National Museum of American History
12th, 14th & Constitution Avenue
Washington, D.C. 20560-0601
1.50 cubic feet
Papers document the work of American scientist and inventor Elmer Gates of Chevy Chase, Maryland. The papers include press clippings, magazine, photographs, correspondence, notes, diary, and writings. Gates' better known inventions include the foam fire extinguisher, an improved electric iron, a climate-controlling air conditioner, and the educational toy “Box and Blocks.” He was productive in the fields of X-ray, alloy casting, electrically operated looms, and magnetic separation devices for mining. He devised instruments for developing muscular skill; he created indoor replications of weather systems; in the late 1800s he invented an electronic music synthesizer. A 1904 Synopsis of his work listed thirty-five lines of inventive research in which results had been obtained.