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Guide to the College of Engineering records, 1906-1954
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Correspondence, administrative and committee files; reports of the Department of Civil Engineering, 1906-1944; materials re the Navy V-12 and Army Special Training Programs, 1943-1945; Institute of Engineering Research files, 1949-1953; files on Works Progress Administration projects, 1935-1941; Department of Mechanical Engineering files, 1946-1953; account books and day books of the Summer School of Surveying, 1902-1914.
The Charter of the University provided for the establishment of Colleges of Mechanics, Civil Engineering, and Mining, in addition to Colleges of Agriculture and Letters. The present College of Engineering has evolved from the early technical colleges, with the combination of the Colleges of Mechanics and of Civil Engineering into a College of Engineering in 1931 and with the College of Mining becoming part of the College of Engineering in 1942. Separate disciplines were added as engineering developed and expanded, giving the present form of the college structure in Departments of Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mineral Technology, Naval Architecture, and Nuclear Engineering.In 1875, when President Daniel Coit Gilman appointed Frederick G. Hesse to head the College of Mechanics, only North Hall and South Hall had been built. Hesse started his work in a single room in North Hall, giving lectures only, since no facilities as yet existed for laboratory or shop work. The first student was graduated from the College of Mechanics in 1874. In 1878, the first Mining and Mechanic Arts Building (later renamed the Civil Engineering Building) was completed. In 1893, Hesse selected Clarence Linus Cory to be assistant professor of mechanical and electrical engineering. Immediately, Cory, Joseph A. Sladky, superintendent of the machine shops, and Joseph Nisbet LeConte, instructor in mechanical engineering, concentrated on plans for electrical laboratories in the new Mechanics Building, then under construction. Upon its completion in 1894, Cory and LeConte, largely with student help, installed electrical equipment surpassed by few, if any, universities in the country. Research started immediately.Civil Engineering was one of the six original colleges of the University; its inclusion was in accordance with the University's purposes as a land-grant institution. From 1869 to 1930, it operated as the College of Civil Engineering; in 1930, civil engineering and irrigation (which had been established in 1901) became departments of a newly established College of Engineering. The two then became separate divisions of the Department of Engineering in 1947, a combined Division of Civil Engineering and Irrigation in 1951, and finally a combined Department of Civil Engineering in 1958. In 1958, Divisions of Hydraulic and Sanitary Engineering, Structural Engineering and Structural Mechanics, and Transportation Engineering (recently created under separate organization) were established in the department. Thus, the present (1965) organization of the Department of Civil Engineering incorporates not only civil engineering as originally established, but also irrigation and transportation, as well as hydraulics (which until 1958 had been administered by mechanical engineering). Closely associated with civil engineering is the Institute of Transportation and Traffic Engineering, founded by legislative act in 1947.The Morrill Land Grant Act, passed by Congress in 1862, stipulated in part the establishment “...of at least one college where the leading object shall be...to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and mechanic arts....” Of the four technical colleges established by the organic act of the University (1868), those of mechanics and agriculture were first organized. The Biennial report to the Regents of the University for 1873-75 states that the object of the College of Mechanics is to “educate mechanical engineers, machinists (as far as they are constructors of machinery) and others who wish to devote their energies to such technical and industrial pursuits as involve a knowledge of machinery.”
11 boxes (11 linear ft.)
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Collection is open for research.