Guide to the Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Oral History
NMAH.AC.0689

Administrative Information

Repository Information

Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 2009

P.O. Box 37012
 Suite 1100, MRC 601
 Washington, D.C., 20013-7012
 Phone: 202-633-3270
 archivescenter@si.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

The collection is open for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Copies of releases on file. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. The Archives Center does not own rights to the promotional video One-Off Handcycle. Reproduction permission and fees from the Archives Center may apply.

Custodial History note

The collection was transferred from the Lemelson Center to the Archives Center in 2001.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on May 5, 2000. The Innovative Lives series brings Museum visitors and American inventors together to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor’s product.

Processing Information note

Processed by Kimberly Tarr (project archivist), December, 2009; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.

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Summary Information

Repository
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Creator
Augspurger, Mike
Creator
Cater, Anita
Creator
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Title
Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Oral History
ID
NMAH.AC.0689
Date
1998
Date
2001
Date
2000
Extent
.25 Cubic feet
Language
English
Abstract
Mike Augspurger was born in 1956 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Working with steel land titanium, he invented an all terrain rear wheel drive handcycle. Collection contains approximately eight hours of video footage documenting Augspurger discussing his life and work and a promotional video titled One-Off Handcycle.

Preferred Citation note

Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Oral History, 1998, 2000; 2001, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

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Biographical/Historical note

Mike Augspurger (1956-) was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he built, modified, and raced bicycles, motorcycles, and go-karts from a young age. He attended motorcycle mechanic school at the Indiana Institute of Technology and received his B.A. from Hampshire College in 1981. Augspurger founded Merlin Metalworks in 1987 with business partners and began using titanium to manufacture bicycle frames because of its flexibility, corrosion resistance, and lightweight nature. It was his friendship with neighbor Bob Hall, a wheelchair racing athlete, which prompted him to create an all terrain arm-powered cycle. He founded One-Off Titanium, Inc., to design, manufacture, and custom-build handcycles in 1989.

The Jermone and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center’s mission is: to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together museum visitors and, especially, school-aged children and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor’s product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.

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Scope and Contents note

This collection contains seven (7) hours of original (BetaCam SP) recordings and eight (8) hours of reference (viewing) copies documenting the life and work of Mike Augspurger, inventor of the One-Off All Terrain Handcycle. The recordings include a presentation by Augspurger for the Lemelson Center’s Innovative Lives Program. Audience participants are students from Jefferson Junior High School (Washington, D.C.), Nysmith School (Herndon, Virginia), Nicholas Orem Middle School (Hyattsville, Maryland), and Rosa Parks Middle School (Olney, Maryland). The collection also contains interviews with Leni Fried, Augspurger’s wife, and Provi Morillo, an owner of a One-Off Handcycle.

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Arrangement note

The collection is organized into three series.

Series 1, Original Videos, 2000

Series 2, Reference Videos (viewing copies), 1998; 2000

Series 3, Supplemental Documentation, 2001

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • One-Off Titanium..

Genre(s)

  • BetaCam SP (videotape format).
  • Interviews--1980-2000.
  • Oral history--1990-2000.
  • Videotapes

Subject(s)

  • Bicycle industry
  • Bicycles
  • Inventions--1980-2000
  • Inventors--20th century
  • Mountain bikes

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Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements note

Series 1, Original Videos, 2000, is stored off-site and may not be used by researchers. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs and negatives.

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Collection Inventory

 Series 1: Original Video, 2000

Box Folder

OV 689.1-7 Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, 2000 May 5

Original video cassettes

Total Running Time: 7 hours

1 OV 689.1-7

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 Series 2: Reference Videos (Viewing Copies), 2000

Box item

RV 689.1, Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation, 2000 May 5

Total Running Time: 53:41, Camera A

Anita Cater, NMAH staff, provides opening remarks for the 21st Innovative Lives program and introduces Augspurger. Discusses his early years growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and interest in go-karts, bicycles, and motorcycles. Elaborates on the evolution of mountain bicycle development, the differences between steel and titanium construction, and how he became interested in developing a handcycle. Presentation includes photographic slides as well as demonstration of handcycle. Answers questions from Jefferson Junior High School (Washington, D.C) and Nysmith School (Herndon, Virginia) students.

2 RV 689.1

RV 689.2, Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation, 2000 May 5

Total Running Time 54:02, Camera B

Same information as RV 689.1, but shot at a different angle and includes audience reaction.

2 RV 689.2

RV 689.3, Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation, 2000 May 5

Total Running Time: 1:01:32, Camera A

Anita Cater, NMAH staff, provides opening remarks for the 21st Innovative Lives program and discusses traits of inventors; introduces Augspurger. Discusses his early years growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and how his interest in racing motorcycles influenced his decision to attend motorcycle mechanic school. Outlines his early work as machine apprentice, development of his hand bicycle design, the invention process, and applying for a patent. Elaborates on the evolution of mountain bicycle development, the benefits of titanium, and how he became interested in developing a handcycle. A neighbor, Bob Hall, had won the Boston Marathon wheelchair race and Augspurger believed that he could create a better arm-powered design. Also mentions the importance of the magazine industry in marketing his product. Presentation includes photographs as well as demonstration of the custom-made handcycle. Answers questions from Nicholas Orem Middle School (Hyattsville, Maryland), and Rosa Parks Middle School (Olney, Maryland) students. Concludes with advice to students on being inventive. Still images from presentation are included at end of tape.

2 RV 689.3

RV 689.4, Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation, 2000 May 5

Total Running Time: 59:47, Camera B

Same information as RV 689.3, but shot at a different angle and includes audience reaction.

2 RV 689.4

RV 689.5, Mike Augspurger Interview, 2000 May 5

Total Running Time: 1:01:32, Camera A

Interviews with Jefferson Junior High School students discussing inventions and creativity. Questions include: what does it take to be inventive? Do you have an idea for an invention? (Multiple takes.)

2 RV 689.5

RV 689.6, Mike Augspurger Interview, 2000 May 5

Total Running Time: 1:02:33 Camera

Continuation of interview which commences on RV689.6. Augspurger discusses his relationship with his father and how he influenced his education. Reminisces about his cross-country motorcycle trip and outlines the pleasures and appeals of human-powered vehicles. Explores his initial apprehension about starting his own business. Augspurger demonstrates the handcycle outdoors and rides up a flight of stairs. (23:56)

Elementary school teacher George Tatum discusses his invention of the wave bike. Elaborates on his desire to combine his love of sailing with bicycle riding. Discusses the upright design and how it works. Demonstrates wave bike on the water. (39:47)

2 RV 689.6

RV 689.7, Mike Augspurger Interview, 2000 May 5

2 RV 689.7

RV 689.8 One-Off Hand Cycle, 1998

Total Running Time: 11:06

Produced, written, and directed by Roberta Bouchard, 1998. Content description: Promotional video in which Augspurger outlines the features of the One-Off Handcycle. Features hand cyclists Rose Winand and Terry Ball, and Paralympic Gold Medalist Chris Waddell.

2 RV 689.8

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 Series 3: Supplemental Documentation, 2001

Box Folder

Interview with Leni Fried, 2001 August 22

2 1

Interview with Provi Morillo, 2001 August 22

2 2

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