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Author Topic: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware  (Read 752 times)

Dan Mortensen

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October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« on: August 02, 2018, 02:27:27 am »

Was sent this link today to the

Index to RCA Photo Archive

the introduction to which says in part:

"This collection consists of negatives, a majority of which feature sound and television equipment manufactured by RCA. These images include phonographs, radios, radio-phonograph combinations, records, speakers, amplifiers, microphones, facsimile machines, televisions, equipment involved in the transmission and reception of television and radio waves, radio equipment created for use by government agencies and motion picture equipment.

"Company historian Frederick O. Barnum III salvaged this collection from the abandoned photo lab on the 4th floor of Building 10 of the RCA Camden Plant, after the plant had been vacated and abandoned by successor company Martin Marietta Corporation in April 1993."

So it's presumably professional photos of their equipment for a variety of reasons, some of which is various kinds of P.A. gear. The index is really thorough. There's over 120,000 images altogether, but a lot of it is not something most of us would be interested in, probably.

I don't completely trust myself to recognize the relevant parts to our interests; anybody want to go through and contribute to a list of what to look for when there? I'll start the list in the next post.

And I'm going to be in NYC for a month in October, and a field trip to go through this and take pictures if possible or gather prints of the cool stuff would be enjoyable and possible. If anyone wanted to join me that would only make it more fun. We can talk about that part.
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2018, 02:50:48 am »

01-01 (Box 1 Folder 1): Portable Public Address

01-02: School Sound, Kansas State Stadium 1934

01-06: Commercial sound rack P.D. 32, 1935 June 6

01-25: High Powered Bathing Beach Loudspeakers installation, 1937

01-37: Horn, horizontal, 1938

02-02: Notre Dame Stadium, South Bend, Indiana, 1938

02-10: Union Terminal Los Angeles installation, 1939

02-16: MI-12754 Mobile Sound System, 1939 November 29

02-29: Ohio State Stadium Sound Installation, 1940 February 12

02-33: Churchill Downs Sound Installation, 1940 March 11

02-39: Battleship Arizona installation, 1940 May 9

03-03: Sound Installation Inauguration installation, 1941 February 20


There's a dozen to start it off. This will be helpful when going there to focus the searching to items of interest.

And I maybe left off some interesting things without knowing what they are ("02-42: Sound Installations, 1940 July 23", for example).

Altogether, there's 298 boxes and 30+ folders in each.

Incidentally, I'm the Chair of the Historical Track at the October AES Convention in NYC, but don't have any SR history in it this year as the very able Sound Reinforcement Track Chairs have included some of that in theirs.
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Art Welter

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Re: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2018, 03:16:05 pm »

Quote from: Dan Mortensen
I don't completely trust myself to recognize the relevant parts to our interests; anybody want to go through and contribute to a list of what to look for when there?
Almost an overwhelming amount of photographs, a good portion of which could be thought of as "relevant"!

Box #8 seems to hold a lot of the foundational horn designs. Though some of these designs may be found on the web, photos in folders 3, 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 29, & 40 may be hard to find, and certainly informative.

Other boxes also look interesting:

Box 147
Folder 17: 20 Watt Power Amplifier M-14236, 1935 July 12 
Folder 18: P.A. Amplifier, 1935 July 17

Box 150
Folder 27: MI-12188 70 Watt Amp. "-- 4288 40 ," 1950 February 8

Box 150
Folder 28, 29: 70 Watt Amp. MI-12188, 1950 March 14

Box 151, Folder 13: 70 Watt PA Amplifier, 1957

Box 289, Folder 5: Lapel microphone, 1935 April 29

Happy hunting!

Art
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2018, 08:21:31 pm »

Almost an overwhelming amount of photographs, a good portion of which could be thought of as "relevant"!

Box #8 seems to hold a lot of the foundational horn designs. Though some of these designs may be found on the web, photos in folders 3, 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 29, & 40 may be hard to find, and certainly informative.

Other boxes also look interesting:

Box 147
Folder 17: 20 Watt Power Amplifier M-14236, 1935 July 12 
Folder 18: P.A. Amplifier, 1935 July 17

Box 150
Folder 27: MI-12188 70 Watt Amp. "-- 4288 40 ," 1950 February 8

Box 150
Folder 28, 29: 70 Watt Amp. MI-12188, 1950 March 14

Box 151, Folder 13: 70 Watt PA Amplifier, 1957

Box 289, Folder 5: Lapel microphone, 1935 April 29

Happy hunting!

Art

This is great, thanks, Art!

Another thing to look for: since Harry F Olson (inventor of the line array, amongst MANY other fundamental principles of our work) was an RCA guy, one would think there must be a TON of pictures of his work in its various stages of development.

How to pick that out of this avalanche of information? The Search function of the index gives 27 hits to "Olson", but I can't see how to locate where those hits are other than within the most general categories.

That makes me think an email to the librarians would be in order. Email sent.

Thanks again for this list, Art.
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Dan Mortensen

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Re: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2018, 06:36:21 pm »

Hey, I got a reply from the Library!

The question was specifically about how to find pictures specifically relevant to Harry Olson, so the reply centers on that:

"Dear Mr. Mortensen,

The Harry F. Olson Papers are part of the David Sarnoff Research Library collection (Acc. 2464) and not the Barnum Collection of RCA materials (Acc. 2069).

Here is the link to the Sarnoff inventory:  < https://findingaids.hagley.org/xtf/view?docId=ead/2464_09.xml >. Do a keyword search for "Harry F. Olson" and you will see the available materials on him. There is an entire subsection of the Sarnoff papers concerning him.

"I hope this helps clarify things! Please let me know how we can further help you with your research."

It's neat this is all there and I bet it's not a coincidence.
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Tim McCulloch

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Re: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2018, 05:18:40 pm »

Wow, this is great stuff, Dan! Thanks for posting about the Barnum collection in general and especially the Olson papers in the Sarnoff collection.

I'd love to be in NYC but my Oct schedule has filled out (including the last performance of the classic rock act "very popular with the scooter crowd" mixed by my boss.
« Last Edit: August 09, 2018, 05:22:53 pm by Tim McCulloch »
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"Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something."  - Kurt Vonnegut

Dan Mortensen

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Re: October Field Trip? RCA Photo Archive in Delaware
« Reply #6 on: August 10, 2018, 04:37:42 pm »

Wow, this is great stuff, Dan! Thanks for posting about the Barnum collection in general and especially the Olson papers in the Sarnoff collection.

I'd love to be in NYC but my Oct schedule has filled out (including the last performance of the classic rock act "very popular with the scooter crowd" mixed by my boss.

Thanks, Tim, glad you are liking it.

Can you please post box and folder numbers for the parts you think are cool? That might help break down a block of info into more easily accessible chunks for someone.
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