1.8 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 3 reels))
Scope and Contents:
The papers of cermaicist Marlis Schratter (1919-2014) measure 1.8 linear feet and date from circa 1956-2004. Included are correspondence, technical notes, business records, scrapbooks, printed material, photographs, a motion picture film, and fired clay samples documenting Schratter's ceramic techniques and her artistic and teaching activities.
REEL 970: Notes concern marketing and methods of attracting customers, record sales and customer reactions, and list supply purchases and prices for her work (1960-1975). The collection also contains 6 letters from Schratter's colleagues (1971-1973), a clipping, and a blueprint for a kiln.
REELS 982-983: Thirty-nine letters to Schratter from colleagues concern her exhibitions and her work (1957-1975). One notebook contains technical information concerning topics related to ceramics (1956- 1974). A second notebook concerning the construction of a gas kiln contains 16 letters, a receipt, and kiln log sheets. Seven letters and miscellaneous notebook pages concern glazes, slab construction, and related topics (1956- 1974). Eight pages from a kiln log contain notes and 5 firing charts recording the kiln's performance. A scrapbook contains clippings, exhibition announcements, and catalogs (1956-1975). Photographs show Schratter's work (1967-1974). The collection also contains 2 resumes and 2 artist's statements.
UNMICROFILMED: Six letters to Schratter from colleagues concern her exhibitions and work (1974-1983). A card file contains glaze and slip recipes. Three notebooks contain technical notes on clay bodies, chemicals, recipes, glazes and teaching (1956-1975), and gas kilns (1965-1975). Nineteen course evaluation sheets are from Schratter's class at the DeCordova Museum (1974- 1975). Printed material consists of a clipping (1972) and an announcement and catalog for the exhibition "The Potter's Wheel" at the DeCordova Museum (1976). Photographs and slides show Schratter and her work. An 8mm motion picture "Pots" by Richard Morehouse shows Schratter teaching a class (1968). Thirty- two fired clay test samples are annotated with formulas. Also included is a three-ring binder containing biographical information, photographs of works of art and of Schratter, Also included are loose sheets of correspondence, newspaper clippings and additional biographical information.
Biographical / Historical:
Marlis Schratter (1919- 2014) was a ceramicist in Baltimore, Maryland and Lincoln, Massachusetts. Born in Germany, Marlis Schratter came to the United States in 1940. In 1954, she began her training as a ceramist at the Baltimore Museum of Art, continuing her studies at the Boston Museum School and the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Maine. In addition to participating in many exhibitions, Schratter was on the art faculty of the DeCordova Museum, Lincoln, Massachusetts.
9 letters (reel 982: frames 1042, 1046, 1053, 1058, 1062, 1065, 1066, 1067, and 1087), technical correspondence and notes (reel 982: frames 1092-1200), kiln log (reel 982: frames 1266-1278), and the majority of photographs of works (reel 983: frames 230-373) donated by Marlis SChratter in 1983 and 1985. All other materials were loaned by Marlis Schratter. An additional scrapbook donated in 2022 by Reina SChratter, Marlis Schratter's daughter.
This collection is open for research. Access to original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center.
Researchers interested in accessing audiovisual recordings in this collection must use access copies. Contact References Services for more information.
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- Westminster
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- Marston
United States of America -- Maryland -- Carroll County -- New Windsor
Papers documenting the farming and family life of the Robinson family of Prince George's County and after 1975, Charles County, Maryland. Papers documenting the farming and family of the Via family of Greene County, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Prince George's and Calvert Counties, Maryland, by 1949.
Scope and Contents:
An extensive and comprehensive collection of papers relating to family, farming, and the Southern Maryland tobacco culture, the Robinson and Via Family Papers cover many aspects of family and farm life. The papers are particularly important in regard to the tobacco culture that defined Southern Maryland for generations. The papers concern two distinct family groups, the Robinson and Via families who are connected through the marriage of Franklin A. Robinson and Adina Mae Via. The papers consist of material generated by the Robinson and Via families in their personal and working lives and as farm owners and operators.
The papers are especially strong in 20th century material. They consist of various types of farm records: account books, bills, receipts, tenant farming agreements, ephemera, land rental and purchase agreements, insurance policies, photographs and 8mm and 16mm films of farming practices and procedures, equipment and landscapes, related to the farming of tobacco, small grains, and livestock. The personal records include diaries, letters both personal and business, greeting cards, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, high school yearbooks, baby books, house plans, recipe books, photographs and 8mm films of birthdays, holidays, weddings, baptisms, family occasions, and family travel, oral histories, and funeral ephemera including photographs, and transcription discs. Of particular interest are the "Serenity Farm Tobacco Production Photographs" documenting the crop year 1999-2000 and the films detailing agricultural practices. There is a memorandum book for Black Walnut Thicket, 1885-1901, the Baden farm in Baden, Prince George's County.
This collection includes a comprehensive range of 8mm and 16mm films and photographs documenting farming practices and landscapes as well as family gatherings, birthdays, holidays, and vacations. The researcher is alerted to the fact that in some cases with the memorandum and account books, books printed for a given year were often saved and used for subsequent years, some were dated, some were not.
The collection is divided into seven series arranged by subject and most often chronologically at folder level within each series.
The collection is divided into seven series:
Series 1: Ferndale Farm (Potomac Landing), Prince George's County, Maryland, 1861-1973, undated
Subseries 1.1: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, and publications, 1861-1973, undated
Subseries 1.2: Farm papers, bill, and receipts, 1945-1960, undated
Subseries 1.3: Farm papers, bills, and receipts, 1960-1965, undated
Series 2: Robinson Family, 1845-2017, undated
Subseries 2.1: Family Papers and Publications, 1845-1993, undated
The Robinson family is thought to be of Scottish origin and appear in the records of Prince George's County, Maryland by the early 18th century. The line has been definitively traced to James Robinson (?-1849). James' father was probably Benjamin Robinson (?-1810), of Prince George's County, Maryland. (Will Book TT1, pg. 15, Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Maryland State Archives (MSA))
James Robinson and Sarah Wynn were issued a marriage license on February 28, 1802 in Prince George's County, Maryland. (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland) Eleven children lived to maturity (not listed in birth order); Thomas Wells (1803-1869), Ann, Priscilla, James Monroe, Benjamin (1813-1882), John C. (1819-1895), Mary Sophia, Thomas Stanley (1800-1874), Alfred, Sarah Ann, Matilda, and Rebecca Maria.
James worked as a farm manager for Benjamin Oden near Upper Marlborough, Prince George's County. (Oden Papers, Maryland Historical Society) The Robinsons and their children, moved to Wood County, Virginia (now West Virginia) by April 18, 1818 where James acted as Oden's land agent (Deed Book 6, pg. 123, Land Records of Wood County, West Virginia). They brought with them three enslaved described in the above reference as, "Kate a woman 45 years of age very black; Colonel a boy aged 8 years yellow complexion: and George a boy aged six years of a dark brown complexion." They settled on part of what was known as the "Burnt Mill" tract in the general area where the Hughes River meets the Little Kanawha River. (Deed Book 9, pg. 110 and Deed Book 14, pg. 40, Land Records of Wood County)
Thomas Wells Robinson may not have accompanied his family to Virginia as he has a presence in Prince George's County prior to 1822 and was employed as a farm manager for Benjamin Oden at least until 1832. He married Elizabeth J. Richards on December 15, 1829 (Robinson Family Bible). They had nine children; Richard Thomas (1831 1906), Rebecca Maria (1832-1895), Mary Wynn (1834-1916), James George (1835-1883), Virlinda Victoria (1837-1838), Elizabeth Ann (1839-1916), Sarah Ann Sophia (1840-1874), Franklin Alexander (1841-1905) and John Alfred (1843); seven lived to maturity. (Robinson Family Bible) Elizabeth died on August 17, 1843 from complications in childbirth. She was buried in the graveyard of Page's Chapel (later known as St. Thomas Episcopal Church), Croom, Prince George's County.
In 1843, Thomas purchased the plantation of Dr. Benjamin B. Hodges for $10,000 or approximately $15 an acre. Hodges was a brother-in-law of Benjamin Oden. The deed dated September 7, 1843 describes the parcel as containing, "Six hundred and twenty nine acres of land more or less and constitute that plantation or Estate of the said Benjamin Oden heretofore commonly called "Brown's Quarter Place" being the Land tracts and parcels of land sold by the said Benjamin Oden to the said Benjamin B. Hodges and by deed bearing date the tenth day of December eighteen hundred and thirty five and recorded in Liber AB no. 10 folio 162 also one of the land Records of the County aforesaid". (JBB no. 3 pgs. 312 314, Land Records of Prince George's County) The land was level to rolling bordered on the north by a tributary of Piscataway Creek and generally termed "white oak land". Underlying the whole property was a large strata of gravel and sand. The entire parcel went by the name, Potomac Landing.
Thomas supplemented his land holdings with later purchases. With the exception of twenty acres purchased from Sarah Talbert in 1844, (JBB no. 3 pg. 475, Land Records of Prince George's County) and the purchase of lot #3 consisting of 195 acres, part of the estate of John Townshend in 1856, these purchases were not contiguous to Potomac Landing. By the time of his death in 1869 these non-contiguous parcels had been sold. Thomas sold eighty-six acres of Potomac Landing and Jeffries to Edward Eversfield in October of 1843. (JBB no. 3, pg. 198, Land Records of Prince George's County) On January 13, 1846 Thomas married the widow Martha Ann Walls, daughter of George and Martha Naylor Walls. They had two sons; Benjamin Wells (1848-1849) and Robert Henry (1851-1937).
In addition to his sons, Thomas owned enslaved. The number varied from six in 1849 (JBB 6, folio 186, Land Records of Prince Georges' County) to eleven as noted in the census for 1850, and finally six as noted in the census of 1860. The 1867 Maryland Slave Statistics noted that, "at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of Maryland, in the year 1864, . . ." Thomas owned six enslaved, their names and ages being; Isaac Franklin age 31, Alfred West age 19, Susan West age 17, Margaret Franklin age 14, Fannie Franklin age 12, and Peter Franklin age 9. All were noted as being in good physical condition. (Prince Georges' County Slave Statistics 1867 1869, C 1307 1, MdHR:6198, page 185, MSA)
Thomas's financial problems began in the mid-1800s when Deeds of Trust appear in the county records securing outstanding loans. In 1856 and 1857 Thomas joined with others as bondsman for his son, Richard who was serving as "Collector of the State and County Taxes" for the 4th collection district, making he and the other signatories liable for any uncollected taxes. This, coupled with poor investments, led to his almost being "sold out" in 1859-1860 by J.W. & E. Reynolds of Baltimore to pay his debts. He executed three drafts on Penn & Mitchell, also of Baltimore, to pay off J.W. & E. Reynolds. (Equity Case #597, Prince Georges' County) Thomas was in poor health and his son James managed the farm in 1857 and 1858, and again from 1861 to October of 1862 (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County)
In October of 1862 Thomas' two sons, James and Franklin, traveled to Richmond to join the Confederate States Army. James enrolled in the 5th Battalion, Local Defense Arsenal and Franklin enrolled in the 5th Virginia Infantry, the Stonewall Brigade. (CSA Military Records, National Archives) James visited home frequently but was captured by the Union Army in St. Mary's County, Maryland on May 15, 1864 and spent the remainder of the war in Point Lookout Prison Camp. He was released on May 14, 1865. Franklin was not able to visit home at all during the war but survived to return home in 1865.
In 1865, Thomas surveyed a parcel of 172 acres for his daughter Rebecca Maria. Rebecca had married her second cousin, William B. Robertson, on November 18, 1855. He made a gift of fifty acres, and Rebecca agreed to purchase the remainder. The Robertsons named this parcel Holly Grove. In Equity Case #849 (1872) filed after Thomas' death, his widow Martha and Samuel H. Berry, as executrix and executor, sought to recover payment for this land. At that time, William B. Robertson described this 172 acres of Potomac Landing: "There was no fences on the line which separated this land from the old gentleman's land, but he was to put a fence on it which he agreed to do before we agreed to come there. The land was thin, unimproved, with gullies and scrubby pine. If witness had been a judge of land he would not have given five dollars for it. All the improvements were one comfortable quarter the other indifferent with a poor oak shingle roof, worn out which made it not tenantable." Further along in his testimony, William gave an account of a conversation, "In a few days my father in law Thos. W. Robinson came to Washington and told me there his children had returned from the South, his two sons, that his debts were small and he was a happy man." Rebecca and William built a house on the property, a side-hall, double parlor plan that most likely her brother James was builder. They also built accompanying farm structures. (Records of Prince George's County, Maryland, Equity Case #849, MSA)
Thomas' son, Franklin, managed the farm after the War. In December 1868 Thomas entered into a sharecropping agreement with Edward Hanson, an African-American. After about a year-long illness, on May 16, 1869, Thomas died, deeply in debt. He was buried beside Elizabeth in the graveyard at St. Thomas' Church. He named as executrix his wife, Martha, and his friend and lawyer, Samuel H. Berry, as executor. His will divided the farm into thirds, one third going to his wife and their son Robert Henry, one third to his son James, and one third to his son Franklin. The land was surveyed according to the will. His personal property was sold but not enough profit was realized to pay off his creditors. The Commissioners of Prince George's County sued the estate on behalf of Thomas' creditors. The outcome was that in 1876 the property was sold at public auction. The Notice of Sale dated September 1, 1876 in the local county newspaper, The Prince Georgian, describes the farm as, "containing 514 2/3 acres More or less. The Improvements consist of a SMALL DWELLING, Three Barns, Stabling, and other necessary outbuildings. It is well wooded and watered, and the soil of fair quality. It has recently been divided into three lots and will be offered in lots, a description of which will be given at the time of sale." The sale was held on September 27, 1876, Lot No. 1 was purchased by Robert for $6.00 an acre, Lot #2 was purchased by Franklin for $5.00 an acre and Lot #3 was purchased by James for $4.00 per acre. Robert and Franklin eventually paid off their mortgage, but James defaulted on his purchase and later moved to St. Mary's County, Maryland. His portion later came to be owned by the Hawkins family, some members who had worked on the Robinson farm. (Equity Case #873, Prince Georges' County, MSA)
Lot #1, purchased by Robert from his fathers' estate, consisted of 177-1/3 acres, including the dwelling and farm buildings. On July 24, 1872, he married Amanda Malvina Baden (1849-1940), daughter of Robert W. G. and Margaret Caroline Early Baden. The Baden and Early families were both prominent south county families. Robert and Amanda had eight children; Caroline Early (1873 1967), Lucy Tennent (1875 1958), Albert Henry (1878 1914), Martha Perry (1880 1961), Robert Gover (1882 1882), Frank Alexander (1883 1970), Margaret Baden (1886 1956) and Grace Malvina (1889 1965).
By 1880 Robert had paid off his debt on the property and was fully engaged in farming. Unlike his father, or perhaps because of his father, Robert did not add to his land holdings, choosing to remain relatively debt free for his lifetime. The only land transactions he participated in were the sales of 79-3/4 acres in 1921 of Amanda's inheritance from her father and her interest in two smaller parcels of her father's land sold in 1894 and 1928 respectively. In 1928 he transferred 3.09 acres to his son Frank.
As late as the Federal census of 1880, Franklin was living with Robert and his household, both men engaged in farming. Sometime after 1880, Franklin took up residence on his part of Potomac Landing. His brother James most likely built the side-hall double parlor house that copied the main house at Potomac Landing. On February 18, 1897, Martha Robinson, died at the age of ninety. She was buried in the graveyyard of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden, Prince George's County.
Robert continued cultivation of tobacco and small grains as his father before him. The first reference to the farm being named Ferndale is found in the "Communion Record" of Robert's daughter, Martha Perry "Pattie", dated 1896. (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The exact origin or reason for this new name is lost but perhaps the name Potomac Landing held such bitter memories of debt and hardship that, as a symbolic break with the past, a new name was found. It also may have simply been a way to distinguish this portion of Potomac Landing from the others. The farm continued to be listed on tax bills as Potomac Landing well into the 20th century, but was known to the general public and businesses as the Ferndale Farm. (Robinson and Via Family Papers)
Robert served as deputy inspector at the State Tobacco Warehouse in Baltimore for eight years under W.B. Bowie. He also served on the Board of Directors of the Bank of Brandywine. In July of 1905, Franklin died, a bachelor farmer. He was buried facing south in the graveyard of the Church of the Atonement, Cheltenham, (a chapel in St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish) where he had served as vestryman, treasurer, and cemetery custodian. Franklin died intestate and a lengthy process of dividing his estate began. This resulted in the sale of his part of Potomac Landing (Lot #2) in July 1908 to William E. Boswell. The court declared Robert ineligible for any inheritance due to his being " . . . a brother of the half blood." The Boswell family later sold the property to the Billingsley family of St. Mary's County. (Equity Case 3209, Prince George's County)
In 1910, after living in the farm's original home for approximately sixty seven years, the Robinson family built a new home. It was described in a 1956 insurance policy as, "2 story, frame, metal roof, 16x43, wing 14x28, 9 rooms." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) The house design was a simple Victorian with plastered walls, and lit by carbide gas. Electrical lighting was installed in 1951. The house was built with monies from Robert and Amanda, and their son Frank, who served as builder and contractor.
On Tuesday March 9, 1937, "During a celebration in honor of his wifes birthday anniversary, Mr. Robinson collapsed at the table and died immediately without a word or a sigh." (Robinson and Via Family Papers) Robert was buried beside his mother in the cemetery at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden.
At Robert's death, Ferndale Farm was valued at $30.00 an acre, the total acreage, 174 acres, being valued in the whole at $5,220.00. Robert died intestate, again the fate of the land was in question. He left eight heirs, his widow, Amanda, six of his children and his son Albert Henry's only surviving child, R. Henry Robinson. Rather than have the farm sold and his mother's life disrupted, Frank purchased the estate and personal property from the heirs. Before this could take place, a deed had to be granted the heirs for the property since one had never been recorded after the 1876 sale. Equity case 873 was reopened sixty-two years after its supposed resolution. Frank testified, "over a period of about thirty years I would on a number of occasions, talk about the fact that he had purchased and paid for this property and that a deed had never been executed to him and [he] kept saying he was going to have someone straighten this matter out for him." It was discovered that Robert had fully paid for his part of Potomac Landing. On February 14, 1938 the farm was deeded from Amanda along with Robert''s heirs to Frank. (Book 499, page 334, Land Records of Prince George's County) According to the deed and a 1937 fire insurance policy the farm consisted of 177 1/3 acres, "1 two story dwelling, one tenant house, 1 barrack, 1 tobacco barn, 1 corn house & cow stable, 1 Stable, and 1 Granary & Stable." (Robinson and Via Family Papers)
Frank A. Robinson, now the sole owner of Ferndale Farm, was born August 17, 1883. He learned farming and in addition took up the trade of builder and contractor. As a young man, he worked in the general store of his uncle Robert Baden. He was the contractor for the first Bank of Brandywine and many homes in and around the town of Brandywine, including the home of his cousin Robert E. Baden, DDS. He was secretary of the Building Committee for construction of the Chapel of the Incarnation in Brandywine, a mission chapel for St. Thomas' Episcopal Parish. His success in the building trade gave him disposable income that he invested in land. His first purchase was in August, 1915 of a 2-9/100 acre of land in Brandywine that was being sold by the Board of County School Commissioners; the purchase price was $300. In March 1916 he purchased 38.09 acres of his Uncle Franklin's farm. This property adjoined Ferndale Farm.
Over the next fifty-four years of his life, Frank bought and sold many pieces of real estate. Perhaps his most significant purchases were: 18-1/3 acres purchased from The German American Colonization Land Company of Maryland in October 1915 (Book 115, pg. 140, Land Records of Prince George's County); 147.99 acres purchased from August and Wilhelmina Noltensmeir in December 1917 (Book 129, pg. 263, Land Records of Prince George's County) and 320 acres called the Vineyard purchased from William M. Wilson in March 1928. Frank used these three parcels as collateral for other purchases. Never once did he mortgage Ferndale Farm, insuring that no matter what financial stormy seas might blow, his home was secure. Over the course of his life, especially in the case of the Noltensmeir farm, when cash was needed a parcel of land would be surveyed off and sold. He inherited his grandfather Thomas' love of land but had fortunately developed a shrewd business sense to go along with it.
On November 20, 1929, he married Elizabeth Freeland Bourne, daughter of Joseph Blake and Maria Gantt Bourne of Calvert County, Maryland. They had three children: Mary Elizabeth (1930-2009), Franklin Alexander (1932-2023), and Robert Lee (1935-1997). In addition to his construction business he continued farming, raising tobacco, hay, and small grains. He engaged in sharecropping with tenants on his various properties. He was active in community affairs serving on the Board of The Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Vestry of St. Thomas Parish, and as sheriff of Brandywine. On January 9, 1940 Amanda Baden Robinson died. She was buried next to her husband at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Baden. In February 1958, Frank and Elizabeth conveyed 1.57 acres of Ferndale Farm to son Franklin where he and his fiancée, Adina M. Via, were building their new home prior to their marriage in July of that same year.
The booming economy and suburbanization of the Washington metropolitan area in the early 1960's led to the high quality gravel lying beneath Ferndale into becoming a valuable commodity. In October 1962, Franklin and his parents granted a three-year lease to William C. Nolte for mining sand and gravel on the Ferndale Farm at .174 per yard. (Book 2747, pg. 11, Land Records of Prince George's County) From now until 1975 when the property was sold, gravel would be mined from under the farm by various companies. In November 1962, Elizabeth and Frank transferred to Franklin the 38.09 acres Frank had purchased from Fitzhugh Billingsley in 1916. (Book 2754, pg. 99, Land Records of Prince George's County) That same year they transferred 6.754 acres, part of the Vineyard, to son Robert and his wife Lois, (Book 2765, pg. 201, Land Records of Prince George's County)
On December 28, 1965, Frank and Elizabeth participated in a land exchange/purchase of the farm of Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown located along the Patuxent River in Benedict, Charles County, Maryland. Franklin had rented this farm the year before and was impressed enough by its location and arability to work out a purchase. Frank and Elizabeth traded 65.9920 acres that would eventually become Franklin's under Frank's will. On February 21, 1966 they deeded the Charles County farm to Franklin and Adina. Adina named this property Serenity Farm. The property consisted of 480.66 acres. (Liber 179, page 708 etc., Land Records of Charles County)
On February 5, 1970, after a short illness, Frank died at Cafritz Memorial Hospital. He was buried at St. Paul's Episcopal Church near his parents. In his will, probated March 4, 1970 he left thirty acres of the property purchased from the German American Land Company and A. Noltensmeir to Elizabeth. He willed forty acres of the same parcel to daughter Mary Robinson Conner. The remainder of Ferndale Farm was willed to Franklin and the remaining acreage of the Vineyard was left to Robert Lee.
Franklin Alexander Robinson was born August 13, 1932 at the Garfield Hospital in Washington, D.C.. He received his schooling in the public school system of Prince George's County, graduating from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. He was a charter member of Gwynn Park's chapter of The Future Farmers of America. He was extremely active in FFA, achieving the Degree of Maryland Farmer in 1950 and their highest award, the Degree of American Farmer at their convention in Kansas City, Missouri in October 1953. He obtained his private pilots license in 1954. He entered the United States Army in February 1955 and went through basic training at Camp Gordon, Augusta, Georgia. After basic training he was transferred to Camp Hanford, Washington State. There he worked part time on the farm of Dick and Theresa Laurent during his off duty hours and began a lifelong friendship with them. He returned home to farming on an agricultural discharge in October of 1956. On July 27, 1958 he married his high school sweetheart, Adina Mae Via, daughter of Robert Milton and Virginia Woods Via. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962), and Adina Theresa (1963).
Franklin continued expanding and improving the farming operation by modern methods and means. At times, he farmed over one thousand acres, both owned and rented. On February 21, 1966, his parents deeded their purchase of the Ralph W. and Cordelia H. Brown farm in Benedict to he and Adina, later known as Serenity Farm Franklin and Adina engaged an architect to draft house plans for an anticipated new residence. A small A frame vacation home was built on the property so the family could spend weekends there.
On December 14, 1966, after a long illness, Adina died from complications associated with Hodgkin's Disease. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Waldorf, Charles County. Franklin married Margaret Walker Lennox (nee Tallen, known as Rita) on August 21, 1970 (Marriage Records of Prince George's County, Maryland). This marriage ended in divorce in 1977. There were no children from this marriage.
On July 14, 1975 the Robinson family, Franklin, his second wife, Margaret, her daughter Margaret W. Lennox, Franklin, Jr., R. David, A. Theresa and Elizabeth B. Robinson, moved to Serenity Farm. On July 17, 1975 Franklin and Elizabeth sold the remaining acreage of Ferndale Farm to Brandywine Sand and Gravel, thus ending 131 years of ownership by the Robinson family. Elizabeth Bourne Robinson died on July 15, 1976 and was buried beside her husband at St. Paul's Church, Baden. Franklin married Hiltrud (Ceddie) Harris (nee Sedlacek) on July 15, 1978. (Robinson Family Bible) This marriage ended in divorce in 1986. There were no children from this marriage. Franklin married Diedre Gale Merhiage on April 19, 1989; this marriage ended in divorce in 1997. There were no children from this marriage. He married Remelda Henega Buenavista on January 13, 2007.
The Robinson family continue day-to-day operations of Serenity Farm. The land is well suited to the growing of tobacco and small grains, which crops, (with the exception of tobacco) along with a flock of sheep, are cultivated there to the present time. After the crop year 2001 the Robinson family took the tobacco buyout program offered by the state of Maryland and ceased growing tobacco. Franklin is active in farming and community affairs having served on the vestry of St. Thomas Episcopal Parish, the Board of Directors of the Maryland Tobacco Growers Association (MTGA), the Board of the Production Credit Association, the Boards of three schools, Holy Trinity Day School, Queen Anne School, and Calverton School, and numerous other organizations. Currently the farm consists of approximately 275 acres. In 1981 a state agricultural land preservation district of 222.755 acres was created. This was the first such district in Charles County and one of the first in the state of Maryland.
The Via family traces its origins to the colony of Virginia, where the probable progenitor of the line, Amer Via, a French Huguenot, settled in Manakin Town, Albemarle County between 1670-1700. It is impossible to trace the Via line definitively due to the loss of Virginia county records during the Civil War.
The Via family line covered in this collection can be definitively traced to William Via of Fredericksville Parish, Louisa (later Albemarle) County, Virginia. The William Via family lived west of the present day town of Whitehall at the base of the Blue Ridge Mountains, an area commonly known as Sugar Hollow. William Via III served in the Virginia Line during the Revolutionary War. He married Mary Craig, daughter of Thomas Craig and Jane Jameson, on March 17, 1784. William died on June 27, 1836, in Albemarle County (Rev. War Pension Appl. 6363, National Archives). His son Thomas married Sally, widow Griffin, on January 1, 1811 (Albemarle County Marriage Records). Their son, Hiram Karl Via (1812-1893), married Harriet Ardenia Naylor by license dated March 7, 1836 (Albemarle County Marriage Records).
Hiram and Harriet's son, Robert St. Clair Via (1844-1925), served as a private in Company I, 7th Virginia Infantry of the Confederate States Army (CSA Military Service Records, National Archives). After the war he married his first cousin, Mary Frances Naylor, daughter of Samuel Chapman Naylor and Eliza Jane Gardner, on April 3, 1866 in Rockingham County (Rockingham County, Virginia, Marriage Records). Sometime between 1870 and 1872, they moved to Linn County, Missouri, and settled about seven miles from the town of Bucklin. Their son, Hiram Chapman Via (1872-1933), was born there. In 1893, the family returned to Virginia, and settled on a farm in Greene County near the town of Stanardsville.
Hiram Chapman Via operated a mill as well as a farm. On March 15, 1899, he married Adina Eleanor Eusebia Runkle, daughter of Milton D. L. Runkle and Roberta A. Beadles (Greene County, Virginia, Marriage Records). They had three children: Bernice Olive (1902-1999), Robert Milton (1906-1983), and Deward Daniel (1909-1977).
Robert moved to Washington, D.C.. In December 1927 he began employment with the Capitol Traction Company as a streetcar conductor (Robinson and Via Family Papers). During the early 1930s, Robert rented a townhouse at 715 A St., SE, where he lived with his sister Bernice V. McMullan and her son, William C. McMullan; his brother and sister in law, and his parents. Next door, at 717, lived the Moses Albright family, including Moses's stepdaughter Ida Virginia Woods (1914-2010), daughter of Jesse Lee Woods (1894-1918) and Donna Mae Barker (1896-1928) of Frederick County, Maryland. Robert and Virginia began a courtship and on September 3, 1932 were married in Frederick, Frederick County, Maryland (Frederick County, Maryland, Marriage Records).
After their marriage, Robert and Virginia lived in various locations in the Washington metropolitan area. Their first child, Robert Delano, was born on March 24, 1933, and their second child, Adina Mae, was born on April 12, 1937. Virginia was employed outside the home while her children were in school. Her first job before her marriage had been with Woolworth's in Martinsburg, WV working the candy counter and then before the birth of her son at The Hecht Company on F St. in Washington, D.C.. After her marriage she worked briefly for the United States Postal Service in Capitol Heights, Maryland. Beginning in the 1950s, she worked first at the Hecht Company department store on 7th Street in the District and later for Charles of the Ritz as a receptionist in their beauty salon located in Woodward & Lothrop's F Street store in Washington, D.C.. She also worked as salon manager at the Charles of the Ritz salons in the Woodward & Lothrop stores in Seven Corners, Virginia, and Chevy Chase, Maryland. She retired due to health reasons in 1973.
On September 10, 1941, Robert and Virginia purchased Lot #43 in Woodlane subdivision in Prince George's County. (Book 619, pg. 12, Land Records of Prince George's County) A house was designed for them for this lot by Clyde E. Phillips. They did not construct a home on this property due to the outbreak of World War II. Robert, due to his employment in public transportation, did not serve with the Armed Services in World War II. On October 18, 1946, they purchased approximately thirty acres bordering on Burch's Creek near the towns of Clinton, also know as Surrattsville, and T.B. in Prince George's County from Joseph H. and M. Pauline Blandford. (Book 873, pg. 483, Land Records of Prince George's County) Over the next three years, hiring private contractors, doing work themselves, and with the help of Robert's brother Deward, they built the two story house designed by Phillips in 1941. They moved to the farm from Capitol Heights in 1949. Robert raised hogs, small grains and a crop of tobacco yearly on this farm and also maintained his job with Capitol Transit (formerly Capitol Traction).
In 1954, Robert and Virginia purchased a farm of approximately 150 acres in Island Creek, Calvert County, Maryland. The intention was for Robert and his son to enter into a full time farming operation on expanded acreage. Robert D. Via, known as Delano, graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June 1951. Delano was a part-time farmer and pursued a career as a country and western singer with Bashful Bob and the Rhythm Rangers, he being Bashful Bob. He was employed in various jobs, and began a tour in the Army in 1953. By the time the Via family moved to Calvert County in 1956, he decided to pursue careers other than farming. He eventually traveled and worked in various parts of the United States. He married first Delores Cooper, second Gloria J. Irick, and finally Candice Marinelli in December 1974, they had two children, Robert Marin (1975) and Kirstin Marin (1976).
On June 1, 1956 Robert resigned from his position at Capitol Transit due to health reasons. He and his family moved to the farm in Island Creek, Calvert County where he began full time farming. He and Virginia sold the thirty-acre farm in Prince George's County on June 21, 1956 to Melvin C. and Geraldine H. Rardia. (Book 2003, pg. 564, Land Records of Prince George's County) Virginia continued her employment with Charles of the Ritz. Adina, now a graduate of Gwynn Park High School, was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs, Maryland. They both commuted daily from Calvert County to their places of employment.
Robert farmed in Calvert County, raising hogs, cattle, small grains and tobacco. Over the course of the next twenty-seven years, Robert and Virginia sold smaller parcels off the farm. In 1974, Robert and Virginia built a small retirement home designed for them by Calvert Masonry Contractors. Robert died on December 22, 1983. He was buried beside his daughter Adina in Trinity Memorial Gardens. At the time of Robert's death, the farm consisted of 28.694 acres. In 1998, Virginia deeded the remainder of the farm, then less than six acres, to her grandson, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr. who sold all but a one-acre lot in April 1999.
Virginia continued to live on the farm in Calvert County, maintaining a small herd of cattle. In the fall of 1989 Franklin, Jr. went to live with her. In 1993, the onset of Alzheimer's Disease required her to move to Serenity Farm and take up residence with her granddaughter A. Theresa. Virginia participated in various studies on Alzheimer's Disease conducted by the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland beginning in 1992. She was profiled in the September 1997 issue of Washingtonian Magazine. In October of 1998 she moved to All American Senior Care in Brandywine, Maryland and in 1999 she moved to Morningside, an elderly care facility in Waldorf, Maryland. In 2002, she moved to St. Mary's Nursing Center in Leonardtown, Maryland. The remainder of the farm was sold in 1999 and 2002. She died January 14, 2010 and was buried at Trinity Memorial Gardens in Waldorf.
Adina Mae Via was born April 12, 1937 at the Homeopathic Hospital in Washington, D.C.. Adina grew up in Washington, D.C. attending public schools. She moved with her family to the Burch's Creek farm, Prince George's County, in 1949. She enrolled in the Prince George's County school system, and graduated from Gwynn Park High School in June of 1955. After graduation, she was employed by the USAF at Andrews Air Force Base in Camp Springs.
In July of 1956, she moved with her family to the Via farm in Island Creek, Calvert County. On July 27, 1958 she married Franklin A. Robinson at the Chapel of the Incarnation. They had three children: Franklin Alexander (1959), Robert David (1962) and Adina Theresa (1963). In the fall of 1958, she and Franklin took up residence in the home they had built on Ferndale Farm. She resigned from her position with the USAF in 1959.
On December 14, 1966, at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC, Adina died from complications due to Hodgkin's Disease. She had been battling this disease for many years prior to her death. She was buried in Trinity Memorial Gardens, Charles County.
Materials at Other Organizations
The Maryland Historical Society holds items (costume, farming related implements) related to the Robinson and Via families.
Materials at the National Museum of American History
The Division of Work and Industry (Agriculture Collection) holds agricultural implements and artifacts associated with both the Robinson farms and the Via farm; the Division of Home and Community Life holds clothing, textiles (crib quilt), jewelry, cosmetics and Adina M. Robinson's sewing box and dress patterns; (Costume and Textiles Collection). See accession numbers: 1989.0688, 1990.0394, 1991.0010; 1991.0722, 1992.0184, 1992.0283, 1992.0321, 1992.0474, 1992.3106, 1994.0064, 1994.0304, 1997.0327, 1998.0038, 1998.0129, 2001.0196, 2002.0087, 2003.0015, 2005.0009.
Division of Armed Forces History (now Division of Olitical and Military History, National Numismatics Collection) holds the Robert M. Via Trolley Token Collection.
The collection was donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center, by Franklin A. Robinson, Jr., in November 1993.
Collection is open for research but negatives and audiovisuial materials are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Some papers of living persons are restricted. Access to restricted portions may be arranged by request to the donor. Gloves required for unprotected photographs. Viewing film portions of the collection and listening to LP recording requires special appointment. Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
The Archives Center does not own exclusive rights to these materials. Copyright for all materials is retained by the donor, Franklin A. Robinson, Jr.; permission for commercial use and/or publication may be requested from the donor through the Archives Center. Military Records for Franklin A. Robinson (b. 1932) and correspondence from Richard I. Damalouji (1961-2014) are restricted; written permission is needed to research these files. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
The records of the DC Cowboys Dance Company, an all-male, gay, non-profit dance company based in Washington, DC. that was active from 1994-2012. They peformed nationally and internationally live and on television, "celebrating diversity through dance."
Scope and Contents:
The DC Cowboys Dance Company Records contain the business and financial papers of the company, such as memoranda and correspondence; choreography routines; printed materials such as press releases and articles; fundraising materials; photographs; audiovisual materials; and the pre-recorded music used for their various dance routines. The records are arranged chronologically in three series.
Series 1: Company Files, 1994-2013, undated, is arranged chronologically by year and maintains the original order received from the donor. The files cover the entire life of the company and its peformances within the United States as well as internationally. The files contain correspondence, contracts, dance routines, fundraising initiatives, event information and advertising materials, travel and lodging arrangements, tourist information, and photographs.
Series 2: Financial, 1996-2011, undated, is arranged chronologically. The files contain receipts, money receipt books, financial statements, balance sheets and those materials related to the financial aspect of running the company.
Series 3: Audiovisual, 1994-2012, undated, contains compact discs (189) of pre-recorded music used for the company's various dance routines. The music was prepared for each booking and most often identified with the title of the booking and the date. Much of the music on these discs is under copyright since they are recordings done by original artists or professional covers of songs that were contemporary with the company's performance during any given year. There are also DVDs (five) detailing the production of varous fund raising DC Cowboys calendars and one audio cassette tape.
This collection is divided into three series.
Series 1: Company Files, 1994-2013, undated
Series 2: Financial, 1996-2011, undated
Series 3: Audiovisual, 1994-2012, undated
Biographical / Historical:
"History of the DC Cowboys Dance Company - Celebrating diversity through dance"
The DC Cowboys Dance Company, an all-male, gay dance company, entertained audiences around the world from 1994 to 2012. Internationally acclaimed, the DC Cowboys specialized in providing exciting, high-energy, jazz-style, dance entertainment which spanned all musical genres, from contemporary country to club dance party, pop, to classic Broadway numbers for all types of occasions. Shows were customized to the venue—both gay-specific and mainstream events—and featured anywhere from one song to multiple sets of three to four songs each. Combining a little traditional country-western with jazz, musical theater and a masculine sex appeal, the DC Cowboys' high-energy choreography made the company one of the most-sought after gay dance groups in the world.
Founder and Artistic Director Kevin Platte started the dance company in August 1994 after seeing a similar gay, country-western dance group in California. Platte recruited 11 dancers—mostly friends—from a Washington, D.C., gay, country-western bar named Remington's. He approached the best dancers based on watching them two-step and line-dance at the bar. The dancers formed the troupe for the sole purpose of performing at the Atlantic States Gay Rodeo Association's (ASGRA) annual rodeo in Washington, D.C., in September 1994.
Platte thought the performance would be a one-time event. But based on an overwhelming reception, the dancers decided to continue the group. This required weekly rehearsals, the creation of a dance "repertoire" and a larger commitment from the dancers. Of the original 12 members, only six were up to the task. These six original members then had to find more dancers and identify other performance venues. Mainstay venues soon included the Capital Pride Festival every June and the Atlantic Stampede Gay Rodeo event every September.
In September 1995, Metro Weekly placed them on the cover of their magazine, giving them greater exposure and more clout. The Cowboys used this coverage as a catalyst to build the brand and identity. All the while, the DC Cowboys remained volunteers and amateurs, performing solely for the love of it. Each dancer maintained a "day job," and the group only rehearsed in the evenings once or twice a week. As the warmer months seemed to be their busiest, the dancers would use the colder months to build up the repertoire and practice. Every year, rehearsals would cease for the months of November and December for the existing dancers. However new recruits that were successful in the annual auditions attended "bootcamp" rehearsals during those months to learn some of the existing repertoire. In January, the existing and new members started rehearsing together as the new season began.
During the early years, the dancers paid for all expenses out of their own pockets, and monthly dues were collected to pay for group expenses. The group would often pay for the opportunity to perform. To supplement these expenses, the group began fundraising through a monthly bar night at different gay nightclubs. Once their reputation grew, venues and events began to pay for the company's entertainment services and patron club members donated funds to support the organization and their mission. These funds allowed the organization to pay for all of their expenses including dancer costuming. In addition, the group sold merchandise which included T-shirts, performance DVDs as well as their sexy DC Cowboys calendars. Three of the more popular calendars featured the dancers without clothes in artistic poses and included the "making of the calendar" DVD.
In 1996, Platte added a charitable element to the organization. He created a mission statement which said the company would provide free entertainment to any HIV/AIDS charitable organization. Over the years, the company also directly raised funds for HIV/AIDS organizations by sharing the profits of their calendar sales. The DC Cowboys raised millions of dollars through performances for national and local non-profit organizations such as:
Washington, D.C. AIDS Ride; Washington, D.C. AIDS Walk; Chase Brexton Clinic of Baltimore, Maryland; Northern Virginia AIDS Ministry; Human Rights Campaign; Whitman Walker Clinic of Washington, D.C.; Food and Friends of Washington, D.C.; Mautner Project; Gay Latino Benefits in Metro D.C.; Harford County AIDS/Cancer Benefit, Maryland; NYFD Benefit for the New York City Fire Department.
In 1996, the company received a grant from the D.C. Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, honoring the company for its valued contribution to the Washington, D.C. arts community. The company always maintained a tax-deductible status as a 501c3 non-profit organization with a small board of directors.
During their 18-year tenure, the DC Cowboys provided an outlet for gay artists and performers in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area. The company included 85 dancers, eight choreographers and three stage-managers. The company performed at 458 events in five countries. The DC Cowboys' crowd-pleasing, sexy dance style had been described as "Will Rogers Follies meets Bob Fosse." The group famously described themselves on America's Got Talent in 2008 as "Think Brokeback meets Broadway," which became a popular line echoed around the world. Their growth and popularity were attributed to their unique and high quality entertainment which was often copied in other cities but never equalled. In addition the dancers were talented, good-looking men who were friendly and approachable to their many fans. Their farewell season tour in 2012 visited all of their favorite performance venues and locations around the world and was dedicated to their fans who were instrumental to their success.
Typical performance venues included Pride Festivals in New York City, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Charlotte, North Carolina; Headliners on the Gay Rodeo circuit in Washington, D.C., Las Vegas, San Diego, Atlanta, Chicago, Calgary, and Texas; Halloween in New Orleans; Mr. Gay All-American Finals; Gay Men's Chorus of Washington, Washington, D.C., concerts and events; Whitman Walker Volunteer Appreciation at Constitution Hall, Washington, D.C.; PFLAG's Gala Dinner, Washington, D.C.; HRC (Human Rights Campaign) Leadership Dinner cruise aboard the Spirit of Washington, Washington, D.C.; Human Rights Campaign National Dinner, Washington, D.C. - special reception for major donors; Annual Chef's Best Dinner & Auction for Food and Friends, Washington, D.C..
Performance highlights included America's Got Talent television show, season 3, NBC, semifinalists (2008); Closing Ceremonies of the Gay Games VII at Wrigley Field in Chicago (2006); RSVP's Caribbean Fantasy gay cruise (2005); Arts grant recipient from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts (1996);The Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary (2009--012); Dales' Great Getaway television show, ITV London, England (2012); The Podge and Rodge television show, RTE, Dublin, Ireland (2010)."
This history of the DC Cowboys Dance Company was supplied by its founder, Kevin Platte.
The collection was donated by Kevin P. Platte, founder and Artistic and Executive Director of DC Cowboys Dance Company in 2013.
This collection is open for research use. Gloves must be worn when handling unprotected photographs, negatives, and slides.
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. Fees for commercial reproduction.
This collection consists of historical files on FI, its predecessors, and subsidiaries. The material consists primarily of historical/public relations material, including photographs and brochures, but also includes significant amounts of business records for FEAC, Kreider-Reisner, Hiller, Republic, Ranger, Stratos, and Swearingen. The collection also documents Fairchild's joint ventures with Fokker, Pilatus, and other aircraft manufacturers. The material also includes an extensive negative collection as well as film and videotape libraries.
Scope and Contents note:
Sherman Mills Fairchild (1896-1971) founded Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation (FAEC) in 1920. FAEC was incorporated in New York State for the purpose of developing, manufacturing and selling aerial photographic equipment. It went through many changes over the course of its existence. By 1971, FAEC was called Fairchild Industries, Inc. and had become an enormous corporation that produced such famous and history making aircraft as the Model 24 and A-10 as well as acquired other aviation industry giants such as Republic Aviation and Hiller Aircraft Company.
The Fairchild Industries, Inc. Collection, accessions 1989-0060 and 1990-0047, was donated to the Archives Division of the National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution in 1989 and 1990. The collection consists of printed and photographic materials. The subject matter of the material has a wide scope that includes, but is not restricted to, the following subject areas: public relations, legal matters, production photography, aircraft drawings and manuals, company published materials such as brochures and press releases, and history files. This collection does not contain the engineering files or the complete photo holdings or corporate records of Fairchild Industries, Inc or any of its predecessors.
The collection was maintained for many years by Theron Rinehart, a Fairchild Industries employee. Due to the large size and lack original order, the Archives Division decided to create a database as well as a traditional finding aid for access to the collection. Access to the Fairchild Docs database is available from the Archives Division by appointment. Aircraft types and designations are listed in the database and finding aid as they are in The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Directory of Airplanes Their Designers and Manufacturers, edited by Dana Bell, 2002 (Greenhill Books: London). Folder titles are those that appeared on the original folders and dates are provided for those materials that had them. The material was rehoused by the Archives Division and is now in acid free folders and boxes. There are few instances of water damage; these materials are indicated in the finding aid and database.
This finding aid contains a corporate history and chronology of the companies owned by of Fairchild Industries, Inc and a list of the Fairchild, Hiller, Republic and Swearingen aircraft documented in this collection. The books, periodicals and artifacts that were part of this collection have been removed. This finding aid contains a list of these materials. Please ask for assistance in contacting the NASM Branch and Smithsonian Libraries and the NASM Aeronautics Division.
Sherman Mills Fairchild's personal papers, The Sherman Fairchild Papers, can be found in the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress.
The following information was taken from The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum Directory of Airplanes: Their Designers and Manufacturers, edited by Dana Bell, 2002 (Greenhill Books: London).
"In 1924, Sherman Fairchild established the Fairchild Aviation Corp as the parent company for his many aviation interests. In 1930, The Aviation Corp (AVCO) purchased Fairchild Aviation and its subsidiaries, initially operating the various companies under their original names. The following year, Sherman Fairchild repurchased Fairchild Aviation Corp and began repurchasing the subordinate companies. In a December 1936 reorganization, Fairchild Aviation Corp divested itself of all aircraft manufacturing interests, placing them under a new Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co.
The original aircraft manufacturing subsidiary of Fairchild Aviation Corp was Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Co; it was created in 1924 to design and build aircraft as platforms for Fairchild's aerial survey cameras. Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing was one of the subsidiaries purchased by AVCO in 1930, but not one of the first companies repurchased by Sherman Fairchild. In 1931 AVCO combined the aircraft company with Fairchild Engine Co, forming American Airplane and Engine Corp. Fairchild Aviation Corp bought American Airplane and Engine in 1934, renaming the company the Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing and Engine Co.
In the 1936 reorganization that divided Fairchild Aviation Corp assets, Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing and Engine Co became Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co and took charge of all Fairchild aircraft and engine holdings. Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co became Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp in 1950 and Fairchild Stratos Corp in 1961. With the 1964 purchase of Hiller Aircraft Corp, Fairchild Stratos was renamed Fairchild Hiller Corp, then, again, renamed Fairchild Industries after the separation of all Hiller interests in 1973. Although Fairchild Industries closed and sold its military and commercial aircraft manufacturing divisions in 1987, "Fairchild" aircraft continued to be produced through the Swearingen Metro and Fairchild Dornier lines (see below).
Fairchild created, purchased, and merged with several companies during its history. The following are the most important subsidiaries:
Fairchild Aircraft Ltd was created in 1929 as Fairchild Aviation Corp's Canadian subsidiary. The company ended all aircraft production in 1948.
The Kreider Reisner Aircraft Co Inc was formed in 1927. Kreider Reisner became a wholly-owned division of (first) the Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Co in 1929, (second) AVCO's American Airplane and Engine Corp (which renamed KR aircraft "Pilgrims") in 1931, and (third) Fairchild Aircraft Manufacturing and Engine Co in 1934. Kreider-Reisner was renamed the Fairchild Aircraft Corp in 1935, becoming Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co's principle US aircraft manufacturing subsidiary. Fairchild Aircraft Corp was renamed the Fairchild Aircraft Division in 1939, the Fairchild Aircraft and Missiles Division in 1961, the Fairchild Stratos Aircraft and Missiles Division in 1961, the Aircraft-Missiles Division in 1965, and the Aircraft Division in 1967. With a growing number of aircraft subsidiaries reporting to Fairchild Industries, the Aircraft Division was broken up in a corporate reorganization of the 1970s. While the Kreider Reisner Midget is listed under Kreider Reisner, all Kreider Reisner Challenger series aircraft (designated "KR" biplanes by Fairchild) appear under Fairchild.
In 1936 Fairchild Engine and Airplane Co founded the subsidiary Duromold Aircraft Corp to better account for time spent developing the Duromold wood/resin bonding process and the Model 46 aircraft. In 1938, the majority interest in Duromold was bought by a group of investors (including process inventor Col. Virginius E. Clark), who formed the Clark Aircraft Corp. Fairchild kept a minority interest in Clark, retaining Duromold as a holding company. In September 1938, Fairchild renamed its Duromold division Fairchild Airplane Investment Corp, and Clark created a subsidiary called Duramold Aircraft Corp (note the spelling change). In 1938 Duramold was renamed Molded Aircraft Corp. In 1939, Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp bought back a controlling interest in Clark and renamed Molded Aircraft Duramold Aircraft Manufacturing Corp. The Duramold and Clark companies disappeared during one of Fairchild's World War II reorganizations.
In 1952 Fairchild licensed the rights to Dutch Fokker's F.27 medium-range airliner. In 1953, the USAF transferred production contracts for the Chase Aircraft Co, Inc C 123 to Fairchild. The Chase-built XC 123 and XC 123A appear under Chase, while Fairchild's C-123 production is listed under Fairchild.
In 1954, the American Helicopter Co, Inc (founded 1947) became the Helicopter Division of Fairchild Engine and Airplane Corp. The division closed by the end of decade.
In 1964, Fairchild Stratos purchased Hiller Aircraft Corp, and both companies were renamed: Hiller Aircraft Co Inc become a subsidiary of Fairchild Hiller Corp. In the 1973 reorganization of Fairchild Hiller into Fairchild Industries, Hiller helicopter interests passed to an independent Hiller Aviation Inc….
In 1965, the Republic Aviation Corp became Republic Aviation Division (also known as Fairchild Republic) of Fairchild Hiller Corp. In 1987, Republic was shut down when Fairchild Industries ceased building commercial and military aircraft.
Swearingen Aircraft formed in the late 1950s, modifying Beech aircraft for executive transport. In 1965 the company produced its first new design, the Merlin. In 1970 Swearingen began development of the Metro, a joint venture to be marketed by Fairchild Hiller Corp. As a subsidiary of Fairchild Industries, Swearingen became Swearingen Aviation Corp, in 1971, Fairchild Swearingen in 1981, and Fairchild Aircraft Corp in September 1982. When Fairchild Industries closed its aircraft design and production facilities in 1987, Fairchild Aircraft Corp was sold to GMF Investments, Inc; GMF continued to operate the company under the Fairchild name. In 1990, Fairchild Aircraft filed for Chapter 11 protection and was purchased by Fairchild Acquisition Inc as Fairchild Aircraft Inc. Fairchild Aircraft delivered its last aircraft in 2001. Most Swearingen designs are filed under Swearingen; the Metro and Expediter can be found under Fairchild.
In 1996, Fairchild Acquisition became Fairchild Aerospace. While continuing to operate Fairchild Aircraft, the company also purchased 80% of the stock of Germany's Dornier Luftfahrt GmbH (with the remaining 20% of shares held by Daimler Benz Aerospace). Dornier's aircraft manufacturing operations were taken over by Fairchild Dornier Luftfahrt Beteiligungs GmbH. In 2000, Fairchild Aerospace was renamed Fairchild Dornier Aerospace, with corporate headquarters moved to Germany. Dornier designs predating Fairchild's takeover are listed under Dornier. Subsequent designs are found under Fairchild Dornier."
The following lists companies owned by Sherman Fairchild Industries and their years of incorporation. Major divisions of Fairchild are also listed. This list does not include when these entities were divested of or liquidated.
1926 -- Fairchild Air Transport, Limited (name change from Elliot-Fairchild Air Transport, Limited)
1927 -- Fairchild Aviation Corporation (reorganization and refinancing of the following subsidiaries and minority holdings, Fairchild Aerial Camera Corporation, Fairchild Aerial Surveys, Inc., Fairchild Flying Company, Inc, Fairchild Caminez Engine Corporation, Fairchild Airplane Manufacturing Corporation, Fairchild Aviation, Limited, Compania Mexicana de Aviacion, S.A. [20% stock] and International Aerial Engineering Company [20% stock])
1928 -- Faircam Realty Corporation
1928 -- Fairchild Boats, Incorporated
1928 -- Fairchild Engine Corporation
1928 -- V.E. Clark Corporation
1928 -- West Indian Aerial Express, Incorporated
1928 -- Fairchild Aviation Corporation of Illinois
1958 -- Fairchild Aircraft and Missiles Division (name change from Fairchild Aircraft Division)
1958 -- International Aluminum Structures Incorporated
1960 -- Astrionics Division (name change from Electronics Systems Division)
1960 -- Aircraft Service Division
1961 -- Fairchild Stratos Corporation (operating division, subsidiaries and affiliates: Aircraft-Missile Division, Aircraft Service Division, Electronic Systems Division, Stratos Division, Fairchild Arms International Ltd, Fairchild Aviation (Holland) N.V., and Aerotest Laboratories, Inc.)
1962 -- Space System Division formed by Fairchild Stratos Corporation
1962 -- Data Systems Engineering formed by Fairchild Stratos Corporation
1964 -- Hiller Aircraft Company, Inc
1964 -- Fairchild Hiller Corporation (name change from Fairchild Stratos Corporation; division and subsidiaries: Aircraft Missiles Division, Aircraft Service Division, Electronic Systems Division, Data Systems Engineering, Space Systems Division, Stratos Division, Hiller Aircraft Company, Inc., Fairchild Aviation (Holland) N.V. and Fairchild Arms International, Inc.)
1965 -- Republic Aviation Corporation
1965 -- Republic Aviation Division
1965 -- Electronic and Information Systems Division (formed by combining Electronic Systems Division, Data Systems Engineering and similar disciplines from Republic Aviation Corporation)
1966 -- Burns Aero Seat Company, Incorporated
1966 -- Fairchild Hiller – FRG Corporation
1966 -- Aircraft Division (formed by combining Aircraft-Missiles Division and Hiller Aircraft Company, Inc.)
1966 -- Space and Electronics Systems Division (formed by combining Space Systems Division and Electronic and Information Systems Division)
1966 -- Industrial Products Division (forms from the Industrial Products Branch of Stratos Division)
1967 -- S.J. Industries, Inc.
1967 -- Air Carrier Engine Services, Inc.
1967 -- Fairchild Chemical Corporation
1967 -- EWR-Fairchild International
1968 -- Fairchild Aircraft Marketing Company
1968 -- FAIRMICCO
1969 -- Fairchild-Germantown Development Company, Incorporated
1970 -- Fairchild Aviation (Asia) Limited
1971 -- Fairchild Industries, Incorporated (name changes from Fairchild Hiller Corporation, division and subsidiaries: Fairchild Aircraft Marketing Company, Fairchild Aircraft Service Division, Fairchild Industrial Products Division, Fairchild Republic Division, Fairchild Space and Electronics Division, Fairchild Stratos Division, Burns Aero Seat Company, Incorporated, Fairchild Arms International, Ltd., Fairchild Aviation (Asia) Limited, Fairchild Aviation (Holland) N.V., Fairchild-Germantown Development Company, Incorporated and S.J. Industries, Inc.)
1971 -- Fairchild KLIF, Incorporated
1971 -- Swearingen Aviation Corporation
1972 -- American Satellite Corporation
1972 -- Fairchild Minnesota, Incorporated
1972 -- Fairchild International Sales Corporation
1979 -- Bunker Ramo Corporation [18.4% interest]
1980 -- American Satellite Company
1980 -- Space Communications Company (Spacecom) [25% interest]
"The Landing Strip" (unidentified location); downtown business district of Fire Island (New York); Queenstown Park dedicated to Wilbur Jones, Jr. (Anne Arundel County, Maryland); Rainbow Mountain Resort (Poconos, Pennsylvania); Kingsway Christian Cente...
Archives Center, National Museum of American History Search this
Researchers must handle unprotected photographs with gloves. Researchers must use reference copies of audio-visual materials. When no reference copy exists, the Archives Center staff will produce reference copies on an "as needed" basis, as resources allow.
Do not use original materials when available on reference video or audio tapes.
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.
Archives Center Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) Collection, Archives Center, National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution