Skip to main content

Frank Oliver Dufour Notes

Identifier: SC MS 0189

Scope and Contents

The notebook measures 18 cm x 26cm x 3.25cm bound in brown marbled paper on thick board with brown calf leather spine and corners. The word “Technics” in black ink is at the top of the spine. The binding is very loose and cover is free from spine and the beginning pages are also free from the spine. The bluelined pages have index tabs from A to Z. On the opening flyleaf is penciled in a stylized manner: F. O. Dufour L.U. ’96 523 Cherokee St. So. Bethlehem, Pa. In penciled handwriting is: October 1st 1897 Do not swipe. The recipes are written in a very free flowing large script. The Mechanics of Materials entries are very neatly written in a small scrip.


  • Creation: 1896-19??


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

Frank Oliver Dufour (1873-19?? Before 1956) was a member of Lehigh University’s Class of 1896. He graduated with a degree in civil engineering. From 1897-1902 he was an instructor in civil engineering at Lehigh. He was a professor at University of Cincinnati 1902-03, an acting professor in sanitary engineering at University of Wisconsin 1903-04, an assistant professor at University of Vermont 1904-05. From 1905-13 he was an assistant professor of structural engineering at University of Illinois. He worked for the Lehigh Valley Railroad in the Bridge Department and the American Bridge Company. In 1914 he was a structural engineer in the Interstate Commerce Commission, Chicago and from 1914-18 worked as chief structural engineer for Stone and Webster Boston, a consulting firm. He was a special representative for the American International Shipbuilding Corporation at Hog Island, Pa in 1918 according to the University of Illinois Semi-centennial Alumni Record. From 1918 to 1925 he was professor of civil engineering at Lafayette College. He left this position to become a consulting engineer with the United Engineers and Construction Company in Philadelphia. In 1933 he was a vice-president of American Society of Civil Engineers. During his professional career he authored five books. In 1901 he married Sarah Breisch of South Bethlehem.

Among the pages of this notebook was found a blueprint from the Pencoyd Iron Works Bridge and Construction Department dated May 26, 1899. The blueprint is for a nut and bolt assembly for Bridge #34A Easton and Amboy R. R. The Pencoyd Iron Works near Bala Cynwyd, Pa. had a good reputation for fine workmanship but succumbed in the Great Depression. The Easton and Amboy R.R. was a New Jersey spur line of Asa Packer’s Lehigh Valley Railroad.


1 volume, 18 cm x 26 cm x 3.25 cm

Language of Materials



This manuscript primarily presents the civil engineering problems from Prof. Mansfield Merriman’s class on “Materials of Mechanics.” Also, included in the notebook is a curious collection of “recipes” for making beer, brick, bread, glass of various types, coloring pottery, glycerine, descriptions of various telegraph systems: duplex differential method as perfected by Frischer, duplex bridge method perfected by Dr. Muirhead, and the Atlantic Cable System as well as a blueprint from the Pencoyd Iron Works illustrating a design for a structural element for the Easton and Amboy Railroad.


Only the tabbed pages indexed A, B and M are used. All remaining pages are blank. Found loose among the pages was a blueprint from the Pencoyd Iron Works for a nut and bolt assembly order apparently for “Bridge 34A” of the Easton and Amboy Railroad.

Immediate Source of Acquisition



No additions anticipated.

Related Materials

Dufour, Frank Oliver. “Design for Viaduct at Bethlehem, Pa.” C.E. thesis 1896 D311d

Dufour, Frank O. “Bridge Engineering: roof trusses; a Manual of practical instruction in the calculation and design of steel trusses….” Chicago: American School of Correspondence, 1909. American School of Correspondence at Armour Institute of Technology, Chicago. SC 0 624.9 D861b

Physical Description

1 volume, 18 cm x 26 cm x 3.25 cm

Finding Aid of the Frank Oliver Dufour Notes
William Ying
September 16, 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)