Guide to the Madison Cooper Papers
Digitized Content

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.1054
Creators:
Cooper, Madison, 1868-1946
Madison Cooper Company (Watertown, N.Y.)
Dates:
1900-1963
Languages:
English
Materials are primarily in English; some foreign patents are in German and French.
Physical Description:
0.25 Cubic feet
1 box
Repository:
Madison Cooper was an inventor and manufacturer of refrigerating systems in the early twentieth century. Cooper received several patents for his refrigeration inventions, including several refrigerating apparatuses, an air-circulating system, a process for preventing the formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces and a refrigeration train car. The collection spans 1900-1963 and includes his United States and foreign patents, his publications related to refrigeration, and a few documents and photographs related to Cooper and the Madison Cooper Company.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
Series 1, Historical background, 1900-1963, consists of biographical information about Madison Cooper. The series includes obituaries, two diagrams of optimal temperature for food storage that were produced by the Madison Cooper Company, and three photographs that show Cooper and workers in the shop and office in Watertown and the plant in Calcium.
Cooper published articles related to refrigeration and specifically to his refrigeration systems titled "Chloride of Calcium in Refrigeration," 1900, "Natural Ice Cold Storage and the Cooper Systems of Refrigeration," 1901, "Ice Refrigeration," (1902), the Madison Cooper Company publication "Cold"(1914), and "The Cooper Systems of Refrigeration," undated.
Series 2, Patents, 1900-1908, contains United States and foreign patents related to Madison Cooper.
The United States patents contain drawings and specifications of Cooper's refrigerating inventions and are arranged by patent number.
Patents include:
Refrigerating apparatus (US Patent, 11,822)
Process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces (US Patent 644,847)
Old-storage apparatus (US Patent 659,468)
Indirect air-circulating systems of cold-storage apparatus (US Patent 677,536)
Cold-storage apparatus air circulating system (US Patent 754,749)
Refrigerator cars (US Patent 881,902)
Foreign patents are arranged alphabetically by country. Patents for the process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces include:
Austria Process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces (4,075)
Canada Process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces (66,959)
Canada Improvements in indirect air circulating systems for cold storage apparatus (75,602)
Canada Improvements in refrigerating apparatus (75,636)
France Process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces (297,158)
Germany Process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces (117,943)
Great Britain Process of preventing formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces (2,840)
Also included are an assignment of letters patent related to the refrigerating apparatus (US Patent 11,822) shared with George A. Dole and a contract related to the patents for the process of preventing frost formation on refrigerating surfaces.

Arrangement
Arrangement
The collection is organized into two series.
Series 1, Historical background, 1900-1963
Series 2, Patents, 1900-1908

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Madison Cooper was an inventor and manufacturer of refrigerating systems in the early twentieth century. Born in Leray, New York, on March 19, 1868, Cooper moved as a young man to Minneapolis, Minnesota where he entered the butter and egg shipping business. He invented a cold storage system while working in the produce business. Cooper shifted careers to focus on cold storage engineering where he planned, designed and installed refrigeration systems in over 100 plants in the United States and Canada. Cooper moved the Madison Cooper Company to Watertown, New York around 1903 and in 1909, built a plant for the manufacturing of refrigerating equipment in Calcium, New York. The advent of mechanical and electric refrigeration in the 1920s superseded Cooper's system and his company dissolved in 1936, although at least one of Cooper's systems was still in operation in 1953. Cooper died on July 8, 1946 and was remembered not only for his contributions to refrigeration, but also as a horticulturist and editor and publisher of The Flower Grower.
Cooper received several patents in the United States and abroad for his refrigeration inventions, including several refrigerating apparatuses, an air-circulating system, a process for preventing the formation of frost on refrigerating surfaces and a refrigeration train car. He focused on simple and inexpensive construction that provided economic and efficient operation. Many of his inventions involved the use of a false floor that allowed cool air to flow underneath it and a perforated ceiling that released warm air. Other patents included cold air circulation within walls to cool buildings and apartments and focused on controlling temperature, humidity and air purity.

Administration
Processing Information
Processed by Cara Whiting (intern), April, 2011; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
Author
Cara Whiting
Immediate Source of Acquisition
The collection was donated by Daniel Cooper, son of Madison Cooper, in 1963.

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
The collection is open for research use.
Preferred Citation
Madison Cooper papers, 1899-1963, Archives Center, National Museum of American History

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred to the Archives Center from the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, now known as the Division of Work and Industry, 2007.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Correspondence -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Horticulturists Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Articles -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Clippings -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Photographs -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Refrigeration and refrigerating machinery Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Pamphlets -- 20th century Type Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Patents 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