Leo Jones Papers

Finding aid created by History San Jose Research Library staff using RecordEXPRESS
History San Jose Research Library
1661 Senter Road
San Jose, California 95112
(408) 287-2290

Descriptive Summary

Title: Leo Jones Papers
Dates: 1950-1977
Collection Number: 2003-54
Creator/Collector: Jones, Leo Hugh (1926-2002) Fargo Company Saber Industries
Extent: 7 linear feet
Online items available
Repository: History San Jose Research Library
San Jose, California 95112
Abstract: Correspondence, technical manuals, product catalogs, and photographs from Leo Jones' two businesses, Fargo Company and Saber Laboratories.
Language of Material: English


The collection is open to the public for research by appointment with the Curator of Library & Archives.

Publication Rights

Contact the Curator of Library & Archives with regard to publication or reproduction.

Preferred Citation

Leo Jones Papers. History San Jose Research Library

Acquisition Information

Originally donated by Leo Jones to the Foothill Electronics Museum. Transferred to History San Jose in 2003 as part of the Perham Collection of Early Electronics.

Biography/Administrative History

Leo Hugh Jones was born in Sioux City, Iowa in 1926 and moved with his family at a young age to Stockton, California. He attended the University of Santa Clara for 3 years then took a job selling air conditioners in 1948. Jones continued his education with extension and night classes from the University of California at Berkeley and the University of San Francisco until 1949. He never completed the requirements for a degree, instead starting up the Fargo Company in 1950 at age 24. In 1957, Jones married Helen R. Kenny. Leo Jones was an avid boat enthusiast, often inviting law enforcement and political dignitaries on his boating excursions. He was also a relentless perfectionist, as was evident in his correspondence. He was closely involved in the shaping of eavesdropping laws; engaging in a letter writing campaign, making arguments to political and law enforcement leaders and providing expert testimony to congressional committees.

Scope and Content of Collection

Correspondence, technical manuals, product catalogs, and photographs from Leo Jones' two businesses, Fargo Company and Saber Laboratories. Fargo was founded in San Francisco in 1950 to design and manufacture high-tech specialty devices for electronic surveillance and countermeasures, and sold its products exclusively to law enforcement organizations. In 1965, Jones formed Saber Laboratories to provide countermeasures equipment to businesses. The collection includes a folder of correspondence and notes from Jones' work as technical adviser to Frances Ford Coppola's movie "The Conversation," as well as letters to law makers and law enforcement officials regarding privacy legislation.

Indexing Terms

Business intelligence
Electronic surveillance
Law enforcement
San Francisco (Calif.)
manufacturers’ catalogs
technical manuals
photographic prints

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