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Condon, Robert B.  Search this
Condon, Robert Scofield, 1896-1973 (engineer)  Search this
Continental Can Co.  Search this
Fibre Can Machinery Corp. (Rutland (Vt.)  Search this
3 Cubic feet
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Professional papers
Photographic prints
circa 1924-1973
A collection of correspondence, photographs, and copies of patents issued to inventor Robert Scofield Condon.
Scope and Contents:
The approximately 3 cubic feet of material contain copies of patents issued to Robert Scofield Condon for pencil lead pointers, pencil sharpeners, milling machines, gear cutting machines, and similar devices, as well as correspondence related to the patents from the United States Patent Office and with attorneys. Photographs depict Condon designs and inventions. The collection includes a very interesting example of Condon's actual pencil sharpener attached to a photograph, showing the pencil sharpener in use.
The collection is divided into six series. Series 1: Correspondence, 1936-1942, 1961-1962 Series 2: Patents, 1931-1973 Series 3: Subject Files, 1955-1965 Series 4: Bills and receipts, 1946-1948 Series 5: Articles, 1924-1927 Series 6: Photographs, 1945
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Scofield Condon, born in Bloomington, Illinois, March 5, 1896, attended Bloomington, Ill., Normal School, and was a schoolteacher for several years to earn money for college tuition; he was graduated as a mechanical engineer from the University of Illinois, 1924. He married Catherine Behren in 1924, but she died in 1958. Condon was employed by the Kearney & Trecker Corp., Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1924-1929, then the Gleason Gear Works, Rochester, New York, 1929-1936. He was one of eighty engineers when he joined the engineering department of the Gleason Gear Works, but was one of only two remaining in 1934. The Condons spent fifteen years in Rutland, Vermont (1936-1946), where he was a founder of the Fibre Can Machinery Corp., which was later sold to the Continental Can Co. He was employed by the Continental Can Corp. from 1946 to 1960 (the Rutland plant closed in the early 1950s, but Condon continued working for the firm in other locations). After his retirement in 1960, he continued to work on projects and did consulting work. His last project was the small "Marvel" pencil pointer (sharpener). Documents in the papers bear the name and address, "Robert S. Condon Laboratories, 112 Cindy Lane, Berlin, Connecticut 06037." Condon's second wife was Ilza de Souza. He died on April 22, 1973, leaving his son, Robert B. Condon, and two grandchildren.* The professional papers in this collection apparently were in Robert S. Condon's possession until his death, when his son acquired them and donated them to the Smithsonian in 1991. * An obituary appeared in the Bennington Banner, April 26, 1973. The donor provided notes from this obituary, with additional biographical material and a collection inventory
Related Materials:
Objects accompanying these archival materials were acquired by the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering (now Division of Work and Industry) , also donated by the inventor's son.
Collection donated by Robert Condon November 5, 1991.
Collection is open for research.
Rights situation needs clarification.
Pencil sharpeners  Search this
Engineers -- 1920-1980  Search this
Pencil pointers  Search this
Mechanical engineering -- 1920-1980  Search this
Professional papers -- 20th century
Photographic prints
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film
Photographs -- 20th century
Robert Scofield Condon Engineering Papers, ca. 1924-1973, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Robert Scofield Condon Engineering Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History