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  • Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
  • Clothing trade
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  • Gerber, H. Joseph,
  • Gerber Company
  • Audiotapes
  • BetaCam SP (videotape format).
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    Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, 1995-1996.
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    Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation (creator).
    Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, 1995-1996.
    Phy. Description: 
    2.5 cu. ft.: 9 boxes.
    Digital Reference: 
    Finding aid
    Bio / His Notes: 
    H. Joseph Gerber invented the computer-controlled fabric cutter.
    Series 1, Notes, 1995-1996: includes documentation created by Peter Liebhold in preparation for his site visits to Bruceton, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hartford, Connecticut. Includes lists of potential interviewees, questions for employees, and general notes detailing observations at each site. The H. Joseph Gerber interview file consists of a brief tape digest keyed to each of the seven microcassettes, notes from the interview, and the questions asked of Mr. Gerber. The Gerber Scientific Instrument Company file contains a video digest for only three interviews: Ed Roth, Fred Rosen, and Larry Wolfson.
    Series 2, Audio tapes (microcassettes), 1995 June: Seven Dictaphone microcassettes of oral history interviews with H. Joseph Gerber conducted by Peter Liebhold, Curator, American History Museum and Stanley Leven, Director and Secretary of Gerber Scientific Instrument Company.
    Series 3, Original Videos (BetaCam SP), 1996: 38 BetaCam SP video tapes, 19 hours.
    Series 4, Master Videos (BetaCam SP), 1996: 26 BetaCam SP tapes, 19 hours.
    Series 5, Reference videos (1/2” VHS), 1996: 26 1⁄2” VHS tapes, total 13 hours.
    Scope and Content: 
    This videohistory documents the inventor, engineers, assembly workers, operators and other technicians who worked with the Gerber S-70 computer-controlled fabric cutter. It shows the Gerber Fabric Cutter in operation, with Peter Liebhold explaining. The Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 is part of a systematic approach to layout and cutting that has revolutionized the needle trades. This video history contains original, master, and reference videos, Dictaphone microcassettes, and tape digests and notes documenting the development, operation and use of the Gerber Fabric Cutter S-70 in three locations: H.I.S., Inc., in Bruceton, Tennessee (Chic blue jeans use of cutter); General Motors in Grand Rapids, Michigan (automotive use of the cutter); and Gerber Scientific Instrument Company in Hartford, Connecticut (Gerber corporate office and invention factory). The video footage documents H. Joseph Gerber, engineers, assembly workers, operators, and other technicians who worked with the cutter at the three locations. Footage from the Tennessee and Michigan sites provides insight into the complexity of introducing a new technology into the workplace and documents operators and managers discussing the effect of the cutter on workflow, quality, personnel, and attitudes towards the job. Footage from Connecticut documents the engineers who developed the cutter and provides valuable insight into the invention process. Collection includes oral history audio tapes, original, master, and reference videos, and notes documenting Liebhold's visits to Bruceton, Tennessee, Grand Rapids, Michigan, and Hartford, Connecticut.
    Divided into 5 series: 1) Notes, 1995-1996; 2) Audio tapes, 1995; 3) Original videos, 1996; 4) Master Videos; 5) Reference videos.
    This videohistory was created by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation with NMAH curator Peter Liebhold, Division of History of Technology. Transferred to Archives Center July 8, 1997.
    Finding aids: 
    Container List.
    Loc. of Assoc. Material: 
    The Gerber Fabric Cutter supplements the Museum's collecting effort in automation and work culture. NMAH has collected a number of small graphic computational devices and Gerber's seminal machine, the S-70 cutter.
    Related objects in Division of History and Technology; Division of Engineering; and Division of Computers, Information, and Society.
    Cite as: 
    Gerber Fabric Cutter Video Documentation, February 1995-1996, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
    Unrestricted research use of Series 3 on site, by appointment.
    All rights transferred to Museum in Deed of Gift.
    Clothing trade
    Cutting machines
    Industrial factories -- 1940-1990
    Inventions -- 1920-2000 -- United States
    Factories -- 1940-1990
    Machinery -- 1940-1990
    Automation -- 1940-1990
    Garment workers
    Work -- 1940-1990
    Fabric cutters -- 1940-1990
    Computerized instruments -- 1940-1990
    Inventors -- 1940-1990
    Subject - Geographical: 
    Grand Rapids (Mich.)
    Michigan -- 20th century
    Grand Rapids (Mich.)
    Connecticut -- 20th century
    Gerber, H. Joseph, 1924-1996 (inventor).
    Gerber Company
    Form / Genre: 
    Audiotapes -- 1950-2000.
    BetaCam SP (videotape format).
    Videotapes -- 1990-2000
    VHS (videotape format)
    Repository Loc: 
    Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of American History : Archives Center. P.O. Box 37012, Suite 1100, MRC 601, Constitution Ave., between 12th and 14th Sts., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20013-7012. Call 202-633-3270 for appointment.
    Local Number: 
    1997.3157 (NMAH Acc.)
    Liebhold, Peter (creator).
    Item Information
    RepositoryCall No. 
    Archives Center at American HistoryACNMAH 0609Add Copy to MyList

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