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Robert J. Cashman (1906-1988) Papers

Identifier: 11/3/21/4

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Robert J. Cashman Papers fill 19 boxes and span the period 1929-1988. The papers are organized into six main categories: biographical materials, education files, correspondence, teaching files, research and consulting files, and publications.

The biographical materials include curricula vitae, clippings (primarily about his research, although there are several articles setting Cashman's work in the development of the related fields), and programs of meetings at which he spoke.

The education files consist primarily of Cashman's notes on lectures and reading, and laboratory experiments.

The general correspondence concerns teaching, research, and other professional matters; there is little personal correspondence. Of interest is a small collection of letters related to Cashman's joint work with Walter S. Huxford on a "sunburnometer."

The teaching files include lecture notes, problems, grade and registration records, examination sheets, and some student subject guides.

The research and consulting files occupy nine boxes and form the largest category in the papers. The bulk of these materials consists of reports, correspondence, experimental data, and material relating to administrative matters. In addition to his research for the Navy, Army Air Force, and the National Defense Research Committee, Cashman worked as a consultant for Capehart-Farnsworth Corporation, General Electric Company, and the Research Corporation. Four substantial folders of correspondence and patent materials concern Cashman's legal advisors, Mann and Brown. The documents in these files deal with infringements, potential infringements, and other matters. Users interested in these aspects of Cashman's work should also consult specific patent records (Box 16, Folder 1-9) and pertinent periods in the general correspondence. Eleven of Cashman's laboratory notebooks (or sections thereof) are located in the two legal size boxes (Boxes 18 and 19).

The publications contain drafts and reprints of some of Cashman's articles and related correspondence.


  • 1928 - 1988


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is stored off-site and requires two business days advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.


19 Boxes

Language of Materials



Robert J. Cashman earned Master of Arts (1930) and Ph.D. (1935) degrees in physics from Northwestern University. He joined the Northwestern faculty as assistant professor of physics, becoming professor in 1947. Cashman's research interests centered on photovoltaic, photoemissive and photoconductive cells. His papers fill 19 boxes and span the years 1929-1988. The papers are organized in six main categories: biographical materials, education files, correspondence, teaching files, research and consulting files, and publications.


The papers of Robert J. Cashman are organized into: biographical materials (in alphabetical order); education files (in chronological order); correspondence (general correspondence, in chronological order, plus alphabetically-arranged folders); teaching files (physics courses, followed by other materials); research and consulting files (arranged by organization name); publications (in alphabetical order); and oversize research and consulting files (laboratory notebooks, arranged by date).

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Robert J. Cashman Papers were donated to the University Archives by John E. Cashman (son) and Linda Cashman Modine (daughter) on Aug. 28, 1989, June 19, 1992, May 13, 1993, July 16, 1993, and July 20, 1993 as Accession nos. 89-166, 92-57, and 93-67, and 93-95.

Separated Materials

Several group and individual photographs of Cashman were transferred to the Archives' photographic collection. A disk for a prototype electronic organ (which was to utilize a photovoltaic cell) was transferred to the Archives' audiovisual collection. Approximately 20 linear inches of materials related to Northwestern University, but not to Cashman, were transferred to the Archives general files. Approximately 50 linear inches of duplicate and 30 linear inches of extraneous materials were discarded.

Processing Information

William K. Beatty; June-December, 1993.

Guide to the Robert J. Cashman (1906-1988) Papers
William K. Beatty
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US