Columbia University Archives
 

Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection, 1965-1974

Summary Information

Abstract

The Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection documents Columbia's brief ownership of the patent for a cigarette filter invented by chemist Robert Strickman. Soon after their announcement of the agreement, the filter was found to be not much more effective than those in use at the time and Columbia withdrew its support. These records includes Columbia's statements, correspondence, and other materials generated throughout the incident.

At a Glance

Call No.: UA#0289
Bib ID 6958207 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Columbia University. Archives
Title Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection, 1965-1974
Physical Description 3.67 linear feet ((3 record cartons and 1 document box))
Language(s) English , German .
Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Arrangement

Arrangement

The collection is arranged in two series. Correspondence, press, and other materials in Series I have been grouped together for ease of use.

Description

Summary

The Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection documents the position of Columbia University on their ownership of the patent for the Strickman Cigarette Filter. The collection includes materials related to the formation and publicizing of the agreement with Strickman to support the patent in 1967. Materials from late 1967 through 1970 cover emerging concerns about the filter's efficacy and Columbia's effort to distance itself from it. The collection contains correspondence, newspaper clippings, and other administrative records. The majority of the correspondence is from President Grayson Kirk and his assistant Helen King, in addition to letters from Columbia's lawyers, trustees, and alumni. Important documents to note include the agreement to take ownership of the patent, box 1 folder 6; and materials related to the reassignment of the patent away from Columbia, box 1 folder 11. The collection also includes materials from the United States Senate hearings related to the filter, and other memos, statements, and press releases.

  • Series I: Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection, 1967-1974

  • Series II: Gordon Kaye Files, 1965-1968

    This series contains the lab notebooks and files of notes, test records, clippings, and correspondence related to Dr. Gordon Kaye's work on the Strickman Cigarette Filter project. Gordon Kaye (1935-2019) received an A.B. From Columbia College in 1955, an A.M. from Columbia University in 1957, and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1961. He was Associate Professor of Surgical Pathology, and Director of the F. Higginson Cabot Laboratory of Electron Microscopy at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. In 1976, he was named Alden March Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy, Albany Medical College.

    Of note in this series are annotated drafts of some of the statements that were part of the final agreements of the interested parties. There is also a handwritten draft (in Kaye's handwriting) of Robert Strickman's statement. Although there are some journal articles from 1965 and 1966, the bulk of the materials in this series date from 1967-1968.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection has no restrictions.

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection; Box and Folder; University Archives, Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Accruals

Additions are not expected.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Rachel Klepper. Finding aid written by Rachel Klepper in August 2018.

The Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection was retained in the physical order in which it arrived. The papers were refoldered and given folder titles.

Revision Description

2018-08-22 xml document instance created by Celeste Brewer.

2019-05-20 EAD was imported spring 2019 as part of the ArchivesSpace Phase II migration.

2021-02-22 EAD edited to include Series II by JKW.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.

Genre/Form

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Administrative records Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Clippings (Information Artifacts) Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Correspondence Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Reports Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
Cigarette filters Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- Administration Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Smoking -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

In 1967, chemist Robert Strickman approached Columbia University about a cigarette filter he invented. Strickman claimed that the filter would greatly reduce the amount of tar and nicotine inhaled by cigarette users, up to two-thirds of the tar and nicotine that drifted past conventional filters. Strickman transferred the ownership of the invention to the University. The agreement between Columbia and Strickman, with Columbia endorsing claims of the filter's effectiveness, was publicly announced by President Grayson Kirk and Dr. H. Houston Merritt, Dean of Columbia's College of Physicians and Surgeons in July, 1967. In testing, the filter was found to be not much more effective than those in use at the time and Columbia withdrew its support. In front of the Senate Commerce Committee, President Kirk admitted that the original announcement had been "regrettably premature." In 1968, Columbia reassigned ownership of the invention to a private organization.

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Series I: Strickman Cigarette Filter Collection, 1967-1974



Box 2 Folder 10 Correspondence, 1967 May


Box 2 Folder 18 Correspondence, 1967 November


Box 2 Folder 19 Correspondence, 1967 December



Box 1 Folder 13 Correspondence, 1967-1968



Box 3 Folder 1-2 Correspondence, 1967-1968



Box 2 Folder 21 Correspondence, 1967-1970


Box 2 Folder 16 Correspondence, 1968 March-May


Box 2 Folder 13 Correspondence, 1968


Box 2 Folder 2 Correspondence - Assignment Agreement, 1968



Box 1 Folder 9 Correspondence - Dean Ralph Halford, 1967-1968


Box 1 Folder 8 Correspondence - Dr. Tapley Conflict of Interest, 1970



Box 2 Folder 5 Correspondence - President Grayson Kirk, 1967 July


Box 2 Folder 12 Correspondence - President Grayson Kirk, 1967 July


Box 2 Folder 6-8 Correspondence - President Grayson Kirk, 1967 August


Box 2 Folder 15 Correspondence - President Grayson Kirk, 1967 September


Box 2 Folder 17 Correspondence - President Grayson Kirk, 1967 October



Box 1 Folder 7 Correspondence - President Grayson Kirk, 1967-1968


Box 1 Folder 10 Correspondence - Treasurer William Bloor, 1967-1968


Box 1 Folder 14-15 Burrelle's Clippings, 1967 July


Box 1 Folder 16 Burrelle's Clippings, 1967 August


Box 1 Folder 17 Burrelle's Clippings, 1967 September


Box 1 Folder 18 Burrelle's Clippings, 1968



Box 2 Folder 3-4 Newspaper Clippings, 1967 July



Box 3 Folder 14-15 Newspaper Clippings, 1967 July


Box 3 Folder 12-13 Newspaper Clippings, 1967 August


Box 3 Folder 11 Newspaper Clippings, 1967 September-October


Box 3 Folder 10 Newspaper Clippings, 1967 November-December



Box 1 Folder 12 Newspaper Clippings, 1967-1968



Box 2 Folder 11 Newspaper Clippings, 1967-1968



Box 3 Folder 9 Newspaper Clippings, 1968-1969



Box 1 Folder 19 Magazines, 1967-1968


Box 1 Folder 21 Radio and TV Reports, 1967-1968


Box 1 Folder 20 General Clippings, 1967-1974



Box 3 Folder 7 Press Conference, 1967 July 13


Box 3 Folder 6 Press Releases and Drafts, 1967



Box 1 Folder 4 Press Releases, 1967-1968



Box 2 Folder 1 Press Releases, 1967-1968



Box 1 Folder 2 Testing Program by Doctors Ralph Halford and Cheves Walling, 1967


Box 1 Folder 5 Committee on Commerce United States Senate Hearing, 1967


Box 1 Folder 6 Assignment Agreement, 1967



Box 2 Folder 20 Senate Hearing Transcript, 1967



Box 3 Folder 3 Memos, 1967


Box 3 Folder 5 Background Materials, 1967


Box 3 Folder 8 Senate Subcommittee Hearings, 1967



Box 2 Folder 22 Trustees Materials, 1967-1968



Box 1 Folder 1 Strickman Filter Material Efficiency Report, 1968


Box 1 Folder 3 Testing Data, 1968


Box 1 Folder 11 Reassignment Memo, 1968



Box 2 Folder 9 Supplemental Report to the Trustees, 1968


Box 2 Folder 14 Assignment Agreement Materials, 1968



Box 3 Folder 4 Statements, 1968

Series II: Gordon Kaye Files, 1965-1968

This series contains the lab notebooks and files of notes, test records, clippings, and correspondence related to Dr. Gordon Kaye's work on the Strickman Cigarette Filter project. Gordon Kaye (1935-2019) received an A.B. From Columbia College in 1955, an A.M. from Columbia University in 1957, and a Ph.D. in Anatomy from the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1961. He was Associate Professor of Surgical Pathology, and Director of the F. Higginson Cabot Laboratory of Electron Microscopy at the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University. In 1976, he was named Alden March Professor and Chairman of the Department of Anatomy, Albany Medical College.

Of note in this series are annotated drafts of some of the statements that were part of the final agreements of the interested parties. There is also a handwritten draft (in Kaye's handwriting) of Robert Strickman's statement. Although there are some journal articles from 1965 and 1966, the bulk of the materials in this series date from 1967-1968.



Box 4 Folder 1 Analysis by Others, 1967-1968


Box 4 Folder 2 Clippings, 1967-1968


Box 4 Folder 3 Correspondence, 1967-1968


Box 4 Folder 4 Disclosure Agreement, 1967 October


Box 4 Folder 5 Fitelson Laboratories Analysis Report, 1968 January 15


Box 4 Folder 6 Graphs and Data Notes, 1967


Box 4 Folder 7 Invoices, 1967


Box 4 Folder 8 Laboratory Notebook/Data, 1967 August-October


Box 4 Folder 9 Laboratory Notebook, 1967 August 3-25


Box 4 Folder 10 Laboratory Notebook, 1967 August 26 - September 28


Box 4 Folder 11 Reports on Efficiency, 1967


Box 4 Folder 12 Strickman Statement, 1968


Box 4 Folder 13 Smoking Data Reports, 1967