Guide to the Emil J. Simon Autobiography, and Lee de Forest Memorabilia, 1888-1963
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Guide to the Emil J. Simon Autobiography and Lee de Forest Memorabilia
Collection number: BANC MSS 72/115 z
The Bancroft Library
University of California, Berkeley
- Processed by:
- The Bancroft Library staff
- Date Completed:
- Encoded by:
- Hernán Cortés
© 1997 The Regents of the University of California. All rights reserved.
Collection Title: Emil J. Simon Autobiography, and Lee de Forest Memorabilia,
Date (inclusive): 1888-1963
Collection Number: BANC MSS 72/115 z
Simon, Emil J.
(Emil Jacob), 1888-1963.
Number of containers: 4 boxes, 1 oversize folder
Linear ft.: 2
Berkeley, California 94720-6000
Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
Abstract: Inserted in the autobiography are letters, clippings, photographs and other materials documenting his life and career as a
radio engineer and inventor. The Lee de Forest memorabilia include articles by and about the vacuum tube pioneer, letters,
clippings, Simon's reminiscences, etc., and also material relating to the de Forest pioneers.
Information for Researchers
Collection is open for research.
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.
[Identification of item], Emil J. Simon autobiography, and Lee de Forest memorabilia, BANC MSS 72/115 z, The Bancroft Library,
University of California, Berkeley.
Scope and Content
Emil Jacob Simon was born, October 25, 1888, in New York City to Sigmont and Jennie (Sampter) Simon. He attended schools in
New York and in the fall of 1905 entered Columbia University. He majored in engineering and had an active interest in wireless.
In 1906 he met Lee de Forest and in 1909 went to work for him. He stayed with de Forest's company until it failed in December
1910, and then went to work for other companies as an engineer. In 1911 he was with the National Electric Signaling Company
and from 1912 to 1915, the Wireless Improvement Company.
In 1915 he started out on his own, making radio transmitters of his own design -the Simon Quenched Spark System for wireless
transmission. In the next few years he was involved with various companies making such things as direction finders for ships
and a device for talking back and forth in a noisy airplane.
In 1920 he founded Intercity Radio Telegraph Company. It operated the first overland wireless service in the East and initiated
service between Berlin, Germany and New York. However, over the next ten years the larger domestic radio communication companies
began to push the smaller ones out of business and Intercity failed in 1930.
In 1932 Simon conceived and began development of a direction finder which he called the "Simon Radioguide". In 1934 he incorporated
the Radio Navigation Instrument Corporation in order to market it and other radio devices. The Radioguide became popular for
use in airplanes.
In 1948 the Radio Navigation Instrument Corporation failed and Simon became an independent consulting engineer specializing
in radio patent suits.
Over the years he had continued his friendship with his former employer, Lee de Forest, and became an active charter member
of the De Forest Pioneers.
He died in New York in 1963.
The Simon Collection came to The Bancroft Library in January, 1972 as a gift of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics
Engineers. It consists of the holograph manuscript of his autobiography and related material (described in the Key to Arrangement
which follows) and letters and papers relating to Lee de Forest and the DeForest Pioneers.
Autobiography and Memorabilia
Key to Arrangement for Emil Simon
Holograph ms. and, inserted in it, correspondence, newspaper clippings, citations to articles in newspapers, photographs,
legal agreements and contracts, patents, brochures, magazine articles, blueprints, deeds, and certificates, documenting Simon's
early life; his career as a radio engineer, inventor and president of the Intercity Radio and Telegraph Company and Radio
Navigation Instrument Corporation, Inc.; and his interests in amateur radio, radio history, stamp collecting and automobiles.
Originally in nine looseleaf binders, with a chronological arrangement. The material has been removed from the binders and
placed in folders, with the original order retained and the folders marked with the former volume numbers. Some blueprints
have been placed in an oversize folder.
Letters written by Lee de Forest (two folders)
Letters written by Marie de Forest (Mrs. Lee de Forest)
Letters written by Emil J. Simon to de Forest
Key to Arrangement for Lee de Forest
de Forest Memorabilia
Articles by and about de Forest, newspaper clippings, citations for newspaper stories, photographs, correspondence, patents,
blue-prints, booklets and Simon's reminiscences, documenting the career of Lee de Forest and his various companies. Arranged
chronologically. Included in the correspondence are:
Copy of a letter, Mar 16, 1956, from Dwight David Eisenhower to de Forest.
Copies of letters, Sept 5, 1903 to the Secretary of the Navy; and Jan. 29, 1932 to S. M. Kinter from Reginald Aburey Fessenden.
De Forest Pioneers
Membership lists, correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, copies of speeches, programs and news releases concerning
the activities and organization of the society.
De Forest Radio Company (brochure)
Veteran Wireless Operators Association - Yearbooks, Notices of Meetings and other miscellaneous material.
Correspondence re Emil Simon and Lee De Forest
Partial List of Correspondents to Emil Jacob Simon
Bailey, George William, 1887-
Letter, May 23, 1955; and copy of letter, May 26, 1955, to him in v. IX, part 2.
Basset, Preston Rogers, 1892-
Letter, Dec 28, 1951; and copy of letter, Dec 20, 1951, to him in v. IX, part 1.
Damon, Ralph Shepard, 1897-
Copy of a letter, Nov 23, 1948, to him in v. VIII, part 2.
Letter, Nov 23, 1953 and copies of letters, June 18, 1951, June 20, 1951, Apr. 24, 1954, Apr. 25, 1954, May 11, 1954, May 12, 1954, May 17, 1954 and May 24, 1954 in v. IX, part 1; and letter Feb. 21, 1952 to de Forest in v. II, part 2.
Dodge, Marcellus Hartley, 1881-
Letter, Oct. 3, 1951, in v. IX, part 1.
Letter, June 24, 1957, in v. IX, part 3; and copies of letters to him dated Aug. 29, 1951 in v. IX, part 1.
Dunning, John Ray, 1907-1975
Letter, Sept 25, 1951, in v. IX, part 1.
Eisenhower, Dwight David, 1890-1969
Copy of a letter, Nov 4, 1957, to him in v. IX, part 3.
Goldsmith, Alfred Norton, 1887-
2 letters, May 4, 1954 and May 7, 1954; and copy of a letter, May 11, 1954, to him in v. IX, part 1.
Goubeau, Vincent dePaul, 1898-
Letter, Jan 3, 1952, and copy of a letter, Jan. 14, 1952, to him in v. IX, part 1.
Letter, Oct 13, 1938, in v. VII, part 2.
Letter, July 12, 1943, in v. VII, part 3.
Littlewood, William, 1898-
Letter, Nov 27, 1946 (copy), in v. VIII, part 2.
Loening, Grover C., 1888-
Letter, Feb 27, 1923, in v. V, part 1.
Loughren, Arthur Vivian, 1902-
Letter, May 16, 1955, and memo, Jan. 13, 1956; and copy of a letter, Apr. 8, 1955, to him in v. IX, part 2.
Morgan, Junius Spencer, 1892-
Letter, Oct 11, 1939; and copy of a letter, Oct. 9, 1939, to him in v. VII, part 3.
Pratt, Haraden, 1891-1969
Letter, July 26, 1969 (copy) to Charles Süsskind and letter to him from Süsskind, Aug. 5, 1968, in v. IX, part 3.
Roosevelt, Franklin Delano, 1882-1945
Letter, Feb 25, 1969 (copy), inv. VII, part 3.
Copies of letters, Dec 17, 1951 and Dec 20, 1951, to him in v. IX, part 1.
Letter, Apr 13, 1951; and copy of letter to him, Apr. 4, 1951 in v. IV, part 1. Letter, June 6, 1947; and copy of letter to him, June 3, 1947, in v. VIII, part 2.
Letter, Aug. 5, 1968 to Haraden Pratt; and copy of a letter from Pratt to him, July 26, 1969, in v. IX, part 3.
Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972
Copies of letters, Apr. 6, 1951 and June 20, 1951, to him in v. IX, part 1.
Partial List of Correspondents to Lee De Forest
De Forest, Lee, 1873-1961
Copies of letters, July 20, 1959 and Dec. 19, 1960, to him.
DuMont, Allen Balcom, 1901-
Letter, Apr 20, 1962, and letter, Feb 29, 1960; and copies of letters, Mar. 1, 1960 and Nov. 19, 1960, to him.
Gernsback, Hugo, 1884-1967
Guy, Raymond Frederick, 1899-
5 letters, Jan 8, 1960, Jan 25, 1960, Feb 29, 1960, Apr 21, 1960 and Nov 29, 1960; and copies of letters, Dec. 30, 1959, Jan. 21, 1960, Mar. 30, 1960 and Dec. 19, 1960 to him.
Hogan, John Vincent Lawless, 1890-
2 letters, Feb 18, 1952 and June 18, 1952 (copies); and copy a letter, Mar. 1, 1960 to him.
Loughren, Arthur Vivian, 1902-
Copy of a letter, Mar 28, 1956.
Letters, June 25, 1956, June 25, 1956, June 26, 1956 and June 28, 1956; and copies of letters, Feb. 28, 1952, June 29, 1956 and Mar. 1, 1960, to him.