“There is no substitute for doing things with your own hands.”

Self-portrait by Roger Hayward, ca. 1930s.

Self-portrait by Roger Hayward, ca. 1930s.

In the archival world, scrapbooks are typically regarded to be “high-value” items, deserving of close descriptive and preservation attentions.  As we work our way through the arrangement and description of the Roger Hayward Papers, we are reminded again as to why scrapbooks are held in such high regard.

Though the Hayward Papers consist primarily of correspondence and sketch books, the collection’s lone biographical scrapbook is especially noteworthy for its inclusion of dozens of photographs, newspaper clippings and original art works that are not otherwise replicated elsewhere in the collection.    Flipping through the pages, one is reminded that Hayward was much more than an illustrator noteworthy for having provided technical drawings for scientists the likes of Linus Pauling.


Portrait of Betty Hayward, Roger's wife of fifty-seven years.

Portrait of Betty Hayward, Roger's wife of fifty-seven years.

Weaving looms designed and built by Roger in the mid-1930s for Betty's use.  During the Depression, Betty's Navajo-inspired textiles helped contribute to the household income.

Weaving looms designed and built by Roger in the mid-1930s for Betty's use. During the Depression, Betty's Navajo-inspired textiles helped contribute to the household income.

Roger, Betty and Roger's brother Julian also constructed puppets and staged puppet shows at their house and at the Caltech Atheneum - another source of income during hard times.

Roger, Betty and Roger's brother Julian also constructed puppets and staged puppet shows at their house and at the Caltech Atheneum - another source of income during hard times.

Throughout his life, Roger maintained a keen interest in optics and would eventually hold four patents related to telescope design.  This is likely the first telescope that he built.

Throughout his life, Roger maintained a keen interest in optics and would eventually hold four patents related to telescope design. This is likely the first telescope that he built.


Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 1.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 1.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 2.

Hayward to Sara Ross, Sept. 16, 1967, p. 2.

This two-page letter, written by Hayward in 1967 to a woman requesting career advice for her son, an aspiring artist, is a tidy example of Roger’s multiplicity of skills, including his facility with words.  His career advice, and perhaps his philosophy of life, is neatly encapsulated near the end of the document.

If there were available a course in ‘How to Learn’ it might be a good preparation for science illustrating.  A next best subject might be the History of Science.  I found ‘A History of Technology,’ edited by Singer Holmyard, Hall & Williams (Oxford, 1957) of some interest, at least through the first two volumes, but sense that the editors haven’t soiled their fingers by actually doing the things they write about.  There is no substitute for doing things with your own hands.

To learn more about Roger Hayward, see our blog series devoted to his life and work.

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