Fonds 1550 - Roland Rusk McLaughlin fonds

Identity area

Reference code

UTA 1550


Roland Rusk McLaughlin fonds


  • 1923-1995 (predominant 1954-1970) (Creation)

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Extent and medium

1.07 m of textual and graphic records and publications (5 boxes)

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Name of creator


Biographical history

Roland Rusk McLaughlin was born on March 16, 1901, the son of J. J. McLaughlin, founder of the beverage company, Canada Dry, and grandson of Col. Robert McLaughlin, founder of General Motors. Growing up in Toronto he was educated at Rosedale Public School, St. Andrew’s College and graduated from the University of Toronto with a B.Sc. in chemical engineering in 1922. He continued his studies in engineering graduating with an M.A. Sc. from University of Toronto in 1923. After a year’s hiatus at Canada Dry in New York, he returned to the University to study for an M.A. (1925) and Ph.D. (1926). After a few years undertaking research, he joined the staff of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto as lecturer in 1931. By 1939 he had been appointed Associate Professor and in 1943 was appointed full professor of chemical engineering. Three years later he was appointed head of the department of chemical engineering and in 1954 became Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering. His daughter’s education in Physical and Occupational Therapy made him aware of the plight of physically disabled people and led him to organize courses in design drawing in Engineering. In appreciation of this course students presented him with an honorary diploma in Physical and Occupational Therapy. He retired in 1966 but continued as senior advisor to the President until his death on September 10, 1970.

During his career, Prof. McLaughlin held numerous positions with engineering associations. For example, between 1943 and 1946 he was President of the Canadian Chemical Association, and oversaw its amalgamation with two other Canadian chemical societies, becoming president of the Chemical Institute of Canada in 1946. In the 1950’s he was Chairman of the Canadian Section, Society of Chemical Industry and Chairman of the Plummer Medal Committee of the Engineering Institute of Canada. He received numerous awards from the Chemical Institute of Canada (1956) and an honorary degree from Assumption University, Windsor, Ontario (1961).

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Scope and content

The records comprising this fonds consist of two accessions: B2002-0011 and B2003-0007. The majority of the records document his tenure as Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering and include mainly correspondence, some typescripts of speeches and articles, clippings, awards, and photographs. There are no administrative records and no teaching or research materials relating to his chief area of interest, organic chemistry.

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Administrative records relating to the Faculty of Applied Science and Engineering will be found in accession A1974-0008.

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