Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Search Results

Collections Search Center
1019 documents - page 1 of 51

Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974

Creator:
Jacques Seligmann & Co.  Search this
Subject:
Waegen, Rolf Hans  Search this
Glaenzer, Eugene  Search this
de Hauke, César  Search this
Seligmann, Jacques  Search this
Seligmann, René  Search this
Parker, Theresa D.  Search this
Mackay, Clarence Hungerford  Search this
Liechtenstein, House of  Search this
Schiff, Mortimer L.  Search this
Haardt, Georges  Search this
La Fresnaye, Roger de  Search this
Seligman, Germain  Search this
Arenberg  Search this
Seligmann, Arnold  Search this
Trevor, Clyfford  Search this
MM. Jacques Seligmann & fils  Search this
Eugene Glaenzer & Co  Search this
Gersel  Search this
Germain Seligmann & Co  Search this
De Hauke & Co., Inc  Search this
Topic:
Art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Art, European  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Art treasures in war  Search this
Art galleries, Commercial  Search this
Art, Renaissance  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9936
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212486
AAA_collcode_jacqself
Theme:
The Art Market
Art Gallery Records
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212486
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Jacques Seligmann & Co. records, 1904-1978, bulk 1913-1974 digital asset number 1
Online Media:

Delegate

Published by:
MelPat Associates, American, 1965 - 1986  Search this
Created by:
C. Melvin Patrick, American, died 1985  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 7/16 × 9/16 in. (27.5 × 21.4 × 1.5 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
Houston, Harris County, Texas, United States, North and Central America
San Francisco, California, United States, North and Central America
Oakland, Alameda County, California, United States, North and Central America
Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1984
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Communities  Search this
Dance  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Government  Search this
Hollywood (Film)  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Labor  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Olympics  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics (Practical)  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Sororities  Search this
United States--History--1969-2001  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Anne B. Patrick and the family of Hilda E. Stokely
Object number:
2012.167.18
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5a99826b2-563a-492a-9d22-e03c2c02f99c
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.167.18
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 1

Beechcraft C17L Staggerwing

Manufacturer:
Beech Aircraft Corporation  Search this
Materials:
Fuselage: steel tube with fabric cover
Dimensions:
Wingspan: 9.75 m (32 ft)
Length: 7.44 m (24 ft 5 in)
Height: 2.59 m (8 ft 6 in)
Weight, Empty: 827 kg (1825 lb)
Weight, Gross: 1425.6 (3,165 lb)
Top Speed: 402.3 km/h (250 mph)
Engine: Jacobs L-4MB, 225 hp
Type:
CRAFT-Aircraft
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1932-1948
Credit Line:
Donated by Desert Air Parts, Inc.
Inventory Number:
A19810023000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv91ba7ddc8-f2b7-43e8-a708-b1a06e77ee3f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19810023000

Mr. Wizard Papers

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

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

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1906-2007

Series 2: Awards, 1948-2000

Series 3: Speeches, 1966-1994

Series 4: Publications/Writings, 1966-2004

Series 5: Newspaper Articles, 1944-2007

Series 6: Educational Programs/Projects, 1951-2008

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

Subseries 6.2: Watch Mr. Wizard, 1954-1989

Subseries 6.3: General Electric Theater, 1956-1958

Subseries 6.4: Instructor Magazine, 1964-1965

Subseries 6.5: Experiment, 1963-2003

Subseries 6.6: Silence of Science, 1966

Subseries 6.7: CBS National Science Test, 1967

Subseries 6.8: General Electric, 1974-1976

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

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

Subseries 6.11: Challenge with Mr. Wizard, 1976

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

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

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

Subseries 6.15: Correspondent Science News, circa 1987

Subseries 6.16: Just a Minute from Wizard, 1988

Subseries 6.17: Teacher to Teacher, 1993-2004

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

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

Subseries 6.20: Mr. Wizard Institute, undated

Subseries 6.21: Fan Mail, 1952-2007

Series 7: Photographs, 1951-2001

Series 8: Audio Visual Materials, 1951-2004

Subseries 8.1: Supplemental Documentation, 1972-2004

Subseries 8.2: Moving Image, 1951-2004

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources

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

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

UCLA Film and Television Archives

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grayce Uyehara Papers

Topic:
Social Justice
Creator:
Uyehara, Grayce  Search this
Donor:
Uyehara, Paul M.  Search this
Uyehara, Paul M.  Search this
Names:
Japanese American Citizens' League  Search this
Extent:
18 Cubic feet (18 boxes)
Culture:
Japanese Americans -- Evacuation and relocation, 1942-1945  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Audio cassettes
Awards
Compact discs
Letters (correspondence)
Memoranda
Minutes
Newsclippings
Newsletters
Oral history
Pamphlets
Photographs
Reports
Slides
Speeches
Videocassettes
Date:
1929-2008
Summary:
The papers document the life and activism of Grayce Uyehara who was a pivotal figure within the Redress Movement and sought reparations for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Content Description:
The papers document the life and activism of Grayce Uyehara who was a pivotal figure within the Redress Movement and sought reparations for the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. The collection materials span different social justice topics that Uyehara was involved with outside of Japanese American communities. Geographically, the materials are primarily from her time in Stockton, California; Rohwer, Arkansas; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C., as well as other places.

The papers include materials relating to Uyehara's own incarceration; her lobbying work with the Japanese American Citizens League; other activism and grass roots activities; speeches; campaign materials; articles; memos; financial reports; work journals; photographs of the Uyeharas; community newspapers; film slides of redress; personal letters; internal correspondence; leadership conference notes; educational materials; interviews; awards; student theses; pamphlets; booklets; oral histories; maps; meeting minutes; newsletters; directories; and congressional records.
Arrangement:
The collection is unarranged.
Biographical:
Grayce Uyehara was a social worker and pivotal Redress Movement activist who helped lead the reparations campaign for the wrongful incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II. Uyehara was born Ritsuko Kaneda on July 4th, 1919, in Stockton, California. Her parents named her Ritsu, which roughly translates to notions of law and independence, informed by their understanding of the significance of Independence Day. Her father, Tsuyanoshi Kaneda, worked in agriculture and business and performed domestic tasks. Through this, he developed a reliable business working for lawyers, doctors, and school administrators. Her mother, Tome Kaneda, raised their children. Her mother was strict but also encouraged her children to excel at whatever they did. She enrolled them in Japanese and music classes and expected them to help out at church and in the community. Uyehara was the second of seven children, and as the eldest daughter was expected to be a role model for her younger siblings.

In high school, Uyehara belonged to a Japanese student club, excelled in her schoolwork, and was part of the marching band, playing the bassoon. She also played piano for Sunday school at church, which had both English and Japanese services. She became involved in the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL), participating in its oratorical contests. Because of her community service, the elders and her peers in the Japanese American community respected Uyehara.

Uyehara majored in music at the University of the Pacific. She believed music would allow her to start a career as a local Japanese American piano teacher and church organist. She worked many jobs to pay for tuition while her parents helped cover her costs. While in college, she became involved in the Japanese American Young People's Christian Conference (YPCC) in Northern California. Uyehara continued to be recognized for her leadership and competence by becoming the chairperson of the Sacramento YPCC as a college senior.

In January 1942, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, Uyehara was asked by the university president to become an instructor to teach Japanese to young men in military service at the local army base. Citing her patriotic duty, she accepted the position. She was able to finish school before being incarcerated, partly because her mother pushed her to do well and to stay in school. When the Uyehara family prepared to leave their home in April, one of her professors offered to hold their household belongings. Although she satisfied her graduation requirements, she received her degree in absentia. Two of her siblings were also in college when their academic careers were interrupted. She was very upset that her parents did not get to see her graduate because they had sacrificed so much.

The Kaneda family was forcibly relocated to the Stockton Temporary Detention Center in May 1942. At the Stockton Center, she put her service skills to work and assisted other Nisei inmates in organizing a makeshift school for Japanese American youth. Located on the site of the county fairgrounds, the school was forced to hold classes in the grandstands. Through one of her father's contacts, she was able to secure a donation of books, and she became the supervisor in charge of elementary education. Some of the young soldiers that she taught at the base also came to visit her. She spent four months there, and in September of 1942, her family was notified that they would be forcibly moved to Rohwer, Arkansas. While her family traveled ahead, she stayed behind to help close the Stockton Temporary Detention Center.

At Rohwer, Uyehara remained active and continued to hone her leadership and organizational skills. She helped create church services for young people, played the piano at various events, and taught music in junior high-level classes. During this time, she realized that her previous career path as a piano teacher was not realistic. She discovered that the Minnesota State Teachers College was offering scholarships to eligible camp inmates and decided to pursue the opportunity. She left the camp in January 1943 with three other young Nisei. She lived at a boarding house with another Nisei student from the Tule Lake incarceration camp. She had an active social life but found the classes to be unchallenging. During the summer in St. Paul, she stayed with a woman who was active with the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom, a liberal group who spoke out against war. Unsure of what to do next, she then returned to Rohwer where she worked at the camp hospital, continually checking for jobs. She found a job listing in Virginia where one of her younger sisters was attending school, and she left Rohwer for the last time. In Virginia, she worked as an editorial secretary. She was grateful that it was not a service job, which was the norm for young Japanese American women. Uyehara's brother, Ben, was attending Temple University in Philadelphia during this time. He assured her that the Quakers would help the Kaneda family with moving from the camp. Convinced, she packed up again and moved further north.

In Philadelphia, Uyehara found an apartment in the Fellowship House, an organization providing workshops on race relations in the city. She began working for Family Services, a social service agency in the Germantown area of Philadelphia as a receptionist and typist, but she also conducted intake interviews with the clients of the agency. She further continued her role as a community leader by becoming involved with the International Institute which assisted immigrants settling in Philadelphia, and became concerned with the needs of the Japanese American population moving in. Working closely with the Institute, she helped form the Philadelphia Nisei Council, which coordinated with the War Relocation Authority. She was the Nikkei representative of the Philadelphia Committee of Social Service Agencies whose role was to assist with relocation problems. Uyehara developed a handbook that detailed practical issues such as the cost of living in the city, how to rent an apartment, and where to find jobs. The Council began a newsletter, so the community could be aware of new people moving in to the area and of community events. She also started youth groups to provide activities and social interaction for high school and college-age youth coming out of the camp experience.

In Philadelphia, Uyehara became re-acquainted with Hiroshi Uyehara, whose mother knew Grayce's mother. They briefly met in Rohwer. He worked at a nearby Westinghouse factory as a draftsman. He had to receive an Army and Navy clearance, and during the wait went on strike. He became a volunteer at the International Institute where they reconnected. They married in 1946. Later, she and her husband were among those who formed the Philadelphia Chapter of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL) to influence more people on social issues affecting Japanese Americans in a national context. Afterwards, the director of the International Institute arranged for the board to pay her graduate school tuition at the University of Pennsylvania while she worked as a social worker for the agency. She graduated in 1947 with a Masters in Social Work. Within two years of working in the community, she was asked to serve on the Philadelphia Fellowship Commission. She used this opportunity to highlight the perspectives of Japanese Americans.

The Uyehara's first son, Chris, was born in May of 1948. In 1950, they had a second child, Lisa. The International Institute asked her to return as a volunteer, and she started a program to help American servicemen and Japanese brides returning from Japan to adjust to a new life. She worked directly with Japanese women in teaching American customs, including etiquette and cooking lessons. She also provided individual counseling. She was very active with the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and became president, creating parent education programs and raising funds for the local school library. Uyehara was also very active in the National Association of Social Workers, the Cub Scouts, the local Presbyterian church, the West Chester Human Relationships Council, and the League of Women Voters. Later, she had two more children, Larry, in 1952, and Paul, in 1955. During this time, she was asked to help in establishing the first day care center for working mothers in West Chester. Despite the low pay, she was instrumental in establishing the center. In addition, she got involved in civil rights issues for African Americans, especially for school desegregation and upgrading placement rates for African American students.

In 1972, Uyehara served as the governor for the Eastern District Council of the JACL. She was on the National Board, and was the vice-president for General Operations, Chapter President, the National Civil Rights Committee, and the National Scholarship Committee. In 1974, Uyehara was the first woman to hold a JACL elected office. From 1973 to 1974, she was on the National Education Committee. She used her organizational skills to rearrange some existing educational programs so that the history of Japanese Americans could become more well known throughout the country. She also prioritized projects within the committee to make the programs more attractive to potential funders. Her ability to effectively organize with the JACL was influenced by the lessons learned in reading Years of Infamy by Michi Weglyn, and in the organizing lessons within African American communities after Brown v. Board of Education was passed.

In 1978, Uyehara was present at the 1978 Salt Lake City Convention when JACL decided to pursue redress, and was asked to be on the National Committee for Redress. Using her experience in improving school districts for African Americans, she worked hard to generate educational materials, bombard congressional offices and speak at various events and community organizations. She was also effective in gaining support from the Presbyterian Church and Jewish organizations. By 1985 she devised a plan to reach people on the East Coast, since there weren't many JACL chapters in major cities there. She retired from her job as a school social worker in order to help the JACL achieve redress. In the spring, she transferred to the Legislative Education Committee (LEC). Her philosophy was "If you're going to do it, you do it right. You just don't talk about it".

Uyehara did a lot of traveling between Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. Her husband was very supportive during this time. The leadership in Washington consisted of JACL officials and four Nikkei congressmen, who recognized Uyehara's work in coalition building and developing political relationships. Whenever a new member of Congress signed on to the Civil Liberties Act, she would send out a press statement, and any significant chapter events would be announced through her "Action Alerts." She also led congressional meetings with people like Senator Inouye, Ralph Neas, and Mike Masaoka because she was very familiar with the legislative process.

Uyehara sent information "vernaculars" to newspapers and newsletter organizations in New York and Los Angeles as well as the Pacific Citizen, so that people could see progress taking place within the redress effort. She urged people to initiate contacts in states like Florida and North Carolina to ensure votes were not lost. If an area had lower numbers of Japanese American constituents, she would ask different contacts to support the redress effort and lobby congress to vote for it. She also used her existing relationships with the American Friends Service Committee, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Jewish war veterans, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) of B'nai B'irth and the American Jewish Committee. Greatly aided by her efforts, the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was passed. It issued a formal apology from the government and $20,000 to each surviving incarceree. This act also required monuments, museums, and classrooms to teach the history of Japanese American incarceration so similar discrimination would never happen again to others.

After redress was passed, Uyehara was still actively involved in community organizing. She chaired the JACL Legacy Fund campaign, which raised over $5 million to support other JACL programs. She engaged with the Japanese House and Garden in Philadelphia's Fairmount Park, speaking at educational engagements about redress and organizing efforts for residents in her retirement community through the Diversity Committee and the Mental Health Committee. She also helped coordinate the Philadelphia area fundraising effort for the National Japanese American Memorial Foundation. In addition, she enjoyed spending more time with family, gardening, and playing the piano.

In 2014, Uyehara was honored by Asian Americans United with its Standing Up for Justice Award. Uyehara passed away on June 22, 2014, at Virtual Memorial Hospital in Mount Holly, New Jersey. Japanese Americans remember Uyehara for her effectiveness and dedication as an activist, community leader, and the mother of Redress. Her experiences of being discriminated against and having to work to support the family at a young age sensitized her to the plight of working women and the economically disadvantaged. This greatly informed her service not only for Japanese Americans, but for all communities in America.

Sources

Susan Nakaoka. "Nisei Political Activists: The Stories of Five Japanese American Women Master of Arts., (University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), 1999) found in Grayce Uyehara Papers, Box 1, Folder N, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Gammage, Jeff. "Grayce Uyehara, fought for interned Japanese-Americans." The Philadelphia Inquirer, https://www.inquirer.com/philly/obituaries/20140624_Grayce_Uyehara fought_for_interned_Japanese-Americans.html June 23, 2014. Last Accessed March 18, 2019.
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center in 2019 by Paul M. Uyehara.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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:
Civil rights movements  Search this
Concentration camps -- United States  Search this
Newspapers -- 20th century  Search this
Reparations for historical injustices  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Audio cassettes
Awards
Compact discs
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Memoranda
Minutes
Newsclippings
Newsletters
Oral history
Pamphlets
Photographs
Reports -- 20th century
Slides
Speeches -- 20th century
Videocassettes
Citation:
Grayce Uyehara Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1480
See more items in:
Grayce Uyehara Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1480
Online Media:

Henry Varnum Poor papers

Creator:
Poor, Henry Varnum, 1887-1970  Search this
Names:
Montross Gallery  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Benton, William, 1900-1973  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Billing, Jules  Search this
Burchfield, Charles Ephraim, 1893-1967  Search this
Caniff, Milton Arthur, 1907-1988  Search this
Ciardi, John, 1916-  Search this
Czebotar, Theodore  Search this
Deming, MacDonald  Search this
Dickson, Harold E., 1900-  Search this
Dorn, Marion, 1896-1964  Search this
Duchamp, Marcel, 1887-1968  Search this
Esherick, Wharton  Search this
Evergood, Philip, 1901-1973  Search this
Garrett, Alice Warder  Search this
Houseman, John, 1902-1988  Search this
Marston, Muktuk  Search this
Meredith, Burgess, 1907-1997  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Padro, Isabel  Search this
Poor, Anne, 1918-  Search this
Poor, Bessie Breuer  Search this
Poor, Eva  Search this
Poor, Josephine Graham  Search this
Poor, Josephine Lydia  Search this
Poor, Peter  Search this
Sargent, Elizabeth S.  Search this
Smith, David, 1906-1965  Search this
Steinbeck, John, 1902-1968  Search this
Watson, Ernest William, 1884-1969  Search this
Extent:
12.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Date:
1873-2001
bulk 1904-1970
Summary:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Henry Varnum Poor measure 12.9 linear feet and date from 1873-2001, with the bulk from the period 1904-1970. Correspondence, writings, artwork, printed material and photographs document Poor's work as a painter, muralist, ceramic artist and potter, architect, designer, writer, war artist, educator and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is extensive information about the design and construction of Crow House, his home in New City, New York, commissions for other architectural projects, and his personal life.

Henry Varnum Poor's correspondence documents his personal, family, and professional life. Correspondents include family and friends, among them George Biddle, Charles Burchfield, John Ciardi, Marion V. Dorn (who became his second wife), Philip Evergood, Lewis Mumford, John Steinbeck, David Smith, and Mrs. John Work (Alice) Garrett. Among other correspondents are galleries, museums, schools, organizations, fans, former students, and acquaintances from his military service and travels. Family correspondence consists of Henry's letters to his parents, letters to his parents written by his wife, and letters among other family members.

Among the writings by Henry Varnum Poor are manuscripts of his two published books, An Artist Sees Alaska and A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. as well as the text of "Painting is Being Talked to Death," published in the first issue of Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, April 1953, and manuscripts of other articles. There are also film scripts, two journals, notes and notebooks, lists, speeches, and writings by others, including M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston's account of Poor rescuing an Eskimo, and Bessie Breuer Poor's recollections of The Montross Gallery.

Subject files include those on the Advisory Committee on Art, American Designers' Gallery, Inc., William Benton, Harold Dickson, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions Sales, and War Posters. There are numerous administrative files for the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture.

Artwork by Henry Varnum Poor consists mainly of loose drawings and sketches and 45 sketchbooks of studies for paintings, murals, and pottery. There is work done in France, 1918-1919, and while working as a war correspondent in Alaska in 1943. There are commissioned illustrations and some intended for his monograph, A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality. Also found are a small number of watercolors and prints. Work by other artists consist of Anne Poor's drawings of her father's hands used for the Lincoln figure in The Land Grant Frescoes and interior views of Crow House by Ernest Watson.

Documentation of Poor's architectural projects consists of drawings and prints relating to houses designed and built for Jules Billing, MacDonald Deming, John Houseman, Burgess Meredith, Isabel Padro, and Elizabeth S. Sargent. Also found is similar material for the new studio Poor built in 1957 on the grounds of Crow House.

Miscellaneous records include family memorabilia and two motion picture films, Painting a True Fresco, and The Land Grant Murals at Pennsylvania State College.

Printed material includes articles about or mentioning Poor, some of his pottery reference books, family history, a catalog of kilns, and the program of a 1949 Pennsylvania State College theater production titled Poor Mr. Varnum. Exhibition catalogs and announcements survive for some of Poor's shows; catalogs of other artists' shows include one for Theodore Czebotar containing an introductory statement by Henry Varnum Poor. Also found is a copy of The Army at War: A Graphic Record by American Artists, for which Poor served as an advisor. There are reproductions of illustrations for An Artist Sees Alaska and Ethan Frome, and two Associated American Artists greeting cards reproducing work by Poor.

Photographs are of Henry Varnum Poor's architectural work, artwork, people, places, and miscellaneous subjects. This series also contains negatives, slides, and transparencies. Images of architectural work include exterior and interior views of many projects; Poor's home, Crow House, predominates. Photographs of artwork by Poor are of drawings, fresco and ceramic tile murals, paintings, pottery and ceramic art. People appearing in photographs include Henry Varnum Poor, family members, friends, clients, juries, students, and various groups. Among the individuals portrayed are Milton Caniff, Marcel Duchamp, Wharton Esherick, M. R. ("Muktuk") Marston, and Burgess Meredith. Among the family members are Bessie Breuer Poor, Marion Dorn Poor, Anne Poor, Eva Poor, Josephine Graham Poor, Josephine Lydia Poor, Peter Poor, and unidentified relatives. Photographs of places include many illustrating village life in Alaska that were taken by Poor during World War II. Other places recorded are French and California landscapes, and family homes in Kansas. Miscellaneous subjects are exhibition installation views, scenes of Kentucky farms, and a photograph of Poor's notes on glazes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1919-1987 (0.2 linear feet; Box 1, OV 18)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1873-1985 (1.5 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)

Series 3: Writings and Notes, circa 1944-1974 (0.6 linear feet; Boxes 2-3)

Series 4: Subject Files, 1928-1975 (0.8 linear feet; Box 3, OV 23)

Series 5: Artwork, circa 1890s-circa 1961 (3.5 linear feet; Boxes 4-6, 9-10, OV 19-22)

Series 6: Architectural Projects, circa 1940-1966 (0.7 linear feet; Box 6, OV 24-26, RD 14-17)

Series 7: Miscellaneous Records, 1882-1967 (Boxes 6, 11, FC 30-31; 0.5 linear ft.)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1881-2001 (1.2 linear feet; Boxes 6-7, 11, OV 27-29)

Series 9: Photographs, 1893-1984 (2.3 linear feet; Boxes 7-8, 12-13)
Biographical Note:
Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970), best known as a potter, ceramic artist, and a co-founder of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, was also an architect, painter, muralist, designer, educator, and writer who lived and worked in New City, New York.

A native of Chapman, Kansas, Henry Varnum Poor moved with his family to Kansas City when his grain merchant father became a member of the Kansas Board of Trade. From a young age he showed artistic talent and spent as much time as possible - including school hours - drawing. When a school supervisor suggested that Henry leave school to study at the Art Institute of Chicago, the family disagreed. Instead, he enrolled in the Kansas City Manual Training High School where he delighted in learning skills such as carpentry, forge work, and mechanical drawing. In 1905, he moved with his older brother and sister to Palo Alto, California and completed high school there. Because Poor was expected to join the family business, he enrolled at Stanford University as an economics major, but much to his father's disappointment and displeasure, soon left the economics department and became an art major.

Immediately after graduation in 1910, Poor and his major professor at Stanford, Arthur B. Clark, took a summer bicycling tour to look at art in London, France, Italy, and Holland. As Poor had saved enough money to remain in London after the summer was over, he enrolled in the Slade School of Art and also studied under Walter Sickert at the London County Council Night School. After seeing an exhibition of Post-Impressionism at the Grafton Galleries in London, Poor was so impressed that he went to Paris and enrolled in the Académie Julian. While in Paris, Poor met Clifford Addams, a former apprentice of Whistler; soon he was working in Addams' studio learning Whistler's palette and techniques.

In the fall of 1911, Poor returned to Stanford University's art department on a one-year teaching assignment. During that academic year, his first one-man show was held at the university's Old Studio gallery. He married Lena Wiltz and moved back to Kansas to manage the family farm and prepare for another exhibition. Their daughter, Josephine Lydia Poor, was born the following year. Poor returned to Stanford in September 1913 as assistant professor of graphic arts, remaining until the department closed three years later. During this period, Poor began to exhibit more frequently in group shows in other areas of the country, and had his first solo exhibition at a commercial gallery (Helgesen Gallery, San Francisco). In 1916, Poor joined the faculty of the San Francisco Art Association. He and his wife separated in 1917 and were divorced the following year. Poor began sharing his San Francisco studio with Marion Dorn.

During World War I, Poor was drafted into the U. S. Army, and in 1918 went to France with the 115th Regiment of Engineers. He spent his spare time drawing; soon officers were commissioning portraits, and Poor was appointed the regimental artist. He also served as an interpreter for his company. Discharged from the Army in early 1919, Poor spent the spring painting in Paris. He then returned to San Francisco and married Marion Dorn.

Once Poor realized that earning a living as a painter would be extremely difficult in California, he and his new wife moved to New York in the autumn of 1919. They were looking for a place to live when influential book and art dealer Mary Mowbray-Clarke of the Sunwise Turn Bookshop in Manhattan suggested New City in Rockland County, New York as good place for artists. In January of 1920, the Poors purchased property on South Mountain Road in New City. The skills he acquired at the Kansas City Manual Training High School were of immediate use as Poor designed and constructed "Crow House" with the assistance of a local teenager. Influenced by the farmhouses he had seen in France, it was made of local sandstone and featured steep gables, rough plaster, chestnut beams and floors, and incorporated many hand-crafted details. Poor designed and built most of their furniture, too. Before the end of the year, he and Marion were able to move into the house, though it remained a work in progress for many years. Additions were constructed. Over time, gardens were designed and planted, and outbuildings - a kiln and pottery, work room, garage, and new studio - appeared on the property.

In 1925, two years after his divorce from Marion Dorn, Poor married Bessie Freedman Breuer (1893-1975), an editor, short story writer, and novelist. Soon after, he adopted her young daughter, Anne (1918-2002), an artist who served as his assistant on many important mural commissions. Their son, Peter (b. 1926) became a television producer. Crow House remained in the family until its sale in 2006. In order to prevent its demolition, Crow House was then purchased by the neighboring town of Ramapo, New York in 2007.

Between 1935 and 1966 Poor designed and oversaw construction of a number of houses, several of them situated not far from Crow House on South Mountain Road. Poor's designs, noted for their simplicity, featured modern materials and incorporated his ceramic tiles. Among his important commissions were houses for Maxwell Anderson, Jules Billig, Milton Caniff, MacDonald Deming, and John Houseman.

Poor's first exhibition of paintings in New York City was at Kevorkian Galleries in 1920, and sales were so disappointing that he turned his attention to ceramics. His first pottery show, held at Bel Maison Gallery in Wanamaker's department store in 1921, was very successful. He quickly developed a wide reputation, participated in shows throughout the country, and won awards. He was a founder of the short-lived American Designers' Gallery, and the tile bathroom he showed at the group's first exposition was critically acclaimed. Poor was represented by Montross Gallery as both a painter and potter. When Montross Gallery closed upon its owner's death in 1932, Poor moved to the Frank K. M. Rehn Gallery.

Even though Poor's pottery and ceramic work was in the forefront, he continued to paint. His work was acquired by a number of museums, and the Limited Editions Club commissioned him to illustrate their republications of Ethan Frome, The Scarlet Letter, and The Call of the Wild.

Poor's first work in true fresco was shown in a 1932 mural exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art. Between 1935 and 1949 he was commissioned to produce several murals in fresco for Section of Fine Arts projects at the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior, The Land Grant Frescoes at Pennsylvania State College, and a mural for the Louisville Courier-Journal. Ceramic tile mural commissions included: the Klingenstein Pavilion, Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City; Travelers Insurance Co., Boston; the Fresno Post Office, California; and Hillson Memorial Gallery, Deerfield Academy, Deerfield, Mass.

As a member of the War Artists' Unit, Poor was a "war correspondent" with the rank of major in World War II, and for several months in 1943 was stationed in Alaska. An Artist Sees Alaska, drawing on Poor's observations and experiences, was published in 1945. A Book of Pottery: From Mud to Immortality, his second book, was published in 1958. It remains a standard text on the subject. While on the faculty of Columbia University in the 1950s, Poor and other artists opposed to the growing influence of Abstract Expressionism formed the Reality Group with Poor the head of its editorial committee. Their magazine, Reality: A Journal of Artists' Opinions, first appeared in 1953 featuring "Painting is Being Talked to Death" by Poor as its lead article. Two more issues were published in 1954 and 1955.

Along with Willard Cummings, Sidney Simon, and Charles Cuttler, in 1946 Henry Varnum Poor helped to establish the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, Maine. He served as its first president. Poor and his daughter, Anne, were active members of the Board of Trustees and were instructors for many years. The summer of 1961 was Henry Varnum Poor's last as a full-time teacher, though he continued to spend summers at Skowhegan.

Henry Varnum Poor exhibited widely and received many awards, among them prizes at the Carnegie Institute, Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Architectural League of New York. Poor was appointed to the United States Commission of Fine Arts by President Roosevelt in 1941 and served a five year term. He was elected a member of the National Institute of Arts and Letters in 1943. The National Academy of Design named him an Associate Artist in 1954 and an Academician in 1963. He became a trustee of the American Craftsman's Council in 1956. The work of Henry Vernum Poor is represented in the permanent collections of many American museums including the Cleveland Museum of Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum, Addison Gallery of American Art, and Syracuse Museum of Fine Arts.

Henry Varnum Poor died at home in New City, New York, December 8, 1970.
Related Material:
An oral history interview with Henry Varnum Poor was conducted by Harlan Phillips for the Archives of American Art in 1964.
Provenance:
Gift of Henry Varnum Poor's son, Peter V. Poor, in 2007. A smaller portion was loaned to the Archives in 1973 by Anne Poor for microfilming and returned to the lender; this material was included in the 2007 gift.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Henry Varnum Poor papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
War artists  Search this
Topic:
Architects -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
War posters  Search this
Educators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Pottery -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Designers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Artists' studios  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Muralists -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketches
Motion pictures (visual works)
Diaries
Prints
Photographs
Illustrations
Drawings
Watercolors
Sketchbooks
Citation:
Henry Varnum Poor papers, 1873-2001, bulk 1904-1970. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.poorhenr
See more items in:
Henry Varnum Poor papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-poorhenr
Online Media:

James Brooks and Charlotte Park papers

Creator:
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Names:
Kootz Gallery (N.Y.)  Search this
New York University -- Students  Search this
Southern Methodist University -- Students  Search this
United States. Army  Search this
Bolotowsky, Ilya, 1907-1981  Search this
Gottlieb, Adolph, 1903-1974  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
King, William, 1925-2015  Search this
Park, Charlotte  Search this
Extent:
20.1 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Interviews
Drawings
Photographs
Diaries
Date:
1909-2010
bulk 1930-2010
Summary:
The papers of Abstract Expressionist painters James Brooks and Charlotte Park measure 18.7 linear feet and are dated 1909-2010, bulk 1930-2010. Correspondence, subject files, personal business records, printed material, and a sound recording document his painting career, interests, professional and personal activities. Also found are biographical materials, interviews, writings, and art work. The collection also includes papers of his wife, Abstract Expressionist painter Charlotte Park, regarding her painting career, personal life, activities as executor of James Brooks' estate, and some material concerning the James Brooks and Charlotte Park Brooks Foundation. There is a 1.4 linear foot addition to this collection donated in 2017 that includes 58 "week-at-a-glance" appointment books, three journals and one address/ telephone book of Charlotte Park; a hand written chronology with significant dates and notes; postcards and exhibition announcements sent to Charlotte and James; doodles; and a sketch, possibly by Don Kingman.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Abstract Expressionist painters James Brooks and Charlotte Park measure 18.7 linear feet and are dated 1909-2010, bulk 1930-2010. Correspondence, subject files, personal business records, printed material, and a sound recording document his painting career, interests, professional and personal activities. Also found are biographical materials, interviews, writings, and art work. The collection also includes papers of his wife, Abstract Expressionist painter Charlotte Park, regarding her painting career, personal life, activities as executor of James Brooks' estate, and some material concerning the James Brooks and Charlotte Park Brooks Foundation. There is a 1.4 linear foot addition to this collection donated in 2017 that includes 58 "week-at-a-glance" appointment books, three journals and one address/ telephone book of Charlotte Park; a hand written chronology with significant dates and notes; postcards and exhibition announcements sent to Charlotte and James; doodles; and a sketch, possibly by Don Kingman.

Biographical materials include biographical notes and documents such as copies of birth and death certificates, curricula vitae, family history. Educational records are from Southern Methodist University and documentation of flight training courses at New York University. Brooks' military service in World War II is well documented by United States Army records with related correspondence. Also found is extensive documentation of his death and funeral.

Professional and personal correspondence is addressed to Brooks, the couple, and to Charlotte Park during the later years of Brooks' life when she managed his affairs. A significant amount of correspondence is categorized as art, autograph requests, personal, and teaching; also include is general correspondence that overlaps all categories. Art correspondence with museums, galleries, collectors, artists, and friends concerns exhibitions, Brooks' work, and invitations to exhibit, speak, or serve as a juror. Of note is the correspondence with Samuel M. Kootz Gallery. The personal correspondence is mainly social, and teaching correspondence consists largely of requests that he teach in summer programs, serve as a visiting artist/critic.

Six interviews with James Brooks are in the form of published and unpublished transcripts; a seventh is a sound recording with no known transcript. Charlotte Park participates in one interview.

Writings by Brooks are statements about his work and a tribute to Ilya Bolotowsky. Among the writings by others about Brooks are a catalog essay, academic papers, and lecture; also found are a few short pieces on miscellaneous topics. Three diaries include brief entries regarding his work, exhibitions, and activities.

Subject files maintained by Brooks concerning organizations, exhibitions, mural projects, a commission and teaching document his professional activities, relationships and interests. Personal business records concern appraisals, conservation, gifts, insurance, loans, sales, shipping, and storage of artwork. Gallery records include agreements, consignments, lists, and receipts. Also, there are accounts for lettering work and personal income tax returns.

Printed material is mostly exhibition announcements, invitations, catalogs, and checklists, as well as articles and reviews. The majority are about/mention Brooks or include reproductions of his work; some concern artist friends, former students, and others.

Artwork by Brooks consists of pencil and ink drawings, two sketchbooks, and "telephone doodles." Other artists include Adolph Gottlieb (ink drawing of sculpture), Philip Guston (three pencil drawings of Brooks), and William King (two silhouettes of Brooks).

Photographic materials (photographs, digital prints, negatives, slides, and color transparencies) provide extensive documentation of Brooks' artwork and, to a lesser extent, exhibitions.There are pictures of Brooks as a very young boy, though the most views of him date from the 1930s through 1980s, and with friends. Places include Brooks' homes and studios in Montauk, New York and the Springs, East Hampton, New York; travel to Maine, Oregon and California. Views of the Middle East from World War II show Brooks with colleagues, local people engaged in daily activities, and scenery. Also of note are a copy print of "The Irascibles" by Nina Leen, and attendees at the dedication of Flight dining in view of Brook's LaGuardia Ariport mural.

Charlotte Park papers document the professional career and personal life of the Abstract Expressionist painter, art teacher, and wife of James Brooks through correspondence, personal business records, exhibition records, printed material, and photographs. In addition, this series documents artwork in the estate of James Brooks and posthumous exhibitions. Twelve years younger than her husband, Park began handling business matters for him as he aged and developed Alzheimer's disease. She also served as his executor. In the 1990s, a curator assumed management of the artwork and loans for exhibitions. After the James Brooks and Charlotte Park Brooks Foundation was established in 2000, its director handled most business activities. Some copies of Foundation minutes and correspondence are found among Park's papers.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in 11 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1924-1995 (Box 1, OV 19; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1928-1995 (Boxes 1-3; 1.7 linear feet)

Series 3: Interviews, 1965-1990 (Box 3; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1952-1999 (Box 3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 5: Diaries, 1975-1984 (Box 3; 0.1 linear feet)

Series 6: Subject Files, 1926-2001 (Boxes 3-5, OV 20; 2.0 linear feet)

Series 7: Personal Business Records, 1932-1992 (Boxes 5-6; 1.0 linear feet)

Series 8: Printed Material, 1928-1992 (Boxes 6-11, OV 21-OV 22; 4.8 linear feet)

Series 9: Artwork, 1930s-1992 (Box 11; 0.2 linear feet)

Series 10: Photographic Materials, 1909-2000s (Boxes 11-15; 4.1 linear feet)

Series 11: Charlotte Park papers, 1930s-2010 (Boxes 15-18, OV 23; 3.6 linear feet)

Series 12: Unprocessed Additition, circa 1930-2010 (Boxes 25-26; 1.4 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
James Brooks (1906-1992) and Charlotte Park (1919-2010) were Abstract Expressionist painters in East Hampton, N.Y. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Brooks spent his childhood in Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois, and Texas. He begn drawing as a young boy, finding inspiration in magazine illustrations and comic strips. Before moving to New York City in 1926, he studied at Southern Methodist University (1923-1924) and at the Dallas Art Institute.

In New York, Brooks studied illustration at the Grand Central Art School. After exposure to museums led him to differentiate between illustration and fine art, Brooks enrolled at Art Students League. During this period he supported himself by doing lettering for magazine advertisements. From 1936-1942 he participated in the WPA Federal Art Project, executing murals at Woodside Library, Queens, New York (destroyed); the Post Office, Little Falls, New Jersey; and his famous Flight at LaGuardia Airport's Marine Air Terminal (painted over in the 1950s and restored in 1980).

During World War II Brooks served in the United States Army as an art correspondent in Cairo. When at the Office of Special Services, Washington, DC, he met Charlotte Park who worked there as a graphic artist and later became his wife. The couple moved to New York City in 1945 and married in 1947. Brooks resumed friendships with artists he knew from the WPA including Philip Guston, Bradley Walker Tomlin, and Jackson Pollock. Brooks and Park were especially close with Pollock and Lee Krasner; after they moved to Long Island, Brooks and Park, soon followed, first to Montauk and later to the Springs, East Hampton, New York.

By the late 1940s, Brooks had turned away from figural painting in the social realist style and moved toward abstraction. In the early 1950s, he was experimenting with enamel, gouache, and diluted oil paints, staining various grounds in ways that produced interesting shapes, adding spontaneous splashes of color over which he painted more deliberately. In the 1960s he switched to acrylics, leading to wider use of color and broader strokes.

Peridot Gallery presented Brooks' first solo exhibition in 1949. He helped organize and participated in the famous Ninth Street Show of 1951, earning critical acclaim. This assured him a place in two of the Museum of Modern Art's most important exhibitions of the period, Twelve Americans (1956) and New American Painting (1958). He showed at the Stable Gallery, Kootz Gallery, Martha Jackson Gallery and others. During his lifetime Brooks enjoyed five traveling retrospective exhibitions.

Prizes and awards included Carnegie Institute's Pittsburgh International Exhibition 5th prize for painting (1952), The Art Institue of Chicago's 62nd American Exhibition Logan Medal and Prize for Painting (1957) and 64th American Exhibition Harris Prize (1961), The National Arts Club Medal (1985), and a citation of appreciation for Flight from The North Beach Club Marine Air Terminal, LaGuardia Airport (1986).

Brooks taught for nearly three decades: drawing at Columbia University (1947-1948) and lettering at Pratt Institute (1948-1955); was a visiting critic, Yale University (1955-1960), University of Pennsylvania (1971-1972), and Cooper Union (1975); and served on the Queens College faculty (1966-1969). In addition, he was an artist-in-residence at The American Academy in Rome (1963), the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1969), and a National Endowment for the Humanities Grant (1973).

Brooks developed Alzheimer's disease around 1985 and died in East Hampton, New York in 1992.

Charlotte Park graduated from the Yale School of Fine Art (1939) and during World War II, when working in Washington, D.C., she met James Brooks. They moved to New York City in 1945, where she studied with Australian artist Wallace Harrison. Park taught children's art classes at several private schools in the early 1950s and at the Museum of Modern Art, 1955-1967.

Park's approach to Abstract Expressionism featured curved or linear shapes with vibrant colors and dynamic brushstrokes. Tanager Gallery presented her first solo show in 1957 and her work was included in numerous group exhibitions from the 1950s through 2000s, mainly in New York City and Long Island. After Park's second solo exhibition, held in 1973 at Elaine Benson Gallery, Bridgehampton, New York, interest in her work revived; other one-person shows followed at Guild Hall (1979), Ingber Gallery (1980), and paired with James Brooks at Louise Himelfarb Gallery. The National Institute of Arts and Letters honored Park with its Art Award in 1974. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Parrish Art Museum, Guild Hall Museum, Telfair Museum of Art, and in many private collections.

Charlotte Park died in 2010.
Related Materials:
Also among the Archives of American Art's holdings are letters from James Brooks and Sean Scully, 1980-1989 addressed to Theodora ["Teddy"] S. Greenbaum, and an oral history interview with James Brooks conducted by Dorothy Seckler, 1965 June 10 and June 12.
Separated Materials:
Correspondence, interview transcripts, photographs, and printed material were loaned by James Brooks for microfilming in 1969 (reel N69-132). With the exception of an address book, a scrapbook, and a few photographs, Brooks donated almost all of the loan in 1979.
Provenance:
The majority of the collection was donated in 2013 by the James Brooks and Charlotte Brooks Foundation and an additional 1.4 linear feet donated 2017 by the Foundation. In 1979 James Brooks donated most of the material lent for microfilming in 1969.
Restrictions:
ACCESS RESTRICTED: Use of original material requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Access requires written permission from The James Brooks and Charlotte Park Brooks Foundation. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
Rights:
The James Brook and Charlotte Park papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Abstract expressionism  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Transcripts
Interviews
Drawings
Photographs
Diaries
Citation:
James Brooks and Charlotte Park papers, 1909-2010, bulk 1930-2010. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.broojame
See more items in:
James Brooks and Charlotte Park papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-broojame

Bridgewater Family Papers

Creator:
Bridgewater, Herbert Ford, 1908-1970  Search this
Bridgewater, Leon Archibald, 1905-1968  Search this
Harrell, Charles Henry, 1878-1948  Search this
Harrell, Mary Bridgewater, 1893-1981  Search this
Harrell, Arthur Samuel, 1916-1963  Search this
Harrell, Charles Henry, Jr., 1914-1948  Search this
Harrell, Arthur Samuel, Jr., 1948-1981  Search this
Harrell, Mary Trahan, 1927-2000  Search this
Harrell, Cornelius Eckart  Search this
Bridgewater  Search this
Bridgewater, Octavia Marie, 1903-1985  Search this
Harrell, Richard Francis  Search this
Darby, Sophia Bridgewater, 1894-1990  Search this
Bridgewater, Samuel, 1862-1912  Search this
Bridgewater, Mamie Anderson, 1872-1950  Search this
Donor:
Campbell, Janet Harrell  Search this
Harrell, Jules  Search this
Names:
Lincoln School for Nurses -- Geographic subdivision--New York (N.Y.);  Search this
Pleasant Hour Club (Helena, Mont.)  Search this
Society for the Relief of Worthy Aged Indigent Colored Persons  Search this
United States. Army. Army Nurse Corps  Search this
United States. Army. Cavalry, 9th  Search this
Extent:
21 Cubic feet (64 document boxes, one oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Baptismal certificates
Scrapbooks
Marriage certificates
Diplomas
Photographs
Place:
Montana
Louisiana
United States -- Race relations
Date:
1880-2017
undated
Summary:
Papers and photographs documenting the lives and descendants of Samuel and Mamie Anderson Bridgewater of Helena, Montana.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the lives of the family and descendants of Samuel and Mamie Anderson Bridgwater. The papers primarily belonged to the family and descendants of their daughter Mary Emma (1893-1981), who married Charles H. Harrell (1878-1948), a Pullman porter. The collection includes materials from collateral relatives and from those who married into the Bridgewater and Harrell families. The women of these families were extensively involved in community, religious, and social organizations. The collection contains materials about social and religious life in the relatively small African-American communities surrounding Helena, Montana. It also contains family papers including Samuel and Mamie's marriage certificate from 1892; educational memorabilia and school diplomas; scrapbooks and photogaphs documenting family members, vacations, life events and friends; baptismal records; hand-written birth and death entries; and correspondence between family members and friends living in other states.

The collection includes records of many of Montana's social and religious organizations from the 1890s to the 1950s, including the Colored Women's Clubs of America; the Pleasant Hour Club in Helena; the Helena Negro Chorus; the local chapter of the Society for the Relief of Worthy, Aged, Indigent Colored Persons, Pleasant House Club; and numerous Baptist and Roman Catholic congregations. Generations of women in the Bridgewater and Harrell families were members or officers of these organizations. The collection contains records and photographs relating to several African-American and integrated churches in Helena. Friends and community members, primarily other African-American Montanans, are represented in the collection as well.

Photographs and other documents record the lives of nearby neighbors and friends as well as lives of more distant family members and friends. Subjects covered in the collection are: the formerly enslaved parents of Samuel and Mamie Bridgwater; Samuel Bridgwater and his fellow Buffalo soldiers; Octavia Bridgewater's experiences at the Lincoln School of Nursing in New York City; Octavia Bridgewater's service with a segregated unit of the Army Nurse Corps in World War II while stationed at the Tuskegee Air Base, Alabama and her later life after returning to civilian life in Helena when she worked mostly as a midwife.

Some of the arrangement of the collection was done by family members prior to its donation to the Archives Center. The families had a vigorous and wide ranging network of family and friends in Montana and elsewhere in the United States, and materials related to all family members and friends may be found across multiple series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Bridgewater Family, 1880-2013, undated

Subseries 1.1: Bridgewater, Samuel, 1880-1908, undated

Subseries 1.2: Bridgewater, Mamie Anderson, 1888-1990, undated

Subseries 1.3: Darby, Sophia Bridgewater, 1911-2005, undated

Subseries 1.4: Bridgewater, Octavia Marie, 1922-2013, undated

Subseries 1.5: Bridgewater, Leon Archibald, 1912-1968, undated

Subseries 1.6, Bridgewater, Herbert Ford, 1925-1970, undated

Subseries 1.7: Photographs, 1920-1955, undated

Subseries 1.8: Family Memorabilia, 1903-2007, undated

Subseries 1.9: Family Friends, 1930-2001, undated

Series 2, Harrell Family, 1914-2005, undated

Subseries 2.1: Harrell, Mary Bridgewater, 1914-1981, undated

Subseries 2.2: Harrell, Charles Henry, 1914-1977, undated

Subseries 2.3: Harrell, Arthur Samuel, 1930-1973, undated

Subseries 2.4: Harrell, Mary Trahan, 1925-2002, undated

Subseries 2.5: Harrell, Arthur Samuel, Jr., 1948-1981, undated

Subseries 2.6: Campbell, Janet Harrell, 1951-2005, undated

Subseries 2.7: Harrell, Jules Parker, 1950-1980, undated

Subseries 2.8: Harrell, Richard Francis, 1960-1996, undated

Subseries 2.9: Harrell, Cornelius Eckart, 1940-2001

Subseries 2.10: Harrell, Jr., Charles Henry, 1925-2005

Subseries 2.11: Family Memorabilia, 1960-1990, undated

Subseries 2.12: Photographs, 1929-1996, undated

Series 3, Trahan Family, 1923-1995, undated

Series 4, Family Friends, 1912-1979, undated

Series 5, Photographs, 1907-1992, undated
Biographical / Historical:
The Bridgewater family is a multi-generation African American family descended from Samuel (1862-1912) and Mamie Anderson Bridgwater (1872-1950) (note: later family members spelled the name with an "e"). The son of slaves, Bridgwater was born in Dixon Springs, Smith County, Tennessee, on February 25, 1862. He later enlisted in the all-Black 24th Infantry Regiment, USCI (United States Colored Infantry), one of the famous "Buffalo Soldier" regiments. The 24th Infantry served in the Department of Texas from 1869-1889, Indian Territory from 1880-1888 and following 1888 in the Department of Arizona. In 1892 he married Mamie E. Anderson the daughter of Levi Anderson and Emma Lucy in Fort Huachuca, in what later became the state of Arizona.

Bridgwater fought in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War, where he was wounded. He retired from the United States Army at Fort Harrison, Montana, after twenty years of service on August 22, 1906. The family remained in Helena, Montana purchasing a home at 502 Peosta Avenue. The 1910 United States Census lists Samuel has having retired from the United States Army and lists Mamie as being a matron in the US Army hospital. They raised five children, three boys and two girls.

Samuel died on June 9, 1912. His widow and family remained in Montana becoming active in community affairs. Their descendants continued their parents' involvement in community and religious affairs as well as their fathers' tradition of military service. Their daughter Octavia served in an all-black unit of the Army Nurse Corps during World War II and then served her community as a nurse-midwife for the rest of her life. Members of the family continued to live in the home at 502 Peosta well into the twentieth century.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian by Janet Harrell Campbell and Jules Harrell, descendants of Samuel and Mamie Anderson Bridgewater, 2016.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.

Unrestricted research access on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled 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.
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:
Spanish-American War, 1898  Search this
Midwives  Search this
Community activists  Search this
United States Army  Search this
African American families -- Montana  Search this
Churches -- Montana  Search this
African American churches -- Montana  Search this
African Americans -- History -- 20th century -- Montana  Search this
Genre/Form:
Baptismal certificates
Scrapbooks
Marriage certificates
Diplomas
Photographs -- 20th century
Citation:
Bridgewater Family Papers, 1880-2013, undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1385
See more items in:
Bridgewater Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1385
Online Media:

Pratt, Read Corporation Records

Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Extent:
84 Cubic feet (104 boxes, 28 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Financial records
Employee records
Advertisements
Minute books
Sales records
Design drawings
Manufacturing records
Legal documents
Annual reports
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Labels
Stock records
Place:
Ivoryton (Conn.)
Date:
1839-1990
Summary:
Records documenting Pratt, Read and Company; its early competitor and later partner, Comstock, Cheney and Company; and a number of predecessor, subsidiary and related companies. Other topics include the late 19th century African ivory trade and Pratt, Read's production of troop-carrying gliders during World War II.
Scope and Contents:
Pratt, Read & Company, located in the Essex area of Connecticut, was once the world's largest producer of ivory products. Beginning with the manufacture of combs, collar buttons, and toothpicks, the company moved on to the production of piano and organ key veneers, and soon dominated the field. Eventually, it began to produce complete piano and organ keyboards and actions, becoming the major supplier to the American piano industry. The records in this collection document Pratt, Read & Company; its early competitor and later partner, Comstock, Cheney & Company; and a number of predecessor, subsidiary, and related companies. Other topics of interest dealt with in this collection include the late nineteenth century African ivory trade and Pratt, Read's production of troop carrying gliders during World War II.
Arrangement:
The Collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Predecessor and Miscellaneous Companies, 1839-1870s

Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company, 1863-1936

Series 3: Pratt, Read and Company, 1863-1988

Series 4: Gould Aeronautical Division, 1941-1977

Series 5: Subsidiary and Related Companies, 1859-1980

Series 6: Information on Related Companies, 1977-1992
Historical:
Pratt, Read & Company is one of the oldest companies in the state of Connecticut. The firm traces its origins to 1798, when an Essex goldsmith and clockmaker named Phineas Pratt invented a circular saw to cut the teeth on ivory combs. In 1809, George Read and his brother in law, Phineas Pratt II, dammed the Deep River in the nearby town of Deep River and constructed a waterwheel to power ivory cutting machinery. Read left the partnership in 1816, and Phineas Pratt II joined with Alfred Worthington to manufacture ivory combs under the name of Pratt Worthington & Company. When Worthington died in 1830, two of Phineas Pratt II's sons, Ulysses and Alexis, took over the business, operating as U & A Pratt. The name was changed in 1844 to Pratt Spencer & Company, when a new partner was added, and changed again in 1850, to Pratt Brothers & Company. In 1856 the company erected a much larger factory in Deep River.

In the meantime, Julius Pratt, another of Phineas Pratt I's sons, had joined with Thomas Howard to set up an ivory comb factory in the town of Meriden. This firm was known as Howard, Pratt & Company. After Howard's death in 1822, it became Julius Pratt & Company. In 1854, the firm began to produce wooden piano keyboards, which then were fitted with keys of ivory. One half interest in this firm was owned by George Read.

When Read left his original partnership with Phineas Pratt II in 1816, he joined with Essex comb maker Ezra Williams to set up a new ivory working factory in Deep River. This new firm was known as Ezra Williams & Company. In 1829, Read became the senior partner and the company's name was changed to George Read & Company. This company later secured a very important contract to supply ivory keys for the first American manufacturer of pianos, Chickering & Sons of Boston.

In 1863, the firms of George Read & Company, Julius Pratt & Company, and Pratt Brothers & Company, were merged to form Pratt, Read & Company. The new company further enlarged its factory in Deep River in 1866. In 1871, the old Julius Pratt & Company factory in Meriden was closed and its operations moved to Deep River. Though this factory was destroyed by fire in 1881, a larger factory was quickly rebuilt and the company was back in business early in 1882.

With the election of George L. Cheney as president in 1892, Pratt, Read & Company began a period of continued expansion. In December of that year the company joined with another Connecticut piano component manufacturer, Comstock, Cheney & Company, to organize a midwestern manufacturing branch, under the name of the Piano & Organ Supply Company. This firm was to serve the territory west of Toledo, Ohio, operating in competition with its parent companies. In 1929 Pratt, Read and Comstock, Cheney combined to buy out the Piano & Organ Supply Company and it was dissolved.

In 1910 Pratt, Read & Company decided to begin the manufacture of piano actions. An independent manufacturer of piano actions, New York based Wasle & Company, and its subsidiary, the Wasle Unique Player Action Company, were acquired that same year. In 1914, Pratt, Read built a second factory solely for the production of player piano actions in Deep River. Wasle & Company was dissolved in 1919 and its production was continued under the Pratt, Read name. The company soon acquired two additional keyboard and action manufacturers: the Sylvester Tower Company of Cambridge, Mass., was purchased, dissolved, and all its equipment was moved to Deep River in 1924; and Strauch Bros. Company of New York was purchased in 1926. The Deep River player action plant operated until 1928, when business declined and production of player piano actions was discontinued in favor of manufacturing small motorboats. This line of business also soon declined and the project was abandoned by 1932.

COMSTOCK, CHENEY & COMPANY. Meanwhile, other manufacturers of ivory products had been at work in the Essex area. Chief among these was the firm of Comstock, Cheney & Company of Ivoryton. The dominant figure in this company was Samuel M. Comstock. He had learned the ivory cutting trade while working in his older brother's Saybrook area ivory cutting shop, known as Joseph A. Comstock & Company. By 1838, Samuel had left his brother's shop and joined with Edwin Griswold to set up Comstock & Griswold Company further west up the Falls River in Centerbrook. In 1848, the company moved its operations to a new factory in the Ivoryton area, where combs, toothpicks, and other ivory products were made. At the same time, the firm's name was changed to S. M. Comstock & Company, reflecting Samuel's sole ownership.

In 1860, Samuel Comstock allied his firm with George A. Cheney to form Comstock, Cheney & Company. Cheney had invested in Comstock's firm and was one of the principals in the important New York based ivory importing firm of Arnold, Cheney & Company. The new firm began production of thin slices of ivory for mounting on wooden piano keys. It also had its own agents buying ivory in Africa, most of which went toward production of piano keys. The company was formally incorporated in 1872 and in 1873 it opened an even larger factory in Ivoryton.

1936 MERGER. On December 31, l936, Pratt, Read & Company of Deep River was consolidated and merged with Comstock, Cheney & Company of Ivoryton. The resulting corporation was titled Pratt, Read & Company, Inc. By l938, all manufacturing operations had been consolidated in Ivoryton and the Deep River factory closed. During World War II, both the Deep River factory and the Ivoryton factory were used to produce CG 4A "Waco" troop carrying gliders for the U.S. Army Air Forces, along with LNE 1 training gliders and the GLOMB experimental plane for the U.S. Navy. Production of piano keyboards and actions was sharply curtailed for the duration of the war, and was slow to resume afterward. In l946 the Deep River factory was sold.

From 1948 to l957, the Ivoryton factory was enlarged and modernized on a large scale. During the Korean War, the company contracted to make helicopter blades for the Kaman Corporation of Bloomfield, Conn., and this partnership lasted for fourteen years. In l958, Pratt, Read transferred all of its piano action manufacturing operations to a newly built plant in Central, S.C. This move was made primarily in order to modernize production facilities at a lower cost than would have been possible through continued renovation of the Ivoryton plant.

With the election of Peter H. Comstock (a great grandson of one of the founders of Comstock, Cheney & Company) as President in 1954, the firm began an ambitious plan of diversification. The Cornwall & Patterson Company of Bridgeport, Conn., manufacturer of piano hardware, was purchased in l957. In 1959, Pratt, Read joined with six British Commonwealth firms to acquire British Piano Actions, Ltd., of Wales. Keyboards, Inc., a Chicago based producer of keyboards for electronic organs, was acquired in 1960. The Tech Art Plastics Company of Morristown, N.J., a custom molder of plastics materials especially for the piano industry, was acquired in 1961. The F. Kelly Company of Derby, Conn., which specialized in the production of small metal parts, was acquired in l964, and operated as a division of Cornwall & Patterson. In l966, Pratt, Read purchased the Allen Rogers Corporation of Laconia, N.H., which produced wooden furniture and piano components.

MERGER WITH VOCALINE COMPANY. In February l968, Pratt, Read & Company, Inc., was merged into the Vocaline Company of America, Inc., of Old Saybrook, Conn. Peter H. Comstock became chairman and chief executive officer of Vocaline Corporation, while remaining president of Pratt, Read. Vocaline was then organized into two major divisions the Vocaline Division and the Pratt, Read Division. The Pratt, Read Division concentrated on the production of piano keys and actions. It operated three subdivisions: the Ivoryton Division (keyboards, wooden and plastic moldings, and unfinished furniture); the Action Division (piano actions); and the Lund Division, formerly Keyboards, Inc., (electronic organ components). Both of the latter divisions operated out of the Central, S.C., plant. The Lund Division was known as the Electronics Division by 1970.

The Vocaline Division produced and sold electric motors, timing devices, and other small electromechanical mechanisms through its Electronics Section and its Bristol Motor and Timer Section. Another subsidiary of the Vocaline Division Altron, Inc., based in Westerly, R.I. produced wire coils. Through its Research and Development Center in Waldboro, Maine, Vocaline conducted antisubmarine warfare research for the U.S. Navy. By 1970, the Vocaline Division had been streamlined into four divisions: the Allen Rogers Corporation (small shaped wood products); Altron, Inc. (wire coils); the Bristol Division, later known as the Bristol Saybrook Company (electric motors and timers); and the Cornwall & Patterson Company (piano hardware and small tools). In addition, research for the Navy had been expanded and combined with other oceanographic research under the control of a subsidiary company, VAST, Inc., with operations in both Maine and the Caribbean.

PRATT READ CORPORATION. In October 1970, the Vocaline Corporation changed its name to the Pratt Read Corporation. This was done partly to increase identity with its oldest traditions and partly to reflect a shift away from the early emphasis on the Vocaline side of the corporation. The new corporation continued to refine its interests under the direction of Peter H. Comstock, who became company president in February 1970. The Tech Arts Plastic Company was sold off in May 1972, although it remained a source of supply for custom molded parts. In 1974 Pratt Read purchased the Atlas Plywood Company of Morrisville, Vt., in order to use its mill and kilns in the preparation of lumber for the Ivoryton factory, whose own facilities were overburdened. This company was operated as a subsidiary of Pratt Read.

By 1976, the Pratt Read Corporation was organized into five operating divisions. The Allen Rogers Corporation produced toys, golf tees, spools, knobs, and other turned and shaped wood products. Altron, Inc., produced bobbins and coils of copper wire. The Bristol Saybrook Company produced small electric motors and timers. The Cornwall & Patterson Company produced piano hardware parts, screwdriver blades, and other small hand tools. Pratt, Read & Company produced wooden components for pianos and other musical instruments. The company's ownership of VAST, Inc., was sold off in March 1976. Later that year, the company acquired Sight Line Corporation, a Freehold, N.J., manufacturer of golf clubs. This subsidiary, operated as the Sounder Sports Division, was sold in May 1979.

In October of 1979, James H. Tucker replaced Peter H. Comstock as president of Pratt Read; Comstock remained chairman of the board and chief executive officer. His nephew, Harwood B. Comstock, became the next president in October 1982. In June 1982, the Ivoryton factory was severely damaged by flooding after two dams burst upstream during a torrential rainstorm. Although the administrative offices were destroyed and the plant filled with several feet of mud and debris, the facility was back in production within two weeks. In August 1982, Pratt Read acquired the Sohmer Piano Company, a 111 year old Long Island based manufacturer of pianos, and in December 1982 Sohmer's production facilities were moved into the Ivoryton factory. By July 1983 Sohmer was producing about six upright pianos a day in its new location.

By the early 1980s, the American piano industry had entered a period of decline and even Peter Comstock's diversification efforts could not keep it out of trouble. A major blow came in 1984 with the loss of a large contract to manufacture keyboards for Mattel Electronics's Intellivision home video system. This was exacerbated by a slump in the piano industry in mid year. The increased import of Japanese and Korean pianos further undercut the American industry, resulting in slowdowns and profit losses for Pratt Read. Attempting to compete on the same basis with this foreign competition, Pratt Read joined with the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company in May 1985 to establish the Pratt Win Corporation. This joint venture resulted in the closing of Pratt Read's Central, S.C., piano action manufacturing plant and the transfer of its operations to a new Baldwin plant in Juarez, Mexico. Pratt Read sold its interest in Pratt Win to Baldwin in October 1986.

Piano sales continued to decline, however, and Pratt Read continued to suffer losses. In March 1986, the company was acquired by Crescent & Company, a corporation controlled by Harwood B. Comstock, president of Pratt, Read & Company. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Crescent & Company, but retained the name Pratt Read Corporation. In April 1986, the company sold its Sohmer piano subsidiary together with the Ivoryton factory where it was housed; Sohmer & Company continued to produce upright pianos under independent ownership in Ivoryton until December 1988. In December 1986 the Bristol Saybrook Company was sold off. By 1990, the company had sold off all remaining assets except for a sawmill in Vermont and the Cornwall & Patterson Company in Bridgeport, Conn., where the remaining corporate staff relocated.

Sources

Deep River Historical Society, Inc. A History of Pratt Read & Co. 1973.

1899 Souvenir of Essex, Connecticut. Rpt., The Ivoryton Public Library, 1979.

Johnson, Curtiss S. "From Ivory Combs to Carnegie Hall and Today:The History of the Pratt Read Corporation." [Unpublished history in the collection.]

Moore, Ernst D. "History of Pratt, Read & Company." [Unpublished history in the Ernst D. Moore Collection, Archives Center Collection #321.]

Newspaper Clippings in the collection.

Pratt Read Corporation. Annual Reports.

Vocaline Corporation. Annual Report, 1970.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Records relating to Pratt, Read and to Comstock, Cheney can be found in a number of other collections, both within the Archives Center and in other repositories. The Wood & Brooks Company Records (Archives Center coll. #457) contain significant information on Pratt, Read's operations and an important record of production statistics gathered by George Wood while he was factory superintendent and taken with him when he set up a rival firm in Buffalo. While the Ernst Moore Collection (Archives Center coll. #321) primarily documents the purchase of ivory in Africa (much of which was ultimately used by Pratt, Read), it also includes a history of Pratt, Read written by Moore while he was employed by them. The Sohmer & Company Records (Archives Center coll. #349) document the piano manufacturing firm that Pratt Read acquired in 1982.
Separated Materials:
The Pratt Read Corporation also donated a number of objects to the National Museum of American History at the same time as their 1988 donation of archival records. Included were combs and letter openers and other examples of products made from ivory; piano components, such as gauge boards, key actions, and keys; and such diverse items as tools used in the factory, World War II employee I.D. badges, and a uniform from the company sponsored basketball team.
Provenance:
Donated by Pratt, Read Corporation in 1989. In addition to the papers donated by the company, several individuals donated Pratt, Read materials in their possession.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Piano  Search this
Ivory industry  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Ivory  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Financial records
Employee records
Advertisements -- 20th century
Minute books
Sales records
Design drawings
Manufacturing Records
Legal documents
Annual reports
Publications
Photographs -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Labels
Stock records
Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0320
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0320
Online Media:

Frank and Dolores Becker papers

Creator:
Becker, Dolores  Search this
Becker, Frank E.  Search this
Indian Association of America  Search this
Names:
United States. Army. Air Corps  Search this
Extent:
9 sound discs
9 Photographic prints
3 Linear feet
1 Sound cassette
Culture:
Diné (Navajo)  Search this
Indians of North America  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Photographic prints
Sound cassettes
Membership lists
Phonograph records
Date:
1943-1968
Summary:
The Frank and Dolores Becker papers contains materials from the Indian Association of America, Inc. as well as material regarding Frank Becker's work with Navajo Soldiers in the Army Air Corps during World War II. This includes a full run of the Indian Association of America's publication Smoke Signals, personal scrapbooks as well as a collection of phonographic records.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the Frank and Dolores Becker papers come from their years working for the Indian Association of America between 1949 and 1968 as president (Frank) and secretary (Dolores). This includes administrative materials such as articles of incorporation and dissolution, the constitution and by-laws, member lists, as well as meeting reports and notes. There is also a full run of Smoke Signals (1949-1961), the association's bi-monthly magazine edited by Dolores Becker.

In addition to materials regarding the Indian Association of America there are two copies of Frank Becker's book, Navajo Way and background information on his work at the Presbyterian Hospitality house during WWII teaching English and reading to Navajo soldiers. There are several photos of Becker and the Navajo soldiers he taught as well as an audio cassette of the recording in the Navajo language used in the classroom. The recording features Frank Becker in English and Roger Davis in Navajo and includes several prayers as well as general army instructions and general orders for interior guard duty.

There are also two scrapbooks in the collection. One was created by Dolores which includes drawings, poems and research she conducted on Native American culture. The second is a scrapbook of newspaper articles and clippings, many of them written by Frank Becker, on the Becker's activities with the Indian Association of America and other related Native American issues. Many notices of Frank Becker's speaking engagements are included in this scrapbook. Also included is the Becker's collection of phonographic records. These nine records, 10 inch (78rm) were produced by Tom Tom records, Canyon records and one by Victor and include a variety of Native American songs.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in one series alphabetically. The phonographic records are listed at the end of the collection, also in alphabetical order.
Frank and Dolores Becker:
Frank Becker was born in New York City on April 24, 1907 to Frank and Thora Bregartner Becker. A Graduate from Stuyvesant High School and the New York Training School for teachers, Becker received a B.S. from NYU in 1942 and was awarded his degree the same year he was inducted into the Army Air Corps. Becker taught at P.S. 17 before and after WWII and later received a Masters of Arts Degree.

Though he started as a mechanic in the Army Air Corps in 1942, Becker was soon transferred to the 704th training group in Atlantic City, New Jersey to help organize a school for illiterate soldiers. Becker was tasked to teach reading, writing and arithmetic to a mixed group of students that included Greeks, Chinese, Navajo, Pima and Papago soldiers. The largest group of Native American soldiers Becker taught were Navajo. Because many of the Navajo soldiers could not speak English, Roger Davis, an elected leader to the Navajo Tribal Council and Presbyterian missionary, was sent to Atlantic City to act as an interpreter. Together, Becker and Davis made phonographic recordings of the Army Handbook in both English and Navajo. Davis assisted Becker for five weeks staying as a guest of the Presbyterian Hospitality House. Becker later wrote a book on his experiences working with the group of Navajo soldiers titled Navajo Way (1956). The experience also sparked a lifelong interested in the Navajo culture as well as awareness of many of the problems facing the Navajo community in regards to education and health.

Following the war, Becker visited Arizona and New Mexico with his family in in the fall on 1947. Frank had Frank met Dolores in the early 1940's through mutual friends and the two were married December 27, 1944. Dolores, born August 6, 1913, had passed the New Jersey bar in 1936 and had been practicing law in the juvenile court system. After meeting Frank she also took an active interest in Native American culture. The family visited Gallup, Window Rock and Indian Wells, where they visited with Roger Davis, making particular note of the schools they visited. On the return from this trip, Becker wrote passionately on the failing of the U.S. government to fulfill its obligations to the Navajo people, particularly in the area of education. Frank and Dolores both joined several organizations, most notably the Indian Association of America, dedicated to helping Native Americans advocating especially for WWII Veterans returning home and education. Additionally, Frank wrote many columns, letters to the editor and speeches on both his experiences teaching Navajo soldiers during the war as well current issues facing Native American communities. Dolores appeared on several TV shows in the 1950's directed towards younger audiences explaining Native American cultures.

Frank Becker died November 11, 1979 in Shokan, NY and Dolores died on March 6, 2010 leaving behind a daughter and a son.

Additional Information on Frank and Dolores Becker provided by their daughter Thora Becker.
Indian Association of America:
According to its constitution and by-laws, The Indian Association of America was originally founded in Denver, Colorado by Dr. Vincent "Red Fox" St. James and Dr. George C. Stagg in 1924. Red Fox, who claimed to be Blackfoot but whose origins are undetermined, had previously been a founder of the Tipi (Tepee) Order of America, an organization that blended ritual aspects closely related to Freemasonry with the pan-Indian movement dedicated to advocacy work for the welfare of Native Americans. The Indian Association of America mimicked this model with some of its stated objectives being; to promote better understanding between the races, to study the Indian cultures of America, to foster education for American Indians, to provide direct help in emergencies faced by American Indian communities, to protest laws detrimental to American Indians and to promote the observance of American Indian Day.

Though previously active, the Indian Association of America was officially incorporated in the state of New York in 1950 as a non-profit organization. Frank Becker took over as "Great Sachem," or President, in October of 1950 and led the organization until its dissolution in 1968. Its magazine, Smoke Signals, began publishing bi-monthly in June of 1949 with Dolores Becker serving as editor for the entirety of its run between 1949 and 1961. Frank Becker acted as a contributing editor and later as an advisory editor. The Indian Association of America formally dissolved in March of 1968.
Provenance:
Gift of Thora Becker, 2013.
Restrictions:
Access to NMAI Archive Center collections is by appointment only, Monday - Thursday, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Please contact the archives to make an appointment (phone: 301-238-1400, email: nmaiarchives@si.edu).
Rights:
Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. Permission to publish or broadbast materials from the collection must be requested from National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center. Please submit a written request to nmaiarchives@si.edu.
Topic:
Indians of North America -- Periodicals  Search this
Navajo language  Search this
Indians of North America -- Education  Search this
Genre/Form:
Membership lists
Phonograph records
Citation:
Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Frank and Dolores Becker papers, Box and Folder Number; National Museum of the American Indian Archive Center, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAI.AC.075
See more items in:
Frank and Dolores Becker papers
Archival Repository:
National Museum of the American Indian
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmai-ac-075

Baldwin Red Devil

Manufacturer:
Capt. Thomas Scott Baldwin  Search this
Materials:
Airframe: Wood and Steel Tubing
Covering: Fabric
Dimensions:
Wingspan: 12.8 m (42 ft)
Length: 9.0 m (30 ft)
Height: 2.4 m (8 ft)
Weight: approximately 340 kg (750 lb)
Type:
CRAFT-Aircraft
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Date:
1909-1913
Credit Line:
Purchase from Roosevelt Field, Inc.
Inventory Number:
A19500094000
Restrictions & Rights:
CC0
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Location:
Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA
Exhibit Station:
Pre-1920 Aviation
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv979c27f57-77f0-4e4d-a605-1fa49238a591
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19500094000

John Wallis Bishop Collection

Creator:
Bishop, John Wallis (Jack)  Search this
Names:
Great Britain. Royal Flying Corps. 66th Squadron  Search this
Roosevelt Field (N.Y.)  Search this
Bishop, John Wallis (Jack)  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (1 slim legal document case)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Date:
1918-1936
Summary:
John (Jack) Wallis Bishop was born June 8, 1892, in Berlin, Maryland. He was trained as a pilot at the US Army School of Military Aeronautics at Cornell University in 1917 and subsequently enlisted in Canada and was assigned to the 66th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) at the front for 14 months in northern Italy. He shot down two enemy aircraft and participated in 22 low altitude bombing raids. In the 1930s, he became a flying instructor and pilot at Roosevelt Field. Bishop was killed in a flying accident at Roosevelt Field on August 30, 1936. This collection contains materials from Bishop's career as a pilot, including a diary, logbooks, newsletters, permits, photographs, and articles.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains materials from John Wallis Bishop's career as a pilot. World War I era materials include photographs, a diary of his overseas service, a logbook, newsletters and programs from the 66th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps, a booklet of aircraft silhouettes, an aerial map of the northern Italian front, and his permission to depart from the United Kingdom and return to the United States. Materials from his later career include logbooks, a pilot permit and physical examination certificate, and a book of tickets for excursion flights with Bishop. Other materials include an article from the November/December 1931 edition of The Military Engineer entitled "Two-Fifths of an Ace," describing Bishop's exploits with the 66th Squadron, an in memoriam article, an article about Annette Gipson, and a genealogy of Samuel and John Bishop.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged in chronological order.
Biographical / Historical:
John (Jack) Wallis Bishop was born June 8, 1892, in Berlin, Maryland. A United States citizen living in Yonkers, New York, he initially enlisted in the United States military on September 14, 1917, at Mineola, New York. He was trained at the US Army School of Military Aeronautics at Cornell University until his honorable discharge ("cause not shown") on October 30, 1917. Subsequently, he enlisted in Canada and was assigned to the 66th Squadron of the Royal Flying Corps (RFC) at the front for 14 months in northern Italy. He shot down two enemy aircraft and participated in 22 low altitude bombing raids. He returned to the US in June 1919, became a member of the "Ancient and Secret Order of Quiet Birdmen." After the war, he sold real estate, but soon began flying again, participating in barnstorming tours. In the 1930s, he became a flying instructor and pilot at Roosevelt Field, Long Island, New York, and a lieutenant in the Nassau County (NY) police department. He was a friend and flying associate of the air racer Annette Gipson. Bishop was killed in a flying accident near Roosevelt Field on August 30, 1936.
Provenance:
E. Thompson Magoffin, gift, 1988, NASM.1988.0086.
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:
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Citation:
John Wallis Bishop Collection, Acc. NASM.1988.0086, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1988.0086
See more items in:
John Wallis Bishop Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1988-0086
Online Media:

Robinson and Via Family Papers

Collector:
Robinson, Franklin A., Jr., 1959- (actor)  Search this
Names:
Capital Transit Company (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Serenity Farm, Inc.  Search this
Howes, Grace Bourne, ?-1976  Search this
Robinson, Adina Theresa, 1963-  Search this
Robinson, Amanda Baden, 1849-1940  Search this
Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1892-1976  Search this
Robinson, Frank A., 1883-1970  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., 1841-1905  Search this
Robinson, Franklin A., Sr., 1932-  Search this
Robinson, Martha Walls, 1807-1897  Search this
Robinson, Robert David, 1962-  Search this
Robinson, Robert Henry, 1851-1937  Search this
Robinson, Thomas Wells, 1803-1869  Search this
Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1880-1961  Search this
Via, Adina Mae, 1937-1966  Search this
Via, Robert Delano, 1933-  Search this
Via, Robert Milton, 1906-1983  Search this
Creator:
Conner, Mary Robinson, 1930-2009  Search this
Via, Ida Virginia Woods, 1914-2010 -- 20th century  Search this
Extent:
22.1 Cubic feet (67 boxes, 3 map-size folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence
Photographs
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Place:
Maryland -- Family farms
Washington (D.C.)
Prince George's County (Md.)
Arizona -- motion pictures
Benedict (Md.)
Charles County (Md.) -- Family farms
Calvert County (Md.) -- Family farms
California -- motion pictures
Bahamas -- motion pictures
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Puerto Rico -- motion pictures
Washington -- motion pictures
Oregon -- motion pictures
Disneyland (California)
Brandywine (Md.)
St. Thomas, V.I. -- motion pictures
Florida -- motion pictures
Date:
1838-2017, undated
bulk 1872-1985
Summary:
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.

The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.

This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.

The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series:

Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated

Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated

Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated

Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated

Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated

Subseries 2.2: Townshend, Martha Robinson, 1896-1961, undated

Subseries 2.3: Robinson, Frank A., 1899-1970, undated

Subseries 2.4: Robinson, Elizabeth Bourne, 1841-1976, undated

Subseries 2.5: Conner, Mary Robinson, 1938-1985, undated

Subseries 2.6: Robinson, Franklin A., 1932-1997, undated

Subseries 2.6.1: Farming, 1948-1976, undated

Subseries 2.6.2: Financial, 1948-1988, undated

Subseries 2.6.3: 4-H and Future Farmers of America (FFA), 1945-1954, undated

Subseries 2.6.4: Travel, 1959-1970, undated

Subseries 2.7: Robinson, Jr., Franklin A., 1959-2001, undated

Series 3: Serenity Farm, Charles County, Maryland, 1962-2000, undated

Series 4: Via Farm, Calvert County, Maryland, 1954-1987, undated

Series 5: Via Family, 1932-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1: Family papers, 1941-1983, undated

Subseries 5.2: Via, Robert M., 1933-1987, undated

Subseries 5.3: Via, Ida Virginia, 1928-2010, undated

Subseries 5.4: Via, Robert D., 1933-1988, undated

Subseries 5.5: Robinson, Adina Via, 1937-1966, undated

Series 6: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.1: Photographs, 1872-2000, undated

Subseries 6.2: Photographic negatives, 1927--2000, undated

Series 7: AudioVisual, 1943-1988
Biographical / Historical:
Robinson Family

The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))

James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.

James worked as overseer for Benjamin Oden on Oden's estate Bellefields near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) on April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three slaves described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)

Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as overseer for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth I. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the churchyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County. In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.

Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).

In addition to his sons, Thomas owned slaves. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six slaves, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)

In April 11, 1855 Thomas excuted a deed of trust to J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore for securing a loan. At that time the farm was described as, "about five hundred and seventy acres . . . also the following personal property to wit Eight head of horses, nine cows, two mules, twelve work oxen, twenty Eight Sheep, one bull, two colts and all other stock of every description now on the aforesaid land, also the farming utensils and the following named Slaves, Stephen aged Sixty three years, Isaac aged twenty six years, Elvia aged twenty Eight years Alfred aged twelve years, Hanson aged ten years, Henrietta aged twelve years Susanna aged eight years, and Margaret aged three years. Together with the crop of Tobacco now in the house and the crop of wheat now growing." (EWB 1 pages 155 156, Land Records of Prince Georges' County)

Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the plantation in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)

In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865. In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)

Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)

Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).

By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.

As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County. Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)

In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.

On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.

At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)

Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm. Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.

On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.

The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)

On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)

On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee. Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).

Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.

On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.

On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.

The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of MTGA, the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.

In 1985, R. David began a greenhouse business for the sale of spring flowering bedding plants and hanging baskets but currently works in conjunction with Farming 4 Hunger to grow produce for local area foodbanks. A. Theresa is involved in the daily running of the farm along with Franklin. Franklin, Jr., obtained a BFA degree in Drama from The Catholic University of America in 1981 and an MA from The American University in Film and Video Production in 1988. He was a civilian employee of the United States Air Force (USAF) from November 1981 to January 1986. He pursued a full time career as a professional actor from 1986-2007 and is a published author and produced playwright. The three siblings have been involved in community affairs, with R. David sitting on the Charles County Agricultural Preservation Board, A. Theresa having served on the vestry of Trinity Episcopal Parish, Charles County, and Franklin, Jr. having served on the vestries of both Trinity Parish and St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of the Washington Literacy Council, a choir member of the choir at St. Thomas Church, among other church related posts and as chair of the Charles County Historic Preservation Commission.

Via Family

The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.

The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).

Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.

Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).

Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).

After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.

On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction). In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).

On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.

Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.

Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.

Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.

In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.

On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Separated Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.

Division of Armed Forces History (National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Restrictions:
Unrestricted research use on site to portions of collection, but some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment.
Rights:
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Farms -- Maryland  Search this
Holidays  Search this
Amusement parks -- California  Search this
Children's parties  Search this
Rural women  Search this
Sheep ranches  Search this
Parks -- California  Search this
Rural families  Search this
Tobacco -- Harvesting  Search this
Tobacco -- Storage  Search this
Street-railroads  Search this
Street-railroads -- Employees  Search this
Travel  Search this
Urban transportation  Search this
Work and family  Search this
Tobacco curing  Search this
Women in agriculture  Search this
Farm equipment  Search this
Farm buildings  Search this
Family recreation  Search this
Family festivals  Search this
Farm ownership  Search this
Farm life -- 20th century  Search this
Farm management  Search this
Illiterate persons  Search this
Christmas  Search this
Soldiers  Search this
Students  Search this
Family -- 20th century  Search this
Family farms  Search this
Easter  Search this
Electric railroads  Search this
Acting -- 1980-2000  Search this
Amateur films  Search this
Agricultural machinery  Search this
Agriculture -- 20th century -- Maryland  Search this
Tobacco farmers  Search this
Housewives -- United States  Search this
Weddings  Search this
Farmers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Postcards
Baby books
Phonograph records
Postcard albums
Ephemera
School yearbooks
Diaries
Albums
Housebooks
Photographs -- 19th century
Snapshots
Home movies
Family papers
Scrapbooks
Funeral registers
Cookbooks
Architectural drawings
Citation:
The Robinson and Via Family Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0475
See more items in:
Robinson and Via Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0475
Online Media:

Mile Scale, Indicator, Radar Interrogator, BC-929-A, AN/APN-2 Rebecca Mk IIA

Materials:
plastic, paper, ink
Dimensions:
3-D (scale, 5 grams): 8.5 × 8.5 × 0.1cm (3 3/8 × 3 3/8 × 1/16 in.)
3-D (envelope, 3 grams): 15.2 × 8.6 × 0.1cm (6 × 3 3/8 × 1/16 in.)
Type:
AVIONICS-Radar/Electronic Warfare
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Gift of Charles L. Neumann
Inventory Number:
A19650067002
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv97accf3f9-35ee-4300-bbc6-739d2eaf7f07
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A19650067002

Ribbon Bar, Distinguished Service Cross, United States Army Air Forces

Pilot:
Dr. Thomas N. Weems  Search this
Materials:
Overall: Silk and Copper Alloy
Dimensions:
3-D: 3.5 × 2.2 × 0.5cm (1 3/8 × 7/8 × 3/16 in.)
Type:
AWARDS-Medals & Ribbons
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by the families of Rebecca E. Weems, Ph.D., George Halton Weems, and Philip N. Weems
Inventory Number:
A20181735000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9eda62be0-5085-4275-b061-727ff8aaff10
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20181735000
Online Media:

Ribbon Bar, Distinguished Service Cross, United States Army Air Forces

Pilot:
Dr. Thomas N. Weems  Search this
Materials:
Overall: Brass and silk
Dimensions:
3-D: 3.5 × 2.2 × 0.5cm (1 3/8 × 7/8 × 3/16 in.)
Type:
AWARDS-Medals & Ribbons
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by the families of Rebecca E. Weems, Ph.D., George Halton Weems, and Philip N. Weems
Inventory Number:
A20181736000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv939cb1e3e-0414-43f9-9d20-06ea1b71cf4d
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20181736000
Online Media:

Ribbon Bar, Distinguished Service Cross, United States Army Air Forces

Pilot:
Dr. Thomas N. Weems  Search this
Materials:
Overall: Brass and silk
Dimensions:
3-D: 3.5 × 2.2 × 0.5cm (1 3/8 × 7/8 × 3/16 in.)
Type:
AWARDS-Medals & Ribbons
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by the families of Rebecca E. Weems, Ph.D., George Halton Weems, and Philip N. Weems
Inventory Number:
A20181737000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9a1705d64-566d-4835-93c0-66e43c6c8ba8
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20181737000
Online Media:

Medal, Air Medal, United States Army Air Forces, Thomas Weems

Pilot:
Dr. Thomas N. Weems  Search this
Materials:
Medal: Bronze
Ribbon: Silk
Dimensions:
3-D: 7.6 × 4.8 × 1.3cm (3 × 1 7/8 × 1/2 in.)
Type:
AWARDS-Medals & Ribbons
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by the families of Rebecca E. Weems, Ph.D., George Halton Weems, and Philip N. Weems
Inventory Number:
A20181738000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9d928cbb5-5809-4f2d-bf4e-e07a45e2a024
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20181738000
Online Media:

Badge, Navigator, United States Air Force

Pilot:
Dr. Thomas N. Weems  Search this
Materials:
Overall: Silver
Dimensions:
3-D: 2.2 × 7.6 × 1.3cm (7/8 × 3 × 1/2 in.)
Type:
AWARDS-Insignia
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by the families of Rebecca E. Weems, Ph.D., George Halton Weems, and Philip N. Weems
Inventory Number:
A20181739000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9d6bc496e-3bc3-4115-b978-c83a38a22c50
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20181739000
Online Media:

Ribbon Bar, Air Medal and Distinguished Service Cross

Pilot:
Dr. Thomas N. Weems  Search this
Materials:
Overall: Brass and silk
Dimensions:
3-D: 3.8 × 1.3 × 1.9cm (1 1/2 × 1/2 × 3/4 in.)
Type:
AWARDS-Medals & Ribbons
Country of Origin:
United States of America
Credit Line:
Donated by the families of Rebecca E. Weems, Ph.D., George Halton Weems, and Philip N. Weems
Inventory Number:
A20181743000
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
National Air and Space Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/nv9b57a0a8a-fb96-4473-96d1-61119e21521b
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nasm_A20181743000
Online Media:

Modify Your Search







or


Narrow By