Sperry Gyroscope Company, inc.

Alternative names

Hide Profile

Elmer Sperry (1860-1930) founded the Sperry Gyroscope Company in Brooklyn, N.Y., in 1910 in order to develop, manufacture, and market his gyrocompass, ship stabilizer, and high-intensity searchlight. During the months that followed, Sperry worked closely with Admiral David W. Taylor of the U.S. Navy to perfect these inventions. In 1911 the first gyrocompass was installed on the battleship DELAWARE. Despite some problems associated with its installation, by 1915 it had been adopted as standard equipment by the Navy and had been sold to more than sixty steamship lines. In 1913 the USS WORDEN became the first gyrostabilized ship, and the Sperry Gyroscope Company became one of the Navy's most important military contractors.

After the outbreak of the First World War, Elmer Sperry was asked to sit on the Naval Consulting Board, a position he held until 1925. During these years he and his son Lawrence worked closely with the Navy to develop and manufacture the airplane stabilizer, gyrostabilized bombsights, automatic fire control systems, the aerial torpedo, and a number of anti-aircraft devices.

In the 1920s the company began to sell its products abroad as it opened a number of European and Japanese sales offices. After Elmer Sperry's death in 1930, the engineers at Sperry Gyroscope continued to develop increasingly sophisticated anti-aircraft devices, fire control and automatic pilot systems. The company developed a pioneering radar system based on Klystron technology.

Elmer Sperry's most important contribution to technological development was his ability to apply the principles of the gyroscope to the problems associated with airplane and marine control and stabilization. Sperry worked closely with the U.S. Navy and helped to launch a new era in research and development, one characterized by increasing government influence on the direction of technology for military purposes.

From the description of Records, 1910-1929. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122392670

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Bowles, Edward Lindley, 1897-1990. Edward Lindley Bowles papers, 1869-1990 (bulk 1920-1982). Library of Congress
referencedIn Stanford University. W.W. Hansen Laboratories. Stanford University, W.W. Hansen Laboratories, klystron reports and patents, 1936-1949. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Sperry, Elmer Ambrose, 1860-1930. General correspondence, 1919-1930. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Directors of Industrial Research (U.S.). Records, 1929-1982. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Stanford University, W.W. Hansen Laboratories, klystron reports and patents, 1936-1949 Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Pearse, Edmund James, 1882-1958. Edmund Pearse papers. University of Leeds, Brotherton Library, Leeds University Library
referencedIn Woodyard, John R., 1904-1981. Oral history interview with John R. Woodyard, 1974 October 18 to 17 December 1975. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Dodd, Coleman. Klystron Survey, Oct. 3, 1945. UC Berkeley Libraries
referencedIn Cradle of Aviation Museum (Garden City, N.Y.). Research files, ca.1900-1990. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Webster, David Locke, 1888-1976. Oral history interview with David Locke Webster, 1964 May 21. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company. Records, 1915-1924. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company. Records, 1918-1927. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn C. S. Draper Papers, 1773-1978, (bulk 1939-1973) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Draper, C. S. (Charles Stark). C.S. Draper papers, 1773-1978 (bulk 1939-1973). Library of Congress
referencedIn Sperry-Sun Drilling Services, Inc. Records, 1888-1999 (bulk 1930-1995). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Sperry Corporation. Records, 1893-1976 (bulk 1927-1965). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Sperry Corporation. Records, 1893-1976 (bulk 1927-1965). Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Edmund Pearse papers, 1909-1928, nd GB 206 Leeds University Library
referencedIn Feenberg, Eugene. Correspondence, 1927-1958. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
referencedIn Silicon Valley ephemera collection (4th segment, subjects O-St), 1976- Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Edward Lindley Bowles Papers, 1869-1990, (bulk 1920-1982) Library of Congress. Manuscript Division
referencedIn Woodyard, John R., 1904-1981. Oral history interview with John R. Woodyard, 1976 August 27. American Institute of Physics, Niels Bohr Library
creatorOf Boston Optical Works. Trade catalogs of scientific and industrial instruments, 1875-1928. University of California, Santa Barbara, UCSB Library
referencedIn Basset, Preston R., 1892-. Reminiscences of Preston R. Bassett : oral history, 1980. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Sperry, Elmer Ambrose, 1860-1930. Patent records and laboratory notebooks, 1882-1933. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Webb, James E. (James Edwin), 1906-1992. Letter : Washington, D.C., to Mattie U. Russell, 1976 Sept. 22. Duke University Libraries, Duke University Library; Perkins Library
referencedIn Rochford, Daniel, 1900-1989. Papers, 1925-1983. Hagley Museum & Library
creatorOf Sperry Gyroscope Company, inc. Records, 1910-1929. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Sperry Corporation. Sperry Gyroscope Company Division. Records, 1910-1970. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Sperry Corporation. Sperry Gyroscope Company Division. Historical card file, 1945-1961. Hagley Museum & Library
referencedIn Sperry Corporation. Sperry Gyroscope Company Division. Historical card file, 1945-1961. Hagley Museum & Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Basset, Preston R., 1892- person
associatedWith Bowles, Edward Lindley, 1897-1990. person
associatedWith Cradle of Aviation Museum (Garden City, N.Y.) corporateBody
associatedWith Daniels, Josephus, 1862-1948. person
associatedWith Directors of Industrial Research (U.S.) corporateBody
associatedWith Dodd, Coleman. person
associatedWith Doran, Charles S. person
associatedWith Draper, C. S. (Charles Stark) person
associatedWith Edison, Thomas A. 1847-1931. person
associatedWith Feenberg, Eugene. person
associatedWith Foucault, Jean-Bernard-Leon, 1819-1868. person
associatedWith Fricke, Otto. person
associatedWith Gillmor, Reginald E., 1887-1960. person
associatedWith Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Lawrence Sperry Aircraft Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Lea, Robert B. 1891-1968. person
associatedWith McIntree, William. person
associatedWith Mitsubishi Zōsen Kabushiki Kaisha. corporateBody
associatedWith Naval Consulting Board of the United States. corporateBody
associatedWith Norden, Carl L. 1880-1965. person
associatedWith Pearse, Edmund James, 1882-1958. person
associatedWith Rochford, Daniel, 1900-1989. person
associatedWith Roosevelt, Franklin D. 1882-1945. person
associatedWith Sperry Corporation. corporateBody
associatedWith Sperry Corporation. Sperry Gyroscope Company Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Sperry Corporation. Sperry Gyroscope Company Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Sperry, Elmer Ambrose, 1860-1930. person
associatedWith Sperry, Lawrence B. 1892-1924. person
associatedWith Sperry-Sun Drilling Services, Inc. corporateBody
associatedWith Stanford University. W.W. Hansen Laboratories. corporateBody
associatedWith Takedo, Hideo, Admiral. person
associatedWith Taylor, D. W. 1864-1940. person
associatedWith United States. National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Navy. corporateBody
associatedWith United States. Shipping Board. corporateBody
associatedWith Van Auken, William E. person
associatedWith Webb, James E. (James Edwin), 1906-1992. person
associatedWith Webster, David Locke, 1888-1976. person
associatedWith Woodyard, John R., 1904-1981. person
associatedWith World Engineering Conference (1929 : Tokyo, Japan). corporateBody
associatedWith W.W. Hansen Laboratories of Physics corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Subject
Aeronautics--Safety measures
Aerial gunnery
Air shows
Aeronautics
Aeronautics, Military
Military research
Automatic pilot (Ships)
Nautical instruments
World War, 1914-1918
Automatic pilot (Airplanes)
Gyrostabilizers
Aeronautical instruments
Industrial policy
Naval aviation
Research, Industrial
Gyroscopic instruments
Fire control (Naval gunnery)
Gyroscopes
Gyro compass
Occupation
Function

Corporate Body

Active 1910

Active 1929

Information

Permalink: http://n2t.net/ark:/99166/w6gx838b

Ark ID: w6gx838b

SNAC ID: 18884945