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Mervin W. LaRue, Jr. papers, 1944-2005

Identifier: 038.01.02

The LaRue collection consists almost entirely of file materials that document LaRue's careers at Bell & Howell, Stewart-Warner, Ampex, and his own consulting firm. These include business directories from the various companies; organizational charts; annual reports; miscellaneous company printed items including objects; project reports on various products that LaRue was developing; internal corporate correspondence and memos; and business cards that LaRue had collected from around the world from fellow engineers in the consumer camera field. Materials from Rencon include substantial information on the passive solar home, including large plans, drawings, a cartoon given upon retirement from Bell & Howell, and some correspondence. This collection also has an Armour Institute sweater that belonged to LaRue Also includes some films from testing the "Electric Eye" camera and floppy discs with personal projects. A small amount of personal materials: certificates and awards, cards, "Brag book" scrapbook, and Armour alumni materials. Includes a small amount of photographs and slides as well. Materials from time as a student at Armour Tech include a sweater and 5 yearbooks.


  • Creation: 1944-2005


Collection Size

10 Boxes (8 hollinger boxes and 2 bankers boxes)

4 Folders (oversized folders stored in map case)

3 Items (one sweater (in vault), one empty RENCON map storage tube, one very oversized set of technical drawings )

Biographical Note

Mervin W. LaRue, Jr. (born December 6, 1918, Toronto, Ontario, CANADA; died September 17, 2005, Wauconda, Illinois, USA) was a Chicago-area resident from the age of seven (moving there with his parents) until his death. Educated in the Chicago Public Schools, he started at the Armour Institute of Technology in 1938 and received his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering in January 1943 from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In his senior year he worked with the Bell & Howell firm as an apprentice engineer and continued working for them following his graduation, rising to position of Chief Engineer. At Bell & Howell he specialized in the design of 8mm cameras. In 1963 he moved on to work at Ampex on sound and video recording equipment and collaborated with Stewart Warner on early facsimile technology. After retiring from Bell & Howell in 1968 at age 62, LaRue started his own consulting firm named Rencon, working with optics and other engineering problems. Through Rencon he also designed and built homes using innovative passive solar technology. Rencon closed in 1984.

Arrangement of the Collection

Organized by medium.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Formerly 2009.028


Mindy C. Pugh 10/27/2009

Part of the Paul V. Galvin Library. University Archives and Special Collections Repository

35 West 33rd Street
Chicago IL 60616
(312) 567-5993

Paul V. Galvin Library

35 West 33rd Street | Chicago, IL | 60616