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E. G. Bailey papers

1873-1991
 Collection
Accession: 2092

Abstract

Ervin George "E. G." Bailey (1880-1974) was a combustion engineer, inventor, and businessman. His personal papers include correspondence and articles on subjects relating to combustion engineering, and information about awards and honors Bailey received and conferences he participated in. Bailey's papers include copies of numerous speeches and publications on combustion engineering and engineering education.

Dates

  • 1873-1991

Creator

Extent

8 Linear Feet

Biographical Note

Ervin George "E. G." Bailey (1880-1974) was a combustion engineer, inventor, and businessman.

Bailey was born in Damascus, Ohio, on December 25, 1880. He was mechanically precocious as a child and invented a number of mechanisms while working in his father's sawmill and farm. He studied mechanical engineering at The Ohio State University under E. A. Hitchcock (1866-1948), and was a classmate and friend of Charles F. Kettering (1876-1958), later of General Motors. After five years in the Test Department of the Consolidation Coal Company, Bailey was recruited by Arthur D. Little (1863-1935) of Boston to establish a Coal Department in 1907. Two years later, he established the Fuel Testing Company with two college friends.

In 1915, Bailey invented the Bailey boiler meter, the first device to accurately measure boiler inputs and steam output. The Bailey Meter Company was organized in Boston on January 1, 1916, and moved to Cleveland three years later. In 1922, Bailey produced the Bailey automated control system, which regulated the air and fuel supply to boilers. The Bailey meters were part of the culmination of traditional steam technology, achieving maximum efficiency from coal-fired boilers.

Bailey sold the controlling interest in the company to the Babcock & Wilcox Company in 1925. He became president of another B&W subsidiary, the Fuller-Lehigh Company, a manufacturer of coal-pulverizing equipment, and moved to Easton, Pennsylvania. He also served as a B&W vice president from 1931 to 1951 and became B&W's largest individual stockholder. In 1927, B&W sold a one-third interest in the Bailey Meter Company to General Electric in return for GE's flow-meter business. GE sold its shares back to B&W in the early 1950s. However, the purchase gave Bailey Meter access to GE's expertise and enabled it to expand into the field of electrical and electronic process controls and cultivate the chemical and nuclear industries as traditional steam technology became obsolete. B&W was absorbed by McDermott International in 1975, and the Bailey Meter Company was renamed the Bailey Controls Company. On November 1, 1989, Bailey was sold to Elsag, a subsidiary of an Itallian conglomerate.

E. G. Bailey retired as chairman of the Bailey Meter Company in 1956. He continued to be active in consulting work and engineering education until shortly before his death at Easton on December 18, 1974. Bailey held 141 patents and was the recipient of many engineering honors, including the Fritz Medal in 1952.

Organization of the Collection

This collection is organized into series:

  1. I., E.G. Bailey personal papers
  2. II., Speeches and publications
  3. III., E.G. Bailey's patents
  4. IV., Bailey Meter Company
  5. V., Babcock & Wilcox records
  6. VI., American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  7. VII., Posthumous collections of Bailey

Scope and Contents

The E. G. Bailey papers are a personal collection of materials Bailey retained in his home after his retirement. The papers document Bailey's work as a combustion engineer, a corporate leader, and a promoter of engineering education.

His personal papers include correspondence and articles on subjects relating to combustion engineering, and information about awards and honors Bailey received and conferences he participated in. Bailey's papers include copies of numerous speeches and publications on combustion engineering and engineering education. They include official copies of Bailey's patents, other patents in his interest areas, and deeper information, including blueprints, drawings, reports, and correspondence about patents developed in retirement. The papers include Bailey Meter Company publications; a series of the company magazine, Bailey Meter Record; and Bailey Meter Company bulletins and trade catalogs. The papers document Bailey's involvement in engineering research and company management in both Bailey Meter Company and Babcock & Wilcox. They document his involvement with the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and his efforts to work through that organization to promote engineering as a profession.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.


Additional Information

Additional Description

Separated Materials

E. G. Bailey photographs (Accession 1999.238), Audiovisual Collections and Digital Initiatives Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
E. G. Bailey papers
Status:
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2021: Laurie Sather

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Manuscripts and Archives Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400