Sperry Gyroscope Company, Inc., 1910-1929Creation: 1910-1929
Part of: Elmer Ambrose Sperry papers (1893)
- Creation: 1910-1929
Scope and Content
The records in Series IV of the Elmer Sperry papers were, for the most part, generated by the Sperry Gyroscope Company. They include Elmer Sperry's business and technical correspondence that describes the development and marketing of the company's aeronautical and marine instruments. Sperry's research files trace the history of the gyroscope beginning with its invention by Leon Foucault in 1854. His correspondence describes the state of gyroscopic technology and the patent situation as it existed in 1910.
Also contained in Series IV are some fragmentary administrative records. There is a copy of the minutes of the first Board of Directors meeting (June 2, 1910), reports to the stockholders (1917-1918), tax, and financial records.
After the war, the Sperry Gyroscope Company began a systematic effort to market its products abroad. The records documenting these sales initiatives contain correspondence with representatives of the English, French, Russian, and Japanese navies. Sperry's correspondence with Admiral Hideo Takedo, who represented the Japanese Navy as well as Mitsubishi Zōsen Kaisha Ltd., is of particular interest. These letters trace the process by which Mitsubishi became a licensee for Sperry products and Sperry Gyroscope gained access to the Japanese Navy. The Sperry-Takedo letters have both personal and business dimensions. The two men shared common interests and value systems based on a faith in technological progress and an appreciation of hard work. These correspondence files show that this friendship led Sperry to appreciate Japanese culture. He made several trips to Japan at the end of his life and in 1929 organized the World Engineering Conference in Tokyo.
5 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
From the Collection: English
- From the Collection: Sperry, Elmer Ambrose, 1860-1930 (Person)