Leslie Silverman papers
The Leslie Silverman papers, 1920-1967, are the product of Silverman's activities as a consultant, researcher, and Harvard School of Public Health faculty member.
- 1920-1967 (inclusive)
- Silverman, Leslie (Person)
Language of Materials
Papers are in English.
Conditions Governing Access
Collection is open for research. Some restrictions apply (see below).
Access requires advance notice. Contact Public Services for further information.
Access to Harvard University records is restricted for 50 years from the date of creation. These restrictions are noted where they appear in Series I. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
Conditions Governing Use
The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all materials in the collection. Researchers are responsible for identifying and contacting any third-party copyright holders for permission to reproduce or publish. For more information on the Center's use, publication, and reproduction policies, view our Reproductions and Use Policy.
Extent24.8 cubic feet (23 records center cartons, 3 oversized boxes, and 1 drop-front box)
The Leslie Silverman papers, 1920-1967, are the product of Silverman's activities as a consultant, researcher, and Harvard School of Public Health faculty member. The papers include: records from Silverman's work as a private consultant and as a consultant contracted through Harvard School of Public Health, primarily regarding air pollution in industrial settings; records related to his patent applications; his professional writings on topics in air pollution and industrial hygiene; his involvement with national committees and his attendance at professional conferences; subject files and publications related to his research interests; and personal correspondence and biographical records.
Papers are entirely in English.
Leslie Silverman, 1914-1966, B.S., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1936, M.S., Rutgers University, 1938, S.M., Harvard University, 1938, Sc.D., Harvard University, 1943, was an engineer specializing in air pollution and industrial hygiene. At Harvard School of Public Health he was Professor of Engineering in Environmental Hygiene, and Head of the Department of Industrial Hygiene (1961-1966).
Silverman was born in Chicago, Illinois, on April 27, 1914. His B.S. and M.S. degrees were in mechanical engineering, S.M. in engineering, and Sc.D. in industrial hygiene. While at Harvard in the Graduate School of Engineering, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Silverman was a Gordon McKay Scholar and Research Fellow. At the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts, he was appointed Assistant Professor (1945), Associate Professor (1948), and Professor (1958), and succeeded Philip Drinker (1894-1972) as Head of the Department of Industrial Hygiene (1961). He was the Director of the Radiological Hygiene program and the Harvard Air Cleaning Laboratory at Harvard School of Public Health.
While at the Graduate School of Engineering, Silverman first worked with Philip Drinker on research related to air ventilation, movement, and measurement. During World War II, he worked with Drinker and his brother Cecil Drinker (1887-1956) on the development of the L-12 aviation oxygen supply mask, as well as on chemical warfare masks. After the end of World War II, he worked on research regarding atomic power, serving on the Statutory Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards, the principle safety advisor to the Atomic Energy Commission, and was elected Chairman of the committee in 1960. Silverman performed work as a consulting engineer, on issues regarding air pollution control, industrial hygiene, and industrial ventilation.
Silverman was a charter member of the American Industrial Hygiene Society, serving as Director (1957-1960), Vice President (1965-1966), and President-elect (1966). He was a charter member of the Health Physics Society and served as National Director (1961-1964), a member of the World Health Organization Expert Advisory Panel on Occupational Health, and a Technical Advisor to the United States delegation at the Atoms-for-Peace Conference in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1955. In 1947 he received the Army-Navy Certificate of Appreciation for Services in World War II. He received the 1955 Clemens Herschel Prize from the Boston Society of Civil Engineers and the 1966 Richard Beatty Mellon Award from the Air Pollution Control Association. Silverman was married to Eleanore Riffin and they had four children: Hugh, Juliet, Mary, and Leslie. He died in 1966 after a short illness.
Series and Subseries in the Collection
- I. Consultant Records, 1945-1966
- I.A. Private Consultant Records, 1947-1966
- I.B. Harvard School of Public Health Consultant Records, 1945-1965
- II. Patent Records, 1942-1965
- III. Committee Records, 1947-1965
- IV. Writings, 1935-1966
- V. Conference Records, 1948-1965
- VI. Subject Files, 1920-1966
- VII. Collected Publications, 1940-1965
- VIII. Personal Records, 1928-1967
Processed by Bryan Sutherland, 2017 September.
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the papers, and created a finding aid to improve access. Items were removed from three ring binders and, where necessary, photocopied to acid-free paper.
- Air Pollution
- Air quality management
- Dust control
- Dust/prevention and control
- Electric power-plants--Environmental aspects
- Industrial hygiene
- Mechanical engineers
- Nuclear Reactors/standards
- Nuclear energy
- Nuclear reactors--Safety measures
- Occupational Health
- Power Plants
- Silverman, Leslie
- Silverman, Leslie. Papers, 1920-1967 (inclusive): Finding Aid.
- Bryan Sutherland
- Description rules
- Describing Archives: A Content Standard
- Language of description
- EAD ID
Part of the Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine) Repository
The Center for the History of Medicine in the Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine is one of the world's leading resources for the study of the history of health and medicine. Our mission is to enable the history of medicine and public health to inform healthcare, the health sciences, and the societies in which they are embedded.
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