Haskins Laboratories

The Science of the Spoken and Written Word

Chronology

1935—Caryl Haskins and Franklin Cooper along with  Paul A. Zahl, a mammalian biologist, and Seymour Hutner a then Cornell graduate student  in microbiology and biochemistry  establish Haskins Laboratories. They determined as a team the feasibility of General Electric Company’s plan to build million-volt X-ray machines for cancer treatment and for genetics research. Part of their work was done at the Graduate schools of Harvard and M.I.T.  and Union College in Schenectady, NY.

1939—Haskins Laboratories moves to New York City.

1940’s—Haskins Laboratories (HL) commissioned by US government to begin evaluating and developing technologies for assisting blinded World War II veterans—Alvin Liberman joins the research team.

1941—The Haskins Laboratories moved to 305 East 43rd Street, New York where it remained for 28 years. Caryl Haskins elected President of the Carnegie Institution and Director of Elden Pont de Nemours, while still Director of The Haskins Laboratories.

1950’s—HL President Franklin Cooper invents the Pattern Playback, the earliest speech synthesis device. The Motor Theory of Speech Perception is born.

1970—The Haskins Laboratories split into two divisions, the Microbiology Division, under Seymour Hutner affiliated with Pace University, and the Speech Recognition and Cognition Division affiliated with Yale University.

The laboratories move to New Haven, CT and enters into affiliation agreements with Yale University and the University of Connecticut.

1980’s—Extensive research support for the importance of phoneme awareness for reading development.

1990’s—Some of the earliest work using neuroimaging to study reading and reading disorders; early work on speech perception in infants.

2000’s—Application of new devices for studying speech movements, eye movements during reading and ; move to new facilities in New Haven. Launch of the Early Reading Success Initiative.

2010’s—Major discovery that brain circuitry for reading is similar across different languages; Using technology to treat speech disorders with ultrasound; convened international meeting (HGS) on improving health, development, and learning of children in disadvantaged populations. 

More detailed information can be found here Decades of Discovery.