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McCurdy's: Our American Heritage

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Reprinted historic pages showing printing machine and other types of inventions with diagrams and text. Side panels: "Our American Heritage, Presented by McCurdy's."

463 Ribbon

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
White cardboard box; imprinted with silver. Imprinted in white diagonally (lower left to upper right), across recto and top and sides of box, large striped logo (all running off page): IBM; ; across verso, running off page, smaller stiped logo: IBM®; imprinted in black diagonally (same direction), recto, verso, and recto-side of box: 463 Ribbon/ Ruban 463/ 463 Farbband/ Cinta 463;imprinted in black, recto-side, striped logo: IBM; verso-side, upper left quadrant: Reorder no./ No. de commande:/ Bestellnummber:/ No. de Pedido:/ Quantity:/ Quantite:/ Anzahl:/ Cantidad:/ Color: black/ Couleur: noir/ Farbe: schwarz/ Color: negro/ Use prior to:/ Utiliser avant le:/ Verwenden vor:/ Usar antes de:; upper center (next to the reorder no.: 1 299 463; imprinted next to quantity: 6; lower left quadrant, verso-side: International Business Machines Corporation/ Made in U.S.A.; center, verso fold in: C.W.Z.; center, recto-fold in: 1299480/3; imprinted in black ink, inside: diagrams 1,2,3 for how to remove, and 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 on how to install; upper left quadrant, inside: To remove:/ Pour retirer:/ Herausnehmen:/ Para sacar:; upper right quadrant, inside: To install:/ Pour mettre en place:/ Einsetzen:/ Para instalar:

The dueling designs for the modern x-ray tube in World War I

National Museum of American History

Twenty years before the start of World War I, a new "light" that could pass through a human body revealing its underlying structures caused a public sensation. Within a few years, the x-ray had become a standard worldwide diagnostic tool in medicine. The early equipment used to produce the x-rays was unstable and difficult to use, but scientists Julius Lilienfeld of Germany and William Coolidge of America found solutions independent of each other at essentially the same time. Their similar, sometimes competing, work during World War I resulted in the x-ray technology we use today.

A scientific device sits against a black background. A thick shield of glass obscures the details of the device. It sits on a silver pedestal.X-ray setup, around 1918, currently on display in “Modern Medicine and the Great War.” In 1913 Coolidge introduced a more reliable and rugged x-ray tube that was adopted by the military for the war. The thick glass shield helped protect staff from x-ray exposure.
X-rays result from the energy released from fast moving electrons striking a hard target. In the earliest equipment, these electrons came from a small amount of gas, held at very low pressure, inside a glass tube. The technical problem: as the gas slowly depleted in the tube, the gas pressure dropped, along with the x-ray output. Operators would often compensate for this by increasing the electrical power to the tube, but this degraded the imaging quality of the x-rays and increased the rate at which the gas depleted.
 
 
Years before, Thomas Edison—among others—had shown that when a wire is heated to incandescence, it spontaneously emits electrons. Lilienfeld was the first to use this idea to solve the x-ray tube problem. He placed a wire that could be heated by an electric current inside an older style x-ray tube. When heated, the wire gave off electrons that would supplement the electrons produced in the gas. Lilienfeld claimed that the tubes could operate even when the gas was completely depleted. He made several refinements and filed a series of patents in Germany and the U.S. between 1911 and 1914.
 
William Coolidge, while working at the General Electric laboratory in Schenectady, New York, had essentially the same idea, and filed his first patent application in May 1913. His design required a tube with a very high vacuum; this ensured that all of the electrons came from the hot wire rather than from any residual gas in the tube. In a scientific paper describing his work, Coolidge credited Lilienfeld for being the first to introduce a heated wire inside an x-ray tube, but criticized him for not having achieved a sufficiently good vacuum. Lilienfeld soon responded with a somewhat indignant reply in the same journal.
 
A diagram of what looks like a light bulb with necks at each end. Inside there are some sorts of skinny, rod like implements, extending from each neck but which do not meet.The Coolidge Tube. This drawing is from the 1918 United States Army X-Ray Manual published by the United States Surgeon General's Office (page 32, figure 6).
A glass implement that looks like a specialized light bulb, there's a sphere in the center with long skinny rods extending from each end.General Electric Coolidge Tube, around 1918. Gift of University of Maryland, University Hospital, Department of Radiology, MG.M-08013.
 
A patent drawing of the Lilienfeld Tube. It looks like two bulbs afixed to each other.Lilienfeld Tube. Drawing of U.S. Patent 1,218,423.
No matter the critical exchange between the two men, the U.S. Army embraced the Coolidge tube for use in x-rays and trained hundreds of physicians and technicians at the Camp Greenleaf School of Roentgenology in Georgia. By the end of the war, nearly 4,000 Coolidge tubes had been shipped to the war front for use by the U.S., British, and French military physicians.
 
Lilienfeld's patent rights were seized under the authority of the Trading with the Enemy Act of 1917 and sold to a private entity, The Chemical Foundation, which in turn sued General Electric for patent infringement. Lilienfeld came to the U.S. in the early 1920s to defend his patent rights but General Electric ultimately prevailed. The basic Coolidge high vacuum tube remains the standard design in all modern medical and dental x-ray equipment.
 
Lilienfeld went on to receive a number of patents in electronics and achieve international recognition. Despite their knowledge of one another's inventions, which both modernized the use of x-ray technology, it is not clear if the two scientists ever met.
 
Eric Kearsley is a volunteer working in the Division of Medicine and Science at the National Museum of American History. He has also blogged about an abstract artist and his World War I X-Ray Car.
Author(s): 
museum volunteer Eric Kearsley
Posted Date: 
Monday, January 29, 2018 - 17:15
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Lee Nordness floorplan sketch for Wendell Castle

Archives of American Art
Diagram : 1 p. : ill. ; 22 x 28 cm. Sketch by Lee Nordness showing the layout of his living room, created for furniture designer Wendell Castle.
On the verso are various handwritten mathematical calculations.
This item should be viewed with Digital ID 207.

Site plan for Wellfleet Housing Development, Bi-Nuclear "H" House, Wellfleet, Massachusetts

Archives of American Art
1 architectural drawing : diagram ; 22 x 26 cm.

Weaver's thesis book

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Book, bound in gray cardboard and containing some seventy-six pages of diagrams and descriptions of loom setup for different silks. Missing title page. Dated at top of page four "Janvier 5, 1829." Forty-two small samples of the weaves are attached to pages.

Quicktake: Tata Nano

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Quicktake: Tata Nano—The People's Car On view February 18 - April 25, 2010 Unveiled last year in India by Tata Motors, India's largest automobile manufacturer, the Tata Nano is targeted to families who had not previously been able to afford a car. Billed as "the people's car," the base model starts at $2,500 in India and can accommodate up to five adults. A bright, sunshine yellow Nano will be on display in Cooper-Hewitt's Great Hall, along with diagrams and photos illustrating its concept, development and production.

Synthetic Rubbers, Page 92 from Fortune

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Page 92 from Fortune magazine featuring a diagram by Herbert Bayer at top consisting of an illustration of an oil refinery in the background, molecular models, a variety of containers for chemicals. The diagram contains red, yellow, black, and blue. The chemical structure or formula for Buna-S, a synthetic rubber, is at the bottom of the diagram in red. See page 93 (2016-54-360) for continuation of design. Printed black text about the U.S. synthetic program is on the lower portion of the page. Verso: Black and white reproduction of the pamphlet, "Sequel to the Apocalypse" at lower right and black printed text.

Artist and Society

SI Center for Learning and Digital Access
Teacher-created lesson in which each student designs a "system" that shows the impact that society had on a given artist and the impact that this artist might have had on others in an artistic movement. The system might be a flow chart, a diagram, or a timeline.

Weaver's thesis book

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Oblong book, bound in dark green leather, with flap and metal clasp, contains 150 numbered pages of descriptions, analysis, weave diagrams and samples of gauzes, with mises-en-carte for many. 91 small samples.

The Human Eye—A Living Camera

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Design featuring a multicolored scientific depiction of an eyeball with a diagram demonstrating how the mechanisms of the eye imitate a camera in the upper portion of the composition. A blue eye, with a brown eyebrow, appears in the center of the composition. Two additional illustrated diagrams appear at bottom: one showing how inverted images on the retinas of eyes are brought together to form an upright object and another showing the muscles of the eye that allow the eyes to turn in any direction or converge. The design contains a solid yellow background and explanatory text alongside the illustrations. Printed in black ink, upper left: The human eye—a living camera.

Aluminum from Clay (Ancor Method), Page 138 from Fortune

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Page 138 from Fortune magazine featuring graphics by Herbert Bayer at bottom. Colorful diagram shows the process of transforming clay into aluminum using the ancor method. Diagram is mostly red and yellow, with black printed text. Design continues on 2016-54-355. Text printed in black above. Verso: Article printed in black titled, "Aluminum: Have or Have Not?"

Iconoscope Camera Tube, Page 56 from Fortune

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Page 56 from Fortune magazine featuring a diagram by Bayer at bottom and printed black text at top against a sky filled with clouds. Black and white diagram incoporating photographic images shows the process of a TV program from studio to living room. Continues on page 57 (2016-54-361). Verso: Photographic images related to television and black printed text.

Two Ways to Non-Bauxite Alumina, Page 139 from Fortune

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Page 139 from Fortune magazine featuring the continuation of a diagram by Herbert Bayer of making aluminum from clay using the ancor method at lower left. Continues from 2016-54-350. Page also includes a photographic illustration on the right side of a factory interior. Black printed text appears on the left above the diagram. Text includes the section heading, "TWO WAYS TO NON-BAUXITE ALUMINA." Verso: Black and white illustration by Julian Levi showing men in robes looking at model planes, with model planes hanging above.

The Menstrual Cycle

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Printed quarter-fold brochure with a diagram of the overall menstrual cycle on the front cover in pink, red, yellow, white, and black against a black background. White numbers representing days of the month are arranged in a circle, and different types of moons appear in white in the four corners. Printed in white, along the bottom: THE MENSTRUAL CYLCE. Diagrams specific to each stage of the cycle, showing the ovary and the uterus, appear on the interior. Interior folds out to a large, white page with information about correcting menstrual disturbances with Progynon-B, Progynon-DH, and Proluton, printed in black and red text. Verso: Printed text in black and red about the products.

Sketchbook Page, Folio 64: Study after Bolognese Architecture and Monuments, Including Arch of San Domenico; Verso: Geometric Studies

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Recto: formerly cut apart, composition is now rejoined. At upper left, Ark in church of San Domenico, inscribed on plinth: S. DOMENICO BOLOGNA; and below drawing: monumento del quattro cento Bologna. Lower left, buildings along river Reno, Bologna, inscribed below: fabriche sul Reno Bologna. In lower corner: 64. At lower center, Loggia della Marcanzia, Bologna, inscribed below: la Mercanzia Gotico belisimo Bologna. At upper right, inscribed below kneeling angel with candelabrum, from Ark: Bologna monumento del quattro cento. In upper right corner "126". At center right, sketch of standing male in Renaissance dress with sword in scabbard, inscribed below: Bologna monumento del quat° cen. At lower right, sketches of Gothic architectural details and ornaments. On verso: page of geometric diagrams with explanations, in pen and dark brown ink. Freehand diagrams show how to use compass to construct certain form; Pythagorean table at lower left.

Exhibition Poster: Sol Lewitt, Wall Drawings & Structures, John Weber Gallery, New York

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Art exhibition poster featuring a grid with thirteen rows. Within each grid unit is a geometric shape showing variations/permutations of drawing parts of an open cube; each variant is numbered by a fraction at the lower right. At the right, centered, is black text stating artist name, exhibition title, gallery name and address. On verso, there are six rectangular columns, each containing a diagram of a geometric shape and text for how to locate that shape on a wall. From left to right, the shapes are: "The Location of a Circle,"... a Triangle, .... a Square, ...a Rectangle, ...a Trapezoid, and a Parallelogram.

Verso: Across both havles of paper are six equally sized rectangles bearing diagram and text on how to locate on wall, respectively, a circle, a triangle, a square, a rectangle, a trapezoid, and a parallelogram.

Aviation Industry Inset for Fortune

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Black and grey printed rectangular-shaped inset for Fortune magazine. Contains information about the aviation industry, including a list of patent owners with corresponding letters and a list of licensees with corresponding numbers. A related oval-shaped diagram appears on the left, incorporating letters, numbers, circles, and arrows. Inset includes a grey bordering line along the sides.

1999 Season, Ballet Tech

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
On a white ground of typographic diagrams, four images of a female dancer on Pointe in a black leotard. Across the poster is yellow text that reads: FELD BALLET TECH. In lower margin: APRIL 6 – MAY 9 JOYCECHARGE: 212-242-0800 JOYCE The Joyce Theater / BBAALLLLEETTTTEECCHH.

Mystery Train

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
The background is a black-and-white photograph of a young man feigning surprise, against a white wall. Overlaid midway is a cut-out of a black-and-orange fan-shaped diagram of piano keys, music notation, the printed words "SUN", and two cut-outs in place of the man's eyes, transforming them into slits. At three-quarters, lower left, is an image of a train, from a newspaper or book, appearing to run into the young man's mouth, which is colored lipstick-red. At the top is the inscription "MYSTERY TRAIN", followed by a listing of the credits for the making of this film.

untitled (15)

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Brooch consisting of green-patinated circular pocket watch case containing engraved diagram and found objects. Reverse covered by fragment of a printed page of text with a small, faceted lozenge-shaped purple glass paste adhered under bar pin.

The Middle Passage - African Holocaust

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Modeled after diagram of a slave trade ship seen from above, showing the lower deck densely packed with a cargo of slaves; five heads of African slaves in profile hang from the lower edge.

Apartment House, Rue Heine, Plan du Rez de Chaussee

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Floor plan for the ground floor of the apartment building on Rue Heine. The top half of the diagram shows that a large portion of this space is dedicated to a garage. Rooms are labelled and scale is noted throughout the design.

Perspectiva: Corporum Regularium

Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum
Three diagrams and a banner with an inscription.
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