American Railway Master Mechanic's Association Letterbook, 1879-1886
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Brief Description: Master Mechanic's Letterbook, containing copies of letters by Mr. Jacob Johann (employee of the Wabash Railway & President of the American Railway Master Mechanic's Association, 1886-87) to the chairmen & secretaries of the Association's committees, committee circulars, original letters to Johann, and drawings related to railroads & locomotives.  Letters relate to balanced slide valves; the best form & materials for locomotive wheels, axles, & bearings' cast iron & steel tire wheels; construction & maintenance of railway rolling stock; driver brakes; higher economy in use of bituminous coal for locomotives; hydraulic tests; improvement in valve gears; locomotive boiler construction & comparative performance of locomotives; lubricants; removing, cleaning & resetting of flues; safety features & economy measures; shop tools; smoke stacks & spark arresters; standard draw bars; standard driving wheel centers & standard section of tires & steel castings for locomotives.  Items of special interest include 1) July 14, 1880 letter from James Boon (chairman of the ARMMA's Committee on Investigations to Johann, requesting assistance in gathering information for a report (pp.136-137); 2) Formula for successful locomotive engineering, April 17, 1884 (pp. 304-306); 3) Obituary for Charles A. Smith, associate member of the ARMMA & Professor of Civil & Mechanical Engineering, Washington U., St. Louis, Feb. 2, 1884 (pp.395-398), 4) Drawings by Mr. Johann (pp.438-439). 5) Circular from 4th Vice-President of Wabash, St. Louis & Pacific Railroad on Value of the Missouri Pacific's Railway Hospital System (p.480).
Held at:
University of Illinois Archives
19 Library
1408 W. Gregory Dr.
Urbana, IL 61820
Phone: (217) 333-0798
Fax: (217) 333-2868
Email: illiarch [at]
Record Series Number: 11/5/50
Created by: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Department of Civil Engineering
Volume: 0.1 cubic feet
Acquired: 9/12/69
Arrangement: Chronological
Biographical Note for University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Department of Civil Engineering :

The 1867 Committee of the Regent and the Board of Trustees made provision for Civil Engineering instruction1 but the department did not become a separate unit until after 1871 when Professor J.B. Webb was appointed to the Professorship of Civil Engineering.2 In 1871 there were 21 students enrolled in the Department of Civil Engineering.3

In 1876, the Trustees defined the object of the school as "to furnish a course of theoretical instruction, accompanied and illustrated by a large amount of practice, which will enable students to enter intelligently upon the various and important duties of an engineer." Their report included statements on instructions, course of studies, technical studies, drawing, projects, apparatus and courses.4

On January 30, 1906, the Trustees created a Department of Railway Engineering.5 On January 23, 1907, the Trustees established the School of Railway Engineering and Administration.6 In 1926, the Department took over the work of the Department of Municipal and Sanitary Engineering which had been organized in 1890.7

In February 1989, the Departments of Metallurgy and Mining Engineering and Ceramic Engineering were merged to form the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. See also Subgroup 11/9.8

1. Board of Trustees Transactions, 1st Report, May 8, 1867, pp. 42, 50-51.

2. Board of Trustees Transactions, 5th Report, Nov. 1, 1871, p. 149.

3. Board of Trustees Transactions, 4th Report, 1870-71, p. 14.

4. Board of Trustees Transactions, 8th Report, 1874-76, pp. 44-47.

5. Board of Trustees Transactions, 23rd Report, Jan. 30, 1906, p. 315.

6. Board of Trustees Transactions, 24th Report, Jan. 23, 1907, p. 70.

7. Board of Trustees Transactions, 34th Report, July 7, 1926, p. 3; Board of Trustees Transactions, 17th Report, 1892-94, p. 332.

8. Board of Trustees Transactions, 64th Report, February 4, 1988, pp 466-67.

Subject Index
American Railway Master Mechanics Association
Locomotives, Steam
Railway Engineering
Wabash Railroad
Genres/Forms of Material
Languages of Materials
English [eng]