John J. Beer papers1835-1991 Majority of material found within 1961-1991
- Majority of material found within 1961-1991
- Beer, John J. (Person)
.5 Linear Feet
During his career, Beer conducted research on the history of chemistry and the chemical industry. With Eugene S. Ferguson (1916-2004), George Basalla (1928-), and David A. Hounshell (1950-), Beer played a major role in developing the University of Delaware’s program in the history of technology and the Hagley Fellowship Program.
Beer has been a member of the History of Science Society, the American Historical Association, and the Society of History and Technology. Papers written or co-written by Beer include “Emergence of the German Dye Industry,” University of Illinois, 1959; “Aspects of the Professionalization of Science,” Daedalus, fall 1963; “The Function of History in Industrial Research Organization,” Research Management, spring 1966; “Technology and Progress,” in A Study of American History, Dushkin, 1974; and “The Chemistry of the Founding Fathers,” July, 1976.
Scope and Contents
Minutes of the Hagley Fellowship Program Committee date from 1979 to 1991 and describe the major changes that occurred to the program during the 1980s. Another file details the abortive effort to have Technology and Culture, the journal of the Society for the History of Technology, edited at the Hagley Museum and Library.
The bulk of the papers consists of correspondence, notes, research materials, and drafts for a projected book or article on "Russia iron," a highly finished, wear-resistant iron produced in Russia during the nineteenth century. Some of the materials are copies from Hagley Museum and Library Accession 0340, describing how Charles L. Gilpin travelled to Russia in 1880 in an attempt to discover the secret of Russia iron for American ironmaster W. Dewees Wood. Wood later succeeded in manufacturing a "planished" iron supposedly equal or superior to Russia iron. Beer's notes include material on both Wood and Gilpin. Beer also attempted modern chemical analysis on surviving samples of Russia iron in an attempt to discover the supposed secret process of its manufacture.
There are also a small quantity of notes on an earlier research project on theories of dyeing, as well as a series of posters on technological landmarks and technological progress.
Language of Materials
- Beer, John J. (Person)
Finding Aid & Administrative Information
- John J. Beer papers
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