Dr. Harold F. Stimson, described as a long-time friend of Goddard's, corresponded with Esther Goddard and collected a number of press clippings and other mentions of Dr. Goddard in various publications. This collection consists of the materials he gathered including a copy of the article "The Early History of Rocket Research" by Joseph W. Siry (reprinted from the November/December 1950 issue of The Scientific Monthly) signed by Esther Goddard; a program from the dedication of the Goddard Power Plant in Indian Head, Maryland dated June 25, 1957; eight issues of Report from Clark University (ranging in date from October 1965 to May 1969) with articles about the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library or the University's collection of Goddard's papers; correspondence relating to the establishment of a memorial to Goddard on Clark University's campus; a program for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Robert Hutchings Goddard Library dated June 4, 1966; a brochure for the library and a bookslip from one of their publications; three issues of the library's newsletters (ranging in date from March 1966 to spring 1971); Clark University's Report of the President 1964-1965 which includes an update on the Goddard Library program; the program from Clark University's Robert Hutchings Goddard Commemorative Convocation on October 12, 1966; a Clark University fundraising report from 1971-1972 listing Mrs. Robert H. Goddard as a donor; a typewritten report on the Goddard Rocket Research Exhibit at Clark's Department of Physics; the winter 1971 issue of Clark Now: The Magazine of Clark University which contains mentions of the Goddard Library; five typewritten pages of biographical data on Dr. Goddard; a Christmas card and signed photo of Esther Goddard inscribed to the Stimsons; and 17 clippings from various newspapers that mention either Robert or Esther Goddard (ranging in date from 1959-1982).
Biographical / Historical:
Robert Hutchings Goddard (1882-1945), rocket propulsion pioneer, graduated from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in 1908 and received his doctorate while a professor of physics at Clark University. He served a research fellowship with Princeton University from 1912 to 1914 and there began to develop his theories of rocket action. Returning to Clark, he conducted experiments that culminated in a 1916 report to the Smithsonian Institution, published as A Method of Reaching Extreme Altitudes. With the advent of World War I, Goddard began work at the Mount Wilson Observatory of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, developing various innovations such as reloading mechanisms for artillery and a forerunner of the bazooka. By 1920, Goddard had turned his attention to liquid fueled rockets and by 1926 had accomplished the world's first flight of a liquid fuel rocket. In 1930, Goddard moved to Mescalero Ranch near Roswell, New Mexico, continuing with his rocket experiments until 1932. After a return to Clark and laboratory testing, Goddard came back to Roswell and in 1936 published Liquid Propellant Rocket Development. In 1940 he was made Chief of Navy Research on jet-propelled planes.
Julia Appel, Gift, Unknown
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Basil Lee Rowe (1896-1973) enjoyed a long and successful career in aviation, initially as a military exhibition pilot, barnstormer, air racer, charter operator, flight instructor, aircraft salesman, and rumrunner, before moving to the West Indies to start an airline, the short-lived West Indian Aerial Express, bought out by Pan American Airways in 1928. Rowe became a pioneering senior pilot for Pan Am, flying with them for 28 years before his retirement in 1956. This collection includes scrapbooks, photo albums, memorabilia, and first day covers, in addition to the draft manuscript for Rowe's 1956 autobiography, Under My Wings.
Scope and Contents:
The collection consists of Rowe's pilot's log books covering his career from 1927 to 1956, assorted periodicals, cartoons featuring Rowe, scrapbooks and photo albums assembled by Rowe (featuring newspaper clippings, photographs, and ephemera), several draft manuscripts of Rowe's 1956 autobiography Under My Wings, and first day air mail postal covers collected by Rowe.
Materials in this collection are grouped into series by format. See individual series Scope and Content notes for details on arrangement within that series. Note that with the exception of the chronologically arranged flight log books, Rowe did not appear to organize his materials in any particular order.
Biographical / Historical:
Basil Lee Rowe, born February 10, 1896, grew up in the small town of Shandaken, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. He began his flying career in 1914 as an apprentice to aviator Turk Adams after seeing Adams fly at a local county fair. Impatient to become a military pilot, Rowe arranged to join the Royal Canadian Air Force, but was sidelined by a ruptured appendix before he could get to Canada. By the time Rowe had recovered, the United States had entered World War I and Rowe was able to join the Aviation Section of the U. S. Army Signal Corps; he was sent to Texas. During the Third Liberty Loan drive, Rowe was assigned to a group of fliers who were to give exhibition flights; after his discharge, he used his savings to buy a used Avro biplane and barnstormed around the East Central United States, using Hadley Field (New Brunswick, New Jersey) as his home field. Rowe soon bought a second aircraft, hired pilot William S. "Bill" Wade, and moved his base of operations to the Aeromarine Base at Keyport, near Perth Amboy, New Jersey. Rowe prospered through the early 1920s, and his troupe the "Rowe Fliers" (including at various times wingwalkers Bill Stacy and Marguerite L. "Peggy" Roome) toured the eastern US giving exhibition flights and passenger rides. In the winter, Rowe moved his operation to Florida, and, with a rebuilt Curtiss Seagull, ferried passengers eager to escape Prohibition from Miami to Nassau, Bahamas--with a bit of rumrunning on the side. Back in New Jersey, Rowe formed the Chamberlin-Rowe Aircraft Corporation with fellow aviator Clarence Chamberlin to buy and resell Army surplus aircraft; the short-lived business went bust in 1924 when the government finished selling off its aircraft. Rowe, a talented racing pilot, kept busy from 1924 through 1926 on the racing circuit, winning numerous prizes.
By the end of 1926, at the age of thirty, Rowe felt that he had reached a turning point in his life. Dismayed by the increase in US government regulation of aviation, Rowe moved his operations to the West Indies, settling in Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic. With Bill Wade, Rowe rapidly established a business flying charters around the country, with flights to neighboring Haiti and Puerto Rico. In June 1927, with financial backing provided by sugar industry businessmen and the government of the Dominican Republic, Rowe founded West Indian Aerial Express (abbreviated variously as WIAE or WIAX) to provide airline service between Cuba, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Puerto Rico, hoping to be well positioned to bid on future US foreign air mail routes. With this in mind, Rowe returned to the Unites States and purchased a Fairchild FC-2W floatplane (christened "La Niña") and a larger Keystone K-47 Pathfinder trimotor (the former "American Legion," r/n NX179, rebuilt by the Keystone factory following a crash in April 1927 and rechristened as "Santa Maria"). To his dismay, Rowe was forced to acquired a US transport pilot license in order to be allowed to fly the "Santa Maria" back to Santo Domingo; he hired Canadian pilot Cy Caldwell to ferry "La Niña." On the way south in mid October 1927, Rowe found himself and his two aircraft in Florida just as Pan American Airways (PAA), which had been successful in obtaining a temporary contract to deliver mail from the US to Cuba, found itself without any aircraft able to fly out of their Key West, Florida, field to fulfill the contract before it expired. PAA struck a deal with Rowe to lease "La Niña" (piloted by Caldwell) to fly the first Pan American Airways flight on October 19, 1927.
With its two new aircraft, West Indian Aerial Express started regularly scheduled twice-weekly flights on December 1, 1927, between Cuba, Haiti, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Rico, later extending the routes to St. Thomas and St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands. On June 30, 1928, WIAX filed a bid with the US government for air mail service on the route from Key West to Puerto Rico, but was outmanuevered by the more politically-savvy Pan American Airways which won the contract. A final crippling blow was dealt to WIAX in September 1928 when a severe hurricane hit their base in San Juan, Puerto Rico, destroying "La Niña" and two older Waco biplanes. Rowe made his last flight in the "Santa Maria" on September 20, 1928, before turning the aircraft over to Pan American. On October 16, 1928, PAA purchased WIAX, with Rowe becoming PAA's senior pilot.
During his first ten years with Pan Am, Rowe flew a record number of hours and surveyed most of the new air routes through the Caribbean to Central and South America, several times flying with Charles Lindbergh. When the US entered World War II, Rowe was assigned to Pan Am's Africa and Orient Division to serve with the US Army Air Forces Air Transport Command on their supply route across the South Atlantic and Africa to India and China (the "Cannonball Run"). His wife, Florence May Sharp, whom Rowe had married in 1930, served as an aircraft spotter during the war. During the Korean Conflict, Rowe was once again pressed into service, and was transferred to Pan Am's Pacific Division to fly transpacific supply routes and medical evacuation flights. May's early death in 1943 left Rowe a widower at his retirement from Pan Am in 1956. At their Coral Gables, Florida, home he wrote his autobiography, Under My Wings (The Bobbs-Merrill Company, Inc., New York, 1956) and remained active as a tennis instructor until his death on October 28, 1973.
See related collection Basil Lee Rowe First Day Air Mail Covers, NASM.XXXX.0487.
Basil Lee Rowe air racing medals in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection:
Medal, 1926 National Air Races [Winner, Relay Race], A19690242000.
Medal, 1926 National Air Races [Winner, Relay Race], A19690243000.
Medal, Aviation [Dayton Air Race], A19690244000.
Medal, Third Annual Dayton Air Race Winner, A19690245000.
Medal, 1926 National Air Races [2nd Place, Free-For-All Race, 510 cu. in. Class], A19690246000.
Medal, 1926 National Air Races [Winner, First Elimination, 500 cu. in. Class], A19690247000.
Basil Lee Rowe air racing trophies in the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum collection:
Trophy, Allen W. Hinkle, Basil L. Rowe, A19690238000 [Allen W. Hinkle Trophy for Two, Three, and Four Place Airplanes, 1924]
Trophy, Glenn H. Curtiss, Basil L. Rowe, A19690239000 [The Glenn H. Curtiss Trophy for Two Seater Low Horsepower Airplane, National Air Races, Mitchel Field L. I., 1925]
Plaque, B.B.T. Corporation, National Air Races 1926, A19690240000 [B.B.T. Corporation of America Relay Race for Commercial Planes won by Basil L. Rowe, Charles S. Jones, A. H. Kreider]
Plaque, 1926 National Air Races, Benjamin Franklin Trophy, A19690241000 [Benjamin Franklin Trophy donated by Joseph A. Steinmetz, Relay Race for Commercial Planes won by Basil L. Rowe, Charles S. Jones, A. H. Kreider]
Basil Lee Rowe, gift, 1969; United States Air Force Museum, transfer, 1973; NASM.XXXX.0019
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