Jump to Content

Collection Guide
Collection Title:
Collection Number:
Get Items:
Finding Aid for the Papers of Harold Wayland 1948-2001
View entire collection guide What's This?
PDF (59.87 Kb) HTML
Search this collection
Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Descriptive Summary
  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Biography
  • Scope and Content
  • Related Material
  • Indexing Terms

  • Descriptive Summary

    Title: Papers of Harold Wayland,
    Date (inclusive): 1948-2001
    Collection number: 10251-MS
    Creator: Wayland, Harold 1909-2000
    Extent: 1 linear ft.
    Repository: California Institute of Technology. Caltech Archives
    Pasadena, California 91125
    Abstract: The Papers of Harold Wayland (1909-2000), Caltech Professor of Engineering Science, 1949-1979, are a small collection of personal, scientific, and institutionally related documents. They cover aspects of Wayland's scientific work on microcirculation, his invention of the intravital microscope, and Caltech's support in the late 1960s-early 1970s for a biomedical engineering program and discussion of a medical school in Pasadena.
    Physical location: Archives, California Institute of Technology.
    Languages represented in the collection: English


    The collection is open for research. Researchers must apply in writing for access.

    Publication Rights

    Copyright may not have been assigned to the California Institute of Technology Archives. All requests for permission to publish or quote from manuscripts must be submitted in writing to the Caltech Archivist. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology Archives as the owner of the physical items and, unless explicitly stated otherwise, is not intended to include or imply permission of the copyright holder, which must also be obtained by the reader.

    Preferred Citation

    [Identification of item], Papers of Harold Wayland, 10251-MS, Caltech Archives, California Institute of Technology.

    Acquisition Information

    The Wayland papers were acquired from different sources. The original accession in 1988 does not document the donor, which in all likelihood was the Caltech Division of Engineering and Applied Science (EAS). The materials on Caltech's biomedical engineering program were donated in 2001 by EAS. The biographical and personal material was donated in August 2010 by Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Harold Wayland's daughter.


    Harold Wayland was born in Boise, Idaho, on July 2, 1909. His first name was James, but apart from the occasional appearance of the initial J. before his name, he typically dropped his first name or initial on his scientific publications.
    Wayland received his BS in physics and mathematics from the University of Idaho in 1931; he then earned his MS and PhD degrees in the same subjects at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 1935 and 1937 respectively. At Caltech, Wayland studied under Robert Millkan, Morgan Ward, and Harry Bateman. After teaching physics at the University of Redlands (1938-1941) and following a period of service for the US navy on torpedo research (1941-1948), he returned to Caltech, where he taught Applied Mechanics. In 1963 he was named Professor of Engineering Science. Wayland retired from Caltech in 1979 but stayed active as a scientist, lecturer, and consultant for many years. He died on October 10, 2000.
    Trained as a physicist, Wayland's scientific interest lay in the interdisciplinary area between the physical and engineering sciences and the biomedical sciences. In collaboration with Wallace Frasher, MD, of the University of Southern California (USC) School of Medicine, Wayland developed the intravital microscope to measure and study blood flow in living animals at the microcirculatory level. His work in the fields of microcirculation and blood rheology represent a pioneer phase in biomedical engineering.
    Wayland was an enthusiastic traveler, gastronome, and wine connoisseur. Beginning with a fellowship from the American Scandinavian Foundation, 1936-1937, for a year at the Niels Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, Wayland regularly traveled and lectured in Europe and Japan. In 1953-1954 he was a Guggenheim Fellow in Strasbourg, France. Wayland was the founder of the Athenaeum Apicians, a gourmet dining club that met at Caltech's Athenaeum beginning in 1964. Among his honors and awards was an honorary doctorate from the University of Idaho in 1977.

    Scope and Content

    The Papers of Harold Wayland are divided into two equal-sized series: Technical Files, and Personal and Biographical Materials. The first series covers only highlights of his scientific career, from a postwar underwater ballistics report to material on the intravital microscope, to a more substantial set of files on the biomedical engineering program at Caltech, 1963-1975, of which Wayland was the head. This was an early interdisciplinary program between physics, engineering, and biomedical science. These papers include internal memos on the matter of the establishment of a medical school in Pasadena. (No medical school was founded, but Caltech did establish a research relationship with Pasadena's Huntington Memorial Hospital.) The Caltech papers contain files of correspondence on the subject of a medical school between Prof. Francis Clauser of Caltech and Dr. Elie Schneour of the then newly created City of Hope cancer hospital and research center.
    Series 2 contains a personal and biographical miscellany, which includes Wayland's PhD thesis and some published technical papers, along with awards, honors, and family memorabilia.
    The collection is organized into the following series:
    • Series 1. Technical Files
    • Series 2. Personal and Biographical Material

    Related Material

    Oral history interview of J. Harold Wayland by John L. Greenberg and Ann Peters, 1983-1985.

    Indexing Terms

    The following terms have been used to index the description of this collection in the library's online public access catalog.


    California Institute of Technology
    Biomedical engineering


    Biomedical engineers