1 Cubic foot (7 films, Reels AC1233-OF0001 and AC1233-OF0002 are composite reels created by the Archives Center, National Museum of American History, the former comprising "Children Summer, Fall, and Winter, 1956-1957" and "Challinor Family Home Movie, 1957" and the latter comprising "Guilford, 57-58" and "Challinor Family Home Movie, 1959", 16mm)
16mm motion picture film
White Mountain National Forest (N.H. and Me.)
Mount Snow Ski Resort
Noroton Heights (Darien, Conn.)
Sierra Nevada (Calif. and Nev.)
Yosemite National Park (Calif.)
Half Dome (Calif.)
Yosemite Valley (Calif.)
David Challinor served the Smithsonian Institution in an official capacity for 30 years, eventually becoming the assistant secretary to Sidney Dillon Ripley. Joan R. Challinor became an historian and advocate of library sciences and education. In 1956, however, they were busy with their young family. David only returned to university for graduate school in 1957, in his late 30s. They both went on to have successful careers and active family lives. This collection includes 7 home movie films that document thte Challinor family.
Scope and Contents:
The collection comprises seven silent 16mm color home movies depicting David and Joan Challinor, their four children, and other family or friends. Subject matter includes the family's home in Connecticut as well as family vacations throughout the northeastern United States and Bermuda, Switzerland, and Iceland.
Collection organized into one series.
Series 1, Motion Picture Film, 1956-1965
Biographical / Historical:
David Challinor and Joan Ridder Challinor were married in 1952 and lived in Houston, Texas where David worked as a cotton broker, farmer, and then a mortgage banker. They had four children: Julia, Mary, Sarah, and David, and six grandchildren. In the late 1950s, they settled in Connecticut, where David pursued graduate studies in forest ecology at Yale University and during which time the couple made home movies.
From 1960-1964, David Challinor served as the deputy director of Yale's Peabody Museum of Natural History under Sidney Dillon Ripley, and in 1965 became the acting director after Ripley became the Smithsonian's secretary. When in 1966 Challinor received his doctorate from Yale University, Ripley recruited him to serve as the Special Assistant for Tropical Biology of the Smithsonian's Office of the Secretary. From 1967-1971 he served as the deputy director and, subsequently, the director of the Office of International Activites. He then served as Assistant Secretary for Science and Research for sixteen years before becoming the Science Advisor to the Secretary prior to his retirement in 1996 when he was named Scientist Emeritus for the National Zoological Park. He died in 2008, leaving a professional legacy of conservationism.
During Challinor's tenure as Assistant Secretary for Science and Research at the Smithsonian, Joan R. Challinor pursued graduate studies in history at American University, receiving her doctorate in 1982. Her work involved serving on numerous committees and organizations, many of which were library and education related, including the Schlesinger Library Advisory Committee and the National Commission on Libraries and Information Science. Through the 1980s and 1990s, she lectured at American University, was a research associate at the National Museum of American History, wrote numerous essays, edited two books, and even produced a documentary film about Thomas Paine. She was also the director of Knight Ridder, Inc., a print media company, from 1989 until 2001. She continues to live and work in the Washington, D.C. area.
Materials at Other Organizations
The Schlesinger Library of the Radcliff Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University holds the "Papers of Joan R. Challinor, 1848, 1975-2008", which includes her correspondence, meeting and conference materials, articles, speeches, reports, photographs, and audiotapes (Accession #MC 678; T-446).
The Smithsonian Institution Archives holds numerous archival collections, including photographs, papers, files, records, and oral histories related to David Challinor.
The collection was donated by Joan Challinor in 2011.
Collection is open for research on site by appointment. Reference copies do not exist. Use of these materials requires special arrangement with Archives Center staff.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Privacy rights of filmed individuals may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
To celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the Louisiana Purchase, Congress sanctioned the Louisiana Purchase Exposition ". . . for exhibitions of arts, industries,
manufactures, and products of soil, mine, forest, and sea." The exposition was held at St. Louis from April 30 to December 1, 1904. It encompassed 1,240 acres of indoor and
outdoor exhibits, including an actual Philippine village. Foreign and domestic participants provided an "exposition of processes" including such divisions as electricity,
transportation, anthropology, physical culture, and an International Congress of Arts and Science designed to be an "academic accompaniment" to the exposition.
In 1902 Congress appropriated $110,000 to the Smithsonian Institution for its exhibits, which took over two years to prepare, for ". . . no pains have been spared to make
the display both interesting and noteworthy." The Smithsonian's display represented the Smithsonian Institution proper, including a reproduction of the Children's Room in
the Smithsonian Building in Washington; the Bureau of International Exchange; and the Astrophysical Observatory. National Museum exhibits consisted of models of Aztec ruins
from the Department of Anthropology and a cast and skeleton of a sulfur bottom whale from the Department of Biology. The Department of Geology provided restorations of the
Stegosaurus and Triceratops as well as a collection of meteorites. Two outdoor exhibits were also provided--the National Zoological Park's flying bird cage and a coelostat
from the Astrophysical Observatory. In 1905, as a direct result of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, the National Museum increased its accessions more than at any other time
except after the close of the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exhibition.
The Smithsonian's participation was managed in what was by now the usual way. Secretary Langley appointed Frederick W. True as the Smithsonian representative to the U.S.
Government Board of Management for the exposition. True also was chairman of the Installation and Decoration Committee. Dr. Marcus Lyon, Jr., was chief special agent in St.
Louis during the exposition. William deC. Ravenel represented the U.S. Fish Commission on the Government Board of Management and was also administrative assistant to Richard
Rathbun, the Assistant Secretary in charge of the U.S. National Museum. The U.S. National Museum's exhibits were prepared by specialists from its various branches. William
H. Holmes, head of the Bureau of American Ethnology, collaborated with the Museum's Department of Anthropology to create the anthropology exhibit. Frederick W. True, acting
in a dual capacity, planned the Department of Biology exhibit, assisted by Frederic A. Lucas. George P. Merrill, curator of the Department of Geology, directed plans for its
This series includes both correspondence and administrative records pertaining to the Smithsonian Institution's participation in the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The
records include correspondence concerning the collection, preparation, and management of the exhibits, and subsequent acquisitions. Other True correspondence relates to his
position as chairman of the Installation and Decoration Committee for the Government Board. Correspondence between Richard Rathbun and William deC. Ravenel concerns desirable
exhibits (both foreign and domestic) they hoped to obtain for the National Museum, including comments from Otis T. Mason, Paul Beckwith, Walter Hough, and others. The remainder
of the series relates to administrative and financial records, including draft and final reports of Smithsonian participation in the exposition and lists of specimens exhibited.
For photographs, see Record Unit 95, Series 7.
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 70, Smithsonian Institution, Exposition Records of the Smithsonian Institution and the United States National Museum
The papers of Mary Jane Rathbun document her career as a carcinologist and consist of correspondence, 1894-1938; manuscripts; research material; photographs; and an
Mary Jane Rathbun (1860-1943) was born in Buffalo, New York. Educated in the public schools of Buffalo, she became interested in zoology through her brother Richard.
A staff member of the United States Fish Commission (and later an assistant secretary of the Smithsonian Institution), Richard Rathbun introduced his sister to the Commission
and its work at Woods Hole, Massachusetts. She worked for the Fish Commission, on a voluntary basis, during the summers from 1881 to 1884. In 1884, she was appointed to a
salaried position as clerk with the Fish Commission, where she remained until 1886, when she joined the staff of the United States National Museum (USNM) as copyist in the
Department of Marine Invertebrates. Rathbun was promoted to aid in 1893, second assistant curator in 1894, and assistant curator in 1907. She resigned in 1914 so that her
salary could be used to hire another assistant curator. After her resignation, she was given the honorary title associate in zoology and continued her work on the invertebrate
collections in the USNM. In 1916, Rathbun received an honorary M.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and the following year received an honorary doctorate from the
George Washington University.
Rathbun's primary zoological interest was the study of crustacea, particularly the crabs, both recent and fossil. Her bibliography numbered 158 titles, with her most important
works being four monographs on the grapsoid, spider, cancroid, and oxystomatous crabs of America, published as Bulletins of the United States National Museum between 1918
National Zoological Park. Office of the Registrar Search this
2 cu. ft. (2 record storage boxes)
This accession consists of records that document the professional activities of the National Zoological Park, Office of the Registrar, during the tenure of Judith Block,
Registrar, 1977-present. The records primarily document the Office's participation in Smithsonian and U.S. councils and regulatory bodies, including the Conference of the
Parties to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), the CITES International Convention Advisory Commission (ICAC), the
Association of Zoo Registrars (AZR), and the International Zoo Yearbook, as well as in Smithsonian Registrar's groups and councils. Materials include correspondence, memoranda,
notes, meeting materials and related records.
The earliest records concerning the National Zoological Park date from 1887. They were kept by the Office of the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution until 1890,
when they were transferred to Holt House, the Park's administrative headquarters. During the late 1960's the records were transferred to the custody of the Smithsonian Institution
Archives. The finding aid for these records was first written in 1972 and revised in 1989.
The Archives would like to thank Dr. Theodore H. Reed, former director of the National Zoological Park, and Sybil E. Hamlet, Public Information Officer, NZP, for their
support and assistance in the transfer of the records to the Archives, and in providing historical information necessary for the processing of these records.
The records of the National Zoological Park document the development of the Park, from the site survey work begun by William T. Hornaday in 1888 through the beginnings
of its modernization plans in 1965.
Several series of records are of particular importance. They include records of the National Zoological Park Commission, 1889-1891, and records created by William T. Hornaday,
who had a significant part to play in the early development of the Park. Some of these records also demonstrate the important influence of Secretary Samuel P. Langley, who
succeeded in persuading Congress to authorize the Park, and who kept it under his close personal supervision until he died in 1906. This material consists of minutes of the
founding Commission, plats, maps, blueprints, photographs, and correspondence documenting acquisition of land for the Park, as well as records detailing the Park's changing
boundaries, layouts of buildings and grounds, and construction of buildings. A more detailed description of the Park's correspondence system can be found in series 12 through
14. Additional information regarding the Commission's activities and Langley's close involvement with the Zoo may be found in Record Unit 31, the incoming correspondence of
the Office of the Secretary (Samuel P. Langley), 1891-1906, and related records to 1908, and Record Unit 34, the Secretary's outgoing correspondence, 1887-1907.
Correspondence in these records embraces a number of other subjects as well. Acquisition of specimens is extensively documented. Animals were obtained from donors, from
dealers in wild animals, from circuses, from American military and diplomatic personnel, from participation in various American expositions, and from expeditions abroad for
the purpose of collecting animals for the Park. Collections gathered abroad came from the Smithsonian-Roosevelt African Expedition (1909), the Smithsonian-Chrysler Expedition
(1926-1927), the Argentine Expedition (1938-1939), the Antarctic Expedition (1939-1940), and the Firestone-Smithsonian Expedition (1940-1941). In addition, the Park provided
specimen exhibitions and built facilities for several expositions, including the Pan-American Exposition (1901-1902), the Louisiana Purchase Exposition (1904), the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific
Exposition (1909), and the Panama-Pacific International Exposition (1914-1917). Record Unit 70 documents the Smithsonian's participation in expositions in detail.
The records also document the more mundane aspects of Park administration. There is considerable correspondence between the Park's director and colleagues at other institutions
at home and abroad, and with various federal agencies. There is particularly full documentation of dealings with federal offices in control of animal quarantine regulations
and with the rebuilding of the Park by various New Deal agencies in the 1930's. There are daily diaries of the superintendents, directors, and assistant directors of the Park
(1895-1930), as well as diaries and daily reports of various subordinate staff members.
Lastly, records of the Park document Samuel P. Langley's 1901-1903 research on the flight of birds, Frank Baker's survey of private and public zoological parks and his
buffalo census, 1902-1905, and Baker's involvement on a subcommittee entrusted with recommending a site for a zoological park to the New York Zoological Society.
In 1989 the National Zoological Park celebrated its centennial. However, as early as 1855 the Smithsonian had received gifts of live animals. In addition, the United
States National Museum acquired living animals for life studies in order to create lifelike specimens for exhibit in the Museum. Since there were no facilities for caring
for animals not used as specimens, those animals were either transferred to the Superintendent of the United States Insane Asylum (now St. Elizabeth's Hospital) for the amusement
of its patients or else sent to the Philadelphia Zoological Garden.
However, parochial needs were not the only source for the idea of a national zoological park. During the last quarter of the nineteenth century there was growing concern
that a number of animals would soon become extinct in their natural habitats, among them the American buffalo. William T. Hornaday, taxidermist at the Institution since 1882,
had found the National Museum with only a few inferior specimens of the buffalo; and, with the support of Secretary Spencer F. Baird, he traveled to Montana in May and again
in September of 1886 to collect specimens while they could still be had. Hornaday was able to collect numerous specimens. However, the state of the buffalo herds he observed
during these trips evidently affected him deeply. In 1888, he published his The Extermination of the American Bison. Already, in March 1887 he had proposed to Secretary Baird
that a zoological park be established in Washington under the Smithsonian's direction. Baird died before anything could be done; but in October 1887, with the consent of the
new Secretary, Samuel P. Langley, a new Division of Living Animals was created in the U. S. National Museum and Hornaday was made its curator. In 1888 Hornaday had, at Secretary
Langley's direction, undertaken a survey of land along Rock Creek in northwest Washington lying between the White House and Georgetown to determine its suitability as a zoo
The National Zoological Park was established by an Act of Congress in March 1889. The Secretary of the Smithsonian, the Secretary of the Interior, and the President of
the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia, were constituted as Commissioners of a National Zoological Park in order to purchase land for a zoo in the District
of Columbia, "...for the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people." The commissioners ultimately acquired one hundred and sixty-four acres at
this site, some by condemnation, most by purchase. In April 1890 Congress passed another act, placing the National Zoological Park under the direction of the Board of Regents
of the Smithsonian Institution. Half its operating funds were to come from the federal government, half from the District of Columbia. The Board was authorized to expend funds,
transfer and exchange specimens, accept gifts, and to generally oversee Zoo operations.
Secretary Langley wanted the best professional advice in planning the layout and design of the Park, and Frederick Law Olmsted, the noted landscape architect, was consulted
about all aspects of the Park's layout and design, including pathways, animal enclosures, public access, and the like. Copies of Olmsted's drawings and sketches are at the
National Zoological Park today. In practice, however, much of Olmsted's advice was ignored, either because the Park lacked funds to follow his plans or because Secretary Langley
often chose to follow his own counsel.
Hornaday became the first Superintendent of the Park but soon resigned because of differences of opinion with Secretary Langley over the scope of the superintendent's authority
to control Park operations. In 1890 Frank Baker, Assistant Superintendent of the Light House Service, was appointed Acting Manager in place of Hornaday. From 1893 to until
his retirement in 1916 Baker served as superintendent. These early years were full of difficulties. While the Rock Creek site had much natural charm, it was necessary to balance
the demands for building construction, park layout and roads, and acquisition of animals--all on an extremely tight budget. Still, as the more mundane affairs of the Park
moved slowly forward, there were important "firsts" as well. In 1891 Dunk and Gold Dust, the Park's first elephants, arrived. They were great favorites at the Park, notwithstanding
their reputations as troublemakers in the circus which sold them to their new owner. That same year came French, the first lion, then only a cub, who was sold to the Park
after he began to alarm the neighbors of his owner in Alderson, West Virginia. During its early years the Park was also the site of Secretary Langley's efforts to study and
film the flight of birds, work he undertook as part of his effort to produce a manned flying machine.
On Baker's retirement in 1916, Ned Hollister, an assistant curator of mammals in the U. S. National Museum, was appointed to succeed him. Hollister served until his death
in 1924. During his tenure the Park continued to receive very modest appropriations. On that account, it was not possible to purchase much zoo stock; but gifts were numerous.
In 1922, they ranged from an opossum given by President Harding to the 15 mammals, 50 birds, and 17 reptiles collected by William M. Mann while on expedition with the Mulford
Biological Exploration of the Amazon Basin. Housing for the animals remained inadequate, and many old structures had to remain in use. In 1924 the Park did manage to construct
its first restaurant for the use of visitors, who numbered more than 2.4 million people in that year. Superintendent Hollister died in 1924 and was succeeded by Alexander
Wetmore, who served only five months before leaving to become Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
In 1925, Dr. William M. Mann became Superintendent (Director after 1926) of the National Zoological Park, a job he was to hold until his retirement in 1956. He hoped to
build a zoo which housed a first-class collection in a first-class environment. As in the past, there was little money for purchase of animals, so he continued to rely on
gifts. Mann was a good publicist, and he enlisted the sympathies of Walter P. Chrysler. On March 20, 1926, the Smithsonian-Chrysler Expedition set out, arriving at Dar-es-Salaam,
Tanganyika, on May 5 of that year. The expedition was a splendid success and returned with 158 mammals, 584 birds, 56 snakes, 12 lizards, 393 tortoises, and 1 frog. Many specimens,
like the giraffe, were quite new to the Park. The male and female impala obtained were the only ones in any zoo in the world at that time.
On his return, Mann finally succeeded in obtaining an appropriation for a new bird house to replace the one erected 37 years before. A reptile house followed in 1929. In
1935 some of the Zoo's remaining need for new buildings was finally met. The Public Works Administration, a New Deal relief program, allocated $680,000 for the construction
of a Small Mammal and Great Ape House, a Pachyderm House, an addition to the Bird House, and several operations buildings. One of the New Deal's programs for the relief of
artists, the Treasury Department's Section of Painting and Sculpture, furnished artists to decorate areas of the Zoo. In fact, the Park employed more artists than any other
In 1937 the Park was once more the beneficiary of a collecting expedition, the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the Dutch East Indies.
Mann brought back with him 74 crates of mammals, 112 crates of birds, and 30 crates of reptiles. In 1940 Harvey Firestone, Jr., offered to finance a collecting expedition
to Liberia. Again, the expedition supplied the Park with many specimens, including a female pygmy hippopotamus, Matilda, as companion for the lonely Billy, already at the
When World War II began, the Zoo could not escape its effects. In fact, in 1942 for fear that poisonous snakes might be released from their cages if the Reptile House were
struck by an air raid, all the Park's collection of cobras and other venomous snakes was traded to other locations less likely to undergo air attacks. Subsequently, the Park
spent some time making repairs and resuming normal activities. In 1956 Dr. Mann retired and was succeeded by acting Director Theodore H. Reed, who was made Director in 1958.
In 1958 the Friends of the National Zoo, a group dedicated to supporting the National Zoo and maintaining its reputation as one of the world's great zoos, was organized. In
1960 the Park's budget exceeded a million dollars for the first time. For many years the formula which charged half the Park's expenses to the budget of the District of Columbia
had caused a great deal of difficulty. Local residents felt they were being taxed to pay for an institution national in character. Park officials argued that they needed more
money than the existing formula could provide. Finally, in 1961, a compromise was reached. All costs for construction and repair of the Park would be carried in the appropriation
for the Smithsonian Institution. The District of Columbia would contribute only to the Park's operating costs. As if to give the new arrangement a good send-off, in 1962 Congress
appropriated four million dollars for the Park, more than half of it earmarked for a perimeter road around the Zoo and a tunnel to carry automobile traffic through the Zoo.
In this way, it was at last possible to close the Park proper to through traffic and to devote the Park reservation solely to strengthening and improving the National Zoological
October 1887 -- Department of Living Animals created under the direction of the United States National Museum
1888 -- William T. Hornaday, curator of the Department of Living Animals, directed by Secretary Samuel P. Langley to draw up a preliminary plan for the Zoo
March 1889 -- Congress authorized the formation of a National Zoological Park Commission to select and purchase land for a zoological park
April 1890 -- Congress placed the National Zoological Park (NZP) under the Smithsonian Institution's Board of Regents
May 1890 -- Frederick Law Olmsted invited by Langley to consult on the layout of the Zoo
May 10, 1890 -- Hornaday appointed superintendent of the Zoo
June 1, 1890 -- Frank Baker appointed temporary acting manager of the NZP
June 9, 1890 -- Hornaday resigned
-- 1891 Buffalo and elk barn built
January 29, 1891 -- William H. Blackburne appointed first head keeper
April 30, 1891 -- First animals, two male Indian elephants, Dunk and Gold Dust, brought to Zoo grounds
June 27, 1891 -- First group of animals moved from Mall to NZP
1892 -- Authorization to purchase and transport animals revoked for six years
1892 -- First permanent building completed. Called the main animal house, it was later renamed the Lion House.
1893 -- Baker appointed superintendent
1894 -- First beaver arrived from Yellowstone National Park. They inhabited "Missouri Valley," later called "Beaver Valley."
1898 -- Antelope House built
1898 -- NZP given authorization by Congress to purchase animals
1899 -- Illustrated circular on animals desired by NZP distributed to United States officers stationed overseas
1900 -- As a result of the circular, animals were received from Argentina, Brazil, Cuba, Panama, and the Philippine Islands
1900 -- New iron bridge constructed across the creek at Harvard Street (then called Quarry Road)
1901 -- Twenty-inch sundial purchased in London and installed on lawn near the Animal House
1902 -- A flying cage was completed
November 1902 -- Two fifty-foot towers erected in order to provide platforms for photographers to take pictures of flying vultures. Work was in conjunction with Langley's research on flight.
1903 -- New Elephant House completed
1903 -- NZP received its first Kodiak bear
November 24, 1904 -- President Theodore Roosevelt gives the Zoo an ostrich, the gift of King Menelik of Abyssinia
1908 -- Last of the bear cages were completed
1909 -- Theodore Roosevelt in British East Africa on a Smithsonian collecting expedition. Friend William Northrup Macmillan offered NZP his animal collection if transported by a Zoo official. Assistant superintendent A. B. Baker transferred the animals to the Park.
1913 -- Cook House used for food storage and preparation was built
1916 -- Estimated attendance reached over one and one-half million visitors
November 1, 1916 -- Baker retired. Ned Hollister appointed superintendent.
August 13, 1917 -- Zoo purchased first motor truck
October 1, 1920 -- Visitor attendance reached two million
1921 -- Two giant tortoises received from Albemarle and Indefatigable Islands
May 24, 1922 -- African Cape big-eared fox transported to the Zoo. First of its species to be exhibited alive in America.
November 3, 1924 -- Ned Hollister died. Alexander Wetmore appointed interim superintendent.
May 13, 1925 -- William M. Mann appointed superintendent
May-October 1926 -- Smithsonian-Chrysler Fund Expedition to Tanganyika (now Tanzania). 1,203 animals transferred to the Zoo.
1928 -- First breeding of an American white pelican on record
June 1928 -- New Bird House opened
February 27, 1931 -- Reptile House opened. Voted by the American Institute of Architects as the outstanding brick building in the east.
October 7, 1932 -- Eagle Cage completed
November 23, 1933 -- The only maned wolf from South America to be exhibited in a zoo was received by the NZP
June 21, 1934 -- Zoo received its first Komodo dragon
January 16, 1935 -- NZP received a $680,000 Public Works Administration appropriation. Funds would provide for the construction of a Small Mammal and Great Ape House, Elephant House, addition to the Bird House, two shops, and a central heating plant.
January 12, 1937 -- Lucile and William Mann depart on the National Geographic Society-Smithsonian Institution Expedition to the East Indies
September 27, 1938 -- 879 specimens from the East Indies Expedition are received at the Zoo
April 6, 1939 -- Lucile and William Mann leave for a collecting trip in Argentina
June 27, 1939 -- 316 specimens are received at the Zoo from the trip to Argentina
November 11, 1939 -- Zoo keeper Malcolm Davis sailed with Admiral Richard E. Byrd to establish bases during the Antarctica Expedition.
February 17, 1940 -- Lucile and William Mann leave on the Smithsonian Institution-Firestone Expedition to Liberia
March 5, 1940 -- Zoo received first emperor penguin collected by Davis while on Antarctica expedition
August 6, 1940 -- Zoo received 195 specimens collected in Liberia
December 31, 1943 -- Blackburne retired from Zoo at 87, after fifty-two years of service
June 29, 1950 -- Smokey Bear, a four-month old cub, arrived at the Zoo
November 5, 1953 -- Two Philippine macaques, Pat and Mike, launched by an Aerobee rocket to an altitude of 200,000 feet, were transferred to the Zoo by the United States Air Force
July 15, 1955 -- Theodore H. Reed became the Zoo's first full-time veterinarian
October 31, 1956 -- Mann retired. Theodore H. Reed appointed acting director.
1957 -- The Zoo was the first to use the Cap-Chur gun for the immobilization and/or treatment of animals
March/April 1957 -- United States Signal Corps transferred two hero pigeons to NZP. Anzio Boy and Global Girl completed sixty-one missions between them.
March 12, 1958 -- Reed appointed director of the Zoo
April 10, 1958 -- Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) organized
April 16, 1958 -- Female banded linsang received as a gift from a staff officer stationed in Kuala Lampur, Malaya. The species had never been exhibited at the Zoo, and was the only one in captivity.
May 16, 1958 -- Julie Ann Vogt, two-and-a-half years old, was killed by one of the Zoo's lions
May 18, 1958 -- First birth of a female snow leopard in the Western Hemisphere
September 1958 -- First wisent born in this country
July 1, 1960 -- Davis retired after spending thirty-three years at the Zoo
December 5, 1960 -- Female white tiger, Mohini, received as a gift from the chairman of the board of Metropolitan Broadcasting Corporation
December 16, 1960 -- A master plan for the development of the Zoo was presented to the Smithsonian by the president of FONZ
September 9, 1961 -- A male gorilla, Tomoka, was born, the second born in captivity in the world
1962 -- An appropriation of 1.3 million dollars was approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee as an initial investment on a ten-year capital improvement program
April 17, 1962 -- The Zoo hired its first zoologist
April 5, 1963 -- Ham, the chimponaut, was formally transferred to the Zoo by the United States Air Force. On January 31, 1961, Ham handled the controls on a Redstone rocket. Traveling up to a speed of 5,887 miles per hour, Ham was on-board the rocket for a 16.5 minute flight. Three months later, Commander Alan B. Shepard operated Mercury 3, the United States' first manned space mission.
1964 -- Several construction projects, including reconstruction of the Bird House, a new Great Flight Cage, parking lots and roads were going on at the same time
January 6, 1964 -- Mohini gave birth to three cubs, one of which was white
September 1, 1965 -- Zoo hired first resident scientist to supervise the Scientific Research Department
Watkins, J. Elfreth (John Elfreth), 1852-1903 Search this
24.28 Cubic feet (64 boxes)
This collection includes information about Samuel P. Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence, manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for the Aerodromes, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, the Langley Memoirs on Mechanical Flight and the Langley "Waste Books."
Scope and Contents:
This collection includes information about Langley and his colleagues, as well as documentation of Langley's work. The collection includes the Aerodrome project waste books, biographies of Langley and his assistant Charles Manly, newspaper clippings, correspondence), manuscripts regarding Langley's aircraft, photographs and drawings, work requisitions for staff labor on the project, a sketchbook, specifications and measurements for Langley's experiments, and manuscript material from the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight.
The National Air and Space Museum's Samuel P. Langley Collection was drawn from several sources in the Smithsonian Institution. Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003) for several purposes:
Design papers and notes from Langley's aerodrome project were used for restoring the Langley Aerodromes for exhibits beginning in 1917.
Correspondence from the papers was consulted when controversies arose between the Wright brothers and the Smithsonian, and over credit for the design of the motor built by Stephen M. Balzer and extensively modified by Charles Manly, which was used on Aerodrome A.
Technical drawings of the Aerodromes were drawn from the SIA in the 1970s for conservation purposes.
Other material was added to the collection over the years:
Correspondence, memoranda, notes and label scripts from Langley exhibits from 1913 through the 1960s.
Design notes and work records from Langley's workshop were stored with the Aerodromes in the Museum's collections, and were later transferred to the Archives Division.
Biographical material on Langley, and correspondence to the Museum on Langley and the Aerodromes.
Material from the foundation of the Langley Aerodynamic Laboratory (now NASA's Langley Research Center) in 1913.
In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:
Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.
Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907
Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.
The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.
Note: The digital images in this finding aid were repurposed from scans made by an outside contractor for a commercial product and may show irregular cropping and orientation in addition to color variations resulting from damage to and deterioration of the original objects.
The Samuel P. Langley Collection is arranged in the following series:
Series 1 - Waste Books: Langley and his staff used waste books - bound ledgers - to keep records of their work on the aeronautical projects, which Langley inspected frequently.
Series 2 - Scrapbooks: A collection of 18 scrapbooks containing newspaper and magazine clippings on "Aerial Navigation". Projects by Langley, Maxim, Lilienthal and many obscure aeronautical experimenters are included. Other clippings are included in Series VIII and XI.
Series 3 - Aeronautical Research and the Aerodromes: This series consists of notes, data, drawings and memoranda from Langley's aeronautical research at both the Smithsonian and the Allegheny Observatory. Subseries 2 contains material used in various Smithsonian exhibitions of the Langley Aerodromes. Some additional material is included in Series 11.
Subseries 3.1 - Design and Construction
Subseries 3.2 - Langley Aerodrome Exhibits
Series 4 - Correspondence: Letters and memoranda written by and sent to S. P. Langley and his assistants, C. M. Manly and J. E. Watkins. Additional correspondence is included in Series 11.
Subseries 4.1 - S. P. Langley Correspondence
Subseries 4.2 - S. P. Langley's Assistants' Correspondence
Subseries 3 - Miscellaneous Correspondence
Series 5 - Manuscripts, Papers, Articles: Manuscripts, published articles and papers by Langley and others. See also Series 11.
Subseries 5.1 - Works by S. P. Langley
Subseries 5.2 - Miscellaneous Manuscripts, Articles, and Notes
Series 6 - Photographs: Photographs, mainly of Langley's Aerodromes. Additional photographs are included with Series 11.
Series 7 - Trade Catalogues and Ephemera: Trade catalogues and price lists from various suppliers and dealers found stored with the "Aerodrome A" at the Museum's Paul E. Garber Facility in Suitland, Maryland.
Series 8 - Miscellaneous Files
Series 9 - Flat Boxes and Oversized Material: Ledgers, drawings, test data, publications
Series 10 - Shorthand Diaries: A collection of 37 notebooks containing notes in an unidentified shorthand system, dating from 1898 to 1902, with 8 notebooks bearing partial dates or undated.
Series 11 - Additional Material: After the publication of the Langley Collection finding aid, two additional boxes of correspondence, manuscript material, drawings and photographs were found in the Museum's rare book room, the Ramsey Room. This material has been included as a separate series.
Biographical / Historical:
Samuel Pierpont Langley (1834-1906) was an astronomer, a pioneer of aeronautical research, and Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution (1887-1906). As a young man, Langley studied civil engineering and pursued this as a career until 1864, when his interest in astronomy led him to positions at the Harvard Observatory, the Naval Academy, the Western University of Pennsylvania and the Allegheny Observatory in Pittsburgh. In 1887, Langley was named Secretary of the Smithsonian, and spent the following years in the research, construction and tests of flying machines. On May 6, 1896, his unpiloted Aerodrome No. 5, powered by a 1hp steam engine, flew nearly three quarters of a mile. This flight surpassed by more than ten times the best efforts of any predecessor. In 1898, at the request of the Army's Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, Langley started work on another design - the Great Aerodrome, also known as Aerodrome A. However, two attempts at launching the aircraft in 1903 failed. In addition to his scientific experiments, Langley's writings include Experiments in Aerodynamics and The Internal Work of the Wind, and the Langley Memoir on Mechanical Flight, published posthumously. Samuel P. Langley died in Aiken, South Carolina, on February 27, 1906.
A Timeline of Early Aeronautical Milestones and Samuel P. Langley's Life and Career
August 22, 1834 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley born to Samuel Langley and Mary Sumner Williams Langley in Roxbury Massachusetts.
1843 -- William Henson and John Stringfellow publish their design for the "Aeriel", a steam-powered "Aerial Steam Carriage".
1845 -- Langley begins to attend the Boston Latin School.
1847 -- Henson tests a model of his aircraft.
1848 -- Stringfellow and Henson build and test a steam powered model aircraft. It has a wingspan of 10 feet (3.5 meters), and it flies 131 feet (40 meters) before crashing into a wall.
1849 -- Sir George Cayley tests a towed triplane glider. In one test, it flies several yards with a local boy as a passenger.
1851 -- Langley graduates from the Boston High School; begins work as an apprentice with a Boston architect.
circa 1852-1864 -- Langley works for architectural and engineering firms in St. Louis and Chicago.
1853 -- Cayley's coachman flies a glider across Brompton Dale, Yorkshire. The coachman resigns his position after the flight. Cayley conceives the rubber band–powered model airplane. Michel Loup designs a powered twin propeller monoplane with a wheeled undercarriage.
1853-1854 -- L C. Letur tests his parachute-glider design. Letur is killed in a test flight in 1854.
1855 -- Joseph Pline coins the word "aeroplane" to describe a propeller-driven dirigible.
1857 -- Jean-Marie Le Bris, a sea captain inspired by the flight of the albatross, builds a glider he names the "Albatros Artificiel" and makes two short hops, breaking his leg in the second. Félix du Temple, a French naval officer, flies a clockwork model aircraft - the first sustained powered flights by a heavier-than-air machine.
1862 -- Gabriel de la Landelle coins the word "aviation", and later, "aviateur" - aviator.
1864 -- Langley returns to Roxbury. He begins work, with his younger brother John, on a five foot focal length telescope, which they complete over three years.
1864-1865 -- Samuel and John Langley tour Europe.
circa 1865 -- Langley is hired as observatory assistant at the Harvard University Observatory, Cambridge, Massachusetts.
January 1866 -- The Aeronautical Society of Great Britain (later named the Royal Aeronautical Society) is founded.
circa 1866 -- Langley is hired as assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland. Duties include restoring the Academy's astronomical observatory to operation.
1867 -- Langley is named professor of Astronomy and Physics at the Western University of Pennsylvania, Pittsburgh. Duties include directorship of the Allegheny Observatory. His tenure at Allegheny will begin his work at the popularization of science through lectures and writing newspaper and journal articles.
1868 -- Stringfellow builds a model triplane.
1869 -- Langley proposes a system of standard time distribution via the telegraph to railroads and cities. The Pennsylvania Railroad signs on for the service. Langley joins a U.S. Coast Survey expedition to Oakland, Kentucky, to observe the August 7th solar eclipse. He observes later eclipses in 1870, 1878, and 1900.
1870 -- The Allegheny Observatory begins twice-daily time signals to the Pennsylvania Railroad's offices. Other railroads, businesses, and government offices later subscribe to the service. The income from the system aids the operation of the Allegheny Observatory and Langley's research work. Langley travels to Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, to observe a solar eclipse.
1870 -- Alphonse Pénaud designs his rubber-powered "Hélicoptère".
August 18, 1871 -- Pénaud demonstrates his "Planophore", a rubber-powered model, at the Tuileries, Paris. It flies 40 meters (approximately 131 feet) in 11 seconds.
1871 -- Francis Wenham designs the first wind tunnel; it is built by John Browning.
1873 -- Langley makes a detailed drawing of a sun spot. Famous for its accuracy of detail, the drawing is widely reproduced for many years.
1876 -- Pénaud and Paul Gauchot patent a design for an inherently stable steam-powered full-sized airplane.
1878 -- Bishop Milton Wright presents a toy based on the Pénaud "Hélicoptère" to two of his sons – eleven year old Wilbur and seven year old Orville.
1879-1880 -- Langley designs and builds his bolometer for the measurement of the energy of incident electromagnetic radiation.
1879 -- Victor Tatin designs and flies a compressed air-powered seven foot long model.
1881 -- Langley organizes an expedition to Mount Whitney in California's Sierra Nevada Range for solar observations and other scientific studies.
1883 -- Alexandre Goupil builds a bird-shaped unpowered airplane that briefly lifts off in a tethered test while carrying two men.
1884 -- The U.S. Signal Service publishes Langley's report on the Mount Whitney expedition.
1886 -- Langley's interest in aeronautics is kindled by a paper on bird flight by a Mr. Lancaster at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Buffalo, New York. Lancaster also describes making small flying models which he describes as "floating planes" and "effigies".
1887 -- Langley designs and builds his large whirling table at the Allegheny Observatory for the study of aerodynamics; begins aeronautical experimental work. He coins the term Aerodromics for the art of building flying machines from the Greek aerodromoi.
January 12, 1887 -- Langley is appointed Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.
April 1887 -- Langley begins to build small Pénaud type rubber-powered flying models.
November 18, 1887 -- Langley is named Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution on the death of Secretary Spencer F. Baird. He retains the directorship of the Allegheny Observatory, dividing his time between Washington and Allegheny until 1891 when James E. Keeler becomes director of the observatory.
1887 -- Hiram Maxim, an American living in Great Britain and inventor of the Maxim machine gun, begins work on a large powered biplane test rig.
1888 -- Langley publishes The New Astronomy.
1889 -- The National Zoological Park is founded, due to Langley's support. A site in Washington's Rock Creek Park is selected by Langley and Frederick Law Olmstead. The Zoo becomes part of the Smithsonian in 1890, and is opened in 1891.
1890 -- Langley founds the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory; its first home is in a wooden building behind the Smithsonian Castle. In 1955, SAO moves to Cambridge, Massachusetts.
1890 -- Clément Ader completes his "Éole', a full-sized airplane. It has a fifty foot wing span, and is equipped with a lightweight 20-horsepower steam engine of Ader's design and a four-bladed propeller. At Armainvilliers on October 9, the Éole lifts off the ground to an altitude of approximately one foot and skims the ground for about 50 meters (165 feet). Ader later claims a second flight of 100 meters in September, 1891; there is no evidence for the second flight.
March 28, 1891 -- First successful flight of one of Langley's rubber-powered models.
1891 -- Work begins on Langley's "Aerodrome No. 0", powered by two small steam engines. Construction is halted before the aircraft is completed.
1891 -- Otto Lilienthal, a German mechanical engineer, begins a program of flight research using piloted hang gliders of his own design. He and his brother Gustav will go on to design and build 18 gliders over the next five years, making approximately 2,000 flights. Langley's Experiments in Aerodynamics is published by the Smithsonian.
1892 -- Langley's "Aerodrome No. 1" designed and built. Not flown.
1892-1893 -- "Aerodrome No. 2" and "Aerodrome No. 3" are designed and built. "No. 3" is powered by compressed air. Neither is flown.
1893 -- A 38 foot scow is converted into a houseboat with a workshop and launch platform for Aerodrome testing. In May, it is towed down the Potomac to a point near Quantico, Virginia, off Chopawamsic Island. In November, "Aerodrome No. 4" is taken to the houseboat for testing.
November 20, 1893 -- Test flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" - it falls in the water.
December 7, 1893 -- Second flight of "Aerodrome No. 4" – it falls in the water.
July 31, 1894 -- Maxim's large test rig rises briefly from its support rails during a test run.
August 1-4, 1894 -- Octave Chanute and Albert Zahm sponsor the Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, bringing together an international assembly of aeronautical researchers.
October 1894 -- Test flight of modified "Aerodrome No. 4", using improved catapult. Aircraft falls in the water. "Aerodrome No. 5", with a one horsepower gasoline burning steam engine, is also tested. It flies 35 feet for three seconds before stalling and falling into the river.
November 12, 1894 -- Lawrence Hargrave, an Australian researcher, links together four of his box kites, adds a simple seat, and flies to an altitude of 16 feet in the device.
1894 -- Chanute publishes his book Progress in Flying Machines.
1895 -- James Means publishes the first of his three >Aeronautical Annuals.
May 6, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is launched from the houseboat's catapult; the left wing collapses and the aircraft lands in the water. Aerodrome No. 5 is launched at 3:05 PM and flies about half a mile in a minute and a half at an altitude reaching 100 feet – the first sustained flight of a heavier than air apparatus. In a second flight at 5:10, Aerodrome No. 5 makes three circles, climbs to about 60 feet, and is airborne for one minute and thirty-one seconds. The flight is witnessed and photographed by Alexander Graham Bell (box 45, folder 9).
June 1896 -- Chanute and Augustus Herring establish a camp at the Lake Michigan dunes near Miller, Indiana to conduct flight tests on a number of gliders – several of Chanute's designs, including his multiwing "Katydid", Herring's copy of a Lilienthal design, and a Chanute-Herring triplane collaboration.
August 9, 1896 -- Lilienthal's glider stalls and crashes from an altitude of about 50 feet. Lilienthal dies of his injuries the next morning. His last words are "Opfer müssen gebracht warden" - "Sacrifices must be made".
November 28, 1896 -- "Aerodrome No. 6" is flown from the houseboat – it flies 4800 feet in one minute and forty-five seconds.
July 1897 -- Ader completes his "Avion III", also known as the "Aquilon". It features two 20-horsepower steam engines and twin tractor propellers, and a wingspan of nearly 56 feet. The aircraft weighs approximately 880 pounds. Ader attempts a flight on October 14; "Avion III" is unable to rise off the ground.
March 25, 1898 -- Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt suggests the military use of the Langley "Aerodrome" to Navy Secretary John D. Long (box 40, folder 10).
April 6, 1898 -- Langley proposes a scaled-up version of the "Aerodrome" for military use to a joint Army-Navy board meeting at the Smithsonian. He requests $50,000 to build a large, piloted version of his earlier designs. The proposed aircraft is called the "Great Aerodrome", or "Aerodrome A".
June 1898 -- Charles M. Manly, a Cornell University engineering student, is hired as Langley's "assistant in charge of experiments".
October 1898 -- Major work begins on the "Great Aerodrome", also known as "Aerodrome A".
December 12, 1898 -- A contract is signed between Langley and Stephen M. Balzer of New York. Balzer is to design and build a 12 horsepower motor to power the "Aerodrome". On the same date, Langley writes to the U.S. Army Board of Ordnance and Fortifications, agreeing to design and build a flying machine. He estimates a cost of $50,000 to build his machine.
May 1899 -- A new, larger houseboat equipped with a turntable and catapult is delivered in Washington.
May 30, 1899 -- Wilbur Wright sends a letter to Langley at the Smithsonian, requesting material pertaining to aeronautical research. He says in his letter that he wishes "… to begin a systematic study of the subject in preparation for practical work." Assistant Secretary of the Smithsonian Richard Rathbun directs his staff to assemble a package of papers, including Langley's Story of Experiments in Mechanical Flight and Experiments in Aerodynamics. The Wright brothers receive the package three weeks later. They later credit the material they received from the Smithsonian with giving them a "good understanding of the nature of the problem of flying."
June 7 - August 3, 1899 -- Additional flights of "Aerodrome No. 5" and "No. 6" are made from the houseboat at Chopawamsic Island.
July 1899 -- Langley visits Ader's workshop in Paris.
July 1899 -- The Wright Brothers build a five foot biplane kite.
October 2, 1899 -- Percy Pilcher dies of his injury after his Lilienthal-type glider breaks up in flight.
May 1900 -- Langley and the staff of the Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory observe the May 28 solar eclipse in Wadesboro, North Carolina.
August 1900 -- The Wrights begin to build their first glider, a biplane design with a 17 foot wingspan.
September 1900 -- The Wrights arrive at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, to test their glider on the dunes. They begin test flights in early October.
July 1901 -- The Wrights return to Kitty Hawk with a new biplane glider.
August 1901 -- Langley creates the Children's Room, with exhibits designed to inspire interest in science, technology and natural history, in the Smithsonian Castle.
Autumn 1901 -- The Wright brothers return to Dayton and begin a program to develop their own fundamental aeronautical data, building a wind tunnel and a test rig mounted on a bicycle.
September 19, 1902 -- The Wrights complete assembly of their new glider and begin flights the same afternoon. They continue the flights through the autumn. After an early crash, continual modifications improve the design. Wilbur writes to his father, "We now believe the flying problem is really nearing its solution." On their return to Dayton, the brothers file a patent on their design.
July 14, 1903 -- The houseboat is towed down the Potomac to a spot opposite Widewater, Virginia, about 40 miles from Washington.
August 8, 1903 -- Langley's "Quarter-Size Aerodrome" makes a successful flight from the houseboat.
September 3, 1903 -- Work is begun on erecting the "Great Aerodrome" on the houseboat catapult.
October 7, 1903 -- The "Great Aerodrome", piloted by Manly, is launched by the houseboat catapult at 12:20 PM. The aircraft is snagged by the catapult launch car, and drops into the river. Langley was in Washington, and does not witness the attempt. The wreckage of the "Aerodrome" is salvaged.
December 8, 1903 -- The refurbished "Great Aerodrome" is readied for flight on the houseboat, now moored below Washington at Arsenal Point at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers. At 4:45 PM, the aircraft, with Manly at the controls, is launched. The tail assembly drags along the launch track, and the "Aerodrome's" tail begins to collapse. The "Aerodrome" drops into the river. Manly is briefly trapped by the wreckage, but cuts himself free and is rescued. In the aftermath of the crash, Langley is ridiculed in the press. Though the Army withdraws its support, Langley receives offers of financial support from businessmen to continue his aeronautical work. He politely refuses these offers and ends his aeronautical activities.
December 17, 1903 -- The Wright brothers make four flights at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The first flight covered a distance of 120 feet and lasted 12 seconds; in the fourth flight, the "Flyer" traveled 852 feet in 59 seconds.
June 1905 -- The Smithsonian's accountant, W. W. Karr, is accused of embezzling Institutional funds. He is later convicted and imprisoned. Langley holds himself responsible for the loss, and thereafter refuses to accept his salary.
November 1905 -- Langley suffers a stroke.
February 1906 -- Langley moves to Aiken, South Carolina to convalesce.
February 27, 1906 -- After suffering another stroke, Langley dies.
March 3, 1906 -- Samuel Pierpont Langley is buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, Boston.
May-October 1914 -- The "Great Aerodrome" is refurbished and is tested on Lake Keuka, Hammondsport, New York; the tests are conducted by Glenn Curtiss. Using the Manly-Balzer motor and mounted on pontoons instead of using a catapult launch, the "Aerodrome" makes several short flights, the longest lasting about five seconds. Later a Curtiss 80-hp engine is substituted for the Manly-Balzer motor and a flight of about 3,000 feet is made on September 17. The Smithsonian Institution later displays the "Aerodrome" with an exhibit label that reads "The first man-carrying aeroplane in the history of the world capable of sustained free flight." This claim causes a rift between the Institution and Orville Wright (Wilber Wright had died in 1912) that is not fully mended until 1942. The Wright 1903 "Flyer" is presented to the Smithsonian Institution on December 17, 1948. Today, the "Flyer" is on exhibit in the Milestones of Flight Gallery of the National Air and Space Museum's Mall Building; Samuel Langley's "Great Aerodrome" is displayed at the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia.
The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff:
Langley's staff engaged in his aeronautical work as listed in waste books, drawings and correspondence:
The Smithsonian Aeronautical Staff
F. C. Bache -- Laborer with the U.S. Fish Commission, then located at the Smithsonian.
Carl Barus -- Formerly of the U.S. Geological Survey and the Weather Bureau. Hired in 1893 as a physicist; acted as the liaison between Langley and the Aerodrome project staff. Part of the crew on the houseboat.
Louville Eugene Emerson -- Laborer.
George L. Fowler -- An engineer, Fowler was hired by Langley to help design an engine for the Aerodromes.
William Gaertner -- Instrument maker.
Heed, Jr. -- Name found in a shorthand diary dated 1899 - presumably, a Smithsonian secretary or assistant.
Augustus Moore Herring -- An independent aeronautical experimenter and skilled designer and pilot of gliders; hired by Octave Chanute in 1894 and by Langley as chief assistant in 1895. Herring resigned (or was dismissed) in November 1895 and resumed work with Chanute. In 1908, he competed with the Wrights for the Army Flyer contract, but did not complete a finished aircraft.
Edward Chalmers Huffaker -- An engineer and aeronautical experimenter; built gliders based on the observation of bird flight; had delivered a paper at the International Conference on Aerial Navigation in Chicago, 1893. Recommended by Chanute, Huffaker was hired by Langley in December, 1894. He resigned from the Smithsonian in 1898 and went to work for Chanute.
L. C. Maltby -- Machinist, 1891-1899; assisted in motor design and oversaw the fabrications of the metalwork for the Aerodromes. Part of the crew on the houseboat.
Charles Matthews Manly -- Graduate of Cornell University (1896). Hired by Langley and placed in charge of construction of the Great Aerodrome in 1898. Piloted the Great Aerodrome on its two launch attempts, 1903. Manly resigned from the Smithsonian in 1905. He served as a consulting aviation engineer for different government agencies and corporations, including the British War Office, 1915; the Curtiss Aeroplane and Motor Corporation 1915-1919 (from 1919-1920 as the assistant general manger); and as a member of the US Commission to the International Aircraft Conference, London, 1918. Manly also completed and edited Langley's Memoir on Mechanical Flight which was published by the Smithsonian in 1911.
Charles B. Nichols -- Smithsonian cabinet maker (1890-1893), in charge of construction of the small rubber powered models.
R. Luther Reed -- Smithsonian carpenter foreman (1880-1904). In charge of construction of Aerodromes No. 5 and 6 following between Herring's departure and Manly's arrival. Worked on design of the Great Aerodrome and the second houseboat. Part of the crew on the houseboat.
B.L. Rhinehart -- Smithsonian mechanic. Built a small steam motor for Aerodrome No. 0 in 1891. Performed design work on an experimental gasoline motor, c.1896.
William L. Speiden -- Draftsman or designer (1893-1899).
John Elfrith Watkins -- Assistant engineer of construction with the Pennsylvania Railroad. Joined the Smithsonian as an honorary curator in the Steam Transportation section in 1885. Named curator of Transportation in 1887. He rejoined the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1892, and later worked at the Field Columbian Museum as director of Industrial Arts. Watkins returned to the Smithsonian in 1895 as the National Museum's curator of Technological Collections. In 1898, he was named curator of the Division of Technology. Watkins also served the Smithsonian as Engineer of Property, 1888-1889, and Chief of Buildings and Superintendence, 1896-1903. Watkins carried on much of the Aerodrome project's correspondence, and was the project's expert in steam engine design.
George B. Wells -- Smithsonian messenger (1894-1903). Most of the collection's shorthand notebooks (Series X) bear his name; possibly, he acted as Langley's stenographer.
William Crawford Winlock -- Curator, Bureau of International Exchange (1889-1899).
Parts of the collection were separated at undetermined dates from the institutional records of Samuel Langley's time as Secretary (now held by the Smithsonian Institution Archives [SIA], as the Samuel P. Langley Papers, 1867-1906, Record Unit 7003).
In addition to Record Unit 7003, researchers may wish to consult these Smithsonian Institution Archives' collections:
Record Unit 31, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1866-1906, with related records to 1927.
Record Unit 34, Office of the Secretary, Correspondence, 1887-1907
Record Unit 7268, J. Elfreth Watkins Collection, 1869, 1881-1903, 1953, 1966 and undated.
The Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum holds the Charles M. Manly Papers, (Acc. 1999-0004). Manly was Samuel Langley's assistant in the Aerodrome project from 1898 to 1903.
Langley Technical Files: The Archives Division's technical files are housed in the Archives-Library reading room of the Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. Material on Langley and his Aerodromes are housed in folders in the technical files Aircraft Series and in the Biographies Series. Because material from the Samuel P. Langley Collection is thought to have been transferred into the Technical Files, these file headings are included here. In the listings, "Images Available" refers to digital image files available through the Archives Division's image database; these images may be viewed in the Museum's reading rooms.
Langley Technical Files: Aircraft Series Technical Files
Langley (Samuel P.), General -- Photos, Images Available. Folder(s): AL-198600-80
Langley Technical Files: Biographies Series Technical Files
Langley, Samuel Pierpont, general -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-01
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-02
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-03
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Aero) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-04
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-05
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Astro) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-06
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/Rocket) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-08
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles by/French) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-09
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-10
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-11
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-12
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-13
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (articles on) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-14
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Awards and Honors) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-15
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Wright Controversy) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-16
Langley, Samuel Pierpont (Obituaries) -- Documents. Folder(s): CL-094000-17
Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photo Dupes. Folder(s): CL-094000-40
Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Photos. Folder(s): CL-094000-80
Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Negatives. Folder(s): CL-094000-85
Langley, Samuel Pierpont -- Images available.
Smithsonian generated, transfer, unknown.
No restrictions on access
National Museum of Natural History. Biodiversity Program Search this
1 cu. ft. (1 record storage box)
This accession consists of records documenting the professional activities and official travel of the Director of the Smithsonian Institution's Biodiversity Program,
Don E. Wilson, 1990-2000. The bulk of the material relates to Wilson's participation in meetings regarding bat research. Records created prior to 1990 were created and transferred
by Wilson upon his assumption of the Directorship. Materials include meeting and conference materials, reports, brochures, correspondence, agendas, minutes, and newsletters.
Professional organizations mentioned in these records include: the International Theriological Congress, the American Society of Mammalogists, the Colorado Bat Society,
the Society for Conservation Biology, the Audubon Naturalist Society of the Central Atlantic States, the American Association for Zoological Nomenclature, the Biological Society
of Washington, the North American Symposium on Bat Research, the Association for Tropical Biology, the Association of Systematics Collections, the American Institute of Biological
Sciences, the Species Survival Commission, the Bat Conservation Trust, and the Washington Biologists' Field Club.