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Luxfer Prism Collection, 1897-c.1920

Luxfer Prism Collection,

1 of 2
Open Finding Aid

Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries
The Art Institute of Chicago

Finding Aid Published: 2003

Luxfer Prism Collection, 1897-c.1920

Accession Number: 1974.1

Electronic access to this finding aid was made possible through a grant from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.
©Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. All rights reserved.

VIEW ALL DIGITIZED OBJECTS FROM THIS COLLECTION

COLLECTION SUMMARY:
TITLE:Luxfer Prism Collection, 1897-c.1920
EXTENT:.5 linear foot (1 box)
REPOSITORY: Ryerson and Burnham Archives, Ryerson and Burnham Libraries,
The Art Institute of Chicago
111 S. Michigan Ave., Chicago, IL 60603-6110
(312) 443-7292 phone
rbarchives@artic.edu
http://www.artic.edu/aic/libraries/rbarchives/rbarchives.html
ABSTRACT:The Luxfer Prism Company, a Chicago-area manufacturer of prismatic windowpanes and fittings, was in business from c.1897 to 1920. Architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed prismatic panes for the company and illustrated some company publications. The collection contains several prisms, correspondence, slides, and patent information.
PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION:Correspondence, photocopies, a color slide and realia.
ORIGINATION: Luxfer Prism Company
ACQUISITION INFORMATION:Thomas A. Hines donated a Luxfer Prism, a slide, and a bibliography to the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1974. A. Dale Northup donated two Luxfer Prisms in 2001. The acquisition history of the remainder of portions of the collections transferred from the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries is unknown.

HISTORICAL NOTE:
The prismatic windowpane was developed to increase the amount of daylight in the interiors of the ever-larger office buildings in the late 19th century. The parallel ribs on the 4 x4 pressed-glass tiles refracted light rays far into the buildings' interiors. By the 1930s it had largely been superceded by the hollow glass block.

The Luxfer Prism Company, a Chicago-area manufacturer of prismatic windowpanes and fittings, was in business from approximately 1897 to 1920. Chicago architect Frank Lloyd Wright designed prismatic panes for the company and illustrated some company publications.

SCOPE AND CONTENT NOTE:
The small collection includes three examples of Luxfer Prisms; correspondence from Burnham Library staff seeking information on the founders of Chicago's Luxfer Prism Company and its incorporation date; a slide of a window incorporating Luxfer Prisms; a partial photocopy of Pocket Handbook of Electro-Glazed Luxfer Prisms (1898); photocopies of designs for Luxfer Prisms by Frank Lloyd Wright with patent numbers; and a bibliography on Luxfer Prisms compiled by Thomas A. Hines.

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT:
SERIES I: CORRESPONDENCE, IMAGES AND PUBLICATIONS. Arranged by document type and then chronologically; with undated item at end of each group.

SERIES II: LUXFER PRISMS.

CONTROLLED ACCESS POINTS:
This collection and other related materials may be found under the following headings in online catalogs:
Luxfer Prism Company
Window industry--Illinois--Chicago--History--Sources
Prisms
Hines, Thomas A.
Wright, Frank Lloyd, 1867-1959

ABBREVIATIONS:
AbbreviationDefinition
BOX.FFBox #, Folder #
n.d.not dated

PHYSICAL LOCATION:
The collection is housed in the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' on-site stacks.

ACCESS RESTRICTIONS:
This collection may be used by qualified readers in the Reading Room of the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries at The Art Institute of Chicago. Collections maintained on-site are available for patron use without prior arrangement or appointment. Collections maintained in off-site storage will be retrieved with advance notification; please consult the Archivist for the current retrieval schedule. For further information, consult http://www.artic.edu/aic/access/access.html

USER RESTRICTIONS:
The Art Institute of Chicago is providing access to the materials in the Libraries' collections solely for noncommercial educational and research purposes. The unauthorized use, including, but not limited to, publication of the materials without the prior written permission of the Art Institute is strictly prohibited. All inquiries regarding permission to publish should be submitted in writing to the Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago. In addition to permission from the Art Institute, permission of the copyright owner (if not the Art Institute) and/or any holder of other rights (such as publicity and/or privacy rights) may also be required for reproduction, publication, distribution, and other uses. Responsibility for making an independent legal assessment of any item and securing any necessary permissions rests with the persons desiring to publish the item. The Art Institute makes no warranties as to the accuracy of the materials or their fitness for a particular purpose.

PREFERRED CITATION:
Luxfer Prism Collection, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, The Art Institute of Chicago.

PROCESSING INFORMATION:
The collection was processed by staff of the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1990. This finding aid was revised and expanded by Mary Woolever, Art and Architecture Archivist, Ryerson and Burnham Archives, in 2003.

CUSTODIAL HISTORY:
Some documents related to the Luxfer Prism Company were transferred from the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries' Pamphlet collection to the Ryerson and Burnham Archives in 1990.

ITEM INVENTORY:
LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES I: CORRESPONDENCE, IMAGES AND PUBLICATIONS

CORRESPONDENCE:
Box.FF 1.1
Correspondence.
Regarding history of Luxfer Prism Company.
1973-1974 3

IMAGES:
Box.FF 1.2
Window composed of Luxfer Prisms, Pittsburgh, PA.
Color slide. Thomas A. Hines, photographer.
n.d. 1

PUBLICATIONS:
Box.FF 1.3
"What will be the effect?"  Architectural Reviewer (Chicago), pp. 104-109.
Photocopy.
03/31/1897 1
Box.FF 1.4
Official Gazette published by U.S. Patent Office. Patents # 27,984-28,015.
Photocopy. Selected pages, featuring designs by Frank Lloyd Wright.
12/07/1897 1
Box.FF 1.5
Crew, Henry and Olin Basquin, eds. Pocket hand-book of electro-glazed Luxfer Prisms. Chicago: Luxfer Prisms Companies.
Photocopy.
1898 1
Box.FF 1.6
Hines, Thomas. Bibliography of Luxfer Prism articles.
n.d. 1






LOCATIONCONTENTSDATESITEMS

SERIES II: LUXFER PRISMS
Box.FF 1.7
Luxfer Prism.
Gift of Thomas A. Hines.
n.d. 1
Box.FF 1.8
Luxfer Prism.
Gift of A. Dale Northup.
n.d. 1
Box.FF 1.9
Luxfer Prism.
Gift of A. Dale Northup.
n.d. 1







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