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RCA Harrison records

1924-1987
 Collection
Identifier: 2464-71

Abstract

RCA’s plant in Harrison, New Jersey was (originally founded in 1882) was acquired by RCA in 1930 and was the company's primary producer of receiving tubes for consumer, industrial, and defense electronics until the plant closed in 1976. The records consist primarily of the papers of engineers Ralph R. Fichtl (1918-2014) and Otto H. Schade, Sr. (1903-1981) on television and receiving tube development. Files include reports, ephemera, photographs, patents, and correspondence on their work and RCA Harrison in general.

Dates

  • 1924-1987

Creator

Extent

2.5 Linear Feet

General Physical Description (AVD portion only)

(AVD portion only) 39 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 8 in. 13 photographic prints : b&w ; 5 x 7 in. 1 photographic print : color ; 8 x 10 in. 105 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. paper documents.

Historical Note

RCA’s plant in Harrison, New Jersey was originally founded by Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931) for the production of light bulbs in 1882. The General Electric Company purchased the Edison Lamp Works in 1892 and converted it to the production of radio tubes in 1918. As part of RCA’s entry into manufacturing, the company acquired the plant in 1930.

Harrison remained RCA’s primary producer of receiving tubes for consumer, industrial, and defense electronics until it closed in 1976. By this time the introduction of solid state devices had resulted in an almost 80% decline in the sale of receiving tubes from its 1966 peak.

Arrangement

The RCA Harrison records are arranged into three series:

Series I. Ralph R. Fichtl papers

Series II. Otto H. Schade, Sr. papers

Series III. General

Files are arranged alphabetically.

Scope and Content

The RCA Harrison records consist primarily of the papers of engineers Ralph R. Fichtl and Otto H. Schade, Sr. on television and receiving tube development. Files include reports, ephemera, photographs, patents, and correspondence on their work and RCA Harrison in general.

Ralph R. Fichtl papers include files from his work at RCA Harrison, as well as information on a range of RCA products and services. The Fichtl papers are arranged in two subseries: General and RCA product manuals, specifications, and related materials. Both subseries are arranged alphabetically.

The Otto H. Schade, Sr. papers are composed of articles, correspondence, patents, photographs, and reports related to Schade’s research on improving television definition and resolution.

General series consists mostly of photographs by Fred Foerth, Joseph Kmiec, and others. Images feature aerial photographs, electronic components, and social gatherings. Several pamphlets and labor agreements are also included.

Access Restrictions

This collection contains material from the Manuscripts and Archives Department (M&A) and the Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department (AVD). Box prefixes indicate which department holds an individual file or item.

Related Material

The RCA Harrison records are part of the David Sarnoff Library collection (Accession 2464). The collection includes nineteen other finding aids:

Consumer electronics history collection (Accession 2464.79), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

David Sarnoff Library records (Accession 2464.73), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

David Sarnoff Research Center records (Accession 2464.09), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Charles B. Jennings photographs, scrapbook boards, and other materials (Accession 2464.21), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Alexander Magoun advertising collection (Accession 2464.81), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Marconi Wireless Telegraph Company of America engineering drawings (Accession 2464.83), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA Astro-Electronics Division records (Accession 2464.70), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA Camden records (Accession 2464.76), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA Corporation collection of television and company history photographs and audiovisual material (Accession 2464.78), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA Missile and Surface Radar Division photographs (Accession 2464.31), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA News and Information Department photographs (Accession 2464.68), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA product information (Accession 2464.77), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA publications (Accession 2464.82), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA Solid State Division records (Accession 2464.75), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA technical reports (Accession 2464.69), Manuscripts and Archives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

RCA/Thomson Lancaster records (Accession 2464.74), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Records of other RCA divisions (Accession 2464.80), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

David Sarnoff papers (Accession 2464.55), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Robert W. Sarnoff papers (Accession 2464.04), Manuscripts and Archives Department and Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Additional Description

Provenance

In 2009, along with the rest of the archival collections of the David Sarnoff Library, the RCA Harrison records were donated to the Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
RCA Harrison records
Status:
Author:
Daniel Michelson and Kenneth Cleary
Date:
2016
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin
Sponsor:
The collection was processed with support from the Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR) Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives grant.

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400