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Clifford L. Winget papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-81

Scope and Content Note

The Clifford L. Winget papers span the years 1956 to 1987 and include correspondence regarding Winget's research and projects; notes and drawings pertaining to his ideas and plans for instrumentation; research materials, including patent applications, magazine and journal articles, reports, and computer printouts; several design plans, which are oversized and stored in a flat file; and three Polaroid photographs, which are in cold storage.


  • 1956-1987

Language of Materials

The records are in English.


Open: materials are available for research.


Copyright: Permission to publish material from the collection must be authorized by the Institution Archivist.

Biographical Information

Clifford L. Winget was born on July 28, 1922, in Lyndhurst, NJ, and graduated from Lyndhurst High School in 1940. He worked as a machinist at Dumont Labs from 1940 to 1942 before serving in the US Air Force as a test pilot and engineering staff advisor until 1945. He returned to Dumont Labs in January 1946 as supervisor of the research and development shop, leaving in April 1947 to work as a self-employed mechanical engineer until 1951. During his military service, he took engineering and mechanical courses at the US Air Force Institute of Technology, returning to the Air Force as an electronics instructor and engineering officer from 1951 to 1954.

Winget left the Air Force in 1954 to work as a field service engineer and project test engineer for Walter Kidde and Co. in Belleville, NJ. He left the firm briefly in 1959 to work in standards engineering and quality control at the Kearfott Division of General Precision in Little Falls, NJ, returning to Walter Kidde and Co. in contracts engineering in 1960. He was promoted to project engineer in 1961 and to manager of prototype production in 1964.

Winget joined the WHOI staff in December 1966 as a research associate in the Applied Oceanography Department working with Bill Rainnie Jr. on the design of electromechanical systems for the submersible Alvin and other instrumentation. After Alvin sank in 1968, Winget spearheaded the movement to rebuild the submarine for $750,000.

During his career he designed many sampling instruments for a range of scientific studies, including SeaDuct, a deep sea in situ flume intended to gather data and samples from seafloor sediments and the water just above them for the High-Energy Benthic Boundary Layer Experiment (HEBBLE) led by Charley Hollister. Because of its large size and weight, SeaDuct could only be launched from the Knorr, and the doors of the Coastal Research Laboratory had to be removed to get it out when it was completed. Winget, known as an innovative and resourceful engineer, managed the construction. Spin-offs from SeaDuct led to advances in flume studies of fluid-flow dynamics. Winget was promoted to research specialist in 1970 and retired from the Institution in 1987. He continued to contribute his expertise after his retirement, returning to WHOI on a casual basis to work with Sandy Williams in the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department until 1995.

He loved animals and usually had a dog with him. He volunteered for many years at the Sandwich Food Pantry and was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association.

[Taken from Winget's WHOI obituary, edited by Katy Sternberger]


3.25 Linear Feet (1 box plus oversized material and photographs)


The Clifford L. Winget papers, dating from 1956 to 1987, consist of correspondence, notes and drawings, research materials, design plans, and photographs regarding research he conducted and instrumentation he built for marine engineering projects.


Arranged in five series.

Physical Charateristics

Many of the materials in this collection are water damaged and faded, particularly Winget's notes, drawings, and design plans, but most items are still legible.

Custodial History

The custodial history of the collection is undocumented.

Acquisitions Information

The papers were donated by Cliff Winget's daughter, Katherine, in May 2007 (acc. 2007-15). Two boxes (2 lin. ft.) of materials were received by the Data Library and Archives; moldy materials and technical reports were removed from the collection.

Related Material

Researchers looking for related materials may wish to consult the MBLWHOI Library catalog. There are a number of technical reports written by Winget regarding projects he worked on and instrumentation he built. Winget's extensive oral history interviews are also available.

Separated Material

During the accession process, moldy materials and technical reports were removed from the collection. It is not known whether any other material was separated from the collection.

Processing Information

Processed by Katy Sternberger in March 2015. Items were foldered and arranged chronologically, or in original order if undated. Five series were created based on the formats of the materials. Basic preservation measures were taken (that is, removing rusty staples and paper clips), and oversized materials and photographs were properly rehoused. In addition, a letter envelope and faded thermal paper, which are poor-quality materials, were photocopied and the originals destroyed.

A Guide to the Clifford L. Winget papers, 1956-1987
Katy Sternberger
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written inEnglish

Repository Details

Part of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Data Library and Archives Repository