Stratton, Samuel

Stratton, Samuel (Wesley)

(1861–1931) educator; born in Litchfield, Ill. He studied mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois, and by 1891 was teaching physics. In 1892 he went to the newly opened University of Chicago, taught physics, researched its application to engineering, and planned and supervised the construction of Ryerson laboratories. In 1900 the secretary of the treasury asked him to write a proposal for a Bureau of Standards. His proposed legislation was adopted in 1901. The Bureau was located within the Department of Commerce with Stratton as its first director. In 1923 he became president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, becoming chairman of the corporation in 1930. He died suddenly on the same day as his friend Thomas Alva Edison, while dictating Edison's eulogy.