The George Thodos Papers span 1939-1997 and document Thodos' life as a teacher and researcher. The papers consist mainly of research materials, teaching files, professional correspondence, and article manuscripts. The collection is divided into six categories: Biographical, Correspondence, Teaching, Research, Article Manuscripts, Research, and Off Prints.
The Biographical materials relate primarily to Thodos' career from 1949-2000. Included are several copies of his professional curriculum vitae at various points in his career and copies and notices of awards he received, including a Distinguished Service Citation for 1970 from the University of Wisconsin College of Engineers and the Argonne Universities Association Distinguished Appointment Award for 1975 from Argonne Laboratories. There is also a 1951 clipping entitled “Meet the Faculty” from the Northwestern Engineer that introduces the new professor to the Northwestern community. A list of patents, an Illinois state engineering certificate dated 1949, and a jury duty certificate dated 1989 are also included. A glowing letter dated 1975 from a former graduate student highlights Thodos' skill and impact as an instructor. Unfortunately, very little material aside from his obituary, dated March 3, 2000, from the Chicago Tribune, relates to Thodos' personal life.
A Bibliography file contains two undated partial publications lists.
Clippings date from 1953-1988 and include some undated press materials relating to Thodos. They include press releases pertaining to Thodos' research and teaching awards. Also included are newspaper announcements of the professor's speaking engagements and a 1975 Northwestern University conference on solar energy, which featured Thodos.
Five Graduate School Notebooks document Thodos' graduate training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and contain his notes on such subjects as “Heat Transmission,” “Fractional Distillation,” and higher mathematics.
Correspondence materials are divided between professional and personal. Professional correspondence contains letters and cards dating 1957-1987 as well as some undated materials relating to Thodos' research activities and his participation in various professional conferences and organizations. Personal correspondence ranges from 1945-1995, including undated materials, and includes letters, greeting cards, and postcards Thodos received from friends and family members over the years.
Teaching files relate to Thodos' teaching activities and include the syllabi, lecture notes, quizzes, and exams from courses he taught in the Chemical Engineering Department. They are arranged numerically by course number. Also included are files containing student lab work, mostly undated student papers and exams, student recommendations, and various unidentified course material.
Research materials span the years 1943-80 document Thodos' work both as a private researcher and as an academic scholar. Included are files relating to his work for Phillips Petroleum Company, the United States Government on submarine habitability during the Cold War Era, the and Argonne National Laboratories. There are also documents pertaining to Thodos' various patents, grant proposals to the National Science Foundation, and an invention disclosure for CPC collector surfaces from the mid-1970s.
The drafts, notes, and some correspondence relating to Thodos' publications are contained within Article Manuscripts files. To make using these files easier to identify, they are arranged alphabetically by the surname of Thodos' co-author for each article. Most of the co-authors were Thodos' graduate assistants. Articles authored solely by Thodos are filed under his surname alone.
Off Prints are organized chronologically and contain the off prints of articles Thodos received from the various publishers of those pieces.