Finding Aid for the

David Prince Papers,

1919-1963, 1984, 1987

 

4.3 linear ft.

 

Finding Aid Compiled by

Joshua Hauck-Whealton

June 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:

 

David Chandler Prince received his Masters in Electrical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 1913.  He had previously worked for GE as a summer job, and upon graduating he moved to Schenectady and became an assistant to E.F.W. Alexanderson.  He left in 1914 due to the war, and spent 1917-1919 working for the Army Ordnance Department in Paris.

 

After the war, Prince returned to Schenectady and resumed his work with Alexanderson, working with radio broadcasts and transmitters.  In 1923, he began working as a researcher with GE’s railway electrification project, where he helped to develop the mercury-arc rectifier. 

 

In 1931, Prince became the Chief Engineer of GE’s Switchgear Department in Philadelphia, PA.  During that time he worked on oil-impulse circuit breakers for the Hoover Dam.  By 1940, he was back in Schenectady as a Manager, then a Vice President and finally the Vice President of the General Engineering and Consulting Laboratory in 1945.  He retired in 1951, but continued to act as a consultant.

 

Prince’s philosophy of patents was expressed in the GE publication Commercial Engineer in 1941: “If one runs through the Patent Gazette, one is struck by the extremely large proportion of patents that seem to have no value at all. Yet individual patents may be worth millions. If the patents of even successful inventors are analyzed, the same situation is found. One is forced to conclude that in order to obtain a number of valuable patents; a much larger number must be applied for. The successful inventor is not necessarily the one who has the best ideas, but the one who has the most ideas, some of which are good.”

 

This explains why Prince had 107 patents filed between 1919 and 1954.  He worked closely with the legal firm of Davis, Hoxie, Faithfull and Hapsgood to apply for and monitor his patents.

 

 

Scope and Content:

 

The David Prince papers consists of materials created or collected by David Prince, mostly after his career within GE and mostly in reference to his many patents.  They include correspondence, notes, clippings, publications and patent reports.

 

 

Series #1: Working Papers, 1920-1921, 1930-1933, 1936, 1939-1940, 1943-1963, 1984, undated.  2.3 linear ft.

Organized Alphabetically

 

This series consist of materials created or collected by Prince during his engineering career, mostly during the period after 1950 in which he was a consultant.  Much of it consists of materials relating to Prince’s patents, including correspondence, notes, and reports.

 

Another portion of this series results from Prince’s involvement with the Convertible Aircraft Congress, an organization attempting to design a vehicle that would combine aspects of a helicopter and a jet.

 

Series #2: Inactive Files, 1936-1952.  1.3 linear ft.

Organized Alphabetically

 

In addition to his hundred plus registered patents, Prince had numerous ideas for patents that were unworkable, unusable or too similar to an existing patent.  Notes about these were placed in Prince’s Inactive File.  Most of these files contain some correspondence between Prince and the law firm of Davis, Hoxie, Faithfull and Hapsgood.  There may also be some additional notes, correspondence and rarely a copy of a patent that was close enough to Prince’s idea that he abandoned his case.

 

Series #3: Patents, 1919-1942, 1944-1947, 1949-1955, 1958, 1987.  .6 linear ft

Organized Alphabetically

 

This series contains copies of the Patent Reports for most of Prince’s patents through the years of 1919-1958.

 

Box and Folder List:

 

Series #1: Working Papers

 

Box #1

Folder:

 

  1. AIEE Technical Papers, 1939, 1949, 1951-1953
  2. AIEE Technical Papers, 1954-1959
  3. AIEE Meeting, Correspondence, Photograph, 1962
  4. Autocompressor, Diagrams, Essay, 1952-1953, undated
  5. Autocompressor, Negative, Photographs, 1954
  6. Bensen Aircraft Corporation, Correspondence, Photographs, Slides, 1952, 1957, 1962
  7. Bensen Gyrocoptor, Correspondence, 1957, 1959-1960
  8. Bensen Gyrocopter, Diagrams, Flyers Mailings, Instructions, 1961, undated
  9. Biographical Material, Correspondence, Publication, 1939-1943, 1951, undated
  10. Biographical Material, High School Material, Speech, Diploma, 1908
  11. Boulder Dam, Correspondence, Photographs, 1936, 1984
  12. Circuit Breaker, Articles, 1931, 1937, undated
  13. Circuit Breaker, Correspondence, 1954-1956
  14. “Cooling of Rotating Electrical Machinery,” Correspondence, 1921, 1930, 1951-1954
  15. Convertible Aircraft Congress, 2nd Conference, Photographs, Negatives, Slides, 1952, undated
  16. Convertible Aircraft Congress, 2nd Conference, Proceedings, 1952
  17. Convertible Aircraft Congress, 4th Conference, Proceedings, 1958
  18. Convertible Aircraft Congress, Correspondence, 1952-1955
  19. Convertible Aircraft Congress, Correspondence, 1956-1962
  20. Convertible Aircraft Congress, Diagrams, 1956, undated
  21. Correspondence, Davis, Hoxie, Faithfull and Hapsgood, 1951-1956
  22. Correspondence, Davis, Hoxie, Faithfull and Hapsgood, 1957-1963
  23. Correspondence, Gardener Jackson, 1952-1954
  24. Correspondence, International Finance Corporation, 1957
  25. Correspondence, Tokyo Shibaura Electric Company, 1952-1957
  26. Correspondence, W.R. Kennion, 1952-1955
  27. Correspondence, W.R. Kennion, 1956
  28. Correspondence, W.R. Kennion, 1958

 

Box #2

Folder:

 

  1. Correspondence, W.R. Kennion, 1959
  2. Correspondence, William Folsom, 1960-1962
  3. Correspondence, William Folsom, Agreement w/ David Prince, 1963
  4. David Prince in Poland, Essay, Maps, 1920-1921
  5. David Prince Memoir, Notes, undated
  6. Heat Pump, Correspondence, 1953
  7. Heat Pump, Correspondence, 1954-1959
  8. Heat Pump, Correspondence, 1960-1961, 1963
  9. Helicraft Equipment Corporation, 1951-1958
  10. High Voltage Cable, Correspondence, Diagrams, Patents, 1951-1960, undated
  11. High Voltage Circuit Breaker, Correspondence, Diagrams, 1956-1962
  12. Hot Gas Generator, Correspondence, 1952-1958, 1960
  13. Hot Gas Generator, Diagrams, Publications, Patents, 1950, 1953-1954, undated
  14. Hot Gas Generator, Engineering Council Meeting, Minutes, 1945
  15. “Index of NACA Technical Publications,” 1955
  16. Industrial Stabilization, Correspondence, Essays, 1932
  17. Lecture Material, Articles, Lecture Drafts, 1952-1959, undated
  18. “Motor Boating,” Article, Correspondence, 1932
  19. Philip L. Algar, Photographs, 1933 World’s Fair Programs, 1899, 1931-1933
  20. Reciprocating Hot Gas Generator, Correspondence, Diagrams, Reports, Photographs, 1943-1948
  21. Reciprocating Hot Gas Generator, Correspondence, Reports, 1948-1951
  22. “Recording and Translating of Intelligence” Patent, Correspondence, Diagrams, 1951-1958
  23. “Recording and Translating of Intelligence” Patent, Correspondence, 1959-1963

 

Box #3

Folder:

 

  1. “Recording and Translating of Intelligence” Patent, Correspondence, 1962-1963
  2. “Recording and Translating of Intelligence” Patent, Improvements in Scanning, Correspondence, 1962
  3. “Recording and Translating of Intelligence” Patent, Tape-to-Card and Card-to-Tape Converter, Patent, 1961
  4. Rotary Wing Project, Essays, 1951
  5. Royal Aeronautical Society, 4th Annual Conference, 1953
  6. Self-Pressurizing Monofuel System, Correspondence, Programs, 1956-1960
  7. Sumner H. Slichter, Articles, Essays, 1957-1958, undated
  8. Variable Capacity Compressor, Correspondence, Diagram, 1951-1955

 

 

 

 

Series #2: Inactive Files

 

Box #4:

Folder:

 

  1. 60,146 Pressure Control for Oil Blast Circuit Breakers, 1936, 1938
  2. 60,205 High Speed Oil Blast Circuit Breaker, 1937, 1939
  3. 60,222 Multiple Break Circuit Interrupters, 1936-1937, 1940
  4. 60,240 Pressure Governors, 1937, 1939
  5. 60,404 Fluid Brake for Railway Use, 1937, 1939-1942, 1946
  6. 60,421 Impulse Breaker with Pressure Control, 1937
  7. 60,866 Improved Impulse Type Breaker, 1937
  8. 60,438 Hi-Volt Circuit Interrupter, 1937
  9. 61,129 Oil Circuit Breaker, 1937-1939, 1942
  10. 61,144 Carrier Current Supervisory Control, 1937, 1942
  11. 62,018 Arc Pressure Regulators, 1937
  12. 62,445 Circuit Breaker with High Pressure Atmospheres, 1938-1939
  13. 62,751 Converging Jet Circuit Breaker, 1938
  14. 63,305 Synchronous Motor Equipment, 1938, 1950
  15. 63,373 Circuit Breaker with Turbulent Blast, 1938
  16. 63,414 Air Blast Circuit Breaker, 1938, 1940
  17. 63,479 Gas Expulsion Type Interrupter, 1938-1939
  18. 68,755 New and Improved Type of Aircraft, 1941-1947
  19. 69,016 Commutator Construction, 1942-1944
  20. 69,018 Adjustable Propellers for Airplanes, 1940, 1945-1946
  21. 69,410 Variable Speed Transmission, 1941, 1949
  22. 69,658 Fan, 1941, 1946
  23. 70,027 Differential Drive for Crane Hoist, 1943
  24. 70,079 Supercharger Diesel Engine, 1942-1943, 1946
  25. 73,772 Improvement in Venetian Blinds, 1943
  26. 73,773 Sweatless Pipe for Refrigerant, 1943, 1946
  27. 73,812 Gasifying Coal Burner, 1943, 1946
  28. 74,101 Circular Loom, 1943, 1946
  29. 74,265 Air Conditioned Bed, 1943, 1946
  30. 74,281 Heliplane Employing Jet Propulsion, 1942-1943, 1947
  31. 74,697 Dictator Recorder, 1943, 1946, 1948
  32. 74,698 Check Sorting Machine, 1943, 1946
  33. 74,867 Dust Separator, 1943-1944, 1948
  34. 74,916 Compound Engine, 1943-1944, 1949
  35. 74,943 Method of Arranging the Control of Domestic Refrigerators, 1944, 1947, 1949
  36. 75,169 Method of Combating Ice Formation, 1944, 1946
  37. 75,256 Collapsing Area Propeller for Heliplane, 1944-1945
  38. 75,383 Free Piston Engine, 1944-1946
  39. 75,733 Improvement In Airplane Surfaces, 1944
  40. 75,802 & 78,288 Biased Cyclic Pitch Control, 1944-1950
  41. 76,411 ATHODXD (Ramjet) with Adjustable Discharge, 1944-1946
  42. 82,295 Phonograph Record for High Quality Continuous Playing, 1947-1949
  43. 82,477 Building Block, 1947-1949
  44. 83,181 Constant Speed Transmission, 1945, 1948
  45. 83,429 Magnetic Clutch, 1948-1949, 1951
  46. 83,476 Helicopter Rotor, 1948, 1951
  47. 83,550 Helicopter Stabilizer Control, 1948, 1950
  48. 83,744 Transformer Core, 1948, 1949

 

Box #5

Folder:

 

  1. 84,187 Three-Phase Core, 1948-1949
  2. 84,702 Drive Mechanism for Washing Machine, 1948-1959
  3. 84,743 Rotary Wing Stabilizer, 1949
  4. 86,240 Biased Cyclic Pitched Control for Helicoptor, 1949
  5. 86,248 Compressor Control, 1949
  6. 86,255 Magnetic Recording Invoice System, 1949-1950
  7. 86,307 Synchronized Printing Machine, 1949-1950
  8. 86,375 Hot Gas Generator Turbine Plant, 1949-1950
  9. 87,147 Magnetic Fluid Clutch, 1950
  10. 87,148 Magnetic Fluid Transmission, 1950
  11. 87,238 Electrolysis of Aluminum, 1950
  12. 87,239 Magnetic Fluid Clutch, 1950
  13. 88,080 Transmission Line Control, 1950
  14. 88,178 Auxiliary Turbine Starting Means for Gas Turbine Power Plants, 1950-1951
  15. 89,529 Combustion System, 1951
  16. 89,672 High Voltage Cable Joint, 1951-1952
  17. 89,674 Current Transformer, 1951
  18. 90,357 Cooling System for Dynamo Electric Machines, 1952

 

Series #3: Patents

 

Box #6

Folder:

 

  1. Patent List, Correspondence, Lists, 1950, 1987, undated
  2. Patents, 1919-1925
  3. Patents, 1926-1928
  4. Patents, 1929-1930
  5. Patents, 1931
  6. Patents, 1932

 

Box #7

Folder:

 

  1. Patents, 1933
  2. Patents, 1934-1935
  3. Patents, 1936
  4. Patents, 1937-1938
  5. Patents, 1939-1941
  6. Patents, 1942
  7. Patents, 1944-1947, 1949, 1951-1955, 1958