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OVERVIEW OF THE COLLECTION

Title: James W. Queen & Company Collection

Collection Dates: 1850‑1952

Extent and Forms of Material: 3.5 cubic feet (7 boxes)

Creators: James W. Queen & Company, Leeds and Northrup Company, Queen-Gray Company, Gray Instrument Company

Abstract: James W. Queen & Company and its successors Leeds and Northrup Company, Queen-Gray Company, and Gray Instrument Company manufactured instruments for laboratory and industrial use. The collection contains catalogs, circulars, photographs, and miscellaneous publications and documents.

Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. archivescenter@si.edu 202-633-3270 www.americanhistory.si.edu/archives

Collection Number: AC0015

Processing Note: Processed by Robert S. Harding, November, 1981; revised July, 1993; revised by Kimberly Kennedy (intern), August, 2010; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.

 

INFORMATION FOR USERS OF THE COLLECTION

Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction fees may apply.

Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, James W. Queen & Company Collection, 1850-1952, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number X

 

IN-DEPTH INFORMATION ABOUT THE COLLECTION

Administrative/Biographical History:James W. Queen & Company of Philadelphia manufactured scientific instruments for laboratory and industrial use. The company was founded in 1853 by James W. Queen (1811-1890), and J.G. Gray became the president in the 1890s. The company won several awards, including the Franklin Institute’s John Scott Medal for the invention of the self-regulating aspect of their x-ray tubes. In 1912 James W. Queen & Company was reorganized into the Queen-Gray Company. After J.G. Gray’s death in 1825, it became the Gray Instrument Company. 2

Scope and Content: The collection contains catalogs, circulars, blueprints, and photographs describing equipment and supplies offered for sale by James W. Queen & Company and its successors, including the Leeds and Northrop Company, the Queen‑Gray Company, and the Gray Instrument Company.

System of Arrangement: The collection is arranged into three series.

Series 1, Catalogs and Circulars, 1896-1952
Series 2, Photographs, circa 1907
Series 3, Miscellaneous Materials, 1850-1951

Series 1, Catalogs and Circulars, 1896-1952 , consists of catalogs and circulars describing the scientific instruments sold by the James W. Queen Company, the Queen-Gray Company, the Gray Instrument Company, and the Leeds and Northrup Company. The instruments were targeted towards professionals and institutions, but were also used by hobbyists. Instruments sold included galvanometers and other electrical instruments, pneumatics, x-ray equipment, meteorological equipment, and optical instruments.

Series 2, Photographs, circa 1907, consists of photographs of the James W. Queen and Company and the Gray Instrument Company’s scientific instrument products. Some of the photographs have captions.

Series 3, Miscellaneous Materials, 1850-1951 , consists of a chemistry textbook; a history of James W. Queen and Company; a circular put out by the United States Department of Agriculture about measuring salinity with the wheat stone bridge; a description of a testing set; and some business documents, including invoices and purchase orders.

Acquisition Information: This collection was transferred from the Division of Electricity (now the Division of Work and Industry) National Museum of American History on April 13, 1983.

Related Archival Collections: AC0215, Instrument Society of America Collection, 1911-1969

Access Points:

Subject/Names:
Physical Sciences, Division of (NMAH, Smithsonian Institution)
Leeds and Northrup Company
Queen-Gray Company
Gray Instrument Company
Queen, James W. & Co.

Subject/Topical:
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Scientific apparatus and instruments industry

Form/Genre:
Photographs--1850-1900
Photographs--1900-1950
Catalogs
Books

CONTAINER LISTING

 

Box

Folder

 

 

 

Series 1, Catalogs and Circulars, 1896-1952

1

1

Queen & Company, 18 circulars 4-366, 1896-1899

 

2

Queen & Company, 7 circulars 366-454, 1898-1904

 

3

Queen & Company, 6 circulars 474-1204, 1899-1905

 

4

Queen & Company, 4 catalogs of electrical instruments for light and power stations 1-90, undated

 

5

Queen‑Gray Company 8 Bulleting E-2 E-100, undated

 

6

Queen Self Regulating X-ray tube, 1897-1898

 

7

Queen & Company, galvanometer, 1900

 

8

Queen & Company, Catalogue of Physical Apparatus for Students Use, 1901‑1902

 

9

Queen & Company, Standard X-ray apparatus, 1902

 

10

Queen & Company, physical laboratory supplies and accessories, 1903

 

11

Queen &Company, standard instruments for resistance measurements 1904

 

12

Queen & Company, Queen standard photometric apparatus 1909

 

 

 

13-14

Queen & Company, Queen-Gray Company, Gray Instrument Company, miscellaneous publications and advertisements, circa 1901

2

1

Queen & Company, catalog, undated

 

2-3

Queen & Company, catalogs 1105, undated

3

1

Queen & Company, Bulletin of Scientific Apparatus, 1907

 

2

Queen & Company, circulars, circa 1905

 

3-4

Queen & Company, catalogs, 1906

 

5

Queen & Company, catalog, undated

4

1

Queen & Company, catalog, undated

 

2

Queen & Company, catalog of chemicals, undated

 

3

Borden Electric Company catalogs, circa 1830-1839

5

1-3

Gray Instrument Company, catalogs, 1901-1952

 

4-6

Leeds and Northrop Company, catalogs and product blueprints, 1912-1927

 

 

Series 2, Photographs, circa 1907

6

1-4

Queen and Company, product line photographs, circa 1907

 

5

Queen and Company, unidentified photographs, undated

 

6

Gray Instrument Company, product line photographs, undated

 

 

Series 3, Miscellaneous Materials, 1850-1951

7

1

Fownes, George, F.R.S. Elementary Chemistry, Theoretical and Practical. Lea and Blanchard, Philadelphia, 1850

 

 

2

Queen & Company, Inc. company history and description "Fifty, Years, 1853-1903"

 

3

Wire Gauge Standards Notebook with clippings, circa 1921

 

4

Queen & Company, miscellaneous, circa 1932

 

5

Miscellaneous papers, circa 1951

 

6

Pyrovolter type instruments, undated

Charles E. Smart, The Makers Of Surveying Instruments In America Since 1700, (Troy, New York: Regal Art Press, 1962). http://www.surveyhistory.org/james_w__queen1.htm (accessed 6 August 2010).

2 Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History, “Queen,” Physical Sciences Collection- Surveying and Geodesy, http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/surveying/maker.cfm?makerid=23 (accessed 6 August 2010).

 

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Revised: September 13, 2010