This collection is made up of papers taken from the notebook of Albin F. Turbak, Director of the School of Textile Engineering beginning in 1982. The collection is made up of correspondence relating to admissions requests, budget proposals, quarter registration notifications, and honor awards.
(one document case)
Some correspondence may be restricted, due to privacy and confidentiality concerns.
Permission to publish materials from this collection must be obtained from the Head of Archives and Special Collections.
0.4 Linear Feet
This collection is made up of papers taken from the 1982 notebook of the Director of the School of Textile Engineering. The collection is made up of correspondence relating to admissions requests (some of which may be restricted), budget proposals, quarter registration notifications, and honor awards.
The School of Textile Engineering at the Georgia School of Technology was established largely thanks to the efforts of Lyman Hall, the second President of Georgia Tech. The School of Textile Engineering was the third engineering school established at Tech. At the time of the school’s founding in 1897, the textile industry in the South was undergoing rapid growth. This expansion ensured that there would be jobs available in the field for graduates in textile engineering.
Lyman Hall believed the time was right for Tech to establish a textile engineering program. Hall led the effort to raise funds using a three-pronged approach: the use of New South rhetoric, conditional gifts from philanthropists, and conditional appropriations by the State legislature. President Hall obtained substantial donations from his acquaintance Aaron French, a Pittsburgh manufacturer. Hall also successfully persuaded the Georgia Legislature to fund the school pending receipt of private donations. In 1897 the Legislature appropriated $10,000 to establish a Textile Department; the appropriation was to be released only when "ten thousand dollars, in money or equipment, is donated by private individuals or others." Oscar Elsas, a Tech alumnus and vice president of the Fulton Bag and Cotton Mill, persuaded textile firms in the North to donate state-of-the-art machinery later valued at $20,000. The wide variety of equipment available to the students would enable them to operate all kinds of textile machinery anywhere they might go and would make them attractive candidates for positions as textile mill operators and managers.
When the prospect of sufficient funds was evident, Lyman Hall approached officials of the Lowell (Massachusetts) Textile School for assistance in designing the Textile Department. C. P. Brooks, head of the Lowell School, provided advice regarding the design of the building, equipment, and curriculum for the new department. With the required funds and the promise of machinery secured, the State of Georgia released its appropriation in the summer of 1898. Construction began soon and proceeded very quickly; the building was completed the same year. The brand new A. French Textile School, named in honor of its chief donor Aaron French, opened its doors for instruction in February 1899.
The textile program enjoyed immediate success. By October 1899 more than 125 students had enrolled in the program, and executives from various southern cotton mills had approved of and been pleased with the department’s equipment. The first five graduates of the School of Textile Engineering were members of the class of 1901. Between 1901 and 1905, fifty students graduated with degrees in textile engineering.
Charles A. (Charles Alfred) Jones, Sr. (1882-1969) served as Director of the A. French Textile School from 1933 to 1945. After Jones returned to full-time teaching in 1945, Herman A. Dickert (ca. 1903-1992) succeeded him. During Dickert’s thirteen-year tenure as Director, the School celebrated its fiftieth anniversary in 1949. In the same year the School moved to the newly completed Harrison Hightower Textile Engineering Building. James L. Taylor (ca. 1905-1998) took over as Director of the School of Textile Engineering in 1959. Taylor served in that position until 1972.
Among the School’s Directors in the 1980s were Wayne C. Tincher, who served as Acting Director in early 1982, and Albin F. Turbak (b. 1929), who began his service as Director later that year. In the 1990s the School, which had become known as the School of Textile and Fiber Engineering, moved to the newly constructed Manufacturing Related Disciplines Complex on Ferst Drive. The Hightower Building was demolished in about 2001. The School of Textile and Fiber Engineering changed its name to the School of Polymer, Textile and Fiber Engineering in 2002. In 2009, A. C. (Anselm Clyde) Griffin (b. 1946) serves as Chair of the School.
Splendid Growth: The Textile Educational Enterprise at Georgia Tech written by Marilyn Williamson; Engineering the New South, edited by Robert C. McMath, Jr.
A print copy of this finding aid is available in the Georgia Tech Archives reading room.
The immediate provenance of this notebook is unknown. Accession number 1993.0602.
(one document case)
Mallory Velten and Christine de Catanzaro processed these papers in June 2009.
Part of the Archives and Special Collections, Library, Georgia Institute of Technology Repository