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Victor and Mary Babits papers



Scope and Contents

Biographical Note

Administrative Information

Detailed Description

Victor Babits papers

Mary Babits papers

Diaries, Photographs, and Scrapbooks

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Victor and Mary Babits papers, 1880-1989

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Collection Overview

Title: Victor and Mary Babits papers, 1880-1989Add to your cart.

Primary Creator: Victor and Mary Babits (1900-1991)

Extent: 2.4 Linear Feet

Date Acquired: 01/01/1988

Collection processed by: John Dojka, Kelsey O'Brien


This collection contains correspondence, personal papers, publications, and photographs documenting Victor A. Babits' professional activites as an inventor, researcher, and education. The papers document his contribution to the development of television, color analysis, and other fields overlapping electronics and optics. The papers also include correspondence and memoirs written by Babits' wife, Mary. The material ranges from the late 1880's to the 1980's, with the bulk of the documentation dating from the 1940's to the 1980's.

Scope and Contents of the Materials

The Victor and Mary Babits papers (MC 78) are comprised of personal and professional correspondence, documenting Victor’s employment, research, writing, teaching, and inventions. The publications include Babits' papers and research reports on television and radio. Also included is a memoir by Mary Babits, detailing her life during the siege of Budapest in World War II, as well as a biography she wrote about her husband after his death.

Numerous photographs within this collection show Victor and Mary Babits and their families and friends. The photographs date from c. 1880 to c. 1980. Also included are two scrapbooks, which contain photographs and Hungarian newspaper clippings, primarily about Victor’s work and research.

Biographical Note

Victor Babits was born in Budapest, Hungary in 1900, to parents Julias and Julia Babits. After attending public schools, he entered the University of Technical Sciences in Budapest in 1918. In 1923, he graduated with a mechanical engineering degree, and in 1931, he received his Doctor of Science degree.

He taught and conducted research at the Institute of Engineering Physics at the University of Technical Sciences in Budapest from 1922 to 1947, where he first met Maria Hargita (Mary Babits) in 1931.

In 1947 Victor received an appointment to a faculty position at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY as a professor of electrical engineering, a position which he held for thirteen years.

Victor’s research was in the areas of television, radio, vacuum tubes, and electronics, and he published over sixty papers on these subjects. He invented early television and electronic systems as well, including a color television system in 1937, a modulated microwave generator in 1938, and a range finding radar system for Hungary in 1939.

In 1960, Victor resigned from Rensselaer to accept a position as Chief of Applied Research at General Dynamics/Convair in San Diego, CA.  He worked at GD Convair for five years, before leaving to become Vice President of Research and Development at Marshall Laboratories, in La Jolla, CA. He worked there for two years, and then retired in 1967. He died in 1982.

Mary (Hargita) Babits was born on February 28th, 1906, to parents George and Frances, in Budapest, Hungary. After earning a Doctor of Science degree in physics at the University of Technical Sciences in Budapest, she obtained a temporary position in 1931 at the Institute of Engineering Physics at the University of Technical Sciences where she met Victor Babits. She later worked on the staff of the British Legation in Budapest until 1942. During the last two years of World War II, she worked as a Red Cross nurse, and also gave English lessons. Mary documented her and Victor Babit’s experience living in Budapest through WWII in her unpublished memoir The Siege of Budapest. After Victor’s death in 1982, Mary wrote The Life and Times of Dr. Victor A. Babits, an unpublished biography which detailed Victor’s life. Mary died in 1991.

Administrative Information

Repository: Institute Archives and Special Collections

Acquisition Source: Mary Babits

Box and Folder Listing

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Victor Babits papers],
[Series II: Mary Babits papers],
[Series III: Diaries, Photographs, and Scrapbooks],

Series III: Diaries, Photographs, and ScrapbooksAdd to your cart.
Box 6Add to your cart.
Folder 1: Diaries of Victor and Mary Babits, Jul. 27 - 28, 1947, 1967Add to your cart.
Folder 2: Victor Babits photographs, circa 1940's - 1970'sAdd to your cart.
Folder 3: Mary Babits photographs, circa 1900's - 1980'sAdd to your cart.
Folder 4: Victor and Mary Babits photographs, circa 1940's - 1980'sAdd to your cart.
Folder 5: Unidentified individuals, circa 1910's - 1970'sAdd to your cart.
Folder 6: Unidentified individuals, circa 1920's - 1960'sAdd to your cart.
Folder 7: Unidentified individuals, circa 1880's - 1910'sAdd to your cart.
Item 8: Scrapbook, undatedAdd to your cart.
Item 9: Scrapbook, undatedAdd to your cart.

Browse by Series:

[Series I: Victor Babits papers],
[Series II: Mary Babits papers],
[Series III: Diaries, Photographs, and Scrapbooks],

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