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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:

Ivan Dmitri/Levon West papers

Creator:
Dmitri, Ivan, 1900-1968  Search this
Names:
West, Levon, 1900-1968  Search this
Extent:
11 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1892-1969
Scope and Contents:
The papers of Ivan Dmitri, a.k.a. Levon West, include biographical material, correspondence, writings, financial records, art works, printed material and photographs relating to his career as a photographer and printmaker.
Certificates, permits, identification card and passports, 1918-1959; correspondence; a journal, 1943-1944; writings by Ivan Dmitri (aka Levon West) and others; a transcript of a tape recording made at Dmitri's studio, 1961; notes, undated and 1924-1963; business records, 1920-1960, including a ledger, a sales book, contracts, purchase orders, receipts from Kennedy & Co., Engravers, stock market records, and cancelled checks; 35 drawings; 28 prints by Dmitri and others; a story board section from Walt Disney's "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", 1937; 5 scrapbooks of clippings; 4 scrapbooks of printed material; press releases, ca. 1943-1965; 4 annual reports from various companies, 1957-1961; "Etchings and Dry Points," and "Making an Etching" by Levon West; "Flight to Everywhere," "Color in Photography," and "Kodachrome and How to Use It" by Ivan Dmitri; 4 books about Dmitri by various authors; 3 books about art-related topics; printed material; and photographs and slides of Dmitri, his family, friends, and places related to his work, including 3 color photos of Diego Rivera in his studio by Dmitri, circa 1956 (2 are copies of the same photo).
840 original photographs, by various photographers, included in the five "Photography in the Fine Arts" travelling exhibits, organized and directed Dmitri, 1959-1967.
Biographical / Historical:
Ivan Dmitri/Levon West (1900-1968) was a printmaker and photographer. Levon West, Dmitri's given name, which he changed to Ivan Dmitri at the time he changed careers from printmaking to photography.
Provenance:
87 linear feet of material relating to Dmitri's work in photography were donated to the International Center for Photography in New York City in April 1981 and April/May 1982 via donor Peter West. A portion of this tranferred photographic material is microfilmed on reels 152 and 153.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center.
Occupation:
Photographers  Search this
Printmakers  Search this
Topic:
Etching/ Printmaking etc  Search this
Photography  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.dmitivan
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dmitivan

Marketing Records

Collection Creator:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1997-2009
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0594, Subseries 3.5
See more items in:
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records / Series 3: Operational Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0594-ref220

Marketing Handbook, 1996 [Binder]

Collection Creator:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.  Search this
Container:
Box 31, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records / Series 3: Operational Records / 3.5: Marketing Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0594-ref221

Press Kits

Collection Creator:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.  Search this
Container:
Box 13, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1997
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records / Series 3: Operational Records / 3.5: Marketing Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0594-ref222

Marketing materials (in Korean)

Collection Creator:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation.  Search this
Container:
Box 13, Folder 1A
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
2009 - 2009
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
See more items in:
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records
Krispy Kreme Corporation Records / Series 3: Operational Records / 3.5: Marketing Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0594-ref678

Legal and Financial Records

Collection Creator:
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Extent:
(Boxes 5, 7; 1.0 linear feet)
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
circa 1914-1985
Scope and Contents note:
Found here are contracts for Kroll's mural commissions for the U.S. Justice Department, the Worcester War Memorial, and the Shriver Murals at Johns Hopkins University, and teaching contracts, including contracts for the Art Students League. Additional legal documents include copyright registrations for a few of Kroll's paintings, the last will and testament for his sister Lenore Landsberger, and various leases and exhibition contracts. The 2019 addition includes documentation from the Leon Kroll Estate including posthumous artwork sales.

Financial documents include numerous loan forms and sales receipts for Kroll's artwork, including ones from Downtown Gallery and the Carnegie Institute. Other bills and receipts primarily deal with framing or shipping. There is also an appraisal of paintings and etchings belonging to Florence Carpenter, an art collector and a patron of Kroll's work. Ledgers record monthly financial transactions such as art consignments, cash receipts, and cash disbursements. There is also a ledger documenting transactions for Kroll's mural commissions for the Justice Department and the Worcester War Memorial.
Arrangement note:
Items are arranged chronologically within each folder. Portions of this series have been scanned; tax documents, stock market records, insurance documents, and notes of expenses have not been scanned. Also not scanned is the 2019 addition.
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Leon Kroll papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Leon Kroll papers, circa 1900-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.krolleon, Series 4
See more items in:
Leon Kroll papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-krolleon-ref339

Stock Market Records

Collection Creator:
Kroll, Leon, 1884-1974  Search this
Container:
Box 5, Folder 35
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1921-1962
Collection Restrictions:
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Collection Rights:
The Leon Kroll papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Collection Citation:
Leon Kroll papers, circa 1900-1988. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Leon Kroll papers
Leon Kroll papers / Series 4: Legal and Financial Records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-krolleon-ref354

Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records

Advertiser:
Procter & Gamble Company  Search this
Mars, Incorporated  Search this
American Airlines  Search this
Burger King Corporation  Search this
Coca-Cola Company  Search this
Anheuser-Busch  Search this
Creator:
Sosa, Lionel  Search this
Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates (San Antonio, Texas)  Search this
Aguilar, Adolfo  Search this
Bromley, Ernest W.  Search this
Extent:
14 Cubic feet (31 boxes and 1 map folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Newsletters
Marketing records
Ephemera
Photographs
Commercials
Awards
Advertisements
Ledgers (account books)
Articles
Magazines (periodicals)
Place:
Texas -- 20th century
San Antonio (Tex.)
Date:
1981-1997
Summary:
The collection documents the work of the Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates advertising agency of San Antonio, Texas.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the work of the Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates advertising agency of San Antonio, Texas. They created advertising for large corporations such as Western Union, American Airlines, Coca-Cola, Mars, Procter and Gamble, Anheuser-Busch, and Burger King. Additionally, they worked on political campaigns for Republican candidates including George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan. Works created for local institutions such as the San Antonio Symphony and Incarnate Word High School are also represented in the collection. Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar were pioneers in developing advertising strategies to appeal to Latino consumers.

This collection includes internal corporate documentation such as awards, financial reports, marketing strategies, advertisement samples and newsletters, as well as newspaper and magazine articles. The majority of the collection consists of audiovisual materials in D2, BetacamSP, 3/4" U-Matic and 1" videotape formats. The audiovisual materials contain commercials, casting calls/auditions, director reels, public service announcements, focus groups sessions and more. Six hours of oral histories with the principals and transcriptions of the interviews are also included in the collection. Prominent sections of the collection include advertisements created for the Center for Disease Control to address misconceptions about AIDS in Latino communities, as well as photographs, an audiocassette, and public service announcements pertaining to the life and death of singer Selena Quintanilla-Pérez.
Arrangement:
This collection is divided into five series:

Series 1: Background Materials, 1980-2015

Series 2: Financial Materials, 1983-1989

Series 3: Clippings, 1988-1999

Series 4: Advertisements, 1988-1995

Series 5: Audiovisual Materials, 1988-1997
Biographical / Historical:
Lionel Sosa (b. 1939) is from San Antonio, Texas and is of Mexican descent. His first venture as an entrepreneur was starting a graphic design studio called Sosart which later developed into an advertising agency. Ernest Bromley (b.1951), of Puerto Rican and Canadian descent, joined the company in 1981 while employed at the University of Texas, San Antonio as a researcher. Bromley's background in acculturation, advertising and consumer research provided a unique perspective for the newly developed Sosa and Associates. Adolfo "Al" Aguilar (b. 1955), also of Mexican descent, studied advertising and marketing at the University of Texas, Austin. Aguilar worked for Coca-Cola's first Hispanic Marketing Department when he began meeting with Sosa and Bromley. Eventually, Aguilar helped bring the Coca-Cola account to Sosa Bromley and Associates. This successful transfer ultimately led to the development of Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center:

López Negrete Communications Advertising Collection (NMAH.AC.1413)

Hector and Norma Orcí Advertising Agency Records (NMAH.AC.1384)

Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies Collection (NMAH.AC.1343)

Dolores Valdes-Zacky Papers (NMAH.AC.1394)

Castor Advertising Corporation Collection (NMAH.AC.1461)

Spanish Language Television Collection (NMAH.AC.1404)

Goya Foods, Inc. Collection, 1960-2000 (NMAH.AC.0694)
Separated Materials:
Items relating to this collection were donated to the Division of Numismatics and Division of Work and Industry. See accessions: 2002.0007.0517 (Tetradrachm coin); 2015.0080.01 (1988 Clio Award Trophy Hispanic Advertising AIDS Campaign); 2015.0080.02 (Promotional Mug); 2015.0080.05 (Promotional Watch); 2016.3049.02 (1993 Clio Award for Hispanic Market Coca Cola Classic); 2015.0080.06 (1990 Adweek Plaque); 2015.0080.03 (1995 Selena Commemorative Pin).
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2015, by Lionel Sosa, Ernest Bromley and Adolfo Aguilar.
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:
Advertising campaigns  Search this
Advertising agencies -- 1980-2000  Search this
Advertising executives  Search this
advertising -- Soft drinks  Search this
advertising -- Food  Search this
advertising -- Confectionery  Search this
advertising -- Beverages  Search this
advertising -- Brand name products  Search this
advertising -- Audio-visual materials  Search this
advertising -- Alcoholic beverages  Search this
advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- Airlines  Search this
Minorities in advertising  Search this
Television advertising -- 1980-2000  Search this
advertising -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history
Newsletters
Marketing records
Ephemera -- 20th century
Photographs -- Black-and-white photoprints -- Silver gelatin -- 1980-2000
Commercials
Awards
Advertisements -- 1980-2000
Ledgers (account books)
Articles -- 20th century
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Citation:
Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records, 1981-1997, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1351
See more items in:
Sosa, Bromley and Aguilar and Associates Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1351
Online Media:

Wurlitzer Company Records

Creator:
Rudolph Wurlitzer Company  Search this
Names:
All-American Mohawk Company  Search this
Apollo Piano Company  Search this
Beach-Carlisle Violin Company  Search this
Caldwell Piano Company  Search this
Central Discount Company  Search this
Dayton Photo Products Company  Search this
DeKalb Piano Company  Search this
Dekleist Musical Instruments Company  Search this
Deutsch Wurlitzer  Search this
Eagle Radio Company  Search this
Everett Piano Company  Search this
Fox Theatres Corporation  Search this
Lyric Piano Company  Search this
Milner Music Company  Search this
Morsatti, Inc.  Search this
North Tonawanda Barrel Organ Company  Search this
Robert L. Loud Music Company  Search this
Rudolph Wurlitzer Company  Search this
Southern Ohio Radio Corporation  Search this
Western Industries Corporation  Search this
Wunderlich Piano Company  Search this
Wurlbild Corporation  Search this
Wurlitzer Acceptance Corporation  Search this
Wurlitzer Company  Search this
Wurlitzer Company of California  Search this
Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company  Search this
Youngstown Music Company  Search this
Rolfing, R.C.  Search this
Wurlitzer, Farny  Search this
Wurlitzer, Rembert  Search this
Wurlitzer, Rudolph  Search this
Extent:
56 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Minute books
Account books
Financial records
Stock records
Reports
Advertisements
Sales records
Audits
Cashbooks
Ledgers (account books)
Annual reports
Photographs
Journals (accounts)
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Publications
Employee records
Marketing records
Commercial catalogs
Place:
DeKalb (Ill.)
North Tonawanda (N.Y.)
Corinth (Miss.)
Cincinnati (Ohio)
Date:
1860-1984
Summary:
The collection documents the history and development of the Wurlitzer Company and consists of company publications, business records, employee files, manufacturing records, sales and marketing records, product information, publicity, advertising, photographs, audiovisual materials, and organ installation drawings.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the history and the development of the Wurlitzer Company. Materials include company publications, business records, employee files, manufacturing records, sales and marketing records, product information, publicity, advertising, photographs, audiovisual materials, and organ installation drawings. The material in the collection spans from 1856-1986, although information prior to 1899 is sparse.
Arrangement:
The Collection is arranged into fourteen series.

Series 1: Wurlitzer Company Histories, Company Events, and General Business Materials, circa 1880-1987; undated

Series 2: Publications, 1910-1989; undated

Series 3: Advertising and Promotional Materials, 1911-1978

Series 4: Product Information, 1860-1984; undated

Series 5: Photographs of Wurlitzer Manufacturing Plants, Employees, Stores, and Dealerships, 1869-1970; undated Series 6: Photographs of Wurlitzer Products and Product Sales Promotions, 1900-1978; undated

Series 7, Photographs Used in Wurlitzer Advertising and Public Relations, 1904-1970; undated

Series 8: Wurlitzer Employee Records and Related Materials, 1909-1961; undated

Series 9: Production and Shipping Records, 1905-1987

Series 10: Shipping and Sales Records for Wurlitzer Dealerships, Wurlitzer Retail Stores, and Rembert Wurlitzer, Incorporated, 1917-1952

Series 11, Records of Stock Certificates, Meeting Minutes, and Related Financial and Legal Documents, 1907-1972

Series 12, Rudolph Wurlitzer Company Financial Records, 1893-1986

Series 13, Maps and Charts, 1931-1976

Series 14, Organ Installation Drawings, 1920-1931; undated
Historical Note:
The Wurlitzer Company began in 1856 when Rudolph Wurlitzer, a Cincinnati bank clerk, sold seven hundred dollars worth of musical instruments he had bought from family and friends in Germany. The busi¬ness was incorporated in Ohio in 1890 under the name the Ru¬dolph Wurlitzer Company." For the first fifty years, Wurlitzer was primarily a retail instrument business operating out of its Cincinnati Store headquarters. Although fire destroyed the com¬pany's headquarters in 1904, a new building was completed in time to celebrate Wurlitzer's fiftieth anniversary in 1906.

In 1908, the Wurlitzer Company bought the DeKleist Musical In¬strument Manufacturing Company in North Tonawanda, New York. The Rudolph Wurlitzer Manufacturing Company continued produc¬tion of automatic musical instruments including player pianos, military bands and pianorchestras. In 1910, the Wurlitzer Company bought the Hope-Jones Organ Company and began to manufacture unit-or¬chestra pipe organs at their North Tonawanda plant. These were pipe organs equipped with bells, gongs, horns and sirens. They became known as Mighty Wurlitzers and provided the musical back¬ground in silent movie houses all over the world and were also built for churches and private homes. In 1919, Wurlitzer bought the Melville-Clark Piano Company of DeKalb, Illinois. Wurlitzer pianos were then manufactured at the DeKalb facilities under a variety of names: the Apollo Piano Company, the DeKalb Piano Company and the Wurlitzer Grand Piano Company. Each name des¬ignated a different quality, price range and style.

With the decline of sales during the 1920s and 1930s, pro¬duction of automatic musical instruments ceased until the manu¬facture of the first jukebox in 1934. In 1930, the Julius Bauer Piano Company was purchased and continued to build pianos in that name until shortly before World War II. For a brief time, radios and refrigerators were made by the Wurlitzer controlled Air-Amer¬ican Mohawk Corporation. It was not a successful venture and ended in the mid-1930s. Many of the Wurlitzer retail stores were, at that time, in bad locations and needed repairs. The solutions to these problems came about with a reorganization of the company in 1935. With the reorganization, many retail stores were sold, piano manufacturing was consolidated in DeKalb and many subsidiaries were dissolved or absorbed completely into the Wurlitzer Company.

During World War II, Wurlitzer halted production of musical in¬struments. The company's defense production efforts were rec¬ognized in 1943 and 1944 when it is North Tonawanda and DeKalb plants received the Army-Navy "E" Award. In 1946, peacetime production resumed and the Wurlitzer Company introduced two new instruments: the electric organ in 1947 and the electric piano in 1954. In 1956, the Wurlitzer Company celebrated its centennial. That same year a new plant at Corinth, Mississippi, was completed. Later, plants were opened in Holly Springs, Mississippi (1961), Logan, Utah (1970) and Hullhorst, West Germany, (1960). The new facilities replaced those at North Tonawanda and DeKalb. The North Tonawanda plant ceased production of jukeboxes in 1974, becoming the company's engineering and research center. In 1973, the DeKalb plant ended production of pianos maintaining only mar¬keting and administrative offices. In 1977, the Wurlitzer Com¬pany's corporate headquarters moved to DeKalb, including the en¬gineering and research center from North Tonawanda.

Wurlitzer's three sons had assumed leadership of the company after his death in 1914. Each son acted as president then, chair of the board, successively. The company hired R.C. Rolfing in 1934 as vice-president and general manager. His re¬organization helped the company through the Depression years. Rolfing succeeded the last of the founder's sons in 1941 as pres¬ident of the company and in 1966 as chair of the board. Farny Wurlitzer, Rudolph's youngest son, died in 1972. A.D. Arsem succeeded Rolfing in 1974 as chair of the board. George B. Howell succeeded W. N. Herleman as president of the company.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Steinway & Sons Records and Family Papers, 1857-1919 (AC0178)

Chickering & Sons Piano Company Collection, 1864-1985 (AC0264)

Sohmer & Company Records, 1872-1989 (AC0349)

William J. Lenz Piano Tuning Collection, circa 1903-1955 (AC0511)

Janssen Piano Company Records, 1901-1929 (AC0512)

John R. Anderson Piano Trade Literature and Ephemera Collection, circa 1850-1990 (AC1257)

Warshaw Collection of Business America's Piano and Organ related materials (AC0060)
Provenance:
Collection donated by Northern Illinois University, and Regional History Center, 1994, November 11.
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:
Violin -- Manufacture  Search this
Radio -- Receivers and reception  Search this
Coin-operated machines  Search this
Accordion  Search this
Jukeboxes -- Manufacture  Search this
Harp -- Manufacture  Search this
Piano -- History  Search this
Player organ  Search this
Accordion -- Manufacture  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Organ -- Manufacture  Search this
Organ -- History  Search this
Wurlitzer organ  Search this
Musical instrument makers  Search this
Mechanical organs  Search this
Mechanical musical instruments  Search this
Musical instruments  Search this
Genre/Form:
Minute books
Account books
Financial records
Stock records
Reports
Advertisements
Sales records
Audits
Cashbooks
Ledgers (account books)
Annual reports
Photographs -- 19th century
Journals (accounts)
Price lists
Trade catalogs
Publications
Employee records
Marketing records
Commercial catalogs
Citation:
Wurlitzer Company Records, 1860-1984, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0469
See more items in:
Wurlitzer Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0469
Online Media:

Magellan Systems Corporation GPS Records

Creator:
Magellan GPS  Search this
Extent:
12 Cubic feet (14 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Notebooks
Instructional materials
Design drawings
Photographs
Notes
Memorandums
Manuals
Videocassettes
Reports
Press releases
Advertisements
Clippings
Audio cassettes
Articles
Date:
1978-2005
bulk 1986-1998
Summary:
The Magellan Systems Corporation Records document various aspects of the development of several different Magellan GPS devices through engineering, research, design, manufacturing, and marketing records. Magellan Systems Corporation introduced the first hand-held differential GPS product and the conpany's focus was on research, product engineering, and design activities for GPS receivers. The collection includes correspondence and internal company reports and memoranda; design drawings; research notes; engineering notebooks, technical notes, schematics; photographs, slides and negatives; video and audiocassettes; advertisements; product literature, magazine articles and newspaper clippings; press releases; and user guides and manuals.
Scope and Contents:
The Magellan Systems Corporation Records document various aspects of the development of Magellan GPS devices, including the engineering, research, design, manufacturing, and marketing of the devices. The collection includes correspondence and internal company reports and memoranda; design drawings; research notes; engineering notebooks, technical notes, schematics; photographs, slides and negatives; video and audiocassettes; advertisements; product literature, magazine articles and newspaper clippings; press releases; and user guides and manuals. In Series 1, Operational Materials, Subseries 3, Weekly Reports, 1988-1996, provides an excellent overview of the issues facing the company and what actions/decisions were made and in Series 3, Engineering and Product Development Materials, Subseries 8, Technical Product Development Seminars provide a good foundation for understanding what the product development staff accomplished.

The core team of players who developed, tested and brought to market the GPS devices included: Janice Jones Blankenhorn, Gary Barta, John Foukos, Randy Hoffman, Norm Hunt, Sab Ifune, Don Rea, Dennis Rich, Ed Tuck, Jon Vavrus, Larry Weill, Val Fife Wong, and James Yuan. The majority of the core team were software and hardware engineers as well as mechanical designers. Their energy, enthusiasm, vision, and unwillingness to fail produced the first handheld commercial GPS receiver in 1989 and Magellgan was the first company to make GPS devices affordable to consumers.

Series 1, Operational Materials, 1988-1993, is divided into four subseries: Subseries 1, Organizational Materials, 1988-1994; Subseries 2, Strategic and Operating Plans, 1989-1995; Subseries 3, Weekly Reports, 1988-1996; and Subseries 4, Company Newsletters, 1991-1992.

Subseries 1, Organizational Materials, 1988-1994, consists of an organizational chart detailing Magellan's corporate structure, a document discussing the communication and functional objectives of the company, and a company Christmas card. The Orbital Sciences Corporation profile was prepared by Alex. Brown and Sons Incorporated and provides an overview of the ORBCOMM system technology, a two-way data-only personal communications service.

Subseries 2, Strategic and Operating Plans, 1989-1995, consists of a variety of strategic and operational plans for the company. The plans are arranged chronologically.

Subseries 3, Weekly Reports, 1988-1996, consists of handwritten and typescript reports primarily from Randy Hoffman, president and CEO of Magellan and Gary Barta, Senior Engineer and Vice President of engineering. The reports document issues that include, personnel issues, product development, technological developments, military orders, investments, marketing and sales, financial issues, orders, resource activities, and future activities. The subseries is arranged chronologically and provides an excellent overview of the issues facing the company and what actions/decisions were made.

Subseries 4, Company Newsletters, 1991-1992, consists of two external company newsletters, The Global Navigator, 1991 and The Magellan Explorer, 1992. The Global Naviagtor was created for the marine market and was sent to all NAV PLUS owners as well as dealers.

Series 2, Correspondence, 1989-1994 and undated, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Customer Correspondence, 1989-1993 and Subseries 2, Business Correspondence, 1989-1994 and undated. The customer-related correspondence consists of letters from users of Magellan GPS units (primarily maritime-related) and their feedback about the product. Some color photographs are included. The business-related correspondence consists of records of conversations, invoices, suggestions for strategic planning, correspondence between Randy Hoffman and the Boundary Found, and the agreement and plan for the merger of Orbital Sciences Corporation and Magellan Corporation in 1994.

Series 3, Engineering and Product Development Materials, 1978-1998, consists of ten subseries: Subseries 1, Product Development, 1989-1994; Subseries 2, Engineering Notebooks, 1987-1996; Subseries 3, Technical Notes, 1978-1994; Subseries 4, Breadboard Design, 1986-1994; Subseries 5, First Generation (NAV 1000/NAV 1200), 1985-1994; Subseries 6, Second Generation, 1988-1996; Subseries 7, Third Generation, 1986-1994; Subseries 8, Swiss Army Chip (SAC) Development, 1987-1995; Subseries 9, Technical Products Development Seminars, 1997-1998; Subseries 10, Specifications, 1992-1994 and Subseries 11, TriQuint Semiconductor Materials, 1986-1992.

Subseries 1, Product Development, 1989-1994, consists of documentation related to product development at Magellan. There are sketches for the third generation of GPS products, descriptive materials for the Meridian Plus and third generation receiver, testing data from the Forest Service using GPS in the wilderness near Missoula, Montana, and position description for the director of product engineering at Magellan outlining the skills and responsibilities.

Subseries 2, Engineering Notebooks, 1987-1996, consists of bound, paginated and handwritten notebooks belonging to two Magellan engineers, Janice Jones Blankenhorn, senior software engineer and Don Rea, director of engineering. Each of Don Rea's notebooks contains a page of handwritten annotations made in 2010 describing the contents. Don Rea's 1987 notebook contains documentation on the original Magellan breadboard, custom digital chip (SAC 1), and the digital board design and test, all of which deal with the first generation of the NAV 1000. Rea's 1986 and 1988 notebook contains information about the first generation of software used, GaAS chips, radio frequency (RF) board, second generation (NAV 5000), design work for Swiss Army Chips (SACs), SAC2 digital chip, SAC2B, and the SAC3 chip. Don Rea's 1993-1995 notebook contains notes on the testing of the SAC5, SAC5M and SAC6 custom digital integrated circuit for the third generation.

Subseries 3 Technical Notes, 1978-1994, consists of handwritten and typescript notes of Gary Barta, Janice Jones Blankenhorn, John Foufos, Janice Intyre, Don Rea, Larry Weill, and James Yuan. Where possible, file level information about what the notes relate to and the Magellan staff member who wrote the notes is listed. Much of the documentation consists of equations, algorithms, sketches, block diagrams, and narrative describing processes and research. The subseries is loosely arranged chronologically.

Subseries 4, Breadboard Design, 1986-1994, consists of memoranda, technical notes, drawings, and sketches detailing the radio frequency breadboard design. Magellan's first-generation breadboard, circa 1987, was developed by the team of Janice Jones Blankenhorn, Val Fife Wong, Ed Tuck, Norm Hunt, Sab Ifune, Gary Barta, Larry Weill, Randy Hoffman, and Don Rea.

Subseries 5, First Generation (NAV 1000/NAV 1200), 1985-1994, consists of technical notes, design notes, memoranda, drawings, and blueprints documenting the development of the first generation (primarily the NAV 1000/NAV 1200), handheld GPS unit produced by Magellan. The first generation of GPS were single channel receivers and were quite simple. The NAV 1000 was 8.75" x 3.5" x 2.25" and weighed only 1.5 pounds. The NAV 1000 converted GPS satellite information into a satellite/navigation (sat/nav) positioning. It used Gallium arsenide (GaAs) a compound of the elements gallium and arsenic, and monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) technology to reduce its size and power consumption. GaAs is a semiconductor used in the manufacture of devices such as microwave frequency integrated circuits, monolithic microwave integrated circuits, infrared light-emitting diodes, laser diodes, solar cells, and optical windows. The device sold for approximately $3,000 dollars.

Subseries 6, Second Generation, 1988-1996, consists of technical notes, design notes, memorandums, drawings, and blueprints documenting the development of the second generation (primarily the NAV 5000) handheld GPS unit produced by Magellan. The NAV 5000 used five channels working simultaneously to locate and collect data from GPS satellites. The units GaAs circuitry rapidly processed the data received from the satellites to compute current location, altitude, velocity and navigation in under one minute. The NAV 5000 was designed primarily for marine use. Other second generation products included: OEM Brain, OEM 1/2 Brain, Nav 500 Pro, NAV 100M5, Skaynav, Fieldpro, NAV 5200 PM, NAV 5000A, NAV 5000D, DX, DLX, Pro mark V, and the Map 7000.

Subseries 7, Third Generation, 1986-1994, consists of technical notes for the development of the third generation (primarily Meridian and Trailblazer models) of Magellan GPS devices. Third generation models were intended for the lower end of the GPS market and were compact hand-held (size, weight, battery life) and a retail price that was reasonable. Other third generation devices included: the meridian, Trailblazer, AIV10 OEM, Skatblazer, NAV 6500 PM, Meridian/TB/SB XL, NAV 1200 Pm, NAV 1200 XL PM, NAV DLX 10, Promark X, and the Pro Mark X-CM.

Subseries 8, Swiss Army Chip (SAC) Development, 1987-1995, consists of technical notes, diagrams and drawings, and specifications for the development of a digital chip used in Magellan GPS products. Don Rea and Norm Hunt of Magellan are credited with naming the chip. The chip combined several elements--GPS DPS channels, correalators, real time clock, alarm timer, interval timer, keyboard interface, display interface, precise timing, power sequencing, memory decoding, code generators, and beeper driver, to name a few--which allowed the development team reduce the overall power, size, and cost of the chip. Magellan outsourced the manufacture of the SAC.

Subseries 9, Technical Products Development Seminars, 1997-1998, consists of documentation for nine seminars in a series of technology seminars initiated by the product develpment group at Magellan. The seminars were created to keep all staff up to date on past, present, and future technology developments at Magellan. The nine seminars cover the history of Magellan GPS technology and address specific areas of development such as antennas, circuits, signal processing, software, navigation needs, and radio frequency. Other information includes tables providing comparisons for the first, second, and third generations, timelines, SAC chip characteristics, and product shipping dates. The seminars provide a good foundation for understanding what the product development staff accomplished. Researchers should consult Series 8 which documents some of the technical seminars.

Subseries 10, Specifications, 1992-1994, consists of preliminary, functional, and system requirements describing technical characteristics for several Magellan products.

Subseries 11, TriQuint Semiconductor Materials, 1986-1992, consists of materials documenting TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc.'s work. TriQuint was a division of Tektroninix, Inc., a manufacturer of analog and mixed signal gallium arsenide (GaAs) integrated circuit products. TriQuint supplied custom radio frequency (RF) and Gallium arsenide (GaAs) chips for Magellan's hand-held GPS systems and tested its chips. Documentation includes trip summaries and observations to TriQuint by Don Rea, a Magellan engineer as well as technical drawings, memorandums, development schedules, invoices, purchase orders, and tests results, production quantity and costs, and specifications. In 1986, Don Rea met Gary Barta, then principal engineer at TriQuint through his frequent visits to the company. Barta led the engineeering development of the an integrated circuit which combined the GPS L-band low-noise pre-amplifier, UHF local oscillator, down converter and high speed digital divisers on a single gallium-arsenide chip. Nothing like this had been done before for a cost senstive commerical application. Barta later joined Magellan in November 1988 as Vice President of Engineering and made the chip he had designed actually work in the environment of a hand-held product.

Series 4, Marketing and Promotional Materials, 1985-1997, is divided into six subseries: Subseries 1, Market Research, 1985-1993 and undated; Subseries 2, Product Literature, circa 1990s; Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1988-1995 and undated; Subseries 4, Press Releases, 1988-1996; Subseries 5, Presentation Materials, 1990-[1997?] and undated; and Subseries 6, Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, 1988-1996 and undated. The series consists of product literature, advertisements, press releases, presentation materials, and newspaper and magazine clippings about Magellan products as well as competitors.

Subseries 1, Market Research, 1985-1993 and undated, consists of market research data in the form of reports prepared by Merrill Lynch, Simmons Market Research Bureau, J & H Instruments, and others, directed interviews and focus group data. There are directed interviews and discussion documentation from 1986 with Coast Guard Rescue, survival trainers, surveyors, hunters, harbor patrols, expeditionists, and mountaineer trainers providing detailed feedback into experiences with the product. The focus group information consists of transcribed interviews, survey text, selection criteria, participant lists, invoices, and technical drawings and mock-ups for the marine, outdoor and hunting markets.

Subseries 2, Product Literature, circa 1990s, consists of one file folder of product information sheets detailing specifics about Magellan products such as the NAV 1000, NAV 5000DX, NAV 1000 PRO/Geolink, NAV 5200, NAV 1000M, Meridian GPS, ProMARK V, GPS 2000, and the Global Satellite Communicator (GSC) 100.

Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1988-1995 and undated, consists of point of purchase ads, artwork and transfer designs for Magellan products. There are some oversize drawings (copies of blueprints) with the transfer design materials.

Subseries 4, Press Releases, 1988-1996, consists of press releases and one press kit containing biographies of staff members, black-and-white prints of Randy D. Hoffman, President and Chief Executive Officer, prints of the NAV 1000, and press releases introducing the NAV 1000. The marine outdoor press releases also contain 1993 dealer price lists for the Trailblazer, Meridian, NAV 5000DX, NAV 5200DX, and the mimimum advertised price policy for 1993.

Subseries 5, Presentation Materials, 1990-[1997?], consists primarily of staff presentation materials used to promote Magellan products. There is one bound presentation, Magellan Systems Corporation Management Presentation, undated, prepared by Merrill Lynch, that provides documentation about the company (an overview), market segments, competition, sales and marketing, product development, technology, manufacturing, and a financial overview.

Subseries 6, Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, 1988-1996 and undated, consists primarily of magazine articles. The articles appeared in a variety of publications and included Defense Electronics, Southern Boating, Maritime Reporter, Cruising World, Boating the Journal of the Sport, International Defense Review, and Navigation News. The subseries is arranged chronologically.

Series 5, User Guides and Manuals, 1989-2005 and undated, consists of training, reference, and user guides for the consumer who purchased Magellan products. The guides are primarily spiral bound and some are annotated. Multiple copies of some years exist. The series is arranged chronologically.

Series 6, Financial Materials, 1991-1995 and undated, consists of stock information, a Securities and Exchange Commission registration statement, correspondence, registration rights agreements, preferred stock purchase agreements, agreement and plan of merger documents between Magellan Corporation and Orbital Sciences Corporation (November 1994), and two floppy discs (3 1/2" and 5") containing information about the company and its staff.

Series 7, Photographs and Slides, 1987-1995 and undated, consists of slides, negatives, transparencies, and color and black-and-white prints of Magellan products. Many of the images document early product concepts, and there are some promotional and publicity materials. There is one folder of photographs with images of employees from 1989.

Series 8, Audiovisual Materials, 1991-1998 and undated, consists of 1/2" VHS, BETA Cam SP, and 8 mm video cassettes documenting technical seminars presented by Magellan Systems Corporation staff and instances of Magellan products featured in news segments. Researchers consult the technical seminar documentation in Series 3, Engineering and Product Development Materials. The series is arranged chronologically.
Arrangement:
Collection arranged into eight series.

Series 1, Operational Materials, 1988-1993

Subseries 1, Organizational Materials, 1988-1994

Subseries 2, Strategic and Operating Plans, 1989-1995

Subseries 3, Weekly Reports, 1988-1996

Subseries 4, Company Newsletters, 1991-1992

Series 2, Correspondence, 1989-1994 and undated

Series 3, Engineering and Product Development Materials, 1978-1998

Subseries 1, Product Development, 1989-1994

Subseries 2, Engineering Notebooks, 1987-1996

Subseries 3, Technical Notes, 1978-1994

Subseries 4, Breadboard Design, 1986-1994

Subseries 5, First Generation (NAV 1000/NAV 1200), 1985-1994

Subseries 6, Second Generation (NAV 5000), 1988-1996

Subseries 7, Third Generation, 1986-1994

Subseries 8, Swiss Army Chip (SAC) Development, 1987-1995

Subseries 9, Technical Product Development Seminars, 1997-1998

Subseries 10, Specifications, 1992-1994

Subseries 11, TriQuint Semiconductor, 1986-1992

Series 4, Marketing and Promotional Materials, 1985-1997

Subseries 1, Market Research, 1985-1993 and undated

Subseries 2, Product Literature, circa 1990s

Subseries 3, Advertisements, 1988-1995 and undated

Subseries 4, Press Releases, 1988-1996

Subseries 5, Presentation Materials, 1990-[1997?]

Subseries 6, Newspaper and Magazine Clippings, 1988-1996 and undated

Series 5, User Guides and Manuals, 1989-2005 and undated

Series 6, Financial Materials, 1991-1995 and undated

Series 7, Photographs and Slides, 1987-1995 and undated

Series 8, Audiovisual Materials, 1991-1998 and undated
Biographical / Historical:
Ed Tuck of the Boundary Fund, a venture capital firm specializing in technologies founded the Magellan Systems Corporation in 1986 and served as its director from 1986 to 1993. Tuck assembled the initial team of Norm Hunt, Larry Weill, Val Wong, and Sab Ifune to conduct a feasibility study in early 1986 to pursue commercial markets for products based on global positioning system (GPS) technology. Magellan introduced the first handheld commercial GPS receiver in 1989 and was the first company to make GPS devices affordable to consumers. Magellan introduced the first handheld commercial GPS receiver in 1989 and was the first company to make GPS devices affordable to consumers. The company successfully introduced GPS products into the marine, professional, military and automotive and general aviation markets.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) began as a United States Department of Defense Program in the 1960s with a navy system known as Transit (first satellite navigation system). Two other projects soon followed, Timation (satellite to broadcast accurate time reference) and Air Force Project 612B, which began in the 1970s. In 1973, the development of the Navigation Signal Timing and Ranging Global Positioning System (NAVSTAR) began under the management of the Air Force. Designed by the military, the system provided twenty-four positioning satellites under all- weather conditions using passive (non-transmitting) receivers. This kept a user's presence from being detected as a result of the receiver. Although primarily for military use, the system also offered a less-precise coded signal for civilian use.

GPS uses a group of twenty-four earth-orbiting satellites which broadcast continuously. The data being broadcast can be processed by a portable receiver to determine a user's position, velocity and time. GPS has three parts: 1) space part with twenty-four satellites; 2) ground part with monitor and 3) user part with receivers that process the signals and calculate position.

In the spring of 1986, the Magellan team published a specification for a custom mixed signal RF (radio frequency) integrated circuit and by fall 1986, had a breadboard (used in prototyping of electronics) and began software development and testing. Magellan focused its research, product engineering, and design activities on the development of GPS receivers that were application-specific, software-intensive, reliable, lower power, easy to use, and affordable.

From 1986 to 1988, the Boundary Fund provided the venture capital for feasibility studies and the initital product design. By 1988, the company occupied its first stand-alone facility in Monrovia, California with thirty-five employees. In May 1989, the company's first product, the NAV 1000, shipped, and in that same year, the company entered the military market with the NAV 1000M. The company entered the professional market in January 1990 with the NAV 1000 PRO, the world's first hand-held GPS product. By 1991, Magellan moved to a new facility in Dimas, California and introduced advanced five-channel technology. It also incorporated in the United Kingdom (UK) as Magellan Systems to handle product distribution in the rest of the UK and Europe.

The SkyNAV 5000 was introduced in 1992 for the general aviation market, and in the same year, hand-held differential GPS technology for the marine market appeared. Magellan was purchased by Orbital Sciences Corporation in 1994. In 2001, Thales Group purchased the Magellan division of Orbital Sciences, and the company became known as Thales Navigation. In 2006, a private equity firm, Shah Capital Partners, and other investors purchased Thales Navigation, and the company was officially renamed Magellan Navigation. Magellan (also known as MiTAC Digital Corporation) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MiTAC International Corporation and promotes and sells products and services under the Magellan brand name. Magellan is headquartered in Santa Clara, California.
Related Materials:
The Division of Work and Industry holds related artifacts (GPS receivers, computer electronics boards, computer chips, antennas, packaging, components, circuit boards, keyboards, a Swiss Army Chip (SAC), and receiver brackets). See Accession numbers 2010.0117; 2010.0118; 2010.0151; 2010.0152; 2010.0153; 2010.0154 and 2010.0155.
Provenance:
Donated to the Archives Center in 2010, by MiTAC Digital Corporation through Michael Williams, Director of Marketing and Gary Barta, Janice Itnyre, Jean Tuck McGregor, Donald Rea, Edward F. Tuck, Lawrence R. Weill, and James P. White.
Restrictions:
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:
Navigation  Search this
Navigation equipment and supplies  Search this
Global Positioning System  Search this
GPS receivers  Search this
Satellites  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Notebooks
Correspondence -- 2000-2010
Instructional materials
Design drawings
Photographs -- 1980-2000
Notes
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- 2000-2010
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- 1950-2000
Memorandums -- 1950-2000
Manuals
Memorandums -- 2000-2010
Videocassettes
Reports
Press releases
Reports -- 2000-2010
Advertisements -- 1980-2000
Reports -- 1950-2000
Photographs -- 2000-2010
Clippings -- 2000-2010
Photographs -- Color transparencies -- 2000-2010
Photographs -- Color transparencies -- 1950-2000
Audio cassettes -- 1990-2000
Audio cassettes -- 1980-1990
Clippings -- 1950-2000
Audio cassettes -- 2000-2010
Articles
Advertisements -- 2000-2010
Citation:
Magellan Systems Corporation GPS Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.1214
See more items in:
Magellan Systems Corporation GPS Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-1214
Online Media:

Safko International, Inc. Records

Creator:
Safko, Lon S.  Search this
Extent:
12.6 Cubic feet (34 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Design drawings
Magnetic disks
Audiovisual materials
Financial records
Legal documents
Correspondence
Marketing records
Photographs
Business records
Floppy disks
Date:
1984 - 1996
Summary:
The records of Safko International, Inc., document an assistive computer technology company created by Lon S. Safko to produce and sell the environmental control systems he invented for the physically disabled, specifically quadriplegics. Through the use of a computer and alternative input devices, the physically disabled were able to overcome physical barriers which inhibited them from attaining an autonomous lifestyle.
Scope and Contents:
Spanning 1984 to 1998, the Safko International, Inc. Records are divided into seven series and consist of approximately 12.6 cubic feet. Collectively these series document the routine affairs of Safko International, Inc., a company created for the production and distribution of the assistive technology inventions of Lon S. Safko from its formation in 1986 to its dissolution in 1995. During the lifespan of this company there was a growing awareness of and sensitivity towards disability issues within American society. Two significant events associated with this change in American society, were the American with Disabilities Act, 1993, and Christopher Reeve's riding accident in 1995, documented within this collection. In addition to documenting the intersection of American society with the assistive technology field, this collection documents how one man's vision of society and that of his company, in conjunction with perseverance and sacrifices, can transform the lives of individuals such as Franklin Halwood and Liz Jimenez. Lastly, this collection documents the evolution of assistive technology devices to provide for the specific needs of the physically and cognitively disabled.

Executive Records, 1986-1998, is approximately 3.6 cubic feet of documents, the majority of which are correspondence and reports. Other documents include: business cards, faxes, form letters, printed emails, brochures, check stubs, invoices, photocopied newspaper and magazine clippings, blank applications, memoranda, license agreements, scrap paper notes, promotional materials, private placement memoranda, annual reports of other corporations, resumes, receipts, deposit slips, meeting notes, directories, press releases, stock listings, maps, non-disclosure covenants, organizational charts, airline ticket stubs, by-laws, stock certificates, and stock warrants. This series is subdivided into eight subseries, each documenting the operational affairs of Safko International, Inc.

Files within the first subseries, Corporate history and formation, provide background information on the incorporation of Safko International, Inc. and its reformation as Synosure, Inc. in 1996. Other files contain documents listing employees and their positions, biographical sketches, facts about the company and products produced, corporate structuring, and Safko International, Inc.'s by-laws. Files found within the second subseries, Administration, contain operational records, the majority of which deal with the company's relationship with its employees. The third subseries, Correspondence, also deals with operational issues, such as recycling and preparing for conferences. Note that correspondence is found throughout the collection, not just in this subseries. Safko filed most correspondence by names and topics, but correspondence found within this subseries was labeled general correspondence and arranged by year. The next subseries, Business plans, are of drafts and final copies of reports that were revised every two years providing information about officers, legal and financial advisors, descriptions of the SenSei system and its market potential, its business and marketing strategies, foreign business relations, cash flow, distribution, sales history, restructuring strategy, its reseller status of other computer products, and pilot projects. The fifth subseries, Minutes, is comprehensive in coverage except for the period between 1990 and 1992. The most information about company decisions and discussions made at these meetings can be found in the minutes spanning 1992 to 1995.

The next two subseries, Board of Directors and Personnel, are not comprehensive in coverage and contain very few documents. Also, files for some of the employees and Board of Directors are not found within these subseries. Employee files include: Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer (Safko), SenSei Program Director (Martindale), Marketing Assistant (Montgomery), Computer programmer (Hirota), Chief Executive Officer and President after Safko resigned (Schembs), Vice President of Sales and Marketing (Zinn), Vice President of Sales and Marketing (Bowman), and Director of Sales (Owen). Within the two files about Safko is correspondence of a personal nature, his biographical sketch, and curriculum vitae. The final subseries, Business relationships, contains files about individuals and companies whose relationship to Safko International, Inc. was unclear or who had a relationship with the company that covered many areas of business. For instance, although Westinghouse Investment Management Company invested in other businesses, it had a "non-financial" interest in Safko International, Inc. Another example is the Apple Corporation, which provided technical support for Apple Computers that Safko International, Inc. resold, but it also marketed Safko's SenSei System in its Aisle 17 publication.

Financial Records 1987-1998, is approximately 1.3 cubic feet of documents, the majority of which are spreadsheets and reports about the company's financial status and correspondence with companies and individuals about investment opportunities. Other documents include: form letters, faxes, financial charts, resumes, memoranda, confidential summary memoranda, executive summaries, photocopied checks, photocopied newspaper clippings, handwritten notes, financial spreadsheets, stock warrants, agendas, private offering memoranda, confidential summary memoranda, drafts and final copies of financial statements, deposit slips, and business cards. This series is subdivided into four subseries, each documenting the fiscal difficulties that Safko International, Inc. encountered and its strategy for overcoming these difficulties.

The first subseries, Bookkeeping, includes records of liabilities, assets, expenses, inventories, payroll, stock transaction history, plans for preventing bankruptcy, and auditing procedures. The other three subseries deal specifically with the pursuit of Safko International, Inc. for financial assistance. The distinction between the third and fourth subseries is significant. The third subseries, Investors, documents individuals and companies that invested in Safko International, Inc. through loans or purchases of stock. The fourth subseries, includes files of individuals and companies from whom Safko requested financial assistance, but either rejected Safko's plea outright or never responded. It may be that some of these files are of companies and individuals that did in fact invest in Safko International, Inc., but there is no documentation within the files themselves to identify these individuals and companies as investors.

Legal Records, 1986-1997, is approximately 1.5 cubic feet of documents, the bulk of which is correspondence. Other documents in this series include: reports, licenses, payment vouchers, receipts, court summons, memoranda, photocopied newspaper clippings and magazine articles, newsletters, business proposals, faxes, promotional flyers for other products, brochures, meeting minutes, agreements, business cards, thirteen 5.25" computer diskettes, fourteen 3.5" computer disks, and phone messages. This series is divided into five subseries, each documenting the attempts of Safko International, Inc. to protect itself and its product.

The first subseries, Poor mans' patents, are packets of certified mail that Lon S. Safko sent to himself from 1986 to 1994 to provide proof of his status as the inventor of SoftVoice and other assistive technology devices. The second subseries, Legal documents, provide background information about the SenSei trademark and copyright application process. It also includes proof for the status of Safko International, Inc. as a legitimate and registered company having been granted the authority to conduct business. The third subseries, Legal representation and counsel, are files of documents created in the course of business between Safko International, Inc. and its various legal representatives pertaining to specific issues including: advice about copyrights and compliance with the American with Disabilities Act, capitalization, liability insurance program, loan and stock agreements, personal service agreements, pledge agreements, a prospective business venture with the Saudi Amoudi Group, articles of incorporation, and dissolutions. Most of the issues discussed within this subseries are administrative or financial.

The fourth subseries, Disputes, deals with legal battles that do not appear to have reached litigation. Documentation can be found about the contractual relationship with the Austin McDaniel Corporation and its subsequent dissolution, a challenge to the intellectual property copyright to "SenSei," Safko International, Inc.'s payment in arrears to other businesses, and the attempt of a board member to seek financial compensation from the company. The final subseries, Research file, is background research into the legal ramifications of the American with Disabilities Act, possible copyright infringements by other companies, copyright status of companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Motorola and their relationship to Safko International, Inc., information on how to deal with software licenses, and incoming and outgoing correspondence with software creators asking for their permission to incorporate their inventions as a part of the SenSei system.

Research Development, and Production Records, 1984-1996, is approximately one cubic foot of documents. It includes: correspondence, promotional materials, catalogs, drawings, photocopied newspaper clippings and magazine articles, manuals, circuit board diagrams, receipts, newsletter, brochures, six 3.5" computer disks, seventeen 5.25" computer floppy diskettes, invoices, faxes, business cards, agreements, photographs, fact sheets, and labels. This series is divided into five subseries, each documenting the revisions and adaptations of SoftVoice and the SenSei System for marketability purposes.

The first subseries, SoftVoice, consists of seventeen 5.25" computer floppy diskettes and some documents. The only documents found within this subseries are in two files, the majority of which are in the SoftVoice telephone file. In contrast, the second subseries, SenSei, consists mostly of documents and only one 3.5" computer disk. Among this subseries are files providing information on other complimentary products that Safko resold as a part of the SenSei System, instructions for installers and users of the system, adaptations of the system to meet particular needs, and information on suppliers, unit costs and suggested retail prices. As a part of the third subseries are five 3.5" computer disks. The strength of this subseries is its documentation of the Siptroller. The fourth subseries, Proprietary relationships, documents the pursuit of and/or actual relationship between Safko International, Inc. and other companies involved in selling, manufacturing, and/or distributing assistive technology devices. Depending on the individual needs of the client, Safko International, Inc. offered and sometimes sold these hardware devices and software programs as a part of the SenSei System. Ways in which the system was or could have been adapted through proprietary relationships include: establishing fire alarm and medical alert systems, programming languages, graphics, European modifications, word prediction software, iconic keyboards, and alternative input devices. The final subseries, Research concerning product development, is like the aforementioned subseries, but there is no documentation to prove that the companies contained within this subseries ever had a proprietary relationship with Safko International, Inc. In fact, within this subseries are files about companies that competed with Safko International, Inc. in the field of voice recognition and imitation. A third aspect of this subseries is that it contains research on technologies, like virtual reality, which were ways in which the SenSei system could be enhanced. This subseries contains documentation of Safko International, Inc.'s involvement in pilot studies to assess how assistive technology devices and systems like SenSei can make a difference in the work field.

Marketing, Publicity, and Sales Records, 1986-1996, is approximately 3.1 cubic feet of documents, including: correspondence, faxes, memoranda, drafts and final copies of agreements, reports, press releases, advertisements, fact sheets, agendas, photocopied newspaper clippings and magazine articles, transcripts, photographs, award applications, diagrams, annual reports, business cards, presentation outlines, notes, delivery slips, invoices, inventory lists, and diagrams. This series is divided into twelve subseries, each documenting an important part Safko International, Inc's. efforts to sell and create public awareness of their products. Also documented is that Safko International, Inc's. marketing to hospitals, rehabilitation facilities and consultants, nursing homes, insurance companies, government agencies, and individuals through mailings, advertisements, telephone calls, and personal relationships.

The first subseries, Product and company information, contains documents that are similar to those in the first subseries of Executive Records. The main difference is that these files are not the master copies. Also, very few files of this subseries actually focus on company history; the majority are documents created to assist individuals, other businesses, and company employees in providing background information about the product, finding funding to purchase a system, and understanding how the SenSei System works. The second subseries, Sales records, provides information on sales transactions. Some of the delivery slips and invoices within this subseries are also located in client files. The third subseries, Marketing agencies and agents, documents the relationship Safko International, Inc. had with public relations agencies. Of all the subseries, this is the one with the majority of information. It reveals the techniques the company and its public relations agents used in trying to initiate contact with other individuals and companies. For instance, there is detailed information about the construction of promotional materials along with timelines and progress reports assessing the work of the marketing agents in meeting the needs of Safko International, Inc. The fourth subseries, Promotional materials, contain documents whose purpose was to sell the Sensei system and other assistive technology inventions created by Lon S. Safko. Unlike the first subseries, Product and company information, the purpose of these documents was to persuade prospective customers. The fifth subseries, Advertisements and publicity, records publicity garnered through magazines, newspapers, video, television, and radio. The sixth subseries, Awards, documents publicity of a different sort. It documents the recognition Lon S. Safko and his inventions received for benefiting society. Within this subseries, one of the files documents the creation of a museum display at the Arizona Science Center. In addition to creating public awareness of the SenSei System, this series documents the training of sales representatives, sales transactions, and distribution.

The seventh subseries, Sales representatives' materials consist of documents used to assist in training the representatives. The eighth subseries, Sales representatives, is of files organized according to the name of the representative. Besides invoices for sales transactions, these files also contain agreements outlining responsibilities, a listing of who to go to for answers to legal questions, information on conventions, and definitions of pertinent medical terms necessary for a sales representative to know. Note that not all files are comprehensive or provide the same kinds of information. The ninth subseries, Conferences and demonstrations, are of presentations given by Safko International, Inc. to inform others about their products and to build relationships with other companies. Representatives of Safko International, Inc. attended to learn from other companies. One such conference was an Innovative Thinking Conference, in which the attendees were involved in brainstorming new marketing ideas.

The tenth subseries, Distribution, documents the expansion of the SenSei System into domestic and foreign markets. Included is background information about various companies and markets, agreements made with other companies, and the process for buying back equipment that distributors were unable to sell. The eleventh subseries, Prospective clients and business contacts, are files for which there is no definitive relationship built with Safko International, Inc. Within these files are letters to prospective clients asking to give them a demonstration, or letters of appreciation for a demonstration given, but no evidence of a follow-up.

Some of the files are of contacts initiated with marketing agencies or distributors that do not appear to have developed into an actual relationship. The last subseries, clients, is composed mostly of invoices and correspondence pertaining to the purchase or lease of SenSei Systems by school districts, individuals, churches, hospitals, and rehabilitation facilities. Information about: who the product was shipped to, the cost, representatives or distribution companies responsible for the sale, notes of adaptations to the system for individual needs, assessments by consultants, brief history of some of the individuals who purchased the systems, installation notes, and problems they encountered are found here. Like other files found elsewhere, this subseries is not comprehensive. Many files only include the invoices, but others include more information.

Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1987-1995, is approximately 0.9 cubic feet. Contained are: photographs, negatives, pins, thank you notes, photocopied newspaper clippings, agendas, programs, calendars, memoranda, correspondence, mailers, exhibitor ribbons, stickers, and newsletters. This series is divided into two subseries, each documenting the routine affairs of Safko International, Inc. and the individuals involved.

The first subseries, Photographs and negatives, is mostly promotional photographs of the products or individuals using the products. The second subseries, Scrapbooks, are mostly photographs, but includes other types of documents, and some artifacts. Most photographs found in the scrapbooks are not found elsewhere, but there is some overlap with the first subseries. Photographs in this subseries document board meetings, employees at work, assembling the mass mailings, wall hangings, inside and outside of Safko International, Inc.'s offices, Austin McDaniel Corporation offices, attorney's offices, meetings with TeleNova and InfoLogics, an investment reception, products Safko International, Inc. sold, system modifications, computer screens, the packaged product, setup for taking promotional photographs, setup for presentations, demonstration in a hospital setting, conferences, television interviews, Franklin Halwood, and unidentified individuals. In both subseries, very few of the photographs are captioned.

The seventh series, Audiovisual Materials, 1986-1996, is approximately one cubic foot of materials, encompassing twenty-nine 1⁄2" VHS tapes and four standard audio cassette tapes. Accordingly this series is divided into two subseries, Audio cassettes and Audio visual tapes, both documenting the marketing of the SenSei System. Additionally the second subseries also documents presentations given by Safko International, Inc. representatives and instruction manuals showing how to use the SoftVoice and SenSei systems.
Arrangement:
This collection is divided into seven series.

Series 1: Executive Records, 1986-1998

Subseries 1.1: Corporate history and formation, 1986-1997

Subseries 1.2: Administration, 1988-1996

Subseries 1.3: Correspondence, 1988-1995

Subseries 1.4: Business plans, 1989-1996

Subseries 1.5: Minutes, 1987-1997

Subseries 1.6: Board of Directors, 1988-1992

Subseries 1.7: Personnel, 1988-1998

Subseries 1.8: Business relationships, 1986-1998

Sub-subseries 1.8.1: Apple Corporation, 1986-1996

Sub-subseries 1.8.2: Consultants, 1989-1994

Sub-subseries 1.8.3: Professional contacts, 1987-1995

Sub-subseries 1.8.4: National, 1987-1996

Sub-subseries 1.8.5: International, 1988-1998

Series 2: Financial Records, 1986-1998

Subseries 2.1: Bookkeeping, 1986-1996

Subseries 2.2: Bookkeeping, 1988-1996

Subseries 2.3: Investors, 1987-1998

Subseries 2.4: Investors, 1987-1998

Series 3: Legal Records, 1986-1997

Subseries 3.1: Poor man's patents, 1986-1994

Subseries 3.2: Legal documents, 1987-1994

Subseries 3.3: Legal representation and counsel, 1988-1995

Subseries 3.4: Disputes, 1987-1997

Subseries 3.5: Research file, 1986-1995

Series 4: Research, Development and Production Records, 1984-1996

Subseries 4.1: SoftVoice, circa 1986

Subseries 4.2: SenSei, 1987-1995

Subseries 4.3: Other inventions, 1988-circa 1992

Subseries 4.4: Proprietary relationships, 1986-1996

Subseries 4.5: Research concerning product development, 1984-1995

Series 5: Marketing, Publicity, and Sales Records, 1986-1996

Subseries 5.1: Product and company information, 1986-1995

Subseries 5.2: Sales records, 1987-1995

Subseries 5.3: Marketing agencies and agents, 1989-1995

Subseries 5.4: Promotional materials, 1987-1995

Subseries 5.5: Advertisements and publicity, 1986-1995

Subseries 5.6: Awards, 1987-1996

Subseries 5.7: Sales representatives' materials, 1990-1995

Subseries 5.8: Sales representatives, 1988-1996

Subseries 59: Conferences and demonstrations, 1987-1995

Subseries 5.10: Distribution, 1986-1996

Subseries 5.11: Prospective clients and business contacts, 1987-1996

Subseries 5.12: Clients, 1986-1996

Series 6: Photographs and Scrapbooks, 1987-1995

Subseries 6.1: Photographs and negatives, 1987-1995

Sub-subseries 6.1.1: Administration, circa 1988-1995

Sub-subseries 6.1.2: Promotional, 1987-1995

Sub-subseries 6.1.3: Demonstrations and trade shows, 1988-1995

Sub-subseries 6.1.4: SoftVoice and SenSei System, 1988-1995

Subseries 6.2: Scrapbooks, 1986-1994

Series 7: Audiovisual Materials, 1986-1996

Subseries 7.1: Audio cassettes, 1991-1994

Subseries 7.2: Audio visual tapes, 1986-1996
Biographical / Historical:
Founded by Lon S. Safko in 1987, Safko International, Inc. was formed in response to the encouragement Safko received from demonstrating SoftVoice, his environmental control system. At first, Safko was merely fulfilling a promise to help a quadriplegic, Herb Smith, regain control of his environment. As Safko encountered the many difficulties of adapting existing voice recognition software to communicate with hardware devices, such as lamps, he understood that the only way to fulfill his promise was to invent his own system. Shortly after his first demonstration, on March 3, 1986, he was so inspired at the success of his invention that he decided to continue his work. In October of that year, Safko was contacted to install a system for Leon Mutch, a man who had lost his will to live after being paralyzed from an automobile accident. After installing the system, Safko heard nothing for a few weeks. Then after being telephoned to retrieve the system, he was surprised to find that Mutch had in fact regained some arm mobility, and more importantly, Mutch had regained the hope that he had lost. Less than six months later, on March 6, 1987, Safko International, Inc. was formally incorporated in Kennewick, Washington, to develop, produce, market, sell, and distribute Safko's inventions, primarily SoftVoice and its successor, the SenSei System.

Although Safko International, Inc. was officially incorporated in 1987, the company did not fully develop until its relocation to Chandler, Arizona, in 1989. During 1987 and 1988, Lon Safko continued to work in the computer retail business and as Senior Systems Engineer for the United States Department of Energy, under Westinghouse Electric Company, to produce an Artificial Intelligence computer system. From August to November, 1987, Lon Safko was repeatedly contacted by Debra Purcel, a physical therapist who wanted to purchase the system for one of her patients, a sixteen year old girl with a spinal tumor whose last request was to communicate her thoughts and feelings to others who were suffering from similar circumstances. Safko was reluctant to sell her the system because the girl was using a respirator and therefore would be unable to speak clearly enough for a computer to recognize her voice. Eventually, Safko realized the solution was to modify his system through the use of alternative input devices. He created HeadMouse, an input device modified from an existing model. He named the modified system SoftVoice II. In August, 1987, Safko's environmental control system was renamed the SenSei System. After modifying the system to provide for the needs of the young girl and its successful demonstration, Safko decided to give the system free of charge to her. Unfortunately when he returned to surprise her, he was too late. Her life support systems had been unplugged two days before.

Shortly thereafter, in March of 1988, Safko returned to Safko International, Inc. with a greater determination to reach those individuals trapped by circumstances beyond their control. Also in 1988, Safko International, Inc. was given office space in which to continue research and development of Safko's assistive computer technology systems through the assistance of Westinghouse Electric Company. As of 1988 Safko was President and Chief Executive Officer of the company, Stan Colson was Vice President and on the Product Development team, Bruce Jorgenson was the Secretary and Treasurer in charge of the Finance and Administration division, Bob Hennig was on the Product Development team, and Keith Fischer served as Director of Engineering. The Marketing and Sales division was composed of Roger McDowell and Melanie Strege.

During 1988, Safko International, Inc. began clinical testing at hospitals and rehabilitation facilities. In addition, the company signed a contract with Boyd Fricke of the Austin McDaniel Corporation granting an exclusive international sales and marketing rights to Safko International, Inc.'s products in exchange for financial assistance. Later, Austin McDaniel Corporation attempted to coerce Safko International, Inc. through financial pressure to give up product rights. In 1990 Safko regained sales and marketing rights of the SenSei System. In May of 1988 there was also an attempt to merge with Datex Inc, but the merger did not succeed.

On June 15, 1989, the company officially moved the corporate headquarters, along with the engineering and manufacturing division, to Chandler, Arizona. Also in 1989 the company signed Value Added Reseller agreements with computer companies such as Apple Computer, Inc. and Computerland/ DataPhaz of Phoenix, Arizona.

In the following year, Safko International, Inc. expanded from domestic to international markets. The company built relationships with TeleNova AB, a subsidiary of the Swedish Telecom Group of the Swedish government and InfoLogics, an artificial intelligence computer division. Through the marketing and distribution efforts of TeleNova and its president Tommy Naslund, Safko International, Inc. was able to install SenSei systems in Sweden. In 1990 Lon Safko traveled to Sweden to help InfoLogics translate the SenSei computer system software into Swedish.

In 1991 Safko International, Inc. acquired contracts to construct interfaces which correspond with hospital beds. In particular, the Borg Warner Electronic Hospital Bed interface was created on the behalf of the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Smith and Davis Electronic Hospital Bed interface on the behalf of the Rusk Institute. Additionally, the Environmental PAL was developed in 1991. In regards to corporate structuring Richard L. Bourke became Vice President and Chief Financial Officer and John B. Zinn was Vice President of Marketing.

On February 24, 1992, Safko International, Inc. became an official Arizona corporation. Also during this year, the portable Safko Server and Power Now System were created.

In May 1993, Allen J. Emsley became Secretary and Treasurer of the company and then became Chief Financial Officer from November 1993 until August 1994. In November of 1993 the research and development office was moved from Chandler to Tempe, Arizona.

In January 1994 Safko International, Inc. was acquired by Safko Industries Inc., of Wyoming and Safko Sales International was formed. By 1994 Safko International, Inc. had sales representatives covering Arizona, Florida, Tennessee, Washington, Illinois, California, and New York. Reflected in the company's active marketing campaign and its significant increase of personnel, from 1994 to1995 Safko International, Inc. was at its peak in terms of corporate growth.

In 1995 Safko International, Inc. received Veterans Administration and Medicare approval. In the research and development division the company enhanced the SenSei System to be functional for the visually disabled and blind. As of 1995 Sakfo, Bowman, Emsley, Fischer, Honacker, and Hirota remained at the company. New employees included: Teresa Caldwell, Michael Montgomery (Marketing Assistant), Kahn Beal (contract employee), Jill Lund (Secretary), Carl E. McKowan (Vice President Financial), Marjory Bain (Administrative Assistant). Due to financial difficulties, in October of 1995 the entire staff was laid off and only Safko, Bowman, and Fischer continued to work for the company. Conditions only got worse and in November of 1995 Safko, Bowman, and Fischer were forced to leave their office space and work out of their cars and homes.

On May 28, 1996 Lon S. Safko officially resigned from the company and shortly thereafter the company shut down. Immediately following Safko International, Inc.'s closure, Synosure, Inc. was formed and given all rights, copyrights, and trademarks to the Safko International, Inc. products. One of the significant aspects about the company during this time was its attempt to finalize distribution plans with Great Britain, but the momentum was lost. Synosure, Inc. only lasted a year. On June 23, 1997 it dissolved.

Lawrence "Lon" S. Safko was born on August 1, 1955, in Yonkers, New York. He completed his General Equivalency Diploma (G.E.D.) in 1976 and graduated from Westchester College in 1978 with a three year advanced degree in Civil Engineering. Safko also took courses at Mercy College, Pace University and Hofstra University.

In the spring of 1982, Safko began his entrepreneurial career by forming Civil Consultants, a firm to provide the first ever engineering services using computers. The company specialized in surveying, coordinate geometry, earthworks, highway and transportation design, traffic analysis, and hydrologic computations. In 1985, Safko sold Civil Consultants and relocated to the Pacific Northwest. Wanting to work more closely with computers, he became the general sales manager for two Apple Computer, Inc. retail outlets.

That same year, Safko designed a voice activated environmental control system for the disabled called SoftVoice Computer System. On March 6, 1986, Safko founded Safko International, Inc. and began field testing the SoftVoice Computer System. During 1987, Safko designed an artificial intelligence computer system for the United States Department of Energy and the Westinghouse Electric Company, on the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, in Washington State. This system compiled thousands of reports developed by the five uranium and plutonium production companies on the nuclear reservation, analyzed this information, and reported to the operator any signs of potentially hazardous patterns that could result in a nuclear disaster. In 1988, Safko began research and development of a Macintosh-based SenSei Computer System for the Disabled.

Safko holds United States Patent # 7,072,949 for a, "System and method for providing paper models over a wide area computer network," and several copyrights and trademarks. Currently, Safko is a professional speaker, trainer, and consultant for Better Homes Seminar and Innovative Thinking, L.L.C. He also is President and founder of Paper Models, Inc., providing corporate specialty advertising and educational paper models.
Related Materials:
Materials at Other Organizations

The Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA holds several artifacts related to Lon Safko. Accession Lot # X3342.2006 contains:

First RCA TV Sip Controller

First Hospital Bed Nurse Call

Sip Puff IR Controller

Production Version Sip Puff Controller

Smith & Davis Electric Hospital Bed Controller

Sip Puff Modified Mouse

Computer Controlled Telephone

HeadMouse

First SenSei Server (Mac)

Prototype SenSei Server (Mac)

Sip Puff IR Controllers

Sip Puff Accessory Pack

Final SenSei Server Production Model

Final SenSei Server Production Model

SyQuest SenSei Software Back Ups First CD SenSei Software Back Ups
Separated Materials:
The Division of Information, Technology, and Society holds 18 artifacts related to this collection as accession number 2005.0291 including:

1 Computer, with detached cord

Apple II cpu/keyboard

External Drive, "Apple Disk II"

External Drive, "Distar"

Magnavox computer monitor 80

4 Diskettes, "SoftVoice"

Super Disk Demo 1

Super Disk Demo 2

SoftVoice Trainer

1 PC Daughter Board, "Speech Recognition for Apple II"

1 Mouse Emulator, "Head Master," with parts and manual in shipping box made by Prentke Romich Company

1 Trackball, "Kensington TurboMouse"

1 Siptroller Case, Prototype, "Safko International Inc."

1 Puff Stick Base, "Gravis" with a hand piece and a chin piece only

1 Production Sensei Server, "Version 2.0 Safko International Inc."

1 Nurse Call Box

2 Remote Chimes, X-10 Powerhouse, Model SC546

2 Modules: 1 for a lamp and 1 for an appliance

1 Headset, "MicroMint"

1 Phone with appliance module, "DuoFone 102, Electronic Telephone Amplifier System" (appliance module, "Model no. X10-Am286")
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Lon S. Safko, 2006.
Restrictions:
This 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: fees for commercial use.
Topic:
Home automation  Search this
Social medicine -- Sweden  Search this
Assistive computer technology  Search this
User interfaces (Computer systems)  Search this
Computers -- 1950-2000  Search this
Computerized self-help devices for people with disabilities  Search this
Rehabilitation technology  Search this
People with disabilities  Search this
Genre/Form:
Design drawings -- 1950-2000
Magnetic disks
Audiovisual materials
Financial records -- 20th century
Legal documents
Correspondence -- 1950-2000
Marketing records
Photographs -- 1950-2000
Business records -- 1950-2000
Floppy disks
Citation:
Safko International, Inc. Records, 1984-1998, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0911
See more items in:
Safko International, Inc. Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0911
Online Media:

Gerber Scientific Instrument Company Records

Creator:
Gerber, H. Joseph  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:

Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records

Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Extent:
65 Cubic feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1856-1989, undated
Summary:
Printed advertisements, scrapbooks, correspondence, marketing research, radio commercial scripts, photographs, proof sheets, reports, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, television commercial storyboards, blueprints, legal documents, and audiovisual materials primarily documenting the history, business practices, and advertising campaigns of the Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated. Collection documents the professional and private lives of the Hills family; insight into the cultivation, production, and selling of coffee; and construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of printed advertisements, scrapbooks, correspondence, marketing research, radio commercial scripts, photographs, proof sheets, reports, newspaper clippings, magazine articles, television commercial storyboards, blueprints, legal documents, and audiovisual materials. These materials primarily document the history, business practices, and advertising campaigns of Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated. Correspondence, genealogies, and home movies reveal a more domestic and social Hills family while company records document business activities outside of the home. Company records also provide insight into the cultivation, production, and selling of coffee, and the company's technological responses to the changes in the coffee trade, and consumer consumption demands. Of interest is the company's participation in social and cultural events including the Panama Pacific International Exposition in 1915, and the Golden Gate International Exposition in 1939. In addition, the collection includes the company's documentation of the construction of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in 1936. The collection is arranged into thirteen series.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into thirteen series.

Series 1, Hills Family Papers, 1856-1942, undated

Subseries 1.1, Austin Herbert Hills, Sr. Papers, 1856-1875, undated

Subseries 1.2, Austin Herbert Hills, Jr. Papers, 1875-1923

Subseries 1.3, Herbert Gray Hills Correspondence, 1923-1942

Series 2, Background Materials, 1896-1988, undated

Series 3, Coffee Reference Files, 1921-1980, undated

Subseries 3.1, Hills Bros. Coffee Company Literature, 1921-1976, undated

Subseries 3.2, Coffee Industry Literature, 1924-1980, undated

Series 4, Advertising Materials, circa 1890s-1987, undated

Subseries 4.1, Scrapbooks, 1906-1978, undated

Subseries 4.2, Historical Albums, 1911-1967

Subseries 4.3, Ephemera, 1890s-1987

Subseries 4.4, Portfolios, 1919-1985, undated

Subseries 4.5, Proof sheets, 1922-1968

Subseries 4.6, Advertising Forms, 1922-1971, undated

Subseries 4.7, Newspaper and Magazine Advertising, 1926-1971, undated

Subseries 4.8, Sampling Campaigns, 1928-1941

Subseries 4.9, General Files, 1923-1978, undated

Subseries 4.10, NW Ayer Advertising Agency, 1943, 1958

Subseries 4.11, Foote, Cone & Belding Advertising Agency, 1963-1968, undated

Series 5, Photographs, 1882-1973, undated

Subseries 5.1, Employees, 1882-1961, undated

Subseries 5.2, Division Offices, 1924-1931, undated

Subseries 5.3, Facilities and Vehicles, 1927-1973, undated

Subseries 5.4, Advertising, 1925-1959, undated

Subseries 5.5, Sales, circa 1921-1939, undated

Subseries 5.6, Packaging, 1884-1969, undated

Subseries 5.7, Grocery Store Displays, circa, 1901-1935

Subseries 5.8, Store Tests, 1938

Subseries 5.9, Window and Wall Displays, 1928, 1930, 1934

Subseries 5.10, Publicity, 1933-1936, undated

Subseries 5.11, Miscellaneous, 1898-1949, undated

Subseries 5.12, Coffee and Tea Industry, 1900s-1947,. undated

Series 6, Sales and Marketing Records, 1906-1989, undated

Subseries 6.1, Bulletins for Salesmen, 1912-1969

Subseries 6.2, Division Bulletins and General Letters, 1925-1927

Subseries 6.3, Correspondence, 1919-1989

Subseries 6.4, Conventions and Meetings, 1915-1971

Subseries 6.5, Salesmen Materials, 1906-1973, undated

Subseries 6.6, Reports and Studies, 1941-1978

Subseries 6.7, Marketing Research, 1956-1978, undated

Subseries 6.8, Pricing Information, 1949-1965

Series 7, Employee Records, 1934-1966

Series 8, Accounting and Financial Records, 1903-1960, undated

Series 9, Office Files, 1915-1970, undated

Subseries 9.1, General, 1915-1969, undated

Subseries 9.2, T. Carroll Wilson Correspondence, 1941-1970

Series 10, San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge Materials, 1933-1986, undated

Subseries 10.1, Background Information, 1933-1986, undated

Subseries 10.2, Photographic Materials, 1933-1936, undated

Series 11, Golden Gate International Exposition Materials, 1915-1940, undated

Subseries 11.1, Coffee Theater, circa 1939

Subseries 11.2, Exposition Attendance, 1915-1940

Subseries 11.3, Correspondence, 1937-1940, undated

Subseries 11.4, Construction, 1937-1940, undated

Subseries 11.5, Blueprints, 1937-1939

Subseries 11.6, Behind the Cup, 1937-1940, undated

Subseries 11.7, Newspaper Cooperation, 1939

Subseries 11.8, Solicitations and Replies, 1938-1940

Subseries 11.9, Miscellaneous, 1938-1940

Series 12, World War II Materials, 1939-1949, undated

Subseries 12.1, Production and Quotas, 1942-1946

Subseries 12.2, Rationing, 1939-1946

Subseries 12.3, Containers and Closures, 1942-1949, undated

Subseries 12.4, Appeals, 1948

Subseries 12.5, Advertising Campaigns, 1942, undated

Subseries 12.6, Machinists' Strike Scrapbooks, 1945-1946

Series 13, Audio Visual Materials, 1930-1984, undated

Subseries 13.1, Moving Images, 1930-1966

Subseries 13.1.1, Television Commercials, 1951-1984

Subseries 13.1.2, Television Programs, 1951-1967

Subseries 13.1.3, Promotional Materials, 1939-1977

Subseries 13.1.4, Hills Bros. Activities, 1930-1962

Subseries 13.1.5, Miscellaneous Film and Video, 1938-1966

Subseries 13.2, Sound Recordings, 1934-1967, undated

Subseries 13.2.1, Radio Commercials, 1941-1967, undated

Subseries 13.2.2, Radio Programs and Other Broadcasts, 1934-1956, undated

Subseries 13.2.3, Cardboard Discs, 1941-1960; undated.
Biographical / Historical:
draft
Related Materials:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History

AC0059 NW Ayer Advertising Agency Records

AC0060 Warshaw Collection of Buisness Americana

AC0500 Landor Design Collection

AC0411 Charles W. Trigg Papers

Division of Cultural History, National Museum of American History

Artifacts include coffee packaging, Golden Gate International Exposition sampling cups and saucers, a bowling shirt, and coffee cans.
Provenance:
These records were donated to the Archives Center, National Museum of American History by Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated.
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:
Coffee  Search this
Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0395
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0395
Online Media:

Sales and Marketing Records

Collection Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1906-1989, undated
Scope and Contents:
Consists of material created by the company to communicate with its sales force. Bulletins and correspondence make up the bulk of these materials. There are also materials that were used by salesmen daily while conducting business in the field. Some of the activities of the sales department, including meetings and conventions are also documented. In addition, market research, reports, and studies inform the sales department about the coffee industry and consumer consumption. The series is arranged into eight subseries: Subseries 6.1, Bulletins for salesmen, Subseries 6.2, Division bulletins and general letters, Subseries 6.3, Correspondence, Subseries 6.4, Conventions, and meetings, Subseries 6.5, Salesmen materials, Subseries 6.6, Reports and studies, Subseries 6.7, Marketing research and, Subseries 6.8, Pricing information.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0395, Series 6
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0395-ref3666

Bulletins for Salesmen

Collection Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1912-1969
Scope and Contents:
Contains announcements that were created and distributed by the company to keep the sales force informed about sales activities. Some of the earlier bulletins contain quotes by Reuben Hills. As the primary means of communication from management to the sales force, this body of materials is rather extensive and documents issues, concerns, advertising, sales methods, and pricing structures. Eventually the bulletin system was phased out due to extensive use of telephone and computer communication. The San Francisco division has some of the earliest bulletins. The materials are arranged first in alphabetical order by division or city and then in chronological order.
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0395, Subseries 6.1
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records / Series 6: Sales and Marketing Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0395-ref3667

Chicago

Collection Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Container:
Box 98, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1928 1931
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records / Series 6: Sales and Marketing Records / 6.1: Bulletins for Salesmen
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0395-ref3668

Chicago

Collection Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Container:
Box 98, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1932-1938
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records / Series 6: Sales and Marketing Records / 6.1: Bulletins for Salesmen
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0395-ref3669

Chicago

Collection Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Container:
Box 98, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1939
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records / Series 6: Sales and Marketing Records / 6.1: Bulletins for Salesmen
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0395-ref3670

Chicago

Collection Creator:
Hills Bros. Coffee, Inc.  Search this
Container:
Box 98, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1940
Collection Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Collection 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.
Collection Citation:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records, 1856-1989, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records
Hills Bros. Coffee Company, Incorporated Records / Series 6: Sales and Marketing Records / 6.1: Bulletins for Salesmen
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nmah-ac-0395-ref3671

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