Albert F. Murray papers
Collection Scope and Content
The dates of the bulk of the material in the collection are 1920-43. The material within the collection relates primarily to Albert F. Murray's career and includes information about his early years working on radio-controlled torpedoes and later his work with the development of television. The material related to television is one of the stronger portions of the collection and includes many photographs, patents, schematics, a chronological history of RCA-Victor, and numerous journal and newspaper articles. During WWII, Murray left his job at Philco Television to join the government. He worked primarily with the National Defense Research Committee. In this capacity he visited inventors and laboratories to study inventions and report on their potential usefulness for the military. Among the inventions investigated by Murray included radio masking tools, interference generators, and Death Ray machines. Please note that there is a folder in the Series Patents and Inventions also related to Death Ray machines.
Murray's work with the John Hays Hammond Laboratory is detailed in a series related to his work with remote controlled torpedoes. The series includes progress reports and other similar reporting tools used by Murray to describe the successes and failures of the program from 1919 to 1924. These reports include quite a bit of science as Murray describes the data gathered during testing and also the engineering methods used to overcome difficulties with design and performance.
- Murray, Albert F. (Person)
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Albert F. Murray (1894-1984) had a long engineering career in both the U.S. military and private industry, specificlally in hi-fidelity television development. Murray was born in Decatur, Alabama on June 22, 1894. Murray received bachelor degrees from Maryville College in Tennessee and from MIT and Harvard. Following his graduation from Harvard in 1918, Murray joined the Engineering Reserve Corps and served as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Army Air Service in 1918. He left formal military service in 1918, but his early professional work was on a project for the Navy and, during WWII, he worked with the National Defense Research Committee and the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Murray's engineering career began with his work in 1919 for the Hammond Radio Research Laboratory. This work culminated in 1924 with the design and operation of the first successful underwater radio controlled torpedo built for the United States Navy. Following his work for Hammond, Murray held many engineering jobs including those with the Wireless Specialty Apparatus Co., Raytheon, Jenkins Television Corporation, RCA-Victor, Co., and the Philco Television Co. As head of the Television Department at Philco, Murray conducted the first public demonstration of high-fidelity television at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia in 1937. Following his work for the government during WWII, Murray worked as an independent consulting television engineer based in Washington, D.C. Murray was a member of many engineering and honorary societies, he wrote extensively, and presented lectures about television. Many of these lectures accompanied television demonstrations. Murray died on October 9, 1984 in Washington, DC.
6 Linear Feet
Language of Materials
Collection relates primarily to Albert F. Murray's career and includes information about his early years working on radio-controlled torpedoes and later his work with the development of television. The material related to television is one of the stronger portions of the collection and includes many photographs, patents, schematics, a chronological history of RCA-Victor, and numerous journal and newspaper articles.
Organized into 16 series: Artifacts, Biographical information, Correspondence, Diary, Employment, Graphics, Maps, Miscellaneous, Patents and inventions, Presentations, Publications and writings, Phonograph records, Scrapbooks, Television, Torpedo, and Oversize.
The Albert F. Murray Papers was donated in 1984 by his widow Elizabeth Murray.
This finding aid was revised in 2022 to address harmful descriptive language. During that revision staff edited the description in the Biographic/Historical Note. Aggrandizing terms related to Murray were removed. To see the description prior to revisions, please view the previous version of the Albert F. Murray papers finding aid.
- Diaries Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Electrical engineers Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Hammond Radio Research Laboratory
- Inventions Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Maps Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Murray, Albert F.
- Philco Corporation
- Photographs Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- RCA-A Victor Company, inc.
- Radio Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Raytheon Company
- Scrapbooks Subject Source: Art & Architecture Thesaurus
- Television Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Torpedoes Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- United States. Office of Research and Development
- Washington (D.C.) Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
- Guide to the Albert F. Murray papers, 1858-1987
- Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Finding aid written in English