Guide to the Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr., 1937-1987

Processed by The Archives staff; machine-readable finding aid created by James Ryan
California Institute of Technology
1200 East California Blvd.
Mail Code 015A-74
Pasadena, CA 91125
Phone: (626) 395-2704
Fax: (626) 793-8756
© 1998
California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Guide to the Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr., 1937-1987


California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, California

Contact Information:

  • Archives
  • California Institute of Technology
  • 1200 East California Blvd.
  • Mail Code 015A-74
  • Pasadena, CA 91125
  • Phone: (626) 395-2704
  • Fax: (626) 793-8756
  • Email:
  • URL:
Processed by:
The Archives staff
Date Completed:
Updated: November 1998
Encoded by:
James Ryan
© 1998 California Institute of Technology. All rights reserved.

Descriptive Summary

Title: Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr.,
Date (inclusive): 1937-1987
Creator: Edward Hutchings, Jr.
Extent: Linear feet: 1
Repository: California Institute of Technology. Archives.
Pasadena, California 91125
Language: English.

Administrative Information


Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Copyright has not 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 Head of the Archives. Permission for publication is given on behalf of the California Institute of Technology 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.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item, Box and file number], Papers of Edward Hutchings, Jr., Archives, California Institute of Technology.

Biographical Sketch

Edward Hutchings Jr. was born in 1912 in Brooklyn and raised in upstate New York. After graduating from Dartmouth College in 1933, he worked as an editor and writer for a number of magazines, including Literary Digest, Business Week, Look, Liberty, Collier's and Science Illustrated. In 1948 he was offered the job of editor of Caltech's alumni magazine, Engineering & Science (E&S). Later he acquired the title of Director of Publications.
Over the course of his thirty-one-year tenure with E&S, Hutchings refashioned it into a publication that went well beyond the typical alumni magazine by reaching out to faculty, students, parents, trustees, donors, science teachers, the press, and the interested public. His philosophy was to make any science concept available to the layman. By his own admission he was careful to observe the old dictum of never underestimating the intelligence of his readers while never overestimating their knowledge. Bringing scientist and layman together was, he wrote, "like being the operator of a lonely-hearts club. I've tried to promote a match." He was scrupulous to involve students in his work and to cover student life in the magazine, as well as to present the important research that was continually taking place on campus and at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He taught journalism classes and was advisor to the student newspaper, the California Tech. In 1958 he compiled and edited the book Frontiers of Science, a set of the best material from E&S to that time, which contains some of the most illustrious names in science of that era, from Linus Pauling to Richard Feynman to J. Robert Oppenheimer.
Hutchings also participated actively in campus life. He was a member of the Caltech Stock Company, led by English professor J. Kent Clark, which presented original shows to mark major campus events from the 1950s into the 1980s. He retired from E&S in 1979 and from teaching in 1987.

Scope of the Collection

The papers represent a somewhat miscellaneous cross section of material touching on various aspects of life at Caltech. Of particular interest are talks about or interviews with prominent Caltech faculty. There is also interesting material on student life, as well as several sets of slides showing student pranks. Other sets of slides generated by faculty retirement dinners provide some interesting pictorial records. Researchers should also refer to the Edward Hutchings Jr. oral history.

Material Cataloged Separately

Framed watercolor by Hunt Lewis, view of Throop Hall through arches. Added to fine art collection.
Books authored by Edward Hutchings Jr. Added to landmark book collection.

Container List


SERIES I: Interviews and Manuscripts

Box 1, Folder 1.1

Memo on vegetable fertilizers, by Chuck Newton, 1948

Folder 1.2

"Origin of Scientists," John Weir, 1957

Folder 1.3

"Caltech Pranks," interview with Robert Huttenback by Edward Hutchings Jr., 28 April 1976

Folder 1.4

"A Conversation with David Elliot," by Robert Oliver, 25 April 1986

Folder 1.5

"A Conversation with J. Kent Clark," by Robert Oliver, 6 May 1986

Folder 1.6

"To Change a University--You Don't Beat it to Death," by Edward Hutchings Jr., n.d.

Folder  1.7

Miscellaneous manuscript notes, humor


SERIES II: Talks and Speeches

Box 1, Folder 1.8

Retirement dinner for Ernest Swift, [1967] (script, 65 slides)

Folder 1.9

Retirement dinner for Don Clark, Chuck Newton, Hallett Smith [1975] (script, 91 slides)

Folder 1.10

Retirement dinner for Max Delbrück, Alan Sweezy, Olga Todd ("Talk about Presidents") [1977] (script, 77 slides)

Folder 1.11

Retirement dinner for Ed Hutchings Jr., 1979 (script, 39 of 80 slides)

Folder 1.12

Linus Pauling 85th birthday salute, Feb 1986 See also: Photographic Material

Folder 1.13

"Kent and David [J. Kent Clark and David Elliot]," transcript of speech by Robert Oliver, 15 May 1986

Folder 1.14

"Speech at the Planting of a Memorial Grove for Darlene Oliver," J. Kent Clark, 1987


SERIES III: Students

Box 1, Folder 1.15

Slime, 25 February 1937

Folder 1.16

Transcript of Parents Program, 21 October 1961

Folder 1.17

"Academic Innovations," by Ed Schroeder, n.d. [ca 1970s]

Folder 1.18

Statement by Michael Meo on refusing the draft, with letter to Ned Hale, 1971; letter by Meo to "Men of Lloyd" from the Federal Correction Institution in Lompoc, California, 1971 [photocopies]

Folder 1.19

Article submitted to Seventeen by Marion Movius, one of Caltech's first female undergraduates, 1973

Folder 1.20

Commune Purity Test (Phase II), n.d.


Caltech Y

Folder 1.21

Interview with Abraham Kaplan by John Weir, May 1967; letter of A. H. Maslow, 1959 [both from Caltech Y's Leaders of America series]

Folder 1.22

Angela Davis, Caltech Y talk, 1970


SERIES IV: Printed Material

Box 2, Folder 2.1

Edward Hutchings Jr., miscellaneous published articles and fiction


"Scientists are Human Beings," Science Illustrated, 1948.


"Whispering Guy," Collier's, 5 February 1954: 32, 52-55.


"The Autonomous Viking," Science, 18 February 1983: 803- 808.

Folder 2.2

"High Symmetry," Lawrence R. Klein, August 1964

Folder 2.3

Frontiers in Science, re: presentation copy to Ed Hutchings, 1979

Folder 2.4

Publication correspondence, 1980

Folder 2.5

News clippings


SERIES V: Photographic Material

Box 2

Slide collections

Folder 2.6

The evolution of Engineering & Science magazine, January 1974 (59 slides, negatives)

Folder 2.7

Students, student activities and pranks, 1976 (31 slides)

Folder 2.8

Dinner for Max Delbrück, 1977 (60 slides)

Folder 2.9

Dinner for Robert Christy, 1978(28 slides)

Folder 2.10

85th birthday for Linus Pauling, 1986 (98 slides in 3 boxes) See also:Talks

Folder 2.11

Photos and negatives, misc See also:Talks and Speeches


See also:Talks and Speeches