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Brannock Device Company Records

Creator:
Park-Brannock.  Search this
Park, Ernest N.  Search this
Brannock, Otis C.  Search this
Brannock, Charles F., 1903-1992  Search this
Brannock Device Company.  Search this
Names:
Selby Shoe Company  Search this
United States. Armed Forces -- Supplies and stores  Search this
United States. Army -- Supplies and stores  Search this
Extent:
12 Cubic feet (34 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Patents
Trademarks
Slides (photographs)
Advertisements
Sales records
Photographs
Photographic prints
Filmstrips
Design drawings
Date:
1925 - 1998
Summary:
The Brannock Device Company began with the 1925 invention of the Brannock Device, a tool to measure foot length and width at the same time, by inventor and businessman Charles F. Brannock. Early in his career Brannock worked as a shoe salesman at the Park-Brannock shoe store, and in 1962 he became the CEO of the company. This collection documents both the Park-Brannock store and the Brannock Device. Materials in The Brannock Device Company Records, 1925-1998, include of correspondence, design drawings, United States and foreign patents and trademarks, advertisements, product information, sales records, photographs, and a film strip documenting the invention, promotion, and sale of the Brannock Device as well as the concurrent development of Park-Brannock as a leading shoe store in Syracuse, N.Y.
Scope and Contents:
The Brannock Device Company Records, 1925-1998, consist of correspondence, design drawings, United States and foreign patents and trademarks, advertisements, product information, sales records, photographs, and a film strip documenting the invention, promotion, and sale of the Brannock Device as well as the concurrent development of Park-Brannock as a leading shoe store in Syracuse, NY. The collection is useful to researchers for its stories of invention and entrepreneurship and its exemplification of the patent and trademark process in the United States and internationally in the early 20th century. The process of manufacturing and marketing in the shoe industry, and manufacturing of military supplies during World War II is also highlighted.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into two subgroups.

Subgroup 1, The Brannock Device Company, 1925-1998

Series 1: Historical Background, 1928-1995

Series 2: Operational Records, 1926-1980

Subseries 1: Book for Recording Devices on Hand, 1927-1929

Subseries 2: Correspondence, 1926-1951

Subseries 3: Census, 1947-1980

Subseries 4: Insurance Inventory, 1956

Subseries 5: Royalties Accrued, 1946-1951

Subseries 6: Time Records, 1952-1958

Subseries 7: Notes, undated

Series 3: Product Development Records, 1925-1981

Subseries 1: Competitors' Devices and Other Products, c. 1928-1981

Subseries 2: Fitting Stool, 1936-1947

Subseries 3: Design, 1925-1975

Subseries 4: Manufacture, 1927-1959

Series 4: Advertising and Marketing Records, 1926-1998

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1926-1998

Subseries 2: Mailing Lists, 1947-1950

Subseries 3: Ideas and Copy, undated

Subseries 4: Printed Materials with the Brannock Device Name (stationery, business cards, leases), undated

Subseries 5: Advertisements and Product Information, 1934-1980

Subseries 6: Measuring Device Instructions, undated

Subseries 7: Advertising and Merchandising Plans, 1938-1956

Series 5: Sales and Distribution Records, 1925-1986

Subseries 1: United States--Private Sector, 1925-1973

Subseries 2: United States--Military, 1928-1972

Subseries 3: Foreign, 1937-1986

Series 6: Photographs, c. 1930-1997

Subseries 1: Personal, undated

Subseries 2: Foot-Measuring Devices, undated

Subseries 3: Military, undated

Subseries 4: Employees and Factory, undated

Subseries 5: Negatives of Brannock Device, 1933-1958

Subgroup 2, Park-Brannock Shoe Store Records, 1916-1918, 1927-1981

Series 1: Historical Background, 1936-1981

Series 2: Operational Records, 1936-1972

Subseries 1: Financial Materials, 1936-1972

Subseries 2: Financial Materials, 1937-1961

Subseries 3: Business Course Tailored to Park-Brannock, undated

Subseries 4: Business Course Tailored to Park-Brannock, 1935-1961

Subseries 5: New York City Business Trips, 1945-1952

Subseries 6: Miscellaneous Notes, undated

Series 3: Advertising and Marketing Records, 1933-1962

Series 4: Sales Records, 1916-1977

Subseries 1: Customer Correspondence, 1928-1977

Subseries 2: Supplier Correspondence, 1927-1944

Subseries 3: Florsheim Sales Instruction Manual, undated

Subseries 4: Inventories, 1961

Subseries 5: Promotions, undated

Subseries 6: Receipts, 1916-1918

Subseries 7: Sales Floor Management, undated

Series 5: Photographs, 1932-1967
Biographical / Historical:
The Brannock Device Company began with the 1925 invention of the Brannock Device by Charles F. Brannock. Charles Brannock was working as a salesman in the Park-Brannock shoe store, co-owned by his father Otis C. Brannock and Ernest N. Park, in Syracuse, New York when he saw the need for an improved foot-measuring device. The Brannock Device soon gained favor over size-sticks because it measured foot length and width at the same time. Additionally, it measured heel-to-ball length, a feature which aided in fitting heeled shoes.

Charles F. Brannock (1903-1992) was an inventor and businessman. He began tinkering with the idea of a new foot-measuring device while attending Syracuse University, where he would get up in the middle of the night and work on sketches and calculations. Brannock obtained a patent for the device on August 28, 1928, but by then manufacture and sale of the device was already underway. Brannock assembled the device in the Park-Brannock shoe store and gave the device a trial on the sales floor. In 1926, Charles Brannock began offering the device to shoe retailers first on a rental basis and then by sale through the use of salesmen who lived throughout the country and each covered a geographic area. By 1929, the company began to phase out salesmen because it offered quantity discounts to shoe companies which distributed the devices to their stores at a lower price than salesmen could offer.

Brannock sold his device internationally beginning in 1929 through Mr. I. Singer of London, England. In 1936 distribution rights transferred to Henry Maitland Marler of Feature Shoes Limited of London, an affiliate of the Selby Shoe Company. Renewing and protecting foreign trademarks proved to be a legal challenge. Due to some confusion, Brannock's British patent was allowed to lapse. In order to prevent other companies from using the Brannock name in England, H.M. Marler set up Brannock Fitting Device Limited in October 1937. The company began manufacturing Brannock Devices in January 1946, but royalties accrued through European sale by 1951 did not even cover a third of the cost of trademarks, patents, and designs.

Fortunately for the Brannock Device Company, these costs were absorbed by the Selby Shoe Company, with whom it had entered into agreements about foreign distribution in November 1941. Selby had exclusive rights to distribute the Brannock Device in South America, South Africa, and other countries, and assisted Brannock in securing trademarks in many foreign countries.

In 1933 a United States Navy captain asked a shoe salesman to find the source of many sailors' foot problems. The salesman, after measuring sailors' feet with the Brannock device, declared that the Navy shoe was not the cause of the problem; the sailors were simply wearing the wrong size shoes. The captain was so happy that he would not have to order special shoes for his men that he wrote an article in the July 1933 issue of United States Naval Institute Proceedings which described how the Brannock Device had eliminated foot troubles aboard the ship. This gave Brannock an opportunity to promote his device in the Navy by sending the article to other ships. He calibrated his device for use in other branches of the military and by World War II the Brannock Device was being used by most of the armed forces. Several articles were written about the greater foot comfort enjoyed by the military after the introduction of the device. Charles Brannock was proud of his small but widespread role in the war effort and in the comfort of America's enlisted men and women.

Through the years Charles Brannock developed many different models of his device, including the women's, men's, junior, growing girl's, athletic, ski-boot, and military models. In 1947, Brannock moved the device company to a machine shop at 509 East Fayette Street in Syracuse, where it remained for 50 years.

Brannock advertised both the store and the device in local papers, and the device in trade literature such as Boot and Shoe Recorder. He encouraged other shoe stores to promote themselves by using the device in their advertising. He also attended the annual National Shoe Fair in Chicago from 1938 to 1968 in order to promote the device as well as learn about shoe-fashion trends for the Park-Brannock shoe store.

Concurrently, Charles Brannock also played a significant role in the Park-Brannock shoe store. His father, Otis C. Brannock and Ernest N. Park founded Park-Brannock in 1906 in a small store at 321 South Salina Street, focusing on women's shoes. In February 1937, they moved to a three-story building at 427 South Salina Street. Finally, in 1946, a six-story store was built at 473-475 South Salina Street through 129 East Onondaga Street. While waiting for the newest store to be built, Park-Brannock temporarily moved to the Chimes Building at 510-512 South Salina Street and 113 West Onondaga Street. Park-Brannock gained fame in Syracuse for a wide selection of men's, women's and children's shoes, handbags, millinery, hose, and accessories. In an advertisement, the store declared itself "one of America's finest shoe stores." The design of the two newer stores was state-of-the-art, and Park-Brannock was featured in shoe magazine articles. For example, the men's department was designed to look like a great room inside a ship. Charles Brannock became the CEO of Park-Brannock after both his father and Ernest Park died in 1962. Park-Brannock closed its doors in 1981, after the Hotel Syracuse offered to purchase the property for its new Hilton Tower.

Charles Brannock died on November 22, 1992, at the age of 89. The company was purchased in 1993 from the Brannock Estate by Salvatore Leonardi. Leonardi continues to manufacture Brannock devices in a small factory in Liverpool, New York. Over a million Brannock Devices have been manufactured, and it remains the shoe industry standard
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

Artifacts (several Brannock Devices and competitors' devices) are in the Division of Culture and the Arts and the Division of Armed Forces History.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History by Salvatore Leonardi on November 4, 1998.
Restrictions:
This 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.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945 -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Show-windows -- New York -- Syracuse  Search this
Shoes -- Sizes  Search this
Shoe industry -- New York -- Syracuse  Search this
Shoes -- Fitting  Search this
Shoe machinery  Search this
Foot -- Measurement  Search this
Design, Industrial -- New York -- Syracuse  Search this
Military supplies  Search this
Measuring instruments industry  Search this
Measuring instruments  Search this
Genre/Form:
Patents
Trademarks
Slides (photographs)
Advertisements
Sales records
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 1890-1920
Photographs -- 20th century
Photographic prints
Filmstrips
Design drawings
Citation:
Brannock Device Company Records, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0672
See more items in:
Brannock Device Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0672
Online Media:

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection

Collector:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Donor:
Gay Officers Action League. GOAL  Search this
Becker, John M.  Search this
Gay Officers Action League. GOAL  Search this
Heritage of Pride (HOP)  Search this
Rohrbaugh, Richard  Search this
American Federation of Teachers  Search this
Department of Defense, Comprehensive Review Working Group  Search this
Gay Officers Action League. GOAL  Search this
Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland  Search this
ONE National Gay and Lesbian Archives  Search this
San Diego LGBT Pride  Search this
Servicemembers Legal Defense Network  Search this
Smith College  Search this
University of Connecticut  Search this
William Way Community Center  Search this
Biren, Joan E.  Search this
Bushnell, Megan  Search this
Davidson, James, Dr.  Search this
Dietrich, Joe  Search this
Exline, Gregory  Search this
Florence, Laura  Search this
Huebner, David  Search this
Jain, Shawn  Search this
Karazsia, Amy  Search this
Karazsia, William G.  Search this
Lombardi, Angela  Search this
Lynch, Patsy  Search this
Meinke, Mark  Search this
Nitz, Ryan  Search this
Reichard, Bradley  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959-  Search this
Ros, Silvia  Search this
Sabatino, Michael  Search this
Shannon, Michael A.  Search this
Sheets, Justin  Search this
Snodgrass, Adam  Search this
Voorheis, Robert  Search this
Creator:
Hirsch, Leonard  Search this
Guest, Barbara  Search this
Barna, Joseph T.  Search this
Guest, Michael E.  Search this
Other:
Larson, Gordon P., 1910-1988 -- 20th century  Search this
Names:
McWaine, Dwayne, Dr.  Search this
Extent:
59 Cubic feet (179 boxes, 20 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Passports
Postcards
Photographs
Posters
Videocassettes
Advertising
Dvds
Songbooks
Periodicals
Place:
Canada -- Description and Travel
Germany -- description and travel
Amsterdam (Netherlands)
Washington, D.C. -- history
Los Angeles (Calif.)
New York, New York
Date:
1915-2020, undated
bulk 1960-2019
Summary:
This collection contains a variety of periodicals, photographs, correspondence, business and advertising ephemera (corporate and non-profit, personal), organizational records and ephemera, created by, for, and in reaction to the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community.
Scope and Contents:
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection contains periodicals, ephemera, posters, postcards, advertisements, photographs, organizational records, publications, correspondence, and other materials related to all aspects of the LGBT community and the civil rights issues pertaining thereto. The collection was created by the Archives Center to bring together materials specifically pertaining to the LGBT community. This collection contains material from communities and individuals throughout the United States. The collection is currently strongest in periodicals, newspapers and ephemera and very strong in material from California and New York. The collection continues to add new items and the researcher would be wise to take a broad view in targeting their research topics in the collection.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into twenty-four series.

Series 1: Periodicals, 1937-2018

Series 2: Agencies, Associations, and Organizations, 1984-2018, undated

Series 3: Community Life and Subject Files, 1915-2018, undated

Subseries 3.1: Photographs and Slides, 1915-1980, undated

Subseries 3.2: Ephemera and Buttons, 1969-2018, undated

Subseries 3.3: Posters and Prints, 1972-2018, undated

Subseries 3.4: Subject Files, 1958-2018, undated

Subseries 3.5: Pride, 1976-2018, undated

Subseries 3.6: HIV and AIDS, 1987-2017, undated

Series 4: Advertising, Business, and Publications, 1970-2018, undated

Subseries 4.1: Advertising, 1970-2018, undated

Subseries 4.2: Business, 1998-2017, undated

Subseries 4.3: Television, Theater, and Motion Pictures, 1978-2018, undated

Subseries 4.4: Bar ephemera and advertisement, 1979-2018, undated

Subseries 4.5: Publications, 1976-2018, undated

Series 5: Biren, Joan E. (JEB), 195-2018, undated

Subseries 5.1: Xerographic Copies of Photoprints, 1971-1995, undated.

Subseries 5.2: Posters and Oversize Advertisement, 1973-2018, undated

Series 6: Dietrich, Joseph A., 1992-2010

Series 7: Mattachine Society Records, 1942-1996, undated

Subseries 7.1: Correspondence, 1952-1991, undated

Subseries 7.2: Board of Directors Minutes, 1954-1974, undated

Subseries 7.3: Organizational Information, 1942-1993, undated

Subseries 7.4: Councils, Chapters, and Committees, 1953-1965, undated

Subseries 7.5: Conventions, 1953-1960, undated

Subseries 7.6: Publications, 1944-1996, undated

Series 8: Rainbow History Community Pioneers, 2003-2012, undated

Series 9: Strub, Sean O., addendum, 1987-2011, undated

Series 10: Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Baltimore (GLCCB, 1990-2014, undated

Series 11: Ros, Silvia, 2009-2011

Series 12: Huebner, David, 2009-2014

Series 13: St. George, Philip, 1945-1955, undated

Series 14: Will & Grace, 1995-2006

Series 15: Barna, Joseph T. and Heritage of Pride (HOP), New York, New York, 1910-2014, undated

Subseries 15.1: Photographs, Photographic Negatives, and Slides, 1985-2010, undated

Subseries 15.2: Heritage of Pride (HOP), 1984-2014, undated

Subseries 15.3: Barna, Joseph T., 1910-2013, undated,

Series 16: Becker, John M., 1999-2014, undated

Series 17: Rohrbaugh, Richard, 1972-1986, undated

Series 18: Guest, Michael E., 2001-2009

Series 19: The Fosters, 2013

Series 20: Pride at Work, 1990-2015

Series 21: Sabatino, Michael and Voorheis, Robert, 1980-2016, undated

Subseries 21.1: Archilla, Gustavo A. and Lokkins, Elmer T., 1916-2014, undated

Series 22: Gay Officers Action League (GOAL), 1982-2016, undated

Series 23: Brown, Adele "Del" and Herizon's Bar, 1985-1991, undated

Subseries 1: Changing Herizons, and Herizons Newsletter, 1983-1991

Series 24: Universal Felloship Metropolitan Community Churches (UFMCC), 1957-2019, undated
Historical Note:
While the quest for equal rights has been pursued by generations, it is generally acknowledged that the modern day Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) civil rights movement began in New York City in June 1969 with the Stonewall Riots. Prior to this time a number of activists, individuals, and organizations such as The Mattachine Society, Daughters of Bilitis and others, fought to bring recognition of LGBT civil rights to the forefront of American society. While the movement was primarily, and most visually, centered in New York City and San Francisco, periodicals, guide books, and ephemeral material interconnected the larger LGBT community throughout the United States. The increased visibility of the LGBT movement inspired groups at odds with that new found visibility and call to action. The challenge to what was termed "traditional" values encouraged counter-LGBT groups to define and solidfy their constituency as well. This collection comprises material that is generated by individuals and organizations that have been on both sides of the question.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Michio and Aveline Kushi Macro-Biotics Collection (AC0619)

The Shamrock Bar: Photographs and Interviews (AC0857)

John-Manuel Andriote Victory Deferred Collection (AC1128)

Archives Center Wedding Documentation Collection (AC1131 )

Division of Science, Medicine, and Society HIV/AIDS Reference Collection (AC1134)

John-Manuel Andriote Hot Stuff: A Brief History of Disco Collection (AC1184)

Joan E. Biren (JEB) Queer Film Museum Collection (AC1216)

World AIDS Institute (WAI) Collection (AC1266)

Servicemembers Legal Defense Network (SLDN) Records (AC1282)

Helping Persons with AIDS (HPA) Records (AC1283)

DC Cowboys Dance Company Records (AC1312)

Bil Browning and Jerame Davis Papers (AC1334)

David Hadley Rockwell New York Disco Ephemera Collection (AC1342)

Leonard P. Hirsch Federal Globe Records (AC1357)

Corbett Reynolds Papers (AC1390)

Mark Segal Papers (AC1422)

The Mattachine Society of Washington "Love in Action" Collection (AC1428)

Academy of Washington Records (AC1458)

Matthew Shepard Papers (AC1463)

The Division of Political History holds artifacts related to gay activist Franklin Kameny and a variety of political buttons. They also hold LGBT related artifacts from Joan E. Biren (JEB).

The Division of Medical and Science holds objects donated from Dr. Renee Richards, Sean O. Strub, and Leonard Hirsch.

The Division of Entertainment and the Arts holds objects donated by The Fosters and Will & Grace.
Provenance:
This collection was assembled by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian, beginning in 2004.
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.

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: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.
Topic:
Women's music  Search this
Transgender people -- Identity  Search this
Sexual orientation  Search this
Political activists  Search this
Lesbianism  Search this
Lesbian and gay experience  Search this
Gay activists  Search this
Homosexuality  Search this
HIV and AIDS  Search this
Feminism  Search this
Bisexuality  Search this
Bars (Drinking establishments)  Search this
Gay Pride  Search this
Genre/Form:
Passports
Postcards
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Posters
Videocassettes
Advertising
DVDs
Photographs -- 20th century
Songbooks
Periodicals
Citation:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1146
See more items in:
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1146
Online Media:

Peter J. Bier Papers

Creator:
Bier, Peter J.  Search this
Source:
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Names:
Bureau of Reclamation.  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
3.3 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Technical drawings
Black-and-white photographs
Correspondence
Monographs
Blueprints
Technical manuals
Memorandums
Place:
Denver (Colo.)
Date:
1915-1970
bulk 1934-1959
Summary:
Peter J. Bier, born in Hungary, immigrated to the United States in 1904. Bier worked as an engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior from 1923-1954, and continued to work as a consultant in the field after retirement. The collection includes materials related to his work with the Bureau of Reclamation, including project materials, drawings, designs, and inspection reports and data, along with materials documenting his time as an engineering consultant.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents Bier's work with the Bureau of Reclamation on dams and power stations in the Pacific Northwest and Southwest regions of the United States and his contract work in the United States and Mexico. It includes project files, reports, correspondence, notes, blueprints, and technical drawings.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: Biographical, 1918-1965

Series 2: Articles, Manuals, and Research Materials, 1923-1970

Series 3: Bureau of Reclamation, 1915-1970

Subseries 3.1: Projects, 1934-1958

Subseries 3.2: Inspections and Testing, 1915-1954

Subseries 3.3: Technical Drawings and Designs, 1923-1970

Subseries 3.4: Employee Related Documents, 1950-1954

Series 4: Contract Work, 1954-1967
Biographical / Historical:
Peter J. Bier was born on April 22, 1884 in Ujnely, Hungary. He completed his college education at the State Technical School at Timisoara, Hungary. In 1904, Bier moved to the United States and in 1906 he started a job at Babcock and Wilcox Boiler Company. He worked for a series of companies as a draftsman and designer, and in 1923 he began working as an engineer for the Bureau of Reclamation in the Department of the Interior in Denver, Colorado. Bier specialized in steel pipes and penstocks, which are pipes that deliver water to hydraulic turbines, for various dams.

Over the course of Bier's career, he was involved with project planning for irrigation and power developments, hydraulic structures and equipment, and inspections of equipment. He later supervised the design, specifications, and inspections for penstocks and related equipment. Bier wrote inspection manuals, monographs, and articles related to penstock and pipe design. Upon his retirement from the Bureaus of Reclamation in 1954, he remained active in the field and traveled as an engineering consultant.
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition unknown.
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 copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Hydraulic engineering -- 1920-1960  Search this
Power stations -- Colorado  Search this
Dams -- Colorado  Search this
Engineers  Search this
Dams -- Mexico  Search this
Pipelines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Technical drawings
Black-and-white photographs
Correspondence -- 20th century
Monographs
Blueprints
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Memorandums -- 20th century
Citation:
Peter J. Bier Papers, 1915-1970, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0973
See more items in:
Peter J. Bier Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0973

Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records

Director:
Daniel, Pete  Search this
Interviewee:
Accardo, Paul  Search this
Aguirre, Gloria Olmos  Search this
Allen, David  Search this
Anderson, Adra  Search this
Anderson, Walter  Search this
Andrews, John William  Search this
Ardoin, Leslie  Search this
Bailey, Charles  Search this
Bailey, Howard Taft  Search this
Baird, George E., Jr.  Search this
Baronet, Joe  Search this
Bell, Walter M.  Search this
Bennett, Novella  Search this
Bennett, W.J.  Search this
Benson, Dick  Search this
Benton, Aubrey  Search this
Benton, Ina Belle  Search this
Blackstock, Tom  Search this
Blackstock, Velva  Search this
Blanchard, J.F.  Search this
Booth, Mrs. N.J.  Search this
Booth, N.J.  Search this
Bosselman, Willie  Search this
Bossleman, Norman  Search this
Bowman, Wilbert A.  Search this
Bradford, Nara N.  Search this
Bradford, Norwood)  Search this
Brantley, L.D.  Search this
Breaux, Jessie Al., Sr.  Search this
Brinkley, Johnnie  Search this
Brinkley, Lucile  Search this
Broussard, Sam  Search this
Brown, Gordon  Search this
Brown, Mamie  Search this
Bunting, Benny  Search this
Bunting, Joe  Search this
Burkett, Ben  Search this
Burkett, Bennie F.  Search this
Bush, Miller  Search this
Byers, Ruby  Search this
Byers, Sanford  Search this
Caesar, Clarence  Search this
Carline, Herman C.  Search this
Carnahan, Cotton  Search this
Carter, Ethel H.  Search this
Castleberry, Guy W.  Search this
Caughron, Kermit  Search this
Caughron, Rex  Search this
Caughron, Roy  Search this
Cazer, Garland  Search this
Ceras, Delfino  Search this
Claffery, Clegg, Sr.  Search this
Clapp, Clyde  Search this
Clark, Fletcher Talmadge  Search this
Clayton, WIlliam P.  Search this
Cockerham, Lester  Search this
Cockerham, Marie  Search this
Cole, Buster  Search this
Coleman, Harold  Search this
Coleman, Mrs. Harold  Search this
Colvin, R.C.  Search this
Comeaux, Lewis  Search this
Connell, Alton  Search this
Cromertie, John L.  Search this
Crosby, Ruth  Search this
Crosby, Victor  Search this
Cummins, Mary Lee  Search this
Cummins, W.R.  Search this
Cunningham, Tom  Search this
Daniel, Florentine  Search this
Davies, W. J. K.  Search this
Davis, Fredda  Search this
Davis, Otto  Search this
Davis, Pauline  Search this
Delasbour, Anna  Search this
Derbigney, Durrell  Search this
Dillard, John T.  Search this
Dorminy, Henry Clayton  Search this
Dove, Dorothy  Search this
Ducrest, Jesse  Search this
Dulaney, T.W.  Search this
Elam, Edward  Search this
Feilke, Mabel  Search this
Felknor, Jessie F.  Search this
Finchum, Amos  Search this
Finchum, Eva  Search this
Fleming, Arthur B.  Search this
Fletcher, Mrs. Merle Ford  Search this
Flores, Roque Olmos  Search this
Foster, Jim  Search this
Foster, Vergie  Search this
Friesen, Viola Liechty  Search this
Gardner, C.E.  Search this
Garrich, Carl  Search this
Gay, Andrew  Search this
George, Leler  Search this
Gosney, Jessie  Search this
Gosney, Kenneth  Search this
Gray, Leonard  Search this
Gray, Wardell  Search this
Green, Alone  Search this
Green, Clarence  Search this
Griffin, A.C.  Search this
Griffin, Grace  Search this
Hahn, E.L.  Search this
Hall, Joe  Search this
Haransky, Charlotte  Search this
Harper, Woodrow, Sr.  Search this
Harrington, A.M.  Search this
Harris, Edna  Search this
Harris, John, Rev.  Search this
Harris, Robert B.  Search this
Hawkins, Charlie  Search this
Hemphill, Elvin  Search this
Hemphill, Mattie  Search this
Hill, Frank  Search this
Jefcoat, Laz  Search this
Jensen, Olga B.  Search this
Johnson, Herbert  Search this
Kilby, T.H.  Search this
Knight, Martin  Search this
Koen, Eulah  Search this
Lamson, Alfred Ellis  Search this
Landry, Steve  Search this
Lane, Clyde D.  Search this
Laney, John B.  Search this
Langley, Nellie  Search this
Latoilas, Donald  Search this
Lawrimore, Rufus B.  Search this
Leary, Mrs. Stillman  Search this
Leary, Stillman  Search this
Legnon, Hilton  Search this
Legnon, Lena Porrier  Search this
Lenius, Jane  Search this
Lewis, Bobby  Search this
Lewis, Dorothy  Search this
Lewis, Ralph  Search this
Littlejohn, Andrew  Search this
Loewer, Arthur  Search this
Long, Welchel  Search this
Lowder, Clayton  Search this
Lowder, Kathy R.  Search this
Mangum, O.L.  Search this
Martin, Lillian  Search this
McBrayer, Loomis  Search this
McCarty, Ben  Search this
McGee, Dean  Search this
Mercer, Midi  Search this
Minchew, Edna  Search this
Mire, John  Search this
Mohamed, Ethel Wright  Search this
Moody, Edgar  Search this
Morris, Edward  Search this
Murphree, Leo  Search this
Murray, Lurline S.  Search this
Nacquin, Leo  Search this
Nix, Agnes  Search this
Nix, Joe  Search this
Parker, Jonah  Search this
Patout, William A.  Search this
Patterson, Vanona  Search this
Pender, Bessie  Search this
Petticrew, Donald  Search this
Player, C.B., Jr.  Search this
Porter, Virginia  Search this
Proffitt, Harry, Jr.  Search this
Purvis, Clyde  Search this
Redmond, Virgie  Search this
Reed, Bunice  Search this
Reed, Howard  Search this
Rice, Frank  Search this
Richardson, Rosetta  Search this
Rivers, Marion  Search this
Roberts, Gerti  Search this
Roberts, James  Search this
Rodriguez, Ignacio  Search this
Rountree, G. Emory  Search this
Rucker, William  Search this
Salas, Maria  Search this
Sarten, Della  Search this
Scoggins, Lillie  Search this
Scroggins, Alma M.  Search this
Seidenschwarz, Rosie  Search this
Seidenstricker, L.F.  Search this
Seidenstricker, Laverne  Search this
Serrano, Adolofo  Search this
Serrano, Edith  Search this
Serrano, Lidia  Search this
Shannon, Jack  Search this
Shepherd, Grady  Search this
Sims, Lavana  Search this
Sizemore, Martiel  Search this
Skinner, Annie  Search this
Skinner, Jarvis  Search this
Smith, Ethel  Search this
Smith, George  Search this
Soileau, Rouseb  Search this
Spicer, J.M.  Search this
Spivey, Wayland  Search this
Starke, Granville  Search this
Steen, Albert  Search this
Stowers, J.W.  Search this
Strange, Fred  Search this
Strohl, Carl  Search this
Strohl, Mary  Search this
Sumner, Ruby C.  Search this
Temple, Effie  Search this
Thomas, Lottie  Search this
Thompson, Mioma  Search this
Thresto, Chuck  Search this
Tomlinson, Clifton  Search this
Turner, Mrs. O.C.  Search this
Van Houten, Rosetta  Search this
Van Houten, Rudy  Search this
Vickers, Lloyd  Search this
Vidrine, Levie A.  Search this
Walton, W.W.  Search this
Watson, Mary  Search this
Welborn, S.L.  Search this
Wells, Arnalee  Search this
Wells, Homer, Dr.  Search this
White, Wallace  Search this
Wigley, Mabry  Search this
Willey, Gretchen  Search this
Willey, John F.  Search this
Winskie, Dent  Search this
Woodard, Henry  Search this
Yohe, Alma M.  Search this
Yohe, Perry  Search this
Young, Walter  Search this
Interviewer:
Jones, Lu Ann  Search this
Extent:
25 Cubic feet (79 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Project files
Questionnaires
Photographs
Place:
Arkansas -- Agriculture
Mississippi -- Agriculture
Georgia -- Agriculture
South Carolina -- Agriculture
Tennessee -- Agriculture
Virginia -- Agriculture
North Carolina -- Agriculture
Louisiana -- Agriculture
Date:
1986-1991
Scope and Contents note:
The collection is divided into four series. Series 1: Oral History Transcripts, 1982-1991 are transcribed versions of the oral interviews. Correspondence and/or notes pertaining to the interviewed individual collected or written by the interviewer are filed in this series following the transcription. The majority of the oral histories were done by Lu Ann Jones between1985-1991. There are a few interviews done by Pete Daniel in the early 1980s and some reference copies of oral histories done elsewhere. This series is divided into eight sub-series: Sub-series 1a: Arkansas, Sub-series 1b: Georgia, Sub-series 1c: Louisiana, Sub-series 1d: Mississippi, Sub-series 1e: North Carolina (including transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project in English and Spanish), Sub-series 1f: South Carolina, Sub-series 1g: Tennessee, and Sub-series 1h: Virginia. Files are arranged alphabetically by state and there under by name; within the file materials are arranged chronologically. Interview files may contain transcribed copies of the oral history interviews and subsequent draft copies with corrections by the interviewer or subject. The file also may contain distillations or edited versions of the interview done by the researcher for possible publication. Correspondence and notes files may include Life History Forms, correspondence, newspaper articles, interviewer's notes, business cards, and paper copies of photographs. Signed releases are on file in the registrar's office, NMAH, with copies in the control file of the Archives Center.

Series 2: Project Files and Reference Materials, 1928-2004 contain notes and correspondence kept by Jones in support of the oral history project. This series is divided into four sub-series: Sub-series 2a: State Files, Sub-series 2b: Project and Reference Files, 1985-1991, Sub-series 2c: Reference Publications, Pamphlets and Articles, 1928-2004 and Sub-series 2d: Computer Floppy Disks, 1985 and n.d. This series include bills, receipts, photo orders, travel brochures, reference materials, articles, correspondence, fundraising proposals and materials, USDA Extension Service bulletins, product cookbooks, and ephemera. These materials are valuable in documenting the methodology of the oral history project. They are also valuable in detailing the funding and maintenance of the project over its five year lifespan. There is also a great deal of information on black farmers. This series is arranged alphabetically by state and county or by article/publication title and within the file chronologically.

Series 3: Photographic Prints and Slides, 1987-1991 documenting the individuals interviewed, their homes and businesses, and geographic locations that were studied as part of the oral history project. The series is arranged numerically then chronologically by year. This series is followed by detailed photographic descriptions arranged alphabetically by state then subject. Photograph files contain photographs taken by a Smithsonian photographer or Jones and any copies of photographs supplied by the subject. Most of the photographs are black and white. Series 4: Original Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CD), 1986-1991 are the original tapes of the individual interviews conducted by Jones. This series is divided into eight sub-series. Reference numbers for CDs matching the original tapes are noted after the tapes. CDs 495-497 are for the Smithsonian Photographer's Show: Sub-series 4a: Arkansas, Sub-series 4b: Georgia, Sub-series 4c: Louisiana, Sub-series 4d: Mississippi, Sub-series 4e: North Carolina (within this sub-series are the transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project there may be an English language transcription as well as one in Spanish), Sub-series 4f: South Carolina, Sub-series 4g: Tennessee and Sub-series 4h: Virginia and Sub-series 4i: Miscellaneous and Duplicates, within the sub-series tapes are arranged alphabetically by subject.

Series 4: Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
Arrangement:
Divided into 4 series: Series 1, Oral History Transcripts; Series 2, Project Files; Series 3, Photographic Prints and Slides, and Series 4, Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
History:
The history of the American South is intricately entwined with the history of agriculture in North America. Until very recently, post 1950, the South was predominately rural and agricultural in both its production and culture. By the 1980s American agriculture, and particularly agriculture in the south, was under attack on various fronts especially cultural, financial, and technological. This assault threatened the very existence of the small and family farm. Many small farming operations went bankrupt and the face of American agriculture was becoming more corporate. It was amidst these troubling times that the Agricultural Division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History undertook a massive project to document southern agriculture through oral history.

Through the efforts of NMAH staff, Pete Daniel, curator and project director, LuAnn Jones, researcher, and with countless support from staff photographers and personnel, Jones conducted approximately 159 interviews of individual persons, couples and sometimes small groups, in eight southern states over a five year period, 1986-1991. The project was funded by a series of grants from various sources. Not only were oral histories taken but also substantial documentary photographs and slides of the many interviewees. The interviews ranged from individual farmers to individuals at companies and corporations involved with agriculture. The range of crops discussed included tobacco, cotton and rice. The project interviewed a wide range of subjects: male, female, black, white, and Mexican. The project has contributed to at least two books, Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South by LuAnn Jones and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and others of which Jones was a contributing author.
Related Collections:
#60 Warshaw Collection

#149 Kulp Collection of Account Books, 1755-1904

#475 Robinson and Via Family Papers

#481 William C. Kost Farm Records

#767 Timothy B. Bladen, Southern Maryland Photoprints
Provenance:
A transfer from the Division of History of Technology (Agriculture), NMAH, July 2001
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. 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:
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farmers -- Arkansas  Search this
Agricultural laborers  Search this
Agriculture -- History  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Farmers -- Georgia  Search this
Farmers -- Louisiana  Search this
Farmers -- Mexico  Search this
Farmers -- Mississippi  Search this
Farmers -- North Carolina  Search this
Farmers -- South Carolina  Search this
Farmers -- Tennessee  Search this
Farmers -- Virginia  Search this
Genre/Form:
Project files
Questionnaires
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Citation:
Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records, 1985-1992, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0773
See more items in:
Southern Agriculture Oral History Project Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0773
Online Media:

Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music

Creator:
DeVincent, Sam, 1918-1997  Search this
Names:
WOWO (radio station).  Search this
Extent:
260 Cubic feet (approximately 1244 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Lithographs
Sound recordings
Phonograph records
Papers
Photographic prints
Sheet music
Photographs
Date:
1790-1980s
Summary:
Primarily published sheet music, plus some related ephemera. Originally included 781 boxes of American sheet music and assorted clippings, articles, photographs, etc.; also 93 boxes of 33-1/3 RPM phonograph records, 30 boxes of 45 RPM records, and 20 boxes of 78 RPM records
Scope and Contents:
Sam DeVincent organized his collection topically and the present organization is built upon his basic system. In the course of processing this huge collection organized into hundreds of topics, a set of more encompassing topical headings have been developed. For example, the series designation "transportation" gathers together DeVincent's topical headings of "automobiles," "railroads," "bicycles," etc. Each of these larger, conceptual, headings is considered a series and is given a series number. Transportation is series number 1. Each series will be described separately and a composite index will lead researchers into the appropriate series. Terminology is consistent with Library of Congress Subject Headings whenever possible.

Within each series, the topical headings used by DeVincent, or a heading of similar level and type, receive sub-series numbers. For example, "railroads" is part of series 1, transportation, and is given the sub-series number 7. Therefore, "railroads" is designated as 1.7.

All of the sheet music has been placed in folders (from 1 to 45 items per folder) and given a letter of the alphabet. Within each folder, the music is arranged alphabetically by song title. A researcher searching the index for the song Wabash Cannonball (note that very few song titles are indexed) would be directed to "1.7 V." The researcher would then turn to the railroad section of the container list (1.7) and look for folder V and read the folder description.

Most of the sheet music is either a solo piano or a piano/vocal arrangement. There are very few orchestral or band parts and very little music for instruments other than piano. When the word "instrumental" is used in folder descriptions and titles, the music referred to has no lyrics and is for solo piano. Music for other instruments or ensemble parts will be mentioned explicitly in the folder description and usually indexed. Also, duplicates have not been kept in the file unless the sheet is particularly old or fragile (in which case one duplicate was kept if available). Sheets with slightly different covers, different ink colors, or variations in advertising matter are not considered duplicates.

In addition to the sheet music, the collection includes ephemera files corresponding to each series. These files contain items such as lists of sheet music, DeVincent's correspondence with other collectors, wire service printouts received at the radio station where he worked, his notes to be used for cross-indexing ("see also" references), and miscellaneous items relating to the topic. Some materials kept by DeVincent have not been incorporated into the ephemera files, for example most of the popular magazines, Fort Wayne Indiana newspaper clippings about non-musical topics, and some advertising matter.

The ephemera files are numbered with the same series and sub-series numbers as the sheet music. For example bicycles are 1.3 in both the music and ephemera files. A description of the ephemera file follows the sheet music container list. It is followed by an index to the entire series. Many topical headings not directly concerned with the topic of the series are indexed (for example "Women, images of" is an important topic in the bicycle sub-series). The author of each series description made the decisions about topics for indexing.
Series 1: Transportation:
Dates -- circa 1800-1980

Contents -- Series 1: Transportation contains circa 3,900 pieces of sheet music documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards transportation technology in the United States.1.1: Aeronautics1.2: Automobiles1.3: Bicycles1.4: Boats and Boating1.5: Horse-Drawn Vehicles1.6: Motorcycles1.7: Railroads1.8: Urban Transportation1.9 Ephemera
Series 2: Armed Forces:
Dates -- circa 1810-1980

Contents -- Series 2: Armed Forces contains circa 3,400 pieces of sheet music and song folios documenting the military history of the United States; there are only a handful of foreign imprints. 2.1: Pre-Civil War2.2: Civil War2.3: Pre-World War I2.4: World War I2.5: World War II2.6: Post -World War2.7: Naval History2.8: Marine CorpsEphemera
Series 3: African-American Music:
Dates -- circa 1828-1980

Contents -- Series 3: African-American Music contains circa 7,800 pieces of sheet music and folios dating from the 1820s to the 1980s; most of the material dates from after 1890. 3.1: Minstrel Shows and Blackface Entertainers3.2: Uncle Tom's Cabin3.3: African-American Folk-songs and Spirituals3.4: Songs about African-American/Vocal Ragtime3.5: Instrumental and Ragtime Music3.6: Ragtime Composers and Publishers3.7: Blues and Jazz Music3.8: Composers and PerformersEphemera
Series 4: Songwriters:
Dates -- 1817-1982

Contents -- Series 4: Songwriters: The song sheets associated with each songwriter in this series are generally arranged in the following order: General Songs; Ethnic Songs; Armed Conflict Songs or other Topical Headings; Ragtime; Instrumental; Musical Theater Production Songs; Motion Picture Production Songs; Specialized Song Sheets/Editions; Professional/Artist Copy Song Sheets; and Folios/Volumes. List: 4.1 - 4.217Ephemera
Series 5: Politics and Political Movements:
Dates -- circa 1817-1982

Contents -- Series 5: Politics and Political Movements contains circa 1,565 pieces of sheet music and song folios documenting the political history of the United States. 5.1: Patriotic Music5.2: Politicians and Political Figures5.3: Politics and Political Parties5.4: Ku Klux Klan5.5: Prohibition and Temperance5.6: Trade Union5.7: Women's RightsEphemera
Series 6: Moving Pictures and Movie Stars:
Dates -- 1911-1986

Contents -- Series 6: Moving Pictures and Movie Stars: 6.1 Academy Award Songs6.2 Child Stars6.3 Dance Folios6.4 Disney Productions and Other Cartoon Movies6.5 Female Stars6.6 Male Stars6.7 Movie Music6.8 Silent Films6.9 Songs About the MoviesEphemera
Series 7: Sports:
Dates -- 1834-1983

Contents -- Series 7: Sports contains 1,254 pieces of sheet music and song folios. Most of the sheet music is either piano or piano/ vocal arrangements. 7.1: Baseball, 1860-19767.2: Boxing, 1893-19827.3: Fishing, 1847-19627.4: Football, 1894-1978; undated7.5: Gambling and Games of Chance, 1891-19807.6: Golf, 1893-19537.7: Horse Racing, 1899-19687.8: Hunting, 1834-19517.9: Ice Skating, 1861 -1978; undated7.10: Olympics, 1932-19837.11: Ping Pong, 1901-19027.12: Roller Skating, 1871-1980; undated7.13: Skiing, 1908-19717.14: Sleighs and Sledding, 1846- 1967; undated7.15: Sports, Miscellaneous, 1866-19777.16: Tennis, 1893-1914, 1951Ephemera
Series 8: Geography:
Dates -- 1794-1987

Contents -- Series 8: Geography is divided into three sections: the United States, Foreign Countries, and Natural Features. The more than 13,000 sheets date from 1830-1987 and include undated sheets that are probably earlier. The series comprises 33 cu. ft. 8.1-8.49: United States, 1830-1987 (States)8.50-8.51: United States, 1830-1987 (U. S. Regions)8.53-8.89: Foreign Countries, 1794-1982 (Afghanistan - Italy)8.90-8.126: Foreign Countries, 1794-1982 (Japan - Vietnam) & (Foreign Regions)8.127-8.128: Natural Features, 1834-1980Ephemera
Series 9: Domestic and Community Life:
Dates -- 1827-1986; undated

Contents -- Series 9: Domestic and Community Life documents family, love, marriage, home, and social organizations. It does not include Health or Business items, which are included in separate series. Certain issues, such as women's rights, are in Series 2: Politics and Political Movements. 9.1: Adult Family Members, 1836-1985; undated9.2: Children, 1855-1971; undated9.3: Dolls, Stories, Toys, 1860-1984; undated9.4: Songs About and Images of Men and Women, 1828-1972; undated9.5: Home, Neighborhood, and Immigrants/Refugees, 1830-1980; undated9.6: Love, 1827-1982; undated9.7: Marriage, 1829-1976; undated9.8: Friendship and Social Organizations, 1838-1982; undated9.9: Age, Death, and Dying, 1834-1951; undated9.10: Domestic Art and Clothing, 1843-1978; undated9.11:Albums, Lockets, and Memories, 1857-1952; undatedEphemera
Series 10: Sacred Music and Religious Themes:
Dates -- 1822-1986, undated

Contents -- Series 10: Sacred Music and Religious Themes contains approximately 4,000 pieces of sheet music, much of which is traditional Christian music, but also documents popular attitudes towards religion in the United States. Note that the Christmas and Easter subseries include their secular aspects. 10.1, Adam, Eve, and Eden, 1882-197110.2, Angels, 1849-1961, undated10.3, Bells and Chimes, 1848-1956, undated10.4, Biblical Characters and Stories, 1876-1986, undated10.5, Cathedral, Chapel, Church, 1866-1966, undated10.6, Choir, 1880-193710.7, Christmas, 1828-1984, undated10.8, Devil and Satan, 1865-1979, undated10.9, Easter, 1872-1975, undated10.10, Evolution, 1925-196310.11, Heaven, 1866-1975, undated10.12, Inspirational Singers, 1868-197710.13, Madonna, The Virgin Mary, 1855-1953, undated10.14, Miracles, 1929-195910.15, Mormons, 1895-1933, undated10.16, Paradise, 1900-1925, undated10.17, Pilgrim, 1868-1938, undated10.18, Psalms, 1884-1980, undated10.19, Quakers, 1899-1940, undated10.20, Rosary, 1897-195310.21, General Sacred Songs, 1822-1982, undatedEphemera, 1899-1986
Series 11: Entertainment:
Dates -- 1841-1984, undated

Contents -- Series 11: Entertainment contains more than 12,500 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards entertainers and entertainment in the United States. Note that movies and some musical entertainment are also covered in Series 6, Moving Pictures and Movie Stars, and in Series 16, Country, Western, and Folk Music. Blind musicians and performers are in Series 17. 11.1: Early Troupes & Bandmasters, 1841-1944, undated11.2: Dance Bands and Orchestras, 1905-1964, undated11.3: Novelty Bands, 1901-195211.4: Male Singers (Individual), 1846-198111.5: Female Singers (Individual), 1845-197111.6: Duos and Groups (Male and Mixed), 1903-198111.7: Female Duos and Groups, 1896-196611.8: Child Entertainers, 1852-1927, undated11.9: Impersonators, 1904-198211.10: Actors and Comedians, 1853-198211.11: Theater, 1873-1973, undated11.12: Juke Box, Nickelodeon, 1923-198111.13: Phonograph, Records, Tapes, 1878-197111.14: Radio, Transistor, Wireless, 1898-198411.15: Television, 1931-198711.16: Circus, Fair, Zoo
Series 12: Plants and Animals:
Dates -- 1831-1984, undated

Contents -- Series 12: Plants and Animals contains approximately 4,000 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards plants and animals in the United States. 12.1, Trees, 1833-1969, undated12.2, Plants and Flowers, 1840-1979, undated12.3, Animals, 1831-1984, undated12.4, Fish, Mermaids, and Aquatic Species, 1832-1978, undated12.5, Birds, 1834-1976, undated12.6, Insects and Spiders, 1853-1968, undated
Series 13: Agriculture, Business, and Law:
Dates -- 1827-1985, undated

Contents -- Series 13, Agriculture, Business, and Law contains approximately 3,300 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards business, commerce, farming and food, finances, labor, law, and social order in the United States. The series comprises nine cubic feet, plus two boxes of ephemera. 13.1, Business and Jobs, 1927-1982, undated13.2, Farming, Food, and Tobacco, 1836-1986, undated13.3, Finances and Valuables, 1841-1982, undated13.4, Law and Social Order, 1858-1972, undated13.5, Public Services and Utilities, 1836-1984, undatedEphemera, 1901-1987, undated
Series 14: Calendar, Time, and Weather:
Dates -- 1811-1980, undated

Contents -- Series 14, Calendar, Time, and Weather contains approximately 1,800 pieces of sheet music, documenting attitudes toward and consequences of natural events. The four seasons comprise the larger part. 14.1, Years, 1880-1945, undated14.2, Seasons, 1850-1978, undated14.3, Months, 1855-1978, undated14.4, Days of the Week, 1853-196514.5, Clocks and Time, 1844-1967, undated14.6, Weather, 1911-1980, undatedEphemera, 1952-1982, undated
Series 15: Holidays and Celebrations:
Dates -- 1847-1982, undated

Contents -- Series 15, Holidays and Celebrations contains approximately 500 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards holidays, celebrations, and travel in the United States. Note that Christmas items are in Series 10, Sacred Music and Religious Themes, subseries 7. 15.1, Holiday, Travel, Vacation, 1866-198215.2, Carnival, 1847-1937, undated15.3, Mardi Gras, 1892-1958, undated15.4, Masquerade, 1900-1973, undated.15.5, Halloween, 1853-1962, undated.15.6, Thanksgiving, 1853-1974, undated.15.7, New Year, 1852-1970, undated15.8, Park, 1869-1969, undated15.9, Picnic, 1854-1964, undated15.10, Rolling Chairs, 1905-1923, undatedEphemera
Series 16: Country, Western, and Folk Music:
Dates -- 1839-1986, undated

Contents -- Series 16: Country, Western, and Folk Music, contains approximately 11,500 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards country, western, and folk music in the United States. The dates always refer to copyright of the music and not to the subject on the cover, songwriter's life, or other events. There are 78 boxes of sheet music and 16 boxes of ephemera. 16.1, Individual Male Entertainers, 1911-1983, undated16.2, Individual Female Entertainers, 1902-1986, undated16.3, Duos and Groups, 1910-1981, undated16.4, The West, 1939-198416.5, Barn Dance, Fiddle Tunes, and "Turkey in the Straw," 1878-197516.6, Blues, Feuding, Hillbilly, Honky Tonk, and Yodeling, 1885-1975, undated16.7, Miscellaneous Songs, 1913-198316.8, Folios, 1914-1969Ephemera --subseries 1-7 and subseries 9-10
Series 17: The Human Condition--Physical, Mental, Behavioral:
Dates -- 1833-1987

Contents -- Series 17, The Human Condition--Physical, Mental, Behavioral contains approximately 1,000 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards the human condition in the United States. 17.1, Physical Health, 1833-1982, undated17.2, Happiness, 1845-1978, undated17.3, Crazy, Foolish, 1904-1973, undated17.4, Rubes, 1888-1938Ephemera
Series 18: Dance:
Dates -- 1812-1978, undated

Contents -- Series 18, Dance contains approximately 3,330 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards dance in the United States. 18.1, General Songs about Dance, 1882-1967, undated18.2, Ballroom Dancers and Dance Institute, 1840-1951, undated18.3, Charleston, 1923-196418.4, Fox Trot, 1913-193218.5, Galop, 1842-1924, undated18.6, Gavotte, 1874-1978, undated18.7, Jigs and Reels, 1891-1951, undated18.8, Lancers, 1857-1903, undated18.9, Maxixe, 1913-1914, undated18.10, Mazurka, 1854-1940, undated18.11, Minuet, 1875-1968, undated18.12, One Step, 1910-192118.13, Polka, 1845-1975, undated18.14, Quadrilles, 1831-1883, undated18.15, Redowa, 1853-1908, undated18.16, Schottische, 1850-1944, undated18.17, Skirt Dance, 1891-1893, undated18.18, Square Dance, 1926-196418.19, Tango, 1909-195218.20, Three Step, 1903-191318.21, Two Step, 1894-192518.22, Varsova, 1851-1917, undated18.23, Waltz, 1812-1968, undated18.24, Folios, 1888-1953, undatedEphemera
Series 19: Art and Literature:
Dates -- 1830-1977, undated

Contents -- Series 19, Art and Literature contains approximately 860 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting popular attitudes towards art and literature in the United States. 19.1, Art and Artists, 1839-1977, undated19.2, Cover Artists and Early Lithograph Covers, 1830-1931, undated19.3, Photography, 1848-196619.4, Carving and Whittling, 1906-194719.5, Books, Diary, and Stories, 1849-198319.6, Poets and Poetry, 1836-1969, undated Ephemera Index
Series 20: Newspapers:
Dates -- 1844-1968, undated

Contents -- Series 20, Newspapers, 1844-1968, contains materials documenting the business of and popular attitudes towards newspapers in the United States. 20.1, Songs about Advertising, the News and the Press20.2, Songs published by Newspapers or about serialized stories20.3, Songs about Newsboys and Newsgirls20.4, Cartoons, Cartoonists, and Comics20.5, Newspaper and Magazine SupplementsEphemera
Series 21: Musical Instruments:
Dates -- 1824-1981 and undated

Contents -- Series 21, Musical Instruments, 1824-1981, undated, contains approximately 4,900 pieces of sheet music and other materials documenting the development of and popular attitudes towards the playing of music in the United States. Numerous teaching manuals are included.21.1, Accordion, 1902-1964, undated21.2, Banjo, 1853-1975, undated21.3, Cello, 1891-1935, undated21.4, Clarinet, 1905-1958, undated21.5, Concertina, 1905-1941, undated21.6, Cornet, 1848-1924, undated21.7, Double Bass, 1939-195521.8, Drums, 1867-1971, undated21.9, Fiddle, 1893-1981, undated21.10, Flute, 1847-1936, undated21.11, Guitar, 1824-1977, undated21.12, Harmonica, 1904-1974, undated21.13, Harp, 1866-1976, undated21.14, Hurdy Gurdy, 1899-196921.15, Mandolin, 1843-1954, undated21.16, Music Boxes, 1848-1979, undated21.17, Organ, 1856-1973, undated21.18, Saxophone, 1907-195321.19, Tambourine, 1854-196021.20, Trombone, 1906-195721.21, Trumpet, 1904-1945, undated21.22, Ukulele, 1915-1964, undated21.23, Violin, 1843-1957, undated21.24, Zither, 1970-1951, undated21.25, Various Instruments, 1835-1968, undatedEphemera
Series 22: American Indian:
Contents -- Series 22: American Indian

Dates -- 1899-1975
Series 23: Universe:
Contents -- Series 23: Universe

Dates -- 1842-1970
Series 24: Education:
Contents -- Series 24: Education

Dates -- 1834-1964
Series 25: Vocal:
Contents -- Series 25: Vocal
Series 26: General Sheet Music:
Contents -- Series 26: General Sheet Music
Series 27: Gypsies:
Contents -- Series 27: Gypsies
Series 28: Opera:
Contents -- Series 28: Opera
Series 29: Piano:
Contents -- Series 29: Piano
Series 30: Marches and Quicksteps:
Contents -- Series 30: Marches and Quicksteps
Series 31: Dialects:
Contents -- Series 31: Dialects
Series 32: Christopher Columbus:
Contents -- Series 32: Christopher Columbus
Series 33: Reveries:
Contents -- Series 33: Reveries
Series 34: Indiana Publishers:
Contents -- Series 34: Indiana Publishers
Series 35: Sam DeVincent Personal Papers:
Contents -- Series 35: Sam DeVincent Personal Papers
Series 36: Folios and Songbooks:
Contents -- Series 36: Folios and Songbooks
Series 37: Other Materials:
Contents -- Series 37: Other Materials

Dates -- 1853-1976
Additional Topical Series:
An updated list of DeVincent topical series is available via the Smithsonian finding aid portal.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into topical series.
Biographical note:
Sam DeVincent was born January 8, 1918 and lived in Fort Wayne, Indiana for most of his life. DeVincent collected sheet music and related materials during most of his lifetime. His interest included both the music and the cover art. Because he had little money to support his collecting, DeVincent gathered most of his material through careful searches and travel.

DeVincent and his wife used much of the music he collected in their musical group "Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers." The group performed regularly on radio station WOWO in Fort Wayne, Indiana, from 1945 to 1955. After 1955 (and the emergence of rock and roll), "Nancy Lee and the Hilltoppers" played only once a week on the radio station. At this time, Mr. DeVincent worked as an all-night disc jockey at WOWO. In 1960 he became music director and music librarian at the station. His position as music librarian helped him to add to his collection, especially the phonograph recordings (many promotional copies are included).

DeVincent retired from WOWO in 1983. He and his wife continued to perform publicly including a weekly radio show on WOWO. The National Museum of American History acquired the DeVincent collection in the spring of 1988. Sam DeVincent passed away November 29, 1997.
Materials in Other Organizations:
Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music, Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana

The Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music contains approximately 24,000 pieces of sheet music, songbooks, and folios. DeVincent arranged his collection into categories based on either personal names of musicians or performers or on subjects he defined that were as diverse as the American Red Cross and Halloween. The Lilly Library has maintained this arrangement.

All the sheet music in the DeVincent collection is listed in the IN Harmony: Sheet Music from Indiana: Lilly Library web site. Digitized images are available for some items.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Donald J. Stubblebine Collection of Musical Theater and Motion Picture Sheet Music and Reference Material, 1843-2010 (AC1211)
Provenance:
This collection was purchased by the Smithsonian Institution in 1988 from Sam and Nancy Lee DeVincent.
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:
Musical revue, comedy, etc  Search this
Music -- United States  Search this
Music -- Performance  Search this
Transportation -- Music  Search this
Ragtime music  Search this
Musicians  Search this
Armed Forces -- Music  Search this
Country music  Search this
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Music -- African-American  Search this
Music -- 18th century  Search this
Music -- 19th century  Search this
Politics -- Music  Search this
Genre/Form:
Lithographs
Sound recordings
Phonograph records
Papers
Photographic prints
Sheet music
Photographs -- 19th century
Citation:
The Sam DeVincent Collection of Illustrated American Sheet Music, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0300
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0300
Online Media:

A Tour of Beauty Industry Pioneer Madam C.J. Walker’s Indianapolis

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Interviews
Blog posts
Published Date:
Tue, 17 Mar 2020 15:44:19 +0000
Topic:
Custom RSS  Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_4eddbd35553409ab5ec62833212ed0d2

The Liberator, Vol. XXV, No. 47

Created by:
The Liberator, American, 1831 - 1865  Search this
Edited by:
William Lloyd Garrison, American, 1805 - 1879  Search this
Published by:
Isaac Knapp, American, 1808 - 1858  Search this
Printed by:
J.B. Yerrington & Son, American  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W (closed): 24 15/16 × 17 7/8 in. (63.3 × 45.4 cm)
Type:
newspapers
Place printed:
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date:
November 23, 1855
Topic:
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Antislavery  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Resistance  Search this
Slavery  Search this
Social reform  Search this
Societies  Search this
United States--History--1815-1861  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift from the Liljenquist Family Collection
Object number:
2016.166.41.8
Restrictions & Rights:
No Known Copyright Restrictions
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Collection title:
Liljenquist Family Collection
Classification:
Slavery and Freedom Objects
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd560c2e9e6-47fa-458c-a9b8-14cb02cfcd43
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2016.166.41.8
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View <I>The Liberator, Vol. XXV, No. 47</I> digital asset number 1
Online Media:

The Honeywell Temperature Regulator

Measurements:
clock dime: 2 1/4 in; 5.715 cm
overall: 8 5/8 in x 3 in x 2 5/8 in; 21.9075 cm x 7.62 cm x 6.6675 cm
Object Name:
thermostat
ID Number:
2008.0011.05
Accession number:
2008.0011
Catalog number:
2008.0011.05
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Mechanical and Civil Engineering
Thermostats
Domestic Furnishings
Engineering, Building, and Architecture
Exhibition:
Object Project
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-4eb9-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1392743
Online Media:

Magazine Case of Drawing Instruments

Physical Description:
wood (overall material)
fabric (overall material)
metal (overall material)
steel (overall material)
german silver (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 6.4 cm x 33 cm x 27 cm; 2 17/32 in x 13 in x 10 5/8 in
Object Name:
drawing instruments, set of
Date made:
ca 1910-1950
Subject:
Mathematics  Search this
Drafting, Engineering  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Richard G. Smith
ID Number:
1990.0690.01
Catalog number:
1990.0690.01
Accession number:
1990.0690
See more items in:
Medicine and Science: Mathematics
Science & Mathematics
Drawing Instruments
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746aa-9355-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1122209
Online Media:

GTE Burst Switch Collection

Creator:
Information, Technology and Society, Div. of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
GTE Laboratories Inc.  Search this
Extent:
7 Cubic feet (14 boxes, 6 map-folders)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Patents
Notes
Manuals
Drawings
Software
Date:
1984-1999.
Summary:
Drawings, patents, notes, computer printouts, articles, and technical papers documenting the GTE Burst-switch; also, subject files relating to many aspects of the burst switch project.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection is arranged into ten series—articles and papers, patents, manuals and instructional guides, testing materials, notes, subject files, software/hardware information, Datacon wire wrap listings, drawings, and 5" and 8" floppy diskettes documenting the GTE burst-switch project. The majority of the project work was done in the early 1980s and continued through 1985. The subject files are arranged alphabetically and relate to specific aspects of the project. The drawings are divided into original and copies. The originals drawings are mylar or vellum. The Mark IIA refers to the final research model of the burst switch.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into ten series.

Series 1: Articles and Papers, 1983-1999

Series 2: Patents, 1987

Series 3: Manuals and Instruction Guides, 1987-1990

Series 4: Testing Materials, 1985-1987

Series 5: Notes, 1985-1988

Series 6: Subject Files, 1985-1991

Series 7: Software/Firmware, 1987-1989

Series 8: Datacon Wire Wrap Listings, 1985-1987

Series 9: Drawings, 1984-1987

Series 10: Floppy disks, 1987-1991
Historical:
The burst switch was developed in the 1970s-1980s at the GTE Laboratories in Waltham, Massachusetts. The burst switch was one of the first switches to demonstrate how voice and data traffic could be integrated into a single network and be handled simultaneously. It was never manufactured on a large scale, but concepts derived from the technology have been used in numerous forms of telecommunications equipment.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Thomas Muldoon on December 17, 1999.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research and access on site by appointment.
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 switchgear  Search this
Telecommunication  Search this
Genre/Form:
Patents -- 20th century
Notes
Manuals
Drawings -- 1980-2000
Software
Citation:
GTE Burst Switch Collection, 1984-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0833
See more items in:
GTE Burst Switch Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0833

General Electric NELA Park Collection

Creator:
General Electric Company  Search this
Gotti, Mary Beth  Search this
Information, Technology and Society, Div. of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Extent:
5 Cubic feet (22 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Travel diaries
Advertisements
Diaries
Blotters (writing equipment)
Business records
Manuals
Lantern slides
Stock certificates
Stereographs
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Date:
circa 1890s-1969
Summary:
The collection documents the technology of lighting and various business aspects of the General Electric Lighting Division throughout the 20th century and consists of correspondence, bulletins, price lists, business record books, stock certificates, sales and advertising materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and lantern slides.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of approximately five cubic feet of correspondence, bulletins, price lists, business record books, stock certificates, sales and advertising materials, scrapbooks, photographs, and lantern slides. The collection documents the technology of lighting and various business aspects of the GE Lighting Division throughout the twentieth century.

Series 1, Historical Background Materials, 1910-1969, contains documentation on the history of the National Electric Lamp Company and the development of the incandescent lamp. The European Diary of 1928 is a narrative written by three General Electric employees—Samuel Doane, Chief Engineer, Joseph Kewley, Sales Manager, and George Osborn, Sales Manager. This narrative describes their business trip to Europe in the spring of 1928. It contains black-and-white photographs, menus, brochures, maps, postcards, and drawings detailing their travels in Paris, Nice, Milan, Venice, Berlin, Amsterdam, and England. The Record of Accomplishment, 1969, is a chronological listing (time line) of various events and/or accomplishments within General Electric.

Series 2, Executive Records, 1903-1955, consists of correspondence, annual reports, and technical standardization notices. The technical standardization notices were created by the Standardization Committee. This committee made decisions on how to facilitate and increase sales, improve quality, cheapen cost, and further the interests of the members of the Lamp Association. The reports cover a variety of subjects such as packing boxes, felt washers, high candle power lamps, and tabulating machines. Many of the reports contain black-and-white photographs. The Lamp Committee Reports seek to detail the demand for incandescent lamps and their improvements.

Series 3, House Organs, 1919-1959, contains documentation on in-house publications for General Electric. The Stimulator, 1919-1920, promoted "lighting profits and cemented friendliness, cooperation, progress, and quality." The Lamp Letter, 1947-1950, was published by the Lamp Department and dealt specifically with lamp-related issues. The Lamp Department Bulletin, 1947-1950, was produced for GE personnel and dealt with a variety of issues from sales to lamp types to licensing issues. The See Better—Work Better Bulletin, 1959, was published by the Lamp Division as a service to industrial and commercial lamp users.

Series 4, Sales and Advertising Materials, 1910-1955, includes price lists for lamps from both General Electric and other companies, manufacturers' schedules, data books, sales notebooks for sales representatives, and Edison Mazda Lamp advertising cards. The advertising cards are approximately 3" x 6" and are in color. They contain ad slogans such as "His Only Rival," "Satisfied Customer," Edison's Dream Comes True," "Have You Electricity?" and "I like Lots of Light."

Series 5, NELA School of Lighting Records, 1920-1930, documents the school, now known as the GE Lighting Institute, for training sales people and customers in the proper application of various lighting products. The records contain quarterly reports and general and lighting course descriptions.

Series 6, Business and Stock Records, 1890-1912, contains record and minute books and stock certificates from other lamp companies. The record books contain correspondence, resolutions, stockholder information, and committee reports.

Series 7, Scrapbooks and Photographs, 1890s-circa 1950, contains one scrapbook from 1923 with black and white photographs, clippings, correspondence, charts, telegrams, and booklets documenting General Electric's Nela Park location. The photo albums contain black and white photographs of staff, lamps, bulbs, tubing, tabulating, filaments, lead wires, stems, mounts, and lighting installations. The scrapbook and photo albums have indices.

Series 8, Lantern Slides, 1880-1950, consists of glass plates of Edison, images of people in the work place, and lighting equipment.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Historical Background Materials, 1910-1969

Series 2, Executive Records, 1903-1955

Subseries 1.1, Correspondence, 1909-1922

Subseries 1.2, Annual Reports, 1949-1955

Subseries 1.3, Technical Reports, 1903-1935

Subseries 1.4, Standardization Committee, 1903-1908

Subseries 1.5, Lamp Committee, 1909-1935

Series 3, House Organs, 1919-1959

Series 4, Sales and Advertising Materials, 1914-1953

Subseries 4.1, Miniature Mazda Lamps, 1914-1935

Subseries 4.2, Large Mazda Lamps, 1914-1934

Subseries 4.3, Carbon Lamps, 1915-1922

Subseries 4.4, Miscellaneous, 1914-1953

Series 5, NELA School of Lighting, 1920-1930

Series 6, Business and Stock Records, 1890-1912

Subseries 1, Business Records, 1890-1912

Subseries 2, Stock Records & Certificates, 1890-1912

Series 7, Scrapbooks and Photographs, 1890s-circa 1950

Series 8, Lantern Slides, 1880-1950
Biographical / Historical:
Established in 1911, Nela Park (named for the National Electric Lamp Association) in Cleveland, Ohio, has through the present day served as both administrative headquarters and research laboratory for the development and sale of General Electric's (GE) lighting products. In the years following Thomas Edison's electric lamp invention (1879) many companies began to make and sell lighting devices. A merger of Edison Electric and Thomson-Houston Electric in 1892 created GE, which quickly grew to dominate the market. Westinghouse and several much smaller companies struggled to compete. These smaller lamp companies could not afford engineering and research facilities on a scale comparable with those of General Electric.

The National Electric Lamp Company was organized on May 3, 1901, by Franklin S. Terry (Sunbeam Incandescent Lamp Company), and Burton G. Tremaine, H. A. Tremaine and J. Robert Crouse (all from Fostoria Bulb and Bottle Company and Fostoria Incandescent Lamp Company). Terry suggested that the small companies band together to operate an engineering department, conduct lamp research and development, improve manufacturing methods, and build better lamp-making machinery. He further proposed to raise capital from and share patents with GE. This built upon an earlier organization, the Incandescent Lamp Manufacturers Association, organized by GE in 1896. The new National Electric Lamp Company was a holding company in which—unknown even to many of the smaller companies' executives—GE held a controlling (75%) interest. In 1911, GE's involvement with National became public during anti-trust proceedings. GE then purchased the outstanding stock and absorbed the smaller companies by converting them into divisional units.

Thomas Edison had, in 1882, moved his company's lamp manufacturing operation from the Menlo Park laboratory to a new facility in East Newark (Harrison), New Jersey. Named the Edison Lamp Works, this plant became the main administrative and sales facility for Edison Electric's and later GE's, lamp business. Research moved to Edison's new West Orange laboratory. In 1900, after the merger, GE established a research lab in Schenectady, New York. After forming National, Terry and B. G. Tremaine consolidated the administrative functions of that company in Cleveland and by 1910 were actively seeking space for a new office and laboratory campus. They selected a site along Euclid Avenue that was then on the outskirts of town. This became Nela Park (the "Company" had changed to "Association" in 1906). In addition to the National buildings, GE began moving its directly-owned lamp operations to Cleveland after the 1911 settlement. From 1925 through 1930 the various departments at Harrison moved to Nela Park, with the sales department being one of the last to move. GE's lighting research was carried out at both Nela Park and Schenectady.

A focal-point at Nela Park is the GE Lighting Institute, formerly known as the Nela School of Lighting. Organized by the Illuminating Engineering Section of the Engineering Department in 1921, the Lighting Institute continues to train sales people and customers in the use and proper application of various lighting products.

For additional information about Nela Park, General Electric and the National Electric Lamp Company see:

Arthur A. Bright, Jr., The Electric Lamp Industry, MacMillan, 1949.

Harold C. Passer, The Electrical Manufacturers, 1875-1900, Harvard University Press, 1953.

Leonard S. Reich, "Lighting the Path to Profit: GE's Control of the Electric Lamp Industry, 1892-1941," in Business History Review Vol. 66, pages 305-34.

Hollis L. Townsend, A History of Nela Park: 1911-1957, published by General Electric.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

William J. Hammer Collection (AC0069)
Separated Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry (Electricity-related collections) hold several artifacts. See accession numbers: 33,407; 43,120; 68,492; 232,822; 1997.0388 and 1998.0231.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Division of Information Technology and Society (now the Division of Work and Industry) by Mary Beth Gotti, Manager of the General Electric Lighting Institute on March 22, 2001.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Electricity  Search this
Electric lighting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Advertisements
Diaries -- 19th century
Blotters (writing equipment)
Business records
Diaries -- 20th century
Manuals
Lantern slides
Stock certificates
Stereographs
Scrapbooks
Photographs -- 19th century
Citation:
General Electric Nela Park Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0789
See more items in:
General Electric NELA Park Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0789
Online Media:

Arthur Ehrat Papers

Creator:
Ehrat, Arthur  Search this
Fleckner, John A., 1941-  Search this
Extent:
10 Cubic feet (26 boxes)
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Photographs
Videotapes
Audiovisual materials
Interviews
Oral history
Legal records
Patents
Date:
2011
1865-2005
bulk 1970-1990
Summary:
Arthur Ehrat invented and patented a breakaway basketball rim, fashioning his prototypes from bolts, metal braces and one key part: a piece of the heavy-duty coil spring on a John Deere cultivator. His invention helped to revolutionize the way basketball is played because players could slam dunk the ball with fewer injuries and without bending the rims or breaking backboards. This collection includes correspondence, legal documents --such as patent papers, litigation files and licensing agreements --photographs and sketches that relate to the basketball invention, as well as materials regarding his two field spreader patents and other invention ideas.
Scope and Contents:
The collection is divided into five series and consists of approximately seven cubic feet.

This collection includes correspondence and legal documents--such as patent papers, litigation files and licensing agreements--that relate to Arthur Ehrat's basketball goal, as well as materials regarding his field spreader patents and other invention ideas. The bulk of the collection is made up of attorney correspondence, patent infringement documents, and patent licensing documents. The collection also contains handwritten notes by Arthur Ehrat and his attorneys, sketches of his inventions, an oral history interview, and photographs.

Attorney McPherson Moore sent many of the legal documents and correspondence to Ehrat. These documents were assembled by the law firms for which Moore worked. The original order has been preserved.

The correspondence consists of letters from attorney McPherson Moore to Ehrat and from Moore or his associates to other attorneys regarding litigation, pending licensing agreements, and other actions. The correspondence contains handwritten notes, promotional materials for sporting goods companies, drafts of legal documents, copies of patents and other enclosures. The majority of the correspondence is copies.

Correspondence found throughout the collection is key to understanding the legal documents because it provides insight into the legal negotiations behind the settlement and licensing process, and the diligence necessary to protect a viable patent from infringement. Correspondence should be read in conjunction with litigation and licensing documents to gain a better sense of the negotiations between attorneys and how and why the legal documents were created.

Throughout this collection, reference is made to legal terms, including pleadings, production documents, discovery, patent infringement, file histories, and Bates numbers. Series 3, Civil Action and Settlement Records has numerous sets of pleadings, which are the legal documents filed in a lawsuit. These documents encompass complaints, petitions, answers, motions, declarations, and memoranda.

The discovery process is the effort of one party to a lawsuit to get information from the other party prior to a trial. This is done through depositions, requests for or production of documents, and interrogatories (written questions to the other party).6

Bates numbers --named after the Bates Automatic Numbering Machine patented in the late 1800s --are used to identify documents with a unique number. The parties to a lawsuit use these numbers to keep papers in order when they are sent to the other party during discovery. This collection contains sets of production documents stamped with Bates numbers. (See Series 3, Subseries 8: Ehrat v. Icon, Proform and K's Merchandise, 1984-1996)7

Patent infringement is "the manufacture and/or use of an invention or improvement for which someone else owns a patent issued by the government, without obtaining permission of the owner of the patent by contract, license or waiver."8

A patent file history (also called a file wrapper) is a folder maintained by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. It contains all of the correspondence and documents from a patent application.9 See Series 2, Subseries 2 for the file history of Ehrat's United States Patent No. 4,365,802.

Series 1: Background Materials, 1968-2005, 2011

This series, which is further divided into three subseries, comprises oral history interviews, early sketches of Ehrat's basketball goal, articles about slam dunking, Ehrat's breakaway rim, correspondence and notes, income and expense records (including legal expenses), photographs and facsimiles of photographs, and invoices from the components Ehrat purchased when he created prototypes. One receipt documents the heater Bob Copelin purchased for his new shed in 1975, around the time Ehrat began inventing. This was significant when Ehrat was trying to prove to the United States Patent Office that he had his idea before Frederick Tyner.

Subseries 1: Ehrat History, 1968-2005

Correspondence in this subseries includes a handwritten list of possible names for the basketball rim, one which Ehrat titled, "The Rebounder Has Been Tested." The correspondence also contains copies of letters sent to the United States Patent Office intended to prove that Ehrat's rim was unique; a letter from National Basketball Association saying that, after testing, it is going to use Kenneth Mahoney's (Toss Back) rim instead of Ehrat's; letters from basketball halls of fame; and copies of e-mail from the Smithsonian. This subseries has an original sketch of Ehrat's basketball goal with annotations. Also included is a 1 D2" VHS tape of Ehrat explaining the components he used to fashion his first breakaway rim prototypes and a news segment in which Ehrat was interviewed about his invention at the Chicago Board of Trade. The audio and video recordings contain some repetition of information.

Subseries 2: Photographs and Clippings, 1973-2005

Color photocopies of photographs depicting early rims; a birthday gathering for Ehrat's father, William Ehrat, circa 1974-1975 (used to help prove that he was working on the rim before Frederick Tyner); Ehrat giving a rim to Virden High School; Ehrat with sportscaster Dick Vitale; and a studio shot of his daughters, Rose, Jo, Sharon, Jane, and Linda.

Three photographs in this subseries show prototype rims with coil springs. Ehrat holds up one of these photographs in the video history, but he does not discuss the photographs' origin. There are no markings of any kind on the photographs.

Subseries 2 also contains field photographs taken by John Fleckner, National Museum of American History staff, in May 2005. Field photographs include: the grain elevator Ehrat managed; rim prototypes; and a donated rim hanging on the gym wall at Virden High School.

Articles in this subseries are from the Virden Recorder, The State Journal-Register, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, and Kentucky Living. The topics covered include collapsible rims and breakaway rims; Ehrat and his invention; and the Smithsonian Institution's interest in the breakaway rim. Also included is a clipping from Farmers Elevator Co.'s meeting minutes from December 15, 1973, in which the board voted to relinquish rights to any patent or product created by Ehrat.

Subseries 3: Oral History Interview, 2005

A May, 2005, interview of Ehrat by John Fleckner at Ehrat's home in Virden, IL. Ehrat discusses his background, attorney Ralph Staubly, basketball rims he built, and a slam dunk contest that his nephew Randy Albrecht helped organize in the early 1980s at St. Louis Community College. Subseries 3 also contains Digital video disks (DVD) in which Ehrat discusses the documents he sent to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History. There is some repetition of topics discussed in the audio and video recordings.

Series 2: Patent Records for Basketball Rim, 1865-1984 (bulk 1970s-1984)

This series, divided into four subseries, contains copies of patents used as research or as prior art for Ehrat's patent application, a file history of the patent, correspondence/notes from Ehrat and his attorneys, and legal papers sent from Ehrat's first attorney, Ralph Staubly, to McPherson Moore.

Subseries 1: Ehrat and Dittrich Patents, 1979-1984

Copies of Ehrat's United States Patent No. 4,365,802, deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals and William Dittrich's two patents, United States Patent No. 4,151,989, basketball practice device and United States Patent No. 4,465,277, basketball goal structure.

Subseries 2: Research and File History, 1865-1984

The complete patent file history consists of a list of actions taken (rejections, appeals, civil action filed) on the patent application for United States Patent No. 4,365,802. Pages 19-23 are copies of letters sent to United States Patent Office to establish the rim's unique qualities after the examiner's interference search found Frederick Tyner's patent (United States Patent No. 4,111, 420, Energy-absorbing basketball goal/backboard unit) and ruled Ehrat's invention was too similar.

Subseries 3: Correspondence and Notes, 1976-1984

Two sets of letters from acquaintances. The first set, 1977-1978, was sent to the United States Patent Office and provide a sense of the invention's unique quality. The second set, 1983-1984, consists of letters written by Ehrat's friends and was used in Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Mt. Vernon School District and Porter (Series 3, Subseries 1) to establish that Ehrat had his breakaway rim idea before Frederick Tyner. A letter in the correspondence folder for this litigation, dated February 23, 1984, mentions that copies of these letters were sent to Basketball Products International. Also in this subseries is a transcript of a phone conversation between Ehrat and attorney McPherson Moore about when Ehrat had the idea for a breakaway rim and who knew about it.

Subseries 4: Files from Ehrat's First Attorney, Ralph Staubly, 1976-1982

Includes the file about Ehrat sent from Ralph Staubly to McPherson Moore when Ehrat changed legal representation in 1983. The folder contains originals, copies, and drafts of documents sent to the United States Patent Office, some with annotations. Also included is a high school basketball rulebook, 1977-1978, and the notes Ralph Staubly used to write an affidavit for Ehrat's patent application in which Ehrat swears he invented before Frederick Tyner.

Series 3: Civil Action and Settlement Records, 1984-1996

This series is divided into eight subseries. It contains full and partial sets of case pleadings, with pleadings indices, from eight court cases, attorney correspondence and notes, depositions of Ehrat and Frederick Tyner, case judgments, and signed settlements.

In 1984, Ehrat and Basketball Products International were plaintiffs or defendants together in five civil action lawsuits that involved sporting goods companies, including Porter Equipment Company, Gared Company, and Toss Back. These lawsuits and their correspondence should be consulted in conjunction with one another.

Subseries 1: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Mt. Vernon School District and Porter, 1984

Civil action, February 1984-June 1984: The complaint alleges patent infringement by sporting goods company Porter for manufacturing products embodying the invention, and infringement by Mt. Vernon School District (WA) for purchasing Porter basketball goals. Action dismissed June 11, 1984. This subseries contains the subpoena and deposition of Frederick Tyner regarding United States Patent No. 4,111, 420, Energy-absorbing basketball goal/backboard unit. It also contains plaintiff's exhibits, numbered 1-31, which include Tyner's notes, documents, and facsimiles of photographs related to his patented basketball goal.

Subseries 2: Porter Equipment Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984

Civil action, April 1984-June 1984: The complaint alleges that Ehrat's and Basketball Products International's patents are invalid and unenforceable and that Porter and Mt. Vernon School District did not infringe. Porter calls for dismissal or transfer of the case. The pleadings index for Vol. 1 has a note at the bottom that says "Start Vol. 2," but Vol. 2 is not in the collection.

Subseries 3: Gared Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984-1988

Civil action, March 1984-October 1984: This action is in response to letters sent by attorney McPherson Moore threatening a lawsuit if Gared Company does not cease manufacture of infringing goals. Gared Company files a complaint for declaratory judgment, calling the patent invalid and alleging unfair competition. A stipulated dismissal of complaint was signed by Moore and Ralph Kalish, Gared Company's legal counsel. Declaratory judgment is the judgment of a court which determines the rights of parties without ordering anything be done or awarding damages.

Of note in this subseries is the deposition of Ehrat regarding his involvement with Gared Company and the city of St. Louis, where the company is based. Gared Company's counsel, Ralph Kalish, asks Ehrat questions about his nephew, Randy Albrecht. Ehrat purchased 12 rims from Gared Company, on the advice of his nephew, for the purpose of building and testing his releasable basketball goals. Kalish tries to assess whether there was a profit motive and how Gared Company's goals factored into that.

Subseries 4: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Gared Company, 1984

Civil action, April 1984-June 1984: Complaint filed against Gared Company and Athletic Supply (which purchased Gared Company goals) for patent infringement. The case was dismissed.

Subseries 5: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Toss Back

Civil action, May 1984-June 1984: Complaint filed against Toss Back and the cities of Seattle and Tacoma (which purchased Toss Back basketball goals) for patent infringement. There is no evidence of a settlement or of court action. Toss Back signed a licensing agreement with Ehrat in 1985 (See Series 4, Licensing Agreements).

Subseries 6: Ehrat v. Gared Company and Nixdorff-Krein Industries, 1982-1990 (bulk 1987-1990)

Civil action, 1988-1990: Complaint filed against sports equipment company Gared and its parent company, Nixdorff-Krein Industries, for patent infringement. Request for passing case for settlement filed by Ehrat's attorney, McPherson Moore, and granted by the court. The signed settlement is in this subseries. This subseries has file histories of Gared Company patents. A file history (or file wrapper) is a folder kept at the United States Patent and Trademark Office that has all of the correspondence and documents from a patent application

Subseries 7: Ehrat v. Diversified Products, 1989-1994

Civil action, 1993: A complaint was filed against Diversified Products after a series of letters calling for the company to cease manufacture and sales of infringing basketball goals went unheeded. The parties were granted a consent judgment to settle out of court. The signed settlement is in this subseries.

Subseries 8: Ehrat v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., Pro Form Fitness Products Inc., and K's Merchandise Mart, 1984-1996 (bulk 1994-1996)

The Icon Health & Fitness Inc. (hereinafter Icon) pleadings consist of two volumes, Vols. 2 and 3. Vol. 1 is missing. There is a draft of the first page of Ehrat's complaint against Icon in Box 9, Folder 3. A consent judgment was entered, and the parties settled out of court. The signed settlement is in this subseries.

There are two categories of production documents in this subseries, those for the plaintiff (three folders) and those for the defendant (seven folders), that have Bates numbers affixed to or printed on the bottom of the pages. Bates numbers are used to identify documents with a unique number. The parties to a lawsuit use these numbers to keep papers in order when they are sent to the other party during discovery.

The plaintiff's production documents include Bates numbers 1-205. Numbers 1-105 contain Ehrat's patent file history; numbers 107-205 are copies of Ehrat's licensing agreements through 1993.

In the defendant's production documents, one folder has Bates # I10001 and other numbered pages that are not in a particular order. Bates numbers I10068- I10882 include the file history for United States Patent No. 4,365,802, deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals; correspondence among defendant's attorneys; copies of patents; and copies of licensing agreements through 1993.

Series 4: Licensing Agreements, 1982-2000 (bulk 1980s-1990s)

This series is divided into twenty-six subseries and encompasses materials pertaining to Ehrat's relationships with numerous companies that manufacture or sell sports equipment. These materials include correspondence and notes, licensing agreements and drafts of agreements, Dun and Bradstreet financial reports, catalogs, pamphlets, and other promotional materials. Ehrat and attorney McPherson Moore used the promotional materials to determine whether the companies were marketing or selling basketball goals that infringed on Ehrat's patent, then contacted the companies about licensing Ehrat's patent. With the exception of Subseries 1: Correspondence and Subseries 6: William Dittrich Patents, each subseries represents a different company.

To better understand Ehrat's relationships with these companies, researchers should consult Subseries 1: Correspondence, as well as the correspondence within specific subseries, in conjunction with licensing agreements and other documents in this series.

There are thirteen signed licensing agreements in this series, some of which bear original signatures. Ehrat's first licensee was with Basketball Products International, which signed an exclusive agreement in 1983. In November, 1984, after five civil action lawsuits in which Ehrat and Basketball Products International were either co-plaintiffs or co-defendants, the company signed a nonexclusive licensing agreement. Drafts of the agreements exist for some companies, but there is no evidence that the agreements were signed. In some cases, correspondence indicates which companies were not interested in entering into an agreement.

Ehrat's licensees include Huffy (signed May 1988); Basketball Products International, exclusive license (signed July 1983), nonexclusive license (signed November 1984); Toss Back (signed January 1985); Porter Equipment Company (signed 1985 and 1989); RDH Enterprises/Schutt (signed August 1991); Industrial Machine Specialties/Bison (signed January 1987); Lifetime Products (signed March 1989); Fisher-Price (owned by Quaker Oats, signed April 1988); Indian Industries/Harvard Sports (signed June 1991); McCullough (signed April 1990); and Sure Shot (signed March 1991).

Companies in this series without signed licensing agreements include Medart; Blazon-Flexible Flyer; Spang/Today's Kids; Sports and Leisure/Ideas That Sell; Wilson Sporting Goods; Hutch Sporting Goods; Aalco; Bergfeld Recreation; Future Pro; MacGregor; Pro-Bound; Architectural Design Products; and Hyland Engineering.

Settlements and licensing agreements that Ehrat signed with Gared Company, Diversified Products, and Icon appear only in Series 3, Civil Action and Settlement Records.

Subseries 6, William Dittrich Patents, contains correspondence and documents relating to the patent and royalty agreement Dittrich made with Ehrat in 1987. Dittrich had two basketball-related patents but had difficulty getting companies to license with him because there was confusion about his patents and those of Ehrat and Frederick Tyner. Dittrich contacted Ehrat's attorney, McPherson Moore, and they worked out an agreement. Ehrat acquired Dittrich's patents and they joined forces to attract licensing agreements and to split royalties and litigation settlements. Subseries 6 also has the transcript of a 1986 phone conference between William Dittrich and McPherson Moore regarding a possible joint agreement with Ehrat and the patent file history for United States Patent No. 4,151,989, basketball practice device. There is no file history for Dittrich's other patent, United States Patent No. 4,465,277, basketball goal structure, but there are pieces of the file history in this subseries. Subseries 6 also includes drafts and signed patent assignment papers and a signed licensing agreement between Ehrat and Dittrich, 1987.

Subseries 9, Lifetime Products, consists of itemized lists of attorney's fees from McPherson Moore for November 30, 1987, to February 28, 1989. The fees are for research, phone calls, photocopies, correspondence, and litigation documents for Ehrat v. Gared Company. The companies listed in these papers include Gared Company, Lifetime, Huffy, Fisher-Price, Sports and Leisure, Today's Kids, Toss Back, and Blazon.

Subseries 16, McCullough contains a Dunk-Kit (see Box 18), which Ehrat purchased in 1989. The Dunk-Kit is a set of springs and bolts that turn a set basketball goal into a breakaway goal. According to attorney McPherson Moore, the springs and bolts constituted an infringement of Ehrat's patent. McCullough disagreed with this assessment but eventually agreed to a monetary settlement.

Series 5: Field Spreader Patents and Other Ideas, 1977-2003

Subseries 1: Field Spreader Patents, 1977-2003

This subseries contains copies of Ehrat's two field spreader patents: United States Patent No. 4,358,054, field-sprayer tank-vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals and United States Patent No. 4,588,127, material-spreading field vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals. It also contains magazines, articles, and pamphlets on agricultural equipment and litigation documents between SoilTeq and Ag-Chem.

Subseries 2: Other Ideas, 1971-1998

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, Ehrat came up with ideas for other inventions, but none of them were patentable. This subseries has original sketches for "electric clippers with box for holding clippings;" a beverage can with multiple containers; and an "automobile refreshment temperature control." Included in the folders are letters that outline the ideas behind the inventions and the reasons they were not patented. Also included are copies of patents that relate to Ehrat's ideas.

Series 6: Toby Dittrich Files, 1889-1997

This series, which is further divided into five subseries, contains administrative records, prior art, patent records, correspondence, litigation materials, financial records, marketing and sales materials, photographs, and newspaper clippings from William A. (Toby) Dittrich. Dittrich invented the "Dunk King" break-away basketball rim in the mid 1970s while he was a physics professor at Pacific Lutheran University in Washington State. Dittrich patented and marketed his rim with mixed success before selling the rights to his patents to Arthur Ehrat in the mid 1980s. The two agreed to market and license their products independently, and cooperatively share royalties and settlements from patent infringement cases.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series.

Series 1: Background materials, 1968-2005

Subseries 1: Ehrat History, 1968-2005, 2011

Subseries 2: Photographs and Clippings, 1973-2005

Subseries 3: Oral History, 2005

Series 2: Patent records for basketball rim,1865-1984

Subseries 1: Ehrat and Dittrich Patents, 1979-1984

Subseries 2: Research and File History, 1865-1984

Subseries 3: Correspondence and Notes, 1976-1984

Subseries 4: Files from First Attorney, Ralph Staubly, 1976-1982

Series 3: Civil action and settlement records, 1984-1996

Subseries 1: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Mt. Vernon School District and Porter Equipment Company, 1984

Subseries 2: Porter Equipment Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984

Subseries 3: Gared Company v. Basketball Products International and Ehrat, 1984-1988

Subseries 4: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Gared Company --Pleadings, 1984

Subseries 5: Basketball Products International and Ehrat v. Toss Back, 1984

Subseries 6: Ehrat v. Gared Company and Nixdorff-Krein Industries, 1982-1989 (bulk 1987-1989)

Subseries 7: Ehrat v. Diversified Products, 1989-1994

Subseries 8: Ehrat v. Icon Health & Fitness Inc., Pro Form fitness Products, Inc. and K's Merchandise Mart, 1984-1996 (bulk 1994-1996)

Series 4: Licensing agreements, 1982-2000 (bulk 1980s-mid-1990s)

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1980-1989

Subseries 2: Huffy, 1982-1994

Subseries 3: Basketball Products International, 1984-2000

Subseries 4: Toss Back, 1985-1988

Subseries 5: Porter, 1985-2000

Subseries 6: William Dittrich Patents, 1985-1994

Subseries 7: RDH Enterprises/Schutt, 1986-1991

Subseries 8: Industrial Machine Specialties/Bison, 1987-1999

Subseries 9: Lifetime Products, 1987-1989

Subseries 10: Medart, 1988

Subseries 11: Blazon-Flexible Flyer, 1988-1989

Subseries 12: Fisher-Price, 1988-1990

Subseries 13: Spang/Today's Kids, 1988-1990

Subseries 14: Sports and Leisure/Ideas That Sell, 1988-1990

Subseries 15: Indian Industries/Harvard Sports, 1989-2000

Subseries 16: McCullough, 1989-1993

Subseries 17: Wilson Sporting Goods, 1990

Subseries 18: Hutch Sporting Goods, 1990-1991

Subseries 19: Sure Shot, 1991-1997

Subseries 20: Aalco, 1991

Subseries 21: Bergfeld Recreation, 1991

Subseries 22: Future Pro, 1995-1997

Subseries 23: MacGregor, 1997

Subseries 24: Pro-Bound, 1997

Subseries 25: Architectural Design Products, 1997-1998

Subseries 26: Hyland Engineering, 1998

Series 5: Field spreader patents and other ideas, 1977-2003

Subseries 1: Field Spreader, 1977-2003

Subseries 2: Other Ideas, 1971-1998

Series 6: Toby Dittrich Files, 1889-1997

Subseries 1: Administrative, 1977-1991

Subseries 2: Patent Information, 1889-1989

Subseries 3: Legal/Patent Infriengement Matters, 1977-1997

Subseries 4: Marketing and Sales, 1977-1991

Subseries 5: Other Inventions and Ideas, 1978-1980
Biographical / Historical:
Arthur Henry Ehrat was born December 20, 1924. He grew up on a farm near Shobonier, IL, east of St. Louis. Ehrat had four sisters and a brother: Dorothea, Ruth, Bernice, Grace and Walter. Growing up on a farm during the Great Depression, Ehrat learned farming skills, including milking, baling, and operating heavy equipment such as threshing machines. After graduating from Vandalia High School he moved to Wheaton, IL, to work on a farm. From the latter part of 1945 until 1947, Ehrat was an Army medic, stationed in Fort Sheridan, IL; Camp Atterbury, IN; Fort Meade, MD; and Manila, Philippines. After his Army service, Ehrat moved back to Illinois and spent a few years farming with his brother.

In the early 1950s Ehrat lived with his sister Bernice and her family in Minneapolis while attending a two-year course at Minneapolis Business College. Upon completion of the course, he returned to Virden, IL and worked at a grain elevator. Ehrat met Mary Mardell Worth in Virden. They were married June 27, 1954, and had five daughters: Rose, Jo, Sharon, Jane and Linda. Ehrat managed the grain elevator at Farmers Elevator Co. in Lowder, IL for nearly 30 years.

In the mid-1970s, Ehrat's nephew, Randy Albrecht, a coach at St. Louis University, mentioned that basketball players were slamming the basketball ball through the rim and hurting themselves, as well as bending or breaking the rims, which were affixed directly to the backboard. The bent rims had to be straightened, causing a delay of game. While Ehrat never had a strong interest in the game of basketball, Albrecht suggested his uncle, who was known as a tinkerer, come up with a safer basketball rim. The conversation sparked a few ideas. Ehrat bought a flimsy $20 basketball rim and began building a prototype.

Basketball fans during the 1940s and 1950s didn't see many slam dunks. Despite the leaping ability of stars Bob Kurland, George Mikan, and James Clifford Pollard, aka "the Kangaroo Kid," the dunk shot was considered showboating and was often done only in practice. Basketball players, whose average size was smaller in the mid-20th century, viewed the dunk as a low-percentage shot compared with the ubiquitous jump-shot.

In 1967, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) outlawed dunking. A few years later, Julius "Dr. J" Erving, who played professionally for the American Basketball Association's Virginia Squires, re-ignited excitement about basketball with his high-flying slams. In the first half of 1976, a few months before Ehrat first applied for a patent, the dunk was reinstated in college basketball.

At the professional level, flamboyant hoops star Darryl "Dr. Dunk" Dawkins shattered some glass backboards in the late 1970s and early 1980s, which prompted the National Basketball Association (NBA) to ban the shattering of backboards and make collapsible rims mandatory. The NBA's call for collapsible rims, along with the NCAA's reinstatement of the dunk, opened the door for innovations in basketball rims.

Collapsible rims, which folded down when pressure was applied to them, were the precursor to breakaway rims and had to be manually put back in place. Ehrat created a safer basketball rim that automatically snapped back after a slam dunk.

Ehrat's first rim, used a door spring. It was bolted to two plates, one that remained fastened while the other flexed down under pressure. The hinge was not strong enough, so he focused on creating a detent. A detent is a device that holds one mechanical part in relation to another so the device can be released when force is applied. If someone slam dunks a basketball and pulls on the rim, a detent would allow the rim to flex downward with minimal pressure on the backboard. Ehrat fitted some heavy-duty magnets between metal plates on the rim, but this did not work as he envisioned.

The turning point came when Ehrat decided to use a spring mechanism. Drawing upon his agricultural background, he pulled a spring from a John Deere cultivator, cutting it to fit the basketball rim. The thick, sturdy coil was able to withstand more than a hundred pounds of pressure before yielding downward and would push the rim back into place. In addition to the spring, he tested ball bearings, bolts, and corner braces before finding the right combination that would hold at least 150 pounds of pressure.

Once he had viable prototypes, Ehrat tested their durability. He sent one to Virden High School and enlisted Randy Albrecht, to test the other prototypes. Albrecht used his connections as a basketball coach at St. Louis Community College at Meramec to have prototypes installed at the schools where he worked. The rims were sent to other high schools and colleges by Ehrat. For more information on where the prototypes went, see his deposition in Series 3, Subseries 3. Ehrat estimated in his deposition that he built approximately 36-40 prototype rims.

It took six years, from July 1976 to December 1982, for Ehrat to receive the patent on his basketball goal (United States Patent No. 4,365,802, Deformation-preventing swingable mount for basketball goals). His application was rejected twice, with patent examiner Paul Shapiro noting that Frederick C. Tyner held a patent for a similar basketball goal (United States Patent No. 4,111, 420, energy-absorbing basketball goal/backboard unit).

Ehrat and his attorney, Ralph Staubly, pursued an appeal of the rejection. Staubly, a retired patent examiner had moved to Springfield, IL, in the 1970s to open a private practice. A major part of the appeal involved notarized letters from acquaintances who said that Ehrat's invention was unique and would be an asset to the sport of basketball. He also proved, through copies of canceled checks and a rough sketch of his invention, that he was working on his breakaway basketball goal in 1975 before Frederick Tyner conceived of his. In a 1984 deposition (Series 3, Subseries 1), Tyner placed the date of his invention near the last week of March or first week of April 1976, not long after he heard that the NCAA had reinstated dunking.

Ehrat won the appeal, effectively rendering the Tyner patent invalid. After Staubly fell ill and moved to Texas, and in early 1983, Ehrat found a new patent attorney,McPherson Moore of the St. Louis firm Rogers, Eilers and Howell, who became Ehrat's main legal counsel for approximately 20 years.

In February, 1983, two months after Ehrat received his patent, his attorney McPherson Moore sent certified letters to more than 60 sporting goods companies to announce the patent. The letters were sent to alert companies of possible infringement and to garner interest in licensing agreements.

During the basketball goal patent's 17-year lifespan, Ehrat obtained a dozen companies as licensees. Only Fisher-Price and Schutt Manufacturing signed without much difficulty. Ehrat worked to get the other companies licensed, in some cases filing patent infringement lawsuits or threatening to file them. Ehrat's first licensing agreement, signed in 1983, was with Basketball Products International.

Ehrat was involved in eight civil action lawsuits, five of which took place in 1984, when he had to prove for a second time that he had his idea for a breakaway goal before Tyner. Ehrat also defended his patent against other, similar patents issued to sporting goods companies in the early 1980s. Kenneth Mahoney of Toss Back, Charles Engle of Gared Company, and the Porter Equipment Co. all received patents for basketball goal devices, citing Ehrat's patent as prior art. Ehrat was involved in lawsuits with all three companies.

In 1986, Ehrat and attorney McPherson Moore were contacted by William "Toby" Dittrich, who held two patents --United States Patent No. 4,151,989, basketball practice device and United States Patent No. 4,465,277, basketball goal structure. Dittrich was having difficulty licensing his patents to companies because of the confusion over Ehrat's and Tyner's patents. Dittrich assigned his patents to Ehrat in 1987 and they signed a joint licensing agreement to split royalties and settlement money.

In addition to his basketball goal patent, Ehrat also holds two patents for agricultural inventions: United States Patent No. 4,358,054, field-sprayer tank-vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals; and United States Patent No. 4,588,127, material-spreading field vehicle having means for on-site metering and mixing of soil-treating chemicals.

Arthur Ehrat died on July 9, 2015.
Related Materials:
Artifacts related to this collection were donated to the Museum's Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment, now the Division of Culture and Arts.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2005 by Arthur Ehrat. An addenda of materials related to Toby Dittrich was donated by Toby Dittrich in 2014.
Restrictions:
The 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:
Patent suits  Search this
Sporting goods industry -- 1950-1990  Search this
Baketball hoops  Search this
Basketball  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
Audiovisual materials
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Legal records
Patents -- 20th century
Citation:
Arthur Ehrat Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0907
See more items in:
Arthur Ehrat Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0907
Online Media:

John Caples Papers

Creator:
Caples, John, 1900-1990 (advertising executive)  Search this
Caples, Dorothy  Search this
Names:
Batten, Barton, Durstine, and Osborn  Search this
Extent:
24 Cubic feet (64 boxes )
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Business letters
Awards
Essays
Diaries
Tear sheets
Typescripts
Place:
New York (N.Y.)
Date:
circa 1900-1987
Scope and Contents:
Series Three, Speeches and Lectures, contains Caples' speeches to advertising industry associations and other business organizations, as well as a series of lectures prepared for a college course on advertising techniques that Caples taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Business during the 1953-54 academic year..

Series Four, Client Files, contains correspondence, advertising copy, press clippings, memos, tearsheets, and other business records for scores of clients for whom Caples did work; Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal are especially well represented. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.

Subseries A contains client files from Caples' years at Ruthrauff & Ryan (1925-1927).

Subseries B contains client files from Caples' years at BBDO (circa 1946-1972).

Subseries C contains files documenting copy testing and direct mail methods and results. Some of the copy-testing materials are in poster-sized format presumably designed for presentation. Several sets of lantern slides illustrating copy-testing results are also included. Series 5, Business Files, includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
Series 1: Personal Papers, is divided into three subseries.

Subseries 1.1 contains Caples' diaries in original, unedited manuscript form. The diaries are arranged chronologically. They constitute a notable resource for the study of the advertising industry from an insider's perspective during a period of tremendous expansion of advertising as a force in American business and culture. They document Caple's participation in and reflections on the business of advertising, and detail his acquaintance with noted business and advertising professionals. The diaries record his responses to the major events of his lifetime, such as presidential elections, the stock market crash of 1929, American entry into World War II, the Kennedy assassinations, and the moon landing. Caples recorded conversations and contacts with some of the key advertising and communications people of his time, including Rosser Reeves, David Ogilvy, George Gallup and Harry Reasoner. Also found in the diaries are reflections of a more mundane or personal nature: weather conditions, the best restaurants, whether to quit drinking or go on a diet, and Caples= ambivalence about retiring from BBDO. Caples wrote precisely one page each day from 1928 through 1981. Missing from the series are the years 1935-1940, 1946-1950; 1952-1955; 1957-1962.

Subseries 1.2 contains edited, rewritten portions of the diaries, presumably intended for publication as short-stories or reminiscences. Of particular interest are humorous short stories relating to Caples' years at the Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD during the early 1920s.

Subseries 1.3 contains photographs of Caples and his family, ca. 1900-1960.

Subseries 1.4 contains personal and family papers, including material documenting Caple's service as a recruitment and enlistment officer for the U.S. Navy during World War II, and a copy of a dissertation about Caples by Gordon White, entitled John Caples, Adman.

Series 2: Publications, contains Caple's published and unpublished manuscripts about advertising techniques, direct marketing, and the advertising industry. Arrangement is according to publication and thereunder by date of publication. This series is arranged into two subseries.

Subseries 2.1 contains articles published in advertising industry publications such as Advertising Agency, Advertising and Selling, Direct Marketing, and Printer's Ink, and for business publications like Saturday Review. The articles typically are of a how-to nature, but also include Caples observations about the business of advertising, including a series for Advertising Agency in the 1950s, titled "Diary of an Ad Man," which drew heavily from his diaries.

Subseries 2.2 contains book manuscripts. Caples was a prolific and respected author in his field, publishing four widely acclaimed books on advertising and direct marketing techniques. Material in this series includes rough and final drafts, illustrative material, and correspondence with editors and publishers. There are also letters of congratulation from friends and letters of praise from readers.

Series 3: Speeches and Lectures, contains Caples' speeches to advertising industry associations and other business organizations, as well as a series of lectures prepared for a college course on advertising techniques that Caples taught at Columbia University Graduate School of Business during the 1953-54 academic year..Series 4: Client Files, contains correspondence, advertising copy, press clippings, memos, tearsheets, and other business records for scores of clients for whom Caples did work; Readers Digest and the Wall Street Journal are especially well represented. Files are arranged alphabetically by client name.

Subseries 4.1 contains client files from Caples' years at Ruthrauff & Ryan (1925-1927).

Subseries 4.2 contains client files from Caples' years at BBDO (ca. 1946-1972).

Subseries 4.3 contains files documenting copy testing and direct mail methods and results. Some of the copy-testing materials are in poster-sized format presumably designed for presentation. Several sets of lantern slides illustrating copy-testing results are also included.

Series 5: Business Files, includes BBDO files and correspondence from the 1930s through the 1980s. This series includes many of BBDO's internal manuals and instructions on copy-testing and direct mail, many authored by Caples. This series also contains notes, clipping files, and "tickler" or idea files, mostly from the period of Caple's retirement. Also found here are Caples' many awards and honors from advertising and direct marketing organizations.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Personal Papers

Series 2: Publications

Series 3: Speeches and Lectures

Series 4: Client Files

Series 5: Business Files
Biographical / Historical:
John Caples (1900-1990) was one of advertising's most influential copywriters. He grew up in New York City, the eldest of two sons of Byron Caples, a doctor, and Edith Richards Caples, a grandniece of W.W. Cole, P.T. Barnum's partner.

After graduation from the Naval Academy at Annapolis, Caples began his advertising career at Ruthrauff & Ryan in 1925, during the decade in which advertising began to assume its modern form, both in style and organizational structure. His first year there, he wrote a legendary mail-order advertisement for the U.S. School of Music. This advertisement, more than a thousand words long, embodied many of the techniques which Caples was later to develop, and is still regarded within the industry as one of the most effective pieces of advertising copy ever written. It began with the straightforward but emotionally insightful headline: "They laughed when I sat down at the piano." The headline became a part of American popular culture, appearing in ads, comics, cartoons, and greeting cards into the 1990s.

In 1927, Caples moved to Batten, Barton, Durstine & Osborne (BBDO), where he had the opportunity to work alongside Bruce Barton, an advertising legend and pioneer of direct mail. Caples remained at BBDO for 55 years, during which time he reshaped the field of direct response advertising. At BBDO he supervised direct response advertising for DuPont, U..S. Steel, General Electric, United Fruit, Hormel, the Wall Street Journal, Reader's Digest, Phoenix Mutual, Liberty Mutual, Western Airlines, U.S. Navy Recruiting, and many other clients. In his honor, the Direct Marketing Creative Guild established the John Caples Award to recognize creative excellence in direct marketing.

Caples was also respected for the development of innovative copy-testing techniques. He was the author of countless articles and several well-respected books, including Tested Advertising Methods (1932), Advertising for Immediate Sales (1936), Making Ads Pay (1957) and How To Make Your Advertising Make Money (1983). He also served as a recruitment and enlistment officer in the U.S. Navy during World War II. John Caples retired from BBDO in 1981. He died after a long convalescence in 1990.
Related Materials:
As part of the collection, the Archives Center accepted 22 books on advertising, including copies of Caples' books, some in foreign languages. These books are housed in the Archives Center.
Provenance:
The collection was donated in December 1990 by Caples' widow, Mrs. Dorothy Dickes Caples, of New York City.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Reproduction fees for commercial use. Copyright restrictions. Contact staff for information.
Topic:
Advertising copy  Search this
advertising  Search this
Advertising, Direct-mail  Search this
Advertising executives  Search this
Copy writers  Search this
Direct marketing  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business letters
Awards
Essays
Diaries -- 20th century
Tear sheets
Typescripts
Citation:
John Caples Papers, 1900-1987, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0393
See more items in:
John Caples Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0393
Online Media:

United States Manned Space Program Manuals Collection [Donald Thompson]

Creator:
North American Rockwell Corp  Search this
Names:
Apollo Soyuz Test Project  Search this
Extent:
22 Cubic Feet ((22 boxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Reports
Date:
bulk 1960s-1970s
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of 22 cubic feet of manned space manuals from the Gemini, Apollo and Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) programs. The collection consists of reports, manuals and working papers, including mission reports, flight crew logs, and technical and crew debriefings.
Biographical / Historical:
Donald B. Thompson was employed in the Downey, California, Project Integration Office of North American Rockwell from 1962 until his retirement in 1994. As Thompson's office monitored the testing and mission activities of most boilerplate, prototype and flown spacecraft, they maintained a large collection of NASA and company documents relating to all North American contracts with NASA, especially the Apollo, Skylab and the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project (ASTP) programs. Thompson later removed these documents from the Downey plant to preserve them for posterity as they were scheduled for destruction. The documents were later returned to North American Rockwell, where they were gone through to remove company-sensitive material and then forwarded to Johnson Space Center for further review before being donated to the National Air and Space Museum.
Provenance:
NASA, Gift, 2013
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Astronautics  Search this
Space flight  Search this
Gemini Project  Search this
Apollo Project  Search this
Genre/Form:
Technical manuals -- 20th century
Reports
Citation:
United States Manned Space Program Manuals Collection [Donald Thompson] , Accession 2013-0031, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2013.0031
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2013-0031

The Unlikely Medical History of Chocolate Syrup

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Wed, 06 Sep 2017 17:42:32 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more posts:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_63200012170769f644660546cb25e970

Don’t Miss These 11 New Museum Exhibitions This Winter

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Fri, 02 Dec 2016 19:53:10 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_97269252e951aadd5fc8a9755dc537f5

Six Things We Learned About Our Changing Climate in 2013

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Fri, 27 Dec 2013 18:29:56 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_c1165a97085274bcf4de2b8449a59df3

This Lady Scientist Defined the Greenhouse Effect But Didn’t Get the Credit, Because Sexism

Creator:
Smithsonian Magazine  Search this
Type:
Blog posts
Smithsonian staff publications
Blog posts
Published Date:
Mon, 05 Dec 2016 17:13:20 +0000
Topic:
Search this
See more post:
Smithsonian Article Database
Data Source:
Smithsonian Magazine
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:posts_ca1ca3c0ff5340b5dc3981d0014e298d

Words of wisdom : a curator's vade mecum on contemporary art / edited by Carin Kuoni

Title:
Curator's vade mecum on contemporary art
Author:
Kuoni, Carin  Search this
Independent Curators International  Search this
Physical description:
176 p. : ill., ports. ; 22 cm
Type:
Handbooks, manuals, etc
Date:
2001
C2001
20th century
Topic:
Art museum curators  Search this
Art--Exhibition techniques  Search this
Art, Modern  Search this
Call number:
N410 .W67 2001
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_678298

Handbook of modern British painting and printmaking, 1900-1990 / edited by Alan Windsor

Title:
Modern British painting and printmaking, 1900-1990
Author:
Windsor, Alan  Search this
Physical description:
vii, 321 p. ; 22 cm
Type:
Handbooks, manuals etc
Date:
1998
C1998
20th century
Topic:
Art, British  Search this
Call number:
ND468 .H36 1998
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_553484

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