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Records

Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Extent:
4.5 cu. ft. (9 document boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Black-and-white photographs
Clippings
Manuscripts
Date:
1886-1956
Descriptive Entry:
These records document the activities of the Division of Engineering and its predecessors. Included is early correspondence between curators and administrators of the USNM and the Smithsonian; an incomplete general correspondence file, R-Z, circa 1904-1919; annual and quarterly reports of the Division; histories of the Division of Technology, 1906; administrative files including budgets, plans of operations, object inventories, and list of objects packed for evacuation during World War II; postcards and photographs of museums and exhibits from Mitman's study of European engineering, industrial, and science museums in 1932; files, including minutes of an organizing committee and correspondence between Mitman and Holbrook Fitz John Porter and Frederick A. Waldron, concerning an effort to establish a national museum of engineering and industry under the direction of the Smithsonian; and files including correspondence and biographical information, documenting the Division of Mineral and Mechanical Technology's effort to establish a biographical file of American inventors, engineers, and industrialists.
Historical Note:
The Section of Steam Transportation was the first curatorial division in the United States National Museum (USNM) responsible for mechanical, technical, and scientific objects in the collection. The Section was established in 1886, with J. Elfreth Watkins as Honorary Curator. Two years later the Section was renamed the Section of Transportation and Engineering with Watkins as Curator. William Crawford Winlock succeeded Watkins and was named Honorary Curator of Apparatus in 1891; he served until 1895. Watkins rejoined the Smithsonian in 1895 as Curator of the Section of Technological Collections; later he was Custodian of the Electrical Collections in 1896 and Curator of the Technological Collections in 1897.

In 1898 a major reorganization occurred in the USNM. That year the Division of Technology (Mechanical Phases) became part of the Department of Anthropology, with Watkins as Curator of the Division, serving until his death in 1903. George C. Maynard, who originally served as Aid and Custodian in the Division, was appointed Assistant Curator in 1901. In 1904 the Division was renamed the Division of Technology. In 1912 its name was changed to the Division of Mechanical Technology with Maynard as Curator until 1918.

From 1904 to 1913 the Department of Mineral Technology with Charles D. Walcott as Honorary Curator had only nominal recognition, but was given full curatorial status as the Division of Mineral Technology in 1913 with Chester G. Gilbert as Curator. Carl W. Mitman joined the Division as Assistant Curator in 1916. In 1918 Joseph E. Pogue was appointed Assistant Curator.

In 1919 the Department of Arts and Industries was established with the Division of Mineral Technology reporting to that Department while the Division of Mechanical Technology was still under Anthropology. Gilbert and Pogue were each Curator and Mitman was Assistant Curator in Mineral Technology. In 1920 both divisions were placed under Arts and Industries; Gilbert was named Honorary Curator, staying until 1935. Mitman was promoted to Curator of Mechanical Technology in 1920 and Curator of Mineral and Mechanical Technology from 1921 to 1931.Other curators included Paul M. Frank, Assistant Curator of Mineral Technology, 1922; Paul E. Garber, Assistant Curator, 1925-1931; and Frank A. Taylor, Assistant Curator, 1929-1931.

A major reorganization in the USNM occurred in 1932, with the Division of Engineering and Industries under the Department of Arts and Industries. Engineering had sections of Mechanical Technology, Aeronautics, and Mineral Technology. Staff included Mitman, Curator of the Division, 1932, and in Charge of Mineral Technology, 1932-1938; Taylor, Assistant Curator of Mechanical Technology, 1932, Curator of the Division and in Charge of Mechanical Technology,1933-1938; and Garber, Assistant Curator of Aeronautics.

Another reorganization occurred in 1939 when the Division was placed under the Department of Engineering and Industries. The Division, with Taylor as Curator, included sections of Transportation and Civil Engineering, Aeronautics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Communications, Mining and Metallurgical Engineering, Tools, and Physical Sciences and Measurement. Garber continued as Assistant Curator and Associate Curator of Aeronautics, 1942-1946; Fred C. Reed, Acting Associate Curator of Aeronautics,1943-1946; Mitman, Curator of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering; and Taylor in charge of the last Section.

In 1947 a reorganization occurred at the section level with Engineering responsible for Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Marine Transportation, Land Transportation, Electricity, and Physical Science and Measurement. Taylor continued as Curator of the Division until 1948 when he was named Acting Curator. Smith Hempstone Oliver was appointed Associate Curator of Land Transportation in 1947 and in 1948, Kenneth M. Parry as Associate Curator of Electricity. In 1954 Robert P. Multauf was appointed Associate Curator of the Division and Curator in 1955.He was also in charge of the sections of Civil and Mechanical Engineering, Tools, and Physical Science and Measurement; Parry was Associate Curator of Marine Transportation and Electricity; and Oliver, Associate Curator of Land Transportation and Horology, a new Section in 1955.
Topic:
Engineering  Search this
Engineering museums  Search this
Genre/Form:
Black-and-white photographs
Clippings
Manuscripts
Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 297
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-sia-faru0297

Folders 6-19 Division of Mineral and Mechanical Technology, 1920-1921 - 1933-1934

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 5 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 5
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1011

Folders 20-32 Division of Engineering, 1934-1935 - 1946-1947

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 5 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 5
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1023

Box 6

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1036

Folders 1-9 Division of Engineering, 1947-1948 - 1955-1956

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1044

Folder 10 Quarterly Report, Division of Technology, 1908-1911

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1056

Folder 11 Quarterly Report, Division of Mechanical Technology, 1912-1921

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1068

Folder 12 Quarterly Report, Divisions of Mineral and Mechanical Technology, 1921-1931

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1080

Folder 13 Quarterly Report, Division of Engineering, 1931-1933

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1093

Folders 14-15 Division Doings, 1921-1933. Includes clipping from the Smithsonian"Local Notes"

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1105

Folder 16 Growth of the Division of Engineering, 1926-1936, 1937

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1117

Folder 17 History of the Division of Technology, c. 1906

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 6 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 6
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1129

Box 7

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1142

Folders 1-2 History of the Division of Technology, c. 1906

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 7 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 7
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1150

Folder 3 History of the Division of Technology by George C. Maynard, September1906

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 7 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 7
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1162

Folder 4 Organization of the Division of Technology, 1900-1905

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 7 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 4: ANNUAL AND QUARTERLY REPORTS AND DIVISION HISTORIES, 1895-1956 / Box 7
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1174

SPECIAL REPORTS, EXHIBIT RECORDS, AND RELATED MATERIAL, 1898-1946

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
Identifier:
Record Unit 297, Series 5
See more items in:
Records
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1188

Box 7

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 5: SPECIAL REPORTS, EXHIBIT RECORDS, AND RELATED MATERIAL, 1898-1946
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1199

Folder 5 Bordeaux Exposition Report, 1907

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 7 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 5: SPECIAL REPORTS, EXHIBIT RECORDS, AND RELATED MATERIAL, 1898-1946 / Box 7
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1207

Folder 6 Budgets, Plans of Operations, and Furniture and Fixtures Schedules, 1935-1944

Collection Creator::
United States National Museum. Division of Engineering  Search this
Container:
Box 7 of 9
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 297, United States National Museum. Division of Engineering, Records
See more items in:
Records
Records / Series 5: SPECIAL REPORTS, EXHIBIT RECORDS, AND RELATED MATERIAL, 1898-1946 / Box 7
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-faru0297-refidd1e1219

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