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Charles P. Matthews papers

 Collection — Box: Communal Collections 30, Placement: 11
Identifier: MSF 249

Scope and Contents

The collection consists of articles and reports by Charles Matthews and an announcement and program from his memorial service.


  • 1896 - 1907


Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Access Information

The collection is open for research.

Copyright and Use Information

Portions of this collection are in the public domain. Other material copyrights held by Purdue University or original creator. Consult with Purdue University Archives and Special Collections prior to reproduction of materials.

Biographical Information

Professor Charles Philo Matthews was born in Fort Covington, Vermont, on September 18, 1867. He attended the St. Johnsbury Academy at St. Johnsbury, Vermont, graduating there in 1887. He then entered Cornell University, graduating from Sibley College with the degree of Mechanical Engineering in 1892. In 1901 he received the degree of Doctor of Philosophy from his Alma Mater.

Immediately after graduation he became instructor in Physics and Applied Electricity at Cornell, serving in that capacity four years, until 1906. At that time he was called to Purdue and appointed Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering. From this time until his death he was continuously a member of the Purdue faculty.

As a result of a strenuous investigation involving photometric measurements his eyesight became impaired in 1903, and he was given leave of absence for a year, returning to the University thereafter in greatly improved health. In 1905 he succeeded Professor Goldsborough as head of the School of Electrical Engineering.

During Professor Matthews' connection with the School of Electrical Engineering it grew to be the largest in the country in point of numbers. In this development he had a large share. His instruction was of the highest order, not only on account of his professional ability and training, but quite as much on account of his exceptional personality and gifts.

He made valuable contributions to his science; his chief work being in investigation of photometric standards for arc lamps. This was done in connection with the National Electric Light Association. In this he directed all of the experimental work, aggregating about two hundred pages.

In this connection he devised an patented an integrating photometer. This instrument received a gold medal at the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. He was also collaborator in the production of text books in physics and electricity with Professor Nichols and Shearer of Cornell and with Professor Esterline of Purdue, and he published a number of papers on electrical subjects. He was a member of the honor fraternity, Sigma Xi.


0.10 Cubic Feet (Four folders)


The material is in chronological order.

Acquisition Information

Source and date of acquisition are unknown.

Processing Information

The material is in acid-free folders and an acid-free box.
Charles P. Matthews papers
Under Review
Mary A. Sego
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Edition statement
Second edition. Collection description first completed 2009-09-12.

Repository Details

Part of the Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Repository

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