Finding Aid for the Alexander Kolin Papers, 1929-1990

Processed by Aislinn Catherine Sotelo, with assistance from Elizabeth Sheehan, 2007; machine-readable finding aid created by Caroline Cubé.
UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections
Manuscripts Division
Room A1713, Charles E. Young Research Library
Box 951575
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1575
Email: spec-coll@library.ucla.edu
URL: http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/special/scweb/
© 2007
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.


Descriptive Summary

Title: Alexander Kolin Papers
Date (inclusive): 1929-1990
Collection number: 966
Creator: Kolin, Alexander, 1910-1997.
Extent: 3 document boxes (1.5 linear ft.) 1 flat box.
Abstract: The collection consists of correspondence (including letters from Albert Einstein), United States patents for Kolin's inventions, and awards.
Repository: University of California, Los Angeles. Library. Department of Special Collections.
Los Angeles, California 90095-1575
Physical location: Stored off-site at SRLF. Advance notice is required for access to the collection. Please contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Administrative Information

Restrictions on Access

COLLECTION STORED OFF-SITE AT SRLF: Open for research. Advance notice required for access. Contact the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections Reference Desk for paging information.

Restrictions on Use and Reproduction

Property rights to the physical object belong to the UCLA Library, Department of Special Collections. Literary rights, including copyright, are retained by the creators and their heirs. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine who holds the copyright and pursue the copyright owner or his or her heir for permission to publish where The UC Regents do not hold the copyright.

Provenance/Source of Acquisition

Gift of Peter S. Willcox, 2005.

Processing Note

Processed by Aislinn Catherine Sotelo, with assistance from Elizabeth Sheehan, 2007.
This collection was processed in the Center for Primary Research and Training in May 2007.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Alexander Kolin Papers (Collection 966). Department of Special Collections, Charles E. Young Research Library, UCLA.

UCLA Catalog Record ID

UCLA Catalog Record ID: 5710183 

Biography

Alexander Kolin, Emeritus Professor of Biophysics, inventor of the electromagnetic flow meter and of isoelectric focusing, for which he was a strong candidate for the Nobel Prize, died April 21, 1997, at his home in Los Angeles at age 87, from cancer. Kolin was born in Odessa, Russia, on March 12, 1910. Neither of Kolin's parents had a scientific orientation, be he showed an early aptitude, doing experiments at home, from the age of six. Famine, revolution and subsequent difficult conditions in Russia induced the Kolin family to leave. They moved to Berlin, Germany, in 1922, where Kolin rapidly learned the German language, and with great sacrifices by his parents, received tutoring in basic subjects to make up for his previous lack of educational opportunity. The study of physics became his passion, and Kolin was inspired by the galaxy of famous physicists in Berlin, including Einstein, Planck, Schrodinger, Hertz, and Nernst. Kolin studied at the Technische Hochschule in Berlin, completing his undergraduate studies in physics, and accepting an opportunity to do his doctoral work under Gustav Hertz, studying plasmas. In 1933, with his work barely underway, Kolin and his parents were stunned by the news of the Reichstag fire, and decided to leave Germany. They moved to Czechoslovakia, where Kolin enrolled at the German University of Prague, and chose a new thesis topic, which he finished in the record time of fourteen months. Soon thereafter, young Kolin immigrated to the United States to seek work. Through a mutual friend, Kolin met Albert Einstein, whom he impressed sufficiently to merit several letters of recommendation, which eventually helped Kolin find a position at the Michael Reese Hospital in Chicago, Illinois, where he worked by day and did independent research at night. During this time, he invented and began to develop the electromagnetic flow meter, initially applying it to the measurement of blood flow in animals. For the past fifty years, electromagnetic flowmeters have been widely used in medicine and industry. Kolin held various research and teaching positions in Chicago and New York before becoming Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago in 1946. There, he wrote a textbook on physics, discovered the phenomenon of elctromagnetophoresis, and invented isoelectric focusing, a laboratory technique that is widely used in biomedical research. Kolin moved to UCLA in 1956, to do both teaching and research, and retired in 1977 as Emeritus Professor of Biophysics. During this period, he invented endless fluid belt electrophoresis; received the prestigious John Scott Medal for his invention of the blood flow meter; and received the Albert F. Sperry Medal for flowmeter developments. In 1977, he received the Alexander von Humboldt Award from the Federal Republic of Germany. In retirement, he continued to pursue scientific research until physically unable. His wife, Renee who passed away in 2003, survived Professor Kolin. [Adapted from an obituary written by Professor Kolin's former graduate student, Dr. Nancy Wilcox, April 21, 1997.]

Scope and Content

Collection consists of correspondence, paperwork on patented inventions, research and teaching materials, and numerous awards.

Organization and Arrangement

Arranged in the following series:
  1. Correspondence
  2. Patents
  3. Research materials
  4. Teaching materials
  5. Awards.
Has materials in English and German.

Custodial History

Dr. Wilcox inherited the material from his wife, Dr. Nancy Willcox (née Nancy Posch), upon her death. Nancy Willcox was a graduate student of Dr. Kolin's in the late 1960s and inherited the items directly from Dr. Kolin.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.

Subjects

Kolin, Alexander, 1910-1997---Archives.
Physicists---United States---Archival resources.


Container List

 

Series 1. Correspondence

Box 1, Folder 1

Albert Einstein correspondence 1934-1949

Creator/Collector: Albert Einstein
Language of Material: German and English

Scope and Content Note

27 items including letters and envelopes. 14 letters contain Einstein's signature.
Box 1, Folder 2

Arne Tiselius correspondence 1955-1958

Creator/Collector: Arne Tiselius
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

Letters and envelopes from Nobel Prize winner Arne Tiselius to Alexander Kolin. 5 items.
Box 1, Folder 3

Correspondence--Request University Patent reimbursement 1972 November 28

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

Letter from Alexander Kolin requesting reimbursement for the filing fee for the "Disclosure Document Program." Originally in folder titled "Commissioner of Patents Priority Letters."
Box 1, Folder 4

Correspondece, 1932-1957 1932-1957

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

10 itmes including letters and envelopes.
Box 1, Folder 5

Correspondence, 1958-1980 1958-1980

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

11 items including letters and envelopes. One n.d.
Box 1, Folder 6

"Important Letters and Documents" 1957-1987

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

Includes photocopies of letters, Kolins' marriage certificate, and original folder holding these items.
 

Series 2. Patents

Box 1, Folder 7

Commissioner of Patents--Priority Letters--Disclosure Documents 1972-1979

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Contains disclosure documents and handwritten explanations of inventions.
Box 1, Folder 8

Commissioner of Patents-- U.S. Patent Offices Disclosures 1972-1988

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Contains handwritten explanations of inventions and patent information.
Box 1, Folder 9

"Invention Protection" 1979-1990

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

In original folder labeled "Invention Protection," are public vouchers for refunds from the Department of Commerce and Trademark Office for "Performance minus N". Disclosure Document Receipt Notices for "Alternating Field Iso Focusing," paper title, "Self-Contained Induction Rheoangiometer". Also includes a business card for Edward H. Loveman, and 3 envelopes, 2 of which are addressed to Alexander Kolin from Alexander Kolin and are unopened (and appear to be empty) and one which is from Alexander Kolin to the Commissioner of Patents and is opened.
Box 1, Folder 10

Originals of UC Patents 1972-1988

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Original patents from the United States, Canada, and Germany.
 

Series 3. Research Materials

Scope and Content Note

Notebooks and papers containing Kolin's research notes.
Box 2, Folder 1

Academic document 1929

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: German

Scope and Content Note

Kolin's academic document from the Oberrealschule in Berlin.
Box 2, Folder 2

"Alexander Kolin, FDS 1958-64" notebook 1958-1964

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

One notebook and 4 loose leaf sheets of notes inserted in front cover.
Box 2, Folder 3

"Device for Measuring Fluid Flow" 1946 September 8

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Creator/Collector: Evelyn L. Rush, Notary Public
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

Paper titled, "Device for Measuring Fluid Flow" signed by Alexander Kolin and Evelyn Rush the Notary Public of Cook County, Ill dated 1946 September 8. Postcard of "Domaine d'Esterel Ski Lodge Lac Masson Que'" dated 1946 September 8.

Note

Paper and postcard found together.
Box 2, Folder 4

"Method for Determination of Speed of an Airplane, or Other Vehicle, with Respect to Ground" 1946 September 29

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

One sheet titled, "Method for Determination of Speed of an Airplane, or Other Vehicle, with Respect to Ground"
Box 2, Folder 5

"Records of my Studies" 1929-1933

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

3 notebooks: "Belegbuch fur Studierende Technische Hochschule Berlin" 1929-1931, two items inserted ; "Friedrich-Wilhelms Universitat zu Berlin Studienbuch" (1 of 2), 1929, one item inserted ; "Friedrich-Wilhelms Universitat zu Berlin Studienbuch" (2 of 2), 1931-1933, one item inserted. Original envelope holding the notebooks is labelled by hand reading " Research of my Studies". 4 items.
Box 2, Folder 6

Sterling Record Notebook 1949-1950

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

One "Sterling Record" Notebook with Kolin's notes. Two loose leaf sheets of notes inserted in the middle of the notebook.
 

Series 4. Teaching Materials

Box 2, Folder 7

1967 Sigma Xi Lecture: "Michael Faraday: Glimpses of an Inspiring Life" 1967

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

1967 Sigma Xi Lecture titled, "Michael Faraday: Glimpses of an Inspiring Life"

Note

Note on first page reads: "File in vault."
Box 2, Folder 8

Teaching Film: Electromagnetic Determination of Blood Flow and Vascular Diameter Changes Without Sugical Exposure of the Blood Vessels 1977

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin
Creator/Collector: Dr. R. N. MacAlpin
Creator/Collector: Dr. R.J. Steckel
Language of Material: English

Scope and Content Note

1 item. Teaching Film: Electromagnetic Determination of Blood Flow and Vascular Diameter Changes Without Sugical Exposure of the Blood Vessels. Outline by Alexander Kolin, UCLA School of Medicine (Drs. R.N. MacAlpin and R.J. Steckel to be invited to participate in the narration and making of the final film.)

Note

Copyright Alexander Kolin, 1977
 

Series 5. Awards

Box 3, Folder 1

Albert F. Sperry Award 1967

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Framed Albert F. Sperry Award 1967 Presented for Distinguished Achievement to Alexander Kolin. The Intsrument Society of America.
Box 3, Folder 2

Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Urkunde Award 1977

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Framed Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung Urkunde Prof. Dr. Alexander Kolin award.
Box 3, Folder 3

The City of Philadelphia John Scott Medal and Premium Award 1965 June 18

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Framed City of Philadelphia John Scott Medal and Premium Award to Alexander Kolin, Doctor Rerum Naturalium
Box 4, Folder 1

Electrophoresis Society Founders Award 1981 1981

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Professor Alexander Kolin Electrophoresis Society Founders Award 1981 For Outstanding Contributions to the Field. Plaque.
Box 4, Folder 2

Instrument Society of America Albert F. Sperry Medal Award 1967 September 12

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

"In recognition of his work of three decades in designing and developing magnetic flowmeters..." Medal
Box 4, Folder 3

John Scott Medal to the Most Deserving (The) 1965 June 18

Creator/Collector: Alexander Kolin

Scope and Content Note

Awarded by the City of Philadelphia the John Scott Medal to the Most Deserving Alexander Kolin Doctor Rerum Naturalium for the Invention of the Electro Magnetic Flow Meter. Medal.