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Dayton Ernest Carritt papers

 Record Group
Identifier: MC-03

Scope and Content Note

The Dayton E. Carritt materials include photographic materials and publications by Carritt and others. The bulk of the materials consist of visual images, including Carritt’s coastal aerial slides, negatives and photographs of Massachusetts taken in the 1970’s during his work at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. The collection includes Carritt’s Inventory of Aerial and Satellite Images of Coastal Massachusetts that he prepared for the University’s Institute for Man and the Environment. Other materials include his R/V Chain notebook from 1968, which consists entirely of negatives, photographs and contact sheets taken aboard the vessel; a small box of lantern slides with images of Atlantis ; and flight records comprising photographic logs and flight plans, base charts, and topographical maps.

A report that Carritt wrote in 1967 for Boston Edison, entitled Environmental Studies, Weymouth Fore River, Proposed Nuclear Plant Site, points out the impact of the thermal loading of Edgar Station on the thermal structure in the environment, and the potential danger associated with any additional thermal loading to the region. Other materials include project files, publications, and articles written or collected and annotated by Carritt; notebooks; and slides and photographs.


  • 1930-1980

Language of Materials

The records are in



Open: materials are available for research.


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

Biographical Information

Dayton Ernest Carritt was born March 12, 1915 to Ernest and Laura (Cave) Carritt, in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his B.S. from the University of Rhode Island in 1937, and his Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from Harvard University in 1948. He married Jeanne R. Brooks, whom he met in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and with whom he had a son, Jan B. Dayton Carritt first worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution from 1937-1938 as a chemical technician under Dr. Norris Rakestraw, and was associated with the Institution of and off until his death in 1993.

From 1941-1942 Carritt served as a research chemist for the Bureau of Ships, in Woods Hole, MA. From 1942-1943 he taught chemistry at URI before becoming a chemist on the Manhattan Project at the Las Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico from 1943-1946. He later taught chemistry at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, California, from 1947-1951, and served as associate professor of oceanography at the Chesapeake Bay Institute of Johns Hopkins University in Maryland from 1951-1960. At Chesapeake Bay, Carritt also served as assistant director at in the 1950’s.

In 1960, Carritt became the first appointed scientific staff member under the WHOI’s new National Science Foundation grant to support the expansion of its chemistry program. Carritt’s appointment was a joint one between WHOI and MIT, where Carritt served as associate professor in the Geology and Geophysics Department. He carried on a full time research program at WHOI and supplemented it with teaching and research at MIT. His main interest at WHOI was the reevaluation of the concept of constant ratio among the main constituents of seawater; and a secondary interest was the reevaluation and refinement of oxygen measurements in the sea.

When he became a professor at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1971, he was involved with the University’s Institute for Man and His Environment, and did aerial survey tracking of waste disposal throughout the East Coast. He also surveyed and tracked environmental changes from nuclear waste disposal and acted as a consultant. Carritt enjoyed flying, owned his own plane, and took many aerial photographs of the Massachusetts coastline.

Carritt was a member of the Chemical Society, the Geophysical Union, the Society of Limnology and Oceanography, and the New York Academy. He died on March 18, 1993 in Amherst. Dean Bumpus, a former colleague from WHOI, was one of the participating speakers at his memorial service.


1 box plus photographs (.5 lin. ft.)


The Dayton E. Carritt papers include publications by Carritt and others, slides, photographs, and negatives, spanning the years 1930-1980.


Arranged in two series:

List of Series:

Custodial History

The custodial history of the materials is undocumented.

Acquisitions Information

The Dayton E. Carritt materials arrived in six boxes from Dayton’s widow, Mrs. Jeanne B. Carritt of Amherst, Massachusetts on August 10, 1994, and were formerly accessioned in 1996.

Related Material

The WHOI Biographical Files contain additional material on Dayton Carritt.

Separated Material

Monographs and copies of Oceanus magazine were removed and added to the library collections; theses were discarded after listing one that Carritt supervised.

Processing Information

Visual materials and data were separated from Carritt’s papers. Loose slides were put into archival boxes and slide sleeves were removed from binders and put into acid-free folders. Some sample negatives from the Atlantis -Woods Hole trip were cleaned to determine the stability of the emulsion; the negatives stayed intact, and further cleaning will be made when funding is available. The lantern slides were put into a box to prevent them from breaking, paper and print materials were put into acid-free folders and labeled, and folders were put into acid-free boxes.

A Guide to the the Dayton Ernest Carritt papers, 1930-1980
Margot B. Garritt
October 1996
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