This collection consists of 355 biographies written by Harold E. Morehouse and intended for publication. These biographies discuss Morehouse's fellow early aviation pioneers, many of whom belong to the Early Birds, an organization open to those who soloed before December 17, 1916. Each biography discusses the subject's life and the majority of biographies include a photograph of the individual.
The Harold E. Morehouse Flying Pioneers Biographies Collection (accession XXXX-0450) contains
approximately four cubic feet of material. It is also known as The Harold and Marvel Morehouse Aviation Pioneers
Collection. The collection includes photographs, negatives, and typewritten material.
Container List: Series I: Biographies of Flying Pioneers; Series II: Miscellaneous related materials; Series III: Oversized materials
This collection consists of over 350 short biographies of early aviation's trailblazers written by Harold E. Morehouse (1894-1973). Conspicuous by its absence is a biography of the author, himself an innovator.
Born in Michigan, Morehouse channelled a youthful fascination with flight into training in the field of
mechanical engineering. He began work in 1915 for the Van Blerck Motor Company and assisted in their
development of aircraft engines. In 1917, Morehouse was working as a layout draftsman on the Standard J-1 Training Airplane for the Dayton-Wright Aeroplane Company. However, this assignment was quickly superseded by his placement on a secret project, supervised by C.F. Kettering and Orville Wright. Its aim was the production of a selfflying aerial torpedo which has since become known as the Kettering Bug. Morehouse contributed to all phases of this project, including its design, engine development and flight testing. The armistice arrived before the actual deployment of the Bug; Morehouse was to spend the next few years in engine design and development.
In 1925, Morehouse joined the Wright Aeronautical Corporation and both the Wright-Morehouse engine
and the Wright-Whirlwind J-5 (a re-design of the J-4) were developed here under Morehouse. The latter engine was later to serve as the powerplant for the historic 1927 trans-Atlantic flight of the Spirit of St. Louis and this was a great source of satisfaction to Morehouse. He left Wright Aero in 1929 and in subsequent years designed the inverted Rover for the Michigan Aero Engine Company, the A-50 for the Continental Motors Corporation and the Engineering and Research Corporation's Erco engine.
About ten years prior to his retirement in 1965, Harold Morehouse began work on a personal project. His
aim was to gather information on significant contributors to early aviation and distill this data to produce a set of
brief biographies of these innovative men and women. He was assisted in this by his wife, Marvel Dyer. After
Harold's death, Marvel worked in concert with Paul E. Garber of the National Air Museum to procure publication of
the work. Sadly, the passing of Marvel Dyer and later of Paul Garber seemed to bring plans for publication to a halt.
This collection consists of hundreds of biographical narratives concerning the lives of the "Flying
Pioneers." Many of those featured were members of the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc., a group whose members had
the distinction of having soloed prior to 1916. Most of the biographies are accompanied by one or more photographs of their subject and comprise an invaluable resource on the accomplishments and sacrifices of those intrepid individuals who forged the history of American aviation. However, it should be borne in mind that the biographies are based in large measure on personal interviews and are concerned primarily with their subjects' careers in aviation.
Other sources should be consulted to obtain a complete portrait.
Mr. and Mrs. Harold E. Morehouse, gift, 1960-1972, XXXX-0450, NASM
The scattered papers of inventor and portrait painter John Goffe Rand measure 0.2 linear feet and date from circa 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873. Included are biographical sketches, a will, lists of portraits by Rand, a small amount of correspondence, files regarding Rand's invention of the collapsible artists' paint tube, clippings, a photo, and an example of one of the first paint tubes made in a factory.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of inventor and portrait painter John Goffe Rand measure 0.2 linear feet and date from circa 1832-1960, bulk 1832-1873. Included are biographical sketches, a will, lists of portraits by Rand, a small amount of correspondence, United States patents for the collapsible paint tube invented by Rand and later improvements, printed materials, a photo, and an example of one of the first paint tubes made in a factory.
Biographical Information includes an unpublished biography about Rand, typescripts of an obituary, short biographical sketches, lists of portraits painted by Rand, and a copy of his will. A small amount of correspondence consists of one letter written by Rand in 1864 addressed to his neice and typescripts of letters written by members of Rand's extended family concerning the artist and his works.
Subject files document Rand's invention of the collapsible tin artists' paint tube and include two patents from the United States Patent Office dated 1841 and 1844. The 1844 patent was for improvements to the tube. The patent applications contain diagrams and written descriptions of the tube. There are also clippings about the anniversaries of the invention.
Additional clippings are about members of the Rand family and a painting by Rand. One photograph depicts Rand's gravesite circa 1930. Artifacts include an example of one of the first collapsible paint tubes made in a factory.
The collection is arranged into 6 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1873-1941, circa 1960 (Box 1; 5 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1864, 1906-1960 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 3: Subject Files, 1841-1844, 1941-1956(Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1900 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 5: Photographs, circa 1930 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 6: Artifact, circa 1832 (Box 1; 1 folder)
John Goffe Rand (1801-1873) lived and worked in Boston, London, and New York as a portrait painter and inventor. Rand invented and patented the first collapsible artist's paint tube.
Rand was born in 1801 in Bedford, New Hampshire. As a young man, he worked as an apprentice to a cabinet maker. Although he showed talent, Rand chose to paint houses and signs and found that he excelled at portraiture. Discovered and encouraged by Samuel F. B. Morse, he moved to Boston and by 1828 established his own studio. While temporarly in Charleston, South Carolina, Rand met Miss Lavinia Brainerd whom he later married.
Shortly after their wedding, Lavinia and John Rand travelled to London where John continued to paint portraits. Among those whom he painted were members of the royal family and other figures in the English nobility including Lord Bexley, the Duke and Duchess of Inverness, and the Duke of Sussex.
While in London, Rand invented a collapsible paint tube made of tin for storing artists' mixed oil paints. Prior to this advancement, painters generally mixed pigments with oil in small amounts and stored the extra paint in animal bladders. The tin tube allowed unused paint to be stored and used later without drying out. In 1841, Rand patented the invention with the United States Patent Office. He went on to patent several later improvements. Other later inventions, however, were not as widely received, and most of his ideas were not financially successful.
Upon returning to the United States, John Rand and his wife settled on Long Island where he continued his career in painting portraits. The artist died in 1873.
The John Goffe Rand papers were donated by Rand's great-grandnieces Mary and Katherine Anglemyer in 1981 and 1985.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
The John Goffe Rand papers are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.