Preliminary Guide to the Chester Calbick Papers

Summary Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Calbick, Chester
Chester Calbick Papers
Date [inclusive]
2.0 Linear feet 2 boxes.
Location Note
(MASC staff use) 2-2-26-1.
Materials are in English.

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Chester J. Calbick (1905-1990) was born in Nelson, British Columbia, Canada. He graduated from high school at the age of thirteen, and being too young to enlist in the military during World War I, as well as too young for most employment, he briefly attended the University of British Columbia. He then attended Washington State College (today Washington State University) between 1921 and 1924.

Calbick began working at Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York in 1924, where among other projects he measured electrons that had lost energy, including the Auger electrons, with L. H. Germer and future Nobel Prize winner C. J. Davisson. While still working Bell Labs, Calbick began graduate school at Columbia University, receiving his Master's degree in Physics in 1928. His continued work with Germer and Davison at Bell Telephone Labs helped lead to the development of the electron microscope in 1933. His research focused on electron optical instrumentation (including television receiving tubes), surface physics, and microscopy. He was awarded the first Certificate of Recognition by the Electron Microscope Society of American for his research in electron optics.

After retiring from Bell Labs in 1973, Calbick returned to Washington State University to serve as an Adjunct Research Scientist in the Department of Physics, working alongside of Arthur Cohen. He remained in Pullman until his death in 1990.

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Collection Descritpion

This collection contains papers of Chester Calbick, a physicist at Bell Telephone Labs in New York and faculty member at Washington State University. The collection primarily consists of professional papers pertaining to Calbick's research at Bell Telephone Laboratories, including published articles, correspondence, photographs, and research notes. The collection also contains a short autobiography, maps and travel documents, and memorabilia.

Preliminary Inventory:

Box 1: Articles, correspondence, photographs, and materials concerning crystallography and microscopy, as well as an autobiography.

Box 2: Columbia University commencement program (1928), convention programs (1960s), research notes (1970s), maps and travel documents, notebooks from course work at the University of Colombia (1926-1928).

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Organization of Collection

This is an unprocessed collection. Any arrangement reflects either a pre-existing order from the records' creators or previous custodians, or preliminary sorting performed by staff.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries
Terrell Library
P.O. Box 645610
Pullman, WA, 99164-5610


This collection is open and available for research use.

Acquisition Information

Richard Old donated this collection to the Washington State University Libraries on behalf of the Calbick estate in 1990 (MS.1990.43).

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Centennial Oral History Project, 1982-1988 (Archives 202)

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Controlled Access Headings


  • Electron microscopy
  • Physics -- Research--20th century
  • Washington State University -- Faculty -- Archives.

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