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Paul E. Garber Collection

Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Names:
Early Birds of Aviation (Organization).  Search this
National Air Museum (U.S.)  Search this
National Air and Space Museum (U.S.)  Search this
Smithsonian Institution  Search this
Tusch, Mary E. "Mother"  Search this
Extent:
241.95 Cubic feet (488 boxes plus flat files)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Diaries
Lectures
Photographs
Printed material
Scrapbooks
Slides (photographs)
Date:
1824-1992
Summary:
The Paul E. Garber Collection documents Paul Edward Garber's life, both personal and professional, prior to and during his 72-year tenure at the National Air and Space Museum.
Scope and Contents:
The Paul E. Garber Collection includes material from both the personal and professional realms of Garber's life. It is centered on the following three areas: Garber's personal life; his aeronautics interests; and his association with the Smithsonian Institution—the National Air Museum, and later the National Air and Space Museum. The collection is a particularly rich source of material relating to Garber's development of the military target kite, his involvement in a multitude of aviation-related clubs and organizations, and as a record of his daily work duties and influence upon the National Air and Space Museum. The following types of materials, dating from 1824 to 1992, are included: correspondence; diaries; notes and writings by Garber regarding a variety of aeronautical and museum topics; lectures and interviews; scrapbooks; newspaper clippings; magazine articles; photo albums; photographs, slides, negatives, and lantern slides; pamphlets and brochures; drawings; newsletters; and audio recordings.
Arrangement:
Little emphasis has been placed on dividing this collection between Garber's personal and professional lives, as the two capacities intersected in almost every way. Whenever possible, Garber's original folder titles and order have been preserved. All titles that appear in [brackets] are the archivist's.

The collection is organized into the following 15 series:

Series 1: Correspondence, circa 1901-circa 1992 and undated

Series 2: Invitations and Programs, 1910-1988 and undated

Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM), 1916-1992 and undated

Series 4: World War II Target Kites and Naval Reserve, 1919-1986 and undated

Series 5: Manuscripts and Speeches, 1925-1989 and undated

Series 6: Personal Materials, 1824-1992 and undated

Series 7: Personal Interest, circa 1908-circa 1992 and undated

Series 8: Organizations, 1908-1992 and undated

Series 9: Newsletters, 1938-1992 and undated

Series 10: Biographical Files, circa 1910-circa 1992 and undated

Series 11: Subject Files, 1909- circa 1990 and undated

Series 12: Photographs, circa 1880-1992 and undated

Series 13: Negatives, Transparencies, Film, and Slides, circa 1940s-circa 1970s and undated

Series 14: Oversize Materials, 1842-1990 and undated

Series 15: Audio Recordings
Biographical / Historical:
Paul Edward Garber (1899-1992) was instrumental in obtaining a substantial portion of the National Air and Space Museum's aircraft collection. His 72-year tenure with the Smithsonian Institution and his dedication to the belief that aeronautics artifacts were worthy of preservation for the sake of National memory effectively make him the progenitor of the National Air and Space Museum we know today.

Garber was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, on 31 August 1899, a few years prior to the development of powered flight. Growing up during this exciting time, young Garber was exposed to a number of experiences that ignited his interest in aeronautics. Garber recalled that, while visiting Washington, D.C., in 1909, he took a streetcar across the Potomac River to watch Orville Wright fly the world's first military airplane at Fort Myer, Virginia.

The Garber family eventually left Atlantic City and permanently settled in Washington, D.C. In 1913 Garber and his schoolmates formed the Capital Model Aeroplane Club, organizing competitions for the making and flying of model aircraft and kites. In 1915, after visiting the Smithsonian Institution, Garber made a copy of Octave Chanute's biplane glider. After testing a smaller model, which he flew as a kite, Garber constructed a 20-foot wingspan version, using barrel staves sawed into thirds as ribs and covering them in red chintz fabric. Over several weekends, Garber made numerous towed take-offs and glides. These flights would eventually qualify him for membership into the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. Between 1917 and 1918 Garber studied at the McKinley Technical School in Washington, D.C., and the University of Maryland, College Park. He also studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Research University, Washington, 1920-1921. He never received a degree from any institution he attended. Garber finished his teen years by joining the Army in 1918 and was about to begin flight training at College Park when World War I ended. Afterwards, he took a job as a ground crewman and messenger with the United States Post Office Department's Air Mail Service.

In 1920 Garber began his career with the Smithsonian Institution, starting as a "Preparator," dealing with the maintenance of exhibits. Advancing through the ranks, he was at various times an Aide, Assistant Curator, and Associate Curator. During World War II, Garber's talents in modeling and kite making allowed him to accept a commission in the U.S. Navy at the rank of Lt. Commander. His military target kites became an important part of gunnery training, serving as both targets and examples for identifying enemy aircraft. Following the ending of the war, Garber resigned at the rank of Commander and returned to the Smithsonian where, in 1952, he became the first Curator of the National Air Museum, which was created by act of Congress in 1946.

On 10 May 1952 Garber married Irene Tusch, daughter of the aeronautical enthusiast Mary E. "Mother" Tusch. Throughout the next decade plus, Garber received promotions to Head Curator and Senior Historian, serving in this last position until 1965. From 1965 to 1969, Garber was the Assistant Director of Aeronautics. Forced to retire by Federal law upon reaching the age of 70, Garber received the honorary lifetime titles of Historian Emeritus and Ramsey Fellow.

Garber wrote several books on aeronautics and flight: Building and Flying Model Aircraft. A Guide for Youthful Beginners in Aeronautics, 1920; We: The Story of Achievement in Aviation, 1929; Kites and Kite Flying, 1931; Flying in Safety, 1939; and Navy Target Kites, 1944. He wrote multiple editions on the National Aircraft/Aeronautical Collections (1941, 1949, 1956, and 1965), as well as numerous pamphlets, handbooks, encyclopedia entries, and articles on aviation-related subjects.

In addition to his writing and lecturing, he was the recipient of many awards and trophies, including: the Washington Air Derby Association Trophy, 1954; the Air Line Traffic Association Citation, 1955; the Frank G. Brewer Trophy for Youth Education, 1959; the Elder Statesman of Aviation Award, 1964; the Trasvolata Atlantica Medal from Italy, 1964; the Santos-Dumont Medal of Merit from Brazil, 1966; the Paul Tissandier Diplome from the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale (F.A.I.), 1968; the Smithsonian Institution's Gold Medal, 1969; the Order Rio Branco, 1969; the Mérito Aeronáutico Medal from Brazil, 1974; named an honorary pilot in the Brazilian Air Force, 1982; recipient of the Medalha Mérito Tamandaré of Brazil, 1983; named to the OX-5 Club's Aviation Hall of Fame, 1974; and received the Laskowitz Gold Medal from the New York Academy of Sciences, 1979. Garber was also made Honorary Naval Aviator #17 during the mid-1980's. He was a member of the National Aeronautics Association, the Air Mail Pioneers, the Early Birds of Aviation, Inc. (Secretary, 1956-1960; President 1968, 1976-77), the Connecticut Aeronautical Historical Society, the National Aviation Club, and the National Space Club.

Paul Garber died in his sleep at Arlington Hospital on 23 September 1992. His acquisition efforts and advocacy on behalf of the National Air and Space Museum continue to live on in the form of its rich aircraft collections. The National Air and Space Museum's Paul E. Garber Preservation, Restoration, and Storage Facility, formerly known as "Silver Hill," is named in his honor.
Provenance:
Paul Garber, Gift, 1991, NASM.1991.0063
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:
Aeronautics  Search this
Kites  Search this
Models and modelmaking  Search this
Museums -- Curatorship  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Correspondence
Diaries
Lectures
Photographs
Printed material
Scrapbooks
Slides (photographs)
Citation:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-nasm-1991-0063
Online Media:

[Non-SI Photos, Billy Parker 1914 Model N66U Exhibit]

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 329, Folder 1
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 12: Photographs / 12.2: NASM Photographs / 12.2.7: NASM Exhibits
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref3792

[SI and Non-SI Photos, "Mother" Tusch "Hangar"]

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 329, Folder 2
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 12: Photographs / 12.2: NASM Photographs / 12.2.7: NASM Exhibits
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref3793

[Non-SI Photos, Miscellaneous Museum Exhibits]

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 329, Folder 3
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 12: Photographs / 12.2: NASM Photographs / 12.2.7: NASM Exhibits
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref3794

[Parachute Exhibits, mounted on fiberboard, 1 of 2]

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 329, Folder 4
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 12: Photographs / 12.2: NASM Photographs / 12.2.7: NASM Exhibits
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref3795

[Parachute Exhibits, mounted on fiberboard, 2 of 2]

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 329, Folder 5
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 12: Photographs / 12.2: NASM Photographs / 12.2.7: NASM Exhibits
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref3796

[No ID, Exhibits]

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Container:
Box 329, Folder 6
Type:
Archival materials
Photographs
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 12: Photographs / 12.2: NASM Photographs / 12.2.7: NASM Exhibits
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref3797

Accessions

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.1
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1732

NASM Administrative Materials

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.3
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1733

NASM Exhibits

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.2
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1734

Garber's Work Records and Reports

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.4
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1735

Smithsonian Kite Festival

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Arrangement:
The 2012 portion of this accession contained an accordion file that was arranged chronologically by Garber, but the 1990 part of the accession is ordered differently. It is unknown if the earlier materials are in Garber's original order, of if the divergent arrangement was the creation of a previous archivist. Whenever possible, Garber's original order has been maintained.
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.5
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1736

Newspaper Clippings

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.6
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1737

Publications

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.7
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1738

Smithsonian Institution (SI) Material

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 3.8
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 3: National Air and Space Museum (NASM)
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1739

Individual Topics

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 5.1
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 5: Manuscripts and Speeches
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1740

Miscellaneous

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 5.2
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 5: Manuscripts and Speeches
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1741

Research Materials

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 5.3
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 5: Manuscripts and Speeches
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1742

Biographical Materials

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 6.1
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 6: Personal Materials
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1743

Family Papers

Collection Creator:
Garber, Paul Edward, 1899-1992  Search this
Type:
Archival materials
Collection Restrictions:
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:
Paul E. Garber Collection, Acc. NASM.1991.0063, National Air and Space Museum, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
NASM.1991.0063, Subseries 6.2
See more items in:
Paul E. Garber Collection
Paul E. Garber Collection / Series 6: Personal Materials
Archival Repository:
National Air and Space Museum Archives
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-nasm-1991-0063-ref1744

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