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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

Series N, Federal Government Personnel Files

Series O, Addenda Materials
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:

Peter Howard Selz papers

Creator:
Selz, Peter Howard, 1919-  Search this
Names:
College Art Association of America  Search this
Institute of Design (Chicago, Ill.) (Faculty)  Search this
Marlborough Gallery  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Pomona College (Claremont, Calif.)  Search this
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.)  Search this
University of California, Berkeley. University Art Museum  Search this
Baykam, Bedri, 1957-  Search this
Beckmann, Max, 1884-1950  Search this
Benton, Fletcher, 1931-  Search this
Bergman, Ciel, 1938-  Search this
Bury, Pol, 1922-2005  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
Chase-Riboud, Barbara  Search this
Christo, 1935-  Search this
Christo, 1935- (Running fence)  Search this
Conner, Bruce  Search this
Dubuffet, Jean, 1901-  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Giacometti, Alberto, 1901-1966  Search this
Golub, Leon, 1922-2004  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Hadzi, Dimitri, 1921-2006  Search this
Lebrun, Rico, 1900-1964  Search this
Lindner, Richard, 1901-  Search this
Lipchitz, Jacques, 1891-1973  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Onslow-Ford, Gordon  Search this
Paris, Harold, 1925-  Search this
Petlin, Irving, 1934-  Search this
Reinhardt, Ad, 1913-1967  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Tinguely, Jean, 1925-  Search this
Extent:
31.5 Linear feet
0.696 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Place:
San Francisco Bay Area (Calif.)
Date:
1929-2014
bulk 1950-2005
Summary:
The papers of art historian and writer Peter Howard Selz measure 31.5 linear feet and 0.696 GB and date from 1929 to 2018, with the bulk of the materials from 1950 to 2005. The papers document Selz's long career via correspondence, writings, professional files, project files, membership and association records, artists' research files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed and digital materials, and nine scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of art historian and writer Peter Howard Selz measure 31.5 linear feet and 0.696 GB and date from 1929 to 2018, with the bulk of the materials from 1950 to 2005. The papers document Selz's long career via correspondence, writings, professional files, project files, membership and association records, artists' research files, exhibition files, personal business records, printed and digital materials, and scrapbooks.

Correspondence is with colleagues, artists, museums, and galleries concerning a wide variety of topics, including exhibitions and publications. The bulk of the correspondence consists of alphabetical files (two linear feet) that includes correspondence with artists. Notable correspondents include Pol Bury, Alexander Calder, Gordon Onslow Ford, Alberto Giacometti, Morris Graves, Philip Guston, Dimitri Hadzi, Jacques Lipchitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, Jean Tinguely, and others. Eight additional files of chronological correspondence is with curators, arts organizations, and publishers. Additional correspondence is found in the professional files, project files, membership files, artists' research files, and exhibition files.

The bulk of the writings series is comprised of files related to Selz's books and includes typescript drafts and galleys, printed and digital material, correspondence, and publishing contracts. Files are found for Art in Our Times, Art of Engagement, Beyond the Mainstream, and Theories of Modern Art. Other writings consist of drafts of articles, essays, notes, and lectures by Selz. Also included are writings by others, including materials related to Paul Karlstrom's biography of Selz.

Professional files document curatorial and teaching positions at the Chicago Institute of Design, Pomona College, University of California, Berkeley, and the Museum of Modern Art. The series includes contracts, recommendations, syllabi, and correspondence.

Project files document Selz's professional work on specific art projects, panels, and symposiums. There is extensive documentation of Selz's work as project director of Christo's Running Fence, as well as other environmental art work projects by Christo, the Berkeley Art Project, Disney Art Project, "Funk Art" symposium, and the "Art and Politics in the 20th Century" symposium. Project files contain a wide variety of materials, such as correspondence, printed material, financial records, reports, photographs, and other documents. There are 2 tape reels, 1 VHS, and 1 sound cassette.

Membership and association records document Selz's involvement with or membership in various art councils, trustee boards, such as the College Art Association, Art in Chicago Advisory Committee, Bay Area Rapid Transit (B.A.R.T.) Art Council, and the San Francisco Crafts and Folk Art Museum Advisory Board, among others. Materials include meeting minutes, bulletins, correspondence, and memoranda.

Artists' Research Files consist of a wide variety of research materials Selz compiled about artists for lectures, writings, projects, exhibitions, etc. Files vary and may include original and photocopied correspondence, photographic material, resumes, printed and digital material, and writings. There is also 1 sound cassette. Files are found for Bedri Baykam, Max Beckmann, Fletcher Benton, Ciel Bergman, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Bruce Conner, Jean Dubuffet, Lyonel Feininger, Leon Golub, Dimitri Hadzi, Rico Lebrun, Harold Paris, Irving Petlin, among many others.

Exhibition files include catalogs, reviews, clippings, writings, correspondence, and other material documenting exhibitions organized by Selz. Limited materials are found for the MOMA Art Nouveau exhibition. More extensive documentation is found for Seven Decades of Modern Art, 1895-1965, The Joint Show (1967), The American Presidency in Political Cartoons (1976), American Modern Art Between the Two World Wars (1979), German Realism in the Twenties: Artist As Social Critic (1980), Twelve Artists from the German Democratic Republic (1989), a Richard Lindner Retrospective (1996), Spaces of Nature (1999), Color and Fire: Defining Moments in Studio Ceramics, 1950-2000 (2000), and a Nathan Oliviera Retrospective (2002), among others. Some of the materials are in digital format.

Personal business records are related to the Mark Rothko estate and Kate Rothko's legal case against Marlborough Gallery, Inc. Also included in this series are Peter Selz's school transcripts, bequests, royalty statements, house designs, and other material.

Printed materials include clippings, prints of articles written by Peter Selz, exhibition announcements and invitations, and photocopies of artwork images.

There are nine disbound scrapbooks dating from the 1940s up through 2012 containing clippings, exhibition announcements, and photographs of art events, Selz, and artists. This series also includes materials from the 2018 addition that may have previously been compiled in binders.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as 10 series. When possible the original order of Peter Selz was maintained. However, multiple accessions were merged and integrated.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1942-2013 (2.3 linear feet; Box 1-3, Box 37)

Series 2: Writings, 1942- circa 2014 (8.3 linear feet; Box 3-10, OV 32, Box 37, 0.035 GB; ER01, ER12)

Series 3: Professional Files, 1949-2012 (1 linear feet; Box 11, Box 37)

Series 4: Project Files, 1962-2015 (2.8 linear feet; Box 12-14, OV 33, Box 37)

Series 5: Membership and Association Records, 1958-2014 (1.1 linear feet; Box 14-15, Box 37)

Series 6: Artists' Research Files, 1955-2014 (7.9 linear feet; Box 15-22, OV 34-35, 0.520 GB; ER02-ER08)

Series 7: Exhibition Files, 1959-2014 (5.2 linear feet; Box 23-27, Box 38, 0.093 GB; ER09-ER11)

Series 8: Personal Business Records, 1929-2014 (1.2 linear feet; Box 28-29, OV 36, Box 38)

Series 9: Printed Material, 1957-2014 (0.3 linear feet; Box 29, Box 38)

Series 10: Scrapbooks, 1947-2018 (1.4 linear feet, Box 29-31, Box 38)
Biographical / Historical:
Peter Howard Selz (1919-2019) was a pioneering historian of modern art, professor, and writer who taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1965-1988 and founded and directed the Berkeley Art Museum from 1965-1973.

Selz was born in 1919 in Munich, Germany to Eugene Selz and Edith Drey Selz. In 1936, the family fled Nazi Germany and immigrated to the United States. Selz attended Columbia University from 1937 to 1938 and became a naturalized citizen in 1942. During World War II, Selz served in the U.S. Army in the Office of Strategic Services. He married writer Thalia Cheronis in 1948 but they later divorced in 1965; he married several times afterwards.

After the war, Selz attended and taught at the University of Chicago where he received a Ph. D. in German Expressionism. He spent a year in Paris, 1949-1950, at the Sorbonne and École du Louvre on a Fulbright grant. He received a second Fulbright grant in 1953 to study at the Royal Museums of Art and History in Belgium. From 1953-1955, Selz also taught at the Chicago Institute of Design.

In 1955 Peter Selz accepted a position to chair the art history department at Pomona College in Claremont and relocated to California for a few years. He also became director of the college's art gallery.

In 1958 Selz moved to New York City to become curator of painting and sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art and was there through the transformative mid-1960s. While at MOMA, he organized several significant exhibitions of modern art, including the 1960 Jean Tinguely "Homage to New York," a sculpture that destroyed itself (and started a fire) in the sculpture garden of the museum; New Images of Man (1959), the Art Nouveau show (1960), and the Art of Assemblage (1961). He also launched important retrospectives, including the first Rodin retrospective in the United States and a comprehensive exhibition of Alberto Giacometti's work in 1965.

In 1965, Peter Selz returned to California to become the founding director of the Berkeley Art Museum at the University of California, Berkeley, a position he held until 1973. He organized exhibitions of Funk, film, and ceramicists like Peter Voulkos and Robert Arneson. Peter Selz later became project director for Christo's "Running Fence", the 24.5-mile long fabric fence over the Marin County hills in 1976. He also served concurrently as a professor of art history at UC until retiring in 1988.

Peter Selz was a member of the College Art Association's board of directors for two terms, 1958-1964 and 1966-1971. Selz is a prolific writer, and the author or co-author of numerous books, exhibition catalogs, and articles. Notable books include German Expressionist Painting (1957), Art in a Turbulent Era (1965), Art in Our Times (1981), and Sam Francis (1975).

In 1988 Peter Selz was named emeritus professor at University of California, Berkeley. In 1993 he was on the acquisitions committee of the Museums of Fine Arts, San Francisco. In 2012, Selz curated The Painted Word exhibition. Selz died in 2019 in Albany, California.
Related Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds oral history interviews of Peter Selz conducted by Paul J. Karlstrom on July 28, 1982, October 12, 1982, and November 3, 1999.
Provenance:
The Peter Howard Selz papers were donated to the Archives of American Art by Peter Selz in multiple installments from 1976 through 2014. Additional papers were donated in 2018 by Gabrielle Selz, Peter Selz's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Washington, D.C. Research Center. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate copies requires advance notice.
Rights:
The Peter Howard Selz papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Occupation:
Authors -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Art historians -- California -- Berkeley  Search this
Topic:
Realism in art -- Germany  Search this
Political cartoons  Search this
Pop art  Search this
Environmental art  Search this
Painting, Abstract  Search this
Ceramics  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching -- California  Search this
Art -- Political aspects  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions  Search this
Art -- Germany  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Sound recordings
Video recordings
Citation:
Peter Howard Selz papers, 1929-2018, bulk 1950-2005. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.selzpete
See more items in:
Peter Howard Selz papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-selzpete
Online Media:

Servicing the Hubble Space Telescope - Exploring Space Lectures

Creator:
National Air and Space Museum  Search this
Type:
Lectures
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-04-14T19:37:43.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Aeronautics;Flight;Space Sciences  Search this
See more by:
airandspace
Data Source:
National Air and Space Museum
YouTube Channel:
airandspace
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_xoylJXRnQJ8

(At Home) On Art and Soil: Artist Talk with Kiyan Williams

Creator:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-12-16T19:35:41.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
Topic:
Art, modern  Search this
See more by:
hirshhornmuseum
Data Source:
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
YouTube Channel:
hirshhornmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_DzLHN99jn_E

The Yoga of the Yoginīs: Mapping the Goddesses' Powers in Text and Image

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-01-28T17:17:49.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Doqs6ArAS44

Yogi, Jackal, and Goddess in Hindu Tantric Yoga

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-01-28T17:18:22.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_fCUkH1d7agw

Yoga and the Sculpted Body

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-01-27T16:45:01.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_kPKO4nWB4aY

Spirituality and the Art Museum in Contemporary America

Creator:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-08-05T23:55:53.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
Topic:
Art, Asian  Search this
See more by:
FreerSackler
Data Source:
Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery
YouTube Channel:
FreerSackler
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_bYahGAwRWLk

Celebrating Women in History: Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Creator:
Smithsonian Channel  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2020-09-19T00:30:28.000Z
YouTube Category:
Entertainment  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianchannel
Data Source:
Smithsonian Channel
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianchannel
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_Ti-o4AdypdI

Lab | Designing Accessible Cities Symposium: Afternoon Session

Creator:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum  Search this
Type:
Conversations and talks
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2018-02-08T20:42:45.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Design  Search this
See more by:
cooperhewitt
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
YouTube Channel:
cooperhewitt
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_YxmbvIPRddc

Lab | Showcase of Student Projects on Accessibility and Inclusion

Creator:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2018-02-09T20:53:01.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Design  Search this
See more by:
cooperhewitt
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
YouTube Channel:
cooperhewitt
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_yhnMw1xHVmE

The Intersection of Research Library Aspirations ad Copyright Challenges (2008) - James Neal

Creator:
Smithsonian Libraries  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2012-06-22T18:25:43.000Z
YouTube Category:
Science & Technology  Search this
Topic:
Library science  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianLibraries
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianLibraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_x-cAhTA46a8

David Nzomo Reflects on his Recordings with Folkways Records [Interview Video]

Creator:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage  Search this
Type:
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-05-14T16:17:22.000Z
YouTube Category:
Music  Search this
Topic:
Cultural property  Search this
See more by:
smithsonianfolkways
Data Source:
Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage
YouTube Channel:
smithsonianfolkways
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_ognZ5CYxSh8

Jerry Saltz - Clarice Smith Distinguished Lecture Series - Smithsonian American Art Museum

Creator:
Smithsonian American Art Museum  Search this
Type:
Lectures
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2014-11-26T15:30:25.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
See more by:
americanartmuseum
Data Source:
Smithsonian American Art Museum
YouTube Channel:
americanartmuseum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_lAH-SmHfSPw

Kay WalkingStick Symposium 10 - Elizabeth Hutchinson

Creator:
National Museum of the American Indian  Search this
Type:
Symposia
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-11-10T18:58:02.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Native Americans;American Indians  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianNMAI
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNMAI
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_U41TXExWOoE

Inka Road Symposium 07 - The Inka Empire: Political Power and Economic Structure

Creator:
National Museum of the American Indian  Search this
Type:
Symposia
YouTube Videos
Uploaded:
2015-07-15T18:45:36.000Z
YouTube Category:
Education  Search this
Topic:
Native Americans;American Indians  Search this
See more by:
SmithsonianNMAI
Data Source:
National Museum of the American Indian
YouTube Channel:
SmithsonianNMAI
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:yt_qbkMpXS6i-o

Chenoweth Hall papers, 1936-1989

Creator:
Hall, Chenoweth, 1908-1999  Search this
Subject:
Colwell, Miriam  Search this
Type:
Scrapbooks
Video recordings
Sketchbooks
Drawings
Topic:
Women artists  Search this
Women authors  Search this
Women sculptors  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)6013
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)234957
AAA_collcode_hallchen
Theme:
Women
Lives of American Artists
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_234957

Liberate Puerto Rico Now!

Title:
Poster for a Young Lords Party student conference
Created by:
Young Lords Party, American, founded 1969  Search this
Subject of:
Columbia University, American, founded 1754  Search this
Puerto Rican Student Union, American, 1969 - 1976  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper (fiber product)
Dimensions:
H x W: 29 × 20 1/4 in. (73.7 × 51.4 cm)
Place used:
New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Cultural Place:
Puerto Rico, United States, Caribbean, Latin America, North and Central America
Jayuya, Puerto Rico, United States, Caribbean, Latin America, North and Central America
Date:
1970
Topic:
African American  Search this
Activism  Search this
Decolonization  Search this
Education  Search this
Identity  Search this
Politics  Search this
Resistance  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Youth  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Object number:
2019.28.23
Restrictions & Rights:
Unknown - Restrictions Possible
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Memorabilia and Ephemera-Political and Activist Ephemera
Movement:
Young Lords Movement
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5c0e6a054-8d31-4718-84e7-74c8d57659c3
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2019.28.23

Delegate

Published by:
MelPat Associates, American, 1965 - 1986  Search this
Created by:
C. Melvin Patrick, American, died 1985  Search this
Subject of:
Crispus Attucks, American, 1723 - 1770  Search this
Sojourner Truth, American, 1797 - 1883  Search this
Harriet Tubman, American, 1822 - 1913  Search this
Sarah C. Roberts, American, born 1844  Search this
Susan McKinney Steward, American, 1847 - 1918  Search this
Dred Scott, American, ca 1800 - 1858  Search this
Frederick Douglass, American, 1818 - 1895  Search this
Booker T. Washington, American, 1856 - 1915  Search this
George Washington Carver, American, 1860s - 1943  Search this
W.E.B. Du Bois, American, 1868 - 1963  Search this
Scott Joplin, American, 1867 - 1917  Search this
Marcus Garvey, Jamaican, 1887 - 1940  Search this
James Weldon Johnson, American, 1871 - 1938  Search this
Father Divine, American, ca. 1876 - 1965  Search this
A. Philip Randolph, American, 1889 - 1979  Search this
Adam Clayton Powell Jr., American, 1908 - 1972  Search this
Rosa Parks, American, 1913 - 2005  Search this
Medgar Evers, American, 1925 - 1963  Search this
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., American, 1929 - 1968  Search this
President Lyndon Baines Johnson, American, 1908 - 1973  Search this
Mary McLeod Bethune, American, 1875 - 1955  Search this
National Association of Black Social Workers, American, founded 1968  Search this
Congressional Black Caucus, American, founded 1971  Search this
Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded 1784  Search this
National Newspaper Publishers Association, American, founded 1827  Search this
Chi Delta Mu Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1913  Search this
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, American, founded 1909  Search this
Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1937  Search this
Shriners International, American, founded 1870  Search this
National Pan-Hellenic Council, American, founded 1930  Search this
National Dental Association, American, founded 1913  Search this
Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World, American, founded 1898  Search this
Democratic Party, American, founded 1828  Search this
Republican Party, American, founded 1854  Search this
Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1932  Search this
Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, American, founded 1920  Search this
National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., American, founded 1935  Search this
National United Church Ushers Association of America, Inc., American, founded 1919  Search this
Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1943  Search this
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
National Urban League, American, founded 1910  Search this
Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc., founded 1922  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1911  Search this
National Council of Negro Women, founded 1935  Search this
Daughters of Isis, American, founded 1910  Search this
Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1911  Search this
369th Veterans Association, American  Search this
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, American, founded 1914  Search this
Langston Hughes, American, 1902 - 1967  Search this
Paul Robeson, American, 1898 - 1976  Search this
Ezzard Mack Charles, American, 1921 - 1975  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 7/16 × 3/8 in. (27.5 × 21.4 × 1 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1976
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Communities  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Government  Search this
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Labor  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Sororities  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
U.S. History, Colonial period, 1600-1775  Search this
United States History  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Anne B. Patrick and the family of Hilda E. Stokely
Object number:
2012.167.10
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5e57ffdd9-2ab1-46da-b6e7-10757007351f
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.167.10
7 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 1
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 2
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 3
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 4
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 5
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 6
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 7

Delegate

Published by:
MelPat Associates, American, 1965 - 1986  Search this
Created by:
C. Melvin Patrick, American, died 1985  Search this
Subject of:
Universal Network Television, American, founded 1950  Search this
Alex Haley, American, 1921 - 1992  Search this
Percy Ellis Sutton, American, 1920 - 2009  Search this
Columbia Records, American, founded 1888  Search this
Brown & Williamson, American, born 1894  Search this
Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1937  Search this
Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry  Search this
National Association of Market Developers, American, founded 1953  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded 1784  Search this
Chi Delta Mu Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1913  Search this
National Newspaper Publishers Association, American, founded 1827  Search this
Roy Wilkins, American, 1901 - 1981  Search this
National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., American, founded 1935  Search this
National Association of Black Social Workers, American, founded 1968  Search this
National Pan-Hellenic Council, American, founded 1930  Search this
Chi Eta Phi Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1932  Search this
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, American, founded 1914  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, American, founded 1914  Search this
National Sorority of Phi Delta Kappa, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
National Urban League, American, founded 1910  Search this
National Dental Association, American, founded 1913  Search this
National United Church Ushers Association of America, Inc., American, founded 1919  Search this
Eta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc., American, founded 1943  Search this
National Medical Association, American, founded 1895  Search this
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, American, founded 1913  Search this
President Jimmy Carter, American, born 1924  Search this
Shriners International, American, founded 1870  Search this
Daughters of Isis, American, founded 1910  Search this
Opportunities Industrialization Center of America, Inc., American, founded 1964  Search this
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., American, founded 1906  Search this
National Urban League Guild, American, founded 1946  Search this
Tuskegee Airmen, 1941 - 1946  Search this
Congressional Black Caucus, American, founded 1971  Search this
Improved Benevolent and Protective Order of the Elks of the World, American, founded 1898  Search this
National Council of Negro Women, founded 1935  Search this
Muhammad Ali, American, 1942 - 2016  Search this
369th Veterans Association, American  Search this
Southern Christian Leadership Conference, American, founded 1957  Search this
Prince Hall Freemasonry, founded 1784  Search this
National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women's Clubs, Inc., American, founded 1935  Search this
Northside Center for Child Development, Inc., founded 1946  Search this
Medium:
ink on paper
Dimensions:
H x W x D: 10 13/16 × 8 7/16 × 5/16 in. (27.5 × 21.4 × 0.8 cm)
Type:
magazines (periodicals)
Place made:
Harlem, New York City, New York, United States, North and Central America
Place depicted:
Martha's Vineyard, Oak Bluffs, Dukes County, Massachusetts, United States, North and Central America
Date:
1977
Topic:
African American  Search this
Advertising  Search this
Associations and institutions  Search this
Business  Search this
Caricature and cartoons  Search this
Communities  Search this
Fraternal organizations  Search this
Fraternities  Search this
Government  Search this
HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities)  Search this
Journalism  Search this
Labor  Search this
Mass media  Search this
Men  Search this
Political organizations  Search this
Politics  Search this
Professional organizations  Search this
Religious groups  Search this
Social life and customs  Search this
Sororities  Search this
Tennis  Search this
U.S. History, 1969-2001  Search this
Urban life  Search this
Women  Search this
Credit Line:
Collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, Gift of Anne B. Patrick and the family of Hilda E. Stokely
Object number:
2012.167.11
Restrictions & Rights:
Public domain
See more items in:
National Museum of African American History and Culture Collection
Classification:
Documents and Published Materials-Published Works
Data Source:
National Museum of African American History and Culture
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/fd5a191f832-64ab-4d62-81fe-a2bc53493bea
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmaahc_2012.167.11
5 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 1
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 2
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 3
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 4
  • View <I>Delegate</I> digital asset number 5

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