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Inventory of the Ray Thelen Papers D-470
D-470  
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Collection Details
 
Table of contents What's This?
  • Biography
  • Scope and Contents
  • Arrangement of the Collection
  • Access
  • Processing Information
  • Acquisition
  • Preferred Citation
  • Publication Rights

  • Title: Ray Thelen Papers
    Identifier/Call Number: D-470
    Contributing Institution: University of California, Davis General Library, Dept. of Special Collections
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 16.0 linear feet.
    Date (inclusive): 1932-2006
    Abstract: The Ray Thelen Papers document the work of American baking technologist Ray Thelen (1918-2005). The papers span the dates 1932 through 2004. The collection includes: commercial recipes and formulas developed by Thelen; commercial and home recipes and formulas gathered from other sources; technical papers by Thelen; and correspondence between Thelen and other bakers. The collection also includes a small set of photographs and one VHS.
    Physical Location: Researchers should contact Special Collections to request collections, as many are stored offsite.
    Creator: Thelen, Ray, 1918-2005.

    Biography

    Ray Thelen was born on October 26, 1918, in St. Cloud, Minnesota. He began working in bakeries at an early age, beginning as a shop assistant at Sunlight Bakery in St. Cloud, Minnesota at the age of eight. Throughout his youth, Thelen worked at a number of bakeries, including the Cushman Bakery, Dinkel's Bakery, and American Bakeries, all in Chicago, Illinois.
    As a young man, Thelen attended the National Baking Center at Dunwoody Institute in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He graduated in 1938 and went to work for the Pillsbury Company as a bakery technologist. He served in the U.S. Navy from 1942-1945 and returned to Pillsbury after the war.
    After working at Pillsbury, Thelen moved on to Wassell Bakery, which became Mrs. Smith's Bakery, and then to Standard Bakeries where he began traveling nation-wide and acting as an on-site bakery consultant. In 1966, Thelen joined Mother Murphy's Laboratories, a flavoring company in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he remained for the rest of his career. At Mother Murhpy's, Thelen both worked as Executive Vice President and continued his consulting work.
    Ray Thelen enjoyed sharing what he had learned over his many years in the baking industry. He corresponded with both home and professional bakers; taught classes as a guest lecturer at the American Institute of Baking; and wrote the "Ask Ray" column for Baker's Helper. He also wrote for Baking Industry and Bakery Production and Marketing. He was a member of the American Society of Baking and the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers Association and was a frequent presenter at conferences. He wrote two books: Conversion Factors and Technical Data for the Food Industry (1959) and Everything You Need to Know About Cookies: How to Create Them, Make Them, Bake Them (1975). Among his other accomplishments, Thelen was instrumental in the development of dry mixes.
    Ray Thelen died at home in Rancho Bernardo, California in 2005. In 2006, he was posthumously inducted into the Baking Hall of Fame.
    Sources:
    Milling & Baking News, Baking Hall of Fame Commemorative Issue, 2006.
    Schroeder, Eric. "Thelen, Executive VP of Mother Murphy's, Dies at 86." bakingbusiness.com, May 16, 2005. Accessed 30 June 2006

    Scope and Contents

    The Ray Thelen Papers document the work of American baking technologist Ray Thelen (1918-2005). The papers span the dates 1932 through 2004. The collection includes: commercial recipes and formulas developed by Thelen during his years as baker, industry technician, and baking industry consultant; commercial and home recipes and formulas gathered from other sources; technical papers Thelen presented at industry meetings and conventions; and correspondence between Thelen and bakers, bakery owners, bakery managers, and industry consultants. The collection also includes a small set of photographs and one VHS labeled "Meal Time is Variety Time."

    Arrangement of the Collection

    The Ray Thelen Papers are arranged in three series: 1. Business and Industry Files; 2. Formulas and Subject Files; and 3. Photographs and Video.

    Access

    Collection is open for research.

    Processing Information

    This finding aid was created by Liz Phillips with the assistance of student employee Kelley Liang.
    This collection was processed under the Guidelines for Efficient Archival Processing in the University of California Libraries.

    Acquisition

    Gift of Rane Thelen and Carol Meres Kroskey, 2007, 2009.

    Preferred Citation

    Ray Thelen Papers, D-470, Department of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright is protected by the copyright law, chapter 17 of the U.S. Code. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head of Special Collections. Permission for publications is given on behalf of Special Collections, General Library, University of California, Davis as the owner of the physical items and is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the researcher.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Thelen, Ray, 1918-2005--Archives.
    Baking.
    Food industry and trade.