Barnaby, Ralph S. (Ralph Stanton), 1893-1986 Search this
3.15 Cubic feet ((7 legal document boxes))
2.94 Linear feet
Ralph Stanton Barnaby (1893-1986) was an aviation pioneer. Barnaby was the first licensed glider pilot in the United States and the first to successfully launch a glider from an airship. He organized and directed the Navy's first school for glider pilots. Barnaby also served as president of the Early Birds and helped organize the Soaring Society of America, as well as authoring a number of books on gliders and paper airplanes.
Scope and Contents:
The Ralph Stanton Barnaby collection consists of approximately two cubic feet of materials relating to Barnaby's personal life and his relationship with the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. This collection contains approximately one-fourth of Barnaby's personal papers, the remainder being held by the National Soaring Museum and the Franklin Institute. Before being accessioned into the Archives, documents from the Museum's biographical files were added to the collection. These documents are indistinguishable from the donated material and so remain part of this collection.
This collection consists almost entirely of correspondence, newsletters, news clippings, and publications relating to early aviation. A problem arises initially from the fact that all of the material in this collection is supposed to relate to Barnaby's relations with the Early Birds. As the majority is correspondence, it would be logical to arrange by individuals and/or offices first, but the fact that offices in the Early Birds organization were rotated yearly and that much of the correspondence is of a personal nature makes this difficult.
Materials in this collection date between 1911 and 1986 and the bulk dates ranging between 1930 and 1980, when Ralph Barnaby was most active in the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. The materials were broken down into four series.
The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) Archives received from the estate only those materials relating to his Early Birds affiliation, with his other materials going to the National Soaring Museum and the Franklin Institute. Any researcher interested in information relating to Barnaby's soaring experiences or personal life which NASM does not have should contact these organizations.
Biographical / Historical:
Ralph Stanton Barnaby was born 21 January 1893 in Meadville, PA, but moved to New York City in 1900, Barnaby has his first taste of aviation in 1905, when Roy Knabenshue flew his dirigible over the city. In 1908 Barnaby went to Belleville, New Jersey to see Thomas Baldwin fly what became the Signal Corps Dirigible No. 1. With his inspiration, Barnaby designed, built and flew his first glider in Roxbury Connecticut on 18 August 1909. After improved designs and additional flights, Barnaby was awarded the Fèdèration Aèronautique Internationale Soaring Certificate #1 for the United States, signed by Orville Wright. Now thoroughly bitten by the aviation bug, Barnaby forsook his chosen career as an artist and attended Columbia University, graduating in 1915 with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical engineering. From Columbia, Barnaby went to the Elco Boat Company, where he worked with Alexander Graham Bell on the design and production of high-speed subchasers for the U.S. Navy. In 1916, he took the position of Assistant Chief Engineer and head of the Engineering Department at the Standard Aero Corporation, under Charles Healy Day.
When America entered World War I, Barnaby resigned from Standard Aero and accepted a commission in the Navy, serving overseas until the spring of 1919. Barnaby then came home and attended the Navy Flight School at Naval Air Station (NAS) Pensacola, Florida and the Aviation Ground School at M.I.T., after which he was awarded his wings. Barnaby served as the First U.S. Navy representative on the Army-Navy Standards Committee and, in 1920, he was made Project Engineer for the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
On 31 January 1930 Barnaby performed the first successful glider release from USS Los Angeles during tests at NAS Lakehurst, New Jersey. These tests led to the later operation of powered aircraft from USS Macon and USS Akron. During 1930 he also authored Gliders and Gliding, established the U.S. Navy's Glider School, NAS Pensacola, Florida and served as Chief Engineer and Assistant Manager of the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia. Following the conclusion of the glider/dirigible tests, Barnaby was promoted to the rank of Lt Commander. In 1930 Barnaby joined the recently founded organization known as the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc.
From 1933 to 1939 Barnaby was assigned to a variety of bases in as many roles ranging from aircraft inspector at the Baltimore Naval Aircraft Factory (1933-1934) to repairs officer, NAS Pensacola (1934-1939). In 1938 Barnaby was promoted to the rank of Commander and a year later became Assistant Chief Engineer at the Naval Aircraft Factory, Philadelphia, where he remained until America's entrance into World War II. During the war, Barnaby was assigned to the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard handling the design and procurement of troop and cargo-carrying gliders. In 1944 Barnaby was responsible for establishing and directing the Naval Aircraft Modification Unit, Johnsville, Pennsylvania, later known as the Naval Development Center and from 1945 to 1947 Barnaby served as Commanding Officer. In 1947 he retired from the U.S. Navy at the rank of Captain.
Following his retirement, Barnaby took a position at the Franklin Institute, Philadelphia Pennsylvania. where he worked in a variety of capacities including Aeronautics Consultant to the Director of the Science Museum and Chief of the Aeronautics Section He was responsible for planning and directing air traffic control research and aeronautical engineering and for the acquisition of many of the Institute's early flight artifacts, most notable their Wright Model B Flyer, the type Barnaby was taught to fly by George W. Beatty in 1912. When he passed away, Barnaby held the title of "Keeper Emeritus, Hall of Aviation."
Aside from his Navy and professional career, Barnaby had a multitude of other interests. Prior to witnessing the Knabenshue and Baldwin dirigible flights, Barnaby wanted to be an artist and studied at the Art Students League in New York City. He was a skilled craftsman, working in several mediums, but is best known for his sculptures. Examples of his work include bronze busts of famous naval leaders at the U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Maryland, pieces at the Mariner's Museum at Newport News Virginia, the bronze of the Wright Brothers at the Wright Memorial in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and the bas relief of Thomas E. Selfridge, first man to die in an air crash at Fort Myer, Virginia. In addition, most of the medallions and pins cast and presented by the Early Birds of Aviation were designed by Barnaby. Numerous examples of self-designed greeting cards designed by Barnaby reflect his artistic talents.
Another of Barnaby's hobbies was paper airplanes. Barnaby used a design he perfected while acting as liaison officer at Wright Field, Dayton, Ohio in 1927 to win Scientific America's First International Paper Airplane Competition in 1967. In 1968, he authored How to Make and Fly Paper Airplanes which sold widely and discussed holding a program with the Smithsonian on paper airplane construction.
In addition to being a Past President of the Early Birds of Aviation, Barnaby was a member and/or officer of many other aeronautical organizations. In 1960 he was named an "Elder Statesman of Aviation" by the National Aeronautics Association. He was also Fellow of the Institute of the Aeronautical Sciences, Founder of the Soaring Society of America, member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilot's Association, Past President of Aero Club of Pennsylvania, member of the Gliding Committee of the Fèdèration Aèronautique Internationale, member of the Twirly Birds, the Philadelphia Glider Council, the Golden Eagles, the Army/Navy Club, the Society of Automotive Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, founder of the New York Model Aero Club and member of the Scientific Research Society of America.
Barnaby's awards are diverse and include the Legion of Merit for Naval Services, U.S. Navy Air Medal and the Medal of Merit from Columbia University. He was the 1955 recipient of the Paul Tissandier Diploma from the Fèdèration Aèronautique Internationale and was named to the Helms Athletic Hall of Fame for his contributions to the sport of soaring and gliding in America.
Ralph Stanton Barnaby Timeline
1893 -- Ralph Stanton Barnaby born, 21 January, Meadville, Pennsylvania.
1900 -- Family moved to New York City.
1904-1908 -- Grace Church Choisters School, New York City; Trinity School.
1909 -- Designed, built and flew his own glider, 18 August, Roxbury Falls, Connecticut.
1911 -- Co-founded New York Model Aero Club.
1912 -- Took flying lesson with George Beatty, Long Island, New York.
1915 -- Graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering, Columbia University.
1915-1916 -- Worked with Alexander Graham Bell on designing high-speed boats for the Navy with the Elco Company, Bayonne, New Jersey.
1915-1916 -- In charge of sub-chaser assembly and testing at Montreal, Quebec.
1917 -- Joined Standard Aero Corporation with Charles Healy Day, was made Assistant Chief Engineer and head of Engineering Department.
1917 -- Accepted a commission in the United States Navy at rank of ensign; First Navy representative on the Army-Navy Standards Committee.
1944 -- Established the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, Pennsylvania.
1945-1947 -- Commanding Officer of the Naval Air Development Center, Johnsville, Pennsylvania.
1947 -- Retired from U.S. Navy at rank of Captain.
1947 -- Accepted position at Franklin Institute, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
1950 -- Served as Captain of the first American soaring team to participate in an international gliding event, Sweden.
1967-1968 -- Winner of the First International Paper Airplane Competition and authored How to Make and Fly Paper Airplanes.
1986 -- Passed away, 15 May, Center City, Pennsylvania.
Additional Materials: The following materials were transferred to the National Air and Space Museum Aeronautics Division -- one Early Bird cap, one trophy, two plaques, medals, pins, and official Early Bird envelopes.
Ralph Stanton Barnaby, gift, 1987, 1987-0048, Not NASM
No restrictions on access
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Mechanical and Civil Engineering Search this
National Museum of American History (U.S.). Division of Work and Industry Search this
0.15 Cubic feet (1 box)
Newport News (Virginia)
An album of railroad construction photographs documenting numerous unidentified, projects.
Scope and Contents note:
An album of railroad construction photographs (including cyanotypes), documenting numerous, though mostly unidentified, projects. A few images are captioned "Newport News, Virginia." Some of the equipment is marked "Pennsylvania Steel Company." There are also family and domestic scenes in the album.
Collection purchased at Krainik Gallery, 1991.
Collection is open for research but is stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-633-3270.
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.
Ella Fitzgerald, often called the "First Lady of Song," was one of the 20th century's most important musical performers. The collection reflects her career and personal life through photographs, audio recordings, and manuscript materials.
Scope and Contents:
The Ella Fitzgerald Papers document the performing and personal life of the "First Lady of Song." The collection contains music manuscripts, sheet music, photographs, scripts, correspondence, clippings, business records, sound recordings and video. The bulk of the materials reflect Fitzgerald's career as a singer and performer. The collection comprises materials found in Ella Fitzgerald's home at the time of her death.
The collection is organized into 10 series.
Series 1: Music Manuscripts and Sheet Music, 1919-1973
Suberies 1.1: Television Shows
Series 2: Photographs, 1939-1990
Subseries 2.1: Ella Fitzgerald Performing Alone
Subseries 2.2: Ella Fitzgerald Performing With Others
Subseries 2.3: Publicity
Subseries 2.4: Ella Fitzgerald With Family, Colleagues, and Friends
Subseries 2.5: Ella Fitzgerald Candid Photographs
Subseries 2.6: Performing Venues
Subseries 2.7: Photographs From Friends and Fans
Series 3: Scripts, 1957-1981
Series 4: Correspondence, circa 1960-1996
Series 5: Business Records, 1954-1990
Series 6: Honorary Degrees and Awards, 1960-1996
Series 7: Concert Programs and Announcements, 1957-1992, undated
Series 8: Clippings, 1949-1997
Subseries 8.1: Magazine Articles, 1949-1997
Subseries 8.2: Newspapers, circa 19650-circa 1990
Series 9: Emphemera, 1950-1996
Subseries 9.1: Album Jackets
Subseries 9.2: Miscellaneous
Series 10: Audiovisual, 1939-1995
Subseries 10.1: Sound Discs: Test Pressings, Transcription Discs, and Performer Copies, 1939-1979
Subseries 10.3: Demonstration Sound Discs: Other Artists
Subseries 10.4: Sound Tapes, 1938-1996
Subseries 10.5: Videotapes, 1967-1999
Subseries 10.6: Reference Tape Cassettes (for 1/4" open reel originals)
Biographical / Historical:
Born in Newport News, Virginia on April 25th, 1918, Ella Fitzgerald was sent to an orphanage in Yonkers, New York at the age of six. In 1934, she was discovered as a singer in New York's famed Apollo Theater Amateur Contest. This led to a stint with drummer Chick Webb's Band, with whom she recorded her first big hit, "A -tisket A-tasket" in 1938.
After Webb died in 1939, Fitzgerald took over leadership of the band for three years, during which time they were featured on a live radio series. She then embarked upon a solo career, which included recording for Decca Records, and in 1946, she began a pivotal association with producer Norman Granz's Jazz at the Philharmonic series, which brought her a large international following.
In 1956, Fitzgerald left Decca Records to join Granz's newly formed Verve label. Among her notable Verve recordings were a series of "songbooks" featuring the work of major American composers such as Cole Porter, George Gershwin, and Harold Arlen as well as classic collaborations with Count Basie and Duke Ellington. Fitzgerald's toured and performed extensively and her immense popularity also led to appearances on television, in movies, and in commercials and magazine ads.
Despite increasing health problems, Fitzgerald continued to tour, perform and record into her seventies with musicians such as guitarist Joe Pass, arranger-producer Quincy Jones, and pianist Oscar Peterson. Throughout her life, Fitzgerald was active in charitable work with particular emphasis on the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation and the Ella Fitzgerald and Harriette E. Shields Child Care Centers.
Ella Fitzgerald was admired and honored world-wide. In addition to receiving more than a dozen Grammy awards, she was awarded numerous honorary degrees and many states and cities had commemorative Ella Fitzgerald days. Fitzgerald was a Kennedy Center honoree in 1979 and Harvard University's Hasty Pudding Club named her "Woman of the Year" in 1982.
The "First Lady of Song" died on June 17, 1996, of complications from diabetes.
Materials at the Archives Center
Benny Carter Collection, 1928-2000 (AC0757)
Charismic Productions Records of Dizzy Gillespie, 1940s-1993 (AC0979)
Smithsonian Jazz Oral History Program Collection, 1992-2012 (AC0808)
Milt Gabler Papers, 1927-2001 (AC0849)
Tad Hershorn Collection, 1956-1991 (AC0680)
Ernie Smith Jazz Film Collection, circa 1910- circa 1970 (AC0491)
"The National Museum of American History, Division of Culture and the Arts (now Division of Cultural and Community Life) holds Ella Fitzgerald artifacts including costumes and clothing.
The collection was donated by the Fitzgerald 1989 Trust, Richard Rosman, trustee on April 14, 1997. The Ella Fitzgeral Charitable Foundation is the successor to the Fitzgerald 1989 Trust.
Collection is open for research. Only reference copies of audiovisual materials can be used.
The Archives Center can provide reproductions of some materials for research and educational use. Copyright and right to publicity restrictions apply and limit reproduction for other purposes. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.