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   Alexander Smith Papers, 1900-1919

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Alexander Smith Papers. Columbia University Archives-Columbiana Library.

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Series I: Professional, 1900-1919

This series consists of primarily professional correspondence of Alexander Smith before and during his time at Columbia University. Among the topics that appear with frequency are: personnel issues, recommendation requests and letters, inquiries regarding positions (both teaching and studying) within Columbia and at other institutions, information about appointments and changes at other universities around the country, updates on various people within the profession, speeches or lectures Smith was asked to make or attend, professional organization matters, advice for companies involved in patenting a product, requests for chemical analyses, invitations to meetings/conferences, and chemistry curriculum issues. Many of the files in this series are titled by personal names of professors from other institutions as well as those within the Columbia University community. Following are some of the more significant items of interest found within this series.

Smith was very involved with the American Chemical Society and these files consist of correspondence to and from Smith regarding those activities (especially when he was president of the organization in 1911), most of the time with Charles L. Parsons, secretary of the organization. Issues such as appointments, delegations of members to events, meetings and conferences, changes to the society’s governing documents, monetary issues concerning the journal Chemical Abstracts, and the relationship to the International Association of Chemical Societies are addressed at various times. Correspondents also include William A. Noyes of University of Illinois at Urbana and Julius Steiglitz at University of Chicago. In addition to correspondence, there are meeting minutes, nomination letters, copies of governing documents, and a handwritten address by Smith at the opening of the Chemists Club in New York (1911 March 18) within these files.

The “Stieglitz, Julius” folder addresses a variety of topics including laboratory space, Ph.D. students, obtaining positions for former students, publications, American Chemical Society issues (he was president of the organization starting in 1917), curriculum issues and research. Steiglitz was a chemistry professor at University of Chicago and he and Smith had a very frequent correspondence between 1911 and 1919.

Smith was also actively involved in revising college entrance examinations. In fact, Smith was asked and accepted the chairmanship of a commission to revise the admission requirement in Chemistry (1912 May 1 letter from Professor Morgan to Professor Smith). The folders “College Entrance Examination Board” and “Examinations, College Entrance” both include correspondence, reports and notes concerning these particular exams.

The Columbia University Chemistry Department’s organization is clearly described in a letter dated 1916 March 27 from Smith to George B. Frankforter and can be found in the folder “Frankforter, George B.” A letter dated 1911 March 14 within the “Echlin, Henry M.” folder specifically describes the politics of Columbia and the Chemistry department just before Smith came to New York. The “Haesler, Paul C.” file deals exclusively with departmental matters, especially Haeseler’s position in the department, departmental activities (e.g., 1917 August 21 report on the just ended summer session) as well as Haeseler’s side of a dispute with another individual within the department.

In 1913 and 1914 Smith considered leaving Columbia for an equivalent position at Princeton University. Within the files “Princeton” and “Inquiries” (June, 1913), there is correspondence about Smith’s reasons for considering the position (he wanted his children to have more space than the city could afford), his housing search in the Princeton area, and why he eventually withdrew his acceptance.

The “Inquiries” files are very thick and the correspondence in them directed towards Smith address the variety of topics found throughout this series (e.g., applications for positions, recommendations, invitations, comments on books and articles, meetings, conferences, subscriptions, memberships, requests for chemical analyses, applications to the Columbia Chemistry program, etc.) but instead of being divided into separate files, they are housed together and organized chronologically under this general heading. His responses to the various queries are usually included with the original request.

The effects of World War I on Smith’s colleagues and his department are also discussed in some of these files. Among the most notable examples are within the “Kendall, James “, “Smith, Anne”, and “Walker, James” files. James Kendall was a chemist from Scotland who was part of the Columbia department of Chemistry. He discusses departmental and general chemistry ideas, but more significantly he vividly describes his experiences during WWI, especially his time on a ship targeted by a torpedo shortly after the Lusitania was sunk by German submarines. Anne Smith was Alexander Smith’s assistant whose file consists mostly of relayed information from his NY office to his country home in Pulaski, VA during the summer months. In addition to the office matters she often comments on her own situation particularly her 1914 dilemma about returning to Scotland just as WWI is beginning and whether to marry her “friend” or not.

James Walker worked in the chemistry department at the University of Edinburgh and he also appears to have owned a factory which was engaged in war work during WWI. His correspondence discusses the effects of the war on his classes (e.g., girls in his chemistry classes) and life, as well as the activities of their mutual friend James Kendall. A discussion of wartime coursework and the possibilities of military service/training substituting for course credit can be found in the “Mayer, R.E.” folder. Within the “Scratchard, George” file most of the 1917 correspondence is about this Columbia professor trying to get out of the initial draft on the grounds of participating in government research. The “Cattell, James M.” folder includes discussions of details for the National Academy of Sciences meeting at Columbia University in 1915 November but also includes correspondence concerning Cattell’s dismissal from the University in 1917 due to his views on the war.

In addition to professional matters, sometimes personal issues appear within these correspondence files. The “Menzies, Alan W.C.” file is a good example of correspondence which mixes both professional and personal correspondence. Alan Menzies was in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, then Oberlin and finally at Princeton. His folder contains Smith’s recommendations for Menzies for a position at Birmingham University (1919). The “Van Cott, Dr. James” and “Webster, George W.” files concern Smith’s attempts to find answers and remedies for the illness suffered by Mr. William Bowles, his father-in-law, by contacting the two doctors to discuss and trade ideas and possible solutions.

Allen, Harry L., 1912-1914

Box 1
Folder 1
Altaffer, L.B.,
1915
Box 1
Folder 2
Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1915-1916
Box 1
Folder 3
American Association of University Professors, 1914-1916
Box 1
Folder 4
American Associations for the Advancement of Science,
1916,
1918
Box 1
Folder 5
American Chemical Society
Jan 1911-1919
(9 Folders)
Box 1
Folder 6 to 14
Governance, 1905-1912
Box 1
Folder 15
Delaware Section, 1918-1919
Box 1
Folder 16
Rochester Section, 1915-1917
Box 1
Folder 17
American Medical Association, 1912-1914
Box 1
Folder 18
American Yearbook, 1911-1919
Box 1
Folder 19

(Corporation)

Antropoff, A. von, 1912-1913
Box 1
Folder 20
Applications for Positions, 1912-1918
(2 Folders)
Box 1
Folder 21 to 22
Armstrong, Henry E., 1914-1916
Box 1
Folder 23
Arny, Harry V.,
1916
Box 1
Folder 24
Bacon, Raymond F.,
1916
Box 1
Folder 25
Badische Company, 1912-1918
(2 Folders)
Box 1
Folder 26 to 27
Badishce Company, 1913-1914
Box 1
Folder 28

(Basle)

Baekland, Leo H., 1916-1917
Box 1
Folder 29
Barker, Llewellyn,
1912
Box 1
Folder 30
Barnard College,
1912
Box 1
Folder 31
Barry, Frederick, 1912-1918
Box 1
Folder 32
Baskerville, Charles, 1911-1918

Box 2
Folder 1
Bates, John S.,
1912,
1914
Box 2
Folder 2
Baxter, Gregory P.,
1912
Box 2
Folder 3
Beans, Hal T., 1916-1919
Box 2
Folder 4
Bender, Andrew, 1913-1914
Box 2
Folder 5
Bern, Sidney, 1912-1913
Box 2
Folder 6
Biddle, H.C.,
1916
Box 2
Folder 7
Bigelow, S. Lawrence, 1911-1915
Box 2
Folder 8
Bigelow, M.A.,
1917
Box 2
Folder 9
Bio-Chemical Association,
1916
Box 2
Folder 10

(Columbia University)

Birnbaum, Simon, 1913-1915
Box 2
Folder 11
Birse, W.M.,
1912
Box 2
Folder 12
Black, N. Henry, 1912-1915
Box 2
Folder 13
Booge, James Eliot, 1916-1918
Box 2
Folder 14
Bogert, Marston T., 1916-1918
Box 2
Folder 15
Books for Courses, 1910-1912
Box 2
Folder 16
Books Reviewed, 1911-1915
Box 2
Folder 17
Bowles, Potter,
1914
Box 2
Folder 18
Brannock, N.F.,
1916
Box 2
Folder 19
Burks, Jesse D.,
1911,
1914
Box 2
Folder 20
Burgess, George K.,
1912
Box 2
Folder 21
Buswell, A.M., 1912-1917
Box 2
Folder 22
Butler, Nathaniel, 1914-1915
Box 2
Folder 23
Byers, Horace G., 1911-1918
Box 2
Folder 24
Caldwell, Otis W.,
1917
Box 2
Folder 25
Calvert, Robert P., 1913-1919
Box 2
Folder 26
Carpenter, Clifford D., 1912-1918
Box 2
Folder 27
Carson, C.M., 1911-1915
Box 2
Folder 28
Cattel, James M., 1911-1918
Box 2
Folder 29
Century Association, 1915-1918
Box 2
Folder 30
Chambliss, Hardee, 1914-1915
Box 2
Folder 31
Chandler, Charles F.,
1900,
1912-1915
Box 2
Folder 32
Chemistry Department - Apparatus, 1911-1912
Box 2
Folder 33
Chemistry Department - Positions, 1913-1914
Box 2
Folder 34
Chemists – Applications, 1911-1914
Box 2
Folder 35
Chemists - Positions, 1915-1919
Box 2
Folder 36

(Recommendations)

Chemists Club, 1912-1918
Box 2
Folder 37
Chicago, University of, 1911-1915
Box 2
Folder 38
Clark, Willis N., 1917-1918
Box 2
Folder 39
Clubs, 1907-1915
Box 2
Folder 40
Cohen, Ernest,
1911
Box 2
Folder 41
College Entrance Exam Board, 1913-1914
Box 2
Folder 42
Commerical Use of University Facilities,
1913
Box 2
Folder 43

(Proposals)

Correspondence-Misc, 1911-1919
(2 Folders)
Box 2
Folder 44 to 45
Curriculum, 1911-1913
Box 2
Folder 46
Dains, F.B.,
1911,
1915
Box 2
Folder 47
Davies, Milton J., 1916-1918
Box 2
Folder 48
De Beukelaer, F.L,
1914
Box 2
Folder 49
Dewey, John, 1915-1917
Box 2
Folder 50
Donnan, F.G.,
1916
Box 2
Folder 51
Doughty, Howard W.,
1910
Box 2
Folder 52
Dumm, William J., 1918-1919
Box 2
Folder 53
Eastlack, Herbert E., 1916-1919
Box 2
Folder 54
Eastman, Earl, 1914-1916
Box 2
Folder 55
Echlin, Henry M.,
1911
Box 2
Folder 56
Egloff, Gustav,
1916
Box 2
Folder 57
Ehrhardt, Ernest F., 1911-1917
Box 2
Folder 58
Englemann, Wilhelm,
1911
Box 2
Folder 59
Eschenbach Printing Co., 1916-1917
Box 2
Folder 60
Estabrooke, W.L.,
1916
Box 2
Folder 61
Examinations, 1911-1912
Folder 62
College Entrance, 1911-1913
(2 Folders)
Box 2
Folder 63 to 64
Falls, Harold A., 1913-1918
Box 2
Folder 65
Fisher, Harry L., 1916-1917

Box 3
Folder 1
Flynn, Oscar R., 1917-1918
Box 3
Folder 2
Frankfurter, George B.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 3
Frasch, Hans A.,
1915
Box 3
Folder 4
Frerichs, F.W., 1915-1916
Box 3
Folder 5
Fry, H. Shipley,
1916
Box 3
Folder 6
Garginer, Edward,
1918
Box 3
Folder 7
Garner, James B.,
1918
Box 3
Folder 8
General Electric,
1915,
1917
Box 3
Folder 9
Gildersleeve, Virginia C.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 10
Graduates,
1913
Box 3
Folder 11

(Former Students)

Graduate Students,
1912,
1915
Box 3
Folder 12
Gray, Thomas,
1912
Box 3
Folder 13
H. reeve Angel & Co.,
1917
Box 3
Folder 14
Howard, Robert L.,
1918
Box 3
Folder 15
Haber, Fritz,
1912
Box 3
Folder 16
Haeseler, Paul C., 1913-1918
Box 3
Folder 17
Hale, William J., 1911-1918
Box 3
Folder 18
Hall, Elliot S., 1910-1912
Box 3
Folder 19
Hallock, William,
1910,
1913
Box 3
Folder 20
Harlow, Ralhp F., 1916-1918
Box 3
Folder 21
Harrington, Thomas H.,
1914
Box 3
Folder 22
Hendrixson, W.S.,
1912
Box 3
Folder 23
Herty (Dr.)Incident,
1917
Box 3
Folder 24
Hildebrand, Joel H.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 25
Hildebrand, William F., 1912-1918
Box 3
Folder 26
Hoke, Calm M.,
1912,
1918
Box 3
Folder 27
Holter, Paul C., 1914-1915
Box 3
Folder 28
Hulett, George A.,
1915
Box 3
Folder 29
Hulings, H.C., 1912-1914
Box 3
Folder 30
Inquiries, 1911-1919 (6 Folders)
Box 3
Folder 31 to 36
Instruction, Weekly Hours of,
1911
Box 3
Folder 37
International Association of Chemical sciences, 1911-1913
Box 3
Folder 38
International Congress of Applied Chemistry, 1910-1912
Folder 39
Columbia Committee,
1912
Box 3
Folder 40
Isham, Robert M.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 41
Jackson, D.D.,
1914,
1917
Box 3
Folder 42
James, J.H.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 43
Johlin, J.M., 1911-1915
Box 3
Folder 44
Jones, Lauder W., 1912-1914
Box 3
Folder 45
Johnston, Charles Hughes,
1916
Box 3
Folder 46
Kendell, James, 1913-1918
Box 3
Folder 47
Kirkland, J.H.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 48
Knox, Joseph,
1912
Box 3
Folder 49
Kress, Otto,
1912
Box 3
Folder 50
Laby, Thomas H.,
1912
Box 3
Folder 51
Lambert, Samuel W.,
1916,
1918
Box 3
Folder 52
Langmuir, Irving,
1916
Box 3
Folder 53
Lawrence, Benjamin B., 1913-1915
Box 3
Folder 54
Lecture Programs, ca. 1917-1918
Box 3
Folder 55
Lectures,
1913
Box 3
Folder 56

(Resident)

Lee, Frederick S.,
1917
Box 3
Folder 57
Leslie, E.H.,
1913
Box 3
Folder 58
Lewis, Gilbert, 1911-1916
Box 3
Folder 59
Lewis, W.K., 1916-1917
Box 3
Folder 60
Library, 1914-1917
Box 3
Folder 61
Liebisch, Bern,
1911
Box 3
Folder 62
Lindsay Light Co.,
1918
Box 3
Folder 63
Logo, Victor L., 1912-1913
Box 3
Folder 64
Lombard, Robert H., 1911-1915
Box 3
Folder 65
Love, E.G., 1911-1912
Box 3
Folder 66
Lowry, Alexander, 1912-1915
Box 3
Folder 67
Lucke, Charles E.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 68
McCormack, Thomas J., 1914-1919
Box 3
Folder 69
McCoy, Herbert N., 1911-1917
Box 3
Folder 70
McCracken, Robert F.,
1912
Box 3
Folder 71
McCracken, William,
1912
Box 3
Folder 72
McFarland, Boynton W.,
1916
Box 3
Folder 73
McGee, John Merritt, 1913-1916
Box 3
Folder 74
MacGregor, J.G.,
1912
Box 3
Folder 75
McIntosh, Douglas,
1912,
1914
Box 3
Folder 76
McIntosh, Henry Milne, 1916-1918
Box 3
Folder 77
McPherson, William, 1911-1914
Box 3
Folder 78
Maine, University of – Chemistry, 1914-1915
Box 3
Folder 79
Maloney, William J., 1911-1914
Box 3
Folder 80
Maltby, Margaret E.
Box 3
Folder 81
Marshall, T.R., 1911-1914
Box 3
Folder 82
Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1915-1916
Box 3
Folder 83

(MIT)

Mayer, Ralph E, 1916-1917
Box 3
Folder 84
Menzies, Alan W.C., 1911-1919

Box 4
Folder 1
Miller, John J., 1911-1912
Box 4
Folder 2
Miller, W. Lash,
1916
Box 4
Folder 3
Milliken, Edward N., 1911-1912
Box 4
Folder 4
Monroe, Paul,
1916
Box 4
Folder 5
Moody, Herbert R.,
1915
Box 4
Folder 6
Moore, Charles J.,
1912
Box 4
Folder 7
Moore, Russell W, 1912-1914
Box 4
Folder 8
Moore, William C., 1915-1919
Box 4
Folder 9
Mory, A. V. H., 1916-1918
Box 4
Folder 10
National of Sciences, 1915-1918
Box 4
Folder 11
Nelson, John M., 1916-1917
Box 4
Folder 12
Nevins, Franklin,
1916
Box 4
Folder 13
New England Association of Chemistry Teacher,
1915,
1918
Box 4
Folder 14
New Era Printing Co.,
1916
Box 4
Folder 15
New Jersey Science Teachers Association,
1916
Box 4
Folder 16
New York Sciences Teachers Association,
1915
Box 4
Folder 17
Noyes, Arthur A., 1914-1915
Box 4
Folder 18
Noyes, William A., 1911-1919
(2 Folders)
Box 4
Folder 19 to 20
Oddo, Guiseppe,
1912
Box 4
Folder 21
Olsen, John C.,
1912
Box 4
Folder 22
Opinions rendered, 1911-1915
Box 4
Folder 23
Paradoxes,
1912
Box 4
Folder 24
Parsons, Charles L., 1911-1915
Box 4
Folder 25
Pearsons, Henry C.,
1916,
1918
Box 4
Folder 26
Ph.D. – Rules,
1912,
1917
Box 4
Folder 27
Phi Lambda Upsilon, 1911-1915
Box 4
Folder 28
Pike, Frank Henry, 1911-1916
Box 4
Folder 29
Pine, John B., 1914-1915
Box 4
Folder 30
Positions, 1910-1915
Box 4
Folder 31
Princeton University, 1913-1914
Box 4
Folder 32
Professors, Exchange of,
1912
Box 4
Folder 33
Punnett, Percy W., 1912-1916
Box 4
Folder 34
Ransom, James H., 1911-1919
Box 4
Folder 35
Regester, S.H.,
1912
Box 4
Folder 36
Reid, E. Emmett, 1915-1916
Box 4
Folder 37
Reprints – Thank You Notes, 1911-1919
Box 4
Folder 38 to 39
Research, 1911-1913
Box 4
Folder 40
Richards, T.W.,
1918
Box 4
Folder 41
Richardson, Leon B.,
1916
Box 4
Folder 42
Roberts, A.E., 1916-1917
Box 4
Folder 43
Roberts, L.D.,
1918
Box 4
Folder 44
Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1911-1915
Box 4
Folder 45
Savidge, Robert W.,
1914
Box 4
Folder 46
Scratchard, George, 1916-1917
Box 4
Folder 47
Slitchter, W.I., 1916-1918
Box 4
Folder 48
Slosson, Edwin E., 1912-1917
Box 4
Folder 49
Smith, Anne,
1914
Box 4
Folder 50
Societies, Chemical, 1912-1913
Box 4
Folder 51
Societies, Scientific, 1910-1917
Box 4
Folder 52
Statton, S.W., 1911-1912
Box 4
Folder 53
Stenographers, 1911-1914
Box 4
Folder 54
Stern, Ernest,
1912,
1914
Box 4
Folder 55
Stieglitz, Julius, 1911-1919
Box 4
Folder 56
Student Grades,
1918 February
Box 4
Folder 57
Students, 1912-1914
Box 4
Folder 58

(Answers to Petitions)

Summer Session, 1916-1918
Box 4
Folder 59
Talbot, H.P., 1911-1916
Box 4
Folder 60
Tanberg, A.P., 1913-1914
Box 4
Folder 61
Thomas, Arthur W., 1913-1917
Box 4
Folder 62
Thomas, Calvin, 1911-1912
Box 4
Folder 63
Thomas, Mrs Mason B.,
1911,
1914
Box 4
Folder 64
Timmons, G.D., 1914-1917
Box 4
Folder 65
Tingle, Alfred,
1918
Box 4
Folder 66
Tingle, J. Bishop 1911-1915
Box 4
Folder 67
Titsworth, Waldo A.,
1916
Box 4
Folder 68
Trimble, H.C., 1915-1916
Box 4
Folder 69
Trowbridge, Charles C., 1916-1917
Box 4
Folder 70
Tucker, Samuel A., 1911-1917
Box 4
Folder 71
Universities & Industries, Committee on Cooperation, 1917-1919

Box 5
Folder 1
University Bibliography, 1912-1916
Box 5
Folder 2
University Bookstore, 1911-1912
Box 5
Folder 3
Van Cott, Joshua M.,
1917
Box 5
Folder 4
Vincent, George Edgar, 1911-1914
Box 5
Folder 5
Viol, Charles H.,
1914
Box 5
Folder 6
Voss, Leopold,
1911
Box 5
Folder 7
Walden, Paul, 1912-1913
Box 5
Folder 8
Walker, Arthur L., 1911-1913
Box 5
Folder 9
Walker, James, 1911-1918
Box 5
Folder 10
Walker, William H., 1914-1916
Box 5
Folder 11
Walker, William Hall, 1916-1917
Box 5
Folder 12
Warland, William, 1914-1919
Box 5
Folder 13
Webster, George W.,
1917
Box 5
Folder 14
Wendell, George V.,
1912
Box 5
Folder 15
Whitaker, M.C., 1916-1918
Box 5
Folder 16
Whitney, W.R.,
1916
Box 5
Folder 17
Whiton, Louis Charles, 1912-1913
Box 5
Folder 18
Whittelsey, T.,
1917
Box 5
Folder 19
Williams, H. Ernest, 1912-1913
Box 5
Folder 20
Wirick, C.M., 1912-1915
Box 5
Folder 21
Woodhull, J.F.,
1912
Box 5
Folder 22
Worden, Edward C.,
1916
Box 5
Folder 23

Series II: Personal, 1905-1919

This series consists of correspondence and printed matter relating to Smith’s personal activities. Correspondence includes letters with his family in Scotland, with various vendors regarding bills and services, information regarding investments, insurance, real estate in Chicago, and his country cottage in Pulaski, VA. Of particular note among the family correspondence is that with his sister Isabella and other family members in Scotland regarding a visit by Alexander Smith and his family in the summer in the 1912. The “Correspondence, L.F. Barker” file contains more letters between Smith and this Baltimore doctor about his father-in-law’s illness as well as that of his little boy Billie who was quite ill during 1916. The combination of correspondence with vendors, friends and family in this series gives one a small sense of what was involved in running an upper-middle class household in New York City in the 1910s. To aid the researcher, below is a list of family members and their relationship to Smith: Sara (nee Bowles): wife Billie and Isabel: children Mr. and Mrs. William Bowles of Memphis, TN: in-laws Potter Bowles of Chicago, IL: brother-in-law Isabella (Mrs. James Rae) of Edinburgh, Scotland: sister Jane and John Stewart Smith of Portobello, Scotland: aunt and uncle

Correspondence
1911-1917
(5 Folders)
Box 5
Folder 24 to 28
Dr. Lewellys Baker, 1916-1918
Box 5
Folder 29
Insurance, 1911-1919
(2 Folders)
Box 5
Folder 30 to 31
Investments
1905-1919
(6 Folders)
Box 5
Folder 32 to 37
Warren Gorrell, 1916-1918
(2 Folders)
Box 5
Folder 38 to 39
Lee Higginson & Co., 1911-1918
(2 Folders)

Box 6
Folder 1 to 2
Real Estate, 1911-1915
(2 Folders)
Box 6
Folder 3 to 4
Personal Bills, 1911-1914
Box 6
Folder 5
Pulaski Cottage, 1913-1915
(2 Folders)
Box 6
Folder 6 to 7
Storage Companies,
1911
Box 6
Folder 8

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