12.11 Cubic feet ((1 shoebox) (7 slide and card cabinets))
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 6000 color slides and over 2000 negatives/prints (a mixture of color and black and white) of civil and military aircraft taken by Seele, circa 1950s-1970s. The shots were taken in the United States, specifically in the Midwest. Aircraft from the following manufacturers are represented: Aero Commander, Arrow, Aeronca, Beechcraft, Bell, Bellanca, Boeing, Bristol, Bucker, Callair, Cessna, Consolidated, Convair, Curtiss, Dassault, de Havilland, Davis, Dart, Douglas, ERCO, Fairchild, Fleet, Ford, Goodyear, Great Lakes, Grumman, Howard, Hawker Siddeley, Hughes, Heinkel, Jodel, Junkers, Lockheed, Ling-Temco-Vought, Lawson, Parsons, Pitts, Pitcarin, Piper, Pazmany, Piaggo, Porterfield, Republic, SAAB, Sikorsky, Stampe, Stearman, Stinson, Swearingen, Taylor, Vickers, and Waco. In June of 2001 the Smitihsonian's Museum of American History transferred an additional shoebox of Seele photography that had been sent directly to them from the widow. This color images included balloon events as well as aircraft shots. The ballooning images are color prints taken mostly around Topeka, Kansas, while the aircraft images are color transparencies of aircraft taken, again, mostly around Topeka.
Biographical / Historical:
Jean Warren (J. W.) Seele (1924-1993) was born in Topeka, Kansas, and spent almost his entire life there. After his graduation from Topeka High School he was enrolled for about one and a half years at the Spartan School of Aeronautics, Tulsa, Oklahoma. Although he worked for a few years at Bendix Aviation Corp, Kansas City Division during the 1950s, most of his professional career was spent as an engineering technician for the Kansas Department of Transportation. While he was not directly employed in the aviation field, Seele's hobby was photographing aircraft. Over a twenty year period, Seele photographed aircraft and at various times he was the official photographer for the National Antique Airplane Association, and for the annual fly-in sponsored by the Experimental Aircraft Association at Rockford, Illinois. Seele's photographs often appeared in the publications of both organizations, and several of this photographs also appeared in Jane's All the World's Aircraft during the 1970s.
Additional materials: photographs taken by Seele of the Kansas countryside, including many of threshing demonstrations, were transferred to the Archives Center at the National Museum of American History.
Charline Seele, Gift, 2000, 2000-0057, NASM, except for images not taken by Seele.
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