Taylor, Frank Augustus
- Pamela M. Henson
Taylor, Frank Augustus (25 March 1903–14 June 2007), historian of science and technology and museum administrator, was born in Washington, D.C., the son of Augustus Carrier Taylor, a pharmacist on Capitol Hill, and Josephine M. Kübel Taylor. His maternal grandfather, Edward Kübel, a noted scientific instrument maker from Bavaria, lived nearby. As a youth Taylor spent much time in his father’s store, especially its popular ice cream parlor. After graduating from McKinley Manual Training School in 1921, Taylor worked for a building contractor. One of his teachers had required that students take the Civil Service exam for mechanical drawing to pass the course. Based on that exam, in 1922 Taylor was hired as a laboratory apprentice at the Division of Mechanical Technology at the United States National Museum, part of the Smithsonian Institution. Although he grew up in Washington, D.C., he had rarely visited the museum and never planned to work there. Once on the staff Taylor proved such a diligent and talented worker that he was encouraged to pursue college studies as part of his training. He received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1928 with a thesis on “Investigation of the Arnold Hardness Testing Machine,” and a J.D. in 1934 from Georgetown University Law School....