Morgan Construction Collection
About the Morgan Construction Collection
The Morgan Construction Company’s corporate records were donated in 2011. The collection features innovations Worcester’s Morgan Construction Company brought to the rolling mill industry, beginning in the 1880s and continuing into the 21st Century. Included in the collection are models of mills and machinery, historic photographs, patents, and a drawing of an early Morgan mill. The inventions of Charles Hill Morgan and other Morgan engineers (many WPI graduates) made rolling steel and other metals into bars and wire far more efficient and safer.
The Morgan family has been involved with WPI from its founding in 1865, when Ichabod Washburn asked Charles Hill Morgan to supervise construction of the Washburn Shops, where WPI students learned engineering hands-on. Throughout WPI’s history, successive generations of Morgan men have served on the Board of Trustees, two as its Chairman.
About Charles Hill Morgan
Charles Hill Morgan was born in Rochester, New York January 8, 1831. He grew up in Clinton, Massachusetts and attended Clinton schools and Lancaster Academy. He worked in his uncle's machine shop in Clinton, focusing on mechanical drawing, mechanics, and increasing his technical skill. In 1863 he received a patent for manufacture of paper bags.
In 1864, Mr. Morgan became general superintendent of the wire mills of Washburn & Moen. He continued with the company for 23 years, eleven of which he was director of the corporation. He founded Morgan Spring Company in 1881, and Morgan Construction Company in 1891. Morgan Spring manufactured steel springs, and Morgan Construction manufactured rolling-mill and wire-drawing machinery. He was president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers from 1900 to 1901.
Mr. Morgan was married twice (his first wife died), and he had six children. In 1866, at the suggestion of Ichabod Washburn, Mr. Morgan was elected a trustee of the Free Institute of Industrial Science (later Worcester Tech and WPI). He was given responsibility for erecting and equipping the machine shop, and he was credited with much of its success. Until the early 1900s he was actively involved as a trustee. He died Jan. 10, 1911.
Charles Hill Morgan’s diaries and journals, kept from 1852-1909, are in the WPI Special Collections. More information...
Interviews of Paul and Peter Morgan
Watch select clips of Mike Dorsey's interview with the Morgan brothers about the history of the Morgan Construction Company and their relationship with WPI:
Library Exhibit Morgan Construction Company : Revolutionizing the Rolling Mill Industry Worldwide
This exhibit, held in the Gordon Library Gladwin Gallery from Friday, September 23, 2011 - Wednesday, June 6, 2012 highlights some of the key innovations Worcester’s Morgan Construction Company brought to the rolling mill industry, beginning in the 1880s and continuing into the 21st Century. Included in the exhibit are models of mills and machinery, historic photographs, patents, and a drawing of an early Morgan mill. The inventions of Charles Hill Morgan and other Morgan engineers (many WPI graduates) made rolling steel and other metals into bars and wire far more efficient and safer. Morgan mills and innovations like the Morgoil bearing can be found around the world.
Morgan is now part of Siemens VAI, and the Morgan family has generously donated the company’s archives to WPI, where they are now housed in Gordon Library’s Archives & Special Collections.