The collection primarily consists of photographs and a scrapbook documenting Joseph Bruhl's experiences playing with territory bands from the early 1920s through the late 1930s. There are also some materials that relate to his personal life.
Scope and Contents note:
This collection is organized into two series. Series One contains personal papers, and Series Two contains scrapbooks. Bruhl's personal papers consist of official documents, such as his high school diploma, United States Armed Services discharge notice, a notarized certification of birth, and the Bruhls' death certificates. Other personal papers include his correspondence, his writings, publicity materials promoting him, and photographs of Bruhl pictured in various stages of his long career. The scrapbook series includes two scrapbooks, one featuring Bruhl's wedding and honeymoon, and the second, larger book documenting Bruhl's travels as a territory band musician.
Bruhl's wedding scrapbook contains records of his 1929 marriage to Vera Bruhl, née Halsted. The scrapbook also includes photographs, postcards and brochures from their honeymoon, as well as several letters and telegrams of congratulation from the Bruhls' family and friends.
Bruhl's territory band scrapbook contains numerous photographs dating to the 1920s and 1930s, including many captioned snapshots of small-town main streets, roadways and local attractions as well as of the musicians and their friends. Accompanying these photographs in the scrapbook are performance billings and posters, letters of recommendation, newspaper clippings, women's dance cards, association and labor union cards, business cards, menus, and radio broadcast schedules. Items appear in the scrapbook roughly chronologically and were grouped and annotated by Bruhl, reflecting his membership in a series of territory bands.
The collection is arranged into two series.
Series 1: Personal Papers, 1922-1980, undated
Series 2: Scrapbooks, 1925-1938, undated
Joseph Robert Bruhl (December 7, 1909-October 11, 1980) was born in Plattsmouth, Nebraska and attended Mitchell High School in Lincoln, Nebraska. From the time of his first engagement to play piano at local radio station WMAH at the age of twelve, Joseph Bruhl immersed himself in music. Bruhl played in local bands, and after two years in college decided to become a professional musician. Proficient with the banjo, guitar, and piano, Bruhl traveled from the mid-1920s until the late-1930s with what were then popularly known as "territory bands." Such bands journeyed to various locales within a fixed geographic range to play for local events. Bruhl's early engagements spanned Nebraska, Wyoming, and the Dakotas, where he accompanied a series of traveling orchestras to play in ballrooms, theaters, and at other local celebrations. Such travels required long trips over unpaved roads and necessitated the acquisition of transfer passes from the Lincoln chapter of the American Federation of Musicians (Local # 463), of which Bruhl was a member. From the beginning of his career as a full-time musician, Bruhl avidly collected and preserved performance billings and other memorabilia from his travels.
From 1927 on, Bruhl's performances reached listeners across the West and Midwest on several early radio stations, including WNAX, WOW, KGHL, KFAB, and KFSO. In 1929, Bruhl married Vera Halsted, while he continued to build his career as a musician traveling with various bands. Stints playing with orchestras led by Russ Henegar and Milt Askew in the late 1920s and early 1930s preceded Bruhl's 1934 move to the San Francisco Bay area. From there he assumed his most prominent role as the piano player in Joaquin Grill's Orchestra (1935-1939). With Grill and company, Bruhl traveled even more widely, reaching as far as Lake Tahoe and several southwestern states in 1937 and 1938.
Drafted during World War II, Bruhl became the leader of an Army band unit. After the war, he returned to broadcast radio. Bruhl eventually settled in San Leandro, California, where he opened and operated a successful Fender franchise guitar school and music store in the 1950s and 1960s.
Materials in the Archives Center, National Museum of American History
Hazen Collection of Band Photographs and Ephemera NMAH.AC.0253
Helen May Butler Collection NMAH.AC.0261
The International Sweethearts of Rhythm Collection NMAH.AC.1218
Virgil Whyte's "All-Girl" Band CollectionNMAH.AC.0503
Henry S. Bukowski Big Band Collection NMAH.AC.0678
Jazz and Big Band Collection NMAH.AC.1388
Donated to the Archives Center in 2004 by Joseph Bruhl's nephew George M. Bruhl.
The 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 intellectual property rights. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.
This collection consists of Stanton's personal papers. The material includes correspondence, photographs, news clippings and articles, reunion memorabilia and records, and personal and professional writings over the course of his aeronautical career.
Scope and Contents:
This collection of the papers of Charles Ingram Stanton contains work-related photographs, personal writings on his career, periodicals, programs, financial records, published materials, maps, charts, plans, scrapbooks and audiotapes. At the time of processing, no attempt was made to transcribe the audiotapes. Please contact the Archives for information about duplication.
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 collection is arranged as follows:
Series I, Professional Life
Subseries I: Military Career
Subseries II: Civilian Career
Series II, Personal Life
Series III, Miscellaneous Oversize Material
Charles Ingram Stanton was born on July 28, 1893, in Medford, Massachusetts. He graduated from high school in Revere, Massachusetts in 1911; and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts College in 1917. After graduation, he joined the United States Army and was assigned to the Signal Corps. Upon graduation from the Corps flight school, Stanton was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. Although he served in the Air Service during World War I, he was never assigned overseas, but remained in the United States conducting research regarding radios and their effects in aircraft. In December of 1918, Stanton was formally discharged from the Army.
Prior to his military discharge, Stanton accepted a position with the United States Post Office Department of Aerial Mail, and began work as a test pilot. On September 15, 1920, Stanton was promoted to Superintendent of Operations, United States Air Mail Service. He later resigned from the Post Office and went to work for the National Aeronautic Association (NAA). His tenure there was terminated for unknown reasons in 1923; he then went to work for the U.S. Engineer Corp as a surveyman. From 1925 through 1926, he was employed as a civil engineer in Miami, Florida. On January 17, 1927 Stanton returned to government service as an airplane and engine inspector for the United States Department of Commerce. He was named the Chief of Airways Engineering Division, Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA) on May 4, 1937. While working there, he obtained patent number 2,147,679 for an illuminating system for runways. On June 29, 1940 Stanton was named Assistant Administrator and Director of the Bureau of Federal Airways. Stanton served as Administrator for the CAA from 1942 to 1944 before returning to his previous position as Deputy Administrator. During his tenure with the CAA, Stanton attended several conferences and important meetings for the establishment of international airways. Stanton was instrumental in establishing the Provisional International Civil Aviation Organization. In 1944 he received an honorary doctorate from Tufts College for his contribution to the field of civil aeronautics.
On March 8, 1948 Stanton retired from the United States Government and took a teaching position at the Technological Institute of Aeronautics of Brazil as Professor of Air Navigation, and Chief of Airway Division. Upon returning to the United States in 1952, Stanton went to work for Bell Telephone Laboratories. He returned to work for the CAA in 1957, where he remained until his retirement in 1962.
Charles Ingram Stanton's love of flying did not end with his work. He remained an active member in the OX-5 Club, the Society of Air Mail Pioneers, Society of Airway Pioneers, and the Washington Air Derby Association. In addition to flying clubs, Stanton was a member of the Delta Upsilon Fraternity. Charles Ingram Stanton passed away in 1986.
1893 July 28 -- Born in Medford Massachusetts
1911 -- Graduated from Revere High School
1917 -- Graduated from Tufts College
1917 December 8 -- Joined United States Army
1918 December 12 -- Joined United States Post Office Department of Aerial Mail
1918 December 18 -- Discharged from the United States Army
1920 September 15 -- Appointed Superintendent of Operations, Air Mail Service
1923 November 13 -- Terminated from National Aeronautic Association
1924 -- Worked for United States Engineer Corp as Surveyman
1925 -- Worked as a Civil Engineer in Miami
1927 January 17 -- Worked for U.S. Department of Commerce as an Airplane Inspector
1937 May 4 -- Selected as Chief of Airways Engineering Division, Civil Aeronautics Authority
1939 June 1 -- Granted U.S. Department of Justice Patent Number 2,147,679
1940 June 29 -- Appointed Assistant Administrator and Director of Bureau of Federal Airways, Civil Aeronautics Authority
1942 July 20 -- Appointed Administrator of Civil Aeronautics, Civil Aeronautics Administration
1944 June 18 -- Received Honorary Degree from Tufts College
1944 September 23 -- Resigned as Administrator to return to former position as Deputy Administrator, Civil Aeronautics Administration.
1948 March 8 -- Took leave of absence to serve as head of Department of Airways Engineering, Aeronautical Technical Institute of Brazil.
1952 -- Returned to America to work for Bell Laboratories
1956 November 16 -- Left Bell Laboratories
1957 January 23 -- Worked for the Air Navigation Development Board, Civil Aeronautics Administration
1957 November 6 -- Worked as Electrical Engineer (Gen.) of Airways Modernization Board Civil Aeronautics Administration
1957 -- Worked as Chief of Airports Division, Civil Aeronautics Administration
1962 -- Retired from the Federal Aviation Agency
1986 January 1 -- Passed away
Charles I. Stanton, Jr., gift, 1987, NASM.1987.0076
No restrictions on access
Archival materials documenting the family of Aurora Alay (Tang) Len and Edwin K. Len.
Archival materials documenting the family of Aurora Alay (Tang) Len and Edwin K. Len, particularly Aurora's family as part of the Chinese community in Cuba and Edwin's service in the US Army Air Corps in the China-Burma-India Theater in World War II.
Collection is unarranged.
Collection is open for research.
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.
United States -- Armed Forces -- African Americans
United States -- Army -- Cavalry, 9th
The collection, spanning the late 19th century to 2005 with the bulk from circa 1880 to circa 1955, measures 1.44 linear feet and documents the daily lives and activities of the Plummer-Arnold family and the military career of Henry Vinton Plummer. The collection consists of 48 color and black-and-white photographs and a framed certificate, letter, and two DVDs regarding the honorable discharge of Henry Vinton Plummer. The photographs are undated.
Scope and Contents:
The Plummer-Arnold family papers span the late 19th century to 2005, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1880 to circa 1955. The collection contains 48 black-and-white and color photographs, one letter, one certificate, and two DVDs. The black-and-white and color photographs, mostly undated, depict the daily lives and activities of descendants of the Plummer and Arnold families. The collection also features a letter, certificate, and DVDs relating to the honorable discharge of U.S. Army chaplain Henry Vinton Plummer (1844-1905). The collection is organized into two series, Series 1: Family photographs and Series 2: Henry Vinton Plummer military service.
The Plummer-Arnold family has a long and notable history. Adam Francis Plummer (1819-1905) and Emily Saunders Arnold (1815-1876) were enslaved African Americans who married in 1841. The couple was separated on different Maryland plantations for the first 22 years of their marriage. They had eighteen children, only nine of whom survived to adulthood. Their eldest son, Henry Vinton Plummer (1844-1905), escaped slavery in 1862 to become a Civil War chaplain and founder of the Bladensburg Union Burial Association. His descendents' successful battle to upgrade his 1894 dishonorable discharge from the U.S. Army is documented in this collection.
In 1862, Henry Vinton Plummer escaped from a Maryland plantation to the District of Columbia, where he joined the Union Navy as a chaplain. He was honorably discharged in 1865 and began his studies at Wayland Seminary, which educated freedmen to enter the Baptist ministry. Upon completion of his studies he became the pastor of St. Paul Baptist Church in Bladensburg, Maryland, founded by his sister, Sarah Miranda Plummer, on October 19, 1866. Henry Vinton Plummer married Julia Lomax of Virginia in 1867 and their marriage produced nine children.
Henry Vinton Plummer founded the Bladensburg Union Burial Association in 1870, a society that ensured that its African American members would receive a proper funeral by collecting dues and pledges. It was formed in response to a white undertaker's refusal to conduct a funeral because the family of the deceased could not afford to pay. Plummer interceded on behalf of the family and paid their debt. The Bladensburg Union Burial Association remained an active and successful organization into the 20th century.
In 1884, Plummer was appointed as the first black chaplain in the 9th Calvary, one of the Buffalo Soldier units of the Regular Army. Amidst controversy, Plummer was accused of conduct unbecoming an officer and dishonorably discharged from his post in Fort Robinson, Nebraska, by a military court in 1894. In 2005, Plummer's descendants successfully petitioned the Army Board for Correction of Military Records to eradicate his dishonorable discharge. They were issued a certificate from the Army that retroactively grants Plummer the honorable discharge he was denied during his life.
Related Archival Materials note:
These Smithsonian collections and digital exhibits contain related material:
Plummer-Arnold Collection, Permanent Collection, Smithsonian Anacostia Community Museum.
The Bladensburg Union Burial Association records, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution, gift of Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
Plummer Diary Website Project, Anacostia Community Museum, Smithsonian Institution. For a description of the preservation of the diary, see the Smithsonian blog post "A Sense of Place."
These items held by the Smithsonian are related material:
"Out of the Depths or The Triumph of the Cross" by Nellie Arnold Plummer, Gift of the descendants of Adam and Emily Plummer.
Plummer Family Diary, Gift of the Descendants of Adam and Emily Plummer.
United States flag Of Henry Vinton Plummer, Gift of the descendants of Adam and Emily Plummer.
These items are held outside the Smithsonian:
Interview with Reverend L. Jerome Fowler, PTIP Interview Transcripts, Center for Heritage Resource Studies, Department of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park.
Images of America: Riverdale Park by Donald Lynch, Tom Alderson, and Melissa Avery, Arcadia Publishing, 2011.
The Plummer-Arnold family papers were donated to the Anacostia Community Museum on October 14, 2004, by Reverend L. Jerome Fowler.
The collection is open for unrestricted research. Use of the collection requires an appointment. Please contact the archivist to make an appointment: ACMarchives@si.edu.
The Plummer-Arnold Family papers are the physical property of the Anacostia Community Museum. Literary and copyright belong to the author/creator or their legal heirs and assigns. For further information, and to obtain permission to publish or reproduce, contact the Museum Archives.