Guide to the John G. Vasquez papers
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0942
Creators:
Vasquez, John G.
Dates:
1942 - 2005
Languages:
English
Physical Description:
1 Cubic Feet
5 boxes
Repository:
Papers document independent inventor John G. Vasquez. The papers include drawings, sketches, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and prototypes for two of Vasquez's inventions.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
The papers document the work of independent inventor John G. Vasquez and include drawings, sketches, correspondence, notebooks, photographs, and a prototype of Vasquez's invention, the Magnetic Retainer.
Series 1, Inventions and Ideas, 1942-2005, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, Chronological, 1942-2005 and Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003. The majority of the inventions and ideas consist of one file folder per invention/idea and contain sketches and/or notes. Many of the inventions/ideas are signed and dated by Vasquez. The random ideas folder contains a letterhead for "John G. Vasquez, inventor, designer of practical ideas for improved living." Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003, is comprised of numbered lists of ideas. In some instances, the lists contain small sketches.
Series 2, Notebooks, 1960s-1970s, undated, consists of fourteen 3" x 5" spiral bound notebooks maintained by Vasquez to record his thoughts, dreams, ideas and inventions. The notebooks contain statistics, facts, newspaper clippings, motivational phrases, and other data such as how much energy an appliance uses or the qualities of a "good shop man."
Series 3, Patents, 1945-1956, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, United States Patents, 1945, 1947, and Subseries 2, Poor Man's Patents, 1955, 1956. The patents are arranged chronologically by patent number and there is one file folder of poor man's patents. A "poor man's patent" is when an inventor writes a description of his/her invention and mails it to themselves or someone else by regular or certified mail to protect one's invention. Unfortunately, this method does not protect an invention.
Series 4, News clippings, 1948, 1981, contain three newspaper articles from the Hartford Daily Courant about Vasquez.
Series 5, Photographs, 1948, undated, contains three black-and-white photographs; two document Vasquez, the other features his Multiple Compartment Handbag (United States Patent #2,429,856) of 1945.
Series 6, Artifacts, 1945 and 1947, contains two prototypes: a Magnetic Retainer (United States Patent #2,521,885) 1947, and a Combined Ash Tray and Holder for Smokers' Articles, 1945 (United States Design Patent #D142, 753).

Arrangement
Arrangement
Collection organized into six series.
Series 1: Inventions and Ideas, 1942-2005
Subseries 1, Chronological, 1942-2005
Subseries 2, Miscellaneous, 1948-2003
Series 2: Notebooks, 1960s-1970s, undated
Series 3:Patents, 1945-1956
Subseries 1, United States Patents, 1945, 1947
Subseries 2, Poor Man's Patents, 1955, 1956
Series 4: News clippings, 1948, 1981
Series 5: Photographs, 1948, undated
Series 6: Prototypes, 1945 and 1947

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
John George Vasquez was born in Meriden, Connecticut, on February 22, 1916 to Italian immigrants, John and Sebastiana (Larosa) Vasquez of Canicattini Bagni, Sicily. In the late 1920s, John apprenticed as a barber, which became a favorite lifelong hobby. He was later recognized as a "Master Barber." Vasquez graduated from Hartford Public High School and attended the University of Connecticut.
In 1941, Vasquez married Lillia B. Schultz (b. 1920) of Wilmington, Vermont. They raised five children of their own: John E. Vasquez, Benedict R. Vasquez, Lewis P. Vasquez, Constance I. Sullivan, and Joseph D. Vasquez. Additionally, Vasquez and his wife were foster parents to at least fifty children in the State of Connecticut. The Vasquezes lived in Hartford until 1959 when they moved to Rocky Hill, Connecticut. Vasquez had a successful career designing and tool making at Pratt & Whitney Tool and Die Company of West Hartford. While working at Pratt & Whitney, John filed his first patent for a combined ash tray, and he began recording his thoughts, dreams, ideas and inventions in pocket-size notebooks. Vasquez holds three United States patents: Combined Ash Tray and Holder for Smokers' Articles, 1945 (#D142,753); a Multiple Compartment Handbag, 1947 (#2,429,856); and Magnetic Retainer, 1950 (#2,521,885). Vasquez completed his career as a blueprint supervisor at Pratt & Whitney with over 30 years of service. John G. Vasquez died on January 6, 2006.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Alison Oswald, archivist, and Adrienne Cain (intern), 2007.
Author
Alison Oswald
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Lillia Vasquez, widow of John G. Vasquez, 2007.

Using the Collection
Conditions Governing Access
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
John Vasquez Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Conditions Governing Use
Reproduction restricted due to copyright or trademark. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inventions Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Inventors Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Notebooks Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Sketches Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents -- 20th century Type 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