Ira B. Mullis Papers 1925-1964

Creator
Mullis, Ira B. (Ira Broadis), 1877-1956
Size
1.5 linear feet (3 archival boxes)
Location

For current information on the location of these materials, please consult the Special Collections Research Center Reference Staff.

Call number
MC 00018

This collection contains correspondence, reports, memos, Mullis' professional writings, photographs, blueprints, maps, charts and notes. Materials in the collection date from 1925-1964.

The Ira B. Mullis Papers document the career of a professional civil engineer engaged in the practical and theoretical aspects of road and roadbed design, construction and maintenance in the U.S. from 1904-1964.

Biographical/historical note

Born in Wingate, NC on August 29, 1877, Ira Broadis Mullis spent the whole of his professional career (1904-1956) as a civil engineer engaged in road construction and design. He specialized in the materials, techniques, maintenance and design of roadbeds, bringing to this field a personal interest in geology as well as engineering. Mullis graduated from Wingate College and then attended North Carolina State College, now North Carolina State University, from 1903 to 1904 until the death of his father, and the subsequent financial hardship, forced him to leave without graduating in order to pursue a professional career as a civil engineer.

He spent the early part of his career from 1904-1920 in North Carolina serving as the City Engineer for Lumberton, NC (1910-1913) and, under the direction of Joseph Hyde Pratt, as a Highway Engineer for the North Carolina Geological and Economic Survey (1913-1915) and the North Carolina Highway Commission (1915-1918). From 1920 until 1940, he worked for the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads first as a Testing Engineer based in Washington D.C. (1920-1931) and then as a Highway Engineer (1931-1942) based in the Midwest. Mullis' district, District 5, encompassed Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. His duties included the supervision of road and bridge construction in the district, road location and inspection, examination of pavement and roadbed failures and the development of specifications for adequate roadbed compaction. He left the Bureau of Public Roads in January 1942, and moved to Raleigh, N.C. to work for two Raleigh based firms, Southern Aggregates Corporation and the engineering firm of Pratt, Lassiter and Watkins. He retired in 1956 at the age of 79.

Mullis had several papers published in the Proceedings of the American Society of Civil Engineers between 1938 and 1963, and retained a lifelong interest in roadbed design, construction and maintenance. He was married to Annie Duckett Mullis and had one child, a son, Ira Broadis Mullis Jr.

Scope/content

This collection documents the professional career of Ira B. Mullis as a civil engineer working on road and roadbed design, construction and maintenance from 1925-1964. Correspondence and Professional Writings form the bulk of the collection and provide detailed information about the day to day duties of an engineer working for the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads in the form of memos, reports, articles, papers and letters, as well as material on his tenure as a consulting engineer for two private Raleigh, N.C. based companies, Southern Aggregates Corporation and Pratt, Lassiter and Watkins. Biographical information can be found in the Correspondence series but the collection contains few items of a strictly personal nature. Other types of materials found in the collection include photographs, blueprints and maps.

Physical description

3 archival boxes

Arrangement

The Mullis Papers are organized into five series as follows: Correspondence, Professional Writings, Research Notes, Road Compacting Equipment Promotional Material, and Miscellaneous.

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ira B. Mullis Papers, MC 00018, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Donated by Ira B. Mullis in 1967 (Accession no. 1967-0001).

Processing information

Processed by Joel Mauger and Michael Watts

Encoded by Michael Watts

Correspondence 1925-1961
Size: 0.5 linear feet

Mullis' correspondence is almost entirely of a professional nature as even the most personal items contain mention of his career or publications. Included in this series are items such as internal reports from the Bureau of Public Roads, extensive biographical outlines, letters to North Carolina representatives and senators and engineering faculty members at North Carolina College. An extensive correspondence, written from 1939-1942, with Robert G. Lassiter of Southern Aggregates and Joseph Hyde Pratt, a well known professor of geology and engineering at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, details Mullis' attempts to obtain a cooperative placement at North Carolina State College under the auspices of the Bureau of Public Roads and the Department of Engineering. Almost all outgoing correspondence is in the form of typewritten carbon copies, while incoming correspondence is in the form of signed originals. Some third party correspondence is also present in this series.

1 archival box

Correspondence 1925-1937
Box 1, Folder 1
Soil Testing Data, Kansas 1934-1937
Box 1, Folder 2
Soil Testing Data, Nebraska 1935, Aug.-Nov.
Box 1, Folder 3
Miscellaneous Soil Testing Data no date
Box 1, Folder 4
2 Maps, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Weather Bureau no date
Box 1, Folder 5
Correspondence 1939, Jan. 18-Dec. 20
Box 1, Folder 6
Correspondence 1940, Jan. 3-Dec. 11
Box 1, Folder 7
Correspondence 1941, Jan. 10-Aug. 30
Box 1, Folder 8
Correspondence 1941, Sept. 7-Dec. 3
Box 1, Folder 9
Correspondence 1942, Oct. 2-June 7
Box 1, Folder 10
Correspondence 1951, Jan. 12-1961, Jan. 23
Box 1, Folder 11
Biographical Sketch 1939
Box 1, Folder 12
Professional Writings 1935-1964
Size: 0.5 linear feet

Mullis' professional writings, including reports and articles, published and unpublished, from ca. 1939 to 1964. these represent Mullis career as a professional road engineer for the U.S. Bureau of Public Roads until January of 1942 when he entered the private sector as a consulting engineer for Southern Aggregates and Pratt, Lassiter and Watkins, a Raleigh NC based engineering firm for which he worked until retiring in 1956. Sizable amounts of correspondence, especially professional responses and congratulations from friends and family, accompany two published papers: Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds February (1939) and Properties of Roadbeds (1963).

1 archival box

A Method of Evaluating Roadbeds 1935, Feb. 14
Box 2, Folder 1
Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds 1937
Box 2, Folder 2
Correspondence Regarding Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds 1937, Apr. 12-1939, Dec. 7
Box 2, Folder 3
Other Correspondence Regarding Distribution and Receipt of Offprints of Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds 1938, July 25-1940, Mar. 29
Box 2, Folder 4
Roadbed Failures and How to Avert Them 1939-1942
Box 2, Folder 5
Copies of Discussions Regarding Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds 1939
Box 2, Folder 6
Edited Copy of Mullis' Final Discussion for Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds 1939, May 24
Box 2, Folder 7
Correspondence Regarding Distribution and Receipt of Offprints of Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds 1939, Dec. 1-1941, Oct. 17
Box 2, Folder 8
Standards of Compaction 1941
Box 2, Folder 9
Report on Aggregates Produced by Seminole Rock and Sand Co., Miami Florida 1943
Box 2, Folder 10
Report on Aggregates Produced by South Carolina Granite Co., Blairs, S. C. 1943, Nov. 9
Box 2, Folder 11
Report on Railroad Ballast 1943, Nov. 9
Box 2, Folder 12
Report on Abrasion Losses on Stone from Greystone Quarry Operated by Greystone Granite Quarries 1944, Aug. 16
Box 2, Folder 13
Profitable Railroad Ballast 1944, Aug. 21
Box 2, Folder 14
Aggregates for Drainage 1944, Oct. 10
Box 2, Folder 15
The Value of Codes, Standards, Inspection, and Labels in Industry 1944, Oct. 27
Box 2, Folder 16
Economics of Crushed Stone Road Ballast 1944, Nov. 25
Box 2, Folder 17
Report on Woodleaf Stone Sands, handwritten by Mullis for Pratt, Lassiter, and Watkins no date
Box 2, Folder 18
Photos, Notes, etc. Principles Applying to Highway Roadbeds no date
Box 2, Folder 19
A Method of Rock Classification for Road Use 1951, Sept.
Box 3, Folder 1
Street Conditions and Construction Methods in the City of Raleigh, N.C. 1951, Sept. 8
Box 3, Folder 2
Properties of Roadbeds and Bases 1952, Apr. 4
Box 3, Folder 3
Norlina - Macon N.C. I -755 1953, Dec. 3
Box 3, Folder 4
Report to Charles E. Proudley, Raleigh, N.C. on U.S. 29 no date
Box 3, Folder 5
Properties Affecting the Strengths of Roadbeds and Bases 1956
Box 3, Folder 6
Properties of Roadbeds 1961, July 16
Box 3, Folder 7
Closing Discussion on Properties of Roadbeds 1963, Apr.
Box 3, Folder 8
Fundamental Principles of the Ideal Roadbed 1964, Sept.
Box 3, Folder 9
Soil Cement Mixtures no date
Box 3, Folder 10
Historical Roadbuilding Techniques and Materials no date
Box 3, Folder 11
Certain Premises Applying to Roadbeds and Construction no date
Box 3, Folder 12
Notes on Roadbed Studies no date
Box 3, Folder 13
More Notes on Roadbed Studies no date
Box 3, Folder 14
Research Notes undated
Size: 0.25 linear feet

These notes pertain to Mullis' professional research and include charts, notes from secondary sources, copies of articles, and listings of principles relevant to the construction of roadbeds.

0.5 archival box

Handwritten Notes, Principles of Roadbeds, Ira B. Mullis, no date
Box 3, Folder 15
Handwritten Notes and Charts no date
Box 3, Folder 16
Articles, Catalogues and Publications no date
Box 3, Folder 17
Miscellaneous Notes From Secondary Sources on Roadbed Design and Construction no date
Box 3, Folder 18
Notes and Tables on Porosity and Sub-Grade Soil Testing Methods no date
Box 3, Folder 19
Compaction Studies, Charts, Tables and Graphs no date
Box 3, Folder 20
Road Compaction Equipment Promotional Material undated
Size: 0.125 linear feet

This series contains brochures and photos of equipment including compacting rollers and tractors used in the construction of roadbeds, earthen dams and other types of projects requiring soil compaction.

0.25 archival box

Letters, Brouchures, and Publicity Photos for Manufacturers of Road Compaction Equipment no date
Box 3, Folder 21
Miscellaneous undated
Size: 0.125 linear feet

0.25 archival box

Reprint from an Article from the Baptist Student; American Railway Engineer's Association - List of Publications; American for Testing Material - List of Publications no date
Box 3, Folder 22

Access to the collection

This collection is open for research; access requires at least 48 hours advance notice.

For more information contact us via mail, phone, or our web form.

Mailing address:
Special Collections Research Center
Box 7111
Raleigh, NC, 27695-7111

Phone: (919) 515-2273

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Ira B. Mullis Papers, MC 00018, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Use of these materials

The nature of the NCSU Libraries' Special Collections means that copyright or other information about restrictions may be difficult or even impossible to determine despite reasonable efforts. The NCSU Libraries claims only physical ownership of most Special Collections materials.

The materials from our collections are made available for use in research, teaching, and private study, pursuant to U.S. Copyright law. The user must assume full responsibility for any use of the materials, including but not limited to, infringement of copyright and publication rights of reproduced materials. Any materials used for academic research or otherwise should be fully credited with the source.