Edwin James Armstrong Collection
Scope and Content
The Edwin James Armstrong papers contain the personal and business papers of not only Edwin, but of his second wife Jessie Wheeler Armstrong, and her sister Mabel Wheeler. These papers are organized into five series which include 1) Ephemera, 2) Edwin James Armstrong papers, 3) Mabel Wheeler papers, 4) Jessie Wheeler Armstrong papers, and 5) Miscellaneous papers. Several of the files have been further identified by a listing of contents and individual letters within the files. This was done as a result of investigation into the files for the purpose of trying to establish a tie with other papers contained within the Wright State University collection.
Series I - Ephemera File 1 contains ephemera related to Yellow Springs Ohio. It is in this file that two pieces contain references to the Carr Family. The Carr family papers were processed by the Wright State University Department of Special Collections and Archives in 1982 and consist of manuscript collections #135, #140, and #150. Those pieces in File 1 referencing the Carr family include a program of the Yellow Springs Opera House listing a recitation by Mary Gertrude Carr and an 1890 Yellow Springs High School Commencement listing Hugh Carr as an essayist. The remainder of ephemera contained within this file relates to Yellow Springs and dates between the years 1890 and 1955, or is undated.
File 2 contains business ephemera most probably relating to Edwin Armstrong's business contacts. One item, A Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Bulletin, Vol.21 is dated December 1922. The remainder of the pieces are undated.
File 3 contains a variety of ephemera, most of which is related to Ohio. These items are diverse in nature and no association with Edwin J. Armstrong, Jessie Armstrong, or Mabel Wheeler can be made. The items span the dates from 1864 to 1958, with several undated items.
Series II - Edwin James Armstrong Papers
Files 4 and 5 include correspondence from members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers to Edwin Armstrong. Most of the letters deal with the subject of planning a recognition ceremony for Professor John Sweet, in both 1907 and again in 1912. Sweet was mentor and teacher of many of the members of the Society and was employed by Straightline Engine Co. He had been a professor of engineering at Cornell University. Correspondence begins in 1901 and ends in 1921. Letters are primarily from J.S. Coon, Albert W. Smith, F.A. Halsey of American Machinist Press, F.M. Rites, F.G. Tallman, J.E. Johnson, E. Burdsall, and D.W. Robb.
Files 6 - 8 include business correspondence to Edwin Armstrong, when employed at Ball Engine Co., from other engineers and engineering companies
Files 9-11 include personal correspondence with John Sweet regarding business and family matters.
Files 12 & 13 contain personal letters from family and friends as well as letters of Edwin Armstrong's personal business.
File 14 includes correspondence with Dr. Russell Verbrycke in Washington DC, regarding Armstrong's health and the health of his daughter Beatrice.
Files 15-17 contain purchase orders, receipts and letters regarding fossil and natural history specimens that Armstrong was both collecting and purchasing.
File 18 includes the personal technical notes of Armstrong relating to engineering ideas. These notes are undated. Also included is sales information and design information regarding products that Armstrong was associated with.
Series III - Mabel Wheeler Papers
Mabel graduated from Erie, Pennsylvania High School in 1896 and from Bucknell University in 1900. She taught school in Marion, Virginia and then in Erie, Pennsylvania. The letters in this series are from family and friends with references to daily life.
Series IV - Jessie Wheeler Armstrong Papers
Jessie, sister of Mabel, graduated from Bucknell University in 1894. This is a very small collection which includes receipts, lists, a graduation notice, and few other miscellaneous pieces.
Series V - Miscellaneous
This file contains the handwritten account by unknown author of his/her experience raising a chipmunk. Included in this series are two studio photographs of the chipmunk
- Creation: 1825-1958
- Creation: Majority of material found within 1890-1924
- Armstrong, Edwin James (Person)
Restrictions on Access
There are no restrictions on accessing materials in this collection.
Restrictions on Use
Copyright restrictions may apply. Unpublished manuscripts are protected by copyright. Permission to publish, quote or reproduce must be secured from the repository and the copyright holder.
Biography of Edwin James Armstrong
Edwin James Armstrong was born circa 1860 and died sometime after 1924. He was the son of R.C. Armstrong. Based upon Edwin's business correspondence, he was likely a mechanical or design engineer. Edwin Armstrong was active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers between 1901 and 1921. He also had a passion for natural history and was an avid collector of fossils.
He suffered through much of his adult life with gastrointestinal distress and was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer. In May of 1920, he spent several weeks at the Brentwood Sanitarium in Brentwood, Maryland, receiving treatment for a stomach ailment.
His first wife Alice, was born in 1860. Two daughters, Mabella and Beatrice were born of this union. Alice died following a brief illness in 1910. Edwin married his second wife, Jessie June Wheeler on August 19, 1913. Jessie was the daughter of Sarah Abigail Wheeler. Jessie had one sister Mabel Estella Wheeler. Jessie grew close to her stepdaughter Beatrice. Correspondence indicates that Maybella Armstrong, Edwin's first daughter was a difficult individual with a temperamental disposition.
- Date Employment History
- 1881-1888 Weston Engine Company in New York. He began as an apprentice machinist, progressed to shop foreman,
- 1890 Jno. T. Noze Mfg. Co. in Buffalo, New York
- 1891 Straight Line Engine Co. in Syracuse, New York. Became close friend of John Sweet, later President.
- 1892 Robb Engineering Company in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Armstrong held the position of designer.
- 1892-1900 Ames Co. in Oswego, New York. Edwin was employed as designer and superintendent.
- 1892 Robb Engineering Company in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Armstrong held the position of designer
- 1901 Ball Engine Company, Erie, Penn. In charge of design and manufacturing. Steam engine components.
- Weston Engine Company in New York. He began as an apprentice machinist, progressed to shop foreman,
- Jno. T. Noze Mfg. Co. in Buffalo, New York
- Straight Line Engine Co. in Syracuse, New York. Became close friend of John Sweet, later President.
- Robb Engineering Company in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Armstrong held the position of designer.
- Ames Co. in Oswego, New York. Edwin was employed as designer and superintendent.
- Robb Engineering Company in Amherst, Nova Scotia. Armstrong held the position of designer
- Ball Engine Company, Erie, Penn. In charge of design and manufacturing. Steam engine components.
1.0 linear feet
Language of Materials
Edwin Armstrong was active in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers between 1901 and 1921. He also had a passion for natural history and was an avid collector of fossils.The Edwin James Armstrong papers contain the personal and business papers of not only Edwin, but of his second wife Jessie Wheeler Armstrong, and her sister Mabel Wheeler. With the exception of ephemera from the Yellow Springs, Ohio area, most of the collection documents Edwin James Armstrong's life in the New York and Erie, Pennsylvania area.
Statement of Arrangement
These papers have been organized into five series:
- Series I: Ephemera
- Series II: Edwin James Armstrong Papers
- Series III: Mabel Wheeler Papers
- Series IV: Jessie Wheeler Armstrong Papers
- Series V: Miscellaneous Papers
Other Finding Aid
A more detailed item level inventory is available on the Special Collections and Archives website at http://www.libraries.wright.edu/special/collection_guides/guide_files/ms325.pdf
- Guide to the Edwin James Armstrong Collection (MS-325)
- Finding aid prepared by Jan Livingston, March 2004
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- Script of description
Part of the Special Collections Repository
Special Collections and Archives
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