Guide to the Homer J. Dana Papers 1890-1970
Cage 797

Summary Information

Repository
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Creator
Dana, Homer J. (Homer Jackson), 1890-1970
Title
Homer J. Dana Papers
ID
Cage 797
Date [inclusive]
1890-1970
Extent
4.0 boxes
General Physical Description note
2.75 linear feet of shelf space
Language
English
Abstract
This collection consists of personal and professional papers of Homer J. Dana. Personal papers include diplomas, correspondence, certificates of membership for organizations as well as proposals, drawings and other documents related to engineering projects he pursued following his retirement. Professional papers include drawings, specifications, photographs, motion picture film, and correspondence pertaining to several of his engineering projects while employed at Washington State College.

Preferred Citation note

[Item description] Homer J. Dana papers, 1890-1970

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

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Biographical/Historical note

Homer Jackson Dana attended the State College of Washington (now Washington State University) where he completed a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1915 and a master's degree in electrical engineering in 1916. He remained at WSU as an instructor, then returned as a student to complete a professional degree in mechanical engineering in 1921. He continued his association with WSU, first as a consulting engineer, and later as a research engineer, until his retirement in 1960. Although his post was as a research engineer, Dana occasionally taught classes, participated in the education of graduate students, and served as director of the Engineering Experiment Station. Dana's engineering pursuits did not end with his retirement; he continued researching new inventions and filing patent applications for nearly a decade, until his death in 1970. Dana Hall is named in his honor.

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Scope and Contents note

The materials in this collection include personal and professional papers of Homer J. Dana, a long-time engineering professor at Washington State College. Personal papers include education and employment records from Washington State College, honors, awards and organization membership, letters from friends and colleagues as well as drawings, specifications and correspondence relating to his inventions after his retirement in 1960, specifically the Dana Shoe Size Computer (United States Patent 3173208 A). Professional papers refer to several of his research projects conducted at Washington State College, primarily the catenary warning light (United States Patent 2736001 A). Items in this collection include papers, drawings, specifications, photographs, motion picture film and memorabilia.

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Arrangement note

This collection is arranged in three series.

Series 1: Personal Papers, 1890-1968. This series includes Homer J. Dana's handwritten biographical notes of his early life, secondary and higher education transcripts, employment history at Washington State College, correspondence and documents relating to his home in Pullman, personal and professional memberships and honors as well as correspondence from friends and associates.

Series 2: Professional projects and documents, 1946-1960. This series contains drawings, correspondence and information about some of Dana's work while at Washington State College. Papers pertaining to the torque screw pole testers and stress meter are included in this series, but drawings, specifications and correspondence in respect to the catenary warning light project, also referred to as an aviation warning light, comprise its bulk.

Series 3: Retirement projects and related papers, 1960-1970. This series includes materials pertaining to two of Homer Dana's inventions after his retirement from Washington State College: the shoe size computer and the king size speedometer. The majority of these papers are drawings, specifications and correspondence for the shoe size computer

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries © 2013

http://www.wsulibs.wsu.edu/masc
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610
509-335-6691
mascref@wsu.edu

Conditions Governing Access note

This collection is open and available for research use.

Conditions Governing Use note

Copyright restrictions apply.

Immediate Source of Acquisition note

This collection was donated to the Washington State University Libraries in three installments, from two different sources. The Washington State University College of Engineering donated two groups of materials, in 1981 and 1992 (MS.1981.33, MS 1992-10). James Englund, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, donated the rest of the collection in 1984 (MS.1984.44), along with his own professional papers.

Processing Information note

This collection was processed by Darcie Hart Riedner.

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

Homer J. Dana brochure and catalog collection, 1915-1950 (Cage 88)

Homer J. Dana papers, 1890-1970 (Cage 299)

Homer J. Dana, Historical Sketch Describing the Growth of the Generation and Use of Electricity in Pullman and the Inland Empire, 1958 (Cage 1817)

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Washington State University -- Faculty--Archives
  • Washington State University College of Engineering and Architecture--History--Sources

Personal Name(s)

  • Dana, Homer J. (Homer Jackson), 1890-1970--Archives

Subject(s)

  • Colleges and Universities
  • Electrical engineers--Archives
  • Engineering--Research--History--Sources
  • Mechanical engineers--Archives
  • Technology

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Collection Inventory

Series 1: Personal Papers 1890-1968 

Box Folder

Biographical notes, high school diploma, Washington State College undergraduate and graduate diplomas, personal memorabilia 1890-1916 

1 1

Biographical notes, high school diploma, Washington State College undergraduate and graduate diplomas, personal memorabilia (continued) 

4

Washington State College employment history 1920-1960 

1 2

Professional honors and awards 1940-1961 

1 3

Professional honors and awards (continued) 

4

Professional and personal organization memberships and cards 1911-1960 

1 4

Professional and personal organization memberships and cards (continued) 

4

Correspondence and documents referring to the Dana residence at 703 Linden Street, Pullman, Washington 1920-1968 

1 5

Personal correspondence with George and Margaret Sylvester from Barrow, Alaska (includes black and white photographs) 1925-1927 

1 6

Personal correspondence with former Washington State College professor Olaf Jenkins and his wife Dorothy, from Singapore and Weltevreden, Java (Indonesia) 1925-1926 

1 6

Photographs (slides) from Dana's service as military operations analyst assigned to the 2nd Air Force 1944-1945 

1 7

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Series 2: Professional Papers 1946-1960 

Box Folder

Drawings and specifications for catenary warning light (aviation warning light) 1950-1956 

2 8

Catenary warning light research proposals 1954 

2 9

Catenary warning light correspondence and agreements with Bonneville Power Administration 1951-1956 

2 10

Catenary light inquiries for parts and materials 1952-1965 

2 11

Catenary warning light patent correspondence and other documentation (U.S. patent 2736001 A) 1951-1954 

2 12

Catenary warning light manufacture and licensing. Includes black and white photographs (4 items) 1951-1967 

2 13

Catenary warning light testing data 1951-1955 

3 14

Catenary warning light promotional materials 1951-1958 

3 15

Warning light film tailings (motion picture film: 2 reels) 

4

Catenary warning light installation at Pullman, Washington airport. Includes black and white photographs 1953-1954 

3 16

Torque screw pole tester drawings and specifications 1946-1948 

3 17

Lie detector/stress meter research proposals 1954 

3 18

Correspondence about government consulting opportunity 1959 

3 19

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SERIES 3: Retirement projects and related papers 1960-1970 

Box Folder

Drawings and specifications for shoe size computer 1960-1970 

3 20

Correspondence with Mike Saad (co-inventor of shoe size computer) 1959-1962 

3 21

Shoe size computer patent correspondence and information (U.S. patent 3173208 A). 1960-1964 

3 22

Shoe size computer parts requests and manufacturing information 1960-1962 

3 23

Shoe size computer promotional material 1962 

3 24

King size speedometer proposal undated 

3 25

Certificates, awards, high school diploma, personal items, catenary warning light film tailings (2 reels). 1910-1946 

4

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