Guide to the Haraden Pratt Papers, 1908-1969

Guide written by The Bancroft Library staff; edited by Alison E. Bridger in Jan. 2006.
The Bancroft Library.
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California, 94720-6000
Phone: (510) 642-6481
Fax: (510) 642-7589
Email: bancref@library.berkeley.edu
URL: http://bancroft.berkeley.edu
© 1997
The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
ADDITIONAL FORM AVAILABLE:
This finding aid has been filmed for the NATIONAL INVENTORY OF DOCUMENTARY SOURCES IN THE UNITED STATES (Chadwyck-Healey Inc.)

Guide to the Haraden Pratt Papers, 1908-1969

Collection number: BANC MSS 72/116 z

The Bancroft Library



University of California, Berkeley

Berkeley, California

Contact Information:

Processed by:
The Bancroft Library staff
Date Completed:
1972
Encoded by:
Hernan Cortes
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.

Collection Summary

Collection Title: Haraden Pratt Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1908-1969
Collection Number: BANC MSS 72/116 z
Creator: Pratt, Haraden
Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes Linear ft.: 2
Repository: The Bancroft Library
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Abstract: Consisting of correspondence and related papers, includes letters to and from Pratt, notes, articles and other printed materials, and photographs. The papers include correspondence relating to his researches into the history of wireless and early radio, his early work in radio, and his activities while chairman of the History Committee of the Institute of Radio Engineers and its successor, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Included also is material which he gathered relating to the history of radio, including articles, patents, and materials from various companies, including reports, advertisements for equipment, telegraph blanks and photographs of installations.
Languages Represented: Collection materials are in English
Physical Location: Many of the Bancroft Library collections are stored offsite and advance notice may be required for use. For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the library's online catalog.

Information for Researchers

Access

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not been assigned to The Bancroft Library. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Public Services. Permission for publication is given on behalf of The Bancroft Library as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Haraden Pratt papers, BANC MSS 72/116 z, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

Alternate Forms Available

There are no alternate forms of this collection.

Indexing Terms

The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.
Electric Engineering--History
Radio--History
Federal Telegraph Company
Photographs
History of Sceince and Technology Collection

Administrative Information

Acquisition Information

The Haraden Pratt Papers were given to The Bancroft Library by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in January, 1972.

Accruals

No additions are expected.

Processing Information

Processed by Bancroft Library Staff in 1997.

Biographical Information

Haraden Pratt

Haraden Pratt was born in San Francisco, California on July 18, 1891. His mother and father, who had both been telegraph operators, taught him telegraphy at age six. By 1905 he had constructed his first amateur wireless receiving station, in the attic of his parents' house.
In 1910 he began attending the University of California, Berkeley where he set up a radio communication laboratory. During vacations he worked as a wireless telegraph operator and installer and had extensive experience with wireless installations on ships. After receiving his bachelors degree in electrical engineering in 1914, he became a design and operating engineer for American Marconi Company, with his first job being their Asst Engineer at their high power trans-Pacific Bolinas transmitting station.
After resigning from American Marconi in February 1915, Pratt was appointed to the position of Expert Radio Aid for the Navy at Mare Island Navy Yard. In July 1918, he was transferred to Washington, where he had authority over the construction and maintenance of all high power radio stations. From 1920 to 1922 he was the acting chief engineer at Federal Telegraph Company. The next few years were spent at jobs in and out of the radio field, including development of radio aids for air navigation at the Bureau of Standards. In 1928 he was made chief engineer and later vice president of Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company.
Actively interested in radio societies--he had joined both the American Institute of Electrical Engineers and the Institute of Radio Engineers in 1914--he was made director in 1935 and president in 1938 of the Institute of Radio Engineers. In 1953 he became chairman of the History Committee of the IRE and its successor, the IEEE.
During World War II he was the chief of the NDRC's Division 13, on Communications. From 1945 to 1951 he was vice president and chief engineer of the Commercial Cable Co., All American Cables and Radio, Inc., the American Cable and Radio Corporation, and held, as well, other offices in other companies of the International Telephone and Telegraph Company.
In 1951 he was chosen to be telecommunication advisor to the President, a post which he held until 1953. From 1953 to 1958 he was an associate with the aviation radio Dualex Corporation.
In 1958 he retired from business life and was able to devote full-time to his interest in wireless and early radio history until his death in 1969.

Scope and Content of Collection

Consisting of correspondence and related papers, includes letters to and from Pratt, notes, articles and other printed materials, and photographs. The papers include correspondence relating to his researches into the history of wireless and early radio, his early work in radio, and his activities while chairman of the History Committee of the Institute of Radio Engineers and its successor, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Included also is material which he gathered relating to the history of radio, including articles, patents, and materials from various companies, including reports, advertisements for equipment, telegraph blanks and photographs of installations.
The Key to Arrangement which follows gives more detailed information about the collection.

Key to Arrangement

Boxes 1-2

Letters written to Pratt

Additional Note

Include letters from colleagues, friends, historical institutions and radio societies mostly concerning wireless and early radio history. Arranged alphabetically. A partial list of correspondents follows the Key to Arrangement. Unlisted letters are arranged alphabetically in miscellanies.
Box 3

Letters written by Pratt, 1919-1969

Additional Note

Carbon copies of letters with no letters for the years 1920-1923, 1926-1951, 1957 and 1960. Arranged chronologically.
 

Articles

 

Notes on History of Radio (two folders)

 

Notes on Pan-American Wireless Telegraph and Telephone Company; Federal Telegraph Company Contracts.

 

Record Cards, National Bureau of Standards, 1927-1928

 

Personalia

 

Photographs

Box 4

Radio History Materials

 

Advertisements for Equipment

 

Articles (two folders)

 

Bay Counties Wireless Telegraph Association

 

Centennial of the Telegraph

 

Cyril F. Elwell Autobiographies

 

Mackay Radio and Telegraph Company

 

Marconi's Wireless Telegraph Company Limited

 

Miscellaneous

 

Patents

 

Photographs

 

Reports of Companies

 

Telegraph Blanks

Partial List of Correspondents

 

Albertson, Fred Woodward, 1908-

 

Letter, June 25, 1969.

 

Appleton, Sir Edward Victor, 1892-1965

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to letter, Sept. 20, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Nikola Tesla.

 

Armstrong, Edwin Howard, 1890-

 

10 letters, [1918] and 1953.

 

Included also, copies of three articles by him, "FM-TV Controversies Continue," July, 1948; "More About the Daylight Wave," September, 1948; and "Wrong Roads and Missed Chances--Some Ancient Radio History," March, 1951.

 

Copies of letters, Aug. 31, 1953, Dec. 16, 1953 and Jan. 4, 1954, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Enclosure to letter, Sept. 20, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him.

 

Astin, Allen Varley, 1904-

 

No incoming letters; copy of a letter, Feb. 18, 1954, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Bailey, George William, 1887-

 

11 letters, 1953. To Pratt and others.

 

Copy of a letter, Sept. 10, 1959, to him from Harry P. Cooper and copy of a letter, Aug. 31, 1959, to him from Glenn A. Fowler in A-G Miscellaneous correspondence folder.

 

Copies of letters, Mar. 9, 1953 and May 4, 1953, to him from Carmichael in Leonard Carmichael correspondence folder.

 

Letters, Jan. 7, 1952 and Mar. 17, 1952, to him from Elwell in Cyril F. Elwell correspondence folder.

 

Copy of a letter, Feb. 15, 1954, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence fold

 

Enclosures to note, Nov. 7, 1969, in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. correspondence folder are a letter to him and a copy of one from him.

 

Copy of a letter, June 11, 1953, to him from the director in Smithsonian Institution correspondence folder.

 

Beverage, Harold Henry, 1893-

 

Letter, June 21, 1965.

 

Bown, Ralph, 1891-1971

 

3 letters, 1954-56.

 

Caldwell, Orestes Hampton, 1888-

 

Letter, January 9, 1953.

 

Carmichael, Leonard, 1898-

 

2 letters, 1953, addressed to George W. Bailey, re Smithsonian Institution.

 

Copies of letters, Mar. 2, 1953, Mar. 2, 1953, Mar. 11, 1953, Apr. 21, 1953, May 11, 1953 and June 8, 1953, to him from Bailey in George W. Bailey correspondence folder.

 

Clement, Lewis Mason

 

Letter, November 16, 1964.

 

Notes, undated

 

Information on Bay Area wireless and early radio

 

de Forest, Lee, 1873-1961

 

Letter, November 21, 1945. To Alfred N. Goldsmith

 

Enclosure to letter, Sept. 9, 1953, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from Espenschied to him.

 

Copy of a letter, Jan. 10, 1946, to him from Goldsmith in Alfred N. Goldsmith correspondence folder.

 

Enclosures to note, May 4, 1963, in Emil J. Simon correspondence folder are copies of letters from him, one to Lloyd Espenschied and the other to Simon.

 

Enclosure to letter, May 23, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Nikola Tesla.

 

Dibner, Bern, 1897-

 

No incoming letters; copies of letters, Feb. 24, 1965, Feb. 28, 1965 and Mar. 27, 1965, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Dunn, Gano, 1870-

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to letter, May 23, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Nikola Tesla.

 

Eastham, Melville, 1885-1964

 

2 letters, 1953 and 1960.

 

Enclosure to letter, June 5, 1953, in Institute of Radio Engineers correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him.

 

Elwell, Cyril Frank,

 

5 letters, 1952-54 re wireless equipment.

 

Enclosures to letter, May 5, 1965, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder are a copy of a letter to him from Espenschied and one from him to Espenschied.

 

Espenschied, Lloyd, 1889-

 

101 letters, 1940-69.

 

18 memos, 1963-66.

 

To Pratt and others, some re Emil J. Simon's papers.

 

Included also, papers by him, "The Telefunken Co. of America, 1909-1910," 1950; "Critique of the Hammond-Purington Paper Entitled 'A History of Some Foundations of Modern Radio-Electronic Technology'," 1957; and "Emil J. Simon, 1888-1963," 1963.

 

Enclosure to letter, Oct. 14, 1953, in Edwin H. Armstrong correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him from Armstrong.

 

Copy of a letter, May 2, 1969, to him from M. D. Hooven in H Miscellaneous correspondence folder.

 

Enclosure to letter, June 5, 1953, in Institute of Radio Engineers correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him.

 

Copy of a letter, May 15, 1969, to him from McCue in John J.G. McCue correspondence folder.

 

Enclosure to note, May 4, 1963, in Emil J. Simon correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him from Lee de Forest.

 

Enclosures to letter, May 30, 1963, in Emil J. Simon correspondence folder are copies of two letters to him from Benjamin F. Miessner.

 

Federal Telegraph Company

 

26 letters, 1915-25.

 

7 telegrams, 1924.

 

To Pratt and others, mostly from Ellery W. Stone.

 

Included also, 7 miscellaneous reports, ca. 1923-24.

 

Copy of a letter, July 2, 1913, to the officers and directors from Tuel in A. Y. Tuel correspondence folder.

See also Tuel, A. Y.

 

Fink, Donald Glen, 1911-

 

Letter, November 18, 1964

 

Copy of a letter, Oct. 25, 1964, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Goldsmith, Alfred Norton, 1887-

 

4 letters, 1946-62. To Pratt and others, mostly re his position as Editor, Institute of Radio Engineers.

 

Copy of a letter, Nov. 21, 1945, to him from de Forest in Lee de Forest correspondence folder.

 

Haggerty, Patrick Eugene, 1914-

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to note, Nov. 7, 1969 in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to George W. Bailey.

 

Hammond, John Hays, 1888-

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to letter, May 31, 1964, in Pratt's outgoing letters is a copy of a letter to him.

 

Enclosures to letter, Apr. 24, 1953, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder are copies of two letters from Espenschied to him and one from him to Espenschied and enclosures to letter, May 20, 1953, are copies of letters from him to Beach Thompson and Major F. R. Burnham.

 

One enclosure to letter, Sept. 20, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Swezey.

 

Hewlett, William Redington, 1913-

 

3 letters, 1954.

 

Copies of letters, Oct. 9, 1954, Nov. 8, 1954, and Dec. 31 1954, to him from Frederick K. Vreeland in Q-Z Miscellaneous folder.

 

Hibshman, Nelson Sherk, 1902-

 

2 letters, 1963 and 1968.

 

Copy of a letter, Apr. 19, 1963, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc.

 

12 letters, 1963-69. To Pratt and others.

 

Copies of letters, Sept. 24, 1963, Nov. 21, 1963, Dec. 7, 1963, Dec. 8, 1963, Oct. 25, 1964, Aug 10, 1966 and May 21, 1969, to the Institute and copy of a letter, May 27, 1964, to the Institute and others from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Enclosure to letter, Apr. 10, 1967, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to the Institute from Espenschied.

 

Institute of Radio Engineers

 

8 letters, 1953-62. To Pratt and others.

See also Goldsmith, Alfred N.

 

Jackson, Joseph Gray, 1904-

 

Letter, April 16, 1965.

 

McCue, John Joseph Gerald, 1913-

 

Letter, May 15, 1969.

 

Copy of a letter, May 21, 1969, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Copy of a letter, Aug. 6, 1969, to him from Staff Secretary in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. correspondence folder.

 

Mackay, Clarence Hungerford, 1874-1938

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to note, May 10, 1963, in Emil J. Simon correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Simon.

 

Copies of letters, Aug. 18, 1924, and Sept. 16, 1924, to him from Spreckels in Rudolph Spreckels correspondence folder.

 

Enclosure to letter, Sept. 8, 1924, in Federal Telegraph Company correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Rudolph Spreckels and enclosure to letter, Nov. 24, 1924, is also a copy of a letter from him to Spreckels.

 

Marriott, Robert Henry, 1879-

 

Letter, December 15, 1950.

 

Enclosure to letter, Oct. 8, 1965, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Espenschied and enclosure to note, Oct. 9, 1965, is a copy of a letter from him to Espenschied.

 

Marton, Ladislaus Laszlo, 1901-

 

No incoming letters; enclosures to letter, May 6, 1969, from W. R. Crone in Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. correspondence folder are a copy of a letter from him and one to him.

 

Miessner, Benjamin Franklin, 1890-

 

6 letters, 1963-64.

 

Enclosure to letter, March 23, 1963, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him from Espenschied and enclosure to letter, Aug. 29, 1963, is a copy of a letter to him from Espenschied.

 

Copies of letters, Feb. 14, 1965, and Apr. 14, 1965, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Copy of a letter, Feb. 6, 1962, to him from the editor in Institute of Radio Engineers correspondence folder.

 

Enclosures to letter, May 30, 1963, in Emil J. Simon correspondence folder are copies of two letters from him to Lloyd Espenschied.

 

Millikan, Robert Andrews, 1868-1953

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to letter, Sept. 20, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Nikola Tesla.

 

Pickard, Greenleaf Whittier, 1877-

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to letter, May 23, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Nikola Tesla.

 

Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 1882-1945

 

2 letters, 1915. Addressed to the U.S. Navy Department.

 

Ryder, John Douglas, 1907-

 

Letter, May 9, 1958.

 

Memo, undated

 

Sarnoff, David, 1891-

 

No incoming letters; enclosures to letter, Oct. 8, 1965, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder are a copy of a letter from him to Espenschied and one to him from Espenschied.

 

Simon, Emil Jacob, 1888-1963

 

5 letters, 1963.

 

Included also, materials re wireless history: Avionics, Navy and Marconi.

 

Enclosure to letter, Mar. 12, 1963, in Pratt's outgoing letters is a copy of a letter from him to Pratt.

See also Espenschied, Lloyd.

 

Smithsonian Institution

 

34 letters, 1953-68.

 

Copy of a letter, Nov. 16, 1960, to the Smithsonian from W. W. Brown in A-G Miscellaneous correspondence folder.

 

Copy of a letter, Feb. 10, 1961, to the Smithsonian from D. S. Rau in Q-Z Miscellaneous correspondence folder

 

See also Carmichael, Leonard

 

Southworth, George Clark, 1890-

 

No incoming letters; copy of a letter, Feb. 21, 1965, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Spreckels, Rudolph, 1872-1958

 

2 letters, 1924. Addressed to Clarence Mackay.

 

Enclosure to letter, Sept. 8, 1924, in Federal Telegraph Company correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him from Clarence Mackay and enclosure to letter, Nov. 24, 1924, is also a copy of a letter to him from Mackay.

 

Stratton, Julius Adams, 1901-

 

No incoming letters; copies of letters, Mar. 2, 1953, to him from Bailey in George W. Bailey correspondence folder.

 

Susskind, Charles, 1921-

 

Letter, undated

 

Swezey, Kenneth M.

 

7 letters, 1955-60.

 

Information about Nikola Tesla. Included also, articles by him, "Nikola Tesla: Pathfinder of the Electrical Age," 1956 and "Nikola Tesla," 1958.

 

Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-

 

5 letters, 1963-64.

 

Copy of a letter, Apr. 16, 1964, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Thompson, Beach, 1865-

 

No incoming letters; enclosure to letter, May 20, 1953, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him from John H. Hammond.

 

Tuel, A. Y.

 

89 letters, 1913-19.

 

3 telegrams, 1919

 

Information on post World War I West Coast radio stations, including activities of the U.S. Navy station on Goat Island and Federal Telegraph Company.

 

Van Dyck, Arthur Floyd

 

2 letters, 1965 and 1966.

 

Included also, article by him, "Solar Energy," December 1955.

 

Watson, Paul G.

 

6 letters, 1965.

 

Information re the Arlington Naval Radio Station, ca. 1913

 

Weber, Ernst, 1901-

 

No incoming letters; copies of letters, Mar. 6, 1963 and Mar 12, 1963, addressed to him and others in Pratt's outgoing letters.

 

Copy of a letter, Mar. 9, 1963, to him from Espenschied in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder.

 

Enclosure to letter, Mar. 23, 1963, in Lloyd Espenschied correspondence folder is a copy of a letter to him from Espenschied.

 

White, William Comings, 1890-

 

Letter, October 25, 1956.

 

Whitehead, John Boswell, 1872-1954

 

No incoming letters; one enclosure to letter, May 23, 1955, in Kenneth M. Swezey correspondence folder is a copy of a letter from him to Nikola Tesla.