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Lester Bernstein Physical Laboratory Notebook

Identifier: SC MS 0166

Scope and Contents

The collection contains one student’s Laboratory Notebook dated February 1901- June 1901. The course number for this class was 179a and is described as “Laboratory work illustrating course 179.” Course 179 at this time was “Elementary Physics- mechanics and heat. Lectures, recitations and problem work.” This notebook includes various experiments including, but not limited to the study of thermal expansion, use of a barometer and the study of the principles of movement. The notebook is handwritten, measuring 21 cm and consisting of 120 pages. It also includes numerous tables and diagrams pertaining to these experiments.


  • February 1901-June 1901


Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Collection housed remotely. Users need to contact 24 hours in advance.

Biographical / Historical

Lester Bernstein was born in the early 1880s in the state of Pennsylvania. His parents immigrated to the United States from Germany in the late 1860s. Bernstein attended Lehigh University from 1900-1904. He won several awards and held many positions in numerous societies on campus. In his junior year (1902-03) Bernstein won the Civil Engineering Society Prize, First Honors in his Civil Engineering Course, was the Delegate to the Cleveland Convention and was Civil Engineering Society Treasurer. In his senior year at Lehigh (1903-04) Bernstein was the President of the Civil Engineering Society, Secretary of the Starvation Club, Assistant Editor-in-Chief of the 1904 Epitome, and Vice President of his fraternity, Tau Beta Pi. Other awards that he received during his time at Lehigh were the second honors in sophomore English, Williams Prize in English and The Wilbur Prize in Freehand Drawing. He was a member of the Forum and Secretary of the “Lehigh Club of Philadelphia.” He likely served as an engineer for the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company in 1917. Lester Bernstein served on the Board for The American Railway Engineering Association in 1918. He later went on to marry Florence Goldsmith and was listed in the 1965 Centennial Directory as living in Los Angeles, California.


1 Notebook, 21 cm, 120 pages

Language of Materials



Lester Bernstein graduated from Lehigh University in 1904 with a degree in Civil Engineering. Bernstein, the Civil Engineering Society Treasurer and President, was awarded the Civil Engineering Society Prize in 1902-03. The collection consists of a Physical Laboratory Notebook from his second semester freshman year (Feb. 1901 – Jun. 1901). This notebook includes experiments on the study of thermal expansion, use of a barometer and the study of the principles of movement.


The materials are arranged chronologically, in the order he took the notes in.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Received by the alumni office in 1997 and given to Beall Fowler, a professor at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA in October of 1997. Transferred from the Physics Department in 2008 to Special Collections.


No additions anticipated.

Related Materials

Bernstein, Lester. “Discussion and comparison of formulas for the flood flows of streams with particular reference to those employed in railroad work.” Call number: THESIS 1904 B531d.

Bernstein, Lester. Why the Railroad Man Should Stay on the Job. Call number: L B531w.

Lehigh University, Department of Physics. 1901. Lehigh University call number: 531 L527f.

The Sophomore Physical Laboratory Course; Fall Term: Mechanics, Heat, Electricity and Magnetism. Printed for the Department of Physics. August, 1901. Lehigh University. Dept. of Physics. Call number: SC LPub 0219.

McLennan, J.A. History of the Physics Department. C2002. Lehigh University call number: L 378 E M225h.

Physical Description

1 Notebook, 21 cm, 120 pages

Finding Aid of the Lester Bernstein Physical Laboratory Notebook
William Ying
April 23, 2013
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository

Lehigh University
Linderman Library
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA
610-758-6091 (Fax)