John Bell Rae Papers
Finding aid prepared by Sara Chetney, MA
Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library
800 North Dartmouth Ave
Claremont University Consortium. All rights reserved.
Title: John Bell Rae papers
Dates: 1936-1988 and undated
Collection number: H.Mss.0703
Rae, John Bell
5 Linear Feet
(5 records boxes)
Claremont Colleges. Library. Special Collections, Honnold/Mudd Library. Claremont, CA 91711
Abstract: This collection contains the papers of John Bell Rae, a historian of industry and tecchnology and one of the first members
of the Harvey Mudd faculty. Besides teaching at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvey Mudd College, Rae
authored seminal texts on the history of industry and performed research for engineering projects and committees such as the
NASA Historical Advisory Committee and Harvard University’s Research Center for Entrepreneurial History. This collection
contains Rae's biographical information, personal correspondence, and notes. It also contains Rae's various academic papers,
including articles, theses, research notes, and lectures on engineering history and policy.
Physical Location: Please consult repository.
Language of Material: Languages represented in the collection: English.
Collection open for research.
All requests for permission to reproduce or to publish must be submitted in writing to Special Collections.
[Identification of item], John Bell Rae Papers (H.Mss.0703). Special Collections, The Claremont Colleges Library, Claremont,
Provenance / Source of Acquisition
Gift of Mrs. Florence Rae, 1989.
No additions to the collection are anticipated.
Collection was minimally processed. Files were rehoused into archival folders and boxes. Metal clasps and fasteners were removed
and replaced with plastic. Original order was maintained.
Biographical / Historical
John Bell Rae (1911 – 1988) was a historian and professor whose lifelong fascination with industry and technology, and its
impact on human development, shaped his career. Besides teaching at both the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvey
Mudd College, Rae authored seminal texts on the history of industry and performed research for engineering projects and committees
such as the NASA Historical Advisory Committee, Harvard University’s Research Center for Entrepreneurial History, and had
his research into the American automotive industry sponsored by the Motor Vehicle Manufacturers Association. He was also a
founder and past president of the Society for the History of Technology. In 1980, he was the recipient of its highest award,
the Leonardo da Vinci Medal.
Rae was born in Glasgow, Scotland and emigrated with his family to the United States when he was twelve years old. He earned
his B.A. in history from Brown University and briefly studied at Yale before returning to Brown for graduate study on the
history of economics. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees under the supervision of James B. Hedges, and wrote a highly
regarded dissertation on railroad land grants. Beginning his teaching career at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
Rae would leave the institution in 1959 in order to become a full time faculty member at the newly founded Harvey Mudd College.
There, he taught classes on the history of technology and industry. He strongly believed that engineers should also have a
liberal arts education, and served as chairman of the Liberal Studies Division of the American Society for Engineering Education
in both 1962-63 and 1968-69.
Retiring in 1976, John Bell Rae continued to teach at Claremont Graduate School, research, and write. He remained active until
his unexpected passing in 1988. Rae is remembered for his prolific career, dedication, and passion for his work.
Flink, James J. "John Bell Rae (1911-1988)." Technology and Culture 30, no. 3 (1989): 718-22. http://www.jstor.org/stable/3106002.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains the personal papers of John Bell Rae. Materials in this collection include biographical information,
personal correspondence, and notes. It also contains Rae's various academic papers, including articles, theses, research notes,
and lectures on engineering history and policy.
Organization and Arrangement
Collection is arranged at the folder level. Original order of the materials was maintained.
The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library’s online public access catalog.
Harvey Mudd College
History of Technology
Universities and colleges -- Faculty
Genre and Form of Materials
Research notes and studies
Box 1, Folder 1
Biographical and personal items
Box 1, Folder 2
Biographical and personal items
Box 1, Folder 6
University Club of Claremont
Box 1, Folder 7
In regards to scholarships and aid, and debate over admission of women.
Box 1, Folder 8
Pictures of a Packard speedster and Mercedes Benz 540-K
Sent to Rae by "La Forge," UCLA.
Box 1, Folder 9
Experimental Determination of the Velocity of Light, facsimile of notebook
Box 1, Folder 10
Textron annual report
Box 1, Folder 11
Glasgow Herald, 20th Anniversary color supplement, includes facsimile of the Glasgow Advertiser no. 1
1783 January 27
Box 1, Folder 13
Microfilm and Address cards
Box 1, Folder 14
Slides, mostly of automobiles
Box 2, Folder 1
Rae's Thesis: 'The Development of Railway Land Subsidy Policy in the United States'
Box 2, Folder 2
Lowell: An Early American Industrial Community
Box 2, Folder 3
Lowell: An Early American Industrial Community, copy, MIT
Box 2, Folder 4
Typescripts: "The Engineer as Businessman"
Box 2, Folder 5
Article by Rae: "The Fabulous Billy Durant"
Box 2, Folder 6
26 reprints of "The Rationalization of Production" by John Rae
From Technology in Western Civilization, Vol. II, c. 1967.
Box 2, Folder 7
Reprints of "The Internal Combustion Engine on Wheels," by John Rae
From Technology in Western Civilization Vol. II, c. 1967. Also abstract for "The Introduction of the Modern Airplane," 1968.
Box 2, Folder 8
Addresses and articles by Rae
Included are: "American Engineers: Diversity of Skills, Unity of Purpose"; "Engineers Are People"; and "Coleman du Pont and
His Road" offprint from Delaware History, Vol. XVI. No. 3 (1975).
Box 2, Folder 9
Articles by Rae
Box 2, Folder 10
"The Agricultural Sciences in the U.S. 1860-1920"
Box 2, Folder 11
Engineer in History - Correspondence
Box 2, Folder 12
Engineer in History - Ribbon Copy
Box 2, Folder 13
Engineer in History - Introduction and Chapter 1
Box 2, Folder 14
Engineer in History - Chapter 2, revised
Box 2, Folder 15
Engineer in History - Chapter 3, revised edition
Including corrected copy as sent to Twayne, marked "folder 2:15a."
Box 2, Folder 16
Engineer in History - Chapter 4, revised
Box 2, Folder 17
Engineer in History - Chapter 5
Including Chapter 5 notes in folder marked "2:17a."
Box 2, Folder 18
Engineer in History - Chapter 6
Box 2, Folder 19
Engineer in History - Chapter 7 complete
Including Chapter 7 notes marked 2:19a.
Box 2, Folder 20
Engineer in History - Chapter 8 Volti Draft
Box 2, Folder 21
Engineer in History - notes and miscellaneous
Box 3, Folder 1
Publisher's paste-ups for the textbook "The World Since 1945"
Box 3, Folder 2
Articles and research materials
Box 3, Folder 3
Book on auto industry - Twayne Press
Box 3, Folder 12
Auto industry miscellaneous
Box 3, Folder 14
American society of traffic and transportation
Box 3, Folder 17
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography
Box 3, Folder 18
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - correspondence
Box 3, Folder 19
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - Henry Ford II
Box 3, Folder 20
Newspaper articles on the death of Henry Ford II
Box 3, Folder 21
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography Electric Vehicle Company
Includes Henry Martyn Leland.
Box 3, Folder 22
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - Hiram Percy Maxim
Box 3, Folder 23
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - Albert A. Pope
Box 3, Folder 24
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - Alfred Sloan
Box 3, Folder 25
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - Pope Manufacturing Company
Box 3, Folder 26
Encyclopedia of American Business History and Biography - Management
Box 3, Folder 27
Arete (Academic American Encyclopedia)
Box 3, Folder 29
Box 3, Folder 30
Ferris State College, Michigan
Box 3, Folder 31
Gladstone, Francis "Kings of the Road" - WGBH
Box 3, Folder 36
Jet Propulsion Laboratory
Box 3, Folder 38
Correspondence and papers
Box 4, Folder 4
Nissan, including Nissan Chapter 1
Box 4, Folder 5
Nissan - articles of incorporation
Box 4, Folder 6
Nissan - organization chart
Box 4, Folder 8
Japan Travel Record
Including "Japan Trip" in folder marked 4:8a.
Box 4, Folder 9
Shimokawa, Koichi, Professor
Box 4, Folder 12
Professionalism for engineers
Box 4, Folder 13
Public research, syndicated
Box 4, Folder 16
Santa Barbara Commencement
Box 4, Folder 17
Society of Automotive Historians, Inc.
Box 4, Folder 22
University of Wyoming - American Heritage Center
Box 4, Folder 23
"The Automobile Age" by James J. Flink, Part I of II
Box 4, Folder 24
"The Automobile Age" by James J. Flink, Part II of II
Box 4, Folder 26
Typescript: Life of Thomas Dorr
Box 5, Folder 1
International Congress of Historical Sciences, Stuttgart
Box 5, Folder 2
International Congress of Historical Sciences, Stuttgart - correspondence
Box 5, Folder 3
Economic and social effects of the motor vehicle - correspondence, guidelines, summaries, etc.
Box 5, Folder 4
XVth International Congress of the History of Science, Edinburgh
Box 5, Folder 5
Red portfolio from the XVth International Congress of the History of Science
Box 5, Folder 6
"Hearing: State Energy Resources Conservation and Development Commission in the Matter of: Implementation of Nuclear Reprocessing
and Waste Disposal Legislation"
1977 June 16
Box 5, Folder 7
Transparencies: History of Engineering
Box 5, Folder 8
Lecture notes on a steno pad
Notes from a conference.
Box 5, Folder 9
Apollo 14 launch information, nametag, also aeronautic certificate
Box 5, Folder 10
California Electric Utilities and Industry - Position statement, approvals of technology and summary of record
Box 5, Folder 11
Manuscript - chapters 1 through 4
Box 5, Folder 12
Manuscript - chapters 5 through 8
Box 5, Folder 13
Manuscript - chapters 9 through 12 and notes on sources
Box 5, Folder 14
Printed manuscript with edits
Box 5, Folder 15
American Automobile Manufacturers