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David Bruce Dill Papers (MS-00993)

Abstract

The David Bruce Dill Papers (1949-1982) consist of awards, certificates, and photographic prints related to David Bruce Dill's physiological research. The papers also contain publications of Dill's work with the Laboratory of Environmental Patho-Physiology as part of the Desert Research Institute in Boulder City, Nevada as well as publications of Dill's research published in physiology-related scientific journals. The photographs were gifts to Dill for his studies on heat, altitude, and fatigue and the certificates and awards commemorate his work in the field of sports medicine.

Finding Aid PDF
Date
1949 to 1982
Extent
0.67 Cubic Feet (1 box and 1 oversized box)
2.15 Linear Feet
Resource Type
Papers
Related People/Corporations
Access Note

Collection is open for research.

Publication Rights

Materials in this collection may be protected by copyrights and other rights. See Reproductions and Use on the UNLV Special Collections and Archives website for more information about reproductions and permissions to publish.

Collection Type
Scope and Contents Note

The David Bruce Dill Papers (1949-1982) are comprised of awards, certificates, and photographic prints given to Dill for his research work in physiology. The papers also contain publications of Dill's work with the Laboratory of Environmental Patho-Physiology as part of the Desert Research Institute in Boulder City, Nevada as well publications of Dill's research published in physiology-related scientific journals. The awards and certificates commemorate his work with the American College of Sports Medicine, American Chemical Society, and his research at the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory. The rest of the collection contains a photograph of llamas given to Dill at the symposium on Biology of High Altitudes, Lima, Peru (1949) and two photographs of the Apollo 11 mission given to him by Charles A. Berry, Director of NASA’s Medical Research and Operations.

Biographical / Historical Note

David Bruce Dill was a physiologist in the study of exercise, sports medicine, and applied sciences. His research focused on the effects of temperature exposure, high altitudes, diet, age, and fatigue on the human body. Dill received his bachelor's degree from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California and both his master's and doctoral degrees from Stanford University in Stanford, California. He began his physiology career at Harvard’s Fatigue Laboratory in its inaugural year, 1927. While working at Harvard, Dill led a research trip to Southern Nevada after he discovered at least sixteen men had died of heat exhaustion in one year while working on the Hoover Dam project. Dill and his team quickly discovered the workers suffered because of a loss of salt due to excessive perspiration while laboring. Dill’s cure was to add higher amounts of salt to workers’ diets which resulted in no further deaths related to heat exhaustion during the Hoover Dam project. The research conducted at the Fatigue Laboratory influenced his first and most influential book, Life, Heat, and Altitude: Physiological Effects of Hot Climates and Great Heights. Published in 1938 the book is a foundational work that investigates the reactions of living organisms to stress.

After the dissolution of the Fatigue Laboratory in 1947, Dill left Harvard to direct medical research at the Army Chemical Center’s Research and Development branch in Maryland. During his time at the center, he oversaw research that helped standardize the mouth-to-mouth method of artificial respiration for the Army. In 1961, Dill left the Army Chemical Center’s Research and Development branch and moved to Bloomington, Indiana to continue research at Indiana University. Dill’s research is cited in a NASA technical note published in 1966. Dill moved for the final time in 1966 to Las Vegas, Nevada where he worked for the Desert Research Institute, an affiliate of the Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE). While in Las Vegas, he replicated studies he had done at the Harvard Fatigue Laboratory with visiting professors and science students from Boulder City High School. He remained a research professor until 1976, and died in 1986.

Sources:

Headquarters, Department of the Army, Monthly Newsmagazine of the Office of the Chief, Research, and Development 4, No. 1, Washington, D.C., December 1962- January 1963, 42. Accessed on November 21, 2019.

Behannon, Kenneth W. and Norman F. Ness, The Design of Numerical Filters for Geomagnetic Data Analysis, NASA Technical Note, Washington, D.C., 1966. Accessed on November 19, 2019.

Bennett, B.L., “David Bruce Dill: A Man of Many Seasons and Environments--Committed to Life, Heat, and Altitude,” Wilderness &amp Environmental Medicine 17, Issue 2, June 2016, 10-13. Accessed on November 14, 2019.

“Rites Wednesday for pioneer physiologist,” Las Vegas Sun, Wednesday, June 25, 1986. Accessed on November 19, 2019.

David Bruce Dill/Harvard Fatigue Laboratory Reprints, San Diego, CA: Mandeville Special Collections Library, 2005. https://oac.cdlib.org/findaid/ark:/13030/kt3c6002s7/ Accessed on November 14, 2019.

Arrangement

Materials remain as they were received.

Preferred Citation

David Bruce Dill Papers, 1949-1982. MS-00993. Special Collections and Archives, University Libraries, University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Las Vegas, Nevada.

EAD ID
US::NVLN::MS00993
Acquisition Note

Materials were received by UNLV Special Collections and Archives; accession numbers 2019-127 and 2020-022.

Processing Note

In 2019, as part of an archival backlog elimination project, James Howard processed the materials, wrote the finding aid, and entered the data into ArchivesSpace. In 2020, Tammi Kim processed an addition to the collection and updated the finding aid in ArchivesSpace.

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