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Isay A. Balinkin papers

 Collection — Box: 1
Identifier: UA-07-05

Scope and Content

This collection contains material related to the professional career of Isay Balinkin, a professor at the University of Cincinnati and important researcher in the field of color. The collection includes Balinkin's writings, research materials, biographical information, interviews with him, miscellaneous correspondence, material from professional organizations in which he was involved such as programs and correspondence, and some course materials and lectures.


  • Creation: 1950-1971


Language of Materials

The records are in English

Restrictions on Access

This collection is open for research.

Biography of Isay Balinkin

Dr. Isay Balinkin was known for his many contributions to scientific research in the field of color and for his innovative teaching methods. He was born on September 14, 1900 in Odessa, Ukraine. He attended Commercial High School in Odessa. By the summer of 1921, he had made his way to Constantinople as a political refugee. He found a job with the assistance of a relief commission in a new electrical laboratory at Robert College. The dean, L.A. Scipio, took an interest in Balinkin and helped him to enter the college where he studied Mechanical Engineering.

He came to the United States in 1925 and attended graduate school at the University of Cincinnati, receiving a master's degree in physics in 1926 and his Ph.D. in 1929. Balinkin was appointed Professor of Experimental Physics at the University of Cincinnati in 1929. He worked on the planning committee of the 1933 Chicago World's Fair. Starting in 1936, he also served as Research Consultant for the Cambridge Tile Mfg. Co. Balinkin spent 9 months each year teaching and the other 3 conducting research at the Cambridge Tile Manufacturing Co.

Balinkin was described as an enthusiastic teacher known for devising models and classroom experiments to demonstrate phenomena. He also served as an advisor to seniors on their thesis projects.His research accomplishments included advancements in ceramic tile technology and the study of color to ensure that variation in color between tiles be kept to a minimum. He made advances in ceramic tile installation including patenting a new method of mounting ceramic tile to a mesh-like backing, the SETFAST Ceramic Tile Mounting Method. Balinkin also gave popular lectures on "Color Phenomena," co-designed a mercury vapor lamp to be used in laboratories, and patented a process to irradiate fertile queen bees which resulted in gentler bees that produced more honey. He also designed a wave motion machine which demonstrated more than 30 forms of light, heat, and sound waves. He designed a flexible crystal model.

Balikin was active professionally and received several awards. He was made an honorary member of the Phi Kappa social fraternity in 1934. From 1926-1929, he was a Hanna Fellow and in 1940 he became a delegate for the American Ceramic Society to the Inter-Society Color Council. From 1950-1952, he served as Chairman of the Inter-Society Color Council. In 1952, he represented the American Ceramic Society at the 3rd International Ceramic Congress in Paris. He was a fellow of the Optical Society of America, a member of the American Association of Physics Teachers, the Inter-Society Color Council, the American Ceramic Society, the British Ceramic Society and the International Union of Testing and Research Laboratories for Materials and Structures (RILEM).


42.5 Linear Feet (32 boxes)


Professional papers of former UC professor, Isay Balinkin.

Statement of Arrangement

The collection is arranged into binders by topic.

Physical Location

Archives and Rare Books Library

Finding aid for the Isay Balinkin papers
Edited Full Draft
Finding aid prepared by Suzanne Maggard
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Archives and Rare Books Library Repository

8th Floor Blegen Library
2602 University Circle
P.O. Box 210113
Cincinnati Ohio 45221-0113