Skip to main content

Walter W. Crosby Papers

Identifier: SpC MS 0119

Scope and Contents

The collection contains primarily drafts and copies of articles written by Walter Crosby during his career as a highway engineer and expert in the field of highway construction in the early part of the 20th century. The subject matter almost entirely focuses on highway construction, materials, improvements, and maintenance.

The collection opens with Crosby's correspondence, 1911-1934, mostly to editor and others about articles written by others in his field.


  • 1893-1934
  • Majority of material found within 1907-1915


Restrictions on Access

This collection is kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage facility. One week's notice is required for retrieval.

Restrictions on Use

Information on literary rights available in the Library.

Biographical Note

The collection contains materials from Walter W. Crosby documenting his career as a highway engineer and early 20th century proponent of roads and bridges designed for automobiles rather than horse-drawn vehicles.

Walter Wilson Crosby was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1872. He attended the public schools in Bangor, Maine and graduated in 1893 from Maine State College (now the University of Maine at Orono) with a degree in civil engineering. He received an advanced degree from the University of Maryland in 1912 and held a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Maine. Although his specialty in college had been highway engineering, after graduation he first worked as assistant engineer of maintenance and reconstruction on the Portland and Rumford Falls Railway. He then worked for the Hancock Construction Company in Boston before accepting a position in 1897 as a resident engineer with the Massachusetts Highway Commission. He then moved to Maryland and worked as roads engineer for Baltimore County and later general superintendent to the Board of Park Commissioners of the city of Baltimore. Upon the passage of a law in 1904 providing for state aid for highway improvement, Crosby became Chief Engineer to the Maryland Geological and Economic Survey and later chief engineer to the Maryland State Road Commission. As such he became a strong proponent of building good roads for the emerging automobile traffic, both by improving the condition of local roads and by replacing wooden bridges with concrete structures. He introduced and developed modern methods of highway construction and maintenance in the state of Maryland and wrote extensively for publications such as Good Roads, as well as for proceedings of various professional engineering societies. In 1928 he was co-author with George E. Goodwin of "Highway Location and Engineering." He also contributed sections to the "American Highway Engineers Handbook" and was the author of "Some Western Fishing," published in 1926.

Crosby was an Army officer in World War I, serving as a lieutenant colonel in the 104th Engineers, American Expeditionary Force in 1917-1919. In 1922 he entered the National Park Service and was superintendent at Grand Canyon National Park. He then served from 1928 to 1945 as a member of the city planning commission of Coronado, California. He died in California in 1946.


0.8 cubic feet (2 boxes)

Language of Materials



Materials from Walter W. Crosby documenting his career as a highway engineer and early 20th century proponent of roads and bridges designed for automobiles rather than horse-drawn vehicles.

Conservation Note

The collection has been re-housed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The Crosby papers were given to the Special Collections Department, Raymond H. Fogler Library, University of Maine by Mr. Crosby.

Guide to the Walter W. Crosby Papers
Box And Folder List Available
January 2005
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Code for uncoded script
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the Raymond H. Fogler Library Special Collections Repository

5729 Raymond H. Fogler Library
University of Maine
Orono ME 04469-5729 United States