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.
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 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
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).