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Allen Hazen papers

Identifier: MC-0430

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Scope and Contents

The papers of Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) civil engineering graduate Allen Hazen contain records of his career as a consulting engineer, specializing in water supply and purification. The typescript by Dennis Sebian of his Hazen biography "Pioneer Engineering" in box 26 of the collection provides a detailed analysis of Hazen's importance in the discipline of water engineering in the early twentieth century.

Allen Hazen advised a large number of cities and towns in the United States and globally on water supply and sewerage problems from the late 1890s until his death in 1930. Hazen's consulting activities are documented in reports by Hazen and members of his civil engineering firm, Hazen and Whipple, for over 300 projects in the United States, Canada, and South America, 1895-1935. Also included is material on water filtration processes and systems designs, including a photograph album of construction views of pumping stations and filtration sites in the United States and of the Panama Canal locks.

Travel diaries and letters to his family and notes and sketches provide details about Hazen's visits to sewage and waterworks in Europe and the western United States. Also included are student notes.

From 1889 to 19892 he was employed by the Lawrence Experiment Station, Lawrence, Massachusetts and there are several research notebooks from that work included in this collection. There is also material related to his attendance at the World Engineering Congress in Tokyo, Japan in 1929, of note is a photograph album of that trip (box 23).

The papers also contain personal and family correspondence of Allen Hazen, personal and business account books, congratulatory letters upon his marriage, and a two-volume unpublished biography of his daughter, Ruth Hazen Hopkins. There is genalogical information about early Hazen relatives in Vermont.


  • Creation: 1883 - 1974


Conditions Governing Access

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.

Historical Note

Firm Names

Noyes and Hazen, Boston, Massachusetts
Hazen (solo practice), New York City
approximately 1904-1914
Hazen and Whipple, New York City
circa 1906
H.W. Fuller Consulting Civil Engineers
Hazen, Whipple, Fuller, New York City
Hazen, Whipple, Fuller, and Pirnie
circa 1932
Fuller and Everett
circa 1934
Fuller and McClintock

Weston E. Fuller

Malcom Pirnie

Chester M. Everett

Biographical Note

Allen Hazen, 1869-1930, graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1888. He was a civil engineer of hydraulics, water supply, and sewage disposal. 1888 to 1893 he was chemist-in-charge at the Lawrence Experiment Station in Lawrence, Massachusetts, where he worked on sewage treatment and water purification. In 1893 at the World's Columbian Exposition he was in charge of the water supply, sewerage, and fire protection department. In 1893 and 1894 he traveled in the United States and Europe to study sanitation practices; this led to the publication of his book The Filtration of Public Water Supplies (1895).

He spent most of his career in private practice as a consulting engineer, specializing in water supply and sewage disposal. He worked in Boston and New York City (on his own) and with several partners to design filtration plants for Albany, New York, Springfield, Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Canada, and many other cities, using European methods of slow sand filter plants with continuous filtration. He was one of seven engineers who investigated the overall management and safety of the Gatum Dam for the Panama Canal Project.


20.6 Cubic Feet (17 record cartons, 8 manuscript boxes)

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Physical Location

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

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.

Inventory to the Papers of Allen Hazen
Preliminary Inventory
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
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
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge MA 02139-4307 US