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Carl Muhlenbruch (1915-2007) Papers

 Collection
Identifier: 22/4/17

Scope and Contents

The Carl W. Muhlenbruch Papers are housed in 14 boxes, including one card file and eleven bound volumes. The papers span the years 1937-2007, with the bulk from 1940-1965. Contents include correspondence, billing statements, notes, data sheets, graphs, exams, blue prints, published articles, overheads, and drafts.

Much of Muhlenbruch's original order was retained, as were his subject files and folder names. Muhlenbruch often kept detailed subject files including any and all transactions on a particular subject, including carbon copies of correspondence and billing invoices. The series is grouped into the following subseries: Biographical Material, Educational Material, Teaching Files, Research, Consulting, TEC-SEARCH, Inc., Concordia University, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Speeches and Addresses, Articles and Papers, Testing of Engineering Materials, General, and Bound Volumes.

Biographical Materialsinclude biographical sketches, curriculum vitae, correspondence, and materials relating to the family home in Wilmette, as well as certificates, newsclippings, and Muhlenbruch's obituary. A 50th wedding anniversary album is included, as is a family newsletter, and a 1952 Datebook. Materials are arranged chronologically within their respective folders.

The Educational Materials subseries mainly consist of the manuscript forms of Muhlenbruch's theses from the University of Illinois, “The Mechanical Properties of Balsa Wood” and the Carnegie Institute of Technology. Muhlenbruch's Master's Thesis in Civil Engineering from Carnegie Institute of Technology (CIT), “The Effect of Repeated Loading on the Bond Strength of Concrete” is represented in full form, including original blue prints, charts, graphs, data sheets, and manuscript. Also included are a contested transcript, correspondence, and a final examination from an early class at University of Illinois (UI).

Even though Muhlenbruch only taught at Northwestern for a very short time, he kept extensive Teaching Files, representing the many classes that he taught. Folders in this subseries by and large retained the original order Muhlenbruch maintained, and generally include exams and exam revisions, answer sheets, lecture notes, handouts, teaching aids, and syllabi. Student Work was foldered separately, and some classes are represented more heavily than others. Many files also include test and experiment data, graphs, charts, and blue prints. The subseries also includes files from his classes at the Carnegie Institute of Technology. As there was some subject crossover, Muhlenbruch often kept similar teaching materials together, and such materials remain in their original folder. All teaching files are organized numerically by class number with Carnegie Institute of Technology classes following Northwestern University. Along with Carl Condit, Muhlenbruch was instrumental in creating the elective BT-16 “Social and Historical Appraisal of Engineering,” and several files document the process of creating such a course. Extensive files were also kept on CE 321, “Mechanics of Materials,” and CE 580, “Transportation Engineering.”

The Research subseries is rather small in comparison to some of the other series, as most of Muhlenbruch's research was conducted in the realm of his consulting work, and will be included there. Files here include faculty research conducted at Northwestern University, including Torsion tests, faculty research proposals, billing slips, and invoices. Faculty research conducted at the Carnegie Institute of Technology is also included, with extensive files on his project “Tests of Reliance: Five Inch Weldlock Flooring.”

As Muhlenbruch worked as a consultant throughout his teaching career, and that is what ultimately motivated him to leave academia for the private sector, the Consulting subseries is extensive. Folders are organized alphabetically by company, with many folders retaining the same title and contents. Most files consist of correspondence, including duplicates of Muhlenbruch's own letters, as well as billing invoices, statements, and supply order forms. Correspondence is organized chronologically within each company file, and only divided out when necessary for space concerns.

Included in the subseries is consulting work that Muhlenbruch performed as a professor in Pennsylvania and Illinois, as during his tenure at TEC-SEARCH, Inc. Muhlenbruch also worked closely with the American Society for Testing Materials, on their Teaching Aids Committee and $7000 Task Force; the subseries includes copies of each letter Muhlenbruch sent on his campaigns. He also worked closely with the Allegheny-Ludlum Steel Company, Jones & Laughlin Steel Company, and the International Nickel Company. Many of his colleagues on these projects worked with Muhlenbruch on future endeavors, technical papers, and became future investors in TEC-SEARCH, Inc., as well as close friends of Muhlenbruch and his family.

Muhlenbruch's consulting work ultimately led him to form Educational and Techincal Consultants, Inc., an industry consulting, display, testing, and management company. The company later changed its name to TEC-SEARCH, Inc. Included in this series is the correspondence documenting the founding of the company, as well as Muhlenbruch's original TEC-SEARCH Historical Files, which maintain their original order, except for a small collection documenting the evolution of the corporate stationary, which was placed in its own folder. Included in the historical file is information documenting the design and creation of the Edens Executive Center in Wilmette, IL, which was designed by Muhlenbruch to house TEC-SEARCH. Also included are staff memos, business cards, and notices. The subseries also includes calendars (Idea-Work Schedules), Board of Directors minutes and meeting programs, case studies, management literature, a list of projects undertaken by TEC-SEARCH, and a list of reports in the library and in storage. Items are organized chronologically within the folder whenever possible without losing context.

The Concordia University subseries includes documents from seminars Muhlenbruch attended, including the Concordia Theological Seminary in 1981, where he was a speaker and attendant, as well as the Institute for Philanthropic Management in 1987, where he presented a number of lectures throughout the course of the seminar. Folders include program notes, overheads, case studies, and teaching aids from the Institute for Philanthropic Management. Directly following is the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod subseries, which includes correspondence, notes, and a number of speeches. Speeches include “Managing the Father's Speeches” and “Why Second Best?”

Muhlenbruch was a busy public speaker, and the Speeches and Addresses subseries is extensive. He took many speaking engagements on the behalf of TEC-SEARCH. Other speeches include a presentation on computers, jokes, commencement addresses, a presentation to the Aid for Lutherans Society (“Lay Leadership in Christian Education”), and a file on the Oxford Debates at New Trier High School in 1977 that Muhlenbruch participated in. of special interest is the speech titled “The Role of the Christian in Today's World: As A Member of the Royal Priesthood,” presented at a retreat in 1970 at “Camp Arcadia,” the Muhlenbruch family summer home in Arcadia, Michigan. Speech files typically contain includes notes, notecards, programs, drafts, and correspondence relating to each speech Muhlenbruch made. Muhlenbruch kept all documents relating to each speech together in each file, and titled each one by the title of the speech. Documents within each file are organized chronologically by type of document. Muhlenbruch himself was unable to identify some of his notecards, and those are included in the General Speeches file. All speeches are organized alphabetically by title, except when a speech was untitled, when it was referred to by its geographical location. On occasions where the same speech was given for multiple audiences, all documents were kept in the same folder, as Muhlenbruch originally had done.

In addition to his many speaking engagements, Muhlenbruch was a prolific writer, not only in the Civil Engineering profession, but in the educational and management fields as well. The Articles and Papers subseries includes technical articles written as a result of consulting projects, as well as the popular article “The Christian and Science,” which was also given as a speech (See Speeches and Addresses Series for Speech version), and articles written for professional associations about educational standards in Civil Engineering.

As Muhlenbruch began publishing early in his career, his articles and papers span the gamut of his professional career. Files include correspondence, drafts, data sheets, Photostats, and graphs, and each article is organized alphabetically within the subseries.

Muhlenbruch is also the author of the textbook Testing of Engineering Materials, and the subseries includes correspondence with his publisher Van Nostrand, materials suppliers, and industry colleagues. Finally, there are eleven Bound Volumes, organized alphabetically by title which contain class notes, exam problems, research, and a copy of his Master's Thesis from the Carnegie Institute of Technology, “Foundation Problems Encountered for a Bridge Built on a Moving Slag Fill.”

Dates

  • 1937 - 2007
  • Other: Majority of material found within 1940 - 1965

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

Student work and financial material restricted at the discretion of the Archivist.

This collection is stored off-site and requires 48 hours advance notice for retrieval. Please contact the McCormick Library at specialcollections@northwestern.edu or 847-491-3635 for more information or to schedule an appointment to view the collection.

Extent

18.00 Boxes

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

Carl W. Muhlenbruch came to Northwestern University in 1948. While teaching at Carnegie Institute of Technology and Northwestern, Muhlenbruch began career-long associations with various testing and industry companies through his research and consulting work. Muhlenbruch’s field of research was in materials and material properties. The Carl W. Muhlenbruch Papers span the years 1937-2007. Contents include correspondence, billing statements, notes, data sheets, graphs, exams, blue prints, published articles, overheads, and drafts. The series is grouped into the following subseries: Biographical Material, Educational Material, Teaching Files, Research, Consulting, TEC-SEARCH Inc., Concordia University, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Speeches and Addresses, Articles and Papers, Testing of Engineering Materials General, and Bound Volumes.

Arrangement Note

The Carl W. Muhlenbruch Papers are housed in 14 boxes, including one card file and eleven bound volumes. Much of Muhlenbruch's original order was retained, as were his subject files and folder names. The series is grouped into the following subseries: Biographical Material, Educational Material, Teaching Files, Research, Consulting, TEC-SEARCH, Inc., Concordia University, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Speeches and Addresses, Articles and Papers, Testing of Engineering Materials, General, and Bound Volumes.

Biographical Materials are arranged chronologically within their respective folders. Teaching files are organized numerically by class number with Carnegie Institute of Technology classes following Northwestern University. The Consulting subseries is organized alphabetically by company, with many folders retaining the same title and contents. The correspondence subseries is organized chronologically within each company file, and only divided out when necessary for space concerns. TEC-SEARCH Historical Files maintain their original order, except for a small collection documenting the evolution of the corporate stationary, which was placed in its own folder. In this subseries, items are organized chronologically within the folder whenever possible without losing context. All speeches are organized alphabetically by title, except when a speech was untitled, or when it was referred to by its geographical location. On occasions where the same speech was given for multiple audiences, all documents were kept in the same folder, as Muhlenbruch originally had done. Within the Articles and Papers subseries, each article is organized alphabetically. Finally, there are eleven Bound Volumes organized alphabetically by title.

Method of Acquisition

The Carl W. Muhlenbruch Papers were donated to the University Archives on April 27, 2007, by Phyllis Wallace, as Accession Number 07-45.

Separated Materials

10 feet of duplicate and extraneous materials discarded, 14 volumes sent to NUL Gifts and Exchange, 66 volumes and 4 record cartons of slides and film given to Ahmad Hadavi, Civil & Environmental Engineering Department. Photos separated and placed in the Northwestern University photo archives.

Processing Information

Lauren Kalal, April 2008
Title
Guide to the Carl Muhlenbruch (1915-2007) Papers
Author
Lauren Kalal
Date
01/04/2008
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Repository Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Contact:
Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US
847-491-3635