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Arthur W. Farrall papers

 Record Group
Identifier: UA-17.16

Scope and Contents

The papers of Arthur W. Farrall consist of correspondence, class materials, research materials and lectures, and have been arranged chronologically. Farrall's contribution and work with the American Society of Agricultural Engineers closes out the papers as it is the common thread that ties together the entire collection, and all of Farrall's work.


  • Creation: 1922 - 1972


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Permission to publish material from this collection must be obtained from University Archives & Historical Collections, Michigan State University.

Biographical Note

Arthur W. Farrall (born in 1899 in Harvard, Nebraska) was Professor and head of the Department of Agricultural Engineering at Michigan State College (now Michigan State University) from 1945 until his retirement in 1964. Prior to his tenure at MSU, Farrall was a junior Agricultural Engineer and instructor at the University of California from 1922-1928. In 1929, he joined the Douthitt Engineering Company in Chicago as a research engineer. Farrall developed various techniques in the spray drying of food and dairy products while he was in the employ of Douthitt. However, due to the financial problems he faced, Farrall left this company in 1934, and began work as the chief of research engineering at the Creamery Package Company. He was employed by Creamery Package from 1934 until the time he came to MSC. During this time he patented a continuous butter process (1945), a continuous ice cream freezer, a continuous feeder for ice cream machinery, and was instrumental in the research that led to the process of irradiation of milk. In the latter half of 1945, Farrall came to MSC. Upon his arrival he found the Agricultural Engineering Department located in a corner of the Agriculture Building and an enrollment of six students. He immediately started work on a new building which was completed in 1948. He enlarged the teaching staff and research facilities. By 1950, there were over 100 students enrolled in the department. And by the time of his retirement over 200 students, including 50 graduate students. Farrall initiated the short course in farm equipment sales and service, and a number of short courses covering an array of farm and dairy problems. In 1946, Farrall patented an infra-red frost prevention device, a development that brought national attention to the Agricultural Engineering program at MSC. In 1955, Farrall was instrumental in the Centennial of MSU with a program entitled "The Centennial of Farm Mechanization." Over 40,000 people viewed this event in a five day period. "The Centennial of Farm Mechanization" was a pageant depicting America's agricultural progress from 1855-1955. The display included old and new farm implements, a display on the improvement of household technology, and a look at the future of agricultural technology. This gave Farrall the idea that the university should have a permanent display of old and modern farm equipment. From 1957 to 1963 Farrall pursued this idea, called Technorama, but funds were insufficient for such a display. Farrall was instrumental in the development of the food technology curriculum at MSU, and in 1972, received the Dairy and Food Science Industry Award and the American Society of Agricultural Engineers Food Engineering Award. A life-long member of American Society of Agricultural Engineers (ASAE), Farrall served as that organization's president in 1962-1963. During this time, he traveled extensively overseas conducting research on dairy techniques and throughout the United States giving lectures. Farrall was the U.S. State Department representative to the 16th Dairy Food Congress in Germany during his tenure at ASAE President. Upon his retirement from MSU, Farrall took a position with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) from 1964-1969. Farrall spent a good deal of time in India, helping to develop a curriculum for Agricultural Engineering. He also worked on various research projects for USDA, including the heat transfer quality of powdered milk. During this time, Farrall also continued to teach and conduct research at MSU. During the time of his "retirement," Farrall developed and patented (in the name of MSU) an inertial propulsion engine. He also built and operated an electric Volkswagen for which a patent and trademark was applied.


5.4 Cubic Feet

Language of Materials


Legal Status

Copyright: Michigan State University.

Property Rights: Michigan State University.

Arthur W. Farrall Papers
4 Published And Cataloged
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the University Archives and Historical Collections Repository

Conrad Hall
943 Conrad Road, Room 101
East Lansing MI 48824 US