Guide to the Howard Head Papers, 1926-1991
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0589
Creators:
Head, Howard, 1914-1991 (inventor, business executive)
Dates:
1926-1991
bulk 1955-1991
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
11 cubic feet
25 boxes, 1 oversize folder
Repository:

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The Head Papers, 1926-1991, consist of correspondence, calendars, notes, company records (Head Ski Company and Prince Manufacturing Inc.), drawings, sketches, advertisements, product information, photographs, and slides documenting the development and design of both the Head ski and Prince oversized tennis racket. The collection is arranged into eight series:

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is divided into eight series.
Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1926-1991
Series 2: Correspondence and Writings, 1943-1991
Series 3: Head Ski Company Records, 1943-1990
Series 4: Head Ski Company Reunion Materials, 1986
Series 5: Prince Manufacturing, Inc. Records, 1971-1991
Series 6: Historical Collection Materials, 1986-1991
Series 7: Posters, undated
Series 8; Audiovisual Materials, 1940s-1991

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Howard Head was born July 31, 1914 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He attended William Penn Charter and graduated from Harvard in 1936 with a degree in engineering. From 1939 to1947, Head worked for Glenn L. Martin Company as a riveter and engineer. He left Martin and founded the Head Ski Company in Timonium, MD in 1948. The former aircraft engineer, developed, designed, manufactured, and marketed the first metal laminate skis in 1950 called the "Head Standard" which revolutionized the ski industry. These skis were made of two layers of aluminum bonded around a core of plywood at very high pressure; the outer layer was made of plastic. By 1952, Head introduced skis with edges made of tempered steel. His skis were lighter and faster than wood and earned the nickname "cheaters" by the industry. In 1969, Head introduced a fiberglass/metal ski, but this ski combined with a diversified product line of javelin and aluminum tennis rackets could not strengthen his company nor stop a takeover by AMF in 1970. In 1968, Head formed a tennis division of Head Sports Inc., to develop a metal tennis racket which he introduced at the U.S. Open in 1969. After Head sold his interests in Head Sports Inc., he became chairman of the board for Prince Manufacturing Inc., in 1971. He decided to enlarge the width and length of the traditional tennis racket, more than doubling its "sweet spot." He developed and patented a line of new aluminum rackets and introduced the "Prince Advantage" in 1976. The Prince racket company was sold to Cheesebrough Ponds in 1982. Head, who died in 1991, revolutionized both the ski and tennis industries.

Administration
Separated Materials
Materials at the National Museum of American History
Artifacts were donated to the Division of Cultural History on May 19, 1997,and include downhill skis, ski poles, ski boots, ski bindings, cross sections of downhill skis, competition medals, Prince tennis rackets, and racket covers.
Processing Information
Collection processed by Alison Oswald, 1998.
Author
Alison L. Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Gift of Martha Head and The Howard and Martha Head Fund, Inc., May 19, 1997.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was donated to the National Museum of American History by Martha Head on May 19, 1997.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for redsearch. No reference copies of audiovisual materials available at this time.
Preferred Citation
Howard Head Papers, 1926-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Related Materials
Artifacts donated to the National Museum of American History, Division of Cultural History on May 19, 1997, include downhill skis, ski poles, ski boots, ski bindings, cross sections of downhill skis, competition medals, Prince tennis rackets, and racket covers.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Videodiscs Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tents Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tax records Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertisements Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Audio cassettes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Dictaphone cassettes Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Drawings -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inventions -- 20th century Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence -- 1930-1950 Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Philanthropists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Rackets (Sporting goods) Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sporting goods industry Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Skis and skiing Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Savalas, Telly, 1924- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Prince Manufacturing, Inc. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Ford, Gerald R., 1913-2006 Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Head Ski Company. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Francis, Arlene Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Douglas, Mike, 1925- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cosby, Bill, 1937- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Watson, Tom Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Van Patten, Dick, 1928- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tiriac, Ian Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shriver, Pam Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Shore, Dinah, 1917- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bruner, Wally, 1931- Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Budge, Dan Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Cash, Pat Personal Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives