Jesse William Monroe DuMond, experimental physicist and professor of physics at Caltech, 1938-1963, was known for his work
on physical constants and spectroscopic instrumentation. His papers contain principally his scientific correspondence, with
some reprints, photos of experimental apparatus, and biographical material, the latter including his unpublished autobiography.
Jesse William Monroe DuMond, experimental physicist, was born in Paris on July 11, 1892, to expatriate American parents, Fredrick
Melville DuMond and Louise Adele Kerr. After the death of his mother before he was two years old, DuMond was cared for by
his maternal grandmother, Catherine E. Kerr, a resident of Paris, up to the age of seven. In 1899 young DuMond came to the
U.S. to live with his paternal grandparents. From his grandfather, Alonzo Monroe DuMond, who had founded a sheet-metal business
in Rochester, the young Jesse learned practical manual skills and a deep respect for craftsmanship. In 1905 the DuMond grandparents
moved with their grandson to California, settling permanently in Monrovia, just east of Pasadena. Young Jesse graduated from
Monrovia High School in 1911. He subsequently entered Throop College of Technology, the forerunner of the California Institute
of Technology, in Pasadena in September, 1912, from which he graduated with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering
in 1916. For his thesis, he designed and built a harmonic analyzer, a type of mechanical calculator.
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