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Paul MacCready Innovative Lives Presentation

Creator:
Jerome and Dorothy Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation.  Search this
Interviewee:
Judd, Michael  Search this
MacCready, Paul, 1925-  Search this
Extent:
0.25 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Betacam sp (videotape format)
Oral history
Interviews
Videotapes
Date:
November 8, 2002
Scope and Contents:
Collection includes nine (9) original Beta Cam SP videos documenting interviews with Paul MacCready, the father of human powered flight. MacCready invented the Gossamer Condor and Gossamer Albatross.
Biographical / Historical:
Born September 25, 1925 in New Haven, Connecticut. He began flying in his teens and received formal flight training from the Navy during World War II. After the war, MacCready earned a physics degree from Yale University and a doctorate in aeronautical engineering from California Institute of Technology.
Provenance:
Created by the Innovative Lives Program of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation, National Museum of American History.
Restrictions:
Collection is open for research.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Solar energy -- 20th century  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Physics -- 20th century  Search this
Engineering -- 20th century  Search this
Aeronautics -- 20th century  Search this
Genre/Form:
BetaCam SP (videotape format)
Oral history -- 2000-2010
Interviews -- 2000-2010
Videotapes
Citation:
Paul MacCready Innovative Lives Presentation, November 8, 2002, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0842
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0842

Pratt, Read Corporation Records

Donor:
Nickse, Hugo  Search this
Johnson, Hanford  Search this
Steinway, Henry Ziegler  Search this
Creator:
Comstock, Cheney and Co.  Search this
Pratt, Read and Company  Search this
Extent:
84 Cubic feet (104 boxes, 28 oversize folders)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Motion pictures (visual works)
Financial records
Employee records
Advertisements
Minute books
Sales records
Design drawings
Manufacturing records
Legal documents
Annual reports
Publications
Photographs
Correspondence
Labels
Stock records
Place:
Ivoryton (Conn.)
Date:
1839-1990
Summary:
Records documenting Pratt, Read and Company; its early competitor and later partner, Comstock, Cheney and Company; and a number of predecessor, subsidiary and related companies. Other topics include the late 19th century African ivory trade and Pratt, Read's production of troop-carrying gliders during World War II.
Scope and Contents:
Pratt, Read & Company, located in the Essex area of Connecticut, was once the world's largest producer of ivory products. Beginning with the manufacture of combs, collar buttons, and toothpicks, the company moved on to the production of piano and organ key veneers, and soon dominated the field. Eventually, it began to produce complete piano and organ keyboards and actions, becoming the major supplier to the American piano industry. The records in this collection document Pratt, Read & Company; its early competitor and later partner, Comstock, Cheney & Company; and a number of predecessor, subsidiary, and related companies. Other topics of interest dealt with in this collection include the late nineteenth century African ivory trade and Pratt, Read's production of troop carrying gliders during World War II.
Arrangement:
The Collection is divided into six series.

Series 1: Predecessor and Miscellaneous Companies, 1839-1870s

Series 2: Comstock, Cheney and Company, 1863-1936

Series 3: Pratt, Read and Company, 1863-1988

Series 4: Gould Aeronautical Division, 1941-1977

Series 5: Subsidiary and Related Companies, 1859-1980

Series 6: Information on Related Companies, 1977-1992
Historical:
Pratt, Read & Company is one of the oldest companies in the state of Connecticut. The firm traces its origins to 1798, when an Essex goldsmith and clockmaker named Phineas Pratt invented a circular saw to cut the teeth on ivory combs. In 1809, George Read and his brother in law, Phineas Pratt II, dammed the Deep River in the nearby town of Deep River and constructed a waterwheel to power ivory cutting machinery. Read left the partnership in 1816, and Phineas Pratt II joined with Alfred Worthington to manufacture ivory combs under the name of Pratt Worthington & Company. When Worthington died in 1830, two of Phineas Pratt II's sons, Ulysses and Alexis, took over the business, operating as U & A Pratt. The name was changed in 1844 to Pratt Spencer & Company, when a new partner was added, and changed again in 1850, to Pratt Brothers & Company. In 1856 the company erected a much larger factory in Deep River.

In the meantime, Julius Pratt, another of Phineas Pratt I's sons, had joined with Thomas Howard to set up an ivory comb factory in the town of Meriden. This firm was known as Howard, Pratt & Company. After Howard's death in 1822, it became Julius Pratt & Company. In 1854, the firm began to produce wooden piano keyboards, which then were fitted with keys of ivory. One half interest in this firm was owned by George Read.

When Read left his original partnership with Phineas Pratt II in 1816, he joined with Essex comb maker Ezra Williams to set up a new ivory working factory in Deep River. This new firm was known as Ezra Williams & Company. In 1829, Read became the senior partner and the company's name was changed to George Read & Company. This company later secured a very important contract to supply ivory keys for the first American manufacturer of pianos, Chickering & Sons of Boston.

In 1863, the firms of George Read & Company, Julius Pratt & Company, and Pratt Brothers & Company, were merged to form Pratt, Read & Company. The new company further enlarged its factory in Deep River in 1866. In 1871, the old Julius Pratt & Company factory in Meriden was closed and its operations moved to Deep River. Though this factory was destroyed by fire in 1881, a larger factory was quickly rebuilt and the company was back in business early in 1882.

With the election of George L. Cheney as president in 1892, Pratt, Read & Company began a period of continued expansion. In December of that year the company joined with another Connecticut piano component manufacturer, Comstock, Cheney & Company, to organize a midwestern manufacturing branch, under the name of the Piano & Organ Supply Company. This firm was to serve the territory west of Toledo, Ohio, operating in competition with its parent companies. In 1929 Pratt, Read and Comstock, Cheney combined to buy out the Piano & Organ Supply Company and it was dissolved.

In 1910 Pratt, Read & Company decided to begin the manufacture of piano actions. An independent manufacturer of piano actions, New York based Wasle & Company, and its subsidiary, the Wasle Unique Player Action Company, were acquired that same year. In 1914, Pratt, Read built a second factory solely for the production of player piano actions in Deep River. Wasle & Company was dissolved in 1919 and its production was continued under the Pratt, Read name. The company soon acquired two additional keyboard and action manufacturers: the Sylvester Tower Company of Cambridge, Mass., was purchased, dissolved, and all its equipment was moved to Deep River in 1924; and Strauch Bros. Company of New York was purchased in 1926. The Deep River player action plant operated until 1928, when business declined and production of player piano actions was discontinued in favor of manufacturing small motorboats. This line of business also soon declined and the project was abandoned by 1932.

COMSTOCK, CHENEY & COMPANY. Meanwhile, other manufacturers of ivory products had been at work in the Essex area. Chief among these was the firm of Comstock, Cheney & Company of Ivoryton. The dominant figure in this company was Samuel M. Comstock. He had learned the ivory cutting trade while working in his older brother's Saybrook area ivory cutting shop, known as Joseph A. Comstock & Company. By 1838, Samuel had left his brother's shop and joined with Edwin Griswold to set up Comstock & Griswold Company further west up the Falls River in Centerbrook. In 1848, the company moved its operations to a new factory in the Ivoryton area, where combs, toothpicks, and other ivory products were made. At the same time, the firm's name was changed to S. M. Comstock & Company, reflecting Samuel's sole ownership.

In 1860, Samuel Comstock allied his firm with George A. Cheney to form Comstock, Cheney & Company. Cheney had invested in Comstock's firm and was one of the principals in the important New York based ivory importing firm of Arnold, Cheney & Company. The new firm began production of thin slices of ivory for mounting on wooden piano keys. It also had its own agents buying ivory in Africa, most of which went toward production of piano keys. The company was formally incorporated in 1872 and in 1873 it opened an even larger factory in Ivoryton.

1936 MERGER. On December 31, l936, Pratt, Read & Company of Deep River was consolidated and merged with Comstock, Cheney & Company of Ivoryton. The resulting corporation was titled Pratt, Read & Company, Inc. By l938, all manufacturing operations had been consolidated in Ivoryton and the Deep River factory closed. During World War II, both the Deep River factory and the Ivoryton factory were used to produce CG 4A "Waco" troop carrying gliders for the U.S. Army Air Forces, along with LNE 1 training gliders and the GLOMB experimental plane for the U.S. Navy. Production of piano keyboards and actions was sharply curtailed for the duration of the war, and was slow to resume afterward. In l946 the Deep River factory was sold.

From 1948 to l957, the Ivoryton factory was enlarged and modernized on a large scale. During the Korean War, the company contracted to make helicopter blades for the Kaman Corporation of Bloomfield, Conn., and this partnership lasted for fourteen years. In l958, Pratt, Read transferred all of its piano action manufacturing operations to a newly built plant in Central, S.C. This move was made primarily in order to modernize production facilities at a lower cost than would have been possible through continued renovation of the Ivoryton plant.

With the election of Peter H. Comstock (a great grandson of one of the founders of Comstock, Cheney & Company) as President in 1954, the firm began an ambitious plan of diversification. The Cornwall & Patterson Company of Bridgeport, Conn., manufacturer of piano hardware, was purchased in l957. In 1959, Pratt, Read joined with six British Commonwealth firms to acquire British Piano Actions, Ltd., of Wales. Keyboards, Inc., a Chicago based producer of keyboards for electronic organs, was acquired in 1960. The Tech Art Plastics Company of Morristown, N.J., a custom molder of plastics materials especially for the piano industry, was acquired in 1961. The F. Kelly Company of Derby, Conn., which specialized in the production of small metal parts, was acquired in l964, and operated as a division of Cornwall & Patterson. In l966, Pratt, Read purchased the Allen Rogers Corporation of Laconia, N.H., which produced wooden furniture and piano components.

MERGER WITH VOCALINE COMPANY. In February l968, Pratt, Read & Company, Inc., was merged into the Vocaline Company of America, Inc., of Old Saybrook, Conn. Peter H. Comstock became chairman and chief executive officer of Vocaline Corporation, while remaining president of Pratt, Read. Vocaline was then organized into two major divisions the Vocaline Division and the Pratt, Read Division. The Pratt, Read Division concentrated on the production of piano keys and actions. It operated three subdivisions: the Ivoryton Division (keyboards, wooden and plastic moldings, and unfinished furniture); the Action Division (piano actions); and the Lund Division, formerly Keyboards, Inc., (electronic organ components). Both of the latter divisions operated out of the Central, S.C., plant. The Lund Division was known as the Electronics Division by 1970.

The Vocaline Division produced and sold electric motors, timing devices, and other small electromechanical mechanisms through its Electronics Section and its Bristol Motor and Timer Section. Another subsidiary of the Vocaline Division Altron, Inc., based in Westerly, R.I. produced wire coils. Through its Research and Development Center in Waldboro, Maine, Vocaline conducted antisubmarine warfare research for the U.S. Navy. By 1970, the Vocaline Division had been streamlined into four divisions: the Allen Rogers Corporation (small shaped wood products); Altron, Inc. (wire coils); the Bristol Division, later known as the Bristol Saybrook Company (electric motors and timers); and the Cornwall & Patterson Company (piano hardware and small tools). In addition, research for the Navy had been expanded and combined with other oceanographic research under the control of a subsidiary company, VAST, Inc., with operations in both Maine and the Caribbean.

PRATT READ CORPORATION. In October 1970, the Vocaline Corporation changed its name to the Pratt Read Corporation. This was done partly to increase identity with its oldest traditions and partly to reflect a shift away from the early emphasis on the Vocaline side of the corporation. The new corporation continued to refine its interests under the direction of Peter H. Comstock, who became company president in February 1970. The Tech Arts Plastic Company was sold off in May 1972, although it remained a source of supply for custom molded parts. In 1974 Pratt Read purchased the Atlas Plywood Company of Morrisville, Vt., in order to use its mill and kilns in the preparation of lumber for the Ivoryton factory, whose own facilities were overburdened. This company was operated as a subsidiary of Pratt Read.

By 1976, the Pratt Read Corporation was organized into five operating divisions. The Allen Rogers Corporation produced toys, golf tees, spools, knobs, and other turned and shaped wood products. Altron, Inc., produced bobbins and coils of copper wire. The Bristol Saybrook Company produced small electric motors and timers. The Cornwall & Patterson Company produced piano hardware parts, screwdriver blades, and other small hand tools. Pratt, Read & Company produced wooden components for pianos and other musical instruments. The company's ownership of VAST, Inc., was sold off in March 1976. Later that year, the company acquired Sight Line Corporation, a Freehold, N.J., manufacturer of golf clubs. This subsidiary, operated as the Sounder Sports Division, was sold in May 1979.

In October of 1979, James H. Tucker replaced Peter H. Comstock as president of Pratt Read; Comstock remained chairman of the board and chief executive officer. His nephew, Harwood B. Comstock, became the next president in October 1982. In June 1982, the Ivoryton factory was severely damaged by flooding after two dams burst upstream during a torrential rainstorm. Although the administrative offices were destroyed and the plant filled with several feet of mud and debris, the facility was back in production within two weeks. In August 1982, Pratt Read acquired the Sohmer Piano Company, a 111 year old Long Island based manufacturer of pianos, and in December 1982 Sohmer's production facilities were moved into the Ivoryton factory. By July 1983 Sohmer was producing about six upright pianos a day in its new location.

By the early 1980s, the American piano industry had entered a period of decline and even Peter Comstock's diversification efforts could not keep it out of trouble. A major blow came in 1984 with the loss of a large contract to manufacture keyboards for Mattel Electronics's Intellivision home video system. This was exacerbated by a slump in the piano industry in mid year. The increased import of Japanese and Korean pianos further undercut the American industry, resulting in slowdowns and profit losses for Pratt Read. Attempting to compete on the same basis with this foreign competition, Pratt Read joined with the Baldwin Piano and Organ Company in May 1985 to establish the Pratt Win Corporation. This joint venture resulted in the closing of Pratt Read's Central, S.C., piano action manufacturing plant and the transfer of its operations to a new Baldwin plant in Juarez, Mexico. Pratt Read sold its interest in Pratt Win to Baldwin in October 1986.

Piano sales continued to decline, however, and Pratt Read continued to suffer losses. In March 1986, the company was acquired by Crescent & Company, a corporation controlled by Harwood B. Comstock, president of Pratt, Read & Company. It became a wholly owned subsidiary of Crescent & Company, but retained the name Pratt Read Corporation. In April 1986, the company sold its Sohmer piano subsidiary together with the Ivoryton factory where it was housed; Sohmer & Company continued to produce upright pianos under independent ownership in Ivoryton until December 1988. In December 1986 the Bristol Saybrook Company was sold off. By 1990, the company had sold off all remaining assets except for a sawmill in Vermont and the Cornwall & Patterson Company in Bridgeport, Conn., where the remaining corporate staff relocated.

Sources

Deep River Historical Society, Inc. A History of Pratt Read & Co. 1973.

1899 Souvenir of Essex, Connecticut. Rpt., The Ivoryton Public Library, 1979.

Johnson, Curtiss S. "From Ivory Combs to Carnegie Hall and Today:The History of the Pratt Read Corporation." [Unpublished history in the collection.]

Moore, Ernst D. "History of Pratt, Read & Company." [Unpublished history in the Ernst D. Moore Collection, Archives Center Collection #321.]

Newspaper Clippings in the collection.

Pratt Read Corporation. Annual Reports.

Vocaline Corporation. Annual Report, 1970.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History:
Records relating to Pratt, Read and to Comstock, Cheney can be found in a number of other collections, both within the Archives Center and in other repositories. The Wood & Brooks Company Records (Archives Center coll. #457) contain significant information on Pratt, Read's operations and an important record of production statistics gathered by George Wood while he was factory superintendent and taken with him when he set up a rival firm in Buffalo. While the Ernst Moore Collection (Archives Center coll. #321) primarily documents the purchase of ivory in Africa (much of which was ultimately used by Pratt, Read), it also includes a history of Pratt, Read written by Moore while he was employed by them. The Sohmer & Company Records (Archives Center coll. #349) document the piano manufacturing firm that Pratt Read acquired in 1982.
Separated Materials:
The Pratt Read Corporation also donated a number of objects to the National Museum of American History at the same time as their 1988 donation of archival records. Included were combs and letter openers and other examples of products made from ivory; piano components, such as gauge boards, key actions, and keys; and such diverse items as tools used in the factory, World War II employee I.D. badges, and a uniform from the company sponsored basketball team.
Provenance:
Donated by Pratt, Read Corporation in 1989. In addition to the papers donated by the company, several individuals donated Pratt, Read materials in their possession.
Restrictions:
Collection open for research on site by appointment. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Rights:
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.
Topic:
Piano  Search this
Ivory industry  Search this
Piano makers  Search this
Ivory  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Motion pictures (visual works)
Financial records
Employee records
Advertisements -- 20th century
Minute books
Sales records
Design drawings
Manufacturing Records
Legal documents
Annual reports
Publications
Photographs -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 19th century
Correspondence -- 20th century
Labels
Stock records
Citation:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records, 1839-1990, Archives Center, National Museum of American History.
Identifier:
NMAH.AC.0320
See more items in:
Pratt, Read Corporation Records
Archival Repository:
Archives Center, National Museum of American History
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nmah-ac-0320
Online Media:

Light sport and ultralight flying

Title:
Lightsport and ultralight flying
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 36 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
2006
201u
2006-[2016 or 2017?]
Topic:
Ultralight aircraft  Search this
Ultralight aircraft--Piloting  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Piloting  Search this
Call number:
TL760.A1 G55
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_815186

Otto Lilienthal Photographs

Names:
Lilienthal, Otto  Search this
Extent:
0.05 Cubic feet (1 folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographic prints
Date:
circa 1894
Summary:
One of the most significant pre-Wright brothers aeronautical experimenters was the German glider pioneer Otto Lilienthal. This collection consists of three photographs of him.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of three black and white photographs of Otto Lilienthal. The first is a 2.5 by 3.5 inch (matted to 8.5 by 10 inches) formal head and shoulders portrait of Lilienthal, wearing a suit and tie, and is signed by Lilienthal. The other two prints, both measure 10.5 by 7 inches and are backed with cardboard, show Lilienthal in flight in a glider near Berlin in 1894.
Arrangement:
Collection is in original order.
Biographical / Historical:
One of the most significant pre-Wright brothers aeronautical experimenters was the German glider pioneer Otto Lilienthal. Between 1891 and 1896, he built and flew a series of highly successful full-size gliders. During this period, Lilienthal made close to 2,000 brief flights in 16 different designs based on aerodynamic research he conducted in the 1870s and 1880s. Most of the gliders were monoplanes with stabilizing tail surfaces mounted at the rear and control was achieved by shifting body weight fore-and-aft and from side-to-side. Beyond his technical contributions, Lilienthal sparked aeronautical advancement from a psychological point of view, as well by unquestionably demonstrating that gliding flight was possible. He was a great inspiration to the Wright brothers in particular. They adopted his approach of glider experimentation and used his aerodynamic data as a starting point in their own research.
Provenance:
Unknown, NASM.XXXX.1093
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:
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Aeronautics -- Germany  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographic prints
Citation:
Otto Lilienthal Photographs, NASM.XXXX.1093, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.XXXX.1093
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-xxxx-1093
Online Media:

Schweizer Aircraft Corporation Negatives [Smith]

Creator:
Smith, C. Hadley, 1910-2004.  Search this
Names:
Schweizer Aircraft Corporation  Search this
Extent:
0.22 Cubic feet (1 box)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Negatives
Date:
1964-1975
Summary:
This collection consists of approximately 209 images taken by C. Hadley Smith pertaining to Schweizer Aircraft Corporation.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 209 images taken by C. Hadley Smith pertaining to Schweizer Aircraft Corporation. The images are in negative format, and are 4 by 5 inches or smaller. They are a mix of black and white and color. The collection also contains a few color transparencies. The negatives are in individually numbered envelopes with a number scheme applied by Smith which is comprised of the date (year-month-day) and a shot number from that day. Some of the envelopes contain duplicate negatives or contact prints, and some contain two separate images. The images show Schweizer aircraft (including many air to air shots), as well as some shots of ephemera such as illustrations, magazine spreads, and advertising materials. Aircraft shown in the collection include the Schweizer SGS 1-26B; Schweizer SGS 1-26C; Schweizer SGS 1-26E; Schweizer SGS 1-23H; Schweizer SGU 2-22E; Schweizer SGS 2-32 (including tail number N2477W, marked as the 1000th Schweizer Sailplane); Schweizer SGS 1-34; Schweizer SGS 2-33; Schweizer TSC-1A1 Teal Amphibian; and the Schweizer SGS 1-35.
Arrangement:
This collection is in original order using the numbers that were applied by the creator.
Biographical / Historical:
Schweizer Aircraft Corporation was formed in 1939 by brothers Paul, William, and Ernest Schweizer in Elmira, New York. The Schweizer brothers built their first glider in 1930 and went on to produce numerous models of gliders, helicopters, and small agricultural aircraft. Schweizer was acquired by Sikorsky Aircraft Corporation in 2004 and operated as a subsidiary until ceasing operations in 2012.

C. Hadley Smith (1910-2004) began taking photographs at age five and received formal training in photography at the Patuxent River Naval Air Base where he served as a Photographer's Mate First Class during World War II. After the war, he began his career as a commercial photographer in Ithaca, New York. One of his clients was Schweizer Aircraft Corporation.
Provenance:
Hadley Smith, Gift, 2017, NASM.2018.0009
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
Airplanes  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Negatives
Citation:
Schweizer Aircraft Corporation Negatives [Smith], NASM.2018.0009, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2018.0009
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2018-0009
Online Media:

Ultralight flying!

Author:
United States Ultralight Association  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. ; 39 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
19uu
2006
Topic:
Ultralight aircraft--Piloting  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Piloting  Search this
Call number:
TL760.A1 G55
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_497368

Walter and Reimar Horten Interviews [Myhra]

Creator:
Myhra, David  Search this
Names:
Horten, Reimar, 1915-1993  Search this
Horten, Walter, 1912-1988  Search this
Extent:
7.91 Linear feet (20 boxes)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1913 -1998
bulk 1982-1988
Summary:
This collection contains interviews with Reimar and Walter Horten that were recorded by David Myhra.
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains interviews with Reimar and Walter Horten taped by David Myhra, author of The Horten Brothers and Their All-winged Aircraft. It includes various topics relating to the Hortens, and comprises sixty original tapes donated by Myhra, as well as two copies made by NASM, one consisting of sixty-one master reel-to-reels, and another of 120 reference CD-Rs. A box of "transcripts" for some of the tapes is also included in the collection, although it is unclear which transcripts go with which tapes.
Arrangement:
This finding aid was generated from the original recording labels. Mr. Myhra labeled most of the tapes, but each group of tapes is labeled differently. Dates are included when provided but the list does not follow a chronological order, which is irrelevant anyway considering the wandering nature of Mr. Myhra's interviews. The finding aid is arranged in groups, which roughly correspond to each set of interviews. In addition, NASM has given each tape a new number which runs consecutively from one through sixty. The original number given by David Myhra is listed in the description of each tape. The new NASM numbers for the original tapes correspond to the NASM reel numbers and the NASM CD-R numbers as to make locating each copy more convenient.
Biographical / Historical:
Reimar Horten and his brother Walter, two largely self-taught aircraft designers, were born in Bonn, Germany; Walter on March 3, 1912, and Reimar on March 12, 1915. Their interest in aircraft began as early as 1925 when they joined a fliers' club in Bonn. In 1932 Reimar and Walter commenced work on their first piloted all-wing sailplane the Ho I. The basic concept of the flying wing dates from the dawn of aviation, but the Horten brothers became the virtuosos of this aircraft. The Horten all-wing sailplanes were gliders without a fuselage or tail section. Because the fuselage and the tail section of a regular plane produced 30% to 50% of an airplane's drag, the benefit of the sailplanes was clear. During the time preceding World War II the brothers improved upon the Ho I glider, creating other models including the Ho II, Ho III, and the Ho IV--none of which had any engines. Reimar and Walter joined the Luftwaffe (German Air Force) during the course of the war where Walter flew Messerschmitt Bf-109s for six months and Reimar worked for Operation Sea Lion, whose objective was the invasion of England. Upon the cancellation of this operation the Horten brothers went on to continue their projects, developing many enhanced versions of their original flying-wing. In 1942 Reimar began working on the Ho VII at the Luftwaffe's request, a machine equipped with two pusher-type propellers and a pulse jet engine. However, the Ho VII was not strong enough to fly safely at the greater speeds made possible by the jet, so the brothers began work on the new Ho IX (code named "Go 229"), the first functional jet propelled flying wing. The arrival of the American army in 1945 ended the construction of this type of aircraft. After the war, Reimar moved to Argentina where he continued to develop his unorthodox aircraft designs; Walter stayed in Germany. Walter died in 1988 and Reimar died in 1994.
Provenance:
David Myhra, Gift, 1998
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 -- Germany -- Refugees  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Horten IV  Search this
Horten III (108-250)  Search this
Horten II (1935)  Search this
Horten I Glider (1931)  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Citation:
Walter and Reimar Horten Interviews [Myhra], Acc. 1999-0065, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1999.0065
See more items in:
Walter and Reimar Horten Interviews [Myhra]
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1999-0065
Online Media:

Gerard K. O'Neill Collection

Creator:
O'Neill, Gerard  Search this
Extent:
26.22 Cubic feet (75 Boxes)
35.14 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Book drafts
Clippings
Movie scripts
Correspondence
Magazines (periodicals)
Place:
Moon -- Exploration
Date:
1940s-1993
Summary:
Gerard Kitchen O'Neill (1927-1992) was an experimental physicist, educator, inventor, entrepreneur, writer and novelist.
Scope and Contents:
Materials in this collection include notes, business papers, patents, calendar planners, reports, a thesis, correspondence, book drafts, screenplay drafts, university publications, magazines, magazine articles, newspaper articles, glass & 35mm images, photographs, a rolodex.

The researcher should note that the collection also contains VHS tapes and audio cassettes. These items are not included in the container list but a NASM Archives staff person can assist you regarding access.
Arrangement:
Organized into 5 series:

Series 1: Professional Papers

Series 2: Publications & Reports

Series 3: Personal Papers

Series 4: Images

Series 5: Odd & Oversize
Biographical / Historical:
Gerard Kitchen O'Neill (1927-1992) was an experimental physicist, educator, inventor, entrepreneur, writer and novelist.

Gerard K. O'Neill joined the Navy at age 17, served as a radar technician from 1944 to 1946, graduated from Swarthmore College in 1950 with high honors in Physics, and received his Ph.D. in Physics from Cornell University in 1954. He went to Princeton University in that year as an Assistant Professor, becoming a Full Professor of Physics in 1965. In the 1976-77 academic year he received the honor of serving as the Jerome Clarke Hunsaker Professor of Aerospace at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He retired from Princeton in 1985 as professor emeritus.

Dr. O'Neill's main research area was high-energy particle physics and he initiated and led large-scale projects in accelerator construction. In 1956 he invented the storage-ring technique for colliding particle beams, a method which is now the basis for nearly every new high-energy particle accelerator. In 1976 he built his first Mass Driver prototype.

Dr. O'Neill was a pioneer in the field of space colonization; his studies on the humanization of space began in 1969 as a result of his undergraduate teaching at Princeton, and one of his four books, The High Frontier, detailed his vision of humanity's movement into Earth-like habitats constructed in space. The High Frontier won the Phi Beta Kappa Award as the best science book of 1977. He also authored 2081: A Hopeful View of the Human Future, The Technology Edge: Opportunities for America in World Competition and co-authored a graduate textbook, Introduction to Elementary Particle Physics.

In 1977 following the success of The High Frontier, Dr. O'Neill founded the non-profit Space Studies Institute. SSI's research included work on mass drivers and the Lunar Polar Probe (renamed Lunar Prospector and flown by NASA.)

In 1967 Dr. O'Neill was a finalist, though ultimately not selected, for NASA's Astronaut Group 6, a group of scientist-astronauts to be given assignments in the Apollo Program. He returned to NASA throughout 1975-1977 to led studies on space habitats and space manufacturing; he testified twice before Congress during that time. In 1985, he was appointed by President Reagan to the National Commission on Space.

In 1983 Dr. O'Neill founded the Geostar Corporation, a satellite based positioning and communication system, based on a patent issued to him.

In 1986, O'Neill founded O'Neill Communications, Inc. which developed LAWN, a local area network device using radio waves and still in use today.

At the time of his death, Dr. O'Neill was working on a form of high-speed ground-based transportation he called "Magnetic Flight" with another company he founded, VSE International.

Dr. O'Neill was an instrument-rated pilot with some 2,500 hours of time in powered aircraft and held the Triple Diamond Badge of the Federation of the Aeronautique Internationale for sail plane flights. He was active in ultralight aircraft aviation and a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association. On most of his travels in connection with research and lectures, he piloted his own small plane.

Dr. O'Neill died from leukemia in 1992; the Clementine Mission of 1994 was dedicated to him.
Provenance:
Tasha O'Neill, Gift, 2013
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:
Books  Search this
Astronautics  Search this
Physics  Search this
Satellites  Search this
GPS receivers  Search this
Space stations  Search this
Space sciences  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Space colonies  Search this
Genre/Form:
Book drafts
Clippings
Movie scripts
Correspondence
Magazines (periodicals) -- 20th century
Citation:
Gerard K. O'Neill Collection, Acc. 2014-0005, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2014.0005
See more items in:
Gerard K. O'Neill Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2014-0005
Online Media:

Rhön-Adler : three generations Alexander Schleicher Segelflugzeugbau / Peter F. Selinger

Author:
Selinger, Peter F.  Search this
Subject:
Schleicher, Alexander 1901-1968  Search this
Alexander Schleicher GmbH und Co  Search this
Physical description:
352 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 24 x 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Germany
Date:
2015
Topic:
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Aircraft industry  Search this
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1096760

Airborne combat : the glider war/Fighting gliders of World War II / James E. Mrazek

Author:
Mrazek, James E  Search this
Mrazek, James E Fighting gliders of World War II  Search this
Physical description:
vi, 486 pages : illustrations, maps ; 23 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
2011
1975
Topic:
World War, 1939-1945--Aerial operations  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1104270

United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association pilot

Publisher:
United States Hang Gliding and Paragliding Association  Search this
Physical description:
volume : illustrations ; 28 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
2018
Topic:
Glider pilots  Search this
Hang gliding  Search this
Paragliding  Search this
Hang gliders  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Piloting  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1103648

Bensen B-8 Gyro-Glider Collection

Creator:
Bensen, Igor.  Search this
Names:
Bensen Aircraft Corporation  Search this
Extent:
Enter vol amt Cubic Feet ((1 box))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Plans (drawings)
Manuals
Brochures
Date:
bulk 1978
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of the Bensen B-8 Gyro-Glider documentation: Building and Operating Manual; plan drawings; Rotorcraft Dictionary; Bensen-related brochures; list of tools needed to build a gyrocopter; Building and Operating Material Specifications for Bensen Models B-8 and B-8M; Catalog No. 81 and order form; Installment Purchase Plan documents and price list; and a "I'd Rather be flying a Bensen Gyrocopter" bumper sticker.
Biographical / Historical:
In 1953, Dr. Igor Bensen, an immigrant from the USSR where he had been chief research engineer of the Kaman Aircraft Corporation, established the Bensen Aircraft Corporation in Raleigh, North Carolina. He initially planned to produce commercial helicopters, but switched to the private market when he realized that the relative safety of rotary craft would be attractive to private pilots. His first aircraft was the Bensen B-8 Gyro-Glider, which was unpowered and could be flown without a pilot's license in the United States. It could be built at home from a kit that an aspiring pilot would purchase from the company or could be purchased already assembled.
Provenance:
Dave Spriggs, Gift, Year received
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:
Autogiros  Search this
Airplanes, Home-built  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Bensen B-8 Gyro-Glider  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Plans (drawings)
Manuals
Brochures
Citation:
Bensen B-8 Gyro-Glider Collection, Accession number 2006-0029, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2006.0029
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2006-0029

John E. Parker Collection

Creator:
Parker, John E.  Search this
Names:
Northwestern Aeronautical Corp  Search this
Parker, John E.  Search this
Extent:
3.09 Cubic Feet ((1 records center box) (4 flatboxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Publications
Photographs
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Date:
1940-1945
Scope and Contents:
This collection contains four wooden covered scrapbooks designed by John E. Parker which include clippings and photographs of the company during this period. Collection also includes 'General Survey Organization Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation;' 'Postwar Products Survey Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation;' newsclippings on NAC; 'TOW Lines' published by NAC; and other material about the company and John Parker.
Biographical / Historical:
John E. Parker was a Naval Academy graduate, and an entrepreneur. Parker was the president of Northwestern Aeronautical Corporation (NAC), which made wooden gliders for the war effort. Allied forces used the unpowered gliders at the Normandy D-Day invasion and at other battles to silently carry troops into enemy territory. The company assembled fifteen gliders a day in a huge plant on Minnehaha Avenue in St. Paul, Minnesota. After the War, Parker also became president of the newly created Engineering Research Associates (ERA), a computer development company.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Estate of John E. Parker, Gift, 1990, 1991-0005, 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:
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Aerial operations  Search this
World War, 1939-1945  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics, Commercial  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
Publications
Photographs
Clippings
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0005
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1991-0005

Auf weissen Schwingen / Frank Franke

Author:
Franke, Frank  Search this
Physical description:
135 pages : color illustrations, color portraits ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1998
Topic:
Glider pilots  Search this
Gliding and soaring  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1091594

National power glider : the magazine of practical aviation

Physical description:
2 v
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1930
1931
1930-1931
Topic:
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Call number:
TL760.A1 N27
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1098522

National glider and airplane news

Physical description:
1 v. illus. 29 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1931
1932
Topic:
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Periodicals  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Call number:
TL760.A1 N27
TL760.A1N27
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_160962

Die Flugapparate : allgemeine Gesichtspunkte bei deren Herstellung und Anwendung / Von Otto Lilienthal

Author:
Lilienthal, Otto 1848-1896  Search this
Physical description:
15, [1] pages 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1894
Topic:
Gliders (Aeronautics)  Search this
Call number:
TL570 .L72 1889
TL570.L72 1889
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_91135

Army-Navy journal of recognition

Title:
Journal of recognition
Author:
United States Navy Department  Search this
United States Navy Department Bureau of Aeronautics  Search this
United States Office of the Chief of Naval Operations  Search this
United States War Department  Search this
Subject:
Great Britain Royal Navy  Search this
Japan Kaigun  Search this
France Marine  Search this
Netherlands Koninklijke Marine  Search this
Soviet Union Voenno-Morskoĭ Flot  Search this
Germany Luftwaffe  Search this
Physical description:
v. : ill. 33 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1943
1944
C1943-1944
Topic:
Warships--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Ships--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Armored vehicles, Military--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Airplanes--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Aircraft carriers--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Wakes (Fluid dynamics)--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Landing craft--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Artillery--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Merchant ships--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Call number:
V1 .U105
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_505821

Rhön-Adler : 75 Jahre Alexander-Schleicher-Segelflugzeugbau / Peter F. Selinger

Author:
Selinger, Peter F.  Search this
Subject:
Alexander Schleicher GmbH & Co History  Search this
Physical description:
240 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color) ; 24 x 28 cm
Type:
Books
Place:
Germany
Date:
2002
Topic:
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Design and construction--History  Search this
Aircraft industry--History  Search this
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_1065109

Recognition journal

Author:
United States War Department  Search this
United States Navy Department  Search this
Time, inc  Search this
Subject:
United States War Dept Handbooks, manuals, etc  Search this
United States Navy Dept Handbooks, manuals, etc  Search this
Physical description:
2 v. : ill. ; 33 cm
Type:
Periodicals
Date:
1944
1945
1944-1945
Topic:
Warships--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Ships--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Armored vehicles, Military--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Airplanes--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Aircraft carriers--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Wakes (Fluid dynamics)--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Landing craft--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Artillery--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Merchant ships--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Gliders (Aeronautics)--Recognition--Periodicals  Search this
Call number:
V1 .U105
Restrictions & Rights:
Originally: "Restricted".
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_505822

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