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George S. Morison Collection

Morison, George S., 1842-1903  Search this
Baring Brothers Company  Search this
Isthmian Canal Commission.  Search this
30 Cubic feet (63 boxes and 152 map-folders)
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Peterborough (NH)
The collection documents the career of George S. Morison, a prominent civil engineer, specializing in railroad bridge design. The materials consist primarily of drawings and maps (linen tracings, blueprints, sketches); final bridge reports; photographs; glass plate negatives; daily diaries; correspondence; and published material documenting George S. Morison's participation on the Isthmian Canal Commission, 1898-1903.
The collection is arranged into seven series.

Series 1: Diaries, 1863-1903

Subseries 1.1: Biographical Materials, 1863-1903

Subseries 1.2: Diaries, 1863-1903

Subseries 1.3: Newspaper Clippings, 1880-1898

Series 2: Correspondence, 1870-1903

Series 3: Reports/Printed Materials, 1846-1903

Series 4: Photographs, 1888, 1892-1893

Series 5: Glass Plate Negatives, 1886-1889

Subseries 5.1: Bellefontaine Bridge, undated

Subseries 5.2: Blair Crossing, 1893

Subseries 5.3: Cairo Bridge, 1888-1889

Subseries 5.4: Kansas City Bridge, 1886

Subseries 5.5: Memphis Bridge, circa 1893

Subseries 5.6: Memphis Bridge, 1891-1893

Subseries 5.7: Nebraska City Bridge, 1887-1888

Subseries 5.8: Omaha Bridge, undated

Subseries 5.9: Panama Canal, undated

Subseries 5.10: Rulo Bridge, 1886-1889

Subseries 5.11: Sioux City, circa 1881

Series 6: Lantern Slides, 1878-1894

Subseries 6.1: Isthmian Canal, undated

Subseries 6.2: General, 1878-1894

Series 7: Drawings, circa 1881-1900
Biographical / Historical:
Morison (1842-1903) of Peterborough, New Hampshire, was a prominent civil engineer specializing in railroad bridge design. He built ten bridges over the Missouri River, five over the Mississippi River and one over the Ohio River. Morison designed bridges in New York, and worked on the New York waterfront. He also helped to locate a deep water harbor in southern California and designed and built several viaducts.

Morison served on numerous engineering boards and acted as a consulting expert for Baring Brothers Company. Morison was a member of several important engineering committees, the most important of which was the Isthmus Canal (Panama Canal) Commission, 1899-1903. He was instrumental in changing its recommended location from Nicaragua to Panama.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History

George W. Sims Papers, 1896-1981. (AC0127)

Underwood & Underwood Glass Stereograph Collection, 1895-1921 (AC0143)

Silas H. Woodard Papers, ca. 1899-1932 (AC1038)

Make the Dirt Fly!

Materials in Other Organizations

Minnesota Historical Society

Engineering Dept. records. Northern Pacific Railway Company records, 1867-1970.

Subject files (1867-1970); accounting records (1879-1921); standard plans for buildings, bridges, and other structures ([188-]-[196-]); track profile maps (1890-1927); and bridge records (1892-1960) created or compiled by the Northern Pacific administrative unit responsible for locating, surveying, constructing, and maintaining roadways and structures. Contains letter press books for George S. Morison.

Library of Congress, Historic American Buildings Survey/Historic American Engineering Record/Historic American Landscapes Survey

Includes photographs and drawings for some of Morison's bridges.
Separated Materials:
Artifacts related to this collection are in the Division of Work & Industry (See accessions #1984.1093 and #1993.0113) and includes camera equipment, drafting curves, and an omnimeter transit with tripod.
The collection was donated by Robert S. Morison, Elting Morison, and John H. Morison on June 17, 1985.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at or 202-633-3270.
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.
Bridges -- Design and construction  Search this
Railroad bridges  Search this
George Morison Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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George S. Morison Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
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