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Bell Solar Energy Experiment kit

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: MSP 86

Scope and Contents

The Bell Solar Energy Experiment Kit developed by Purdue alumnus, William E. Taylor, was one of the kits designed for classroom use by students who had demonstrated high scientific aptitudes. Program materials were distributed to high schools by the local Bell System telephone companies. The pamphlets, books and manuals that came with the kits were written by Bell Telephone employees who had Ph.Ds.  The pamphlet in this kit was written by D.M. Chaplin. 


  • 1962


Language of Materials

Collection material is in English.

Access Information

This collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Portions of the material in this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University or original creator. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

William E. Taylor, a Purdue alumnus; Bachelor of Science, Materials Engineering, 1942 and Ph.D. 1950 developed the Bell Solar Energy Experiment Kit. The following is from the Bell System memorial home page. It explains what the kits were all about: "Bell Labs Science Experiment Kits: Bell Labs produced some very sophisticated kits which included manuals (and books) written by Bell System employees with PhD degrees. These weren't your typical kits like you buy today where you just snap part A to part B and hook up a 9 Volt battery. No, these were in a class of their own. The books themselves go into great depth on the subject material."

A flyer titled "Bell System aids to high school science" tells educators to contact their local Bell Telephone company for details on obtaining a limited quantity of kits for free. Barbara A. Sweeney of the AT&T archives department stated that there were five titles in a series of "Bell System Aids to High School Science Programs." The first science kits from the program, which was introduced in 1961, included: "From Sun to Sound", "Speech Synthesis", "Energy from the Sun" and "Experiments with Crystals and Light". In 1968, another kit was made available called CARDIAC. These kits were designed for classroom use by students who had demonstrated high scientific aptitudes. Program materials were distributed to high schools by the local Bell System telephone companies. Figures are not available on the number of kits that were made.

The kit in the collection is contained in the original box and also includes the pamphlet, “"nergy from the sun," by D.M. Chaplin, 1962 William E. Taylor was acknowledged as the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus in 1968 for his work in basic inventions in power transistor fabrication techniques. He was then Staff Assistant, New Business Studies, Semiconductor Products Division, Motorola, Inc.

Source(s): Retrieved August 1, 2011 from:

Retrieved August 1, 2011 from:


0.356 Cubic Feet (One artifact box)

Acquisition Information

Donated by Michael and Judith Humnicky October 15, 2010. Kit created by William E. Taylor, Class of 1942, uncle of Michael Humnicky.

Processing Information

The kit is in the original box, along with contents. The kit and pamphlet have been placed in an archival acid-free box.
Bell Solar Energy Experiment kit
Under Review
Mary A. Sego
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Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

504 Mitch Daniels Boulevard
West Lafayette Indiana 47907 United States