Arthur W. Farrall Papers

Summary Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections
Creator - Donor
Farrall, Arthur William, 1899-
Arthur W. Farrall papers
Date [inclusive]
5.4 Cubic feet

Preferred Citation note

Researchers wishing to cite this collection should include the following information: "Item title, Collection title, Collection Identifier, Michigan State University Archives & Historical Collections, East Lansing, Michigan."

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Biographical Note

Arthur W. Farrall (born in 1899 in Harvard, Nebraska) was Professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) from 1945 until his retirement in 1964. Prior to his tenure at MSU, Farrall was a junior Agricultural Engineer and instructor at the University of California from 1922-1928. In 1929, he joined the Douthitt Engineering Company in Chicago as a research engineer. Farrall developed various techniques in the spray drying of food and dairy products while he was in the employ of Douthitt. However, due to the financial problems he faced, Farrall left this company in 1934, and began work as the chief of research engineering at the Creamery Package Company. He was employed by Creamery Package from 1934 until the time he came to MSC. During this time he patented a continuous butter process (1945), a continuous ice cream freezer, a continuous feeder for ice cream machinery, and was instrumental in the research that led to the process of irradiation of milk. In the latter half of 1945, Farrall came to MSC. Upon his arrival he found the Agricultural Engineering Department located in a corner of the Agriculture Building and an enrollment of six students. He immediately started work on a new building which was completed in 1948. He enlarged the teaching staff and research facilities. By 1950, there were over 100 students enrolled in the department. And by the time of his retirement over 200 students, including 50 graduate students. Farrall initiated the short course in farm equipment sales and service, and a number of short courses covering an array of farm and dairy problems. In 1946, Farrall patented an infra-red frost prevention device, a development that brought national attention to the Agricultural Engineering program at MSC. In 1955, Farrall was instrumental in the Centennial of MSU with a program entitled "The Centennial of Farm Mechanization." Over 40,000 people viewed this event in a five day period. "The Centennial of Farm Mechanization" was a pageant depicting America's agricultural progress from 1855-1955. The display included old and new farm implements, a display on the improvement of household technology, and a look at the future of agricultural technology. This gave Farrall the idea that the university should have a permanent display of old and modern farm equipment. From 1957 to 1963 Farrall pursued this idea, called Technorama, but funds were insufficient for such a display. Farrall was instrumental in the development of the food technology curriculum at MSU, and in 1972, received the Dairy and Food Science Industry Award and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers Food Engineering Award. A life-long member of American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE), Farrall served as that organization's president in 1962-1963. During this time, he traveled extensively overseas conducting research on dairy techniques and throughout the United States giving lectures. Farrall was the U.S. State Department representative to the 16th Dairy Food Congress in Germany during his tenure at ASAE President. Upon his retirement from MSU, Farrall took a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1964-1969. Farrall spent a good deal of time in India, helping to develop a curriculum for Agricultural Engineering. He also worked on various research projects for USDA, including the heat transfer quality of powdered milk. During this time, Farrall also continued to teach and conduct research at MSU. During the time of his "retirement," Farrall developed and patented (in the name of MSU) an inertial propulsion engine. He also built and operated an electric Volkswagen for which a patent and trademark was applied.

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Scope and Contents note

The papers of Arthur W. Farrall consist of correspondence, class materials, research materials and lectures, and have been arranged chronologically. Farrall's contribution and work with the American Society of Agricultural Engineers closes out the papers as it is the common thread that ties together the entire collection, and all of Farrall's work.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

Michigan State University Archives and Historical Collections

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing , MI, 48824

Revision Description

  May 2018

Conditions Governing Access note

Collection is open for research.

Legal Status note

Copyright: Michigan State University. Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Conditions Governing Use note

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

  • American Society of Agricultural Engineers.


  • Course materials
  • Family histories
  • Letters (correspondence)
  • Photographs


  • Agricultural engineering -- Study and teaching
  • Automobiles -- Design and construction
  • Dairying -- Equipment and supplies
  • Farm equipment
  • Farm mechanization

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Correspondence 1924 

772 1

 1 University of California-Davis 

Box Folder

Correspondence Janaury - March 1925 

772 2

Correspondence April - December 1925 

772 3

Correspondence 1926-1929 

772 4-5

Class Materials 1922-1928 

772 6-8

Research Materials 1922-1929 

772 9-15

Research Materials Undated 

772 16

Talks Undated 

772 17

 2 Douthitt Engineering Company 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1928-1933 

772 18-21

Correspondence Undated 

772 22

Research Materials 1929-1933 

772 23-26

Research Materials Undated 

772 27

 3 Creamery Package Company 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1933-1945 

772 28-32

Research Materials 1934-1946 

772 33-43

Research Materials Undated 

772 44-47

Talks 1935-1942 

772 48-49

Talks Undated 

772 50

 4 Michigan State University 

Box Folder

Correspondence 1946-1959 

773 1-6

Correspondence 1961-1969 

773 7-16

Class materials 1946-1968 

773 17-38

Class materials Undated 

773 39-42

Research Materials 1945-1949 

773 43-47

Research Materials 1950 - 1967 

774 1-13

Research Materials Undated 

774 14-15

Talks 1945 

774 16

Talks 1948 - 1967 

774 17-38

Talks 1972 

774 39

Talks Undated 

774 40-41

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1945 - 1950 

774 42-43

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1952 - 1953 

774 44-45

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1955 - 1956 

774 46-47

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1957, 1959 

774 48

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1960 - 1963 

774 49-53

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1964 - 1965 

775 1-3

MSU Agricultural Engineering Dept.-Department Operation 1968 

775 4

Centennial Of Farm mechanization 1954 - 156 

775 5-13

Technorama 1955 

775 14

Technorama 1957 - 1959 

775 15-17

Technorama 1961 

775 18

 5 Volumes 

Box Volume

Congres International Technique du Mechinisme 1961 

5896 1

Contemporary Views on World Dairy Education 1965 

776 2

Curriculum and Instructing Staff in Agricultural Engineering 1960 

776 3

The 5 Secretary's Program 1961 

776 4

History of the Agricultural Engineering Department 1964 

776 5

All India Symposium in Refrigeration, Air Conditioning and Environmental 

776 6

History of Michigan Section of American Society of Agricultural Engineers 1960 

776 7

Questionnaire for Review of Engineering Curriculum 1960 

5896 8

Introduction to Agricultural Engineering, McColley & Martin 1955 

5896 9

50 Years on Tracks - Caterpillar Tractor Company 1954 

5896 10

Farrall and Frazell (Fraser) Families: A History-A. W. Farrall-1970 1970 

5896 11

A Report on Agricultural Engineering in China 1949 

5896 12

Juventud Rural de las Americas 1962 

5896 13

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 6 Photographs 


Agricultural Consulting Groups, President�s Committee for Traffic Safety 

UA Photo 63

American Society of Agricultural Engineers 

UA Photo 63

Cottage Maid Ice Cream Plant 

UA Photo 63

Dairy equipment. Diagrams 

UA Photo 63

Dairy equipment. Sweden 

UA Photo 63

Dairy equipment. Test results. Graphs 

UA Photo 63

Dairy equipment. University of California, Davis 

UA Photo 63

Farm equipment. Frost guards 

UA Photo 63

Farm equipment. Infra-Red Frost Guards 

UA Photo 63

Farm equipment. Tractors 

UA Photo 63

Farm equipment. Unidentified 

UA Photo 63

Food processing equipment 

UA Photo 63

Future Farmers of America. Awards 

UA Photo 63

India. Bombay 

UA Photo 64

International Dairy Congress 

UA Photo 64

Meetings. Unidentified 

UA Photo 64

Michigan State University. Buildings. Technorama of Agricultural Engineering. Sketch of proposed building 

UA Photo 64

Michigan State University. Conferences. Dairy Engineering Conference, 1960 

UA Photo 64

Michigan State University. Students 

UA Photo 64

Northern Europe. Map 

UA Photo 64

People. Farrall, Arthur W. 

UA Photo 64

People. Groups 

UA Photo 64

People. Hansen, Clarence 

UA Photo 64

People. McColly, Howard F. 

UA Photo 64

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Oversize Photographs 

OS 12

Faculty 1909 

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