American Optical History
Recollections of Former AO Employees

Mike Leck holds his 1972correspondance with Norman Rockwell, along with a Tillyer Version of the 1933 AO Truvision medallion. The Truvision medallion along with copies of the correspondance and other AO Memoriabillia were donated by Mike to the AO Museum for future diplay.

The text of the 1972  correspondance with Norman Rockell is shown below. Two paintings of Norman Rockwell's that were of a collection of 6 paintings commissioned by AO were being asked about. Their subject matters involved card players and a boy with an Airplane.

Mike's letter:

May 8, 1972

Mr. Norman Rockwell
Stockbridge, MA  01262

Dear Mr. Rockwell:

Thank you for your kind offer to help us identify two of your oils that were done for American Optical Corporation.

I have enclosed photographs of the two paintings in question.

The only other information I can offer is that the paintings were probably commissioned by the Wells family of Southbridge (former owners of American Optical) and were probably done in the late 20ís or early 30ís.

We would be most appreciative if you could tell us the date the paintings were done, their titles, by whom they were commissioned, and, if possible, any interesting or unusual circumstances associated with the paintings.

Again, allow me to offer our gratitude for your assistance.

Very truly yours,
Michael B. Leck, Editor
American Optical News

Norman Rockwells response


 May 9, 1972

Mr. Michael B. Leck, Editor
American Optical News
Southbridge, Mass.  01550

Dear Mr. Leck:

I am terribly sorry but I am afraid I canít be of any real help to you in regard to the paintings in question.

I left New Rochelle in 1939 and I know they were done there prior to that time because I recognize the models.  The only name I remember was the name of the little old gentleman with the big mustache, looking at the cards.  His name was James Van Brunt.

I am terribly sorry I canít be of more help.

 Sincerely yours,


More on the Rockwell Paintings

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Dick Whitney July 11, 2003

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