William Aitkenhead papers
Collection — Box: Communal Collections 14, Placement: 04
Identifier: MSF 10
Scope and Contents
This collection contains one 13-page autobiography and one article entitled "The Spark In The Life Of The Engine."
Language of Materials
Collection material is in English.
This collection is open for research.
Copyright and Use Information
Materials are in the public domain.
William Aitkenhead was the Director of Farm Mechanics Work at Purdue University. A native of Scotland, he arrived in the United States in 1893. In 1898 he was married at Bronson, Kansas, to Miss Minnie Woodock, who died in 1918. He married Miss Minnie McMurtrie in 1920. He had three sons: Dr. William C., of Golden, Colorado, Paul W., of Pittsburgh, and Robert Clark of Los Angeles. Professor Aitkenhead died in December 1949. Aitkenhead earned his Master's Degree from Oklahoma and his PhD in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University. Aitkenhead then joined Purdue as an instructor of farm mechanics in the Department of Agronomy. In 1922 Purdue established the division of Farm Mechanics as a separate department in order to include teaching, research, and extension. Aitkenhead was named as the department head and retained his position when the department was expanded again into the Department of Agricultural Engineering. Aitkenhead continued as head of the department until his retirement. Aitkenhead made a number of significant contributions to the field of agricultural engineering: development of the patented pulverator plow and mechanical hay drier. He started the agricultural museum at Purdue and in 1943 was awarded a Certificate of Distinction by the Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association. Aitkenhead was an elder at Central Presbyterian Church in Lafayette, Indiana. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (London) and a life member of the Bridgeton Burns Club (Glasgow). He was a member of the American Association of University Professors, American Society of Agricultural Engineers, Tau Beta Pi, and Scabbard and Blade.
Source: White, E.A. "Power Farming Activities of Purdue University." Farm Implement News - Chicago. Vol. 41: 26-28. Obituary. Journal and Courier (Lafayette, Indiana), 19 December 1949: 12. /img8.newspapers.com/clip/20930874/aitkenhead-william-col-4-obituary/>
0.025 Cubic Feet (One folder)
Material has been placed in acid-free folder and box.
- William Aitkenhead papers
- In Progress
- Amanda Rumba and Archives Staff
- 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 by Archives Staff.
- 2020-03-31: Collection description updated by Amanda Rumba to more fully meet standards.