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Guide to the The Papers Of Harry O. Wood, 1905-1954
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The papers of Harry O. Wood were transferred to the Caltech Archives from the Seismology Laboratory. The initial donation, now occupying twenty-two document boxes, was made in 1976; it was supplemented with two more boxes about ten years later. The supplemental material has been processed separately from the original portion.
Harry Oscar Wood (1879-1958) was a Research Associate in Seismology at Caltech from 1925 to 1955. Born in Gardiner, Maine, he received bachelor's and master's degrees from Harvard. In 1904 he became an instructor in mineralogy and geology in the geology department at Berkeley, which was led at that time by Andrew C. Lawson. After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, Wood's interests shifted to seismology. Under Lawson's direction, he wrote a detailed report on the 1906 quake for the State of California's Earthquake Investigation Commission. Wood resigned his position at Berkeley in 1912 to work for T. A. Jagger at the newly founded volcano observatory at the Kilauea Volcano on the island of Hawaii. Wood left Hawaii late in 1917 to join the Army Engineer Reserve Corps for the duration of World War I. Working in Washington, DC, he came into contact with both George E. Hale and John C. Merriam, two to the most influential scientists of their day. Merriam was an eminent paleontologist who had been a professor at Berkeley during Wood's time there. Hale, a solar astronomer, was the director of the Mount Wilson Observatory in Pasadena. During the war Hale had established the National Research Council (NRC) to coordinate scientific efforts nationally. After the war, Merriam became director of the NRC and then, in 1921, president of the Carnegie Institution of Washington. Both men would play a role in Harry Wood's future.
Copyright has not been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.
Collection is open for research.