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Helen Popenoe Paper Doll Collection

Creator:
Popenoe, Helen  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1942-1947
Summary:
In the 1940s, during Helen Popenoe's elementary school years, she collected and played with paper dolls. This collection consists of the dolls that she enjoyed as a child.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of paper dolls of various types including female movie stars, "Blondie," comic strip characters, and several "Good Neighbor" dolls inspired by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's Good Neighbor Policy. Additionally there are paper dolls of young children and toddlers, as well as fictitious characters with clothes and accessories that represent the time period in American history in which they were produced. For example, several paper dolls have World War II military uniforms.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series and is organized by type of doll.

Series 1: "Blondie" Characters, undated

Series 2: Celebrities, undated

Series 3: Couples, undated

Series 4: Good Neighbor, undated

Series 5: Queens, undated

Series 6: Miscellaneous, undated
Biographical / Historical:
This collection is comprised of Helen Popenoe's personal paper doll collection from her elementary school days, ages 5-10. The collection dates from 1942 to 1947. It is possible that some of these dolls were purchased at Kann's Department Store in Washington, D.C. Many of the paper dolls were discovered in a Kann's shopping bag.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Carolyn and Donald Grepke Paper Doll Collection, 1895-1991 (AC 0752)

Elinor S. Miller Paper Doll Collection, circa 1909-1940 (AC1110).
Provenance:
This collection was donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, by Helen Popenoe in June, 2009.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is 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 copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Dolls  Search this
Paper dolls  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Citation:
Helen Popenoe Paper Doll Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1156
See more items in:
Helen Popenoe Paper Doll Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1156
Online Media:

Sherman Poppen Papers

Donor:
Poppen, Sherman, 1930-  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videocassettes
Business records
Correspondence
Scrapbooks
Advertisements
Clippings
Newsletters
Patents
Negatives
Date:
1966 - 2008
Summary:
The Sherman Poppen Papers document the snurfer, the predecessor of the snowboard that he invented in 1965. The snurfer, a sled that was ridden while standing up, originally consisted of two skis bound together. Snurfer competitions fueled the development of the snowboard as a piece of sporting equipment. This collection contains material describing the snurfer's place in snowboarding history, and the associated business and legal aspects.
Scope and Contents:
The Sherman Poppen Papers document the invention of the snurfer and its distribution. The collection is arranged into two series. The collection consists of correspondence, product literature, photographs, books, notes, a scrapbook, newsletters, newspaper and magazine articles, and VHS videocassettes documenting the snurfer. The business and legal materials, 1966-2006, contains correspondence, notes, and legal documents.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two series.

Series 1, History, 1966-2008

Series 2, Business and Legal Materials, 1966-2006
Biographical / Historical:
Sherman Poppen (1930-2019) was born in Muskegon, Michigan. He graduated from Northwestern University in 1952 and served in the United States Navy as a supply office at sea from 1952-1956. He owned an industrial business, Lake Welding Supply Company, which sold gases and welding supplies in Muskegon, Michigan. On December 25, 1965, Poppen created the snurfer, a predecessor of the snowboard, by binding two children's skis together. His wife, Nancy, was pregnant with their third child and his two restless daughters, Wendy and Laurie, wanted to play on Christmas day. Poppen entertained them by playing outside in the snow. The girls' desire to stand up while riding on a sled and Poppen's vision of snow drifts as waves collided, and the idea for the snurfer was born. Nancy coined "snurf" by combining the words snow and surf. Neighborhood children soon began asking for snurfers of their own. Poppen decided to patent his creation (US Patent #: 3,378,274 --Surf-Type Snow Ski) and trademarked the words snurf and snurfer (US Trademark #: 1,518,101). It was also patented in Canada (Patent #: 819,596). In 1966, he licensed the product to the Brunswick Corporation and worked with them to create a board from the laminated wood used for bowling alley gutters. Brunswick manufactured the snurfer and sold it as a novelty item, not sports equipment, and it gained popularity. From 1968 through the late 1970s, snurfer racing competitions were held in Muskegon at Blockhouse Hill. In 1972, Brunswick discontinued production of the snurfer, but JEM Corporation continued manufacture until the early 1980s. By 1977, Jake Burton Carpenter, an avid competitive snurfer, began developing an improved model without a rope handle and with the addition of rigid bindings for ski boots to the board. As more resorts began allowing snowboards on their ski lifts, the popularity of the snurfer waned.

Poppen took up snowboarding at the age of 67. He received recognition from the snowboarding community as the grandfather of the sport and was inducted into the Snowboarding Hall of Fame in Banff, Canada in 1995 and the Muskegon Area Sports Hall of Fame in 2001.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Culture and the Arts holds artifacts related to this collection. See accession #: 2009.0092.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Sherman Poppen on June 22, 2009.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is 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 copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Dolls  Search this
Paper dolls  Search this
Sports  Search this
Snowboarding  Search this
Patents  Search this
Winter sports  Search this
Sporting goods industry  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Snurfer  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videocassettes
Business records -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 20th century
Business records -- 21st century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 20th century
Patents -- 20th century
Negatives
Citation:
Sherman Poppen Papers, 1966-2008, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1159
See more items in:
Sherman Poppen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1159
Online Media:

Ralph Baer Innovative Lives Presentation

Creator:
Baer, Ralph H., 1922-2014  Search this
Harrison, William  Search this
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Extent:
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Dvcs
Dvds
Date:
2009-08-15-2009
Scope and Contents note:
In a moderated conversation about his life and work, Baer reenacts, with his partner William Harrison, the first time he played "Oddyssey", the first home video game for the consumer market, which he invented, and answers questions from the audience.
Arrangement:
Divided into 3 series: Series 1, Original video (born digital); Series 2, Master videos; and Series 3, Reference videos..
Biographical/Historical note:
Ralph H. Baer (1922-2014) was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1938. A graduate of the National Radio Institute (1940), Baer worked as a radio technician in the New York City area, servicing all types of home and auto radios. During World War II, Baer served in the United States Army, one year stateside, and two years in Europe. He was assigned to Military Intelligence and became an expert on military small arms. Baer returned to the United States with eighteen tons of foreign small arms for use in exhibits at Aberdeen, Maryland; Springfield, Massachusetts Armory; and Ft. Riley, Kansas.

After the war, Baer attended the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago, graduating with a BS in television engineering. In 1949, Baer joined a small electro medical equipment firm, Wappler, Inc., as their chief engineer. He designed and built surgical cutting machines, epilators, and low frequency pulse generating muscle-toning equipment. In 1951, Baer moved to Loral Electronics of Bronx, New York as a senior engineer, designing power line carrier signaling equipment for IBM. During 1952-1956, Baer worked at Transitron, Inc., in New York City as a chief engineer and later as vice president. In 1956, Baer joined Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire building airborne radar components. He became manager of the Electronic Design Department at Sanders and eventually Division Manager and Chief Engineer for Equipment Design. Baer retired in 1987.

At Sanders in 1966, Baer began an independent project experimenting with ways for consumers to interact with standard home television sets. Development of interactive TV Game (TVG) ideas became a company-supported project continued by Baer and assisted by William H. Harrison and William T. Rusch (download the TV Game chronology prepared by Ralph Baer in 2006). By mid-1967, ping pong videogames were played inside Sanders, patent disclosures were applied for, and hardware was designed. Baer and his associates called the devices they were developing "boxes" and numbered the various versions one through seven. In 1971, Magnavox became Sanders Associates's first videogame licensee. Between 1972 and 1975, Magnavox produced and sold over 700,000 units of Odyssey, a set of games played on its television receivers. Atari became a licensee in 1976 after the first of many lawsuits won by Sanders in pursuit of patent infringements.

During his tenure at Sanders and thereafter, Baer was a prolific inventor. His creations included many electronic toys and games and other consumer electronic products. Among the better known products based on Baer's work are Milton Bradley's Simon, Galoob's Smarty Bear Video, and Kenner's Laser Command. In 2004 President George W. Bush awarded Baer the National Medal of Technology.

Baer married Dena Whinston in 1952 and they had three children, James, Mark, and Nancy. Ralph Baer died on December 6, 2014, at the age of 92.
Provenance:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research access on site by appointment.
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. Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Games  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Video games  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
DVCs
DVDs
Citation:
Ralph Baer Innovative Lives Presentation, August 15, 2009, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1179
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1179

Landy R. Hales Papers

Creator:
Hales, Landy R., 1889-1972  Search this
Extent:
5.5 Cubic feet (15 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Design drawings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Clippings
Date:
1908 - 1969
Summary:
Papers document Landy R. Hales (1889-1972), an inventor and commercial artist who designed window and interior store displays, posters, children's games, and puzzles primarily from 1920s to 1930s in New York City and Baltimore. Of significance is Hales's work for Macy's Department Store. The papers consist of correspondence, patents, business records for several of Hales's companies, photographs, drawings/sketches, prototypes, and newspaper and magazine clippings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers document Hales's career as an inventor and commercial artist as well as his work in games, puzzles, educational tools, and posters. The collection includes sketches and design drawings, photographs, publicity materials, clippings and articles, and game prototypes.

Series 1, Brilliant Sign Company, 1908-1909, consists of stock shares, transferred by Hales to others in the amount of twenty dollars for the Brilliant Sign Company of Baltimore City, Maryland.

Series 2, Landy R. Hales, Inc., 1927-1929, 1944, consists of of invoices, orders, and check stubs from R.H. Macy and Company and Gimbel Brothers, Inc. for work by Landy R. Hales, Inc. for window displays. The orders detail what will be constructed and decorated. The R.H. Macy materials also contain a 1927 souvenir from Macy's Wonderland Christmas. Included in this series is a 1944 United States Treasury Department War Finance Program citation to Landy R. Hales.

Series 3, Hales Layer Poster Corporation, 1922-1969 (bulk 1920s), consists of materials documenting Hales poster company. Hales's formed Hales Layer Poster Corporation in New York State on July 16, 1925 to manufacture, purchase, sell and deal in layer posters and equipment for constructing layer posters in packaged or other forms. The corporation's other directors were Alfred J. Silberstein and Alvin A. Silberman, both of New York. Hales developed a new method of making a poster by placing cut-out pieces of materials such as composition board or wood on a background, then building layers to form three dimensions in the finished product. The first store to use Hales layer posters was Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. The posters were never sold and were only used in advertising and window displays.

The materials consist of stock shares and values, a certificate of incorporation, branded letterhead, correspondence, an order book (blank forms), a point-of-purchase ad featuring Little Red Riding Hood, a patent for a display device, layer poster instructions, examples of posters, sample card stock, and instructions for the ABCD Ease Game. The display device patent (US 1,563,485) was issued to Hales on December 1, 1925. The invention relates to display devices for commercial advertising arrangements constructed out of layers of veneer or cardboard for reproducing and illustrating articles for sale, magazines, posters or art works. The principal object was to provide a display picture having depth. The correspondence, 1922-1937, 1969 and undated, contains letters with individuals companies, hotels, and department stores primarily in New York City such as B.F. Keith's New York Hippodrome, Saks & Company, Hotel Nassau, Keystone Manufacturing Company, and Rialto Theatre. Much of the correspondence relates to services provided by Hales Layer Poster Corporation. Hales's correspondence with Morris Gest, a theatrical producer who introduced La Chauve-Souris, a touring revue during the early 1900s, to the United States. There is also a letter typewritten by Hales in 1969 to Pablo Picasso about copying Picasso prints using the Hales layer poster method.

The instructions for "how to make" a Hales layer poster are well documented, detailing the step-by-step process and including the use of Hales Studio colors for painting. Specific instructions for the "Tom, Tom Piper's Son" with color guide are found here. A full, unused layer poster kit is in box 14. Additionally, Hales created the ABCD Ease Game, a board game played with dice with the objective to reach "ease." The way to reach "Ease" is through truth, courage, justice, thrift, study, work, loyalty, and honesty. Instructions and prototypes of the gameboard are represented.

Series 4, Hales Manikins, Inc., 1938-1948 and undated, consists of correspondence, a voting trust agreement, board of directors meeting minutes, stock shares, a floor plan for the company, blueprints for rubber figures, and a patent for a manikin and method of making the same (US 2,129,421). Hales Maninikin incorporated in 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland to manufacture, distribute, sell and otherwise deal in manikins and other display advertising figures. The board of directors meeting minutes contain articles of incorporation, by-laws, and minutes.

Series 5, Hales Pictures, Inc., 1937-1938, 1967 and undated, consists of an agreement with Walt Disney Enterprises, sketches by Kay Kamen, Ltd., a press release about Hales Picture Puzzles, and prototypes of Hales Puzzle Pictures. Of note is a copy of the February 1938 Rockefeller Center Magazine. The magazine contains articles about science, technology, publishing, the arts, events at Radio City Music Hall (Disney-related) and television. It offers good documentation of office business machines.

The first series of puzzles Hales introduced in 1937 were four subjects from Walt Disney's characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Donald Duck. The object of the puzzle was to put all of the pieces together in their proper place--some of the puzzle pieces were raised to different levels. After the puzzle was completed, it could be glued to a backboard. There are prototypes for the Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck puzzles. Only the Mickey and Minnie puzzles contain puzzle pieces. The Donald Duck puzzle consists of the box only.

In August 1937, Hales Pictures Inc., entered into a one year agreement with Walt Disney Enterprises that granted Hales the right to reproduce Disney characters for his puzzles and poster pictures. Hales paid Disney the sum of five-hundred dollars as an advance on future royalties. Disney also provided to Hales typical representations of the Disney characters. There are a series of Kay Kamen Ltd., Disney character drawings for Pluto, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse. These drawings were provided to Hales by Kamen. The Minnie and Mickey Mouse drawings have been heavily annotated and mocked up by Hales for the purposes of creating his signature Hales Puzzle Pictures. Kamen (d. 1949) began his professional career as a retail hat merchant and later entered advertising. In 1932, Kamen contacted Disney, soon signed a contract, and was named the company's sole licensing representative. Through merchandising, Kamen made Disney's mouse star popular.

Series 6, Hales Sign Company, 1909 and undated, consists of examples of promotional and branded pieces for Hales's sign painting business that was located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Series 7, Drawings/Sketches, 1927-1930 and undated, consists of pencil, ink and paint sketches. The bulk of the sketches are Christmas-related, such as the poster study for the Macy's Christmas Wonderland, 1927 and the toy department displays for a bridge, drawbridge, house and tower. Other sketches include Noah's Ark, a matador, the "The Wise Woman of Gotham," Carlin's Amusement Park of Baltimore, Maryland, and resort scenes (tennis, golf and sailing).

Series 8, Photographs, 1925-1935, consists primarily of black-and-white prints documenting Hales's work in his studio and for clients such as Macy's. Some of the photographs were taken by Worsinger Window Service, Hughes Company of Baltimore, Le Don Studio of White Plains, New York; Apeda Studio, Inc. of New York City; Schultze Studio of Brooklyn, New York, and H.C. Campbell Company of Oakland, California.

Series 9, Greeting Cards, undated, consists of examples of greeting cards and postcards, primarily for Christmas, Easter, and Valentines Day, assembled by Hales.

Series 10, Clippings, 1922-1935, consists of loose photocopies and original news and magazine clippings in a bound volume. The clippings primarily relate to Hales's work in New York City, but there are clippings about The Corner Shop at Macy's, and there are copies of illustrations assembled by Hales, specifically the "Best Fifty Small Folio Currier and Ives Prints. " The majority of these he clipped from the New York Sun. Also included are clippings about La Chauve-Souris the touring revue during the early 1900s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1, Brillant Sign Company, 1908-1909

Series 2, Landy R. Hales, Inc., 1927-1929, 1944

Series 3, Hales Layer Poster Corporation, 1922-1969 (bulk 1920s)

Series 4, Hales Manikins, Inc., 1938-1948 and undated

Series 5, Hales Pictures, Inc., 1937-1938, 1967 and undated

Series 6, Hales Sign Company, 1909 and undated

Series 7, Drawings/Sketches, 1927-1930 and undated

Series 8, Photographs, 1925-1935

Series 9, Greeting Cards, undated

Series 10, Clippings, 1922-1935
Biographical / Historical:
Landy R. Hales was born on September 17, 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland to Landy J. Hales and Fanny Linthicum Hales. Hales grew up in Anne Arundel, Maryland and had one brother, Wesley Hales. Hales began his career with no formal art training and apprenticed as a sign painter in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1908, Hales formed the Brilliant Sign Company in Baltimore to design displays for area businesses. In 1913, Hales married Lenore McCully. They had two children, Elizabeth McCully Hales (b. 1915) and Landy Romain Hales (b. 1921).

During World War I, Hales designed posters for the Liberty Bond Program, created by then Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941). This poster campaign was intended to popularize the bonds, and Hales created posters using his "layer technique," which was a method of making a poster by placing cut-out pieces of materials such as composition board or wood on a background, then building layers to form three dimensions in the finished product. In the early 1920s, Hales moved to New York City to advance his career and expand his opportunities. In New York, Hales specialized in display devices, commercial art, and advertising. An artist-inventor, Hales patented two ideas, a display device (US Patent 1,563,485) and a manikin (US Patent 2,129,421). He founded Landy R. Hales, Inc. (1925), Hales Layer Poster Corporation (1925), Hales Manikins, Inc. (1941), and Hales Pictures, Inc. 1937. In 1937, Hales Pictures Inc., entered into a one-year agreement with Walt Disney Enterprises that granted Hales the right to reproduce Disney characters for his puzzles and poster pictures. During the same year, Hales leased office space at Rockefeller Center.

Hales worked for Morris Gest, a theatrical producer, creating advertising for the Russian show Le Chauve Sourvis which featured the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. Hales also manufactured and installed mechanical displays in Macy's Christmas windows at 34th Street and worked as an independent contractor for other department stores such as Gimbel Brothers and Saks & Company as well as the Hotel Nassau, Keystone Manufacturing Company, Rialto Theater, Keith's New York Hippodrome, and the Music Box Theatre.

Hales left New York City in 1945 and returned to Maryland, where he did commercial work for Carlin's Amusement Park in Baltimore and created layer posters for himself and family members. Hales died in 1972 at the age of 84.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Parades:stereographs, circa 1880-1908 (AC0060)

Messmore and Damon Company Records, 1930s-1990s (AC0846)

Hudson Fulton Celebration Parade Photograph Album, 1909 (AC1149)

William L. Bird "Holidays on Display" Collection (AC1288)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Katharine Landa McNulty Hogben, Frances Helen McNulty Beverage, Margaret Ann McNulty Klipp, Lenore Hales McNulty Frey, and Elizabeth Stuart McNulty on November 27, 2005.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is 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 copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Games  Search this
Display of merchandise  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Store decoration  Search this
Parades  Search this
Parade floats  Search this
Show windows  Search this
Packaging  Search this
Parade float designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Design drawings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Photographs -- 20th century
Clippings
Citation:
Landy R. Hales Papers, 1908-1969, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0906
See more items in:
Landy R. Hales Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0906
Online Media:

Ralph H. Baer Papers

Creator:
Baer, Ralph H., 1922-2014  Search this
Extent:
16 Cubic feet (44 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
Cd-roms
Diagrams
Drawings
Interviews
Videotapes
Correspondence
Sketches
Photographs
Oral history
Notes
Manuals
Date:
1943 - 2015
Summary:
Ralph H. Baer was a German-born ordnance specialist, inventor, and engineer. He was a pioneer of early videogame technology. The papers include autobiographical materials; firearms notes, manuscripts, and photographs; and videogame and television engineering notes, diagrams, schematics, and video documentation.
Scope and Contents:
The Ralph Baer Papers include autobiographical materials and an extended oral history interview. The Papers also include materials about military small arms created by Baer during his World War II service. The largest portion of the collection documents Baer's work on video games.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 12 series.

Series 1: Autobiographical Documents, 1962-2006

Subseries 1.1: Manuscript, book and other documents, 1962-2006

Subseries 1.2: Other Media: CDs, VHS videos, periodical, 1991, 2000-2003

Series 2: WW II Small Arms Documents, 1943-1953

Subseries 2.1: Correspondence, 1950-1953

Subseries 2.2: Writings and notes, 1943-1948

Subseries 2.3: Drawings and schematics, undated

Subseries 2.4: Manuals and encyclopedias, 1943

Subseries 2.5: Photographs, 1945

Series 3: Hans Otto Mauksch Materials, 1944-1964

Subseries 3.1: Personal background information, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1964

Subseries 3.2: Instructional materials, 1944-1946, undated

Subseries 3.3: Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1946, 1953

Series 4: TV Game Documents, 1966-1972

Subseries 4.1: Working notes, diagrams and schematics, 1966-1971

Subseries 4.2: Administrative documents, 1966-1972 Subseries 4.3: Notebooks, 1966-1968

Subseries 4.4: TV game development documentation, 1966-1968

Series 5: Sanders Associates, Transitron, and Van Norman Industries, 1952-2003

Series 6: Product Development Documents, 1974-2015

Series 7: Product Guides and Technical Support, 1943-2011

Series 8: Legal and Patent Documents, 1966-2014

Series 9: Writings and Notes, 1946-1999

Series 10: Miscellaneous, 1961-2012

Series 11: Correspondence, 1983-2014

Series 12: Publicity and Awards, 1979-2015
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph H. Baer (1922-2014) was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1938. A graduate of the National Radio Institute (1940), Baer worked as a radio technician in the New York City area, servicing all types of home and auto radios. During World War II, Baer served in the United States Army, one year stateside, and two years in Europe. He was assigned to Military Intelligence and became an expert on military small arms. Baer returned to the United States with eighteen tons of foreign small arms for use in exhibits at Aberdeen, Maryland; Springfield, Massachusetts Armory; and Ft. Riley, Kansas.

After the war, Baer attended the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago, graduating with a BS in television engineering. In 1949, Baer joined a small electro medical equipment firm, Wappler, Inc., as their chief engineer. He designed and built surgical cutting machines, epilators, and low frequency pulse generating muscle-toning equipment. In 1951, Baer moved to Loral Electronics of Bronx, New York as a senior engineer, designing power line carrier signaling equipment for IBM. During 1952-1956, Baer worked at Transitron, Inc., in New York City as a chief engineer and later as vice president. In 1956, Baer joined Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire building airborne radar components. He became manager of the Electronic Design Department at Sanders and eventually Division Manager and Chief Engineer for Equipment Design. Baer retired in 1987.

At Sanders in 1966, Baer began an independent project experimenting with ways for consumers to interact with standard home television sets. Development of interactive TV Game (TVG) ideas became a company-supported project continued by Baer and assisted by William H. Harrison and William T. Rusch (download the TV Game chronology prepared by Ralph Baer in 2006). By mid-1967, ping pong videogames were played inside Sanders, patent disclosures were applied for, and hardware was designed. Baer and his associates called the devices they were developing "boxes" and numbered the various versions one through seven. In 1971, Magnavox became Sanders Associates's first videogame licensee. Between 1972 and 1975, Magnavox produced and sold over 700,000 units of Odyssey, a set of games played on its television receivers. Atari became a licensee in 1976 after the first of many lawsuits won by Sanders in pursuit of patent infringements.

During his tenure at Sanders and thereafter, Baer was a prolific inventor. His creations included many electronic toys and games and other consumer electronic products. Among the better known products based on Baer's work are Milton Bradley's Simon, Galoob's Smarty Bear Video, and Kenner's Laser Command. In 2004 President George W. Bush awarded Baer the National Medal of Technology.

Baer married Dena Whinston in 1952 and they had three children, James, Mark, and Nancy. Ralph Baer died on December 6, 2014, at the age of 92.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Ralph H. Baer Innovative Lives Presentation, August 15, 2009 (AC1179)

The presentation documents a moderated conversation about Baer's life and work. Baer reenacts, with his partner William Harrison, the first time he played "Odyssey," the first home video game for the consumer market, which he invented, and answers questions from the audience. Materials include original video (born digital), master videos, and reference videos.

Materials at Other Organizations

Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong

Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1968-2010 inclusive; 1975-1998 bulk

The Ralph H. Baer papers are a compilation of correspondence, game designs, drawings, notes, reference materials, photographs, product descriptions, digital videos, schematics, electronic components, and manuals utilized by Ralph H. Baer throughout his lengthy career in the toy and game industry. The bulk of the materials are from 1975 through 1998.

U.S. Ordnance Museum, Fort Lee, Virginia

Materials consist of data on foreign small arms brought back from Europe in 1946 by Ralph H. Baer.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

Holdings include set of seven recreations of "TV game" prototypes originally created between 1966 and 1969, donated by pioneering game developer Ralph Baer. One of Baer's game prototypes, known as the "Brown Box," was licensed by Magnavox and released in 1972 as the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's first commercial home video game console.

University of Texas, Austin, Briscoe Center for American History

Ralph H. Baer "Brown Box" replica, 1952-1983, 2006-2012

The Ralph H. Baer "Brown Box" replica includes a fully-functional replica of Ralph Baer's "Brown Box," the prototype video game console that was used as the basis of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. The collection also contains related research materials.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection including early video game prototypes and TV Game products.

TV Game Unit #1 (TVG#1); 1966; vacuum tube spot generator with Heathkit IG-62 Generator (See Accession 2006.0102.01)

Heathkit IG-62; used with TVG #1 (See Accession 2006.0102.02)

TV Game Unit #2 (TVG #2), aka the "Pump Unit," 1967; large aluminum chassis with wooden "pump" handle (See Accession 2006.0102.03)

TV Game Unit #7 (TVG#7), aka "Brown Box," 1967/1968; prototype for Magnavox Odyssey (See Accession 2006.0102.04)

Cardboard program cards for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.05)

Lightgun, 1967/1968; game accessory for Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.06)

TV Game Unit #8, 1968; "de/dt" (velocity responsive) ballgame chassis for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.07)

Magnavox Odyssey (Model ITL200) video game unit, 1972; with all accessories in the original carton (See Accession 2006.0102.08)

Milton-Bradley Company SIMON handheld microprocessor-control game, 1978 (See Accession 2006.0102.09)

Ideal Toy Company MANIAC microprocessor-control game, 1979, in original box with game instructions (See Accession 2006.0102.10)

Golf Game accessory, 1968; golf ball mounted on joystick handle for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.11

"Brown Box" programming card, target shooting, 1967 (See Accession 2006.0102.12)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Ralph H. Baer in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
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. Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Books  Search this
Firearms  Search this
Games  Search this
Litigation  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Machine guns  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Weapons  Search this
Video games  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Television -- History  Search this
Rifles  Search this
Pistols  Search this
Military intelligence  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
CD-ROMs
Diagrams
Drawings -- 1940-1950
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Sketches
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Notes
Manuals -- 1940-1950
Citation:
Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1943-2015, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0854
See more items in:
Ralph H. Baer Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0854
Online Media:

Janese Swanson Innovative Lives Presentation and Oral History

Topic:
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Interviewee:
Swanson, Jackie  Search this
Swanson, Janese  Search this
Names:
Girltech  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (4 boxes,)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Videotapes
Interviews
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1998
Summary:
Janese Swanson developed video game software, a website, and an array of toys and gadgets aimed at making technology more accessible to girls. The collection contains approximately six hours of original and reference video footage of Swanson's Innovative Lives Presentation, in which she discussed her background and demonstrated her inventions with her daughter, Jackie. The material also includes a brief interview.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains six (6) hours of original (BetaCam SP) recordings, six (6) hours of master (BetaCam SP) recordings, and six (6) hours of reference (VHS) copies documenting the life and work of Dr. Janese Swanson, inventor of toys, books, a website, magazine, and software. This video documentation was created on March 25, 1998. The recordings include a presentation by Swanson for the Lemelson Center's Innovative Lives Program. Audience participants are students from Thoreau Middle School (Vienna, Virginia), Options Charter School (Washington, D.C.), Carrollton Elementary School (New Carrollton, Maryland), and Rosa Parks Middle School (Olney, Maryland). The collection also contains a brief interview with Dr. Swanson.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into three series.

Series 1, Original Videos, 1998

Series 2, Master Videos, 1998

Series 3, Reference Videos (viewing copies), 1998

Series 4, Photographs and Slides, 1998
Biographical / Historical:
Janese Swanson, a native of California, was the founder and CEO of Girl Tech (1995), a company created to bring girls into the world of technology. The second of six children, Swanson was raised by her mother after her father died in the Vietnam War. From a young age, Swanson had an interest in technology, often tinkering with household appliances. Building on her experience as a flight attendant and school teacher, Swanson served on the team at Broderbund Software that developed the video game Where in the World Is Carmen Sandiego? She produced Playroom and Treehouse, early learning software, and has developed award-winning curricula, electronic toys, and books that encourage girls to explore technology and inventions. Some of Swanson's toy inventions include the Snoop Stopper Keepsake Box, Me-Mail Message Center, Zap N' Lock Journal, YakBak, and Swap-It Locket. Her publications include Tech Girl's Internet Adventures, Tech Girl's Activity Book, and Girlzine: A Magazine for the Global Girl. Swanson received her Ed.D. in Organization and Leadership Technology in 1997 from the University of San Francisco.

The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center's mission is to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together museum visitors and, especially, school aged children, and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Provenance:
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation in 1998.
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. Copies of oral history releases on file.
Topic:
Computer software -- Development  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Photographs
Slides (photographs) -- 20th century
Citation:
Janese Swanson Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0642
See more items in:
Janese Swanson Innovative Lives Presentation and Oral History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0642
Online Media:

Ebony Mag[azine] series Rev[erend] Williams & son [cellulose acetate photonegative]

Photographer:
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Creator:
Eastman Kodak Company (film manufacturer)  Search this
Names:
Williams Rev  Search this
Subseries Creator:
Scurlock, Robert S. (Saunders), 1917-1994  Search this
Custom Craft  Search this
Scurlock, Addison N., 1883-1964  Search this
Scurlock, George H. (Hardison), 1919-2005  Search this
Scurlock Studio (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Silver gelatin on cellulose acetate film sheet, 2.5" x 2.5".)
Culture:
African Americans -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Place:
Washington (D.C.) -- African Americans
Date:
undated
Scope and Contents:
No ink on negative. Portrait of Reverend Williams and his son. The child is wearing a cowboy hat and is holding a toy pistol, presumably a cap gun. "Discards do not print" on the original envelope. "KODAK SAFETY FILM" edge imprint.
Subseries Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives. Special arrangements required to view negatives due to cold storage. Using negatives requires a three hour waiting period. Contact the Archives Center at 202-633-3270.
Subseries Rights:
When the Museum purchased the collection from the Estate of Robert S. Scurlock, it obtained all rights, including copyright. The earliest photographs in the collection are in the public domain because their term of copyright has expired. The Archives Center will control copyright and the use of the collection for reproduction purposes, which will be handled in accordance with its standard reproduction policy guidelines. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Cowboys  Search this
Guns  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Acetate film
Subseries Citation:
Scurlock Studio Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Smithsonian Institution
See more items in:
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.6: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by client
Scurlock Studio Records, Subseries 4.6: Black and white negatives in cold storage arranged by client / 4.6.1: Black and white negatives Part 1 / Ebony Magazine Series
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0618-s04-06-ref27369

Sousa's Junior Band. [Active no. 5203 : stereo photonegative.]

Topic:
CHILD LIFE
Publisher:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
H.C. White Co.  Search this
Collection Creator:
Underwood & Underwood  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (3-3/4" x 7".)
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Stereoscopic photographs
Scope and Contents:
Image of five children with toy or makeshift musical instruments, including pans and sticks, standing in front of a house.
Arrangement:
Formerly stored in box 1.1.30 [159], moved from [151].
Local Numbers:
AC0143-0005455 (AC Scan No.)

RSN 5455
General:
Original no., 3-B.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. The original glass plate is available for inspection if necessary in the Archives Center. A limited number of fragile glass negatives and positives in the collection can be viewed directly in the Archives Center by prior appointment. Contact the Archives Center for information at archivescenter@si.edu or 202-633-3270.
Collection 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:
Bands (Music) -- 1900-1910.  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Children  Search this
Dwellings  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 1900-1910 -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Stereoscopic photographs
Collection Citation:
Underwood &Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection
Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection / Series 1: H. C. White glass plates / 1.1: H.C. White Negatives / RSN Numbers 5436-5533
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0143-ref5396
Online Media:

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