The Hunsaker Papers are rich in aeronautical information relating to the 1920s and 1930s. The material furnishes a generous account of his contributions in the aeronautics field as an engineer. Interested researchers should pursue materials pertaining to Hunsaker in such repositories as MIT's Institute Archives and Special Collections Department, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation, the U.S. Navy History and Archives at the Washington Navy Yard, and the NASA History Office, Headquarters Building, Washington, DC. This archivist views the Hunsaker Papers, NASM.XXXX.0001, most relevant to research dealing with Hunsaker's professional career.
Scope and Contents:
These papers include material beginning with Hunsaker's work during his naval career. The largest quantity of material consists of correspondence, memos, and reports covering Hunsaker's tenure at Bell Telephone Laboratories and Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company; his association with the Chrysler and Sperry Corporations; and his tenure as Chairman of NACA while teaching at MIT.
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 papers can be grouped into three categories. The first is documentation pertaining to his work while Chief of the Aircraft Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department. In this capacity, Hunsaker was in a position to influence US Naval planning for all aspects of aviation during the post-World War I period. The second category of documentation concerns Hunsaker's entrance into the civilian work force. By this time, Hunsaker had begun to create an identity for himself as a determined leader. He was actively publishing and delivering papers on all facets of aeronautical engineering. When Hunsaker joined the staff of MIT as Head of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1933, the world aviation community recognized and began to call upon his expertise regarding all aspects of aviation. The final category of documentation reflects Hunsaker's involvement with many professional societies including the American Philosophical Society and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served as member and chairman of many corporate boards including the Chrysler Corporation, the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Corporation as well as the Guggenheim Medal Board.
Jerome Clarke Hunsaker (b. August 26, 1886; d. September 10, 1984) was an aeronautical engineer and designer. He graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1908 at the head of his class and received his Masters of Science (1912) and Doctor of Science (1916) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) before being posted as Chief, Aircraft Division, Bureau of Construction and Repair, Navy Department (1916-1921). He advanced to Chief of the Design Division (1921-1923) where he designed the airship USS Shenandoah (ZR-1, commissioned in 1923). He served as Assistant Naval AttachŽ, Europe beginning in 1923 until resigning his commission in November of 1926. Between 1927 and 1928, he worked as Assistant Vice President and Research Engineer for Bell Telephone Laboratories. In this position, he helped standardize wire, radio and weather service for America's developing airways. He moved to Goodyear-Zeppelin Company as Vice President in 1928 where he supervised the design and construction of the airships USS Akron (ZRS-4) and USS Macon (ZRS-5). In 1933, he returned to MIT as Chairman of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering. Dr. Hunsaker served on numerous committees, including the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics (NACA) between 1923 and 1956. He was NACA's Chairman from 1941 to 1956. Hunsaker also served NACA as a Main Committee member during 1922, 1923 and 1938 to 1958.