SECTION A BIOGRAPHICAL A.1-A.37
SECTION B RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT B.1-B.1360
SECTION C LECTURES AND PUBLICATIONS C.1-C.169
SECTION D PATENTS D.1-D.109
SECTION E SOCIETIES AND ORGANISATIONS E.1-E.33
SECTION F VISITS AND CONFERENCES F.1-F.38
SECTION G CORRESPONDENCE G.1-G.269
SECTION H NON-PRINT MATERIAL H.1-H.26
DESCRIPTION OF THE COLLECTION
The collection provides comprehensive documentation of Bacon's role in fuel cell research and development. It covers the period 1917-1993.
Section A, Biographical, includes obituaries, curricula vitae, articles about Bacon and press-cuttings. His fuel cell career is represented by agreements between Bacon and Merz and McLellan, the National Research Development Corporation and Energy Conversion Ltd and his honours and awards by letters of congratulation on the appointment to the Order of the British Empire in 1967 and the Election to the Fellowship of the Royal Society in 1973, and correspondence re the award of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Award for Scientific and Technical Contribution in 1976. Also of interest are school notebooks from Eton College including a 'Science Notes' notebook used by his elder brother A.W. Bacon in 1917 and subsequently by Bacon for notes of work at C.A. Parsons Ltd 1930-1931.
Section B, Research and development, is exceptional in extent and comprehensiveness, documenting the successive stages of Bacon's involvement with fuel cell research and development: Parsons and early fuel cell research, ERA/Cambridge University, NRDC/Marshalls of Cambridge, Energy Conversion Ltd, and his continuing interest in fuel cell research and development after his formal retirement. The documentation takes many forms including a numbered sequence of Bacon's fuel cell notebooks and the notebooks of his colleagues, manuscript notes, drafts, calculations and test data, reports prepared for and correspondence with principal sponsoring bodies such as the ERA and the NRDC, correspondence and papers relating to the fuel cell interests of other organisations such as government departments in the UK and companies like General Electric and Pratt and Whitney in the USA, correspondence and papers assembled by Bacon on research and development topics such as hydrogen storage and the underwater use of fuel cells, and technical drawings.
There are also a relatively few papers from the 1930s which relate to Bacon's work at Parsons and are not concerned with fuel cells.
Section C, Lectures and publications, is extensive. There is a chronological sequence of drafts for Bacon's lectures and publications, 1953-1984 and his publications correspondence files, 1952-1991. Bacon's publications correspondence files include invitations for Bacon to write, lecture and broadcast and also to advise authors, editors and publishers on publications in the fuel cell area. The files also contained a number of drafts by Bacon or sent to him for comment which have been retained in the sequence with the related correspondence.
Section D, Patents, presents Bacon's papers relating to patent applications, 1949-1967. The papers were found in a numbered sequence of binders whose contents included manuscript notes, typescript drafts of applications, specifications and related correspondence.
Section E, Societies and organisations, provides documentation of eight societies and organisations with which Bacon was associated. The Electrochemical Society which Bacon joined about 1960 and the Royal Society to whose Fellowship he was elected in 1973 are represented by the most extensive material. The Electrochemical Society papers principally relate to its Spring meeting in Seattle 1978 at which Bacon received the Society's Vittorio de Nora - Diamond Shamrock Award and delivered the Award Address. Much of the Royal Society material relates to Bacon's 1973 Review Lecture on the Development and Practical Application of Fuel Cells. Also represented in this section is the Aeronautical Research Council which invited Bacon to a number of its committee meetings in 1959 and 1963.
Section F, Visits and conferences, covers the period 1956-1984. Al-though not extensive it provides a record of Bacon's participation as speaker at a number of international conferences such as the Fifth World Energy Conference in Vienna, Austria, in 1956 and the Fifth World Hydrogen Energy
Conference in Toronto, Canada, in 1984, and of a series of visits to the USA, 1959-1971, to attend and speak at meetings and visit centres of fuel cell research and development.
Section G, Correspondence, includes much of Bacon's most important fuel cell correspondence and covers an exceptionally extended period 1933-1993. Although Bacon kept correspondence files for a small number of named individuals such as the Cambridge University authority on metallic corrosion U.R. Evans and fuel cell associates T.M. Fry and R.G.H. Watson, most of the correspondence presented in this section was kept in three major chronological sequences: 'fuel cell' correspondence 1933-1991, 'personal' correspondence, 1952-1991, and 'miscellaneous' correspondence, 1953-1975. The 'personal' and 'miscellaneous' correspondence sequences also relate to Bacon's fuel cell interests.
For long periods Bacon wrote most of his letters by hand. Nevertheless, even when writing by hand he made carbon copies and thus his correspondence is unusually complete. Bacon's correspondence files also often include notes of telephone calls and meetings including those with visitors to his private home. There is other important fuel cell correspondence in Section B, Research.
Section H, Non-print material, is principally photographs. There are photographs of Bacon himself at a number of conferences and awards ceremonies etc., 1950s - 1991, photographs of equipment from the late 1950s, photographs used as illustrative material for Bacon's publications and lectures, 1956-1978 and publicity photographs relating to fuel cell developments sent to Bacon by the US General Electric Company, Shell Research Ltd and Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, 1963-1968. In addition to the photographs there are photographic slides, a film relating to the fuel cell demonstration at Marshalls in 1959 and a card index box containing metal or treated metal samples and film strips which may record test results on the samples. The samples and film strips are in envelopes with manuscript inscriptions, some including dates in 1955 and 1956.