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Elihu Thomson papers

 Collection — Multiple Containers
Identifier: MC-0402

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The papers of Elihu Thomson include a journal (1874) with reference to Thomson's early activities at the Franklin Institute; patent information (1876-1902) relating to his work with Edwin J. Houston; and papers relating to American Electric (1880), Thomson Houston Company (1883), Thomson Electric Welding Company (1888), and General Electric Company (1892).


  • Creation: 1874 - 1909


Access note

This collection is open.

Conditions Governing Use

Access to collections in the Department of Distinctive Collections is not authorization to publish. Please see the MIT Libraries Permissions Policy for permission information. Copyright of some items in this collection may be held by respective creators, not by the donor of the collection or MIT.


Elihu Thomson, 1853-1937, joined the staff of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) as a lecturer in the Department of Electrical Engineering in 1894, served as acting president of the Institute, 1920-1922, and was a member of the MIT Corporation for many years. He was an inventor who held nearly 700 patents, many of which were central to the development of the electrical industry. He was also director of engineering and research at the General Electric Company.


1.3 Cubic Feet (in 1 record carton, 1 manuscript box)

Language of Materials



Materials are stored off-site. Advance notice is required for use.

Related Materials

Elihu Thomson Papers (Mss. Ms.Coll.74), American Philosophical Society.


Works about Elihu Thomson
  • W. Bernard Carlson, Innovation as a Social Process: Elihu Thomson and the R ise of General Electric, 1870-1900 (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1991).
  • David O. Woodbury, Elihu Thomson, Beloved Scientist (Boston: Museum of Science, 1944)
  • John L. Haney, "The Elihu Thomson Collection," American Philosophical Society Yearbook 1944.

Processing Information note

Some collection descriptions are based on legacy data and may be incomplete or contain inaccuracies. Description may change pending verification. Please contact the MIT Department of Distinctive Collections if you notice any errors or discrepancies.

Preliminary Inventory to the Papers of Elihu Thomson
Ready For Review
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Libraries. Department of Distinctive Collections Repository

Massachusetts Institute of Technology Libraries
Building 14N-118
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