William C. Bowie Scrapbooks
Scope and Contents
Containing 4 scrapbooks, this collection is an assortment of correspondence, newspaper articles, formal invitations and a few black and white photographs documenting highlights of the professional activities of William C. Bowie, American Geodetic Engineer, Chief of U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey. Highlighted items of particular interest are letters of Lehigh University personalities: Henry S. Drinker, Eric Doolittle, Frank DuFour, Mansfield Merriman, Benjamin L. Miller, Charles R. Richards, C. C. Williams, as well as others such as Robert Bartlett and Frithof Nansen, arctic explorers, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, U.S. President and Ulysses S. Grant III, grandson of President U.S. Grant.
- Bowie, William C., 1872-1940 (Person)
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Biographical / Historical
William Bowie (1872-1940), American geodetic engineer, born in Maryland to Thomas John and Susanna Anderson Bowie whose ancestor was James Bowie, hero of the Battle of the Alamo. He attended St. John’s College in Annapolis, MD, got a BS in 1893 from Trinity College, Hartford, CT and a MA in 1907 and ScD 1919, attended Lehigh and earned a MS in civil engineering in 1895 and the ScD in 1922 also was an occasional lecturer on Geodesy Isostasy from 1923-1937 at Lehigh. He received an honorary LL.D in 1936 from University of Edinburgh, Scotland, a ScD in 1937 from George Washington University. In 1895 entered the U.S. Coast & Geodetic Survey eventually became its chief. During World War I served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with the rank of Major. Subsequently he represented the United States at various international geodetic conferences and congresses, did scientific research in the theory of isostasy and its application to dynamic and structural geology. He was the first president of the American Geophysical Union from 1920-22 and the second time served as president 1929-1932, International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics 1933-1936. He received the Prix Charles Lagrange in 1932 from the Academie Royale des Sciences, des Lettres et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique and the Elliott Cresson Medal in 1937 from the Franklin Institute. In 1899 he married Elizabeth Taylor Wattles and they had two sons. Two undersea features are named for him: the Bowie Seamount and Bowie Canyon; the William Bowie Medal, the highest honor of the American Geophysical Union, is named for him and the survey ship USC & GS Bowie (CSS27) in commission from 1946-1967. He retired from government service in 1936 and died in Washington, D.C. in 1940. He is best known for promoting the mapping of the United States, its territories, improvement of cartographic methods and techniques, progress of physical sciences.
2.5 Linear Feet (1 record box, 1 flat box) : 4 scrapbooks and 1 manuscript
Language of Materials
Four scrapbooks containing miscellaneous newspaper clippings, correspondence. Each volume individually indexed. The materials in the scrapbooks are not arranged chronologically throughout: Vol. 1 1891-1937; Vol 2 1919-1937; Vol. 3 1916-1937, Vol. 4 1889-1939. William C. Bowie's career in scientific research in the theory of isostasy and its application to dynamics and structural geology is reflected in these scrapbooks.
The materials are arranged somehow chronological but mostly randomly within each scrapbook.
Unknown. Library accession stamp: August 30, 1971.
- Bowie Canyon
- Bowie Family
- Bowie Seamount
- Charles Russ Richards
- Civil engineers.
- Drinker, Henry S. (Henry Sturgis), 1850-1937
- Eric Doolittle (1870-1920) Lehigh Class 1891 (CE)
- Geodetic surveys
- Letters (correspondence)
- Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945
- US Coast and Geodetic Survey
- United States. Army. Corps of Engineers
- Williams, Clement C. (Clement Clarence), 1882-1947
- William C. Bowie Scrapbooks
- Eleanor Nothelfer.
- Description rules
- Language of description
- Script of description
- Language of description note
- Lehigh University Library and Technology Services.
Part of the Lehigh University Special Collections Repository
30 Library Drive
Bethlehem PA 18045 USA