Main content

Norman Freed diaries


Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts [Contact Us]3420 Walnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6206

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts. 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

Born in Russia to Michael Freed (1897-) and Freida (Fannie) Makler. The Freed family emigrated to New York in 1923 and lived in Coney Island, Brooklyn where Michael Freed was a hairdresser and beautician. Norman Freed studied engineering at the City College of New York and New York University earning a degree in mechanical engineering in 1946. He acquired his professional engineer's license in 1947. Freed had a brother Samuel (1923-) and a sister Shirley (1929-), who the family called Sheila.

Two printed diary calendars from the years 1946 and 1947 with daily entries written by Norman Freed of Brooklyn, New York. The concise entries depict the day-to-day life of Freed, his family, and friends. Norman wrote of his job as a development engineer at Schirgun Corporation, a research laboratory and gun manufacturer. He worked specifically on designing and testing firearms and discusses gun mechanisms and proof shooting. He writes of the changing company and industry and trying to obtain government contracts after World War II. Freed discusses the unionization of the engineers at the company through FACET (Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists and Technicians) and issues with management. The company adopted a new name in 1947, the Industromatic Corporation of America, but by October 1947 the company closed and Freed, along with all other employees, was given one week's notice. In addition to his work he writes of his brother Sam and sister Sheila. Sheila was married to police officer Victor Fuchs on December 14, 1947. Freed writes of taking driving lessons and buying his first car, a Dodge Sedan. He also recorded his social life. He was a member of the Krivozer Society of Brooklyn and went to meetings and events. Freed noted movies he saw and provided his opinion of the films. He went to Museum of Modern Art and attended many dances. Freed often traveled to Brighton Beach and the Rockaways in the summers. One summer Freed wrote of his vacation in Moodus, Connecticut. He attended charitable events with friends and family and often mentions the Infantile Paralysis Group. Norman Freed, seldom mentions his emotional state or feeling of events in his life, but presents an account of his days. One leaf with notes in pencil is laid in volume one.

Sold by Michael Brown Rare Books (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), 2016.

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Finding Aid Author
Donna Brandolisio
Finding Aid Date
April 2016
Access Restrictions

This codex is available for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Collection Inventory

Request to View Materials

Materials can be requested by first logging in to Aeon. Then, click on the ADD button next to any containers you wish to request. When complete, click the Request button.

Request item to view
Norman Freed diaries, 1946-1947.
Volume 2

Print, Suggest