The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
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Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Oral History
1998; 2000; 2001

Extent and Forms of Material: .25 cubic feet, including BetaCam SP and one-half inch VHS videotapes (3 boxes)
Creator: Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
Abstract: Mike Augspurger was born in 1956 in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Working with steel land titanium, he invented an all terrain rear wheel drive handcycle. Collection contains approximately eight hours of video footage documenting Augspurger discussing his life and work and a promotional video titled One-Off Handcycle.
Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.; archivescenter@si.edu; 202-633-3270; www.americanhistory.si.edu/archives
Collection Number: AC0689
Processing Note: Processed by Kimberly Tarr (project archivist), December, 2009; supervised by Alison Oswald, archivist.
© 2010 by the Smithsonian Institution. All rights reserved.

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Information for users of the collection

Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use. Unrestricted research use of reference videos on site permitted, by appointment.
Physical Access: Series 1, Original Videos, 2000, is stored off-site and may not be used by researchers.
Technical Access: Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Copies of releases on file. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. The Archives Center does not own rights to the promotional video One-Off Handcycle. Reproduction permission and fees from the Archives Center may apply.
Preferred Citation: Title and date of item, Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview, 1998; 2000; 2001, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, box number X, folder number XX.

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In-depth information about the collection

Administrative/biographical history
Scope and content
System of arrangement
Acquisition information
Custodial history
Container listing

Administrative/biographical history

Mike Augspurger (1956-) was born and raised in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he built, modified, and raced bicycles, motorcycles, and go-karts from a young age. He attended motorcycle mechanic school at the Indiana Institute of Technology and received his B.A. from Hampshire College in 1981. Augspurger founded Merlin Metalworks in 1987 with business partners and began using titanium to manufacture bicycle frames because of its flexibility, corrosion resistance, and lightweight nature. It was his friendship with neighbor Bob Hall, a wheelchair racing athlete, which prompted him to create an all terrain arm-powered cycle. He founded One-Off Titanium, Inc., to design, manufacture, and custom-build handcycles in 1989.

The Jermone and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation was founded in 1995 at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History through a generous gift from the Lemelson Foundation. The Center’s mission is: to document, interpret, and disseminate information about invention and innovation; to encourage inventive creativity in young people; and to foster an appreciation for the central role invention and innovation play in the history of the United States. The Innovative Lives series brings together museum visitors and, especially, school-aged children and American inventors to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor’s product. This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.


Scope and content

This collection contains seven (7) hours of original (BetaCam SP) recordings and eight (8) hours of reference (viewing) copies documenting the life and work of Mike Augspurger, inventor of the One-Off All Terrain Handcycle. The recordings include a presentation by Augspurger for the Lemelson Center’s Innovative Lives Program. Audience participants are students from Jefferson Junior High School (Washington, D.C.), Nysmith School (Herndon, Virginia), Nicholas Orem Middle School (Hyattsville, Maryland), and Rosa Parks Middle School (Olney, Maryland). The collection also contains interviews with Leni Fried, Augspurger’s wife, and Provi Morillo, an owner of a One-Off Handcycle.


System of arrangement

The collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1: Original Videos, 2000
Series 2: Reference Videos (viewing copies), 1998; 2000
Series 3: Supplemental Documentation, 2001

Acquisition information

This collection was recorded by the Innovative Lives Program of the Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation on May 5, 2000. The Innovative Lives series brings Museum visitors and American inventors together to discuss inventions and the creative process and to experiment and play with hands-on activities related to each inventor’s product.


Custodial history

The collection was transferred from the Lemelson Center to the Archives Center in 2001.


Access points

Subject/Name:
Augspurger, Mike
Ball, terry
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation
Fried, Leni
Morillo, Provi
One-Off Titanium, Inc.
Winand, Rose
Tatum, George
Waddell, Chris
Jefferson Junior High School (Washington, D.C)
Nysmith School (Herndon, Virginia)

Subject/Topical:
All terrain bicycles
Bicycle industry
Inventions--1980-2000
Inventors--20th century
Bicycles

Geographic:
Amherst (Mass.)
Northampton (Mass.)

Form/Genre:
Interviews--1980-2000
Oral history--1980-2000
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Videotapes


Container listing

Box Folder  
    Series 1, Original Video, 2000
1 OV 689.1-7 Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation and Interview
2000 May 5
Original video cassettes
Total Running Time: 7 hours
    Series 2, Reference Videos (Viewing Copies), 2000
2 RV 689.1 Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation
2000 May 5
Total Running Time: 53:41, Camera A
Anita Cater, NMAH staff, provides opening remarks for the 21st Innovative Lives program and introduces Augspurger. Discusses his early years growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and interest in go-karts, bicycles, and motorcycles. Elaborates on the evolution of mountain bicycle development, the differences between steel and titanium construction, and how he became interested in developing a handcycle. Presentation includes photographic slides as well as demonstration of handcycle. Answers questions from Jefferson Junior High School (Washington, D.C) and Nysmith School (Herndon, Virginia) students.
  RV 689.2 Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation
2000 May 5
Total Running Time 54:02, Camera B
Same information as RV 689.1, but shot at a different angle and includes audience reaction.
  RV 689.3 Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation
2000 May 5
Total Running Time: 1:01:32, Camera A
Anita Cater, NMAH staff, provides opening remarks for the 21st Innovative Lives program and discusses traits of inventors; introduces Augspurger. Discusses his early years growing up in Fort Wayne, Indiana and how his interest in racing motorcycles influenced his decision to attend motorcycle mechanic school. Outlines his early work as machine apprentice, development of his hand bicycle design, the invention process, and applying for a patent. Elaborates on the evolution of mountain bicycle development, the benefits of titanium, and how he became interested in developing a handcycle. A neighbor, Bob Hall, had won the Boston Marathon wheelchair race and Augspurger believed that he could create a better arm-powered design. Also mentions the importance of the magazine industry in marketing his product. Presentation includes photographs as well as demonstration of the custom-made handcycle. Answers questions from Nicholas Orem Middle School (Hyattsville, Maryland), and Rosa Parks Middle School (Olney, Maryland) students. Concludes with advice to students on being inventive. Still images from presentation are included at end of tape.
  RV 689.4 Mike Augspurger Innovative Lives Presentation
2000 May 5
Total Running Time: 59:47, Camera B
Same information as RV 689.3, but shot at a different angle and includes audience reaction.
  RV 689.5 Mike Augspurger Interview
2000 May 5
Total Running Time: 1:01:32, Camera A
Interviews with Jefferson Junior High School students discussing inventions and creativity. Questions include: what does it take to be inventive? Do you have an idea for an invention? (Multiple takes.)

Mike Augspurger Interview (outdoors in Washington, D.C.)
2000 May 5
Total Running Time: 3 minutes
Discusses the differences between his invention and other cycles and how rewarding it is to make lives better through his invention. Audio and image problems at tail of tape.

  RV 689.6 Mike Augspurger Interview
2000 May 5
Total Running Time: 1:02:33 Camera
Continuation of interview which commences on RV689.6. Augspurger discusses his relationship with his father and how he influenced his education. Reminisces about his cross-country motorcycle trip and outlines the pleasures and appeals of human-powered vehicles. Explores his initial apprehension about starting his own business. Augspurger demonstrates the handcycle outdoors and rides up a flight of stairs. (23:56)

Elementary school teacher George Tatum discusses his invention of the wave bike. Elaborates on his desire to combine his love of sailing with bicycle riding. Discusses the upright design and how it works. Demonstrates wave bike on the water. (39:47)

  RV 689.8 One-Off Hand Cycle, 1998
½-inch VHS, color
Copyright: 1998
Total Running Time: 11:06
Produced, written, and directed by Roberta Bouchard
Content description: Promotional video in which Augspurger outlines the features of the One-Off Handcycle. Features hand cyclists Rose Winand and Terry Ball, and Paralympic Gold Medalist Chris Waddell.
    Series 3, Supplemental Documentation, 2001
  1 Interview with Leni Fried, 2001 August 22
  2 Interview with Provi Morillo, 2001 August 22

 

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Last Update: 10 Mar 2010

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