Brian O’brien Papers

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Brian O'Brien papers
Creator: O'Brien, Brian, 1898-1992
Call Number: D.340
Dates: 1899-2001
Physical Description: 17 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Table of Contents:

Biographical/Historical Note
Content List
Series I: Early research and World War II, 1930-1940s
Series II: World War II classified reports, 1941-1943
Series III: World War II (non-classified) and post-war activities, 1940s-1950s
Series IV: Government research, 1940s-1970s
Subseries I: 1940s-1950s
Subseries II: 1960s
Subseries III: 1970s
Series V: Patents, 1934-1957
Series VI: Certificates, awards, mementos, etc., 1918-1990
Series VII: Family and personal, 1899-2001
Collection Overview
Title: Brian O'Brien papers
Creator: O'Brien, Brian, 1898-1992
Call Number: D.340
Dates: 1899-2001
Physical Description: 17 boxes
Language(s): Materials are in English
Repository: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester

Biographical/Historical Note
Brian O'Brien (1898-1992) was the first director of the University of Rochester's Institute of Optics, a position he held from 1938 to 1953 after serving eight years as chair of physiological optics. He married Ethel Cornelia Dickerman in 1922 and had one son, Brian O'Brien, Jr. After Ethel's death, he married Mary Nelson Firth in 1956.

O'Brien's education began at the Chicago Latin school from 1909-1915 and continued at Yale Sheffield scientific school, where he earned a Ph.B in 1918 and a Ph.D. in 1922. He took courses at Harvard and MIT as well. During his time as a research engineer with Westinghouse Electric Company from 1922 to 1923, he and colleague Joseph Slepian created the auto-valve lighting arrestor, which is still used today. This was followed by a position at the J.N. Adam Memorial Hospital in Pittsburgh where O'Brien adapted carbon arcs with cored carbons to simulate the solar spectrum and provide tuberculosis patients with sun therapy year-round. From here O'Brien was led into early research on the ozone layer and erythema caused by the sun.

O'Brien's interest in the biological effects of solar radiation continued with his arrival at the University of Rochester in 1930. He developed techniques for converting the dehydrocholesterol found in milk to Vitamin D using ultra-violet light, enabling the production of Vitamin D-fortified milk to provide much-needed nutrients for healthy bone growth in children. Since photographic materials were of such importance to his work, O'Brien was intrigued by the properties of silver halide emulsions and invented a very high-speed slit camera that later proved useful in nuclear bomb tests.

By 1940 O'Brien was well aware that the United States' entry into the world war was imminent and began to prepare the Institute of Optics for military research. He helped form the Office of Scientific Research and Development, which reported directly to the White House, and headed Section D6 of the National Defense Research Committee. The collection is particularly rich in World War II material, including documents only recently declassified by the government. O'Brien and his team were especially noted for their development of mass-produced corrector plates for Kellner-Schmidt catadioptric systems, a major aspect of wartime technology. Other devices produced by O'Brien and the Institute of Optics include the "Seebackascope" to align a dive bomber between sun and target; the "Icarascope," which reduced brightness so that an attacker coming out of sunlight would be visible; and anti-oscillation mounts for binoculars that allowed airline pilots to identify enemy planes at greater distances at night.

O'Brien left the University of Rochester for American Optical in 1953. He also returned to his earlier studies on the distribution of ozone in the stratosphere. This he did in collaboration with the high-ascent balloon missions of the National Geographic US Army Air Corps. O'Brien was also fascinated by unanswered questions about human vision, including the Stiles and Crawford Effect which observed that light entering the eye at the edges of the pupil seems to be less bright than light entering at the pupil's center. O'Brien completed his study just in time to be of assistance to Holland's A.C.S. van Heel in the production of light-transmitting glass fibers through use of a low-refractive-index cladding. This become the basis for the rapid advance of fiber optic technology from 1955 onward.

The post-war period also saw the election of O'Brien to the National Academy of Science and his participation in the Physical Sciences Division of the National Research Council. In 1966 O'Brien set up the Air Force Studies Board to advise the Systems Command on technical issues, and later formed a similar group, called the Space Projects Advisory Council, for NASA's early space programs. He continued as a consultant for NASA, the military, and various commercial interests after his retirement from American Optical in the 1970s. He continued in this capacity until shortly before his death in 1992 at age 94.

A brief biography by Brian O'Brien, Jr. and Walter Siegmund is available here.

World War (1939-1945)
Technical reports
O'Brien, Brian, 1898-1992
University of Rochester. Institute of Optics
University of Rochester -- Faculty
The Brian O'Brien papers is open for research use. Researchers are advised to contact Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation prior to visiting. Upon arrival, researchers will also be asked to fill out a registration form and provide photo identification.Use
Reproductions are made upon request but can be subject to restrictions. Permission to publish materials from the collection must currently be requested. Please note that some materials may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. For more information contact rarebks@library.rochester.eduCitation
[Item title, item date], Brian O'Brien papers, D.340, Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Administrative Information
Author: Finding aid prepared by Rare Books and Special Collections staff
Publisher: Rare Books, Special Collections, and Preservation, River Campus Libraries, University of Rochester
Rush Rhees Library
Second Floor, Room 225
Rochester, NY 14627-0055

Content List
Series I: Early research and World War II, 1930-1940s
Box 4, Folder 1Material re: Solar corona, 1930-1938
Box 4, Folder 2O'Brien and H.S. Stewart, "Instruments and techniques for continuous triangulation upon sounding-balloon", 1937
Box 4, Folder 3Lecture to the New York State Section American Physical Society on the preparation of students for college physics, 1938
Box 4, Folder 4O'Brien, "The nature of light", 1939
Box 4, Folder 5Paper on the effect of phosphorus on Vitamin D potency with Kenneth Morgareidge, 1938
Box 4, Folder 6O'Brien, H.S. Stewart, and C.J. Aronson, "An optical study of solar corona photographs of June 8, 1937", 1937
Box 4, Folder 7Finucane's formula for Kodalith film
Box 4, Folder 8O'Brien, H.S. Stewart, Jr., L.T. Steadman, and H.W. French, Jr., "Progress report on development of a procedure for the study of solar variability by ultra-violet measurements in the stratosphere", 1937
Box 4, Folder 9Balloon radio telemetering, 1938-1939
Box 4, Folder 10C.G. Abbott, "Some periodicities in solar physics and terrestrial meterology"
Box 4, Folder 11Conference on visual fatigue in Washington, DC, 1939
Box 4, Folder 12Studies and correspondence re: visual fatigue in connection with conferences, 1939-1940
Box 4, Folder 13Miscellaneous lecture notes and outlines
Box 4, Folder 14Miscellaneous drafts: Photometry and solar radiation
Box 4, Folder 15Schmidt method for making correction plates for coma-free mirrors, 1936
Box 4, Folder 16Papers on coma-free telescopes using Schmidt's techniques, 1939
Box 4, Folder 17O'Brien and E. Dickerman O'Brien, "Measurements of iris pulsation in binocular flicker by motion photography with ultraviolet illumination"
Box 4, Folder 18O'Brien, "Some biological effects of solar radiation"
Box 4, Folder 19O'Brien, "A quantitative consideration of certain biological effects of light"
Box 4, Folder 20O'Brien, "The human eye: anatomy, neurology, and physiology", 1941
Outline for Chapter III of OSA Colorimetry Report, 1941

Box 4, Folder 21O'Brien, "The mechanism of vision"
Box 4, Folder 22Miscellaneous papers: Trig functions and Zamboni piles
Box 4, Folder 23"U.S. Army Air Corps stratosphere flight of 1934 in the balloon 'Explorer'" (National Geographic Society, 1935)
Box 4, Folder 24"U.S. Army Air Corps stratosphere flight of 1935 in the balloon 'Explorer II'" (National Geographic Society, 1936)
Box 4, Folder 25"Eye fatigue in the reading of microfilm" (Committee on Scientific Aids to Learning, 1938)
Box 4, Folder 26H.M. Johnson, "Rival presuppositions concerning the nature of physiological impairment", 1939
Series II: World War II classified reports, 1941-1943
Box 1, Folder 1-2Conference on reflex sights re: Graticule design for multi-purpose application (Rush Rhees Library, July 2, 1942)
Folder 2 is a duplicate

Box 1, Folder 3Preliminary notes on use of blinding flashes in aerial combat and on protection from such flashes (Institute of Optics, March 15, 1941)
Box 1, Folder 4Preliminary estimate of character and amount of phosphor coatings required in reflector units for air, land, and water vehicle movements under blackout conditions. (Institute of Optics, May 28, 1941)
Box 1, Folder 5-6Confidential mechanical blueprints labeled "DWG #6001", October 1942
Folder 6 is a duplicate

Box 1, Folder 7-8Reflex sights (DWG 5403-A)
Folder 8 is a duplicate

Box 1, Folder 9Extension of the scotopic visibility curve to 3130A and to 8000A (Institute of Optics)
Box 1, Folder 10Extension of the scotoptic visibility curve to λ = 3130A
Box 1, Folder 11Visibility of targets at low levels of illumination
Box 1, Folder 12Astronomical reckoning (Hamlin Beach, 1941; Whiteface Mountain Observatory, 1942; Institute of Optics)
Box 1, Folder 13-14Report on a system for night landing of aircraft under conditions of blackout and radio silence (Institute of Optics, July 24, 1942)
Folder 14 is a duplicate

Box 1, Folder 15Visibility of targets at low levels of illumination (Institute of Optics)
Box 1, Folder 16Anti-oscillation mounted night sights (Institute of Optics, March 1943)
Box 1, Folder 17Report on development of aids to night vision, February 1942
Box 2, Folder 1-2Report on the development of infra-red sensitive phosphors, (developments from July to December 1941)
Folder 2 is a duplicate

Box 2, Folder 3Report on the development of infra-red sensitive phosphors (developments to July 1, 1942)
Box 2, Folder 4Report on the development of infra-red sensitive phosphors, (July 1, 1942 to December 31, 1942)
Box 2, Folder 5High efficiency partially reflecting films on glass, (February 1943)
Box 2, Folder 6Aids to night vision: special instruments, (developments to March 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 7Aids to night vision: development of optical designs, (developments to March 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 8Aids to night vision: extension of the scotopic visibility curve to 3130A and to 8000A, (developments to March 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 9Aircraft night landing III, (developments to January 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 10Aids to night vision, (developments to March 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 11Air-surface vessel identification system II and III, (developments to March 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 12The reproduction of non-spherical molds, (developments to January 1, 1943)
Box 2, Folder 13Field demonstration: Langley Field, Virginia and Norfolk, Virginia. A visual method for the identification of surface vessels from aircraft, (September 19 to December 6, 1942)
Box 2, Folder 14Report of a field demonstration held for the benefit of the Amphibious Forces in the vicinity of Solomon's Island, Virginia, (August 22-25, 1943)
Box 3, Folder 1Aids to night vision III, (developments to July 15, 1943)
Box 3, Folder 2The improvement of visibility of oscilloscope indications in strong daylight, (April 30, 1943)
Box 3, Folder 3The effect of choline hydrochloride on the terminal threshold of scotopic vision of subjects with chronic asymptomatic non-hemolytic jaundice
Box 3, Folder 4A blackout driving light II, (developments to February 1, 1943)
Box 3, Folder 5Aircraft night landing III and IV, (developments to February 1, 1943)
Box 3, Folder 6Developments of infrared telescopes utilizing infrared sensitive phosphors, (developments to June 15, 1943)
Box 3, Folder 7A blackout driving light, (developments to November 1, 1942)
Box 3, Folder 8Preliminary estimates of character and amount of phosphor coatings required in reflector units for air, land, and water vehicle movements under blackout conditions, (May 1941)
Series III: World War II (non-classified) and post-war activities, 1940s-1950s
Box 5, Folder 1W.E. Le Gros Clark, "The laminar pattern of the lateral geniculate nucleus considered in relation to coloured vision", after 1945
Box 5, Folder 2Frederick Seitz, "The basic principles of semi-conductors", 1945

Box 5, Folder 3Reports on visual fatigue, circa 1940
Box 5, Folder 4O'Brien, "A story of science in night warfare" and "Use of spectral brightness in determining the physical spectral brightness of targets", circa 1943
Box 5, Folder 5O'Brien, "Spectroscopy of atmospheric ozone", 1945
Manuscript for MIT Spectroscopy Conference

Box 5, Folder 6Correspondence with National Research Council on flight instruments, 1943
Box 5, Folder 7Correspondence and research re: use of refracted sapphire in lenses, 1944-1952
Box 5, Folder 8Contributions to the Illuminating Engineering Society's book, Physics of Light, 1946
Box 5, Folder 9Phosphorus work for Division 16
Box 5, Folder 10Correspondence with the Carnegie Institute and National Research Council, 1945-1946
Box 5, Folder 11O'Brien, "Development of infrared sensitive phosphors", 1946
Box 5, Folder 12Photographs and negatives for Science Illustrated article on high-speed cameras, 1946
Box 5, Folder 13O'Brien, "A brightness limiting phosphor telescope with selection action on the brighter portions of an image" and Gordon Milne's "Preparation of phosphor screens for the icaroscope", 1946
Box 5, Folder 14Conference on the luminescent materials at Cornell University, 1946
2 figures submitted by O'Brien and Leverenz for book, Preparation and Characteristics of Solid Luminescent Materials (Cornell Symposium)

Box 5, Folder 15Selig Hecht, "Night vision", 1942
Box 5, Folder 16Photographs wet for balloons in the Smithsonian Report, 1943
Box 5, Folder 17, 20Telephone conversations, 1944
Box 5, Folder 18National Research Council on the selection and training of aircraft pilots, 1942
Box 5, Folder 19Talks and lectures on the human eye, 1946
Box 5, Folder 21Conference on luminescent materials at Cornell University, 1946
Box 5, Folder 22US Geological survey maps
Box 5, Folder 23Milton Silverman, "The man with the invisible light", 1946
Article on O'Brien in the Saturday Evening Post

Box 5, Folder 24O'Brien, "War research and development work of the Institute of Optics", circa 1944
Box 5, Folder 25"Night vision training" (Chief of the General Staff, 1943)
Box 6, Folder 1"Dielectric Antennas", 1946
Box 6, Folder 2O'Brien, "Memorandum on the problem of science to the Armed Forces - an outline of the practical problem of coordinating advance with service efficiency", 1947
Box 6, Folder 3Correspondence with Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Company, 1948
Box 6, Folder 4M. King Hubbert, "Energy from fossil fuels", 1949
Box 6, Folder 5Niel F. Beardsley and George Greene, "Making and selling sapphire windows to infrared detecting cells", 1950
Box 6, Folder 6National Research Council Committee on Sensory Devices, 1945-1950
Box 6, Folder 7Committee on Sensory Devices - Reports on supersonic guidance systems for the blind, 1946-1947
Box 6, Folder 8Figures for series of papers published in book, Preparation and Characteristics of Solid Luminescent Materials, 1947
Box 6, Folder 9O'Brien, "A theory of the Stiles and Crawford effect" and "The Stiles and Crawford effect in polarized light", 1947
Box 6, Folder 10Skiatron Electronics and Television Corporation (patent issue with Wayne Nottingham) and Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Company, 1948-1952
Box 6, Folder 11O'Brien MIT Master Thesis, "Interferometer fringe control of motion and position", 1949
Box 6, Folder 12Federal Communications Commission re: color television broadcasting, 1949
Box 6, Folder 13Discussions and correspondence re: optical systems, 1949
Box 6, Folder 14Testimonies of Peter Goldmark and Elmer W. Engstrom re: color television and receivers, 1949-1950
Box 6, Folder 15"The relation between visual acuity and size of pupil", circa 1940s
Series IV: Government research, 1940s-1970s
Subseries I: 1940s-1950s
Box 7, Folder 1Vision Committee Working Group on Visibility at High Altitude (National Research Committee, 1952)
Box 7, Folder 2O'Brien, "Anatomy and physiology of the eye with special reference to factors affecting visual performance", 1950
Box 7, Folder 3Payne, Mager, Jerome, "Electroluminescence", 1950
Box 7, Folder 4Lecture slides, 1951
Box 7, Folder 5O'Brien, "Air to ground visibility for bomb aiming" (Navy, 1951)
Box 7, Folder 6Correspondence and research with Sverdrup & Parcel, Inc., 1948-1952
Box 7, Folder 7Illustrations of JOSA-12, 1952
Paper by O'Brien

Box 7, Folder 8H. Jerome Shafer, "A physical optic analysis of the Schlieren Method and application of the phase contrast method to aerodynamic investigations", 1950
Box 7, Folder 9Symposium on Experimental Compressible Flow, 1949
Box 7, Folder 10Wolgast, Kantrowitz, Miller, "A study of the sensitivity of a Schlieren system of high mach numbers: report to Sverdrup & Parcel" (Cornell University, 1948)
Box 7, Folder 11Office of Naval Research Solid State Advisory Panel, 1951
Box 7, Folder 12Armed Forces-NRC Vision Committee, 1950-1953
Box 7, Folder 13Personal notes on missiles, global surveillance, etc., 1957-1958
Box 8, Folder 1Personal notes on thermal imaging, 1956-1958
Box 8, Folder 2Research notes on atmospheric ozone, Explorer IV, etc., 1958
Box 8, Folder 5O'Brien, "Review of possible methods for submarine detection using visible and infrared radiation", 1958
Box 8, Folder 6O'Brien, "Visibility of a spherical satellite", 1959
Subseries II: 1960s
Box 8, Folder 7Clarence G. Conrad, "Transmission of intense electromagnetic radiation", 1963
Box 8, Folder 8"Report of the Ad Hoc Task Group on Integration of OAR [Office of Aerospace Research] and RTD [AFSC's Research and Technology Division]", 1964
Box 8, Folder 9NASA list of current advanced tasks, 1963
Box 8, Folder 10"Statement of work for the analysis of the accuracy determination of a navigation periscope" (Kollmorgen Corporation, 1961)
Box 8, Folder 11Office of Aerospace Research reports, 1969
Box 8, Folder 12"Outline of a tentative proposal two-year analytical & experimental program", 1960
Box 8, Folder 13Air Force Missile Test Center, "Abstracts of presentations to the National Academy of Sciences panel on tracking data analysis", 1963
Box 8, Folder 14V. Krasnov, "An anti-missile beam", 1962
Box 8, Folder 15Photo reconnaissance, 1963
Box 8, Folder 16National Academy of Sciences security manual - standard practice procedures, 1966
Box 8, Folder 17"Radiation weapons analysis study group report No. 4", 1963
Draft version

Box 8, Folder 18Correspondence re: Scientific Advisory Board certificate of appointment, 1960
Box 9, Folder 1"Radiation weapons analysis study group report No. 2" - radiation belt resulting from high-altitude test, 1961
Box 9, Folder 2Symposium proceedings - The artificial radiation belt, 1962
Box 9, Folder 3Range Technical Group Advisory Group, 1962-1963
Box 9, Folder 4Visits to the Air Force Missile Test Center, 1963
Box 9, Folder 5Possibilities for laser radiation weapons (reports, 1963)
Box 9, Folder 6Scientific Advisory Board reports, 1961-1962
Box 9, Folder 7Scientific Advisory Board Reconnaissance Panel, 1961-1963
Box 9, Folder 8Travel plans to Bedford, Massachusetts and Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico, 1961-1962
Box 9, Folder 9Smith-Purcell Effect re: Salisbury Patent on merger and use of generating coherent electromagnetic radiation, 1961
Box 9, Folder 10Photo reconnaissance from satellites, 1963
Box 9, Folder 11Security affairs of O'Brien and family, 1960s
Box 9, Folder 12First meeting of the Foreign Technology Division, 1962-1963
Box 9, Folder 13O'Brien, "Image forming radiation receivers for reconnaissance", 1961
Box 9, Folder 14Air Force meetings: Scientific Advisory Board, Range Technical Advisory Group, etc., 1962-1963
Box 10, Folder 1"Radiation weapons analysis study group report no. complete report, vol. II", 1962
Box 10, Folder 2General arrangement of Kollmorgen Periscope, 1961

Box 10, Folder 3Department of Defense program on materials research and development, vol. I: Summary reports of the steering committee and the review committees, 1961-1962
Box 10, Folder 5"Useful applications of Earth-oriented satellites", 1968
National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council for NASA

Box 10, Folder 6Advanced Princeton satellite reports, 1966
Box 10, Folder 12O'Brien, "Covert electro-optical rendezvous and communication between a submerged submarine and an aircraft" (RTAG, 1963)
Subseries III: 1970s
Box 10, Folder 7Standard practice procedural manual for the safeguarding of classified Defense information (Northern Industrial Services, 1974-1978)
Box 10, Folder 8Space science board (NASA, 1971)
Box 10, Folder 9"Scientific uses of the space shuttle" (Space Science Board Summer Study, 1973)
Box 10, Folder 10"Ozone data for the world", 1970
Box 10, Folder 11National Academy of Sciences News report and American Geophysical Union Journal of geophysical research, 1970-1975
Box 11, Folder 1National Research Council - Crisis in support of science, 1970
Box 11, Folder 2Air Force Systems Command data, 1974
Box 11, Folder 3Julius London and Samuel Oltmans, "Further studies of ozone and sunspots" and Pythagoras Cutchis, "Stratospheric ozone depletion and solar ultraviolet radiation on Earth", 1974
Box 11, Folder 4Homer E. Newell, "Review and assessment of the U.S. space program", 1971
Box 11, Folder 5NASA space program advisory council, 1974
Box 11, Folder 6Department of the Interior/Geological survey Earth resources observation systems program, 1971
Box 11, Folder 7Thomas H. Jukes, "Residues in meat-consumer regulations and producer problems", 1974
Box 11, Folder 8NASA moon photographs, 1976
Box 11, Folder 9"Report of a study of the 963 Class Destroyer (U)" (National Research Council/Committee on Undersea Warfare, 1971)
Box 11, Folder 10Coordination of the 963 Class Destroyer, 1971
Box 11, Folder 11O'Brien and O'Brien, Jr., "Electrical detection of asbestos and other fibers (U)", 1974
Box 11, Folder 12Structure of the National Academy of Sciences, 1974
Box 11, Folder 13NASA, 1971
Box 12, Folder 1O'Brien's statement before the Committee on Aeronautical and Space Sciences (United States Senate, 1972)
Box 12, Folder 2Industrial security manual for safeguarding classified information (Department of Defense, 1974)
Box 12, Folder 3R.E. Danielson, "High resolution imagery with the Large Space Telescope", 1972
Box 12, Folder 4Jet plume emissions symposium, 1972
Box 12, Folder 5USAF Scientific Advisory Board, 1973-1974
Box 12, Folder 6Industrial security manual for safeguarding classified information (Defense Supply Agency, 1975)
Box 12, Folder 7Correspondence from George H. Duncan, Executive Secretary of the Space Program Advisory Council, 1972
Box 12, Folder 8Aerial photograph and "Cover sheet for secret information"
Box 12, Folder 9W.P. Barnes, Jr., "Comparisons of fused silica, ULE titanium silicate, and Cer-Vit lightweight mirrors" (Optical Systems Division, 1972)
Box 12, Folder 10D.B. McKenney, G.R. Orme, L.P. Mott, "Final report - light scattering by thin film coatings" (Optical Sciences Center, 1972)
Box 12, Folder 11Post-Apollo lunar science at the California Institute of Technology, 1972
Box 12, Folder 12Correspondence from Homer E. Newell, Associate Administrator, NASA, 1972
Box 12, Folder 13Notes for talk on optical fiber technology
Box 12, Folder 14Miscellaneous security manuals, 1973-1975
Box 12, Folder 15Jerry Neuwirth, "Macular degeneration"
Series V: Patents, 1934-1957
Box 12, Folder 16Patent for coating of optical film, 1957
Box 12, Folder 17Patent for an improvement in irradiating method and apparatus, 1936
Box 12, Folder 18Patent for methods and means for determining optical characteristics of substances, 1938
Box 13, Folder 1Patent for irradiating method and apparatus, 1938
Box 13, Folder 2Frank Twyman patent affair, 1937
Box 13, Folder 3Patent for improvements in or relating to method of and apparatus for treating substances and forming film, 1934
Box 13, Folder 4Patent for improvements in or relating to method of and apparatus for separating materials, 1937
Box 13, Folder 5Patent for improvements in or relating to method of and apparatus for irradiating substances, 1934
Box 13, Folder 6Patent for methods of irradiating liquids, 1939
Box 13, Folder 7Patent for electrodes, 1938
Box 13, Folder 8Patent for electric air lamps, 1934
Box 13, Folder 9Patent payments, 1940
Series VI: Certificates, awards, mementos, etc., 1918-1990
Box 8, Folder 4UR Institute of Optics brochure, 1950s
Box 14, Folder 1Committee on Science and Astronautics appreciation of service, 1972
Box 14, Folder 2Institute of Optics picture badge
Box 14, Folder 3Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering membership certificate, 1990
Box 14, Folder 4White House invitations from First Lady Johnson to Mary O'Brien, 1964
Box 14, Folder 5Newspaper articles about O'Brien, circa 1954
Box 14, Folder 6Correspondence from USAF General W.L. Creech re: commemorative bicentennial pewter plate, 1976
Box 14, Folder 7Photographs: O'Brien receiving an award from Air Force Systems Command and the Apollo crews, circa 1973
Box 14, Folder 8Lists of recipients of the Army's Medal for Merit as of 1948 and article about O'Brien's receiving it, 1948
Box 14, Folder 9Correspondence re: Medal for Merit, 1948
Box 17, Folder 8Citation to accompany Medal for Merit, 1948
Box 14, Folder 10United States Air Force Exceptional Service Award, 1973
Box 14, Folder 11Unlabeled photograph album (scientific experiment)
Box 14, Folder 12Photographs of O'Brien and colleagues, 1980s
Box 14, Folder 13Certificates notifying O'Brien of his election to various societies, 1950s
Box 14, Folder 14"List finder" device containing phone numbers, circa 1950s-1960s
Box 14, Folder 15Apollo 16 at Descartes color booklet, 1972
Box 14, Folder 16Air Force Exceptional Civilian Service Award, 1960s
Box 14, Folder 17Certificate of Appreciation for Service in the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, 1969
Box 14, Folder 18Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, American Geophysical Union, and American Philosophical Society, 1978-1991
Box 14, Folder 19American Association for the Advancements of Science, 1991
Box 14, Folder 20Photographs re: O'Brien's Air Force work, 1966-1967
Box 14, Folder 21Certificate commissioning O'Brien as Second Lieutenant, 1925
Box 16, Object 1Public service medal
Box 16, Object 2National Academy of Science card with rosette
Box 16, Object 3Exceptional Civilian Service to the Department of the Air Force medals
Box 16, Object 4National Academy of Sciences rosettes
Box 16, Object 5Medal for Merit: rosettes, medal, ribbons, 1948
Box 16, Object 6Exceptional Civilian Service to the Department of the Air Force: rosettes and medals
Box 16, Object 7Air Force security badge, circa 1970s
Box 16, Object 8Sigma XI medals, circa 1918
Box 16, Object 9National Academy of Sciences Air Force Studies Board medal, 1974
Box 17, Folder 1Yale diplomas, 1920s
2 diplomas

Box 17, Folder 2Sigma XI membership diploma, 1918
Box 17, Folder 3National Academy of Sciences membership diploma, 1954
Box 17, Folder 4American Academy of Arts and Sciences membership diploma, 1953
Box 17, Folder 5American Philosophical Society membership diploma, 1953
Box 17, Folder 6Certificate of appointment as Chairman Emeritus of the Air Force Studies Board of the National Academy of Sciences, 1974
Box 17, Folder 7American Institute of Electrical Engineers certificate of membership
Box 17, Folder 9Ansel Adams, Creative Change (University of Rochester, 1953)
Series VII: Family and personal, 1899-2001
Box 8, Folder 3Correspondence with UR President de Kiewiet re: salary/benefits, 1952
Box 10, Folder 4Correspondence re: death of Nellie O'Brien, 1965
Box 15, Folder 1O'Brien baby portrait, 1899
Box 15, Folder 2World War I military service, 1918
Box 15, Folder 3College and early employment, including UR, 1913-1943
Box 15, Folder 4"An experimental investigation of the optical dispersion of mercury" (Ph.D. thesis, 1922) and "The dispersion of the optical constants of mercury", (1926)
Box 15, Folder 5Pennsylvania Railroad Company shares, 1930
Box 15, Folder 6Will and estate of Michael O'Brien, 1936-1939
Box 15, Folder 7Birth and marriage certificates, 1890s-1940s
Box 15, Folder 8Mary Nelson Firth (second wife)
Box 15, Folder 9O'Brien's parties and liquor collection, 1950s-1960s
Box 15, Folder 10Miscellaneous personal items, circa 1950s-1960s
Box 15, Folder 11Miscellaneous notes and letters, 1968-1971
Box 15, Folder 12Opening of the Dickerman House to the public, 1984
Box 15, Folder 13Donald H. Kelly, "Forty years of image technology and vision research", 1990
Box 15, Folder 14Sympathy letters to Mary O'Brien, 1993
Box 15, Folder 15Eulogies and obituaries, 1992
Box 15, Folder 16Norwich Bulletin issue with O'Brien obituary, July 3, 1992
Box 15, Folder 17O'Brien memorial service cassette tape, 1992
Box 15, Folder 18Donald H. Kelly's biographical memoirs about O'Brien, 1996-2001
Box 15, Folder 19Optics and Photonics News issue with article about O'Brien, March 1993

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