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Robert E. Van Rosen Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Van Rosen, Robert E.
Title: Robert E. Van Rosen Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1926-1966
Quantity: 6.0 linear ft.
Abstract: Papers of the American industrial designer, author, lecturer; born 1904. Business files including blueprints, correspondence, drawings, patents and product models (1938-1960); photographs; personal files; writings; and published material.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

Biographical History

Robert E. Van Rosen (1904-1966) was an American industrial designer, stage designer, author, and lecturer. Born in Kiev, Russia, he became a high-ranking officer of the Red Army and, at the same time, a member of the anti-Communist underground. He emigrated from Russia in 1921, came to the United States in 1923, and was granted U.S. citizenship in 1930.

Van Rosen's education consisted of high school, two years of college, and four years of art school. After coming to America, he was employed as an artist, lecturer, author, and designer of both stage scenery and packaging.

Van Rosen was a member of the New York State Guard, the Society of American Military Engineers, the Association of the United States Army, the National Rifle Association, the National Guard Association, and the Veteran's Association of the 102d Combat Engineers. He was listed in both Who's Who in the Midwest and Who's Who in American Art.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Robert E. Van Rosen Papers consist of business files, personal files, photographs, published material, and writings. Business files contains records of his dealings with various companies and copies of patents for many different ideas, while Personal files contains records of stage productions on which Van Rosen worked, and resumes. Photographs are personal in nature; Published material has items relating to the 1952 Carton Competition and some miscellany. The majority of Writings relates to Van Rosen's 1963 book Comeback (about his recovery from a stroke).

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Arrangement of the Collection

All series are arranged alphabetically. Box 3 contained books; these have been either discarded or assimilated into the general collection and Box 3 no longer exists.

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Access Restrictions

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

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Subject Headings


Van Rosen, Robert E.


Design, Industrial -- United States.
Industrial designers -- United States.

Genres and Forms

Blueprints (reprographic copies)


Industrial designers.

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Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Robert E. Van Rosen Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Finding Aid Information

Created by: CMV
Date: Jan 1980
Revision history: 7 Jul 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC)

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Business files
Oversize 1 Artwork
Box 1 Blueprints 1938-1940
Oversize 2 Blueprints and drawings
Box 1 Brown and Bigelow packaging 1955-1956
Box 1 Calcumatic exposure meter 1951
Box 1 Correspondence 1941-1963
Box 1 Drawings
Box 1 J. Makowsky Corporation 1943-1952
Box 1 Miscellaneous
Box 1 Package Design Corporation 1956-1957
Box 1 Packaging ideas 1939-1956
Box 1 Patents 1948-1960
Oversize 2 Patents (oversize)
Box 1 Product models (13 folders)
Box 2 Product models (3 models)
Oversize 2 Product models (oversize)
Box 2 Research by subscription 1957-1958
Box 2 Revlon 1955
Box 2 Samplex 1955
Box 2 Schering proposals 1956
Box 2 Stractics
Box 2 U.S. Rubber Company 1956
Box 2 Videometric Comparator 1958-1966 (2 folders)
Box 2 H.G. Weber and Company 1954-1955
Personal files
Box 2 Miscellaneous
Box 2 Business
Box 2 Personal
Oversize 3 Personal (oversize)
Published material
Box 4 Miscellaneous
Box 4 Carton Competition winners 1952
Box 4 Comeback 1963 (2 folders)
Box 4 Correspondence pertaining to Comeback 1961-1965
Box 4 Legibility
Box 4 Problem of panic control in atomic warfare
Box 4 Research material for Comeback 1962-1966 (2 folders)

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