Friday, July 10, 2009

Herencia bien repartida A.Atwater Kent El Filantropo Amigo

Mr. A. Atwater Kent

El Filantropo amigo.

El dinero aun posee un lugar importante en la sociedad que vivimos.
Puedes ser corrupto, feo o vulgar, pero si tienes dinero, el corrupto
puede encontrar justificacion a sus actos, el feo si tiene dinero puede
lograr la belleza, si usa, espejuelos de mil dolares, un traje de cinco
mil dolares y un lujoso auto , la socieda te vera bello. Si tienes dinero
la vulgaridad, en estos tiempos de tolerancia quizas logres camuflajear-
la. El dinero logra tolerancia. Los filantropos del presente, son incapa-
ces de dar su dinero a su semejante. Ellos prefieren darlo a un Museo,
quizas a una universidad prestigiosa, hasta han pensado donarlo a una
sociedad benefactora de perros y gatos, pero nunca lo donan a amigos
o algun grupo de personas necesitadas.
Hace sesenta años
Hace sesenta años un filantropo llamado A. Atwater
Kent , exitoso inventor dono su dinero a mas de setenta y tres amigos.
Atawater Kent repartio su fortuna de la siguiente forma. Dejo a viuda
la señora Mabel Lucas Kent 2,000.000 . Repartio a varias instituciones
caricativas y educativas la cantidad de 1, 335,000 Mr. A. Atwater Kent
cuando le llego la muerte gozaba de un ganado retiro. Mr. Kent habia
hecho su fortuna en la produccion de radios. Entre los afortunados que
estaban en el testameto estaba el famoso ventriculo Edgar Bergen quien
recibio la cantidad de $ 3,000 dolares. Green Garson y Lady Elsie Mendl
las jugosa suma de $ 10,000 . A. Atwater Kent fue una exepcion, hizo
feliz a muchos.....! claro que si !........

Welcome!!!!! Bienvenidos
El Museo de Atwater Kent en Filadelfia fundado hace 70 años sera abierto
en la primavera del 2010

The Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia (AKMP) is the gateway to city history. Founded 70 years ago as the history museum of the City of Philadelphia, students, families, metropolitan residents, national and international visitors discover the city and gain insight into contemporary urban life through exhibitions and programs. In 2009, major renovations to the historic, 1826 Museum Building are transforming exhibitions, programs, and public services.

Use these pages to learn about the renovation and the reopening in spring 2010.

Franklin Institute, engraving by Charles Burton, 1832.
The Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia (AKMP) occupies the building that first housed the Franklin Institute. The institute was founded in 1823 by Samuel Vaughn Merrick to be a school for "mechanics", today called engineers. Merrick turned to John Haviland, one of the country's foremost architects, to design a home for the school. The building in the Greek-Revival style opened for students in 1826. In 1978 the building was added to the National Register of Historic Places. The façade, loosely based upon drawings of an ancient Greek monument, remains largely unchanged. The main entrance, set in a marble surround, is approached by marble stairs that are flanked by faux-grained cast iron lamps. Other examples of Haviland's work in Philadelphia include Hamilton Hall at the University of the Arts at Broad and Pine streets and Eastern State Penitentiary in the city's Fairmount section.

Franklin Institute lecture hall, first floor, 1922.
For 109 years the building served the needs of the Franklin Institute as the organization became one of the leading research and teaching facilities for science and industry in the United States. In 1837 one of the first government-funded weather observing networks was established in Pennsylvania as a joint venture of the Franklin Institute and the American Philosophical Society. In the early 1900s the first public demonstrations of the transcontinental telephone and Eastman Kodak's color motion pictures occurred in the building. In 1933 the Franklin Institute moved to its current site in Philadelphia on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway.

A. Atwater Kent, Jr., and Frances Wistar, c. 1940.
In 1935 the City Planning Commission considered tearing the building down and using the space for a parking lot. Henry Ford, the automobile manufacturer, offered to move the façade to his museum, Greenfield Village, near Detroit, MI. In 1936 the newly elected Mayor S. Davis Wilson and Frances Wistar, president of the Philadelphia Society for the Preservation of Landmarks, asked inventor and radio pioneer A. Atwater Kent to purchase the building and create a history museum for the City of Philadelphia. Wilson and Wistar were joined in their efforts by the president of the University of Pennsylvania, the director of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania and the president of the Franklin Institute. Kent agreed, and in 1938 the building was purchased and given to the city with three conditions. It was to be dedicated to the history of Philadelphia, named for Kent and be free to the public. (In 1994 a City Ordinance allowed the museum to charge an admission fee.) On April 19, 1941, the Atwater Kent Museum was formally dedicated in ceremonies attended by the mayor and over 100 city officials. In addition to exhibition spaces the museum building includes three collection storage areas and offices for museum staff.

Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company

Unisparker, Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company, c. 1925.
The origin of the Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company dates to 1896, when a young A. Atwater Kent dropped out of Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts to start his own business in his father's machine shop. Kent manufactured and sold small electrical items. In 1902 Kent traveled to Philadelphia on a business trip and decided upon the city as the site of his new company. The Atwater Kent Manufacturing Works opened in a rented loft at 48 North Sixth Street. It manufactured electrical products including batteries and inter-communicating telephones. In 1906 Kent developed an ignition system for automobiles that integrated a series of weak sparks into a single hot spark. The Unisparker, as it was called, soon became the industry standard. The product's success caused the company to move to a larger facility in the Germantown section of the city in 1912. By the late 1910s Kent's company was exclusively making electrical parts for automobiles. During World War I, U.S. government contracts were awarded to the company to produce optical gun sights and fuse setters.

In 1921 the company received an order for 10,000 headsets. Kent realized that with some retooling his company would be in a position to capture part of the growing market for radios. In 1922 Kent produced his first radio components and in 1923 his first complete radios. By 1924 the company had outgrown its Stenton Avenue campus and moved to a new $2 million plant on Wissahickon Avenue. This plant, constructed in sections, would eventually cover 32 acres. In 1925 the Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company became the largest maker of radios in the nation. Supporting the manufacture of radios was the "Atwater Kent Hour," a program broadcast throughout the country in the mid-1920s. The show featured top entertainment and became one of the most popular and acclaimed regular radio programs of the era. In 1929 the company reached its peak performance with over 12,000 employees manufacturing nearly one million radio sets. The plant itself was an architectural sensation and received hundreds of visitors annually.

Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company, Wissahickon Avenue, c. 1930.
At this time Kent downplayed the table models for which the company was known and focused on more expensive cabinet models. But he had misjudged the buying public. By 1931 the country was in the midst of the Great Depression. Because of the general economy and competition from other manufacturers, the average cost of a radio had been reduced from a high of $128 in 1929 to $78. Those companies that concentrated on more affordable models, such as Philco, soon captured the market. With declining sales the Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company closed in 1936. When he died in 1949, Kent held 93 patents for improvements in automobile ignition systems and electronics.

A. Atwater Kent, Sr., painting by Frederick Roscher, 1933.
A. Atwater Kent was born in Vermont in 1873. He married Mabel Lucas Kent, with whom he had had four children: A. Atwater Kent, Jr., Elizabeth Kent Van Alen, Virginia Kent Catherwood and J. Prentiss Kent. A. Atwater Kent, Jr., served as president of the Atwater Kent Museum Board of Trustees from 1938 to 1983. His son, A. Atwater Kent III, continues as a member of the Board of Trustees.

Atwater Kent Radio Website Links

The ultimate Atwater Kent Radio site, this page covers everything from makes and models to advertisements. It includes a biography of A. Atwater Kent, Sr.
Showcasing an extensive private collection of antique radios, transistor radios and phonographs, the site includes a great links page.
The website for the Western Historic Radio Museum in Virginia City, Nevada, is visually engaging and includes historical information about broadcasting.
Featuring everything from links to the official "Bob and Ray" website to sound clips, this site is a clearinghouse of radio program information.

Atwater Kent Time Capsule Opened

Oct. 25, 1996, Philadelphia - by John Dilks, K2TQN (c)

Photo: Ralph Williams unsoldering capsule.
Opening the time capsule, sealed 67 years earlier by his Father and Grandfather, A. Atwater Kent III, (Click here for photo) carefully pulled the solder-sealed copper box from the large granite corner stone. After the press took their photos, the capsule was carefully carried to the front and placed upon the podium. Waiting, with the largest soldering iron this reporter has ever seen, was Ralph Williams, Atwater Kent Collector and Historian and Kent family friend. As the last of the seal was removed by Williams and the top lifted, a hissing sound of fresh air entering could be heard. Then it seemed like an eternity before the first artifact was removed.

The time capsule was dedicated, on a beautiful spring day, May 21, 1929. It was attended by city officials, business men, bankers in top hats and the Atwater Kent Family. In a film provided by Great-grandson Peter Kent, the entire dedication ceremony could be seen. After all the documents and items were placed within, the copper box was soldered shut. It was next placed on a granite slab by A. Atwater Kent with the assistance of his son, A. Atwater Kent Jr. Mortar was placed carefully around it’s base and the large hollowed-out corner stone with a large “1928” carved into it’s face was put in place, over the copper box. As the supporting chain hoist slowly lowered the heavy stone, mortar oozed out and was quickly wiped off by Kent. Workmen then slid the corner stone into place where it remained, untouched, until today.

Williams, assisted by Jeffrey R. Ray, Curator of Collections at the Atwater Kent Museum in Philadelphia, carefully put on their protective gloves, so as to not damage the artifacts. The first item removed was the dedication speech, written on index cards, in AK’s handwriting. Williams noted that several words were underlined for emphasis.

Several newspapers were next removed, starting with the Sunday May 12, 1929 Evening Bulletin. Then the Philadelphia Daily News, the Philadelphia Public Ledger, the Philadelphia Record and the Philadelphia Inquirer were removed; all dated May 21, 1929. Some of the papers faired better the others, over the time. At least one was like new, the others were in various stages of yellow and brittle.

We then heard the words we were all waiting for: “There is a radio in here,” Williams said. Tilting the box toward him, and away from the audience, Williams and Ray carefully slid the radio to the podium and placed the now empty box aside. “It’s an Atwater Kent 55,” announced Williams, “unfortunately there is no speaker in here, so we won’t be plugging it in.”
Photo: Ralph Williams with AK-55.
The lid was removed and the 55 was tilted towards the audience to display the inside. We could see the tops of several tubes and the original instruction book tucked inside it’s envelope. Williams instructed Ray to remove the book and went on to describe the model 55 set. The table-top set had ten Cunningham globe tubes, used a separate speaker and was the “peak radio [of the Atwater Kent line] of that period,” Williams said.

Concluding the ceremony Williams thanked Mr. Paul Chistolini, Regional Administrator of General Services and the General Services Administration, current owners of the building, for “the sensitive treatment they used for this event.” Chistolini went on to explain that the contents would be initially displayed in the new structure, housing the Department of Veterans Affairs located nearby. Later the artifacts would be loaned to the Atwater Kent Museum.

We were then all invited to enter the old Atwater Kent Factory building to enjoy a lunch reception.

NJARC members attending were: President Jim and Ruth Whartenby, Past-President Tony Flanagan, Vice President Ludwell Sibley - KB2EVN, John Dilks - K2TQN, Marsha and Jerry Simkin, Bill Overbeck, Mike Koste and Ted Sowirka - W3SYN. Members of the DVHRC attending were Dave Abramson, John Kern, Ralph Williams - N3VT, Paul Bohlander - W3VVS, Bob Thomas - W3QZO, William Ward - K3QWO, John Okolowicz and AWA Vice President Ron Frisbie. Other notables I was able to identify were AWA President Bill Fizette - K3ZJW, Jack Williamson - W3GC of Barker & Williamson fame, and AWA member William Denk.
Photo credit: Jeffrey Dilks - KB2CIX, 125 Warf Road, Egg Harbor Twp., N

A. Atwater Kent
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Ad for an Atwater Kent radio receiver in the Ladies' Home Journal (September, 1926)
Arthur Atwater Kent (1873–1949) was an inventor and prominent radio manufacturer based in Philadelphia. In 1921, he patented the modern form of the automobile ignition coil.
He was born December 3, 1873 to a family of moderate means. His father was a doctor who had also been a machinist, and who maintained a machine shop in Worcester, Massachusetts when Arthur was a child.[1] Kent attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in the 1890s but dropped out twice without receiving a degree. During this time the Kent Electric Manufacturing Company was launched, which created a number of small electric motors, fans, and later automobile ignition systems.[2]
In 1902 Kent set up a new company in Philadelphia, which produced an expanding range of electrical products, including early telephones, automobile horns, and further developments with electric ignition systems.[3] During World War I his factory also produced equipment for the American military, such as theodolites for artillery gunners to determine the range to their target, and a clinometer for use on rifles.[4]
In 1921 Kent produced his first radio components, selling them do-it-yourself kits consisting of "breadboards" that could be assembled by early radio enthusiasts.[5] In 1923 his firm started producing complete radio sets, using a facility on Stenton Avenue. In 1924 the company moved to a new $2 million plant at 4745 Wissahickon Avenue in North Philadelphia. This plant, constructed in sections, would eventually cover 32 acres (130,000 m2). In 1925 the Atwater Kent Manufacturing Company became the largest maker of radios in the nation. The company also sponsored the popular The Atwater Kent Hour, a top-rated radio concert music program heard on NBC and CBS from 1926 to 1934. The show featured top entertainment and became one of the most popular and acclaimed regular radio programs of the era. At its peak in 1929, the company employed over 12,000 workers manufacturing nearly one million radio sets. The plant itself was an architectural sensation and received hundreds of visitors annually.[6] By 1931 the company boasted that it had produced over three million radios.[7]
The onset of the Great Depression greatly hampered sales volumes of Atwater's premium radio sets, and the recent invention of the superheterodyne circuit meant that new firms could easily enter the market without the same level of capital investment Kent had put into his production process, which relied on heavy metal presses for the relatively large radio chassis the firm produced.[8] The firm stopped producing radios and briefly shifted to making refrigerators before Kent decided to retire and sell off the business.[9]
In 1937, Kent helped organize and pay for the restoration of the Betsy Ross House in Center City Philadelphia. In 1938, Kent helped found the Atwater Kent Museum of Philadelphia, Philadelphia's city history museum.
Kent's son-in-law, William L. Van Alen, is the founder of the United States Court Tennis Association[10]
Kent is buried at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale.

U.S. Patent 1,391,256 - Induction coil structure - 1921
U.S. Patent 1,474,152 - Induction coil - 1923
U.S. Patent 1,474,597 - Induction coil - 1923
U.S. Patent 1,569,756 - Ignition coil - 1926
U.S. Patent 1,597,901 - Radio apparatus - (Filed Nov 29, 1922; Issued Aug 31, 1926.)

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