Fox, Joseph P.
Rhode Island Historical Society
121 Hope Street
Providence RI 02906
0.75 linear feet
Almost all of these papers relate to Fox's career as an inventor, including correspondence, patent applications, notes, and promotional materials. He was an aggressive promoter of his inventions, and wrote many letters to prominent figures seeking investment capital. These efforts are most evident regarding his automobile endeavors and with the "power plant" he promoted to the U.S. Navy and other parties in the 1930s. Fox's general correspondence files relate mostly to his activities in Germany, and especially to his automobile ventures. Many of those letters are in German. A few files were compiled by Fox's daughters in the 1950s and 1960s, as they attempted to capitalize on his inventions. In particular are an undated sale contract by Mary Culp for the automatic screw machine; extensive documentation of Isabelle Cunningham to produce a prototype of the non-refillable bottle in the 1950s and 1960s; and a few notes on the improved weaving loom compiled in 1966. Among the few papers in the collection which do not relate to inventing are signed notes of recommendation from Nelson Aldrich in 1900 and 1901; a 1942 letter certifying his birth date and parentage; and a folder of letters addressed to prominent political figures, mostly in support of the proposed minimum wage in 1936. Preserved in this file are two short signed responses he received from United Mine Workers leader John L. Lewis (November 3 1936 and January 23 1937). Fox later claimed that "it was letters written by me to John Lewis ... that was responsible for the drive by Mr. Lewis ... for a national minimum wage" (letter to Joseph P. Kennedy, February 18 1938).