Peter Hendrick van Dresser

Peter Hendrick van Dresser

Bronx, Bronx County, New York, USA
Death 20 Jun 1983 (aged 74)
Santa Fe, Santa Fe County, New Mexico, USA
Burial Abiquiu, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, USA
Memorial ID 148938732 · View Source
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Peter Hendrick van Dresser was the son of Jasmine Edson Stone (b. 1875, d. 1948) and William Thatcher van Dresser (b. 1870, d. 1950).

His middle name was written as "Hendrick" on the back of a portrait by his father. His middle initial was listed as "S" on every document that had a middle initial listed.

[His brother, Cleland Stone Van Dresser, was born in Bronx, New York, March 15, 1904; married in Manhatten, New York, June 12, 1934, Dorothy Stuart Mahony, b. New York City, New York, ca 1900, daughter of Adele Bracken and James Mahony.]

[After his mother's death, his father married second in Florida in 1949 Ona Bright Warner. She had previously married and divorced G. Barney Warner.]

Peter married first in the District of Columbia October 7, 1933, Lucile Quinn (b. 1895, d. 1947), daughter of Ada Smith and Hugh Columbus Wilson Quinn.

He married second between 1949 and 1963 Florence Zwerling (b. 1919, d. 1978).

He was listed in the 1915 New York State Census in Bronx, New York, with his family as: William T. Van Dresser, head, 42; Jasmine S. Van Dresser, wife, 37; Cleland S. Van Dresser, son, 11; and Peter S. Van Dresser, son, 6.

He was listed in the 1920 US Census in Bronx, Bronx Co., New York, with his parents and brother as:
William Van Dresser, head, 48, b. TN, Illustrating Artist
Jasmine S. Van Dresser, wife, 42, b. MO, Fiction Writer
Cleland S. Van Dresser, son, 15, b. NY
Peter Van Dresser, son, 11, b. NY

He was listed in the 1940 US Census at Cypress Landing, Fort Lauderdale, Broward Co., Florida, as:
Peter Van Dresser, head, 30, b. NY; Free Lance Writer
Lucile Van Dresser, wife, 32, b. TN

His parents were listed in the 1940 US Census in Boca Raton, Palm Beach, Florida, as William Vandresser, head, 69, b. TN; Jasmine Stone Vandresser, wife, 66, b. MO.

Peter attended Cornell University, studying engineering and architecture. He later became the editor of Astronautics, Journal of the American Rocket Society. He was a member of the Experiment Committee and helped develop the first successful regenerative liquid-fuel rocket in America.
By the 1930s he was building solar water heaters in Florida.

He was a writer of science fiction, professional regional and urban planner, solar engineer and architect, ecology pioneer, and rocket experimenter; articles about him and his work appeared in the Mother Earth News, Harper’s Magazine, and SFE (the Encyclopedia of Science Fiction online at ); his books included Homegrown Sundwellings, Passive Solar House Basics, and A Landscape for Humans.



SANTA FE, N.M. -- Services were held Wednesday for Peter van Dresser, a solar energy pioneer who died Monday.

He was 74.

Van Dresser, a pioneer in development of rockets, had published numerous books and articles related to the use of passive solar designs.

His first solar houses were built in northern New Mexico in the 1950s. An early Santa Fe house by van Dresser has been designated a state historical monument. It is the first solar house west of the Mississippi.

Van Dresser was buried at the Ghost Ranch where several of his early solar buildings were constructed.

From his obituary online at: Pioneer Peter van Dresser Dies
Abiquiu--Solar energy pioneer Peter van Dresser, who died Monday at the age of 74, was buried Wednesday at the Ghost Ranch Conference Center north of Abiquiu.

Van Dresser, whose landmark book was "Landscape for Humans," was buried next to his late wife, Florence, at an informal service. He had taught numerous passive solar workshops at Ghost Ranch, run by the Presbyterian Church, and was scheduled to be Caching this week. He is survived by his son, Steven L. van Dresser of Santa Fe.

Van Dresser died at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe of a massive heart attack that was due to complications arising from a longstanding kidney illness, according to his friend Russell Benedict of Albuquerque. Benedict said van Dresser lived in Santa Fe during the past several years so he could receive kidney-dialysis treatments.

Van Dresser lived in El Rito, a community in central Rio Arriba County for many years, and had lived in Northern New Mexico for more than 30 years.

Albuquerque Journal; Albuquerque, NM
23 Jun 1983, Thu • Page 12

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  • Created by: Jim Dugan
  • Added: 9 Jul 2015
  • Find a Grave Memorial 148938732
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Peter Hendrick van Dresser (28 Sep 1908–20 Jun 1983), Find a Grave Memorial no. 148938732, citing Campo Santo of Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, USA ; Maintained by Jim Dugan (contributor 47026362) .