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Churchill contains:
<-- See earlier
PNVO The Papers of Bruno Pontecorvo
POLE The Papers of Jack Pole
POLL The Papers of Enoch Powell
POLL AS Powell Associated Papers
PRCE The Papers of Terence Price
PRES The Papers of Professor Joseph Preston
PRID The Papers of Vice-Admiral Sir (Arthur) Francis Pridham
PRKR The Papers of Kenneth Parker
PROB The Papers of Rhys Probert
PRSN The Papers of Sir (James) Denning Pearson
PRTZ The papers of Max Ferdinand Perutz
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The Papers of Professor Joseph Preston

Title The Papers of Professor Joseph Preston
Reference GBR/0014/PRES
Creator Preston, Joseph Henry, 1911-1985, Professor of Fluid Mechanics
Covering Dates 1930–1976
Extent and Medium 8 archive boxes and 1 roll
Repository Churchill Archives Centre
Content and context

Joseph Preston was born on 1 March 1911, the son of William Preston, a farmer, and his wife, Jean. He first attended Bampton school, 1916-1921, then the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School in Penrith, 1921-1929, after which he moved to London to study aeronautical engineering at Queen Mary College. On graduating in 1932 he spent a brief training period at the Short Brothers seaplane works, before returning to his college to study for a Ph.D. which he obtained in 1936.

On 18 April 1938 Preston married a schoolteacher, Ethel Noble. They had two children, a boy and a girl. As war approached Preston left his new position as assistant lecturer at Imperial College, and moved to the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). There he worked on aerodynamics relating to the design of aircraft wings. During this period he devised methods to quantify the influence that the growth of the boundary layer (the flow adjacent to the surface that is retarded by viscous forces) has on a wing's performance. He also studied the aerodynamics of control surfaces and pioneered research into applying suction to reduce drag and prevent stall.

In 1946 Preston returned to university life, at Cambridge University's engineering department where he was appointed lecturer in aeronautics. He continued his study of aerofoils, concentrating on boundary layers and devising methods to measure skin friction. While at Cambridge in 1954 he invented the famous Preston tube probe. In the following year, after having become Reader, Preston moved to the University of Liverpool as professor of fluid mechanics, a post he held for twenty-one years. Here he also studied water flows, particularly the effect of flow on ships' hulls.

Preston died on 28 July 1985.

In addition to reprints of most of Preston's published scientific papers the collection consists principally of manuscript working papers either for research projects, articles or lectures throughout his career.

The papers of Professor J H Preston were deposited in the Churchill Archives Centre by his widow in May 1986 and June 1988.

The papers are owned by Churchill College, Cambridge.

Access and Use

This collection is open for consultation by researchers using Churchill Archives Centre, Churchill College, Cambridge. Churchill Archives Centre is open from Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm. A prior appointment and two forms of identification are required.

Researchers wishing to publish excerpts from the collection must obtain prior permission from the copyright holders and should seek advice from Archives Centre staff.

Please cite as Churchill Archives Centre, The Papers of Professor Joseph Preston, PRES

Further information

A collection of Professor Preston's reprints and papers is also deposited at the University of Liverpool Library (see PRES 4/3 for list).

This finding aid is available for consultation in the reading room at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives in Kew. It is also available on the Janus website http://janus.lib.cam.ac.uk. A detailed catalogue to the collection is also available at Churchill Archives Centre and at the National Register of Archives.

This collection (fonds) and series level description was prepared by Katharine Thomson at Churchill Archives Centre, from an existing catalogue, in March 2005. Biographical information was taken from John K. Harvey's essay, 'Preston, Joseph Henry (1911-1985)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.

Index Terms
Aerodynamics
Aircraft
Engineering
Preston, Joseph Henry (1911-1985) Professor of Fluid Mechanics
Churchill/PRES contains:
1 Published papers.
2.5 archive boxes.
1936–1976
2 Laboratory notebooks.
2 volumes.
1930–1932
3 Working papers. Files of research, lecture and rough notes.
4.5 archive boxes.
c 1930-c 1976
4 Personal and biographical papers.
3 files.
c 1946-c 1976
5 Technical drawings.
1 roll.
c 1936-c 1976

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