use in exhibits at Aberdeen, Maryland; Springfield, Massachusetts Armory; and Ft. Riley, Kansas.

After the war, Baer attended the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago, graduating with a BS in television engineering. In 1949, Baer joined a small electro medical equipment firm, Wappler, Inc., as their chief engineer. He designed and built surgical cutting machines, epilators, and low frequency pulse generating muscle-toning equipment. In 1951, Baer moved to Loral Electronics of Bronx, New York as a senior engineer, designing power line carrier signaling equipment for IBM. During 1952-1956, Baer worked at Transitron, Inc., in New York City as a chief engineer and later as vice president. In 1956, Baer joined Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire building airborne radar components. He became manager of the Electronic Design Department at Sanders and eventually Division Manager and Chief Engineer for Equipment Design. Baer retired in 1987.

At Sanders in 1966, Baer began an independent project experimenting with ways for consumers to interact with standard home television sets. Development of interactive TV Game (TVG) ideas became a company-supported project continued by Baer and assisted by William H. Harrison and William T. Rusch (download the TV Game chronology prepared by Ralph Baer in 2006). By mid-1967, ping pong videogames were played inside Sanders, patent disclosures were applied for, and hardware was designed. Baer and his associates called the devices they were developing "boxes" and numbered the various versions one through seven. In 1971, Magnavox became Sanders Associates's first videogame licensee. Between 1972 and 1975, Magnavox produced and sold over 700,000 units of Odyssey, a set of games played on its television receivers. Atari became a licensee in 1976 after the first of many lawsuits won by Sanders in pursuit of patent infringements.

During his tenure at Sanders and thereafter, Baer was a prolific inventor. His creations included many electronic toys and games and other consumer electronic products. Among the better known products based on Baer's work are Milton Bradley's Simon, Galoob's Smarty Bear Video, and Kenner's Laser Command. In 2004 President George W. Bush awarded Baer the National Medal of Technology.

Baer married Dena Whinston in 1952 and they had three children, James, Mark, and Nancy. Ralph Baer died on December 6, 2014, at the age of 92.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Ralph H. Baer Innovative Lives Presentation, August 15, 2009 (AC1179)

The presentation documents a moderated conversation about Baer's life and work. Baer reenacts, with his partner William Harrison, the first time he played "Odyssey," the first home video game for the consumer market, which he invented, and answers questions from the audience. Materials include original video (born digital), master videos, and reference videos.

Materials at Other Organizations

Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong

Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1968-2010 inclusive; 1975-1998 bulk

The Ralph H. Baer papers are a compilation of correspondence, game designs, drawings, notes, reference materials, photographs, product descriptions, digital videos, schematics, electronic components, and manuals utilized by Ralph H. Baer throughout his lengthy career in the toy and game industry. The bulk of the materials are from 1975 through 1998.

U.S. Ordnance Museum, Fort Lee, Virginia

Materials consist of data on foreign small arms brought back from Europe in 1946 by Ralph H. Baer.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection including early video game prototypes and TV Game products.

TV Game Unit #1 (TVG#1); 1966; vacuum tube spot generator with Heathkit IG-62 Generator (See Accession 2006.0102.01)

Heathkit IG-62; used with TVG #1 (See Accession 2006.0102.02)

TV Game Unit #2 (TVG #2), aka the "Pump Unit," 1967; large aluminum chassis with wooden "pump" handle (See Accession 2006.0102.03)

TV Game Unit #7 (TVG#7), aka "Brown Box," 1967/1968; prototype for Magnavox Odyssey (See Accession 2006.0102.04)

Cardboard program cards for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.05)

Lightgun, 1967/1968; game accessory for Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.06)

TV Game Unit #8, 1968; "de/dt" (velocity responsive) ballgame chassis for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.07)

Magnavox Odyssey (Model ITL200) video game unit, 1972; with all accessories in the original carton (See Accession 2006.0102.08)

Milton-Bradley Company SIMON handheld microprocessor-control game, 1978 (See Accession 2006.0102.09)

Ideal Toy Company MANIAC microprocessor-control game, 1979, in original box with game instructions (See Accession 2006.0102.10)

Golf Game accessory, 1968; golf ball mounted on joystick handle for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.11

"Brown Box" programming card, target shooting, 1967 (See Accession 2006.0102.12)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Ralph H. Baer in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions. Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Books  Search this
Firearms  Search this
Games  Search this
Litigation  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Machine guns  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Weapons  Search this
Video games  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Television -- History  Search this
Rifles  Search this
Pistols  Search this
Military intelligence  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
CD-ROMs
Diagrams
Drawings -- 1940-1950
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Sketches
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Notes
Manuals -- 1940-1950
Citation:
Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1943-2015, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0854
See more items in:
Ralph H. Baer Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0854
Additional Online Media:

Arthur Ganson Innovative Lives Presentation

Creator:
Cater, Anita  Search this
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Ganson, Arthur, 1955-  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (3 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Oral history
Videotapes
Interviews
Date:
October 4, 2002.
Scope and Contents note:
Collection consists of original, master, and reference videos documenting interviews with Arthur Ganson, kinetic sculptor and inventor.
Arrangement:
3 series: (1) Original videos, (2) Master videos, (3) Reference videos.
Biographical/Historical note:
Kinetic sculptor and inventor.
Provenance:
Videohistory created by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.
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:
Sculptors -- Interviews -- Massachusetts  Search this
Kinetic sculpture  Search this
Sculptors  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Citation:
Arthur Ganson Innovative Lives Presentation, October 4, 2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0830
See more items in:
Arthur Ganson Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0830

Nobel Voices Video History Project

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (20 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Oral history
Videotapes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
VHS (videotape format)
Date:
2000 - 2001
Summary:
Thirty-three videotaped interviews of Nobel Prize laureates, conducted in Lindau, Germany, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the United States. The interviews form the core of the Nobel Voices Video History Project and the exhibition "Nobel Voices." Documents and preserves examples of the quest for innovation and its important messages for future generations.
Scope and Contents:
The thirty-three interviews total approximately twenty-six and one half hours in length and exist in five formats: digital, BetaCam SP, 1/2" VHS, cassette audio tapes, and transcripts. All five formats document the same interview content for each interviewee. The collection contains original, master, and reference videos, audio tapes, transcripts, production footage (stock and b-roll) and compact disks, documenting thirty-three Nobel laureates. All interviews were conducted by Neil Hollander. The production footage is from a variety of non-profit and commercial sources and there are no transcripts or time logs. The production footage was used in the exhibition interactive Ask the Prizewinners and the Nobel Prize: 100 Years of Creativity and Innovation (interactive CD-ROM). This CD-ROM explores the motivation and vision of Nobel laureates and the history of Alfred Nobel and his prize. This CD-ROM is a resource for educators and others interested in interdisciplinary approaches to stimulating creativity. The Ernst Otto Fischer (Chemistry 1973) interview was not conducted in English and there is no transcript. The Hans-Uno Bengtson interview documents a Swedish physicist and there is no transcript. Five interviews include laureate spouses: Kirsten Fischer Lindahl, Isabella Karle, Margaret Kroto, Nancy Mullis, and Phyllis Osheroff. The video interviews and transcripts are unedited. A three minute edited version of the interviews appears on the web at http:///www.NOfestiBEL.com.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into six series.

Series 1: Original Videos, 2000

Series 2: Master Videos, 2000

Series 3: Reference Videos, 2000

Series 4: Audio Tapes, 2000-2001

Series 5: Transcripts, 2000

Series 6: Production Footage, undated
Biographical / Historical:
The National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution and the Deutsches Museum collaborated in June 2000 to conduct video interviews with thirty-three Nobel Laureates. Interviews were conducted in Lindau, Germany, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere in the United States. The video documentation subsequently formed the core of the Nobel Voices Video History Project and the exhibition Nobel Voices: Celebrating 100 Years of the Nobel Prize. The interviewees were asked about their motivations, visions for the future, and opinions on the nature of creativity and innovation. In the interviews, the laureates speak about their passion for their work, their childhood inspirations, the spirit of discovery, and the personal meaning of the Nobel Prize.

The Nobel Voices Video History Project documents and preserves examples of the quest for innovation and its important messages for future generations. Interviewees were: Werner Arber, Hans-Uno Bengton, Gunther Blobel, Paul Boyer, Claude Cohen-Tannouudji, Johann Deisenhofer, Kristen Lindahl Deisenhofer, Manfried Eigen, Richard Ernst, Edmond Fischer, Ernst Otto Fischer, Paul Greengard, Jerome Karle, Isabella Karle, Klaus von Klitzing, Walter Kohn, Harold Kroto, Robert B. Laughlin, David Lee, Rudolph A. Marcus, Kary B. Mullis, Nancy Mullis, Erwin Neher, Douglass D. Osheroff, Phyliss L. Osheroff, William D. Phillips, John Polanyi, John Pople, Gerardus t'Hooft, Robert C. Richardson, Jack Steinberger, Samuel C.C. Ting, Charles Townes, Martinus Veltman, and Jody Williams.

The Lemelson Center received generous support for the Nobel Voices exhibit from the Lemelson Foundation. The exhibit was developed in collaboration with the Deutsches Museum, Bonn, Germany, and the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery, with the cooperation of the Meetings of Nobel Prize Winners in Lindau, Germany, annually convened by Countess Sonja Bernadotte of Wisborg, Sweden. Nobel Voices explores the motivation and vision of Nobel laureates and the history of Alfred Nobel and his prize. It features personal video interviews of laureates, candid photographic portraits, and original artifacts, including Albert Einstein's pipe and William Faulkner's tweed jacket and typewriter.

Visitors to the exhibition pass through eight sections telling the story of the Nobel Prize and those who have achieved it: The Nobel Prizes, Nobel Encounters, Inventing the Future, Alfred Nobel: The Man Behind the Prize, The World of the Laureates, Through Young Artists' Eyes, The Nobel Laureates in Lindau, and Images of Nobel Prize Winners from the National Portrait Gallery. For more information about the Nobel Prize and Nobel Laureates see http://nobelprize.org/ administered by the Nobel Foundation.
Provenance:
The collection was transferred from the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, May 18, 2001.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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. Signed release forms on file.
Topic:
Medicine  Search this
Chemistry  Search this
Physics  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Nobel Prizes  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
VHS (videotape format)
Citation:
Nobel Voices Oral History Project, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0771
See more items in:
Nobel Voices Video History Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0771
Additional Online Media:

Harry Kroto Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
Nobel Voices: Celebrating 100 Years of the Nobel Prize (Exhibition).  Search this
Extent:
0.75 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Oral history
Videotapes
Interviews
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Photographs
Date:
2001 October 1
Summary:
Approximately five hours of video footage documenting Harold Kroto, chemist and Nobel Laureate (Chemistry, 1996) discussing carbon structures called "bucky balls" named after architect Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes. Kroto describes properties and mathematical principles represented by these structures and he discusses his background and winning the Nobel Prize.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains five (5) hours of original (BetaCam SP), master (BetaCam SP), reference videos (VHS) and one (1) audio cassette documenting Harold Kroto, chemist and Nobel Laureate (Chemistry, 1996). Kroto discusses carbon structures called "bucky balls" named after architect Buckminster Fuller's geodesic domes and describes properties and mathematical principles represented by these structures. Kroto also discusses his background and winning the Nobel Prize. Audience participants are students from Queen Anne School (Upper Marlboro, Maryland) and Nysmith School for the Gifted (Herndon, Virginia). There are two sets of reference viewing copies; the Innovative Lives Presentation was filmed using two different camera angles (camera 1 and camera 2). The content is the same.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into three series.

Series 1, Original Videos and Audio Cassette, 2001

Series 2, Master Videos, 2001

Series 3, Reference Videos and Audio Cassette, 2001
Biographical / Historical:
Harry Kroto (1939-) was born in Wisbech, Cambridegshire, England and raised and educated in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He attended Bolton School where he studied art, geography, gymnastics, and woodwork. He later graduated from the University of Sheffield earning a BSc degree (1958-1961) and a Ph.D. (1961-1964) in chemistry. Kroto's doctorate work focused on "Spectroscopy of Free Radicals Produced by Flash Photolysis." Kroto's postdoctoral work in electronic and microwave spectroscopy was conducted at the National Research Council in Ottawa, Canada, and at Bell Laboratories in New Jersey studying liquid phase interactions by Raman Spectroscopy. In 1967, Kroto joined the staff at the University of Sussex (Brighton) where he became a professor in 1985 and in 1991 was made Royal Society Research Professor. At Sussex, Kroto began exploring the possible source of carbon chains in space. Based on this research along with his colleagues Robert Curl and Richard Smalley, both of Rice University, Kroto received the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery of "fullerenes." Named after architect Buckminster Fuller's soccer-ball shaped geodesic dome, fullerenes are formed when vaporized carbon condenses in an atmosphere of inert gas.

The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center's mission is: to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together museum visitors and, especially, school aged children, and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Provenance:
This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on October 1, 2001.
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. Signed release forms on file.
Topic:
Nobel Prizes  Search this
Chemists -- 20th century  Search this
Chemistry -- 20th century  Search this
Slides  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Interviews -- 2000-2010
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Photographs
Citation:
Harry Kroto Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, October 1, 2001, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0792
See more items in:
Harry Kroto Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0792

Dr. William Phillips Innovative Lives Presentation

Topic:
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Interviewee:
Phillips, William, Dr., 1948-  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Interviewer:
Cater, Anita  Search this
Names:
Chu, Steven  Search this
Cohen-Tannouudji, Claude  Search this
Physicists -- Chronological subdivision--1930-2000  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (4 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Oral history
Interviews
Mini DV (Videotape format)
Photographs
Date:
2001 April 27
Summary:
Approximately 5-1/2 hours of video footage documenting an interview with Dr. William Phillips, a physicist and Nobel Laureate (Physics, 1997). Phillips discusses his background, work at the National Institute of Standards (NIST) using laser light to cool gases to the lowest temperature ever achieved, and his memories of winning the Nobel Prize.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains approximately 5-1⁄2 hours of original (digital), master (BetaCam SP), and reference videos (VHS) documenting William Phillips, physicist and Nobel Laureate (Physics, 1997). Audience participants are students from Ormond Stone Middle School (Centreville, Virginia); Queen Anne School (Upper Marlboro, Maryland); Nysmith School (Herndon, Virginia): and Gwynn Park Middle School (Brandywine, Maryland).
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into three series.

Series 1, Original Videos, 2001

Series 2, Master Videos, 2001

Series 3, Reference Videos, 2001
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. William Phillips was born November 5, 1948 in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. He received his B.S. from Juniata College in 1970 and his Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1976. Phillips was awarded the Chaim Weizmann Fellowship at MIT to work on collisions and Bose-Einstein condensation (BEC) in spin-polarized hydrogen. After leaving MIT in1978, Phillips joined the National Bureau of Standards (NBS) which was renamed the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). At NIST, Phillips worked on precision measurements of the proton gyromagnetic ratio and of the Absolute Ampere. Also, he pursued laser cooling experiments which led him and colleagues Steve Chu and Claude Cohen-Tannoudji to win the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1997.

The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center's mission is: to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together museum visitors and, especially, school aged children, and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Nobel Voices Video History Project (AC0771)
Provenance:
Transferred by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, May 17, 2001.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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. Signed releases on file.
Topic:
Physics  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 1980-2000  Search this
Nobel Prizes  Search this
Lasers  Search this
Physicists  Search this
Slides  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Mini DV (Videotape format)
Photographs
Citation:
Dr. William Phillips Innovative Lives Presentation, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0770
See more items in:
Dr. William Phillips Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0770

Nathaniel Mathis Collection of Barbering and Beauty Culture

Creator:
Mathis, Nathaniel, 1946- (barber, motivational speaker)  Search this
Extent:
5.5 Cubic feet (18 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Correspondence
Awards
Interviews
Certificates
Oral history
Videotapes
Place:
Washington (D.C.) -- Small business -- 20th century
Date:
1946-2004
bulk 1970-2004
Summary:
Nathaniel Mathis is a Washington, D.C., hairstylist, inventor, motivational speaker, and entrepreneur. His papers document his business life and community involvement.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the work of a hairstylist, inventor, entrepreneur, and public figure whose career reflects significant changes in the African American community in the later 20th century. It is rich in visual imagery created by and for this community. Business papers, correspondence, publicity, photographs, awards and certificates documenting Mathis's work as a highly regarded barber and hairstylist in Washington, D.C., and as member of the D.C. Board of Barbering and Cosmetology are included. Business papers offer insight into the workings of a small privately-owned business. Numerous publicity items and photographs offer evidence of African American style and fashion in New York and Washington, D.C., from the late 1960s through today. Additional material documents Mathis's activities as a community activist, motivational speaker and distance runner. The collection also includes photographs, oral history interviews, and audio-visual materials.

Series 1, Biographical Information and Activities, 1946-2001, undated

This series includes all biographical statements, Mathis's autobiography, high school and college diplomas (including his GED), and other school and religious papers. Also included are advertising and programs for his various community events and motivational speaking engagements. Mathis participated in and sponsored many athletic, religious, community and children's events, which are documented here. Of note is his autobiography, Portrait of a professional: The Nat the Bush Doctor story as told to Jim Link, published in 1986.

Series 2, Beauty Business Documents and Advertising, 1969-2002, undated

Included in this series are papers related to Mathis's hair salon and clinic, his patent (United States Design Patent No. 237,022) for a Barber's Apron, associated marketing materials, and Bush Doctor advertising. Many of the materials are self-produced; both promotional items for customers and advertisements placed in publications such as phone books and newspapers. Documents for his School of Beauty, which ran from 1980 to 1992, include course material, the salon philosophy and the curriculum. His appointment books show the day-to-day life of the Bush Doctor. Also included are events where he appeared as the Bush Doctor.

Series 3, Publicity, 1963-2002

Clippings from newspapers and magazines, as well as entire magazines and newspapers where Mathis was mentioned on the front page. Several magazine covers and fashion spreads were collected because he was responsible for doing the hair of one or more of the models in the photo shoot. He also appeared at many education, trade, fashion, and hair shows, both as a competitor and as a speaker or panel member. Many of the newspapers showcase his inclusion in the Smithsonian collections in 1999 and from his graduation from Prince George's Community College, Maryland, 2001.

Series 4, Washington, D.C. Barbering and Cosmetology Boards, 1966-1997, undated

Mathis was appointed to the Examiner's Board as the chairperson in 1987 by Mayor Marion Barry of Washington, D.C., and to the Barbering and Cosmetology Board in 1994, after delivering a personal statement as to why he should be selected. The Board was significant because it was the first to license hair braiders in the country.

Series 5, Correspondence, 1967-2002, undated

Mathis maintained correspondence from many areas of his life. Topics covered include personal and professional matters, motivational speaking, and applications to appear in hair and trade shows as a competitor and panelist. Correspondents include the International Guest Artist Men's Hairstylist Association, the Red Cross, the Girl Scout Council, Shoptalk Trade publication, children at the Young School, and many beauty supply companies. He also promoted Soft Sheen beauty products and was a spokesperson for them at various events.

Series 6, Awards and Certificates, 1969-2001, undated

Mathis also received many awards, not only for his barbering skills, but for athletic events and for mentoring and providing support to various community organizations. Included are diplomas and certificates of completion for classes that he took related to barbering. He received medals at competitions such as the Coupe de la Paix in Egypt and the Coupe de l'Europe de le Coiffure in Paris, among others.

Series 7, Photographs, 1966-1989, undated

Photographs are comprised of modern color prints and gelatin developing-out paper (modern black and whites). The photographs document both Mathis's public and private life, from family snapshots to publicity photographs for his book and his television appearances. Of note are photographs with celebrities, including Muhammed Ali, Danny Glover, Robin Williams, Morgan Freeman, Whoopi Goldberg, George Foreman, Chris Rock, Bill Cosby, and Don King.

Series 8, Video materials, 1983-2002, undated

Video materials include ½" VHS, DVD and Minidisc formats and document Mathis's motivational speaking, athletic events, and barber training tapes. He made a promotional tape about his life entitled "From Hair to the Throne," which is undated but in DVD format. Much of his motivational speaking took place at high schools and colleges in the Washington, D.C. area. There are also interviews by local television stations. Included are notes about the tapes taken by Fath Davis Ruffins, a curator at the National Museum of American History.

Series 9, Audio Tapes, 1998-2004, undated

Fath Davis Ruffins, a curator at the National Museum of American History, recorded several oral history interviews with Mathis around the time the collection was acquired in 1998. These make up the bulk of the audio tape series and range from 1998 to 2004. Also included are tapes from radio appearances, as well as a motivational business tape which showcases Mathis's vocal talents.

Series 10, Memorabilia, 1992-1998, undated

Included in this collection is the Game of Life (playing pieces, cards, dice) and bags with the Bush Doctor logo on them. Mathis gave gift bags at the 2002 Black History Month convention, which included information about him and his salon, as well as a pick and a hair comb. He also collected political pins and kept many of his name badges and pins from shows and events he attended.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into 10 series:

Series 1, Biographical Information and Activities, 1946-2001, undated

Series 2, Beauty Business Documents and Advertising, 1969-2002, undated

Series 3, Publicity, 1963-2002

Series 4, Washington, D.C. Barbering and Cosmetology Boards, 1966-1997, undated

Series 5, Correspondence, 1967-2002, undated

Series 6, Awards and Certificates, 1969-2001, undated

Series 7, Photographs, 1966-1989, undated

Series 8, Video materials, 1983-2002, undated

Series 9, Audio Tapes, 1998-2004, undated

Series 10, Memorabilia, 1992-1998, undated
Biographical / Historical:
"Nat Mathis (b. 1946) is a native Washingtonian. He is a man of many talents and measures his success in many ways: innovative hairstylist, entrepreneur, inventor, community activist, motivational speaker and distance runner. Mathis opened his first barber shop in 1969. He is the winner of many national and international hairstyling awards and competitions and was the first African American to win the International Hair Styling competition in Cairo, Egypt in 1981. Mathis was among the first African American hairstylists to embrace and popularize the Afro and, later, cornrows -- hairstyles which many view as expressions of black empowerment. Mathis himself seldom expresses a political ideology of hair, but by 1970, Nat was known among his many satisfied clients and peers as "the Bush Doctor" for his expertise in Afro style and maintenance. He has styled hair for many celebrities; made numerous television appearances; and has been a stylist for several productions at the Kennedy Center, and for two major motion pictures, including Nixon, for which he re-created period hairstyles. He is active in community affairs, gives motivational speeches throughout the Washington, D.C., area, and is particularly interested in mentoring young people. He currently operates a barber shop adjacent to his home in Capitol Heights, Maryland."

*Biographical information provided by Nat Mathis's Official Website, "A Man of Many Talents." http://www.natmathis.com (accessed 02 August, 2006).
Separated Materials:
Mr. Mathis donated three of his patented barbering vests (See Accession # 1998.0114) to the Division of Home and Community Life.
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History by Nathaniel Mathis on April 9, 1998. An additional .3 cubic feet was donated to the Archives Center in 2004; 3 audio cassettes, 1 DVD and 2 mini discs added in 2006.
Restrictions:
Physical Access: Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.

Technical Access: Series 8, Video materials and Series 9, Audiotapes may not be used by researchers unless reference and viewing copies are made available.
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. The Archives Center does not own rights to the patent, trademark or any related interest in the artifacts.
Topic:
Barbers  Search this
Hairdressing of African Americans -- 1970-2000 -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Motivation -- Public speaking -- 1970-2000  Search this
Barbering  Search this
Hair  Search this
Barbershops -- Equipment and supplies -- 1970-2000 -- Washington (D.C)  Search this
Public speaking -- 1970-2000  Search this
Inventors  Search this
African American barbers  Search this
African American beauty operators  Search this
Beauty culture  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 1970-2000
Awards
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Certificates
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes
Citation:
Nathaniel Mathis Collection of Barbering and Beauty Culture, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0641
See more items in:
Nathaniel Mathis Collection of Barbering and Beauty Culture
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0641
Additional Online Media:

Food For Tomorrow Symposium Documentation

Speaker:
Kloeris, Vickie  Search this
MacIntyre, Daril  Search this
Koff, Ashley  Search this
Craig, Steven  Search this
Cheney, Ian  Search this
Halweil, Brian  Search this
Ellis, Curt  Search this
Belasco, Warren James  Search this
Boyce, Ed  Search this
Bentley, Amy, 1962-  Search this
Williamson, Bess  Search this
Vega, Cesar  Search this
White, Jeff  Search this
Shinn, Barbara  Search this
Silverthorne, Jane  Search this
Molella, Arthur P., 1944-  Search this
Peña, Carolyn Thomas de la  Search this
Poppendieck, Janet, 1945-  Search this
McTaggart, Adam  Search this
Martin, Rachel  Search this
McKenna, Jim  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Date:
2010.
Summary:
The collection documents, through audio and video, a symposium held November 5-6, 2010, in the National Museum of American History. The theme of the symposium was the role invention and innovation play in what we eat and how we eat. Panelists discussed the history and future of food and related technologies.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents, through audio and video, a symposium held November 5-6, 2010, in the National Museum of American History. The theme of the symposium was the role invention and innovation play in what we eat and how we eat. Panelists discussed the history and future of food and related technologies.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1, Images, 2010 November

Images 2460-2515

Images 2516-2579

Images 2580-2649

Series 2, Transcripts, 2010 November

Series 3, Digital Video Cassettes, 2010 November
Biographical / Historical:
This two-day program, presented at the Museum in November, 2010, examined the role of invention and innovation in our daily diet, in what we eat and how we eat it, both historically and in the present. The event featured presentations by scholars, inventors, writers, scientists, and others.
Provenance:
The collection was created by Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History.
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:
Inventions  Search this
Food  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
Audiotapes -- 2000-2010
Citation:
Food for Tomorrow Symposium Documentation, 2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1228
See more items in:
Food For Tomorrow Symposium Documentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1228

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:

Van Phillips Oral History and Papers

Topic:
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Donor:
Ossur North America  Search this
Interviewer:
Ott, Katherine  Search this
Dennis, Maggie  Search this
Interviewee:
Phillips, Van  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Djordjevic, Slobodon  Search this
Pouchak, Hilary D.  Search this
Names:
Flex-Foot, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
1.35 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Design drawings
Oral history
Interviews
Date:
1991-2004
Summary:
Video oral history interview of Van Phillips, inventor of the Flex-Foot and other innovative prosthetic feet, conducted by Katherine Ott and Maggie Dennis, February 27, 2004, and design drawings and printed materials regarding prosthetic feet by Van Phillips, Hilary D. Pouchak, and Slobodon Djordjevic.
Scope and Contents:
Approximately two hours of a video oral history interview of Van Phillips, inventor of the Flex-Foot and other innovative prosthetic feet, conducted by Katherine Ott and Maggie Dennis, February 27, 2004. In Series 2 there are design drawings and printed materials regarding prosthetic feet by Van Phillips and Hilary D. Pouchak.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Video Oral History, 2004

Series 2: Design Drawings and Printed Materials, 1991-2002
Biographical / Historical:
In 1976, after a waterskiing accident, Van Phillips had his left leg amputated just above the ankle. At the time he was twenty-one years old and a student at Arizona State University studying mass communications and advertising. The accident and his frustration with the prosthetic technology at the time motivated Phillips to switch his studies to prosthetics. He graduated in 1981. Happy to design a prosthetic foot with strength, flexibility, and light weight materials, Phillips began the process of bringing his ideas into reality. During this time his idea of a C-shaped foot was born. Carbon fiber with its excellent strength and flexible properties was cut into a C-shaped foot, with a sole on the bottom and a prosthetic socket above. With this design, weight applied by landing on the heel was converted into energy thereby simulating the spring action of the normal foot and allowing users to run and jump. After trying out his new design, Phillips immediately decided to quit his job, develop his design, and start a new company. Flex-Foot Inc. was formed in 1984 and demand for Phillips innovative prosthetic foot has increased ever since. While the firm was sold in 2000 to Ossur, a company based in Iceland, in 2000, Phillips still owns the patent rights to his invention and continues to contribute his ideas and expertise to research and development projects.
Provenance:
The design drawings and product literature was donated by Ossur North America, on July 30, 2004. The videocassettes were donated by the Smithsonian Institution's Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History on July 30, 2004.
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:
Inventions  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Prosthesis  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
Design drawings
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Citation:
Van Phillips Oral History and Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0859
See more items in:
Van Phillips Oral History and Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0859
Additional Online Media:

Paul MacCready Innovative Lives Presentation

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Interviewee:
Judd, Michael  Search this
MacCready, Paul, 1925-  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Oral history
Interviews
Videotapes
Date:
November 8, 2002
Scope and Contents:
Collection includes nine (9) original Beta Cam SP videos documenting interviews with Paul MacCready, the father of human powered flight. MacCready invented the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross.
Biographical / Historical:
Born September 25, 1925 in New Haven, Connecticut. He began flying in his teens and received formal flight training from the Navy during World War II. After the war, MacCready earned a physics degree from Yale University and a doctorate in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology.
Provenance:
Created by the Innovative Lives Program of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History.
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:
Solar energy -- 20th century  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Physics -- 20th century  Search this
Engineering -- 20th century  Search this
Aeronautics -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Citation:
Paul MacCready Innovative Lives Presentation, November 8, 2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0842
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0842

Project Bionics Artificial Organ Documentation Collection,[videotapes]

Interviewee:
Watson, John (M.D.)  Search this
Topaz, Stephen  Search this
Kolff, Wilhelm, 1911-  Search this
Jarvik, Robert K., 1946-  Search this
Creator:
American Society for Artificial Internal Organs  Search this
National Library of Medicine  Search this
Collector:
Science, Medicine and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Science, Medicine and Society, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Interviewer:
McKellar, Shelley  Search this
Kondratas, Ramunas A.  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
DVDs
Videotapes
Videocassettes
Date:
2002
Summary:
A series of interviews conducted jointly by the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, the National Museum of American History, and the National Library of Medicine. The interviews are of scientists and others instrumental involved in the invention and development of artificial internal organs. Project Bionics is ongoing and may include additional interviews or other materials in the future.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of 7 ½ hours of original BetaCam SP and ½" VHS videos documenting Dr. Willem Kolff, a pioneering doctor in the area of artificial organ innovations and 4 ½ hours of original mini digital video and reference dvds documenting Robert Jarvik.
Arrangement:
One series.
Biographical / Historical:
Project Bionics is a multi-year project to engage, educate, and provide services to researchers, scholars and the general public about artificial organs, past, present, and future. The project intends to: recognize individual and corporate contributions to artificial organ history; identify the pioneers their contributions to the improved quality and length of life; to collect and preserve the records of leading scientists and practitioners in the field; to link past accomplishments to present and future developments; and to encourage education, scholarship, and research on artificial organ history. The project is an ongoing collaborative effort of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, the National Museum of American History, and the National Library of Museum.
Provenance:
Collection made for National Museum of American History through a collaborative effort of the American Society for Artificial Internal Organs, the National Museum of American History, and the National Library of Museum.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.
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:
Artificial organs  Search this
Genre/Form:
DVDs
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
Videocassettes
Citation:
Project Bionics Artificial Organ Documentation Collection, 2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0841
See more items in:
Project Bionics Artificial Organ Documentation Collection,[videotapes]
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0841

Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Documentation Project

Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.)  Search this
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (Napa, California )  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (11 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Interviews
Newsletters
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Business records
Clippings
Photographs
Oral history
Date:
1960-2006
Summary:
The collections documents the growth and development of the American wine industry, 1996-2002, using the Stag's Leap Wine Cellars as a case study. Materials include oral and video histories, photographs, business records, and printed materials.
Scope and Contents:
The Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (SLWC) Documentation Project was conducted by an inter-disciplinary team at the National Museum of American History. It is a part of a larger effort by the Museum's American Food and Wine team to document and interpret the changing ways in which Americans have produced, prepared, and consumed their food and drink, especially in the years after World War II. Team members are Nanci Edwards (Office of Project Management and former Collections Manager of the Museum's Agriculture Collection), John Fleckner (Senior Archivist, Archives Center), Rayna Green (Curator, Division of Home and Community Life), and Paula Johnson (Curator, Division of Work and Industry). Jeff Tinsley of the Smithsonian's Office of Photographic Services accompanied the team and shot many of the slides and color photographs.

This collection chronicles the growth and development of American viticulture and viniculture from its revival in the 1960s to the present. It offers a case study in the art and business of making fine wine from the bud to the bottle. Warren Winiarski, founder of SLWC in California's Napa Valley, is deeply interested in the legacy of American winemaking and his winery's place within its broader history. The Winiarski family has generously participated and financially supported the creation of this collection.

The documentation touches on all aspects of the wine business, including picking grapes in the vineyards, making wine in the cellar, marketing it from the business office, and promoting its sales in the tasting room and around the globe. SLWC employees describe the land, the work, the tools, the technical processes, the passions, and the motivations that create SLWC's world famous wines. The collection also provides insights into wider patterns of American immigration history, agricultural and environmental history, ethnic community development, land use in the West, product marketing, and consumerism.

The archival collection is mainly comprised of recorded oral history interviews, documentary photographs, and video footage created by the documentation team in 1997. It also includes company newsletters, vineyard and winery production data sheets, wine labels, and related printed materials collected in 1997 with additional materials added occasionally.

It is divided into seven series, including interviews and abstracts, audiotapes, photographs and slides, videotapes, business records, and printed materials.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Interview Transcripts and Abstracts, 1997, 2003

Series 2: Oral History Interview Sound and Video Recordings, 1996-1997

Subseries 2.1: Sound Recordings, 1997

Subseries 2.2: Video Tapes, 1996-1997

Series 3: Photographs, circa 1960-2000

Series 4: Video Tapes, undated

Subseries 3.1: Family Photographs: circa 1960-1980

Subseries 3.2: Smithsonian Documentary Photographs: 1997, 2000

Series 5: Business Records, 1974-1998

Series 6: Printed Materials, 1994-2005

Series 7: Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Thirtieth Anniversary, 2003
Biographical / Historical:
The history of Stag's Leap Wine Cellars is a family history. It is also a story, in microcosm, of the development of Napa Valley, California as an international wine region and of the rising global acclaim for California wines. Building on the skills and knowledge of earlier Napa winemakers, Warren Winiarski became one of the most influential vintners in the region and his premium wines some of the most prized.

Winiarski arrived in Napa Valley in 1964 with his wife, Barbara, and their children. Like many Napa winemakers of this era, he left behind another career, in his case, an academic position at the University of Chicago to create a family business in a rural setting. At the time, Napa was just beginning to rebuild its reputation after Prohibition, a devastating vine disease, and the widespread production of cheap wines had soured the image of California wines. After apprenticing with several local winemakers, including Lee Stewart and Robert Mondavi, he purchased the land and winery that would become Stag's Leap Wine Cellars (SLWC) in 1972. Winiarski's choice of land was based, in part, Nathan Fay's success in growing Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in an adjoining vineyard; Winiarski later added Fay's property to SLWC.

To commemorate the American bicentennial in 1976, a blind wine tasting at L'Academie du Vin in Paris pitted the best of America's new wines against French classics. Stunning the international wine community, many American wines outscored their French counterparts, with SLWC's 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon taking first place in its division. The accomplishment brought SLWC and Napa Valley worldwide recognition. It excited a great demand for California wines and a new appreciation for American winemaking techniques, which combined new scientific methods with Old World traditions.

The Paris Tasting added momentum to changes already underway in the cultural, financial, and physical landscape of the Napa Valley. It spurred the development of many new wineries, the expansion of acreage under grape cultivation, and the growth of the region's tourism industry. Stag's Leap Wine Cellars was an integral part of these transformations. It continues to play a vital role in the region and the wine industry.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

American Wine History Documentation Project Records, 1976-2002, Archives Center collection # 817, has recorded interviews, photographs, and other documentary materials created and collected by the American Food and Wine History team.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry holds many artifacts from SLWC, including a wine barrel, grape picking knives, shovels, and other vineyard tools; lab equipment used in winemaking; wine bottles, labels, glasses, and other consumer products; and a bottle of the award winning 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon. See accessions: 1998.0181 and 1998.3058.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Topic:
Wine industry  Search this
Wine and wine making  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Newsletters -- 20th century
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Audiotapes -- 1990-2000
Business records -- 20th century
Clippings -- 1950-2000
Photographs -- 20th century
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Citation:
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Documentation Project, 1960-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0816
See more items in:
Stag's Leap Wine Cellars Documentation Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0816
Additional Online Media:

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