Guide to the Henry Grattan Tyrrell and Mary Maude Knox Tyrrell Papers

Summary
Collection ID:
NMAH.AC.0948
Creators:
Tyrrell, Henry Grattan, 1867-1948
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI
Tyrrell, Mary Maude Knox
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI.
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI
Dates:
1886-1941
Languages:
English
Collection is in English.
Some correspondence in German.
Physical Description:
2.3 cubic feet
11 boxes, 1 oversize folder
Repository:
Manuscripts, correspondence, business records, newspaper clippings and scrapbooks documenting the career of Henry Grattan Tyrrell, an early-twentieth-century civil engineer and bridge builder who was also a prolific self-published author of hundreds of journal articles and several books. Subjects include aesthetic bridge design, history of bridges, design of movable bridges, and the economical design of factories, shops, and mill buildings.

Scope and Contents
Scope and Contents
This collection contains typed manuscripts, correspondence, drawings, and business records written by and relating to Henry Grattan Tyrrell, civil engineer, bridge builder and prolific self-published author on the subjects of bridge engineering, aesthetics and history of bridge design, and the economical design of factories, shops and mill buildings.
The bulk of the collection consists of drafts and submission copies of his numerous published journal articles as well as early manuscripts of several of his books. Also included are two scrapbooks compiled by Tyrrell, containing many of his published articles, pamphlets, and letters to editors of engineering-related publications, as well as advertising material for both his engineering businesses and his books. There are many newspaper clippings related to projects Tyrrell worked on or expressed interest in, documentation of claims he brought against various companies for infringement or failure to pay, lists of his works, compilations of critical praise and personal endorsements, and general material relating to his experiences in publishing.
The collection presents a specific view of the trends and innovations in engineering at the beginning of the twentieth century, particularly focusing on bridges of all types and materials, as well as an early example of self-employment and self-promotion. It may be of interest to researchers in the areas of bridge and factory design in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, historical engineering publications, and the history of bridge building in the United States and Canada.

Arrangement
Arrangement
This collection is divided into seven (7) series:
Series 1: Personal, 1886; 1920s-1930s; undated
Series 2: Correspondence, 1895-1901; 1907; 1911-1917; 1928-1929; 1931-1941
Series 3: Business Records, 1899-1937
Subseries 3.1: Engineering, 1899; 1902; 1905; 1917-1919; 1923; 1935
Subseries 3.2: Publishing, 1900-1920
Subseries 3.3: Legal/Financial, 1901-1902; 1907-1908; 1914-1915; 1920-1932; 1937
Series 4: Proposals, Drawings and Sketches, 1900-1908; 1920-1921; undated
Series 5: Publications, 1886; 1900-1905; 1909-1916
Subseries 5.1: Books, 1911-1913; 1920-1921
Subseries 5.2 Articles, 1886; 1900-1905; 1909-1916; 1920
Subseries 5.3 Article drafts/submission copies, 1900-1905; 1912-1915; 1920
Series 6: Press Clippings, 1900-1921
Series 7: Scrapbooks, 1901-1920

Biographical / Historical
Biographical / Historical
Henry Grattan Tyrrell (1867-1948) was born in Weston, Ontario, Canada and was educated at the University of Toronto School of Practical Science as a civil engineer specializing in bridge architecture and design. He worked for several architectural companies, including the Boston Bridge Company (Massachusetts), the Brackett Bridge Company (Ohio), as well as his own businesses the American Estimating Company, and Grattan Tyrrell & Co. His brief career as an engineer was superceded by his prolific career as a writer of both journal articles and books on the aesthetics of bridge design and practical designs for factories and mill houses.
The son of an avid outdoorsman and explorer, his early writings are about the Canadian wilderness. By the turn of the century, his writing focused on architectural engineering, specifically the design of bridges. Tyrrell was well-traveled and wrote at length about the beauty of a well-designed bridge, like those he had seen all over the world. He suggested that America's cities (Chicago, Seattle, Milwaukee and Cleveland), build attractive bridges, which, he argued, could also be economical. His books History of Bridge Engineering (1911) and Artistic Bridge Design (1912) spoke to these issues. He expanded his love of aesthetics to buildings as well, advocating for the economical and practical design of factory buildings and floors, as well as mill houses and shops (Mill Buildings, 1911; Engineering of Shops and Factories, 1912). His last (possibly unpublished) book, Movable Bridges (1921), explored the design of drawbridges, vertical lift bridges and suspension bridges. His wife, Mary Maude Knox Tyrrell, co-authored and illustrated many of the books.
Tyrrell was an avid self-promoter, writing reviews of his own books, including contents and endorsements of his achievements, and selling them in pamphlet form. He was a frequent contributor to many engineering journals, such as Canadian Engineer, Builders' Magazine, Engineering News, and The Engineering Magazine. His prolific writings on the subjects of bridge engineering and aesthetics are a lasting legacy of early-twentieth century ingenuity.

Administration
Processing Information
Collection was processed by Sarah Hedlund, intern, August 2016.
Author
Sarah Hedlund
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Collection donated by Grattan Tyrrell. Exact date of acquisition unknown.

Using the Collection
Preferred Citation
Henry Grattan Tyrrell and Mary Maude Knox Tyrrell Papers, Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Conditions Governing Use
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research.

Custodial History
Custodial History
Transferred from Division of Work and Industry to the Archives Center in 2006.

Keywords
Keywords table of terms and types.
Keyword Terms Keyword Types
Factories Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mill buildings Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mills Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Bridges Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Tunnels Topic Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Manuscripts Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Publications Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Advertisements Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Scrapbooks Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Correspondence Genre/Form Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
History of Technology, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Mechanical and Civil Engineering, Division of [former name], NMAH, SI. Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid
Work and Industry, Division of, NMAH, SI Corporate Name Search Smithsonian Collections Search ArchiveGrid

Repository Contact
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
P.O. Box 37012
Suite 1100, MRC 601
Washington, D.C. 20013-7012
archivescenter@si.edu
http://americanhistory.si.edu/archives