University of Texas, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History

A Guide to the Walter Harrington Papers, 1941-1963



Descriptive Summary

Creator: Harrington, Walter J.
Title: Walter Harrington Papers
Dates: 1941-1963
Abstract: The Walter Harrington Papers, 1941-1963, document Harrington’s work as a mathematician and involvement in the development of rocket science.
Accession No.: 2012-244
Extent: 1 ft., 2 in.
Language: Materials are written in English.
Repository: Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Note

Walter J. Harrington was born in 1916. His undergraduate and graduate education took place at Cornell University, where he received his bachelor’s (1937), master's (1939) and doctoral (1941) degrees, all in mathematics. His doctoral thesis was entitled A Study of Certain Functions Auxiliary to Brun’s Method in Number Theory, which he completed under J. Barkley Rosser. While completing his doctoral work, he also worked as a part-time instructor in math at Cornell. After his graduation, Harrington moved to Pennsylvania State University to teach mathematics.

During WWII, Harrington worked for the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory, a project of the federal Office of Scientific Research and Development, in Cumberland, NC. He became involved through his relationship with Rosser, who supervised all mathematical work for the laboratory’s rocket development project. Harrington worked at the ballistics laboratory from 1944 until 1946, after which he returned to teaching at Pennsylvania State. In 1952, Harrington was recruited by John Cell, whom he had met at Allegany, to become a part-time investigator for the Rocket Research Group at North Carolina State College (NCSC). He continued teaching at Penn State, but worked on rocket science research and published with the NCSC research group. In 1957, Harrington moved to North Carolina State College to become a full professor, where he stayed until his retirement in 1982. While there, he continued to work on rocket science research, including as project director for an Air Force project on fracture mechanics.

Walter Harrington married Hazel Cheney in 1941, and they had two children, Rachel and John. Harrington passed away in 2008.


Scope and Contents

The Walter Harrington Papers, 1941-1963, document Harrington’s professional career as a mathematician and rocket science researcher. The bulk of the materials deal with his work with the Allegany Ballistics Laboratory and Rocket Research Group at North Carolina State College. The collection emphasizes Harrington’s rocket science research; almost no material is included from Harrington’s teaching or other academic work. Materials include reports, notes, correspondence, printed material, and other material.

Harrington’s Professional records (1944-1963) are divided into two sub-series: Allegany Ballistics Laboratory and North Carolina State College. The Allegany Ballistics Laboratory records (1944-1955) concern his work for the Office of Scientific Research and Development during WWII.

The North Carolina State College records (1946-1963) document Harrington’s work with the Rocket Research Group and other rocket science projects at NCSC, including his time as both a part-time investigator for the research group and a full professor at NCSC. Included in both Professional sub-series are reports, correspondence, technical memoranda, and notes. Harrington frequently inserted notes and letters in the pages of published reports, and this arrangement has been retained.

The Personal files (1941-1947, undated) include Harrington’s dissertation and related notes.

Forms part of the Archives of American Mathematics.


Restrictions

Access Restrictions

Unrestricted access.

Use Restrictions

The bulk of these papers are stored remotely. Advance notice required for retrieval. Contact repository for retrieval.


Index Terms

Subjects (Persons)
Harrington, Walter J., 1916-2008
Cell, John Wesley, 1907-1967
Rosser, J. Barkley (John Barkley), 1907-
Subjects (Organizations)
United States. Office of Scientific Research and Development.
North Carolina State College.
Redstone Arsenal (Ala.)
Subjects
Rocketry--United States--Research.
World War II--United States.

Related Material

J. Barkley Rosser Papers, 1931-1989, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, The University of Texas at Austin.


Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Walter Harrington Papers, 1941-1963, Archives of American Mathematics, Dolph Briscoe Center for American History, University of Texas at Austin.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by Elliot Williams, October 2012.


Detailed Description of the Papers

 

Professional

Allegany Ballistics Laboratory
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2012-244/1 Correspondence, 1944-1946
Flight ballistics involved..., 1945
Photos, 1945
Rosser, Theory and application of..., 1945
Mathematical studies of the motion of a spin-stabilized rocket..., 1946, 1955
North Carolina State College
box
2012-244/1 Mathematical Tables: The Airy Integer, 1946
Rankin, The mathematical theory of the motion of rotated and unrotated rockets [Rosser and Cell copies], 1949
Correspondence, 1952-1962
The effect of dynamic unbalance on the motion..., 1953
Publications restrictions correspondence, 1953
Drafts and memoranda, 1954-1959
Unbalance in spinner rockets, 1954
Mathematical studies of the motion of a spin stabilized rocket... [I], 1955, undated
Mathematical studies of the motion of a spin stabilized rocket... [II], 1955-1959, undated
Motion of spinner rockets during the tip-off period, 1955-1956, undated
The motion of a spin-stabilized rocket..., 1958
Preliminary survey [...] of the data from Firing Program No. 20, 1958
Cell, Harrington, Bullock, Dispersion of spinner rockets [with other material], 1959-1966
Asymptotic estimates of the deviation of boosted fin-stabilized rockets..., 1960-1961
Some considerations considering delayed ignition, 1961
Transactions of the Sixth Conference of Arsenal Mathematics, circa 1961
Summary report on study of the gun-boosted rocket system, 1962
Viscoelasticity notes [1 of 2], 1962-1963, undated
Viscoelasticity notes [2 of 2], 1962-1963, undated
Harrington and Bullock, The motion of a spinner rocket inside a smoothbore launcher, 1964
box
2012-244/2 Diagrams, assorted, undated
Notes, undated
box
4RM55b Viscoelasticity computations, circa 1962-1963



 

Personal

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2012-244/2 Dissertation and notes [1 of 2], 1941-1947, undated
Dissertation and notes [2 of 2], 1941-1947, undated