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Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers

Creator:
Dodd, Sharon Donovan  Search this
Donovan, Christine  Search this
Donovan, James F. Jr., Dr.  Search this
Donovan, Marion O'Brien, 1917-1998 (woman inventor)  Search this
Rabinow, Jacob, 1910-  Search this
Walters, Barbara  Search this
Names:
Keko Corporation.  Search this
Saks Fifth Avenue.  Search this
Extent:
7 Cubic feet (17 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Sketches
Publications
Publicity photographs
Photographs
Advertising mail
Scrapbooks
Clippings
Birth certificates
Correspondence
Color prints (photographs)
Dye diffusion transfer prints
Marriage certificates
Patent drawings
Date:
1949-1999
Summary:
Correspondence, patents, photographs, newspaper clippings, and subject files about various inventors and ideas. Collection documents women inventors, American culture, 1950s-1970s, and products designed for women and the home. Donovan's papers offer a near complete invention record, including both successes and failures, as well as patent and trademark correspondence.
Scope and Contents:
The Donovan papers offer a near complete invention record, including both successes and failures, and include correspondence, photographs, patents, newspaper clippings, and subject files about various inventions and ideas. This collection documents direct marketing techniques for products designed especially for women and the home. It may be useful for researchers interested in women inventors and entrepreneurs, American culture from the 1950s through the 1970s, and advertising history.

Series 1: Personal Papers and Biographical Materials, 1917-1999

Subseries 1.1: Biographical Materials, 1917-1999 includes newspaper clippings, biographical materials, and memorabilia relating to Marion Donovan's early life, family, and social activities. Note: Original clippings have been photocopied, and researcher copies are available.

Subseries 1.2: Magazine Publications, 1953-1999 includes original magazines which featured articles on Marion Donovan.

Series 2: The Boater, 1949-1995

Includes United States and foreign patents, notes, clippings, correspondence, photos, press releases and scrapbooks that document the invention of the Boater diaper cover.

Series 3: Other Ideas and Inventions, 1941-1993

Subseries 3.1: Marion Donovan's Subject Files, 1941-1995 are arranged chronologically and contain advertisements, articles, correspondence, sketches, notes, United States and foreign patents, photo materials, press releases, publications, and some artifacts documenting her ideas and inventions.

Subseries 3.2: Barbara Walters' Television Special, Not For Women Only, [1975] features an episode highlighting "Inventors and Invention," with a panel that includes Marion Donovan, Jacob Rabinow, and Henry Kloss, demonstrating their inventions.

Series 4: Dentaloop, 1979-1996

Subseries 4.1: Manufacturing Files, 1979-1996 contains files relating to the manufacture and packaging of DentaLoop, and includes photo materials, correspondence with various manufacturers including Johnson & Johnson, clippings, craft materials, and reports.

Subseries 4.2: Patents and Patent History, 1985-1996 contains files kept by Marion Donovan documenting the patent history of her and others' dental inventions.

Subseries 4.3: Marketing Files, 1989-1995 includes a substantial mailing list compiled over the years by Marion Donovan Associates, various order forms, advertising drafts, press releases, correspondence with Procter & Gamble, photo materials, personalized questionnaire responses, and a "How-To" videotape demonstration.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 4 series.

Series 1: Personal Papers and Biographical Material, 1999

Series 2: The Boater, 1949-1999

Series 3: Other Ideas and Inventions, 1941-1993

Series 4: DentaLoop, 1979-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Twentieth-century inventor, Marion O'Brien Donovan (1917-1998), made a career of designing solutions to everyday, domestic problems. Her career is framed by her invention in 1949 of the "Boater," a diaper cover made of surplus parachute nylon, and her invention in 1993 of DentaLoop, individual precut circles of two-ply dental floss. As an inventor and entrepreneur, Donovan created products that addressed problems in personal health, beauty, and household needs.

Marion O'Brien was born into a family of inventors on October 15, 1917, in South Bend, Indiana. Marion's father, Miles O'Brien, with his identical twin brother John, developed an industrial lathe for manufacturing gun barrels and founded the South Bend Lathe Works in 1906. After her mother died when she was seven, Marion spent a majority of her time at her father's factory, even inventing a "tooth powder" while in elementary school. She graduated with a B.A. in English from Rosemont College in 1939, and worked briefly for both Harper's Bazaar and Vogue. In 1942, she married James F. Donovan and moved to Westport, Connecticut.

A Connecticut housewife and mother of two in 1946, Donovan was unsatisfied with the options available to her to keep her babies dry. To her, cloth diapers "served more as a wick than a sponge," and rubber pants assured a nasty case of diaper rash. Looking for a way to hold the dampness in without keeping air out, she experimented by clipping a panel from her shower curtain, sewing a moisture-proof diaper cover, and replacing safety pins with snaps. Three years later, she introduced the "Boater." Donovan's attempts to sell her idea to leading manufacturers failed, but her product became an instant sensation and commercial success when she began selling the Boater at Saks Fifth Avenue in 1949. In 1951, Donovan sold both her company, Donovan Enterprises, and her diaper patents to children's clothing manufacturer Keko Corporation, for one million dollars.

Marion Donovan's interest in design and invention manifested itself in a Master's degree in architecture which she received from Yale University in 1958, at age forty-one. According to her obituary, she was one of three women in her graduating class. In the decades that followed, Donovan would go on to invent "The Ledger Check," a combined check and record-keeping book; "The Big Hang-Up," a garment hanger and closet organizer; and "The Zippity-Do," an elasticized zipper pull.

Marion Donovan was involved in every aspect of product development, serving as creator, designer, manufacturer, and marketer. Often, designing the product also meant designing the machinery that could construct the product to her unique specifications. While working on the development of DentaLoop, for example, she and second husband, John Butler, traveled to a factory in Germany to explore floss-producing machinery ideas. Donovan also went to great lengths to market her floss product. Between the years 1991 and 1995, in collaboration with daughter Christine, she launched her largest promotional campaign, marketing DentaLoop directly to hundreds of dental professionals and pharmacists all over the country. Always envisioning improvements, she continued to correspond with companies specializing in oral hygiene products until her husband suffered a stroke, and she focused her attentions on caring for him. Following his death in July, Marion O'Brien Donovan Butler died four months later on November 4, 1998.
Related Materials:
Artifacts were donated to the National Museum of American History in March of 2000. The "Boater" diaper cover (1949), a key chain bracelet, and "The Zippity-Do" (1970) were donated to the American Costume Collection of Social History Collection. "DentaLoop" (1993) materials were donated to the Science, Medicine, and Society Division.
Provenance:
Ms. Donovan's daughters, Christine Donovan and Sharon Donovan Dodd, and son, Dr. James F. Donovan, Jr., donated the collection to the Archives Center, March 2000.
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:
Women in technology  Search this
Women in marketing  Search this
Women in advertising  Search this
Women architects  Search this
Trademarks  Search this
advertising  Search this
Diapers  Search this
Dental hygiene -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1970-1980
Sketches
Publications
Publicity photographs
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film -- 1900-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Advertising mail
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Birth certificates
Correspondence -- 20th century
Color prints (photographs)
Dye diffusion transfer prints
Marriage certificates
Patent drawings -- 20th century
Citation:
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers, 1949-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0721
See more items in:
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0721
Additional Online Media:

Patsy Sherman Innovative Lives Presentation

Topic:
Scotchgard
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Inventor:
Sherman, Patsy  Search this
Names:
3M Company  Search this
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Corporation  Search this
Smith, Samuel  Search this
Extent:
0.35 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Photographs
Date:
March 12, 1997.
Scope and Contents:
Videohistory contains original and reference videos and photographs documenting a lecture program for children by Patsy Sherman, inventor of Scotchgard.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Original Videos

Series 2: Master Videos

Series 3: Reference Videos

Series 4: Photographs
Biographical / Historical:
Patsy Sherman was born in Minnesota. After graduating from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1952, Sherman was employed by 3M Company. At 3M, Sherman and a fellow researcher, Samuel Smith attempted to create a new synthetic material to use with jet fuel. During their experiments, Patsy accidentally spilled some of the compound on her tennis shoe and noticed that the shoe remained clean. This discovery led to the development of Scotchguard. Scotchguard is a compound used worldwide to repel soil on sofas, chairs, tablecloths, clothing, and other objects that are used daily. Patsy Sherman's name appears on 16 patents awarded to 3M for their inventions. She has been awarded numerous honors for her achievements and was inducted into the Minnesota Inventors Hall of Fame in 1989. She retired from 3M in 1992.
Provenance:
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution,,Lemelson Center for the Study of Innovation and Invention, Rm. 1016, MRC 604, 12th and Constitution Ave., N.W. 20560.,Made for NMAH.,1997.3177.
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. Signed releases on file.
Topic:
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Women chemists -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Textile fabrics -- 20th century  Search this
Chemistry -- 20th century  Search this
Chemists -- 20th century  Search this
Slides  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Photographs
Citation:
Patsy Sherman Innovative Lives Presentation, March 12, 1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0599
See more items in:
Patsy Sherman Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0599

Stephanie Kwolek Innovative Lives Presentation

Creator:
Kwolek, Stephanie  Search this
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
DuPont.  Search this
Extent:
0.45 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Lectures
Videotapes
Date:
1996 March 25
Summary:
This collection consists of two and one half hours of original (BetaCam SP), master (BetaCam SP) and reference (viewing) copies (VHS), documenting a lecture program for children on March 25, 1996 by Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar. Kwolek discusses her invention of Kevlar as well as her background and life experiences.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of two and one half hours of original (betaCam SP), master (BetaCam SP) and reference (viewing) copies (VHS), documenting a lecture program for children on March 25, 1996 by Stephanie Kwolek, inventor of Kevlar. Kwolek discusses her invention of Kevlar as well as her background and life experiences.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into three series.

Series 1, Reference Videos, 1996

Series 2, Master Videos, 1996

Series 3, Original Videos, 1996
Biographical / Historical:
Stephanie L. Kwolek was born in 1923 in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. She earned a bachelors degree in chemistry from Margaret Morrison Carnegie College, now known as Carnegie Mellon University, in 1946. Upon graduating 1946, Kwolek joined the DuPont Company in Buffalo, New York, where she worked in the Textile Fibers Pioneering Research Laboratory. In the laboratory she researched and developed new synthetic fibers. Kwolek's specialty at DuPont was low-temperature polymerization. She discovered the first liquid crystal polymers, which created an entire branch of research and invention. In 1964, Kwolek began searching for new high-performance chemical compounds. By 1965, she had discovered a compound that, when spun into fiber, was very strong and stiff. She found that the rigidness of this fiber nearly doubled when exposed to heat. The final product resulted in Kevlar (US Patent 3,819,587; RE 30,352) a high-performance aramid fiber used in bullet-resistant vests, crash helmets, boat shells, and radial tires.

Kevlar provides low stretch or elongation, improved cut resistance, better heat resistance, increased strength, reduced weight, and better impact resistance. Kwolek received a patent for Kevlar in 1971. During her forty year career, Kwolek received twenty-eight patents. She retired from DuPont in 1986.

Kwolek has received various awards for her invention, including the American Society of Metals Award in 1978, and both the American Chemical Society Creative Invention Award and the American Institute of Chemists Chemical Pioneer Ward in 1980. In July of 1995, Kwolek was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame. In 1996 she received the National Medal of Technology, and in 1997 the Perkin Medal was presented by the American Section of the Society of Chemical Industry to Kwolek. Both honors are rarely awarded to women. Kwolek received the 1999 Lemelson-MIT Lifetime Achievement Award for her innovations in the polymers industry, most notably her invention of Kevlar®.

References

Howell, Caitlan. Innovative Lives, Stephanie Kwolek and Kevlar, the Wonder Fiber, 1996.

Stephanie L. Kwolek
Provenance:
Created by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, March 25, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Series 3, Original Videos (BetaCam SP) is stored off-site. Arrangements must be made with the Archives Center two weeks prior to a scheduled visit.
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. Release forms exist.
Topic:
Chemists -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Chemistry -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Lectures -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Citation:
Stephanie Kwolek Innovative Lives Presentation, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0596
See more items in:
Stephanie Kwolek Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0596

Ellen Ochoa Innovative Lives Presentation

Topic:
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Interviewee:
Ochoa, Ellen, Dr., 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
National Aeronautics and Space Administration  Search this
Extent:
0.75 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Videotapes
Lectures
Slides
Date:
1996/09/24
Scope and Contents:
Original master and reference videos documenting children's program by Dr. Ellen Ochoa. Dr. Ellen Ochoa discusses her role as an inventor, scientist, and astronaut at NASA.
Arrangement:
Divided into 3 series: 1. Original videos; 2. Master videos; 3. Reference videos.
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Ochoa was born in Los Angeles, Calif. B.S. in physics, San Diego State, 1975; master's and doctorate in electrical engineering, Stanford University, 1981 and 1985. Dr. Ochoa holds three patents in the field of optical processing and has worked as a research scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) since 1988. In 1990 she became the first Hispanic woman astronaut selected by NASA. In April 1993, Ochoa flew as a mission specialist on the space shuttle Discovery.
Provenance:
National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution Department of History.,Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, 12th St. and Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C.,Made for NMAH.,1997.3162.
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. Signed copies of releases on file.
Topic:
Space shuttles -- 1990-2000  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Space flight -- 1990-2000  Search this
Hispanic Americans -- 1950-2000  Search this
Electric engineering -- 1980-2000  Search this
Astronautics -- 1990-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1980-2000  Search this
Astronauts -- 1990-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Lectures -- 1990-2000
Slides
Citation:
Ellen Ochoa Innovative Lives Presentation, 1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0595
See more items in:
Ellen Ochoa Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0595

Patricia Bath Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, [videotapes]

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Bath, Patricia, Dr., 1949-  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Oral history
Videotapes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Interviews
Slides
Photographs
Date:
February 17, 2000 and March 1, 2000.
Summary:
Dr. Patricia Bath was born in 1949 in New York. She conceived of the Laserphaco Probe in 1981 and patented it in 1988 (US Patent # 4,744,360 for an "Apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses"). The collection contains original and reference video footage of Dr. Bath's Innovative Lives Presentation documenting her work in the field of ophthalmology and her work creating and patenting the LaserPhaco Probe, an instrument to remove cataracts. Also included is an interview with Dr. Bath at her home in Los Angeles and an interview with her daughter, Eraka Bath and supplemental documentation assembled by Dr. Bath. The documentation includes photocopies of articles, patents, biographical sketch material, and selected publications and references to related to lasers and surgery of Dr. Bath
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 8.5 hours of original (BetaCam SP) video recordings and reference (viewing) copies (VHS) documenting the life and career of Dr. Patricia Bath. The recordings include a presentation by Dr. Bath for the Lemelson Center's Innovative Lives Program and interviews at her home and laboratory in Los Angeles. The collection also includes an interview with Dr. Bath's daughter, Eraka Bath, and copies of footage from other sources about Dr. Bath's work. Additionally, there is supplemental documentation assembled by Dr. Bath. The documentation includes photocopies of articles, patents, biographical sketch material, and selected publications and references to related to lasers and surgery of Dr. Bath.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1, Original Videos, 2000

Series 2, Reference Videos, 2000

Series 3, Supplemental Documentation
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Patricia Bath (1949-) was born in New York. She attended Charles Evans Hughes High School, Hunter College (B.A. 1964), and Howard University College of Medicine (M.D. 1968). Bath held a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University (1969-1970) and an internship at New York University (1970-1973) where she was the first African American resident in ophthalmology. Dr. Bath later joined the faculty of UCLA and Charles R. Drew University in surgery and ophthalmology and later the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Dr. Bath and other colleagues formed the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness (AIPB). Dr. Bath conceived of the Laserphaco, an instrument to remove cataracts in 1981. She received US patent #4,744,360 for an "Apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses" on May 17, 1988. Later patents include a method and apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses; laser apparatus for surgery of cataractous lenses; and pulsed ultrasound method for fragmenting/emulsifying and removing cataractous lenses. Dr. Bath retired from the UCLA Medical Center in 1993 to work in telemedicine, the use of electronic communication to provide medical services to remote areas where healthcare is limited.

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 age 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:
An anatomical eye (accession # 2000.0038.01) was donated to the Division of Medicine and Science in 2000 by Dr. Patricia Bath.
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 March 1, 2000. The Innovative Lives series brings Museum visitors and American inventors together to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product.
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:
Ophthalmology  Search this
African American physicians  Search this
Surgeons  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
African American women  Search this
Eye equipment and supplies  Search this
Eye diagnosis  Search this
Eye -- Examination  Search this
Eye -- Diseases  Search this
Inventions -- 1980-2000  Search this
Laserphaco (medical instrument)  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Ophthalmologists  Search this
Medicine -- Communication systems  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Slides
Photographs
Citation:
Dr. Patricia Bath Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0753
See more items in:
Patricia Bath Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, [videotapes]
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0753

Ann Moore Innovative Lives Presentation

Topic:
Weego Baby Carrier
Snguli baby carrier
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Berger, Sondra  Search this
Moore, Ann  Search this
Moore, Mike  Search this
Names:
Auckerman, Lucy  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (5 boxes , BetaCamSP, 1/2 inch VHS videotapes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Floppy disks
Videotapes
Oral history
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Audio cassettes
Interviews
Place:
Africa, French-speaking West
Date:
1999-10
Summary:
Ann Moore is the inventor of the Snugli baby carrier and Air Lift oxygen carrier. The collection contains original, master, and reference videos, audiocassette recordings, and transcripts documenting Moore's inventive career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 5.5 hours of original BetaCam SP recordings, 5.5 hours of master video copies, 5.5 hours of reference copies, 5.5 hours of audiocassette recordings, transcripts, and articles documenting the life and work of Ann Moore, inventor of the Snugli baby carrier and Air Lift oxygen carrier. The recordings include a presentation by Ann and Mike Moore for the Lemelson Center's Innovative Lives Program. Audience participants include students from Seven Locks Elementary School in Bethesda, Maryland; Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C.; Barrett Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia; and Jefferson Junior High School in Washington, D.C. Ann Moore's interview includes footage of her home in Colorado and discussions with users of the Air Lift oxygen carrier and Weego baby carrier.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Original videos, 1999

Series 2: Master videos, 1999

Series 3: Audiocassettes, 1999

Series 4: Reference videos, 1999

Series 5: Supplemental documentation, 1999
Biographical / Historical:
Ann Moore was born in 1940 in a small Ohio farming community and studied pediatric nursing at the University of Cincinnati. She joined the Peace Corps in 1962 as part of a medical team and was sent to Togo. She met her husband Mike Moore during training. While in Togo, Ann Moore noticed that most women tied their babies onto their backs with a long piece of fabric, which made the babies more content. Back in Colorado, Moore wanted to carry her newborn daughter Mandela in the same way. With the assistance of her mother, Lucy Aukerman, Moore designed the first Snugli baby carrier in 1969 (US Patent 3,481,517). She patented the Snugli in 1984 (US Patent 4,434,920). Snugli, Inc. grew from a small company where each Snugli was handmade by Aukerman and her neighbors to a large company with an international presence and a factory in Colorado. In 1985 Ann and Mike Moore sold Snugli, Inc. to Gerico, a Huffy Company. In 1986 Ann invented Air Lift, a soft mesh backpack oxygen carrier so people on oxygen could be more mobile (US Patent 4,739,913).

Ann and Mike Moore became disappointed in how Gerico had simplified the Snugli design so it could be manufactured less expensively so in 1999 the Moores launched Weego, a soft baby carrier similar to the original Snugli. The Weego has some modern improvements, including an adjustable buckle around the top of the carrier instead of pin tucks. 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 plays in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together Museum visitors and especially school age 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 15, 1999.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Infants -- Care  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Inventors -- 1950-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Slides  Search this
Genre/Form:
Floppy disks
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Oral history -- 1990-2000
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Audio cassettes -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Citation:
Ann Moore Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0706
See more items in:
Ann Moore Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0706

Charlotte Cramer Sachs Papers

Creator:
Sachs, Charlotte Cramer, 1907-2004  Search this
Names:
Cramanna  Search this
Cramarc  Search this
Crambruck Press  Search this
Cramer Products Company  Search this
Joy Originals  Search this
Joy Products  Search this
Sachs, Alexander  Search this
Samuels, Donald  Search this
Extent:
4 Cubic feet (13 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Business records
Patents
Sheet music
Patent applications
Clippings
Awards
Advertisements
Notes
Correspondence
Date:
1905-2002
bulk 1940-2002
Summary:
Papers relating to Charlotte Cramer Sachs's life and career as an inventor mainly of food and household-related products: correspondence, photographs, business papers, awards, patents, printed materials, notes, and miscellany. The collection primarily consists of invention-related marketing materials including invention samples and prototypes, notes, clippings, business correspondence, and customer account records.
Scope and Contents:
The records are divided into two series. Series 2 is further divided into eight subseries.

Series 1 documents the inventor's creativity through her artistic, literary, and musical records. Also included are awards and certificates received and materials related to her childhood home. This series contains few photos of Cramer Sachs herself, although a print of one of her paintings, "Portrait of a Lady," circa 1953, seems to be a self-portrait. There are no photos of her husband or daughter in the collection. Also missing is any information related to the inventor's formal education, childhood, the circumstances of her departure from Berlin, marriage, and family life.

Materials in Series 2 constitute the bulk of the collection and are primarily comprised of marketing ephemera, with very few financial and production records. This series gives a broad outline of Cramer Sachs's many inventions documenting Joy Products and wine-related inventions in the most depth.

Series 1: Creative and Artistic Papers, 1933-2002

These records include sheet music, songbooks, stories, and poetry of the inventor's own creation; photographic prints of her artwork; art exhibition materials; publishing company (Crambruck Press) records and published materials; childhood residence ("Haus Cramer") materials, and awards and certificates unrelated to inventions. Artwork and songs make up the bulk of the materials, and are arranged alphabetically by subject. Records in this series provide a context for Cramer Sachs's career as an inventor, although they do not reveal extensive information regarding her personal life or history.

Records relating to artwork include press releases, exhibition photographic prints and negatives, promotional materials, newspaper clippings, notebooks compiled by Cramer Sachs, as well as donation records of artworks given by the inventor to The Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine.

Crambruck Press publishing company is a combined name which incorporates the inventor's surname, Cramer and mother's maiden name, Bruck. These records include a pre-publication notice and order form for a Crambruck Press publication, correspondence from a donor, as well as three Crambruck Press publications: From Boring Dinosaur to Passionate Computer by Livingston Welch, 1968; Poems by Helen H. Shotwell, 1970; and In Search of Harmony by Charlo, 1964.

Haus Cramer materials include photographs, newspaper clippings (many of them in German), correspondence between Cramer Sachs and Stanford University, and floor plans of the house designed in 1912 by German architect Hermann Muthesius. A framed black-and-white photographic print of Haus Cramer is fragile and is housed in a sink matte, box 9.

Poetry materials, songs, and stories are contained in bound books, published songbooks, original sheet music, and copyright records for song words, manuscripts written by Cramer Sachs, as well as correspondence records related to her writings. The song "With Love From New York" was used in the marketing of "Joy New Yorkshire Pudding Mix," and the records contain a vinyl recording which doubles as a marketing piece. Allusions to her husband, Alexander Sachs, and daughter, Eleanor, are found in some of her songs and stories.

Translation materials are comprised of correspondence (mostly in German), as well as Cramer Sachs's complete English translation of the "Stoffel Flies Across the Ocean" story, originally written in German by Erika Mann, circa 1932.

Series 2: Invention Records, 1905-2002

Invention Records contain information related to Cramer Sachs as an inventor and are divided into eight subseries. Materials include: patent related records; samples and prototypes; marketing and advertising materials; newspaper and magazine clippings; business correspondence records; customer account records; Wine Museum materials; and patent searches. These present a broad overview of Cramer Sachs's many inventions, although the majority of information is concentrated in the Household/Office, Food Products, and Wine-related series. Records are arranged chronologically by invention. The final subseries contain patent searches requested by the inventor.

Subseries 2.1: Cramer Products Company and Affiliate Company Records, 1942-2002

Materials include financial records, business correspondence, company awards and certificates, real estate materials, license agreements with outside inventors, a promotion prospectus for the company, and three company stamps (three dimensional). Also included are records of an invention for which Cramer Sachs sought copyright, "Orthodontic Device," 1954, and those having to do with products distributed—not invented—by Cramer Products Company, "Forster Longfresh," 1985. In addition, there are black-and-white photographic prints of an office opening which include images of Cramer Sachs in 1967. These records are arranged chronologically.

Subseries 2.2: Household/Office Records, 1913-1972

These records relate to seven different inventions, each with varying degrees of information. "Combination Key and Flashlight," 1940 was an improvement on previous patents and therefore consists of the earlier patent materials (1913 and 1938), Cramer Sachs's patent application materials, an official, sealed patent application (1940), prototype drawings, correspondence records related to manufacturing and distribution, photographic prints, and a newspaper article. "Cozi-Crib," 1958 and 1968, and "Joy Originals Log Cabin Furniture Set," 1957, records include marketing materials whereas "Holdit," 1972, and "Party Platter," 1962, are minimally represented by one or two photographic prints. "Gaitray" materials consist of four product samples. Materials for "Miracle Knee Tray," circa 1953 include marketing ephemera, a photograph, and two product samples. A prototype for the "Traypron," 1954, is also included. These records are arranged alphabetically by invention name.

Subseries 2.3: Food Products, 1940-1969

Records in this subseries are mostly comprised of Joy Products prepared mix materials. Two exceptions are the small, fragile recipe book, 1940, and the "Caviodka," 1962, records. Business correspondence materials contain those from a food and equipment consultant, the Colgate-Palmolive Company, and Arthur Colton Company, in addition to those relating to the incorporation of Cramer Sachs's "baking mix manufacturing plant" (1945). There are numerous packaging samples of various Joy Products, along with handwritten recipes and notes. An example of early packaging for Joy Products "Early American Muffin Mix" is in flat box 10. This subseries also includes customer surveys and comments, marketing plans and proposals, advertisements, and a marketing portfolio compiled by the inventor. A scrapbook contains Joy Products newspaper clippings, advertisements, marketing ephemera, and photographs of store displays. The scrapbook pages are extremely brittle and are housed in sleeves. Preservation copies are available for research use. These records are arranged chronologically.

Subseries 2.4: Pet Accessories, 1953-1954

This subseries consists of materials relating to three inventions: "Bonnie Stand," circa 1953-1954; "Guidog," 1953; and "Watch-Dog," 1953. Records include photographic prints, marketing materials, printing blocks (for "Bonnie Stand"), as well as a declaration of invention for, and a product sample of, "Watch-Dog." These records are arranged alphabetically by invention name.

Subseries 2.5: Games, 1961-1969

The inventor created two games: "Domi-Notes," circa 1961 and "Musicards," circa 1969. "Domi-Notes" materials include an order form citing the distributor as G. Schirmer, Inc. and the addressee as Walter Kane and Son, Inc., and three games two in cardboard boxes, (fragile) and one housed in the original hard plastic case. Records relating to "Musicards" consist of two game samples including directions for playing.

Subseries 2.6: Wine-Related, 1966-2002

Wine-related records cover twenty distinct inventions and range from specialty cabinets—which make-up the bulk of the materials—to bottle accessories such as the "Bottle Bib" and the "Cramanna Bottle Ring." The type and number of records vary, with the majority concentrated in the "Cool-Safe," "Cramarc Multiple Cabinet," "Modern Wine Cellar," and "Well Tempered Systems" folders. Records in invention-specific folders are arranged alphabetically and include marketing materials, press releases, photographic prints and some negatives, cabinet drawings, brochures, order forms, correspondence, as well as product samples of "Bottle Bibs."

Customer account records are arranged alphabetically and consist of billing statements, invoices, receipts, blueprints, correspondence, cabinet drawings, customer feedback, bills of lading, and memoranda. Letters from David H. Wollins laud Cramer Sachs's cabinet as "the finest home wine storage system in the world." Examples of how the inventor handled an unsatisfied customer can be found in the Col. Charles Langley folder.

Miscellaneous wine-related materials follow the customer account records. Included are advertising ephemera, photographs, and newspaper clippings originally assembled into a binder by Cramer Sachs. Taped to the inside front cover was a cut-out from a magazine advertisement which reads, "If you stick with the herd, you could end up as a lamb chop." Miscellaneous materials also include unlabeled cabinet drawings, photographic prints, competitor materials, photocopies from Grossman's Guide to Wines, Spirits, and Beers, as well as marketing materials and newspaper clippings covering a range of wine-related inventions. These records are arranged alphabetically by subject.

The final section of the wine-related subseries documents the development and eventual dissolution of The Wine Museum of New York. Records are arranged chronologically and include a provisional charter; an extension of the provisional charter; a newspaper clipping; outreach correspondence; a binder of wine museum materials including brochures, event invitations, exhibition opening cards, board member profiles, a press release, and newspaper clippings; wine museum exhibition information; and records related to the dissolution of the museum.

Subseries 2.7: Temperature and/or Humidity Controlled Devices, 1968-2002

This subseries documents the inventor's temperature and/or humidity controlled inventions that do not relate to wine. Cramer Sachs created the "Well Tempered Cabinet" for both wine and musical instruments; it is documented in this and the wine-related subseries. These records cover eight distinct inventions which range from specialty cabinets for musical instruments, furs, and cigars to devices designed to cool the body. Records relate to marketing, invention-specific business correspondence, confidential information and competition agreements, and include photographic negatives and prints. Miscellaneous cabinet drawings, cigar-related materials, and newspaper articles are also included. Records are arranged alphabetically by invention name followed by miscellaneous materials.

Subseries 2.8: Patent Searches, 1905-1980

Records in this subseries include correspondence as well as copies of several patented inventions for which Cramer Sachs requested information.
Arrangement:
Tha collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Creative and Artistic Papers, 1933-2002

Series 2: Invention Records, 1905-2002

Subseries 2.1: Cramer Products Company and Affiliate Company Records, 1942-2002

Subseries 2.2: Household/Office, 1913-1972

Subseries 2.3: Food Products, 1940-1969

Subseries 2.4: Pet Accessories, 1953-1954

Subseries 2.5: Games, 1961-1969

Subseries 2.6: Wine-related, 1966-2002

Subseries 2.7: Temperature and/or Humidity Controlled Devices, 1968-2002

Subseries 2.8: Patent Searches, 1905-1980
Biographical / Historical:
Charlotte Cramer Sachs was born in Berlin, Germany on September 27, 1907. Her father, Hans Siegfried Cramer, worked as a businessman for a successful grain import and export company whose innovative enterprises included the import of soy beans from Eastern Europe. In 1903, Hans married Gertrud Bruck, one of the first women to attain her Abitur, somewhat similar to an American high school diploma, at age eighteen. Bruck's formal education ended there, as her wish to attend university was thwarted by her father Adalbert, a judge who insisted that she remain at home. The couple settled in Berlin and had two children—Frederick H., born March 2, 1906, and Charlotte. From 1913 to 1924 The Cramers lived in the Berlin Dahlem suburb occupying "Haus Cramer," a villa built in 1912 to their specifications by German architect Hermann Muthesius.

On September 12, 1924, Cramer Sachs married Donald Samuels, a top executive of the Manhattan Shirt Company and moved to New York from England where their daughter Eleanor was born on June 11, 1926. Several years later, the couple divorced. Mother and daughter lived together in London for a few years before moving back to New York around 1936. Charlotte's parents relocated to New York at the same time, after a brief stay in London following their flight from Berlin after Hitler's rise to power. In August 1945, Charlotte Cramer married Alexander Sachs, a leading economist who had introduced Albert Einstein to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and acted as advisor to the President.

Although she established her business career in America, Cramer Sachs retained fond memories of the house and extensive grounds in Dahlem. In 1977 she composed the song "A Salute to Berlin" to commemorate the designation of Haus Cramer as one of the city's historic landmarks. In 2000, she donated a painted portrait of herself from the time she had lived in Haus Cramer to the villa's new owner, Stanford University. The house retains additional significance in the context of this collection because Cramer Sachs credited its wine cellar—unusual in that it provided a separate, climate controlled environment for red and white wines—as an inspiration for her line of custom-built, vibration-free wine storage devices, which would later make Cramer Products Company a household name among wine connoisseurs.

While she did not attend university her pursuit of learning continued throughout her life as she studied poetry, musical composition, and the fine arts. Cramer Sachs often told her niece, Lilian Randall, that she wished she had received further education, although her public art exhibitions, poetry awards, numerous original songs, the establishment of Crambruck Press (her own publishing company), as well as language fluency in French, English, and German, are testaments to this inventor's intellectual curiosity and development. Evidence of Cramer Sachs's entrepreneurial spirit surfaced in her early thirties with her first patent: Improvements in Combined Key and Flashlight, July 16, 1940, patent number 2,208,498.

In 1940, Cramer Sachs completed courses from the New York Institute of Dietetics, an effort spurred by the onset of her daughter's diabetes. With financial assistance from her parents in the early 1940s, Cramer Sachs developed Joy Products prepared mixes, marking the beginning of a successful career in inventing. "We were a pioneer in that field," said Cramer Sachs of her baking mix manufacturing company, an operation that consisted of a Bronx neighborhood factory employing ninety workers. The enterprise began with corn muffin and popover mixes and expanded into frostings, puddings, and breads. Newspaper clippings from the time promoted Joy packaged mixes as ideal gifts for "the boys overseas" who were in locations where it was "impossible to get together the makings of a cake." Cramer Sachs refused an early offer to sell her mix formulas which were subsequently copied and exploited by larger, more powerful companies. Joy Products, whose name was chosen to express the inventor's delight in creativity, remained in business as a modest one-woman operation for over twenty years before succumbing to competition.

Cramer Sachs created another highly successful invention, the specialty wine cabinet, more than twenty years after she founded Joy Products. In addition to her memories of visits with her father to the wine cellar in her family's German villa, further motivation came from an interest—though she hardly drank it at all—in wine and recognition that "standard cooling and refrigerating appliances [were] too cold for wines." Reportedly, Cramer Sachs "started looking for [an appropriate device] and could not find one," and thus the impetus to invent took shape. The "Modern Wine Cellar," 1966, was an early example of over twenty wine-related inventions, most of them storage devices. A mention of her product in Grossman's Guide to Wines, Spirits, and Beers, increased demand among wine lovers and may have prompted Cramer Sachs to state that she "should find a good market" for her newest invention line. Testimony from David H. Wollins, a successful New York lawyer and customer of Cramer Sachs, lauded the cabinet as "the finest home wine storage system in the world." She framed his letter and hung it in her office at 381 South Park Avenue, her base operation where she employed one or two part-time helpers from the 1960s until her death in 2004.

The inventor took great joy in music, expressed in her own numerous compositions and her creation of the games "Domi-Notes" and "Musicards" in 1961 and 1969. Her fondness for music also prompted the expansion of her specialty cabinets to include temperature and humidity controlled devices for storing a variety of items, most notably the "Well Tempered Cabinet for Musical Instruments," which Cramer Sachs first designed for legendary violinist Isaac Stern. Soon the inventor began producing similar cabinets for the storage of cigars, furs, and documents.

Described by her niece as "shy with people but a great admirer of talent, intellect, and humanity," Cramer Sachs also "harbored a great love for animals." She invented several pet accessories in the early 1950s, including: "Watch-Dog," a dog collar with a time piece; "Bonnie Stand," a holder fashioned to accommodate disposable food bowls; and "Guidog," an early version of a retractable dog leash.

In 1972, Cramer Sachs suffered the loss of her only child, Eleanor, and in the summer of the next year her husband Alexander passed away. She continued her "business of creating new product ideas" for the remainder of her life. The most recent invention materials represented in the collection are those for the "Conservator" from 2002, a temperature and humidity controlled device with compartments to store a variety of items. In her last telephone conversation with her niece, on March 10, 2004, Cramer Sachs expressed her hope that she would feel "strong enough to get to the office the next day or so." The inventor died the following day at the age of 96.

Patents issued to Charlotte Cramer Sachs:

United States Patent: 2,208,498, "Combined Key and Flashlight," July 16, 1940

United States Patent: 2,509,423, "Wedge Heel Shoe," May 30, 1950

United States Patent: 2,808,191, "Lap Tray," October 1, 1957

United States Patent: Des. 363,618, "Cabinet," October 31, 1995
Related Materials:
Materials in Other Organizations

Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum

Related materials on husband Alexander Sachs's political and professional life found in the Papers of Alexander Sachs

Art Gallery of Ontario, E. P. Taylor Research Library and Archives, Toronto Ontario, Canada

Correspondence between Cramer Sachs and Sam and Ayala Zacks dating from the 1970s and relating to Zionist art found in the Sam and Ayala Zacks Fonds.

Columbia University Libraries, Avery Drawings & Archives Collections Haus Cramer architectural records and papers, 1911-2004, (bulk 1911-1955)

This collection primarily contains original and reprographic architectural records, photographs, correspondence and personal and professional records related to the design, construction, and ownership of the Haus Cramer in Dahlem, Berlin, Germany, designed by German architect Hermann Muthesius in 1911-1913 for Hans and Gertrud Cramer, with later additions by Muthesius and other architects. A significant portion of the collection also documents the Cramer family's efforts to obtain restitution after World War II for the seizure of the house in the 1930s. Also included are records documenting the restoration and reuse, an effort led by noted architectural historian Julius Poesner.

Mount Holyoke College Archives and Special Collections

Cramer papers, 1938-1954

Cramer, Frederick Henry, 1906-1954; historian and college teacher. Mount Holyoke College faculty member, 1938-1954. Papers consist of writings, biographical information, and photographs; primarily documenting his scholarly activities and his interest in automobile racing.

German Historical Institute

Charlotte Cramer Sachs in the Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present.

The collaborative research project Immigrant Entrepreneurship: German-American Business Biographies, 1720 to the Present sheds new light on the entrepreneurial and economic capacity of immigrants by investigating the German-American example in the United States. It traces the lives, careers and business ventures of eminent German-American business people of roughly the last two hundred and ninety years, integrating the history of German-American immigration into the larger narrative of U.S. economic and business history.
Provenance:
The papers were donated to the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History in the spring of 2005 by Lilian Randall (niece), Erich Cramer (nephew), Aileen Katz (niece), Elisabeth Weissbach (niece), and John Cramer (nephew).
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.
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Food mixes  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Wine -- Storage  Search this
Baked products  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Patents
Sheet music
Patent applications
Clippings -- 20th century
Awards
Advertisements
Notes
Correspondence -- 20th century
Citation:
Charlotte Cramer Sachs Papers, 1905-2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0878
See more items in:
Charlotte Cramer Sachs Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0878
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