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Personal Papers of Austin Bailey

Call Number: PP 427


Austin Bailey was the son of E.H.S. Bailey, the University of Kansas’ first chemistry professor, and a 1915 graduate of the University of Kansas. Bailey’s personal papers collection includes material relating to his own career at the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T), as well as the legacy of E.H.S Bailey and Bailey family genealogy.


  • Creation: 1900 - 1970


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Austin Bailey

Austin Bailey, son of KU Chemistry Department Chairman Edgar Henry Summerfield (E.H.S.) Bailey, was born in Lawrence, KS, on June 9, 1893. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from KU in 1915 and served as a Lieutenant in the Army Signal Corps during World War I. He then went to work for Corning Glass Works before receiving his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University.

Bailey accepted an assistant professorship in the Physics Department at KU from 1921-1922, then joined the Research and Development Department at American Telephone and Telegraph Company, where he worked until his retirement in 1958.

During his career, Dr. Bailey received over 20 patents in the field of radio communication and earned world-wide attention for his role in the first transatlantic telephone call. He was also responsible for the establishment of coastal harbor radio systems, the first public vehicular mobile radiotelephone (car phone), the public air-ground radiotelephone (Skyphone), and other communication systems. He received numerous professional accolades for his communication work and received the Award for Distinguished Service from the University in 1961.

Dr. Austin Bailey was very active in his community of Millburn, New Jersey until his death in February 1973.


2.25 Linear Feet (3 boxes + 1 oversize box, 1 oversize folder)

Language of Materials


Scope and Contents

The Austin Bailey collection contains material related to three areas: the career of Austin Bailey, the legacy of E.H.S. Bailey, and Bailey family genealogy and history.

The material relating to Austin Bailey's career pertains chiefly to radio communication, including numerous news clippings and photographs, patent information, conference talks and speeches, several technological artifacts, and an exhibit American Telephone and Telegraph Company compiled in his honor. It also includes some personal letters and items between Bailey and family members and friends.

Material about E.H.S. Bailey includes notices upon his death, documents about his estate, and a collection of verses written by him. The Bailey family genealogy includes family correspondence, photo albums, and family reminiscences.

Physical Location

PP 427

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Holmes Bailey, 2005, 2015.

Related Materials

Personal papers of E.H.S. Bailey, PP 158, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Guide to the Austin Bailey Collection
Finding aid prepared by ad, 2006, revised by lmb, 2010. Finding aid encoded by ad, 2006; revised by lmb, 2010. Revised by rr. 2016.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in<language encodinganalog="language">English.</language>
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Austin Bailey, PP 427, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States