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George Henry Mills Collection

Creator:
Mills, George H., 1895-1975  Search this
Names:
United States. Navy. Naval Airship Program  Search this
Mills, George H., 1895-1975  Search this
Extent:
13.39 Cubic feet (24 legal document boxes; 7 flatboxes)
14.95 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Maps
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
circa 1920s-1950s
bulk 1930-1949
Summary:
The George Henry Mills Collection was donated to the National Air and Space Museum in 1994 by Mills' daughter, Mrs. Georgia Mills Head.
Scope and Contents:
The George Henry Mills Collection consists of 14.59 cubic feet (14.47 linear feet) of material collected from his naval career, 1918-1948. A large part of the collection is made up of records of Mills' service during World War II as the commander of the Atlantic Fleet's airship formations. The collection also includes records of his service as an official Navy observer aboard the German rigid airships Graf Zeppelin and Hindenburg. Of particular interest are records of the period before and immediately after the entry of the United States into World War II: the pre-war build-up of the Navy's LTA program, the "Neutrality Patrols" as the Navy fought an undeclared war against Germany, and of the harrowing early days of the Battle of the North Atlantic as German U-boats roamed the eastern coast of the United States. Mills maintained an extensive correspondence with many of the leading figures of LTA: Charles E. Rosendahl, Garland Fulton, and Scott E. Peck --their letters provide a unique picture of the Navy LTA program during its most active and successful period.

The collection also includes numerous technical reports on aspects of LTA flight, training material, photographs, clippings and articles on LTA.
Arrangement note:
The George H. Mills Collection is arranged in the following series:

Series I: Naval career of George H. Mills

Series II: Correspondence

Series III: General LTA Papers

Series IV: General Naval Papers

Series V: Publications, Articles, Clippings

Series VI: Lectures, Speeches, Papers

Series VII: Miscellaneous Papers

Series VIII: Photographs

Series IX: Scrapbooks; Oversized Material
Biographical/Historical note:
George Henry Mills (1895-1975), Naval officer and airship aviator, was a member of the U.S. Navy's inner circle of advocates of lighter than air (LTA) flight. Mills was born on August 5, 1895 in Rutherfordton, North Carolina, the son of John Craton Mills and Nora Poole Mills. He attended Bingham Military School in Asheville, North Carolina, and entered the U.S. Naval Academy in 1914. Mills graduated from the Academy in June, 1918 and served in various fleet and shore assignments (a chronology of Mills' naval service will be found in the notes to Series I on page 2). He married Leonore Wickersham of Corning, NY in 1923; their daughter, Georgia Lee Mills, was born in 1928.

Mills was assigned to LTA training at Naval Air Station Lakehurst, New Jersey in 1931. He completed his training in 1932 and served in the Navy's LTA fleet through the 1930's. Mills flew as an observer on board the Graf Zeppelin in 1934 and on the Hindenburg in 1936. In 1935, Mills survived the crash of the USS Macon off the California coast. Mills returned to Lakehurst, serving there in various assignments; he was made commanding officer of NAS Lakehurst in January, 1940.

At Lakehurst, Mills organized blimp patrols as part of the Navy's Neutrality Patrol and helped coordinate the Navy's rapid buildup of the LTA program. When Airship Patrol Group One was formed in January 1942, Mills was named commanding officer; in December 1942 he commanded Airship Wing Thirty. In July 1943, Mills was assigned as the commander of Fleet Airships, Atlantic - the chief of the Navy's LTA forces in the Atlantic Theater. George Mills was promoted to the rank of Commodore in November 1943.

In 1945, Mills returned to sea as the captain of the troopship USS Hermitage. Before retirement from the Navy in 1949, Mills served as the chief of the Naval Airship Training and Experimentation Command (CNATE) at NAS Lakehurst.

After leaving the Navy, Mills settled in North Carolina and worked for the Equitable Life Insurance Company, and later for the National Securities and Research Corporation. Mills served one term in the North Carolina State Legislature from 1950 to 1952. George H. Mills died on October 24, 1975, the same day as his longtime LTA colleague and friend, Garland Fulton, whose papers are also part of the collections of the National Air and Space Archives. They were buried on the same day in Arlington National Cemetery.
Chronology:
Chronology of George H. Mills' Naval Service

1914 -- June 14 - Entered U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland

1918 -- June 6 - Graduated from the Academy, Class of 1919; commissioned Ensign, USN September 21 - Service aboard USS New Mexico. Promoted to Lieutenant (JG)(Temporary)

1920 -- June 1 - Promotion to Lieutenant (JG)

1922 -- First LTA flight as gunnery spotter on captive balloon on USS New Mexico June 3 - Promotion to Lieutenant

1923 -- September 25 - Assigned as personal aide to RADM George W. Williams, Commandant, Sixth Naval District, Charleston, SC June 20 - Assigned as divisions communication officer on staff of VADM Henry A. Wiley, Battleship Division, Battle Fleet

1929 -- June 5 -Assistant gunnery officer and senior watch officer, USS Pensacola

1924 -- August 5 - Served as aide and flag secretary to RADM Williams as Commander Destroyer Squadrons, Scouting Fleet. Served on USS Concord, USS Dobbin, USS Whitney

1925 -- September - Continued as aide when RADM Williams was relieved by RADM Noble E. Irwin

1931 -- June 1 - Ordered to NAS Lakehurst for LTA instruction. Training flights on free and captive balloons and on airships Los Angeles (ZR-3), Akron (ZRS-4), J-3, J-4, K-1 and ZMC-2

1932 -- June 16 - Finished LTA training; designated naval aviator, lighter-than-air, # 3925

1927 -- June 30 - Officer-in-charge, naval recruiting for North and South Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina

1933 -- September 1 - Promotion to Lieutenant Commander

1934 -- May 14 - Ordered on temporary duty as naval observer on the Graf Zeppelin. Made three round trips aboard the Graf Zeppelin between Friedrichshafen and cities in South America August 9 - Ordered to NAS Lakehurst as Operations Officer October 14 - Ordered to NAS Sunnyvale (later NAS Moffett Field) as tactical officer, pilot and navigational watch on USS Macon (ZRS-4)

1935 -- February 12 - USS Macon crashes off Point Sur, California. Mills is rescued after three hours in the water April 15 - Ordered to NAS Lakehurst as operations and mooring officer

1936 -- November 4 - Ordered to Newport News for fitting out USS Yorktown August - Naval observer aboard Hindenburg on round trip flights between Lakehurst and Frankfort, Germany

1937 -- September 30 – Assigned as gunnery officer, USS Yorktown September 12 – October 2 - Training in chemical warfare at Gas Warfare School, Edgewood Arsenal, MD

1939 -- July 1 - Promotion to Commander June – Assigned as executive officer, NAS Lakehurst

1940 -- January 15 - Appointed commanding officer, NAS Lakehurst

1941 -- July - Temporary duty, Airship Board, Washington

1942 -- December 1 - Appointed Commander, Fleet Airship Wing Thirty June 17 - Promotion to Captain January 2 - Appointed Commander, Airship Patrol Group One

1943 -- November 5 - Promotion to Commodore July 1 - Appointed Commander, Fleet Airships, Atlantic

1945 -- July 23 - Awarded Legion of Merit July 10 - Appointed captain, USS Hermitage (AP-54). Reverts to rank of captain

1946 -- August 5 - Appointed commander, NAS Moffett Field

1947 -- September 26 - Appointed chief, Naval Airship Training and Experimentation Command (CNATE)

1949 -- June 30 - Retirement from U.S. Navy

Abbreviations

ADM -- Admiral

ASW -- Anti-submarine warfare

ATC -- Air Transport Command

BuAer -- Bureau of Aeronautics (US Navy)

CDR -- Commander

CNATE -- Naval Airship Training and Experimentation Command

Cong -- Congress

GHM -- George Henry Mills

LTA -- Lighter than air flight

MAD -- Magnetic anomaly detector (often found as magnetic airborne detector)

NACA -- National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics

NAS -- Naval Air Station

NATS -- Naval Air Transport Service

ND -- No date

RADM -- Rear admiral

RN -- Royal Navy

Sess -- Session

VADM -- Vice Admiral

WPA -- Works Project Authority

ZNP -- Patrol airship

ZP -- Airship squadron
Provenance:
Georgia M. Head, Gift, 1994, 1994-0022, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at http://airandspace.si.edu/permissions
Topic:
Works of art  Search this
Airships  Search this
Antisubmarine aircraft  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Maps
Photographs
Correspondence
Citation:
George Henry Mills Collection, Acc. 1994-0022, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1994.0022
See more items in:
George Henry Mills Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1994-0022
Additional Online Media:

Frank Coffyn Scrapbooks and Photo Albums

Creator:
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960  Search this
Names:
Michigan Aero Club  Search this
Wright Flying Team  Search this
Coffyn, Frank, 1878-1960  Search this
Thompson, Lewis Eugene  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
1.1 Cubic feet (4 flatboxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1911-1932
Summary:
Frank Coffyn (1878-1960) was a pioneer flyer and aviation consultant. Coffyn learned to fly from the Wright Brothers in Dayton Ohio, and was a member of the original Wright Flying Team. This collection consists of scrapbooks and photo albums documenting his career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of five scrapbooks. Scrapbook A contains photographs and newspaper clippings relating to Coffyn's visit to the aviation meet of the Michigan Aero Club on June 19-23, 1911. Scrapbook B is comprised of newspaper clippings pertaining to Coffyn's flights in various parts of the U. S. during the year 1912. Scrapbook C is a photo album covering the years 1910-1932, with photos labeled by subject and date. This scrapbook contains some images of a model B Wright Biplane. Book D includes photographs of Coffyn in New York harbor, images of the Lachapelle Gliding Boat, a photo and letter from portrait artist Lewis Eugene Thompson, and a Halcyon Caravel ship photo. Book E is a photo album containing images of Coffyn and a Burgess Flying Boat in 1913.
Arrangement:
Scrapbooks/photo albums have been arranged according to size of enclosure required to safely house each item.
Biographical / Historical:
Frank Coffyn (1878-1960) was a pioneer flyer and aviation consultant. Coffyn learned to fly from the Wright Brothers in Dayton Ohio, and was a member of the original Wright Flying Team.
Provenance:
Frank Coffyn, Gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0065
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Air pilots  Search this
Wright (Co) Model B  Search this
Burgess Aircraft Family  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Frank Coffyn Scrapbooks and Photo Albums, NASM.XXXX.0065, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0065
See more items in:
Frank Coffyn Scrapbooks and Photo Albums
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0065
Additional Online Media:

William Rigby Jacobs (Arctic Search and Rescue Unit) Scrapbook

Creator:
Jacobs, William Rigby, 1906-1957  Search this
Names:
United States. Air Force -- Search and rescue operations -- Alaska.  Search this
United States. Air Force -- Search and rescue operations.  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. Air Transport Command  Search this
Jacobs, William Rigby, 1906-1957  Search this
Extent:
0.27 Cubic feet (1 small flatbox, 1 VHS tape)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Photographs
Clippings
Place:
Arctic
Date:
1942-1945, 1998-1999, 2004
bulk 1942-1945
Summary:
This collection consists of one scrapbook and some additional materials relating to Dr. William R. Jacobs and his service in the Alaskan Air Transport Command (Arctic Search and Rescue Unit) during World War II.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of one scrapbook containing photographs, newspaper articles and correspondence relating to Dr. William R. Jacobs and his service in the Alaskan Air Transport Command (Arctic Search and Rescue Unit) during World War II. The collection also includes copies of letters from Jacobs to his family, 1943-1945; twelve black and white photographs; three issues of the North Star, newsletter for the Alaskan Division, Air Transport Command; miscellaneous magazine articles and correspondence; a report of a medical emergency at Fish Lake, YT, April 1945; and a VHS copy of "Paradocs," which was produced by Dr. Paul Little for the Air Force Television News.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged by type of material.
Biographical / Historical:
William Rigby Jacobs (1906-1957) was born in Ogden, Utah, and attended Weber College and Brigham Young University for his bachelor's degree and the University of Utah and Rush Medical College for his medical degree. In 1941, Jacobs moved with his family to Lewiston, Idaho, and established a general medical practice. He was commissioned with the Air Force in August of 1942, serving as a flight surgeon with the Alaskan Division of the Air Transport Command, in charge of an Arctic Search and Rescue Unit for northern Canada and Alaska. Jacobs served as a medic who parachuted into Arctic rescue situations with sled dogs, and he was awarded the Silver Star for his effort to render aid to a fighter pilot who had parachuted from his disabled aircraft. Jacobs was promoted to captain before being honorably discharged in 1945. Dr. Jacobs died of a heart attack while caring for his Appaloosa horses, which he bred as a hobby.
Provenance:
Pauline Jacobs, Mary Heuskinkveld, Gift, 2003, additional material sent by Henry Heuskinkveld in 2003 and 2004, NASM.2003.0050.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aviation medicine  Search this
Arctic medicine  Search this
Rescue work  Search this
Rescue dogs  Search this
Rescues -- Medals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Photographs
Clippings
Citation:
William Rigby Jacobs (Arctic Search and Rescue Unit) Scrapbook, NASM.2003.0050, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2003.0050
See more items in:
William Rigby Jacobs (Arctic Search and Rescue Unit) Scrapbook
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2003-0050

William J. Hammer Collection

Creator:
Hammer, William Joseph, 1858-1934  Search this
Names:
Hudson-Fulton Celebration (1909)  Search this
Curtiss, Glenn Hammond, 1878-1930  Search this
Hammer, William Joseph, 1858-1934  Search this
Wright, Wilbur, 1867-1912  Search this
Extent:
5.66 Cubic feet (13 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Publications
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
1881-1934
bulk 1905-1915
Summary:
The collection is the result of Major Hammer's passion for amassing material related to aeronautics and technology, and it is arranged into eleven series: articles, clippings, correspondence, drawings and blueprints, leaflets, legislation, minutes, miscellaneous, photographs, programs and publications. Housed in 23 folders, the correspondence is the most comprehensive series, reflecting the original order which grouped the letters into series by topic. Much of the correspondence concerns the planning of the Hudson-Fulton Celebration of 1909, and the involvement of Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss. There is also a scrapbook of black and white photographs providing front and side views of specified airplanes. Each page has 3 photos showing different views of the same plane accompanied by a label with additional information. (See written copy for details. Also, please see information written on 8x11 notebook paper.)
Scope and Contents:
The William J. Hammer Collection reflects Hammer's great interest in aeronautics --a passion he cultivated for several decades by accumulating a veritable storehouse of materials. Hammer's important contributions to the early development of aviation are also evident in this collection.

The collection of materials listed in the finding aid is arranged into two series. The first series includes correspondence, reports, handbooks, drawings, brochures, programs, leaflets, magazines, articles, newspaper clippings and miscellaneous materials. The second series is comprised of photographs of various sizes, scrapbooks, scrapbook pages and miscellaneous materials (the front pages of newspapers, certificates, posters, etc.).

Hammer's papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Correspondence, drawings, brochures, programs, leaflets, miscellaneous materials, scrapbook pages, articles and newspaper clippings are organized by the former method. Reports, handbooks, magazines and booklets are grouped alphabetically by either title of publication or author. Photographs are arranged either by subject or chronologically.

The reader should note that at some point, Hammer produced a series of large format photographs. These mounted photographs are duplicates. Due to the very fragile condition of these particular images, the photographs and are not available to researchers.

Additional photographic material regarding Hammer Collection photographs can be found in the NASM Archives Images database. An Archives staff member will assist you with research using this database.

Box 13 of the William J. Hammer Collection has not been scanned.
Biographical/Historical note:
William J. Hammer was born in Cressona, Pennsylvania, on February 26, 1858, was an associate of Thomas Edison and an early aviation supporter and enthusiast. He began his career as an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In 1879, he moved on to a new position as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. His duties ranged from aiding in conducting experiments on such devices as the phonograph, telephone and ore separator to acting as Edison's key person in further developing the incandescent electric lamp. By 1880, he was made chief engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. A year later, Edison dispatched Hammer to London to be chief engineer of the English Electric Light Company. In this position, he helped construct the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This was the first central station ever built for incandescent electric lighting. In 1883, Hammer became chief engineer for the German Edison Company. This task included planning and supervising the construction of all Edison plants in Germany. He returned to the United States late in the following year and acted as chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. In 1886-87, Hammer was general manager and chief engineer of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. In 1888, he worked as an independent engineer and supervised the completion of the then-largest isolated electric lighting plant, located at the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St. Augustine, Florida. During that year, Hammer also was chosen as consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinnati Centennial Exposition. Subsequently, Edison selected him as his personal representative to the Paris Exposition of 1889. This assignment rounded out Hammer's eleven years with Edison. During his time as one of Edison's most trusted and important employees, Hammer devised a number of innovations to the incandescent electric lamp. He designed and built the first electric sign, which spelled out the name "Edison". While in Germany, he invented the automatic motor-driven flashing electric lamp sign. This particular sign flashed the word "Edison" letter by letter and then all at once. At the International Electrical Exhibition, held in Philadelphia in 1884, Hammer also constructed the first flashing column of electric lights.

Upon his return to the U.S. in 1890, Hammer worked as an independent consulting electrical engineer by assisting in a variety of electrical projects, carrying out tests, giving lectures and providing expert testimony in patent disputes. He based this modest enterprise in an office in New York City and continued in this occupation until 1925. His career as an electrical engineering consultant was interrupted by World War I. In June 1918, he was commissioned a major in the U.S. Army. He was assigned to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division of the General Staff in charge of Aeronautical and Electrical Inventions at the Army War College, Washington, D.C.. By December of that year, he was attached to the Operations Division General Staff at the War Department (Inventions Section). During the war and on into 1919, Hammer also worked for the U.S. Patent Office by identifying any aviation-related patents likely to convey too much information to potential enemies. In conjunction with his War Department duties, he acted as a member of the Advisory Board of Experts affiliated with the Alien Property Commission.

Busy as he was with his private consulting work, Hammer also immersed himself in other scientific activities. He took a particular interest in radium after visiting Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris in 1902. The two discoverers of radium gave him some samples of this substance. Soon after returning to the United States, Hammer experimented with radium. His research yielded numerous useful applications for this material such as radium-luminous powders and paints that were used to coat everything from watch and clock dials to aeronautical instruments, switches and toys. Hammer also advocated the use of radium for cancer and tumor treatment. Beyond his interest in this material, he invented selenium light-sensitive cells and recommended many practical uses for them. He also conducted a great deal of laboratory work on X-rays, ultraviolet and cathode rays, phosphorescence and wireless communications. Accordingly, he lectured and published extensively on many of these fields of research and study.

Hand in hand with his overall interest in science and technology, Hammer had a particular passion for aeronautics. Beyond paying careful attention to the rapid progress made in this field at the turn of the twentieth century, he also played an active role as participant and supporter. He made his first balloon flight over France during the Paris Exposition of 1889. His last lighter-than-air journey took place in 1931 aboard the U.S. Navy dirigible Los Angeles. Moreover, he attended and officiated over many balloon, airship and airplane exhibitions and races. Hammer was a member of the Aero Club of America and a director of the Aeronautical Society. This latter group made the first ever purchase of an airplane in January 1909. He served as expert and secretary of the Aeronautics Committee on the Hudson-Fulton Celebration Commission of 1909 and wrote the contracts for Wilbur Wright and Glenn Curtiss to fly their airplanes for this event. This occasion in New York was important as it marked the first time a large gathering of people in the U.S. witnessed heavier-than-air powered flight. As a friend of the Wright brothers, Hammer testified as an expert witness on their behalf during various patent litigation suits. His contact with aviation pioneers went beyond the Wrights and Curtiss. He also knew and interacted with, among others, Samuel Langley, Alberto Santos-Dumont, Henri Farman and Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin. Even his work with radium had applications for aviation. Hammer developed radium-based luminous compounds and used them on aircraft instruments so pilots could more easily view their cockpits' dials and gauges.

Hammer's last years were filled with serving as Historian General of the Military Order of the World War, as well as participating in many scientific, engineering and aeronautical committees and societies. During this time, he was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Elliott Cresson Gold Medal, John Scott Medal from the Franklin Institute and the Cross of the Legion of Honor from France. Up until his death on March 24, 1934, he also labored in his efforts to organize a vast personal collection of rare and valuable scientific artifacts, photographs and other materials accumulated since his days with Edison. Following Hammer's death, this important collection was left in the care of his daughter Mabel (his wife of twelve years, Alice, having died in 1906). Some years later, International Business Machines (IBM) acquired it. In 1962, IBM donated the William J. Hammer Scientific Collection to the Smithsonian Institution. The bulk of the collection resides with the National Museum of American History's Archives Center. In the mid 1980s, the aeronautical portion of this collection was transferred to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives.
Provenance:
IBM (Mr. William J. Hammer Collection), gift, 1961, XXXX-0074, not NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Topic:
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Scrapbooks
Publications
Manuscripts
Correspondence
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0074
See more items in:
William J. Hammer Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0074
Additional Online Media:

A. Francis Arcier Collection

Creator:
Arcier, A. Francis, 1890-1969  Search this
Names:
Air Force Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Fokker Aircraft Corp  Search this
GAC (General Airplanes Corp)  Search this
Waco Aircraft Company  Search this
Wittemann Aircraft Corp  Search this
Arcier, A. Francis, 1890-1969  Search this
Extent:
2.97 Cubic feet (7 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Financial records
Publications
Date:
Circa 1890-1981
Summary:
A. Francis Arcier, (1890-1969) was an aviator, scientist, designer and engineer whose pioneering work in aviation design spanned six decades and earned him many honors.
Scope and Contents:
The A. Francis Arcier Collection contains approximately 3 cubic feet of material relating to his extraordinary career in aviation. This collection has biographical and professional documents, technical information on aircraft designs, patents, correspondence, newspaper clippings, publications, certificates, photographs, negatives and three scrapbooks.

Note: The digital images shown for this collection were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product which did not reproduce all materials found in this collection; some items have not been scanned.
Arrangement:
Every effort was made to provide dates when possible and each series is arranged in chronological order.

The collection is arranged as follows:

Series 1: Biographical and professional material

Series 2: Technical material

Series 3: Publications

Series 4: Photographs

Series 5: Scrapbooks
Biographical/Historical note:
A. Francis Arcier, (1890-1969) was an aviator, scientist, designer and engineer whose pioneering work in aviation design spanned six decades and earned him many honors. Born in London, he studied aeronautics in Passey, France under Sir Gustave Eiffel, the designer of the Eiffel Tower. He served as draftsman for such notable aircraft designers as Gabriel Voisin, Henri Coanda, Frank Barnivell and Gordon England. At the age of 21, he learned to fly and received his international aviator's certificate. He served as a flight instructor at the Hall School of Flying in Hendon, England and during World War I, with Handley Page, Ltd. He designed the first twin engine and the first four engine bombers used by the United States and its Allies. Arcier emigrated to the United States in 1919 and was employed as Chief Engineer at the Witteman Aircraft Corporation, makers of the Barling Bomber designed by Arcier. It was the largest heavier-than-air aircraft of its time. During his years with Witteman, Arcier won the Army Air Service Engineering Divisions' design competition for a bomber aircraft design. That same year, Arcier became Chief Engineer for the Fokker Aircraft Corporation, where among other notable accomplishments, he designed the Fokker Trimotor Transport which was used by Amelia Earhart and by Richard Byrd in his flight over the North Pole and also across the North Atlantic. After Arcier attained his United States citizenship in 1929, he became Vice President of Operations and Director of the General Airplanes Corporation in Buffalo, New York. In 1930 under his leadership, the "Mailplane", one of the first all-metal airplanes, was built. Later in 1930, Arcier became Chief Engineer of the Weaver Aircraft Company, WACO. He worked for WACO for 17 years in various capacities. Arcier and the Waco Aircraft Company made many contributions to the National Defense Program during World War II such as the Model UPF-7. The Waco Company was entrusted with the entire combat and cargo glider Program of the U.S. Army Air Forces. This was initiated in an Army Design Competition which the Company won and resulted in a program involving the design, prototype construction and, in some cases, production construction of some twelve models ranging from Model CG-3A to the CG-15A. These gliders were built by the thousands under Arcier's technical direction by sixteen prime contractors and many hundreds of sub-contractors throughout the nation. In 1948, Arcier became Chief Scientist for U.S. Air Force Intelligence at Wright- Patterson AFB until he retired in 1963. After his retirement, he served as consultant to the Commander, Foreign Technology Division and Special Advisor to the Division's Advisory Group on scientific and technical intelligence matters. Among his honors were the USAF Meritorious Civilian Service Award (1953), and the USAF Distinguished Civilian Service Award (1961.) A. Francis Arcier died on November 21, 1969.
Provenance:
Elizabeth Arcier, gift, 1972, additional material received from Francis Arnoult, 2019, NASM.XXXX.0072.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautical engineers  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Correspondence
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Financial records
Publications
Citation:
A. Francis Arcier Collection, NASM.XXXX.0072, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0072
See more items in:
A. Francis Arcier Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0072
Additional Online Media:

Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection

Creator:
Bellanca, Giuseppe M., 1886-1960  Search this
Names:
Bellanca  Search this
Wright Aeronautical Corporation  Search this
Chamberlin, Clarence  Search this
Extent:
248.5 Cubic feet (245 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Financial records
Newspaper clippings
Drawings
Photographic prints
Date:
1919-1959
Summary:
This collection consists of the archives of Giuseppe M. Bellanca and his company, including the following types of mediums: drawings, stress analysis tests, reports, photographs/negatives, documents, correspondence, patent information, newspaper clippings, business records, and financial statements.
Scope and Contents:
Series I: Mr. Bellanca's professional life

Here, the researcher will find documents regarding the day-to-day operations of the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation. The material is generally divided into core documents of the corporation, correspondence, financial documents, subcontracting pursuits, patents, employee relations, and company history.

Series II: Technical Material

This material is separated into the following subseries: Miscellaneous Handwritten Notes and Sketches, Bellanca Aircraft Technical Data, Bellanca Aircraft Corporation Reports, Technical Research Files, Bellanca Aircraft Drawing Lists, Bellanca Aircraft Drawings, and Bellanca Aircraft Drawing Indexes. The Bellanca Collection is not a complete history of the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation. Over the years, it appears that many items were loaned out by the Bellanca Family to researchers and not returned. Therefore, there are significant gaps in correspondence, formal, numbered reports, and other areas of the collection. For example, the earliest report in the Bellanca Collection is Report #28, the next report which appears is report #45.

The Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection contains over 10,000 drawings. (At the time of processing, not all drawings were entered into the Bellanca Drawings Database. These drawings will be entered as time allows.) The drawings vary in size from 8 x 11 inches to 36 x 185 inches. There are original pencil drawings, blueprints, and blueline drawings. Over 130 models of Bellanca aircraft are represented in the Collection. There are General Arrangement, or Three-View drawings for over 80 of these models. Bellanca drawings are not easy to decipher. Most of the drawings have data blocks which contain only a finite amount of information. Often the aircraft has been identified only by serial number. In some cases the model number of the aircraft is also the drawing number. Other times, the aircraft name would be given, but no model number, i.e. Skyrocket. Also, words were abbreviated and it was left up to the processing archivist to determine their probable meaning. Despite the explanation in the scope and content notes, the Bellanca Corporation was not consistent when assigning model numbers. Letters were sometimes assigned that reflected a United States War Department designation, i.e. the VSO and the VF. By using the Bellanca Drawing indexes, the processing archivist was able to supply model numbers for some of the drawings.

7136 Bellanca Aircraft Company Drawings have been added to the National Air and Space Museum Miscellaneous Drawings Database. As time allows, the remaining Bellanca Drawings will be added to this database. An Archives Staff member will assist researchers in retrieving these materials from the database finding aid.

The Bellanca drawings were stored for over thirty years in less-than-ideal conditions. Many of the drawings were drawn on poor-quality tracing paper, and have become extremely brittle and fragile. Therefore, many of the drawings in the Bellanca Collection may not be available to researchers.

During processing of the collection, the project archivist has gained some insight about how Mr. Bellanca chose the model designations for his aircraft. The earliest system of model designations was based upon letters of the alphabet. No model designations appear for any Bellanca design until his work for Maryland Pressed Steel in 1916. The CD, which he designed for that company, was his fourth aircraft design that was built, and the letter D is the fourth letter of the alphabet. This pattern continues through the Bellanca CF. During 1926, when Mr. Bellanca worked for the Wright Corporation, he already had in mind an improved version of the CF, which was designated the CG. This aircraft received the designation WB-1 from the Wright Corporation.

When Mr. Bellanca formed his own company in 1927, the letter pattern described above reasserted itself for a time with the introduction of the Bellanca CH. It was a common practice of manufacturers of the time to also include the engine horsepower as part of the model number, so the Bellanca CH actually received its Approved Type Certificate (ATC) as the CH-200. When the next model came out, it was the CH-300 with a 300 horsepower Wright Whirlwind engine. This system remained in place through the CH-400. Names were given to some Bellanca aircraft. It appears that the names were a marketing tool meant to appeal to the buying public. With this idea in mind, the CH-300 became the "Pacemaker", the CH-400 became the "Skyrocket", and the P 100 was christened the "Airbus". In the early 1930's, the Bellanca Corporation moved away from the alphabetical designations and moved to numerical designations. Later Bellanca aircraft model designations consist of a series of numbers, such as 31-50. The first number was the wing area, in this case, 310 square feet, divided by 10. The second number was the horsepower of the engine, 500, divided by 10. This resulted in a distinctive system of model designations, which lasted until Mr. Bellanca sold the company.

Series III: Mr. Bellanca's personal material.

In this series, the researcher will find personal correspondence among family members, from both Giuseppe and Dorothy Bellanca's families and personal, legal and financial records for Bellanca family. As the lines between Mr. Bellanca's personal and professional lives were sometimes blurred, a fine line of separation between the two was not always possible. For example, at one time or another, two of Mr. Bellanca's brothers, John and Frank, worked for the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation and Andrew Bellanca, Mr. Bellanca's nephew, was his lawyer throughout his life. Therefore, the processing archivist suggests that the researcher look in the professional series of documents as well as Mr. Bellanca's personal papers for a more complete representation of Mr. Bellanca's correspondence.

After processing was completed, publications which previously had been offered to the NASM Branch Library were returned to the collection. They are listed in an addendum at the end of this finding aid.

Series IV: Photographs.

The researcher will find photographs of Bellanca aircraft, including the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation's Master Photograph Files, photographs of the Bellanca factory and factory workers, and photographs of Giuseppe M. Bellanca, business associates, and family members.

Series V: Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials.

This series contains ephemera of the Bellanca Collection: Scrapbooks, Loose Newspaper Clippings, Artwork, Ephemera and Magazine Clippings.

The Bellanca Collection included 27 motion picture films. In May of 2000, this film was transferred to the NASM Film Archives. Researchers wishing to access this part of the collection should contact the NASM Film Archivist.
Arrangement:
Series I: Mr. Bellanca's Professional Life

Series II: Technical Data

Series III: Personal Papers

Series IV: Photographs

Series V: Miscellaneous and Oversize Materials
Biographical / Historical:
Giuseppe Mario Bellanca was born in 1886 in Sciacca, Sicily. As a young man, he attended the Technical Institute in Milan, graduating with a teaching degree in mathematics in 1908. During his quest for a second mathematics and engineering degree, he became enamoured of aviation, and set out to design and build his own airplane. Bellanca's first aircraft design was a "pusher" aircraft, somewhat similar to the Wright Flyer. Lacking funds for such an endeavor, he joined with two partners, Enea Bossi, and Paolo Invernizzi. The union of the three produced the first flight of a totally Italian-designed and Italian-built aircraft in early December of 1909. The flight was short, but it was a start. Bellanca's second design was a tractor-type aircraft. Although the aircraft was successfully constructed, it was never flown due to insufficient funds for an engine.

At the urging of his brother Carlo, who was already established in Brooklyn, New York, Giuseppe Bellanca immigrated to America in 1911. Before the end of the year, he began construction of his third airplane design, a parasol monoplane. After construction was completed, he took the small craft to Mineola Field on Long Island, NY, and proceeded to teach himself to fly. He began by taxiing. He then, taxied faster, which gave way to short hops. The hops got longer, until, on May 19, 1912, there was not enough room to land straight ahead, and Bellanca had to complete a turn in order land safely. Having successfully taught himself to fly, Bellanca then set about teaching others to fly, and from 1912 to 1916, he operated the Bellanca Flying School. One of his students was a young Fiorello La Guardia, the future mayor of New York City. In return for flying lessons, La Guardia taught Bellanca how to drive a car.

In 1917 the Maryland Pressed Steel Company of Hagerstown, MD hired Bellanca as a consulting engineer. While there, he designed two trainer biplanes, the CD, and an improved version, the CE. With the conclusion of WWI, Maryland Pressed Steel's contracts were cancelled and the company entered into receivership. Thus, the CE never went into production.

In 1921, a group of investors lured Bellanca westward to Omaha, NE, in hopes of establishing that town as a center for aircraft manufacture. Before the aircraft could be built, the company went bankrupt, but construction of the aircraft continued under the financial backing of a local motorcycle dealer named Victor Roos. The resultant aircraft, the Bellanca CF, was called by Janes's All the World's Aircraft "the first up-to-date transport aeroplane that was designed, built, and flown with success in the United States." Among the local people helping to build the aircraft was the daughter of Bellanca's landlord, Dorothy Brown. Giuseppe and she were married on November 18, 1922.

Despite its advanced design, the Bellanca CF could not compete with the economics of the time. In the days just after World War I, a surplus Curtiss Jenny could be purchased for as little as $250.00. A Bellanca CF, with a price tag of $5000.00, was just too expensive and the aircraft never went into production. After the disappointment of the CF, Bellanca designed wings for the Post Office Department's DH-4's. His new wings were a tremendous improvement over the original design, but only a few aircraft were so modified.

In 1925, Bellanca went to work for the Wright Aeronautical Corporation of Paterson, NJ. His assignment there was to develop an aircraft around the new Wright Whirlwind engine. He already had a design in mind, which was an improved version of the CF, called the CG. This design evolved into the Wright-Bellanca WB-1.

The WB-1 enjoyed a short, but successful flying career. The aircraft had already won one race and efficiency contest before an untimely accident destroyed the craft during preparation for an attempt to break the world's non-refueled endurance record. Fortunately, at the time of the crash, Bellanca was already working on an improved version, of the WB-1 designated the WB-2.

During 1926, the WB-2 won two efficiency trophies at the National Air Races in Philadelphia. Wright considered putting the aircraft into production, but decided against it to avoid alienating other aircraft companies that were potential customers for their engines. Disappointed by Wright's decision, Bellanca left the company and joined with a young businessman named Charles Levine to form the Columbia Aircraft Company. Wright sold the WB-2 and all drawings and production rights to the new company. The WB-2 went on to a long and fruitful flying career starting with establishing a new world's non-refueled endurance record of 51 hours, 11 minutes, and 59 seconds in April of 1927.

In the latter half of 1926, Charles Lindbergh wanted to buy the WB-2, now named the 'Columbia', for his proposed flight from New York to Paris. He was rebuffed by Levine who also had designs on the flight and the $25,000 prize money. Lindbergh then went to Ryan for his specially designed NYP. Meanwhile Levine, in choosing the crew, managed to promise two seats to three people. So while the Columbia was grounded by a court order brought by the third party, Lindbergh took off on his successful flight to Paris.

Eventually, the 'Columbia' was cleared of litigation and took off on its successful transatlantic flight on June 4, 1927. In the cockpit were Clarence Chamberlin, one of the pilots of the endurance record and Charles Levine, who became the first transatlantic passenger. The plan was to fly all the way to Berlin, and Chamberlin had vowed to fly until they ran out of fuel. Forty-three hours later, they landed in Eisleben, Germany, the first of two successful Atlantic crossings for Bellanca's most famous aircraft.

Disappointed because the 'Columbia' was not the first aircraft to accomplish the New York to Paris flight, Bellanca severed all relations with Levine, and started his own company, the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of America, and rented facilities on Staten Island, NY. The new Bellanca model was designated the CH, and was basically a commercial version of the WB-2. The new company also had two other models that were built for special orders, the Bellanca Model J and the Model K.

It was not long before Bellanca caught the attention of the Du Pont family of Delaware. They wanted to start aircraft manufacturing in Delaware, and in late 1927, an agreement was made with Bellanca to locate his factory outside of Wilmington. The site was large enough for a first-class airfield, with a seaplane ramp on the nearby Delaware River.

This was a busy time in Bellanca's life. Along with all that was happening in his professional life, he and Dorothy celebrated the birth of their son August T. Bellanca in March of 1927.

With the exception of a few years immediately before and during the early stages of WWII, Bellanca was President and Chairman of the Board from the corporation's inception on the last day of 1927 until he sold the company to L. Albert and Sons in 1954. After his departure from the company, Giuseppe and his son, August, formed the Bellanca Development Company with the purpose of building a new aircraft. It would have increased performance due to the use of lighter materials for its structure. Work on this aircraft was progressing when Giuseppe Bellanca succumbed to leukemia and died on December 26, 1960. After his father's death, August continued the project, and under his guidance, the aircraft first flew in 1973.

In 1993, August Bellanca donated his father's personal and professional papers to the National Air and Space Museum Archives. Prior to that time, they were kept in the Bellanca home near Galena, MD, and administered by Dorothy and August Bellanca.

1886 -- Born in Sciacca, Sicily

1909 -- Built first airplane. It completed the first flight of an Italian-designed, Italian-built, aircraft on December 8, 1909.

1911 -- Immigrated to America, settled in Brooklyn, NY.

1912 -- Completed construction of parasol monoplane. Successfully learned to fly this aircraft at Mineola, Long Island, NY.

1912 - 1916 -- Taught others to fly the parasol monoplane, including Fiorello LaGuardia.

1917 - 1920 -- Employed as a consulting engineer for Maryland Pressed Steel Company of Hagerstown, MD. While there, Bellanca designed and built the Bellanca CD and CE tractor biplanes.

1921 - 1922 -- Moved to Omaha, NE, and with Victor Roos, formed the Roos-Bellanca Aircraft Company. Bellanca designed and built the Bellanca CF. Married Dorothy Brown on November 18, 1922, in Omaha, NE.

1923 -- Moved back to New York, and designed and built new sets of wings for the Post Office Department's DH-4 mailplanes

1925 -- Employed by the Wright Aeronautical Corporation of Paterson, NJ, designing an aircraft around their new "Whirlwind" engine. The Wright-Bellanca 1, or WB-1, was the result, and was first flown in the latter part of that year.

1926 -- First flight of the WB-2.

1927 -- Bellanca started the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of America, on Staten Island, NY. Bellanca established the Bellanca Aircraft Corporation of New Castle, DE. Wright decided not to enter into quantity production of the WB-2. Bellanca entered into a partnership with Charles A. Levine, and together, they formed the Columbia Aircraft Corporation. From Tuesday, April 12 to Thursday, April 14, Clarence Chamberlin and Bert Acosta set a new world's non-refueled endurance record in the WB-2, which was shortly thereafter, renamed the "Columbia". On June 4th, the Columbia set off across the Atlantic, and landed in Eisleben, Germany.

1941 - 1943 -- Head of the aviation department at Higgins Industries, Inc., in New Orleans, designing large cargo aircraft for troop movement during the war.

1954 -- Formed the Bellanca Development Company, to conduct research in lightweight aircraft construction materials.

1960 -- Died of leukemia in New York, December 26.
Provenance:
Mr. and Mrs. August Bellanca, Gift, 1993, NASM.1993.0055
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Bellanca WB-2 "Miss Columbia"  Search this
Transatlantic flights  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Financial records
Newspaper clippings
Drawings
Photographic prints
Citation:
Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection, Acc. NASM.1993.0055, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1993.0055
See more items in:
Giuseppe M. Bellanca Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1993-0055
Additional Online Media:

Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers

Creator:
Junkin, Hattie Meyers, 1896-1985  Search this
Names:
Advance Aircraft Company  Search this
Waco Aircraft Company  Search this
Weaver Aircraft Company  Search this
Barnaby, Ralph S. (Ralph Stanton), 1893-1986  Search this
Brukner, Clayton J., 1896-1977  Search this
Junkin, Elwood J. (Elwood James), 1897-1926  Search this
Weaver, George E. "Buck", 1895-1924  Search this
Extent:
3.3 Cubic feet (12 Boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
1906-1982
bulk 1920-1933
Summary:
This collection consists of the personal papers of Hattie Meyers Junkin. The material consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, and manuscripts, as well as material on Junkin's husbands and Weaver Aircraft Co.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains the personal papers of Hattie Meyers Junkin. The material consists of correspondence, scrapbooks, photographs, periodical articles and manuscripts, including material about her three husbands and about the history of the Waco Aircraft Company. This collection could very easily be called the Hattie and George "Buck" Weaver collection since much of the collection material revolves around her life with him and his Weaver/Waco Aircraft Company legacy.
Arrangement note:
The collection has been divided into nine series. These series are described below.

Series 1: General correspondence

Series 2: Soaring and gliding

Series 3: General materials of Hattie Meyers Junkin

Series 4: Waco Company History

Series 5: George "Buck" Weaver materials

Series 6: Scrapbooks

Series 7: Miscellaneous

Series 8: General Photographs

Series 9: Negatives

Series 1: General Correspondence.

This series is divided into two sub-series, personal and business correspondence. The personal correspondence materials consists primarily of letters written by George "Buck" Weaver to Hattie between 1917 to 1923. It also includes letters from family members, friends and acquaintances including Charles Meyers (Hattie's brother), Katherine Stinson, and "Matty" Emil Laird. There are also invitations, christmas cards and special occasion announcements. The business sub-series is comprised of mostly letters to publishers, but also includes letters to women's organizations, business associates, news media and other formal correspondence. Materials have been arranged chronologically.

Series 2: Soaring and Gliding.

This series contains primarily newspaper articles and photographs related directly to Ms. Junkin's soaring activities. There is also correspondence related directly to the topic of soaring, contest programs, bulletins and miscellaneous materials.

Series 3: General materials Hattie Meyers Junkin.

This series contains primarily her writings in major periodical publications, but also contains periodical articles about her children and her personal activities, club correspondence, Early Bird Dinner materials and other general materials.

Series 4: Waco Company History.

This series contains materials directly related to the Waco company and the activities of its founders including, early drafts of Hattie's history of the Waco Company--The Human Investment in Waco Aircraft, Elwood "Sam" Junkin biography, materials related to the Bruckner litigation for control of the Waco Aircraft Company, photographs of early Waco aircraft, and publicity materials including a Waco $0.13 stamp.

Series 5: George "Buck" Weaver materials.

This series contains materials related directly to George "Buck" Weaver. Much of the material in this series pertains to Weaver's activities as a civilian aviation instructor, in Waco, Texas during World War I. Most of the materials found in this series were found together when processing began.

Series 6: Scrapbooks.

This series contains six scrapbooks dating primarily between the years 1914-1926. Much of the material pertains to George "Buck" Weaver's activities at Waco, Texas, his barnstorming activities, promotional activities for the Weaver Aircraft Company and his marriage to Hattie and their family life. Some of the more recent materials deals with Hattie's soaring activities. PLEASE NOTE: Most of the pages in these scrapbooks are loose and the materials fragile. PLEASE HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE.

Series 7: Miscellaneous materials.

This series contains materials that were organized by Ms. Junkin in a specific fashion or did not fit logically into any of the series listed. In most cases materials in this series are duplications, but their organization offers a researcher insight into materials she thought most important.

Series 8: General Photographs.

This series contains general photographs which did not fit into any of the series above. Many of these photos are publicity shots or photos of family and friends.

Series 9: Negatives.

This series contains 72 negatives found in the collection. These have been separated out and rehoused as a preservation measure. Some of the negatives have prints, but most do not. These associations have been noted in the list below. They are described first by item number (i.e. #27), general topic (i.e Soaring and Gliding), subject and date if known, and if a print is available. They have been arranged by general topic groups. Please request assistance from a staff member when handling these negatives. The staff member will also be able to inform you of ordering procedures if you wish to order copies of these negatives and prints.
Biographical/Historical note:
Hattie Meyers Junkin (1896-1985) was an aviator and observer of a number of historical events. Always interested in aviation, in 1917 she married George "Buck" Weaver ( -1924), a civilian flying instructor at the military training center at Waco, TX. Weaver, along with Clayton Bruckner and Elwood "Sam" Junkin, founded the Advance Aircraft Company in 1921 (Weaver Aircraft Company, 1922-29; Waco Aircraft Co., 1929-1946). Following Weaver's death she married Junkin ( -1926), but he died shortly afterwards and control of Weaver Aircraft slipped away. In 1929 she married Ralph Stanton Barnaby (1893-1986), a glider pilot and aviation pioneer. In 1931 she became one of the first women to earn a glider class C license and attended the University of Washington (DC) studying law, although she was unable to take the bar exam. In 1940 she moved to Garden City, NJ, where she remained until moving to Alabama in the late 1970s. She spent much of her life writing, including articles on Weaver Aircraft.
General note:
Other type of material: printing block.
Related Materials:
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives Division holds additional material about people related to Hattie Meyers Junkin, although at present this particular collection is all the information available about Hattie Meyers Junkin. Biographical information about Charles William Meyers and George "Buck" Weaver can be found in the biographical fiche collection at the NASM Archives/Garber Facility. Biographical material about Ralph Stanton Barnaby can be found in the Ralph Stanton Barnaby Collection (1915-1986), Accession number 1987-0048. It is also stored at the NASM Archives/Garber Facility. In the NASM Archives downtown facility, we recommend the biographical files which contains additional materials about George "Buck" Weaver and Charles William Meyers. There is also aircraft information available in the Waco Aircraft Technical Files found also in the NASM Archives downtown facility. For additional material related to aircraft, please see the Waco Aircraft Company Records, Accession number XXXX-0151. This collection contains mostly drawings of Waco aircraft and some company records. It is stored at the NASM Archives/Garber Facility.

For additional photographic materials about Charles William Meyers and Waco Aircraft, please see the NASM videodisc files located at the NASM Archives facility downtown. Images of Charles W. Weaver can be seen on NASM videodisc 2B-19072 to 2B-19078. Images of various types of Waco Aircraft can been seen on NASM videodiscs 1B, 2A, and 3B. In some cases, there are original videodisc prints available in the NASM Archives facility downtown and copy negatives at the Smithsonian Institution, Office of Printing and Photographic Services (OPPS). Please consult a staff member for more details and about ordering procedures.
Provenance:
Hattie Meyers Junkin, Gift, 1983, NASM.XXXX.0171
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Diaries
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0171
See more items in:
Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0171
Additional Online Media:

Clement Melville Keys Papers

Creator:
Keys, Clement Melville, 1876-1952  Search this
Names:
Aeronautical Chamber of Commerce of America  Search this
Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company  Search this
Curtiss-Wright Corporation  Search this
Transcontinental & Western Air, Inc.  Search this
Keys, Clement Melville, 1876-1952  Search this
Extent:
16.3 Cubic feet (32 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Financial records
Drawings
Date:
1916-1952
bulk 1928-1931
Summary:
Clement Melville Keys (1876-1952) was a financier and corporate organizer who promoted aviation through the post-World War I decade. In 1916 he came to the aid of the financially-troubled Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. and was made an unsalaried vice president. Keys accompanied the American Aviation Mission to Europe in 1919, returning to purchase a controlling interest in Curtiss in 1920. He remained president of Curtiss until the 1929 merger with Wright Aeronautical Corp. to form Curtiss-Wright Corporation, whereupon he became president of the new company. In 1931, however, Keys resigned as chairman of T&WA following a bitter struggle for control of the airline. Mental collapse followed and Keys surrendered all his remaining aviation interests and left Curtiss-Wright in 1933.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists primarily of Keys' business records and correspondence from the 1920s and early 1930s. The bulk of the material relates to the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Company/Curtiss-Wright Corporation and related firms, as well as Transcontinental Air Transport. The material includes business (operating) correspondence and records relating to Keys' financial interests.

The collection is divided into three series. The first series consists of materials dated through Keys' withdrawal from his aviation interests in 1932, followed by a second series of materials post-dating 1932. The final series consists of a small number of legal-sized documents not marked by Keys or his secretary and not otherwise placeable in either of the first two series. Because of the small amount of legal-sized material in the collection, the bulk of the collection has been stored in letter-sized containers; all legal-size documents have been placed in legal-sized containers at the end of the collection (Boxes 29-31) and a cross-reference note entered in the appropriate place in basic folder list. Larger materials have been placed in a single oversized box (Box 32) with cross-references in the folder list as appropriate.

Note: The digital images shown for this collection were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product which did not reproduce all materials found in this collection; some items have not been scanned.
Arrangement:
The processing of the Keys papers began as an intern project. The intern, however, was unable to complete the work before the end of the intemship period and I was assigned to rebox the materials that had been left unprocessed so that higher priority activities could continue. The long-term plan was that I would finish processing the collection when other projects had been completed. At this time I discovered two things: first, many of the documents had been marked for filing, apparently by Keys or Mr. Swan, his confidential secretary; second, much of the material was no longer in this order. When my work load allowed me to return to the processing of the Keys Papers, I surveyed the collection. The remaining original folder labels and cross-reference sheets appeared to confirm my first discovery - many of the documents had been marked for filing.

Most of my work since has been directed at undoing the mishandling from the initial work, most of which occurred in the files relating to the Curtiss group of companies. Almost all of the items dating from mid-1928 onwards carry some sort of filing marks: these items have been reorganized into the indicated filing units (see folder list, below). Unfortunately, enclosures often were not marked: some of these were refiled in 1987 and their provenance is, therefore, lost. A close textual analysis of the collection would be necessary to reunite enclosures with their cover letters; current work load and staff levels preclude this labor-intensive operation.

Almost all of the items dating from mid-1928 onwards carry some sort of filing marks: these items have been reorganized into the indicated filing units (see folder list). Unfortunately, enclosures often were not marked: some of these were refiled in 1987 and their provenance is, therefore, lost. A close textual analysis of the collection would be necessary to reunite enclosures with their cover letters; current work load and staff levels preclude this labor-intensive operation.

Materials pre-dating mid-1928 or otherwise unmarked have been filed by "best guess" from the correspondents and subject of the letters. Some materials doubtless remain misfiled. Researchers should examine folders that seem even marginally related to their topic for unmarked but related documents.

Titles appearing in brackets [ ] are the archivist's.

Series 1

Materials through 1932

Series 2

Post-1932 Material

Series 3

Miscellaneous Materials
Biographical / Historical:
Clement Melville Keys (1876-1952) was a financier and corporate organizer who promoted aviation through the post Word War I decade. Canadian-born, Keys graduated from Toronto University (B.A. 1897) and taught classics before coming to the United States in 1901 (naturalized, 1924). He went to work for the Wall Street Journal, first as a reporter (1901-1903), then as railroad editor (1903-1905) before becoming financial editor for World's Work (1905-1911). In 1911 he founded C. M. Keys & Co., an investment counseling firm and bond dealer. In 1916 he came to the aid of the financially-troubled Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Co. and was made an unsalaried Vice President. Keys accompanied the American Aviation Mission to Europe in 1919, returning to purchase a controlling interest in Curtiss in 1920. He remained president of Curtiss until the 1929 merger with Wright Aeronautical Corp. to form Curtiss-Wright Corporation, whereupon he became president of the new company. During his tenure as president of Curtiss (1920-1929) and its successor, Curtiss-Wright Corp. (1929-1933), Keys brought the company from the brink of bankruptcy to a position as one of the leading aircraft manufacturers in the world. Curtiss also became the center of a group of aviation-related companies which served to market and operate Curtiss aircraft. At the same time, Keys expanded his own holdings until he was at the head of twenty-six corporations, including aviation holdings companies, such as North American Aviation and National Aviation Corp., as well as the first American transcontinental air service, Transcontinental Air Transport (later Transcontinental & Western Airline). In January 1932, Keys withdrew from all his aviation interests, citing ill health. He remained connected with C. M. Keys & Co., concentrating mainly on financial and real estate interests. Upon retiring from Keys & Co. in 1942, he started a new company, C. M. Keys Aircraft Service Co. and, after World War II, helped organize Peruvian International Airways, which began operating in South America in 1947.
Provenance:
Donated by Elizabeth Keys Stoney.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Financial records
Drawings
Citation:
Clement Melville Keys Papers, Accession XXXX-0091, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0091
See more items in:
Clement Melville Keys Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0091
Additional Online Media:

Edgar S. Gorrell Collection

Creator:
Gorrell, Edgar S. (Edgar Staley), 1891-1945  Search this
Names:
Air Transport Association of America  Search this
United States. Army. American Expeditionary Forces  Search this
Gorrell, Edgar S. (Edgar Staley), 1891-1945  Search this
Extent:
3.95 Cubic feet (9 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Correspondence
Publications
Date:
1893-1943
Summary:
This collection contains documents relating mainly to Gorrell's activities as president of the Air Transportation Association of America. The materials include copies of Gorrell's addresses and Congressional testimony, as well as press clippings concerning Gorrell's activities. The collection also includes albums of World War I vintage photographs collected by or presented to Gorrell.
Scope and Contents:
The Edgar S. Gorrell Collection is largely comprised of material relating to Gorrell's career as president of the Air Transport Association of America. The material includes his correspondence and speeches, the Congressional hearings and reports for the bills he advocated, and publications and newspaper articles about him and his career. Also in the collection are several photographs and photograph albums from World War I and other miscellaneous material.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
Arranged into two series:

Series 1: GENERAL. This series contains correspondence, addresses delivered by E.S. Gorrell, and publications and newspaper articles, some written by Gorrell. There are also Congressional hearings and reports, and some miscellaneous material. The documents are arranged in chronological order.

Series 2: PHOTOGRAPHS/ALBUMS. This series contains photographs and photo albums. Many of these are aerial photographs of trenches taken c. 1916 --1918, but there are also many photographs of aerial and land transport equipment.
Biographical/Historical note:
Colonel Edgar S. Gorrell (1891-1945) was a pilot and an advocate for aviation safety. He graduated from West Point in 1912 and then spent two years as an infantryman in Alaska before transferring to the Signal Corps, where he joined the 1st Aero Squadron, serving under Gen. John J. Pershing in Mexico. On one of his flying missions in Mexico, Gorrell ran out of gas and was stranded in the desert for several days before being rescued. Upon returning to his unit, he began to criticize the poor equipment US pilots were forced to use, both in terms of actual aircraft components and the signals and communication equipment used on land. In 1917 he was promoted to Captain, and in World War I he became the Chief Engineering Officer for the Air Service, and eventually the Chief of Staff for the Air Service, with the rank of Colonel. After the war, Gorrell remained in Europe representing the US at conferences and peace talks.

In March 1920, he resigned his commission in the Army and joined the automobile business. He served as the vice president of Marmon Motor Car Company until 1925. Then he became vice president, director, and general manager, and later president, of the Stutz Motor Car company of America. In January 1936, Gorrell again switched fields when he was elected the first president of the Air Transport Association of America, shortly after its conception. It was with this organization that he was known for his role in promoting safety in civil aeronautics. He was a strong advocate for the Civil Aeronautics Act of 1938 which provided government control and regulation of civil aeronautics, and he provided testimony before congressional committees several times. Gorrell continued to support civil aeronautics, especially through his role as president of the Air Transport Association of America, until his death, in 1945.
Provenance:
No donor information, gift, unknown, XXXX-0057
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
World War, 1914-1918  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Correspondence
Publications
Citation:
Edgar S. Gorrell Collection, Acc. XXXX-0057, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0057
See more items in:
Edgar S. Gorrell Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0057
Additional Online Media:

Association of Space Explorers Collection [Schweickart]

Creator:
Schweickart, Russell L. "Rusty", b. 1935  Search this
Names:
Association of Space Explorers  Search this
Schweickart, Russell L. "Rusty", b. 1935  Search this
Extent:
1.77 Cubic feet (5 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Date:
1983-2008
Summary:
This collection consists of approximately 1.77 cubic feet of materials relating to the creation of the Association of Space Explorers, their activities, and some additional material about various projects Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart was involved in.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 1.77 cubic feet of materials relating to the creation of the Association of Space Explorers, their activities, and some additional material about various projects Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart was involved in. The collection contains the following types of material: correspondence (both letters and emails); Statement of Purpose; questionnaires; planning agreements; progress reports; material on various environmental science projects including the Sundance Symposium on Global Climate Change; and two publications, Safety in Antarctica, Report of the U. S. Antarctic Program Safety Review Panel and Asteroid Threats, A call for global response, published by the Association of Space Explorers in 2008.

Please note: As of this time, only a portion of this collection has been digitized. Additional material may be scanned as time and resources permit.
Arrangement:
The collection is in original order and was divided into two series by the donor. The first relates to the founding of the Association of Space Explorers and the second is additional material. Within individual folders, material is usually arranged chronologically. Much of the email was organized into binders sorted first by email service provider and then chronologically within each set. In the case of the materials in Series 1, they were received in reverse chronological order.
Biographical / Historical:
The Association of Space Explorers is a non-profit organization with a membership composed of people who have completed at least one Earth orbit in space (above 100 km / 62 mi), as defined by the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale. Founded in 1985, its current membership stands at over 400 from the following 38 countries: Afghanistan, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, Mexico, Mongolia, Netherlands, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States, and Vietnam. The organization provides a forum, the Planetary Congress, for the promotion of space exploration, as well as space science and engineering and environmental awareness from the unique perspective of astronauts/cosmonauts.

Russell L. "Rusty" Schweickart (b. 1935) is a scientist and former astronaut who served as the lunar module pilot for the Apollo 9 flight. Prior to his career as an astronaut, Schweickart was a research scientist at the Experimental Astronomy Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was also a fighter pilot in the U. S. Air Force and the Massachusetts Air National Guard from 1956 to 1963. Schweickart has also held various executive positions in business and in government including for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), the State of California, and as chair of the United States Antarctic Program Safety Review Panel for the Director of the National Science Foundation. Schweickart is also a founder and past president of the Association of Space Explorers.
Provenance:
Russell Schweickart, Gift, 2019, NASM.2019.0023
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Astronautics  Search this
Astronauts  Search this
Publications  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Citation:
Association of Space Explorers Collection [Schweickart], NASM.2019.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2019.0023
See more items in:
Association of Space Explorers Collection [Schweickart]
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2019-0023
Additional Online Media:

Fairchild KS-25 High Acuity Camera System Collection

Creator:
Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation  Search this
Names:
Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation  Search this
Baker, James G.  Search this
Extent:
2.57 Cubic feet (2 record center boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Photographs
Correspondence
Date:
1956-1967
Summary:
This collection documents the development and testing of the f/4 achromatic lens system. The material includes test data, photographs, and drawings, as well as correspondence detailing Baker's successful fight to secure a patent on the lens system.
Scope and Contents:
This collection documents the development and testing of the f/4 achromatic lens system. The material includes test data, photographs, and drawings, as well as correspondence detailing Baker's successful fight to secure a patent on the lens system.
Arrangement:
Arrangement: (by type of material) 1) Contract specifications 2) Purchase orders and receipts 3) Correspondence 4) Patent applications 5) Camera operations manual 6) Performance and environmental tests final report 7) Lens drawings 8) Performance analysis printouts and calculations
Biographical / Historical:
In the mid-1950s the Defense Department requested a system for achieving better quality photographic intelligence using smaller and lighter cameras on high-speed aircraft at high altitudes. In response Fairchild Camera and Instrument Corporation designed the KS-25 High Acuity Camera System, an integrated camera/lens system using a wide-angle 24' focal length lens capable of producing transparencies with resolutions of 140 lines/mm on a high contrast target or 90 lines/mm on a low contrast target. The lens for the KS-25 was designed by Dr. James G. Baker of Spica, Inc. and represented new optics technology to allow wide-angle viewing at daylight illumination on high speed cameras, yet capable of producing a resolution that was effectively diffraction limited.
Provenance:
Don Welzenbach, Gift, 1986, NASM.1986.0028.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Fairchild KS-25 High Acuity Camera System  Search this
Aerial photography  Search this
Photographic reconnaissance systems  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Photographs
Correspondence
Citation:
Fairchild KS-25 High Acuity Camera System Collection, NASM.1986.0028, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1986.0028
See more items in:
Fairchild KS-25 High Acuity Camera System Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1986-0028

Samuel P. Langley Collection

Creator:
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Names:
Chanute, Octave, 1832-1910  Search this
Herring, Augustus Moore, 1867-1926  Search this
Huffaker, Edward C., 1856-1937  Search this
Langley, S. P. (Samuel Pierpont), 1834-1906  Search this
Manly, Charles Matthews, 1876-1927  Search this
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903  Search this
Extent:
24.28 Cubic feet (64 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Drawings
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Date:
1891-1914
bulk 1891-1900
Summary:
This collection includes information about Samuel P. Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence, manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for the Aerodromes, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, the Langley Memoirs on Mechanical Flight and the Langley "Waste Books."
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes information about Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes the Aerodrome project waste books, biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence), manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for staff labor on the project, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, and manuscript material from the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight.

The National Air and Space Museum's Samuel P. Langley Collection was drawn from several sources in the Smithsonian Institution. Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003) for several purposes:

Design papers and notes from Langley's aerodrome project were used for restoring the Langley Aerodromes for exhibits beginning in 1917.

Correspondence from the papers was consulted when controversies arose between the Wright brothers and the Smithsonian, and over credit for the design of the motor built by Stephen M. Balzer and extensively modified by Charles Manly, which was used on Aerodrome A.

Technical drawings of the Aerodromes were drawn from the SIA in the 1970s for conservation purposes.

Other material was added to the collection over the years:

Correspondence, memoranda, notes and label scripts from Langley exhibits from 1913 through the 1960s.

Design notes and work records from Langley's workshop were stored with the Aerodromes in the Museum's collections, and were later transferred to the Archives Division.

Biographical material on Langley, and correspondence to the Museum on Langley and the Aerodromes.

Material from the foundation of the Langley Aerodynamic Laboratory (now NASA's Langley Research Center) in 1913.

In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.

The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.

Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
Arrangement:
The Samuel P. Langley Collection is arranged in the following series:

Series 1 - Waste Books: Langley and his staff used waste books - bound ledgers - to keep records of their work on the aeronautical projects, which Langley inspected frequently.

Series 2 - Scrapbooks: A collection of 18 scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine clippings on "Aerial Navigation". Projects by Langley, Maxim, Lilienthal and many obscure aeronautical experimenters are included. Other clippings are included in Series VIII and XI.

Series 3 - Aeronautical Research and the Aerodromes: This series consists of notes, data, drawings and memoranda from Langley's aeronautical research at both the Smithsonian and the Allegheny Observatory. Subseries 2 contains material used in various Smithsonian exhibitions of the Langley Aerodromes. Some additional material is included in Series 11.

Subseries 3.1 - Design and Construction

Subseries 3.2 - Langley Aerodrome Exhibits

Series 4 - Correspondence: Letters and memoranda written by and sent to S. P. Langley and his assistants, C. M. Manly and J. E. Watkins. Additional correspondence is included in Series 11.

Subseries 4.1 - S. P. Langley Correspondence

Subseries 4.2 - S. P. Langley's Assistants' Correspondence

Subseries 3 - Miscellaneous Correspondence

Series 5 - Manuscripts, Papers, Articles: Manuscripts, published articles and papers by Langley and others. See also Series 11.

Subseries 5.1 - Works by S. P. Langley

Subseries 5.2 - Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Articles, and Notes

Series 6 - Photographs: Photographs, mainly of Langley's Aerodromes. Additional photographs are included with Series 11.

Series 7 - Trade Catalogues and Ephemera: Trade catalogues and price lists from various suppliers and dealers found stored with the "Aerodrome A" at the Museum's Paul E. Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.

Series 8 - Miscellaneous Files

Series 9 - Flat Boxes and Oversized Material: Ledgers, drawings, test data, publications

Series 10 - Shorthand Diaries: A collection of 37 notebooks containing notes in an unidentified shorthand system, dating from 1898 to 1902, with 8 notebooks bearing partial dates or undated.

Series 11 - Additional Material: After the publication of the Langley Collection finding aid, two additional boxes of correspondence, manuscript material, drawings and photographs were found in the Museum's rare book room, the Ramsey Room. This material has been included as a separate series.
Biographical / Historical:
Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was an astronomer, a pioneer of aeronautical research, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1887-1906). As a young man, Langley studied civil engineering and pursued this as a career until 1864, when his interest in astronomy led him to positions at the Harvard Observatory, the Naval Academy, the Western University of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh. In 1887, Langley was named Secretary of the Smithsonian, and spent the following years in the research, construction and tests of flying machines. On May 6, 1896, his unpiloted Aerodrome No. 5, powered by a 1hp steam engine, flew nearly three quarters of a mile. This flight surpassed by more than ten times the best efforts of any predecessor. In 1898, at the request of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, Langley started work on another design - the Great Aerodrome, also known as Aerodrome A. However, two attempts at launching the aircraft in 1903 failed. In addition to his scientific experiments, Langley's writings include Experiments in Aerodynamics and The Internal Work of the Wind, and the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, published posthumously. Samuel P. Langley died in Aiken, South Carolina, on February 27, 1906.

A Timeline of Early Aeronautical Milestones and Samuel P. Langley's Life and Career

August 22, 1834 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley born to Samuel Langley and Mary Sumner Williams Langley in Roxbury Massachusetts.

1843 -- William Henson and John Stringfellow publish their design for the "Aeriel", a steam-powered "Aerial Steam Carriage".

1845 -- Langley begins to attend the Boston Latin School.

1847 -- Henson tests a model of his aircraft.

1848 -- Stringfellow and Henson build and test a steam powered model aircraft. It has a wingspan of 10 feet (3.5 meters), and it flies 131 feet (40 meters) before crashing into a wall.

1849 -- Sir George Cayley tests a towed triplane glider. In one test, it flies several yards with a local boy as a passenger.

1851 -- Langley graduates from the Boston High School; begins work as an apprentice with a Boston architect.

circa 1852-1864 -- Langley works for architectural and engineering firms in St. Louis and Chicago.

1853 -- Cayley's coachman flies a glider across Brompton Dale, Yorkshire. The coachman resigns his position after the flight. Cayley conceives the rubber band–powered model airplane. Michel Loup designs a powered twin propeller monoplane with a wheeled undercarriage.

1853-1854 -- L C. Letur tests his parachute-glider design. Letur is killed in a test flight in 1854.

1855 -- Joseph Pline coins the word "aeroplane" to describe a propeller-driven dirigible.

1857 -- Jean-Marie Le Bris, a sea captain inspired by the flight of the albatross, builds a glider he names the "Albatros Artificiel" and makes two short hops, breaking his leg in the second. Félix du Temple, a French naval officer, flies a clockwork model aircraft - the first sustained powered flights by a heavier-than-air machine.

1862 -- Gabriel de la Landelle coins the word "aviation", and later, "aviateur" - aviator.

1864 -- Langley returns to Roxbury. He begins work, with his younger brother John, on a five foot focal length telescope, which they complete over three years.

1864-1865 -- Samuel and John Langley tour Europe.

circa 1865 -- Langley is hired as observatory assistant at the Harvard University Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

January 1866 -- The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (later named the Royal Aeronautical Society) is founded.

circa 1866 -- Langley is hired as assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Duties include restoring the Academy's astronomical observatory to operation.

1867 -- Langley is named professor of Astronomy and Physics at the Western University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. Duties include directorship of the Allegheny Observatory. His tenure at Allegheny will begin his work at the popularization of science through lectures and writing newspaper and journal articles.

1868 -- Stringfellow builds a model triplane.

1869 -- Langley proposes a system of standard time distribution via the telegraph to railroads and cities. The Pennsylvania Railroad signs on for the service. Langley joins a U.S. Coast Survey expedition to Oakland, Kentucky, to observe the August 7th solar eclipse. He observes later eclipses in 1870, 1878, and 1900.

1870 -- The Allegheny Observatory begins twice-daily time signals to the Pennsylvania Railroad's offices. Other railroads, businesses, and government offices later subscribe to the service. The income from the system aids the operation of the Allegheny Observatory and Langley's research work. Langley travels to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, to observe a solar eclipse.

1870 -- Alphonse Pénaud designs his rubber-powered "Hélicoptère".

August 18, 1871 -- Pénaud demonstrates his "Planophore", a rubber-powered model, at the Tuileries, Paris. It flies 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) in 11 seconds.

1871 -- Francis Wenham designs the first wind tunnel; it is built by John Browning.

1873 -- Langley makes a detailed drawing of a sun spot. Famous for its accuracy of detail, the drawing is widely reproduced for many years.

1876 -- Pénaud and Paul Gauchot patent a design for an inherently stable steam-powered full-sized airplane.

1878 -- Bishop Milton Wright presents a toy based on the Pénaud "Hélicoptère" to two of his sons – eleven year old Wilbur and seven year old Orville.

1879-1880 -- Langley designs and builds his bolometer for the measurement of the energy of incident electromagnetic radiation.

1879 -- Victor Tatin designs and flies a compressed air-powered seven foot long model.

1881 -- Langley organizes an expedition to Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada Range for solar observations and other scientific studies.

1883 -- Alexandre Goupil builds a bird-shaped unpowered airplane that briefly lifts off in a tethered test while carrying two men.

1884 -- The U.S. Signal Service publishes Langley's report on the Mount Whitney expedition.

1886 -- Langley's interest in aeronautics is kindled by a paper on bird flight by a Mr. Lancaster at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Buffalo, New York. Lancaster also describes making small flying models which he describes as "floating planes" and "effigies".

1887 -- Langley designs and builds his large whirling table at the Allegheny Observatory for the study of aerodynamics; begins aeronautical experimental work. He coins the term Aerodromics for the art of building flying machines from the Greek aerodromoi.

January 12, 1887 -- Langley is appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

April 1887 -- Langley begins to build small Pénaud type rubber-powered flying models.

November 18, 1887 -- Langley is named Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on the death of Secretary Spencer F. Baird. He retains the directorship of the Allegheny Observatory, dividing his time between Washington and Allegheny until 1891 when James E. Keeler becomes director of the observatory.

1887 -- Hiram Maxim, an American living in Great Britain and inventor of the Maxim machine gun, begins work on a large powered biplane test rig.

1888 -- Langley publishes The New Astronomy.

1889 -- The National Zoological Park is founded, due to Langley's support. A site in Washington's Rock Creek Park is selected by Langley and Frederick Law Olmstead. The Zoo becomes part of the Smithsonian in 1890, and is opened in 1891.

1890 -- Langley founds the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; its first home is in a wooden building behind the Smithsonian Castle. In 1955, SAO moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts.

1890 -- Clément Ader completes his "Éole', a full-sized airplane. It has a fifty foot wing span, and is equipped with a lightweight 20-horsepower steam engine of Ader's design and a four-bladed propeller. At Armainvilliers on October 9, the Éole lifts off the ground to an altitude of approximately one foot and skims the ground for about 50 meters (165 feet). Ader later claims a second flight of 100 meters in September, 1891; there is no evidence for the second flight.

March 28, 1891 -- First successful flight of one of Langley's rubber-powered models.

1891 -- Work begins on Langley's "Aerodrome No. 0", powered by two small steam engines. Construction is halted before the aircraft is completed.

1891 -- Otto Lilienthal, a German mechanical engineer, begins a program of flight research using piloted hang gliders of his own design. He and his brother Gustav will go on to design and build 18 gliders over the next five years, making approximately 2,000 flights. Langley's Experiments in Aerodynamics is published by the Smithsonian.

1892 -- Langley's "Aerodrome No. 1" designed and built. Not flown.

1892-1893 -- "Aerodrome No. 2" and "Aerodrome No. 3" are designed and built. "No. 3" is powered by compressed air. Neither is flown.

1893 -- A 38 foot scow is converted into a houseboat with a workshop and launch platform for Aerodrome testing. In May, it is towed down the Potomac to a point near Quantico, Virginia, off Chopawamsic Island. In November, "Aerodrome No. 4" is taken to the houseboat for testing.

November 20, 1893 -- Test flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" - it falls in the water.

December 7, 1893 -- Second flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" – it falls in the water.

July 31, 1894 -- Maxim's large test rig rises briefly from its support rails during a test run.

August 1-4, 1894 -- Octave Chanute and Albert Zahm sponsor the Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, bringing together an international assembly of aeronautical researchers.

October 1894 -- Test flight of modified "Aerodrome No. 4", using improved catapult. Aircraft falls in the water. "Aerodrome No. 5", with a one horsepower gasoline burning steam engine, is also tested. It flies 35 feet for three seconds before stalling and falling into the river.

November 12, 1894 -- Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian researcher, links together four of his box kites, adds a simple seat, and flies to an altitude of 16 feet in the device.

1894 -- Chanute publishes his book Progress in Flying Machines.

1895 -- James Means publishes the first of his three >Aeronautical Annuals.

May 6, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is launched from the houseboat's catapult; the left wing collapses and the aircraft lands in the water. Aerodrome No. 5 is launched at 3:05 PM and flies about half a mile in a minute and a half at an altitude reaching 100 feet – the first sustained flight of a heavier than air apparatus. In a second flight at 5:10, Aerodrome No. 5 makes three circles, climbs to about 60 feet, and is airborne for one minute and thirty-one seconds. The flight is witnessed and photographed by Alexander Graham Bell (box 45, folder 9).

June 1896 -- Chanute and Augustus Herring establish a camp at the Lake Michigan dunes near Miller, Indiana to conduct flight tests on a number of gliders – several of Chanute's designs, including his multiwing "Katydid", Herring's copy of a Lilienthal design, and a Chanute-Herring triplane collaboration.

August 9, 1896 -- Lilienthal's glider stalls and crashes from an altitude of about 50 feet. Lilienthal dies of his injuries the next morning. His last words are "Opfer müssen gebracht warden" - "Sacrifices must be made".

November 28, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is flown from the houseboat – it flies 4800 feet in one minute and forty-five seconds.

July 1897 -- Ader completes his "Avion III", also known as the "Aquilon". It features two 20-horsepower steam engines and twin tractor propellers, and a wingspan of nearly 56 feet. The aircraft weighs approximately 880 pounds. Ader attempts a flight on October 14; "Avion III" is unable to rise off the ground.

March 25, 1898 -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt suggests the military use of the Langley "Aerodrome" to Navy Secretary John D. Long (box 40, folder 10).

April 6, 1898 -- Langley proposes a scaled-up version of the "Aerodrome" for military use to a joint Army-Navy board meeting at the Smithsonian. He requests $50,000 to build a large, piloted version of his earlier designs. The proposed aircraft is called the "Great Aerodrome", or "Aerodrome A".

June 1898 -- Charles M. Manly, a Cornell University engineering student, is hired as Langley's "assistant in charge of experiments".

October 1898 -- Major work begins on the "Great Aerodrome", also known as "Aerodrome A".

December 12, 1898 -- A contract is signed between Langley and Stephen M. Balzer of New York. Balzer is to design and build a 12 horsepower motor to power the "Aerodrome". On the same date, Langley writes to the U.S. Army Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, agreeing to design and build a flying machine. He estimates a cost of $50,000 to build his machine.

May 1899 -- A new, larger houseboat equipped with a turntable and catapult is delivered in Washington.

May 30, 1899 -- Wilbur Wright sends a letter to Langley at the Smithsonian, requesting material pertaining to aeronautical research. He says in his letter that he wishes "… to begin a systematic study of the subject in preparation for practical work." Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Richard Rathbun directs his staff to assemble a package of papers, including Langley's Story of Experiments in Mechanical Flight and Experiments in Aerodynamics. The Wright brothers receive the package three weeks later. They later credit the material they received from the Smithsonian with giving them a "good understanding of the nature of the problem of flying."

June 7 - August 3, 1899 -- Additional flights of "Aerodrome No. 5" and "No. 6" are made from the houseboat at Chopawamsic Island.

July 1899 -- Langley visits Ader's workshop in Paris.

July 1899 -- The Wright Brothers build a five foot biplane kite.

October 2, 1899 -- Percy Pilcher dies of his injury after his Lilienthal-type glider breaks up in flight.

May 1900 -- Langley and the staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory observe the May 28 solar eclipse in Wadesboro, North Carolina.

August 1900 -- The Wrights begin to build their first glider, a biplane design with a 17 foot wingspan.

September 1900 -- The Wrights arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to test their glider on the dunes. They begin test flights in early October.

July 1901 -- The Wrights return to Kitty Hawk with a new biplane glider.

August 1901 -- Langley creates the Children's Room, with exhibits designed to inspire interest in science, technology and natural history, in the Smithsonian Castle.

Autumn 1901 -- The Wright brothers return to Dayton and begin a program to develop their own fundamental aeronautical data, building a wind tunnel and a test rig mounted on a bicycle.

September 19, 1902 -- The Wrights complete assembly of their new glider and begin flights the same afternoon. They continue the flights through the autumn. After an early crash, continual modifications improve the design. Wilbur writes to his father, "We now believe the flying problem is really nearing its solution." On their return to Dayton, the brothers file a patent on their design.

July 14, 1903 -- The houseboat is towed down the Potomac to a spot opposite Widewater, Virginia, about 40 miles from Washington.

August 8, 1903 -- Langley's "Quarter-Size Aerodrome" makes a successful flight from the houseboat.

September 3, 1903 -- Work is begun on erecting the "Great Aerodrome" on the houseboat catapult.

October 7, 1903 -- The "Great Aerodrome", piloted by Manly, is launched by the houseboat catapult at 12:20 PM. The aircraft is snagged by the catapult launch car, and drops into the river. Langley was in Washington, and does not witness the attempt. The wreckage of the "Aerodrome" is salvaged.

December 8, 1903 -- The refurbished "Great Aerodrome" is readied for flight on the houseboat, now moored below Washington at Arsenal Point at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. At 4:45 PM, the aircraft, with Manly at the controls, is launched. The tail assembly drags along the launch track, and the "Aerodrome's" tail begins to collapse. The "Aerodrome" drops into the river. Manly is briefly trapped by the wreckage, but cuts himself free and is rescued. In the aftermath of the crash, Langley is ridiculed in the press. Though the Army withdraws its support, Langley receives offers of financial support from businessmen to continue his aeronautical work. He politely refuses these offers and ends his aeronautical activities.

December 17, 1903 -- The Wright brothers make four flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first flight covered a distance of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds; in the fourth flight, the "Flyer" traveled 852 feet in 59 seconds.

June 1905 -- The Smithsonian's accountant, W. W. Karr, is accused of embezzling Institutional funds. He is later convicted and imprisoned. Langley holds himself responsible for the loss, and thereafter refuses to accept his salary.

November 1905 -- Langley suffers a stroke.

February 1906 -- Langley moves to Aiken, South Carolina to convalesce.

February 27, 1906 -- After suffering another stroke, Langley dies.

March 3, 1906 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Boston.

May-October 1914 -- The "Great Aerodrome" is refurbished and is tested on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York; the tests are conducted by Glenn Curtiss. Using the Manly-Balzer motor and mounted on pontoons instead of using a catapult launch, the "Aerodrome" makes several short flights, the longest lasting about five seconds. Later a Curtiss 80-hp engine is substituted for the Manly-Balzer motor and a flight of about 3,000 feet is made on September 17. The Smithsonian Institution later displays the "Aerodrome" with an exhibit label that reads "The first man-carrying aeroplane in the history of the world capable of sustained free flight." This claim causes a rift between the Institution and Orville Wright (Wilber Wright had died in 1912) that is not fully mended until 1942. The Wright 1903 "Flyer" is presented to the Smithsonian Institution on December 17, 1948. Today, the "Flyer" is on exhibit in the Milestones of Flight Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum's Mall Building; Samuel Langley's "Great Aerodrome" is displayed at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff:
Langley's staff engaged in his aeronautical work as listed in waste books, drawings and correspondence:

The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff

F. C. Bache -- Laborer with the U.S. Fish Commission, then located at the Smithsonian.

Carl Barus -- Formerly of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Weather Bureau. Hired in 1893 as a physicist; acted as the liaison between Langley and the Aerodrome project staff. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

Louville Eugene Emerson -- Laborer.

George L. Fowler -- An engineer, Fowler was hired by Langley to help design an engine for the Aerodromes.

William Gaertner -- Instrument maker.

Heed, Jr. -- Name found in a shorthand diary dated 1899 - presumably, a Smithsonian secretary or assistant.

Augustus Moore Herring -- An independent aeronautical experimenter and skilled designer and pilot of gliders; hired by Octave Chanute in 1894 and by Langley as chief assistant in 1895. Herring resigned (or was dismissed) in November 1895 and resumed work with Chanute. In 1908, he competed with the Wrights for the Army Flyer contract, but did not complete a finished aircraft.

Edward Chalmers Huffaker -- An engineer and aeronautical experimenter; built gliders based on the observation of bird flight; had delivered a paper at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, 1893. Recommended by Chanute, Huffaker was hired by Langley in December, 1894. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1898 and went to work for Chanute.

L. C. Maltby -- Machinist, 1891-1899; assisted in motor design and oversaw the fabrications of the metalwork for the Aerodromes. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

Charles Matthews Manly -- Graduate of Cornell University (1896). Hired by Langley and placed in charge of construction of the Great Aerodrome in 1898. Piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two launch attempts, 1903. Manly resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. He served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911.

Charles B. Nichols -- Smithsonian cabinet maker (1890-1893), in charge of construction of the small rubber powered models.

R. Luther Reed -- Smithsonian carpenter foreman (1880-1904). In charge of construction of Aerodromes No. 5 and 6 following between Herring's departure and Manly's arrival. Worked on design of the Great Aerodrome and the second houseboat. Part of the crew on the houseboat.

B.L. Rhinehart -- Smithsonian mechanic. Built a small steam motor for Aerodrome No. 0 in 1891. Performed design work on an experimental gasoline motor, c.1896.

William L. Speiden -- Draftsman or designer (1893-1899).

John Elfrith Watkins -- Assistant engineer of construction with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joined the Smithsonian as an honorary curator in the Steam Transportation section in 1885. Named curator of Transportation in 1887. He rejoined the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1892, and later worked at the Field Columbian Museum as director of Industrial Arts. Watkins returned to the Smithsonian in 1895 as the National Museum's curator of Technological Collections. In 1898, he was named curator of the Division of Technology. Watkins also served the Smithsonian as Engineer of Property, 1888-1889, and Chief of Buildings and Superintendence, 1896-1903. Watkins carried on much of the Aerodrome project's correspondence, and was the project's expert in steam engine design.

George B. Wells -- Smithsonian messenger (1894-1903). Most of the collection's shorthand notebooks (Series X) bear his name; possibly, he acted as Langley's stenographer.

William Crawford Winlock -- Curator, Bureau of International Exchange (1889-1899).
Related Materials:
Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Samuel Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003).

In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:

Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.

Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907

Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.

The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.

Langley Technical Files: The Archives Division's technical files are housed in the Archives-Library reading room of the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Material on Langley and his Aerodromes are housed in folders in the technical files Aircraft Series and in the Biographies Series. Because material from the Samuel P. Langley Collection is thought to have been transferred into the Technical Files, these file headings are included here. In the listings, "Images Available" refers to digital image files available through the Archives Division's image database; these images may be viewed in the Museum's reading rooms.

Langley Technical Files: Aircraft Series Technical Files

Langley (Samuel P.), General -- Photos, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198600-80

Langley (Samuel P.), General, NASM -- Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198601-80, AL-198601-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A (Great Aerodrome, Man-Carrying Aerodrome) -- Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198603-01, AL-198603-80, AL-198603-85, AL-198603-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, Curtiss 1914 Rebuild -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198605-01, AL-198605-80, AL-198605-96, AL-198605-97, AL-198605-98, AL-198605-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome A, NASM -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198607-01, AL-198607-80, AL-198607-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodromes, Numbered, General -- Photos, Photo Dupes. Folder(s): AL-198610-80, AL-198610-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 0 (1891) -- Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198612-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 1 (1891) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 2 (1892) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 3 (1892) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 4 (1895) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96) -- Documents, Photos, Transparencies, Photo Dupes, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198622-01, AL-198622-80, AL-198622-90, AL-198622-98, AL-198622-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Aerodrome No 6 (1895-96) -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198624-01, AL-198624-80, AL-198624-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Clockwork Model -- Photos. Folder(s): AL-198628-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Gliding Model Aerodromes (1895) -- Images Available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Ladder Kite (1896) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198635-80, AL-198635-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodromes, General -- Documents, Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198640-01, AL-198640-80, AL-198640-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 4 (1895) -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198648-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 11 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 13 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 14 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 15 -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198670-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 19 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198678-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 20 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 21 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 22 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198684-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 23 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198686-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 24 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 25 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 26 -- Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198692-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 27 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 28 -- Photos, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198696-80

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 30 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Model Aerodrome No 31 -- Images available.

Langley (Samuel P.) Proposed Man-Carrying Aerodrome (1898-99) -- Documents, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198710-01, AL-198710-99

Langley (Samuel P.) "Quarter-Size" Aerodrome (1900-01 -- Documents, Photos, Negatives, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198720-01, AL-198720-80, AL-198720-85, AL-198720-99

Langley (Samuel P.) "Rubber-Pull" Model Aerodrome (1895-96) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198730-80, AL-198730-99

Langley (Samuel P.) Whirling Arm (1888-90) -- Photos, Photo Dupes, Images available. Folder(s): AL-198740-80, AL-198740-99

Langley Technical Files: Biographies Series Technical Files

Langley, Samuel Pierpont, general -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-01

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-02

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-03

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-04

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-05

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-06

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Rocket) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-08

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/French) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-09

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-10

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-11

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-12

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-13

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-14

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Awards and Honors) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-15

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Wright Controversy) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-16

Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Obituaries) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-17

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photo Dupes. Folder(s): CL-094000-40

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photos. Folder(s): CL-094000-80

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Negatives. Folder(s): CL-094000-85

Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Images available.
Provenance:
Smithsonian generated, transfer, unknown.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permission Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- pre-1903  Search this
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics -- Records  Search this
Langley Aerodrome Family  Search this
Langley Aerodrome No 5 (1895-96)  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Drawings
Manuscripts
Photographs
Publications
Citation:
Samuel P. Langley Collection, NASM.XXXX.0494, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0494
See more items in:
Samuel P. Langley Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0494
Additional Online Media:

Paul E. Garber Collection

Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Tusch, Mary E. "Mother"  Search this
Extent:
241.95 Cubic feet (488 boxes plus flat files)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Diaries
Lectures
Photographs
Printed material
Scrapbooks
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1824-1992
Summary:
The Paul E. Garber Collection documents Paul Edward Garber's life, both personal and professional, prior to and during his 72-year tenure at the National Air and Space Museum.
Scope and Contents:
The Paul E. Garber Collection includes material from both the personal and professional realms of Garber's life. It is centered on the following three areas: Garber's personal life; his aeronautics interests; and his association with the Smithsonian Institution—the National Air Museum, and later the National Air and Space Museum. The collection is a particularly rich source of material relating to Garber's development of the military target kite, his involvement in a multitude of aviation-related clubs and organizations, and as a record of his daily work duties and influence upon the National Air and Space Museum. The following types of materials, dating from 1824 to 1992, are included: correspondence; diaries; notes and writings by Garber regarding a variety of aeronautical and museum topics; lectures and interviews; scrapbooks; newspaper clippings; magazine articles; photo albums; photographs, slides, negatives, and lantern slides; pamphlets and brochures; drawings; newsletters; and audio recordings.
Arrangement:
Little emphasis has been placed on dividing this collection between Garber's personal and professional lives, as the two capacities intersected in almost every way. Whenever possible, Garber's original folder titles and order have been preserved. All titles that appear in [brackets] are the archivist's.

The collection is organized into the following 15 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1901-circa 1992 and undated

Series 2: Invitations and Programs, 1910-1988 and undated

Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM), 1916-1992 and undated

Series 4: World War II Target Kites and Naval Reserve, 1919-1986 and undated

Series 5: Manuscripts and Speeches, 1925-1989 and undated

Series 6: Personal Materials, 1824-1992 and undated

Series 7: Personal Interest, circa 1908-circa 1992 and undated

Series 8: Organizations, 1908-1992 and undated

Series 9: Newsletters, 1938-1992 and undated

Series 10: Biographical Files, circa 1910-circa 1992 and undated

Series 11: Subject Files, 1909- circa 1990 and undated

Series 12: Photographs, circa 1880-1992 and undated

Series 13: Negatives, Transparencies, Film, and Slides, circa 1940s-circa 1970s and undated

Series 14: Oversize Materials, 1842-1990 and undated

Series 15: Audio Recordings
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Edward Garber (1899-1992) was instrumental in obtaining a substantial portion of the National Air and Space Museum's aircraft collection. His 72-year tenure with the Smithsonian Institution and his dedication to the belief that aeronautics artifacts were worthy of preservation for the sake of National memory effectively make him the progenitor of the National Air and Space Museum we know today.

Garber was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on 31 August 1899, a few years prior to the development of powered flight. Growing up during this exciting time, young Garber was exposed to a number of experiences that ignited his interest in aeronautics. Garber recalled that, while visiting Washington, D.C., in 1909, he took a streetcar across the Potomac River to watch Orville Wright fly the world's first military airplane at Fort Myer, Virginia.

The Garber family eventually left Atlantic City and permanently settled in Washington, D.C. In 1913 Garber and his schoolmates formed the Capital Model Aeroplane Club, organizing competitions for the making and flying of model aircraft and kites. In 1915, after visiting the Smithsonian Institution, Garber made a copy of Octave Chanute's biplane glider. After testing a smaller model, which he flew as a kite, Garber constructed a 20-foot wingspan version, using barrel staves sawed into thirds as ribs and covering them in red chintz fabric. Over several weekends, Garber made numerous towed take-offs and glides. These flights would eventually qualify him for membership into the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Between 1917 and 1918 Garber studied at the McKinley Technical School in Washington, D.C., and the University of Maryland, College Park. He also studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Research University, Washington, 1920-1921. He never received a degree from any institution he attended. Garber finished his teen years by joining the Army in 1918 and was about to begin flight training at College Park when World War I ended. Afterwards, he took a job as a ground crewman and messenger with the United States Post Office Department's Air Mail Service.

In 1920 Garber began his career with the Smithsonian Institution, starting as a "Preparator," dealing with the maintenance of exhibits. Advancing through the ranks, he was at various times an Aide, Assistant Curator, and Associate Curator. During World War II, Garber's talents in modeling and kite making allowed him to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy at the rank of Lt. Commander. His military target kites became an important part of gunnery training, serving as both targets and examples for identifying enemy aircraft. Following the ending of the war, Garber resigned at the rank of Commander and returned to the Smithsonian where, in 1952, he became the first Curator of the National Air Museum, which was created by act of Congress in 1946.

On 10 May 1952 Garber married Irene Tusch, daughter of the aeronautical enthusiast Mary E. "Mother" Tusch. Throughout the next decade plus, Garber received promotions to Head Curator and Senior Historian, serving in this last position until 1965. From 1965 to 1969, Garber was the Assistant Director of Aeronautics. Forced to retire by Federal law upon reaching the age of 70, Garber received the honorary lifetime titles of Historian Emeritus and Ramsey Fellow.

Garber wrote several books on aeronautics and flight: Building and Flying Model Aircraft. A Guide for Youthful Beginners in Aeronautics, 1920; We: The Story of Achievement in Aviation, 1929; Kites and Kite Flying, 1931; Flying in Safety, 1939; and Navy Target Kites, 1944. He wrote multiple editions on the National Aircraft/Aeronautical Collections (1941, 1949, 1956, and 1965), as well as numerous pamphlets, handbooks, encyclopedia entries, and articles on aviation-related subjects.

In addition to his writing and lecturing, he was the recipient of many awards and trophies, including: the Washington Air Derby Association Trophy, 1954; the Air Line Traffic Association Citation, 1955; the Frank G. Brewer Trophy for Youth Education, 1959; the Elder Statesman of Aviation Award, 1964; the Trasvolata Atlantica Medal from Italy, 1964; the Santos-Dumont Medal of Merit from Brazil, 1966; the Paul Tissandier Diplome from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (F.A.I.), 1968; the Smithsonian Institution's Gold Medal, 1969; the Order Rio Branco, 1969; the Mérito Aeronáutico Medal from Brazil, 1974; named an honorary pilot in the Brazilian Air Force, 1982; recipient of the Medalha Mérito Tamandaré of Brazil, 1983; named to the OX-5 Club's Aviation Hall of Fame, 1974; and received the Laskowitz Gold Medal from the New York Academy of Sciences, 1979. Garber was also made Honorary Naval Aviator #17 during the mid-1980's. He was a member of the National Aeronautics Association, the Air Mail Pioneers, the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. (Secretary, 1956-1960; President 1968, 1976-77), the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Society, the National Aviation Club, and the National Space Club.

Paul Garber died in his sleep at Arlington Hospital on 23 September 1992. His acquisition efforts and advocacy on behalf of the National Air and Space Museum continue to live on in the form of its rich aircraft collections. The National Air and Space Museum's Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility, formerly known as "Silver Hill," is named in his honor.
Provenance:
Paul Garber, Gift, 1991, NASM.1991.0063
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Kites  Search this
Models and modelmaking  Search this
Museums -- Curatorship  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Diaries
Lectures
Photographs
Printed material
Scrapbooks
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1991-0063
Additional Online Media:

Bowman Family Papers

Creator:
Bowman, Les (Leslie)  Search this
Bowman, Martie (Marguerite)  Search this
Bowman, Larnie  Search this
Names:
Kinner Airplane and Motor Co  Search this
National Air Race Association  Search this
Ninety-Nines (Organization)  Search this
Bowman, Larnie  Search this
Bowman, Les (Leslie)  Search this
Bowman, Martie (Marguerite)  Search this
Extent:
1.28 Cubic feet (1 records center box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Scrapbooks
Date:
1923-1987
bulk 1923-1950
Summary:
The Bowman Family Papers contain 1.28 cubic feet of material related to the aviation careers of Leslie (Les), Marguerite (Martie), and Larnie Bowman.
Scope and Contents:
The Bowman Family Papers contain: log books, licenses, and membership cards for Marguerite, Larnie, and Leslie Bowman; loose materials including maps, newspaper clippings from the 1930s, 1972 and 1985; and miscellaneous photographs, including two of Charles Lindbergh. Three scrapbooks at the end of the collection (1923-1931, 1932-1935, 1936-1987) include photographs (some autographed), personal and business correspondence, and newspaper clippings.
Arrangement:
The Bowman Family Papers are arranged by content type.
Biographical / Historical:
Leslie (Les) and Marguerite (Martie) Bowman were married in October 1919 and had both learned to fly by 1925. Les, a mechanic, worked as an engineer and salesman for the Kinner Engine and Aircraft Company and was involved in both the production and testing of airplanes. Martie was a charter member of both the Ninety-Nines, a women pilots' association, and the National Air Race Association. She set women's speed records and swept three women's racing events on one day in 1938. Les and Martie both tried wing walking, as did their daughter, Larnie, at the age of eight. Larnie learned to fly by the time she was twelve. During World War II, the Bowmans ran one of five civilian schools for the training of Navy fighter pilots. Les and Martie retired from aviation after the conclusion of the war.
Provenance:
Mrs. M. Lorraine Allen, gift, 1991, NASM.1991.0042
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Flight training  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Photographs
Publications
Maps
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Bowman Family Papers, Acc. NASM.1991.0042, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0042
See more items in:
Bowman Family Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1991-0042
Additional Online Media:

Louise McPhetridge Thaden Collection

Creator:
Thaden, Louise (McPhetridge), 1905-1979  Search this
Names:
Bendix Trophy  Search this
National Women's Air Derby (1929)  Search this
Ninety-Nines (Organization)  Search this
United States. Civil Air Patrol  Search this
Extent:
2.18 Cubic feet (2 records center boxes)
2.08 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Publications
Diaries
Maps
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Date:
1925-1949
Summary:
This collection consists of photographs, news clippings, and correspondence documenting Thaden's aviation career.
Scope and Contents:
The Louise McPhetridge Thaden Collection contains numerous newspaper and journal articles, personal letters and business correspondence, writings, photographs, and scrapbooks, all relating to her aviation career.

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM), Archives Division also holds additional materials about Louise Thaden. Biographical information can be found in the biographical fiche collection at the NASM Archives/Garber Facility. In the NASM Archives downtown facility, we recommend the Biographical Files which contain additional newspaper and journal articles, letters, memorabilia, and photographs. Please note that these files also contain microfiche.

For additional photographs please see the NASM videodisc files located at the NASM Archives Udvar-Hazy facility. The images can be seen on NASM videodisc 7B-6445 --6491 (Accession # 1989- 0132). Also check NASM videodisc 2B-46705 --46805. In most cases, there are original videodisc prints available in the NASM Archives facility downtown and copy negatives at the Smithsonian Institution, Office of Printing and Photographic Services (OPPS). Please consult a staff member for more details and about ordering procedures
Arrangement:
This collection had little original arrangement, and accordingly, has been divided into six general series according to material types.

Series 1: GENERAL. This series contains mostly journal and newspaper articles, but also includes telegrams, letters, applications, invitations, examples of commercial endorsements, membership certificates, and original race information and itineraries. It is arranged in chronological order. Significant events are highlighted. In some cases, newspaper clippings with handwritten messages have been kept for their inherent value.

Series 2: WRITINGS. This series contains samples of her various writings. It is arranged in chronological order.

Series 3: PHOTOGRAPHS. This series contains photographs. The subject matter ranges from childhood activities to award ceremonies. It is divided by two large subject groupings: first—people (arranged by general categories), second—events (arranged by date). All paperwork directly related to a particular photograph has been kept with that photograph. Please note that Smithsonian Institution negative numbers are written on the back of each photograph when applicable. Sub-topics listed in the finding aid are meant to highlight particular topics in each folder and are not intended to indicate exclusive content. Please review each folder thoroughly.

Series 4: SCRAPBOOKS. This series contains seven scrapbooks of various sizes and content and two Civil Air Patrol award certificates. The inclusive dates are listed next to the individual scrapbook. The content of the scrapbooks date mostly from 1919-1940 and contain photographs, newspaper articles, membership certificates, licenses, contestant ribbons, invitations, business cards, and cartoons about Thaden. Handling notes are listed next to individual scrapbooks in the finding aid. Please follow these notes so that the physical integrity of the object can be preserved.

Series 5: THADEN AIRCRAFT CO. AND RELATED MATERIAL. This series contains information about Thaden Aircraft Company and Herbert von Thaden. Items in this series include: newspaper and journal article, resumes, letters, photographs, and information about the All-Metal aircraft created by Herbert Thaden. This series is the only portion of the collection with any obvious arrangement and was separated into its own series for this reason.

Series 6: MISCELLANEOUS. This series contains all of the materials that do not appear to fit easily into any of the above series. The items here include undated or general journal and newspaper articles, newspapers from University of Arkansas, maps, Who's Who application, musical score, souvenir stamps, travel souvenirs, and resumes.
Biographical/Historical note:
Louise McPhetridge Thaden (1905-1979) was one of the United States foremost female aviators during the late 1920s and 1930s. She received instruction in 1927, soloing and receiving her pilot's license in 1928. In December 1928, Thaden achieved a new altitude record of 20,260 ft. In March 1929, she made a new solo duration record, 22+ hours. A month later she set a new speed record of 156 mph. Thaden was the only woman to hold all three records simultaneously. In August 1929, Thaden won the First Women's National Air Derby, commonly called the Powder Puff Derby. Three years later (August 1932), she, along with Francis Marsalis, set the new refueling duration record of 196 hours. In July 1936, Thaden set the new light plane speed record at 109.58 mph. In the same year, she also won the National Air Race, and was awarded the Bendix Transcontinental Air Race Trophy, becoming the first woman ever to receive this trophy. She set an East-West speed record in 1936, and an inter-city distance speed record and another 109.56 mph speed record in 1937.

Ms. Thaden also distinguished herself in her efforts to promote aviation safety through campaigns to mark airports more effectively. She actively sought ways to promote women in aviation through her work with the U.S. Department of Defense, Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS) 1959-1961 and in her work with the Civil Air Patrol, 1949-1979. She also co-founded the Ninety-Nines, and organization of women pilots. She received numerous awards and honors throughout her life including: Harmon Trophy, Famous Aviators Wall—Mission Inn (Riverside, CA), Arkansas Aviators Hall of Fame, First Flight Society Hall of Fame, Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame, International Aerospace Hall of Fame of the San Diego Aerospace Museum, National Aviation Hall of Fame, Women in Aviation International Pioneer Hall of Fame, and Civil Air Patrol Distinguished Service Award and Meritorious Service Award. She was also an active writer who published an autobiography entitled High, Wide and Frightened and several journal and newspaper articles. In 1928, she married Herbert von Thaden, an aeronautical engineer and designer of several all-metal aircraft. They had two children, William and Patricia, who donated the materials found in the collection.

Personal

1905-11-10 -- Born, Iris Louise McPhetridge, Bentonville Arkansas: Roy Fry and EdnaHobbs McPhetridge

1921-1926 -- University of Arkansas

1928-07-21 -- Married to Herbert von Thaden

undated -- Children: William and Patricia

November 1979-11-09 -- Death

Professional

1926-1927 -- J.H. Turner Coal & Building Materials Company, Wichita Kansas: Sales

1928-1929 -- D.C. Warren Company, Oakland, CA (Airplane Distributor):Sales & manager

1930-1931 -- Pittsburgh Aviation Industries: Public Relations

1930-1931 -- Penn School of Aeronautics: Director, Women's Division

1934 -- US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Air Commerce: Developed & organized (with Phoebe Omlie) National Air Marking Program,

1935-1936 -- Initiated program

1937-1940 -- Beech Aircraft Corporation: Factory Representative

1941 -- Porterfield Aircraft Company: Factory Representative

1943-1948 -- Thaden Engineering Company: Purchasing Agent & Office Manager

1953-1954 -- Research & Development, Reinforced plastics, Roanoke, Virginia,

1955-1961 -- Thaden Molding Corporation: Vice President, Director, High Point North Carolina,

1961-1969 -- Thaden Engineering Company: Partner

1969-1979 -- Sole Owner, High Point, North Carolina,

Aviation Records and Races

1928-12-07 -- Altitude, First official altitude record for women in the US; 20,260 feet, Hisso180 hp Travel Air

1929-03-16 - 1929-03-17 -- Solo Duration; 22 hrs 3 minutes 28 seconds, Hisso 180 hp Travel Air

1929-04-18 -- Speed 156 mph, Wright J-5 Travel Air

undated -- Only woman ever to hold all 3 records simultaneously (Altitude, Solo Duration, & Speed)

1929-08-18 - 1929-08-18 -- Winner, first National Woman's Air-Derby; 20:02:02, average speed 135.97 mph, Wright J-5 Travel Air; Santa Monica, CA to Cleveland, OH

1932-08-14 - 1932-08-22 -- Refueling Duration, (with Francis Marsalis); 196 hrs, Wright J-6 220 hpCurtiss Thrush, "The Flying Boudoir"

1936-07-12 -- Light Plane Speed; 109.58 mph (100 km), 90 hp Porterfield

1936-09-04 -- Winner, Bendix Transcontinental Air Race; First woman to win Bendix, Wright 420 hp Beech Staggerwing CI7R; New York to Los Angeles, 14 hrs 55 minutes

1936-09-04 -- East-West Speed; New York to Los Angeles; 165.346 mph, Wright 420 hp Beech Staggerwing CI7R

1937-01-21 -- Inter-City Distance Speed; Wright 420 hp Beech Staggerwing; Detroit to Akron, 40 minutes 43 seconds

1937-05-29 -- 100 km Speed; 197.9 mph, Wright 420 hp Beech Staggerwing D17

Aviation History

1927 -- Instruction

1928-02-08 -- Solo

1928-02-28 -- Federation Aeronautique Internationale Aviators Certificate No. 6850 after approximately 5 hrs 15 minutes solo time, signed by Orville Wright

1929 -- Transport pilot License number 1943; 4th woman to earn this rating

Organizations

Delta Delta Delta (Delta Iota Chapter)

Ninety-Nines (International Organization of Women Pilots): -- Founding & Charter Member 1929-1930: First de facto President 1930-1936: National Secretary 1934-1936: Vice President 1960-1961: Amelia Earhart Scholarship Committee

1937-1938: National Aeronautic Association; National Secretary

Veteran Air Pilots

1945-1952: American Red Cross Motor Corps

OX5 Pioneers Club of America

Silver Wings

Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA)

1959-1961: US Department of Defense, Advisory Committee on Women in the Services (DACOWITS)

1960-1961: Executive Committee

1960-1961: Information Sub-committee Chairman

Civil Air Patrol 1949-1970

Lieutenant Colonel Command Pilot Search & Rescue Mission Pilot Cadet Squadron Commander Director of Cadets, Virginia Wing Director of Cadets Squadron, Cadets Middle East Region Coordinator for Women, Middle East Region National Commanders Cadet Committee 1959-1963: National Commanders Training Committee Chairman National Scholarships Committee 1970: Retired Status

League of American Pen Women, Honorary Member (Pittsburgh, PA)

Business & Professional Women, 381st (Vincinnes, IN)

Strategic Missile Wing, United States Air Force (Wichita, KS)

Honors and Awards

1936: Harmon Trophy (Aviatrix) Federation Aeronautique Internationale, Champion Aviatrix of the United States

1932: Baltimore Sunday News Outstanding Female Trophy

Famous Aviators Wall, Mission Inn, Riverside, CA

Civil Air Patrol: Distinguished Service Award; Exceptional Service Award; Meritorious ServiceAward with Cluster

OX5 Club of America, Broadwick Award --Outstanding Aviatrix

Citation: The Society of Experimental Test Pilots

Airport: Louise M. Thaden Field, Bentonville, AR

1974: The Louise M. Thaden Office & Library, Staggerwing Museum, Tullahoma, TN

OX5 Pioneer Aviators Hall of Fame

1973: OX5 Silver Wings Achievement Award

1980: Arkansas Aviation Hall of Fame

1988: First Flight Society Aviation Hall of Fame, Kitty Hawk, NC

1989: Virginia Aviation Hall of Fame

1989: Recreation flight, 1929 First Women's Air Derby, 60th Anniversary, Susan Dusenbury, pilot

1991-04-05: Flying helmet taken aboard Atlantis Space Shuttle by Mission Specialist Linda Goodwin, Ph.D., NASA Flight #STS-37

1996-08: Staggerwing Beech Commemorative Tour honoring Louise Thaden, winner of 1936 Bendix Transcontinental Air Race; 60th Anniversary

1997-07: Award of Achievement, The Ninety-Nines, Inc.

1999-04: The International Aerospace Hall of Fame of the San Diego Aerospace Museum

1999-07: National Aviation Hall of Fame, Dayton OH

2003-03: Women in Aviation, International --named as one of the "100 Women Who Made a Difference" in the history of aviation, 14th annual conference

Louise Thaden Woman of the Year Award --Annual presentation by Bentonville/Bella Vista Chamber of Commerce at the NW AR Business Women's Conference, began 2000

2000-03: Women in Aviation, International Pioneer Hall of Fame
Provenance:
William Thaden, gift, 1983, XXXX-0006, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Periodicals  Search this
Women in aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Diaries
Maps
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Correspondence
Citation:
Louise McPhetridge Thaden Collection, Acc. XXXX-0006, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0006
See more items in:
Louise McPhetridge Thaden Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0006
Additional Online Media:

Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers

Creator:
Weems, Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.)  Search this
Extent:
79 Cubic feet ( 209 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Charts
Business records
Articles
Date:
circa 1905-circa 2005
Summary:
The Philip Van Horn (P. V. H. ) Weems Papers contain 79 cu. ft. of materials related to his life and career.
Scope and Contents:
The Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers reflect Weems' broad, restless curiosity regarding undersea, marine, aerial and space navigation. Weems' significant contributions as a great innovator and proponent of navigational techniques, practices and devices are quite evident in this collection.

Overall, this collection encompasses the years Weems spent as an officer in the U.S. Navy, with his firm, the Weems System of Navigation (WSN), as well as other navigation and non-navigation activities, roughly, from the 1910s through the 1960s. There is some material however, that dates back prior to and beyond this time span. The bulk of the collection is composed of correspondence; most of it related to Weems' involvement in the field of navigation. That said, there is a large amount of other types of archival materials contained which range from photographs, brochures, newsletters, articles and newspaper clippings to press releases, notes, handbooks and manuals. Additionally, there are drafts of papers and articles authored by Weems and other navigational notables. Undoubtedly due to Weems' long life span of ninety years and in combination with his quite varied interests, there are even more kinds of materials threaded throughout this collection.

Very little of the Weems Papers was in any discernable order upon its acquisition by the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives Division. Accordingly, the processing archivist had to organize this large amount of archival material; some of it placed in decades-old file folders while much of it was found loose and unsorted in boxes. As a result, much time was required to simply rebox, refolder and arrange such a great deal of unorganized materials.

This collection is arranged into three series. The first series is composed of personal materials that include correspondence, memoranda, journals, diaries, newsletters on the Weems family, photographs and miscellaneous materials. Each type of archival material is organized chronologically and then alphabetically. The second series consists of professional materials and is by far and away the largest segment of the Weems Papers. Within this series, correspondence is the preponderant material. This series is arranged as follows: Weems' military correspondence (including his return to service during World War II and the early 1960s), WSN correspondence from the late 1920s to the 1950s, general correspondence, memoranda, notes, drafts and worksheets, WSN-related receipts and records, logbooks, notebooks and lesson books, tables, graphs and diagrams, press/news releases, reports, handouts and briefings, manuals, handbooks, procedures and instructions, photographs, speeches and presentations, papers, brochures, pamphlets and catalogs, newsletters, notices and advertisements, books, booklets, registers and guidebooks, maps and charts, magazines and journals, articles, newspaper clippings, and miscellaneous materials. All of the above material is arranged chronologically and then alphabetically. The third series is composed of oversize materials. This material consists of photo albums, scrapbooks, oversized magazines, newspapers, drawings, blueprints, and miscellaneous materials.
Biographical / Historical:
Philip Van Horn (P.V.H.) Weems was born on March 29, 1889, on a farm in Tennessee. By age 13, both of Weems' parents died, leaving him and his six siblings to run the family farm with a minimum of help from adult neighbors. In spite of a poor primary education. Weems was able to secure admission into the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland in 1908. Academically, he performed at a slightly above average grade level but excelled in athletics, being on the varsity crew, football and wrestling teams. Upon graduation from the Naval Academy in 1912, Weems started his sea duty aboard the USS North Dakota. Following that assignment, he served aboard the survey vessel Leonidas, Nevada and Georgia. During World War I, Weems acted as chief engineer for the troop transport Orizaba (for which he received the Navy Commendation Medal for his excellent service aboard this ship).After the war, he served aboard the destroyers Murray and O'Brien. Weems' sea duty aboard the latter vessel proved significant as the O'Brien was employed by the Navy as a picket ship for the first trans-Atlantic flight by the Curtiss NC-4 flying boat in 1919. During this major achievement in aviation, he served as ship's executive officer and thus, began his long association with aerial navigation.

As Weems' naval career advanced, so too did other aspects of his life. In 1915, he married Margaret Thackray. This marriage would prove durable as it would last until his death over 60 years later. Additionally, three children resulted from this union: Philip, Jr. (born in 1916), Margaret (born in 1919), and George (born in 1921). Eventually, both sons followed their father into military careers with the older of the two serving with the U.S. Marine Corps while the younger one made his career with the Navy. Another aspect of Weems' personal life was his great athletic prowess. During his days at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, he was an All-American center for the football team, as well as an outstanding wrestler, being awarded the Athletic Association's Sword for excellence in athletics upon graduation. After graduation, and for years thereafter, Weems continued on as a competitive athlete. In 1920, he was a member of the U.S. Olympic wrestling team that traveled to Antwerp, Belgium. Five years later, at age 36, he won the U.S. Navy's South Atlantic light-heavyweight wrestling championship. Even 30 years later, Weems would still challenge varsity wrestlers at the Naval Academy gymnasium.

By the end of World War I, Weems had been promoted to Lieutenant Commander. From 1922-24, he served as navigator aboard the USS Rochester. It was during this tour of duty that he started in earnest to study the field of navigation. Such efforts included not only marine but also aerial navigation techniques and practices. He further honed his knowledge and skills on this subject by acting as an instructor of navigation at the Naval Academy from 1925-26.

During this time as an instructor at Annapolis, Weems came across a set of Japanese navigational tables. With assistance from a fellow naval officer, Weems greatly improved upon this innovative yet incomplete method of navigation. Upon receiving permission from the original author in Japan, he eventually published this new version of these navigational tables in conjunction with the Naval Institute. This work, called the Line of Position Book, proved very popular and promptly sold out within a matter of months. Thus, by 1927, Weems was developing into one of the world's leading experts in modern navigation techniques. He would go on to exploit his navigational knowledge for the benefit of the burgeoning aviation field. This process began in earnest in late 1927 to early 1928 when he was ordered to the U.S. west coast to serve with the Pacific Fleet's Aircraft Squadron. Once there, Weems started extensive research into air navigation, later publishing a textbook with that actual title. During this time, he – along with his wife, founded the Weems System of Navigation (WSN). This business enterprise not only incorporated his thoughts, techniques and practices; it also operated as a clearing house for new theories and technologies pertaining to marine and aerial navigation. Further, WSN functioned as a navigational school (including a correspondence school format) for thousands of pilots throughout the U.S. and around the world. Such aviation luminaries as Charles Lindbergh, Douglas 'Wrong-Way' Corrigan, Amy Johnson, Dick Merrill, Admiral Richard Byrd, Harold Gatty, Fred Noonan, Wiley Post and Lincoln Ellsworth availed themselves of Weems' navigational instruction. In the years leading up to her disappearance during an around-the-world flight attempt in 1937, he had repeatedly offered such assistance to Amelia Earhart who – for the reason of scheduling conflicts, could never take advantage of such opportunities. Additionally, WSN churned out numerous articles, instructional handbooks and books on all matters revolving around aerial navigation.

With extensive assistance from his wife, Weems operated WSN while still on active duty with the U.S. Navy, during the period 1928-33. As he continued to perfect his navigational techniques, he served as executive officer aboard the fuel ship, USS Cuyama, from early 1928 through the summer of 1930. A year later, he was assigned to the Naval Academy on shore duty at the Postgraduate School. Subsequently, he was ordered to the Navy Department as Research Officer in Air Navigation – the first such officer tasked with this position. In late 1932, Weems took command of the destroyer, USS Hopkins and then was retired from the service in May, 1933.

Once retired from naval service, Weems expanded his business enterprises. His base of operations was in Annapolis, where he, Margaret and their children lived. He established a chain of schools under the banner of WSN. In tandem with his educational program, he developed and patented a number of methods and devices that greatly facilitated marine and aerial navigation. Even before leaving the service, Weems had already invented the highly prized Second-Setting Navigation Watch. Throughout the 1930s, his inventions/patents ran the gamut from Star Altitude Curves (which were published navigation tables), Mark II Plotter, Line of Position and Wind Drift Plotters to Drift and Ground Speed Meters. Weems also authored or co-authored numerous books, handbooks, manuals and articles on a variety of navigation themes. Besides his previously published Line of Position Book, he authored Air Navigation in 1931, updated editions of his Star Altitude Curves (1938, 1940 and 1950), Instrument Flying in 1940 (with co-author, Charles Zweng), Marine Navigation in 1940 and Learning to Navigate in 1943.

America's entry into World War II resulted in WSN becoming even busier with its educational programs and sales of its various navigational devices and publications. In addition, the outbreak of war meant a major change in Weems' life. Due to a shortage of naval officers, he was recalled to active duty (as a Lieutenant Commander) in July, 1942. Two months later, Weems was made a convoy commodore for the Atlantic Ocean theater of operations. For the next three years, he served with distinction in this position, having safely shepherded every merchant convoy on the trans-Atlantic run, guaranteeing that necessary supplies, arms and troops arrived safely at European and African ports. As a result of this outstanding performance, Weems was quickly promoted to Commander and then Captain. By the time he retired from active duty again in early 1946, Weems was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his actions in World War II. Before the war ended, he was also awarded his wings as a Naval Air Navigator. During his wartime service, his wife once again took the lead in managing WSN. Also, during this period, the Weemses lost their son, Philip, Jr. He was killed while serving as a Major with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Southwest Pacific in June, 1943.

After World War II and upon his second retirement from naval service, Weems continued with WSN and other business ventures. This included helping to establish Aeronautical Services, Inc., as well as Weems and Plath, Inc. The former enterprise focused on aviation-related matters while the latter stressed marine navigation. In addition, he continued with his writing about various navigational topics and inventing new techniques and devices pertaining to marine and aerial navigation. This included the Weems Position Finder in 1959 and a revising of his earlier publication, Air Navigation, in 1958. Beyond this, he co-founded and became president of the U.S. Institute of Navigation in 1952, made a flight over the North Pole in 1948 and an around-the-world flight two years later – both times actively participating in the aerial navigation of these risky (at the time) ventures. Shortly before his son's death during a test flight of a U.S. Navy aircraft in 1951, he and George made a long aerial journey in a light plane from London, England to Alice Springs, Australia, with the elder Weems performing the navigation and the younger Weems acting as pilot. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s, Weems even found time to participate in various underwater archeological expeditions with Ed Link (of flight simulator and submersible design fame). In 1959, he joined with Link, the National Geographic Society and the Smithsonian Institution to conduct an undersea exploration of the sunken city of Port Royal, Jamaica, lost during an earthquake in 1692. The following year, Weems participated in another adventure with Link in Israel by exploring another sunken city, Caesaria. The 'inner space' navigation techniques he developed were employed during all such underwater archeological expeditions.

In 1960, Weems received a grant from the American Philosophical Society to develop practical methods of space navigation, to be described in a handbook for use in space operations as the U.S. initiated its attempt to place humans in Earth orbit. Most of the work on this book was completed when the Navy Department ordered the Captain to active duty for a third, and last, time in 1961. He was assigned the task of conducting a pilot class in space navigation (held at the Naval Academy), as well as to produce a Space Navigation Handbook. With the assistance from several of his young students (all U.S. Navy ensigns), Weems published this handbook in early 1962. His research proved invaluable as he developed a quick way for astronauts to determine their position relative to Earth by utilizing a few visual sightings. He continued his contributions to space navigation by serving as a consultant for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Thus, by his seventies, Weems was an established expert in undersea, marine, aerial and space navigation. He had few peers anywhere on Earth in such fields of study.

Besides medals earned for his years of service in the U.S. Navy during World War I and World War II, Weems garnered many other awards and honors for his work in navigation. Among them are the following: The Thomas Gray Award from the Royal Society of Arts, England; the Gold Medal from the Aero Club of France; Fellow, Institute of Aeronautical Sciences; Fellow, American Geographical Society; the Magellanic Premium (Gold Medal) of the American Philosophical Society; the LaGorce Medal from the National Geographic Society; the Thurlow Award from the Institute of Navigation; and the Gold Medal of the British Institute of Navigation.

Beyond his career, Weems possessed a keen interest in many other subjects. Throughout most of his life, he stayed active and engaged in city of Annapolis politics, the U.S. Naval Academy, boating, yachting, retired Olympian affairs, history of all sorts, and genealogy. Furthermore, he was a regular donor of navigation-related artifacts and documents to the Smithsonian Institution's National Air Museum (and, later on, the National Air and Space Museum), as well as various historical associations and libraries from his home state of Tennessee. After a brief illness, Weems died at Annapolis' Anne Arundel Hospital on June 2, 1979, at the age of 90.
Provenance:
Thackray Seznec, Gift, 2012
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Navigation  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Navigation equipment and supplies  Search this
Weems School of Navigation  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Scrapbooks
Photographs
Charts
Business records
Articles
Citation:
Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers, Accession 2012.0052, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2012.0052
See more items in:
Philip Van Horn (P. V. H.) Weems Papers
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2012-0052

John Matthew Miller III Collection

Creator:
Miller, John Matthew, III, 1896-  Search this
Names:
Kellet Autogiro Corp  Search this
Miller Aviation Corp (John Matthew Miller III) (Aircraft manufacturer) (1927-1929)  Search this
New Brunswick (NJ) Aero Club  Search this
Pitcairn (Pitcairn-Cierva)  Search this
Pitcairn Autogiro Co, Inc  Search this
Pitcairn Aviation  Search this
Johnson, Robert Woods  Search this
Miller, John Matthew, III, 1896-  Search this
Extent:
0.8 Cubic feet (1 legal document box, 1 slim legal document box, 1 map folder (18 x 48 inches))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Financial records
Correspondence
Clippings
Pamphlets
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Logs (records)
Date:
1910-1973
Summary:
John Matthew Miller III (born June 3, 1896) was active in aviation throughout his life, as a naval aviator, air mail pilot, transport pilot, autogiro pilot, flight instructor, aircraft manufacturer, airport operator, agricultural pilot, and helicopter test pilot, working at different times for the United States Navy, the U.S. Aerial Mail Service, Pitcairn Aeronautical Corporation, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture; from 1927-1929 Miller operated his own business, the Miller Aviation Corporation of New Brunswick, New Jersey. The collection includes Miller's pilot licenses and log books, scrapbooks, photographs, newspaper clippings and assorted ephemera, predominantly from the 1914 to 1939 period of Miller's life.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains both original materials and photocopies of materials loaned by the donor for copying. Original materials include Miller's United States Navy Naval Aviator Certificate, an aircraft log book for the Curtiss Seagull "Jacques Cartier" (owned by The Chicago Tribune), a photo album entitled "The Miller Corporation, New Brunswick Airport" featuring images of the Miller (Corp) MCA-1 Amphibian Biplane, assorted loose photographs, correspondence from Robert Woods Johnson (of Johnson & Johnson), two panoramic group photographs of the US Navy Flight A Naval Aviation detachment at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917, newspaper clippings (several covering James G. Ray's autogiro flight over Washington, DC in 1934), assorted ephemera relating to Miller's aviation career, and two bound books: Flying Officers of the U.S.N. (US Navy): 1917-1919 and Saga of the US Air Mail Service: 1918-1927, (Air Mail Pioneers, Inc., 1962). Photocopied materials include two of Miller's pilot log books, two of Miller's pilot licenses, a scrapbook, and selected pages from additional scrapbooks from which individual photographs were copied by the National Air and Space Museum in 2001. The collection also includes Smithsonian Institution numbered copy prints of these selected photographs.
Arrangement:
Materials in this collection are grouped into Series by type; materials within a series are generally arranged chronologically, grouped by subject.
Biographical / Historical:
John Matthew Miller III was born June 3, 1896, at Tacoma, Washington. As a teenager, Miller came east to study at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and found summer employment with the Burgess Company aircraft manufacturers at Marblehead, Massachusetts. In 1917, following the entry of the United States into World War I, Miller was accepted into the Massachusetts School for Naval Air Service (Flight A Naval Aviation detachment at MIT), and, after two months, moved on to elementary flying instruction at Hampton Roads, Virginia, and then advanced instruction at Pensacola, Florida. He was commissioned into the United States Naval Air Service as an Ensign on March 16, 1918, and stationed at Naval Air Station Rockaway Beach, New York, where he performed patrol and convoy work off New York harbor, until ordered to inactive duty on December 15, 1918. Miller promptly joined the US Aerial Mail Service; after training in Dayton Wright DH-4 air mailplanes at Belmont Park, Long Island, Miller was posted to Bustleton, Pennsylvania, as station manager. Following his two years of air mail service, Miller worked at a number of aviation jobs, including time with the America Trans Oceanic Company (Miami, Florida, 1920), survey flights in Quebec (Canada, 1922), and managing operations for Pitcairn Aeronautical Corporation at their base adjacent to Hadley Field in South Plainfield, New Jersey (the New York terminal for the New York to Chicago and New York to Atlanta air mail routes). Miller was an active member of the New Brunswick (NJ) Aero Club, owners of a Pitcairn PA-3 Orowing based at Pitcairn's field. On August 1, 1927, Miller organized the Miller Aviation Corporation, operating out of New Brunswick Airport (a.k.a. "Miller Field"), a short-lived airfield located southwest of the city of New Brunswick. Miller Aviation offered flying instruction, local sightseeing flights, and charter passenger flights in the mid-Atlantic seaboard region. In 1928-1929, the Miller Aviation Corporation designed, constructed, and tested the Miller (Corp) MCA-1 Amphibian Biplane; sadly, the aircraft crashed during its first ground landing. After his company failed, Miller returned to Pitcairn Aeronautical as an autogiro pilot, making a number of flights through the 1930s for Pitcairn, the US Department of Agriculture, and others. During World War II, Miller temporarily rejoined the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, serving as a helicopter test pilot at Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Maryland. Miller later worked for the Department of Agriculture until his retirement in 1956.

NOTE: John Matthew Miller III (born 1896, died circa 1980s), the subject of this collection, should not be confused with fellow air mail and autogiro pilot John McDonald "Johnny" Miller (1905-2008), occasionally referenced in this collection. Johnny Miller was more closely associated with the Kellett Autogiro Corp (Philadelphia, PA), and was famous for being the first to land an aircraft on the roof of a building.
Provenance:
Lee M. Gunther-Mohr, Gift, 2001, NASM.2001.0036.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Burgess Aircraft Family  Search this
Autogiros  Search this
Aircraft industry -- United States  Search this
Aircraft industry  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Societies, etc.  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogiro  Search this
Miller Corp MCA-1 Amphibian Biplane  Search this
Kellett Autogiro Family  Search this
Pitcairn PA-3 Orowing  Search this
Waco 10 Family (Aircraft)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Financial records
Correspondence
Clippings
Pamphlets
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Logs (records)
Scrapbooks
Citation:
John Matthew Miller III Collection, Acc. NASM.2001.0036, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2001.0036
See more items in:
John Matthew Miller III Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2001-0036
Additional Online Media:

Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection

Creator:
Brooks, Arthur Raymond, 1895-1991  Search this
Names:
Bell Telephone Laboratories  Search this
Florida Airways Corp  Search this
United States. Army. Air Service. 22nd Pursuit Group  Search this
United States. Department of Commerce. Aeronautics Branch  Search this
Brooks, Arthur Raymond, 1895-1991  Search this
Extent:
13.72 Cubic feet (31 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Financial records
Diaries
Drawings
Publications
Photographs
Videotapes
Date:
1910-1988
Summary:
This collection consists of the personal papers and memorabilia of Arthur Raymond Brooks. It includes photographs, correspondence, documents, and certificates relating to Brooks' aviation career, as well as personal correspondence, photographs, and diaries (1907-87).
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the personal papers of Arthur Raymond Brooks. These papers relate to his military career with the U.S. Army Air Service (1917-22), his years in both civilian government service and the private sector (1923-60), as well as a lifetime's involvement in numerous military, academic, aeronautical, and professional associations and organizations. Additionally, there are examples of correspondence and autographed photographs from such aerospace notables as Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Billy Mitchell, Clayton Bissell, Reed Chambers, and Michael Collins.

The collection is arranged into two broad series. First, is the material relating to his professional life. This includes Brooks' official military documents (U.S. Army commission, discharge papers, etc.), correspondence, reports, photographs (mostly from his time spent as an Air Service officer in France and the U.S.), handbooks, manuals, brochures, programs, speeches, magazines, newsletters, newspaper clippings, and articles. The second series contains items pertaining mainly to his personal life. Included here are personal documents such as income tax receipts, last will and testament, correspondence, photographs (both largely from and of family and friends), diaries, biographical notes, transcripts from audio tape cassettes, logbooks, travel guides, and books. Miscellaneous materials retained by Brooks such as a commemorative medallion, prints, posters, publications, a stamp album, photograph albums, newspapers, and address books are also found in this series.

Brooks' papers are arranged both chronologically and alphabetically. Official military and personal documents, correspondence, reports, photographs, brochures, programs, newspaper clippings and articles, diaries and day timers, biographical notes, transcriptions, logbooks, travel guides, maps, atlases, timetables, and newspapers are organized by the former method. Handbooks, instructions, manuals, magazines, and newsletters are grouped alphabetically by title. The books are arranged alphabetically by author.
Arrangement:
Series 1: Professional material

1.1 Official military documents

1.2 Correspondence

1.3 Reports

1.4 Handbooks, instructions, and manuals

1.5 Photographs

1.6 Brochures

1.7 Programs

1.8 Magazines

1.9 Newsletters

1.10 Newspaper clippings and articles

Series 2: Personal materials

2.1 Personal documents

2.2 Correspondence

2.3 Diaries and day-timers

2.4 Photographs

2.5 Biographical notes

2.6 Transcripts

2.7 Logbooks

2.8 Travel guides, maps, atlases, and train/airline timetables

2.9 Books

2.10 Miscellaneous materials

2.11 Oversized materials

2.12 Posters, prints and maps

2.13 Newspapers and newspaper supplements
Biographical/Historical note:
Arthur Raymond Brooks (1895-1991) was a fighter pilot for the U.S. Army Air Service during World War I and later, a civil aviation pioneer. Born in Framingham, Massachusetts on November 1, 1895, Brooks graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1917 with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrochemical engineering. In July of that year, he enlisted in the Aviation Section of the U.S. Army Signal Corps. His flight training was provided by the Royal Flying Corps' School of Military Aeronautics in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He was then sent for further flight training to Fort Worth, Texas where he flew with the 139th Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. In March 1918, Brooks left for France and completed pursuit training at the 3rd Aviation Instruction Center, American Expeditionary Force (AEF), at Issoudun. The 139th was placed at the Vaucouleurs Aerodrome, Toul sector, where the squadron was equipped with SPAD VII aircraft. Brooks was eventually made its flight commander. By early August, he was assigned as flight commander of the 22nd Aero Squadron, 2nd Pursuit Group. His new squadron was supplied with SPAD XIII pursuit craft. Altogether, he flew 120 missions in four different aircraft. He named each of the aircraft Smith in honor of his fiancée (Ruth Connery) who was attending Smith College in Massachusetts. The final plane he flew in combat, the Smith IV, is on display at the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum.

On July 29, 1918, Brooks achieved his first confirmed aerial victory by downing a German Fokker aircraft. Later, he destroyed two more Fokkers while flying over enemy lines on September 14. On that day, Brooks single-handedly engaged eight enemy aircraft in combat thus, earning him the Distinguished Service Cross. By the war's end, he had six confirmed kills to his credit.

Following the armistice of November 11, 1918, Brooks remained in France as the 22nd Squadron's commanding officer. His squadron was kept in reserve for possible German occupation duty. Upon his return to the United States in July 1919, Brooks was promoted to Captain. He decided to stay in the Air Service and was subsequently assigned as commanding officer for the 95th Pursuit Squadron, stationed at Kelly Field, Texas. From May 1920 to August 1921, he was put in charge of the 1st Pursuit Group at Ellington Field, Texas. Following that assignment, Brooks attended Air Service Field Officer's School, Langley Field, Virginia. After graduation, he stayed on duty at Langley Field until his resignation from the U.S. Army Air Service in December 1922. This action was spurred both by Brooks' frustration with being on the Army's stagnant promotion list and an interest in entering the private sector. During 1920-21, while in the service, he was involved in a failed Framingham-based commercial aviation business called the Brooks, Banks and Smith Corporation. Also in 1920, Brooks married Ruth. Their only child, Peter, was born in 1929.

Brooks' first job after his honorable discharge from the Air Service was as secretary for the National Automobile Association during 1923-24. During 1924-25, he worked in advertising sales for the financial magazine, United States Investor. Once again, his desire to be engaged in commercial aviation compelled him to become involved in establishing and organizing the Florida Airways Corporation from late 1925 into 1926. In time, Florida Airways became Eastern Airways. Brooks left this financially struggling enterprise and joined the Department of Commerce's Aeronautics Branch in August 1926. For the next seventeen months, he worked as an airway extension superintendent and associate airways engineer. His main task with the Aeronautics Branch was to survey air routes and supervise the installation of beacons to assist air mail pilots navigate the Appalachian Mountains from Virginia to Pennsylvania. He left government service in early 1928 and was hired by Bell Telephone Laboratories. He spent the next few decades working as a scientist, engineer and chief pilot for the company at Hadley Field, New Jersey. There, Brooks and his staff conducted pioneering research on ground-to-air radiotelephone communications and electronic aviation navigation equipment. During much of this period, he piloted a Fairchild FC2-W Wasp and a Ford Tri-Motor that operated as flying laboratories for the team's communications research. He was Bell's publications manager for New Jersey operations at the time of his retirement in 1960.

Brooks stayed active in aviation for the remainder of his life. Even in his nineties, he enjoyed flying all sorts of aircraft, including ultralights, gliders and hot-air balloons. He belonged to many aviation-related and professional associations and organizations such as the American Legion, Military Order of the World Wars, Combat Pilots Association, Order of Daedalians, OX-5 Aviation Pioneers Association, Telephone Pioneers of America, Cross and Cockade, Associate Fellow of the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics, Quiet Birdmen, WWI Overseas Flyers and the American Fighter Aces Association. Brooks also remained involved with the alumni affairs of his alma mater – MIT. He attended numerous air shows and reunions, including the sixty-fifth, and final reunion, held for the Lafayette Flying Corps in Paris, France in 1983. In 1980, he was inducted into the Aviation Hall of Fame of New Jersey. Brooks lived long enough to see his Smith IV restored by the National Air and Space Museum during the 1980s. Brooks, the last surviving American World War I ace, died in Summit, New Jersey, on July 17, 1991.
General note:
Other materials: medals and memorabilia transferred to NASM Aeronautics Division.
Provenance:
A. Raymond Brooks, Gift, 1989, NASM.1989.0104
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Fighter pilots  Search this
Works of art  Search this
SPAD XIII (S.13) "Smith IV"  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Financial records
Diaries
Drawings
Publications
Photographs
Videotapes
Citation:
Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection, NASM.1989.0104, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1989.0104
See more items in:
Arthur Raymond Brooks Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1989-0104
Additional Online Media:

Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection

Creator:
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr., 1912-  Search this
Names:
Air University (U.S.). Air War College  Search this
United States Military Academy  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. 332nd Fighter Group  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. 477th Bombardment Group  Search this
United States. Army Air Forces. 99th Fighter Squadron  Search this
Davis, Benjamin O., Jr., 1912-  Search this
Nixon, Richard M.  Search this
Extent:
75.03 Cubic feet (168 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Publications
Correspondence
Programs
Place:
Tuskegee Army Air Field (Ala.)
Date:
1928-1990
Summary:
This collection consists of 72 linear feet of the papers of Benjamin O. Davis. Included are the following types of material: programs, invitations, certificates, correspondence, published material, and photographs.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of material gathered by General and Mrs. Davis over the course of their lives to 1993. The bulk of this collection consists of correspondence, newsclippings, and photographs relating to or received by the Davises, especially after General Davis retired from the Air Force. The collection is particularly rich in materials from the black press of the 1940s, documenting the response of the black community to the activities of the 99th Fighter Squadron and 332d Fighter Group during and after World War II, and contains a small amount of material related to the controversy surrounding the units' combat performance and the morale issues raised by the segregated society of the 1940s. Most of the remainder of the material from Davis' military career centers on his own activities. Davis' tenure as the Director of Public Safety in Cleveland coincides with the activities of the Black Panther movement and the term of Mayor Carl Stokes, Cleveland's first mayor of African descent; the newclippings and correspondence from this period highlight police activities and public reaction in this racially-polarized atmosphere. Much of the material from Davis' early tenure at the Department of Transportation deals with civil aviation security, initially to counter the hijacking wave of the early 1970s and later to reduce cargo theft. The material from his later years, particularly during his years as a consultant, deals primarily with attempts to reduce gasoline consumption, especially his work promoting the 55mph National Maximum Speed Limit. The largest blocks of material from Davis' private life relate to his tenure on the President's Commission on Campus Unrest (1970) and the President's Commission on Military Compensation (1977-1978); these contain, respectively, materials on student protests, including the shootings at Kent State, and on issues surrounding military pay and retirement. There is also a significant body of material relating to his association with Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. and his speaking tours to increase public knowledge of the role of black servicemen during World War II.

Materials of a personal nature, particularly correspondence between General and Mrs. Davis, were retained by the Davises and therefore do not figure in this collection. Most official documents relating to Davis' activities in the military or civil service are held by the United States National Archives and Records Administration in Record Groups 18 (Records of the Army Air Forces), 341 (Records of Headquarters United States Air Force (Air Staff)), 342 (Records of United States Air Force Commands, Activities, and Organizations), and 398 (General Records of the Department of Transportation). Official materials remaining in the collection are primarily contemporary copies given to Mrs. Davis relating to General Davis' travel or public appearances.

Some of the early material (through approximately 1948) was organized by Mrs. Davis into a series of scrapbooks, each of which contains photographs, correspondence, and newsclippings. The rest of the items in the collection were organized into envelopes by the Davises before donation, with the material generally arranged by posting (duty station) and chronology. The items in any given envelope were generally not organized and neither were the envelopes themselves grouped in any particular manner. Additionally, some military records gathered by General Davis as reference material while writing his autobiography were identified by the period of his posting, although the material itself was generally created after that period. Items relating primarily to Mrs. Davis were not separated by the Davises in any manner; during processing such material was treated in a like manner, remaining interfiled with material relating primarily to General Davis, except as noted below.

The collection as a whole has been organized into four chronological groups: Civilian and Family Life (predating Davis' admission to the US Military Academy at West Point, NY), Military Service, Private Life (post-dating Davis' retirement from the USAF), and Autobiography. The second of these (Military Service) has been organized chronologically by posting, then alphabetically by subject; the remaining groups have been organized alphabetically by broad subject areas, then chronologically.

A number of broad subject areas recur in both the civilian and military sections of this collection. In cases where such broad areas can be applied individually to Davis, Mrs. Davis, or Davis Sr., they have been grouped in that order. The subject areas are as follows:

Awards and Honors -- materials relating to medals, citations, or other awards or honors given to Davis (or other members of his family)

Newclippings -- clippings from newspapers or magazines, or complete newspapers or magazines, except when such clippings were enclosures which had remained with their associated cover letter

Official Duties -- materials relating to Davis' activities connected to his official duties (used in Series II only)

Social -- materials relating to the Davises' activities which are not obviously connected to his official duties

Travel -- materials relating to trips by the Davises which do not appear to be duty-related trips

Other subject areas are generally self-explanatory.

The collection contained two videotapes, one relating to the 50th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen and the other to the 1992 Clinton Campaign, both of which have been transferred to the NASM Film Archives. Cross references to these tapes have been placed in the finding aid in the series or subseries into which they would have fallen had they been documents. A large number of three-dimensional items, particularly plaques, have been transferred to curatorial control. For access to these items, please contact the NASM Aeronautics Department. Oversized items remaining in the collection have been placed in appropriate-sized containers at the end of the document collection; reference to such items occurs in the file lists as "see oversized..." or "see also oversized..." as appropriate.

Researchers should also consult Davis' autobiography, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1991).
Arrangement:
Series 1: Education and Civilian Life, to June 1932

Series 2: Military Career, June 1932 to January 1970

Series 3: Civilian Life, February 1970 to 1993

Series 4: Autobiography
Biographical / Historical:
Benjamin Oliver Davis, Jr. was born in Washington, DC on December 18, 1912, the second of three children born to Benjamin Oliver (Sr.) and Elnora Dickerson Davis. At that time Davis Sr.(1) was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army, having worked his way up from an enlisted cavalry trooper. Elnora Davis died from complications after giving birth to their third child (Elnora) in 1916 and three years later Davis Sr. married Sadie Overton, an English professor at Wilberforce University. Davis and his sisters lived with relatives in Washington while Davis Sr. completed his tour of duty in the Philippines with his new bride. The family was reunited in Tuskegee, AL when Davis Sr. taught military science and tactics at the Tuskegee Institute between 1920 and 1924. In 1924 Davis Sr. was assigned as an instructor to a federalized Ohio National Guard unit and the family moved to Cleveland, OH.

Davis finished his schooling in Cleveland, graduating from Central High School in 1929. He then attended Western Reserve University (1929-1930) and the University of Chicago (1930-1932) before gaining admission to the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY. He graduated in the Class of 1936 and was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Infantry.(2) Upon graduation, he married Ms. Agatha Scott, whom he had met and dated while at the Academy.

After serving in the infantry for several years Davis was posted to the newly-established Tuskegee Army Air Field, AL for pilot training in 1942. He graduated in the first class from the new flying school and was officially transferred to the Army Air Corps. In August 1942 he assumed command of the 99th Fighter Squadron, leading it in combat in North Africa and Sicily. The 99th Fighter Squadron was the first unit of "Tuskegee Airmen," as black(3) units in the segregated Army Air Forces (AAF) have come to be called. Two units of Tuskegee Airmen saw combat during World War II: the 99th Fighter Squadron and the 332d Fighter Group (composed of the 100th, 301st, and 302d Fighter Squadrons). Davis, promoted to Colonel in 1944, commanded both of these units in turn, leading the 99th and 332d in combat in Europe and earning the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross, Legion of Merit, and Silver Star for his own actions and a Distinguished Unit Citation for the 332d Fighter Group.

Davis returned to the United States in June 1945 to assume command of the 477th Bombardment Group (composed of the 616th, 617th, 618th, and 619th Bombardment Squadrons; later redesignated the 477th Composite Group), another segregated black unit, at Godman Field, KY. Davis was expected to prepare the unit for deployment to the Pacific Theater, although the unit's training was badly behind schedule due to racial tensions between the white staff and black operating personnel of the unit. Davis quickly brought the unit up to deployment requirements, but the war ended before the 477th left the United States. Returning elements of the 332d and 99th were merged into the 477th, which was redesignated the 332d Fighter Wing in 1947. As the only remaining black unit in the newly-established, but still segregated, United States Air Force (USAF), the 332d suffered from a surplus of qualified personnel while remaining USAF units were often under manned. The performance of the units under Davis' command had laid to rest questions regarding the abilities of the "negro race" and in 1948 the Air Force determined that the efficient use of its manpower required the integration of its units. As a result the Air Force rapidly complied with President Truman's order for the integration of the United States military. Davis acted as an advisor to the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force in relation to the integration of the armed forces. The integration procedure, however, resulted in the deactivation of Davis' command as its personnel were dispersed among the rest of the Air Force; Davis himself was assigned to attend classes at the Air War College at Maxwell AFB, AL.

After completing the course of study at the Air War College (1949-1950), Davis was posted to a variety of command and staff positions both within the United States and abroad. He served in a number of staff positions in Headquarters, USAF, at the Pentagon.(4) He held both command and staff positions abroad in Korea (5), Japan (6), Taiwan (7), Germany (8), and the Philippines.(9) His final assignment was as Deputy Commander in Chief of United States Strike Command at MacDill AFB, FL.

Davis was promoted to Brigadier General in October 1954 (10), after ten years as a Colonel. He was promoted to Major General in June 1959 and to Lieutenant General in April 1965. Despite persistent rumors of his impending promotion to full General (four stars), no such promotion was pending by the time of his retirement on January 31, 1970.

Throughout his military career Davis took great pains to insure good living conditions and fair treatment for the men under his command. He strove to create good relations between the US military forces and local military and civil authorities. In particular, he negotiated several Status of Forces Agreements and defused several antagonistic situations between US forces and local authorities while commanding units in Asia. In addition, he and Agatha established many personal relationships, which they maintained after their return to the United States.

After his retirement from the military, he served briefly as the Director of Public Safety for the City of Cleveland, OH (February-July 1970), leading the Cleveland Police and Fire Departments in the racially-polarized atmosphere in that city after the riots of the late 1960s. Following his resignation from Cleveland, he took a position as the Director of Civil Aviation Security for the United States Department of Transportation (November 1970-June 1971), where he was responsible for implementing measures to counter the first wave of aerial hijackings of the 1970s. In July 1971 he was appointed Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs (July 1971-September 1975), serving both the Nixon and Ford Administrations in that position.

Following his retirement from the civil service, he worked as a consultant to the Department of Transportation in the Ford and Carter Administrations on a number of issues, but was particularly linked to the promotion of the 55mph National Maximum Speed Limit. He served on a number of boards and commissions, including the President's Commission on Campus Unrest, the American Battle Monuments Commission, The President's Commission on Military Compensation, and the Board of Directors of the Manhattan Life Insurance Co. He was also active in a number of clubs and organizations, particularly the Tuskegee Airmen Inc., which awarded him a lifetime membership in 1991.

In the late 1980s he began work on his autobiography, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography (Washington, DC: Smithsonian, 1991). Following its publication, Davis pursued an active speaking career, crossing the country to talk to schools, clubs, and general audiences about his experiences. His book and

es, his contributions to the Black Wings exhibit at the National Air and Space Museum (opened 1983), and the work of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. did much to lift the veil that had fallen over the activities of black Americans during World War II, both in the air and on the ground. For his contributions, both during and after World War II, he received many awards, including the Order of the Sword (presented by the Non-Commissioned Officers of USAF Tactical Air Command, awarded 1978), designation as an Elder Statesman of Aviation (National Aeronautic Association, awarded 1991), and the Langley Medal (Smithsonian Institution, awarded 1992), as well as numerous lifetime and distinguished achievement awards.

On December 9, 1998, Davis was promoted to General on the Retired List, receiving his fourth star from President William Clinton in a ceremony held in the Presidential Hall of the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, DC. The promotion came only after the Tuskegee Airmen approached Senator John McCain of Airzona, who agreed that the promotion was warranted by Davis' service. McCain added the necessary language to a defense-related bill, which was passed by Congress in September 1998.

Agatha died early in 2002 and General Davis, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease, followed shortly after, passing away on July 4, 2002 at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, DC.

Endnotes 1. For the sake of brevity, "Davis" refers to Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. "Davis Sr." refers to his father, Benjamin O. Davis, Sr.

2. Davis had requested a commission in the Army Air Corps, but was refused due to his race. Davis was the fourth black American to graduate from West Point and the first in the twentieth century. In keeping with his sentiments, his ethnicity will only be mentioned when it has a direct bearing upon his career. See Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography (Washington: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1991).

3. At the request of General and Mrs. Davis the term "black" or "black American" is used in preference to "African-American". Patricia Williams, Memorandum for the Record, August 21, 1992, NASM Accession File 1992 0023.

4. Staff Planning Officer, Operations and Planning Division/Commands Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCS/O; July 1950-January 1951); Chief, Air Defense Branch/Fighter Branch, DCS/O (January 1951-July 1953); Director of Manpower and Organizations, DCS/Programs and Requirements (August 1961-February 1965); Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements (February-May 1965).

5. Commander, 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing (November 1953-July 1954); Chief of Staff, United Nations Command/US Forces Korea (May 1965-August 1967)

6. Director of Operations and Training, Headquarters, Far East Air Force, Tokyo (July 1954-April 1957)

7. Commanding Officer, Air Task Force 13 (Provisional) and Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force (June 1955-April 1957)

8. Chief of Staff, Twelfth Air Force (May-December 1957); Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, USAF Europe (December 1957-July 1961)

9. Commander, Thirteenth Air Force (August 1967-July 1968)

10. Davis was the first black American to achieve flag rank in the United States Air Force. He was the second in the armed forces, the first being his father, who was promoted to Brigadier General in the United States Army in 1940.

1912 December 18 -- Davis born in Washington, DC to First Lieutenant Benjamin O. Davis (Sr.) and Elnora Dickerson Davis

1914 September 1 -- World War I begins

1915 February -- Davis Sr. begins duties as instructor at Wilberforce University, OH

1916 February 9 -- Elnora Dickerson Davis dies

1917 April 6 -- United States declares war on Germany; direct U.S. involvement in World War I begins

1917 (Summer) -- Davis Sr. assigned to 9th Cavalry Regiment, Camp Stotsenburg, Philippine Islands

1918 November 11 -- World War I armistice signed; end of combat operations in Europe

1919 -- Davis Sr. marries Sadie Overton

1920 July -- Family moves to Tuskegee, AL (Davis Sr. instructs at Tuskegee Institute)

1924 July -- Family moves to Cleveland, OH (Davis Sr. instructs 372d Infantry Regiment, OH National Guard)

1929 -- Davis graduates from Central High School, Cleveland, OH

1929 --1930 -- Davis attends Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

1930 --1932 -- Davis attends University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

1931 March -- Davis appointed to United States Military Academy, West Point, NY (fails entrance exam)

1932 March -- Davis passes USMA entrance exam

1932 July 1 -- Davis reports to USMA, West Point, NY (attends July 1, 1932-June 12, 1936)

1936 June 12 -- Davis graduates from USMA, commissioned Second Lieutenant of Infantry

1936 June 20 -- Davis marries Agatha Josephine Scott

1936 September 12 -- Davis reports to Company F, 24th Infantry Regiment at Fort Benning, GA (Company Officer, September 12, 1936-August 27, 1937)

1937 July 7 -- Japanese forces invades China; World War II begins in Asia

1937 August 27 -- Davis reports to the Infantry School at Fort Benning, GA (attends normal course, August 27, 1937-June 18, 1938)

1938 June 18 -- Davis reports to Tuskegee Institute, Tuskegee, AL as Professor of Military Science (instructs June 18, 1938-February 14, 1941)

1939 June 12 -- Davis promoted to First Lieutenant

1939 September 1 -- German forces invade Poland; World War II begins in Europe

1940 October 9 -- Davis promoted to Captain (temporary promotion)

1940 October 25 -- Davis Sr. promoted to Brigadier General and placed in command of the 4th Cavalry Brigade at Fort Riley, KS

1941 February -- Davis assigned as Aide de Camp to Davis Sr. (serves February-May 1941)

1941 May 20 -- Davis reports to Flying School at Tuskegee Army Air Field, AL (student, May 20, 1941-March 7, 1942)

1941 December 7 -- Japanese aircraft attack Pearl Harbor, HI; direct U.S. involvement in World War II begins

1942 March 7 -- Davis is appointed Administrative Officer, Tuskegee AAF, AL (serves March 7-August 27, 1942)

1942 May -- Davis transferred from Infantry to Army Air Corps

1942 May 11 -- Davis promoted to Major (temporary promotion)

1942 May 21 -- Davis promoted to Lieutenant Colonel (temporary promotion)

1942 August 27 -- Davis assumes command of 99th Fighter Squadron, Tuskegee AAF, AL (Squadron Commander, August 27, 1942-October 4, 1943)

1943 April 24 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Casablanca, French Morocco

1943 April 29 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Oued N'ja, French Morocco

1943 June 7 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Fardjouna, Tunisia

1943 July 28 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Licata, Sicily

1943 September 4 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Termini, Sicily

1943 September 17 -- 99th Fighter Squadron transferred to Barcellona, Sicily

1943 September -- Davis returns to Continental United States

1943 October 8 -- Davis assumes command of 332d Fighter Group, Selfridge Field, MI (Group Commander, October 8, 1943-June 7, 1945)

1944 February 3 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Montecorvino, Italy

1944 April 15 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Capodichino, Italy

1944 May 28 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Ramitelli Airfield, Italy

1944 May 29 -- Davis promoted to Colonel (temporary promotion)

1945 May 4 -- 332d Fighter Group transferred to Cattolica, Italy

1945 May 7 -- Germany surrenders; World War II ends in Europe

1945 June 10 -- Davis returns to Continental United States

1945 June 21 -- Davis assumes command of 477th Composite Group (Group Commander, June 21-30, 1945)

1945 July 1 -- Davis assumes command of Godman Field, KY, and all tenant units, including 477th Composite Group (Base Commander, July 1, 1945-March 4, 1946)

1945 September 2 -- Japan surrenders; World War II ends in the Pacific

1946 March 4 -- Davis assumes command of Lockbourne AAB and all tenant units, including 477th Composite Group (Base Commander, March 4, 1946-September 15, 1947) All units at Godman Field transferred to Lockbourne Army Air Base, OH

1947 July 1 -- 477th Composite Group redesignated 332d Fighter Wing

1947 July-August -- Davis travels to Liberia with Davis Sr. as a special representative of the United States Government for the establishment of Liberian independence

1947 September 16 -- Davis assumes direct command of 332d Fighter Wing (Wing Commander, September 16, 1947-June 30, 1949)

1947 October 1 -- United States Air Force created as an independent service.

1948 July 2 -- Davis' promotion to Lieutenant Colonel made permanent.

1948 July 26 -- President Truman signs Executive Order 9981 ordering the full integration of the United States armed forces.

1949 May 11 -- USAF issues Air Force Letter 35-3 stating that Air Force policy is equal treatment and opportunity for all persons in the Air Force regardless of race, color, religion, or national origin.

1949 June 30 -- 332d Fighter Wing deactivated

1949 July 1 -- Davis assumes command of Lockbourne AFB, OH (Base Commander, July 1-August 16, 1949)

1949 August 16 -- Lockbourne AFB, OH transferred to Ohio Air National Guard

1949 August 17 -- Davis reports to Air War College, Maxwell AFB, AL (attends course, August 17, 1949-July 4, 1950)

1950 June 25 -- North Korean forces invade South Korea; Korean War begins

1950 July 19 -- Davis reports to Pentagon to serve as Staff Planning Officer, Operations and Planning Division, Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (DCS/O), Headquarters, United States Air Force, Washington, DC (serves July 19, 1950-January 4, 1951)

1950 July 27 -- Davis' promotion to Colonel made permanent

1950 August 8 -- Davis awarded Croix de Guerre by the French government for his actions during World War II

1950 September 12 -- Operations and Planning Division redesignated Commands Division of DCS/O

1951 January 5 -- Davis begins duty as Branch Chief, Air Defense Branch, Commands Division, DCS/O. (serves January 5, 1951-July 15, 1953)

1951 April 16 -- Air Defense Branch redesignated Fighter Branch, Control Division, DCS/O

1953 February 5 -- Davis reports to Craig AFB, AL for Jet Indoctrination Course (February 5-March 2, 1953); returns to Fighter Branch on completion of course

1953 July 16 -- Davis reports to Nellis AFB, NV for Advanced Jet Fighter Gunnery School (July 16-November 16, 1953)

1953 July 27 -- Korean War armistice signed; end of combat operations in Korea

1953 November 25 -- Davis assumes command of 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing at Suwon, Korea (Wing Commander, November 25, 1953-July 6, 1954)

1954 July 7 -- Davis reports to Headquarters, Far East Air Force, Tokyo, Japan to serve a Director of Operations and Training (serves July 7, 1954-April 1957)

1954 October 27 -- Davis is promoted to Brigadier General (temporary promotion)

1955 June -- Davis reports to Taipei, Taiwan to establish Air Task Force 13 (Provisional) (Commander, June 1955-April 1957), with simultaneous duties as Vice Commander, Thirteenth Air Force and Director of Operations and Training, FEAF

1957 March -- Davis awarded Command Pilot Rating

1957 May -- Davis assigned to Twelfth Air Force

1957 June -- Davises travel from Taiwan to Europe via United States

1957 July -- Davis reports to Headquarters, Twelfth Air Force at Ramstein, Germany (Chief of Staff, May-December 1957)

1957 December -- Davis begins duties as Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations (ADVON) at Headquarters, USAF Europe, Wiesbaden, Germany (serves December 1957-July 1961)

1959 June 30 -- Davis is promoted to Major General (temporary rank)

1960 May 16 -- Davis' promotion to Brigadier General made permanent

1961 -- US military personnel sent to South Vietnam as advisors

1961 August -- Davis reports to Pentagon to serve as Director of Manpower and Organizations, Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements, Headquarters, USAF (serves August 1961-February 1965)

1962 January 30 -- Davis' promotion to Major General is made permanent

1965 February -- Davis begins duty as Assistant Deputy Chief of Staff for Programs and Requirements, Headquarters, USAF (serves February-May 1965)

1965 April 30 -- Davis promoted to Lieutenant General

1965 March 2 -- USAF begins "Rolling Thunder" bombing campaign over North Vietnam

1965 May 13 -- Davis reports to Seoul, Korea to begin duties as Chief of Staff to the United Nations Command and United States Forces Korea (serves May 13, 1965-August 1, 1967)

1966 October 25 -- Sadie Overton Davis dies

1967 August -- Davis assumes command of Thirteenth Air Force, Clark Air Base, Philippines (Commanding Officer, August 1967-July 1968)

1968 August 1 -- Davis reports to MacDill AFB, FL to begin duties as Deputy Commander in Chief of United States Strike Command (serves August 1, 1968-January 31, 1970)

1968 January -- Tet Offensive begins in Vietnam

1968 October 31 -- "Rolling Thunder" ends on orders from President Johnson

1969 January 20 -- Richard M. Nixon inaugurated President of the United States

1970 -- USAF begins withdrawing units from South Vietnam

1970 January 31 -- Davis retires from United States Air Force

1970 February 1 -- Davis begins work as Director of Public Safety for the Cleveland, OH (works February 1, 1970-July 27, 1970)

1970 June 13 -- Davis joins President's Commission on Campus Unrest (report issued September 27, 1971)

1970 July 27 -- Davis resigns from Cleveland position, citing lack of support from Mayor Stokes

1970 September 20 -- Davis begins work as a consultant to the United States Secretary of Transportation on air transportation security (works September 20, 1970-November 4, 1970)

1970 November 4 -- Davis begins work a Director of Civil Aviation Security for the United States Department of Transportation (works November 4, 1970-July 1, 1971)

1970 November 26 -- Benjamin O. Davis, Sr. dies

1971 July 1 -- Davis becomes Acting Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs (serves July 1, 1971-August 3, 1971)

1971 July 8 -- Nixon Administration nominates Davis to be Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs

1971 July 29 -- Senate confirms Davis in Assistant Secretary position

1971 August 3 -- Davis sworn in a Assistant Secretary of Transportation for Safety and Consumer Affairs (serves August 3, 1970-September 20, 1975)

1973 March 28 -- Last US Military personnel leave South Vietnam

1974 August 9 -- Nixon resigns as President of the United States. Vice President Gerald R. Ford becomes President

1975 September 20 -- Davis retires from Civil Service

1976 April -- Davis begins work as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation for the National Maximum Speed Limit

1977 January 20 -- James E. Carter inaugurated President of the United States

1977 June -- Davis joins President's Commission on Military Compensation (report issued March 1978)

1981 January 20 -- Ronald W. Reagan inaugurated President of the United States Davis leaves position as Special Assistant to the Secretary of Transportation

1989 January 20 -- George H. W. Bush inaugurated President of the United States

1991 -- Davis' autobiography – Benjamin O. Davis, Jr., American: An Autobiography – is published by Smithsonian Press

1991 June 30 -- Davis awarded a Lifetime Membership by Tuskegee Airmen Inc

1993 January 20 -- William J. Clinton inaugurated President of the United States

1998 December 9 -- Davis promoted to General (Retired) in a ceremony at the Old Executive Office Building

2001 January 20 -- George W. Bush inaugurated President of the United States

2002 July 4 -- Davis dies at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington, DC

2002 July 17 -- Davis buried at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, VA
Provenance:
Benjamin O. Davis and Agatha S. Davis, Gift, various, 1992-0023
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Fighter pilots  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Blacks  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Blacks -- United States  Search this
African American air pilots  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics and state  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Publications
Correspondence
Programs
Citation:
Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. Collection, Acc. 1992.0023, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1992.0023
See more items in:
Benjamin O. Davis Jr. Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1992-0023
Additional Online Media:

Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook

Creator:
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Names:
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Science Museum of London  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Wright, Orville, 1871-1948  Search this
Extent:
0.66 Cubic feet (1 flatbox)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Date:
1948-1949
Summary:
This scrapbook chronicles the return of the Wright 1903 Flyer to the United States, beginning with the early negotiations with England to the reception at the Smithsonian following receipt of the aircraft.
Scope and Contents:
This scrapbook chronicles the return of the Wright 1903 Flyer from the early negotiations with England to the reception following receipt of the aircraft. The scrapbook includes the following types of material: reception invitation and program; remarks from the reception; a letter sent by Harry Truman which was read during the reception; newspaper articles; and photographs, including shots of the curators setting up the display and hanging the aircraft in the National Air Museum in the North Hall of Arts and Industry Building.
Arrangement:
This collection is in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
After disagreements with the Smithsonian Institution, Orville Wright elected to loan his Wright 1903 Flyer to the Science Museum in England. Upon his death, an agreement was reached to return to aircraft to the United States where it would be housed by the National Air Museum.
Provenance:
Prepared by the National Air Museum, Transfer, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0393
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- 1903-1916  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Airplanes  Search this
Wright (Brothers) 1903 Flyer  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Clippings
Correspondence
Programs
Scrapbooks
Citation:
Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook, NASM.XXXX.0393, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0393
See more items in:
Wright 1903 Flyer "Operation Homecoming" Scrapbook
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0393
Additional Online Media:

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