Robert C. Browning Papers 1916-1999

Creator
Browning, Robert C.
Size
45 linear feet
Call number
MC 00279

The Robert C. Browning Papers contains material from the professional engineering work of Robert C. Browning, and his father, R. Getty Browning. Robert C. Browning's materials contain project files, drawings, project photographs, engineering instruments related to his work as a consulting engineer. The project files are a sampling of Browning's engineering projects from the 1950s until the mid-1990s. His projects are mainly located at hospitals, colleges, and warehouse facilities. The types of documents found most often in Browning's project files are notes, sketches, working drawings, specifications, correspondence, budgeting and costs, engineering standards, and equipment catalogs. The equipment catalogs were put out by the manufacturers of machines and industrial equipment that Browning either installed or considered installing in project locations. Browning's collection also contains a box of personal information. This box includes diplomas, conferences attended, papers given, and Browning's resume at various points in his career. Also included is a profile of the Robert C. Browning Consulting Firm and a projects list. Engineering drawings in the Robert Browning Collection are shop drawings or blue prints. Some are drawn in the original pencil, others are copies. Copies of drawings often contain new revisions and added notes. The drawings illustrate plans for plumbing, electrical, lighting, structural, floor plans, exhaust, air conditioning, and heating. The Robert C. Browning Papers also include are materials from R. Getty Browning's work as Chief Locating Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (previously named Highway Commission). Included in the collection are project files, biographical papers, and artifacts. In the project files are materials relating to Getty Browning's work in the planning and construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. These files contain correspondence, notes, maps, sketches, photographs and publicity materials. Biographical papers include newspaper clippings, photographs and publicity created by or about Getty Browning before and after his death. Also included are papers related to his work in the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The artifacts in the collection are engineering and surveying equipment used by Getty Browning.

Robert C. Browning (1919-2007) and his father, R. Getty Browning (1884-1966), worked as engineers in North Carolina. Robert C. Browning earned a degree in consulting engineering from North Carolina State University in 1941. After serving in the Army as an engineer during World War II, Browning came back to the United States and started his own consulting engineering firm. As a consulting engineer, Robert C. Browning worked on the construction and renovations of schools, hospitals, industrial plants, and commercial buildings from 1953 until the mid-1990s. Projects at these locations included air conditioning, plumbing, heating, electrical, communications, storm drainage, water and sewer, grading, site planning, structural, central heating plants, steam distribution systems, highway right-of way acquisition, claims investigations, and highway location. R. Getty Browning worked as the Chief Locating Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation from 1925 to 1958. He is best known for planning the Blue Ridge Parkway in western North Carolina starting in 1934.

Biographical/historical note

Robert Cooper Browning (1919-2007) and his father R. (Robert) Getty Browning (1884-1966), both made their living as engineers in North Carolina. Robert C. Browning was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1919, but grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina. In 1941 he graduated from NC State College (now North Carolina State University) with a degree in civil engineering. He worked as a buildings contractor for his first job. He then moved to Virginia to work for a firm which designed streets, railway yards, and storm drains. During World War II, Browning joined the US Army Corps of Engineers. In this position, from 1942 until 1945, Browning engineered and constructed hospitals in England. He also went on reconnaissance missions to survey and rebuild damaged buildings in European cities. After the war Browning came back to Raleigh and started a consulting engineering firm with partner, Charlie Landstreet. In 1956, Landstreet retired, and Browning became sole proprietor of the firm.

As a consulting engineer Browning's main services were investigations, reports, designs, supervision, and appraisals. He worked in the fields of air conditioning, plumbing, heating, electrical, communications, storm drainage, water and sewer, grading, site planning, structural, central heating plants, steam distribution systems, highway right-of way acquisition, claims investigations, and highway location. The areas where he worked included hospitals, schools, industrial plants, commercial buildings, and highways and bridges. Browning worked on several major projects, each spanning a number of years. One of these was Rex Hospital, where he consulted for 25 years. Projects included: a new electrical distribution system, central air conditioning, and the design of a 40-bed nursing wing. Another major hospital project was the Cape Fear Valley Medical Center (formerly the Cape Fear Valley Hospital) in Fayetteville where Browning worked on over 50 construction and renovation projects from the 1950s to the mid 1990s. In terms of academic buildings, Browning spent 30 years as a consulting engineer for Campbell University (formerly Campbell College) and Elon University. As an engineering profession, Browning contributed to the North Carolina engineering field, and held several leadership positions such as President of the Professional Engineers of North Carolina, President of the North Carolina Association of the Professions, President of the Triangle International Trade Association, and Vice President of the North Carolina World Trade Association.

R. Getty Browning, Robert C. Browning's father, started his engineering career in Maryland, where he designed bridges, highways and railroads. He moved to North Carolina in 1921, drawn by the start of major road construction projects in the state. This led him to a job at the Highway Commission (renamed the North Carolina Department of Transportation), where Browning worked as Chief Locating Engineer from 1925 to 1958. R. Getty Browning is best known for designing the Blue Ridge Parkway. In 1934 he lobbied for the placement of this scenic highway through western North Carolina, instead of Tennessee. Using his own knowledge of the landscape, Browning mapped out a road that would not only link the two national parks (Shenandoah and Great Smoky Mountains), but would be a scenic attraction in itself. From 1934 through the 1950s, Browning continued to design the route, although it would not be completed until 1987.

Scope/content

The Robert C. Browning Papers contains material from the professional engineering work of Robert C. Browning, and his father, R. Getty Browning. Robert C. Browning's materials contain project files, drawings, project photographs, engineering instruments related to his work as a consulting engineer. The project files are a sampling of Browning's engineering projects from the 1950s until the mid-1990s. His projects are mainly located at hospitals, colleges, and warehouse facilities. The types of documents found most often in Browning's project files are notes, sketches, working drawings, specifications, correspondence, budgeting and costs, engineering standards, and equipment catalogs. The equipment catalogs were put out by the manufacturers of machines and industrial equipment that Browning either installed or considered installing in project locations. Browning's collection also contains a box of personal information. This box includes diplomas, conferences attended, papers given, and Browning's resume at various points in his career. Also included is a profile of the Robert C. Browning Consulting Firm and a projects list. Engineering drawings in the Robert Browning Collection are shop drawings or blue prints. Some are drawn in the original pencil, others are copies. Copies of drawings often contain new revisions and added notes. The drawings illustrate plans for plumbing, electrical, lighting, structural, floor plans, exhaust, air conditioning, and heating.

The Robert C. Browning Papers also include are materials from R. Getty Browning's work as Chief Locating Engineer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation (previously named Highway Commission). Included in the collection are project files, biographical papers, and artifacts. In the project files are materials relating to Getty Browning's work in the planning and construction of the Blue Ridge Parkway. These files contain correspondence, notes, maps, sketches, photographs and publicity materials. Biographical papers include newspaper clippings, photographs and publicity created by or about Getty Browning before and after his death. Also included are papers related to his work in the North Carolina Department of Transportation. The artifacts in the collection are engineering and surveying equipment used by Getty Browning.

Arrangement

This collection is organized into two series:

  • Series 1. Robert C. Browning Papers
  • Series 2. R. Getty Browning Papers

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], Robert C. Browning Papers, MC 00279, Special Collections Research Center, North Carolina State University Libraries, Raleigh, NC

Source of acquisition

Gift of Robert C. Browning in 2000 (Accession no. 2000-0007)

Processing information

Processed by Claire Ruswick, November 2008.

Encoded by Claire Ruswick, November 2008.

The collection is organized into two principal series:

Robert C. Browning Papers 1950-1999
Project Drawings 1953-1996
American Defender Building 1971
Flat folder 1
Bulk Storage Systems 1967-1968
Flat folder 2
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Architecture 1966
Tube 3; Tube 4; Tube 5; Tube 6
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Electric 1966
Tube 7; Tube 8
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Kitchen 1966
Tube 9
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Kitchen structural and parts of architecture 1966
Tube 11; Tube 10
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Mechanical 1966
Tube 13; Tube 12
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Plumbing, nursing home 1953-1966
Tube 16
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Structural 1966
Tube 17
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- SP drawings (#19-30) 1967-1968
Tube 18
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Open heart recovery room (as built drawings) 1992
Tube 14
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Penthouse renovations, north tower elevators 1993
Tube 15
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- AHU #9 to Mammography Clinic 1981-1994
Flat folder 19
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Negative Pressure Rooms to Radiology Renovations, Phase I-IV 1981-1994
Flat folder 20
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Renovations 3 North to Smoke Evacuation System, Reproducibles 1966-1994
Flat folder 21
Capitol Broadcasting Company, Inc. - Office Facility 1981
Flat folder 22
Cumberland County Hospital- Architecture 1953
Tube 23; Tube 24; Tube 25
Cumberland County Hospital- Electric 1953
Tube 26
Cumberland County Hospital- Mechanical 1953
Tube 27
Cumberland County Hospital- Plumbing 1953
Tube 28
Cumberland County Hospital- Structural 1953
Tube 29
Jefferson-Travis Corporation 1966
Flat folder 30
Johnston County Courthouse and Office Building 1959-1960
Flat folder 31
Liberty Chair Company, Inc. 1965
Flat folder 40
Miscellaneous Drawings 1965-1996
Flat folder 32
Morganite, Inc. 1966-1990
Flat folder 33
Rex Hospital 1953-1971
Flat folder 34
Sacred Heart Cathedral, latin school, and parish buildings 1962
Flat folder 35
Southeastern Regional Rehabilitation Center - Architecture 1974
Tube 36
Southeastern Regional Rehabilitation Center - Electrical, plumbing 1974
Tube 37
Vaughan- Bassett Furniture Co.
Tube 38
Project Files 1952-1997
Amos Cottage Rehab Center 1997
Legal box 1, Folder 1
Amos Cottage Rehab Center Photographs 1997
Legal box 1, Folder 2
Campbell University - Bryan Dormitory hot water piping, electric renovation 1996
Legal box 1, Folder 3
Campbell University- General 1971-1982
Legal box 1, Folder 4
Campbell University- Keith Hills 1976-1977
Legal box 1, Folder 5; Legal box 1, Folder 6
Campbell University - Keith Hills sanitation sewer extension 1996
Legal box 2, Folder 1
Campbell University: Layton Dormitory HVAC 1996
Legal box 2, Folder 2
Campbell University - Marsh Banks Dining Hall air conditioning 1996
Legal box 2, Folder 3
Campbell University - Pharmacy fume hoods 1996
Legal box 2, Folder 4
Campbell University - Miscellaneous project photographs 1971-1996
Legal box 2, Folder 5
Campbell University - Sanitary sewer from elementary school 1982
Legal box 2, Folder 6
Campbell University - Waste water treatment plant 1984,1986
Legal box 2, Folder 7
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Chest Pain Center 1995
Legal box 3, Folder 1
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Computer room expansion 1996
Legal box 3, Folder 2
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Darkroom and film processor ventilation 1994
Legal box 3, Folder 3
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Isolation rooms 1995
Legal box 3, Folder 4
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Medical gas 1984-1989
Legal box 3, Folder 5
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit expansion 1994
Legal box 3, Folder 7; Legal box 3, Folder 6
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - New medical air piping- South Tower 1996
Legal box 4, Folder 1
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - Newspaper clippings and publicity 1982-1988
Legal box 4, Folder 2
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - Proposal for OR 8 (1 of 3) 1994-1995
Legal box 4, Folder 3
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - Proposal for OR 8 (2 of 3) 1994-1995
Legal box 4, Folder 4
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - Proposal for OR 8 (3 of 3) 1994-1995
Legal box 4, Folder 5
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - Photographs 1981-1985
Legal box 4, Folder 6
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center - Radiology, ultra-sound, administrative offices 1995
Legal box 4, Folder 7
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Cardio-Vascular Recovery Unit 1995
Box 5, Folder 1
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Coronary Care Unit 1982
Box 5, Folder 2
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications -Expansion of Short Stay, Phase I 1987
Box 5, Folder 3
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Pediatrics care renovation 1988
Box 5, Folder 4
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Fourth floor north wing central air conditioning 1981
Box 5, Folder 5
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - General Nursery renovation 1986
Box 5, Folder 6
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Neonatal Nursery 1983
Box 5, Folder 7
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Operating suite renovation 1989
Box 6, Folder 1
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - OR 8, patient services tower 1995
Box 6, Folder 2
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Outpatient Rehabilitation Services 1992
Box 6, Folder 3
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Radiology Renovation, Phase I 1990
Box 6, Folder 4
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Radiology Renovation, Phase II, Room 6 1991
Box 6, Folder 5
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Renovation of space for the C.T. scan 1983
Box 6, Folder 6
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Renovation of Three North 1982
Box 7, Folder 1
Cape Fear Valley Medical Center Specifications - Respiratory therapy addition to Coronary Care Unit 1982
Box 7, Folder 2
Elon College - energy conservation and renovation 1981-1985
Legal box 8, Folder 1; Legal box 8, Folder 2
Fayetteville X-Ray Associates- Billing office renovation 1993-1995
Legal box 8, Folder 3
Knoxwood Hall - Long range planning study reports 1980
Legal box 9, Folder 1
Marion General Hospital 1966-1968
Legal box 9, Folder 2
Mayview Convalescent Center - Kitchen modifications 1978
Legal box 9, Folder 3
Morehead Memorial Hospital - Air conditioning 1967-1968
Legal box 9, Folder 4
Morganite, Inc.- Dust collector system 1966,1986
Legal box 9, Folder 5; Legal box 9, Folder 6
Morganite, Inc. - Dust collector system photographs 1966,1986
Legal box 10, Folder 1
Morganite, Inc.- Expansion 1984
Legal box 10, Folder 2
Morganite, Inc.- Lighting survey, expansion to facilities 1985-1988
Legal box 10, Folder 3
Morganite, Inc. - Office building addition (1 of 3) 1978
Legal box 10, Folder 4
Morganite, Inc. - Office building addition (2 of 3)
Legal box 10, Folder 5
Morganite, Inc. - Office building addition (3 of 3)
Legal box 10, Folder 6
Morganite, Inc.- Special projects 1977-1978
Legal box 11, Folder 1
Morganite, Inc - Training center 1991-1992
Box 11, Folder 2
North Carolina Center for World Languages and Cultures- Pfeiffer College 1994-1995
Legal box 11, Folder 3
North Carolina Center for World Languages and Cultures- Photographs 1994-1995
Legal box 11, Folder 4
Old Mill- Studies for Renovations - Photographs 1990
Legal box 11, Folder 5
Old Rex Hospital - 40 bed patient wing 1990
Legal box 11, Folder 6
Palmetto Dunes (1 of 6) 1966-1970
Legal box 11, Folder 7
Palmetto Dunes (2 of 6)
Legal box 12, Folder 1
Palmetto Dunes (3 of 6)
Legal box 12, Folder 2
Palmetto Dunes (4 of 6)
Legal box 12, Folder 3
Palmetto Dunes (5 of 6)
Legal box 12, Folder 4
Palmetto Dunes (6 of 6)
Legal box 12, Folder 5
Privateer and Spyglass Corp - wastewater treatment plant (1 of 4) 1972
Legal box 13, Folder 1
Privateer and Spyglass Corp - wastewater treatment plant (2 of 4)
Legal box 13, Folder 2
Privateer and Spyglass Corp - wastewater treatment plant (3 of 4)
Legal box 13, Flat folder 3
Privateer and Spyglass Corp - wastewater treatment plant (4 of 4)
Legal box 13, Folder 4
Rich Line Manufacturing Co, Inc. 1966
Legal box 13, Folder 5
Sample Details (for piping systems)
Legal box 13, Folder 6
Somerset Hill, Inc. - New warehouse building (1 of 3) 1964-1973
Legal box 14, Folder 1
Somerset Hill, Inc. - New warehouse building (2 of 3)
Legal box 14, Folder 2
Somerset Hill, Inc. - New warehouse building (3 of 3)
Legal box 14, Folder 3
Somerset Hill, Inc. - New warehouse building photographs 1964-1973
Legal box 14, Folder 4
Somerset Hill, Inc. - Texturizing Machines Area 1969-1974
Legal box 14, Folder 6; Legal box 14, Folder 5
Somerset Hill, Inc. - Working drawings 1964-1974
Legal box 15, Folder 2; Legal box 15, Folder 1
Spruce Pine Community Hospital 1959,1967
Legal box 15, Folder 3
Spruce Pine Community Hospital - specifications 1959
Legal box 15, Folder 4
Textiles Products Research, Inc 1991
Legal box 15, Folder 5
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. 1969-1970
Legal box 16, Folder 1
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. - New warehouse and finishing room 1969-1970
Legal box 16, Folder 2
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. - Photographs 1969-1970
Legal box 16, Folder 3
Vaughan-Bassett Furniture Co. - Working drawings 1969-1970
Legal box 16, Folder 4; Legal box 16, Folder 5
Watts Hospital- electrical, air conditioning 1968-1972
Legal box 17, Folder 1; Legal box 17, Folder 2
Distribution Engineering Manuel- Carolina Power and Light Co. 1952
Legal box 17, Folder 3
Distribution Specifications- Carolina Power and Light Co. 1952
Legal box 17, Folder 4
Biographical 1950-1999
Biographical and Consulting Firm 1950-1996
Legal box 18, Folder 1
Engineering Field:conferences and news 1968-1999
Legal box 18, Folder 2
Cape Hatteras Lighthouse Photographs 1987
Legal box 18, Folder 3
Furniture Design Manufacturing Magazine 1963,1965
Legal box 18, Folder 4
North Carolina Association of Professionals 1972-1977
Legal box 18, Folder 5
Presentations- Hospital Maintenance Demonstration Project, Preventative Maintenance TV segment 1966-1969
Legal box 18, Folder 6
Diplomas and certificates 1954-1982
Oversize flat box 32
Artifacts 1950-1999
Theodolite surveying instrument 1950-1999
Carton 21
Surveying instruments 1950-1999
Carton 34; Carton 22
Drafting tools and equipment 1950-1999
Carton 35; Carton 23
Boiler test kit 1950-1999
Oversize flat box 24
Drafting triangle 1950-1999
Oversize flat box 24
Texas Instruments SR-52 Computer and printer 1950-1999
Carton 25
SR-52 Computer program tabs 1950-1999
Carton 25
HVAC test equipment 1950-1999
Oversize box 26
Med-safe electrical safety analyzer 1950-1999
Card box 27
Polar planimeter 1950-1999
Card box 27
Measuring Instrument 1950-1999
Card box 27
Metal thermometer 1950-1999
Card box 27
Pilot tube, etc. 1950-1999
Card box 28
Sling psychrometer 1950-1999
Card box 29
Manuel of Structural Design 1949
Flat box 29
Air pressure gauge and slide rule 1950-1999
Flat box 29
Calculator instruments 1950-1999
Flat box 29
Velometer 1950-1999
Card box 33
Chronometric tachometer 1950-1999
Card box 33
Proportional dividers 1950-1999
Card box 33
R. Getty Browning Papers 1916-1987
Project Drawings 1916, 1934-1987
Blue Ridge Parkway and Maryland Bridges
Tube 39
Blue Ridge Parkway 1934-1987
General Publicity 1934-1987
Legal box 19, Folder 1
Grandfather Mountain Route 1962-1966
Legal box 19, Folder 2
Grandfather Mountain - Topographical drawings 1962-1966
Legal box 19, Folder 3
Parkway Planning, 1934-1935 1934-1935
Legal box 19, Folder 4
Parkway Planning, 1937-1959 1937-1959
Legal box 19, Folder 5
Pigeon River Project 1956-1957
Legal box 19, Folder 6
50th Anniversary Celebration 1985
Legal box 19, Folder 7
Mounted poster: Proposed scenic parkway thru North Carolina 1934
Flat folder 41
Biographical 1918-1970
Biographical 1916-1987
Legal box 20, Folder 1
Browning Knob dedication 1970
Legal box 20, Folder 2
Browning Knob dedication- photographs 1970
Legal box 20, Folder 3
North Carolina Department of Transportation (Highway Commission) 1925-1953
Legal box 20, Folder 4
North Carolina Department of Transportation- Location surveys of state highways 1956
Legal box 20, Folder 5
Photographs (miscellaneous) 1934-1987
Legal box 20, Folder 6
World War I Engineer sketches 1918-1919
Legal box 20, Folder 7
Diplomas and certificates 1918-1957
Oversize flat box 32
Artifacts 1918-1966
Surveyor's transit and chain 1918-1966
Carton 30
Surveyor's tripod 1918-1966
Oversize flat box 31
Range pole-level rod 1918-1966
Oversize flat box 31
Pitot tube 1918-1966
Oversize flat box 31

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], Robert C. Browning Papers, MC 00279, 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.