artifacts (objects genre)
moving images - videocassettes
photographs - color transparencies
photographs - lantern slides
photographs - negatives (photographic)
photographs - photographic prints
plaques (flat objects)
sound recordings - audiocassettes
The records from Bayer Diagnostics Corporation document the medical instrument manufacturing and research of Bayer Diagnostics and its predecessor entities, Gilford Instrument Laboratories, Ciba Corning Diagnostics, and Chiron Diagnostics. For four decades this manufacturing plant was a major employer in the city of Oberlin. Located at 132 Artino Street, Gilford Instrument Laboratories was the first occupant of the Oberlin Industrial Park in 1959. The company was a leading manufacturer of analytical instruments for the medical and scientific communities; in 1978, Gilford Instruments expanded its manufacturing base by branching into the growing market for clinical chemistry reagent products. The company continued to be an important player in these markets after Gilford Instruments became a subsidiary of Corning Glass Works in 1980. In later years, the plant’s parent company changed several times and there was increased focus on the clinical chemistry products. Through a series of mergers and sales, the plant became part of Ciba Corning Diagnostics in 1985, Chiron Diagnostics in 1996, and Bayer Diagnostics in 1998. The plant closed in January 2001 as part of Bayer Diagnostics Corporation’s plan to consolidate its manufacturing operations. In addition to the records from the Oberlin plant, there is material from the Colson Corporation of Elyria, Ohio; Gilford Instrument Laboratories was formed when Colson sold its medical equipment division to Saul R. Gilford (1919-79). This collection also contains material related to Saul R. Gilford and to his work in electrical engineering.
The records in this collection include annual reports, correspondence, financial records, product information, publications, and non-textual material, and they document the company in general, its products and sales, employees, facilities, and special events. Gaps in the record do exist, however. The bulk of the material dates from 1958 to the early 1990s and was created by Gilford Instruments and Ciba Corning. There is very little material about Bayer Diagnostics because the parent corporation purchased Chiron Diagnostics in 1998.
The group contains little financial information. What financial records exist, in Series VI, cover only Gilford Instrument Laboratories (1959-84). Additional information on Gilford Instruments’ finances may be gleaned from the Annual and Interim reports in Series I. Series VII. Gilford Instruments Stock contains correspondence and Securities and Exchange Commission forms. These records cover the period from 1967, when Gilford stock went public, through 1980 when Gilford merged with Corning Glass Works. Many of these records concern Gilford’s popular Employee Stock Purchase Plan.
General documentation of the company and its administration is found in annual reports (1959-90, 1993, 1997). Organizational charts (1985, 1989-97) exist, but are more modest in number. Written histories and timelines of the company, and news releases on sales and mergers, are in Series VIII. Historical Files. A noteworthy item in these files is a 1958 company prospectus describing the proposed Gilford Instrument Laboratories to be formed from the Colson Corporation’s medical equipment division.
More detailed coverage exists for the company’s products. Series XII. Product Files contains brochures and other information about Colson and Gilford products and their applications, testing and evaluation reports, and user lists. Series XIII. Sales and Marketing provides details on the company’s sales effort, through an outline of the company’s marketing strategy for 1974 to 1976 and guidelines and directions for sales agents.
Considerable documentation exists on the employees who worked at Gilford Instrument Laboratories. Series V. Employee Information contains handbooks (1962-85, n.d.) and other information put together for employee use, including employee rosters (1969-82, n.d.). Employees were honored at special events, such as the annual awards banquets (1975-83) and company luncheons. Programs and invitations for many of these events are located in Series XIV. In addition to pictures of these special events, Series XVII, Subseries 3, contains photographs of employees.
In addition to the coverage of events for employees, records also exist relating to the Gilford Company’s twentieth and twenty-fifth anniversary celebrations, groundbreakings, and production milestones. Being very community-minded, the company also opened its doors to visitors through Open House days (1969-83, 1996) and through the “Engineer for a Day” program for high school students (1977-81). Material related to these events is in Series XIV. Special Events and Visitors. Photographs of many of the events are located in Series XVII, Subseries 3, Photographs.
The Gilford Instruments plant in Oberlin, which opened in 1959, faced growing pains. In its first 25 years there were 24 plant expansions. Little documentation exists for most of these projects. The 1978 project (the single largest addition) is the exception. Extant is correspondence, a project prospectus (in Series XV. Subject Files), and an architectural drawing. Also included in the architectural drawings in Series XVII, Subseries 1, are plans for the original building (1958), and for the Administration and Engineering building built in 1971. The photographs from a 1983 groundbreaking event are of special interest (namely, a color-coded plan illustrates how the Gilford plant was expanded over the years).
In addition to documenting the company, these records provide information on Saul R. Gilford, the founder and first president of Gilford Instrument Laboratories, and on his research. General biographical information is found in Series II, which primarily consists of memorial articles published after Gilford’s death in a 1979 plane crash. Gilford’s research for the National Board of Standards (1948-1954) and for the Colson Corporation (1954-58), as well as his work after he founded Gilford Instrument Laboratories, verifies his aptitude and faculty in the field of electrical engineering. Found here are laboratory notebooks in his hand (1955-78), writings, patents (1948-83), and correspondence (1953-60). The photographs in Series XVII include photographs of National Board of Standards machines and Colson products. Photographs of Gilford include pictures of him receiving awards, including a Silver Medal from the U.S. Department of Commerce in 1954 for contributions in the field of medical instrumentation and the 1977 Oberlin College Distinguished Community Service Award.
In the late 1950s, Gilford’s early work in the area of heart monitoring equipment caught the attention of Willis A. Wood (b. 1921), a biochemist at the University of Illinois (and later Michigan State University). The two collaborated to develop a line of spectrophotometers, which became a mainstay of the Gilford product line. Their correspondence and collaborative articles illustrate their work together from 1956 to 1961; additional material on Wood may be found in Series XVI. Subject Files and in Series XVII, Subseries 3, Photographs.
The records are arranged in seventeen series:
I. Annual and Interim Reports, 1959-89, 1993, 1997
II. Biographical Files re Saul R. Gilford, 1942-1981, n.d.
III. Organizational Charts, 1985-1998
IV Correspondence Files, 1953-1995
V. Employee Information, c.1950-94, n.d.
VI. Financial Records, 1959-84
VII. Gilford Instruments Stock, 1967-80
VIII. Historical Files 1958-99, n.d.
IX. Newsletters 1966-98
Subseries 1. Local newsletters, 1966-91
Subseries 2. Parent Company newsletters, 1980-98
X. Newspaper Clippings, 1965-1999, n.d.
XI. Patent Files, 1948-58, 1966-86
XII. Product Files, 1955-90, n.d.
Subseries1. General Product Files, 1963-74, n.d.
Subseries 2. Product Manuals (service and operating) 1976-80, n.d.
Subseries 3. Research, 1955-90, n.d.
XIII. Sales and Marketing Files, 1960-87, 1993, n.d.
XIV. Special Events and Visitors, 1969-84, 1991-99
XV. Subject Files, 1952-97, n.d.
XVI. Writings, 1941-94, n.d.
Subseries 1. Writings by S. R. Gilford, 1947-75, n.d.
Subseries 2. Writings by company employees, 1965-89, n.d.
Subseries 3. Miscellaneous Articles, 1941-94, n.d.
XVII. Non-Textual Material, 1950s-1999, n.d.
Subseries 1. Architectural drawings, 1958-77
Subseries 2. Drawings and Diagrams of Gilford Products, 1953-92, n.d.
Subseries 3. Photographs, 1950s-1996, n.d.
Subseries 4. Recordings (Audio and Visual), 1977-99, n.d.
Subseries 5. Artifacts (63 items)
I. Annual and Interim Reports, 1959-97 (0.8 l.f.)
This series contains annual reports of Gilford Instrument Laboratories (1959-60, 1962, 1965-79) as well as interim reports (1967-80). The interim reports contain year to date earnings information and were issued in January, April and October. July interim reports were also issued from 1975 to 1979. Also included in this series are annual reports of Gilford’s parent companies, Corning Glass Corporation (1979, 1982-83, 1985-86, 1988, 1990), Ciba-Geigy (1988-89), and Chiron Corporation (1993, 1997). There are no annual reports for Bayer Diagnostics.
II. Biographical Files re: Saul R. Gilford, 1942-1981, n.d. (0.2 l.f.)
These files contain biographical information on Saul R. Gilford, the founder of Gilford Instrument Laboratories. Most of the newspaper clippings in this series document the 1979 plane crash that killed Saul Gilford, his wife Diane “Mikie” Sherman (OC ‘58), and his stepdaughter Catharine Sherman (OC ‘81). Other newspaper clippings include a July 1977 interview with Gilford. Gilford’s 1977 Community Service Award from Oberlin College is also well documented.
III. Organizational Charts, 1985-1998 (0.2 l.f.)
This series contains information on the organizational structures of Ciba Corning Diagnostics and Chiron Diagnostics. The organizational charts for Ciba Corning cover primarily the company’s Oberlin based departments (1985, 1989-95). The organization of Ciba Corning as a whole is documented by an August 1994 organizational chart and a report “The Organization of Ciba,” also from 1994. The organizational charts for Chiron Diagnostics show the organization of the company in general as well as the Oberlin operation. In 1996 Chiron Diagnostics went through a restructuring process, and memos about changes both on the national and local levels are included with these organizational charts.
IV. Correspondence Files, 1953-1995 (0.2 l.f.)
This series consists of a modest amount of correspondence that was not filed with related material in other series (e.g., special events). The correspondence spans the years 1953-95, though the coverage is uneven and by no means complete. Included in these files is correspondence (1956-60) between W. A. Wood and S. R. Gilford and correspondence (1953-54) regarding S. R. Gilford’s first densitometers.
V. Employee Information, c.1950-1994, n.d. (0.8 l.f.)
This series contains information compiled for company employees. Included are employee rosters (1969-1982, n.d.), telephone directories (1977, 1994), and employee handbooks (1962-85, n.d.). Also included here are employee handbooks from the Colson Corporation (c. 1950, 1956). In addition, this series contains training manuals (1981-85) and guides to the Oberlin area for new employees (1976, c. 1980).
VI. Financial Records, 1959-84 (0.2 l.f.)
These records provide an uneven and incomplete picture of the financial side of the company since they only cover Gilford Instrument Laboratories. Included among the extant files are auditor’s reports (1959-63) and income and expense reports (1968-69, 1976, 1978, 1980-84). Also included are investment reports on Gilford Instruments, 1966-77; these reports are drawn from a number of sources.
VII. Gilford Instruments Stock, 1967-80 (1.65 l.f.)
These files cover the period from Gilford Instrument Laboratory’s initial public stock offering in 1967 through the company’s merger with Corning Glass in 1980. The bulk of these records consists of forms filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding the company’s Employee’s Stock Purchase plan. Also included here are proxy forms for stockholder meetings, stock certificates, and a registration book covering stockholders meetings from 1969 to 1980.
VIII. Historical Files 1958-99, n.d. (0.4 l.f.)
This series includes company histories and timelines, press releases, and brochures of Gilford and its parent companies. Of particular interest is Saul R. Gilford’s written proposal (c. 1958) to buy Colson Corporation’s Medical Equipment division and form Gilford Instrument Laboratories, Inc. The most thorough company history was compiled for a monthly column in the newsletter Readout from January to December 1983. At the end of that year, these columns were put together and published as a 27 page special issue of Readout in honor of Gilford Instruments’ twenty-fifth anniversary.
IX. Newsletters 1966-98 (0.8 l.f.)
This series includes newsletters published for employees and customers and is arranged in two subseries. The first subseries consists of newsletters published by the company in Oberlin; the second subseries is newsletters published by Gilford’s parent companies, Corning, Ciba Corning, and Chiron. The most significant publication is Readout an employee newsletter published 1966-89. (Readout does not appear to have been published during 1975-76 and 1978-79.) The topics covered by the newsletter varied from year to year; articles included company news, sales and production statistics, employee news, and descriptions of new products.
X. Newspaper Clippings, 1958-2001, n.d. (0.6 l.f.)
The newspaper clippings in this series are of articles that focus on the manufacturing companies of Gilford Instruments, Ciba-Corning Diagnostics, Chiron Diagnostics, and Bayer Diagnostics. They are arranged chronologically. There is also a scrapbook containing newspaper articles on Gilford Instrument Laboratories from 1958 to 1975. Newspaper clippings about S. R. Gilford are in Series II. Biographical Files.
XI. Patent Files, 1948-58, 1966-86 (0.4 l.f.)
These files include U.S. Patent Office reports, applications, and correspondence relating to patents issued to S. R. Gilford and to company employees. These files cover patents issued to Saul Gilford while at the National Board of Standards and at the Colson Corporation as well as patents issued to Gilford Instruments both as an independent company and as a subsidiary of Corning Glass Works. Corning invention disclosure forms and correspondence with the Corning Patent Operations office from 1980 to 1986 are also to be found here.
XII. Product Files, 1955-90, n.d. (5.4 l.f.)
These files are arranged in three subseries, 1. General Product Files, 2. Product Manuals, and 3. Research. Subseries 1 General Product Files consists of files arranged by model number or name; these files contain a variety of information including brochures, application information, and user lists. Subseries 2 Manuals includes installation, operating, and service manuals for Gilford products. Subseries 3 contains information on testing and evaluation of Gilford products, as well as S. R. Gilford’s laboratory notebooks (1955-78).
XIII. Sales and Marketing Files, 1960-87, 1993, n.d. (0.6 l.f.)
This series contains files relating to the work of the Sales and Marketing Departments. They include price lists, notes and information for sales representatives, artwork for logos and product nameplates, and correspondence. Also filed here is a notebook describing the marketing department’s strategies and goals from 1974 to 1976. Brochures about specific products are filed in Series XI. Product Files.
XIV. Special Events and Visitors, 1969-84, 1991-99 (0.8 l.f.)
These files contain material on special events and visitors to the Oberlin plant. These events include Open Houses, 1969-1983 and 1996, high school students hosted through the Engineer for a Day program 1977-81, Gilford Instrument’s 20th and 25th anniversary celebrations, concerts at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, and employee award banquets 1975-80 and 1983. Also included in this series is a guest book signed by international visitors, 1979-1984. Photographs of many of these events, as well as of other events including company picnics and Christmas luncheons (1970s), are in Series XVII, Subseries 3.
XV. Subject Files, 1952-97, n.d. (0.6 l.f.)
This series contains files on a variety of subjects, including Food and Drug Administration regulations, products produced by other companies, and the Gilford Instruments Laboratory plant.
XVI. Writings, 1941-94, n.d. (0.8 l.f.)
The writings are arranged in three subseries. Subseries 1. Writings by S. R. Gilford includes a 1964 bibliography as well as articles. The latter are arranged in two groupings, by title and by subject. S. R. Gilford’s writings include collaborative articles with W. A. Wood and others. Subseries 2 consists of articles by Gilford Instruments employees and are arranged alphabetically by author. Subseries 3 Miscellaneous Articles is arranged alphabetically by author. Many of these articles discuss Gilford products or describe studies which used these products. From 1966 to 1970, Gilford Instrument Laboratories issued a monthly bibliography of articles discussing Gilford products; these bibliographies and an alphabetical index are also in Subseries 3.
XVII. Non-Textual Material, 1950s-1999 (6.6 l.f.)
Subseries 1. Architectural drawings, 1958, 1971, 1977 (0.01 l.f.)
Architectural plans of the Gilford Plant. The 1958 plan (measuring 16” X 21”) includes sketches of the exterior of the proposed building.
Subseries 2. Drawings and Diagrams of Gilford Products, 1953-92, n.d.
These drawings consist of mechanical diagrams and schematic drawings for Gilford products. The schematic drawings are arranged by drawing number, with unnumbered drawings at the end.
Subseries 3. Photographs, 1950s-1996, n.d. (3.2 l.f.)
The photographic materials include positive prints, 35mm slides, glass slides, and negatives. The prints are arranged chronologically and include images of Gilford employees, products, special events, and buildings. Most of the product photographs are undated and are located at the end of the prints, arranged by model number; best represented are the company’s products from the 1960s and 1970s. There are undated digital photographs of an exhibit of Gilford products at the Stetten Museum of Medical Research; black and white printouts of these photographs are filed in Box 2.
Subseries 4. Recordings (Audio and Visual), 1977-79, 1983, 1991, 1999,
n.d. (0.2 l.f.)
This series contains audio and video recordings. The audio recordings are on standard and miniature audiocassettes, and include recordings of the 1977 Annual Meeting and Gilford’s Twentieth Anniversary Dinner in 1978. The audiocassettes also include S. R. Gilford’s last dictation tape, recorded November 17, 1979, the day he was killed in a plane crash. There is one VHS videotape, a 1999 special edition of Bayer Corporation’s Video Update, which includes a brief statement from Bayer President Helge Wehmeier and a film titled Changing the World with Great Care.
Subseries 5. Artifacts (1.95 l.f.)
Miscellaneous items including plaques, Ciba-Corning baseball hats, pins, buttons, Gilford Instruments stationery, and parts to Gilford products, including an automatic dispenser for use with the stasar line of spectrophotometers. Interesting items include a fan (with stand) given to Gilford Instruments President Richard J. Dunn during his 1980 visit to Japan; this fan is signed by Gilford’s Japanese employees. A number of buttons display Gilford and Ciba Corning logos and slogans. A mug, pin, and digital clock all display the apple logo of the company’s Total Quality program, c. 1985; information on this program can be found in the slides in Subseries 3, Photographs. Also included here are a keychain and trophy from Chiron Diagnostic’s Night at Races to celebrate the 4000th ACS Unit in 1998. The plaques found in this series include the 1972 “Company of the Year Award” from the International College of Medical Technologists, a 1970 award from the American Society of Clinical Pathologists Commission on Continuing Education, and awards for the “Best Continuing Education Program” at the A.A.M.P. Conventions in 1974 and 1975. This collection does not include the plaque given to Gilford Instrument Laboratories in 1980 as a recipient of the President’s “E” Award for Excellence in Exports.