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Special Collections: Guide to the Lawrence W. Davee Papers

Arranged and described by Brenda Howitson Steeves

March 2008

Collection title: Lawrence W. Davee Papers
Collection number: MS 1399
Dates of collection: 1917-1981
Size of collection: 2 boxes
Restrictions on access and use: Kept at Fogler Library's offsite storage building. One week's notice required for retrieval

Biography

Lawrence W. Davee, the son of Everett and Sarah Weston Davee, was born in Foxcroft, Maine, on March 28, 1900. He graduated from the University of Maine in 1922 with a degree in electrical engineering. After graduation he moved to New York to work for Western Electric Company developing the carrier telephone process. He then joined the Fox Film Corporation as their first sound recording director and later became president of the Century Projector Corporation, retiring in 1975. He was a member of the team that first put sound on film and was responsible for many other technological developments in the motion picture industry including cinemascope, cinerama and horizontal vistavision. He was the recipient of numerous industry awards including the “Samuel L. Warner Award for Meritorious Achievement in Sound Motion Picture Engineering.” He also received the UMO Alumni Black Bear Achievement Award from the General Alumni Association at the University of Maine in 1973 and an honorary Doctor of Science degree from the university in 1976.

Lawrence Davee was married to Muriel Goodrich and they had two sons: James E. Davee and Robert L. Davee. A resident of Tenafly, New Jersey for many years, Davee and his wife moved back to Orono after his retirement and later moved to Camden, Maine, where he died on September 30, 1993.

A small part of the collection is also devoted to Lawrence Davee’s father Everett W. Davee. Everett Davee was born on January 3, 1875 in Foxcroft, Maine, the son of Jonathan and Lucretia Willard Davee. He worked at the University of Maine for many years as an instructor in mechanical engineering, retiring in 1940. He died on November 27, 1951.

Scope and Content Note

The collection contains papers of Lawrence W. Davee and includes biographical information, photographs, membership certificates, and information about awards he received from the University of Maine. It also contains a small amount of information about his father, Everett W. Davee, including two membership certificates in Masonic organizations and items about the dedication of a memorial plaque in his honor at the University of Maine mechanical shop.

Contents of Boxes

Box 1

Folder

1 Lawrence W. Davee biographical information

2 Photographs, 1967, 1972, undated

3 Certificates, citations, etc., 1920, 1921, undated

4 Membership cards, etc.

5 University of Maine awards, 1975-1980

6 University of Maine Black Bear Award, 1973

7-8 University of Maine honorary degree, 1976

9 Maine Alumnus, Dec. 1941, March 1954

10 University of Maine commencement programs, 1979-1981

11 Everett W. Davee: correspondence re memorial plaque, 1971

12 Everett W. Davee: Guest book, photograph at memorial plaque dedication, 1972

Oversized folder

Membership certificates for Everett W. Davee, 1917, 1920

Membership certificates for Lawrence W. Davee, 1917-1934

Box 2

Academic regalia and gavel

Finding Aids for selected manuscript collections in the Special Collections Department at Fogler Library are accessible online in URSUS, in a browsable Guide to Manuscript Collections. Please contact Special Collections at spc@umit.maine.edu or (207) 581-1686 for further information.

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Special Collections Staff: spc@umit.maine.edu | Revised: 01/10/2014
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