Condit, Carl W.
Carl Wilbur Condit was born in Cincinnati Ohio on September 29, 1914, the son of Arthur Thomas and Gertrude C. (Pletz) Condit.
Condit received a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue University in 1936, and an M.A. and a PhD. in English from the University of Cincinnati in 1939 and 1941 respectively. He was a Teaching Scholar at the University of Cincinnati, 1939-1941, and an Instructor in Mathematics in the College of Engineering at Cincinnati, 1942-1944. During 1941-1942 he also served as a Civilian Instructor in Mathematics and Mechanics for the United States Army. In 1944-1945 he was an Assistant Design Engineer in the Building Department of the New York Central Railroad in Cincinnati.
In 1945 Condit came to Northwestern University as an Instructor in English. He then went to the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh where he served as Assistant Professor of Humanities and Social Science until 1947. Then he returned to Northwestern where he remained on the faculty as Assistant Professor of English and Humanities, 1947-1953; Associate Professor 1953-1961; Professor 1961-1966; Professor of Art and History of Science, 1966-1972; and thereafter as Professor of History, Art History and Urban Affairs.
During the 1951-1952 academic year he received a Ford Foundation Grant which enabled him to spend the year as a post-doctoral fellow in the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin. He spent 1966-1967 as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Institution.
Condit's interests include the history of science and technology, the relation of humanistic values to technology and science and the human basis for modern technology. During his career Condit has written several books and articles, which are enumerated in a bibliography filed in Box I Folder 3 of the Condit Papers. He was also a co-editor with Eugene Ferguson, of the journal, Technology and Culture, the publication of the Society for the History of Technology, from 1962 to 1970.
Condit was one of the founders of the Society for the History of Technology and served as a member of its Executive Council 1959-1963. He was also a Trustee of the Chicago School of Architecture Foundation, a leading member of the Chicago Heritage Committee and member of other organizations, including the Landmarks Preservation Council of Chicago, the History of Science Society, the Society of Architectural Historians, the American Association of University Professors and the American Civil Liberties Union.
In 1967 Condit received a Litt.D. from the University of Cincinnati. Among the other awards he has received are the Abbott Payson Usher Prize from the Society for the History of Technology (1968), the History and Heritage Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (1971) and the Leonardo Da Vinci Medal from the Society for the History of Technology (1973). Upon being awarded the Da Vinci Medal from the Society for the History of Technology Condit was cited as the ” ‘world's foremost authority’ on the history of building and structure in America.”
On June 19, 1943 Condit married Isabel Marion-Campbell. The Condits had three children: Stephen Campbell, Richard Stuart, and Kenneth Arthur.
Carl W. Condit retired from Northwestern University in 1982 and was granted the title of Professor Emeritus of Art History, History, and Urban Affairs.
For additional information see Condit Biographical File in the University Archives reading room.
Biographical File, Northwestern University Archives
Directory of American Scholars