Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority Search this
San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (Calif.) Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of History of Technology Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Search this
5 Film reels
5 Cubic feet (11 boxes)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
Collection documents the engineering firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas through reports prepared for a variety of clients.
Scope and Contents:
These records contain reports (some containing photographs and full size drawings folded) from the New York engineering firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas. Included are typewritten and printed reports for a variety of clients. The bulk of the reports relate to power and transportation. The collection includes five 16mm motion picture films, relating to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART).
The collection is arranged into three series.
Series 1: Background Materials, 1960-2003
Series 2: Reports, 1906-1918
Series 3: Moving Image, 1960 and undated
Biographical / Historical:
On January 1, 1885, William Barclay Parsons (1859-1932) and his younger brother Henry de Berkeley Parsons founded a consulting engineering firm in New York City. The brothers combined their talents as civil and mechanical engineers to create a firm that would making a lasting mark on designing and constructing infrastructure. Among the firm's most notable projects were the original IRT line of the New York City Subway, the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit System (BART), the Cape Cod Canal, and the charting the course of a railway in China from Hankow (Wuhan) to Canton (Guangzhou). The firm also designed and built large water supply systems, railroads, hydro-electric dams, refrigeration warehouses, marine terminals, and conducted survey work. Through the years, the firm diversified its engineering competence and knowledge by adding partners: Eugene A. Klapp (b. 1867), chief engineer and bridge specialist; Henry M. Brinckerhoff (b. 1868), a traction engineer; Walter J. Douglas (b. 1872), structural engineer and bridge specialist; and Maurice Quade (1900-1966), structural engineer. The firm had several name changes and became known as Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas with both domestic and foreign offices. Today the company operates in the fields of strategic consulting, planning, engineering, construction management, infrastructure and community planning. Parsons Brinckerhoff was acquired by WSP Global in 2014.
Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas Notes, December 1960.
Bobrick, Benson. Parsons Brinckerhoff The First 100 Years. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1985.
Petroski, Henry. "William Barclay Parsons," American Scientist, Volume 96, No. 4, July-August 2008, pp. 280-283.
Materials in the Archives Center
Warshaw Collection of Business Americana, Series: Streetcars and Subways (AC0060)
Materials at Other Organizations
New York Public Library
William Barclay Parsons papers, 1880-1939
Collection consists of correspondence, lecture notes, and materials used in preparation of Parsons's book, Engineers and Engineering in the Renaissance, published in 1939. Correspondence, 1881-1900, relates to his student days at the Columbia University School of Mines, appointments to various railroads, and activity as Columbia trustee. Notes on lectures about mining at Columbia, 1880-1881, are illustrated with drawings and plates. Materials used in the preparation of Parsons's book include final typescript, proofs, illustrations, maps, notebooks, and other source materials.
Correspondence including letters from Grover Cleveland, Gilbert Parker, and printed monographs and magazine articles. Mr. Parsons' diaries of Panama Canal years and World War I have been catalogued as book manuscripts.
The initial collection was donated in 1967, presumably by the firm of Parsons, Brinckerhoff, Quade and Douglas, to the Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering, National Museum of History and Technology (now the National Museum of American History).
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.