Papers of Gabor B. Levy
Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
Gabor Bela Levy (1913-1999) was a Hungarian analytical chemist, science editor, and science essayist. Born in Budapest, Hungary on July 16, 1913, Levy attended Sample Grammar School in Budapest, which had been founded by his great-uncle in 1872, and The Technical University, Karlsruhe, Germany. With war clouds gathering in Europe and the Nazi Party firmly in control of Germany, Levy and his wife Friedel (nee Kotljar) emigrated to the United States in 1938.
After his arrival in the United States, Levy worked as a research assistant at New York University from 1938 to 1941 and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the Institutum Divi Thomae in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1953. Levy's first professional position was as an analytical chemist at Schenley Laboratories, initially working at the firm's plant in Lawrenceburg, Indiana (1942-1955). When Schenley Laboratories closed this operation, Levy was transferred to New York City. When Schenley Laboratories subsequently decided to eliminate their laboratory division in 1955, he moved to the Consumers Union, where he served as head of its chemistry division for two years.
After his stint at the Consumers Union, Levy went to work for Photovolt Corporation, where he worked his way up to vice-president and technical director. Photovolt was subsequently bought out by Bio-Science Enterprises (BSE) and Levy retired in October 1981.
Upon retiring from Photovolt, Levy embarked on a second career as a consulting editor for International Scientific Communications, Incorporated, whose publications included such titles as American Laboratory, American Biotechnology Laboratory, and International Laboratory. Levy's essays became a highly anticipated feature of these journals. He later collected and published the best of his essays in the book Views from my Underground Ivory Tower (1995).
Gabor B. Levy passed away in Connecticut in July 1999. He left behind one last posthumously published essay questioning the value of religious belief to a scientist.
Papers of Gabor B. Levy, Science History Institute Archives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The Papers of Gabor B. Levy contain the personal and professional papers of Hungarian analytical chemist, science editor, and science essayist Gabor B. Levy. The bulk of the materials in this collection relate to his later career as a science editor and science essayist. Some materials documenting his first career as an analytical chemist, including his early work with polarimeters, are also found in this collection. Also present in this collection are some materials created by members of Levy's family, including artworks by a granddaughter and the typescript of an English-language translation of his sister-in-law Elizabeth Freund's memoir, published in German in 1996, which concerns her experiences as a slave laborer in Germany during World War II.
The Papers of Gabor B. Levy are arranged into the following two series:
- Biographical Material
- Professional Career
The Papers of Gabor B. Levy were donated to the Science History Institute (formerly the Chemical Heritage Foundation) by Michael B. Levy in 2001.
The Papers of Gabor B. Levy were processed by Andrew Mangravite in December 2004.
- Science History Institute Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid created by Andrew Mangravite and encoded into EAD by Kenton G. Jaehnig.
- Finding Aid Date
- Access Restrictions
There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.
- Use Restrictions
The Science History Institute holds copyright to the Papers of Gabor B. Levy. The researcher assumes full responsibility for all copyright, property, and libel laws as they apply.
This series contains Gabor B. Levy's biographical files. It consists of biographical materials created by Levy and members of his family. The contents of this series are arranged into the following three sub-series:
- Levy Family Material
- Family Correspondence
- General Correspondence
Arranged in its original order, this sub-series contains miscellaneous materials created by and/or pertaining to Gabor B. Levy and members of his family. Its contents consist of a variety of materials, including, but not limited to, genealogical materials, notes, a notebook, correspondence, typescripts, and artwork. Of particular interest is Levy's sister-in-law Elizabeth Freund's typescript "Forced Labor for Hitler", which documents her experiences as a slave laborer in Germany during World War II.
Arranged in its original order, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's correspondence with members of his family. Its contents consist of letters and postcards.
Arranged alphabetically by name, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's general correspondence files. Its contents consist of Levy's correspondence with science colleagues.
See also Box 9 Folder 15.
See also Box 9 Folder 14 and Box 9 Folder 19.
This series contains Gabor B. Levy's professional files. The bulk of the materials in this series document Levy's second career as a science editor and science essayist. A smaller, but noticeable, amount of materials regarding his career as an analytical chemist are also present here.
This series is arranged into the following ten sub-series:
- Schenley Laboratories
- Consumers Union
- Photovolt Corporation
- International Scientific Communications, Incorporated (ISCI)
- Technical Writing
- Research Notes for Published Articles and Papers
- Published Articles
- Conference Notes
- Book Projects
- Topically Arranged Reprint Files
Arranged in its original order, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's Schenley Laboratories files. Consisting of seven files, it provides a limited amount of documentation regarding Levy's activities at Schenley Laboratories. The contents of these files consist mainly of correspondence.
This sub-series contains a single file generated during Gabor B. Levy's tenure at the Consumers Union. Its contents consist of the paper "A Note on Sampling Problems (co-authored with Irving Michelson) and accompanying correspondence.
Arranged in its original order, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's Photovolt Corporation files. These files provide some documentation of Levy's activities at Photovolt. The contents of these files consist of a variety of materials, including, but not limited to, correspondence, memoranda, article reprints, reports, and patent documents.
Arranged alphabetically by contributor, this sub-series consists of Gabor B. Levy's International Scientific Communications, Incorporated correspondence files. The contents of these files consist of correspondence between Gabor B. Levy and contributors of articles and papers submitted for publication in ISCI journals.
Arranged chronologically by year, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's technical writing files. These files provide some documentation of research and development work conducted by Levy as an analytical chemist. Scientific papers authored and co-authored by Levy make up the bulk of the materials in this sub-series. Three files concerning patents awarded to Levy are also preserved in this sub-series. A file concerning an article citing Levy's contributions as a lab assistant and a file regarding an article edited by Levy are found here as well.
See also Box 3 Folder 6.
See also Box 3 Folder 3.
See also Box 9 Folder 14 and Box 3 Folder 6.
See also Box 3 Folder 9 for more on Landenburg's relations with his co-workers.
Arranged alphabetically by subject, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's research files. These files contain the raw materials from which Levy's ISCI articles on scientific and social topics were derived. Newspaper clippings, tearsheets, and photocopied portions of books are found in these files. Notes, drafts of early versions of Levy's articles, and correspondence regarding Levy's articles are preserved in these files as well.
See also Box 18 Folder 3.
See also Box 15 Folder 13.
See also Box 13 Folder 9.
See also Box 11 Folder 11.
Consisting of sixteen folders and two binders, this sub-series contains tearsheets and photocopies of Gabor B. Levy's articles that were published in ISCI publications. The folders are arranged alphabetically and the contents of the two binders are arranged chronologically by year.
The materials in this sub-series do not represent a complete run of Levy's essays. The essays in the two binders were chosen by Levy himself.
Gabor B. Levy began his second career as a science essayist by writing a series of lengthy reviews of Pittsburgh Conference (PITTCON) scientific instrumentation conferences.
Arranged chronologically by year, this sub-series contains files regarding Levy's reviews of Pittsburgh Conferences between 1987 and 1999. The contents of these files consist of notes taken by Levy, conference handouts, trade advertisements, drafts of Levy's PITTCON articles, and tearsheets of Levy's published PITTCON articles.
Arranged in its original order, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's book project files. The bulk of the materials in this sub-series concern Views from my Underground Ivory Tower, a collection of the best of Levy's ISCI journal essays. Two files regarding Levy's proposed dictionary of bioengineering terminology, which found no takers, are also preserved here.
The contents of these files include correspondence, cover art and illustrations, publicity and reviews, and proposal materials.
Arranged alphabetically by subject, this sub-series contains Gabor B. Levy's reprint files. These files concern science topics that were of interest to Levy. Article reprints make up the bulk of the materials in these files. A few patents are also preserved here.
Includes samples of anionic and cationic membranes.
Includes sample of "Ionac MC-3470" membrane material.