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archives & research

   Twenty finding aids are now available thanks to a grant from the American Institute of Physics Center for the History of Physics. The finding aids highlight the Museum's importance as a resource for the study of industrial physics. Click on a collection name to open the finding aid. Watch for more finding aids to be added soon.

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Papers and Trade Literature

miSci maintains a large manuscript collection relating to the history of GE and a growing collection of materials about the history of Schenectady. The Hammond Collection, materials collected by GE publicist, John Winthrop Hammond while writing his company history Men and Volts, and the related GE Historical File allow unparalleled insight into the early development of GE and its role in the electrical industry.

The Downs Collection contains the secretary files of Gerard Swope and Owen D. Young, President and Chairman of GE from 1922-1939 and 1942-1944. These files give glimpses into Swope's concern for worker safety and industrial hygiene, as well as the development of employee programs at GE that eventually became components of Franklin Delano Roosevelt's New Deal programs. The Downs Collections also includes materials on labor negotiations, the development of marketing programs, and GE's role in World War II.

Other collections highlight noted GE researchers and engineers, including Charles Steinmetz, Elihu Thomson, Albert Hull, and Irving Langmuir. Also included are the less well-known, including Christian Steenstrup, Francis J. Norton, who developed the mass spectrometer, the Man-Made Diamond team, and Bruce Buckland, known to those in the electrical industry as "Mr. Turbine." Additional collections highlight GE administrators, including GE's first two presidents, Charles Coffin and Edwin Rice, Swope and Young, Dr. Arthur Bueche, former director of the GE Research and Development Center, and Roger Hammond, who managed the GE News Bureau.

There is also a large collection of trade literature from GE's Advertising and Sales Promotion Department. This material includes promotional items, instructional bulletins and manuals, and parts lists. Although the primary focus of the 325 cubic foot collection is industrial products, some consumer products are represented in the collection.

Growing collections relating to the general history of Schenectady include a small but growing collection of papers from the American Locomotive Company, the business records of the Tessier Brothers Machine Shop and Wallace Armer Hardware Store, and papers from Charles Ruffner, president of Adirondack Power and Light.

What we do not have are employee personnel records from GE. Many employees are mentioned in the Schenectady Works News (the employee newsletter for GE's Schenectady Works), but unfortunately that publication has not been indexed.

Finding Aids