Biography and History

Vice Admiral Harold Gardiner Bowen served as the first Chief of Naval Research for the United States Navy. Born in 1883 in Providence, Rhode Island, Bowen graduated from the United States Naval Academy at Annapolis in 1905 and was commissioned in 1907. After a stint as chief of the Bureau of Engineers, Bowen was appointed director of the Naval Research Laboratory in 1939 and served in that capacity until 1942. Bowen was decorated with the Distinguished Service Medal for his contributions to military research. Bowen died in 1965.

Source: From the finding aid for MC033


  • Engineers -- United States -- 20th century..
  • Harold Gardiner Bowen Papers. 1907-1955 (inclusive), 1930-1945 (bulk).

    Call Number: MC033

    Harold Gardiner Bowen was director of the Naval Research Laboratory (1939-1942), special assistant to the Secretary of the Navy (1939-1947), chief of the Office of Naval Research (1946-1947), and executive secretary of the Thomas Alva Edison Foundation. This collection consists of selected papers of Vice-Admiral Bowen, including speeches, articles, documents, printed matter, and manuscripts for his book Ships, Machinery, and Mossbacks, The Autobiography of a Naval Engineer (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1954).