The Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection reflects her interest in aviation. It consists of 12 boxes that contain photography, family documentation, news clippings and scrapbooks.
Scope and Contents:
The Mary E. "Mother" Tusch Collection reflects her interest in aviation. It consists of 12 boxes that contain photography, family documentation, news clippings and scrapbooks. There are formal group and individual photographs as well as informal personal photographs of servicemen whom she had befriended and images signed by such famous aviators as Ruth Law and Earle Ovington. The collection contains photographs of the wallpaper from her Berkeley home which was signed by such aviation notables as Charles Lindbergh and Edward Rickenbacker. There are four scrapbooks that relate to her aviator friends and a fifth on World War I which includes photographs of trench warfare presented to "Mother" Tusch by John Pierson. This collection also contains photographs of "Mother" Tusch and her home; an inventory listing the aviation holdings of her home; guest books recording visitors to The Hangar, Shrine of the Air; and newspaper articles, museum plans, and correspondence relating to Tusch donating her collection to the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
"Mother" Tusch carried on correspondence with many of her aviator friends. One of these men, Bill Schneider, sent her a piece of what he claimed was the wreckage of Zeppelin LZ 129 "Hindenburg". The object and a photograph of Schneider and his correspondence to Tusch have been transferred to the Aeronautics Department of the National Air and Space Museum. Photocopies of these materials can be found in Box 7, Folder 3 of this collection.
The collection is arranged by subject. These subjects include Mary E. "Mother" Tusch, her family, The Hangar, Shrine of the Air, photographs of aviators and other materials relating to her life.
Mary E. Tusch (1875-1960) was a great supporter of aviation and pilots. She lived across the street from the United States School of Military Aeronautics on the University of California's Berkeley Campus during World War I. She invited the young aviators to her home and became like a second mother to many of them. They nicknamed her "Mother Tusch" and her house became known as The Hangar, Shrine of the Air. Tusch was actively interested in aviation as well as those people associated with aeronautics, and her home reflected her love of aviation. She avidly collected aviation material including artifacts, photographs, and autographs from the aviators. She invited many of the aviators who visited her home to sign the wallpaper.
This collection came to the National Air and Space Museum partially as a result of family ties. Mrs. Tusch's daughter, Irene, married National Air Space Museum curator, Paul E. Garber, in the early 1950s.
Mary E. "Mother" Tusch, Gift, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0128, unknown
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