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70 Linear feet (Approximately 70 linear feet of textual materials and over 30,000 photographic items.)
The papers of John Lawrence Angel present a complete portrait of the professional life of one of the most important and influential physical anthropologists in the United States. Angel was best known for his work with cultures in the eastern Mediterranean and for his work in forensic anthropology; but his contributions were widespread. His influence was felt in studies of human microevolution, the relationship between environment and disease, human evolution, and paleopathology. His research was said to be ten years ahead of its time.
The papers include correspondence with many of the leading anthropologists of the time; honors and awards bestowed on Angel; materials on Angel's educational career, both as an undergraduate and as a teacher; extensive photographs; a virtually complete collection of his writings; materials concerning his research and his work in forensic anthropology; and his activities in professional organizations. The bulk of the papers reflect Angel's life-long interest in examining the relationship between culture and biology in human groups through time. There are a few records on Angel's administrative involvement in the Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum/National Museum of Natural History.
Scope and Contents:
Angel began his undergraduate studies at Harvard University in the classics, following in the footsteps of his American mother (who trained as a classicist and was the daughter of a Yale University professor of Greek) and his British father, who was a sculptor. While still an undergraduate, Angel came under the influence of Clyde Kluckhohn, Carleton S. Coon, and Earnest A. Hooton, and his interest turned to anthropology. The combination of anatomy and classicist training developed into a life-long interest and work in the social biology of the peoples of Greece and the Near East.
In addition to his work in Greece and the Near East, the papers include Angel's studies of American populations of colonial peoples and slaves; his forensic anthropology analyses of skeletal remains for law enforcement groups and the United States military; his studies of obesity and other diseases and the possible genetic link behind them; Angel's analysis of the skeletal remains of James Smithson; his involvement in early reburial issues concerning American Indians, particularly the return of the remains of Captain Jack and other Modocs; and Angel's concern and involvement in civil liberty matters and in community affairs.
Please note that the contents of the collection and the language and terminology used reflect the context and culture of the time of its creation. As an historical document, its contents may be at odds with contemporary views and terminology and considered offensive today. The information within this collection does not reflect the views of the Smithsonian Institution or National Anthropological Archives, but is available in its original form to facilitate research.
(1) Miscellaneous personal papers, 1933-1986; (2) correspondence, 1936-1986; (3) research in the eastern Mediterranean, 1936-1986; (4) anthropology of chronic disease, 1943-1965; (5) Harvard University-Johns Hopkins University Hospital anthropology study, 1959-1964; (6) five generation study, 1962-1985; (7) skull thickness project, 1968-1976; (8) biological and cultureal microdifferential among rural populations of Yugoslavia, 1981-1986; (9) First African Baptist Church, Philadelphia, 1983-1987; (10) other research projects (bone density change, Catoctin Furnace site, Virginia colonial sites), 1945-1986; (11) education, 1940-1986; (12) legal matters, 1962-1986; (13) reference materials, 1930-1986; (14) writing of J. Lawrence Angel, 1932-1988; (15) Smithsonian Department of Anthropology, Division of Physical Anthropology, 1961-1968; (16) professional organizations and meetings, 1942-1987; (17) writings by other authors, 1950-1985; (18) grants, 1951-1962; (19) miscellany, 1937-1985; (20) photographs, 1936-1986
J. Lawrence Angel was educated in the classics in his native England and at The Choate School in Connecticut. He studied anthropology at Harvard University (A.B., 1936; Ph.D., 1942). He was an instructor at the University of California at Berkeley in 1941-1942 and at the University of Minnesota in 1942-1943. In 1943-1962, he was on the staff of the Daniel Baugh Institute of Anatomy at the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia, starting as an assistant and rsising to a professor. In 1962, he became the curator for physical anthropology in the Smithsonian Institution's Department of Anthropology and continued in that position until he died. Angel was also a research associate with the University Museum of the University of of Pennsylvania, 1946-1962; civil consultant in surgical anatomy of the United States Naval Hospital in Philadelphia, 1957-1962; visiting professor of anatomy, Howard University, 1962-1986; and professorial lecturer at the George Washington University, 1962-1986. He was also a lecturer in forensic pathology at the department of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, and visiting professor at the University of California at Berkeley in 1962.
Angel summarized his research interests as (1) human social biology, involving the "interrrelations of health, disease, body build, longevity, genetic mixture and variability with each other, with climate and ecology, and with level of culture, nutrition and achievement as seen in history, in evolution, or clinically"; (2) palaeodemography as related to the rise and decline of disease (falciparum malaria)"; and (3) "relation of structure to function and to genetic determinants as seen in form of joints and in density, mineral historology and muscularity of bones, or in process of 'arthritic' change in relation to aging."
The single most enduring interest in Angel's career was the pre- and proto-history of the population of Greece and nearby areas of the eastern Mediterranean. Beginning in 1937, Angel made repeated trips to the region, only highlights of which are provided here. In 1938, he studied skeletal material from Troy which W.T. Semple, of the University of Cincinnati had deposited in the Archaeological Museum at Istanbul. In 1938, he studied skeletal material mostly excavated in the area of Corinth. He worked at the Cyprus Museum in 1949, studying skulls from Vasa and skeletal material from Bamboula. During that year, he also studied living people at a Cypriote village. In 1952, he worked with Carleton S. Coon on skeletal material from Hotu Cave. In 1954, he studied materials from the Agora excavations and from Eleusis. During the same year, he also visited the British Museum and many sites in Greece studying Myceanean skeletons excavated by George E. Mylonas, John Papadimitrious, and A.J.B. Wace. In 1954, he again studied skeletal material excavated at Bamboula and, in 1957, skeletons from Eleusis. In 1965, he studied human bones from twenty-two sites in Greece and Turkey that dated from the paleolithic to moderntimes, including material from a Bryan Mawr College excavation at Elmali, an excavation at Karatas-Semeyuk in Lycia, and collections in the Archaeological Museum of Ankara and in the museum at Verroia in Macedonia. In 1969, he worked on material from Kephala, and in 1972, skeletons from Asine in Greece. In 1984, he studied upper paleolithic skeletons from Wadi Kubbaniya.
Angel also carried out work on American populations--prehistoric, historic, and contemporary. In 1944, he worked on skeletal remains from excavations at Tranquillity, California, that were deposited in the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and in the Museum of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley. In the same year, he was one of several researchers involved in an endocrinological, anthropological, and psychological study ofobesity initiatec by the Jefferson School of Medicine.
The first hase of the study lasted until 1948 and was followed by restudy of the subjects in 1954-1957. Around 1959-1961, with Carl Seltzer, he was involved in a study of the relation between constitution and health of students at Harvard University and Johns Hopkins Unviersity, Angel primarily taking care of the work in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, he studied skeletal material from Matin's Hundred and other sites of colonia Virginia which resulted, in part, in comparisons with the modern American population. In the 1980s, with Jennifer O. Kelly, he worked on skeletons of African American slaves from Catoctin Furnace, Maryland, and on remains of free African American from the First African Baptist Church in Philadelphia.
Angle was highly regarded for his keen seight and other senses which he used with great effect in examining human remains. Consequently, he was frequently sought as a consultant and regularly carried out forensic work for the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation and other law enforcement authorities. In addition, military authorities, archeologists involved in both the study of history and prehistory, and museum people sent him specimens for examination. At the Smithsonian, he not only used and improved the excellent skeletal collection, he had the opportunity to exmaine the bones of Smithsonian benefactor James Smithson and was involved ine arly studies connected with the return of American Indian skeltal materials to appropriate receipents.
Active with several professional organizations, Angel was president of the Philadelphia Anthropological Society in 1956-1958 and associate editor of the American Anthropologist. In 1952-1956, he was the secretary-treasurer of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists and, in 1959-1960, vice president of that organization. In 1952-1956, he was an association editor of the American Journal of Physical Anthropology. He was president of the American Board of Forensic Anthropology in 1980-1985. For his active professional life, he received the Pomerance Medal of the Archaeological Institute of American in 1983 and the distinguished service medal of the American Anthropological Association in 1986.
1915 -- Born March 21 in London, England to John Angel and Elizabeth Day Seymour.
1928 -- Emigrated to the United States from England.
1934 -- Summer field school, University of New Mexico.
1935 -- Summer field work, Museum of Northern Arizona.
1936 -- A.B., Anthropology, Harvard College; summer field work at the Sante Fe Laboratory of Anthropology (Macon, Georgia expedition).
1937 -- Became a naturalized American citizen, 15 June; married Margaret (Peggy) Seymour Richardson, 1 July.
1937-1939 -- Field work in Greece: worked in Greece from early November 1937 until the end of January 1939 when illness forced his return in April; in the winter of 1937-1938, Angel worked in the American excavations in the Agora at Athens, in the American excavations at Old Corinth, and in the Greek National Museum in Athens; in the spring of 1938, Angel worked in the Greek Anthropological Museum in the Athens University Medical School in Goudi, and at the Agora excavations; from May to June, Angel measured villagers and excavated over 100 burials from the Riverside cemetery under David M. Robinson at the American excavations at Olynthus, Macedonia; Angel then worked in Athens and Corinth for a short time; from July to August Angel worked on skeletons from Troy (which W.T. Semple of the University of Cincinnati had deposited) and Babokoy, Anatolia, as well as on skulls from Nippur and Sidon in the Archeological Museum at Istanbul, Turkey; from mid-August to early September Angel studied skeletal material from southwestern Cephallenia in the museum at Argostoli; Angel then measured skulls in the museum at Thebes and at Schematari (Tanagra) in Boeotia; from October to November Angel studied skulls from Corinth; Angel then returned to Athens to study skeletons from the German excavations at the Kerameikos and the material in the Athens Anthropological Museum and National Museum; in 1939 Angel measured people at the Agora excavations north of the Acropolis and studied skulls excavated by T.L. Shear in Athens and Corinth. During these years, Angel made one day trips to many places, including Nauplia, Tolon, Mycenae, Nemea, Aigosthina, Parnos, Aigina, Marathon, Therikos, and Sounion; support was from traveling fellowships from the departments of Anthropology and Classics of Harvard University, half of a Sheldon fellowship, the Albert and Anna Howard fellowship (Harvard), the Guggenheim Foundation, the Viking Fund, the American School of Classical Studies in Athens, the Jefferson Medical College, and the American Philosophical Society.
1939-1941 -- Assistant in Anthropology, Harvard University.
1940 -- Elected to membership in the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
1941-1942 -- Instructor in Anthropology, University of California, Berkeley.
1942 -- Doctor of Philosophy Degree, Anthropology, Harvard University.
1942-1943 -- Instructor in Anthropology, University of Minnesota.
1943-1950 -- Associate, Daniel Baugh Institute of Anatomy of the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
1944 -- Studied skeletal remains from excavations at Tranquillity, California, at the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania and in the [Hearst] Museum of Anthropology at the University of California at Berkeley.
1944-1948 -- Research for the anthropological study of chronic disease at the Jefferson Medical College.
1946-1948 -- President, Philadelphia Anthropological Society; Associate Editor, American Anthropologist.
1946-1962 -- Research Associate, University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania-Philadelphia.
1947 -- Organized the Viking Fund summer seminar on growth and evolution.
1949 -- Field work in the Near East: In the spring, studied skulls from Kampi near Vasa in Central Cyprus at the Department of Antiquities museum in Nicosia on a visit to Cyprus and Greece; studied skeletons and living Cypriote villagers at the University of Pennsylvania's Museum headquarters in Episkopi, and skeletal material from Bamboula at the Cyprus Museum; support was from Harvard University, the Guggenheim Foundation (Guggenheim Fellowship), Wenner-Gren Foundation, Viking Fund, American School of Classical Studies, and Jefferson Medical School.
1949-1950 -- President, Philadelphia Society of the Archeological Institute of America.
1950-1951 -- Assistant Professor, Daniel Baugh Institute of Anatomy of the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. 1950-1952
1950-1952 -- Executive Committee member, American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
1951 -- Troy: The Human Remains. Supplemental monograph to Troy excavations conducted by the University of Cincinnati 1932-1938.
1951-1954 -- Associate editor, American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
1951-1962 -- Associate Professor, Daniel Baugh Institute of Anatomy of the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia.
1952 -- Worked with Carleton Coon on skeletal material from Hotu Cave, Iran.
1952-1956 -- Secretary-treasurer, American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
1953-1966 -- Trustee for the Council for Old World Archaeology.
1954 -- Field work in the Near East: visited the British Museum (Natural History); studied skeletal material from Eleusis (Greece), at the Anthropological Museum of the Medical School of the University of Athens, and at the Agora Excavations Headquarters; studied Myceanean skeletons (excavated by George E. Mylonas, John Papadimitriou, and A.J.B. Wace), Corinthian skeletons, Bronze Age Lernaean skeletons, and Bronze Age Pylian skeletons; again studied skeletal material excavated at Bamboula; supported by grants from the Harvard graduate school, the American Philosophical Society [Grant No. 1714], and the National Institutes of Health Grant No. A-224, the Jefferson Medical College, the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and the Agora excavations; helped by Anastasios Pantazopoulous and Nikos Thiraios.
1954-1957 -- Restudy of subjects for the anthropological study of chronic disease originally performed at the Jefferson Medical College from 1944-1948.
1956-1958 -- Council member of the American Society of Human Genetics.
1957 -- Field work in the Near East: visited the Laboratory of Anthropology in the Department of Anatomy at Oxford University; again studied skeletons from Eleusis in Greece; studied skeletons from Lerna, from the French excavations at Argos, from Pylos, from Corinthian sites near the Diolkos at the Isthmus and at Klenia, and from the Athenian Agora; supported by Grant No. 2150 from the American Philosophical Society and the National Institutes of Health; sponsored by Jefferson Medical College and the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania; helped by Argyris Marinis and Panayotis Yannoulatos.
1957-1962 -- Civilian consultant in surgical anatomy to the United States Naval Hospital, Philadelphia.
1959-1960 -- Vice-President, American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
1960-1962 -- Member of the advisory panel on Anthropology and the History and Philosophy of Science for the National Science Foundation; consultant for the Harvard University-Johns Hopkins Hospital project on constitution and disease.
1960-1963 -- Associate editor, American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
1962 -- Professor, Daniel Baugh Institute of Anatomy of the Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia; Chairman of Schools Committee of West Mt. Airy Neighbors; organized the thirty-first annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists.
1962-1986 -- Curator, Division of Physical Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, United States National Museum (later the National Museum of Natural History), Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
1962-1965 -- Advisory panel for evaluating NSF Graduate Fellowships, National Academy of Sciences-National Research Council.
1962-1986 -- Professorial Lecturer in Anthropology at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.
1963-1986 -- Lecturer in forensic pathology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.
1965 -- Field work in the Near East: studied human bones from 22 sites in Greece and Turkey, including Petralona in eastern Macedonia (Palaeanthropic skull), the Peneios River open sites (Theocharis and Miloicic), Tsouka cave on Mt. Pelion in Thessaly, Nea Nikomedeia near the Haliakmon River in Macedonia, Kephala on the coast of the Aegean island of Kea (Caskey), Hagios Stephanos in Laconia (Taylour), Kocumbeli near Ankara (Turkey), the Bryn Mawr College excavation at Elmali (working with Machteld Mellink), Karatas-Semeyuk in Lycia, Catal Huyuk (in the Korya Plain in Turkey) in the Archaeological Museum of Ankara, Argos, Agora Excavation, Attica, Mycanae, Corinth, Sparta, Alepotrypa (Foxes' Hole) in Mani, and in the museum at Verroia in Macedonia; supported through the SI Hrdlička Fund, the American Philosophical Society, and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
1965-1970 -- Visiting Professor of Anatomy, Howard University Medical School, Washington, D.C.
1966 -- Summer Visiting Professor, University of California, Berkeley; Early skeletons from Tranquillity, California.
1967 -- Field work in the Near East: Turkey, studied skeletal remains from Catal Huyuk at the University of Ankara, and skeletons from Antalya, Elmali, and Karatas; Greece, studied skeletal remains from Franchthi cave, Athens, Kea, Nauplion, Corinth, and Asine; supported by the Hrdlička Fund. Organized a symposium on paleodemography, diseases and human evolution at the 66th meeting of the American Anthropological Association in Washington, D.C.
1969 -- Field work in the Near East: studied material from Kephala, Karatas, and Franchthi cave; supported by the Hrdlička Fund and the Wenner-Gren Foundation.
1970 -- Visiting Professor, Harvard University (Spring). Organized the 39th meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists held in Washington, D.C.
1971 -- The People of Lerna: Analysis of a Prehistoric Aegean Population.
1972 -- Field work in the Near East: studied skeletons from Asine and Agora in Greece; supported by the Hrdlička Fund. 1974
1974 -- Organized a symposium in honor of Albert Damon, a medical anthropologist, at the 43rd meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists held in Amherst, Massachusetts.
1974-1975 -- President, Anthropological Society of Washington.
1975 -- Field work in the Near East: studied skeletons at Asine and Agora in Greece and at Elmali, helped by David C. Fredenburg, and supported by the Hrdlička Fund; joined the American Academy of Forensic Sciences as a Provisional Member; published Human skeletons from Eleusis, in The south cemetery of Eleusis; worked on the organizing committees for meetings in Washington, D.C. for the Archaeological Institute of America.
1976 -- Studied skeletons at Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia, with the help of David Fredenburg (3 trips); organized a symposium in honor of T. Dale Stewart at the 45th meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists held in St. Louis, Missouri.
1977 -- Field work in the Near East: worked in Thessaloniki, Istanbul, Ankara, Elmali, and Athens; field visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
1978 -- Field work in the Near East: studied skeletons from Byzantium and Turkey; skeletons were in Ankara and from Kalinkaya in the Hittite Territory of Central Anatolia; Byzantium specimens came from Kalenderhane Camii in Istanbul; field visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
1979 -- Published symposium in Angel's honor by the American Association of Physical Anthropologists; three days of field work at the British Museum (Natural History) during which he studied Egyptian and Greek skulls.
1979 -- Studied skeletons of African American slaves from Catoctin Furnace, Maryland.
1980 -- Field visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
1980-1985 -- President, American Board of Forensic Anthropology. 1982
1982 -- Field visit to Colonial Williamsburg.
1983 -- Awarded the Pomerance Medal for Scientific Contributions to Archaelogy by the Archaeological Institute of America.
1984 -- Studied upper paleolithic skeletons from Wade Kubbaniya; award from the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences.
1986 -- Died November 3; award from the Physical Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences; was chosen to receive the Distinguished Service Award of the American Anthropological Association at their annual meeting in December.
1987 -- Memorial session in Angel's honor held at the annual meeting of the American Anthropological Association.
Additional materials in the National Anthropological Archives relating to Angel are in the papers of Marcus Solomon Goldstein, Raoul Weston LaBarre, and Waldo Rudolph and Mildred Mott Wedel; the records of the American Anthropological Association, the Central States Anthropological Society, the River Basin Surveys, and the Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum/National Museum of Natural History; Photographic Lots 7D (photograph taken at the meeting of the American Anthropological Association at Denver in 1965) and 77-45 (group portrait of Smithsonian physical anthropologists); and MS 4822 (photographs of anthropologists in the Division of Physical Anthropology, Department of Anthropology of the United States National Museum/National Museum of Natural History). There are also materials on Angel in the non-archival reference file maintained by the NAA. The names used for ethnic groups were selected to maintain consistency among the archival holdings and are used without regard to modern preferences.
Angel contracted hepatitis following coronary by-pass surgery in 1982 and died of the effects four years later. His papers were obtained by the National Anthropological Archives shortly thereafter. Some papers were obtained as the result of a bequest by Angel's wife, Margaret. The papers date from 1930 to 1987.
The John Lawrence Angel papers are open for research. Access to some materials is restricted to maintain privacy or confidentiality.
Access to the John Lawrence Angel papers requires an appointment.
boilers ; Booklets dating primarily from late 19th Century through the 1930s ; nearly two dozen editions of catalogs for Volunteer, All Right and Monarch boilers (beginning in 1895) ; undated circa 1895 catalog for the Hornet Hot Water Boiler ; brochure for Page Sectional Water-Tube Waste Heat Boiler for Economical Steam Production pasted into the front of a 1920 manual entitled "Economical Steam Production: How to Build Up Boiler Efficiency" ; undated brochure on Page Cross-Drum Water Tube Boilers ; many of the earlier catalogs include telegraph codes ; folder of series of letters dated 1919-1923 with specifications for Page Sectional Water Tube Boiler ; undated flyer for Volunteer and Volunteer Junior steam and hot water boiler and tank heaters ; 7 pocket-sized booklets for boilers and radiators
Records document Charles Eisler, a Hungarian immigrant who was a skilled mechanic and engineer and his company, Eisler Engineering Company of Newark, New Jersey, which manufactured equipment for producing electric lamps, television and radio tubes, welding equipment and laboratory equipment.
Scope and Contents:
The bulk of the materials date from the 1930s to the 1950s and document Charles Eisler's contributions to the modern lamp making industry. There is considerable personal information documenting Eisler and his family, and his connection to his native Hungary. The collection is divided into 9 series: personal materials; business materials; employee records, operating records; diagrams and drawings; litigation and patent records; photographs; and scrapbooks.
Series 1, Personal Materials, 1944-1970, is divided into six subseries: Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s; Photographs, 1912; Chronological Correspondence, 1944-1970; Alphabetical Correspondence, 1941-1969; Family and Friends Correspondence, 1956-1966; Vacation Information, 1951; Financial Information, 1960-1967; and Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967.
There are several passports (United States and German) for Eisler and his United States naturalization certificate of 1910. The photographs, 1912, are from Eisler's friend, Ed Korn. The photographs depict an airplane that Eisler created drawings for and two individuals, Bert Berry (parachutist) and Tony Januss, a pilot at Kinloch Field, St. Louis, Missouri.
The chronological correspondence, 1944-1970, is arranged chronologically. It contains letters about Hungarians and Hungarian issues; invitations to social events and speaking engagements; thank you letters; letters of condolence; donations; birthday greetings; and club memberships. Eisler was active in the Newark, New Jersey, Hungarian community. He donated equipment, clothes, and money to a variety of organizations that assisted Hungarians in the United States and in Hungary. Some of the correspondence was written by Mrs. R. Testa, secretary to Charles Eisler.
The alphabetical correspondence, 1941-1969, is arranged alphabetically. It consists of letters documenting such issues as stock in Eisler Engineering Company, personal purchases of Eisler's at the Ivanhoe Lobby Gift Shop by the Sea Hotel, and "Help the Suffering Hungarians" organization (1956-1961). This includes canceled checks from donors, specifically Operation Mercy to assist refugees from Budapest. Additionally, there is correspondence and itemized price lists for food and clothing for Hungarians. Of note is some Raritan Yacht Club (R.Y.C.) of Perth Amboy, New Jersey, materials. There is a R.Y.C. Duffle Bag newsletter, February, 1964. Eisler was a member of R.Y.C.
Family and friends correspondence, 1956-1966, includes letters and postcards from family and friends, mostly in Hungarian. Topics discussed include sending food, clothing, hearing aids, and medicine to Hungarian refugees; Christmas packages; emigration; and U.S. Relief Parcel Service receipts.
Vacation information, 1951, consists of one file folder of documentation of airline tickets, baggage tickets, tour itineraries, receipts from hotels, letterhead from hotels, and itemized lists of purchases for several trips Eisler made. Airlines ephemera represented include Pan American World Airways System; Air France; British Overseas Airways Corp; Trans World Airlines, Inc; and Eastern Airlines.
Financial information, 1960-1967, contains investment securities (certificates) information for Massachusetts Investors Trust; consolidated checking account information; lists of personal donations, personal income, and savings accounts. Eisler's personal donations varied greatly, both in amount and in the type of organization—American Hungarian Studies Foundation at Rutgers, Father Flanagan's Boy's Home; and the Jewish Community Council of Essex County, New Jersey.
Medical Bills and Information, 1963-1967, consists mostly of bills from doctors for services rendered.
Series 2, Business Materials, 1885, 1931-1985, is divided into seven subseries: correspondence, general files, financial information, World War II boards and regulations, real estate holdings and investments, articles, and Kahle Engineering.
Correspondence, 1946-1971, is arranged alphabetically by surname or company name. It contains a variety of issues—real estate, accounting, legal representation, and tenants. Attorneys Kessler and Kessler handled Eisler vs. General Electric Company. There is correspondence about meetings, depositions, and reviewing documents before filing. The tenant information includes assignments and agreements between individual tenants and the landlord, Lesire Corporation, which Eisler owned.
General Files, 1931-1985, contains files arranged alphabetically on a variety of topics.
Financial Information, 1931-1945, is mainly comprised of Treasury Department and Internal Revenue correspondence, and income tax documentation
World War II Boards and Regulations, 1942-1946, contain information about manpower, labor, and production during World War II for the manufacturing industry. The National War Labor Board contains wage rates and audit information for Eisler Engineering. The Manpower Commission established the total manpower allowance for Eisler Engineering and other companies. It set specific quotas for the number of male employees permitted. The War Production Board material includes a plant report of operations. It describes the product being made and categorizes the percentage of "war" versus "civilian" work. The War Department Plant Protection Division contains notes and recommendations for Eilser Engineering Company to implement.
Real Estate Holdings and Investments, 1932-1980, consists mainly of tax and stock returns and income information and cancelled notes for collateral with the Lesire Corporation. The record of real estate, 1952-1974, contains ledger sheets for seven separate properties with the name of the property, improvements if any, and address: Farm Flagtowne, Neshanic, New Jersey; 733 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 735-737 S. 12th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 738-758 S. 13th Street, Newark, New Jersey; 16 N. Salem Street, Dover, New Jersey; 269 E. Blackwell Street, Dover, New Jersey; and Lad Construction. The ledger sheets also include a loan record with rents and mortgage receivable information. The Avenue L files document a factory building owned by Eisler in Newark, New Jersey. The files contain correspondence, receipts, and bills for work done on the building in preparation for sale.
Articles, 1885-1962 (not inclusive) includes four articles relating to the topic of electricity.
Kahle Engineering, 1960-1982, contains Dun and Bradstreet analytical reports from 1960 to 1964 and interoffice correspondence with Steven Logothetis, an employee of Kahle Engineering, interoffice memos, credit profiles, notes, mortgage papers, and information sheets for specific properties for purchase at public auction for the period 1979-1982.
Series 3, Employee/Personnel Records, 1940-1988, is divided into ten subseries: personnel files; accident reports; lists of employee names; service years and anniversaries; union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements; benefits (health and pension); deceased employees; payroll information; electrical license course; Department of Labor; and miscellaneous.
The bulk of this series consists primarily of employee personnel files from the 1940s to 1960s. Arranged alphabetically by surname, the files contain employee record cards, employee applications, in some instances photographs (head shots), tax withholding exemption certificates, medical forms, union dues information, union steward reports detailing grievances and appeals, correspondence, recommendations, unemployment benefit payments, workers compensation, paychecks, and applications for United States citizenship and visa requests. The employee record cards capture the employee name; address; social security number; department; occupation; title; clock number; phone number; race; marital status; date of birth; number of children; stating rate; increases; vacation taken; country of birth; entry into the United States; naturalized and, if so, when and where; former employees and any union grievances. It provides a comprehensive view of the employee composition of the company.
The accident reports, 1958-1988, are arranged chronologically by year and then further arranged alphabetically by employee surname. These accident claim forms used by Eisler Engineering Company are for the New Jersey Manufacturers Casualty Insurance Company of Trenton, New Jersey. Additionally, there are blank State of New Jersey accident forms. There is some correspondence about specific claims and employees. There is one file folder documenting injuries and illness, 1971-1978. It consists of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) forms completed by Eisler Engineering. They provide a summary of the types of injuries and illnesses, number of lost work days, number of cases and a supplementary record of occupational injuries.
Lists of employee names, 1957-1977, provides information on employees who left employment, were laid off, owed union dues; years of service to the company, birthdays, addresses, and job descriptions.
Service years and anniversaries, 1955-1970, provides the employee name, when employment began, years of service and if a service pin was awarded.
Union (IUE AFL-CIO) agreements, 1942-1957 contain union contracts and agreements between Eisler Engineering Mutual Employees Association, Inc., and the International Union of Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers (IUE-AFL-CIO).
Benefits (health and pension), 1957-1967, contains information on dental benefits, hospital service plans, Group Health Insurance (GHI) Inc., claim forms for medical care insurance, and the annual report of District 4 IUE, AFL-CIO Welfare Plan for 1957.
Deceased employees, 1946-1951, consists of form letters with the employees name, address, next of kin, date of death, and the amount of unpaid salary due.
Payroll Information, 1940-1973, includes deduction of wages or salary forms for union dues, plans for enrolling in the U.S. Savings Bond program, canceled payroll checks, forms for requesting vacation, and bonus and merit increases for employees.
Electrical License Course, undated, includes homework assignments, tests, and answers to questions, in lessons/courses on: compound generators, DC (direct current) self-excited generators, power, combination circuits, parallel circuits, split phase/resistance-start induction run motors, electricity, and compound motors.
Department of Labor, 1944-1956, contains employment reports and public contracts and minimum wage determinations. There is statistical information on the type of employee (male, female, non-white, and part-time) and a report of current and anticipated employment.
Miscellaneous contains one file folder with an undated Department of Labor and Industry letter about a highly desirable labor pool of technical, skilled, and semi-skilled workers becoming available.
Series 4, Operational Records, 1934-1977, is divided into two subseries: Equipment Quotes, 1960-1977, were prepared by Eisler for clients/companies in the United States and in foreign countries. The quotes include details about the machine requested and its price.
Operating Instructions and Parts Lists, 1934-1940s, are arranged predominately by machine number, but there are some exceptions. The files include drawings and sketches, operating instructions on assembling and disassembling, black and white photographs, charts, and product literature. There are some documents that were not created by the Eisler Engineering Company. These documents include operating instructions and drawings from other companies that Eisler had a working relationship with. The instructions, [1934-1945?], arranged alpha-numerically, are operating instructions for machines manufactured by the Eisler Engineering Company. The instructions are labeled D-1 to D-800. These instructions should be used in conjunction with the other operating instructions for specific machines. For example, instructions D-1 are for Eisler machine No. 00, a coil winding machine
Series 5, Diagrams and Drawings, 1924-1960, is divided into two subseries, wiring diagrams and drawings. The wiring diagrams 1934-1956, are arranged by type and provide instructions and diagrams on how to connect wires for Eisler machines. The drawings, 1924-1960, include blueprints, tracings, sketches and in some instances, specifications for specific machines. The name and number of the machine are listed. Also, the drawings contain factory layouts for companies in the United States and in Leningrad, Russia.
Series 6, Sales Records, 1924-1984, is divided into three subseries: customer sales lists, lamp machinery sales records, and catalogs. The Customer Sales Lists, 1951-1958, and the Lamp Machinery Sales Records, 1929-1958, include detailed information for each machine built and shipped to a client: shop number, job number, type of machine, machine number, customer name, customer order number, Eisler order number and date shipped, and a serial number if applicable. There are some lists for customer requested machines such as exhaust machines, stem machines, and base filling machines.
The catalogs, 1924-1979, are arranged into two sub-subseries, Eisler catalogs and other companies' catalogs. The catalogs are further arranged chronologically and are bound or consist of loose pages and individual bulletins. They provide information on incandescent lamps, power transmission tubes; neon tube signs; tungsten equipment and wire; burners, torches, fires, gas and air mixers; metal sprayers; bases; furnaces; vacuum flasks; ampules and vials; vacuum pumps; and electric welders.
Index cards for Eisler Engineering Anniversary Catalog 1945, are arranged by machine number and contain the machine name with a description, pricing information, and in some instances a date and annotations. Each card has a page number that correlates to the Anniversary Catalog No. 45-CE, 1945.
Series 7, Litigation and Patent Records, 1897-1953 (bulk 1926-1929), 1949, 1953, consist of briefs (for the defendant, Eisler, and plaintiff, General Electric) and the transcript of record in the case General Electric vs. Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company, 1926-1929. The litigation was heard in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New Jersey and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Third District. GE brought suit against Eisler for infringement of two U.S. patents, #1,128,120 for manufacturing glass rods and forming spiders, and # 1,220,836 for a filament support wire inserting machine. Eisler allegedly infringed by manufacturing and selling a hook inserting machine.
There is one file folder of newspaper clippings about anti-trust in lamp manufacturing and specifically conclusions to the Opinion for the case United States of America vs. General Electric Company, 1953. GE, Corning Glass Works, N.V. Philips Gloeilampenfabriken, Consolidated Electric Lamp Company, Hygrade Sylvania Corporation, Chicago Miniature Lamp Works, and Tung-Sol Lamp Works, Inc., were found guilty and in violation of the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. GE, in particular, negotiated agreements through its wholly-owned subsidiary, International General Electric that divided the world lamp markets. This division permitted GE to have the U.S. market exclusively and bar foreign lamp manufacturers. The domestic licensees' growth was limited by GE to a fixed percentage of its own production and expansion so that over the years a licensee's share of the business was diminished. This restrained trade, and competition by GE unlawfully monopolized the incandescent electric lamp business.
A separate case involving Westinghouse Electric and Manufacturing Co. vs. Beacon Lamp Co., Leopold Rossbach, C. L. Shoninger, A.H. Moses, L.E. Whicher and J.T. Hambay from 1896 to 1898 is also documented through the brief for the complainant and a record of the case.
Patents, 1913-1931, are further divided into tube patents, 1924-1931 and tube patents assigned to Raytheon Company, 1913-1929. The patents were assembled by Eisler for reference.
Series 8, Photographs, 1944-1967, is further divided into six subseries: machines by number, CAMS; timers; jigs; transformers and electrodes; welders; welders, tips, jigs and fixtures; and miscellaneous. The series contains 8" x 10" black and white prints. Originally organized in three- ring binders, the photographs are arranged by machine number with further numerical identifiers. For example, Machine No. 103 is a glass lathe machine and No. 103-XL is a vertical glass lathe machine.
CAMS are curved wheels mounted on a rotating shaft and used to produce variable or reciprocating motion in another engaged or contacted part. They are used to produce or machine something. Tips refer to the remnant of the glass tubing through which the lamp was exhausted of its air (as well as filled with inert gases after the invention of the gas-filled lamp in 1912) and jigs are devices for guiding a tool or for holding machine work in place.
The majority of photographs document machinery; few employees are featured.
Photographs for Machine No. 170, can working equipment at vacuum products, features African American workers circa the 1950s and Machine No. 160, an automatic tub bottoming machine features a female employee. Some of the miscellaneous photographs contain prints of equipment, parts and employees working in the factory.
Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959, includes three scrapbooks. Many of the articles are in Hungarian or Spanish.
Scrapbook, 1943 (bulk 1945-1955), 1959, contains newspaper articles about Charles Eisler and Eisler Engineering Company. Many articles and advertisements focus on specific machines Eisler manufactured. Articles about Charles Eisler contain information about the associations he belonged to, litigation, awards received, Lesire Corporation, his tenant company; and the appointment of Charles Eisler, Jr., as President of Eisler Engineering Company. Other items include company Christmas cards.
Scrapbook, 1916-1944, 1948, 1957, contains newspaper clippings and catalog pages on machines manufactured by Eisler; personal information about Charles Eisler's trip to Europe; a fire at his summer home; and Christmas decorations. There is documentation on Eisler Engineering Company employees, World War II contributions and production, and photographs of Charles Eisler presenting a donation to the Newark Hungarians and the U.S. Army Ambulance Branch.
Scrapbook, 1924-1959, contains convention programs, Family Circle information, documentation on various social events Eisler attended and machine advertisements.
Collection organized into nine series.
Series 1, Personal Materials, 1910s-1970s
Subseries 1, Passports and Naturalization Certificate, 1910-1970s
Subseries 3, Timers, Jigs, Transformers, and Electrodes, 1952-1960
Subseries 4, Welders, 1944-1952
Subseries 5, Welders, Tips, and Jigs and Fixtures, 1944-1952
Subseries 6, Miscellaneous, 1944-1957
Series 9, Scrapbooks, 1916-1959
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Eisler (1884-1973) was born in Hungary to Adolph and Helen Eisler. Charles was the second child of nine: George, Emil, Michael, Leopold, Rudi, Franz, Emma and Lajos. Eisler completed his engineering and mechanical studies by the age of 17 and began an apprenticeship with a local factory. He became a licensed steam engineer and fireman of high pressure boilers. In 1902, he left Hungary for Berlin, Germany, with the goal to immigrate to the United States. In Germany, Eisler worked in a factory in Eberswalde, north of Berlin. The factory manufactured cast-iron pipe and machinery, and Eisler operated a crane loading barges near the factory. Eisler left Eberswalde and returned to Berlin to work as a toolmaker at Allgemeine Electricitäts Gesellschaft' (AEG). He arrived in New York City on the SS Potsdam/Stockholm (I) in November 1904. Because Europeans dominated the field of skilled mechanics and tradesmen in the United States, Eisler easily found employment in East Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh Westinghouse. In 1907, Eisler worked for Studebaker Metzger Motor Company as a tool-designer and tool room foreman.
Eisler returned to Hungary in the spring of 1912 where he took a job as a tool designing engineer with an American owned electrical firm, Standard Electric Company, in Újpest. He married Frieda Schwartz Eisler (d.1962) on December 24, 1912, in Budapest. They had four children: Charles Eisler, Jr., Martha (Eisler) Leff; Ruth (Eisler) Forest; and Constance (Eisler) Smith. In 1914, Eisler, his wife Frieda, and their newborn son Charles, Jr., returned to the United States. Eisler worked at the Westinghouse Lamp Company in Bloomfield, New Jersey, designing machines for building incandescent lamps with tungsten wire. At Westinghouse, Eisler held the position of chief engineer of the equipment division, and he completed the International Correspondence Schools course in mechanical engineering (1918). Eisler left Westinghouse in 1919 to work for Save Electric Corporation of Brooklyn, New York (an independent lamp manufacture), formed by Max Ettiger. At Save Electric, Eisler was equipment engineer superintendent and responsible for designing machines for the production of incandescent lamps.
General Electric (GE), Westinghouse, and RCA had a monopoly on modern incandescent lamp making machinery. The manufacture of lamps and tubes had moved from a low-rate, highly skilled craft work of Edison's Menlo Park to a high-rate, semi-skilled process dominated by GE and others. It was difficult for independent lamp manufacturers, such as Save Electric, to compete. The control and licensing of machinery patents was one method GE used to maintain a virtual monopoly on lamp manufacture throughout the first half of the 20th century. GE purchased Save Electric in 1920 to remove it from the incandescent lamp market. That same year, Eisler lost his job and started his own company, Eisler Engineering Company, to consult and manufacture equipment for producing electric lamps, television tubes, radio tubes, glass products, neon tubes, welding equipment and laboratory equipment. He established a machine shop at 15 Kirk Alley, Newark, New Jersey, where he redesigned many of his machines and drawings and started patenting. By 1924, Eisler's plant doubled in physical size and labor supply, with the radio tube industry peaking in 1929.1 However, the stock market crash of 1929-1930 severely impacted production, and Eisler never again saw the same growth. In 1929, Eisler sold a 49% interest in the company to Frank Bonner.
In June 1933, Eisler and others organized a group of independent manufacturers into the Incandescent Lamp Manufacturer's Association (ILMA). In response to the pressuring tactics of GE, Westinghouse and RCA, the group also documented every lamp maker who went out of business or that was bought by a monopoly member. The ILMA allowed members to pool their resources for patent litigation. "Eisler was the third leading outside supplier of lamp making machinery. It was not licensed by General Electric, and the unlicensed lamp manufacturers obtained most of their lamp making equipment from it. The Eisler equipment was less automatic and of considerably less speed than the machinery used by the General Electric group. However, it was considerably lower in price."2
Eisler Engineering Company was sued at least four times by GE between 1923 and 1928 for alleged patent infringement but won each case. The cases involved four United States patents owned by GE: Van Keuren #1,326,121; Mitchell and White #1,453,594; Mitchell and White #1,453,595; and Marshall #1,475,192. The last three patents address a process used in the manufacture of electric lamps known as "sealing in" of tip-less lamps. The plaintiff, GE, complained that Eisler, the defendant, was infringing. Several GE patents were declared invalid during the proceedings or were withdrawn, and Eisler's U.S. Patent #1,637,989 for tip-less lamps was upheld. See General Electric Company vs. Eisler Engineering Company, 20 F (2d.) 33 (C.C.A., 1927), 26 F (2d.) 12 (C.C.A., 1928), and 43 F (2d.) 319 (C.C.A., 1930). One of Eisler's strongest defenses was a 1916 article he published in Machinery on Tungsten Lamp Manufacture. Eisler defended his case not only for the interest of his own company but also for those who utilized his products as well as those who manufactured under a licensing agreement with Eisler Engineering Company.
In 1954, Charles Eisler, Jr., formerly vice president became president of Eisler Engineering Company, Inc., and Charles Eisler, Sr., became chairman of the board. In 1958, Eisler Senior officially stepped down. In the late 1970s, Eisler, Jr., sold the company to Kahle Engineering Company. Kahle, established in 1920 with its roots in the glass machinery business, provided equipment for the medical device, pharmaceutical, electrical and automotive industries. Today, Kahle focuses solely on the manufacture of assembly machines for medical devices.
Eisler was issued fifty-seven United States patents relating to the mass production of glass articles. His first patent was issued in 1916 (U.S. Patent # 1,209,650) for a turret attachment and his last was issued in 1958 (U.S. Design Patent # DES 182,796) for a spot welder/press type. Eisler received an honorary Doctor of Science degree from Bloomfield College in Bloomfield, New Jersey (1951) and was elected to life membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1952). He died on October 8, 1973 at the age of 89 in East Orange, New Jersey.
1 Eisler, Charles. The Million-Dollar Bend (New York: William-Frederick Press, 1960).
2 Bright, Arthur. The Electric Lamp Industry (New York: Macmillan Co., 1949).
Materials in the Archives Center
Kahle Engineering Company Records, 1930-1980 (AC0735), the successor company to Eisler Engineering
Materials in Other Organizations
Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives have some Eisler Engineering Company trade literature in the Sinclair New Jersey Collection: New Jersey Trade Literature and Manufacturers' Catalogs at http://www.libraries.rutgers.edu/rul/libs/scua/sinclair/sinclair_main.shtml.
The collection was donated by E.N. Logothetis of Kahle Engineering on June 15, 2000.
Collection is open for research but the majority is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Series 3, Employee Records, personnel files are restrictedContact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
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.