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Photographs from the Papers of Charles Phelps Smyth


Held at: Science History Institute Archives [Contact Us]315 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Science History Institute Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Charles Phelps Smyth was born in Clinton, New York on February 10, 1895. He received his bachelors and masters degrees from Princeton University and his Ph.D. from Harvard University where he studied under the Nobel laureate Theodore W. Richards. Smyth served in the National Bureau of Standards and the Chemical Warfare Service during World War I, and from 1920 to 1963 he was a faculty member in the Princeton Department of Chemistry. His field of interest was dielectrics and atomic structure. During World War II, Smyth worked on the Manhattan Project, mostly from Princeton. At the end of the war he was sent to Germany as a member of the Office of Scientific Research and Development's ALSOS Mission to locate and secure scientists and equipment involved with Germany's uranium (nuclear energy) efforts. Smyth received the Medal of Freedom in 1947, the ACS Nichols Medal in 1954 and in 1955 he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences. He served as a consultant to the Office of Naval Research from 1963-1969 and 1971-1978. Smyth died in Bozeman, Montana on March 3, 1990.

For a more detailed inventory, please view this collection in our online library catalog:

This collection consists of black and white photographs of various sizes and some postcards and color prints documenting Charles Phelps Smyth's professional activities and achievements from circa 1918 through 1970. Photographs depicting towns, landscapes, and military personnel taken by Smyth in Germany in 1945 make up about half of the collection. Other photographs show conferences, seminars, and awards ceremonies, including Smyth receiving the Medal of Freedom in 1947, while the postcards are of a more personal nature. Of particular note are color prints of Smyth featured on the March 1954 covers of Chemical Engineering News and the American Chemical Society's magazine The Illustrator. A few pictures from Smyth's earlier years include a tintype of him as a child in 1900 and photographs of him during World War I and his time at Harvard. One photograph is stored in a flat file.

Separated from the Papers of Charles Phelps Smyth, 1870-1990 (bulk 1909-1990); Gift of Emily V. Smyth, widow of Charles Phelps Smyth, 1993.

Processed by Amanda Antonucci in 2007. One photograph is stored in flat files. Object identification numbers were assigned to individual photographs.

Science History Institute Archives
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Finding aid created by Jennifer Nieling and encoded into EAD by Melanie Grear
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Access Restrictions

There are no access restrictions on the materials for research purposes and the collection is open to the public.

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