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Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation, Engineering Records

Creator:
Aronson, David, 1923-2015  Search this
Collector:
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.  Search this
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI  Search this
Extent:
3.3 Cubic feet (10 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Blueprints
Articles
Correspondence
Diagrams
Pamphlets
Reprints
Date:
1955-1970
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the correspondence and technical documents related to David Aronson's work as an engineer with the Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation.

The correspondence files relate to acceptance or rejection of products and procedures used in the development and production of the company's products, responses to submissions to the company of inventions and products inventors hoped to license or sell to the company, responses to requests for donations and other funding by Worthington, and general company memos and reports.

The technical files represent the research, design and development processes that Aronson was involved in as a mechanical engineer. Topics include heat pumps, steam generation, geothermal power, gas turbine engines, and nuclear power. Types of material include articles, pamphlets, journal reprints, conference papers, schematics, blueprints and diagrams.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into three series.

Series 1: Correspondence of David Aronson, 1955-1970

Series 2: Technical Materials of David Aronson (numerical), circa 1960s-1970s

Series 3: Technical Files of David Aronson (alphabetical), circa 1960s-1970s
Biographical / Historical:
David Aronson earned a degree in chemical engineering from Cooper Union and the Polytechnic Institute in New York. He joined the Engineering Department of the Worthington Corporation in 1951 as an engineer. While with Worthington, Aronson worked as a manager in development engineering for the Worthington Air Conditioning Company, a division of Worthington Corporation and was instrumental in the advancement of low temperature energy utilization equipment and the development of various energy recovery systems. Aronson served as the chief contact within the Worthington Corporation for individuals and companies interested in engaging in contract work or presenting their invention ideas for development.

Aronson was awarded thirty United States patents which included an oil burner for gas turbine application, large tonnage water chillers for air conditioning, a nuclear powered system using liquid metal coolant, and a heat pump using a fuel-fired engine or turbine. In 1964, Worthington recognized Aronson's achievements with the company's Worldwide Engineering Award.
Provenance:
Donated to the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering by David Aronson over the period 1986-1989.
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:
Heat engineering  Search this
Refrigeration and refrigerating machinery  Search this
Nuclear energy  Search this
Geothermal resources  Search this
Steam  Search this
Geothermal engineering  Search this
Gas-turbine industry  Search this
Engines  Search this
Genre/Form:
Blueprints
Articles
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Diagrams
Pamphlets -- 1950-2000
Reprints
Citation:
Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation, Engineering Records, 1955-1970, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0947
See more items in:
Worthington Pump and Machinery Corporation, Engineering Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0947

Coffee Cup Lid, Solo Traveler

Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
white (overall color)
Measurements:
overall: 5/8 in x 3 5/8 in; 1.5875 cm x 9.2075 cm
Object Name:
lid
Credit Line:
Gift of Louise Harpman and Scott Specht
ID Number:
2012.3047.23
Catalog number:
2012.3047.23
Nonaccession number:
2012.3047
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition:
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-a1e2-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1419901

Coffee Cup Lid, The Philip Cup

Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
white (overall color)
Measurements:
overall: 3/8 in x 3 3/8 in; .9525 cm x 8.5725 cm
Object Name:
lid
Credit Line:
Gift of Louise Harpman and Scott Specht
ID Number:
2012.3047.56
Catalog number:
2012.3047.56
Nonaccession number:
2012.3047
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition:
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-a164-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1419934

Carrot Stick Slicing Machine

Maker:
Listner, Joseph T.  Search this
Measurements:
overall: 34 in x 48 in x 23 in; 86.36 cm x 121.92 cm x 58.42 cm
Object Name:
carrot stick slicing machine
Place made:
United States: New Jersey, Wallington
Date made:
late 1950s
Credit Line:
Gift of Chem J. Listner
ID Number:
2011.0222.01
Catalog number:
2011.0222.01
Accession number:
2011.0222
See more items in:
Work and Industry: Food Technology
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition:
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ad-6cf1-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1411796
Online Media:

Tortilladora, tortilla press

Physical Description:
metal (overall material)
wood (overall material)
Measurements:
overall: 125 cm x 75 cm x 66.5 cm; 49 3/16 in x 29 1/2 in x 26 3/16 in
Object Name:
tortilla press
Place made:
United States: California, Fillmore
Date made:
ca. 1920
Subject:
Latino  Search this
Credit Line:
Gift of Anna Bermudez
ID Number:
2006.0236.03
Catalog number:
2006.0236.03
Accession number:
2006.0236
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
Cultures & Communities
Food
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Family & Social Life
Exhibition:
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746ac-3ec2-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_1322193

Veg-O-Matic II

Maker:
Popeil Brothers, Incorporated  Search this
Physical Description:
plastic (overall material)
aluminum (cutting rings material)
steel (cutting blades material)
Object Name:
Cutter, Food
cutter, food
Place made:
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Place owned; place used:
United States: Illinois, Chicago
Date made:
1975
Subject:
Food Processing  Search this
Household Tools and Equipment  Search this
Kitchen utensils  Search this
Patented  Search this
Plastics  Search this
Business  Search this
Invention  Search this
Credit Line:
The Popeil Family in memory of Samuel J. Popeil
ID Number:
1986.0222.1A
Accession number:
1986.0222
Catalog number:
1986.222.1A
See more items in:
Cultural and Community Life: Domestic Life
FOOD: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000
Exhibition:
Food: Transforming the American Table
Exhibition Location:
National Museum of American History
Data Source:
National Museum of American History
GUID:
http://n2t.net/ark:/65665/ng49ca746b3-fdb5-704b-e053-15f76fa0b4fa
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:nmah_323705

Robert Studebaker Oral History

Topic:
LaserPlane
Interviewee:
Studebaker, Robert  Search this
Interviewer:
Warner, Deborah Jean  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Names:
Process Equipment Company  Search this
Spectra Precision  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Videotapes
Interviews
Date:
1998.
Scope and Contents:
Collection documents Robert Studebaker, inventor of the LaserPlane, the first modern alternative to the liquid level. The first model was introduced in 1965.
Arrangement:
Divided into 3 series: (1) Original videos; (2) Master videos; (3) Reference videos.
Related Archival Materials:
LaserPlane models located in NMAH Division of Science, Medicine and Society.
Provenance:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation,,Smithsonian Institution, NMAH, Dept. of History, Room 1016, MRC 604, 12th and Constitution Ave., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20560.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Museum holds rights. Signed release on file.
Topic:
Tools -- 1960-1970 -- United States  Search this
Level indicators -- 1960-1970  Search this
Leveling -- 1960-1970  Search this
Inventors -- 1950-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1960-1970  Search this
Civil engineering -- 1960-1970  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Citation:
Robert Studebaker Oral History, 1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0670
See more items in:
Robert Studebaker Oral History
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0670

Hal Walker Innovative Lives Presentation

Topic:
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Presenter:
Crew, Spencer, Dr., 1949-  Search this
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Inventor:
Walker, Hal, Jr. (Hildreth), 1933-  Search this
Interviewee:
Stephens, Lee  Search this
Walker, Bettye Davis, Dr.  Search this
Speaker:
Lemelson, Jerome H., 1923-1997  Search this
Molella, Arthur P., 1944-  Search this
Travis, John  Search this
Heyman, Ira Michael, 1930-2011  Search this
Names:
A-MAN (African American Male Achievers Network)  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Interviews
Lectures
Betacam sp (videotape format)
Videotapes
Oral history
Slides
Date:
1995 June 1
Summary:
Collection documents inventor Hal Walker and his research and development work with lasers and electric automobiles.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains original (Betcam SP), master (Betacam SP), reference (1/2" VHS) videos and photographs documenting Spencer Crew, Secretary I. Michael Heyman, Arthur Molella and Jerome Lemelson in honor of the establishment of the Lemelson Center and the first Innovative Lives Program (a series of lecture-demonstrations by American inventors and entrepreneurs for young people--by Hildreth "Hal" Walker. Hal Walker discusses his background and how he became an inventor. With John Travis, a chemist from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, Walker demonstrates the properties and applications of lasers, including measuring the distance to the moon and voice communications. Walker developed laser equipment that projected images of the moon back to the earth during the 1969 Apollo moon walk.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged into four series.

Series 1: Original videos

Series 2: Master videos

Series 3: Reference videos

Series 4: Photographs
Biographical / Historical:
Hal Walker was born in 1933 in Louisiana. In 1951, he joined the Navy and served for four years as a qualified electrician's mate. In 1955, Walker joined Douglas Aircraft Company installing radar systems and at the same time began taking classes at L.A. City College. Soon after joining Douglas Aircraft, a series of layoffs occurred and Walker joined RCA working with the Ballistic Missile Early Warning System (BMEWS). He continued to sharpen his technical and managerial skills developing industrial and medical uses for lasers, plasma, quantum physics, and holography. By 1981, Walker joined Hughes Aircraft, the organization that brought Laser Target Designator Systems (LTDs) to the United States Army's weapons inventory. Walker retired from Hughes Aircraft in 1989 and with his wife, Dr. Bettye Davis Walker, founded A-MAN, the African American Male Achievers Network, Inc. Science Discovery Learning Center. A-MAN's mission is to utilize Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM)-related projects as a motivational tool and advance the educational achievement, and the intellectual and career development of African-American, Latino and other minority students pre-K thru 12thgrades.
Provenance:
Created by the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation in 1995.
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. Signed copies of releases for Hal Walker and Mark Lee Stephens on file.
Topic:
Electric engineering -- 1980-2000  Search this
Inventors -- 1950-2000  Search this
Automobiles, Electric  Search this
Lasers  Search this
Inventions -- 20th century  Search this
Optics  Search this
Physics -- 20th century  Search this
African American inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Aerospace engineers  Search this
Aerospace industries  Search this
Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Lectures -- 1990-2000
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Videotapes
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Slides
Citation:
Hal Walker Innovative Lives Presentation, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0602
See more items in:
Hal Walker Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0602
Online Media:

Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records

Creator:
Gerber, H. Joseph, 1924-1996  Search this
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company (Hartford, Conn.).  Search this
Extent:
75 Cubic feet (182 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Articles
Marketing records
Photographs
Speeches
Correspondence
Catalogs
Clippings
Patents
Business records
Manuals
Legal documents
Date:
1911 - 1999
Summary:
Records document the Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, Hartford, Connecticut, and its four subsidiaries: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc., Gerber Scientific Products, Inc., Gerber Systems Corp., and Gerber Optical, Inc. Gerber Scientific designs, develops, manufactures, markets and services computer aided design and computer aided CAD/CAM systems. The records include correspondence, memoranda, product literature, trade literature, patent records, instruction manuals, proposals, engineering records, photographs, technical reports, drawings, press releases, and newspaper clippings.
Scope and Contents:
The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records document the company's designs, development, manufacture, and marketing of computer-aided design and computer-aided CAD/CAM systems. The records are arranged into twelve series and consist of Personal, Corporate Records, Engineering Department Records, Product Literature, Instruction Manuals/User Guides, Proposals, Photographs, Trade Literature, Press Releases and Newspaper Clippings, Patent Records, Lectra Systèmes Litigation Materials, and Audio Visual Materials.

Series 1, David R. Pearl, 1968-1984, contains three volumes of diaries kept by David R. Pearl, President of Gerber Garment Technology. The diaries were maintained by Pearl from July 21, 1968 to June 6, 1977, to document Pearl's and H. Joseph Gerber's activities concerning the development of the technology and the establishment of a business to market computer-controlled fabric cutting devices. One notebook contains some materials later than 1977. There are diary entries for September 12, 1979, February 1, 1980, and October 29, 1984.

Series 2, Corporate Records, 1968-1999, includes administrative records, an Industrial Projects Eligibility Review, annual reports, shareholders reports, newsletters, New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) materials, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) materials, Gerber Museum documents, and empty Gerber Scientific Instrument Company binders. The administrative documents consist of a corporate history, mission statement, organizational chart, company map, time line and biographies of key corporate personnel. There are two organizational charts: one for the Engineering Organization (software, mechanical and electrical divisions) from 1987 and one for the subsidiary Gerber Garment Technology, Inc. (Gerber Garment Technology (GGT)), dated 1985. Additional organizational charts can be found with the 1968 annual report. The Industrial Projects Eligibility Review was submitted to the Connecticut Development Authority by Gerber Scientific Intsrument (GSI) to facilitate financing for future expansion of the company. A copy of the company's articles of incorporation are here. The newsletters included in this series are in-house publications for employees only. The newsletter Communiqué, 1960, is in Series 4, Product Literature. The NYSE materials include press releases, photographs, the listing application to the NYSE and printed material about Gerber Scientific, Inc. joining the NYSE in October 1980. Gerber Scientific is traded on the Stock Exchange as GRB. The Securities and Exchange Commission files contain Form S-3, a registration statement and the Annual Report, and Form 10-K for Gerber Scientific, Inc. The Gerber Museum file includes photographs of artifacts and a 1996 memo and fax discussing the establishment of a museum to honor H. Joseph Gerber.

Series 3, Engineering Department Records, 1966-1990, is the largest series and is arranged alphabetically by the engineer's last name and then alphabetically by subject/topic. The records include the files of: Ed LaGraize, David Logan, Bud Rich, Ron Webster, and Ken Wood. The majority of engineering files belong to David Logan. Logan joined Gerber Scientific Instrument in 1957 as a project engineer. From 1959 to 1961, he was chief engineer and then became Vice President of Engineering from 1961 to 1963. From 1963 to 1980, Logan served as Senior Vice President of Engineering. He holds several patents, primarily in the field of plotting devices and control systems. The engineering files contain technical memoranda, correspondence, drawings, product literature, trade literature, notes, and drawings.

Series 4, Product Literature, 1953-1996, contains informational sheets for a variety of products available from Gerber Scientific, Inc. and its subsidiary companies. Gerber Scientific Instrument (GSI) creates designs, manufactures and promotes data reduction equipment of many types. Data reduction equipment allows complex mathematical problems to be solved quickly and accurately. Both analogue and digital systems are offered. The bulk of the product literature falls into the following categories: instruments, data reader systems, recorders, special scanning tables, oscillogram amplitude tabulators, standard system scanners, and plotters. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of product with a few exceptions.

Series 5, Instruction Manuals/User Guides, 1953-1980, undated, is divided into two subseries, Gerber Scientific Instrument Company manuals and other companies' manuals. This series contains instruction manuals, maintenance manuals, and users' guides for a variety of Gerber Scientific, Inc. products. The Gerber System Model 1434, Ultra Precise Artwork Generator which provides precision photo-plotting on photo-sensitive material is well represented among the manuals. The other companies represented include Bendix Industrial Controls and the KOH-I-NOOR Rapidograph, Inc.

Series 6, Proposals, 1961-1980, consists of bound certified and signed technical and bid proposals completed by Gerber Scientific Instrument Company detailing available and actual estimated costs and pricing data for Gerber products. The proposals were assembled for specific companies such as North American Aviation.

Series 7, Photographs, 1948-1974, undated, is further divided into three subseries: Product and Client Files, 1966-1974, undated; Gerber Scientific Instrument (Gerber Scientific Intsrument (GSI) Corporate, 1948-1970, undated; and Numerical, 1966-1974, undated photographs. The majority of photographs are 8" x 10" black-and-white prints. The product and client file photographs are arranged alphabetically. The Gerber Scientific Instrument (GSI) corporate photographs include photographs of GSI buildings both interior and exterior shots, employees, employee functions such as banquets, annual meetings, tours, stockholder meetings, and trade shows. The numerical photographs are arranged numerically according to the number assigned on the reverse of the photograph. Some of the numerical photographs are identified by product name, but others are labeled unidentified.

Series 8, Trade Literature, 1947-1992, is arranged alphabetically by company name. The trade literature in this series is from competitors or from companies that used Gerber products.

Series 9, Press Releases and Newspaper Clippings, 1943-1996, is divided into two subseries, Press Releases, 1972-1982 and Newspaper Clippings, 1943-1996. The press releases are arranged chronologically. This series contains information on H. Joseph Gerber, his company and its subsidiaries, and the garment and apparel industry. The newspaper clippings are arranged chronologically and include a wide variety of local Connecticut and United States newspapers and industry specific magazines such as Bobbin and Apparel Industry.

Series 10, Patent Records, 1911-1985, contains copies of patents, correspondence with patent attorneys and the United States Patent and Trademark Office, patent search results, and other legal filings associated with the patenting process. The materials are arranged chronologically with the name of the equipment or instruments being patented noted.

Series 11, Lectra Systèmes Litigation Materials, 1968-1990, contains documents that mainly deal with Lectra (France), but there are documents about patent infringement for Lectra (Japan) and Lectra (United Kingdom). The materials consist of depositions by David Pearl, then president of Gerber Garment Technology, and David Siegelman, then Vice President and General Manager for Lectra Systèmes, Inc., in the United States. Confidential progress reports, memoranda, correspondence, competition reports, drawings and sketches, notes, and other documents summarize events in the litigation history.

Lectra Systèmes was formed on November 12, 1973 at Bordeaux-Cestas (France) by two visionary engineers, Jean and Bernard Etcheparre. They developed a computer system, the LECteur-TRAceur 200, which automatically calculated and plotted all sizes of an item of apparel. The Lectra Systèmes litigation materials document Gerber Garment Technology's claim that Lectra infringed upon Gerber's line of cutting machines. The specific patents being infringed are United States patents: 3,955,458; 4,205,835; and 3,765,289. In September 1986, Lectra introduced a new line of cutting machines that cost roughly half as much as Gerber's top-of-the-line competing system. Gerber Garment Technology filed suit in the United States and France as Gerber Garment Technology, Inc. v. Lectra Systems, Inc. Civil Action No. 1:86-cv-2054CAM. In 1992, Lectra Systems, Inc., appealled the judgment of the United States District Court for the Northern District infringement of Gerber's U.S. Patent No. 3,955,458 ('458 patent) and denied Lectra's claim that Gerber's U.S. Patent No., 4,205,835 ('835 patent) is unenforceable.

Series 12, Audio Visual Materials, 1986-1998, includes 3⁄4" U-matic, 1⁄2" VHS, audio cassettes, BetaCam SP, and one Super 8mm color, silent camera original reversal film. The majority the of audio visual materials cover interviews with H. Joseph Gerber, the National Technology of Medal ceremony, and sales and marketing footage for various Gerber products.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into twelve series.

Series 1: David R. Pearl Materials, 1968-1984

Series 2: Corporate Records, 1968-2002

Subseries 2.1: Administrative, circa 1977-1995

Subseries 2.2: Industrial Projects Eligibility Review, undated (contains articles of incorporation for Gerber Scientific)

Subseries 2.3: Annual Reports, 1968-1999

Subseries 2.4: Shareholders Reports, 1990-1995, 1997, 1998

Subseries 2.5: Newsletters, 1969-1996

Subseries 2.6: New York Stock Exchange, 1980 October

Subseries 2.7: Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), 1983-1992

Subseries 2.8: Gerber Museum, 1996

Subseries 2.9: Gerber Scientific Instrument Company binders (empty), undated

Subseries 2.10: Stock and Financial Information, 1949-2002

Series 3: Engineering Department Records, 1966-1990

Subseries 3.1: Ed LaGraize's Files, 1978-1990

Subseries 3.2: Dave Logan's Engineering Files, 1966-1990

Subseries 3.3: Dave Logan's Competitors Files, 1966-1982

Subseries 3.4: Bud Rich's Files, 1967-1980

Subseries 3.5, Ron Webster's Files, 1963-1992

Subseries 3.6: Ken Wood's Files, 1976-1980

Subseries 3.7: Ken Wood's Case Study of Model 1434, 1966-1989

Subseries 3.8: General Engineering Files, 1970-1980

Series 4: Product Literature, 1953-1996

Series 5: Instruction Manuals/User Guides, 1953-1980, undated

Subseries 5.1: Gerber Scientific Instrument Company, 1953-1979

Subseries 5.2: Other Companies, 1962, 1980

Series 6: Proposals, 1961-1980

Series 7: Photographs, 1948-1974, undated

Subseries 7.1, Product and Client Files, 1966-1974, undated

Subseries 7.2, Gerber Scientific Instrument Corporate, 1948-1970, undated

Subseries 7.3, Numerical, 1966-1974, undated

Series 8: Trade Literature, 1947-1992

Series 9: Press Releases and Newspaper Clippings, 1943-1998

Subseries 9.1: Press Releases, 1972-1998

Subseries 9.2: Newspaper clippings, 1943-1996

Subseries 9.3: Articles, 1969-1991

Series 10: Patent Records, 1911-1985

Series 11: Lectra Systèmes Litigation Materials, 1968-1990

Series 12: Audio Visual Materials, 1986-1998
Biographical / Historical:
Heinz Joseph "Joe" Gerber was born in Vienna, Austria, on April 17, 1924. In 1940, Gerber escaped the Nazis and immigrated to New York City and then to Hartford, Connecticut, with his mother Bertha Gerber, a dressmaker. Gerber's father, Jacob, is presumed to have died in a concentration camp. Gerber attended Weaver High School and graduated in two years (1943). He attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, on a scholarship and earned a bachelor's degree in aeronautical engineering in 1947. As a junior at RPI, Gerber developed the Gerber Variable Scale, his first invention. The earliest version of the variable scale was fashioned from an elastic band removed from a pair of pajamas. Gerber created a rubber rule and scale that could flow with a curve, expand, contract, and turn a corner. The scale allows for direct reading of curves, graphs, and graphical representations, giving direct numerical readings of proportions, spacing and interpolation. The Variable Scale became the building block of what would become Gerber Scientific Instrument Inc.

With financial assistance from Abraham Koppleman, a newspaper and magazine distributor in Hartford, Gerber and Koppleman formed a partnership and incorporated Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in 1948. Gerber served as president, Koppleman as treasurer, and Stanley Levin as secretary. The manufacture of Variable Scale was jobbed out and the distribution was conducted from Hartford. Gerber also worked as a design analytical engineer for Hamilton Standard Propellers of United Aircraft and for Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. Shares of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company were eventually sold to the public in 1961, and in 1978, the company changed its name to Gerber Scientific, Inc. In the 1960s and 1970s, Gerber developed the first series of precision, computer-driven cutting systems for the apparel industry called the Gerber Cutter. The cutters introduced automation to the garment industry. In 1967, Gerber realized that the U.S. garment industry, due to a lack of automation, was faced with increasing overseas competition. Gerber's solution was to engineer the GERBERcutter S-70, a machine that cuts apparel quickly and effectively while using less cloth.

Gerber holds more than 600 United States and foreign patents. Many of his patents relate to the United States apparel industry. In 1994, Gerber was awarded the National Medal of Technology by President Clinton for helping to revolutionize the optical, garment, automotive, and other industries. His pioneering achievements include:

-a generation of data readers (electromechanical devices that converted graphical data directly into computer readable format);

-projection systems that interactively converted information from aerial photographs for use in computers;

-devices that plotted digital output data from computer cards or tape;

-digital numerically-controlled drafting machines which verify the accuracy of the cutting path of numerical machine tools;

-a photoplotter (drafting machine configured with a unique light source to directly draw high accuracy layouts of printed circuit board masters on photographic film or glass with light beams); and

-systems with laser technology to draw at high speeds.1

Subsequent subsidiaries of Gerber Scientific, Inc., were: Gerber Garment Technology, Inc. (GGT); Gerber Scientific Products, Inc. (GSP); Gerber Systems Corp. (GSC), and Gerber Optical, Inc., (GO). GGT makes computer-controlled cutting and design equipment for apparel, automotive, aerospace and other industries. GSP produces systems for sign-making and graphic arts industries. GSC makes production systems for printing, industrial machinery and other industries. GO makes equipment for the optical-lens manufacturing industry.2

In 1954, Gerber married Sonia Kanciper. They had a daughter, Melisa Tina Gerber, and a son, David Jacques Gerber. H. Joseph Gerber died on August 9, 1996, at the age of 72.

Sources

1 National Medal of Technology, 1994.

2 W. Joseph Campbell, "High Tech and Low Key as Gerber Scientific Mounts a Recovery Philosophy that Reflects Innovative Founder," Hartford Courant, May 16, 1994.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, February 1996 (AC0609)

This videohistory documents the inventor, engineers, assembly workers, operators and other technicians who worked with the computer-controlled fabric cutter.

Heinz Joseph Gerber Papers (AC1336)

This collection documents Joseph Gerber's personal life including his highschool and college years, correpondence with family and friends, and speeches given by Gerber throughout his life.
Provenance:
The collection was donated by David Gerber, son of H. Joseph Gerber, on December 23, 2006.
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:
Fabric cutters -- 1960-1990  Search this
Inventors  Search this
Computerized instruments -- 1960-1990  Search this
Automation -- 1960-1990  Search this
Machinery -- 1960-1990  Search this
Machine-tool industry  Search this
Genre/Form:
Articles
Marketing records
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- 1940-2000
Speeches
Correspondence -- 20th century
Catalogs
Clippings
Patents
Business records -- 1950-2000
Manuals
Legal documents
Citation:
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0929
See more items in:
Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0929
Online Media:

S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection

Creator:
Darby, S. Newman, 1928-2016 ((inventor))  Search this
Darby, Kenneth  Search this
Darby, Naomi  Search this
Names:
Mistral, Inc.  Search this
Windsurfing International, Inc.  Search this
Drake, Jim  Search this
Schweitzer, Hoyle  Search this
Extent:
2.65 Cubic feet (7 boxes, 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Advertisements
Sketches
Photographs
Rigging plans
Sail plans
Legal files
Blueprints
Film (performing arts)
Illustrated periodicals
Correspondence
Design drawings
Drawings
Videotapes
Place:
Falls (Pa.) -- 1950-1990
Susquehana River -- 1950-1990
Date:
1944-1998
Summary:
The collection documents S. Newman Darby's development of the sailboard, which became known as the windsurfer through sketches, mechanical drawings, plans, patent specifications, legal documents, photographs, correspondence, notebooks, clippings, periodicals, and an 8mm film.
Scope and Contents:
The S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection, 1946-1998, documents the body of Newman Darby's inventive output as well as the development of the windsurfing industry. It consists of sketches, mechanical drawings, plans, patent specifications, legal documents, photographs, correspondence, notebooks, clippings, periodicals, an 8mm film and a videocassette. The collection is particularly rich in the material related to the development of the sailboard, including Darby's personal memoirs. It contains U.S. and foreign patents related to windsurfing as well as records and reports related to Darby's testimony in litigation and the recognition of the priority of his invention. the collections research value lies in the documentation of the invention of the windsurfer and the industry and culture it spawned. It documents the processes of invention and marketing of new devices. It is evidence of the full range of S. Newman Darby's imagination, life and career.
Arrangement:
The collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Biographical materials, 1969-1982

Series 2: Inventions and designs, 1953-1990

Series 3: Darby Industries, 1982-1983

Series 4: History of windsurfing, 1944-1998

Series 5: Photographs, 1946-1997

Series 6: Audio-Visual materials, 1965-1997
Biographical / Historical:
S. Newman Darby is recognized as the first person in the United States to conceive of connecting a hand-held sail rig fastened with a universal joint to a floating platform for recreational use. He called it sail boarding in 1965, when he published his designs in Popular Science Monthly magazine. Although he and his brothers Ronald and Kenneth began manufacturing the boards through their company Darby Industries, they never applied for a patent.

S. Newman Darby (1928-2016) was born in West Pittston, Pennsylvania. He graduated from West Pittston High School in 1946. A sign painter and artist, like his father Sidney Darby, he studied drafting at the Pennsylvania State University extension school where he took chemistry, business, art, and photography courses for one year. His first invention, the Darby Dory, a folding rowboat dates from 1953. The sailboard developed out of Darby's experiments with a personal pontoon catamaran, each hull being big enough for one foot and designed to be operated with a hand-held sail and no rudder. By 1964 he had designed a universal joint that connected a mast to a flat bottom sailing scow. This board had a centerboard, tail fin and kite shaped free sail. Early tests were conducted on Trailwood Lake and the Susquehanna River, near West Pittston.

Today sail boarding is known as windsurfing. It adopted its name from Windsurfer International, a company Hoyle Schweitzer and Jim Drake established on the basis of a patent granted to them in 1970 for a "wind-propelled apparatus." In all essential qualities, their claims duplicated Newman Darby's earlier work.

After Schweitzer bought out Drake's share in 1973, he energetically promoted the sport and licensed manufacturing rights to more than 20 companies around the world. Schweitzer forcefully prosecuted patent infringements he perceived among windsurfer manufacturers and he threatened to sue the 1984 Olympic Committee should it authorize a board produced by a manufacturer not licensed by Windsurfer International. Although he was aware of the growth of the sport and the profits flowing into Windsurfer International through its licensing activities, Darby was unable to mount a legal challenge to Schweitzer. His priority in the invention of the sport was overlooked and almost forgotten.

In the late 1970's, Mistral, a Swiss manufacturer sued by Windsurfer International in Germany, located Darby and presented his "prior art" as a defense. In the early 1980's, courts in the United States were asked to rule on the validity of the Windsurfer International patent. Newman Darby's prior art was at the center of the controversies. The court voided Windsurfer's original patent and Schweitzer was forced to apply for a reissue based on severely limited claims. He lost the use of "windsurfer" as a trademark. Schweitzer retained the reissued patent through further challenges until it expired in 1987. The example of Newman Darby has become a textbook case of the importance of thorough searches for "prior art" for patent attorneys.

Following completion of the patent litigation Darby designed original sail rigs for Mistral in Europe and Horizon in the United States. In 1982 Newman entered into a new partnership with his brothers Ronald and Kenneth and formed NRK, Inc., to design and manufacture windsurfing boards, training devices and to produce written and video documentaries of his contributions to the history of the sport.

Naomi Albrecht Darby, Newman's wife, sewed the first sails for the boards and participated in their testing and marketing. She documented Darby's inventions through the years in photographs and moving images. Over the years, Darby has worked on numerous inventions--most of them related to wind propulsion. Like many independent inventors, Newman Darby conceives of his ideas, executes all of the mechanical plans, builds his own prototypes and tests them. Darby continues to research improvements in windsurfing and to teach courses in boat building and design.
Related Materials:
An original sailboard, rig, mast and daggerboard from the same period are also housed in the Pennsylvania State Museum at Harrisburg.
Separated Materials:
The Division of Culture and the Arts holds artifacts relating to S. Newman Darby and his invention of the windsurfer, including an original board, boom and mast, and sail dating from 1964. See accessions #1998.0086 and #1998.0323.
Provenance:
Most of the collection was donated to the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History by S. Newman Darby and his wife Naomi on February 3, 1998.
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:
Sporting goods industry -- 1950-1990  Search this
Sailboats -- 1950-1990  Search this
Patent law and legislation -- 1950-1990 -- United States  Search this
Patent licenses  Search this
Patents (international law) -- 1950-1990  Search this
Boatbuilders -- 1950-1990  Search this
Boats and boating -- 1950-1990  Search this
Boats and boating -- Designs and plans -- 1950-1990  Search this
Inventors -- 1950-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Aquatic sports -- 1950-1990  Search this
Darby simulator  Search this
Windsurfers -- 1950-1990  Search this
Windsurfing -- Inventions -- 1950-1990  Search this
Genre/Form:
Advertisements -- 1950-2000
Sketches -- 1950-1990
Photographs -- 20th century
Rigging plans -- 1950-1990
Sail plans -- 1950-1990
Legal files -- 1950-1990
Blueprints -- 1950-2000
Film (performing arts) -- 1950-1990
Illustrated periodicals -- 1950-1990
Correspondence -- 1940-1990
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Drawings -- 1950-1990
Videotapes
Citation:
S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0625
See more items in:
S. Newman Darby Windsurfing Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0625
Online Media:

Records of Wedge Innovations

Interviewer:
Shayt, David H.  Search this
Creator:
Wedge Innovations  Search this
Extent:
13 Cubic feet (28 boxes, 5 oversized folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Videotapes
Notebooks
Oral histories (document genres)
Audiotapes
Financial records
Financial statements
Interviews
Correspondence
Photographs
Drawings
Advertisements
Date:
1985-1996
Summary:
The records of Wedge Innovations document the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level; also included are company management and policies.
Scope and Contents:
The SmartLevel story gives excellent insight into the life cycle of a small Silicon valley start-up in the 1980s. SmartLevel's creator, Wedge Innovations, established a market for a new product, achieved national distribution, off-shore manufacturing, and product licensing, before going out of business due to pressure from profit-hungry venture capitalists.

The records of Wedge Innovations is a "tool biography" that documents the invention and development of a new hand tool, the SmartLevel, an electronic builder's level first conceived in 1985 by Andrew Butler. The SmartLevel Collection is divided into seven series: Corporate Records, Engineering Records, Financial Records, Marketing Records, Operations Records, Product Development Records, and Corporate Culture, reflecting both the organizational structure of Wedge Innovations and the company's working environment.

Series 1, Corporate Records, 1985-1993, address the overall management of Wedge Innovations and document its policies, especially through the company's annual business plans, 1986-1992, and the monthly reports prepared for the Board of Directors' meetings, 1989-1992. This series also details the workings of each department through weekly departmental reports. The staff meetings files, July-November 1989, February 1990-November 1992, are particularly useful for understanding the day-to-day operation of the company.

Series 2, Engineering Records, 1985-1993, document the design and development of the SmartLevel from its conception in 1985 as the WedgeLevel, through its production as the SmartLevel in 1989, and through its refinement into the Pro SmartLevel and the Series 200 SmartLevel in 1991. The design process is particularly well documented through Andrew Butler's and Kevin Reeder's design notebooks and through the detailed technical drawings done by Butler, Reeder, and Ronald Wisnia. Also well documented are the efforts made to solve the many problems associated with the development and quality control of the electronic sensor module that was the heart of the SmartLevel.

Series 3, Financial Records, 1985-1992, include Wedge's summary financial statements from 1985 to 1992.

Series 4, Marketing Records, 1986-1992, document customer and dealer relations through marketing department correspondence, operational records, and advertising campaigns. This series is particularly rich in promotional material (1988-1992), such as advertisements, advertising copy, photographs, product promotion plans, and videotapes that demonstrate the varied features and uses of the products.

Series 5, Operations Records, 1990-1993, document the manufacturing process and the Company's offshore operations.

Series 6, Product Development Records, 1986-1993, document the company's intended development of an entire "Smart Tools" line.

Series 7, Corporate Culture, 1985-1996, contains employee photographs and oral history interviews with key Wedge personnel conducted in 1995 and 1996 by David Shayt, Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History. The interviews discuss the background of the participants, the company's origins and history, product development, the Silicon Valley context, and the efforts of Wedge Innovations successor firm, SmartTool Technologies.
Arrangement:
The collection organized into seven series.

Series 1, Corporate Records, 1985-1993

Series 2, Engineering Records, 1985-1993

Series 3, Financial Records, 1985-1992

Series 4, Marketing Records, 1986-1992

Series 5, Operations Records, 1990-1993

Series 6, Product Development Records, 1986-1993

Series 7, Corporate Culture, 1985-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Andrew G. Butler (b. 1955), the founder of Wedge Innovations exhibited an interest in building construction and an entrepreneurial spirit early in life. From age 12 to 17 he built a boat that he then sailed alone from California to Tahiti, where he spent several years as an independent carpenter and building contractor. After returning to the United States, he earned a B.S. degree in electromechanical engineering from Stanford University (1983) and became a software specialist for Bechtel Construction. In 1985, he conceived of an idea for an electronic carpenter's level that could read a range of angles. Butler formed Wedge Innovations in 1986. He worked in the basement of his home in order to develop and market this level, selling his boat to finance the venture. He hired Marilyn Crowell as his secretary and Robert Nagle and Dan Kellogg as engineers. This company developed the sensor technology and software necessary to build the company's first product, the WedgeLevel. The heart of this tool was an electronic sensor circuit connected to a microprocessor capable of measuring the tool's orientation. This sensor module fit into an ergonomically-designed teak rail with anodized aluminum edges jointly developed by Butler, engineering design consultant Kevin Reeder, and engineer Ronald Wisnia.

In 1987, Wedge moved to Santa Clara to begin manufacturing the WedgeLevel. The transition from a research and development concern to a manufacturing company proved difficult, due to manufacturing and financial difficulties. It was difficult to obtain a reliable yet inexpensive source of teak for the rails, designs for a plastic composite and aluminum rail were developed, while offshore manufacturing of the sensor components was established. Overarching all concerns was the persistent difficulty of obtaining sufficient investment capital. While managing his growing company, Butler also began planning for a line of hand tools that combined microelectronics and user-oriented, ergonomic design. In 1988, the company changed the name of its product to SmartLevel in order to emphasize the company's proposed line of Smart Tools. That same year, the company adopted a new corporate logo, a stylized W with a red wedge, signaling its growing maturity. Promotion of the product also began through demonstrations of the prototype done by consultant building contractor, Rick Feffer.

In January 1989, the SmartLevel prototype was launched at the National Association of Home Builders Show in Atlanta, Georgia. The favorable publicity generated by this launch and by the company's media campaign generated many orders. To supply these orders, Wedge moved to larger quarters in Sunnyvale on April 1, 1989. In June 1989, Wedge gained further publicity by donating several SmartLevels to a Habitat for Humanity project in Milwaukee, where former president Jimmy Carter used one. Although Wedge expected to ship the first SmartLevels in July 1989, there were considerable delays in manufacturing. In particular, there were stability and performance problems with the sensor, which engineer Ken Gunderson was brought in to remedy. The sensor module was re-engineered to be more rugged and the level was redesigned with a plastic composite and aluminum rail. The new level, known as the Pro SmartLevel, was intended for the professional construction market. The first SmartLevels were shipped on September 5, 1989.

In 1990, patents were granted to Andrew Butler, Donald G. Green, and Robert E. Nagle for an inclinometer sensor circuit and to Butler and Ronald Wisnia for a carpenter's level design. That same year, Brian Bayley joined Wedge as Vice-president for Engineering, and Edwin "Win" Seipp joined as Project Manager - DIY SmartLevel. Seipp's responsibility was to develop a low-cost, "do-it-yourself" version of the SmartLevel, which was eventually called the Series 200 SmartLevel. This level had an all-aluminum rail and a non-removable sensor.

In September 1990, the company moved to San Jose and by 1991 had over 60 employees. Although sales continued to grow and name recognition of the product was quite strong, Wedge had difficulty meeting the expectations of its investors. Butler entered into financial negotiations with the Macklanburg-Duncan Corporation, a large-scale manufacturer of hand tools, to seek investment in his company. These negotiations led in November 1992 to the acquisition of Wedge by Macklanburg-Duncan, which dissolved all but Wedge's engineering section. Macklanburg-Duncan today manufactures a "SmartTool" level, while Butler co-owns D2M (Design To Market), a company that develops new product ideas for the market.

SmartLevel Chronology

1992 -- Butler negotiates with Macklanburg-Duncan for a merger to save Wedge. In the midst of the negotiations, Butler is fired by his Board of Directors. Butler regains control of Wedge three months later, fires the replacement president, and sells Wedge outright to Macklanburg-Duncan, which dissolves all but the engineering functions of Wedge.

1991 -- Wedge sponsors a "New Product Development Conference," where numerous designs for new hand tools are worked on. SmartLevel sales and name recognition grows but not quickly enough to meet overhead expenses of new facility or investors' demands.

1990 -- Yet more redesign work, both in-house and with Kevin Reeder, who also develops idea for "SmartTube" carrying case (not built). Patents granted to Andy Butler et al. for inclinometer sensor circuit and carpenter's level design. Wedge hires Brian Bayley as vice-president for engineering to develop a low-cost model of the SmartLevel. The all-aluminum Series 200 SmartLevel is born. Wedge moves to larger facilities in San Jose.

1989 -- SmartLevel launched at National Association of Home Builders show in January. Good press coverage, but cannot meet orders. More publicity from Habitat for Humanity project when former President Jimmy Carter uses a SmartLevel. But stability and performance problems plague sensor. More redesign work results in more rugged Pro SmartLevel. The first SmartLevels shipped on September 5, 1989.

1987-1988 -- Wedge moves to Santa Clara; intends to begin manufacturing and todevelop an entire line of "Smart Tools" but encounters financial and engineering difficulties; Wedge consults with independent design engineer, Kevin Reeder, on level design. Intensive redesign effort develops the SmartLevel, made of plastic and aluminum rail.

1986 -- Wedge Innovations founded in the basement of Butler's house; basic sensor design worked out; teak & aluminum WedgeLevel developed.

1985 -- Idea for electronic carpenter's level formulated by Andy Butler.
Related Materials:
Materials at the National Museum of American History

The Division of Work and Industry, National Museum of American History contains artifacts related to the SmartLevel Collection. These include five SmartLevels (Accession #1991.0823; 1996.0284; 1996.0285; 1996.0288; and 1996.0289). They are an original teak WedgeLevel, a Pro SmartLevel, a Series 200 SmartLevel, a Bosch version of the SmartLevel, and a Macklanburg-Duncan SmartTool level. There are also four sensor modules (torpedo levels), two sensors, two carrying cases, one cap, one tee shirt, and one wooden puzzle with the inscription "The World Isn't Just Level and Plumb."
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Andrew Butler, SmartLevel inventor and company founder, Brian Bayley, Vice-President for engineering at Wedge Innovations from 1989-1992, and Kevin Reeder, an independent industrial designer, 1995-1997.
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:
Product demonstrations -- 1980-2000  Search this
Technological innovations -- Hand tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Electronics -- Tools and implements -- 1980-2000  Search this
Industrial design -- 1980-2000  Search this
Leveling -- 1980-2000  Search this
Teak -- Use of -- 1980-2000  Search this
Level indicators -- 1980-2000  Search this
Venture capital -- 1980-2000 -- United States  Search this
Silicon Valley -- 1980-2000  Search this
Tools -- 1980-2000 -- United States  Search this
Small business -- Management -- 1980-2000  Search this
Investors -- 1980-2000  Search this
Inventors -- 1980-2000  Search this
Engineers -- 1980-2000  Search this
Industrial designers -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- Tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Carpenters -- 1980-2000  Search this
Carpentry -- Tools -- 1980-2000  Search this
Merchandise displays  Search this
Genre/Form:
Videotapes
Notebooks -- 1980-2000
Oral histories (document genres) -- 1990-2000
Audiotapes
Financial records -- 1980-2000
Financial statements -- 1980-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Correspondence -- 1970-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1980-2000
Drawings -- 1980-2000
Advertisements -- 1980-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Citation:
The Records of Wedge Innovations, 1985-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0534
See more items in:
Records of Wedge Innovations
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0534
Online Media:

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:

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

Evan Rangeloff Collection of Punchboards and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Sales Materials

Manufacturer:
Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company.  Search this
Collector:
Rangeloff, Evan  Search this
Extent:
3.5 Cubic feet (9 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
circa 1910-1991
Scope and Contents:
The collection includes thirty-eight punchboards, all unpunched and in very good to excellent condition, and featuring a range of products and imagery. The collection also includes two punchboard manufacturers' catalogs from the 1940s, which detail the money-making opportunities for jobbers and retailers.

The collection also contains correspondence, employment forms, promotional literature, photographs and sales training literature from Evan "Ding" Rangeloff=s early career as a sales representative and regional sales manager for Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company. Of particular interest are sales training manuals which explore the psychology of selling in the 1950s, manuals which detail sales cigarette marketing strategies at military bases and on Indian reservations, and materials relating to Liggett & Myers sponsorship of Formula One car racing in the 1970s.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Business Records, circa 1954-1991

Series 2: Photographs, circa 1920-1970

Series 3: Sales Training Literature, circa 1955-1957, 1974, 1979

Series 4: Punchboards, circa 1910-1970
Historical:
During and after his employment as a salesman and regional sales manager with Liggett & Myers Tobacco Company in Duluth, Minnesota, Mr. Rangeloff began collecting the gambling and sales promotion devices known as punchboards. In 1999-2000, he donated a large and representative selection of punchboards to the Archives Center. The term "punchboard" (or in some cases "punch board," "push board," "punchcard," or "pushcard") refers to a gambling device popular in the United States from roughly 1910 until 1970. Punchboards could be used for fundraising, sales promotion and gambling--sometimes all at once. Punchboards were typically found in places where men gathered socially, such as bars, pool halls, barber shops, and men's clubs. Punchboards also could be found in beauty parlors, drug stores, and other small retail establishments. With their promise of easy money, punchboards enjoyed great success during the Depression, and continued to enjoy popularity during and after World War II. According to Scarne's Complete Guide to Gambling (New York, N.Y.: Simon and Schuster, 1961), approximately 30 million punchboards were sold between 1910 and 1915. Scarne estimated that 50 million punchboards were sold in 1939 alone, at the peak of their popularity. Punchboard sales declined significantly after WWII, and by the mid-1970s the boards had been outlawed in most states.

Punchboards trace their lineage to 18th century lottery game boards. These handmade boards, with the winning ticket placed by the operator, offered no safeguards against corruption, however, and their misuse may have contributed to the game=s waning popularity. In 1905, C.A. Brewer and C.G. Scannell patented a new version of the traditional game. By 1910, modern manufacturing techniques, including the invention of board stuffing machines and ticket folding machines, contributed to the reinvigoration of the punchboard. The new punchboards were constructed out of cardboard, with a sheet of paper or foil covering both front and back of the board. This covering was intended to prevent the operator from discovering where the winning tickets were or otherwise tampering with the board. Cheap, portable, disposable, and offering a ready vehicle for advertising, punchboards are an exuberant, if ephemeral, expression of 20th century mass culture.

A modern punchboard typically consists of a square or rectangular piece of pressed wood or cardboard (from 2 inch to one inch in thickness) in which hundreds or thousands of holes have been drilled in a regular pattern, then loaded with tiny slips of rolled or folded paper. Each slip of paper had a number or symbol printed on it. Both front and back of the board were covered with a foil or paper seal. The front of the board typically featured some form of attention-getting commercial imagery and a chart listing the winning number or combination of numbers and symbols, along with the prizes or cash amounts to be awarded to the winners. The boards were sold with a metal stylus or "punch" for the players to use.

A player paid the punchboard's operator a set amount of money (typically a nickel, dime, or quarter) for a chance to use a metal stylus to break the seal on the hole of his choice, and punch one of the slips of paper out of the board. If the number or symbols found on the slip of paper matched one of the pre determined winning combinations, the player was awarded the corresponding prize.

Punchboard manufacturers sold the boards blank or preprinted. Blank boards were sold to "jobbers" or salesmen who then added their own imagery or advertisement, and many surviving punchboards feature advertisements for products that were inexpensive and had mass appeal, such as peanuts, candy and cigarettes. Some of these boards offered the advertised product as the prize; these came to be known as prizeboards. Some prizeboards were constructed with a shadow box meant to contain prizes such as rhinestone sunglasses, wristwatches, Bowie knives, or even handguns. Punchboard manufacturers also sold the board pre-printed with various kinds of commercial imagery--sports, gambling, and patriotic imagery were well-represented, as were folk figures, racial and ethnic stereotypes, and the ubiquitous pin-up girls. Most of these boards were played for cash.
Provenance:
Gift of Evan Rangeloff, October 1999.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
Probable copyright and trademark restrictions.
Topic:
Cigarettes -- 1950-2000  Search this
Tobacco -- Marketing -- 1950-2000  Search this
Sales personnel -- 1950-2000  Search this
Gambling  Search this
Cigarette industry -- 20th century  Search this
Punchboards  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records -- 1950-2000
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Citation:
Evan Rangeloff Collection of Punchboards and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Sales Materials, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0716
See more items in:
Evan Rangeloff Collection of Punchboards and Liggett & Myers Tobacco Sales Materials
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0716

William "Cat" Anderson Collection

Creator:
Anderson, William "Cat", 1916-1981 ((musician))  Search this
Names:
Benny Carter All Stars  Search this
Cat Anderson Quintet  Search this
Duke Ellington Orchestra  Search this
Lionel Hampton Orchestra  Search this
Mingus Quintet  Search this
Bechet, Sidney (musician)  Search this
Calloway, Cab, 1907-  Search this
Carter, Benny, 1907-2003  Search this
Ellington, Duke, 1899-1974  Search this
Fitzgerald, Ella, 1917-1996  Search this
Hampton, Lionel  Search this
Humphrey, Hubert H. (Hubert Horatio), 1911-1978  Search this
Humphrey, Muriel  Search this
Johnson, Lucy Bird  Search this
Johnson, Lyndon B. (Lyndon Baines), 1908-1973  Search this
Tatum, Art, 1910-1956  Search this
Webster, Ben  Search this
Extent:
5 Cubic feet (12 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Manuscripts
Transcripts
Oral histories (document genres)
Oral history
Phonograph records
Photographs
Recordings
Interviews
Clippings
Audiotapes
Awards
Audiocassettes
Articles
Date:
1940-1981
bulk 1963-1977
Scope and Contents note:
Primarily audiotapes, sheet music, and photographic images. Also: correspondence, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, itineraries, awards, and ephemera.,Of particular interest are recordings or photographic images, including the personalities listed below, and President and Mrs. Tubman of Liberia; also, two interviews and three recordings of Cat Anderson as guest with various university and college jazz bands.
Arrangement:
Collection is divided into four series.

Series 1: Music

Series 2: Original tapes and recordings

Series 3: Photographs

Series 4: Miscellaneous
Biographical/Historical note:
Cat Anderson (Sept 12, 1916 - April 29, 1981) was one of the premier trumpet players of the Duke Ellington Orchestra. Known for his effortless high notes, he was a strong section leader and a great soloist whose style exhibited humor and precision. He grew up in Jenkins= Orphanage in Charleston, SC, received basic music training there, and participated in many of their famous student ensembles. He formed and played with the Cotton Pickers, a group of orphanage teens while still a young man. Before joining Ellington in 1944, he played in several big bands, including Claude Hopkins and Lionel Hampton. Anderson left the Ellington organization from 1947 through 1949 again to lead his own group. From 1959 to1961 and after 1971 Anderson free lanced, working with the Ellington orchestra intermittently. He died in 1981 after receiving honors from the US Air Force, the Prix du Disque de Jazz, and the City of Los Angeles.
Related Archival Materials:
Related artifacts include: awards, plaques, mutes, trumpet mouth pieces, and the Jon Williams/Cat Anderson simulator in the Division of Cultural and Community Life. See accession: 1998.3074.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History in January 1998, by Dorothy Anderson, Cat Anderson's widow. It was acquired through negotiations with her, her brother, Mr. John Coffey and her nephew, Andrew Brazington. The materials were picked up from Mr. John Coffey of upper N.W. Washington, DC on January 21, 1998.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Master tapes not available to researchers.
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.

Copyright status of items varies. Signed copies of releases on file.
Occupation:
Composers -- 20th century  Search this
Topic:
Music -- 20th century  Search this
Music -- Acoustics and physics  Search this
Musicians -- 20th century  Search this
Piano and synthesizer music  Search this
Inventions -- 1980-2000  Search this
Synthesizer music  Search this
Electric engineering -- 1980-2000  Search this
Band musicians  Search this
African American musicians  Search this
Jazz musicians -- United States  Search this
Inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Manuscripts -- Music -- 20th century
Transcripts
Oral histories (document genres)
Oral history
Phonograph records
Photographs -- 20th century
Recordings
Interviews
Interviews -- 1950-2000
Clippings -- 20th century
Audiotapes -- 1940-1980
Awards
Audiocassettes
Audiotapes
Articles -- 1940-1980
Citation:
William "Cat" Anderson Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0630
See more items in:
William "Cat" Anderson Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0630
Online Media:

Subhendu Guha Innovative Lives Presentation

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Guha, Subhendu  Search this
Names:
United Solar Systems Corporation.  Search this
Berger, Sondra  Search this
Extent:
0.5 Cubic feet (3 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Videotapes
Interviews
Photographs
Date:
1998
Summary:
This collection contains original, master, and reference videos documentingSubhendu Guha, inventor of the solar shingle.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains original, master, and reference videos and photographs and transcripts for select footage from the Subhendu Guha Innovatibve Lives Presentation.
Arrangement:
Collection divided into three series.

Series 1: Original videos, 1998

Series 2: Master videos, 1998

Series 3: Reference videos, 1998

Series 4: Photographs, 1998
Biographical / Historical:
Subhendu Guha was born in Calcutta, India. He studied physics at Presidency College and later did graduate work at the University of Calcutta. Guha earned his Ph.D from the University of Calcutta in 1968 and joined the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research in Bombay, India. At the Tata Institute, Guha investigated certain properties of semiconductors. He became interested in the use of semiconductors to convert sunlight into electricity. The conversion of sunlight to electricity is known as photovoltaics. Guha's concern for environmental and societal problems led him to focus on amorphous silicon, an element found in sand that can be applied as a thin film to produce photovoltaic material. This research led Guha to add hydrogen in the production process, which made a more useful amorphous silicon . Practical applications for Guha's work led him to Energy Conversion Devices (ECD) in the United States. ECD promoted the use of solar energy for a variety of applications. Ultimately, Guha joined an ECD joint company, United Solar Systems to manufacture solar cells. His research led him to produce a photovoltaic panel that is seven feet long and a foot wide, is lightweight, flexible, rugged, durable, and is easy to install with conventional panels. The panels were innovative because of their design, materials, and production process. Manufacturing begins with stainless steel that is washed to remove surface dirt. Two layers of reflective coating are then applied followed by layers of amorphous silicon and amorphous silicon-germanium alloys. Each layer absorbs a different photon-energy wave length. The panels can be mounted on a roof with nails. Wires are then dropped from the panels into a building where they are hooked to the buildings electrical boxes to channel energy to circuits. The flexible solar shingle is manufactured by United Solar Systems Corporation of Troy, Michigan.
Provenance:
This collection was created by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on October 21, 1998. The Innovative Lives series brings young people and American inventors together to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product.
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:
Photovoltaic cells -- 1960-2000  Search this
Solar energy -- 1960-2000  Search this
Solar energy  Search this
Shingles -- 1960-2000  Search this
Photovoltaic power generation -- 1960-2000  Search this
Electricity -- 1960-2000  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Photographs
Citation:
Subhendu Guha Innovative Lives Presentation, 1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0668
See more items in:
Subhendu Guha Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0668
Online Media:

Ann Moore Innovative Lives Presentation

Topic:
Innovative Lives Program (NMAH public program series)
Snguli baby carrier
Weego Baby Carrier
Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Berger, Sondra  Search this
Moore, Ann  Search this
Moore, Mike  Search this
Names:
Auckerman, Lucy  Search this
Extent:
2 Cubic feet (5 boxes , BetaCamSP, 1/2 inch VHS videotapes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audio cassettes
Betacam sp (videotape format)
Floppy disks
Interviews
Oral history
Videotapes
Place:
Africa, French-speaking West
Date:
1999-10
Summary:
Ann Moore is the inventor of the Snugli baby carrier and Air Lift oxygen carrier. The collection contains original, master, and reference videos, audiocassette recordings, and transcripts documenting Moore's inventive career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains 5.5 hours of original BetaCam SP recordings, 5.5 hours of master video copies, 5.5 hours of reference copies, 5.5 hours of audiocassette recordings, transcripts, and articles documenting the life and work of Ann Moore, inventor of the Snugli baby carrier and Air Lift oxygen carrier. The recordings include a presentation by Ann and Mike Moore for the Lemelson Center's Innovative Lives Program. Audience participants include students from Seven Locks Elementary School in Bethesda, Maryland; Burrville Elementary School in Washington, D.C.; Barrett Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia; and Jefferson Junior High School in Washington, D.C. Ann Moore's interview includes footage of her home in Colorado and discussions with users of the Air Lift oxygen carrier and Weego baby carrier.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into five series.

Series 1: Original videos, 1999

Series 2: Master videos, 1999

Series 3: Audiocassettes, 1999

Series 4: Reference videos, 1999

Series 5: Supplemental documentation, 1999
Biographical / Historical:
Ann Moore was born in 1940 in a small Ohio farming community and studied pediatric nursing at the University of Cincinnati. She joined the Peace Corps in 1962 as part of a medical team and was sent to Togo. She met her husband Mike Moore during training. While in Togo, Ann Moore noticed that most women tied their babies onto their backs with a long piece of fabric, which made the babies more content. Back in Colorado, Moore wanted to carry her newborn daughter Mandela in the same way. With the assistance of her mother, Lucy Aukerman, Moore designed the first Snugli baby carrier in 1969 (US Patent 3,481,517). She patented the Snugli in 1984 (US Patent 4,434,920). Snugli, Inc. grew from a small company where each Snugli was handmade by Aukerman and her neighbors to a large company with an international presence and a factory in Colorado. In 1985 Ann and Mike Moore sold Snugli, Inc. to Gerico, a Huffy Company. In 1986 Ann invented Air Lift, a soft mesh backpack oxygen carrier so people on oxygen could be more mobile (US Patent 4,739,913).

Ann and Mike Moore became disappointed in how Gerico had simplified the Snugli design so it could be manufactured less expensively so in 1999 the Moores launched Weego, a soft baby carrier similar to the original Snugli. The Weego has some modern improvements, including an adjustable buckle around the top of the carrier instead of pin tucks. The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center's mission is to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation plays in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together Museum visitors and especially school age children, and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Provenance:
This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on October 15, 1999.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Topic:
Infants -- Care  Search this
Inventions -- 1950-2000  Search this
Inventors -- 1950-2000  Search this
Slides  Search this
Women inventors  Search this
Women inventors -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audio cassettes -- 1990-2000
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Floppy disks
Interviews -- 1980-2000
Oral history -- 1990-2000
Videotapes -- 1990-2000
Citation:
Ann Moore Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0706
See more items in:
Ann Moore Innovative Lives Presentation
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0706
Online Media:

Marlboro Oral History and Documentation Project

Topic:
Marlboro (cigarette brand)
Creator:
Ellsworth, Scott, Dr.  Search this
Zinn, Manfredo  Search this
Marx, Dick  Search this
Nunez, Raul  Search this
Winfield, Darrel  Search this
Kwan, William  Search this
Kwong, Goddard  Search this
Adams, Hall  Search this
Landry, Jack  Search this
Arguelles, Rafael  Search this
Fockler, Knut  Search this
Philip Morris, Inc.  Search this
Gil, Felipe  Search this
Jarrard, Tom  Search this
Names:
Leo Burnett, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
17.4 Cubic feet (86 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Color slides
Commercials
Audiotapes
Videotapes
Posters
Proofs (printed matter)
Newsletters
Articles
Slides (photographs)
Place:
Brazil -- advertising
Argentina -- advertising
China -- advertising
Hong Kong -- advertising
Switzerland -- advertising
West Germany -- advertising
Dominican Republic -- advertising
Date:
1926-1988
Scope and Contents:
The Marlboro Oral History and Documentation Project is the result of a two-year effort supported in part by a gift from Philip Morris, Inc. Sixty oral history interviews and a variety of television commercials, print advertising, promotional materials, packaging, and industry publications were gathered to document Marlboro cigarette advertising. The bulk of the collection focuses on the period between 1954 and 1986, and examines the "Marlboro man", "Settle Back" and "Marlboro Country" campaigns. The collection is a rich source of information for researchers interested in advertising and marketing history, issues of smoking and health, and the export of both tobacco and American cultural symbols abroad. The core of the collection is a series of interviews conducted during 1985-1987 by Dr. Scott Ellsworth, an independent scholar and oral historian. The broad range of interviewees included executives of Philip Morris, advertising agency personnel from Leo Burnett, photographers, production staff, sales and marketing personnel, and Marlboro cowboys. Twenty-seven interviews were conducted overseas, in Argentina, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, Switzerland, and West Germany. Conducted primarily with Marlboro licensee and affiliate staff, the interviews focus on the marketing and advertising history of Marlboro in the six nations. These interviews and others conducted with executives of Philip Morris International in New York City also address the history of Marlboro advertising in Africa, the Middle East, China, Eastern Europe and elsewhere in Europe and Latin America. The interviews cover events from the 1930s through the 1980s. They focus on the theory and development of Marlboro advertising, its content and creation, and its modifications over the years. The foreign interviews also discuss the structure of the local cigarette marketplace, marketing and advertising techniques, and the use and modification of Marlboro advertising for different cultures. Finding aids to the oral histories include abstracts of each interview indicating the major topic discussed, a cumulative index to personal names and topics in the interviews, and brief biographical and scope notes.
Arrangement:
Dthe collection is divided into seven series.

Series 1: Research Files, 1943-1987

Series 2, Interviewee Files, 1986

Series 3; Oral History Interviews, 1986

Series 4: Advertising Materials, 1926-1986

Series 5: Promotional items and packaging, 1926-1986

Series 6: Publications and Research Material, 1960-1988

Series 7: Travel Slides Generated by Project Team, 1926-1986
Biographical / Historical:
The history of Marlboro cigarettes offers insight into one of the great advertising and marketing success stories of the 20th century. Marlboro cigarettes were marketed from the Victorian era through the first half of this century as a women's cigarette, with tag-lines that aimed to appeal to female smokers, such as "Marlboro - Mild As May." In 1955, two transformations occurred which would affect both profitability and brand recognition: the addition of an integrated filter and the re-invention of the market through the debut of the "Marlboro Man" advertising campaign. The original Marlboro Man campaign featured close-up images of all kinds of men using the product -- the cowboy was one, along with lifeguards, sailors, drill sergeants, construction workers, gamblers and other types suggestive of a masculine spirit and rugged independence. By 1963, the "Marlboro Country" campaign began. This campaign focused on the cowboy and his symbolic canon: boots, hats, horses, and western landscapes. By the mid-1980s, Marlboro was the best-selling brand in the United States and the world, and the Marlboro cowboy was among the most widely recognized of American cultural symbols. Sold in over 180 nations, both the cigarettes and the ad campaign had become a global phenomena.
Provenance:
The collection was donated to the Archives Center by Philip Morris, Inc. in 1986.
Restrictions:
The materials in the Marlboro Collection are made available for research according to the established practices and principles of the Archives Center and the National Museum of American History.
Rights:
In making these materials available for research, the Smithsonian Institution makes no claims of ownership of the copyrights or related rights. All responsibility for infringement of legal authorship rights and or copyright is assumed by the user of the materials. In addition, the user indemnifies and holds harmless the Smithsonian Institution for all claims, actions, damages, judgments and expenses that may result from use of these materials. In addition, the donor has imposed restrictions on reproduction or broadcast of collection materials by third parties. The reproduction or broadcast of print ads and television commercials in the collection is subject to prior written consent from: Nancy Lund, Vice President, Marketing,Philip Morris International, 120 Park Avenue, New York, NY 10017;(917) 663-5000
Occupation:
Cinematographers  Search this
Topic:
T.V. commercial producers  Search this
Photographers  Search this
Accountants  Search this
advertising -- Cigarettes -- 20th century  Search this
Cowboys -- 20th century  Search this
Advertising, Newspaper -- 20th century  Search this
Smoking -- 1940-1990  Search this
Travel photography -- 1940-1990  Search this
Photography, Advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Advertising photography  Search this
Advertising campaigns -- 20th century  Search this
Cigarette industry -- 20th century  Search this
Cigarettes -- advertising -- 20th century  Search this
Advertising agencies -- 20th century  Search this
Television advertising -- Cigarettes -- 1940-1990  Search this
Advertising, magazine -- 20th century  Search this
Art directors  Search this
Copy writers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Color slides -- 1960-1990
Commercials
Audiotapes -- 1980-1990
Videotapes
Posters
Proofs (printed matter)
Newsletters
Articles
Slides (photographs) -- 1950-2000
Citation:
Marlboro Oral History and Documentation Project, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0198
See more items in:
Marlboro Oral History and Documentation Project
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0198
Online Media:

Joseph B. Friedman Papers

Source:
Rosen, Judith B.  Search this
Reiss, Linda A.  Search this
Leeds, Pamela B.  Search this
Friedman, Robert A.  Search this
Creator:
Friedman, Joseph Bernard, Dr., 1900-1982  Search this
Friedman, Betty  Search this
Flexible Straw Corporation.  Search this
Flex-Straw Co.  Search this
Former owner:
Friedman, Robert A.  Search this
Leeds, Pamela B.  Search this
Reiss, Linda A.  Search this
Rosen, Judith B.  Search this
Names:
Klein, Bert  Search this
Extent:
8 Cubic feet (17 boxes, 2 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Ledgers (account books)
Correspondence
Blueprints
Photographs
Videotapes
Personal papers
Date:
1915-2000
Summary:
Papers relating to the development of the flexible drinking straw, Friedman's manufacturing company, and Friedman's other inventions, such as an ice cream scoop, fountain pens, and household appliances.
Scope and Contents:
Papers relating to the development of the flexible drinking straw, Friedman's manufacturing company, and Friedman's other inventions, such as an ice cream scoop, fountain pens, and household appliances. Includes company ledgers, preliminary sketches, blueprints, correspondence, a video cassette, and photographs.
The Joseph B. Friedman Papers encompass the years 1915-2000, with the bulk of the material ranging between 1925 and 1965. This collection is a near complete source for the understanding inventive process of an American entrepreneur. In the case of the flexible straw, the evolution of the invention can be traced from early concept drawings through its manufacture and production, to the development of advertising and marketing materials. Records of necessary design modifications in the flexible straw and legal issues concerning Friedman's invention through its various stages are present here. In addition to providing a detailed linear account of the flexible straw, these papers reflect the varied interests and additional accomplishments of Friedman's invention career. The collection is arranged in three series to reflect the subjects of the material, namely personal papers, invention materials, and corporate records. Materials within each series are arranged by topic and type, and then chronologically.

Series 1: Personal Records (c.1920s-1940) contains family photographs, personal correspondence, education and employment records. Friedman's education records are in Subseries A, while the records of his careers in optometry, insurance and real estate are contained in Subseries B. Subseries C contains personal financial records, including bank statements and income tax returns. Correspondence, photographs, family history items and death certificate are located in Subseries D.

Series 2: Invention & Patent Materials (1915-1967) consists of invention records that include original concept drawings, legal records and patents, marketing correspondence, and the business records of Friedman's sole proprietorship invention business, the Commercial Research Company. It is important for researchers to note that information on the assignment of straw patents and their machinery, all associated legal records to those specific issues, as well as patent defense case research, and straw advertising and marketing after 1938 may be found in Series 3. Series 2 is divided into several subseries. Subseries A - I are patented inventions arranged chronologically by patent issue date, and include research and development, legal records and correspondence, and advertising and marketing materials. Subseries J - M contain unpatented inventions and business records, as well as multiple concept drawings and invention lists that refer to both patented and unpatented inventions. Researchers interested in the conceptual development of the straw should review the information contained not only in Subseries E: Drinking Tube and Subseries H: Flexible Straw, but also in Subseries L: Invention Lists & Drawings for straw ideas that were drawn on lists or sketches with other concepts. Additionally, researchers interested in the manufacturing device for the straw should review Subseries I: Apparatus & Method for Forming Corrugations in Tubing, as well as Subseries K: Unpatented Inventions, for the Flexible Straw & Method of Forming Same information.

Series 3: Flex-Straw Corporate Records (1938 - 1967) includes correspondence relating to the company and its formation, financial statements, tax returns, legal documents, patent assignments, royalty information, patent defense case research and records, and documents pertaining to the advertising and marketing of the flexible straw. Researchers should note that all conceptual and developmental details relating to the straw and its manufacture, as well as the original patents and their specifically associated legal correspondence can be found in Series 2. Series 3 is divided into several topically arranged subseries. Subseries A consists of the organizational materials for the company, including the minutes, by-laws and limited employee records. This subseries also contains two day books belonging to Joseph B. Friedman recording his appointments and personal notes from 1947 and 1950. Subseries B includes company related correspondence, organized by the correspondent. It begins with general correspondence, from 1939 - 1963, and continues with the letters of Bert Klein (1945 - 1950), David Light & Harry Zavin (1938 - 1962), and Betty Friedman (1940 - 1954). Much of the operational information on the company may be found in the letters Betty Friedman wrote and received from her brother. Subseries C holds the financial records of the company, including financial statements, ledgers, bank statements, check books, tax returns and royalty statements. Subseries D consists of legal records and correspondence, including such topics as changes in entity type, patent assignments, fair trade agreements and patent defense. Subseries E contains the advertising and marketing records of the company. This includes published material relating to the Flex-Straw specifically, as well as some advertising for flexible straws in general. Pencil concept drawings of Flex-Straw packaging and advertising art are drawn on the reverse of Pette calendar pages, and international advertising materials for the product are also present. Product testimonials, distributor bulletins, and corporate letterhead that traces the progression of company locations can also be found here.
Arrangement:
The collection is ivided into three series.

Series 1: Personal Records, circa 1920s-1940

Series 2: Invention and Patent Materials, 1915-1967

Series 3: Flex-Straw Corporate Records, 1938-1969
Biographical / Historical:
Joseph B. Friedman (1900 - 1982) was an independent American inventor with a broad range of interests and ideas. Born in Cleveland, Ohio on October 9, 1900, Joseph was a first generation American and the fifth of eight children for Jacob Friedman and Antoinette Grauer Friedman. By the age of fourteen, he had conceptualized his first invention, the "pencilite" lighted pencil, and was attempting to market his idea. Over the course of his inventing career, he would experiment with ideas ranging from writing implements to engine improvements, and household products to sound and optic experiments. He was issued nine U.S. patents and held patents in Great Britain, Australia and Canada. His first patent was issued for improvements to the fountain pen on April 18, 1922, (U.S. patent #1,412,930). This was also the first invention that he successfully sold, to Sheaffer Pen Company in the mid 1930s. In the 1920s, Friedman began his education in real estate and optometry. He would use both of these careers at different points in his life to supplement his income while improving his invention concepts. Although he was working as a realtor in San Francisco, California, the 1930s proved to be his most prolific patenting period, with six of his nine U.S. patents being issued then. One of these patents would prove to be his most successful invention - the flexible drinking straw.

While sitting in his younger brother Albert's fountain parlor, the Varsity Sweet Shop in San Francisco, Friedman observed his young daughter Judith at the counter, struggling to drink out of a straight straw. He took a paper straight straw, inserted a screw and using dental floss, he wrapped the paper into the screw threads, creating corrugations. After removing the screw, the altered paper straw would bend conveniently over the edge of the glass, allowing small children to better reach their beverages. U.S. patent #2,094,268 was issued for this new invention under the title Drinking Tube, on September 28, 1937. Friedman would later file and be issued two additional U.S. patents and three foreign patents in the 1950s relating to its formation and construction. Friedman attempted to sell his straw patent to several existing straw manufacturers beginning in 1937 without success, so after completing his straw machine, he began to produce the straw himself.

The Flexible Straw Corporation was incorporated on April 24, 1939 in California. However, World War II interrupted Friedman's efforts to construct his straw manufacturing machine. During the war, he managed the optometry practice of Arthur Euler, O.D., in Capwells' Department Store in Oakland, California, and continued to sell real estate and insurance to support his growing family. Joseph obtained financial backing for his flexible straw machine from two of his brothers-in-law, Harry Zavin and David Light, as well as from Bert Klein, a family associate. With their financial assistance, and the business advice of his sister Betty, Friedman completed the first flexible straw manufacturing machine in the late 1940s. Although his original concept had come from the observation of his daughter, the flexible straw was initially marketed to hospitals, with the first sale made in 1947.

Betty Friedman played a crucial role in the development of the Flexible Straw Corporation. While still living in Cleveland and working at the Tarbonis Company, she corresponded regularly with her brother and directed all of the sales and distribution of the straw. In 1950 Friedman moved his family and company to Santa Monica, California. Now doing business as the Flex-Straw Co., sales continued to increase and the marketing direction expanded to focus more strongly on the home and child markets. Betty moved west in 1954 to assume her formal leadership role in the corporation. Additional partners and investors were added over time, including Art Shapiro, who was initially solicited as a potential buyer of the patent. On June 20, 1969, the Flexible Straw Corporation sold its United States and foreign patents, United States and Canadian trademarks, and licensing agreements to the Maryland Cup Corporation. The Flexible Straw Corporation dissolved on August 19, 1969.

Dr. Joseph Bernard Friedman died on June 21, 1982. He was survived by his wife of over 50 years, Marjorie Lewis Friedman, his four children Judith, Linda, Pamela and Robert, and seven grandchildren
Separated Materials:
Straw samples and an original dispensing device (ice cream disher) are located in the Division of Culture and the Arts

A mandrel prototype from the original flexible straw manufacturing machine is held by the Division of Work and Industry.
Provenance:
Daughters Judith B. Rosen, Linda A. Reiss and Pamela B. Leeds, and son Robert A. Friedman donated this collection and its related artifacts to the Archives Center of the National Museum of American History on May 1, 2001.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Inventors  Search this
Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States  Search this
Ice cream scoops  Search this
Ice cream industry  Search this
Household appliances  Search this
Fountain pens  Search this
Drinking straws  Search this
Paper products  Search this
Patents  Search this
Genre/Form:
Ledgers (account books)
Correspondence -- 20th century
Blueprints
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1950-2000
Videotapes
Personal papers -- 20th century
Citation:
Joseph B. Friedman Papers, 1915-2000, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0769
See more items in:
Joseph B. Friedman Papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0769
Online Media:

Henry Booth Collection

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

Series 1: PhotoMetriC Apparatus Materials, 1948-1965

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

Series 3: PhotoMetriC Retail Materials, 1958-1974

Series 4: PhotoMetriC General Business Materials, 1947-1974

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

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

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

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

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

Patents of Henry Booth:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Materials in the National Museum of American History

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

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