Guide to the John G. Vasquez papers
NMAH.AC.0942

Administrative Information

Repository Information

Archives Center, National Museum of American History, 2007

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

Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

The collection was donated by Lillia Vasquez, widow of John G. Vasquez, 2007.

Processing Information note

Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, and Adrienne Cain (intern), 2007.

Return to Table of Contents »


Summary Information

Repository
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Creator - (creator).
Vasquez, John G.
Title
John G. Vasquez papers
ID
NMAH.AC.0942
Date [inclusive]
1942-2005
Extent
1.00 Cubic feet; 5 boxes, includes photographs and prototypes
Language
English
Abstract
Papers document independent inventor John G. Vasquez. The papers include drawings, sketches, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and prototypes for two of Vasquez’s inventions.

Preferred Citation note

John Vasquez Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.

Return to Table of Contents »


Biographical/Historical note

John George Vasquez was born in Meriden, Connecticut, on February 22, 1916 to Italian immigrants, John and Sebastiana (Larosa) Vasquez of Canicattini Bagni, Sicily. In the late 1920s, John apprenticed as a barber, which became a favorite lifelong hobby. He was later recognized as a “Master Barber.” Vasquez graduated from Hartford Public High School and attended the University of Connecticut.

In 1941, Vasquez married Lillia B. Schultz (b. 1920) of Wilmington, Vermont. They raised five children of their own: John E. Vasquez, Benedict R. Vasquez, Lewis P. Vasquez, Constance I. Sullivan, and Joseph D. Vasquez. Additionally, Vasquez and his wife were foster parents to at least fifty children in the State of Connecticut. The Vasquezes lived in Hartford until 1959 when they moved to Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Vasquez had a successful career designing and tool making at Pratt & Whitney Tool and Die Company of West Hartford. While working at Pratt & Whitney, John filed his first patent for a combined ash tray, and he began recording his thoughts, dreams, ideas and inventions in pocket-size notebooks. Vasquez holds three United States patents: Combined Ash Tray and Holder for Smokers’ Articles, 1945 (#D142,753); a Multiple Compartment Handbag, 1947 (#2,429,856); and Magnetic Retainer, 1950 (#2,521,885). Vasquez completed his career as a blueprint supervisor at Pratt & Whitney with over 30 years of service. John G. Vasquez died on January 6, 2006.

Return to Table of Contents »


Scope and Contents note

The papers document the work of independent inventor John G. Vasquez and include drawings, sketches, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and a prototype of Vasquez’s invention, the Magnetic Retainer.

Series 1, Inventions and Ideas, 1942-2005, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Chronological, 1942-2005 and Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003. The majority of the inventions and ideas consist of one file folder per invention/idea and contain sketches and/or notes. Many of the inventions/ideas are signed and dated by Vasquez. The random ideas folder contains a letterhead for “John G. Vasquez, inventor, designer of practical ideas for improved living.” Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003, is comprised of numbered lists of ideas. In some instances, the lists contain small sketches.

Series 2, Notebooks, 1960s-1970s, undated, consists of fourteen 3” x 5” spiral bound notebooks maintained by Vasquez to record his thoughts, dreams, ideas and inventions. The notebooks contain statistics, facts, newspaper clippings, motivational phrases, and other data such as how much energy an appliance uses or the qualities of a “good shop man.”

Series 3, Patents, 1945-1956, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, United States Patents, 1945, 1947, and Subseries 2, Poor Man’s Patents, 1955, 1956. The patents are arranged chronologically by patent number and there is one file folder of poor man’s patents. A "poor man's patent" is when an inventor writes a description of his/her invention and mails it to themselves or someone else by regular or certified mail to protect one’s invention. Unfortunately, this method does not protect an invention.

Series 4, News clippings, 1948, 1981, contain three newspaper articles from the Hartford Daily Courant about Vasquez.

Series 5, Photographs, 1948, undated, contains three black-and-white photographs; two document Vasquez, the other features his Multiple Compartment Handbag (United States Patent #2,429,856) of 1945.

Series 6, Artifacts, 1945 and 1947, contains two prototypes: a Magnetic Retainer (United States Patent #2,521,885) 1947, and a Combined Ash Tray and Holder for Smokers’ Articles, 1945 (United States Design Patent #D142, 753).

Return to Table of Contents »


Arrangement note

Collection organized into six series.

Series 1: Inventions and Ideas, 1942-2005

Subseries 1, Chronological, 1942-2005

Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003

Series 2: Notebooks, 1960s-1970s, undated

Series 3:Patents, 1945-1956

Subseries 1, United States Patents, 1945, 1947

Subseries 2, Poor Man’s Patents, 1955, 1956

Series 4: News clippings, 1948, 1981

Series 5: Photographs, 1948, undated

Series 6: Prototypes, 1945 and 1947

Return to Table of Contents »


Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Notebooks
  • Patents--20th century
  • Photographs--20th century
  • Sketches

Subject(s)

  • Inventions
  • Inventors

Return to Table of Contents »


Collection Inventory

 Series 1: Inventions and Ideas, 1942-2005

 Subseries 1: Chronological, 1942-2005

Box Folder

Index of inventions and ideas, [undated]

1 1

Close line cleaner, 1942

1 2

Air brakes for aircraft carrier landings, 1943

1 3

Cigars equipped with mouth piece, 1943

1 4

Lawn mower sharpening rig, 1943

1 5

Revolving tie rack and step thread, 1943

1 6

Scissor sharpening clamp-flat, 1943

1 7

Telescope indicator hand, 1943

1 8

Random Idea: Not Named, 1943 January 15

1 9

Penance prayer enumerator, logs last confession dates, 1943 January 2

1 10

Dovetail measuring vernier, 1943 January 6

1 11

Double end lathe, 1943 January 20

1 12

Combination slide edge and moveable protractor, 1943 February 2

1 13

Combination slide edge and moveable protractor, 1943 March 4

1 14

Stay in file handle locking system, 1943 February 10

1 15

Mill two flutes simultaneously, 1943 February 14

1 16

Adjustable V and block gage, 1943 February 16

1 17

Alphabetical playing card games, like rummy = spell word game, poker = vowels are high cards, 1943

1 18

Vert shaper with rotating spin, 1943 February 19

1 19

Turn buckles with handle extension wrench, 1943 March 1

1 20

Thread chasers feeding radially, 1943 March 4

1 21

Typewriter-continuous line or dotted line, 1943 March 4

1 22

Smoker’s pipe with cooling handle, 1943 March 15

1 23

Transparent shoe box, 1943 March 27

1 24

Two and three grinding wheels-simultaneous, 1943 March 27

1 25

Scale end shock absorber, 1943 March 27

1 26

Crouton made from stale bread and cam for each width of tooth on back side and conveyor system in lapping, 1943 March 29

1 27

Combination clothes pants hangers and bed back rest on back side of sheet, 1944

1 28

Tent ash tray, log cabin ash tray, 1944

1 29

Compass/protractor pivot pin, 1944 February 1

1 30

Two-in-one band saw for log cutting, 1944 March 12

1 31

Hydraulic jacks folding type, 1944 March 20

1 32

Combination gear and pulley driver, 1944 March 24

1 33

Bullet shell with rifling grooves through round bore, 1944 April 14

1 34

Electricity, 1944 April 25

1 35

Rivers multi-power electric generator dams, 1944 April 26

1 36

Check net pipe tap, 1944 April 27

1 37

Grinding wheel true wheel radius dresser, 1944 April 29

1 38

Pipe plugs, pipe tobacco wrapped in cigar wrapper, 1944 November 17

1 39

Oil, grease seals, 1944 November 28

1 40

Turning tool holder, 1944 December 12

1 41

Grinding taper holes in stationary parts, 1944 December 12

1 42

The truly safe safety pins, 1945 July 24

1 43

Amendment: US Patent Office (for cabinet magnets), 1947 February 26

1 44

Random magnet idea, 1947 May 15

1 45

Liquid tight and lock screws (studs), 1948 May 20

1 46

Tobacco tippy stand, 1948 May 24

1 47

Bolt with cemented rubber and thin metal washer (anchor) studs, 1948 November 9

1 48

Mailing service-kiddie grams/kiddie mail, 1954

1 49

Hypot-scale, 1954 February 4

1 50

Air conditioner, 1954 March 8

1 51

Sander with replaceable sanding cloth mesh, 1954 May 4

1 52

Magna letter/magna word game, 1954 May 4

1 53

Magna ball game, 1954 May 5

1 54

Non-clog file, 1954 May 11

1 55

Perforated metal file/cutter, 1954 May 11

1 56

Magnetic hinge door closure, 1955 January 28

1 57

Pill pulverizer, 1955 February 18

1 58

In sequence blade, 1960 June 22

1 59

Suggestions for shavers, 1960 June 22

1 60

Solar energy calculations, 1981 February 9

1 61

“Air-Gen Scoop”, 1981 March 4

1 62

Organizing toolbox decals for drawers, 1992 June 3

1 63

Flex-Hammer-use coil spring for handle, 1996 July 22

1 64

Comments on weather, 1997

1 65

“The Lifter-Upper Cone”, 1998 October 22

1 66

Make your own “instant” pension, 1999 April 11

1 67

Deck library stand, 2001

1 68

Lightweight arthritic helper tools, 2003

1 69

Multi-tool, 2004 August 3

1 70

Idea: the hidden saw tool handle, 2004 September 19

1 71

Potato holder when peeling a potato (attach to countertops or sinks), 2004 November

1 72

6” x12” mirror to rearview; steam cookers for home; sock stretcher; Velcro replacement, 2004-2005

1 73

The single golf club with moveable weight on the shaft, 2005 October 5

1 74

3 and 4 sided picture frames, 2005 October 23

1 75

Idea: “Angular Carpenter’s Square”, undated

1 76

Idea: combination=screwdriver, file, scissors, undated

1 77

Idea: combination hacksaw and file, undated

1 78

Idea: combination-A ball point pen and a nail file, undated

1 79

Idea “Flex-Hammer”, undated

1 80

Idea: “Meteor” Spring Hammer, undated

1 81

Idea: Rubber coated woodscrew, nails, undated

1 82

Random ideas, undated

1 83

 Subseries 2: Miscellaneous, 1948-2003

Box Drawer

Miscellaneous, 1948

4 2

Miscellaneous ideas, 1996

1 84

Miscellaneous ideas, 1997

1 85

Miscellaneous ideas, 1998

1 86

Miscellaneous ideas, 199

1 87

Miscellaneous ideas, 2000

1 88

Miscellaneous ideas, 2001

1 89

Miscellaneous ideas, 2002

1 90

Miscellaneous ideas, 2003

1 91

Return to Table of Contents »


 Series 2: Notebooks, 1960s-1970s, undated

Box
2
Folder
1-3

Return to Table of Contents »


 Series 3: Patents, 1945-1956

Box
4
Folder
1

 Subseries 1: United States Patents, 1945, 1947

Multiple Compartment Handbag, United States Patent #2,429,856, 1945


    Box Drawer
Mixed materials   4 1
    Box Folder
Mixed materials   1 92

Box Drawer

Magnetic Retainer, United States Patent #2,521,885, 1947

1 93

 Subseries 2: Poor Man’s Patents, 1955, 1956

Box
4
Folder
3

Return to Table of Contents »


 Series 4: : News clippings, 1948, 1981

Box
1
Folder
94

Return to Table of Contents »


 Series 5: Photographs, 1948, undated

Box
1
Folder
95

Return to Table of Contents »


 Series 6: Prototypes, 1945, 1947

Box

Combined Ash Tray and Holder for Smokers’ Articles, 1945

5

Magnetic Retainer prototype, 1947

3

Return to Table of Contents »