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Waldemar A. Ayres Collection

Creator:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Naval History  Search this
Ayres, Waldemar A., 1909- (inventor)  Search this
Extent:
3.3 Cubic feet (10 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Research (document genres)
Patents
Personal papers
Correspondence
Date:
1954-1974
Scope and Contents note:
Collection deals primarily with Ayres' artificial gill underwater breathing equipment project. Includes correspondence (1956-1971), personal papers, three boxes of research notes, documentation of the success of the invention, and subsequent patents and patent litigation; also publicity for the artificial gill, items from Ayres' other projects, and related periodicals, brochures, articles, etc.
Arrangement:
Divided into eight series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1956-1971

Series 2: Personal Papers

Series 3: Research Notes On Artificial Gills

Series 4: Documentation of Success of Gill

Series 5: Patents and Patent Litigation

Series 6: Publicity For Gill

Series 7:Ayres's Other Projects

Series 8: Related Journals, Magazines, Articles, Brochures, and Catalogs
Biographical/Historical note:
Ayres was an inventor who worked independently and for a number of companies. Among his varied research interests were radar, stereo photography, and aircraft navigation systems. In the 1950s-1960s he developed gill-type underwater breathing equipment.
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:
Underwater exploration  Search this
Underwater breathing equipment  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Naval history  Search this
Inventors -- 1940-1990  Search this
Gill-type underwater breathing equipment  Search this
Genre/Form:
Research (document genres)
Patents
Personal papers
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Citation:
Waldemar A. Ayres Collection, 1954-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0077
See more items in:
Waldemar A. Ayres Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8dc7d57ca-fec0-479f-8276-4ef36d55e908
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0077
Online Media:

Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation

Creator:
Liebhold, Peter  Search this
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
Gerber Company.  Search this
Gerber, H. Joseph, 1924-1996  Search this
Extent:
2.5 Cubic feet (9 boxes )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Date:
1995-1996
Summary:
The Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 is part of a systematic approach to layout and cutting that has revolutionized the needle trades. This video history contains original, master, and reference videos, Dictaphone microcassettes, and tape digests and notes documenting the development, operation and use of the Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 in three locations: H.I.S., Inc., in Bruceton, Tennessee (Chic blue jeans use of cuter); General Motors in Grand Rapids, Michigan (automotive use of the cutter); and Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in Hartford, Connecticut (Gerber corporate office and invention factory). The video footage documents H. Joseph Gerber, engineers, assembly workers, operators, and other technicians who worked with the cutter at the three locations. The footage from the Tennessee and Michigan sites provides insight into the complexity of introducing a new technology into the workplace and documents operators and managers discussing the effect of the cutter on workflow, quality, personnel, and attitudes towards the job. The footage from the Connecticut site documents the engineers who developed the cutter and provides valuable insight into the invention process. This collection includes oral history audio tapes, original, master, and reference videos, and notes documenting visits to Bruceton, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hartford, Connecticut.
Scope and Contents:
The Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 is part of a systematic approach to layout and cutting that has revolutionized the needle trades. It applies numerical control to the sizing of patterns and cutting of fabric. The use of this type of equipment made possible a radical change in the make-up of the cutting room workforce. This video history contains original, master, and reference videos, Dictaphone microcassettes, and tape digests and notes documenting the development, operation and use of the Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 in three locations: H.I.S., Inc., in Bruceton, Tennessee (Chic blue jeans use of cuter); General Motors in Grand Rapids, Michigan (automotive use of the cutter); and Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in Hartford, Connecticut (Gerber corporate office and invention factory). The video footage documents H. Joseph Gerber, engineers, assembly workers, operators, and other technicians who worked with the cutter at the three locations. The footage from the Tennessee and Michigan sites provides insight into the complexity of introducing a new technology into the workplace and documents operators and managers discussing the effect of the cutter on workflow, quality, personnel, and attitudes towards the job. The footage from the Connecticut site documents the engineers who developed the cutter and provides valuable insight into the invention process.

The collection is arranged into five series: Series 1, Notes, 1995-1996; Series 2, Audio tapes (microcassettes), 1996; Series 3, Original videos (BetaCam SP), 1996; Series 4, Master videos (BetaCam SP), 1996; and Series 5, Reference videos 1⁄2" VHS), 1996.

Series 1, Notes, 1995-1996, includes documentation created by Peter Liebhold in preparation for his site visits to Bruceton, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hartford, Connecticut. The documentation includes lists of potential interviewees, questions to ask of the employees, and general notes detailing observations at each site. The H. Joseph Gerber interview file consists of a brief tape digest keyed to each of the seven microcassettes, notes from the interview, and the questions asked of Mr. Gerber. The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company file contains a video digest for only three interviews: Ed Roth, Fred Rosen, and Larry Wolfson.

Series 2, Audio tapes (microcassettes), 1995 June, consists of seven Dictaphone microcassettes of oral history interviews with H. Joseph Gerber conducted by Peter Liebhold, Curator, American History Museum and Stanley Leven, Director and Secretary of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company.

Series 3, Original Videos (BetaCam SP), 1996, consists of thirty-eight BetaCam SP video tapes totaling approximately nineteen hours of footage.

Series 4, Master Videos (BetaCam SP), 1996, consists of twenty-six BetaCam SP tapes totaling nineteen hours of footage.

Series 5, Reference videos (1/2" VHS), 1996, consists of twenty-six 1⁄2" VHS tapes for a total of thirteen hours of footage.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1: Notes, 1995-1996

Series 2: Audio tapes (microcassettes), 1995 June

Series 3: Original videos (BetaCam SP), 1996

Series 4: Master videos (BetaCam SP), 1996

Series 5: Reference videos (1/2" VHS), 1996
Biographical / Historical:
Heinz Joseph "Joe" Gerber was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 17, 1924. In 1940, Gerber escaped the Nazis and immigrated to New York City and then to Hartford, Connecticut, with his mother Bertha Gerber, a dressmaker. Gerber's father, Jacob, is presumed to have died in a concentration camp. Gerber attended Weaver High School and graduated in two years (1943). He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, on a scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1947. As a junior at RPI, Gerber developed the Gerber Variable Scale, his first invention. The earliest version of the variable scale was fashioned from an elastic band removed from a pair of pajamas. Gerber created a rubber rule and scale that could flow with a curve, expand, contract, and turn a corner. The scale allows for direct reading of curves, graphs, and graphical representations, giving direct numerical readings of proportions, spacing and interpolation. The Variable Scale became the building block of what would become Gerber Scientific Instrument, Inc.

With financial assistance from Abraham Koppleman, a newspaper and magazine distributor in Hartford, Gerber and Koppleman formed a partnership and incorporated Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in 1948. Gerber served as president, Koppleman as treasurer, and Stanley Levin as secretary. The manufacture of Variable Scale was jobbed out and the distribution was conducted from Hartford. Gerber also worked as a design analytical engineer for Hamilton Standard Propellers of United Aircraft and for Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Shares of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company were eventually sold to the public in 1961, and in 1978, the company changed its name to Gerber Scientific, Inc. In the 1960s and 1970s, Gerber developed the first series of precision, computer-driven cutting systems for the apparel industry called the Gerber Cutter. The cutters introduced automation to the garment industry. In 1967, Gerber realized that the U.S. garment industry, due to a lack of automation, was faced with increasing overseas competition. Gerber's solution was to engineer the Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70, a machine that cuts apparel quickly and effectively while using less cloth.

Gerber holds more than 600 United States and foreign patents. Many of his patents relate to the United States apparel industry. In 1994, Gerber was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Clinton for helping to revolutionize the optical, garment, automotive, and other industries. His pioneering achievements include:

-a generation of data readers (electromechanical devices that converted graphical

-data directly into computer readable format);

-projection systems that interactively converted information from aerial;

-photographs for use in computers;

-devices that plotted digital output data from computer cards or tape;

-digital numerically-controlled drafting machines which verify the accuracy of the cutting path of numerical machine tools;

-a photoplotter (drafting machine configured with a unique light source to directly draw high accuracy layouts of printed circuit board masters on photographic film or glass with light beams);

-and systems with laser technology to draw at high speeds. (1)

Subsequent subsidiaries of Gerber Scientific, Inc., are: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc., (GGT); Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. (GSP); Gerber Systems Corp. (GSC), and Gerber Optical, Inc., (GO). GGT makes computer-controlled cutting and design equipment for apparel, automotive, aerospace and other industries. GSP produces systems for sign-making and graphic arts industries. GSC makes production systems for printing, industrial machinery and other industries. GO makes equipment for the optical-lens manufacturing industry. (2)

In 1954, Gerber married Sonia Kanciper. They had a daughter, Melisa Tina Gerber, and a son, David Jacques Gerber. H. Joseph Gerber died on August 9, 1996, at the age of 72.

Sources

(1) National Medal of Technology, 1994.

(2) W. Joseph Campbell, "High Tech and Low Key as Gerber Scientific Mounts a Recovery Philosophy Reflects Innovative Founder," Hartford Courant, May 16, 1994.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records, 1911-1998 (AC0929)

Materials in the Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History

Early model Gerber variable scale. See accession 1994.3104.01.

Gerber Cutter, Model 70. See accessioon 1995.0229.01.
Provenance:
This collection was created by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation with American History Cuartor Peter Liebhold, Division of Work and Industry.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
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. 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. Series 3, Original Videos, 1996, is located off-site; please inquire.
Topic:
Inventors -- 1940-1990  Search this
Machinery -- 1940-1990  Search this
Work -- 1940-1990  Search this
Factories -- 1940-1990  Search this
Fabric cutters -- 1940-1990  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Industrial factories -- 1940-1990  Search this
Automation -- 1940-1990  Search this
Cutting machines -- 1940-1990 -- North Carolina -- Connecticut -- Michigan  Search this
Computerized instruments -- 1940-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Citation:
Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, February 1995-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, 1995-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0609
See more items in:
Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8d51bbe64-d340-4a74-aa00-e1916cfcb7a8
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0609

Henry Booth Collection

Creator:
Booth, Henry, 1895-1969  Search this
Names:
Amalgamated Textiles Limited.  Search this
Eastman Kodak Co.  Search this
Hillandale Farms  Search this
Hillandale Handweavers  Search this
PhotoMetric Corporation  Search this
Richard Bennett Associates, Inc.  Search this
Booth, Virginia  Search this
Extent:
2.5 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Glass plate negatives
Pamphlets
Photographs
Date:
1942 - 1974
Summary:
Papers document Henry Booth's invention, use, and marketing of the PhotoMetriC custom tailoring system.
Scope and Contents:
The Henry Booth Collection, 1942-1974, focuses primarily on the PhotoMetriC custom tailoring system. It consists of advertisements, brochures, photographs, glass slides, a 16mm film, correspondence, financial records, meeting minutes, an operating manual, scrapbooks, magazines, and a guest register.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into five series.

Series 1: PhotoMetriC Apparatus Materials, 1948-1965

Series 2: PhotoMetriC Advertising and Press Materials, 1942, 1948

Series 3: PhotoMetriC Retail Materials, 1958-1974

Series 4: PhotoMetriC General Business Materials, 1947-1974

Series 5: Hillandale Handweavers, 1960-1962
Biographical / Historical:
Henry Booth was a textile jobber who invented the PhotoMetriC custom tailoring system in the 1940s, an innovation which temporarily revolutionized a small corner of the custom clothing industry.

Henry Booth (1895-1969), son of a Methodist minister, was born in Canada and raised in England where his grandfather, General William Booth, founded the Salvation Army. In 1911, Henry Booth came to the United States from England on the Lusitania. He worked in the textile industry for a few years; specifically as a manager for John B. Ellison jobbing offices in Portland and Seattle. In 1922 he formed his own firm with Harry Kemp and Robert Walker. By 1929, Booth moved east to New York City in order to pursue his career in the textile industry. He formed Amalgamated Textiles Limited with John and Blake Lawrence. In 1938, Booth met Curt Erwin Forstmann and entered into an agreement whereby Amalgamated Textiles Limited became fabric stylists and sole agents for the Forstmann Woolen Companies.

In the early 1940s, Booth came up with the idea for the PhotoMetriC camera system to be used in the custom tailoring industry. The system consisted of a specially-designed arrangement of nine mirrors. Eight mirrors reflected separate views of the customer and one mirror reflected the customer's name and other information. These angled mirrors allowed a photograph to be taken which showed the customer from the front, back, side, and top. A slide of this photographic measurement would be sent, along with the customer's garment order, to the manufacturer. When the order arrived, the tailor would project the customer's image on a special screen which facilitated the taking of certain physical measurements. With the aid of the PhotoMetriC calculator, the tailor translated the measurements into specifications for a customer-specific garment. When finished, the garment would be mailed directly to the customer's home. According to testimonials in the collection, the garments fit perfectly the first time, every time. The PhotoMetriC system both saved the tailor money and relieved the customer of the inconvenience of having to return to the tailor again and again for time-consuming fittings, alterations, and adjustments.

The camera which supported this invention needed to be virtually foolproof, enabling the average shop clerk to reliably collect the necessary data. To this end, Booth took his idea to the Eastman Kodak Company, where he worked with Dr. Kenneth Mees, Director of Research and Fred Waller, a camera expert. Waller designed the camera; the remainder of the system design was done by Booth. The PhotoMetriC system made its debut in two Richard Bennett stores in New York City on May 17, 1948. It was subsequently licensed to other select retailers such as: The Custom Gentleman (Englewood, NJ); Nathan's (Richmond, VA); The Golden Fleece (Point Pleasant Borough, NJ); and Joseph's (Terre Haute, IN).

Hillandale, a Brooklyn, CT farm which Booth purchased about 1940, was later used to produce hand woven wool fabrics. These fabrics were used extensively by various PhotoMetriC retail outlets. Henry Booth's son, Robert (b. 1924), took over farm operations circa 1960 and opened a retail outlet on the premises which featured a PhotoMetriC fitting room which provided custom tailoring until the mid-1970s. Robert Booth, with his wife, Jimmie, operated the Golden Lamb Buttery Restaurant in Brooklyn, Connecticut. It closed in 2017.

Patents of Henry Booth:

United States Patent: #2,037,192/RE #20,366, "Visible inventory and sales recording device, April 14, 1936

United States Patent: #2,547,367, "Method and apparatus for testing fabrics, April 3, 1951

United States Patent: #2,547,368, "Cloth rack," April 3, 1951

United States Patent: #2,563,451, "Photographic fitting method," August 7, 1951

United States Patent: #2,624,943, "Proportionally balancing garments," January 13, 1953

United States Patent: #2,664,784,"Apparatus for measuring objects by photography," January 5, 1954

United States Patent: #2,688,188, "Apparatus for proportionally balancing garments," September 7, 1954
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Virginia "Jimmie" Booth Collection, 1936-1998 (AC0729). Jimmie Booth is the wife of Robert Booth and she was a buyer for Lord and Taylor.

Materials in the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry holds a PhotoMetric camera, stand, and measuring harness in the Photographic History collection.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Henry Booth's son, Robert Booth, in April 2000.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
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:
Tailoring  Search this
Fashion  Search this
advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Garment cutting  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Inventors -- 1940-1990  Search this
PhotoMetric (camera system)  Search this
Photography -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Glass plate negatives
Pamphlets -- 1950-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1940-2000
Photographs -- Glass -- Silver gelatin -- 20th century
Citation:
Henry Booth Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0726
See more items in:
Henry Booth Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ep8926e2598-5a7d-408a-8715-39a03bafffc2
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0726
Online Media:

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