Special Collections Department
403 Parks Library
Iowa State University
Ames, IA 50011-2140

RS 11/4/15
Grover Leon Bridger (1911-1978)
Papers, 1935-1978

Descriptive summary

creator: Bridger, Grover Leon (1911-1978)
title: Papers
dates: 1935-1978
extent: 0.42 linear feet (1 document box )
collection number: RS 11/4/15
repository: University Archives, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University.


Administrative information

access: Open for research
publication rights: Consult Head, Special Collections Department
preferred citation: Grover Leon Bridger Papers, RS 11/4/15, Special Collections Department, Iowa State University Library.



Grover Leon Bridger was a chemical engineer who specialized in chemical fertilizer and the production of heavy inorganic chemicals such as phosphates, nitrates, and ammonia. Bridger received his education from Rice Institute (University) and Iowa State College (University). During his career, Bridger taught chemical engineering at Rice University; Iowa State University, where he also served as Head of the Department of Chemical and Mining Engineering; and the Georgia Institute of Technology. Bridger also worked for the Tennessee Valley Authority and was Director of agricultural chemicals for the Davison Chemical Company. This collection contains news clippings and biographical information on Bridger along with several of his laboratory record books documenting experiments with phosphates.


Biographical note

Grover Leon Bridger was born July 11, 1911, in Memphis, Tennessee. He received his B.S. (1933) in chemical engineering and M.S. (1935) in physical chemistry both from Rice Institute (University) and his Ph.D. (1938) in chemical engineering from Iowa State College (University).

Bridger began his career at Iowa State College as a Graduate Assistant (1935-1936) and Instructor (1936-1938) in the Department of Chemical Engineering. After earning his Ph.D. (1938), Bridger found himself back at Rice Institute (University) as an Instructor in Chemical Engineering (1938-1939). After his one year stint, Bridger began working for the Tennessee Valley Authority (1939-1947) and became a Project Leader, and then later became Chief in charge for the Process Development Division. He returned to Iowa State and was named Head (1947-1955) of the Chemical and Mining Engineering Department. Besides being a full-time professor at Iowa State, Bridger took on three chemical engineering consulting jobs, around the world - with two in Southern Rhodesia (1948 and 1950) and one down in New Zealand (1951) to survey fertilizer production problems. Bridger resigned from Iowa State College in 1955 and left to accept a position as director of agricultural chemical research with the Davison Chemical Company. Finally, Bridger became the Director (1963-1977) of the School of Chemical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Bridger was an expert in chemical fertilizer and heavy inorganic chemical productions such as phosphates, nitrates, and ammonia. He published numerous articles in these fields, received 19 patents, and held a division chief position at the Institute for Atomic Research at Iowa State College. Bridger was a member of Tau Beta Pi, Sigma Xi, Phi Kappa Phi, Phi Lambda Upsilon, American Institute of Chemical Engineering, American Chemical Society, American Society of Engineering Education, Iowa Engineering Society, Iowa Academy of Science, The Fertilizer Society (England) and the Rotary Club.

Bridger married Elizabeth Everett of Houston and together they had four daughters: Carolyn, Susan, Beth and Ellen. Grover Bridger died in November 1978.


Collection description

This collection (1935-1978) contains faculty vita, listings of his publications and patents, correspondences, news clippings, press releases, award recognitions, and personal notes. Several correspondences and prereleases document his decisions for changing jobs and traveling abroad. News clippings, publications, and press releases demonstrate the importance of Bridger’s work in the field of chemical engineering, with a special emphasis in chemical fertilizers and heavy organic chemical products. The collection also contains three laboratory record books documenting experiments Bridger conducted on phosphates while at Iowa State.



The collection is listed chronologically.


Container list







Biographical information




Laboratory record book: Analysis of phosphate samples for total and available P2O5




Laboratory record book: Experiment on dicalcium phosphate reaction, acidulation of phosphate rock by sulfuric acid addition of (NH4)2SO4




Laboratory record book: Phosphate testing for Link-Belt Company, Darling, Company, and Monsanto