Duncan Blanchard Papers, 1789-2003
- Blanchard, Duncan C.
- The Duncan Blanchard papers document Blanchards career as a research associate at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and as a senior research associate at the State University of New York at Albany.
- 35.8 cubic ft.
- English and English
- Preferred citation:
- Preferred citation for this material is as follows: and Identification of specific item, series, box, folder, Duncan Blanchard Papers, 1789-2003. M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University at Albany, State University of New York (hereafter referred to as the Duncan Blanchard Papers).
Access and Use
- Conditions Governing Access:
Access to this collection is unrestricted with the exception of select folders that are marked on the inventory. Researchers with inquiries about this material should consult and archivist.
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- Scope and Content:
Dr. Blanchards papers document his career as a research associate at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute and the State University of New York at Albany. The collection contains materials ranging from 1789 to 2003 with the bulk being from 1958 to 1989. The earliest materials in the collection are reprints of articles that he referenced for his research.
While some correspondence contains information about his personal life, the collection is focused on his professional career and research. Included in the collection are handwritten and typed notes, notebooks, journal articles, newspaper and magazine clippings, brochures, pamphlets, bulletins, memos, reports, correspondence, invitations, event programs, postcards, photographs, negatives, projection slides, drawings, graphs, figures, research data, drafts, rosters, applications, proposals, resumes, class outlines, grant outlines, and grant abstracts.
The documents are arranged in 4 series. Series 1 is arranged numerically while the remaining 3 series are arranged alphabetically. The series were arranged in this way to preserve Dr. Blanchards own arrangement scheme. Along with maintaining his arrangement scheme, his folder titles were also preserved. Folder titles were only changed if clarification was needed and some folders include dates that are in brackets. These bracketed dates reflect the dates that Dr. Blanchard assigned to the folders based on the date the material was published or presented at a meeting or conference.
For related materials, please see the following collections held by the ME Grenander Department of Special Collection and Archives: Atmospheric Sciences Research Center Records (UA450), which includes many publications and articles issued by the ASRC, Bernard Vonnegut (UA902.068), Raymond Falconer Papers (U-902.014) and Vincent J. Schaefer (UA902.010).
- Biographical / Historical:
Duncan Cromwell Blanchard was born on October 8, 1924 in Winter Haven, Florida. Soon after his birth, his family moved to the small Berkshire community of New Lenox, Massachusetts where he spent most of his childhood exploring the surrounding area. Despite his curiosity about the world around him, Blanchard never dreamed of becoming a scientist. His teacher at the one-room school house very rarely mentioned scientists or their work and instead dreamed of becoming a commercial artist.
In 1942 Dr. Blanchard graduated high school and though he dreamed of attending art school or college, these dreams were put on hold due to the war. Instead, Blanchard took a job with General Electric in Pittsfield, Massachusetts as an apprentice machinist. After a year, he decided to leave G.E. and took the admittance examine for the Navys V-12 Officer Candidate Program. Within the exam, students were instructed to choose three schools from a provided list that they would like to attend for Officer training. Dr. Blanchards list consisted of Harvard, Yale, and Princeton and, after passing the exam, was sent to Harvard. After completing his training at Harvard, the Navy then sent him to Tufts where they told him to study mechanical engineering and naval science.
Once his training was complete, in 1945, Blanchard received orders to report to the Anti-Aircraft Training center on the island of Guam. Despite enjoying his time in Guam, Dr. Blanchard felt like he was missing something. He realized what was missing when he started to readGreat Men of Science by Grove Wilson. Reading this book allowed him to learn about all the great scientists and showed him what he truly wanted to do with his life. With this new knowledge, Blanchard quickly left the navy and returned to Tufts where he earned a Bachelor in Naval Science in 1945 and a Bachelor in Engineering in 1947.
After receiving his degrees from Tufts, Blanchard went to work for General Electric Research Laboratory in Schenectady, New York. His first position was in the Physics Test Program but in 1948 he was reassigned to Project Cirrus where he worked as research assistant. Through his work with Project Cirrus, Blanchard came to know Irving Langmuir, Vincent Schaefer, and Bernard Vonnegut.
While Blanchard enjoyed working at G.E., he left them in 1949 to return to graduate school at Penn. State University. That same year he returned to G.E. to participate in a graduate fellowship. In 1951, Blanchard graduated from Penn. State with a Masters in Physics and joined the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. While working at the Woods Hole Institute, Blanchard served as a Research Associate from 1951-1963, and as an Associate Scientist from 1963-1968. During that time, he held a Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Associates Fellowship from 1956-1958 and received his PhD from MIT in Atmospheric Science. Along with this work, Blanchard also served as a member of the Panel on Air-Sea Interactions for the National Academy of Sciences from 1963 to 1966. At Woods Hole Blanchards research interests focused on raindrop size, shape, stability and distribution in rain; basic mechanisms of the formation of warm rain; freezing phenomena; air-sea interaction with respect to the transfer of particulate matter and electrical charge; dynamics of collapsed bubbles in water; evolution of condensation nuclei from the sea; organic films on the sea and transport to the atmosphere; atmospheric and volcanic electricity; and the history of science.
In 1968 Blanchard rejoined Project Cirrus scientists Vincent Schaefer and Bernard Vonnegut as a senior research associate at the Atmospheric Science Research Center at the State University of New York at Albany. Besides Dr. Blanchard's research responsibilities, he also served as a professor in the Department of Atmospheric Sciences at SUNYA and was a member of number of professional organization such as the American Meteorological Society, the Electrostatics Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He continued to maintain close working relations with Leonard Woodcock, a colleague at Woods Hole, who later moved to the University of Hawaii.
Throughout his career, Dr. Blanchard was a prolific author. He published numerous scientific papers, technical reports, and articles. Along with that work, he also created educational films for the general public. He retired from SUNYA in November 1989 but continues to write. After his retirement, he publishedThe Snowflake Man: a Biography of Wilson A. Bentley in 1998 and continued to write articles for the Wilson Bentley Newsletter up until March 2012.
- Acquisition information:
The Duncan Blanchard papers were donated to M.E. Grenander Department of Special Collections and Archives by Duncan Blanchard in 2002 with additional donations made in 2003 and 2004.2002-20042002-2004
- Processing information:
Processed in 2016 by Samantha Brown.
- Conservation and the Environment
History of science and technology
Rain and rainfall.
Manuscripts (document genre)
Rsums (personnel records)
UAlbany Faculty & Alumni Papers
- Blanchard, Duncan C.
Moore, A. D.
Moore, Charles B., 1920-2010
Schaefer, Vincent J.
Woodcock, Alfred H.
General Electric Company
State University of New York. Atmospheric Sciences Research Center
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
National Science Foundation (U.S.)
- Albany (N.Y.)
Irazu Volcano (Costa Rica)