Scope and Content Note
Organized into 11 series (see series outline). Series 4 documents the research activities of the department. Series 7 consists primarily of correspondence of faculty member John Wolfe, much of it concerning irrigation. Series 8 consists of reports and short features broadcast over radio station KOAC in the 1930s and 1940s. Series 9, annual reports of research, spans the years 1970 to 1983.
Series 10 consists of materials pertaining to the flax industry in Oregon from 1938 to 1954: references, reports, design specifications, and building and equipment plans and drawings. These materials resulted from state and federal fiber flax processing investigations between the US Department of Agriculture and the Agricultural Engineering Department of the Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station.
Series 11 consists of plans and drawings for homes; farm structures and equipment; selected campus buildings and structures including buildings at some Branch Experiment Stations; and plans for non-OSU buildings and/or sites designed by Agricultural Engineering Department faculty, primarily H.R. Sinnard. Most of the farm structures and equipment plans and drawings were published and distributed by the Extension Service.
New Accession, 2004
New Accessions, 2007
The Department of Agricultural Engineering was created in 1916 when the Department of Agronomy was subdivided, and was placed within the School of Agriculture. It was originally housed in the Farm Mechanics Building (now Gilmore Hall). The first department chair was William James Gilmore. In 1947 the department became jointly administered by the Schools of Agriculture and Engineering. The department's name was changed to Bioresource Engineering in 1991.
Fiber flax processing investigations were conducted at Oregon State College from from the late 1930s through mid 1950s through a joint USDA/Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station project. Engineering research led to the development and introduction of improved equipment for pulling, deseeding, scutching, and cleaning flax. Also, improved designs for flax mills were developed and recommendations made for prevention and control of flax mill fires. Researchers involved in this project included W.M. Hurst, L.M. Klein, J.E. Harmond, and M.C. Widger.
Fiber flax had been grown in the Willamette Valley since 1915, but prior to World War II the acreage was small and production and processing methods were based largely on European practices. When European flax supplies were cut off by World War II the acreage of flax and number of mills increased significantly and research results were available so that improved equipment could be installed in all the flax mills.
College of Agricultural Sciences, Dean's Office Records (RG 158); Agricultural Experiment Station Records (RG 25); Extension Service Records (RG 111); Bioresource Engineering Department Photograph Collection (P106); PUB 10-11a.
8/1/6/10-20; 8/1/6/40; Oversize Cabinet Drawers 10, 13, and 15; 20x24 Oversize Boxes at 7/2/3/d-f; Microfilm Cabinet.