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Arthur Ehrat Papers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Series 1: Background Materials, 1968-2005, 2011

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

Subseries 1: Ehrat History, 1968-2005

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

Subseries 2: Photographs and Clippings, 1973-2005

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

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

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

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

Subseries 3: Oral History Interview, 2005

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

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

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

Subseries 1: Ehrat and Dittrich Patents, 1979-1984

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

Subseries 2: Research and File History, 1865-1984

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

Subseries 3: Correspondence and Notes, 1976-1984

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subseries 1: Field Spreader Patents, 1977-2003

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

Subseries 2: Other Ideas, 1971-1998

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

Series 6: Toby Dittrich Files, 1889-1997

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

Series 1: Background materials, 1968-2005

Subseries 1: Ehrat History, 1968-2005, 2011

Subseries 2: Photographs and Clippings, 1973-2005

Subseries 3: Oral History, 2005

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

Subseries 1: Ehrat and Dittrich Patents, 1979-1984

Subseries 2: Research and File History, 1865-1984

Subseries 3: Correspondence and Notes, 1976-1984

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Subseries 1: Correspondence, 1980-1989

Subseries 2: Huffy, 1982-1994

Subseries 3: Basketball Products International, 1984-2000

Subseries 4: Toss Back, 1985-1988

Subseries 5: Porter, 1985-2000

Subseries 6: William Dittrich Patents, 1985-1994

Subseries 7: RDH Enterprises/Schutt, 1986-1991

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

Subseries 9: Lifetime Products, 1987-1989

Subseries 10: Medart, 1988

Subseries 11: Blazon-Flexible Flyer, 1988-1989

Subseries 12: Fisher-Price, 1988-1990

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

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

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

Subseries 16: McCullough, 1989-1993

Subseries 17: Wilson Sporting Goods, 1990

Subseries 18: Hutch Sporting Goods, 1990-1991

Subseries 19: Sure Shot, 1991-1997

Subseries 20: Aalco, 1991

Subseries 21: Bergfeld Recreation, 1991

Subseries 22: Future Pro, 1995-1997

Subseries 23: MacGregor, 1997

Subseries 24: Pro-Bound, 1997

Subseries 25: Architectural Design Products, 1997-1998

Subseries 26: Hyland Engineering, 1998

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

Subseries 1: Field Spreader, 1977-2003

Subseries 2: Other Ideas, 1971-1998

Series 6: Toby Dittrich Files, 1889-1997

Subseries 1: Administrative, 1977-1991

Subseries 2: Patent Information, 1889-1989

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

Subseries 4: Marketing and Sales, 1977-1991

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Arthur Ehrat died on July 9, 2015.
Related Materials:
Artifacts related to this collection were donated to the Museum's Division of Music, Sports and Entertainment, now the Division of Culture and Arts.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2005 by Arthur Ehrat. An addenda of materials related to Toby Dittrich was donated by Toby Dittrich in 2014.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Patent suits  Search this
Sporting goods industry -- 1950-1990  Search this
Baketball hoops  Search this
Basketball  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Videotapes -- 2000-2010
Audiovisual materials
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Legal records
Patents -- 20th century
Citation:
Arthur Ehrat Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0907
See more items in:
Arthur Ehrat Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0907
Online Media:

Letter to Art Athens, WCBS Radio, September, 1992

Collection Creator:
Dodd, Sharon Donovan  Search this
Donovan, Christine  Search this
Donovan, James F. Jr., Dr.  Search this
Donovan, Marion (Marion O'Brien), 1917-1998 (inventor)  Search this
Rabinow, Jacob, 1910-  Search this
Walters, Barbara  Search this
Container:
Box 12, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
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.
Collection Citation:
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers, 1949-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers
Marion O'Brien Donovan Papers / Series 4: Dentaloop / 4.3: Marketing Files
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0721-ref146

George H. Clark Radioana Collection

Creator:
Clark, George Howard, 1881-1956  Search this
Source:
Electricity and Modern Physics, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Names:
American Marconi Company.  Search this
Radio Corporation of America.  Search this
Former owner:
Electricity and Modern Physics, Division of, NMAH, SI.  Search this
Extent:
220 Cubic feet (700 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Technical manuals
Clippings
Patents
Correspondence
Blueprints
Letters patent
Photographs
Sale catalogs
Technical drawings
Date:
circa 1880-1950
Summary:
The collection forms a documentary record of over half a century of the history of radio, with the greatest emphasis on the period 1900-1935. The collection includes materials that span the entire history of the growth of the radio industry. It is useful for those historians and other researchers interested in technological development, economic history, and the impact of applications of technology on American life.
Scope and Contents:
The materials accumulated in this collection represent the overriding collecting passion of one individual, George H. Clark. The collection forms a documentary record of over half a century of the history of radio, with the greatest emphasis on the period 1900-1935.

The collection includes materials that span the entire history of the growth of the radio industry. It is useful for those historians and other researchers interested in technological development, economic history, and the impact of applications of technology on American life.

In particular, the collection is rich in biographical information on the men who developed the technical aspects of radio and the industry; information on the inception, growth, and activities of radio companies, most notably the National Electric Signaling Company and RCA; and in photographs of all aspects of Radioana.

While most materials document technical aspects of radio, there is much information (e.g. Series 109, 134) on broadcasting and on the early history of television.

The collection, housed in over 700 boxes (about 276 linear feet), was organized into 259 numbered "classes" or series by Clark. Sixty series numbers were never used or were eliminated by Clark and combined with other series. The unused numbers are scattered throughout the filing system. The collection also includes material from series that were eliminated. These materials were never reclassified and are included as an unprocessed series at the end of the series descriptions. The collection also contains material that was never assigned a "class" designation by Clark (Lettered Series: D, E, F, G, H).

The arrangement of the collection is Clark's own; his adaptation of the Navy filing system he helped devise in 1915. Clark periodically revised the filing system and reclassified items within it.

Clark assigned class numbers to types of equipment (e.g. broadcast receivers), systems (impulse-excited transmitters and systems), scientific theories (circuit theory), and topics (company history, biography). Box 1 contains descriptions of the classification system.

When Clark classified an item and filed it he also assigned a serial number. This classification begins with 1 (or 1A) for the first item in the class and continues with successive numbers as items were added. As a consequence, the order of individual items within a series reflects the order in which Clark filed them, not any logical relationship between the items. Clark created cross references for items dealing with more than one subject by making notations on blank sheets of paper placed in related series.

Clark made cross references between series when there was no logical relationship between them; that is, when a person using the collection would not normally look in the series. For example no cross reference would be made of an engineer from series 87 (portraits) to series 4 (biography), but one would be made from series 87 to series 142 (history of television) if the item showed the engineer, say, working on a television installation.

Clark created the insignia "SRM" as the sign on the bottom of all sheets of paper numbered by him for binding. SRM stood for Smithsonian Radio Museum. This replaced the earlier though not greatly used sign "CGM." For a time about 1930, the class number on each sheet was preceded by these: "C.G.M.", for Clark, Martin, and Goldsmith, the earliest contributors to what would become the Clark Radioana Collection. After about 1933-34 Clark used C.W.C. for Clark Wireless Collection.

There are many photographs located in most series throughout the collection. But there are also three exclusive photographic series. Lettered series A, B, C. See index; and also series descriptions under lettered series.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into 223 series.

Numbered Series 1-233:

Series 1, Library Operating System, 1915-1950

Series 2, Apparatus Type Numbers, 1916-1931

Series 3, Photographic Lists, 1925-1928

Series 4, Biographies of Radio Personages, Technical Index to Correspondents in Series 4

Series 5, History of Radio Companies, 1895-1950

De Forest Radio Company, 1905-1930s

Jenkins Televsion Corporation, 1924-1931

Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company, 1908-1929

National Electric Signaling Company, 1896-1941

Wireless Specialty Apparatus Company, 1906-1929

Radio Corporation of America, 1895-1950

Series 6, Shore Stations, 1900-1940

Series 7, Marine Stations, 1900-1930s

Series 8, Broadcasting Stations, 1910s-1940s

Series 9, Amateur Stations, 1910s-1940s

Series 10, Miscellaneous Information, 1911-1914

Series 11, Radio Antiques, 1921-1938

Series 13, Specifications of Radio Apparatus, 1910s-1930s

Series 14, General History, 1899-1950s

Series 15, Radio Companies Catalogues & Bound Advertisements, 1873-1941

Series 16, Log Books, 1902-1923

Series 17, Radio Companies' House Organs, 1896-1942

Series 18, Prime Movers, 1904-1911

Series 19, Batteries, 1898-1934

Series 20, Rectifiers, 1875-1935

Series 21, Motor Generators, 1898-1936

Series 22, Nameplates of Apparatus, 1928

Series 23, Switchboards and Switchboard Instruments, 1910-1935

Series 24, Radio Frequency Switches, 1905-1905-1933

Series 25, Transmitter Transformers, 1893-1949

Series 26, Operating Keys, 1843-1949

Series 27, Power Type Interrupters, 1902-1938

Series 28, Protective Devices, 1910-1925

Series 30, Message Blanks, 1908-1938

Series 31, Transmitter Condensers, 1849-1943

Series 32, Spark Gaps, 1905-1913

Series 33, Transmitter Inductances, 1907-1922

Series 34, Transmitter Wave Changers, 1907-1924

Series 37, ARC Transmitters, 1907-1940

Series 38, Vacuum Tube Type of Radio Transmitter, 1914-1947

Series 39, Radio Transmitter, Radio-Frequency, Alternator Type, 1894-1940

Series 41, Vacuum Tubes, Transmitting Type, 1905-1948

Series 43, Receiving Systems, 1904-1934

Series 45, Broadcast Receivers, 1907-1948

Series 46, Code Receivers, 1902-1948

Series 47, Receiving Inductances, 1898-1944

Series 48, Receiving Condensers, 1871-1946

Series 49, Audio Signal Devices, 1876-1947

Series 50, Detectors, 1878-1944

Series 51, Amplifiers, 1903-1949

Series 52, Receiving Vacuum Tubes, 1905-1949

Series 53, Television Receivers, 1928-1948

Series 54, Photo-Radio Apparatus, 1910-1947

Series 59, Radio Schools, 1902-1945

Series 60, Loudspeakers, 1896-1946

Series 61, Insulators, 1844-1943

Series 62, Wires, 1906-1945

Series 63, Microphones, 1911-1947

Series 64, Biography, 1925-1948

Series 66, Antennas, 1877-1949

Series 67, Telautomatics, 1912-1944

Series 69, Direction Finding Equipment, Radio Compasses, 1885-1948

Series 71, Aircraft Transmitters, 1908-1947

Series 72, Field or Portables Transmitters, 1901-1941

Series 73, Mobile Radio Systems, 1884-1946

Series 74, Radio Frequency Measuring Instruments, 1903-1946

Series 75, Laboratory Testing Methods and Systems, 1891-1945

Series 76, Aircraft Receivers, 1917-1941

Series 77, Field Portable Receivers, 1906-1922

Series 78, Spark Transmitter Assembly, 1909-1940

Series 79, Spark Transmitter System, 1900-1945

Series 82, Firsts in Radio, undated

Series 85: Distance Records and Tests, 1898-1940

Series 87, Photographs of Radio Executives, and Technical Types, 1857-1952

Series 90, Radio Terms, 1857-1939

Series 92, Static Patents and Static Reducing Systems, 1891-1946

Series 93, Low Frequency Indicating Devices, 1904-1946

Series 95, Articles on Radio Subjects, 1891-1945

Series 96, Radio in Education, 1922-1939

Series 98, Special Forms of Broadcasting, 1921-1943

Series 99, History of Lifesaving at Sea by Radio, 1902-1949

Series 100, History of Naval Radio, 1888-1948

Series 101, Military Radio, 1898-1946

Series 102, Transmitting & Receiving Systems, 1902-1935

Series 103, Receiving Methods, 1905-1935

Series 108, Codes and Ciphers, 1894-1947

Series 109, Schedules of Broadcasting & TV Stations, 1905-1940

Series 112, Radio Shows and Displays, 1922-1947

Series 114, Centralized Radio Systems, 1929-1935

Series 116, United States Government Activities in Radio, 1906-1949

Series 117, Technical Tables, 1903-1932

Series 120, Litigation on Radio Subjects, 1914-1947

Series 121, Legislation, 1914-1947

Series 122, History of Radio Clubs, 1907-1946

Series 123, Special Applications of Radio Frequency, 1924-1949

Series 124, Chronology, 1926-1937

Series 125, Radio Patents & Patent Practices, 1861-1949

Series 126, Phonographs, 1894-1949

Series 127, Piezo Electric Effect, 1914-1947

Series 128, ARC Transmitting & Reciving Systems, 1904-1922

Series 129, Spark Systems, 1898-1941

Series 130, Vacuum Tubes Systems, 1902-1939

Series 132, Radiophone Transmitting & Receiving System, 1906-1947

Series 133, Photo-Radio, 1899-1947

Series 134, History of Radio Broadcasting, 1908-

Series 135, History of Radiotelephony, Other Than Broadcasting

Series 136, History of Amateur Radio

Series 138, Transoceanic Communication

Series 139, Television Transmitting Stations

Series 140, Radio Theory

Series 142, History of Television

Series 143, Photographs

Series 144, Radio Publications

Series 145, Proceedings of Radio Societies

Series 146: Radio Museums

Series 147, Bibliography of Radio Subjects and Apparatus

Series 148, Aircraft Guidance Apparatus

Series 150, Audio Frequency Instruments

Series 151, History of Radio for Aircrafts

Series 152, Circuit Theory

Series 154, Static Elimination

Series 161, Radio in Medicine

Series 162, Lighting

Series 163, Police Radio

Series 169, Cartoons

Series 173, Communications, Exclusive of Radio (after 1895)

Series 174, Television Methods and Systems

Series 182, Military Portable Sets

Series 189, Humor in Radio (see

Series 169)

Series 209, Short Waves

Series 226, Radar

Series 233, Television Transmitter

Lettered Series

Series A, Thomas Coke Knight RCA Photographs, circa 1902-1950

Series B, George H. Clark Collection of Photographs by ClassSeries C, Clark Unorganized and/or Duplicate Photographs

Series D, Miscellaneous

Series E, News Clippings Series F: Radio Publications

Series G, Patent Files of Darby and Darby, Attorneys, circa 1914-1935

Series H, Blank Telegram Forms from many Companies and Countries Throughout the World

Series I (eye), Miscellaneous Series

Series J, Research and Laboratory Notebooks

Series K, Index to Photographs of Radio Executives and Technical Types

Series L, Index to Bound Volumes of Photos in Various Series

Series M, Index to David Sarnoff Photographs
Biographical / Historical:
George Howard Clark, born February 15, 1881, at Alberton, Prince Edward Island, Canada, emigrated to the United States at the age of fourteen. He worked as a railroad telegraph operator for the Boston and Maine Railroad during high school and college. In his unpublished autobiography he wrote:

In 1888, when I was a lad of seven, I suddenly blossomed out as a scrapbook addict, and for years I gave up boyhood games for the pleasure of sitting in a lonely attic and 'pasting up' my books ... By 1897, in high school, I graduated to beautiful pictures, and made many large size scrapbooks ... Around that time, too, I became infatuated with things electrical, and spent many evenings copying in pen and ink the various electrical text books in the Everett, Mass., Public Library. Clark began collecting material pertaining to wireless or radio in 1902. In 1903 he graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering. During his last year of college he specialized in radio work under the instruction of Professor John Stone Stone and after graduation went to work for Stone's radio company, the Stone Telegraph and Telephone Company, of Boston.

In 1908 Clark took a competitive examination open to all wireless engineers in the United States and entered the civilian service of the Navy. He was stationed at the Washington Navy Yard, with special additional duty at the Navy's Bureau of Steam Engineering and at the National Bureau of Standards.

In 1915 Clark helped devise a classification system for Navy equipment, assigning a code number to each item. This system of classification for blueprints, photographs, reports, and general data, was prepared by Arthur Trogner, Guy Hill, and Clark, all civilian radio experts with the US Navy Department in Washington. In 1918 Clark adopted the 1915 Navy classification system for organizing the radio data he was accumulating. Clark created the term "Radioana" at this time. He began spending his evenings and weekends pasting up his collection and numbering pages. At this time he bound the accumulated material. It totaled 100 volumes.

In July 1919, after resigning from the Navy, Clark joined the engineering staff of the Marconi Telegraph Company of America, which became part of the Radio Corporation of America (RCA) later the same year. His first work was at Belmar and Lakewood, New Jersey, assisting the chief engineer, Roy A. Weagant, in his development of circuits to reduce the interference caused by static (static reduction). Clark and his wife were assigned to the unheated Engineer's Cottage. His wife decided not to stay and left for Florida. Clark moved his trunks of wireless material to the heated RCA hotel at Belmar and spent most of the winter "pasting." As Clark mentions, "From that time on I was wedded to scraps."

After a year of work in New Jersey, Clark was assigned to the sales department in New York, where he devised the "type number system" used by RCA. This type number system, for example, gave the designation UV 201 to the company's first amplifier tube.

From 1922 to 1934 Clark was in charge of RCA's newly created Show Division, which held exhibits of new and old radio apparatus at state fairs, department stores, and radio shows. About 1928 Clark started an antique radio apparatus museum for RCA. RCA's board of directors announced:

Recognizing the importance of providing a Museum for the Radio Art to house the rapidly disappearing relics of earlier days, and the desirability of collecting for it without further delay examples of apparatus in use since the inception of radio, the Board of Directors of RCA has made an initial appropriation of $100,000, as the nucleus of a fund for the establishment of a National Radio Museum. A plan for ultimately placing the museum under the wing of the Smithsonian Institution was coupled with the goal of the Institution's gathering the largest possible library of wireless data.

Around 1933 the RCA traveling exhibition program ended and Clark started classifying his collected "radioana" material. The objects of the museum were eventually turned over for exhibit purposes to the Rosenwald Museum in Chicago and the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, when space was not forthcoming at the Smithsonian. A list of objects sent to the two museums (with tag and case numbers) is in Series 1, Box A. The "radioana" collection remained under Clark's care during the 1930s, and became of increasing use to RCA. Clark continued to add to the material.

Between 1934 and 1942 Clark was in court many times regarding patent infringements. Clark's wireless data was useful and he testified frequently, for example, in RCA's suit against the United States in the Court of Claims over the Marconi tuning patents and in the Westinghouse Company's suit against the United States over the heterodyne. Patent specifications and material regarding these and other radio industry suits are found throughout this collection.

In 1946 RCA retired George Clark and denied him space to house his "radioana" collection. Clark wished to remain in New York and house the collection somewhere in the city where it would be open at all times to the public and where it would be maintained. He hoped to continue cataloguing the collection and writing books from its information. He wanted to keep the collection under his control for as long as he was capable of using it.

George H. Clark died in 1956 and his collection was subsequently given to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 1959 the collection was given to the Smithsonian's new Museum of History and Technology, where space was available to house it. The collection remained in the Division of Electricity until the spring of 1983 when it was transferred to the Archives Center.
Brief Company Histories From The Radio Industry, 1900-1930s:
Introduction

At the end of the nineteenth century, when Guglielmo Marconi began his first wireless company, Western Union, Postal Telegraph, and the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) were the major enterprises in electrical communications. General Electric, Western Electric, and Westinghouse were the major producers of electrical equipment. All these earlier developments set the stage for the expansion of the radio industry.

General Electric, which dominated the lighting industry, was formed in 1892 as a merger of the Edison and Thomson-Houston companies. It was active in building central power station equipment; controlled nearly all the important early patents in electric railways; took a leading part in the introduction of trolley systems; and was the principal supplier of electric motors. Westinghouse promoted the alternating current system and installed the first AC central station in Buffalo, NY, during the winter of 1866-1867. After years of patent litigation, in 1896 GE and Westinghouse agreed to share their patents on electrical apparatus.

American Bell Telephone Company purchased Western Electric in 1881. Western Electric had a strong patent position in telephone equipment and in industrial power apparatus, such as arc lamps, generators, motors, and switchboard equipment.

Until RCA was formed in 1919, these established electrical companies played no active part in the early development of the American radio industry. They were in difficult financial positions, reorganizing, or concentrating their efforts and resources on improving their existing products.

The revolution in "wireless" technology, which began in earnest after 1900, centered in New York City, home of the Lee de Forest and American Marconi companies, and in Boston, headquarters of John Stone Stone and Reginald Fessenden.

Information in this section was compiled from the Clark Collection; the Invention and Innovation in the Radio Industry by W. Rupert Maclaurin, Macmillan Company, New York, 1949; and Radio Pioneers, Institute of Radio Engineers, Commemorating the Radio Pioneers Dinner, Hotel Commodore, New York, NY, November 8, 1945.

The De Forest Companies

Lee De Forest (1873-1961), inventor of the three-element vacuum tube or triode (1906) and the feedback circuit, was one of the first Americans to write a doctoral thesis on wireless telegraphy: "The Reflection of Short Hertzian Waves from the Ends of Parallel Wires," Yale University, 1899. The grid-controlled tube or audion of De Forest was first a radio detector, 1906-1907; in 1912 was adapted to an amplifier; and later to an oscillator. When it was perfected as a high vacuum tube, it became the great electronic instrument of electrical communications.

De Forest began work in the Dynamo Department at the Western Electric Company in 1899. Six months later he was promoted to the telephone laboratory. In 1900 De Forest went to work for the American Wireless Telegraph Company where he was able to carry out work on his "responder." However, after three months when De Forest refused to turn over the responder to the company, he was fired.

In the following year De Forest had a number of jobs, was active as an inventor, and created numerous firms to manufacture his inventions. In 1901 De Forest joined with Ed Smythe, a former Western Electric colleague and a collaborator in his research, to found the firm of De Forest, Smythe, and Freeman. Between 1902 and 1906 De Forest took out thirty-four patents on all phases of wireless telegraphy. The responder that he had been working on for so long never proved satisfactory.

The numerous De Forest companies, reflected his many interests and his inability to carry one project through to a conclusion. Unlike Marconi, but similar to Fessenden, De Forest had great inventive skill which resulted in a great number of companies; but none lasted long. The original partnership of 1901 led to the Wireless Telegraph Co. of America (1901), the De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company (Maine) (1902), and the American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company (1903), to name a few.

The American De Forest Wireless Telegraph Company was incorporated after De Forest met a stock promoter, Abraham White. While many stations were built by this company, many never sent a message due to static interference. In 1907 two speculators from Denver with large holdings of company stock put the company out of business. The assets were sold to a new company that these speculators organized, the United Wireless Telephone Company. De Forest was forced to resign. He took the triode patents with him.

De Forest joined with one of White's stock salesmen, James Dunlop Smith, and together with De Forest's patent attorney, Samuel E. Darby, they formed a new corporation, the De Forest Radio Telephone Company in 1907. This company set out to develop wireless communication by means of the radio telephone.

In January 1910 De Forest staged the first opera broadcast, with Enrico Caruso singing. The Radio Telephone Company went bankrupt in 1911 following an aborted merger with North American Wireless Corporation. In 1913 he reorganized the company as the Radio Telephone and Telegraph Company and began producing the triode.

The Marconi Company brought a patent suit, claiming the triode infringed on the Fleming valve to which it had rights. In 1916 the court decided that Marconi had infringed the three element De Forest patent and that De Forest had infringed the two element Fleming valve. The result was that neither company could manufacture the triode.

In 1920 RCA acquired the De Forest triode rights through cross-licensing agreements with AT&T which had recently purchased the rights to it. De Forest's company was no match for GE, Westinghouse, and RCA. The De Forest Radio Company (1923) went bankrupt in 1928, was reorganized in 1930, and went into receivership in 1933. RCA eventually purchased its assets.

Marconi Companies

Guglielmo Marconi (1874-1937) came from a wealthy and well connected Italian family. He was able to spend his time developing his inventions and following his own course of action. Marconi spent his entire life developing wireless communication into a "practical" reality. In 1905 Marconi invented a directional antenna. In 1909 he shared with Karl Ferdinand Braun the Nobel prize in physics. And in 1912 he invented the time spark system for the generation of continuous waves. The principal patents in his name were improved types of vertical antennas; improved coherer; magnetic detector for the detection of wireless signals; and improvements on methods of selective tuning. Two other inventions of great importance to the Marconi companies' patent structure were the Oliver Lodge tuning patent and the Ambrose Fleming valve.

In 1895 Marconi made the first successful transmission of long wave signals. The following year he met William Preece, engineer-in-chief of the British Post Office, who was interested in inductive wireless telegraphy. This meeting led to the formation in 1897 of the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company Ltd. In 1898 he transmitted signals across the English Channel. In 1899 an American subsidiary was formed. The various Marconi companies were the dominant enterprises in both British and American wireless until 1919 when RCA was formed.

From a business standpoint, wireless did not become profitable until long distance communications were accomplished. On December 12, 1901 in St. John's, Newfoundland, Marconi received a telegraph signal in the form of repetitions of the Morse telegraphic letter "S" transmitted from the Marconi station at Poldhu, Cornwall, England. This success, however, was met by opposition from vested interests, particularly the Anglo-American Telegraph Company whose cables terminated in Newfoundland.

So as not to restrict his company's future to one front alone, Marconi decided to exploit the field of communication with ships at sea. In order to control this field he decided in 1900 to lease his apparatus rather than sell it outright. This strategy did not work. Competition developed in Germany (Telefunken Corporation) and the United States (American De Forest and its successor, United Wireless) and Marconi was forced to sell rather than lease apparatus to the navies of various countries. He nevertheless retained numerous restrictions. This led to further friction. At the height of this debacle English stations worldwide refused to communicate with ships without Marconi equipment. This absurd and dangerous situation had to change and coastal stations opened up to all senders in 1908.

Marconi's system was based on spark technology. He saw no need for voice transmission. He felt the Morse code adequate for communication between ships and across oceans. He, along with most others, did not foresee the development of the radio and the broadcasting industry. He was a pragmatist and uninterested in scientific inquiry in a field where commercial viability was unknown.

For these reasons Marconi left the early experimentation with the radio telephone to others, particularly Lee De Forest and Reginald Fessenden.

National Electric Signaling Company

Canadian-born Reginald Fessenden (1866-1932), one of the principal early radio inventors and the first important inventor to experiment with wireless, left the University of Pittsburgh in 1900 to work for the U.S. Weather Bureau. There he invented the liquid barretter, an early radio receiver, and attempted to work out a means for wireless transmission of weather forecasts. After a squabble over patent rights, Fessenden resigned in 1902.

The National Electric Signaling Company (NESCO), primarily intended to support Fessenden's work on wireless, telegraphy, and telephony, was formed by Fessenden and two Pittsburgh capitalists, Hay Walker, Jr. and Thomas H. Given. It began as an inventor's laboratory and never proved successful as a business venture.

Fessenden recognized that a continuous wave transmission was required for speech and he continued the work of Nikola Tesla, John Stone Stone, and Elihu Thomson on this subject. Fessenden felt he could also transmit and receive Morse code better by the continuous wave method than with a spark-apparatus as Marconi was using.

In 1903 Fessenden's first high-frequency alternator needed for continuous wave transmission was built to his specifications by Charles Steinmetz of GE. In 1906 Fessenden obtained a second alternator of greater power from GE and on Christmas Eve broadcast a program of speech and music. The work on this alternator was given to Ernst F. W. Alexanderson. It took years for Alexanderson to develop an alternator capable of transmitting regular voice transmissions over the Atlantic. But by 1916 the Fessenden-Alexanderson alternator was more reliable for transatlantic communication than the spark apparatus.

Fessenden also worked on continuous-wave reception. This work arose out of his desire for a more effective type of receiver than the coherer, a delicate device that was limited by its sensitivity on a rolling ship at sea. In 1903 he developed a new receiving mechanism - the electrolytic detector.

As his work progressed Fessenden evolved the heterodyne system. However, due to faulty construction and the fact that it was ahead of its time, heterodyne reception was not fully appreciated until the oscillating triode was devised, thus allowing a practical means of generating the local frequency.

Between 1905 and 1913 Fessenden developed a completely self-sustaining wireless system. However, constant quarrels between Fessenden, Walker, and Given culminated in Fessenden's forming the Fessenden Wireless Company of Canada. He felt a Canadian company could better compete with British Marconi. As a result, his backers dismissed Fessenden from NESCO in January of 1911. Fessenden brought suit, won, and was awarded damages. To conserve assets pending appeal, NESCO went into receivership in 1912, and Samuel Kintner was appointed general manager of the company.

In 1917 Given and Walker formed International Signal Company (ISC) and transferred NESCO's patent assets to the new company. Westinghouse obtained majority control of ISC through the purchase of $2,500,000 worth of stock. The company was then reincorporated as The International Radio Telegraph Company. The Westinghouse-RCA agreements were signed in 1921 and International's assets were transferred to RCA.

RCA

The development of the radio industry accelerated after 1912. This was due to several factors, the most important of which was the passage of legislation by the US government requiring ships at sea to carry wireless. This created a market incentive and spurred the growth of the industry. Also, with the outbreak of World War I, the larger electrical companies turned their manufacturing output to radio apparatus, supporting the war effort. Three firms were prominent in this industrial endeavor: AT&T, GE, and Westinghouse.

AT&T's early contributions to this effort centered on their improvements of De Forest's triode, particularly in the evolution of circuits, the redesign of the mechanical structure, and an increase in the plate design. The importation of the Gaede molecular pump from Germany created a very high vacuum. The resulting high-vacuum tube brought the practical aspects of the wireless telephone closer to reality. By August 1915 speech had been sent by land wire to Arlington, Va., automatically picked up there via a newly developed vacuum-tube transmitter, and subsequently received at Darien, Canal Zone. By 1920 AT&T had purchased the rights to the De Forest triode and feedback circuit, and had placed itself in a strong position in the evolution of radio technology.

GE centered its efforts on the alternator, assigning Ernst F. W. Alexanderson to its design, and on further development of vacuum tube equipment for continuous wave telegraph transmission. By 1915 Alexanderson, Irving Langmuir, William D. Coolidge, and others had developed a complete system of continuous wave transmission and reception for GE.

As can be seen, both AT&T and GE were diverting major time and expenditures on vacuum tube research. This inevitably led to patent interferences and consequently, to cross-licensing arrangements.

Westinghouse was not in the strategic position of GE and AT&T. Nevertheless, during the war it did manufacture large quantities of radio apparatus, motors, generators, and rectifiers for the European and American governments. Postwar moves led Westinghouse into full partnership with the other two companies.

By the end of the war, all three companies had committed significant resources to wireless. They were hampered internationally, however, by the Marconi Company's dominant status, and in the United States they were blocked by opposing interests with control of key patents.

The US government also was concerned with this lack of solidarity in the wireless industry and over the British domination of the field worldwide. This impasse set a fascinating and complicated stage for the formation of the RCA.

Owen D. Young, legal counselor for GE, was instrumental in breaking the impasse. Through an innovative and far-reaching organizational consolidation, Young was able to persuade British Marconi that persistence in monopoly was a fruitless exercise, because of the strong US government feelings. Marconi, realizing the harm of a potential American boycott, finally agreed to terms. GE purchased the controlling interest in American Marconi, and RCA was formed. Young was made chairman of the board of RCA, while Edwin J. Nally and David Sarnoff of the old American Marconi were appointed president and commercial manager respectively.

On July 1, 1920, RCA signed a cross-licensing agreement with AT&T. The telephone company purchased one half million shares of RCA common and preferred stock for several considerations -- the most important being that all current and future radio patents of the two companies were available to each other royalty-free for ten years. Many provisions of these agreements were ambiguous and led to later squabbles between the RCA partners.

In May 1920 Westinghouse, which had an efficient radio manufacturing organization, formed an alliance with the International Radio and Telegraph Company (NESCO's successor). Westinghouse's part ownership gave them control of Fessenden's patents, particularly continuous-wave transmission and heterodyne transmission. Westinghouse also wisely purchased in October of 1920 Armstrong's patents on the regenerative and superheterodyne circuits -- which also included some of Columbia University professor Michael Pupin's patents. This placed Westinghouse in a strong bargaining position vis-à-vis RCA and in their new consolidated corporation. Westinghouse joined the growing group of radio companies on June 30, 1921. With these mergers, RCA agreed to purchase forty percent of its radio apparatus from Westinghouse and sixty percent from GE.

Through these and other legal arrangements, RCA obtained the rights to over 2,000 patents. These amounted to practically all the patents of importance in the radio science of that day. As a result, other firms in the radio industry, for example, the United Fruit Company and the Wireless Specialty Apparatus Company, entered into cross-licensing arrangements with RCA.

RCA also made arrangements internationally with the three dominant companies in radio communication in their respective countries. British Marconi, Compagnie Generale de Telegraphie sans fil, and Telefunken. Each corporation was given exclusive rights to use the other companies' patents within their own territories.

The rise of amateur radio in the 1920s and, to a greater extent, the demand for new products by the general public contributed to the rise of the broadcasting industry. This put a strain on the earlier agreements between the major radio corporations and between 1921 and 1928 there was a struggle over patents for control of the evolving medium.

An initial attempt by AT&T to control the broadcasting industry -- using its earlier cross-licensing agreements to manufacture radio telephone transmitting equipment -- began with AT&T's disposal of RCA stock holdings in 1922-1923. It ended in 1926 with a new cross-licensing agreement which gave AT&T exclusive patent rights in the field of public service telephony and gave GE, RCA, and Westinghouse exclusive patent rights in the areas covered by wireless telegraphy, entertainment broadcasting, and the manufacture of radio sets and receiving tubes for public sale.

In 1926 after the agreements were finalized, RCA, GE, and Westinghouse joined forces and established the National Broadcasting Company (NBC). Fifty percent of the stock went to RCA, thirty percent to GE, and twenty percent to Westinghouse. The new company was divided into three divisions: the Red, Blue, and Pacific Networks. Independent, competing networks soon emerged. William S. Paley and his family formed the Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) in 1927. The Mutual Broadcasting System was formed in 1934.

By 1928 RCA had strong patent positions in all major areas of the radio industry, including the research, development and manufacture of vacuum tubes and speakers. Most small companies entering the industry in the 1920s produced their products based on prior research by others and on expired patents. An RCA license, therefore, was essential for the manufacture of any modern radio set or vacuum tube.

In the late 1920s new developments in the reproduction of sound, produced significant changes in the phonograph industry. Among those new developments were the introduction of the electronic record, and the marketing of the Radiola 104 Loudspeaker in 1926. In 1929 RCA purchased the Victor Talking Machine Company. This changed not only the quality but the sales of the phonograph and the phonograph record. A new entertainment industry was born and an ever-expanding market for consumer products was created with cultural implications that continue today.

Telefunken

German industrialists were eager to break the Marconi Company's monopoly. Although Marconi had patents on his inventions in Germany, the Germans developed a rival system through the Telefunken Corporation, incorporated in 1903, based on the inventions of Professor Ferdinand Braun, Dr. Rudolf Slaby, and Count George von Arco.

Before 1903 the Braun-Siemens and Halske system had been developed by Gesellschaft fur Drahtlose Telegraphie (GFDT). The Slaby-Arco system had been developed by Allgemeine Electrizitats-Gesellschaft. After litigation over patents, the German court handed down a decision in favor of the GFDT. The Kaiser, with national interests in mind, ordered that the rivalry cease. The two systems were amalgamated under GFDT, and became known as the Telefunken.

Chronology of Some Significant Events In The History of The Radio Industry

1895 -- Marconi experiments with Hertz's oscillator and Branley's coherer.

1897 -- In March Marconi demonstrates his wireless system on Salisbury Plain, near London, and files a complete patent specification. In May trials of Marconi's system are made over water between Lavernock and Flatholm, a distance of three miles. On May 13, communication is established between Lavernock Point and Brean Down, a distance of eight miles. German scientist Professor Slaby is present. The first Marconi station is erected at the Needles, Isle of Wight. A distance of fourteen and one-half miles is bridged by wireless. In December the Marconi station at the Needles communicates with a ship eighteen miles at sea.

1898 -- In England Oliver Lodge files a complete specification covering inventions in wireless telegraphy.

1899 -- The New York Herald uses Marconi's wireless telegraphy to report the progress of the International Yacht races between the Columbia and the Shamrock off New York harbor in September. US. Navy vessels make trials of Marconi's wireless telegraph system. The cruiser New York and the battleship Massachusetts are equipped with apparatus. Fessenden develops improvements in methods of wireless telegraph signaling.

1900 -- The Marconi International Marine Communication Company is organized on April 25th in London. Reginald Aubrey Fessenden begins work at the United States Weather Bureau. Over the next two years he invents the liquid barretter, an improved radio receiver.

1901 -- In February on board the SS Philadelphia, Marconi receives wireless signals over a distance of 1,551 miles. In March Marconi wireless telegraph service begins between islands of the Hawaiian group. On December 12, Marconi receives transatlantic signal at St. John's, Newfoundland from Poldhu, Cornwall, England. The Canadian government orders two Marconi telegraph sets for use at coastal points along the Strait of Belle Isle.

1901 -- Fessenden procures US patent no. 706737 for a system of radio signaling employing long waves (low frequency). De Forest develops a system of wireless telegraphy in Chicago. 1903-06 10,000 to 50,000 cycle machines, 1 kW, are developed by Steinmetz and by Alexanderson of GE for Fessenden. 1905 Marconi procures patent number 14788 in England, covering the invention of the horizontal directional antenna.

1906 -- At Brant Rock, Massachusetts, Fessenden employs a generator of one-half kW capacity, operating at 75,000 cycles, for radio purposes. He succeeds in telephoning a distance of eleven miles by means of wireless telephone apparatus.

1907 -- De Forest procures a U. S. patent for an audion amplifier of pulsating or alternating current.

1908 -- Marconi stations in Canada and England are opened for radio telegraph service across the Atlantic. Fessenden constructs a 70,000-cycle alternator with an output of 2.5 kW. at 225 volts, for radio signaling purposes. He reports successful radio telephone tests between Brant Rock and Washington, DC, a distance of 600 miles.

1909 -- US House of Representatives passes the Burke Bill for the compulsory use of radio telegraphy on certain classes of vessels. The United Wireless Telegraph Company and the Radio Telephone Company of New York (De Forest and Stone systems) begin the erection of radio stations in the Central and Western states. Marconi shares with Ferdinand Braun of Germany the Nobel prize in recognition of contributions in wireless telegraphy.

1910 -- An act of the US government requires radio equipment and operators on certain types of passenger ships. The Glace Bay, Nova Scotia, Marconi station is opened in September. This station communicates with Clifden, Ireland. The transatlantic tariff is seventeen cents a word.

1911 -- A radio section is organized by the US Department of Commerce to enforce the provisions of national radio legislation. Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company acquires the Lodge-Muirhead patents.

1912 -- Rotary gap is used with Fessenden 100 kW 500 cycle spark set at NAA, the Navy's first high-power station at Arlington, Virginia. Marconi Wireless of America acquires property of the United Wireless Telegraph Company. British Marconi secures the important radio patents of Bellini and Tosi, Italian inventors. Wreck of the SS Titanic on April 15th. The act of 1910 is extended on July 23 to cover cargo vessels. requires an auxiliary source of power on ships and two or more skilled radio apparatus operators on certain types of passenger ships. On August 13, an act provides for licensing radio operators and transmitting stations.

1912-1913 -- High vacuum amplifying tubes (an improvement on De Forest's), using the findings of pure science, are produced almost simultaneously in two great industrial laboratories, by Dr. H. D. Arnold of AT&T and Irving Langmuir of GE.

1915 -- De Forest Ultra-audion three-step (cascade) audio amplifier is announced and introduced into practice.

1916 -- GE and the Western Electric Company develop the first experimental vacuum tube radiotelephone systems for the Navy.

1917-1918 -- First production of vacuum tubes in quantity, both coated filament and tungsten filament types, by Western Electric Company and GE.

1918 -- Lloyd Espenschied procures US patent number 1,256,889 for the invention of a duplex radio telegraph system. (See Lloyd Espenschied Papers, Archives Center, NMAH, Collection #13.) The House of Representatives passes a resolution on July 5, authorizing the President to take over management of telegraph and telephone systems due to war conditions.

1919 -- Bills are introduced in Congress for permanent government control of radio stations. The widespread resentment of amateurs has more to do with the defeat of these bills than the objections of commercial companies. Roy Alexander Weagant, New York, reports having developed means of reducing disturbances to radio reception caused by atmospherics or static. This is the first successful static-reducing system. GE purchases the holdings of the British Marconi Company in the Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America, the name of the latter company being changed to Radio Corporation of America (RCA) in October. Edward J. Nally is elected president of the new company.

1920 -- E. F. W. Alexanderson is appointed Chief Engineer of RCA. RCA begins the installation of 200-kW Alexanderson alternators at Bolinas, California, and Marion, Massachusetts. The Tropical Radio Telegraph Company, a subsidiary of the United Fruit Company, New York, operates ten long-distance radio stations at points in Central and South Americirca RCA purchases 6,000 acres at Rocky Point, Long Island, New York, and begins erection of a Radio Central station, comprising a number of operating units for communication with European stations and stations in South Americirca On May 15, RCA inaugurates radio telegraph services between installations at Chatham and Marion, Massachusetts, and stations at Stavanger and Jaerobe, Norway. Westinghouse Company's radio station KDKA, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, broadcasts returns of the national elections, November 2. Development, design, and manufacture by GE of the early receiving and transmitting tubes made available to the public by RCA (UV-200,201,202). Radio telegraph stations and properties taken over by the government under war time powers are returned to their owners at midnight, February 29. The government calls for bids for the sale of large quantities of surplus radio and telegraph and telephone apparatus purchased for war needs and not used.

1921 -- RCA develops Vacuum tubes UV-200(detector) and UV-201(amplifier) -- both triodes with brass shells known as the UV base, and incorporating a filament that required 1 ampere at 5 volts for operation -- for storage battery operation; and at the same time also released to the public the WD-11 for dry cell operation, which employed an oxide-coated tungsten filament. RCA station at Rocky Point, Long Island, opens on November 5. WJZ station established by the Westinghouse Company in Newark, NJ. RCA broadcast station at Roselle Park, NJ (WDY) opens on December 15. It continues operation until February 15, 1922, when its operation is transferred to WJZ, Newark, previously owned by Westinghouse. RCA installs 200-kW alternator at Tuckerton, NJ.

1922 -- First use of tube transmitters by RCA for service from the United States to England and Germany. RCA begins substitution of tube transmitters on ships to replace spark sets. RCA begins replacement of crystal receivers by tube receivers on ships.

1923 -- Broadcast stations WJZ and WJY opened in New York in May by RCA. WRC opens in Washington on August 1. The UV-201A, receiving tubes developed by GE and consuming only 1/4 of an ampere are introduced by RCA. Tungsten filaments coated and impregnated with thorium were employed.

1924 -- Edwin H. Armstrong, demonstrates the superheterodyne receiver on March 6th. In November RCA experiments with radio photographs across the Atlantic. RCA markets the superheterodyne receivers for broadcast reception.

1925-26 -- Dynamic loudspeakers introduced. Magnetic pick-up phonograph recording and reproduction developed. RCA opens radio circuit to Dutch East Indies. Direction-finders introduced on ships.

1927 -- Fully self-contained AC radio receivers introduced.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Smithsonian in 1959.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs, negatives, and slides.
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:
Radio engineers -- 1880-1950  Search this
Electric engineers -- 1880-1950  Search this
Radio -- History  Search this
Electricity -- 1880-1950  Search this
Communication -- 1880-1950  Search this
Genre/Form:
Technical manuals -- Electrical equipment
Clippings
Patents
Correspondence -- 1930-1950
Blueprints
Letters patent
Photographs -- 1850-1900
Sale catalogs -- Electrical equipment -- 1880-1950
Technical drawings
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Citation:
George H. Clark Radioana Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0055
See more items in:
George H. Clark Radioana Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0055
Online Media:

Morton Ralph Goldsmith letters from Ernest Fiene and Boris Grigore̓̓v

Creator:
Goldsmith, Morton Ralph, 1882-1971  Search this
Fiene, Ernest, 1894-  Search this
Names:
Grigorʹev, Boris, 1886-1939  Search this
Extent:
32 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1923-1964
Scope and Contents:
26 letters from Ernest Fiene, 1956-1964, and six letters from Boris Grigoriev, 1923-1926. Fiene writes in detail about his investments and personal fiances, family and personal matters, and also about his painting and the market for his work. Grigore̓v sends greetings from Europe, mentions the work he is doing, current exhibitions, and asks to borrow money.
Biographical / Historical:
Morton Goldsmith (1882-1971) was a collector and patron from Scarsdale, N.Y. Ernest Fiene (1894-1965) was a painter, lithographer, etcher, illustrator, and teacher from New York. His association with Goldsmith went beyond that of artist and patron - Goldsmith also advised Fiene on investment matters, particularly the stock market. Boris Dmitrievich Grigore̓v [also spelled Grigoriev, or Grigoriew] (1886-1939) was a painter from the Soviet Union.
Provenance:
The donor, Mrs. Morton R. Goldsmith, is the widow of Morton R. Goldsmith.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters  Search this
Etchers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Lithographers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Printmakers -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State)  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.goldmort
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-goldmort

Beautybot, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bailey, Clayton George 1939-2020  Search this
Medium:
Aluminum and mixed media
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
San Jose Museum of Art 110 South Market San Jose California 95113 Accession Number: 2003.25.03
Date:
2000
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Figure female--Full length  Search this
Architecture--Machine--Robot  Search this
Control number:
IAS 67970003
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_377393

Boybot, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bailey, Clayton George 1939-2020  Search this
Medium:
Aluminum and mixed media
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
San Jose Museum of Art 110 South Market San Jose California 95113 Accession Number: 2003.25.02
Date:
2000
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Figure male--Full length  Search this
Architecture--Machine--Robot  Search this
Object--Furniture--Clock  Search this
Control number:
IAS 67970004
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_377394

Robot Pet, (sculpture)

Sculptor:
Bailey, Clayton George 1939-2020  Search this
Medium:
Aluminum and mixed media
Type:
Sculptures
Owner/Location:
San Jose Museum of Art 110 South Market San Jose California 95113 Accession Number: 2003.25.01
Date:
1990
Topic:
Abstract  Search this
Animal  Search this
Architecture--Machine--Robot  Search this
Control number:
IAS 67970005
Data Source:
Art Inventories Catalog, Smithsonian American Art Museums
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_ari_377395

Oral history interview with Ron Kent

Interviewee:
Kent, Ron, 1931-  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
99 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 April 20-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ron Kent conducted 2010 April 20 and 22, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Kent's home and studio in Kailua, Hawaii.
Kent discusses his first entry into Easter show (at Honolulu Academy of Arts) in late 1960s/early 1970s; the challenge of figuring of making objects; the notion of limitations as an important factor in his work; growing up in Los Angeles of the 1930s; an ethic of frugality and a father who could make and repair things around the house; his first career as an engineer; influential books, including works by Ayn Rand and Franz Kafka; a new career as a stockbroker in San Diego in the early 1960s; making a small kayak; his willingness to push boundaries and the need for a certain amount of anxiety in his creative process; discovery of Norfolk/Cook pine as main medium; his wife Myra's gift of his first lathe in the early 1970s; influential shapes and vessels, including the ovoid shape and long-necked bottles; the need for "heft" in his pieces; the advantages and disadvantages of being a self-taught artist; early exhibitions of bottles, and first purchase by del Mano Gallery, Los Angeles; the notion of "dialog" with wood; the creative perils of too much technical and technological facility; his first trip to New York City; the emergence of translucence in his work, and oil-sandpaper techniques; the evolution of the pedestal foot; the series Guardian, from the mid-2000s; marketing efforts and gallery recognition, including one-man show at Barry Friedman, Ltd., New York, NY; the imposter syndrome; acquisition of a piece by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York in the 1980s; acquisition of work by Jonathan Fairbanks at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; his dishwashing liquid formula for treating wood; experimentation with wave forms, including a bench for the for 20th anniversary of the Contemporary Museum in Honolulu; early artistic pioneers and influences, including James Prestini, Rude Osolnik, and Palmer Sharpless; the notion of value in art and in life; the importance of breakage, and the series Post-Nuclear of stitched vessels; collaboration with fiber artist Pat Hickman in the 1990s; retirement from stockbroker job in 1997 to become a woodturner full time and negative effect on artistic productivity; initial commissions, and the decision not to accept more of them; brief series Calabash; the happenstance nature of using wood as a medium; the importance of American woodturning for the international recognition of the movement; work he finds interesting, including that of Ron Gerton and Michael Bauermeister; a philosophy of continually trying new approaches or inventing unconventional approaches. He recalls David Ellsworth, Dale Nish, John Perreault, Hap Sakw, Albert LeCoff, Vladimir Ossipoff, Bob Stocksdale, and Jerry Glaser.
Biographical / Historical:
Ron Kent (1931- ) is a wood artist in Kailua, Hawaii.
General:
Originally recorded on 6 memory cards as 9 digital sound files. Duration is 5 hr., 18 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Woodworkers -- Hawaii -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.kent10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kent10

Oral history interview with Boris Bally

Interviewee:
Bally, Boris  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Faculty  Search this
Carnegie-Mellon University (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) -- Students  Search this
Comedy Central (Firm)  Search this
Massachusetts College of Art -- Faculty  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Penland School of Crafts -- Faculty  Search this
Snyderman Gallery  Search this
Society of Arts and Crafts (Boston, Mass.)  Search this
Society of North American Goldsmiths  Search this
Tyler School of Art -- Students  Search this
Velvet da Vinci Gallery  Search this
Works Gallery  Search this
Agro, Elisabeth R.  Search this
Ballay, Joe, 1938-  Search this
Bonner, Jonathan, 1947-  Search this
Cianci, Vincent Albert, Jr., 1941-2016  Search this
Dahm, Johanna  Search this
Ebendorf, Robert, 1938-  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gialamas, Rosemary, 1962-  Search this
Greenbaum, Toni  Search this
Holt, Steven, 1957-  Search this
Ilse-Neuman, Ursula  Search this
Kangas, Matthew  Search this
Kington, L. Brent (Louis Brent), 1934-2013  Search this
Kowal, Dennis  Search this
Kumata, Carol  Search this
Künzli, Otto, 1948-  Search this
Lechtzin, Stanley, 1936-  Search this
Metcalf, Bruce, 1949-  Search this
Nasher, Patsy  Search this
Nasher, Raymond  Search this
Raab, Rosanne  Search this
Schaffner, Alexander  Search this
Simon, Marjorie  Search this
Skov, Mara Holt  Search this
Warhola, Paul  Search this
Wood, Joe, 1954-  Search this
Extent:
4 Sound discs (Sound recording (5 hr., 55 min.), digital)
109 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound discs
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Haiti -- description and travel
Switzerland -- description and travel
Date:
2009 May 26-27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Boris Bally conducted 2009 May 26-27, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Bally's home and studio, in Providence, Rhode Island.
The artists speaks of his current studio in Providence, Rhode Island; working without a studio assistant; the benefits of working with studio assistants without an art-school background; apprenticing with Swiss metalsmith Alexander Schaffner when Bally was 19; his own de facto apprenticeship program with his studio assistants; his parents as role models; his vision at age 19 for his career plan; his early interest in CAD; growing up with Swiss-born parents, both with art/design backgrounds; visiting Switzerland as a child; his father's studies with Buckminster Fuller in the late 1950s; his mother's class with L. Brent Kington, whom Bally later studied with; growing up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; his first home metal shop at nine years old; his first formal metal class at about 14 years old; making and selling jewelry throughout his teens; informal apprenticeship with Jeff Whisner; his father's design firm, launched in his last year of high school; summer studying at the Pennsylvania Governor's School for the Arts; year-long apprenticeship in Switzerland; watching Schaffner make and sell a wide variety of objects, which later informed Bally's own perspective; his continuing relationship with Schaffner; undergraduate studies at Tyler School of Art, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; studying with Daniella Kerner and Vickie Sedman at Tyler; transferring to Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to study with Carol Kumata; making a "happiness machine"; transition from jewelry to larger sculptures; using found and scavenged materials; meeting Rosemary Gialamas (Roy) and their eventual elopement; moving to the Boston area; work as an industrial design model-maker; the New York art scene of the 1980s; representation with Archetype Gallery, New York, New York; slow but steady artistic recognition and commercial success of his functional objects; Sliding Perfections, flatware; teaching Gialamas metalsmithing and collaborative works by the two; early teaching experience in adult education classes in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston; return to Pittsburgh in 1989, where Bally took a teaching position at Carnegie Mellon in the design department; studio on Bigelow Boulevard; difficulties in his marriage; a commission from the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts, and the beginnings of his traffic sign pieces in a collaborative piece with Gialamas; starting his platters series; the dissolution of his marriage to Gialamas in 1993; meeting Lynn, whom he later married; his love of teaching and his teaching philosophy; teaching at Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina; move to Providence, Rhode Island, to devote his time to studio work; the pros and cons of craft and arts schools versus university settings; the intersection of art, design, and industry: his Humanufactured line of products; functional work in the late '80s, and the influence of a trip to Haiti in the 1980s; bottle cork pieces; Trirod vessels; "More than One: Contemporary Studio Production" exhibition, American Craft Museum, New York, New York, 1992-94; philosophy of making; working in series form; truss pieces; perforation pieces and Vessel with a Silver Heart (1993); armform series; "Jewelries, Epiphanies" exhibition, Artists Foundation Gallery at Cityplace, Boston, Massachusetts, 1990; inclusion in One of a Kind: American Art Jewelry Today, by Susan Grant Lewin. (New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, 1994); series Dig Wear and Eat Wear bracelets; Calimbo vessel and the Fortunoff prize; gold Tread Wear brooches in the mid-1990s; creating his first chair; moving from hand-made solo work to furniture and a design and production focus; starting to patent his designs in the mid-1990s; further exploration of design and technique in his chairs; "GlassWear: Glass in Contemporary Jewelry," Museum of Arts and Design, New York, New York, 2009; Pistol Chalice and work with the Pittsburgh gun buyback program; traveling exhibition for the project; Gun Totem; Brave necklace; BroadWay armchair; Subway chair; new techniques for graphics on the furniture; his relationship with former scrapyard Paul Warhola, brother to Andy Warhol; commission work, and the importance of commerce in his career and worldview; commission for Comedy Central television network; the changing craft market and the boom times of the 1980s; work with galleries, including: Patina, Santa Fe, New Mexico; Velvet da Vinci, San Francisco, California; Snyderman-Works, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Nancy Sachs Gallery, St. Louis, Missouri; the Society of Arts and Crafts, Boston, Massachusetts; seeing one of his pieces used on a set for a daytime television soap opera and in the movie Sex and the City ; the recent "green" (environmentally conscious) trend; blurring boundaries of design and art and craft; growing acceptance of artist-made and -designed multiples; pros and cons of computer technology in art and craft; the pros and cons of the DIY (do-it-yourself) craft movement; influential writers, including Rosanne Raab, Marjorie Simon, Steven Skov Holt and Mara Holt Skov, Bruce Metcalf, Toni Greenbaum, Matthew Kangas, Gail Brown; his involvement in the Society of North American Goldsmiths; making metal benches for his children. He also recalls Heather Guidero, Julian Jetten, Pam Moloughney, Dennis Kowal, Ursula Ilse-Neuman, Bob Ebendorf, Jason Spencer, Rob Brandegee and Ava DeMarco, Stefan Gougherty, Flo Delgado, L. Brent Kington, Curtis Aric, Ralph Düby, Steve Korpa, Joe Wood, Joe Ballay, Yves Thomann, Andy Caderas, James Thurman, Nicholas (Nico) Bally, Elena Gialamas, James Gialamas, Elvira Peake, Ronald McNeish, Johanna Dahm, Jerry Bennet, Kathleen Mulcahy, Nelson Maniscalco, Tom Mann, Otto Künzli, Stanley Lechtzin, Christopher Shellhammer, David Tisdale, Dean Powell, Daniel Carner, Donald Brecker, Robert Schroeder Phil Carrizzi, Lucy Stewart, Elisabeth Agro, Rachel Layton, Sarah Nichols, Peter Nassoit, Dan Niebels, Mary Carothers, Ward Wallau, Ivan Barnett and Alison Buchsbaum, Jonathan Bonner, Raymond and Patsy Nasher, Beth Gerstein, George Summers Jr., Pavel Opocensky, Buddy Cianci, David Cicilline.
Biographical / Historical:
Boris Bally (1961- ) is a metalsmith and designer who lives and works in Providence, Rhode Island. Bally was educated at Carnegie Mellon University and Tyler School of Art.
General:
Originally recorded on 4 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 11 digital wav files. Duration is 5 hr., 56 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Occupation:
Sculptors  Search this
Topic:
Art -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art and computers  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Designers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Furniture making  Search this
Jewelry making  Search this
Metal-work -- Study and teaching  Search this
Metal-workers -- Rhode Island -- Interviews  Search this
Models and modelmaking  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.bally09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bally09

U.S. Steel Corporation Photograph Albums

Creator:
Aikins, Russell Chorley, 1896-  Search this
U.S. Steel Corporation  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet (8 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Photographs
Date:
circa 1940s
Scope and Contents:
The collection comprises of 21 albums depicting the steel making and finishing operations of the United States Steel Corporation. All of the images were made by Russell Aikins around 1940. The albums contain photographic prints (8" x 9-1/2"). The majority of prints are mounted on spiral-bound pages. The photographs were created for public relations purposes and provide visual documentation of American steel making technology, production practice, and worker manager relationships. Subject matter varies widely, depicting the process of manufacturing steel or steel-related products. The photographs have a strong human and dramatic emphasis. The strongest theme is industrial mobilization for the war effort. Many photographs document female wartime work in industry, and African American workers are also represented. The theme of worker safety is well documented with images depicting safety glasses and protective garments. Printed captions below each photograph usually identify workers by name and occupation.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series, chronologically by album number.
Biographical:
Russell Chorley Aikins was born in Philadelphia on December 7, 1896. He began his photographic career at the Philadelphia Inquirer as a news photographer in 1917. Two years later, Aikins joined the New York Times Sunday Rotogravure Section and the World Wide Syndicate as a staff photographer. In the early 1920s, Aikins organized and ran the New York Times Washington picture bureau. Aikins served briefly, in 1929, as an editor for the newly developing Associated Press (AP) photo service. Following the growing trend in the photo news industry Aikins left the AP and became a freelance photographer. He opened his studio in New York City and did work for Fortune, Time, Life, and Colliers.

Aikins career shifted in 1937 when he decided to "devote all my time to the portrayal of business and industry." Aikins noted the need for big business to be represented and saw his images as tools for business self-promotion: "It had been a growing conviction with me that industry in addition to its product advertising should promote its fitness to serve the public and its ability to make quality goods." He started to recruit companies to combat the stereotypical cold, unfeeling edge of big business. Aikins called this new style of photography "camera-reporting," which he thought could transport stockholders, customers, and the public into the mills, giving the viewer greater confidence in the corporation and its products. A few companies Aikins represented included Chrysler Corporation, General Electric Company, Johnson & Johnson, and the United States Steel Corporation. After World War Two the demand for the technique Aikins helped to pioneer began to diminish as public and labor attitudes changed. After 1948, there is no record of Aikins' activities.

Source

Division of Work and Industry staff.
Historical:
The United States Steel Corporation was created in 1901 by the purchase and consolidation of several companies by financier J.P. Morgan. At the time of formation, it was the largest company in the world. U.S. Steel represented Morgan's attempt to bring stability to the volatile steel market. Morgan purchased Andrew Carnegie's highly aggressive Carnegie Steel and brought it together with Federal Steel, National Tube, American Steel and Wire, American Sheet Steel, American Hoop Steel, American Tin Plate, American Bridge, and the Lake Superior Consolidated Iron Mines. Other companies were added later.

Capitalized at $1.4 billion, U.S. Steel was in 1901 the largest company in the world. It controlled over 50% of American Steel production but was in many ways hamstrung by its size. While the operation of Carnegie Steel was characterized by technological efficiency, US Steel avoided innovation. Some in the company referred to the Corporation's policy as "no inventions, no innovation." The company was thought by many to be driven by a banker's vision of protecting investment, not an industrialist's vision of increasing production. Always sensitive about public antitrust action, Elbert Gary, the leader of the company, sought to cast U.S. Steel as a "good trust." In 1936, the CIO formed the Steel Workers Organizing Committee (SWOC), and began a massive union drive. Although strongly antiunion, U.S. Steel, under Myron Taylor was the first major steel company to recognize the steelworkers union in 1937.

An industry once characterized by low wages and harsh conditions emerged by the late 1940s as one of the highest-paying blue collar employers, forced to negotiate with one of the nation's most powerful unions. Following recognition of the union U.S. Steel followed a corporate strategy of paying for wage settlements by increasing steel prices. This often put the giant company at odds with governmental economic policy.

Source

Division of Work and Industry staff.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

Baker Library Historical Collections, Harvard Business School

1934 Art and Industry Exhibition photograph collection

The 1934 Art and Industry Exhibition photograph collection contains photographs that were on display in New York City and Chicago in an exhibition sponsored by the National Alliance of Art and Industry.

United States Steel Corporation photographs, circa 1940-1960

A large collection of black and white gelatin silver prints depicting the United States Steel Corporation's steel plants, works, personnel, machinery, mining operations, buildings, warehouses and production of the numerous products manufactured by the company, circa 1940-1960.

Industrial Life Photograph Collection, 1920-1941

Photographs collected by the Business Historical Society to document major industries in the United States and industrial processes.

Lowell National Historical Park

Youngstown Center for Industry and Labor
Provenance:
Immediate source of acquisition is unknown.
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:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- War work  Search this
Safety  Search this
Steel industry and trade  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums -- 1940-1950
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Citation:
U.S. Steel Corporation Photograph Albums, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1037
See more items in:
U.S. Steel Corporation Photograph Albums
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1037
Online Media:

Henry Booth Collection

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

Series 1: PhotoMetriC Apparatus Materials, 1948-1965

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

Series 3: PhotoMetriC Retail Materials, 1958-1974

Series 4: PhotoMetriC General Business Materials, 1947-1974

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

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

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

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

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

Patents of Henry Booth:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Materials in the National Museum of American History

The Division of Information Technology, and Society, now the Division of Culture and the Arts, holds a PhotoMetric camera, stand, and measuring harness in the Photographic History collection.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Henry Booth's son, Robert Booth, in April 2000.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Tailoring  Search this
Fashion  Search this
advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Garment cutting  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Inventors -- 1940-1990  Search this
PhotoMetric (camera system)  Search this
Photography -- Equipment and supplies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks -- 20th century
Glass plate negatives
Pamphlets -- 1950-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1940-2000
Photographs -- Glass -- Silver gelatin -- 20th century
Citation:
Henry Booth Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0726
See more items in:
Henry Booth Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0726
Online Media:

Ivory Soap Advertising Collection

Creator:
Procter & Gamble Company  Search this
Leyendecker, J. C., 1874-1951  Search this
Smith, Jessie Willcox, 1863-1935  Search this
Elliott, Elizabeth Shippen Green  Search this
Extent:
10 Cubic feet (30 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Photomechanical reproductions
Date:
1883-1998
Summary:
Print advertisements covering almost the entire history of Ivory Soap, including advertisements designed by artists including Jesse Wilcox Smith, Elizabeth Shippen Green, and J. C. Leyendecker.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of print advertising and publications covering almost the entire history of Ivory Soap. Researchers may use this collection to examine the evolution of advertising strategies and techniques from the very early days of mass-produced brand-name consumer products to the present. From the beginning, Ivory advertisements proclaimed the product's "99 and 44/100%" purity, its ability to float, and its versatility. The collection, however, is much more than a glimpse into advertising history. It is an extremely rich resource for a wide range of cultural studies. Ivory advertising was primarily aimed at women, and it contains many images of women, babies, and young children. The depictions reflect contemporary attitudes toward class structure, race, immigrants and residents of other countries, cleanliness, and domestic relationships. The advertisements often play upon the guilt of women, suggesting that their main concerns should be their husbands, children, and dishpan hands. Many advertisements associate cleanliness with social and religious propriety, physical fitness, and athleticism. There also are many images of men and women performing every-day tasks in gender-defined situations.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into two series.

Series 1: Ivory Soap Products Advertisements, 1883-1998, undated

Series 2: Publications, 1883-1969, undated
Biographical / Historical:
In 1837, candle maker William Procter and soap maker James Gamble formed a partnership in Cincinnati, Ohio, to sell their products. The new company prospered, and by 1859 Procter & Gamble sales reached one million dollars. Contracts with the United States Army during the Civil War to supply soap and candles increased Procter & Gamble's customer base and reputation. In 1879, James Norris Gamble, son of the founder, developed an inexpensive pure white soap. A factory worker who forgot to shut off the soap-making machine when he left for lunch inadvertently improved the product. When he returned, the soap mixture was frothy due to the air that had been whipped into it, and the resulting soap cakes floated in water. There was immediate demand for the "floating soap." After considering many names for the new product, Harley Procter, son of the founder, finally named the soap "Ivory" after Psalms 45:8: "All thy garments smell of myrrh and aloes and cassia, out of the ivory palaces whereby they have made thee glad." Chemical analyses of the soap in 1882 revealed that 56/100 of the ingredients were not pure soap. Harley Procter subtracted that amount from one hundred and the slogan "99 and 44/100% pure" was born. The first ads appeared in 1882 in The Independent, a weekly newspaper.

Innovations in production, distribution, and market research contributed to Procter & Gamble's success. Procter & Gamble also developed other products such as Ivory Flakes, Chipso (the first dishwasher soap), and Crisco. By 1945, Procter & Gamble had become a nearly $350 million company. The company also was an innovator in advertising, developing creative print advertisements aimed at different target groups, sponsoring radio shows and comic strips, and airing its first television commercial (for Ivory Soap) during the first televised major league baseball game. Procter & Gamble is now a global company, selling more than 250 products, including Ivory Soap, to five billion customers in 130 countries.
Related Materials:
Several collections in the Archives Center have materials relating to Ivory Soap. The J. Walter Wilkinson Papers contain art he created for Ivory Soap advertisements. The Ivory Soap 1940 Essay Contest Collection consists of documents relating to the contest and its winner, Helen Nixon. The Procter & Gamble Product Packaging Collection, 1940s-1970s, includes Ivory brand products. The Warshaw Collection of Business Americana's "Soap" subject category contains documents relating to Procter & Gamble and other manufacturers. About twenty-five per cent of the advertisements in this collection are reproduced in the Archives Center's digital image library. The library is located in the "American Stories" section of the Center's World Wide Web pages: http://www.americanhistory.si.edu/archives
Separated Materials:
Artifacts donated to the Division of Medicine and Science.
Provenance:
Procter & Gamble donated this collection to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution on October 24, 2001.
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:
advertising  Search this
Soap  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Photomechanical reproductions
Advertisements -- 19th century
Citation:
Ivory Soap Collection, 1883-1998, undated; Archives Center, National Museum of American History. Gift of Procter & Gamble.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0791
See more items in:
Ivory Soap Advertising Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0791
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Clifford Schorer

Interviewee:
Schorer, Clifford, 1966-  Search this
Interviewer:
Richards, Judith Olch  Search this
Names:
Art Collectors: A Project in Partnership with the Center for the History of Collecting in America at The Frick Collection  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (sound files (3 hr., 57 min.) Audio, digital, wav)
110 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2018, June 6-7
Scope and Contents:
An interview with Clifford Schorer conducted 2018 June 6-7, by Judith Olch Richards, for the Archives of American Art and the Center for the History of Collecting in America at the Frick Art Reference Library of The Frick Collection, at the offices of the Archives of American Art in New York, New York.
Schorer discusses growing up in Massachusetts and Long Island, New York; his family and his Dutch and German heritage, and his grandparents' collecting endeavors, especially in the field of philately; his reluctance to complete a formal high school education and his subsequent enrollment in the University Professors Program at Boston University; his work as a self-taught computer programmer beginning at the age of 16; his first businesses as an entrepreneur; the beginnings of his collection of Chinese export and Imperial ceramics and his self-study in the field; his experiences at a young age at art auctions in the New England area; his travels to Montreal and Europe, especially to Eastern Europe, Paris, and London, and his interest in world history; his decision to exit the world of collecting Chinese porcelain and his subsequent interest in Old Master paintings, especially Italian Baroque. Schorer also describes his discovery of the Worcester Art Museum and his subsequent work there on the Museum's board and as president; his interest in paleontology and his current house by Walter Gropius in Provincetown, MA; his involvement with the purchase and support of Agnew's Gallery based in London, UK, and his work with its director, Anthony Crichton-Stuart; his thoughts on marketing at art shows and adapting Agnew's to the changing market for the collecting of Old Masters; the differences between galleries and auction houses in the art market today; and his expectations for his collection in the future. Schorer also recalls Anna Cunningham; George Abrams; Sydney Lewis; Chris Apostle; Nancy Ward Neilson; Jim Welu, as well as Rita Albertson; Tanya Paul; Maryan Ainsworth; Thomas Leysen; Johnny Van Haeften; Otto Naumann; and Konrad Bernheimer, among others.
Biographical / Historical:
Clifford Schorer (1966- ) is an art collector in Boston, Massachusetts and London, England. Judith Olch Richards (1947- ) is former executive director of iCI in New York, New York.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
The transcript and recording are open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.schore18
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schore18

Oral history interview with Betty Woodman

Interviewee:
Woodman, Betty, 1930-2018  Search this
Interviewer:
Perreault, John, 1937-2015  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Bellagio Study and Conference Center  Search this
Boulder (Colo.).. Parks & Recreation Department  Search this
Centre internationale de recherche sur le verre et les arts plastiques (Marseille, France)  Search this
Europees Keramisch Werkcentrum  Search this
Fabric Workshop  Search this
Girl Scouts of the United States of America  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
School for American Crafts  Search this
University of Colorado -- Faculty  Search this
Brown, Elenita  Search this
Carlson, Cynthia, 1942-  Search this
Hamada, Shōji, 1894-1978  Search this
Higby, Wayne  Search this
Kozloff, Joyce  Search this
Kushner, Robert, 1949-  Search this
Leach, Bernard, 1887-1979  Search this
Serra, Richard, 1939-  Search this
Shark, Bud  Search this
Voulkos, Peter, 1924-2002  Search this
Woodman, George, 1932-  Search this
Extent:
5 Items (Sound recording: 5 sound files (2 hr., 55 min.), digital wav)
69 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Place:
Boulder (Colo.)
India -- description and travel
Mexico -- description and travel
Netherlands -- description and travel
Date:
2003 April 22 and 29
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Betty Woodman conducted 2003 April 22 and 29, by John Perreault, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, in New York, New York.
Woodman speaks of frequent moves with her family during her childhood; her father's woodworking skills; gaining an interest in arts and crafts at four when she made a tablecloth with crayon drawings; attending summer camps, including Girl Scout Camp, where she participated in arts and crafts activities; being the first girl to take shop in her middle school; making model airplanes for air raid wardens during World War II; her interest in making functional objects; her introduction to clay and hand-building in high school; attending the School for American Craftsmen in New York City; collaborating with fellow students; her early desire to be a "craftsperson and not an artist"; her work with silk-screen fabric for The Fabric Workshop in Philadelphia and glass at CIRVA in Marseille, France; teaching at the University of Colorado and the City of Boulder Recreation Department; working at the European Ceramic Work Center in Den Bosch, Holland, and the Bellagio Study Center in Italy; her studios in New York, Colorado, and Italy; her travels to India, The Netherlands, and Mexico; living in New Mexico, New York, Colorado, and Italy; her business Roadrunner Pottery in New Mexico with partner Elenita Brown; collaborative projects with Joyce Kozloff, Cynthia Carlson, Bud Shark, Judith Solodkin, and her husband George Woodman; developing a following in New York; how being a woman has affected her work and how she enjoys working with other women artists; the change of market for American crafts; Italian, Greek, and Etruscan influences; teaching experiences; the importance of getting reviews in art magazines; and the strong support from her husband George, a painter. Betty Woodman recalls Lynn Feelyn, Olan Wassen, Bernard Leach, Peter Voulkos, Shoji Hamada, Bob Kushner, Richard Serra, Wayne Higby, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Betty Woodman (1930-2018) was a ceramist from New York, New York. John Perreault (1937- ) is an independent critic and curator from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 55 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Airplanes -- Models  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Ceramicists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Ceramics -- Study and teaching  Search this
Decorative arts  Search this
Glass art  Search this
Handicraft -- United States  Search this
Screen process printing  Search this
Women artists -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Function:
Artists' studios
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.woodma03
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-woodma03

Oral history interview with Katherine Westphal

Interviewee:
Westphal, Katherine  Search this
Interviewer:
Austin, Carole  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Fiberworks, Center for the Textile Arts  Search this
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Rhode Island School of Design  Search this
University of California, Davis -- Faculty  Search this
Farago, Daphne  Search this
Hickman, Pat (Patricia Lynette), 1941-  Search this
Karoly, Frederic, 1898-1987  Search this
Laky, Gyöngy, 1944-  Search this
Larsen, Jack Lenor  Search this
Lynn, Greg  Search this
Rossbach, Ed  Search this
Extent:
58 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Date:
2002 September 3-7
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Katherine Westphal conducted 2002 September 3-7, by Carole Austin, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
This interview took place in Berkeley, California. Westphal speaks of drawing every day; her rewarding education experience teaching at University of California, Davis' Applied Behavioral Sciences Department; her college encounters; the World Crafts Conference in Vienna in 1980; the significance of her travels in her artwork, including trips to Egypt, Hawaii, Wyoming, and Indonesia among others; her fascination with different types of art; the non-functional aspect of her artwork; the lack of necessity to sell artwork due to her job teaching, and the personal nature of her work not driven by a "craft market"; working for the textile industry; working with agent Frederick Karoly in New York; the considerable collection Daphne Farago has made of both Katherine's and her husband, Ed Rossbach's, artwork; her working environment; her storage condo; her most precious possession, her dogs; remodeling her Berkeley home and installing a glass elevator; the artist community at UC Davis and Fiberworks before it became a school; people she took workshops with at Fiberworks; a chronology of her work from the 1960s to present day; her and Ed's retirement in 1979 and their subsequent trip to Bali; her relationship with the home health care industry when Ed became sick; her development of baskets; her love of color; her artist in residency at Rhode Island School of Design in 1980, learning to work on the Jacquard loom; her very personal collection of postcards, which she created while on trips; her dog stories; several of the shows she has been in, including "Objects: USA" and "American Crafts at the Vatican"; the commission she completed for a hotel in Tokyo; and her copy machines and the various technological advances made during her career. Westphal also recalls Gyöngy Laky, Chere Lai Mah, Pat Hickman, Greg Lynn, Helen and Tio Giambruni, Jack Lenor Larsen and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Katherine Westphal (1919- ) is a fiber artist in Berkeley, California. Carole Austin is an interviewer, curator, and writer in Orinda, California.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Use requires an appointment.
Access is to transcript only.
Topic:
Decorative arts  Search this
Fiber artists -- California -- Berkeley -- Interviews  Search this
Textile crafts -- California  Search this
Women artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.westph02
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-westph02

Oral history interview with Mary-Anne Martin

Interviewee:
Martin, Mary-Anne  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Names:
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Extent:
3 Items (wav files (3 hr., 51 min.), digital)
71 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2009 July 8-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Mary-Anne Martin conducted 2009 July 8 and 22, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, at Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, in New York, N.Y. Interview with Mary-Anne Martin, conducted by James McElhinney for the Archives of American Art, at her gallery located at East 73rd Street in Manhattan, New York on July 8th and 22nd, 2009. Martin speaks of switching her major from English to Art history; her time at Sotheby's; creating the first Latin American auctions and department at Sotheby's; the success of these auctions; the creation of her gallery in 1982; the creation of a more accessible and international market for Latin American art with her gallery and influence at Sotheby's; the evolution of Latin American art being recognized with their American or European contemporaries; the newfound celebrity and recognition of Frida Kahlo; the increasing market for forgeries of Latin American art, Martin references the FBI intervention of the Siquieros Chicago show and the Noyola publication Finding Frida Kahlo; the increasing protectionism of Mexican art by becoming labelled "national patrimony"; discovering her childhood neighbors were Spanish rebels and artists associated with Diego Rivera; the increasing marketability and competition for Latin American art; how art is more international; and the cyclical nature of art. Martin also recalls David Nash, Julius Held, Alfred Taubman, Daniel Wildenstein, Barbara Duncan, Edward Sullivan, Eleanore Saidenberg, Mary Boone, Bob Littman, Rachel Adler, Cecila Torres-Garcias, William Sheehy, Bill Lieberman, Jose "Pepe" Escuder, America "Skippy" Escuder, Ella Wolfe, Lucienne Bloch and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Mary-Anne Martin (1943- ) is founder of Mary-Anne Martin/Fine Art, a gallery specializing in Mexican and Latin American art, in New York, N.Y. James McElhinney (1952- ) is an artist, writer, and educator in New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 3 hr., 51 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
This transcript is open for research. Access to the entire recording is restricted. Contact reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.martin09
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-martin09

Oral history interview with Eugene V. Thaw

Interviewee:
Thaw, Eugene Victor  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Names:
Art Students League (New York, N.Y.) -- Students  Search this
Cleveland Museum of Art  Search this
Columbia University -- Students  Search this
E.V. Thaw & Co.  Search this
Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pollock-Krasner Foundation  Search this
St. John's College (Annapolis, Md.) -- Students  Search this
Castelli, Leo  Search this
Franka, Gunther  Search this
Held, Julius Samuel, 1905-  Search this
Ketterer, Norbert  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Landau, Jack, 1925-1967  Search this
Marca-Relli, Conrad, 1913-2000  Search this
Matisse, Pierre, 1900-1989  Search this
Meiss, Millard, 1904-1975  Search this
Mitchell, Joan, 1926-1992  Search this
Offner, Richard, 1889-1965  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Rousseau, Theodore, 1912-  Search this
Shapiro, Meyer  Search this
Simon, Norton, 1907-1993  Search this
Vavala, Evelyn Sandberg  Search this
Extent:
33 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2007 October 1-2
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Eugene V. Thaw conducted 2007 October 1-2, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art's Art Dealers Association of America Project, at Thaw's residence, in New York, N.Y.
Thaw speaks of his childhood in New York City; Mexican art in his home including watercolors by Diego Rivera; beginning classes at the Art Student's League of New York at age 14; attending St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland; attending Columbia University for graduate courses in art history and studying with Meyer Shapiro and Millard Meiss; an early interest in Old Master, Renaissance, and German Expressionist art; studying in Florence, Italy for four months after World War II; opening The New Bookstore and Gallery with friend Jack Landau above the Algonquin Hotel upon his return to New York City; giving Joan Mitchell and Conrad Marca-Relli their first shows; ending his partnership with Landau, closing the bookstore, and moving the gallery to Madison Avenue; becoming involved in the international art market; the practice of buying and selling works of art in shares with other dealers; showing American and European artists; renaming the gallery E.V. Thaw & Company; operating essentially as a one-man gallery with very limited staff; his relationship with museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Cleveland Museum of Art; his personal collections, including extensive ancient Eurasian artifacts and American Indian art; establishing the Pollock-Krasner Foundation; the philanthropic vision of his own foundation, the Eugene V. and Clare E. Thaw Charitable Trust; his retirement from dealing; the "hand of the artist" in historical context and its lack of significance in contemporary art; and advice for young and emerging art dealers. Thaw also recalls Richard Offner, Evelyn Sandberg-Vavala, Norbert Ketterer, Günther Franka, Pierre Matisse, Leo Castelli, Julius Held, Theodore Rousseau, Lee Krasner, Norton Simon, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Eugene Thaw (1927- ) is an art dealer from New York, N.Y. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 4 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 26 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
Transcript is available on the Archives of American Art's website.
Topic:
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.thaw07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-thaw07

Oral history interview with Charles Linder

Interviewee:
Linder, Charles K., 1967-  Search this
Interviewer:
Karlstrom, Paul J.  Search this
Creator:
Art Schools in California Oral History Project  Search this
Names:
Art Schools in California Oral History Project  Search this
Refusalon Gallery  Search this
San Francisco Art Institute -- Students.  Search this
University of California, Berkeley. History of Art Dept. -- Students.  Search this
Extent:
25 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1999 July 10
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Charles Linder conducted 1999 July 10, by Paul Karlstrom, for the Archives of American Art as part of the Art Schools in California Oral History Project, in Linder's home, San Francisco, Calif.
Linder focuses on his experiences at the San Francisco Art Institute (BFA, sculpture and video, 1990) and University of California, Berkeley (MFA, new genres program, 1997). He discusses the art programs at the two institutions in terms of the benefits provided to students facing careers in a highly competitive and commercial art world; his particular interests in the contrasting philosophies of the fine arts training with romantic bohemian individuals on one hand and the careerist (market and/or teaching) goals on the other;
his admiration of certain faculty members at both institutions and savoring the bohemian atmosphere of the SFAI especially; the efficacy of formal training for artists who need to prepare to make a living; founding the avant-garde Refusalon Gallery in 1990, created in part as his conceptual art piece investigating the often conflicting worlds of creative idealism and business realities; and turning the gallery over to his partner in early 1999 when finding that, as an artist, he could not reconcile the two.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles K. Linder (1967- ) is a conceptual artist and gallery owner from San Francisco, Calif.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound cassette. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 1hr., 3 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1959 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators. Other interviewees in the Art Schools in California Oral History Project include: Emerson Woelffer, Leo Holub, Paul Carey (1993), and Paul Carey and Stephanie Caloia (1997) , with funding provided by the Bente and Gerald E. Buck Collection. The Buck Collection
Restrictions:
Transcript available on the Archives of American Art website.
Topic:
Art students -- California -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- California -- San Francisco
Art Schools -- California -- San Francisco
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.linder99
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-linder99

Oral history interview with Ira Spanierman

Interviewee:
Spanierman, Ira  Search this
Interviewer:
McElhinney, James, 1952-  Search this
Creator:
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Names:
Cooper-Hewitt Museum.  Search this
Savoy Gallery  Search this
Spanierman Gallery  Search this
Syracuse University -- Students  Search this
Widgeon Point Charitable Foundation  Search this
Adler, A. M. (Abraham M), 1902-1985  Search this
Fraad, Daniel  Search this
Fraad, Rita  Search this
Gerds, Abigail  Search this
Goodrich, Lloyd, 1897-1987  Search this
Halles, Bruce  Search this
Halles, Diane  Search this
Heinrich, Hans  Search this
Hirsch, Norman  Search this
Leroy, Roy  Search this
Newington, Barbara  Search this
Noortman, Rob  Search this
Novak, Barbara  Search this
Poskas, Peter  Search this
Terra, Daniel J., 1911-1996  Search this
Thaw, Eugene Victor  Search this
Warner, Jack  Search this
Wilson, Peter (Cayuga)  Search this
Woodner, Ian  Search this
Extent:
63 Pages (Trancript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2007 June 6-12
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Ira Spanierman conducted June 6-12, by James McElhinney, for the Archives of American Art, in the Spanierman Gallery, New York, New York. Spanierman speaks of growing up and living in New York City his whole life; the influence of working in his father's antique store; studying English at Syracuse University; how he got involved in the art business; becoming an auctioneer at Savoy Gallery working with silver and arms and armor; his collecting preferences; the influence of the Internet and technology; changes in the art market among buyers and collectors; the development and growth of art auctions; opening his first gallery and what kind of art he showed; interest in dealing 19th and 20th century American art; the kind of clientele he attracted; the Spanierman Gallery catalogues and publication program; publishing and distributing the catalogue raisonné; working and collaborating with other institutions like the Cooper-Hewitt; working with a panel of scholars to identify work that was fraud; the various kinds of collectors he has dealt with in the past and what kind of collectors he prefers to work with; opening a contemporary and modern wing to the gallery and the motivation behind that; relationships with artists; exhibiting members of the Ashcan School, the Ten, and the Hudson River School; trying to find artists that have been overlooked in the past and promoting a re-emergence of these figures and their work; a number of mentors in his life including Abe Adler and Roy Leroy; advice for younger collectors; what he sees in the future for the art market; a shift in privately owned art being turned over to museums; the educational aspect of his gallery; future goals of his gallery; the role of the museum today; what he has contributed to the art world; and how he would like to be remembered and thought of in the future. Spanierman also recalls Peter Wilson, Gene Thaw, Lloyd Goodrich, Abigail Gerds, Peter Poskas, Hans Heinrich, Daniel Terra, Jack Warner, Diane and Bruce Halles, Daniel and Rita Fraad, Barbara Newington, Robert Noortman, Ian Woodner, Barbara Novak, Roy Leroy, Abraham Adler, Norman Hirsch and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Ira Spanierman is a gallery owner from New York, New York. James McElhinney (1952- ) is a painter and educator from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 21 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Topic:
Art, American -- 19th century  Search this
Art, American -- 20th century  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Ashcan school of art  Search this
Gallery owners -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Hudson River school of landscape painting  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.spanie07
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spanie07

Oral history interview with Victor D. Spark

Interviewee:
Spark, Victor D. (Victor David), 1898-1991  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Duveen-Graham (Gallery)  Search this
M. Knoedler & Co.  Search this
New York University -- Students  Search this
United States. Marine Corps  Search this
Wildenstein Galleries  Search this
Duveen, Albert  Search this
Duveen, Joseph Duveen, Baron, 1869-1939  Search this
Halpert, Edith Gregor, 1900-1970  Search this
Karolik, Maxim  Search this
Knoedler, Roland F., 1856-1932  Search this
Wildenstein, Felix, 1883-1952  Search this
Extent:
3 Items (Sound recording: 3 sound files (1 hr., 59 min.), digital, wav)
55 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Interviews
Sound recordings
Date:
1975 August 5
Scope and Contents:
Interview of Victor D. Spark, conducted August 5, 1975, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, at Spark's New York City apartment.
Spark speaks of his early schooling at Townsend Harris Hall and NYU; his experience in the Marine Corps during World War II; working in his father's hotel business; the economic difficulties for art dealers during the Great Depression; apprenticing in galleries and working as a small art dealer; changes in the mid-century American art market; the differences between the art market for modern and contemporary art and that of older art. Spark also recalls Maxim Karolik, Edith Halpert, the gallerists Duveen, Knoedler, Wildenstein, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Victor D. Spark (1898-1991) was an art dealer from New York, New York.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 3 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 59 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and others.
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Economic aspects  Search this
Art dealers -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Depressions -- 1929  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Sound recordings
Identifier:
AAA.spark75
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-spark75

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