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.
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.
Mr. and Mrs. August Bellanca, Gift, 1993, NASM.1993.0055
No restrictions on access.
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.
Thackray Seznec, Gift, 2012
No restrictions on access.
Alex 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.
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
Alex 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.
Elizabeth Arcier, gift, 1972, additional material received from Francis Arnoult, 2019, NASM.XXXX.0072.
No restrictions on access.
The papers document Victor L. Ochoa, Mexican American inventor of the Ochoaplane, orinthopter (an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings), a windmill, magnetic brakes, a wrench and a reversible motor. The papers include correspondence, photographs, patents, both U.S. and foreign, drawings and typescripts for a short story, "The Making of an American," and a novel The Cycle of Life or Professor Mimo Abas: The Wise Man of the Land of Moctezuma.
Scope and Contents:
The papers document Victor Leaton Ochoa, Mexican American inventor of the Ochoaplane, orinthopter (an aircraft that flies by flapping its wings), a windmill, magnetic brakes, a wrench and a reversible motor. The papers include correspondence, photographs, patents, both United States and foreign, drawings and typescripts for a short story and a novel.
The collection is arranged into seven series.
Series 1: Correspondence, 1895-1945
Series 2: Financial materials, 1911, 1912, undated
Series 3: Patent Materials, 1901-1925
Subseries 3.1: Patent Papers, 1922; 1925
Subseries 3.2: Drawings, undated
Subseries 3.3: Foreign Patents, 1901-1922
Subseries 3.4: United States Patents, 1903-1922
Series 4: Writings, undated
Series 5: Photographs, 1933, undated
Series 6: Newspaper Clippings, circa 1894-1912
Series 7: Miscellaneous Printing Blocks, undated
Biographical / Historical:
Victor Leaton Ochoa (1850-1945?) was born in Ojinaga, Mexico. Ochoa later moved to Presidio del Norte, Texas, (Presidio is on the Rio Grande River) and became a United States citizen in 1889. Ochoa was the son of Juan Ochoa, a customs collector in Presidio.
Victor Ochoa was a journalist/writer, founding (El Hispano-American andEl Correo del Bravo) ; a politician (running unsuccessfully in El Paso); a union leader founding (La Union Occidental Mexicana to help Mexicans in the United States preserve their language); a revolutionary (opposing the Mexican government of President Porfirio Díaz, the President of Mexico from 1876 to 1880 and from 1884 to 1911); a prisoner, corporate president of the International Airship Company and the Ochoa Tool and Machine Company; miner and inventor. Ochoa was bitterly opposed to the dictatorship of President Porfirio Díaz. He became involved in the fight by Mexican rebels in the early 1890s to overthrow Diaz. Some consider Ochoa to be the originator of the revolt, and Díaz ultimately issued a $50,000 reward for Ochoa, "dead or alive." Ochoa's participation in Mexican revolutionary activities led to his arrest in 1894 for supplying and hiring Mexican dissidents in El Paso, Texas, thus violating United States neutrality laws. As a result of his illegal actions, a federal warrant was issued for Ochoa's arrest. The Texas Rangers as well as the U.S. Marshal Service sought Ochoa. In October of 1894, Pecos County Sheriff A. J. Royal and Texas Ranger James W. Fulgham arrested Victor Ochoa while rounding up suspected horse thieves. Ochoa was put in the Pecos County Jail and promptly escaped. He was eventually found and returned to El Paso. Ochoa was ultimately sentenced to two years in federal prison at Kings County Penitentiary in Brooklyn. Ochoa was stripped of his United States citizenship, but it was ultimately restored by Theodore Roosevelt in 1906.
Ochoa was as committed to inventing as he was to his revolutionary ideals. He was known to reside in the New York City and the Patterson, New Jersey area in the late 1890s. Ochoa's issued patents list him at New York, New Jersey, and Texas addresses. He also worked with Watson E. Coleman, a solicitor of patents in Washington, D.C. Coleman helped Ochoa file for and obtain patents in other countries such as Czechoslovakia, France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, and Spain. Ochoa's patents include: a magnetic brake (US Patent No. 867,147); a reversible motor (US Patent No. 718,508); a rail magnetic brake (US Patent No. 873,587); a windmill (US Patent No. 1,319,174); and a wrench (US Patent No. 1,417,196 and 1,454,333).
Ochoa had a strong interest in aviation. He created the "Ochoaplane," circa 1908-1911. He designed it with an automobile in mind, and it included collapsible wings so that it could be housed in a garage or barn. He also incorporated the International Airship Company in Patterson, New Jersey, presumably to manufacture his "airships." Ochoa was imprisoned at the United States Penitentiary in Leavenworth, Kansas on February 18, 1917 and was released on May 1, 1918 upon completion of his sentence. In a September 17, 1917, letter written from Leavenworth, Ochoa asks the Naval Consulting Board to consider the use of metal wings constructed in such a manner that they fold back and over the body of the airship. Ochoa called this his fluttering wing machine. Ochoa's letter is deliberate, and he writes, "There was no desire on my part of abandoning this and three other patents that at this time went to issue. At that time I was taken sick with consumption and my struggle for life then became my sole purpose and then there arose other circumstances, over which I had no control, to prevent my taking them out."
Ochoa married Amanda Cole, granddaughter of Thomas Cole, the American painter, whose most famous painting isThe Last of the Mohicans . They had one son, Stephen Ochoa. Victor Ochoa returned to Sinaloa, Mexico, in 1936, and it is believed he died there in 1945.
Romo, David Dorado. Ringside Seat to a Revolution: An Underground Cultural History of El Paso and Juarez: 1893-1923. El Paso, Texas: Cinco Puntos Press, 2005.
Record Group 129, Records of the Bureau of Prisons held by the National Archives, Central Plains Division, Kansas City, Missouri (http://www.archives.gov/central-plains/kansas-city/), contains a 54 page file on Victor L. Ochoa's imprisonment.
This collection was donated by Elizabeth Victoria Ochoa on May 17, 1997.
The collection is open for research use. Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply.
Ernest Jones Aeronautical Collection, NASM.XXXX.0096, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
17.68 Cubic feet (2 records center boxes; 5 drawers)
Motion pictures (visual works)
This collection consists of correspondence, newspaper and magazine clippings, handwritten technical notes, drawings, photographs, reports, and affidavits in support of historical statements. Also included are several hundred black-and-white negatives and three reels of motion-picture film of the Herrick Vertoplane.
Scope and Contents:
The material in this collection was donated to the National Air and Space Museum (NASM) in December 1958 and relates to Herrick, the Herrick Balanced Rotary Engine, and the Herrick Vertoplane/Convertoplane series. The material consists primarily of correspondence, news clippings, and engineering drawings or sketches. Portions of the collection were discovered in the Paul E. Garber Papers (NASM Archives Accession 1991-0063) during the preliminary processing of that collection and were returned to the Herrick Collection at that time. Only the materials that now make up the bulk of Series I (Patent Related Material) and Series II (Technical Material) were found in their original enclosures (mostly envelopes) and were organized based on those enclosures. Series III (Miscellaneous Material) was created during processing primarily from loose, unorganized materials. Series IV (Engineering Drawings) consists of oversized materials and engineering drawings which had been stored rolled or folded.
A collection of negatives donated with the accession are currently housed in the curatorial files of the NASM Aeronautics Department. Some photographs from the collection were included in the NASM Archives Videodisc project; such photographs and others from the collection are housed in the NASM Archives Technical Reference Files. Three motion picture films from the collection were transferred to the NASM Film Archives in January 1995.
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.
The collection has been divided into four series. The first series contains patent-related material. The second pertains to technical materials. The third series, created during processing primarily from loose, unorganized materials, consists of miscellaneous material. The fourth series contains engineering drawings and oversized material which had been stored rolled or folded.
A collection of negatives are currently housed in the curatorial files of the NASM Aeronautics Department. Some photographs from the collection were included in the NASM Archives Videodisc project; such photographs and others from the collection are housed in the NASM Archives Technical Reference Files. Three motion picture films from the collection were transferred to the NASM Film Archives in January 1995.
SERIES I: Patent-Related Material
SERIES II: Technical Material
SERIES III: Miscellaneous Material
SERIES IV: Engineering Drawings and Oversized Material
Biographical / Historical:
Gerard Post Herrick (1873-1955) was a lawyer and engineer who is known as the inventor of the convertible aircraft. In 1911 Herrick, a graduate of Princeton (A.B.1895) and the New York Law School (L.L.B.1897), founded the Herrick Engine Co. to market his "balanced rotary engine" concept. During World War I, he served as a captain in the Army Air Service (1918-19). After the war, Herrick developed the concept of the convertible aircraft, which could operate both as a fixed-wing airplane and as a giroplane. In late 1930, Herrick engaged F. E. Seiler, ex-chief engineer of Kellett Aircraft Corp, to assist in the design of a full-scale Vertoplane, as Herrick called his invention. After delivering a number of drawings and reports to Herrick, Seiler began work at Heath Aircraft Co. and, before his death in mid-1931, pedaled the convertible aircraft concept and the data from his work with Herrick to C. L. Stauffer, a promoter and Heath dealer. In the meantime, Ralph H. McClarren, who had met Herrick in the late 1920s at the Guggenheim School of Aeronautics and had been Seiler's assistant at Kellett, left Kellett to join Heath, where he uncovered Seiler's and Stauffer's activities.
By this time Herrick had established the Vertoplane Development Corp. of New York to finance his aircraft. Herrick contracted with Heath for the actual construction of the craft, the design of which fell to McClarren. The first aircraft, the HV-1, was ready on November 6, 1931. The test pilot, Merrill Lambert, made several successful test flights in both fixed- and rotating-wing mode, but when he attempted an in-flight transition between the two, the aircraft fell out of control and crashed. Lambert bailed out of the aircraft, but was killed when his parachute failed to open.
Post-crash analysis found no fault with the basic convertible aircraft concept and Herrick continued development work with McClarren remaining as consulting engineer. The new aircraft, the HV-2, was flight tested beginning October 31, 1936 with George Townson as test pilot. Although the aircraft flew in both fixed- and rotating-wing mode, vibrations in the rotating wing delayed the first in-flight conversion until July 30, 1937.
Herrick continued to develop the convertible airplane concept with McClarren and others, including designs with both powered and unpowered rotors, as well as a variety of configurations and power plants. In the immediate post-World War II years, he changed the company name to Convertoplane Corp. and unsuccessfully lobbied financial interests and the government for support. He remained the president of Covertoplane and stayed active in the development process until his death in 1955.
Gerard P. Herrick, gift, 1958, NASM.XXXX.0097, unknown.
Please see NASM Archives for restrictions.
Original documents and papers generated by William J. Hammer and by various companies and individuals with whom he was associated. Includes material related to the research and inventions of Edison, Bell, Tesla, the Curies, etc.
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes original documents and papers generated by Hammer and by various companies and individuals and various secondary sources assembled by Hammer between 1874 and 1934. Hammer's lifelong association with the foremost scientists of his day -- Edison, Bell, Maxim, the Curies, the Wright brothers, and others - afforded him a unique opportunity to collect materials about the development of science along many lines.
This collection, which includes rare historical, scientific, and research materials, was donated by the International Business Machine Corporation to the Museum of History and Technology in 1962 and held by the Division of Electricity. In 1983 it was transferred to the -Archives Center. The collection was badly disorganized when received and contained many fragile documents in poor condition. The collection was organized and arranged as reflected in this register.
The collection documents in photographs, manuscripts, notes, books, pamphlets, and excerpts, the beginnings of electrical technology. In its present state, it comprises four series: Series 1 contains twenty-two boxes of the William J. Hammer Papers, containing both biographical and autobiographical material; Series 2 has twenty boxes of material on Edison; Series 3 consists of thirty-three boxes of reference material; and Series 4 holds twenty-one boxes of photographs and portraits. See the container list beginning on page 39 for more detailed information on the contents of the collection.
Most of the material in the collection is chronologically arranged. However, in some cases alphabetical arrangement has been employed, for example, in the arrangement of portraits of eminent men of electrical science (Series 4, Boxes 78-80, 100-101), and the arrangement of publications (by authors' last names).
Hammer did original laboratory work upon selenium, radium, cathode rays, x-rays, ultra-violet rays, phosphorescence, fluorescence, cold light, and wireless. These aspects of his career are reflected in many parts of the collection: in Series 1 there are articles, notes, diagrams, sketches, graphs,, and correspondence; in Series 3 articles, magazines, news clippings, and bound pamphlets. Tie contributed many technical writings, some of which are found in Series 1.
Papers detailing Hammer's aeronautical activities were transferred to the National Air and Space Museum. They consist of two scrapbooks and one cubic foot of aeronautical photographs of balloons, airplanes, and gliders and one-half cubic foot of correspondence. For further information contact the National Air and Space Museum Archives at (202) 357-3133.
The collection is divided into four series.
Series 1: William J. Hammer Papers
Series 2: Edisonia
Series 3: Reference Materials
Series 4: Photographs
Biography of William J. Hammer:
William Joseph Hammer, assistant to Thomas Edison and a consulting electrical engineer, was born at Cressona, Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania, February 26, 1858, and died March 24, 1934. His parents were Martha Augusta Bech (1827-1861) and William Alexander Hammer (1827-1895). He attended private and public schools in Newark, New Jersey, and university and technical school lectures abroad.
On January 3, 1894, Hammer married Alice Maud White in Cleveland, Ohio. They had one daughter, Mabel (Mrs. Thomas Cleveland Asheton). Alice Hammer died in 1906.
In 1878 Hammer became an assistant to Edward Weston of the Weston Malleable Nickel Company. In December 1879 he began his duties as laboratory assistant to Thomas Edison at Menlo Park, New Jersey. He assisted in experiments on the telephone, phonograph, electric railway, ore separator, electric lighting, and other developing inventions. However, he worked primarily on the incandescent electric lamp and was put in charge of tests and records on that device. In 1880 he was appointed Chief Engineer of the Edison Lamp Works. In this first year, the plant under general manager Francis Upton, turned out 50,000 lamps. According to Edison, Hammer was "a pioneer of Incandescent Electric Lighting"! (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2).
In 1881 Edison sent Hammer to London as Chief Engineer of the English Electric Light Co. In association with E. H. Johnson, general manager, Hammer constructed the Holborn Viaduct Central Electric Light Station in London. This plant included three, thirty-ton "Jumbo" steam-powered dynamos (generators), and operated 3,000 incandescent lamps. Holborn was the first central station ever constructed for incandescent electric lighting. Hammer began its operation on January 12, 1882, by lighting the Holborn Viaduct.
In 1882 Hammer also installed a large isolated lighting plant containing twelve Edison dynamos at the Crystal Palace Electric Exposition and the Edison Exhibit at the Paris Electrical Exposition.
At this time Hammer also designed and built the first electric sign. The sign spelled the name "Edison" in electric lights, and was operated by a hand controlled commutator and a large lever snap switch. It was erected over the organ in the Crystal Palace concert hall.
In 1883 Hammer became Chief Engineer for the German Edison Company (Deutsche Edison Gesellschaft), later known as Allegemeine Elektricitaets Gesellschaft. Hammer laid out and supervised the installations of all Edison plants in Germany. While in Berlin he invented the automatic motor-driven "flashing" electric lamp sign. The sign, which flashed "Edison" letter by letter and as a whole, was placed on the Edison Pavilion at the Berlin Health Exposition in 1883.
On his return to the United States in 1884, Hammer took charge of some of Edison's exhibits, including Edison's personal exhibit, at the International Electrical Exhibition held under the authority of the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. There he built the first flashing "Column of Light." He also became confidential assistant to E. R. Johnson, president of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. Together with Johnson and Frank J. Sprague, he became an incorporator of the Sprague Electric Railway and Motor company. He also was elected a trustee and the company's first secretary.
Hammer installed an all-electric house at Newark, New Jersey in 1884 and he devised various electrical devices and contrivances for an unusual party for friends and colleagues. (See "Electrical Diablerie" beginning on page 6).
At the end of 1884 Hammer became chief inspector of central stations of the parent Edison Electric Light Company. For over two years he made financial, mechanical, and electrical reports on the various stations throughout the United States. During 1886-87 he was chief engineer and general manager of the Boston Edison Electric Illuminating Company. He also acted as contractor for the company. He laid $140,000 of underground tubing and installed Sprague Electric Motors.
In 1888, acting as an independent engineer, he was placed in charge of completing the 8,000 light plant of the Ponce de Leon Hotel in St.Augustine Florida. At the time this was the largest isolated incandescent lighting plant ever constructed. Also in 1888 Hammer was appointed consulting electrical engineer to the Cincinati Centennial Expostition, and as a contractor designed and installed over $40,000 worth of electrical effects.
Hammer was appointed Edison's personal representative remarked, "There are a lot of crowned heads in the Edison business. How many of them am I subservient to?" Mr. Edison answered "You take no instructions except from Thomas A. Edison." Hammer asked "What are your instructions?" Mr. Edison replied, 'Hammer, I haven't any. Go and make a success of it.' In Paris he set up and operated all of Edison's inventions, which embraced nineteen departments and covered 9,800 square feet of space. He also built a huge Edison lamp forty-five feet high employing 20,000 lamps. Edison remarked, 'He had entire charge of my exhibit at the Paris Exposition, which was very successful." This was the largest individual exhibit at the Exposition, costing $100,000. Mr. Edison replied, "I want you to go right out and have a card engraved William J. Hammer, Representative of Thomas A. Edison. You are the only representative I have here," and he complimented him on his work adding, "The French government will do something handsome for you for your work." Hammer replied that he would not raise his hand to get it and did not believe in giving such honors to people who seek them. Mr. Edison said, "You are wrong. You are a young man and such things are valuable. At any rate if there's anyone in this exhibition who deserves recognition, you do, and I'm going to see you get it' (Hammer's memoranda and notes, Series 2). Thirty-four years later, in 1925, through the personal influence of Edison, Hammer was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honor by the French government.
In 1890 Hammer returned to the United States and opened an office as a consulting electrical engineer. He was in private practice until 1925, making reports, conducting tests, and giving expert testimony in patent suits.
On January 31, 1890, Hammer formed the Franklin Experimental Club of Newark where boys could come and carry on experiments, build apparatus, and listen to lectures. Hammer equipped the laboratory at his own expense. One side was an electrical laboratory and the other a chemical laboratory. About forty-five boys joined. Each boy had a key to the club and a section of a bench with his own drawer for keeping notes, tools, and other equipment. In 1892 the structure was destroyed by fire from a saloon next door, ending Hammer's plans for a large and useful institution.
In 1896 Hammer was elected president of the National Conference of Standard Electrical Rules, which prepared and promulgated the "National Electric Code."
In 1902 in Paris, Hammer visited Pierre and Marie Curie, the discoverers of radium and polonium. They gave him nine tubes of radium and one of polonium to bring back to the United States. He also acquired some sulphide of zinc, with which he mixed radium carbonates, producing a beautifully luminous powder. This was the first radium-luminous material ever made. By mixing the powder with Damar varnish he produced the first radium-luminous paint. He was also the first person to make colored (and white) luminous materials. In 1907 he invented and patented a process for producing colored phosphorescent materials by combining phosphorescent and fluorescent substances.
Back in the United States in the fall of 1902 and into 1903, Hammer applied his radium-luminous materials to thirty different objects: luminous dials for clocks and watches, toys, artificial flowers, radium luminous gun sights, taps and pulls for lamp sockets, switches, keyholes, push buttons, telephone transmitters, poison bottle labels, a small plaster figure, push pins, and writing implements among others. He did not patent the invention due to the scarcity and high cost of radium, but later in an important suit involving foreign and American patents of radium-luminous materials, his testimony and that of other noted scientists and professionals of the day who had visited his home and laboratory proved that his work completely anticipated that of all inventors both in the United States and abroad. In 1902 he was one of the first persons to be burned with radium.
Hammer gave eighty-eight lectures on the Curies' work and on radium and radioactive substances. He wrote the first book published on radium, Radium and other Radioactive Substances, 1903. Hammer proposed and used radium for cancer and tumor treatment, successfully treating and curing a tumor on his own hand in July 1903. Tie also supplied several hospitals with radioactive water he had made and conducted extensive experiments with x-rays, cathode-rays, radium-rays, ultraviolet lights, phosphorescence, fluorescence, and cold-light. He was probably the first to suggest many wartime uses for radium-luminous materials, such as airplanes, instruments, markers, barbed-wire, and landing fields.
Hammer also did important work with selenium, a nonmetallic element that resembles sulphur and tellurium chemically. It is obtained chiefly as a by-product in copper refining, and occurs in allotropic forms. A grey stable form varies in electrical conductivity depending on the intensity of its illumination and is used in electronic devices. Hammer invented selenium cells and apparatus, and suggested industrial uses for selenium and other light-sensitive cells.
In 1886 Hammer devised a system for automatically controlling street and other lights by use of a selenium cell. In 1892 he designed a torpedo that could be steered by searchlight and selenium cell. In the early 1900s he suggested many other uses for "light" cells, including burglar alarms, dynamo control, buoy, railroad signaling, automatic gun firing, transmission of music, stethoscope recorder, automatic operating shutters, automatic boiler feed, snow recorder, and electric motor control.
At the St. Louis Exposition of 1904 Hammer was Chairman of the Jury for Telegraphy, Telephony, and Wireless. He was also a member of the "Departmental" Jury ("Applied Science: Electricity") and of the committee appointed to organize the International Electrical Congress at St. Louis in 1904.
In 1906 Hammer received the "Elliott Cresson" gold medal from the Franklin Institute for his "Historical Collection of Incandescent Electric Lamps," accumulated over thirty-four years. This collection received a special silver medal at the International Electrical Exposition at the Crystal Palace, London, England, in 1882, and "the Grand Prize" at the St. Louis Exposition of 1904.
During the First World war Hammer served as a major on the General Staff of the, Army War College, Washington, D.C., where he was attached to the Inventions Section of the War Plans Division and later to the operations Division at the war Department in charge of electrical and aeronautical war inventions. He did special work at the U.S. Patent office, marking and delaying patents that might be useful to the enemy and served on the Advisory Board of Experts attached to the Alien Property Commission. He was elected Historian general of the Military order of the World War (1926-1928) and was a member of the Society of American Military Engineers.
Hammer was an early aeronautics enthusiast and became the owner of one of the first airplanes sold in the United States to an individual. Even in his last few years of his life, Hammer's interest in airplanes did not wane. In 1931, by the permission of the Secretary of the -Navy, Hammer made a twelve-hour flight in the Los Angeles dirigible from the Lakehurst, New Jersey airdrome along the coast of the Atlantic Ocean to New York, flying over New York City at night.
Hammer served on numerous committees. In 1916 he was a member of a special committee, appointed by the Aeronautical Society of America. one of his responsibilities on this committee was to recommend methods for the formation of a reserve force of civilian aviators for the Army. At the start of World War I, Hammer was appointed chairman of a committee on camouflage by the Aeronautical Society. During the war, he flew airplanes and tested sound devices and was also among the first five selected out of thousands for the dissemination of propaganda into many countries. He also examined documents and papers captured from spies and prisoners of war to see if these material contained any technical matter of value to the U. S. Army.
Hammer traveled extensively as a delegate of the Military Order of World War I. For example, in 1922 he attended the aeronautical Congress and Flying Meet in Detroit, Michigan. In the same year he also attended Immigration Conferences of the National Civic Federation in New York.
Between 1922 and 1928 Hammer intensified his efforts in collecting and organizing autographed portraits of eminent scientific men, a project he had been working on for over forty-five years. Tie displayed many of these portraits with his Historical Collection of Incandescent Electrical Lamps in -his New York home. At this time he also prepared an elaborate bibliography on selenium and its industrial and scientific applications.
Major William Joseph Hammer, described by Edison as "my most valuable assistant at Menlo Park" died of pneumonia March 24, 1934.
N.Y. World, January 3, 1885 and Newark, N.J. Daily Advertiser and Journal, January 3, 1885
Some years ago, (1884) on New Year's eve, an entertainment was given at the home of Mr. William J. Hammer, in Newark, N.J., which, for the display of the powers of electricity has seldom, if ever, been equaled. Mr. Hammer, who has for years been associated with Mr. Edison, both in this country and in Europe, desiring to give his old classmates, the "Society of Seventy-Seven," a lively and interesting time, invited them to "an electrical dinner" at his home.
The invitations which were sent out were written upon Western Union telegram blanks with an Edison electric pen. When the guests arrived and entered the gate, the house appeared dark, but as they placed foot upon the lower step of the veranda a row of tiny electric lights over the door blazed out, and the number of the house appeared in bright relief. The next step taken rang the front door bell automatically, the third threw open the door, and at the same time made a connection which lit the gas in the hall by electricity.
Upon entering the house the visitor was invited to divest himself of his coat and hat, and by placing his foot upon an odd little foot-rest near the door, and pressing a pear-shaped pendant hanging from the wall by a silken cord, revolving brushes attached to an electric motor brushed the mud and snow from his shoes and polished them by electricity. As he was about to let go of the switch or button, a contact in it connected with a shocking coil, caused him to drop it like a hot potato. Up-stairs was a bedroom which would be a fortune to a lazy man; he had only to step on the door sill and the gas was instantly lighted. The ceiling was found to be covered with luminous stars, arranged to represent the principal constellations in the heavens-while comets, moons, etc., shone beautifully in the dark. By placing one's head on the pillow, the gas, fifteen feet away, would be extinguished and the phosphorescent stars on the ceiling would shine forth weirdly, and a phosphorescent moon rose from behind a cloud over the mantel and slowly describing a huge arch disappeared behind a bank of phosphorescent clouds on the other side of the room; by pressing the toe to the foot-board of the bed the gas could again be relit.
Pouring a teacup of water into the water clock on the mantel and setting the indicator would assure the awakening of the sleeper at whatever hour he might desire. There was also in the hall outside the room a large drum, which could be set to beat by electricity at the hour when the family wished to arise. The whole house was fitted throughout with electric bells, burglar alarms, fire alarms, telephones, electric cigar lighters, medical coils, phonographs, electric fans, thermostats, heat regulating devices, some seven musical instruments, operated by electricity, etc.
Upon the evening referred to nearly every. piece of furniture in the parlor was arranged to play its part. Sit on one chair and out went the gas, take another seat and it would light again; sitting on an ottoman produced a mysterious rapping under the floor; pressure on some chairs started off drums, triangles, tambourines, cymbals, chimes and other musical instruments; in fact, it seemed unsafe to sit down anywhere. The quests stood about in groups and whispered, each hoping to see his neighbor or a new comer caught napping.
One visitor (Brown) secured an apparently safe seat, and was telling a funny story--he had left electricity far behind--but just as he reached the climax, a pretty funnel-shaped Japanese affair like a big dunce cap, that seemed but a ceiling ornament which was held in place by an electromagnet, dropped from overhead and quietly covered him up, thus silently extinguishing the story and the story-teller.
A big easy chair placed invitingly between the folding doors joining the double, parlors sent the unwary sitter flying out of its recesses by the sudden deafening clamor of twenty-one electric bells hidden in the folds of the draperies hanging in the doorway. In a convenient position stood the silver lemonade pitcher and cup, the former was filled with the tempting beverage, but no matter how much a guest might desire to imbibe one touch convinced him that the pitcher and cup were so heavily charged with electricity as to render it impossible for him to pour out a drink or even to let go until the electricity was switched off from the hidden induction coil.
Some one proposed music, and half a selection had been enjoyed when something seemed to give way inside the piano, and suddenly there emanated from that bewitched instrument a conglomeration of sounds that drowned the voices of the singers, and the keys seemed to beat upon a horrible jangle of drums, gongs and various noise-producing implements which were fastened inside of and underneath the piano.
After the guest were treated to a beautiful display of electrical experiments, under the direction of Mr. Hammer, and Professor George C. Sonn, they were escorted to the dining-room, where an electrical dinner had been prepared and was presided over by 'Jupiter," who was in full dress, and sat at the head of the table, where by means of a small phonograph inside of his anatomy he shouted, "Welcome, society of Seventy-Seven and their friends to Jove's festive board." The menu was as follows: "Electric Toast," "Wizard Pie," "Sheol Pudding," "Magnetic Cake," "Telegraph Cake," "Telephone Pie," "Ohm-made Electric Current Pie," "Menlo Park Fruit," "Incandescent Lemonade," "'Electric Coffee" and "Cigars," etc., and music by Prof. Mephistopheles' Electric Orchestra.
About the table were pretty bouquets, and among the flowers shone tiny incandescent lamps, while near the center of the table was placed an electric fan which kept the air cool and pure, and at each end was a tiny Christmas tree lighted with small incandescent lamps, planted in a huge dish of assorted nuts and raisins. Each lamp had a dainty piece of ribbon attached to it upon which the initials of the Society and the date were printed, and each guest received a lamp to take away with him as a souvenir of the occasion. Plates of iced cakes made in the form of telephones, switches, bells, electric lamps, batteries, etc., stood on each side of the center piece.
Promptly at 12 o'clock, as the chimes of the distant churches came softly to the ears of the assembled quests, pandemonium seemed to change places with the modest dining-room. A cannon on the porch, just outside the door, and another inside the chimney, were unexpectedly discharged; and at this sudden roar, every man sprang back from the table; the lights disappeared; huge fire-gongs, under each chair beat a tattoo. The concussion produced by the cannon in the fireplace caused several bricks to come crashing down the chimney, and as the year of 1884 faded away, the table seemed bewitched. The "Sheol Pudding" blazed forth green and red flames illuminating the room, tiny tin boxes containing 'Greek" fire which had been placed over each window and door were electrically ignited by spirals of platinum iridium wire heated by a storage battery and blazed up suddenly; the "Telegraph Cake" clicked forth messages said to be press reports of the proceedings (it was also utilized to count the guests and click off the answers to various questions put to it); bells rang inside the pastry; incandescent lamps burned underneath the colored lemonade; the thunderbolt pudding discharged its long black bolts all over the room (long steel spiral springs covered with black cloth) and loud spirit rapping occurred under the table. The silver knives, forks and spoons were charged with electricity from a shocking coil and could not be touched, while the coffee and toast (made by electricity) were made rapidly absorbed; the "Magnetic Cake' disappeared; the "Wizard" and "Current Pies' vanished, and 'Jupiter" raising a glass to his lips began to imbibe.
The effect was astonishing! The gas instantly went out, a gigantic skeleton painted with luminous paint appeared and paraded about the room, while Jupiter's nose assumed the color of a genuine toper! His green eyes twinkled, the electric diamonds in his shirt front (tiny lamps) blazed forth and twinkled like stars, as he phonographically shouted "Happy New Year'. Happy New Year!" This "Master of Cererionies' now becoming more gentle, the guests turned their attention to the beautiful fruit piece, over four feet high, that stood in the center of the table. From the fruit hung tiny electric lamps, and the whole was surmounted by a bronze figure of Bartholdils "Statue of Liberty;" uplifted in "Miss Liberty's" right hand burned an Edison lamp no larger than a bean.
The dinner finished, and there was much that was good to eat, notwithstanding the "magical" dishes which they were first invited to partake of, speeches were delivered by Messrs. Hammer, Rutan, McDougall, 'Brown, Duneka, and Dawson, and an original poem was read by Mr. Van Wyck. Upon repairing to the parlors the guest saw Mr. Hammer's little sister, May, dressed in white and mounted upon a pedestal, representing the "Goddess of Electricity:" tiny electric lamps hung in her hair, and were also suspended as earrings, while she held a wand surmounted by a star, and containing a very small electric lamp.
Not the least interesting display of electricity took place in front of the house, where a fine display of bombs, rockets, Roman candles, Greek fire and other fireworks were set off by electricity, which was by the way, the first time this had been accomplished. The guests were requested to press button switches ranged along the front veranda railing thus causing electricity from a storage battery to heat to a red heat tiny platinum iridium spirals attached to each fuse of the various pieces of fireworks thus sending up rocket after rocket, as well as igniting the other pieces which had been placed in the roadway in front of the house.
An attempt was made to send up a large hot air balloon to which was attached a tiny storage battery and an incandescent signal lamp but a sudden gust of wind caused the ballon to take fire as it rose fr(xn the ground. This constituted the only experiment made during the evening which was not an unqualified success. The innumerable electrical devices shown during the progress of the dinner were all operated by Mr. Hammer, who controlled various switches fastened to the under side of the table and attached to a switchboard, which rested on his lap, while the two cannons were fired by lever switches on the floor, which he operated by the pressure of the foot. Electricity was supplied by primary and storage batteries placed under the table. After an exhibition of electrical apparatus and experiments with a large phonograph, the guests departed with a bewildered feeling that somehow they had been living half a century ahead of the new year."
Expositions and Exhibitions:
The many Expositions held at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries were important for the Edison Electric Company's future business. In particular the Paris Electrical Exposition, 1881, and the Crystal Palace Exposition in London in 1892 were introductions for the company's international business enterprises. Edison, therefore, sent his ablest men from the Menlo Park staff (Batchelor, Hammer, Jehl, Johnson) to Europe to oversee the installation and promotion of the company's exhibits.
THE INTERNATIONAL PARIS EXPOSITION OF 1881
The International Paris Electrical Exposition was held during the summer of 1881. Many of Edison's electric lighting systems, ranging from arc lights to incandescent devices, were exhibited. A model of the Edison central-station lighting system showed an arrangement of incandescent lights within a complete electrical distributing system, including novel appliances and controls of the Edison system. "The completeness of its conception made a profound impression on the foremost European electrical engineers of that era." (Josephson, Matthew. Edison, A Biography. p. 252). Edison also exhibited his first "Jumbon generator. It was "direct-connected" to its driving engine, another area in which Edison pioneered. Edison improved upon the original design of William Wallace's "Telemachon' - a generator coupled to a water-powered turbine. Wallace had earlier in the decade produced the first dynamo in America.
Charles Batchelor headed the Edison exhibits within Paris. Edison received many gold medals and diplomas and was awarded the ribbon of the Legion of Honor.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains various reports and catalogues exhibited at the International Exposition of Electricity. (Series 3, Box 44, Folders 1-4)
THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1882
At the Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1882 in London, Edison displayed a great many of his inventions, including: the steam dynamo; specimens of street pipes and service boxes used in the Edison underground system of conductors, and the system of house conductors with devices for preventing abnormal increase of energy in house circuits; apparatus for measuring the resistance of his lamps, for measuring the energy consumed in lamps, and rheostats for restoring currents; also thermogalvano-meters, carbon rheostats, dynamometers, photometers, carbon regulators, Weber meters,, current regulators, and circuit breakers for controlling electric light circuits; the carbon relay, the pressure relay, and the expansion relay; the telegraph system in Morse characters; and the Roman character automatic telegraph.
Thomas Edison also exhibited the carbon telephone, the musical telephonograph, telephone repeater, and numerous apparatus for demonstrating the method of varying the resistance of a closed circuit by contact with carbon, illustrative of the experimental factors of the Edison carbon transmitter. Incandescent lamps, the process of the manufacture of lamps, and various designs of electric light chandeliers were also on display.
Hammer won the silver medal at the exposition for the first complete development of the incandescent electric lamp from its initial stages to date. At the exhibition the first hand-operated flashing electric lamp sign was displayed, which was invented and built by Hammer.
The collection contains photographs of the Edison dynamo, and the Edison Electric Lighting Plant of 1882 erected by Hammer. The official Catalogue of the International Electric and Gas Exhibition, and various articles from the Daily Telegraph, Daily Chronicle, and Daily News are also included within the collection (Series 4, Box 99 and Series 3, Box 42, Folder 1-2).
THE BERLIN EXPOSITION OF 1883.
The Berlin Exposition of 1883 had the first motored flashing electric sign designed, built and operated by Hammer. The electric sign spelled out the word "Edison" letter by letter and was used on the Edison pavilion in the Health Exposition. It has most features of today's flashing sign.
The collection contains two photographs of the first flashing sign (Series 4, Box 99).
THE FRANKLIN INSTITUTE INTERNATIONAL ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION OF 1884
The Franklin Institute International Electrical Exhibition was held in Philadelphia from September 2 to October 14, 1884. Many of Edison's companies had display booths at the exhibition. The Edison Electric Light Company showed in operation their system of house lighting as supplied from a central station. The Edison Company for Isolated Lighting exhibited their system of lighting factories, hotels, hospitals, and other places situated beyond the reach of a central lighting station. A full assortment of Edison lamps and dynamos also made up parts of other exhibits. Also displayed at the exhibition was the first flashing column of light, which Hammer designed and built.
Included within the collection are a variety of photographs of the exhibitions. Four pamphlets also are contained in the collection (Series 3, Box 1, Folder 3), (Series 4, Box 99).
THE EXPOSITION OF THE OHIO VALLEY AND THE CENTRAL STATES OF 1888
The Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States, in Cincinnati from July 4 to October 27, was in honor of the one hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Cincinnati. The exposition showed the progress and ramifications of the first hundred years of this settlement.
The space occupied by permanent buildings was greater than that covered by any building for exhibiting purposes on the Western continent. T',ie exposition developed the Electric Light Plant to make a special feature of electric lighting in the evening. Several companies used this opportunity to make exhibits of their apparatus and for their equipment to be used for illumination. The Edison Lamps were used for displays in showcases and pavilions of exhibitors of the Park Building.
The collection contains photographs of the halls of the exposition and a poster which is a souvenir of the electrical display of the exposition. An official Guide of the Centennial Exposition of the Ohio Valley and Central States is included within the collection. (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 4).
THE SUMMER CARNIVAL AND ELECTRICAL EXHIBITION, ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK, 1889
The Summer Carnival and Electric Exhibition held at St. John, New Brunswick, Canada was to celebrate the opening of the Canadian Pacific Short Line to St. John and Portland. The Electrical Exhibition was the most popular of the displays present, containing the Monster Edison Lanm, the Mysterious Electric Fountain, and many other inventions.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains a poster that illustrates some of the leading exhibits at the Electrical Exhibition (Series 4, Box 99).
PARIS UNIVERSAL EXPOSITION OF 1889
The Universal Exposition of 1889 held in Paris was larger than all previous expositions held there. The famous Eiffel Tower was its principal attraction.
A large portion of the exhibit hall within the Palace of Mechanical Industries contained Thomas Edison's electrical inventions, including various electric lamps for use in houses. Variations of the telephone also were shown. During the Paris Exposition Europeans were exposed to the phonograph for the first time. Hammer represented Edison's interests at the Paris Exhibition.
The collection contains articles from New York World, New York Herald and Electrical World on Edison's exhibits at the Paris Exposition (Series 3, Box 44, folder 6). A scrapbook of photographs from the exhibition showing exhibit buildings and halls and loose photographs showing Edison's exhibits are included in the collection (Series 4, Box 98).
THE CRYSTAL PALACE EXHIBITION OF 1892
The Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1892 was held in London. Hammer displayed a great variety of products in the machine room of the Electrical Exhibition. Sockets for controlling individual incandescent lamps on alternating currents and the Ward Arc Lamp for use on incandescent circuits were just a few of the items displayed. Edison's companies displayed specimens of all types of incandescent electric lamps for public and private illumination. They also displayed primary batteries for use in telegraphy, telephony, household work, and engines.
The William, J. Hammer Collection contains a variety of photographs of the electrical exhibition. The Official Catalogue and Guide of the Electrical Exhibition is also contained within the collection (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Folder 2, Box 42).
LOUISIANA PURCHASE EXPOSITION, 1904
The Louisiana Purchase Expostition of 1904, held in St. Louis, Missouri from April 30 to December 1, celebrated the centennial of the Louisiana Purchase. The nineteen million people who attended made it the largest exposition ever. The year 1904 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of Edison's invention of the carbon filament lamp and central power station system.
F.J.V. Skiff, the exhibits classifier for the fair, developed a twofold classificatory arrangement. He organized exhibits in a sequential synopsis corresponding to the sixteen different departments of the exposition. The principal exhibition buildings were built in the shape of a fan. The departments of education, art, liberal arts, and applied sciences-including electricity - headed the classification, Skiff noted, because they "equip man for the battle and prepare him for the enjoyments of life.' Departments devoted to displays of raw materials such as agriculture, horticulture, !inning, forestry, fish and game came next. Anthropology, social economy, and physical culture concluded the classification.
The Hammer collection contains photographs of Hammer with other Chairmen of Domestic and Foreign Jurors of the Electricity Section of the International Jury of Awards of the Louisiana Exposition and Hammer as chairman of the jury on telegraphy, telephony, and wireless. (Series 4, Box 102). A pamphlet by the American Telephone and Telegraph Company on the exhibit of the Radiophone at the Department of Applied Science is also part of the collection (Series 3, Box 42, Folder 5).
THE PANAMA-PACIFIC EXPOSITION OF 1915
The Panama Pacific Exposition celebrated the opening of the Panama Canal and the four hundredth anniversary of the European discovery of the Pacific Ocean. It was held in San Francisco from February 20 to December 4, 1915. Approximately nineteen million people attended the exposition.
The eleven main buildings of the exposition were grouped around a central court of the Sun and Stars at the entrance of which was the famous Tower of Jewels. The main group of exhibits comprised the Palaces of Education, Liberal Arts, Manufactures, Varied Industries, Mines,
Transportation, Agriculture, Horticulture and all kinds of food products. During the exposition special days were set aside to honor industrialists Henry Ford and Thomas Edison. The Pacific Gas and Electric Company provided a large searchlight to flash out a Morse code greeting on the nighttime sky for their arrival.
The William J. Hammer Collection contains a pamphlet on the "Illumination of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition." The pamphlet describes the lighting of the exposition, and the use of arc lamps ' searchlights, incandescent electric lamps, and gas lamps (Series 4, Box 99), (Series 3, Box 43).
Collection donated by IBM, 1962.
Collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
Contains selected patents dating from Apr. 20, 1897 to Dec. 4, 1906.
A typewritten index of the names of patent holders represented in the collection is inserted at the front of the volume.
"Presented to Aero Club of America, February, 1907, Raphael J. Moses"--Handwritten inscription in ink on front free endpaper. DSI
NASMRB copy 39088012168530 has bookplates: 1. Aero Club of America ex libris [designed by Franklin Booth]; 2. "Loaned to the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences by the National Aeronautic Association." Accession no.: 9833. With some brief ms. pencil annotations and markings.
NASMRB copy has a green cloth binding with gilt-lettered spine ("Aero Club of America" is stamped at the foot of the spine); housed in a later green buckram portfolio (32 cm.) with white-lettered spine.
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903 Search this
24.28 Cubic feet (64 boxes)
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.
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).
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 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.
Smithsonian generated, transfer, unknown.
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