Murray State University
200 Pogue Library
Murray, Kentucky 42071
Collection Title: Nathan B. Stubblefield Collection
Series Number: MS84-04
Processed and Cataloged by: Original date of the collection was processed is unknown. Reprocessed by Jonathon Byrn during the fall of 2011.
Date Listed: July 8, 2010; relisted on February 22, 2012.
Date Span: 1898-1998
Size of Collection: 7.0 linear feet.
Number of Boxes: 8 legal size document cases; 2 letter half size document cases and 3 oversized boxes.
Type of Material: Correspondence, newspaper clippings, photographs, negatives and ephemera.
Condition of Material: Good to fair depending upon age and type of material.
Arrangement: Organized by format of material; Chronological arrangement.
Biographical / Historical Information: Nathan B. Stubblefield was an American inventor from Murray, Kentucky during the latter part of the 19th Century and early part of the 20th Century. He was born at Murray on November 22, 1860. In his youth he was tutored by a governess and later attended a boarding school in Farmington, Kentucky. He also was self-educated in the field of science. He patented improvements for the telephone and developed plans for a lamp lighter, electric battery and a mobile radio telephone. He founded the Wireless Telephone Company of America and operated a school called the Nathan Stubblefield Industrial School at Murray. In his later years he became a paranoid disillusioned recluse who became separated from his family, penniless and resided in a small shack near Almo, Kentucky. Stubblefield starved to death on March 28, 1928. Some have claimed him to be the “Father of Broadcasting”.
Scope and Content: Collection consists of correspondence, handwritten notes, drawings, photographs and patents associated with Nathan B. Stubblefield during the first quarter of the 20th Century. The majority of the collection’s contents are secondary source materials including, newspaper and journal articles written about Stubblefield and his inventions from 1930 to 1998. The collection includes research notes, biographical information and manuscripts written by various authors on the life of Nathan B. Stubblefield.
Subject Headings / Descriptors:
Stubblefield, Nathan B., 1860-1928
Radio – Kentucky – History.
Radio engineers – Kentucky – Murray.
Inventors – Kentucky – History.