Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Henry Marion Howe papers, 1875-1917

Summary Information

At a Glance

Call No.: MS#0620
Bib ID 4078913 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Howe, Henry Marion, 1848-1922
Title Henry Marion Howe papers, 1875-1917
Physical Description 2.09 linear feet (5 document boxes and folders in 2 flat boxes)
Language(s) English .

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.



This collection is arranged in one series: Series I: Henry Marion Howe papers, 1875-1917.



Correspondence of Howe, dealing with various departmental affairs such as supplies, laboratory equipment, building maintenance, personnel, students, and examination questions. The chief correspondents are two of Howe's colleagues in the Dept. of Metallurgy, Bradley Stoughton and Arthur Lucian Walker. The Stoughton correspondence runs from 1902 to May 1908, at which time he left Columbia and was replaced by Walker. Although Walker remained in the department until 1929, only his correspondence from May 1908 to 1909 is included. Throughout the correspondence there are frequent references to steel. Most of Howe's letters are originals, while Stoughton and Walker's replies are almost entirely carbon copies. Also, a group of letters of inquiry and letters of reference regarding Howe's effort to find a new assistant during July and August of 1916. The manuscripts and documents consist of twenty reports, with covering letters, by Howe as a metallurgical consultant to various mining and metal companies, 1890-1911; lecture notes, 1884-1896; two scrapbooks of metallurgical photographs; four volumes of blueprint graphs illustrating metallic content; a volume of Howe's experiments on refrigeration, ca. 1888-1889; and various other metallurgical notebooks.

Using the Collection

Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Restrictions on Access

This collection is located off-site. You will need to request this material at least three business days in advance to use the collection in the Rare Book and Manuscript Library reading room.

This collection has no restrictions.

Terms Governing Use and Reproduction

Single photocopies may be made for research purposes. The RBML maintains ownership of the physical material only. Copyright remains with the creator and his/her heirs. The responsibility to secure copyright permission rests with the patron.

Preferred Citation

Identification of specific item; Date (if known); Henry Marion Howe papers; Box and Folder; Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Columbia University Library.

Related Materials

For additional materials related to Henry Marion Howe at Columbia, please consult Central Files (UA#0001), Historical biographical files (UA#0004), Historical photograph collection (UA#0003), and the School of Mines records, 1863-1985 (UA#0098).


No additions are expected.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Rare Book and Manuscript Library

Processing Information

Cataloged Christina Hilton Fenn 07/--/89.

Revision Description

2020-04-03 PDF replaced with full finding aid (JR)

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Laboratory notebooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Photographic prints Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
College teachers Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia College (New York, N.Y.). School of Mines -- Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. Department of Metallurgy -- : Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Columbia University. School of Mines -- Faculty Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Metallurgical research Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Metallurgists Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Metallurgy -- Equipment and supplies Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Metallurgy -- Study and teaching Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mines and mineral resources Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Mining corporations Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Refrigeration and refrigerating machinery -- Experiments Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scrapbooks Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Steel -- Metallurgy Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Stoughton, Bradley, 1873-1959 Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Walker, Arthur Lucian Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Professor of Metallurgy at Columbia University, 1897-1922.

The "greatest of all the steel metallurgist," Howe was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1848. He was the son of noted philanthropist Dr. Samuel G. and activist and suffragist Julia Ward Howe, best known as the writer of the pro-Union, anti-slavery anthem "The Battle Hymn of the Republic." Howe was educated at Boston Latin, received an AB, AM, and LLD from Harvard and a BS in mining and metallurgy from MIT. He worked in the iron and copper industry in the Midwest, Chile, Quebec, New Jersey, and Arizona for 25 years before joining the Columbia University as the Chair of the Metallurgy Department in 1897. In 1913 he became professor emeritus.

Howe was the author of several standard works, including 'Copper Smelting' (1885), 'The Metallurgy of Steel' (1891), 'Metallurgical Laboratory Notes' (1902), 'Iron, Steel, and other Alloys' (1908), and 'Metallography of Steel and Cast Iron' (1916), besides contributing to the 11th edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica the article dealing with iron and steel.

He was a Knight of the Order of St. Stanislas, Russia, and a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor, France. He was appointed by the American Society for Testing Materials as a representative on the International Committee dealing with the problem of uniform nomenclature of iron and steel and also served chair of the Committee. He was President of the jury of awards on mining and metallurgy both at the Columbian Exposition of 1893 and at the Paris Exhibition. He received the Bessemer medal of the Iron and Steel Institute of Great Britain, Eliot Cresson medal, Franklin Institute of Philadelphia, gold medal of the Verein zur Befoerderung des Gewerbfleisses, Berlin, gold medal of Societe d'Encouragement pour l'Industrie Nationale of France. In 1917 Howe has been awarded the John Fritz medal for his investigations in metallurgy, especially in the metallography of iron and steel. The John Fritz medal is awarded from time to time for notable scientific or industrial achievement by the United Engineering Societies.

He died on May 14, 1922, at his residence in Bedford Hills, New York.