Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to The Lee and Marie de Forest Papers
View entire collection guide What's This?
Search this collection
Collection Overview
Table of contents What's This?
Papers of electronics inventor, radio and film pioneer Lee de Forest and his fourth wife, Marie Mosquini de Forest. Collection includes correspondence, manuscripts, sketches and diagrams, notebooks, patents, memoirs, patent notes and legal papers, scrapbooks, speeches, poems, photographs, and articles and other printed material, and awards, spanning from de Forest's early education at the Mount Hermon School for Boys and student days at Yale (1890s), to material collected by Marie following his death in 1961.
Few individuals better represent the vicissitudes of invention than Lee de Forest, an ambitious experimenter and inventor with more than 300 patents, but whose business ventures often failed or became embroiled in litigation. Born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, on August 26, 1873, de Forest grew up at Talladega College, where his father, Henry Swift De Forest, served as president. After attending boarding school at Mount Hermon School for Boys, de Forest enrolled at Yale's Sheffield Scientific School through the DeForest family scholarship, where he earned money from mechanical and gaming inventions, receiving his B.A. in 1896 and Ph.D. in Physics in 1899. Early in his career, de Forest adopted the use of a lower case "d" in "de Forest;" the rest of his family used an upper case "D."
28 linear feet
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. A small number of personal documents contain sensitive information and redacted versions will be used for research purposes.