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Fred H. Colvin papers

 Collection
Identifier: Spec-Coll-00011

Scope and Content

The Fred H. Colvin Collection consists primarily of correspondence, clippings, typescripts and photographs documenting the history and development of the machine tool industry and to his career as an editor, author and co-author in the fields of technical writing, poetry and history. The bulk of this collection consists of research material gathered by Colvin for his unpublished History of the American Machine Tool Industry.

Dates

  • 1880-1965

Language of Materials

The records are in English

Restrictions on Access

There are no restrictions on access to this collection.

Restrictions on Use

There are no restrictions on use of this collection.

Biography of Fred H. Colvin

Fred H. Colvin was born in Sterling, Massachusetts, on October 5, 1867. After completing grammar school in 1883, he started learning the machinists' trade as an apprentice at the Rue Manufacturing Company in Philadelphia. Colvin worked at Rue Manufacturing for ten years during which time he began writing articles for a number of technical periodicals. His talent as a writer led to a prolific career as editor, author and co-author of many publications. Colvin's tenure in technical publishing corresponded to the golden age of the machine tool industry in America. In 1894, he became the first editor of the trade journal Machinery, in New York. In 1907 he joined the Hill Publishing Company (later McGraw-Hill) as associate editor and then editor of The American Machinist and served in that position until his retirement in 1937. After retirement he continued his active connection with the paper as editor emeritus and continued contributing to the McGraw-Hill catalog of machine tool reference works. His best known work is The American Machinists' Handbook, published and revised from 1908-1945, which he co-authored with Frank Stanley. Colvin played important roles in the American armament efforts in World War I and World War II. His autobiography: Sixty Years with Men and Machines, was published in 1947. A volume of poetry: Safety Valve, was published in 1952. Illness and death in 1965 left his final work History of the American Machine Tool Industry unfinished.

Extent

5.22 linear feet

Overview

The Fred H. Colvin Collection consists primarily of correspondence, clippings, typescripts and photographs documenting the history and development of the machine tool industry and to his career as an editor, author and co-author in the fields of technical writing, poetry and history. The bulk of this collection consists of research material gathered by Colvin for his unpublished History of the American Machine Tool Industry.

Statement of Arrangement

This collection is arranged in three series: Series 1: Correspondence, 1883-1965; Series 2: Written works, 1888-1962; Series 3: Photographs, 1880-1964.

Acquisition Information

This collection was donated to the Case Archive of Contemporary Science and Technology by Fred H. Colvin in 1965.
Title
Finding aid for the Fred H. Colvin Papers
Status
Completed
Author
Finding aid prepared by Special Collections staff
Date
2017
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding Aid Written In English

Repository Details

Part of the Kelvin Smith Library Special Collections Repository

Contact:
Kelvin Smith Library
Case Western Reserve University
Cleveland OH 44106-7151 United States
216.368.0189