MORRIS, John Turner MacGregor- (1872-1959)

Scope and Content

The papers of John Turner MacGregor-Morris mainly relate to his work as Head of the Electrical Engineering Department at East London College (later Queen Mary College). This includes correspondence and other papers relating to departmental administration, students, research undertaken in the department (particularly on the subjects of cathode ray oscillography and high voltage engineering) and the high voltage laboratory.

There is also material relating to Albert Peter Thurston and the work of the Aeronautical Engineering department including published articles by or about Thurston and the history of the department, and research notes testing different models of aircraft.

There is also material relating to various College clubs and societies including papers concerning the establishment of the Union Society, papers from the college Engineering Societies and memorabilia from talks, concerts and dinners.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Morris was born in London in 1872. He married Annie Elizabeth Frances MacGregor in 1917. Educated privately and at University College London. He became an assistant to Professor Fleming at University College London, 1894-1898; specialising in subjects connected with illumination and cathode ray oscillographs.

Joined East London College in 1898; became head of the Department of Electrical Engineering some time between 1899-1900; College Professor 1903; University Professor 1924; Fellow Queen Mary College 1938 and of University College London. During the First World War he co-operated with a research student, A F Sykes, in the development of a design for a directional hydrophone which was taken up by the Admiralty. He contributed to the establishment of the high voltage laboratory at East London College (opened 1936). This included a study tour to the USA in 1928 to visit laboratories.

MacGregor-Morris engaged with university clubs, societies, sports and concerts, and helped to establish the Students' Union Society in 1908.

He was Honorary Research Associate in Electrical Engineering at University College London from 1939, and Professor Emeritus of Electrical Engineering at the University of London from 1938.

Publications include 'Cathode Ray Oscillography' with J A Henley (1936); 'Sir Ambrose Fleming and the birth of the valve' (1954); and numerous papers in scientific journals.

Died on 18 March 1959.


The files have been split into three series by the cataloguer based on their subject matter. Series 1 Electrical Engineering; Series 2 Aeronautical Engineering; Series 3 Clubs and Societies. The papers have been kept in their original order within the files where known.

Access Information

The Archives are available for access in the Archives Reading Room located on the 2nd Floor of the Mile End Library. The Archives Reading Room is open Mondays to Fridays 9am-4pm by appointment only. Contact the Archives for more information: Archives, Main Library QMUL, 328 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, telephone: 020 7882 3873, email: . For more information about the Archives see the website:

Acquisition Information

Donated to Queen Mary College.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for copies for research or publication should be made to the Archivist: Main Library QMUL, 328 Mile End Rd, London E1 4NS, telephone: 020 7882 7873, email: .