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Ralph H. Baer Papers

Creator:
Baer, Ralph H., 1922-2014  Search this
Extent:
16 Cubic feet (44 boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
Cd-roms
Diagrams
Drawings
Interviews
Videotapes
Correspondence
Sketches
Photographs
Oral history
Notes
Manuals
Date:
1943 - 2015
Summary:
Ralph H. Baer was a German-born ordnance specialist, inventor, and engineer. He was a pioneer of early videogame technology. The papers include autobiographical materials; firearms notes, manuscripts, and photographs; and videogame and television engineering notes, diagrams, schematics, and video documentation.
Scope and Contents:
The Ralph Baer Papers include autobiographical materials and an extended oral history interview. The Papers also include materials about military small arms created by Baer during his World War II service. The largest portion of the collection documents Baer's work on video games.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 12 series.

Series 1: Autobiographical Documents, 1962-2006

Subseries 1.1: Manuscript, book and other documents, 1962-2006

Subseries 1.2: Other Media: CDs, VHS videos, periodical, 1991, 2000-2003

Series 2: WW II Small Arms Documents, 1943-1953

Subseries 2.1: Correspondence, 1950-1953

Subseries 2.2: Writings and notes, 1943-1948

Subseries 2.3: Drawings and schematics, undated

Subseries 2.4: Manuals and encyclopedias, 1943

Subseries 2.5: Photographs, 1945

Series 3: Hans Otto Mauksch Materials, 1944-1964

Subseries 3.1: Personal background information, 1944, 1945, 1946, 1964

Subseries 3.2: Instructional materials, 1944-1946, undated

Subseries 3.3: Ft. Riley, Kansas, 1946, 1953

Series 4: TV Game Documents, 1966-1972

Subseries 4.1: Working notes, diagrams and schematics, 1966-1971

Subseries 4.2: Administrative documents, 1966-1972 Subseries 4.3: Notebooks, 1966-1968

Subseries 4.4: TV game development documentation, 1966-1968

Series 5: Sanders Associates, Transitron, and Van Norman Industries, 1952-2003

Series 6: Product Development Documents, 1974-2015

Series 7: Product Guides and Technical Support, 1943-2011

Series 8: Legal and Patent Documents, 1966-2014

Series 9: Writings and Notes, 1946-1999

Series 10: Miscellaneous, 1961-2012

Series 11: Correspondence, 1983-2014

Series 12: Publicity and Awards, 1979-2015
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph H. Baer (1922-2014) was born in Germany and immigrated to the United States with his family in 1938. A graduate of the National Radio Institute (1940), Baer worked as a radio technician in the New York City area, servicing all types of home and auto radios. During World War II, Baer served in the United States Army, one year stateside, and two years in Europe. He was assigned to Military Intelligence and became an expert on military small arms. Baer returned to the United States with eighteen tons of foreign small arms for use in exhibits at Aberdeen, Maryland; Springfield, Massachusetts Armory; and Ft. Riley, Kansas.

After the war, Baer attended the American Television Institute of Technology in Chicago, graduating with a BS in television engineering. In 1949, Baer joined a small electro medical equipment firm, Wappler, Inc., as their chief engineer. He designed and built surgical cutting machines, epilators, and low frequency pulse generating muscle-toning equipment. In 1951, Baer moved to Loral Electronics of Bronx, New York as a senior engineer, designing power line carrier signaling equipment for IBM. During 1952-1956, Baer worked at Transitron, Inc., in New York City as a chief engineer and later as vice president. In 1956, Baer joined Sanders Associates in Nashua, New Hampshire building airborne radar components. He became manager of the Electronic Design Department at Sanders and eventually Division Manager and Chief Engineer for Equipment Design. Baer retired in 1987.

At Sanders in 1966, Baer began an independent project experimenting with ways for consumers to interact with standard home television sets. Development of interactive TV Game (TVG) ideas became a company-supported project continued by Baer and assisted by William H. Harrison and William T. Rusch (download the TV Game chronology prepared by Ralph Baer in 2006). By mid-1967, ping pong videogames were played inside Sanders, patent disclosures were applied for, and hardware was designed. Baer and his associates called the devices they were developing "boxes" and numbered the various versions one through seven. In 1971, Magnavox became Sanders Associates's first videogame licensee. Between 1972 and 1975, Magnavox produced and sold over 700,000 units of Odyssey, a set of games played on its television receivers. Atari became a licensee in 1976 after the first of many lawsuits won by Sanders in pursuit of patent infringements.

During his tenure at Sanders and thereafter, Baer was a prolific inventor. His creations included many electronic toys and games and other consumer electronic products. Among the better known products based on Baer's work are Milton Bradley's Simon, Galoob's Smarty Bear Video, and Kenner's Laser Command. In 2004 President George W. Bush awarded Baer the National Medal of Technology.

Baer married Dena Whinston in 1952 and they had three children, James, Mark, and Nancy. Ralph Baer died on December 6, 2014, at the age of 92.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Ralph H. Baer Innovative Lives Presentation, August 15, 2009 (AC1179)

The presentation documents a moderated conversation about Baer's life and work. Baer reenacts, with his partner William Harrison, the first time he played "Odyssey," the first home video game for the consumer market, which he invented, and answers questions from the audience. Materials include original video (born digital), master videos, and reference videos.

Materials at Other Organizations

Brian Sutton-Smith Library and Archives of Play at The Strong

Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1968-2010 inclusive; 1975-1998 bulk

The Ralph H. Baer papers are a compilation of correspondence, game designs, drawings, notes, reference materials, photographs, product descriptions, digital videos, schematics, electronic components, and manuals utilized by Ralph H. Baer throughout his lengthy career in the toy and game industry. The bulk of the materials are from 1975 through 1998.

U.S. Ordnance Museum, Fort Lee, Virginia

Materials consist of data on foreign small arms brought back from Europe in 1946 by Ralph H. Baer.

Museum of the Moving Image, Astoria, New York

Holdings include set of seven recreations of "TV game" prototypes originally created between 1966 and 1969, donated by pioneering game developer Ralph Baer. One of Baer's game prototypes, known as the "Brown Box," was licensed by Magnavox and released in 1972 as the Magnavox Odyssey, the world's first commercial home video game console.

University of Texas, Austin, Briscoe Center for American History

Ralph H. Baer "Brown Box" replica, 1952-1983, 2006-2012

The Ralph H. Baer "Brown Box" replica includes a fully-functional replica of Ralph Baer's "Brown Box," the prototype video game console that was used as the basis of the Magnavox Odyssey in 1972. The collection also contains related research materials.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Medicine and Science holds artifacts related to this collection including early video game prototypes and TV Game products.

TV Game Unit #1 (TVG#1); 1966; vacuum tube spot generator with Heathkit IG-62 Generator (See Accession 2006.0102.01)

Heathkit IG-62; used with TVG #1 (See Accession 2006.0102.02)

TV Game Unit #2 (TVG #2), aka the "Pump Unit," 1967; large aluminum chassis with wooden "pump" handle (See Accession 2006.0102.03)

TV Game Unit #7 (TVG#7), aka "Brown Box," 1967/1968; prototype for Magnavox Odyssey (See Accession 2006.0102.04)

Cardboard program cards for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.05)

Lightgun, 1967/1968; game accessory for Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.06)

TV Game Unit #8, 1968; "de/dt" (velocity responsive) ballgame chassis for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.07)

Magnavox Odyssey (Model ITL200) video game unit, 1972; with all accessories in the original carton (See Accession 2006.0102.08)

Milton-Bradley Company SIMON handheld microprocessor-control game, 1978 (See Accession 2006.0102.09)

Ideal Toy Company MANIAC microprocessor-control game, 1979, in original box with game instructions (See Accession 2006.0102.10)

Golf Game accessory, 1968; golf ball mounted on joystick handle for use with Brown Box (See Accession 2006.0102.11

"Brown Box" programming card, target shooting, 1967 (See Accession 2006.0102.12)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Ralph H. Baer in 2003.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.
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. Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution.
Topic:
Books  Search this
Firearms  Search this
Games  Search this
Litigation  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Machine guns  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Weapons  Search this
Video games  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Television -- History  Search this
Rifles  Search this
Pistols  Search this
Military intelligence  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Audiocassettes
CD-ROMs
Diagrams
Drawings -- 1940-1950
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Sketches
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1940-1950
Photographs -- 20th century
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Notes
Manuals -- 1940-1950
Citation:
Ralph H. Baer Papers, 1943-2015, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0854
See more items in:
Ralph H. Baer Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0854
Online Media:

Clark Maddock Collection

Topic:
Mr. Goodwrench
Advertiser:
General Motors Corporation  Search this
Creator:
Maddock, Clark, 1912-1988  Search this
Donor:
Frederick, Jeffry A.  Search this
Extent:
1.5 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Letters
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Watercolor drawings
Storyboards
Clippings
Awards
Fliers (printed matter)
Design drawings
Date:
1931 - 1994
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the life and career of Clark Maddock, from his early years as a bandleader, through his work in the advertising industry and subsequent retirement. There are clippings and a few photographs relating to his musical career, but most of the collection relates to his work in the advertising industry for several ad agencies, and includes original artwork for print advertisements (especially GM's "Mr. Goodwrench" campaign) letters, flyers, a sketchbook, drawings, storyboards, photographs, and awards.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Maddock was an artist who worked for several decades in the advertising industry. He graduated from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts, worked on campaigns for GM, Dow, Goodrich, Sohio, and other, while employed by several ad agencies. After retirement he lived in Hawaii where he edited a local newspaper and devoted more time to his watercolors, which were exhibited in local galleries.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2015 by Maddock's grandson, Jeffry Frederick.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Band directors  Search this
Commercial artists  Search this
Topic:
advertising  Search this
Commercial art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Letters
Sketchbooks
Photographs -- 20th century
Watercolor drawings
Storyboards
Clippings
Awards
Fliers (printed matter)
Design drawings -- 20th century
Citation:
Clark Maddock Collection, 1931-1994, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1346
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1346

William R. Stone Microwave Oven Papers

Donor:
Hoffman, Robin  Search this
Hoffman, Robin  Search this
Creator:
Stone, William R., 1920-2006  Search this
Raytheon Company  Search this
Extent:
0.6 Cubic feet (2 boxes )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Graphs
Memorandums
Reports
Specifications
Patents
Articles
Notes
Photographs
Design drawings
Trade literature
Date:
1967-1985
Scope and Contents:
Papers documenting William R. Stone's involvement in the invention and development of the microwave for industrial and home use. The collection includes biographical information; patents, and other invention related papers; photographs; design drawings; internal company papers and memoranda; Stone's research and reports, especially on the subject of microwave safety; and trade literature relating to products for both industrial and home use.
Arrangement:
1 series.
Biographical / Historical:
Stone was an engineer for Raytheon. He was involved in the invention and development of microwave ovens for industrial uses, such as for ink drying, rubber vulcanization, and later for home use.
Provenance:
Robin Hoffman
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Microwave heating  Search this
Microwave equipment industry  Search this
Engineers -- 20th century  Search this
Safety  Search this
Microwave ovens  Search this
Microwave oven industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Graphs
Memorandums -- 1950-2000
Reports
Specifications
Patents -- 20th century
Articles -- 1950-2000
Notes
Photographs -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 20th century
Trade literature
Citation:
William R. Stone Microwave Oven Papers, 1967-1985, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1320
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1320

Greg Meyer Taser Collection

Creator:
Cover, Jack  Search this
Donor:
Meyer, Greg  Search this
Extent:
0.3 Cubic feet (1 box )
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Notes
Test reports
Patents
Photographs
Articles
Design drawings
Eulogies
Date:
1946 - 2009
Summary:
Papers relating to the invention, development, use, and popularization of the Taser, a nonlethal weapon invented by Jack Covers.
Scope and Contents:
Papers relating to the invention, development, use, and popularization of the Taser, a nonlethal weapon invented by Jack Cover. The collection includes biographical information about Cover, Cover's initial concept paper, design drawings, notes and writings, photographs, papers relating to the patenting of the Taser, test results, training materials on the use of the Taser, articles and printed materials, notes to law enforcement officers, response to controversy surrounding the use and misuse of the Taser, and a eulogy. Interaction and use of the Taser by law enforcement mostly focuses on the Los Angeles Police Department.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into one series.
Biographical / Historical:
John "Jack" Cover (1920-2009) was born in New York, New York. He joined the United States Air Force in 1942, and served as an aeronautical engineer and an aircraft engineering officer. During World War II he was awarded the World War II Victory Medal and American Theater Service Medal. Cover was released from active service in 1946, after which he earned a B.S and Ph.D at University of Chicago. He worked at North American Aviation (NAA), as a contractor for NASA, and was part of the the team that won the Prime contract for NAA from 1961-1962 on the Apollo Moon Landing Program.

As a result of a growing push for law enforcement agencies to use non-lethal weapons in the 1960's, Cover developed and later patented iwhat would become known as the TASER. He named the device the Taser, an acronym for Thomas A. Swift Electric Rifle. Cover formed Taser Systems. Inc. in 1970 and the Taser was patented in 1974 as a "Weapon for Immobilization and Capture (US 3,803,463). The device was adopted by the Los Angeles Police Department in the 1970s as an alternative to lethal weapons in subduing suspects, particularly those under the influence of drugs or who posed harm to themselves.
Provenance:
Collected donated by Greg Meyer, 2013.
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:
Weapons  Search this
TASER  Search this
Nonlethal weapons  Search this
Stun guns  Search this
Genre/Form:
Notes
Test reports
Patents -- 20th century
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Articles
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Eulogies
Citation:
Greg Meyer Taser Collection, 1946-2009, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1311
See more items in:
Greg Meyer Taser Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1311

Robert Ledley Papers

Creator:
Ledley, Robert S.  Search this
National Biomedical Research Foundation. Georgetown University  Search this
Names:
Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial Scanner  Search this
Computer-Assisted Tomography Scanner  Search this
National Biomedical Research Foundation. Georgetown University  Search this
Extent:
3 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuals
Patents
Photographs
Design drawings
Correspondence
Articles
Diagrams
Slides (photographs)
Notes
Motion pictures (visual works)
Albums
Date:
1972-1990
Summary:
The Robert Ledley Papers document the development of the first whole-body diagnostic imaging system, the Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial (ACTA) X-ray Scanner by Ledley in 1973. Also included is material relating to Ledley's company, Digital Science Information Corporation (DISCO), as well as the public and medical communities' reactions to the scanner.
Scope and Contents:
The Robert Ledley Papers document the development of the Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial (ACTA) X-ray Scanner, Ledley's company Digital Science Information Corporation (DISCO), as well as the public and medical communities' reactions to the scanner. The collection is arranged into nine series.

Series 1, ACTA Scanner I Schematics, 1973-1975; Series 2, ACTA Scanner I [Computer and Electronics], 1973; and Series 3, ACTA Scanner Tomograph Mechanics, 1973-1974 document the development and design of the ACTA scanner through drawings, notes, memoranda, and product information. More detailed information about these materials is located in the control file. All oversize drawings have been moved to flat storage for preservation concerns.

Series 4, ACTA Scanner Operating Instructions, 1975, is the operating manual created for the scanner used in Ledley's Georgetown lab.

Series 5, ACTA Articles, Clippings, and Press Releases, 1973-1979, is comprised of the aforementioned materials relating to the ACTA Scanner. Newspaper clippings illuminate the public's perception of the scanner, and scientific pieces highlight the medical community's reaction. Ledley's published articles on the scanner and related topics are included.

Series 6, Digital Information Science Corporation (DISCO) material, 1973-1981, documents Ledley's career and his company. A biographical sketch, list of articles, textbooks, and patents highlight Ledley's achievements. Invoices, receipts, contracts, and correspondence illuminate the financial situation at DISCO and the relationship between the company and Pfizer.

Series 7, Computer manuals, 1972-1975, documents the computer systems and software that were used with the ACTA Scanner.

Series 8, Photographic material, 1973-1978, includes an album of photographs depicting the ACTA Scanner and images of the scans it created. This album was disassembled due to preservation concerns. This series also includes a collection of slides featuring the scanner and related equipment in use and images of the scans it created. A detailed description of each photograph and slide is included in the control file.

Series 9, ACTA Scanner film, [1974?], is a 16mm narrated film describing the creation of the scanner, its components, the way they work, the scanner in use, and images of the scans produced.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged into nine series.

Series 1, ACTA Scanner I Schematics, 1973-1975

Series 2, ACTA Scanner I [Computer and Electronics], 1973

Series 3, ACTA Scanner Tomograph Mechanics, 1973-1974

Series 4, ACTA Scanner Operating Instructions, 1975

Series 5, ACTA Articles, Clippings, and Press Releases, 1973-1979

Series 6, Digital Information Science Corporation (DISCO) material, 1973-1981, undated

Series 7, Computer manuals, 1972-1975

Series 8, Photographic material 1973-1978

Subseries 1, Photographs, 19731978

Subseries 2, Slides, 1974

Series 9, ACTA Scanner film [1974?]
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Steven Ledley was born in Flushing Meadows, New York in 1926. He received a D.D.S. degree from New York University College in 1948. While attending dental school, he simultaneously studied at Columbia University; he earned a M.A. in Theoretical Physics in 1949. He volunteered for the army and was sent to the U.S. Army Medical Field Service School in Fort Sam Houston, Texas.1 After completing his service, Ledley held a wide variety of research and academic positions in physics, electrical engineering, and medicine.

Ledley was a physicist within the External Control Group of the Electronic Computer Laboratory of the National Bureau of Standards from 1953-1954. He was an operations research analyst within the Strategic Division of the Operations Research Office at Johns Hopkins University from 1954-1956. Ledley went on to become an associate professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at The George Washington University from 1956-1960 while also serving as a consultant mathematician at the National Bureau of Standards Data Processing Systems Division, 1957-1960. At this time, Ledley also worked part time at the National Research Council's National Academy of Sciences from 1957-1961. Ledley became the president of the National Biomedical Research Foundation in 1960, a position he still holds today. He was an instructor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine from 1960-1963. He returned to The George Washington University's Department of Electrical Engineering in 1968 where he was a professor until 1970. He then became a professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics at the Georgetown University School of Medicine in 1970. In 1974, Ledley also became a professor in the Radiology Department at the Georgetown University Medical Center. In 1975, he became the director of the Medical Computing and Biophysics Division at Georgetown University Medical Center.

In 1972, the British company Electric and Musical Industries Limited (EMI) released a medical imaging machine for use on smaller areas of the body that were positioned under a water tank. In 1973, Ledley developed the Automatic Computerized Transverse Axial (ACTA) X-ray Scanner (US Patent #3,922,552). This machine was a whole-body diagnostic medical imaging system. He was awarded a grant from the National Institutes of Health for an engineering equipment project, but the money was never received due to budget cuts. Ledley looked elsewhere for funding. He consulted with Georgetown staff and discovered a neurosurgeon had asked to buy a head scanning machine from EMI. Ledley did not think the images in EMI's brochure appeared clear, and he offered to create a similar machine for half the price. Georgetown agreed to fund this project for $250,000. Ledley secured the services of a machinist at a local machine shop, an electronic engineer, and a programmer/mathematician to assist in the project.2 The ACTA Scanner debuted in February, 1974 and did not require the use of a water tank.

Following the creation of the ACTA Scanner, Ledley organized Digital Information Science Corporation (DISCO) in order to manufacture the system. DISCO began producing scanners as orders were received. Due to financial constraints, DISCO was forced to request $100,000 upon receipt of the order, $100,000 when the scanner was halfway completed, and the final $100,000 payment upon delivery3. In 1975, Pfizer purchased the rights to manufacture the ACTA Scanner from DISCO for $1.5 million.

Ledley is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He has earned numerous awards and honors for his work. In 1997, he received the National Medal of Technology from President William Jefferson Clinton for his pioneering work on the whole-body CT diagnostic X-ray scanner. He also founded the Pattern Recognition Society and Computerized Tomography Society.

Sources

1 Ash, J., D. Sittig, and R. Ledley. "The Story Behind the Development of the First Whole-body Computerized Tomography Scanner as Told by Robert S. Ledley." Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, 2006 Sep-Oct (2006), 465-469, http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1561796. (accessed June 24, 2009).

2 Ibid.

3 Ibid.
Separated Materials:
An ACTA Scanner and numerous accessories were donated to the Museum in 1984.
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Robert S. Ledley on September 18, 1984.
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:
Medical innovations  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Biology  Search this
History of science and technology  Search this
Digital Information Science Corporation  Search this
Diagnostic imaging  Search this
Medicine  Search this
Medical technology  Search this
Medical radiology  Search this
Whole body imaging  Search this
Tomography  Search this
Radiology  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuals -- 1970-1990
Patents
Photographs
Design drawings
Correspondence -- 20th century
Articles -- 20th century
Diagrams
Slides (photographs) -- 1950-2000
Notes
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Albums
Citation:
Robert Ledley Papers, 1972-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1135
See more items in:
Robert Ledley Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1135
Online Media:

Solomon Adler Papers

Creator:
Adler, Solomon, 1901-1989  Search this
Extent:
4.5 Cubic feet (5 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Printed material
Sketches
Photographs
Notes
Legal records
Drawings
Correspondence
Date:
1916-1980
bulk 1950-1966
Summary:
The papers document independent inventor Solomon Adler's work with sewing machine technology through correspondence, photographs, notes, drawings, sketches, patents, litigation records, and printed materials. The collection provides insight into both an independent inventor's process of invention and Japanese work culture during the post-World War II period.
Scope and Contents:
The papers include correspondence, photographs, notes, drawings, sketches, patents, litigation records, and printed materials, primarily documenting Adler's work with sewing machine technology. The papers provide insight into an independent inventor's process of invention and Japanese work culture during the post-World War II period.

Series 1, Personal Materials, 1920s-1950s and undated consists primarily of high school chemistry and biology notes, business cards, photographs, speeches, and writings of Sol Adler. The photographs contain one black-and-white portrait of Adler, November 1958, and two negatives of him from the nineteen teens; and one scanned copy of a photograph, circa the 1920s of Sol Adler with his children, R. Michael and Diane Zoe Adler. There is a small booklet, Agreement between Manufacturers Machine and Tool Co., Inc., and Amalgamated Machine and Instrument Local No. 475 from 1941. Adler worked for Manufacturers Machine and Tool Co., Inc.

Series 2, Inventions, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Other, 1919-1980 and undated, and Subseries 2, Sewing Machines, 1938-1962 and undated. Arranged chronologically, both subseries highlight Adler's inventive work. While the primary focus of Adler's invention work was on sewing machines, his interests were broad.

Subseries 2.1, Other Inventions, 1919-1980 and undated, contains documentation in the form of drawings and sketches, photographs, correspondence, and patents. Overall, the documentation is uneven. The inventions include a dividing head (a specialized tool that allows a workpiece to be easily and precisely rotated to preset angles or circular divisions); decorative window treatment; telescoping umbrella; can opener; question/answer machine; correlating device; radio station recording device; receptacle tap; fountain pen; television projection device; combined ash tray and cigarette holder; automatic machine gun; juice blender; thermonuclear idea; apparatus for producing pile fabric; an extensible, retractable and concealable table; and textile machinery.

Only some of Adler's inventions were patented. However, many of his ideas were well documented through drawings or descriptive text. In some instances prototypes were built.

The question and answer machine, 1939, was approximately three feet by four feet and was powered by a battery, the device was intended for educational use by children and adults. It used interchangeable answer cards on a broad range of subjects and informed the user of a correct and wrong answer by lights and a buzzer.

The correlating device, 1942, was designed for automobile use, and it combined driving directions and maps on a roll of paper data mounted on the dashboard. Although patented (US Patent 2,282,843), the device was never manufactured.

The radio station recording device, 1939, was a device to maintain a record of radio stations tuned on a radio receiver during a twenty-four hour period using recording disks.

The receptacle tap (Siphon-It), 1939, was patented (US Patent 2,184,263). The Siphon-It was designed to fit any size bottle, can, or the like containing fluids without removing the bottle cap. The "tap" punctured the bottle cap and was then turned like a screw several times. It allowed the contents under pressure to not lose carbonation and be poured easily.

The combined ash tray and cigarette holder and lighter, 1951, was Adler's only design patent (US Patent Des. 163,984). Purely ornamental, the tray would light and hold a cigarette.

The automatic machine gun, 1952, was conceived of by Adler and his son R. Michael Adler. The drawings and accompanying narrative text detail a method for cooling the gun through the use of an automatically operated gas turbine centrifugal air compressor and a gun of simple design with few parts and capable of an extremely high rate of fire. Adler submitted his drawings and text to the United States Army Ordance Department at the Pentagon, but it was not manufactured.

Adler's thermonuclear fusion proposal, a technical paper written in 1960, was never realized. The paper, titled "Attempt to Utilize the Concentrated Magnetic Field Around a Pinched Plasma Column as the Focal Point for Particle Acceleration," details through text and schematics Adler's ideas about a thermonuclear reactor. Additionally, there is correspondence, journal articles, newspaper articles, and a notebook with notes from other publications and some loose drawings related to thermonuclear issues.

An apparatus for producing pile fabric (US Patent 3,309,252), was patented in 1967. The intention of the apparatus was to create a method for producing carpets and rugs in a fast, practical, and inexpensive way.

Adler's work with non-woven textiles and fabrics (see US Patent 3,250,655) is well documented through correspondence, drawings, notes, fabric samples, and photographs. Adler founded the Adler Process Corporation in the 1960s as a research and development organization specializing in the development of products for domestic and industrial uses. The corporation also built machinery for the commercial production of the products which included pile fabric (such as carpeting), non-woven fabrics, and leather-like material. A prospectus details the "Adler Process."

Method and apparatus for production of pile carpeting and the like (US Patent 3,424,632, 3,592,374, and 3,655,490)

Subseries 2.2, Sewing machines, 1938-1962 and undated, consists primarily of documentation about the development of the Pacesetter sewing machine and its predecessors through correspondence, drawings and sketches, photographs, guide manuals, and promotional materials. Adler constructed skeletal aluminum models to better understand the functions and internal mechanisms of sewing machines. Between 1940 and 1948, he designed and constructed a sewing machine prototype, which he called his "Parent Machine." The Parent Machine would become known as the Pacesetter. Seven patents were awarded for the novel mechanisms contained within this prototype (US Patent 2,561,643), the most notable being for a compact sewing machine that could expand to a full-sized machine. Additional sewing machine inventions include the needleless sewing machine; a zig-zag sewing machine, and an attachment for a zig-zag sewing machine (US Patent 3,016,030).

While working as an engineer for the Brother International Corporation in Japan in the early 1950s, Adler developed the Pacesetter sewing machine. This portable machine was designed to meet the rapidly growing popularity of multiple decorative and embroidery patterns. A selector dial, which Adler called the "Wishing Dial," controlled sixteen internal cams, multiple cam selectors and followers to automatically sew thirty different basic decorative stitch patterns. Since the Pacesetter could sew both zigzag and straight stitches, varying the width and length of the basic patterns made it possible to create thousands of decorative variations. Adler introduced the Pacesetter sewing machine at the Independent Sewing Machine Dealers Show in New York, July 18, 1955.

Series 3: Brother International Corporation, 1954-1959 and undated

Started in 1908 by Kanekichi Yasui, the Yasui Sewing Machine Company manufactured and repaired sewing machines. The company was later renamed Yasui Brother Sewing Machine Company by Masayoshi Yasui, the eldest of Kanekichi's ten children, who inherited the company. The new name reflected the involvement and spirit of cooperation of other "brothers" in the Yasui family.

In 1934, the Yasui brothers liquidated the Yasui Brother Sewing Machine Company and created the Nippon Sewing Machine Company in Nagoya, Japan. Nippon emerged in response to a Japanese sewing machine market dominated by imported products, and it began mass producing industrial sewing machines. In 1941, Brother Sales, Ltd. was established as a sales outlet for the Japanese market, and in 1954 Brother International Corporation (BIC) was created as an exporting company with offices established in New York City. The company actively promoted exporting in advance of other Japanese companies.

Adler joined BIC in 1954 as a consultant for their product design and development work. This work was previously done in-house by design and engineering staff, so Adler, an American, was charting new territory. The materials in this series consist of corporate histories, and annual report, correspondence, product literature, conference materials, and notebooks maintained by Adler. The latter constitutes the bulk of the material along with the correspondence.

The "conference" materials document a meeting Adler attended, presumably in Japan in 1957. The file contains detailed notes about product marketing and production factors. A flow chart for "product coordinating factors" outlines the motivations, idea sources, management control, and execution of an idea generally.

The correspondence, 1954-1958, consists of letters and inter-company communications (memorandum), patents and drawings between Sol Adler, Max Hugel and the legal firm of, Kane, Dalsmier and Kane of New York. The correspondence relates almost exclusively to patenting matters, especially by Adler and legal matters involving Singer Sewing Manufacturing Company alleging that Brother International infringed on certain Singer-owned patents.

The notebooks of Solomon Adler, approximately 1951-1958, consists primarily of materials documenting Adler's work in Japan on sewing machines. The materials were assembled by Adler and titled "notebook." Some of the materials are three hole punched (indicating they may have been in a three-ring notebook) and are both handwritten and typescript. Also included are chronologies of his work; translations of Japanese words into English; drawings in pencil on tracing paper; sketches in pencil on scrap paper and letterhead; detailed notes about mechanisms and methods of sewing machine operation; business cards; comparative data for sewing machines; and correspondence.

Of note is the "digest" or chronology of events from 1958 to 1959 maintained by Adler to detail the alleged patent infringement of BIC on Singer Sewing machine patents. The digest also notes the value, author of a document, to whom it was sent, date, and a brief description. Adler created a ranking system for his digest, assigning different values, very important, urgent, important, and general. He also compiled a chart of competitor sewing machines by brand name. Many of the Japanese documents--patents and drawings--bear Adler's "chop" or rubber stamp with Japanese characters for his surname.

The Litigation Materials, 1952-1961 and undated, consists of documents (numbered exhibits) assembled by Adler for use in litigation against Brother International Corporation (BIC). The exhibits were used as documentary evidence in court, and the materials are primarily typescript notes and correspondence, newspaper clippings, articles, technical drawings by Adler, patents, photographs and some product literature detailing aspects of the BIC sewing machines.

In 1958, Singer Sewing Machine Company filed a lawsuit against Nippon Sewing Machine Company for patent infringement by BIC's Pacesetter and Select-O-Matic sewing machines. Adler, on behalf of Nippon, conducted extensive patent research into the allegations, working with BIC attorneys in New York as well as creating new sewing machine designs to overcome Singer's claims. In 1959, Singer filed another lawsuit alleging that Nippon was violating United States customs laws by shipping automatic zigzag sewing machines to the United States, which were alleged to infringe on Singer patents. Correspondence related to this patent infringement can be found in Series 3: Brother International Corporation.

Adler returned to the United States in April of 1959 as the representative for Nippon and the Japanese sewing machine industry to help prepare the case and act as a consultant. BIC and Singer representatives appeared before the United States Tariff Commission (USTC). Adler officially testified on behalf of BIC, explaining the three angle cam structure difference between the Singer #401 sewing machine and imported Japanese sewing machines. Adler's testimony was successful, and with patent problems resolved, Adler resigned from BIC in July of 1959 and commenced a long negotiation with the company for financial compensation for his invention work.

Series 5, Publications, 1953-1967, consists of select issues of theNew Japan Sewing Machine News, which followed developments in the Japanese sewing machine industry and other publications featuring articles and brief pieces about sewing machines in general.

References

(http://welcome.brother.com/hk-en/about-us/history.html last accessed on March 24, 2011)
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: Personal Materials, 1920-1950s and undated

Series 2: Inventions, 1938-1980

Subseries 1: Other, 1938-1980

Subseries 2: Sewing, 1938-1962 and undated

Series 3: Brother International Corporation, 1952-1961

Series 4: Publications, 1953-1967
Biographical / Historical:
Solomon "Sol" Adler is probably best known for his sewing machine inventions, but his portfolio of work also includes ideas and patents for a fountain pen, a window treatment, a receptacle tap, a telescoping umbrella, an ashtray, a retractable table, and jewelry designs. Adler wrote fiction as well (mostly short stories) that reflected his experiences during the early 1900s in New York City. He filled pages with themes on social protest, radicalism, mobs, unions, poverty, and sweatshop operators. In 1958 Adler wrote about theories of nuclear physics, noting, "Indeed a very bold attempt and definitely a long way from sewing machines." Adler's flow of ideas was constant, and he sought to express them constantly.

Sol Adler was born on July 8, 1901, [Russian?] on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, one of Isaac and Mindel Adler's five children. Isaac was a tailor, so sewing machines were part of Sol's life from the beginning. As a young man, Adler apprenticed in machine shops, honing his skills until he became an expert machinist and toolmaker; these skills eventually allowed him to build the machines he visualized. Adler's design drawings show his precision as a draftsman and engineer (he attended the City College of New York) and provide good insight into the drawing abilities that he later used in preparing patent drawings. Adler also enjoyed metalworking. His home workshop boasted a geared lathe, tilling head machine, drill press, bench grinder, and an assorted hand tools.

Adler's work on sewing machines began in the late 1930s with tinkering with his sister-in-law Bess's treadle-operated Singer machine. Bess wanted a lightweight, motorized sewing machine that had enough space between the frame and the needle for large projects such as quilts. Using his own basement machine shop, Adler began building simple frameworks for sewing machines to understand better the relationships between the parts and their functions. Adler's first sewing machine (which he dubbed the "parent machine") earned U.S. Patent 2,561,643, issued in 1951. The machine was a full-size home machine, with a concealed motor and power cord that could also expand into a commercial-size machine. Six subsequent patents for subassemblies were derived from the "parent machine" over the next several years.

During the Second World War, Adler worked for Manufacturing Methods Technology (MM&T) as a development engineer and experimental machine shop supervisor.

Analyzing the evolving U.S. domestic sewing machine market gave Adler ideas for further inventions, refining the machines and adding new features. Unfortunately, success was elusive; his machine with zigzag and straight-stitch capability was rejected by several U.S. and European sewing machine manufacturers. But in 1954, Adler met Max Hugel, president of the Asiatic Commerce Corporation of New York, later known as Brother International Corporation (BIC), a subsidiary of the Nippon Company. Nippon wanted to solve certain design and operational problems it was having in developing a zigzag sewing machine for sale in the United States. Adler joined BIC, moved to Japan, and succeeded in helping correct the design issues. Adler named the machine the "Select-O-Matic" because by turning a few knobs, an operator could select one of the six patterns that the machine produced.

Adler stayed with BIC until 1959, and worked on a variety of sewing machines, including an automatic zigzag machine and the versatile "Pacesetter," which was unveiled in the United States to great acclaim at the Sewing Machine Show in New York City on July 18, 1955 (a version of the Pacesetter is still sold by Brother). Additionally, he worked on a line of industrial and domestic sewing machines, home washing machines, home knitting machines, and other small appliances. Adler earned several Japanese patents for his work.

Among Adler's writings is a pronouncement of his passion for invention: "When an idea is conceived by an inventor, it never leaves him in peace, it possesses him day and night until it is expressed, after which he enjoys a sense of relief and accomplishment."

Adler married Fay (neé Kagan) in 1928. They had two children, Ralph Michael Adler and Diane Zoe Adler. Adler died on May 31, 1989 at the age of 88.

Issued United States Patents:

Receptacle tap (2,184,263)

Correlating device (2,284,843)

Sewing machine (2,561,643)

Sewing machine feed (2,473,934)

Bobbin winder for sewing machine (2,455,638)

Extension leaf for sewing machines (2,464,838)

Sewing machine feed (2,473,934)

Threading device (2,516,171)

Sewing machine pressure bar (2,554,970)

Sewing machine needle bar operating mechanism (2,554,971)

Sewing machine (2,561,643)

Sewing machine (2,709,978)

Attachment for zigzag sewing machines (3,016,030)

Sewing machine (3,053,207) assigned to Nippon Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company

Sewing machine (3,055,325) assigned to Nippon Sewing Machine Manufacturing Company

Method and apparatus for making non-woven fabric (3,236,711)assigned to Adler Process Corporation

Method for producing non-woven fabric (3,250,655)

Method and apparatus for producing pile fabric (3,309,252) assigned to Adler Process Corporation

Method and apparatus for production of pile fabric and the like (3,424,632) assigned to Adler Process Corporation

Combined ashtray, cigarette holder and lighter (Des. 163,984)
Separated Materials:
The Division of Home and Community Life holds artifacts related to this collection, including several sewing machine prototypes, the Siphon-It and the combination ashtray, lighter and cigarette holder. See Accession numbers: 2009.0118 and 2009.0114.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by R. Michael Adler and Diane Zoe Adler, September, 2009. Additonal materials were donated by R. Michael Adler in 2012.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Sewing machines  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Genre/Form:
Printed material
Sketches
Photographs -- 20th century
Notes
Legal records
Drawings -- 20th century
Correspondence
Citation:
Solomon Adler Papers, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1157
See more items in:
Solomon Adler Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1157
Online Media:

Landy R. Hales Papers

Creator:
Hales, Landy R., 1889-1972  Search this
Extent:
5.5 Cubic feet (15 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Design drawings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Clippings
Date:
1908 - 1969
Summary:
Papers document Landy R. Hales (1889-1972), an inventor and commercial artist who designed window and interior store displays, posters, children's games, and puzzles primarily from 1920s to 1930s in New York City and Baltimore. Of significance is Hales's work for Macy's Department Store. The papers consist of correspondence, patents, business records for several of Hales's companies, photographs, drawings/sketches, prototypes, and newspaper and magazine clippings.
Scope and Contents:
The papers document Hales's career as an inventor and commercial artist as well as his work in games, puzzles, educational tools, and posters. The collection includes sketches and design drawings, photographs, publicity materials, clippings and articles, and game prototypes.

Series 1, Brilliant Sign Company, 1908-1909, consists of stock shares, transferred by Hales to others in the amount of twenty dollars for the Brilliant Sign Company of Baltimore City, Maryland.

Series 2, Landy R. Hales, Inc., 1927-1929, 1944, consists of of invoices, orders, and check stubs from R.H. Macy and Company and Gimbel Brothers, Inc. for work by Landy R. Hales, Inc. for window displays. The orders detail what will be constructed and decorated. The R.H. Macy materials also contain a 1927 souvenir from Macy's Wonderland Christmas. Included in this series is a 1944 United States Treasury Department War Finance Program citation to Landy R. Hales.

Series 3, Hales Layer Poster Corporation, 1922-1969 (bulk 1920s), consists of materials documenting Hales poster company. Hales's formed Hales Layer Poster Corporation in New York State on July 16, 1925 to manufacture, purchase, sell and deal in layer posters and equipment for constructing layer posters in packaged or other forms. The corporation's other directors were Alfred J. Silberstein and Alvin A. Silberman, both of New York. Hales developed a new method of making a poster by placing cut-out pieces of materials such as composition board or wood on a background, then building layers to form three dimensions in the finished product. The first store to use Hales layer posters was Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. The posters were never sold and were only used in advertising and window displays.

The materials consist of stock shares and values, a certificate of incorporation, branded letterhead, correspondence, an order book (blank forms), a point-of-purchase ad featuring Little Red Riding Hood, a patent for a display device, layer poster instructions, examples of posters, sample card stock, and instructions for the ABCD Ease Game. The display device patent (US 1,563,485) was issued to Hales on December 1, 1925. The invention relates to display devices for commercial advertising arrangements constructed out of layers of veneer or cardboard for reproducing and illustrating articles for sale, magazines, posters or art works. The principal object was to provide a display picture having depth. The correspondence, 1922-1937, 1969 and undated, contains letters with individuals companies, hotels, and department stores primarily in New York City such as B.F. Keith's New York Hippodrome, Saks & Company, Hotel Nassau, Keystone Manufacturing Company, and Rialto Theatre. Much of the correspondence relates to services provided by Hales Layer Poster Corporation. Hales's correspondence with Morris Gest, a theatrical producer who introduced La Chauve-Souris, a touring revue during the early 1900s, to the United States. There is also a letter typewritten by Hales in 1969 to Pablo Picasso about copying Picasso prints using the Hales layer poster method.

The instructions for "how to make" a Hales layer poster are well documented, detailing the step-by-step process and including the use of Hales Studio colors for painting. Specific instructions for the "Tom, Tom Piper's Son" with color guide are found here. A full, unused layer poster kit is in box 14. Additionally, Hales created the ABCD Ease Game, a board game played with dice with the objective to reach "ease." The way to reach "Ease" is through truth, courage, justice, thrift, study, work, loyalty, and honesty. Instructions and prototypes of the gameboard are represented.

Series 4, Hales Manikins, Inc., 1938-1948 and undated, consists of correspondence, a voting trust agreement, board of directors meeting minutes, stock shares, a floor plan for the company, blueprints for rubber figures, and a patent for a manikin and method of making the same (US 2,129,421). Hales Maninikin incorporated in 1941 in Baltimore, Maryland to manufacture, distribute, sell and otherwise deal in manikins and other display advertising figures. The board of directors meeting minutes contain articles of incorporation, by-laws, and minutes.

Series 5, Hales Pictures, Inc., 1937-1938, 1967 and undated, consists of an agreement with Walt Disney Enterprises, sketches by Kay Kamen, Ltd., a press release about Hales Picture Puzzles, and prototypes of Hales Puzzle Pictures. Of note is a copy of the February 1938 Rockefeller Center Magazine. The magazine contains articles about science, technology, publishing, the arts, events at Radio City Music Hall (Disney-related) and television. It offers good documentation of office business machines.

The first series of puzzles Hales introduced in 1937 were four subjects from Walt Disney's characters: Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Donald Duck. The object of the puzzle was to put all of the pieces together in their proper place--some of the puzzle pieces were raised to different levels. After the puzzle was completed, it could be glued to a backboard. There are prototypes for the Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse and Donald Duck puzzles. Only the Mickey and Minnie puzzles contain puzzle pieces. The Donald Duck puzzle consists of the box only.

In August 1937, Hales Pictures Inc., entered into a one year agreement with Walt Disney Enterprises that granted Hales the right to reproduce Disney characters for his puzzles and poster pictures. Hales paid Disney the sum of five-hundred dollars as an advance on future royalties. Disney also provided to Hales typical representations of the Disney characters. There are a series of Kay Kamen Ltd., Disney character drawings for Pluto, Donald Duck, Minnie Mouse, and Mickey Mouse. These drawings were provided to Hales by Kamen. The Minnie and Mickey Mouse drawings have been heavily annotated and mocked up by Hales for the purposes of creating his signature Hales Puzzle Pictures. Kamen (d. 1949) began his professional career as a retail hat merchant and later entered advertising. In 1932, Kamen contacted Disney, soon signed a contract, and was named the company's sole licensing representative. Through merchandising, Kamen made Disney's mouse star popular.

Series 6, Hales Sign Company, 1909 and undated, consists of examples of promotional and branded pieces for Hales's sign painting business that was located in Baltimore, Maryland.

Series 7, Drawings/Sketches, 1927-1930 and undated, consists of pencil, ink and paint sketches. The bulk of the sketches are Christmas-related, such as the poster study for the Macy's Christmas Wonderland, 1927 and the toy department displays for a bridge, drawbridge, house and tower. Other sketches include Noah's Ark, a matador, the "The Wise Woman of Gotham," Carlin's Amusement Park of Baltimore, Maryland, and resort scenes (tennis, golf and sailing).

Series 8, Photographs, 1925-1935, consists primarily of black-and-white prints documenting Hales's work in his studio and for clients such as Macy's. Some of the photographs were taken by Worsinger Window Service, Hughes Company of Baltimore, Le Don Studio of White Plains, New York; Apeda Studio, Inc. of New York City; Schultze Studio of Brooklyn, New York, and H.C. Campbell Company of Oakland, California.

Series 9, Greeting Cards, undated, consists of examples of greeting cards and postcards, primarily for Christmas, Easter, and Valentines Day, assembled by Hales.

Series 10, Clippings, 1922-1935, consists of loose photocopies and original news and magazine clippings in a bound volume. The clippings primarily relate to Hales's work in New York City, but there are clippings about The Corner Shop at Macy's, and there are copies of illustrations assembled by Hales, specifically the "Best Fifty Small Folio Currier and Ives Prints. " The majority of these he clipped from the New York Sun. Also included are clippings about La Chauve-Souris the touring revue during the early 1900s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1, Brillant Sign Company, 1908-1909

Series 2, Landy R. Hales, Inc., 1927-1929, 1944

Series 3, Hales Layer Poster Corporation, 1922-1969 (bulk 1920s)

Series 4, Hales Manikins, Inc., 1938-1948 and undated

Series 5, Hales Pictures, Inc., 1937-1938, 1967 and undated

Series 6, Hales Sign Company, 1909 and undated

Series 7, Drawings/Sketches, 1927-1930 and undated

Series 8, Photographs, 1925-1935

Series 9, Greeting Cards, undated

Series 10, Clippings, 1922-1935
Biographical / Historical:
Landy R. Hales was born on September 17, 1889 in Baltimore, Maryland to Landy J. Hales and Fanny Linthicum Hales. Hales grew up in Anne Arundel, Maryland and had one brother, Wesley Hales. Hales began his career with no formal art training and apprenticed as a sign painter in Baltimore, Maryland. In 1908, Hales formed the Brilliant Sign Company in Baltimore to design displays for area businesses. In 1913, Hales married Lenore McCully. They had two children, Elizabeth McCully Hales (b. 1915) and Landy Romain Hales (b. 1921).

During World War I, Hales designed posters for the Liberty Bond Program, created by then Secretary of the Treasury William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941). This poster campaign was intended to popularize the bonds, and Hales created posters using his "layer technique," which was a method of making a poster by placing cut-out pieces of materials such as composition board or wood on a background, then building layers to form three dimensions in the finished product. In the early 1920s, Hales moved to New York City to advance his career and expand his opportunities. In New York, Hales specialized in display devices, commercial art, and advertising. An artist-inventor, Hales patented two ideas, a display device (US Patent 1,563,485) and a manikin (US Patent 2,129,421). He founded Landy R. Hales, Inc. (1925), Hales Layer Poster Corporation (1925), Hales Manikins, Inc. (1941), and Hales Pictures, Inc. 1937. In 1937, Hales Pictures Inc., entered into a one-year agreement with Walt Disney Enterprises that granted Hales the right to reproduce Disney characters for his puzzles and poster pictures. During the same year, Hales leased office space at Rockefeller Center.

Hales worked for Morris Gest, a theatrical producer, creating advertising for the Russian show Le Chauve Sourvis which featured the Parade of the Wooden Soldiers. Hales also manufactured and installed mechanical displays in Macy's Christmas windows at 34th Street and worked as an independent contractor for other department stores such as Gimbel Brothers and Saks & Company as well as the Hotel Nassau, Keystone Manufacturing Company, Rialto Theater, Keith's New York Hippodrome, and the Music Box Theatre.

Hales left New York City in 1945 and returned to Maryland, where he did commercial work for Carlin's Amusement Park in Baltimore and created layer posters for himself and family members. Hales died in 1972 at the age of 84.
Related Materials:
Materials at the Archives Center

Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Parades:stereographs, circa 1880-1908 (AC0060)

Messmore and Damon Company Records, 1930s-1990s (AC0846)

Hudson Fulton Celebration Parade Photograph Album, 1909 (AC1149)

William L. Bird "Holidays on Display" Collection (AC1288)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Katharine Landa McNulty Hogben, Frances Helen McNulty Beverage, Margaret Ann McNulty Klipp, Lenore Hales McNulty Frey, and Elizabeth Stuart McNulty on November 27, 2005.
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:
Games  Search this
Display of merchandise  Search this
Toys -- 20th century  Search this
Store decoration  Search this
Parades  Search this
Parade floats  Search this
Show windows  Search this
Packaging  Search this
Parade float designers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Design drawings
Sketches
Scrapbooks
Photographs -- 20th century
Clippings
Citation:
Landy R. Hales Papers, 1908-1969, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0906
See more items in:
Landy R. Hales Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0906
Online Media:

A. Bernie Wood Papers

Creator:
Wood, Arthur Bernie, 1921-1986  Search this
Extent:
10 Cubic feet (27 boxes, 2 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Slides (photographs)
Clippings
Negatives
Transparencies
Matchcovers
Placemats
Stationery
Business cards
Business records
Advertisements
Photographs
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works)
Design drawings
Date:
1942-2001
bulk 1960-1969
Summary:
A. (Arthur) Bernie Wood (1921-1986) was an advertising designer, consultant, and inventor actively involved in the development of the restaurant franchise industry in America during the 1960s and 1970s. Particularly notable is his work with marketing, promotion, and merchandising for the McDonald's Corporation during its formative years.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the post-war development of the franchise business system from an insider's view. Wood participated in almost all aspects of franchising activities from design to ownership. The materials consist of a wide variety of corporate identity elements--primarily visual--developed by Wood under contract to various corporations in the food service industry. Wood delivered his services in design concepts and graphics for advertisers and industrial firms using photo graphics and lithographic media.
Arrangement:
The collection organized into seven series.

Series 1: Personal Materials, 1942-1986, undated

Series 2: Business Materials, 1959-2001, undated

Subseries 1: Franchise information, 1961-2001

Subseries 2: Design work, undated

Subseries 3: Reference materials, 1959-1972

Series 3: McDonald's Corporation, 1957-1985

Subseries 1: Background materials, 1963, 1985, undated

Subseries 2: Corporate materials, 1960-1984

Subseries 3: Newsletters, 1960-1964, 1983

Subseries 4: Advertising and marketing materials, 1957-1978, undated

Subseries 5: Packaging, 1964, undated

Subseries 6: Sales materials, 1963, 1964, [1972?], undated

Subseries 7: Drawings, 1960s-1970s

Series 4: Client Files, 1958-1984

Series 5: Patent and Trademark Materials, 1962-1976

Subseries 1: Patents and patent applications, 1962-1969, 1975-1976

Subseries 2: Trademarks, 1964-1970

Series 6: Photographs, Slides and Negatives, 1963-1975, undated

Subseries 1: Biographical, 1964, 1975, undated

Subseries 2: Client Work, 1963-1968

Subseries 3: Slide Presentations, 1963-1969, undated

Series 7: Audio and Moving Image Materials, 1963, 1964, 1968

Subseries 1: Audio Materials, 1963, 1964, 1968

Subseries 2: Moving Image Materials, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Arthur Bernie Wood (1921-1986) was born in Council Grove, Kansas. Wood graduated from Central High School in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1939 and subsequently attended several junior colleges and business and trade schools. Wood held a variety of positions in typesetting and lithographic services from 1940 until military service in the United States Navy (1942-1945). In the Navy, Wood served as a Laboratory Technician, 1st Class Photographic Specialist at the Naval Air Station, Glenview, Illinois. While in the Navy, Wood produced patentable material for a photo-litho process for instant printing techniques through photosynthesis. After being discharged from the Navy, Wood worked for an art studio that serviced advertising agencies. This work involved reproduction art, direct mailing services, mail order books, and newspaper art for Marshall Field's. From 1958 to 1960, Wood established the A. Bernie Wood Studio in Chicago to provide finished photographic art for leading advertising and print publications and television.

In 1961, Wood founded Admart, Inc., Advertising. As the president and creative director of Admart, he created, promoted, and merchandised the new fast-food corporate image of McDonald's Carry-Out Restaurants. While working for McDonald's, Wood designed interior food service floor plans, a logotype, direct mailing materials, posters, newspaper mat campaigns, and radio taped productions (1963-1964). Wood obtained several patents--beverage cup holder (1964), candy box (1967), finger-grip food product containers (1967), and a refreshment tray-forming template (1964) and trademarks--"Chick'n-2-Go" (1968);"NEATRAE" (1967); and "Ma and Pa's Country Candy Store" (1966). Wood, and Donald Conley formed Neat Containers Associates to promote the use of "Neatrae" and license it.

In 1965, Wood founded a franchise business called Ma and Pa's Country Candy Stores in Arlington Heights, Illinois, which he owned and operated with his wife Marilyn until 1972. They also owned another unit in Long Grove, Illinois. As the director and co-founder of this franchise, Wood was responsible for creating names, trademarks, copyrights, and image materials. He sold franchise rights to others, and there were other Ma and Pa's Country Candy Stores located in the United States, especially in St. Louis. He also designed store interiors and exteriors for other clients and supervised construction. From 1964 to 1965, Wood was a freelance designer and consultant on design, marketing, and franchising issues for restaurants and drive-ins. Other corporate images designed by Wood include: Prince Castle, Neba Roast Beef, and Friar Fish's Fish and Chips. Wood expressed his goal to design an image/logo as one "that would be recognized and one that would relate to products, packaging, properties, people, procedures and promotion. Put together, these elements communicated and coordinated the corporate image."

Wood also developed the concept Dial "All Wood," the use of a memorable association of letters rather than phone numbers (255-9663) and requesting specific phone numbers from the local Illinois Bell Telephone.

Wood married Marilyn Dewar (1923-1981) on May 27, 1942, in Kansas City, Missouri. They had five children: Ronald W.; Rhonda C.; Randall S.; Rayne Ann; and Rodger L.

Wood died on April 5, 1986.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Rayne Ann Wood, daughter of A. Bernie Wood, on February 25, 2007.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
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:
Restaurants  Search this
Trademarks  Search this
Patents  Search this
advertising  Search this
Franchises (Retail trade)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Slides (photographs) -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Negatives
Transparencies
Matchcovers
Placemats
Stationery
Business cards
Business records -- 1950-2000
Advertisements -- 20th century
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Drawings
Motion pictures (visual works) -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Citation:
A. Bernie Wood papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0962
See more items in:
A. Bernie Wood Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0962
Online Media:

James W. Holmes Karting Collection

Creator:
Holmes, James W.  Search this
Di Nozzi, Robert  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Posters
Design drawings
Correspondence
Decals
Microfilms
Programs
Business records
Black-and-white negatives
Specifications
Newsletters
Date:
1961-1979
Summary:
Collection documents James Holmes, an advertising agent who specialized in advertising for the Karting industry. Holmes created magazine advertising, product catalogs and event promotional materials as well as logo and patch designs for manufacturers and karting sport sanctioning organizations.
Scope and Contents note:
The collection spans the years 1961-1979, but the majority of the documentation is from the 1960s. The collection is arranged into seven series.

Series 1: James W. Holmes Advertising Agency, 1979, consists of invoices from the Holmes Advertising Agency.

Series 2: Manufacturers, ca. 1960s, is arranged alphabetically by manufacturer name (clients Holmes handled) and consists of negatives and some photographs of parts produced by the manufacturers. The negatives were used to create catalogs for various companies selling go-karts.

Series 3: Go-Kart Races, 1961-1978, undated, is arranged alphabetically by the race site. Almost exclusively negatives, there are some photographs and two microfilm reels depicting races throughout the United States.

eries 4: Go-Kart Associations, 1964-1968, undated, contains documentation on associations, councils and clubs associated with the go-karting industry. Of interest are seven issues of the Grand Prix Press, a newspaper published by Meadowdale International Raceways, Inc.

Series 5: Miscellaneous, undated, consists of one folder of material which includes newspaper clippings, business cards, art work, and articles.
Arrangement:
Collection is aranged into five series.
Biographical/Historical note:
The first go-kart was built in southern California by Art Ingels in 1957. Three other individualsBBill Rowles, Duffy Livingstone, and Roy DesbrowBfounded GoKart Manufacturing Company in 1957, and offered the first commercially available kart, the GoKart 400. James Holmes was a prominent advertising agent involved with the karting industry in the midwest from the 1960s to 1980s. He created magazine advertising, product catalogs and event promotional materials as well as logo and patch designs for manufacturers and karting sport sanctioning organizations. Some of Holmes= clients included: G.E.M. Products, Evans Supply Company, Max-Torque, Inc., Rolfe Aircraft Associates, Rupp Mfg., and Simplex Mfg.
Provenance:
Collection donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History by Robert DiNozzi, January 16, 2002. Items donated are from the personal collection of Mr. James Holmes of the James Holmes Advertising Agency
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:
Go-Karts  Search this
Karting  Search this
Karts (Automobiles)  Search this
advertising  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Posters -- 20th century
Design drawings
Correspondence -- 1960-1990
Decals
Microfilms
Programs -- Sports
Business records -- 1950-2000
Black-and-white negatives
Specifications
Newsletters -- 1950-2000
Citation:
James W. Holmes Karting Collection, 1961-1979, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0787
See more items in:
James W. Holmes Karting Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0787

Andre Piette Collection

Collector:
Ceramics and Glass, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Ceramics and Glass, Division of (NMAH, SI).  Search this
Donor:
Magdoff, Sam  Search this
Magdoff, Sam  Search this
Creator:
Piette, Andre, 1934-1984 (ceramic designer, artist)  Search this
Names:
Johnson, Lady Bird, 1912-  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (8 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Drawings
Design drawings
Christmas cards
Designs
Clippings
Tracings
Wrapping materials
Date:
1954-1979
Summary:
Collection documents Andre Piette's career as an illustrator and designer. The materials include sketches, drawings, tracings, photographs (color transparencies, slides, and prints), and samples of wallpaper, designs for gift wrap, and a few textiles.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of a wide range of materials documenting Andre Piette's career as an illustrator and designer. The materials include sketches, drawings, tracings, photographs (color transparencies, slides, and prints), and samples of wallpaper, designs for gift wrap, and a few textiles. The materials are the product of the Piette's early years in the United States (1960s) as a landscape artist in New England and as an associate of Norman Rockwell and of his later work for Tiffany & Company as a freelance designer. As an employee of Tiffany, Piette designed the White House china set for Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson. Materials documenting this effort—White House China—are the largest series in the collection. Other design work includes cards, silver, parquet flooring, and china. There also are drawings and tracings not associated with specific functional products.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: White House China, 1967-1970, undated

Series 2: Other Designs, undated

Series 3: Andre Piette Scrapbook, undated

Series 4: Oversize, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Piette, artist and designer, spent his early years studying at the Academie Royale De Beaux-Arts in Liege, Belgium. He is noted for his designs of Christmas cards, wrapping paper, and wallpaper. In 1968 he was commissioned by Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson to design a set of White House state china, consisting of 2,500 pieces.
Provenance:
Donated by Sam Magdoff, Dean of Continuing Education, Parsons School of Design, July 29, 1985.
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:
Ceramics  Search this
Porcelain -- 20th century  Search this
Ceramics -- Design  Search this
Design -- United States  Search this
Wallpaper -- Design  Search this
Designers  Search this
White House china  Search this
Christmas card design  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1940-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Drawings -- 1950-1990
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Christmas cards
Designs
Clippings -- 1950-2000
Tracings
Wrapping materials -- Design
Citation:
Andre Piette Collection, 1954-1979, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0129
See more items in:
Andre Piette Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0129
Online Media:

Pratt, Read Corporation Records

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

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

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

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

Series 4: Gould Aeronautical Division, 1941-1977

Series 5: Subsidiary and Related Companies, 1859-1980

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sources

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

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

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

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

Newspaper Clippings in the collection.

Pratt Read Corporation. Annual Reports.

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

Frederick and Mary Hill Fried Folk Art Archives

Creator:
Fried, Frederick, 1909-1994  Search this
National Carousel Association.  Search this
Fried, Mary Hill  Search this
Extent:
36 Cubic feet (89 boxes, 10 map-folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Advertisements
Clippings
Blueprints
Books
Auction catalogs
Design drawings
Date:
circa 1662-1999, undated
Scope and Contents:
Collection primarily documents American folk art collected by Frederick Fried (1908-1994) and his wife Mary McKensie Hill Fried (1914-1988). It includes photographic materials, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, research files, lecture notes, unpublished manuscripts, brochures, drawings, printed advertisements, blueprints, books, patents, correspondence, trade literature, sheet music, auction catalogs, oral history interviews, and commercially recorded music. Of particular interest is the material relating to carousels. There is a substantial amount of material relating to New York architecture, wood carvings, show figures, weathervanes, mechanical and coin operated machines, amusement parks, the circus, tattoos and lesser-known folk arts. The collection is arranged by subject or genre in the order maintained by Frederick and Mary Fried.
Arrangement:
Series 1, Professional Materials, 1930-1995, undated

Subseries 1.1, Lectures, 1968-1989, undated

Subseries 1.2, Research Notes, 1962-1975, undated

Subseries 1.3, Published and Unpublished Materials, 1960-1990, undated

Subseries 1.4, Exhibitions, 1966-1985, undated

Subseries 1.5, Correspondence, 1945-1995, undated

Subseries 1.6, Office Files, 1930-1991, undated

Series 2, Sculptors and Ship Carvers, 1855-1987, undated

Series 3, Ship Carving Reference Files, 1875-1990, undated

Series 4, Show Figures, 1847-1989, undated

Subseries 4.1, Carvers, 1847-1987, undated

Subseries 4.2, Reference Files, 1864-1989, undated

Series 5: Carousels, 1851-1999, undated

Subseries 5.1, Reference Files, 1851-1990, undated

Subseries 5.2, Manufacturerst, 1854-1999, undated

Subseries 5.3, Carvers, undated

Subseries 5.4, Foreign, 1902, undated

Subseries 5.5, Organizations, 1974-1991, undated

Subseries 5.6, Museum Collections, 1959-1989, undated

Series 5.7, Sites, 1962-1991, undated

Series 6, Charles W. Parker Company, 1904-1905; 1922-1924, undated

Subseries 6.1, Glass Plate Negatives, 6x8, 1904-1905, undated

Subseries 6.2, Glass Plate Negatives, 8x10, 1922-1924, undated

Series 7, Amusements Parks, 1917-1992, undated

Series 8, Amusement Industry, 1662-1994, undated

Subseries 8.1, Companies, 1903, undated

Subseries 8.2, Reference Files, 1662-1994, undated

Series 9, Circus, 1902-1992, undated

Series 10, Architectural Ornaments, 1832-1988, undated

Subseries 10.1, Residential Architecture, 1899-1985, undated

Subseries 10.2, New York City Municipal Parks, 1968-1988, undated

Subseries 10.3, South Street Seaport, 1965-1970, undated

Subseries 10.4, New York Civic Sculpture, 1832-1977, undated

Subseries 10.5, Architectural Ornamentation, 1873-1985, undated

Series 11, Weathervanes, 1854-1981, undated

Series 12, Automatic, Coin Operated and Vending Machines, 1960-1980, undated

Series 13, Banner Paintings and Painters, 1892-1999, undated

Series 14, Folk Arts, 1783-1999, undated

Subseries 14.1, Reference Files, 1831-1988, undated

Subseries 14.2, Clocks and Watches, 1869-1876; 1976, undated

Subseries 14.3, Eagles, 1843-1989, undated

Subseries 14.4, Musical Instruments, 1963-1999, undated

Subseries 14.5, Painters and Paintings, 1950-1990, undated

Subseries 14.6, Signs and Symbols, 1974, 1976, undated

Subseries 14.7, Other Materials, 1872-1988, undated

Subseries 14.8, Miscellaneous, 1783-1954, undated

Series 15: Photographic Materials, 1832-1988, undated

Subseries 15.1, Photographs and Contact Sheets, 1940-1984, undated

Subseries 15.1.1, America's Forgotten Arts, undated

Subseries 15.1.2, Artists in Wood, undated

Subseries 15.1.3, General, 1940-1984, undated

Subseries 15.2, Slides, 1832-1987, undated

Subseries 15.3, Negatives, undated

Subseries 15.4, Glass Plate Negatives, undated

Subseries 15.5, Snapshots, 1964-1988, undated

Subseries 15.5.1, Artists, Manufacturers, and Dealers, undated

Subseries 15.5.2, Museum or Public Collections, 1964, undated

Subseries 15.5.3, Parks or Other Locations, undated

Subseries 15.5.4, Private Collections, 1987-1988, undated

Subseries 15.5.5, General, 1987-1988, undated

Series 16, Audiovisual Materials, 1940-1991, undated

Subseries 16.1, Audiocassette Tapes, 1971-1988, undated

Subseries 16.1.1, Lectures, 1974-1986, undated

Subseries 16.1.2, Interviews, 1971-1984, undated

Subseries 16.1.3, Music, 1972-1988, undated

Subseries 16.2, Audiotapes, 1940-1977, undated

Subseries 16.2.1, Lectures and Performances, 1969-1973, undated

Subseries 16.2.2, Interviews, 1940-1976, undated

Subseries 16.2.3, Conferences and Meetings, 1973-1977

Subseries 16.2.4, Music, 1956, undated

Subseries 16.2.5, Other, undated

Subseries 16.3, Videotapes, 1982-1991, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Frederick P. Fried was born December 11, 1908 in Brooklyn, New York. He grew up in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn where his father owned a clock business across the street from Charles Carmel, a carousel carver. Fried acquired a fine-arts education in the 1930s with an emphasis on sculpture. He served with the Air Force during the Second World War. After a successful military career, Fried worked as art director in several fashion agencies. He met Mary McKenzie Hill, an academically trained artist in one of the studios.

Mary McKenzie Hill was born in 1914 in Baltimore, Maryland. She graduated from the Maryland Institute of Fine Arts. After graduation, she spent a year abroad studying before she returned to the United States to work as a fashion illustrator in Baltimore and New York. During World War Two Hill was a draftsman for a firm of architects.

Fried and Mary Hill married in 1949. The couple had two children Robert Hazen and Rachel. Around 1953 Fried began to collect architectural ornaments in New York. Fried served as the art director for Bonwit Teller in New York City from 1955-1962. He left the fashion world in 1962 to pursue his passion for collecting and writing full time. Fried published his first book, Pictorial History of Carousels in 1964. In 1967, Fred and Mary Fried purchased a forty-acre farm in Bristol, Vermont where the family spent their summers.

In 1968, Fried led a national campaign to preserve the Titanic Memorial Lighthouse (Seamen's Church Institute at South Street). He also became active in politics and served as the campaign manager for a New York State senator. His interest in Indian cigar store figures resulted in his publication Artists in Wood: American Carvers of Cigar Store Indians, Show Figures and Circus published in 1970. The focus of the book was Samuel Anderson Robb a New York wood carver. Fried co-founded the National Carousel Association in 1973. In 1978, Fried wrote America's Forgotten Folk Art with his wife Mary. This publication covered subjects such as carousels, banner painting, scarecrows, beach sand sculpture, tattoos, cast iron toys, amusement park architecture and trade signs.

Fried's collecting goal was to first preserve artifacts and to then make them available through his writings and exhibitions. His most treasured relics were the items he salvaged from the ruins of Coney Island. Fried referred to such artifacts as the uncelebrated arts. He became one of the founders of the Anonymous Arts Recovery Society a group of individuals who saved architectural ornaments from the wreckers' balls. In addition, he was one of the founders of the National Carousel Round Table which was created to preserve hand-carved merry-go-rounds. As a result of his collecting, research and writing Fried became recognized as the authority on carousels, coin-operated machines, and cigar store figures. He served as a consultant to many Museums; in particular as chief consultant on American Folk Art for the Smithsonian Institution.

Frederick and Mary Hill worked together in many ways to document, collect, preserve and increase the awareness about primarily the folk arts. Mary McKenzie Hill Fried passed away in 1988 at the age of seventy-four. Frederick P. Fried died July 1994 at the age of eighty-six.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

E. Howard Clock Company Records (NMAH.AC.00776)

M. Francis Misklea Carousel Collection (NMAH.AC.0665)

Archives Center Carousel Collection (NMAH.AC.0675)

Messmore and Damon, Incorporated Company Records (NMAH.AC.0846)

Anthony W. Pendergast Collection (NMAH.AC.0882)

Frank Paulin Photoprints (NMAH.AC.1373)

Wurlitzer Company Records (NMAH.AC.0469)
Provenance:
Collection a bequest of the Frederick Fried Estate.
Rights:
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Fees for commercial reproduction.
Occupation:
Wood-carvers  Search this
Topic:
Periodicals  Search this
Merry-go-round art  Search this
Signs and signboards  Search this
Weather vanes  Search this
Coin-operated machines  Search this
Architecture -- Details  Search this
Amusement ride equipment industry  Search this
Amusement rides  Search this
Folk art  Search this
Merry-go-round  Search this
Figure sculpture -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs -- 20th century
Advertisements
Clippings
Blueprints -- 20th century
Books
Auction catalogs
Design drawings
Citation:
Frederick and Mary Hill Fried Folk Art Archives, circa 1662-1999, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0528
See more items in:
Frederick and Mary Hill Fried Folk Art Archives
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0528
Online Media:

Lester Beall collection

Topic:
American printer (New York, N.Y.)
Red Cross magazine
Time
McCall's (Los Angeles, Calif. : 1921)
Fortune
Creator:
Beall, Lester, 1903-  Search this
Names:
Abbott Laboratories  Search this
Art Directors Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Chance Vought Corporation  Search this
Chicago Tribune (Firm)  Search this
Cone Automatic Machine Company  Search this
Cooper-Hewitt Design Archive  Search this
George Bijur, Inc.  Search this
Heim Jeunes Filles  Search this
House of Herbs, Inc.  Search this
International Paper Company  Search this
Labatt's Canada Limited  Search this
Marshall Field & Company (Chicago, Ill.)  Search this
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, inc.  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Narragansett Brewing Co.  Search this
Stanley Works Inc.  Search this
Upjohn Company  Search this
Hauck, Fred  Search this
Extent:
1 Cubic foot (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Exhibition catalogs
Posters
Announcements
Photographs
Design drawings
Logos
Greeting cards
Place:
Dumbarton Farm (Brookfield, Conn.)
Date:
1933-[circa 1967]
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the career of Lester Beall, graphic designer and commercial artist from approximately 1933-1967.
Arrangement:
Record Groups include:

I. "Scope" Magazine

II. Modern Art 5,000 Years Ago

III. Red Cross Magazines

IV. Greeting Cards

V. Time Magazine ads

VI. Logo Designs

VII. Cone Automatic Machine Co., tear sheets

VIII. Miscellaneous Covers

IX. George Bijur, Inc.

X. Labatt's of Canada and Catch! Narragansett Ale design campaigns

XI. Exhibition, Art Center, California

XII. Abbott Laboratories, "What's New"

XIII. Marshall Field and Company

XIV. Miscellaneous Advertisements
Biographical / Historical:
American designer Lester Beall (1903-1969) was educated at Lane Technical School in Chicago and received a bachelor's degree in art history from the University of Chicago. Upon discovering the work of the European avant-garde, Beall was inspired to bring American design of the 1930s and 1940s to a higher level of effective visual communication. Self-taught, Lester Beall was one of the first Americans to have his work shown in a German monthly graphics periodical, Gebrauchsgraphik, and was one of the first Americans to incorporate the New Typography, using techniques such as photomontage, collage and the use of cut-out flat colored paper in combination with photography and economical line drawing, reworking the element of European modernism into distinctive American style. He produced solutions to graphic design problems that were unique among his American contemporaries.

Beall moved from Chicago to New York in 1935 and did work that was influential to the field of editorial design. Between 1938 and 1940, he redesigned twenty magazines for McGraw Hill, in 1946 he designed two covers for Fortune and in 1944, he began designing Scope magazine for UpJohn Pharmaceuticals which he did until 1951. In 1952, Beall opened a design office on Dumbarton Farm, his home in rural Connecticut. In 1973, four years after his death, Lester Beall was inducted into the New York Art Directors Club Hall of Fame.

Philip B. Meggs credits Beall with "almost single-handedly launching the modern movement in American design". In 1973, four years after his death, the Art Directors Club of New York belatedly elected him to its prestigious Hall of Fame. Bob Plisken, who worked for Beall in the early 1940s, said on that occasion, "In my opinion, Beall did more than anyone to make graphic design in American a distinct and respected profession".
Bibliographic References:
Lester Beall. Brookfield Center, Conn. : Lester Beall, Inc., [197-?].
Nine Pioneers in American Graphic Design / Roger R. Remington and Barbara J. Hodik. Cambridge, Mass. : MIT Press, 1989.
Lester Beall : trailblazer of American graphic design / Roger R. Remington. New York : W.W. Norton, 1996.
Graphic Design History / Steven Heller and Georgette Balance. New York : Allworth Press, 2001.
Provenance:
All materials were donated to the museum by Mr. Lester Beall, Jr. in 1998.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Occupation:
Graphic designers -- United States  Search this
Commercial artists -- United States  Search this
Topic:
Graphic arts -- Sources -- History -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Commercial art -- Sources -- History -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Tear sheets
Advertisements
Exhibition catalogs
Posters
Announcements
Photographs -- 20th century
Design drawings
Logos
Greeting cards
Citation:
Lester Beall collection, 1933-circa 1967, Archives Center, National Museum of American HIstory.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1278
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1278

Sandford Greeting Card Company and Family Papers

Creator:
MacDowell, Helen Sandford, 1889-  Search this
Pease, L.F.  Search this
Prince, Georgiana K., 1861-1915  Search this
Sandford Greeting Card Company  Search this
Gilman, Georgiana Sandford, 1887-1982  Search this
Sandford, Frank S., 1853-1924  Search this
Sandford, Mary Elizabeth, 1852-1936  Search this
Sandford, Ruth, 1879-1972  Search this
Donor:
Gilman, R. Thompson  Search this
Gilman, R. Thompson  Search this
Names:
American Red Cross  Search this
Women's Christian Temperance Union  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (37 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Cartes-de-visite
Clippings
Travel diaries
Photograph albums
Programs
Advertising
Photographs
Letters (correspondence)
Dvds
Business cards
Trade catalogs
Genealogies
Diaries
Design drawings
Business records
Account books
Calling cards
Cabinet photographs
Daguerreotypes
Memoirs
Place:
Panama Canal (Panama)
Date:
1831-2004
Summary:
Collection documents the business activities of the Sandford Card Company and include the papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford, founder of the company, and her immediate family.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the business activities of the Sandford Card Company primarily in the early part of the century. It includes product designs and samples; advertising and marketing materials, as well as, correspondence and financial papers. In addition, there are the papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford, founder of the company, and her immediate family. These materials consist primarily of diaries, photographs, correspondence, family histories and genealogies. The collection is arranged into four series. Series one documents the business activities of the Sandford Card Company. Series two contains the personal papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford, her husband Frank Sherman Sandford and their children. Series three is the personal papers of Mary Elizabeth Sandford's parents and siblings. Series four is the personal papers of extended family members mostly by marriage.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: Sandford Card Company Records, 1880-1967; undated

Subseries 1.1: Correspondence, 1909-1936; undated

Subseries 1.2: Financial Records, 1880-1926; undated

Subseries 1.3: Product Designs and Samples, 1911-1941; undated

Subseries 1.4: Advertising and Marketing Materials, 1924-1967; undated

Series 2: Sandford Family Papers, 1831-2003; undated

Subseries 2.1: Frank Sherman Sandford, 1870-1925; undated

Subseries 2.2: Mary Elizabeth Kennedy Sandford, 1868-2003; undated

Subseries 2.3: Ruth Louise Sandford, 1900-1972; undated

Subseries 2.4: John Joseph Sanford, 1900-1987; undated

Subseries 2.5: Georgiana Kennedy Sandford Gilman, 1870-1973; undated

Subseries 2.6: Helen Louise Sandford McDowell, 1899-2000; undated

Subseries 2.7: Family Papers, 1831-1992; undated

Subseries 2.8: Frances Rohe, 1913, 1920; undated

Series 3: Kennedy Family Papers, 1861-2003; undated

Subseries 3.1: James Frank Kennedy, 1861-1920s; undated

Subseries 3.2: Mary Jane Durkee Kennedy, 1867-1882

Subseries 3.3: Lillian Frances Kennedy Pease, 1875-2003

Subseries 3.4: Emma Jane Kennedy, 1877-1883; undated

Subseries 3.5: Georgiana Kennedy Prince, 1878-1915; undated

Subseries 3.6: Family Papers, 1934-1992; undated

Series 4: Other Family Papers, 1840s-2004; undated

Subseries 4.1: Durkee Family, 1864-2004; undated

Subseries 4.2: Gilman Family, 1840s-1902

Subseries 4.3: Gilman Family, 1916-2004; undated

Subseries 4.4: McDowell Family, 1920; undated

Subseries 4.5: Pease Family, 1953-1984; undated
Biographical / Historical:
Mary Elizabeth Kennedy Sandford founded the Sandford Card Company in Dansville, New York in 1907. The Sandford Card Company was intended to provide consumers a means to send messages to family and friends. Such products contained more thought out verses and images than the typical postcards that were available during this time period. Initially, Mary Elizabeth created four verses with images and had five thousand of each printed by the F. A. Owen Publishing Company. The four samples were sent to two hundred bookstores and drugstores. Sales were later made with distributors and agents in various cities throughout the country. In addition, the company also sold cards to fraternal organizations using their symbols or mottos in the design. Eventually, fraternal organizations became a big part of the company's customer base expanding to more than fifty groups. The company grew as a mail order business. All card shipments were made directly from Dansville, New York to forty-eight states and countries including Canada, Alaska, Cuba, Japan, Guam, Philippines, Hawaii, Panama, and Netherlands, West Indies, England and Scotland. Although the Sandford Card Company started as a greeting card business it eventually offered place cards, calling cards, calendars, program folders, napkins, banquet supplies, gifts and souvenirs to its product line. All printing work was contracted out to lithographic businesses in New York, Boston and Cincinnati. With the death of Mary Elizabeth Sandford and her husband Frank Sherman Sandford the company continued to be operated under the guidance of their daughter Ruth Louise Sandford. In 1948, Ruth Sandford hired John G. Holden as business manager. In 1965, the company moved from Dansville to Baldwinsville, New York under the management of the third generation of the founding family. It continued to operate as a family business until it was sold to John G. Holden. The company was later purchased by Rodney Pease the grandson of Mary Elizabeth Sandford's sister Lillian Frances Pease. Pease eventually changed the name and direction of the company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Lillian Pease Card Company Records (AC1251)
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2011 by R. Thompson Gilman, Executor for the estate of Elizabeth G. Essley.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Women-owned business enterprises  Search this
Women -- Political activity  Search this
Women -- Organizations  Search this
Postcards -- 20th century  Search this
Greeting cards -- 20th century  Search this
Greeting card industry  Search this
Family-owned business enterprises  Search this
Women's suffrage -- United States  Search this
Temperance  Search this
Health resorts  Search this
Genre/Form:
Cartes-de-visite
Clippings -- 20th century
Travel diaries -- 20th century
Photograph albums -- 20th century
Programs -- 20th century
Advertising -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 19th century
DVDs
Business cards
Trade catalogs -- 20th century
Genealogies
Photographs -- 19th century
Diaries -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Account books -- 20th century
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Calling cards
Cabinet photographs
Diaries -- 19th century
Daguerreotypes
Memoirs
Citation:
Sandford Greeting Card Company and Family Papers, circa 1839-2000; undated, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1252
See more items in:
Sandford Greeting Card Company and Family Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1252
Online Media:

John Challis Records

Creator:
Challis, John, 1907-1974  Search this
Truesdale, Ephraim  Search this
Donor:
Frayer, William W.  Search this
Extent:
24 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Ledgers (account books)
Sound recordings
Photographs
Magazines (periodicals)
Design drawings
Letters (correspondence)
Concert programs
Drawings
Musical scores
Diplomas
Trade literature
Clippings
Business records
Date:
circa 1900-1974
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the Challis Harpsichord business, and the lives of Mr. Challis and his partner, Ephraim Truesdale. The collection contains correspondence, both personal and business; business records, including ledgers and journals; drawings, including design drawings for harpsichord decorations and elements; client files; subject files, especially on harpsichord and musical instrument subjects; printed materials such as concert programs, trade literature, magazines on the subject of music and musical instruments, clippings, advertisements and publicity materials; photographs, including many of instruments and many of Challis' family members; music scores; ceremonial items such as diplomas; templates for elements of harpsichords; and recordings.
Arrangement:
Collection is unarranged.
Biographical / Historical:
John Challis was an American builder of harpsichords and clavichords. He attended Michigan Normal College (now Eastern Michigan University), where his interest in constructing keyboard instruments emerged. He spent four years apprenticing with Arnold Dolmetsch in England, returning in 1930, when he set himself up building instruments in a two-story space above a dress shop in Ypsilanti, Michigan.
Provenance:
Collection donated by Dr. William W. Frayer, 2016.
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:
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Harpsichord  Search this
Harpsichord makers  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Clavichord  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Ledgers (account books) -- 20th century
Sound recordings
Photographs -- 20th century
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Design drawings
Letters (correspondence) -- 20th century.
Concert programs
Drawings -- 20th century
Musical scores
Diplomas
Trade literature
Clippings -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Citation:
John Challis Papers, ca. 1930-1974, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1375
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1375

Sparrows

Medium:
Mulberry paper (kozo washi) treated with fermented persimmon tannin (kakishibu), and silk threads (itoire)
Type:
textile designs
Katagami
Object Name:
Katagami
Made in:
Japan
Date:
late 19th–early 20th century
Credit Line:
Gift of Helen Snyder
Accession Number:
1976-103-14
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq49af3e33e-f2b6-4e61-91cf-1d95929117b0
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1976-103-14
Online Media:

Andy Granatelli Collection

Creator:
Granatelli, Andy, 1923-2013  Search this
Grancor Automotive Specialists  Search this
Hurricane Hot Rod Association  Search this
Studebaker Corporation  Search this
Donor:
Granatelli, Vincent  Search this
Names:
Indianapolis Speedway Race  Search this
Extent:
66 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Business records
Clippings
Correspondence
Design drawings
Drawings
Financial records
Legal records
Minutes
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Speeches
Date:
1940s-1990s
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents Granatelli's lifelong involvement with automobiles, from his youth through his career as an auto industry executive, and as a racing car owner, designer and promoter. The collection consists primarily of files, photographs, scrapbooks, and drawings. Some of the earliest files relate to Grancor, a company founded by Granatelli and his two brothers in 1945, which customized cars for clients. Other things contained in the files include meeting minutes, articles of association, business and financial records, legal records and profit and loss statements. Also included in the files are papers relating to an organization he started called the Hurricane Hot Rod Association. A large portion of the files relate to Granatelli's term as President of STP, a division of the Studebaker Corporation, from 1961-1974. These files detail the internal workings of the company during this period, and include papers relating to such things as strategic planning, sales, marketing, advertising and competitors' products. Additionally, this portion contains STP's Board of Directors' minutes, documents on policies and procedures, papers documenting advertising campaigns, comparative sales figures, sales manuals, and Granatelli's business correspondence. The largest part of the files relates to the Indianapolis 500 race. There are detailed files on the drivers and race teams he assembled for the annual race, but these files also include design drawings, specifications, test data, lap logs, performance statistics, and reports documenting the implementation of design changes. The scrapbooks in the collection contain clippings, biographical materials, and other documents relating to auto racing in America and especially the Indianapolis 500. Finally, the collection contains a large number of photographs covering all aspects of Granatelli's career.
Arrangement:
Collection is unarranged.
Biographical / Historical:
Andy Granatelli (1923-2013) was an automobile racing promoter, a race car engine designer and an automotive innovator. Two of his cars, a 1967 turbine engine race car and the 1969 Indy 500 winner, are in NMAH's Work & Industry collection. More than any other racing figure, Granatelli bridged the realms of garage tinkerers and professional motorsports, and he stimulated public interest in auto racing on a national level. His STP Corporation became a high-profile sponsor of Indianapolis 500 and NASCAR race cars, with Granatelli appearing in ads and commercials. His larger-than-life personality and flair for the dramatic made him an American cultural phenomenon. His career is well summed up in the profile written for his 2003 induction into the Automotive Hall of Fame:

Racer, entrepreneur, engineer, promoter, business executive. This is how one begins to describe the career of Andy Granatelli. But the title Mister 500 is the one that befits him most, for it describes a lifelong dream to conquer the famous 500-mile race in Indianapolis.

It was a preposterous dream for the scrappy kid growing up in the slums of Chicago, whose mother had died when he was twelve, and two years later, at the age of fourteen, dropped out of school to help his father feed the family. Andy Granatelli began his quest for Indy 500 fame at the age of 20 in 1943, when he and his brother pooled their meager, hard-earned money and purchased a Texaco gas station on the north side of Chicago, which he called Andy's Super Service. Andy, always the promoter, needed a gimmick to set himself apart from other service stations. His gimmick? Granatelli initiated the first pit stop service station, utilizing four or five mechanics to work on a car at one time.

Customers appreciated the true super service experience and would often wait in line for this unique treatment. With this unique service and Andy's P.T. Barnum style it was no wonder that the station was prosperous, and just two years later, in 1945, he formed the Granatelli Corporation, known as Grancor Automotive Specialists. As the head of Grancor, Andy Granatelli pioneered the concept of mass merchandising performance products and power and speed equipment to a generation of Americans who were discovering the joys of hot rodding.

Andy quickly learned that if you give the customer what he needs, you can make a living; give him what he wants, and you can make a fortune! Granatelli's racing career began in 1946, when he built the first rocket-powered car to race on an oval track. That same year, he took his first car to the Indianapolis 500 -a pre-war Harry Miller- designed Ford.

When Andy Granatelli wasn't burning up tracks, he was tearing up the business world. In 1958, Andy and his brother Joe purchased Paxton Products, a failing engineering firm that made superchargers. With Andy at the helm, Paxton Products became profitable in seven months. In 1961, Andy sold Paxton Products to Studebaker Corporation and stayed on as Paxton's CEO. Two years later, Studebaker management wanted Granatelli to work his magic on an under-performing division called Chemical Compounds Corporation. Chemical Compounds had only one, little known product . . . STP Oil Treatment. With virtually no advertising budget, Andy created a four-pronged approach to turn the company around: a recognizable corporate logo (the STP oval), a product (oil treatment), a product spokesman (himself) and a reason for existence (racing). The STP logo became one of the best recognized in history. STP could be found in virtually every venue of speed: on land, on the water or in the air. Andy Granatelli once said that in the 1960s, virtually every kid in America had an STP sticker on his bedroom door, his notebook or his lunchbox, and he was probably right!

Back at Indianapolis, Granatelli entered a revolutionary race car of his own design - one with a turbine engine in 1967 and 1968. Even though the car failed to finish both years due to mechanical failure, the cars demonstrated superior speed and performance. At the end of the 1968 season, the U.S. Auto Club revised engine specifications, effectively outlawing Granatelli's turbine car. Undeterred, Granatelli returned to Indy the following year with a conventional car and proceeded to win his first Indianapolis 500 with Mario Andretti at the wheel. Four years later, in 1973, Andy won his second and last Indy 500 with a car driven by Gordon Johncock. Andy Granatelli's childhood dream of conquering Indy was fulfilled, not once, but twice.

Source

Andy Granatelli Biography, Automotive Hall of Fame (last accessed January 29, 2020 https://www.automotivehalloffame.org/honoree/andy-granatelli/)
Provenance:
Collection donated by Vince Granatelli.
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:
Automobiles  Search this
Automobiles -- Design and construction  Search this
Automobile driving  Search this
Automobile industry executives  Search this
Automobile industry and trade  Search this
Automobiles, Racing  Search this
Engines, automobile  Search this
Hot rods  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 20th century
Business records -- 20th century
Clippings -- 20th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Design drawings -- 20th century
Drawings
Financial records -- 20th century
Legal records -- 20th century
Minutes -- 20th century
Photographs -- 20th century
Scrapbooks
Speeches
Citation:
Andy Granatelli Collection, ca. 1940-1990s, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1403
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1403
Online Media:

Textile Design: Circus

Artist:
Camilla Eber-Birke, Austrian, b. 1905, active early 20th century  Search this
For:
Wiener Werkstätte, (Vienna, Austria, 1903–1932)  Search this
Medium:
Brush and gouache on paper
Type:
textile designs
Drawing
Object Name:
Drawing
Place:
Vienna, Austria
Date:
1925
Credit Line:
Museum purchase from Smithsonian Collections Acquisition and Decorative Arts Association Acquisition Funds
Accession Number:
1988-62-11
Restrictions & Rights:
Usage conditions apply
See more items in:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum Collection
Drawings, Prints, and Graphic Design Department
Data Source:
Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/kq4ae7531de-66ab-46e9-8b1c-8e70f5d9c6a1
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:chndm_1988-62-11
Online Media:

Homes of character

Title:
Lewis homes
Author:
Lewis Manufacturing Company (Bay City, Mich.)  Search this
Subject:
Lewis Manufacturing Company (Bay City, Mich.)  Search this
Physical description:
159 pages illustrations, plans, photographs 29 cm
Type:
Designs and plans
Catalogs
Manufacturers' catalogs
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Place:
Michigan
Bay City
Date:
1920
20th century
Topic:
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Call number:
NA7115 .L49 1920
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1037265

Building with assurance

Author:
Morgan Woodwork Organization  Search this
Physical description:
408 pages illustrations (some color), plans 28 cm
Type:
Designs and plans
Catalogs
Architectural drawings
Manufacturers' catalogs
Trade catalogs
Place:
Illinois
Chicago
Date:
1921
20th century
Topic:
Architecture, Domestic  Search this
Woodwork  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1037665

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