National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Transportation Search this
0.5 Cubic feet (1 box)
The papers of inventor and engineer George Eli Whitney.
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence includes handwritten letters to John H. Bacon from Whitney. Bacon apparently undertook the task of collecting documentation of Whitney's career in the 1950s. Another 30 letters involve former associates of Whitney's, particularly Nathaniel Henry Cooledge (known as "Oliver") who was associated with Whitney as his trusted foreman and assistant for 50 years and Capt. Ted Middleton. Also included are agreements, contracts and patents concerning Whitney's inventions as well as newsclippings, photoprints, etc. A lengthy questionnaire prepared by John H. Bacon was filled out by Whitney in 1955 giving information on his major inventions and projects as well as his personal life.
Collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
Whitney (1862-1963) was an engineer and inventor who developed many applications of steam power, including bicycles, cars, and boats from 1890s-1930s. The Locomobile Company, of which Whitney was chief engineer, produced several thousand steam cars around the turn of the century. During WWI, Whitney designed the compound steam engine which powered about 300 U.S. Navy anti submarine ships. Whitney was the recipient of about 150 patents on his inventions, a number of which he sold rights to.
Collection donated by Edward Bacon, October 31, 1992.
Collection is open for research.
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.