Loy E. Barton Materials

MC 1849

Special Collections Department
University of Arkansas Libraries

365 N. McIlroy Avenue
Fayetteville, Arkansas 72701-4002
Phone: 479-575-8444
Email: specoll@uark.edu

Machine-readable finding aid encoded in EAD by Krista Jones, 2010.

Finding aid is written in English.

Table of Contents

Descriptive Summary

Barton, Loy E., 1897-1986
Loy E. Barton Materials
Inclusive Dates
MC 1849
1 linear foot (1 box)
Materials are in English.
Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries

Access Information

Please call (479) 575-8444 or email specoll@uark.edu at least two weeks in advance of your arrival to ensure availability of the materials.

Use Information

No Use Restrictions Apply.

No Interlibrary Loan.

Standard Federal Copyright Laws Apply (U.S. Title 17).

Acquisition Information

The Loy E. Barton Materials were donated to the Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries, on August 25, 2009 by Helena Barton Solomon of Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Processing Information

Processed by Jordan Frankenburger; completed in December 2009.

Preferred Form of Citation

Loy E. Barton Materials (MC 1849), Special Collections Department, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

See Special Collections Citation Guide for more detailed information on how to cite specific documents from the collection.

Biographical Note

Loy Edgar Barton was born near Miller Farm just south of Fayetteville, Washington County, Arkansas on November 7, 1897, to Henry Ruben Gaston and Mary Frances Miller Barton. Barton grew up west of Fayetteville and attended White Rock School and graduated from Fayetteville High School in 1915. After high school, Barton went to work with his Uncle in Kansas and South Dakota. In 1917, Barton returned home to Fayetteville and enrolled at the University of Arkansas. Barton was the first member of his family to attend college. Barton studied electrical engineering. While in school, Barton built his first crystal radio for himself. Additionally, Barton built a “bucking car” for the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which was a Model T Ford with weights on the back so the front would rise up when pushing hard on the gas pedal. Barton was also part of the ROTC in college, and he was sent to Infantry Officers Training School in Little Rock. When World War I ended, Barton was discharged and sent home.

Barton soon met his future wife Edith Marguerite Garrison of Fayetteville, Arkansas a few days after being discharged from the military. Due to a lack of money, Barton was unable to return to college and started a job as an auto mechanic and then in the summer of 1919 he went back to Kansas to work. Barton and Edith wrote each other every day while they were apart. In 1920, Barton returned to the University of Arkansas to finish school. During his senior year, Edith and Barton were married. The ceremony took place on November 11, 1920. In 1921 Barton graduated from the University of Arkansas and soon became an instructor for the college. Together the couple had three kids Helen, Maurice, and Robert Henry.

After graduation, Barton accepted a job with General Electric in Schenectady, New York. During that time, Barton lived in New York, while his wife and children stayed in Fayetteville. After Barton’s first year for the electrical company, the President of the University of Arkansas happened to be visiting in Schenectady and offered Barton an instructor position in the Electrical Engineering Department teaching radio. While teaching, Barton pursued his second Bachelor’s degree and built and operated the town’s first radio station. While Barton was trying to build a better station, he solved the key problem in amplification and invented the Class B Amplifier. With this invention, radios could now be heard without headphones and distortion. Radio Corporation of America (RCA) bought Barton's Class B Amplifier and hired him to work in their advance development research laboratories. The Barton family moved to New Jersey in 1929. In 1935, Barton went to work for Philco, but after a year returned to RCA.

Photography was Barton’s life-long hobby and would take half-frame 35mm pictures and develop them in his own darkroom. Barton took 16mm movie pictures of his family and friends and then took color slide pictures including stereo slides and used mostly color film after the 1960s. When WWII began Barton was “borrowed” from RCA by the Naval Research Laboratories in Washington D.C.. Barton developed sonar equipment for ships to detect submarines. After the war, the family moved to Princeton, New Jersey, where RCA built a new Research Center.

During Barton’s tenure at the Princeton Lab, he worked on the first transistors and built the first receiver to use them. One of his first models was called the “RCA Transistor Seven”. Barton built the first electronic thermometer, had it patented, and kept the prototype. Barton had over 100 patents in his name and wrote an article on amplifies for the Electronic Engineers Handbook published in 1950. Barton retired from RCA when he was 65. He did, however, continued to perform contract work for RCA for three more years. Barton and his wife later moved to Bradenton, Florida. While living in Florida, his interest in nutrition and rebuilding broken-down outboard motors and reselling them took up his time. Additionally, Barton developed a plan for the welfare system and had it printed and it was called Barton Plan. Barton promoted this booklet in newspaper articles, letters and visited congressmen.

Barton and Edith divorced in 1976, she died of kidney cancer in 1977. Barton married a woman by the name of Dorothy in 1976. They later divorced in 1978. In 1980, Barton married Josephine Fears.

Barton died from cancer November 23, 1986. He was cremated and buried in Fayetteville.

Scope and Content Note

Materials include documents, photographs, publications, and newspaper articles.

Arrangement of the Papers

Materials are arranged by topic.

Detailed Description of the Collection

The following contains a detailed list of the materials in the collection

Box 1

Box 1 Folder 1

Biographical Material, 1948-1986

Box 1 Folder 2

Loy E. Barton Patent Papers, 1935-1949

Box 1 Folder 3

Loy E. Barton Patent Papers, 1951-1965

Box 2 Folder 1

Loy E. Barton Financial Ledger

Box 2 Folder 2

Loy E. Barton Notes, n.d.

Box 2 Folder 3

Newspaper Articles, 1962-1985

Box 2 Folder 4

Loy E. Barton Publications, 1961-1968

Box 2 Folder 5

RCA Banquet Materials, 1950-1962

Box 2 Folder 6

Materials Given to Loy E. Barton, 1965-1976

Box 2 Folder 7

Photographs, 1947-1962 (Images 1-21)


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