Finding Aid for the

Irving Langmuir Collection

1911-1959

 

0.5 Linear Ft.

 

Finding Aid Compiled by

Joshua Hauck-Whealton

November 2010

 

Schenectady Museum Archives

15 Nott Terrace Heights

Schenectady, NY 12308

(518) 382-7890, ext. 241

archives@schenectadymuseum.org

 

Creation of this finding aid was supported by a grant from the Center for History of Physics, American Institute of Physics

 

 

 

Biographical Note

 

Irving Langmuir (1881-1957) worked as a research scientist and associate director with the GE Research Laboratory from 1909-1957.  He was the first industrial scientist to be awarded a Nobel Prize, for his work in surface chemistry, in 1932.  His notable achievements include major improvements to the incandescent lamp, the coiled filament and gas-filled lamp; plasma physics; and the development of high vacuum tubes, which led to the development of electronic radio.

 

Scope and Content Note

 

Includes photographs, articles, speeches, and copies of patent specifications relating to the career of Irving Langmuir.  These papers were processed to the item level at an early stage, and this listing has been maintained.

 

Additional Note

Langmuir’s laboratory notebooks and most of his papers are located at the Library of Congress

 

Series #1: Patents, 1911, 1915-1923, 1925-1936, 1940, 1948-1949

 

These folders contain patent reports from some of Langmuir’s many patents.  These are ordered by the patent number, which roughly corresponds to chronology.

 

Series 2: Working Papers, 1920, 1924, 1932, 1937, 1940, 1943-1944, 1950-1951, 1955-1956, 1958, undated

 

Articles, speeches, and press releases written by and about Langmuir.  Topics include scientific research, cloud seeding, and early electronics.  These documents are organized chronologically.

 

Series 3 - Personal Material, 1906, 1936, 1938-1940, 1959, undated

 

Materials relating to Langmuir’s mother Sadie and brother Kenneth.  Also includes a recollection of Langmuir by L.S. Weinstein.  These documents are organized chronologically.

 

Series 4 - Langmuir Photographs, 1912, 1932, 1940-1941, undated

 

Photographs of Irving Langmuir.

 

 

Box and Folder List

 

Series #1: Patents

 

Box #1

Folder:

 

Folder 1:

Patent #           Date                Title

994,010           5-30-1911        Method & Apparatus for Producing Exhausted Vessels

1,126,233        1-26-1915        Vacuum Gage

1,171,856        2-15-1916        Process for Making Compound Metallic Articles

1,180,159        4-18-1916        Incandescent Electric Lamp

1,188,186        6-20-1916        Incandescent Lamp

1,219,961        3-20-1917        Electrical Characteristics of alternating currents

1,223,496        4-24-1917        Electrostatic Telephone System

1,237,210        8-14-1917        Method of Producing Vacuums

1,244,216        10-23-1917      Electron Discharge Apparatus & Preparation

1,244,217        10-23-1917      Electron Discharge Apparatus & Method of Operation

1,246,118        11-13-1917      Incandescent Lamp

1,251,388        12-25-1917      Method & Apparatus for Controlling X-Ray Tubes

1,271,483        7-02-1918        Incandescent Lamp

1,273,626        7-23-1918        Means for Transforming Direct Current

1,273,627        7-23-1918        Controlling Electric Currents & Potentials

1,273,628        7-23-1918        Film Conductor & Method of Making the same

1,273,630        7-23-1918        Electron Discharge Apparatus

1,273,783        7-23-1918        Electron Discharge Apparatus

RE 15,278       7-31-1922        Electron Discharge Apparatus

1,280,768        10-08-1918      Wireless Signalling System

1,280,769        10-08-1918      System of Distribution

1,282,439        10-22-1918      System for Amplifying Variable Currents

1,289,823        12-31-1918      Electron Discharge Controlling Device Method & Operation

 

Folder 2:

Patent #           Date                Title

1,297,188        3-11-1919        System for Amplifying Variable Currents

1,301,279        4-22-1919        Controlling Electrical Energy

1,313,093        8-12-1919        Wireless Signalling System

RE 15,495       11-21-1922      Wireless Signalling System

1,313,094        8-12-1919        System for Amplifying Variable Currents

1,320,874        11-04-1919      Vacuum Pump

1,349,892        8-17-1920        Obtaining Constant Direct Current or Potentials

1,380,981        6-07-1921        Telephone

1,393,550        10-11-1921      Method & Means for Obtaining High Vacuum

1,468,116        9-18-1923        Amplifying Potential Variations

1,475,190        11-27-1923      Sound Detecting Device

1,529,597        3-10-1925        Electron Emitting Device & Preparation

1,558.436        10-20-1925      Electrical Discharge Apparatus & Preparation

1,558,437        10-20-1925      Electrical Discharge Apparatus

1,561,001        11-10-1925      Electric Oscillator

1,579,009        3-30-1926        High Frequency Apparatus & Method of Heating

1,608,268        11-23-1926      Electrical Discharge Device & Method of Operation

1,615,636        1-25-1927        Signalling System

1,622,594        3-29-1927        Sound Locating Apparatus

1,648,183        11-08-1927      Method & Apparatus for Conducting Current

1,648,312        11-08-1927      Electron Discharge Device

1,691,395        11-13-1928      Circuit Control Apparatus

1,723,869        8-06-1929        Electrical Discharge Device

1,740,252        12-17-1929      Photo Electric Device

1,746,196        2-04-1930        Method & Apparatus for Electric Arc Welding

 

Folder 3:

Patent #           Date                Title

1,769,846        7-01-1930        Space Discharge Apparatus

1,778,456        10-14-1930      Means for Producing Alternating Currents

1,778,457        10-14-1930      Alternating Current Generation

1,793,329        2-17-1931        Circuit Control Apparatus

1,804,349        5-05-1931        Incandescent Lamp

1,816,682        7-28-1931        Electron Discharge Device

1,828,571        10-20-1931      Picture Transmission Apparatus

1,836,805        12-15-1931      Vapor Electric Device

1,849,842        3-15-1932        Signalling Device

1,892,244        12-27-1932      Electrical Discharge Device

1,936,400        11-21-1933      Method & Means for Signal to Aircraft

1,947,267        2-13-1934        Heating Process & Apparatus

1,952,927        3-27-1934        Furnace

2,024,173        12-15-1935      Electric Translating Circuit

2,032,620        3-03-1936        Electron Discharge Apparatus

2,051,609        8-18-1936        High Frequency Oscillator

2,198,479        4-23-1940        Image Reproduction

2,437,963        3-16-1948        Method & Apparatus for Producing Aerosols

2,485,390        10-18-1949      Centrifugal Fluid Purifier

 

Series 2: Working Papers

 

Box #1

Folder 4: Working Papers, 1920, 1924, 1932, 1937, 1940, 1943-1944

 

·         "The Gas Filled Lamp Case, Opinion of the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, GE Co.,” June 1920

·         “Development of Pliotron Using Caesiated Emission," K. H. Kingdon, Report, 11-6-1924

·         “Surface Chemistry,” Speech Transcript, 11-29-1932

·         Correspondence on publicity of Langmuir winning Nobel Prize from C. D. Wagoner, Correspondence, Clipping, 12-8-1932

·         "Marconi Left The World The Legacy Of Radio - Italy's Immortal - Tomorrow's Plan."  Clipping, 7-25-1937

·         "Opportunities in Science Increasing, Says Dr. Langmuir."  GE Co. News Bureau Press Release.  2-1940.

·         "Electronics of Tomorrow" by Dr. I. Langmuir. Speech Transcript, 11-17-1943

·         "Electronics Will Transform Post-War Life" Clipping, 4-2-1944

 

Folder 5: Working Papers, 1950-1951, 1955-1956, 1958, undated

 

·         GE News Bureau Press Release announcing Langmuir's retirement, 1-2-1950

·         "Research Laboratory Colloquium, The Research Laboratory History & Traditions, Planning Unplanned Research."  Speech Transcript, 12-17-1951

·         "Hurricane Seeding, The Control of Hurricanes."  Speech Transcript, 12-15-1955

·         "Hurricane Seeding, Record 2" Speech Transcript, 12-29-55

·         "Freedom: the Opportunity to Profit from the Unexpected." Article Reprint, 1956

·         "The Unexpected in Science," Clipping, 6-10-1958

·         "World Famous Scientist,” Clipping, undated

 

Series 3 - Personal Material, 1906, 1936, 1938-1940, 1959, undated

 

Box #1

Folder 6: Personal Materials, 1906, 1936, 1938-1940, 1959, undated

 

·         “Adventures of a Brownie,” storybook, 1906

·         Sadie C. Langmuir (Irving's Mother) Death Notice in New York Times, 2-12-1936

·         “Light-Saver Langmuir - Brooklyn Boy Makes Good," Clipping 3-15-1940

·         Correspondence,  Stephen J. Pigott; Gerald A. Cowie; Fred Leadbetter, 1938-1939

·         Langmuir recollection by L. S. Weinstein, Correspondence, 2-5-1959.

·         List of Living Langmuir relatives, Correspondence, 7-28-1959

·         "From the Memory Book of Sadie C. Langmuir,” undated

 

 

Series 4 - Langmuir Photographs

 

Box #1

Folder 7:  Langmuir Photographs, 1912, 1932, 1940-1941, undated

 

·         Portrait of Langmuir.

·         Langmuir working at desk.

·         Nobel Medal #A76010.

·         Langmuir & unidentified Asian person #A71754.

·         Langmuir with unidentified group.

·         Langmuir in laboratory, caption reads "mono - molecula films."

·         Langmuir, Coolidge, & Chester B. Rice listening to cosmic rays by means of Geiger-Muller Tube Detector #A73756.

·         Langmuir in lab.

·         Langmuir demonstrating how film from single drip of acid will keep fumes from mixture of ether & water from burning.  #580066  12-19-40.

·         Langmuir in lab.

·         Langmuir with student #A75387.

·         Langmuir in Tuxedo posing with lab instrument #485179  12-5-32.

·         Langmuir in lab with lab instrument.

·         Portrait of Langmuir.

·         Photo of Langmuir age 14  #A76235.

·         Langmuir in Research lab as a young man, #104023, 1912

·         Langmuir lecturing to group, holding a tube.

·         Langmuir in lab #5811-3; talking with student #A75387.

·         Langmuir sail skating #580486.

·         Langmuir with Katharine Blodgett & Vincent J. Schaffer with equipment for surface film experiment #584457  8-29-41.

·         Langmuir doing film experiment.

·         Langmuir shaking hands with unidentified person, with photo insets #A76226.