This collection contains nine black and white photographs including an image of the wood shop and several early years of Mechanical Engineering graduates.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
2 Linear Feet
The Louis A. Cavalli Mechanical Engineering Photograph Collection contains nine black and white photographs. The items in this collection illustrate early years of Georgia Tech and most relate specifically to the Mechanical Engineering department, including an image of the wood shop and several early years of Mechanical Engineering graduates. Box 2 houses oversized materials; several of these items are fragile.
Louis A. Cavalli (1921-2006), a Georgia Tech mechanical technician, collected photographs of the Georgia Tech Mechanical Engineering department and building specifications by J. S. Coon. During World War II, Cavalli worked in the US Navy shipyards; in 1948 he moved his family to Georgia. A welder by trade, Cavalli retired from the Mechanical Engineering department of Georgia Tech in 1983.
The study of mechanical engineering was relatively new at the end of the 19th century. It was necessitated by the rapidly expanding need for manufacturing all types of products in the early wake of the industrial revolution. So when Georgia Tech opened its doors in 1888, the sole degree offered was Mechanical Engineering, with a curriculum modeled after the hands-on trade school of Worcester Free Institute as opposed to the engineering analyses of Boston Tech (now Massachusetts Institute of Technology).
The first chair of the mechanical engineering department was John Saylor Coon, a charter member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He worked in the mining and minerals industry before becoming a professor at the University of Tennessee in 1888 and at Georgia Tech in 1889. Coon also eventually became superintendent of the commercial Tech shops.
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
Louis A. Cavalli, a Georgia Tech mechanical technician, kept photographs and building specifications written by J. S. Coon in his home until he donated them to the School of Mechanical Engineering in April 1985. The School then donated this collection to the Archives in September 1985 (Accession 1986.0113).
Manuscript materials were separated and catalogued as the John Saylor Coon Building Specifications MS010.
Mandi D. Johnson processed these photographs in March 2009.