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Record Group 18 - College of Engineering

Engineering courses have been available since the inception of Virginia Tech in 1872 when a student could follow the "Mechanical" course of study which included mechanical drawing, mechanical engineering, machinery, and steam engines. When the first administrative instructional divisions were established in 1903-04, engineering was one of four academic departments for which a dean was appointed. In 1920-21, it became the School of Engineering and then, in 1964, the College of Engineering.

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Newspaper Clippings and Printed Material, 1917-Present

Mounted clippings for "Engineering and Chemistry" (1917, 1930-44) and "Engineering" (1950-60) can be located under classification "Me." Vertical files, maintained by record group number, contain newspaper clippings and printed material, such as brochures and circulars, from 1960 to present.

Department of Electrical Engineering

(RG 18/6)
This department was originally called Physics and Electrical Engineering from 1894-98. In 1898, Physics was dropped from the title and it became just Electrical Engineering. The first bachelor degree in this curriculum was awarded in 1894 and a graduate degree was available from 1910-31.

Account Ledger, 1925-26

1 vol.
This handwritten ledger includes companies' names and addresses, order numbers, dates, and amounts.

  • A Chronological History of the Harry Lynde Bradley Department of Electrical Engineering (LD5655 A562 E35 1989)

Department of Mechanical Engineering

(RG 18/9)
Courses have been offered in Mechanical Engineering since 1872. From 1874-81, the department was called Technology, then Mechanical from 1881-83, followed by Physics and Mechanics from 1883-91. Since 1891, it has been the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The first Bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering was given in 1889 and a Master of Mechanical Engineering was offered from 1894-1932.

Records, 1886-1936

1.0 cu. ft.
This collection is primarily the correspondence (1910-36) of J.S.A Johnson, Professor of Applied Mechanics and Experimental Engineering, including letters (1919-22) concerning the Governor's Board of Mechanical Survey, of which Johnson was a member, and correspondence concerning the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (1929-30). Also included are notes of test conducted by Johnson at the Mechanical Engineering Laboratory at Lehigh University in 1908 and in the VPI Department of Experimental Engineering in 1908 and 1918. There are manuscript copies of theses and papers submitted by students for their Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering (1912-29) as well.

The collection does include some items besides Johnson's files. These include: a ledger entitled "Power Plant Boiler and Engine Record Book" (19 October 1904 - 25 January 1905); one monthly report of the Power Plant (30 September 1905); and twenty-seven grade books (1886-1918), some of which have professors' names inside: Fitts, 1886-1902; Randolph (1892-97); J.S.A. Johnson (1898-99); and R.B.H. Begg (1900-02).

Department of Graphics

(RG 18/12)
Mechanical drawing was offered as part of the "Mechanical" course of study in the Department of Technical Mechanics, in 1872. In 1875, this became the Department of Mechanics and Drawing. From 1878, courses in drawing were offered under various department names, until 1902 when a Department of Drawing was formed. In 1904, the name became the Department of Graphics. From 1914-20, it was called the Department of Mechanism, Descriptive Geometry, and Graphics, and then from 1920- 47, it was called the Department of Graphics and Mechanism. In 1948, it became the Department of Graphics again. In 1963, the department was reorganized as a division under the Department of Industrial Engineering.

Records, 1913-59

1.0 cu. ft.
This collection consists of the correspondence of professors William Henry Rasche and John Rolfe Castleman. Rasche came to the College in 1895 and was head of the Graphics and Mechanism Department from 1936-48. Castleman came in 1923 and was head of the Department of Graphics from 1956-66.

The collection includes: correspondence with VPI Presidents Joseph Eggleston, Julian Burruss, John Hutcheson, and Walter Newman (1913-62); correspondence with Vice- Presidents Walter Newman, C. Clement French, and Louis Pardue (1946-57); correspondence with Treasurers Charles Wade, J.H. Taft, and J.B. Fogleman (1918-45); correspondence with Engineering Deans L.S. Randolph, S.R. Pritchard, Earle B. Norris, and J.W. Whittemore (1913-59); correspondence with faculty (1919-32, 1937-46); and correspondence with other universities (1940-44). There are also several files of correspondence and other items concerning the Intercollegiate Rankine Memorial Movement (1939-40) and the bust of Rankine presented by the class of 1902 to the University in 1940. (William Rankine was one of the founders of modern scientific engineering.)

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