Avery-Abex Metallurgical Collection

Avery-Abex Metallurgical Collection, c. 1920s-1987 Ms.1995.025


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Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech

Special Collections and University Archives, University Libraries (0434)
560 Drillfield Drive
Newman Library, Virginia Tech
Blacksburg, Virginia 24061
specref@vt.edu
URL: http://spec.lib.vt.edu

Special Collections and University Archives Staff

Repository
Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech
Identification
Ms.1995.025
Title
Avery-Abex Metallurgical Collectionc. 1920s-1987
Quantity
248 Cubic Feet, 165 boxes; approx. 100 feet of metallurgical samples in cases
Creator
American Brake Shoe Company
Creator
Avery, Howard S. (Howard Shaeffer), 1906-1996
Location
Please note: This collection is in off-site storage and requires 2-3 days notice for retrieval. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.
Language
The materials in the collection are in English.
Abstract
The American Brake Shoe (later Abex) Company was formed in 1902 from the merger of five smaller foundries that specialized in railroad brake shoes, castings and forging, as well as hydraulic equipment. The research laboratory, known as the Mahwah Research Center, from which the collection is drawn, did applied industrial research, but was closed in 1990. Howard Avery (1906-1996), VPI graduate (B.Sc. MinE 1927, M.Sc. MinE 1928), was one of the center's leading research metallurgists. Collection includes research data of the properties of metals conducted by The American Brake Shoe Company (later Abex). Materials include research files, photographic materials, polymer resin-encased specimens, publications, and more.

Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Reproduction and Use

The copyright status of this collection is unknown. Copyright restrictions may apply. Contact Special Collections and University Archives for assistance in determining the use of these materials.

Reproduction or digitization of materials for personal or research use can be requested using our reproduction/digitization form: http://bit.ly/scuareproduction. Reproduction or digitization of materials for publication or exhibit use can be requested using our publication/exhibition form: http://bit.ly/scuapublication. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives (specref@vt.edu or 540-231-6308) if you need assistance with forms or to submit a completed form.

Condition Governing Access

The collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: [identification of item], [box], [folder], Avery-Abex Metallurgical Collection, Ms1995-025, Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va.

Source of Acquisition

The collection was donated to Special Collections and University Archives in multiple accruals from 1995-1997. One report donated in 2006.

Processing Information

Minimal description and some processing was undertaken in 1998 and 1999.

Please note: Collection is being processed, as of 2021. An in-progress inventory of the collection is available upon request. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.


Historical Note

The American Brake Shoe (later Abex) Company was formed in 1902 from the merger of five smaller foundries that specialized in railroad brake shoes, castings and forging, as well as hydraulic equipment. The research laboratory, known as the Mahwah Research Center, from which the collection is drawn, did applied industrial research in mineral extraction, cement, construction, dredging, timber, railroad, and non-magnetic (e.g., submarine). Testing facilities included metallographic evaluation, chemical analysis, machining, heat treatment, various non-destructive methods such as x-ray testing, abrasion, physical, and mechanical analysis. Upon the purchase of Abex by Illinois Central Industries in 1990, the center was closed. The materials forming the collection were rescued from destruction by Howard Avery (1906-1996), VPI honors graduate (B.Sc. MinE 1927, M.Sc. MinE 1928), one of the center's leading research metallurgists, with a national reputation in the field of wear-resistant and heat-resistant alloy research.

Scope and Content

Collection includes research data of the properties of metals conducted by The American Brake Shoe Company (later Abex). The research involved mechanical properties, metallographic alloy microstructure, physical (electrical, conductive, or thermal) properties, spectroscopy (chemical) analysis, tribology (sliding and lubricant properties), and light, x-ray and other defractional properties. Data is available from experimental foundry "heats" of combined and melted alloys, hot tensile and room temperature tensile tests, and alloy compositions. Research data is recorded on glass negatives (photomicrographs), metallographic photographs, in c. 40,000 polymer resin-encased specimens, "Polaroid" negatives and prints, c. 3000 case files (paper and microfiche). There are also master log books and a listing of compositions on keypunch cards, some of the Battelle Institute Research Reports, as well as approximately 37 cu.ft. of other research related publications and reference books.

Please note: Collection is being processed. Detailed collection information is available upon request. Please contact Special Collections and University Archives for more information.

Related Material

VT Special Collections and University Archives also has the Howard S. Avery Papers, Ms1997-026.

Separated Material

Numerous books were separated to the Rare Book Collection and Newman Library. Duplicates were weeded.


Subjects and Indexing Terms

  • Administrative records
  • Blueprints (reprographic copies)
  • Books
  • Businesspeople
  • Conceptual drawings
  • Correspondence
  • Financial records
  • Geology
  • Glass negatives
  • Inventors
  • Photographs
  • Receipts (financial records)
  • Reports
  • Science and Technology

Rights Statement for Archival Description

The guide to the Avery-Abex Metallurgical Collection by Special Collections and University Archives, Virginia Tech, is licensed under a CC0 (https://creativecommons.org/share-your-work/public-domain/cc0/).

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Avery, Howard S. (Howard Shaeffer), 1906-1996