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Servodyne Corporation Records

Creator:
Servodyne Corporation  Search this
Donor:
Gunnarson, John  Search this
Gunnarson, John  Search this
Collector:
Information, Technology and Society, Div. of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Information, Technology and Society, Div. of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (3 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Correspondence
Design drawings
Financial records
Minutes
Date:
1955-1971
Summary:
The Servodyne Company attempted to develop a prototype of the household microwave. The business records cover the operations and meetings of the company, as well as the corporation's financial troubles and liquidation following its bankruptcy in 1968. Also included are design details and photographs of the ovens.
Scope and Contents:
Records of the company that developed an early microwave oven. The business records include documents such as Board of Directors meeting minutes, stockholder meeting minutes, correspondence, legal documents, financial papers, publications, photographs, drawings and specifications, and other business papers. Also included in the collection are newspaper and magazine clippings featuring stories about the safety and use of microwave ovens.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1: Minutes, 1961-1968

Series 2: Correspondence, 1961-1968

Series 3: Legal Documents, 1965-1966

Series 4: Financial Materials, 1960-1965

Series 5: Publications, 1955-1971

Series 6: Photographs, 1955, 1971
Biographical / Historical:
John Gunnarson, a former employee of Raytheon, formed the Servodyne Company (1960), which made prototypes of the microwave oven. The company sought to bring microwave technology into the home for everyday use in a time when microwaves and their safety were under scrutiny. Developed by Gunnarson, Roger F. French, and Donald R. Lester, this prototype utilized klystrons instead of the magnetrons used by competitors. The company applied for a patent in 1966, but the oven was never successful. Servodyne Company struggled with financial issues and leadership changes, and the business folded in 1968 due to lack of funding. The liquidation process lasted until 1971.
Separated Materials:
A prototype microwave is in the Division of Work and Industry. See Accession 2003.0107.01.
Provenance:
Collection donated by John A. Gunnarson in 2003.
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:
Microwave equipment industry  Search this
Microwave ovens  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Financial records
Minutes
Citation:
Servodyne Corporation Records, 1955-1971, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0839
See more items in:
Servodyne Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0839

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