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S.P.A.C.E., Inc. Project Strato-Jump [Nick Piantanida] Collection

Names:
S.P.A.C.E., Inc.  Search this
Piantanida, Nicholas,, 1932-1966  Search this
Extent:
1.38 Cubic feet ((4 boxes))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Reports
Photographic prints
Newspaper clippings
Date:
bulk 1960s - 2000s
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 1.38 cubic feet of material relating to Nicholas John "Nick" Piantanida and Project Strato-Jump including correspondence; news clippings; photographs; motion picture film; video recordings; biographical information; flight reports; check lists; financial records; legal documents and contracts; technical information about Project Strato-Jump; information about Piantanida's David Clark pressure suit; and records pertaining to both the book Magnificent Failure: Free Fall from the Edge of Space (2003) by Craig Ryan and the ESPN film "Angry Sky" (2015) directed by Jeff Tremaine. Motion picture and video formats include 16mm film and VHS. Photographic formats include color and black and white prints of various sizes, the largest of which is 8 by 10 inches.
Biographical / Historical:
Nicholas John "Nick" Piantanida (1932-1966) was a truck driver, athlete, and sky diver who aspired to set a new world altitude record for balloons and to establish a new mark for the highest parachute jump. Piantanida and a backer established S.P.A.C.E. (Survival Programs Above a Common Environment), Inc. to handle the finances of the Strato-Jump program conceived by Piantanida. Piantanida made his first attempt in October 1965. Wind sheared the top off of his helium-filled polyethylene balloon at just 22,700 feet, but he was able to make a safe parachute landing. Raven Industries built the gondola and the balloons for the next two attempts. Paul Edward Yost, one of the founders of the company and the acknowledged father of the modern hot air balloon, would manage flight operations. In February 1966, Piantanida made Strato-Jump II and reached a world altitude of 123,500; however a flight mishap made the flight unqualified for a record. Piantanida had to disconnect his oxygen supply to make the jump and his ground controllers had no choice but to cut the gondola loose from the balloon, allowing Piantanida to return safely to earth still seated in the gondola, dangling beneath a large parachute. Strato-Jump III was at 57,600 feet when ground controllers heard a sudden hissing sound and Piantanida started to say, "Emergency." Yost immediately ordered the gondola cut loose once again. It took twenty-six minutes to parachute back to earth, landing in a field near Worthington, MN, a little more than sixty miles from the take-off point. When the chase crew, who had been following the flight in a light plane, landed near the gondola, they found the pilot alive but unconscious. While the cause of the accident has never been completely resolved, Piantanida apparently depressurized his helmet accidentally and fell unconscious from hypoxia. He died on August 29, 1966, without regaining consciousness. Project Strato-Jump was documented in the book Magnificent Failure: Free Fall from the Edge of Space (2003) by Craig Ryan, and ESPN made a film about Nick Piantanida entitled "Angry Sky" (2015) directed by Jeff Tremaine.
Provenance:
Vern Piantanida, Gift, 2016
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Parachuting  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Astronautics  Search this
Strato-Jump Program  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Reports
Photographic prints
Newspaper clippings
Citation:
S.P.A.C.E., Inc. Project Strato-Jump [Nick Piantanida] Collection, Accession 2016-0031, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2016.0031
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2016-0031

Vera Simons Papers

Creator:
Simons, Vera  Search this
Extent:
23.5 Cubic feet ((22 boxes))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Philately
Photographs
Newspaper clippings
Press releases
Color slides
Audiotapes
Reports
Date:
bulk 1960s-1980s
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 23 cubic feet of material relating to Vera Simons' ballooning and art careers. Types of materials include: newspaper articles, flight covers, photographs, slides, audio recordings, and reports relating to Simons' time with Winzen Research, inc. and her "Da Vinci" and "Aerolus" projects.
Biographical / Historical:
Vera Simons (1920-2012) played an important role in balloon development and exploration. Born in Germany, she grew up in Detroit, Michigan and married Otto Winzen; together they created Winzen Research Inc., one of world's first plastic balloon companies. Simons held over two-thirds ownership of the company and became its vice president. She supervised and trained her "balloon girls" to handle polyethylene and build the giant balloons, and obtained four patents for her work improving construction techniques and envelope redesign. During the 1950s and 1960s, Winzen created balloons for the United States Navy Projects Helios, Skyhook and Strato-Lab and for the United Sates Air Force Project Manhigh, and Simons was a central figure in planning and executing those manned research flights. Simons earned her gas balloon license in 1957 and she represented the United States at the 30th Annual International Gas Balloon Races in Holland where she received a gold medal for her contributions to balloon research. When Simons divorced Otto Winzen, she sold her interest in Winzen Research and enrolled in art school. By the early 1970s she had made a name for herself in international art circles by combining art and ballooning. In 1972, Simons began planning a series of balloon flights called "DaVinci" that combined science with original kinetic art. She spent two years designing and supervising the construction of a two-decker fiberglass gondola and an 11 story tall polyethylene balloon in which she eventually set a new overland distance record in the U.S. in 1979. During the same flight, Simons dropped tiny tetrahedron balloons carrying Douglas Fir seedlings into cleared areas, took time-lapse photographs, made sound recordings, and used mirrors to create special lighting effects in the clouds for the spectators on the ground. During other "DaVinci" flights, Simons collected temperature and airflow data, and tracked the mix and movement of urban air pollutants, while also photographing landscape and cloud images that she later used in producing works of art. In 1984 Simons launched another flight, "Project Aerolus," in which three plastic balloons were launched simultaneously into the nighttime sky; one of the balloons was piloted by Joe Kittinger.
Provenance:
Don Crowell, Gift, 2015
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Balloons  Search this
Kinetic art  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
philately
Photographs
Newspaper clippings
Press releases
Color slides
Audiotapes
Reports
Citation:
Vera Simons Papers, Accession 2016-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2016.0013
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2016-0013

Alfred Edward Moore Collection

Creator:
Hazen, Henry Allen, 1849-1900  Search this
Moore, Alfred Edward  Search this
Names:
Hazen, Henry Allen, 1849-1900  Search this
Moore, Alfred Edward  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet (1 folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Correspondence
Newsclippings
Date:
1886-1887
Summary:
This collection consists of two letters from Henry Allen Hazen to Alfred Edward Moore as well as two news clippings.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of two letters from Henry Allen Hazen to Alfred Edward Moore. The first, dated May 19, 1887, discusses their upcoming flight in the World balloon including an interview Hazen had with a reporter about the flight and about necessary provisions. The second letter, dated June 28, 1887, includes observations from that same flight as well as notes about the scientific data they obtained and the post-flight coverage in the press. The collection also includes a copy of an article by Edward Duffy about the World balloon flight entitled "Three Miles High in a Balloon," dated December 1887; and the September 1886 issue of The Century Illustrated Monthly Magazine, which includes an article by Moore and one by John G. Doughty about earlier balloon flights.
Arrangement:
Collection is in chronological order.
Biographical / Historical:
Alfred Edward "Fred" Moore (1858-1890) was a balloonist who made several ascents in and around Winsted, Connecticut. In June 1887, Moore ascended from St. Louis, Missouri in a balloon that was financed by the New York World and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch on an expedition that included Henry Allen Hazen, a meterologist with the U. S. Signal Service Weather Bureau, photographer John G. Doughty, and Edward Duffy, correspondent. Though widely reported to have reached an altitude of 16,000 feet, the flight was cut short due to a hand injury sustained by Moore upon take-off as well as mechanical difficulties.
Provenance:
David Carlton Moore, Gift, 2018, NASM.2019.0009
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Genre/Form:
Correspondence
Newsclippings
Citation:
Alfred Edward Moore Collection, NASM.2019.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2019.0009
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2019-0009
Online Media:

Japanese World War II Balloon Bombs Collection

Creator:
Mikesh, Robert C.  Search this
Names:
Japan. Navy  Search this
Mikesh, Robert C.  Search this
Tanaka, Kiyoshi  Search this
Extent:
1.51 Cubic feet (3 legal document boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Reports
Photographs
Publications
Manuscripts
Clippings
Date:
1860-1988
bulk 1945-1983
Scope and Contents:
This collection was gathered by National Air and Space Museum curator Robert C. Mikesh for his publication on this subject, "Japan's World War II Balloon Bomb Attacks on North America." The collection consists of the following: magazine and newspaper articles on the Japanese balloons; manuscripts and independent articles; 83 photos Mr. Mikesh used in his book and 68 miscellaneous photos collected for research purposes; also photocopies of Japanese balloon illustrations and Japanese balloon propaganda reports. The collection also includes the working files of Kiyoshi Tanaka, the Supervisor Technical Lieutenant Commander for the Japanese Navy balloon project, and multiple copies of Mr. Mikesh's publication.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as originally numbered and titled by Robert C. Mikesh. Additional folder title information has been added by the processing archivist in brackets.
Biographical / Historical:
During World War II the Japanese constructed nearly 10,000 lighter-than-air balloons for the purpose of carrying destructive pay loads to the U.S. Between November 1944 and April 1945 these balloons made use of the prevailing west-to-east jet stream over the North Pacific Ocean. Nearly 285 sightings and fragment findings have been recorded in North America, and 5 deaths resulted. This was the first and only attack upon the American continent directly from an enemy homeland.
Provenance:
NASM Generated, Transfer, unknown, NASM.XXXX.0558.
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Air defenses -- United States  Search this
Air defenses  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Reports
Photographs
Publications
Manuscripts
Clippings
Citation:
Japanese World War II Balloon Bombs Collection, Acc. XXXX.0558, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0558
See more items in:
Japanese World War II Balloon Bombs Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0558
Online Media:

Georges Naudet Collection

Creator:
Naudet, Georges, 1900-1983.  Search this
Names:
Blanchard, Jean-Pierre, 1753-1809  Search this
Blériot, Louis, 1872-1936  Search this
Godard, Eugène, 1864-  Search this
Godard, Louis  Search this
Montgolfier, Joseph-Michel, 1740-1810.  Search this
Naudet, Georges, 1900-1983.  Search this
Vedrines, Jules  Search this
Extent:
1.09 Cubic feet ((1 records center box) (1 flatbox))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Publications
Clippings
Postcards
Date:
[ca 1600s-1930s]
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes early ballooning material as well as photographs of early 20th century French pilots. The ballooning material includes material from Jean-Pierre Blanchard, Joseph Montgolfier and Eugene and Louis Godard. The early photographs include the following aviators: Louis Blériot, and Jules Védrines. The following types of material are included: photographs, newspaper clippings, postcards, and books.
Biographical / Historical:
Georges Naudet (June 9, 1900 - May 22, 1983) was a French businessman who was passionately interested in the early history of ballooning and aviation. An amateur in the field of aviation history, he became an avid collector and author.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
George Naudet Estate, purchase, 1984, XXXX-0479, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics -- pre-1903  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics -- France  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Balloons -- France  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Publications
Clippings
Postcards
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0479
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0479
Online Media:

Thompson Brothers Balloon Company Collection

Creator:
Thompson Brothers Balloon & Parachute Company  Search this
Names:
Thompson Brothers Balloon & Parachute Company  Search this
Extent:
0.4 Cubic feet ((1 flatbox))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Business records
Manuscripts
Photographs
Financial records
Clippings
Date:
[ca. 1903-1939]
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of memorabilia and records relating to the company, including clippings, copperplates, expense accounts, photos, and so forth. The collection also includes a manuscript by Frank H. Thompson (1971) giving a history of the company.
Biographical / Historical:
The Thompson Brothers Balloon & Parachute Company was established in 1903 to manufacture balloons but they soon shifted to exhibition work, as manufacturing and sales became a sideline for the company. In 1933, the company was operating out of Aurora, Illinois, and was manufacturing and distributing balloons, parachutes, and aerial apparatus for performers as well as furnishing parachute leaps from airplanes and balloons. The company closed in 1939.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Frank H. Thompson, Gift, 1971, XXXX-0014, not NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Parachutes  Search this
Balloons -- Exhibitions  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial -- United States  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Business records
Manuscripts
Photographs
Financial records
Clippings
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.0014
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-0014

Arthur T. Atherholt Collection

Creator:
Atherholt, Arthur T., 1867-1915  Search this
Names:
Ben Franklin Aeronautical Society  Search this
Gordon Bennett Balloon Race  Search this
Philadelphia Aero Club  Search this
Watts, John  Search this
Extent:
0.45 Cubic feet (1 legal document box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Maps
Clippings
Logs (records)
Date:
1906-1913
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes photographs, newspaper clippings, a speech, flight logs, and maps documenting Atherholt's balloon racing career.
Biographical / Historical:
Arthur T. Atherholt (1867-1915) was an aid to Major Hersey in the American Gordon-Bennett Trophy Race and was also one of the contestants during the 1907-1912 races. During his 1912 racing attempt he and copilot John Watts crashed in Russia and were held prisoners for over a week. Atherholt was one of the first members of the Philadelphia Aero Club, and later the president of this organization. He was also instrumental in organizing the Ben Franklin Aeronautical Society in Philadelphia.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Mary Ellen Tully, gift, 1992, 1992-0043, NASM
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Aeronautics -- Exhibitions  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Maps
Clippings
Logs (records)
Identifier:
NASM.1992.0043
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1992-0043

Jesse Loeb Collection

Creator:
Loeb, Jesse  Search this
Names:
National Aeronautic Association (U.S.)  Search this
Extent:
0.23 Cubic Feet ((1 box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Clippings
Photographic prints
Correspondence
Date:
bulk 1901-1961
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains material relating to Jesse Loeb's work in advertising and with the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) including news clippings; correspondence; legal contracts relating to newspaper business; and a booklet about organizational by-laws. The collection also contains eight black and white photographs, mounted on paper, of the balloons L'Orient and Centaur, launched from Pittsfield, MA in 1907. Finally, the collection includes some correspondence and religious materials relating to a Mrs. Ernestine Loeb-Berger.
Biographical / Historical:
Jesse Loeb was a former Secretary of the Membership Committee of the National Aeronautic Association (NAA) who was active in a movement to encourage the establishment of private flying clubs in the United States. Loeb's work involved writing articles for various publications on private flying clubs and maintaining a publicity campaign on their behalf. This work was financed by the Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics, Inc. Prior to working with the NAA, Loeb was employed by various newspapers doing advertising sales and account management.
Provenance:
Jesse Loeb, Gift, 1976
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Aeronautics  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Genre/Form:
Clippings
Photographic prints
Correspondence
Citation:
Jesse Loeb Collection, AccessionXXXX-1161, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.1161
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-1161

Stratospheric Ballooning (Skyhook) Collection

Creator:
United States. Office of Naval Research  Search this
Names:
Project Helios  Search this
Project Skyhook  Search this
United States. Office of Naval Research  Search this
Vanguard (Artificial satellite)  Search this
Extent:
2.18 Cubic Feet ((2 records center boxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Press releases
Clippings
Reports
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
[ca. 1940s-1960s]
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of photographs, correspondence, reports, clippings and press kits, mostly centering on the following ballooning topics: Project Skyhook, Project Helios, Stratoscope I and II and Stratolab. There is also material on general ballooning events, the Vanguard satellite and the VTOL.
Biographical / Historical:
The stratospheric balloon flights of Auguste Piccard in 1931-1932 changed the way people thought about conquering the stratosphere and began a race to the stratosphere via the balloon which rivaled the race to the moon in the 1960s. The ballooning of the 1930s, including Auguste and Jean Piccards' work and the Explorer flights, led to Project Helios during the 1940s. Project Helios, in turn, led to Skyhook, Stratolab and modern scientific ballooning. These modern projects, i.e., Project Skyhook, allowed longer look times than sounding rockets and were far more economical. Furthermore, they were valuable in obtaining data for both scientific missions and military interests.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Office of Naval Research, Gift, 1993, 1993-0050, Public Domain
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Rockets (Aeronautics)  Search this
Rockets, Sounding  Search this
Vertically rising aircraft  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Balloons, Sounding  Search this
Stratoscope I  Search this
Stratoscope II  Search this
Stratolab Program  Search this
Project Vanguard  Search this
Genre/Form:
Press releases
Clippings
Reports
Correspondence
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.1993.0050
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1993-0050

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