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Herbert D. Vogel Papers

An inventory of his papers at Syracuse University

Overview of the Collection

Creator: Vogel, Herbert D., 1900-1984.
Title: Herbert D. Vogel Papers
Inclusive Dates: 1928-1981
Quantity: 1.5 linear feet
Abstract: An engineer and brigadier general, Vogel was director of the Tennessee Valley Authority and engineer adviser to the World Bank. Collection includes correspondence, memorabilia, writings, and other items.
Language: English
Repository: Special Collections Research Center,
Syracuse University Libraries
222 Waverly Avenue
Syracuse, NY 13244-2010

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.]

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Related Material

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

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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.

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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.

Finding Aid Information

Created by: --
Date: Oct 1966
Revision history: 8 Jul 2008 - converted to EAD (MRC); 16 Feb 2021 - additions processed (MRC)

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Biographical material
Box 1 "Current Biography" 1954
Box 1 Military, miscellaneous 1954
Box 1 Personal file, Panama Canal Zone 1949-1952 - reports, diagrams, notes, correspondence, etc.
Box 1 War Department file 1928-1945 - orders, passes, printed material, pay allotments, etc; in reverse chronological order, as received (3 folders)
Correspondence-subject files
Box 1 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 1973-1979 - includes information on national water policy
Box 1 Asian Development Bank 1967-1975
Box 1 CLIO Research Company 1975-1976
Box 1 Committee of Visitors, Vanderbilt University ollege of Engineering 1972-1975
Box 1 Conferences 1961, 1973-1977 - includes proceedings with paper by Vogel
Box 1 Congratulations on TVA appointment 1954
Box 1 Congratulations on honorary memership to ASCE 1976
Box 1 Congratulations on election to National Academy of Engineering 1977
Box 1 Engineering education 1961, 1972-1973 - includes ASCE committee, US Army Engineer School
Box 1 Fellowship, Germany 1928-1929
Box 1 Mekong project 1974
Box 1 National Energy Policy Committee, ASCE 1976
Box 2 Oral history projects 1969, 1976-1977 - TVA, Memphis State University, US Navy, Public Works Historical Society
Box 2 Panama Canal 1972-1978
Box 2 Retirement from TVA 1962 - letters of appreciation from state and federal government officials, TVA staff, and miscellaneous members of various organizations and the public (4 folders)
Box 2 Sylvanus Thayer Award Committee 1970-1971
Box 2 Tellico Dam Project 1978 - includes statement by Vogel regarding the snail darter
Box 2 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) 1958-1962 - press releases
Box 2 Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) 1954, 1960-1962 - printed material, including Congressional Record from hearing on Vogel's directorship
Box 2 University of Michigan 1933, 1946, 1953
Box 2 Waterways Experiment Station 1968, 1976-1979
Box 2 White House 1954-1960, 1974 - Eisenhower, Rockefeller, Nixon, Ford
Box 2 General (2 folders)
Box 2 Awards and recognitions 1928, 1946, 1948, 1954, 1962, 1975-1980
Box 2 Clippings 1955, 1957, 1959, 1962-1964, 1975, 1981
Box 2 Photographs - candids, formal portraits, Waterways Experiment Station
Box 3 Programs
Box 3 Scrapbook 1933-1939, undated - mostly articles by Vogel, some by others
Box 3 Scrapbook 1940-1943 - photographs and clipping
Box 3 Miscellaneous (2 folders)
Box 3 Articles, published 1947, 1957-1960, 1962 - original and reprints
Box 3 Articles, typescript 1956, 1960-1963, undated - some annotated with publication information (2 folders)
Box 3 Impressions of life in Germany under the Weimar Republic 1960
Box 3 Lectures and speeches 1940, 1945, 1952, 1961, 1964, 1976, undated
Box 3 Letters to the editor 1975-1977, undated
Box 3 [Memoirs] circa 1968 - covers Waterways Experiment Station; US Corps of Engineers, Pittsburgh District; TVA
Box 3 Memorial tribute for Gail Hathaway 1979
Box 3 Statements - formal statements on various topics and occasions, including one for radio broadcast

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