Southern Methodist University

Ben S. Melton papers

A Guide


Creator: Melton, Ben S.
Title: Ben S. Melton papers
Dates: 1931-1988
Abstract: This collection contains the professional papers of Benjamin Starr Melton, a Dallas-born geophysicist. Included are his patents, subject files, photographs and notes of his work with proximity fuze, spark photography, seismometers, and stable platform.
Accession No: MSS 96
Extent: 2 boxes (2 linear feet)
Language: Material is in English
Repository DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University

Biographical Note

Benjamin Starr Melton was born in Dallas on January 2, 1904. He attended Rice Institute and began his career in seismology with Geophysical Service, Inc. in Dallas. During World War II Melton joined the Applied Physics Lab at Johns Hopkins University and worked on the proximity fuze project. Melton later worked as a civilian geophysicist for the U.S. Air Force, and as a consultant. He was a member of the Society of Exploration Geophysicists, Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers, and the American Geophysical Union.


“Ben Starr Melton.” Sarasota Herald-Tribune 23 January 1992, 12B: (

Scope and Contents of the Collection

These two boxes contain Melton’s subject files, patents, presentations, and photography of his life’s work.

Arrangement of the Collection

The collection is organized into 1 series: Ben S. Melton papers.


Access to Collection:

Collection is open for research use.

Publication Rights:

Permission to publish materials must be obtained from the Director of the DeGolyer Library.

Copyright Statement:

It is the responsibility of the user to obtain copyright authorization.

Access Terms

This collection is indexed under the following terms in the Southern Methodist University Libraries' online catalog. Researchers desiring related materials may search the catalog using these terms.
Melton, Ben S. (Benjamin Starr)
Geophysicists -- Texas -- Dallas.
Photography, Ballistic.

Related Materials

Benjamin S. Melton papers at Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX

Administrative Information

Custodial History

These papers were acquired by Dr. Eugene Herrin at Southern Methodist University and given to Herb Robertson in 2010.

Preferred Citation

Ben S. Melton papers, DeGolyer Library, Southern Methodist University.

Acquisition Information

Gift, Herb Robertson, 2011-2012.

Processing Information

Most of this collection was in alphabetical order by file name, so this order was maintained and papers were housed in acid-free folders. The miscellaneous correspondence file was alphabetically arranged by correspondent, with letters written by Melton arranged chronologically. Loose pamphlets and clippings were placed at the end of the collection.

Processed by

Cynthia Franco, 2012.

Finding aid encoded by

Cynthia Franco, 2012.

Detailed Description of the Collection

Series 1: Papers, 1931-1988
2 boxes

The miscellaneous correspondence file contains letters by Ben S. Melton arranged chronologically, then with letters to Melton arranged alphabetically by correspondent. Correspondents include A.A.J. Hoffman, Margaret McDermott, and the White House Office of Science and Technology.
Box Folder
1 1 Amplifiers, 1965-1971
2 Articles in preparation, 1964-1967
3 Astronomy, 1967-1981
4 Atanasoff Kolsrud NOL seismometer, 1980-1987
5 CB radio license, 1986
6 Correlation – correspondence, basic drafts, and notes, 1951-1959
7 Course notes
8 Directories, 1963
9 Durham talk, 1977
10 Electronics, 1963-1983
11 Galvanometers, 1950-1962
12 Geophysics, general, 1931-1982
13 Geoscience electronics, 1962-1972
14 Geotech engineering notebooks, 1966-1970
15 Geotech news and views, 1968-1984
16 Gravity instruments, 1967-1979
17 Gravity tides, 1942-1976
18 Gyroscope clipping, 1965
19 Historical notes, miscellaneous, 1974
20 Honored friends, 1939-1988
21 Idea history, 1952-1972
22 Institute of Radio Engineers papers, including 2 glass lantern slides, 1952-1987
23 Magnetic tape, 1963-1965
24 Math and science miscellaneous, 1964-1982
25 Miscellaneous correspondence, 1956-1982
26 Miscellaneous technical, 1978-1984
Box Folder
2 1 Multicorrelator final report by Israel Rotkin, 1965
2 Noise discussions, 1972-1973
3 Old technical notes, talks, 1944-1962
4 Patent ideas, 1949-1964
5 2 Patent matters, 1932-1970
6 Proximity fuze, Johns Hopkins University certificate (1947)
World War II Office of Scientific Research and Development (1944)
7 Public affairs, 1958-1982
8 Reprints, 1965-1976
9 Reviewers’ comments, 1964-1975
10 Scientific articles, miscellaneous, 1955-1980
11 Seismograph, 1952-1981
12 Seismograph, 1957-1981
13 Seismograph, 1963-1976
14 Seismograph design, 1959-1973
15 Seismology, 1951-1979
16 Seismology, 1959-1963
17 LASA Shreveport talk, 1966
18 Sign coincidence (early writings), 1951-1953
19 Spark photography
20 Spark photography, 1948-1952
21 Stable platform, 1960-1962
22 Standards, 1965
23 Statistics thermodynamics, 1961-1964
24 Technical pictures (Geotech)
25 Triax correspondence and photographs, 1966-1969
26 Pamphlets and clippings