- Collection ID:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
Bath, Patricia, Dr., 1942-2019
February 17, 2000 and March 1, 2000.
- Physical Description:
Dr. Patricia Bath was born in 1942 in New York. She conceived of the Laserphaco Probe in 1981 and patented it in 1988 (US Patent # 4,744,360 for an "Apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses"). The collection contains original and reference video footage of Dr. Bath's Innovative Lives Presentation documenting her work in the field of ophthalmology and her work creating and patenting the LaserPhaco Probe, an instrument to remove cataracts. Also included is an interview with Dr. Bath at her home in Los Angeles and an interview with her daughter, Eraka Bath and supplemental documentation assembled by Dr. Bath. The documentation includes photocopies of articles, patents, biographical sketch material, and selected publications and references to related to lasers and surgery of Dr. Bath
Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection consists of 8.5 hours of original (BetaCam SP) video recordings and reference (viewing) copies (VHS) documenting the life and career of Dr. Patricia Bath. The recordings include a presentation by Dr. Bath for the Lemelson Center's Innovative Lives Program and interviews at her home and laboratory in Los Angeles. The collection also includes an interview with Dr. Bath's daughter, Eraka Bath, and copies of footage from other sources about Dr. Bath's work. Additionally, there is supplemental documentation assembled by Dr. Bath. The documentation includes photocopies of articles, patents, biographical sketch material, and selected publications and references to related to lasers and surgery of Dr. Bath.
This collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1, Original Videos, 2000
Series 2, Reference Videos, 2000
Series 3, Supplemental Documentation
Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Dr. Patricia Bath (1942-) was born in New York. She attended Charles Evans Hughes High School, Hunter College (B.A. 1964), and Howard University College of Medicine (M.D. 1968). Bath held a fellowship in ophthalmology at Columbia University (1969-1970) and an internship at New York University (1970-1973) where she was the first African American resident in ophthalmology. Dr. Bath later joined the faculty of UCLA and Charles R. Drew University in surgery and ophthalmology and later the Department of Ophthalmology at UCLA's Jules Stein Eye Institute. In 1976, Dr. Bath and other colleagues formed the American Institute for the Prevention of Blindness (AIPB). Dr. Bath conceived of the Laserphaco, an instrument to remove cataracts in 1981. She received US patent #4,744,360 for an "Apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses" on May 17, 1988. Later patents include a method and apparatus for ablating and removing cataract lenses; laser apparatus for surgery of cataractous lenses; and pulsed ultrasound method for fragmenting/emulsifying and removing cataractous lenses. Dr. Bath retired from the UCLA Medical Center in 1993 to work in telemedicine, the use of electronic communication to provide medical services to remote areas where healthcare is limited.
The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center's mission is: to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together Museum visitors and especially, school age children, and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.
The collection was transferred to the Archives Center in 2000.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of The Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on March 1, 2000. The Innovative Lives series brings Museum visitors and American inventors together to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor's product.
Existence and Location of Copies
Series 1: Original Videos, was digitized in 2014. See repository for details.
The collection was processed by Alison Oswald, November 2000; revised May 2001; February 2006; and October 2014.
Using the Collection
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.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research but the original videos are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
Dr. Patricia Bath Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution
An anatomical eye (accession # 2000.0038.01) was donated to the Division of Medicine and Science in 2000 by Dr. Patricia Bath.
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012