Harry Lang research materials on TTY development and Robert Weitbrecht

RIT/NTID Deaf Studies Archive

Table of Contents

Collection Overview
bioinfoDr. Harry Lang
Scope and Content
Additional Finding Aids
Subject Headings
Information for Researchers
Administrative Information
Related Materials

Collection Overview (Collapse)

Harry Lang research materials on TTY development and  Robert Weitbrecht
Inclusive Date(s)
The collection includes videotapes of interviews conducted by researcher Harry Lang for his book about the history and development of the TTY, communication device for the deaf and hearing impaired, two typescripts of an early version of From Dream to Reality, written by Lynne D. Williams, and Harry Lang's research papers on inventor of the TTY, Robert Weitbrecht.
0.417 Linear feet (1 doc box)
C.S. North, Shelf 284
RIT Archive Collections
RIT Libraries
Wallace Center
90 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, New York, 14623
(585) 475-2557

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bioinfoDr. Harry Lang(Collapse)

Dr. Harry Lang is a deaf professor who retired after 41 years at the  National Technical Institute for the Deaf at Rochester Institute of Technology. He taught physics and mathematics full time for 14 years, chaired NTID's faculty development department for 7 years, and also taught a methods course to science and mathematics teacher candidates for over 30 years. Lang moved full time into the Master of Science in Secondary Education (MSSE) teacher preparation program in the fall of 2006. Upon retirement in 2011, he was honored with the rank of Professor Emeritus.

Lang is a graduate of the Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf, and earned his BS in Physics from Bethany College (West Virginia), his MS degree in Electrical Engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology, and his doctorate in Education from the University of Rochester.

His research at NTID focused primarily on teaching and learning and the use of technical signs in the science and mathematics classroom. He has published over 50 research and theoretical papers on teaching science and mathematics to deaf students.

Lang has published nine books. Educating Deaf Students: From Research to Practice, published by Oxford University Press, was co-authored with Marc Marschark and John Albertini. His other books include three major biographies. Edmund Booth, Deaf Pioneer was published in 2004. Teaching From the Heart and Soul: The Life and Work of Robert F. Panara and, Moments of Truth: Robert R. Davila, the Story of a Deaf Leader (with Oscar Cohen and Joseph Fischgrund) were published in the Fall of 2007.

He also published a history of NTID, From Dream to Reality (with Karen Conner) and a book on the contributions of deaf women and men in fields of science since the Renaissance ( Silence of the Spheres: The Deaf Experience in the History of Science). He co-authored with Bonnie Meath-Lang, Deaf Persons in the Arts and Sciences: A Biographical Dictionary, which includes 150 biographies of deaf scientists, artists, engineers, actors, writers, poets, and other professionals. A Phone of Our Own: The Deaf Insurrection Against Ma Bell, is a history of the invention of the acoustic telephone coupler and its impact on the lives of deaf people, and was published by  Gallaudet University Press. He also wrote a history of his alma mater, Western Pennsylvania School for the Deaf.

Lang was the Senior Advisor on the production team of the PBS documentary, "Through Deaf Eyes." In 2008, the film makers, Larry Hott and Diane Garey, received the DuPont Columbia Journalism Award for this film, which is considered the Pulitzer Prize for TV documentaries.

In 1984 Lang was honored at RIT with the Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching, and in 2006, he was awarded the Rochester Institute of Technology Trustees Scholarship Award in recognition of establishing an outstanding record of academic scholarship.

He donated videotapes and books that were used to research his book, "A Phone of Their Own."

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Scope and Content (Collapse)

The videotapes document interviews Mr. Lang conducted for researching his book on the development of the TTY, A Phone of Their Own. They include

  • VHS Tape 1: Historical Development of Telecom Devices (TTY): Interviews with Pete Seilor, Carmen Sciandra, Connie Menkis, Sally Taylor, Joe Bochner, Ellie Rosenfield-3/30/1998.
  • VHS Tape 2: TTY History Interviews: Harry Lang with H Breunig, J Marsters, and Andrea Saks. n.d.
  • VHS Tape 3: NAD Convention Personal TTY Stories. n.d. (1 hr.7 mins)
Also included is extensive research conducted by Harry Lang on Robert Weitbrecht, developer of the TTY, and his development of the device. Most are photocopies of articles by and about Mr. Weitbrecht in the 1960s.

There are two typescripts of From Dream to Reality, early copies with edits documenting the history of NTID, first written by Lynne D. Williams and later published by Harry Lang and Karen Conner.

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Arrangement (Collapse)

The collection is arranged by material type.

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Additional Finding Aids (Collapse)

In addition to this finding aid, an inventory is available below. For more information, please contact the RIT Archive Collections.

Harry Lang research materials on TTY development and Robert Weitbrecht

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Subject Headings (Collapse)

Personal Name(s)

  • Lang, Harry G.
  • Weitbrecht, Robert H.

Corporate Name(s)

  • National Technical Institute for the Deaf. Faculty.


  • Teletypewriters


  • Manuscripts for publication
  • Research notes
  • Telecommunications devices for the deaf -- United States -- History
  • Video recordings

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Information for Researchers (Collapse)

Preferred Citation

Harry Lang research materials on TTY development and Robert Weitbrecht, RIT Archive Collections

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open to researchers.

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Administrative Information (Collapse)

Collection ID


Accession Information

The collection was donated to RIT Archive Collections by Harry Lang in September 2013. Accession number(s): 2013:085

Processing Information

Finding aid created by Jody Sidlauskas in December 2013.

Revision Description

 Title change 8/10/2106

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Related Materials (Collapse)

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