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Earnest Patrick photographs

 Collection — Folder: SP088
Identifier: SP088

Scope and Contents

This collection includes black-and-white photographs of Ernest Patrick in Columbus, Indiana dated 1932 and undated depicting Patrick with his wife, in his laboratory where he developed the radio, and with Dr. Bruce Morgand, consulting engineer, and advertising agent Irving Auspitz. There is also a photograph of the radio itself.


  • 1932, undated

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Legal title, copyright, and literary rights reside with Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN. All requests to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted to Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Biographical Note

Born April 7, 1911 to John H. and Viola T. (Morgan) Patrick in Glasgow, Kentucky, Earnest (also spelled Ernest) Harden Patrick was a young invenotr from Columbus, Indiana who devised an electronic garage door opener, a color television, a device for detecting the presence of germs in the blood and destroying them with short radio waves. One of his inventions, the "tubeless" radio, which was likely a transistor radio, was realized with the help of Dr. Bruce Morgan, a consulting engineer. He developed the radio in the crude "laboratory" in the basement of his home in Columbus. Newspapers called him Indiana's "Boy Edison." Crosley Radio Corp expressed interest in his television, which had a larger screen than anything previously reported. His garage door opener was unique in that it used radio waves to operate. Some newspapers of the time period reported he was a mechanic from Edinburgh, Indiana rather than Columbus. Genealogy records indicate he lived both places.

Patrick married Lucille Mabel Calvert (1915-2001) on October 2, 1930 in Ohio. After receiving regional and national recognition of his inventions, he moved to Indianapolis in the mid-1930s, eventually divorcing his first wife. Patrick married his second wife, Betty Jean Newport (1920-2006), on May 7, 1939 and they lived in Carmel, Hamilton County, Indiana during World War II. In 1940, he was charged with selling illegal stock and also sued by an investor in the germ detector. A decade later, Patrick filed for bankruptcy after losing thousands of dollars on a toy radio wih plastic earphones which he invented and manufactured from his home in Indianapolis. He eventually moved to Florida and divorced his wife Betty on August 25, 1982.. Patrick had an older brother named Hezekiah "Hezzie" Patrick.

Sources: "Betty Jean Newport." Indiana, U.S., Birth Certificates, 1907-1940. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Betty J. Patrick." U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Ernest H. Patrick." 1920 United States Federal Census. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Ernest H. Patrick." 1930 United States Federal Census. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Ernest H. Patrick." 1940 United States Federal Census. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Earnest H. Patrick." Florida, U.S., Divorce Index, 1927-2001. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Earnest H. Patrick." Marion County, Indiana, U.S., Marriage Index, 1925-2012. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Earnest H. Patrick." Ohio, U.S., County Marriage Records, 1774-1993. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Earnest Harden Patrick." U.S., World War II Draft Cards Young Men, 1940-1947. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Viola T. Patrick." U.S., Obituary Index, 1800s-current. Accessed October 22, 2021. "Lucille Mabel Calvert Harding." Find A Grave Memorial. Accessed October 22, 2021.

McCawley, Harry. "Reader Helps Recall the Rise and Fall of State's 'Boy Edison.'" Indianapolis Star, August 20, 2000, 34. Accessed October 22, 2021. ProQuest.

"No-Tube Radio Sold by Edinburg Youth." Indianapolis Star, April 8, 1931, 3. Accessed October 22, 2021. ProQuest.

"Radio Opens Door for Columbus Man." Indianapolis Star, August 29, 1932, 3. Accessed October 22, 2021. ProQuest.


0.01 Cubic Feet (1 folder)

Language of Materials



This collection is arranged by subject.

Custodial History

This collection was received by Rare Books and Manuscripts as donations from Jack Cejnar and others.


No further additions are expected.

Related Materials

Materials relating to this collection may be found in the following collections in Rare Books and Manuscripts, Indiana State Library, Indianapolis, IN:

L029: Cejnar family collection

Processing Information

Collection processing completed 2021/10/22 by Brittany Kropf. EAD finding aid created 2021/10/22 by Brittany Kropf.
Earnest Patrick photographs
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Rare Books and Manuscripts Repository

140 North Senate Avenue
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204 U.S.A.