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Archives at The Museum of Flight

Marsen, Richard A., 1910-1974


Biographical Note

Richard Allen Marsen was born in Philadelphia, Pennslyvania on April 22, 1910. He was a graduate of Columbia College with an Electrical Engineering degree. Marsen also attended New York Law School. In circa 1937-1939, he joined Lear Development and served as patent counsel and a consulting engineer. Previous to Lear, he was also patent counsel and consulting engineer for multiple companies, including Sonotone Corporation and Telecommucations Laboratories. Marsen served as Vice President and Director of Research for Lear Avia from 1942 to 1945. He left Lear Avia to form his own company, Video Products Corporations (VPC) in Red Bank, New Jersey in 1945, although he assisted his replacement, Glenn Morse, through mid-1946. VPC, a manufacturer of home televesion sets and electronic devices for the government, was still in business as of 1953, but no further information is known.

Marsen was married to Louise Atkinson. The couple had two children, son James and daughter Betty. Richard A. Marsen died in October 1974.

Found in 6 Collections and/or Records:

Series I. Lear Developments, 1907-1944, 1979, undated

Scope and Contents: Series I: Lear Developments Series I: Lear Developments provides insight into one of WPL’s earliest companies, Lear Developments, whose main focus was aircraft radio development and production. The company was established in 1931 and continued through 1939, when it changed its name to Lear Avia Inc. The series includes materials from the lifespan of the company as well as collected items dating earlier and some items dated later due to the restructure.The series is broken down into...

Series II. Lear Avia Inc., 1884-1946, 1957, 1975, 1998, undated

Scope and Contents: Series II. Lear Avia Inc. Series II: Lear Avia Inc. is the second largest series of the collection. It documents the research, development, and manufacture of Lear Avia’s key World War II-era products, notably clutches, screw jacks, motors, and aircraft navigation and radio equipment and parts. In addition, there is documentation of other products which reflect the company’s post-war considerations for manufacture and production. These are not just limited to the field of aeronautics but...

Series III. Lear, Incorporated, 1930-1965, 1999, undated

Scope and Contents: Lear, Incorporated Series III: Lear, Incorporated documents the company business primarily focused on the years 1944-1962, although there are both earlier and later dates represented. This section reflects the company’s focus on navigational instruments for aircraft, as well as innovations in home recording and radio. Also well-represented is WPL’s re-design of the Lockheed Lodestar into his desired vision for executive air transport, the Learstar. Less well-represented is the 1962...

Series V. Lear Jet Corporation, 1960-1974, 1984-1989, 1991-1992, 1999, undated

Scope and Contents: Lear Jet Corporation Series V: Lear Jet Corporation (LJC) primarily documents the development, production, and distribution of the Learjet Model 23 and Model 24, small and fast executive transport jets, with a lesser degree of coverage about the Lear Liner Model 40. Additionally there is a relatively small amount of information about LJC’s Stereo 8 Division, which designed, developed, and produced the 8-track audio tape cassette player for home, automobile, and personal use. The bulk...

Series VI. Turbo-Lear, Inc., 1968

Scope and Contents: Turbo-Lear, Inc. Series VI: Turbo-Lear, Inc. is a very small series reflecting its role as a subsidiary company. The series consists of only two folders about business operations: a small batch of correspondence and two packets of “voucher checks.” The March-October 1968 correspondence includes several letters from Richard Marsen, an attorney, to WPL with clippings, as well as a memo from the law offices of Irell & Manella. The voucher checks include payments for payroll and...

Series XI. Lear Motors Corp., 1968-1976, 1984-1999, undated

Scope and Contents: Lear Motors Corporation Series XI: Lear Motors Corporation (LMC) primarily documents the efforts of LMC in the development and production of steam-powered vehicles. Although LMC was incorporated in 1968 and sold in 1976, the bulk of materials fall within 1969-1973. Note that because LMC, Leareno Development, LearAvia, and several smaller companies were all started in 1967-1968 there is some overlap between the series within some sections, such as correspondence. The series is...

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