Wednesday, September 23, 2015

NEW! Snider & Rotz Engineering Records now online

The Ball State University Libraries has recently digitized the collection of Snider & Rotz Engineering Drawings and Papers. The collection contains engineering drawings, business records, and photographs from the Snider & Rotz Engineering firm, which was a consulting engineering firm based in Indianapolis. The firm worked with many local architectural firms to design the mechanical aspects of construction projects in and around Marion County. Led by Lewis A. Snider and John M. Rotz, the firm began in 1912 as J. M. Rotz Engineering Company and was in business until at least 1981. In the 1920s, their offices were located in the Merchants Bank Building in Indianapolis.

John Martin Rotz, son of John and Anna Manhart Rotz, was born at Prairieton, Indiana, 12 July 1884. He attended grade school in Prarieton but went to high school in Terre Haute. In 1906, he graduated from Rose Polytechnic Institute (now Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology) in Terre Haute with a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical and civil engineering. Rotz worked as a civil engineer at the New York Central Rail Road Company, the Santa Fe Railway, and the Pennsylvania Rail Road Company until he opened his own firm, called J. M. Rotz Engineering Company, in 1912. He specialized in heating, ventilating, air-conditioning, power plant design, sanitary problems, and electrical distribution.

Drawings in the collection are mostly mechanical drawings for heating, ventilation, electrical wiring, and plumbing on many different kinds of projects from a variety of architectural firms. Types of buildings include schools, asylums, hospitals, infirmaries, stores, banks, residences, hotels, libraries, and restaurants. Architects and firms represented include Charles E. Bacon, Elmer E. Dunlap; Donald Graham; McGuire & Shook; J.E. Kope & Woolling; Evans Woollen; John G. C. Sohn; James Associates; Ewing Miller; Bohlen, Burns & Associates; Bohlen, Meyer, Gibson & Associates; Browning, Day, Pollack, Mullins; and Pecsok, Jelliffe, Randall and Nice Architects. A few unusual designs in the collection are an automatic bottle feeding machine (1912) and a publication selling machine (1913) built by United Metal Parts of Indianapolis.

Image: Indiana War Memorial lighting fixture engineering drawing, 1964. John G. C. Sohn, architect. Snider & Rotz Engineering Drawings and Papers Collection, Drawings + Documents Archive, Ball State University.