The Perham History Files were first created by Douglas M. Perham and continued by the Perham Foundation and Foothills Electronics
Museum. The collection served as a quick reference file regarding people, companies, apparatus, and events relating to the
history of early radio and electronics. It includes an array of materials -- ephemeral publications, news clippings, letters,
notes, and photographs -- arranged in two series, Documents and Photographs.
The Perham History Files are part of The Perham Collection of Early Electronics, the legacy of radio pioneer Douglas McDonald
Perham (1887-1967), an early wireless experimenter and radio broadcaster. Perham’s career spanned the first 50 years of commercial
electronics in the West — from his first teen-aged experiment with a Marconi coherer in 1898 to his retirement from Varian
in 1953. As Federal Telegraph Company’s first American employee (1909), he built the company’s first four Poulsen arcs, and
worked with Lee de Forest’s research team (1911-12). He installed experimental and commercial Federal wireless stations throughout
California and Texas. In 1922, he built and operated one of Iowa’s first licensed radio broadcasting stations, WJAM, and the
first affiliated with a newspaper (The Cedar Rapids Gazette). Coming back to California in 1928, he worked for many local
firms, including Federal, Heintz and Kaufman, Dalmo Victor, Ampex and Varian Associates.
The copyright law of the United States (Title 17, United States Code) governs the making of photocopies or other reproductions
of copyrighted material. Under certain conditions specified in the law, libraries and archives are authorized to furnish a
photocopy or other reproduction. One of these specified conditions is that the photocopy or reproduction is not to be "used
for any purpose other than private study, scholarship, or research." If a user makes a request for, or later uses, a photocopy
or reproduction for purposes in excess of "fair use," that user may be liable for copyright infringement. This institution
reserves the right to refuse to accept a copying order if, in its judgement, fulfillment of the order would involve violation
of copyright law.
The papers are available for researchers by appointment through the Curator of Library and Archives.