Scope and Contents
The Harold Lyons Papers, 1935-1991, show his professional interests, especially his research from the 1950s, as manifested in published papers, presentations, reports, correspondence, laboratory results, and photographs. The bulk of the collection consists of papers and presentations of Lyons and others in the atomic physics field. Most of Lyons's work and the materials he collected address different aspects of microwave frequency.
Formats represented in the collection include published articles, typewritten and handwritten manuscripts, typewritten and handwritten personal correspondence, memorandums, photographs, diagrams, laboratory results, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings. The collection is arranged into five series.
Series 1, Biographical Information, 1955-1965; 1973, contains copies of Lyons's curriculum vitae (circa 1955, 1962, and 1971) and his entries in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in The West. This series also has two folders with materials relating to two honors he received, the Franklin Institute Certificate of Merit, in 1958, and the U.S. Department of Commerce's 25th Commemorative Award in 1973.
Series 2, Papers and Presentations, 1947-1962; 1973-1974, contains the journal articles and papers authored by Lyons and the conference and special presentations he gave during his career, most of which address research for aspects of the atomic clock. Included are papers he authored published in the Journal of Applied Physics, American Scholar, Scientific American, and Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences and presentations given at the National Bureau of Standards for the anniversary of the atomic clock.
Series 3, Correspondence, 1949-1991, contains general correspondence for the years 1949-1966, 1978, 1987, and 1991, as well as correspondence with the following individuals: Dirk Brouwer, Paul Forman, Polykarp Kusch, Koichi Shimoda, Wilbert F. Snyder, Charles H. Townes, and Jerrold R. Zacharias. The bulk of this series is incoming correspondence addressed to Lyons, although he did retain some copies of outgoing correspondence.
Series 4, Research, 1947-1958; 1970-1991, contains laboratory results for deuterated ammonia (via strip chart recordings) and general cesium atomic beam experiments through calibration of magnetic fields, calculation of c-fields in the magnetic chamber, and atomic beam measurements. It also contains brief information on other research interests, such as the International Scientific Radio Union, and scattered promotional materials for natural health and electrical products. In addition, this series contains a copy of the patent granted to Lyons and Benjamin F. Husten in 1955 for the atomic clock and photographs and diagrams relating to Lyons's work on the atomic clock. Included are black and white photographs of Lyons and his colleagues with views of the clock as well as diagrams and charts included in published and unpublished work and presentations. Most of the photographs and diagrams are undated and unlabeled.
Series 5, Collected Background Research Materials, 1935-1982, contains papers and presentation materials focused on atomic physics, including papers published in journals, memoranda, technical reports, conference programs, and conference proceedings. One folder in this series has materials relating to the promotion of the atomic clock through pamphlets, speeches, papers, and one oversize item of reproduced newspaper clippings. A folder relating to a university course of lectures, most likely authored by Polykarp Kusch of Columbia University, on molecular beams is also included in this series. In addition, this series contains copies of two patents, one granted to Friedrich H. Reder in 1960 for molecular resonance devices, and the other, an Australian patent, applied for in 1958, for an invention dealing with a frequency selective method and system.