Vernon C. Stubblefield papers, 1902-1942

Descriptive Summary

Title
Vernon C. Stubblefield papers, 1902-1942
Creator
Stubblefield, Vernon C.
Extent
1 reel of microfilm.
Subjects
Johnson, James C.
Stubblefield, Nathan B, 1860-1928.
Stubblefield, Vernon C.
Stubblefield family.
Inventions--Kentucky.
Radio--Research.
Inventors.
Clippings.
Drawings.
Patents.
Speeches
Arrangement
No discernible arrangement.
Finding Aid Author
Processed by: Archives Staff ; machine-readable finding aid created by:Eric Weig
Repository
University of Kentucky

Collection Overview

Biography / History
Inventor, Electrician. Nathan Stubblefield, an electrician in Murray, Ky, began experimenting with the wireless telephone around 1892, but did not hold his first demonstration of the invention until ten years later. After he showed his neighbors in Calloway County, Ky. the new device, he traveled to Washington, D.C, where he displayed his invention to a number of prominent scientists. On this trip, Stubblefield's trunk containing the wireless was lost, so he returned to Murray to construct another, thereby delaying the receipt of his patent until 1908.
Scope and Content
The papers include correspondence, patent applications, clippings, drawings, and photographs relating to Nathan B. Stubblefield's invention of the "wireless telephone," otherwise known as the radio. The papers contain patents from both the United States and Canada (1908); material submitted in application for these patents, including drawings and explanations of the mechanics of the wireless; a United States patent for improvements in electrical batteries (1908); and accompanying materials and drawings. The newspaper clippings in the papers are dated after Stubblefield's death and contain biographical data. The clippings are from the WASHINGTON POST; NASHVILLE TENNESEAN, ST. LOUIS DISPATCH, and PADUCAH SUN-TIMES. They document the efforts of a few people in Murray, including Stubblefield's son, Vernon, to rescue Stubblefield from obscurity and prove that he, not Marconi, was the inventor of the wireless.
The photographs with the papers are of Stubblefield, his family, and his invention. Two especially interesting ones show Stubblefield in Philadelphia with scientists who watched his demonstration and on the Potomac River, making a wireless call. Most of the correspondence is addressed to Vernon Stubblefield, although one letter from Nathan Stubblefield is present. Included also are the letters of James C. Johnson, the executive secretary of the Murray Chamber of Commerce, who was instrumental in publicizing Stubblefield as the inventor of the wireless, as well as a text of a speech given by Johnson about Stubblefield's life and work.

Restrictions on Access and Use

Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

Researchers are required to have an SCRC Researcher Account in order to request or order digital copies of materials. Research Account set-up and use instructions can be found at: http://libguides.uky.edu/SCRCaccount

If you are visiting the Breckinridge Research Room, please request materials at least 48 business hours in advance of your arrival.

For all other questions, contact us at: https://libraries.uky.edu/ContactSCRC.

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