A Well-Documented Life : The Theo Brown Diaries

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History / Heritage - Exhibit

Date & Time: Saturday, October 2, 2010 - Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Suggested Audiences: Elders, Adult, College, High School
Location:
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WPI: George C. Gordon Library
Gladwin Gallery
100 Institute Road
Worcester, MA 01609-2280
Description: Theophilus Brown (Theo), born in Worcester in 1879, began his diary-keeping in 1893 when he was beginning high school. Entries reflect some themes that continue through the rest of his long lifethe weather, drawing, family, and designing. Although his first diary efforts were sporadic, in 1911, he began making nearly daily entries, which he would continue until his death in 1971. Theos diaries are incredible just because of the length of time they cover. But they go way beyond that. Enhanced by Theos talents as an artist and photographer, they tell many stories  that of a career as chief designer at Deere and Company, that of a family man-- husband, father, and grandfather, and that of a curious mind with many interests. After graduation from WPI in 1901, Brown began working on tractor design at Worcesters Richardson Manufacturing Company and in 1911, made the move to Moline, where he spent the rest of his life, returning to Massachusetts to a house he designed in Princeton for vacations.

In the diaries, Brown works out tractor innovations and records test results, with drawings and photographs. He chronicles his family life, celebrating the joy of fatherhood and the achievements of his children. He records world events, his travels, and the small details of life, like daily temperature and what time he went to bed.

A Well-Documented Life will explore the themes and curiosities of Theos Browns diaries. Gordon Library, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, is mid-way through a project to digitize and index the 65 volumes of diaries and make them accessible on the world wide web (http://theo.wpi.edu) Although there is still much work to be done, we are pleased at this time to introduce Theo Brown and his diaries to the world.
There will be a reception on October 2, 2010, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m.
More Information: E-mail: archives@wpi.edu
Phone: 508-831-6112
Entered by: WPI University Archives + Special Collections

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Created: September 15, 2010 at 5:28 PM
Last Modified: September 24, 2010 at 8:31 AM

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