Archives and Special Collections
92 Snell Library
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Boston, MA 02115
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Collection Overview

Historical Note

Scope and Content Note

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Collection Overview
Creator: Batcheller, Arthur
Title:Arthur Batcheller papers
Dates:1888-1977 (bulk 1913-1955)
Call Number:M12
Location:73/3
Volume:6.00 cubic ft. (12 boxes)
Scope and Content Abstract:The Arthur Batcheller papers document his personal and professional life. The professional series contains records relating to Batcheller's career in radio telegraphy. Included are annual reports of the Second Radio District from 1916 to 1939, technical pamphlets, correspondence, and yearbooks from the Veterans Wireless Operators Association. He received correspondence from a wide range of sources, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, the U.S. Bureau of Navigation, and President Herbert Hoover. There are also professional pamphlets on radio equipment and technology, including some that Batcheller wrote. The personal series documents Batcheller's genealogy, education and accomplishments, and interests in photography, film, and ballet. Topics of the photographs include family and friends, railroads, radio, actresses, and dancers. There are also thirty-one 16mm films on various events and topics including World War II news reels, the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth I, and fables.
Historical Abstract:Arthur Batcheller was born in Wellesley, Massachusetts, in 1888. He attended the Boston School of Telegraphy in 1902. In 1906, he joined the Boston, Revere Beach and Lynn Railroad (BRB&LR) as locomotive fireman. While working on the railroad, he pursued a degree in electronics at the Boston YMCA Electrical Engineering School. He earned his First Class Radio Operators license from the Boston YMCA Polytechnic School in 1913. Between 1917 and 1918, he was the Radio Inspector for Boston. From 1918 to 1919, he was affiliated with the Massachusetts Radio and Telegraphy School in Boston, Batcheller was appointed Chief Radio Inspector for the Second Federal Radio District (Port of New York) in 1920 by Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover. In 1930 he was appointed to the position of Traveling Supervisor of Radio. Batcheller played a role in radio investigations including several notable cases involving shipwrecks, communication treaties, and cases of federal law enforcement of radio bootlegging. During the 1950s he was responsible for developing the licensing practices of commercial radio networks and their member stations. In his personal life, Batcheller was a freelance photographer who photographed many women and dancers. He also collected photographs of world-renowned dancers and actresses, including Marilyn Monroe, as well as autographed ballet slippers. Batcheller died on March 7, 1978 at a nursing home in Framingham, Massachusetts.
Arrangement:Organized into 2 series: 1. Personal and 2. Professional.
Subjects and Contributors:
  • Batcheller, Arthur,1888-1978

  • Veterans Wireless Operators Association
  • United States. Dept. of Commerce. Second Radio Inspection District

  • Radio -- Equipment and supplies
  • Radio -- Law and legislation -- United States
  • Telegraph, Wireless -- Massachusetts
  • Motion picture actors and actresses -- Photographs
  • Ballet dancers

Restrictions:The collection is unrestricted.
Processor:Finding aid prepared by Amy Lux, April 1997