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Personal papers of Ellsworth S. Gray

Call Number: PP 656


This collection includes a scrapbook created by Ellsworth S. Gray, a former professor and chairman in the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Kansas from 1944 to 1947. The scrapbook is primarily comprised of mementos of Gray's academic achievements but also includes select newspaper articles of local and national engineering news from 1950 to 1955, likely compiled by Gray's widow, Ethalind Cooper Gray. Loose materials originally found in the scrapbook have been removed and placed in folders.


  • Creation: circa 1930-1955


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Ellsworth Spencer Gray (1901-1947)

Ellsworth Spencer Gray was born to Elmer and Abbie Louse Ramsell Spencer in 1901 in Quincy, Massachusetts. In 1925, he earned his Bachelor of Science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and in 1936, his Master's degree from Purdue University. He married Margaret Ethalind Cooper in 1928, and they had two children, David and Ann.

From 1926-1928, Gray taught as an assisant instructor in courses on thermodynamics and heat power at MIT before becoming an associate professor in mechanical engineering at the University of Missouri from 1929-1944. While at the University of Missouri, Gray taught Thermodynamics, Heat-Power Laboratory, and Heating and Air Conditioning. During this time he also earned a Hoffman Fellowship in Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University from 1935-1936. Gray and his family moved to Lawrence, Kansas in 1944 so Gray could become a professor of mechanical engineering and the chairman of the Mechanical Engineering Department at the University of Kansas (KU), a position he served in until his premature death from a heart attack in 1947.

While at KU, Gray was responsible for a $60,000 improvement of the heat-power laboratory at KU sometime in the mid-1940s. He taught classes in Thermodynamics, Steam Turbines, and Refrigeration and was an active member of Pi Tau Sigma, as well as a number of engineering academic societies.


0.25 Linear Feet (1 document case)

Language of Materials


Physical Location

PP 656

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gift, Steven Conley, 2019.

Guide to the Ellsworth S. Gray Collection
Personal papers of Ellsworth S. Gray
Finding aid prepared by cmp, 2023. Finding aid encoded by cmp, 2023.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Personal papers of Ellsworth S. Gray, PP 656, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas.

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States