April 2, 2004--Eugene Shallcross Ferguson, professor emeritus of history at UD, died March 21 at the Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community in Quarryville, Pa.
Born in Wilmington in 1916, he received a degree in mechanical engineering from the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh in 1937 and worked in the manufacture of high explosives for several years in New Jersey before volunteering for naval service at the outbreak of the World War II. He served as a lieutenant in the South Pacific.
After the war, Prof. Ferguson taught engineering at Iowa State University and developed an interest in the history of technology, a field of which he was an early pioneer.
From 1958-61, he was curator of mechanical and civil engineering at the Smithsonian Institution's new National Museum of History and Technology before returning to Iowa State to teach the history of technology.
In 1969, he moved to Newark, to accept a joint appointment as professor of history at the University of Delaware and curator of technology at the Hagley Museum and Library in Greenville. After Prof. Fergusons retirement in 1979, the University of Delaware awarded him an honorary doctorate of humane letters.
In 1994, he received the Orthogonal Medal at the University of North Carolina State University, which honors those who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of graphic science.
Carnegie Mellon University named him a distinguished alumnus in 1996 for his pathbreaking work in the history of engineering and the visual representation of engineering ideas and design.
Prof. Ferguson was elected president of the Society for the History of Technology and was later awarded the organization's highest honor, the Leonardo da Vinci Medal.
His books include Truxtun of the Constellation (1956); Bibliography of the History of Technology (1968); The Various and Ingenious Machines of Captain Agostino Ramelli (1588) (annotations and editing, 1976); and Engineering and the Mind's Eye (1993).
Prof. Ferguson is survived by Josephine Mobley Ferguson, his wife of 56 years; his brother, Bassett Ferguson and his wife, Elizabeth, of Wilmington, N.C.; and children, Daniel Ferguson of Babb, Mont., David Ferguson of Sheldrake, N.Y., and Judith Williams and her husband, John, and their children, Gabriel and Amy, of Tucson, Ariz.
Contributions may be made to The Friends of Old Drawyers, c/o Robert J. Warner, Jr., 1813 Belfield Ave., Wilmington, DE 19804.