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Vera Simons Papers

Creator:
Simons, Vera  Search this
Extent:
23.5 Cubic feet ((22 boxes))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Philately
Photographs
Newspaper clippings
Press releases
Color slides
Audiotapes
Reports
Date:
bulk 1960s-1980s
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of approximately 23 cubic feet of material relating to Vera Simons' ballooning and art careers. Types of materials include: newspaper articles, flight covers, photographs, slides, audio recordings, and reports relating to Simons' time with Winzen Research, inc. and her "Da Vinci" and "Aerolus" projects.
Biographical / Historical:
Vera Simons (1920-2012) played an important role in balloon development and exploration. Born in Germany, she grew up in Detroit, Michigan and married Otto Winzen; together they created Winzen Research Inc., one of world's first plastic balloon companies. Simons held over two-thirds ownership of the company and became its vice president. She supervised and trained her "balloon girls" to handle polyethylene and build the giant balloons, and obtained four patents for her work improving construction techniques and envelope redesign. During the 1950s and 1960s, Winzen created balloons for the United States Navy Projects Helios, Skyhook and Strato-Lab and for the United Sates Air Force Project Manhigh, and Simons was a central figure in planning and executing those manned research flights. Simons earned her gas balloon license in 1957 and she represented the United States at the 30th Annual International Gas Balloon Races in Holland where she received a gold medal for her contributions to balloon research. When Simons divorced Otto Winzen, she sold her interest in Winzen Research and enrolled in art school. By the early 1970s she had made a name for herself in international art circles by combining art and ballooning. In 1972, Simons began planning a series of balloon flights called "DaVinci" that combined science with original kinetic art. She spent two years designing and supervising the construction of a two-decker fiberglass gondola and an 11 story tall polyethylene balloon in which she eventually set a new overland distance record in the U.S. in 1979. During the same flight, Simons dropped tiny tetrahedron balloons carrying Douglas Fir seedlings into cleared areas, took time-lapse photographs, made sound recordings, and used mirrors to create special lighting effects in the clouds for the spectators on the ground. During other "DaVinci" flights, Simons collected temperature and airflow data, and tracked the mix and movement of urban air pollutants, while also photographing landscape and cloud images that she later used in producing works of art. In 1984 Simons launched another flight, "Project Aerolus," in which three plastic balloons were launched simultaneously into the nighttime sky; one of the balloons was piloted by Joe Kittinger.
Provenance:
Don Crowell, Gift, 2015
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Balloons  Search this
Kinetic art  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
Genre/Form:
philately
Photographs
Newspaper clippings
Press releases
Color slides
Audiotapes
Reports
Citation:
Vera Simons Papers, Accession 2016-0013, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.2016.0013
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-2016-0013

Helios Photography Project - Helios related email file; October 1999-April 14, 2001

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian American Art Museum. Curatorial Office  Search this
Container:
Box 1 of 1
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-039, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Curatorial Office, Curatorial Records
See more items in:
Curatorial Records
Curatorial Records / Box 1
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa07-039-refidd1e454

Helios Photography Project - Helios Award Winners file; November 2000-January 2001

Collection Creator::
Smithsonian American Art Museum. Curatorial Office  Search this
Container:
Box 1 of 1
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-039, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Curatorial Office, Curatorial Records
See more items in:
Curatorial Records
Curatorial Records / Box 1
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa07-039-refidd1e465

J. Gordon Vaeth Collection

Creator:
Vaeth, J. Gordon (Joseph Gordon), 1921-2012  Search this
Names:
LZ 120 Bodensee (Airship)  Search this
LZ 129 Hindenburg (Airship)  Search this
Project Helios  Search this
Project Skyhook  Search this
United States. Navy -- Aviation  Search this
United States. Navy. Naval Airship Program  Search this
United States. Office of Naval Research  Search this
ZR-1 Shenandoah (Airship)  Search this
ZR-3 Los Angeles (Airship)  Search this
ZRS-4 Akron (Airship)  Search this
ZRS-5 Macon (Airship)  Search this
Vaeth, J. Gordon (Joseph Gordon), 1921-2012  Search this
Extent:
1.97 Cubic feet (4 legal document boxes and 1 oversize folder)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Publications
Clippings
Reports
Date:
1908-1992
Summary:
This collection, compiled by J. Gorden Vaeth, consists of documents, reports, news clippings, scrapbooks, publications, and photographs relating to rigid and non-rigid airships worldwide.
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of documents, reports, news clippings, scrapbooks, publications, and photographs relating to rigid and non-rigid airships worldwide, including the USS Shenandoah; USS Akron; USS Macon; USS Los Angeles; Schütte-Lanz; R-23; TC-14: and the Zeppelins Hindenburg and Bodensee. It was compiled by J. Gordon Vaeth for personal and research reasons.
Arrangement:
Collection is arranged by type of material. Most publications are housed individually in folders.
Biographical / Historical:
J. Gordon Vaeth (1921-2012) was an accomplished author and historian on the subject of airships. He was known as the 'leader of the airship underground' during his earlier days with the Naval Airship Program at the start of World War II. During his active duty in the U. S. Navy (1942-1946), he was assigned to Commander Airship Patrol Group One, later Commander Fleet, Airships, Atlantic, then to Naval Air Station Lakehurst. He entered civilian life in 1947, continuing to work with programs relating to airships, including at the Office of Naval Research, the Helios Project, and on Skyhook. Vaeth held many positions for the federal government and was the director of systems engineering for the National Environmental Satellite Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) at the time of his retirement. Vaeth was a frequent lecturer, including appearances in television documentaries, as well as the author of numerous professional articles and books.
General:
Additional materials: Mr. Vaeth also donated a number of books and volumes of "The Airship Quarterly" which are housed in National Air and Space Museum Branch Library.
Provenance:
J. Gordon Vaeth, Gift, 1993, NASM.1994.0011
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Airships  Search this
Aeronautics, Military  Search this
Aeronautics  Search this
United States Navy TC-14 (Airship)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Publications
Clippings
Reports
Citation:
J. Gordon Vaeth Collection, NASM.1994.0011, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1994.0011
See more items in:
J. Gordon Vaeth Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1994-0011

Project Helios ONR Files - Chronology of project Helios file, photocopied letters, and index cards

Collection Creator::
DeVorkin, David H., 1944-  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
Until the death of the Donor, SIA will notify the Donor prior to, or within 7 days after, the materials have been accessed for reseach. Contact reference staff for details.
Collection Citation:
Smithsonian Institution Archives, Accession 07-137, David H. DeVorkin Papers
See more items in:
David H. DeVorkin Papers
Archival Repository:
Smithsonian Institution Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-sia-fa07-137-refidd1e462

Stratospheric Ballooning (Skyhook) Collection

Creator:
United States. Office of Naval Research  Search this
Names:
Project Helios  Search this
Project Skyhook  Search this
United States. Office of Naval Research  Search this
Vanguard (Artificial satellite)  Search this
Extent:
2.18 Cubic Feet ((2 records center boxes))
Type:
Archival materials
Collection descriptions
Press releases
Clippings
Reports
Correspondence
Photographs
Date:
[ca. 1940s-1960s]
Scope and Contents:
This collection consists of photographs, correspondence, reports, clippings and press kits, mostly centering on the following ballooning topics: Project Skyhook, Project Helios, Stratoscope I and II and Stratolab. There is also material on general ballooning events, the Vanguard satellite and the VTOL.
Biographical / Historical:
The stratospheric balloon flights of Auguste Piccard in 1931-1932 changed the way people thought about conquering the stratosphere and began a race to the stratosphere via the balloon which rivaled the race to the moon in the 1960s. The ballooning of the 1930s, including Auguste and Jean Piccards' work and the Explorer flights, led to Project Helios during the 1940s. Project Helios, in turn, led to Skyhook, Stratolab and modern scientific ballooning. These modern projects, i.e., Project Skyhook, allowed longer look times than sounding rockets and were far more economical. Furthermore, they were valuable in obtaining data for both scientific missions and military interests.
General:
NASMrev
Provenance:
Office of Naval Research, Gift, 1993, 1993-0050, Public Domain
Restrictions:
No restrictions on access
Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests
Topic:
Rockets (Aeronautics)  Search this
Rockets, Sounding  Search this
Vertically rising aircraft  Search this
Balloons  Search this
Balloons, Sounding  Search this
Stratoscope I  Search this
Stratoscope II  Search this
Stratolab Program  Search this
Project Vanguard  Search this
Genre/Form:
Press releases
Clippings
Reports
Correspondence
Photographs
Identifier:
NASM.1993.0050
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1993-0050

Chapter 9 Project Helios

Collection Creator:
DeVorkin, David H., 1944-  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Race to the Stratosphere Photograph Collection, Acc. 1997-0034, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Race to the Stratosphere Photograph Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1997-0034-ref29

Chapter 9 Project Helios

Collection Creator:
DeVorkin, David H., 1944-  Search this
Container:
Box 2, Folder 12
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
No restrictions on access.
No restrictions on access.
Collection Rights:
Material is subject to Smithsonian Terms of Use. Should you wish to use NASM material in any medium, please submit an Application for Permission to Reproduce NASM Material, available at Permissions Requests.
Collection Citation:
Race to the Stratosphere Photograph Collection, Acc. 1997-0034, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Race to the Stratosphere Photograph Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1997-0034-ref44

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