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Lynn S. Beedle Papers

Identifier: SC MS 0288

Scope and Contents

The collection contains one folder of U.S. Navy Bikini Atoll atomic bomb tests memorabilia, 13 graduate student reports accessioned by Dr. Beedle as graduate course number 456 and five graduate student reports noted as C.E. 212 that Beedle supervised as instructor during his graduate studies in Lehigh’s Civil Engineering Department.


  • Creation: 1948-1968

Access Restrictions

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

Use Restrictions

Collection is open for research.

Copyright Notice

Please inquire about copyright information.

Biographical / Historical

Lynn Simpson Beedle was born in Orland, California on December 7, 1917 and died in Hellertown, Pennsylvania October 30, 2003. He was a well-known structural engineer, founder and director of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat. During his student days at the University of California, Berkeley, he participated in the opening ceremonies of the Golden Gate Bridge. He graduated in 1941 with a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering and joined the U.S. Navy. During his service in the Navy, he worked at the Naval Research Facility at Virginia Beach, subsequently participated in Operations Crossroads, witnessing the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. He had risen to the rank of Lt. Commander. In 1947 he joined Lehigh University as instructor and graduate student. In 1949 he was awarded a master’s degree and in 1952 his PhD degree from Lehigh. He served as associate director under Bruce Johnston from 1952 and then became director of Fritz Engineering Laboratory in 1960. He achieved full professor status in 1957. During his early days at Lehigh he participated in structural stability research with Bruce G. Johnston, founder of the Column Research Council. The Column Research Council was organized at Fritz Engineering Laboratory in 1944, after the collapse of the Quebec Bridge during construction, to develop knowledge about behavior and strength of compression members and establish structural stability design criteria. In 1972 the CRC changed its name to Structural Stability Research Council. Dr. Beedle followed Bruce Johnston as director of CRC/SSRC serving in that capacity from 1970-1993. For a short time, Beedle also served as head of the Civil Engineering Department until a replacement for Professor William J. Eney was found in Dr. David A. Van Horn. In 1969, Beedle created what eventually became known as the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat to establish design criteria for skyscrapers. In 1972, Beedle was the first Lehigh faculty to be elected to the National Academy of Engineering for contributions to steel structure research and design practice especially in plastic design and residual stress effects. In 1978, Lehigh named him Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. In 1982, he received the Franklin Institute award and in 1995 the John Fritz Medal from the American Association of Engineering Societies. In 2002 the Council of Tall Buildings honored him by creating the Lynn S. Beedle Achievement Award, as did the Structural Stability Research Council which also created an award in his name. He also received a lifetime achievement in civil engineering award from the American Society of Civil Engineers.


1 box, .5 linear feet (1 box, .5 linear feet)

Language of Materials



A varied assortment of documents collected by Lynn S. Beedle, professor of structural engineering, former head of Fritz Engineering Laboratory research, and founder of the Council of Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat at Lehigh University. Included among the documents are records of his U.S. Navy career observing the atomic bomb tests at Bikini Atoll in 1946. Also included in the collection are student reports written by Beedle during his graduate student days as well as reports written by his own graduate students during his teaching career in Lehigh’s Civil Engineering Department. These student reports are about various historic aspects of Fritz Engineering Laboratory.


An attempt has been made to arrange the collection chronologically and alphabetically.

Related Materials

There are a number of Beedle related materials in Special Collections. Beedle as an author, contributor to the Fritz Engineering Laboratory research reports and as founder of the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat, the High-Rise Institute, the Fazlur Khan Lectureship, and director of the Structural Stability Research Council all contained under their specific categories.



Finding Aid of Lynn S. Beedle Papers
Eleanor Nothelfer
January 3, 2014
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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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)