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Robert M. Thrall papers relating to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory

Ms. Coll. 1420

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts
Creator:
Thrall, Robert M.
Title:
Robert M. Thrall papers relating to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory
Date [bulk]:
1944-1946
Date [inclusive]:
1940-1971
Call Number:
Ms. Coll. 1420
Extent:
0.2 linear feet
Language:
English
Abstract:
This collection contains publications and photographs pertaining primarily to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory and its personnel. The creator of this collection, Robert M. Thrall (1914-2006), headed the Radiation Lab's Group 91.5 of Division 9, Airborne Systems, which developed radar for airborne bombing and navigation, from 1944 to 1945.
Cite as:
Robert M. Thrall papers relating to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory, 1940-1971 (bulk: 1944-1946), Ms. Coll. 1420, Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts, University of Pennsylvania
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Robert McDowell Thrall (1914-2006) was a mathematician who pioneered the development of modern operations research. He earned his PhD from the University of Illinois in 1937, after which he served as professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor from 1937 to 1969. He then worked as professor at Rice University from 1969 to 1984, retiring as a professor emeritus.

Of particular interest with regard to this collection, Thrall also worked for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory, where he headed Group 91.5 of Division 9, Airborne Systems from 1944 until the Radiation Lab's formal termination in 1945. The "Rad Lab," as it was known, was a microwave research facility that developed radar technology during World War II. According to the Five Years at the Radiation Laboratory yearbook, this division developed a wide variety of radar for airborne bombing and navigation.

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material pertaining primarily to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory and its personnel. The bulk of the collection consists of MIT Radiation Laboratory publications, including one copy of the Radiation Lab handbook, second edition (1944) and several permanent address lists for Radiation Lab staff members. The collection also contains photographs primarily pertaining to the Radiation Lab and its personnel. Three of the four staff photographs are of the Division 9 Airborne Systems staff, of whom collection creator Robert M. Thrall was a supervisor. It also contains one photograph labeled "Universities of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Sussex First International Conference on O.R. August 1971, England."

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts,  2019 October 30

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Cory Austin Knudson

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

Copyright restrictions may exist. For most library holdings, the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania do not hold copyright. It is the responsibility of the requester to seek permission from the holder of the copyright to reproduce material from the Kislak Center for Special Collections, Rare Books and Manuscripts.

Source of Acquisition

Gift, 2019

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Related Materials

Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Radiation Laboratory.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Photographs
  • Publications (documents)
Geographic Name(s)
  • United States--History--20th century
Subject(s)
  • Radar--Military applications
  • Science

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

MIT Radiation Laboratory publications, 1940-1946.

1 1-2

Photographs, 1971, undated.

1 3