The Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention & Innovation
Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, Smithsonian Beanie Illustration

« Back to "Archives" menu


John Bucheimer Papers,

Extent and Forms of Material: 4 cubic feet (11 boxes, 21 reels of film; 4 oversize folders; samples of ski sections)
Creator: John Bucheimer
Abstract: Papers relate to John Bucheimer’s work as manager of new product manufacturing in the Engineering Department at Head Ski Company.
Repository: Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. 202-633-3270
Collection Number: AC0889
Processing Note: Processed by Alison Oswald, 2006.
© 2006 by the Smithsonian Institution. All rights reserved.


Information for users of the collection

Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for research use. Series 7, Moving Images, is unprocessed; see repository for details.
Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use: Copyright held by the Smithsonian Institution. Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: fees for commercial use.
Preferred Citation: [Title and date of item], John Bucheimer Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, box number X, folder number XX, digital file number XXXXXXXX


In-depth information about the collection

Administrative/biographical history
Scope and content
System of arrangement
Acquisition information
Appraisal and Selection Information
Related archival materials
Related artifacts
Access points
Container listing

Administrative/biographical history

John Bucheimer was born on December 7, 1919. During the 1940s, he worked with Howard Head at Glenn L. Martin Company, an aircraft company founded by aviation pioneer Glenn L. Martin (1886-1955) in Middle River, Maryland. At Martin, Bucheimer supervised work on planes and oversaw structural testing. Primarily self taught, he learned electronics and drafting skills on the job. Head left the Glenn L. Martin Company to start his own company, Head Ski Company in 1948, and Bucheimer joined him.

Head, a former aircraft engineer, developed, designed, manufactured, and marketed the first metal laminate skis in 1950 called the “Head Standard. These skis revolutionized the industry. They were made of two layers of aluminum bonded around a core of plywood at very high pressure; the outer layer was made of plastic. By 1952, Head introduced skis with edges made of tempered steel. His skis were lighter and faster than wood and earned the nickname “cheaters” by the industry. In 1969, Head introduced a fiberglass/metal ski, but this ski combined with a diversified product line of javelin and aluminum tennis rackets could not strengthen his company nor stop a takeover by AMF in 1970.

At Head Ski Company, Bucheimer held the position of manager of new products manufacturing. He trained employees on every aspect of work flow.

Scope and content

These records were assembled and saved by John Bucheimer in conjunction with his work at Head Ski Company. The bulk of the records relates to engineering matters and detail how the skis were manufactured. The records also provide insight into the daily operations and activities of the Head Ski Company factory.

Series 1, Operational Records, 1967-1973, include an organizational chart, company and management profile, annual reports, inter office correspondence, memoranda, management notes, the Management News Bulletin, and plant information. The organizational chart of 1969 provides the job title and name of the employee for specific positions within Head Ski Company, Head Ski and Sportswear, American Athletic Equipment, Wayne Plastics, Wing Archery, and Head International AG.

This series contains the Management News Bulletin, 1967-1970. An internal communication from the president, the news bulletin provided a forum for announcements, resignations, work plans, reorganizations, organizational charts, employee changes, and general work flow issues. While small in size, the content is rich for getting a sense of the management style at Head Ski Company.

The management notes, 1968-1971, are handwritten by Bucheimer and contain information on training, responsibilities, manufacturing expenses, production schedules, regional sales meetings, and job postings. There are a few management pamphlets published by the Economic Press, Inc. These pamphlets provided “tips” to managers. Also, the management notes contain two union fliers addressing the issue of union dues. Both fliers urge employees to “keep your take home pay free from Union dues. Vote no union.” Other materials include inventories of office surplus and plant information. There are instructions of how to conduct a tour of the plant and ADT protective service documentation. Bucheimer was the designated ADT card holder for the company.

Series 2, Employee Records, 1957-1973, consist of employee handbooks and insurance materials, a job description for manager of manufacturing projects, and vacation schedules for several employees. Some salary information is here.

Series 3, Marketing/Sales Records, 1969-1972, includes one catalog from 1972, three news releases, sales information, and ski show and shipment information. The ski show materials document specific shows—Canada, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York—and the ski models displayed and, in some instances, orders placed. The special shipments, 1969-1971, include invoices, correspondence, notes, and material move tickets for companies such as Cell Pack, Ltd., Standard Metalwerke, Dura Fiber Corp., and United Shoe Machinery Corp.

Series 4, Financial/Accounting Records, 1967-1971, contains reports, inventories, expenses, and some payroll information. The majority of these records date from September 1969 to October of 1969. The expense statements reveal how much was budgeted and spent for materials, direct labor, payroll taxes, Christmas bonuses, travel, postage, maintenance, and ski parts, to name a few categories. There is some payroll information with the payroll control sheets.

Series 5, Engineering/Manufacturing Records, 1956-1977, comprise the largest and richest series within the collection. The records are subdivided into seven subseries: inventories, instructions, repair information, reports, drawings and specifications, testing information, and miscellaneous.

The inventories provide valuable information on the types of materials used, the quantities, and in some instances the cost. The raw material inventory of 1967 details material types (e.g. glue, plywood, aluminum, poles, saw blades), account numbers, date, quantity, price and actual cost. Like the raw material inventory, the perpetual inventory of 1966 is divided according to material type (e.g. aluminum, plastic, cloth tape, wood, rubber, steel) unit measure (typically in pounds), conversion factor, dates, and a balance amount.

The instructions include detailed information on “how to” for a variety of operations such as aluminum sandblasting bottom ski skin assembly, degreasing nosepieces, and sanding, gluing, and cutting “L” steel edges. The instructions consist of a workplace layout diagram, tools needed, and step by-step instruction elements. Of note is the material flow processes for the company. There are flow charts for each operational sequence performed. There are photographs of equipment with the flow charts, but they are not keyed to specific operational tasks.

The repair information contains procedures and lists of parts for skis. The repair procedures describe the repair needed and what model ski is affected. A detailed description of the repair is documented along with the materials required, tools, and how effective the repair was. The repairs documented here include finishing, grinding, bottom waxing, replacing edges, inlays, and remolding. The company had a program titled “rework” that handled returned skis. Many of the skis documented appear to have had cavity problems and were sent back to be remolded. There is some ski rejection analysis documentation citing why skis are being sent to the rework program. Additional information on cavity problems and production is also here. The parts list, 1969-1970, details various parts used on ski models JR-90, JR-60, 720-TA, 320-W, 240-B, K-short ski, deep powder-DP, Giant Slalom, slalom, 360-AR, 320-E and the downhill models. The part number and name, quantity, and any remarks are provided.

The reports, logs, and notes subseries contain manufacturing and production notes, and a variety of reports documenting engineering department activities. The inter-shift reports, 1963-1967, were maintained in spiral bound shorthand notebooks. They detail daily activities, operational suggestions, reminders to staff, materials available, and what work needs to be completed. Other reports include accidents, 1958-1961, and quality control reports, 1970-1971, which were created daily to provide detailed information on all aspects of the skis at final inspection time. The number of skis inspected with percentage information is summarized. The non-conforming material recovery reports, 1970, give the reasons why skis were rejected and indicate if skis were returned to vendors or used “as is.”

The drawings and specifications, 1964-1970, are comprised of oversize drawings ranging from 8” x 10” to 34” x 43 _”. The drawings are copies and include information on the short, slalom, giant slalom, downhill, and deep powder skis. The finished ski specifications, 1964-1967, document material types, assembly and subassembly procedures, ski data, ski poles, packaging material, and miscellaneous material. For each specification there is a corresponding instruction/narrative and, in some instances, a drawing.

The testing documentation is material specific (rubber, steel, plastic, adhesives) or ski model specific. It provides some insight into what materials the company worked with and under what conditions, such as, pulling, heating, or actual pilot ski runs. The suppliers, 1971-1973, include forms, receipts, bills, invoices, correspondence, receiving tickets, and descriptive inventories from companies that Head Ski Co. purchased supplies from.

Series 6, The General Files, 1954-1977, cover a variety of miscellaneous topics, such as the National Ski Patrol and postage, and are arranged alphabetically.

Series 7, Moving Image, no date, consists of twenty-one reels of 16 mm film which are unprocessed.

Series 8, Personal Materials, circa 1960s, contain greeting cards and notes and a photograph of Bucheimer with Howard Head.

System of arrangement

Series 1: Operational Records, 1967-1973
Series 2: Employee Records, 1957-1973
Series 3: Marketing/Sales Records, 1969-1972
Series 4: Financial/Accounting Records, 1967-1971
Series 5: Engineering/Manufacturing Records, 1956-1977
Subseries A, Inventories, 1966-1971
Subseries B, Instructions, 1967-1970
Subseries C, Repair Information, 1969-1971
Subseries D, Reports, logs, and notes, 1956-1971
Subseries E, Drawings and Specifications, 1964-1970
Subseries F, Testing Information, 1963-1970
Subseries G, Miscellaneous, 1967-1973
Series 6: General Files, 1954-1977
Series 7: Moving Image, no date
Series 8: Personal Materials, circa 1960s

Acquisition information

This collection was donated by John Bucheimer on April 26, 2005.

Appraisal and Selection information

Duplicate materials were separated at time of processing.

Related archival materials

Howard Head Papers, 1926-1991, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.

Related artifacts

The Division of Music, Sports, and Entertainment holds artifacts related to the Howard Head Papers. These artifacts include downhill skis, ski poles, ski boots, ski bindings, and cross sections of downhill skis.

Access points

Sporting goods industry
Skis and skiing

Head Ski Company
Head, Howard

Business records
Engineering records
Financial records

Container listing

Box Folder  
1 1 Organizational chart, 1969
  2 Company profile, 1967
  3 Management profile, 1968
  4 Annual reports, 1968-1969
  5 Interoffice correspondence, 1971-1972
  6 Memos, 1967-1970
  7 Management News Bulletin, 1967-1970
  8 Management notes, 1968, 1969
  9 Management notes, 1970
  10 Management notes, 1971
  11 Inventory, 1972
  12 Office surplus list for Timonium, Maryland office, 1971-1972
  13 Statistical Control Department Inventory Transaction Procedures, 1964-1965
  14 Plant Tour guide, [1969?]
  15 Plant Security ADT Electric Protection Services, 1968-1973
2 1 Employee handbook and insurance information, 1957-1972 (not inclusive)
  2 Job descriptions, no date
  3 Vacation schedules, 1969, 1971
  4 Catalog, 1972
  5 News releases, no date
  6 Sales and disbursements for Head Ski Co. in Boulder, CO, 1972
  7 Final sales for Head Ski Co. in Timonium, MD, 1973
  8 Sales information, September 1972-December 1972
  9 Bids on non-capital items, 1972
  10 Ski shows (Canada, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York), 1969
  11 Ski show order, 1969-1971
  12 Ski show paint/silk screen, no date
  13 Special shipments, 1969-1971
  14 Shipment to J.F. Cowan Association, 1969
  15 Shipment of cut sections of skis, 1971
  16 Ski Division give away order, 1970
4 1 Composite Reports, October 11, 1969
  2 Detail List Inventory "A September 13, 1969
  3 Expense statements, September 13, 1969
  4 Materials price variance report, September 13, 1969
  5 Materials price variance report, October 11, 1969
  6 Unmatched accounts payable, September 13, 1969
  7 Finished goods inventory count, September 13, 1969
  8 Finished goods inventory count, October 11, 1969
  9 Finished goods inventory evaluation, September 13, 1969
5 1 Finished goods inventory evaluation, October 11, 1969
  2 Finished goods weekly stock status, October 11, 1969
  3 Raw materials and manufacturing supplies inventory evaluation, September 12, 1969
  4 Raw materials and manufacturing supplies inventory evaluation, October 11, 1969
  5 Raw materials and manufacturing supplies, receipts and returns recap, September 12, 1969
  6 Value of raw materials and manufacturing supplies, receipts and returns reports, September 12, 1969
  7 Value of raw materials and manufacturing supplies, receipts and returns reports, October 11, 1969
  8 Unidentified, 1968
2 17 Fixed assets-special tool and fixture supply and machine tool surplus, 1971
  18 Payroll control sheets, March 10, 1967-August 23, 1969
  19 Securities and Exchange Commission registration statement, 1968
3 1 Voucher control sheets, March 1, 1967-October 10, 1967
  2 Voucher control sheets, October 13, 1967-September 6, 1968
  3 Voucher control sheets, September 9, 1968-December 10, 1968
    Subseries A: Inventories, 1966-1971
  4-7 Raw material inventory, 1967
  8 Perpetual inventory, 1966-1967
6 1 Perpetual inventory, 1966-1967
  2 Material move tickets, 1969-September 1970
  3 Material move tickets, October 1970-November 1970
  4 Scrap inventory, 1970
  5 Miscellaneous inventory transfers, 1970
  6 Miscellaneous inventories, 1970-1971
    Subseries B: Instructions, 1967-1970
  7 Material flow process (includes photographs), 1968
  8 Standard operation instructions, August 1967-September 1967
  9 Standard operation instructions, October 1967
  10 Standard operation instructions, November 1967 and no date
  11 Operational breakdown for HRP 100, 1970
  12 Binding instructions, no date
    Subseries C: Repair Information, 1969-1971
7 1 Repair procedure forms, no date
  2 Repair procedures, 1969
  3-4 Repair procedures, 1969-1971
  5 Parts list for skis, 1969-1970
  6 Parts list for skis, 1970
  7 Parts list for skis, 1971
  8 Change notices, 1970
  9 Log of rework skis out, 1969
  10 Rework information, 1969
  11 Recovery (rework) information, 1969-1970
  12 Skis sent back to rework, 1969
  13 Rework on the Killy 800 ski, 1969-1971
  14 Material recovery program, 1969-1970
  15 Cavity problems, 1967
  16 Cavity production, 1969
8 1 New product cavities, 1969
  2 Cavity program (GS 800/AR 800 model), 1970
  3 New cavity program (203 GS Killy model), 1970
    Subseries D: Reports, logs, and notes, 1956-1971
  4 Manufacturing and productions notes, 1967-1971
  5 Memorandum, 1969-1970
  6 Daily log, 1956
  7 Intershift reports, January 17, 1964-May 8, 1965
  8 Intershift reports, April 24, 1963-September 8, 1964
  9 Intershift reports, September 8, 1964-April 30, 1965
  10 Intershift reports, September 3, 1965-March 13, 1967
9 1 Accident reports (1st and 2nd shifts), 1958-1961
  2 Paint log, 1970
  3 Nonconforming material reports, 1970
  4 Quality control reports, 1970-1971
  5 Weekly man hour report, no date
  6 Unidentified log book, no date
    Subseries E: Drawings and Specifications, 1964-1970
9 7 Finished ski specifications, 1964-1967
  8 Special ski specifications, 1970
  9 pecifications for "L edge steel, 1970
  10 Specification deviation requests/authorizations, 1970
  OS/Folder 1 Miscellaneous specifications, 1968
  O/S Folder 2 Subassembly and assembly molding, 1967-1968
  O/S Folder 3 Ski details, 1967-1968
  O/S Folder 4 Drawings of finished skis, 1970
    Subseries F: Testing Information, 1963-1970
9 11 Cyclized rubber, 1970
  12 Flexible steel, 1969
  13 Formica plastic, 1969-1970
  14 Glue test data, 1963
  15 HSTM 105 bond test, no date
  16 Model 240 ski, 1969-1970
  17 Neoprene and steel, 1970
10 1 Photovolt meter readings on red top plastic, 1970
  2 PTEX plug, no date
  3 Photographs of general tests, no date
  4 Steel bond, no date
    Subseries G: Miscellaneous, 1967-1973
  5 Problem solving program, 1969-1970
  6 Productive and Non-Productive time sheets, 1967
  7 Shell epoxy, 1969-1970
  8 Shell molding, 1969
  9 Special tooling, 1969-1970
  10 Suppliers, 1971-1973
  11 V-2 film/M 373 bond master adhesive, 1967-1970
    SERIES 6: GENERAL FILES, 1954-1977
  12 Canadian materials returned, 1969
  13 Canadian ski information, 1967-1969
  14 Dictabelts of Jim Mitchell, no date
  15 Killy ski 800, 1970-1971
  16 National Ski Patrol serial numbers, 1970
  17 Photo and Print Shop Department, 1969
  18 Postage meter reading, 1971
  19 Rubber and Asbestos Corp., 1954-1956
  20 Safety Committee, 1967
  21 Tennis line for Head Ski Co., Inc., 1969-1977
  OF 889.1-21  
10 22 Greeting cards and notes, no date
  23 Photograph: From left to right, Howard Head, John Bucheimer and two unidentified men, circa 1960s



Last Update: 16 Nov 2006

:: Home :: About Us :: Centerpieces :: Events :: Resources :: Video & Audio ::
:: Press Room :: Blog :: Newsletter :: Site Map :: Facebook :: Flickr :: Twitter ::