Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Guide to the Rube Goldberg Papers, [ca. 1903-1960]
BANC MSS C-H 163  
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (138.05 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Collection Summary
  • Information for Researchers
  • Scope and Content
  • List of cartoonists contributing congratulatory cartoons (in Vols. 1, 2, 4, 5)

  • Collection Summary

    Collection Title: Rube Goldberg Papers,
    Date (inclusive): [ca. 1903-1960]
    Collection Number: BANC MSS C-H 163
    Origination: Goldberg, Rube, 1883-1970
    Extent: Number of containers: 4 boxes, 3 cartons, 8 volumes and 1 oversize folder
    Repository: The Bancroft Library.
    Berkeley, California 94720-6000
    Physical Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Library's online catalog.
    Abstract: Correspondence; over 5000 original drawings for comic strips and for editorial cartoons covering national political campaigns, World War II, and postwar international and domestic affairs; clippings; scrapbooks; Mss. of articles, stories and songs; books written by him; photographs; records; film; artifacts, including junior plug hat from the University of California, Class of 1904.
    Languages Represented: English

    Information for Researchers


    Collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    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.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Rube Goldberg papers, BANC MSS C-H 163, The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley.

    Material Cataloged Separately

    • Photographs have been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library (BANC PIC 1964.046-.048)
    • Volumes 1-2, 4, 5, 13, portfolios 1-55, a box of slides and drawings for How to Remove the Cotton from a Bottle of Aspirin have also been transferred to the Pictorial Collections of The Bancroft Library.

    Printed Articles by Goldberg

    "My Answer to the Question: How Did You Put It Over?" American Magazine, Mar. 1922
    "My New Passion for Modernist Art" Vanity Fair, July 1924
    "Left-handed Golf Courses: Our Greatest Need" The American Golfer, July 1924
    "It's the Little Things that Matter" Collier's, Nov. 3, 1928
    "Comics, New Style and Old" The Saturday Evening Post, Dec. 15, 1928
    "I, Rube Goldberg, Hereby Plead for Ether for Husbands, Too" Cosmopolitan, Dec. 1928
    "Rube Goldberg's Lessons in Golf" The American Golfer, Sept. 1929
    "Is College Spirit the Bunk?" College Humor, Dec. 1929
    "Rube Goldberg's First Picture" Photoplay, Dec. 1930
    "Some Call It Golf but I Call It Midget Insanity" Cosmopolitan, Jan. 1931
    "What Do You Do with Your Spare Time?" Cosmopolitan, Aug. 1931
    "The Gentle Week-end Guest" College Humor, Aug. 1931
    "The Greatest Show on Earth ... every 4 Years" Cosmopolitan, July 1932
    "Vacation Is a Necessary Evil" Cosmopolitan, Aug. 1932
    "What Do I Know After Forty" The Saturday Evening Post, Dec. 3, 1932
    "I Am Always on Time" Liberty, Mar. 23, 1935
    "One O'Clock Sunday Dinner" Esquire, Sept. 1935
    "Speed the Parting Guest" Esquire, Jan. 1936
    "We Need More Left-handed Courses" Golf, May 1939
    "Do We Play Golf for Pleasure" Golf, Winter Issue, 1939-40
    "Pretty Soft" Redbook, Oct. 1941
    "Inventions We Need in 1949" Cosmopolitan, Jan. 1949
    "On the Privilege of Being Over Sixty" The Rotarian, Oct. 1950
    "What Is Slang" Service, Oct. 1952
    "The Key to Home" Perfect Home Magazine, May 1955

    Printed Stories by Goldberg


    "Bums" McNaught's Monthly, Feb. 1926
    "Freaks" Vanity Fair, Mar. 1926
    "The Outcast" Cosmopolitan, Apr. 1928
    "How's the Market" Cosmopolitan, Sept. 1929
    "The Old Man Takes His Boy Home" Cosmopolitan, Jan. 1932
    "You Gotta Be Phony" Redbook, Mar. 1934
    "Read 'Em and Weep" American Magazine, Aug. 1935
    "Horning In" Redbook, Sept. 1935
    "Buffet Supper: Try and Get It" Good Housekeeping, Sept. 1935

    Scope and Content

    Rube Goldberg, dean of American cartoonists, was born Reuben Lucius Goldberg on July 4, 1883, in San Francisco. He began drawing at an early age, and wanted to become a cartoonist, but at his father's insistence, he studied engineering at the University of California. After graduation in 1904, he worked as an assistant in the city engineer's office, San Francisco. He quit the job in six months, however, and worked first on the San Francisco Chronicleand then the Bulletin as a sports cartoonist. In 1907 he went to New York and became sports illustrator for the Evening Mail,gradually working into wholly humorous cartoons. During the fourteen years he was with the Mail he created the comic features which brought him national fame -Boob McNutt, Foolish Questions, Mike and Ike, Life's Little Jokes, and the zany inventions which made him the wizard of gadgetry. He left the paper in 1921 and syndicated his cartoons. At the same time he tried his hand at composing songs, writing stories and articles, which appeared in magazines such as Cosmopolitan, Redbook, Good Housekeeping, Vanity Fair and Collier's. In 1938 he became editorial cartoonist for the New York Sun and in 1948 was awarded the Pulitzer prize for his cartoon, "Peace Today," which showed a blissful American family seated on top of an atomic bomb, which teetered between world control and world destruction.
    Humorist and author, as well as cartoonist, he has written a number of books, including Is There a Doctor in the House (1929), Rube Goldberg's Guide to Europe (1954), How to Remove the Cotton from a Bottle of Aspirin (1959), and I Made My Bed, by Kathy O'Farrell, as told to Rube Goldberg (1960), a spoof on the personal confession type of autobiography.
    Mr. Goldberg gave his papers to the Bancroft Library in 1964. They include some correspondence (mainly letters from famous people, fan mail and crank letters); over 5000 original drawings for comic strips and editorial cartoons, covering the period 1907-1960; clippings; scrapbooks; manuscripts of articles, stories and songs; books written by him; photographs, records and film. The collection is described in greater detail in the Key to Arrangement which follows. Mr. Goldberg did not systematically save letters, and so the correspondence represents only what escaped destruction and loss. The drawings, also, constitute only a part of his great output over the years, since Mr. Goldberg generously gave away so many of his sketches. The original of the Pulitzer prize cartoon is at the School of Journalism at Columbia University.
    Most of the photographs have been removed from the collection and catalogued seperately.

    List of cartoonists contributing congratulatory cartoons (in Vols. 1, 2, 4, 5)

    Alan, Jay Vol. 2

    Alexander F. O. Vol. 2

    Allen, Clarence Vol. 2

    Vol. 5

    Andriola, Alfred Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Archibald, Joe Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Arnold, Henri Vol. 4

    Barnes, Bob Vol. 4

    Barsotw, Jim Vol. 4

    Batchelor, Clarence D. Vol. 1

    Berndt, Walt Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Berryman, Clifford K. Vol. 1

    Biro, Charles Vol. 1

    Bishop, Daniel Vol. 1

    Bishop, Wally Vol. 1

    Blanchard, Martha Vol. 5

    Brandel, Max Vol. 4

    Branner, Martin Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Breger, Dave Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    Brown, Bo Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Bushmiller, Ernie Vol. 1

    Caniff, Milton Vol. 5

    Casson, Mel Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Cavalli, Dick Vol. 4

    Clark, George Vol. 1

    Cooper, Fred Vol. 1

    Cosser, Merrill Vol. 4

    Crandell, Bradshaw Vol. 4

    Crane, Roy Vol. 1

    d'Alessio, Gregory Vol. 2

    Davis, Phil Vol. 2

    Day, Chon Vol. 4

    Dean, Abner Vol. 2

    Di Preta, Tony Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Disney, Walt Vol. 2

    Vol. 5

    Ditzen, Walt Vol. 2

    Dodd, Ed Vol. 1

    Doerer, Tom Vol. 4

    Dorne, Al Vol. 1

    Douglas, Steve Vol. 5

    Drake, Stan Vol. 4

    Duncan, John Vol. 5

    Dunkel, Courtney Vol. 1

    Dunn, Bob Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Dyer, Bill, Vol. 2

    Ed, Carl Vol. 1

    Edson, Gus Vol. 2

    Eisner, Will Vol. 2

    Engli, Frank Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Ericson, Eric Vol. 1

    Evans, Ray Vol. 1

    Fisher, Bud Vol. 1

    Fisher, Dudley Vol. 2

    Flowers, Don Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Fogarty, Frank Vol. 2

    Vol. 5

    Foster, Hal Vol. 2

    Vol. 5

    Fredericks, Fred Vol. 4

    Frehm, Paul Vol. 4

    Freyse, Bill Vol. 4

    Gill, Tom Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Gould, Chester Vol. 2

    Graff, Mel Vol. 1

    Graham, Bill Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Gray, Harold Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Greene, Vern Vol. 5

    Haenigsen, Harry Vol. 1

    Hanlon, Lou Vol. 2

    Harman, Fred Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Hasen, Irwin Vol. 2

    Vol. 5

    Hatlo, Jimmy Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Hayle, Samuel Lucius Vol. 1

    Helfant, Art Vol. 1

    Helle, Ray Vol. 4

    Hodgins, Dick Vol. 5

    Hoffman, Pete Vol. 5

    Hogarth, Burne Vol. 2

    Holley, Lee Vol. 5

    Holman, Bill Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    Hurd, Jud Vol. 5

    Irving, Jay Vol. 2

    Ivey, Jim Vol. 5

    Johnson, Ferd Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Kaeknecht, Karl Vol. 2

    Kaye, Stan Vol. 2

    Keate, Jeff Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    Kelly, Walt Vol. 4

    Keys, Harry Vol. 2

    Klein, I. Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Kling, Ken Vol. 2

    Knight, Clayton Vol. 1
    Knight, Jack Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Kuhn, Charles Vol. 5

    Lasswell, Fred Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    Lehti, John Vol. 2

    Leonard, Lank Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    Liederman, Al Vol. 5

    Link, Stanley Vol. 2

    Lukens, Bob Vol. 4

    McArdle, Jay Vol. 1

    McClure, Darrell Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    MacGovern, Stan Vol. 2

    MacLean, Bill Vol. 2

    McManus, George Vol. 2

    Manning, Reg Vol. 1

    Vol. 5

    Mauldin, Bill Vol. 2

    Vol. 5

    Maxon, P. Vol. 2

    Messner, Elmer R. Vol. 2

    Montana, Bob Vol. 5

    Mosley, Zack Vol. 2

    Moyer, Sy Vol. 2

    Mullin, Willard Vol. 1

    Munson, Walt Vol. 2

    Musial, Joe Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Naylor, Bob Vol. 2

    Neher, Fred Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Page, Grover Vol. 1

    Pascal, Dave Vol. 5

    Patterson, Russell Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Payne, Charlie Vol. 4

    Posen, Al Vol. 2

    Robbins, Frank Vol. 1

    Robinson, Jerry Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Rogers, Boody Vol. 2

    Rose, Carl Vol. 2

    Rosen, Hy Vol. 4

    Rosen, Jack Vol. 6

    Russell, C. D. Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Scadutto, Al Vol. 4

    Schwartz, Lew Sayre Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Seibel, Fred O. Vol. 2

    Smith, Al Vol. 4

    Soglow, Otto Vol. 2

    Starr, Leonard Vol. 4

    Sterrett, Cliff Vol. 2

    Striebel, John Vol. 4

    Terry, Paul Vol. 2

    Valtmann, Ed Vol. 5

    Van Buren, R. Vol. 1

    Walker, Mort Vol. 1

    Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Walter, Jerry Vol. 2

    Waugh, Coulton Vol. 2

    Weller E. C. Vol. 1

    Wells, Peter Vol. 4

    Vol. 5

    Whitman, Bert Vol. 1

    Willare, Frank Vol. 2

    Wingert, Dick Vol. 1

    Woggon, Bill Vol. 4

    Wood, Art Vol. 4

    Yardley, Richard O. Vol. 2

    Young, Chic Vol. 2

    Vol. 4

    Young, Lyman Vol. 2

    Zaboly, Bill Vol. 2