This collection consists of the records of the Waco Aircraft Company. The material includes office files of the company, marketing and sales information, and design data. Also included are original engineering drawings and report files.
Scope and Contents note:
In 1920 Clayton J. Bruckner, Elwood "Sam" Junkin and George "Buck" Weaver formed Weaver Aircraft Co. In April of 1923, they renamed the company Advanced Aircraft Co. and, in May of 1929, Waco Aircraft Co. By the 1930s the company was a leader in the design of wood and fabric aircraft. At their most widespread use, Waco aircraft were operated by public, private, military and corporate owners in thirty-five countries. During World War II, Waco devoted itself entirely to war production, manufacturing large numbers of troop- and cargo-carrying gliders. Following the war Waco attempted to market a wholly new design, but the post- war slump in the private aviation market and the high development costs of the aircraft forced Waco to withdraw from aircraft manufacture in June 1947. During its twenty-seven year existence Waco produced sixty-two different aircraft models and led all its competitors in the number of aircraft registered.
The Waco collection is divided into two parts. Part One comprises 24,855 drawings. The locations and descriptive information of these drawings are listed on an electronic database entitled the Waco Aircraft Engineering Drawings Data Base. The drawings vary greatly in size from small drawings of 4x5" to large sheets of over 150" in length. The majority of the drawings included in Part One are numbered, but many of the drawings are unnumbered. These drawings span most of the Company's existence and depict many of its powered and glider aircraft. There are several smaller sets of drawings which include layout drawings, tool drawings and stress analyses. Production charts and data charts are also among these drawings.
Part Two includes the business records of the Waco Aircraft Company. These documents can be generally divided between the engineering and sales departments. Most of the drawings within Part Two are from sub-contractors and U.S. Government agencies.
Waco aircraft company designations are confusing. Many variations exist regarding the practice of assigning model designations. Despite these exceptions, some basic rules serve as a guideline. Prior to 1930, Waco models were designated by a single number, 1 through 10. The last aircraft designated in this manner, the Waco 10, became the Waco Model O under the new scheme of designation.
Waco early models were additionally referred to by their horsepower. This may have been a practice of distributors and salesmen.
Since 1930, The Waco Aircraft Company used a combination of three letters with which to name its models. An example would be the Model ASO. The letters are best read from right to left. The letter on the right represents the fuselage, i.e. Model O. The middle letter represents a modification to the basic model, i.e. CSO for straight wing or CTO for tapered wing. The letter on the left represents the engine, i.e. CSO for Wright J-6, 225 horse power engine. Additionally, Waco models were often followed by a number indicating the year in which the aircraft was built. A YPF-6, for example, was manufactured in 1936.
Waco World War II gliders, designed for the U.S.A.A.F, were designated by an alpha-numeric combination. The four unpowered gliders produced shared the same letter prefixes of CG, which stood for cargo glider. The numeric suffix distinguishes the aircraft. They were the Models CG-3A, CG-4A, CG-13A and CG-15A. An X preceding the designation denotes experimental, i.e. XCG-4A. An addition of two letters denotes the manufacturer, i.e. CG-4A- TI for Timm Aircraft Co. Many of the Waco designed gliders were constructed by various companies. Powered versions of the gliders were referred to by the prefix PG for powered gliders.
Series 1: Numbered Engineering Reports
Series 2: Model Engineering Reports
Series 3: Engineering Documents
Series 4: Government Contracts
Series 5: Contractor Reports
Series 6: Correspondence
Series 7: Publications
Series 8: Sales
Series 9: Blueprints & Drawings
Series 10: Drawings Lists
Series 11: Model Indexes
Series 12: Contractor Drawings
In 1920 Clayton J. Bruckner, Elmwood "Sam" Junkin, and Buck Weaver formed an aircraft company known as the Weaver Aircraft Company in Troy, OH. By the 1930s the company, known as Waco Aircraft Co. since 1929, was a leader in the design of wood and fabric aircraft, with Waco aircraft being operated by public, private, and corporate owners in thirty-five countries. During World War II Waco devoted itself entirely to war production, manufacturing large numbers of troop- and cargo-carrying gliders. Following the war Waco attempted to market a wholly new design but the postwar slump in the private aviation market and the high development costs of the aircraft forced Waco to withdraw from aircraft manufacture in June 1947. During its twenty-eight year existence Waco produced sixty-two different aircraft models and led all its competitors in number of aircraft registered.
Related Archival Materials note:
Other collections within the Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum which are relevant to Waco are as follows:
The Hattie Meyers Junkin Papers(1906-1982), Accession #XXXX-0171. Junkin was married first to George Weaver and later to Elwood Junkin, both founders of the Waco Aircraft Company.
The A. Francis Arcier(1890-1969) Collection, Accession #XXX-0072. Arcier was one of the leading engineers with the Waco Aircraft Company.
The National Air and Space Museum Archival Video Discs. Included in this collection are three blocks of Waco Aircraft photographs; prints listed by model type under the Company name in the Aircraft Finding Aid, prints listed under "Glider Aircraft" in the U.S. Air Force Collection finding aid and prints listed under the Company name in the "General Subjects" of the U.S. Air Force Collection Finding Aid.
The NASM Archives Technical Files. The documents filed under "Waco" include mostly photographs and newspaper articles. Information about some of the individual Waco employees, including Hattie Junkin and George Weaver, can be found filed under the individual's name in the biographical section of the Technical Files.
The collection is divided into four series. Series 1: Oral History Transcripts, 1982-1991 are transcribed versions of the oral interviews. Correspondence and/or notes pertaining to the interviewed individual collected or written by the interviewer are filed in this series following the transcription. The majority of the oral histories were done by Lu Ann Jones between1985-1991. There are a few interviews done by Pete Daniel in the early 1980s and some reference copies of oral histories done elsewhere. This series is divided into eight sub-series: Sub-series 1a: Arkansas, Sub-series 1b: Georgia, Sub-series 1c: Louisiana, Sub-series 1d: Mississippi, Sub-series 1e: North Carolina (including transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project in English and Spanish), Sub-series 1f: South Carolina, Sub-series 1g: Tennessee, and Sub-series 1h: Virginia. Files are arranged alphabetically by state and there under by name; within the file materials are arranged chronologically. Interview files may contain transcribed copies of the oral history interviews and subsequent draft copies with corrections by the interviewer or subject. The file also may contain distillations or edited versions of the interview done by the researcher for possible publication. Correspondence and notes files may include Life History Forms, correspondence, newspaper articles, interviewer's notes, business cards, and paper copies of photographs. Signed releases are on file in the registrar's office, NMAH, with copies in the control file of the Archives Center.
Series 2: Project Files and Reference Materials, 1928-2004 contain notes and correspondence kept by Jones in support of the oral history project. This series is divided into four sub-series: Sub-series 2a: State Files, Sub-series 2b: Project and Reference Files, 1985-1991, Sub-series 2c: Reference Publications, Pamphlets and Articles, 1928-2004 and Sub-series 2d: Computer Floppy Disks, 1985 and n.d. This series include bills, receipts, photo orders, travel brochures, reference materials, articles, correspondence, fundraising proposals and materials, USDA Extension Service bulletins, product cookbooks, and ephemera. These materials are valuable in documenting the methodology of the oral history project. They are also valuable in detailing the funding and maintenance of the project over its five year lifespan. There is also a great deal of information on black farmers. This series is arranged alphabetically by state and county or by article/publication title and within the file chronologically.
Series 3: Photographic Prints and Slides, 1987-1991 documenting the individuals interviewed, their homes and businesses, and geographic locations that were studied as part of the oral history project. The series is arranged numerically then chronologically by year. This series is followed by detailed photographic descriptions arranged alphabetically by state then subject. Photograph files contain photographs taken by a Smithsonian photographer or Jones and any copies of photographs supplied by the subject. Most of the photographs are black and white. Series 4: Original Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CD), 1986-1991 are the original tapes of the individual interviews conducted by Jones. This series is divided into eight sub-series. Reference numbers for CDs matching the original tapes are noted after the tapes. CDs 495-497 are for the Smithsonian Photographer's Show: Sub-series 4a: Arkansas, Sub-series 4b: Georgia, Sub-series 4c: Louisiana, Sub-series 4d: Mississippi, Sub-series 4e: North Carolina (within this sub-series are the transcripts of the Mexican Workers Project there may be an English language transcription as well as one in Spanish), Sub-series 4f: South Carolina, Sub-series 4g: Tennessee and Sub-series 4h: Virginia and Sub-series 4i: Miscellaneous and Duplicates, within the sub-series tapes are arranged alphabetically by subject.
Series 4: Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
Divided into 4 series: Series 1, Oral History Transcripts; Series 2, Project Files; Series 3, Photographic Prints and Slides, and Series 4, Original Oral History Interview Tapes and Reference Compact Discs (CDs) are the original inteview tapes and the accompanying reference copy cds.
The history of the American South is intricately entwined with the history of agriculture in North America. Until very recently, post 1950, the South was predominately rural and agricultural in both its production and culture. By the 1980s American agriculture, and particularly agriculture in the south, was under attack on various fronts especially cultural, financial, and technological. This assault threatened the very existence of the small and family farm. Many small farming operations went bankrupt and the face of American agriculture was becoming more corporate. It was amidst these troubling times that the Agricultural Division of the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History undertook a massive project to document southern agriculture through oral history.
Through the efforts of NMAH staff, Pete Daniel, curator and project director, LuAnn Jones, researcher, and with countless support from staff photographers and personnel, Jones conducted approximately 159 interviews of individual persons, couples and sometimes small groups, in eight southern states over a five year period, 1986-1991. The project was funded by a series of grants from various sources. Not only were oral histories taken but also substantial documentary photographs and slides of the many interviewees. The interviews ranged from individual farmers to individuals at companies and corporations involved with agriculture. The range of crops discussed included tobacco, cotton and rice. The project interviewed a wide range of subjects: male, female, black, white, and Mexican. The project has contributed to at least two books, Mama Learned Us to Work: Farm Women in the New South by LuAnn Jones and Like a Family: The Making of a Southern Cotton Mill World by Jacquelyn Dowd Hall and others of which Jones was a contributing author.
#60 Warshaw Collection
#149 Kulp Collection of Account Books, 1755-1904
#475 Robinson and Via Family Papers
#481 William C. Kost Farm Records
#767 Timothy B. Bladen, Southern Maryland Photoprints
A transfer from the Division of History of Technology (Agriculture), NMAH, July 2001
Collection is open for research. Unprotected photographs must be handled with gloves.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Reproduction permission from Archives Center: reproduction fees may apply. All duplication requests must be reviewed and approved by Archives Center staff.