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Guide to the Titus George Leclair Papers ; Leclair (Titus George) Papers


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Guide to the Titus George Leclair Papers 1917-1968

Sponsor: Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Overview of the Collection

Title: Papers
Creator: Leclair, Titus George
Dates: 1917-1968
Quantity: 1 cubic foot
Abstract:Professional correspondence, articles and speeches, patent papers, legal agreements, photographs, certificates, biographical sketches.
Identification: MG203
Language: English
Repository: University of Idaho Library Special Collections and Archives
Moscow, ID 83844-2351

Arrangement and Description

The material in this record group was in labeled folders when received. Although the folder headings were retained, a series order was imposed during processing.The correspondence is both incoming and copies of outgoing items. It is arranged alphabetically by folder heading, the items in each folder are in chronological order. Occasionally, as in the Bus Bar Construction folder, patents or legal documents are included with the correspondence. Other folders contain congratulatory messages on promotions or job changes.The articles, papers, and speeches are numbered, and correspond to an index, which is included with the papers. There are only two articles not by LeClair included.The final series contains patents, both original and printed copies, for devices invented by LeClair, patent agreements whereby he assigned the rights to use his invention to another company; photographs of LeClair, Charles Steinmetz, and illustrations for articles; several biographical sketches and news releases; certificates of membership or achievement; his employee record card at Commonwealth Edison, his high school valedictory speech, several articles on atomic energy, and letters to Mrs. LeClair following her husband's death.

Scope and Content

The papers of Titus G. LeClair span the years 1917 to 1968, with the bulk of the material covering the years 1930 to 1960.

The papers include correspondence relating to his professional activities, articles and speeches by LeClair, patents, legal agreements, photographs, certificates, several biographical sketches, and articles on atomic energy.

Administrative/Biographical History

Titus George LeClair was born in Superior, Wisconsin, August 26, 1899, the son of James Van Renselaer and Jessie Ethel (Fish) LeClair. His family moved to Lewiston, Idaho when he was five years old. He attended schools in Lewiston and was valedictorian of his 1917 graduating class.

He then attended the University of Idaho where he graduated with the degree B.S.E.E. in 1921. While at the university he was president of the Associated Engineers and chairman of the student A.I.E.E. group. In addition he was a member of the glee club and the university quartet. He entered the Student Officers Training Corps while continuing as a full-time student, but was released in December 1918 following the Armistice. He was awarded an honorary D.Sc by the university in 1951.

Following graduation from the university he began work as a testing engineer for the General Electric Company in Schnectady, New York.

In 1923 he moved to Chicago where he began a long association with the Commonwealth Edison Company, which was one of the first industrial companies permitted to have access to atomic secrets for power plant studies. He was also involved with the Nuclear Power Group, a corporation formed to cooperate in the building of the 180,000 kw Dresden Nuclear Power Station owned by Commonwealth Edison.

In 1960 he left Chicago for San Diego, California where he was associated with General Dynamics Corporation, General Atomic Division, as manager of nuclear power applications.

LeClair was recognized as a leader in the development of nuclear power for central station generation of electricity, and served in advisory capacities on the Atomic Energy Commission and the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy.

He was the inventor of several devices used in the electrical industry including relay schemes, switching schemes, automatic printing meters, and special conductors. He was also the author of many papers read before engineering societies and published in the technical press.

He was president of the American Institute of Engineers in 1950-1951, and was a member of the American Society of Engineering Education, the Professional Engineers' Examining Committee of the State of Illinois, the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers, the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Western Society of Engineers, Sigma Nu, Eta Kappa Nu, and Tau Beta Pi.

On May 26, 1922 he married Alice Bessee, whose adaptation of the melody of "Garden of Paradise" became the music for the Idaho State Song: "Here We Have Idaho." They had three sons before her sudden death in September 1928. On March 15, 1930 he married Amelie McGuire, with whom he had a daughter.

He continued to be active in his profession until his death. On March 26, 1968, while attending a major Southwest Electric Exchange conference in Boca Raton, Florida, he went swimming in the Atlantic Ocean during a break in the conference activities, and died while swimming.


This collection is indexed under the following headings in the online catalog. Researchers desiring materials about related topics, persons, or places should search the catalog using these headings.


LeClair, Titus George--Archives.

University of Idaho -- Alumni and alumnae

Electric engineering -- United States -- History -- Sources
Nuclear engineering -- United States -- History -- Sources

Titus George LeClair (1899-1968) graduated from the University of Idaho in 1921 and pursued a career in electrical and nuclear engineering with Commonwealth Edison Corp. (Chicago) and General Dynamics Corp.

Administrative Information


The papers of Titus G. LeClair were donated to the University of Idaho Library by his widow, Amelie LeClair in April 1987.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series I. Correspondence 1927-1968
1/11/1American Institute of Electrical Engineers Presidency 1950 4 items
1/21/2Bus Bar Construction and Relay system with Charles Gross 1927-1940 30 items
1/31/3Chief Engineer at Commonwealth Edison 1951 41 items
1/4-61/4-6Data Logger - Shell Oil Litigation 1955-1960 95 items
1/71/7Move to California, General Atomic 1960 73 items
1/81/8Organizations and Societies (American Nuclear Society) 1958-1960 31 items
1/91/9Pannelit Royalties 1938-1960 68 items
Series II. Articles, Papers, and Speeches 1926-1967
1/101/10Lists of articles and talks by LeClair undated 7 items
1/11-191/11-19Articles written by LeClair 1926-1967 142 items
1/201/20Other articles 1944-1956 2 items
Series III. Patents, Certificates, and Other Papers 1917-1968
1/211/21Patents 1933-1945 8 items
1/221/22Patent and license agreements 1938-1955 3 items
1/231/23Photographs and illustrations 1911-1960 15 items
1/241/24Biographical sketches 1950-1968 12 items
1/251/25Certificates 1942-1964 11 items
1/261/26Other papers 1917-1968 20 items

Profile Description

Creation: Encoded by ArchProteus2003
Language: Finding aid is in English

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