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Charles Richardson Pratt Papers

Collector:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Pratt, Charles Richardson, 1860-1935  Search this
Names:
Sprague, Frank J.  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (13 boxes, 8 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Drawings
Trade catalogs
Photographs
Notebooks
Letterpress books
Patents
Place:
Montclair (N.J.)
Date:
1860-1935
bulk 1910-1924
Summary:
The papers document the professional career of mechanical engineer, Charles Richardson Pratt. The papers include correspondence, patents, patent application materials, agreements, photographs, publications, and blueprints for many of Pratt's inventions, especially his work on elevators.
Scope and Contents:
These papers contain personal materials of Charles R. Pratt; letterpress copybooks; engineering notebooks; diaries; material relating to the development of the heavy-duty, high-rise electric elevator; material concerning elevator cable equalizers and safety devices, Morton-Jacobsen and other lathe chucks, lathe drives and the Pratt Driver, the hydraulic transmission of power in trucks, and ship steering gear; and studies reports, drawings, photographs, catalogs, and trade literature concerning mechanical engineering.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into eight series.

Series 1: Personal Materials, 1875-1935

Series 2: Diaries, 1894, 1928-1931

Series 3: Correspondence, 1872-1920

Series 4: Notebooks, 1880, 1889, 1900

Series 5: Inventions, 1860-1927

Series 6: Photographs, 1890-1902

Series 7: Publications, 1895-1929

Series 8: Drawings, 1878-1929
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Richardson Pratt (1860-1935), was born in Massachusetts to John C. and Mary Anne Richardson. He graduated from the Hopkins School of Boston and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1879. Pratt worked at Whittier Machine Company of Boston (1882-1890) where he designed and built the first electric elevator in 1888. The elevator was installed in the Tremont House, Boston. Pratt also worked as an agent and later as a consulting engineer for the Otis Elevator Company, the inventors of the hydraulic elevator.

Pratt was best known for his development of the first electrically powered elevator. In 1892, inventor Frank Sprague (1857-1934) founded the Sprague Electric Elevator Company, and with Charles R. Pratt developed the Sprague-Pratt Electric Elevator. They demonstrated that electrically powered elevators were capable of competing with hydraulic elevators. Pratt held several engineering positions and worked for the Marine Engine Company of Newark, New Jersey (1902-1905) developing elevator systems; consulting engineer to the Universal Speed Control Company of New York City (1906-1919); consultant to the American Engineering Company of Philadelphia (1912); mechanical superintendent at the Crocker Wheel Company of Ampere, New Jersey (1919); engineer for the E. Horton and Sons Company of Connecticut (1920-1923); the General Tractors Corporation (1924-1927); and was associated with the Watson Elevator Company of New York City (1928-1930). Pratt patented many of his ideas, earning over thirty-five patents related mostly to elevators,

Pratt was a member of the Masons, the Sons of the American Revolution, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the MIT Club of New Jersey, and the Motor Club of London. He married Mary Byron Ladd and they had two children, Gertrude Ladd Pratt and Donald Richardson Pratt.
Provenance:
This collection was purchased from Charles R. Pratt's daughter, Gertrude Pratt Vance, in 1973.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Mechanical engineering and engineers  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Elevators  Search this
Machine-tools  Search this
Patents -- 1890-1900  Search this
Power transmission  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Drawings
Trade catalogs
Photographs -- 19th century
Notebooks
Letterpress books
Patents -- 1870-1880
Citation:
Charles Richardson Pratt Papers, 1860-1935, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0958
See more items in:
Charles Richardson Pratt Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0958
Online Media:

Anthony Lanza World War II Letters and Photographs

Creator:
Lanza, Kenneth  Search this
Lanza, Anthony, 1925-1995  Search this
Extent:
1.33 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Diaries
Letters (correspondence)
Photographs
Place:
Japan -- World War, 1939-1945
Hiroshima-shi (Japan) -- History -- Bombardment, 1945
Date:
1925-1946
undated
bulk 1940-1946
Summary:
World War II personal papers, photographs, and printed material of Anthony R. Lanza, who served in the U.S. Army in Japan between 1944 and 1946.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents Anthony Lanza's United States Army service in Japan during World War II, mostly through letters and photographs. Also included are miscellaneous items such as newsletters, clippings, drawings, Japanese travel and language guides, and official military papers. Particular research value lies in the photographic documentation of Hiroshima shortly after the atomic bomb was dropped, photographs of the Enola Gay, and an eyewitness account by a survivor.

Series 1, Photographs, 1925, 1944, 1945, 1946, undated, contains documentation of Lanza's time in Japan during World War II, divided by subject matter. Many of the photographs are annotated on the reverse side. Included in the collection are photographs of the Enola Gay, Hiroshima shortly after the atomic bomb was dropped, and the 308th General Hospital in Japan. There are also several photographs of landscapes and Japanese citizens. The folder containing street scenes includes one formal portrait of a Japanese family Lanza encountered in his travels. There are also photographs not taken in Japan, including images of Niagara Falls.

Series 2, Personal Papers, 1940s, undated, contains various papers that belonged to Lanza, including his diary, several letters to his mother written from Japan, a scrapbook, a first person account of the Hiroshima bombing written by Reverend John A. Siemes, military papers (special orders, immunization records, payroll information, and discharge papers), military newsletters, newspaper and magazine clippings, and various sketches and notes. The newspaper and magazine subjects contain information regarding a relative, a blurb about a DDT insecticide experiment, and information regarding musical performances.

Series 3, Materials Related to Japan, 1945, undated, contains two Japanese language books, a tourist magazine, and a book created for tourism about Japan dated 1945.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged in three series.

Series 1, Photographs, 1925, 1944, 1945, 1946, undated

Series 2, Personal Papers, 1940s, undated

Series 3, Materials Related to Japan, 1945, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Dr. Anthony R. Lanza was born July 20, 1925, in New York City. He was inducted into the United States Army in March of 1944, worked at the 308th General Hospital in Japan, and received an honorable discharge in May of 1946. He attained the rank of Master Sergeant and received the American Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal, Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal, and World War II Victory Medal. Lanza later worked as a public school teacher in Union, New Jersey, and Valley Stream, New York, as well as a faculty member of the School of Education at New York University. He also served as Chief of the NESA Education Branch in AID/Washington, as an Education Advisor in Turkey for nine years, and as a USAID Chief Education Officer in Guatemala, Afghanistan, and Pakistan for twelve years. He went on to work as Regional Education Officer for Africa for the Office of Overseas Schools in the U.S. State Department.
Related Materials:
World War II Bomb Damage Photographs contains photographs of the aftermath of the bombings in Nagasaki, Japan, and Manila in the Philippines. Emilio Segre Collection documents research relating to the development of the atomic bomb.
Provenance:
Anthony Lanza's son, Kenneth Lanza, donated this collection in 2005 and additional materials were donated in 2007.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs 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:
Atomic bomb  Search this
Japanese language -- 1940-1950  Search this
Nuclear warfare  Search this
Military occupation -- Japan  Search this
Travel -- Japan  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings -- 1940-1950
Diaries -- 1940-1950
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Citation:
Anthony Lanza World War II Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0910
See more items in:
Anthony Lanza World War II Letters and Photographs
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0910
Online Media:

Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection

Creator:
Garland, Ed  Search this
Armstrong, Louis, 1900-1971  Search this
Morton, Jelly Roll, d. 1941  Search this
Darensbourg, Joe, 1906-1985  Search this
Davison, Bill  Search this
Blake, Eubie, 1883-1983  Search this
Wilson, Buster  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Collector:
Levin, Floyd, 1922-2007  Search this
Donor:
Levin, Lucille  Search this
Extent:
42.5 Cubic feet (110 boxes, 12 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Newsletters
Posters
Obituaries
Correspondence
Photographs
Advertisements
Ephemera
Concert programs
Clippings
Business cards
Audiocassettes
Signatures (names)
Audiotapes
Interviews
Personal papers
Biography files
Awards
Writings
Date:
1880 - 2010
Summary:
Floyd Levin was a Los Angeles textile manufacturer who turned his passion for jazz into a second career as an influential jazz journalist and historian. The collection consists of research materials including biographical files. In addition, there are numerous photographs that were taken and collected by Levin.
Scope and Contents:
Research materials on jazz, jazz artists, jazz festivals and jazz organizations compiled by Levin over several decades. The richest portion is the series of biographical files on jazz artists, with emphasis on lesser known but influential artists, and includes such things as obituaries, memorial programs, press releases, concert programs, and newsletters. Photographs are also widely found in this series, many of them inscribed to, or taken with Levin and his wife Lucille, as well as posters, recordings, letters and other correspondence, awards and plaques, Levin's writings, business cards, newspaper articles, advertisements, and miscellaneous ephemeral items. Artists who are strongly represented include one-time Ellington Orchestra clarinetist "Barney" (Albany Leon) Bigard, who was a close personal friend of the Levins and whose personal papers are in the collection; Louis Armstrong; "Jelly Roll" (Ferdinand Lemott) Morton; "Wild" Bill Davison; "Duke" (Edward Kennedy) Ellington; Joe Darensbourg; Edward Bertram "Montudie" Garland; "Kid" (Edward) Ory; "Eubie" (James Herbert) Blake; and "Rosy" (James) McHargue.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into ten series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1920-2010, undated

Series 2, Correspondence, 1948-2006, undated

Series 3, Research Materials, 1914-2006, undated

Series 4, Writings, 1949-2006, undated

Series 5, Artists Files, 1880-2010, undated

Subseries 5.1, General Materials, 1880-2010, undated

Subseries 5.2, Obituaries, 1941-2004

Subseries 5.3, Interviews, 1969-2001

Series 6, Subject Files, 1916-2004, undated

Series 7, General Materials, 1908-2006, undated

Series 8, Jazz Organizations and Publications, 1943-2010, undated

Series 9, Photographs, 1939-2001, undated

Series 10, Audiovisual Materials, 1964-1997, undated

Subseries 10.1, Audiocassettes, 1970-1997, undated

Subseries 10.2, Compact Discs, 1966-1994, undated

Subseries 10.3, Sound Tape Reels, 1964-1973, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Floyd Levin (1922 - 2007) was a Los Angeles textile manufacturer who turned his passion for jazz into a second, contemporaneous, career as an influential jazz journalist and historian. His numerous reviews, profiles, and articles were published in magazines such as Down Beat, Jazz Journal International, Metronome, and American Rag. He also authored Classic Jazz: A Personal View of the Music and the Musicians (University of California Press, 2000), which –like his articles – chronicled his first-hand encounters with countless jazz musicians. In 1949, he co-founded the Southern California Hot Jazz Society, the second-oldest jazz appreciation club in the country. Levin led the drive to create the Louis Armstrong Park and statue in New Orleans in the 1970s. During his career, he conducted scores of oral history interviews with jazz musicians, which he donated to NMAH and to Tulane University's jazz archive. He received several awards for his work, including the Leonard Feather Communicator Award, given annually by the Los Angeles Jazz Society. Levin died in 2007.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2011 by Floyd Levin's widow, Lucille Levin.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials may be used.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Jazz  Search this
Jazz musicians  Search this
Genre/Form:
Newsletters -- 20th century
Posters -- 20th century
Obituaries
Correspondence -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Advertisements -- 20th century
Ephemera -- 20th century
Concert programs -- 20th century
Clippings
Business cards
Audiocassettes
Signatures (names)
Audiotapes
Interviews
Personal papers -- 20th century
Biography files
Awards
Writings
Citation:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection, 1880-2010, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1222
See more items in:
Floyd Levin Jazz Reference Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1222
Online Media:

Vernon Torrence Collection

Creator:
Donnald, Morrill  Search this
Torrence, Vernon Keith, 1921-1946  Search this
Kansas Wesleyan University  Search this
United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Cubic feet (1 flat box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Programs
Pamphlets
Travelers' checks
Photographs
School yearbooks
Diplomas
Contracts
Commemoratives
Memorial service booklets
Diaries
Correspondence
Date:
1940-1942
Summary:
Photographs, a Kansas Wesleyan University yearbook (with personal messages and inscriptions), diplomas, correspondence regarding Torrence's disappearance, newspaper clippings, his memorial service booklet or program, and a diary which he kept during a week-long adventure as a "hobo" in Kansas.
Scope and Contents:
This small collection is comprised of several types of material including Vernon's high school and college diplomas, college yearbook with handwritten notes from classmates, photographs, correspondence, newspaper clippings about the discovery of his remains, and his memorial service booklet. Of special interest is a 1940 pocket diary containing Vernon's account of a week long adventure as a "hobo" in rural Kansas when he and a friend hopped freight trains, slept in boxcars and a hay stack, washed up in a "jungle," and met other men traveling the rails. In 2000 an attempt was made by the author of this finding aid to obtain additional information about Vernon from the FBI under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts (FOIA). The material obtained focused on the finding of his body and the process of identifying his remains; little information about his days as a conscientious objector was provided. The FOIA material is in this collection's control file.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Vernon Keith Torrence was born in McCune, Kansas, on November 18, 1921. After graduating from high school in Solomon, Kansas, Vernon entered Kansas Wesleyan University from which he graduated with honors in history in 1942. During his senior year he was the editor of the University's 1942 yearbook, the "Coyote." His pacifist beliefs were in place at least by his senior year as evidenced by the comments fellow students wrote in Vernon's copy of the yearbook. Vernon's father was a Methodist minister who also held anti war sentiments.

In September 1942 Vernon was drafted and joined the Civilian Public Service as a conscientious objector. His alternative service took him to Buck Creek, North Carolina, Gatlinburg, Tennessee, and Markleeville, California, under the auspices of the National Park and Forestry Service. In December 1943 he began work with the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey, serving in Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. In March 1945 he walked out of Conscientious Objector's Camp # 98 in Arizona; two months later he was picked up, arraigned, and released on bond by the U.S. District Court. That fall Vernon received a notice of dismissal of his court case, and he took this to mean that his alternative service was now complete and began working for a construction company in Los Angeles. The government felt otherwise and declared him absent without leave.

In the summer of 1946 Vernon put his savings into American Express Travelers Checks and began hitchhiking to Kansas to visit his family. He never arrived. On August 27, 1956 a ranger found his body in rugged terrain in Sequoia Kings Canyon National Park, California, where Vernon had apparently fallen while hiking alone. The FBI, which had continued to search for Vernon until 1951, identified the body from the travelers checks. Vernon was buried in Minneapolis, Kansas, on October 13, 1956.
Provenance:
The material in this collection was maintained by Vernon's parents, Ira and Madge Torrence, and his younger sister, Lois Torrence, a fellow student at Kansas Wesleyan University who was devoted to her older brother. Upon their deaths the material was obtained by the remaining sister, Margaret Torrence Donnald, whose husband, Morrill Donnald, donated the material to the Archives Center, NMAH, in January 2000.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Conscientious objectors -- World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Tramps -- 1940-1990  Search this
Public service employment  Search this
Genre/Form:
Programs -- Memorial services
Pamphlets
Travelers' checks
Photographs -- 1900-1950
School yearbooks
Diplomas
Contracts
Commemoratives
Memorial service booklets
Diaries -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Citation:
Vernon Torrence Collection, 1930-1957, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0717
See more items in:
Vernon Torrence Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0717
Online Media:

Erasmus D. Leavitt Papers

Source:
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Creator:
Calumet and Hecla Mining Company.  Search this
Leavitt, Erasmus D., 1836-1916  Search this
Former owner:
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
20.4 Cubic feet (3 boxes, 82 folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notebooks
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Letterpress books
Diaries
Blueprints
Account books
Place:
Upper Peninsula (Mich.)
Date:
1871-1917
Summary:
Tracings on linen of steam engines of all types, pumping, histing, air compressing, mining, material handling, power transmission, mine structures, mining machinery, and buildings by Erasmus D. Leavitt, Jr. for Calumet Heclas, Inc. of Calumet, Michigan.
Scope and Contents note:
These papers contain engineering drawings by Leavitt from the Calumet & Hecla Mining Company including tracings and blueprints of 2000 to 8000 horsepower compound hoisting engines, 1889-1917; hoisting plants, 1891-1901; shaft hoisting gear, 1887-1902; Calumet & Hecla compressor houses, 1877-1882; waterworks; and electric plants. Also included are notebooks containing engine drawings and calculations; account books, 1885; a diary; a letterpress volume of sketches and office memoranda, 1884-1890; scrapbooks.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series by drawing number. Descriptions contain a category designation beginning with a letter. For example, drawings associated with Torch Lake in Michigan are desginated as Category K. In some instances, the drawings are categorized as XY with no further description or are un-numbered.

Series 1: Drawings

A Pumping Engine No. 2

B Boiler House and Gear House

C Gearing for Pump and Man Engine

D Hoisting Engine No. 1, Hecla Mine

E Calumet Mine General

F Calumet Pond Water Works

G Hecla Mine General

H No. 4 Stamp for Calumet Mill

I Calumet & Helca Mine General

J Calumet Hoisting Gear

K Torch Lake

L Hoisting Engine "Superior"

M Miscellaneous Engine Parts

N Pumping Engine "Arcadian"

O Engine "Wabeek"

P Pumping Engine "Ontario"

Q Hoisting Engine "Frontenac"

R Engine "Erie"

S Engine "Hecla"

T Pumping Engine No. 1

U Black Hills Hoisting Gear

V Hoisting Engines "Gratiot", "Houghton" & "Seneca"

W Pumping Engines "Michigan" & "Winnipeg"

X Hoisting Engines "Minong" & "Siscowitt"

Y Hoisting Engines "Mesnard & Pontiac"

Z Hoisting Engines "Hancock" & "Pewabic"

AA Sinking Engines "Delaware" & "Iroquois"

BB Compressor Engine "Mackinac"

CC Compressor Engine "Baraga"

DD Lake Superior Water Works

EE Hoisting Engines "Marquette" & Chippewa"

FF Hoisting Engines "Minnesota" & "Escanaba" and "Illinois" & "Wisconsin"

GG Misc. City of Boston Improved Sewerage Pumping Engine

HH Hoisting Engines "Osage", "Owego" & "Ontonagon"

II Amygdaloid Sand Wheel

JJ Pump "Arcadian"

KK Engine "Saginaw"
Biographical/Historical note:
The Calumet & Hecla Company, which was formed in about 1866, was one of the largest mining operations in the Lake Superior region of upper Michigan. Over 3 billion pounds of copper were removed from its extensive mines by the time operations ceased in 1939. To facilitate the work in both the mines and smelting plants, the company installed some the largest steam engines ever built. The aggregate amounted to over 55,000 horsepower.

Noted 19th century steam engineer Erasmus Darwin Leavitt was hired to design the series of huge multi-cylinder engines. Each had sufficient power to support several operations at one time. While an engine drove one of the hoists, it might also power pumping, conveying, and air compressing machinery. At the peak of operations there were at least 50 steam engines of all sizes providing power to Calumet & Hecla. Falling copper prices during the 1920s and the economic depression of the 1930s ultimately forced the mines to close. The engines were of no further use and their countless tons of cast iron and steel ended up in the scrap drives of World War II.

The collection came to the Smithsonian in 1960 from Calumet & Hecla, Inc. In the course of a reorganization in 1952 mining had been dropped from the company name as the emphasis was on chemicals, foundry work, and forest products. Its remaining mining activites in other areas of Michigan were phased out during the 1960s and in 1968 C&H merged with Universal Oil Prodcuts, Inc. Late in 1970 UOP scrapped what was left of the C&H physical plant and its remaining assests were auctioned off.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

Michigan Technological University Archives and Copper COuntry Hihstorical Collections

Calumet and Hecla Mining Company Collection
Provenance:
Collection materials donated by Calumet and Hecla, Inc. in 1960 and by Thomas E. P. Rice, 1977.
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:
Hoisting and conveying  Search this
Mineral industries  Search this
Pumping  Search this
Steam-engines  Search this
Engines  Search this
Waterworks  Search this
Mining  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notebooks
Scrapbooks
Drawings
Letterpress books
Diaries
Blueprints
Account books
Citation:
Erasmus D. Leavitt Collection, 1871-1917, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0966
See more items in:
Erasmus D. Leavitt Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0966
Online Media:

J. Parker Snow Collection

Collector:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Creator:
Snow, J. Parker  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Notebooks
Writings
Correspondence
Date:
1882-1933
bulk 1930-1933
Summary:
The J. P. Snow Papers document Snow's history of wooden bridges and his work as a civil engineer. The history was written in the 1930s with Robert Fletcher, Director Emeritus of the Thayer School of Civil Engineering at Dartmouth College.
Scope and Contents:
Snow's engineering notebook, 1882; notes relating to his writings on the history of wooden bridges; drafts and manuscripts for articles he wrote on the development of wooden bridges; and correspondence, especially with engineering journals relating to efforts to get his manuscripts published.
Correspondence, drafts of manuscript, notes, and an engineering notebook comprise the J. Parker Snow Collection.

Series 1, History of wooden bridges, 1930-1933, undated, contains material relating to Snow and Fletcher's unpublished manuscript. Snow corresponded with Fletcher regarding topics addressed in the book and the status of their writing. He also corresponded with John W. Storr, another civil engineer with an extensive knowledge of wooden bridges, and Sydney Wilmot, the editor planning to publish the history.

Series 2, Engineering projects, 1882, 1930-1931, consists of material related to various civil engineering projects, primarily bridges, with which Snow was associated. The engineering notebook contains detailed drawings of kilns and arches and information on various types of bridges, including railroad bridges.
Arrangement:
System of Arrangement: The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1, History of Wooden Bridges, 1930-1933, undated

Subseries 1, Correspondence, 1930-1933, undated

Subseries 2, Drafts of manuscript, 1932-1933, undated

Series 2, Engineering projects, 1882, 1930-1931
Biographical / Historical:
J. Parker Snow was an American civil engineer with an interest in wooden bridges. He partnered with Robert Fletcher, the Director Emeritus of the Thayer School of Civil Engineering at Dartmouth College, to write a manuscript on the history of wooden bridges in the United States. This manuscript was not published. Both were members of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

The Llewellyn N. Edwards Collection (AC0959) contains extensive correspondence with J. Parker Snow regarding the history of wooden bridges.
Provenance:
Source of acquisition unknown.
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:
Wooden bridges  Search this
Engineers  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles -- 20th century
Notebooks -- 1850-1900
Writings
Correspondence -- 1930-1940
Citation:
J. Parker Snow Collection, 1882-1933, (bulk 1930-1933) Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1000
See more items in:
J. Parker Snow Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1000
Online Media:

Alexander Van Valen Papers

Creator:
Van Valen, Alexander  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet (4 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Maps
Diaries
Daguerreotypes
Painted photographs
Photographs
Hand coloring
Place:
California
California -- San Francisco
San Francisco (Calif.) -- 1840-1850
Date:
1849-1850
Summary:
Personal papers of Alexander Van Valen documenting his participation in the California Gold Rush, 1849-1850.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists mostly of the personal papers of Alexander Van Valen during his journey and subsequent stay in San Francisco, California, to participate in the Gold Rush,1849-1850. Of particular interest are the founding documents of the mining company, his 85 page journal, and his many letters, mostly to and from his wife Susan. Also included are portraits and daguerreotypes of his family. This collection is especially valuable to researchers who are interested in the California Gold Rush, nineteenth century maritime travel, business history, and migration.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1849-1850

Series 2, Other Materials, 1849-1850
Biographical / Historical:
Alexander Van Valen was born in Poughkeepsie, New York, on June 25, 1819. He married Susan Maria Talmage, and the couple had twin daughters, Catharine Eliza and Sarah Maria, born June 2, 1845. Van Valen served as treasurer of the California Gold Mining Company, one of many companies formed to participate in the 1849 California Gold Rush. Funded by two wealthy New York merchants, Henry A. Kerr and B. S. Clark, the company consisted of Van Valen and four men other men. Van Valen and his business partners agreed to spend two summers in California and pay Kerr and Clark one quarter of any profits made. Van Valen sailed aboard the San Francisco-bound Hersilia on January 22, 1849. Once in California, he and his company decided to try to strike it rich, first along the Mokelumne River and then up the San Joaquin River to Stockton. The trip proved unsuccessful, and Van Valen returned to New York less than two years later. He died on November 24, 1869.
Provenance:
Purchased by the National Museum of American History from Cowan's Historic Americana Auctions in 2006.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Mining  Search this
Gold mines and mining  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 19th century
Maps -- 19th century
Diaries -- 19th century
Daguerreotypes
Painted photographs
Photographs -- Daguerreotypes -- 1840-1860
Hand coloring
Citation:
Alexander Van Valen Papers, 1849-1850, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0935
See more items in:
Alexander Van Valen Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0935
Online Media:

Catherine Hann Papers

Creator:
Hann, Catherine (Huynh bach Thuy)  Search this
Names:
United Nations. Office of the High Commissioner for Human RIghts.  Search this
United States Catholic Conference. Migration and Refugee Services  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Correspondence
Identity cards
Diaries
Audiotapes
Checkbooks
Date:
1953-2006
Summary:
Papers relating to Catherine Hann's life in Vietnam (1953-1981), her flight by boat to Malaysia and stay at Pulau Bidong refugee camp (February --September 1981), her immigration to the United States (September 1981), and her work in Maryland as a circuit board assembler, manicurist and esthetician.
Scope and Contents:
The Catherine Hann Papers are divided into five series: Life in Vietnam, pre-1981; Stay in Malaysia, 1981; United States, 1981-2006; Oral History Interviews, 2002, 2006; and Photographs, 1955-2005.

Series 1 consists of four documents from Hann's life in Vietnam: an official copy of Hann's 1953 birth certificate, her college student ID, her Gia Long High School student ID and her 1974 South Vietnamese identity card.

Series 2 documents Hann's stay in the Pulau Bidong refugee camp off the coast of Malaysia and her family's medical processing in Kuala Lumpur. Especially interesting is a small diary Hann kept in 1981 documenting the building of the fishing boat, the voyage in the Gulf of Thailand, the stay at Pulau Bidong and Kuala Lumpur, and the family's first few months in the United States. There is an English translation of the diary. Other materials in this series include letters sent by relatives and friends to Hann in the refugee camp, papers documenting a family member's attempt to sponsor the family in the U.S., and hand-made Certificates of Commendation awarded to Hann's husband for his work in the refugee camp. The original letter with attached photographs from the U.S. Embassy in Kuala Lumpur granting permission for the family to immigrate is included.

Series 3 describes Hann's life in the United States as she transitioned from refugee to financially successful American citizen. Uncommon pieces of ephemera are cancelled checks repaying a loan from the United States Catholic Conference for the purchase of plane tickets from Malaysia to the United States. Also included are papers from Hann's seventeen years in the electronics industry, textbooks for manicurist training, a ledger and checkbook from Hann's short-lived Nails & Beauty Spa, Inc., and daily schedules with earnings from her current job at Totally Polished.

Series 4 consists of the original audiocassettes, reference CDs and typed transcript of an oral history conducted by Susan B. Strange, associate curator, with Hann on March 7, 2006, as well as a typed transcript of a December 14, 2002, interview with Hann conducted by Daniel Ekman, a student at St. Andrew's Episcopal School in Potomac, Maryland.

Original photographs in Series 5 document Hann's life in Vietnam, her husband's work in the refugee camp, the family's departure from Pulau Bidong, and Hann at work at Fairchild Space Co. Also in Series 5 is a folder with photocopies of seven photographs taken in 2005 by a Smithsonian staff member of Hann working at her manicure table. Smithsonian negative numbers are included with the photocopies; releases from the photographer, Hann, and the woman having a manicure, are in the Archives Center's control file for this collection. In the same folder are photocopies of five photographs (originals retained by Hann) showing Hann's life in Vietnam; the Archives Center scan number is printed on each photocopy. Hann granted copyright in these five photographs to the National Museum of American History on April 22, 2006; the release form is in the Archives Center's control file.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into five series with chronological arrangement.

Series 1: Life in Vietnam, 1953-1981

Series 2: Stay in Malaysia, 1981

Series 3: United States, 1981-2006

Series 4: Oral History Interviews, 2002, 2006

Series 5: Photographs, 1955-2005
Biographical / Historical:
Catherine Hann was born in Saigon, State of Vietnam, on November 14, 1953 as Huynh bach Thuy. (She changed her name to Catherine Hann when she became a naturalized American citizen on June 19, 1987.) Hann, her parents and younger siblings lived in Saigon where her father worked as an instructor at Truong Quan Y, a South Vietnamese Army medical school. In 1968 Hann's family moved further south to Rach-Gia in Kien Giang province to care for Hann's recently-widowed paternal grandmother. Hann, the eldest of twelve children, stayed behind in Saigon, living with a great-uncle, so that she could continue attending Gia Long High School, one of the most prestigious and academically challenging public schools for girls in the country.

After graduation from Gia Long in 1973, Hann attended the University of Science in Saigon where she studied to become a biologist. In 1975, Hann's father, who had worked in a South Vietnamese military hospital in Rach-Gia since his arrival there in 1968, was sent to a "re-education camp." Hann returned to Rach-Gia to be with her mother and to help support the family. She then began attending a teacher training program in Rach-Gia where she trained as a biology teacher. At the training program, Hann met Han Huu Vinh who became her husband in 1976. After graduation, Hann taught biology in a high school in Rach-Gia while her husband taught mathematics in the same school. Their son, Kinh, was born in 1977.

In addition to supplementing the family income with her teacher salary, she also purchased unprocessed rice or "rough rice," had it milled, and sold the resulting white rice. To make a little more money for the family, the hulls and other residue from the milling process were sold as hog food. The future looked bleak, and Hann and her husband decided to take their young son and flee the country.

After two failed attempts to escape by boat, the Hanns were luckier the third time. A family friend obtained permission to build a fishing boat, a small wooden craft only 11.5 meters by 2.1 meters. Hann's family, one of the initiators and organizers of the scheme to use the fishing boat as a means of escape, hired a man who had served in the South Vietnamese Navy to navigate. At 2:05 a.m. on the morning of February 14, 1981, ninety-two people left Rach-Gia on the overloaded boat and headed southwest. Three days later the fishing vessel, towing another boat found stranded after being attacked by pirates, docked at Pulau Bidong, an island off the coast of Malaysia. After five months in the United Nations refugee camp on Pulau Bidong, Hann, husband, son, brother, and husband's nephew were taken to Kuala Lumpur for processing in preparation for immigration to the United States.

Hann's husband's sister, a naturalized American living in Rockville, Maryland, was their sponsor, and on September 11, 1981, the five-member family group arrived in the United States. The five continued to live together for about four years before Hann's brother and her husband's nephew went out on their own. After being on welfare and receiving intensive English-language training, Hann and her husband gradually became self-sufficient. Hann's first job was working in the cafeteria at Montgomery College in Rockville which she left to work at Denro Labs doing electronic assembly. Hann's husband's first job was at Solarex testing solar panels.

After almost ten years in the electronic assembly field, a Vietnamese friend encouraged Hann to train as a manicurist, and in 1992 Hann graduated from the Aesthetics Institute of Cosmetology in Gaithersburg, Maryland. At first she only manicured her own nails, but a year or so later Hann began working on Saturdays at a busy nail salon while continuing to work full-time in the electronics industry. When she learned that doing facials and waxing was faster and more profitable than doing manicures, Hann obtained training and a license to become an esthetician. After her week-day employer, Orbital Science Corp., moved to Sterling, Virginia, in 2000, a long commute for Hann, she started working full-time as an esthetician and manicurist at Totally Polished in Potomac, Maryland.

Hann works six days a week at Totally Polished, and on her day off she spends the morning doing manicures and waxing for private clients in their homes. This hard work has enabled Hann and her husband to pay off the mortgage on their single-family house in Gaithersburg and purchase a rental house in Florida. Their only child, Kinh, also has done well, earning a Master's Degree from the University of Maryland and now (2006) working on his PhD in biomedical engineering. Kinh is employed by Digene Corporation; he bought a house three years ago; and, as his mother proudly states, he drives a brand new BMW. Hann's stated reason for fleeing her country was "for my son's future;" the family's hard work and sacrifices seem to have made her hopes come true.
Separated Materials:
In 2005, the Division of Work and Industry collected manicure tools and soldering test equipment from Hann; in 2006 the division collected facial and waxing-related objects from Hann. Clothing worn on the boat fleeing Vietnam was donated in 2006 to the Division of Home and Community Life, along with tweezers Hann purchased in Saigon and carried throughout her immigration experience. The wedding of Kinh Hann to Leila Poursedehi in 2008 is documented in the Archives Center Weddings Documentation Collection, collection number 1131. The Vietnamese wedding dress that Leila Poursedehi wore at their wedding dinner was donated to the costume collection in the Division of Home and Community Life in 2008.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Catherine Hann, March 18, 2006.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Manicuring  Search this
Naturalization  Search this
Emigration and immigration  Search this
Refugees  Search this
Beauty culture  Search this
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975  Search this
Vietnamese Americans -- Biography  Search this
Small business  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Interviews
Oral histories (document genres)
Correspondence
Identity cards
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Diaries -- 20th century
Audiotapes
Checkbooks
Citation:
Catherine Hann Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0921
See more items in:
Catherine Hann Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0921
Online Media:

General Electric NELA Park Collection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 1, Historical Background Materials, 1910-1969

Series 2, Executive Records, 1903-1955

Subseries 1.1, Correspondence, 1909-1922

Subseries 1.2, Annual Reports, 1949-1955

Subseries 1.3, Technical Reports, 1903-1935

Subseries 1.4, Standardization Committee, 1903-1908

Subseries 1.5, Lamp Committee, 1909-1935

Series 3, House Organs, 1919-1959

Series 4, Sales and Advertising Materials, 1914-1953

Subseries 4.1, Miniature Mazda Lamps, 1914-1935

Subseries 4.2, Large Mazda Lamps, 1914-1934

Subseries 4.3, Carbon Lamps, 1915-1922

Subseries 4.4, Miscellaneous, 1914-1953

Series 5, NELA School of Lighting, 1920-1930

Series 6, Business and Stock Records, 1890-1912

Subseries 1, Business Records, 1890-1912

Subseries 2, Stock Records & Certificates, 1890-1912

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
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:
Electricity  Search this
Electric lighting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Travel diaries
Advertisements
Diaries -- 19th century
Blotters (writing equipment)
Business records
Diaries -- 20th century
Manuals
Lantern slides
Stock certificates
Stereographs
Scrapbooks
Photographs -- 19th century
Citation:
General Electric Nela Park Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0789
See more items in:
General Electric NELA Park Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0789
Online Media:

Herb Grosch Papers

Creator:
Grosch, Herbert R. J.  Search this
Names:
General Electric Company  Search this
International Business Machines.  Search this
Extent:
5 Cubic feet (15 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Personal papers
Passports
Lantern slides
Drawings
Correspondence
Clippings
Audiotapes
Diaries
Date:
1938-1998
Summary:
The Herb Grosch Papers, 1948-1998, cover the life and career of an early computer professional. It consists of correspondence, clippings, photographs, computer disks, reports, and other printed materials.
Scope and Contents:
The Herb Grosch Papers, 1948-1998, cover the life and career of an early computer professional. It consists of correspondence, clippings, photographs, computer disks, reports, and other printed materials. The collection is approximately 5 cubic feet and is divided into six series: Series 1, Personal Materials, 1938-1998; Series 2, General Electric (GE), 1955-1968, 1993-1995; Series 3, Control Data Corporation, 1961-1966; Series 4, Other Employment, 1945-1997; Series 5, Professional Interests, 1954-1993; and Series 6, Computer History, 1945-1996. The largest and most comprehensive series within the collection focuses on Grosch's employment, in various capacities, by General Electric. The Control Data material is of special interest due to its in-depth studies of the European computer market in the early 1960s.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1938-1998, illustrates Grosch's personal life and consists of biographical sketches, identification and business cards, vaccination certificates, daily planners/diaries, flight logs, diplomas, a dissertation, correspondence, articles by and about him, photographs, and the manuscript of his autobiography, Computer,Bit Slices of a Life. The manuscript is of special interest, in that it is a description of Grosch's life up to the 1960s. Also providing personal descriptions of Grosch's life is an extensive chronology of employment written by Grosch. The bulk of the materials date from the mid 1950s through the mid 1960s, with another smaller concentration of correspondence in the early 1990s.

Series 2, General Electric (GE), 1953-1968, 1993-1995, contains correspondence, clippings, photographs and printed materials related to Grosch's two tenures at GE. The series is divided into four subseries: General GE Materials, GE's Evandale plant, GE's Computer Department at Arizona State University, and GE's TEMPO think tank in Santa Barbara. The subseries about the Evandale plant and the Arizona Computer Department are most comprehensive, describing the projects from their inception until Grosch's departure. Also of interest to those studying GE history is the collection of letters between Grosch and his Arizona boss, H.R. Oldfield, discussing Oldfield's book about GE and its failure in the computer business.

Series 3, Control Data Corporation, 1961-1966, contains correspondence, reports and printed materials covering Grosch's consulting work with Control Data. The bulk of the material has to do with a survey of the European computer industry and market, undertaken by Grosch for Control Data. Included are over forty reports that Grosch composed from plant visits he made to various European computer companies. Also included is the overall summary of these individual reports.

Series 4, Other Employment, 1945-1994, contains correspondence, printed materials, clippings and photographs related to other employment pursued by Grosch. The series covers Grosch's work at IBM, the Corporation for Economic and Industrial Research (CEIR), and his editorial reign at Computerworld magazine. Of interest to IBM researchers are the photos of early IBM gatherings at Endicott, New York and early IBM machines at the Watson Scientific Computer Laboratory.

Series 5, Professional Interests, 1954-1996, consists of articles and other printed materials related to Grosch's scientific and technical interests. The majority of the series deals with Grosch's interest in computers, their applications and their effects upon society. A smaller set of material relates to other Grosch interests, notably astronomy and scientific standards.

Series 6, Computer History, 1949-1996, consists of clippings, reports, and correspondence illustrating Grosch's interest in the history of computing. Of special interest is a report from U.S. Department of Commerce that lists the technical specifications of a number of old computers. Also, in addition to many more famous computing pioneers, Grosch collected information on English mathematician, L.J. Comrie, including a biographical sketch, photographs and correspondence carried on with Comrie's widow and son.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1938-1998

Subseries 1.1, Biographical Materials, 1938-1996

Subseries 1.2, Correspondence, 1948-1998

Subseries 1.3, Travel and Chronology, 1959-1985

Subseries 1.4, Assorted Materials, 1947-1995, undated

Series 2, General Electric (GE), 1953-1968, 1993-1995

Subseries 2.1, General GE Materials, 1953-1966

Subseries 2.2, GE Evandale Plant, 1952, 1955-1956

Subseries 2.3, GE Computer Department, 1954-1958, 1993-1995

Subseries 2.4, GE TEMPO, 1963-1968

Series 3, Control Data Corporation, 1961-1966

Subseries 3.1, General Materials, 1961-1962, 1964, 1966

Subseries 3.2, European Computer Industry Survey, 1961-1963

Series 4, Other Employment, 1945-1997

Series 5, Professional Interests, 1954-1996

Series 6, Computer History, 1945-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Herb Grosch (1918-2010) was born in Saskatoon, Canada and became a United States citizen with his father's naturalization. He attended grade school in Ontario and Ohio and high school in Michigan. He attended the University of Michigan from 1934 to 1941, receiving his B.S. in 1938 and his PhD in 1942, both in astronomy. An outspoken and controversial figure, Grosch's professional career was marked with numerous jobs. In 1941-1942 he was an astronomer for the U.S. Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C. and later during World War II worked on fire control and optical engineering. Grosch's astronomical work required many calculations to be done by hand, thus he was well qualified to deal with the computational issues involved in early computer work. In 1945 he was hired by IBM for the Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory in New York, first to do backup calculations for the Manhattan Project and then to help run the Selective Sequence Electronic Calculator (SSEC), an early computer. Grosch was fired in 1951 and moved on to MIT where he worked as a part of the design group for the WHIRLWIND II computer. In 1952 he joined General Electric (GE) and set up and oversaw computer operations in Ohio, Massachusetts, and Arizona. In 1958 he returned to IBM and was the manager of their space program, before being fired again in 1959. Following IBM he moved to Europe and began consulting, notably a survey of the European computer industry for Control Data in 1962-1963. He returned to the United States to work again for GE in 1965, heading the DEACON project at GE's TEMPO think tank. Grosch left GE again in 1967. From 1967 through 1970 he directed the Center for Computer Sciences and Technology for the National Bureau of Standards. From 1973 to 1976 he was the editor of Computerworld magazine. Since then Grosch has lived in both Europe and America and done both consulting work and writing. He wrote and published a autobiography, Computer: Bit Slices of a Life, that describes his rather tempestuous relationships with GE and IBM. Grosch is perhaps best known for Grosch's Law which says the computing power increases as a square of the cost, or more concretely, in order to perform a computation twice as cheaply you must do it four times as fast.
Related Materials:
Grosch was interviewed as a part of the Smithsonian computer oral history project and the taped interviews exist in Collection AC0196, the Computer Oral History Collection, in the Archives Center.
Provenance:
The materials in the collection were donated by Herb Grosch on October 13, 1999.

The Archives Center received an addendum of .50 cubic feet in March 2010 from Ella Doyle.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Physical Access: Use only as needed. For example: Researchers must use microfilm copy. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audiovisual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow. Collection located off-site storage.
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:
Computers  Search this
Computer industry  Search this
Computation laboratories  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Personal papers -- 1950-2000
Passports
Lantern slides
Drawings -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Audiotapes
Diaries -- 20th century
Citation:
Herb Grosch Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0703
See more items in:
Herb Grosch Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0703
Online Media:

Virgil Whyte "All-Girl" Band Collection

Collector:
Kovan, Florice Whyte  Search this
Author:
Whyte, Virgil (bandleader)  Search this
Names:
United Service Organizations (U.S.)  Search this
Virgil Whyte's "All-Girl" Band  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (11 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Postage stamps
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Postcards
Soap
Labels
Letterheads
Announcements
Clippings
Photomechanical prints
Photographs
Packages
Diaries
Place:
Racine (Wis.) -- 1940-1950
Date:
1942-1948, 1991-1993
Scope and Contents:
Includes 7 VHS videotapes and 1 audio tape produced by Florice Whyte Kovan, containing interviews and recollections by some band members. Studio portraits and snapshot photographs in 3 scrapbooks, which also contain display advertisements and newspaper clippings from about the band, 1940s. Snapshots include documentation of the band's travels and leisure activities while on the road, including swimming, horseback riding, etc. Packaged hotel soap bars collected by Betty Hansen during the bands' touring documents their itinerary, as do picture postcards written by Alice Smaus Jacoby.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into seven series.

Series 1: Unmounted snapshots

Series 2: Scrapbooks

Series 3: Alice Smaus Jacoby's postcards

Series 4: Packaged soap samples

Series 5: Audiovisual Materials

Series 6: Framed Portrait Photoprints

Series 7: Oversized Photoprints

The scrapbook pages are arranged in original order, apparently partly chronological, but series 1 snapshots are in topical order.
Biographical / Historical:
Founded 1942 in Racine, Wis., by Virgil Whyte, his "all-girl" band was composed of young Racine women. Whyte was instructor, manager, and the initial leader on drums; later his sister Alice took over as drummer. After initial success in Racine and elsewhere in Wisconsin, the band began to accept engagements in other parts of the country, eventually touring the U.S. The band's success drew other acts and performers, including Jill Fontaine and the Wilford Mae Trio, Sam Hearn (known as "Schlepperman"), the Woodson Sisters, and Paul La Verre and Bro. They did U.S.O. tours, entertaining servicemen.

The principal donor, a free-lance researcher and writer, is the daughter of Virgil Whyte.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Florice Kovan, 1993.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Travel photography -- 1940-1950 -- U.S.  Search this
Barracks -- 1940-1950  Search this
Railroad passenger cars  Search this
Horseback riding -- 1940-1950  Search this
Tap dancers -- 1940-1950  Search this
Singers -- 1940-1950  Search this
Comedians -- 1940-1950  Search this
Jazz musicians -- 1940-1950  Search this
Band music -- 1940-1950  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Musicians  Search this
Horses -- 1940-1950  Search this
Women musicians -- 1930-1950  Search this
Beaches -- 1940-1950  Search this
Swimming pools -- 1940-1950  Search this
Swimming -- 1940-1950  Search this
Jazz -- 1940-1950  Search this
Portraits -- Women  Search this
Genre/Form:
Postage stamps
Videotapes
Audiotapes
Postcards
Soap -- Packaged
Labels
Letterheads
Announcements
Clippings
Photomechanical prints
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Packages
Diaries
Citation:
Virgil Whyte's "All-Girl" Band Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0503
See more items in:
Virgil Whyte "All-Girl" Band Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0503
Online Media:

Archives Center Scrapbook Collection

Creator:
Archives Center, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Names:
Harvard University  Search this
Extent:
13 Cubic feet (48 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Trade cards
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Advertising cards
Postcards
Place:
New Jersey
Tennessee
South Carolina
New England
New Hampshire
Mexico
Virginia
Vermont
Washington (D.C.)
Michigan
Middle East
Massachusetts
Maine
Maryland
Indiana
Illinois
Ausable Chasm (N.Y.)
New York
Rhode Island
Asia
California
Colorado
Canada
Coney Island (New York, N.Y.)
Connecticut
Europe
Hawaii
North Carolina
Ohio
Panama
Pennsylvania
Plymouth (England)
Rochester (N.Y.)
Date:
circa 1880-circa 1960
Scope and Contents note:
Miscellaneous late nineteenth/early twentieth century scrapbooks containing postcards, trade cards, greeting cards, decals, and other ephemera. Included are: (1) trade cards for thread, tobacco, barbers, sewing machines, toiletries and shaving products, tobacco, undertakers and patent medicine; (2) images of women, children, pets, and flowers; (3) greeting cards celebrating Christmas, birthdays, Halloween, and St. Patrick's Day; and (4) postcards from the United States and around the world. Some of the items in the scrapbooks are comical or picturesque. Most of the scrapbooks were created by women. Also included are several twentieth century diaries, including two travel diaries written by women.
Arrangement:
1 series. Unarranged.
Provenance:
Transfer.,1997/09/19.,1997.3004.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Shaving  Search this
Travel  Search this
Women -- History -- 20th century  Search this
Women -- History -- 19th century  Search this
Wit and humor  Search this
Women -- Social life and customs -- 19th century  Search this
Lighthouses  Search this
Barbering  Search this
Greeting cards -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Trade cards
Diaries -- 20th century
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Advertising cards
Postcards
Scrapbooks -- 19th century
Citation:
Archives Center Scrapbook Collection, ca. 1880- ca. 1960, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0468
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0468
Online Media:

Wurlitzer Company Records

Creator:
Wurlitzer (Rudolph) Company  Search this
Names:
All-American Mohawk Company  Search this
Apollo Piano Company  Search this
Beach-Carlisle Violin Company  Search this
Caldwell Piano Company  Search this
Central Discount Company  Search this
Dayton Photo Products Company  Search this
DeKalb Piano Company  Search this
Dekleist Musical Instruments Company  Search this
Deutsch Wurlitzer  Search this
Eagle Radio Company  Search this
Everett Piano Company  Search this
Fox Theatres Corporation  Search this
Lyric Piano Company  Search this
Milner Music Company  Search this
Morsatti, Inc.  Search this
North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Company  Search this
Robert L. Loud Music Company  Search this
Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company  Search this
Southern Ohio Radio Corporation  Search this
Western Industries Corporation  Search this
Wunderlich Piano Company  Search this
Wurlbild Corporation  Search this
Wurlitzer Acceptance Corporation  Search this
Wurlitzer Company  Search this
Wurlitzer Company of California  Search this
Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company  Search this
Youngstown Music Company  Search this
Rolfing, R.C.  Search this
Wurlitzer, Farny  Search this
Wurlitzer, Rembert  Search this
Wurlitzer, Rudolph  Search this
Extent:
56 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Minute books
Account books
Financial records
Stock records
Reports
Advertisements
Sales records
Audits
Cashbooks
Ledgers (account books)
Annual reports
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Publications
Employee records
Marketing records
Commercial catalogs
Place:
DeKalb (Ill.)
North Tonawanda (N.Y.)
Corinth (Miss.)
Cincinnati (Ohio)
Date:
1860-1984
Summary:
The collection documents the history and development of the Wurlitzer Company and consists of company publications, business records, employee files, manufacturing records, sales and marketing records, product information, publicity, advertising, photographs, audiovisual materials, and organ installation drawings.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the history and the development of the Wurlitzer Company. Materials include company publications, business records, employee files, manufacturing records, sales and marketing records, product information, publicity, advertising, photographs, audiovisual materials, and organ installation drawings. The material in the collection spans from 1856-1986, although information prior to 1899 is sparse.
Arrangement:
The Collection is arranged into fourteen series.

Series 1: Wurlitzer Company Histories, Company Events, and General Business Materials, circa 1880-1987; undated

Series 2: Publications, 1910-1989; undated

Series 3: Advertising and Promotional Materials, 1911-1978

Series 4: Product Information, 1860-1984; undated

Series 5: Photographs of Wurlitzer Manufacturing Plants, Employees, Stores, and Dealerships, 1869-1970; undated Series 6: Photographs of Wurlitzer Products and Product Sales Promotions, 1900-1978; undated

Series 7, Photographs Used in Wurlitzer Advertising and Public Relations, 1904-1970; undated

Series 8: Wurlitzer Employee Records and Related Materials, 1909-1961; undated

Series 9: Production and Shipping Records, 1905-1987

Series 10: Shipping and Sales Records for Wurlitzer Dealerships, Wurlitzer Retail Stores, and Rembert Wurlitzer, Incorporated, 1917-1952

Series 11, Records of Stock Certificates, Meeting Minutes, and Related Financial and Legal Documents, 1907-1972

Series 12, Rudolph Wurlitzer Company Financial Records, 1893-1986

Series 13, Maps and Charts, 1931-1976

Series 14, Organ Installation Drawings, 1920-1931; undated
Historical Note:
The Wurlitzer Company began in 1856 when Rudolph Wurlitzer, a Cincinnati bank clerk, sold seven hundred dollars worth of musical instruments he had bought from family and friends in Germany. The busi¬ness was incorporated in Ohio in 1890 under the name the Ru¬dolph Wurlitzer Company." For the first fifty years, Wurlitzer was primarily a retail instrument business operating out of its Cincinnati Store headquarters. Although fire destroyed the com¬pany's headquarters in 1904, a new building was completed in time to celebrate Wurlitzer's fiftieth anniversary in 1906.

In 1908, the Wurlitzer Company bought the DeKleist Musical In¬strument Manufacturing Company in North Tonawanda, New York. The Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company continued produc¬tion of automatic musical instruments including player pianos, military bands and pianorchestras. In 1910, the Wurlitzer Company bought the Hope-Jones Organ Company and began to manufacture unit-or¬chestra pipe organs at their North Tonawanda plant. These were pipe organs equipped with bells, gongs, horns and sirens. They became known as Mighty Wurlitzers and provided the musical back¬ground in silent movie houses all over the world and were also built for churches and private homes. In 1919, Wurlitzer bought the Melville-Clark Piano Company of DeKalb, Illinois. Wurlitzer pianos were then manufactured at the DeKalb facilities under a variety of names: the Apollo Piano Company, the DeKalb Piano Company and the Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company. Each name des¬ignated a different quality, price range and style.

With the decline of sales during the 1920s and 1930s, pro¬duction of automatic musical instruments ceased until the manu¬facture of the first jukebox in 1934. In 1930, the Julius Bauer Piano Company was purchased and continued to build pianos in that name until shortly before World War II. For a brief time, radios and refrigerators were made by the Wurlitzer controlled Air-Amer¬ican Mohawk Corporation. It was not a successful venture and ended in the mid-1930s. Many of the Wurlitzer retail stores were, at that time, in bad locations and needed repairs. The solutions to these problems came about with a reorganization of the company in 1935. With the reorganization, many retail stores were sold, piano manufacturing was consolidated in DeKalb and many subsidiaries were dissolved or absorbed completely into the Wurlitzer Company.

During World War II, Wurlitzer halted production of musical in¬struments. The company's defense production efforts were rec¬ognized in 1943 and 1944 when it is North Tonawanda and DeKalb plants received the Army-Navy "E" Award. In 1946, peacetime production resumed and the Wurlitzer Company introduced two new instruments: the electric organ in 1947 and the electric piano in 1954. In 1956, the Wurlitzer Company celebrated its centennial. That same year a new plant at Corinth, Mississippi, was completed. Later, plants were opened in Holly Springs, Mississippi (1961), Logan, Utah (1970) and Hullhorst, West Germany, (1960). The new facilities replaced those at North Tonawanda and DeKalb. The North Tonawanda plant ceased production of jukeboxes in 1974, becoming the company's engineering and research center. In 1973, the DeKalb plant ended production of pianos maintaining only mar¬keting and administrative offices. In 1977, the Wurlitzer Com¬pany's corporate headquarters moved to DeKalb, including the en¬gineering and research center from North Tonawanda.

Wurlitzer's three sons had assumed leadership of the company after his death in 1914. Each son acted as president then, chair of the board, successively. The company hired R.C. Rolfing in 1934 as vice-president and general manager. His re¬organization helped the company through the Depression years. Rolfing succeeded the last of the founder's sons in 1941 as pres¬ident of the company and in 1966 as chair of the board. Farny Wurlitzer, Rudolph's youngest son, died in 1972. A.D. Arsem succeeded Rolfing in 1974 as chair of the board. George B. Howell succeeded W. N. Herleman as president of the company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers, 1857-1919 (AC0178)

Chickering & Sons Piano Company Collection, 1864-1985 (AC0264)

Sohmer & Company Records, 1872-1989 (AC0349)

William J. Lenz Piano Tuning Collection, circa 1903-1955 (AC0511)

Janssen Piano Company Records, 1901-1929 (AC0512)

John R. Anderson Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera Collection, circa 1850-1990 (AC1257)

Warshaw Collection of Business America's Piano and Organ related materials (AC0060)
Provenance:
Collection donated by Northern Illinois University, and Regional History Center, 1994, November 11.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Violin -- Manufacture  Search this
Radio -- Receivers and reception  Search this
Coin-operated machines  Search this
Accordion  Search this
Jukeboxes -- Manufacture  Search this
Harp -- Manufacture  Search this
Piano -- History  Search this
Player organ  Search this
Accordion -- Manufacture  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Organ -- Manufacture  Search this
Organ -- History  Search this
Wurlitzer organ  Search this
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Mechanical organs  Search this
Mechanical musical instruments  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Genre/Form:
Minute books
Account books
Financial records
Stock records
Reports
Advertisements
Sales records
Audits
Cashbooks
Ledgers (account books)
Annual reports
Photographs -- 19th century
Journals (accounts)
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Publications
Employee records
Marketing records
Commercial catalogs
Citation:
Wurlitzer Company Records, 1860-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0469
See more items in:
Wurlitzer Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0469
Online Media:

Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers

Creator:
Steinway, William  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Steinway family  Search this
Steinway & Sons  Search this
Krüsi, Bartholomew, Rev.  Search this
Source:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Names:
CBS  Search this
German Presbyterian Church (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Lehman, Lilly  Search this
Steinway, Fred T., 1860-1927  Search this
Steinway, Henry (Heinrich Engelhard Steinweg), 1797-1871  Search this
Steinway, John  Search this
Steinway, Theodore (C.F. Theodore Steinweg), 1825-1889  Search this
Former owner:
Musical History, Division of (NMAH, SI)  Search this
Extent:
6 Cubic feet (12 boxes, including photographs and microfilm)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Diaries
Catalogs
Correspondence
Microfilms
Photographs
Minute books
Business letters
Love letters
Letters
Letter books
Date:
1857-1919
Summary:
Records of the Steinway & Sons piano company and a daily diary of William Steinway, a key figure in the rise of the company to international prominence in the nineteenth century. The records document overall operations of the company, individual piano serial numbers, and the business and personal life of William Steinway, a prominent figure in New York business, politics, and musical life.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of an original diary (and microfilm copies) kept by William Steinway and microfilm copies of nineteenth century business records of Steinway & Sons. There also are business and family photographs and some miscellaneous documents.
Arrangement:
Series 1, William Steinway Diary, 1861-1896

Series 2, Steinway Business Records, 1858-1910

Series 3, Steinway Family Materials, 1877-1882

Series 4, Rev. Bartholomew Krüsi Materials, 1857-1919
Biographical / Historical:
Heinrich Engelhard Steinway (Steinweg) (born 1797, Wolfshagen, Germany; died 1871, New York City) made his first piano in 1836. In 1850 he immigrated to America and settled in New York City with his wife, three daughters, and four of his five sons. He and his sons Charles, Henry, Jr., and William at first worked for various New York piano makers until 1853 when they formed the partnership of Steinway & Sons. One year later Steinway & Sons' square pianos won first prize at the Metropolitan Mechanics Institute Exhibition (held at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.) and in 1855 won the Gold medal for the best piano (an over-strung iron-frame square piano) in the American Institute Fair at the Crystal Palace in New York City. In 1859, Henry, Jr. patented (patent no. 26,532, December 20, 1859) a design for a one-piece over-strung iron frame for the grand piano that won praise, a gold medal, and international recognition at the 1867 Paris Exposition.

The firm faced a crisis in 1865 when two of Heinrich's sons died: Henry (born 1831), who was responsible for the first seven patents, and Charles (born 1829). The family prevailed on the eldest son, C. F. Theodor (1825 1889), to sell his partnership as a piano manufacturer in Braunschweig, Germany, and to join his family in New York City. Not eager to sever all his ties in Germany, Theodor spent time in both countries until his death, contributing technical innovations that resulted in forty-one patents. One of these patents was for the duplex scale in 1872. Several of the following generation worked with the firm, including Fred T. Steinway (1860-1927), son of Charles, who served in London, Hamburg, and New York City.

C. F. Theodor Steinway's technical skills were matched by the entrepreneurial skills of his brother William (1835 1896). William was a creative businessman who played the piano, sang tenor, and supported the musical life of New York City. His promotional and marketing techniques, and his cultivation of eminent musicians and association with aristocratic patrons, helped to make Steinway & Sons so successful. William Steinway was prominent in New York City social and political life.

In 1880, Steinway & Sons opened a Hamburg branch. The firm was sold in 1972 to CBS. Subsequent owners include the Birmingham Brothers (Steinway Musical Properties, 1985-1995) and Steinway Musical Instruments, Inc. (1995-).
Related Materials:
The LaGuardia and Wagner Archives at LaGuardia Community College/CUNY is the largest repository of Steinway materials. It holds extensive business records as well as personal papers and photographs. The Steinway family loaned seventy folders of Steinway family correspondence to the National Museum of American History in October, 1984, and a program of transcription and translation was begun by the Steinway Diary Project. The original correspondence was transferred to the Archives Center in August 1985 and, at the request of Henry Z. Steinway, transferred to the LaGuardia and Wagner Archives in March, 1990. Additional Steinway materials are at the New York Historical Society, the University of Maryland Performing Arts Library, and other repositories. The control file for this collection has further information on the location of Steinway materials.

The Archives Center's N W Ayer Advertising Agency Records contains advertising proof sheets for Steinway & Sons from 1900 through 1963. The Piano series of the Warshaw Collection of Business Americana contains five folders of material on Steinway. The Industry on Parade Film Collection has a short, 1953 film (reel #156) on Steinway's manufacture of pianos in its Long Island plant. The Sohmer & Company Records contain three folders of trade literature from Steinway. These include catalogs, pamphlets, and booklets on the Steinway family genealogy and on the Steinway piano used at the White House. Sohmer, also a New York City piano manufacturer, collected copies of competitors' sales catalogs and other publications.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds several Steinway and Sons pianos.
Provenance:
Henry Z. Steinway donated the William Steinway diary on April 2, 1996.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must use positive microfilm copy of diary. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Keyboard instruments -- Manufacturing  Search this
Travel  Search this
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Politics -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Church Interiors  Search this
Piano  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records
Diaries
Catalogs
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Microfilms -- Negative
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Minute books
Business letters
Love letters
Letters
Letter books
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1900-1910
Citation:
Steinway and Sons Piano Company Collection, 1857-1919, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0178
See more items in:
Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0178
Online Media:

Leo H. Baekeland Papers

Creator:
Baekeland, L. H. (Leo Hendrik), 1863-1944  Search this
Names:
Bakelite Corporation  Search this
Nepera Chemical Co.  Search this
Extent:
15 Cubic feet (49 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Professional papers
Clippings
Laboratory notes
Personal correspondence
Photographs
Notebooks
Diaries
Date:
1976
1863 - 1968
Summary:
The papers document Leo H. Baekeland, a Belgian born chemist who invented Velox photographic paper (1893) and Bakelite (1907), an inexpensive, nonflammable, versatile plastic. The papers include student notebooks; private laboratory notebooks and journals; commercial laboratory notes; diaries; patents; technical papers; biographies; newspaper clippings; maps; graphs; blueprints; account books; batch books; formula books; order books; photographs; and correspondence regarding Baekeland, 1887-1943.
Scope and Contents:
Baekeland documented his life prolifically through diaries, laboratory notebooks, photographs, and correspondence. These constitute the bulk of the collection. The Bakelite company history is also incompletely documented in this collection through Baekeland's correspondence, the commercial laboratory notebooks, and some company ledgers.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Reference Materials, 1863-1868 and undated

Subseries 1.1: Biographical, 1880-1965

Subseries 1.2:Company History, 1910-1961

Subseries 1.3: Related Interests, 1863-1968 and undated

Series 2: Published and Unpublished Writings (by Leo H. Baekeland), 1884-1945

Series 3: Correspondence, 1888-1963 Subseries 3.1: Personal Correspondence, 1916-1943

Subseries 3.2: Charitable Donations, 1916-1938

Subseries 3.3: Family Correspondence, 1888-1963

Subseries 3.4: Clubs and Associations, 1916-1943

Series 4: Diaries, 1907-1943

Series 5: Reading and Lecture Notes, 1878-1886

Series 6, Laboratory Notebooks, 1893-1915

Series 7: Commercial Laboratory Notebooks, 1910-1920

Series 8: Bakelite Company, 1887-1945

Series 9, Patents, 1894-1940

Series 10: Bakelite Corporation Ledgers, 1910-1924; 1935; 1939

Series 11: Photographs, 1889-1950 and undated

Subseries 11.1: Photographs, 1889-1950 and undated

Subseries 11.2: Film Negatives, 1900-1941 and undated

Subseries 11.3: Photoprints, 1894-1941

Subseries 11.4: Stereographs, 1888-1902 and undated

Subseries 11.5: Film and Glass Plate Negatives, 1899-1900 and undated

Series 12: Audio Materials, 1976
Biographical / Historical:
Leo Hendrik Baekeland was an industrial chemist famous for his invention of Bakelite, the first moldable synthetic polymer, and for his invention of Velox photographic paper. Baekeland's career as an inventor and innovator was punctuated by an urge to improve existing technologies and a willingness to experiment both meticulously and daringly. Born in Ghent, Belgium in 1863, Baekeland was a distinguished chemistry student and became a young professor at the University of Ghent. He had a long standing interest in photography and sought to further photographic technology with his expertise in chemistry. In 1887 he obtained his first patent for a dry plate which contained its own developer and could be developed in a tray of water. With the support of a business partner/faculty associate, Jules Guequier, he formed a company named Baekeland et Cie to produce the plate, but the venture failed due to lack of capital.

On August 8, 1889, he married Celine Swarts, daughter of his academic mentor Theodore Swarts, Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Ghent. After his wedding he travelled to different countries using a traveling scholarship he had been awarded two years previously. His travels ended in the United States where he was offered a job researching chemical problems associated with manufacturing bromide papers and films with A. and H.T. Anthony and Company, a photographic supply producer. Leo and Celine Baekeland had three children: George, Nina and Jenny (1890-1895).

He left Anthony and Company in 1891 to be a consulting chemist. During that time he invented a photographic print paper using silver chloride which could be developed in artificial light instead of sunlight and thus offered more flexibility and consistency to photographers. In 1893, with financial support from Leonard Jacobi, a scrap metal dealer from San Francisco, he formed the Nepera Chemical Company in Yonkers, New York, to manufacture "gaslight" paper under the trade name Velox. The paper became quite popular and the company expanded its operations after its first three years. Finally, George Eastman bought the company for a reported $750,000 which afforded Baekeland the time to conduct his own research in a laboratory he set up on his estate, "Snug Rock," in Yonkers.

Baekeland worked on problems of electrolysis of salt and the production of synthetic resins. He was hired as a consultant to work with Clinton P. Townsend to perfect Townsend's patented electrolytic cell. Baekeland's work there contributed to the success of the Hooke Electrochemical Company which began in operations in Niagara Falls in 1905.

Simultaneously, in 1902 Baekeland began researching reactions of phenol and formaldehyde, and by 1907 was able to control the reactions and produce a moldable plastic (oxybenzylmethylenglycolanhydride) which he named Bakelite. Although the process was not perfected for another couple of years, Baekeland applied for a patent for Bakelite right away. He announced his discovery to the scientific community in 1909, and in 1910 formed the General Bakelite Company. Bakelite was a thermosetting resin that, unlike Celluloid became permanently solid when heated. It was virtually impervious to heat, acids, or caustic substances. It could be molded into a wide variety of shapes and was an excellent electric insulator that came to replace hard rubber and amber for electrical and industrial applications. It was also suitable for a wide variety of consumer products such as billiard balls, jewelry, pot handles, telephones, toasters, electric plugs, and airplane instrument knobs. Two companies challenged Bakelite with significant competition, Condensite Corporation of America and Redmanol Chemical Products Company. Bakelite finally merged with these two companies in 1922 to become the Bakelite Corporation. Union Carbide finally bought the corporation in 1939.

Baekeland sustained his interest in photography by taking numerous photographs throughout his lifetime. He also devoted much of his spare time to professional societies and received various honorary degrees and awards such as the Perkin Medal. He had several hobbies such as boating, wine and beer making, and, exotic plants. He also traveled extensively throughout the world, which is documented in his diaries and photographs.

Baekeland spent his final years mostly in his Coconut Grove, Florida home where he became increasingly eccentric until his mind failed him and he was institutionalized. He died in 1943 at the age of eighty.

Scope and Content: Baekeland documented his life prolifically through diaries, laboratory notebooks, photographs, and correspondence. These constitute the bulk of the collection. The Bakelite company history is also incompletely documented in this collection through Baekeland's correspondence, the commercial laboratory notebooks, and some company ledgers.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Albany Billiard Ball Company Records (AC0011)

Celluloid Corporation Records (AC0009)

J. Harry DuBois Collection on the History of Plastics (AC0008)

Materials at Other Organizations

The Hagley Museum and Library, Manuscripts and Archives Department in Delaware also several related collections including: the Directors of Industrial Research Records, 1929 -982; the Du Pont Viscoloid Company, Survey of the Plastics Field, 1932; The Society of the Plastics Industry, 1937-1987; the Roy J. Plunkett Collection, 1910-1994 (inventor of Teflon); and the Gordon M. Kline Collection, 1903.
Separated Materials:
The National Museum of American History, Division Medicine and Science has several artifacts associated with Baekeland including the original "Bakalizer" the apparatus in which Bakelite was first made. See accession numbers: 1977.0368; 1979.1179; 1981.0976; 1982.0034; 1983.0524; 1984.0138.
Provenance:
The bulk of the collection was donated to the National Museum of American History's Division of Physical Sciences in November, 1981, by Celine Karraker, Leo H. Baekeland's granddaughter.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Phenolic resins  Search this
Travel -- Photographs  Search this
Chemists -- 1880-1970  Search this
Inventors -- 1880-1970  Search this
Plastics -- 1880-1970  Search this
Chemistry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Professional papers -- 1880-1970
Clippings -- 1880-1970
Laboratory notes
Personal correspondence -- 1880-1970
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass -- 19th-20th century
Notebooks -- 1880-1970
Diaries -- 1880-1970
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 19th-20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Nitrate -- 19th-20th century
Citation:
Leo Baekeland Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0005
See more items in:
Leo H. Baekeland Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0005
Online Media:

Frederica de Laguna Papers

Creator:
McClellan, Catharine  Search this
Guédon, Marie Françoise  Search this
Swanton, John Reed, 1873-1958  Search this
Emmons, George Thornton  Search this
De Laguna, Frederica, 1906-2004  Search this
Correspondent:
Stearns, Mary Lee  Search this
Aberle, David F. (David Friend), 1918-2004  Search this
Arensberg, Conrad M. (Conrad Maynadier), 1910-1997  Search this
Baird, Melissa  Search this
Balzer, Marjorie  Search this
Bersch, Gretchen  Search this
Birket-Smith, Kaj  Search this
Black, Lydia  Search this
Boas, Franz, 1858-1942  Search this
Chowning, Ann  Search this
Clark, J. Desmond (John Desmond), 1916-2002  Search this
Codere, Helen F., 1917-2009  Search this
Collins, Henry B. (Henry Bascom), 1899-1987  Search this
Colton, Harold Sellers, 1881-1970  Search this
Conklin, Harold C., 1926-2016  Search this
Corbett, John M.  Search this
Darnell, Regna  Search this
Dauenhauer, Nora  Search this
Dauenhauer, Richard  Search this
Davenport, William  Search this
Dockstader, Frederick J.  Search this
Drucker, Philip, 1911-1982  Search this
Du Bois, Cora Alice, 1903-1991  Search this
Duff, Wilson, 1925-  Search this
Fair, Susan  Search this
Fitzhugh, William W., 1943-  Search this
Foster, George McClelland, 1913-  Search this
Garfield, Viola Edmundson, 1899-1983  Search this
Giddings, James Louis  Search this
Gjessing, Gutorm, 1906  Search this
Grinev, Andrei V.  Search this
Hanable, William S.  Search this
Hara, Hiroko, 1934-  Search this
Haury, Emil W. (Emil Walter), 1904-1992  Search this
Heizer, Robert F. (Robert Fleming), 1915-1979  Search this
Helm, June, 1924-  Search this
Herskovits, Melville J. (Melville Jean), 1895-1963  Search this
Holtved, Erik  Search this
Jenness, Diamond, 1886-1969  Search this
Kahn, Mimi  Search this
Kan, Sergei  Search this
Krauss, Michael E., 1934-  Search this
Kroeber, A. L. (Alfred Louis), 1876-1960  Search this
Larsen, Helge, 1905-1984  Search this
Leer, Jeff  Search this
Lindgren, E. J. (Ethel John), 1904-1988  Search this
Lomax, Alan, 1915-2002  Search this
Low, Jean  Search this
Mathiassen, Therkel, 1892-1967  Search this
Mead, Margaret, 1901-1978  Search this
Olson, Wallace  Search this
Rainey, Froelich G. (Froelich Gladstone), 1907-1992  Search this
Riddell, Francis A. (Francis Allen), 1921-2002  Search this
Ritchie, William A. (William Augustus), 1903-1995  Search this
Schneider, William  Search this
Schumacher, Paul J. F.  Search this
Shinkwin, Anne D.  Search this
Spier, Leslie, 1893-1961  Search this
Spiro, Melford E., 1920-2014  Search this
Underhill, Ruth, 1883-1984  Search this
VanStone, James W.  Search this
Weiner, Annette B., 1933-  Search this
Weitzner, Bella, 1891?-1988  Search this
White, Leslie A., 1900-1975  Search this
Woodbury, Natalie Ferris Sampson  Search this
Woodbury, Richard B. (Richard Benjamin), 1917-2009  Search this
Workman, Karen Wood  Search this
Workman, William B.  Search this
Names:
American Anthropological Association  Search this
Bryn Mawr College  Search this
Photographer:
Smith, Harlan Ingersoll, 1872-1940  Search this
Extent:
2 map drawers
38 Linear feet (71 document boxes, 1 half document box, 2 manuscript folders, 4 card file boxes, 1 flat box, and 1 oversize box)
Culture:
Yakutat  Search this
Tutchone Indians  Search this
Tsimshian Indians  Search this
Indians of North America -- Subarctic  Search this
Tlingit Indians  Search this
Tanana Indians  Search this
Kawchottine Indians  Search this
Ahtna Indians  Search this
Athapascan Indians  Search this
Athapaskan -- Northern  Search this
Chugach Eskimos -- Archaeology  Search this
Eskimos -- Greenland  Search this
Indians of North America -- California  Search this
Eyak Indians  Search this
Hare Indians  Search this
Indians of North America -- Northwest Coast of North America  Search this
Ingalik Indians  Search this
Arctic peoples  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Map drawers
Manuscripts
Maps
Field notes
Correspondence
Photographs
Sound recordings
Place:
Alaska -- Archaeology
Aishihik (Yukon)
Angoon (Alaska)
Alaska -- Ethnology
Chistochina (Alaska)
Greenland
Copper River (Alaska)
Klukshu (Yukon)
Hoonah (Alaska)
Kodiak Island (Alaska)
Klukwan (Alaska)
Saint Lawrence River Valley
New Brunswick -- Archaeology
Yukon Island (Alaska)
Date:
1890-2004
bulk 1923-2004
Summary:
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps. A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catherine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athabaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara Sue's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series X: Card Files. Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March. Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Scope and Contents:
These papers reflect the professional and personal life of Frederica de Laguna. The collection contains correspondence, field notes, writings, newspaper clippings, writings by others, subject files, sound recordings, photographs, and maps.

A significant portion of the collection consists of de Laguna's correspondence with family, friends, colleagues, and students, as well as her informants from the field. Her correspondence covers a wide range of subjects such as family, health, preparations for field work, her publications and projects, the Northwest Coast, her opinions on the state of anthropology, and politics. Among her notable correspondents are Kaj Birket-Smith, J. Desmond Clark, Henry Collins, George Foster, Viola Garfield, Marie-Françoise Guédon, Diamond Jenness, Michael Krauss, Therkel Mathiassen, Catharine McClellan, and Wallace Olson. She also corresponded with several eminent anthropologists including Franz Boas, William Fitzhugh, J. Louis Giddings, Emil Haury, June Helm, Melville Herskovitz, Alfred Kroeber, Helge Larsen, Alan Lomax, Margaret Mead, Froelich Rainey, Leslie Spier, Ruth Underhill, James VanStone, Annette Weiner, and Leslie White.

The field notes in the collection mainly represent de Laguna and her assistants' work in the Northern Tlingit region of Alaska from 1949 to 1954. In addition, the collection contains materials related to her work in the St. Lawrence River Valley in Ontario in 1947 and Catharine McClellan's field journal for her research in Aishihik, Yukon Territory in 1968. Most of the audio reels in the collection are field recordings made by de Laguna, McClellan, and Marie-Françoise Guédon of vocabulary and songs and speeches at potlatches and other ceremonies from 1952 to 1969. Tlingit and several Athapaskan languages including Atna, Tutochone, Upper Tanana, and Tanacross are represented in the recordings. Also in the collection are copies of John R. Swanton's Tlingit recordings and Hiroko Hara's recordings among the Hare Indians. Additional materials related to de Laguna's research on the Northwest Coast include her notes on clans and tribes in Series VI: Subject Files and her notes on Tlingit vocabulary and Yakutat names specimens in Series 10: Card Files.

Drafts and notes for Voyage to Greenland, Travels Among the Dena, and The Tlingit Indians can be found in the collection as well as her drawings for her dissertation and materials related to her work for the Handbook of North American Indians and other publications. There is little material related to Under Mount Saint Elias except for correspondence, photocopies and negatives of plates, and grant applications for the monograph. Of special interest among de Laguna's writings is a photocopy of her historical fiction novel, The Thousand March.

Other materials of special interest are copies of her talks, including her AAA presidential address, and the dissertation of Regna Darnell, a former student of de Laguna's. In addition, materials on the history of anthropology are in the collection, most of which can found with her teaching materials. The collection also contains copies of photographs from the Harriman Alaska Expedition of 1899. Although the bulk of the collection documents de Laguna's professional years, the collection also contains newspaper articles and letters regarding her exceptional performance as a student at Bryn Mawr College and her undergraduate and graduate report cards. Only a few photographs of de Laguna can be found in the collection along with photographs of her 1929 and 1979 trips to Greenland.
Arrangement note:
Arranged in 12 series: (1) Correspondence, 1923-2004; (2) Field Research, 1947-1968; (3) Writings, 1926-2001; (4) Teaching, 1922-1988; (5) Professional Activities, 1939-2001; (6) Subject Files, 1890-2002; (7) Writings by Others, 1962-2000; (8) Personal, 1923-2000; (9) Photographs, 1929-1986; (10) Card Files; (11) Maps, 1928-1973; (12) Sound Recordings, 1904-1973
Biographical / Historical:
Frederica Annis Lopez de Leo de Laguna was a pioneering archaeologist and ethnographer of northwestern North America. Known as Freddy by her friends, she was one of the last students of Franz Boas. She served as first vice-president of the Society for American Archaeology (SAA) from 1949 to 1950 and as president of the American Anthropological Association (AAA) from 1966-1967. She also founded the anthropology department at Bryn Mawr College where she taught from 1938 to 1972. In 1975, she and Margaret Mead, a former classmate, were the first women to be elected to the National Academy of Sciences.

Born on October 3, 1906 in Ann Arbor, Michigan, de Laguna was the daughter of Theodore Lopez de Leo de Laguna and Grace Mead Andrus, both philosophy professors at Bryn Mawr College. Often sick as a child, de Laguna was home-schooled by her parents until she was 9. She excelled as a student at Bryn Mawr College, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in politics and economics in 1927. She was awarded the college's prestigious European fellowship, which upon the suggestion of her parents, she deferred for a year to study anthropology at Columbia University under Boas. Her parents had recently attended a lecture given by Boas and felt that anthropology would unite her interests in the social sciences and her love for the outdoors.

After a year studying at Columbia with Boas, Gladys Reichard, and Ruth Benedict, de Laguna was still uncertain whether anthropology was the field for her. Nevertheless, she followed Boas's advice to spend her year abroad studying the connection between Eskimo and Paleolithic art, which would later became the topic of her dissertation. In the summer of 1928, she gained fieldwork experience under George Grant MacCurdy visiting prehistoric sites in England, France, and Spain. In Paris, she attended lectures on prehistoric art by Abbe Breuil and received guidance from Paul Rivet and Marcelin Boule. Engaged to an Englishman she had met at Columbia University, de Laguna decided to also enroll at the London School of Economics in case she needed to earn her degree there. She took a seminar with Bronislaw Malinowski, an experience she found unpleasant and disappointing.

It was de Laguna's visit to the National Museum in Copenhagen to examine the archaeological collections from Central Eskimo that became the turning point in her life. During her visit, she met Therkel Mathiassen who invited her to be his assistant on what would be the first scientific archaeological excavation in Greenland. She sailed off with him in June 1929, intending to return early in August. Instead, she decided to stay until October to finish the excavation with Mathiassen, now convinced that her future lay in anthropology. When she returned from Greenland she broke off her engagement with her fiancé, deciding that she would not able to both fully pursue a career in anthropology and be the sort of wife she felt he deserved. Her experiences in Greenland became the subject of her 1977 memoir, Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology.

The following year, Kaj Birket-Smith, whom de Laguna had also met in Copenhagen, agreed to let her accompany him as his research assistant on his summer expedition to Prince William Sound and Cook Inlet. When Birket-Smith fell ill and was unable to go, de Laguna was determined to continue on with the trip. She convinced the University of Pennsylvania Museum to fund her trip to Alaska to survey potential excavation sites and took as her assistant her 20 year old brother, Wallace, who became a geologist. A close family, de Laguna's brother and mother would later accompany her on other research trips.

In 1931, the University of Pennsylvania Museum hired de Laguna to catalogue Eskimo collections. They again financed her work in Cook Inlet that year as well as the following year. In 1933, she earned her PhD from Columbia and led an archaeological and ethnological expedition of the Prince William Sound with Birket-Smith. They coauthored "The Eyak Indians of the Copper River Delta, Alaska," published in 1938. In 1935, de Laguna led an archaeological and geological reconnaissance of middle and lower Yukon Valley, traveling down the Tanana River. Several decades later, the 1935 trip contributed to two of her books: Travels Among the Dena, published in 1994, and Tales From the Dena, published in 1997.

In 1935 and 1936, de Laguna worked briefly as an Associate Soil Conservationist, surveying economic and social conditions on the Pima Indian Reservation in Arizona. She later returned to Arizona during the summers to conduct research and in 1941, led a summer archaeological field school under the sponsorship of Bryn Mawr College and the Museum of Northern Arizona.

By this time, de Laguna had already published several academic articles and was also the author of three fiction books. Published in 1930, The Thousand March: Adventures of an American Boy with the Garibaldi was her historical fiction book for juveniles. She also wrote two detective novels: The Arrow Points to Murder (1937) and Fog on the Mountain (1938). The Arrow Points to Murder is set in a museum based on her experiences at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and the American Museum of National History. Fog on the Mountain is set in Cook Inlet and draws upon de Laguna's experiences in Alaska. Both detective novels helped to finance her research.

De Laguna began her long career at Bryn Mawr College in 1938 when she was hired as a lecturer in the sociology department to teach the first ever anthropology course at the college. By 1950, she was chairman of the joint department of Sociology and Anthropology, and in 1967, the chairman of the newly independent Anthropology Department. She was also a visiting professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1947-1949; 1972-1976) and at the University of California, Berkeley (1959-1960; 1972-1973.)

During World War II, de Laguna took a leave of absence from Bryn Mawr College to serve in the naval reserve from 1942 to 1945. As a member of WAVES (Women Accepted for Voluntary Emergency Service), she taught naval history and codes and ciphers to women midshipmen at Smith College. She took great pride in her naval service and in her later years joined the local chapter of WAVES National, an organization for former and current members of WAVES.

In 1950, de Laguna returned to Alaska to work in the Northern Tlingit region. Her ethnological and archaeological study of the Tlingit Indians brought her back several more times throughout the 1950s and led to the publication of Under Mount Saint Elias in 1972. Her comprehensive three-volume monograph is still considered the authoritative work on the Yakutat Tlingit. In 1954, de Laguna turned her focus to the Atna Indians of Copper River, returning to the area in 1958, 1960, and 1968.

De Laguna retired from Bryn Mawr College in 1972 under the college's mandatory retirement policy. Although she suffered from many ailments in her later years including macular degeneration, she remained professionally active. Five decades after her first visit to Greenland, de Laguna returned to Upernavik in 1979 to conduct ethnographic investigations. In 1985, she finished editing George Thornton Emmons' unpublished manuscript The Tlingit Indians. A project she had begun in 1955, the book was finally published in 1991. In 1986, she served as a volunteer consultant archaeologist and ethnologist for the U. S. Forest Service in Alaska. In 1994, she took part in "More than Words . . ." Laura Bliss Spann's documentary on the last Eyak speaker, Maggie Smith Jones. By 2001, de Laguna was legally blind. Nevertheless, she continued working on several projects and established the Frederica de Laguna Northern Books Press to reprint out-of-print literature and publish new scholarly works on Arctic cultures.

Over her lifetime, de Laguna received several honors including her election into the National Academy Sciences in 1976, the Distinguished Service Award from AAA in 1986, and the Lucy Wharton Drexel Medal from the University of Pennsylvania in 1999. De Laguna's work, however, was respected by not only her colleagues but also by the people she studied. In 1996, the people of Yakutat honored de Laguna with a potlatch. Her return to Yakutat was filmed by Laura Bliss Spann in her documentary Reunion at Mt St. Elias: The Return of Frederica de Laguna to Yakutat.

At the age of 98, Frederica de Laguna passed away on October 6, 2004.

Sources Consulted

Darnell, Regna. "Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." American Anthropologist 107.3 (2005): 554-556.

de Laguna, Frederica. Voyage to Greenland: A Personal Initiation into Anthropology. New York: W.W. Norton Co, 1977.

McClellan, Catharine. "Frederica de Laguna and the Pleasures of Anthropology." American Ethnologist 16.4 (1989): 766-785.

Olson, Wallace M. "Obituary: Frederica de Laguna (1906-2004)." Arctic 58.1 (2005): 89-90.
Related Materials:
Although this collection contains a great deal of correspondence associated with her service as president of AAA, most of her presidential records can be found in American Anthropological Association Records 1917-1972. Also at the National Anthropological Archives are her transcripts of songs sung by Yakutat Tlingit recorded in 1952 and 1954 located in MS 7056 and her notes and drawings of Dorset culture materials in the National Museum of Canada located in MS 7265. The Human Studies Film Archive has a video oral history of de Laguna conducted by Norman Markel (SC-89.10.4).

Related collections can also be found in other repositories. The University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania holds materials related to work that de Laguna carried out for the museum from the 1930s to the 1960s. Materials relating to her fieldwork in Angoon and Yakutat can be found in the Rasmuson Library of the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the papers of Francis A. Riddell, a field assistant to de Laguna in the early 1950s. Original photographs taken in the field in Alaska were deposited in the Alaska State Library, Juneau. Both the Archive of Folk Culture at the Library of Congress and the American Philosophical Library have copies of her field recordings and notes. The American Museum of Natural History has materials related to her work editing George T. Emmons' manuscript. De Laguna's papers can also be found at the Bryn Mawr College Archives.
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Frederica de Laguna.
Restrictions:
Some of the original field notes are restricted due to Frederica de Laguna's request to protect the privacy of those accused of witchcraft. The originals are restricted until 2030. Photocopies may be made with the names of the accused redacted.
Rights:
Contact repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Anthropology -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts
Maps
Field notes
Correspondence
Photographs
Sound recordings
Citation:
Frederica de Laguna Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.1998-89
See more items in:
Frederica de Laguna Papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-1998-89
Online Media:

Reuben Tam papers

Creator:
Tam, Reuben  Search this
Names:
Alan Gallery (Charles Alan)  Search this
Brooklyn Museum of Art  Search this
Coe Kerr Gallery  Search this
Downtown Gallery (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation  Search this
Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture  Search this
Andrews, Dorothy, 1918-2008  Search this
Kienbusch, William, 1914-1980  Search this
Nesjar, Carl, 1920-  Search this
Solomon, Hyde, 1911-  Search this
Extent:
9.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Poems
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Prints
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Watercolors
Drawings
Date:
1931-2006
Summary:
The papers of landscape painter and educator Reuben Tam measure 9.2 linear feet and date from 1931 to 2006. The papers document his career as a painter in New York, Maine, and Hawaii through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, art organizations, schools, and galleries; diaries, poetry, and other writings; exhibition catalogs, news clippings, other printed material; photographs; artwork, including seventeen sketchbooks; and eight scrapbooks.

There is a 1.1 linear foot unprocessed addition to the collection donated in 2020 that includes 34 sketchbooks, circa 1940-1974, by Tam from his time in New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska and Canada.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of landscape painter and educator Reuben Tam measure 9.2 linear feet and date from 1931 to 2006. The papers document his career as a painter in New York, Maine, and Hawaii through biographical material; correspondence with family, friends, art organizations, schools, and galleries; diaries, poetry, and other writings; exhibition catalogs, news clippings, other printed material; photographs; artwork, including seventeen sketchbooks; and eight scrapbooks. There is a 1.1 linear foot unprocessed addition to the collection donated in 2020 that includes 34 sketchbooks, circa 1940-1974, by Tam from his time in New York, Hawaii, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Alaska and Canada.

Biographical material includes school documents, records of his tenure as an instructor at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, artwork consignment and sales records, and slides and accompanying audio cassette recording of the "Reuben Tam Show" about his work as an artist on Monhegan Island, Maine.

Correspondence is with family, fellow artists, including William Kienbusch and Hyde Solomon, as well as art organizations, schools, and museums, such as Brooklyn Museum of Art School, Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Maine Coast Artists group, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Also found is correspondence with the three galleries which represented his work: Downtown Gallery, Alan Gallery, and Coe Kerr Gallery.

The collection includes five bound diaries as well as diary entries written by Reuben Tam on loose sheets of paper, primarily documenting the 1940s. Other writings include drafts of poetry, one notebook, miscellaneous notes, and essays by others.

Printed material consists of school publications, exhibition catalogs and announcements for solo and group shows, brochures, flyers, magazines, bulletins, and news clippings. Eight scrapbooks found in this collection also include newspaper clippings, exhibition announcements and catalogs, as well as event invitations, membership cards, and letters, documenting 40 years of Reuben Tam's career.

Photographs are of Reuben Tam, Tam with friends and family, and artwork. One photograph album contains photographs from Tam's visits to Maine from 1946 to 1948, and includes photographs of fellow artists Hyde Solomon, Carl Nesjar, Dorothy Andrews, and William Kienbusch. Artwork in the collection includes prints, drawings, and watercolors as well as seventeen large sketchbooks documenting the coastal landscape of Monhegan Island, Maine.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1934-1993 (Box 1; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1931-2006 (Box 1-4; 3.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Diaries, 1932-1974 (Box 4-5; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Writings, 1939-1987 (Box 5; 7 folders)

Series 5: Printed Material, 1935-1997 (Box 5-6, 9; 1.2 linear feet)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1930-1990 (Box 6-7, 9; 1.0 linear foot)

Series 7: Artwork, circa 1936-1975 (Box 7, 9-10, OV 11; 0.7 linear feet)

Series 8: Scrapbooks, 1938-1978 (Box 7-8; 0.9 linear feet)

Series 9: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1940-1974 (Box 12, OV13; 1.1 linear feet)
Biographical / Historical:
Reuben Tam (1916-1991) was a landscape painter and educator in New York, Maine, and Hawaii. Tam was born in Kapaa, Hawaii, in 1916. He received a degree in education in 1937 from the University of Hawaii and was briefly a public school teacher before attending graduate courses at the California School of Fine Arts. In 1941 he moved to New York and took courses in art history and philosophy at the New School for Social Research and Columbia University. Tam became affiliated with the Downtown Gallery in 1945 and was a prolific exhibitor in national and regional shows, winning critical praise as an abstract landscape painter. In 1948 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and first exhibited in the National Academy's annual exhibition in 1947.

Tam was an instructor at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School from 1946 to 1974. While there he taught advanced studies in painting and was chairman of the graduate painting department. He also served as a visiting professor at Oregon State University, Haystack, and Queens College, CUNY.

Beginning in 1948, Tam and his wife, Geraldine, spent summers at their home and studio on Monhegan Island, Maine. Tam's work was deeply influenced by coastal landscapes both in Maine and in his native Hawaii. In 1981 he and his wife moved back to Kapaa, Hawaii, where he continued to paint and exhibit his new works until his death in 1991.
Related Materials:
Reuben Tam papers, 1958-1966, are also located at Syracuse University.
Provenance:
Scrapbooks were lent for microfilming in 1970 by Reuben Tam and were subsequently donated in 2009 along with additional papers by Geraldine King Tam, Reuben Tam's widow. 34 additional sketchbooks were donated in 2020 by the Geraldine King Tam Trust, via Cindy King, trustee and niece of Geraldine King Tam.
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.
Rights:
The Reuben Tam 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:
Painters -- Maine  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Educators -- Hawaii  Search this
Educators -- Maine  Search this
Educators -- New York (State)  Search this
Painters -- Hawaii  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sketchbooks
Sound recordings
Poems
Drafts (documents)
Photographs
Prints
Diaries
Scrapbooks
Watercolors
Drawings
Citation:
Reuben Tam papers, 1931-2006. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.tamreub
See more items in:
Reuben Tam papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-tamreub
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Online Media:

Robert S. Sanford Collection

Creator:
Sanford, Robert S., 1897-1981  Search this
Names:
United States. Army. Air Service. 2d Pursuit Group. 139th Aero Squadron  Search this
United States. Bureau of Mines  Search this
Extent:
0.55 Cubic feet ((1 box, 1 folder in oversized box))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Diaries
Photographs
Negatives
Certificates
Calendars
Place:
Alaska
Date:
bulk 1917-1970
Summary:
This collection consists of material relating to both Robert S. Sanford's World War I service and his work in Alaska with the US Bureau of Mines. The material relating to his service with the 139th Aero Squadron includes the following: a series of over 100 letters from Sanford to his family from 1917-1919, chronicling his entry into the military, training stateside, his overseas deployment and service in the Toul sector; nine photographs of Sanford in uniform or of aircraft in France; a May 4, 1918 copy of "Plane News"; and a small brown diary with entries written by Sanford from 1917 to 1918.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material relating to both Robert Sanford's World War I service and his work in Alaska with the US Bureau of Mines. The material relating to his service with the 139th Aero Squadron includes the following: a series of over 100 letters from Sanford to his family from 1917-1919, chronicling his entry into the military, training stateside, his overseas deployment and service in the Toul sector; nine photographs of Sanford in uniform or of aircraft in France; a May 4, 1918 copy of Plane News; and a small brown diary with entries written by Sanford from 1917 to 1918. The material relating to his work with the United States Bureau of Mines includes the following: two brown notebooks containing Sanford's notes on his work in Alaska, including flying information; one notebook containing photographs of Alaska, mostly of hunting and fishing; a few letters from Sanford in Alaska to his family; negatives from Alaska; newspaper articles about Sanford's contributions to finding the Alaskan oil fields; a certificate given to Sanford for crossing the Arctic Circle as a passenger of Wien Alaska Airlines in 1945; and a 1947 Wien Alaska Airlines, Inc. calendar.
Arrangement:
The Robert S. Sanford Collection is arranged by content type.
Biographical / Historical:
Robert S. Sanford (1897-1981) served as an airplane mechanic for the 139th Aero Squadron during World War I. The 139th was assigned to the First Army on June 12, 1918 and engaged in the Toul Sector. They ceased operations on December 11, 1918. After the war, Sanford was employed by various private mining companies in South America, Mexico, Nevada, Colorado, Oregon, Canada and Oklahoma. He joined the US Bureau of Mines in 1940, and in 1943 was the district engineer in charge of the mineral development program in Alaska. While there, he found large oil areas on the Arctic slope. In the early 1950s, Sanford served with the State Department, on loan from the Bureau of Mines, as a mining consultant to Afghanistan, India, and Nepal. He resigned from the Bureau of Mines in 1966.
Provenance:
Bonnie Gitlin, Gift, 2004-0063
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
Mining  Search this
Oil wells -- United States  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations, American -- France  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Diaries
Photographs
Negatives
Certificates
Calendars
Citation:
Robert S. Sanford Collection, Accession 2004-0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2004.0063
See more items in:
Robert S. Sanford Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2004-0063
Online Media:

Francis P. Conant Papers

Creator:
Conant, Francis  Search this
Names:
Hunter College. Department of Anthropology  Search this
Goldschmidt, Walter, 1913-2010  Search this
Naguib, Mohammed, 1901-  Search this
Extent:
20 Linear feet ((43 boxes) plus 25 digital storage media and 5 map folders )
Culture:
Southern Bauchi languages  Search this
Suk (African people)  Search this
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Field recordings
Maps
Field notes
Manuscripts
Electronic records
Correspondence
Sound recordings
Photographs
Place:
Africa, French-speaking West
Sahara
Egypt
Ethiopia
Uganda
West Pokot District (Kenya)
Bauchi Province (Nigeria)
Belgian Congo
Finland
Morocco
Sudan
Date:
1946-2011
bulk 1953-2008
Summary:
The papers of Francis P. Conant document his anthropological work and, to a lesser extent, his previous career as a journalist and photographer. Francis Paine Conant was a cultural anthropologist who pioneered the use of satellite data in anthropology. He conducted fieldwork in Nigeria and Kenya, and his research interests spanned cultural ecology, AIDS, malaria, and sex and gender studies. He was also Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Hunter College, where he taught from 1962 to 1995.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Francis P. Conant document his anthropological work and, to a lesser extent, his previous career as a journalist and photographer. The bulk of the collection consists of his field work in Africa, specifically his doctoral research among the Barawa in Nigeria during the 1950s; his work among the Pokot in Kenya for Walter Goldschimdt's Culture and Ecology in East Africa Project during the 1960s; and his later research among the Pokot during the 1970s incorporating remote sensing tools. These materials include his dissertation, field notes, kinship charts, maps, correspondence, photographs, and sound recordings. The collection also contains photographs, correspondence, and writings relating to the Bernheim-Conant expedition through Africa. Among the photos are Polaroids of Mohammad Naguib, first president of Egypt. Also present in the collection are his published and unpublished academic writings, his writings and correspondence as a news correspondent in Finland, and files from courses that he taught. In addition, the collection contains some of Conant's digital files, which have not yet been examined. Overall there is little correspondence in the collection, aside from some letters scattered throughout the collection relating to his research and writings (both as an academic and a journalist).
Arrangement:
Collection is organized into 9 series: 1) Nigeria, 1956-1960, undated; 2) Kenya, 1961-1974, undated; 3) Remote Sensing, 1967, 1971, 1976-1984, 1991-1992, 2002; 4) Bernheim-Conant Expedition, 1953-1956; 5) Writings, 1960-1966, 1974-1995, 2000-2006, undated; 6) University Files, 1956-1957, 1961, 1970, 1972, 1982-1995, undated; 7) Biographical Files and Letters, circa 1940, CIRCA 1946-1947, 1951, 1955, 1979, 1989-1991, 1996-2000, 2007-2011, undated; 8) Sound Recordings, 1956-1965, 1971, 1977-1978, undated; 9) Digital Files
Biographical / Historical:
Francis Paine Conant was a cultural anthropologist who pioneered the use of satellite data in anthropology. He conducted fieldwork in Nigeria and Kenya, and his research interests spanned cultural ecology, AIDS, malaria, and sex and gender studies. He was also Professor Emeritus of Anthropology at Hunter College, where he taught from 1962 to 1995.

Conant was born on February 27, 1926 in New York City. After graduating from Phillips Exeter Academy, he deferred college to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1944. He served as a field artillery observer for the 294th Field Artillery Battalion and helped liberate two concentration camps during World War II. After he was honorably discharged in 1946, he attended Cornell University, where he obtained his B.A. in 1950. While at Cornell, a Finnish student invited Conant to Finland to help relocate families, farms, and livestock further from the Russian border, a protective measure against another Russian invasion. Conant accepted his invitation and took time off from his academic studies to spend several months in Finland in 1947, as well as a summer in 1949.

After graduating from Cornell, Conant attended University of Iowa's graduate writing program for a short time. Dissatisfied with the program, he worked briefly for the Carnegie Endowment, during which time he occasionally served as a personal driver for Alger Hiss. In 1951, he returned to Finland to pursue a career in journalism. He worked for United Press International until 1953.

From December 5, 1953 to May 26, 1954, Conant traveled throughout Africa as part of the Bernheim-Conant Expedition for the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH). The expedition was led by Claude Bernheim, the father of his first wife, Miriam. They traveled 16,000 miles through Northern Central and Eastern Africa, collecting film footage and material culture for the museum. Conant served as the writer and photographer for the expedition, publishing illustrated articles in the New York Times and Natural History Magazine.

He later returned to Africa as a doctoral student at Columbia University, where he earned his PhD in Anthropology in 1960. After studying the Hausa language at the International African Institute in London, he traveled to Nigeria as a Fellow of the Ford Foundation to carry out his fieldwork in Dass Independent District, Bauchi Province. Working among the Barawa that live in the mountains of Dass, he focused on their religion and its impact on the technology, social and political organization, and structure of their society. His dissertation was titled "Dodo of Dass: A Study of a Pagan Religion of Northern Nigeria." During his fieldwork, he also collected data on rock gongs, which were first identified and written about by Bernard Fagg in 1955.

In 1961 to 1962, Conant was a research associate for Walter Goldschmidt's Culture and Ecology in East Africa Project. The purpose of the project was to conduct a controlled comparison of four different East African societies and the farmers and pastoralists within each tribe. Conant was assigned to conduct ethnographic research among the Pokot in West Pokot District in Kenya. This research would form the basis of his remote sensing work in the same area more than a decade later. Conant was first introduced to remote sensing data in 1974 when his colleague Priscilla Reining showed him Landsat imagery of one his former fieldwork sites. He was inspired by the potential applications of satellite data to study cultural and ecological relationships. In 1975, he and Reining organized a workshop on "Satellite Potentials for Anthropological Studies of Subsistence Activities and Population Change." He incorporated remote sensing tools in his 1977 to 1980 study of the changing cultivation patterns and management of livestock in West Pokot District. His research combined traditional fieldwork (which included data he had collected in the 1960s), LANDSAT data, and geospatial data collected from the ground.

Later in his career, Conant's research interests expanded to include the spread of diseases, specifically AIDS and malaria. He, along with Priscilla Reining, John Bongaarts, and Peter Way found that uncircumcised men were 86% more likely to contract HIV than circumcised men. Their findings were published in their paper "The Relationship Between Male Circumcision and HIV Infection in African Populations" (1989). His research on malaria focused on the spread of the disease during African prehistory.

Conant taught briefly at Columbia University and was an Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts, at Amherst in 1960-1961. Most of his academic career was spent at Hunter College, where he served as Chair of the Anthropology Department several times. He also founded and headed the college's Research Institute in Aruba.

Conant was a Fulbright Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University's Pitts Rivers Museum in 1968-1969. He was also a fellow of the American Anthropological Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the International African Institute, the New York Academy of Sciences, and the Royal Anthropological Institute. In addition, he was actively involved with the Human Ecology: An Interdisciplinary Journal.

Conant died at the age of 84 on January 29, 2011.

Sources Consulted

Bates, Daniel G. 2011. Francis P. Conant: A Tribute to a Friend of Human Ecology. Human Ecology 39(2): 115.

Bates, Daniel and Oliver Conant. Francis P. Conant. Anthropology News. 52(5): 25.

Conant, Veronika. Email message to Lorain Wang, October 22, 2013.

[Curriculum Vitae], Series 7. Biographical Files and Letters, Francis Conant Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution

Francis P. Conant. http://www.hunter.cuny.edu/anthropology/faculty-staff/in-remembrance/francis-p.-conant [accessed August 23, 2013].

1926 -- Born February 27 in New York City, New York

1944-1946 -- Enlists in Army and serves in World War II as a flash ranger in 294th Field Artillery Battalion

1950 -- Earns B.A. from Cornell University in English and Russian, minor in Engineering

1953-1954 -- AMNH Bernheim-Conant Expedition to northern Africa

1957 -- Conducts language studies at the International African Institute

1957-1959 -- Conducts fieldwork in northern Nigeria

1960 -- Earns PhD in Cultural Anthropology from Columbia University

1960-1961 -- Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Massachusetts at Amherst

1961-1962 -- Research Associate for Culture and Ecology in East Africa Project directed by Walter Goldschimdt

1962 -- Joins faculty at Hunter College

1968-1969 -- Fulbright Senior Research Fellow, Oxford University, Pitt-Rivers Museum

1977-1980 -- Sets up remote sensing monitoring area in West Pokot district in Kenya. Studies changing cultivation patterns and management of livestock

1995 -- Retires from Hunter College; Emeritus Professor

2011 -- Dies on January 29 at the age of 84
Related Materials:
For additional materials at the National Anthropological Archives relating to Francis Conant, see the papers of Priscilla Reining and John Lawrence Angel. His film collection is at the Human Studies Film Archives.

Artifacts and film collected during the Bernheim-Conant Expedition, his doctoral research in Nigeria, and his fieldwork in Kenya during the 1960s and 70s are at the American Museum of Natural History. He also deposited collections at the Pitts River Museum at the University of Oxford.
Provenance:
These papers were donated to the National Anthropological Archives by Francis Conant's widow Veronika Conant in 2012.
Restrictions:
The Francis P. Conant Papers are open for research. Access to the Francis P. Conant Papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
Contact the repository for terms of use.
Topic:
Remote sensing  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Musical instruments -- Nigeria  Search this
Language and languages -- Documentation  Search this
Subsistence farming -- Kenya  Search this
Subsistence herding -- Kenya  Search this
Human ecology  Search this
Landsat satellites  Search this
Genre/Form:
Field recordings
Maps
Field notes
Manuscripts
Electronic records
Correspondence
Sound recordings
Photographs
Citation:
Francis P. Conant Papers, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NAA.2012-13
See more items in:
Francis P. Conant Papers
Archival Repository:
National Anthropological Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-naa-2012-13
Online Media:

[Alexander Van Valen Diary] [book], Jan. 1849 to August 1850

Author:
Van Valen, Alexander  Search this
Collection Creator:
Van Valen, Alexander  Search this
Extent:
1 Item (Ink on paper., 14.0" x 9.1")
Container:
Box 1, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Books
Holographs
Diaries
Place:
San Francisco (Calif.)
California -- Gold discoveries
Date:
1849
Jan. 1849 to August 1850
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Gold  Search this
Gold mines and mining  Search this
Genre/Form:
Books -- 19th century
Holographs
Diaries -- 19th century
Collection Citation:
Alexander Van Valen Papers, 1849-1850, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Alexander Van Valen Papers
Alexander Van Valen Papers / Series 1: Personal Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0935-ref18
Online Media:

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