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Herbert D. Vogel Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Finding aid created by: --
Date: Oct 1966

Biographical History

Herbert D. Vogel (1900-1984) was an American civil engineer, specializing in hydraulics and waterway projects.

Born in Chelsea, Michigan, he studied civil engineering, served with the Army Corps of Engineers for more than thirty years, and became one of the world's foremost experts on hydraulic engineering. Vogel was involved in waterway projects across the United States and abroad, and wrote numerous articles and papers on water and soil conservation, river and harbor engineering, hydraulic models, inland navigation, and other challenges of his chosen field.

Among many other awards, he received the Distinguished Honorary Graduate Award of the U.S. Army Engineering School, the Colon Alfaro Medal, Knight of the Grand Cross (Thailand), Distinguished Alumnus Award (University of Michigan), Award for Meritorious Service to the Engineering Profession (1967), and the Liberation and Independence Medals (Philippines). In 1972 he held the George W. Goethals Chair of Military Construction at the Army Engineer School in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1977 and was a fellow of the American Consulting Engineers Council, and he was an honorary member of the Public Works Historical Society, the Society of American Military Engineers, and the Engineers Club of Pennsylvania.

According to the memorial tribute published by the National Academy of Engineering after his death, Vogel's efforts in "proving and exploiting the validity of hydraulic models...brought about a revolution in engineering concepts." The U.S. Waterways Experiment Station in Vicksburg, Mississippi, which Vogel helped establish and which he served as its first director, became a model for practical hydraulic research and undertook experiments on hundreds of problems for countries all over the world.

Selected chronology

1924 Graduates from West Point; enters U.S. Army as second lieutenant
1928 Receives M.S. in civil engineering from the University of California
1929 Receives E.D. (doctorate) in hydraulic engineering from Berlin Technical College
1929-1934 Establishes U.S. Waterways Experiment Station, Vicksburg, Mississippi, and serves as its first director
1933 Receives C.E. from the University of Michigan
1941-1945 Serves in South Pacific during World War II
1945-1949 District Engineer, Buffalo, New York
1949-1950 Engineer of the Panama Canal
1950-1952 Lieutenant governor of Canal Zone Government
1952-1954 Division Engineer of the Southwest Division of the Army Corps of Engineers
1954 Retires from Army
1954-1963 Chairman of the Tennessee Valley Authority, appointed by President Eisenhower
1963-1967 Engineering Adviser to World Bank
1967-1984 Establishes Herbert D. Vogel and Associates, an engineering consulting firm

[Portions of this biographical sketch excerpted from "Herbert D. Vogel," by Harry E. Bovay; in Memorial Tributes: National Academy of Engineering, Volume 3 (1989), pp. 338-345.]

Scope and Contents of the Collection

The Herbert D. Vogel Papers consists of bigraphical material, correspondence-subject files, memorabilia, and writings.

Biographical material contains a published biographical sketch as well as Vogel's military file and his own personal file of material relating to the Panama Canal.

Correspondence-subject files, which largely preserve Vogel's original arrangement, includes material relating to organizations (American Society of Civil Engineers, Tennessee Valley Authority) and projects (oral histories, Tellico Dam) as well as files of letters of congratulation/appreciation at various points in Vogel's career.

Memorabilia includes awards and recognitions, clippings, photographs, and two scrapbooks.

Writings includes a typescript of Vogel's memoirs as well as articles, papers, speeches, letters to the editor, and so on spanning more of Vogel's career.

Arrangement of the Collection

Correspondence-subject files are arranged alphabetically by topic. Memorabilia is arranged alphabetically by type of material. Writings are alphabetical by title.


Access Restrictions:

The majority of our archival and manuscript collections are housed offsite and require advanced notice for retrieval. Researchers are encouraged to contact us in advance concerning the collection material they wish to access for their research.

Use Restrictions:

Written permission must be obtained from SCRC and all relevant rights holders before publishing quotations, excerpts or images from any materials in this collection.

Related Material

Additional material is in the Historical Section of the Army Corps of Engineers in Washington, DC.

Subject Headings


Vogel, Herbert D., 1900-1984.

Corporate Bodies

Canal Zone -- History.
Tennessee Valley Authority -- History.


Hydraulic engineers -- United States.
Water resources development -- United States -- History.

Genres and Forms

Clippings (information artifacts)
Manuscripts for publication.
Press releases.
Speeches (documents)


Hydraulic engineers.

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation

Preferred citation for this material is as follows:

Herbert D. Vogel Papers,
Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries

Acquisition Information

Gift of Herbert D. Vogel, 1968-1982.

Table of Contents

Biographical material

Correspondence-subject files