Guide to The Jane Morgan Papers

History San Jose Research Library
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Title: The Jane Morgan Papers
Date: 1898-2000
Date (bulk): 1960-1976
Collection number: 2003-35
Collectors: Morgan, Jane, 1916-2008
Extent: 12 linear feet
Repository: History San Jose Research Library
San Jose, CA 95112
Abstract: Papers of electronics history author Jane Morgan. Collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, interview notes, reference files, photographs, news clippings and other printed material relating to the development and production of Morgan's book, Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years (Palo Alto, CA: National Press Books, 1967).
Physical location: History San Jose Collection Center
Languages: The majority of the collection material is in English with the exception of one periodical in French.

Access

The papers are available for researchers by appointment through the Curator of Library and Archives.

Publication Rights

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.
History San Jose owns the copyright to Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years. On November 17, 1997, the Perham Foundation took control of all right title and interest in the book. When History San Jose acquired the holdings of the Perham Foundation in 2003, History San Jose received these rights to the book.

Preferred Citation

The Jane Morgan Papers, 2003-35. History San Jose Research Library, San Jose, California.

Acquisition Information

Collection donated by Jane Morgan to the Perham Foundation in the 1970s. Additional accrual through the 1980s and 1990s. Donated to History San Jose in 2003 as part of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics. Additional accruals in 2004 donated to History San Jose by Morgan's daughter, Carolisa Morgan.

Processing History

Processed by Elizabeth Atlas, History San Jose Research Library, 2012, under a grant from the Council on Library Resources' Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives program.

Related Collections

This collection is directly related to the rest of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics (2003-1) by provenance and by subject matter, and is also related by subject matter to other collections at History San Jose that deal with the early electronics industry in the Santa Clara Valley and the western United States.
Associated material in other repositories includes:
  • Cyril Frank Elwell Papers, M0049, Dept. of Special Collections, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
  • Leonard Franklin Fuller Papers [ca. 915-1958], 79/9c/1. History of Science and Technology Collections, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Charles Vincent Litton Papers, 1912-1972, Banc Mss 75/7c. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Haraden Pratt Papers, 1908-1969, Banc Mss 72/116/4. The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Frederick Emmons Terman Papers (SC0160). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.
  • Varian Associates Records, Banc Mss 73/65 c, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.
  • Russell and Sigrud Varian Papers (SC0345). Department of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

Other Finding Aids

History San Jose's PastPerfect catalog, which includes many digitized images, is searchable at http://historysanjose.pastperfect-online.com.

Biography

Jane Morgan was born Rachel Jane Harnden in Montana on April 17, 1916. In the mid-1920s, she started going by "Jane" and around 1928 or 1929, adopted her step-father's surname "Mauerhan." Jane attended UC Berkeley, Occidental College in Los Angeles, and graduated from the University of Southern California in 1938 with a Bachelors degree in Philosophy. She was commissioned in the first class of officers in the Women's Auxiliary Corps of the U.S. Army in 1942, serving in Europe from 1943-1947 as an Intelligence Officer. She married Robert Morgan in 1948 and had two daughters, Carol and Susan. Morgan worked as an assistant secretary for the Institute of American History at Stanford University and volunteered as a secretary for the Perham Foundation as well as serving as a board member. In 1962, Morgan wrote a biography of inventor Lee de Forest that was published as a serial in "Trails for Juniors" and "Junior Life" magazines. After her de Forest project, she was commissioned by the Santa Clara County Office of Education to write the history of electronics development in the San Francisco Bay Area, which resulted in the publication of Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years in 1967. Morgan continued to work as a freelance writer in Northern California. In her later years, Jane moved to Southern California to live near her daughter Carol. Morgan died on August 23, 2008 in San Diego, California.

Scope and Content Summary

This collection contains reference files, correspondence, production materials, and photographs used to create author Jane Morgan’s written works, the article “Lee de Forest: The Boy Inventor Who Changed the World” (1962) and the book Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years (Palo Alto, CA: National Press Books, 1967).
Morgan's interest in the history of electronics was brought on by learning of de Forest's invention of the Audion and that, despite major contributions to electronics, de Forest was no longer a well-known figure. In 1962, Morgan wrote a biography of de Forest that was published as a serial article in the "Trails for Juniors" periodical. This article, coupled with her husband's profession as an engineer, inspired Morgan to learn more about the men who pioneered the field of electronics. Working with the Perham Foundation (an organization based in Los Altos, California, dedicated to promoting the history of electronics), Morgan undertook a project to document the history of electronics in the western United States. This project eventually became the book Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years.
Published in 1967, Electronics in the West was commissioned by the Santa Clara County (Calif.) Office of Education to serve as an educational text for high school students. Due to the high quality of Morgan's research, the book's audience has been much larger. It discusses the history of electronic discoveries and developments that took place in the San Francisco Bay Area from 1898 through the mid-1960s. Morgan profiles the men who pioneered the establishment of the electronics industry, particularly in California, and their accomplishments. Subjects covered in the book include wireless telegraphy, radio broadcasting and equipment, sound amplification, television transmission, electronics measuring instruments, sound recording, and the early years of computers. In the years after the initial release of the book, Morgan planned to release another edition with an epilogue and updated information. Several series in her papers, especially the "Reference Files," reflect this effort in that they contain relevant subject information collected after the book was published. Though an attempt to update the book was made in the mid-1970s and again in the early 1990s, Electronics in the West was never republished.
The papers are divided into four series that reflect Morgan's work on Electronics in the West: The First Fifty Years, the Lee de Forest biographical article, and her personal files and photographs.
While the majority of this collection focuses on the history of electronics and other technological developments, it also includes items of personal significance to Morgan, such as letters, greeting cards, documents, photographs, and ephemera.

Indexing Terms

These and related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs.

Subjects

Morgan, Jane, 1916-2008.
De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961
Mosquini, Marie, 1899
Elwell, C.F. (Cyril Frank), 1884-1963
Farnsworth, Philo Taylor, 1906-1971
Fuller, Leonard Franklin, 1890-1987
Heintz, Ralph M., Sr.
Hewlett, William R.
Mayes, Thorn L.
Packard, David, 1912-1996
Perham, Constance
Perham, Douglas
Pratt, Haraden
Terman, Frederick Emmons, 1900-1982
Varian, Dorothy, 1907
Varian, Russell Harrison, 1898-1959
Varian, Sigurd Fergus, 1901-1961
Eitel-McCullough, Inc.
Federal Telegraph Company
Heintz and Kaufman
Hewlett-Packard Company
Varian Associates
Authors, American--California.
Inventors--California.
Electronic industries--California--San Francisco Bay Area.
Radio--History.
Wireless telegraph--History.

Genres and Forms of Materials

correspondence
clippings (information artifacts)
ephemera
research notes
photographs
manuscripts for publication
books
newsletters


Collection Contents

Box 1-7, 10-12

Series 1.  Electronics in the West 1898-1999

Physical Description: 8 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Reference files, correspondence, and other materials relating to the development of Jane Morgan's book Electronics in the West.
Box 1-6, 10, 11

Subseries 1.1  Reference Files 1898-1999

Physical Description: 7 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content

Reference files used in the development of Jane Morgan's book Electronics in the West. This subseries includes company reports, newsletters, product brochures, photographs, research notes, and news clippings. It also includes extensive interview notes from conversations conducted by Morgan with many of the pioneering men profiled in the book, as well as their family members and close friends. Morgan carried out meticulous research of these men to ensure historical accuracy, which make her notes an especially valuable resource. These items cover the topics initially featured in Morgan's book, as well as updated information and additional topics for the proposed epilogue and revision.
Box 6, 12

Subseries 1.2  Correspondence 1964-1979

Physical Description: 1 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Correspondence between Jane Morgan and various individuals and institutions in order to compile research information for the development and production of Electronics in the West. Topics include people, events, and concepts included in the book, editing and revising chapter drafts, and letters to those receiving a copy of the published book. This subseries includes the correspondence between Jane Morgan and Haraden Pratt, 1964-1969. Pratt was chief engineer of Mackey Radio and Telegraph Company, and later, vice president and general manager of International Telephone and Telegraph Company. Pratt served as an adviser to Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, and was president of the Institute of Radio Engineers (IRE). He assisted Morgan's efforts to develop Electronics in the West by serving as her historical advisor and technical consultant.
Box 7

Subseries 1.3  Book Production 1962-1970

Physical Description: 1 linear foot.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Chapter manuscripts, revisions, and publicity information for Jane Morgan's book. Also includes a full layout, proofs, and artwork.
Box 8

Series 2.  Lee de Forest Materials 1906-1993

Physical Description: 1 linear foot.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Articles and research notes containing information about the life, accomplishments, and failures of inventor Lee de Forest. These reference files were used to compile the de Forest biography written by Jane Morgan that appeared in "Trails for Juniors" magazine and the de Forest chapter of Electronics in the West. Also includes manuscripts and published copies of the biographical serial.
Box 9

Subseries 3.  Personal Files 1963-1999

Physical Description: 1 linear foot.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Personal files of Jane Morgan. Also includes information about the Perham Foundation.
Box 9

Subseries 3.1  Personal Information 1963-1999

Physical Description: .5 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Jane Morgan's letters, greeting cards, ephemera, manuscripts, and other information of personal significance, including a friendly correspondence with Marie Mosquini de Forest (widow of Lee de Forest), and other items such as monthly planners and legal documents. Also included in this subseries are photographs from the 1970 historical landmark dedication ceremony for the original 1909 Pioneer Electronics Research Laboratory of Federal Telegraph Company at 913 Emerson Street in Palo Alto, California.
Box 10

Subseries 3.2  The Perham Foundation 1964-2000

Physical Description: .5 linear feet.

Series Scope and Content Summary

Meeting minutes, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and other items relating to the Perham Foundation and the development of the Foothill Electronics Museum in Los Altos Hill, California. Also contains letters, legal complaints, and newspaper articles for the subsequent lawsuit between the Perham Foundation and Foothill College regarding the lease for the Foothill facilities that housed the museum.
Box 9

Series 4.  Photographs 1950-1998

Physical Description: 1 folder

Series Scope and Content Summary

Personal photographs of Jane Morgan with family and friends.