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Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers

Creator:
Serrell, Edward Wellman  Search this
Extent:
0.73 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Invoices
Notes
Technical drawings
Contracts
Date:
1865-1867
Summary:
The Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers contains material related to the efforts, during and after the American Civil War, of Brigadier General E. W. Serrell of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to design and build the Valomotive, a steam-powered helicopter.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of a draft of Serrell's report on his activities and on the design of the Valomotive, February 10, 1865; his undated memorandum on the design of the Valomotive; Serrell's undated notes for a pamphlet "On the Subject of Navigating the Air by Steam;" a drawing of rotors and machinery of the Valomotive; and a drawing of a flying machine designed by F. H. Raffey. Also included is a draft of an agreement or contract between Serrell and an unnamed correspondent for the sale of the British patent rights to the Valomotive, dated March 26, 1866. Correspondence in the collection includes eleven letters to Serrell from Mortimer Nelson (January to August 1866), an early aeronautical researcher who patented an Aerial Car in 1861; two letters from F. W. Brearey, the secretary of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain; a letter from aeronautical pioneer F. H. Wenham of the Aeronautical Society to Brearey; a letter from Sir William Fairbairn of the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain; and a photocopy of a letter to Serrell from P. T. Barnum, dated May 10, 1866, in which Barnum proposes exhibiting Serrell's Valomotive. The collection also includes several invoices or receipts from Serrell's project.
Arrangement:
The Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers collection has been arranged by document type - Serrell's descriptions and reports on the Valomotive, correspondence, invoices and receipts, and drawings.
Biographical / Historical:
Edward Wellman Serrell (1826-1906), a civil engineer and Union Army general, was born in London on November 5, 1826. His family immigrated to the United States in 1831, settling in New York City. Serrell became a civil engineer, working in railroad and bridge design and construction. He worked at times for the Erie Railroad, the Northern Railroad of New Hampshire, the New Jersey Central Railroad, and the Union Pacific Railroad. He also assisted in the 1848 Panama Survey. Serrell prepared plans and supervised the construction of several bridge projects: the Niagara River suspension bridge at Lewiston in 1850, the St. John, New Brunswick bridge, and the St. Lawrence bridge at Quebec. He served as chief engineer of the Hoosac Tunnel (1855-56).

At the beginning of the Civil War, Serrell organized the 1st New York Volunteer Engineer Regiment (1st NYVE). In October 1861, Serrell was appointed lieutenant colonel of the regiment. He was promoted to full colonel in command of the unit in February 1862. The 1st NYVE took part in the 1862 South Carolina campaign, beginning with the expedition to Port Royal, October 21 to November 7, 1861. Serrell served as chief engineer of the 10th Corps and of the Army of the James, and also served as chief of staff of the Army of the James as a brevet brigadier general. While at Port Royal, General Ormsby Mitchell, commanding the 10th Corps, became interested in the possibilities of aerial reconnaissance. Serrell demonstrated a wind-up toy helicopter to Mitchell, and proposed building a full sized flying machine. Mitchell died soon thereafter, but Serrell later demonstrated in 1864 an improved toy to Major General Benjamin Butler, commanding the Army of the James. Serrell's toy helicopter reached an altitude of over one hundred feet. Butler ordered Serrell to build a full-sized machine. Moving to New York, and with funding provided by wealthy oilmen, Serrell designed a fifty-two foot cigar-shaped craft, equipped with a high-pressure steam boiler and "gliding planes" (wings), and four "fans" -- two for lift and two for propulsion. The rear fan was designed to swivel, thus serving as a vectored thrust propeller. The craft, variously called the Valomotive and the Reconoiterer, was assembled in Hoboken, New Jersey. Serrell contacted with the firm of Bennett and Risley of New York City to build a powerful but light steam engine; the design and construction of their engine was delayed until the Confederate surrender in April 1865 ended Army interest in Serrell's project, though he continued to work on the project into 1866. After the war, Serrell worked as a consulting engineer to many corporations, and served as president of the Washington County Railroad. Edward Wellman Serrell died on April 25, 1906, at Rossville on Staten Island, New York.
Provenance:
Allison Serrell, Gift, 2011
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Steam-engines  Search this
United States -- History -- Civil War, 1861-1865  Search this
Serrell Helicopter (1861)  Search this
Aeronautics -- History  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Invoices
Notes
Technical drawings
Contracts
Citation:
Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers, Accession 2011-0040, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2011.0040
See more items in:
Edward Wellman Serrell Aeronautical Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2011-0040
Online Media:

John A. Roebling Collection

Creator:
Roebling, Charles Gustavus, 1849-1918  Search this
Roebling, Ferdinand W. (Ferdinand William), 1842-1917  Search this
John A. Roebling's Sons Company  Search this
Roebling, John Augustus, 1806-1869  Search this
Roebling, Washington Augustus, 1837-1926.  Search this
Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  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 Work and Industry  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
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry  Search this
Extent:
18.5 Cubic feet (62 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photograph albums
Specifications
Reports
Price lists
Photographs
Newsletters
Letterpress books
Correspondence
Blueprints
Ledgers (account books)
Genealogies
Notebooks
Patents
Date:
1836-1975
bulk 1930-1950
Summary:
Collection documents the work of the John A. Roebling's Sons Company, builders of bridges. The materials consist primarily of photograph albums documenting some of the bridges, tramways, ski lifts and chair lifts that Roebling's Sons Company was involved with. The documentation also includes specifications, patents, and reference materials about the engineering process of building bridges and bridges in general.
Scope and Contents:
The collection documents the work of the John A. Roebling's Sons Company, builders of bridges. The materials consist primarily of photograph albums documenting a variety of bridges, mostly in the United States. The documentation also includes specifications, patents, and reference materials about the engineering process of building bridges and bridges in general.

Series 1, Historical background materials, 1895-1958, is divided into two subseries: Subseries 1, John A. Roebling's and Sons Company materials, 1895-1949 and Subseries 2, Newsletters, 1929-1931.

Subseries 1, John A. Roebling's and Sons Company materials, 1895-1949, contains a variety of items related to the company such as historical narratives, correspondence, price lists, testing data, and a ledger with cost estimates. The correspondence is partially bound (pages 1 to 104) from a letter press book (handwritten and typescript) belonging to John A. Roebling's and Sons Company. William Hildebrand and Charles G. Roebling are the chief correspondents. The correspondence documents daily activities related to the design and erection of bridges as well as finances and supplies. Charles G. Roebling's notebook, undated, contains calculations and notes about various bridge projects.

Subseries 2, Newsletters, 1929-1931, contain copies of Blue Center and Wire Engineering, which were John A. Roebling's and Sons Company publications intended for employees. The newsletters were apparently used as scrapbooks, with black-and-white photographs pasted into the pages. Found among the pages of Blue Center are photographs of the Hudson River Bridge and in Wire Engineering, there are photographs of the Maysville, Kentucky Bridge.

Series 2, Photographs, 1926-1975, comprises the largest series in the collection. The photographs are primarily black-and-white and document aerial tramways, tramways for logging or mining, chair lifts, ski lifts, floods, and bridge construction projects. The latter makes up the majority. Most photographs were assembled into albums with corresponding captions and dates, and almost all of the photographs document bridges in the United States. There is one exception, the Yauricocha Tramway in Peru. In some instances, the captions are recorded on the back of the photographs, and others were recorded on album pages. The series is arranged alphabetically by name of bridge and/or project.

Series 3, Specifications, 1855-1962, consists of printed textual documents (both bound and loose) that contain information for bidders, proposals, contracts, and bonds, and the detailed specifications. This series is arranged alphabetically by bridge name.

Series 4, Reports, 1928-1938, contains bound reports (both progress and final) detailing problems, requirements, research, manufacture, plant installation, cable equipment, strand adjustments, and Roebling Company developments. This series is arranged alphabetically by bridge/and/or project.

Series 5, Patent materials, 1849-1952, consists of issued patents (to a variety of individuals) for cable and cable appliances, cables, and cable apparatus, cableways and tramways, and grips. The patents are arranged by subject area, then by patent number.

Series 6, Reference materials, 1836-1964, contains a wide range of materials—articles, biographical files, drawings, photographs, newspaper clippings, advertising, correspondence, notes—documenting all aspects of bridges. This series is arranged alphabetically by topic.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series.

Series 1, Historical background materials, 1895-1958, undated

Subseries 1, Biographical, 1900-1958, undated

Subseries 2, John A. Roebling's and Sons Company materials, 1895-1949

Subseries 3, Newsletters, 1929-1931

Series 2, Photographs, 1926-1975

Series 3, Specifications, 1855-1962

Series 4, Reports, 1928-1938

Series 5, Patent materials, 1849-1952

Series 6, Reference materials, 1836-1964
Biographical / Historical:
John Augustus Roebling (1806-1869) was the founder and proprietor of John A. Roebling's Sons Company. Born in Mühlhausen, Germany, he was a civil engineer famous for his wire rope suspension bridge designs, in particular, the design of the Brooklyn Bridge. Roebling married Johana Herting in 1836 and they had nine children: Washington A. Roebling (1837-1926); Laura R. Methfessel (1840-1873); Ferdinand W. Roebling (1842-1917); Elvira R. Stewart (1844-1871); Josephine R. Jarvis (b. 1847); Charles Gustavus Roebling (1849-1918); Edmund Roebling (1854-1930); William Roebling (b. 1856, d. 1860); and Hannah Roebling (died in infancy). Roebling's three sons, Washington Augustus Roebling; Ferdinand William Roebling and Charles Gustavus Roebling, worked for the company.

Roebling's Sons Company was active in the design and manufacture of wire rope used in the erection of suspension bridges since the 1840s. Roebling devised a system of spinning the wires together where weights and swivels turned the wire coils in the opposite direction from the twisting, thereby removing kinks. Method of and Machine for Manufacturing Wire Rope (US Patent # 2,720) issued on July 16, 1842. Roebling would adapt this wire rope to his suspension bridge principle. In 1848, he established a company—John Roebling's Sons Company—in Trenton, New Jersey, to manufacture his wire rope. Roebling manufacturing plants were sold in 1952 to the Colorado Fuel and Iron (CF&I) Company of Pueblo, Colorado. In 1968, the Crane Company purchased the CF& I.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

George S. Morison Collection (AC0978)

Modjeski and Masters Company Records (AC0976)

Materials at Other Organizations

The Rutgers University, Special Collections and University Archives

Papers of Mary G. Roebling and Roebling Family Papers, 1821-1960 (MC 654.1).
Provenance:
This collection was donated by Blair Birdsall, former chief engineer at John A. Roebling's Sons Company in 1981.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.

Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Bridges -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Bridge construction industry -- United States  Search this
Bridges -- Design and construction  Search this
Iron industry and trade -- United States  Search this
Iron industry and trade -- Colorado  Search this
Wire industry -- New Jersey  Search this
Suspension bridges -- Design and construction  Search this
Ski lifts  Search this
Wire-rope industry -- New Jersey  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photograph albums
Specifications
Reports
Price lists
Photographs -- 20th century
Newsletters -- 1920-1940
Letterpress books
Correspondence
Blueprints
Ledgers (account books)
Genealogies
Notebooks
Patents
Citation:
John A. Roebling Collection, dates, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0981
See more items in:
John A. Roebling Collection
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0981
Online Media:

Modjeski and Masters Company Records

Collector:
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  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 History of Technology  Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering  Search this
Creator:
Modjeski and Masters  Search this
Names:
Masters, Frank, 1883-1974  Search this
Modjeski, Ralph, 1861-1940  Search this
Interviewer:
Vogel, Robert M.  Search this
Extent:
60 Cubic feet (139 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Oral history
Lantern slides
Photographs
Drawings
Contracts
Letterpress books
Correspondence
Place:
Harrisburg (Penn.)
Pennsylvania
Date:
1870-1979
bulk 1900-1940
Summary:
The records document the work of consulting engineers and bridge builders, Ralph Modjeski (1861-1940) and Frank Masters (1883-1974) of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the civil engineering career of Ralph Modjeski (1861-1940) and Frank masters (1883-1974). The materials include bound volumes and loose photographs of bridge work-in-progress; printed reports; articles, pamphlets; drawings, blue prints and tracings of bridges; letterpress books of correspondence; contracts; reports; studies of bridge materials; and glass plate negatives and lantern slides depicting bridges.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into ten series.

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1915-1986

Series 2: Letter Press Books, 1898-1906

Series 3: Photographs, 1878-1979

Series 4: Contracts, 1895-1960

Series 5: Printed Materials, 1862-1969

Series 6: Newspaper Clippings, 1924-1941

Series 7: Lantern Slides, undated

Series 8: Glass Plate Negatives, 1906-1926

Series 9: Film Negatives, 1924, undated

Series 10: Drawings, 1901-1952
Biographical / Historical:
Rudolphe Modrzejewski was born to Helena Jadwiga Opid (d.1909) and Gustav Sinnmayer Modrzejewski (d. 1901) on January 27, 1861, in Cracow, Poland. His mother was an internationally known stage actress who went by the name Helena Modrzejewska. In 1868, Helena married Count Karol Bożenta Chłapowski. In July 1876, Helena and Rudolphe emigrated to America, where, for purposes of American citizenship, the Polish form of their surname was later changed to Modjeski (feminine form Modjeska). Modjeski became a naturalized citizen in 1883 in San Francisco, California.

In 1882, Modjeski returned to Europe to study at the Ecole Des Ponts et Chaussees and graduated in 1885 with a degree in civil engineering. Modjeski worked with prominent civil engineer and "Father of American Bridge Building," George S. Morison, on the Union Pacific Railroad Bridge over the Missouri River at Omaha as an assistant engineer. He remained with Morison from 1885 to 1892. Some of his assignments included working in the shops which produced steel sections; the design office where he advanced to chief draftsman; and as an inspector of quality control in shops that fabricated steel elements. Modjeski worked with Morison on his Willamette, Nebraska City, Sioux City, Winona, Cairo, and Memphis bridges across the Mississippi River. The Memphis bridge was the longest span cantilever in the country at the time.

In 1893, Modjeski opened a civil engineering practice in Chicago with S. Nicholson. After some financial difficulties, Nicholson and Modjeski dissolved their partnership. Modjeskis first individual large commission was the bridge at Rock Island, Illinois (1895) across the Mississippi River where he designed and supervised the construction of the bridge for the federal government and the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway Company.

In 1902, Modjeski went into partnership with fellow civil engineer, Alfred Noble (1844-1914) forming the firm of Noble and Modjeski. He went into partnership with Walter Angier, under the name Modjeski and Angier, civil and inspecting engineers, between 1912 and 1924 with several offices around the United States. Angiers had worked with him beginning in 1902 on the bridge across the Mississippi at Thebes, Illinois. Modjeski partnered, in 1924, with Frank Masters (1883-1974), who had worked with him and Angiers between 1904 and 1914 on the Memphis and Louisville Bridges, forming Modjeski and Masters. Clement E. Chase and Montgomery B. Case later joined the firm as partners. In 1937, Masters assumed full control and ownership of the firm which specialized in the design and construction supervision of large bridges and other structures, rehabilitation and reconstruction of existing bridges, the design of highways and expressways, subways and wharves, the design of large and complex foundations, inspection of construction materials, and the creation of surveys, investigations and reports.

Modjeski builtand/or consulted on over forty bridges in his lifetime. He built truss, steel arch, and suspension bridges. He introduced steel tower pylons in place of masonry towers and he used better grades of steel, such as new steel alloys with improved strength and durability. He also introduced advancements in the design of cable configurations and deck-stiffening beams. Some of his major projects included: the Columbia River and Willamette bridges, McKinley Bridge at St. Louis; the Celilo Railroad Bridge at Celilio, Ohio; the Thebes Bridge over the Mississippi; the Quebec Bridge over the St. Lawrence River; the Delaware River Bridge; the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Mid-Hudson Bridge.

On December 28, 1885, Modjeski married Felicie Benda (d. 1936) in New York and the couple had three children: Felix Bozenta Modjeski (1887); Marylka Stuart Modjeski (1894) and Charles Emmanuel John Modjeski (1896-1944). Ralph and Felicie divorced in 1931. He later married Virginia Giblyn on July 7, 1931. Modjeski died in Los Angles on June 26, 1940.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Bollman Truss Bridge Collection, 1852-1986 (AC1064)

Canadian Bridges Photograph Albums, 1873-1911 (AC1025)

Victor C. Darnell Bridge Construction Photographs, 1911-1913 and undated (AC1018)

Beata Drake Covered Bridge Collection, 1954-1981 (AC0998)

Ben Franklin Bridge Photograph Album, 1922-1926 (AC1029)

Hartford, Connecticut Bridge Collection, 1903-1905 (AC1066)

Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad Bridge Profiles, 1877-1896 (AC1073)

Richard H. Miller Bridge Collection : postcards and slides, circa 1950-1988 and undated, #950

George S. Morison Collection, 1846-1903 (AC0978)

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Records, 1848-1946 (bulk 1890-1929) (AC1060)

Northern Pacific Railroad Bridge Construction Photograph Album, 1883-1884 (AC1030)

David Plowden North American Bridge Photographs, 1970-1976 (AC1019)

Quebec Bridge Photograph Collection, 1905-1986 (bulk 1905-1916) (AC1026)

Railroad Bridges Construction Photograph Album, circa 1905-1914 (AC1024)

Samuel Reed Bridge Collection, 1947-1964 (AC1001)

Rip Van Winkle Bridge Photographs, 1933-1935 (AC1027)

John A. Roebling Collection,1836-1975 (bulk 1930-1950) (AC0981)

Holton Duncan Robinson Papers, 1889-1938 (AC0963)

Lucinda Rudell Covered Bridges Collection, 1942-1979 (AC1028)

Lester Shanks Collection of Covered Bridge Photographs and Ephemera, 1876-2010 (bulk 1973-2008) (AC1244)

Washington, D.C. Bridges Collection, 1900-1905 (AC01095)

Raymond E. Wilson Covered Bridge Collection, 1958-1974 (AC0999)

Materials at Other Organizations

Southern Illinois University, Morris Library Special Collections

Walter E. Angier photograph collection, 1901-1915

Walter E. Angier Vertical File Manuscript, 1924

Michigan Historical Collections, Bentley Historical Library, University of Michigan

Alfred Noble Papers, 1862-1922
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Modejeski and Masters Consulting Engineers, through Joseph J. Scherrer, October 2, 1990.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Civil engineering  Search this
Bridge failures  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Genre/Form:
Oral history -- 1950-1970
Lantern slides
Photographs -- Black-and-white negatives -- Glass
Drawings
Contracts
Letterpress books
Photographs -- 19th century
Correspondence
Citation:
Modjeski and Masters Company Records, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0976
See more items in:
Modjeski and Masters Company Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0976
Online Media:

Holton Duncan Robinson papers

Creator:
Robinson, Holton Duncan, 1863-1945  Search this
Extent:
0.66 Cubic feet (2 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Books
Cyanotypes
Clippings
Photographs
Correspondence
Notebooks
Patents
Date:
1889 - 1938
Summary:
Business papers, patents, and photographs of bridges documenting the work of Holton Duncan Robinson, world-renowned engineer in suspension bridge cable design and construction.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of the personal papers and photographs of Holton Duncan Robinson, world famous engineer in suspension bridge cable design and construction. Highlights are his business correspondence, an 1889 notebook containing calculations, and five original patents. The collection also contains numerous photographs, some of a personal nature, but mostly negatives, photographs, and cyanotypes that document bridges and the process of bridge construction, labeled with location and date. While there are many more negatives than photographs, the numbered negatives match with the numbered photographs. Also included are three prints depicting the Waldo-Hancock Bridge in Maine, the Mount Hope Bridge in Rhode Island, and the Canadian Crossing Thousand Islands Bridge. The Robinson family seemed to have used the prints as Christmas cards. Additional background information on Holton Duncan Robinson, including several in-depth biographies and career contributions is also included among the materials.
Arrangement:
The collection is organized into one series.

Series 1, Personal Papers, 1889-1938
Biographical / Historical:
Holton Duncan Robinson, the youngest son of Ichabod Harvey and Isabelle (McLeod) Robinson, was born in Massena, New York, on February 7, 1863. Directly after graduating St. Lawrence University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1886, he worked as a chain man for the civil engineering firm Buck and McNulty.

When the association between Buck and McNulty ended, Robinson continued his vocation with Buck and worked on computations and drawings for various bridges, including the Driving Park Avenue Bridge over the Genesee River at Rochester. Robinson was in charge of many aspects of New York bridge design and construction over the next several years, including the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan Bridge. He became chief engineer of the Glyndon Contracting Company in 1907 and designed the footbridge, machinery, and plant used in the construction of previously unseen 21-inch cables. Later in his career, he went on to build cables 30 inches in diameter. In 1910, he resigned as chief engineer of the company and built a bridge in Massena Center, New York, before continuing work on the Manhattan Bridge.

Robinson began work with Mackenzie and Mann in October of 1912 and worked as a bridge engineer consultant for the Canadian Northern Railway Company before resigning in 1914. During World War I, Robinson was employed by the Bureau of Yards and Docks, U.S. Navy, as a supervising engineer on plant extension work for war programs. He remained with the department until December 1919, when he joined forces with Daniel E. Moran and William H. Yates.

In 1920, David B. Steinman, a previous business acquaintance, offered Robinson a position as a partner in an engineering firm. The firm of Robinson and Steinman completed many notable bridge engagements during its 25 years, including design and construction of bridges across the country as well as in Canada, Bolivia, and Brazil. The men were also involved in the design for bridges in Australia, Germany, Spain, and Denmark.

Robinson's inventions included the hydraulically-operated cable-squeezing machine, electrically-operated cable-wrapping machine, flat-band seizings, and a simplified version of cable anchorage. He also helped to develop the Florianópolis type of suspension bridge as well as a method of preventing aerodynamic instability. Because of Robinson's additions to the field, the time it takes to build suspension bridges has been greatly reduced. He became a Life Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers in January 1929.

Robinson remained active in the bridge construction field until his death on May 7, 1945. He and his wife Frank Brown had two children, daughter Mary Olivia and son Allan McLeod.
Related Materials:
Materials in the Archives Center

Cass Gilbert Collection (AC0214)

Rip Van Winkle Bridge Photographs (AC1027)

Niagara Falls Bridge Commission Records (AC1060)

Parson, Brinckerhuff, Quade and Douglas Records (AC0969)

Nathan W. Morgan Papers (AC0965)
Provenance:
The collection was donated by Ann Robinson Henshaw, Holton Duncan Robinson's granddaughter, in 2007.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research use.
Rights:
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Topic:
Engineering  Search this
Bridges -- New York (N.Y.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Books
Cyanotypes
Clippings
Photographs -- 1900-1950
Correspondence -- 20th century
Notebooks
Patents
Citation:
Holton Duncan Robinson papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0963
See more items in:
Holton Duncan Robinson papers
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0963
Online Media:

In the wake of Tacoma : suspension bridges and the quest for aerodynamic stability / Richard Scott

Author:
Scott, Richard 1956-  Search this
Physical description:
xxi, 392 p. : ill. ; 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Tacoma Narrows Bridge (Tacoma, Wash.)
Date:
2001
C2001
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction--History  Search this
Bridges--Aerodynamics  Search this
History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_685135

Constructing a bridge : an exploration of engineering culture, design, and research in nineteenth-century France and America / Eda Kranakis

Author:
Kranakis, Eda  Search this
Physical description:
xi, 453 p. : ill. ; 24 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
France
United States
Date:
1997
C1997
19th century
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction--History  Search this
Technology--Social aspects--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_512710

A technical description of the San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge in non-technical language ... by E. Cromwell Mensch, F. M

Author:
Mensch, Ernest Cromwell  Search this
Physical description:
64 p. illus. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
San Francisco Oakland Bay Bridge
Date:
1935
C1935
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG25.S237M4 1935bX
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_402190

An analysis of the specifications for steel cable wire for the East River Suspension Bridge / by Albert Hill

Author:
Hill, Albert  Search this
Physical description:
17 p. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
New York (State)
East River
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1877
Topic:
Steel wire  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG25.N53 A188 1867
TG25.N53A188 1867
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_403351

Crossing the Delaware : the story of the Delaware Memorial Bridge, the longest twin-suspension bridge in the world / William J. Miller

Author:
Miller, William J  Search this
Physical description:
114 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Delaware
New Jersey
Delaware Memorial Bridge (Del. and N.J.)
Date:
1990
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG25.D4 M65 1990
TG25.D4M65 1990
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_413157

The design and construction of metallic bridges / by William H. Burr and Myron S. Falk

Author:
Burr, William H (William Hubert) 1851-1934  Search this
Falk, Myron S (Myron Samuel)  Search this
Physical description:
xiii, 532 p. : ill. ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1908
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG145 .B968 1908
TG145.B968 1908
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_420338

Tracts on vaults and bridges : containing observations on the various forms of vaults : on the taking down and rebuilding London Bridge : and on the principles of arches : illustrated by extensive tables of bridges : also containing the principles of pendent bridges : with reference to the properties of the catenary, applied to the Menai Bridge : and a theoretical investigation of the catenary

Author:
Ware, Samuel  Search this
Physical description:
xx, [6], 73, [3], 71, [2], 34, 35a, 36-177, [1] p., [20] folded leaves of plates : ill. ; 25 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
London Bridge (London, England)
Date:
1822
Topic:
Bridges  Search this
Arches  Search this
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG7 .W26 1822
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_455171

Bridges / David J. Brown

Author:
Brown, David J  Search this
Physical description:
176 p. : ill. (some col.), maps ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1993
C1993
Topic:
Bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Architecture--Aesthetics  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_471406

Description du pont suspendu en fil de fer, construit à Genève / par G.-H. Dufour ..

Author:
Dufour, Guillaume Henri 1787-1875  Search this
Donor:
Burndy Library DSI  Search this
Subject:
Dufour, Guillaume Henri 1787-1875  Search this
Physical description:
89, [3] p., 3 folded leaves of plates : ill. ; 26 cm. (4to)
Type:
Books
Place:
Switzerland
Geneva
Geneva (Switzerland)
Date:
1824
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Buildings, structures, etc  Search this
Call number:
TG400.D84X 1824
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_314509

Plans accompanying report on a railway suspension bridge over the River St. Lawrence, near Quebec

Physical description:
4 folded leaves : map, plans ; 34 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Saint Lawrence River
Date:
1851
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG400 .P712 1851
TG400.P712 1851
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_359322

Description du pont suspendu : construit sur la Dordogne a Argentat, départment de la Corrèze, aux frais de M. le comte Alexis dDe Noailles ... : suivie de l'exposé des divers procedés employés pour la confection des cables en fil de fer, pour le levage de ces cables et du tablier, et terminée par une note sur quelques prix de main-d'œuvre / par L.-J. Vicat ..

Author:
Vicat, L.-J (Louis-Joseph) 1786-1861  Search this
Noailles, Alexis comte de 1783-1835  Search this
Physical description:
[4], 48 p., V folded leaves of plates : ill. ; 29 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
France
Argentat
Dordogne River
Date:
1830
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG400 .V43 1830
TG400.V43 1830
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_398556

Long and short span railway bridges / by John A. Roebling

Author:
Roebling, John Augustus 1806-1869  Search this
Engraver:
Barnard, William S. approximately 1809-  Search this
Illustrator:
Greiffenberg, Frederick 1843-1921  Search this
Former owner:
United States Patent Office Scientific Library DSI  Search this
Physical description:
50 pages, 10 leaves frontispiece (portrait) 13 folded plates, tables, diagrams 51 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
United States
Date:
1869
Topic:
Long-span bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Short-span bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Railroad bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Trusses--Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG400 .R72 1869 folio
TG400.R7
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_104599

Description of Horace L. Hervey's bridges. Patented Aug 21, 1855, and Feb 26, 1856

Author:
Hervey, Horace L  Search this
Physical description:
vi, 15 p. illus., fold. plan. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1856
[1856?]
Topic:
Bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Suspension bridges  Search this
Bridges  Search this
Call number:
TG300 .H57
TG300.H57
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_158350

Rational design methods for short-span suspension bridges for modern highway loadings, by C.B. McCullough ... G.S. Paxson ... and Dexter R. Smith ..

Author:
McCullough, Conde B (Conde Balcom) 1887-1946  Search this
Paxson, Glenn Stewart 1893-  Search this
Smith, Dexter R  Search this
Physical description:
vi, 205 p. incl. illus., tables, diagrs. 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1940
Topic:
Suspension bridges  Search this
Bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG400 .M13
TG400.M13
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_160005

East River Bridge : Laws and engineer's reports

Author:
Roebling, John Augustus 1806-1869  Search this
Roebling, Washington Augustus 1837-1926  Search this
Collingwood, Francis 1834-1911  Search this
Smith, Andrew H (Andrew Heermance) 1837-1910 Effects of high atmospheric pressure, including the caisson disease  Search this
American Society of Civil Engineers  Search this
New York Bridge Company  Search this
Former owner:
Museum of the City of New York DSI  Search this
Physical description:
1 v. (various pagings), folded leaves of plates : ill., plans ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Brooklyn Bridge (New York, N.Y.)
Date:
1868
1868-1884
[1868-1884]
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction  Search this
Decompression sickness  Search this
Design and construction  Search this
Call number:
TG25.N53 E13 1868
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1004983

History of the modern suspension bridge : solving the dilemma between economy and stiffness / Tadaki Kawada ; translated by Harukazu Ohashi ; edited by Richard Scott

Author:
Kawada, Tadaki 1935-  Search this
Scott, Richard 1956 Feb. 10-  Search this
Physical description:
xv, 246 p. : ill ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2010
C2010
Topic:
Suspension bridges--Design and construction--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_939255

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