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Catalog Data

Creator:
Keystone View Company  Search this
Shinn, Walter Scott  Search this
Underwood & Underwood, Inc.  Search this
Fotograms (New York (N.Y.)  Search this
International Newsreel Corp (New York (N.Y.)  Search this
ETL Testing Laboratories, Inc.  Search this
Names:
Coolidge, Calvin, President, 1872-1933 -- Photographs  Search this
Eastman, George  Search this
Edison, Thomas A. (Thomas Alva), 1847-1931  Search this
Ford, Henry -- Photographs  Search this
Harding, Warren G. (Warren Gamaliel), 1865-1923  Search this
Hoover, Herbert, President, 1874-1964 -- Photographs  Search this
Lindbergh, Charles A. (Charles Augustus), 1902-1974  Search this
Extent:
0.67 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Date:
1890s-1933
Scope and Contents:
This collection is divided into two series: (a) Silver gelatin prints; and (b) xerographic copy prints made in the museum. The collection consists of approximately 340 photoprints (count to be verified) documenting the life of Thomas Alva Edison, especially the later period, beginning in his early fifties, continuing until his death in 1931 at age 84 (there are also later pictures, including his funeral, and awards and sculptures). The photographs are arranged chronologically and are clearly captioned with pasted labels containing dates, places, notations of circumstances and identification of persons. These photoprints show Edison, his family (including his wife and son Charles), friends, associates, and famous persons, including Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, George Eastman, Charles Lindbergh, and Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, including scenes in New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and other locations. Some photographers' rubber stamps appear on the verso of prints. Photographers, studios, and agencies include Fotograms, Underwood & Underwood, Keystone View Co., International Newsreels Photos, and Walter Scott Shinn. Many of the photographs are not original prints, but were made from copy negatives. Such copies, where fairly obvious, are identified in the Container List.Photographs are clearly captioned with dates, places, occasion and persons identified. More than 300 photoprints show Edison, his family, friends, associates, and famous persons, including Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, George Eastman, Charles Lindbergh and Presidents Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover. Locations include New Jersey, Florida, Michigan. Photographers, studios, and agencies include Fotograms, Underwood & Underwood, Keystone View Co., International Newsreels Photos, and Walter Scott Shinn.
This collection is divided into two series: (a) Silver gelatin photoprints; and (b) xerographic reference copies made in the museum. The collection consists of approximately 340 photoprints (count to be verified) documenting the life of Thomas Alva Edison, especially the later period, beginning in his early fifties, continuing until his death in 1931 at age 84 (there are also later pictures, including his funeral, and awards and sculptures). The photographs are arranged chronologically and are clearly captioned with pasted labels containing dates, places, notations of circumstances and identification of persons. These photoprints show Edison, his family (including his wife and son Charles), friends, associates, and famous persons, including Charles Proteus Steinmetz, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, George Eastman, Charles Lindbergh, and Presidents Harding, Coolidge and Hoover, including scenes in New Jersey, Florida, Michigan, and other locations. Some photographers' rubber stamps appear on the verso of prints. Photographers, studios, and agencies include Fotograms, Underwood & Underwood, Keystone View Co., International Newsreels Photos, and Walter Scott Shinn. Many of the photographs are not original prints, but were made from copy negatives. Such copies, where fairly obvious, are identified in the Container List.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into two series. Series 1: Silver Gealtin Prints Series 2: Xerographic Copy Prints
Biographical / Historical:
Photographs cover Edison's later life, beginning in his early 50's and continuing until his death in 1931 at age 84. Edison with an electric car: the car is a 1914 Detroit Electric Brougham model 47, serial number 5426. It was shipped December 19, 1913 to East Orange New Jersey, with an Edison Battery but with no motor (very unusual) (according to Galen Handy, 2/09/07; see http://earlyelectric.com). Dr. Bernard Finn, Curator of Electricity, National Museum of American History organized a traveling exhibition based on these and other photographs (most supplied by the Edison National Historic Site), "Edison After the Electric Light: The Challenge of Success," in 1986; it was circulated by the Association of Science-Technology Centers. In 1994 a revised version of the exhibition was prepared (again curated by Dr. Finn) for display in the National Museum of American History basement photography gallery; it was retitled "Edison After Forty: The Challenge of Success." In 1996, copies of the exhibit were given to museums in Japan, India, Yugoslavia, and China for circulation in those countries. Another version of this compilation had been published as "Thomas Alva Edison After Forty: The Challenge of Success in USA Today, July 1994, pp. 84-92.
One of the most famous of all Americans in any walk of life, Thomas Alva Edison hardly needs an introduction. He was the quintessential "genius" who invented or perfected a variety of electrical and technological devices which are still fundamental features of everyday life, not only in the United States, but around the world. Many of his or his companies' "inventions," of course, built on the pioneering work of others. Another Archives Center collection, the Gordon Hendricks Collection, includes the efforts of one scholar to debunk or minimize Edison's personal role in the development of motion picture cameras and projectors. Edison was born in Milan, Ohio, February 11, 1847, and died October 18, 1931 at 84 years of age. His Edison Electric Light Company was the predecessor of the General Electric Co. While operating this company, and later working at laboratories in Menlo Park and West Orange, New Jersey, he was credited with patents for over one thousand inventions. A bibliography follows.
Provenance:
Collection donated by ETL Testing Laboratories in 1985.
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. Most images probably public domain due to expired copyrights.
Topic:
Inventors -- 1900-1950  Search this
Electricity -- 1900-1930  Search this
Automobiles -- 1910-1920  Search this
Inventions -- 1900-1930  Search this
Presidents -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Citation:
Edison Photographs, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0299
See more items in:
Thomas Alva Edison Photoprints
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0299