Scope and Content
Title: Raymond E. Davis Papers,
Date (inclusive): 1931-1956
Collection number: DAVIS
Davis, Raymond Earl, 1885-1970
Extent: ca. 1 linear ft. (1 carton)
Water Resources Collections and Archives
Shelf location: This collection is stored off-campus at NRLF. Please contact the Water Resources Collections and Archives staff for access
to the materials.
Collection is open for research.
Copyright has not been assigned to the Water Resources Collections and Archives. All requests for
permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Head
of Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the Water Resources Collections and Archives 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 reader.
[Identification of item], Raymond E. Davis Papers, DAVIS, Water Resources Collections and Archives, University of California,
Concrete dams --Design and construction.
Hoover Dam (Ariz. and Nev.)
Colorado River Aqueduct (Calif.)
Barker Dam (Colo.)
Williams Dam (Ariz.)
Norris Dam (Tenn.)
Hiwassee Dam (N.C.)
Pine Flat Dam (Calif.)
Sariyar Dam (Turkey)
Raymond Earl Davis was born in Gorham, Maine, on June 13, 1885, the son of Charles and
Elizabeth Gray Davis. His interests in civil engineering projects were deep rooted at an
early age so that even before completing his basic engineering education he spent several
years in the field as a topographer and engineering inspector. Returning to the
University of Maine, he received his B.S. in 1911 and C.E. in 1914. During 1911 through
1917 he became interested in teaching and served as Instructor and Associate in Civil
Engineering at the University of Illinois, where he received his M.S. in 1916. This
activity was interrupted by World War I, during which he was a first lieutenant,
Engineering Corps, serving as Assistant to the Department Engineer, Western Department,
in charge of collecting and compiling data for the War Department. When the war ended he
resumed his career in teaching, serving for the next two years as Associate Professor of
Civil Engineering at the University of Nebraska.
His first association with the University of California began in 1920, where his keen
interest in the properties of engineering materials soon resulted in his appointment as
Director of the then small Engineering Materials Laboratory, and as Professor of Civil
Professor Davis was a leading researcher in the field of engineering materials and
structures. Although he supervised many important structural research projects such as,
(a) the large model studies of the proposed San Francisco-Oakland Bridge to evaluate its
engineering characteristics; (b) tension studies of very heavy riveted joints for long
span bridges; and (c) stability studies of rock-fill dams during earthquakes; and many
others, his principal interests were in the field of cement and concrete, where he was
preeminent both as a researcher and a consultant. He was always extremely active in
advancing the work of his profession, serving on many important committees of the
American Society for Testing and Materials as well as the American Concrete Institute,
frequently as chairman. He also served as president of the latter organization.
Among the many studies on concrete which he pioneered and for which he won acclaim are
(a) volume changes and creep, or plastic flow of concrete under sustained loads; and (b)
the use of pozzolans as a partial replacement of part of the cement in concrete mixes.
Professor Davis' knowledge in connection with cement and concrete resulted in his advice
being sought by many large private and governmental organizations, such as the Corps of
Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Metropolitan Water District of Southern
California, in connection with Hoover Dam, Grand Coulee Dam, Colorado River Aqueduct, the
San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge, and many other projects. He directed several research
projects concerned with engineering materials and structures during World War II.
Under the direction of Professor Davis, the Engineering Materials Laboratory developed
into one of the most important of its type in the world. In 1969 this laboratory was
greatly enlarged for a second time and named Raymond Earl Davis Hall.
Although he retired from his academic duties in 1952, he continued his active
participation in technical society matters and his consulting activities until his death.
Raymond Earl Davis died on June 14, 1970, in Berkeley, one day after his eighty-fifth
In Memoriam, by G. E. Troxell, H.
E. Davis, and J. W. Kelly.
Scope and Content
Published and unpublished reports, correspondence, photographs, etc., primarily dealing
with concrete testing for various dams in the U.S. and Turkey.