Guide to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Oral History Program, Oral History Interview with Harold Eugene Edgerton, 1975
MC.0132

Summary Information

Repository
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections
Creator
Edgerton, Harold Eugene, 1903-1990
Creator
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Oral History Program
Creator -
Miller, Marc S.
Title
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Oral History Program, oral history interview with Harold E. Edgerton
ID
MC.0132
Date
1975
Extent
0.6 cubic feet (1 manuscript box, 1 half manuscript box, 4 audiocassettes in one cassette box)
Language
English

Citation

Oral History Interview with Harold Eugene Edgerton, MC 132. Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institute Archives and Special Collections, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

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Biography

Harold "Doc" Eugene Edgerton, 1903-1990, B.S. 1926, University of Nebraska; S.M. 1927 and Sc.D. 1931, both in electrical engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) , was professor of electrical engineering at MIT, 1928-1966; Institute Professor, 1966-1968; and Institute Professor emeritus, 1968-1990. Edgerton perfected the stroboscope and developed photographic techniques that allowed very rapid events to be observed and captured on film. He also developed techniques for underwater exploration, using sonar devices and flash photography, and participated in many oceanographic and archaeological expeditions. During World War II he designed a strobe lamp for nighttime aerial reconnaissance photography for the United States Air Force and directed its use in Italy, England, and France. In 1947, with Kenneth J. Germeshausen and Herbert E. Grier, former students, he formed Edgerton, Germeshausen & Grier, Inc. (now EG&G, Inc.), a company specializing in electronic technology. In 1953 he began a long association with French underwater explorer Jacques Yves Cousteau, accompanying him on numerous expeditions and designing several devices for underwater photography and exploration. The National Geographic magazine published articles by Edgerton and used his high-speed photographs to illustrate many more. Edgerton's photographs are exhibited in museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York City and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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Scope and Contents of the Collection

In 1975 Marc Miller of the MIT Oral History Program office interviewed Harold Edgerton, Institute Professor and professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The collection contains a transcript of the interview, and background materials and notes including synopses of 18 of Edgerton's laboratory notebooks made by Marc Miller in preparation for the interview.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Institute Archives and Special Collections

MIT Libraries
Building 14N-118
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, Massachusetts, 02139-4307
617.253.5690
mithistory@mit.edu

Revision Description

  2009, 2013

Access note

The final transcript is open for research. Audio recordings of interview and unedited transcript are closed.

Intellectual Property Rights

Access to collections in the Institute Archives and Special Collections is not authorization to publish. Separate written application for permission to publish must be made to the Institute Archives. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection.

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Related Materials

Related Materials

Papers of Harold Edgerton, MC 25, in Institute Archives and Special Collections, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • Edgerton, Germeshausen & Grier
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Strobe Laboratory

Function(s)

  • Institute Professor.

Genre(s)

  • Oral histories

Personal Name(s)

  • Cousteau, Jacques Yves
  • Edgerton, Harold Eugene, 1903-1990
  • Germeshausen, Kenneth J.
  • Grier, Herbert
  • Miller, Marc S.

Subject(s)

  • Photography.

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Collection Inventory

Box

Final transcript 

1

Background notes of interviewer Marc Miller 

1

Unedited transcript 

Access note

Restricted.

2

Interview audiocassettes 

Access note

Restricted.

3