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BENJAMIN, CHARLES H.

BENJAMIN, CHARLES H.

BENJAMIN, CHARLES H. (29 Aug. 1856-2 Aug. 1937), a mechanical engineer and educator at Case School of Applied Science from 1889-1907, established that school's mechanical engineering department. Benjamin was born in Patten, Maine, the son of Samuel E. and Ellen Fairfield Benjamin. He attended Patten Academy and served as a machine shop apprentice before receiving his bachelor's degree from Maine State College (now the University of Maine) in 1879. After a year at a machine shop in Lawrence, Mass., he returned to his alma mater, earning a master's degree in 1881 and beginning teaching there, leaving in 1886 to become assistant manager at the McKay Bigelow Machine Co. in Boston. In 1889 he accepted the professorship of mechanical engineering at Case and became head of that new department, creating the curriculum, supervising plans for the department's new building (1892), and acquiring the necessary laboratory equipment. Benjamin was professor of mechanical engineering and department head from 1889-99 and from 1903-07; between 1899-1903, professor of applied mechanics was added to his title. In 1907 he left Case to become dean of the School of Engineering at Purdue University, until 1921, when he became director of the Engineering Experiment Station at Purdue. While at Case, Benjamin gave public lectures and wrote 2 books, Modern American Machine Tools (1906) and Machine Design (1906); he later wrote Steam Engine (1909). He also served the city of Cleveland as supervising engineer in 1901 and as a smoke inspector. Benjamin married Cora L. Benson on 17 Aug. 1879; they had no children. He died in Washington, D.C.