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Helena M. Weiss Papers, 1908-1993

Creator:
Weiss, Helena M. 1909-2004  Search this
Subject:
Ulrich, E. O (Edward Oscar) 1857-1944  Search this
Weiss, Helena M. 1909-2004  Search this
Bassler, Ray S (Ray Smith) 1878-  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Physical description:
1.5 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (1 document box)
Type:
Manuscripts
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Brochures
Picture postcards
Scrapbooks
Books
Color transparencies
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Color negatives
Color photographs
Place:
India
Nepal
Thailand
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
1908
1908-1993
Topic:
Travel  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Local number:
SIA Acc. 12-184
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_311613

Records, 1887-1966

Creator:
National Zoological Park (U.S.)  Search this
Subject:
Baker, Frank 1841-1918  Search this
Wetmore, Alexander 1886-1978  Search this
Hollister, N (Ned) 1876-1924  Search this
Hornaday, William T (William Temple) 1854-1937  Search this
Langley, S. P (Samuel Pierpont) 1834-1906  Search this
Mann, William M. 1886-1960  Search this
Reed, Theodore H  Search this
United States National Museum Department of Living Animals  Search this
National Zoological Park Commission (U.S.)  Search this
United States Government Printing Office  Search this
National Zoological Park (U.S.) Animal Department  Search this
Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1915 : San Francisco, Calif.)  Search this
Smithsonian-Chrysler Expedition to East Africa (1926)  Search this
Smithsonian-Firestone Expedition to Liberia (1940)  Search this
Pan-American Exposition (1901 : Buffalo, N.Y.)  Search this
Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904 : Saint Louis, Mo.)  Search this
Smithsonian African Expedition (1909-1910)  Search this
Physical description:
147 cu. ft. (288 document boxes) (1 tall document box) (4 bound volumes) (71 microfilm reels)
Type:
Maps
Collection descriptions
Black-and-white photographs
Serials (publications)
Drawings
Clippings
Books
Manuscripts
Scrapbooks
Sketches
Pamphlets
Diaries
Plates (illustrations)
Letterpress copybooks
Picture postcards
Architectural drawings
Date:
1887
1887-1966
Topic:
Zoos  Search this
Scientific expeditions  Search this
Zoo directors  Search this
Zoo exhibits  Search this
Local number:
SIA RU000074
See more items in:
Diaries, Ledgers, Memoranda, and Memo Books 1895-1931 and undated [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
National Zoological Park Commission Records 1889-1891 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Congressional Document Files 1888-1905 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Correspondence and Letter Registers 1887-1965 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Animal Voucher Book 1905-1918 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Voucher Abstracts 1905-1927 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Requisitions 1904-1942, 1960-1966 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Payroll, Time, and Attendance Records 1890-1921, 1927-1932 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Scrapbooks 1887-1931 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Specimen Identification Sketches, Drawings, and Plates c. 1890-1918 [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Animal Records 1890-1988 and undated [National Zoological Park (U.S.)]
Data Source:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_arc_216681

Western Union Telegraph Company Records

Creator:
United Telegraph Workers.  Search this
Western Union Telegraph Company  Search this
Extent:
452 Cubic feet (871 boxes and 23 map folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Patents
Scrapbooks
Contracts
Drawings
Articles
Administrative records
Clippings
Books
Photographs
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Specifications
Technical documents
Date:
circa 1820-1995
Summary:
The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into twenty-six (26) series and consists of approximately 400 cubic feet. The collection documents in photographs, scrapbooks, notebooks, correspondence, stock ledgers, annual reports, and financial records, the evolution of the telegraph, the development of the Western Union Telegraph Company, and the beginning of the communications revolution. The collection materials describe both the history of the company and of the telegraph industry in general, particularly its importance to the development of the technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The collection is useful for researchers interested in the development of technology, economic history, and the impact of technology on American social and cultural life.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into twenty-six series.

Series 1: Historical and Background Information, 1851-1994

Series 2: Subsidiaries of Western Union, 1844-1986

Series 3: Executive Records, 1848-1987

Series 4: Presidential Letterbooks and Writings, 1865-1911

Series 5: Correspondence, 1837-1985

Series 6: Cyrus W. Field Papers, 1840-1892

Series 7: Secretary's Files, 1844-1987

Series 8: Financial Records, 1859-1995

Series 9: Legal Records, 1867-1968

Series 10: Railroad Records, 1854-1945

Series 11: Law Department Records, 1868-1979

Series 12: Patent Materials, 1840-1970

Series 13: Operating Records, 1868-1970s

Series 14: Westar VI-S, 1974, 1983-1986

Series 15: Engineering Department Records, 1874-1970

Series 16: Plant Department Records, 1867-1937, 1963

Series 17: Superintendent of Supplies Records, 1888-1948

Series 18: Employee/Personnel Records 1852-1985

Series 19: Public Relations Department Records, 1858-1980

Series 20: Western Union Museum, 1913-1971

Series 21: Maps, 1820-1964

Series 22: Telegrams, 1852-1960s

Series 23: Photographs, circa 1870-1980

Series 24: Scrapbooks, 1835-1956

Series 25: Notebooks, 1880-1942

Series 26: Audio Visual Materials, 1925-1994

Series 27: Materials for Interfile (Series 1; Series 3; Series 13; Series 15-23; Series 25-26)
Biographical / Historical:
In 1832 Samuel F. B. Morse, assisted by Alfred Vail, conceived of the idea for an electromechanical telegraph, which he called the "Recording Telegraph." This commercial application of electricity was made tangible by their construction of a crude working model in 1835-36. This instrument probably was never used outside of Professor Morse's rooms where it was, however, operated in a number of demonstrations. This original telegraph instrument was in the hands of the Western Union Telegraph Company and had been kept carefully over the years in a glass case. It was moved several times in New York as the Western Union headquarters building changed location over the years. The company presented it to the Smithsonian Institution in 1950.

The telegraph was further refined by Morse, Vail, and a colleague, Leonard Gale, into working mechanical form in 1837. In this year Morse filed a caveat for it at the U.S. Patent Office. Electricity, provided by Joseph Henry's 1836 "intensity batteries", was sent over a wire. The flow of electricity through the wire was interrupted for shorter or longer periods by holding down the key of the device. The resulting dots or dashes were recorded on a printer or could be interpreted orally. In 1838 Morse perfected his sending and receiving code and organized a corporation, making Vail and Gale his partners.

In 1843 Morse received funds from Congress to set-up a demonstration line between Washington and Baltimore. Unfortunately, Morse was not an astute businessman and had no practical plan for constructing a line. After an unsuccessful attempt at laying underground cables with Ezra Cornell, the inventor of a trench digger, Morse switched to the erection of telegraph poles and was more successful. On May 24, 1844, Morse, in the U.S. Supreme Court Chambers in Washington, sent by telegraph the oft-quoted message to his colleague Vail in Baltimore, "What hath God wrought!"

In 1845 Morse hired Andrew Jackson's former postmaster general, Amos Kendall, as his agent in locating potential buyers of the telegraph. Kendall realized the value of the device, and had little trouble convincing others of its potential for profit. By the spring he had attracted a small group of investors. They subscribed $15,000 and formed the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Many new telegraph companies were formed as Morse sold licenses wherever he could.

The first commercial telegraph line was completed between Washington, D.C., and New York City in the spring of 1846 by the Magnetic Telegraph Company. Shortly thereafter, F. O. J. Smith, one of the patent owners, built a line between New York City and Boston. Most of these early companies were licensed by owners of Samuel Morse patents. The Morse messages were sent and received in a code of dots and dashes.

At this time other telegraph systems based on rival technologies were being built. Some companies used the printing telegraph, a device invented by a Vermonter, Royal E. House, whose messages were printed on paper or tape in Roman letters. In 1848 a Scotch scientist, Alexander Bain, received his patents on a telegraph. These were but two of many competing and incompatible technologies that had developed. The result was confusion, inefficiency, and a rash of suits and counter suits.

By 1851 there were over fifty separate telegraph companies operating in the United States. This corporate cornucopia developed because the owners of the telegraph patents had been unsuccessful in convincing the United States and other governments of the invention's potential usefulness. In the private sector, the owners had difficulty convincing capitalists of the commercial value of the invention. This led to the owners' willingness to sell licenses to many purchasers who organized separate companies and then built independent telegraph lines in various sections of the country.

Hiram Sibley moved to Rochester, New York, in 1838 to pursue banking and real estate. Later he was elected sheriff of Monroe County. In Rochester he was introduced to Judge Samuel L. Selden who held the House Telegraph patent rights. In 1849 Selden and Sibley organized the New York State Printing Telegraph Company, but they found it hard to compete with the existing New York, Albany, and Buffalo Telegraph Company.

After this experience Selden suggested that instead of creating a new line, the two should try to acquire all the companies west of Buffalo and unite them into a single unified system. Selden secured an agency for the extension throughout the United States of the House system. In an effort to expand this line west, Judge Selden called on friends and the people in Rochester. This led, in April 1851, to the organization of a company and the filing in Albany of the Articles of Association for the "New York and Mississippi Valley Printing Telegraph Company" (NYMVPTC), a company which later evolved into the Western Union Telegraph Company.

In 1854 there were two rival systems of the NYMVPTC in the West. These two systems consisted of thirteen separate companies. All the companies were using Morse patents in the five states north of the Ohio River. This created a struggle between three separate entities, leading to an unreliable and inefficient telegraph service. The owners of these rival companies eventually decided to invest their money elsewhere and arrangements were made for the NYMVPTC to purchase their interests.

Hiram Sibley recapitalized the company in 1854 under the same name and began a program of construction and acquisition. The most important takeover was carried out by Sibley when he negotiated the purchase of the Morse patent rights for the Midwest for $50,000 from Jeptha H. Wade and John J. Speed, without the knowledge of Ezra Cornell, their partner in the Erie and Michigan Telegraph Company (EMTC). With this acquisition Sibley proceeded to switch to the superior Morse system. He also hired Wade, a very capable manager, who became his protege and later his successor. After a bitter struggle Morse and Wade obtained the EMTC from Cornell in 1855, thus assuring dominance by the NYMVPTC in the Midwest. In 1856 the company name was changed to the "Western Union Telegraph Company," indicating the union of the Western lines into one compact system. In December, 1857, the Company paid stockholders their first dividend.

Between 1857 and 1861 similar consolidations of telegraph companies took place in other areas of the country so that most of the telegraph interests of the United States had merged into six systems. These were the American Telegraph Company (covering the Atlantic and some Gulf states), The Western Union Telegraph Company (covering states North of the Ohio River and parts of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Minnesota), the New York Albany and Buffalo Electro-Magnetic Telegraph Company (covering New York State), the Atlantic and Ohio Telegraph Company (covering Pennsylvania), the Illinois & Mississippi Telegraph Company (covering sections of Missouri, Iowa, and Illinois), and the New Orleans & Ohio Telegraph Company (covering the southern Mississippi Valley and the Southwest). All these companies worked together in a mutually friendly alliance, and other small companies cooperated with the six systems, particularly some on the West Coast.

By the time of the Civil War, there was a strong commercial incentive to construct a telegraph line across the western plains to link the two coasts of America. Many companies, however, believed the line would be impossible to build and maintain.

In 1860 Congress passed, and President James Buchanan signed, the Pacific Telegraph Act, which authorized the Secretary of the Treasury to seek bids for a project to construct a transcontinental line. When two bidders dropped out, Hiram Sibley, representing Western Union, was the only bidder left. By default Sibley won the contract. The Pacific Telegraph Company was organized for the purpose of building the eastern section of the line. Sibley sent Wade to California, where he consolidated the small local companies into the California State Telegraph Company. This entity then organized the Overland Telegraph Company, which handled construction eastward from Carson City, Nevada, joining the existing California lines, to Salt Lake City, Utah. Sibley's Pacific Telegraph Company built westward from Omaha, Nebraska. Sibley put most of his resources into the venture. The line was completed in October, 1861. Both companies were soon merged into Western Union. This accomplishment made Hiram Sibley leader of the telegraph industry.

Further consolidations took place over the next several years. Many companies merged into the American Telegraph Company. With the expiration of the Morse patents, several organizations were combined in 1864 under the name of "The U.S. Telegraph Company." In 1866 the final consolidation took place, with Western Union exchanging stock for the stock of the other two organizations. The general office of Western Union moved at this time from Rochester to 145 Broadway, New York City. In 1875 the main office moved to 195 Broadway, where it remained until 1930 when it relocated to 60 Hudson Street.

In 1873 Western Union purchased a majority of shares in the International Ocean Telegraph Company. This was an important move because it marked Western Union's entry into the foreign telegraph market. Having previously worked with foreign companies, Western Union now began competing for overseas business.

In the late 1870s Western Union, led by William H. Vanderbilt, attempted to wrest control of the major telephone patents, and the new telephone industry, away from the Bell Telephone Company. But due to new Bell leadership and a subsequent hostile takeover attempt of Western Union by Jay Gould, Western Union discontinued its fight and Bell Telephone prevailed.

Despite these corporate calisthenics, Western Union remained in the public eye. The sight of a uniformed Western Union messenger boy was familiar in small towns and big cities all over the country for many years. Some of Western Union's top officials in fact began their careers as messenger boys.

Throughout the remainder of the nineteenth century the telegraph became one of the most important factors in the development of social and commercial life of America. In spite of improvements to the telegraph, however, two new inventions--the telephone (nineteenth century) and the radio (twentieth century)--eventually replaced the telegraph as the leaders of the communication revolution for most Americans.

At the turn of the century, Bell abandoned its struggles to maintain a monopoly through patent suits, and entered into direct competition with the many independent telephone companies. Around this time, the company adopted its new name, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T).

In 1908 AT&T gained control of Western Union. This proved beneficial to Western Union, because the companies were able to share lines when needed, and it became possible to order telegrams by telephone. However, it was only possible to order Western Union telegrams, and this hurt the business of Western Union's main competitor, the Postal Telegraph Company. In 1913, however, as part of a move to prevent the government from invoking antitrust laws, AT&T completely separated itself from Western Union.

Western Union continued to prosper and it received commendations from the U.S. armed forces for service during both world wars. In 1945 Western Union finally merged with its longtime rival, the Postal Telegraph Company. As part of that merger, Western Union agreed to separate domestic and foreign business. In 1963 Western Union International Incorporated, a private company completely separate from the Western Union Telegraph Company, was formed and an agreement with the Postal Telegraph Company was completed. In 1994, Western Union Financial Services, Inc. was acquired by First Financial Management Corporation. In 1995, First Financial Management Corporation merged with First Data Corporation making Western Union a First Data subsidiary.

Many technological advancements followed the telegraph's development. The following are among the more important:

The first advancement of the telegraph occurred around 1850 when operators realized that the clicks of the recording instrument portrayed a sound pattern, understandable by the operators as dots and dashes. This allowed the operator to hear the message by ear and simultaneously write it down. This ability transformed the telegraph into a versatile and speedy system.

Duplex Telegraphy, 1871-72, was invented by the president of the Franklin Telegraph Company. Unable to sell his invention to his own company, he found a willing buyer in Western Union. Utilizing this invention, two messages were sent over the wire simultaneously, one in each direction.

As business blossomed and demand surged, new devices appeared. Thomas Edison's Quadruplex allowed four messages to be sent over the same wire simultaneously, two in one direction and two in the other.

An English automatic signaling arrangement, Wheatstone's Automatic Telegraph, 1883, allowed larger numbers of words to be transmitted over a wire at once. It could only be used advantageously, however, on circuits where there was a heavy volume of business.

Buckingham's Machine Telegraph was an improvement on the House system. It printed received messages in plain Roman letters quickly and legibly on a message blank, ready for delivery.

Vibroplex, c. 1890, a semi-automatic key sometimes called a "bug key," made the dots automatically. This relieved the operator of much physical strain.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Additional moving image about Western Union Telegraph Company can be found in the Industry on Parade Collection (AC0507). This includes Cable to Cuba! by Bell Laboratory, AT & T, featuring the cable ship, the C.S. Lord Kelvin, and Communications Centennial! by the Western Union Company.

Materials at Other Organizations

Hagley Museum and Library, Wilmington, Delaware.

Western Union International Records form part of the MCI International, Inc. Records at the First Data Corporation, Greenwood Village, Colorado.

Records of First Data Corporation and its predecessors, including Western Union, First Financial Management Corporation (Atlanta) and First Data Resources (Omaha). Western Union collection supports research of telegraphy and related technologies, and includes company records, annual reports, photographs, print and broadcast advertising, telegraph equipment, and messenger uniforms.

Smithsonian Institution Archives

Western Union Telegraph Expedition, 1865-1867

This collection includes correspondence, mostly to Spencer F. Baird, from members of the Scientific Corps of the Western Union Telegraph Expedition, including Kennicott, Dall, Bannister, and Elliott; copies of reports submitted to divisional chiefs from expedition staff members; newspaper clippings concerning the expedition; copies of notes on natural history taken by Robert Kennicott; and a journal containing meteorological data recorded by Henry M. Bannister from March to August, 1866.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts (apparatus and equipment) were donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society, now known as the Division of Work & Industry, National Museum of American History.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Western Union in September of 1971.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements must be made to view some of the audio visual materials. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
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:
Electric engineering  Search this
Electric engineers  Search this
Electrical equipment  Search this
Communication -- International cooperation  Search this
Electrical engineers  Search this
Electrical science and technology  Search this
Communications equipment  Search this
Telegraphers  Search this
Telegraph  Search this
Genre/Form:
Patents
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Contracts
Drawings
Articles
Administrative records
Clippings
Books
Photographs -- 19th century
Newsletters
Photograph albums
Specifications
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Technical documents
Citation:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0205
See more items in:
Western Union Telegraph Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0205
Additional Online Media:

Mr. Wizard Papers

Donor:
Mr. Wizard Studios (Firm)  Search this
Mr. Wizard Studios (Firm)  Search this
Creator:
Herbert, Don (Donald Jeffry), 1917-2007  Search this
Names:
Mr. Wizard  Search this
Extent:
26 Cubic feet (57 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Television programs
Storyboards
Photographs
Research
Books
Scripts (documents)
Speeches
Contracts
Videocassettes
Dvds
Slides (photographs)
Notes
Awards
Scrapbooks
Motion pictures (visual works)
Date:
1906-2008
bulk 1951-1995
Summary:
The collection documents, through printed materials, photographs, audio and moving image, Don Herbert's career as a science educator under the persona of "Mr. Wizard" from 1951 until the 1990s.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the career of science educator Don Herbert, who created and hosted child-oriented television programs on science subjects in which he assumed the persona of Mr. Wizard. In addition to a documentation about his early personal life, the collection also documents his Watch Mr. Wizard television show as well as his other television, radio, and educational activities.

The collection includes correspondence, contracts, writings, publications, newspaper clippings, speeches; awards, photographs; episode files relating to Watch Mr. Wizard and other educational programming, moving image, and audio recordings.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1906-2007

Series 2: Awards, 1948-2000

Series 3: Speeches, 1966-1994

Series 4: Publications/Writings, 1966-2004

Series 5: Newspaper Articles, 1944-2007

Series 6: Educational Programs/Projects, 1951-2008

Subseries 6.1: It's a Curious Thing, 1951, 1954

Subseries 6.2: Watch Mr. Wizard, 1954-1989

Subseries 6.3: General Electric Theater, 1956-1958

Subseries 6.4: Instructor Magazine, 1964-1965

Subseries 6.5: Experiment, 1963-2003

Subseries 6.6: Silence of Science, 1966

Subseries 6.7: CBS National Science Test, 1967

Subseries 6.8: General Electric, 1974-1976

Subseries 6.9: Mr. Wizard Collection...Fun Things, circa 1975

Subseries 6.10: Mr. Wizard Close-up, 1968, 1975

Subseries 6.11: Challenge with Mr. Wizard, 1976

Subseries 6.12: Science Twenty with Mr. Wizard, 1969-1974

Subseries 6.13: How About..., 1977-1989

Subseries 6.14: Mr. Wizard's Whadda Ya Know Show, circa 1981

Subseries 6.15: Correspondent Science News, circa 1987

Subseries 6.16: Just a Minute from Wizard, 1988

Subseries 6.17: Teacher to Teacher, 1993-2004

Subseries 6.18: Mr. Wizard's World, 1971-2004

Subseries 6.19: Mr. Wizard's Studio, 1990-1992

Subseries 6.20: Mr. Wizard Institute, undated

Subseries 6.21: Fan Mail, 1952-2007

Series 7: Photographs, 1951-2001

Series 8: Audio Visual Materials, 1951-2004

Subseries 8.1: Supplemental Documentation, 1972-2004

Subseries 8.2: Moving Image, 1951-2004

Subseries 8.3: Audio, 1966, 1977
Biographical / Historical:
Donald Herbert Kemske (1917-2007) was the creator and host of Watch Mr. Wizard (1951–1965), Mr. Wizard (1971–1972), Mr. Wizard's World (1983–1990), and other educational television programs for children devoted to science and technology. He also produced many short video programs about science and authored several popular books about science for children. So important was Mr. Wizard to scientific education on television that author Marcel LaFollette featured his photo on the cover of her book, Science on American Television: A History, University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Don Herbert was born Donald Herbert Kemske in Waconia, Minnesota on July 10, 1917. He was one of three children (sisters Betty and Dorothy) born to Herbert Kemske and Lydia Kemske (nee Poeppel). He officially changed his name in 1940 to Donald Jeffry Herbert. Herbert graduated from LaCrosse State Normal College in 1940 with a Bachelor of Science degree. In 1942, Herbert volunteered for the U.S. Army Air Corps and in 1943 began training as an aviation cadet and then pilot. During World War II, Herbert served in the 461 Bomb Group and 767 Bomb Squadron in Europe. He was discharged from the military service on July 29, 1945 as a captain and had earned the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal. After the war, Herbert worked at a radio station in Chicago and acted in children's programs, including It's Your Life (1949). During this time Herbert developed the idea of Mr. Wizard. In 1939, Herbert married Maraleita Dutton (1923-1995) and the couple adopted three children: Jeffrey (1954); Jay (1955); and Jill (1960). He later divorced Maraleita Dutton and married Norma Nix Kasell (1918-2010) in 1972.

Premiering on March 3, 1951 on WNBQ, a 14-station network in Chicago, Herbert's Watch Mr. Wizard differed considerably from earlier attempts at scientific education on television. Those shows were either very technical, like the Johns Hopkins Science Review, or used magic tricks and comedy to hold viewers' attention, like ABC's Science Circus and CBS' Mr. I. Magination. From the beginning, Herbert planned a serious, informative show for children, rather than their parents. Even though he had only minimal scientific training in college—he had been an English major at La Crosse State Normal College in Wisconsin—in his persona as Mr. Wizard, Herbert conveyed a sense of authority and expertise.

The show, broadcast live, was carefully scripted, meticulously researched, and smooth-flowing. Each week, Mr. Wizard—described by LaFollette as a "nonthreatening, easygoing, intelligent man with a smiling face" in shirtsleeves and tie (and the occasional lab coat)—carefully guided his youthful assistants through simple experiments. Using ordinary household items such as eggs, balloons, milk bottles, coffee cans, and knitting needles, Herbert explained larger scientific principles like gravity, magnetism, and oxidation. Although seemingly complex, the experiments actually were simple enough to be re-created by his young viewers in the classroom or at home.

Herbert's winning combination of personality, grasp of science, and use of ordinary objects made Mr. Wizard a hit with viewers and made a lasting impression on science education in America. As LaFollette writes, the program "enjoyed consistent praise, awards, and high ratings throughout its history. At its peak, Watch Mr. Wizard drew audiences in the millions, but its impact was far wider. By 1956, it had prompted the establishment of more than five thousand Mr. Wizard science clubs, with an estimated membership greater than one hundred thousand." After over 500 shows over fourteen and a half years, NBC abruptly canceled Watch Mr. Wizard in 1965. The last program under contract with NBC aired on June 27, 1965.

From 1954 to 1962, Herbert, appearing as Mr. Wizard, delivered "Progress Reports" during commercial breaks of the General Electric Theater. As with most commercially-sponsored shows, the progress being reported on was almost exclusively made by General Electric. Following the cancellation of Watch Mr. Wizard, he continued to use his Mr. Wizard persona in science education. In 1965-1966, he produced an eight-film-series, Experiment: The Story of a Scientific Search, which was broadcast on public television, and a series of twenty-minute films, Science Twenty, designed to complement the current science curriculum in the classroom (circa 1970).

Herbert's television show was briefly revived in 1971-1972 as Mr. Wizard, in response to protests over the cartoons and commercials that flooded children's Saturday morning prime viewing time, but it did not receive enough network support. Herbert appeared in commercials for several companies during the 1970s and briefly lobbied Congress on behalf of General Electric in 1975. In the early 1970s, Herbert also produced Mr. Wizard Close-Ups, thirty second spots that aired on NBC in the Saturday morning slot. In the late 1970s, he began collaborating with the National Science Foundation to create a series of short news briefs for television called How About…How About was an adult-oriented series of 80-second reports highlighting advances in science and technology. The reports were designed for insertion into existing commercial television programs.

In the early 1980s, Herbert returned to television in Mr. Wizard's World, a faster-paced version of the original show that ran on the Nickelodeon network from 1983-1990. After its cancellation, reruns ran until at least 2000. During this time Herbert made numerous appearances on television news and talk shows, particularly the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson, where he was a popular guest. In the 1990s, Herbert produced Teacher to Teacher with Mr. Wizard, a video series that debuted on September 27, 1994 on the Nickelodeon cable channel. The innovative educational series provided a candid, close-up and in-depth visit to classrooms of outstanding teachers using hands-on, inquiry-based techniques.

Herbert also published several books, including Mr. Wizard's Science Secrets (1952); Mr. Wizard's Experiments for Young Scientists (1959); Mr. Wizard's 400 Experiments in Science (1968); and Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science (1980). Additionally, he designed science kits involving chemistry, crystal growing, ecology, and electronics, which were marketed by Owens-Illinois in the 1960s.

Herbert's hands-on techniques in demonstrating scientific concepts to children were the inspiration for numerous educators who followed his lead. As popular TV science educator Bill Nye wrote in a special to the Los Angeles Times, his "techniques and performances helped create the United States' first generation of homegrown rocket scientists just in time to respond to Sputnik. He sent us to the moon. He changed the world."

Don Herbert died in 2007, shortly before his 90th birthday. Soon after, the U.S. House of Representatives marked his passing: "Resolved, that the House of Representatives (1) expresses its appreciation for the profound public service and educational contributions of Don Jeffry Herbert, (2) recognizes the profound public impact of higher educational institutions that train teachers, (3) encourages students to honor the heritage of Don Herbert by exploring our world through science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields; and, (4) extends its condolences to the family of Don Herbert and thanks them for their strong familial support of him."

Sources

LaFollette, Marcel. Science on American Television: A History, University of Chicago Press, 2013.

Nye, Bill. "Teaching Science with a Big `Poof!' Los Angeles Times, June 15, 2007.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

UCLA Film and Television Archives

The collection consists of 770 moving image items in several formats: 16mm kinescopes; 1" videotapes; 2" videotapes; ¾" videotapes; and DVDs. The collection documents Don Herbert's career as Mr. Wizard, from the early 1950's to the mid 1990's and includes such programs as Watch Mr. Wizard, Mr. Wizard's World, and How About...
Separated Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

Related materials were donated to the Division of Medicine and Science. See accession 2014.0141.

2014.0141.01, Mr. Wizard's Experiments in Ecology, Series One: Microbes (science kit)

2014.0141.02, Mr. Wizard's Experiments in Crystal Growing (science kit)

2014.0141.03, Mr. Wizard's Experiments in Chemistry (science kit)

2014.0141.04, Fun with the Mr. Wizard Science Set (science kit)

2014.0141.05, Mr. Wizard's Science Secrets (science kit)

2014.0141.06, Mr. Wizard's Experiments for Young Scientists (book)

2014.0141.07, Mr. Wizard's Supermarket Science (book)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Mr. Wizard Studios, through Thomas E. Nikosey, President, and Kristen K. Nikosey, Vice President, in 2014.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Reference copies for audio and moving images materials do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.

Social Security numbers are present and have been rendered unreadable and redacted. Researchers may use the photocopies in the collection. The remainder of the collection has no restrictions.
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:
Television personalities  Search this
Television -- educational shows  Search this
Science -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Television programs
Storyboards
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 20th century
Research
Books -- 20th century
Scripts (documents)
Speeches
Contracts
Videocassettes
DVDs
Slides (photographs) -- 20th century
Notes
Awards
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Citation:
Mr. Wizard Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1326
See more items in:
Mr. Wizard Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1326
Additional Online Media:

Japanese American Documentary Collection

Creator:
Tanaka, Peter, Dr.  Search this
Tsukamoto, Mary  Search this
McGovern, Melvin  Search this
Nitta, Eugene T.  Search this
Ishimoto, Norman  Search this
Source:
Armed Forces History, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Former owner:
Armed Forces History, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Names:
Japanese Americans Citizens League  Search this
Emi, Frank  Search this
Hashimoto, M.  Search this
Kamikawa, Juichi  Search this
Kamikawa, Kazu, Mrs.  Search this
Kawashiri  Search this
Kihari, Shigeya  Search this
Matsumoto  Search this
Miyake, Takashi  Search this
Oliver, Floyd A.  Search this
Ozamoto, T.  Search this
Vogel, Mabel Rose  Search this
Wakabayashi, Ron  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (3 boxes and 1 oversized folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Typescripts
Passports
Albums
Books
Cartoons (humorous images)
Christmas cards
Comic books
Newsletters
Panoramas
Personal papers
Photograph albums
Photographs
Posters
Ration books
Scrapbooks
Telegrams
Place:
Minidoka
Manzanar
Idaho
Amache (Calif.)
California -- 1940-1950
Date:
1900s-1993
Scope and Contents:
The collection is an assortment of souvenirs and memorabilia, which have survived the years since World War II. Many of them, Christmas cards, high school graduation programs, notes to friends, snapshots, and photographic prints in the form of dance programs reflect the interests and concerns of all teenagers. There are camp newsletters and Japanese passports, identification cards, ration books, meal passes, posters; a photograph album contains both family photographs and a record of achievements of members of the Kamikawa family. There is a transcript of a taped interview with Mrs. Kamikawa, who was nearly 90 in February 1982, the time of the interview. A book, Lone Heart Mountain by Estelle Ishigo, portrays in text and sketches life in the relocation centers.

The collection has been filed under the name of each donor rather than by subject such as passports, newsletters, photographs. With very few exceptions the material is in good condition. The historical sketch of the Matsumoto family tree in the photograph album is badly damaged.
Arrangement:
1 series, arranged alphabetically by donor.
Biographical / Historical:
On December 7, 1941, the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and the United States went to war. On February 19, 1942, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066 authorizing the military to exclude "any and all persons" from designated areas of the United States to protect the national defense. Thus, without the imposition of martial law, the military were given authority over the civilian population.

Under this order, nearly 120,000 men, women and children of Japanese ancestry, nearly two thirds of who were United States citizens, were forced out of their homes and into detention camps in isolated areas of the west. Many of them spent the years of the war living under armed guards, and behind barbed wire. Children spent their school days in the camps, young men left to volunteer or be drafted for military service. The War Relocation Authority administered the camps.

This collection of documentary materials relates to the involuntary relocation of Japanese Americans was collected by the Division of Armed Forces History in connection with the exhibit A More Perfect Union: Japanese Americans and the United States Constitution at the National Museum of American History in 1988. The donors either were members of the Japanese American Citizens League or reached through the League. Interesting and revealing information is available about a few of the donors. They were primarily teenagers or young adults at the time of the relocation and the materials in the collection reflect their interests and concerns. Juichi Kamikawa, who had completed a year of college in Fresno, California, graduated from the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. after the war and became a respected artist. His family record is one of distinction in both Japan and the United States for several generations. Masuichi Kamikawa, his father, received the Order of the Sacred Treasure from the Japanese Emperor for outstanding contributions to the cultural heritage of Japan. Among achievements cited were his work in merchandizing and banking in Fresno, California. Mary Tsukamoto is one of the contributors to the video conversations in the exhibit. She is a retired teacher who was 27 years old in 1942 and a long time resident of Florin, California. Along with her entire family, she was sent to the center at Jerome, Arkansas. Mabel Rose Vogel taught high school at one of the camps, Rowher Center, Arkansas.
Related Materials:
The Division of Armed Forces History will have additional documents collected for the exhibit, A More Perfect Union, described above, that may be useful. Another collection on this topic in the Archives Center is collection #450, the Gerald Lampoley Collection of Japanese American Letters, 1942 1943, a collection of six letters written by Japanese Americans to their former teacher. Researchers may also refer to the records of the War Relocation Authority, Record Group 210, or those of the United States Commands, 1947 , Record Group 338, in the National Archives. Further, the National Headquarters of the Japanese American Citizens League in San Francisco, California, and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles, California, maintain related collections.
Provenance:
Donated by a number of Japanese Americans, many of whom are members of the Japanese American Citizens League, headquartered in San Francisco. This material was acquired for inclusion in the exhibition, A More Perfect Union, described above, but was not placed on display for one reason or another. In certain instances, items in this collection were omitted from the exhibit if they were considered too fragile or too sensitive to prolonged exposure to light. It is possible that related items, currently on display, ultimately will be transferred to the Archives Center; if this occurs, it would be useful to distinguish between the two groups of exhibited and undisplayed materials. Transferred from the Division of Armed Forces History, June 1988.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Collection located at off-site storage area.

Viewing film portion of collection requires special appointment, please inquire; listening to LP recordings only possible by special arrangement. Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Military history, Modern  Search this
Concentration camps -- 1942-1945 -- United States  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Typescripts -- 1940-1950
Passports
Albums -- 1940-1950
Books
Cartoons (humorous images) -- 20th century
Christmas cards
Comic books
Newsletters -- 1940-1950
Panoramas
Personal papers -- 1940-1950
Photograph albums -- 1940-1950
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Posters -- 1940-1960
Ration books
Scrapbooks -- 1900-1950
Telegrams -- 1940-1950
Citation:
Japanese American Documentary Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0305
See more items in:
Japanese American Documentary Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0305
Additional Online Media:

Director's Administrative Records

Creator::
Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Extent:
4.03 cu. ft. (4 record storage boxes) (1 oversize folder)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Books
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Clippings
Picture postcards
Digital versatile discs
Electronic records
Color photographs
Date:
1969, 1982-2006, 2011
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of records documenting the administration of the Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage (CFCH), previously known as the Office of Folklife Programs, 1978-1991, and the Center for Folklife Programs and Cultural Studies, 1992-1999, during the tenure of Richard Kurin. Kurin served as the Deputy Director, 1985-1987; Acting Director, 1987-1990; and Director, 1990-2009. Materials include correspondence and memoranda; photographs; budget files; clippings; reports; meeting agendas, minutes, and notes; and other related materials. Also included within the accession are two books written by Dr. Kurin and a scrapbook primarily consisting of postcards and related correspondence. Some materials are in electronic format.
Oversize:
This collection contains oversize material.
Rights:
Restricted for 15 years, until Jan-01-2027; Transferring office; 9/14/2015 Memo, Wright to Bell/Adams; Contact reference staff for details.
Topic:
Museums -- Administration  Search this
Museum directors  Search this
Cultural pluralism  Search this
Cultural property  Search this
Genre/Form:
Books
Scrapbooks
Manuscripts
Clippings
Picture postcards
Digital versatile discs
Electronic records
Color photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 17-133, Smithsonian Institution. Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, Director's Administrative Records
Identifier:
Accession 17-133
See more items in:
Director's Administrative Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa17-133

Frank J. Ryan Sports Training Collection

Creator:
Ryan, Frank J.  Search this
Extent:
16 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Brochures
Books
Motion pictures (visual works)
Advertisements
Scrapbooks
Patents
Date:
1936-1982
Scope and Contents:
Archival materials relating to Ryan's career as an athlete, a sports coach at Yale, an inventor, and an author. Includes photographs, the patent for Ryan's electro-mechanical football game, scrapbooks of newsclippings, Ryan's instructional books on sports, brochures, reprints of articles and other printed materials relating to Ryan's instructional films. Also included are instructional sports films Ryan created and marketed.
Arrangement:
Divided into 2 series: Series 1: Papers, photographs and printed materials; Series 2: Audiovisual materials.
Biographical / Historical:
Coach at Yale University, creator of sports training films and author of sports training books. He developed a unique bank/school community relations program wherein banks would donate Ryan's sports training films to local schools in exchange for publicity.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2004 by Neil Ryan (Frank Ryan's son) and Fran Ryan.
Restrictions:
UNPROCESSED COLLECTION.
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.,Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
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:
Coaches (Athletics)  Search this
Coaching (Athletics)  Search this
Physical education and training  Search this
Athletics  Search this
Sports -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Brochures
Books
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Scrapbooks
Patents
Citation:
Frank J. Ryan Sports Training Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0871
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0871

Alice Bell Finlayson papers

Creator:
Finlayson, Alice Bell  Search this
Names:
Anacostia Neighborhood Museum  Search this
Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge  Search this
New York University. School of Education  Search this
Public Schools of the District of Columbia  Search this
Finlayson, Alice Bell  Search this
Extent:
5.16 Linear feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Books
Photographic prints
Periodicals
Photographs
Papers
Sketches
Place:
Washington (D.C.)
Date:
1901-1992
bulk 1938-1972
Summary:
The Alice Bell Finlayson papers, which date from 1901 to 1990 and measure 5.16 linear feet, document the career of educator, community organizer, and journalist Alice Bell Finlayson. The papers are comprised of books, correspondence, curriculum vitae, documents from community organizations, journals, magazines newspaper clippings, photographs, and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection documents the life of Alice Bell Finlayson between 1922 and 1990. It contains materials related to Mrs. Finlayson's employment and community service. Included in the collection are academic writings, books, correspondence, curriculum, personnel records, photographs, and printed materials.
Arrangement note:
The papers are organized into six series. The Biographical and Printed Materials series are further arranged into subseries. The content of each series is arranged alphabetically. The series are arranged as follows:

Series 1: Biographical

Subseries 1.1: Autobiographical

Subseries 1.2: Education

Subseries 1.3: Employment

Series 2: Community Organizations

Series 3: Correspondence

Series 4: Photographs

Series 5: Printed material

Subseries 5.1: Books

Subseries 5.2: Government publications

Subseries 5.3: Journal Articles

Subseries 5.4: Museum catalogs and curriculum

Series 6: Miscellaneous
Biographical/Historical note:
Alice Bell Finlayson was born in Washington, DC in 1902. She attended Paul Lawrence Dunbar High School, and in 1922, she graduated from Miner Teachers College. She went on to earn a bachelor's and a master's degree in sociology from Howard University. While pursuing her degrees she began working for the District of Columbia Public Schools. In 1922 she took a position as a 1st grade teacher at the Garrison-Cleveland School.

For fourteen of her thirty-seven years with the District of Columbia Public Schools she served as principal of James G. Birney Elementary School. During her tenure at Birney she implemented several special programs designed to improve student outcomes. These programs addressed the needs of general education, gifted, and special education students. Students participated in reading and arts programs, as well as programs designed to promote healthy living and cultural awareness. Special education students developed life skills by working in building maintenance, and by providing other support services to the school. Mrs. Finlayson also established a research division within the school to develop testing instruments. As a result of these innovations, Birney became a training school for new teachers. Moreover, the District's Board of Education implemented some of the Birney programs district-wide. The school also won three Freedoms Foundation awards.

Mrs. Finlayson resigned as principal in January of 1959 and went on to hold other employment. She was a lecturer at Morgan State University, a program assistant at Howard University, and coordinator for several community programs. Beyond her regular employment she worked with various local and national civic organizations. She was a founding member of the Community Coordinating Organization, which was a coalition of District of Columbia community organizations. As chairman of the Women's Civic Guild she raised funds for community projects and for other organizations such as the NAACP. She was an active member of the community up until her death on November 27, 2000.
Related Archival Materials note:
Finding aid to the Anacostia Historical Society records located in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Finding aid to the Ella B. Howard Pearis papers located in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.

Finding aid to the Charles Qualls papers located in the Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Restrictions:
Use of the materials requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Alice Bell Finlayson papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. Rights to work produced during the normal course of Museum business resides with the Anacostia Community Museum. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.
Topic:
African American educators  Search this
Community organization  Search this
African American neighborhoods  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Books
Photographic prints
Periodicals
Photographs
Papers
Sketches
Citation:
Alice Bell Finlayson papers, Anacostia Community Museum Archives, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
ACMA.06-003
See more items in:
Alice Bell Finlayson papers
Archival Repository:
Anacostia Community Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-acma-06-003

P.T. Barnum Collection

Creator:
Barnum, P. T. (Phineas Taylor), 1810-1891  Search this
Names:
Barnum and Bailey.  Search this
Bailey, James A.  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Books
Scrapbooks
Date:
1866-1890
Summary:
The collection consists of five children's books about the circus, a brochure announcing the show in London, an 1873 advertisement for the Great Traveling World's Fair of Barnum's, and two scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The P.T. Barnum collection consists of five children's books about the circus, a brochure announcing the show in London, an 1873 advertisement for the Great Traveling World's Fair of Barnum's, and two scrapbooks. The scrapbooks mostly contain newspaper articles, 1889 1893, as well as cartoons, pictures, and drawings of circus events and circus personalities including P.T. Barnum and James A. Bailey. Interviews of circus people, anecdotes of circus life, and techniques of training children for circus horsemanship and tigers for the ring are also a part of the scrapbook coverage.

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of the articles is their description of the logistics of bringing 440 performers, 380 horses, 13 elephants, lions, tigers, deer, llama, camels, a bear and other animals, administrative and support staff, and 80 tons of advertising material to and from London for a 100 day run.
Biographical / Historical:
Phineas Taylor Barnum was born on July 5, 1810 in Bethel Connecticut. He worked hard as a small boy to help support the family. When Barnum was 15, his father died, leaving him almost penniless. Although he attended school irregularly, he was excellent in calculations and could drive a hard bargain. This was later referred to as his Yankee shrewdness.

In 1835 he found his true calling—show business—when he exhibited a black woman, Joice Heth, who claimed to be 161 years old and a nurse to George Washington. Barnum bought her for $1,000 and soon had his investment returned.

In 1841 Barnum obtained the American Museum in New York City, which became a famous place of amusement. He displayed exhibits which were forerunners of the sideshow, as well as performances of moral plays such as Uncle Tom's Cabin.

In November 1842, Barnum engaged Charles Stratton, whom he christened Tom Thumb. They were received by English royalty, including Queen Victoria, and other notable figures throughout Europe.

In 1850, Barnum engaged Jenny Lind and made a fortune for both of them. He lost his fortune when he speculated in the Jerome Clock Company of East Bridgeport, and regained it slowly due to multiple disasters.

About 1877, he became a partner of James A. Bailey, who started the two-ring circus in 1879. Bailey was the administrator of the Barnum and Bailey Show and was considered an excellent manager.

In March, 1882, Barnum bought Jumbo from the London Zoo for $10,000. Jumbo was a very popular elephant with the English people, who resented Barnum's purchase and subsequent export of Jumbo to the United States. After the circus's trip to London in 1890, which was a tremendous success, the English forgave Barnum. Jumbo met an untimely death in 1885. His bones went to the Smithsonian and the stuffed hide to the Barnum Museum of Natural History at Tufts College. Barnum had given the Museum to Tufts in 1884 and contributed a $55,000 stone building to the institution.

In November, 1889, Barnum brought his circus to London for fourteen weeks. He could not stay longer because the show had obligations in the United States. Other Europeans hoped to have the show visit their countries, but Barnum said the logistics and the railway tunnels prevented it.

Notices of the Circus coming to London were plastered all over England, with advertising techniques never before seen by the English. The Show, called the Great Moral Show in England, was considered more stupendous than the Wild West Show with Buffalo Bill, which had recently been shown in London, as well. About 30,000 people a day came and many others were turned away. The Circus took in $900,000, but had large expenses with over 1,800 staff on the payroll.

Barnum himself was a great hit in England. Most of the English royalty attended his circus, many more than once. Queen Victoria requested a private showing but did not receive one, and therefore never saw the show. Even the elderly Gladstone attended. It was said that the English liked audacity, Americans who were not a toady and who offered pleasure, all of which described Barnum. It is also interesting that Barnum supported Irish Home Rule while he was in England.

Barnum was a genius in public relations for himself and his enterprises. He was a great believer in the power of advertising, and made it his business to be talked about. He liked to say that his name did not have to appear beneath his picture because everyone knew him.

Barnum loved children and was known as "The Children's Friend." He often went to the show's matinees to be with the children and talk to them. He gave generously to the Children's Aid Society and made it a beneficiary of a percentage of the show's profit after his death.

With regard to religious and political beliefs, Barnum was a Universalist who believed in the salvation of all men. He was originally a Democrat, but became a Republican because he was a Union supporter. He was elected to the Connecticut General Assembly four times, where he advocated the rights of individuals against railway monopolies. He was also Mayor of Bridgeport, Connecticut, and during his time in office brought many businesses to the town and invested in local real estate. He established a system of building houses and sold them to working people on long payments and low interest rates; he also gave the land which became Seaside Park to the community of Bridgeport.

Barnum was married twice, the second time in 1874 to an English woman who was half his age. He had three daughters by his first wife, and his two grandsons were his only male heirs. In 1883, he made his first will so "no business cares should devolve upon his wife at his death." He left the management of his interests to his grandson, Clinton H. Seeley whom he required to change his name to Clinton Barnum Seeley; he had previously made an agreement with Bailey for the Barnum and Bailey Show to continue for 50 years.

Barnum had a reputation for giving everyone their full money's worth. He acknowledged the unreality of some of his attractions with frankness in his autobiography, but he said he was not a humbug; he was just a showman who gave the public what it wanted. He claimed he never pretended to be more than that. After Bailey implemented the two ring circus in 1879, and subsequently a third ring, people complained that they were being given more than their money's worth with so many activities going on simultaneously.

In the interviews and stories about the Barnum and Bailey Circus, it was evident that the circus people had strong training and excellent discipline. But some backstage interviews revealed low ages, poor boarding house food, bad dressing rooms, and strict discipline, with fines often meted out for slight infractions of the rules. The treatment of the animals also was questioned. Bailey reported that 38 horses had to be killed because they had been injured during the hippodrome race in the Nero act of the show.

P.T. Barnum was involved in four lines of entertainment: (a) circus; (b) museum of curiosities; (c) theatrical (he produced plays and helped several actors and actresses get their start); and (d) musical impresario with Jenny Lind.

Barnum was known as a great story teller. He enjoyed playing jokes on himself and others. He died on April 7, 1891 at 80 years and nine months.
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
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:
Amusements  Search this
Circuses (performances)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Books
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Citation:
P.T. Barnum Collection, 1873-1890, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0068
See more items in:
P.T. Barnum Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0068
Additional Online Media:

Bohumil Shimek Papers

Creator::
Shimek, Bohumil, 1861-1937  Search this
Extent:
8.51 cu. ft. (8 record storage boxes) (1 3x5 box) (1 5x8 box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Maps
Field notes
Scrapbooks
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Clippings
Books
Manuscripts
Diaries
Plates (illustrations)
Date:
1878-1936
Descriptive Entry:
These papers consist of correspondence with conchologists, naturalists, and shell collectors pertaining to shell collections and exchanges, and responses to Shimek's questionnaires on Pomatiopsis lapidarias and other shells; notebooks listing personal names of those to whom Shimek sent his publications on loess, geology, and botany; a notebook containing names of Czech-Americans; a notebook containing personal names listed under the counties of Iowa; field notes and diaries documenting Shimek's scientific field explorations throughout the Midwest, the Atlantic coastal states, the South, the Southwest, and Nicaragua; photographs showing mostly geological features and flora; a scrapbook on the geology of several counties of Iowa; a class book kept by Shimek while he was an instructor at the University of Nebraska; maps of different localities in Iowa and Nebraska; bibliographical cards on geological formations, shells, loess, and botany, arranged by subject and alphabetically thereunder; newspaper clippings, journal articles, and speeches, probably on soil erosion and prevention, and on foreign immigration.
Historical Note:
Bohumil Shimek (1861-1937) studied civil engineering at the State University of Iowa (SUI), where he received a C.E. degree in 1883 and an M.S. degree in 1902. He served as railroad and county surveyor for Johnson County, Iowa, 1883-1885, and taught sciences at Iowa City High School, 1885-1888. From 1888 until 1890, Shimek was an instructor in zoology at the University of Nebraska. From 1890 to 1932, he taught botany at SUI and served as the head of the Department of Botany, 1914-1919. In 1914, Shimek was an exchange professor at Charles University in Prague. Shimek was also Curator of the Herbarium, SUI, 1895-1937; President of the Iowa State Academy of Sciences, 1904-1905; a geologist for the Iowa State Geological Survey, 1908-1929; and Director of the Lakeside Laboratory, Lake Okoboji, Iowa. Shimek's interest in the natural sciences and geology covered many areas, but he was mostly known for his study of loess, loess fossils, and fossil malacology in Iowa and the prairie states. He was the author of the term, NEBRASKAN, which is used to describe the layer underneath the Aftonian interglacial deposits.
Topic:
Geology  Search this
Botany  Search this
Invertebrate zoology  Search this
Paleontology  Search this
Zoologists  Search this
Geologists  Search this
Botanists  Search this
Paleontologists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Maps
Field notes
Scrapbooks
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Clippings
Books
Manuscripts
Diaries
Plates (illustrations)
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 7082, Bohumil Shimek Papers
Identifier:
Record Unit 7082
See more items in:
Bohumil Shimek Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru7082
Additional Online Media:

Helena M. Weiss Papers

Creator:
Weiss, Helena M  Search this
Extent:
1.5 cu. ft. (1 record storage box) (1 document box)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Manuscripts
Clippings
Brochures
Picture postcards
Scrapbooks
Books
Color transparencies
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Color negatives
Color photographs
Date:
1908-1993
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of the personal papers of Helena M. Weiss and documents her life in Washington, DC, her family, and her work and colleagues at the Smithsonian Institution, such as Ray S. Bassler and E. O. Ulrich. Also documented are Weiss' trips to Thailand, Nepal, and India. Of particular note is a scrapbook containing images of Weiss' family, friends, colleagues, and travel. Materials include correspondence, clippings, awards, brochures, publications, picture postcards, a scrapbook, and images.
Topic:
Travel  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Clippings
Brochures
Picture postcards
Scrapbooks
Books
Color transparencies
Black-and-white photographs
Black-and-white negatives
Color negatives
Color photographs
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 12-184, Weiss, Helena M, Helena M. Weiss Papers
Identifier:
Accession 12-184
See more items in:
Helena M. Weiss Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa12-184

Records

Creator::
Cooper-Hewitt Museum  Search this
Extent:
4.57 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes) (1 document box) (3 16x20 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Books
Brochures
Clippings
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1864-1980
Descriptive Entry:
This accession consists of various materials transferred from subject files in the Cooper-Hewitt Museum library. In the first series are files assembled by researcher Brooks Adams during the development of the exhibition Hair, which was on view at the museum from June 10 through August 17, 1980. Also included are exhibition files for The Logic and Magic of Color, which was on view at the Cooper Union Museum from April 19 through August 1960. The second series contains six scrapbooks of press clippings describing the Museum's early exhibitions and activities under the Smithsonian. Some materials date from when the museum was known as the Cooper Union Museum for the Arts of Decoration.
Topic:
Art museums  Search this
Museum exhibits  Search this
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Genre/Form:
Books
Brochures
Clippings
Manuscripts
Black-and-white photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 94-100, Cooper-Hewitt Museum, Records
Identifier:
Accession 94-100
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-fa94-100

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