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Robert William Vicarey oral history materials


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.

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R.W. Vicarey began his career at age nine as an assistant to Michael Faraday. (He washed bottles and served as a handy boy.) He entered the Royal Navy when he was fourteen and was transferred to their electrical school. In 1886 he went to work for a London firm as an expert on batteries. In 1907 Vicarey came to the United States on a job for the New York Third Avenue Railway and remained. Among the project he worked on was the Baker Electric automobile. He served in Army Signal Corps during WWI and was involved in the development of the first Radio "B" storage battery. After the war Vicarey worked for U.S.L. and then joined Globe Electric Company as their Chief Chemist and later Production Superintendent.

The first typescript is dated June 26, 1950 and is a brief 2-page précis of Vicarey's career. The second typescript is dated 2-1-37 and titled My Knowledge of the Battery Industry from Experience. This is longer (3 page) document and is arranged chronologically. It is a first person account of Vicarey's work from 1867 through to 1925. There is also a third-person account titled Veteran Globe Chemist Has 67 Years Experience dated October 1, 1936. This latter piece appeared in Globe News, the company organ of Globe-Union Inc.

These are three typescripts concerning Vicarey's career used by Irving to prepare an oral history. There is also a brief written note from Vicarey to Irving and a release form signed by Vicarey.

Source of acquisition--Irving, James R. Method of acquisition--Gift ;; Date of acquisition--1988..

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