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Charles Munroe Papers

 Collection
Identifier: MS0253-UA

Scope and Contents

This collection contains correspondence, speeches, newspaper articles, notebooks, and photographs related to the work and life of Charles Munroe. These records date from 1823-1936 with the bulk falling between 1874-1936.

From original catalog record: Correspondence, 1895-1936, including: letter, 1936, from Munroe listing 19th and early 20th century teachers of chemistry at George Washington University; letter, 1925, from American Institute of Chemists; letter, 1899, from Alfred E. Hunt re effects of wetting and drying on smokeless gunpowder; letters and reports, 1923-1924, from American Cyanamid Company and others re an explosion of hydrocyanic acid at Edgewood Arsenal; letter, 1924, from the California Fruit Growers Exchange re explosives used as fumigants. Clippings, 1894-1897, on accidental and deliberate explosions. Memorandum, 1898 April 30, summarizing the career of Sir Vivian Dering Majendie. Speeches and lecture notes by Munroe and others including chronology of explosives. Book of instructions, 1918, for Aberdeen chronograph. Notebook concerning explosives; notebook of experiments on safes' resistance to explosives.

Dates

  • 1823 - 1936
  • Majority of material found within 1874 - 1936

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Some records may be restricted.

Restrictions on Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Charles E. Munroe (1849-1938), the inventor of smokeless powder, had a distinguished career, both nationally and internationally. After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard in 1871, he continued on as an assistant professor of chemistry until 1874. In 1874 he left Harvard to become professor of chemistry at the United States Naval Academy, where he remained for twelve years. From 1886-92 he was chemist at the United States Naval Torpedo Station and war College. Between 1892 and 1898, Dr. Munroe was head of the Department of Chemistry and the Dean of the Corcoran Scientific School at Columbian University (which became George Washington University in 1904.) He held a concurrent appointment as the Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies at GW, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1894 and LL.D in 1912, and remained at the school until 1919. He was Dean Emeritus of the School of Graduate Studies and Professor Emeritus of Chemistry from 1919-1938.

Dr. Munroe was considered one of the world's authorities on explosives, and authored more than 100 books on that subject, as well as chemistry. He was the recipient of numerous honors from governments and scientific societies, including an appointment in 1900 by the Swedish Academy of Science to nominate the candidate for the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Dr. Munroe served as president of the American Chemical Society and fellow of the Chemical Society of London. Domestically, he was a consultant to the U.S. Geological Survey and the U.S. Bureau of Mines.

Extent

1 Linear Feet

Language

English

Abstract

Dr. Charles E. Munroe (1849-1938), the inventor of smokeless powder, had a distinguished career, both nationally and internationally. After graduating summa cum laude from Harvard in 1871, he continued on as an assistant professor of chemistry until 1874. In 1874 he left Harvard to become professor of chemistry at the United States Naval Academy, where he remained for twelve years. From 1886-92 he was chemist at the United States Naval Torpedo Station and war College. Between 1892 and 1898, Dr. Munroe was head of the Department of Chemistry and the Dean of the Corcoran Scientific School at Columbian University (which became George Washington University in 1904.) The collection contains correspondence, newspaper articles, lecture notes, speeches, and photographs.

Arrangement

Arranged in no particular order.

Physical Location

Materials are stored off-site, and will require additional retrieval time. Please contact the Special Collections Research Center for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Unknown.
Title
Preliminary Guide to the Charles Munroe papers, 1823-1938
Status
Completed
Author
Special Collections Research Center, George Washington University
Date
September 2001
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the Special Collections Research Center, The George Washington University Repository

Contact:
2130 H Street NW
Washington 20052 United States of America